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Old-Fashioned Liberals Finally Speak Out Against Cancel Culture
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Thomas Chatterton Williams, a sensible young part-black man of letters, has organized an open letter in Harper’s by old-fashioned center-left liberals against cancel culture.

A Letter on Justice and Open Debate
July 7, 2020

The below letter will be appearing in the Letters section of the magazine’s October issue. We welcome responses at [email protected]

Our cultural institutions are facing a moment of trial. Powerful protests for racial and social justice are leading to overdue demands for police reform, along with wider calls for greater equality and inclusion across our society, not least in higher education, journalism, philanthropy, and the arts. But this needed reckoning has also intensified a new set of moral attitudes and political commitments that tend to weaken our norms of open debate and toleration of differences in favor of ideological conformity. As we applaud the first development, we also raise our voices against the second. The forces of illiberalism are gaining strength throughout the world and have a powerful ally in Donald Trump, who represents a real threat to democracy. But resistance must not be allowed to harden into its own brand of dogma or coercion—which right-wing demagogues are already exploiting. The democratic inclusion we want can be achieved only if we speak out against the intolerant climate that has set in on all sides.

The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted. While we have come to expect this on the radical right, censoriousness is also spreading more widely in our culture: an intolerance of opposing views, a vogue for public shaming and ostracism, and the tendency to dissolve complex policy issues in a blinding moral certainty. We uphold the value of robust and even caustic counter-speech from all quarters. But it is now all too common to hear calls for swift and severe retribution in response to perceived transgressions of speech and thought. More troubling still, institutional leaders, in a spirit of panicked damage control, are delivering hasty and disproportionate punishments instead of considered reforms. Editors are fired for running controversial pieces; books are withdrawn for alleged inauthenticity; journalists are barred from writing on certain topics; professors are investigated for quoting works of literature in class; a researcher is fired for circulating a peer-reviewed academic study; and the heads of organizations are ousted for what are sometimes just clumsy mistakes. Whatever the arguments around each particular incident, the result has been to steadily narrow the boundaries of what can be said without the threat of reprisal. We are already paying the price in greater risk aversion among writers, artists, and journalists who fear for their livelihoods if they depart from the consensus, or even lack sufficient zeal in agreement.

This stifling atmosphere will ultimately harm the most vital causes of our time. The restriction of debate, whether by a repressive government or an intolerant society, invariably hurts those who lack power and makes everyone less capable of democratic participation. The way to defeat bad ideas is by exposure, argument, and persuasion, not by trying to silence or wish them away. We refuse any false choice between justice and freedom, which cannot exist without each other. As writers we need a culture that leaves us room for experimentation, risk taking, and even mistakes. We need to preserve the possibility of good-faith disagreement without dire professional consequences. If we won’t defend the very thing on which our work depends, we shouldn’t expect the public or the state to defend it for us.

Elliot Ackerman
Saladin Ambar, Rutgers University
Martin Amis
Anne Applebaum
Marie Arana, author
Margaret Atwood
John Banville
Mia Bay, historian
Louis Begley, writer
Roger Berkowitz, Bard College
Paul Berman, writer
Sheri Berman, Barnard College
Reginald Dwayne Betts, poet
Neil Blair, agent
David W. Blight, Yale University
Jennifer Finney Boylan, author – RETRACTED
David Bromwich
David Brooks, columnist
Ian Buruma, Bard College
Lea Carpenter
Noam Chomsky, MIT (emeritus)
Nicholas A. Christakis, Yale University
Roger Cohen, writer
Ambassador Frances D. Cook, ret.
Drucilla Cornell, Founder, uBuntu Project
Kamel Daoud
Meghan Daum, writer
Gerald Early, Washington University-St. Louis
Jeffrey Eugenides, writer
Dexter Filkins
Federico Finchelstein, The New School
Caitlin Flanagan
Richard T. Ford, Stanford Law School
Kmele Foster
David Frum, journalist
Francis Fukuyama, Stanford University
Atul Gawande, Harvard University
Todd Gitlin, Columbia University
Kim Ghattas
Malcolm Gladwell
Michelle Goldberg, columnist
Rebecca Goldstein, writer
Anthony Grafton, Princeton University
David Greenberg, Rutgers University
Linda Greenhouse
Rinne B. Groff, playwright
Sarah Haider, activist
Jonathan Haidt, NYU-Stern
Roya Hakakian, writer
Shadi Hamid, Brookings Institution
Jeet Heer, The Nation
Katie Herzog, podcast host
Susannah Heschel, Dartmouth College
Adam Hochschild, author
Arlie Russell Hochschild, author
Eva Hoffman, writer
Coleman Hughes, writer/Manhattan Institute
Hussein Ibish, Arab Gulf States Institute
Michael Ignatieff
Zaid Jilani, journalist
Bill T. Jones, New York Live Arts
Wendy Kaminer, writer
Matthew Karp, Princeton University
Garry Kasparov, Renew Democracy Initiative
Daniel Kehlmann, writer
Randall Kennedy
Khaled Khalifa, writer
Parag Khanna, author
Laura Kipnis, Northwestern University
Frances Kissling, Center for Health, Ethics, Social Policy
Enrique Krauze, historian
Anthony Kronman, Yale University
Joy Ladin, Yeshiva University
Nicholas Lemann, Columbia University
Mark Lilla, Columbia University
Susie Linfield, New York University
Damon Linker, writer
Dahlia Lithwick, Slate
Steven Lukes, New York University
John R. MacArthur, publisher, writer
Susan Madrak, writer
Phoebe Maltz Bovy, writer
Greil Marcus
Wynton Marsalis, Jazz at Lincoln Center
Kati Marton, author
Debra Mashek, scholar
Deirdre McCloskey, University of Illinois at Chicago
John McWhorter, Columbia University
Uday Mehta, City University of New York
Andrew Moravcsik, Princeton University
Yascha Mounk, Persuasion
Samuel Moyn, Yale University
Meera Nanda, writer and teacher
Cary Nelson, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Olivia Nuzzi, New York Magazine
Mark Oppenheimer, Yale University
Dael Orlandersmith, writer/performer
George Packer
Nell Irvin Painter, Princeton University (emerita)
Greg Pardlo, Rutgers University – Camden
Orlando Patterson, Harvard University
Steven Pinker, Harvard University
Letty Cottin Pogrebin
Katha Pollitt, writer
Claire Bond Potter, The New School
Taufiq Rahim, New America Foundation
Zia Haider Rahman, writer
Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen, University of Wisconsin
Jonathan Rauch, Brookings Institution/The Atlantic
Neil Roberts, political theorist
Melvin Rogers, Brown University
Kat Rosenfield, writer
Loretta J. Ross, Smith College
J.K. Rowling
Salman Rushdie, New York University
Karim Sadjadpour, Carnegie Endowment
Daryl Michael Scott, Howard University
Diana Senechal, teacher and writer
Jennifer Senior, columnist
Judith Shulevitz, writer
Jesse Singal, journalist
Anne-Marie Slaughter
Andrew Solomon, writer
Deborah Solomon, critic and biographer
Allison Stanger, Middlebury College
Paul Starr, American Prospect/Princeton University
Wendell Steavenson, writer
Gloria Steinem, writer and activist
Nadine Strossen, New York Law School
Ronald S. Sullivan Jr., Harvard Law School
Kian Tajbakhsh, Columbia University
Zephyr Teachout, Fordham University
Cynthia Tucker, University of South Alabama
Adaner Usmani, Harvard University
Chloe Valdary
Lucía Martínez Valdivia, Reed College
Helen Vendler, Harvard University
Judy B. Walzer
Michael Walzer
Eric K. Washington, historian
Caroline Weber, historian
Randi Weingarten, American Federation of Teachers
Bari Weiss
Sean Wilentz, Princeton University
Garry Wills
Thomas Chatterton Williams, writer
Robert F. Worth, journalist and author
Molly Worthen, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Matthew Yglesias
Emily Yoffe, journalist
Cathy Young, journalist
Fareed Zakaria

Intellectuals not on the list of signatories who are actual victims of cancellation and/or physical assault include Charles Murray, James D. Watson, Larry Summers, Gregg Easterbrook, J. Michael Bailey, Jason Richwine, James Damore, Steve Hsu, Amy Wax, and Heather Mac Donald.

Allison Stanger, who was beat up by the Woke ski bum mob at Middlebury, while trying to have a dialogue with Murray, is on the list, however.

It would be interesting to know who was invited but didn’t sign and who would have signed but wasn’t invited.

Names I don’t see include Camille Paglia, Andrew Sullivan, Paul Graham, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Claire Lehmann, Michael Shermer, Sam Harris, Joe Rogan, Alice Dreger, Christina Hoff Somers, Theodore Dalrymple, Scott Alexander, Glenn Greenwald, Julian Assange, David Reich, Nicholas Wade, or Matt Taibi.

Other signatories of note: Matt Yglesias but not his friend/boss Ezra Klein.

The inclusion of J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, who has expressed doubts about the dogmas of the transgender uber alles movement, seems to be attracting the most hatred from the Woke.

Lomez goes on:

The mistake is two-fold: first it is to placate the would-be censors by conceding the substantive grounds of the debate, in this case by affirming the political project of the censors; then second to say BUT we still need free speech to convince the knuckle draggers we’re right
Lomez
@L0m3z
·
7h
The problem is that once you concede the substantive ground—once you say that the Woke scolds are right on the underlying political goals—it’s just then an empirical question of whether free speech or hard censorship achieves those goals more effectively…
Lomez
@L0m3z
·
7h
The mealy-mouthed centrists here want to insist that “sunlight is the best disinfectant” but there is absolutely no reason to believe that is true. The fact is, hard censorship works extremely well to induce political outcomes in your favor. That’s why powerful groups use it.
Lomez
@L0m3z
·
7h
And anyway that’s not the point of free speech.

What they should be saying is that free speech is good because the woke scolds might be wrong. We might be wrong. We might be errant in our political judgments and moral assumptions and we need dissenting speech as a corrective
Lomez
@L0m3z
·
6h
There are other reasons to support free speech—it’s easy enough to make the argument that in the service of personal liberty it is a good unto itself that ought not be stifled in principle. That’s an even better argument…
Lomez
@L0m3z
·
6h
But at least as a utilitarian matter, free speech merely as a tool of persuasion, especially in the context of conceding the merits of the debate to whomever controls the mic, is a lame argument and a sure loser.

 
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  1. Ben Kurtz says:

    Noam Chomsky is “center-left” these days?!?

    I’ve always known that he was a Secret Republican!

    • Replies: @Kronos
    , @Neoconned
    , @Pop Warner
  2. Ron Unz says:

    Well, I think there are some unfortunate trend-lines to consider…

    Back twenty-odd years ago, only an extreme political fringe endorsed Gay Marriage. Even ten years ago, Obama and most of the top Democrats opposed it, and the statewide initiatives to block it always won, with the MSM ridiculing these as totally unnecessary. But then the courts discovered that a right to Gay Marriage had been part of the US Constitution for over 200 years without anyone ever noticing, and bakers who refuse to produce Gay Marriage wedding cakes can be sued or even prosecuted. A couple of years ago, the CEO of Mozilla was purged after it was discovered that years earlier he’d made a small donation to California’s successful initiative against Gay Marriage.

    Back twenty-odd years ago, conservative pundits totally ridiculed the notion of putting Harriett Tubman on our currency as the most absurd sort of leftwing lunacy. But a few years ago, most of the Republicans in Congress voted for it, and she’s now scheduled to replace President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. These days, any vocal public opponent would probably be purged.

    Back twenty-odd years ago, only the most extreme radical fringe denounced statues of Christopher Columbus or cultural emblems of the Confederate flag, and no one had ever heard of Juneteenth. But just a few days ago, leading conservative Republican senators were backing a drive to replace Columbus Day with Juneteenth, and they have also supported removal of nearly all traces of the Confederate flag as well as Confederate statues. These days, any public supporters of Confederate flags or monuments would probably be purged.

    As most of you know, the NYT Editorial Page Editor was purged a few weeks ago for being insufficiently hostile to Donald Trump, and just yesterday the leading NYT op-ed called for the destruction of the Jefferson Memorial and its replacement by huge statue of a black woman:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/06/opinion/thomas-jefferson-memorial-truscott.html

    Charles Blow, another regular columnist, has been repeatedly demanding that all monuments to George Washington suffer the same fate as those of the Confederates:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/28/opinion/george-washington-confederate-statues.html

    Will these trends continue? Probably not. But if they do, there seems a very real possibility that America’s Founding Fathers may soon follow their Confederate counterparts onto the scrap heap. Indeed, one can imagine that anyone still publicly praising Washington or Jefferson will risk being purged, or perhaps even prosecuted for committing “hate crimes.” This is hardly less insane than some of those previous examples.

    I’ve never paid any attention to the Black Helicopter/NWO nonsense of the 1990s, but I have to admit that some of their most outlandish predictions may now be close to coming true.

    Meanwhile, the Chinese called it right a couple of years ago, when they joked on Social Media that America was undergoing its own Cultural Revolution:

  3. The forces of illiberalism are gaining strength throughout the world and have a powerful ally in Donald Trump, who represents a real threat to democracy.

    How exactly?

    Has he cancelled the upcoming election?

    Any primaries?

    Local elections? Referendums? Any voting of any kind for anything? Any evidence his secret police or goon squads have intimidated opposition voters?

    Has he banned any political parties or had the leaders of opposition parties thrown in jail?

    Any newspapers or webzines shut down?

    CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, been yanked off the air?

    PBS defunded?

    You get the idea.

    The sentiment behind the letter is nice, but it’s hard for me to take it seriously when they throw in this crude, unsubstantiated, leftist pod people talk.

    • Replies: @BobC
  4. Jorge Videla [AKA "Globočnik"] says:

    yet steve still whores for capital.

    still snobs.

    sad!

    maximizing GDP/GDP per capita PPP/economic efficiency/etc. = gas chambers and vernichtung durch arbeit for real…not for pretend…not for propaganda…not for zion…

    FOR REAL!

    steve still believes professional wrestling is real.

    sad!

    [MORE]

    • Replies: @Grahamsno(G64)
  5. L. Guapo says:

    I was pleasantly surprised by the number of chosen on that list.

    • Agree: AKAHorace
  6. Re: non-signatories, don’t forget Jason Richwine, Steve. One of the earliest names to be cancelled (and by a Conservative foundation, no less).

    Malcolm Gladwell, however, is a signatory. How about that.

