“Comrade, your statement is factually incorrect.”
“Yes, it is. But it is politically correct.”
Angelo M. Codevilla writes: The notion of political correctness came into use among Communists in the 1930s as a semi-humorous reminder that the Party’s interest is to be treated as a reality that ranks above reality itself. Because all progressives, Communists included, claim to be about creating new human realities, they are perpetually at war against nature’s laws and limits. But since reality does not yield, progressives end up pretending that they themselves embody those new realities. Hence, any progressive movement’s nominal goal eventually ends up being subordinated to the urgent, all-important question of the movement’s own power. Because that power is insecure as long as others are able to question the truth of what the progressives say about themselves and the world, progressive movements end up struggling not so much to create the promised new realities as to force people to speak and act as if these were real: as if what is correct politically—i.e., what thoughts serve the party’s interest—were correct factually.
Communist states furnish only the most prominent examples of such attempted groupthink. Progressive parties everywhere have sought to monopolize educational and cultural institutions in order to force those under their thumbs to sing their tunes or to shut up. But having brought about the opposite of the prosperity, health, wisdom, or happiness that their ideology advertised, they have been unable to force folks to ignore the gap between political correctness and reality.
Especially since the Soviet Empire’s implosion, leftists have argued that Communism failed to create utopia not because of any shortage of military or economic power but rather because it could not overcome this gap. Is the lesson for today’s progressives, therefore, to push P.C. even harder, to place even harsher penalties on dissenters? Many of today’s more discerning European and American progressives, in possession of government’s and society’s commanding heights, knowing that they cannot wield Soviet-style repression and yet intent on beating down increasing popular resistance to their projects, look for another approach to crushing cultural resistance. Increasingly they cite the name of Antonio Gramsci (1891–1937), a brilliant Communist theoretician for whom “cultural hegemony” is the very purpose of the struggle as well as its principal instrument. His writings envisage a totalitarianism that eliminates the very possibility of cultural resistance to progressivism. But owing more to Machiavelli than to Marx or Lenin, they are more than a little complex about the means and are far from identical with the raw sort of power over culture enforced by the Soviet Empire or, for that matter, that is rife among us today.
My purpose here is to explain how progressives have understood and conducted their cultural war from the days of Lenin, and how Gramsci’s own ambiguous writings illustrate the choices they face in conducting that war in our time and circumstances—especially with regard to political correctness in our present culture war.
Every form of progressivism bases itself on the claim of a special, “scientific,” knowledge of what is wrong with humanity and how to fix it. The formula is straightforward: the world is not as it should be because society’s basic, “structural” feature is ordered badly. Everything else is “superstructural,” meaning that it merely reflects society’s fundamental feature. For Marx and his followers that feature is conflict over the means of production in “present-day society.” From the dawn of time, this class warfare has led to “contradictions”: between types of work, town and country, oppressors or oppressed, and so on. The proletariat’s victory in that conflict will establish a new reality by crushing all contradictions out of existence. Other branches of progressivism point to a different structural problem. For Freudians it’s sexual maladjustment, for followers of Rousseau it’s social constraint, for positivists it is the insufficient application of scientific method, for others it is oppression of one race by another. Once control of society passes exclusively into the hands of the proper set of progressives, each sect’s contradictions must disappear as the basic structural problem is straightened out.
But wherever progressives have gained power, all manner of contradictions have remained and new ones have arisen. Progressive movements have reacted to this failure by becoming their own reason for being. Theoretically, the Revolution is about the power and necessity to recreate mankind. In practice, for almost all progressive movements it is about gaining power for the revolutionaries and making war on those who stand in their way. For example, transcending private property, the division of labor, and political oppression was never Marxism-Leninism’s core motive any more than worker/peasant proletarians were ever its core protagonists. In fact, Communism is an ideology by, of, and for ideologues, that ends up empowering and celebrating those very ideologues. This is as true of progressivism’s other branches as it is of Marxism.
Lenin’s seminal contribution was explicitly to recognize the revolutionary party’s paramount primacy, and to turn the party’s power and prestige from a means to revolution into the Revolution’s candid end. Lenin’s writings, like Marx’s, contain no positive description of future economic arrangements. The Soviet economy, for all its inefficiencies, functioned with Swiss precision as an engine of privilege for some and of murderous deprivation for others. The Communist Party had transcended communism. The key to understanding what progressive parties in power do is the insight, emphasized by “elite theorists” like Vilfredo Pareto and Gaetano Mosca, that any organization’s practical objectives turn out to be what serves the interests and proclivities of its leaders.
