Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Virtue Signalling

The NY Times refereed to this term in the Feb. 12  F section where they listed the Alt-right vocabulary. The alt-right uses the term virtue-signal to mock liberals who conspicuously express left-wing values, primarily for the purposes of impressing other liberals.

Wikipedia defines V-S this way.
Virtue signalling is the conspicuous expression of moral values done primarily with the intent of enhancing standing within a social group.[1] The term was first used in signalling theory, to describe any behavior that could be used to signal virtue—especially piety among the religious. [2] In recent years, the term has become more commonly used as a pejorative characterization by commentators to criticize what they regard as empty, or superficial support of certain political views, and also used within groups to criticize their own members for valuing outward appearance over substantive action.

Oh boy, as an obseerver of the left, this strikes a chord. But then again I've been guilty of v-s myself.

Another alt-right term is snowflake -- a weak or overly sensitive liberal. This is especially prevalent in younger generations, who blanch at any hint of conflict or contentious debate. All  must be springtime and roses. Only optimism, never pessimism. Everything's comin' up roses. Some of the excuses or rationals when things go wrong are laugh out loud funny. But I have not been immune to snowflake behavior of my own.

I've heard baby boomer women in certain circles I will not name who roll their eyes at what they see are some of the excesses of the me-too movement.

I ain't touching that one.

1 comment:

Michael Fiorillo said...

Even though the term "virtue-signalling" was coined by the Right, it's still a real and often insufferable thing to endure, and (among other things) has driven me away from Left politics. Just think of all the people who insist on using their diets or politics to demonstrate how virtuous they are. It's often unbearable, especially when it's got class overlays: just think of smug liberals mocking the diets of working class people and "trailer trash" and you'll have some idea how insufferable (and politically toxic) it is.

On the other hand, conservatives have to own up to their own version of it, which their insistence that only certain types of people (I'll bet you can guess who) are "real" Americans.