Abandon hope all ye who enter here

“Read her book if you want your blood to freeze.”

Northwestern film professor Laura Kipnis has a new book – Unwanted Advances: Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus – which is at #1 on Amazon even before the release date (in the categories of “Sociology of Abuse” and “Education and Reform Policy”).  The Guardian interviews her.

“All that stuff Kafka wrote about,” she says, “is true: the inner sense of guilt that even an innocent person can feel. I would imagine myself in this interrogation situation – which, by the way, is pretty much what happened.”

The tone of the article might give one hope – a liberal newspaper commiserating with a liberal feminist professor about surviving a Kafkaesque trial put on by liberals – that the day has finally come when people can “look back at this officially sanctioned hysteria with the same bemusement that they look back on the Salem witch trials.”

Trials in which “the authorities seem to be unwilling to object to the relatively low standard of proof” and “don’t even allow the accused person to present a defence.”

But you’d be well advised to exercise that most middle-class of values, deferred gratification. Not only because not all today’s witches are in the relatively protected classes of females or feminists, but also because Kipnis herself still has not fully accepted that liberals have moved past “increasingly authoritarian.” In this territory where show trials are the norm, she still believes there are “certain allies” who are unacceptable.

“The people supporting free speech now are the conservatives. It’s incomprehensible to me, but it’s the so-called liberals on campus, the students who think of themselves as activists, who are becoming increasingly authoritarian. So I’m trying to step carefully. It’s not like you want to make certain allies, particularly the men’s rights people.”

As Mike Pence once wrote about having dinner within 100 miles of Wellesley, which he wisely avoided, “Abandon hope all ye who enter here.”

The Battle Hymn of Bureaucracy

Mine eyes have seen Bureaucracy, the coming of the horde;
It has gobbled up the vintage of the seed-corn we deplored;
It has loosed Big Brother’s eyeball o’er the faithful we ignored;
Its truth is marching on.

I have seen It on the Interwebs, a million flaming rants;
It has built Itself an altar for the fans of Worldwide Pants;
I can read Its righteous orders in the stamping of the tramps;
Its day is marching on.

I have read transgender gospel ‘graved in punctured wounds of flesh;
“As you deal with my contemners, I will deal with your regress”;
Let the Heroes born of transfems crush the evil with Progress;
Yes It is marching on!

Upper Division White Guilt

Shelby Steele’s “The Exhaustion of American Liberalism” makes the argument that “white guilt is not actual guilt.” Nor is it “angst over injustices suffered by others.”

Instead, Steele says white guilt is “the terror of being stigmatized with America’s old bigotries – racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia.”

To be stigmatized as a fellow traveler with any of these bigotries is to be utterly stripped of moral authority and made into a pariah. The terror of this, of having “no name in the street” as the Bible puts it, pressures whites to act guiltily even when they feel no actual guilt. White guilt is a mock guilt, a pretense of real guilt, a shallow etiquette of empathy, pity and regret.

The good news is that you can be inoculated against it just by being a liberal. All you have to do – for instance – is be on your local diversity committee, or vote for Barack Obama.

“I had to vote for Obama,” a rock-ribbed Republican said to me. “I couldn’t tell my grandson that I didn’t vote for the first black president.”

For this man liberalism was a moral vaccine that immunized him against stigmatization.

Pretty painless stuff, really, but sufficient for the short term. The bad news? You’ll need a booster shot if you want your white guilt to be less an abnormal condition, and more a disease.

Enter the annual White Privilege Conference: a moral vaccine clinic where you can also get academic credit. This is Upper Division White Guilt.

Participants at the WPC may obtain either Continuing Education Credits/Clock Hours, or Academic Credit (High school students, undergraduate and graduate students may earn 1-3 hours of academic credit at either the undergraduate or graduate level).

To get this credit, you will need to “engage in active participation in the conference” and “submit a formal session log that lists the title of the presenter, the tittle of the sessions(s), and the time length of each session.”

But that’s not all. “Attendees must submit a reflection paper” and “examine your own personal development and lessons learned.”

Has you own understanding of the issues facing youth changed. (sic) Has your understanding of you own life experiences changed in any ways? (sic) What has been most personally meaningful and transformative in you training? (sic) What did you learn about yourself?

And that’s just for starters, because Upper Division White Guilt is more than just the fear of being stigmatized. As Steele writes, “It is also the heart and soul of contemporary liberalism.”