What serves progressive revolutionaries’ interests is not in doubt. Although each of progressivism’s branches differs in how it defines society’s “structural” fault, in its own name for the human reality that it seeks to overcome, and in the means by which to achieve its ends, progressives from the 19th century to our time are well nigh identical in their personal predilections—in what and whom they hate even more than in what they love. They see the culture of what Marxists call “bourgeois morality” as the negation of their identity and authority. That identity, their identity, is to be promoted, endlessly, by endless warfare against that culture. That is why the cultural campaigns of otherwise dissimilar progressives have been so similar. Leninist Russia no less than various Western democrats have tried to eradicate religion, to make it difficult for men, women, and children to exist as families, and to demand that their subjects join them in celebrating the new order that reflects their identity. Note well: cultural warfare’s substantive goal is less important than the affirmation of the warriors’ own identity. This is what explains the animus with which progressives have waged their culture wars.
Yet, notwithstanding progressivism’s premise that individual minds merely reflect society’s basic structure and hence are incapable of reasoning independently about true and false, better and worse, reality forces progressives to admit that individuals often choose how they think or act despite lacking the “structural” basis for doing so, or that they act contrary to the economic, social, or racial “classes” into which progressive theories divide mankind. They call this freedom of the human mind “false consciousness.”
Fighting against false consciousness is one reason why Communists and other progressives end up treating cultural matters supposedly “superstructural” as if they were structural and basic. They do so by pressuring people constantly to validate progressivism’s theories, to concelebrate victories over those on the “wrong” side of history by exerting control over who says what to whom. Read the rest of this entry »
Perhaps you’ve wondered why so many college professors are so left-wing. In your freshman year, you might have noted with dread—as I did—some of your fellow students “going with the flow” and molding their beliefs to fit in. Perhaps one of them was you, before you grew up and snapped out of it! The Frankfurt School is the answer to why so many universities are Social Justice Warrior factories.
The origins of the Frankfurt School
They began as a Communist think tank at the Goethe University Frankfurt. They noted that the masses didn’t rise up during the First World War to overthrow capitalism; instead, the citizens fought for their countries. Only Russia became Communist, a place they didn’t expect Communism to take hold. Since they took the writings of Marx as gospel, all this was quite shocking. They decided they needed to prepare the way by breaking down traditional social ties—country, family, and religion—and afterwards the masses would embrace rule by a global Communist state. That’s not working out too well lately, but all that’s another story.
Because the proletariat just wasn’t interested in revolution, they rebranded Communism, taking out the elements of class struggle, and adding contributions from Freudian theory. This was a mistake; Communism emphasized hard work and heroism; that much is respectable even if the rest of the ideology is badly flawed. If you compare the Motherland Calls statue to Trigglypuff, you’ll understand.
How cultural Marxism took root
“You see, what Antonio Gramsci called ‘hegemony’ is, like, the value system of the Establishment, man! So don’t trust anyone over thirty, dig?”
They had two strategies: ensconcing themselves into academia, and the criticism of society (hence “critical theory”). Ultimately, this meant ideological subversion and basically badgering society to death. (It seems incredible that they did so much without picking up a single rifle.) They stressed moral relativism and the “question everything” atmosphere that became the 1960s counterculture zeitgeist. A few of their books, such as Eros and Civilization by Herbert Marcuse and The Authoritarian Personality by Theodor Adorno, have become classics in academia.
Many of their students graduated and became professors elsewhere, just in time for the 1960s. Young people are at the most impressionable time of their lives, so indoctrinating college students was a very effective strategy. It’s little wonder that campuses became hotbeds of student activism! College draft deferments surely helped them reach more students sympathetic to their message.
Further, the ideological seeds of the Frankfurt School—along with the Communist Party USA—fell onto fertile ground. There were several groups that they—cultural Marxists and garden variety Communists—infiltrated and subverted, for instance:
- There was already a feminist movement, mostly moderate and mostly simply about equal rights (a goal which was nearly complete by then). Under leftist influence, second wave feminism began, which was anything but moderate and effectively about deconstructing society.
- There was already a beatnik counterculture. With a little encouragement, this became a much larger youth counterculture, the hippies. Having a significant toehold in academia put the Critical Theory folks in a very good position to influence the young Baby Boomers.
- There was already a civil rights movement, which the Communists had put a lot of effort into influencing. This included figures such as W.E.B. DuBois, Paul Robeson, Stanley Levison (MLK’s top advisor), and Frank Marshall Davis (called “Pops” in Obama’s autobiography).
- The gay movement was heavily influenced in the beginning by the Mattachine Society, founded by Harry Hay, of which most members were Communists.
