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Posts Tagged ‘Cancel Kulture

Cancel Kulture and the tools it uses.

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And one of those tools has been Twitter.

Here’s one way that Cancel Kulture can be made to work, and has worked on a number of people, especially in show business.

It’s quite simple: you just reach back into the past of that person, find something that’s “problematic” by today’s standards – problematic is a great word in that it’s not a direct attack but implies that a problem exists with the target of the word – and use that standard combined with a gathering wildfire of outrage on Social Media, followed by the MSM, to force the target into groveling apologies, most of which don’t work, the target gets de-platformed anyway.

This is what happened to Oscars host and comedian, Kevin Hart, three years ago. That was the end of that high profile job, and pretty much his career. The same stunt has been pulled on nobodies as well, like the young woman who lost her university place when a former high school classmate published an old Tweet of her celebrating getting her drivers licence at the age of 16 by repeating the line of a famous rap song (all the rage with her generation at the time) that included The Word That Can Get You In Trouble (unless you’re a rap artist).

Recently it was tried against the famous American comedian Steve Martin, because of a forty year old sketch he’d done on Saturday Night Live. Stephen Green at PJMedia takes up the story:

“Steve Martin” briefly trended on Monday after Silver Age Television tweeted the anniversary of King Tut’s debut on SNL. It trended because some zero-humor wokester forced it to trend. But only briefly. Mediaite did its best to generate heat with this headline yesterday:

Steven Martin’s ‘King Tut’ Sketch from 1978 Sparks Twitter Debate on Cultural Appropriation.

Steven Martin? Anyway, as the story made clear, there wasn’t even so little as a “Twitter debate.” The worst Mediaite could find was two barely-critical tweets by a couple of low-follower Blue Checks.

The Twitter Outrage Machine was cranked to life, then almost immediately ran out of gas. Maybe it’s because Twitter spent Monday outraged about the Elon Musk buyout and didn’t have time to worry about Martin.

Excellent news, but how did that little wokester actually get “Steve Martin” to trend in the first place, lighting a spark as it were?

“They do it,” Dice explained, “to create a self-fulfilling prophesy. Twitter manually inserts a topic on the list. People see the topic and think everyone is tweeting about which “caused” it to trend, so people *start* tweeting about it, and *then* the issue goes viral.”

Easy peasy. Japaneasy.

Oooo. Is that racist? Or culturally inappropriate?

Well anyway, after delving into yet another aspect of the grim, toxic underbelly of the politically correct Left, have a laugh at Steve Martin’s original sketch:

It’s a good thing George Carlin is dead

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That was one message from Bill Maher’s take on the impact of Cancel Kulture in his world of using humour to stick it to powerful people.

I haven’t covered The Slap Heard Around The World because it’s just more of Hollywood being awful, but this time in a petty way that amounted to them eating their own as well as being yet another black mark for the Oscars. IMHO it was not as bad as the crap they churn out for us to watch. And now I have Maher referring to it anyway, except that his angle isn’t the screaming about violence, toxic males or the hypocrisy involved but what it says about how the US Left is handling humour nowadays, with another in his series of Explaining Jokes to Idiots (bonus points for the shoutout to the famous Seinfeld episode, The Magic Loogie, with “back and to the left”, itself a Black Comedy parody of Oliver Stone’s movie JFK).

If you think that it trivialises Cancel Kulture in focusing on its effects on jokes instead of Very Serious Ideas then you probably don’t know about this from 2021:

A nonprofit organization that major U.S. tech companies rely on for content moderation is expanding the scope of content it will blacklist on social media platforms.

The Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism will expand its database of terrorist content to cover content shared by white nationalist and alt-right users, Reuters reported Monday. Tech companies, including Facebook, Microsoft, Google, and Twitter, rely on the forum’s database to automatically remove inappropriate content. Experts worry that the forum’s lack of transparency could cause some users to be unfairly censored.

The Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism was created in 2017 to censor content from U.N.-designated terrorist organizations. The forum’s board is advised by the European Union’s Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs, which recently released a report entitled “It’s Not Funny Anymore: Far-Right Extremists’ Use of Humor.”

More in that link, although it’s mostly not about humour.

The worst is when the comics censor themselves, when they become Woke, which seems to be what’s happened to one of Maher’s famous compadres, Jon Stewart.

The liberal comic retired from his “The Daily Show” perch in 2015, spawning tributes from across the media landscape. He changed the face of late night TV, they cried, and they were right. For better and much worse.

His impact, from his liberal take on the news to his bleeped profanity shtick, became part of the late night playbook.

Hell, I used to laugh along with The Daily Show as well, even as he took shots at the Right (like Maher does) to a far greater degree than he did at the Left.

But I did not appreciate the fact that after basically destroying what was a very good show of Left vs Right political and ideological argument, CNN’s Crossfireby going on it in 2004 and attacking the folks there as unserious hacks, saying it was a show that “hurt America” by treating serious ideas in a (too) humorous way – Stewart’s own show simply carried on pushing little but the Left’s line while the rest of the media environment collapsed into the same echo chamber:

Is the media landscape Stewart helped create better for it, where Brian Williams regularly engages in Stewart-like snark (he called Ron Johnson a Russian asset the other day for reading a Federalist article into the record) and Tucker Carlson is the biggest name as a solo act in cable news?

In a context in which so much ink is dedicated to the concept of silos and the elimination of common space between right and left — and I mean the real right and left, not David Brooks and Maureen Dowd — do we honestly want a world where there is no space where these warring sides meet to do rhetorical battle?

The answer is: of course not. It’s much, much worse. The inability to have a space where such debates play out, and the inability of existing entities to provide such a space, has led directly to a degradation of our political conversation and a lack of familiarity with even the most basic version of the other side’s perspective on the world.

And as Jim Treacher memorably noted of Stewart’s routine:

Once I saw through his Clown Nose Off/Clown Nose On routine — “You should listen to me because what I’m saying is important, but I’ll brush off your rebuttal by insisting I’m just a comedian” — it was like the optical illusion with the cows. It might take you a minute to see it, but once you do, you can’t unsee it.

Since Treacher’s analysis in 2013 people have looked at the famous old Crossfire segment and observed that Stewart was pulling the Clown Nose On / Clown Nose Off routine there as well.

There was some of this also when he recently appeared on an episode of one of his Daily Show proteges, Late Night With Stephen Colbert, and spoke some common sense about the Wuhan Lab Leak theory, which had Colbert back-peddling fast until he finally asked Stewart how long he’d been working for Senator Ron Johnson (boom-tish for Liberal snark – see above).

Sadly he seems to have gone full Clown Nose Off as a result of savage attacks by Woke critics of his old show and more recent works:

The woke mob, which will “resurface” the past to attack people in the present, deemed his “Daily Show” writers room insufficiently diverse. And Stewart, rather than defend his team or their work, groveled for forgiveness. That must have stung, but it’s more likely another moment left a palpable scar on his psyche.

That other moment was a movie called “Irresistible” that Stewart made about politics and which lampooned both the GOP and the Democrats. That was not acceptable:

It’s cowardly to make a film lampooning Democrats as out of touch rather than Republicans as unquestionably evil, but this is what “centrism” is these days, and that’s the “both sides” ideology that Stewart espoused back during his days on The Daily Show, and that’s the shit that doesn’t fly anymore.

War, baby! Götterdämmerung. The final fight between the forces of Good and (Unquestionable) Evil.

This is why his latest show, “The Problem with Jon Stewart” on the Apple+ streaming network, had an episode titled “The Problem with White People.” that ended up with Andrew Sullivan, Mr Gay Mrriage himself, a voter of Obama-Obama-Clinton-Biden in the last few years, being attacked as a racist by Stewart’s guest, with Stewart in full, Clown Nose Off agreement:

I just assumed he wouldn’t demonize or curse at a guest; he would moderate; he would entertain counter-arguments; he would defend fair play. After all, this was the man who had lacerated Crossfire for bringing too much heat and not enough light. He believed in sane discourse. He was a liberal, right?

