It is always a temptation for a rich and lazy nation,
To puff and look important and to say: --
"Though we know we should defeat you, we have not the time to meet you.
We will therefore pay you cash to go away."
And that is called paying the Dane-geld;
But we've proved it again and again,
That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
You never get rid of the Dane.
I just watched video of a rally at Wilfrid Laurier University in which a few dozen students and faculty condemned the school administration for its failure to support “or even recognize the existence of” transgender students. This, weirdly, while the rest of us have been condemning the school administration for trying to deprive Lindsay Shepherd of her right of free speech in the name of transgender rights.
It is, for me, a bit of an epiphany. I begin to see what is going on here.
To understand things clearly, one must understand that “The left,” broadly, is the party and the program of the bureaucrats and the professions. And they think like bureaucrats. They have no fixed principles. They do not really give a damn about transgender rights, or women's rights, or immigrants, or anything else. Their prime concern is to keep the system in place which gives them their privileges and their power: the bureaucracy.
If this or that group complains, and sounds upset, the automatic response of the bureaucracy is to appease. Dramatic or decisive action is never in the best interests of a bureaucrat. It makes you a target. The natural strategy is, whenever anyone threatens to get disruptive, to try to buy them off. Not their money; no principles involved.
People who often engage with the bureaucracy learn how the game works. Threaten to make a loud noise, to go to the papers or to the streets, sound angry, and you get stuff.
This makes the left look strident and upset. But it is not really the left; it is their various client groups. Nor are the client groups really upset. This is just how the system works. They have, over time, been trained to act this way. Make a big noise, and you get what you want. And the bureaucracy is, at the same time, provided with cover: they are helping the “disadvantaged” and “oppressed.”
Recently, we have seen that there is no real ideology, no particular rhyme or reason, to what groups come under the leftist client umbrella. It is just whoever sounds really upset.
And so you see, for example, the strange current coalition between Islam and feminists. As recently as a year ago, the feminists and the Muslims were the opposite ends of the spectrum. Feminists were demanding international action on female genital mutilation; Saudi Arabia was the real enemy; women who wore burkhas were oppressed; and so forth. But once the Muslims, or some Muslims, conveyed clearly the impression that they were very upset over something, the bureaucracy responded promptly by giving them stuff. They quickly came under the umbrella as one more client group.
Now, however, we may have come to a crisis point. Until perhaps two weeks ago, it was always the safest course to give in to the demands of the LGBT lobby, or Black Lives Matter, or feminists, no matter how bizarre; and so they threw Lindsay Shepherd to the wolves. But now they are increasingly caught between a rock and a hard place. Too many different groups have learned how the system works; and their various non-negotiable demands are increasingly irreconcilable.
The insistence of the gay lobby, that they are “born this way,” for example, has never been reconcilable with the feminist system that “gender is a construct.” Nor is it reconcilable with the new idea that you can change your gender. If you can change your gender, can you also change your race? Logically, yes. So then what happens to the idea that certain races are oppressed? No need any more for affirmative action: just declare yourself a member of the preferred race. Both feminism and the gay lobby are irreconcilable with Islam. Support for immigration and illegal immigration is not compatible with support for the working poor as a grievance group, leading notably to the rise of Trumpism. Support for large-scale immigration is not compatible with the interests of African Americans. The contradictions of this appeasement approach are becoming obvious and insupportable.
It always had within it the seeds of its destruction. It is Danegeld. It inevitably leads to more of the very thing it seeks to avoid, social strife and hostility to the establishment and the system.
Perhaps, then, it is deserved. Poetic justice.