July 13, 2015
“SOCIAL JUSTICE” CULTURE: THE ACTUAL STALINIST VERSION: “It’s all here,” Cathy Young writes:
It’s all here: the casual, innocuous remark interpreted as offensive; the demand for confession and repentance; the notion that maintaining one’s innocence or trying to minimize the “offense” compounds guilt; the escalating, absurdly ballooning accusations in which everything the accused says or does is taken as further proof of guilt; the pressure on members of the community to join the mob to demonstrate their own allegiance to the One True Ideology; the lack of human sympathy elevated to a virtue; the notion that proper “humanism” is not manifested in compassion but in “relentless war on all manifestations of hostile ideas.”
There’s just one twist:
The other day, I was re-reading Pretender to the Throne, the second book in the Ivan Chonkin trilogy by Vladimir Voinovich (the brilliant Russian writer I interviewed recently for The Daily Beast) and was particularly struck by one scene that I thought bore an uncanny resemblance to the online gang-ups on accused transgressors against political correctness that have become a common feature of the “social justice” community. The tragicomic scene, which takes place in a provincial Soviet town in the fall of 1941, shows a meeting of the district Communist Party committee which holds hearings on several cases of alleged violations of the Party code of conduct.
The Frankfurt School and its ilk have done a remarkable job in importing the Party Communist to American universities in the form of Political Correctness. Or as Theodore Dalrymple wrote last year, thanks to “Herbert Marcuse’s Revenge,” “Thus are created what one might call microclimates of totalitarianism in which people live in fear: fear of losing their jobs, fear of social ostracism for having said or even thought the wrong thing.”