A Leftist Critique of Political Correctness 59

by Jeremy Weiland

As a longtime libertarian and an avowed egalitarian socialist, I’ve struggled with the concept of “political correctness” for as long as I’ve had a political awareness. I went through a neoliberal democrat phase in the 90’s where what many denounced as PC simply looked like good manners to me. Don’t get me wrong; some of it was just that: the attempts of well-meaning people to navigate a culture permeated with deep-seated privilege and oppressive features. And yet, just as much polite talk is not exceedingly honest, I always had a nagging suspicion that politically correct habits were something more than mere social graces.

So this essay has been a long time coming for me, as I try to figure out where I fit in on the Left. My heart is in… More…

Abstaining for Change: Why I will not vote for Barack Obama this year Reply

By Jeremy Weiland

Last year I voted for Barack Obama. I didn’t do so because I believed the hope and change hype. Since Obama changed two key positions almost immediately after winning the nomination (telecom immunity and caving to AIPAC on Iran) I had long abandoned such naivete. Instead, I voted for Obama because I thought at least he would be restrained and judicious in charge of the imperial war machine. The attitudes of the Bush years seemed more important to repudiate than the actual policies, and everything seemed to indicate that, while he wouldn’t depart too much from Bush’s war policy and domestic police state, he would at least go about it in a more measured, less bellicose manner.

I think after three years of Obama at the helm, we can safely put to rest any notion that he’s any substantively different. Need I list the reasons? Composing “kill lists” for drone strikes that target any “military-age males” and kill scores of innocents. Duplicity on withdrawing from Iraq. Doubling down on Afghanistan. Waging a war on whistleblowers while indeminfying torturers and other criminals. Corporatized health care for all. Continuing and extending bailouts for corporate America. Crackdowns on medical marijuana despite his campaign rhetoric. The NDAA and indefinite detention of suspected terrorists.

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The Meaning of “Life”: Abortion and Traditionalism Reply

By Richard Spencer

The cloyingly named “Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act” (HR3541) failed in the House on Thursday, despite gaining overwhelming Republican support. If passed, the bill would have outlawed racial and sexual discrimination in abortion, jailing any doctor who helped a woman end a pregnancy because the fetus was a girl or a minority.

For some, the bill called up fears of the mean, ol’ “far Right”: Republicans who seek to take away women’s rights and send them all, humiliated and barefoot, back to the kitchen—and perhaps establish a national weekend curfew of 9:30PM and confiscate everyone’s iPods while they’re at it.

More astute observers perceived the bill as an attempt by the Religious Right to, subserviently, boost the electoral prospects of Mitt Romney. Now, conservatives dream, the specter of “sex-selection abortion” can be spun as “The Real War on Women.” (Rush Limbaugh—along with, no doubt, the entire Red State echo-chamber—has already picked up on the meme.)

Thursday’s political stunt certainly clarifies the utter uselessness of the American Right; more important for our purposes, it reveals the ways in which both the mainstream Right and Left are beholden to the same egalitarian ur-ideology.

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Vile! The Power of Taboo Reply

By Andy Nowicki

Vile!Vile: anagram is an energy

In chronicling the ongoing anti-White, anti-male, anti-heteronormative ideological full-court-press of our judicial, media, and governmental overlords, it is all-too easy to find oneself flogged into a perpetual state of spluttering outrage, or thrust towards a inveterate inclination to indulge in gloomy-doomy prognosticatications.

Such reactions are, in a way, understandable. After all, the campaign afoot to criminalize and/or stigmatize the most innocent, healthy, and normal of human impulses– such as the preference for one’s own culture, heritage, or traditions– is indeed an outrageous, obnoxious, and nefarious assault on decency. That said, however, one should take care not avoid the snare of becoming an angry, snarling– but ultimately impotent–curmudgeon, compulsively soaking up the latest ridiculousness, blared luridly from various right-wing scandal sheet tabloids, which record all of these malefactions and atrocities with grinning, almost obscene relish.

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Julian Assange loses appeal against extradition Reply

Julian Assange

From the BBC.

