Old School Left Calls For End To Cancel Culture Of The New McCarthyist Left - Page 2 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15106795
skinster wrote:Or Obama 2.0.

But the different managers of neoliberal capitalism won't change anything, they'll carry on what corporations they serve demand. Biden told Wall St people not that long ago that fundamentally nothing will change. As did Obama before him.


So at least we have no illusions about this. A lot of people on all sides are full of illusions and are artificially worked up over the things the Elites want them to be worked up over, over-hyped and playing to the divisions in society those presently at the top of the Western power pyramid love to exploit.
#15106837
Unthinking Majority wrote:Trans women are trans women. We shouldn't treat them exactly like genetic women because they aren't genetically the same, but we should treat them with respect because they're human beings.


I find them weird and delusional but that doesn't mean I'll out right be hostile to them just cause they live their life anymore than I would be hostile to drag people or any person who lives an unorthodox lifestyle. I'll treat everybody with the same respect I expect to be treated as person.
#15107030
annatar1914 wrote:So at least we have no illusions about this. A lot of people on all sides are full of illusions and are artificially worked up over the things the Elites want them to be worked up over, over-hyped and playing to the divisions in society those presently at the top of the Western power pyramid love to exploit.

Exactly.

And many of these "movements" are media-created, and the protestors are just one or two clicks away from their next "social project" or something.

The superficiality of click-and-drag culture has led us to the desire for "instant solutions" to well-packaged "problems."

But with a shrinking amount of social capital, there is no society from which to organize some kind of real long-term action. And the lack of a real community means that there is nowhere from which REAL protests can start. Facebook, Google, the New York Times and Pepsi Cola can call protets whenever they desire to, and the results of these fake media-in-a-bottle protests will be increased revenue streams for all of them.
#15107039
QatzelOk wrote:Exactly.

And many of these "movements" are media-created, and the protestors are just one or two clicks away from their next "social project" or something.

The superficiality of click-and-drag culture has led us to the desire for "instant solutions" to well-packaged "problems."

But with a shrinking amount of social capital, there is no society from which to organize some kind of real long-term action. And the lack of a real community means that there is nowhere from which REAL protests can start. Facebook, Google, the New York Times and Pepsi Cola can call protets whenever they desire to, and the results of these fake media-in-a-bottle protests will be increased revenue streams for all of them.


One must then restore society, and it has to come from Pre-Modern and even Anti-Modern roots. And they are out there, I write about them all the time because it's really humanity in rebellion against ''post-humanity'' and it's ''Titanism'' as Nicholai Berdaeyev called it. I'm not talking about some kind of Luddite ideology (although technological ''progress'' for it's own sake needs to be reconsidered) but a worldview that rejects the essence of what has become a Corporate/State Western world.
#15107068
Gatekeepers have been quietly deciding who can and who cannot speak from behind closed doors since the dawn of public discourse. Now that the broader public has the slightest input into these decisions right wingers get offended.

The Sabbaticus is an elitist.
#15107129
annatar1914 wrote:
So at least we have no illusions about this. A lot of people on all sides are full of illusions and are artificially worked up over the things the Elites want them to be worked up over, over-hyped and playing to the divisions in society those presently at the top of the Western power pyramid love to exploit.



QatzelOk wrote:
Exactly.

And many of these "movements" are media-created, and the protestors are just one or two clicks away from their next "social project" or something.

The superficiality of click-and-drag culture has led us to the desire for "instant solutions" to well-packaged "problems."

But with a shrinking amount of social capital, there is no society from which to organize some kind of real long-term action. And the lack of a real community means that there is nowhere from which REAL protests can start. Facebook, Google, the New York Times and Pepsi Cola can call protets whenever they desire to, and the results of these fake media-in-a-bottle protests will be increased revenue streams for all of them.



annatar1914 wrote:
One must then restore society, and it has to come from Pre-Modern and even Anti-Modern roots. And they are out there, I write about them all the time because it's really humanity in rebellion against ''post-humanity'' and it's ''Titanism'' as Nicholai Berdaeyev called it. I'm not talking about some kind of Luddite ideology (although technological ''progress'' for it's own sake needs to be reconsidered) but a worldview that rejects the essence of what has become a Corporate/State Western world.



I'd like to add that protests are not the be-all, end-all of political involvement.