He is indeed, it’s just that poor old Sullivan, despite writing about Woke issues, still thinks that Liberals fit his stereotype, the comfortable picture he has of them, and of himself:

At that point, it became clear that Stewart was not conducting a televised debate, but initiating a struggle session. The point of the session was not to discuss anything, but to further enforce the dogma he had pronounced. So I found myself in the equivalent of one of those workplace indoctrination seminars — in which any disagreement is regarded as a form of “hate” or “ignorance.” But worse: I was in a struggle session with a live mob sitting in, cheering and jeering, which Stewart led and orchestrated. For good measure, Stewart called me a racist and told me I was not “living in the same fucking country as we are,” and went on to angrily call me a “motherfucker.”

Sullivan also got this treatment from the guest (predictably a Liberal White Woman):

I did not come on this show to argue with another white man. That’s one of the reasons we don’t even engage with white men at Race2Dinner, because quite honestly if white men were going to do something about racism, you had 400 years. You could have done it.

A key attack point. If it sounds familiar that’s because we’ve heard it in New Zealand also, in relation to White Colonialism, and you will hear more of it in the near future. Sullivan finishes his detailed piece on the history of White and Black race in the USA by drawing the obvious parallel with Stewart’s ethnicity:

… the trope of a malign racial force existing through history across time and space is one Jon Stewart might have once recognized before he joined the woke cult. I wonder what he would have said if someone had come on his old show and said, “I did not come on this show to argue with a Jew,” or “every single Jew upholds these systems,” or “it doesn’t matter what a Jew’s politics are, he’s still a Jew, and therefore a racist”. What if she had bragged that her organization wouldn’t even engage with Jews because they were so toxic. And what if that person had looked straight at a Jewish guest of Stewart’s when she said it? What would he have said?

Somehow I don’t think it would be: “If I could finger snap, I would finger snap right now.”

Amid all this fighting was news of a stunning counter-attack. After asking his 80 million Twitter followers what they thought of the status of free speech on the platform, and receiving an overwhelming response that it was poor, Musk bought a 9.2% stake in the company for US$ 2.9 billion dollars, making him the largest shareholder and likely catapulting him onto the Board of Directors.

We’ll have to wait and see what influence he has. While significant, the shareholding is far short of control and BOD members are not management; they don’t manage the day-to-day functions of the company. On top of that, as this article pointed out before Musk pulled the trigger, there are a number of big roadblocks in returning Twitter to being the free speech platform it was a decade ago, and we know they exist because they are what changed it. The article details four steps and shows how they worked before and could work again – possibly destroying Musk in the process.

  1. Blame the platform for its users.
  2. Coordinated pressure campaigns
  3. Exodus of the Bluechecks
  4. Deplatforming

Still it was nice to see that it triggered an immediate meltdown across the Lefty Social Media Sphere, especially among the Twitter workers themselves.

Maybe they should hire Bill Maher to provide worker tension-relief exercises once a week. They might even learn to laugh.

The Samizdat remains the same

The failure of new generations of Leftists to actually build anything that could be described as Left-wing has started to be noticed by at least some Leftists.

Here in New Zealand the likes of “Bomber” Bradbury have been railing about the uselessness of Ardern’s Labour government to actually solve homelessness, and poverty, despite almost five years in power, the last two with an overwhelming majority in Parliament. Moreover “neo-liberal” capitalism is still here, smashing house prices through the roof and killing young people’s chances of home ownership – with all that implies for starting families.

Moreover, Bradbury notes that even as these failures pile up the fighting over woke politics grows ever more vicious:

I see a woke activist base who act more like a cult protecting dogma than agents of progressive change. I see a Green Party that is next to fucking hopeless on anything other than the delivery of woke empty gestures welded to their own middle class pretensions.

The material issues that truly matter have been dumped in favour of middle class identity politic virtue signals that are parroted by the Twitter mob and anyone who breathes differently gets cancelled.

But it’s a global phenomena. Environmentalist Michael Shellenberger, in his article, What happened to ‘Yes we can’?, bemoans what has happened to the dream of progressives on issue after issue:

For all of my adult life I have identified as a progressive. To me, being a progressive meant that I believed in empowerment…But now, on all the major issues of the day, the message from progressives is “No, you can’t.”

From climate change to drugs to homelessness and racism, Shellenberger sees what Bradbury sees, an ideological and political movement that has gone off the rails:

The reason progressives believe that “No one is safe,” when it comes to climate change, and that the drug-death “homelessness” crisis is unsolvable, is because they are in the grip of a victim ideology characterized by safetyism, learned helplessness, and disempowerment.

This isn’t really that new. Since the 1960s, the New Left has argued that we can’t solve any of our major problems until we overthrow our racist, sexist, and capitalistic system. But for most of my life, up through the election of Obama, there was still a New Deal, “Yes we can!” and “We can do it!” optimism that sat side-by-side with the New Left’s fundamentally disempowering critique of the ­system.

That’s all gone. On climate change, drug deaths, and cultural issues like racism, the message from progressives is that we are doomed unless we dismantle the institutions responsible for our oppressive, racist system. Those of us in Generation X who were raised to believe that racism was something we could overcome have been told in no uncertain terms that we were wrong. Racism is baked into our cultural DNA.

So too does the more hardline Leftist, Matt Taibbi in this article, The Vanishing Legacy of Barack Obama, which starts off in typical Taibbi fashion:

On the road from stirring symbol of hope and change to the Fat Elvis of neoliberalism, birthday-partying Barack Obama sold us all out

Ouch! It only gets nastier from there as he starts with Barack’s fabulous 60th birthday bash in his “Who’s Afraid of Climate Change” $12 million mansion in Martha’s Vineyard:

… advisers prevailed upon the 44th president to reconsider the bacchanal. But characteristically, hilariously, Obama didn’t cancel his party, he merely uninvited those he considered less important, who happened to be almost entirely his most trusted former aides.

There’s a glorious moment in the life of a certain kind of politician, when either because their careers are over, or because they’re so untouchable politically that it doesn’t matter anymore, that they finally get to remove the public mask, no pun intended. This Covid bash was Barack Obama’s “Fuck it!” moment.

I must admit that I laughed out loud at that last bit. Closer observers of Obama had already noticed that aspect of his personality years ago:

Obama was set up to be the greatest of American heroes, but proved to be a common swindler and one of the great political liars of all time — he fooled us all. Moreover, his remarkably vacuous post-presidency is proving true everything Trump said in 2016 about the grasping Washington politicians whose only motives are personal enrichment, and who’d do anything, even attend his wedding, for a buck.

Heh. Trump spoke a great many truths about The Establishment in D.C.

How do these Leftist betrayals keep happening? The thing that Taibbi, and the German Critical Theorists and Gramsci and all the rest of these fabulous Marxist theorists continue to miss is that no matter how you dress up the pig, it’s still a swine, as Tom Wolfe waspishly noted years ago in The Intelligent Co-Ed’s Guide to America, writing about Solzhenitsyn’s coming to America:

With the Hungarian uprising of 1956 and the invasion of Czechoslo­vakia in 1968 it had become clear to Mannerist Marxists such as Sartre that the Soviet Union was now an embarrassment. The fault, however, as tout le monde knew, was not with socialism but with Stalinism. Stalin was a madman and had taken socialism on a wrong turn. (Mis­takes happen.) Solzhenitsyn began speaking out as a dissident inside the Soviet Union in 1967. His complaints, his revelations, his struggles with Soviet authorities—they merely underscored just how wrong the Stalinist turn had been.

The publication of The Gulag Archipelago in 1973, however, was a wholly unexpected blow. No one was ready for the obscene horror and grotesque scale of what Solzhenitsyn called “Our Sewage Disposal System”—in which tens of millions were shipped in boxcars to con­centration camps all over the country, in which tens of millions died, in which entire races and national groups were liquidated, insofar as they had existed in the Soviet Union. Moreover, said Solzhenitsyn, the system had not begun with Stalin but with Lenin, who had im­mediately exterminated non-Bolshevik opponents of the old regime and especially the student factions. It was impossible any longer to distinguish the Communist liquidation apparatus from the Nazi.

