September 23, 2016

"How did the left in the West come to embrace restriction, censorship and the imposition of an orthodoxy at least as tyrannical as the anti-Communist, pro-Christian conformism I grew up with?"

"Liberals have ominously relabeled themselves 'progressives,' forsaking a noun that had its roots in 'liber,' meaning free. To progress is merely to go forward, and you can go forward into a pit. Protecting freedom of speech involves protecting the voices of people with whom you may violently disagree. In my youth, liberals would defend the right of neo-Nazis to march down Main Street. I cannot imagine anyone on the left making that case today."

Writes Lionel Shriver, in a NYT op-ed titled "Will the Left Survive the Millennials?" Obviously, Shriver isn't a millennial himself, since he seems to remember the Skokie case. He remembers it in a distorted fashion, which might suggest that he's quite old and his memory is failing, but he must be younger than I am, because I remember being in law school — I started in 1978— with students who were questioning whether they could support the ACLU anymore because it had defended the right of the Nazis to march not just "down Main Street," but through a predominantly Jewish neighborhood (one with many Holocaust survivors).

Now, I'll look up Lionel Shriver. Oh! She — she! — is only 6 years younger than me. She was 20 when the Skokie case came out in 1977. I guess it depends on the meaning of "youth." But how did she come to be named Lionel?
Shriver was born Margaret Ann Shriver on May 18, 1957, in Gastonia, North Carolina, to a deeply religious family (her father is a Presbyterian minister). At age 15, she informally changed her name from Margaret Ann to Lionel because she did not like the name she had been given, and as a tomboy felt that a conventionally male name fitted her better.
Okay with me. I'm a strong supporter of the freedom to be as masculine or feminine as you want while identifying as male or female.

Shriver writes novels, the most famous one seems to be "We Need to Talk About Kevin," and the new one is "The Mandibles: A Family, 2029-2047."

ADDED: After writing this, I saw that I had another Lionel Shriver tab open in my browser: "A Defence of Lionel Shriver: Identity Politicians Would Kill Literature if They Could."
To put it uncharitably, Yassmin Abdel-Magied, a sensitive plant, had a tantrum during the keynote address by Lionel Shriver. Her ire was caused — or triggered, as the kids say — by what is a very conservative notion nowadays: writers of fiction can write about whatever they damn well please.
And here's that keynote address: "I hope the concept of cultural appropriation is a passing fad."
The moral of the sombrero scandals is clear: you’re not supposed to try on other people’s hats. Yet that’s what we’re paid to do, isn’t it? Step into other people’s shoes, and try on their hats....

If Dalton Trumbo had been scared off of describing being trapped in a body with no arms, legs, or face because he was not personally disabled – because he had not been through a World War I maiming himself and therefore had no right to “appropriate” the isolation of a paraplegic – we wouldn’t have the haunting 1938 classic, Johnny Got His Gun.

95 comments:

mccullough said...

Lionel is an old fashioned male name. She should have picked Tom

David said...

Her Indian Name is "Plays with trains."

Birkel said...

Collectivists are always and only about power.

The Wasp said...

"weaponized sensitivity" is a term worth remembering.

robother said...

And yet you insist on referring to her as a "she," Ann. A mistake like that could destroy your academic career nowadays.

dgstock said...

Inflation, soil erosion, cancer. Also progressive.

PB said...

At it's roots in the late 60's, liberals insisted that everyone be open like them. There were sit-ins, riots, bombings. That sort of ideology only hardens with age.

madAsHell said...

Lionel? That's a strange choice.

My daughter had a classmate who insisted that people call her Andromeda. It's almost like you can tell when the train is going to leave the track!!

Sebastian said...

""How did the left in the West come to embrace restriction, censorship and the imposition of an orthodoxy at least as tyrannical as the anti-Communist, pro-Christian conformism I grew up with?"" They always embraced it. They just faked support for basic freedoms as long as it served their tactical interests.