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By Owen Bowcott

Julian Assange has lost his appeal against extradition to Sweden at the supreme court.

By a majority of five to two, the justices decided that a public prosecutor was “judicial authority” and that therefore his arrest warrant had been lawfully issued.

But lawyers for the WikiLeaks founder submitted an urgent request to the supreme court asking for permission to challenge one of the points made in the judgment.

Assange, who is facing charges of sexual assault and rape, was not in court. There was no legal requirement for him to be present. According to his solicitor, Gareth Peirce, he was stuck in traffic.

The court granted Assange’s lawyers 14 days to present their arguments that crucial issues related to Article 31 of the Vienna convention, on which the majority of the justices based their decision, were not raised during the hearing.

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Taxing strip clubs for rape Reply

Taxing strip clubs for rape

Salon reports on the latest Stateside sin tax.

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By Tracy Clark-Flory

It used to be that strip clubs were merely blamed for society’s ills. Now they’re actually being charged for it.

In recent years, measures have been introduced in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Texas, Illinois and, most recently, California to apply special taxes to strip clubs — specifically to fund sexual assault services. Now, even if you aren’t inclined to view erotic entertainment as the source of all evil, this might seem an appropriate aim — who wants to argue against additional support for rape survivors? It would seem even more so when you consider politicians’ and activists’ repeated claims of solid scientific evidence showing a link between strip clubs — specifically those that sell alcohol — and sexual violence.

That is, until you look at the alleged proof.

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“The hijab has liberated me from society’s expectations of women” Reply

From the Guardian. Such views always remind me of this cartoon…

I’m sure the Jacobin paternalists on the Continent would love to tell Nadiya how “oppressed” she is…

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by Nadiya Takolia

When you think of the hijab, you probably don’t think “political”. Or “independent”. Or “empowered”. Feminist? Certainly not – feminism is far better known for burnt bras and slut-walks than headscarves.

There is much misunderstanding about how women relate to their hijab. Some, of course, choose the headcover for religious reasons, others for culture or even fashion.

But in a society where a woman’s value seems focused on her sexual charms, some wear it explicitly as a feminist statement asserting an alternative mode of female empowerment. Politics, not religion, is the motivator here. I am one of these women.

Wearing the hijab was not something I deliberately set out to do. It was something I unexpectedly stumbled upon as a twentysomething undergraduate, reading feminist literature and researching stories of women’s lives in the sex industry. From perfume and clothes ads to children’s dolls and X Factor finals, you don’t need to go far to see that the woman/sex combination is everywhere.

It makes many of us feel like a pawn in society’s beauty game – ensuring that gloss in my hair, the glow in my face and trying to attain that (non-existent) perfect figure.

Subconsciously, I tried to avoid these demands – wearing a hat to fix a bad-hair day, sunglasses and specs to disguise a lack of makeup, baggy clothes to disguise my figure. It was an endless and tiresome effort to please everyone else.

Sure the hijab was not the only way to express my feelings and frustrations; but knowing that our interpretation of liberal culture embraces, if not encourages, uncovering, I decided to reject what society expected me to do, and cover up.

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Fat, Broke and Single? Reply

By Gavin McInnes

Like the French language, the liberal brain works in reverse. Where we say “the red book,” the French say “le livre rouge.” They start with a blank book and work backwards to fill it in with rouge. Liberals start with, “All men are created equal” and walk backwards from there without looking. If everyone isn’t succeeding equally, it can’t be because they made some bad decisions or have unequal abilities. It’s because we didn’t do enough.

If America is fat, it must be because nobody told them food is fattening. If women earn less than men, it must be because of sexism. If gays aren’t getting married, it must be because homophobes are cockblocking them. If the top ten mathematicians of all time are white males, it must be because nonwhite mathematicians with vaginas suffered discrimination.

These babies want to make us all as equal as the day we were born, even if it kills us.

“Like the French language, the liberal brain works in reverse.”

“We’re White, We’re Male, and We Suck!” Reply

By Jim Goad

American culture reached Peak Beta last week as three privileged white-male pundits wrote essays declaring that privileged white males suck.

