Thursday, November 30, 2017

Political Cowards

Michael Lumish

{Also published at Jews Down Under.}

Courage the Cowardly Dog
Part of the problem that we have is the generally pussitudinous nature of most well-meaning, western-leftists when it comes to their politics.

That is, people will often hold strong opinions on political questions but are highly reluctant to discuss those opinions among people prepared in disagreement.

Or, if they are willing to engage in argument that argument often devolves into self-righteous ad hominem denunciations or disgust for those with the temerity to disagree with socially-prevailing orthodoxies.

The litany of accusations resembles religious chantings, with the snapping of fingers and the nodding of heads, as we see on the campuses.

Racism! Homophobia! Sexism! Transphobia!

"You are a cis-gendered, heteronormative, white male, patriarchal asshole, who needs to shut the hell up!"

{You are the Devil and the Power of Christ compels you! The Blood of the Martyrs compels you!}

But it must be understood that people who think in religious terms about politics have rarely thought through their positions and thereby rely upon intimidation, both social and physical, to shut people up, in much the same way that the Church used to and the Mosque still does.

It has less to do with the actual situation of lives as lived then it has to do with patrolling the permissible boundaries of acceptable theo-political discourse.

Among the things that I find disturbing about this historical moment in the West is the declining willingness of our friends on the progressive-left to actually discuss their positions with those who do not already hold those positions.

In some measure, at least, all of these "snowflakes" and Social Justice Warriors are embracing the Anti-Free Speech Movement.

Instead of reasoned argument they rely upon snubbing, silencing, de-platforming, dehumanization, mockery, social isolation, street violence, and an imperious refusal to engage the insidious individuals who they deem beneath their political contempt.

In today's political climate to so much as wear a red baseball cap makes one a "fascist" among idiots without the cognitive wherewithal to fairly articulate their own beliefs while listening to the beliefs of others.

The truth, as I have been endeavoring to get across to people, is that such a cowardly political stance represents the failure of liberalism.

If you consider yourself a liberal, but you oppose freedom of speech, then you are not a liberal.

You may be a socialist or a communist or a fascist or an anarchist or nothing whatsoever, but you are not liberal. If you do not believe in freedom of speech then you do not believe in the freedom of the individual, but rather power and control over the individual... all for the greater good, naturally.

Freedom of speech - whether Antifa or Black Lives Matter like it or not - stands at the very foundation of Enlightenment liberalism, which is the source of democracy... which is a little gift from those insidious dead "white" guys.

One cannot stand for democracy or liberalism or social justice or, even, general human fairness if one falters on freedom of speech.

Without freedom of speech, there are none of those things.

This should be Basic Civics.

This should be taught in the seventh grade.

Yet many of the highly educated, well-meaning, sophisticated idiots out there in the universe have yet to figure that out.

Furthermore, of course, the entire university-based movement in opposition to freedom of speech - as we have seen all over the country throughout 2017 - goes against everything that the university system, free inquiry, the empirical method, and liberalism stand for.

Fascists oppose freedom of speech which is why the German National Socialists did so.

Communists oppose freedom of speech which is why the Soviet Union threw those with alternative political viewpoints into "mental institutions."

Antifa and progressive-left college students oppose freedom of speech which is why they keep shutting down the campuses when they bring in conservative speakers like Milo Yiannapolous or Ben Shapiro or any number of alternative thinkers who were hounded off campus this year.

When I was growing up it was always the political right that endeavored to stifle free-expression of ideas, but times have changed.

Now, sadly, it is the political left that thinks it can intimidate people into ideological conformity.

I think that they are mistaken.


  1. As an aside, I think that Sam Harris has convinced me that Trump is hopeless.

    He's got this very interesting conversation with Dilbert creator Scott Adams, who is a Trump supporter.

    What hit home for me - or, perhaps, what represents the final straw for me - is the Trump University story.

    {See about the 50 minute mark, or so.}

    I cannot draw serious conclusions until I look at the matter more closely, but if what Harris claims is true then it speaks very strongly to Trump's character.

    I never had faith in the guy, but I continued to withhold judgment because I simply could not see him beyond the cloud of hatred and moral panic spewing continually for the last year and a half.

    1. who cares about his character? He's the only thing preventing an Islamic and PC take-over of this nation. Policies, not personality, count.

    2. Or are u saying this lest anyone should think God forbid, ur a Trump fan?

    3. I am not a Trump fan, but his enemies are stirring sympathies in my heart for the guy.

      If he moves the embassy it will go a long way, but I suspect that the chatter we are seeing today is mainly just that. Chatter.

    4. I listened to the first 57 minutes. That was too much time. The election wasn't between Trump and Sam Harris' ethics, it was between Trump and Hillary Clinton. Much of the electorate believes that Hillary is an unprincipled and unethical liar and has harmed people. So do I, and with good reason. All I see here is that if the Democratic Party wanted to elect the next POTUS, they shouldn't have picked Hillary the Strong/Hillary the Victim, whose shenanigans throughout her career make Nixon look like a choir boy. They knew what they were getting into, and they did it anyway. Discussions of character and ethics anyone?

      Speaking of which, the UN just voted 800 gazillion to 6 that Israel as the "occupying power" of the "Holy City of Jerusalem" has no rights within that jurisdiction. They don't mention which country Israel is occupying, but when they do that's a big lie too, and it has harmful consequences to ordinary people. Ethics and character, hmm. We have been put on notice that if the US moves the embassy, US interests will face violent consequences. In other words we are being threatened with violence if "the world" doesn't get its way on this. And it is working. And the lesson that threats and intimidation work well hasn't been lost on young people. Ethics and character. Do tell. And the media and politicians want you to believe, and some believe it themselves, that Trump is the Ur reason for whatever ails ya.

