Religious believers sometimes say that atheism is a “faith,” and in
that sense a religion. That’s debatable because they’re using the word
‘faith’ ambiguously, and trading on that ambiguity. But according to NYU
social psychologist Jonathan Haidt, there is a scientific sense in
which a relatively new, secular “religion” of “social justice” is
entrenching itself among students on America’s campuses.
He’s got a cogent point.
ITO has run several pieces
about Haidt’s ideas before. He’s not a conservative or even religious;
he self-identifies as a liberal Democrat. Yet he’s alarmed by “the lack
of ideological diversity” among faculty and students, which he sees as
causing a “breakdown of discourse.”
As he sees it, such stifling orthodoxy can never be good for higher
education, which thrives when opposing views are permitted and given a
But, suggests Haidt, it appears that many colleges and universities are hosting what is not merely a stifling orthodoxy, but also one that exhibits a few key characteristics of religious orthodoxy.
Thus: “There is an extremely intense, fundamental social justice
religion that’s taking over, not all students, but a very strong [space]
of it, at all our colleges and universities. They are prosecuting
blasphemy and this is where we are.”
Yep. This is a pretty good analysis. It’s also important to recognize that political correctness/totalitarian humanism is not just a Left/Right conflict. It’s also an intra-Left conflict as well, with all kinds of left-wing factors shitting all over themselves to out-PC each other, or to accuse each other of some kind of heresy. ATS is a revolutionary left perspective for those who don’t give a flying fuck about this stuff, and refuse to play along with it.
This is a fantastic discussion that gets to the heart of the problem with PC/SJWs/totalitarian humanism. The discussion of “corporate leftism” is particularly important. There’s a surprisingly high level of anti-capitalism in this, which is unusual coming from an orthodox libertarian program. This comes close to my own perspective.
Apparently, my critique of the SJW ideology as a kind of theocratic religion is now becoming mainstream. The long term effects of the SJW ideology will likely be the following: centrist Democrats will be pushed rightward (thereby liberalizing the Right in the process), the traditional working class will also be pushed increasingly rightward (i.e. the ones who care about gun rights, free speech, taxes, religious liberty, etc) and more receptive to right-wing populist messages, and the Left will become more fractured among contending factions claiming victimological status, or claiming to be more ideologically pure than others.
Ultimately, my position is that the ATS approach constitutes the “true far left,” i.e. a form of far-left anarchism that embraces the panoply of anti-authoritarian ideas and movements, and rejecting Communism as the Eastern world’s version of National Socialism, rejecting social democracy as a middle class oriented managerial statist ideology, rejecting SJWs as quasi-theocratic social conservatives, and rejecting Antifa as a mere variation of the skinhead street thugs.
In an article I wrote for LewRockwell.Com 12 years ago, I introduced my theory of “totalitarian humanism” (i.e., the co-optation of cultural leftism by the state and capitalism) as the emerging ideology of the ruling class. Read the original article here. These were the core precepts of “totalitarian humanism” that I identified:
Militarism, Imperialism and Empire in the guise of ‘human rights’, ‘democracy’, modernity, universalism, feminism and other leftist shibboleths.
Corporate Mercantilism (or ‘state-capitalism’) under the guise of ‘free trade’.
In domestic policy, what I call ‘totalitarian humanism’ whereby an all-encompassing and unaccountable bureaucracy peers into every corner of society to make sure no one anywhere, anyplace, anytime ever practices ‘racism, sexism, homophobia’, smoking, ‘sex abuse’ or other such leftist sins.
The reception that Tulsi Gabbard received during her appearance on “The View” is a shining example of totalitarian humanism human being applied to the foreign policy realm. An authentic cultural leftism would be more in the vein of Thaddeus Russell or Abbie Hoffman, not this crap.
For 25-30 years, I have said that the main political issues in the USA are imperialism, widening class divisions, and use of the wars on drugs, crime, and (later) terrorism to create a domestic police state. Regrettably, most of liberal and left opinion during this time has been more focused on “identity” issues and (to a lesser degree) environmentalism or expanding the welfare state instead.
We are seeing the consequences of that now. The US has killed millions of people in …the past 20 years with wars of aggression. Class divisions are the widest they have been in a century, and incarceration rates are setting world records. In fact, it’s often been the far right (paleocons, libertarians, sovereign citizens, isolationist xenophobes) who are more in tune on many of these issues than liberal and left opinion.
Anarchism in the UK is a joke. Once symbolising hard-fought struggles for freedom, the word has been stripped bare to make way for narrow-minded, separatist and hateful identity politics by middle class activists keen to protect their own privileges. We write this leaflet to reclaim anarchism from these identity politicians.
