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?       

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