Trustworthy Freedom Fighter
Joined: 13 Jan 2007
Location: Westminster, LONDON, SW1A 2HB.
|Posted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 7:05 pm Post subject: Virtue Signalling replaces journalism in the West
|I guess the reason that ‘virtue signalling’ has been used so much is that it fulfils a need. For years, people have noticed the phenomenon but did not have a word or phrase to describe it. One person tweeted, ‘Love it when you find out something that’s irritated you for years has a name #virtuesignalling.’ The lack of a phrase obstructed open discussion of what was going on. Newspeak, the fictional language created by George Orwell in his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, limited the number of words people used with the intention of restricting the ability of people to express themselves and even to think. New phrases and words are the opposite of Newspeak. They make expression and argument easier.
It is slightly frustrating that some people have credited Libby Purves with creating the phrase. Unlike Liz Jones, she did not mention where it came from. But I forgive her. I am a fan of hers and the way she presents Midweek on Radio 4. We were contemporaries at Oxford and I’ll never forget seeing her walking in front of me wearing hot pants. That sort of thing creates a special bond.
It has been a pleasure to see the phrase used in all sorts of contexts from environmental policy to dating. One person on Twitter claimed people were using virtue signalling ‘to get laid’. Another wrote, ‘If you find yourself using corn chips to signal your virtue, you’re trying too hard.’
The phrase came to me after years of trying to come up with the something. Researching my previous book, The Welfare State We’re In, I came to realise that the Victorians and Edwardians gave vastly more money to charity than people do now. It was normal even for the working and artisan classes to give as much as 10 per cent of their income. That compares with donations of less than 1 per cent for the general population now. Among many other things, they gave money to help charitable hospitals through the King’s Fund in Saturday workplace collections. They also took it as normal to look after their aged parents and other relatives.
I compared them with people I met who thought they were virtuous merely because they voted Labour once every five years and expressed hatred of right-wingers. That is not virtue. That is lazy, self-righteous and silly.
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."