Lifelong morbidly obese bitchy lesbian Roger Ebert apparently dismantled the presumably elaborate series of pulleys and harnesses that enable him to orally service his adiposely domineering, melanin-drenched wife in order to run that half-a-mouth of his about how “Women Are Better Than Men.” Amazingly, Ebert became privy to this startling epiphany while watching a movie about how women are better than men. Ebert, who was apparently born without male hormones, decried “testosterone.” He intimated that men, at least the brawny ones, are as obsolete as farm animals and that women will be better suited to take command of “our emerging world economy”:

Women are nicer than men. And the sooner more of them take positions of power, the better our chances as a species.

Mr. Ebert has obviously never heard of Aileen Wuornos or Elizabeth Báthory.

Ebert’s verbal genuflection before the Giant Invisible Goddess Vulva is nothing new. Nor was it as cringeworthy as other recent spectacles of public male self-neutering such as the unconsciously hysterical, vagina-dessiccating “Dear Woman” video compiled by a group of ex-men offering “a collective apology on behalf of their gender.” It wasn’t as abjectly self-deballing as the recent trend of progressive boy hamsters holding “I Am a Feminist Because…” placards in what appear to be last-ditch attempts to get laid. It is merely the latest example in a decades-long tradition of men taking pride in taking shame in being men.

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Christopher Columbus’ Jewish Roots Examined By Historians Reply

Christopher Columbus Jewish

This amuses me on many a level.

From the Huffington Post

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Over five centuries after the famed explorer’s death, historians are taking a fresh look at what motivated Christopher Columbus to make his voyage across the Atlantic — and how his faith may have played into those motivations.

Some scholars, after analyzing Columbus’ will and other documents, have devised a new theory about the explorer. They believe he was a Marrano, or a Jew who pretended to be a Catholic to avoid religious persecution. These historians also theorize that Columbus’ main goal in life was to liberate Jerusalem from Muslim control, and that he decided to take his historic quest to North America in order to find a new homeland for Jews who had been forced out of Spain.

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John Kass: NATO protest fails to deliver punch Reply

From the Chicago Tribune

The NATO protesters marching in the South Loop on Sunday were mostly peaceful when they were in Grant Park. They’re opposed to violence, opposed to the war in Afghanistan.

The only argument I became involved in was with the slightly militant vegans, like the guy who shouted at me, unprompted, “The human body wasn’t designed to digest meat!”

His colleague, Pamela Stelmasek, said he was just kidding.

“He talks like that,” Stelmasek said. “But he’s OK. You love your dog, but you eat farmed animals? How could you?”

How can I? With lemon and salt. But sometimes with a nice pan sauce.

There were others in the march who wanted trouble and got it, including some of the uniformed anarchists wearing black, although somebody should tell them that the phrase “uniformed anarchists” makes as much sense as “organized chaos” or “Chicago political reform.”

“I’m the one who was in the paper shaking hands with McCarthy,” said one of the anarchists.

He pulled down the scary anarchist bandanna from his face to reveal a kid, in his 20s, and he looked just like the young man on the front page of the Chicago Tribune the other day, shaking hands with the police superintendent.

Protesters and police wouldn’t be shaking hands later. The billy clubs would appear. The pushing would begin.

In Grant Park, before the march, there wasn’t the feel of a protest as much as it felt like a party on a college quad back in the day.

Parents brought their kids. People wore costumes. Some were dressed as dollar signs, others as skeletons and still others as medieval physicians in black robes with those long-nosed masks worn during the Black Death.

I asked the Black Death Physicians: Didn’t I see you at the Renaissance fair?

They pointed ominously at me with long fingers, but one gave me a thumbs-up and I thought I could see her eyes crinkle in a grin.
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Congressmen Seek To Lift Propaganda Ban Reply

From Buzzfeed.com

An amendment that would legalize the use of propaganda on American audiences is being inserted into the latest defense authorization bill, BuzzFeed has learned.

The amendment would “strike the current ban on domestic dissemination” of propaganda material produced by the State Department and the Pentagon, according to the summary of the law at the House Rules Committee's official website.

