Mike Enoch Isaac and I spent two hours triggering just about everyone.
Mike Enoch Isaac and I spent two hours triggering just about everyone.
“The modern social justice movement launched on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Jezebel, Slate, Huffington Post, et al. is far more reminiscent of a Red Scare (pick one) than the Civil Rights Movement.”
By Aristotelis Orginos
Social justice, as a concept, has existed for millennia — at least as long as society has had inequity and inequality and there were individuals enlightened enough to question this. When we study history, we see, as the American Transcendentalist Theodore Parker famously wrote, “the arc [of the moral universe]…bends towards justice.” And this seems relatively evident when one looks at history as a single plot line. Things improve. And, if history is read as a book, the supporters of social justice are typically deemed the heroes, the opponents of it the villains.
And perhaps it’s my liberal heart speaking, the fact that I grew up in a liberal town, learned US history from a capital-S Socialist, and/or went to one of the most liberal universities in the country, but I view this is a good thing. The idea that societal ills should be remedied such that one group is not given an unfair advantage over another is not, to me, a radical idea.
Garrison Center/Libertarian Alliance
Once upon a time (not that long ago), the west’s colleges and universities were its centers of political dissent and incubators of cultural change.
From dress and speech codes to musical trends to the defining issues of the day, students — often with the support and encouragement of more “liberal” faculty — fashioned their own new civic religion out of the catch-phrase “subvert the dominant paradigm.”
The politically active among today’s generation of college students seem hell-bent on turning that religion inside out, maintaining its outward image, form and tactics while working diligently to negate its substance.
From “trigger warnings” ahead of controversial readings or class discussions to “safe spaces” within which potentially traumatizing elements are banned altogether, the goal is conversion of campuses into hothouses, with students as delicate flowers ensconced within and protected from any hint of challenge to their cherished preconceptions.
We’ve been here before. Be it Thomas Bowdler’s “family-friendly” butcherings of Shakespeare, Anthony Comstock’s crusade against delivery of “obscene, lewd, or lascivious” materials via the US postal system, or Tipper Gore’s demand for “Parental Advisory” labels on music, the neo-Puritan impulse cuts across our history as response to anything new, anything different, anything challenging.
Carl Schmitt once referred to the original Nazi movement in Germany as “organized mass insanity.” Nowadays, what passes for the “radical left” has regrettably fallen into such a state.
The Right Stuff
What happens when contradictory leftist narratives collide? We get a battle between a woman with a penis and a woman pretending to have a penis. The reason these two groups get into conflicts is because their premises are fundamentally opposed. Transgendered people acknowledge that gender identity is tied to physical identity, while feminists deny this outright. Feminists claim that women do not behave inherently different from men and can have all the traits and responsibilities a man has without the physical traits. This has resulted in actual violent conflicts between the two groups.
Transwomen getting into conflict with feminists is not the only instance of colliding leftist narratives; many feminists spend time attacking pornography while other feminists participate in it. As a result, the public continues to get contradictory messages about what feminists stand for. Not to say that any movement has complete solidarity, but the types of conflicts that arise have no solution. There is no Final Authority to make the final call on feminist theory because it is an individualist philosophy. The proponents of this individualist philosophy correctly recognize that society exists in a hierarchy and they are in opposition based on their belief in egalitarianism. The hierarchy that feminists chose to focus on is the gender hierarchy which is typically referred to as the patriarchy. Cultural Marxists have three heads: the socialists who focus on economic inequality, the feminists who focus on patriarchy and the anti-racists who focus on racial hierarchy.
Occasionally the three heads of Marxism have inter-conflicts. For example, a feminist organizer or leader can be seen as not racially inclusive. There were Marxists literally picketing SlutWalk because it did not consider women of color enough.
The problem is that so-called “progressives’ nowadays don’t really seem to value any political ideas other than supposed “equality” for the officially oppressed. Virtually any other kind of rights or liberties they view as irrelevant or insignificant if they get in the way of “equality.”
