The Left Can't Win Against a Contagion of Free Thought
All of us have internalized the image of the leper with his rags and his bell, going into town and shouting “Unclean, unclean” so that all may
flea flee and not catch his contagion. ["Flea" and contagion made sense to me at the time. — Ed.]
Recently the left has been behaving as though they have to serve as a bell for everything they don’t agree with.
Make no mistake, they always wanted to silence us. Their support for the First Amendment is no stronger than their “support” for the second. In fact, pretty much anything that can allow the individual to resist the will of the mob is a sin and a disgrace in their circles. This combined with their admiration of mass butchers like Che and Mao paints a rather unsavory picture.
But as much as they wanted to silence us in the past — and did — they had the power to do it without revealing themselves and without being too obvious.
Want to prevent someone from ever being published or from being published again, because you found they’re the wrong political color? Hey, you have control. A negligent wave of the hand and the nuisance is gone. The same with a professor who speaks out of turn, a musician who makes lyrics you don’t like, a news reporter who brings in unpalatable truths. You just don’t allow them access to the media, and it all goes away. Heck, even if the person defying the leftist narrative is a newsmaker, the news can more or less ignore them, and then no one knows and they will go away. Remember how Romney in 2012 was put inside a “cone of silence” so even though he was campaigning every day, sometimes to huge crowds, no one heard about it? (Yes, I know. Romney was not ideal. He was still better than Obama from our perspective and therefore, of course, worse from the left’s.)
This used to be the world the left lived in. When I was young I studied how countries were invaded, and the left behaved like an invading force for 100 years. They took the media, all communications (including those informal communications we think of as entertainment), the schools, and the government offices. And it’s all very well to say conservatives should have fought back, but conservatives were hampered by a sense of “fairness” or what I often hear as “He’s a communist/political idiot, but he’s a great worker/writer/programmer.” The left gave no such quarter. If you were not of their political color, they cheerfully refused to hire you/reviled you/started rumors against you. Because leftism was the only real virtue they recognized and anti-Marxism the only sin, they knew you were bad people, and it would be bad to hire you.
The mathematicians out there can calculate the effect of this differential hiring, but let me tell you, it doesn’t take long to replace everyone in a critical position in a company.
And they did. And then they sat down and enjoyed the fruits of their work. A conservative or even a libertarian simply couldn’t reach the public.
Those of us who are old internet hands know we expected the Internet effect to overtake politics in the early 2000s. We overestimated our strength. But it did have a significant — you could say — effect in 2016. And the media’s attempt to Nixon Trump are being as unsuccessful as their attempts to canonize Obama or convince us that Michelle Obama is “beautiful” and a fashion leader. Not much at all, in other words.
Meanwhile, in fields that were securely in their grasp new technology, like ebooks and blogs, is hitting like a hammer and shattering their control. Not just their control over what the public sees, but their control over the members of their field who were keeping quiet in order to keep a job.
I know this best of all from a fiction writer's perspective of course. But I have journalist friends, and even professor friends who tell me the same is either happening or starting to look like it might happen in their fields and particular spheres.
And they don’t know what to do. They’ve got nothing except stomping their little feet and screaming for us to shut up. Or, of course, banning us from conventions (which honestly hurts them more than it hurts us) or spreading fantastic rumors of sexual depravity (they don’t approve of those goings-on on the right, you know?) or racism or other hate-y hatred from us. But even those rumors don’t get very far, and then they don’t know what to do.
They can’t shut us. The rumors and calling us names are the things they do in an attempt to prevent us from talking/publishing and people from seeing our opinions. That’s how persuasive they think we are. It’s like we’re lepers, a disease for which there was no cure and which killed you in a horrible way -- and they’re trying to keep people from being infected by us. (This explains the arms dislocated by self-back-patting over getting Larry disinvited.)
Of course, the “disease” we spread is sanity, so much needed at this point in time if the West is to survive.
