Sunday, July 26, 2015

Blackmail, The Left’s Way to Destroy Free Speech

“In the same way the intelligentsia for many years labored unconsciously to destroy itself by hesitancy and submission in the face of unremitting blackmail from the extreme left.”
                   Leszek Kolakowski, Main Currents of Marxism

The “intelligentsia” referred to above by Leszek Kolakowski in his magisterial work on the history of Marxism is the class of Russian intellectuals that succumbed to Stalin’s usurpations in the 1930s. Once Stalin had obliterated his opposition by the late-1930s, genuine intellectual inquiry and the possibility for an open, honest examination and criticism of ideas and vigorous philosophical and scientific exchange essentially ended.    
The destruction of the intelligentsia that Kolakowski observed in Russia under the Bolsheviks bears an eerie resemblance to what has taken place here in the U.S. since the 1960s with the left in a non-stop, accelerated assault on American institutions.  The instrument of the destruction Kolakowski refers to is “unremitting blackmail” which now abounds. “Hesitancy and submission” are the order of the day from craven, pusillanimous university administrators such as the President of the University of California, Donna Shalala, an American Andrei Zhandov.  Her recent diktat to the UC faculty on “microaggressions” is truly ominous. See the elaborate censorship code online at the UC’s President’s Office website.

“Blackmail”, this single word perhaps best describes the modus operandi of the left in shutting down the long-prized freedom of speech and tolerance for the expression of unpopular opinions and ideas in America.  Blackmail is essentially a form of coercion, and as the history of the 20th century amply documents, the signature “achievements” of the left during this period were themselves monumental feats of coercion – Stalin’s forced collectivization of the Russian peasants in the 1930s, the  post-WWII Sovietization of central and eastern Europe, Mao’s Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.  Many other examples, of course, could be listed.     

Blackmail has worked well for the left in the U.S. and it is perhaps worthwhile to consider an historical definition of the word in order to get a good sense of how well the left has used it to make a mockery of its unending raptures for “diversity” and to impose a mindless ideological conformity centered on victim groups and their grievances.
Blackmail: “a tribute anciently exacted on the Scottish border by plundering chiefs in exchange for immunity from pillage.”

“Plundering chiefs” actually wonderfully describes the race-careerists like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, professional blackmailers, if you will. The tribute they exact is simply the fear and attention from white leaders that affirms their self-proclaimed status as “black leaders and spokesmen” and the leverage that comes with it to enforce their various demands – reparations, punishment for the failings in sensitivity, employment for “professionals” to monitor the “progress” that never comes. The immunity they offer is a temporary suspension of their accusations and threats if the submission they demand is sufficiently self-effacing and the compliance is unquestioning and complete.  Sharpton’s forte is riot fomenting. He needs to be soothed and accommodated lest mobs hit the streets.  Hillary Clinton when running for the Senate in New York arranged to meet with and kiss Sharpton’s ring, paying tribute, of course, in exchange for votes.

More recently, Presidential candidate Martin O’Malley in order to appease the sensitivity police chiefs had to grovel and beg for forgiveness for his outrageous remark, “All lives matter,” betraying an insensitivity typically afflicting white politicians. “I meant no disrespect,” O'Malley said in an interview on This Week in Blackness, a digital show. “That was a mistake on my part and I meant no disrespect. I did not mean to be insensitive in any way or communicate that I did not understand the tremendous passion, commitment and feeling and depth of feeling that all of us should be attaching to this issue.”

Was he sufficiently contrite?  Did he really understand this depth of feeling that “all of us should attach to this issue”? Yes, all of us, of course.  Only the plundering chiefs are qualified to judge and they are not to be rushed.

O’Malley’s apology is all too typical and to get a sense of where things are headed with this kind of disgusting pandering and pathetic caving to the bullying ideologues one should contemplate the rituals of “self-criticism” in places like Mao’s China, and Stalin’s Russia where an “official” template for the interpretation of any matter of significance set the parameters for discussion. The words, the tone, the phrasing, all were rigorously circumscribed. Deviation could be quickly and easily detected and would lead to a range of sanctions.      

The plundering chiefs now abound in the universities.  They occupy positions suitably embellished with lofty titles such as Dean of Equity and Inclusion and Vice President for Diversity and Multiculturalism.  They represent and speak for the “under-presented”.  The tribute they exact, beyond the installation in their own positions as exalted, well-compensated commissars with an ample assemblage of staff that reflects the gravitas of their mission, is a considerable power to monitor the speech and behavior of the students and the employees of the universities.  They set the highest standards for sensitivity, the observance of which requires lectures, workshops, videos, training sessions and penalties for infractions.  At the University of California as instructed by President Shalala in her recently promulgated Tool: Recognizing Microaggressions and the Messages They Send, one is forbidden the Use of the pronoun ‘he’ to refer to all people” because it sends the message that “Male experience is universal.” Any unruly, independent-minded professor can without too much worry blow off the complaints of a dean, provost or even a university president, but when summoned by a Diversity and Equity Commissar, he will soon discover within a depth of respect and a submissive posture he never knew he possessed.    
Difficult as this may be to believe, in 1966 George Lincoln Rockwell, the founder and head of the American Nazi Party was invited to speak at Brown University by the “Open Minds Forum.” That is correct. It is not a misprint.  Rockwell also came to Michigan State University in 1967 to speak. The student who introduced Rockwell to an audience that actually quietly listened to Rockwell had this to say:

