Diary

This Conservative Agrees With Excitable Andy

Over the years, I’ve disagreed more than agreed with Andrew Sullivan, and found myself reading his works less and less with each passing year, but I couldn’t find a single point of disagreement in his latest on campus culture, especially this:

And I can sometimes get carried away.

Boy has he ever. They don’t call him Excitable Andy for no reason. But I also agree with the substance.

Privacy? Forget about it. Traditionally, liberals have wanted to see politics debated without regard for the private lives of those in the fray — because personal details can distract from the cogency of the argument. But cultural Marxists see no such distinction. In the struggle against patriarchy, a distinction between the public and private makes no sense. In fact, policing private life — the personal is political, remember — is integral to advancing social justice. Ansari is a test case. I have yet to read an article that accounts for the violation of his dignity. There’s a reason that totalitarian states will strip prisoners of their clothing. Left-feminists delight in doing this metaphorically to targeted men — effectively exposing them naked to public ridicule and examination because it both traumatizes the object and more importantly sits out there as a warning to others.

Due process? Real life is beginning to mimic college tribunals. When the perpetrator of an anonymous list accusing dozens of men of a whole range of sexual misdeeds is actually celebrated by much of mainstream media (see this fawning NYT profile), you realize that we are living in another age of the Scarlet Letter. Moira Donegan has yet to express misgivings about possibly smearing the innocent — because the cause is far more important than individual fairness. Besides, if they’re innocent, they’ll be fine! Ezra Klein has openly endorsed campus rules that could frame some innocent men. One of the tweets in response to some of my recent writing on this has stuck in my mind ever since: “can anyone justify why the POSSIBLE innocence of men is so much more important than the DEFINITE safety and comfort of women?” And yet this principle of preferring ten guilty people to go free rather than one innocent person to be found guilty was not so long ago a definition of Western civilization.

Treating people as individuals rather than representatives of designated groups? Almost every corporation now has affirmative action for every victim-group in hiring and promotion. Workplace codes today read like campus speech codes of a few years ago. Voice dissent from this worldview and you’ll be designated a bigot and fired (see James Damore at Google). The media is out front on this too. Just as campuses have diversity tsars, roaming through every department to make sure they are in line, we now have a “gender editor” at the New York Times, Jessica Bennett. Her job is to “curate, elevate and expand gender reporting” throughout the newsroom. Among her previous work are forums on male abuse of power. “Our gender content will exist throughout every section of the paper and be produced in every medium,” Bennett explains. And not just gender, of course: “I want everything we do to be intersectional in its approach — and race, class, and gender identity are an important part of that.” Does she understand that the very word intersectional is a function of neo-Marxist critical race theory? Is this now the guiding philosophy of the paper of record?

Sullivan has come up with better phrase than “Social Justice Warriors”, which is “cultural Marxists”. It’s just a better descriptor, in part because SJW is such a lousy term. Why? Because they’re not warriors, they’re bullies, especially the hardliners. And they’re not really about justice, they’re about imposing their worldview and their politics and their left-wing ideology on others, all the while shutting down any dissenting viewpoints. Its essence can be boiled down to what happened to Professor Weinstein at Evergreen State College.

No, cultural Marxists is a much better phrase in describing those folks. For one, the term implies that they value the collective or group more than the individual. And Marxism–as expressed in Soviet Russia, Maoist China, Fidel’s Cuba and Kim’s North Korea–evokes authoritarianism and the stifling of anyone who strays from the True Path of full-blown socialism or communism. And let’s face it, Marxism is the province of the Left, which is where all the so-called SJWs comfortably reside. Anyway, my two cents.