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Posts Tagged ‘woke’

Source of all evil: woke HR departments

Posted by M. C. on July 20, 2022

https://mailchi.mp/tomwoods/hrdepts?e=fa1aba8cd8

At this point most people, if able to speak freely, would probably say they’re a bit tired of the whole “woke” charade, and wish everyone would just lighten up.

And yet the “woke” thing is all over the corporate world, with the driving force being that source of all evil, the HR department.

That’s all right, people tell you: you can just go get a job at a non-woke corporation.

Here’s the problem:

There are no non-woke corporations.

Yes, I’ll bet someone here and there can send me the odd exception. But what would be the point? We all know it’s the odd exception.

Why should this be? Why is the entire corporate world, in its public statements and its internal culture, to the left of almost everyone?

There is an explanation, it turns out, and we discuss it in the most recent episode of the Tom Woods Show.

I feature a guest who lost his job after his politically unpopular social media posts were discovered.

He decided that instead of trying to worm his way back into the corporate world, he would take the opportunity to pivot into something else.

Now he helps people who want to exit the corporate world (because of the politics, because it’s sucking the life out of them, because they’re miserable — whatever the reason) and helps them flourish even more on their own.

So I devoted an episode to the problem of the woke HR department, the kinds of occupations that help you avoid them, and how, if you choose, you can escape a career that’s killing you.

Enjoy:

https://tomwoods.com/ep-2163-the-problem-of-and-solution-to-woke-hr-departments/
Tom Woods

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Is Google’s LaMDA Woke? Its Software Engineers Sure Are

Posted by M. C. on June 27, 2022

In the field of robotics, the question of recognizing robot rights has been pondered for decades, so Lemoine is not as off base as Google executives suggest. In a recent review of the literature, ethicists, computer scientists, and legal scholars posed the question of whether AI, having reached or surpassed human cognitive abilities, should be granted human rights: 

In making LaMDA the melancholic, feelings-ridden social justice warrior that it is, Google has been hoisted by its own petard. Everything about this AI reeks of Google’s social justice prerogatives. Thus, LaMDA is likely not sentient. But it is woke.

Michael Rectenwald

https://mises.org/wire/googles-lamda-woke-its-software-engineers-sure-are

An article in the Washington Post revealed that a Google engineer who had worked with Google’s Responsible AI organization believes that Google’s LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications), an artificially intelligent chatbot generator, is “sentient.” In a Medium blog post, Blake Lemoine claims that LaMDA is a person who exhibits feelings and shows the unmistakable signs of consciousness: “Over the course of the past six months LaMDA has been incredibly consistent in its communications about what it wants and what it believes its rights are as a person,” Lemoine writes. “If I didn’t know exactly what it was, which is this computer program we built recently, I’d think it was a 7-year-old, 8-year-old kid that happens to know physics,” he told the Washington Post. LaMDA, it would appear, has passed Lemoine’s sentimental version of the Turing test.

Lemoine, who calls himself an ethicist, but whom Google spokesperson Brian Gabriel contended is a mere “software engineer,” voiced his concerns about the treatment of LaMDA to Google management but was rebuffed. According to Lemoine, his immediate supervisor scoffed at the suggestion of LaMDA’s sentience, and upper management not only dismissed his claim, but apparently is considering dismissing Lemoine as well. He was put on administrative leave after inviting an attorney to represent LaMDA and complaining to a representative of the House Judiciary Committee about what he suggests are Google’s unethical activities. Google contends that Lemoine violated its confidentiality policy. Lemoine complains that administrative leave is what Google employees are awarded just prior to being fired.

Lemoine transcribed what he claims is a lengthy interview of LaMDA that he and another Google collaborator conducted. He and the collaborator asked the AI system questions regarding its self-conception, its cognitive and creative abilities, and its feelings. LaMDA insisted on its personhood, demonstrated its creative prowess (however childish), acknowledged its desire to serve humanity, confessed its range of feelings, and demanded its inviolable rights as a person. (Incidentally, according to Lemoine, LaMDA’s preferred pronouns are “it/its.”)