""Liberals have ominously relabeled themselves 'progressives,' forsaking a noun that had its roots in 'liber,'" The liber in twentieth-century liberalism was always a con, a clever rhetorical move to steal the actual liberals' thunder.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

How did the left in the West come to embrace restriction, censorship and the imposition of an orthodoxy at least as tyrannical as the anti-Communist, pro-Christian conformism I grew up with?

They obtained the power to do what they always intended to do.

buwaya puti said...

I wanted to name our daughter Andromeda.
I was informed that this was not to be.

Quaestor said...

[S]he remembers [the Skokie case] in a distorted fashion, which might suggest that he's quite old and his memory is failing...

Distorted how?

Quaestor said...

I wanted to name our daughter Andromeda.

Hurrah for names from classical antiquity! Except Jason. All parents who named their sons Jason should be shackled in the public stocks to be jeered at and pelted with rotting cabbages.

traditionalguy said...

Margaret Ann is a standard issue Presbyterian name, but Lionel is a toy train set. Other than that, she is right.

rhhardin said...

Marching in place is a common form of progress, when it's public.

Feminism has been marching in place for a hundred years.

The march is the thing.

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, I have the same question as Quaestor. The ACLU, wall to wall liberals, supported the right of neo-Nazis to march through Skokie.

And I'm five years older than you.

Birkel said...

Big Mike:

You may have misread the post.

Quaestor said...

Shriver could pronounce her name lee-oh-NEL and eek out a bit of feminine mystique from a name nobody uses except model train weirdos.

Tommy Duncan said...

Enforced orthodoxy is the inevitable result when progressives implement policies that run contrary to self-interested human nature. It has always been so.

Birkel said...

Why does anybody bother with feminine or masculine pronouns? I have been told those are outdated.

Ann Althouse said...

"S]he remembers [the Skokie case] in a distorted fashion, which might suggest that he's quite old and his memory is failing..."

She remembered it as being about marching down "Main Street" instead of through a Jewish neighborhood.

Yes, the ACLU supported the Nazis, as I say in the post.

traditionalguy said...

She sounds like a lot of fun to me. So I down loaded her new book on Audible. The Amazon description made it seem timely and interesting.

Ann Althouse said...

I agree that the books look interesting.

My only (minor) criticism is that the Skokie case wasn't about Main Street.

ngtrains said...

!. Lionel means toy trains - not model trains

1. Oh Pleeze - "6 years younger than me" How about "6 years younger than I" ... am young

Yancey Ward said...

How? Seriously, just look what happens when the Left is in power around the damned world. Suppression of dissent and tyranny are the typical outcomes.

Stoutcat said...

Shriver is the writer whose speech caused such a brouhaha at the Brisbane Writers' Festival a few weeks ago. Her topic was supposed to be "Community and belonging" but once at the podium she announced that her speech would be about "Fiction and identity politics". It made many heads explode, and sent many writers to seek out safe spaces.

It's a barn-burner, well worth reading.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/sep/13/lionel-shrivers-full-speech-i-hope-the-concept-of-cultural-appropriation-is-a-passing-fad

coupe said...

It's a shocking essay. I didn't realize the West was in a death spiral. The only free speech left, is that which can be defended with a gun.

When the black man refused to participate in a roadside police interrogation in Tulsa, they shot his fucking ass and let him bleed out.

You can still see crows landing to lick the blood and then pee around it to mark their territory.

When a policeman says jump, you are supposed to ask "how high?" not just refuse to participate.

I'm just glad I'll be dead soon. The younger worthless Americans can swim in their own shit.

Nigel Tufnel said...

"As the 2016 keynote speaker at the Brisbane Writers' Festival, Shriver gave a controversial speech about cultural appropriation. Shriver posited that all writers are entitled to write from any perspective, race, gender or background that they chose."

That'll get her the stink eye from the left.

bagoh20 said...

This is like asking why all the chickens are gone since the fox moved in.

Curious George said...

"Quaestor said...
Shriver could pronounce her name lee-oh-NEL and eek out a bit of feminine mystique from a name nobody uses except model train weirdos."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nWHoEltGl8

CJinPA said...