This liberalism is the politics given to us by white guilt, and it shares white guilt’s central corruption. It is not real liberalism, in the classic sense. It is a mock liberalism. Freedom is not its raison d’être; moral authority is.

But you’re going to the WPC, so you’re covered. Because the WPC is not only a clinic, it’s also a seminary that “strives to empower and equip individuals to work for equity and justice through self and social transformation.”

In other words, the WPC is not just inoculating you, but selling you moral authority. Which is borne out by the the testimonials of students and chaperones, who sound like converted heathens prepared to open their own mission.

“I went into my first conference as a very unaware college student and came out of it a completely different person” … “The depth and intensity of this experience was exceptional” … “the unique environment of immersion and the intentional support and reflection built into the conference … has truly been a life changing experience for our students” … “The students talked about how the conference opened an awareness within them that they had not felt before” … “WPC is thoughtful, emotional, spiritual, reflective, beautiful, community oriented, engaging” … “I’ve watched as [students] have brought their lessons back to their institutions, becoming models of leadership for diversity”

And yet, it cannot be a seminary, for there is no religious instruction, per se. And attendees are not students, either, because everyone is “asked” to abide by the Community Agreement. This makes them “community members” who “create a learning community” and “share responsibility for holding ourselves accountable.”

The event takes place over five days (WPC 17 was Wednesday through Sunday). WPC 18 will be in Kansas City at the downtown Marriott – complete with the spiritual, community-oriented, life-changing immersion of past events; exhibits and vendors; volunteers and chaperones.

Which sounds like a camp. A “reeducation camp.”

The Black Book of Communism describes such camps in 20th century China, where – only 51 short years ago – the “student” was “required to study the correct thoughts of the Party and to reform his own faulty thinking.”

But even Mao never imagined a voluntary five-day school where students who feel no actual guilt would pay to be injected with angst and graduate with the moral authority to terrorize the rest of us with mock guilt until we, too, are pariahs so utterly stripped that we are willing to pay for a seat at the White Privilege Conference.

Only a white, privileged, Western communist could have come up with that.

The Nazis Are Coming

But don’t worry, because we have the Communists to protect us.

The next time you’re at a big protest rally, play this game. First, count the number of pro-Hitler images. You’ll notice that this crowd is limited to one pathetic fat white man with greasy hair, another pathetic fat white man with facial tattoos, and pathetic white men who died in 1945. The outpouring of hatred for Nazism – the ideology that murdered about 21 million people between 1933-1945 – is palpable. You don’t even need to attend a protest; you can feel it in your living room.

hitler_rally

Next, count the number of pro-Che images. The Che-love literally wants to jump out and smother you with tolerance. You can see Che shirts, Che flags, Che buttons, Che posters, all celebrating the ideology – namely, Marxism-Leninism – that practiced “bloody terrorism, deadly purges, lethal gulags and forced labor, fatal deportations, man-made famines, extrajudicial executions and show trials, and genocide.” The death toll of communism is “something like 110,000,000, or near two-thirds of all those killed by all governments, quasi-governments, and guerrillas from 1900 to 1987.”

che_rally

If I could order the execution of every Nazi on the planet, I would do it today. And I’d probably do it with Zyklon-B, just to send the extra-loud message that Nazis deserve death and we will give it to them. And I’m a white man.

The thing is that all the Nazis on Planet Earth could probably fit in the Superdome, so it would be theoretically possible to round them all up and kill them.

Communists, on the other hand, are too numerous to fit on their own continent. They’re everywhere: Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Europe, Australia and probably even Antarctica. They’re out and proudly selling buttons at your local labor or immigration rally. They’re also startlingly diverse, which must mean they’re right.

These people with the Che-love are the ones who say they’ll protect us from fascism while simultaneously ignoring the fantastic death toll – at least 5.5 times the number killed by the Nazis, and still counting – of Che and his ideological buddies.

I’m not going to pretend I can explain this. I’m just going to note two recent stories from American high schools.

First, the “ethical dilemma” faced by teachers at Stoughton High School in Massachusetts.

The student made the swastika out of tape on a piece of paper and propped it against a recycling bin in a Stoughton High School classroom just before Thanksgiving. … Three teachers, frustrated by a lack of clear guidelines for dealing with such a sensitive issue, responded in sharply different ways. One talked about the swastika in class. Another spoke to a student about it. And a third withdrew a college recommendation for the student who created the swastika. … Heightened tensions are forcing teachers and administrators to grapple with abhorrent actions few say they are prepared to confront.