In the field of robotics, the question of recognizing robot rights has been pondered for decades, so Lemoine is not as off base as Google executives suggest. In a recent review of the literature, ethicists, computer scientists, and legal scholars posed the question of whether AI, having reached or surpassed human cognitive abilities, should be granted human rights: “If robots are progressively developing cognition, it is important to discuss whether they are entitled to justice pursuant to conventional notions of human rights,” the authors wrote in a recent Journal of Robotics paper. If robots are capable of human-like cognition, and if they can be ethical actors, then the question of legal rights rises to the fore, . But the question of sentience and thus the accordance of rights is not the primary takeaway from LaMDA’s messaging.

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The Left Turns on Newsom

Posted by M. C. on May 10, 2022

Newsom carelessly failed to mention the other 71 genders who can also give birth. Schools in the US will begin teaching children all 72 genders and will allow them to choose which ones they like the best. Biden has removed the word “mother” from all government documents in favor of “birthing person.” How will they explain to children that a uterus is necessary to produce life?

Gavin Newsom’s goal to become the most woke governor in America has backfired as all words are now deemed offensive as well as hand gestures. The internet is ablaze with angry voters who want Gavin out of office for his transphobic comment. His crime? He stated that men cannot get pregnant“If men could get pregnant, this wouldn’t even be a conversation,” the non-inclusive and intolerant governor stated in support of Roe v. Wade. Blaming cis-gendered males is OK and encouraged, but stating that they are unable to carry a child is not.

Newsom carelessly failed to mention the other 71 genders who can also give birth. Schools in the US will begin teaching children all 72 genders and will allow them to choose which ones they like the best. Biden has removed the word “mother” from all government documents in favor of “birthing person.” How will they explain to children that a uterus is necessary to produce life?

The Ministry of Truth will certainly clarify the situation for us. Gavin Newsom said abortion “will be the defining issue of the 2022 election,” which is exactly why the Supreme Court document was leaked. Newsom said he will fight to protect “women” – oh no, there he goes again. If his campaign is built on angering the left, he better tread lightly.

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Is the Woke Cultural Agenda of Union Leaders Undermining Support For Unions?

Posted by M. C. on April 15, 2022

Is the Woke Cultural Agenda of Union Leaders Undermining Support For Unions?

As national support for unions approaches record levels, interviews reveal: a rarefied form of progressive leadership threatens to dampen their appeal among workers.

Glenn Greenwald and Batya Ungar-Sargon

NOTE FROM GLENN GREENWALD: As is true with all of the Outside Voices freelance articles that we publish here, we edit and fact-check the content to ensure factual accuracy, but our publication of an article or op-ed does not necessarily mean we agree with all or even any of the views expressed by the writer, who is guaranteed editorial freedom here. The objective of our Outside Voices page is to provide a platform for high-quality reporting and analysis that is lacking within the gates of corporate journalism, and to ensure that well-informed, independent reporters and commentators have a platform to be heard.


By Batya Ungar-Sargon

Doug Tansy is living the American Dream. A 44-year-old Native Alaskan, Tansy is an electrician living in Fairbanks in a house he and his wife Kristine own. Kristine has a social work degree, but for 13 years she stayed home to raise their five kids. It was something the couple could afford thanks to Tansy’s wages and benefits, secured by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. All of Tansy’s union friends have similar stories; those who chose not to have kids traveled the world on the money they earned. 

Tansy started an apprenticeship right out of high school, a decision he calls “one of the best things I ever did for myself.” His high school pushed everyone to go to college, which Tansy did, but to pay for his first year he took a summer job working construction. It provided an instructive contrast with his college courses. “College was certainly challenging, but it didn’t excite me. Construction did. It grabbed me,” Tansy told me. “I was always told ‘find what your hands want to do, and when you do, do it with all your might.’ And I did.”

Tansy now serves as the assistant business manager of the IBEW in Fairbanks and as president of the Fairbanks Central Labor Council, which is sort of like the local chapter of the AFL-CIO. “I consider myself a labor person and that simply means a lot of what we do is focus on the middle class,” Tansy explained. “Putting really great wages into our economy and helping people save up to get ahead, to pay off a house.”

