I’m beginning to understand why Pol Pot exterminated the professional class.
I’m beginning to understand why Pol Pot exterminated the professional class.
The Soviet analogy really isn’t appropriate. Neoliberals are proponents of globalized technocratic state-capitalism, which uses feminism and multiculturalism to meet its human resources needs and construct a self-legitimating ideology. That has nothing to do with Communism.
By Gary Saul Morson
Between 1900 and 1917, waves of unprecedented terror struck Russia. Several parties professing incompatible ideologies competed (and cooperated) in causing havoc. Between 1905 and 1907, nearly 4,500 government officials and about as many private individuals were killed or injured. Between 1908 and 1910, authorities recorded 19,957 terrorist acts and revolutionary robberies, doubtless omitting many from remote areas. As the foremost historian of Russian terrorism, Anna Geifman, observes, “Robbery, extortion, and murder became more common than traffic accidents.”
The conventional media and much of the dissident milieu are focused on Trump’s Nixonian authoritarianism because is Trump is both the President and the bane of dominant ruling class sectors, but other dangers lurk in the form of millenarian progressivism and neocon opportunism. What seems to be going on is an effort by the neocons to manipulate the Left as a tool to be weaponized against Trumpism.
By Angelo Codevilla
The Independent Institute
The Americans who confess other people’s racism absolve themselves inexpensively by a moral mechanism common to humanity: the more I profess to hate evil, the more I showcase my own goodness. Such confessions, however, have a particular history of tragedy in Christian civilization. Again and again over the centuries, persons who have imagined themselves cleansed by ritual confessions have believed themselves elevated above the rest of humanity and, hence, entitled to oppress or even annihilate those around them. Today’s self-purifiers, arms outstretched in supine submission, who then countenance violence against persons, property, and cultural symbols, are mostly unwitting protagonists in yet another chapter of a hoary history.
This is a pretty good summary of where postmodern critical theorists stand in relation to the rest of the Left.
By Helen Pluckrose
I find it very odd when people keep telling me that “the left” is doing something bad with regard to wokeness and applied postmodernism when so many of the people opposing identity politics, cancel culture, collective blame, language policing, deplatforming, and censorship by the Critical Social Justice faction are, in fact, on the left. Not only is there a significant pushback against the excesses of Critical Social Justice on the left, this has been the case throughout the entire history leading up to the emergence of Critical Social Justice today. Let’s have a look at some of this.
Tom Woods interviews James Lindsay. Academia, media, science, and technology are the new theocracy.
By Yoram Hazony
I. The collapse of institutional liberalism
For a generation after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, most Americans and Europeans regarded Marxism as an enemy that had been defeated once and for all. But they were wrong. A mere 30 years later, Marxism is back, and making an astonishingly successful bid to seize control of the most important American media companies, universities and schools, major corporations and philanthropic organizations, and even the courts, the government bureaucracy, and some churches. As American cities succumb to rioting, arson, and looting, it appears as though the liberal custodians of many of these institutions—from the New York Times to Princeton University—have despaired of regaining control of them, and are instead adopting a policy of accommodation. That is, they are attempting to appease their Marxist employees by giving in to some of their demands in the hope of not being swept away entirely.
We don’t know what will happen for certain. But based on the experience of recent years, we can venture a pretty good guess. Institutional liberalism lacks the resources to contend with this threat. Liberalism is being expelled from its former strongholds, and the hegemony of liberal ideas, as we have known it since the 1960s, will end. Anti-Marxist liberals are about to find themselves in much the same situation that has characterized conservatives, nationalists, and Christians for some time now: They are about to find themselves in the opposition.
By Paul Gottfried
The American Conservative
In a perceptive and properly passionate piece on why “woke capitalism is a vanguard of unfreedom,” Rod Dreher notes that American corporations have become radically totalitarian and socially destructive. In pursuit of intersectional politics and anti-white, anti-male indoctrination, corporate executives now impose mind-boggling restrictions on employees, from forbidding them to use gender-specific pronouns to compelling them to attend tirades against “white privilege.”
Embracing Trumpism as an antidote to the SJW cult is a remarkably bad idea. It’s a minor-league version of the ex-Communists who became right-wing reactionaries in the mid-20th century (which is how we got the Buckleyites and the neocons). What we need is a Stirnerite/Nietzschean left (which is a broad enough concept to include anti-authoritarian sectors of the center and right) in opposition to the Rousseauan/Hegelian left. Tim also embraces the standard “the economy has done well under Trump” line that is total nonsense. Trump has continued the neoliberal paradigm. His efforts to balance the trade deficit with China are peripherally a part of the wider class dynamics of the US economy because of sectors of the national security state that are concerned that the US has become overly dependent on China for military-related manufacturing.
What Ibram X. Kendi is proposing is sounds something like Iran’s Council of Guardians or William Pierce’s idea of the highest body of government being a kind of religious order whose purpose is to enforce ideological purity.