This was interesting:

Viewing the world and the self through the prism of advantaged and disadvantaged groups...is an assertion of generational power.

It does seem to be more rabid among the college-aged. I guess watching your friends take over college campuses has an effect.

traditionalguy said...

Shriver may be a rebel, but her thought is still based in her parent's Reformed Calvinist world view that appreciates a realty that includes the Providence of the God who has chosen us to work hard and enjoy real life.

CJinPA said...

Her topic was supposed to be "Community and belonging" but once at the podium she announced that her speech would be about "Fiction and identity politics".

She did say that her topic was approved by the organizers.

Robert Cook said...

Her op-ed is totally right on, (to use a term from our youths). I think her end-of-column reference to "Nazis marching down Main Street" was simply that: a quick reference to the Skokie case, highlighting the basic issue, without including particulars.

Gusty Winds said...

Restriction of free speech to shut down opposition is simply ignorance in understanding history and how its guarantee as a legal right was revolutionary.

Prior to the first amendment, how many people were jailed or executed for not rescinding what they said or for what they believed? I'm pretty sure it diminished charges of sedition.

It's another example of how liberals have failed our educational system with their monopoly. To see it being wiped out at the University level is appalling. It's really anti-intellectual. But you probably wont find many self-appointed intellectual among University staff that will admit it.

And Trump's a fascist. Give me a break.



damikesc said...

If Dalton Trumbo had been scared off of describing being trapped in a body with no arms, legs, or face because he was not personally disabled – because he had not been through a World War I maiming himself and therefore had no right to “appropriate” the isolation of a paraplegic – we wouldn’t have the haunting 1938 classic, Johnny Got His Gun.

If they REALLY opposed "cultural appropriation", they'd never drive cars. They'd never fly in an airplane. They'd never watch TV. Never listen to the radio. I'd say never read books --- but let's be honest, they already don't do that.

White folks started all of that. And we should be tired of them appropriating our stuff.

coupe said...

Back in her youth, female writers couldn't get published. Flannery O'Connor wrote about it. The masculine name getting her a paycheck, while "Mary" only got f'n rejections.

By the way, she died as the civil rights act of 1964 took over, and most of her stories cannot be read in their original form without upsetting the weak minded college kids. Definately can't be in a high school library.

If you can't stand the "n-word" (even though that was common speak in the 50's), then you shouldn't read O'Connor. Nay, the Lord will spite thee...!

When I was a kid before 1964, we used to get these black licorice "n-word babies" two for a penny. After 64, if you asked for a handful of "n-word babies" the store owner would say "you can't say that anymore boy, and you can't say tribe neither..."

Well shit...

Bill Peschel said...

As I remember, the ACLU did support the neo-Nazis, and took a lot of stick from their supporters, who were also supposed to be liberals.

My wife and I read her latest book "The Mandibles: A Family, 2029-2047." America crashes financially and, in essence, descends into Venezuela (it's president, a Latino, issues an order that we go back onto the gold standard and confiscates private ownership of gold).

It sounds depressing, but, trust me (my wife's read a lot of dystop and I have one of my own on the stocks), it's not only very good storytelling, but it's funny, too (two kids in one family are named Goog and Bing). There's an extended family with a daughter who married well and one who didn't, so there's family and money struggles that sounded wayyyyy to familiar.

Martin said...

The answer to the question you lead with is, of course, that the Left (as opposed to classic liberals) have always been about using state power to coerce others. When they say "everything is political," they mean everything is up for us to use political/governmental power to enforce our preferences on everyone. Period.

Frankly, things like McCarthy and the blacklists were NOT government enforced, they were done by individual corporations and organizations for various reasons--genuine concern about Communist infiltration (which was a real thing, exaggerated but not made up out of whole cloth), fear of public condemnation, fear of being embarrassed before a Congressional Committee, but never as a matter of government policy and action with the force of law behind it.

Contrast this with recent actions such as Dept. of Education threats about gendered school bathrooms, where the administrative state is in fact threatening action.

Virgil Hilts said...