Successful politics should effectuate a *reconfiguring* of society, particularly how we do social production, and who benefits, etc.

I'd welcome a spin-off discussion on exactly what kinds of technology would be appropriate at this point in the flow of things / social consciousness, because that tends to be a contentious issue on the left-wing.

Here's some real rank-and-file pushback:



North American autoworkers expand fight against unsafe conditions amid COVID-19 nightmare

By Shannon Jones
11 July 2020

The WSWS Autoworker Newsletter will assist autoworkers and other workers in establishing rank-and-file safety committees. Email the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter at [email protected] to learn more.

Opposition is mounting among autoworkers in North America to the premature return to work imposed by the corporations with the support of unions. COVID-19 is spreading in factories and warehouses under conditions where basic safety protocols are being ignored in the drive to ramp up production and where workers who resist are being victimized by management with the blatant collusion of the unions.



https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/0 ... u-j11.html
#15107218
skinster wrote:https://twitter.com/GarethPorter/status/1281554834156658688

I read the guy's tweets that got him fired. He deserved to get fired. I am as anti-cancel culture as they come. He wished death on West Bank settlers, and at least one other tweet seemed anti-semitic.
#15107220
Unthinking Majority wrote:
I read the guy's tweets that got him fired. He deserved to get fired. I am as anti-cancel culture as they come. He wished death on West Bank settlers, and at least one other tweet seemed anti-semitic.



It's nice 'n' cozy to put forth the "sane", civil-society position of 'don't-threaten-Zionist-settler-colonizers', but I'm thinking of similarities in the situation to *blacks* in the U.S., at the hands of gentrification and killer cops -- meaning, *what's the recourse*?

Are Palestinians or blacks supposed to *sit on their hands* and get *bulldozed*?

It's *easy* for statist types like yourself to stand in front of the camera with a quiet-neighborhood backdrop, with the message of 'Why can't we all just be normal?', but that's to simply favor the status-quo, which *isn't* currently treating everyone fairly, as we all should know by now thanks to the Black Lives Matter protests.
#15107228
Unthinking Majority wrote:I read the guy's tweets that got him fired. He deserved to get fired. I am as anti-cancel culture as they come. He wished death on West Bank settlers, and at least one other tweet seemed anti-semitic.

You are NOT as anti cancel-culture as they come. I am.

If you are saying that people who occasionally say over-dramatic things don't deserve to be able to sustain themselves... then you are actually showing your energetic support for thought-crime punishment and state control of ideation.

If you really believe that "the wrong words" should end your life, then maybe we should all cut out our tongues and amputate our fingers... just to be safe from you.
#15107229
QatzelOk wrote:You are NOT as anti cancel-culture as they come. I am.

If you are saying that people who occasionally say over-dramatic things don't deserve to be able to sustain themselves... then you are actually showing your energetic support for thought-crime punishment and state control of ideation.

If you really believe that "the wrong words" should end your life, then maybe we should all cut out our tongues and amputate our fingers... just to be safe from you.

Well, if I wished a group of people to be dead and made antisemitic comments i'd expect to be fired. He hadn't even started his job yet.

It's a fine line. People need to be held accountable when they represent a company or organization etc, but people need a bit of leeway too. It's a tough issue. I dunno.
#15107232
Unthinking Majority wrote:People need to be held accountable...

You mean "ordinary people" need to be "held accountable" for their transgressions, which includes using harsh language to over-dramatize a feeling or opinion. This, you believe, should be a punishable offence. That way, we will create a thriving world where absolutely no one is ever offended or challenged.

So when an actor playing a mom on TV says, "I'm going to kill you, Jimmy" to her TV actor son who has just put his finger in her cake dough, a viewer should immediately report that actor to the police so that they can arrest her for attempted murder. Right? For uttering death threats. For endangering the life of a minor.

Do you often try to hold Hollywood movies "accountable" for the violent values they occasionally use to make a point? Do you want to see Quentin Tarantino put in jail for the rest of his life?

When someone at work says, "I'd kill for those red shoes," do you immediately dial 911?

When a person says, "I'm dying to visit Disneyland," do you immediately start CPR?

Is rhetoric legal where you are?
#15107254
QatzelOk wrote:So when an actor playing a mom on TV says, "I'm going to kill you, Jimmy" to her TV actor son who has just put his finger in her cake dough, a viewer should immediately report that actor to the police so that they can arrest her for attempted murder. Right? For uttering death threats. For endangering the life of a minor.