“No cool people allowed on Facebook. Only dweebs, nerds, and losers need apply,” said the Zuck.
San Francisco CBS Local
OAKLAND (AP) — Facebook said it will restrict the right-wing conspiracy movement QAnon and will no longer recommend that users join groups supporting it, although the company isn’t banning it outright.
Facebook said Wednesday it is banning groups and accounts associated with QAnon as well as a variety of U.S.-based militia and anarchist groups that support violence. But the company will continue to allow people to post material that supports these groups, so long as they don’t violate policies against hate speech, abuse and other provocations.
QAnon groups have flourished on Facebook in recent months, and experts say social media has aided the rise of the fringe movement. Twitter announced a similar crackdown recently and TikTok has banned QAnon altogether from its searches, along with related terms such as “WWG1WGA,” shorthand for the group’s motto “Where We Go One, We Go All.”
I feel honored to have already been banned from Facebook. I was ahead of my time, apparently.
Social media giant Facebook today banned dozens of anarchist, anti-fascist and anti-capitalist pages after announcing a new crackdown against “anarchist groups that support violent acts”.
This crackdown against anarchists comes in the context of the largest uprising against police violence in the United States in a generation. United States President Donald Trump has blamed the African-American mass movement against police violence on “anarchists”, and has made repeated calls for anti-fascist activism to be designated a “terrorist organisation”. The US President, conservative politicians and right-wing media have been howling about the level of opposition to their politics expressed on popular social media platforms.
Facebook is responding to this political pressure.
Facebook has taken down multiple Facebook pages they believe to be connected with crimethinc.com and itsgoingdown.org, among other anarchist and anti-fascist publishing projects,1 officially on the pretext that they “support violence.” This has nothing to do with stopping violence and everything to do with suppressing social movements and the publishers that cover them.
For months, Donald Trump has demanded this crackdown in a series of social media posts explicitly blaming anarchists and anti-fascists for the countrywide wave of protests precipitated by persistent police violence in the United States. A decade ago, Facebook representatives proudly touted their role in the Egyptian uprising. Today, their decision to ban publishers who discuss social movement activity shows that they are eager to play a role in ensuring that the only forms of activism that can emerge are the ones that are beneficial to the current authorities.
The defining of violence is not neutral. The way Facebook currently defines violence, it is legitimate for police to kill a thousand people per year while evicting, kidnapping, and imprisoning millions—it is legitimate to drop bombs on civilians, so long as the aggressor represents an official government—but it is “violence” to prevent a white supremacist from assaulting a crowd or return a smoking tear gas canister to the police who shot it. Suppressing the voices of those who seek to protect their communities from institutional and white supremacist violence is an intentional decision to normalize violence as long as the ones employing it hold institutional power.
This is a pretty good summary of what is problematic about what is often passed off as the “left” today. The totalitarian humanist left essentially wishes to compromise Enlightenment values like free speech, freedom of religion, due process, etc. for the sake of “repressive tolerance” and to compromise the individualism associated with the liberal tradition and re-embrace pre-modern notions of ascribed status based on immutable and/or socially assigned characteristics like race and gender.
It is interesting how the totalitarian humanist ideology is largely replacing mainline Protestantism (like Episcopalianism) as the dominant religion of the WASP upper middle class, and is even finding its way into traditionally “conservative” religious denominations like the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention, and even non-denominational “low church” evangelicalism.
The United States has always been an unusually religious nation for an advanced industrial society. Other nations with comparable levels of advancement in Western Europe, East Asia, and Oceania are generally far less religious. But that seems to be changing. However, it is a coincidence that totalitarian humanism is rising just as traditional religion is declining? As I have said before, in many ways, totalitarian humanists are merely Christians without a Christ. “Our atheists are very pious people.”-Max Stirner
In its more extreme forms, totalitarian humanism bears a creepy resemblance to Maoism, Nazism, or Islamism. But in its more mainstream forms it seems to be more on the level of the social purity movement, Prohibition, the Legion of Decency, or the Moral Majority.
Pew Research Center
The religious landscape of the United States continues to change at a rapid clip. In Pew Research Center telephone surveys conducted in 2018 and 2019, 65% of American adults describe themselves as Christians when asked about their religion, down 12 percentage points over the past decade. Meanwhile, the religiously unaffiliated share of the population, consisting of people who describe their religious identity as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular,” now stands at 26%, up from 17% in 2009.
Both Protestantism and Catholicism are experiencing losses of population share. Currently, 43% of U.S. adults identify with Protestantism, down from 51% in 2009. And one-in-five adults (20%) are Catholic, down from 23% in 2009. Meanwhile, all subsets of the religiously unaffiliated population – a group also known as religious “nones” – have seen their numbers swell. Self-described atheists now account for 4% of U.S. adults, up modestly but significantly from 2% in 2009; agnostics make up 5% of U.S. adults, up from 3% a decade ago; and 17% of Americans now describe their religion as “nothing in particular,” up from 12% in 2009. Members of non-Christian religions also have grown modestly as a share of the adult population.
