Category Archive 'The Left'
21 Dec 2022
Our politics has changed. Our ruling establishment has changed. The leadership of our institutions has changed. And entirely everywhere for the worse.
The media, of course, used to be biased, but the bias was unconscious back then. Today, it is calculated, deliberate, and ruthless.
The American establishment was Country Club Republican, liberal but with some moderation and common sense. The establishment today is a Marxist devoutedly treasonous clerisy that hates the rest of America and that has every inclination to impose its positions by force. The liberals have been purged.
Patrick Maines discusses what has happened to Free Speech.
Of the several unwelcome revelations in the past six years, the most politically significant is that liberalism as a political philosophy is dead.
Oh, there may still be some individuals who identify with it, but for the most part they are old, retired, or cowed into silence by the howling mobs of progressives, the “woke,” and the identitarian left.
And how do we know this? We know it by the collapse of colleges and universities as places of open debate and inquiry. And we know it by the abandonment of any kind of honest and principled journalism by the vast majority of the legacy and social media. For decades these two institutions, the press and the academy, have been the white hot center of American liberalism, and their metamorphosis into woke and progressive fortresses signals the end of it.
How else to explain the spectacle of acceptance, if not the promotion, of censoring, shadow banning, and cancelling? Or the spread of CRT concepts in education from elementary school to college? Or the hostility shown toward Elon Musk’s stated goal of reinstating free speech on Twitter? Or the thuggish and uniform media lies regarding stories like the origin of COVID-19 and authenticity of Hunter Biden’s laptop?
You don’t have to admire or share the philosophy to know that liberalism is, or was, popularly likened to virtues like tolerance and broad-mindedness. But none of the examples above reflect any of those qualities. Just the opposite.
In the summer of 2020, Harper’s magazine published an open letter signed by 150 or so people, most of whom would then have been regarded as liberals. In it, the signers made clear their dismay over the attacks on freedom of speech:
The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted. While we have come to expect this on the radical right, censoriousness is also spreading more widely in our culture; an intolerance of opposing views, a vogue for public shaming and ostracism, and the tendency to dissolve complex policy issues in a blinding moral certainty.
More troubling still, institutional leaders, in a spirit of panicked damage control, are delivering hasty and disproportionate punishments instead of considered reforms. Editors are fired for running controversial pieces; books are withdrawn for alleged inauthenticity; journalists are barred from writing on certain topics; professors are investigated for quoting works of literature in class; and the heads of organizations are ousted for what are sometimes just clumsy mistakes.
At the time of its publication the letter looked like it might be the beginning of a powerful liberal backlash against the illiberal machinations of progressives and the like. In hindsight it looks like the last gasp of an exhausted stock.
The reptiles and invertebrates running places like Yale today are burdened with inherited commitments to Free Speech dating back to a different time. At Yale, they have not quite nerved themselves up to the point of repudiating the Woodward Report, they only ignore it in practice then obfuscate and pay a little hypocritical lip service to Free Expression that they no longer support. They gave a good citizenship award to one of the Shrieking Students who hounded the master of Silliman College out of office because his wife defended free choice of Halloween costume. Open and frank repudiation of every kind of free speech and expression is just around the corner.
17 Nov 2022
Peter van Buren notes some of the pathologies.
As with the suspension of Trump (and on a much, much lesser scale, me) progressives cheered the deplatformings the way public lynchings used to attract a picnicking crowd. The left controls social media (as well as most mainstream media) and so day by day their unreal world becomes ethically more cleansed, more free of things they do not like, and with all the bad news (Hunter Biden) made to go away. The world online is the way they want it to be, with the real world held at bay behind the screen. Like living in The Villages in Florida, or maybe in the Matrix.
It is very much the same for what we’ll call social media 3D, things like renaming high schools and tearing down statues. Those acts are the equivalent of tweets. Nothing changes because of them, but everyone feels more righteous. Might as well send the 45 cents a day to one of those TV charities and think you are solving hunger in Africa. Or posting on Facebook that everyone should get vaccinated. Or, at least when gays were still performing as victims, changing your photo to a rainbow flag.
You see it also in the blurred lines between fiction and reality. A touchpoint for understanding Trump was the dismal novel The Handmaid’s Tale. Black empowerment? Wakanda. Economic equality is fictionalized by replacing every white person in a TV commercial with a black actor, and every other Hallmark romance with a same-sex couple. Same thing when our society over-celebrates the first transgender Jeopardy! winner or another children’s book where the cuddly caterpillar who does good deeds is nonbinary. NYC’s Shakespeare in the Park this year featured Richard III with the lead played by a black woman, no doubt as some imagine the Bard secretly intended.
But this detachment from reality, the appearance of action instead of action, is why progressives continue to have to “raise awareness” for the same old things over and over. In the end, nothing that happens online matters. Online is just propaganda of unknown real-world effectiveness. The left celebrates the deplatforming of Marjorie Taylor Greene, forgetting she is still a sitting congresswoman. Votes count, “likes” do not. Joe Rogan talks to 11 million people a week; Neil Young, his one-time media nemesis, not so many.