I always have to laugh at the trajectory that Leftists follow in this descent. People like Gorbachev and Dmitry Volkogonov at least had the excuse of having grown up in a brainwashed system, but not their Western counterparts:

Yet Solzhenitsyn went still further. He said that not only Stalinism, not only Leninism, not only Communism — but socialism itself led to the concentration camps; and not only socialism, but Marxism; and not only Marxism but any ideology that sought to reorganize morality on an a priori basis. Sadder still, it was impossible to say that Soviet socialism was not “real socialism.” On the contrary — it was socialism done by experts!

Intellectuals in Europe and America were willing to forgive Solzhe­nitsyn a great deal. After all, he had been born and raised in the Soviet Union as a Marxist, he had fought in combat for his country, he was a great novelist, he had been in the camps for eight years, he had suf­fered. But for his insistence that the isms themselves led to the death camps — for this he was not likely to be forgiven soon. And in fact the campaign of antisepsis began soon after he was expelled from the Soviet Union in 1974. (“He suffered too much — he’s crazy.” “He’s a Christian zealot with a Christ complex.” “He’s an agrarian reaction­ary.” “He’s an egotist and a publicity junkie.”)

I vividly recall that this was still the standard take on the man when I was at varsity in the 1980’s.

Solzhenitsyn’s tour of the United States in 1975 was like an enormous funeral procession that no one wanted to see. The White House wanted no part of him. The New York Times sought to bury his two major’ speeches, and only the moral pressure of a lone Times writer, Hilton Kramer, brought them any appreciable coverage at all. The major tele­vision networks declined to run the Solzhenitsyn interview that created such a stir in England earlier this year (it ran on some of the educa­tional channels).

And the literary world in general ignored him completely. In the huge unseen coffin that Solzhenitsyn towed behind him were not only the souls of the zeks who died in the Archipelago. No, the heartless bastard had also chucked in one of the last great visions: the intellec­tual as the Stainless Steel Socialist glistening against the bone heap of capitalism in its final, brutal, fascist phase. There was a bone heap, all right, and it was grisly beyond belief, but socialism had created it.

But the betrayals of Obama and Clinton and Blair and Brown and Ardern (“Wonder Woman”) and Clark and Lange and all the rest, don’t matter. The next leader of the Centre-Left parties will be hailed as the new saviour, and the entire hideous personality-cult-plus-central-control process will start all over again. These are the same people who will tell you earnestly to your face that there’s no way a modern Lenin, Stalin or Mao could arise because the Left would never make that mistake again.

The Zombie Returns

While the USSR collapsed in 1991 – fittingly on Christmas Day as if in a final tip-of-the-hat to the Christianity against which it had so long fought – and while this followed on from the collapse of all its little Mini-Me’s in Eastern Europe a couple of years earlier, there were still plenty of Marxists around, even if they seemed a little “off” from a traditional Marxist perspective:

Nominal communist regimes still exist, but they are knock-offs, systems determined to survive by being different. There is little Marx in China. Cuba also has gone to market to try to save itself. North Korea has enshrined Asian monarchy rather than European philosophy. But no one has attempted to remake Soviet communism.

Aside from those examples True Marxists (self-proclaimed) have soldiered on in the West, even gaining some traction with movements like Antifa and Burn Loot Murder, discontent with “neo-liberal capitalism” and certainly engaging in struggle sessions in many areas.

As this article, Zombie Marxism, makes clear, there’s a lot going on to once more modernise ancient Marxist ideas. That article looks at the two basic pathways to yet another socialist revolution: practical grassroots organising; and destroying a society’s ideas about itself. That last is mainly about Italian communist Antonio Gramsci:

Writing in the 1920s and ‘30s, after the failure by Italy’s workers to set up a communist state in 1918, Gramsci said the proletariat was consenting to his own enslavement. How so? He buys into the cultural trappings of his bourgeois oppressor—the church, the family, the nation-state, etc.

The communists at the turn of the 20th century had struck similar problems as the industrialised nations of Europe failed to undergo “natural” communist revolutions. Lenin’s answer was a Vanguard Party to lead the clueless workers. But Gramsci saw that outside of Russia that wasn’t working either. Something else was needed, and his key insight was that:

popular beliefs and similar ideas are themselves material forces.’ Gramsci upheld the assertion that a successful revolution would ultimately require the overthrow of the bourgeois state…However, because the capitalist hegemony does not function through state violence alone but that it also mobilizes civil society in order to promote oppressed peoples consent to and participation in the system, a successful revolutionary movement would first have to engage in a long-term effort to undermine that consent.

Screw economics in other words, the focus of Marx and Engels. Gramsci proposed that the things a civil society believes about itself, its culture, buttressed by its institutions, all the things that the oppressed foolishly believed in, would need to be torn down and rebuilt embedded with Marxist theory.

Which is where the German Critical Theorists come into the picture. They had the tools to enable the destruction, starting with the harmless, innocuous world of academic Western literature and then spreading beyond that to other parts of academia and from that into society, even into the ranks of the professional/managerial classes – with the NYT’s “educational 1619 Project, designed to tear down the myth of 1776 and replace it, being the most prominent example. As one modern Marxist, Harmony Goldberg, admiringly said:

Revolutionaries would themselves have to engage in the long-term battle of ideas in order to clarify the need for revolutionary transformation.” All-out ideological war is needed. A crisis can be used to overthrow a society, but the long-term subversion of a culture must come first.

Remember that when you strike idiot Right-Wing politicians who insist that “they don’t do culture wars”.

Aside from the ideas needed to destroy all those things there’s also the practical organising – which is where the likes of Burn Loot Murder come into the picture (and here you were thinking they were about Blacks being brutalised by the Police). The creators of BLM are people like Alicia Garza and Patrice Cullors:

 In 1996 Harmony Goldberg founded the School of Unity and Liberation (SOUL). This is the same place where, seven years later, Black Lives Matter founder Alicia Garza, then 22, began her Marxist training [in “community organising”].

In Cullors’s case, the ideological mentor was Eric Mann. He is a former member of the Weather Underground who founded the Labor-Community Strategy Center in LA (which Mann jokingly calls “the University of Caracas Revolutionary Graduate School”).

These bastard organisations may die off, as the murderous Weather Underground did after the early 70’s, but their poison lives on to create new horrors like BLM. Mann had already developed the key insight that in America Gramsci’s cultural attack would work best if it was boiled down to racism, the great fault line in America. The training of Cullors, Garza and others like them would also focus on a group of people not necessarily “working class”:

Early on, Mann settled on Los Angeles bus riders as more easily organizable and indoctrinated than factory workers. They were more destitute, more black, Latino, and Asian, and more female, than the average worker. “At a time when many workplaces have 25 to 50 employees, an overcrowded bus has 43 people sitting and from 25 to 43 people standing,” he wrote. “Ten organizers on ten different buses can reach 1,000 or more people in a single afternoon,” That’s why his Center pioneered the creation of a Bus Riders Union.

Remember this also the next time you read the likes of old time Leftist Chris Trotter sneering about the mindless, lower-class of the “lumpenproletariat“, as he did about the Wellington protestors. By contrast Mann and company see such people as equally valuable for their revolution, perhaps more so than the Working Class that buys into the capitalist dream.

So far it’s been quite successful: Critical Theory has laid waste to academic fields, and the most prominent outcome of BLM has been the Defund the Police movement. The article also points out the MSM has been brought into the picture in just the last few years, with a tenfold increase in the use of CRT terms such as “White Privilege”, “Systemic Racism”, “Racial Privilege and so forth. How helpful!

The thing is that the likes of Lenin, while they may not have been as focused on this stuff as a primary driver of revolution, effectively ended up doing the same thing after the revolution, as a rather surprising modern political figure confirms:

Cambodia’s Year Zero was not new or unique.