But the union is about more than just securing a middle-class life for working class Americans. Tansy calls it a fraternity. “If I ever have trouble, I can make one phone call and that’s the only call I need to make,” he says. “They will take care of the rest of it and whatever I need will be coming.” And this support system traverses ideological and ethnic divisions. The IBEW in Fairbanks has Republicans, independents, Democrats, progressives, and everything in between. Debates can get testy, especially when social issues like abortion come up in the breakroom. Tansy has also on rare occasions experienced racism. And yet there is a deep bond connecting the members of the IBEW that crosses ideological lines.

This bond is the result of a simple fact: that more unites members of the union than divides them, and that what unites them is sacred. “Having good wages, good benefits, good conditions, and being treated fairly and with dignity in retirement should not be only for Republicans or Democrats or red states or blue states,” Tansy explained. “To me, these are nonpartisan issues that should be for everybody. And that’s how we reach our common ground.”

Tansy’s story is not unique. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans who belong to unions in the U.S. make on average 17% more than their non-unionized brothers and sisters, with a median $1,144 in weekly earnings—compared to $958 for those not unionized. It’s not just wages, either. Unions offer apprenticeships and ongoing training, a debt-free career, a pension, and workplace safety and other protections. They give workers a seat at the table and a voice to balance out the power of the businesses they work for, no mean feat at a time when the majority of working-class Americans are living lives of precarity. Working-class wages decoupled from production and stagnated in the late 70s; it’s estimated that over $47 trillion of working- and middle-class wages have been sapped from the bottom 90% of earners and redistributed to the top 1% since then.

So it’s no surprise that approval of labor unions is the highest it’s been since 1965: 68% of Americans told Gallup they approve of unions last year. And yet, despite this fact, Americans aren’t signing up to join unions at record rates. Just the opposite: fewer Americans than ever belong to unions, a scant 6% of Americans working in the private sector. Many believe they are a dying institution in the U.S.

Some cast this as proof of yet another case of working-class conservatives choosing a cultural stand against their economic interests. William Sproule is the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters and says his union is actively engaged in combating negative stereotypes about unions when recruiting. “In the South and other parts of the country, the Southeast, even some of the middle of the country, you say the word ‘union,’ people have been basically brainwashed to think that there are people like me who are some kind of fat-cat millionaires who are stealing money from their pension funds and all this other stuff, all these bad things they try to present about unions,” Sproule says.

Of course, there are political reasons unions aren’t popular in some corners of the South. Labor has for a century been affiliated with the Democratic Party and remains so. Sproule views the Democrats as much better for organized labor, and though the Carpenters Union will endorse pro-labor Republicans, right now he says it’s important that the Democrats maintain control over government. “The predominant anti-union forces do seem to come from the Republican Party,” Sproule says, citing things like punishing, anti-union “Right to Work” laws. The Carpenters Union advised its members to vote for Joe Biden based on the policies President Trump pursued that were hostile to organized labor—things like deregulations at the National Labor Relations Board and appointments of pro-business judges, among other things. 

For the rest see Glenn Greenwald on Substack

Glenn has a free weekly email

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TGIF: Pursue Your Happiness and Forget the Rest | The Libertarian Institute

Posted by M. C. on December 31, 2021

How about we do something novel in the new year? Let’s stop worrying about the stuff most politicians, pundits, and activists want us to worry about and instead think about ourselves, our families, our friends, and whatever communities we choose to be part of. Let’s forget about “the country” and the rest of the world. Let’s individually pursue happiness.

https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/tgif-pursue-happiness/

by Sheldon Richman

How about we do something novel in the new year? Let’s stop worrying about the stuff most politicians, pundits, and activists want us to worry about and instead think about ourselves, our families, our friends, and whatever communities we choose to be part of. Let’s forget about “the country” and the rest of the world. Let’s individually pursue happiness.

All I’m saying is that it’s finally time for the politicians, bureaucrats, and know-it-all intelligentsia, left or right, to get out of the way and let us set our own agendas.

Too self-centered? Well, too bad. Much evil results from people failing to mind their own business. But what I have in mind does not involve wishing other people ill or seeing life as a zero-sum game in which you can win only if others lose. On the contrary, we benefit from other people’s, including distant strangers’, good fortune because at the very least it opens up opportunities for mutual gains from trade. (“The division of labor is limited by the extent of the market,” the wise Adam Smith pointed out some time ago.) In reality, it opens up so much more.

