Virtue and its emanation, terror 2

Yesterday a revolutionary terrorist armed with a gun and bombs advanced in an Antifa mob to attack a US institution of law-enforcement. Fortunately, police shot him dead before he effected mass murder.

Matt Vespa writes at Townhall:

So, when can we call Antifa a full-blown domestic terror organization? Over the weekend, police killed an activist from this progressive mob after he tried to assault an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facility in Tacoma, Washington. Willem Van Spronsen, 69, was armed with a rifle and incendiary devices … This man is … part of a larger mob of progressive thugs who hate this country and any authority figures that seek to uphold law and order. …  A friend of Spronsen thought this was a suicide, believing this assault was meant to spark a larger conflict.

Spronson’s friends praise him as a hero and martyr. They believe themselves to be virtuous. Most virtuous.

So we have it on the authority of Seattle Antifascist Action (Antifa) that this would-be mass-murderer was “kind”, and “deeply loved” by “many communities”.

Who and what are these communities who deeply loved this kind man? Implied are persons of legendary oppression grouped together by their Antifa champions according to their class, race, or abnormal sexual preferences. For them – made virtuous by their oppression – the enforcers of the law must be killed and government overthrown.

Yesterday, July 14, was Bastille day, and as usual France celebrated it.

Roger Kimball wondered why.

He writes at American Greatness:

Since I am writing on Bastille Day, I am prompted to wonder why the French—or anyone else, for that matter—celebrate this infamous date. After all, the “storming” of that royal keep in 1789 was the spark that started the conflagration of the French Revolution. Unlike the American Revolution, in which the rule of law and the institutions of civil society survived the change of governments, the French Revolution was one of the signal bad events in world history. It consumed civil society and the centuries-old institutions of civilization. It was an unalloyed triumph of the totalitarian spirit, and in this respect it presaged and inspired that even greater assault on decency and freedom, the Bolshevik Revolution, the opening act of one of the darkest chapters in human history. The butcher’s bill for the French Revolution is many hundreds of thousands. Soviet Communism was responsible for the deaths of tens upon tens of millions and the universal immiseration of the people whose lives it controlled. …

One canard that we were all brought up on is that the Bastille was a loathsome dungeon full of innocent political prisoners. In fact, it harbored not hordes but precisely seven inmates when the mob stormed it. Contrary to what you have been told, the prisoners were detained in good conditions. At least one was attended by his own chef.  Bernard-René de Launay, the governor, was by all accounts a fair and patient man. But that did not save him from the mob’s “revolutionary justice”. They dragged him out of the fortress and stabbed him to death.

By rights, Bastille Day should be a day of national mourning or contrition. That it is not tells us a great deal—about the persistence of human credulousness, for example, and the folly of subordinating the imperfect, long-serving structures of civilization to the demands of impatient people infatuated by their own unquenchable sense of virtue. Tocqueville, in his book on the ancien régime at the eve of the revolution said that the “the contrast between benign theories and violent acts” was one of the Revolution’s “strangest characteristics”.

Strange it may have been, but it has turned out to be a regular feature of the totalitarian sensibility. What could be more benign sounding than slogans about “liberty, equality, fraternity”, O Citoyen, but how oppressive, how murderous, were their implementation “on the ground”? Robespierre cut to the chase when he spoke of “virtue and its emanation, terror”. He knew that the index of the sort of virtue he proselytized—a heady confection inherited from Rousseau—was the rapidity with which le rasoir national, the guillotine, pursued its grisly business. The pursuit of virtue by communists is a hundred, a thousand times bloodier and more soul blighting.

And here in America, “Kill, kill, kill,” say the Antifa assassins, thirsty for our blood.

Note: Antifa is the military wing of the Democratic Party, self-appointed maybe, but not rejected.

Posted under France, revolution, United States by Jillian Becker on Monday, July 15, 2019

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The white man’s tale 29

The Left rules that whiteness is bad, and white maleness is very bad.

Yet white men of the Left trust that they can just stubbornly go on being white and male and it will be okay, they will still be accepted by their party comrades. After all, they have oodles of Leftist credentials.

But no. They are not acceptable.

Professor Bret Weinstein – still a far-left Bernie Sanders supporter – was hounded out of Evergreen College because he would not accept punishment for being a white male. Ordered to stay away for a day, he refused. Now he’s out of the university – though not yet formally fired.

Here he is being interviewed on HBO. A cellphone film of him being confronted by stupid arrogant aggressive students accusing him of being – you guessed it – a “racist” is included. And the weak principal of Evergreen, George Bridges, concedes ruefully that he himself could be called a “white supremacist” as he is  “a white man in a position of privilege”.

 

And Professor Michael Rectenwald, who was – and maybe still is sort of – a communist, has been brought down by campus totalitarianism. He too has not been fired but put on “paid leave”. Not for expressing unacceptable opinions, his New York University employers insist. No!  There is no connection whatsoever between his being sent away and the opinions he expresses on, say, Fox News.  Absolutely none. (Though no other reason is given.)

He has been hounded for those opinions by his colleagues at NYU.

No mention is made anywhere in what follows about his being white while male. Or male while white. But he is guilty of both those evil things. You can be sure his attackers will not have overlooked that grave double fault among all the others they accuse him of.

Mark Tapson writes at Front Page:

“In the fall of 2016,” New York University professor Michael Rectenwald recently told The Daily Caller, “I was noting an increase of this social justice ideology on campuses, and it started to really alarm me. I saw it coming home to roost here at NYU, with the creation of the bias reporting hotline, and with the cancellation of the Milo Yiannopoulos talk because someone might walk past it and hear something which might ‘trigger’ them.”