Fair enough. Posting a swastika in class is an abhorrent act, and teachers felt a burning need to “grapple” with it. Stoughton superintendent Marguerite Rizzi made a statement: “We at the Stoughton Public Schools are all committed to eradicating hate speech, and have no tolerance for racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, or any other kind of bigotry or discrimination.”

No word on what Rizzi thinks of Che Guevara, so let’s look at the second story. The Facing History New Tech High School (yes, that’s the  full name) in Cleveland wants students to grow into “upstanders.” How do they do this?

The school, one of the district’s specialized choice high schools, skips the lectures that dominate most high school classrooms for group projects, a lot of online work and a strong focus on political and social issues.

It draws its curriculum from the national Facing History and Ourselves model that uses the Holocaust and other historical events to show students, “the essential connection between history and the moral choices they confront in their own lives.”

It’s a school where pictures and quotes from Gandhi, Martin Luther King or Elie Wiesel are everywhere. It’s a school where students have debates in class over whether guns should be allowed on college campuses and where Spanish classes feature a movie about Che Guevara.

Now, I don’t know if Facing History students sell Che buttons at school fundraisers, or wear Che shirts to class. But I can guess that any teacher who does “grapple” with the “ethical dilemma” posed by Castro’s ruthless enforcer is perfectly willing to tolerate a few Che stickers around campus.

I’m sure you already know where I stand on this, but let me spell it out.

If you think wearing a Che Guevara shirt is “free expression” but wearing a Nazi swastika is “hate speech” then not only are you a purveyor of the false ideology of Social Justice, but you also do not understand what tolerance is.

Wearing either symbol – the swastika or Che – is hateful but not criminal; and, not being criminal, should not be banned. Young people must be taught to tolerate the non-criminal behavior of others, and demand actual justice for criminals like Che and Hitler.

The real problem is not that virtually every school grapples with the dilemma of Nazism, but that virtually no school grapples with the dilemma of Communism. These “tolerant” schools are using the power of the state to “educate” students that Nazi murderers are “socially unjust” while Communist murderers are “social justice warriors.”

These schools are producing the people who will “protect” us from fascism.

In Which I Agree with the White Supremacist Vaginarchy that the Future is Nasty

Donald Trump is not the first “pseudo-modern” American president, and he won’t be the last. Because what pseudo-modern Americans really want is the “People’s Choice President.” Voting “should” be as easy — and mindless — as texting “Yes” or “No” to a political poll streamed to their “smartphone.”

In philosophical terms, says Alan Kirby, “the culture we have now fetishises the recipient of the text to the degree that they become a partial or whole author of it. Optimists may see this as the democratisation of culture; pessimists will point to the excruciating banality and vacuity of the cultural products thereby generated. … By definition, pseudo-modern cultural products cannot and do not exist unless the individual intervenes physically in them.”

Thus are The People both elevated to the pinnacle of importance and reduced to utter banality. Radio listeners can influence radio playlists in real time, television audiences can vote TV show cast members off the island, and protesters can be applauded as they take over the microphone at political rallies.

Politicians are only too happy to give us what we want; indeed, that is what they’ve always done. But pseudo-modern voters have made it extraordinarily easy for politicians to portray themselves as a “blank slate” — upon which voters draw whatever they desire. Barack Obama proudly admitted this; it was one of his greatest achievements.

“I serve as a blank screen,” Obama wrote in The Audacity of Hope, “on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views.”

While Obama merely proved that Progressives don’t care if their emperor has no clothes, what The Donald proved is that politicians no longer need a party or the press. All politicians need now is The People to physically intervene, and all the “authors” of a political campaign need to do is pretend to abolish themselves — “for the people.”

It is no coincidence that Barack Obama, in his farewell address, and Donald Trump, in his inaugural, both made the same appeal.

“I am asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about change — but in yours,” said the man famous for being a community organizer.

“Everyone is listening to you now,” said the man famous for singlehandedly making America great again.

In some ways, all this empowerment of We The People is “for position only” (to use a term from my days in the printing industry) — a cheap, low-resolution, facsimile of the real artwork that is replaced by the experts at the printing plant before public distribution. Another analogy comes from the Obama Administration itself, which wrote the Affordable Care Act in a way that “treated” the “stupidity of the American voter” to prevent the infection of stupidity from spreading any further.