You're creating a whole bunch of strawmen. Making a joke is a lot different that a tweet from the professor seeming pretty serious about wanting Israelis to die.

Do you often try to hold Hollywood movies "accountable" for the violent values they occasionally use to make a point? Do you want to see Quentin Tarantino put in jail for the rest of his life?

No. I am anti-censorship in art, unless something is illegal, like seriously threatening someone's life.

When someone at work says, "I'd kill for those red shoes," do you immediately dial 911?

When a person says, "I'm dying to visit Disneyland," do you immediately start CPR?

No, another pair of strawmen. Are you done now?
#15107336
Don’t be Fooled by the Cancel Culture Wars
The cancel culture — the phenomenon of removing or canceling people, brands or shows from the public domain because of offensive statements or ideologies — is not a threat to the ruling class. Hundreds of corporations, nearly all in the hands of white executives and white board members, enthusiastically pumped out messages on social media condemning racism and demanding justice after George Floyd was choked to death by police in Minneapolis. Police, which along with the prison system are one of the primary instruments of social control over the poor, have taken the knee, along with Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of the serially criminal JPMorgan Chase, where only 4 percent of the top executives are Black. Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world whose corporation, Amazon, paid no federal income taxes last year and who fires workers that attempt to unionize and tracks warehouse laborers as if they were prisoners, put a “Black Lives Matter” banner on Amazon’s home page.

The rush by the ruling elites to profess solidarity with the protestors and denounce racist rhetoric and racist symbols, supporting the toppling of Confederate statues and banning the Confederate flag, are symbolic assaults on white supremacy. Alone, these gestures will do nothing to reverse the institutional racism that is baked into the DNA of American society. The elites will discuss race. They will not discuss class.

We must be wary of allowing those wielding the toxic charge of racism, no matter how well intentioned their motives, to decide who has a voice and who does not. Public shaming and denunciation, as any student of the Russian, French or Chinese revolutions knows, is one that leads to absurdism and finally despotism. Virulent racists, such as Richard Spencer, exist. They are dangerous. But racism will not end until we dismantle a class system that was created to empower oligarchic oppression and white supremacy. Racism will not end until we defund the police and abolish the world’s largest system of mass incarceration. Racism will not end until we invest in people rather than systems of control. This means reparations for African-Americans, the unionization of workers, massive government jobs programs, breaking up and nationalizing the big banks along with the for-profit health services, transportation sector, the internet, privatized utilities and the fossil fuel industry, as well as a Green New Deal and the slashing of our war expenditures by 75 percent.

The politically correct speech and symbols of inclusiveness, without a concerted assault on corporate power, will do nothing to change a system that by design casts the poor and working poor, often people of color, aside — Karl Marx called them surplus labor — and forces them into a life of misery and a brutal criminal caste system.

The cancel culture, with its public shaming on social media, is the boutique activism of the liberal elites. It allows faux student radicals to hound and attack those deemed to be racist or transphobic, before these “radicals” graduate to work for corporations such as Goldman Sachs, which last year paid $9 million in fines to settle federal allegations of racial and gender pay bias. Self-styled Marxists in the academy have been pushed out of economic departments and been reborn as irrelevant cultural and literary critics, employing jargon so obscure as to be unreadable. These “radical” theorists invest their energy in linguistic acrobatics and multiculturalism, with branches such as feminism studies, queer studies and African-American studies. The inclusion of voices often left out of the traditional academic canon certainly enriches the university. But multiculturalism, moral absolutism and the public denunciations of apostates, by themselves, too often offer escape routes from critiquing and attacking the class structures and systems of economic oppression that exclude and impoverish the poor and the marginal.

The hedge fund managers, oligarchs and corporate CEOs on college trustee boards don’t care about Marxist critiques of Joseph Conrad. They do care if students are being taught to dissect the lies of the neoliberal ideology used as a cover to orchestrate the largest transference of wealth upwards in American history.

The cancel culture, shorn of class politics, is the parlor game of the overeducated. If we do not examine, as Theodor Adorno wrote, the “societal play of forces that operate beneath the surface of political forms,” we will be continually cursed with a more ruthless and sophisticated form of corporate control, albeit one that is linguistically sensitive and politically correct.