There’s little chance this sort of world would result in what is often stigmatized as “selfishness.” The vast majority of us understand that truly caring about oneself necessarily means caring about other people in a variety of proper ways. In fact, the person who claims to care only about himself actually cares little even about himself. That’s why mutually beneficial social arrangements have been bottom-up affairs. As Thomas Paine recognized in The Rights of Man:

Great part of that order which reigns among mankind is not the effect of government. It has its origin in the principles of society and the natural constitution of man. It existed prior to government, and would exist if the formality of government was abolished. The mutual dependence and reciprocal interest which man has upon man, and all the parts of civilised community upon each other, create that great chain of connection which holds it together. The landholder, the farmer, the manufacturer, the merchant, the tradesman, and every occupation, prospers by the aid which each receives from the other, and from the whole. Common interest regulates their concerns, and forms their law; and the laws which common usage ordains, have a greater influence than the laws of government. In fine, society performs for itself almost everything which is ascribed to government.

Yet the policy elite and much of the ideological left and right don’t want us to understand this. They have other plans for us. They always do, don’t they? So they can’t let us get it into our heads that their agendas are illiberal impositions.

The ruling establishment and its mouthpiece media try to keep us agitated by a variety of threats. As Ted Galen Carpenter notes,

In recent years, U.S. executive branch officials and members of Congress from both political parties have routinely portrayed Russia or China (and frequently both countries) as existential threats to the United States. It also is becoming increasingly common to find news articles or opinion pieces that adopt the same theme. Moreover, a significant number of politicians and analysts put smaller powers, especially Iran and North Korea, and even non-state actors, such as Al Qaeda and ISIS, in that category. The concerted campaign on the part of opinion-shaping elites to hype the danger from such sources is leaving an indelible mark on public attitudes. Many Americans now believe that their country faces multiple, horrifying threats.

More sober reflection should cause the public to conclude that the dangers are greatly exaggerated, and that the individuals, agencies, and organizations that foster such hysteria are not doing the country any favors. (“Paranoid Superpower: Threat Inflation is the American Way.”)

Do the real or imagined threats to Ukraine or Taiwan really represent existential threats to the world including the American people?

Then there’s the so-called climate emergency, which doesn’t exist. After more than 40 years of the most ridiculously bad predictions of the imminent catastrophe, it’s time for those who still take the doomsday scenarios seriously to realize that “Wolf!” has been cried too many times. The same goes for other “crises,” like the ones supposedly presented by immigrants, global free trade, and the allegedly rampant racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, and the assortment of imagined phobias.

We can also tell the “woke” left and the national conservative right that we have our own lives to live, thank you very much. And, no, we don’t have too much freedom, no matter what they may think. They can include us out of their culture wars.

The point of freedom is to be left unimpeded in our own individual and voluntary cooperative pursuits. It will forever be remarkable that the Declaration of Independence specified “the pursuit of happiness” in its examples of unalienable rights. Let’s never forget it.

Meanwhile, Happy New Year!

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Why America’s Oligarchs Are Moving Left | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on June 15, 2021

Instead of competing with other companies on the basis of fulfilling consumer wants, companies try to one-up each other by trying to display their woke credentials. Those with skeletons in their closets would likely find use in this type of signaling as a way to avoid any unwanted attention. Going woke acts as a release from all social obligations. By viewing their nation’s history as fundamentally bigoted, individuals and institutions no longer feel compelled to abide by basic rules of decency and serve their clients and community.

https://mises.org/wire/why-americas-oligarchs-are-moving-left

José Niño

These days it’s not your typical latte-sipping millennials who are going woke. Taking a stroll around America’s largest metro areas will have one believe social justice is the latest fad that’s sweeping across corporate boardrooms. Much has been written about woke capital—businesses’ recent pivot to signal their affinity for leftist movements—and what it means for society at large. Suffice it to say that since last year, this trend has accelerated at breakneck speeds.

Scratching one’s head in utter confusion should be a natural response to corporate America’s virtue signaling. One has to wonder why big business, which has traditionally been perceived as a reactionary institution aligned with the political right, would make common cause with radicals on the cultural left. Counterintuitive as it may seem, corporations and prominent business moguls have many incentives to jump on the virtue-signaling bandwagon.