We write as self-identified anarchists who see our roots in the political struggles of the past. We are anti-fascists, anti-racists, feminists. We want to see an end to all oppressions and we take an active part in those fights. Our starting point though is not the dense language of lefty liberal academics, but anarchism and its principles: freedom, cooperation, mutual aid, solidarity and equality for all regardless. Hierarchies of power, however they manifest, are our enemies.
Will the rise of Generation Z mark the death of SJWism? Is the PC/SJW/Antifa phenomenon simply the final stage in the backlash against the “old world” that existed before the cultural revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, and which has now become status quo?
It is necessary for anarchists and libertarians to oppose authoritarianism wherever it emerges. In the 1950s, it was racism and McCarthyism. In the 1960s and 1970s, it was the draft and the Vietnam War, Nixonism, and COINTELPRO. In the 1980s and 1990s, it was Reaganism, the War on Drugs, the “Satanic panic,” the religious right, Clintonism, and the “war on crime.” In the 2000s, it was the neconservatives and the War on Terrorism. In the past decade or so, left-wing authoritarianism of the SJW variety has become pervasive. In the future, it could become something else. For instance, “anti-sex trafficking” hysteria seems to be on the rise, or perhaps SJWism could create a right-wing backlash of the kind that has already been partially observed by the emergence of Trumpism, the Alt-Right/Lite, etc. Eternal vigilance.
Far Left Media Is Dying Because Gen-Z Is Too Conservative. Study after study shows the trend, generation z is becoming conservative and mostly resembles libertarians or moderate Republicans. This is a dramatic shift from Millennials who are overwhelmingly progressive. What happens then is that these companies cannot grow or attract new readers because young people do not want far left media. The outcome is obvious, these companies are laying people off and collapsing. While social justice is something most people agree with, the regressive left is too authoritarian and off putting.
History repeating itself as a tragedy and a farce. The principal weakness of most contemporary anarchists is their failure to recognize that any set of values can be turned toward authoritarian ends, not just conservative ones, and any kind of group can act in an authoritarian manner, not just traditionally hegemonic ones. Here’s the money quote from this article:
“And if all the volumes of scholarship are not enough, the parallels between Marxism-Leninism and cultural Marxism are obvious:
Both eliminate freedom of thought and expression and attempt to impose totalitarianism on their suffering subjects, as we see on too many American university campuses. Stalin’s and Mao’s tyranny was more oppressive than Hitler’s or Mussolini’s and killed far more people, probably at least ten times as many.
Both see history as a product of only one factor, in Marxism-Leninism ownership of the means of production and in cultural Marxism which groups, defined by race and gender, have power over which other groups.
Both define some groups of people as good and others as evil regardless of what individuals do. Marxism-Leninism defines workers and peasants as good and capitalists and members of the middle class (the hated bourgeoisie) as evil, while cultural Marxism says whites, males, heterosexuals, and non-feminist women are evil while blacks, third world immigrants, gays, and feminists are good.
An interesting M-L-M critique of the critical theory oriented “Left.” I don’t agree with his general ideology but I agree with his assessment of “identity politics” as having no real value other than to create divisiveness that will have the effect of undermining the system (“destabilizing the imperialist core”), thereby making anti-imperialist victory more likely. That’s why I have spent so much time promoting all kinds of fringe, freakazoid movements and ideologies, and favor the most extreme, ridiculous or insane political candidates. Weaken the system at its core. Another thing I like about Jason is that he recognizes that the “revolutionary potential” of the First World is minimal to non-existent. I agree with his assessment of the Third World at the focus of anti-imperialist revolution, even if I don’t share his Marxism.
Political correctness is the ideological superstructure of the left-wing of capital, and the technology, ideas, and information industries are its substructure/materialist base.
By Keith Preston
The Myth of the Open Society
One of the pervasive myths of our time is that we live in an open society where contentious issues, and serious questions of public policy, are supposedly addressed by means of Socratic dialogue, or open discourse reflecting the principles of Voltaire, Thomas Jefferson or John Stuart Mill. For reasons that I will explain, this claim of an open society is false. I could certainly discuss multiple ways in which the open society claim is problematic. For example, I could examine many parallel difficulties such as over criminalization, overregulation, increasingly greater centralization, and ever pervasive bureaucratization. However, for the purpose of this discussion, I want to focus on ideological conformity, and the way in which ideological conformity is enforced in liberal democratic societies.