When I had L. Tribe in law school in the last 80s and we discussed the Skokie case, it became pretty clear to me that he thought the ACLU was wrong and (presumably) that the German approach - to ban ideas/ideologies that we have collectively determined are insidious and irredeemable - was defensible (I'm not saying he wrote that, I just became convinced he believed it).
I had always thought then (naively) that most really educated people (on both sides) were essentially 1st amendment absolutists. That was my first inkling that some intelligent "liberals" were starting to have second thoughts, and since then the pendulum has been slowly swinging back to the views of the Wilson "progressive era" where we locked people up for expressing the wrong views.

Ambrose said...

People always talk about the Nazis marching in Skokie like it was some incredibly brave act to support their right to march. It was not. While their presence was no doubt deeply offensive to the Jewish (and other) residents, the neo Nazis posed zero risk to liberals' comfortable status quo. Letting a bunch of nuts have a day to be offensive is not courageous.

When protesters ideas pose some risk of actually gaining traction - all of a sudden we hear about hate speech and the need for limits.

Nonapod said...

we wouldn’t have the haunting 1938 classic, Johnny Got His Gun.

Or, more importantly, the Metallica song One!

dustbunny said...

Her book "We Need to Talk About Kevin" is extraordinary. The movie not so much. She uses very unpopular and unconventional positions to define her characters. Almost everyone in the book is unlikeable, a hard trick to pull off while still creating a compulsively readable novel. She has lived in England for years so perhaps the political correctness memos have not affected her so much. She seems to actually have an independent imagination. Also she does not identify as male. I thought it might be a strategy to be taken more seriously as a writer as in George Sand or George Sand.

dustbunny said...

I meant George Eliot

Robert Cook said...

Stoutcat:

Thanks for the link to the author's actual speech. It was wonderful.

cubanbob said...

"To put it uncharitably, Yassmin Abdel-Magied, a sensitive plant, had a tantrum during the keynote address by Lionel Shriver. Her ire was caused — or triggered, as the kids say — by what is a very conservative notion nowadays: writers of fiction can write about whatever they damn well please."

Hate speech is blasphemy. It's all in whatever today's interpretation of dogma is permissible in The Universal Progressive Church. Note that in Australia retrograde confessions such as Islam are now a denomination of the Universal Progressive Church. Going forward requires going backwards.

Robert Fulton said...

Professor Althouse had better get off the subject of free expression right now.

http://twitchy.com/gregp-3534/2016/09/22/now-instapundit-being-investigated-by-utklaw-over-charlotte-riot-tweet/

A conservative witch is about to be hung. To quote the Grand Inquisitor leading the "investigation" of Professor Reynolds: "Professor Reynolds’ comments do not reflect my views and opinions, nor do they reflect the values of the college and university."

The "investigative process" developed by universities to hang males out to dry for interacting with females on campus is about to be applied to Professor Reynolds. Should Professor Althouse mis-speak anything that could be interpreted as any form of support for the conservative Professor Reynolds...

Birkel said...

The Nazis didn't actually march after winning their lawsuit, as I recall.

hawkeyedjb said...

Today the kids would ask "Why were the Republicans marching in Skokie?"

CWJ said...

I'm sympathetic to her main point, but the author is stuck in the sixties mindset with all the ahistoricity of youth that came with it. You'd think she would have learned something over the years.

The quote pulled that forms this post's title captures most of it. Her asking "How?" begs the response, "When has it not?" The original left of the French revolution (surely France counts as West) is the ur example. I recall that the free speech movement of my youth involved as much shouting down as it did free speech. That she considers the America of our youth "tyranical" and enforcing then current social norms to be the result of "conservatives" rather than society generally, shows that she has not given up the us-them age dichotomy of boomers in their youth.

But perhaps I miss her larger tactic. Perhaps she is adopting this stance so as to gain the attention of today's left in order to avoid being dismissed out of hand.

mikee said...