The tweak to the bill would essentially neutralize two previous acts—the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 and Foreign Relations Authorization Act in 1987—that had been passed to protect U.S. audiences from our own government’s misinformation campaigns.

The bi-partisan amendment is sponsored by Rep. Mac Thornberry from Texas and Rep. Adam Smith from Washington State.

In a little noticed press release earlier in the week — buried beneath the other high-profile issues in the $642 billion defense bill, including indefinite detention and a prohibition on gay marriage at military installations — Thornberry warned that in the Internet age, the current law “ties the hands of America’s diplomatic officials, military, and others by inhibiting our ability to effectively communicate in a credible way.”

The bill's supporters say the informational material used overseas to influence foreign audiences is too good to not use at home, and that new techniques are needed to help fight Al-Qaeda, a borderless enemy whose own propaganda reaches Americans online.

Critics of the bill say there are ways to keep America safe without turning the massive information operations apparatus within the federal government against American citizens.

“Clearly there are ways to modernize for the information age without wiping out the distinction between domestic and foreign audiences,” says Michael Shank, Vice President at the Institute for Economics and Peace in Washington D.C. “That Reps Adam Smith and Mac Thornberry want to roll back protections put in place by previously-serving Senators – who, in their wisdom, ensured limits to taxpayer–funded propaganda promulgated by the US government – is disconcerting and dangerous.”

“I just don’t want to see something this significant – whatever the pros and cons – go through without anyone noticing,”
“ says one source on the Hill, who is disturbed by the law. According to this source, the law would allow “U.S. propaganda intended to influence foreign audiences to be used on the domestic population.”

The new law would give sweeping powers to the State Department and Pentagon to push television, radio, newspaper, and social media onto the U.S. public. “It removes the protection for Americans,” says a Pentagon official who is concerned about the law. “It removes oversight from the people who want to put out this information. There are no checks and balances. No one knows if the information is accurate, partially accurate, or entirely false.”

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‘Racist’ Ron Paul Sends 15% Black and Hispanic GOP Delegation to Tampa Reply

Note: The Ron Paul movement provides a glimpse into what the demographics of the future resistance movement will look like and is consistent with the framework I have previously outlined in my “liberty and populism” and “ten core demographics” theories.

By Allan Stevo

In a party that tends to be old and white, Ron Paul and his views are attracting demographic groups that are not traditionally affiliated with the Republican Party – youth, minorities, civil libertarians, the apolitical, those who are traditionally non-voters, and even Democrats.

On May 6, Nevada Republicans announced that 22 Paul supporters were chosen to fill 25 spaces for the Republican National Convention. Recent analysis shows that of those delegates were two female delegates who identify as Hispanic and one black delegate.

One Paul supporter said about Sunday’s results: “A common critique of small-minded opponents on the left is that Paul is racist. He’s exactly the opposite – he sees everyone as an individual, the guy doesn’t give a damn about what ‘group’ we are a part of. He represents a belief in the importance of the individual – something the Republican Party used to represent.”

While Paul speaks an old message, one of freedom, it still resonates with people of all ages and is clearly attracting a new kind of energy to the stodgy, pro-establishment Republican Party.

One of the recently-elected delegates to the Republican National Convention, Wiselet Rouzard, who identifies as African American, commented, “The 15% minority delegation being sent to Tampa to represent Ron Paul is not a surprise but rather reassuring of what the movement is about.”

While some on the left claim the Tenth Amendment insistence of states’ rights and constitutional calls for individual liberties are a veil for racism, Rouzard has a very different perspective: “It’s a movement and revolution that defends civil liberties and equality for all ‘Individuals’ regardless of your skin color, religion, health, wealth, creed. Ron Paul is the only presidential candidate that truly stands and abides by the Constitution and does what he says.”

Going even further in his displeasure with politicians playing the race card, Rouzard commented on how politicians who cater to specific groups of people tend to do more harm than good. Ultimately, these politicians end up being divisive and undermining the personal liberty of all in our society.

Said Rouzard: “Ron Paul and the Constitution have always understood that blacks, Hispanics, Native-Americans, Christians, the poor, are not the minority in a growing tyrannical government; the Individual has and always will be the minority. All the other candidates look to cater or promise to other sub groups and dismiss the Individual. [This] has continued to divide America.”

