Cancel culture

As the latest reports from our universities confirm, we live in an age of juvenile anachronism. So far as the past is acknowledged at all, it is to be judged, by the incredibly narrow standards of “social justice,” itself two words of a lie. Anyone who tries to resist this — even tenured professors — will be demoted, fired, or “placed on probation.” In Soviet universities, this was enough to keep most dissent secret. There is, after all, at least one mouth to feed, and not everyone is equipped to become a martyr. Among the better academics, some particles of truth can be snuck into lectures, past the inquiring minds of ignorant thugs.

But as technology has now blessed us with portable, and easily concealed recording devices, teachers must stay constantly on guard. A slight ideological slip could end the most promising career, apart from surrounding the speaker with shrieking Antifa blackshirts who, if they manage to injure him, will not be prosecuted by campus or municipal sensitivity police.

Am I exaggerating? Probably. I have also seen evidence of little islands of sanity, where happily irrelevant scholars continue as before.

Too, after family breakdowns and the re-education of a generation of public school teachers, the crop of new students are so dull and docile that, unless they are radicalized, they will sit there aloof, like zombies. There are “conservative” students, whose complacency can serve any mission. Many have “common sense” enough to play along. They are only there to acquire the minimum credentials for paid work on the outside. It is a prison term. Once graduated, they will then adopt the customs and tone in their workplace environment which, except for “professions” like journalism, are unlikely to be radical. The feigned “social justice warrior” is transformed into a feigned enthusiast for capitalism, by self-interest, almost overnight.

Leftists knows this. To know the Left is to know that it isn’t motivated by ideals, except in those who are abnormally stupid. It dreams of power, on the large scale, but also on the small. (Once they have power, they can take things like money.) This involves manipulating people, whenever their consent is needed. A mildly intelligent leftist doesn’t really care what people believe, only that they are useful and obedient. He may frankly deny being an idealist. He is a practical person, after practicable ends, and often patient as he works to their attainment. His motto might be, “Try, try, and try again.”

To some degree, the leftists can control what people think, thanks to their progressive infiltration of media and education in all their many forms. The programme, however, is not to enforce slavish thought — that would be an ideal — but to inculcate slavish behaviour. As the Left knows from its long, post-Enlightenment history, and as all tyrants have always known, the key to this is not dialectic, but intimidation. It is not to eliminate politically incorrect thought — which simply can’t be done. It is to limit “incorrect” speech, so that it will only be spoken among one’s most trusted friends. The rewards for those friends, if they rat you out, are always substantial.

How does one resist this? It can be done.

The strategy is to speak up, and face the consequences. The enemy, being morally vacuous, will often back down. Even if he doesn’t, he is shaken. As veteran dissidents in the Soviet Union discovered, sometimes the authorities don’t know what to do. They must call meetings. The most devastating subversion was, not to lie. The very survival of the system (“politically correct” was formerly a Soviet term), demands protection of the big lie with supporting ones. It is the bodyguard principle. But suppose they crack.

So my instruction to resisters is to make cracks, with the sledgehammer of Truth.