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The Censors and Their Tyrannical Friends

May 20th, 2014 - 6:30 pm

From the very beginning, the doctrines of political correctness were intended to silence and paralyze the Right.  The locus classicus of this demand is Herbert Marcuse’s essay on “Repressive Tolerance,” written in the early 1960s when he was a Brandeis professor:

Liberating tolerance…would mean intolerance against movements from the Right and toleration of movements from the Left. As to the scope of this tolerance and intolerance: … it would extend to the stage of action as well as of discussion and propaganda, of deed as well as of word.

Tolerance would only be granted to those with proper ideas, and committed to proper actions.  And who would decide which ideas and actions were proper, and which were to be forbidden?

People rather like himself:

…everyone “in the maturity of his faculties” as a human being, everyone who has learned to think rationally and autonomously.

His students and followers, in other words.  He wanted to create:

[a] democratic educational dictatorship of free men… in Mill, every rational human being participates in the discussion and decision–but only as a rational being. (In contemporary America) this would be a small number indeed, and not necessarily that of the elected representatives of the people. The problem is not that of an educational dictatorship, but that of breaking the tyranny of public opinion and its makers in the closed society.

Marcuse denied he was an elitist, insisting that once people were “educated” to accept ideas and actions that the society at large considered subversive, true freedom would reign supreme.

He’d be quite surprised to learn that his proposals are gathering momentum, precisely among those who consider themselves members of the intellectual elite.  The movement extends from college campuses (for which he had some hope) to international “scientific” bodies (think about the campaigns against those who refuse to accept the dogmas of “climate change”), to the broader society.  We have reached a point where a radical “activist” can go on national TV and call for the imprisonment of anyone in public office who disagrees with him.  And the host murmurs that there might not be enough room.

Like Marcuse, the advocates of this rule-by-right-thinking-inellectuals invariably claim to be democracy’s best friends, even as they work for its doom.  Take David Brooks for example, who proclaims that we’re in an era of democratic complacency and decay.  He thinks that we’ve recently learned about the shortcomings of democratic republics:  “The events of the past several years have exposed democracy’s structural flaws.”

And then he tells us things we learned back in the 1830s from Alexis de Tocqueville:  democratic countries are lousy at long-range planning, our system of checks and balances can paralyze badly needed policies, etcetera etcetera and so forth.  We show up badly, he says, when compared to innovative “Guardian States” like China and Singapore.  Our schools stink when compared to South Korea’s.  And best of all, he insists, “They are better at long-range thinking and can move fast because they limit democratic feedback and don’t face NIMBY-style impediments.”

Brooks, just like Marcuse, insists that he has come to save democracy, not to bury it.  He wants “a strategy to make democracy dynamic again…use Lee Kuan Yew means (aka benevolent dictatorship, ML) to achieve Jeffersonian ends — to become less democratic at the national level in order to become more democratic at the local level.”

And what is his glorious solution?  The model for the revivification of democracy?

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Top Rated Comments   
Like Marcuse and all the "intellectewals" I meet face to face or in the editorial pages of our local newspaper, and writers like George Bernard Shaw (GBS advocated development of a user friendly poison to rid the planet of those he and fellow élitists deemed hoi polloi, not worthy of life...his own version of a death panel)...or the founder of Planned Parenthood's precursor Margaret Sanger, of that old bag Francis Fox Piven and pathetic Bill Ayers who thought up to 25 million Americans might have to be exterminated...

Their common characteristic (besides mental illness) is declaring themselves judge and jury of human worthiness.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Tyranny comes to us, Michael...not by busting down the door, but by getting us to crack open the windows for its evil to creep in.

We invite our demise, not as a burglar stealing our freedom, rather as a con man who gets us to pay for it while he steals liberty, patriotism, choice, self-determination and our safety.

He tells us we are stupid, the more we resist the con. We are hesitant to buy it because we are racist, stodgy, not modern enough to recognize the glowing, shiny opportunity.