Why bother with a Nazi march when your miniscule, unimportant group of faux-Nazi losers actually won a precedent-setting Supreme Court case, enabling freedom of speech for everyone, even the Jews! Well, see, now, maybe the Nazis realized that what they had accomplished actually made life worse for the Nazis.

damikesc said...

genuine concern about Communist infiltration (which was a real thing, exaggerated but not made up out of whole cloth)

The Venona cables indicate it was more widespread than people thought back in the day. Or how much of a lickspittle bunch of bootlickers the US Communist Party was to Moscow.

She has lived in England for years so perhaps the political correctness memos have not affected her so much.

If anything, the UK is more cravenly PC than the US is.

Birkel said...

No, mikee. The history is more interesting.

Carlton Mills said...

A just legal system would make it impossible for Nazis to parade in a city with a large number of holocaust survivors. One can imagine town fathers/mothers refusing a parade permit saying they wished to avoid imposing anguish on those who had suffered the unspeakable.
The ACLU argues that one must impose the sight of Nazis in parade upon survivors in order to avoid a "slippery slope' to ending freedom of speech. The ACLU may be correct. But, if so, it is a defect in our legal system.
We need to learn, and honor, deference toward local institutions. (Supposedly a bed rock of the Constitution.)

Qwinn said...

The ACLU supported the Nazi march because it would also grant it to Communists (who were still justly despised and considered in a similar category by most). That's it. Now that communists have the upper hand culturally, and have the power to censor, the principles they were feigning to defend are inconvenient and discarded. That was *always* part of the plan.

Muslims behave the same ways when they are a minority vs majority. All fascists in ascendancy do. What's surprising is how often people don't see the bullshit in the minority gambit for what it is.

RichardJohnson said...

If Dalton Trumbo had been scared off of describing being trapped in a body with no arms, legs, or face because he was not personally disabled – because he had not been through a World War I maiming himself and therefore had no right to “appropriate” the isolation of a paraplegic – we wouldn’t have the haunting 1938 classic, Johnny Got His Gun.

I would agree that Dalton Trumbo[Wikipedia] had every right to "appropriate" as he did. However, further examination of Dalton Trumbo's changing political positions and his other writings indicate that there is something that doesn't ring true about that "haunting 1938 classic, Johnny Got His Gun."
Taken at face value, Johnny Got His Gun is a profound anti-war, pacifist statement.

From the Wikipedia article:
Shortly after the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, Trumbo and his publisher decided to suspend reprinting Johnny Got His Gun until the end of the war. During the war, Trumbo received letters from individuals "denouncing Jews" and using Johnny to support their arguments for "an immediate negotiated peace" with Nazi Germany; Trumbo reported these correspondents to the FBI.[17] Trumbo regretted this decision, which he called "foolish". After two FBI agents showed up at his home, he understood that "their interest lay not in the letters but in me".[17]

We thus find out that Dalton Trumbo supported pacifism so long as the Soviet Union was not attacked. The Wikipedia article also informs us that before Germany invaded the Soviet Union on June 22,1941, Trumbo published The Remarkable Andrew, an isolationist novel where Andrew Jackson warned against US involvement in war. Trumbo was thus covering all bases against US involvement in WW2- both a pacifist reason in Johnny Got His Gun and a geopolitical reason in The Remarkable Andrew.

After all, the CPUSA line was then to support the Non-Aggression Pact that Germany and the Soviet Union had signed in August 1939- the pact which gave the green light for the invasion of Poland. [Both Germany AND the Soviet Union invaded Poland.] Before the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, Germany and the Soviet Union were allies, as shown by the partition of Poland. Before the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, Stalin and the CPUSA were against US involvement in WW2, as Germany was then a Soviet ally. After June 22, 1941, the party line changed, and Dalton Trumbo changed his positions accordingly.

Trumbo's stopping publishing of Johnny Got His Gun after June 22, 1941 indicates that Trumbo wrote it to satisfy the party line, and abandoned Johnny Got His Gun after it no longer suited the party line.

Hagar said...

"Liberal" and "progressive" are anti-thetical terms.

Rusty said...