Connecting the dots
Earlier I had assumed that the Frankfurt School was an independent movement, with no particular encouragement or guidance from the USSR. Actually, it’s a little more complicated than that. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Super-Serious Cuckoo Bananas Berkeley Riots Backer Proud of Labeling Opponents ‘Fascists’ to Justify Totalitarian Rhetoric & Anti-Free Speech ViolencePosted: February 13, 2017 | |
Intellectuals and socialism have a long, sordid history
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is a smart cookie, no doubt about it. In fact, she used to vote Republican, so it appears at once she might have had a tiny soft spot for the free market… not that Republicans really believe in a free market either but… forget them, this is about Warren.
Intellectuals and socialism have a long, sordid history. Academics are generally thought to be highly intelligent, so since so many university professors tend to lean left, wouldn’t that mean that socialism is good because smart people back it?
Not so fast.
In “The Intellectuals and Socialism” by F.A. Hayek, the Austrian economist argued that we may be suffering from what’s known as “sample selection bias,” meaning that there are lots of intelligent people who don’t favor socialism, but these people are more likely to find a productive job in the marketplace, rather than join the academy and teach. In other words… in the famous words of polemicist H.L. Mencken: “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.” And don’t forget that “intellect is not wisdom,” from Thomas Sowell.
Let’s see if Liz Warren has any wisdom to offer in accordance with her intellect.
1. “No one in this country should work full time and still live in poverty.”
Poverty is about more than just how many hours you work. It’s about the decisions you make with the money you earn. Poverty isn’t always a choice, but it isn’t always mandatory either. The US federal government uses poverty thresholds to determine which and how many households have pre-tax income which they claim is insufficient to meet minimal food and basic needs. Really it’s about determining who should receive government assistance, but if you only look at these dollar amounts in American figures, you’re not getting a very good picture of what true poverty is on a global scale. You don’t want to be poor in Europe, trust us.
And it’s a complete fallacy that the poor are getting poorer in America. The bottom fifth of U.S. households in 1975 earned $28,000 more in 1991. Not only that, but the poor’s purchasing power has increased. Here in the good old US of A, even poor people have microwaves, smart phones, and a vehicle or two parked in the old dirt road. Some people are poor and happy. Some people aren’t, but here in America, at least poor can be a choice rather than a mandate.
2. “The federal government will make $ 51 billion in profits off student loans. That’s more than wrong. It’s obscene.”
There’s that old bugaboo word there “profit” again. As if making a profit was a bad thing. Libertarians don’t think the government should be in the student loan business at all. Read the rest of this entry »
They hate you.
Kurt Schlichter writes: Leftists don’t merely disagree with you. They don’t merely feel you are misguided. They don’t think you are merely wrong. They hate you. They want you enslaved and obedient, if not dead. Once you get that, everything that is happening now will make sense. And you will understand what you need to be ready to do.
“You are normal, and therefore a heretic. You refuse to bow to their idols, to subscribe to their twisted catechisms, to praise their false gods. This is unforgivable. You must burn.”
You are normal, and therefore a heretic. You refuse to bow to their idols, to subscribe to their twisted catechisms, to praise their false gods. This is unforgivable. You must burn.
“Crazy talk? Just ask them. Go ahead. Go on social media. Find a leftist – it’s easy. Just say something positive about America or Jesus and they’ll come swarming like locusts.”
Crazy talk? Just ask them. Go ahead. Go on social media. Find a leftist – it’s easy. Just say something positive about America or Jesus and they’ll come swarming like locusts. Engage them and very quickly they will drop their masks and tell you what they really think. I know. I keep a rapidly expanding file of Twitter leftist death wish screenshots.
They will tell you that Christians are idiots and vets are scum.
That normals are subhumans whose role is to labor as serfs to subsidize the progressive elite and its clients.
“They are fanatics, and by not surrendering, by not kneeling, and by not obeying, you have committed an unpardonable sin. You have defied the Left, and you must be broken. They will take your job, slander your name, even beat or kill you – whatever it takes to break you and terrify others by making you an example.”
That you should die to make way for the New Progressive Man/Woman/Other.
Understand that when they call Donald Trump “illegitimate,” what they are really saying is that our desire to govern ourselves is illegitimate. Their beef isn’t with him – it’s with us, the normal people who dared rise up and demand their right to participate in the rule of this country and this culture.
“The Left won’t say it out loud – at least not yet – but make no mistake. If violence is what it takes for the Left to prevail, then violence we will have. You saw it, and you were meant to. Berkeley was a message about the price of dissent where leftist hold sway. And they seek to hold sway everywhere.”
They hate you, because by defying them you have prevented them from living up to the dictates of their false religion. Our rebelliousness has denied them the state of grace they seek, exercising their divine right to dictate every aspect of our puny lives. Their sick faith gives meaning to these secular weirdos, giving them something that fills their empty lives with a messianic fervor to go out and conquer and convert the heathens.
And the heathens are us.
Oh, there are different leftist sects. There are the social justice warriors who have manufactured a bizarre mythology and scripture of oppression, privilege, and intersectionality. Instead of robes, they dress up as genitals and kill babies as a blasphemous sacrament.