As much of a concern as these efforts are in their trashing of our Western civilisation, they’ve also turned out to be almost as much of a disappointment as their forebears in building the new Heaven On Earth, luckily without as much blood being split. For example the Defund The Police movement is rapidly collapsing as frightened Democrats back away from the massive surges in crime that have resulted in cities stupid enough to follow the advice of BLM, and US university enrolments are in long-term decline in areas such as English, Sociology, and History where Critical Theory has dominated.

But like old Communism, even as they fail they can be incredibly damaging. In the article Confessions of a student Marxist, we get some insight into this wasteland, as described a man who spent his teenage years “immersed in Marxist and anarchist circles and literature”, before getting to Cambridge University where he’s thrilled to discover others like himself and it all gets very exciting – for a while:

The college was a bucket of crabs and happiness itself suspect, a mark of privilege, as with the rugby lads who had the audacity to actually enjoy themselves. When there was laughter it was heavy and jarring, filled with irony and bitterness, never light or free. …Though we were aware of our enormous privilege we contrived to see our time at Cambridge as some grim fate foisted upon us.

Unhappiness brings with it power over others. Where compassion is the highest virtue, this power is almost limitless. Misery also provides the motive to wield this power, and mental blindness to one’s own culpability in its exercise. 

Eternally oppressed victims. There can be no uglier oppressors. He writes about seeing clips of people expressing their mental distress of oppression – “They are there in the voice, constantly on the point of breaking, in the incredulous, widening eyes, and in the earnestly furrowed brow” – and that when he sees BLM using the same “therapeutic language”, it makes his skin crawl.

Social theorist Mark Fisher described from first-hand experience the manipulation of this scene as a Vampire Castle which “feeds on the energy and anxieties and vulnerabilities of young students, but most of all it lives by converting the suffering of particular groups — the more marginal, the better — into academic capital. The most lauded figures in the Vampire Castle are those who have spotted a new market in suffering — those who can find a group more oppressed and subjugated than any previously exploited will find themselves promoted through the ranks very quickly.” The Vampire Castle recruits on the promise of community and self-healing. The reality is an ouroboros of emotional manipulation…

Emotional manipulation has become the primary, in some ways the only, driver of our politics: Jacinda Ardern is a leading example, including the fact that she is a wealthy, Middle-Class person:

The emotional manipulation developed in elite institutions has developed a motte-and-bailey style of argument (superbly analysed by Jacob Siegel) which is impossible to push back against without seeming callous. And every institution, public or private, has simply buckled.

the embrace of this movement by the rich, and the profound philosophical break it represents with the old order, suggests it has a logic and a momentum of its own and its potential is without limit. It is a politics of negation and renunciation and there is no end-point. There is always more work to be done.

That part about the rich jumping onboard with the bullshit shows both its danger to Western society as well as it weakness. Critical Theory and all the Gramscian stuff is doing a great job of tearing things down, but when it comes time for building they’re still stuck with Marxism, which only builds vast systems of centralised command and control that degenerate and then collapse.

But in this case, the approach has also produced, not a generation of hardened revolutionaries but a bunch of privileged cry-bullies: emotionally fragile people who, like their theories, can tear down but not build.

Seemingly on the cusp of victory (Defund the Police) they crap out in the face of reality (increased crime), and in the case of even the trained Marxists, it turns out that they love money and owning houses, having bought into the cultural trappings of their bourgeois oppressors.


Written by Tom Hunter

March 17, 2022 at 6:00 am

In the future everybody will be cancelled for 15 minutes

Even scientists with a great pedigree of credentials and research papers.

Like Robert Malone.

But when he began to speak up about the potential downsides of the mRNA-“spike protein” approach to vaccines, that was not acceptable to TPTB, even though it’s his field of expertise.

First he found podcasts involving him getting pulled from YouTube, and then even the supposed business-connecting site LinkedIn took their shot:

Malone pays for the premium version of LinkedIn for the biotech and government consulting business he runs, Just the News reports. That page remains intact, but its last post is three weeks old. 

“He was given no notice, no warnings” before he was removed on Tuesday, his wife Jill said. “He has a 10-15 year old account – has never even had a warning. 6,000 followers.”

“The historic record of what I have done, stated, figured out (and when) etc. over time is a key part of establishing my credibility and track record as a professional,” Robert Malone tweeted Wednesday. “And that has been erased completely and arbitrarily without warning or explanation.” 

Well at least he can still Tweet!

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There was one piece of cancellation news that was funny. There’s an outfit called Right Wing Watch, which is dedicated to posting clips of conservatives saying things in an effort to get those conservatives de-platformed. Unfortunately they were a little too good at their job of pushing YouTube on those rules:

🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

My, how schadenfreudialicious that is. Something, something reaping.… something something sowing

But now that they’ve been kicked off of YouTube, they can simply go start their own multi-billion dollar video platform, right? I mean, that’s what the Left has continually told conservatives who complain about censorship online.

I think they’ll be fine. Once YouTube realises the political and ideological mistake of taking out one of their own, RWW will be allowed back.

===========================

The same might also be true for actor Tom Hanks. Early in June, Tom decided to sheer his experience and feelings about racism in American by publishing an op ed in the New York Times entitled “You Should Learn the Truth About the Tulsa Race Massacre,”, in which he confessed that he’d never heard of this during his 1950’s/60’s Whitebread schooling. Hanks has been activist (a quiet one) and a donor to many Democrat Party candidates and causes over the years.

But none of that was good enough for one Eric Deggans’, who used his platform on none other than NPR (National Public Radio, basically the equivalent of the NZR’s National Program) to unload in response, “Tom Hanks Is A Non-Racist. It’s Time For Him To Be Anti-Racist”. Because you can never be good enough, especially in the eyes of a 55 year old Black man who specialises in “issues of race and social justice”:

“The toughest thing for some white Americans … is to admit how they were personally and specifically connected to the elevation of white culture over other cultures,

His work, so often focused on the achievements of virtuous white, male Americans, may have made it tougher for tales about atrocities such as Tulsa to find space.”

The revolution, like Saturn, devours its children.

Perhaps the best response to Deggan’s bullshit is this article from Frontpage by Danusha Goska. It’s lengthy but you should read it. She makes several important points but it was this one that struck me, based on her experience teaching and living in Africa and the reality of limited good:

An insight into why villagers resisted change, including change that might save their own lives, was provided by the fate of one villager, a man I knew personally. When development workers advised the locals on how to improve their agricultural output, he carefully applied every suggestion. His farm prospered and he enjoyed a much higher yield than any of his neighbors.

His neighbors burned his farm down. That’s limited good. This man, by increasing his yield, had monopolized all the good to be had in that village, and his action would result, his neighbors believed, in their farms doing poorly.

It applied to other things in the village too, even beauty. That’s what Deggan is actually putting forward for the US and other Western societies:

Deggans is back to that limited good, zero-sum worldview that insists, falsely, that one man’s success equates to the next man’s failure. If Tom Hanks has two cows, Eric Deggans can’t have any cows. If Hanks’ farm is doing well, Deggans’ farm will wither. If Hanks’ baby is attractive, Deggans’ baby must be ugly.

The “solutions” offered also amount to the same thing; burning the farm to the ground:

For Hanks to atone, he must lower himself, and elevate black people in the place he previously occupied. That’s being an anti-racist. That’s Ibram X. Kendi. That’s the “8 White Identities” chart that says that the only good white is a white who participates in the abolishment of whiteness. And it is a Maoist struggle session. Deggans calls for “Hanks and other stars to talk specifically about how their work has contributed to these problems and how they will change.” This is the self-accusation that occurred during Maoist struggle sessions. The less successful, fueled by their envy, publicly humiliate the more successful.

Goska also makes the point that should be obvious:

Deggans can read white people’s minds. White people all think alike. And Deggans can speak for them. Any similar set of statements by a white man about black people would be taboo.

===========================

Lastly, there are places where the reverse is happening, with opposition ideologues taking over their opponent’s world, as Daniel Greenfield points out:

When Sultan Doughan signed a hateful letter falsely claiming that Israel and Zionism were based on “Jewish Supremacy”, a term popularized by Neo-Nazi leader David Duke, that ugly rhetoric wouldn’t have attracted much attention in an antisemitic time… except for one thing.