In the name of “social justice” they’re fine with doing away with freedom of speech, religion, association, privacy, property, economic freedom, and, increasingly, even things like innocent until proven guilty or due process of law. Nor do they believe in “legal equality” in the sense of legal neutrality irrespective of categorical differences. What they believe is that the historically/traditionally/socially/whatever disadvantaged need extra rights as compensation for past disadvantaged. Further, they believe competing centers of power need to be eliminated in order to bring everything in line with progressive ideology.
For instance, the family is just a bastion of patriarchy and child abuse in their view, so the family has to be subordinated to CPS and parents get arrested for letting children play outside. Religion is just about patriarchal homophobic brainwashing, so out the door goes religious liberty. Local government is just about separate water fountains for black folks, so ever more centralized government is necessary for the sake of equality. Innocent until proven guilty is just about coddling rapists, so we don’t need that either. Free speech is just about vilifying minorities, so down with that. Freedom of association is just an excuse for racism, so away with it.
The implication of this taken to its logical conclusion is a kind of inverted caste system where individual rights are assigned on the basis of group identity, and group rights are assigned on the basis of how historically oppressed the group was alleged to be. And, or course, the self-appointed leaders and spokespeople for the “oppressed” are going to be the ones running the show.
One nation, indivisible? Hardly.
This is the best article I’ve seen to date on the gay wedding cakes vs Christian bakeries brouhaha.
After hearing from dozens of traditionalist Christians and as many gays and lesbians about recent clashes, I can report that many members of both groups feel under siege—and many don’t really get why members of the other group feel besieged, too.
If you’re a religious believer surrounded by coreligionists and exposed to their Facebook feeds, your notion of America’s cultural landscape is shaped by stories of traditionalists being denounced as bigots, compared to segregationists, and having their ability to provide for their families threatened for publicly opposing gay marriage.
Someone please tell me if my progression here is inaccurate in any way:
1) Family owners of small-town Indiana pizzeria spend zero time or energy commenting on gay issues.
2) TV reporter from South Bend walks inside the pizzeria to ask the owners what they think of the controversial Religious Restoration Freedom Act. Owner Crystal O’Connor responds, “If a gay couple came in and wanted us to provide pizzas for their wedding, we would have to say no….We are a Christian establishment.” O’Connor also says—actually promises is the characterization here—that the establishment will continue to serve any gay or non-Christian person that walks through their door.
3) The Internet explodes with insults directed at the O’Connor family and its business, including a high school girls golf coach in Indiana who tweets “Who’s going to Walkerton, IN to burn down #memoriespizza w me?” Many of the enraged critics assert, inaccurately, that Memories Pizza discriminates against gay customers.
4) In the face of the backlash, the O’Connors close the pizzeria temporarily, and say they may never reopen, and in fact might leave the state. “I don’t know if we will reopen, or if we can, if it’s safe to reopen,” Crystal O’Connor tells The Blaze. “I’m just a little guy who had a little business that I probably don’t have anymore,” Kevin O’Connor tells the L.A. Times.
Rod Dreher titles his useful post on this grotesque affair “Into the Christian Closet,” and it’s apt considering the progression above. If only these non-activist restaurateurs had simply kept their views to themselves when asked by a reporter, April Fool’s would have been like any other day for them. More…
It’s interesting how both Left and Right normally engage in massive special pleading on behalf of their own favorite issues and pet causes. I remember when the Religious Freedom Restoration Act was being considered in the early 90s, sectors of the religious right were attacking it on the grounds that homosexuals would claim anti-sodomy laws (which were still on the books at the time in some states) were a violation of their religious freedom. Controversy over these kinds of issues is not about some kind of rational political or ethical principle, but about sheer tribal conflict.
When President Bill Clinton signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in 1993, the law had broad support in both major political parties and was widely perceived as an expression of a pluralistic society’s tolerance. When Gov. Mike Pence signed Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act last week, the law became a bitterly partisan issue, denounced by Democrats across the country as an instrument of bigotry.
This dramatic shift in attitudes has less to do with the substance of the statute, which is similar to the federal version that has been around for more than two decades, than with the perceived motives of the law’s supporters. Progressives who used to defend religious freedom have turned against it because they see it as a cover for conservative causes.
