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
- First Amendment on the street | Opinion | dailyitem.com - Sunbury Daily Item - June 30th, 2020
- Taking a cellphone video of police? Theres a First Amendment for that - Seattle Times - June 30th, 2020
- First Amendment Bars California from Requiring a Proposition 65 Glyphosate Warning - JD Supra - June 30th, 2020
- Read the First Amendment | Letters To The Editor - The Central Virginian - June 30th, 2020
- First Amendment right to protest is in jeopardy in Jacksonville - The Florida Times-Union - June 30th, 2020
- Pence says First Amendment is why Trump campaign held Tulsa rally despite local health officials' warnings - Yahoo News - June 30th, 2020
- Supreme Court hands win to religious schools | TheHill - The Hill - June 30th, 2020
- Letter to the Editor: Remember and Defend the First Amendment - Dana Point Times - June 20th, 2020
- Another look at the First Amendment | Opinion - Franklin News Post - June 20th, 2020
- Death threats protected by First Amendment, attorney says - Alpena News - June 20th, 2020
- Really Pathetic: First Amendment Expert Torches DOJ Efforts to Stop John Bolton Book - Law & Crime - June 20th, 2020
- The First Amendment protects attorneys from compelled speech | TheHill - The Hill - June 17th, 2020
- Protesters are protected by the First Amendment and will not be cited any violations if they remain peaceful - WATN - Local 24 - June 17th, 2020
- Dear Journal: That's some amendment, that First Amendment; let's use it - The Daily World - June 17th, 2020
- Barr Threatens Suit To Stop Boltons Book Because The First Amendment Is, Like, More Of A Suggestion Really - Above the Law - June 17th, 2020
- NASCAR tossed out First Amendment and more letters to the editors - Chattanooga Times Free Press - June 17th, 2020
- Snap's decision to restrict Trump is within its First Amendment rights, CEO says - CNBC - June 17th, 2020
- First Amendment rights? Only for the Left - Must Read Alaska - June 17th, 2020
- "Vocational Training Is Speech Protected by the First Amendment" - Reason - June 17th, 2020
- A North Carolina professor who sparked outrage with his tweets still has his job. Why? It's called the First Amendment. - USA TODAY - June 17th, 2020
- Opinion: 1st Amendment rights apparently only apply to the left - Juneau Empire - June 17th, 2020
- If you're planning to take part in protests, know your rights. Read this. - CNN - June 17th, 2020
- Opinion: Trump's Antifa crackdown treads on First Amendment - The Detroit News - June 17th, 2020
- First Amendment Rights and Twitter, Encryption Backdoors - Security Boulevard - June 1st, 2020
- Arrest of CNN Crew in Minneapolis a 'Violation of First Amendment' - Voice of America - June 1st, 2020
- Trump, Twitter and the First Amendment - The New York Times - June 1st, 2020
- First Amendment Group Opposes Webinars On Toll Roads - WUSF News - June 1st, 2020
- ACLU issues warning to police to protect First Amendment rights of protesters - KATC Lafayette News - June 1st, 2020
- Federal, California and Local Law Enforcement's Statement on the Death of George Floyd and Riots Says They Will Continue to Work Together to Protect... - June 1st, 2020
- First Amendment Legal Expert Floyd Abrams on Trump's Chilling Executive Order Designed to Kill Free Speech - Showbiz411 - June 1st, 2020
- DC mayor institutes curfew and urges calm after weekend of unrest - KEYT - June 1st, 2020
- Open season on the free press: Journalists targeted in attacks as U.S. protests rage - Reuters - June 1st, 2020
- RCFP condemns attacks against journalists covering protests - Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press - June 1st, 2020
- Day 3 of protests in Portland, Oregon over death of George Floyd - KGW.com - June 1st, 2020
- As Waves of Protest Surge Across America - The New York Times - June 1st, 2020
- Trump Executive Order Violates the First Amendment - SF Bay Area Indymedia - June 1st, 2020
- DC mayor urges calm after protests nearby the White House occur for second consecutive night - CNN International - June 1st, 2020
- Man with bow is expected to be charged; Salt Lake City chief decries officer who knocked down elderly man with a cane - Salt Lake Tribune - June 1st, 2020
- Trump Executive Order Misreads Key Law Promoting Free Expression Online and Violates the First Amendment - EFF - May 29th, 2020
- Content Moderation, Section 230, and The First Amendment - AAF - American Action Forum - May 29th, 2020
- Times Union takes First Amendment and Journalist of the Year, 11 other awards in statewide contest - Times Union - May 29th, 2020
