February 23, 2021

Reflections

... upon the direction of our current discourse lurk below "the fold". 


Picture is, I do sincerely hope, unrelated. 



Art by あすてろid (Asteroid?) Support him on FANBOX and Pixiv Sketch!
   The Gina Carano fiasco is few days old, but it's pretty disturbing still. Bari Weiss has an excellent overview of the situation and actually reached out to Carano for her side of the story.  Weiss is an old school liberal who was forced out of her job at the NYT by the illiberalism of the woke Jacobins who are ascendant in our society's upper echelons. It's a very good piece that you should read in full, However I do have a minor disagreement and a slight quibble with this one bit:
 
A good rule of thumb is to avoid comparing America to 1930s Germany, your political opponents to Nazis, and yourself and your allies to Jews. What Carano wrote — or likely repeated and shared — was wrong because the Holocaust is a singular evil.

The National Socialist German Workers Party was one of the most obscene political calamities of the modern age. If one sees parallels with that nightmare one certainly should be able to call them out because it's important to learn from others mistakes. The idea that we should not make direct comparisons of our political opponents policies to those of  the NAZIs  because it's rude is one that I was sympathetic to until everyone to the left of Mao was called a Nazi as a matter of course by the left (including mainstream politicians). Furthermore, Carano's Tweet was not suggesting our situation is anywhere near German occupied Poland in 1944. Rather, she pointed out the quite uncontroversial fact that Auschwitz, Dachau and all the rest were possible only because the Jews and other groups that were sent there had been dehumanized in the eyes of the German people by years of propaganda portraying the Jews as The Other. Her point was that, if one takes a group or groups and declares them to be such untnrmenchen that it is not even possible to be bigoted against them, then the process of othering those groups is actually underway.  

My other disagreement is actually a very minor quibble. The Shoah was a horrific event and an obscenity. But it was not a singular evil except in one narrow sense. The sickening truth is that there have been many genocides throughout history. The Armenian genocide is certainly comparable to the Shoah in many ways, as is the current situation in Xinjiang. History is replete with examples of whole cultures being wiped out at the tip of the sword, indeed one of the remarkable truths about the Jews is that they are (thankfully) still with us after numerous such attempts against them. 

What WAS unusual about the Holocaust was that it took place inside a civilized, modern, Western country and was waged against its own citizens. Not only that, but it happened in one of the MOST civilized of nations. The birthplace of Gutenburg, von Goethe, Kant, Ehricke and myriad others who made the modern world and advanced thought possible...THIS was the place that produced this murderous, troglodytic political throwback to the darkest, most foetid angels of human nature. 

THAT is the dreadful truth of the Holocaust, that it happened in Germany of all places. Thus, it can happen anywhere and therefore we must not delude ourselves that it can't happen here. We would do well to learn from the mistakes of those who (understandably) believed until it was too late, that it couldn't possibly come to pass.

Larry Correia expounds upon that latter point and other troubling aspects of this in his typically entertaining and forthright way here, where he notes one reason that Carano's defenestration is particularly troubling. That is, she was the most popular member of the cast of Disney's most popular show. Her platinum-like value to the shareholders could not protect her from the idealogical zealotry of Kennedy's myrmidons, which as Correia points out, has implications for the average Jane or Joe.  The intimidation effect this has on people without power, who hold no value for the powers-that-be is stifling, and that is scary on many levels, because one should be able to call out any parallels one sees...such as...say...taking an opportunity to engage in a little culling of the disabled.  

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One of the more counterintuitively troubling trends of the last 50 or so years has been the elevation of the press in the minds of the wine, cheese, and jet set to a 'respectable' institution. While it might seem good indeed that reporters are not held in contempt by polite society, the fact that they have been admitted into the upper echelons of society means that they are now a part of, and protective of the very strata of society that is in the most need of scrutiny.

Making reporters a respectable upper class professional group has had the effect of making them quite aristocratic in outlook and given them a sense of entitlement that is every bit as alarming as the implications of the aforementioned regulatory capture. Two examples of this latter problem can be seen recently. First there was the recent outing of the real name of "Scott Alexander", writer of the now-deleted Slate Star Codex blog by a NYT reporter who decided to dox him because he did not like the people that allegedly read "Mr. Alexander's" blog. "Mr. Alexander" discusses the situation here. SSC was a left leaning blog that I read because it was well written, well argued and fair minded. I often didn't agree with the writer's conclusions, but he had a talent for expressing issues very well from a different perspective. His blog will be missed. This unnecessary take down was both petty and egregious, looking like nothing so much as an aristocrat ruining the life of a peasant  who had inadvertently offended the noble; because he could and sees himself as untouchable. The second example is the aforementioned  attitude being summed up quite well (and unintentionally) in an OP-ED by Hamilton Nolan in the Columbia Journalism Review lamenting that the rise of the internet is thwarting the ability of the press to instill fear in people...no really

[quote] We are living through a historic, technology-fueled shift in the balance of power between the media and its subjects. The subjects are winning. The internet in general—and social media platforms in particular—have destroyed one of the media’s most important sources of power: being the only place that could offer access to an audience.   

"Subjects" ... Um. Sir? You are in America. We here are citizens, not subjects. I find myself needing to link Mr. Correia twice in one post...because he did us the courtesy of fisking this  petulant blueblood's blather. What really seems to annoy Noland is that in many ways, reporting is returning to its rough around the edges, blue collar roots. The outlets that embrace that sort of 'punk' attitude seem rather more likely to produce the next  Hunter Thompson, Ambrose Bierce, or Elizabeth Cochrane than some fop from the Hamptons is. 

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In 1836 Abraham Lincoln observed some troubling trends in American politics revolving around the normalization of violence and the dehumanization of political opponents.  25 years before Fort Sumter and more than a decade before the horror in Kansas, Lincoln realized that the nation was on a dark path. And yet, in 1836, no one was burning down cities yet, and as far as I know the Whigs never smashed the windows in the Capitol. The Federalist's Christopher Bedford has thoughts

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For a few weeks I've been furtively and diffidently working on a post looking at historical parallels to our current Corporate trendsetters and political leadership. I don't have to anymore because Lee Smith at Tablet has drawn an excellent and disturbing parallel with the similarly oikophobic cosmopolitans who took control of Athens in the aftermath of the Peloponnesian War.
 Read it all. 

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Finally, on a somewhat different topic The Babylon Bee has surprisingly insightful thoughts on where we're headed. 


Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 12:04 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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1 Ah, I was meaning to link to that second Correia post.  I had a brief link to that train wreck of a CJR post, but Correia does a very good job of dismantling it.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Wed Feb 24 19:13:45 2021 (PiXy!)

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