“….a new consensus has emerged in the press, but perhaps especially at this paper: that truth isn’t a process of collective discovery, but an orthodoxy already known to an enlightened few whose job is to inform everyone else.
“Twitter is not on the masthead of The New York Times. But Twitter has become its ultimate editor. As the ethics and mores of that platform have become those of the paper, the paper itself has increasingly become a kind of performance space. Stories are chosen and told in a way to satisfy the narrowest of audiences, rather than to allow a curious public to read about the world and then draw their own conclusions. I was always taught that journalists were charged with writing the first rough draft of history. Now, history itself is one more ephemeral thing molded to fit the needs of a predetermined narrative.\…”
“Part of me wishes I could say that my experience was unique. But the truth is that intellectual curiosity—let alone risk-taking—is now a liability at The Times. Why edit something challenging to our readers, or write something bold only to go through the numbing process of making it ideologically kosher, when we can assure ourselves of job security (and clicks) by publishing our 4000th op-ed arguing that Donald Trump is a unique danger to the country and the world? And so self-censorship has become the norm.
“All this bodes ill, especially for independent-minded young writers and editors paying close attention to what they’ll have to do to advance in their careers. Rule One: Speak your mind at your own peril. Rule Two: Never risk commissioning a story that goes against the narrative. Rule Three: Never believe an editor or publisher who urges you to go against the grain. Eventually, the publisher will cave to the mob, the editor will get fired or reassigned, and you’ll be hung out to dry.”
“You people … you love our way of life, you love our milk and honey, at least you can pay a couple bucks for a poppy or something like that,” Cherry said. “These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada, these guys paid the biggest price.”
Sportsnet has apologized for hockey commentator Don Cherry’s remarks about what he believes are new immigrants not wearing poppies ahead of Remembrance Day.
Everyone apologizes. His buddy Ron McLean apologized. Everyone was insensitive.
Don Cherry has the same place in Canadian society as the Queen’s late mother had in England: the one authorized truth teller. Don’t back down, Don. Don’t apologize. Even if you are not always right, you express the natural and normal reactions of English Canadians to a lot of contemporary cant and nonsense.
Occasionally I am forced to realize that i live in my own opinion bubble. Or if you prefer, sphere. We organize our lives to stay away from strife, and so we live as much as possible in a place where we have filtered out the unwelcome. I do it, you do it, he does it.
Today’s lesson came from members of the NDP (Canada’s lefter that Left opposition party) objecting to an invitation to Jordan Peterson appearing at a parliamentary committee. The National Post stated:
“The NDP is objecting to an invitation Conservative MPs have extended to psychology professor and author Jordan B. Peterson to testify before the House of Commons justice committee, calling it “irresponsible and morally reprehensible.”
“In a statement released Tuesday, NDP MP Tracey Ramsey said the Conservatives are “dangerously pandering to divisive politics instead of standing up for human rights.”
If I were an NDP member of Parliament, I would enjoy having a set-to with Jordan Peterson. What dismays me is the constant effort not to engage other ideas. As the NDP representative on a CBC television show once said, in respect of a mildly controversial topic, “We shouldn’t even be discussing this”. Wrong – we should.
Everything has been settled, in this view. Only we keep finding that the number of topics that have been settled: gay rights, abortion, global warming, keeps expanding, and the zone of the discussable keeps shrinking, all in the name of “inclusion” and “diversity”. Of course as you will know, inclusion means exclusion, and diversity means uniformity, only the Left does not know that, or if it knows it, will not admit it.
New rules for new days: avoid women in business at all cost. What cannot go on, will not go on. If women can destroy a career with one joke that goes amiss, women will be avoided, first and not hired second.
The same thing happens in sport. Now that people believe sex is a social construction rather than a biological fact, transgendered men are entering competition as women and beating real women. The women contestants who object are taken to pieces for having the wrong attitudes.