- First Amendment May Protect Use of Trademarks As Artistic Expression - JD Supra - May 29th, 2020
- Strictly Legal: Is Fox News entitled to First Amendment protection? - The Cincinnati Enquirer - May 29th, 2020
- Facebook Keeps Touting The First Amendment To Justify Its Content Policies - AdExchanger - May 29th, 2020
- Trump vs. Twitter | Editorials | gjsentinel.com - The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel - May 29th, 2020
- Churches respond to COVID-19, First Amendment ruling - Morganton News Herald - May 29th, 2020
- 'The First Amendment is very clear': Sheriff's Office won't break up religious services for 'NY on PAUSE' violations - The Livingston County News - May 29th, 2020
- RCFP statement on Trump's social media executive order - Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press - May 29th, 2020
- WashU Expert: Trump attacks on Twitter betray free speech principles - Washington University in St. Louis Newsroom - May 29th, 2020
- Reexamining the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act | Morgan Lewis - Tech & Sourcing - JD Supra - May 29th, 2020
- Going to the dogs: the Ninth Circuit's erosion of trademark rights exclusive guest post - World Trademark Review - May 29th, 2020
- First Amendment Lawyer Dismisses Trumps Claim That Twitter Is Stifling Free Speech: He Doesnt Want Critics to Have a Chance to Respond - Mediaite - May 29th, 2020
- Liberals Have Rediscovered the 10th Amendment's Value During the Coronavirus Pandemic - Reason - May 29th, 2020
- Former DNC chair Donna Brazile claims 'theres no First Amendment right to lie. Her co-hosts on The Five erupt in mockery. - TheBlaze - May 29th, 2020
- Supreme Court: Clarence Thomas calls for shrinking the First Amendment - Vox.com - May 14th, 2020
- What words make up a true threat? Well, that depends - The Mercury - May 14th, 2020
- Onslow Sheriffs department will not interfere with indoor church services - Jacksonville Daily News - May 14th, 2020
- Religious freedom is under threat in the courtroom - UPI.com - May 14th, 2020
- Neuberger Demands That Carney Lift Restrictions On Worshipping Now - First State Update - May 14th, 2020
- The First Amendment To the Constitution of The United States of America - The Suburban Times - May 11th, 2020
- Exposing Russian information operations does not violate the First Amendment | TheHill - The Hill - May 11th, 2020
- The Supreme Court Could Use the First Amendment to Unleash a Robocall Nightmare - The Atlantic - May 11th, 2020
- Divorcing couples have First Amendment right to disparage each other on social media, SJC rules - The Boston Globe - May 11th, 2020
- The Price of the First Amendment "Is That We Must Put Up With a Good Deal of Rubbish" - Reason - May 11th, 2020
- Societe Generale: Availability of the first amendment to the 2020 Universal Registration Document - GlobeNewswire - May 11th, 2020
- Governors Can't Suspend the First Amendment - Daily Signal - May 11th, 2020
- Houston strip club allowed to open, but without dancers - KHOU.com - May 11th, 2020
- Lawsuit filed against Marco Island alleges first amendment violation - Marco News - May 4th, 2020
- First amendment rights should not be suppressed, even during pandemic The News Journal - The News Journal - May 4th, 2020
- Urgent Care Doctor Silenced By Youtube Says His First Amendment Rights Have Been Attacked - Sara A. Carter - May 4th, 2020
- 'ReOpen NC' Founder Has COVID-19, Says It Is Her First Amendment Right To Infect Others - Wonkette - May 4th, 2020
- A tale of two universities and one First Amendment - OneNewsNow - May 4th, 2020
- The Trump campaign's frivolous lawsuits are next-level threats to the First Amendment - Business Insider - Business Insider - April 18th, 2020
- New podcast: Who-da thunk it? Drive-in churches are First Amendment battlegrounds - GetReligion - April 18th, 2020
- Students Don't "Shed Their Freedom of Speech at the Schoolhouse Gate" - Reason - April 18th, 2020
- Teenager Who Shared Coronavirus Infection on Instagram Threatened With Arrest By Police, Lawsuit Says - Newsweek - April 18th, 2020
- Tea Party president says he was threatened with arrest for planning protest on Newton Green - New Jersey Herald - April 18th, 2020
- Legal expert: Trumps liberate Tweets incite insurrection and thats illegal - AlterNet - April 18th, 2020
- Lawmakers say Walz order is a violation of The First Amendment - KWLM (Willmar Radio) - April 18th, 2020
- With the public's need to know greater than ever, the D&C fights for info on outbreak - Democrat & Chronicle - April 18th, 2020