Tyranny comes, Michael when we treat evil as a trusted friend. And fall for the long con.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Rationality" apparently means different things to different people. To my thinking, it means using logic and reason to determine the validity of statements, which, in turn actually requires that you hear such statements rather than censor them.
To the politically correct, "rationality" is simply another term for "correct thinking," but it's also a means for dismissing countervailent thought without having to engage it seriously. If it's irrational, I don't really have to refute it.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
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14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
“The People's State of Marx ... will not content itself with administering and governing the masses politically, as all governments do today. It will also administer the masses economically, concentrating in the hands of the State the production and division of wealth, the cultivation of land, the establishment and development of factories, the organization and direction of commerce, and finally the application of capital to production by the only banker -- the State. All that will demand an immense knowledge and many heads "overflowing with brains" in this government. It will be the reign of scientific intelligence, the most aristocratic, despotic, arrogant, and elitist of all regimes. There will be a new class, a new hierarchy of real and counterfeit scientists and scholars, and the world will be divided into a minority ruling in the name of knowledge, and an immense ignorant majority. And then, woe unto the mass of ignorant ones!” Michael Bakunin

http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/guides/Z-Social%20Justice-Code%20for%20Communism.htm

14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Once again - scratch a leftist, find a totalitarian. Always.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Reading Michael's essay and many of the blog posts, I am reminded of a time when I thought about going to Law School. I'd been accepted at Columbia law and went to their first "orientation" session. A bunch of button down shirt, holier than thou types came in and proceeded to congratulate us for being amongst the elite, the few, who deserved to and would rule this country and its institutions. They actually called the populace the great unwashed masses and said that they were no better than sheep and deserved less. I was astonished and angered by their arrogance. I decided quickly that if going to law school meant having to put up with such biased narcissistic people, I would do something else and walked out, much to their surprise. Yet Columbia gave Milton Friedman a PhD in Economics and he certainly was no elitist snob and he taught at the University of Chicago, the same school that Brooks attended to get a BA in History. So how is it that Brooks becomes a elitist snob yet Friedman remains a staunch supporter of Democracy and democratic choices? And where did all those elitist snobs I met at Columbia come from?
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
I read that editorial of David Brooks (re-published in the National Post), originally published, of course, in the New York Times. Jaw dropping. Yeah, with Obama as prez, what America needs is more centralized tyranny, as in that wondrous state of Communist China? What is wrong with these people? Has Brooks been hoodwinked by T. Friedman? Just unbelievable...
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Adam Smith said it, "the invisible hand." Isabel Paterson said it more overtly in her book, "The God of the Machine." But why stop there? Horace is credited w/ the plot resolution device, to quote Wikipedia:

"god from the machine"; plural: dei ex machina) is a plot device whereby a seemingly unsolvable problem is suddenly and abruptly resolved by the contrived and unexpected intervention of some new event, character, ability or object.

And that friends, describes free markets and Freedom itself. Through the constant, messy interchange of ideas and actions under a rule of law refined through aeons of human devastation (our Constitution), we arrive at the antithesis of what the elites would subject us to. "Subject," to be understood in all its connotations.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
The making of "subjects" is the only point.

Which is why America's Left and Islam find such compatibility.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
"On the Animal Farm," wrote George Orwell, "all Animals are equal, but some Animals are more equal than others."
I have no doubt this observation is easily applied to Marcuse's folly of "rule-by-right-thinking-intellectuals" and his many modern-day disciples.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
What's "a social mobility agenda"?
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
The left is reeking with fear over losing control in November and in 2016 and they’re desperately trying to energize themselves. Maybe they realize that their slow motion coup hasn’t worked out too well and they have decided to go for the putsch version of government overthrow. Seriously, it’s hard to take these people seriously, but if you’re not paying attention they’ll give you an Obama and expect to be thanked for it.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have been to Singapore and China.

I am so happy that David Brooks may be doing a one factor analysis of a multifactorial problem. First, is China really doing all that good? After the low hanging fruit is picked with all the technology transfer and foreign capital investment will growth be 2% or more? if china was so sure of the robustness of its' system then why are they taking the South China Sea? Do they actually need to own the oil? Cannot they import the oil from foreign countries and use it as energy or as a raw material to make it into an end product and make profit from the value added? They seem very insecure about their economy. they have to attack and bully Vietnam, The Phillipines and Malaysia rather than buying oil form them.

Singapore is a postage stamp country. Lee Kew might be running it well. but could he use the the same methods to rule a large country well. or could his successor? Did David Brooks take into account the size of the country and its' interaction with 'ruling method'? I doubt that Mr brooks has taken a design of experiments course. Why would he?he is sooooo smart he does not need to.

But if he did, it would rock his world and transform him as it would anyone who learned to think in a new way.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
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