Urgent: defeat and destroy the SJW 10

The Social Justice Warriors – now apparently so established as to be commonly alluded to as the SJW – are an enemy army. The enemy of justice. They are a worse threat to our civilization than Islam (with which they are tacitly allied).

The feminists are the worst of the army’s regiments.

The SJW – aka the Left, or “progressives” – must be constantly engaged in battle until totally defeated.

Some rational thinkers have been fighting them for years. May they be heard above the weeping and gnashing of teeth of the self-pitying enemy!

The academies are major battlefields. There the young, quiveringly sensitive warriors are falling spitefully on their “progressive” elders who launched the war in their own student days.

In a splendidly stinging article atFront Page, Bruce Thornton fights the good fight. He does not name the SJW, but his attack hits the warriors – especially the feminists – hard. Here is most of it:

Recently several progressive professors have publicly complained that their students are hounding them for failing to consider their tender sensibilities by straying beyond the p.c. orthodoxy on sexual assault, sex identity, linguistic correctness, and a whole host of other progressive shibboleths. Northwestern “feminist” professor Laura Kipnis found herself in a Title IX star chamber for an article she wrote decrying the immaturity of her legally adult students. … Another progressive confessed (anonymously, reminding us that academics are an invertebrate species) he was so “scared” and “terrified” of his “liberal” students that he self-censors his comments in class and has changed his reading list.

These incidents follow the complaints of other progressives like Kirsten Powers and Jonathan Chait that the intolerant ideology at the heart of progressivism is now getting out of hand – something that many of us have been writing about for nearly 3 decades. That these progressives should now be shocked at such intolerance and persecution after decades of speech codes, disruptions of conservative speakers, campus inquisitions which ignore Constitutional rights, cancellations of commencement speakers, and ideological litmus tests imposed on new hires and curricula, bespeaks not principle, but rather indignation that now they are on the receiving end of the bullying and harassment long inflicted on conservatives …

Indeed, the campus intolerance progressives are now whining about is the child of the progressive ideology many of the complainers still embrace. Modern progressivism is at heart grievance politics, the core of which is not universal principle, but identity predicated on being a victim of historical crimes like sexism and racism, and on suffering from wounding slights defined as such by the subjective criteria of the now privileged victim who is beyond judgment or criticism. Once acknowledged by the state, victim status can then be leveraged into greater political, institutional, and social power. The mechanism of this leverage is the state and federal laws that empower students whose feelings have been hurt by their teachers’ challenging or provocative questions and ideas.

Sexual harassment law, for example, with its “intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment” language, guarantees that subjective, irrational, or even lunatic standards of what constitutes an “offense” will be used to justify limits on academic freedom and expression, and to punish transgressors. The overbroad and elastic language of Title IX, the law used to haul Kipnis before a campus tribunal, likewise has invited subjective and fuzzy charges from anybody who feels that “on the basis of sex” she has been “excluded from participation in” or “denied the benefits of” or “subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance”.  Finally, the Department of Education’s 2011 “dear colleague” letter, which instructed schools investigating sexual assault complaints to use the “more likely than not” or “preponderance of the evidence” standard of evidence rather than the “clear and convincing” one, ensures that any complaint no matter how preposterous or irrational will have to be investigated, and the “guilty” punished.

Yet the obsession with the victim and his suffering, and the need for everybody else to cater to his sensitivity, reflects wider cultural trends. … In this therapeutic vision, the cultural ideal now is Sensitive Man, who revels in his superiority to others based on his sensitivity to suffering, and his public displays of what Alan Bloom called “conspicuous compassion” for state-anointed victims.

Consequently, as Charles Sykes writes in A Nation of Victims – which in 1992 detailed the cultural shifts that have led to today’s hyper-sensitive and litigious students: “One must be attuned to the feelings of others and adapt oneself to the kaleidoscopic shades of grievance, injury, and ego that make up the subjective sensibilities of the ‘victim’. Everyone must now accommodate themselves to the sensitivity of the self, whose power is based not on force or even shared ideology but on changeable and perhaps arbitrary and exaggerated ‘feelings’.”

