Saturday, February 8, 2020

America's Leftist Storm Troopers

Fascism has come to America. It presents itself as the anti-fascist left, but its tactics come straight from the Storm Trooper playbook.

You recall that Hitler’s Storm Troopers, led by Ernst Rohm, developed a plan of harassment, assault and exclusion of German Jews in the early 1930s. And you understand that, along with the public harassment the Storm Troopers moved on to boycotting Jewish businesses, burning the books of Jewish authors and assuring that Jews be fired from their jobs and be disqualified from having any gainful employment.

Whether we are talking about the pitiful Rep. Maxine Waters calling for the public harassment of members of the Trump administration, or the pathetic, cowardly mayor of Portland, OR who has given over his streets to Antifa thugs and bullies, or the journalists who run cover when the radical left shuts down supposedly right wing speech or the editors who fire people for not toeing the party line or to the cancel culture that attempts to destroy anyone who deviates from the current orthodoxy… it all adds up to storm trooper tactics, designed to produce ideological conformity.

God help you if you dispute current fascist orthodoxy.

John Tierney has written a long and detailed article about it for the City Journal. It has been reprinted in Minding the Campus, via Maggie’s Farm.

Who is responsible? For one, college professors have been for many years now  indoctrinating students in the latest supposedly leftist ideology, called deconstruction. The term translates the German, Destruktion, used by famed Nazi philosopher Martin Heidegger as a justification for pogroms. Tierney does not track down this source, but student radicalism has been stoked by anti-fascist fascists for some five decades now. 

And yet, the Obama years seem largely to have produced today’s wave of anti-Semitic violence and cancel culture. It is a misnomer to call these journalists liberal or progressive. They are radical and extremist, and care only about using their positions in the media to impose their own orthodoxy on the nation:

Free speech is no longer sacred among young journalists who have absorbed the campus lessons about “hate speech”—defined more and more broadly—and they’re breaking long-standing taboos as they bring “cancel culture” into professional newsrooms. They’re not yet in charge, but many of their editors are reacting like beleaguered college presidents, terrified of seeming insufficiently “woke.” Most professional journalists, young and old, still pay lip service to the First Amendment, and they certainly believe that it protects their work, but they’re increasingly eager for others to be “de-platformed” or “no-platformed,” as today’s censors like to put it—effectively silenced.

These mostly younger progressive journalists lead campaigns to get conservative journalists fired, banned from Twitter, and “de-monetized” on YouTube. They don’t burn books, but they’ve successfully pressured Amazon to stop selling titles that they deem offensive. They encourage advertising boycotts designed to put ideological rivals out of business. They’re loath to report forthrightly on left-wing censorship and violence, even when fellow journalists get attacked. They equate conservatives’ speech with violence and rationalize leftists’ actual violence as . . . speech.

They don’t literally burn books, but they have authors banned from major media platforms. If you are a deplatformed writer, the result is the same, perhaps even worse. Older liberal journalists are perturbed, but they, like college presidents can do nothing to solve the problem.

The progressive activism of younger journalists often leaves their older colleagues exasperated. “The paper is now written by 25-year-old gender studies majors,” said one Washington Post veteran. She wouldn’t speak for the record, though: as fragile and marginalized as these young progressives claim to be, they know how to make life miserable for unwoke colleagues.

As Tierney points out this thrust toward fascism is coming almost entirely from the left:

There’s no group of right-wing masked thugs who regularly try to stop left-wing speeches and marches. The “no-platforming” strategy is a specialty of Antifa, the left-wing network whose members have brawled at conservative and Republican events in Berkeley, San Jose, Charlottesville, Washington, D.C., Boston, Portland, Vancouver, and other cities. They describe themselves as “anti-fascist,” a ludicrous term for a masked mob suppressing free speech, but journalists respectfully use it anyway.


370H55V said...

'There’s no group of right-wing masked thugs who regularly try to stop left-wing speeches and marches."

Time for that too.

Sam L. said...

I have to ask WHY there appear to be no (NO) right-wing storm troopers. Just the fascist antifa. Could it be the right-wingers have jobs? Families? Better things to do? I would recommend not riling them up.