This is a must-watch. These fellows discuss how totalitarian humanism is a type of secularized Christian moralism that is primarily rooted in the upper-middle class. The “social justice camp” that Coleman Hughes describes sounds like something out of the “Jesus camp” movie.
I remember the days when totalitarian humanism was only criticized by far-right reactionaries, Republican hacks, and one solitary anarchist weirdo (myself). I’m glad to see things have finally changed, and more liberals, centrists, leftists, minorities, libertarians, and others outside the conventional right are noticing what I have been pointing out for decades.
Totalitarian humanists attack a gay leftist professor.
The white middle-class do-gooders at DSA disown a black man who actually grew up under Jim Crow and is an accomplished Marxist academic.
I generally agree with Paul’s and Joseph’s argument that as soon as they get a comfortable enough electoral majority, the Democrats will likely move toward restructuring the electoral system in a way that will essentially allow them to maintain permanent victory, through methods like court-packing, increasing the size of the House and Senate, and expanding voting rights to constituents that are likely to vote Democratic (prisoners, convicted felons, non-citizens, minors, etc.). That’s doesn’t mean that formal democracy will be abolished in favor of a one-party dictatorship like North Korea. It just means the Democrats will try to maintain a permanent electoral upper hand like Mexico’s Institutional Revolutionary Party had for 70 years in the 20th century.
Just as many liberals and leftists fear that Trump is an incipient fascist in the vein of Mussolini, many conservatives and rightists fear that the rising totalitarian humanist regime will be akin to either Communism, Latin American strongman regimes like those of Fidel Castro or Hugo Chavez, the government of Robert Mugabe that came to power in the former Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, in 1980, or post-apartheid South Africa, which experienced a massive economic decline, exploding crime rates, and a wave of hate crimes against Boers and Afrikaners.
I tend to think that fully consolidated totalitarian humanist rule in the US will be more like a hybrid of the European Union and Latin America, which essentially what California is today. The future USA will have Latin American-like class divisions, with the general set of policies that are found in the European Union which, to the detriment of conservatives, means more restrictions on free speech under the guise of combating “hate,” more gun control, a more pervasive “equality”-enforcing bureaucracy, a larger welfare state, and the expansion of the public administration state generally, although I disagree that the EU is inherently more statist than the US is at present, and even less so in some ways. The main difference will be that, unlike Europe or Latin America, the US ruling class has a massive military-industry complex under its control, which must constantly seek out new wars in order to justify its existence.
There is something of an “evangelical to SJW pipeline.”
By Joseph Bottom
Woke anti-racism certainly appears to have taken on the trappings of religion. White people have been seen washing the feet of black people and asking for forgiveness, a ritual firmly in line with the Christian tradition. And terms like ‘white guilt’ and ‘white privilege’ are treated much as Original Sin used to be – things for which humanity must forever atone.
One person who has long been exploring the religious fervour of today’s increasingly moralistic politics is the essayist and author Joseph Bottum. Indeed, his 2014 book, An Anxious Age: The Post-Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of America, seems almost prophetic. There he argued that the demise of traditional Protestantism in the US has led liberals to transfer their religious beliefs, habits and passions into the political realm, moralising it in the process. Our age of ‘post-Protestantism’, he concludes, has eroded the boundary between the religious and the political, infusing politics with a religious mindset and discourse.
spiked’s US correspondent, Sean Collins, caught up with Bottum, at his home in the Black Hills of South Dakota, to find out what he makes of the contemporary political moment, woke anti-racism and the phenomenon of cancel culture.
Notice that “cancel culture” has impacted people on the left, right, and who are apolitical. In a society that has both the Internet and polarization driven by various teams of fanatics, what needs to happen is for the First Amendment to be extended to include corporations, social media, public sector agencies, and universities as well as the actual political government.
By Taylor Mooney, Justin Sherman
In this politically divided and social-media-driven age, “cancel culture” has touched nearly every part of American public life. Politicians, celebrities, CEOs, athletes, media executives — even knitting influencers have experienced getting “canceled.” Here are the stories of three everyday people who ended up on one side or the other of a “cancel” controversy.
It was 2012. Chick-fil-A’s president at the time, Dan Cathy, spoke out against gay marriage and a fierce backlash ensued. Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee called for a Chick fil-A Appreciation Day because he was “incensed at the vitriolic assaults” against the fast-food chain after Cathy’s remarks. As supporters lined up to order from Chick-fil-A in a show of solidarity with Cathy, protesters decided to do the opposite — order nothing but free cups of water and voice their disagreement to the employees.