“They hate you, because by defying them you have prevented them from living up to the dictates of their false religion. Our rebelliousness has denied them the state of grace they seek, exercising their divine right to dictate every aspect of our puny lives.”
Then there are the pagan weather religion oddballs convinced that the end is near and that we must repent by turning in our SUVs. Of course, the “we” is really “us” – high priests of the global warming cult like Leonardo DiCaprio will still jet around the world with supermodels while we do the ritual sacrificing of our modern comforts.
“How to we respond? The first step is to end the denial.”
Then there are the ones who simply worship themselves, the elitists who believe that all wisdom and morality has been invested in them merely because they went to the right college, think the right thoughts, and sneer at anyone living between I-5 and I-95.
“You wonder why they ignore the rule of law, why they could switch on a dime from screaming at Trump for refusing to preemptively legitimize a Hillary win and then scream that he is illegitimate the moment she lost? Because their only principle is what helps the left win today. That’s why the media gleefully, happily lies every single day about every single thing it reports.”
But all the leftist sects agree – they have found the revealed truth, and imposing it upon the benighted normals like us is so transcendently important that they are relieved of any moral limitations. They are ISIS, except with hashtags instead of AKs, committed to the establishment of a leftist caliphate. Read the rest of this entry »
The Soviet Union bombarded its citizens with such facts in the seventies and eighties. No one was fooled.
Mikhail Iossel writes: There was no real cognitive dissonance existing in the minds of most people in the Soviet Union of the nineteen-seventies and eighties. Everyone knew that everything said on the radio or on television, everything (with the exception of weather reports or sports results) was a blatant lie, spoken pro forma, just because that’s the way things were and had to be: outside, it was dark or light or drizzly or sunny or cold and snowy or pleasantly warm or too hot for comfort—and on the radio and on TV and in newspapers and magazines the untold legions of official-propaganda folks talked about the kind of reality which did not remotely exist in the reality of Soviet people’s lives.
“Everyone knew that they, the Soviet people, lived in a veritable funhouse of a giant isolated world unto itself, in the parallel reality of that endless hall of crazily distorted mirrors.”
Just because from dawn to dusk everyone was forced to hear on the radio and read in newspapers that everyone’s life in the Soviet land was wonderful and was going to be infinitely better still, and that everyone else out in the capitalist world envied the happiness of Soviet people’s lives, no one was duped into thinking this was actually how things were, neither in their own lives or in the lives of people all around them, in their cities and villages.
[Read the full story here, at The New Yorker]
Everyone knew the truth, even in the absence of any alternative, more reality-bound source of information. Everyone knew how things were in reality. How could one not? One had one’s eyes and ears and one’s own life to live. Read the rest of this entry »
Cartoonist Scott Adams Withdraws Support of UC Berkeley; Citing Cognitive Dissonance, Confirmation Bias, and Hitler HallucinationsPosted: February 5, 2017 | |
“Who’s protecting NYU from this bullshit? Why are you here? You’re not here to protect these students from Nazis? No, you’re not! I’m a professor!”
Alex Griswold reports:
…Vice co-founder Gavin McInnes‘ lecture at NYU was cancelled halfway through amid protests and violence. McInnes has a history of controversial and intentionally provocative statements, saying in the past that transphobia should be encouraged and that feminism makes women unhappy.
Several disruptive students were arrested by police after McInnes was reportedly pepper-sprayed by a critic. But in video taken at the scene that went viral, the professor denounced police for arresting the students and demanded they attack McInnes.
Watch above, via YouTube (starting at around 10:07)
“Who’s protecting NYU from this bullshit?” she shouted. “Why are you here? You’re not here to protect these students from Nazis? No, you’re not!”
“How dare you assholes protect Neo-Nazis? Fuck you! Fuck you!” she shouted. “They’re trying to learn about human rights and against racism and xenophobia and LGBTQ rights and you’re letting these fucking Neo-Nazis near here!” Read the rest of this entry »
UC-Berkeley Protesters Set Campus on Fire, Shut Down Milo Yiannopoulos Event
Robby Soave writes: Berkeley is burning tonight: the university campus that birthed the Free Speech Movement played host to a despicable display of violence and censorship Wednesday evening that culminated in the cancellation of a planned speech by controversial Breitbart tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos.
Anti-Yiannopoulos protesters wearing black scarves over their faces hurled fireworks at the building where the alt-right leader was supposed to speak. They also tore down barricades and smashed windows. They used gasoline to start a significant fire on the street that threatened to engulf a nearby tree, and forced police to push people back.
“This is what tolerance looks like at UC Berkeley.”
