Imagine a progressive elite boot on the neck of journalists forever (Photo by Eko Siswono Toyudho/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
First, let me quote to you something from The Captive Mind, Polish dissident writer Czeslaw Miloszs 1951 classic exploring the mentality of intellectuals who submitted to Communism:
It was only toward the middle of the twentieth century that the inhabitants of many European countries came, in general unpleasantly, to the realization that their fate could be influenced directly by intricate and abstruse books of philosophy. Their bread, their work, their private lives began to depend on this or that decision in disputes on principles to which, until then, they had never paid any attention. In their eyes, the philosopher had always been a sort of dreamer whose divigations had no effect on reality. The average human being, even if he had once been exposed to it, wrote philosophy off as utterly impractical and useless. therefore the great intellectual work of the Marxists could easily pass as just one more variation on a sterile pastime. Only a few individuals understood the causes and probably consequences of this general indifference.
The more general point here is that ordinary people had better pay attention to what intellectual elites say and do. It is very, very unwise to laugh them off as living in an ivory tower. The lightning-fast movement of what was once ultra-fringe discussions about gender and sexuality from graduate student seminars to the center of American culture is a clear and unmistakable sign and a warning. What happens at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, and other elite universities does not stay there. The people those universities educate become the American elites, and move into leadership positions throughout US society.
I mentioned this summer being in Poland, and talking with Poles who work for the Polish branches of US and Western Europe-based multinationals. Those companies are bringing LGBT Pride policies and initiatives into their Polish workplaces. The Poles with whom I spoke are Catholics whose religious convictions rebel against having to affirm LGBT especially the T in the workplace. But they badly need those jobs, so theyre torn. In this way, US and Western European corporate elites are compelling a cultural revolution. If they succeed in changing the views of Eastern European elites, then they will change those countries. What started in American universities will have made its way down to everyday life in Poland and countries like it. It never would have occurred to Polish workers that the abstruse theories of, say, Judith Butler would have anything to do with their jobs, but thats exactly what is happening, right now, all over the world.
Similarly, in a fantastic history Im reading now, Yuri Slezkines The House Of Government, it is clear that the ideas that led to the Bolshevik Revolution, and ultimately the deaths of 20 million, began in fervent reading groups of messianic young Marxist intellectuals. People who do not pay attention to what intellectual and cultural elites say, or who dismiss it as eggheaded nonsense, are fools.
I say that as background to the latest insanity from Harvard, as reported by The Harvard Crimson:
Harvards Undergraduate Council voted to pass a statement at its meeting Sunday in support of immigration advocacy group Act on a Dreams concerns about The Harvard Crimsons news policies and made recommendations to make reporting policies more transparent.
The statement, passed 15-13-4, comes after The CrimsoncoveredAct on a Dreams Abolish ICE protest in September. After the protest, Crimson reporters contacted a United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesperson for comment. More than 900 people and several student groups have since signed an Act on a Dream petitioncondemningThe Crimsons decision to reach out for comment.
The councils vote approved its own statement regarding the issue to be sent out to students in its weekly email.
The Undergraduate Council stands in solidarity with the concerns of Act on a Dream, undocumented students, and other marginalized individuals on campus, the statement reads. It is necessary for the Undergraduate Council to acknowledge the concerns raised by numerous groups and students on campus over the past few weeks and to recognize the validity of their expressed fear and feelings of unsafety.
Members of several campus groups including Act on a Dream and the Harvard College Democrats have instructed their members not to speak to The Crimson unless it changes its policies.
You see whats happening here? These Harvard students, and part of the Harvard student government, do not want the campus newspaper to practice basic journalism. It condemns the newspaper simply for seeking comment from people the students dislike. The agents of ICE are non-persons people so horrible that they do not deserve to be heard, because they cause members of favored groups to experience feelings of unsafety.