Doughan is a Muslim postdoctoral associate at Boston University’s Elie Wiesel Center for Jewish Studies.

🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

“Even North Korea is not this nuts”

That’s not from this Babylon Bee tweet, despite it being another of their wonderful pieces of satire.

Now you may be thinking that photoshopping North Korea’s Kim Jong Un into a modern American university lecture theatre is over-the-top, even for a satirical story.

But that would be before you read this article about a North Korean defector named Yeonmi Park, who has recently graduated from Columbia University.

Park is one of the more famous defectors, having written a 2015 memoir called “In Order to Live”, in which she chronicled her life in the repressive regime of North Korea and her eventual escape with her mother. At the age of 13 she saw people die of starvation right in front of her. When she and her mother managed to get across the border into China they were captured by human slavers. Having been freed by Christian missionaries she still ended up having to walk across the Gobi desert before she got to South Korea.

Then she moved to the USA and went to one of the great Ivy League universities.

“I expected that I was paying this fortune, all this time and energy, to learn how to think. But they are forcing you to think the way they want you to think,” she said. “I realized, wow, this is insane. I thought America was different but I saw so many similarities to what I saw in North Korea that I started worrying.”

Her money quote:

“Even North Korea is not this nuts. North Korea was pretty crazy, but not this crazy.”

When you read the details she supplies about her education you can understand why she came to this conclusion.

Like in North Korea, Park said she witnessed example after example of anti-Western sentiment and guilt-tripping. During her orientation, for instance, a staff member scolded her for liking classic literature, such as the writings of Jane Austen.

“I said ‘I love those books.’ I thought it was a good thing,” Park said of her orientation. “Then she said, ‘Did you know those writers had a colonial mindset? They were racists and bigots and are subconsciously brainwashing you.’”

Heh. I encountered a number of feminists in the 1980’s with a very low opinion of Jane Austen, because she did not fit their conceptions of what a feminist was. To say the least their opinions of the woman were primitive and reductive, but by the late 1990’s things had turned around, with increased celebration of Ms Austen’s feminist traits.

Just in time to now be a “colonialist” and a racist.

Yeonmi Park

Her professors gave students “trigger warnings,” sharing the wording from readings in advance so people could opt out of reading or even sitting in class during discussions, Park told The Post.

“Going to Columbia, the first thing I learned was ‘safe space,’” she said.

“Every problem, they explained us, is because of white men.” Some of the discussions of white privilege reminded her of the caste system in her native country, where people were categorized based on their ancestors, she said.

The similarities with North Korea mounted up, but at least the North Koreans had some rationale in defending their system, which they did partly by hating on Americans. As Ms Park points out there seem to be rather a lot of Americans who also hate America.

When it came to gender pronouns and manipulation of the English language, Park was even more confused.

“English is my third language. I learned it as an adult. I sometimes still say ‘he’ or ‘she’ by mistake and now they are going to ask me to call them ‘they’? How the heck do I incorporate that into my sentences?” she remembered asking herself. “It was chaos. It felt like the regression in civilization.”

It is a regression in civilisation. And it comes from being in a “safe space”.

“Because I have seen oppression, I know what it looks like,” she said. “These kids keep saying how they’re oppressed, how much injustice they’ve experienced. They don’t know how hard it is to be free.”

The paradox of supposedly being taught about “oppression”, “injustice” and being “free” is that it’s producing graduates who actually don’t know anything about them.

Park said as a child she had thought dictator Kim Jong Un was “starving” and overworked until she was in South Korea and was shown pictures that showed how large he was in pictures compared to other people who looked thin and hungry.

“That’s what it does when you’re brainwashed …. Oh my God, why did I not notice that he was fat?’ Because I never learned how to think critically. That is what is happening in America, people see things but they’ve just completely lost the ability to think critically.”

More paradox, this time courtesy of “Critical Theory”. Or perhaps irony is a better term?

“You guys have lost common sense to a degree that I as a North Korean cannot even comprehend,” she said. “Where are we going from here? There’s no rule of law, no morality, nothing is good or bad anymore, it’s complete chaos. I guess that’s what they want, to destroy every single thing and rebuild into a Communist paradise.”

I don’t agree with that last, although I can see why she would think that. The fact is that outside of a tiny fringe of real Marxists there are few who believe in that, mainly because there are so many grifting, money hungry Leftists tearing things up just to make a buck for themselves:

But that doesn’t mean they can’t cause an awful lot of damage to American society as they claw in the money while forcing everybody else to bend to their whims.

Eventually, Park stopped arguing with her professors and “learned how to just shut up” so that she could graduate.

“I literally crossed the Gobi Desert to be free and I realized I’m not free, America’s not free.

Well she did still graduate, and she got to talk to reporters about this – but only once she escaped from the university, and to paraphrase Andrew Sullivan, once we all live on campus…

Answers to Bad Anti-Free Speech Arguments

Aeromagazine has a superb article that deals with twelve such arguments that are commonly heard.

While the whole thing is worth your time to read I wanted to extract two in particular.

First up is the classic one about shouting fire! in a crowded theatre;

Answer: Anyone who says “you can’t shout fire! in a crowded theatre” is showing that they don’t know much about the principles of free speech, or free speech law—or history. 

This old canard, a favourite reference of censorship apologists, needs to be retired. It’s repeatedly and inappropriately used to justify speech limitations. People have been using this cliché as if it had some legal meaning, while First Amendment lawyers roll their eyes and point out that it is, in fact, as Alan Dershowitz puts it, “a caricature of logical argumentation.” Ken White has already penned a brilliant and thorough takedown of this misconception. Please read it before proclaiming that your least favourite language is analogous to shouting fire in a crowded theatre.

The phrase is a misquotation of an analogy made in 1919 Supreme Court opinion that upheld the imprisonment of three people—a newspaper editor, a pamphlet publisher and a public speaker—who argued that military conscription was wrong. The court said that anti-war speech in wartime is like “falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic,” and it justified the ban with a dubious analogy to the longstanding principle that the First Amendment doesn’t protect speech that incites people to physical violence. But the Supreme Court abandoned the logic of that case more than 50 years ago. That this trope originated as a justification for what has long since been deemed unconstitutional censorship reveals how useless it is as a measure of the limitations of rights. And yet, the crowded theatre cliché endures, as if it were some venerable legal principle.

Oh, and notice that the court’s objection was only to “falsely shouting fire!”: if there is, in fact, a fire in a crowded theatre, please let everyone know.

But I also appreciate the response to this more modern one that I often see on social media because it’s a cartoon.

Assertion: The right to free speech means the government can’t arrest you for what you say; it still leaves other people free to kick you out.

Answer: No, the popular xkcd cartoon below is wrong. The First Amendment limits what the government can do, but freedom of speech is something much bigger than that.

This cartoon is often used to dismiss free speech arguments, but it is wrong: it not only confuses First Amendment law with freedom of speech, it doesn’t even get the First Amendment right.

The concept of freedom of speech is a bigger, older and more expansive idea than its particular application in the First Amendment. A belief in the importance of freedom of speech is what inspired the First Amendment; it’s what gave the First Amendment meaning, and what sustains it in the law. But a strong cultural commitment to freedom of speech is what maintains its practice in our institutions—from higher education, to reality TV, to pluralistic democracy itself. Freedom of speech includes small l liberal values that were once expressed in common American idioms like to each his owneveryone’s entitled to their opinion and it’s a free country. These cultural values appear in legal opinions too; as Justice Robert H. Jackson noted in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, “Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard.”

While the United States Constitution limits only governmental behaviour on its face, its application sometimes requires the government to protect you from being censored by other citizens. For example, the government has a duty to protect you from being attacked by a hostile mob that doesn’t like your ideas or having your public speech disrupted by a heckler’s veto.