The enormous over-valuation of women as such, not individual women, but women by the mere fact of their sex, is one of the most prominent features of our age. It is leading to under-performance of young males, dropping out of education, and deliberate suppression of the employment opportunities for men as such, for the sake of their sex.
If you do not like over-valuation of women, try contempt and under-valuation of men.
Two perspectives on the women thing, one from Janice Fiamengo, the other from Heather McDonald. I cannot saya enough for these women.
And this from Heather McDonald on the me-too thing or as she calls it “delusional victimology”.
These new rules are making women weak, not strong.
We know that “diversity” is just a cover for an anti-male, anti-white and anti-Christian ideology.
David Warren, former journalist, and now inspired blogger, has pissed off more people than me, way more. He is also a brilliant writer and thinker and a staunch Romanist and self-avowed reactionary. I once read a paean of his to Pharaonic rule, where he lauded the fact that there had been absolutely no progress or change in Egypt for three thousand years. Here at Barrelstrength, we hold to views that are more moderate, meliorist, and, dare I say, progressive. The influences of Adam Smith, Edmund Burke, and David Hume fight it out for supremacy here. Barrelstrengthians are ever so slightly better adapted to modernity, and we have, in the main, accepted the legitimacy of the House of Hanover (Windsor) to the British throne, instead of those feckless Stuarts. We have held jobs and not lost them to personal piques and quarrels, nor have we gone over to Rome in despair at the state of the Anglican Church, because once you go to Rome, expecting to at last be received into true religion, you end up in a worse place.
I once heard a Liberal consultant swear he had cancelled his subscription to the Ottawa Citizen three times because of editorials Warren had written when he was there. What more recommendation of Warren can I offer?
The fast answer might be “the same thing that makes Jordan Peterson so controversial”, but that would be inaccurate. Their enemies are far closer to each other than Bannon is to Peterson. What their enemies want in each case is to shut them up, to dislodge them from the public stage, to prevent anyone from hearing their arguments.
Several organizations banded together Tuesday to call for the event, part of the Munk Debates, to be called off in light of last weekend’s deadly attack at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.
They said giving Bannon a platform to express extreme views contributes to a climate of hatred that can encourage violence against marginalized or racialized groups.
“We’re at an important and terrifying moment as we watch right-wing governments come into power all over the world. The hate we are witnessing is serious — in fact, it is deadly,” said Rachel Epstein of the United Jewish People’s Order.
Ignoring the sinister sound of the United Jewish People’s Order for a moment, why do people object to even hearing Steve Bannon?
Let me recite his arguments from memory.
The working class of the United States and elsewhere has been relatively impoverished by policies that have driven factory jobs overseas. This was caused by NAFTA in particular and freer world trade in general.
These job losses have been part of a policy of globalization, by which the working classes of third world economies have been lifted out of poverty.
Free trade has benefited many, but not everyone, and the people left behind happen to be the citizens of fly-over country, west of the Appalachian mountains and east of California.
In addition, lack of adequate immigration controls in the United States have served the interests of rich Republican factory owners and of Democratic organizers, but the flood of illegal immigration has drastically lowered the standard of living of the American working class, white black and brown.
After the economic crash of 2008, a vast lot of people lost the value of their houses, but everyone who owned an asset such as intellectual property or stocks has made out like bandits.
None of the perpetrators of the financial crash has spent a day in jail.
The interest of Bannonite policy is whether you are an American citizen, not what colour or ethnicity you are. US policies should be directed to the benefit of citizens, not sub-groups within the United States. This is not white identity politics, but American identity politics.
This set of policies and concerns may be described as nationalist, backward-looking, reactionary, anti-free trade, misguided, or mistaken. It cannot fairly be described as racist or hate-filled. Nor can it be said to be “extreme”, if words are to have any meaning.
But as I have been saying for some time now, all the Left can say these days is “sexist, racist, fascist, nyah nyah nyah”. Their minds have atrophied to the extent that actually confronting reasoned debate is a challenge they would rather not face. Especially as Bannon, not they, is defending the interests of the working classes. Long ago the Left abandoned the working classes and has sought to get the Supreme Court (in the States and Canada) to do for them what votes could not.