The First Amendment to the US Constitution guarantees free speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of religion. It is perhaps understandable (though not defensible) that elite Harvard students would oppose freedom of religion. But freedom of the press? If theyre against basic journalistic standards, this is a terrible sign for the future, and for all the First Amendment freedoms. A couple of weeks ago, a poll came out showing that 60 percent of young Americans want the First Amendment rewritten to restrict free speech and freedom of the press. (And yes, I am aware that Donald Trumps appalling populist rhetoric about the press is adding to this hatred of the First Amendment.)
The book Im writing now talks about the cult of Social Justice, and the messianic, militant utopianism of this new generation of progressives, who are marching through the institutions of American life. Im thinking hard right now of this other line from Miloszs book, about the insufficiency of making better arguments than the enemies of liberty. The Messiah he mentions here is Communism:
One does not defeat a Messiah with common-sense arguments.
UPDATE: At Northwestern University, home of one of the countrys leading journalism schools, the campus newspapers leadership has capitulated to the SJWs. In this editorial, they apologize to the campus for reporting on a public event (a speech given on campus by former AG Jeff Sessions). Excerpt:
We recognize that we contributed to the harm students experienced, and we wanted to apologize for and address the mistakes that we made that night along with how we plan to move forward.
One area of our reporting that harmed many students was our photo coverage of the event. Some protesters found photos posted to reporters Twitter accounts retraumatizing and invasive. Those photos have since been taken down. On one hand, as the paper of record for Northwestern, we want to ensure students, administrators and alumni understand the gravity of the events that took place Tuesday night. However, we decided to prioritize the trust and safety of students who were photographed. We feel that covering traumatic events requires a different response than many other stories. While our goal is to document history and spread information, nothing is more important than ensuring that our fellow students feel safe [emphasis mine RD] and in situations like this, that they are benefitting from our coverage rather than being actively harmed by it. We failed to do that last week, and we could not be more sorry.
Some students also voiced concern about the methods that Daily staffers used to reach out to them. Some of our staff members who were covering the event used Northwesterns directory to obtain phone numbers for students beforehand and texted them to ask if theyd be willing to be interviewed. We recognize being contacted like this is an invasion of privacy, and weve spoken with those reporters along with our entire staff about the correct way to reach out to students for stories.
It goes on. Its a signed editorial, which I suppose gives future employers a heads-up about these young fraidy-cats complete lack of moral courage and journalistic professionalism.
UPDATE.2: A young journalist quotes the signatories of the editorial and warns about whats coming when this generation (his own) takes institutional power:
See original here:
The 'Evil' First Amendment - The American Conservative
- ZACHARY: First Amendment advocates warn of media oversight - Tifton Gazette - January 27th, 2020
- Letters mis-stating the First Amendment and Trump flags - Villages-News - January 27th, 2020
- Witness to the PERSECUTION | Columns | Journal Gazette - Fort Wayne Journal Gazette - January 27th, 2020
- Other voices: Money, speech and truth - St. Paul Pioneer Press - January 27th, 2020
- Over the line in comedy | My View - Santa Fe New Mexican - January 27th, 2020
- Social Studies in the real world: Raceland teacher takes his class on field trip to fiscal court - The Independent - January 27th, 2020
- Reporters Face New Threats From the Governments They Cover - The New York Times - January 27th, 2020
