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 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
- Mike Huckabee, Florida beaches, the First Amendment and Twitter: The former presidential hopeful tries to sile - Sun Sentinel - 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
- Nobel laureate Smith to speak on boycotts and First Amendment - Columbia Daily Tribune - November 25th, 2019
- Florida Man Friday Saves the First Amendment | VodkaPundit - PJ Media - November 25th, 2019
- BU protesters were exercising their First Amendment rights - Binghamton University Pipe Dream - November 25th, 2019
- Happenings on the Hill - Preston Hollow People - November 25th, 2019
- Governor of Alaska: My state will be the first to comply with SCOTUS' new union ruling. - USA TODAY - November 25th, 2019
- Overington recognizes Edgars with First Amendment Recognition Award - Martinsburg Journal - November 25th, 2019
- Smith County School System sued over first amendment violations, promotion of religion - WBIR.com - November 25th, 2019
- Mary Beth Tinker to high school journalists: It's your job to speak up on behalf of others - Student Press Law Center - November 25th, 2019
- Florida education news: First Amendment rights, flu shots and another superintendents struggles - Tampa Bay Times - November 16th, 2019
- First Amendment rights are not a one-way street - The Bozeman Daily Chronicle - November 16th, 2019
- First Amendment conference explored diminishing local news as a 'crisis of democracy' - The Daily Tar Heel - November 16th, 2019
- First Amendment website launching by end of November - University Star - November 16th, 2019
- LTTE: We all have business exercising our First Amendment rights - Rocky Mountain Collegian - November 16th, 2019
- "The Case Against Free Speech: The First Amendment, Fascism, And The Future Of Dissent" - WAMC - November 16th, 2019
- Trump Attack on Envoy During Testimony Raises Charges of Witness Intimidation - The New York Times - November 16th, 2019
- Facebook has a political fake news problem. Can we fix it without eroding the First Amendment? - NBC News - October 27th, 2019
- The Panhandling Problem: When public safety clashes with the 1st Amendment - WCJB - October 27th, 2019
- Can a black high school guard be fired for quoting the n-word? | TheHill - The Hill - October 27th, 2019
- The Case Against Free Speech: The First Amendment, Fascism, and the Future of Dissent - The Humanist - October 27th, 2019
- Liz Cheney Calls Out Dems' New House Bill Intended to 'Circumvent the First Amendment' - Townhall - October 27th, 2019
- Mitch McConnell slams election-security bill as 'transparent attack on the First Amendment' - The Washington TImes - October 27th, 2019
- Are Corporate Employees Protected by the First Amendment? - IPWatchdog.com - August 25th, 2017
- NAACP asks for meeting with Goodell over Colin Kaepernick's First Amendment rights - CBSSports.com - August 25th, 2017
- The ACLU was practicing a core First Amendment duty - Washington Post - August 25th, 2017
- Letter: The right has hijacked the First Amendment to preach hate ... - INFORUM - August 25th, 2017
- Lawyer who objected to mandatory bar's PAC contribution loses First Amendment appeal - ABA Journal - August 25th, 2017
- LA Times: Restrict the Second Amendment at First Amendment rallies - Hot Air - August 25th, 2017
- Is advocating suicide a crime under the First Amendment? - OUPblog (blog) - August 22nd, 2017
- Letter First Amendment is a fundamental building block of our society - Petoskey News-Review - August 22nd, 2017
- How far do the First Amendment's protections go when it comes to hate speech? - The San Diego Union-Tribune - August 20th, 2017
- First Amendment in Peril? - City Journal - August 20th, 2017
- Letter: Peculiar First Amendment interpretation - MetroWest Daily News - August 20th, 2017
- Police must act fast to protect First Amendment rights: Robert Shibley - USA TODAY - August 18th, 2017
- Podcast: Trump, Twitter and the First Amendment - Constitution Daily (blog) - August 18th, 2017
- How groups use 'First Amendment' permits for protests at National Parks - ABC10 - August 18th, 2017
- Last weekend's violent protests prompt First Amendment conversation - WBKO - August 18th, 2017
- Equality, Justice and the First Amendment - ACLU (blog) - August 18th, 2017
- Between the lines: Cops caught in the First Amendment war zone - Police News - August 18th, 2017
- Theres no hate speech exception to the First Amendment - The ... - August 16th, 2017
- First Amendment banned from DC Metro literally! - Washington Post - August 16th, 2017
- There's No 'Nazi' Exception to the First Amendment - National Review - August 16th, 2017
- FIRST AMENDMENT: How far does it go? - Evening News and Tribune - August 15th, 2017
- Why the First Amendment won't protect Charlottesville white supremacists from being fired - MarketWatch - August 15th, 2017
- The First Amendment on the Grounds in Charlottesville - Lawfare (blog) - August 15th, 2017
- Can a Court Arbitrarily Conclude That 'Security' Overrules the First Amendment? - Reason (blog) - August 15th, 2017
- March on Google: Self-proclaimed 'First Amendment supporters' to ... - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - August 15th, 2017
- Militiamen came to Charlottesville as neutral First Amendment protectors, commander says - Washington Post - August 14th, 2017
- Editorial, 8/13: Court strikes right balance on Westboro ruling - Lincoln Journal Star - August 14th, 2017
- Beyond the First Amendment - Washington Times - August 14th, 2017
- Liberals need to stop messing with the First Amendment - Washington Examiner - August 13th, 2017
- Jeffrey Lord: 'CNN caved on the First Amendment' when it fired him - Fox News - August 13th, 2017
- First Amendment lawsuits pile up against governors who block ... - WJLA - August 13th, 2017
- DC's transit agency rejected ads touting the First Amendment (really) - Ars Technica - August 11th, 2017