In my 1999 book Plagues of the Mind, I drew out the implications for higher education of this cult of sensitivity, which has made “infants of people, particularly college students, who are led to believe that the world should be a place where they will never feel bad or suffer disappointment, where they will be coddled and indulged and mothered, and where their already overinflated estimation of themselves will be continually reinforced . . . No one seems concerned about what will happen to these adults when they have to enter the real world and discover that it can be a cold, uncaring place where their anxieties and psychic fears are not the prime order of business”.  Sixteen years later Kipnis made a similar point in her article when she observed, “The myths and fantasies about power perpetuated in these new codes [of sexual behavior] are leaving our students disabled when it comes to the ordinary interpersonal tangles and erotic confusions that pretty much everyone has to deal with at some point in life.”

As Kipnis’s troubles show, today this obsession with the feelings of students and their demands that they be protected from anything unpleasant or “hurtful” has manifested itself in the hysteria over an alleged epidemic of sexual assault of female college students. (Professor Kipnis got into trouble for calling this phenomenon “sexual paranoia”.) Yet this is nothing new either. In the late 90s commentators were warning of the “New Puritanism”, and the “New Victorianism” – the title of Rene Denfeld’s 1995 analysis of this corruption of feminism.

In our view, feminism is a rotten ideology to start with. It can only go from bad to worse.

… The proliferation of “codes” governing courtship and sexual encounters in order to protect fragile women, the ever expanding list of prohibited words that might traumatize the “oppressed”,  the establishment of tribunals judging the accused without the benefit of Constitutional protections, and the noisy protests, shaming, and invective like those aimed at Professor Kipnis, are all in order to enforce orthodoxy through fear and self-censorship a la the poltroonish professor mentioned earlier.

Worst of all, the spread of this intolerance throughout universities makes impossible the very purpose of higher education: to broaden students’ minds by allowing what Matthew Arnold called “the free play of the mind on all subjects” and by familiarizing them with the “best which has been thought and said in the world”.  That ideal has now become scarce on our campuses. As Sykes wrote over 20 years ago, “Once feelings are established as the barometer of acceptable behavior, speech (and, by extension, thought) becomes only as free as the most sensitive group will permit.” This is precisely the state of affairs in American universities today, where the old notions that truth is a liberating force and that suffering teaches, and the great classics that embodied these and other verities of the human condition, have been sacrificed on the altar of victim politics and its aggrandizement of institutional power. So our universities now produce “snowflakes”, as some have called them, students with fragile psyches and empty minds. …

Now the progressives’ children are devouring their creators, the inevitable outcome of revolutionary passions and utopian goals that lack coherent principle and intellectual rigor. That’s why progressives suffering the wages of their ideology deserve no sympathy.

The orderers 10

 

A hundred years ago, when a workers’ paradise was about to be born in Russia, there was a joke which may by now have fallen down the collective memory-hole. It went like this:

Communist rabble-rouser: “Come the revolution we’ll all be eating strawberries and cream.”

Voice in the crowd: “But I don’t like strawberries and cream.”

Communist r-r:  “Come the revolution you’ll bloody well have to like strawberries and cream.”

There is a type of human personality that believes he/she knows what’s best for everyone, and will go to any length to force everyone, “for their own good”, to do as he/she decrees.

People of this type often choose to be sociologists, priests, politicians or  bureaucrats. They are always collectivists, always authoritarians, always a pain in the neck. Theirs is the stuff great despots are made of. And many gods. And a certain type of murderee.

Their deep ambition is to possess total power. Not one of your secrets left unexposed. Not one of your  shelves or drawers unsearched. All your files downloaded. All your emails read. Your thoughts policed. Your actions monitored. Your words recorded.

They will tidy you into neat “housing-units”. They will count out the calories you consume. They will ration the energy you may use. They will decide how long you may live. They will tell you what you may know. They are merciless in punishment – they’ll trim off lone wolves and obstinate dissenters as fast as a barber will trim your neckline. They have no use for innovation, or for change of any sort. They grudge you leisure in case you use it for thinking. They know what work you should be doing and you’d better be doing it how and where and for how long they say.

