How to defeat leftist ‘outrage’
By Dr. Gregory Slysz
Few days go by without someone being subjected to trial by media, if not the state, for some transgression of some newly established hate crime. If it’s not a Christian baker (never a Muslim) being targeted by some self-righteous gay activists for refusing to bake them a cake, it’s a law-abiding taxpayer taken to task for causing outrage or expressing an unfashionable view or being warned by ‘community cohesion’ police officers for ‘incorrect thinking’. If the accused is lucky, a grovelling apology might just be enough to save his skin, if not, professional ruin, blacklisting, bankruptcy or even imprisonment awaits. Celebrities and politicians are particularly ever ready to express faux outrage and to jump on the latest virtue signalling bandwagon that affords them opportunities for the ‘I’m so concerned’ po-faced photo-op.
Hitting the headlines recently was the fit of collective leftist ‘outrage’, in America, from the Mainstream Media (MSM) outlets, to Democrat legislators, celebrities, liberal Catholics including bishops), as well as an array of twitterati, against a group of Kentucky Catholic schoolboys wearing MAGA hats. After a viral video apparently showing the boys taunting Nathan Phillips, a purported Vietnam veteran and Native American elder on his way back from an Indigenous People’s March, these social justice warriors released a torrent of abuse that ranged from the usual name calling to incitement to physical violence. Unfortunately for them, what seemed like a perfect Trump-bashing story turned out to be completely fake, the accused boys themselves having been on the receiving end of a vile racial attack from the hate group, “The Black Hebrew Israelites” and with Phillips, with a history of publicity stunts, himself confronting them aggressively. The fact that the boys were returning from the annual anti-abortion, March for Life, which the MSM largely ignored, further fueled leftist hate. Despite attempts by the accusers to put the record straight, albeit, as in the case of leading cheerleaders like CNN, with gritted teeth, the episode demonstrated the hypocrisy of leftist outrage.
Quite extraordinary that the once great civilisation of philosophers and sages should have descended to today’s dizzy lows. But the process that has led to this has been far from accidental. Rather, it has been planned and arranged, and it’s rooted to a leftist ideology that in popular parlance goes by its sanitised name of Political Correctness (PC), otherwise referred to by a term more befitting its pernicious intent, Cultural Marxism. Devised at the benignly named Institute for Social Research, at Frankfurt University, maturing in exile at American universities during the 1960s, following its ejection from Germany during the 1930s, it has engaged in decades of deceit in its quest to attack and destroy all the underpinnings of Western Judeo-Christian heritage, national cultures, Christianity, patriotism, marriage, sexual self-discipline, marital fidelity, the family unit, gender constancy, scholarly excellence, masculinity, femininity, personal virtue, and so on. A cadre of intellectuals has sought to provide scholarly justification in its task of imposing a uniform system of thought and behaviour across all public and private institutions that have been steadily ‘captured’ from within, in an elaborate entryist action plan. The goal has been nothing other than to usher in a Communist utopia by stealth in societies which otherwise have been resistant to direct proletarian revolutionary action as seen in Russia and elsewhere, the workers having been too easily bought off by capitalist baubles. Replacing the ‘bourgeois’ workers would be a new revolutionary vanguard, a coalition of victims, ‘oppressed’ by the capitalist norms of tradition. And victimhood cannot be tolerated in a civilised society, can it? In fact, so dominant has Cultural Marxism become, having spread its influence from its burgeoning American academic bases, that no aspect of Western public (and increasingly private) life remains unmolested by its growing legions of acolytes, the products of the Western university systems, ‘captured’ by the spirit of the Maoist ‘Sixties’, who fanatically strive to wipe-out ‘victimhood’ wherever it raises its oppressed head.
Participation in the public arena is conditional upon the full acceptance of these ideological designs. Volleys of increasingly vile, often violent abuse are guaranteed to greet any dissenting voice. Scenes of ‘outraged’ and ‘offended’ activists subjecting heretics to Maoist-style ‘anti-rightist’ campaigns and ‘struggle sessions’ either to extract from the accused grovelling apologies or inflict on them deadly repercussions have now become familiar in the West’s sociocultural landscape. Violence and intimidation comes with socialist territory and is intrinsic to the hubris of ideological certainty. Revolution is the means to power, silencing opponents is the means of maintaining it. Whether it’s ‘outraged’ Antifa thugs near rioting on university campuses to silence speakers or the abortion industry and its political sponsors that relish the prospects of physically dismembering pre-babies or the grotesque sight of mainstream leftist legislators expressing solidarity with violent rape gangs, the aim of subverting erstwhile Western civilisation is the same.
The irony in all this is that the Soviet Union avoided the worst aspects of this social crusade, as Stalin, an old fashioned Georgian peasant, eschewed the social disasters wrought by Leninist experimentation, analogous to subsequent Western PC that just didn’t fit in with his plans of building an industrial and military super state. Instead, what emerged was a social model that was more akin to nineteenth century Prussian social discipline and hierarchy than socialist egalitarianism. ‘For us in Russia,’ noted Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn during the twilight of the Soviet Union, ‘communism is a dead dog, while, for many people in the West, it is still a living lion.’ Ironic indeed that the Soviet Cultural Marxism that died young, grew to a ripe old age in the West, or as the British social commentator Rod Liddle memorably put it recently, ‘everything on television is policed by politically correct dwarves’.