In the late 1960s, the ACLU was a small but powerful liberal organization devoted to a civil libertarian agenda composed primarily of devotion to freedom of speech, free exercise of religion, and the rights of accused criminals. In the early 1970s, the ACLU’s membership rose from around 70,000 to almost 300,000. Many new members were attracted by the organization’s opposition to the Vietnam War and its high-profile battles with President Nixon, but such members were not committed to the ACLU’s broader civil libertarian agenda. However, the organization’s defense of the KKK’s right to march in Skokie, Illinois, in the late 1970s weeded out some of these fair-weather supporters and attracted some new free speech devotees. But George H. W. Bush’s criticisms of the ACLU during the 1988 presidential campaign again attracted many liberal members not especially devoted to civil liberties.
A Facebook reader comments in response to this article:
“It is really interesting how disconnected these people are from ordinary human beings, even liberal Americans. I was trying to think of how to differentiate, and it’s this: there is High Church Liberalism and Low Church Liberalism. Low churchers are still in the mindset that being mean to homosexuals isn’t nice, that rich people have too much money, and that you should give extra help to brown people. High Church liberalism takes their egalitarianism to newfound heights, where having a white baby is racist. Since these people almost never church together they are not aware of how out of sync they are. As the High Church is gaining more and more ascendance, becoming a major faction within the State Church of America they are bringing regular Sunday liberals into contact with their theological psychosis and are actually alienating people who would – if they didn’t hear them speak – they would consider to be Brothers in the Lord.”
By Leah McDonald
The Daily Mail
Animal Welfare Group PETA has bizarrely claimed that cow’s milk is a symbol of white supremacy.
PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) originally published a blog post titled ‘Why cow’s milk is the perfect drink for white supremacists’ last year.
The animal rights group renewed that claim on Friday when it tweeted a link to its post again.
The group urged people to drink dairy-free alternatives, as dairy products are ‘linked to developing heart disease as well as prostate, breast, and ovarian cancer’.
As I have long suspected, PC is primarily the domain of the left-wing of the upper middle class (roughly the same socioeconomic demographic that Jacobinism and Communism came from).
By Yascha Mounk
On social media, the country seems to divide into two neat camps: Call them the woke and the resentful. Team Resentment is manned—pun very much intended—by people who are predominantly old and almost exclusively white. Team Woke is young, likely to be female, and predominantly black, brown, or Asian (though white “allies” do their dutiful part). These teams are roughly equal in number, and they disagree most vehemently, as well as most routinely, about the catchall known as political correctness.
Reality is nothing like this. As scholars Stephen Hawkins, Daniel Yudkin, Miriam Juan-Torres, and Tim Dixon argue in a report published Wednesday, “Hidden Tribes: A Study of America’s Polarized Landscape,” most Americans don’t fit into either of these camps. They also share more common ground than the daily fights on social media might suggest—including a general aversion to PC culture.
The late American paleoconservative columnist Samuel T. Francis on the phenomenon of “anarcho-tyranny”, a useful term for describing much of the systematic legalist bullshit plaguing the West today, particularly the U.K. and mainland Europe.
By Samuel Francis
If, as Bill Clinton tells us, the “era of Big Government is over,” somebody needs to tell the state of Maryland (not to mention Bill Clinton). Earlier this month the Maryland legislature had itself a small orgy of swelling the powers of the state government, and apparently it helped give Mr. Clinton some ideas of his own (orgies seem to have that effect on him).
Just before the end of this year’s legislative session, the Maryland lawmakers passed several new laws that (a) allow policemen to stop drivers for not wearing seat belts, (b) authorize hidden cameras at red lights to take secret photographs of the license plates of cars that run the lights, (c) ban loud car stereos on state roads, (d) forbid minors from buying butane lighters because they might inhale the gas, and (e) require drivers whose windshield wipers are running to keep their headlights on. The lawmakers seem to have missed outlawing cooking breakfast in your underwear, but of course there’s always another session next year.
The citizens of Maryland will no doubt be thrilled to learn that law enforcement in their state has now so mastered violent crime that the cops have little else to do but round up non-seat-belt wearers and butane-sniffers. As a matter of fact, Maryland’s Prince George’s County has just announced that rapes and homicides increased in the first three months of 1997. Nevertheless, you can be certain that no one will be raped or murdered without wearing a seat belt.
The new Maryland laws are rather perfect instances of what I have previously called “anarcho-tyranny” – a form of government that seems to be unknown in history until recently. Anarcho-tyranny is a combination of the worst features of anarchy and tyranny at the same time.
Under anarchy, crime is permitted and criminals are not apprehended or punished. Under tyranny, innocent citizens are punished. Most societies in the past have succumbed to either one or the other, but never as far as I know to both at once.