— Mike Wright
Authority figures deployed rubber bullets and tear gas in an attempt to control the situation. A student who attended the event told me that it seemed like the majority of the violent protesters were not students, but older, masked rioters from the “antifa” movement.
“This is what tolerance looks like at UC Berkeley,” said Mike Wright, a member of the Berkeley College Republican group that invited Yiannopoulos to speak. Shortly after he made this statement, smoke bombs were set off around him, and someone threw red paint at him, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.
Yiannopoulos released the following statement on Facebook:
I have been evacuated from the UC Berkeley campus after violent left-wing protestors tore down barricades, lit fires, threw rocks and Roman candles at the windows and breached the ground floor of the building. My team and I are safe. But the event has been cancelled. I’ll let you know more when the facts become clear. One thing we do know for sure: the Left is absolutely terrified of free speech and will do literally anything to shut it down.
As I write this, at 10:00 p.m., the violence and chaos are ongoing. Yiannopoulos was forced to evacuate the campus. Read the rest of this entry »
— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) January 26, 2017
Katherine Long and Lynn Thompson report: One man was shot and wounded, several people were hit with paint and officers avoided flying bricks outside the University of Washington’s Kane Hall on Friday night, where Breitbart News editor and provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos addressed a crowd on President Trump’s Inauguration Day.
A chaotic confrontation between ticket-holders and protesters started early in the evening in Red Square with shouts and fights. Authorities reported a man in the crowd had been shot in the abdomen. Medics took him to Harborview Medical Center with potentially life-threatening injuries, the Seattle Fire Department said.
Yiannopoulos, who came at the invitation of the university’s student College Republicans club, briefly left the stage to confirm the shooting. Minutes later, he returned, saying, “If we don’t continue, they have won.” The crowd cheered.
The event was free but was sold out by reservation. His talk, which mocked liberals to big laughs and was greeted with a standing ovation, began just after 8 p.m.
Once the speech ended, police told the audience to remove their pro-Trump hats and other gear before leaving the lecture hall. Officers escorted the crowd out through an underground parking garage as a crowd of about 250 people remained outside the building.
Gayle Hammersley, a UW student, stood with friends in the middle of Red Square holding a sign that displayed her
opposition to the speech. “We’re not OK with fascism and racism,” she said. “I don’t think this should be allowed.”
Jimmy Michalee came up from Auburn with friends to hear the speech. He was wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat, but he said he was a libertarian, and voted for Gary Johnson. He said he didn’t agree with the crowd’s tactics to try to shut down the speech, and believed everyone had a right to speak his or her mind.
Ava Meier, a Pierce College student, called Yiannopoulos “the most fabulous villain on the internet.”
“We’re so politically correct, he’s a breath of fresh air,” she said.
The provocative far-right editor’s controversial tweets resulted in his being banned for life from using Twitter.
People began lining up for the speech late in the afternoon. The crowd began clashing about two hours later, when a group of people dressed in black showed up and forced its way to the front of the line. One man waved a black-and-red anti-fascist flag, and another shouted to the people in line: “Go back to Bellevue, rich kids!”
“White power,” one side shouted.
“Nazi scum,” the other side responded.
Some officers wore riot gear and carried batons. Crowds outside started throwing bricks and other items at officers, and several people were hit with blue paint.
Mara Kage, a University of Washington student from Brazil, held a sign with the word “respect” on it. She said Yiannopoulos, like Trump, was inciting hateful speech. Read the rest of this entry »
Left Wing Violence Erupts at UW’s Red Square
Seattle Fire Department said that the man has possible life threatening injuries.
“Adult male transported to HMC with possible life threatening injury from a gun shot wound. Pt transported from area near Spokane Ln NE”
— Seattle Fire Dept (@SeattleFire) January 21, 2017
The University of Washington College Republicans invited Yiannopoulos to speak on Friday. People have been waiting outside for the event since around 5 p.m.
— Nick Jacob (@nicktjacob) January 21, 2017
Protesters showed up on campus around 6 p.m. and began clashing with police….(more)
— Walk Toward The Fire (@RichardRSmithJr) January 21, 2017
…An online petition asked UW president Ana Mari Cauce to ban Yiannopoulos from the event.
“Please make the right choice President Ana Mari Cauce and stand up for student safety and tolerance on campus. Please stand with us – your students, faculty, staff, workers, and community members in opposing this hatred from being spread on our campus,” the petition said.
The group behind the petition said that Yiannopoulos’ visit would violate the university’s
student conduct official censorship code. They specifically pointed to the following section:
Discriminatory harassment. Official Censorship policy: “Discriminatory harassment” (censored speech) is language or conduct directed at a person because of the person’s race, color, creed, religion, national origin, citizenship, sex, age, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, or veteran status that is unwelcome and sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive such that it could reasonably be expected to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment, or has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with a person’s academic or work performance, or the person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the university’s programs, services, opportunities, or activities.