But this is all they have and all they can do to prevent our voices being heard. Take this special snowflake commenting at a lefty blog for my field called File 770 (don’t worry about it, most of the guy’s hits are “bought” Chinese robots. But hey, he does have something like 50 Hugos, give or take. So this is how you know he’s far more important than Heinlein, who never won that many, right?) I don’t go there, but some of my fans do sometimes, in the same spirit people used to go to lunatic asylums and make fun of the inmates. And sometimes something surfaces that makes everything crystal clear.
So this special commenter on his site said this:
What comes through for me in that comment is that after three years – THREE YEARS – plus of calling me and my friends racist, sexist and homophobic (for having the temerity of wanting stories that don’t preach at us), he admits that they don’t know if any of us are racist, sexist or homophobic. But they “warned” us that going against the prevailing ethos of the publishers and editors would “damage their careers.” (And yet, we persisted.) How does it damage our careers to disagree about awards? And why does he bring up racist, sexist, homophobic?
Well, because the left, like that special flake, spread those rumors about us. Because we should know that questioning received wisdom means we're going to get called vile things. While they knew, as a matter of fact, as he admits, that they weren’t true about some of us, and might not be true about any of us. (Though he “thinks” so "in his personal opinion," Quick doff your hats and genuflect, because how can you doubt the wisdom of crazy left snowflake?)
You know what I hear? “How stupid of them to make us tell lies about them.” That is, what I hear is: “You made me hit you.”
They can’t understand that with the wide open world of indie, we simply don’t care anymore. We will continue talking back. And they don’t know what to even do about that. Hence the threats. (Guess I should #metoo here.)
Then there’s the European contingent. Frau Butthurt (hey, it’s the most appropriate name for her) thinks we’re basically the very far right of Europe and just hiding it. So our careers are over.
This is Frau Cora Buhlert, who apparently thinks we were all holding our breaths and DYING, just dying for a European perspective, particularly a German perspective.
As someone who left Europe and shook the dust from my sandals, and whose country of origin or of adoption never belonged to a culture that put six million of its citizens in ovens for having the wrong ethnicity (and more for other, just as trivial reasons), I want to point out to her, that no, we don't actually give the clippings of our little toenails for the "European" much less the German "perspective." From where I stand they're going to hell in a hand-basket and better not count on my sons and grandsons to come save them.
Dear Lord. I have European relatives. Explaining to them that libertarian doesn’t mean “defending the religious faith” is bad enough, and I don’t think they have any clue what our parties really stand for.
Frau Butthurt, who has let slip things that seem to indicate her dad was a commissar under the DDR, doesn’t even realize that all European parties — every one of them — fit under “Democrat” here, depending on how traditionalist/religious the Democrat is.
She’s opening her big maw, sure that everyone not a Marxist MUST be a secret racist. Obviously, her good little commie education failed to explain the rampant racial discrimination in the USSR and also in the DDR for that matter (though they had less to discriminate against).
And frankly, comparing libertarians or even American conservatives to the far right in Europe is just betraying her ignorance.
But she is ignorant. And unfortunately so are all our lefties. They run ahead of us screaming “Unclean, unclean” not because we think they’re horrible people (as the idiot above admitted, they don’t actually know much about us, one way or another) but because they think we have better ideas, and that our ideas will spread like wildfire.
What’s really sad is that they don’t realize that it’s their ideology that’s a disease whose result is always death, of institutions, of industries, of countries. They are the ones who are lepers. Trying to prevent people from spreading the cure.
We're far more effective than they are, and the cure is going out every which way, while they concentrate in a tiny piece at a time.
They don't even realize that the battle is lost. We don't need them. And we don't really care what they think of us except for pointing and laughing.
They are the plague, destroying love of humanity, of country, of family, of self.
And we have the vaccine.
They scream impotently against us, but they can't stop our ideas from getting through.
I'm not even a little bit sorry for them.