 “It is our belief that hatred is best exposed so that all may see it and all may examine its patterns and its capabilities.  It is an issue that today we must struggle to overcome. It is through an understanding hatred in others that we can overcome it within ourselves. We are a society of laws and constitutional guarantees which ought to protect and preserve that which we abhor. Yet the laws in the end will stand to protect us against tyranny and subjection.  It is my hope that our audience this afternoon will recognize and respect the constitutional guarantees given to all the citizens of this nation.  There are those who wish to destroy our lives by forcing our citizens to respond according to the methods they prescribe. This we must avoid. This man’s organization thrives on riots and other overt reactions.  Because his philosophy embodies the  emotion of hatred, do give him the satisfaction of returned hate. For this is what he is seeking.” (Strong applause)

These are thoughts from a time long ago and a place far way. That was then and this is now.  Then, such was the high value attached to free speech and the willingness to be exposed to the widest range of opinions and perspectives that a real live Nazi could actually visit and speak uninterrupted on an American university campus.  Now, sensitivity reigns and the only speakers admitted to ivy halls are those who will not offend, the ideologically safe ones who emit words of support and comfort. For prospective speakers to our institutions of higher learning and open inquiry, they must fit within the prim and proper confines of the narrowest range of ideological conformity.

On the fringe and outside the range of acceptability now are not Nazis and the like who once could come and go, but people like former Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, who had to withdraw from her speaking engagement at Rutgers University last year because of threatened disruption. How pathetic and depressing is this state of affairs and what does it portend?       

Thursday, July 23, 2015

American Muslims, White Cops, and Jumping to Conclusions

On July 18th, 2015 a twenty-four year old man in Chattanooga, Tennessee named Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez opened fire, shooting seven people, including four Marines who died that day.  A navy recruiter later died. Five people were slain and two more injured by a guy who just happened to be named Mohammad, and, who just happened to have spent seven months last year in Jordan, and who, according to Reuters and the New York Times, just happened to have sent a text the night before the killings to a friend linking to a passage of Islamic text - Hadith 38 - containing the verse: “Whosoever shows enmity to a friend of Mine, I will indeed declare war against him.”

From CNN: “Authorities in the U.S. and abroad are working to figure out what might have motivated the 24-year-old to shoot up a recruiting center in a strip mall in Chattanooga and then drive to a Navy operations support center about 7 miles away and stage another attack. He died in a gunfight with law enforcement.” Hmmm … yes … the illusive motive. What could it possibly be? Not even a hint?  The “authorities”, of course, will leave no stone unturned until as CNN so cautiously puts it, they “figure [it] out”. Most people may have already a good idea, but the White House and the mainstream media all must exercise infinite patience. No conclusions are to be jumped at because someone somewhere might conclude that not all manifestations of Islam show it to be a “religion of peace.”

Some months earlier in Ferguson, Missouri a white policeman named Daren Wilson shot and killed a black 18 year old named Michael Brown.  No caution or forbearance from the White House or the mainstream press about Daren Wilson’s motive. Jumped at immediately was this conclusion: Michael Brown, unarmed, hands up in surrender was gunned down execution-style by a white cop who hated blacks. It was obvious. Months later, after mobs looted and burned down portions of Ferguson, with the President of the United States, the Justice Department, and the mainstream press all doggedly insisting that Michael Brown was an  innocent victim of white racist policing, a grand jury declined to prosecute Daren Wilson since the facts showed this conclusion was, well, a little off the mark. Michael Brown, having just robbed a convenience store and assaulted the store clerk, was shot after attacking a policeman half his size and attempting to get his weapon.  Obama sent three White House officials to Michael Brown’s funeral, the funeral of a criminal. No White House representatives will likely be seen at the funerals for the Chattanooga victims, Marines who served their country. 

The contrast in the way the aftermaths of these two events with intense national media coverage happened to unfold points to something quite ugly that has taken hold in America. It is the work of ideologues preoccupied with the politics of grievances and their efforts to portray American institutions and their history as nothing but sundry modes of exploitation and domination.  Their ideology is shaped and animated by a false and pernicious doctrine that the British philosopher, Bertrand Russell long ago and fittingly called, “the doctrine of the superior virtue of the oppressed” (DSVO).  Simply put: membership in a group of people (Group A) oppressed by a different group of people (Group B) means that people in Group A are  morally superior to those in Group B. Why? Group B-people are responsible for the suffering of the Group A-people and thus eternally culpable and forever morally deficient. The suffering of the oppressed group coupled with the depravity of the oppressor group means that the moral and legal comportment of any member of Group A must be judged differently (always more leniently or favorably) than that of any member of Group B. It is important to note that the culpability of the oppressor group is passed down from generation to generation. The grievances and the guilt are eternal. President Obama recently said that racism “is in our DNA” and “White Privilege”, a corollary of DSVO, is rapidly being embedded as an essential element of civic education.