The danger of all this, as every purple-haired undergrad eventually realizes, is it creates learned helplessness. …
06 May 2022
Kurt Schlichter contends (correctly) that losing to today’s Left would be simply too disgraceful.
Have you noticed the absolute freakshow quality of the people who want to keep us in chains? Perhaps it’s one thing to be repressed by people who are at least nominally badass, like Romans or Mongols. But these geebos who make up the Democrat Party’s loudmouth wing? The sexually hopeless toads outraged because other people who might someday know the loving touch of another human can’t whack their babies? No. Not only does their tyranny fail the freedom test, it fails the aesthetic test.
We simply cannot allow ourselves to be serfs toiling in the fields of a bunch of people who, in any just and sane society, would spend their lives living in fear of getting wedgies for being so bizarre.
Look, I’m not saying that our society should bring back bullying nerds. I am simply observing that when nerds were busy trying to avoid swirlies in the boys’ room, they did not have the time to devote to getting their groomer allies access to Kindergarteners. If Melvins and Pointdexters living in fear is the price of little kids not getting chatted up by pedo-adjacent strange-os, I say that’s a bargain.
All leftists are insufferable, but this current crop is insufferable in many diverse ways. It’s not just the ones who defile or mutilate themselves to get their parents’ attention. It also includes ones that don’t tatt up, who appear normal until they open up their kale holes. Think Nina Jankowicz. On the surface, she looks like any other childless, middle-aged Chardonnay-guzzler who is pushing 40 but has failed thus far to earn the love of a man. But when she starts talking, yikes. And just look at the antics of that fascist disinformation girl. She sings show tunes. She’s into Harry Potter – non-threatening sensitive and magical boys are sooooo dreamy. She’s also eager to shove you into a train car headed to a gulag, and as it pulls away from the station she’ll be shouting at you ruffians to use your inside voices.
That’s right – the mediocre girl who played the lead in your high school’s production of “Hello, Dolly!” – which you skipped to go pound Buds with your pals like normal people – is the harbinger of tyranny.
Ugh, that’s so sad. Tyranny is intolerable even if you are facing a worthy foe. But tyranny by this kind of over-credentialed, shame-free dork? No way. Never.
And that’s true of the rest of the salty commie crew. Pierced beings with blue hair. Fat-positive behemoths in spandex. Daddy-issue goofs of all genders who can’t do a push up. If we are going to lose our country and our freedom, it can’t be to this gallery of goblins. At least with proper enemies – like, say, the Hessians – you could get some satisfaction shoving a bayonet into their guts. With these weebles, you fail to call them by their bespoke pronouns and they collapse into a sobbing heap. Where’s the challenge?
We simply cannot lose to these people. It’s undignified.
And it’s unnecessary. The only way they win is if we let them win. They can’t take a punch, and the whole caste of them – which probably numbers a couple million across the country – collectively probably has access to about as many guns as the average Trump voter. The only threat they pose is to fetuses, and pretty soon only in Moloch-friendly states like Cali and New York. They talk big about revolutions and insurrections, but they have neither the cold steel or the upper body strength to pull it off.
What are they going to do – pester us into submission? Yes, that’s actually their plan. They really think that if they call us “racist” enough, if they moan enough about patriarchy, if they bleat enough about how us saying what we think is “unsafe” we will simply give up.
07 Jan 2021
It is ironic and amusing that the Left which always sides with the criminals against the police, and which wants the police to be defunded and calls for policemen to be jailed when they are obliged to employ physical force against criminals resisting arrest, yesterday placed absolute reliance on the police, the military (whom they always betray and in which they do not serve), and the National Guard (consisting entirely of the deporables they despise) to protect them and to defend the confirmation of their stolen election from the righteous wrath of the offended American people.
06 Nov 2020
Thomas Cole, The Course of Empire: The Consummation, 1836, The New York Historical Society.
Pedro Gonzalez pessimistically describes the inexorable advance of the credentialed class of sophisters, calculators, and economists whose interests inevitably coincide with the cause of collectivist statism.
Before the storm of steel that was World War I, Robert Nisbet wrote that the federal government, for most Americans, was a strangerâ€”something they mainly encountered only on visits to the post office. This may be hard for us to fathom now, we who have been born and raised long after the chains of industrial and technological conglomeration crushed the social, cultural, and political independence middle America knew just a few generations ago.
