Sunday, August 13, 2017

UK: Hating the elderly

There is a substantial minority of Britons who are passionately opposed to Britain's exit from the EU. What drives that?  It is mostly a Leftist contempt for patriotism.  Dissolving Britain into a large amorphous entity seems to them to be a good way to eliminate patriotism and instead move towards a "brotherhood of man".  A world government is their ideal.

That a brotherhood of man does not exist, has never existed, and never will exist does not apparently weaken the power of the dream.  All men are NOT brothers.  They can often be extraordinarily un-brotherly towards one-another, in fact.  And there is no end to that in sight

They fuck you up, your mum and dad. They may not mean to, but they do’, wrote Philip Larkin. But it might as well have been [liberal politician] Vince Cable. Realising his continual calls for a second EU referendum were getting tiresome, the Lib Dem leader now hopes to scupper Brexit by igniting an intergenerational war.

For Cable, the Brexit vote didn’t symbolise a rejection of the political establishment, or a democratic awakening across the UK. Instead, our parents and grandparents ‘comprehensively shafted the young’, acting as if out of spite.

Vince has form when it comes to granny-bashing. Following the referendum, he told a group of journalists that the Leave vote was made up of ‘elderly people who were obsessed by the worry of 80million Turks coming to live in their village’. It was the bigoted nans wot won it, apparently.

And so our Vince has pledged to defend the yoof against their evil elders. Given that his party backed the Conservatives in tripling university tuition fees, his alignment with millennials seems pretty awkward. But, then again, he is 74 – and old people aren’t to be trusted.

The evolution of the Brexit debate into generational warfare started long before Sir Vince decided to get down with the kidz. During the EU referendum, self-appointed yoof leader Owen Jones urged young people to call up their grandparents and get them to vote Remain.

But things got a lot nastier after the referendum result. At a recent conference, author Ian McEwan dreamed out loud about a near future, with ‘1.5million oldsters, mostly Brexiters, freshly in their graves’, in which the next generation would take us back into the EU. One New Statesman writer said Brexit ‘proves Baby Boomers hate their own children’. And one Guardian journalist reported that a friend ‘saw this older couple in the street and just felt this sudden, enormous wave of fury towards them and their generation. It was almost physical.’

Hating older people is today’s most acceptable prejudice
. Cable warns of an ‘undercurrent of violence’ in today’s political discourse, even as he flings undiluted bile at the elderly.

Ironically, it is those who most scaremonger about post-Brexit hate crime who are the most openly hateful towards one section of the electorate. ‘The last thing the UK needs is further polarisation’, Cable says. But it isn’t nans and grandads who are polarising the UK.

None of this stems from real concern about the issues that confront young people. After all, what about the throngs of unemployed young people in Spain and Greece, battered by EU austerity? The likes of Cable don’t like the old because they don’t share their political convictions, because they tend to be anti-EU. Remoaners seem to be forgetting that, in a democracy, all votes count the same, whether you’re 19 or 90.

In the past, progressives worked to build solidarity – bringing people together regardless of their age, sex, class or background. Today, embittered Remainers, claiming to be progressive, would rather pit the young against the old in an attempt to derail democracy. Young people shouldn’t let them get away with it.


White men at Google target two black women for personal destruction

Typical liberal hypocrisy.  They really believe in nothing.  Hurting people is their real aim

I know you all love Diamond and Silk, the sisters (biological) from Fayetteville, N.C. who are super-Trump supporters. Their YouTube videos are both funny and political as well as being unusual because they come from the right of politics.

It looks like YouTube decided to pull their advertising revenue generated from the ads that run at the front of their videos and the Ladies think it’s because they support President Trump.

Diamond and Silk have accused Youtube of censoring their viral videos Thursday, saying the platform is violating their First Amendment rights, according to Twitchy.

Lynnette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson tweeted on Thursday that Youtube has “demonetized 95 percent” of the duo’s videos, saying they’re “not suitable for all advertisers.”


Former Google Employee: ‘There Are Efforts to Demote Anything Non-PC from Search Results’

Google was thrown into turmoil last night after the company fired James Damore, author of a manifesto defending viewpoint diversity and a fact-based approach to the alleged gender gap in tech. In exclusive interviews with Breitbart News, more Google employees are now speaking out in support of the manifesto.
Damore’s ten-page manifesto, which was met by an immediate backlash, described a climate of fear, in which employees who challenge prevailing leftist narratives at the company are faced with immediate threats to their career. Damore’s own experience appears to confirm this.

Breitbart News is exclusively publishing a series of interviews with current and former Google employees who contacted us in the wake of the manifesto’s publication.