Protesters threw rocks, fireworks, and other items at officers. They blocked the entrance to Kane Hall, but Yiannopoulos’ speech still started around 8 p.m.
“Seattle officers at the park had confiscated wooden poles, heavy pipes and hammers.”
A KIRO chopper caught video of bike officers rushing to a crowd of people at 8:30 p.m. Moments later they started responding to a man on the ground.
UW alert went out to students, telling them to stay out of the area. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Part II: New Investigation Uncovers Plot to Chain the Trains & Shut Down DC During InaugurationPosted: January 18, 2017 | |
The latest Project Veritas video reveals DisruptJ20 plot to Chain Trains and Halt the DC Metro.
Thomas Sowell writes: Biologists explain how organisms adapt to their physical environment, but ideologues also adapt to their social environment. The most fundamental fact about the ideas of the political left is that they do not work. Therefore we should not be surprised to find the left concentrated in institutions where ideas do not have to work in order to survive.
“The academic world is the natural habitat of half-baked ideas, except for those fields in which there are decisive tests, such as science, mathematics, engineering, medicine;and athletics. In all these fields, in their differing ways, there comes a time when you must either put up or shut up. It should not be surprising that all of these fields are notable exceptions to the complete domination by the left on campuses across the country.”
The academic world is the natural habitat of half-baked ideas, except for those fields in which there are decisive tests, such as science, mathematics, engineering, medicine;and athletics. In all these fields, in their differing ways, there comes a time when you must either put up or shut up. It should not be surprising that all of these fields are notable exceptions to the complete domination by the left on campuses across the country.
“You might think that the collapse of communism throughout Eastern Europe would be considered a decisive failure for Marxism, but academic Marxists in America are utterly undaunted. Their paychecks and their tenure are unaffected. Their theories continue to flourish in the classrooms and their journals continue to litter the library shelves.”
In the humanities, for example, the test of deconstructionism is not whether it can produce any tangible results but whether it remains in vogue. So long as it does, professors skilled in its verbal sleight-of-hand can expect to continue to receive six-figure salaries.
“Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it. Even countries that were once more prosperous than their neighbors have found themselves much poorer than their neighbors after just one generation of socialistic policies. Whether these neighboring countries were Ghana and the Ivory Coast or Burma and Thailand, it has been the same story around the world.”
You might think that the collapse of communism throughout Eastern Europe would be considered a decisive failure for Marxism, but academic Marxists in America are utterly undaunted. Their paychecks and their tenure are unaffected. Their theories continue to flourish in the classrooms and their journals continue to litter the library shelves.
Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it. Even countries that were once more prosperous than their neighbors have found themselves much poorer than their neighbors after just one generation of socialistic policies. Whether these neighboring countries were Ghana and the Ivory Coast or Burma and Thailand, it has been the same story around the world.
Discredited elsewhere, the nostrums of the left live on in public television.
Nor is economic failure the worst of it. The millions slaughtered by Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot for political reasons are an even grimmer reality.
People who live and work in a world where there is a business bottom line, an athletic scoreboard, a military battlefield or life-and-death surgery may find it hard to fully appreciate the difference between that kind of world and one in which the only decisive test is whether your colleagues like what you are saying.
“These endowed and insulated institutions, often full of contempt for the values of American society and Western civilization, are not the only bastions of the left counter-culture. So are Hollywood and Broadway.”
Academia is only one of the places where wholly subjective criteria rule;and where leftists predominate. Endowed institutions such as foundations and museums likewise often face no test other than what like-minded people find “exciting” and what enables those who run these institutions to get the heady feeling that they are “making a difference.” The same is true of cultural institutions supported involuntarily by the taxpayers, such as the Smithsonian or the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities.
Taxpayer-supported “public” radio and television are similarly insulated from reality and similarly dominated by the left, not only in the United States but in other countries as well. All the nostrums of the left that have brought hunger to millions in countries which used to have surplus food to export, all the pretty words and ugly realities that have caused millions more to flee the lands of their birth, these nostrums live on in public television;much like old classic movies with familiar lines that the audience of aficionados can recite along with the characters on the screen.
These endowed and insulated institutions, often full of contempt for the values of American society and Western civilization, are not the only bastions of the left counter-culture. So are Hollywood and Broadway. Although show biz faces the financial need to get an audience, the truth of what they portray is hardly crucial. Read the rest of this entry »
Venezuela this Christmas is sunk in misery, as it was last Christmas, and the Christmas before that.