But for all the gloom of the conservative lament there is resistance is in the air. Two reasons are responsible for this. First, the emergence of a polycentric world in which the political and economic power of the West has become relative and secondly, the inherent self-destructive contradictions of Cultural Marxism. Cultural Marxists have always relied upon the continuance of Western economic global hegemony with which conservative sociocultural models could be attacked. Marx did after all claim that the internationalism of capitalism lays much of the cultural groundwork for a successful revolution. With the growing influence of counter-hegemonic powers like China, Russia, India, and Iran, and to a certain extent Eastern Europe, all with more conservative sociocultural models than those in the West, the influence of the hitherto dominant Western cultural elites has been significantly diminished. Take for instance the diminishing ratings for the Oscar ceremony and its leftist virtue-signaling message.
The succession of populist triumphs across the Western world, from Trump and Brexit to those sweeping across Europe, most recently in Italy and France, has demonstrated the extent to which establishment politics is despised. While once it was easy for establishment elites and their media allies, to dismiss, for instance, anti-immigration sentiment as bigoted and misguided, they now need to approach the issue with great care, so much so that the once unassailable German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, was confronted with political ruin due to her open border migration policy in the face of unprecedented opposition both inside and outside of Germany. The alternative media has played a significant role in the retreat of the establishment political class by mobilising a hitherto disenfranchised public. ‘Safe spaces’, snowflake tantrums, group think echo chambers, foolish political posturing, violent assaults and the un-ending invention of victimhood language hold little appeal outside of MSM urban cosmopolitan elite and celebrity bubbles. It is safe to say, without meaning offence, that the mainstream political representatives of the Left are losing their collective marbles. Their call for extortionate tax hikes on even moderate incomes, their juvenile political programmes, their increasing celebration of abortion-infanticide, or their call to violence and harassment of opponents exposes their risible nature when confronted with growing opposition.
As the bankruptcy of the Cultural Marxist value system is increasingly exposed, its advocates find themselves ill-equipped to return fire against this new populist order that their hubris failed to foresee. Their subsequent relentless attempts to reverse it is indicative of the conceit with which they treat the populace, which they hold in utter contempt. The British leftist novelist, Howard Jacobson, summed up this attitude in a recent interview in which he admitted that although he believed that democracy is the ‘only tolerable form of government’, he declared that ‘We’re coming to the comeuppance of democracy’… You can’t trust the people… you can be certain that the people will get it wrong. They’d already done it, as far as I was concerned, in Brexit … And then with Trump again’, which was the result in his opinion of ‘Their inability to distinguish true from false.’
The peasants have revolted, both collectively and individually. With the vacuity of the Cultural Marxist value system on full display, more will be willing to take it on. And with each triumph, another PC paper tiger will fall. The demolition by the renowned Canadian clinical psychologist, Jordan Peterson of Cathy Newman, the leftist presenter of the UK’s Channel 4 News was most indicative of this. ‘Why should your right to freedom of speech trump a trans person’s right not to be offended’, she asked smugly, assuming that her tactic of placing ugly words in Peterson’s mouth had succeeded. ‘Because in order to be able to think’, Peterson retorted, ‘you have to risk being offensive … you’re certainly willing to risk offending me in the pursuit of truth. Why should you have the right to do that? It’s been rather uncomfortable.’ Boom! Peterson came to international prominence, for refusing to be bullied by his employers at the University of Toronto into using gender neutral language. Braving familiar torrents of leftist outrage and attempts at character assassination, he came out as a shining example of how to take on the Cultural Marxists.
In a grim foreshadowing of history, Fyodor Dostoevsky predicted in his great anti-nihilistic work, Demons, published in 1871, the tyrannical end of the liberal quest to solve all the world’s problems. ‘Starting with unlimited freedom,’ declares his chief social engineer Shigalyov, ‘I conclude with unlimited despotism’. And with it self-destruction as opposition mounts. We saw it in the Soviet Union, we are now seeing it in the West. The Cultural War is heating up. And for Cultural Marxists, who for so long assumed a self-arrogated entitlement to set the cultural agenda, the odds do not look good. They are intellectually weak, tactically inept, and morally bankrupt. Leftist ‘outrage’ must, therefore be seen for what it is, overwhelmingly bogus, hypocritical and ludicrous. As such, it is deserving not of appeasement and apologies, as is often the case among terrorised victims, fearful of the consequences of doing otherwise, but of mockery, condemnation and confrontation.
Based in London, UK, Dr Gregory Slysz writes on History and current affairs, specialising in Eastern Europe, Russia and Early Modern England. He is a graduate of Oxford and London universities where he read History and Politics.