I have in the past agreed with others that we must not purity spiral. At the time I thought of purity spiraling in terms of Murdoch Murdoch’s Pure Bavarian Phenotype cartoon.
Now obviously we cannot deny every person who does not test Pure Anglo-Celt or have the ability to verify that he is 100% colonial descent. The population of the South would probably be reduced to less than 1% of it’s present population. But the opposite of having unrealistic standards would be to have a free-for-all like we have now.
At one end, we have standards that are unrealistically high, and on the other end we have standards that are undesirably low. The only question we should be debating is where it is most advantageous for us to set the bar, and we need not think of it as one single bar. We could have one standard for who gets to stay here pending sterilization, another bar for who gets to have a limited number of children, another bar for who gets to have unlimited children, another bar for who gets to be a sperm/egg donor and so on.
But still, what determines whether somebody is purity spiraling or not? When is it a legit accusation and when is it a false accusation? How can one prove that he is not purity spiraling if he is so accused? Am I purity spiraling if I don’t agree with the Beige Power video?
The term Purity Spiral basically just means “This person is to the right of me on some issue.” It is basically the Alt-right version of being called a “right-wing nut job”.
The term is rhetorically well packaged and is probably here to stay, but I am going to experimentally try banishing the word from my preferred lexicon (other than to mock it) and challenge others to do so. Instead I am going to prefer to speak in terms of realistic vs unrealistic standards or realistic vs unrealistic goals.
Another, perhaps sneakier variant of the purity spiral accusation is to dismiss an argument via the following formula:
If x, then where does it all end?
- If we start deciding who has the right to reproduce, then where does it all end?
- If we start deciding who is worthy to live and who isn’t then where does it all end?
- If we decide to start kicking people out of our country, then where does it all end?
- If we start deciding some people can vote while others can’t then where does it all end?
These, while they may be valid concerns, they are non arguments against the actual point in question. Consider these absurdities:
- If we start cutting down trees, then where will it all end?
- If I start driving my car, then where will it all end? Will I be stuck for life in a moving car? Will the car keep going faster and faster out of control?
- If I (out of shape now) start exercising, then where will it all end? Will I become a gay bodybuilder?
- If we start eating meat, then where will it all end? Will we soon be eating each other?
- If I start drinking coffee this morning, where will it all end? Will I die of caffeine poisoning after my hundredth cup?
- If I teach my kids to swim, where will it all end? What if they never come back out of the water? What if they marry and have kids in the water? Will they evolve into sea mammals?
Based on what I’ve seen so far, we (as a movement) have far more to fear from having low standards than from having high standards. Just like the average American woman has way more to fear from obesity than from anorexia, but you are good and respectable to signal against the minor anorexia problem as if it were some epidemic and a shallow, sexist male chauvinist pig if you talk about the much larger obesity problem.