Indiana’s RFRA, like the federal version, says the government “may not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion” unless it can show that the imposition is “the least restrictive means” of serving “a compelling governmental interest.” That is the test the Supreme Court applied under the First Amendment until 1990, when it changed course and ruled that neutral, generally applicable laws are constitutional even if they make it difficult or impossible for someone to practice his religion.
The 1990 case involved two Oregon members of the Native American Church who were fired from their jobs as drug counselors and denied unemployment benefits because they consumed peyote cactus buttons, which contain the psychedelic mescaline. At the time the church’s ceremonial use of peyote was exempted from the federal ban on peyote but not Oregon’s. More…
Fortunately, some of us are developing a whole new model of radicalism that is totally devoid of this shit.
The Republican-controlled Indiana House approved the measure Monday on a 63-31 vote, largely along party lines. Five Republicans joined 26 Democrats in opposing the bill.
The vote likely clears a path for the hot-button legislation to become law. The Senate already approved a slightly different version of the bill last month and Senate author Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn, said he plans to concur with the House version, possibly later this week.
The bill will then go to Gov. Mike Pence, who said Monday he plans to sign the legislation. More…
The university system is the primary institution in North America where the hard Left has achieved dominance as opposed to other institutions (government, business, religion, military) where the Left has to share power with other political currents. The contemptuous disregard for individual rights and freedom of opinion combined with the equally contemptuous disregard for due process found in such settings is an indication of how the hard Left would go about operating the state if all competing centers of power were removed and the Left were totally unconstrained. How is the present contempt for freedom of expression exhibited by the cultural Left any different from Article 55 of the 1976 Constitution of Communist Albania?
“Article 55: The creation of any type of organization of a fascist, anti-democratic, religious, and anti-socialist character is prohibited. Fascist, anti-democratic, religious, war-mongering, and anti-socialist activities and propaganda, as well as the incitement of national and racial hatred are prohibited.”
One could easily imagine the contemporary Left creating an Article 55 of their own:
“It is the ambition of the state to create a society that is a safe space free of bigotry and exclusion.In keeping with the anti-oppression policies of the state, the creation of any type of organization of a fascist, racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, anti-Semitic, ageist, ablist, transphobic, Islamophobic, looksist, weightist, or classist character is prohibited. Fascist, racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, anti-Semitic, ageist, ablist, transphobic, Islamophobic, looksist, weightist, or classist activities and triggering propaganda, as well as the incitement of microagressions and indirect oppression are prohibited.”
Do you think they wouldn’t do this? Just watch them.
Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
Early last week, the Ithaca College Student Government Association passed a resolution to create an anonymous, online system for students to report “microaggressions” on campus. FIRE has closely monitored the bill’s progress, as its language presents obvious problems for freedom of expression at the private New York college.
Panelists (Free for All):
1) Godfrey Bloom (Economist and former MEP)
2) Sean Gabb (Director, Libertarian Alliance)
3) Keith Preston (Attackthesystem.com)
4) Jakub Jankowski (Student)
5) Oliver Wilson (Student)
Eliminating the hold that this kind of leftist groupthink and cultism has on much of the wider anarchist, libertarian and radical milieus is the principal task that needs to be achieved in order to develop a larger, more viable, and more effective revolutionary anarchist movement. Every radical movement needs its idealists, dreamers, and do-gooders, but this totalitarian humanist left-fascism of the kind the author describes is beyond pathetic. It is essentially a betrayal of the entire Western radical tradition of critical thinking, free inquiry, and open discourse. Socrates, Voltaire, John Stuart Mill, and Bertrand Russell would all be ashamed. This is why I have endeavored to introduce anarchists to systems of thought outside the usual leftist paradigm, ranging from Nietzsche and Stirner, to the European New Right to Rothbardian libertarianism to paleoconservatism to national-anarchism to right-wing populism to elite theory to critiques of the new class and the managerial revolution to free market anti-capitalism. Anarchists need to expand their range of thought and a wider pool of ideas to draw from.
