The Art of Modern Crimestop

Friday, January 30th, 2009

Mencius Moldbug looks back — quite sarcastically — at his extremely progressive upbringing and the art of modern crimestop:

Here is a thought I distinctly remember thinking as a teenager, quite possibly after reading one of Stephen Jay Gould’s better essays on the early hominidae: “boy, it’s a good thing Homo erectus went extinct. Because fortunately, racism is a lie, we are all the same under the skin, and once America educates the world all God’s chilluns will go to Harvard. But we’re obviously descended from less-intelligent hominids — and if those guys were still around, we’d have a real race problem.” A testament to the art of modern crimestop, which always finds a way to disable wrongthink by removing some tiny but essential component from one’s picture of reality.

The term crimestop comes from Orwell’s 1984:

…the speculations which might possibly induce a sceptical or rebellious attitude are killed in advance by his early acquired inner discipline. The first and simplest stage in the discipline, which can be taught even to young children, is called, in Newspeak, crimestop. Crimestop means the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc, and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. Crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity.

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