    5. Once again proving that the UN ain't nuthin' but chit.

    6. BTW, Just to be clear, I do think ethics and character matter, or should. I just don't see a lot around.

    7. " I freaking love Donald Trump" Monica Crowley on Why The Swamp Hates Donald Trump

    8. An important message.

    9. "Much of the electorate believes that Hillary is an unprincipled and unethical liar and has harmed people."

      Are you saying that The Don is not? Do any of Hillary's flaws justify taxing scholarships and other tuition benefits just to line the pockets of The Don and people like him?

      Note how the neocons, the people most connected with the Republican Party for foreign policy reasons, are almost uniformly against The Don, to the point of saying the Hillary is less bad.

    10. "Are you saying that The Don is not?"

      "Note how the neocons,..."
      They are certainly entitled to their opinion. And there is this very slight chance that neocons could be wrong. I base that on past performance. If Hillary had been elected, would we even be talking about how disappointed we'll be if she doesn't move the embassy?
      Trump bilked some people out of their money. Hillary destroyed a country and cackled about it. Take your pick.

    11. "If Hillary had been elected, would we even be talking about how disappointed we'll be if she doesn't move the embassy?"

      If Trump does move the embassy, that would be small compensation. Try telling that to a student who is facing a tax bill being doubled or tripled because the tuition waiver will be taxed, all to line the pockets of people like Trump.

      "Trump bilked some people out of their money."

      Major understatement. Add in that he made a standard business practice of stiffing his contractors.

      "Hillary destroyed a country and cackled about it."

      Care to defend that statement. Throw in Trump's ceding influence in the world to China and Russia either because their leaders stroke his ego or the countries over whom he cedes that influence do not stroke his ego so he pushes them into China's or Russia's orbit.

    12. I crack up any time someone mentions Trump and morality in the same paragraph. Because obvious pedophile is obvious.

  2. Another way to see it. The American system has become so rotted, decadent and corrupt that only a Trump, in his grotesque way, could expose it and open the possibility, however slight, of MAGA. America made itself sick. Trump is the medicine, even if it tastes bad going down.

    1. I'm sorry, old school, but I don't know what MAGA is.

    2. O.K. Got it.
      I agree with most of your comment. It remains to be seen, however, if Trump is effective medicine or if we're just applying leeches and hoping for a good outcome. We'll see. But so far the country is doing pretty well. I almost feel sorry for Don Lemon in his entropic search for Trump the uber racist. Almost.

    3. There's a reason why both sides are trying to stop him, and they may succeed. You can't bring them down conventionally. But the window has been opened, and there's no going back. It's not going to be smooth, but imagine if Clinton had one. The corruption and rot would have continued unabated, all fueled by a progressive ideology that is papered over Marxism, with a malicious intent towards the American ideal.

    4. School has a major point.

      If Hillary had won, PC culture would rule with an iron fist.

      Poltical Correctness started off as a more-or-less benevolent stance around the early 1990s for the purpose of creating fairness and inclusivity in social interactions.

      Now it's a fucking anti-democratic, authoritarian, political tyrant that is more than happy to wreck people lives and livelihoods.

      Do you guys know about the case of Lindsay Shephard case at Laurier University in Canada?

      This is the kind of thing that we get with Identity Politics.


      {btw, I am just starting to listen to Gad Saad. He's pretty brilliant and funny. Another Canadian professor and associated of Jordan Peterson.}

    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    6. Not just PC culture and identity politics, but an environment of extreme corruption we have see among the Democrats and progressives. It would have been hidden. They never believed they would lose and their deeds would be exposed. In the election process and abuse of the government to mislead and coerce citizens and adversaries.

      You can't confront this with parlor games. If Trump can change the dynamic before they get him, he will be an historic president, even though no one really likes him. He is repugnant according to "civilized" norms and conventions that care more about appearance than substance. More worried that a statue makes them feel unsafe. He is hated more than ISIS, or so it seems, but the alternative they offer is an actual dystopia where we pretend that there is a global community of players, all with common purpose.

  3. Every day I open up my virtual newspapers I watch one ziphead after another try to top each other over the craziest thing to say and do. Until the next one and the pile of noise gets higher and higher. Part of that is of course the partisan nature of the people reporting on the people saying crazy stuff in an effort to make them look awful but I don't think all these loons would be giving free flight to their lunacy all the time if they didn't in some way believe it and want the attention. Social media is a cancer - it's turned people in zombies who think they MUST say whatever unedited voices in their head wants to get out. And then the start staring stupid looks on their faces when they're called on it is priceless.

    1. "Social media is a cancer"
      Yes, there is that lack of editing once known as restraint. This used occur mostly from marijuana use.

  4. The people who are 'afraid' to hear opposing views aren't the point. It's the people who lead them down that path and stir them up. Those are the danger because they're not afraid, they're intentionally stifling debate because they're not afraid.

    1. See, the thing is, when I was younger we talked about everything. I mean, me and buds. Especially religion and politics! But now it is as if people - at least the ones that I know - are terrified of disagreement. But they are not afraid to make awful judgments on public figures if they believe everyone in the room agrees. I find it cowardly and it pisses me off.