The Left Eats Their Own


Well this is interesting.  Jonathan Chait, uberliberal, writes an article for New York Magazine decrying political correctness:

But it would be a mistake to categorize today’s p.c. culture as only an academic phenomenon. Political correctness is a style of politics in which the more radical members of the left attempt to regulate political discourse by defining opposing views as bigoted and illegitimate. Two decades ago, the only communities where the left could exert such hegemonic control lay within academia, which gave it an influence on intellectual life far out of proportion to its numeric size. Today’s political correctness flourishes most consequentially on social media, where it enjoys a frisson of cool and vast new cultural reach. And since social media is also now the milieu that hosts most political debate, the new p.c. has attained an influence over mainstream journalism and commentary beyond that of the old.

It also makes money. Every media company knows that stories about race and gender bias draw huge audiences, making identity politics a reliable profit center in a media industry beset by insecurity. A year ago, for instance, a photographer compiled images of Fordham students displaying signs recounting “an instance of racial microaggression they have faced.” The stories ranged from uncomfortable (“No, where are you really from?”) to relatively innocuous (“ ‘Can you read this?’ He showed me a Japanese character on his phone”). BuzzFeed published part of her project, and it has since received more than 2 million views. This is not an anomaly.

In a short period of time, the p.c. movement has assumed a towering presence in the psychic space of politically active people in general and the left in particular. “All over social media, there dwell armies of unpaid but widely read commentators, ready to launch hashtag campaigns and circulate petitions in response to the slightest of identity-politics missteps,” Rebecca Traister wrote recently in The New Republic.

Two and a half years ago, Hanna Rosin, a liberal journalist and longtime friend, wrote a book called The End of Men, which argued that a confluence of social and economic changes left women in a better position going forward than men, who were struggling to adapt to a new postindustrial order. Rosin, a self-identified feminist, has found herself unexpectedly assailed by feminist critics, who found her message of long-term female empowerment complacent and insufficiently concerned with the continuing reality of sexism. One Twitter hashtag, “#RIPpatriarchy,” became a label for critics to lampoon her thesis. Every new continuing demonstration of gender discrimination — a survey showing Americans still prefer male bosses; a person noticing a man on the subway occupying a seat and a half — would be tweeted out along with a mocking #RIPpatriarchy.

Her response since then has been to avoid committing a provocation, especially on Twitter. “If you tweet something straight­forwardly feminist, you immediately get a wave of love and favorites, but if you tweet something in a cranky feminist mode then the opposite happens,” she told me. “The price is too high; you feel like there might be banishment waiting for you.” Social media, where swarms of jeering critics can materialize in an instant, paradoxically creates this feeling of isolation. “You do immediately get the sense that it’s one against millions, even though it’s not.” Subjects of these massed attacks often describe an impulse to withdraw.

Go here to read the rest.  This is hilarious.  So long as political correctness was a club to wield against conservatives it was great.  Now the crazed left is increasingly using it against the left and they do not like it at all.  Political correctness, like most forms of language policing, is all about winning debates not through persuasion and argument but by getting other people to shut up.  Combine this with identity politics and you have a recipe for ongoing monologues of the deaf.  This is ominous in a political culture reliant upon peaceful debate.  As George Washington noted long ago,  “If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”  That is precisely what the advocates of political correctness seek to do against their adversaries, and all in the name of tolerance.

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  1. Q: What is public about NPR? It seems to be a sounding board for DNC. Are govt. funds commingled with the donations to support and propagate leftist views? If our tax dollars do support NPR then views contrary to the left should have equal air time.

  2. Virtually all media discourse is liberal no matter the outlet. I now avoid all of it because it is so dull and insipid resulting from the base of lies on which it is based. The only media outlets I frequent are from an orthodox Catholic point of view. I just have no interest in engaging. My liberal friends miss fighting with me but I’ve passed through that phase thanks to the Holy Spirit. You really have to have a fourth grade mind to partake of mainstream media and find it satisfying at all, or the deluded mind of a liberal. Gotcha, name calling, made up “isms” and “ists” is all they have.

  3. Back in November there was a bit of a kerfluffle where they found out one of their loudest voices was…well, just being a nasty bully against people who weren’t really doing bad-think. People who were on their own side. What the heck they expected out of someone called “Required Hate,” I have no idea. (Link is to Mrs. Hoyt’s reaction to some loon trying to shift the blame on to an acceptable target. Herself.)

  4. Regulating discourse by defining opposing views as bigoted and illegitimate …
    to assume a towering presence in the psychic space of …
    ” Political correctness, like most forms of language policing, is all about winning debates not through persuasion and argument but by getting other people to shut up. ”
    The loudest, or most influential power, ‘wins’. It seems that ‘religious correctness’ can now be a phrase for some current discourse. This also seems to be a connection to writings about the Church becoming small and to Someone wondering whether there will be found any faith found on earth.

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