In other ways, the empowerment is good. The gatekeepers in The Media have lost much (if not all) of their power. The Progressive coalition — long kept by politicians in separate subcritical masses called identity groups (to prevent premature detonation) — has finally reached its long-sought “critical mass” only to result in what was always going to happen: fission. If the recent Women’s March against “government taking our rights” proved anything, it’s that Progressives have finally discovered government can be too big and too powerful; and that being a “woman” or a “minority” is no longer enough. After the march, transgender women (aka men) excoriated cis-pussied white women (aka the white supremacist vaginarchy) for the “oppressive message” that a “vagina is essential to womanhood.”

Across the pond, counter-culture pop icon Brian Eno has “anger at myself for not realising what was going on” with Brexit and now Trump. “I thought that all those Ukip people and those National Fronty people were in a little bubble. Then I thought: ‘Fuck, it was us, we were in the bubble, we didn’t notice it.’ There was a revolution brewing and we didn’t spot it because we didn’t make it. We expected we were going to be the revolution.”

Back here in California, a Progressive scientist has inexplicably declared the end of the “post-post-truth world” and a Progressive legislature has demanded “civic online reasoning” in high school curricula — even as Progressive scientists and legislators insist that men without vaginas can still be women and that “fake news” is damaging the very foundation of our democracy.

“Fortunately,” says the pseudo-modern scientist, “here in California citizens have many avenues for engaging directly with scientists to discuss issues such as climate change …”

I don’t know if Brexit and Trump constitute a revolution, as Eno says they do. Perhaps they are just the outward manifestations of the pseudo-modern revolution that “occurred” — as Alan Kirby says — “somewhere in the late 1990s or early 2000s.”

What I do know is that, in this brave new world, history is meaningless. All that matters is Forward, and whether we can “lean into” our “impactful lives” — where we have The Power to vote Hillary off the island and get Trump in return.

A Higher and More Powerful Title

Jimmy Carter had an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, in which he extols the virtues of human rights.

Fortunately for all of us, free speech is one of the actual human rights, and state-sponsored “protection” from free speech (aka “hate speech laws”) is not. People like Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter are nothing more than lawfully-elected criminals running a protection racket: we elect them, they promise to “protect” us from “hate speech.”

Neither Carter nor Obama believe the words they speak. If they did, they would stop trying to redefine “citizen” as “undocumented resident.”

Yes, that’s the new phrase for “undocumented immigrant.”

In this civic atmosphere of “no borders” and “sanctuary city” resolutions, it is richly ironic (or, more accurately, cravenly pathetic) that Carter writes this paean to America: “In our democracy, the only title higher and more powerful than that of president is the title of citizen.”

“President” Obama literally tried to end-run the Constitutional rights of citizens with “a pen and a phone” – that, and the power of the Department of Justice.

In contrast, I actually believe that the “higher and more powerful” title is “citizen.” If only Jimmy Carter really believed that.

The Frivolous Power of Kings

“You are part of my dominion, and the ground that I am seated upon is mine, nor has anyone disobeyed my orders with impunity. Therefore, I order you not to rise onto my land, nor to wet the clothes or body of your Lord.” – King Canute, to the ocean, as chronicled by Henry of Huntingdon in AD 1129.

It is unclear, as I write this in AD 2016, how many know the story of Canute or what happened next: “But the sea carried on rising as usual without any reverence for his person, and soaked his feet and legs.”

One might be forgiven for thinking that humans have learned something about the quality of their leaders since 1129. But kings still walk among us, as do their followers.

“This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow, and our planet began to heal.” – Barack Obama, to the oceans, after winning the Democratic primaries in AD 2008.

Although Canute did not make his pronouncement in a stadium of screaming fans far from the sea, the primary difference between the two men is not that Canute confronted his opponent. But Canute did command “with the greatest vigor” that his throne “should be set on the shore when the tide began to rise.” And, seated upon that throne, “he spoke to the rising sea.”

Nor can the difference between the two men be estimated by the caliber of their followers. Canute’s men were snickering at him from the beach, while Obama’s followers were cheering deliriously, and writing profusely about the “Lightworker.”

San Francisco columnist Mark Morford, who chronicled the rise of His Holiness Barack I in AD 2008, was prescient enough not to name for posterity the “deeply spiritual” people – “not coweringly religious, mind you” – who identified Obama as “that rare kind of attuned being who has the ability to lead us not merely to new foreign policies or health care plans or whatnot, but who can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet, of relating and connecting and engaging with this bizarre earthly experiment.”

The biggest difference between Canute and Barack is what they did after the sea proved them wrong. Canute is not remembered for his response, and it would be hubris on my part to say that Obama will be remembered for his. But the two men reacted very differently.