- The First Amendment and Supreme Court | Opinion | dailyitem.com - Sunbury Daily Item - January 25th, 2020
- President Trump Restores the Original Intent of the First Amendment - CNSNews.com - January 25th, 2020
- Letter to the Editor: Supporting the We the People Amendment - Wicked Local - January 25th, 2020
- Gazette opinion: Senate restrictions are an insult to First Amendment - KPVI News 6 - January 25th, 2020
- Could Trump Muzzle John Bolton? The Limits of Executive Privilege, Explained - The New York Times - January 25th, 2020
- Throwback Thursday: The First Amendment's Freedom of Assembly in Action in Nutley NJ - TAPinto.net - January 24th, 2020
- It Violates the First Amendment to Criminalize Immigration Advocacy or Giving Advice to Illegal Immigrants - Cato Institute - January 24th, 2020
- Shattering the First Amendment - The Riverdale Press - January 24th, 2020
- The Unacknowledged Clash Between the Supreme Courts Interpretation of the Religion Clauses and the - Justia Verdict - January 24th, 2020
- Guest column: First Amendment on the docket at the Supreme Court - The Mercury - January 24th, 2020
- City of Scottsdale and The Satanic Temple take the stands in First Amendment-based case - FOX 10 News Phoenix - January 24th, 2020
- Hearing Wednesday: EFF Urges Court To Rule That Blogger's Opinion of Open Source Licensing Agreement is Protected by the First Amendment - EFF - January 24th, 2020
- Choice in education could have impact on 2020 vote - Boston Herald - January 24th, 2020
- GOP candidates outline platforms in their first 14th District debate - Northwest Herald - January 24th, 2020
- HB 2093 Introduced to Nullify Any Violation of 2nd Amendment Laws - Prescott eNews - January 24th, 2020
- Salman Rushdie, Jonathan Franzen, Amy Tan and Over 160 More Call for Babson Adjunct Professor to Be Reinstated - Boston magazine - January 24th, 2020
- AG Ferguson leads multistate lawsuit over new Trump Administration effort to allow release of 3D-printed guns - Access Washington - January 24th, 2020
- Lobby Day attracts 2A advocates from the NRV and beyond - Southwest Times - January 24th, 2020
- Op-ed: Did the University forget about the first amendment? - The Michigan Daily - January 18th, 2020
- Facebooks Soleimani Ban Flies in Face of First Amendment - Common Dreams - January 18th, 2020
- Trump Takes Steps to Protect the Right to Pray in Schools - CNSNews.com - January 18th, 2020
- Breaking down the first amendment lawsuit against Florida State Representative Spencer Roach - Fox 4 - January 18th, 2020
- 10 years later, Americans stand opposed to Citizens United | TheHill - The Hill - January 18th, 2020
- Letter: It's the First Amendment that needs sanctuary protection - Verde Independent - January 18th, 2020
- Merrill, St. Germain take different approaches on 2nd Amendment Sanctuary status - WJFW-TV - January 18th, 2020
- David L. Hudson Jr. | The 'bedrock principle' of the First Amendment - TribDem.com - January 7th, 2020
- Executive Order on Anti-Semitism Could Suppress First-Amendment-Protected Criticism of Israel - Reason - January 7th, 2020
- Pro/Con: Can elected officials block you on social media? Yes, the Constitution can't be applied to private tweets - Duluth News Tribune - January 7th, 2020
- How Fascism Works with Jason Stanley; Plus: How the Supreme Court is Weaponizing the First Amendment - KPFA - 94.1FM - January 7th, 2020
- Five Years Later, We Still Havent Learned from the Charlie Hebdo Massacre - National Review - January 7th, 2020
- Accountability For Constitutional Violations Likely Has To Start With The Trivial - Above the Law - January 7th, 2020
- A Stunning Vote Reversal in a Controversial First Amendment Case - The Atlantic - December 18th, 2019
- Attorney John Borger, 68, longtime legal champion of the media, dies at 68 - Minneapolis Star Tribune - December 18th, 2019
- Did Schiff Poke a Hole in the First Amendment? - The New York Times - December 18th, 2019
- New Leader Of First Amendment Foundation Ready To Tackle Public Records And Fake News - WFSU - December 18th, 2019
- Supreme Court to hear Native American criminal procedure case and First Amendment question for foreign entities - JURIST - December 18th, 2019