The current boundaries for use of N-word illustrate perfectly how the DSVO works. The N-word used by anyone from the White-oppressor group is completely verboten. There is no word in the English language for a White person more poisonous, and the social and career penalties for speaking it are severe.  For Blacks?  Just watch an episode or so of the popular cable show “The Wire” set in urban Baltimore and highly touted for its gritty realism to grasp just how reliant upon, and fond the historically oppressed group represented in this series, are of this six-letter word.  President Obama in a recent interview uttered this racial slur eliciting shock and incredulity from white commentators. The black commentators were favorably impressed. Would they have been so if it came from George W. Bush, not that it ever would have, or even the “first Black President,” Bill Clinton?  Of course not. President Obama deployment of the N-word simply reinforces his status as the most illustrious member of an oppressed group and, of course, is justified by his possession of that unique virtue bequeathed by his membership.
The elites who govern us, mediate our news events and who shape the curricula of the schools and universities are also in large part the ideologues devoted to the “truth” of DSVO.  They invariably filter through the prism of their grievance-centered ideology events of violence and conflict, such as the two noted above. The interpretation must always be consistent with a DSVO story line. That is, the moral and legal culpability, the motivation and the damage that ensues from any given conflict between an oppressed-group individual (e.g., Black, Muslim) and an oppressor-group individual (e.g., White, Christian) must always reflect the historical picture of domination and exploitation no matter how much history may have changed the status of two groups or what the particular facts of the case might be.  Ideology trumps both historical change and facts. Racism and Imperialism remain the two crosses of guilt permanently reserved upon which to nail those of European-Christian heritage.

When the facts don’t fit the ideologically correct story line, they are either ignored or “adjusted” so that the “oppressor-oppressed” motif remains fully intact.  Thus, in November of 2009 after U.S. Army Major, Nidal Malik Hasan, known and feared for his Islamic zealotry, shot and killed thirteen military personnel at Fort Hood, Texas, the Department of Defense classified the massacre as “workplace violence” and the Army did not charge Hasan with terrorism.  Here then is one of the most egregious examples of reality sacrificed to ideology and the inviolateness of DSVO.  Muslims are a historically oppressed group, victims of Western imperialism. The thirteen people Hasan murdered and the thirty or so he injured, oppressor-group members, cannot be victims of a Muslim (an oppressed group member) acting in anyway remotely as a Muslim, even as a Muslim fanatic.  They must be “just some random folks”, as President Obama likes to express it, in the wrong place at the wrong time.   Reality is not allowed to interfere with ideology.                  

The fact that many more Black Americans are assaulted and murdered by other Black Americans than by White Americans is a fact the President, his Race-Professional associates like Al Sharpton, and the “Black Lives Matter” people seem to have little concern with and no interest in talking about.  Why?  For them it provides no political leverage and contradicts the ideologically scripted version of American race-relations that always requires an oppressor/group-oppressed/group story line.

The fact that cities such as Detroit, Baltimore and Atlanta where huge numbers of Black Americans die violent deaths and endure the very worst public school systems have for decades been ruled exclusively by Black Democrats is another fact that seems to arouse no ire or warrant serious scrutiny by the ideologues who incessantly call for a “national conversation on race.” Because this nasty reality conflicts with the required DSVO story line it is ignored. The strenuous efforts of Democrat politicians to perpetuate the DSVO perhaps can help us penetrate what perhaps may be the greatest enigma in contemporary American politics: why do Black Americans so consistently and overwhelming vote for the political party that takes them for granted and does so little for them?

When ideology and reality conflict the ideologues typically do what they always do to camouflage the contradiction.  They lie, abuse their critics, assassinate their characters and when they can silence them.  Democrats now reflexively slander Republicans as racial bigots, an irony in that the Democrats were the party of Jim Crow and the KKK (West Virginia Senator, Robert Byrd).   In the 2012 Presidential campaign Vice President Joe Biden told a largely Black audience in Virginia that Republican candidate Mitt Romney was “going to put ya’all back in chains.” In the magnitude of its vituperation, dishonesty and audacity, Joseph Biden puts himself in the company of that master of vile propaganda, another Joe, Joseph Goebbels.  No Democrat stepped up to dispute the Vice President or profess embarrassment for such a contemptible slander.  
In the 2016 Presidential election Americans will witness new lows in the efforts of the ideologues to paint America as a place of the worst racial hostility – irredeemable. Get ready.