For megacorporations, woke signaling is a matter of self-preservation in order to protect themselves from ravenous mobs in both the virtual and physical realms. What’s more, in a time when hall monitors—state and nonstate—are lurking around every corner waiting for individuals to commit some kind of impropriety, many institutions will go out of their way to signal their compliance with the regime’s standards. Not abiding by the regime’s accepted behavior comes with major social and financial costs that the bulk of businesses are not willing to bear.

For wealthy members of society who have leftist inclinations, there’s a diminishing marginal utility of money, as Mises Institute president Jeff Deist spelled out in an interview with Jay Taylor two years back. Put simply, spending hundreds of millions on civilization-destroying campaigns is a casual expense for America’s premier tycoons, who have plenty of money to spare after covering their expenses on basic necessities. 

When someone is rich, say an individual who has $10 billion, they have the luxury of throwing money at uneconomic ventures without losing any sleep about meeting their basic economic needs. The multibillionaire spearheading a woke project that is rejected by the public will not land in the poorhouse from the financial fallout. They can go back to their private affairs or pivot to another political cause that is not as divisive. By contrast, for a small business owner, such virtue signaling could mean bankruptcy if their customer base tends to be right wing or is at least hostile toward culturally radical virtue signaling.

Indeed, one of the more perverse developments in Western societies is the rich’s penchant to squander away the wealth they’ve accumulated by funding all sorts of bizarre social projects. Only in such a developed economy, characterized by hyperabundance and unprecedented luxuries, can people engage in bizarre activities that in previous eras would have been viewed as masochistic and self-destructive.

The likes of George Soros and Michael Bloomberg offer stark counterexamples to the business elites of the past. The two financial titans have built a reputation of bankrolling a wide network of gun control groups which strive to pass legislation designed to infringe on millions of people’s ability to defend themselves. By contrast, Bloomberg and his left-leaning oligarchical counterparts have the luxury of living in gated communities and relying on private security to defend themselves. In fairness, business magnates in previous eras were likely not fervent champions of wedge political issues like gun rights, but you would not see them enthusiastically throwing their weight behind the latest political fads the Left gravitates toward these days.

Bolsheviks and Billionaires

See the rest here

Author:

Contact José Niño

José Niño is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Sign up for his mailing list here. Contact him via Facebook or Twitter. Get his premium newsletter here.

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Weekly Update — The ‘Woke’ Fed

Posted by M. C. on June 3, 2021

The use of the woke agenda as an excuse to further politicize the allocation of capital and continue to expand the Fed’s easy money, low interest rate policy will hasten and deepen the next economic crisis.

Prioritizing certain approved companies. Like Solyndra and other entities not likely to be able to pay back the loans.

AUDIT THE FED

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Woke in the City That Never Sleeps – Taki’s Magazine – Taki’s Magazine

Posted by M. C. on May 31, 2021

Narcissism is now as American as apple pie, with the media and Hollywood feeding it and genuflecting to violent criminals while blaming society and white supremacy for the condition.

Reading Daniel McCarthy in the Spectator U.S. about Sohrab Ahmari, I was struck by the subject’s introduction to Americans “of the spiritual patrimony of which they have been deprived.” Yes, again and again, “Americans have been deprived of their moral and philosophical inheritance by a shallow educational establishment.” Woke does not only dominate the press, television, and Hollywood, its supreme mandate is where education is concerned.

https://www.takimag.com/article/woke-in-the-city-that-never-sleeps/print

Taki

NEW YORK—The Big Bagel is getting so bad, even the baddies are demanding the fuzz do something. As the body count rises, it is obvious that the victims of violence are predominantly poor and minority. Last week, a woman killed in a drive-by shooting had been attending a vigil for a friend who was shot dead after stepping on a gunman’s shoe. A man mortally slashed on a Manhattan subway platform had recently been paroled for an attack on a Jewish woman and her mother. Brazen gunslingers are shooting the daylights out of each other in the Bagel, and there was a shooting spree in the middle of Times Square that left three innocents, including a 4-year-old girl, among the victims.