Jeff Jacoby writes: When the Cold War ended 25 years ago, the Soviet Union vanished into the ash heap of history. That left the West’s “useful idiots” — Lenin’s term for the ideologues and toadies who could always be relied on to justify or praise whatever Moscow did — in search of other socialist thugs to fawn over. Many found a new heartthrob in Hugo Chavez, the anti-Yanqui rabble-rouser who was elected president of Venezuela in 1998 and in short order had transformed the country from a successful social democracy into a grim and corrupt autocracy.
“Violent crime is out of control. Shoppers are forced to stand in lines for hours outside drugstores and supermarkets — lines that routinely lead to empty shelves, or that break down in fistfights, muggings, and mob looting. Just last week the government deployed 3,000 troops to restore order after frantic rioters rampaged through shops and homes in the southeastern state of Bolivar.”
An avowed Marxist and protégé of Fidel Castro, Chavez gradually seized control of every lever of state power in Venezuela. The constitution was rewritten to strip the legislature and judiciary of their independence, authorize censorship of the press, and allow Chavez to legislate by decree. Before long, the government acquired a stranglehold over the economy, including the huge and profitable energy sector. (Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world.)
“In the beautiful country that used to boast the highest standard of living in Latin America, patients now die in hospitals for lack of basic health care staples: soap, gloves, oxygen, drugs. In some medical wards, there isn’t even water to wash the blood from operating tables.”
With petrodollars pouring in, Chavez had free rein to put his statist prescriptions into effect. The so-called Bolivarian revolution over which he — and later his handpicked successor, Nicolas Maduro — presided, was an unfettered, real-world example of anticapitalist socialism in action.
Venezuela since at least the 1970s had been Latin America’s most affluent nation. Now it was a showpiece for command-and-control economics: price and currency controls, wealth redistribution, ramped-up government spending, expropriation of land, and the nationalization of private banks, mines, and oil companies.
And the useful idiots ate it up.
In a Salon piece titled “Hugo Chavez’s economic miracle,” David Sirota declared that the Venezuelan ruler, with his “full-throated advocacy of socialism,” had “racked up an economic record that . . . American president[s] could only dream of achieving.” The Guardian offered “Three cheers for Chavez.” Moviemaker Oliver Stone filmed a documentary gushing over “the positive changes that have happened economically in all of South America” because of Venezuela’s socialist government. And when Chavez died in 2013, Jimmy Carter extolled the strongman for “improving the lives of millions of his fellow countrymen.”
In the real world, however, socialism has transformed Venezuela into a Third World dystopia.
Venezuela this Christmas is sunk in misery, as it was last Christmas, and the Christmas before that. Venezuelans, their economy wrecked by statism, face crippling shortages of everything from food and medicine to toilet paper and electricity. Read the rest of this entry »
Slavery is what Fidel’s revolution was about. Brooking no dissent, he enslaved a nation in the name of eternal class warfare, creating a new elite dedicated to suppressing their neighbors’ rights.
Carlos Eire writes: Dead at last, dead at last. Fidel Castro has shuffled off this mortal coil, at the age of ninety. Unfortunately, his death comes a bit too late—about sixty years too late. Millions of his people had been awaiting this moment for well over half a century. And as we Cubans rejoice, we weep. Our losses over the past six decades have been far too great, and so our glee is far from unbridled.
“Fidel justified his repressive policies by insisting that the Cuban people were incapable of achieving social justice by any other means.”
Slavery is what Fidel’s revolution was about. Brooking no dissent, he enslaved a nation in the name of eternal class warfare, creating a new elite dedicated to suppressing their neighbors’ rights. He pitted Cubans against one another, replacing all civil discourse with invective and intimidation.
“Likewise, many of Fidel’s First-World admirers view Cubans as postmodern equivalents of Rousseau’s noble savage—as primitives who are uncorrupted by civilization and incapable of comprehending Enlightenment notions of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness—or perhaps as swarthier versions of Mussolini’s unruly Italians, that is, hot-blooded Latin rustics in need of a strong leader who can make their trains run on time.”
Fidel boasted that he was loved by the Cuban people and spoke for us, that he was our very embodiment. But these were some of the boldest of his many big lies. The Cuban people he spoke for were but a monstrous abstraction, a figment that he projected onto the world stage. Flesh-and-blood Cubans had to be forced to attend his interminable speeches, or, as now, his funeral.
“Fidel portrayed those who fled his dystopia as selfish troglodytes. These nonconformists were vilified not just by Fidel but by all those around the world who believed his lies, including many eminent intellectuals, artists, and journalists in free, affluent nations.”
Dissenters were demonized. If you objected to his self-anointing as Maximum Leader or disdained his dystopian vision, two painful choices were open to you. Just two.
You could oppose him. But if you dared, even by murmuring in the dark, you faced imprisonment, torture, or death. Hundreds of thousands of Cubans were brave enough to suffer these consequences, but the world beyond the island’s shores ignored them, even denied their existence.