Different thinkers gave different names to this revolution of mass and scale in virtually all areas of organized human activity. James Burnham heralded its rise, as a system that would replace capitalism not with socialism but â€œmanagerialism.â€
Burnham defined managerialism as the centralization of society in which the distinction between the state and the economy is eliminated, the separation of ownership and control is effected, and, most importantly, powerâ€”real powerâ€”rests in the hands of â€œmanagers.â€
If it seems there is little room for republicanism or constitutionalism in this scheme, thatâ€™s because there isnâ€™t. â€œAmerica still has a written constitution, but it is nearly impossible, theoretically or politically, to comprehend the distinction between the government and the Constitution,â€ John Marini writes. â€œThe theoretical foundations of social compact theory have been so undermined as to make constitutionalism obsolete as a political theory.â€
Demystified, the â€œmanagersâ€ of our post-constitutional cruise through the truculent waters at the end of history are business executives, technicians, bureaucrats, journalists, administrators; the whole host of technically trained experts who constitute the credentialed class which produces nothing and owns little but without whom mass society would not function.
â€œAgricultural and industrial societies always had their unhappy intellectualsâ€”lawyers, clerks, teachers, radical journalistsâ€”men whose profits lay in ideas rather than things, and who were thus in the vanguard of upheavals and demands for reform,â€ Kevin P. Phillips wrote in Mediacracy. â€œBut the intelligentsia was always a small subclass, influential at times when it could channel public unrest, otherwise subordinate.â€ Now the managers throttle their enemies with the levers of power and, to a large extent, manage unrest while overseeing the managed deconstruction of the civilization they did not build but inherited.
They are winning because they have accomplished the Gramscian Long March and control the institutions that define the Culture.
29 Oct 2020
Salena Zito points out that, if he wins, Biden won’t be healing anything and that the era of nation-wide division is not really about Trump.
Many voters going into this election next month believe if Biden wins the presidency, the constant disruption, chaos, and social unrest will recede because Trump will no longer be president. Some of them are actually hinging their vote on that. Those exasperated voters and every reporter who spins that reasoning are as wrong about that as they were in their belief that the 2016 election was all about Trump. It never was.
Trump was never the cause of the conservative populist coalition that put him in office. He was the result of it. After decades of voters’ dissatisfaction with both political parties, institutions, government, and culture, they voted for themselves and their communities over both partyâ€™s establishments. It wasn’t about voting for Trump.
A lot of very smart people keep missing that critical nuance.
If Trump’s opponents, or those who cover him, spent any time listening to voters and not making fun of them, categorizing them as a cult, racists, stupid, or whatever word of the day they are using to describe them, they would understand that.
I donâ€™t mean parachuting in for a day at a diner and calling that understanding of a community. But walking in their shoes and their community’s streets to see how government has either failed them or passed their communities by. It wouldnâ€™t hurt to stay in town for a couple of days, attend church with people, go to work with them, or watch them coach little league.
Look someone in the eyes on the very ground they walk on, and not from the bubble of your life experiences, and you might experience a little empathy.
As for Biden, despite his wistful assertion that he is going to bring this country together, anyone with a smidgen of understanding of the Democratic Party knows he will be hard-pressed to bring his own party together, let alone an entire country.
The hard and very vocal Left will demand climate change legislation, defunding or deep restructuring of our nationâ€™s police forces, free college tuition, a $15 minimum wage, “Medicare for all,” and a restructuring of our education system to include radical lessons like the 1619 Project as part of the curriculum.
They will take their demands to social media, the streets, and to Washington until they get what they want. That is not a threat; that is just a reality. Biden is not the far-Left’s candidate, but he is the means to an end of Trump. Once elected, there is a valid expectation of a far-left reward for voting for Biden.
The moderate Democrats, independents, and suburban Republicans who may put Biden into office wonâ€™t go willingly along with sweeping government changes to satisfy activists, nor the higher taxes needed to support them. They wonâ€™t take to the streets, but they will silently move away from the coalition they decided to dip their toe in. The result will be an instantaneous shift back toward Republican candidates for the 2022 midterm elections, and the wildly swinging wave elections weâ€™ve been experiencing since 2006 will continue.
In short, there is no exit from the roller coaster anytime soon.
The Left isn’t going to change, and neither are the Americans who refuse to be swept along by the whims and caprices of the community of fashion.
06 Oct 2020
Social media platforms are all petty little left-wing dictatorships featuring censorship systems administered by deviants and neurotics.
There are bitter jokes going around all the time about Facebook’s “Community Standards” enforcers resembling the cast of Portlandia.
The Blaze reports on a classic case illustrating just who is in charge around here. This particular example pertains to Twitch, “a video live streaming service operated by Twitch Interactive, a subsidiary of Amazon. Introduced in June 2011 as a spin-off of the general-interest streaming platform Justin.tv, the site primarily focuses on video game live streaming, including broadcasts of esports competition.”
[There is] a new member of the Twitch moderation team: a transgender who identifies as a deer and who openly threatened to ban Twitch users with less “diverse” opinions.
“I have power, they can’t take it away from me,” bragged Steph Loehr, also known as FerociouslySteph. “And honestly there are some people that should be afraid of me, and they are because I represent moderation and diversity and I’m gonna come for harmful people. If you’re a really sh**ty person â€“ I’m gonna stand up against you. Period. And Twitch is endorsing me to do that.” …
Loehr [has] explain[ed] how she likes to “prance around and eat grass,” as well as having a “deergasm.”