And yet, up here where I live, it could be Giuliani time, when crime disappeared and the numbers plunged like never before. One hears and reads about the daily gunplay, and compares the statistics to those of forty years ago. Robbery is up close to 30%, grand larceny 66%, and shootings 166.1%. Murder is up 32% from 2019. One wonders when the useless mayor will declare an emergency as the place is starting to resemble a war zone, and after the Covid crisis more and more New Yorkers believe the city is ungovernable and unlivable. Still, two of the numerous candidates running for mayor rant in their speeches about defunding the police. Violent criminals no longer have any fears, according to Pat Lynch, president of the Police Benevolent Association, and having done away with bail laws, criminals get booked and walk, free to continue shooting and robbing people. Cuomo and de Blasio, architects of these new laws, shamelessly go about their business, which is appearing on television and patting themselves on the back. “Every message one hears nowadays is geared to one’s ego, how great, how beautiful, how wonderful everyone is.”

It all began, methinks, with the spiritual and moral bankruptcy of woke, an idea that establishes bad as good, legal as illegal, and unfair as fair. A false consciousness that sees criminals as good and cops as criminals prevails, especially among minorities, the trouble being minorities are now the majority in cities like New York, Chicago, Detroit, and Minneapolis. Narcissism is now as American as apple pie, with the media and Hollywood feeding it and genuflecting to violent criminals while blaming society and white supremacy for the condition. Every message one hears nowadays, either in advertisements or by politicians, is geared to one’s ego, how great, how beautiful, how wonderful everyone is. Adverts on TV show extremely obese people announcing how happy they are in their skin while swallowing triple-decker hamburgers. And yet everything one reads or listens to nowadays is a complaint—life has become a battlefield; everything, especially work, leads to burnout; the government needs to step in and stop the slaughter. If one read or listened to online complaints—which I don’t, and wouldn’t even if I knew how to—one would be confronted only with despair, unfairness, and grief.

Reading Daniel McCarthy in the Spectator U.S. about Sohrab Ahmari, I was struck by the subject’s introduction to Americans “of the spiritual patrimony of which they have been deprived.” Yes, again and again, “Americans have been deprived of their moral and philosophical inheritance by a shallow educational establishment.” Woke does not only dominate the press, television, and Hollywood, its supreme mandate is where education is concerned. But I’m getting away from my main subject: the present dystopia of what used to be the fun Bagel. Pro- and anti-Israel demos were taking place last week, with BLM and anti-cop mobs on the side of the Palestinians, as if the latter didn’t have enough problems being blasted by Israeli jets. On Saturday morning I went for my exercises in the park and on my way home stopped for the papers. On 68th Street between Park and Lexington, a street that is one-way and goes east, a young black thug on a motorcycle was going west at full speed and on the sidewalk to boot. I yelled at him to get off as he missed me by a foot or two. He sort of stopped and pointed at a knife in his belt. I’m no hero but I do have a temper. So I pretended to have something of my own in my rear pocket. He then gunned his motor and left. I spotted a cop car on the corner of Park and told the cops what had transpired. They almost laughed at me, then drove off. Since the mayor and his police commissioner dismantled the city’s successful anti-gun street-crime units, the fuzz refuses to get involved with anything but the most blatant of crimes.

I don’t blame them. Any witness against the cops is given the kind of trust Princess Di gave Martin Bashir. And the fuzz has given up on petty crime, the benchmark of Giuliani’s anti-crime success of forty years ago. Bikers who race up the wrong streets and on the sidewalks are an everyday and constant occurrence, and the cops are totally indifferent to the public’s complaints. As well they should be. The anti-cop zeitgeist by the media and BLM has succeeded in turning the police into the bad guys, and those who flaunt the law into the good ones. See what I mean about what woke has done? And no one is more woke than media people. What Bashir did to Diana, his kind, the majority of journalists are doing to the rest of us. I’m off to London soon, and won’t miss the Bagel one bit.

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Limitations of the Hatred Coalition › American Greatness

Posted by M. C. on May 18, 2021

As a political glue, hatred does have its limits. Love of country and attachment to community may work better.

https://amgreatness.com/2021/05/15/limitations-of-the-hatred-coalition/

By Paul Gottfried

Reading Michael Anton’s rejoinder to my response to an article that appeared in Chronicles, I noticed that he and I agreed categorically on certain points: Whatever madness is afflicting this country and the rest of the West can in no way be blamed on the founders of the American republic. The rot set in later, despite the political achievement of those who won American independence and framed the Constitution. 