Rectenwald, himself a leftist, created an initially anonymous Twitter account, @antipcnyuprof, to speak out against that ideology and the “absolutely anti-education and anti-intellectual” classroom indoctrination he was witnessing, as well as the collectivist surveillance state that the campus was becoming, as students were urged to report each other for the sin of committing microaggressions.

In October of that year, he outed himself as the man behind the controversial Twitter account, and “all hell broke loose”. He swiftly found himself the target of shunning and harassment from his colleagues and the NYU administration. In true Cultural Revolution fashion, several colleagues in his department in the Liberal Studies Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Working Group published an open letter declaring him guilty of incorrect thinking. “The thing that is interesting here is that they were saying that because I don’t think like them, I am sick and mentally ill,” Rectenwald said to the Daily Caller.

Instead of kowtowing to the campus totalitarians, Rectenwald declared himself done with the Left in a February 2017 tweet (“The Left has utterly and completely lost its way and I no longer want anything to do with it.”) and has gone on to become an even more fervent defender of free speech and academic freedom. He has appeared often in conservative media to discuss those issues and the harassment he has received from the Left.

The Professor said:

I explained in numerous interviews and essays, I was not a Trump supporter; I was never a right-winger, or an alt-right-winger; I was never a conservative of any variety. I wasn’t even a classical John Stuart Mill liberal.

In fact, for several years, I had identified as a left or libertarian communist. My politics were to the left (and considerably critical of the authoritarianism) of Bolshevism! I published essays in socialist journals on several topics, including a Marxist critique of postmodern theory, analyses of identity politics and intersectionality theory, analyses of political economy, and an examination of the prospects for socialism in the context of transhumanism. I became a respected Marxist thinker and essayist. I had flirted with a Trotskyist sect, and later became affiliated with a loosely organized left or libertarian communist group.

It wasn’t only strangers who mistook me for rightwing or conservative. So too did many who knew better. An anti-Trump mania and reactionary fervor now gripped liberals and leftists of nearly all stripes. Previously unaffiliated and warring left and liberal factions consolidated and circled the wagons. Anyone who failed to signal complete fidelity to “the resistance” risked being savaged. 

After my appearance on Fox Business News, such rabid ideologues ambushed me. The social-justice-sympathetic members of the left communist group to which I belonged denounced me in a series of group emails. Several members conducted a preposterous cyber show-trial, bringing charges against me and calling for votes on a number of alleged transgressions. From what I could tell, my worst offenses included appearing on Fox News, sounding remotely like a member of an opposing political tribe, receiving positive coverage in right-leaning media, and criticizing leftist milieus just as Trump became President.

I denied that these self-appointed judges held any moral authority over me and declared their arbitrations null and void. Meanwhile, the elders of the group (one a supposed friend of mine) had remained silent, allowing the abuse to go on unabated for a day. When the elders finally chimed in, they called for my official expulsion. I told them not to bother as I wanted nothing further to do with them; I quit.

In their collectivist zeal, they later stripped my name from three essays that I’d written for publication on their website, and assigned their authorship to someone else entirely. Upon discovering this fraudulence, I publicly berated them for plagiarism. A prominent member of the American Association of University Professors noticed my complaint and investigated the alleged breach of intellectual integrity. Verifying my authorship of the essays, he condemned the group’s actions in a popular blog. Only then did the benevolent dictators return my name to the essays’ mastheads.

Friends and acquaintances from other communities also turned on me with a vengeance, joining in the groupthink repudiation. After my appearance on “The O’Reilly Factor” on Fox News, the Twitter attack was so fierce, vitriolic, and sustained that my associate Lori Price and I spent a whole night blocking and muting tweeters. But the worst banishment came from the NYU Liberal Studies community – to which I had contributed a great deal, and of which I had striven for years to be a well-regarded member. Soon after the open letter appeared, I recognized a virtual universal shunning by my faculty colleagues. One after another, colleagues unfriended and blocked me on Facebook. The few that didn’t simply avoided me entirely, until I saved them the trouble and unfriended them. Most stinging were the betrayals of those who once relied on my generosity, some whose careers I had supported and considerably advanced. 

Despite the harsh treatment doled out to me by the social justice left and the warm reception I received from the right, I did not become a right-winger, or a conservative. But after the social-justice-infiltrated left showed me its gnarly fangs and drove me out, I could no longer identify as a leftist.

What took him so long? Even now he cannot quite bring himself to recognize that every political opinion he expresses is conservative. The final step to saying “I am on the right of the political divide” is still too hard for him to take. (As it was for Christopher Hitchens, who became a conservative in the last years of his life, in all but name.)

Here is Professor Rectenwald, daring yet again to appear on Fox, talking to Stuart Varney:

 

And then there is Mark Farrell, who has been appointed interim mayor of San Francisco.

Of San Francisco! In a condition of whiteness and maleness! 

Needless to say, he is a Democrat.

He has replaced London Breed, a black woman.

His appointment has been greeted with fury because he is a white man.

KQED’s reporter Scott Shafer says:

As soon as it became apparent that the first African-American woman to lead San Francisco was being replaced by a white male representing some of the city’s wealthiest neighborhoods, the board chambers erupted.

Some members of the audience, infuriated by the turn of events, chanted, “Shame, shame, shame.”

“This is war!” some shouted as board members left the chamber.”

Will all white men on the Left get the message soon? Will Bernie himself? How long before all white males are shamed and expelled from whatever posts they hold in Democratic fiefdoms?

Can’t say there isn’t a certain satisfaction for the less forgiving of us Righties in watching this happen!

Robespierre comes to mind. He set the guillotine achopping, and the day came when it chopped his head off.