The insanity that prevails on college campuses is pretty plain to see. Did you realize that the same insanity is creeping into the rest of American society?
In a lengthy article in New York Magazine, liberal Andrew Sullivan has some pretty caustic things to say about his fellow liberals — they’re turning America into a crappy, whiny, sheltered, self-obsessed, neo-Marxist hell-hole.
Over the last year, the most common rebuttal to my intermittent coverage of campus culture has been: Why does it matter? These are students, after all. They’ll grow up once they leave their cloistered, neo-Marxist safe spaces. The real world isn’t like that. You’re exaggerating anyway. And so on. I certainly see the point. In the world beyond campus, few people use the term microaggressions without irony or an eye roll; claims of “white supremacy,” “rape culture,” or “white privilege” can seem like mere rhetorical flourishes; racial and gender segregation hasn’t been perpetuated in the workplace yet; the campus Title IX sex tribunals where, under the Obama administration, the “preponderance of evidence” rather than the absence of a “reasonable doubt” could ruin a young man’s life and future are just a product of a hothouse environment. And I can sometimes get carried away.
He says that although he does ‘get carried away’, he’s concerned that the tide is turning on American culture, and it ain’t pretty.
He identifies 10 ideas that Leftists are adhering to that could quite literally destroy America as we know it.
1. Identity politics/The Social Justice Movement
The new liberal view of people is by lumping them into groups based on immutable characteristics rather than as individuals that possess those characteristics. The idea that people should be judged on external characteristics like their race, gender, etc. is embedded in our educational institutions. It has ruined campuses and, if things don’t change fast, it will ruin society at large.
When elite universities shift their entire worldview away from liberal education as we have long known it toward the imperatives of an identity-based “social justice” movement, the broader culture is in danger of drifting away from liberal democracy as well. If elites believe that the core truth of our society is a system of interlocking and oppressive power structures based around immutable characteristics like race or sex or sexual orientation, then sooner rather than later, this will be reflected in our culture at large. What matters most of all in these colleges — your membership in a group that is embedded in a hierarchy of oppression — will soon enough be what matters in the society as a whole.
2. Individual Merit vs. Privilege
To leftists, if you’ve been determined to be in a historically ‘oppressed’ group, then your station in life was determined for you and other groups need to acknowledge their ‘privilege’ which perpetuates ‘hate’ against the oppressed groups. It’s a cycle of ‘oppression’ and ‘privilege’ that dismisses individual merit. Of course, that’s totally ridiculous.
The idea of individual merit — as opposed to various forms of unearned “privilege” — is increasingly suspect. The Enlightenment principles that formed the bedrock of the American experiment — untrammeled free speech, due process, individual (rather than group) rights — are now routinely understood as mere masks for “white male” power, code words for the oppression of women and nonwhites. Any differences in outcome for various groups must always be a function of “hate,” rather than a function of nature or choice or freedom or individual agency. And anyone who questions these assertions is obviously a white supremacist himself.
3. No ‘Free Exchange of Ideas’
Many on the left are shoving aside the ‘rules’ that Liberals used to hold dear and embraced a bullying form of groupthink — Cultural Marxism.
One of them is a robust public debate, free from intimidation. Liberals welcome dissent because it’s our surest way to avoid error. Cultural Marxists fear dissent because they believe it can do harm to others’ feelings and help sustain existing identity-based power structures. Yes, this is not about the First Amendment. The government is not preventing anyone from speaking. But it is about the spirit of the First Amendment.
4. Shaming ‘dissenters’ into silence.
Look at what’s happening with #MeToo.
Conservatives have long been called ‘racist’ and ‘xenophobic’ for wanting to enforce immigration law. If we dare say that Islam is oppressive to women, that’s ‘Islamophobic’. If we affirm traditional marriage that’s ‘homophobic’. If you don’t believe that women should be free to kill babies in the womb, that’s ‘misogynistic’. If parents just aren’t on board with the quick assessment and hormonal treatment for gender dysphoria of a young child, then they’re ‘transphobic’. And if you agree with Matt Damon that smacking a woman’s butt and rape are both problematic but not the same, your career should be over.
If voicing an “incorrect” opinion can end your career, or mark you for instant social ostracism, you tend to keep quiet. This silence on any controversial social issue is endemic on college campuses, but it’s now everywhere.