The First Amendment also bars government officials from punishing your speech in many ways that don’t rise to the level of arresting you. To give just one example, since administrators at state colleges are government actors, they can’t tear your flyer from a public message board because they don’t like what it says.

A belief in free speech means you should be slow to label someone as utterly dismissible for their opinions. Of course you can kick an asshole out of your own house, but that’s very different from kicking a person out of an open society or a public forum. The xkcd cartoon is often used to let people off the hook from practicing the small d democratic value of listening.

Related to this is an excellent article by the American essayist, Roger Kimball, which looks at what he calls “crybullies” and their lousy impact on education:

There are two central tenets of the woke philosophy. The first is feigned fragility. The second is angry intolerance. The union of fragility and intolerance has given us that curious and malevolent hybrid I have called the crybully, a delicate yet venomous species that thrives chiefly in lush, pampered environments.

The Struggle Sessions – Back to Academia

Back to the world where it all started – Academia. The following article from Aero magazine, Listening at the Great Awokening, has a concise but comprehensive take on what Woke Politics is doing to American universities.

All the accents and cadences of critical race theory can be identified. Williams, Sarah Lawrence, Evergreen and Yale could really be Any Residential College in Any Town.

As such I’d be interested to know how much of this crap is slipping into New Zealand universities.

But that article deals with a lot of student protest. Here are two specific stories of how actual academic research is being screwed up as a result of the Great Woke Fest. First up is how two academics withdrew a study they’d conducted on police shootings. After studying “917 fatal police shootings of civilians from 2015 to test whether the race of the officer or the civilian predicted fatal police shootings“, they had reached the conclusion that there was:

“no significant evidence of anti-black disparity in the likelihood of being fatally shot by the police.”

The two researchers from the University of Maryland made it clear that they stood by their analysis and findings and there has been no dispute about such. So why withdraw it?

Politics! Right-Wing attorney and Police researcher Heather MacDonald had cited it during her testimony before Congress in September 2019 as well as in a City-Journal article, although the shit did not really hit the fan until she wrote another article on June 3rd of this year for the WSJ. In the post-Floyd era such thoughts were unacceptable. As MacDonald wrote in a subsequent WSJ article:

My June 3 Journal op-ed quoted the PNAS article’s conclusion verbatim. It set off a firestorm at Michigan State. The university’s Graduate Employees Union pressured the MSU press office to apologize for the “harm it caused” by mentioning my article in a newsletter. The union targeted physicist Steve Hsu, who had approved funding for Mr. Cesario’s research. MSU sacked Mr. Hsu from his administrative position. PNAS editorialized that Messrs. Cesario and Johnson had “poorly framed” their article—the one that got through the journal’s three levels of editorial and peer review.

Mr. Cesario told this page that Mr. Hsu’s dismissal could narrow the “kinds of topics people can talk about, or what kinds of conclusions people can come to.” Now he and Mr. Johnson have themselves jeopardized the possibility of politically neutral scholarship. On Monday they retracted their paper. They say they stand behind its conclusion and statistical approach but complain about its “misuse,” specifically mentioning my op-eds.

They did not explain exactly how it had been “misused”. A better explanation was that they were saving their own necks, and to aid that they also tried throwing MacDonald under the bus, as she described:

The authors don’t say how I misused their work. Instead, they attribute to me a position I have never taken: that the “probability of being shot by police did not differ between Black and White Americans.” To the contrary, I have, like them, stressed that racial disparities in policing reflect differences in violent crime rates. The only thing wrong with their article, and my citation of it, is that its conclusion is unacceptable in our current political climate.

The “political climate” in American universities that those authors are terrified of is also seen with this from NorthWestern University Law School in Chicago, one of the most prestigious in the nation.

If you think that my description of all this as a Maoist Struggle Session is exaggerated then just look the chat stuff on this screen capture of a Tweet.

There had been a similar example around the same time from the world of political science, courtesy of a Democrat political consultant, David Shor, who Tweeted some advice as the George Floyd riots were cranking up:

“Post-MLK-assasination race riots reduced Democratic vote share in surrounding counties by 2%, which was enough to tip the 1968 election to Nixon. Non-violent protests *increase* Dem vote, mainly by encouraging warm elite discourse and media coverage.”

He even cited a very dense Poli-Sci paper by a Princeton political scientist,  “Agenda Seeding: How 1960s Black Protests Moved Elites, Public Opinion and Voting.”. Clearly he was worried about his Party, but others did not see it that way. The most popular Tweet response: “white dems to black people in 2020: ‘could you die more quietly? We have an election to win,’” 

Shor was fired within days. He must have been pissed off when, a few months later, CNN mouthbreather Don Lemon said the following:

“Guess what, the rioting has to stop….Chris, as you and I know, it’s showing up in the polls, it’s showing up in focus groups. It’s the only thing right now that’s sticking.”

Last I heard Lemon still has his job, but that’s because by then the Democrats had figured out that the riots were not their magic bullet in defeating Trump.

But the following example is worse, because the academic concerned had to write a “secret” letter to some – but only some – of his colleagues.

Dear profs X, Y, Z

I am one of your colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley. I have met you both personally but do not know you closely, and am contacting you anonymously, with apologies. I am worried that writing this email publicly might lead to me losing my job, and likely all future jobs in my field.

What a great learning and teaching environment to exist in. And he’s not wrong.

In your recent departmental emails you mentioned our pledge to diversity, but I am increasingly alarmed by the absence of diversity of opinion on the topic of the recent protests and our community response to them.

I’m getting vibes of “If only Stalin knew”. This poor bastard still believes the “diversity” schtick, even as he raises a question that answers itself:

In the extended links and resources you provided, I could not find a single instance of substantial counter-argument or alternative narrative to explain the under-representation of black individuals in academia or their over-representation in the criminal justice system.

Not one alternative eh? Well duh!

The explanation provided in your documentation, to the near exclusion of all others, is univariate: the problems of the black community are caused by whites, or, when whites are not physically present, by the infiltration of white supremacy and white systemic racism into American brains, souls, and institutions.

It’s a mystery!

The claim that the difficulties that the black community faces are entirely causally explained by exogenous factors in the form of white systemic racism, white supremacy, and other forms of white discrimination remains a problematic hypothesis that should be vigorously challenged by historians.

I feel so sorry for this guy. He actually thinks that modern universities are places where academic research into socio-political questions is still academic rather than political and ideological. And he really does not understand that his next comment will be greeted with “Yeah? And?

Instead, it is being treated as an axiomatic and actionable truth without serious consideration of its profound flaws, or its worrying implication of total black impotence. This hypothesis is transforming our institution and our culture, without any space for dissent outside of a tightly policed, narrow discourse.

He goes on to examine this axiom in some detail, applying the sort of research powers you’d expect, including noting how much of these truths are based on anecdote or “transparently motivated“. You can read it for yourself but some of his key points are as follows:

  • If we claim that the criminal justice system is white-supremacist, why is it that Asian Americans, Indian Americans, and Nigerian Americans are incarcerated at vastly lower rates than white Americans?
  • None of this is explained, beyond hand-waving and ad hominems. “Those are racist dogwhistles”.
  • Increasingly, we are being called upon to comply and subscribe to BLM’s problematic view of history, and the department is being presented as unified on the matter,

He also could have looked at non-crime stuff for evidence of a lack of White Supremacy in the USA.

So fanatical are these people that even legal and financial punishment won’t dissuade them, as was seen with the hits taken by the formerly prestigious Liberal Arts university, Oberlin College in the middle of last year:

The jury handed down a staggering $11 million verdict against Oberlin for a smear campaign against a local business and awarded another $33 million in punitive damages to the targeted mom-and-pop store, Gibson’s Food Market and Bakery.

The bakery, which had served Oberlin students for decades, had got a couple of shop-lifting university students arrested. Unlike past ages when shame meant something, they counter-attacked by accusing the bakery of racism. This was whole-heartedly backed by the university, which launched an all-out attack to destroy the bakery’s business via cancelled business, public attacks and protests that fully involved the staff. The lawsuit loss came as a shock..