I am worried that well-meaning people who deny the possibility of substantial biological differences among human populations are digging themselves into an indefensible position, one that will not survive the onslaught of science. I am also worried that whatever discoveries are made — and we truly have no idea yet what they will be — will be cited as “scientific proof” that racist prejudices and agendas have been correct all along, and that those well-meaning people will not understand the science well enough to push back against these claims.
This is why it is important, even urgent, that we develop a candid and scientifically up-to-date way of discussing any such differences, instead of sticking our heads in the sand and being caught unprepared when they are found.
Last weekend, a rather seismic op-ed appeared in the New York Times, and it was for a while one of the most popular pieces in the newspaper. It’s by David Reich, a professor of genetics at Harvard, who carefully advanced the case that there are genetic variations between subpopulations of humans, that these are caused, as in every other species, by natural selection, and that some of these variations are not entirely superficial and do indeed overlap with our idea of race. This argument should not be so controversial — every species is subject to these variations — and yet it is. For many on the academic and journalistic left, genetics are deemed largely irrelevant when it comes to humans. Our large brains and the societies we have constructed with them, many argue, swamp almost all genetic influences….
(Vox editor Ezra) Klein cannot seem to hold the following two thoughts in his brain at the same time: that past racism and sexism are foul, disgusting, and have wrought enormous damage and pain and that unavoidable natural differences between races and genders can still exist.
I know this is a touchy, fraught, difficult subject. I completely understand the reluctance to discuss it, and the hideous history of similar ideas in the past. But when people seeking the truth are immediately targeted for abuse and stigma, it matters. When genetics are in a golden age, when neuroscience is maturing as a discipline, and when the truth about these things will emerge soon enough, it matters that we establish a liberalism that is immune to such genetic revelations, that can strive for equality of opportunity, and can affirm the moral and civic equality of every human being on the planet. Liberalism has never promised equality of outcomes, merely equality of rights. It’s a procedural political philosophy rooted in means, not a substantive one justified by achieving certain ends.
That liberalism is integral to our future as a free society — and it should not falsely be made contingent on something that can be empirically disproven. It must allow for the truth of genetics to be embraced, while drawing the firmest of lines against any moral or political abuse of it. When that classical liberalism is tarred as inherently racist because it cannot guarantee equality of outcomes, and when scientific research is under attack for revealing the fuller truth about our world, we are in deep trouble. Because we are robbing liberalism of the knowledge and the moderation it will soon desperately need to defend itself.
Thomas Sowell has spent a life time fighting the unconstrained vision which, crudely, comes down to “I know best and there is no institution that should stand in my way of doing good as I conceive it”. The sincerity and passion with which they hold their view is the guarantor of its truth. “Man is born free, and yet everywhere he is in chains” said Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Only bad institutions make us behave badly. Since man is the creature of social arrangements, if we change the institutions we will change man, for the better. Nothing prevents us from the attainment of this goal except reactionaries, people of ill-will, ignorance, and the forces of evil.
Sowell, on the subject of sincerity in politics:
“People who have the constrained vision will understand that people make mistakes. and so therefore when someone says something the disagree with,…they see no need to question his sincerity, his honesty or whatever. But for those with the unconstrained vision, what they believe seems so obviously true, that of you are standing in the way of it, either you must be incredibly stupid, utterly uninformed, or simply dishonest.” (at minute 24 of the interview)
Hence, in the days when I still watched broadcast television, I saw the three political party reps talking about gay marriage (as I recall). The little faggot from the NDP [there is no more swiftly accurate designator] was insisting “we shouldn’t even be debating this”. His views exactly typified why normal people find leftists so intolerant.
And that is how it is with everything on the Left. We should not even be debating this, when what they think should not be debated is precisely what should be debated.