The good news is that the left-fascists are in the process of falling apart due to their tendency to cannibalize each other during the course of the “who’s most oppressed?” pissing context and the persistent inquisitions. Scenes such as the one in this video represent both the pathetic nature of the present day “radical left” as well as why the totalitarian humanist left-fascist paradigm will eventually fade.
I’ve been a queer activist since I was 17. I grew up in a socially conservative rural town where people would shout homophobic slurs at me from the windows of their pickup trucks. My brushes with anti-gay hatred intimidated me, but they also lit a fire in me. In my last year of high school, I resolved to do whatever I could to make a change before I graduated and left town for good. I felt like I had a duty to help other queer kids who were too scared to come out or who had feelings of self-hatred. I gave an impassioned speech about tolerance at a school assembly, flyered every hallway and classroom, and started a group for LGBTQ students and allies.
Not long after, I was exposed to the ideas of Judith Butler, a bold and penetrating mix of third-wave feminism and queer theory. I saw truth in Butler’s radical perspective on gender, and it felt liberating. My lifelong discomfort with being put in a box — a binary gender category — was vindicated. This is when my passion for feminism began in earnest. I put a bumper sticker on my car that said “Well-Behaved Women Rarely Make History.” I bought a subscription to Bitch magazine. When it came time to graduate and move on to McGill, I eagerly enrolled in a class on feminist theory, as well as a class in Sexual Diversity Studies, the subject that would later become my minor.
My world only kept expanding from there. In Montreal, I was exposed to a greater diversity of people and perspectives than ever before. The same sort of transformation that had occurred in my mind about gender happened with race and disability. I learned about classism and capitalism. At Rad Frosh, a workshop by the high-profile activist Jaggi Singh gave me my first real introduction to anarchism. My first year at McGill was a whirlwind of new people and new revelations. More…
Apparently, it will be if Chris Hedges has his way. It’s interesting how hysteria over sex trafficking is slowly replacing the war on drugs as the dominant form of moral panic, and substantial sectors of liberalism and the Left are completely complicit or even leading the charge. Look for this issue to become a major crack in the PC coalition at some point in the future.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia—Prostitution is the quintessential expression of global capitalism. Our corporate masters are pimps. We are all being debased and degraded, rendered impoverished and powerless, to service the cruel and lascivious demands of the corporate elite. And when they tire of us, or when we are no longer of use, we are discarded as human refuse. If we accept prostitution as legal, as Germany has done, as permissible in a civil society, we will take one more collective step toward the global plantation being built by the powerful. The fight against prostitution is the fight against a dehumanizing neoliberalism that begins, but will not end, with the subjugation of impoverished girls and women.
Poverty is not an aphrodisiac. Those who sell their bodies for sex do so out of desperation. They often end up physically injured, with a variety of diseases and medical conditions, and suffering from severe emotional trauma. The left is made morally bankrupt by its failure to grasp that legal prostitution is another face of neoliberalism. Selling your body for sex is not a choice. It is not about freedom. It is an act of economic slavery.
A bit “inside baseball” – but there is some practical stuff here that interests me.
No – nobody I know regards 19th century Britain or the United States as libertarian. But we do look at the facts – for example the British government (local as well as central) was well under 10% of the economy around 1870 (just about the low point).
And those people who think that economies of scale (i.e. an individual or company employing thousands of people) on “state intervention” are just wrong, flat wrong (they do not know what they are talking about).
As for the United States – slavery can not be ignored and slavery (NOT capitalism) did depend on statism.
As Salmon P. Chase was fond of pointing out – slavery is actually a series of common law offenses (false imprisonment, assault and so on) “legalised” by state statutes and corrupt court judgement.
People in “Bleeding Kansas” (where the killing between the free and slave sides started long before Lincoln was elected President of the United States) knew the two social and legal systems could not live side by side – and that both sides wanted to expand into the West.
This does not mean that Lincoln’s tactics in the Civil War were any good (the North won because it was much bigger and more powerful – not because of his supposedly great leadership) – or that his Henry Clay Whig economic ideas were any good either.