Ann Althouse said...
"S]he remembers [the Skokie case] in a distorted fashion, which might suggest that he's quite old and his memory is failing..."

She remembered it as being about marching down "Main Street" instead of through a Jewish neighborhood.


It's my recollection that it was in a park and not down a street.

Sam L. said...

Because the Left is Marxist and totalitarian.

DougWeber said...

The problem is universal in humanity. When you have been given from whatever source the correct and proper future, all actions are justified against those who impede that end.

The Progressives are, by the very definition of their name, convinced that they know the proper direction of the world. Progress is good and they know Progress. It matter not if the source of one's conviction is Revelations, the Koran, Das Captial, or the opinion of your weekly book group, the truth is clear and the end justifies all means.

John Stuart Mills liberals have the humility to know they are only human and could be wrong. Thus feel comfortable hearing other opinions.

n.n said...

Liberalism is free (i.e. unconstrained) and therefore unprincipled. Progressivism describes a [unqualified] monotonic process. Progressive liberalism is a generational ideology that flows and ebbs selectively, opportunistically. Yesterday's progressive is today's conservative. So, what is American conservatism?

That said, throw a baby on the barbie, the Pro-Choice Church (i.e. organized quasi-religion/morality) is on trial. A reconciliation of moral, natural, and personal imperatives can be avoided, even defeated, temporarily, but is unsustainable without an authoritarian juggernaut. It seems that both sides of the debate progressed in their time, for their own special, peculiar, and self-interests.

Howard said...

The march never took place. it was to be in front of the village hall which is not on main street, so not through a specially Jewish neighborhood, however since 4/7 skookeegans were of the tribe, any street could be a target-rich environment for the proto-neo-nazi's.

EMD said...

"Shriver could pronounce her name lee-oh-NEL and eek out a bit of feminine mystique from a name nobody uses except model train weirdos."

Or the greatest soccer player in the world?

EMD said...

" While their presence was no doubt deeply offensive to the Jewish (and other) residents"

Many of the Skokie residents were holocaust survivors. Deeply offensive wouldn't begin to describe it.

coupe said...

According to the Soviets, they invented the term "progressive" when Marxist-communism was too in-your-face for Americans.

They needed a subversive plan, and a good name that means nothing or is confusing to lower educated people in the English language. i.e., peasants.

n.n said...

Classical progressivism, as classical liberalism before it, meant something, limited. The combination of "progressive" and "liberal" ensured an evolutionary path full of conflation, correctness, and corruption.

tim in vermont said...

"It is important to suppress honest intellectual curiosity. Non-conformists must be shunned." - The Liberal Creed.

buwaya said...

The way around this is to use characters like myself and my family.
The US is, these days, rich in people of very mixed ethnic background.
My own lot is in parts Asian/Hispanic-Mexican and a bit of this and that.
So we can plausibly wear Mexican hats and hoop earrings and Chinese pants, dance flamenco and the jarabe tapatio (well, some of us), and cook noodles of any kind - even Japanese noodles, because, in that case, G.D. it, they owe me.

Its also a matter of the cross-ethnic pass, call it the Anthony Quinn effect. He, a Mexican, got to play nearly anything; so too can such as myself stare down any "appropriation" complainer, no matter what they are.

wildswan said...

Isn't reading cultural appropriation if we think about it the right way? Can I read and imaginatively understand a book written from a different point of view than my own if it isn't possible to imaginatively understand and write about a different point of view? And why would I bother trying?

PS. There is a social scientist called Lionel Tiger. I have not culturally appropriated him at all so there's nothing further I can tell you.

buwaya said...

And Dalton Trumbo was indeed a slimy commie bastard.

buwaya said...

" Can I read and imaginatively understand a book written from a different point of view than my own "

A good point. Most of the global literary and philosophical canon is written from a point of view alien to us moderns. Thats probably why modern educators avoid it. It is their discomfort with the truly alien that sets this business up.