“Stripped of a radical idiom, robbed of a utopian hope, liberals and leftists retreat in the name of progress to celebrate diversity,” historian Russell Jacoby writes. “With few ideas on how a future should be shaped, they embrace all ideas. Pluralism becomes a catchall, the alpha and omega of political thinking. Dressed up as multicultural, it has become the opium of disillusioned intellectuals, the ideology of an era without an ideology.”

The cudgel of racism, as I have experienced, is an effective tool to shut down debate. Students for Justice in Palestine organizations, which almost always include Jewish students, are being banned on college campuses in the name of fighting racism. Activists in these outlawed groups are often barred from holding any student leadership positions on campus. Professors that dare to counter the Zionist narrative, such as the Palestinian American scholar Steven Salaita, have had job offers rescinded, been fired or denied tenure and dismissed. Norman Finkelstein, one of the most important scholars on the Israel-Palestine conflict, has been ruthlessly targeted by the Israel lobby throughout his career, making it impossible for him to get tenure or academic appointments. Never mind, that he is not only Jewish but the son of Holocaust survivors. Jews, in this game, are branded as racists, and actual racists, such as Donald Trump, because they back Israel’s refusal to recognize Palestinian rights, are held up as friends of the Jewish people.

I have long been a target of the Israeli lobby. The lobby, usually working through Hillel Houses on college campuses, which function as little more than outposts of American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), does not attempt to address my enumeration of the war crimes committed by Israel, many of which I witnessed, the egregious flouting by Israel of international law, exacerbated by the plans to annex up to 30 percent of the West Bank, or the historical record ignored and distorted by the lobby to justify Jewish occupation of a country that from the 7th century until 1948 was Muslim. The lobby prefers not to deal in the world of facts. It misuses the trope of anti-Semitism to ensure that those who speak up for Palestinian rights and denounce Israeli occupation are not invited to events on Israel-Palestine conflict, or are disinvited to speak after invitations have been sent out, as happened to me at the University of Pennsylvania, among other venues.

It does not matter that I spent seven years in the Middle East, or that I was the Middle East Bureau Chief for The New York Times, living for weeks at a time in the Israel-occupied territories. It does not matter that I speak Arabic. My voice and the voices of those, especially Palestinians, who document the violations of Palestinian civil rights are canceled out by the mendacious charge that we are racists. I doubt most of the college administrators who agree to block our appearances believe we are racists, but they don’t also want the controversy. Zionism is the cancel culture on steroids.

The Israel lobby, whose interference in our electoral process dwarfs that of any other country, including Russia, is now attempting to criminalize the activities of those, such as myself, who support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The lobby, with its huge financial clout, is pushing state legislatures, in the name of fighting anti-Semitism, to use anti-boycott laws and executive orders to punish companies and individuals that promote BDS. Twenty-seven states have so far enacted laws or policies that penalize businesses, organizations and individuals for supporting BDS.

The debate about the excesses of cancel culture was most recently ignited by a letter signed by 153 prominent and largely privileged writers and intellectuals in Harper’s Magazine, a publication for educated, white liberals. Critics of the letter argue, correctly, that “nowhere in it do the signatories mention how marginalized voices have been silenced for generations in journalism, academia, and publishing.” These critics also point out, correctly, that signatories include those, such as The New York Times columnist David Brooks and Malcolm Gladwell, with access to huge media platforms and who face no danger of being silenced. They finally note that a few of the signatories are the most vicious proponents of the Zionist cancel culture, including The New York Times editor Bari Weiss, who led campaigns while at Columbia University to destroy the careers of Arab professors; literary scholar Cary Nelson, who was one of those who denounced the Palestinian American scholar Salaita as a racist; and political scientist Yascha Mounk, who has attacked Rep. Ilhan Omar as an anti-Semite.

I find the cancel culture and its public denunciations as distasteful as those who signed the letter. But these critics are battling a monster of their own creation. The institutional and professional power of those targeted by the Harper’s letter is insignificant, especially when set against that of the signatories or the Israel lobby. Those singled out for attack pose little threat to the systems of entrenched power, which the signatories ironically represent, and indeed are more often its victims. I suspect this is the reason for the widespread ire the letter provoked.