Leaving slavery aside – could America have been a freer society in the 19th century? Of course it could – anything can be improved. More…
An interesting question that no one ever seems to ask is this: How is it that on one hand we are treated to a never ending series of hysterias over someone having said a bad word pertaining to race, gender, homosexuality, or some other inflammatory topic, and yet we continue to have the kind of police state and prison-industrial complex of the kind Michelle Alexander describes in the post adjacent to this one, and with its over the top racial disparities ? The only possible explanation is that as American society has become more liberal, culturally diverse, and socially and political integrated, the actual level of state repression and division between social classes has expanded.
American culture and politics are now more liberal than ever before. Middle class and elite members of traditional outgoups are now reasonably integrated into mainstream society, and even the political class itself. However, as this social and cultural integration has take place, and liberalization has occurred in the cultural realm, the actual level of state repression has exploded, and class divisions are the widest they have been in a century. On one hand a Victorian-like priggishness has developed concerning the expression of illiberal views about traditional outgroups, even casually, inadvertently or in a way that is contextually irrelevant. On the other hand, America’s traditional racial caste system has been resurrected under the cover of the so-called “criminal justice system.”
Unfortunately, the Right looks at this situation and sees only pampered and/or criminal minorities, and the Left sees only “straight white male privilege.”
On Monday, co-anchor anchor Wayne Dawson had been reporting the Oscars when Capel had said that she appreciated Lady Gaga’s Sound of Music tribute because it did not sound like her normal “jigaboo music.”
Some thoughts I originally posted in an online discussion concerning the various libertarian by-ways”
There’s a big rivalry right now between the paleolibertarians, left-libertarians and “mainstream” LP/Cato/Reason type libertarians.
The paleos and the leftists view the latter tendencies as establishment brown-nosers, and the mainstreamers view the radicals as utopians, sectarians, or tin foil hatters. The mainstreamers and the paleos views the leftists as communists, and mainstreamers and the leftists view the paleos as fascists.
The way the dynamics of opposition movements always play out is that they tend to split off into reformist and revolutionary camps, and socially conservative and libertine/bohemian/countercultural camps. The historic socialist movement was the same way. More…
There is no one whose cultural leftist credentials are more impeccable than Peter Tatchell. One question the “social justice warriors” never seem to be able to answer is exactly how much “social justice” do we need? Already, in most Western countries, people who express even the most casually controversial opinions about PC topics can be subject to termination of employment, harassment campaigns, removal from academic position, and, in some cases, bankruptcy through lawsuits. Increasingly, there are efforts to seize the children of people with un-PC views, and in some countries, you can go to jail for expressing views that are considered racist, xenophobic, homophobic, etc.? So what else do we need? Mass imprisonment? Concentration camps? Executions? “Social Justice” has merely become the Inquisition or Stalinism under another name. Nor is this even a left/right issue. The “social justice” fanatics will turn on their own as quickly as they will turn on anyone outside the Left, as the example Peter Tatchell of illustrates. Increasingly, hard left groups are not even able to hold public meetings without shouting matches or even physical altercations erupting between rival PC factions. So, again, how much “social justice” do we need?
Has there ever been a more petulant mob of moaners than that which is currently hurling abuse at Peter Tatchell? On Twitter, which is where these people live, self-styled queers and gender-benders are insulting and even threatening to kill Tatchell, the man whose risk-taking and street-fighting over 40-odd years helped to secure their liberation, to create a society in which they could live and speak freely. And how do they repay him? By tweeting their fantasises about him being murdered for being a ‘fucking parasite’.
On the 7th of January, three Islamic gunmen stormed the offices of left-wing satirical mag Charlie Hebdo, killing eleven staff members in the ensuing bullet shower. The magazine had previously made an international name for itself by printing the Mohammed cartoons of 2006, and continuing to satirise Islam on its pages after being firebombed in 2011. Prior to all that, the magazine had secured a decades-old niche as France’s answer to Private Eye.