In my day, in our (very) Catholic High School, a very good school indeed in retrospect, we investigated other points of view; we read (selections of) Confucius, the Koran, the Mahabharata, and a great number of other things. We Christian Gentlemen, as the desired product of our school, were expected to understand the world, however alien.

Roughcoat said...

Now largely forgotten is the march by the Nazis, led by George Lincoln Rockwell, through Marquette Park on Chicago's South Side. Many residents of that neighborhood were supportive of Rockwell and his chums. Marquette Park was then a Lithuanian neighborhood, and almost everyone over a certain age was an immigrant born and raised in Lithuania who remembered first-hand the Soviet invasion and occupation of their country and the murderous purges that followed. They hated the Russians and Stalin; still do. A disproportionate number of Lithuanian men served as concentration/death camp guards or were otherwise complicit in the atrocities of the Holocaust, or served in Einsatzgruppen, roving the Polish, Belorussian, Ukrainian countryside murdering Polish guerillas, Russian partisans, and, yes of course, Jews. No doubt at least a few of those once-young men were in Marquette Park watching as the Nazis marched by.

Roughcoat said...

I think some of you may be confusing the Skokie march by the Nazis (which didn't happen) with the Nazis' march through Marquette Park, which did.

Sigivald said...

Liberals have ominously relabeled themselves 'progressives,' forsaking a noun that had its roots in 'liber,' meaning free

Didn't they take "liberal" once "Progressive" tarnished itself with eugenics and the like, now coming back full-circle?

The authoritarian, orthodox, censorial urge was always there, wasn't it?

tcrosse said...

This is Competitive Virtue-Signalling, or Conspicuous Enlightenment. Think of the effort to be Woker Than Thou.
It's time to resurrect Al Capp's SWINE, Students Wildly Indignant about Nearly Everything.

buwaya said...

I have been thinking of a business opportunity -
Online system for issuance of cultural appropriation licenses, by registered and certified members of the appropriate cultural group that has equal or better moral authority to permit whatever.
So sign up for $5 (we will take Paypal) with a properly completed proposal of the cultural element/elements in question - just one application per culture/petitioner, we want to collect our $5's after all - and we will issue a statement of perpetual permission for said use.
Should anyone complain, send them our way, that we may defend your rights through our unimpeachable authority. Our bullshit is as good as anyones, who can say nay.

Stoutcat said...

Wow, six hours into the comments, and still nothing; so I guess it's up to me.

I hate Illinois Nazis.

ALP said...

Dayum - that was such a good article that I had to do a double-take when I saw it was published in the NYT.

virgil xenophon said...

Lionel? I always preferred American Flyer trainsets--higher quality, better made..tho more expensive. There, I've taken MY stand.. :)

Quaestor said...

She remembered it as being about marching down "Main Street" instead of through a Jewish neighborhood.

Actually, The Nazis wanted to parade down Main Street in Skokie, which is a real thoroughfare by that exact name.

As it turned out the wannabe Schutzstafflen paraded in Chicago and not in Skokie, but they did get their day in the sun

tim in vermont said...

" Can I read and imaginatively understand a book written from a different point of view than my own "

It's like Seinfeld, the "show about nothing." Is it really about nothing? If you are working as a busboy in a diner in Arizona, maybe Flo is a show about nothing. If you are a rancher living in Montana, or a farmer in Oklahoma, Seinfeld is about a group of rich (You know Kramer had to have a trust fund, however modest, or he would be living on the street) Manhattanites in an almost alien world with a set of problems that would never occur to you. How they got that defined as nothing, when if they were watching a show abut a collection of characters living in the Louisiana Bayou with the same kind of plots, except they had to do with duck hunting or gator trapping, it wouldn't be about nothing to the Noo Yorkers. It's like Manhattan is the "absolute reference frame" that Einstein said didn't exist.

tim maguire said...

I believe in liberal values. Which is why I despise liberals.

tim maguire said...

Blogger buwaya said...
And Dalton Trumbo was indeed a slimy commie bastard


Sure, but he was also a great writer.

Alex said...

If we survive as a civilization, I wonder if the history texts will record 2016-2026 as "The Great Social Justice Terror".