The most ominous threats to free speech and public debate do not come from the cancel culture of the left, which rarely succeeds in removing its targets from power, despite a few high profile firings such as James Bennet, who oversaw a series of tone-deaf editorial decisions as the Opinion Page Editor at The New York Times. These corporate forces, which assure us that Black Lives Matter, understand that the left’s witch hunts are a harmless diversion.

Corporations have seized control of the news industry and turned it into burlesque. They have corrupted academic scholarship. They make war on science and the rule of law. They have used their wealth to destroy our democracy and replace it with a system of legalized bribery. They have created a world of masters and serfs who struggle at subsistence level and endure crippling debt peonage. The commodification of the natural world by corporations has triggered an ecocide that is pushing the human species closer and closer towards extinction. Anyone who attempts to state these truths and fight back was long ago driven from the mainstream and relegated to the margins of the internet by Silicon Valley algorithms. As cancel culture goes, corporate power makes the Israel lobby look like amateurs.

The current obsession with moral purity, devoid of a political vision and incubated by self-referential academics and educated elites, is easily co-opted by the ruling class who will say anything, as long as the mechanisms of corporate control remain untouched. We have enemies. They run Silicon Valley and sit on corporate boards. They make up the two ruling political parties. They manage the war industry. They chatter endlessly on corporate-owned airwaves about trivia and celebrity gossip. Our enemies are now showering us with politically correct messages. But until they are overthrown, until we wrest power back from our corporate masters, the most insidious forms of racism in America will continue to flourish.
https://scheerpost.com/2020/07/13/chris ... ture-wars/


Unthinking Majority wrote:I read the guy's tweets that got him fired. He deserved to get fired. I am as anti-cancel culture as they come. He wished death on West Bank settlers, and at least one other tweet seemed anti-semitic.


"seemed anti-semitic" :eh:

The criminals in this story are the racist settlers you're crying for.

The posts Salaita shared on his social media were during the 51 days of dropping hundreds of 1-ton bombs and sniper-shooting-dead Palestinians in that concentration camp called Gaza, resulting in the death of over 2000 defenceless Palestinians, including over 550 babies. Did anyone get cancelled for the much greater crime of mass murder and genocide? Nope. But that guy complaining about the murder of his people, he deserved to be cancelled. :roll:

wat0n wrote:Have any of those who have been cancelled gotten monetary settlements like those Salaita or Finkelstein got? :?:


Which of the cancelled are you referring to?

Salaita won his settlement because of the shady activity from the University who offered him tenure and rescinded it and were hiding emails about this politically-motivated act, and because they violated academic freedom.

Unthinking Majority wrote:Well, if I wished a group of people to be dead and made antisemitic comments i'd expect to be fired. He hadn't even started his job yet.


He didn't say anything about anyone dying or anything antisemitic, because people who defend Palestine are not the racists; their defence for Palestinians is the anti-racist position because Zionism is the racist position.

Salaita's posts were related to the revenge killing of a Palestinian kid who was kidnapped by illegal settlers in Palestine's West Bank, driven to somewhere secluded, beaten up and set on fire internally (the settlers made the kid drink petrol and set him alight from the inside). Nobody got cancelled for that.

It's a fine line. People need to be held accountable when they represent a company or organization etc, but people need a bit of leeway too. It's a tough issue. I dunno.


Nobody is held accountable for cancelling millions of Palestinians for about 100 years. When you start complaining about that, you might be taken seriously.

Unthinking Majority wrote:Making a joke is a lot different that a tweet from the professor seeming pretty serious about wanting Israelis to die.


He said nothing about Israelis. He was talking about illegal colonizers of Palestinian territory in the West Bank. The media was going on and on about the three missing teenagers at the time and he stated something along the lines of "I hope all settlers go missing". Fair comment I think, considering the ones in question are a)violating laws by colonizing Palestinian territory and b) particularly extreme in words and actions while building illegally on top of Palestinian heads, ethnically-cleansing them in the process, etc.
Last edited by skinster on 14 Jul 2020 18:21, edited 1 time in total.
#15107343
wat0n wrote:@skinster so I take it you have no examples of people who have been cancelled who got a payout like that of your neonazi buddy Salaita. I see.


No, I'm asking who you're referring to when you asked about the people who got cancelled getting similar payout like Salaita. Which people are you referring to?

Calling Salaita a neonazi is :lol:
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