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The Antietam of the Culture War Reply

Note: Any serious anarchist and libertarian strategy needs to recognize that the culture wars are primarily a conflict with the upper middle class with the Left being the overall winner, and  with the rest of U.S. society divided on predictable socio-economic (i.e. class) lines.

By Pat Buchanan

It took Joe Biden’s public embrace of same-sex marriage to smoke him out.

But after Joe told David Gregory of “Meet the Press” he was “absolutely comfortable” with homosexuals marrying, Barack Obama could not maintain his credibility with the cultural elite if he stuck with the biblical view that God ordained marriage as solely between a man and woman. The biblical view had to go.

Obama had to move, or look like a malingerer in secularism’s next great moral advance into post-Christian America.

Consider. Obama had an appearance coming up on “The View,” where Whoopi Goldberg would have demanded to know why he lacked the courage of Biden’s convictions. He has a $40,000-a-plate fundraiser at George Clooney’s, where the Hollywood crowd would want to know why he does not end discrimination against homosexuals.

He has appearances lined up before gay activists raising millions for his campaign. Monday, his press secretary was pilloried for his feeble defense of Obama’s now-abandoned position.

His hand was forced. Yet the stand Obama took could cost him his presidency. Same-sex marriage may yet be a bridge too far, even for a dying Christian America.

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Has the Bell Begun to Toll for the GOP? Reply

Note: If anarchists and libertarians are serious about attacking and destroying the U.S. state, then we need to begin targeting the center-left establishment given that it will be the ruling party in the decades ahead as the Republicans begin to go the way of the Whigs.

By Pat Buchanan

Among the more controversial chapters in Suicide of a Superpower, my book published last fall, was the one titled, “The End of White America.”

It dealt with the demographic decline of the white majority and what it portends for education, the U.S. economy, politics and national unity.

That book and chapter proved the proximate cause of my departure from MSNBC, where the network president declared that subjects such as these are inappropriate for “the national dialogue.”

Apparently, the mainstream media are reassessing that.

For, in rare unanimity, The New York Times, The Washington Post and USA Today all led yesterday with the same story.

“Whites Account for Under Half of Births in U.S.,” blared the Times headline. “Minority Babies Majority in U.S.,” echoed the Post. “Minorities Are Now a Majority of Births,” proclaimed USA Today.

The USA Today story continued, “The nation’s growing diversity has huge implications for education, economics and politics.”

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Marriage: the Health of the State? Reply

Thaddeus Russell makes his case.

Not that I think homosexuals should have to fit anyone’s Ideal Procrustean Queer mould, but do they not signal their social conservatism to the degree that they embrace this ritual?

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Back in the days when there was an identifiable counter-cultural movement in the United States, feminists, gay activists, and much of the left identified the institution of marriage as the foundation of conservative American culture and therefore something to oppose, not seek. But now, with more and more gays gaining official permission to marry, the left is celebrating a right that it used to compare with the right to be imprisoned. 

Those who consider themselves to be the descendants of the counter-cultural left are hailing President Barack Obama’s sudden embrace of gay marriage as a great victory not just for equality and civil rights but also for freedom. Yet historically, those who invented and promoted legal marriage did so with the explicit purpose of restraining the liberty of all of us. Were Emma Goldman, Allen Ginsberg, and the drag queens who threw bricks at the cops at the Stonewall Inn alive today, they might well say that Americans have all become “the Man.”

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Half Say View of Obama Not Affected by Gay Marriage Decision 1

Obama’s proclamation of support for same sex marriage solidified his support among Democrats, young people and college graduates. In general, Republicans, older people and less educated people responded unfavorably to the President. In comparison, the opinion of blacks remains relatively unchanged. The White House likely did not make this move without predicting a positive response from the public; particularly in an election year.


Pew Research Center

Roughly half of Americans (52%) say Barack Obama’s expression of support for gay marriage did not affect their opinion of the president. A quarter (25%) say they feel less favorably toward Obama because of this while 19% feel more favorably.