The following Sunday, a legion of “leaders” came together in Paris to express their solidarity with those slain. Key figures from fifty of the world’s nations joined a substantial number of Parisians, taking to the streets to declare their fealty to the principle of free speech. Je suis Charlie, nous sommes le monde, and all that.
How I wish I’d been there amongst them – to spit on their fucking faces.
As things stand, I’ll settle for the next-best option: kindling the Inferno.
The American Conservative
Social media gives new muscle to German Marxist Herbert Marcuse’s arguments against free discourse.
Jonathan Chait burned up the Internet this week with his critique of so-called political correctness. Among many responses, Amanda Taub‘s stands out for its denial of Chait’s basic premise. According to Taub:
…there’s no such thing as “political correctness.” The term’s in wide use, certainly, but has no actual fixed or specific meaning. What defines it is not what it describes but how it’s used: as a way to dismiss a concern or demand as a frivolous grievance rather than a real issue.
By Sean Gabb
I did a quick discussion this morning on LBC Radio. The subject was whether smoking should be banned in open places. I pointed out that, bearing in mind how one of the open places in questions was beside a roundabout and car park, the suggestion had more to do with attacking smokers than the most extreme stretching of the harm-to-others principle. The health fascist then went into a self-righteous lecture about the alleged cost smokers place on the NHS. I gave my standard response to this – that, arguing on this principle, though not on mine, we should recriminalise gay sex.
All hell broke loose. The presenter stopped the discussion for a long PC rant about bigotry. He sounded scared.
I’m currently being bombed with hate mail from people who claim to have been made “physically sick” by what I said. Several tell me that I’ve been reported to the police for a homophobic hate crime.
A discussion of the views of Michael Enoch, Greg Johnson, and myself on “Cultural Marxism.”
Recently there has been some discussion about this thing called “Cultural Marxism,” and whether–or how–it exists or not. The discussion began with an article by Jason Wilson in Britain’s premier left-wing broadsheet the Guardian, titled “Cultural Marxism: a uniting theory for right wingers who love to play the victim,” to which Michael Enoch at The Right Stuff responded with “I Acknowledge That Cultural Marxism Exists,” with which alt-right stalwarts Keith Preston and Greg Johnson then seemingly concurred.
“The conspiracy theorists claim that these ‘cultural Marxists’ began to use insidious forms of psychological manipulation to upend the west. Then, when Nazism forced the (mostly Jewish) members of the Frankfurt School to move to America, they had, the story goes, a chance to undermine the culture and values that had sustained the world’s most powerful capitalist nation.”
Enoch, perhaps taking inspiration from his recent reading of Kevin MacDonald’s Culture of Critique, states that Cultural Marxism doesn’t need to be an actual conscious conspiracy. Here is the summing up of his argument:
“In the end the argument is just a semantic shell game used by leftists to avoid any discussion or criticism of actual ideas and policies and keep the debate focused on word games and obfuscation. Cultural Marxism is a useful and coherent label for a body of easily recognizable leftist theories and ideas concerning identity politics and oppression. We could just as easily call it Flying Spaghetti Marxism for all it matters though. What is important is the substance, which people like Wilson never actually want to discuss.”
Preston’s view, expressed in an article commenting on Enoch’s article, stresses the abandonment of Economic Marxism implicit in the term Cultural Marxism and explicit in the various causes that Cultural Marxism promotes:
“Lastly, PC and capitalism are not necessarily in conflict. Capitalism wants workers, consumers, investors, and new markets. This means operating among an ever greater number of demographics. It is therefore perfectly logical that capitalism would embrace anti-racism, feminism, gay rights, etc. They want to sell products to minorities, women, and gays, and hire them as workers and managers, not discriminate against them. (See Noam Chomsky’s comments on how big business supports anti-racism). I suspect the serious thinkers among the cultural Left realize this, which is part of the reason why they have softened their anti-capitalism in their old age. This also explains why the corporate class has mostly rolled over in the face of PC. Remember that Singapore (which the Left considers to be fascist, and which free market conservatives often hold up as a model) also has strict “hate speech” laws.”
Johnson, in a comment on Enoch’s article, follows a similar tack: More…