MikeM58

Not All Liberals Have Lost Their Minds

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Most of the liberals in here have lost their minds, but it's refreshing to see that at least some liberals in the "real world" haven't.  This letter will be published soon in Harper's Magazine.  Although it has the typical criticisms of Trump and Conservatism (I have no problem with that) it also has liberals pointing fingers at liberals for the shameful practice of "cancel culture", and the stifling of honest debate resulting in the destruction of careers.  The left has fallen deeply for dogma in the past decade.  Criticize global warming and you're a "science denier", forget the fact you may be using scholarly research to make your critical point.  Find  the BLM movement to be missing the real issues?  You're a racist, despite your personal history that is unknown to to person calling you names and refusing to discuss the issues.  This letter was signed by dozens of writers and academics (all self professed liberals), I didn't copy all their names, but the list is easily found with a simple search.  There may be hope for liberals if they understand their totalitarian methods will not fly for long in the USA. You shouldn't lose your job if you won't bend your knee for an idea you don't believe in.  Sane liberals understand that.  The Marxist liberals, like some in here, don't.

 

 

A Letter on Justice and Open Debate

July 7, 2020
The below letter will be appearing in the Letters section of the magazine’s October issue. We welcome responses at letters@harpers.org

Our cultural institutions are facing a moment of trial. Powerful protests for racial and social justice are leading to overdue demands for police reform, along with wider calls for greater equality and inclusion across our society, not least in higher education, journalism, philanthropy, and the arts. But this needed reckoning has also intensified a new set of moral attitudes and political commitments that tend to weaken our norms of open debate and toleration of differences in favor of ideological conformity. As we applaud the first development, we also raise our voices against the second. The forces of illiberalism are gaining strength throughout the world and have a powerful ally in Donald Trump, who represents a real threat to democracy. But resistance must not be allowed to harden into its own brand of dogma or coercion—which right-wing demagogues are already exploiting. The democratic inclusion we want can be achieved only if we speak out against the intolerant climate that has set in on all sides.

The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted. While we have come to expect this on the radical right, censoriousness is also spreading more widely in our culture: an intolerance of opposing views, a vogue for public shaming and ostracism, and the tendency to dissolve complex policy issues in a blinding moral certainty. We uphold the value of robust and even caustic counter-speech from all quarters. But it is now all too common to hear calls for swift and severe retribution in response to perceived transgressions of speech and thought. More troubling still, institutional leaders, in a spirit of panicked damage control, are delivering hasty and disproportionate punishments instead of considered reforms. Editors are fired for running controversial pieces; books are withdrawn for alleged inauthenticity; journalists are barred from writing on certain topics; professors are investigated for quoting works of literature in class; a researcher is fired for circulating a peer-reviewed academic study; and the heads of organizations are ousted for what are sometimes just clumsy mistakes. Whatever the arguments around each particular incident, the result has been to steadily narrow the boundaries of what can be said without the threat of reprisal. We are already paying the price in greater risk aversion among writers, artists, and journalists who fear for their livelihoods if they depart from the consensus, or even lack sufficient zeal in agreement.

This stifling atmosphere will ultimately harm the most vital causes of our time. The restriction of debate, whether by a repressive government or an intolerant society, invariably hurts those who lack power and makes everyone less capable of democratic participation. The way to defeat bad ideas is by exposure, argument, and persuasion, not by trying to silence or wish them away. We refuse any false choice between justice and freedom, which cannot exist without each other. As writers we need a culture that leaves us room for experimentation, risk taking, and even mistakes. We need to preserve the possibility of good-faith disagreement without dire professional consequences. If we won’t defend the very thing on which our work depends, we shouldn’t expect the public or the state to defend it for us.

Edited by MikeM58

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Sounds like those Democrats are afraid of being eaten by their own.

It is a justified fear, as we have seen.

They, the writer, will soon be hushed back into compliance. For it is too late to stop the mob.

How dare they speak out of turn.

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10 mins ago, dena said:

Sounds like those Democrats are afraid of being eaten by their own.

It is a justified fear, as we have seen.

They, the writer, will soon be hushed back into compliance. For it is too late to stop the mob.

How dare they speak out of turn.

The mob needs to be crushed.  It will be easier if it comes from all sides.

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12 mins ago, dena said:

Sounds like those Democrats are afraid of being eaten by their own.

It is a justified fear, as we have seen.

They, the writer, will soon be hushed back into compliance. For it is too late to stop the mob.

How dare they speak out of turn.

That was the first thing I thought when I read this yesterday.  They realize that once these Wingnuts get rid of their current targets they will turn inward in-order to stratify their Lust for Power.

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I read the OP more like a last gasp at 'what hell hath we wrought' than some soul searched call to action.

 

Poll anyone of them and you will find the common refrain that they supported what they supported with nothing but the best of intentions, all the time forgetting the truism that the path to hell is paved with the best of intentions.

 

The reckoning is coming, and they know it.

 

 

 

Edited by zybathegeek

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10 mins ago, zybathegeek said:

The word describing what is coming is abreaction.

Ol Ike said something about actions, and reactions.

We will see if society acts like matter.

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28 mins ago, Harf said:

That was the first thing I thought when I read this yesterday.  They realize that once these Wingnuts get rid of their current targets they will turn inward in-order to stratify their Lust for Power.

Maybe some of them studied the Khmer Rouge and understands that the killing fields were filled with people who were against the eventually toppled government before Pol Pot took control. 

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Just some names not so randomly chosen from the list which is dominated by Media writers, authors and academics. 


Elliot Ackerman
Anne Applebaum

Noam Chomsky

David Brooks

David Frum
Francis Fukuyama

Malcolm Gladwell
Michelle Goldberg

David Greenberg

Garry Kasparov

Wynton Marsalis

J.K. Rowling
Salman Rushdie

Gloria Steinem

Zephyr Teachout

Randi Weingarten

Matthew Yglesias

Fareed Zakaria

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It's fake. Meaning fake in sentiment. Just more fake news. 

 

Trans writer Jennifer Finney Boylan distances herself from free speech letter - that she signed with 150 other authors and academics calling out cancel culture - after realising JK Rowling also endorsed it.

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The most basic law in this universe of ours is the law of action and reaction, that fundamental law has many names, karma probably the most widely known.

 

Masquerading as irony, there was a bumper sticker in the 70s that summed up that law, 'My karma just ran over my dogma' and the authors and signatories of the OP letter are just starting to see the truth in that aphoristic joust into general consciousness.

 

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