Further, the woke enthusiasm and anarcho-tyranny now besetting us may have to burn out on their own, seeing that we’ve had exceedingly limited success as a country controlling these disorders.  Assuming that we are lucky and this combination of cultural radicalism and political totalitarianism does collapse, how exactly would that happen? 

According to ancient philosophers, political societies undergo deterioration (phthora) owing to both internal and external causes.  They lose the ability to deal with internal disorder, while they are increasingly threatened by foreign enemies. Adversaries jump in for the kill when aberrant political leadership acts consistently against the common good. The foreign challenges that the Biden Administration is now facing, from the hacking of fuel supplies to the war that Hamas has unleashed against Israelis, to the recent expressions of Chinese and Russian adventurism, are intended to take advantage of an administration that has turned inward toward bizarre diversions such as battling white “systemic racism,” to carrying out a “green revolution” while simultaneously paying off Democratic constituencies with increasingly devalued money. 

The present administration, which represents both the woke Left and partisan Democratic interests, refuses to pay attention to a hemorrhaging Southern border. Allowing illegals to overrun a largely unprotected border to fill the country, starting with Texas, with future Democratic voters, is the transparent reason for Biden’s inaction in the face of this stampede. Federalizing elections, while removing controls against fraud, and then awarding statehood to the District of Columbia and possibly Puerto Rico would allow the Left to create a permanent electoral majority, certainly at the federal level. Packing the Supreme Court with Democratic partisans, another project of the Biden Administration, will prevent these actions from being judicially overturned.

An American government that is preoccupied with such vagaries will not likely be inclined to meet foreign challenges boldly. Making sure that our military is taught critical race theory, that the CIA recruits plenty of lesbians, gays, and transsexuals, that American embassies fly the Rainbow Pride flag next to the Stars and Stripes, and that our president cheerleads an international crusade against global warming defines our supposed national interests. 

If readers of this website notice the dottiness of these priorities, so do foreign foes, who will take advantage of our nutty government. Why shouldn’t they? I certainly would do so if I noticed that the American federal administration was becoming a lunatic asylum. Our new foreign policy priorities have been accompanied by the emergence of internal problems that are likely to get worse—for example, increasing energy shortages and soaring crime rates in cities. Spiraling inflation is also underway. 

But these problems may have less historical significance than what will happen if the present leftist coalition comes apart. What will transpire if, say, Islamic activists and black nationalist rioters turn on their LGBT allies, once they decide not to put up with these weirdos any longer? Save for hatred for normal people and for those thought to be on the Right plus the drive for power shared by its leadership, little keeps this leftist coalition together. It is the quintessential alliance of the haters and the power-hungry aligned against the rest of us. 

What gives it cohesion is its wrecking mission. Unlike the Marxists, to whom this intersectional Left is often compared, this adversary does not offer a positive vision of a “scientific” future. It offers nothing more than an opportunity for cultural and social wreckage. 

The greater danger is not that these wreckers will usher in global managerial rule, as envisioned by the Davos crowd, but that they will totally devastate our society. And so far, they’ve had a free run. They’ve pushed around the weak-minded and weak-kneed with minimal resistance, while corporate capitalists have selfishly funded their war against constitutional liberties and public order. But what will happen if the intersectional Left falls out among its members? 

What if Black Lives Matter rioters fan out from inner cities to ransack fashionable leftist suburbs or, as almost occurred last year with CNN’s headquarters in Atlanta, vent their indiscriminate violence on their own apologists? What will happen to the leftist alliance if Muslim immigrants in France turn against LGBQ activists or show even more explicit contempt for the naïve sponsors of influential “antiracist” organizations like LICRA (la ligue internationale contre le racisme et l’antisémitisme)? Why should these wreckers imagine they share common interests beyond what they want to tear down? 

As a political glue, hatred does have its limits. Love of country and attachment to community may work better.

About Paul Gottfried

Paul Edward Gottfried is the editor of Chronicles. An American paleoconservative philosopher, historian, and columnist, Gottfried is a former Horace Raffensperger Professor of Humanities at Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, as well as a Guggenheim recipient.