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Rochdale, We Have a Problem! Reply

Defendants in Rochdale grooming trial

The folks at Spiked weigh in on the Rochdale sex slavers.

First, Brendan O’Neill

Indeed, it seems it is now virtually impossible to have a serious discussion about problematic cultural attitudes, because to do so would apparently offend minorities and, even worse, stir up the passions of the latently racist white masses. And so, in the name of protecting Muslim communities’ sensitivities and dampening down white working-class people’s alleged savagery, we keep quiet about certain things; we gag ourselves.

The truth is that there is something specific going on here, something which is more prevalent among Asian communities, particularly Muslim ones, than among other communities. For a variety of reasons – mainly because the attitudes and behaviour of white working-class women are so profoundly at odds with the outlook of conservative Muslim communities – there is a tendency among many Muslims to look upon such women as inferior, as “sluts”.

…and then, Tim Black

So while there is definitely a specific problem in specific areas in specific communities, is it really a problem common to British Pakistani culture as a whole? Yes, some Pakistani men – in Rochdale or Burnley or Derby or wherever – no doubt do view British white women through the prism of their particular culture, one still dominated by conservative traditions. And given the enthusiasm with which sections of the British establishment have used Islam to denigrate native British culture (including the Tory MPs who once wrote to the Spectator claiming to agree with an Islamist’s claim that Britain was decadent), no doubt a fair few Muslim men do feel superior to white Brits. But the moment the crimes of individuals are translated into the crimes of a culture, in which every person is then rendered suspect, all perspective is lost.

Yet perspective is the one thing that is difficult to obtain when it comes to viewing a crime that, in its specifics, does seem to have an ethno-cultural dimension. And the reason for this is that the real object of fear, the white working-class Brit, obscures the view. Here we come to the second flight of fancy. Because to state baldly that a racial demographic is present in this peculiar type of sex crime is seen as too risky, too inflammatory. It could, in short, turn a white Brit racist.

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God Bless America: The Anger of the Enfranchised Reply

By John Morgan

If I had to put my finger on the defining feature of contemporary American life, it would be anger. Everyone is angry about something, and in many cases, it is often an individual’s most defining characteristic. Mainstream conservatives are convinced that they have somehow been cheated out of their birthright, because liberals just won’t get with the program, and mainstream liberals are convinced that America would transform into utopia overnight, were it not for those other people with their nasty (and admittedly superficial, for the most part) hang-ups about tradition and morality and so forth. An entire cottage industry has sprung up around tapping into – and of course, making money off of – this anger, on both the “left” and the “right” (I put those terms in quotes since there is no genuine left/right dichotomy in the United States today, but only two branches of liberalism with slightly different priorities). The latest product to roll off the assembly line of anger is the film, God Bless America.

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The Derb is the Word…or is He? Reply

From MRDA’s Inferno.

image

Who would’ve thought such a mild-mannered, bourgeois Englishman could ignite such a fibre-optic firestorm?

A few weekends back, all right-thinking Left-leaners united for a hyperextended Two Minutes Hate session against one John Derbyshire, a Brit expat and paleocon pundit who occupies a comfy niche amongst America’s “alternative Right”. Turns out that the round-goggled reprobate saw fit to scribe a rather un-PC survival guide for the melanin-deficient; and, judging from the resultant comments, and the rash of responses from various Lefty haunts, it appears to have left many a pissed-off Progressive in its wake.

Having previously clicked and leafed through Derbyshire’s output, including his musings on multiculturalism, immigration, and racial IQ, I registered little in the way of surprise when I read the article. It struck me as something of a synthesis of his scribblings, citing crime stats and group averages to concretize another slab of “conservative pessimism”.

I must admit that, whilst I’m not down with the paleocon paradigm for a number of reasons, I appreciate their often incisive criticisms of PC equalitarian conceits. Similarly, whatever misgivings I have with Derb’s Taki Mag piece, I admire his refusal to apologize to his detractors for speaking his mind, even in the face of a firing.

That said, “The Talk” left me feeling rather ambivalent upon “hearing” it… More…