“Why does the First World display so little indignation over Fidel’s labor camps and prisons, his torture chambers, and the summary executions with which he purchased his shamefully inadequate healthcare and indoctrination programs?”
The other option was to beg for the privilege of banishment. Nearly two million Cubans chose that route, but millions more never got the chance. No one knows how many have died trying to escape by sea without his magnanimous permission.
“Why do so many well-heeled tourists flock to the ruin Cuba has become? Why are so few of them offended by Cuba’s endemic racism, or the apartheid laws that deny ordinary Cubans access to the finest beaches and hotels in their own homeland?”
Fidel portrayed those who fled his dystopia as selfish troglodytes. These nonconformists were vilified not just by Fidel but by all those around the world who believed his lies, including many eminent intellectuals, artists, and journalists in free, affluent nations. Lately, the tyrant even seemed to gain approval from His Holiness, Pope Francis, who paid him a very cordial visit.
For the millions of Cubans who remained in Fidel’s kingdom, the losses were even more profound. As they waved tiny Cuban flags at mass rallies and waited in line for necessities with their ration books in hand, as they listened to Fidel’s promises of a very distant glorious future, these Cubans watched others leave by the hundreds of thousands. When nearly two million refugees flee from a small island nation, everyone who remains is touched by loss. The exodus is all the more galling when those who have fled prosper in exile and those who remain become ever more destitute. Read the rest of this entry »
Incident during farewell acts dictator Fidel Castro in Cuba. The jeep carrying the ashes of the Cuban leader, who died last November 25, is broken during the official procession to Santiago de Cuba. The soldiers guarding the vehicle had to push him, creating an unusual image. [Note: Translated from Spanish, Original source here]
The snapshot for the story is a story in acts of remembrance of former prime minister (1959-1976) and President of the Republic of Cuba (1976-2008), which will conclude on Monday with a private and family farewell at the Santa Ifigenia cemetery .
— 14ymedio (@14ymedio) December 3, 2016
Before the funeral procession, renamed Freedom Ride, it has traveled over a thousand kilometers across the Caribbean island, including the Moncada Barracks, the starting point of the Cuban Revolution that triumphed in 1959.
Trolling Success Level 100%
Annabel Scott reports: Turning Point USA, a conservative organization made up of high school and college students, has compiled a website database of more than 200 professors at universities across the nation that “discriminate against conservative students and advance leftist propaganda in the classroom.”
“This list watches over us at our country’s darkest turning point, poised to inflame the tinder-dry, gasoline-soaked pitchforks of a mob that has just stepped boldly into the light.”
— Slate author Rebecca Schuman, hyperventilating at keyboard
The website, professorwatchlist.org, doesn’t list just any professor — TPUSA requires proof.
“This watchlist is an aggregated list of pre-existing news stories that were published by a variety of news organizations,” the website states. “While we accept tips for new additions on our website, we only publish profiles on incidents that have already been reported by a credible source.”
“Intentionally or not, the Professor Watchlist, simply by being a self-styled watch list, has aligned itself with the ugly, frightening new political status quo. This is, indeed, a turning point in our country, a time of fear unprecedented on this continent since the Second World War. Fear of being placed on a list, targeted as undesirable, and subjected to whatever happens next.”
— Slate author Rebecca Schuman
The website also says that TPUSA is not attempting to silence the professors on the list, but instead they are exposing “specific incidents and names of professors that advance a radical agenda in lecture halls.”
“The website has thin information in its entries and a less-than-smooth search function. That could be a reflection of how rapidly it was created to capitalize on the political climate, particularly after the election of Donald J. Trump as president.”
— Julio C. Pino, an associate professor history at Kent State
Since its recent debut, the list has seen no shortage of harsh criticism.
Slate author Rebecca Schuman deemed the watchlist “grotesque,” and called it “a stock agency for photos of self-satisfied young white people.”
“If the professors are so scared of what’s going on in their lecture halls being made public then that is their problem, not ours. We’re not trying to prevent teachers from saying anything. All we want here is to shine a light on what’s going on in our universities and the response has been incredible.”
— TPUSA founder and CEO, Charlie Kirk, defending the list
“Intentionally or not, the Professor Watchlist, simply by being a self-styled watch list, has aligned itself with the ugly, frightening new political status quo,” writes Schuman. Read the rest of this entry »
“Cuba’s longtime oppressive dictator Fidel Castro is dead. Let me be absolutely clear: We are not mourning the death of some revolutionary romantic, or a distinguished statesman.”
“We’re not grieving for the protector of peace or a judicious steward of his people. Today we are thankful. We are thankful that a man who has imprisoned, and tortured, and degraded the lives of so many is no longer with us. He has departed for warmer climes.”
See more here.