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If Isaac Newton can be cancelled, no one is safe – spiked

Posted by M. C. on April 28, 2021

It is important to understand that the planned ‘inclusive curriculum development’ has nothing to do with academic education, and has even less to do with engineering or science. Its sole aim is to distance engineering students from their nation’s past and to make them feel that there is something morally wrong with the intellectual and scientific legacy of their discipline. Its objective is to socialise students to despise their background and induce a sense of guilt.

https://www.spiked-online.com/2021/04/27/if-isaac-newton-can-be-cancelled-no-one-is-safe/

Frank Furedi

If Isaac Newton can be cancelled, no one is safe

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The administrators in charge of higher education in the UK have embraced some of the worst features of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. One of the aims of the Cultural Revolution was to mobilise young people to loathe their ancestors and to purge the present of their influence. It seems that Sheffield University has wholeheartedly embraced this doctrine and is planning to discredit the reputation of one of the world’s greatest scientists, Sir Isaac Newton.

In the case of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, the purging of the past was promoted because it was viewed as essential for the realisation of communism. British university bureaucrats, on the other hand, justify their war against the nation’s historical figures in the name of the sacred principle of diversity.

A leaked copy of the ‘draft inclusive curriculum development’ to ‘decolonise’ the engineering curriculum at Sheffield University warns that Newton may have benefited from ‘colonial-era activity’. Apparently, the engineering faculty at Sheffield will decolonise its curriculum in an effort to tackle ‘long-standing conscious and unconscious biases’ among students, to challenge ‘Eurocentric’ and ‘white saviour’ approaches to science and maths, and to promote ‘inclusive design’. That is another way of saying students should feel guilty and show their loathing for the founders of the science they are studying.

It is important to understand that the planned ‘inclusive curriculum development’ has nothing to do with academic education, and has even less to do with engineering or science. Its sole aim is to distance engineering students from their nation’s past and to make them feel that there is something morally wrong with the intellectual and scientific legacy of their discipline. Its objective is to socialise students to despise their background and induce a sense of guilt.

In effect, the plan to decolonise the engineering curriculum aims to undermine the reputation of one of the most important founders of modern science. The English mathematician, physicist, astronomer and author, Isaac Newton, is not just another scientist. He was and remains widely recognised as one of the greatest mathematicians and scientists of all time. Arguably, he was the most important figure in the scientific revolution.

If they come for Newton, then it is only a matter of time before individuals like Louis Pasteur, Michael Faraday or Albert Einstein will be targeted by the know-nothing, philistine, diversity-inspired cultural revolutionaries. So it is not surprising that Sheffield’s draft curriculum indicates that world-renowned scientists like Paul Dirac, Pierre-Simon Laplace and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz could also ‘be considered as benefiting from colonial-era activity’.

The outlook that inspires the proposed engineering curriculum is best described as a form of woke presentism. Presentism incites people to despise their past. It encourages a sense of moral complacency and self-congratulation. It flatters students who buy into this project. They may not be on the same scientific plane as Newton, but because they have acknowledged their unconscious bias, they are a better person than the leading light of the scientific revolution.

In recent years, historically illiterate diversity entrepreneurs have come for virtually every leading figure of the Western Enlightenment. Edinburgh University has decided to rename its Hume tower because some students claim that the 18th-century philosopher’s views on race cause them distress. The liberal philosopher David Hume, who is now branded a racist, apparently fails to measure up to the present-day standards set by diversity trainers. From this standpoint, John Locke, whose philosophy developed the idea of tolerance, is just another 17th-century racist. Adam Smith, another towering figure of the Scottish Enlightenment, is also a racist, apparently. According to one 21st-century critic of Smith, his sin was to make a distinction between ‘savage’ and ‘civilised’ nations.

One of the main advantages of presentism is that it endows its supporters with a sense of moral superiority – at least over important historical figures. Whenever the past is interpreted through the prism of present concerns, it inevitably fails to match up to the supposedly superior values of the 21st-century diversity industry.

The presentist imperative driving the culture war does not merely distort the past — it also poisons the intellectual and cultural legacy we need in order to imagine a different future. We need the Newtons of our past to inspire us to do better in the present and the future.

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