    The median age for signatories appear to be late 50’s, while very few names are under 40. Let one make of that what one will. (e.g. the younger generations weren’t gonna sign and go along with traditional views on Free Speech, Free Thought, Free Personal Opinions, etc.). It does look better if a significant portion of the signatories are in their twenties and thirties, because after all, of who will control the future’s megaphone, as well as The Narrative.

  7. Oh boy! The Really Smart People are finally speaking out for free speech!

    Cuz that’s how the world works, it’s all top down from the RSP and the rest of the population just obeys.

    If anybody really cared about free speech, they would be focused on White populism. That’s the only force that can secure it.

  8. Michael S says:

    This whole thing just screams “controlled oppo”. Someone is trying to be the new Bill Buckley.

    “We all agree that this is where we need to go” (no we don’t) “but trust us, we’re out there protecting your interests” (no you aren’t).

    Aside from a tiny handful of names, almost all of these are people I’d be quite happy to see cancelled. The most charitable interpretation of this letter is that it is the leftists who, realizing that all of their Nazi enemies have been swept away, are realizing that the Revolution does not stop at its enemies and that they are next.

    What goes around comes around.

    • Disagree: AKAHorace
    • Thanks: Anonymousse
    • Replies: @Kronos
    , @AnotherDad
    , @Russ
  9. I think there are a lot of people who were probably just not invited. Where is anyone from the Less Wrong community or Gad Saad, for example?

  10. Mr. Blank says:

    I must have missed where Gregg Easterbrook had gotten canceled (to be fair, it’s easy for names to get lost in the shuffle). Still, it doesn’t surprise me, since he’s one of those lefties who seems like he’d be fun and interesting to talk to, even if you disagreed with him. So presumably he’s now Evil.

    • Replies: @Unladen Swallow
  11. anon[147] • Disclaimer says:
    @Ron Unz

    A couple of years ago, the CEO of Mozilla was purged after it was discovered that years earlier he’d made a small donation to California’s successful initiative against Gay Marriage.

    Defenestrated in 2014 for donating in 2008 to Prop. 8. which was successful at the ballot box, then overturned by a Bay Area gay judge who subsequently retired from the bench. That’s how politics is done by liberal minded people now, autocratically.

    PS: This comment posted via Brave.

  12. Thomas says:

    It’s no surprise that it was the insane “transgender” cult that took the lead on objecting to this anodyne and rather mealy-mouthed defense of free speech. Trannies continue to be the vanguard of leftist revolution. Dedication to obvious and blatant lies, such as that men are really women and women are really men, can only abide if the ability to independently find and speak the truth, rather than the diktats of the Party, is forbidden. That’s why “transgenderism” is so prominent, because its radicalism demands the acceptance and repetition of approved lies, even in the pronouns we must use, and accustoms everyone to that habit.

  13. jon says:

    Jennifer Finney Boylan, author

    And … she’s out.

    Trans writer Jennifer Finney Boylan distances herself from free speech letter she signed calling out cancel culture after realizing JK Rowling had also endorsed it

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8503571/Trans-writer-Jennifer-Finney-Boylan-distances-free-speech-letter.html

  14. This really, really should not be interesting, but it actually is kind of fascinating. The passion with which these people speak is invigorating and unnerving. They are at each others’ throats. Seems like a tragedy of sorts.

    David Mamet meets Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility.

    A zoom call of the NYC Community Education Council for Manhattan District 2 completely breaks down when the cultural revolution and the concepts such as white fragility and systematic racism interact with the new Zoom bureaucracy. This district encompasses some of the better public schools in Manhattan and certainly some of the most progressive.

    What a hellscape. People really need to start talking and meeting in person again because social media and zoom meetings are toxic to mental health and collective goodwill. This is the real crisis.

    All of these people are well educated, affluent and incredibly well spoken. How the hell is Robin DiAngelo’s workplace solutions supposed to work in hospital break rooms or on the steel plant floor?

    Is this about workplace reconciliation or an intentional attempt to divide workforces for the benefit of owners?

  15. Anonymous[250] • Disclaimer says:

    I don’t see Mickey Kaus among the signers.

  16. JimDandy says:
    @Ron Unz

    All true. I kept telling myself that there was a “pendulum” that would swing back. I realized eventually that that construct was blinding me.

    There is a movement starting up now to cancel Orwell.

    • Replies: @Ron Unz
  17. I have a fiddle. I will cheer for The Monster as Frankenstein’s castle burns. I don’t care anymore.

  18. @Ron Unz

    Meanwhile, the Chinese called it right a couple of years ago, when they joked on Social Media that America was undergoing its own Cultural Revolution:

    Actually, what’s happened is that, after decades of spreading democracy abroad, America is now experiencing its own Colored Revolution.

    • Agree: Ron Unz
  19. Intellectuals not on the list of signatories include actual victims of cancellation and physical assault, such as Charles Murray, James D. Watson, Larry Summers, Gregg Easterbrook, J. Michael Bailey, Jason Richwine, James Damore, and Heather Mac Donald…

    Names I don’t see include Camille Paglia, Andrew Sullivan, Paul Graham, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Claire Lehmann, Michael Shermer, Sam Harris, Joe Rogan, Alice Dreger, and Christina Hoff Somers.

    They probably shied away from the highly partisan disclaimer.

  20. MEH 0910 says:
    @Thomas


    [MORE]

  21. It’s tempting to react to “The Letter,” with cynicism by saying that those that signed it have finally realized the revolution eats its children and are worried for themselves now.

    However, if someone does the right thing, it’s nitpicking to question motives. Best to support it.

    The acid test will be if / when signatories start to call for the rehabilitation of those already cancelled. And not just the rehabilitation of the NYT opinion editor that got defenestrated, but James Watson, Milo Yiannopoulos and other conservative voices.

  22. Anonymous[183] • Disclaimer says:

    This is what diversity looks like.

    There’s a reason, when Yugoslavia fell apart, the death count in Bosnia’s war was literally over 1000x higher than Slovenia’s war. Bosnia was diverse, Slovenia was monoethnic.

    • Replies: @TTSSYF
    , @Technite78
  23. @Thomas

    From Eric Hoffer:

    It’s disconcerting to realize that businessmen, generals, soldiers, men of action are less corrupted by power than intellectuals… You take a conventional man of action, and he’s satisfied if you obey. But not the intellectual. He doesn’t want you just to obey. He wants you to get down on your knees and praise the one who makes you love what you hate and hate what you love. In other words, whenever the intellectuals are in power, there’s soul-raping going on.

    The overwhelming desire for absolute power will always make them push onward to whatever they know traumatizes us.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  24. @anon

    Bay Area Republican gay judge, Vaughn Walker. Libertarians have done more than Democrats to dismantle the fabric of our society.

    • Disagree: Muggles
    • Replies: @Lurker
  25. @NJ Transit Commuter

    You’re right, plus, there will be many acid tests upcoming. Such as when they topple the statue of Washington that overlooks the NY Stock Exchange.

    • Replies: @International Jew
  26. @Ron Unz

    Back twenty-odd years ago, conservative pundits totally ridiculed the notion of putting Harriett Tubman on our currency as the most absurd sort of leftwing lunacy.

    Or right-wing cynicism. Nobody did more than Mrs Tubman to remove blacks from American soil. Jackson removed Indians to make room for more blacks.

    Plus, his portrait looks like Bette Davis.

    …there seems a very real possibility that America’s Founding Fathers may soon follow their Confederate counterparts onto the scrap heap.

    As Sam Francis pointed out, on frequent occasions, that’s always been the whole point.

  27. Whiskey says: • Website

    All those signers cancelled themselves. Rowling is about to be unpersoned and her books burned by the woke.

    Like I said before this is inevitable. A declining Western economy plus affirmative action means woke purges of anyone higher up to move up. It’s why purged never stopped after Stalin died. Worse here because AA takes up so many slots and foreign Chinese and Indian networks the rest.

    • Replies: @Neoconned
  28. @Clifford Brown

    I’m fairly sure there’s going to be only one thing we can do and it will come at a really high cost:

    “Robin Diangelo people – you go over to these states A, B, C, D and n, and just go on doing your thing.
    “Everyone else – occupy yourselves in other states. One set of norms here, ‘nother set here.”

    If people in the latter set of states start expressing Diangeloisms – everyone around them invites them to emigrate, “there is a place for that: New York”.

    Then the first group – as everyone is hoping out loud right now, will “eat its own”. What folks need to wake up and understand is if you do not physically separate them, and then create even a kind of cyber-virtual shield around everyone else, then they will eat, eat, eat – not just their own but everything. They’ve demonstrated this in Russia, China, N.Korea and most recently writ small in CHAZ.

    Any price we pay for this separation/cordoning off – if we paid $10 trillion borrowed dollars for it – it would be worth it.

  29. George says:

    It be more sincere if they were on the record objecting to the cancelling of David Irving, E Michael Jones, ect. But now they are seeing people like themselves being targeted. Maybe too late?

    • Replies: @Erzberger
  30. @Ron Unz

    Back twenty-odd years ago, conservative pundits totally ridiculed the notion of putting Harriett Tubman on our currency as the most absurd sort of leftwing lunacy. But a few years ago, most of the Republicans in Congress voted for it, and she’s now scheduled to replace President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. These days, any vocal public opponent would probably be purged.

    This would make for an amusing project to spread across the classrooms of America: “Resolved: Does the man that won the Battle of New Orleans in 1815 deserved to be replaced a Black woman?” Discuss.

    Harriet Tubman (born Araminta Ross, c. March 1822[1] – March 10, 1913) was an American abolitionist and political activist. Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made some 13 missions to rescue approximately 70 enslaved people, including family and friends,[2] using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. During the American Civil War, she served as an armed scout and spy for the Union Army.

    When the Civil War began, Tubman worked for the Union Army, first as a cook and nurse, and then as an armed scout and spy. The first woman to lead an armed expedition in the war, she guided the raid at Combahee Ferry, which liberated more than 700 slaves.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harriet_Tubman

    vs.

  31. Deckin says:

    The comments by Lomez are spot on. A Kantian defense of free speech (it’s a matter of simple dignity to allow someone to express their thoughts and an immoral denial of their humanity to frustrate that) is superior to a utilitarian one whereby the end result of allowing free speech is more to the good than denying it. But they’re obviously not exclusive. Both are arguably true.

    To Ron’s point about trajectories, I think that the real target is the Constitution itself. Why allow the products of racists to stand when we’ve de-personed the racists themselves? If that point isn’t clear to everyone now, I don’t know what it would take. The only question is is there anyone on the left who’ll stand up and say enough is enough? Or will it take something much more dramatic? Let’s hope not.

    • Replies: @B36
    , @Justvisiting
  32. @MEH 0910

    “It is apparently impossible to grasp that we are who we say we are.”

    No 💩, Sherlock.

    Todd VanDerWerff (deadname) = Odd, fervent dwarf.

  33. This is only happening because Jews and White women are starting to be targeted for cancellation. It’s a last ditch effort to pretend to be (suddenly) virtuous, when for or any of these individuals would have stood up for Heather MacDonald, would ever stand up for people like Ann Coulter or Michele Malkin.

    And even if this was “accepted” by whomever would be the grand deciding body, full expect these signatories to retreat back to their old ways once they feel protected.

    This is merely about drawing line in the sand just north of one’s own self interest.

  34. Hemid says:

    Names I don’t see include […] Scott Alexander

    The last time I saw him mention freedom of speech he was viciously railing against it.

    Because when (in his metonymic example) Iowan farmers—”small” farmers, of course—are allowed to speak it’s a waste/pollution of our discursive space, which should be reserved solely to (his words) “liberal academics.”

    In a moment of off-med (or on-wrong-med) rage/clarity, he for once told the truth. If it were up to him you’d be gassed.

  35. Anonymous[697] • Disclaimer says:

    Yeah Steve what about Milo Alex Jones Molyneux Roissy Vox Day etc.

    There is a sea of excommunicated supposed thought criminals out there.

    Few if any on The List believe that the supposed thought criminals should have the right to free speech or be reinstated in any way.

    The Letter is incoherent bullshit. Bolsheviks vs Mensheviks.

    • LOL: IHTG
  36. Peterike says:

    Translation. “Our cozy sinecures are in danger! Look, we’re TOTES onboard with everything cancel culture believes in, except for cancelling the really great gigs we’ve managed to get for ourselves. And since we’re mostly 70 and up, we’re really afraid of the ‘Rona and we don’t want to lose our gold-plated health insurance plans. But remember: it’s DONALD TRUMP who poses “a real threat to democracy” (and honestly, some day we’ll get around to explaining just how that is, we swear), and we are SO AGAINST DONALD TRUMP that, like, we HATE that fucking guy, and TOTALLY CANCELLING hateful, hate-filled views that are full of hate is 100% A-OK with us, really, because extreme and total censorship of “hate” is totally NOT a threat to democracy AT ALL, but hey, when you start going after OUR cushy jobs, well it’s time to draw a line.”

  37. Names I don’t see include Camille Paglia, Andrew Sullivan, Paul Graham, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Claire Lehmann, Michael Shermer, Sam Harris, Joe Rogan, Alice Dreger, Christina Hoff Somers, Theodore Dalrymple, Scott Alexander, Greg Greenwald, Julian Assange, David Reich, and Nicholas Wade.

    Assuming you meant Glenn Greenwald.
    Surely he would have signed it if asked.

  38. anonymous[751] • Disclaimer says:

    I assume most people here are aware of this and I’m not suggesting you aren’t but for anyone who doesn’t know Noam Chomsky defended holocaust denial in the 1970s and he got torrents of shit for it.

    He did it for no other reason than he genuinely believes in free speech. He was under no illusions it would make him more popular.

    So he is quite aware of “cancel culture.”

    Unfortunately, his remarks here no longer apply to the Anglosphere:

    Vidal-Naquet offers exactly one reason for finding the petition, and my act of signing it, “scandaleuse”: the petition, he claims, presented Faurisson’s ” ‘conclusions’ comme si elles etaient effectivement des decouvertes [as if they had just been discovered].” Vidal-Naquet’s statement is false. The petition simply stated that Faurisson had presented his “finding,” which is uncontroversial, stating or implying precisely nothing about their value and implying nothing about their validity. Perhaps Vidal-Naquet was misled by faulty understanding of the English wording of the petition; that is, perhaps he misunderstood the English word “findings.” It is, of course, obvious that if I say that someone presented his “findings” I imply nothing whatsoever about their character or validity; the statement is perfectly neutral in this respect. I assume that it was indeed a simple misunderstanding of the text that led Vidal-Naquet to write what he did, in which case he will, of course, publicly withdraw that accusation that I (among others) have done something “scandaleuse” in signing an innocuous civil rights petition of the sort that all of us sign frequently.