Which brings us to…
How else do you explain how the glorious defenestration of horrific perpetrators of sexual abuse and harassment so quickly turned into a focus on an unwanted hug or an off-color remark? The whole cultural Marxist idea of a microaggression, after all, is that it’s on a spectrum with macro-aggression. Patriarchy and white supremacy — which define our world — come in micro, mini and macro forms — but it’s all connected.
The ‘bad date’ experienced by the unnamed woman in the ‘Babe’ article accusing Aziz Ansari of sexual misconduct for not reading the mind of the naked woman on his couch is on the same spectrum as Harvey Weinstein’s alleged rape of Rose McGowan — because it could lead to the same thing. It’s all part of the ‘patriarchy’ that needs to be smashed.
6. Eliminating Privacy
To these people, the personal is political.
Privacy? Forget about it. Traditionally, liberals have wanted to see politics debated without regard for the private lives of those in the fray — because personal details can distract from the cogency of the argument. But cultural Marxists see no such distinction. In the struggle against patriarchy, a distinction between the public and private makes no sense. In fact, policing private life — the personal is political, remember — is integral to advancing social justice.
7. Ditching Due Process
It’s no longer necessary to be able to face your accuser and be proven guilty ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ by a jury of your peers — now unnamed accusers can derail your career and life while remaining safely hidden from any accountability.
Real life is beginning to mimic college tribunals. When the perpetrator of an anonymous list accusing dozens of men of a whole range of sexual misdeeds is actually celebrated by much of mainstream media (see this fawning NYT profile), you realize that we are living in another age of the Scarlet Letter. Moira Donegan has yet to express misgivings about possibly smearing the innocent — because the cause is far more important than individual fairness. Besides, if they’re innocent, they’ll be fine! Ezra Klein has openly endorsedcampus rules that could frame some innocent men. One of the tweets in response to some of my recent writing on this has stuck in my mind ever since: “can anyone justify why the POSSIBLE innocence of men is so much more important than the DEFINITE safety and comfort of women?” And yet this principle of preferring ten guilty people to go free rather than one innocent person to be found guilty was not so long ago a definition of Western civilization.
8. Mandated Affirmative Action
New workplace ‘Tzars’ are there to ensure that proper belief system is being implemented.
Almost every corporation now has affirmative action for every victim-group in hiring and promotion. Workplace codes today read like campus speech codes of a few years ago. Voice dissent from this worldview and you’ll be designated a bigot and fired (see James Damore at Google). The media is out front on this too. Just as campuses have diversity tsars, roaming through every department to make sure they are in line, we now have a “gender editor” at the New York Times, Jessica Bennett. Her job is to “curate, elevate and expand gender reporting” throughout the newsroom. Among her previous work are forums on male abuse of power. “Our gender content will exist throughout every section of the paper and be produced in every medium,” Bennett explains. And not just gender, of course: “I want everything we do to be intersectional in its approach — and race, class, and gender identity are an important part of that.”
Many media workplaces have discussion groups on an app called Slack. These are by invitation groups that are often self-segregated.
No men are allowed in women’s slack; no non-p.o.c.s in the people-of-color slack; and so on. And, of course, there are no such venues for men — in this Orwellian world, some groups are more equal than others.
10. ‘YOUR Truth’ vs. ‘THE Truth’
The individual experience has become ‘truth’ to that person. No more of that ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’, we must all recreate our own ‘truth’. (That’s completely asinine, by the way.)
The culture is now saturated with the concept of “your own truth” — based usually on your experience of race and gender. In the culture, it is now highly controversial for individuals in one racial/gender group to write about or portray anyone outside it — because there is no art that isn’t rooted in identity. Movies are constantly pummeled by critics not for being bad movies but for being “problematic” on social justice. Books are censored in advance by sensitivity readers to conform with “social justice” protocols. As for objective reality, I was at an event earlier this week — not on a campus — when I made what I thought was the commonplace observation that Jim Crow laws no longer exist. Uncomprehending stares came back at me. What planet was I on? Not only does Jim Crow still exist, but slavery itself never went away! When I questioned this assertion by an African-American woman, I was told it was “not my place” to question her reality. After all, I’m white.
Source: New York Magazine
But don’t worry — there is a backlash a-brewin’!
And it’s quite interesting who it is that’s involved.
Watch Dave Rubin articulately explain that this new reality is making for some very strange bedfellows:
Well, Mr. Sullivan… there’s just one more thing to say:
by Doug Giles
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