Oberlin’s defenses — it was neutral in the dispute between its students and the store — were shredded at trial (admirably covered in detail by the Web site Legal Insurrection).

… but obviously not enough of one:

I received an even more defiant letter from Oberlin College President Carmen Twillie Ambar on June 14 vowing that “this is not the final outcome.” Ambar warns of a “lengthy and complex legal process.” Indeed, I’m now hearing from infuriated Oberlin insiders this week that the college persists in treating the Gibson family horribly and refuses to end the horror show, all while blithely assuring alumni that “we value our relationship with the town and region that are our home.”

Oberlin alum Beth Kontrabecki Walters summed it well for me in her reflections on campus life and the Gibson’s verdict: “What was once considered a forward-thinking and prestigious institution has now become the poster child for intolerant, myopic crybabies. Oberlin should not appeal this decision. … The multimillion-dollar reward to Gibson’s is the public’s way of sending a message; it’s high time these insulated left-wing incubators put an end to the out-of-control politically correct culture

The article documents examples over three decades of how Oberlin has been pulling this shit on the local community and students. But I don’t think they, or most of these universities can change themselves given how embedded this racist crap is, as can be seen by this official student categorisation system used by the University of California:

I’ve seen this somewhere before:

In 1984, for example, “518 coloureds became white, 2 whites became Chinese, 1 white became Indian, 1 white became coloured, 89 coloureds became black.

Surely U-Cal is not far away from undertaking the same steps as Apartheid South Africa. It would hardly be less crazy and racist than what they’ve got. The only real solution will be public de-funding and/or the loss of students until even tenured professors get fired, as has happened at Evergreen University. In fact the greatest impact has been from the impact of the Chinese Sinus Rot.

Every disaster has a silver lining, but this one needs to be much brighter and stronger – looking at those numbers I’d guess at least 3 million stronger.

Proles and Deplorables

I was amused to read Bob Jones’s take on Trump the other day, Explaining Trump, in which Jones went full Godwin’s Law, like almost every Leftist since 2015.

There was nothing about policies or actions though. Like so many, particularly on the Right, it was a matter of tone – and not just of the man himself:

Trump similarly ranted to vast public meetings, also largely attended by the economic underclasses…

… the oaf’s relentless whipping up mass chanting by his visibly lower social level audiences…

We’ve heard this since Hillary’s idiotic term “Deplorables” was first applied. It should be noted that in the wake of her loss more than a few Democrats wrung their hands about how this had lost her an unloseable election in 2016 – whereas a win in 2020 has empowered the same people to double down on the idea that 74 million Trump voters can be abused and bullied as the scum of the Earth.

But over on the fading Fox News network its one remaining draw, Tucker Carlson, beat Bob Jones in explaining it back on January 8 (video at link):

The main problem, and this really is the main problem on the right, is that the people who run the Republican Party don’t really like their own voters. They especially don’t want the voters that Trump brought. Trump brought a noticeably downscale element to the party’s ranks, and this horrifies them.

Many Republicans in Washington now despise the people they’re supposed to represent and protect. In fact, it’s not just Republican leaders who feel this way, but our entire leadership class. You rarely hear it spoken out loud, but it’s the truth.

A very specific form of intra-White loathing is at the core of the reaction to Donald Trump. Nothing is more repulsive to socially anxious White professionals than working class people who look like them. The proles are their single greatest fear. They remind them of where they may have come from or where they could be going if things turn south.

So if you want to understand the hatred — not just disagreement, but gut-level loathing and fear of Trump in, say, New York or Washington or Los Angeles — you’ve got to understand that first. It’s not really Trump, it’s his voters. The new money class despises them.

Jones made his own pile so can’t be classed as “Old Money”, but he’s been rich for so long he’s not exactly new money either. In any case, like some Edwardian snob, he too despises the lower classes.

Trump didn’t despise them, and that really was his secret. In the end, Donald Trump did not judge his own voters. Trump ate McDonald’s and his voters were very grateful for it. You’d be grateful for it, too, if everyone else hated you.

Thirteen days from now, tens of millions of these voters will not have Donald Trump to protect them. They won’t have anyone. And unless the Republican Party decides to wake up and push back against the lies and acknowledge the purpose of those lies, which is an unprecedented crackdown on the way you live, you have no chance, either.

As an extreme Libertarian Bob Jones has never given a damn about New Zealand, his concept of nationhood extending little farther than supporting the Black Caps. If this nation, like the US, is filled with immigrants, legal and otherwise, then that will be an entirely logical and just result of his earlier observation in explaining Trump:

Taking full advantage of free education, being ambitious to enjoy a full life, making sacrifices for the long term pay-off; all obvious actions totally lacking in the no-hoper sector in our varyingly soft Western societies. Thus, at the cost to the majority, governments insist on doing for these failures what they make no effort to do for themselves.

Those sorts of comments in NZ get him condemned by the NZ Left because they assume he’s talking about Maori and Pasifika. But he’s also talking about what American’s would call “White Trash”. His comments were echoed five years ago by National Review writer Kevin Williamson, which I covered in Continental Drift And Its Victims.

The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die. Economically, they are negative assets. Morally, they are indefensible. Forget all your cheap theatrical Bruce Springsteen crap. Forget your sanctimony about struggling Rust Belt factory towns and your conspiracy theories about the wily Orientals stealing our jobs. Forget your goddamned gypsum, and, if he has a problem with that, forget Ed Burke, too.

The white American underclass is in thrall to a vicious, selfish culture whose main products are misery and used heroin needles. Donald Trump’s speeches make them feel good. So does OxyContin. What they need isn’t analgesics, literal or political. They need real opportunity, which means that they need real change, which means that they need U-Haul.

The thing about such observations is that all the free education, self-sacrifice and mobility in the world won’t cut it in the face of what another American commentator noted in pointing out something Tucker misses:

Where Carlson gets it wrong, though, is the unspoken assumption that at some point, before all the icky people became visible, that the GOP establishment stood up for and protected Americans. That is false.

Who sent our manufacturing overseas? Who coddled Communist China’s theft of intellectual property? Who allowed nearly unbridled illegal immigration to help their buddies in the US Chamber of Commerce drive down wages with cheap labor? Who pushed to increase the number of H1B visa holders using the myth that there are not enough STEM grads to fill the jobs when a large majority of US STEM grads never find employment in that field?

Don’t look at the Democrats. Look at the GOP.

Written by Tom Hunter

January 19, 2021 at 3:04 pm

The Struggle Sessions – Everyday Life

So far in the Struggle Sessions I’ve looked at where it came from, its effects in Academia, MSM, and even Science.

But it’s beginning to hit home to everyday people as well.

Some of this is obvious, as shown by Matt Taibbi’s article on the MSM:

Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey, who argued for police reform and attempted to show solidarity with protesters in his city, was shouted down after he refused to commit to defunding the police. Protesters shouted “Get the fuck out!” at him, then chanted “Shame!” and threw refuse, Game of Thrones-style, as he skulked out of the gathering. Frey’s “shame” was refusing to endorse a position polls show 65% of Americans oppose, including 62% of Democrats, with just 15% of all people, and only 33% of African-Americans, in support.

Each passing day sees more scenes that recall something closer to cult religion than politics. White protesters in Floyd’s Houston hometown kneeling and praying to black residents for “forgiveness… for years and years of racism” are one thing, but what are we to make of white police in Cary, North Carolina, kneeling and washing the feet of Black pastors? What about Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer kneeling while dressed in “African kente cloth scarves”? 

There is symbolism here that goes beyond frustration with police or even with racism: these are orgiastic, quasi-religious, and most of all, deeply weird scenes,

Heh. What is not deeply weird is the classic feature of Nineteen Eighty Four, in which history is constantly updated, and woe betide anybody who does not keep up:

Even people who try to keep up with protest goals find themselves denounced the moment they fail to submit to some new tenet of ever-evolving doctrine, via a surprisingly consistent stream of retorts: fuck you, shut up, send money, do better, check yourself, I’m tired and racist.