    I do not want to discuss individuals. Suppose, then, that some person does indeed find the petition “scandaleuse,” not on the basis of misreading, but because of what it actually says. Let us suppose that this person finds Faurisson’s ideas offensive, even horrendous, and finds his scholarship to be a scandal. Let us suppose further that he is correct in these conclusions — whether he is or not is plainly irrelevant in this context. Then we must conclude that the person in question believes that the petition was “scandaleuse” because Faurisson should indeed be denied the normal rights of self-expression, should be barred from the university, should be subjected to harassment and even violence, etc. Such attitudes are not uncommon. They are typical, for example of American Communists and no doubt their counterparts elsewhere. Among people who have learned something from the 18th century (say, Voltaire) it is a truism, hardly deserving discussion, that the defense of the right of free expression is not restricted to ideas one approves of, and that it is precisely in the case of ideas found most offensive that these rights must be most vigorously defended. Advocacy of the right to express ideas that are generally approved is, quite obviously, a matter of no significance. All of this is well-understood in the United States, which is why there has been nothing like the Faurisson affair here. In France, where a civil libertarian tradition is evidently not well-established and where there have been deep totalitarian strains among the intelligentsia for many years (collaborationism, the great influence of Leninism and its offshoots, the near-lunatic character of the new intellectual right, etc.), matters are apparently quite different.

    For those who are concerned with the state of French intellectual culture, the Faurisson affair is not without interest. Two comparisons immediately come to mind. The first is this. I have frequently signed petitions — indeed, gone to far greater lengths — on behalf of Russian dissidents whose views are absolutely horrendous: advocates of ongoing U.S. savagery in Indochina, or of policies that would lead to nuclear war, or of a religious chauvinism that is reminiscent of the dark ages. No one has ever raised an objection. Should someone have done so, I would regard this with the same contempt as is deserved by the behavior of those who denounce the petition in support of Faurisson’s civil rights, and for exactly the same reason. I do not read the Communist Party press, but I have little doubt that the commissars and apparatchiks have carefully perused these petitions, seeking out phrases that could be maliciously misinterpreted, in an effort to discredit these efforts to prevent the suppression of human rights. In comparison, when I state that irrespective of his views, Faurisson’s civil rights should be guaranteed, this is taken to be “scandaleuse” and a great fuss is made about it in France. The reason for the distinction seems obvious enough. In the case of the Russian dissidents, the state (our states) approves of supporting them, for its own reasons, which have little to do with concern for human rights, needless to say. In the case of Faurisson, however, defense of his civil rights is not officially approved doctrine — far from it — so that segments of the intelligentsia, who are ever eager to line up and march off to the beat of the drums, do not perceive any need to take the stance accepted without question in the case of Soviet dissidents. In France, there may well be other factors: perhaps a lingering guilt about disgraceful behavior of substantial sectors under Vichy, the failure to protest the French wars in Indochina, that lasting impact of Stalinism and more generally Leninist doctrines, the bizarre and dadaistic character of certain streams of intellectual life in postwar France which makes rational discourse appear to be such an odd and unintelligible pastime, the currents of anti-Semitism that have exploded into violence.

    A second comparison also comes to mind. I rarely have much good to say about the mainstream intelligentsia in the United States, who generally resemble their counterparts elsewhere. Still, it is very illuminating to compare the reaction to the Faurisson affair in France and to the same phenomenon here. In the United States, Arthur Butz (whom one might regard as the American Faurisson) has not been subjected to the kind of merciless attack levelled against Faurisson. When the “no holocaust” historians hold a large international meeting in the United States, as they did some months ago, there is nothing like the hysteria that we find in France over the Faurisson affair. When the American Nazi Party calls for a parade in the largely Jewish city of Skokie, Illinois — obviously, pure provocation — the American Civil Liberties Union defends their rights (though of course, the American Communist Party is infuriated). As far as I am aware, much the same is true in England or Australia, countries which, like the United States, have a live civil libertarian tradition. Butz and the rest are sharply criticized and condemned, but without any attack on their civil rights, to my knowledge. There is no need, in these countries, for an innocuous petition such as the one that is found “scandaleuse” in France, and if there were such a petition, it would surely not be attacked outside of limited and insignificant circles. The comparison is, again, illuminating. One should try to understand it. One might argue, perhaps, that Nazism and anti-Semitism are much more threatening in France. I think that this is true, but it is simply a reflection of the same factors that led to the Leninism of substantial sectors of the French intelligentsia for a long period, their contempt for elementary civil libertarian principles today, and their current fanaticism in beating the drums for crusades against the Third World. There are, in short, deep-seated totalitarian strains that emerge in various guises, a matter well worth further consideration, I believe.

    Let me add a final remark about Faurisson’s alleged “anti-Semitism.” Note first that even if Faurisson were to be a rabid anti-Semite and fanatic pro-Nazi — such charges have been presented to me in private correspondence that it would be improper to cite in detail here — this would have no bearing whatsoever on the legitimacy of the defense of his civil rights. On the contrary, it would make it all the more imperative to defend them since, once again, it has been a truism for years, indeed centuries, that it is precisely in the case of horrendous ideas that the right of free expression must be most vigorously defended; it is easy enough to defend free expression for those who require no such defense. Putting this central issue aside, is it true that Faurisson is an anti-Semite or a neo-Nazi? As noted earlier, I do not know his work very well. But from what I have read — largely as a result of the nature of the attacks on him — I find no evidence to support either conclusion. Nor do I find credible evidence in the material that I have read concerning him, either in the public record or in private correspondence. As far as I can determine, he is a relatively apolitical liberal of some sort. In support of the charge of anti-Semitism, I have been informed that Faurisson is remembered by some schoolmates as having expressed anti-Semitic sentiments in the 1940s, and as having written a letter that some interpret as having anti-Semitic implications at the time of the Algerian war. I am a little surprised that serious people should put such charges forth — even in private — as a sufficient basis for castigating someone as a long-time and well-known anti-Semitic. I am aware of nothing in the public record to support such charges. I will not pursue the exercise, but suppose we were to apply similar standards to others, asking, for example, what their attitude was towards the French war in Indochina, or to Stalinism, decades ago. Perhaps no more need be said.

    • Thanks: ic1000
  39. Ron Unz says:
    @JimDandy

    All true. I kept telling myself that there was a “pendulum” that would swing back. I realized eventually that that construct was blinding me.

    Actually, these bizarre developments unfolding in real-time closely relate to some of my own research over the last couple of years. Consider a simple thought-experiment…

    Suppose the trends continue, and those Republican senators succeeded in replacing Columbus Day with Juneteenth. Presumably, after about a decade the younger generation of Americans might have very little idea of who Columbus was. It’s also not difficult to imagine a similar historical purge sending Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln, TR, and Wilson to the trashcan. (Perhaps much of this has already been happening over the last generation of school textbooks.) So the historical reality that all of us have always been taught and implicitly assumed will no longer exist for the next generation.

    If this could so easily happen in the near future, it surely might have also occurred in previous generations, and my extensive historical research suggests that indeed it did. A central conclusion of my American Pravda series has been that a great deal of what most of us have always believed about the last 100 years of American history is entirely upside down and backwards:

    https://www.unz.com/page/american-pravda-series/

  40. did anyone read the whole thing? words when there is a war going in

  41. @jon

    We’re in favor of ‘free speech’ until and unless someone we consider ‘evil’ is in favor of it too.

    From the official site of Monticello:

    Thomas Jefferson wrote that “all men are created equal,” and yet enslaved more than six-hundred people over the course of his life. Although he made some legislative attempts against slavery and at times bemoaned its existence, he also profited directly from the institution of slavery and wrote that he suspected black people to be inferior to white people in his Notes on the State of Virginia.

    Since no one in history is without fault, from our present standpoint, it’s quick work to dismiss anything they said whenever convenient.

    Still, I’m glad Rowling made her billion dollars before she learned this particular lesson. I’ll bet she is too.

    • Replies: @Paul C. Graham
  42. @SimplePseudonymicHandle

    Won’t telecommunications continue to exist after Secession?

  43. @Mr. Blank

    When he worked for ESPN, he wrote a piece about how Jews predominated in Hollywood and you know maybe it wasn’t the best thing for Jewish film producers like, I don’t know, Harvey Weinstein to make films glorifying violence for The New Republic. The Jewish head of Disney ( Who owns ESPN ) lacking any sense of irony or self awareness personally fired him.

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
  44. @Ron Unz

    Even ten years ago, Obama and most of the top Democrats opposed it…

    I know the point here is that gay marriage was unpopular enough that top Democrats had to pretend they opposed it, but I did always wonder: how many people actually believed them? Ditto their denials of atheism, etc. Were there really that many people who were that stupid?

    • Replies: @B36
  45. Mr. Anon says:

    Obviously, those people have some past transgression to hide. Now the cancelers will know upon whom to focus their attention.

  46. Coag says:
    @Ron Unz

    Charles Blow, another regular columnist, has been repeatedly demanding that all monuments to George Washington suffer the same fate as those of the Confederates:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/28/opinion/george-washington-confederate-statues.html

    Will these trends continue? Probably not.

    The trends definitely might continue for a while.

    Mao’s Cultural Revolution lasted a good ten years. We’re only a month into the thing.

    Hang on to your behinds. Things have a distinct capacity for getting weirder and more vicious.

    • Replies: @Neoconned
  47. Anonymous[250] • Disclaimer says:

    We need Ricky Vaughn back.

  48. Oh no, a strongly worded communique! On the one hand this, but on the other hand that!

  49. Mr. Anon says:

    OT: The country band Lady Antebellum changed its name to “Lady A” in sympathy with the Black Lives Matter movement, pushing aside blues singer Anita White, who is black, and who has performed under the name “Lady A” for years.

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/lady-antebellum-name-change-lawsuit-band-sues-singer-anita-white-over-lady-a-name/

    I think that’s called “white privilege”.

    • Agree: Neoconned
    • Replies: @Neuday
    , @Neoconned
  50. @SimplePseudonymicHandle

    >Any price we pay

    What price will you, personally, pay to bring this about?

  51. MBlanc46 says:

    Most of the signatories ought to be sent to the camos.

  52. JimDandy says:
    @Ron Unz

    Mindblowing. I’ve read articles in your truly excellent series that revealed how many important figures have been erased from our history since WWII. I’m really looking forward to reading the rest.

    Not only does democracy (in America) make every man forget his ancestors, but it hides his descendants and separates his contemporaries from him; it throws him back forever upon himself alone and threatens in the end to confine him entirely within the solitude of his own heart.”
    –de Tocqueville

  53. Some thoughts:

    1. “Sunlight is the best disinfectant” doesn’t even work on the rhetorical level. Bleach is a better disinfectant, fire an even better one. If the Nazis had won the war, does anybody think German kids would know who Magnus Hirschfield was? (Something for J.K. Rowling to think about, lol)

    2. I’d say the odds are close to 200% that most of the signatories have participated in some poor bugger’s “cancellation”. I didn’t see any mea culpas in that turgid letter.

    3. Reading between the lines:

    The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted. […] More troubling still, institutional leaders, in a spirit of panicked damage control, are delivering hasty and disproportionate punishments instead of considered reforms.

    By God – what could possibly be more troubling, to this group of inner-party writers, than the constriction of the lifeblood of society? Only that institutional leaders might be hasty and disproportionate in their punishment: don’t you see, boss, I really just deserve a slap on the wrist, not to lose my perch entirely…

    This letter is just those who benefit from their membership of “institutions” trying not to get thrown out of the club. Less panic and haste, more consideration and proportion; reform, not damage control. If they were parliamentarians, they’d be calling for a commission: let’s shunt the whole thing off to some committee, and hopefully that’ll mollify everybody and we can go back to the way things were.

    I don’t know if that’s going to work, though: what these people consider “considered reform” is probably something like the 1619 Project, and that just seemed to accelerate things.

    This is just the old guard burying their heads in the sand and/or hoping that they’ll be eaten last. Gay.

    • Agree: Morton's toes
    • Replies: @Muggles
  54. Ron Unz says:
    @OscarWildeLoveChild

    And even if this was “accepted” by whomever would be the grand deciding body, full expect these signatories to retreat back to their old ways once they feel protected.

    This is merely about drawing line in the sand just north of one’s own self interest

    I’m afraid you’re probably correct about many of them. I noticed the list included David Frum and various other hard-core Neocons, who had organized the media purge of anyone who opposed Bush’s Iraq War. And I think Katha Pollitt had done her best to purge Alex Cockburn from The Nation for being insufficiently “reliable” on some social issues.

    I’m sure Yezhov, the NKVD chief who led Stalin’s Great Purge of the 1930s, would have been eager to sign an anti-purge petition in 1938, when his own time had come.

  55. Kronos says:
    @Michael S

    Any guesses on the average age of the signatories? They’re on their way out and their replacements are coming in hot.

    These older Mensheviks lost their chance to clamp down on the hot headed Cultural Bolsheviks a long time ago. They wanted cultural Marxism without the economic baggage. Many LARP as socialists but favor financial capitalism and secretly accept the inequality of IQ.

    (Probably the reason so many elites favor a “classless society” is that it abolishes any standard duties placed on the nobility and any weight class. The last thing they’d ever want is a “society of orders” that binds them to anything social despite being on top.)

    The signers are too old and politically spent to change the trajectory. They’ll just try to buy time until formal retirement is available.

  56. Ed says:
    @Ron Unz

    I’d add this to the list, currently America’s leading retailers: Target, Wal-Mart and Amazon have all committed to not carrying the Redskins apparel. Sure not the end of the world but not one person of prominence left or right is taking issue with that. Trump has spoken out against the name change of the Redskins, no other prominent conservative has pushed back.

    This is an awesome display of power that should trouble people. Conservatives have been defeated in the realms that count the culture. It didn’t have to be this way.

  57. Anon[898] • Disclaimer says:

    The Salem witch trials are reaching the elite. But in Salem, the elite had the power to shut it down. Our elite won’t do this. We have a laissez-faire society that is not authoritarian, and we have authoritarians trying to take over.

    I can’t see how this ends, frankly, unless we can get law enforcement to shut down protestors for looting, arson, riot, blocking streets and freeways, etc. There are already laws against these things, but they’re not being enforced by elected officials who think it better to appease a small mob.

    That’s all it is: A small mob. The vast majority of people in big cities are not rioting, protesting, or looting.

    We need an extension of our system of arrest that includes deprogramming of radicals. We are failing to instill American ideals in our young and in the foreigners moving here. Our educational system has failed us. You want to learn about Islam? Go to a Mosque or go to an Islamic country. It doesn’t belong in our schools. You want to learn about gays? This doesn’t belong in our schools. Do it at home.

    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard
  58. Alden says:
    @Ron Unz

    I’ve posted this before. I’ve known more than one grad student who believes that the Democrats fought on the union side to free the slaves in the civil war, that Lincoln was a democrat and the confederacy was a republican organization.

  59. It’s a pretty half-assed letter to begin with, or I should say, up through 40% of it, up through:

    While we have come to expect this on the radical right,…

    All that support of BLM and anti-right rhetoric in the beginning may be the only reason many of these people signed this letter. The writer seems only worried that things have gone even too far for the left to not be worried.

    I wouldn’t sign this piece of crap. How about something a little more principled out of these supposed lovers of free speech? Are these people able to read the Federalist Papers, or have the authors already been cancelled?

    • Replies: @anon
  60. Hhsiii says:
    @jon

    I saw that. It’s like yay free speech, whoops, nope.

  61. Alden says:
    @jon

    Is this Jennifer really a man I’m guessing. There’s a HIV medicine ad on TV It’s for men only but can’t say for men only. “ not for persons gender assigned women at birth”

    • Replies: @Tono Bungay
  62. J. Farmer says:

    I chat with a lot of Ever Trumpers, and boy are they a sad lot. They actually think they’re winning. I always considered Trump’s presidency a Hail Mary pass, and I was still surprised at how incompetent he is. Trump may have written The Art of the Deal, but he’s clearly never read it. I’m no fan of Pelosi, but she’s run absolute circles around Trump.

    • Disagree: Joseph Doaks
  63. Alden says:
    @Ed

    Here’s my idea. All football teams should be named the Felons. All basketball teams named the Thugs. Simple.

    And all states counties towns rivers lakes and everything else with an Indian name should be given another name because those Indian names like Ohio Illinois Mississippi Missouri Winnetka Winnemuca Modoc are racist and derogatory.

    To complete separation of church and state all those saints names like San Antonio Los Angeles Santa Cuz Corpus Christi need to be changed to something like Work Camp 212 Sector D.

    • Agree: Hibernian
    • LOL: Dan Hayes
  64. Of the non-Western names, I don’t see too many East Asian names on the list. I do see a striking proportion of Middle-Eastern or Muslim names.

  65. JohnnyD says:

    Ben Shapiro wanted to sign the list, but he failed to meet the height requirement.

  66. anon[307] • Disclaimer says: • Website

    Old-Fashioned Liberals Finally Speak Out Against Cancel Culture

  67. Anonymous[250] • Disclaimer says:
    @Ron Unz

    I’m sure Yezhov, the NKVD chief who led Stalin’s Great Purge of the 1930s, would have been eager to sign an anti-purge petition in 1938, when his own time had come.

    Ron, have you done one of your signature deep dive pieces on the early Cheka?

    • Replies: @Ron Unz
  68. AKAHorace says:
    @Ron Unz

    If this could so easily happen in the near future, it surely might have also occurred in previous generations, and my extensive historical research suggests that indeed it did. A central conclusion of my American Pravda series has been that a great deal of what most of us have always believed about the last 100 years of American history is entirely upside down and backwards:

    Hi Ron Unz,

    You say that America’s “historical reality” has changed. You are a busy man who runs world changing businesses out of Silicon Valley and I am a non-American who values his time browsing sub-reddits that I would prefer not to discuss with you or the readers of your blog. There is a fast way that you could could put a number on this.

    So, 12th grade history students from 1920, 1950 and 2015 write each others final exam questions. How would they do on periods that all three curriculums covered ?

    College history majors from the same years ?

    For both sets of exam takers, would there be more disagreement on recent or earlier events ?

  69. Kronos says:
    @Ben Kurtz

    He seems like a very anti-woke leftist. You do gotta feel bad these old school leftists that have to deal with the woke crowd. Like, what the hell happened?

    https://i0.wp.com/stonetoss.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/karl-marx-lumpenproletariat-comic.png?fit=1024%2C341

    • Replies: @anon
    , @Nico
  70. Boethiuss says:

    This whole drama was struck me as a horrible embarrassment for the Right. Since the coronavirus, the Trump-corrupted Right isn’t even interesting enough to be worth hating any more. Even with, or especially with Trump as President, we are still miles away from being in the mainstream of anything useful.

    We’ve been living in a world of protests and at least some straight-up riots for the better part of a month, and somewhere in America you would think there would be some demographic who supports law and order. But no, that can’t be, because that would mean such demographic has to be willing to associate with Trump and Americans aren’t willing to do that.

    In the present case, as Steve pointed out this was basically a production from the un-Woke Left, plus a few respectable centrist and Establishmentarian conservatives. Not represented in the letter, there’s also the ex-Left, Intellectual Dark Web types. While it’s certainly a good thing that at least to some extent these people are willing to confront the Woke (at least in this circumstance), there’s limited strategic value in empowering them. Specifically, none of them are going to do anything to restrict immigration or manage trade with China to benefit the American working class.

    There’s also a lot of interesting people and ideas floating around in the Trump-era Right, ie either political conservatives or in some way culturally associated with the populist/working-class turn of the last 4-5 years. I’m thinking of people like JD Vance, Charles Murray, Steve Sailer, Ross Douthat, Rod Dreher, Michael Brendan Dougherty, Yuval Levin, Reihan Salam, Chris Arnade, Lyman Stone, Arnold Kling, and a bunch of twitterati.

    This would be a good bunch of people to draw a political program from, except that fewer than half of them as much as voted for Trump (and if I had to guess fewer than a quarter).

    There’s also a smaller, though credible and competent in my eyes, intelligentsia that’s more explicitly political and friendlier to Trump, eg people associated with the Claremont Institute, Victor Davis Hanson, David Goldman, Chris Caldwell, Byron York, Henry Olsen, and a few others. But not even all of these people voted for Trump (if I had to guess I’d say somewhere between half and two-thirds did). But regardless of who they voted for, none of them are working for the Administration, except for Michael Anton and Steve Bannon who were there for less than a year each, and not particularly influential when they were there.

    Basically, the only guy in the White House who can think about anything strategically deeper than one news cycle is Stephen Miller.

    The upshot is, the world is full things that would tend to move public opinion toward populist or conservative ideas, but that’s not actually going to happen if that requires people to associate themselves with President Trump, which is the case now. So other people will reap the benefit instead, and those people are probably not going to share our political ends.

    • Agree: AKAHorace
    • Replies: @AKAHorace
    , @SFG
    , @Nico
  71. How has no one mentioned Andrew Anglin in these comments?

    The man was more thoroughly mistreated and cancelled than anyone mentioned so far; certainly more so than, say, Charles Murray (who I assume can still use Paypal or register a domain name).

    The people who signed that letter ought to personally apologise to Anglin for failing to defend him. It didn’t take a genius to see what would happen next.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Pop Warner
  72. anon[912] • Disclaimer says:
    @Kronos

    He seems like a very anti-woke leftist. You do gotta feel bad these old school leftists that have to deal with the woke crowd.

    Not really. Some people only learn the hard way. Old lefties of the current year were once the New Left of 40- 50 years ago. They are getting back now what they did then. It’s circular, Karmic if you wish. Or you could consider what Chomsky wrote and said about the insanely murderous Khmer Rouge and observe that he’s really getting of lightly in the cosmic sense of things.

    Might as well pity the New Left bombmakers in the 70’s who accidentally blew themselves up.

    Hoist by yer own petard? T’is poetic justice.

    • Agree: Nico, Achmed E. Newman
  73. @Ron Unz

    But they haven’t turned anything upside down and backwards. Things have just been taken out of context and/or exaggerated. The gap between the two actions is very large, and it doesn’t help those sensibly pointing out the latter, to have wild-eyed diatribes fantasising about the former.

  74. @Steve Sailer

    Counter-intuitively, telecommunications are existing less and less, recently. Yes, there is probably more hardware capacity—fiber cable, mobile antennas, etc.—today than ever before, but in terms of what you can transmit over all that infrastructure, that is becoming more and more restricted by the week.

    Ten years ago, you could transmit almost anything almost anywhere, and provided the infrastructure worked, your transmission would arrive at its intended destination. Today, the same transmission must thread its way through ever thickening layers of formal restrictions, predatory algorithms, surreptitious eavesdropping, informal curtailments, and caviling censors. And should you be unfortuante enough for your transmission to transmit, someone somewhere will receive it, object, and set about destroying your life.

    China (used to) take heat for its Great Firewall Of China. But that can be circumvented with a simple VPN. What we have in the West today is far more insidious, pervasive and sinister. At least the Chinese are clear about what is forbidden and where, how, and why it is forbidden. In the Woke West, anything—past, present or future—can be or become forbidden at any time by anyone for any inconceivably absurd reason, with life-altering consequences for you.

    The Deconstructionist critique of the ordered liberty of the West up through the 20th century was false. Ironically, Deconstructionism’s proponents have ushered in the 21st century era in which their critique has become true: nothing means anything anymore, and therefore power is the only measure that matters. And so now everyone must try to take power before someone else takes it to use against them. Mass conflict or mass tyranny is now inevitable.

  75. AKAHorace says:
    @Boethiuss

    Intellectuals not on the list of signatories include actual victims of cancellation and physical assault, such as Charles Murray, James D. Watson, Larry Summers, Gregg Easterbrook, J. Michael Bailey, Jason Richwine, James Damore, Steve Hsu, and Heather Mac Donald.

    Not including these people makes the letter more valuable. They are making it clear that even if one is a liberal, and up to now uncancelled, you can still support freedom of speech.

    • Replies: @Boethiuss
  76. The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted. While we have come to expect this on the radical right…

    Wrong. The “radical right” is about the only place that still entertains the free exchange of information and ideas. And that’s exactly how so many of us ended up here. “Liberals” haven’t been liberal for a very long time, and they’re getting less liberal every year. The rearguard action of this nakedly self-serving letter to Harper’s won’t change that.

  77. Hhsiii says:
    @Clifford Brown

    Wow. My kids’ school district. Yikes.

  78. @Steve Sailer

    You have to imagine a whole creation of disparate groups.
    So yes – they will be aware of one another’s approbation – but they each ascent to a different set of rules – one is ehem, conservative and tolerant, the other is woke and intolerant. The intolerant will be telecommunicatively intolerant, but on a different set of companies and platforms, in a different geography, the other group will not care about the intolerance of the other. Maybe they’ll wear it as a badge of honor.
    If it costs $10 tril to effect the separation, if it’s borrowed and has to be paid back with interest, if it entails paying each woke one $100K to move to a designated containment zone, it will be worth it and less expensive than the alternative.

  79. Anonymous[270] • Disclaimer says:

    As a different Anonymous [397] aptly noted in another thread, this mostly looks like Mensheviks troubled by Bolsheviks.

  80. Wilkey says:
    @Ron Unz

    Conceding the grounds of debate to the far left, and apologizing for offending them, is something the right (and now, apparently, the center left) is very, very good at doing. I didn’t tally up the word count, but the letter may actually spend more time denouncing the right than it does denouncing the censors of the far left.

    • Agree: Not Only Wrathful
    • Replies: @JerseyJeffersonian
  81. Too little, too late. The children of the SJW revolution are ready to devour their naive parents. The idealistic liberal values died at about the same time investigative journalism went extinct. I’d say that happened during the first Obama term or maybe during his first campaign.

    What is fascinating is that there appears to be no centralized force behind the movement, at least at first glance. Instead, public and private institutions readily submit to any threat from any group of random SJWs. I wonder when Pentagon will cower and fire a five-star general for something he did thirty years.

  82. @Ron Unz

    I noticed the list included David Frum and various other hard-core Neocons, who had organized the media purge of anyone who opposed Bush’s Iraq War.

    How well I remember. Those of us who were cast out of Polite Society at the time will never forget.

    However: I note that those who did the casting out don’t remember a single bit of it.

    Memory can be convenient like that, sometimes.

  83. I agree with the Lomez critique: This is weak sauce and too little, too late.

    The old liberals start off virtue signaling with their lame swipe at Trump as a “danger to democracy.” Then they plead that they are fellow travelers who would just prefer a kinder, gentler revolution that doesn’t threaten them personally.

    Young Jacobins who read this are just going to say: “hold my beer Grandpa, we already figured out how to work the guillotine.”

    • Agree: vhrm
  84. vhrm says:
    @Ed

    Thing about “Redskins” that i haven’t seen addressed, much like the Land O Lakes woman, is that these are battles that MAYBE made some sense 50 or 100 years ago, but now the landscape has changed to the point where it’s actually counterproductive.

    Today Native Americans are associated with: casinos, vaguely claiming that everything is “sacred” so as to oppose oil pipelines and insane rates of domestic violence, alcoholism and poverty.

    Having sports teams that somehow bring Native Americans to mind is better publicity and more positive than anything else they have going on.

    • Agree: Achmed E. Newman
  85. @MEH 0910

    VanderWoof’s basic reaction is about what you would predict: Basically, “why worry about this abstract free speech stuff when we’re currently the ones who have the power to shut people down. What’s in it for us?”

  86. Charlotte says:
    @Ed

    A display of power, indeed. Like so many of these movements, the real goal is to erase yet another cultural touchstone. It has exactly nothing to do with the feelings of actual Native Americans.

  87. Roger says:

    As a statement for free speech, this is a terrible one. I would not sign it.

    It starts talking about racial justice and police reform, and goes on to complain about Donald Trump being a force of illiberalism and a real threat to democracy, and about the radical right.

    No, Trump and the radical right are not threats to academic free speech. The argument in this letter is so bizarre that I am not sure I even know what it is talking about.

    • Agree: Joseph Doaks
  88. @Jane Plain

    And if they’ll dowse it with acid.

  89. @Kronos

    Probably the reason so many elites favor a “classless society” is that it abolishes any standard duties placed on the nobility and any weight class. The last thing they’d ever want is a “society of orders” that binds them to anything social despite being on top.

    Noblesse oublie.

  90. My comment six hours ago in response to Steve’s Yglesias shut down by Klein post made many of the same points about open society, tolerance or intolerance for rigorous debate and free speech. For some reason I was “canceled”.

  91. @Ed

    I’d add this to the list, currently America’s leading retailers: Target, Wal-Mart and Amazon have all committed to not carrying the Redskins apparel.

    Do you know where the ‘Skins got that name? They were the Boston Braves, as with several other professional football teams, borrowing the moniker of their baseball hosts. When they moved over to Fenway from Braves Field, they kept the logo but altered the name to fit.

    But no one in Boston, where this flavor of football was invented, wanted to see fellows get paid for it, so the club moved on to Washington, where the owner lived.

    Target, by the way, got burned when they backed a politician without realizing that he had co-sponsored an amendment prohibiting gay marriage. Their staff erupted, and they’ve been very wary and complacent ever since, e.g., the tranny toilet affair.

    I doubt they employ many Indians, though, or they might discover that most rank-and-file feathers don’t care.

    • Replies: @Hibernian
  92. Sean says:

    The inclusion of J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, who has expressed doubts about the dogmas of the transgender uber alles movement, seems to be attracting the most hatred from the Woke., author of the Harry Potter series, who has expressed doubts about the dogmas of the transgender uber alles movement, seems to be attracting the most hatred from the Woke.

    Having the traditional Scottish view of Tory as a four letter word for English , Rowling has made donations of as large as £1 million to the Labour Party. There were going to be all women shortlists for hundreds of Labour constituency party candidates for MP. But then Corbyn’s hard Left cronies said they would change the law so that reassignment surgery, hormone treatment and a Gender Recognition Certificate would not be necessary for the law to mandate a transexual must be legally treated as a woman. Instead “self-defining” trans women were to be given the same rights by Labour. In effect women’s sex -based rights were taken away. Hundreds of people left the Labour party when it was made clear that self defined transexual women would be eligible for women only shortlists. This is the origin of the UK blip whereby so called TERFs (gender critical feminists) appear not to have been steamrollered as US feminist have been.

    The smart money such as Vox are 100% behind self defining transexuals being given all rights women have or will get in the future https://www.vox.com/identities/2019/9/5/20840101/terfs-radical-feminists-gender-critical

    You can read in the Vox article how the gender critical feminists are imperialists and neo nazis, so trans women feel unsafe around feminists.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  93. The alternatives to progressivism have been so demonised through hysteria that progressives can vindictively ruin people’s lives, close free inquiry and suffocate the culture, but they’ll always be able to say that they are better than their enemies.

    E.g

    Want to discuss what biological sex is? Ok, then you are trying to murder all trans people.

    [MORE]

    (Which is an amazing claim, given that possibly no political movement in history has tried to wipe out such people.)

    Yet this level of emotional intensity works when it has power, as the normal thing to do, when faced with such a lack of awareness, is to seperate, ignore or, if you really have to, help.

    The problem is that this tendency tends to follow, as it needs to fill the awareness of others to make up for the extreme lack of it among its followers.

    And how does one escape? Normal people have been escaping to ever more niche areas of the culture for quite some years now, and there’s almost nowhere left.

    And yet, this sad fact, also contains some hope. The weakness of a movement based on the emotional intensity of the borderline psychotically unaware is that it needs others. It constantly calls for help.

    This letter represents some of those others, all sobre, morally narcisstic, of the masochist variety, “helping”, individuals, trying to stop being such ridiculous doormats for craziness.

    Perhaps some sympathy for their feelings might connect. It must be, on a deep level, horrifying to have to deal with the progressives on a daily basis, and all for the smugly condescending and false satisfaction of telling yourself that you’re helping hurt people.

    You’re not. You’re enabling them to hurt themselves further, while emptying yourself out inside.

    F*CK them, they’re children, who could do with some hardship, so they can learn some self-containment. And maybe they’ll fail at that, but the alternative is that they just keep getting worse and worse. And, yes, I’m sure they’ll try to make you pay, but that’s your fault for waiting so long before ripping off the plaster – better not to wait any longer.

  94. This letter is both adorable and poignant. It reminds me of my 8 year old’s eulogy for his pet hamster.

    In order for a society to have free speech, certain criteria must be met. The members of the society must have a degree of impulse control so that arguments don’t spiral into violence. They must have a level of intelligence to grasp abstract ideas, because there’s not much point in free speech if people can’t discuss anything more complex than what they had for lunch yesterday. The members of the society must also have an interest in heterodox ideas. Otherwise no one will take advantage of freedom of speech, even if it is available, much less defend it when it is inevitably attacked. So it may as well not exist.

    So: impulse control, intelligence, novelty seeking personality. Might those personality traits have a genetic component? An extremely strong genetic component?

    Considering these people are supposed to be intellectual heavyweights, this letter is remarkably childlike. Free speech will live or die based on the demographics of the nation. That’s it. Europeans tend to have all three traits. East Asians have a lot of 1 and 2, less of three. NAMs have none of the three. A nation of Europeans with some East Asians will have free speech. A nation of NAMs will not. A strongly worded letter from some very deluded ivory tower types does nothing.

    • Agree: vhrm
    • Replies: @Anonymous
  95. How many WASPish males on the list?

  96. @RichardTaylor

    Eric Hoffer had a day job, as a longshoreman. Getting one’s hands dirty tends to clear one’s mind.

  97. @Sean

    reassignment surgery, hormone treatment and a Gender Recognition Certificate

    All paid for, and performed by, the NHS. Yet another reason Americans are wary of state involvement in medicine, as we are in religion.

    It’s like the (lonely) libertarian argument against state lotteries– run a shell game if you must, but don’t drag the rest of us into it.

    • Replies: @Gianni in Guernsey
  98. @Michael S

    Aside from a tiny handful of names, almost all of these are people I’d be quite happy to see cancelled. The most charitable interpretation of this letter is that it is the leftists who, realizing that all of their Nazi enemies have been swept away, are realizing that the Revolution does not stop at its enemies and that they are next.

    What goes around comes around.

    Spot on.

    What i little whiny bitch letter.

    Powerful protests for racial and social justice are leading to overdue demands for police reform, along with wider calls for greater equality and inclusion across our society, not least in higher education, journalism, philanthropy, and the arts. But this needed reckoning …

    I’ll buy you guys kneepads … no on second thought i won’t.

    Open lies:

    While we have come to expect this on the radical right, censoriousness is also spreading more widely in our culture:

    What Dalton Trumbo can’t get a job under his own name?

    The “left”–i.e. minoritarians–have been the open enemies of free speech for at least a couple generations. Speech restriction on the right is, people getting fired … for not being leftist enough! (Sailer, Derb, Richwine, etc. etc.)

    The forces of illiberalism are gaining strength throughout the world and have a powerful ally in Donald Trump, who represents a real threat to democracy.

    In the US the illiberalism is on the left.

    Trump’s an egotistical blowhard. But a “threat to democracy?” Uh … no. What they mean is Trump doesn’t kowtow to them continually, and intermittently–when not paying attention to his daughter or son-in-law–makes noises like he thinks he’s supposed to be working in the interests of the American people. That’s these turds idea of a “threat to democracy”.

    F’ em. I hope all their pathetic little asses get cancelled. It’s too bad we use closed hog confinement buildings now … i’d love to see these guys shoveling shit on the pig farm. It’s the world they’ve built.

  99. Boethiuss says:
    @AKAHorace

    Not including these people makes the letter more valuable. They are making it clear that even if one is a liberal, and up to now uncancelled, you can still support freedom of speech.

    Yeah, this letter is a good thing on its own terms.

    I just think it’s illustrative of how bad our situation is, and how far it has deteriorated, and I’m thinking specifically of the contrast to the President’s speech a few days ago.

    Think about it. In a time where our nation is consumed by protests, riots and social division for six weeks or whatever, the President of the United States gives a major address at probably our greatest man-made public monument, the one most explicitly directly evocative of the political foundations of our nation. And when he’s there, he even gives a good speech, at least according to some credible opinions.

    And nobody cares. I mean, you’ve got one Senator talking about racists and dead traitors and the rest of it. But it’s basically going through the motions at this point. The President isn’t even worth the time to spend kicking him.

    And this thing, let’s face it, this thing is basically a family quarrel among culture workers in New York. And this has turned the world on its head, so to speak, at least for day or so.

    It’s plain to see where the juice in American politics is today, and plainly Mr. Trump doesn’t have it.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  100. Anyone, have recommendations for a moderately priced AR-15?

    (Not, looking for book length. Suggestion and a few sentences–or bullet points–of argument backed by experience. Good links appreciated too. Note: not a firearms guys; i only own shotguns and a .22.)

    Also thinking about finally having a handgun for the Florida house–and the van when AnotherMom and i are out on the road seeing the geography formerly know as “America”. (Never shot anything except a .38 years ago.)

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    , @Joe Stalin
  101. @Alden

    Jennifer is a he-woman.

  102. Neoconned says:
    @Ben Kurtz

    The problem is 2 fold. The neocons changed what it means to be liberal & conservative.

    Paleocons found themselves in line with far left anti war types. A lot of the neocons in the Bush administration and even a few holdovers like Victoria Nuland were basically pro war Democrats.

    Chomsky for instance is smart enough & old enough to know Freedom of Speech is way more important than not hurting the feelings of some woke retard with body image issues….

    • Replies: @Ben Kurtz
  103. Anonymous[261] • Disclaimer says:
    @SimpleSong

    You also need the humility to understand that you don’t always have all the answers to everything. That’s probably what’s most lacking here. We’re plagued by people who think they know everything and don’t need to listen to alternative viewpoints.

    • Agree: Dissident
  104. Anonymous[371] • Disclaimer says:
    @Daniel Williams

    How has no one mentioned Andrew Anglin in these comments?

    The man was more thoroughly mistreated and cancelled than anyone mentioned so far; certainly more so than, say, Charles Murray (who I assume can still use Paypal or register a domain name).

    What happened?

    • Replies: @Neuday
  105. Anonymous[371] • Disclaimer says:
    @AnotherDad

    Trump’s an egotistical blowhard. But a “threat to democracy?” Uh … no.

    Uh … yes. Because Trump appeals somewhat to Whites, this clique perceives in him the risk of another Holocaust.

  106. sayless says:

    Matt Taibbi isn’t a signatory either.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @ic1000
  107. @Ron Unz

    To speak with horror of the Cultural Revolution and with approval of the heavy censorship practiced by the Chinese State in present days means one is not really concerned with the suppression of dissenting voices as an evil in itself.

  108. @Ron Unz

    Meanwhile, the Chinese called it right a couple of years ago, when they joked on Social Media that America was undergoing its own Cultural Revolution

    There was a silent revolution. What we are seeing now are fruits thereof.

    Most people didn’t pay attention to R. Dutschke’s long march through the instructions. Wokeists and SJW zealots captured these and the corporate world. This is what gives these new Puritans huge leverage in the culture wars.

    However, as with the Chinese Cultural Revolution and Salem Witch Trials prior the law of diminishing returns will kick in sooner or later. The above list of dissenters is probably the start.

  109. No Steve Sailer on that list ?

  110. @Joe Stalin

    If it is any consolation, the Brits are self-destructing every bit as fast, so there’s no need to play up “beating” them twice, though it is still perfectly acceptable to talk about them burning the work of slaves, resulting in it being called The White House.

  111. MEH 0910 says:
    @Steve Sailer

    • Replies: @Prester John
  112. Anonymous[371] • Disclaimer says:
    @Boethiuss

    It’s plain to see where the juice in American politics is today,

    And where is that?

    • Replies: @Boethiuss
  113. SFG says:
    @Boethiuss

    Scott Alexander argued Trump’s election would be a victory for social justice ideology; he’d inflame the social justice people while not counteracting them effectively through his position as POTUS. He was right…

    I mean, how hard is it for the POTUS to build a wall?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Muggles
  114. Lurker says:
    @Jane Plain

    It’s funny how libertarians only seem to make their presence felt on points of principle that further the left/lib agenda.

    • Disagree: Muggles
  115. SFG says:
    @L. Guapo

    I noticed that.

    I think it’s a generational thing; thanks to AA, the younger generation of lefties is more diverse (in the SJW sense), so fewer Jews as a proportion of total.

    This list is mostly GenX and older; the Left has won its long march through the institutions. There will be a backlash (I’m guessing the rising murder rates will do their job as before), but I’m not sure what form it will take.

  116. TTSSYF says:
    @Anonymous

    As Theodore Roosevelt wrote, “The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities.”

  117. ic1000 says:
    @sayless

    The anti-big-tech-monopoly leftist Matt Stoller isn’t a signatory. Unclear whether he wasn’t asked, or declined. This amusing tweet (italics added) suggests ‘declined.’

    Obama governed poorly as President, and as a result Democrats lost the House, the Senate, and 1000 seats over eight years and then handed over the Presidency to Trump. Joe Biden will have to dig out of a bigger hole, but the intellectual and political environment is more vibrant.

    Earlier, Stoller retweeted Glenn Greenwald retweeting Matt Welch,

    Here is a joint letter signed by Noam Chomsky, J.K. Rowling, David Brooks, @bariweiss, Wynton Marsalis, Salman Rushdie, @kmele, and 140-odd other people, in case anyone’s in a mood to argue.

    But the payoff for trying to decrypt twitter’s condensed mix of ideas and snark is low.

  118. dearieme says:

    They’ve been outflanked on the left. Boo bloody hoo. Where were they when they might have done some good?

  119. Rob McX says:
    @Ron Unz

    Keep leaning on “conservatives” and they’ll keep retreating, decade after decade. The most effective way to destroy a nation is the slow way. Given enough time, a termite can wreak as much havoc as a ton of gelignite.

  120. B36 says:
    @Deckin

    “The only question is is there anyone on the left who’ll stand up and say enough is enough?”

    If so, they’ll be saying it from the tumbrel.

  121. @Ron Unz

    Seeing Gloria Steinem’s name is absolutely nauseating. How phony can you get.

    • Replies: @Ray P
  122. Art Deco says:
    @Ron Unz

    who had organized the media purge of anyone who opposed Bush’s Iraq War.

    He published an article attacking them in National Review. I doubt being skewered by David Frum in NR was ever a career ender for anyone. The principal object of his animadversions was a group of people associated with the Rockford Institute. None of the academic contributors to Chronicles lost their jobs (most of them did not write on foreign affairs in any case). The financial problems the Institute has had over the years did not derive from that article, but from boneheaded things Allan Carlson and Thomas Fleming had done over the previous dozen years. They just got stuck with the embarrassment of Leopold Tyrmand’s widow writing in to say her husband would have been aghast at what Thomas Fleming had done with the magazine he’d founded. While we’re at it, I don’t recall Heather MacDonald being purged, even though she said publicly she thought the Iraq War was ill-advised.

    • Replies: @Nico
  123. B36 says:
    @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    “I know the point here is that gay marriage was unpopular enough that top Democrats had to pretend they opposed it, but I did always wonder: how many people actually believed them?”

    This is sort of the opposite of the Kinsley gaffe. The Kinsley gaffe “is when a politician tells the truth – some obvious truth he isn’t supposed to say” and so suffers embarrassment or a bad outcome.

    In the Obama gaffe the politician tells an obvious lie that no one thinks he truly believes, and his supporters celebrate him for it because it advances their position. Democrats all knew Obama was lying about gay marriage, but were happy because the lie improved his electoral chances at the time, and thus advanced the arrival of same sex marriage.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  124. @Anon

    We are failing to instill American ideals in our young and in the foreigners moving here.

    This is the exact point Bezmenov made with regard to preventing or possibly reversing the demoralization of the US.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  125. @Reg Cæsar

    Jack Dromey* got selected on an all woman shortlist constituency because London imposed him. You cannot womention this.

    A university refused to let research be done into why narcissists who have had 45000 GBP spent on them changing gender often have 45000 GBP spent on them changing back, we must not personention this.

    *MISTER HARRIET HARMMAN

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  126. Anonymous[385] • Disclaimer says:
    @SFG

    The wall was meant to prevent the further erosion of the American way of life. It was for the long-term.

    Now we know that the real immediate emergency was the complete takeover of ALL the institutions by the left. I didn’t think it was so absolute. They all want a revolution.

    A revolution usually happens when things are going poorly, but things are going pretty well. This is more a hostile takeover by anti-white leftists.

    It’s obvious now that the fight to gain power was over a while ago. They won. The current phase is consolidation of power and the implementation of their anti-white leftist program.

  127. Spud Boy says:

    It’s handy of them to provide a list of people to target next for cancellation.

  128. Ron Unz says:
    @Anonymous

    Ron, have you done one of your signature deep dive pieces on the early Cheka?

    Well, I haven’t come across much that was surprising or interesting about the early Bolshevik Cheka, so I really don’t have anything to write about.

    There’s one small exception. For decades, everyone had always characterized Iron Felix Dzerzhinsky, the first Cheka boss, as coming from a noble Polish family. Indeed, his background was often cited as one of the main examples of a high-ranking Bolshevik leader who wasn’t Jewish. However, back a couple of years ago, I came across a fairly persuasive analysis that his family actually was Jewish after all.

    But one small item isn’t enough material for an article…

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  129. Whose bar mitzva is that the invitation list for?

  130. @L. Guapo

    Don’t be. This whole thing is simply Jews – and their gentile White house pets – trying to reign in the Frankenstein that they’ve created.

    They still don’t care about free speech. They’re just getting a different answer to the eternal question: Is it good for the Jews.

    • Replies: @ChrisZ
  131. @NJ Transit Commuter

    No. The acid test will be the signatories call for open debate on Israel, Palestinians and Jewish power in the media, academy, politics and finance.

  132. @Deckin

    As a student during the late 60s, early 70s, I watched the “liberal” professors in action.

    They caved to the crazies–every time.

    If you think they have your back, then it is time to start digging your grave in the backyard–and beat the rush.

  133. Bill B. says:

    At the risk of stating the obvious.

    Clive James, who died last year, wrote that whenever he found that he had an opinion in common with Jane Fonda he tapped it, held it to the light, peered very closely at it and put it on a watch list.

    Martin Amis
    Anne Applebaum
    David Brooks
    Ian Buruma
    Roger Cohen

    provoke the same feeling in me.

  134. Jesse says:

    Wouldn’t get too excited. Many of the signatories were openly expressing ‘solidarity’ with Jia Tolentino (sp?) when it turned out her Philippines parents had narrowly avoided prison for people trafficking.

    This seems more like some red meat for the base to cover their own cancel activity or, more optimistically, an acknowledgement that the current Current Situation is untenable. Or maybe they’re worried the mob will come after them. A common characteristic of the elites is a willingness to drop something once it stops being fun or useful.

  135. @Anonymous

    This.

    Multiculturalism leads inevitably to civil war, ethnic cleansing, and partition.

  136. @Mr McKenna

    Wow!
    I’m honoured to be placed in the company of so many fine folks! Just for the record, I was able to get Amazon to un-ban my book ‘Confederaphobia’ after successfully arguing that a book cover is not “Confederate flag merchandise” Let’s hope that does it for a while, but of course, these people are never sated… ever!
    Cheers,
    Paul

    • Replies: @Paul C. Graham
  137. @Thomas

    It’s no surprise that it was the insane “transgender” cult that took the lead on objecting to this anodyne and rather mealy-mouthed defense of free speech.

    Interestingly, Dierdre (fka Donald) McCloskey signed it. I was digging thru past threads, I seem to remember McCloskey being an energetic censor, though may have a different person in mind.

  138. @Paul C. Graham

    If I’m not the Graham referred to, I apologise! It was sent to me by a friend who knows my situation…

  139. Ben Kurtz says:
    @Neoconned

    “Chomsky for instance is smart enough & old enough to know Freedom of Speech is way more important than not hurting the feelings of some woke retard with body image issues….”

    Yes, and the only outlets where writers are still permitted to express such views regularly seem to here and Breitbart.

    If you listen to the couple of minutes of President Trump’s Mt. Rushmore speech dealing with “cancel culture” and read the last few paragraphs of this open letter, you would be forgiven for confusing which bit was spoken by Trump and which was signed by Chomsky. That’s the irony of our age.

  140. anon[133] • Disclaimer says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Are these people able to read the Federalist Papers

    No. Plus they’ve never even heard of the Anti-Federalist Papers.

    Our elites are mostly ignorant and stupid.

  141. You’re “on the side of the angels” but don’t kill another 100 million, if you please.

  142. @Joe Stalin

    I found this in a 2016 article, but found no reference to any legislation requiring it. Was this another Obama executive order that Trump left standing — like ALL of the rest of them so far?

    “abolitionist hero Harriet Tubman will replace Andrew Jackson as the portrait on the $20 bill.

    The Department plans to unveil designs of the $5 bill, $10 bill, and $20 bill in 2020, in honor of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment.”

    https://time.com/4301127/harriet-tubman-20-dollar-bill-alexander-hamilton-andrew-jackson/

  143. @Wilkey

    Yes, Wilkey, that did kind of jump out at me, too. More verbiage was expended in consigning non-liberals, not to mention non-radical leftists, to perdition before, rather irrationally at that point, plaintively keening about not persecuting those people – clearly burning in the sulphurous depths of hell – for this to be other than a self-serving distraction.

    Because, at root, this is a plea to not be cancelled themselves as the Jacobins go on their merry, time-honored course of sending their predecessors through the woodchipper. And this very transparently so to my eye.

    Too late, bitches; if you liberal morons possessed even a vestigial sense of how things work historically once the radical left becomes ascendent, you should have spoken up, and thrown your shoulder against the shattering castle gateway to brace it when it might have meant something. But no, drunk on the prospect of humiliating and treading your opponents underfoot, you smugly sat back and smirked. Because in your true sentiments, you are in love with Cancel Culture, only becoming alarmed when it begins to apply to your little, precious candy asses.

  144. BobC says:
    @Patrick in SC

    The WSJ calls this “anti-Trump throat clearing”.

    It is a necessary preamble to reassure the Stalinists that you are really on their side, in the hopes that they won’t come down on you too hard.

    Anytime you make a reasonable argument to the Left, they automatically suspect you of being ‘extreme right-wing’.

    ‘Real’ revolutionaries don’t traffic in logic.

  145. Anonymous[339] • Disclaimer says:
    @Clifford Brown

    Such meetings occur when there is no solution to outstanding problems.

    About half the students being taught have IQ of less than 85. They cannot be taught — there is no way to give them a “good education”. Everybody in a responsible position who can get out of the organization left a long time ago. What you have left are not very bright people, some with various forms of affect failure, all of whom have failed utterly (impossible problem to solve, remember?) trying to keep getting paid and trying (in some cases, not all) to solve the problems (meet the assigned goals) that can’t be solved. Others are playing dominance games. Add to this that some of the students they are supposedly trying to help are assaulting teachers and each other.

    You want to solve the problem? Don’t worry, it is solving itself as we speak. The cities and their school systems are now shut, and will be open only irregularly until they are closed down for good. While this is not good, at least the under 85 IQ students will be left alone by officious busybodies assuring them that they can succeed if only “they try hard enough”.

    • Agree: S. Anonyia
  146. Hibernian says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    I doubt they employ many Indians, though, or they might discover that most rank-and-file feathers don’t care.

    Depends on what you mean by many. Before Somali immigration, the Twin cities were known as one area where the main minority group was American Indian.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  147. Dutch Boy says:
    @Ron Unz

    Conservatives in general and Republicans in particular work for corporate America and the corporations are woke now. Wokism’s real goal is the perpetuation of cheap labor policies and the destruction of any who oppose them.

  148. Nico says:
    @Kronos

    You do gotta feel bad these old school leftists that have to deal with the woke crowd.

    I don’t. The old-school ones created the woke crowd. If they didn’t do so on purpose they *ought* to have known damn well what they were doing.

    Watching the old-school lefties get their comeuppance à la Dr. Frankenstein gives me on the contrary supreme satisfaction, a rare consolation as everything I love about the world goes up in smoke.

    • Replies: @Kronos
  149. Neoconned says:
    @Whiskey

    Great point. Stagnant economic growth plus too many factions or ppl fighting for an ever smaller piece of a shrinking brings out the worst in people. Pure Darwinian nihilism.

    As John Keynes put it “….in the end we’re all dead anyways.”

    I think with all the guns floating around we’re going to see flare ups here & there.

    • Replies: @anon
  150. Neuday says:
    @Mr. Anon

    OT: The country band Lady Antebellum changed its name to “Lady A” in sympathy with the Black Lives Matter movement, pushing aside blues singer Anita White, who is black, and who has performed under the name “Lady A” for years.

    They should change their name from Lady Antebellum to Bitch Antedeluge.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  151. @Unladen Swallow

    IIRC, it was less an article than an offhand comment by Easterbrook in one of his football columns that maybe the Jews in Hollywood should be more careful about promoting hateful films, (may have been Django Unchained), because of the violence they had suffered. But yeah, he was fired real quickly.

    • Replies: @Unladen Swallow
  152. Nico says:
    @Boethiuss

    Ross Douthat, Rod Dreher

    These two, Dreher especially, spend an inordinate amount of time sucking up to the left and rarely have anything original to say. I wouldn’t waste my time.

  153. “But at least as a utilitarian matter, free speech merely as a tool of persuasion, especially in the context of conceding the merits of the debate to whomever controls the mic, is a lame argument and a sure loser.”

    I posted that Harper’s article on FB. Would have loved to have posted iSteve’s but he and Unz are “persona non grata.” Sigh! Be that as it may, the petition as it were sounded reasonable, notwithstanding the gratuitous shots against Trump and the so-called “Radical Right” as if they were one and the same. Then I read the above from “Lomez” and I must concede that he is correct, though he is even more correct when he writes that free speech is “a value unto itself”.

  154. Lomez writes:

    What they should be saying is that free speech is good because the woke scolds might be wrong. We might be wrong. We might be errant in our political judgments and moral assumptions and we need dissenting speech as a corrective.

    But the letter’s authors need not say that, for Lomez himself just said it. After all, is that not the point of free speech? Lomez can say what the letter’s authors will not.

    I am heartened by this letter but I would like to know whether the letter’s mostly Jewish authors really mean it. Perhaps they do. I do not prejudge. Here is my test: in December 2019, I got purged in precisely the manner the letter’s authors decry; so how many of the authors would personally intervene to help me to secure a decent job again? Also, how many would intervene to bring just consequences against the dean who so cynically purged me?

  155. @MEH 0910

    Power.

    As in “You have it…and WE want it!”

    Who, whom?

  156. @AnotherDad

    Anyone, have recommendations for a moderately priced AR-15?

    While we are on the subject, has anyone ever just bought the lower receiver and assembled the rest zirself? Looks like it might be fun.

  157. Nico says:
    @Art Deco

    The financial problems the Institute has had over the years did not derive from that article, but from boneheaded things Allan Carlson and Thomas Fleming had done over the previous dozen years.

    Off-topic, but would you mind elucidating? That was sort of before my time.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  158. Neuday says:
    @Anonymous

    My impression is that Andrew Anglin, publisher of The Daily Stormer, was the first person to be comprehensively de-personed. His domain name was hounded from country to country, his site was unable to hire DDOS protection like cloudflare, and I think Weev had to cobble something together for him, he was not only kicked out from paypal, etc. but can’t even have a checking account. The only way he can receive funds is bitcoin. He lost family, women, the ability to earn a living or live in peace.
    He was drifting from place to place, he was so hated for speaking his mind, and claims to now live in Nigeria, but he’s a big kidder, so who knows.

    While this was happening he warned that this would become the new reality, but hardly anyone defended him, because he was called a Nazi, and he made cogent arguments regarding jews. He tends toward the hyperbolic but he’s a talented, insightful writer with a good sense of humor.

    Dailystormer can still be reached with the .su domain suffix or through Tor at dstormer6em3i4km.onion

    It’s not hard to imagine that soon many of our favorite websites will be available only through Tor, so might as well get comfortable with it, as well as being able to donate only via bitcoin.

    • Replies: @anon
  159. @Ben Kurtz

    He’s a neocon, he buys Israeli propaganda about Kurds (look at these hot chicks with guns fighting for equality we must send in troops to support them!) to justify his support for zog wars in Syria. He literally came out and said we need to keep troops in Syria for muh based left libertarian rojava.

  160. @Kronos

    There is something of a parallel to the New Left takeover of the Democrat party during the era between 1968 and 1972. In 1968, that year famously filled with “mostly peaceful” protests by the Left – and assassinations and riots – many conservative Democrats “walked away” into the open arms of Richard Nixon, while others clung to nostalgic memories of FDR, Truman and JFK, and pretended Hubert Humphrey was the embodiment of that “True Democrat” legacy.

    A remnant of every era persists after its glory days are gone. That goes for sports teams, as well. The team may have moved to another city, with tons of even more exuberant fans in their new market, but the jilted fans from the abandoned city still wear the team’s colors to work on game days, and style themselves as “Authentic Fans.” It seems kind of pathetic – unless you understand that the whole “fan” thing is a manipulative con in the first place.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  161. @NJ Transit Commuter

    Nah, fuck that. The signatories were happy to cancel their opponents using the same mob going after them now. How many stood up for James Watson when he was canceled over truthful and innocuous statements? Cancel culture is only talked about on the liberal left because now it’s not just conservatives and nationalists getting canceled. And judging by the first two paragraphs, they’re happy to keep cancel culture going as long as it doesn’t affect them

    • Agree: Jim Don Bob
  162. @Hibernian

    Before Somali immigration, the Twin cities were known as one area where the main minority group was American Indian.

    Not so. I arrived a few years before the Somalis. Indians were already outnumbered by blacks and Asians, though their ratio to other minorities was clearly higher than in states to the east. Many Latin Americans were there by then, too. They’d been a very tiny presence in the Cities, and it was rural Minnesotans who knew them better, thanks to generations of migrant workers.

    People would order a “fa-JEE-ta” at Taco John in the suburbs. A small-town friend would tell me of a migrant classmate named Jimenez. She– not my friend, her friend– stressed the first syllable with an English J. Assimilation was in at the time.

    Indians were concentrated along Franklin Avenue. And still are. They do have one similarity to Somalis– both lived outside but near a civilization– ours, and the Arabs’– that influenced them for centuries.

    I’d long thought the literal diversity of the “diversity”– as opposed to black-and-white Cincinnati– made the Cities fairly riot-proof. And now I’m wondering if thay may still be true– the violence being stoked primarily by Seattle-like masked white SJWs.

    Sleeper cells.

  163. @Daniel Williams

    Even the conservatives who have been whining about censorship were happy to see the stormer’s domain pulled by cloudflare on a whim. Every single one of these people both left and right will cheer on the censorship of anybody to their immediate right, but hypocritically demand the censorship stop with them. The liberals who signed this letter are no different than Ben Shapiro or Dennis Prager: “censorship is bad unless it happens to someone on my right.”

    Anglin was the litmus test for censorship. Since the daily stormer went after the greatest taboos of the Western world with absurd zeal they were easiest to take out first. Nobody stood up for them, and now those who said nothing are in the crosshairs too. No sympathy for cowards and hypocrites

    • Agree: jsm, Daniel Williams
  164. @anon

    Popular referendums overturned by powerful officials and then big corporations firing people for public advocacy supporting successful popular referendum…

    THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE

  165. Erzberger says:
    @George

    “First they came for the Communists…”

  166. @anon

    PS: This comment posted via Brave.

    Mine too. Firefox is still better for some things, but when Mozilla fired Eich it was the start of a slow and agonizing suicide.

  167. Anonymous[278] • Disclaimer says:
    @B36

    In the Obama gaffe the politician tells an obvious lie that no one thinks he truly believes, and his supporters celebrate him for it because it advances their position.

    Was Obama’s receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize the ultimate Obama gaffe?

  168. @Gianni in Guernsey

    Jack Dromey* got selected on an all woman shortlist constituency because London imposed him. You cannot womention this.

    Had to look this one up:

    All women list will not bar path of Jack Dromey, husband of Harriet Harman

    Do I remember correctly that Jersey is the one easy on guns, and Guernsey the tough one? I thought the 2012 Olympic pistol shoot should have taken place there. Much closer to London than Belfast, which is in the UK, but not “GB”.

    If you watch the ’60s Batman TV series, you’ll see New Jersey portrayed as “New Guernsey”. That’s pretty s(n)arky.

  169. Anonymous[278] • Disclaimer says:
    @The Wild Geese Howard

    We are failing to instill American ideals in our young and in the foreigners moving here.

    This is the exact point Bezmenov made with regard to preventing or possibly reversing the demoralization of the US.

    What did he mean (or what do you mean) by “demoralization”?

  170. @Kronos

    This election will cause a major political realignment with many white liberals either being demoted to second class or turfed out of the Democratic party all together. It is better to make some gesture now, knowing that they will not only need to find a new home later on but to show that you were not tied to the losers that will take the left down with them to the bottom. As far as I am concerned, the time was decades ago and nothing they do at this late stage will save them or their reputations.

  171. @AnotherDad

    I ran out of [AGREE]s, A.D. Will a Fuckin’ A! do?

  172. @Sagamore Sam

    …while others clung to nostalgic memories of FDR, Truman and JFK, and pretended Hubert Humphrey was the embodiment of that “True Democrat” legacy.

    The hell he wasn’t. As a staunch welfarist-warfarist, he was right up their alley. As my high-school civics teacher informed us, on most issues he was way to the left of McGovern. But he supported the war while McGovern opposed it, so their natural factions got switched.

    Humphrey was the one who united the urban Democrats with the rural Farmer-Labor Party in his state. (Actually, he was a native of South Dakota, like McGovern. Incidentally, there is a small McGovern museum not far from the famous Corn Palace.)

    The team may have moved to another city, with tons of even more exuberant fans in their new market, but the jilted fans from the abandoned city still wear the team’s colors to work on game days, and style themselves as “Authentic Fans.”

    A question for the Angelenos here– how much interest is there in LA today for the Brooklyn Dodger legacy? The last Brooklyn players are dying off or, having passed, reaching their centennaries. If we wanted to commemorate one of them, is it worth mining Southern California for support? Or just stick to the East?

  173. It’s a well written letter and an encouraging course correction by a large number of influential writers away from a climate of soft totalitarianism.

    • Agree: V. K. Ovelund
  174. anon[368] • Disclaimer says:
    @Neoconned

    As John Keynes put it “….in the end we’re all dead anyways.”

    Keynes never had any children. His perspective was…limited and rather warped.

  175. Mr. Anon says:
    @Neuday

    I was thinking maybe “Lady Reconstruction”.

  176. anon[368] • Disclaimer says:
    @Neuday

    My impression is that Andrew Anglin, publisher of The Daily Stormer, was the first person to be comprehensively de-personed

    Similar to what was done to Joseph Sobran. Although Sobran was unpersoned earlier in time, so he could still maintain a checking account, I guess, and rent a dwelling. But a deliberate, co-ordinated effort was made to render him unemployable and homeless by…someone or other. I tried to remember (((who))) but the buzzing in my head….what was I saying?

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  177. @Thomas

    It’s no surprise that it was the insane “transgender” cult that took the lead on objecting to this anodyne and rather mealy-mouthed defense of free speech. Trannies continue to be the vanguard of leftist revolution. Dedication to obvious and blatant lies, such as that men are really women and women are really men, can only abide if the ability to independently find and speak the truth, rather than the diktats of the Party, is forbidden. That’s why “transgenderism” is so prominent, because its radicalism demands the acceptance and repetition of approved lies, even in the pronouns we must use, and accustoms everyone to that habit.

    Good comment Thomas.

    The Trans thing is important, precisely because of this. No man who takes ideas and argument seriously can accept this trans nonsense and still look at himself in the mirror and see a man. It literally *demands* abasing oneself.

    • Replies: @S. Anonyia
  178. vinteuil says:
    @Ron Unz

    Is this quotation from Chinese social media for real?

    Why is there no link? What is the source?

    • Replies: @Ron Unz
  179. Art Deco says:
    @Nico

    Carlson and the board of trustees in 1989 was dissatisfied with their New York office. There was correspondence back and forth about the expense of the office and ultimately complaints that the director of the New York office was insubordinate in refusing to cancel a scheduled conference. The director of the office had suggested a velvet divorce as well. So, Carlson and some others show up at the New York office and fire the entire staff, who are out on the curb with their effects in plastic garbage bags. The presence of the director of the New York office was the seal of quality as far as a couple of the foundations supporting the Institute were concerned, so they pulled the plug on the Institute and offered grant support to the new projects of the director of the New York office and his staff. That began the Institute’s decay into a corporate shell whose activities consisted of publishing Chronicles and not much else.

    Thomas Fleming, who was the editor of Chronicles for about 30 years, and whose ordinary editorial line was one promoting inter-war isolationism, found his cause around about 1995: Serb nationalism. That was an interesting choice for a man who usually professed to be indifferent to the world’s miseries. Unfortunately, Serb nationalism was in a feverish revanchist phase which incorporated using a lot of violence to run Bosnian moslems out of their homes, as well as contending that Kosovo was Serbia’s property and if the Albanians there (who constituted 90% of the population) found being subjugated by Serbs disagreeable, they could pound sand. He’s been in a rage for over 20 years that NATO ran Serb forces out of Kosovo. Fleming’s peculiar affections appear to have irritated Chronicles readers to such an extent that attrition cost them 70% of their body of subscribers. At the end of that episode, the Institute had a staff of four people (one of whom had been the press agent to some Serb outfit).

    Another problem they’ve had is an inability to replenish their talent pool. When Fleming retired in 2014, he was replaced by a man who was 68 years old. That man retired last year. He was replaced with Paul Gottfried, who is pushing 80.

    • Thanks: Johann Ricke
    • Replies: @vinteuil
  180. Ray P says:
    @OscarWildeLoveChild

    Especially as Steinem had Bret Easton Ellis’ novel American Psycho cancelled by his publisher during its printing forcing him to scramble and find an alternative publisher.

    • Thanks: Neoconned
  181. ChrisZ says:
    @Citizen of a Silly Country

    You’re right to be skeptical, Citizen. My longtime mantra in these parts and elsewhere has been that a truce in the culture war will only come about through a balance of terror. That is, the Left will only stop pressing its perceived advantage when its tribunes feel the same fear of job loss, social ostracism, and physical/legal persecution that many on the Right feel. More precisely, it will only happen when the Right can *exact* those reprisals on the Left.

    I feel partially vindicated that a faction of the Left, having begun to feel cold fear, is now making an overture to sue for peace. In the condescending fashion typical of this faction, they pretend to do so from high principle, when in fact it’s merely preservation of their elite positions atop the Leftist pyramid.

    However, note that figures of the Right have played NO role in instilling this fear in the elite Leftists. The Right has been (as usual) utterly inconsequential, and the truce being sought is not between Left and Right, but between Leftists of lesser and greater radicalism. Only a child would imagine that people on the Right will receive any benefit from the striking of such a truce. In fact, the obvious practical path to establishing harmony within the ranks of the Left is to redouble attention on the Right as the common enemy.

    I think that is what Steve is driving at when he cites the “missing” names from among the signatories. This reborn appeal for “free speech,” this newly-awakened critique of cancel culture, is not something that is intended to be “inclusive” of non-Leftists, from its very inception. Our side should view this petition not as a sign of hope for a new birth of universal “civility,” but as something on the order of the Von Ribbentrop Pact: an agreement to cool down one kind of animosity so focused hostility can be unleashed against a more “deserving” enemy.

  182. Redman says:
    @Almost Missouri

    That’s the exact sentence in the letter which caused me to flinch. It’s just a pointless disparagement of an ideological group (the “radical right”) without any definition of the term, nor any explanation of what about that group exemplifies a “constriction” of the “free exchange of information”.

    You are correct that at least I (and many others like me) have come to places like Unz and iSteve because they provide access to unfiltered and freely exchanged information and ideas.

    The letter’s supposed caveat (“censorship is what right wing people do as you know”) is but a dog whistle to the totalitarians that they, the smart signors to the letter, should be the ones who are spared.

    • Replies: @V. K. Ovelund
  183. Anonymous[278] • Disclaimer says:
    @Ron Unz

    Thank you for the response.

  184. Olorin says:
    @L. Guapo

    Why?

    You think they aren’t surprised by their golems turning on them?

    You think they realize that they were instrumental in creating those golems?

    The fact that these people haven’t spoken up on this topic before this, given all these wretched events, demonstrates that their honking is not in good faith. Too little, too late. They are hoping to cling to some of the privilege in the face of the revolution they created that they now see as threatening THEM. It was OK as long as it was going for the likes of Jared Taylor, James Watson, Molyneux, Heather Mac, KMac, Vox Day…and on, and on, and on.

    I read it as nausea-inducing in its wobbly weak wokeness. And it stinks of fear:

    Their old ideological enemies have been purged, and the mob that purged them is looking for new blood.

    And they are the ones left standing.

    I call it the Bret Weinstein Principle. You play the nepotism (marital or otherwise) game to get a coat-tails sinecure in the Chattering class…you join Sorosian movements/ideologies like Occupy…you train students to ferret out “right wing” and “nazi” and “fascist” ideas…you teach them to hate excellence and beauty and idealize the Demos…you explain to wide-eyed undergrad shiksas how your very genes are racist for preferring your own family to strangers, but hey, you can use the Talking Cure to talk them out of that reaction…you peddle Frankfurt School social studies bullshit in the guise of “college degrees,” which is to say leap-frogging over productive people for the cushiest jobs while building up six figures in debt…

    …then one day you go to work and find the mob is gunning for YOU.

    So the signatories you note can always apply the other Bret Weinstein Principle: when the mob you created turns on you, just shriek ANTI SEMITISM and blow town with a six-figure legal settlement…and a vast schedule of media interviews forever in which you are constantly assured by your interviewers that you are a brave individual standing for what is Right and True.

    • Replies: @V. K. Ovelund
  185. Some signers already bailing out — big surprise

  186. Penn State accidentally includes “conservative students” on its list of People Who Matter. Quickly apologizes and deletes the offending message.

    https://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/jul/9/penn-state-deletes-tweet-declaring-conservative-st/

  187. Anonymous[278] • Disclaimer says:

    “Snitching” is better than “cancel culture,” which lacks moral power. “Cancel culture” as a descriptor is puerile, unserious.

    But what is a term that would be better than both?

  188. Kronos says:
    @Nico

    I mean “Old Left” economic leftists. The unionizers, the socialists, syndicalists, and what naught. The 1960s Boomer hotheads like Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn joined up with the Communist stuff thinking they’d become the next Stalins and Maos in a US Revolution. Once that didn’t manifest, they became lackies For the “imperialist oppressors” they supposedly fought against. Later in life, Ayers would work heavily with Obama on supporting charter schools and attack teachers unions in the Chicago area (politically, not with bombs.)

    Caldwell’s “Age of Entitlement” book noted that:

    An important strand of 1960s “radicalism”—the individualistic strand—would wind up fitting 1980s “conservatism” like a glove.

  189. @AnotherDad

    Figure out what features you like first:

    http://www.thenewrifleman.com/the-ar15-buyers-guide-simple-steps-for-buying-a-great-rifle/

    He likes PSA as a budget rifle.

    https://palmettostatearmory.com/

    You might want to check Chris Bartoli’s Small Arms Solutions as he is the MAN (former Colt AR rep) for all AR-15 stuff. He has some budget type stuff reviews like Savage, PSA and the like.

    https://www.youtube.com/c/SmallArmsSolutions/videos

    The cheapest route would be to buy a ready made upper, one that is already head spaced and test rounds fired. Mate that to a lower receiver which you add the parts, or buy a pre-built lower. But don’t buy them simultaneously or you will have to pay the 11% conservation tax on the whole thing. You just want to pay tax on the lower.

    http://www.thenewrifleman.com/how-to-build-a-lower-receiver/

  190. Muggles says:
    @Ron Unz

    As has been mentioned in Sailer comments in other articles, and elsewhere, the current Chinese term for Wokesters/progressives is the “white Left.”

    No kidding. It isn’t a term of endearment either.

  191. Muggles says:
    @MEH 0910

    So the way to overcome Twitter’s word limit is to Tweet your essay in about 28 separate tweets.

    Hmmm… I knew their was a reason I never signed up. That, among others.

  192. Once you have that combination of “tear down the system” and also “anyone who says don’t tear down the system is a racist”, once you have moved from traditional liberal views of racism to the anti-racism of the Ibram Kendi Robin Diangelo crowd, there is no immune system among liberals to fight this. I think the battle’s over and I think the liberals just haven’t acknowledged it yet.

  193. @AnotherDad

    I’ve concluded that transgenderism is basically a kind of death cult. To take on a new identity different than one’s birth and demand everyone accept it is a strange oblivion of the self.

    There are parallels with weird ancient mystery cults here.

  194. Neoconned says:
    @Mr. Anon

    They should apologize to Miss White in all seriousness…..

    Besides the fact their music does suck…..theyre obviously imposing on her intellectual property.

  195. Russ says:
    @Michael S

    This whole thing just screams “controlled oppo”. Someone is trying to be the new Bill Buckley.

    The original canceller, in many respects.

  196. Neoconned says:
    @Coag

    Just my opinion but this Cultural Revolution started in 2017 w the metoo crap.

    Another thing….Maos cult of personality was in charge of that. There is no dictatorial big shot beyond our cultural crap.

  197. Boethiuss says:
    @Anonymous

    And where is that?

    Well, in this case it’s with the signatories of course.

    There’s not really any other alternative in a situation where Tyler Cowen, Rich Lowry, Megan McCardle et al are cheerleading for Matt Yglesias, Noam Chomsky, Salman Rushdie, Gloria Steinem, Nadine Strossen, etc, for winning a round for the “Right” side of the culture wars and the conservative populist Republican President of the United States is spectacularly inept at it.

  198. Ron Unz says:
    @vinteuil

    Is this quotation from Chinese social media for real?

    Why is there no link? What is the source?

    I’m about 95% sure it’s genuine. But since the original was obviously in Chinese (on Weibo), someone did a screen shot and then added the English translation. And I’ve just been using the screenshot for the last couple of years without bothering with the link.

    I think I originally saw it on Steve Hsu’s blogsite, so if you hunt around a little, you can probably find it there.

  199. Muggles says:
    @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    >>This is just the old guard burying their heads in the sand and/or hoping that they’ll be eaten last. Gay.<<

    Stalin's infamous purges have been mentioned quite a bit. Even before those, the Communist Party in the USSR was big on purges, though not in millions. Mao too. Before the Gang of Four millions were purged.

    What makes the current "cancel culture" (i.e. Progressive/commie McCarthyism) is that it follows the very sinister pattern of targeting the innocent. No one "canceled" or purged, fired etc. except for a few actual rapist criminals (Weinstin, Bill Cosby) are guilty of nothing but expressing opinions, telling jokes, disagreeing with the Comrades, and so on.

    When purging the innocent happens over matters of disagreement and opinion, there is no rational stopping point other than exhaustion or running out of victims you might actually need to run things.

    Most of the vocal racists in America are non White. There are very few actual "racists" in positions of influence. So like Stalin's wreckers or the Gang of Four's "capitalist roaders" these cancellation victims are randomly selected by the Twitter mobs and NYT precisely because You Could Be Next.

    The idea is to shut down voices, not punish anyone guilty of anything worth punishment.

    Of course the purgers are sowing the wind, in the biblical sense. Inevitably they will reap their own whirlwinds.

    • Replies: @V. K. Ovelund
  200. Muggles says:
    @SFG

    >>I mean, how hard is it for the POTUS to build a wall?<<

    If you mean this question sincerely and not ironically then you haven't been paying attention. At all. Big Fail for you on the exam.

    Part of the Dem TDS meme on him is that he is or will become a dictator. Of course he hasn't and wouldn't.

    Lawsuits up the wazoo on this matter. Endless litigation, still ongoing. Only the Pandemic has brought some relief as courts have largely shut down. Plus even the Comrades know that the teeming masses yearning to be free are likely all to be COVID-19 carriers.

    It is vastly irritating when rational people here (seemingly) blame Trump for not being some kind of undemocratic dictator. As I publicly wrote (elsewhere) in 2016, one alloyed benefit of a possible Trump victory in November will be the end of the Left's championing of the Imperial Presidency. At least for four years.

    • Agree: V. K. Ovelund
    • Replies: @Boethiuss
  201. Boethiuss says:
    @Muggles

    It is vastly irritating when rational people here (seemingly) blame Trump for not being some kind of undemocratic dictator. As I publicly wrote (elsewhere) in 2016, one alloyed benefit of a possible Trump victory in November will be the end of the Left’s championing of the Imperial Presidency. At least for four years.

    You would hope so, but no.

    The Left hasn’t renounced a thing about the Imperial Presidency. They have simply demonstrated, litigated, agitated, etc, to the effect that Trump really isn’t the President. And they have had quite a bit of success with that. To the point that Trump is still occupying the office, but is operationally hamstrung from exercising any of its powers.

    And once the pretender is out of the way, a Left President can start up right again where they left off doing all the things we’re likely to hate.

  202. anon[385] • Disclaimer says:
    @Ed

    “This is an awesome display of power that should trouble people. Conservatives have been defeated in the realms that count the culture. It didn’t have to be this way.”

    Conservatives & libertarians spent much of their time extolling the virtues of monopolies and big corporations. They called anyone who pointed out how dumb it was to let 100 people from the same political background, many with government ties, control everything “socialists” … or “communists.” They deserve just as much of the credit as anyone else. Sucks that smart people like us have to suffer the consequences invited upon society by imbecilic knownothings.

    • Agree: Ed
  203. @Jim Don Bob

    It was earlier, Kill Bill was the Tarantino film.

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
  204. @Jorge Videla

    What a revolting username, shame on you Odilo.

  205. Anon[145] • Disclaimer says:

    The Twitter meltdown of the Vox trans writer Emily VanDerWerff over this is fun. She was given a couple of days off by Vox to heal from her trauma over Yglesia signing the letter, and she made a dramatic sign off.

    Her theory is:

    1. The letter signatories included some critics of “trans women are women period” trans ideology.

    2. Any questioning of trans ideology in the media will mix with all other questioning in the overall media mix, which will cause haters to be created.

    3. One of these haters might kill Emily, so she feels unsafe. As 0.000001 percent of the media, Vox will be partly reponsible for Emily’s death.

    By the way, today was the announcement that the slaughter of trans people continues, 21 so far this year, on a pace to exceed 2019’s 29.

    Is 21 a lot in the overall murder scheme of things? Let’s assume it it, and take a closer look.

    Murder 21 ia a Pompano Beach black trans person whose case is still being investigated, but appears to be a personal dispute with an acquaintance, unrelated to transness.

    Murder 20 is a natal woman who presented as a very pretty woman, with pink-blonde hair, who was mowed down while protesting for BLM on a freeway. Post-death someone said that “they” used they/them pronouns and was “nonbinary.” The driver, who was arrested (although intention and motive is unclear as of yet) and is a black African (which is why the case suddenly disappeared from the media) could not have known she was nonbinary and could not have known who he would hit. To be a trans murder, doesn’t the motive need to involve transness?

    I’ll stop here because the article did not list numbers 19 down to 1. But these trans murder stats seem to be fake.

    • Replies: @Ed
  206. @Redman

    That’s the exact sentence in the letter which caused me to flinch. It’s just a pointless disparagement of an ideological group (the “radical right”)….

    But does the sentence not express the writers’ belief?

    The sentence does not express your belief, nor mine, but as far as I know it does express theirs.

    You and I should avoid the very sin into which the radical Left has fallen, for the radical Left will allow us freedom of speech only if we say what they think. The writers by contrast are saying what they think and, on the face of it, are defending our right to say what we think.

    Is this not precisely what we had wanted the writers to do?

    And even if it were not, three years of Trumpian failure suggest that we are not bargaining from a position of strength. If, for their own reasons, the writers are now offering us some of what we want and (on the face of it) asking nothing in return, then maybe we should take what they offer.

    Should we suspect a trick? Of course. Should we beware bait? Sure, but take it, because what is the alternative?

    Meanwhile, in my life, I cannot think of a situation in which it would have been prudent to abuse a foe who, suddenly, had just decided to give me something I want.

  207. @Muggles

    What makes the current “cancel culture” (i.e. Progressive/commie McCarthyism) is that it follows the very sinister pattern of targeting the innocent. No one “canceled” or purged, fired etc. … are guilty of [anything] but expressing opinions, telling jokes, disagreeing with the Comrades, and so on.

    I got purged without expressing opinions, telling jokes, or disagreeing with the Comrades. I got purged for mere failure to disregard one of my employer’s own written rules.

    The Comrade who purged me didn’t even warn me first. That is, the Comrade never pulled me aside to intimate, “V. K., I know what it says in the manual and in the training program, but no one follows that rule here. Would you kindly do such-and-such, instead?”

    Actually, excepting one hello-how-are-you in the washroom and another in the corridor, totaling about 90 seconds of interaction, the Comrade who purged me had during my ten years of employment literally never spoken to me about anything at any time before he dropped the axe.

    That’s how bad it is.

    (I am aware that a disinterested reader must suspect that I had been generally a difficult person at work, and that that were the real reason I got purged. Since the reader does not know me, all I can say is that my supervisor and colleagues did all they could to persuade the Comrade to change his mind, to no avail. The supervisor and colleagues did not think me difficult.)

  208. @Olorin

    You think they aren’t surprised by their golems turning on them?

    Some persons in the thread keep saying this, but I don’t get it. What did I miss?

    The letter includes a few Gentile signatories whose speech as been suppressed but, as far as I know, the letter’s predominantly Jewish authorship has been untouched by the golem.

    Younger readers have excellent reasons not to listen to older generations that have transmitted lies to them all their lives, so (being a member of an older generation) I do not know quite what to say other than that, in the generation to which most of the letter’s signatories belong, liberals actually did believe in real free speech.

    Besides, the older signatories, like most old persons during this or any other era, are temperamentally alarmed by overreach.

    These two factors alone suffice to explain the letter.

  209. This is the bunch that got us into the quicksand. Reminds me of the old New Yorker cartoon. Two hunters, up to there necks. One says ‘ quicksand or not, Chumley’, l’ve half a mind to struggle ‘.

  210. Art Deco says:
    @anon

    Similar to what was done to Joseph Sobran. Although Sobran was unpersoned earlier in time, so he could still maintain a checking account, I guess, and rent a dwelling. But a deliberate, co-ordinated effort was made to render him unemployable and homeless by…someone or other. I tried to remember (((who))) but the buzzing in my head….what was I saying?

    He worked for National Review, the syndicate who distributed his column, and CBS Radio. He was fired from National Review for insubordination. His employment by the syndicate and CBS was consequent to the imprimatur of his employment by National Review. This isn’t mysterious. The man used words elegantly, but, substantively, his writings were crank rubbish. He wasn’t unemployable. He couldn’t make a living as an opinion journalist because there wasn’t a market for his opinions. He learned the hard way that he’d been sheltered by Buckley for 21 years. Here’s a brain squeezer: why didn’t the Rockford Institute hire him?

    The man was, all his life, eccentric and impractical. When Buckley met him, he was a graduate student in English at Eastern Michigan University. EMU did not offer research degrees (and, hardly pretends to even today). Why would you seek an MA in English? I suppose it might improve your prospects in landing a position on a community college faculty. At the time he was enrolled there, he was married (as he had been since age 18), had three children, and was expecting a fourth. That particular marriage blew up after a few years; he remarried around about 1977 – to a woman 20+ years his senior (a marriage that also went tits up). From the time Buckley sh!tcanned him until the end of his life, he remained in Northern Virginia, its high rents notwithstanding. Per his eulogists (e.g. Jared Taylor), he couldn’t have friends over because his dwelling was a sty. He’d do things like allow his driver’s license to expire.

    • Replies: @vinteuil
  211. @Unladen Swallow

    Right. And I meant to amplify your point about how trivial Easterbrook’s firing was.

  212. Ed says:
    @Anon

    What good can come out of a society that takes the rantings of a crazy person seriously? Why elevate a man that thinks he’s a woman to any position of power or prominence?

  213. vinteuil says:
    @Art Deco

    Missed this, before.

    Wow, AD. So you were privy, for years, to every detail, not only of what was going on at National Review, but also at Chronicles…

  214. vinteuil says:
    @Art Deco

    …and you just can’t help trashing poor old Joseph Sobran, every time anybody mentions him.

    You do realize how weird that is, don’t you?

    It kinda sorta looks like maybe you played a role in cancelling him (as they say, these days) – and now, looking back, it’s really important for you to believe that he deserved it.

    ‘Cause he was eccentric. And impractical. And he died in a sty.

    It’s not enough, for you, that he’s dead. You have to keep telling yourself that he deserved it.

    • Agree: V. K. Ovelund
  215. MEH 0910 says:


    Zack Beachamp finally finished writing his piece:

    To clarify the real nature of the competing positions here, I spoke to Regina Rini, a philosopher at York University whose work focuses on the ethics of modern communication. Her most recent book is titled The Ethics of Microaggressions; she’s currently working on a new volume tentatively titled Democracy and Social Media Are Incompatible.

    “No matter what, there are going to be social norms about what’s okay to talk about in society. Basic things like propriety, privacy, [and] politeness,” she tells me. “There’s nothing new or distinctive about social justice ideology that generates that.”

    What’s new in the modern era, according to Rini, is that the mass public has gained an unprecedented ability to influence and reshape those rules — a process that used to be the province of the elite.

    This began with the rise of mass literacy but has dramatically accelerated in recent years. The decline in overt racism and moves toward formal inclusion of marginalized groups — people of color, women, LGBTQ people — have brought a slew of new perspectives and experiences into the public square. And the rise of social media has given individual citizens powerful new tools for challenging elite opinion and holding them accountable.

    These developments have led to two things that “free speech” defenders — Rini calls them “status quo warriors,” or SQWs for short — find particularly troubling.

    The first is substantive. Our new wave of social justice activism contends that arguments from minority groups deserve a special kind of deference; that white people should “listen to Black voices” on racism and grant authority to their lived experiences in conversations about oppression. Further, they argue that elite publications should refuse to air pernicious ideas — for example, that white people have higher IQs than Black people on average for genetic reasons, “junk science” that’s been used to justify racial inequality — that got respectful hearings in the not-so-distant past, on grounds that they contribute to discrimination and make minority employees feel unsafe in the workplace.

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