King Canute walked out of the sea and delivered his real message: “All the inhabitants of the world should know that the power of kings is vain and trivial, and that none is worthy the name of king but He whose command the heaven, earth and sea obey by eternal laws.”

Barack, on the other hand, doubled down. Not satisfied with his vain war against the oceans, he declared war on war itself. Speaking in AD 2013 at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C., he said, “This war, like all wars, must end. That’s what history advises. That’s what our democracy demands.”

War responded by declaring a new Caliphate – dedicated to the utter destruction of the West – in AD 2014.

Can I get some muscle over here?

Re the faculty response to the University of Chicago “safe spaces” letter.

Dear professors,

First, can I get some muscle over here? Because the free speech of Leftists stampeding toward their safe spaces can never be legitimately interrupted by concrete pressures of the political.

Second, noted domestic-terrorist-turned-educator Bill Ayers approvingly uses the term “participatory democracy” to describe Venezuela, so if that’s the kind of society you want we’ll see each other across the barricades.

Third, in Newspeak “more discussion, not less” means “shut up” and “openness, not closure” means “did you hear me I told you to shut up you ugly fascist.”

Finally, I understand you want to appear inclusive, but we know that “learning from a wealth of histories and experiences” means “the experiences of Milo Yiannopolous and Hirsi Ali are triggering so we’ll ban them from campus and if that doesn’t work we’ll harass and threaten them loudly and fearlessly.”

Yeah, students have every right to speak up. But when universities allow large numbers of revolutionary young people to become courageous and daring pathbreakers, professors become harassed elderly intellectuals who have one opportunity to turn over a new leaf before being exposed, refuted, and completely discredited.

Bill Ayers Lied, Students Died

In 2006, American domestic-terrorist-turned-education-professor Bill Ayers said this: “Venezuela is poised to offer the world a new model of education – a humanizing and revolutionary model whose twin missions are enlightenment and liberation. This World Education Forum provides us a unique opportunity to develop and share the lessons and challenges of this profound educational project that is the Bolivarian [Communist] Revolution.”

Almost exactly 10 years later, a spokeswoman for Venezuela’s Movement of Organized Parents said this: “This country has abandoned its children. By the time we see the full consequences, there will be no way to put it right.”

What has happened to Venezuela is criminally insane, and anyone who believes anything Bill Ayers says or writes should be morally ashamed to the brink of suicide. His books on American education have been in print for decades, and Teachers College Press says he has been “inspiring” teachers nationwide “to follow their own path” and that his books are “essential reading amidst today’s public policy debates and school reform initiatives that stress the importance of ‘good teaching.'”

“Good teaching”? The kind that Ayers said would liberate and enlighten Venezuelan children? The reality could not be more different.

An Associated Press article from June 2016 puts it this way: “No food, no teachers, violence in failing Venezuela schools. … In reality, Venezuelan children have missed an average of 40 percent of class time, a parent group estimates, as a third of teachers skip work on any given day to wait in food lines. At Maria’s school, so many students have fainted from hunger that administrators told parents to keep their children home if they have no food. And while the school locks its gate each morning, armed robbers, often teens themselves, still manage to break in and stick up kids between classes.”

Reprise: Whence Comes the Witch?

“It’s drowning all your old rationalism and skepticism, it’s coming in like a sea; and the name of it is superstition.” – Emile Cammaerts in his 1937 study of G.K. Chesterton, “The Laughing Prophet.”

In 2013, after reading that a woman “accused of sorcery” had been burned alive in Papua New Guinea, I wrote an essay titled “Whence Comes the Witch?”

I contended then that America, no matter how “enlightened” we claim to be, is not immune to witch hunts. The wave of hysterical child sex abuse prosecutions that swept the country in the 1980s and 90s proves my case, and today there are other hysterias just waiting for the right spark.

President Obama’s current Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy is John Holdren, just one of many modern scientists who believe many strange things and is willing to use government power against others who disagree.

Everyman, having exchanged his rationalism for tea leaves, has heard the call that “the world can’t wait” and “we must act now.” He has responded with the despair of immigration riots, Occupy Wall Street riots, Black Lives Matter riots, campus riots, and now riots at political rallies.

You may believe in gluten chemtrails or that trees should have legal standing to sue or that “the world can’t wait” or that violence is a legitimate political strategy – or in any number of other superstitions. But if you do, don’t be surprised when the next witch hunt occurs.

Whence comes the witch? Jules Michelet answered that question in 1862: “I say unhesitatingly: from times of despair.”