The interview series, entitled “Rebels of Google,” will be published in full over the coming days. Because every employee who spoke to us fears for their job if their identities were made public, we have provided aliases in place of their real names.

In the first interview of the series, a Google employee (alias “Hal”) spoke of witch-hunts and intolerance at Google, as well as dysfunction at the company’s upper echelons.

Our second interview, published below, is the account of a former Google engineer (alias “Emmett”) who spent several years at the company. You can find a full transcript of our interview here.

We asked  Emmett if he could corroborate allegations that employees within Google’s Ad Sales department have expressed “a great deal of sympathy” with the Sleeping Giants campaign, which has sought to deny ad revenue to alternative media sites including Breitbart News and The Rebel Media.

According to Breitbart’s anonymous source, some Ad Sales employees are “openly encouraging Adwords customers to pull their ads from Breitbart and Rebel Media.”

Emmett concurs with our source. “A number of friends have privately confirmed this to me. I know there are efforts to demote anything non-PC, anti-Communist and anti-Islamic terror from search results. To what extent that has been successful, I don’t know.”

Emmett says he personally witnessed efforts from leftists within Google to bias YouTube’s algorithms to push anti-PC content off the platform’s “related videos” recommendations.

“I have read internal mailing list e-mail from SJWs absolutely incensed that there’d be, say, a Sargon of Akkad video appearing as a video related to one of their favorite SJW vloggers. This is what happens when you have unbiased algorithms, which at the time, was true. I don’t have to tell you that, in that e-mail, the SJW was quite literally asking that the ‘related videos’ function be perverted so that such a thing would stop happening.”

According to Emmett, the greatest threat is that ordinary users of Google and its related services won’t even be able to detect the censorship.

“The software could just astroturf your Related Videos section, and you would be none the wiser. Sure, if you know what to look for, perhaps you’d notice. But the vast majority of the viewership would never ever know. That’s the whole point of such a disinformation program, right? If you can tell it’s disinformation, you would never ever believe it.”

In Emmett’s view, it’s “only a matter of time” before Google begins to bias its search results against the Trump movement, Republicans, and right-leaning politicians.

“I don’t have to tell you that there was an internal meltdown at Google when the election was over. The hysteria has only ever reached a higher level once. That was throughout this weekend, thanks to the #GoogleManifesto scandal.”

According to Emmett, Google is “leaking people with integrity” who are “tired of having to cope with these corrupt ideologies and the people who proselytize them, support them, and punish people who disagree with them.”

“Who remains in charge, after that slow but certain evaporative cooling of beliefs? You do the math.”

Concurring with James Demore’s manifesto, Emmett speaks of a culture of fear at the company. He says that even speaking out against Democrat politicians is unwise for a Googler.

“Whether you dislike a Democratic party candidate, or have reservations about how Google ‘looks twice’ at the applications of certain candidates from privileged (“underrepresented”) minorities, or support free speech … if it’s something the SJWs don’t want to hear about, be very, very careful about opening your mouth to anyone.”

Emmett recalls one case in which a Google employee was actually punched for making a post that offended someone. Far from helping the Google employees who face left-wing harassment, Emmett alleges that the company’s Human Resources department assists them.

“Everybody knows it’s a quick trip to H.R. if you dare say anything against the ‘anti-social’ order. Or sometimes you get punched. I know at least one engineer did get punched in retaliation for something he posted.”

Predictably, Emmett confirms that racist and sexist incidents against white or male employees at Google are not taken seriously.

“I remember Colm Buckley (of #GoogleManifesto infamy) dismissing a well-written post by a colleague of mine, with the single sentence “Isn’t it nice to be white.” I also remember him being condescending to an employee who posted an innocuous message of skepticism about social justice. I should note that the employee Colm condescended to was eventually forced out of the company. ”

“I remember Peter Goett entirely unironically posting a reply to a list with over 10,000 Googlers: “congratulations on your white penis.” To my understanding, had someone posted “black vagina”, that person would have been summarily fired. Also to my understanding, Goett appears to have received no punishment.”

Emmett says the corruption at Google goes all the way to senior management.

Bias in support of these discriminatory and hostile behaviors goes pretty much all the way up, management’s just clever enough not to add to the fire (often) but just to let the lower ranks make it happen.”

“You have to remember these people are quite intelligent.”


You Can't Say That! Has liberalism taken a Soviet turn?

A sociologist might point to a decline in social trust over the past few decades—they have ways of measuring this—and speculate about its bearing on political speech. One wonders: Who am I talking to? How will my utterances be received? What sort of allegiances are in play here? In the absence of trust, it becomes necessary to send explicit signals. We become fastidious in speech and observe gestures of affirmation and condemnation that would be unnecessary among friends.