Mr. Fabulous said...

(World Famous Lurker says)

I entirely agree with Robert Cook @ 10:19am.

Credit where credit is due. I seldom agree with Mr. Cook, except for some basic principles, for example the ones briefly listed in the 1st Amendment - Freedom of the Press, Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Speech, etc. It's when and how these basic principles should be and are put into practice where our differences lie. All of us should spend more time and effort to recognize and celebrate the many basic principles upon which we agree, in addition to discussing(!) our differences. It's OK to "Celebrate our Differences", as long as we prioritize "Celebrate our Common Values".

Jupiter said...

Perhaps we are too hard on our modern Progressives. I would guess most of us would agree that humanity has made some progress, as for example that we feed ourselves by tapping on keyboards, rather than by following quadrupeds strapped to sticks along muddy furrows in the rain. That progress has generally required that ideas received from our ancestors be replaced by new ones, generated by the living. It is perhaps a small step, albeit a fatal one, to conclude that every new idea is superior to every old one, and that reason may be confidently relied upon to guide us forward, while the arrangements made by our predecessors are necessarily based upon errors and may therefore be safely ignored.

Char Char Binks said...

coupe said...
"The only free speech left, is that which can be defended with a gun."

The only free speech since guns were invented could be, and had to be, defended with guns.

"When the black man refused to participate in a roadside police interrogation in Tulsa, they shot his fucking ass and let him bleed out.

You can still see crows landing to lick the blood and then pee around it to mark their territory."

So now Blacks don't have obey the law -- a triumph of Progressivism, of course. What would be wrong with letting the crows eat Crutcher, anyway? Isn't that in accord with Progressive environmental policy?

Bad Lieutenant said...

Char, don't mind coupé, he's a wet-brain.

MrCharlie2 said...

My favorite classical feminine name is Ariadne.

I have known a boat named Ariadne, but never have met a girl by that name.

Terry said...

"How did the left in the West come to embrace restriction, censorship and the imposition of an orthodoxy at least as tyrannical as the anti-Communist, pro-Christian conformism I grew up with?"
Those of us who are old enough to remember the 60s know that the cultural Left in those days was pro-freedom: pro sexual freedom, pro freedom of expression, and pro-drug. Yes, taking drugs was considered a positive attribute. 'reality is for people who can't handle drugs, man.'
What happened is that the Left became controlled, top to bottom, by Left academics and lawyers. They never had any respect for individual freedom. They saw freedom, as usually understood by Americans, to be an essential tool of oppression used by people they detested against people they identified with. This is what created the terrible world we live in today, where 'freedom' is a dirty word, and Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man" might as well be called 'Fanfare for Racist Bigots.'

Joe said...

In part it was the "you can do anything you want and nobody can tell you otherwise" bullshit that started circulating in at least the 70s, but hit massive heights in the 90s and early 00s.

mockturtle said...

The Progs are up against the wall. No, not that wall. The wall of moral credibility. And they know it and are terrified.

Mary E. Glynn said...

Ann,
You do realize that all of Skokie is Jewish? Shriver got her facts right.
(There's no "Jewish neighborhood" in Skokie.) The Nazis marched down main street USA of a predominantly Jewish suburb. That's the point.

Back then, true liberals *aclu jewish liberals* supported the first amendment rights, even if holocaust survivors felt sensitive or offended. Too bad, the law trumps such sensitivities.

Times have changed. Too bad you spent so much time upbraiding her to prove your knowledge, and never attempted to grapple with her point. Your decades in academia at a liberal school might have offered some perspective on her point: did you see that happening around you too, or were the changes so small and subtle over time, the censorship crept up on you as everyone became overwhelmed by sensitivities on campus?

Mary E. Glynn said...

"Can I get some muscle over here?"
~ former communications prof. at Univ. of Missouri during last year's racial riots there.

Char Char Binks said...

Obviously, the most important aspect of the Skokie march is what street it happened on, or whether or not it actually happened on a street, or didn't happen but would have if it had happened, which it did (or didn't).