(Doctors and army officers really do have to exert authority over other adults. They are exempted from this post’s otherwise sweeping condemnation.)

These order-imposers, these self-elected benefactors, these interfering meddlers just simply cannot mind their own business. They can see what needs to be “put right” and cannot rest until they’ve done it.

You can protest until you drop: “What’s it to you what I do? It doesn’t harm you! I don’t interfere in your life, so don’t interfere in mine!  If you don’t like seeing me do it, don’t look…”

Still he/she will insist, “But don’t you understand, it does you harm. It’s bad for you. You must do this instead. I’m only trying to be helpful. I care what happens to you.” –  “You” being all of us except himself/herself. As if we were all children.

Usually they are puritans. Occasionally one pops up who lusts for destruction speedily, and might even orchestrate chaos to achieve the perfect order of utter annihilation. Nothing is so tidy as a world cleansed of human life.

Whatever their particular way and final goal, they are the Enemy.

This is from PJ Media, by Joe Hicks:

If you enjoy having a Big Gulp along with your burger and fries, you’d better drink up fast if you live in New York City: do-gooder Mayor Michael Bloomberg thinks you are too irresponsible to know what’s good for you. He believes super-large sugary drinks contribute to all sorts of bad health issues, so he’s determined to make you downsize whether you like it or not.

The mayor’s ban on these drinks could go into effect as soon as early next year, and would affect drinks larger than 16 ounces. Bloomberg’s ban is aimed at drinks sold only at movie theaters, restaurants, or from street carts, meaning you could still get your large-sized drink fix at convenience stores, supermarkets, or other retail sellers.

This isn’t Bloomberg’s first foray into the “nanny state,” or employing excessive state action to protect people from themselves by restricting freedom. Under Bloomberg’s leadership — and via an equally meddlesome and liberal city council — the city has banned trans fats from food preparations in restaurants (the ingredient that makes french fries, doughnuts, and other deep-fried foods taste so yummy) and has forced chain restaurants to post calorie counts on their menus.

Bloomberg, in one of his most Orwellian moves, even banned donations of food to the homeless because the city didn’t have the ability to monitor these much-needed and welcomed gifts for things like fat, salt, or fiber content — a concern not typically voiced by individuals desperate for a meal.

Of course, the mayor’s rationale is the protection of public health. After all, there is an epidemic of obesity and diabetes. However, who among us really believes regularly downing upwards of 32 ounces of soft drink is a healthy thing to do? And since anyone addicted to gigantic-sized soft drinks can easily ask for a second 16-ounce drink or find a nearby retail outlet, is this ban likely to impact obesity among people already making unhealthy decisions?

And what business is it of the mayor’s anyway?

For libertarians and conservatives, the far greater concern is government intrusion into our private lives. There can be no confusion about this: controlling the intake of food and drink is simply not a function of good government as outlined by the framers of our Constitution. …

The problem of meddling “I-know-best” bureaucrats obviously isn’t just an affliction local to New York City. In 2008, Los Angeles City Council member Jan Perry succeeded in imposing a resolution banning any new fast food restaurants in a 32 square-mile area of South L.A. Like Bloomberg, her rationale was the disproportionate rates of obesity and diabetes among the largely poor, black, and Latino residents of her district. The racist, infantilizing message: poor minorities living in South L.A. are too stupid to make their own food choices. Her patronizing solution: experiment with their lives by forcing them to eat what she wants them to eat.

If government bureaucrats can ban the types of fast food outlets available, manipulate the size and types of drinks we can consume, and regulate every aspect of food preparation, what couldn’t they attempt to ban? Some studies have suggested that red meat is “unhealthy.” Will Bloomberg next propose a measure limiting red meat intake to one steak per month? Will the nanny state do-gooders ban hot dogs, or force Americans to take part in government exercise programs like those promoted by the first lady? …

Now listen up. You gotta eat every one of those strawberries, no arguments.

But cream? Do you know there are 20 calories in just one tablespoon of cream?

It oughta be banned.

 

(Michael Ramirez cartoon from Investor’s Business Daily.)