The more insecure one’s position (for example, as a middle manager who senses his disposability, or a graduate student who hopes for admittance to the academic guild), the more important it is to signal virtue and castigate the usual villains. In some settings these performative imperatives lead us to mimic the ideologue. But from the outside, mimicry may be indistinguishable from the real thing. This uncertainty heightens the atmosphere of mistrust, as in the Soviet world where one could never be sure who might be an informer. Such informers need not be ideologues themselves, just opportunists.

Ryszard Legutko is a professor of philosophy in Krakow who has held various ministerial positions in the post-Communist, liberal-democratic governments of Poland and is currently a member of the European parliament. Under communism, he was a dissident and an editor of the Solidarity movement’s samizdat. He is thus well positioned to make comparisons between two regimes that are conventionally taken to be at polar ends of the axis of freedom. In his book The Demon in Democracy—published last year, with a paperback edition scheduled for next year—Legutko’s thesis is that the important differences between communism and liberal democracy obscure affinities that go deeper than any recent sociological developments. He finds both tyrannical in their central tendencies and inner logic.

Legutko’s tone is darkly aggrieved, and he sometimes overstates his case. But his biography compels us to consider seriously the parallels with communism that he asserts, for as a former dissident under a brutal regime he knows what real oppression looks like. He is no intellectual crybaby or talk-radio crank.

Many of Legutko’s observations and arguments can be applied to the United States, even though he is more focused on EU-style liberal democracy:

"Even a preliminary contact with the EU institutions allows one to feel a stifling atmosphere typical of a political monopoly, to see the destruction of language turning into a new form of Newspeak, to observe the creation of a surreality, mostly ideological, that obfuscates the real world, to witness an uncompromising hostility against all dissidents, and to perceive many other things only too familiar to anyone who remembers the world governed by the Communist Party."

The parallels Legutko finds between liberal democracy and communism become plausible once you grant that in Europe the term “liberal democracy” has come to name a disposition and political system that is neither liberal nor democratic. In theory, liberal democracy is supposed to be a merely formal or neutral arrangement to guarantee rule by consent—the consent of a majority with important constitutional limits and guarantees of minority rights. Thus conceived, it is to be agnostic about human ends and ideals, pluralistic in its sympathies, and tolerant of dissent. Such political ideals would nourish a diversity of human experience and many “experiments in living,” John Stuart Mill hoped.

But if the hope was to depoliticize society, rendering issues of public morality into matters of private concern, the effect has been the opposite. Everything is deeply politicized: family life, intellectual life, art, sex, children’s toys, you name it. Domains of life that were previously oriented by their own internal logic of experience are now held to account by a self-appointed vanguard, exposed to the sterilizing light of publicity, and made to answer to liberal ideals that are not merely procedural but substantive. “It is difficult to find some nondoctrinal slice of the world, a nondoctrinal image, narrative, tone, or thought,” Legutko writes.

In this regard—the denial of sovereignty to spheres of life that in principle ought to be beneath the notice and beyond the reach of the political regime—it is fair to say that liberal democracy in its 21st-century workings does resemble communism as described by dissident authors such as Milan Kundera and Václav Havel. Both regimes have “proved to be all-unifying entities compelling their followers how to think, what to do, how to evaluate events, what to dream, and what language to use.” Communism had, and liberal democracy has, its own orthodoxies and its own “models of an ideal citizen.”

What can account for the mismatch between liberal democracy’s easygoing self-image and the feel of everyday life in a liberal democracy? There is little sense of social spontaneity; one watches what one says. This has come to feel normal.

Like François Furet before him, Legutko suggests that the key to understanding the character of life in a liberal democracy is the role that history—or rather History, understood as inevitable progress in a certain direction—plays in the liberal imagination. In recent decades, this manifested as the enthusiasm for trying to bring liberal democracy to very illiberal places using the blunt instruments of military action and marketization. But it was during the Obama era that this energy really got released onto the domestic scene for the first time in perhaps 40 years. Liberals started calling themselves progressives—a rebranding significant because it announced a new boldness in speaking an idiom of historical necessity. It announced a new impatience with foot-draggers as well.

In a handful of years, we went from Obama himself being opposed to gay marriage (however sincerely) to a cultural norm in which to wonder aloud about the civilizational novelty of gay marriage, even in a speculative or theoretical register, is to risk harming yourself socially and professionally. To anyone who felt squeezed by a tightening cultural grid during the Obama years, the parallels Legutko offers with the Soviet experience won’t seem hyperbolic.

Both the communists and liberal democrats, while praising what is inevitable and objectively necessary in history, praise at the same time the free activities of parties, associations, community groups, and organizations in which, as they believe, what is inevitable and objectively necessary reveals itself. Both speak fondly of “the people” and large social movements, while at the same time ..... [they] have no qualms in ruthlessly breaking social spontaneity in order to accelerate social reconstruction.

In his foreword to Legutko’s book, John O’Sullivan crisply lays out the logic that follows from the conviction of historical privilege shared by communism and liberalism. Both insist “that all social institutions—family, churches, private associations—must conform” to certain rules in their internal functioning, and “both are devoted to social engineering to bring about this transformation. And because such engineering is naturally resisted, ...... both are engaged in a never-ending struggle against enemies of society (superstition, tradition, the past, intolerance, racism, xenophobia, bigotry, etc., etc.).”

Legutko writes that going with the flow, whether Communist or liberal-democratic, “gives an intellectual more power, or at least an illusion of it. He feels like part of a powerful global machine of transformation. ..... [He criticizes] what is in the name of what will be, but what a large part of humanity, less perceptive and less intelligent than himself, fails to see.”

This sounds apt as an account of a certain kind of narcissistic political pleasure. In the United States, Comedy Central serves to organize the youthful, lumpen intelligentsia and make it aware of itself as a force. A coveted demographic for advertisers, these viewers tune in to be flattered by the minstrels of corporate right-thinking. As a rough rule of thumb, it seems the higher the stock market capitalization of a firm (think Google, Facebook, Apple) and the more quasigovernmental a role it plays in our collective lives, the less daylight will be found between its enlightened positions and the brave truth-telling of a Trevor Noah, Samantha Bee, or John Oliver. Liberal use of the F-bomb confirms, and reconfirms, that here we are engaged in transgression—for the sake of principles the stupids fail to grasp.

“The trackers of traitors to liberal democracy readily succumb,” Legutko writes, to the delusion “that they are a brave small group struggling dauntlessly against an overwhelming enemy.” In the European setting, “On their side are the courts, both national and international, the UN and its agencies, the European Union with all its institutions, countless media, universities, and public opinion. ...... They feel absolutely safe, being equipped with the most powerful political tools in today’s world but at the same time priding themselves on their courage and decency, which are more formidable the more awesome the image of the enemy becomes.”

In the United States, a small-town entrepreneur who, say, politely declines to bake a cake or arrange flowers for a gay wedding sometimes has to suffice for this purpose, serving the role of an awesome enemy. Notions such as freedom of association and freedom of conscience can only mask the “hate” just beneath the deceptively congenial surface of American life.

As Legutko writes, “the very idea of liberal democracy should presuppose the freedom of action.” But because there is an arc of progress to this regime—one that is not only discerned in retrospect but is understood as a mission—those who fail to get with the program “lose their legitimacy. The need for building a liberal-democratic society [as opposed to a mere liberal-democratic political procedure] thus implies the withdrawal of the guarantee of freedom for those whose actions and interests are said to be hostile to what the liberal democrats conceive as the cause of freedom.”

Such projects of social transformation give expression to progressive “empathy” for designated classes of victims. But here we encounter another bit of Newspeak, if we grant that empathy properly understood means being sympathetic and alive to human experience in its concrete particularity. Progressive empathy tends to treat persons as instances of categories defined by politics. Drawing a parallel between Communist class struggle and liberal-democratic gender politics, Legutko writes that “a real woman living in a real society, like a real worker living in a real society, is politically not to be trusted because she deviates too much from the political model. In fact, a nonfeminist woman is not a woman at all, just as a noncommunist worker was not really a proletarian.”

One could go further: Willful obtuseness to social phenomena is crucial in constructing the symbolic persons at the heart of these progressive dramas, because the point of the dramas is for the progressive to act out his own virtue as one who embraces the symbol. Progressive purity, based on abstraction from social reality, sometimes has to be guarded by policing the speech of real individuals who are putatively the objects of the progressive’s enthusiasm, or the speech of those who are in more intimate contact with these individuals and threaten to complicate the picture—for example, the speech of the social worker who frankly describes the confusion and unhappiness that mark the lives of transgender people. The great march forward requires the erasure of “gender binaries,” and that is all one needs to know.

Legutko’s book will appeal to people who can point to no overt political oppression, but who feel that the standards of acceptable discourse increasingly require them to lie, and to accept the humiliation of doing so. Like other dissident writers from the Soviet sphere, Legutko provides a historical parallel to our own time that helps us parse that feeling and discern its logic.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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