- EFF Report Shows FBI Is Failing to Address First Amendment Harms Caused By National Security Letters - EFF - December 18th, 2019
- A Judge Temporarily Protects the NRA's First Amendment Rights - America's 1st Freedom - December 18th, 2019
- 5th Circuit judge has 'judicial change of heart' in case that could chill protests - ABA Journal - December 18th, 2019
- Attacker Causes Epileptic Seizure over the Internet - Security Boulevard - December 18th, 2019
- Trump antisemitism executive order sets up First Amendment battle - The Jerusalem Post - December 11th, 2019
- Religion news, the First Amendment and BBQ: GetReligion will soon have a new home base - GetReligion - December 11th, 2019
- W&M professor's new book examines the First Amendment in the Trump era - WYDaily - December 11th, 2019
- Nelson County board joins dozens of others to become a 2nd Amendment sanctuary - WHSV - December 11th, 2019
- Violent Protests and Free Speech: Whos to Blame for an Officers Injuries? - The New York Times - December 11th, 2019
- Mississippi Public Universities receive recognition for protecting free speech | The University of Southern Mississippi - Southern Miss Now - December 11th, 2019
- If There Are No Obama Judges or Trump Judges, Does the Constitution Permit Delaware to - Justia Verdict - December 11th, 2019
- First Amendment rights in the 2010s - UConn Daily Campus - December 8th, 2019
- State argues there is no First Amendment issue in Michelle Carter case - The Sun Chronicle - December 8th, 2019
- Zick's new book examines the First Amendment in the Trump era - William & Mary News - December 8th, 2019
- First Amendment Loses as Pipeline Industry Scores Another Win in Wisconsin - In These Times - December 8th, 2019
- A Phone-Sex Memoir Tests the Limits of Free Speech Rights - Bloomberg - December 8th, 2019
- Texas wants teacher Georgia Clark reinstated after firing over tweets - The Texas Tribune - December 8th, 2019
- Gun Rights Case Is First Before The Supreme Court In A Decade - NPR - December 8th, 2019
- Curt Levey: Trump impeachment drives Democrats' love of Constitution here's how they really feel - Fox News - December 8th, 2019
- The First Amendment is the First Line of Defense - AmmoLand Shooting Sports News - November 30th, 2019
- Want to protect First Amendment? Then maintain Second Amendment - theday.com - November 30th, 2019
- Inmate video visitation and the First Amendment: 3 landmines to avoid - CorrectionsOne - November 30th, 2019
- The Supreme Court is about to hear its biggest gun-control case in a decade - CNBC - November 30th, 2019
- Free-speech controversies not exclusive to the UI - Champaign/Urbana News-Gazette - November 30th, 2019
- The Race 2020 How terrorism started and how it's evolved Scripps National 9:55 AM, Nov - 10News - November 30th, 2019
- The holiday season is a lot bigger than you think - Herald Palladium - November 30th, 2019
- Ava DuVernay and Netflix Formally Respond to When They See Us Lawsuit, Claim Dialogue Is Protected Under First Amendment - The Root - November 30th, 2019
- Yes, Mr. Pokoski, there really is a Santa Claus(e.) - Seacoastonline.com - November 30th, 2019
- Does the First Amendment Hold at the Border? - The Atlantic - November 25th, 2019
- Nonwhites are the only high school students whose support for First Amendment has fallen: survey - The College Fix - November 25th, 2019
- Artful Teachers Teach First Amendment Thinking - Forbes - November 25th, 2019
- The First Amendment and Government Property: Free Speech Rules (Episode 8) - Reason - November 25th, 2019
- Activists say new harassment law tramples on the first amendment' - WXXI News - November 25th, 2019
- Government Tries to Regulate Drug Prices by Violating the First Amendment - Cato Institute - November 25th, 2019
- Judicial appointment a foe of the First Amendment - Daily American Online - November 25th, 2019
- 'No Safe Spaces' Documentary Warns of Dangers Facing First Amendment Rights in America - Accuracy in Academia - November 25th, 2019
- Indian Constitution: First amendment, and the last - Deccan Herald - November 25th, 2019