Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Now Let Us Praise Naomi Wolf

Among the few encouraging signs at the current historical juncture are the number of liberal thinkers who have been standing up against the move toward totalitarianism.

During the Trump presidency, liberals and some more radical leftists like Matt Taibbi, Glenn Greenwald, Stephen Cohen, Aaron Mate, Jonathan Turley and Alan Dershowitz stood tall against the simple fact that Donald Trump was not being held to the same standards as were other presidents, or even other citizens. They denounced the Russia hoax and the impeachment charade, often more effectively than their conservative colleagues. They emphasized that the rule of law means that the same law should be applied equally to all citizens. They were not Trump supporters. They had not voted for Trump. Some admired some policies. Others disagreed with other policies. They were appalled at the way Trump was being treated, by the political class and in the media.

Naturally, as some of these writers moved away from the mainstream press onto platforms like Substack, the ever more fascistic left has tried to shut them down. They are happy to censor ideas they do not like. To them, freedom has become a four letter word. The fact that many of these writers have been staunch supporters of liberalism over the years does not count, now that they have exercised some independent judgment and intellectual integrity.

Now, we can add the name of one Naomi Wolf to the list. A staunch feminist, certainly not a member of the vast right wing conspiracy, Wolf was recently  temporarily banished from Twitter for the crime of appearing on the Tucker Carlson Show.

Her thought crime-- she sees America’ current cultural moment as fascistic and totalitarian. She abhors cancel culture because it violates liberal values concerning, for instance, the free trade in ideas. She refuses to accept government control over everyone’s behavior. 

In truth, as she reminds us in the current essay, she has been sounding the tocsin of alarm about America’s totalitarian leanings for years now. So, we grant her credit and add her to the list of the profiles in both integrity and courage. Here are some of the recent developments that she deplores.

Emergency measures in many states, which suspend due process of law. This is the hallmark of a police state. Covid-19 is invoked as the reason for the introduction of emergency law – but there is no endpoint for lifting these emergency laws.

The closures of schools, which break the social contract with the next generation.

Forced closures of businesses. By intervening directly in the economy and allowing certain businesses to flourish (Amazon, Wal-Mart, Target) at the expense of small businesses, Main Street shops, restaurants, and sole proprietor businesses in general, the State has merged government and corporations in a way that is characteristic of Italian fascism, or of modern Chinese communism. (Indeed the fact that tech stocks rose by 27% in one quarter of the pandemic shows one driver of this war against human freedoms and human society: every minute human beings spend in a classroom, at the pub or restaurant, or in a church or synagogue, is time that tech companies lose money by being unable to harvest that data. Covid policies driven by “Covid-19 Response” – tech companies – ensure that humans are not allowed to connect except via digital platforms. The reason is profit as well as social control).

Restrictions on assembly. Some states such as California are fining people for seeing their friends in their homes, and making it unlawful for kids to have playdates with their friends. 

Massachusetts restricted gatherings of more than ten people at a time, forcing synagogues and churches to stay closed, in spite of a Supreme Court ruling against states forcing churches to close. Parks, playgrounds and beaches have been closed off. In countries such as Britain, people are fined for leaving their homes for more than an hour’s exercise a day.

Forced face coverings. In Massachusetts, people are fined if they are not wearing masks outdoors – even children as young as five are forced to do so by law. Again this mandate has not been undergirded by peer-reviewed studies showing medical necessity; and there is no endpoint proffered for these extraordinary violations of personal freedom.

Suppression of free speech. Big Tech companies are censoring critics of Covid policy and vaccine policy, as well as censoring views that are on the right hand of the political spectrum. “Incitement,” a word that has a long history in the 20th century for closing down free speech, has been weaponized by the left to shut down First Amendment freedoms of expression. In other forms of censorship and management of speech and public debate, tycoons such as Bill Gates have been funding major news outlets, with millions of dollars directed to “Covid education.” As a result, dissenting voices are marginalized and shamed, or even threatened with legal action or job losses.

Science has been hijacked in the interests of “biofascism.” By heavily funding scientific commentators such as Dr Fauci in the United States, Imperial College and SAGE in the UK, and Dr Christian Drosten in Germany, a dominant set of policies and pronouncements about Covid that benefit a small group of bad actors – notably tech and pharmaceutical interests, acting in concert with governments – have had secured credentialled supporters. But when other scientists or institutions seek debate or transparency, they are threatened with job loss or reputationally attacked, as in the case of Dr Simon Goddeke of the Netherlands, who was told to keep quiet by his university, when he challenged the flawed Covid PCR test protocols.

She closes with the following reflection about masking the human face, point with which I concur, and point which has rarely been explained as clearly:

Masks break human beings’ ability to bond face-to-face and enjoy human contact, smiles and jokes. Masks turn down the effectiveness of human “technology,” by making it hard for us to “read” each other and to pick up social cues. Forbidding assembly keeps us from forming human alliances against these monstrous interests. Forbidding human assembly also prevents new cultures, new heroes and new business models from arising. We are all stuck with the Rolodex and the ideas we had in March of 2020.

So, we praise Naomi Wolf for her courage. She is doing what many others should be doing, denouncing the new American totalitarianism. Some will agree and some will disagree with the points she made. I have quoted most of them. And yet, she is now leading the debate that we should be having. Hats off to her.


art.the.nerd said...

Yasher koach to Ms Wolf and to you, Dr. S, for publicizing this. We need every small bit of sanity we can get.

whitney said...

No one should ever praise Naomi wolf. She's a fool and a grifte and this interview of her being exposed publicly by accident is the most hilarious thing ever


Sam L. said...

The so-called Democrats are actually TOTALLICRATS. The Republicans are pretty much useless. As I keep saying, I consider the GOP to be the "GO Along To GET Along With The DEMS" Party. They're just happy to ride "in the back of the bus".

Anonymous said...

Naomi Wolf can go F herself.
The liberal progressive ideology - her ideology - has produced the current move to a communist / fascist government here in the USA.
Further, it is the liberal progressives (i.e. communists, socialists) that ARE the demokrat party - HER PARTY - today.
The end result of the liberal progressive ideology here in the USA has always been the imposition of a one-party dominated, thought and speech controlled society ruled by leftist elites for their own profit, power and influence.

They say the left eats its own; well they do, they always have and always will. And now that she has been targeted by "her kind," I say, good, you had it coming. What goes around comes around.
Stalin had many of Lenin's inner circle murdered; and they had it coming. After all it was their policies that led to Stalin's murderous rise to power.

The "woke" BORG are HER BORG. She enabled and promoted their rise to power. And now she is complaining.
Hey Naomi Wolf, go F yourself.
ALL OF US are now SCREWED because vermin like her refused (can't afford to be uninvited to those leftist Upper West Side cocktail parties ) to look ahead to see the OBVIOUS endpoint of the liberal progressive (i.e., socialist, communist, fascist) agenda.