I’ve referred before to Andrew Sullivan’s 2018 piece, We All Live on Campus Now, which pointed out that campus insanity was going to spread beyond universities as people graduated:

Why does it matter? These are students, after all. They’ll grow up once they leave their cloistered, neo-Marxist safe spaces. The real world isn’t like that. You’re exaggerating anyway. And so on…

The reason I don’t agree with this is because I believe ideas matter. When elite universities shift their entire worldview away from liberal education as we have long known it toward the imperatives of an identity-based “social justice” movement, the broader culture is in danger of drifting away from liberal democracy as well. 

To put it another way: the Culture Wars in the USA matter because their impacts are real and spreading not just across the USA but across the Western world. Sullivan has followed that article up with this one in 2020, Is there still room for debate?:

In the last couple of weeks, as the purges of alleged racists have intensified in every sphere, and as so many corporations, associations, and all manner of civic institutions have openly pledged allegiance to anti-racism, with all the workshops, books, and lectures that come with it, I’m reminded of a Václav Havel essay, “The Power of the Powerless.”

Short answer: NO! With regard to Havel, I thought I’d coined that phrase in 2007 on Kiwiblog. Nuts!

A lot of the crap that’s hitting the corporate world outside of the MSM places Sullivan is writing about, is a nasty little polemic called White Fragility. Back to Taibbi again as he reviews this ludicrous best selling book, Taibbi is not gentle. The book is actually being used as a basis for “training” in the Human Resource departments of US corporations and government departments, hardly surprising given that its author, Robin DiAngelo, is a former corporate consultant. She certainly landed on the gravy train with this one.

DiAngelo isn’t the first person to make a buck pushing tricked-up pseudo-intellectual horseshit as corporate wisdom, but she might be the first to do it selling Hitlerian race theory…

DiAngelo’s writing style is pure pain. The lexicon favored by intersectional theorists of this type is built around the same principles as Orwell’s Newspeak: it banishes ambiguity, nuance, and feeling and structures itself around sterile word pairs…

Writers like DiAngelo like to make ugly verbs out of ugly nouns and ugly nouns out of ugly verbs (there are countless permutations on centering and privileging alone)…

Put simply, the book is dumber than the average business book of the last forty years, and is certainly having worse consequences than something like the hideous 1980’s tome, In Search of Excellence, which, as just one example, highlighted IBM just before it started going down the crapper. It’s not surprising that White Fragility manages to twist the story of Jackie Robinson completely inside out, arguing that people back in the 1940’s believed that “Robinson finally had what it took to play with whites”. Taibbi really takes issue with this:

There is not a single baseball fan anywhere – literally not one, except perhaps Robin DiAngelo, I guess – who believes Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier because he “finally had what it took to play with whites.” Everyone familiar with this story understands that Robinson had to be exceptional, both as a player and as a human being, to confront the racist institution known as Major League Baseball….

Robinson’s story moreover did not render “whites, white privilege, and racist institutions invisible.” It did the opposite. … Robinson’s story, on every level, exposed and evangelized the truth about the very forces DiAngelo argues it rendered “invisible.” 

It takes a special kind of ignorant for an author to choose an example that illustrates the mathematical opposite of one’s intended point, but this isn’t uncommon in White Fragility, which may be the dumbest book ever written. It makes The Art of the Deal read like Anna Karenina.

Heh! But that’s what you get when dumb theories are applied to the real world, which is the story of Critical Race Theory. Because of his grounding in Old Fashioned Socialism Taibbi spends more time sticking it to the Capitalist Masters using this shite…

For corporate America the calculation is simple. What’s easier, giving up business models based on war, slave labor, and regulatory arbitrage, or benching Aunt Jemima? There’s a deal to be made here, greased by the fact that the “antiracism” prophets promoted in books like White Fragility share corporate Americas instinctive hostility to privacy, individual rights, freedom of speech, etc.

… than he does sticking it to his fellow Lefties who have pushed it for twenty years now. Still, I appreciated this bit:

White Fragility has a simple message: there is no such thing as a universal human experience, and we are defined not by our individual personalities or moral choices, but only by our racial category. If your category is “white,” bad news: you have no identity apart from your participation in white supremacy (“Anti-blackness is foundational to our very identities… Whiteness has always been predicated on blackness”), which naturally means “a positive white identity is an impossible goal.” 

DiAngelo instructs us there is nothing to be done here, except “strive to be less white.” To deny this theory, or to have the effrontery to sneak away from the tedium of DiAngelo’s lecturing – what she describes as “leaving the stress-inducing situation” – is to affirm her conception of white supremacy. This intellectual equivalent of the “ordeal by water” (if you float, you’re a witch) is orthodoxy across much of academia.

Read the whole thing.

And the real-world impacts on people are here, as a former HR person describes how she saw the shift when VP of Diversity and Inclusion for Apple, Denise Young-Smith was forced to resign for saying the following at a conference:

“Diversity is the human experience. I get a little bit frustrated when diversity or the term diversity is tagged to the people of color, or the women, or the LGBT.” Her answer was met with a round of applause at the session. Young Smith went on to add that “there can be 12 white, blue-eyed, blonde men in a room and they’re going to be diverse too because they’re going to bring a different life experience and life perspective to the conversation.”

Ms Young-Smith is Black and that was in 2015, before the whole White Fragility and Critical Race Theory really got started in the HR departments, as witnessed by the city of Seattle:

In the US this is happening in Federal Departments as well:

The “HR” components in various offices are not run by “political appointees”.  These offices are run by career officials who carry over from one administration to the next.  In my experiences over 22+ years, EVERY such office was stocked by raging left-wing liberals.  Political leadership was largely powerless to “rein them in” because any such action would be seen as being based on the “content” of their HR advocacy, and itself the subject on HR complaint.  The people in those positions are pretty much “independent operators” within the agencies where they work, and the greater workforce is compelled to be silent about their pushing left-wing social policies under the guise of “HR” compliance.

Including – I shit you not – Sandia National Laboratories, a nuclear weapons lab, where it was found that expectations of competence are “devastating” to lesbians and “people of colour.” And where white male employees found themselves subjected to psychological abuse, before being told to issue hand-written apologies, atoning for their maleness and the colour of their skin. I don’t know about you but I very much like people working around nuclear weapons to be competent, although perhaps this is just another Leftie angle at eliminating such weapons?

All of which was why Trump issued an Executive Order to refrain from teaching this racist crap in Federal areas:

The President has directed me to ensure that Federal agencies cease and desist from using taxpayer dollars to fund these divisive, un-American propaganda training sessions…. [A]ll agencies are directed to begin to identify all contracts or other agency spending related to any training on “critical race theory/”white privilege,” or any other training or propaganda effort that teaches or suggests either (1) that the United States is an inherently racist or evil country or (2) that any race or ethnicity is inherently racist or evil. In addition, all agencies should begin to identify all available avenues within the law to cancel any such contracts and/or to divert Federal dollars away from these un-American propaganda training sessions.

Naturally this was categorised by helpful propagandists like Chris Wallace of Fox News as merely “teaching racial sensitivity“, and he did that in one of the Presidential debates. Awww…. who could be against something so moderate? The incoming Harris-Biden administration will reverse that EO and put CRT training on steroids. But the same shit is happening in private sector corporations and their “training sessions” as well.

But here is just one of many examples of this how horror is hitting ordinary people outside of HR departments – as it is ultimately intended to:

Last night I talked to a mother who described how her 11-year-old daughter is at a loss to know how to respond to the pressure she faces from her peers and others on Instagram to include a BLM hashtag on her posts. ‘Can I just post a cake that I baked on Instagram?’, she asked. When young children are faced with the demand to conform or else, it is clear that a powerful mood of illiberal intolerance is sweeping our societies. Threatened with being ostracised, children as young as 11 and 12 now feel compelled to fall in line. Suddenly, the term ‘peer pressure’ has acquired a whole new dimension.

Of course even your innocent little kids can’t escape. That’s one of the core aspects of totalitarian ideas. But I’ll leave the last word to Tatinia McGrath: