Softpanorama

Home Switchboard Unix Administration Red Hat TCP/IP Networks Neoliberalism Toxic Managers
May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Skepticism and critical thinking is not panacea, but can help to understand the world better

MSM censorship aka "controlling the narrative"

News Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Recommended Links Media as a weapon of mass deception Conspiracy theorists label as a subtle form of censorship Deception as an art form
Groupthink Disciplined Minds Belief-coercion in high demand cults Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism Conspiracy theory label as a subtle form of censorship Discrediting the opponent as favorite tactic of neoliberals
Neoliberal newspeak US and British media are servants of security apparatus British elite hypocrisy Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Anti Trump Hysteria Pathological Russophobia of the US elite
Corruption of the language Doublespeak Patterns of Propaganda Diplomacy by deception War propaganda Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle
Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Patterns of Propaganda Bullshit as MSM communication method Manipulation of the term "freedom of press" Identity politics as divide and conquer The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment
Color revolutions Co-opting of the Human Rights to embarrass governments who oppose neoliberalism Democracy as a universal opener for access to natural resources What's the Matter with Kansas Understanding Mayberry Machiavellians Lewis Powell Memo
Neo-fascism Nation under attack meme Nineteen Eighty-Four Manufactured consent Groupthink Big Uncle is Watching You
Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17? Ukraine: From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss Pussy Riot Provocation and "Deranged Pussy Worship Syndrome" MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ? Totalitarian Decisionism & Human Rights: The Re-emergence of Nazi Law
Soft propaganda Classic Papers Media Ownership Propaganda Quotes Humor Etc

The informational function of the media would be this to help us forget, to serve as the very agents and mechanism for our historical amnesia.

But in that cast of two features of postmodernism on which I have dwelt here -- the transformation of reality into images, the fragmentation of 'me' into a series of perpetual presents -- are bother extraordinary consolant with this process.

... We have seen that there is a way in which postmodernism replicates or reproduces -- reinforces -- the logic of consumer capitalism.

Frederic Jameson “Postmodernism and Consumer Society

"The truth is that the newspaper is not a place for information to be given, rather it is just hollow content, or more than that, a provoker of content. If it prints lies about atrocities, real atrocities are the result."

Karl Kraus, 1914

WAR IS PEACE. FREEDOM IS SLAVERY. IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

1984

We are the world, we are exceptional, we cannot fail. The elite will lie, and the people will pretend to believe them. Heck about 20 percent of the American public will believe almost anything if it is wrapped with the right prejudice and appeal to passion. Have a pleasant evening.

jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com, Feb 04, 2015

Journalists manipulate us in the interest of the Powerful. Do you also have the feeling, that you are often manipulated by the media and  lied to? Then you're like the majority of Germans. Previously it was considered as a "conspiracy theory". Now it revealed by an Insider, who tells us what is really happening under the hood.

The Journalist Udo Ulfkotte ashamed today that he spent 17 years in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. ...he reveals why opinion leaders produce tendentious reports and serve as the extended Arm of the NATO press office. ...the author also was admitted into the networks of American elite organizations, received in return for positive coverage in the US even a certificate of honorary citizenship.

In this book you will learn about industry lobby organisations. The author calls hundreds of names and looks behind the Scenes of those organizations, which exert bias into media, such as: Atlantic bridge, Trilateral Commission, the German Marshall Fund, American Council on Germany, American Academy, Aspen Institute, and the Institute for European politics. Also revealed are the intelligence backgrounds of those lobby groups, the methods and forms of propaganda and financing used, for example, by the US Embassy. Which funds  projects for the targeted influencing of public opinion in Germany 

...You realize how you are being manipulated - and you know from whom and why. At the end it becomes clear that diversity of opinion will now only be simulated. Because our "messages" are often pure brainwashing.

Gekaufte Journalisten - Medienwelt Enthüllungen Bücher - Kopp Verlag


Introduction

For purposes of this page, “censorship” includes:

In many respects, the media creates reality, so perhaps the most effective route toward changing reality runs through the media.  "Controlling the narrative" is the major form of neoliberal MSM war on reality. By providing "prepackaged" narrative for a particular world event and selectively suppressing alternative information channels that contraduct the official narrative, neoliberals control and channel emotions of people in the direction they want.  Often in the direction of yet another war for the expansion of the global neoliberal empire led from Washington, DC.

libezkova said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs...  January 29, 2017 at 08:31 AM  

Neoliberal MSM want to control the narrative. That's why "alternative facts" should be called an "alternative narrative". https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/06/09/controlling-the-narrative/?_r=0

Maybe this is the same kind of clinical detachment doctors have to cultivate, a way of distancing oneself from the subject, protecting yourself against a crippling empathy. I won’t say that writers or artists are more sensitive than other people, but it may be that they’re less able to handle their own emotions.

It may be that art, like drugs, is a way of dulling or controlling pain. Eloquently articulating a feeling is one way to avoid actually experiencing it.

Words are only symbols, noises or marks on paper, and turning the messy, ugly stuff of life into language renders it inert and manageable for the author, even as it intensifies it for the reader.

It’s a nerdy, sensitive kid’s way of turning suffering into something safely abstract, an object of contemplation.

I suspect most of the people who write all that furious invective on the Internet, professional polemicists and semiliterate commenters alike, are lashing out because they’ve been hurt — their sense of fairness or decency has been outraged, or they feel personally wounded or threatened.

It is hard to disagree with the notion which was put by several authors that American society is living  in a cocoon of illusion which conveniently isolates them from reality: entertainment and escapism infuse our society, economy, and political system with severe consequences. Among such authors are  Aldous Huxley. C. Wright Mills, Sheldon Wolin, Ralph Nader, Karl Polanyi, Jared Diamond, Paul Craig Roberts, Chris Hedge and several others. If we compare dystopias of Huxley and Orwell, and it clear that Huxley in his famous  New Brave World predicted the future much better:

"Huxley feared was that would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one... the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance."

The central idea here is that we now live as a society in which citizens become so distracted (and by extension detached) from reality that they lost any ability to influence their political or economic destiny. It is the same phenomenon that is described under the label of Inverted Totalitarism

This is one of the truly malevolent aspects of today's modern neoliberal world order and we need to confront it. It allows the old game of blaming the weak and the marginal, a staple of neo-fascist and despotic regimes; this illusion empower the dark undercurrents of sadism and violence in American society and deflect attention from the neoliberal financial vampires who have drained the blood of the country

"The tragedy is that we have become a screen culture, televisions, computers, phones, tablets, etc. Our electronic hallucinations have produced a society that has little time or patience for introspection or deep thinking. It reinforced my decision to maintain a television free life. For some, what Chris has to say may cut to close to the bone. But those with the courage to do so are usually the ones that care the most."

The biggest and most invisible elephant in the American psyche is this: our government has long since abandoned the goal of managing this nation as a nation. Instead, America as a nation is managed as a means to global empire.

For example the loss of the critical skills of literacy (seven million total illiterates, another 27 million unable to read well enough to complete a job application, and still another 50 million who read at a 4th-5th-grade level)  have led large part of the US population to become incapable of thinking for ourselves.

In fact they have become as malleable as children. 80% of U.S. families did not buy or read a single book in a year.  Despite technology and internet access we are becoming a society of functionally ignorant and illiterate people.

For example there is widespread illusion of inclusion. This is the illusion that we are or will be included among the fortunate few because misfortune happens only to those who deserve it. There are plenty of people who understand that the corporate model is one in which there are squeezers and those who are to be squeezed. So the illusion of inclusion provides what can be called "a plantation morality" that exalts the insiders and denigrates the outsiders. Those content with this arrangement obviously view themselves as insiders even when they work for companies that are actively shedding employees. Many of these people are happy to be making good money for digging graves for others, never stopping to wonder if maybe someday one of those graves might be their own.

One of the first recorded metaphors which explained this phenomenon of substitution of reality with  illusion was Plato's tale about cave dwellers, who thought the shadows on the wall were the actual reality. Illusion can also serve as a deliberate distraction, isolation layer that protects form unpleasant reality. The point is that now it is illusions that dominate American life; both for those that succumb to them, and for those that promote and sustains them. It is the use of illusions in the US  society that become  prevalent today, converting like into the cinema or theater, where primary goal is entertainment.

Modern MSM are driven by postmodernism which includes among other things substitution of reality with artificial reality, fragmentation of history and push for historical amnesia, decentering of subject and juxtaposition of opposites. But the key feature is controlling the narrative.

Controlling the narrative means control and deliberate selection of the issues which can be discussed

Controlling the narrative means control and deliberate selection of the issues which can be discussed (and by extension which are not)  in MSM. It represents real war on reality.  Non-stop, 24 by 7 character of modern media help with this greatly (The Unending Anxiety of an ICYMI World - NYTimes.com):

We used to receive media cyclically. Newspapers were published once (or sometimes twice) a day, magazines weekly or monthly. Nightly news was broadcast, well, each night. Television programs were broadcast on one of the major networks one night a week at a specific time, never to return until a rerun or syndication. Movies were shown first in theaters and on video much later (or, before the advent of VCRs, not until a revival). There were not many interstices, just discrete units — and a smaller number of them.

Now we’re in the midst of the streaming era, when the news industry distributes material on a 24-hour cycle, entire seasons of TV shows are dumped on viewers instantaneously, most movies are available at any time and the flow of the Internet and social media is ceaseless. We are nearly all interstitial space, with comparatively few singularities.

Media became out windows to the world and this window is broken. The notion of 'controlling the narrative' points to dirty games played by PR gurus and spin merchants with event coverage (especially foreign event coverage) to ensure the rule of elite.  A good part of the White House budget and resources is spent on controlling the narrative. Creation of the narrative and "talking points" for MSM is the task of State Department. With State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki, as a pretty telling "incarnation"  of the trend. 

And MSM are doing an exemplary job controlling the political narrative. This way they demonstrate their faithful service to the state and the ruling political class. Nowhere is more evident then in coverage of wars.

Only social media can smash the official version of events. And in some case that has happened. The USA MSM honchos are now scratching heads trying to understand  how to control their version of events despite Twitter, Facebook and other social networks.

On Ukraine, despite the most coordinated propaganda offensive of Western MSMs, the Western elite failed to fully control the narrative:  a sizable number of Europeans are still clinging to the notion that this story had two sides. You can see this trend from analysis of Guardian comments (The Guardian Presstitutes Slip Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment ). More importantly the EU political establishment has failed to maintain a central lie inside official narrative -- that the EU is benign and a force for good / peace / prosperity. EU elite has shown its ugly face supporting Ukrainian far right.

Another example were initially MSM totally controlled the narrative (the first two-three weeks) and then when the narrative start slipping away they need to silence the subject  Shooting down Malaysian flight MH17

The thing is, once you've lost control of the narrative, as happened with coverage MH17 tragedy, there's no way back. Once Western MSM lost it, no-one any longer believed  a word they said about the tragedy.

And little can be done to win back that credibility on the particular subject. Moreover, due to this Europeans are becoming more and more receptive of a drip of alternative media stories that completely destroy official EU narrative. They came from a multitude of little sources, including this site and they collectively  cements the loss of trust to the EU elite. 

More subtle nuances of controlling the narrative: the role of the scapegoat

 There also more subtle nuances of controlling the narrative. Actually controlling the narrative does not mean that you need to suppress all the negative news (like propagandists in the USSR often did -- leading to complete discreditation of official propaganda in minds of the USSR people -- it simply became the subject of jokes). As John V. Walsh noted:

There is a simple rule that is followed scrupulously by U.S. commentators of every stripe on world affairs and war – with a very few notable exceptions, Paul Craig Roberts and Pepe Escobar among them.

This rule allows strong criticism of the U.S. But major official adversaries of the U.S., Iran, Russia and China, must never, ever be presented as better than the US in any significant way. The US may be depicted as equally bad (or better) than these enemies, but never worse.

In other words, any strong criticism of the US presuppose scapegoating and vicious propaganda campaign against  major official adversaries of the US such as Russia. It  must never, ever be presented in a better light then the US in any significant way. In selected cases, the US may be depicted as equally bad, but never worse.

The most recent incarnation of this rule was during Hillary Clinton campaign for POTUS in 2016.

Chris Hedge book Empire of Illusion

Chis Hedge Empire of Illusion  is a penetrating analysis of this effort of "entertainment society" and converting everything including politics into entertainment. It was published in 2010. Hedges discuss  complex issues and a clear, succinct way. You might agree with him, you might disagree with him but you will enjoy his brilliant prose. 

Those who manipulate  from the shadows our lives are the agents, publicists, marketing departments, promoters, script writers, television and movie producers, advertisers, video technicians, photographers, bodyguards, wardrobe consultants, fitness trainers, pollsters, public announcers, and television news personalities who create the vast stage for the Empire of Illusion. They are the puppet masters. No one achieves celebrity status, without the approval of cultural enablers and intermediaries. The sole object is to hold attention and satisfy an audience. These techniques of theater leeched into politics, religion, education, literature, news, commerce, warfare, and even crime. It converts that society into wrestling ring mesh with the ongoing dramas on television, in movies, and in the news, where "real-life" stories, especially those involving celebrities, allow news reports to become mini-dramas complete with a star, a villain, a supporting cast, a good-looking host, and a neat, if often unexpected, conclusion (p. 15-16).

The first big achievement of Empire of Illusion was "glorification of war" after WWIII. As the veterans of WW II saw with great surprise their bitter, brutal wartime experience were skillfully transformed into an illusion, the mythic narrative of heroism and patriotic glory sold to the public by the Pentagon's public relations machine and Hollywood. The extreme brutality and meaninglessness of war could not compete against the power of the illusion, the fantasy of war as a ticket to glory, honor, and manhood. It was what the government and the military wanted to promote. It worked because it had the power to simulate experience for most viewers who were never at Iwo Jima or in a war. Few people understood that this illusion was a lie. p. 21-22.

Media evolved into branch of entertainment. He gives great insight on American society. Several chapters should be a required read for all sociology, film, journalism students, or government leaders. Much like Paul Craig Robert's How America Was Lost you might feel unplugged from the matrix after reading this book. This is the book that corporate America, as well as the neoliberal elite, do not want you to read. It's a scathing indictment against everything that's wrong with the system and those that continue to perpetuate the lie in the name of the almighty dollar. In a way the USA as the rest of the world are amusing itself into a post apocalyptic state, without an apocalypse. It is simply cannibalizing itself.

That books also contains succinct, and damning condemnation of globalization (and, specifically, the USA's role in it). You can compare it with Klein's 'Shock Doctrine', but it cuts a wider swath. 

The discussion the follows was by-and-large adapted from  D. Benor  Amazon review of the book

We consume countless lies daily, false promises that if we buy this brand or that product, if we vote for this candidate, we will be respected, envied, powerful, loved, and protected. The flamboyant lives of celebrities and the outrageous characters on television, movies,  and sensational talk shows are peddled to us, promising to fill up the emptiness in our own lives. Celebrity culture encourages everyone to think of themselves as potential celebrities, as possession unique if unacknowledged gifts. p. 26-7. Celebrity is the vehicle used by a corporate society to sell us these branded commodities, most of which we do not need. Celebrities humanize commercial commodities. They present the familiar and comforting face of the corporate state. p. 37.

Reporters, especially those on television, no longer ask whether the message is true but rather whether the pseudo-event worked or did not work as political theater for supporting particular (usually State Department in case of foreign events) talking points.  Pseudo-events are judged on how effectively we have been manipulated by illusion. Those events that appear real are relished and lauded. Those that fail to create a believable illusion are deemed failures. Truth is irrelevant. Those who succeed in politics, as in most of the culture, are those who create the most convincing fantasies. This is the real danger of pseudo-events and why pseudo-events are far more pernicious than stereotypes. They do not explain reality, as stereotypes attempt to, but replace reality. Pseudo-events redefines reality by the parameters set by their creators. These creators, who make massive profits selling illusions, have a vested interest in maintaining the power structures they control. p. 50-1.

A couple quotes: "When a nation becomes unmoored from reality, it retreats into a world of magic. Facts are accepted or discarded according to the dictates of a preordained cosmology. The search for truth becomes irrelevant." (p. 50) "The specialized dialect and narrow education of doctors, academics, economists, social scientists, military officers, investment bankers, and government bureaucrats keeps each sector locked in its narrow role. The overarching structure of the corporate state and the idea of the common good are irrelevant to specialists. They exist to make the system work, not to examine it." (p. 98) I could go on and on citing terrific passages.

The flight into illusion sweeps away the core values of the open society. It corrodes the ability to think for oneself, to draw independent conclusions, to express dissent when judgment and common sense tell you something is wrong, to be self-critical, to challenge authority, to grasp historical facts, to advocate for change, and to acknowledge that there are other views, different ways, and structures of being that are morally and socially acceptable. A populace deprived of the ability to separate lies from truth, that has become hostage to the fictional semblance of reality put forth by pseudo-events, is no longer capable of sustaining a free society.

Those who slip into this illusion ignore the signs of impending disaster. The physical degradation of the planet, the cruelty of global capitalism, the looming oil crisis, the collapse of financial markets, and the danger of overpopulation rarely impinge to prick the illusions that warp our consciousness. The words, images, stories, and phrases used to describe the world in pseudo-events have no relation to what is happening around us. The advances of technology and science, rather than obliterating the world of myth, have enhanced its power to deceive. We live in imaginary, virtual worlds created by corporations that profit from our deception. Products and experiences - indeed, experience as a product - offered up for sale, sanctified by celebrities, are mirages. They promise us a new personality. They promise us success and fame. They promise to mend our brokenness. p. 52-3.

We have all seen the growth of a culture of lies and deception in politics, banking, commerce and education. Hodges points out how this has been facilitated by our abandoning the teaching of values and analysis in our schools.

The flight from the humanities has become a flight from conscience. It has created an elite class of experts who seldom look beyond their tasks and disciplines to put what they do in a wider, social context. And by absenting themselves from the moral and social questions raised by the humanities, they have opted to serve a corporate structure that has destroyed the culture around them.

Our elites - the ones in Congress, the ones on Wall Street, and the ones being produced at prestigious universities and business schools - do not have the capacity to fix our financial mess. Indeed, they will make it worse. They have no concept, thanks to the educations they have received, of how to replace a failed system with a new one. They are petty, timid, and uncreative bureaucrats superbly trained to carry our systems management. They see only piecemeal solutions that will satisfy the corporate structure. Their entire focus is numbers, profits, and personal advancement. They lack a moral and intellectual core. They are as able to deny gravely ill people medical coverage to increase company profits as they are to use taxpayer dollars to peddle costly weapons systems to blood-soaked dictatorships. The human consequences never figure into their balance sheets. The democratic system, they believe, is a secondary product of the free market - which they slavishly serve. p. 111.

I quote Hodges at some length because of his cogent, clear summaries of the problems leading us to self-destruction and to ways we might someday restructure society to be supportive and healing to the individual - rather than exploiting people and viewing them only as valuable as they can be manipulated into being gullible consumers.

This is one of the clearest and best focused discussions I have seen on the problems of modern society that are leading us to societal suicide

Hedges points out how a cycle sustains itself between elite educational institutions (Harvard, Yale, Princeton, etc.), the Government (think Congress in particular) and Corporations. Ivy league schools basically turn-out lackeys that do whatever is necessary to maintain their elite, self-absorbed status. The last chapter is entitled, "The Illusion of America," and this is where Hedges does a fantastic job of pulling together all the elements of this dysfunctional society. Other books touch the same themes, sometimes more forcefully but in this book most important elements of this picture put together.

Among the booksHedges cites:

Gekaufte Journalisten by Udo Ulfkotte

The book Gekaufte Journalisten by Udo Ulfkotte was a revelation. Of cause, we suspected many things he  described, but nwo we know detailed methods and mechanisms of suppressing alterative opinion in German society, methods that are probably more effective that anything propagandists in the DDR adn the USSR ever attempted.  One of the central concept here is the concept of "Noble Lie".

Guardian became neoliberal as soon as Tony Blaire became Prime minister. As any neoliberal publication is subscribes to the notion of "noble lie". The latter actually came from neocons playbook.   No they knowingly try to dumb down their reader substituting important topic with celebrity gossip and hate speech. Even political issue now are "served" to the public as dishes under heavy sauce of personalities involved, which is a perfect way to obscure the subject and distract the readers.

geronimo -> MurkyFogsFutureLogs 14 Mar 2015 12:31
Indeed...

Under the retiring editor, all politics seems to have been reduced to 'identity' politics. Forget about class, war, class war and so on... If it can't be reduced to Hillary's gender or Putin's, er... transcendental evil... then it's barely worth a comment above the line.

As I've said before, for the Guardian 'the personal is the political' - or rather, for the Guardian as for Hillary, the political reduces to the personal.

A marriage made, not so much in heaven, but somewhere in political-fashionista North London.

In reality most prominent journalists are on tight leash of "'deep state". As Udo Ulfkotte book attests this is a rule, not an exception. While this was known since Operation Mockingbird  was revealed, nothing changed. As revealed by Senator Frank Church investigations (Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities) in 1975. In his Congress report published in 1976 the authors stated:

"The CIA currently maintains a network of several hundred foreign individuals around the world who provide intelligence for the CIA and at times attempt to influence opinion through the use of covert propaganda. These individuals provide the CIA with direct access to a large number of newspapers and periodicals, scores of press services and news agencies, radio and television stations, commercial book publishers, and other foreign media outlets."

According to the "Family Jewels" report, released by the National Security Archive on June 26, 2007, during the period from March 12, 1963, and June 15, 1963, the CIA installed telephone taps on two Washington-based news reporters. Church argued that misinforming the world cost American taxpayers an estimated $265 million a year.[20]

In February 1976, George H. W. Bush, the recently appointed Director of the CIA, announced a new policy:

"Effective immediately, the CIA will not enter into any paid or contract relationship with any full-time or part-time news correspondent accredited by any U.S. news service, newspaper, periodical, radio or television network or station." He added that the CIA would continue to "welcome" the voluntary, unpaid cooperation of journalists.[21]

But at this point only handlers and methods changed, not the policy. They are still all controlled by deep state. The most recent revelations of this fact were published by Udo Ulfkotte’s in his bestseller book  Bought Journalists. Here is one Amazon review of the book: 

Unicorns & Kittenson May 1, 2015

I've managed to read a bit of the German version ...
 
I've managed to read a bit of the German version and now I think I understand why this is still not available in English although it was supposed to be released in this and other languages seven months ago. I will be very surprised if this shocking and destabilizing book (which names names) is made available to Americans ... even though it's primarily about the abusive tactics of American intelligence agencies. Please keep asking why it isn't published - despite being a best-seller in Germany -- and how we can get it here on Kindle.

As one Amazon reviewer said "This book will change for ever the way you read and watch the mainstream media! " Here is some additional information from russia-insider:

... ... ...

Ironically, however, it’s likely that one of the biggest threats (especially in Europe) to Anglo-American media credibility about Ukraine and other issues is coming from a very old-fashioned medium – a book.

Udo Ulfkotte’s bestseller Bought Journalists has been a sensation in Germany since its publication last autumn. The journalist and former editor of one of Germany’s largest newspapers, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, revealed that he was for years secretly on the payroll of the CIA and was spinning the news to favour U.S. interests. Moreover he alleges that some major media are nothing more than propaganda outlets for international think-tanks, intelligence agencies, and corporate high-finance.

“We’re talking about puppets on a string,” he says, “journalists who write or say whatever their masters tell them to say or write. If you see how the mainstream media is reporting about the Ukraine conflict and if you know what’s really going on, you get the picture. The masters in the background are pushing for war with Russia and western journalists are putting on their helmets.” [8]

In another interview, Ulfkotte said:

“The German and American media tries to bring war to the people in Europe, to bring war to Russia. This is a point of no return, and I am going to stand up and say…it is not right what I have done in the past, to manipulate people, to make propaganda against Russia, and it is not right what my colleagues do, and have done in the past, because they are bribed to betray the people not only in Germany, all over Europe.” [9]

... ... ...

Apparently, Pomeranzev has forgotten that important October 2004 article by Ron Suskind published in the New York Times Magazine during the second war in Iraq (which, like the first, was based on a widely disseminated lie). Suskind quoted one of George W. Bush’s aides (probably Karl Rove): “The aide said that guys like me [journalists, writers, historians] were ‘in what we call the reality-based community,’ which he defined as people who ‘believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality…That’s not the way the world really works anymore,’ he continued. ‘We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality – judiciously, as you will – we’ll act again, creating other new realities which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do’.” [12]

It’s a rather succinct description of Orwellian spin and secrecy in a media-saturated Empire, where discerning the truth becomes ever more difficult.

That is why people believe someone like Udo Ulfkotte, who is physically ill, says he has only a few years left to live, and told an interviewer,

 “I am very fearful of a new war in Europe, and I don’t like to have this situation again, because war is never coming from itself, there is always people who push for war, and this is not only politicians, it is journalists too… We have betrayed our readers, just to push for war…I don’t want this anymore, I’m fed up with this propaganda. We live in a banana republic and not in a democratic country where we have press freedom…” [13]

Recently, as Mike Whitney has pointed out in CounterPunch (March 10), Germany’s newsmagazine Der Spiegel dared to challenge the fabrications of NATO’s top commander in Europe, General Philip Breedlove, for spreading “dangerous propaganda” that is misleading the public about Russian “troop advances” and making “flat-out inaccurate statements” about Russian aggression.

Whitney asks, “Why this sudden willingness to share the truth? It’s because they no longer support Washington’s policy, that’s why. No one in Europe wants the US to arm and train the Ukrainian army. No wants them to deploy 600 paratroopers to Kiev and increase U.S. logistical support. No one wants further escalation, because no wants a war with Russia. It’s that simple.” [14] Whitney argued that “the real purpose of the Spiegel piece is to warn Washington that EU leaders will not support a policy of military confrontation with Moscow.”

So now we know the reason for the timing of the April 15 U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, “Confronting Russia’s Weaponization of Information.” Literally while U.S. paratroopers were en route to Kiev, the hawks in Washington (and London) knew it was time to crank up the rhetoric. The three witnesses were most eager to oblige.


Top Visited
Switchboard
Latest
Past week
Past month

NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

[Aug 07, 2020] John Cleese- Woke People Have -Zero Sense Of Humour-; They're Killing Comedy -

Highly recommended!
"Yesterday, there was a Tzar and there were slaves. Today, there is no Tzar, but the slaves are still here. We have gone through the epoch when the masses were oppressed. We are now going through the epoch when the individual is to be oppressed in the name of the masses." ― Yevgeny Zamyatin, A Soviet Heretic
Aug 07, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Legendary British comedian John Cleese has hit out at permanently offended woke people, insisting that they have no sense of humour and are contributing to the death of comedy.

In an appearance on the Daily Beast's The Last Laugh Podcast, Cleese noted that woke people simply do not understand the intricacies of comedy.

"There's plenty of people who are PC now who have absolutely zero sense of humour. I would love to debate, in a friendly way, a couple of 'woke' people in front of an audience. And I think the first thing I would say is, please tell me a good 'woke' joke," Cleese urged.

"What they don't understand is that there's two types of teasing," Cleese continued, noting that "There's really nasty teasing, which is horrible, and we shouldn't do it, full stop. But the other type of teasing is affectionate. You can tease people hugely affectionately and it's a bonding mechanism."

"All humour is critical. You cannot get laughs out of perfect human beings," Cleese continued, adding that "If you've got someone up on the screen who is perfect, intelligent and kind and flexible and a good person, there's nothing funny about that. So we only laugh at people's frailties, but that's not cruel. You can laugh at people's frailties in very funny and generous ways."

https://embed.acast.com/last-laugh-daily-beast/johncleeseishopeless

Cleese was recently at the centre of a 'woke' storm when his Fawlty Towers show, made some 40 years ago was temporarily canceled after complaints that it featured a 'racist' character.

Cleese called the BBC "cowardly and gutless" for removing an episode of the show, pointing out that the racist character in question was the target of ridicule in the show.

Cleese has previously warned that political correctness will lead to the death of comedy, noting that "If you start to say we mustn't, we mustn't criticize or offend them then humor is gone. With humor goes a sense of proportion. And then as far as I'm concerned you're living in 1984."

After daring to question the diversity overlords, Cleese also recently found himself being labeled a 'racist'


Nunyadambizness , 3 hours ago

Cleese is absolutely spot on.

The vast majority of "woke" people have fallen subject to the Cultural Marxism that is political correctness, and frankly have the intellectual capacity of my shoe. Disagree? You're a racist/sexist/homophobe/islamophobe/ etc., etc., etc. One cannot debate ideas because if your idea is different then theirs, they cannot accept the fact that you have a different idea than the "woke" theology--same as Islam demands submission to their theology.

WorkingClassMan , 2 hours ago

The man IS a comedic genius. Even when he made fun of 'The Germans," he did it in such a unique and awesome way it even had this German-American laughing. He can get away with a Hitler skit--he's THAT good.

EvlTheCat , 2 hours ago

"Woke" in itself is a joke and a oxymoron, which if you know the definition makes it ironic also. Touches all bases John.

seryanhoj , 2 hours ago

Also a grammatical error. The chosen ones who may not be questioned, are awakened.

Clese is right . The " woke " have less sense of humour than the state dept. or the Pentagon or the NRA.

Anyone who tskes himself seriously is a threat. Fortunately even he will soon be dead and forgotten.

EvlTheCat , 1 hour ago

Mr. Fawlty will never be forgotten.

Simple past participle.

Bay Area Guy , 2 hours ago

I wonder what George Carlin would have to say about the situation today. I think he would say a lot of things similar to what Cleese has said. Carlin was most definitely a staunch liberal, but he also stood up for true free speech. I recall a skit he did that skewered feminists. Undoubtedly, they would try to silence him today.

I'm not sure a true wokester could ever tell a joke. They'd be deathly afraid of someone in their crowd taking it the wrong way and getting canceled. Besides, the concept of humor is totally foreign to them. When you spend your entire waking life (and probably your dream state as well) constantly finding things to be offended at and be outraged by, humor is going to go completely over their heads. My guess is the best joke in the world would be met with glassy eyes and the need to explain the joke which, of course, totally negates the value of the joke.

ZenoOfCitium , 2 hours ago

Here is a good woke joke for you: Woke people care about only their woke-selves, period!

Being "Woke" is being selfish. Being only interested in oneself. Being woke is believing only minorities can succeed without one's woke self interference.

Being woke is about protesting fascism, while demanding authoritarian and dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, as well as strong regimentation of society and of the economy.

El Chapo Read , 2 hours ago

The BBC executive staff transitioned into a chosenite-dominated lineup over the last 20 years.

They ruin everything.

gcjohns1971 , 2 hours ago

I love Cleese's work.

He demonstrated a particular talent for shredding the self-important imbeciles of the 1970s... but somehow became both self important and unwilling to shred crowds with whom he sympathized in the 1990's, 2000's and today.

Mores the pity. His work could have saved a generation. It is a tragedy.

The wokesters are like the terminator...but with sensitive ears that cannot withstand the slightest disagreement, much less criticism. Their motto is the reverse of the one we learned as children, "Words and verbs destroy my world, but sticks can never hurt me".

Cleese, there, could have been a weapon of mass comedy.

You can't really grow up until you can laugh at yourself. But the wokesters are coffee-shop commando's simmering in malevolent pike while eating soy and sipping coffee...but only of the poshest and most stylish blend.

GeezerGeek , 1 hour ago

Cleese is a little late to the party; plenty of others have already announced the death of comedy, particularly on campus. Comedy clubs still exist, but the PC crowd has limited the subjects about which one can tell jokes.

I wonder how the wokesters would treat Carlin if he was still alive. I doubt he'd be very kind to them.

simulkra , 3 hours ago

I read a book years ago, the thesis of which was that humour was closely related to inventiveness. It argued that both involved making connections between the apparently unrelated.

Ideologues, of the useful idiot variety, often do not have the capacity for humour, as they do not have the cognitive ability to think in the abstract and make these connections. Their inferiority drives them to attempt to reduce others to their level, by elevating the slogan's they have managed to learn by rote, to absolute importance. They are the sheep in Animal Farm.

Do not grace them with the moniker of 'woke', as they are sleepwalkers in someone else's dream. What we are seeing here is the media promotion of the idiot horde.

High Vigilante , 3 hours ago

Humour requires intelligence.

Doom88 , 3 hours ago

For the woke crowd comedy is no laughing matter.

Cognitive Dissonance , 2 hours ago

Humour requires intelligence.

Or at the very least perspective and self awareness, something categorically lacking in the so-called 'woke' crowd.

john doeberg , 3 hours ago

People with mental disorders ... can't be funny.

Their brains are fried.

Saddam Miser , 3 hours ago

Woke people have zero sense of anything because they're all closet schizos. Try talking to one. You would think you're talking to a completely psychopathic schizo.

[Aug 07, 2020] Real Time with Bill Maher- John Cleese on Political Incorrectness (HBO)

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Like George Carlin once said "political correctness is fascism disguised as politeness" ..."
"... "Almost nobody has any idea what they are talking about." That's the problem with this internet age giving every moron a voice. ..."
"... Social Justice Warriors = political correctness on steroids. ..."
"... "It starts off as a halfway decent idea and then it goes completely wrong" Sums up all this stupidity in the wake of the BLM protests. What started out as legitimate anger about the murder of an unarmed black man by a police officer has denigrated to people trying to cancel comedy shows from 20 years ago and bitching about "inappropriate language" and just ..."
"... Take any ethical position to its extreme and if it holds together it's good. - Kant. Liberalism taken to an extreme fails. Get a clue. ..."
"... I love how Cleese puts it. Fundamentalism does not just have to do with religion, or the far right. It is taking anything to an extreme. The same goes with political correctness. ..."
"... John Cleese outclasses Bill Maher by an absolutely massive margin ..."
"... Political correctness is another way of stating: " I want to make rules of tolerance that only apply to everyone else in society. But only don't apply to everyone on the same side as the group I'm with" ..."
"... Political correctness and Social Justice isn't about protecting minorities, or protecting the LGTBQ community etc, its about control and censoring through bullying. its about telling you how to think, and what you can say. Our Great Grandparents died to protect our right to think and speak freely, and to tell me how to think and speak, you are literally pissing on the graves of the people who died to protect that right, and THAT offends me. ..."
Aug 07, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Martin Macdonald , 1 year ago

'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners.' George Carlin

Jimmy Jenkinson , 1 year ago

Like George Carlin once said "political correctness is fascism disguised as politeness"

njaime70 , 1 year ago

I am Mexican and we joke badly about ourselves. These two guys are amazing.

bobbytookalook , 5 years ago

Cleese's huge laugh at the "religion of peace -- a piece of you here, a piece of you there" was wonderful -- he laughed so hard -- almost as though he'd never heard that before -- and perhaps he hadn't -- but he sure seemed to enjoy it, as did I!

elseptimo77 , 11 months ago

"The world wouldn't work without stupidity." ....was the lost and forgotten conversation.

Lord FRIEZA , 11 months ago (edited)

1:47 absolutely amazing. An elderly man swearing. That's pure comedic gold

M. Strain Jr. , 1 year ago

"Almost nobody has any idea what they are talking about." That's the problem with this internet age giving every moron a voice. Used to be that you had to have some kind of intelligence or talent to get recognition.

11Kralle , 1 year ago (edited)

How were the early protestants teased by the catholic hierarchy: "They read the bible as if it was true!"

harperjack99 , 1 year ago

"He threw the money lenders out of the temple" Clever John, clever.

Evi1M4chine , 5 years ago

Social Justice Warriors = political correctness on steroids.

Kevin Kibble , 1 month ago

"It starts off as a halfway decent idea and then it goes completely wrong" Sums up all this stupidity in the wake of the BLM protests. What started out as legitimate anger about the murder of an unarmed black man by a police officer has denigrated to people trying to cancel comedy shows from 20 years ago and bitching about "inappropriate language" and just

Chris Bonnett , 1 year ago

Take any ethical position to its extreme and if it holds together it's good. - Kant. Liberalism taken to an extreme fails. Get a clue.

Haftepaff , 5 years ago

I love these guys, the whole "political correctness" is an absurd illusion. In my country we love to make jokes about western countries and specifically our neighbors, but you will most certainly get arrested if you make joke about other nationalities, origin or "that" religion.

Marc Law , 5 months ago

PC is just a way of conditioning us into a controlled submission. Fack PC,an individual should be able to be themselves.

winterlandboy , 5 years ago

For John Cleese Fans.. If you've never seen an old 80,s film of his called "Clockwise" Please check it out. Small budget film By Handmade Fims which was in part George Harrison's company.. and very very funny FYI

Jyotsna Gokhale , 2 years ago

"...Stupidity, I've heard you're against it "!!!!! "Australians are so well balanced, because they've a chip on each shoulder"!!!!!! 3:30 "religion of piece - there's a piece of you over there, there's a piece of you over there, ..."!!!!

Michael Rogers , 1 year ago

Understand the following like you have understood nothing else before: (Maher and Cleese obviously had not at the time of this interview.)

'Political Correctness' is now a construct utilised almost exclusively to trivialise and dismiss anything that seeks to redress injustice, unfairness and the unequal distribution of wealth, power, and privilege.

Whatever the issue it will be dismissed as being only 'political correctness' and even common decency of courtesy are disparaged as 'political correctness gone mad' . It has also become at the same time a 'weasel' term used by cowards and bullies to avoid having to openly state that the have no care for the rights, concerns, feelings and well-being of others.

Look for how and by whom 'political correctness' is currently used and you will see what Maher, Cleese and posters commenting on this clip hve not and be less likely to be misled and duped.

MisterCharlton , 4 years ago

I love how Cleese puts it. Fundamentalism does not just have to do with religion, or the far right. It is taking anything to an extreme. The same goes with political correctness.

John Smith , 2 years ago (edited)

It's hard for rich liberal like Maher to be truly subversive against an Establishment they largely control.

AmerginMacEccit , 5 years ago

"Political incorrectness... Could we just bitch about that?"... And here I sense feminist hysteria storm coming Bill Maher's way. I definately prefer the British style. John Cleese was one of those people I looked up to and thought "I want to be like him when I grow up".

Crescendo , 1 year ago

John Cleese outclasses Bill Maher by an absolutely massive margin and Bill Maher is so full of himself he always thinks he's the smartest, most important person on the show. Bill Maher is embarassing to watch.

Bill Cleveland , 3 years ago

George Carlin - Political Correctness is Fascism pretending to be Manners..................

Gulzat Matisakova , 1 year ago

Despite loving Mr. Cleese, I want to point out that when you joke about oppressed group it becomes part of oppression. That's why joking about Mexicans in USA or Britain it is different than joking about Mexicans in Mexico by Mexicans. Context is everything

Robert McElwaine , 2 years ago (edited)

Cleese's logic here is irrefutable; and really shines a light on the incredible double standards that are prevalent in contemporary society. It's rewarding to know; watching this when he speaks about Jesus that there are religious academics, and representatives that see the wise satirical insight of; Life of Brian. If only we had a movie now that lampooned radical Isalm. Oh wait there is; its called; Four Lions.

clarence crawford , 5 years ago

If you read Fahrenheit 451...

Bill Cleveland , 3 years ago

Political correctness is another way of stating: "I not only want my piece of the cake to eat for myself, but I also want the whole cake to eat for myself too." Political correctness is another way of stating: " I want to make rules of tolerance that only apply to everyone else in society. But only don't apply to everyone on the same side as the group I'm with"

Ron Cooney , 5 years ago

Cleese is so spot-on about the madness of political correctness. Goebbels would have loved it, except this fascism is of the left, in the heads of "open-minded" liberals (so-called.)

lachazaroony , 1 month ago

Political correctness and Social Justice isn't about protecting minorities, or protecting the LGTBQ community etc, its about control and censoring through bullying. its about telling you how to think, and what you can say. Our Great Grandparents died to protect our right to think and speak freely, and to tell me how to think and speak, you are literally pissing on the graves of the people who died to protect that right, and THAT offends me.

Ben Jamin , 4 years ago

So annoying watching bill maher. He's so arrogant and conceited. He's always cutting in awkwardly to say some middle-of-the-road boring hum-drum to get an obligatory clap from his audience. Can't we just listen to the fantastic john cleese and not the wannabe political spokes-person?

Jim Coppersmith , 3 weeks ago

It seems to me thar racial tensions in particular or worse now than they Were before they shoved this whole political correctness thing down our gullets. And that statement goes back to before the Minneapolis police killed a man for using a counterfeit $20 bill(being black). Forcing political correctness on people doesn't work. You're not changing peoples ideas you're just suppressing them. When you suppress a persons ideas those ideas fester. When suppressed ideas fester they build up pressure and eventually explode. Instead of telling people what they can't say or do, we need to re-educate our people to except those that are different. Humor is a very good way of getting people to see how ignorant their ideas are.


v1e1r1g1e1
, 2 years ago

''Political correctness'' is for people who have achieved nothing, done nothing, and ARE nothing. It is their way of pretending to have power over REAL people. That's why celebrities and Hollywood actors love being PC so much.

Ozzy Bacchus , 4 years ago

Punching up or across is funny. Punching down isn't funny.

[Aug 07, 2020] John Cleese - Woke People Have -Zero Sense Of Humour

Highly recommended!
Radicals have never had a sense of humor. They are unbalanced. "In jest, there is truth". -- Roman proverb. Radicals has problems with truth. Therefore, they don't like humor.
See also John Cleese vs Extremism - YouTube
Notable quotes:
"... Monty Python was the pinnacle of contemporary comedy precisely because it drew attention to the absurdity of modern society and it pompous hypocrisy ..."
Aug 07, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

hooligan2009 , 2 hours ago

i saw a joke today

big female BLM supporter wearing a nappy mask that says "i can't breathe" on it

soccer mom says "well take the stupid mask off"

MartinG , 3 hours ago

How many Wokesters does it take to change a light bulb?

tardpill , 3 hours ago

the only one that can possibly change the bulb with it out being a racist privilege is not available because they are too busy burning **** down

DaBard51 , 2 hours ago

You forgot:

When nine hundred years old you become, look this good you will not.

<edit> whoever up-voted, my thanks. Shadow-banned, I am not, now, I see...

Roger Casement , 3 hours ago

They are the joke.

philipat , 2 hours ago

Yes, and that is why humor is so important, especially at the margin. Politicians, especially Democrat politicians, don't like comedy because it draws attention to the absurdity of most of what they do.

Monty Python was the pinnacle of contemporary comedy precisely because it drew attention to the absurdity of modern society and it pompous hypocrisy. It gave me more laughs more consistently than anything I have come across since. 'God speed John, you stay with what you believe and ***k the humorless wokesters who need to get a life and lighten up for their own sake and for that of all the rest of us!

45North1 , 2 hours ago

An Antifa member, a BLM'er and a Proud Boy go into a Bar.....

EvlTheCat , 2 hours ago

"Woke" in itself is a joke and a oxymoron, which if you know the definition makes it ironic also. Touches all bases John.

[Aug 05, 2020] What is racist and what is not

Notable quotes:
"... It is racist to characterize protests as violent or non-violent. It is racist to minimize black pain by trying to make people think about electoral effects. It is racist to be white and try to talk about the issue of black centered protests. It is racist to force black people to go through the emotional labor of trying to be non violent in these circumstances. It is racist to blame black people for the violence. It is racist to think that black people are being violent ..."
"... We should analyze this like we do rape culture: not only by the completed cancelations, but by the culture of protecting and encouraging the bad actors. ..."
Aug 05, 2020 | crookedtimber.org

Sebastian H 08.04.20 at 7:11 pm (188 )

Similarly with the Shor case, there doesn't seem to be very many people here willing to wrestle with the fact that a bunch of people argued that Shor was racist for tweeting out research about the efficacy of violent vs. non violent protests in the US, and that who got blamed for starting violence ends up shaping public opinion.

Why did so many people think that was racist? You won't wrestle with that so I have to and I'm almost certainly going to get yelled at for strawmanning. But the arguments (probably not all held by the same people at the same time) I've actually seen are along these lines:

It is racist to characterize protests as violent or non-violent.
It is racist to minimize black pain by trying to make people think about electoral effects.
It is racist to be white and try to talk about the issue of black centered protests.
It is racist to force black people to go through the emotional labor of trying to be non violent in these circumstances.
It is racist to blame black people for the violence.
It is racist to think that black people are being violent
.

So there appears to be a culture in which these arguments are considered coherent/valid responses to someone pointing to social science literature on the question of the efficacy of violence and non violence and on the importance of who gets seen as starting the violence. And that culture appears to be strong enough that an employer will be worried about racism by association on that basis.

This has essentially all of the tropes identified by Natalie Wynn. We have the quick presumption of guilt. We have multiple levels of abstraction to get to 'racism'. We have essentialism about Shor's whiteness (and depending on the argument about other people's whiteness), we have pseudo-moralism about the timing of the comments, we have the lack of forgiveness when he tried to apologize (which on some level is the most amazing, because he went through the ritual apology after doing no real wrong and still got slammed repeatedly), there is the transitive property of cancelation (with people suggesting his racism tainted his employer), and a heavy dose of dualism.

We should analyze this like we do rape culture: not only by the completed cancelations, but by the culture of protecting and encouraging the bad actors.

[Aug 04, 2020] Americans are socialized into learning to keep their mouth shut

Notable quotes:
"... Among Americans without a high school diploma, for example, 27 percent self-censor. Among Americans who completed high school, this goes up to 34 percent. And among those who have attended college for at least a few years, 45 percent do. This suggests that Americans are socialized into learning to keep their mouth shut: the longer you spend in the educational system, the more you learn that it is appropriate to express some views, but not others. ..."
"... The implicit claim is that the good people, or at least the people with good taste and good manners, will abuse the bad people out of power is the social media version of "The King's advisors are corrupt!" The political "analysis" which reduces everything to the personal malice of your enemies and their conspiracies and all we need to do is the same politics that says all we need is good Christian leaders, except the morally trivial difference of who "we" are deemed to be. ..."
"... using the immoral methods you advocate is actively immoral in itself. Like Heinlein in Starship Troopers arguing that the whipping post was actually fairer, you're arguing the social media equivalent of pillory and stocks are fairer! ..."
"... reducing the whole issue of the current reliance on moral scandals about individuals in lieu of any principled politics to nothing more than the personal pique of the privileged (who alleged power is as likely to be imaginary as real, incidentally,) by waving away the problems, this is exactly what you are endorsing. ..."
Aug 04, 2020 | crookedtimber.org

Musicismath 08.03.20 at 2:29 pm

I am sure that people restricting what they say because of a fear of ostracism is a thing that happens, but there's no reason to suppose that this is restricted to liberals, or more common among liberals

@147; @150: There is, apparently, some recent data on this. According to a survey conducted in 2019, a full 40% of Americans "don't feel free to speak their minds." (The corresponding figures were 48% in 2015, and 13% in 1954, at the height of McCarthyism. There are no figures for 2020.) Other relevant findings from that study: equal numbers of R and D voters feel unable to speak their minds; but uneasiness about speaking freely correlates most strongly with higher levels of education:

Among Americans without a high school diploma, for example, 27 percent self-censor. Among Americans who completed high school, this goes up to 34 percent. And among those who have attended college for at least a few years, 45 percent do. This suggests that Americans are socialized into learning to keep their mouth shut: the longer you spend in the educational system, the more you learn that it is appropriate to express some views, but not others.

This finding (if valid) would seem to vindicate the functionalist interpretation of self-censorship laid out by @150: that its purpose is to control the range of expression permissible within the college-educated, broadly liberal PMC.

The figure in the Persuasion piece suggests that it's based on a longer paper. If it's this one , then it's still a preprint. But, still: at least something to go on.

bob mcmanus 08.03.20 at 3:03 pm (
159
)

130 is as said before excellent and instructive

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/aug/03/taylor-swift-folklore-hardcore-pop-fans-abusing-critics-stan

I see this kind of thing multiple times every day. I suppose because these reviewers haven't yet been shot and killed, this isn't really "cancel culture," not serious, I'm making it up.

There is some strenuous gaslighting going on in this thread.

steven t johnson 08.03.20 at 2:01 pm (
157
)

Jerry Vinokurov@143 wrote: "I'm sorry, I genuinely do not understand what you mean to say here."

How curious Well then, to be blunt, defending "dragged on Twitter" is defending a storm of abuse as useful political speech, which is ridiculous. It's defending the storm of abuse by gamers of women, for one thing. Pretending it's not because those kind of people only want to pretend this kind of rotten politics is only a problem when people they perceive as "left" do it, doesn't change that. The same tactics used by the right too, for example, demonize Hilary Clinton for thirty years may not be called PC or cancel culture, but that's what it is.

The implicit claim is that the good people, or at least the people with good taste and good manners, will abuse the bad people out of power is the social media version of "The King's advisors are corrupt!" The political "analysis" which reduces everything to the personal malice of your enemies and their conspiracies and all we need to do is the same politics that says all we need is good Christian leaders, except the morally trivial difference of who "we" are deemed to be.

Moral reformation by abuse is not going to work. Frankly, the actual irrelevance of this to ownership of the country is one reason why it is allowed, a way to neuter real opposition. It prevents solidarity between the lowers, while fostering illusions about select masters. Wasn't there some guy who actually wrote about the Obama presidency under the title We Were Eight Years in Power?

And, by the way, if politics were simply just personal morality, then using the immoral methods you advocate is actively immoral in itself. Like Heinlein in Starship Troopers arguing that the whipping post was actually fairer, you're arguing the social media equivalent of pillory and stocks are fairer!

You think for some reason stuff like some guy pulling a Norwegian flag because somebody complained about a Confederate flag being displayed isn't a problem? Even worse, you really think pulling Confederate flags is a real solution to anything? You think a judge who ruled that Ashley Judd could sue Harvey Weinstein for retaliation and defamation (as in blacklisting her,) but couldn't sue him for employer harassment when she wasn't his employee should be purged from the judiciary? And that of course a judge should rule that Judd should be able to sue him for employer abuse when she wasn't employed by him because that will allow fishing expeditions into every employee's work history? You think the movie An Office and A Spy should be canceled but that doesn't make you an anti-Dreyfusard?

Probably the pretense is that none of this was intended. But reducing the whole issue of the current reliance on moral scandals about individuals in lieu of any principled politics to nothing more than the personal pique of the privileged (who alleged power is as likely to be imaginary as real, incidentally,) by waving away the problems, this is exactly what you are endorsing.

[Aug 04, 2020] This first person account by @SwipeWright of his academic cancelling is worth paying attention to. Reputational smears, job market sabotage, lies, etc. Brutal. Follow him for thoughtful insights and smart analysis of scientific subjects.

Notable quotes:
"... You're not allowed to criticise it. And therefore, if you offer even a fairly mild criticism, it really does sound strident, because it violates this expectation that religion is out of bounds. ..."
Aug 04, 2020 | threadreaderapp.com

Save as PDF My Authors

1/ What is cancel culture? A few months ago I was a postdoc at Penn State with an soon-expiring contract, job hunting for tenure track professorships.

Social and peer influences

Parental reports (on social media) of friend clusters exhibiting signs of gender dysphoria [1-4]
and increased exposure to social media/internet preceding a child’s announcement of a trans-
gender identity [1-2,9] raise the possibility of social and peer influences. In developmental psy-
chology research, impacts of peers and other social influences on an individual’s development
are sometimes described using the terms peer contagion and social contagion, respectively. The
use of "contagion" in this context is distinct from the term’s use in the study of infectious dis-
ease, and furthermore its use as an established academic concept throughout this article is not
meant in any way to characterize the developmental process, outcome, or behavior as a disease
or disease-like state, or to convey any value judgement. Social contagion [29] is the spread of
affect or behaviors through a population. Peer contagion, in particular, is the process where an
individual and peer mutually influence each other in a way that promotes emotions and behav-
iors that can potentially have negative effects on their development [30]. Peer contagion has
been associated with depressive symptoms, disordered eating, aggression, bullying, and drug
use [30-31]. Internalizing symptoms such as depression can be spread via the mechanisms of
co-rumination, which entails the repetitive discussion of problems, excessive reassurance seek-
ing (ERS), and negative feedback [30, 32-34]. Deviancy training, which was first described for
rule breaking, delinquency, and aggression, is the process whereby attitudes and behaviors asso-
ciated with problem behaviors are promoted with positive reinforcement by peers [35,36].

Peer contagion has been shown to be a factor in several aspects of eating disorders. There
are examples in the eating disorder and anorexia nervosa literature of how both internalizing
symptoms and behaviors have been shared and spread via peer influences [37-41] which may
have relevance to considerations of a rapid onset of gender dysphoria occurring in AY As.
Friendship cliques can set the norms for preoccupation with one’s body, one’s body image,

I posted the following tweet citing the well-known "social contagion" hypothesis forwarded by Dr Lisa Littman's work on ROGD. This first person account by @SwipeWright of his academic cancelling is worth paying attention to.

Reputational smears, job market sabotage, lies, etc. Brutal. Follow him for thoughtful insights and smart analysis of scientific subjects. Unroll available on Thread Reader

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=SoOppressed&dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-2&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=true&id=1281793002986336256&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fthreadreaderapp.com%2Fthread%2F1282404647160942598.html%3Frefreshed%3D1594769677&theme=light&widgetsVersion=223fc1c4%3A1596143124634&width=550px

While on the subject, I also recommend reading this thread from @SwipeWright on the topic of cancel culture and academia.

Colin Wright @SwipeWright 1/ The are several ways cancel culture erodes academia:

  1. Directly getting people fired for their heterodox views.
  2. Getting other academics to stay silent &/or avoid certain questions/topics out of fear.
  3. Causing heterodox students to avoid going into academia altogether.

As the following quote suggests that "woke ideology" is a secular religion"

"Yes, yes, I know," Dawkins interrupts. "I know. People say I'm shrill and strident."

Dawkins has a theory about this, which is very persuasive.

"We've all been brought up with the view that religion has some kind of special privileged status. You're not allowed to criticise it. And therefore, if you offer even a fairly mild criticism, it really does sound strident, because it violates this expectation that religion is out of bounds."

[Aug 04, 2020] Cancel culture is the overall environment, the habitus, the totality of 2010+ media and communication. We all can get ostracized and isolated at any time

Aug 04, 2020 | crookedtimber.org

There is some gaslighting by woke mob going on in this thread.


bob mcmanus 08.03.20 at 3:03 pm (
155
)

130 is as said before excellent and instructive

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/aug/03/taylor-swift-folklore-hardcore-pop-fans-abusing-critics-stan

I see this kind of thing multiple times every day. I suppose because these reviewers haven't yet been shot and killed, this isn't really "cancel culture," not serious, I'm making it up.

There is some strenuous gaslighting going on in this thread.

NickS 08.03.20 at 3:13 pm ( 156 )

The Natalie Wynn transcript is very good, and I hadn't seen that before. Thank you.

It's worth wrestling with a bit, because it has the advantage of not framing the question in terms of Free Speech. I think that the free speech framing often pushes people to draw bright lines that confuse rather than clarify the debate. For example, various statements that I've seen by Yascha Monk he tries to make a clear distinction between, "being dragged on twitter" (which is not a free speech concern, in his opinion) and suffering employment consequences. But that's a difficult distinction to maintain, and Natalie Wynn is, correctly, concerned about to problems of being harassed on twitter.

I read her essay as being less about, "see how this suppresses speech" and more about, "look at the way in which twitter encourages/amplifies/leans towards" bad arguments. That people are engaging in speech but are doing it badly because they are being lazy or careless, or just not inclined to see the people they're arguing with as persons.

Take these two passages (which I'm quoting in reverse order from which they appear in the original).

I recently read a book by Sarah Schulman called Conflict is Not Abuse: Overstating Harm, Community Responsibility and the Duty of Repair. Basically Schulman's argument is that, in various contexts from romantic relationships to community infighting to international politics, the overstatement of harm is used as a justification for cruelty and for escalating conflict.

... ... ...

bob mcmanus 08.03.20 at 3:25 pm (
157
)

Or this, 5 minutes later

https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/the-diversity-trap-jilani

"Just look at the case of Denise Young Smith. Young Smith spent almost two decades working her way up in Apple, becoming one of the few black people to ever reach its executive team. She was named vice president of diversity and inclusion

Then she uttered the sentence that really got her into trouble: "And I've often told people a story -- there can be 12 white blue-eyed blond men in a room and they are going to be diverse too because they're going to bring a different life experience and life perspective to the conversation," she noted.

Within a week, the uproar over her comments forced Young Smith to write an apology. A few weeks later, her departure from the company was announced. She was replaced by Christie Smith, a white woman."

Every day, many times a day. As far as I am concerned. Cancel culture is the overall environment, the habitus, the totality of 2010+ media and communication. We all can get ostracized and isolated at any time.

[Aug 04, 2020] Cancel culture and Maoism: cancel culture is the social media equivalent of the criticism/self-criticism sessions on campuses in the Cultural Revolution

Aug 04, 2020 | crookedtimber.org

steven t johnson 08.01.20 at 4:19 pm ( 93 )

Like PC, the term cancel culture is an effort by right-wingers to re-brand their own practices as something horrible when they are on the receiving end. As such, if cancel culture were honestly applied what they do, some of us would agree that it is a bad thing. Notably, everyone who has indignantly invoked their private property rights to delete comments, shriek about trolls, ban commenters or even refuse comments, has agreed, whether or not they concede the point, has agreed there is an active harm from it, even when it isn't rape/death threats to women.

The real problem is not just that things like presumption of guilt, guilt by association, etc. aren't moral. The real problem is they can't possibly do the job alleged. Causing mental agony to people, even "bad" people, isn't political reform. Not only is this kind of thing a diversion from politics, it is totally amenable to misuse, and everybody knows it. Making excuses for Biden while harping about Trump is hypocritical gossip, partisanship, not principle. Bill Cosby's accomplices got away scot free and Harvey Weinstein's stooges still have their cheating Oscars! I suppose one of the biggest triumphs of cancel culture is suppressing movies like the Gore Vidal biopic and the movie An Officer and a Spy. But what kinds of victories is joining the anti-Dreyfusards?

To put it another way, cancel culture is the social media equivalent of the criticism/self-criticism sessions on campuses in the Cultural Revolution. Except today's version lacks any changes in party/state personnel, lacks any significant redirection of resources to the people left behind, lacks any hint of fundamental political differences in the future of the country. This current iteration of this kind of "politics" is even more apt to disguise score settling or even puritanism. As near as I can tell, there isn't even a strong case to be made that "puritanism" as such was helpful even to the Puritan revolution, not like congregations paying their pastors.

And I don't think the pleasure of getting "our" own back on the reactionaries is enough to pay for giving up any moral condemnation of the injustice of such methods, any more than building clinics in the countryside in China was helped by criticism/self-criticism sessions.

One link: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/opendemocracyuk/exiting-vampire-castle/ The people outraged at this can be satisfied the miscreant reformed his brain later.

For those who favor cancel culture, here's a defense, in the particular case of Aristotle:
http://moufawad-paul.blogspot.com/2020/07/apparently-aristotle-is-in-danger-of.html There are a couple of funny things to this, notably the fact that Aristotle is already canceled as far as popular culture goes. For the SF fans here, consider Neal Stephenson's abuse of "Aristotle" in Anathem. Or the nearly universal assumption in popular discourse that Aristotle was an enemy of science. (See The Lagoon.)

Also, despite being a professional, our Maoist friend seems to think Aristotle was a major philosopher in ancient times, when as near as I can tell from reading Peter Adamson is that Aristotle's preeminence was a product of Arab/Persian/Central Asian culture, and hence not really a white thing at all. (And Black Athena, while documenting influence from Egypt, is incomplete, neglecting the cultural influences on the Greek cities of Ionia, which were more important originally than Athens.)

Andres 08.01.20 at 7:46 pm ( 95 )

I may have missed something after a cursory reading of the thread, but neither Chris B. nor any of the commenters have attempted to place strict definitional boundaries on "cancel culture" in order to make the debate more manageable. So not surprisingly we get a bunch of commenters who object to hypothetical extreme examples of the tendency that "cancel culture" is only a narrow subset of.

Some examples of the general tendency that I and most civilized people vehemently oppose:

–Damnatio memoriae (ancient Rome) and un-personhood (communist countries).
–Firing for political opinions held outside of the workplace.
–Hiring blacklisting based on political opinion.
–Death threats and other threats of violence against people with objectionable opinions. (Of course, if the objectionable individual was the first to issue such threats, then it is fully justified to issue retaliatory threats, action movie-style).
–Legalized segregation or physical exile targeting people with objectionable opinions.
–Last, definitely not least and most obviously, the actual genocide of groups based solely on their political opinions or actions (The legalized killing of individuals based on their actions is another matter).

These are what the critics of cancel culture such as Sebastian H seem to have in mind. But either they are projecting their own fears or they are dishonestly using straw men. What we've seen of "cancel culture" in the U.S. so far is:

–Attempts in public education to re-write false history, the Lost Cause most prominently.
–Pulling down statues and other memorials of people who should not have been "sainted" in the first place.
–Renaming of places/institutions named after either people who are very far from sainthood (e.g. Bragg and Hood of CSA Army infamy) or objectionable nicknames.
–Calls for boycotts of commercial products or franchises whose CEOs voice anti-democratic cultural or political opinions (e.g. ChickFila and homophobia).
–Along the same lines, the refusal to grant media platforms and public speaking engagements to individuals with such opinions.
–Refusal to allow blog comments from people with a past history of objectionable opinions (e.g., Chris B. rightly keeping Ralph Musgrave away from this comment thread).**
–Social ostracism that is either absolute (refusal to be physically near an objectionable person, especially if such a person has made inflammatory public comments) or more conditional (same refusal, but with the precondition that said person refused to be respectful or to consider other opinions in previous debate).

... ... ...

likbez 08.03.20 at 7:48 pm (
162
)

@Andres 08.01.20 at 7:46 pm (95)

Pulling down statues and other memorials of people who should not have been "sainted" in the first place.

And who are you to judge particular statue historical and cultural value? Re-writing of history was attempted in the past. And we know the results.

This is Red Guard mentality, pure and simple.

This farce of replaying Cultural revolution will do a great damage to the US society. Already did.

[Aug 03, 2020] Natalie Wynn also refers to Jo Freeman's 1976 piece on "Trashing," in which she describes her experience of being ostracized by fellow feminists for alleged ideological deviation. The dynamic of cancellation predates the internet.

Highly recommended!
Aug 03, 2020 | crookedtimber.org

oldster 08.03.20 at 1:17 am 141

Natalie Wynn also refers to Jo Freeman's 1976 piece on "Trashing," in which she describes her experience of being ostracized by fellow feminists for alleged ideological deviation. The dynamic of cancellation predates the internet.

(I don't know where a young you-tuber probably not born before the millennium encountered Shulamith Firestone's old partner in crime, but I am delighted that she did! I know it shows my age, but I think that young activists today could benefit a lot from reading what my generation's activists wrote. Also, from getting off my lawn.)

oldster 08.03.20 at 1:21 am ( 142 )

and I forgot the link:
https://www.jofreeman.com/joreen/trashing.htm

[Aug 03, 2020] KEEPING YOUR MOUTH SHUT by James L. Gibson & Joseph L. Sutherland

Highly recommended!
This is a shadow of USSR over the USA. Dead are biting from the grave.
Notable quotes:
"... Over the course of the period from the heyday of McCarthyism to the present, the percentage of the American people not feeling free to express their views has tripled. In 2019, fully four in ten Americans engaged in self-censorship. Our analyses of both over-time and cross-sectional variability provide several insights into why people keep their mouths shut. We find that: ..."
"... those possessing more resources (e.g., higher levels of education) report engaging in more self-censorship ..."
"... fully 40% of the American people today reported being less free to speak their minds than they used to. That so many Americans withhold their political views is remarkable -- and portentous. ..."
"... Self-censorship is defined as intentionally and voluntarily withholding information from others in [the] absence of formal obstacles ..."
Aug 03, 2020 | poseidon01.ssrn.com

Over the course of the period from the heyday of McCarthyism to the present, the percentage of the American people not feeling free to express their views has tripled. In 2019, fully four in ten Americans engaged in self-censorship. Our analyses of both over-time and cross-sectional variability provide several insights into why people keep their mouths shut. We find that:

(1) Levels of self-censorship are related to affective polarization among the mass public, but not via an "echo chamber" effect because greater polarization is associated with more self-censorship.

(2) Levels of mass political intolerance bear no relationship to self-censorship, either at the macro- or micro-levels.

(3) Those who perceive a more repressive government are only slightly more likely to engage in self-censorship. And

(4) those possessing more resources (e.g., higher levels of education) report engaging in more self-censorship .

Together, these findings suggest the conclusion that one's larger macro-environment has little to do with self-censorship. Instead, micro-environment sentiments -- such as worrying that expressing unpopular views will isolate and alienate people from their friends, family, and neighbors -- seem to drive self-censorship.

We conclude with a brief discussion of the significance of our findings for larger democracy theory and practice. Electronic copy available at: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3647099

There can be little doubt that Americans today are deeply divided on their values, many issue preferences, and their ideological and partisan attachments (e.g., Druckman and Levendusky 2019). Indeed, these divisions even extend to the question of whom -- or what kind of person -- their children should marry (Iyengar et al. 2019)!

A concomitant of these divisions is that political discourse has become coarse, abrasive, divisive, and intense. When it comes to politics today, it is increasingly likely that even an innocent but misspoken opinion will cause a kerfuffle to break out.

It therefore should not be surprising to find that a large segment of the American people engages in self-censorship when it comes of expressing their views.1 In a nationally representative survey we conducted in 2019 (see Appendix A), we asked a question about self-censorship that Samuel Stouffer (1955) first asked in 1954, with startling results: fully 40% of the American people today reported being less free to speak their minds than they used to. That so many Americans withhold their political views is remarkable -- and portentous.

... ... ...

===

1 Sharvit et al. put forth a useful definition of self-censorship (2018, 331): " Self-censorship is defined as intentionally and voluntarily withholding information from others in [the] absence of formal obstacles ." Studies of self-censorship have taken many forms, ranging from philosophical inquiries (e.g., Festenstein 2018) to studies of those withholding crucial evidence of human rights abuses (e.g., Bar-Tal 2017) to studies of self-censorship among racial minorities (e.g., Gibson 2012).

[Aug 03, 2020] Natalie Wynn link is an excellent discussion of the cancel culture that I see all the time.

Aug 03, 2020 | crookedtimber.org

Sebastian H 08.03.20 at 4:57 am

I 1000% recommend that Natalie Wynn link. It is an excellent discussion of the queer facebook/twitter/social media cancel culture that I see all the time. The discussion of the step to abstraction plus essentialism is especially good and totally applicable to most of the real cancelations (the step from 'here is research about violent vs. non-violent protests' to 'Shor is racist' is a classic).

I'm going to provide a lot of examples and I'll use the Wynn tropes. Not all of them have all of the tropes, but I think it is a true cultural issue, so I'm not sure you need all of them at the same time. One that I won't mention every time is the Transitive Property of Cancellation. But you should realize that it exists in every case where someone does something off the job, and the cancelers try to get them fired, because the logic is "your company is horribly tainted by have X as a worker". There are a few cases using words that are forbidden. I'm not going to type them outright only because I don't want to get dragged into the discussion of the appropriateness of using them directly when discussing them, third hand. However the appropriateness is important to the context (eg "dont call me a N!gg$%" or black artists who deliberately use it to be provacative)

Shor. I won't recite the fact but the link (along with some of the names that Quiggin wanted) is a good discussion of it. It exhibits problematic Presumption of Guilt, Abstraction, Essentialism

https://www.vox.com/2020/7/29/21340308/david-shor-omar-wasow-speech

Emmanuel Cafferty: power company worker fired because he allegedly gave the OK symbol which is allegedly a white power symbol. This very obviously Hispanic man in San Diego says he has no idea that the OK symbol is a white power symbol and that he was just cracking his knuckles. BTW the OK symbol thing is it's own area of insanity, where WP groups intentionally troll us to make us look like overreacting ninnies. It requires so much context to explain to the non-hyper-woke that it would be way easier to just never take the bait–because if you can strongly suggest someone is racist without it, just do so. If you can't it is definitely not worth it. Presumption of Guilt, Abstraction, Essentialism, Dualism

https://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/sdge-worker-fired-over-alleged-racist-gesture-says-he-was-cracking-knuckles/2347414/

Dominique Moran fired from Chipotle because she insisted on getting payment from a group of black men who specifically had had their cards declined only 2 days before, and who she had been warned that those specific men had "dine and dashed". She became an internet exemplar of racism so much so that her mother found out about it across the country. It wasn't until later that other internet sleuths demonstrated that Chipotle had been set up for an internet anti-racist mob. (Note that the company itself never figured that out on their own). Presumption of Guilt, Essentialism,

https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/25/us/false-racism-internet-mob-chipotle-video/index.html

Marlon Anderson was a [black] security guard at a Wisconsin high school. He was repeatedly taunted as being a N!gg$% by students. He told the students that they absolutely could not call him a N!gg$%. The students accused him of using the word N!gg$%, and he was fired for using racial slurs. The only good news is that this firing is so ridiculous that it has generated some serious pushback. (I could not however find out what happened). Presumption of Guilt, Abstraction, Pseudo-Moralism, No Forgiveness

https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2019/10/19/black-high-school-security-fired-after-telling-student-not-call-him-n-word/

... ... ...

Sarah Silverman fired from her movie because she appeared in blackface in her show from more than a decade before . The piece clearly indicates that white people take blackface too casually and that they are wrong to do so. Abstraction, Essentialism, Pseudo-Moralism, No Forgiveness, Dualism.

https://pagesix.com/2019/08/12/sarah-silverman-fired-from-new-movie-for-blackface-photo/

Israel Morales. Jewish restaurant attacked for being Nazi sympathizers because they didn't overreact to a patron wearing a shirt with the work "Luftwaffe" on it. The owner didn't believe it was as clear as the accuser said and tried to stop a confrontation in the restaurant. The most annoying part is the final paragraph "For its part, Kachka's owners says they fear the rumors could lead racists and neo-Nazis to assume the restaurant is a place that welcomes their views. "Our fear is that this misinformation could cause discriminatory groups to think Kachka is a safe haven, which it most certainly is not," Israel Morales wrote in a statement to Eater. "We would like to reiterate that we never kicked anyone out for speaking up, we had no idea what the symbol on the shirt meant, and if we had known, we would not have served him." Presumption of Guilt, Abstraction, Essentialism, Pseudo-Moralism, Dualism, Transitive Property (serving someone in a restaurant must mean you're a Nazi sympathizer).

https://www.thestranger.com/slog/2018/03/16/25923286/jewish-owned-eatery-in-portland-accused-of-nazi-sympathizing

Ahmad Daraldik accused of anti-Semitism for his comment "stupid jew thinks he is cool" which he posted in response to a photo which is now said to be staged of an Israeli soldier stepping on a child. Daraldik was TWELVE and living in the Palestinian territories at the time. This one is still very much in process as it was just reported in July of 2020. I presume he will not be actually removed from FSU. But it exhibits many of the cancel culture tropes. Abstraction, Essentialism, Pseudo-Moralism, No Forgiveness, Dualism.

https://www.thefire.org/city-of-aventura-demands-florida-state-universitys-administration-remove-student-senate-president-over-social-media-comments/

Neal Caren. UNC associate professor of sociology. Accused of creating an unsafe environment for students of color for asking a white student to role-play a black person in order to try to better understand racial issues. This was reported in early 2020 so it is too soon to tell where the investigation will go. Presumption of Guilt, Abstraction, Essentialism, Pseudo-Intellectualism, Dualism.

https://www.dailytarheel.com/article/2020/07/sociology-professor-racism-allegations-0707

Gary Garrels. Senior curator of painting and sculpture at the SF Museum of Modern Art. Museum employees sent a petition saying "Considering his lengthy tenure at this institution, we ask just how long have his toxic white supremacist beliefs regarding race and equity directed his position curating the content of the museum?" This apparently was in response to his statements that he wanted to increase diversity and "Don't worry, we will definitely still continue to collect white artists".

This may require a new trope of 'gross exaggeration', but I guess that is a Presumption of Guilt issue, Abstraction, Essentialism, Pseudo-Moralism, Dualism.

https://news.artnet.com/art-world/gary-garrels-departure-sfmoma-1893964

https://reason.com/2020/07/14/gary-garrels-san-francisco-museum-modern-art-racism/

Jonathan Friedland. Removed from Netflix for saying in a meeting that certain words were not OK to broadcast in comedy and specifically saying that the word N!gg$% was one of them (he said it aloud in the meeting).

This one might not be directly cancel culture in that there was no internet furor, but it exhibits many of the tropes so I included it. Essentialism, Dualism, No Forgiveness. It also took place on the job, so I understand that it is more of an edge case.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/jonathan-friedland-exits-netflix-1122675

Gordon Klein. Currently suspended from teaching at UCLA for the following response to an ask that exams be delayed for black students to allow participation in local BLM rallies (which continued every day for more than a month). He contributed a rather snarky response which I will copy here in full so that no one accuses me of hiding it. But not a firing/suspension offense.

Thanks for your suggestion in your email below that I give black students special treatment, given the tragedy in Minnesota. Do you know the names of the classmates that are black? How can I identify them since we've been having online classes only? Are there any students that may be of mixed parentage, such as half black-half Asian? What do you suggest I do with respect to them? A full concession or just half? Also, do you have any idea if any students are from Minneapolis? I assume that they probably are especially devastated as well. I am thinking that a white student from there might be possibly even more devastated by this, especially because some might think that they're racist even if they are not. My TA is from Minneapolis, so if you don't know, I can probably ask her. Can you guide me on how you think I should achieve a "no-harm" outcome since our sole course grade is from a final exam only? One last thing strikes me: Remember that MLK famously said that people should not be evaluated based on the "color of their skin." Do you think that your request would run afoul of MLK's admonition?

Thanks, G. Klein

He also noted elsewhere that "previously he had received a directive from his supervisor in the undergraduate Accounting program that instructors should only adjust final exam policies and protocols based on standard university practices regarding grading[:] {"If students ask for accommodations such as assignment delays or exam cancellations, I strongly encourage you to follow the normal procedures (accommodations from the CAE office, death/illness in the family, religious observance, etc.)."

Essentialism, Pseudo-Moralism, Transitive Property, Dualism

https://reason.com/2020/06/10/ucla-business-school-lecturer-placed-on-leave-for-e-mail-to-student-rejecting-request-for-exam-leniency-for-black-students/

Gibson's Bakery. Black Oberlin student detained for shoplifting, Oberlin school hierarchy involved in an attempt to portray the Bakery as racist. The good news is that school's behavior was terrible enough to cause them to lose a lawsuit over it. The bad news is that it was that terrible.

https://archive.vn/KUuHM

Kathleen Lowrey. Forced out of her job in the University of Alberta as undergraduate programs chair for what she believes are her views on gender. Shockingly the school won't even tell her who accused her or exactly of what.

https://nationalpost.com/news/university-of-alberta-loses-admin-role-over-views-on-gender

Niel Golightly. Boeing communication officer, resigned after pressure centering around a 33 year old article he wrote objecting to women in combat. He said that the dialogue around that article 33 years ago changed his mind on the issue. This one is interesting because it is in one of the few kinds of positions that I might believe off the job behavior could be relevant. But I tend to think that 33 year old articles (of fairly common positions for the time) might not be enough. Essentialism, No Forgiveness, Dualism.

https://nypost.com/2020/07/03/boeing-communications-boss-niel-golightly-resigns-over-article/

Iranian-Canadian atheist (raised Muslim) fired for being anti-Islamic in his personal facebook page rant against honor killings. "In response to these killings, Corey wrote 'F*** Islam. F*** honour killing. And f*** you if you believe in any of these barbaric stone age ideologies.'" The response after ordering him to take down the post (he complied) "Despite Corey's compliance, Wray responded "Your anti-Islamic social media post is in direct contradiction with Mulgrave School's and Canadian values. It is racist and highly offensive. As a result, I am immediately terminating any further relationship with you. You will no longer be allowed to [do business with our school] and you should not enter the school building under any circumstances.""

This report has been anonymized, so I understand if you want to take it as less demonstrative.

https://thepostmillennial.com/man-fired-for-speaking-out-against-honour-killings

Brian Leach was fired for sharing on Facebook a Billy Connolly sketch which colleagues complained was anti-Islamic.

It was from Connolly's "Religion is Over" stage act, and if you listen to it is just as hard on Christians as it is on Islam. It is essentially an atheistic rant. (The link has the clip)

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7174761/Grandfather-sacked-Asda-sharing-anti-Islamic-Billy-Connolly-sketch-Facebook.html

This discussion is on the bizarre article run by the Washington Post which got a woman of no public interest fired for wearing blackface to try to make fun of Megan Kelly's stupid comments about blackface. It has Abstraction, Essentialism, No Forgiveness, Transitive Property (via 3rd parties! this was apparently newsworthy because the person who threw the party that the costumed person showed up at also works at a newspaper!) and dualism.

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/06/why-did-the-washington-post-get-this-woman-fired.html

... ... ...

Sebastian H 08.03.20 at 5:09 am ( 146 )

I forgot to include the Vox accusations. They have a bunch of the tropes.

Emily VanDerWerff accuses Matt Yglesias of making her feel less safe at work as a trans person for signing the Harper's letter which she asserts contains "many dog whistles toward anti-trans positions".

Her definition of anti trans dog whistles is included at the link. It has huge Presumption of Guilt and Abstraction problems. She claims to not want any consequences for Yglesias, but if that is the case she shouldn't have used "feel less safe at work" which is less of a dog whistle and more of an alarm bell for Human Resources to immediately open an investigation into the (for cause) firing of someone.

https://twitter.com/emilyvdw/status/1280661254118322177

likbez 08.03.20 at 2:17 pm (154 )

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

@Sebastian H 08.03.20 at 4:57 am

Thanks. A good antidote from lunatic posts.

oldster 08.03.20 at 1:17 am (141 )

Natalie Wynn also refers to Jo Freeman's 1976 piece on "Trashing," in which she describes her experience of being ostracized by fellow feminists for alleged ideological deviation. The dynamic of cancellation predates the internet.

(I don't know where a young you-tuber probably not born before the millennium encountered Shulamith Firestone's old partner in crime, but I am delighted that she did! I know it shows my age, but I think that young activists today could benefit a lot from reading what my generation's activists wrote. Also, from getting off my lawn.)

kinnikinick 08.02.20 at 10:59 pm ( 134 )

From @130 oldster's Natalie Wynn link (good find!), I now have a description of "cancel culture" that satisfies me. YMMV.
I lifted these straight from Natalie's headings – they're mostly self-explanatory. The whole transcript is well worth reading; the back half has a nightmarish fractal-hall-of-mirrors quality that's a good illustration of what it describes.

Trope 1: Presumption of Guilt
Trope 2: Abstraction
Trope 3: Essentialism
Trope 4: Pseudo-Moralism or Pseudo-Intellectualism
Trope 5: No Forgiveness
Trope 6: The Transitive Property of Cancellation
Trope 7: Dualism

Donald 08.02.20 at 3:57 pm ( 129 )

For people who want data, here is the longest list of real or alleged cancel culture incidents that I have seen. 156 cases. Have fun analyzing.

I think the list has a mostly rightwing bias, so I didn't see Finkelstein or Salaita listed ( though maybe I missed it.)

For myself, I would have to look into them before judging, but of the handful that I know something about, some I agree are genuine cases of people being unfairly cancelled, and others I might possibly cancel myself. There are also gray areas.

I found the list via a piece by Cathy Young, but am too lazy to go back and link her piece.

Donald 08.02.20 at 3:58 pm ( 130 )

Darn it. I forgot the link.

https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1282404647160942598.html?refreshed=1594769677

[Aug 02, 2020] Purges is a mopping-up operation that is a product of media-activated mass psychosis that derives from the already existing witch hunts and purges that have going on for decades

Aug 02, 2020 | www.unz.com

fnn , says: August 1, 2020 at 3:40 pm GMT

This is a mopping-up operation that is a product of media-activated mass psychosis that derives from the already existing witch hunts and purges that have going on for decades. Moldbug is a Zionist ultra, but he explains it well:

It's actually not hard to explain the Brown Scare. Like all witch hunts, it's built on a conspiracy theory. The Red Scare was based on a conspiracy theory too, but at least it was a real conspiracy with real witches -- two of whom were my father's parents. (The nicest people on earth, as people. I like to think of them not as worshipping Stalin, but worshipping what they thought Stalin was.) Moreover, the Red Scare was a largely demotic or peasant phenomenon to which America's governing intellectual classes were, for obvious reasons, immune. Because power works and culture is downstream from politics -- real politics, at least -- the Red Scare soon faded into a joke.

As a mainstream conspiracy theory, fully in the institutional saddle, the Brown Scare is far greater and more terrifying. Unfortunately no central statistics are kept, but I wouldn't be surprised if every day in America, more racists, fascists and sexists are detected, purged and destroyed, than all the screenwriters who had to prosper under pseudonyms in the '50s. Indeed it's not an exaggeration to say that hundreds of thousands of Americans, perhaps even a million, are employed in one arm or another of this ideological apparatus. Cleaning it up will require a genuine cultural revolution -- or a cultural reaction, anyway. Hey, Americans, I'm ready whenever you are.

The logic of the witch hunter is simple. It has hardly changed since Matthew Hopkins' day. The first requirement is to invert the reality of power. Power at its most basic level is the power to harm or destroy other human beings. The obvious reality is that witch hunters gang up and destroy witches. Whereas witches are never, ever seen to gang up and destroy witch hunters. By this test alone, we can see that the conspiracy is imaginary (Brown Scare) rather than real (Red Scare).

Think about it. Obviously, if the witches had any power whatsoever, they wouldn't waste their time gallivanting around on broomsticks, fellating Satan and cursing cows with sour milk. They're getting burned right and left, for Christ's sake! Priorities! No, they'd turn the tables and lay some serious voodoo on the witch-hunters. In a country where anyone who speaks out against the witches is soon found dangling by his heels from an oak at midnight with his head shrunk to the size of a baseball, we won't see a lot of witch-hunting and we know there's a serious witch problem. In a country where witch-hunting is a stable and lucrative career, and also an amateur pastime enjoyed by millions of hobbyists on the weekend, we know there are no real witches worth a damn.

https://www.unqualified-reservations.org/2013/09/technology-communism-and-brown-scare/

[Aug 02, 2020] Cancel mob in the USA reenacts Stalin purges as a farce instead of tragegy

Aug 02, 2020 | crookedtimber.org

chrisare 07.30.20 at 9:20 am (no link)

I found this piece unconvincing.

"People can have their voices amplified or silenced by their wealth, connections or prestige but also by other speech which aims to deny them the right to participate on equal terms with others."

It's unclear if this refers to those at the receiving end of speech the author wants to prevent or the speaker deserving of canceling.

"As Jeremy Waldron has argued in his book The Harm in Hate Speech, racist speech aims not just at hurting the feelings of its victims or expressing a view but at reconstituting the public arena of democratic debate and argument so that some people are not seen as forming a proper part of it."

It is very dubious that most slurs "aim" to "reconstitute the public arena of democratic debate and argument so that some people are not seen as forming a proper part of it." Do you have any support for this theory?

"It says that those people are not a part of "us" and that their opinions and arguments have no place as we decide where our country should go."

It's not clear how a racial slur "says" any of this. Perhaps the author is reading subtext?

"Racist speech by some also legitimizes and emboldens racist speech and opinion by others, telling bigots that they are not alone, that others think as they do, and strengthens an ideal of exclusive community based on ethnic or racial lines."

On this point it's worth quoting Henry Louis Gates Jr: "Why would you entrust authority with enlarged powers of regulating the speech of unpopular minorities unless you were confident that unpopular minorities would be racists, not blacks?"

"Anti-racist speech, has the opposite effect, it affirms a view that those targeted by the racists, be they black, or Asian, or Muslim, are full members of the democratic political community in good standing with as good a right to a say as anyone.

"It also reinforces a social norm about what may not be said, telling those who are tempted to stigmatize migrants or minorities that they will pay a price for doing so."

It also creates a precedent for excluding views by shaming based on current sentiment. Only someone oblivious to history wouldn't see the danger in that precedent.

"The role that speech plays in defining who is and isn't included in our vision of democratic community can have powerful real-world consequence."

Who to include as part of your community is an important issue that should be discussed openly by all of society. What you're trying to do is to elevate advance your position without having to defend it.

"One way to understand the ease with which the victims of the Windrush scandal could lose their jobs, their homes, their liberty or be deported to far-away countries, is that in the public imaginary that is partly constituted by speech, many people did not see them as proper members with equal standing to others."

Were we to do away with everything that had a downside we would have very little good. Therefore arguing that something has potential downsides is not sufficient to establish that it's not good. Can you argue that free expression and debate by citizenry on the most important issues facing a democratic nation is not good, besides by arguing that there might be some cost?

"Racist speech is just one example that makes clear how the practice of open discussion isn't simply a matter of unfettered conversation among people who are already present but also involves choices about who gets to speak and involves sensitivity to the way that speech by some has the effect either of depriving others of a voice or of making it impossible for others to hear what they say. A society which is full of highly sexualized messages about women is also a society in which it is harder for women to get a hearing about sexual violence and income inequality. A society where trans people are the objects of constant ridicule, or are represented as dangerous, is one in which it is also more difficult for them to argue for their rights and have their interests taken seriously."

This implies that the intolerant are the powerful group capable of suppressing minorities with their speech alone. This is disproven by the very fact that anti-racist etc speech is so successful. The success of antiracist codes of social conduct is because the group exercising them is the powerful group. This very fact implies their obsolesce.

"Much of the pushback against cancel culture has come from prominent journalists and intellectuals who perceive every negative reaction from ordinary people on social media as an affront. Ironically, while being quick to take offence themselves they demand that those less powerful than they are should toughen up and not be such "snowflakes"."

This is an uninformed or dishonest characterization of the pushback against cancel culture. The pushback is due to intolerant enforcement of ideological conformity and homogeneity through threat to job and reputation. And no this is not only ideological conformity in that you can't say overtly racist things; it's ideological conformity in that you can't criticize BLM or cite scientific literature on biological differences between the sexes without risk.

"But if we take seriously the idea that speech can silence speech or make it unhearable, then a concern with whether the heckling of cancel culture makes it harder to say some things also has to take account of the fact that saying those very things can make it harder for other voices to be heard."

This piece hasn't given any reason to make us take seriously the idea that speech against one group can silence another, other then through threat to livelihood or reputation. It's not clear though how for example referencing scientific but currently unpopular claims, criticizing a social movement, having a narrower view on who should be considered a citizen or even using a slur silences people.

John Quiggin 07.30.20 at 10:17 am ( 7 )

An important problem is the conflation of public opprobrium actual sanctions like being fired. This is mainly a problem in the US because of employment at will. In most countries, unfair dismissal laws would protect people being sacked because of their political views, unless they related directly to job performance.
https://crookedtimber.org/2018/03/04/free-speech-unfair-dismissal-and-unions/

But the fact that the same example (David Shor) is cited every time the issue is raised suggests that losing your job for breaching left orthodoxy not a major problem in the US, or at least that other possible examples are much less sympathetic (racists fired from Fox, for example).

Mostly, AFAICT, being cancelled means having to read rude things said about you by lots of unimportant people on Twitter, as opposed to engaging in caustic, but civilised, debate with your peers in the pages of little magazines.

aepxc 07.30.20 at 12:11 pm (
10
)

The question is who decides? Most readers here would agree that "[a] society that refuses to tolerate speech like David Starkey's recent racist remarks about "damn blacks" and the slave trade is better for it", but of the world's ~8 bln people, I strongly suspect that most would believe that a society would be better off for refusing to tolerate speech about abortions and homosexuality. So do we decide democratically? Through the ethics of enlightened elites? An ever ongoing fight between the majority and the elite? Some other method? Perhaps we fracture into mini-societies, each with their own standards of "better off", which do not talk to one another?

From my perspective, there is thought and thought-like speech (anything without direct call to action) , which ought to be maximally tolerated for both ethical and practical reasons. Ethical because it dispenses with the requirement for absolute and inviolable knowledge (and disempowers people who would otherwise need to select and enforce "allowed" views. Practical because it encourages transparency (shutting racists up will not stop them from thinking racist thoughts), intellectual development (new ideas can emerge to challenge the existing wisdom) and rigor (having to often hear opposing viewpoints hones your understanding of your own). Not to say that such tolerance has no costs whatsoever (e.g. making it easier for racists to be racist in the short term, that you mention), but that the benefits of such tolerance outweigh the costs.

What cannot be limitlessly tolerated are actions and action-like speech. To use my own nationality as an example, I would have to fight back were a person to decide to try to kill all Russians. For action-like speech, I would also be against an unlimited freedom for a person to stand on the corner shouting "pick up a gun and go find a Russian to kill". But change the phrasing slightly to "all Russians are evil, sub-human scum, I wish none of them lived" and I would be hurt but okay with that, until and unless the speaker or their listener decided to try to act on the sentiment. Indeed, it would give me a heads up about which person (or people) to avoid. In a less extreme example, "shout that stupid Russian dow, how dare he try to even voice an opinion!" is action-like speech (therefore needs limits), while "I don't see the need to listen to Russians" is thought-like (and therefore better to be tolerated). The problem with modern cancel culture is that it often responds to thought-like speech with action-like speech.

Obviously, no one owes it to anyone else to listen to them. If you hear something you do not like, you should be free to close the door on that person and never again invite them into your company. But from my perspective it is an intellectually small and fragile mind that looks to exercise this freedom at a mass scale or anything other than a last resort. People who say stupid, hateful or offensive things are not examples to be emulated. This is exactly the reason not to join a crowd saying rude or offensive things back at them. Surely, we can form and promote communities of respect and diversity without needing to destroy communities that are exclusionary and hateful? If we are right about what makes communities better off, we will simply outcompete the latter, which will wither of their own accord.

[Aug 02, 2020] Cancel culture my ass by Roy Edroson

Aug 02, 2020 | edroso.substack.com

Examples given show quite clearly that "cancel mob" is an established form of the political struggle. And in this case the reasons behind the particular attack of the "cancel mob" is far from charitable.

Cancel culture my ass Justice for Brad Hamilton Roy Edroso Jul 14 38 30

You remember way back before social media and Thomas Chatterton Williams , when Phil Donahue lost his MSNBC show because he opposed the War in Iraq ? And the Dixie Chicks got the pre-Twitter equivalent of Twitter-mobbed for criticizing George W. Bush? ("Toby Keith famously joined the fray by performing in front of a backdrop that featured a gigantic image of Natalie Maines beside Saddam Hussein.") Ah, those carefree, pre-cancel-culture days!

Might's well also flash forward to 2001, NFL.com :

Mendenhall loses endorsement deal over bin Laden tweets

[Steelers running back] Rashard Mendenhall's candid tweets about Osama bin Laden's death and the 9/11 terror attacks cost him an endorsement deal.

NFL.com senior analyst Vic Carucci says Rashard Mendenhall has become an example of the risks that social media can present to outspoken pro athletes.

Athletic apparel manufacturer Champion announced Thursday that it had dropped the Pittsburgh Steelers running back after he questioned the celebrations of bid Laden's death and expressed his uncertainty over official accounts of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in New York, suburban Washington and Pennsylvania.

Things haven't gotten any better. I've already written about Springfield, Mass. police detective Florissa Fuentes, who got fired this year for reposting her niece's pro-Black Lives Matter Instagram photo. Fuentes is less like Donohue, the Chicks, and Mendenhall, though, and more like most of the people who get fired for speech in this country, in that she is not rich, and getting fired was for her a massive blow.

Speaking of Black Lives Matter, here's one from 2019 :

The controversy began after [Lisa] Durden's appearance [on Tucker Carlson], during which she defended the Black Lives Matter movement's decision to host a Memorial Day celebration in New York City to which only black people were invited. On the show, Durden's comments included, "You white people are angry because you couldn't use your white privilege card to get invited to the Black Lives Matter's all-black Memorial Day Celebration," and "We want to celebrate today. We don't want anybody going against us today."

Durden was then an adjunct professor at Essex County College, but not for long because sure enough, they fired her for what she said on the show. (Bet Carlson, a racist piece of shit , was delighted!) The college president defended her decision, saying she'd received "feedback from students, faculty and prospective students and their families expressing frustration, concern and even fear that the views expressed by a college employee (with influence over students) would negatively impact their experience on the campus..."

Sounds pretty snowflakey to me. I went looking in the works of the signatories of the famous Harper's letter against cancel culture for some sign that any of them had acknowledged Durden's case. Shockingly, such free speech warriors as Rod Dreher and Bret Stephens never dropped a word on it.

Dreher does come up in other free-speech-vs-employment cases, though -- for example, from 2017, Chronicle of Higher Education :

Tommy Curry, an associate professor of philosophy at Texas A&M University at College Station, about five years ago participated in a YouTube interview in which he discussed race and violence. Those remarks resurfaced in May in a column titled "When Is It OK to Kill Whites?" by Rod Dreher in The American Conservative.

Mr. Curry said of that piece that he wasn't advocating for violence and that his remarks had been taken out of context. He told The Chronicle that online threats had arrived in force shortly after that. Some were racial in nature.

At the same time the president of the university, Michael K. Young, issued a statement in which he appeared to rebuke the remarks made by Mr. Curry...

In his column on Curry , Dreher said, "I wonder what it is like to be a white student studying under Dr. Curry in his classroom?" Imagine worrying for the safety of white people at Texas Fucking A&M!

Curry got to keep his job, but only after he "issued a new statement apologizing for how his remarks had been received," the Chronicle reported:

"For those of you who considered my comments disparaging to certain types of scholarly work or in any way impinging upon the centrality of academic freedom at this university," [Curry] wrote, "I regret any contributions that I may have made to misunderstandings in this case, including to those whose work is contextualized by understanding the historical perspectives of events that have often been ignored."

Sound like show-trial stuff, doesn't it -- the kind of show-trial stuff Dreher is always claiming liberals are bringing to the United States . (Though he doesn't seem to mind when Vladimir Putin does it .) Yet I never heard him or any conservative lament this shameful episode.

Bottom line: Most of us who work for a living are at-will employees -- basically, the boss can fire us if they don't like the way we look at them or if they don't like what they discover we feel about the events of the day. There are some protections -- for example, if you and your work buddies are talking about work stuff and the boss gets mad, then that may be considered " concerted activity " and protected -- but as Lisa Guerin wrote at the nolo.com legal advice site, "political views aren't covered by [Civil Rights] laws and the laws of most states. This means employers are free to consider political views and affiliations in making job decisions."

Basically we employees have no free speech rights at all. But people like Stephens and Dreher and Megan McArdle who cry over how "the mob" is coming after them don't care about us. For window dressing, they'll glom onto rare cases where a non-rich, non-credentialed guy gets in trouble for allegedly racist behavior that he didn't really do -- Emmanuel Cafferty, it's your time to shine ! -- but their real concern isn't Cafferty's "free speech" or that of any other peon, it's their own miserable careers.

Because they know people are starting to talk back to them. It's not like back in the day when Peggy Noonan and George F. Will mounted their high horses and vomited their wisdom onto the rabble and maybe some balled-up Letters to the Editor might feebly come back at them but that was it. Now commoners can go viral! People making fun of Bari Weiss might reach as many people as Bari Weiss herself! The cancel culture criers may have wingnut welfare sinecures, cushy pundit gigs, and the respect of all the Right People, but they can't help but notice that when they glide out onto their balconies and emit their received opinions a lot of people -- mostly younger, and thoroughly hip that these worthies are apologists for the austerity debt servitude to which they've been condemned for life -- are not just coughing "bullshit" into their fists, but shouting it out loud.

This, the cancel culture criers cry, is the mob! It threatens civilization!

Yet they cannot force us to pay attention or buy their shitty opinions. The sound and smell of mockery disturbs their al fresco luncheons and weddings at the Arboretum . So they rush to their writing desks and prepare sternly-worded letters. Their colleagues will read and approve! Also, their editors and relatives! And maybe also some poor dumb kids who know so little of the world that they'll actually mistake these overpaid prats for victims and feel sorry for them.

Well, you've already heard what I think about it elsewhere: Protect workers' free speech rights for real, I say -- let them be as woke, as racist, or as obstreperous they wish off the clock and the boss can't squawk. The cancel culture criers won't go for that deal; in fact such a thing has never entered their minds -- free-speech is to protect their delicate sensibilities, not the livelihoods of people who work with their hands!

And in the new tradition of the working class asking for more rather than less of what they want, I'll go further: I give not one flaming fuck if these assholes suffocate under a barrage of rotten tomatoes, and I think Brad in Fast Times at Ridgemont High got a raw deal from All-American Burger and should be reinstated with full back pay: That customer deserved to have 100% of his ass kicked!

likbez 08.01.20 at 7:00 pm

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

@Jason Weidner 07.31.20 at 9:29 pm (73)

This is a brilliant response to the idea of "cancel culture": https://edroso.substack.com/p/cancel-culture-my-ass?fbclid=IwAR30mrg9sIVo6RqRbNDHGgNIcj2OgELyb9mg_mydF12a-5d5Ht6q9oCkWk4

Examples given show quite clearly that "cancel mob" is an established, albeit somewhat dirty, form of the political struggle. Often the reasons behind the particular attack of the "cancel mob" is far from charitable. Orwell's 1984 describes an extreme form of the same.

[Aug 02, 2020] "Racism quotient" and "exemplary cancellation" make me sound like taken directly from Orwell

Highly recommended!
there is a difference between Prudent speech and Free speech.
When punishment for voicing dissenting opinion includes physical assault it doesn't much matter how rare the actual instances of physical violence are
Notable quotes:
"... Of course, it is not (yet) possible to determine the exact racism quotient of each individual, so exemplary cancellations are the means of influencing individuals to modify their behaviour. I appreciate that "racism quotient" and "exemplary cancellation" make me sound like one of those right-wing Orwell cosplayers, but I can't think of a better way of putting it. ..."
Aug 02, 2020 | crookedtimber.org

Cancel culture, I suggest, matters most when our ability to access diverse opinion is curtailed as a result of speech policing, either by algorithms or individuals, especially in the run-up to an election. Self-censorship in universities is equally important. When Chomsky signed the Harper's letter, he reported he receive a great many letters of support from academics terrified of being cancelled.


rjk 08.01.20 at 10:44 am (
86
)

We're coming out of a certain kind of (neo-)liberal consensus in which politics was viewed as a mostly technocratic business of setting laws in the abstract. That perspective was sufficient to get some things right: many blatantly discriminatory laws have been repealed across the Western world over the last 70 years. But it turns out that racism and sexism don't require explicitly racist or sexist laws on the books: they can subvert neutral-seeming laws to their purposes, and can bias the behaviour of individuals and networks of individuals to the extent that widespread discrimination can continue...

The other strand focuses on the moral reform of white people. It proceeds from the assumption that the law has only a limited role in moral conduct, and that the evidence of the last 50 years is that removing explicitly racist legislation, and even legislating anti-racism (e.g. affirmative action) isn't enough to secure good outcomes. If your individual acts have the practical outcome of furthering or defending racist interests, then you are part of the problem. The demands here are much harder to define. Rather than focusing all attention on a specific reform that can be enacted in a single moment by an executive or legislature, attention is cast broadly across all actions occurring at all times by all people. Of course, it is not (yet) possible to determine the exact racism quotient of each individual, so exemplary cancellations are the means of influencing individuals to modify their behaviour. I appreciate that "racism quotient" and "exemplary cancellation" make me sound like one of those right-wing Orwell cosplayers, but I can't think of a better way of putting it.

All of this intersects with the modern reality of social media: things that "normal" people might be able to say in a bar or a cafe discussion with friends or colleagues are now part of the permanent public record, searchable and viewable by millions. Social media provides excellent tools both for taking things out of context and re-contextualising them. Secondly, "brands" or organisations are now direct participants, and can be subject to public pressure in much more visible ways than previously.

kinnikinick 07.31.20 at 3:36 pm ( 6 )

@49 Andres "fake populism as pandemics"

I'm a big fan of biological metaphors; they keep one humble about the inevitability of unintended consequences. The metaphor gets strained when it moves from external viral spread to internal immune response, though; in the former, we're assuming a team of informed medical professionals, seeing things from the "outside" with the authority implied by specialized and objective knowledge. I'm not sure who these people correspond to in the world we inhabit, where even the real doctors have trouble getting traction.
The internal immune response feels like a closer match, as surface protein markers are proxies for identity, microbes display "false flags" to avoid detection, and auto-immune and inflammatory responses often do more damage than the threats they're reacting to.
On both levels of metaphor, it seems clear that the structure of social media is explicitly designed to create and exploit "virality"; we need to rethink what this means for us.
More: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jun/29/social-distancing-social-media-facebook-misinformation

L2P 07.31.20 at 5:05 pm ( 67 )

" No one seems to reflect here that silencing people because of their politics is historically and usually the preserve of those with the power to silence – that is, conservatives. Be careful what you wish for."

And here we have the cancel culture "problem" in a nutshell. The complaint isn't that Musgrave lost a job or is literally forbidden to speak or even lacks reasonable ways to be heard. The complaint is that blog found him distasteful and doesn't want him commenting there. This isn't a right to speak issue, it's a demand to be heard issue.

Far worse things are done to BLM protesters. Being denied a blog posting? Try being denied the right to even assemble, and shot with tear gas and rubber bullets. That didn't stop me from protesting. Being denied a blog post and hearing some harsh criticism is nothing.

engels 07.31.20 at 5:37 pm ( 68 )

I broadly agree with the points about free speech in the post, and Waldron's arguments, but I don't think it's right to equate the debate about "cancel culture" with these issues.

John's understanding of it is even more dismissive (and imo off-target).

being cancelled means having to read rude things said about you by lots of unimportant people on Twitter, as opposed to engaging in caustic, but civilised, debate with your peers in the pages of little magazines

It seems to me cancel culture is both an ethos and a tactic. The ethos involves a zero tolerance approach to certain ethical transgressions (eg overt expressions of racism) and an absolute devaluation of people who commit them. The tactic is based around achieving cultural change by exerting collective pressure as consumers on managers of corporations (or corporation-like entities, like universities) to terminate transgressors, as a way of incentivising other emplpoyees to fall into line. It seems to me to be heavily shaped by and dependent on American neoliberalism as the ethos is both punitive and consumerist and the tactic is dependent on at-will employment and managers' deference to customer sentiment, and while most of its current "successes" have been broadly of the Left there's no reason to assume that will be the case in future. I think it does represent a weakening of liberal norms of freedom of discussion and I think Chomsky's right to be concerned.

ph 07.31.20 at 12:30 pm ( 63 )

Interesting discussion and OP.

There's nothing new about speech codes. Puritans and others refused to employ the Book of Common prayer demanded by the Act of Uniformity of 1662. Scolds and speech police can be found among agnostics, people of faith, and across the political spectrum. Nor is the common sense exercise of good judgement regarding when, or if, to suggest to a friend he, she, or they might like to lose a little weight, or to refrain from pointing out the questionable personal grooming habits of a colleague, client, superior, or family member.

Do I need to declare my beliefs and opinions on every topic freely in every forum. In my own case, no. And there's a big difference between being shunned and being imprisoned, or executed, for mocking the wrong text or monarch.

As I courtesy, I might well avoid broaching topics I'm aware may distress another. But that's a far cry from what's happening in modern old media. Bari Weiss evidently had her privileges to write and edit others freely severely curtailed. And, yes, I'm aware that she had cancellation issues of her own. But forcing James Bennett to resign, who put Ta-Nehisi Coates on the cover of the Atlantic, for permitting a US senator to publish an op-ed in the NYT?

We need a diverse set of values and beliefs, argues Henry, J. S. Mill, and others. The head of Google is just now trying to explain why "Washington Free Beacon, The Blaze, Townhall, The Daily Wire, PragerU, LifeNews, Project Veritas, Judicial Watch, The Resurgent, Breitbart, the Media Research Center, and CNSNews" somehow disappeared from the Google search engine. https://thefederalist.com/2020/07/29/google-ceo-dodges-question-on-blacklisting-of-conservative-websites/

Cancel culture, I suggest, matters most when our ability to access diverse opinion is curtailed as a result of speech policing, either by algorithms or individuals, especially in the run-up to an election. Self-censorship in universities is equally important. When Chomsky signed the Harper's letter, he reported he receive a great many letters of support from academics terrified of being cancelled.

When punishment for voicing dissenting opinion includes physical assault it doesn't much matter how rare the actual instances of physical violence are. I spoke with an American colleague employed this week who stated that any dating which is going on among staff and adults of one kind or another on campus is done in secrecy, if at all. Do Democrats feel that they're better off having thrown Al Franken under the bus?

Adhering to speech codes and surrendering to a tiny, highly vocal mob seems a very bad idea to me, and I suspect, many, many others. We don't quite know what to do with the screaming adolescents of varying ages, but we wish they'd stop yelling.

The good news is that we live in societies, for the most part, which permit the upset to act out freely. I wonder whether the folks currently trying to burn down the US federal courthouse in Portland believe their rights to privacy must be respected? The double-standards on display roil what should be reasonable debate. It should be possible to disagree civilly with anyone.

Trying to get someone fired, or shunned, for any reason, is about the saddest waste of energy and time I can imagine – I mean, talk about a poverty of imagination. It's happened to me here on occasion. When the pitchforks come out, I know my opponents 'got nothing.' That's small solace, however, when watching those I'd prefer to respect do their best to stifle debate.

Relative to other nations, we enjoy liberties others can only dream of. These liberties are worth protecting. I'm not sure we're doing such a good job.

[Aug 02, 2020] 'Cultural Marxism' isn't political Marxism. It is a method a tool if you wish used by the oligarchs who wield true power to 'divide and rule' (not least by deflecting attention from the yawning gulf that lies between their own excesses and monstrous wealth on the one hand, and the increasing indigence of the great mass of people on the other)

Highly recommended!
Aug 02, 2020 | www.unz.com

GeeBee , says: August 1, 2020 at 7:42 am GMT

The government will eventually be Marxist

With all due respect, you – like the great majority of people – fail to understand the dynamics involved. 'Cultural Marxism' isn't political Marxism. It is a method – a tool if you wish – used by the oligarchs who wield true power to 'divide and rule' (not least by deflecting attention from the yawning gulf that lies between their own excesses and monstrous wealth on the one hand, and the increasing indigence of the great mass of people on the other). It is called 'Cultural Marxism' purely because it uses Marx's technique of dividing society into a small clique of 'oppressors' and 'the masses' who are 'oppressed'. Marx, of course, had the capitalists in mind when he wrote of the oppressors, and the proletariat naturally were the oppressed.

Today, the last thing the oligarchs desire is a unified and organised proletariat with 'agency': that would constitute a serious threat to their existence. Instead, they divide the sacred role of 'the oppressed' into a multitude of more or less fissiparous groups, whom we are all aware of, but of which those comprising 'BAME' are perhaps the most useful. Others include feminists (more or less all young women in today's world), homos, those suffering from sexual dysphoria (that's 'trannies' in today's 'Newspeak') and the disabled.

These groups will never discover any common ground between themselves, and thus will fight among themselves for the scraps thrown from the oligarchs' table. No danger there, and that's just how they planned it. As for the 'oppressors', there are no prizes for guessing that they are White, heterosexual (i.e. normal) males.

So much for your fear of actual Marxism. As for 'the government', it is important to understand that no government in today's West is invested with any meaningful power. Not only are they not 'sovereign' but they are little more than puppets, dancing to their masters' dismal tunes.

Who are these oligarchs – these Masters of the Universe? That's a story for another day. But you won't go far wrong if you place the word 'oligarchs' in triple parentheses

[Aug 01, 2020] Everyone working in academia, the non-profit sector, and journalism is aware that there are many ideas broadly held which people hesitate to say because they are worried a group of their strident colleagues will try to destroy their career

Highly recommended!
Free speech is not a dimmer switch, its on or its off – you can’t have it both ways. Cancel culture is a reincarnation of Stalinist purges, or McCarthyism.
Notable quotes:
"... The sort of "lose your job for engaging in speech" thing happens in other contexts, too. Companies routinely censor their employees' speech in ways small and large, and this includes completely non-political speech about purely technical matters. ..."
"... the government severely punishes employers whose employees speak in ways the government/the identity politics left (they are working together here) dislike, and so effectively outsources speech regulation to employers. ..."
"... The concern about cancel culture is in my observation largely driven by this dynamic: the frequent tagline right-leaning speech is violence, while left-leaning violence is speech" reflects the fact that getting some particular approach to a topic defined as "discrimination" ..."
"... Think about Rebecca Long-Bailey's recent demotion from the Labour shadow cabinet over a tweet she made. Last month, she retweeted a newspaper interview with prominent Labour-supporting actress Maxine Peake, calling her an "absolute diamond." The interview included an inaccurate claim from Peake ( based apparently on information in a Morning Star article, and which Peake subsequently withdrew when she was challenged on it) that the specific knee restraint used on George Floyd had been taught to Mineapolis police by Israeli secret police consultants. ..."
"... Long-Bailey lost the Shadow Education role, and her political career is likely over, ostensibly on the basis of this one tweet. ..."
"... The RLB case also throws a spotlight on language. The various rationales for cancelling listed in the OP -- racism, transphobia, or (in this case) antisemitism -- are rarely clear-cut in real-world instances ..."
"... This, I would suggest, is also related to power. The purpose of an accusation like this is to demonstrate the power or dominance of the cancelling agent, and to intimidate others by example. ..."
"... These concepts are capable of apparently endless linguistic elasticity. Indeed, it's when they're at their most extended or diffuse, that these grounds for cancellation seem to have the most signifying power. ..."
"... Everyone working in academia, the non-profit sector, and journalism is aware that there are many ideas broadly held which people hesitate to say because they are worried a group of their strident colleagues will try to destroy their career ..."
"... it is unquestionable that "canceling from the left" is a bigger threat from the right. ..."
"... Remember that the academic institutions in which controversies about 'cancel culture' exist are bourgeois institutions, pretty much like corporations. It is a world of authority, hierarchy, and carefully controlled behavior. ..."
"... As the power and prestige of the bourgeoisie shrink, the inmates of that particular cage will fight more fiercely for what's left. One way of fighting is to get someone's job by turning up something disreputable, such as the use of an apparently racist epithet. ..."
"... It seems to me that "cancel culture" is based on the infosphere's equivalent of the technological progress that now allows a small group of determined people with AK-47s to render a region ungovernable. ..."
"... The arms dealers don't care – they sell to everyone, and the more ammunition they sell, the more you'll need. ..."
"... Whether justified or not, a significant minority of Americans, across multiple lines, are fearful that their political opinions could endanger their jobs; this suggests the problem might be more than just people getting "bent-out-of-shape that they can't be raging bigots" . ..."
"... Purveyors of what-aboutery will probably appreciate that Steve Salita now makes a living as a bus driver ; I have no reason to think that the Harpers Letter signers (even Bari Weiss) would regard that situation as any more just than other examples. ..."
"... My position on this is that individuals shouldn't face public opprobrium unless there is 1) Clear and convincing evidence they are motivated by fundamentally malicious ends and 2) They have no remorse about it. Even when these conditions are met the opprobrium they receive should be clearly proportional to the wrong they've committed. We should relax these rules somewhat for celebrities, and a great deal for politicians, who have implicitly agreed to face criticism as a consequence of their role. ..."
"... In that testing sense, cancel culture can be seen as a type of supplementary social defense mechanism compared to the standard immune system response of trying to prove the political cult wrong in the eyes of unbiased observers; in too many historical cases, the immune response is weakened by factors such as adverse economic or geopolitical circumstances (e.g., a lost war) ..."
"... Cancel culture then works as (a) tracking and removal in the form of boycotts and ostracism, in that the infected cells(individuals) are removed from positions of influence, and (b) as a type of lockdown measure (censorship) that is warranted when the infected individual is transmitting patently false versions of current events or past history, and is starting to infect others around him. ..."
"... As to Peter's argument that cancel culture disfigures the left, I would add that the only cases where the radical left has seized power took place in the brutal aftermath of right-wing pandemics: e.g. the hyper-nationalism that led Germany and Russia among others to war in 1914, or KMT/warlord attempts to violently and brutally suppress peasant demands in the case of China. In such situations, it is no surprise that the radical left becomes infected with political cultism. ..."
"... Between those two positions there's a large space where people get harassed, threatened, ostracised and silenced for minor slips, reasonable disagreements, details that were lost in translation and failures to recite the correct thought-terminating cliches with sufficient conviction – basically, things that don't threaten anyone else's ability to speak. ..."
Aug 01, 2020 | crookedtimber.org

J-D 07.30.20 at 9:16 am

When I read this, I got the idea that there'd been a related discussion here at Crooked Timber before, and indeed there was!

https://crookedtimber.org/2016/08/27/the-university-of-chicago-is-nothing-more-and-nothing-less-than-a-complex-of-safe-spaces/


Tim H. 07.30.20 at 11:21 am ( 8 )

Racism from my perspective, looks like an unwillingness to evaluate people on an individual basis, whether it's from sloth, contempt or disability and it's a terrible look for an intellectual.

CHETAN R MURTHY 07.30.20 at 1:08 pm ( 11 )

JQ @ 1: The sort of "lose your job for engaging in speech" thing happens in other contexts, too. Companies routinely censor their employees' speech in ways small and large, and this includes completely non-political speech about purely technical matters.

I know of a case where a famous chip designer got up at a conference and said "none of you people talking about Itanium [Intel's ia64 chip that was the future of microprocessors once upon a time] actually think it's going to succeed -- why don't any of you admit it?"

Within moments he was covered in PR and lawyers basically taping his mouth shut. When I worked in global enterprise IT, I didn't post blog comments (neither political nor technical) b/c it was clear that there would always be the possibility of career repercussions for making statements that would have post-hoc repercussions

Companies censor their employees speech before-and-after-the-fact for lots of reasons, sometimes political. This is a fact of life, and you're very right to point out that if people actually cared about this [as opposed to getting bent-out-of-shape that they can't be raging bigots] they'd support strong unions.

SamChevre 07.30.20 at 1:25 pm ( 13 )

This is mainly a problem in the US because of employment at will.

Employment at will may contribute, but a larger part of the problem is that the US laws around free speech are odd. Technically, the government cannot regulate speech at all (with very limited exceptions, not relevant here.) In practice, though, what has happened (via so-called "antidiscrimination" law) is that the government severely punishes employers whose employees speak in ways the government/the identity politics left (they are working together here) dislike, and so effectively outsources speech regulation to employers.

The concern about cancel culture is in my observation largely driven by this dynamic: the frequent tagline right-leaning speech is violence, while left-leaning violence is speech" reflects the fact that getting some particular approach to a topic defined as "discrimination" means that it is severely punished by government, at second-hand.

Musicismath 07.30.20 at 1:42 pm (16 )

One thing that might be useful is distinguishing "cancel culture" as a phenomenon from cancellation more narrowly defined as a tactic . So many of the discussions I've seen recently about the issue seem content to operate at the big-picture level, asking whether such a thing as cancel culture even exists (the New Statesman approach) or (if it does) whether it's a good thing or a bad thing. Focussing in on actual cases, and thinking about who (precisely) benefits from individual instances, might instead help us think about the specific function of cancel culture, and the role that language plays in it.

Think about Rebecca Long-Bailey's recent demotion from the Labour shadow cabinet over a tweet she made. Last month, she retweeted a newspaper interview with prominent Labour-supporting actress Maxine Peake, calling her an "absolute diamond." The interview included an inaccurate claim from Peake ( based apparently on information in a Morning Star article, and which Peake subsequently withdrew when she was challenged on it) that the specific knee restraint used on George Floyd had been taught to Mineapolis police by Israeli secret police consultants.

Long-Bailey lost the Shadow Education role, and her political career is likely over, ostensibly on the basis of this one tweet. This, to me, is a fairly clear instance of cancellation at work, but it would be inadequate to leave it at that. The complete lack of commensurability between the transgression and the outcome would be incomprehensible without asking how RLB's cancellation fits into Labour Party politics; that is, the function of cancelling in this specific instance. Absolutely no one I know thinks this tweet proved Long-Bailey was genuinely antisemitic, or that it was even the primary reason she was demoted. Instead, it's been broadly (and, I think, correctly) interpreted as a signal from the Starmer wing of the party that the Corbyn faction with which RLB is aligned has no future in Labour. Cancellation, in this case, is a naked piece of power politics: a way of getting political opponents out of the way.

The RLB case also throws a spotlight on language. The various rationales for cancelling listed in the OP -- racism, transphobia, or (in this case) antisemitism -- are rarely clear-cut in real-world instances. In fact, there's a kind of homeopathic logic at work, where the more tendentious the attribution is, the more cut-through it often seems to have.

This, I would suggest, is also related to power. The purpose of an accusation like this is to demonstrate the power or dominance of the cancelling agent, and to intimidate others by example. ("If RLB got cancelled for this , then how little would I need to do to suffer the same fate?") As Jonathan Dollimore has pointed out, there's a certain in-built "linguistic imprecision" in many of the terms that cancellation depends on, and it's from that imprecision that the capacity for intimidation or fear generation stems from.

These concepts are capable of apparently endless linguistic elasticity. Indeed, it's when they're at their most extended or diffuse, that these grounds for cancellation seem to have the most signifying power.

Anon For Obvious Reasons 07.30.20 at 5:31 pm (
23
)

I find this deliberately misleading. "Cancel culture" in practice refers to the idea that you shouldn't be ostracized by your peers, friends, or professional field for holding and voicing ideas that are essentially mainstream.

Everyone thinks that if you insult someone with a racial slur, there should be consequences.

But after that, what should be the proper "bound" that discourse should not cross? I would argue that "any idea which can be studied rigorously" and "any idea held by a reasonably broad cross section of society" is clearly within the bound, and we do ourselves a huge disservice by refusing to countenance ideas in those sets. Further, as a commenter above notes, most people in the world are not left-wing activists. Setting the norm that you shouldn't be friends with/work with/hire/buy from people with ideas you find acceptable, but which are not extreme, will be and has been a disaster for gay people, atheists, and many others.

Everyone working in academia, the non-profit sector, and journalism is aware that there are many ideas broadly held which people hesitate to say because they are worried a group of their strident colleagues will try to destroy their career. The Shor example comes up because, as Matt Yglesias pointed out yesterday, it is so obviously ridiculous to lose your job for linking to a paper in APSR by a prominent (young, black) political scientist, and yet there really are many people in that world, progressive political campaigns, who would refuse to work with you if you hired Shor . It wasn't just his boss or "workplace protections" – he was kicked out of the listserv that is the main vector for finding jobs in that sphere, and his new employer remains anonymous on purpose!

And yes, this is not just a lefty thing. I'm sure that right-wing media sites, and church groups, and the rest all have similar cases. Trump clearly "canceled" Kaepernick, with the NFL's help. Yet we all agree that is bad! And in the sphere many of us are in, academia, it is unquestionable that "canceling from the left" is a bigger threat from the right.

Anarcissie 07.30.20 at 8:35 pm ( 30 )

Trader Joe 07.30.20 at 2:17 pm @ 17 --
Remember that the academic institutions in which controversies about 'cancel culture' exist are bourgeois institutions, pretty much like corporations. It is a world of authority, hierarchy, and carefully controlled behavior. Obviously there is little expression which may not have adverse consequences.

As the power and prestige of the bourgeoisie shrink, the inmates of that particular cage will fight more fiercely for what's left. One way of fighting is to get someone's job by turning up something disreputable, such as the use of an apparently racist epithet.

This didn't start yesterday. There is a certain spillover into popcult as students emerge from academia into the outer, also declining world and repeat the patterns which they have observed. Numerous stories are available, but I'll spare you. Anyway, Mr. Taibbi has been ranting well, and you can go there.

kinnikinick 07.30.20 at 9:08 pm (
34
)

Surprising to see so little emphasis on social media as the main catalyst. Tribalism is the driver of "engagement" online, and if righteous anger at the out-group gets the clicks, so be it. Consider how any Twitter post can become a tiny gleaming tableau, a battle flag, an allegory of sin or virtue. Context and interpretation cannot be arbiters, and must only serve the self-evident cause of loyalty to one's synthetic tribe. Faith and bad faith merge; that's just optimal use of an app's system of influence. "We shape our tools and then our tools shape us".

It seems to me that "cancel culture" is based on the infosphere's equivalent of the technological progress that now allows a small group of determined people with AK-47s to render a region ungovernable. This does not imply that the region's current government is a good one. It does not imply anything about the group's views, except that debating them is not likely to be on the agenda when they visit your village. There will no doubt be some unpleasant people among the casualties; perhaps that counts as a silver lining.

The arms dealers don't care – they sell to everyone, and the more ammunition they sell, the more you'll need.

Kiwanda 07.31.20 at 12:00 am ( 45 )

John Quiggin:

"But the fact that the same example (David Shor) is cited every time the issue is raised " here is one attempt to tabulate cancellations, at least on the left identitarian side; I am not endorsing any particular example. (NB: Sophie Jane in this case, not Sophie Grace.)

I would be curious about whether Henry approves of the suppression of speech as much as the OP does.

Whether justified or not, a significant minority of Americans, across multiple lines, are fearful that their political opinions could endanger their jobs; this suggests the problem might be more than just people getting "bent-out-of-shape that they can't be raging bigots" .

Purveyors of what-aboutery will probably appreciate that Steve Salita now makes a living as a bus driver ; I have no reason to think that the Harpers Letter signers (even Bari Weiss) would regard that situation as any more just than other examples.

J-D 07.31.20 at 12:05 am ( 46 )

There have been occasions in my life when I have justly and rightly experienced adverse consequences as a result of things that I have said. The proposition that nobody should ever experience adverse consequences as a result of statements made is utterly indefensible.

de Pony Sum 07.31.20 at 2:16 am ( 48 )

Discussions over "cancellation" can make things unnecessarily difficult because it's a very hard term to define- exactly how badly does your public reputation have to be before you are cancelled. All too often debates turn into "well so and so wasn't cancelled because they still have a job/they still have a platform/they're still living their life." (Although your post does avoid this by describing it in terms of an attempt instead of outcome) So to avoid ambiguities that attend "cancellation", I prefer "opprobrium"

My position on this is that individuals shouldn't face public opprobrium unless there is 1) Clear and convincing evidence they are motivated by fundamentally malicious ends and 2) They have no remorse about it. Even when these conditions are met the opprobrium they receive should be clearly proportional to the wrong they've committed. We should relax these rules somewhat for celebrities, and a great deal for politicians, who have implicitly agreed to face criticism as a consequence of their role.

I support this anti-opprobrium position because being shamed publicly is extremely painful. I would rather lose a limb than be widely publicly shamed and reviled, and I think a lot of people feel the same way, so, by the golden rule and all of that

In terms of the position you outline it seems to me that we're going to agree on a lot of issues. Pre-meditated use of racial slurs, for example. But I think there are a lot of instances of cancel culture that we won't agree on.

Here's some people I think have been unfairly subject to vast amounts of pubic opprobrium that some people would call cancel culture:

The p**nstar ( I won't spell it out because I'm at work) who killed herself in part because of the criticism she received when tweeted out (homophobically) that she didn't want to work actors who had done gay male scenes. While criticism would have been appropriate, the torrent of backlash she received was disproportionate.

The woman who went to the Washington Post's cartoonist party in blackface in a very misguided but not malicious attempt to satirize blackface and subsequently lost her job when the Washington post named her in their paper. Natalie Wynn of Contrapoints – for many different things.

Glenn Greenwald over the age difference between him and his partner

Now I'm picking cases of opprobrium that came from the left broadly construed, because I think of this as an internal conversation on the left. However, one thing that frustrates me about this debate is that no one is acknowledging that the right are masters of excessive opprobrium. Some examples:

But maybe my position amounts to a silly apolitical wish that people would be nice to each other, unless there's a very, very good reason not to.

Andres 07.31.20 at 3:07 am ( 49 )

Chris: An interesting case can be made in favor of cancel culture if we start thinking of most political cults including communism, fascism, maga-Trumpism and other types of fake populism as pandemics.

For starters, there is the testing. A positive test result is indicated by

(a) the talking points or analysis are exclusionary toward one or more social groups that are being "othered" based on any common aspect other than political actions that are unethical by some well-defined criterion; the extent indicates the severity of the symptoms, and

(b) the speaker or commenter is repeating someone else's talking points or writing rather than their own attempts to understand the issue; the extent indicates the degree of infectiousness.

In that testing sense, cancel culture can be seen as a type of supplementary social defense mechanism compared to the standard immune system response of trying to prove the political cult wrong in the eyes of unbiased observers; in too many historical cases, the immune response is weakened by factors such as adverse economic or geopolitical circumstances (e.g., a lost war).

Cancel culture then works as (a) tracking and removal in the form of boycotts and ostracism, in that the infected cells(individuals) are removed from positions of influence, and (b) as a type of lockdown measure (censorship) that is warranted when the infected individual is transmitting patently false versions of current events or past history, and is starting to infect others around him.

I am not in complete agreement with the above political cults-as-pandemics theory, but it has some compelling aspects in exceptional situations. Normally, the political-economic-cultural discourse is sufficiently healthy that the standard "cure for bad speech is more good speech" response is sufficient. Commenters above such as Peter Dorman are assuming that the "body politic" has a healthy and undisrupted immune system, but I would argue that is far from being the case right now; the U.S. is afflicted by oligarchic politics, highly unequal and quasi-feudal economics that make appeals to the free market laughable, and by standard of living deterioration in a large number of inner urban areas as well as mid-tier and small cities. So the patient is immuno-compromised and additional interventions are called for.

As to Peter's argument that cancel culture disfigures the left, I would add that the only cases where the radical left has seized power took place in the brutal aftermath of right-wing pandemics: e.g. the hyper-nationalism that led Germany and Russia among others to war in 1914, or KMT/warlord attempts to violently and brutally suppress peasant demands in the case of China. In such situations, it is no surprise that the radical left becomes infected with political cultism.

The important thing is to know when to apply cancel culture (and other resistance measures including mass disobedience) to left-wing movements that are "infected". Post-1989 Eastern Europe is a good example, though now it is right-wing pandemics that are taking hold. That is, cancel culture is not just for Lost Cause racism and proto-fascism, but for all political movements that cross the border into cultism and "othering".

Aubergine 07.31.20 at 3:14 am ( 50 )

CB:

Much of the pushback against cancel culture has come from prominent journalists and intellectuals who perceive every negative reaction from ordinary people on social media as an affront.

I don't think this is fair. As EB says @22:

The (wealthy, high profile) signers of the Harper's letter were not complaining on their own behalf; they were complaining on behalf of the millions of people with no power or money who are also threatened with mobbing if they voice divergent (not racist, not transphobic, not misogyist) views.

JK Rowling is pretty hard to cancel; she has a mountain of cash, and her books are still selling. But people who don't have a mountain of cash are going to look at examples like children's author Gillian Philip, who appears to have been "let go" by her publisher after being targetted by a cancellation campaign for tweeting "#ISTANDWITHROWLING", and think very carefully about whether they can afford to stick their head over the parapet. Personally, I've made a number of comments on Crooked Timber which I don't think were at all outside the bounds of acceptable discourse – certainly not in the same category as the racist speech you refer to (and at least one moderator must have agreed, because they were posted) – but which I simply couldn't risk making without a pseudonym.

I often detect a bit of motte-and-bailey in the anti-anti-cancel culture argument. The outer bailey is something like "cancel culture isn't the problem it's made out to be; it's just how norms of acceptable behaviour are worked out these days"; the motte is "it's okay to deplatform hardcore racists and holocaust deniers".

Between those two positions there's a large space where people get harassed, threatened, ostracised and silenced for minor slips, reasonable disagreements, details that were lost in translation and failures to recite the correct thought-terminating cliches with sufficient conviction – basically, things that don't threaten anyone else's ability to speak. Often this is done with the assistance of the false-flag social media "activist" accounts that right-wing agitators use to pick away at fault lines on the left.

Even when there are no serious real-world consequences this tends to create a narrow, stifling intellectual environment, which is what a large part of the opposition to "cancel culture" is trying to prevent. You do realise, don't you, that Crooked Timber's willingness to acknowledge heterodox views, on certain subjects, from the broad left puts it radically out of step with most of the "progressive" Western Internet?

(There are other parts where cancel-culture tactics are used against different targets, such as apostates and feminists in general (not just the wrong kind of feminists), which hopefully we can all agree is not good.)

Basically, I don't think it's an adequate response to critique of cancel-culture to pick out the cases where relatively mild tactics were used against acceptable targets, without acknowledging that the critique is much broader than that.

[Aug 01, 2020] Great Purge - Wikipedia

Aug 01, 2020 | en.wikipedia.org

Great Purge From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (Redirected from Stalin era purges ) Jump to navigation Jump to search This article is about the 1936–1938 Soviet purge. For political purges in general, see Purge .

Great Purge
Part of Purges of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
Vinnycia16.jpg People of Vinnytsia searching for relatives among the exhumed victims of the Vinnytsia massacre , 1943
Location Soviet Union
Date 1936–1938
Target Political opponents, Trotskyists , Red Army leadership, wealthy peasants (so called " kulaks "), ethnic minorities , religious activists and leaders
Attack type
Deaths 681,692 [1] –1,200,000 [2]
(higher estimates overlap with at least 136,520 [3] deaths in the Gulag system)
Perpetrators Joseph Stalin , the NKVD ( Genrikh Yagoda , Nikolai Yezhov , Lavrentiy Beria , Ivan Serov and others), Vyacheslav Molotov , Andrey Vyshinsky , Lazar Kaganovich , Kliment Voroshilov , Robert Eikhe and others
Motive Elimination of political opponents, [4] consolidation of power [5]
Part of a series on the
History of the
Soviet Union
Coat of arms of the Soviet Union (1923–1936).svg Coat of arms of the Soviet Union (1946-1956).svg Coat of arms of the Soviet Union 1.svg
History [show]
1917–1927: Establishment [show]
1927–1953: Stalinist dictatorship [show]
1953–1964: Khrushchev Thaw [show]
1964–1985: Era of Stagnation [show]
1985–1991: Perestroika and collapse [show]
Soviet leadership [show]
Related topics [show]
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg Soviet Union portal

The Great Purge or the Great Terror ( Russian : Большой террор ), also known as the Year of '37 ( 37-ой год , Tridtsat sedmoi god ) and the Yezhovschina ('period of Yezhov '), [6] was a campaign of political repression in the Soviet Union that occurred from 1936 to 1938. [7] It involved a large-scale repression of wealthy peasants ( kulaks ); genocidal acts against ethnic minorities ; a purge of the Communist Party, government officials , and the Red Army leadership; widespread police surveillance; suspicion of saboteurs; counter-revolutionaries ; imprisonment; and arbitrary executions. [8] Historians estimate the total number of deaths due to Stalinist repression in 1937–38 to be between 680,000 and 1,200,000. [1] [2]

The "Kulak Operation" and the targeting of national minorities were the main components of the Great Terror. Together these two actions accounted for nine-tenths of the death sentences and three-fourths of Gulag prison camp sentences. Of the operations against national minorities, the Polish Operation of the NKVD was the largest one, second only to the "Kulak Operation" in terms of number of victims. According to historian Timothy Snyder , ethnic Poles constituted the largest group of victims in the Great Terror, comprising less than 0.5% of the country's population but comprising 12.5% of those executed. [9]

In the Western world, Robert Conquest 's 1968 book The Great Terror popularized the phrase. Conquest's title itself was an allusion to the period from the French Revolution known as the Reign of Terror (French: la Terreur , 'the Terror'; from June to July 1794: la Grande Terreur , 'the Great Terror'). [10] While Norman Naimark deemed Stalin's 1930s Polish policy " genocidal ," he did not consider the entire Great Purge genocidal because it also targeted political opponents. [11]

[Aug 01, 2020] The ethnic and sex-based groups created and supported by neoliberal oligarchy are constructed so that they can never discover any common ground between themselves, and thus will fight among themselves for the scraps thrown from the oligarchs' table.

Highly recommended!
Aug 01, 2020 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 08.01.20 at 6:30 pm

John Quiggin 07.30.20 at 10:17 am (7)

An important problem is the conflation of public opprobrium actual sanctions like being fired. This is mainly a problem in the US because of employment at will

No. The cancel culture is just a new incarnation of the old idea of religious and pseudo-religious (aka Marxist or Maoist) "purges". A new flavor of inquisition so to speak.

The key idea here is the elimination of opposition for a particular Messianic movement, and securing all the positions that can influence public opinion. As well as protection of own (often dominant) position in the structure of political power (this was the idea behind Mao "cultural revolution")

You probably can benefit from studying the mechanic of Stalin purges. Mechanisms are the pretty similar ("History repeats ", etc) .

If opposition to the new brand of Messianism is suppressed under the smoke screen of political correctness, the question arise how this is different from Stalinist ideas of "Intensification of the class struggle under socialism" and Mao Red Guards excesses (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intensification_of_the_class_struggle_under_socialism )

You can probably start with "Policing Stalin's Socialism: Repression and Social Order in the Soviet Union, 1924-1953 (Yale-Hoover Series on Authoritarian Regimes)"

A new book which waits for its author can be similarly titled "Policing US neoliberalism : Repression and Social Order in the USA 1980-2020") ;-)

Here is one thought-provoking comment from the Web:

GeeBee, August 1, 2020 at 7:42 am GMT

The government will eventually be Marxist

With all due respect, you – like the great majority of people – fail to understand the dynamics involved. 'Cultural Marxism' isn't political Marxism. It is a method – a tool if you wish – used by the oligarchs who wield true power to 'divide and rule' (not least by deflecting attention from the yawning gulf that lies between their own excesses and monstrous wealth on the one hand, and the increasing indigence of the great mass of people on the other).

It is called 'Cultural Marxism' purely because it uses Marx's technique of dividing society into a small clique of 'oppressors' and 'the masses' who are 'oppressed'. Marx, of course, had the capitalists in mind when he wrote of the oppressors, and the proletariat naturally were the oppressed.

Today, the last thing the oligarchs desire is a unified and organised proletariat with 'agency': that would constitute a serious threat to their existence. Instead, they divide the sacred role of 'the oppressed' into a multitude of more or less fissiparous groups, whom we are all aware of, but of which those comprising 'BAME' are perhaps the most useful. Others include feminists (more or less all young women in today's world), homos, those suffering from sexual dysphoria (that's 'trannies' in today's 'Newspeak') and the disabled.

These groups will never discover any common ground between themselves, and thus will fight among themselves for the scraps thrown from the oligarchs' table. No danger there, and that's just how they planned it. As for the 'oppressors', there are no prizes for guessing that they are White, heterosexual (i.e. normal) males.

So much for your fear of actual Marxism. As for 'the government', it is important to understand that no government in today's West is invested with any meaningful power.

Not only are they not 'sovereign' but they are little more than puppets, dancing to their masters' dismal tunes.

Who are these oligarchs – these Masters of the Universe? That's a story for another day. But you won't go far wrong if you place the word 'oligarchs' in triple parentheses

[Aug 01, 2020] The US MSM is a giant propaganda machine used by the elites to control major narratives in the heads of the public

Aug 01, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

ARIUSARMENIAN July 31, 2020 at 3:39 pm

The US MSM is a giant propaganda machine used by the elites to control major narratives in the heads of the public. They have learned the lesson well from the British and US Empires: divide and conquer – keep the people in fear and hatred fighting with each other so the elites can continue to acquire more power and money and wars while they drop crumbs to the people.

The elites have bought off everything in the US – that is the gift of turbo charged capitalist neoliberal economics which went on a privatization tear after the end of Cold War v1.

They made millions on the outsourcing of jobs and industry to Asia but now that the pickings are getting slim and China is going its own way they are running demonization narratives on China to march the American people into another Cold War while they make more millions (since they are still the insiders pushing the buttons).

And most Americans are just childlike and ignorant enough to march along blaming China for their jobs going overseas. This will go on until US elites have turned America into a dried out husk.

[Jul 31, 2020] What's wrong with "cancel culture"

Jul 31, 2020 | crookedtimber.org

"Cancel culture" has recently been in the news as a threat to free speech and open debate, most notably with the publication the other week of that open letter in Harpers. Cancelling is essentially a kind of crowdsourced attempt to boycott and ostracise individuals for their words or actions, sometimes including calls for them they be fired from their jobs or denied contracts and opportunities by media organisations.

In the democratic space of social media this can sometimes tip over into unpleasant mobbing and sometimes bullying. But is "cancelling" people always wrong? Is the practice always an attack on the norms of free speech and open debate? Might cancelling some people be necessary to ensure others get the voice and platform to which they are entitled?

One objection to "cancellation" is that it chills open debate and makes people self-censor.


casmilus 07.30.20 at 7:19 am (no link)

Discrediting and marginalisation already occurred – just look at how David Irving's status changed over the decades (notoriously, the early book about Dresden is cited in "Slaughterhouse 5"). So we've simply accelerated the process in the digital age.

My contrarian take is that "the campus Left" actually had more power in the 70s/80s. In a world with no internet and limited independent publishing and distribution, public meetings were the route to disseminate new ideas, so no-platforming and picketing could have an effect. Look at "The History Man" (the 1981 BBC TV adaptation) for a portrayal of what it was like; all that "soft power" is forgotten because of course Thatcher and Reagan won the grown-up elections. Also note that that was a world where the university as an institution had much less to fear from individual students who might feel discriminated against. In comparison, no one can actually suppress ideas nowadays and even banning books from the libraries leaves them available in the virtual library of websites.

The reality also is that "cancelled" authors acquire new readerships and can move into different circles. Ex-lefties have been doing that since the 1930s: Freida Utley, Eugebe Lyons, James Burnham and of course Whittaker Chambers fell-out and immediately fell-in to bigger audiences.

chrisare 07.30.20 at 9:20 am (no link)

I found this piece unconvincing.

"People can have their voices amplified or silenced by their wealth, connections or prestige but also by other speech which aims to deny them the right to participate on equal terms with others."

It's unclear if this refers to those at the receiving end of speech the author wants to prevent or the speaker deserving of canceling.

"As Jeremy Waldron has argued in his book The Harm in Hate Speech, racist speech aims not just at hurting the feelings of its victims or expressing a view but at reconstituting the public arena of democratic debate and argument so that some people are not seen as forming a proper part of it."

It is very dubious that most slurs "aim" to "reconstitute the public arena of democratic debate and argument so that some people are not seen as forming a proper part of it." Do you have any support for this theory?

"It says that those people are not a part of "us" and that their opinions and arguments have no place as we decide where our country should go."

It's not clear how a racial slur "says" any of this. Perhaps the author is reading subtext?

"Racist speech by some also legitimizes and emboldens racist speech and opinion by others, telling bigots that they are not alone, that others think as they do, and strengthens an ideal of exclusive community based on ethnic or racial lines."

On this point it's worth quoting Henry Louis Gates Jr: "Why would you entrust authority with enlarged powers of regulating the speech of unpopular minorities unless you were confident that unpopular minorities would be racists, not blacks?"

"Anti-racist speech, has the opposite effect, it affirms a view that those targeted by the racists, be they black, or Asian, or Muslim, are full members of the democratic political community in good standing with as good a right to a say as anyone.

"It also reinforces a social norm about what may not be said, telling those who are tempted to stigmatize migrants or minorities that they will pay a price for doing so."

It also creates a precedent for excluding views by shaming based on current sentiment. Only someone oblivious to history wouldn't see the danger in that precedent.

"The role that speech plays in defining who is and isn't included in our vision of democratic community can have powerful real-world consequence."

Who to include as part of your community is an important issue that should be discussed openly by all of society. What you're trying to do is to elevate advance your position without having to defend it.

"One way to understand the ease with which the victims of the Windrush scandal could lose their jobs, their homes, their liberty or be deported to far-away countries, is that in the public imaginary that is partly constituted by speech, many people did not see them as proper members with equal standing to others."

Were we to do away with everything that had a downside we would have very little good. Therefore arguing that something has potential downsides is not sufficient to establish that it's not good. Can you argue that free expression and debate by citizenry on the most important issues facing a democratic nation is not good, besides by arguing that there might be some cost?

"Racist speech is just one example that makes clear how the practice of open discussion isn't simply a matter of unfettered conversation among people who are already present but also involves choices about who gets to speak and involves sensitivity to the way that speech by some has the effect either of depriving others of a voice or of making it impossible for others to hear what they say. A society which is full of highly sexualized messages about women is also a society in which it is harder for women to get a hearing about sexual violence and income inequality. A society where trans people are the objects of constant ridicule, or are represented as dangerous, is one in which it is also more difficult for them to argue for their rights and have their interests taken seriously."

This implies that the intolerant are the powerful group capable of suppressing minorities with their speech alone. This is disproven by the very fact that anti-racist etc speech is so successful. The success of antiracist codes of social conduct is because the group exercising them is the powerful group. This very fact implies their obsolesce.

"Much of the pushback against cancel culture has come from prominent journalists and intellectuals who perceive every negative reaction from ordinary people on social media as an affront. Ironically, while being quick to take offence themselves they demand that those less powerful than they are should toughen up and not be such "snowflakes"."

This is an uninformed or dishonest characterization of the pushback against cancel culture. The pushback is due to intolerant enforcement of ideological conformity and homogeneity through threat to job and reputation. And no this is not only ideological conformity in that you can't say overtly racist things; it's ideological conformity in that you can't criticize BLM or cite scientific literature on biological differences between the sexes without risk.

"But if we take seriously the idea that speech can silence speech or make it unhearable, then a concern with whether the heckling of cancel culture makes it harder to say some things also has to take account of the fact that saying those very things can make it harder for other voices to be heard."

This piece hasn't given any reason to make us take seriously the idea that speech against one group can silence another, other then through threat to livelihood or reputation. It's not clear though how for example referencing scientific but currently unpopular claims, criticizing a social movement, having a narrower view on who should be considered a citizen or even using a slur silences people.

John Quiggin 07.30.20 at 10:17 am ( 7 )

An important problem is the conflation of public opprobrium actual sanctions like being fired. This is mainly a problem in the US because of employment at will. In most countries, unfair dismissal laws would protect people being sacked because of their political views, unless they related directly to job performance.
https://crookedtimber.org/2018/03/04/free-speech-unfair-dismissal-and-unions/

But the fact that the same example (David Shor) is cited every time the issue is raised suggests that losing your job for breaching left orthodoxy not a major problem in the US, or at least that other possible examples are much less sympathetic (racists fired from Fox, for example).

Mostly, AFAICT, being cancelled means having to read rude things said about you by lots of unimportant people on Twitter, as opposed to engaging in caustic, but civilised, debate with your peers in the pages of little magazines.

[Jul 30, 2020] Financial capitalism is bloodthirstily by definition as it needs new markets. It fuels wars.

Jul 29, 2020 | crookedtimber.org

steven t johnson 07.29.20 at 3:14 pm (50 )

PS likbez@46 reminded me of a line from the movie Reds. Warren Beatty's John Reed spoke of people who "though Karl Marx wrote a good antitrust law." This was not a favorable comment. The confusion of socialism and what might be called populism is quite, quite old. Jack London's The Iron Heel has its hero pointing out even before the Great (Class) War that the normal operations of capitalism, concentration and centralization, destroyed the middle class paradise of equal competition. It wasn't conspiracies.

likbez 07.29.20 at 3:30 pm

@steven t johnson 07.29.20 at 3:14 pm (51)

Jack London's The Iron Heel has its hero pointing out even before the Great (Class) War that the normal operations of capitalism, concentration and centralization, destroyed the middle class paradise of equal competition.

I think the size of the USA military budget by itself means the doom for the middle class, even without referring to famous Jack London book (The Iron Heel is cited by George Orwell 's biographer Michael Shelden as having influenced Orwell's most famous novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.).

Wall Street and MIC (especially intelligence agencies ; Allen Dulles was a Wall Street lawyer) are joined at the hip. And they both fully control MSM. As Jack London aptly said:

"The press of the United States? It is a parasitic growth that battens on the capitalist class. Its function is to serve the established by moulding public opinion, and right well it serves it."
― Jack London, The Iron Heel

Financial capitalism is bloodthirstily by definition as it needs new markets. It fuels wars. In a sense, Bolton is the symbol of financial capitalism foreign policy.

It is important to understand that finance capitalism creates positive feedback loop in the economy increasing instability of the system. So bubbles are immanent feature of finance capitalism, not some exception or the result of excessive greed.

[Jul 29, 2020] America's Own Color Revolution by F. William Engdahl

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Color Revolution is the term used to describe a series of remarkably effective CIA-led regime change operations using techniques developed by the RAND Corporation, "democracy" NGOs and other groups since the 1980's. They were used in crude form to bring down the Polish communist regime in the late 1980s. From there the techniques were refined and used, along with heavy bribes, to topple the Gorbachev regime in the Soviet Union. For anyone who has studied those models closely, it is clear that the protests against police violence led by amorphous organizations with names like Black Lives Matter or Antifa are more than purely spontaneous moral outrage. Hundreds of thousands of young Americans are being used as a battering ram to not only topple a US President, but in the process, the very structures of the US Constitutional order. ..."
"... Alicia Garza of BLM is also a board member or executive of five different Freedom Road front groups including 2011 Board chair of Right to the City Alliance, Board member of School of Unity and Liberation (SOUL), of People Organized to Win Employment Rights (POWER), Forward Together and Special Projects director of National Domestic Workers Alliance. ..."
"... The Right to the City Alliance got $6.5 million between 2011 and 2014 from a number of very established tax-exempt foundations including the Ford Foundation ($1.9 million), from both of George Soros's major tax-exempts–Open Society Foundations, and the Foundation to Promote Open Society for $1.3 million. Also the cornflake-tied Kellogg Foundation $250,000, and curiously , Ben & Jerry's Foundation (ice cream) for $30,000. ..."
"... That front since 2009 received $1.3 million from the Ford Foundation, as well as $600,000 from the Soros foundations and again, Ben & Jerry's ($50,000). ..."
"... And Garza's SOUL, which claimed to have trained 712 "organizers" in 2014, when she co-founded Black Lives Matter, got $210,000 from the Rockefeller Foundation and another $255,000 from the Heinz Foundation (ketchup and John Kerry family) among others. ..."
"... Nigeria-born BLM co-founder Opal Tometi likewise comes from the network of FRSO. Tometi headed the FRSO's Black Alliance for Just Immigration. Curiously with a "staff" of two it got money from major foundations including the Kellogg Foundation for $75,000 and Soros foundations for $100,000, and, again, Ben & Jerry's ($10,000). Tometi got $60,000 in 2014 to direct the group . ..."
"... The BLMF identified itself as being created by top foundations including in addition to the Ford Foundation, the Kellogg Foundation and the Soros Open Society Foundations. They described their role: "The BLMF provides grants, movement building resources, and technical assistance to organizations working advance the leadership and vision of young, Black, queer, feminists and immigrant leaders who are shaping and leading a national conversation about criminalization, policing and race in America." ..."
"... Notably, when we click on the website of M4BL, under their donate button we learn that the donations will go to something called ActBlue Charities. ActBlue facilitates donations to "democrats and progressives." As of May 21, ActBlue had given $119 million to the campaign of Joe Biden. ..."
"... What is clear from only this account of the crucial role of big money foundations behind protest groups such as Black lives Matter is that there is a far more complex agenda driving the protests now destabilizing cities across America. ..."
"... The role of tax-exempt foundations tied to the fortunes of the greatest industrial and financial companies such as Rockefeller, Ford, Kellogg, Hewlett and Soros says that there is a far deeper and far more sinister agenda to current disturbances than spontaneous outrage would suggest. ..."
Jun 17, 2020 | www.globalresearch.ca

Color Revolution is the term used to describe a series of remarkably effective CIA-led regime change operations using techniques developed by the RAND Corporation, "democracy" NGOs and other groups since the 1980's. They were used in crude form to bring down the Polish communist regime in the late 1980s. From there the techniques were refined and used, along with heavy bribes, to topple the Gorbachev regime in the Soviet Union. For anyone who has studied those models closely, it is clear that the protests against police violence led by amorphous organizations with names like Black Lives Matter or Antifa are more than purely spontaneous moral outrage. Hundreds of thousands of young Americans are being used as a battering ram to not only topple a US President, but in the process, the very structures of the US Constitutional order.

If we step back from the immediate issue of videos showing a white Minneapolis policeman pressing his knee on the neck of a black man, George Floyd , and look at what has taken place across the nation since then, it is clear that certain organizations or groups were well-prepared to instrumentalize the horrific event for their own agenda.

The protests since May 25 have often begun peacefully only to be taken over by well-trained violent actors. Two organizations have appeared regularly in connection with the violent protests -- Black Lives Matter and Antifa (USA). Videos show well-equipped protesters dressed uniformly in black and masked (not for coronavirus to be sure), vandalizing police cars, burning police stations, smashing store windows with pipes or baseball bats. Use of Twitter and other social media to coordinate "hit-and-run" swarming strikes of protest mobs is evident.

What has unfolded since the Minneapolis trigger event has been compared to the wave of primarily black ghetto protest riots in 1968. I lived through those events in 1968 and what is unfolding today is far different. It is better likened to the Yugoslav color revolution that toppled Milosevic in 2000.

Gene Sharp: Template for Regime Overthrow

In the year 2000 the US State Department, aided by its National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and select CIA operatives, began secretly training a group of Belgrade university students led by a student group that was called Otpor! (Resistance!). The NED and its various offshoots was created in the 1980's by CIA head Bill Casey as a covert CIA tool to overthrow specific regimes around the world under the cover of a human rights NGO. In fact, they get their money from Congress and from USAID.

In the Serb Otpor! destabilization of 2000, the NED and US Ambassador Richard Miles in Belgrade selected and trained a group of several dozen students, led by Srđa Popović, using the handbook, From Dictatorship to Democracy, translated to Serbian, of the late Gene Sharp and his Albert Einstein Institution. In a post mortem on the Serb events, the Washington Post wrote, "US-funded consultants played a crucial role behind the scenes in virtually every facet of the anti-drive, running tracking polls, training thousands of opposition activists and helping to organize a vitally important parallel vote count. US taxpayers paid for 5,000 cans of spray paint used by student activists to scrawl anti-Milošević graffiti on walls across Serbia."

Trained squads of activists were deployed in protests to take over city blocks with the aid of 'intelligence helmet' video screens that give them an instantaneous overview of their environment. Bands of youth converging on targeted intersections in constant dialogue on cell phones, would then overwhelm police. The US government spent some $41 million on the operation. Student groups were secretly trained in the Sharp handbook techniques of staging protests that mocked the authority of the ruling police, showing them to be clumsy and impotent against the youthful protesters. Professionals from the CIA and US State Department guided them behind the scenes.

The Color Revolution Otpor! model was refined and deployed in 2004 as the Ukraine Orange Revolution with logo and color theme scarves, and in 2003 in Georgia as the Rose Revolution. Later Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used the template to launch the Arab Spring. In all cases the NED was involved with other NGOs including the Soros Foundations.

After defeating Milosevic, Popovic went on to establish a global color revolution training center, CANVAS, a kind of for-profit business consultancy for revolution, and was personally present in New York working reportedly with Antifa during the Occupy Wall Street where also Soros money was reported.

Antifa and BLM

The protests, riots, violent and non-violent actions sweeping across the United States since May 25, including an assault on the gates of the White House, begin to make sense when we understand the CIA's Color Revolution playbook.

The impact of the protests would not be possible were it not for a network of local and state political officials inside the Democratic Party lending support to the protesters, even to the point the Democrat Mayor of Seattle ordered police to abandon several blocks in the heart of downtown to occupation by protesters.

In recent years major portions of the Democratic Party across the US have been quietly taken over by what one could call radical left candidates. Often they win with active backing of organizations such as Democratic Socialists of America or Freedom Road Socialist Organizations. In the US House of Representatives the vocal quarter of new representatives around Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib and Minneapolis Representative Ilhan Omar are all members or close to Democratic Socialists of America. Clearly without sympathetic Democrat local officials in key cities, the street protests of organizations such as Black Lives Matter and Antifa would not have such a dramatic impact.

Black Lives Matter (BLM) and the Neoliberal Color Revolution in America

To get a better grasp how serious the present protest movement is we should look at who has been pouring millions into BLM. The Antifa is more difficult owing to its explicit anonymous organization form. However, their online Handbook openly recommends that local Antifa "cells" join up with BLM chapters.

FRSO: Follow the Money

BLM began in 2013 when three activist friends created the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag to protest the allegations of shooting of an unarmed black teenager, Trayvon Martin by a white Hispanic block watchman, George Zimmermann. Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi were all were connected with and financed by front groups tied to something called Freedom Road Socialist Organization, one of the four largest radical left organizations in the United States formed out of something called New Communist Movement that dissolved in the 1980s.

On June 12, 2020 the Freedom Road Socialist Organization webpage states, "The time is now to join a revolutionary organization! Join Freedom Road Socialist Organization If you have been out in the streets this past few weeks, the odds are good that you've been thinking about the difference between the kind of change this system has to offer, and the kind of change this country needs. Capitalism is a failed system that thrives on exploitation, inequality and oppression. The reactionary and racist Trump administration has made the pandemic worse. The unfolding economic crisis we are experiencing is the worst since the 1930s. Monopoly capitalism is a dying system and we need to help finish it off. And that is exactly what Freedom Road Socialist Organization is working for ."

In short the protests over the alleged police killing of a black man in Minnesota are now being used to call for a revolution against capitalism. FRSO is an umbrella for dozens of amorphous groups including Black Lives Matter or BLM. What is interesting about the self-described Marxist-Leninist roots of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) is not so much their left politics as much as their very establishment funding by a group of well-endowed tax-exempt foundations.

Alicia Garza of BLM is also a board member or executive of five different Freedom Road front groups including 2011 Board chair of Right to the City Alliance, Board member of School of Unity and Liberation (SOUL), of People Organized to Win Employment Rights (POWER), Forward Together and Special Projects director of National Domestic Workers Alliance.

The Right to the City Alliance got $6.5 million between 2011 and 2014 from a number of very established tax-exempt foundations including the Ford Foundation ($1.9 million), from both of George Soros's major tax-exempts–Open Society Foundations, and the Foundation to Promote Open Society for $1.3 million. Also the cornflake-tied Kellogg Foundation $250,000, and curiously , Ben & Jerry's Foundation (ice cream) for $30,000.

Garza also got major foundation money as Executive Director of the FRSO front, POWER, where Obama former "green jobs czar" Van Jones, a self-described "communist" and "rowdy black nationalist," now with CNN, was on the board. Alicia Garza also chaired the Right to the City Alliance, a network of activist groups opposing urban gentrification. That front since 2009 received $1.3 million from the Ford Foundation, as well as $600,000 from the Soros foundations and again, Ben & Jerry's ($50,000).

And Garza's SOUL, which claimed to have trained 712 "organizers" in 2014, when she co-founded Black Lives Matter, got $210,000 from the Rockefeller Foundation and another $255,000 from the Heinz Foundation (ketchup and John Kerry family) among others. With the Forward Together of FRSO, Garza sat on the board of a "multi-racial organization that works with community leaders and organizations to transform culture and policy to catalyze social change." It officially got $4 million in 2014 revenues and from 2012 and 2014, the organization received a total of $2.9 million from Ford Foundation ($655,000) and other major foundations .

Nigeria-born BLM co-founder Opal Tometi likewise comes from the network of FRSO. Tometi headed the FRSO's Black Alliance for Just Immigration. Curiously with a "staff" of two it got money from major foundations including the Kellogg Foundation for $75,000 and Soros foundations for $100,000, and, again, Ben & Jerry's ($10,000). Tometi got $60,000 in 2014 to direct the group .

The Freedom Road Socialist Organization that is now openly calling for a revolution against capitalism in the wake of the Floyd George killing has another arm, The Advancement Project, which describes itself as "a next generation, multi-racial civil rights organization." Its board includes a former Obama US Department of Education Director of Community Outreach and a former Bill Clinton Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. The FRSO Advancement Project in 2013 got millions from major US tax-exempt foundations including Ford ($8.5 million), Kellogg ($3 million), Hewlett Foundation of HP defense industry founder ($2.5 million), Rockefeller Foundation ($2.5 million), and Soros foundations ($8.6 million).

Major Money and ActBlue

By 2016, the presidential election year where Hillary Clinton was challenging Donald Trump, Black Lives Matter had established itself as a well-organized network. That year the Ford Foundation and Borealis Philanthropy announced the formation of the Black-Led Movement Fund (BLMF), "a six-year pooled donor campaign aimed at raising $100 million for the Movement for Black Lives coalition" in which BLM was a central part. By then Soros foundations had already given some $33 million in grants to the Black Lives Matter movement . This was serious foundation money.

The BLMF identified itself as being created by top foundations including in addition to the Ford Foundation, the Kellogg Foundation and the Soros Open Society Foundations. They described their role: "The BLMF provides grants, movement building resources, and technical assistance to organizations working advance the leadership and vision of young, Black, queer, feminists and immigrant leaders who are shaping and leading a national conversation about criminalization, policing and race in America."

The Movement for Black Lives Coalition (M4BL) which includes Black Lives Matter, already in 2016 called for "defunding police departments, race-based reparations, voting rights for illegal immigrants, fossil-fuel divestment, an end to private education and charter schools, a universal basic income, and free college for blacks ."

Notably, when we click on the website of M4BL, under their donate button we learn that the donations will go to something called ActBlue Charities. ActBlue facilitates donations to "democrats and progressives." As of May 21, ActBlue had given $119 million to the campaign of Joe Biden.

That was before the May 25 BLM worldwide protests. Now major corporations such as Apple, Disney, Nike and hundreds others may be pouring untold and unaccounted millions into ActBlue under the name of Black Lives Matter, funds that in fact can go to fund the election of a Democrat President Biden. Perhaps this is the real reason the Biden campaign has been so confident of support from black voters.

What is clear from only this account of the crucial role of big money foundations behind protest groups such as Black lives Matter is that there is a far more complex agenda driving the protests now destabilizing cities across America.

The role of tax-exempt foundations tied to the fortunes of the greatest industrial and financial companies such as Rockefeller, Ford, Kellogg, Hewlett and Soros says that there is a far deeper and far more sinister agenda to current disturbances than spontaneous outrage would suggest.

***

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine "New Eastern Outlook" where this article was originally published. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

The original source of this article is Global Research Copyright © F. William Engdahl , Global Research, 2020

[Jul 27, 2020] The narratives are breaking down: The entire media class will now spend years leading the public on a wild goose chase for Russian collusion and then act like it's no big deal when the whole thing turned out to be completely baseless by Caitlin Johnstone

Jul 27, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

People's old ways of understanding what's going on in the world just aren't holding together anymore.

... ... ...

New Cold War escalations between the U.S.-centralized empire and the unabsorbed governments of China and Russia are going to cause the media airwaves around the planet to become saturated in ever-intensifying propaganda narratives which favor one side or the other and have no interest in honestly telling people the truth about what's going on.

[Jul 27, 2020] Why it is so difficult to understand what's going on in the world

Jul 27, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

It's difficult to understand what's going on in the world because powerful people actively manipulate public understanding of what's going on in the world.

Powerful people actively manipulate public understanding of what's going on in the world because if the public understood what's going on in the world, they would rise up and use their strength of numbers to overthrow the powerful.

The public would rise up and use their strength of numbers to overthrow the powerful if they understood what's going on in their world because then they would understand that the powerful have been exploiting, oppressing, robbing, cheating and deceiving them while destroying the ecosystem, stockpiling weapons of Armageddon and waging endless wars, for no other reason than so that they can maintain and expand their power.

The public do not rise up and use their strength of numbers to overthrow the powerful because they have been successfully manipulated into not wanting to.

[Jul 27, 2020] Black Lives Matter Con Artist, Shaun King, Demands All Images of White Jesus Destroyed - The Last Refuge

Notable quotes:
"... ...According to the UN Convention Against genocide, erasing a people's heritage, religion, culture, values traditions, and history is an act of genocide. ..."
Jul 22, 2020 | theconservativetreehouse.com

Black Lives Matter Con Artist, Shaun King, Demands All Images of White Jesus Destroyed Posted on June 22, 2020 by sundance

Shaun King is a well known Black Lives Matter con artist who has grifted on racial grievance for a decade even lying about his own family and race. Shaun King is white, provably white , and he found his professional & financial niche by conning black people, including Oprah Winfrey, into believing he is black. [ Shaun King ]

After spending several years drumming up racial division King attached himself to the very first well publicized BLM effort in Ferguson Missouri. There was a lot of money to be made selling the completely false Mike Brown story; so Shaun King hooked up with DeRay McKesson to create the new financial conduit known as Black Lives Matter. His scams and cons are very well known to long-term CTH readers.

Together McKesson and King sell a toxic stew of Marxism, racism, and hatred; and as a consequence their business model intersects with Islamic extremism. As we noted earlier there is a lot of similarity between 2010's Islamist Spring and 2020's BLM protests. Here's the latest example courtesy of the lying, liar who lies for a living:

Under the ideology of Black Lives Matter Islam is the dominant and preferred religion; Christianity is viewed as against their interests. The reason is simple, the doctrines of Islam are political, the doctrines of the BLM movement are identically political.

Within the overall U.S. movement Antifa is essentially white ISIS and the Black Lives Matter crowd are racial grievance activists funded by coastal liberals and Marxists.

Here's a video from about five years ago when Shaun King was exposed as a white man making money from the "black movement". Watch how CNN anchor Don King instantly evolves into a defender and apologist These people are sick, mentally.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Kh4yo0JmXhE?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent REPORT THIS AD

.

" Con Artist "

Advertisements

Super elite covfefe999 loves her President! , June 22, 2020 at 10:07 pm

They're still gonna lose the election. 🙂

Liked by 8 people

nimrodman , June 22, 2020 at 10:47 pm

Yeah, but we're losing our heritage, our history, and our antiquities

Christian churches are next Shaun specifically mentioned "stained glass windows depicting Christ as a white man"

If you attend a church with such stained glass windows, you outta be starting a citizen-defense cadre in cooperation with your church and divvy up shifts to stand guard with whatever firearms you're legally able and cartridges "with the most clips"

Patrick Healy , June 23, 2020 at 3:58 am

It not be too surprising to see history repeat itself.

Where I live the sad desecrated ruins of two wonderful mediaeval Abbeys are a stark reminder of Satanism. In the 1640 to 1650 decade a "gentleman" called Oliver Cromwell raped plundered and pillaged all Catholic churches, monasteries, convents and country mansions which did not succumb to the "New normal" One of his most notable habits was to tether his famous cavalry to the altar rails of the sanctuaries after desecrating and destroying all statues, pictures and murals – and when leaving setting the buildings on fire. So every town and city in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales has its sad reminder of that era. One of Cromwells other little legacies are to be found in North America. He had the habit of kidnapping young fit men – mainly Irish for which he held a particular contempt – and sending them overseas as slaves. Most modern 're writers of history deny this and call them indentured servants. You can split hairs if you wish. So no – this white guy Davis (Welsh?) is a pathetic amateur – Cromwell, John Knox, Calvin and The Taliban perfected the art of the destruction of Catholic icons long ago. For one thing the U.S. does not contain enough material of old to destroy. Secondly I am sure it would be a bridge too far and the final awakening of American patriots to say "Enough!!!," God bless America and President Trump – the last bastion.

Dax Jaket , June 22, 2020 at 11:45 pm

...According to the UN Convention Against genocide, erasing a people's heritage, religion, culture, values traditions, and history is an act of genocide.

Our City, State and Federal govts are allowing and thereby complicit in the mass murder of the American people.

Genocide never stops until the all of the Nazis and conspirators -- like Gates and Soros snd all of the public officials they bought off are dead.

sync , June 22, 2020 at 10:50 pm

"Every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right."- '1984,' George Orwell

The Phantom Stranger , June 23, 2020 at 1:40 am

One could say Orwell was prescient about the coming future. More likely is that the globalists and Left read Orwell not as a dire warning, but as an instruction manual.

[Jul 26, 2020] Pretty symbolic

Jul 26, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Formerly T-Bear , Jul 26 2020 16:40 utc | 12

Posted last Open Thread - 58:

Olivia de Havilland, the last surviving star of 'Gone With the Wind' star, dies at 104.

RT headline.

Another addition to the cancel movement? Be very careful what you wish for.

JC , Jul 26 2020 17:36 utc | 16

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Jul 26 2020 15:54 utc | 7

"Made the mistake of watching Fareed Zakaria show"

Real funny HaHaHa... I knew of better things to do than watching plagiarism .

[Jul 24, 2020] Tucker responds to intrusive reporting by New York Times - YouTube

Jul 24, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Tucker responds to intrusive reporting by New York Times 1,027,428 views • Jul 20, 2020 65K 1.8K SHARE SAVE Fox News 5.73M subscribers SUBSCRIBE Tucker: Last week, the New York Times began working on a story about where my family and I live. #FoxNews #Tucker Subscribe to Fox News! https://bit.ly/2vBUvAS Watch more Fox News Video: http://video.foxnews.com Watch Fox News Channel Live: http://www.foxnewsgo.com/ FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing news service delivering breaking news as well as political and business news. The number one network in cable, FNC has been the most-watched television news channel for 18 consecutive years. According to a 2020 Brand Keys Consumer Loyalty Engagement Index report, FOX News is the top brand in the country for morning and evening news coverage. A 2019 Suffolk University poll named FOX News as the most trusted source for television news or commentary, while a 2019 Brand Keys Emotion Engagement Analysis survey found that FOX News was the most trusted cable news brand. A 2017 Gallup/Knight Foundation survey also found that among Americans who could name an objective news source, FOX News was the top-cited outlet. Owned by FOX Corporation, FNC is available in nearly 90 million homes and dominates the cable news landscape, routinely notching the top ten programs in the genre. Watch full episodes of your favorite shows The Five: http://video.foxnews.com/playlist/lon... Special Report with Bret Baier: http://video.foxnews.com/playlist/lon... The Story with Martha Maccallum: http://video.foxnews.com/playlist/lon... Tucker Carlson Tonight: http://video.foxnews.com/playlist/lon... Hannity: http://video.foxnews.com/playlist/lon... The Ingraham Angle: http://video.foxnews.com/playlist/lon... Fox News @ Night: http://video.foxnews.com/playlist/lon... Follow Fox News on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FoxNews/ Follow Fox News on Twitter: https://twitter.com/FoxNews/ Follow Fox News on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/foxnews/om/ 18,287 Comments Add a public comment...


Diemitri Moran , 3 days ago

Left or right, you can't dispute how wrong this is. It's despicable.

Gagan Jaswal , 23 hours ago

I'm not a fan of tucker but this is just wrong. Completely horrible and wrong.

Kathylee Choi , 1 day ago

NYT is nothing But fake journalism that once again the rock bottom of credible news networks,

TherapyChick , 1 day ago

This is absolutely disgusting! How can these "reporters" sleep at night. Shame on these liberals.

John Vest , 2 days ago

" in time of universal deceit , telling the truth becomes revolutionary " . George Orwell .

Em Gee , 3 days ago

Absolutely Disgusting behavior . The NYT IS the Enemy of the People.

Laurel Hayes , 1 day ago

This is shocking. I can't understand how this is acceptable in anyone's mind.

TheAusugn , 1 day ago

Tucker Carlson is a hero and he doesn't even realize it. God bless.

R. S. , 1 day ago

Tucker, play hardball with these fascist thugs and "do unto them as they have done unto you." No mercy. Protect your family.

gneisenau77 , 1 day ago

NYT is a disgusting shrunken shadow of its former glorious self.

Dwayne Sessions , 3 days ago

Instead of reporting news they are now into harassment and stalking.

Sherrie Patrick , 1 day ago

When I heard about this, I began to pray for Tucker and his family's safety and protection. This hit me hard and actually broke my heart. I will continue to intercede for this family and pray God keeps an open door for his (and everyone's) freedom of speech.

Kim Bronius , 23 hours ago

He has a point that his home and family should not be attacked nor exposed. No matter what his opinions are his family should be left alone.

Troy Cummings , 1 day ago

Well said Tucker. It's a shame that "professionals" don't tend to own accountability for their actions. It's un-American for them to do that to your family.

rumbaut17 , 1 day ago (edited)

Unfortunately the majority of the americans don't know what communism is 😔.

shyman99 , 3 days ago

The highest rated cable news program in the history of TV, meet the most disgraced newspaper in the country.

ZDFraser , 1 day ago

We should demand that The New York Times make a public apology. This is horribly wrong and evil.

G L , 1 day ago

You need to file a lawsuit Tucker they're slandering and endangering you and your family

Joeyballz77 , 1 day ago

I sir would volunteer to do off duty security at your house free of charge whenever needed!!

J Hutson , 1 day ago

You should convince your wife to familiarize herself with a reliable firearm.

P McGill , 3 days ago

It is time for President Trump to decisively deal with this literal coup/insurrection, carried-out by marxist-bolsjevviks.

benerval7 , 1 day ago

Sue the New York Times and any person they direct to mess with you.

Angela Conley , 1 day ago

Maybe it's time to give them a dose of their own medicine. We stand with you tucker

Kevin W , 20 hours ago

"The last thing this country needs is narcissism." Yet he loves Trump!!!!

Kathy Szolomayer , 1 day ago

Tucker, I have never commented on any show ever and I'm almost 70 years old. But I am ashamed of my country and astounded by how the law allows this kind of behavior to happen. You're good people, and your reporting is very important and excellent. I will be praying for your family for protection. And for someway for retribution. God bless you.

[Jul 24, 2020] At Animal Farm, all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

This all deflection from the oligarchy rule
Jul 24, 2020 | www.youtube.com
Tucker- There are two versions of the law - YouTube

America's shutdown exposed huge double standard.


I M , 1 month ago

I never understood why Americans are so protective of the Second Amendment and their right to bear arms. I get it now.

Victor Del Prete , 1 month ago

Tucker is the last best journalist in the U.S.A.

Stephen Tumlin , 1 month ago

If someone is treated special all the time, when they get treated normally, they feel oppressed.

blurglide , 1 month ago

At Animal Farm, all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

Metal Faced DOOM , 1 month ago

Tucker Carlson is vilified by leftists but his viewership is skyrocketing. Has to mean something

lil doe , 1 month ago

Trump didn't create the hate in the left. He exposed it

Tommy Brackett , 1 month ago

"To argue with someone who has renounced all reason, is like administering medicine to the dead"

See the Light , 1 month ago

When all else fails, there's still the Second Amendment. Why do we have a Second Amendment? In case all else fails.

Paul collins , 1 month ago

you talk from the heart and you never cave. Free speech is a rare thing these days and must be protected.

Lorry Camill , 1 month ago

No one ☝️ is above the law only Antifa and Pelosi and Maxine Watters 😂😂😂😂and there rioters

Casinoman , 1 month ago

The only truth teller on cable right now.

GutteralEviceration , 1 month ago

If we fall there will be "nowhere to escape to" - Ronald Reagan This is the last stand on earth.

danny adventurer , 1 month ago

I hope Tucker will be able to continue with his message. He's the only one left to communicate the truth.

Flamethrower82 , 1 month ago

The Democrats want their slaves back.

Martin Coté , 1 month ago

Am I the only one who hears the urgency in Tucker's voice, we are in real trouble and it's only going to get worse!!!

droneultimatum , 1 month ago

When a criminal shoots someone the left blames the gun. When a cop shoots a criminal the left blames the cop.

Loco Motives , 1 month ago

"No one is above the Law" Translation: 'You are not above the Law and... We, Are The Law'

Edward Oliver , 3 weeks ago

"All animals are equal. But some are more equal than others..." 🐖 🐕🐑 🐎🐄🐐🐓

Jackie Eastom , 1 month ago

ONCE AGAIN! THEY ARE "ELECTED " REPRESENTATIVES! NOT LEADERS!

FmnstsRDumb MAGAMAN , 1 month ago

It's hilarious hearing democrats say "no-one is above the law" as they cheat the system becoming multi millionaires via insider trading and selling their influence.

Andrey Kravets , 1 month ago

Over these last few weeks Tucker has been one of the few people to stand up to the mob and refuses to give in. Tremendous respect for people who refuse to give up their dignity.

[Jul 19, 2020] Real cancel culture is a psyop to cancel truth or make it unrecognizable from lie via coloring and half-truths such as Russiagate, White Helmets, Skripals, MH-17, Integrity Initiative, Russian Bounties

Jul 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Jul 18 2020 21:38 utc | 53

The establishment's massive propaganda campaigns and psyops CANCEL the truth or make it unrecognizable via coloring and half-truths. Russiagate, White Helmets, Skripals, MH-17, Integrity Initiative, Assange, Russian Bounties & remaining in Afghanistan, "China virus", hydroxyChloroquine, etc.

The Trump Administration has CANCELED entire countries via terminating peace treaties, imposing sanctions, covert war, and conducting a propaganda war.

Where is the outrage from writers, artists, and academics about THAT?

[Jul 19, 2020] Meet Your New Elites- The Woke Cancel Mobs -

Jul 19, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Meet Your New Elites: The Woke Cancel Mobs

They trot out old power dynamics and pathetically shadowbox authority. Yet they're the ones who are in charge now. Former New York Times columnist Bari Weiss. Credit: HBO/YouTube Screenshot

JULY 16, 2020

|

12:01 AM

MATT PURPLE

If only we could all lead pampered lives like Salman Rushdie.

Last week, several dozen writers and intellectuals published a letter in Harper's Magazine that condemned -- though they never used the term explicitly -- cancel culture. The signatories included Margaret Atwood and Martin Amis, Gloria Steinem and Steven Pinker, while the missive itself was a fairly routine statement of classical liberal principles. "The free exchange of information and ideas," it reads, "the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted." Also: "The restriction of debate, whether by a repressive government or an intolerant society, invariably hurts those who lack power and makes everyone less capable of democratic participation." The political right under Donald Trump long ago grew illiberal, the signers say. Now the resistance to Trump and the online woke are going the same way.

https://lockerdome.com/lad/13045197114175078?pubid=ld-dfp-ad-13045197114175078-0&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theamericanconservative.com&rid=www.theamericanconservative.com&width=838

What happened next was utterly predictable. Conservatives, despite being denounced as illiberal in the very first paragraph, did not attack the letter, demand consequences for the signers, sneer themselves into post-anoxic comas on Twitter; mostly they praised the document and passed it around. The left, meanwhile, began a four-alarm hissy fit that's somehow still ongoing today. The letter was accused of fanning a moral panic. Cancel culture was dismissed as fake news, a repackaging of normal political passions and activism into a counterfeit bogey.

Mostly though, progressives just crammed the letter into their usual class war. The signatories were tagged as elites desperately trying to safeguard their privilege, in contrast to their targets, the huddled masses of the Twitter woke. The letter's critics, as Michael Hobbes of the Huffington Post put it, were "ordinary people" who lack "institutional power" and "point out the failures of those institutions." A woke response letter published at The Objective, which appears to have been penned by an illiterate -- it may be that the real divide here is between those who can write and those who can't -- claimed of the first letter, "The content of the letter also does not deal with the problem of power: who has it and who does not." It continued, " Harper's has decided to bestow its platform not to marginalized people but to people who already have large followings and plenty of opportunities to make their views heard."

A few words on all this.

First, you don't get more "marginalized" than having a fatwa declared against your novel by a national government, becoming the target of riots and book burnings, being forced into hiding, and dodging repeated attempts on your life, as happened to Salman Rushdie, one of the Harper's signers. Another, Garry Kasparov, was exiled from Russia for supporting democracy. To be sure, this hardly compares to the tribulations undergone by your average Huffington Post staffer, who risks ennui-filled glances from her coworkers every time she shares the wrong Handmaid's Tale GIF. But it does seem like Rushdie and Kasparov might know something about standing up for free expression. It may even be that we should consider what they have to say.

me title=

https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.396.0_en.html#goog_424665540 00:13 / 00:59 00:00 Next Video × Next Video J.d. Vance Remarks On A New Direction For Pro-worker, Pro-family Conservatism, Tac Gala, 5-2019 Cancel Autoplay is paused

Second and more importantly, the reaction to the letter demonstrates just how oblivious the left has become to its own power. Back in the 1960s, to be a leftist was to be countercultural, smashing monogamy and fighting the man. Today's left wants that same rebellious aura, except that they've since marched through just about every major institution. Academia swallows whole their assumptions; so does the publishing industry, many corporate boards, much of the media, the federal bureaucracy, a healthy section of the internet. Those who speak out against the Harper's letter are thus not remotely "marginalized"; they are heard loudly and often. Many of them have blue Twitter checkmarks, that garish amulet of the modern elite. This is how power works now: money and rank matter less than they used to, visibility and influence count for more. And by those yardsticks, the woke are plenty powerful.

This is why a social media mob -- an aggregate of all that power -- can be just as coercive, just as authoritarian, as an out-of-control government. Yet the wokesters refuse to see this. They act as though by participating in cancel culture, they're merely exercising their own free speech, their right to critique authority, a far cry from the state shutting someone up. In this, they make a mistake usually committed by only the most doctrinaire libertarians. There's a tendency among some libertarians to divide the world into the private sector and the public sector. And right on -- that bifurcation is healthy and necessary, even if these are imprecise and overlapping terms. But emblazon that line too brightly and the division can become a moral one. You start treating everything on the public side as suspect and worthy of criticism, while rationalizing away the bad on the private side. That's just business being business , you say. You come to view Google, for example, as not just free to do as it likes, but fundamentally justified in its actions by mere virtue of its epistemological geography in the private sector.

The woke left is now falling into a similar trap. So long as the government isn't kicking down anyone's door, they say, there's no censorship at work, since their angry letters and boycotts all fall under the umbrella of private expression. Yet such private expression can be a bullying force all its own. A professor who risks being fired from his position and permanently stigmatized on the internet because he says the wrong thing is not really free to speak his mind. He may not receive a cease-and-desist order in the mail, but he's still being suppressed. Yet the left has willfully blindfolded itself to this. Over at The New Republic , Osita Nwanevu notes, "When a speaker is denied or when staffers at a publication argue that something should not have been published, the rights of the parties in question haven't been violated in any way." That's technically true. But the result can be close to the same. The idea that the spirit of free speech can't be squashed by private actors, by a culture or a crowd, is absurd.

From here, the woke left issues another denial: cancel culture doesn't really exist. What the Harper's letter frets about, they say, is just a smattering of incidents that hardly amount to a pattern. Really? A University of Chicago economist was recently put on leave for criticizing Black Lives Matter and opposing efforts to defund police departments. A political data analyst was fired for tweeting out academic research that found that riots in 1968 helped Richard Nixon. A children's author was sacked for saying she stood with J.K. Rowling . A novelist stopped her own book from being published after it was attacked for depicting intra-racial slavery.

Another novelist had his book yanked for the crime of being set during the Kosovo War. Two professors at Yale stepped down as heads of a residential college because they'd suggested the university didn't need a policy against offensive Halloween costumes. A New York Review of Books editor resigned for publishing an essay by a broadcaster who'd been acquitted of sexual assault. Conservatives like Charles Murray, Christina Hoff Sommers, and Ben Shapiro have been regularly attacked and disrupted when they try to speak on college campuses. How much more needs to happen before we're allowed to acknowledge a trend? This isn't prudent maintenance of the Overton window, weeding out genuine hatred and bigotry; it's the enforcement of the whims of a neighing, infantile mob. Its aim isn't to inquire and improve, but to ossify and silence.

The Harper's signers thus aren't "the real illiberals," as the woke have asserted. Nothing in their letter suggests they want to use their power to silence their critics. What they desire is the opposite: an end to hair-trigger punishments that have sent a chill through our intellectual life. It shouldn't be remotely surprising that artists and academics support free expression. What should really flabbergast us is that the consensus in bohemia and the ivory tower is tilting in the other direction. As I wrap up this column, Bari Weiss, one of the Harper's signers, has just left the New York Times , citing a hostile woke work environment. Steven Pinker, another signatory, has narrowly survived an attempt to cancel him. The new orthodoxy is intolerant, hell-bent on enforcing its views, pathetically shadowboxing an elite it long ago joined. It threatens nothing less than our essential ability to communicate. ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Purple is a senior editor at The American Conservative .


MPC 21 hours ago

Well, it should be very obvious now what you shouldn't do - throw a Trump against them. It just revs them up more, and his group are too radical in their own way to win away the middle from them.

"When you cannot attack then defend. When you cannot defend then retreat." Retreat. Curse them with victory. Without a force like Trump to allow them to unify a group under their banner they'll make innumerable enemies, as these shots over their bow indicate, who no longer have any reason to tolerate them whatsoever.

BillDaytona MPC 12 hours ago

True.

I believe the left and their elite enablers are intentionally trying to provoke a response from middle America, so they can crack down. So far, they have been stuck blue-on-blue. Not only that, but when they do win, they lose, as you said. There is learning.

They are also rapidly accelerating the number of people they alienate.

A friend of mine was a Navy SEAL. He said sometimes, you just keep quiet and watch.

Civis Romanus Sum BillDaytona 8 hours ago

Most of the victims of cancel culture seem to fall into two groups: 1. people who share most of the ideology of the cancellers but differ on one or two points, and 2. old-fashioned (usually older and white) liberals who don't realize that the rules of the game have changed.

JK Rowling, for instance, belongs to group 1: she was a flaming social liberal who enthusiastically accepted all liberal assumptions until she found one she couldn't accept. Examples of group 2 include the dismissed Poetry Foundation officials, and the museum curator in San Francisco who was canned because he said he wasn't going to discriminate against white artists.

It is much harder to cancel religious fundamentalists, ethno-nationalists, neo-reactionaries, and other anti-liberals because they normally refuse to play the liberal game (correctly seeing at as rigged against them), and therefore they often develop strategies for surviving "off the grid" of the standard media and institutions.

BillDaytona Civis Romanus Sum 7 hours ago

That's true. You can't go an inch down the road with them. I treat them like a guy trying to sell me a watch on the street.

Victor_the_thinker Civis Romanus Sum 4 hours ago

Your last paragraph isn't true. Many of the Charlottesville people were canceled. They lost their jobs and lost their income when they were sued for damages. Most of these people weren't actually living off the grid.

Civis Romanus Sum Victor_the_thinker 4 hours ago

True, but I'm thinking of people like Vox Day (who started his own publishing house) and the various alt-right/ alt-left/ alt-whatever types who got kicked off YouTube and wound up at other platforms. "Build your own platforms" is a principle with many of them, because they assume they will eventually get kicked off of someone else's.

marisheba BillDaytona 5 hours ago

Wait, what? Why would the woke be trying to provoke a crackdown response? Confused.

d_hochberg MPC 4 hours ago

I hate Trump and didn't vote for him in 2016 but am going to this year because the left has gone off the deep end. And does not recognize how extreme it is. Won't matter though since I live in Western Washington. But other people must feel the same way.

Libby d_hochberg 39 minutes ago

Exactly the same way. I did not vote for him in 2016 and began his term set firmly in the anti-Trump camp. I no longer 'hate' Trump (remember he is not a politician but a real estate developer): nothing he does, not a single tweet, nor even their sum total, comes anywhere close to the damage the current left is inflicting. He is the dam holding back total chaos.

Victor_the_thinker 16 hours ago

" A woke response letter published at The Objective, which appears to have been penned by an illiterate -- it may be that the real divide here is between those who can write and those who can't -- claimed of the first letter,"

This is a totally unnecessary and mean spirited line.

Gary Keith Chesterton Victor_the_thinker 13 hours ago

The letter was "a group effort"

Ray Woodcock Victor_the_thinker 9 hours ago

I don't think criticizing poor grammar or whatever is necessarily meanspirited. But I expected that the ensuing quote would illustrate what was "illiterate" about that letter. As far as I can tell, the alleged illiterate managed to communicate in writing, thereby disproving Purple's assessment.

Civis Romanus Sum 13 hours ago

If the cancel culture continues, at some point a critical mass will be reached, and the cancellees will be numerous enough to set up their own media and institutions.

GMW Civis Romanus Sum 11 hours ago

Has anyone ever noticed that many people who seem to be participating in this cancelling behavior are the groups of people (e.g., black, LGBTQ) who are/have typically been vulnerable to "cancellation" efforts of a more aggressive kind? Is it possible that is more of an "offense as defense" situation?

marisheba GMW 11 hours ago

I think this is to some degree the case, yes. Ezra Klein makes the point that the argument of the letter writers would go down much better if they acknowledged the way that marginalized people have been cancelled forever, and had some active concern for addressing the ways that some of the debates that the woke want to shut down have real implications for the rights and safety of marginalized groups.

GMW marisheba 10 hours ago

I also think that given the climate right now people have the mindset that they have to take what they can get. There is nothing substantive being done to reunite separated families at the border, but they can make the Goya people uncomfortable for standing with those in power for example. If marginalized people felt like their concerns were being taken seriously by those in power, the value of these boycotts and disruption would likely be reduced.

marisheba GMW 9 hours ago

Yes, cancel culture, like riots, are to some degree the language of the unheard. There are plenty of cases where I think cancel culture was the best outlet available, since our justice system has failed so hard to adequately address injustices. #metoo is a huge example of this, and was effective and appropriate when it was bringing town powerful people with multiple accusers (though the real takedowns of #metoo happened less on twitter and more through journalism). But, of course, this kind of tool is extremely dangerous and unweildy and is only appropriate for exceptional cases.

What I can't stand are the people that decry cancel culture AND think the status quo is okay for marginalized people (or for the way sexual assualt is handled in this country). If you don't address injustice, people will find a way to be heard, and you probably won't end up liking it.

Again, I say this as someone deeply critical of cancel culture.

cka2nd GMW an hour ago

Well, the elites have no real problem with cancel culture, especially when they can fund its purveyors to keep people distracted from demanding health care and living wages for all, among other things that would actually help a lot more people than tearing down some statues.

Is it just me, or has most of the Fortune 500 come through the last few years of cancel culture fairly unscathed?

d_hochberg marisheba 4 hours ago

If they cared about safety they would not be trying to defund police, the net result of which will certainly be more dead black people.

marisheba d_hochberg an hour ago

It's just not that simple to analyze others' psycology. It's so easy to say "if they REALLY believed X, then they would Y." Liberals would say that if conservatives really cared about safety they'd be pro-gun control and if they really cared about life they would be anti-capital punishment and for the social safety net.

I think the defund movement is a ridiculous pipe dream, up there with how libertarians think we'd all just get along if government got out of the way. But it's bad logic, not bad faith, that leads them to think this way--they are very, very much motivated by safety.

kouroi 12 hours ago

Given all the comments on Mr. Dreher's post concerning the ousting of Bari Weiss, I would have placed a different picture for the article... Nobody seems to shed a tear for that particular person, who appears to have gotten on her position for being a very skillful at cancel culture herself...

HarrySaber kouroi 3 hours ago

She wasn't ousted. She resigned.

Pete Barbeaux 11 hours ago

I'll take 'woke' 111 times out of 100 over "literally banning masks to ensure the pandemic is genocidal", thanks.

marisheba 11 hours ago

Not sure why this took me so long to figure out. But the reason the woke feel like this letter is trying to silence them is clear. While the letter in no way trying to silence anyone, it IS in a very real way, asking to strip the woke of recently achieved power. No one wants to give up power, and the wokes' power is of a special kind since, as laid out in this piece, it's power the woke wield while denying they even have it. Someone trying to take your power away does feel like being silenced.

It's a conundrum I do sympathize with in this sense: no, the Twitter woke are not marginalized withing the social-political sphere. However, they are still championing and often made up of the representatives of genuinely marginalized groups who still face descrimination and threats to their real, actual safety in their daily lives. This is particularly true of trans people, a deeply vulnerable group who get nothing but ridicule, political attacks, and efforts to restrict their rights from the right and even from the center. That is why trans activists are the most militant, their people are the most vulnerable. So there's this sense that the powerless finally have some power to wield, and now they are being asked to give it up. None of that changes the dangerousness of the power held by a righteous mob; it IS illiberal, and and the woke need to (haha) wake up to that fact and do better.

bradleyscreek marisheba 9 hours ago

Transactivists, unlike actual transpeople 20 years ago, are NOT deeply vulnerable, at all. They are the most militant because half of the males are autogynephiliacs who literally fetishize transgressing into women's spaces. Their rape and death threats and endless sexualizing of their transition to their new "identity" and forcing other women (especially lesbians) to validate their false identity is the behavior of heterosexual males WITH POWER. This is the most dangerous movement in the past 30 years, causing untold damage to children and teens. I'm sorry you don't see that and hope you can open your eyes and ears to alternative media like Women Are Human, Feminist Current, and 4th Wave Now to learn the facts.

Reddit just cancelled several gender critical groups--international support groups including for teens going the painful process of "detransitioning"--because saying trans women are not biological women is "hate speech." Meanwhile Reddit keeps up its militant mens rights groups and several rape and teen focused pornography sites, because that apparently isn't hate speech. If you can't see the power dynamics here, I don't know how to help you.

marisheba bradleyscreek 5 hours ago

Gross.

marisheba bradleyscreek 5 hours ago

To elaborate: do you even know any trans people? Because I know plenty. And follow some on the internet, and read their writings. I hate to break it to you, but they are just people. Like any people, there are some unsavory people amongst them, of course. But you are deeply, deeply misguided in your sources, and are slandering people that just want to live their lives in peace. Due to the difficulty they have doing that, yes, some are rather militant in their activism; I don't support that, but I do support trans people and trans rights.

By the way, as an intellectually curious person who doesn't want to miss things, I've looked into the "gender critical" world, and it's not the least bit convincing. I have a certain amount of sympathy for women who feel like trans-women are encroaching on their spaces (they're wrong though, their reactions are a lot like male gatekeeping as women gain rights), but I have no sympathy whatsoever for the abusive, dehumanizing language about trans people that is all over those sites (just as I have no sympathy whatsoever for trans people that throw abuse at detractors).

d_hochberg marisheba 4 hours ago

Your first comment was pretty good but you are wrong on some points here;
1) Biological men don't belong in women's safe spaces.
2) The trans movement is doing enormous damage to children and teens who are sucked up into its ideology and making (or having their parents make) irreversible choices. See the suppressed study on Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria by Lisa Littman among others.
There are in addition increasing numbers of people who are transitioning and then coming to regret their choice, though granted others claim it rescued them. How anyone can ignore the hige downside of this phenomenon is beyond me.

Libby bradleyscreek 16 minutes ago

Thank you. The left today, at least in its extremes, seems to borrow more from the underworld than from an essay -erred or not -of human reason. The problem is that these elements are seeping into the left's main current like a weaponized infiltration.

Gio Con 10 hours ago • edited

Liberal elites are so steeped in virtue-signaling that they have convinced themselves that anything they do is just and righteous. That leaves no room for discussion or disagreement, and opens the door for cancellation. The real "sin" of the letters is to see in illiberal cancel culture the mirror image of the intolerance that liberals have been attributing to Trump. It's obvious now that the atmosphere around the left has become brutally authoritarian, and the responses to Weiss's letter and the Harper's letter demonstrate this. Both letters contain necessary critiques of the intolerance of cancel culture/wokeness, but liberal critics chose to ignore the critiques and focus on the characters of the signers. This is woke culture in action. Using the typical academic ad hominem attack, liberal critics opted to kill the messengers because they feared the message.

plains dealer 10 hours ago

If the "woke" are just a tiny number of "four alarm hissy-fit" throwers, how can they cancel anything?

How is what they are doing any different than boycotts, plenty of which have been orchestrated by so-called conservatives?

And this author's example of Rushdie as marginalized by having a well publicized fatwa against him issued makes me conclude that he really doesn't understand the concept.

marisheba plains dealer 4 hours ago

Boycotts are powerful tools--when weilded effectively. But it's hard to do so. You have to have a LOT of widespread support, organization, and commitment, to make a boycott work. Plenty of attempted boycotts fail because there just aren't enough people committed to them for a long enough time. This is a built-in, self-limiting component of them.

Cancellation, on the other hand, requires little more than thought-free keyboard warriorism. Canecllation has sometimes involved the woke targetting small local businesses, where the woke mob can be enough to send a business under, as in the Denver yoga studio case: https://coloradosun.com/202... I, personally, think the bar for boycotting a local business should be FAR higher than what is exhibited here.

HarrySaber marisheba 3 hours ago

You explained, but I still don't get it. Something about one is hard to do and the other is easy. So that's it?

marisheba HarrySaber an hour ago

Essentially, yes. Raising the bar for how difficult it is to inflict mass/mob punishment seems pretty consequential.

Gary Bebop 7 hours ago

Cancel culture wokeness will never "make America good again." The more we indulge that foul spirit, the more diseased and debased our culture becomes. We don't need more mob vitality; we need more reasonable actors.

cstahnke 7 hours ago

While I basically agree with you on the substance of your piece, I resent dismissing the left of the 60s as wanting to end monogamy--really? I was part of that movement and I can tell you we were against the Vietnam War and for the end of segregation, and recognizing the crimes against people of color, native peoples, the poor, sexual minorities and women's rights and, above all, the right to free speech. We wanted the values we expounded thunderously around the world to actually mean something. We weren't all united on everything but pansexualism was a very minor issue among a very small minority of our number.

I don't recognize the current "left" as leftist at all but precisely who they appear to be effete cultural snobs from the upper-middle-class who resemble the "know-nothings", Maoists and have little to do with class-struggle.

Doom Incarnate 5 hours ago

The rando mob on twitter are the "elites"?

Ummm...
Ok then...

cka2nd an hour ago • edited

"Nothing in their letter suggests they want to use their power to silence their critics."

There is an entire paragraph devoted to suggesting that some of the signatories of the original letter - specifically Bari Weiss, Katha Pollitt, Emily Yoffe, Anne-Marie Slaughter and Cary Nelson - have tried to use their power to silence their critics, and provided links to the allegations. I didn't actually follow the links, but the suggestion is certainly there.

"A woke response letter published at The Objective, which appears to have been penned by an illiterate -- it may be that the real divide here is between those who can write and those who can't -- claimed of the first letter..."

I didn't find the Observer letter illiterate, at all, myself.

[Jul 19, 2020] By making things personal and consequential in real life, cancel culture is fanning divisive flames that could one day turn into a real civil conflagration.

Jul 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

lizard , Jul 18 2020 21:41 utc | 54

has anyone commenting here actually been targeted by cancel culture? I have and it's not fun having to talk to HR about why your boss is receiving anonymous letters trying to get you fired for stuff said online. in my case it was the celebratory tone I took upon hearing John McCain had died that inspired this gutless piece of shit to act IRL.

even the New York Times got a piece of the action by threatening to name the blogger behind Slate Star Codex. this is from New Statesman:

Scott Alexander are the real first and middle names of the author, a psychiatrist based in California, who had kept his full identity secret. However, as he revealed in a post this week, a New York Times tech reporter decided to write about his blog and the community around it, and intended to publish Scott Alexander's full name. In response, Alexander decided to close down Slate Star Codex, claiming that revealing his identity would undermine his ability to treat his patients, and expose him to death threats, something he said he had already received in small numbers.

The response on Twitter, where many of the blog's readers often dwell, has been one of outrage. Luminaries such as Steven Pinker described it as a "tragedy on the blogosphere". Others such as software inventor and investor Paul Graham talked of cancelling their NYT subscriptions. The title's "threat" has been widely described as "doxxing", a term more commonly used for posting online the personal details of an individual behind a social media account than publishing someone's name in a newspaper story.

by making things personal and consequential in real life, cancel culture is fanning divisive flames that could one day turn into a real civil conflagration.


karlof1 , Jul 18 2020 22:54 utc | 64

Does Cancel Culture intersect with Woke? The former's not mentioned in this fascinating essay , but the latter is and appears to deserve some unpacking beyond what Crooke provides.

As for the letter, it's way overdue by 40+ years. I recall reading Bloom's The Closing of the American Mind and Christopher Lasch's Culture of Narcissism where they say much the same.

What's most irksome are the lies that now substitute for discourse--Trump or someone from his admin lies, then the WaPost, NY Times, MSNBC, Fox, and others fire back with their lies. And to top everything off--There's ZERO accountability: people who merit "canceling" continue to lie and commit massive fraud.

The Chinese and Russian Foreign Ministers just jointly agreed in a rare published account of their phone conversation that the Outlaw US Empire " has lost its sense of reason, morality and credibility .

Yes, they were specifically referring to the government, but I'd include the Empire's institutions as well. In the face of that reality, the letter is worse than a joke.

Peter AU1 , Jul 18 2020 23:30 utc | 69

karlof1 "Does Cancel Culture intersect with Woke?"

I looked up a couple of random names that had signed the letter. One was an ex US ambassador and it now consultant to a private security company GardaWorld Federal Security. https://www.academyofdiplomacy.org/member/frances-d-cook/
https://garda-federal.com/index.html

The other turned out to be a 'Novelist'. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zia_Ha
"Rahman was a college scholar at Balliol College,[6] one of the constituent colleges of Oxford University, and received a first class honours degree in mathematics,[7] before completing further studies in mathematics, economics, and law at the Maximilianeum, a foundation for gifted students, and Munich, Cambridge, and Yale universities. He briefly worked as an investment banker for Goldman Sachs in New York before practising as a corporate lawyer and then as an international human rights lawyer with the Open Society Foundations focusing on grand corruption in Africa.[8] He has also worked as an anti-corruption activist for Transparency International in South Asia.[9]"

Perhaps a small sample but Culture Cancel and Crooke's Woke most likely intersect, perhaps being one and the same.

William Gruff , Jul 18 2020 23:48 utc | 70

GardaWorld Federal Security - Headquarters in McLean, Virginia (don't laugh!). I guess they don't want to be too far from their bosses in Langley.

Most employees work in Afghanistan. Minimum wage cannon fodder.

OK, so why is the CIA getting worried about "cancel culture" ? Are they afraid that it will get out of hand?

[Jul 19, 2020] American Maidan is social revolution that is pushed forward by radical children of the bourgeoisie. Their leaders have nothing to say about poverty or unemployment. Their demands are centered on utopian ideals: diversity and racial justice ideals pursued with the fervor of regious converts

Highly recommended!
Just look at the cost of smartphone that they display at the riots and you instantly get a certain impression about income of their parents
Notable quotes:
"... And their radicalism would be resisted, Lasch predicted, not by the upper reaches of society, or the leaders of Big Philanthropy or the Corporate Billionaires. These latter, rather, would be its facilitators and financiers." ..."
Jul 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Peter AU1 , Jul 19 2020 1:35 utc | 80

A section quoted by Crooke in the piece karlof1 linked to

"A social revolution that would be pushed forward by radical children of the bourgeoisie. Their leaders would have almost nothing to say about poverty or unemployment. Their demands would be centred on utopian ideals: diversity and racial justice – ideals pursued with the fervour of an abstract, millenarian ideology.

And their radicalism would be resisted, Lasch predicted, not by the upper reaches of society, or the leaders of Big Philanthropy or the Corporate Billionaires. These latter, rather, would be its facilitators and financiers."

And Crooke's thoughts..

"So, what can we make of all this? The US has suddenly exploded into, on the one hand, culture cancelation, and on the other, into silent seething at the lawlessness, and at all the statues toppled. It is a nation becoming angrier, and edging towards violence.

One segment of the country believes that America is inherently and institutionally racist, and incapable of self-correcting its flawed founding principles – absent the required chemotherapy to kill-off the deadly mutated cells of its past history, traditions and customs.

Another, affirms those principles that underlay America's 'golden age'; which made America great; and which, in their view, are precisely those qualities which can make it great again."

The link again https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/07/13/is-this-awokening-a-revolution-or-not/

[Jul 18, 2020] Divide We Fall -- America Has Been Blacklisted and McCarthyism Refashioned for a New Age

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Not to be outdone, the censors are also taking aim at To Kill a Mockingbird , Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about Atticus Finch, a white lawyer in the Jim Crow South who defends a black man falsely accused of rape. Sixty years after its debut, the book remains a powerful testament to moral courage in the face of racial bigotry and systemic injustice , told from the point of view of a child growing up in the South, but that's not enough for the censors. They want to axe the book -- along with The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn -- from school reading curriculums because of the presence of racial slurs that could make students feel "humiliated or marginalized." ..."
"... What started with Joseph McCarthy's headline-grabbing scare tactics in the 1950s about Communist infiltrators of American society snowballed into a devastating witch hunt once corporations and the American people caught the fever. ..."
"... McCarthyism was a contagion, like the plague, spreading like wildfire among people too fearful or weak or gullible or paranoid or greedy or ambitious to denounce it for what it was: an opportunistic scare tactic engineered to make the government more powerful. ..."
"... Battlefield America: The War on the American People ..."
Jul 18, 2020 | www.mintpressnews.com

For those old enough to have lived through the McCarthy era, there is a whiff of something in the air that reeks of the heightened paranoia, finger-pointing, fear-mongering, totalitarian tactics that were hallmarks of the 1950s.

Back then, it was the government -- spearheaded by Senator Joseph McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee -- working in tandem with private corporations and individuals to blacklist Americans suspected of being communist sympathizers.

By the time the witch hunts carried out by federal and state investigative agencies drew to a close, thousands of individuals ( the vast majority of them innocent any crime whatsoever ) had been accused of communist ties, investigated, subpoenaed and blacklisted. Regarded as bad risks, the accused were blacklisted, and struggled to secure employment. The witch hunt ruined careers, resulting in suicides, and tightened immigration to exclude alleged subversives.

Seventy years later, the vitriol, fear-mongering and knee-jerk intolerance associated with McCarthy's tactics are once again being deployed in a free-for-all attack by those on both the political Left and Right against anyone who, in daring to think for themselves, subscribes to ideas or beliefs that run counter to the government's or mainstream thought

It doesn't even seem to matter what the issue is anymore (racism, Confederate monuments, Donald Trump, COVID-19, etc.): modern-day activists are busily tearing down monuments, demonizing historic figures, boycotting corporations for perceived political transgressions, and using their bully pulpit to terrorize the rest of the country into kowtowing to their demands

All the while, the American police state continues to march inexorably forward.

This is how fascism, which silences all dissenting views, prevails.

The silence is becoming deafening.

After years of fighting in and out of the courts to keep their 87-year-old name, the NFL's Washington Redskins have bowed to public pressure and will change their name and team logo to avoid causing offense . The new name, not yet announced, aims to honor both the military and Native Americans.

Eleanor Holmes Norton, a delegate to the House of Representatives who supports the name change, believes the team's move " reflects the present climate of intolerance to names, statues, figments of our past that are racist in nature or otherwise imply racism [and] are no longer tolerated."

Present climate of intolerance, indeed.

Yet it wasn't a heightened racial conscience that caused the Redskins to change their brand. It was the money. The team caved after its corporate sponsors including FedEx, PepsiCo, Nike and Bank of America threatened to pull their funding

So much for that U.S. Supreme Court victory preventing the government from censoring trademarked names it considers distasteful or scandalous.

Who needs a government censor when the American people are already doing such a great job at censoring themselves and each other, right?

Now there's a push underway to boycott Goya Foods after its CEO, Robert Unanue, praised President Trump during a press conference to announce Goya's donation of a million cans of Goya chickpeas and a million other food products to American food banks as part of the president's Hispanic Prosperity Initiative.

Mind you, Unanue -- whose grandfather emigrated to the U.S. from Spain -- also praised the Obamas when they were in office, but that kind of equanimity doesn't carry much weight in this climate of intolerance.

Not to be outdone, the censors are also taking aim at To Kill a Mockingbird , Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about Atticus Finch, a white lawyer in the Jim Crow South who defends a black man falsely accused of rape. Sixty years after its debut, the book remains a powerful testament to moral courage in the face of racial bigotry and systemic injustice , told from the point of view of a child growing up in the South, but that's not enough for the censors. They want to axe the book -- along with The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn -- from school reading curriculums because of the presence of racial slurs that could make students feel "humiliated or marginalized."

Never mind that the N-word makes a regular appearance in hip-hop songs. The prevailing attitude seems to be that it's okay to use the N-word as long as the person saying the word is not white . Rapper Kendrick Lamar "would like white America to let black people exclusively have the word."

Talk about a double standard.

This is also the overlooked part of how oppression becomes systemic: it comes about as a result of a combined effort between the populace, the corporations and the government.

McCarthyism worked the same way.

What started with Joseph McCarthy's headline-grabbing scare tactics in the 1950s about Communist infiltrators of American society snowballed into a devastating witch hunt once corporations and the American people caught the fever.

McCarthyism was a contagion, like the plague, spreading like wildfire among people too fearful or weak or gullible or paranoid or greedy or ambitious to denounce it for what it was: an opportunistic scare tactic engineered to make the government more powerful.

The parallels to the present movement cannot be understated.

The contagion of fear that McCarthy helped spread with the help of government agencies, corporations and the power elite is still poisoning the well, whitewashing our history, turning citizen against citizen, and stripping us of our rights.

What we desperately need is the kind of resolve embodied by Edward R. Murrow, the most-respected newsman of his day.

On March 9, 1954, Murrow dared to speak truth to power about the damage McCarthy was inflicting on the American people. His message remains a timely warning for our age.

We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine; and remember that we are not descended from fearful men. Not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate, and to defend causes that were for the moment unpopular.

America is approaching another reckoning right now, one that will pit our commitment to freedom principles against a level of fear-mongering that is being used to wreak havoc on everything in its path.

The outcome rests, as always, with "we the people." As Murrow said to his staff before the historic March 9 broadcast: "No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices."

Take heed, America.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People , this may be your last warning.

Feature photo | Nehemiah Nuk Nuk Johnson, left, with JUICE (Justice Unites Individuals and Communities Everywhere), confronts a counter protester who did not give his name in Martinez, Calif., July 12, 2020, during a protest calling for an end to racial injustice and accountability for police. Jeff Chiu | AP

John W. Whitehead is a constitutional attorney, author and founder and president of The Rutherford Institute . His new book Battlefield America: The War on the American People (SelectBooks, 2015) is available online at www.amazon.com. Whitehead can be contacted at johnw@rutherford.org .

[Jul 18, 2020] Walter Williams Blasts The Despicable Behavior Of Today's Academicians -

Jul 18, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Walter Williams Blasts The Despicable Behavior Of Today's Academicians by Tyler Durden Fri, 07/17/2020 - 19:25 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print

Authored by Walter Williams, op-ed via Townhall.com,

The Michigan State University administration pressured professor Stephen Hsu to resign from his position as vice president of research and innovation because he touted research that found police are not more likely to shoot black Americans. The study found:

"The race of a police officer did not predict the race of the citizen shot. In other words, black officers were just as likely to shoot black citizens as white officers were."

For political reasons, the authors of the study sought its retraction.

The U.S. Department of Education warned UCLA that it may impose fines for improperly and abusively targeting white professor Lt. Col. W. Ajax Peris for disciplinary action over his use of the n-word while reading to his class Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail" that contained the expressions "when your first name becomes "n----r," your middle name becomes "boy" (however old you are). Referring to white civil rights activists King wrote, "They have languished in filthy, roach-infested jails, suffering the abuse and brutality of policemen who view them as 'dirty n----r-lovers.'"

Boston University is considering changing the name of its mascot Rhett because of his link to "Gone with the Wind." Almost 4,000 Rutgers University students signed a petition to rename campus buildings Hardenbergh Hall, Frelinghuysen Hall, and Milledoler Hall because these men were slave owners . University of Arkansas students petitioned to remove a statue of J. William Fulbright because he was a segregationist who opposed the Brown v. Board of Education that ruled against school segregation.

The suppression of free speech and ideas by the elite is nothing new. It has a long ugly history. Galileo Galilei was a 17th-century Italian astronomer, physicist, and engineer, sometimes called "father of modern physics." The Catholic Church and other scientists of his day believed that the Earth was the center of the universe. Galileo offered evidence that the Earth traveled around the sun -- heliocentrism. That made him "vehemently suspect of heresy" and was forced to recant and sentenced to formal imprisonment at the pleasure of the Inquisition and was later commuted to house arrest for the rest of his life.

Much of today's totalitarianism, promotion of hate and not to mention outright stupidity, has its roots on college campuses. Sources that report on some of the more egregious forms of the abandonment of free inquiry, hate, and stupidity at our colleges are College Reform and College Fix.

Prof. William S. Penn, who was a Distinguished Faculty Award recipient at Michigan State University in 2003, and a two-time winner of the prestigious Stephen Crane Prize for Fiction, explained to his students, "This country still is full of closet racists." He said:

https://lockerdome.com/lad/13084989113709670?pubid=ld-dfp-ad-13084989113709670-0&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com&rid=www.zerohedge.com&width=890

"Republicans are not a majority in this country anymore. They are a bunch of dead white people. Or dying white people."

NEVER MISS THE NEWS THAT MATTERS MOST

ZEROHEDGE DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX

Receive a daily recap featuring a curated list of must-read stories.

The public has recently been treated to the term -- white privilege. Colleges have long-held courses and seminars on "whiteness." One college even has a course titled "Abolition of Whiteness." According to some academic intellectuals, whites enjoy advantages that non-whites do not. They earn a higher income and reside in better housing, and their children go to better schools and achieve more. Based on that idea, Asian Americans have more white privilege than white people. And, on a personal note, my daughter has more white privilege than probably 95% of white Americans.

Evidence of how stupid college ideas find their way into the public arena can be seen on our daily news. Don Lemon, a CNN anchorman, said, "We have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them." Steven Clifford, a former King Broadcasting CEO, said, "I will be leading a great movement to prohibit straight white males, who I believe supported Donald Trump by about 85 percent, from exercising the franchise (to vote), and I think that will save our democracy."

As George Orwell said, "Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals believe them."

If the stupid ideas of academic intellectuals remained on college campuses and did not infect the rest of society, they might be a source of entertainment -- much like a circus.


[Jul 16, 2020] Ideological Purges and the Lord Voldemort Effect by Ron Unz

Jul 14, 2020 | www.unz.com

Our website traffic easily broke all records for the month of June, and these high levels have now continued into July, suggesting that the huge rise produced by the initial wave of Black Lives Matters protests may be more than temporary. It appears that many new readers first discovered our alternative webzine at that point, and quite a few have stayed on as regular visitors.

This represents a sharp turnaround after May, when our near-simultaneous banning by both Google and Facebook at the beginning of that month caused our previously strong traffic to decline by 15% or more.

A longer-term factor that may be strengthening our position is the unprecedented wave of ideological purges that have swept our country since early June, with prominent figures in the intellectual and media firmaments being especially hard hit. When opinion-leaders become fearful of uttering even slightly controversial words, they either grow silent or only mouth the most saccharine homilies, thereby forcing many of their erstwhile readers to look elsewhere for more candid discussions. And our own webzine is about as "elsewhere" as one could possibly get.

Take, for example, the New York Times , more than ever our national newspaper of record. For the last few years, one of its top figures had been Editorial Page Editor James Bennet, who had previously run The Atlantic , and he was widely considered a leading candidate to assume the same position at the Gray Lady after next year's scheduled retirement of the current top editor. Indeed, with his brother serving as U.S. Senator from Colorado -- and a serious if second-rank presidential candidate -- the Lifestyle section of the Washington Post had already hailed the Bennet brothers as the potential saviors of the American establishment.

But then his paper published an op-ed by an influential Republican senator endorsing President Trump's call for a harsh crackdown on riots and looting, and a Twitter mob of outraged junior Times staffers organized a revolt. The mission of the NYT Opinion Pages is obviously to provide a diversity of opinions, but Bennet was quickly purged .

A similar fate befell the highly-regarded longtime editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer after his paper ran a headline considered insufficiently respectful to black rioters . Michigan State University researchers had raised doubts about the accepted narrative of black deaths at the hands of police, and physicist Stephen Hsu, the Senior Vice President who had supported their work, was forced to resign his administrative position as a consequence.

Numerous other figures of lesser rank have been purged, their careers and livelihoods destroyed for Tweeting out a phrase such as "All Lives Matter," whose current classification as "hate speech" might have stunned even George Orwell. Or perhaps a spouse or other close relative had denounced the black rioters . The standards of acceptable discourse are changing so rapidly that positions which were completely innocuous just a few weeks ago have suddenly become controversial or even forbidden, with punishments sometimes inflicted on a retroactive basis.

I am hardly alone in viewing this situation with great concern. Just last week, some 150 prominent American writers, academics, and intellectuals published an open letter in Harpers expressing their grave concern over protecting our freedom of speech and thought.

Admittedly, the credentials of some of the names on the list were rather doubtful . After all, David Frum and various hard-core Neocons had themselves led the effort to purge from the media all critics of Bush's disastrous Iraq War, and more recently they have continued to do with same with regard to our irrational hostility towards Putin's Russia. But the principled histories of other signers such as Noam Chomsky partially compensated for the inclusion of such unpleasant opportunists.

Although the Harpers statement attracted many stars of our liberal firmament, apparently few people read Harpers these days, with its website traffic being just a tenth of our own. Therefore, the reaction in the media itself was a much more important factor, and this seems to have been decidedly mixed. 150 rather obscure activists soon issued a contrasting statement, which major outlets such as NYT , CNN , and the Los Angeles Times seem to have accorded equal or greater weight, hardly suggesting that the ideological tide has started to turn.

Back a couple of years ago, there was a popular joke going around Chinese social media in which Chairman Mao came back to life with all sorts of questions about the modern world. Among other things, he was informed his disastrous Cultural Revolution had shifted to America, a prescient observation given the events of the last few weeks:

The controversial May 25th death of a black man named George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody soon set off the greatest nationwide wave of protests, riots, and looting in at least two generations, and the once-placid hometown of the Mary Tyler Moore Show alone suffered some five hundred million dollars of damage. Some of the main political reactions have been especially surprising, as the newly elevated activists of the Black Lives Matter movement have received massive media support for their demands that local urban police departments be "defunded," a proposal so bizarre that it had previously been almost unknown.

Statues, monuments, and other symbolic representations of traditional American history quickly became a leading target. Hubert Humphrey's Minneapolis has long been an extremely liberal bastion of the heavily Scandinavian Upper Midwest, having no ties to the South or slavery, but Floyd's death soon launched an unprecedented national effort to eradicate all remaining Confederate memorials and other Southern cultural traces throughout our society. Popular country music groups such as the Dixie Chicks and Lady Antebellum had freely recorded their songs for decades, but they were now suddenly forced to change their names in frantic haste.

And although this revolutionary purge began with Confederacy, it soon extended to include much of our entire national history, with illustrious former occupants of the White House being the most prominent targets. Woodrow Wilson ranked as Princeton University's most famous alumnus and its former president, but his name was quickly scraped off the renowned public policy school , while the Natural History Museum of New York is similarly removing a statue of Theodore Roosevelt . Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant had together won the Civil War and abolished black slavery, but their statues around the country were vandalized or ordered removed. The same fate befell Andrew Jackson along with the author of the Star Spangled Banner, our national anthem.

The leading heroes of the American Republic from its birth in 1776 face "cancellation" and this sudden tidal wave of attacks has clearly gained considerable elite backing. The New York Times carries enormous weight in such circles, and last Tuesday their lead opinion piece called for the Jefferson Memorial to be replaced by a towering statue of a black woman, while one of their regular columnists has repeatedly demanded that all monuments honoring George Washington suffer a similar fate . Stacy Abrams, often mentioned as one of Joe Biden's leading Vice Presidential choices, had previously made the destruction of Georgia's historic Stone Mountain Memorial part of her campaign platform, so we now seem only a step or two away from credible political demands that Mount Rushmore be dynamited Taliban-style.

The original roots of our country were Anglo-Saxon and this heritage remained dominant during its first century or more, but other strands in our national tapestry are suffering similar vilification. Christopher Columbus discovered the New World for Spain, but he has became a hated and despised figure across our country , so perhaps in the near future his only surviving North American monument will be the huge statue honoring him in the heart of Mexico City . Father Junipero Serra founded Hispanic California and a few years ago was canonized as the first and only Latin American saint, but his statues have been toppled and his name already removed from Stanford University buildings. At the time we acquired the sparsely-populated American Southwest, the bulk of our new Hispanic population was concentrated in New Mexico, but the founding father of that region has now had his monument attacked and vandalized . Cervantes, author of Don Quixote , is considered the greatest writer in the Spanish language, and his statue was also vandalized .

Perhaps these trends will abate and the onrushing tide of cultural destruction may begin to recede. But at present there seems a serious possibility that the overwhelming majority of America's leading historical figures prior to the political revolution of the 1930s may be destined for the scrap heap. A decade ago, President Obama and most prominent Democrats opposed Gay Marriage, but just a few years later, the CEO of Mozilla was forced to resign when his past political contribution to a California initiative taking that same position came to light, and today private individuals might easily lose their jobs at many corporations for expressing such views. Thus, one might easily imagine that within five or ten years, any public expressions of admiration for Washington or Jefferson might be considered by many as bordering on "hate speech," and carry severe social and employment consequences. Our nation seems to be suffering the sort of fate normally inflicted upon a conquered people, whose new masters seek to break their spirit and stamp out any notions of future resistance.

A good example of this growing climate of fear came a couple of weeks ago when a longtime blogger going under the name "Scott Alexander" deleted his entire website and its millions of words of accumulated archives because the New York Times was about to run an article revealing his true identity. I had only been slightly aware of the SlateStarCodex blogsite and the "rationalist" community it had gradually accumulated, but the development was apparently significant enough to provoke a long article in the New Yorker .

The target of the alleged witch-hunt was hardly any sort of right-winger. He was reportedly a liberal Jewish psychiatrist living in Berkeley, whose most notable piece of writing had been a massive 30,000 word refutation of neo-reactionary thought. But because he was willing to entertain ideas and contributors outside the tight envelope of the politically-correct canon, he believed that his life would be destroyed if his name became known.

Conservative commenter Tucker Carlson has recently attracted the highest ratings in cable history for populist positions, some of which have influenced President Trump. But just a couple of days ago, his top writer, a certain Blake Neff, was forced to resign after CNN revealed his years of pseudonymous remarks on a rightwing forum, even though the most egregious of these seemed no worse than somewhat crude racially-charged humor.

Our own website attracts thousands of commenters, many of whom have left remarks vastly more controversial than anything written by Neff let alone Alexander, and these two incidents naturally inspired several posts by blogger Steve Sailer , which attracted many hundreds of worried comments in the resulting threads. Although I could entirely understood that many members of our community were fearful of being "doxxed" by the media, I explained why I thought the possibility quite unlikely.

Although it's been a few years since my name last appeared on the front page of the New York Times , I am still at least a bit of a public figure, and I would say that many of the articles I have published under my own name have been at least 100 times as "controversial" as anything written by the unfortunate "Scott Alexander." The regular monthly traffic to our website is six or seven times as great as that which flowed to SlateStarCodex prior to its sudden disappearance, and I suspect that our influence has also been far greater. Any serious journalist who wanted to get in touch with me could certainly do so, and I have been freely given many interviews in the past, while hundreds of reasonably prominent writers, academics, and other intellectuals have spent years on my regular distribution list.

Tracking down the identity of an anonymous commenter who once or twice made doubtful remarks is extremely hard work, and at the end of the process you will have probably netted yourself a pretty small fish. Surely any eager scalp-hunter in the media would prefer to casually mine the hundreds of thousands of words in my articles, which would provide a veritable cornucopia of exceptionally explosive material, all fully searchable and conveniently organized by particular taboos. Yet for years the entire journalistic community has scrupulously averted their eyes from such mammoth potential scandal. And the likely explanation may provide some important insights into the dynamics of ideological conflict in the media.

Activist organizations often take the lead in locating controversial statements, which they then pass along to their media allies for ritual denunciation, and much of my own material would seem especially provocative to the fearsome ADL. Yet oddly enough, that organization seemed quite reluctant to engage with me, and only after my repeated baiting did they finally issue a rather short and perfunctory critique in 2018, which lacked any named author. But even that lackluster effort afforded me an opening to respond with my own 7,300 word essay highlighting the very unsavory origins and activities of that controversial organization. After that exchange, they went back into hiding and have remained there ever since.

In my lengthy analysis of the true history of World War II, I described what I called "the Lord Voldemort Effect," explaining why so much of our mainstream source material should be treated with great care:

In the popular Harry Potter series, Lord Voldemort, the great nemesis of the young magicians, is often identified as "He Who Must Not Be Named," since the mere vocalization of those few particular syllables might bring doom upon the speaker. Jews have long enjoyed enormous power and influence over the media and political life, while fanatic Jewish activists demonstrate hair-trigger eagerness to denounce and vilify all those suspected of being insufficiently friendly towards their ethnic group. The combination of these two factors has therefore induced such a "Lord Voldemort Effect" regarding Jewish activities in most writers and public figures. Once we recognize this reality, we should become very cautious in analyzing controversial historical issues that might possibly contain a Jewish dimension, and also be particularly wary of arguments from silence.

However, even dread Lord Voldemorts may shrink from a terrifying Lord Voldemort of their own, and I think that this website falls into that category. The ADL and various other powerful organizations may have quietly issued an edict that absolutely forbids the media outlets they influence from mentioning our existence. I believe there is strong evidence in favor of this remarkable hypothesis.

Among Trump's surviving advisors, Stephen Miller provokes some of the most intense hostility, and last November the SPLC and its media allies made a concerted attempt to force his resignation based upon some of his private emails, which had promoted several controversial posts by Steve Sailer. The resulting firestorm was discussed on this website, and I analyzed some of the strange anomalies:

Just as might be expected, the whole SPLC attack is "guilt by association," and Ctrl-F reveals a full 14 references to VDare, with the website characterized in very harsh terms. Yet although there are several mentions of Steve and his writings, there is absolutely no reference to this webzine, despite being Steve's primary venue.

Offhand, this might seem extremely odd. My own guess is that much of the material we publish is 10x as "controversial" as anything VDare has ever run, and many of my own personal articles, including those that have spent over a year on the Home page, might be up in the 30x or 40x potency range. Moreover, I think our traffic these days is something like 10x that of VDare, seemingly making us an extremely juicy target.

Now admittedly, I don't know that Miller fellow, but the horrifying VDare post that Miller supposedly shared was actually republished by VDare from this website. And that would surely have made it very, very easy for the SPLC to use the connection as a opening to begin cataloguing the unspeakingly horrifying list of transgressions we regularly feature, easily expanding the length of their attack on Miller by adding another 6,000 words. Yet the silence has been totally deafening. Puzzling

Here's my own hypothesis

As everyone knows, there are certain "powerful groups" in our society that so terrify members of the media and political worlds that they receive the "Lord Voldemort Treatment," with mainstream individuals being terrified that merely speaking the name would result in destruction. Indeed, the SPLC is one of the primary enforcers of that edict.

However, my theory is that even those dread Lord Voldemorts greatly fear an even more dreadful Lord Voldemort of their own, namely this webzine. The SPLC writer knew perfectly well that mere mention of The Unz Review might ensure his destruction. I'd guess that the ADL/SPLC/AIPAC has made this prohibition absolutely clear to everyone in the media/political worlds.

Given that Miller's main transgression was his promotion of posts originally published on this website, the media could have easily associated him with the rest of our material, much of which was sufficiently explosive to have almost certainly forced his resignation. Yet when the journalists and activists weighed the likelihood of destroying Trump's most hated advisor against the danger of mentioning our existence, the latter factor was still judged the stronger, allowing Miller to survive.

This hypothesis was strongly supported by a second incident later that same month. We had previously published an article by Prof. Eric Rasmusen of Indiana University, and I read in my morning Times that he had suddenly become embroiled in a major Internet controversy , with a chorus of angry critics seeking to have him removed. According to the article, he had apparently promoted the "vile and stupid" views of some anti-feminist website in one of his Tweets, which had come to the attention of an enraged activist. The resulting firestorm of denunciations on Twitter had been viewed 2.5 million times, provoking a major academic controversy in the national media.

Being curious about what had happened, I contacted Rasmusen to see whether he might want to submit a piece regarding the controversy, which he did . But to my utter astonishment, I discovered that the website involved had actually been our own, a fact that I never would never have suspected from the extremely vague and circuitous discussion provided in the newspaper. Apparently, the old-fashioned Who-What-Where provisions of the Times style manual had been quietly amended to prohibit providing any hint of our existence even when we were at the absolute center of one of their 1,000 word news stories.

Highly-controversial ideas backed by strong evidence may prove dangerously contagious, and the political/media strategy pursued by the ADL, the Times , and numerous other organs of the elite establishment seems perfectly rational. Since our Bill of Rights still provides considerable protection for freedom of speech, the next-best alternative is to institute a strict cordon sanitaire , intended to strictly minimize the number of individuals who might become infected.

Our webzine and my own articles are hardly the only victims of this sort of strategy -- once dubbed "the Blackout" by eminent historian Harry Elmer Barnes -- whose other targets often possess the most respectable of establishmentarian credentials.

Last month marked the 31st anniversary of the notorious 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre, and elite media coverage was especially extensive this year due to our current global confrontation with China. The New York Times devoted most of two full pages to a photo-laden recapitulation while the Wall Street Journal gave it front-page treatment, with just those two publications alone running some six separate articles and columns on those horrifying events from three decades ago.

Yet back in the 1990s, the former Beijing bureau chief of the Washington Post , who had personally covered the events, published a long article in the prestigious Columbia Journalism Review entitled The Myth of Tiananmen , in which he publicly admitted that the supposed "massacre" was merely a fraudulent concoction of careless journalists and dishonest propagandists. At least some of our top editors and journalists must surely be aware of these facts, and feel guilty about promoting a long-debunked hoax of the late 1980s. But any mention of those widely-known historical facts is strictly forbidden in the media, lest American readers become confused and begin to consider an alternative narrative.

Russia possesses a nuclear arsenal at least as powerful as our own, and the total break in our relations began when Congress passed the Magnitsky Act in 2012, targeting important Russian leaders. Yet none of our media outlets have ever been willing to admit that the facts used to justify that very dangerous decision seem to have been entirely fraudulent, as recounted in the article we recently published by Prof. John Ryan.

Similarly, our sudden purge from both Google and Facebook came just days after my own long article presenting the strong evidence that America's ongoing Covid-19 disaster was the unintentional blowback from our own extremely reckless biowarfare attack against China (and Iran). Over 130,000 of our citizens have already died and our daily life has been wrecked, so the American people might grow outraged if they began to suspect that this huge national disaster was entirely self-inflicted.

And the incident that sparked our current national upheaval includes certain elements that our media has scrupulously avoided mentioning. The knee-neck hold used against George Floyd was standard police procedure in Minneapolis and many other cities, and had apparently been employed thousands of times across our country in recent years with virtually no fatalities. Meanwhile, Floyd's official autopsy indicated that he had lethal levels of Fentanyl and other illegal drugs in his system at the time of his demise. Perhaps the connection between these two facts is more than purely coincidental, and if they became widely known, popular sentiments might shift.

Finally, our alternative media webzine is pleased to have recently added two additional columnists together with major portions of their archives, which will help to further broaden our perspective.

Larry Romanoff has been a regular contributor to the Global Research website, most recently focusing on the Coronavirus outbreak in China, and earlier this year he published an article pointed to the considerable evidence that the virus had originated in the U.S., which was cited by Chinese officials and soon became a flashpoint in American-Chinese relations . After having been viewed millions of times, that piece and several others seem to have disappeared from their original venue, but along with the rest of his writings, they are now conveniently available on our own website .

For the last quarter-century, Jared Taylor has probably been America's most prominent White Nationalist writer. Although Black Nationalists such as Al Sharpton have cable television shows and boast of many dozens of visits to the White House, the growing climate of ideological repression has caused Taylor and his American Renaissance organization to be deplatformed from YouTube, Twitter, and numerous other Internet services. One of his main writers is Gregory Hood, whom we have now added as a regular columnist , together with dozens of his pieces over the last few years.

[Jul 16, 2020] Has Cancel Culture Infected Your Kids' School- A Parent Group May Have A Remedy by Mark Glennon

Jul 16, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Submitted by Mark Glennon of Wirepoints

Claiming 'Unique Opportunity to Lead the Nation,' Parents Ask High School to Adopt 'Freedom of Expression Resolution'

Has the cancel culture infected your kids' school? A parent group may have a partial remedy. A resolution submitted to the New Trier High School board in north suburban Chicago would, if adopted, assure:

New Trier High School's fundamental commitment is to the principle that debate or deliberation may not be suppressed because the ideas put forth are thought by some or even by most members of the New Trier High School community to be offensive, unwise.

It would guaranty all members of the school community "the broadest possible latitude to speak, write, listen, challenge, and learn."

The resolution apparently would be the first of its kind in the nation at the high school level. It is modeled on The Chicago Statement , which was adopted by the University of Chicago in 2015 in response to the illiberal trend of free speech intolerance on college campuses . The full resolution appears below.

It was drafted by New Trier Neighbors , a parent group that grew out of opposition to what was criticized as one-sided content in the school's "Seminar Day" in 2017, which a Wall Street Journal article called "Racial Indoctrination Day."

The seminar received extensive, national media attention because of its exclusive focus on topics like systemic racism, implicit bias and, as the Journal put it, the "divisive view of race as a primordial fact, the essence of identity, a bright line between oppressed and oppressor."

We wrote about it here at the time. My son attended the school then. I was among the critics who asked for a broader range of viewpoints like those of Robert Woodson, Shelby Steele, Thomas Sowell, John McWhorter and Corey Brooks. The school rejected our requests.

New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois

Since then, the school has only broadened what it describes as its "equity initiative," expanding what dissenting parents regard as authoritarian imposition of the far left's single-minded views on race – as well as other topics. Last year, the school moved to infuse its administration's views on "equity" into virtually all subject areas including math, science, sports, language and more, which you can see in the memo linked here .

Some right-of-center students have spoken up about having their viewpoints squelched, and even being penalized on grading for their views. My kids reported the same things when there.

New Trier is hardly alone. Similar stories from high schools and even grade schools around the country are now common.

The resolution presents the school with an opportunity to move in a more balanced direction that respects diversity of opinion and returns the school to a focus on critical thinking skills. New Trier Neighbors drafted the resolution in consultation with the K-12 policy experts at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

No word yet on how or when the school board will act on it.

We often receive emails at Wirepoints from ordinary citizens asking "What can I do? How can I get involved to stop what's happening?"

This resolution is one answer. Push for a similar one in your school districts.

The cancel culture that now plagues the nation has its roots where it should have no place whatsoever – schools. That's especially true about the disastrously counterproductive orthodoxy on systemic racism, implicit bias and the like. Its easily predictable consequences are now apparent across the nation – more racism and division. Race relations have been set back by fifty years.

For those reasons, what New Trier itself does with the resolution is actually secondary. While we hope it will adopt the resolution, it's far more important that its introduction set a trend for districts around the nation.

Indoctrination long ago replaced education on most college campuses. Freedom of expression resolutions might help save high schools from the same fate.

Parents, it's in your hands.

The New Trier High School Freedom of Expression Resolution, presented to the Board for adoption in its entirety, and based on The Chicago Statement:

Because New Trier High School is committed to free and open inquiry in all matters, it guarantees all members of the New Trier High School community the broadest possible latitude to speak, write, listen, challenge, and learn. Except insofar as limitations on that freedom are necessary to the functioning of New Trier High School, New Trier High School fully respects and supports the freedom of all members of the New Trier High School community "to discuss any problem that presents itself."

Of course, the ideas of different members of the New Trier High School community will often and quite naturally conflict. But it is not the proper role of New Trier High School to attempt to shield individuals from ideas and opinions they find unwelcome, disagreeable, or even offensive. Although New Trier High School greatly values civility, and although all members of the New Trier High School community share in the responsibility for maintaining a climate of mutual respect, concerns about civility and mutual respect can never be used as a justification for closing off discussion of ideas, however offensive or disagreeable those ideas may be to some members of our community.

The freedom to debate and discuss the merits of competing ideas does not, of course, mean that individuals may say whatever they wish, wherever they wish. New Trier High School may restrict expression that violates the law, that falsely defames a specific individual, that constitutes a genuine threat or harassment, that unjustifiably invades substantial privacy or confidentiality interests, or that is otherwise directly incompatible with the functioning of New Trier High School.In addition, New Trier High School may reasonably regulate the time, place, and manner of expression to ensure that it does not disrupt the ordinary activities of New Trier High School. But these are narrow exceptions to the general principle of freedom of expression, and it is vitally important that these exceptions never be used in a manner that is inconsistent with New Trier High School's commitment to a completely free and open discussion of ideas.

In a word, New Trier High School's fundamental commitment is to the principle that debate or deliberation may not be suppressed because the ideas put forth are thought by some or even by most members of the New Trier High School community to be offensive, unwise, immoral, or wrong-headed. It is for the individual members of the New Trier High School community, not for New Trier High School as an institution, to make those judgments for themselves, and to act on those judgments not by seeking to suppress speech, but by openly and vigorously contesting the ideas that they oppose. Indeed, fostering the ability of members of the New Trier High School community to engage in such debate and deliberation in an effective and responsible manner is an essential part of New Trier High School's educational mission.

As a corollary to New Trier High School's commitment to protect and promote free expression, members of the New Trier High School community must also act in conformity with the principle of free expression. Although members of the New Trier High School community are free to criticize and contest the views expressed on campus, and to criticize and contest speakers who are invited to express their views on campus, they may not obstruct or otherwise interfere with the freedom of others to express views they reject or even loathe. To this end, New Trier High School has a solemn responsibility not only to promote a lively and fearless freedom of debate and deliberation, but also to protect that freedom when others attempt to restrict it."

[Jul 16, 2020] Numerous other figures of lesser rank have been purged, their careers and livelihoods destroyed for Tweeting out a phrase such as "All Lives Matter," whose current classification as "hate speech" might have stunned even George Orwell.

Notable quotes:
"... Indeed: In some ways, our 'normal' is more insane than anything in Orwell's fiction. ..."
Jul 16, 2020 | www.unz.com

Jake , says: July 15, 2020 at 3:07 am GMT

Numerous other figures of lesser rank have been purged, their careers and livelihoods destroyed for Tweeting out a phrase such as "All Lives Matter," whose current classification as "hate speech" might have stunned even George Orwell.

Indeed: In some ways, our 'normal' is more insane than anything in Orwell's fiction.

[Jul 16, 2020] Cancel culture letter is about stifling free speech, not protecting it by JONATHAN COOK

Criticisms of "cancel culture" often is hypocrtical, as was the case with Weiss, and are connected with prioritizing speech that shores up the status quo -- necon dominance in the US MSM.
Jul 13, 2020 | mondoweiss.net

An open letter published by Harper's magazine, and signed by 150 prominent writers and public figures, has focused attention on the apparent dangers of what has been termed a new "cancel culture".

The letter brings together an unlikely alliance of genuine leftists, such as Noam Chomsky and Matt Karp, centrists such as J K Rowling and Ian Buruma, and neoconservatives such as David Frum and Bari Weiss, all speaking out in defence of free speech.

Although the letter doesn't explicitly use the term "cancel culture", it is clearly what is meant in the complaint about a "stifling" cultural climate that is imposing "ideological conformity" and weakening "norms of open debate and toleration of differences".

It is easy to agree with the letter's generalized argument for tolerance and free and fair debate. But the reality is that many of those who signed are utter hypocrites, who have shown precisely zero commitment to free speech, either in their words or in their deeds.

Further, the intent of many them in signing the letter is the very reverse of their professed goal: they want to stifle free speech, not protect it.

To understand what is really going on with this letter, we first need to scrutinize the motives , rather than the substance, of the letter.

A new 'illiberalism'

"Cancel culture" started as the shaming, often on social media, of people who were seen to have said offensive things. But of late, cancel culture has on occasion become more tangible, as the letter notes, with individuals fired or denied the chance to speak at a public venue or to publish their work.

The letter denounces this supposedly new type of "illiberalism":

"We uphold the value of robust and even caustic counter-speech from all quarters. But it is now all too common to hear calls for swift and severe retribution in response to perceived transgressions of speech and thought.

"Editors are fired for running controversial pieces; books are withdrawn for alleged inauthenticity; journalists are barred from writing on certain topics; professors are investigated for quoting works of literature in class; The result has been to steadily narrow the boundaries of what can be said without the threat of reprisal. We are already paying the price in greater risk aversion among writers, artists, and journalists who fear for their livelihoods if they depart from the consensus, or even lack sufficient zeal in agreement."

Tricky identity politics

The array of signatories is actually more troubling than reassuring. If we lived in a more just world, some of those signing – like Frum, a former speechwriter for President George W Bush, and Anne-Marie Slaughter, a former US State Department official – would be facing a reckoning before a Hague war crimes tribunal for their roles in promoting "interventions" in Iraq and Libya respectively, not being held up as champions of free speech.

That is one clue that these various individuals have signed the letter for very different reasons.

Chomsky signed because he has been a lifelong and consistent defender of the right to free speech, even for those with appalling opinions such as Holocaust denial.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=mondoweiss&dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1279780405902802944&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fmondoweiss.net%2F2020%2F07%2Fcancel-culture-letter-is-about-stifling-free-speech-not-protecting-it%2F&siteScreenName=mondoweiss&theme=light&widgetsVersion=9066bb2%3A1593540614199&width=550px

Frum, who coined the term "axis of evil" that rationalised the invasion of Iraq, and Weiss, a New York Times columnist, signed because they have found their lives getting tougher. True, it is easy for them to dominate platforms in the corporate media while advocating for criminal wars abroad, and they have paid no career price when their analyses and predictions have turned out to be so much dangerous hokum. But they are now feeling the backlash on university campuses and social media.

Meanwhile, centrists like Buruma and Rowling have discovered that it is getting ever harder to navigate the tricky terrain of identity politics without tripping up. The reputational damage can have serious consequences.

Buruma famously lost his job as editor of the New York Review of Books two years ago after after he published and defended an article that violated the new spirit of the #MeToo movement. And Rowling made the mistake of thinking her followers would be as fascinated by her traditional views on transgender issues as they are by her Harry Potter books.

'Fake news, Russian trolls'

But the fact that all of these writers and intellectuals agree that there is a price to be paid in the new, more culturally sensitive climate does not mean that they are all equally interested in protecting the right to be controversial or outspoken.

Chomsky, importantly, is defending free speech for all , because he correctly understands that the powerful are only too keen to find justifications to silence those who challenge their power. Elites protect free speech only in so far as it serves their interests in dominating the public space.

If those on the progressive left do not defend the speech rights of everyone, even their political opponents, then any restrictions will soon be turned against them. The establishment will always tolerate the hate speech of a Trump or a Bolsonaro over the justice speech of a Sanders or a Corbyn.

By contrast, most of the rest of those who signed – the rightwingers and the centrists – are interested in free speech for themselves and those like them . They care about protecting free speech only in so far as it allows them to continue dominating the public space with their views – something they were only too used to until a few years ago, before social media started to level the playing field a little.

The center and the right have been fighting back ever since with claims that anyone who seriously challenges the neoliberal status quo at home and the neoconservative one abroad is promoting "fake news" or is a "Russian troll". This updating of the charge of being "un-American" embodies cancel culture at its very worst.

Social media accountability

In other words, apart from in the case of a few progressives, the letter is simply special pleading – for a return to the status quo. And for that reason, as we shall see, Chomsky might have been better advised not to have added his name, however much he agrees with the letter's vague, ostensibly pro-free speech sentiments.

What is striking about a significant proportion of those who signed is their self-identification as ardent supporters of Israel. And as Israel's critics know only too well, advocates for Israel have been at the forefront of the cancel culture – from long before the term was even coined.

For decades, pro-Israel activists have sought to silence anyone seen to be seriously critiquing this small, highly militarized state, sponsored by the colonial powers, that was implanted in a region rich with a natural resource, oil, needed to lubricate the global economy, and at a terrible cost to its native, Palestinian population.

Nothing should encourage us to believe that zealous defenders of Israel among those signing the letter have now seen the error of their ways. Their newfound concern for free speech is simply evidence that they have begun to suffer from the very same cancel culture they have always promoted in relation to Israel.

They have lost control of the "cancel culture" because of two recent developments: a rapid growth in identity politics among liberals and leftists, and a new popular demand for "accountability" spawned by the rise of social media.

Cancelling Israel's critics

In fact, despite their professions of concern, the evidence suggests that some of those signing the letter have been intensifying their own contribution to cancel culture in relation to Israel, rather than contesting it.

That is hardly surprising. The need to counter criticism of Israel has grown more pressing as Israel has more obviously become a pariah state. Israel has refused to countenance peace talks with the Palestinians and it has intensified its efforts to realize long-harbored plans to annex swaths of the West Bank in violation of international law.

Rather than allow "robust and even caustic counter-speech from all quarters" on Israel, Israel's supporters have preferred the tactics of those identified in the letter as enemies of free speech: "swift and severe retribution in response to perceived transgressions of speech and thought".

Just ask Jeremy Corbyn, the former leader of the Labour party who was reviled, along with his supporters, as an antisemite – one of the worst smears imaginable – by several people on the Harper's list, including Rowling and Weiss . Such claims were promoted even though his critics could produce no actual evidence of an antisemitism problem in the Labour party.

Similarly, think of the treatment of Palestinian solidarity activists who support a boycott of Israel (BDS), modeled on the one that helped push South Africa's leaders into renouncing apartheid. BDS activists too have been smeared as antisemites – and Weiss again has been a prime offender .

The incidents highlighted in the Harper's letter in which individuals have supposedly been cancelled is trivial compared to the cancelling of a major political party and of a movement that stands in solidarity with a people who have been oppressed for decades.

And yet how many of these free speech warriors have come forward to denounce the fact that leftists – including many Jewish anti-Zionists – have been pilloried as antisemites to prevent them from engaging in debates about Israel's behavior and its abuses of Palestinian rights?

How many of them have decried the imposition of a new definition of antisemitism, by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, that has been rapidly gaining ground in western countries?

That definition is designed to silence a large section of the left by prioritizing the safety of Israel from being criticized before the safety of Jews from being vilified and attacked – something that even the lawyer who authored the definition has come to regret .

Why has none of this "cancel culture" provoked an open letter to Harper's from these champions of free speech?

Double-edge sword

The truth is that many of those who signed the letter are defending not free speech but their right to continue dominating the public square – and their right to do so without being held accountable.

Bari Weiss, before she landed a job at the Wall Street Journal and then the New York Times, spent her student years trying to get Muslim professors fired from her university – cancelling them – because of their criticism of Israel. And she explicitly did so under the banner of "academic freedom", claiming pro-Israel students felt intimidated in the classroom.

The New York Civil Liberties Union concluded that it was Weiss, not the professors, who was the real threat to academic freedom. This was not some youthful indiscretion. In a book last year Weiss cited her efforts to rid Columbia university of these professors as a formative experience on which she still draws.

Weiss and many of the others listed under the letter are angry that the rhetorical tools they used for so long to stifle the free speech of others have now been turned against them. Those who lived for so long by the sword of identity politics – on Israel, for example – are worried that their reputations may die by that very same sword – on issues of race, sex and gender.

Narcissistic concern

To understand how the cancel culture is central to the worldview of many of these writers and intellectuals, and how blind they are to their own complicity in that culture, consider the case of Jonathan Freedland, a columnist with the supposedly liberal-left British newspaper the Guardian. Although Freedland is not among those signing the letter, he is very much aligned with the centrists among them and, of course, supported the letter in an article published in the Guardian.

Freedland, we should note, led the "cancel culture" campaign against the Labour party referenced above. He was one of the key figures in Britain's Jewish community who breathed life into the antisemitism smears against Corbyn and his supporters.

But note the brief clip below. In it, Freedland's voice can be heard cracking as he explains how he has been a victim of the cancel culture himself: he confesses that he has suffered verbal and emotional abuse at the hands of Israel's most extreme apologists – those who are even more unapologetically pro-Israel than he is.

He reports that he has been called a "kapo", the term for Jewish collaborators in the Nazi concentration camps, and a "sonderkommando", the Jews who disposed of the bodies of fellow Jews killed in the gas chambers. He admits such abuse "burrows under your skin" and "hurts tremendously".

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=mondoweiss&dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-1&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1280465647072411650&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fmondoweiss.net%2F2020%2F07%2Fcancel-culture-letter-is-about-stifling-free-speech-not-protecting-it%2F&siteScreenName=mondoweiss&theme=light&widgetsVersion=9066bb2%3A1593540614199&width=550px

And yet, despite the personal pain he has experienced of being unfairly accused, of being cancelled by a section of his own community, Freedland has been at the forefront of the campaign to tar critics of Israel, including anti-Zionist Jews, as antisemites on the flimsiest of evidence.

He is entirely oblivious to the ugly nature of the cancel culture – unless it applies to himself . His concern is purely narcissistic. And so it is with the majority of those who signed the letter.

Conducting a monologue

The letter's main conceit is the pretence that "illiberalism" is a new phenomenon, that free speech is under threat, and that the cancel culture only arrived at the moment it was given a name.

That is simply nonsense. Anyone over the age of 35 can easily remember a time when newspapers and websites did not have a talkback section, when blogs were few in number and rarely read, and when there was no social media on which to challenge or hold to account "the great and the good".

Writers and columnists like those who signed the letter were then able to conduct a monologue in which they revealed their opinions to the rest of us as if they were Moses bringing down the tablets from the mountaintop.

In those days, no one noticed the cancel culture – or was allowed to remark on it. And that was because only those who held approved opinions were ever given a media platform from which to present those opinions.

Before the digital revolution, if you dissented from the narrow consensus imposed by the billionaire owners of the corporate media, all you could do was print your own primitive newsletter and send it by post to the handful of people who had heard of you.

That was the real cancel culture. And the proof is in the fact that many of those formerly obscure writers quickly found they could amass tens of thousands of followers – with no help from the traditional corporate media – when they had access to blogs and social media.

Silencing the left

Which brings us to the most troubling aspect of the open letter in Harper's. Under cover of calls for tolerance, given credibility by Chomsky's name, a proportion of those signing actually want to restrict the free speech of one section of the population – the part influenced by Chomsky.

They are not against the big cancel culture from which they have benefited for so long. They are against the small cancel culture – the new more chaotic, and more democratic, media environment we currently enjoy – in which they are for the first time being held to account for their views, on a range of issues including Israel.

Just as Weiss tried to get professors fired under the claim of academic freedom, many of these writers and public figures are using the banner of free speech to discredit speech they don't like, speech that exposes the hollowness of their own positions.

Their criticisms of "cancel culture" are really about prioritizing "responsible" speech, defined as speech shared by centrists and the right that shores up the status quo. They want a return to a time when the progressive left – those who seek to disrupt a manufactured consensus, who challenge the presumed verities of neoliberal and neoconservative orthodoxy – had no real voice.

The new attacks on "cancel culture" echo the attacks on Bernie Sanders' supporters, who were framed as "Bernie Bros" – the evidence-free allegation that he attracted a rabble of aggressive, women-hating men who tried to bully others into silence on social media.

Just as this claim was used to discredit Sanders' policies, so the center and the right now want to discredit the left more generally by implying that, without curbs, they too will bully everyone else into silence and submission through their "cancel culture".

If this conclusion sounds unconvincing, consider that President Donald Trump could easily have added his name to the letter alongside Chomsky's. Trump used his recent Independence Day speech at Mount Rushmore to make similar points to the Harper's letter. He at least was explicit in equating "cancel culture" with what he called "far-left fascism":

"One of [the left's] political weapons is 'Cancel Culture' – driving people from their jobs, shaming dissenters, and demanding total submission from anyone who disagrees. This is the very definition of totalitarianism This attack on our liberty, our magnificent liberty, must be stopped, and it will be stopped very quickly."

Trump, in all his vulgarity, makes plain what the Harper's letter, in all its cultural finery, obscures. That attacks on the new "cancel culture" are simply another front – alongside supposed concerns about "fake news" and "Russian trolls" – in the establishment's efforts to limit speech by the left.

Attention redirected

This is not to deny that there is fake news on social media or that there are trolls, some of them even Russian. Rather, it is to point out that our attention is being redirected, and our concerns manipulated by a political agenda.

Despite the way it has been presented in the corporate media, fake news on social media has been mostly a problem of the right. And the worst examples of fake news – and the most influential – are found not on social media at all, but on the front pages of the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.

What genuinely fake news on Facebook has ever rivaled the lies justifying the invasion of Iraq in 2003 that were knowingly peddled by a political elite and their stenographers in the corporate media. Those lies led directly to more than a million Iraqi deaths, turned millions more into refugees, destroyed an entire country, and fuelled a new type of nihilistic Islamic extremism whose effects we are still feeling.

Most of the worst lies from the current period – those that have obscured or justified US interference in Syria and Venezuela, or rationalized war crimes against Iran, or approved the continuing imprisonment of Julian Assange for exposing war crimes – can only be understood by turning our backs on the corporate media and looking to experts who can rarely find a platform outside of social media.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=mondoweiss&dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-2&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1267092438205808641&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fmondoweiss.net%2F2020%2F07%2Fcancel-culture-letter-is-about-stifling-free-speech-not-protecting-it%2F&siteScreenName=mondoweiss&theme=light&widgetsVersion=9066bb2%3A1593540614199&width=550px

Algorithms changed

I say this as someone who has concerns about the fashionable focus on identity politics rather than class politics. I say it also as someone who rejects all forms of cancel culture – whether it is the old-style, "liberal" cancel culture that imposes on us a narrow "consensus" politics (the Overton window), or the new "leftwing" cancel culture that too often prefers to focus on easy cultural targets like Rowling than the structural corruption of western political systems.

But those who are impressed by the letter simply because Chomsky's name is attached should beware. Just as "fake news" has provided the pretext for Google and social media platforms to change their algorithms to vanish left-wingers from searches and threads, just as "antisemitism" has been redefined to demonize the left, so too the supposed threat of "cancel culture" will be exploited to silence the left.

Protecting Bari Weiss and J K Rowling from a baying left-wing "mob" – a mob that that claims a right to challenge their views on Israel or trans issues – will become the new rallying cry from the establishment for action against "irresponsible" or "intimidating" speech.

Progressive leftists who join these calls out of irritation with the current focus on identity politics, or because they fear being labelled an antisemite, or because they mistakenly assume that the issue really is about free speech, will quickly find that they are the main targets.

In defending free speech, they will end up being the very ones who are silenced.

UPDATE:

You don't criticise Chomsky however tangentially and respectfully – at least not from a left perspective – without expecting a whirlwind of opposition. But one issue that keeps being raised on my social media feeds in his defence is just plain wrong-headed, so I want to quickly address it. Here's one my followers expressing the point succinctly:

"The sentiments in the letter stand or fall on their own merits, not on the characters or histories of some of the signatories, nor their future plans."

The problem, as I'm sure Chomsky would explain in any other context, is that this letter fails not just because of the other people who signed it but on its merit too . And that's because, as I explain above, it ignores the most oppressive and most established forms of cancel culture, as Chomsky should have been the first to notice.

Highlighting the small cancel culture, while ignoring the much larger, establishment-backed cancel culture, distorts our understanding of what is at stake and who wields power.

Chomsky unwittingly just helped a group of mostly establishment stooges skew our perceptions of free speech problems so that we side with them against ourselves. There is no way that can be a good thing.

UPDATE 2:

There are still people holding out against the idea that it harmed the left to have Chomsky sign this letter. And rather than address their points individually, let me try another way of explaining my argument:

Why has Chomsky not signed a letter backing the furore over "fake news", even though there is some fake news on social media? Why has he not endorsed the "Bernie Bros" narrative, even though doubtless there are some bullying Sanders supporters on social media? Why has he not supported the campaign claiming the Labour party has an antisemitism problem, even though there are some antisemites in the Labour party (as there are everywhere)?

He hasn't joined any of those campaigns for a very obvious reason – because he understands how power works, and that on the left you hit up, not down. You certainly don't cheerlead those who are up as they hit down.

Chomsky understands this principle only too well because here he is setting it out in relation to Iran:

"Suppose I criticise Iran. What impact does that have? The only impact it has is in fortifying those who want to carry out policies I don't agree with, like bombing."

For exactly the same reason he has not joined those pillorying Iran – because his support would be used for nefarious ends – he shouldn't have joined this campaign. He made a mistake. He's fallible.

Also, this isn't about the left eating itself. Really, Chomsky shouldn't be the issue. The issue should be that a bunch of centrists and right-wingers used this letter to try to reinforce a narrative designed to harm the left, and lay the groundwork for further curbs on its access to social media. But because Chomsky signed the letter, many more leftists are now buying into that narrative – a narrative intended to harm them. That's why Chomsky's role cannot be ignored, nor his mistake glossed over.

UPDATE 3:

I had not anticipated how many ways people on the left might find to justify this letter.

Here's the latest reasoning. Apparently, the letter sets an important benchmark that can in future be used to protect free speech by the left when we are threatened with being "cancelled" – as, for example, with the antisemitism smears that were used against anti-Zionist Jews and other critics of Israel in the British Labour party.

I should hardly need to point out how naive this argument is. It completely ignores how power works in our societies: who gets to decide what words mean and how principles are applied. This letter won't help the left because "cancel culture" is being framed – by this letter, by Trump, by the media – as a "loony left" problem. It is a new iteration of the "politically correct gone mad" discourse, and it will be used in exactly the same way.

It won't help Steven Salaita, sacked from a university job because he criticised Israel's killing of civilians in Gaza, or Chris Williamson, the Labour MP expelled because he defended the party's record on being anti-racist.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=mondoweiss&dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-3&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1281281345243799552&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fmondoweiss.net%2F2020%2F07%2Fcancel-culture-letter-is-about-stifling-free-speech-not-protecting-it%2F&siteScreenName=mondoweiss&theme=light&widgetsVersion=9066bb2%3A1593540614199&width=550px

The "cancel culture" furore isn't interested in the fact that they were "cancelled". Worse still, this moral panic turns the whole idea of cancelling on its head: it is Salaita and Williamson who are accused – and found guilty – of doing the cancelling, of cancelling Israel and Jews.

Israel's supporters will continue to win this battle by claiming that criticism of Israel "cancels" that country ("wipes it off the map"), "cancels" Israel's Jewish population ("drives them into the sea"), and "cancels" Jews more generally ("denies a central component of modern Jewish identity").

Greater awareness of "cancel culture" would not have saved Corbyn from the antisemitism smears because the kind of cancel culture that smeared Corbyn is never going to be defined as "cancelling".

For anyone who wishes to see how this works in practice, watch Guardian columnist Owen Jones cave in – as he has done so often – to the power dynamics of the "cancel culture" discourse in this interview with Sky News. I actually agree with almost everything Jones says in this clip, apart from his joining yet again in the witch-hunt against Labour's anti-Zionists. He doesn't see that witch-hunt as "cancel culture", and neither will anyone else with a large platform like his to protect:

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=mondoweiss&dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-4&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1281957010880307201&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fmondoweiss.net%2F2020%2F07%2Fcancel-culture-letter-is-about-stifling-free-speech-not-protecting-it%2F&siteScreenName=mondoweiss&theme=light&widgetsVersion=9066bb2%3A1593540614199&width=550px

This essay first appeared on Jonathan Cook's blog: https://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/

[Jul 16, 2020] 'Cancel culture' prevents the truth about Israel-Palestine from being discussed -- including the rising risk of a war with Iran

Notable quotes:
"... New York Times ..."
"... Washington Post, ..."
Jul 16, 2020 | mondoweiss.net

BY JAMES NORTH

JULY 13, 2020

There is no issue in American life about which the mainstream media ignores or distorts the truth more than Israel/Palestine, and censors or "cancels" the people who could tell it.

So far, the growing debate over "cancel culture" has understandably focused on individual cases. Certainly, Israel/Palestine has many examples of courageous thinkers who have suffered for their views: Steven Salaita and Norman Finkelstein come immediately to mind. But the blackout has been so far-reaching for so long that we can say that an entire subject has been ignored or distorted in the mainstream almost beyond recognition.

Right now, Israel is conducting a violent sabotage campaign against Iran, in an effort to provoke America into war -- and there is a nearly complete news blackout in the United States.

Maybe the 153 celebrated signatories to that now famous letter to Harper's magazine that warned about "cancel culture" could draft another epistle, one that appeals for an end to suppressing free discussion about Israel and Palestine.


On July 10, another explosion hit near near Tehran, the latest in a string that have struck at, among other targets, Iran's nuclear energy program at Natanz. The New York Times , to its credit, is reporting on the sabotage campaign, and the paper even said that one of the attacks was "apparently engineered by Israel." But beyond the basic facts, nothing: no editorials, no opinion pieces warning about the risk of war, no reminder that Benjamin Netanyahu has been trying to instigate the U.S. against Iran for at least a decade. There was no effort to explain that Israel's attacks are meant to goad Iran into retaliating, which will draw in the U.S., and possibly help Donald Trump's sinking reelection campaign.

At least the Times is doing the bare minimum. So far in the Washington Post, not a word from its own reporters or commenters; you would think that the paper could find sources in the D.C. intelligence community to explain the danger of war. On National Public Radio, one short, confused report that provided no context at all. Foreign coverage on the U.S. cable networks continues to be an insignificant joke.

U.S. soldiers, sailors and pilots could soon find themselves in a shooting war that would stun our citizens with its suddenness.

The mainstream U.S. media's failure to report Israel's effort to provoke fighting with Iran is happening at the same time as American journalistic malpractice continues over Netanyahu's plan to illegally annex up to 30 percent of occupied West Bank Palestine. There has been very little news coverage of annexation, and Palestinian voices continue to be ignored. Three members of the New York Times editorial board have extensive experience with Israel/Palestine: Thomas Friedman, Bret Stephens and Bari Weiss. None of them has yet written a single word about annexation.

Here is a final paradox. "Cancel culture" means that the New York Times and the rest of the mainstream are nearly closed to the truth about both Israel's instigation over Iran, and its probable illegal annexation in the West Bank. But Friedman, the most influential foreign affairs columnist in America, has to, along with his editorial page colleagues, self cancel -- because he, like them, can't write anything without sharply criticizing Israel.

[Jul 16, 2020] Cancel culture and the Israel lobby

Jul 16, 2020 | mondoweiss.net

When Sportsnet fired Canadian hockey and media personality Don Cherry in November 2019 for his bigoted remarks on Coach's Corner , we heard the usual right-wing complaint chorus about the suppression of free speech by the liberal left.

A favored method of censorship nowadays is said to be "de-platforming," or denying those you disagree with a platform to speak. This is also called "cancel culture." Most recently, a group of around 150 prominent intellectuals signed a " Letter on Justice and Open Debate " in Harper 's magazine, setting off a firestorm of debate about the limits of free speech on the left.

In reality, though, cancel culture is (at best) a marginal activity on the left. By and large, progressives still believe in reasoned debate.

This article refers to experience in Canada, but it has its counterpart in many other countries as well.

If we want to identify the real masters of cancel culture, however, we need to follow the modus operandi of the institutional pro-Israel lobby and its adherents, like the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), B'nai Brith Canada (BBC), the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) and other organizations on the Jewish right. They can teach us a thing or two about how to kill free speech, and how cancel culture works to stop an utterance before it is even spoken.

Presumably, the reason to nip an Israel-critical event in the bud is that if it goes forward, people might attend and learn something, especially from a rigorous debate. Even a picket-line outside an event or a disruption during one might draw attention to what is being said. For the avid intellectual protectors of Israel, that must be stopped at all costs.

The Pro-Israel Cancel Culture Playbook

A spate of examples will follow, but first, to summarize, here are what might be called the "rules of engagement" for the pro-Israel de-platformers.

The minute you hear about an event featuring a critique of Israel, employ the following formula:

Have a number of organizations at work. If the CIJA is squeamish, then get B'nai Brith Canada to do it. If they or the Simon Wiesenthal Center have qualms, then the imprudent and belligerent Jewish Defense League or Herut Canada can rush in. No matter how distinguished and credible the speaker, try guilt-by-association, however tenuous. Did their uncle belong to a questionable organization? Did their cousin write something critical of Israel? Do they pay dues to a student union that supports Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)? Shut them down! If the speakers are academics, go after their publications or insist their tenure be denied. If they are students, demand that their degrees be withheld. The Canadian Jewish News recently reported : "Rather than debating them about Israel, Manfred Gerstenfeld, the former chair of the Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs (JCPA), makes the case for professionally discrediting the enemies [sic] of Israel. 'Find plagiarism or a wrong footnote and make it public,' he said at a fundraising event for the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, in Montreal on Dec. 1 [2019]. 'Only about 10 per cent of academics are hard-core anti-Israel and the rest are not going to risk their careers. Academics are cowards.'" Absent real evidence of antisemitism, a mere accusation will suffice. Find out where the event is being held and who are the sponsors. Contact both the venue and the sponsors and tell them that the speaker or the event is antisemitic. If you don't want to threaten violence yourself, suggest that there might be violence from some unknown quarter if the event proceeds. Tell the host or sponsor that they too will be considered antisemitic if they continue involvement. If any of the venues or sponsors accede to these demands, publicize it to shame the non-acceders. If an event you don't like is cancelled or postponed, claim credit. Even if the shut-down attempt is not completely successful, the cost and effort involved in resisting your attack will frighten the organizers and make others think twice about doing something similar in the future. What I call the "cringe effect" is particularly useful with the media. When a critic of Israel appears, initiate an avalanche of disparaging letters, emails, and phone calls. Even if the preponderance of material in the particular media outlet has been pro-Israel, criticize the "lack of balance." If all else fails, demand "equal time" of equal prominence for an opposing view. That should scare the media outlet away from the topic. The Playbook in Action

While pro-Israel cancel culture goes back a long way, the following are more than two dozen fairly recent examples of the playbook in action. They are taken mostly from published reports, but a few are taken from accounts by people who were directly involved.

Vancouver

In 2016, anti-Israeli-occupation activists were slated for a panel at a Simon Fraser University (SFU) conference on genocide. One presenter would argue that what had been done to the Palestinians constituted genocide. (The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide definition involves any of the following: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; and/or forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.) B'nai Brith reached out to SFU to have the panel cancelled. Organizers pushed back, reaching out to a range of supporters at SFU. The panel and conference went ahead.

In 2017, the University of British Columbia (UBC) Alma Mater Society (student union) gave notice of a referendum to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement: "Do you support your student union in boycotting products and divesting from companies that support Israeli war crimes, illegal occupation and the oppression of Palestinians?" Rather than campaigning to get students to reject that motion on its merits, Hillel, an organization that purports to represent Jewish university students, filed a court motion to bar the referendum entirely. That court action failed .

In 2018, the Canadian Association of Cultural Studies sponsored a conference at SFU entitled "Carceral Culture" including a panel on Israel/Palestine. Again, B'nai Brith attempted to get it cancelled. Counter-mobilization defeated the B'nai Brith gambit.

Calgary

In 2014, the group Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) prepared a photo exhibit entitled " Dispossessed, but Defiant: Indigenous Struggles from around the World " which juxtaposed the Palestinian travails with those of other objects of colonialism, like South African blacks under apartheid and Canadian indigenous peoples. The exhibition was meant to travel to venues around Canada, but pro-Israel opponents attempted repeatedly to block those displays. In Calgary, they managed to de-platform the exhibit from a small community centre. When the hosts finally found a United Church location, opponents inundated the new venue with calls and emails. The show went ahead but the activists have never been able to rent that church since, validating points 10 and 11 in the playbook, above.

In 2016, local activists booked space at the Canadian National Institute for the Blind for a talk by Haider Abu Ghosh of the Palestinian Medical Relief Society, about the eradication by the Israelis of three Palestinian villages in 1967. The activists were forced by complaints to switch the event to the Calgary Public Library. Pro-Israel groups put so much pressure on the library that the hosts were forced to provide security, at significant cost.

Calgary writer Marcello Di Cintio won the City of Calgary W. O. Mitchell Book Prize in 2012 for " Walls: Travels Along the Barricades " and, again, in 2018 for " Pay No Heed to the Rockets: Palestine in the Present Tense ." But local pro-Israel organizations opposed his appointment as writer-in-residence at the public library, insisting, against all evidence, that he was an antisemite.

Winnipeg

In February, 2018, several groups, including Independent Jewish Voices-Winnipeg, the Canadian Arab Association of Manitoba and the United Jewish Peoples Order-Winnipeg, organized a public meeting at the University of Winnipeg entitled "My Jerusalem" to discuss the US government's recent decision to move its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem. One of the speakers was Rabbi David Mivasair, a member of Independent Jewish Voices. Unable to have the meeting cancelled, B'nai Brith Canada complained to the university that the speakers were antisemitic and demanded that the university apologize. B'nai Brith claimed that one of the speakers accused Israel of committing a "genocide" against Palestinians and that another referred to Israeli Jews as "European settlers." The university's Human Rights and Equity officer investigated the complaint and, claiming to have consulted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition of antisemitism, allowed the smear to stand, concluding that the criticism of Israel amounted to antisemitism. When asked by meeting sponsors precisely which statements in the meeting were antisemitic, the officer declined to answer.

Rabbinical student Lex Rofeberg, an activist with the American Institute for the Next Jewish Future, had been invited as a keynote speaker to Limmud Winnipeg (an annual Jewish cultural and educational event) in March 2019. Limmud canceled the invitation when the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg threatened to withdraw its sponsorship, complaining that Rofeberg was a critic of Israel and a supporter of BDS and the organization IfNotNow . Neither of Rofeberg's planned presentations (one on digital Judaism, the other on Judaism and sports) had anything to do with his views on Israel, but he was guilty by association.

In April 2019, the Winnipeg Social Planning Council and the Canadian Muslim Women's Institute invited American-Palestinian activist and co-founder of the 2017 women's march Linda Sarsour to speak. The Jewish Federation of Winnipeg and B'nai Brith Canada, among others, lobbied to get the event cancelled and convinced the Winnipeg mayor and the provincial deputy premier to oppose it. The opponents managed to get Sarsour shut out of the Seven Oaks Performing Arts Centre and the meeting moved to the Ukrainian Labour Temple, where it continued .

A MEMBER OF THE JDL DEFACING THE FOODBENDERS STOREFRONT (PHOTO: TWITTER)
Toronto

With Canada's largest Jewish as well as Muslim and Arab populations, Toronto can be a lightning rod for de-platforming outrages. In 2007, CanStage, a theater company, decided to cancel its plans to mount a production of "My Name is Rachel Corrie" (a play taken from the writings of the American activist killed in Gaza by an Israeli bulldozer while protesting), and two years later Crow's Theatre presented no more than a few "staged readings" of "Seven Jewish Children" (by British playwright Caryl Churchill). Both plays were critical of Israel, and both of these Toronto productions had been subject to negative lobbying by the pro-Israel lobby who labelled them antisemitic.

A more sensational example of cancel culture occurred when, in 2009, scholars at Queen's University and at York University's Osgoode Hall Law School organized an international conference called "Israel/Palestine: Mapping Models of Statehood and Paths to Peace." The advisory board of the conference included four Israelis. Yet, pro-Israel organizations including the Jewish Defense League, CIJA, Hasbara, B'nai Brith, and United Jewish Appeal Federation of Greater Toronto went on the warpath, demanding the conference be cancelled. York University was warned of boycotts and the cessation of donations and was denounced in full-page newspaper ads. When B'nai Brith accused one of the speakers of being a Holocaust denier, a threatened lawsuit forced B'nai Brith to apologize on its web page. When the university refused to cancel the event, the Stephen Harper Conservative federal government ordered the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council to reconsider its funding of the event (which the SSHRC refused). The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) set up an independent commission of Inquiry under mathematician Jon Thompson to investigate. The commission and the book that emerged from it (" No Debate: The Israel Lobby and Free Speech at Canadian Universities ," Lorimer 2011) concluded that, although the event went ahead, academic freedom had been grievously damaged.

In 2009, the Koffler Centre for the Arts (associated with Toronto's Jewish community) commissioned an art project from Reena Katz commemorating the history of Kensington Market. But when its executive director discovered that Katz had called Israel an "apartheid state", the organization dissociated itself from the project . As in the Limmud case in Winnipeg, above, and other examples, below, the Kensington exhibit had nothing to do with Israel. But Katz was guilty by association.

In 2011, a master's thesis critical of Israel by University of Toronto student Ben Peto entitled "The Victimhood of the Powerful: White Jews, Zionism and the Racism of Hegemonic Holocaust Education," was roundly denounced by pro-Israel groups , who demanded that the university withdraw their degree. University officials demurred.

For years, pro-Israel organizations have attempted to have the Quds Day march in Toronto entirely shut down. Occurring annually in June and originally sponsored by the Iranian government, the event has drawn fire from pro-Israel organizations, mostly due to the strength of its criticism of the Israeli regime. In March 2019, after consultations with legal specialists and other stakeholders, Toronto city staff reported that shutting down the entire activity was not advisable. After demands to reconsider, staff reported a month later that the city already had means at its disposal to counter specific acts of alleged hate speech. According to this second report , moreover, in response to complaints by pro-Israel advocates about the 2018 rally, Toronto police had concluded "the words spoken during the rally, which were captured and posted to YouTube, did not fit the criteria of a Hate Crime." Undeterred, opponents initiated other actions to disallow the event. The rally went ahead in June 2019, with 1,000 participants and proceeded online amid the coronavirus lockdown in 2020.

In summer of 2019, the Palestine Youth Movement was planning an event at Toronto's Trinity St. Paul's United Church to launch a new scholarship named after Palestinian novelist and nationalist Ghassan Kanafani . B'nai Brith Canada appealed to the board of the church to cancel the event, based on its claims that Kanafani was a spokesperson for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and was implicated in the 1972 Lod Airport Massacre (he was assassinated soon afterward by the Israelis). The church board quickly capitulated . Kanafani has a martyr's cachet among Palestinians similar to that of Josef Trumpeldor for Israeli Jews.

Sometimes the pro-Israel cancel culture crowd targets moderate pro-Israel Jews, too, reminiscent of the toxic internal feuds that tear family businesses apart. In January 2020, York University's Israel and Golda Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Studies canceled a panel discussion about the climate for Jewish students on campuses. The Jewish Defense League boasted online that it was responsible, explaining that it opposed the appearance of moderate Mira Sucharov (which the JDL labelled, incorrectly, a "BDS enabler"). To make the intervention truly bizarre, the JDL also opposed the presence of Alexandre Joffe, who is the editor and BDS monitor for the group Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, which is anti-BDS.

In July 2020, an individual with the Jewish Defense League (JDL) was filmed defacing the storefront of the Foodbenders sandwich shop in Toronto in broad daylight. According to Yves Engler, writing at Mondoweiss :

"JDL thugs held a rally in front of Foodbenders, which has 'I Love Gaza' painted on its window. During their hate fest they scrubbed a Palestinian Lives Matter marking from the sidewalk and, similar to what Jewish supremacist settlers do to Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank, someone painted the symbol on the Israeli flag onto the restaurant window. Alongside painting Stars of David on her storefront, Foodbenders' owner Kimberly Hawkins has faced a bevy of online abuse. Hawkins has been called a 'dirty Palestinian whore' and told 'Palestine sucks I will burn your business down' and 'I hope your family gets trapped inside the restaurant when it burns.'"

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=davemreed&dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1280856740318281731&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fmondoweiss.net%2F2020%2F07%2Fcancel-culture-and-the-israel-lobby%2F&siteScreenName=mondoweiss&theme=light&widgetsVersion=9066bb2%3A1593540614199&width=550px

Hamilton

For over 25 years, Hamilton has hosted the Gandhi Peace Festival. In 2019, B'nai Brith attempted to have two speakers kicked off the program, organized by McMaster Professor Rama Singh. One of the speakers targeted was Azeezah Kanji, an Islamic law scholar and director of programming at the Toronto-based Noor Cultural Centre. The other was McMaster Professor Emeritus Dr. Atif Kubursi, an economist specializing in oil and the Middle East and former Acting Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia. He is the recipient of the Canadian Centennial Medal for his outstanding academic contributions. Neither of them was expected to even speak about Palestine at the event, but both had made statements critical of Israel in the past and thus were accused of guilt by association. At B'nai Brith's urging, the Hamilton Jewish Federation withdrew its participation . The event went on without the Federation's participation but with those two speakers presenting.

Institutional Jewish organizations have tried for many years to get university presidents across the country to ban Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW). One of the more aggressive campaigns against IAW has been at McMaster University. In 2020, several groups, including the Jewish Defense League and Hillel Ontario asked McMaster University to outlaw the annual event , claiming it makes Jewish students on campus uncomfortable and unsafe. The university declined to comply with the blanket request to shut down the activities. A spokesperson insisted that "The group organizing the event in question is a student group registered with the McMaster Students Union [these] groups are governed by McMaster's Student Code of Conduct, which promotes the safety and security of all students and encourages respect for others."

London

The University of Western Ontario's Student's Council has a long history of trying to de-platform campus organizations devoted to criticism of Israel. At first, it was Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR), then UWO Public Interest Research Group (UWO-PIRG). One of the speakers that UWO-PIRG had sponsored (and presumably offended the Student's Council) was renowned Jewish-Israeli historian Ilan Pappe, author of, among other books, " The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine ." The Ontario Human Rights Commission upheld three complaints against the university and one against the Student's Council and required the Student's Council to apologize and to ratify the organizations.

Ottawa

Rehab Nazzal is a multidisciplinary artist of Palestinian origin based in Toronto, some of whose work deals with the harsh treatment of Palestinians by Israel. Nazzal's 2014 exhibition "Invisible" at the Karsh-Masson Art Gallery on the ground floor of city hall in Ottawa was publicly condemned by Israel's ambassador to Canada, and several pro-Israel groups, including B'nai Brith Canada demanded that the mayor cancel the exhibition. The mayor refused, citing freedom of expression. But the city posted a disclaimer outside. The groups also protested the fact that Nazzal had received a financial award from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Nazzal later spoke to a standing-room-only crowd in Ottawa and received a standing ovation. In 2015, an Israeli sniper shot Nazzal in the leg while she was photographing a confrontation in Bethlehem. According to the Ottawa Citizen, Israeli spokesperson Eitan Weiss commented , "It's very difficult to ascertain what happens during a riot, because you have to imagine hundreds of people throwing rocks, Molotov cocktails, using live firearms it's very difficult to prove that it ever happened, and it's very difficult to prove that it didn't happen."

Montreal

Zahra Kazemi was an Iranian-Canadian photographer who died in 2003 under mysterious circumstances in an Iranian jail after being arrested for taking pictures of a demonstration in that country. In June 2005, five photographs were pulled from an exhibition of her work at the Côte St Luc (in Montreal) municipal library. The controversial photos were taken in Palestine. A borough official explained that consideration of the borough's large Jewish population played a role in the decision. Kazemi's son, Stephan Hachemi, refused to let the display continue without the censored photos, arguing that it was an insult to his mother's legacy.

In January 2009, the Combined Jewish Appeal cancelled at the last minute a lecture at its Gelber Centre by the noted Israeli peace activist Jeff Halper. Halper was on a Canada-wide tour to criticize Israel's Operation Cast Lead against Gaza, which killed 1,417 and wounded 5,303 Palestinians. A similar cancellation of Halper occurred in Winnipeg, though Halper filled other auditoriums across the country.

In February 2010, pro-Israel organizations attempted to block the CJPME photo exhibit (see Calgary above) from being shown at the Cinema du Parc theatre. Lawyers for the cinema's landlord insisted that the premises were only "for cinemagraphic [sic] use." The cinema, which had hosted other political displays in the past, refused to back down, and the exhibit went on.

In November 2013, a Limmud Montreal conference (named "Le Mood") funded by the local Jewish federation canceled two presentations by Sarah Woolf , an activist behind "Renounce Birthright" (a website critical of junkets to Israel for Jewish youth). One session was entitled "Where are all the radical Jews?" and another focussed on the history Jewish garment workers in that city. Woolf and co-facilitator Aaron Lakoff wrote on Lakoff's blog: "Ultimately, we've been banned from speaking at Le Mood because of our personal politics (or whatever Le Mood and Federation CJA perceive our respective politics to be), not based on the content of our panels, which were reviewed, accepted, and scheduled months ago." In response to the de-platforming, Lakoff and Woolf set up the presentations in a parking lot outside the main conference site and garnered a crowd of over 100 people.

Halifax

In October 2016, the Halifax Pride Annual General Meeting entertained a motion from the group "Queer Arabs of Halifax." The resolution would disallow the distribution at the annual Pride Fair of materials touting the state of Israel for its alleged LGBT-friendliness. QAH and its allies claimed that these materials allowed for the 'pinkwashing' of Israel's violations of human rights against the Palestinians. Another group, the Nova Scotia Rainbow Action Project, had collected over 500 names on a petition condemning the pinkwashing. In response, the Atlantic Jewish Council organized hundreds of Jewish community members to attend the AGM to protest and disrupt the vote, although the vast majority of the interlopers were not LGBTQ+. AGM organizers made the controversial decision to allow all attendees at the meeting to vote. This resulted in the defeat of all Israel-critical resolutions and a walkout by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) participants claiming, "Straight white pride wins again." A Palestinian LGBTQ+ participant said the meeting takeover reminded him of the Israeli occupation. Another commentator summed it up thus : "This is a classic example of where one group hides behind the guise of free speech until the moment where they can take their free speech and beat it over the head of everyone else."

During the 2018 Naim Ateek tour mentioned above, the Religious Studies Department of Saint Mary's University, one of the sponsors of the Halifax event, received a letter from B'nai Brith Canada demanding the cancellation of the talk . The department, familiar with Ateek's work and repute, refused, and the event continued.

In June 2019, a Dartmouth, Nova Scotia NDP candidate standing for the 2019 federal election was discovered to have made some tweets a year earlier comparing the Israeli shooting of Gazans in the "March of the Return" to the actions of Nazi Germany. Rana Zaman, a tireless community activist, issued an apology with the help of IJV-Halifax, but the NDP federal office suggested she run it by the Atlantic Jewish Council, the local institutional Jewish organization. The AJC had no response to the apology other than sending Zaman a copy of the IHRA definition, which labels as automatically antisemitic "drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis." The NDP Federal office removed Zaman from the candidacy .

In December 2019, the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission bestowed a coveted "Individual Human Rights Award" on Zaman. The Atlantic Jewish Council immediately began a campaign to have Zaman stripped of the award, and the revocation followed a mere ten days later. Jewish institutional organizations refused to accept Zaman's original apology, insisting that it was insincere.

Conclusion

All of the above de-platforming takes a lot of work. And it makes the pro-Israel lobby look like the bullies they are. Right now, there is altogether too much messy debate. Consequently, the lobby wants to build a better mousetrap; one that will alleviate the need to intervene each and every time there is an event or activity criticizing Israel. How much easier if the better mousetrap operates to slam shut automatically, breaking the mouse's neck without untidy arguments and recrimination.

Such a better mousetrap is the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition of antisemitism. As Independent Jewish Voices has pointed out , the IHRA definition is remarkably sloppy and vague. But it does contain eleven "examples" of antisemitism, seven of which involve criticism of Israel.

The lobby is trying to get the IHRA definition adopted by legislatures, city councils, non-governmental organizations, student unions, human rights bodies, police departments, universities, and any forum that could possibly be in a position to shut down or sanction activity critical of Israel. We do not know whether or how the adoption of the IHRA definition by these bodies could actually criminalize criticism of Israel. In Canada, after all, we still have freedom of expression under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

However, we have seen how the mere accusation of antisemitism -- accurate and deserved or entirely bogus -- has been used to hobble political and other types of careers.

We have also seen how the IHRA definition has been used to punish people and organizations who have run afoul of it. The case of the University of Winnipeg cited above is one example. Claiming to have employed the IHRA definition, the university's diversity officer declared the meeting antisemitic, and the university apologized for allowing the meeting to take place.

We have seen that B'nai Brith Canada employs the IHRA definition to decide which occurrences should be added to their audit of antisemitic incidents.

Finally, we have seen that the increasingly open use of the term antisemitic to label those who criticize Israel could encumber legitimate lawsuits for defamation by victims of that slur.

That is why defenders of Palestinian human rights and proponents of peace and justice in the Middle East need to double our vigilance to ensure that the IHRA definition goes no further and that freedom of expression and sanity returns.


A version of this article first appeared in Canadian Dimension on July 10, 2020, and an expanded version appeared in SocialistProject.ca . ANTI-SEMITISM CANADA CANCEL CULTURE FREE SPEECH IHRA DEFINITION INDEPENDENT JEWISH VOICES ISRAEL APARTHEID WEEK JEFF HALPER JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE MCMASTER UNIVERSITY PINKWASHING SIMON FRASER UNIVERSITY

[Jul 16, 2020] America is channeling its Inner George Orwell

Jul 16, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

ak74 , Jul 16 2020 2:14 utc | 53

@ vk

"So, in this case, I think there is a significant portion of the American intelligentsia who genuinely believe in this mad thesis that perpetual war will always solve positively all the domestic problems of the USA. I don't think this is pure cynicism: many of those Cold War living fossils really envision an even better America for their children and grandchildren by promoting an all-out war against China, Russia, Iran, North Korea et al - even in the stances where USA proper is attacked and Americans directly die because of it."

America is channeling its Inner George Orwell, as the only solution the Americans have to deal with their fading global hegemony and domestic national implosion is to recycle their old Cold War tactic of Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace.

The United States of Oceania has always been at war with East Asia or Eurasia or Osama Bin Goldstein!

America is truly a sick country, and its worse than any COVID-19.

[Jul 15, 2020] 'Cancel Culture' Letter Really About Stifling Free Speech Consortiumnews

Notable quotes:
"... Jonathan-Cook.net ..."
"... The New York Review of Books ..."
"... for themselves and those like them ..."
"... The Wall Street Journal ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... unless it applies to himself ..."
"... The Wall Street Journal ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... on its merit too ..."
"... This article is from his blog ..."
"... The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News. ..."
Jul 15, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

'Cancel Culture' Letter Really About Stifling Free Speech July 15, 2020 Save

Most of the signers are simply pleading for a return to the status quo, writes Jonathan Cook.

By Jonathan Cook
Jonathan-Cook.net

A n open letter published by Harper's magazine, and signed by dozens of prominent writers and public figures, has focused attention on the apparent dangers of what has been termed a new "cancel culture."

The letter brings together an unlikely alliance of genuine leftists, such as Noam Chomsky and Matt Karp, centrists such as J. K. Rowling and Ian Buruma, and neoconservatives such as David Frum and Bari Weiss, all speaking out in defense of free speech.

Although the letter doesn't explicitly use the term "cancel culture," it is clearly what is meant in the complaint about a "stifling" cultural climate that is imposing "ideological conformity" and weakening "norms of open debate and toleration of differences."

It is easy to agree with the letter's generalized argument for tolerance and free and fair debate. But the reality is that many of those who signed are utter hypocrites, who have shown precisely zero commitment to free speech, either in their words or in their deeds.

Further, the intent of many them in signing the letter is the very reverse of their professed goal: they want to stifle free speech, not protect it.

To understand what is really going on with this letter, we first need to scrutinize the motives , rather than the substance, of the letter.

A New 'Illiberalism'

"Cancel culture" started as the shaming, often on social media, of people who were seen to have said offensive things. But of late, cancel culture has on occasion become more tangible, as the letter notes, with individuals fired or denied the chance to speak at a public venue or to publish their work.

The letter denounces this supposedly new type of "illiberalism":

"We uphold the value of robust and even caustic counter-speech from all quarters. But it is now all too common to hear calls for swift and severe retribution in response to perceived transgressions of speech and thought.

Editors are fired for running controversial pieces; books are withdrawn for alleged inauthenticity; journalists are barred from writing on certain topics; professors are investigated for quoting works of literature in class; The result has been to steadily narrow the boundaries of what can be said without the threat of reprisal. We are already paying the price in greater risk aversion among writers, artists, and journalists who fear for their livelihoods if they depart from the consensus, or even lack sufficient zeal in agreement."

Tricky Identity Politics

David Frum in 2013. (Policy Exchange, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons)

The array of signatories is actually more troubling than reassuring. If we lived in a more just world, some of those signing – like Frum, a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, and Anne-Marie Slaughter, a former U.S. State Department official – would be facing a reckoning before a Hague war crimes tribunal for their roles in promoting "interventions" in Iraq and Libya respectively, not being held up as champions of free speech.

That is one clue that these various individuals have signed the letter for very different reasons.

Chomsky signed because he has been a lifelong and consistent defender of the right to free speech, even for those with appalling opinions such as Holocaust denial.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1279780405902802944&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fconsortiumnews.com%2F2020%2F07%2F15%2Fcancel-culture-letter-really-about-stifling-free-speech%2F&theme=light&widgetsVersion=9066bb2%3A1593540614199&width=550px

Frum, who coined the term "axis of evil" that rationalized the invasion of Iraq, and Weiss, a New York Times columnist, signed because they have found their lives getting tougher. True, it is easy for them to dominate platforms in the corporate media while advocating for criminal wars abroad, and they have paid no career price when their analyses and predictions have turned out to be so much dangerous hokum. But they are now feeling the backlash on university campuses and social media.

Ian Buruma, at right, with the writer Martin Amis at 2007 New Yorker Festival. (CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons)

Meanwhile, centrists like Buruma and Rowling have discovered that it is getting ever harder to navigate the tricky terrain of identity politics without tripping up. The reputational damage can have serious consequences.

Buruma famously lost his job as editor of The New York Review of Books two years ago after after he published and defended an article that violated the new spirit of the #MeToo movement. And Rowling made the mistake of thinking her followers would be as fascinated by her traditional views on transgender issues as they are by her Harry Potter books.

'Fake News, Russian Trolls'

But the fact that all of these writers and intellectuals agree that there is a price to be paid in the new, more culturally sensitive climate does not mean that they are all equally interested in protecting the right to be controversial or outspoken.

Chomsky, importantly, is defending free speech for all , because he correctly understands that the powerful are only too keen to find justifications to silence those who challenge their power. Elites protect free speech only in so far as it serves their interests in dominating the public space.

If those on the progressive left do not defend the speech rights of everyone, even their political opponents, then any restrictions will soon be turned against them. The Establishment will always tolerate the hate speech of U.S. President Donald Trump or Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro over the justice speech of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders or Jeremy Corbyn, the former leader of the Labour Party in the U.K.

By contrast, most of the rest of those who signed – the right-wingers and the centrists – are interested in free speech for themselves and those like them . They care about protecting free speech only in so far as it allows them to continue dominating the public space with their views – something they were only too used to until a few years ago, before social media started to level the playing field a little.

The center and the right have been fighting back ever since with claims that anyone who seriously challenges the neoliberal status quo at home and the neoconservative one abroad is promoting "fake news" or is a "Russian troll." This updating of the charge of being "un-American" embodies cancel culture at its very worst.

Social Media Accountability

In other words, apart from the case of a few progressives, the letter is simply special pleading – for a return to the status quo. And for that reason, as we shall see, Chomsky might have been better advised not to have added his name, however much he agrees with the letter's vague, ostensibly pro-free speech sentiments.

What is striking about a significant proportion of those who signed is their self-identification as ardent supporters of Israel. And as Israel's critics know only too well, advocates for Israel have been at the forefront of the cancel culture – from long before the term was even coined.

For decades, pro-Israel activists have sought to silence anyone seen to be seriously critiquing this small, highly militarized state, sponsored by the colonial powers, that was implanted in a region rich with a natural resource, oil, needed to lubricate the global economy, and at a terrible cost to its native, Palestinian population.

Nothing should encourage us to believe that zealous defenders of Israel among those signing the letter have now seen the error of their ways. Their newfound concern for free speech is simply evidence that they have begun to suffer from the very same cancel culture they have always promoted in relation to Israel.

They have lost control of the "cancel culture" because of two recent developments: a rapid growth in identity politics among liberals and leftists, and a new popular demand for "accountability" spawned by the rise of social media.

Cancelling Israel's Critics

Former Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn at campaign rally in Glasgow, December 2019. (Jeremy Corbyn, Flickr)

In fact, despite their professions of concern, the evidence suggests that some of those signing the letter have been intensifying their own contribution to cancel culture in relation to Israel, rather than contesting it.

That is hardly surprising. The need to counter criticism of Israel has grown more pressing as Israel has more obviously become a pariah state. Israel has refused to countenance peace talks with the Palestinians and it has intensified its efforts to realize long-harbored plans to annex swaths of the West Bank in violation of international law.

Rather than allow "robust and even caustic counter-speech from all quarters" on Israel, Israel's supporters have preferred the tactics of those identified in the letter as enemies of free speech: "swift and severe retribution in response to perceived transgressions of speech and thought."

Just ask Jeremy Corbyn, the former leader of the Labour Party who was reviled, along with his supporters, as an anti-Semite – one of the worst smears imaginable – by several people on the Harper's list, including Rowling and Weiss . Such claims were promoted even though his critics could produce no actual evidence of an antisemitism problem in the Labour party.

Similarly, think of the treatment of Palestinian solidarity activists who support a boycott of Israel (BDS), modelled on the one that helped push South Africa's leaders into renouncing apartheid. BDS activists too have been smeared as anti-Semites – and Weiss again has been a prime offender .

Pro-Israel counter demonstration against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions demonstration outside School of Oriental and African Studies in London, April 2017. (Philafrenzy, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

The incidents highlighted in the Harper's letter in which individuals have supposedly been cancelled is trivial compared to the cancelling of a major political party and of a movement that stands in solidarity with a people who have been oppressed for decades.

And yet how many of these free speech warriors have come forward to denounce the fact that leftists -- including many Jewish anti-Zionists -- have been pilloried as anti-Semites to prevent them from engaging in debates about Israel's behavior and its abuses of Palestinian rights?

How many of them have decried the imposition of a new definition of anti-Semitism, by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, that has been rapidly gaining ground in Western countries?

That definition is designed to silence a large section of the left by prioritising the safety of Israel from being criticised before the safety of Jews from being vilified and attacked – something that even the lawyer who authored the definition has come to regret .

Why has none of this "cancel culture" provoked an open letter to Harper's from these champions of free speech?

Double-Edge Sword

The truth is that many of those who signed the letter are defending not free speech but their right to continue dominating the public square – and their right to do so without being held accountable.

Bari Weiss, before she landed a job at The Wall Street Journal and then The New York Times , spent her student years trying to get Muslim professors fired from her university – cancelling them – because of their criticism of Israel. And she explicitly did so under the banner of "academic freedom," claiming pro-Israel students felt intimidated in the classroom.

The New York Civil Liberties Union concluded that it was Weiss, not the professors, who was the real threat to academic freedom. This was not some youthful indiscretion. In a book last year Weiss cited her efforts to rid Columbia university of these professors as a formative experience on which she still draws.

Weiss and many of the others listed under the letter are angry that the rhetorical tools they used for so long to stifle the free speech of others have now been turned against them. Those who lived for so long by the sword of identity politics – on Israel, for example – are worried that their reputations may die by that very same sword – on issues of race, sex and gender.

[Weiss just quit her post at The New York Times , citing an illiberal environment. As part of her full statement she writes, "Twitter is not on the masthead of The New York Times. But Twitter has become its ultimate editor. As the ethics and mores of that platform have become those of the paper, the paper itself has increasingly become a kind of performance space. Stories are chosen and told in a way to satisfy the narrowest of audiences, rather than to allow a curious public to read about the world and then draw their own conclusions."]

Narcissistic Concern

To understand how the cancel culture is central to the worldview of many of these writers and intellectuals, and how blind they are to their own complicity in that culture, consider the case of Jonathan Freedland, a columnist with the supposedly liberal-left British newspaper The Guardian . Although Freedland is not among those signing the letter, he is very much aligned with the centrists among them and, of course, supported the letter in an article published in The Guardian.

Freedland, we should note, led the "cancel culture" campaign against the Labour Party referenced above. He was one of the key figures in Britain's Jewish community who breathed life into the anti-Semitism smears against Corbyn and his supporters.

Jonathan Freedland in 2013. (Chatham House, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons)

But note the brief clip below. In it, Freedland's voice can be heard cracking as he explains how he has been a victim of the cancel culture himself: he confesses that he has suffered verbal and emotional abuse at the hands of Israel's most extreme apologists – those who are even more unapologetically pro-Israel than he is.

He reports that he has been called a "kapo," the term for Jewish collaborators in the Nazi concentration camps, and a "sonderkommando," the Jews who disposed of the bodies of fellow Jews killed in the gas chambers. He admits such abuse "burrows under your skin" and "hurts tremendously."

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-1&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1280447330890768386&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fconsortiumnews.com%2F2020%2F07%2F15%2Fcancel-culture-letter-really-about-stifling-free-speech%2F&theme=light&widgetsVersion=9066bb2%3A1593540614199&width=550px

And yet, despite the personal pain he has experienced of being unfairly accused, of being cancelled by a section of his own community, Freedland has been at the forefront of the campaign to tar critics of Israel, including anti-Zionist Jews, as anti-Semites on the flimsiest of evidence.

He is entirely oblivious to the ugly nature of the cancel culture – unless it applies to himself . His concern is purely narcissistic. And so it is with the majority of those who signed the letter.

Conducting a Monologue

The letter's main conceit is the pretence that "illiberalism" is a new phenomenon, that free speech is under threat, and that the cancel culture only arrived at the moment it was given a name.

That is simply nonsense. Anyone over the age of 35 can easily remember a time when newspapers and websites did not have a talkback section, when blogs were few in number and rarely read, and when there was no social media on which to challenge or hold to account "the great and the good."

Writers and columnists like those who signed the letter were then able to conduct a monologue in which they revealed their opinions to the rest of us as if they were Moses bringing down the tablets from the mountaintop.

In those days, no one noticed the cancel culture – or was allowed to remark on it. And that was because only those who held approved opinions were ever given a media platform from which to present those opinions.

Before the digital revolution, if you dissented from the narrow consensus imposed by the billionaire owners of the corporate media, all you could do was print your own primitive newsletter and send it by post to the handful of people who had heard of you.

That was the real cancel culture. And the proof is in the fact that many of those formerly obscure writers quickly found they could amass tens of thousands of followers – with no help from the traditional corporate media – when they had access to blogs and social media.

Silencing the Left

Occupy Wall Street protesters engaging in the "human microphone," Sept. 30 2011. (David Shankbone, CC BY 3.0, Wikimedia Commons)

Which brings us to the most troubling aspect of the open letter in Harper's . Under cover of calls for tolerance, given credibility by Chomsky's name, a proportion of those signing actually want to restrict the free speech of one section of the population – the part influenced by Chomsky.

They are not against the big cancel culture from which they have benefited for so long. They are against the small cancel culture – the new more chaotic, and more democratic, media environment we currently enjoy – in which they are for the first time being held to account for their views, on a range of issues including Israel.

Just as Weiss tried to get professors fired under the claim of academic freedom, many of these writers and public figures are using the banner of free speech to discredit speech they don't like, speech that exposes the hollowness of their own positions.

Their criticisms of "cancel culture" are really about prioritizing "responsible" speech, defined as speech shared by centrists and the right that shores up the status quo. They want a return to a time when the progressive left – those who seek to disrupt a manufactured consensus, who challenge the presumed verities of neoliberal and neoconservative orthodoxy – had no real voice.

The new attacks on "cancel culture" echo the attacks on Bernie Sanders' supporters, who were framed as "Bernie Bros" – the evidence-free allegation that he attracted a rabble of aggressive, women-hating men who tried to bully others into silence on social media.

Bernie Sanders' 2020 Campaign Co-chair Nina Turner at Los Angeles City Hall rally, March 2019. (Sara Mossman, Flickr)

Just as this claim was used to discredit Sanders' policies, so the center and the right now want to discredit the left more generally by implying that, without curbs, they too will bully everyone else into silence and submission through their "cancel culture."

If this conclusion sounds unconvincing, consider that President Donald Trump could easily have added his name to the letter alongside Chomsky's. Trump used his recent Independence Day speech at Mount Rushmore to make similar points to the Harper's letter. He at least was explicit in equating "cancel culture" with what he called "far-left fascism":

"One of [the left's] political weapons is 'Cancel Culture' -- driving people from their jobs, shaming dissenters, and demanding total submission from anyone who disagrees. This is the very definition of totalitarianism This attack on our liberty, our magnificent liberty, must be stopped, and it will be stopped very quickly."

Trump, in all his vulgarity, makes plain what the Harper's letter, in all its cultural finery, obscures. That attacks on the new "cancel culture" are simply another front – alongside supposed concerns about "fake news" and "Russian trolls" – in the establishment's efforts to limit speech by the left.

Attention Redirected

This is not to deny that there is fake news on social media or that there are trolls, some of them even Russian. Rather, it is to point out that our attention is being redirected, and our concerns manipulated by a political agenda.

Despite the way it has been presented in the corporate media, fake news on social media has been mostly a problem of the right. And the worst examples of fake news – and the most influential – are found not on social media at all, but on the front pages of The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times .

What genuinely fake news on Facebook has ever rivalled the lies justifying the invasion of Iraq in 2003 that were knowingly peddled by a political elite and their stenographers in the corporate media. Those lies led directly to more than a million Iraqi deaths, turned millions more into refugees, destroyed an entire country, and fuelled a new type of nihilistic Islamic extremism whose effects we are still feeling.

Most of the worst lies from the current period – those that have obscured or justified U.S. interference in Syria and Venezuela, or rationalized war crimes against Iran, or approved the continuing imprisonment of Julian Assange for exposing war crimes – can only be understood by turning our backs on the corporate media and looking to experts who can rarely find a platform outside of social media.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-2&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1267092438205808641&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fconsortiumnews.com%2F2020%2F07%2F15%2Fcancel-culture-letter-really-about-stifling-free-speech%2F&theme=light&widgetsVersion=9066bb2%3A1593540614199&width=550px

Algorithms Changed

I say this as someone who has concerns about the fashionable focus on identity politics rather than class politics. I say it also as someone who rejects all forms of cancel culture – whether it is the old-style, "liberal" cancel culture that imposes on us a narrow "consensus" politics (the Overton window), or the new "leftwing" cancel culture that too often prefers to focus on easy cultural targets like Rowling than the structural corruption of western political systems.

But those who are impressed by the letter simply because Chomsky's name is attached should beware. Just as "fake news" has provided the pretext for Google and social media platforms to change their algorithms to vanish leftwingers from searches and threads, just as "antisemitism" has been redefined to demonise the left, so too the supposed threat of "cancel culture" will be exploited to silence the left.

Protecting Bari Weiss and J K Rowling from a baying leftwing "mob" – a mob that that claims a right to challenge their views on Israel or trans issues – will become the new rallying cry from the Establishment for action against "irresponsible" or "intimidating" speech.

Progressive leftists who join these calls out of irritation with the current focus on identity politics, or because they fear being labelled an antisemite, or because they mistakenly assume that the issue really is about free speech, will quickly find that they are the main targets.

In defending free speech, they will end up being the very ones who are silenced.

UPDATE:

Noam Chomsky. (Duncan Rawlinson)

You don't criticize Chomsky however tangentially and respectfully – at least not from a left perspective – without expecting a whirlwind of opposition from those who believe he can never do any wrong.

But one issue that keeps being raised on my social media feeds in his defense is just plain wrong-headed, so I want to quickly address it. Here's one my followers expressing the point succinctly:

"The sentiments in the letter stand or fall on their own merits, not on the characters or histories of some of the signatories, nor their future plans."

The problem, as I'm sure Chomsky would explain in any other context, is that this letter fails not just because of the other people who signed it but on its merit too . And that's because, as I explain above, it ignores the most oppressive and most established forms of cancel culture, as Chomsky should have been the first to notice.

Highlighting the small cancel culture, while ignoring the much larger, Establishment-backed cancel culture, distorts our understanding of what is at stake and who wields power.

Chomsky unwittingly just helped a group of mostly Establishment stooges skew our perceptions of free speech problems so that we side with them against ourselves. There is no way that can be a good thing.

UPDATE 2:

There are still people holding out against the idea that it harmed the left to have Chomsky sign this letter. And rather than address their points individually, let me try another way of explaining my argument:

Why has Chomsky not signed a letter backing the furor over "fake news," even though there is some fake news on social media? Why has he not endorsed the "Bernie Bros" narrative, even though doubtless there are some bullying Sanders supporters on social media? Why has he not supported the campaign claiming the Labour Party has an anti-Semitism problem, even though there are some anti-Semites in the Labour Party (as there are everywhere)?

He hasn't joined any of those campaigns for a very obvious reason – because he understands how power works, and that on the left you hit up, not down. You certainly don't cheerlead those who are up as they hit down.

Chomsky understands this principle only too well because here he is setting it out in relation to Iran:

"Suppose I criticise Iran. What impact does that have? The only impact it has is in fortifying those who want to carry out policies I don't agree with, like bombing."

For exactly the same reason he has not joined those pillorying Iran – because his support would be used for nefarious ends – he shouldn't have joined this campaign. He made a mistake. He's fallible.

Also, this isn't about the left eating itself. Really, Chomsky shouldn't be the issue. The issue should be that a bunch of centrists and right-wingers used this letter to try to reinforce a narrative designed to harm the left, and lay the groundwork for further curbs on its access to social media. But because Chomsky signed the letter, many more leftists are now buying into that narrative – a narrative intended to harm them. That's why Chomsky's role cannot be ignored, nor his mistake glossed over.

UPDATE 3:

Apologies for yet another update. I had not anticipated how many ways people on the left might find to justify this letter.

Here's the latest reasoning. Apparently, the letter sets an important benchmark that can in future be used to protect free speech by the left when we are threatened with being "cancelled" – as, for example, with the anti-Semitism smears that were used against anti-Zionist Jews and other critics of Israel in the Labour Party.

I should hardly need to point out how naive this argument is. It completely ignores how power works in our societies: who gets to decide what words mean and how principles are applied. This letter won't help the left because "cancel culture" is being framed – by this letter, by Trump, by the media – as a "loony left" problem. It is a new iteration of the "politically correct gone mad" discourse, and it will be used in exactly the same way.

It won't help Steven Salaita, sacked from a university job because he criticized Israel's killing of civilians in Gaza, or Chris Williamson, the Labour MP expelled because he defended the party's record on being anti-racist.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-3&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1281281345243799552&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fconsortiumnews.com%2F2020%2F07%2F15%2Fcancel-culture-letter-really-about-stifling-free-speech%2F&theme=light&widgetsVersion=9066bb2%3A1593540614199&width=550px

The "cancel culture" furor isn't interested in the fact that they were "cancelled." Worse still, this moral panic turns the whole idea of cancelling on its head: it is Salaita and Williamson who are accused – and found guilty – of doing the cancelling, of cancelling Israel and Jews.

Israel's supporters will continue to win this battle by claiming that criticism of Israel "cancels" that country ("wipes it off the map"), "cancels" Israel's Jewish population ("drives them into the sea"), and "cancels" Jews more generally ("denies a central component of modern Jewish identity").

Greater awareness of "cancel culture" would not have saved Corbyn from the anti-Semitism smears because the kind of cancel culture that smeared Corbyn is never going to be defined as "cancelling."

For anyone who wishes to see how this works in practice, watch Guardian columnist Owen Jones cave in – as he has done so often – to the power dynamics of the "cancel culture" discourse in this interview with Sky News. I actually agree with almost everything Jones says in this clip, apart from his joining yet again in the witch-hunt against Labour's anti-Zionists. He doesn't see that witch-hunt as "cancel culture," and neither will anyone else with a large platform like his to protect:

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-4&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1281957010880307201&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fconsortiumnews.com%2F2020%2F07%2F15%2Fcancel-culture-letter-really-about-stifling-free-speech%2F&theme=light&widgetsVersion=9066bb2%3A1593540614199&width=550px

Jonathan Cook is a freelance journalist based in Nazareth. S upport his work via his blog.

This article is from his blog Jonathan Cook.net .

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

[Jul 15, 2020] Chris Hedges- Don t be Fooled by the Cancel Culture Wars by Chris Hedges

Notable quotes:
"... The cancel culture -- the phenomenon of removing or canceling people, brands or shows from the public domain because of offensive statements or ideologies -- is not a threat to the ruling class. Hundreds of corporations, nearly all in the hands of white executives and white board members, enthusiastically pumped out messages on social media condemning racism and demanding justice after George Floyd was choked to death by police in Minneapolis. ..."
Jul 14, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

ScheerPost.com

The cancel culture -- the phenomenon of removing or canceling people, brands or shows from the public domain because of offensive statements or ideologies -- is not a threat to the ruling class. Hundreds of corporations, nearly all in the hands of white executives and white board members, enthusiastically pumped out messages on social media condemning racism and demanding justice after George Floyd was choked to death by police in Minneapolis. Police, which along with the prison system are one of the primary instruments of social control over the poor, have taken the knee, along with Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of the serially criminal JPMorgan Chase , where only 4 percent of the top executives are black . Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world whose corporation, Amazon, paid no federal income taxes last year and who fires workers that attempt to unionize and tracks warehouse laborers as if they were prisoners, put a "Black Lives Matter" banner on Amazon's home page.

The rush by the ruling elites to profess solidarity with the protestors and denounce racist rhetoric and racist symbols, supporting the toppling of Confederate statues and banning the Confederate flag, are symbolic assaults on white supremacy. Alone, these gestures will do nothing to reverse the institutional racism that is baked into the DNA of American society. The elites will discuss race. They will not discuss class.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1269162731522883584&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fconsortiumnews.com%2F2020%2F07%2F14%2Fchris-hedges-dont-be-fooled-by-the-cancel-culture-wars%2F&theme=light&widgetsVersion=9066bb2%3A1593540614199&width=550px

We must be wary of allowing those wielding the toxic charge of racism, no matter how well intentioned their motives, to decide who has a voice and who does not. Public shaming and denunciation, as any student of the Russian, French or Chinese revolutions knows, is one that leads to absurdism and finally despotism. Virulent racists, such as Richard Spencer, exist. They are dangerous. But racism will not end until we dismantle a class system that was created to empower oligarchic oppression and white supremacy. Racism will not end until we defund the police and abolish the world's largest system of mass incarceration. Racism will not end until we invest in people rather than systems of control. This means reparations for African-Americans, the unionization of workers, massive government jobs programs, breaking up and nationalizing the big banks along with the for-profit health services, transportation sector, the internet, privatized utilities and the fossil fuel industry, as well as a Green New Deal and the slashing of our war expenditures by 75 percent.

Occupy Wall Street Sept. 25, 2011. (David Shankbone via Flickr)

Politically correct speech and symbols of inclusiveness, without a concerted assault on corporate power, will do nothing to change a system that by design casts the poor and working poor, often people of color, aside -- Karl Marx called them surplus labor -- and forces them into a life of misery and a brutal criminal caste system.

The cancel culture, with its public shaming on social media, is the boutique activism of the liberal elites. It allows faux student radicals to hound and attack those deemed to be racist or transphobic, before these "radicals" graduate to work for corporations such as Goldman Sachs, which last year paid $9 million in fines to settle federal allegations of racial and gender pay bias. Self-styled Marxists in the academy have been pushed out of economic departments and been reborn as irrelevant cultural and literary critics, employing jargon so obscure as to be unreadable. These "radical" theorists invest their energy in linguistic acrobatics and multiculturalism, with branches such as feminism studies, queer studies and African-American studies. The inclusion of voices often left out of the traditional academic canon certainly enriches the university. But multiculturalism, moral absolutism and the public denunciations of apostates, by themselves, too often offer escape routes from critiquing and attacking the class structures and systems of economic oppression that exclude and impoverish the poor and the marginal.

The hedge fund managers, oligarchs and corporate CEOs on college trustee boards don't care about Marxist critiques of Joseph Conrad. They do care if students are being taught to dissect the lies of the neoliberal ideology used as a cover to orchestrate the largest transference of wealth upwards in American history.

The cancel culture, shorn of class politics, is the parlor game of the overeducated. If we do not examine, as Theodor Adorno wrote, the "societal play of forces that operate beneath the surface of political forms," we will be continually cursed with a more ruthless and sophisticated form of corporate control, albeit one that is linguistically sensitive and politically correct.

"Stripped of a radical idiom, robbed of a utopian hope, liberals and leftists retreat in the name of progress to celebrate diversity," historian Russell Jacoby writes. "With few ideas on how a future should be shaped, they embrace all ideas. Pluralism becomes a catchall, the alpha and omega of political thinking. Dressed up as multicultural, it has become the opium of disillusioned intellectuals, the ideology of an era without an ideology."

The cudgel of racism, as I have experienced, is an effective tool to shut down debate. Students for Justice in Palestine organizations, which almost always include Jewish students, are being banned on college campuses in the name of fighting racism. Activists in these outlawed groups are often barred from holding any student leadership positions on campus. Professors that dare to counter the Zionist narrative, such as the Palestinian American scholar Steven Salaita, have had job offers rescinded, been fired or denied tenure and dismissed. Norman Finkelstein, one of the most important scholars on the Israel-Palestine conflict, has been ruthlessly targeted by the Israel lobby throughout his career, making it impossible for him to get tenure or academic appointments. Never mind, that he is not only Jewish but the son of Holocaust survivors. Jews, in this game, are branded as racists, and actual racists, such as Donald Trump, because they back Israel's refusal to recognize Palestinian rights, are held up as friends of the Jewish people.

May Day 2015 demonstration at Union Square, New York City. (All-Nite Images, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons)

I have long been a target of the Israeli lobby. The lobby, usually working through Hillel Houses on college campuses, which function as little more than outposts of American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), does not attempt to address my enumeration of the war crimes committed by Israel, many of which I witnessed, the egregious flouting by Israel of international law, exacerbated by the plans to annex up to 30 percent of the West Bank, or the historical record ignored and distorted by the lobby to justify Jewish occupation of a country that from the 7 th century until 1948 was Muslim. The lobby prefers not to deal in the world of facts. It misuses the trope of anti-Semitism to ensure that those who speak up for Palestinian rights and denounce Israeli occupation are not invited to events on Israel-Palestine conflict, or are disinvited to speak after invitations have been sent out, as happened to me at the University of Pennsylvania, among other venues.

It does not matter that I spent seven years in the Middle East, or that I was the Middle East Bureau Chief for The New York Times , living for weeks at a time in the Israel-occupied territories. It does not matter that I speak Arabic. My voice and the voices of those, especially Palestinians, who document the violations of Palestinian civil rights are canceled out by the mendacious charge that we are racists. I doubt most of the college administrators who agree to block our appearances believe we are racists, but they don't also want the controversy. Zionism is the cancel culture on steroids.

The Israel lobby, whose interference in our electoral process dwarfs that of any other country, including Russia, is now attempting to criminalize the activities of those, such as myself, who support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The lobby, with its huge financial clout, is pushing state legislatures, in the name of fighting anti-Semitism, to use anti-boycott laws and executive orders to punish companies and individuals that promote BDS. Twenty-seven states have so far enacted laws or policies that penalize businesses, organizations and individuals for supporting BDS.

AIPAC gathering. (Wikimedia Commons)

The debate about the excesses of cancel culture was most recently ignited by a letter signed by 153 prominent and largely privileged writers and intellectuals in Harper's Magazine , a publication for educated, white liberals. Critics of the letter argue , correctly, that "nowhere in it do the signatories mention how marginalized voices have been silenced for generations in journalism, academia, and publishing." These critics also point out, correctly, that signatories include those, such as The New York Times columnist David Brooks and Malcolm Gladwell, with access to huge media platforms and who face no danger of being silenced. They finally note that a few of the signatories are the most vicious proponents of the Zionist cancel culture, including The New York Times editor Bari Weiss, who led campaigns while at Columbia University to destroy the careers of Arab professors ; literary scholar Cary Nelson, who was one of those who denounced the Palestinian American scholar Salaita as a racist; and political scientist Yascha Mounk, who has attacked Rep. Ilhan Omar as an anti-Semite.

I find the cancel culture and its public denunciations as distasteful as those who signed the letter. But these critics are battling a monster of their own creation. The institutional and professional power of those targeted by the Harper's letter is insignificant, especially when set against that of the signatories or the Israel lobby. Those singled out for attack pose little threat to the systems of entrenched power, which the signatories ironically represent, and indeed are more often its victims. I suspect this is the reason for the widespread ire the letter provoked.

The most ominous threats to free speech and public debate do not come from the cancel culture of the left, which rarely succeeds in removing its targets from power, despite a few high profile firings such as James Bennet , who oversaw a series of tone-deaf editorial decisions as the opinion page editor at The New York Times. These corporate forces, which assure us that Black Lives Matter, understand that the left's witch hunts are a harmless diversion.

Corporations have seized control of the news industry and turned it into burlesque. They have corrupted academic scholarship. They make war on science and the rule of law. They have used their wealth to destroy our democracy and replace it with a system of legalized bribery. They have created a world of masters and serfs who struggle at subsistence level and endure crippling debt peonage. The commodification of the natural world by corporations has triggered an ecocide that is pushing the human species closer and closer towards extinction. Anyone who attempts to state these truths and fight back was long ago driven from the mainstream and relegated to the margins of the internet by Silicon Valley algorithms. As cancel culture goes, corporate power makes the Israel lobby look like amateurs.

The current obsession with moral purity, devoid of a political vision and incubated by self-referential academics and educated elites, is easily co-opted by the ruling class who will say anything, as long as the mechanisms of corporate control remain untouched. We have enemies. They run Silicon Valley and sit on corporate boards. They make up the two ruling political parties. They manage the war industry. They chatter endlessly on corporate-owned airwaves about trivia and celebrity gossip. Our enemies are now showering us with politically correct messages. But until they are overthrown, until we wrest power back from our corporate masters, the most insidious forms of racism in America will continue to flourish.

Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist who was a foreign correspondent for fifteen years for The New York Times , where he served as the Middle East bureau chief and Balkan bureau chief for the paper. He previously worked overseas for The Dallas Morning News , The Christian Science Monitor and NPR. He wrote a weekly column for the progressive website Truthdig for 14 years until he was fired along with all of the editorial staff in March 2020. [Hedges and the staff had gone on strike earlier in the month to protest the publisher's attempt to fire the Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer, demand an end to a series of unfair labor practices and the right to form a union.] He is the host of the Emmy Award-nominated RT America show "On Contact."

This column is from Scheerpost , for which Chris Hedges writes a regular column twice a month. Click here to sign up for email alerts.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

Please Contribute to Consortium
News on its 25th Anniversary

Donate securely with PayPal here .

Or securely by credit card or check by clicking the red button: 2724

Tags: AIPAC cancel culture Chris Hedges corporate media Neoliberalism Oligarchy

Post navigation ← The Impossible Dream Woodrow Wilson's Racism & His Support For Zionism → 10 comments for " Chris Hedges: Don't be Fooled by the Cancel Culture Wars "

jdawg , July 14, 2020 at 19:35

:::stands up slowly::: :::starts a slow clap::: Reading Chris Hedges is like dancing with the truth. Well done, sir.

Chumpsky , July 14, 2020 at 19:34

Cancel culture comes across as more of a form of woke guerilla marketing than as a phenomenon supported by the economically exploited. Ex. all the FAANG companies that are essentially propping up the stock market – see how quickly they've embraced this "culture" when they realized it was excellent for business.

IMO, such is a trend, and it too, will pass -- when folks realize that the powers that be have hijacked their ideas for profit. Lesson learned: when fringe goes mainstream it's all over – 1960's redux.

Litchfield , July 14, 2020 at 17:04

"I find the cancel culture and its public denunciations as distasteful as those who signed the letter. But these critics are battling a monster of their own creation. The institutional and professional power of those targeted by the Harper's letter is insignificant, especially when set against that of the signatories or the Israel lobby. Those singled out for attack pose little threat to the systems of entrenched power, which the signatories ironically represent, and indeed are more often its victims. I suspect this is the reason for the widespread ire the letter provoked."

Basically I agree with Hedges. But I cannot follwo what he is saying in this graf.

Also this:
"As cancel culture goes, corporate power makes the Israel lobby look like amateurs."

What? I thought the beginning portion of the piece was about the power of AIPAC and other Israel Lobby entities to shape narrative and cancel out those who defend Palestinian rights.

IMO and for my understanding t he essay wanders toward the end until I am not sure who Hedges thinks is doing the actual canceling and who is actually powerful: Israel lobby? corporate interests? Misguided young people?

Andrew Thomas , July 14, 2020 at 15:43

A beautifully written argument. Cheers to Chris Hedges and Robert Scheer and Consortium News.

Cal Lash , July 14, 2020 at 15:11

Excellent. Thanks.

Skip Scott , July 14, 2020 at 14:05

Great article as always from Chris Hedges. Jonathan Cook also has an excellent article published today at Global Research regarding the open letter from Harper's. Censorship is never the answer.

firstpersoninfinite , July 14, 2020 at 13:51

Chris Hedges and Cornel West are always worth listening to and/or reading. Very pleased to have the actual situation with "cancel culture" brought into light with such clarity. We are living in the rarefied air of late-stage capitalism, in which an identifying feature is more important than our collective humanity. When someone argues over their right to their particular piece of pie while arguing against sharing the whole pie, I can't tell if they're an academic or a billionaire. All I hear is the ca-ching of people protecting the last scraps thrown to them by an inhuman system.

DW Bartoo , July 14, 2020 at 13:34

Chris Hedges, in this article, lays out substantial portions of the many corruptions people of conscience and actual principle must confront if a sane, humane, and sustainable global human society is to be established.

He briefly suggests that, in academia in particular, there are to be found very few articulated visions of what that society could, should, and must be premised upon, how it might function, and what forms of critically necessary participatory democracy, guiding such a society, would look, and feel, like.

He makes very clear that symbolic "progress" is simply a rhetorical deceit employed to ensure that the currently destructive, and fully corrupt, "system" may prevail, even as many are lulled into believing that "things" are "improving", that semantic fiddling will keep the fire, next time, harmlessly contained and its energy bent and dissipated into meaningless gesture.

As Hedges points out, were universities, indeed, all of education, dedicated to developing critical thinking, rather than to breathlessly proclaiming the sandbox "politics" of childish bullies as being highly evolved example of social competence, or of praising private equity as proof that vulture capitalism is the "end of history", or of touting Panglossian pronouncements of U$ian virtue and exceptionalism as inevitably placing all of humankind in the pinker regions of a rose-colored present, then the young might, intentionally, be provided with the tools of actually comprehending the massive fraud and corruption which controls and curtails the lives of most human beings on this planet, to the immense benefit of approximately two thousand kakistocratic elites.

In other articles, over the years, Hedges has stressed, time and again, that there is no guarantee of success in the struggle which must be undertaken if humanity is to have any future at all.

Some may regard such sober assessment as "negative" or even "defeatist".

However, considering what we are up against, beyond the relatively "easy" target of symbols, it is the deeper recognition that Hedges provides, which is the first real step toward understanding what must be changed and why.

And, unless, there is a clearly articulated destination, a coherent idea of where we wish to arrive, of the pathways, maps, and a developed sense of the terrain that must be crossed, fraught, as it will be, with pitfalls and land mines of distraction, and of being maliciously led astray, with "movements" being absorbed into dead end detours and dissipation, then a very real risk of going nowhere, of becoming disoriented and fatally lost, is more than likely.

We may not envision defeat, yet it is foolhardy to assume success.

As there are, quite literally, no existing forums for such discussions and considerations as we must enjoin, it is to be hoped that "education" will be understood as a group effort which, of necessity, involves listening quite as much as talking.

Frankly, we are not even to square #1, yet.

Getting there will not be easy.

And that, rather than toppling symbols, is only the beginning.

Clear strategy must evolve, which cannot happen until organization with the intent of engaging a coherent sense of collective plight is first undertaken.

This process is not about saviors or awaiting some "one" who will magically provide a guaranteed plan of success.

Rather, it is about the hard slog of getting from the untenable moment of increasing precarity, to an shared awareness of individual competence and wholeness, among the many.

That is the basis of the power and energy which we must bring into being.

We must find it in each of our selves and then encourage it in each other.

That may well sound both trite and obvious.

Yet it leads to a beginning, not of following, but of becoming.

James Whitney , July 14, 2020 at 13:13

Thanks to Chris Hedges for this informative article.

"Twenty-seven states have so far enacted laws or policies that penalize businesses, organizations and individuals for supporting BDS."

BDS is also illegal in France since 2015 (not the fault of the dreadful president Macron, it was the "socialist" Hollande president at that time). A reference is

hXXps://www.lemonde.fr/police-justice/article/2015/11/06/l-appel-au-boycott-de-produits-israeliens-est-illegal_4804334_1653578.html

which seems now to be no longer available, but the link indicates the content.

JOHN CHUCKMAN , July 14, 2020 at 11:39

Yes, Chris Hedges has it exactly right.

But look at so very much of American society – especially the young – involved in the almost game-like empty battles about slogans on t-shirts.

Social media could almost have been a security services invention.

I don't know whose words can reach those people.

I'm afraid a great many have little more grasp of the realities of history and the shaping of their society than Trump has.

And in a sense, I think it is a continuation of a politics that rarely struggles with anything important. Too much invested in wealth and serving wealth, as with the empire.

[Jul 14, 2020] Harper's -Bizarre- Letter The Woke Revolution -

Jul 14, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Harper's "Bizarre" Letter & The Woke Revolution by Tyler Durden Sun, 07/12/2020 - 23:00 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print

Authored by Paul Craig Roberts,

150 prominent intellectuals and Ivy League academics of leftish persuasion have signed a letter in Harper's protesting the breakdown in civilized debate and imposition of ideological conformity.

The signatories made the obligatory bow to denouncing Trump as "a real threat to democracy" and called for "greater equality and inclusion across our society."

But this wasn't enough to save them from denunciation for stating these truthful facts:

" The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted. While we have come to expect this on the radical right, censoriousness is also spreading more widely in our culture: an intolerance of opposing views, a vogue for public shaming and ostracism, and the tendency to dissolve complex policy issues in a blinding moral certainty. We uphold the value of robust and even caustic counter-speech from all quarters. But it is now all too common to hear calls for swift and severe retribution in response to perceived transgressions of speech and thought.

More troubling still, institutional leaders, in a spirit of panicked damage control, are delivering hasty and disproportionate punishments instead of considered reforms. Editors are fired for running controversial pieces; books are withdrawn for alleged inauthenticity; journalists are barred from writing on certain topics; professors are investigated for quoting works of literature in class; a researcher is fired for circulating a peer-reviewed academic study; and the heads of organizations are ousted for what are sometimes just clumsy mistakes.

Whatever the arguments around each particular incident, the result has been to steadily narrow the boundaries of what can be said without the threat of reprisal. We are already paying the price in greater risk aversion among writers, artists, and journalists who fear for their livelihoods if they depart from the consensus, or even lack sufficient zeal in agreement."

The signatories to the letter do not understand that time has passed them by. Free speech is no longer a value. Free speach is an ally of oppression because it permits charges against Western civilization and the white racist oppressors to be answered, and facts are not welcome. The purpose of the woke revolution is to overthrow a liberal society and impose conformity with wokeness in its place. Whiteness has been declared evil. There is nothing to debate.

The signatories do not understand that today there is only one side. In place of debate there is denunciation, the purpose of which is to impose ideological conformity. It is pointless to search for truth when truth has been revealed: Western civilization and all its works are a white racist construct and must be destroyed. There is nothing to debate.

To make clear that in these revolutionary times not even prominent people of accomplishment such as Noam Chomsky are entitled to a voice different from woke-imposed conformity, the letter was answered by a condescending statement signed by a long list of woke journalists of no distinction or achievement , people no one has ever heard of.

The 150 prominent defenders of free speech were simply dismissed as no longer relevant.

https://lockerdome.com/lad/13084989113709670?pubid=ld-dfp-ad-13084989113709670-0&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com&rid=www.zerohedge.com&width=890

Noam Chomsky and the other prominent signatories were dismissed as irrelevant just as the prominent historians were who took exception to the New York Times 1619 project, a packet of lies and anti-white propaganda. The famous historians found that they weren't relevant. The New York Times has an agenda that is independent of the facts.

NEVER MISS THE NEWS THAT MATTERS MOST

ZEROHEDGE DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX

Receive a daily recap featuring a curated list of must-read stories.

The message is clear: shutup "white, wealthy" people and you also Thomas Chatterton Williams, a black person with a white name. Your voices of oppression have been cancelled.

The "oppressed" and "marginalized" voices of woke revolutionaries, who have imposed tyranny in universities, the work place, and via social media, are the ones that now control explanations. No one is permitted to disagree with them.

Lining up on the woke side are CNN , New York Times , Los Angeles Times , Slate , and other presstitute organizations desperately trying to remain relevant. Everyone of these institutions quickly took the side of the woke revolution against facts and free speech.

The revolution is over unless the guillotine is next. Academic freedom no longer exists. Free speech no longer exists. The media is a propaganda ministry. Without free speech there can be no answer to denunciation. White people are guilty. Period.

me name=


[Jul 11, 2020] Free Speech Fantasies- the Harper's Letter and the Myth of American Liberalism by ANTHONY DIMAGGIO

Highly recommended!
May good ideas about the level of suppression of "free thought" in US universities.
But this Red Guard persecution are really bizarre and contradict all moral norms.
Notable quotes:
"... One of the main problems with this sort of lofty rhetoric is that it misrepresents the severely deficient reality of American political discourse. We live in a period when the rise of neoliberal capitalism and untrammeled corporate power have cheapened "public" political discourse to serve the interests of plutocratic wealth and power, while assaulting notions of the common good and the public health. Idealistic rhetoric about exploring diverse views falls flat, and is a mischaracterization of reality to the deficiencies in U.S. political discourse under neoliberal corporate capitalism, when debates are perverted by political and economic elites who have contempt for the free exchange of ideas. ..."
"... Ours is a reactionary culture, which celebrates ideas that service political and economic power centers. In this society, views that are elevated to being worthy of discussion include milquetoast liberal values that are sympathetic (or at least not antagonistic) to corporate power, apolitical content that's aimed at mindless entertainment and political diversion, and reactionary authoritarian views that border on fascistic, but are vital to demonizing immigrants, people of color, and other minorities, and reinforce a white patriarchal corporate power structure. Radical lefties, or even progressive-leftists, need not apply to be included in this circumscribed discourse. Their views are routinely blacklisted from the mass media, and are increasingly marginalized in higher educational institutions. ..."
"... My understanding of how the mass media operates is based on extensive personal experiences, and those from countless left intellectuals I know. Many of us have struggled (and mostly failed) to break into "mainstream" discourse because of the limited space in corporate news devoted to marginalized perspectives. With this marginalization comes the near erasure of critical views, including those seeking to spotlight record (and rising) economic inequality, repressive institutions that reinforce racial, gender and transphobic systems of repression, the corporate ecocidal assault on the environment, the rise of unbridled corporate power and plutocracy, the rising authoritarianism in American politics, and the increasingly reactionary and fascistic rhetoric that has taken over the American right. ..."
"... Reflecting on my own experiences within this system, the very notion of academics serving as public intellectuals has been under systematic assault by the rise of a "professionalization" culture that depicts political engagement as "biased," "unprofessional," and "unacceptable." Whatever lingering commitment to higher education as a public good was rolled back decades ago with the rise of corporatized academic "professional" norms. Scholars are now primarily concerned with publishing in esoteric, jargon-laden journals that no one reads, and almost no one cites, while elevating a discussion of the methods of how one does research over a discussion of the political and social significance of our work. In this process, there's been a suppression of any commitment to producing active citizens who see themselves as having an ethical or moral responsibility to be regularly politically engaged. ..."
"... The reactionary "professionalization" that's celebrated in the ivory tower is relentlessly promoted at every step of the process through which academics develop and are socialized: in the graduate school experience, in the job hiring, tenure, and promotion processes, and in the process of peer review for academic publications. Those who don't get with the program are filtered out at some point in this process. Very few who are committed to challenging professionalized academic norms make it through PhD programs, and fewer still obtain tenure-track jobs and tenure. It is a rare to find academics who learn how to effectively hide their political values in grad school, and who then actively draw on those same values in their scholarship once they've secured an academic job. ..."
"... I see zero interest in elite academic publishing houses – the Oxfords, Princetons, and Cambridges of the world – in making space for openly leftist frameworks of analysis, let alone for the sort of applied Gramscian and Marxian empirical research that I do on media propaganda, hegemony, indoctrination, and mass false consciousness. Neither do any of the reputable journals in most social science disciplines express interest in this sort of research. ..."
"... There's little interest in prioritizing high-profile campus speaking events for such topics in the neoliberal corporate academy. Considering the utter contempt for such scholarship, it's difficult for me to focus my limited time and energy lamenting campus attacks on authoritarians like Milo Yiannopoulos, or whatever other reactionary pseudo-intellectual flavor of the week who has been disinvited from paid speaking engagements that I and other leftist scholars couldn't dream of receiving in the first place. ..."
"... I won't shed a tear for reactionaries who seek to appropriate dwindling university resources for their own personal publicity and self-aggrandizement, considering that their ideology actively supports gutting the very institutions that they so shamelessly take advantage of. ..."
"... U.S. media and educational institutions have never been committed to the free exploration of competing views, at least not for those who question corporate power. The sooner we stop pretending this landscape represents a free and open exchange of ideas, the better. ..."
Jul 11, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org

Harper's Magazine's July 7 th " Letter on Justice and Open Debate " is making its rounds in popular political discourse, and takes aim at the "PC" "cancel culture" we are told is being fueled by the most recent round of Black Lives Matter protests. This cancel culture, we are warned, is quickly and perniciously taking over American discourse, and will severely limit the free exploration of competing viewpoints.

The Harper's letter signatories run across the ideological spectrum, including prominent conservatives such as David Brooks and J.K. Rowling, liberals such as Mark Lilla and Sean Willentz, and progressives such as Noam Chomsky and Todd Gitlin. I have no doubt that the supporters of the letter are well meaning in their support for free speech. And I have no interest in singling out any one person or group of signatories for condemnation. Rather, I think it's warranted to focus on the ways in which "free speech" is being weaponized in this case, and in contemporary American discourse, to empower reactionary voices, under the façade of a free exploration of ideas.

The ideas established in the Harper's letter sound just fine in principle, and when examined in a vacuum. The supporters embrace norms of "open debate" and "toleration of differences," and opposition to "dogma[s]," "coercion," and "intolerant climate[s]" that stifle open exploration of competing views. The letter's supporters celebrate "the free exchange of information and ideas," which they deem "the lifeblood of a liberal society," contrary to a rising "vogue for public shaming and ostracism and the tendency to dissolve complex policy issues in a blinding moral certainty." The letter elaborates :

"But it is now all too common to hear calls for swift and severe retribution in response to perceived transgressions of speech and thought. More troubling still, institutional leaders, in a spirit of panicked damage control, are delivering hasty and disproportionate punishments instead of considered reforms. Editors are fired for running controversial pieces; books are withdrawn for alleged inauthenticity; journalists are barred from writing on certain topics; professors are investigated for quoting works of literature in class; a researcher is fired for circulating a peer-reviewed academic study; and the heads of organizations are ousted for what are sometimes just clumsy mistakes. Whatever the arguments around each particular incident, the result has been to steadily narrow the boundaries of what can be said without the threat of reprisal."

Appealing to Americans' commitment to civic responsibility for open dialogue, the Harper's letter warns, "restriction of debate" "invariably hurts those who lack power and makes everyone less capable of democratic participation. The way to defeat bad ideas is by exposure, argument, and persuasion, not by trying to silence or wish them away."

One of the main problems with this sort of lofty rhetoric is that it misrepresents the severely deficient reality of American political discourse. We live in a period when the rise of neoliberal capitalism and untrammeled corporate power have cheapened "public" political discourse to serve the interests of plutocratic wealth and power, while assaulting notions of the common good and the public health. Idealistic rhetoric about exploring diverse views falls flat, and is a mischaracterization of reality to the deficiencies in U.S. political discourse under neoliberal corporate capitalism, when debates are perverted by political and economic elites who have contempt for the free exchange of ideas.

Numerous passages in the Harper's letter create the impression that U.S. political discourse is characterized by a vibrant and open exploration of diverse and competing views. The letter includes :

All of these claims are romanticizations of American life. They obscure the reality that progressive left and radical dissident views are routinely blacklisted from "mainstream" political, economic, and social discourse by the media and by mainstream academic institutions.

The "let's engage in a diversity of competing views" position sounds great until one realizes that we do not, and have never lived in, that sort of pluralistic democracy. We live in a political culture that, on its face, is committed to free speech protections for all, in which through the respectful exchange of ideas, we arrive at a better understanding of truth, to the benefit of all. But we don't really live in that society. Ours is a reactionary culture, which celebrates ideas that service political and economic power centers. In this society, views that are elevated to being worthy of discussion include milquetoast liberal values that are sympathetic (or at least not antagonistic) to corporate power, apolitical content that's aimed at mindless entertainment and political diversion, and reactionary authoritarian views that border on fascistic, but are vital to demonizing immigrants, people of color, and other minorities, and reinforce a white patriarchal corporate power structure. Radical lefties, or even progressive-leftists, need not apply to be included in this circumscribed discourse. Their views are routinely blacklisted from the mass media, and are increasingly marginalized in higher educational institutions.

I don't draw these conclusions lightly. My understanding of how the mass media operates is based on extensive personal experiences, and those from countless left intellectuals I know. Many of us have struggled (and mostly failed) to break into "mainstream" discourse because of the limited space in corporate news devoted to marginalized perspectives. With this marginalization comes the near erasure of critical views, including those seeking to spotlight record (and rising) economic inequality, repressive institutions that reinforce racial, gender and transphobic systems of repression, the corporate ecocidal assault on the environment, the rise of unbridled corporate power and plutocracy, the rising authoritarianism in American politics, and the increasingly reactionary and fascistic rhetoric that has taken over the American right.

Despite complaints about a pervasive liberal bias in higher education, available evidence reveals the opposite. As I've documented through my own comprehensive analysis of hundreds of national opinion polling questions on Americans' political and economic values, there's virtually no empirical evidence to suggest that increased education in the U.S. is associated with increased likelihood of holding liberal attitudes. The reason for this non-link between education and liberalism is obvious to those leftists who have struggled to carve out a space in the increasingly reactionary American university: there's very little commitment to progressive or leftist values in the modern corporate collegiate "experience"-oriented schooling system.

Reflecting on my own experiences within this system, the very notion of academics serving as public intellectuals has been under systematic assault by the rise of a "professionalization" culture that depicts political engagement as "biased," "unprofessional," and "unacceptable." Whatever lingering commitment to higher education as a public good was rolled back decades ago with the rise of corporatized academic "professional" norms. Scholars are now primarily concerned with publishing in esoteric, jargon-laden journals that no one reads, and almost no one cites, while elevating a discussion of the methods of how one does research over a discussion of the political and social significance of our work. In this process, there's been a suppression of any commitment to producing active citizens who see themselves as having an ethical or moral responsibility to be regularly politically engaged.

The reactionary "professionalization" that's celebrated in the ivory tower is relentlessly promoted at every step of the process through which academics develop and are socialized: in the graduate school experience, in the job hiring, tenure, and promotion processes, and in the process of peer review for academic publications. Those who don't get with the program are filtered out at some point in this process. Very few who are committed to challenging professionalized academic norms make it through PhD programs, and fewer still obtain tenure-track jobs and tenure. It is a rare to find academics who learn how to effectively hide their political values in grad school, and who then actively draw on those same values in their scholarship once they've secured an academic job.

In my more than two decades in higher ed, I can say there's no such thing as a fair hearing for the progressive-radical left when it comes to academic publishing. Thinking of my own research, I see zero interest in elite academic publishing houses – the Oxfords, Princetons, and Cambridges of the world – in making space for openly leftist frameworks of analysis, let alone for the sort of applied Gramscian and Marxian empirical research that I do on media propaganda, hegemony, indoctrination, and mass false consciousness. Neither do any of the reputable journals in most social science disciplines express interest in this sort of research.

Considering the research I do focuses on social movement protests, media propaganda/fake news, and inequality studies, one might think these timely topics would draw a large number of requests for university speaking engagements. These are, after all, defining political issues of our time. But this isn't at all the case. The academy remains as reactionary as ever in terms of sidelining and blacklisting leftist ideas and frameworks for understanding the world. There's little interest in prioritizing high-profile campus speaking events for such topics in the neoliberal corporate academy. Considering the utter contempt for such scholarship, it's difficult for me to focus my limited time and energy lamenting campus attacks on authoritarians like Milo Yiannopoulos, or whatever other reactionary pseudo-intellectual flavor of the week who has been disinvited from paid speaking engagements that I and other leftist scholars couldn't dream of receiving in the first place.

I won't shed a tear for reactionaries who seek to appropriate dwindling university resources for their own personal publicity and self-aggrandizement, considering that their ideology actively supports gutting the very institutions that they so shamelessly take advantage of. The reality of the matter is that there's no First Amendment "free speech" right to be invited to numerous campus engagements, to be paid a generous speaking fee, or to have campus security resources devoted to protecting arch-reactionary authoritarian speakers in light of the large student protests that are mobilized against these campus events.

We should recognize that the recent wave of laments against PC "cancel culture" from the right reinforce a specific power dynamic in American society. It is one in which reactionaries have initiated an assault on what little remains of independent and critical thinking within the media and higher ed.

They have done so by draping their contempt for free and critical inquiry in the rhetoric of "free speech." But U.S. media and educational institutions have never been committed to the free exploration of competing views, at least not for those who question corporate power. The sooner we stop pretending this landscape represents a free and open exchange of ideas, the better.

More articles by: ANTHONY DIMAGGIO

Anthony DiMaggio is Associate Professor of Political Science at Lehigh University. He earned his PhD from the University of Illinois, Chicago, and is the author of 9 books, including most recently: Political Power in America (SUNY Press, 2019) and Rebellion in America (Routledge, 2020). He can be reached at: anthonydimaggio612@gmail.com

[Jul 11, 2020] Basic arithmetic is now too offensive for the 'cancel culture' - Zero Hedge -

Jul 11, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Basic arithmetic is now too offensive for the 'cancel culture' by TDB Fri, 07/10/2020 - 14:37 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print

Via Sovereign Man

Are you ready for this week's absurdity? Here's our Friday roll-up of the most ridiculous stories from around the world that are threats to your liberty, risks to your prosperity and on occasion, inspiring poetic justice.

2 + 2 = imperialism

Making its rounds on Twitter is a Tweet stating: "Nope the idea of 2 + 2 equalling 4 is cultural, and because of western imperialism/colonization, we think of it as the only way of knowing."

me title=

https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.393.1_en.html#goog_1614547137

https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.393.1_en.html#goog_823449589 NOW PLAYING

Nutritionists Say You Should Never Drink Coffee On An Empty Stomach

The Coronavirus Pandemic Is Throwing A Wrench Into The Lives Of High School Juniors

How Some People End Up With Brewery Inside Their Bodies

Amazon Ditches $2-An-Hour Raise For Essential Workers

Having A Few Drinks A Week Is Good For Your Brain

Unsold Guinness Used To Fertilize Christmas Trees

Harvard and MIT Sue Trump Administration Over Foreign Student Visa Rule

California Suing Trump Admin Over New Visa Rule For International Students

You might think this is a troll, intentionally causing controversy while remaining anonymous. No one could seriously believe this, right?

But this is an actual PhD student specializing in mathematics education. She is even listed on Rutgers' PhD student directory,

In fact, she already has a Master's Degree in architecture but I'm not sure you would want to go into any buildings she has designed, just in case she thinks structural integrity is another imperialist lie.

This is how far the Bolshevik worldview has reached. You'd expect this from an underwater-basket-weaving major. After all, colleges are the bastion of the Marxists.

But this is math. And she is part of the next generation of instructors and educators.

Maybe it's time to start rethinking the value of a degree.

about:blank

about:blank

me title=

Click here for the Twitter thread.

University hiring professors, but men need not apply

Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands figured out a great way to boost its numbers of female professors.

The university simply banned all men from applying for the jobs.

The university said that for an 18 month period, it will not accept applications from men seeking academic jobs.

It also offered women a €100,000 bonus which could be used towards their own research.

Over 50 people complained to the Dutch human rights council.

Shockingly, the council actually agreed that this was unacceptable sexism and ruled against the university.

But the council doesn't actually have any judicial authority.

And the President of the university said, "Our commitment to this very important cause is unchanged."

Click here to read the full story.

British man convicted for drinking carrot juice from a beer can

A British man was angry about open container laws in his town, so he filled a beer can with carrot juice, and walked around downtown.

As expected, he was cited by police, and given a ticket for drinking alcohol in public.

But challenging the ticket in court, the case was dismissed since he hadn't actually been caught with alcohol in public.

You'd think it would end there. Man hassles town, town hassles man, and we're done.

But the town decided this case was important enough to appeal the court's decision.

After going back to court and arguing why drinking carrot juice out of a beer can should be enough for an open container ticket, the defiant man lost the case. He will be forced to pay the fine.

This was a two year legal battle at the taxpayers' expense, for drinking carrot juice out of a beer can.

Clearly the man was just trying to troll the town government.

But who is more ridiculous– one guy with a bone to pick, or a town that spent two years prosecuting a man for drinking carrot juice, just to prove who's really in charge?

Click here to read the full story.

Spain called. They want their statues back

The Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha González Laya has reached out to local, state, and federal authorities in the US.

She's concerned about some statues of Spanish colonizers that have been targeted for toppling and vandalization by protesters.

For instance, the statue of a Spanish priest was torn down in Sacramento last Saturday. And we talked about the vandalism of the statue of Miguel Cervantes , the Spanish author of Don Quixote who was actually held as a slave himself.

NEVER MISS THE NEWS THAT MATTERS MOST

ZEROHEDGE DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX

Receive a daily recap featuring a curated list of must-read stories.

González Laya said that if the US doesn't want these statues, the least they could do is send them back to Spain.

Spain would even take Columbus statues, since even though he was Italian, his exploration was funded by Spain.

Click here to read the full story.

On another note We think gold could DOUBLE and silver could increase by up to 5 TIMES in the next few years.

That's why we published a new, 50-page long Ultimate Guide on Gold & Silver that you can download here .

Inside you'll learn...

How you could Double Your Money with an asset
That Has a 5,000 Year History of Prosperity

​This 50-page report is brand new and absolutely free.

Free Download:
​Sovereign Man's Ultimate Guide on Gold & Silver


[Jul 11, 2020] AOC says only entitled moaners think cancel culture exists

Notable quotes:
"... "People who are actually 'cancelled' don't get their thoughts published and amplified in major outlets," ..."
"... "held accountable" ..."
"... "an entire TV network" ..."
"... "stoking hatred" ..."
"... "white supremacist [with] a popular network show" ..."
"... "in dangerous ways," ..."
"... You and your mob have been destroying careers and reputations and livelihoods on a whim. Now you're being hoist by your own petard. Those of us blacklisted, libeled, and falsely maligned have zero sympathy. You all started it. May you be devoured by it. https://t.co/PGzMzNa0ku ..."
"... "fired from their jobs and have their livelihoods threatened." ..."
"... There was similar disillusionment with the lawmaker's assertion that she is being maliciously smeared by news networks and "white supremacists." "You're not a victim, you're a United States congresswoman," observed an unsympathetic Twitter user. ..."
"... Whether AOC wants to acknowledge it or not, a seemingly endless internet crusade has ruined the lives of countless individuals (many of them private citizens with little or no power) accused of holding politically incorrect views or of expressing insensitive remarks. ..."
"... An open letter published by Harper's Magazine which criticized the "vogue for public shaming and ostracism" among journalists, academics, and other figures ended up backfiring spectacularly after several signatories of the document rescinded their endorsements. They explained that they'd been unaware that 'problematic' people had also signed the letter. ..."
Jul 11, 2020 | www.rt.com

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has denied the existence of cancel culture, suggesting it is an invention of privileged moaners who can't handle criticism. Her thesis prompted speculation that the powerful lawmaker has no self-awareness. The rookie New York congresswoman, whose 'woke' Twitter takes have made her a hero to many on the Left, attempted to debunk the concept of cancel culture in a series of profound posts.

"People who are actually 'cancelled' don't get their thoughts published and amplified in major outlets," she argued , adding that the whiners who complain about being 'cancelled' are actually just entitled and hate being "held accountable" or "unliked."

To prove her point, she claimed that "an entire TV network" is dedicated to "stoking hatred" of her, and that a "white supremacist [with] a popular network show" regularly misrepresents her "in dangerous ways," but that she never complains about it. (The congresswoman may be referring to Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who is white and undoubtedly not a fan of hers.)

Also on rt.com The open letter against cancel culture was a ray of hope until some signatories canceled themselves out of it

According to Ocasio-Cortez, the people who "actually" get cancelled are anti-capitalists and even abolitionists – apparently a hat-tip to activists who campaigned to end slavery, which was formally abolished in the United States in 1865 with the ratification of the 13th Amendment.

Her airtight dissertation received poor marks from many on social media, however. Countless comments accused her of being part of the very movement which she claims doesn't exist.

"You and your mob have been destroying careers and reputations and livelihoods on a whim. Now you're being hoist by your own petard," quipped actor James Woods.

You and your mob have been destroying careers and reputations and livelihoods on a whim. Now you're being hoist by your own petard. Those of us blacklisted, libeled, and falsely maligned have zero sympathy. You all started it. May you be devoured by it. https://t.co/PGzMzNa0ku

-- James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) July 10, 2020

Others argued that AOC was technically correct. Instead of having their views broadcast by mainstream outlets, 'cancelled' individuals are often "fired from their jobs and have their livelihoods threatened."

Correct. Instead, they are often fired from their jobs, harassed by twitter mobs, & have their livelihoods threatened. And so since they cannot speak up, we who have a platform choose to use our power responsibly to speak up on their behalf. You should do the same. Join us, AOC https://t.co/lQ5yiuKFq6

-- Chloé S. Valdary 📚 (@cvaldary) July 10, 2020

There was similar disillusionment with the lawmaker's assertion that she is being maliciously smeared by news networks and "white supremacists." "You're not a victim, you're a United States congresswoman," observed an unsympathetic Twitter user.

However, her remarks also garnered applause from social media users, who dismissed cancel culture as a right-wing talking point.

Cancel culture is fake. It's a right wing framing of social accountability and people need to stop giving the term any credence.

-- Ya mutha (@_diggity_dog) July 10, 2020

Whether AOC wants to acknowledge it or not, a seemingly endless internet crusade has ruined the lives of countless individuals (many of them private citizens with little or no power) accused of holding politically incorrect views or of expressing insensitive remarks.

An open letter published by Harper's Magazine which criticized the "vogue for public shaming and ostracism" among journalists, academics, and other figures ended up backfiring spectacularly after several signatories of the document rescinded their endorsements. They explained that they'd been unaware that 'problematic' people had also signed the letter.

[Jul 10, 2020] The Illiberalism At The Heart Of Cancel Culture by John Lloyd

Notable quotes:
"... Then in June 2020, he forced the resignation of James Bennet , editor of the NYT 's op-ed page. Why? Because they carried an opinion piece by the Republican senator Tom Cotton which argued that demonstrations which turned violent should be met with "an overwhelming show of force" – a phrase that caused outrage among some of the staff. Bennet had been tipped as the future Editor of the New York Times . Now he was out the door. ..."
"... Journalism, in the protesting staffs' view, must conform to novel, liberal verities, which include the protection of audiences from material seen as hurtful, even dangerous. The view of John Stuart Mill in On Liberty (1859) – "to utter and argue freely, according to conscience"- is now discarded in many parts of the cultural landscape . The sharpening of one's own convictions by setting them against opposing opinions would now, under this approach, be impossible. ..."
"... Part of this may be the phenomenon which Jonathan Swift noted when he wrote that "you cannot reason someone out of something that he or she was not reasoned into": that views held because fashionable, or approved by one's circle, or regarded as morally beyond question, are sometimes too shallow to be able to sustain argument. Dogmatic positions adopted with little thought except for signaling virtue often collapse when questioned hard. ..."
"... A letter signed by prominent writers, scholars and others organized by Harper's Magazine on July 7 – " On Justice and Open Debate " – noted that "it is now all too common to hear calls for swift and severe retribution in response to perceived transgressions of speech and thought. More troubling still, institutional leaders, in a spirit of panicked damage control, are delivering hasty and disproportionate punishments instead of considered reforms". ..."
"... The concession to staff protests in the great New York titles and the punishments to Buruma and Bennet were "hasty and disproportionate". These journals stood as examples to others: their example has been weakened. Journalists have been trained to keep an open mind to all events they chronicle, conscious of their complexity: and to listen to and allow space for views which are far from their own. That tradition is not past its useful life. ..."
Jul 10, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by John Lloyd via CAPX

​In 2018, David Remnick, editor of the New Yorker and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, cancelled a public interview with Steve Bannon, a former senior adviser to President Donald Trump, which he had organised for the magazine's annual festival. Several staff members had complained and two or three participants in the festival had said they would withdraw if Bannon appeared . Two of the magazine's most distinguished writers, Malcolm Gladwell and Lawrence Wright, strongly criticised Remnick's decision: " journalism is about hearing opposing views" , said Wright. Gladwell noted that " If you only invite your friends over, it's called a dinner party ". The episode was a worrying sign of things to come.

In 2019, New York Review of Books publisher Rea Hederman – who has a proud history of anti-racism – fired Ian Buruma, editor of the Review for only sixteen months, after pressure from the staff . Buruma's crime? He had printed an essay – 'Confessions of a Hashtag' by Jian Ghomeishi, a former Canadian Broadcasting radio host, who had been accused of violence to around twenty women, but had been recently acquitted in a case brought by some of them. Ghomeishi's piece, which addressed these accusations, was deemed to be out of step with the spirit of the #MeToo movement. That the next issue of the NYRB was to devote a large amount of space to rebuttal was not enough to save Buruma.

A G Sulzberger had, in his apprentice journalist years, used relentless coverage to force a Lion's Club in Narragansett to reverse its decision to bar women, and revealed misconduct in an Oregon sheriff's office, causing his resignation. He took over as publisher of the New York Times in 2018, the sixth Sulzberger to take that position: he strongly criticized President Trump, in an Oval Office meeting, for calling the Times "treasonous" and rendering journalists' work more dangerous.

Then in June 2020, he forced the resignation of James Bennet , editor of the NYT 's op-ed page. Why? Because they carried an opinion piece by the Republican senator Tom Cotton which argued that demonstrations which turned violent should be met with "an overwhelming show of force" – a phrase that caused outrage among some of the staff. Bennet had been tipped as the future Editor of the New York Times . Now he was out the door.

In each case, the main actors were men I admired – Hederman and Sulzberger by reputation, Remnick (whom I met when we were both correspondents in Moscow) by his writing and editing. They had faced difficult decisions, made enemies and hard choices. In each case, the men worked for a journal with a history of innovative, no-hold-barred criticism of the powerful.

And in each case, they had folded because of pressure from the staff – pressure which stemmed from an article or an event the complainants deemed unsuitable for any audience. For those staff, opinions they dislike are seen as intolerable in a publication on which they work. A red line had been crossed.

Journalism, in the protesting staffs' view, must conform to novel, liberal verities, which include the protection of audiences from material seen as hurtful, even dangerous. The view of John Stuart Mill in On Liberty (1859) – "to utter and argue freely, according to conscience"- is now discarded in many parts of the cultural landscape . The sharpening of one's own convictions by setting them against opposing opinions would now, under this approach, be impossible.

Part of this may be the phenomenon which Jonathan Swift noted when he wrote that "you cannot reason someone out of something that he or she was not reasoned into": that views held because fashionable, or approved by one's circle, or regarded as morally beyond question, are sometimes too shallow to be able to sustain argument. Dogmatic positions adopted with little thought except for signaling virtue often collapse when questioned hard.

What's to be done about this? First, the phenomenon itself has to be held up to the light as much as possible. If, as I suspect, much of it is loudly proclaimed but lightly ingested, argument and debate has to be brought to bear. The best argument remains Mill's: that opinions, many of them having to do with central issues of our time, are too important not to be challenged, worked over, considered anew and either strengthened or weakened – and, in the latter case, either modified or discarded.

Journalism needs now, more than ever, to build debate and contestation into news media worlds. The challenge is to rediscover the fundamentals of journalism – without which it ceases to be a necessary pillar of democratic, civic societies: in short, journalism needs to rediscover a belief in the fact of facts, and in the plurality of opinion. No liberal would for a moment agree that criticism of President Trump, distasteful to his supporters, should be censored.

Editors' mission is to insist that, barring the dangerous extremes, all opinions deserve airing and contesting, just as all facts deserve to be checked and given context . Those in journalism who object to views in their journal, channel or website must accept that the robust clash of beliefs remains a necessary insurance against enforced conformity, and indeed reaction. In a society built on diverse ways of looking at the world, some upset on seeing or reading an account or a conviction which strongly contradicts your own has to be borne, considered and where possible replied to, not shut down.

A letter signed by prominent writers, scholars and others organized by Harper's Magazine on July 7 – " On Justice and Open Debate " – noted that "it is now all too common to hear calls for swift and severe retribution in response to perceived transgressions of speech and thought. More troubling still, institutional leaders, in a spirit of panicked damage control, are delivering hasty and disproportionate punishments instead of considered reforms".

The concession to staff protests in the great New York titles and the punishments to Buruma and Bennet were "hasty and disproportionate". These journals stood as examples to others: their example has been weakened. Journalists have been trained to keep an open mind to all events they chronicle, conscious of their complexity: and to listen to and allow space for views which are far from their own. That tradition is not past its useful life.

John Lloyd is a Contributing Editor to the Financial Times, ex-editor of The New Statesman and a co-founder of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford.


[Jul 10, 2020] Mao Red Guards occupy the USA by Matt Taibbi

This is about a new generation of Red Guards, not so much about watching Bruce Springsteen And Dionne Warwick Be Pelted With Dogshit For Singing We Are the World
Notable quotes:
"... This Marxian denunciation of the defense of free speech as cynical capitalist ruse was brought to you by the same Ezra Klein who once worked with Yglesias to help Vox raise $300 million . This was just one of many weirdly petty storylines. Writer Thomas Chatterton Williams, who organized the letter, found himself described as a " mixed race man heavily invested in respectability politics ," once he defended the letter, one of many transparent insults directed toward the letter's nonwhite signatories by ostensible antiracist voices. ..."
"... The whole episode was nuts. ..."
"... In this conception there's nothing to worry about when a Dean of Nursing at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell is dismissed for writing "Black Lives Matter, but also, everyone's life matters " in an email, or when an Indiana University Medical School professor has to apologize for asking students how they would treat a patient who says 'I can't breathe!' in a clinical setting, or when someone is fired for retweeting a study suggesting nonviolent protest is effective. The people affected are always eventually judged to be "bad," or to have promoted "bad research," or guilty of making "bad arguments," etc. ..."
"... In this case, Current Affairs hastened to remind us that the people signing the Harper's letter were many varieties of bad! They included Questioners of Politically Correct Culture like "Pinker, Jesse Singal, Zaid Jilani, John McWhorter, Nicholas A. Christakis, Caitlin Flanagan , Jonathan Haidt, and Bari Weiss ," as well as "chess champion and proponent of the bizarre conspiracy theory that the Middle Ages did not happen, Garry Kasparov," and "right wing blowhards known for being wrong about everything" in David Frum and Francis Fukuyama, as well as -- this is my favorite line -- "problematic novelists Martin Amis, Salman Rushdie , and J.K. Rowling." ..."
"... Where on the irony-o-meter does one rate an essay that decries the "right-wing myth" of cancel culture by mass-denouncing a gymnasium full of intellectuals as problematic? ..."
"... Mao and his Red Guard invented cancel culture. This is the Chinese cultural revolution American style. Same ****, just round eyes instead of slant eyes. ..."
Jul 10, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Matt Taibbi. As excerpted from " If it's Not "Cancel Culture," What Kind of Culture is it ? "

Any attempt to build bridges between the two mindsets falls apart, often spectacularly, as we saw this week in an online fight over free speech that could not possibly have been more comic in its unraveling.

A group of high-profile writers and thinkers, including Pinker, Noam Chomsky, Wynton Marsalis, Salman Rushdie, Gloria Steinem and Anne Appelbaum, signed a letter in Harper's calling for an end to callouts and cancelations.

"We refuse any false choice between justice and freedom," the authors wrote, adding, "We need to preserve the possibility of good-faith disagreement without dire professional consequences."

This Hallmark-card-level inoffensive sentiment naturally inspired peals of outrage across the Internet, mainly directed at a handful of signatories deemed hypocrites for having called for the firings of various persons before.

Then a few signatories withdrew their names when they found out that they would be sharing space on the letterhead with people they disliked.

"I thought I was endorsing a well meaning, if vague, message against internet shaming. I did know Chomsky, Steinem, and Atwood were in, and I thought, good company," tweeted Jennifer Finney Boylan, adding, "The consequences are mine to bear. I am so sorry."

Translation: I had no idea my group statement against intellectual monoculture would be signed by people with different views!

In the predictable next development -- no dialogue between American intellectuals is complete these days without someone complaining to the boss -- Vox writer Emily VanDerWerff declared herself literally threatened by co-worker Matt Yglesias's decision to sign the statement. The public as well as Vox editors were told:

The letter, signed as it is by several prominent anti-trans voices and containing as many dog whistles towards anti-trans positions as it does, ideally would not have been signed by anybody at Vox His signature on the letter makes me feel less safe.

Naturally, this declaration impelled Vox co-founder Ezra Klein to take VanDerWerff's side and publicly denounce the Harper's letter as a status-defending con.

"A lot of debates that sell themselves as being about free speech are actually about power," tweeted Klein, clearly referencing his old pal Yglesias. "And there's a lot of power in being able to claim, and hold, the mantle of free speech defender."

This Marxian denunciation of the defense of free speech as cynical capitalist ruse was brought to you by the same Ezra Klein who once worked with Yglesias to help Vox raise $300 million . This was just one of many weirdly petty storylines. Writer Thomas Chatterton Williams, who organized the letter, found himself described as a " mixed race man heavily invested in respectability politics ," once he defended the letter, one of many transparent insults directed toward the letter's nonwhite signatories by ostensible antiracist voices.

The whole episode was nuts. It was like watching Bruce Springsteen and Dionne Warwick be pelted with dogshit for trying to sing We Are the World .

This being America in the Trump era, where the only art form to enjoy wide acceptance is the verbose monograph written in condemnation of the obvious, the Harper's fiasco inspired multiple entries in the vast literature decrying the rumored existence of "cancel culture." The two most common themes of such essays are a) the illiberal left is a Trumpian myth, and b) if the illiberal left does exist, it's a good thing because all of those people they're smearing/getting fired deserved it.

In this conception there's nothing to worry about when a Dean of Nursing at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell is dismissed for writing "Black Lives Matter, but also, everyone's life matters " in an email, or when an Indiana University Medical School professor has to apologize for asking students how they would treat a patient who says 'I can't breathe!' in a clinical setting, or when someone is fired for retweeting a study suggesting nonviolent protest is effective. The people affected are always eventually judged to be "bad," or to have promoted "bad research," or guilty of making "bad arguments," etc.

In this case, Current Affairs hastened to remind us that the people signing the Harper's letter were many varieties of bad! They included Questioners of Politically Correct Culture like "Pinker, Jesse Singal, Zaid Jilani, John McWhorter, Nicholas A. Christakis, Caitlin Flanagan , Jonathan Haidt, and Bari Weiss ," as well as "chess champion and proponent of the bizarre conspiracy theory that the Middle Ages did not happen, Garry Kasparov," and "right wing blowhards known for being wrong about everything" in David Frum and Francis Fukuyama, as well as -- this is my favorite line -- "problematic novelists Martin Amis, Salman Rushdie , and J.K. Rowling."

Where on the irony-o-meter does one rate an essay that decries the "right-wing myth" of cancel culture by mass-denouncing a gymnasium full of intellectuals as problematic?

Continued reading on Matt Taibbi's Substack


booboo , 16 seconds ago

How long before Tiabbi is forced into a life of dumpster diving. I am pretty sure his world is rocking right now but free speech needs all of the defenders it can get.

Jackprong , 7 minutes ago

They're even throwing Orwell to the dogs! They have no shame!

Secret Weapon , 10 minutes ago

Mao and his Red Guard invented cancel culture. This is the Chinese cultural revolution American style. Same ****, just round eyes instead of slant eyes.

Justus_Americans , 13 minutes ago

The Overton Window The Illusion Of Choice Free Speech Respectful Discourse The Best Interests of USA

https://youtu.be/FrLi7-O9llU

" The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum—even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there's free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate " Noam Chomsky

[Jul 09, 2020] Fearing Cancelation, Public Figures Withdraw Support For Open Letter Decrying Cancel Culture by Paul Joseph Watson

Notable quotes:
"... As we highlighted yesterday , 150 intellectuals, authors and activists including Noam Chomsky, Salman Rushdie and JK Rowling signed the letter, which was published by Harpers Magazine. ..."
"... The letter criticized how "the free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted" as a result of "an intolerance of opposing views, a vogue for public shaming and ostracism, and the tendency to dissolve complex policy issues in a blinding moral certainty." ..."
Jul 09, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,

Some of the public figures who signed an open letter decrying the rise of cancel culture retracted their support, presumably fearing they too might become a victim of it.

As we highlighted yesterday , 150 intellectuals, authors and activists including Noam Chomsky, Salman Rushdie and JK Rowling signed the letter, which was published by Harpers Magazine.

The letter criticized how "the free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted" as a result of "an intolerance of opposing views, a vogue for public shaming and ostracism, and the tendency to dissolve complex policy issues in a blinding moral certainty."

"Editors are fired for running controversial pieces; books are withdrawn for alleged inauthenticity; journalists are barred from writing on certain topics; professors are investigated for quoting works of literature in class; a researcher is fired for circulating a peer-reviewed academic study; and the heads of organizations are ousted for what are sometimes just clumsy mistakes," states the letter.

Following its publication and pushback from leftists, some of the signatories caved and publicly withdrew their support.

... ... ...

Vox journalist Matt Yglesias was also reported to his own employers by a transgender colleague because she claimed his support for free speech and his association with JK Rowling was an 'anti-trans dog whistle'. (tweet since deleted)

Is it any wonder that free speech is in such dire straits when this is the reaction to a letter that simply expresses support for it?

* * *

My voice is being silenced by free speech-hating Silicon Valley behemoths who want me disappeared forever. It is CRUCIAL that you support me. Please sign up for the free newsletter here . Donate to me on SubscribeStar here . Support my sponsor – Turbo Force – a supercharged boost of clean energy without the comedown.

Demeter55 , 41 minutes ago

Such cowardice! They put Joseph McCarthy's victims in heroic contrast to their stupid selves.

Ohiolad , 1 hour ago

We have never seen the degree of cowardice that we are now seeing from the so-called "intellectual" class. How can these people be so spineless?

[Jul 08, 2020] Much of this narrative is usually contained in the headline for an article as most people don't read beyond that anyway. This narrative is false, or at least intentionally misleading, 100% of the time.

Jul 08, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

William Gruff , Jul 8 2020 11:30 utc | 64

Skeletor @53 Re: Using compromised "Operation Mockingbird" corporate mass media as sources even though that mass media is known to deliberately disinform.

Corporate mass media products, like news segments or written articles, can be viewed on two different levels. The surface level, and the level at which the product is intended to be consumed by the public and installed in their heads as revealed Truth©, is the narrative . Much of this narrative is usually contained in the headline for an article as most people don't read beyond that anyway. This narrative is false, or at least intentionally misleading, 100% of the time.

These articles and news segments can be analysed at a deeper level, though. To build up to their Big Lie of the story's narrative , the corporate mass media must use small pieces of fact and truth, which they assemble in deceptive ways, to make their false narrative palatable. It is the job of the analyst to look beyond the intended narrative of a corporate mass media product to find the fact and truth fragments that they are using to sell the false narrative .

What I get the biggest kick out of is that the creators of these corporate mass media false narratives are often themselves the loudest voices protesting our host using their own products to counter their narratives . They really hate it when their own words are used to discredit their own narratives , and so they whine that if you are not going to swallow their vile narrative , then you should not refer to their words. Poor babies!

While it is true that inattentive readers who are prone to uncritically installing false narratives in their own heads should avoid consuming those mass media products, analysts who are skilled at filtering out and separating the narrative from the supporting text of articles can easily dig out facts from that media ore without risk of contamination of their minds with crap. Our host is one of those kinds of analysts. Unfortunately, since you, Skeletor, cannot tell the difference between narrative and information, you run a great risk of being remote controlled by the false narrative if you consume unprocessed corporate mass media products. I recommend that you avoid them.

[Jul 03, 2020] A secularised 'illusion' is metamorphosing back into woke religion by Alastair Crooke

Jul 03, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Alastair Crooke via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

Many commentators have noted the wokes' absence of vision for the future . Some describe them in highly caustic terms:

"Today, America's tumbrils are clattering about, carrying toppled statues, ruined careers, unwoke brands. Over their sides peer those deemed racist by left-wing identitarians and sentenced to cancelation, even as the evidentiary standard for that crime falls through the floor But who are these cultural revolutionaries? The conventional wisdom goes that this is the inner-cities erupting, economically disadvantaged victims of racism enraged over the murder of George Floyd. The reality is something more bourgeoisie. As Kevin Williamson observed last week, "These are the idiot children of the American ruling class, toy radicals and Champagne Bolsheviks, playing Jacobin for a while, until they go back to graduate school".

Is that so? I well recall listening in the Middle East to other angry young men who, too, wanted to 'topple the statues'; to burn down everything. 'You really believed that Washington would allow you in', they taunted and tortured their leaders: "No, we must burn it all down. Start from scratch".

Did they have a blueprint for the future? No. They simply believed that Islam would organically inflate, and expand to fill the void. It would happen by itself – of its own accord: Faith.

Professor John Gray has noted "that in The God that failed, Gide says: 'My faith in communism is like my faith in religion. It is a promise of salvation for mankind'' . "Here Gide acknowledged", Gray continues, "that communism was an atheist version of monotheism. But so is liberalism, and when Gide and others gave up faith in communism to become liberals, they were not renouncing the concepts and values that both ideologies had inherited from western religion. They continued to believe that history was a directional process in which humankind was advancing towards universal freedom ".

So too with the wokes. The emphasis is on Redemption; on a Truth catharsis; on their own Virtue as sufficient agency to stand-in for the lack of plan for the future. All are clear signals: A secularised 'illusion' is metamorphosing back into 'religion'. Not as Islam, of course, but as angry Man, burning at the deep and dark moral stain of the past. And acting now as purifying 'fire' to bring about the uplifting and shining future ahead.

Tucker Carlson, a leading American conservative commentator known for plain speaking, frames the movement a little differently:

"This is not a momentary civil disturbance. This is a serious, and highly organized political movement It is deep and profound and has vast political ambitions. It is insidious, it will grow. Its goal is to end liberal democracy and challenge western civilization itself We're too literal and good-hearted to understand what's happening We have no idea what we are up against These are not protests. This is a totalitarian political movement" .

Again, nothing needs to be done by this new generation to bring into being a new world, apart from destroying the old one. This vision is a relic – albeit secularised – of western Christianity. Apocalypse and redemption, these wokes believe, have their own path; their own internal logic.

Mill's 'ghost' is arrived at the table. And with its return, America's exceptionalism has its re-birth. Redemption for humankind's dark stains. A narrative in which the history of mankind is reduced to the history of racial struggle. Yet Americans, young or old, now lack the power to project it as a universal vision.

'Virtue', however deeply felt, on its own, is insufficient. Might President Trump try nevertheless to sustain the old illusion by hard power? The U.S. is deeply fractured and dysfunctional – but if desperate, this is possible.

The "toy radicals, and Champagne Bolsheviks" – in these terms of dripping disdain from Williamson – are very similar to those who rushed into the streets in 1917. But before dismissing them so peremptorily and lightly, recall what occurred.

Into that combustible mass of youth – so acultured by their progressive parents to see a Russian past that was imperfect and darkly stained – a Trotsky and Lenin were inserted. And Stalin ensued. No 'toy radicals'. Soft became hard totalitarianism.


play_arrow

N2M , 22 minutes ago

Vision? What vision that might be?

"'Freedom' is being torn down from within"

What freedom? Could be "Freedom" they decide how, when and where you can express your thoughts? There is only one true freedom that exists and that is human free will to tell the truth.

Today vision of Freedom is a joke, this game was never about freedom for in a world of ideology, there is always lurking a deceits of lies and control.

There are 3 types of Americans.

  1. A sharp ones and well tune to what has been going on and those I had a chance to talk to and become friends when I was in U.S.A
  2. The imbeciles of totally clueless generation of people who will listen to any wave of information in propaganda as true and must be and their government is so beloved, no others can even compete and they only have good intentions /s /c
  3. And there is this group, shrewd, conniving, self-moral, warmongering, evil to a core psychopaths who only follow different orders to impose their will on other nations to makes sure they follow what? USD.

So when author speaks about vision it must separate few things!

Washington is running around imposing sanctions, destroying relationship/interest with nations, trying all this regime changes at a cost of death of millions of people and then dropping "Freedom bombs' almost every 8 to 9 minutes somewhere in this world, because these freaks vision is way different, then some regular people either be in South America or other continents that these regular people have.

Real vision is based on corporation, and U.S.A had that before, however after being hijack, now they trying to start a war of unimaginable proportions so few fat bosses in one Chamber can feel as super masters of the world and everyone as slaves.

I would like to remind some people about vision – Marx had a vision to, and rest is history.

Becklon , 1 hour ago

It's a lack of shared purpose, I think. Without a common focus, such as an external threat (as once provided by the USSR) groups tend to fracture and turn on themselves and each other.

It's got nothing to do with any one religious or political group having more power than others. It's to do with homo sapiens - and maybe entropy.


1 play_arrow
David Wooten , 1 hour ago

Well, if all this is true, there is far, far more at stake than the US being unable to "Re-Impose Its Civilisational Worldview" (which I would be fine with).

This is about the destruction of the US itself.

[Jul 03, 2020] Is math unjust and grounded in discrimination ? Sometimes I wonder if the world is some kind of sitcom for aliens

Notable quotes:
"... This lady is sitting there lying trying to prove a point. I have been in enough arguments to kow when someone is just arguing to keep the discussion going ..."
Jul 03, 2020 | www.youtube.com

John Smith , 7 months ago

Crazy lady: Math is discriminatory!

Mia Light , 8 months ago (edited)

Sometimes I wonder if the world is some kind of sitcom for aliens.

Johnny West , 7 months ago

Comprehending mathematics requires IQ ! Not equality. Lord, this woman lives in a rabbit hole.

Ruttigorn Logsdon , 7 months ago

And son that's how America became a third world country over night!

L0nN13 , 8 months ago

The bottom line is, they want to take away any problem solving skills that might build character, because someone might get hurt! Victimhood culture run amuck.

Sal Pacheco , 8 months ago

Mathematics is the cornerstone of all forms of trade, communications, home economics and every other aspect of life. Truth is they're dumbing everyone down to control populations!

Oprah and Michael Jordan are black billionaires , 4 days ago

As a black American, this is so ignorant and offensive to me

Jewel Heart , 7 months ago

The brilliant NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson just proves what a load of bx this latest rubbish is.

Mach 1 , 2 years ago

I have Master's Degree in Mechanical Engineering and I'm 62-years old. I have never once cared about the history of mathematics, other than a curiosity. Knowing the history of mathematics never helped me once to solve an ordinary second order differential equation.

Aric Lyles , 8 months ago

When a person lies while giving an interview they should be shocked or something. This lady is sitting there lying trying to prove a point. I have been in enough arguments to kow when someone is just arguing to keep the discussion going. She has already lost the argument deflected and differed responsibility when confronted with the legitimacy of the paper.

Go exercise healthy body makes a healthy mind not the other way around.

[Jul 03, 2020] Kurt Vonnegut's Literary Prophecy Coming True by Larry C Johnson

Jul 03, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

HARRISON BERGERON by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

THE YEAR WAS 2081, and everybody was finally equal.

They weren't only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213 th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General.

Some things about living still weren't quite right, though. April for instance, still drove people crazy by not being springtime. And it was in that clammy month that the H-G men took George and Hazel Bergeron's fourteen- year-old son, Harrison, away.

It was tragic, all right, but George and Hazel couldn't think about it very hard. Hazel had a perfectly average intelligence, which meant she couldn't think about anything except in short bursts. And George, while his intelligence was way above normal, had a little mental handicap radio in his ear. He was required by law to wear it at all times. It was tuned to a government transmitter. Every twenty seconds or so, the transmitter would send out some sharp noise to keep people like George from taking unfair advantage of their brains.

George and Hazel were watching television. There were tears on Hazel's cheeks, but she'd forgotten for the moment what they were about.

... ... ...

Continue reading "Kurt Vonnegut's Literary Prophecy Coming True by Larry C Johnson" "

[Jul 03, 2020] 01 July 2020 at 06:24 PM

Jul 03, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
div Dostoyevsky had a good definition of the woke movement of his day, from his very prescient novel "The Possessed" [by devils]. He defined it as "a combination of self righteousness, and the unwillingness to hold an independent opinion."

Dostoyevsky had a good definition of the political correctness of his day, from his very prescient novel "The Possessed" [by devils]. He defined it as "a combination of self righteousness, and the unwillingness to hold an independent opinion." (They were then as now called "liberals," the "resistance" then to Tsar Aleksandr II, who had just freed 23 million serfs, created a court system with trial by jury, and instituted elected local and regional governments. Elements of the resistance assassinated him en route to proclaim an elected national parliament, the proclamation physically on his person.)

[Jul 02, 2020] Black Voices also Matter by Gilad Atzmon

Jul 02, 2020 | www.unz.com

That we are proceeding rapidly into an authoritarian reality is hardly a news item: it is impossible not to identify the institutions at the centre of this unfortunate transition. Every day one Jewish organization or another brags about its success in defeating our most precious Western values: political freedom and intellectual tolerance.

At the moment it seems as if silencing authentic Black voices is the Zionists' prime objective. This morning we learned that Black Voices do not matter at all: in a total capitulation to the French Zionist Lobby group CRIF, the great Black French comedian Dieudonné's YouTube channel was deleted by Google. CRIF tweeted :

"A month ago, the CRIF filed a complaint against Dieudonné after the broadcasting of anti-Semitic videos. Yesterday, his chain ‪@YouTube has been deleted. CRIF welcomes this decision and encourages other platforms to take responsibility and close all of its accounts."

In the late 18th century the Anglo Irish statesman and philosopher Edmund Burke realised that "all that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing." I guess that in 2020 for evil to prevail all that is needed is for an internet company to become an extension of Zion.

Neither Dieudonne nor anyone else needs my 'kosher' certificate, although I have no doubt that the French artist is an exemplary anti racist. What I will say is that if Zion doesn't want you to listen to someone, there is nothing better you could do for yourself than defy their wishes. Dieudonne, France's most popular comedian, is a brilliant Black man. He was brave enough to stand up and declare that he had enough of the holocaust indoctrination, what he wants to discuss is the holocaust of his people, an ongoing century of discrimination and racist abuse. Within only a matter of hours, Dieudonne was targeted by French Jewish organizations and was portrayed as a racist and an anti Semite .

I am looking forward to see what Black Lives Matter is going to do for one of Europe's most authentic and profound Black voices. Just an idea, maybe instead of pulling down bronze statues, BLM should consider calling for every Black artist to close their Youtube channels until Google comes to its senses. This would be a nice proper attempt at a Black power exercise, but as you can imagine, I do not hold my breath.

Unfortunately, Zionist destruction of the little that is left out of the Western spirit has become a daily spectacle. Yesterday we saw the Jewish press bragging that Fox Soul -- a new Fox chnnel geared toward African Americans scheduled live broadcast of a speech by Louis Farrakhan. The Jewish Algemeiner was kind enough to reveal that the Simon Wiesenthal Center had called for the broadcast to be scrapped.

Zionist organisations never march alone. They are effective in identifying the odd Sabbos Goy who stands ready to lend his or her 'credibility' to the 'cause.' This time it was CNN anchor Jake Tapper who tweeted, "Farrakhan is a vile anti-LGBTQ anti-Semitic misogynist. Why is a Fox channel airing his propaganda?"

Farrakhan is a vile anti-LGBTQ anti-Semitic misogynist. Why is a Fox channel airing his propaganda? https://t.co/dmX7A6LSd2 

-- Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) June 29, 2020

As we all know, Jews often claim to be there for Blacks. Jewish outlets often brag about the significant Jewish contribution to the Civil Rights Movement. According to some Jewish historians, a large amount of the funds for the NAACP came from Jewish sources – some experts estimate as much as 80%. Howard Sachar begins his article Jews in the Civil Rights movement, by claiming that "nowhere did Jews identify themselves more forth­rightly with the liberal avant-garde than in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s." This would seem a positive moment in Jewish history until we remember that Judaism has, throughout its entire history as we know it, sustained uncompromised 'segregation bills'. What are kosher dietary rules if not a 'segregation bill?' What is the rationale behind the Zionist attitude toward mixed marriage other than a segregation bill? Even within the Palestinian solidarity movement, many Jews choose to march within racially segregated political cells (JVP, IJAN, JVL etc.) rather than voluntarily strip themselves of their Jewish privilege.

It is true that some of the greatest voices of the Civil Rights Movement were Jews. But I am afraid that this is where the good part of the story ends. Historically the Jewish attitude towards Blacks has been nothing short of a disaster. It is difficult to decide how to enter this colossal minefield without getting oneself into serious trouble.

In European Jewish culture the word shvartze (Black, Yiddish) is an offensive term referring to a low being, specifically a Black person ("She's dating a shvartze. Her grandmother is probably rolling over in her grave"). Zein Shver , a Jewish Black American, points out that "Shvartze isn't Yiddish for Black. Shvartze is Yiddish for Nigger!"

The reference to 'shvartze chaya' is a direct reference to 'black beast,' meaning the lowest of the low. Shvartze chaya is also how Ashkenazi Jews often refer to Arabs, Sephardi Arab and Falasha Jews. I guess that, at least culturally, some Ashkenazi Jews find it hard to deal with the colour black, especially when it comes on people. It is therefore slightly peculiar to witness white Ashkenazi Jews complain endlessly about 'white supremacy.' It is, in fact, hard to imagine any contemporary cultural code more racially oriented than the Ashkenazi ethos. I would suggest that if Jews are genuinely interested in combating white exceptionalism, that maybe they should first uproot those symptoms from their own culture.

ORDER IT NOW

This is an anomaly -- the same people who played a fundamental role in the civil rights movement, are themselves instrumental in an historic racist segregation project. In my work on Jewish Identity politics I have noticed that Jewish organisations dictating the boundaries of Black liberation discourse is hardly a new symptom. This political exercise is a fundamental feature and symptomatic of the entire Jewish solidarity project. It is the 'pro' Palestinian Jews who make sure that the discourse of the oppressed (Palestinians) will fit nicely with the sensitivities of the oppressor (The Jewish State for that matter). It seems as if it is down to Jews to decide whether or not the civil rights activist and scholar Angela Davis is worthy of an award for her lifetime of activity for her community.

A review of the ADL's attitude to the Nation of Islam (NOI) in general and its leader, Louis Farrakhan, provides a spectacular glimpse into this attempt to police the dissent.

NOI according to the ADL, has "maintained a consistent record of anti-Semitism and racism since its founding in the 1930s." The ADL's site states that "under Louis Farrakhan, who has espoused and promoted anti-Semitism and racism throughout his 30-year tenure as NOI leader, the organization has used its programs, institutions, and media to disseminate its message of hate."

"He (Farakhan) has repeatedly alleged that the Jewish people were responsible for the slave trade as well as the 9/11 attacks, and that they continue to conspire to control the government, the media, Hollywood, and various Black individuals and organizations."

The real question we need to ask is whether Farakhan's criticism is 'racist.' Does he target 'The Jews' as a people, as a race or as an ethnicity or does he actually target specific elements, segments or sectors within the Jewish universe? A quick study of Farakhan's cherry picked quotes provided by the ADL reveals that Farakhan doesn't really refer to 'the Jews' as a people, a race, a nation or even as a religious community. In most cases he refers specifically and precisely to segments within the Jewish elite that are indeed politically dominant and deserve our scrutiny.

Let us examine some of Farakhan's most problematic quotes as selected by the ADL : "During a speech at Washington, D.C.'s Watergate Hotel in November 2017, Farrakhan told his audience that the Jews who 'owned a lot of plantations' were responsible for undermining black emancipation after the Civil War. He also endorsed the second volume of the anti-Semitic book, 'The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews,' which blames Jews for promoting a myth of black racial inferiority and makes conspiratorial accusations about Jewish involvement in slave trade and the cotton, textiles, and banking industries. Farrakhan believes this book should be taught in schools."

It is obvious in the quote above that Farakhan refers to a segment within the Jewish elite. Those who "owned plantations," those who were specifically involved in the Atlantic slave trade, those who were and still are involved in banking and so on. And the next question is; does the ADL suggest that Jewish slave owners are beyond criticism? Is the Jewish State axiomatically on the right side of history so neither Farakhan nor the rest of us is entitled to criticize it? And what about Jewish bankers, do they also enjoy a unique immunity? I am sorry to point out, such views only confirm the supremacist and privileged attitude that Farahkan, amongst very few others, is brave enough to point at.

The question goes further. If Jews do empathize with Blacks and their suffering as we often hear from Jewish leaders, can't they take a bit of criticism from the likes of Farakhan, Angela Davis or Dieudonne? If Jews care so much about the Other, as many well meaning Jews insist upon telling us, how come all this caring disappears once Farakhan, Davis or Dieudonne appear on the scene?

Jewish solidarity is a peculiar concept. It is a self-centered project. Jewish New Yorker Philip Weiss expressed this sentiment brilliantly in an interview with me a few years back. "I believe all people act out of self-interest. And Jews who define themselves at some level as Jews -- like myself for instance -- are concerned with a Jewish self-interest. Which in my case is: an end to Zionism." Weiss supports Palestine because he believes it is good for the Jews. For him the Palestinians are natural allies. I believe that if Blacks and Palestinians or anyone else wants to liberate themselves and to obtain the equality they deserve, they can actually learn from Zionism. Rather than counting on solidarity, they have to shape their own fate by defining their priorities. In fact this is exactly what is so unique about Farakhan and Dieudonne. This is probably why Jewish organisations see them as prime enemies and invest so highly in their destruction.


Fran Taubman , says: Show Comment July 1, 2020 at 8:40 pm GMT

Who are you kidding Mr. ID Politics. If white people talked about Black people like this idiot Dieudonné and Louis Farrakhan, they would be run out of town. How do you think this would go over with freedom of speech.

Let's lynch these Black MFuckers.

Free speech is only free when people support it. You can say anything you want to anyone. No one has stopped Farrakhan from speaking for years he has held court. Once you get on TV or Social Media you are engaged in profit and loss. What advisor is going to support a person that hates Jews and gays?
You think the ADL stopped Farrakhan Ha!!. I doubt it.

You can throw the Zionist word around all you want but there is more to this then the Jews.

Exile , says: Show Comment July 2, 2020 at 1:42 am GMT
@Fran Taubman

You can throw the Zionist word around all you want but there is more to this then the Jews.

There always is. Your tribe is only 3% of the American population. There are shabbos goys like White & Castizo strivers, Black & mulatto Talented-Tenths, Asian ladder-climbers and gayrace trannisarries who recognize where the center of power lies.

Your tribe prefers to rule from behind the curtain. Your reputation for crypsis and shape-shifting is literally legendary (see Bram Stoker, for instance).

You can Fellow White and hide behind and among mischling surrogates and race-traitors all you like, but more of us are Noticing every day, Fran.

Hurry up and get your annexations and looting done while you can because the Jewish American Century is rapidly drawing to its usual conclusion. Your 110th expulsion is fast approaching.

Tick-tock.

Fran Taubman , says: Show Comment July 2, 2020 at 3:10 am GMT
@Exile Oh Exile you are such a big bad wolf, and I am so scared. Do you talk like that for effect? People have been trying to irradiate the Jews since the beginning of time, it is the most elusive game in the world and it never works. The Jews are just a smoke screen, all the horrors are as yet unseen. Trust me I speak from experience and fear no one.

I do love the tic tock. I have heard that a lot lately.

Colin Wright , says: Website Show Comment July 2, 2020 at 4:17 am GMT
'am looking forward to see what Black Lives Matter is going to do for one of Europe's most authentic and profound Black voices. Just an idea, maybe instead of pulling down bronze statues, BLM should consider calling for every Black artist to close their Youtube channels until Google comes to its senses. This would be a nice proper attempt at a Black power exercise, but as you can imagine, I do not hold my breath.'

I wouldn't hold it either. At least in the US, Black Lives Matter knows better than to mess with Boss Man.

Colin Wright , says: Website Show Comment July 2, 2020 at 4:34 am GMT
' They are effective in identifying the odd Sabbos Goy who stands ready to lend his or her 'credibility' to the 'cause.' This time it was CNN anchor Jake Tapper '

I wouldn't call Jake Tapper a 'shabbos goy.' If he's not technically Jewish, he's definitely close enough.

' His parents are Jewish; his mother, who was raised Presbyterian, converted to Judaism.[14] Tapper spent summers attending the Jewish summer camp Camp Ramah in the Poconos.

Education[edit]
Tapper was educated at Akiba Hebrew Academy, an independent Jewish day school formerly located in Merion, Pennsylvania '

Ol' Jake would be one of our minders, I'd say. Up there with Wolf Blitzer, and Jeffrey Goldberg, and Bret Stephens, and Jared Kushner, and

Doris , says: Show Comment July 2, 2020 at 4:41 am GMT
Gilad Atzmon, stands up for the voiceless, that have no protection against the injustices committed against them. He could have kept quiet and enjoyed a tranquil life. But he chose to be a defender, protector of people that were victims of terrible oppression, violence. He spoke out and has suffered for that, unfortunately.

[Jul 02, 2020] Superman actor Dean Cain takes heat for arguing cancel culture would censor truth, justice, the American way motto today

Notable quotes:
"... Speaking with Fox's Ainsley Earhard on Thursday, the conservative actor took aim at 'cancel culture,' dubbing it "like an early version of George Orwell's 1984" which would have barred the 90s-era character from uttering his iconic slogan. ..."
"... "I promise you that Superman – I wouldn't today be allowed to say: 'Truth, justice, and the American way,'" ..."
Jul 03, 2020 | www.rt.com
Actor Dean Cain, who portrayed Superman for a 1990s TV show, has set Twitter ablaze after arguing that modern 'cancel culture' would have outlawed the superhero's catchphrase – "Truth, justice and the American way."

Speaking with Fox's Ainsley Earhard on Thursday, the conservative actor took aim at 'cancel culture,' dubbing it "like an early version of George Orwell's 1984" which would have barred the 90s-era character from uttering his iconic slogan.

"I promise you that Superman – I wouldn't today be allowed to say: 'Truth, justice, and the American way,'" Cain said, responding to a recent op-ed in Time Magazine calling for a "re-examining" of how superheroes are portrayed on screen.

Also on rt.com 'You're 25 years late': Non-white Superman actor trolls site calling for 'diverse' Man of Steel

[Jul 02, 2020] Some jobs matter: Harvard grad fired by Deloitte after threatening to stab anyone who thinks 'all lives matter'

Notable quotes:
"... "I'ma stab you, and while you're struggling and bleeding out, I'ma show you my paper cut and say, 'My cut matters too,'" she declared in the TikTok clip. ..."
"... Holding back tears, Janover said she'd "worked really hard" to receive a position at the company, and complained that her contract had been terminated even though Deloitte claims to "stand against systemic racism." ..."
Jul 02, 2020 | www.rt.com

Is this a new type of female hysteria or what ?

A Harvard graduate has reportedly lost her job after posting a now-viral TikTok video in which she vowed to assault anyone who didn't support the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.

...

Claira Janover became an overnight sensation after several news outlets caught wind of a video in which she threatened to attack anyone "entitled" enough to believe that "all lives matter."

"I'ma stab you, and while you're struggling and bleeding out, I'ma show you my paper cut and say, 'My cut matters too,'" she declared in the TikTok clip.

...Holding back tears, Janover said she'd "worked really hard" to receive a position at the company, and complained that her contract had been terminated even though Deloitte claims to "stand against systemic racism."

..."File under Schadenfreude or Karma," noted conservative firebrand Michelle Malkin.

...Janover's firing is unusual as it marks a rare case of 'reverse' cancel culture. Social-justice activists have typically been the ones using social media to attack anyone who is suspected of holding politically incorrect views.

[Jun 20, 2020] The Call from Inside the House Cancel Culture Hurts the Left by Hubert Collins

This is a shadow of the USSR censure, not question about it
Notable quotes:
"... Mr. Taibbi cites examples of leftists losing their jobs in the last three weeks over minor infractions against racial orthodoxy . ..."
"... Second is Lee Fang, an investigative journalist for The Intercept . Mr. Fang has been accused of racism by other leftists before , but his most recent troubles began when he dared note that the frequently cited Martin Luther King, Jr. quote, "a riot is the language of the unheard" is misleading without context. ..."
"... Leftist cite King every time there is a riot to claim that torching and looting are the only way rioters can get their message out. Mr. Fang pointed out that those words are an aside in a speech King made, and that if you read the whole speech, it's clear that he was condemning violence and destruction. Mr. Fang got in trouble because 1) Many think criticism of riots is racist. 2) Mr. Fang is not black, so it's unconscionable for him to explain what a black person (MLK) meant. ..."
"... The other shoe dropped when he tweeted this ..."
"... Asked everyone I spoke with today if there was anything they wanted to get off their chest about the movement. Max from Oakland, a supporter of BLM, had a measured critique he wanted to share. pic.twitter.com/07qMQyCdJ9 ..."
"... Leftists think it's racist to talk about black-on-black crime because it distracts from police killings of blacks. By tweeting an interview that mentioned black-on-black crime, Mr. Fang was "elevating" a dishonest conservative "narrative" that undermines the fight against systemic racism, and that is tantamount to being racist. Many other employees at The Intercept supported Mr. Lacy's attack on Mr. Fang and not one colleague defended him. Their employer told Mr. Fang to apologize and stay out of trouble or he would be fired. Mr. Fang issued a groveling apology . So far, he still has a job. ..."
"... Some are asking: "Is this the 'peak' of ridiculous racial sensitivity? Will there be blow back?" No. Many of the people lobbing accusations of racism against their fellow leftists believe what they are saying. They have a religious fervor and a hatred for sinners that they will not soon give up. Other accusers have selfish reasons. Within the Left, accusing a colleague of racism (or sexual misconduct) is a good way to get rid of a competitor. It also shows people who might criticize your work that you wield a powerful sword, and can swing it any time. If, at the same time, you can cast yourself as a victim, it's great job security, and a way to bulldoze anyone who might threaten your security. And on the Left, there is no cost ..."
"... The few leftists who criticize the excesses of racial sensitivity and "cancel culture" are clustered around very minor websites, such as The Bellows , or niche podcasts such as What's Left ( Benjamin Studebaker and Aimee Terese are two good examples). They are all pro-union, anti-corporation, and anti-identity politics. In other words, unlike non-white pressure groups, and the mainstream left that combines anti-white policies with pro-business economics, none will be getting serious financial support from big business or moneyed elites . ..."
Jun 18, 2020 | www.amren.com

There was a time when only people on the right were fired because of alleged racial insensitivity, but no longer. Veteran left-wing journalist Matt Taibbi recently blew the whistle on ever-intensifying "left-on-left" accusations of racism :

It feels liberating to say after years of tiptoeing around the fact, but the American left has lost its mind. It's become a cowardly mob of upper-class social media addicts, Twitter Robespierres who move from discipline to discipline torching reputations and jobs with breathtaking casualness.

The leaders of this new movement are replacing traditional liberal beliefs about tolerance, free inquiry, and even racial harmony with ideas so toxic and unattractive that they eschew debate, moving straight to shaming, threats, and intimidation. They are counting on the guilt-ridden, self-flagellating nature of traditional American progressives, who will not stand up for themselves, and will walk to the Razor voluntarily.

Mr. Taibbi cites examples of leftists losing their jobs in the last three weeks over minor infractions against racial orthodoxy . Two are worth highlighting. First is that of David Shor, a data scientist who worked on President Obama's reelection campaign. He tweeted about research done by Omar Wasow (who is black) that suggests non-violent protests bring about more positive social change than violent ones -- and that rioting encourages people to vote Republican. Many on Twitter saw this as criticism of the recent violent protests , and called it "anti-black." The controversy mounted and Mr. Shor was fired.

Post-MLK-assasination race riots reduced Democratic vote share in surrounding counties by 2%, which was enough to tip the 1968 election to Nixon. Non-violent protests *increase* Dem vote, mainly by encouraging warm elite discourse and media coverage. https://t.co/S8VZSuaz3G . pic.twitter.com/VRUwnRFuVW

-- (((David Shor))) (@davidshor) May 28, 2020

Second is Lee Fang, an investigative journalist for The Intercept . Mr. Fang has been accused of racism by other leftists before , but his most recent troubles began when he dared note that the frequently cited Martin Luther King, Jr. quote, "a riot is the language of the unheard" is misleading without context.

Leftist cite King every time there is a riot to claim that torching and looting are the only way rioters can get their message out. Mr. Fang pointed out that those words are an aside in a speech King made, and that if you read the whole speech, it's clear that he was condemning violence and destruction. Mr. Fang got in trouble because 1) Many think criticism of riots is racist. 2) Mr. Fang is not black, so it's unconscionable for him to explain what a black person (MLK) meant.

The other shoe dropped when he tweeted this:

Asked everyone I spoke with today if there was anything they wanted to get off their chest about the movement. Max from Oakland, a supporter of BLM, had a measured critique he wanted to share. pic.twitter.com/07qMQyCdJ9

-- Lee Fang (@lhfang) June 4, 2020

A black co-worker promptly replied:

Tired of being made to deal with my coworker @lhfang continuing to push narratives about black on black crime after repeatedly being asked not to. This isn't about me and him it's about institutional racism and using free speech to couch anti-blackness. I am so fucking tired

-- Akela Lacy (@akela_lacy) June 4, 2020

Leftists think it's racist to talk about black-on-black crime because it distracts from police killings of blacks. By tweeting an interview that mentioned black-on-black crime, Mr. Fang was "elevating" a dishonest conservative "narrative" that undermines the fight against systemic racism, and that is tantamount to being racist. Many other employees at The Intercept supported Mr. Lacy's attack on Mr. Fang and not one colleague defended him. Their employer told Mr. Fang to apologize and stay out of trouble or he would be fired. Mr. Fang issued a groveling apology . So far, he still has a job.

Many readers may have a hard time believing these things happened, but I follow the Left closely, and attended a very woke private liberal arts college. This kind of thing is common . It's getting more attention than usual because, since the death of George Floyd , there has been a spate of these incidents in just a few weeks.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/yq3y8UBguO8

Some are asking: "Is this the 'peak' of ridiculous racial sensitivity? Will there be blow back?" No. Many of the people lobbing accusations of racism against their fellow leftists believe what they are saying. They have a religious fervor and a hatred for sinners that they will not soon give up. Other accusers have selfish reasons. Within the Left, accusing a colleague of racism (or sexual misconduct) is a good way to get rid of a competitor. It also shows people who might criticize your work that you wield a powerful sword, and can swing it any time. If, at the same time, you can cast yourself as a victim, it's great job security, and a way to bulldoze anyone who might threaten your security. And on the Left, there is no cost to lodging spurious accusations of racism , s o why stop ?

The few leftists who criticize the excesses of racial sensitivity and "cancel culture" are clustered around very minor websites, such as The Bellows , or niche podcasts such as What's Left ( Benjamin Studebaker and Aimee Terese are two good examples). They are all pro-union, anti-corporation, and anti-identity politics. In other words, unlike non-white pressure groups, and the mainstream left that combines anti-white policies with pro-business economics, none will be getting serious financial support from big business or moneyed elites . Their North Star was Bernie Sanders, who has now been crushed electorally twice, and whose movement is a rudderless mess.

In the long term, some blow back is inevitable -- but don't expect it soon. The left will continue to be rife with snitching, dishonest accusations, purges, and paranoia. This is good. Those people created that culture as a weapon against white conservatives, and now they are suffering from it. It's a shame there isn't a German word for enjoying the suffering of others .

[Jun 20, 2020] The symphony orchestra of Austin, Texas has fired their lead trombonist for politically incorrect Twit

People who post of Twitter are stupid by definition, but people who fire employees for posting on Twitter are trying to replicate excesses of Stalinism (and, in way, McCarthysm) on a farce level. As in Marx "history repeats: first as tragedy, the second as farce"
By classifying the (somewhat incorrect; Obama was elected not only because he was half black, but also because he was half--CIA ;-) Twit below as the cry "fire" in crowded theater, we really try to replay the atmosphere of Stalinist Russia on a new level.
Notable quotes:
"... Austin Symphony Trombonist Fired Over Racist Comments , The Violin Channel, June 1, 2020 ..."
Jun 20, 2020 | www.unz.com

Here's some darkness: the symphony orchestra of Austin, Texas has fired their lead trombonist. This is a white lady named Brenda Sansig Salas, 51 years old and a U.S. Army veteran. Austin Symphony Trombonist Fired Over Racist Comments , The Violin Channel, June 1, 2020 She'd been posting comments on social media. The comment that precipitated her firing was apparently this one:

The BLACKS are looting and destroying their environment. They deserve what they get.

Brenda Sansig Salas

Have you checked out the 1/2 black president swine flu H1N1, and EBOLA?

What has your 1/2 black president done for you??

The ONLY REASON he was elected was because he is 1/2 black.

People voted on racist principles, not on the real issues . The BLACKS are looting and destroying their environment. They deserve what
they get. Playing the RACE CARD IS RACIST.

Symphony orchestra spokes-critter Anthony Corroa [ Email him ]announced the firing of Ms. Salas in the dreary schoolmarmish jargon of corporate wokeness: This language is not reflective of who we are as an organization." And "there is no place for hate within our organization."

[Jun 18, 2020] On virtual lynching of Lee Fang at the intercept for politically incorrect mentioning Black on Black crime problem

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Dante was wrong...the seventh circle of hell is Twitter ..."
Jun 16, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Concan77 , 1 day ago

Dante was wrong...the seventh circle of hell is Twitter

[Jun 17, 2020] We're in a sinister new era of totalitarianism, where PC combat units use social media to destroy anyone who disagrees with them by Konstantin Bogomolov

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... These mobs of hating, condemning, moralizing, groupthink hypocrites are modern-day Nazis. They don't wear uniforms or have guns, but their weapon of online psychological abuse is proving frighteningly effective. ..."
"... Psychological abuse is one of their classic methods, as they exploit a person's fear of ending up alone against a crowd. Instead of a prison cell or a concentration camp, they put people in social isolation. They can even prevent the victim from being employed – classic state repression of an individual. ..."
"... Without work, the geniuses will fade into obscurity, and the new PC brigade will make them kneel in solidarity. Individually, members of these combat units of political correctness are often smart and sophisticated people, but when they close ranks in the fight for or against something, they turn into an ignorant and aggressive mob. ..."
"... China has been testing a new system in several provinces via which the citizens and their community are encouraged to assess the social behavior of individuals by assigning scores for respecting the rules and values practiced in this society. If you don't achieve a high score, your ranking is low and your prospects are limited. Isn't this just perfect for the new stormtroopers?! It's a modern reincarnation of the Munich gang, when a mediocre, covetous burgher pretends to be a civilized, progressive thinker. ..."
"... They put labels on everyone who disagrees. They love drama and straightforwardness. But they are incapable of engaging in rational argument. It's only natural that they began with declaring lofty values and ended with riots. They have started fires and justified arson. But you can't rein in the freedom to love or hate using a set of rules established by the new ethics committee. Today, being free means being outside this mob of attacking, hating, condemning, moralizing, angry hypocrites. ..."
Jun 17, 2020 | www.rt.com

These mobs of hating, condemning, moralizing, groupthink hypocrites are modern-day Nazis. They don't wear uniforms or have guns, but their weapon of online psychological abuse is proving frighteningly effective.

Totalitarianism didn't disappear when the Nazis were defeated. It hid, stealthily, only to come back later. The US and Europe intuitively built a new elaborate type of dictatorship. The state delegated the functions of surveillance, persecution, isolation and judgment to society. Initially, it looked very innocent: fighting against intolerance, defending the mistreated and the oppressed. Noble goals.

But with time, these values turned into idols, while intolerance of evil transformed into intolerance of a different opinion. And social media is making things worse. Public opinion is now a repressive machine that gangs up on people, booing and destroying anyone who dares to challenge its value system and moral compass.

The staff members of this repressive machine do not wear uniforms, they don't carry batons or tasers, but they have other weapons, such as herd instinct and groupthink, as well as deep insecurities and a desire to dominate – at least intellectually.

Psychological abuse is one of their classic methods, as they exploit a person's fear of ending up alone against a crowd. Instead of a prison cell or a concentration camp, they put people in social isolation. They can even prevent the victim from being employed – classic state repression of an individual.

In a Nazi state, a creative type such as Lars von Trier could lose his job and life over his "degenerate art." In the beautiful modern state that people with beautiful faces are building, a Lars von Trier could lose his job, because he can be a politically incorrect troll who sometimes supports the wrong value system. And a Robert Lepage won't get funding for his new theatrical production, because all the parts in the previous one were played by white actors.

You no longer need to take their lives. Without work, the geniuses will fade into obscurity, and the new PC brigade will make them kneel in solidarity. Individually, members of these combat units of political correctness are often smart and sophisticated people, but when they close ranks in the fight for or against something, they turn into an ignorant and aggressive mob.

And there's no point arguing with them. They have only one criterion: are you with us or not? That's an ideal tool for the new way of abusing individuals – it's not physical, it's psychological.

China has been testing a new system in several provinces via which the citizens and their community are encouraged to assess the social behavior of individuals by assigning scores for respecting the rules and values practiced in this society. If you don't achieve a high score, your ranking is low and your prospects are limited. Isn't this just perfect for the new stormtroopers?! It's a modern reincarnation of the Munich gang, when a mediocre, covetous burgher pretends to be a civilized, progressive thinker.

They put labels on everyone who disagrees. They love drama and straightforwardness. But they are incapable of engaging in rational argument. It's only natural that they began with declaring lofty values and ended with riots. They have started fires and justified arson. But you can't rein in the freedom to love or hate using a set of rules established by the new ethics committee. Today, being free means being outside this mob of attacking, hating, condemning, moralizing, angry hypocrites.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Konstantin Bogomolov is an award-winning Russian theater director, actor, author and poet.

[Jun 17, 2020] Mark Steyn slams corporations abolishing culture after making millions on it - YouTube

Notable quotes:
"... A little Fahrenheit 451 anyone? Oh, I forgot, these people are against books. ..."
Jun 17, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Douglas waterman , 6 days ago

All this does is push me further to the Right.

sudilos117 , 5 days ago

Did you notice that they want to erase American History and Culture , and replace it with their own pure madeup trash

James Hetfield , 5 days ago

The hatred against anything w hite is all prevalent and only getting worse. It will only lead to more anti w hite violence. To look at your future, look at South Africa.


Eric Wedin
, 5 days ago

My list of "woke idiot wimp companies that I will never spend a cent on in the future" is growing fast.

Rowdy Ways , 4 days ago (edited)

HBO didn't even have Gone With The Wind playing for years. They are just saying this to be popular

Frank , 6 days ago

They should review rap music and ban anything they find of racist tone.

Kernow Forester , 5 days ago

This woke nonsense dates back to the times when 'burn the witch' and 'burn the heretic' was common from the mob. Times have NOT changed.

Scott Day , 5 days ago

All pop rap hip hop music, I find racist and belittling to black people. I think all that music should be taken down immediately

The Official Andy Saenz , 5 days ago

"This movie offends me, let's ban it! That statue offends me, remove it."

Cole B , 6 days ago

If we erase the history of slavery, how can people claim to be a victim of something that didn't exist?



Trump 4USA
, 4 days ago

The only thing needed for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.

Jamie Paolinetti Writer/Director , 5 days ago

A little Fahrenheit 451 anyone? Oh, I forgot, these people are against books.


Chris Moore
, 5 days ago

People need to stop censoring and editing history. It is just wrong.


Growlin Mc
, 6 days ago

The book burners are at it again. Remember when Democrats keep telling us how the religious right was nothing but a bunch of dangerous authoritarians. Well, this is certainly awkward.

The King In Yellow , 5 days ago

Hey, the new book burning without calling it book burning. When you erase the history of a nation, good or bad, you leave no hope for a future.

Meg Glass , 5 days ago

"hyper present-tense" generation that doesn't understand a lot....fantastic

[Jun 17, 2020] Tucker: Google tries to censor content it disagrees with

Jun 17, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Joseph Beers , 1 hour ago

Google has become a publisher and is no longer a unbiased public forum. They should be stripped of section 230 protections.

Cloudy Days , 1 hour ago

"Google controls 70% of all online ad revenue." That sounds like an anti trust case waiting to happen.

kingtorta , 1 hour ago

MSM: We don't call for censorship.
GOOGLE: We know.
MSM: Hey google, we don't like a couple of other news agencies. Do us a favor.
GOOGLE: No problem comrade

Riley Reeder , 1 hour ago

Controlling content means they should lose their Platform status

ThePsychoRenegade , 1 hour ago

For once Tucker is saying things agree with. More people need to call out censorship.

Stephen Longchamps , 1 hour ago

Truth that is painful to hear. Explained with mastery by Tucker Carlson, again. So, after years of radical leftest ideological brainwashing through mainstream media. Well, we're left with that part of any common sense we've been able to retain in the sane areas of our paradigms. But, just to make sure they've got us brain controlled, or brain dead. Now we're being sensored in social media by the big tech mob if we dare to say anything against their radical leftest narrative. For me, really only two things I can think of to solve this. Be brave and keep speaking up for what each of us believe in, aaand reelect Mr. Trump. Otherwise, were fu..ed.

J H , 1 hour ago

I use Duckduckgo as much as possible...it serves the same purpose...it's a search engine... others should try it. Duckduckgo get it on your phone and delete google.

[Jun 15, 2020] Full Special Investigation - Donald Trump vs The Deep State

Highly recommended!
This is an amazing video. highly recommended
Notable quotes:
"... Firstly your definition of 'deep state' is too limited, it includes the bureaucracy, much of the judiciary, banks and other financial institutions, and the major political parties. It is not restricted only to the intelligence agencies. It is not a US-specific issue, but a global one. For the deep state exists everywhere, and is often more powerful in commonwealth countries, such as here in apathetic Australia. ..."
"... When the CIA kills Kennedy you know you've got problems... And whilst agents in the CIA probably did not pull the trigger - their "assets" did... If you don't believe me spare me your tiresome ignorant replies and go and do some research... ..."
"... " We were warned about the Military Industrial Complex, Sadly the Government Media Complex, has done way more damage, and will be much harder to overcome" ~ Dr. Mike Savage 2008 ..."
Jun 15, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Sky News Australia In this Special Investigation Sky News speaks to former spies, politicians and investigative journalists to uncover whether US President Donald Trump is really at war with "unelected Deep State operatives who defy the voters".


Cee Zee , 7 months ago

Was it not for Trump, we would never have had a clue just how evil and corrupt the fbi, cia, leftist media and big tech giants are!

Tron Javolta , 6 months ago

George Soros, The clintons, The royal family, The Rothschild's, the Federal reserve as a whole, The modern Democrat, cia, fbi, nsa, Facebook, Google, not to mention all the faceless unelected bureaucrats who create and push policies that impact our every day lives. This, my lads, is the deep state. They run our world and get away with whatever they want until someone in their circle loses their use (Epstein)

k-carl Manley , 1 month ago

JFK was right: dismantle the CIA and throw the remaining dust to the wind - same for the traitorous leaders in the FBI!

Nick Krikorian , 7 months ago

The deep state killed JFK

Joe Mamma , 1 week ago

The deep state is real and they are powerful and have an evil agenda!

Joe Graves , 1 month ago

Anyone that says a "deep state" doesn't exist in America, is part of the American deep state.

ceokc13 , 3 days ago (edited)

The Cabal owns the US intelligence agencies, the media, and Hollywood. That's how all these big name corrupted figure heads aren't in prison for their crimes. The Clinton email scandal is a prime example. This is much bigger than the USA... it's effects are world wide.

Francis Gee , 1 week ago (edited)

The Four Stages of Ideological Subversion: 1 - Demoralization 2 - Destabilization 3 - Crisis 4 - Normalization Are you not entertained? The above is "their" roadmap. Learn what it means and spread this far & wide, as that will be the means by which to end this.

TheConnected Chris , 1 day ago

President JFK on April 17, 1961: "Today no war has been declared--and however fierce the struggle may be, it may never be declared in the traditional fashion. Our way of life is under attack. Yet no war has been declared, no borders have been crossed by marching troops, no missiles have been fired. If the press is awaiting a declaration of war before it imposes the self-discipline of combat conditions, then I can only say that no war ever posed a greater threat to our security. If you are awaiting a finding of 'clear and present danger,' then I can only say that the danger has never been more clear and its presence has never been more imminent. It requires a change in outlook, a change in tactics, a change in missions--by the government, by the people, by every businessman or labor leader, and by every newspaper. For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence--on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations. Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed. It conducts the Cold War, in short, with a war-time discipline no democracy would ever hope or wish to match." thoughts: by saying, 'conducts the Cold War' did he directly call out the CIA???

Fact Chitanda , 2 weeks ago

The secret services are only one arm of the deep state. Its bigger than them!

David Stanley , 3 days ago

Most troubling now it is known about the deep state: is Trump a double agent just another puppet just giving the appearance of working against the deep state?

Miroslav Skoric , 2 months ago

"I' never saw corruption" said the blind monkey "I never heard any corruption " said the deaf monkey The mute monkey,of course said nothing.

Franco Lust , 2 months ago

Thank you Australians for having rhe courage to speak out for us Patriots!!! We know the Deep State Cabal retaliated with the fires. We love you guys from 💖💗

Always Keen , 7 months ago

Drain that swamp!

joe wood , 2 days ago

Found and cause all wars. Mislead both sides .

Peter Kondogonis , 1 month ago (edited)

Well done Skynews. THE DEEP STATE IS REAL. I woke up 10+ years ago. Turn off the TV for 1-2 years to study and awaken. Make a start on learning with David ickes Videos and books. WWG1 WGA

silva lloyd , 1 month ago

"How does democracy survive" We don't live in a democracy. The English isles and commonwealth are a constitutional monarchy, America is a republic.

Rhsheeda Russell , 5 days ago

And President Trump was right. Senator Graham is a sneaky, lying, sloth who enjoys his status and takes taxpayers money to do nothing.

Jerry Kays , 1 day ago

Before I go and pass this on to as many as I can get to follow it I just wanted to commend those that produced this and I hope that it gets fuller dissemination because it is such a rare truth in such a time of utter deceit by most all of the MSM (Main Stream Media) that this country I reside in uses to supposedly inform the American people ...what a crock! Thank You, Australia for making this available (but beware, the Five Eyes are always very active in related matters to this) ... This has been welcome confirmation of what many of us have known and attempted to tell others for about 5 years now. Sadly, I doubt that has or will help very much, The System is so corrupted from top to bottom ... IMnsHO and E.

Jonathan King , 7 months ago (edited)

Firstly your definition of 'deep state' is too limited, it includes the bureaucracy, much of the judiciary, banks and other financial institutions, and the major political parties. It is not restricted only to the intelligence agencies. It is not a US-specific issue, but a global one. For the deep state exists everywhere, and is often more powerful in commonwealth countries, such as here in apathetic Australia.

GB3770 , 1 month ago (edited)

When the CIA kills Kennedy you know you've got problems... And whilst agents in the CIA probably did not pull the trigger - their "assets" did... If you don't believe me spare me your tiresome ignorant replies and go and do some research...

BassBreath100 , 2 months ago

" We were warned about the Military Industrial Complex, Sadly the Government Media Complex, has done way more damage, and will be much harder to overcome" ~ Dr. Mike Savage 2008

Scocasso Vegetus , 1 month ago (edited)

14:20 I met a guy from Canada in the early 2000s, a telephone technician, told me about when he worked at the time for the government telephone company in the early 80s. He was given a really strange job one day, to go do some work in the USA. Some kind of repair work that required someone with experience and know-how, but apparently someone from out-of-country, he guesses, because there certainly must have been many people in the USA who could have done it, he figured. He flew down to oregon, then was driven for hours out into the middle of nowhere in navada, he said. They came to a small building that was surrounded by fencing etc. Nothing interesting. Nothing else around, he said, as far as he could see. They went in, and pretty much all that was there was an elevator. They went in, and he said, he didn't know how many floors down it went, or how fast it was moving, but seemed to take quite sometime, he figured about 8 stories down, was his guess, but he didn't know. He was astounded to see that there was telephone recording stuff in there about the size of two football-fields. He said they were recording everything. He said, even at that time, it was all digital, but they didn't have the capacity to record everything, so it was set up to monitor phone calls, and if any key words were spoken, it would start recording, and of course it would record all phone calls at certain numbers. "So, who knows what they've got in there today, he said" back in the early 2000s. So, imagine what they've got there today, in the 2020s. I didn't know whether or not to believe this story, until I saw a doc about all of the telephone recording tapes they have in storage, rotting away, which were used to record everyone's phone calls onto magnetic tape. Literally tonnes and tonnes of tapes, just sitting there in storage now, from the 1970s, the pre-digital days. They've always been doing it. They're just much better at it today than ever. Now they can tell who you are by your voice, your cadence, your intonation, etc. and record not just a call here and there, but everything.

cuppateadee , 3 days ago

Assange got banged up because he exposed war crimes by this lot on film Chelsea Manning also. They are heroes.

Shaun Ellis , 7 months ago

"The greatest trick the devil ever pulled is convincing the world he didnt exist" Credit the --- Usual Suspects ---- That's the playbook of the "Deep State"

Cheryl Lawlor , 2 weeks ago

Even Obama said, "the CIA gets what the CIA wants." Even he wouldn't upset them.

NeXus Prime , 1 week ago

The last guy (denying the deep state's existence) was lying. When someone shakes their head when talking in the affirmative you can be 100% sure it is a lie (micro expressions 101).

zetayoru , 1 month ago

JFK said he wanted to expose a deeper and more sinister group. And when he was moving closer to it, he got killed.

adolthitler , 1 week ago

Yuri Bezmenov will tell you the deepstate has too much power. Yuri was right about much.

Ed P , 3 weeks ago

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULZdtvhtYQI

Shirley van der Heijden , 1 month ago

Evil never is satisfied!

The Vault , 5 days ago

https://www.facebook.com/kyle.darbyshire/posts/1085832538454860

Bitcoin Blockchain , 1 day ago


Bitcoin Blockchain
1 day ago
1950–1953:	Korean War United States (as part of the United Nations) and South Korea vs. North Korea and Communist China
1960–1975:	Vietnam War	United States and South Vietnam vs. North Vietnam
1961: Bay of Pigs Invasion	United States vs. Cuba
1983: Grenada United States intervention
1989: U.S.Invasion of Panama	United States vs. Panama
1990–1991: Persian Gulf War United States and Coalition Forces vs. Iraq
1995–1996: Intervention in Bosnia and Herzegovina	United States as part of NATO acted as peacekeepers in former Yugoslavia
2001–present: Invasion of Afghanistan	United States and Coalition Forces vs. the Taliban regime in Afghanistan to fight terrorism
2003–2011: Invasion of Iraq The United States and Coalition Forces vs. Iraq
2004–present: War in Northwest Pakistan United States vs. Pakistan, mainly drone attacks
2007–present: Somalia and Northeastern Kenya	United States and Coalition forces vs. al-Shabaab militants
2009–2016: Operation Ocean Shield (Indian Ocean) NATO allies vs. Somali pirates
2011: Intervention in Libya	U.S. and NATO allies vs. Libya
2011–2017: Lord's Resistance Army U.S. and allies against the Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda
2014–2017: U.S.-led Intervention in Iraq U.S. and coalition forces against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria
2014–present: U.S.-led intervention in Syria U.S. and coalition forces against al-Qaeda, ISIS, and Syria
2015–present: Yemeni Civil War Saudi-led coalition and the U.S., France, and Kingdom against the Houthi rebels, Supreme Political Council in Yemen, and allies
2015–present: U.S. intervention in Libya
Ken Martin , 5 months ago

Deep State is the "Wealthy Oligarchy", an "International Mafia" who controls the Central Bank (a privacy owned banking system which controls the worlds currencies). The Wealthy Oligarchy "aka Deep State" controls most all Democratic countries, and controls the International Media. In the United States, both the Republican and Democrat parties are controlled by the Wealthy Oligarchy aka Deep State.

pharcyde110573 , 6 months ago (edited)

A beautifully crafted and delivered discourse, impressive! As a Londoner I have become increasingly interested in Sky News Australia, you are a breath of fresh air and common sense in this world of ever growing liberal media hysteria!

Gord Pittman , 22 hours ago

I have to laugh at the people, including our supposedly unbiased and intelligent media, who said the Russia thing was the truth when it was nothing but a conspiracy theory. Everything else was a conspiacy theory according to the dems ans the mainstream media..

joe wood , 1 week ago

CIA did 9-11 with bush cabal pulling strings

Joseph Hinton , 1 month ago

Wall Street and the banksters control the CIA. One can imagine the ramifications of control of the world via the moneyed interests backed by James Bond and the Green Berets, the latter, under control of the CIA.

Karen Reaves , 2 weeks ago (edited)

Every nation has the same deep state. CIA Mossad MI6 and CCP protect the deep state like one big Mafia. Thank you Sky News. outofshadows.org

killtheglobalists , 2 days ago (edited)

Deep State Powers have been messing with your USA long before your War of Independence . Your Founding Fathers knew , why do you think they wrote your Constitution that way. Now everyone is always crying about something but fail to realize you gave your freedoms away over time . The Deep State never left it just disguised itself and continued to regain control under a new face or ideaology. Follow the money . "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."― Edmund Burke

Kauz , 1 week ago

Timothy Leary gives the CIA TOTAL CREDIT for sponsoring and initiating, the entire consciousness movement and counter-culture events of the 1960's.

Sierra1 Tngo , 2 weeks ago

After the John F. Kennedy assassination the took full power,those who are in power now are the descendants of the criminals who did it,some of their sons just have a different last name but they are the same family,like George Bush and John Kerry are cousins but different last name and the list goes and goes.

iwonka k , 3 hours ago

Council on Foreign Relation is more Deep State than CIA and FBI . The two worked for CFR. CFR tel president whom to appoint to what positions. Nixon got a list of 22 deep state candidates for top US position and all were hired. Obama appointed 11 from the list. Kissinger is behind the scenes strings puller also.

R Tarz , 2 months ago

Thanks Sky and Peter for bringing this to the mainstream attention, it really is time! Wished you had aired John Kiriakou,s other claims off child sex trafficking to the elites which has been corroborated by so many other sources now and is the grossest deformity of this deep state which you can see footage of trump talking about. I am amazed and greatful to see Trump has done more about this than all other presidents in the last 20 years. Lets end this group. All we need to do is shine the light on them

Adronicus -IF- , 2 months ago

The CIA are only an intelligence and operations functioning part of the deep state its much more complex and larger than just the CIA. The British empire controls the deep state they always have it is just a modern version of the old East India Company controlled by the same families with the same ideology. https://theduran.com/the-origins-of-the-deep-state-in-north-america/

John Doe , 1 month ago

It's funny how for decades "the people" were crying on their knees about how bad every president was n how corrupt n controlled they were. Now you've got a president with no special interest groups publicly calling out the deep state n ur still bitching. U know you've got someone representing the people when the cia n fbi r out to get him. In 50 years trump will be looked back at with the likes of Washington, Lincoln n jfk. Once the msm smear campaign is out of everyone's brain.

Nicholas Napier , 2 months ago (edited)

When they start spying on people within the United States and when they used in National Defense authorization act that gave them a lot of power since after 911 to give them more power now they have Homeland Security which is the next biggest threat to the United States it can be abused and some of these people have a higher security clearance than the president.... they're not under control the NSA is one of them you don't mention in here either one is about the more that you don't even know about that they don't have names are acronyms that we knew about that's why the American people have been blindsided by this overtime they've been giving all this money to do things... allocation of money they gathered to do this and now Congress itself doesn't know temperature of Schumer when you caught him saying to see I can get back at you three ways to Sunday I mean he's got some words in this saying to the president of usa donald trump... basically threatening the President right there.. you can see it's alive and well when Congress is immune from prosecution from anything or anyone....

itsmemuffins , 7 months ago

"I think in light of all of the things going on, and you know what I mean by that: the fake news, the Comeys of the world, all of the bad things that went on, it's called the swamp you know what I did," he asked. "A big favor. I caught the swamp. I caught them all. Let's see what happens. Nobody else could have done that but me. I caught all of this corruption that was going on and nobody else could have done it."

msciciel14therope , 1 month ago

there is no big secret that CIA is deeply involved in drug smuggling operations...i remember interview with ex marine colonel who said that he was indirectly involved in such operations in panama...

Vaclav Haval , 6 days ago

The Deep State (CIA, NSA, FBI, and Israeli Mossad) did 9/11.

Wilf Jones , 1 week ago

Super Geek Zuckerberg was made a CIA useful Idiot ... I mean agent , lol .

Chubs Fatboy , 2 weeks ago

Attempting to infiltrate News rooms😆😅😂 all those faces you see in the MSM are all working for Cia. In 1967 one of the 3 letter agencys bragged about having a reporter working in 1 of the 3 letter news channel!

Rue Porter , 1 day ago

Wow this was really good. It's funny you showed a clip from abc of kouriakow and it reminded me how much the news in america has been propagandized and just fake. I'm 38 and it's sad that these days the news is unpatriotic. Well most . Ty sky news Australia

peemaster Bjarne , 1 week ago

Why no mention of what facilitates the surveilance? Telecom infrastructure is a nations nerve system and the powergrid its bloodsystem. Who controls them? That is where you find the head of the deep state!

richard bello , 2 weeks ago

What people aren't aware of is that Facebook YouTube Twitter Instagram Google maps and Google search are all NSA CIA and DIA creations and CEO's are only highly paid operatives who are not the creators but the face of a product and what better way to collect all of your information is by you giving it to them

AussieMaleTuber , 7 months ago (edited)

More please? A subject for another installment regarding the Deep State could be Banking, Federal Reserves and Fiat currencies. Later, another video could be Russia's success at expelling the Deep State in 2000 after it took them over (for a 2nd time) in 1991. Be cognizant, the Deep State initially had for a short time from 1917 via 'it's' 'Bolshivics,' orchestrated the creation of the Soviet Union through the Bolshivic take over of Russia from it's independence minded and Soveriegn Czarist led Eastern Orthodox State. Now, President Trump is preventing a similar Deep State take-over by Intelligence agencies, Corporations and elected political thugs as bad as Leon Trotsky and V I Lennin were to the Russian Czar. The Soviets soon after their (1917) take-over went Rogue on the Deep State and therefore the Soviet Union was independent until The Deep State orchestrated it's downfall and anexation of it's substantial wealth and some territory (1991). More, more, more please Sky News, this video was great!

Trevor Pike , 2 months ago

Amazing, Sky News is the ONLY TV News Service in Australia Trying to deliver true news. Australia's ABC news are CIA Deep State Shills and propagandists - Sarah Ferguson Especially - see her totally CIA scripted Four Corners Report on the Russia Hoax. John Gantz IS a Deep State Operative Liar.

Michael Small , 1 month ago

Isnt it time to see TERM LIMITS in Co gress and to realign our school education to teach the real history of these unites states? End the control of Congress and watch the agencies fall in step with OUR Conatitution. No one should ever be allowed in Congress or any other elected position of trust if they are not a devout Constitutionalist. Anyone who takes the oath to see w the people and fails to so so should be charged with TREASON and removed immediately. Is there a DEEP STATE? Damn right there is and has been for many decades. Where is our sovereignty? Where is the wealth of a capitalist nation? Why so much poverty and welfare and why do communists and socialist get away with damaging our country, state or communities. Yes, there has been a deep state filled with criminals who all need to be charged, tried and executed for TREASON.

Barry Atkins , 7 months ago (edited)

The CIA and Australias Federal police have One main Job/activity to feed their Populations with Propaganda & Lies to give them their Thoughts & Opinions on Everything using their psyOps through MSM News & Programming...you prolly beLIEve this informative News Story as well. : (

price , 7 months ago

Sky news is owned by rupert Murdoch...the same guy that owns fox news. Nuff said😘

Marie Hurst , 6 days ago

These people denying a deep state with such straight faces are psychopaths. Unwittingly, or maybe not, Schumer made liars of them with his comment to Maddow

Debbie Kirby , 7 months ago

President Trump is correct. He knows exactly what's going on. The 3 letter agencies are up to no good and work against the fabric of our nation's founding fathers. It's despicable behavior. Just one example is John Brennan (CIA Director) and Barack Hussein Obama's Terror Tuesdays. Read all about it on the internet now before it's permanently removed. Thank you for creating this video.

James dow , 1 week ago

When was the last time we ever witnessed an American President openly abused continually attacked over manufactured news treated with absolutely no respect for him or the office his family unfairly attacked and misrepresented etc, etc, that's right never, which proves he threatens the existence of the deep state as discussed. He should declare Martial Law Hang the consequences and remove every single deep state player everywhere. Foreign influence? read Israel.

mary rosario , 5 days ago

People are so fixated on trumps outspoken Sometimes outrageous demeanor which in my opinion it's just being really honest and yes he can Be rude at times but when you look at the facts He's the only one that has gone against the deep state! those are the real devils dressed up in sheep's clothing! Wake up!

evan c , 2 weeks ago

You are missing the point. It goes further then intelligence agency working against the people. It's the ultra rich literally trillionaires like the rothchilds that control the cia etc. That is who trump is fighting. The globalists line gates soros etc.

[Jun 14, 2020] Censorship is now systemic

Jun 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Narrative Control Operations Escalate As America Burns - Caitlin Johnstone

PayPal have banned the words "Syria", "Iran" and "Palestine" in all transaction messages. Payments fall 'under review'.
Today Twitter announced the takedown of 7,340 accounts linked to the youth wing of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), Turkey's ruling party 🇹🇷. My SIO team, w/ @akis_alp, @makrevis, @JoshAGoldstein, and Katie Jonsson, analyzed the network
Twitter partnered with ASPI -- a think tank funded by the US military -- to ban 170k accounts run by real Chinese people for writing in Chinese, praising China's COVID response, or criticizing the HK protests.

This is the "free speech" & "democracy" that the US wants to export abroad.

This is incredibly alarming. Twitter says the accounts were "spreading geopolitical narratives favorable to the Communist Party of China", such as praising China's response to COVID-19, along with "antagonizing" the US and Hong Kong's protests. Only anti-China views allowed!
The censors at @Facebook are systematically erasing the accounts of Palestinian journalists and photographers: electronicintifada.net/content/facebo
Facebook should be nationalized then immediately shut down, IMO. Far too much power.

[Jun 14, 2020] Taibbi The American Press Is Destroying Itself

Jun 14, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

But police violence, and Trump's daily assaults on the presidential competence standard, are only part of the disaster. On the other side of the political aisle, among self-described liberals, we're watching an intellectual revolution. It feels liberating to say after years of tiptoeing around the fact, but the American left has lost its mind. It's become a cowardly mob of upper-class social media addicts, Twitter Robespierres who move from discipline to discipline torching reputations and jobs with breathtaking casualness.

The leaders of this new movement are replacing traditional liberal beliefs about tolerance, free inquiry, and even racial harmony with ideas so toxic and unattractive that they eschew debate, moving straight to shaming, threats, and intimidation. They are counting on the guilt-ridden, self-flagellating nature of traditional American progressives, who will not stand up for themselves, and will walk to the Razor voluntarily.

They've conned organization after organization into empowering panels to search out thoughtcrime, and it's established now that anything can be an offense, from a UCLA professor placed under investigation for reading Martin Luther King's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" out loud to a data scientist fired* from a research firm for -- get this -- retweeting an academic study suggesting nonviolent protests may be more politically effective than violent ones!

Now, this madness is coming for journalism. Beginning on Friday, June 5th, a series of controversies rocked the media. By my count, at least eight news organizations dealt with internal uprisings (it was likely more). Most involved groups of reporters and staffers demanding the firing or reprimand of colleagues who'd made politically "problematic" editorial or social media decisions.

The New York Times, the Intercept , Vox, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Variety , and others saw challenges to management.

Probably the most disturbing story involved Intercept writer Lee Fang, one of a fast-shrinking number of young reporters actually skilled in investigative journalism. Fang's work in the area of campaign finance especially has led to concrete impact, including a record fine to a conservative Super PAC : few young reporters have done more to combat corruption.

Yet Fang found himself denounced online as a racist, then hauled before H.R. His crime? During protests, he tweeted this interview with an African-American man named Maximum Fr, who described having two cousins murdered in the East Oakland neighborhood where he grew up. Saying his aunt is still not over those killings, Max asked:

I always question, why does a Black life matter only when a white man takes it?... Like, if a white man takes my life tonight, it's going to be national news, but if a Black man takes my life, it might not even be spoken of It's stuff just like that that I just want in the mix.

Shortly after, a co-worker of Fang's, Akela Lacy, wrote, "Tired of being made to deal continually with my co-worker @lhfang continuing to push black on black crime narratives after being repeatedly asked not to. This isn't about me and him, it's about institutional racism and using free speech to couch anti-blackness. I am so fucking tired." She followed with, "Stop being racist Lee."

The tweet received tens of thousands of likes and responses along the lines of, " Lee Fang has been like this for years, but the current moment only makes his anti-Blackness more glaring ," and " Lee Fang spouting racist bullshit it must be a day ending in day ." A significant number of Fang's co-workers, nearly all white, as well as reporters from other major news organizations like the New York Times and MSNBC and political activists (one former Elizabeth Warren staffer tweeted, " Get him !"), issued likes and messages of support for the notion that Fang was a racist. Though he had support within the organization, no one among his co-workers was willing to say anything in his defense publicly.

Like many reporters, Fang has always viewed it as part of his job to ask questions in all directions. He's written critically of political figures on the center-left, the left, and "obviously on the right," and his reporting has inspired serious threats in the past. None of those past experiences were as terrifying as this blitz by would-be colleagues, which he described as "jarring," "deeply isolating," and "unique in my professional experience."

To save his career, Fang had to craft a public apology for "insensitivity to the lived experience of others." According to one friend of his, it's been communicated to Fang that his continued employment at The Intercept is contingent upon avoiding comments that may upset colleagues. Lacy to her credit publicly thanked Fang for his statement and expressed willingness to have a conversation; unfortunately, the throng of Intercept co-workers who piled on her initial accusation did not join her in this.

I first met Lee Fang in 2014 and have never known him to be anything but kind, gracious, and easygoing. He also appears earnestly committed to making the world a better place through his work. It's stunning that so many colleagues are comfortable using a word as extreme and villainous as racist to describe him.

Though he describes his upbringing as "solidly middle-class," Fang grew up in up in a diverse community in Prince George's County, Maryland, and attended public schools where he was frequently among the few non-African Americans in his class. As a teenager, he was witness to the murder of a young man outside his home by police who were never prosecuted, and also volunteered at a shelter for trafficked women, two of whom were murdered. If there's an edge to Fang at all, it seems geared toward people in our business who grew up in affluent circumstances and might intellectualize topics that have personal meaning for him.

In the tweets that got him in trouble with Lacy and other co-workers, he questioned the logic of protesters attacking immigrant-owned businesses " with no connection to police brutality at all ." He also offered his opinion on Martin Luther King's attitude toward violent protest (Fang's take was that King did not support it; Lacy responded, "you know they killed him too right"). These are issues around which there is still considerable disagreement among self-described liberals, even among self-described leftists. Fang also commented, presciently as it turns out, that many reporters were "terrified of openly challenging the lefty conventional wisdom around riots."

Lacy says she never intended for Fang to be "fired, 'canceled,' or deplatformed," but appeared irritated by questions on the subject, which she says suggest, "there is more concern about naming racism than letting it persist."

Max himself was stunned to find out that his comments on all this had created a Twitter firestorm. "I couldn't believe they were coming for the man's job over something I said," he recounts. "It was not Lee's opinion. It was my opinion."

By phone, Max spoke of a responsibility he feels Black people have to speak out against all forms of violence, "precisely because we experience it the most." He described being affected by the Floyd story, but also by the story of retired African-American police captain David Dorn, shot to death in recent protests in St. Louis. He also mentioned Tony Timpa, a white man whose 2016 asphyxiation by police was only uncovered last year. In body-camera footage, police are heard joking after Timpa passed out and stopped moving, " I don't want to go to school! Five more minutes, Mom !"

"If it happens to anyone, it has to be called out," Max says.

Max described discussions in which it was argued to him that bringing up these other incidents now is not helpful to the causes being articulated at the protests. He understands that point of view. He just disagrees.

"They say, there has to be the right time and a place to talk about that," he says. "But my point is, when? I want to speak out now." He pauses. "We've taken the narrative, and instead of being inclusive with it, we've become exclusive with it. Why?"

There were other incidents .

The editors of Bon Apetit and Refinery29 both resigned amid accusations of toxic workplace culture. The editor of Variety, Claudia Eller, was placed on leave after calling a South Asian freelance writer "bitter" in a Twitter exchange about minority hiring at her company. The self-abasing apology ("I have tried to diversify our newsroom over the past seven years, but I HAVE NOT DONE ENOUGH") was insufficient. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Inquirer's editor, Stan Wischowski, was forced out after approving a headline, "Buildings matter, too."

In the most discussed incident, Times editorial page editor James Bennet was ousted for green-lighting an anti-protest editorial by Arkansas Republican Senator Tom Cotton entitled, " Send in the troops ."

I'm no fan of Cotton, but as was the case with Michael Moore's documentary and many other controversial speech episodes, it's not clear that many of the people angriest about the piece in question even read it. In classic Times fashion, the paper has already scrubbed a mistake they made misreporting what their own editorial said, in an article about Bennet's ouster. Here's how the piece by Marc Tracy read originally (emphasis mine):

James Bennet, the editorial page editor of The New York Times, has resigned after a controversy over an Op-Ed by a senator calling for military force against protesters in American cities.

Here's how the piece reads now :

James Bennet resigned on Sunday from his job as the editorial page editor of The New York Times, days after the newspaper's opinion section, which he oversaw, published a much-criticized Op-Ed by a United States senator calling for a military response to civic unrest in American cities.

Cotton did not call for "military force against protesters in American cities." He spoke of a "show of force," to rectify a situation a significant portion of the country saw as spiraling out of control. It's an important distinction. Cotton was presenting one side of the most important question on the most important issue of a critically important day in American history.

As Cotton points out in the piece, he was advancing a view arguably held by a majority of the country. A Morning Consult poll showed 58% of Americans either strongly or somewhat supported the idea of "calling in the U.S. military to supplement city police forces." That survey included 40% of self-described "liberals" and 37% of African-Americans. To declare a point of view held by that many people not only not worthy of discussion, but so toxic that publication of it without even necessarily agreeing requires dismissal, is a dramatic reversal for a newspaper that long cast itself as the national paper of record.

Incidentally, that same poll cited by Cotton showed that 73% of Americans described protecting property as "very important," while an additional 16% considered it "somewhat important." This means the Philadelphia Inquirer editor was fired for running a headline – "Buildings matter, too" – that the poll said expressed a view held by 89% of the population, including 64% of African-Americans.

(Would I have run the Inquirer headline? No. In the context of the moment, the use of the word "matter" especially sounds like the paper is equating "Black lives" and "buildings," an odious and indefensible comparison. But why not just make this case in a rebuttal editorial? Make it a teaching moment? How can any editor operate knowing that airing opinions shared by a majority of readers might cost his or her job?)

The main thing accomplished by removing those types of editorials from newspapers -- apart from scaring the hell out of editors -- is to shield readers from knowledge of what a major segment of American society is thinking.

It also guarantees that opinion writers and editors alike will shape views to avoid upsetting colleagues, which means that instead of hearing what our differences are and how we might address those issues, newspaper readers will instead be presented with page after page of people professing to agree with one another. That's not agitation, that's misinformation.

The instinct to shield audiences from views or facts deemed politically uncomfortable has been in evidence since Trump became a national phenomenon. We saw it when reporters told audiences Hillary Clinton's small crowds were a " wholly intentional " campaign decision. I listened to colleagues that summer of 2016 talk about ignoring poll results, or anecdotes about Hillary's troubled campaign, on the grounds that doing otherwise might "help Trump" (or, worse, be perceived that way).

Even if you embrace a wholly politically utilitarian vision of the news media – I don't, but let's say – non-reporting of that "enthusiasm" story, or ignoring adverse poll results, didn't help Hillary's campaign. I'd argue it more likely accomplished the opposite, contributing to voter apathy by conveying the false impression that her victory was secure.

After the 2016 election, we began to see staff uprisings. In one case, publishers at the Nation faced a revolt – from the Editor on down – after articles by Aaron Mate and Patrick Lawrence questioning the evidentiary basis for Russiagate claims was run. Subsequent events, including the recent declassification of congressional testimony , revealed that Mate especially was right to point out that officials had no evidence for a Trump-Russia collusion case. It's precisely because such unpopular views often turn out to be valid that we stress publishing and debating them in the press.

In a related incident, the New Yorker ran an article about Glenn Greenwald's Russiagate skepticism that quoted that same Nation editor, Joan Walsh, who had edited Greenwald at Salon. She suggested to the New Yorker that Greenwald's reservations were rooted in "disdain" for the Democratic Party, in part because of its closeness to Wall Street, but also because of the " ascendance of women and people of color ." The message was clear: even if you win a Pulitzer Prize, you can be accused of racism for deviating from approved narratives, even on questions that have nothing to do with race (the New Yorker piece also implied Greenwald's intransigence on Russia was pathological and grounded in trauma from childhood).

In the case of Cotton, Times staffers protested on the grounds that " Running this puts Black @NYTimes staff in danger ." Bennet's editorial decision was not merely ill-considered, but literally life-threatening (note pundits in the space of a few weeks have told us that protesting during lockdowns and not protesting during lockdowns are both literally lethal). The Times first attempted to rectify the situation by apologizing, adding a long Editor's note to Cotton's piece that read, as so many recent "apologies" have, like a note written by a hostage.

Editors begged forgiveness for not being more involved, for not thinking to urge Cotton to sound less like Cotton ("Editors should have offered suggestions"), and for allowing rhetoric that was "needlessly harsh and falls short of the thoughtful approach that advances useful debate." That last line is sadly funny, in the context of an episode in which reporters were seeking to pre-empt a debate rather than have one at all; of course, no one got the joke, since a primary characteristic of the current political climate is a total absence of a sense of humor in any direction.

As many guessed, the "apology" was not enough, and Bennet was whacked a day later in a terse announcement.

His replacement, Kathleen Kingsbury, issued a staff directive essentially telling employees they now had a veto over anything that made them uncomfortable :

"Anyone who sees any piece of Opinion journalism, headlines, social posts, photos -- you name it -- that gives you the slightest pause, please call or text me immediately."

All these episodes sent a signal to everyone in a business already shedding jobs at an extraordinary rate that failure to toe certain editorial lines can and will result in the loss of your job. Perhaps additionally, you could face a public shaming campaign in which you will be denounced as a racist and rendered unemployable.

These tensions led to amazing contradictions in coverage. For all the extraordinary/inexplicable scenes of police viciousness in recent weeks -- and there was a ton of it, ranging from police slashing tires in Minneapolis, to Buffalo officers knocking over an elderly man, to Philadelphia police attacking protesters -- there were also 12 deaths in the first nine days of protests, only one at the hands of a police officer (involving a man who may or may not have been aiming a gun at police).

Looting in some communities has been so bad that people have been left without banks to cash checks, or pharmacies to fill prescriptions; business owners have been wiped out (" My life is gone ," commented one Philly store owner); a car dealership in San Leandro, California saw 74 cars stolen in a single night. It isn't the whole story, but it's demonstrably true that violence, arson, and rioting are occurring.

However, because it is politically untenable to discuss this in ways that do not suggest support, reporters have been twisting themselves into knots.

We are seeing headlines previously imaginable only in The Onion, e.g., " 27 police officers injured during largely peaceful anti-racism protests in London ."

Even people who try to keep up with protest goals find themselves denounced the moment they fail to submit to some new tenet of ever-evolving doctrine, via a surprisingly consistent stream of retorts: fuck you, shut up, send money, do better, check yourself, I'm tired and racist .

Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey, who argued for police reform and attempted to show solidarity with protesters in his city, was shouted down after he refused to commit to defunding the police. Protesters shouted "Get the fuck out!" at him, then chanted " Shame !" and threw refuse, Game of Thrones -style , as he skulked out of the gathering. Frey's "shame" was refusing to endorse a position polls show 65% of Americans oppose , including 62% of Democrats, with just 15% of all people, and only 33% of African-Americans, in support.

Each passing day sees more scenes that recall something closer to cult religion than politics. White protesters in Floyd's Houston hometown kneeling and praying to black residents for "forgiveness for years and years of racism" are one thing, but what are we to make of white police in Cary, North Carolina, kneeling and washing the feet of Black pastors? What about Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer kneeling while dressed in " African kente cloth scarves "?

There is symbolism here that goes beyond frustration with police or even with racism: these are orgiastic, quasi-religious, and most of all, deeply weird scenes, and the press is too paralyzed to wonder at it. In a business where the first job requirement was once the willingness to ask tough questions, we've become afraid to ask obvious ones.

On CNN, Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender was asked a hypothetical question about a future without police: "What if in the middle of the night, my home is broken into? Who do I call?" When Bender, who is white, answered , "I know that comes from a place of privilege," questions popped to mind. Does privilege mean one should let someone break into one's home, or that one shouldn't ask that hypothetical question? (I was genuinely confused). In any other situation, a media person pounces on a provocative response to dig out its meaning, but an increasingly long list of words and topics are deemed too dangerous to discuss.

The media in the last four years has devolved into a succession of moral manias. We are told the Most Important Thing Ever is happening for days or weeks at a time, until subjects are abruptly dropped and forgotten, but the tone of warlike emergency remains: from James Comey's firing, to the deification of Robert Mueller, to the Brett Kavanaugh nomination, to the democracy-imperiling threat to intelligence "whistleblowers," all those interminable months of Ukrainegate hearings (while Covid-19 advanced), to fury at the death wish of lockdown violators, to the sudden reversal on that same issue, etc.

It's been learned in these episodes we may freely misreport reality, so long as the political goal is righteous.

It was okay to publish the now-discredited Steele dossier, because Trump is scum. MSNBC could put Michael Avenatti on live TV to air a gang rape allegation without vetting, because who cared about Brett Kavanaugh – except press airing of that wild story ended up being a crucial factor in convincing key swing voter Maine Senator Susan Collins the anti-Kavanaugh campaign was a political hit job (the allegation illustrated, "why the presumption of innocence is so important," she said ). Reporters who were anxious to prevent Kavanaugh's appointment, in other words, ended up helping it happen through overzealousness.

There were no press calls for self-audits after those episodes , just as there won't be a few weeks from now if Covid-19 cases spike, or a few months from now if Donald Trump wins re-election successfully painting the Democrats as supporters of violent protest who want to abolish police. No: press activism is limited to denouncing and shaming colleagues for insufficient fealty to the cheap knockoff of bullying campus Marxism that passes for leftist thought these days.

The traditional view of the press was never based on some contrived, mathematical notion of "balance," i.e. five paragraphs of Republicans for every five paragraphs of Democrats. The ideal instead was that we showed you everything we could see, good and bad, ugly and not, trusting that a better-informed public would make better decisions. This vision of media stressed accuracy, truth, and trust in the reader's judgment as the routes to positive social change.

For all our infamous failings, journalists once had some toughness to them. We were supposed to be willing to go to jail for sources we might not even like, and fly off to war zones or disaster areas without question when editors asked. It was also once considered a virtue to flout the disapproval of colleagues to fight for stories we believed in (Watergate, for instance).

Today no one with a salary will stand up for colleagues like Lee Fang. Our brave truth-tellers make great shows of shaking fists at our parody president , but not one of them will talk honestly about the fear running through their own newsrooms. People depend on us to tell them what we see, not what we think. What good are we if we're afraid to do it?

[Jun 14, 2020] Akela Lasi: "I am so fucking tired". We too. Of your racism and intolerance ;-)

Akela action clearly was a cheap slander of a colleague dictated by inferior motives. With her subsequent twits, she proved to be a very sleazy person indeed. This black radical like to control the narrative without discussion. Not everybody gets bullied into silence.
I actually never saw any article of this reporter worth reading, while Tabby is a really gifted journalist, the author of many though provoking article. In other words professionally this girl is not worth his finger, and never will be.
OK. Intercept a a whole is junk neoliberal rag, the part of "fake news press" and publish mostly junk articles. So who cares. Still this looks is like taken directly for Soviet Past with its purge of "pro-bourgeois" elements for all spheres of cultural life and replacement with "proletarian" and "peasant" writers. Are blacks new "proletarians" and the USA Stalinist Russia ? "Everything must change so that everything can stay the same"
People without talent always envy people with the talent and try to destroy them. Nothing new, nothing interesting other then "the first time as tragedy, the second as farce." Today the farce being played out in the United States is plain for all who care site to witness it
"Writing in the 1920s, the Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset chronicled the assent of the "mass man" in the cultural and political life of Europe. Ortega did not equate the masses with the working class any more than he associated the elite with civility and decorum. An attitude of mind, rather than class affiliation or identity, distinguished the mass man. Simply put, Ortega argued that the mass man lacked the intellectual and spiritual discipline necessary either to exercise power or to safeguard tradition. His was a commonplace, pedestrian mind that remained dull and inert until animated by some external stimuli that quickly provoked a compulsion to act. Unwilling to engage in rational debate, to apply the rules of logic to disagreements, to acknowledge external judgments, or even to recognize the existence of other points of view, the mass man "is satisfied with thinking the first thing he finds in his head." He has no ideas as such, but can only express his "appetites in words." [iii] Fearful of diversity and incapable of tolerating, or even of apprehending, distinctions, the mass man embraces a deadening conformity and "crushes everything that is different, qualified and select. Anybody who is not like everybody, who does not think like everybody, runs the risk of being eliminated." [iv] Such intellectual and spiritual vulgarity, Ortega reflected, had brought to the vanguard a type of man without precedent in the long history of Europe, a man who "shows himself resolved to impose his opinions" by coercion and force without giving due consideration either to evidence or reason. [v] " History as Tragedy and Farce The Rise of Nationalism ~ The Imaginative Conservative
Notable quotes:
"... "Lee and I are moving forward" is code for; I used my racial upper hand to shame and bully Lee after throwing a tantrum to shut down any discussion on black crime and another journo wrote a kickass piece and exposed me - now I want to discredit him. LMAO. ..."
"... Why are you trying to add the emotional aspect of "people are dying", as if you should dictate what matters are worth covering. ..."
"... "Lee and I"...not sure he feels so chummy after getting sandbagged by u. classic maneuver to 1) avoid the thesis of his piece with a snarky criticism of his timing (are you his boss?) And 2) presenting evidence that proves precisely nothing and then declaring case closed. ..."
"... "only so much i can say publicly" you already publicly slandered him ..."
"... Yes, after smearing Fang as a racist, you're "moving on" after all the damage you've caused. You are intellectually lazy, so rather than discussing the issue, you smear someone as a racist simply for presenting a viewpoint that doesn't align 100 percent with yours. Hacktivist. ..."
"... This is weak and you are disgusting and gas lighting by saying stupid things like "people are dying" as to imply he's sitting around doing nothing. ..."
"... Wow, claiming journalists shouldn't publish while people are dying is a new one. You unfairly slandered a person as racist, and now you are doubling down on it by refusing to justify your claim *in any way*. This is a new level of despicable, odious behavior. ..."
Jun 14, 2020 | twitter.com
Writer at The Intercept, Akela Lacy, calls out Lee Fang twitter.com/akela_...

"Tired of being made to deal with my coworker @lhfang continuing to push narratives about black on black crime after repeatedly being asked not to. This isn't about me and him it's about institutional racism and using free speech to couch anti-blackness. I am so fucking tired"

posted by @akela_lacy


Benny Russell @GCSnipe 11h

Replying to @akela_lacy 11h

@mtaibbi is building solidarity with @mtracey and @ZaidJilani . They want you to feel, over and over again, that their is a Journalism club and you aren't in it. They want to smear you and make you look crazy. We won't let them. Solidarity.

11h BunBanker @BankerBun 9h
They don't have to try. She is crazy.
Cincinattus @Cincinattus 6h
The Warren campaign tried to push the narrative that Bernie was a secret sexist, then said we should move on when confronted at the debate. There are parallels with what is going on here.
CatWoman @kiskakoshka88 10h
Replying to

@LibbyOShea

@LibbyOShea and
@akela_lacy
@akela_lacy
"Lee and I are moving forward" is code for; I used my racial upper hand to shame and bully Lee after throwing a tantrum to shut down any discussion on black crime and another journo wrote a kickass piece and exposed me - now I want to discredit him. LMAO.
10h Fiat Lux @SGEselgroth 5h
Why do all journalists have to be at the vanguard of the uprising? Not all journalists cover the same news. And besides, the issue he wrote about matters A LOT. It's a very important part of what's going on. Matt's piece is spot on.
J @jmetalblast 9h
Why are you trying to add the emotional aspect of "people are dying", as if you should dictate what matters are worth covering.
PoliticsPunk @PoliticsPunk1 7h

@akela_lacy

"Lee and I"...not sure he feels so chummy after getting sandbagged by u. classic maneuver to 1) avoid the thesis of his piece with a snarky criticism of his timing (are you his boss?) And 2) presenting evidence that proves precisely nothing and then declaring case closed.

7h Batforth Jackson @batforth 4h
People are dying in Yemen, Somalia, and Syria too.
4h Alexander S. Beattie @AlexusBeattie 12h
"only so much i can say publicly" you already publicly slandered him
12h Modern-day Pearl Harbor @DB787b 12h
You didn't even address Taibbi's argument, just told him to shut up and that it's water under the bridge. Perfectly encapsulates who you are online
iforgotthealamo @never4get28to3 13h
Yes, after smearing Fang as a racist, you're "moving on" after all the damage you've caused. You are intellectually lazy, so rather than discussing the issue, you smear someone as a racist simply for presenting a viewpoint that doesn't align 100 percent with yours. Hacktivist.
Go Carp @CarpfanGo 13h
This is a cheap rhetorical trick. "People are dying" everyday. Should this be an excuse to permanently suspend all media criticism? Hopefully not.
13h Urbanite @Urbanite107 13h
Except it's not the end. You lost the respect of a lot of people. I know I certainly won't forget about your bullshit.
Time Traveling Russian Hacker @johnson90909 10h
Lol "people are dying". It's hilarious watching these crybullies try to rationalize how everyone calling them out on their bad behavior is a meanie. Obviously what's going on here is that @akela_lacy
kosh_ @kosh_1 10h
@akela_lacy

So in "The end", you couldn't point to the racism in interviewing Max, but only say your issue with #lhfang coverage predates "all of this"? Taibbi linked to your objections in the days prior to the interview; he even credits you with a "willingness to have a conversation".

NHiriteInSouth @NHiriteInSouth 11h
What's puzzling is your lack of self awareness.
Not Mcast @notcastm 11h
@akela_lacy

This is weak and you are disgusting and gas lighting by saying stupid things like "people are dying" as to imply he's sitting around doing nothing. And I mean that as a paying member and someone who loves your work. You are better than this.

11h James Richard Walker @JRWalker_ 8h
Genuine question: You comment "Aside from the fact that Taibbi sat down to write this piece while people are dying..." Wouldn't this fact apply to literally every reporter/journalist writing at the present moment? If so, can I ask what particular point you're making?
8h Dinsdale Piranha @aSmashingBloke 5h
"people are dying" ... and Akela is trying to hide behind their stacked-up bodies to shield herself from accountability for her own reprehensible actions. Disgusting. So anyway, how did Akela find the time to smear Lee "while people are dying"?
jcc9092 @jcc9092 9h
Shoutout for trying to ruin a guys career over what someone else said and then backtracking! You're a great journalist and a terrible person!
Fiat Lux @SGEselgroth 5h
Well, you heard the lady, nothing to see here. Let's just move forward from how this "journalist" tried to destroy a truly great journalist's reputation. How about this instead... how about we never forget what you did to Lee and hold it up as a cautionary tale?
5h David Lee @foosiesdad 2h
You slander and destroyed @lhfang
Sonny_Crockett @SonnyCrockett04 2h
Wow, claiming journalists shouldn't publish while people are dying is a new one. You unfairly slandered a person as racist, and now you are doubling down on it by refusing to justify your claim *in any way*. This is a new level of despicable, odious behavior.
Sonny_Crockett @SonnyCrockett04 2h
To be clear, you can publicly say he is being racist but you can't publicly say specifically what he said or did that's racist? And why are you speaking for Lee when you say he is moving on from this?
antispastic libtard @embracetheleft 12h
I don't see how this helps your case? Are you implying he's done other offensive things to you but that you can't discuss? Sounds like a witch hunt to me.
Max Power @maxiepowerslut 12h
@akela_lacy Lol you're such a fucking crybaby
12h Montréal:ST @MontrealSt 10h
Lee Fang should sue you for slander. You hack crybully.

[Jun 14, 2020] Anonymous Berkeley Professor Shreds BLM Injustice Narrative With Damning Facts And Logic

Highly recommended!
A strange mixture of Black nationalism with Black Bolshevism is a very interesting and pretty alarming phenomenon. It proved to be a pretty toxic mix. But it is far from being new. We saw how the Eugène Pottier famous song International lines "We have been naught we shall be all." and "Servile masses arise, arise." unfolded before under Stalinism in Soviet Russia.
We also saw Lysenkoism in Academia before, and it was not a pretty picture. Some Russian/Soviet scientists such as Academician Vavilov paid with their life for the sin of not being politically correct. From this letter it is clear that the some departments already reached the stage tragically close to that situation.
Lysenkoism was "politically correct" (a term invented by Lenin) because it was consistent with the broader Marxist doctrine. Marxists wanted to believe that heredity had a limited role even among humans, and that human characteristics changed by living under socialism would be inherited by subsequent generations of humans. Thus would be created the selfless new Soviet man
"Lysenko was consequently embraced and lionized by the Soviet media propaganda machine. Scientists who promoted Lysenkoism with faked data and destroyed counterevidence were favored with government funding and official recognition and award. Lysenko and his followers and media acolytes responded to critics by impugning their motives, and denouncing them as bourgeois fascists resisting the advance of the new modern Marxism." The Disgraceful Episode Of Lysenkoism Brings Us Global Warming Theory
Notable quotes:
"... In the extended links and resources you provided, I could not find a single instance of substantial counter-argument or alternative narrative to explain the under-representation of black individuals in academia or their over-representation in the criminal justice system. ..."
"... any cogent objections to this thesis have been raised by sober voices, including from within the black community itself, such as Thomas Sowell and Wilfred Reilly. These people are not racists or 'Uncle Toms'. They are intelligent scholars who reject a narrative that strips black people of agency and systematically externalizes the problems of the black community onto outsiders . Their view is entirely absent from the departmental and UCB-wide communiques. ..."
"... The claim that the difficulties that the black community faces are entirely causally explained by exogenous factors in the form of white systemic racism, white supremacy, and other forms of white discrimination remains a problematic hypothesis that should be vigorously challenged by historians ..."
"... Would we characterize criminal justice as a systemically misandrist conspiracy against innocent American men? I hope you see that this type of reasoning is flawed, and requires a significant suspension of our rational faculties. Black people are not incarcerated at higher rates than their involvement in violent crime would predict . This fact has been demonstrated multiple times across multiple jurisdictions in multiple countries. ..."
"... If we claim that the criminal justice system is white-supremacist, why is it that Asian Americans, Indian Americans, and Nigerian Americans are incarcerated at vastly lower rates than white Americans? ..."
"... Increasingly, we are being called upon to comply and subscribe to BLM's problematic view of history , and the department is being presented as unified on the matter. In particular, ethnic minorities are being aggressively marshaled into a single position. Any apparent unity is surely a function of the fact that dissent could almost certainly lead to expulsion or cancellation for those of us in a precarious position , which is no small number. ..."
"... The vast majority of violence visited on the black community is committed by black people . There are virtually no marches for these invisible victims, no public silences, no heartfelt letters from the UC regents, deans, and departmental heads. The message is clear: Black lives only matter when whites take them. Black violence is expected and insoluble, while white violence requires explanation and demands solution. Please look into your hearts and see how monstrously bigoted this formulation truly is. ..."
"... The claim that black intraracial violence is the product of redlining, slavery, and other injustices is a largely historical claim. It is for historians, therefore, to explain why Japanese internment or the massacre of European Jewry hasn't led to equivalent rates of dysfunction and low SES performance among Japanese and Jewish Americans respectively. ..."
"... Arab Americans have been viciously demonized since 9/11, as have Chinese Americans more recently. However, both groups outperform white Americans on nearly all SES indices - as do Nigerian Americans , who incidentally have black skin. It is for historians to point out and discuss these anomalies. However, no real discussion is possible in the current climate at our department . The explanation is provided to us, disagreement with it is racist, and the job of historians is to further explore additional ways in which the explanation is additionally correct. This is a mockery of the historical profession. ..."
"... Donating to BLM today is to indirectly donate to Joe Biden's 2020 campaign. This is grotesque given the fact that the American cities with the worst rates of black-on-black violence and police-on-black violence are overwhelmingly Democrat-run. Minneapolis itself has been entirely in the hands of Democrats for over five decades ; the 'systemic racism' there was built by successive Democrat administrations. ..."
"... The total alliance of major corporations involved in human exploitation with BLM should be a warning flag to us, and yet this damning evidence goes unnoticed, purposefully ignored, or perversely celebrated. We are the useful idiots of the wealthiest classes , carrying water for Jeff Bezos and other actual, real, modern-day slavers. Starbucks, an organisation using literal black slaves in its coffee plantation suppliers, is in favor of BLM. Sony, an organisation using cobalt mined by yet more literal black slaves, many of whom are children, is in favor of BLM. And so, apparently, are we. The absence of counter-narrative enables this obscenity. Fiat lux, indeed. ..."
"... MLK would likely be called an Uncle Tom if he spoke on our campus today . We are training leaders who intend, explicitly, to destroy one of the only truly successful ethnically diverse societies in modern history. As the PRC, an ethnonationalist and aggressively racially chauvinist national polity with null immigration and no concept of jus solis increasingly presents itself as the global political alternative to the US, I ask you: Is this wise? Are we really doing the right thing? ..."
Jun 12, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Dear profs X, Y, Z

I am one of your colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley. I have met you both personally but do not know you closely, and am contacting you anonymously, with apologies. I am worried that writing this email publicly might lead to me losing my job, and likely all future jobs in my field.

In your recent departmental emails you mentioned our pledge to diversity, but I am increasingly alarmed by the absence of diversity of opinion on the topic of the recent protests and our community response to them.

In the extended links and resources you provided, I could not find a single instance of substantial counter-argument or alternative narrative to explain the under-representation of black individuals in academia or their over-representation in the criminal justice system. The explanation provided in your documentation, to the near exclusion of all others, is univariate: the problems of the black community are caused by whites, or, when whites are not physically present, by the infiltration of white supremacy and white systemic racism into American brains, souls, and institutions.

Many cogent objections to this thesis have been raised by sober voices, including from within the black community itself, such as Thomas Sowell and Wilfred Reilly. These people are not racists or 'Uncle Toms'. They are intelligent scholars who reject a narrative that strips black people of agency and systematically externalizes the problems of the black community onto outsiders . Their view is entirely absent from the departmental and UCB-wide communiques.

The claim that the difficulties that the black community faces are entirely causally explained by exogenous factors in the form of white systemic racism, white supremacy, and other forms of white discrimination remains a problematic hypothesis that should be vigorously challenged by historians . Instead, it is being treated as an axiomatic and actionable truth without serious consideration of its profound flaws, or its worrying implication of total black impotence. This hypothesis is transforming our institution and our culture, without any space for dissent outside of a tightly policed, narrow discourse.

A counternarrative exists. If you have time, please consider examining some of the documents I attach at the end of this email. Overwhelmingly, the reasoning provided by BLM and allies is either primarily anecdotal (as in the case with the bulk of Ta-Nehisi Coates' undeniably moving article) or it is transparently motivated. As an example of the latter problem, consider the proportion of black incarcerated Americans. This proportion is often used to characterize the criminal justice system as anti-black. However, if we use the precise same methodology, we would have to conclude that the criminal justice system is even more anti-male than it is anti-black .

Would we characterize criminal justice as a systemically misandrist conspiracy against innocent American men? I hope you see that this type of reasoning is flawed, and requires a significant suspension of our rational faculties. Black people are not incarcerated at higher rates than their involvement in violent crime would predict . This fact has been demonstrated multiple times across multiple jurisdictions in multiple countries.

And yet, I see my department uncritically reproducing a narrative that diminishes black agency in favor of a white-centric explanation that appeals to the department's apparent desire to shoulder the 'white man's burden' and to promote a narrative of white guilt .

If we claim that the criminal justice system is white-supremacist, why is it that Asian Americans, Indian Americans, and Nigerian Americans are incarcerated at vastly lower rates than white Americans? This is a funny sort of white supremacy. Even Jewish Americans are incarcerated less than gentile whites. I think it's fair to say that your average white supremacist disapproves of Jews. And yet, these alleged white supremacists incarcerate gentiles at vastly higher rates than Jews. None of this is addressed in your literature. None of this is explained, beyond hand-waving and ad hominems. "Those are racist dogwhistles". "The model minority myth is white supremacist". "Only fascists talk about black-on-black crime", ad nauseam.

These types of statements do not amount to counterarguments: they are simply arbitrary offensive classifications, intended to silence and oppress discourse . Any serious historian will recognize these for the silencing orthodoxy tactics they are , common to suppressive regimes, doctrines, and religions throughout time and space. They are intended to crush real diversity and permanently exile the culture of robust criticism from our department.

Increasingly, we are being called upon to comply and subscribe to BLM's problematic view of history , and the department is being presented as unified on the matter. In particular, ethnic minorities are being aggressively marshaled into a single position. Any apparent unity is surely a function of the fact that dissent could almost certainly lead to expulsion or cancellation for those of us in a precarious position , which is no small number.

I personally don't dare speak out against the BLM narrative , and with this barrage of alleged unity being mass-produced by the administration, tenured professoriat, the UC administration, corporate America, and the media, the punishment for dissent is a clear danger at a time of widespread economic vulnerability. I am certain that if my name were attached to this email, I would lose my job and all future jobs, even though I believe in and can justify every word I type.

The vast majority of violence visited on the black community is committed by black people . There are virtually no marches for these invisible victims, no public silences, no heartfelt letters from the UC regents, deans, and departmental heads. The message is clear: Black lives only matter when whites take them. Black violence is expected and insoluble, while white violence requires explanation and demands solution. Please look into your hearts and see how monstrously bigoted this formulation truly is.

No discussion is permitted for nonblack victims of black violence, who proportionally outnumber black victims of nonblack violence. This is especially bitter in the Bay Area, where Asian victimization by black assailants has reached epidemic proportions, to the point that the SF police chief has advised Asians to stop hanging good-luck charms on their doors, as this attracts the attention of (overwhelmingly black) home invaders . Home invaders like George Floyd . For this actual, lived, physically experienced reality of violence in the USA, there are no marches, no tearful emails from departmental heads, no support from McDonald's and Wal-Mart. For the History department, our silence is not a mere abrogation of our duty to shed light on the truth: it is a rejection of it.

The claim that black intraracial violence is the product of redlining, slavery, and other injustices is a largely historical claim. It is for historians, therefore, to explain why Japanese internment or the massacre of European Jewry hasn't led to equivalent rates of dysfunction and low SES performance among Japanese and Jewish Americans respectively.

Arab Americans have been viciously demonized since 9/11, as have Chinese Americans more recently. However, both groups outperform white Americans on nearly all SES indices - as do Nigerian Americans , who incidentally have black skin. It is for historians to point out and discuss these anomalies. However, no real discussion is possible in the current climate at our department . The explanation is provided to us, disagreement with it is racist, and the job of historians is to further explore additional ways in which the explanation is additionally correct. This is a mockery of the historical profession.

Most troublingly, our department appears to have been entirely captured by the interests of the Democratic National Convention, and the Democratic Party more broadly. To explain what I mean, consider what happens if you choose to donate to Black Lives Matter, an organization UCB History has explicitly promoted in its recent mailers. All donations to the official BLM website are immediately redirected to ActBlue Charities , an organization primarily concerned with bankrolling election campaigns for Democrat candidates. Donating to BLM today is to indirectly donate to Joe Biden's 2020 campaign. This is grotesque given the fact that the American cities with the worst rates of black-on-black violence and police-on-black violence are overwhelmingly Democrat-run. Minneapolis itself has been entirely in the hands of Democrats for over five decades ; the 'systemic racism' there was built by successive Democrat administrations.

The patronizing and condescending attitudes of Democrat leaders towards the black community, exemplified by nearly every Biden statement on the black race, all but guarantee a perpetual state of misery, resentment, poverty, and the attendant grievance politics which are simultaneously annihilating American political discourse and black lives. And yet, donating to BLM is bankrolling the election campaigns of men like Mayor Frey, who saw their cities devolve into violence . This is a grotesque capture of a good-faith movement for necessary police reform, and of our department, by a political party. Even worse, there are virtually no avenues for dissent in academic circles . I refuse to serve the Party, and so should you.

The total alliance of major corporations involved in human exploitation with BLM should be a warning flag to us, and yet this damning evidence goes unnoticed, purposefully ignored, or perversely celebrated. We are the useful idiots of the wealthiest classes , carrying water for Jeff Bezos and other actual, real, modern-day slavers. Starbucks, an organisation using literal black slaves in its coffee plantation suppliers, is in favor of BLM. Sony, an organisation using cobalt mined by yet more literal black slaves, many of whom are children, is in favor of BLM. And so, apparently, are we. The absence of counter-narrative enables this obscenity. Fiat lux, indeed.

There also exists a large constituency of what can only be called 'race hustle