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Saturday Morning Coffee Break & Prayer Revival | Main | Saturday Gardening, Puttering and Adventure Thread, April 29
April 29, 2023

How can we slow the crumbling of western civilization?

aoc deplatformms.jfif

John Hayward:

Of course 'deplatforming works.' Fascism works. Totalitarianism works. Terrorism works. That's why people keep embracing such ideologies, even though our culture nominally considers them to be among the greatest of human evils.

In short, FORCE works. Persuasion is difficult, frustrating, and often ineffective. Introducing any amount of force to a system founded on principles of liberty, self-government, individual choice, and private ownership of capital will inevitably tip the scales. . .

The generation that holds most of our political, corporate, and media power was taught all their lives that fascism is the ultimate evil - but they sank very easily into a fascist system. Today they quiver with glee at using combined state/corporate power to crush dissent. . .

Developing and using coercive power has a powerful allure. People who think they have great wisdom and absolute moral stature, who view themselves as messiahs on a mission with time running out, will never settle for force-free systems that require the consent of the governed.

"Democracy" is always a train they ride until they reach their ideological destination, and then they hop off and dynamite the train behind them. They think a free republic whose citizens can say "no" will never get important things done quickly enough. Only coercion "works."

Of course, all of these people will howl with outrage if force is used against THEM. . . .

They're blind to how pervasive authoritarian tendencies can be. @cenkuygur is complaining about the Dems' decision to have no Presidential debates, but that's a natural decision from folks who are gleeful about forcing Tucker Carlson out.

Everyone thinks the guillotine will never be used on them.

More Deplatforming and Censorship

Tucker Carlson is not the only person out there who has been the subject of "deplatforming" lately.

There are a couple of officials elected to local offices to whom I send links to articles and the occasional AoSHQ post. They often use these in social media communications with their constituents. They are not my representatives, but I know people in their districts. The first is a woman who is pretty "based". The second is a man who has a lot of the right ideas, but who works with the establishment more often. Both have responsibilities regarding K-12 education and the latter has responsibilities concerning state funding of university education.

The woman mentioned above had a rather harrowing experience recently when she gave a speech on a university campus about unfortunate developments in K-12 education. An LGBTQ+ advocacy group organized a protest against her and another speaker. It wasn't as bad as the recent protests in San Francisco and at Stanford, but still, there were amplified speeches outside the venue before the event even started. One of her professional colleagues spoke against her alleged positions (in the vaguest possible terms, though she mentioned "equity" several times), there was a lot of ridiculous chanting about "hate" and "fear" and a vile exhortation by a protest organizer to vote her out of office.

When it was time for the event, campus police allowed the protesters (now including people from MEChA, a group with a history of violence and intimidation at protests) to chant inside the room through megaphones for 8 minutes. "Fascists go home". They vowed to end the ability of people to express ideas they didn't like, "fascist" ideas, on campus. None of the "fascism" was ever described to a reporter. It was just name-calling. Then those who wouldn't be quiet were escorted out and the event was allowed to proceed. So at least there's that.

Anyway, in honor of my brave friend's experience, I thought it might be appropriate to share some links that those of us who may still feel some fondness for Western Civilization might find appropriate to pass on to certain individuals we know. Probably not to the most "woke", but to people who still have some reasoning capacity. It's the weekend.


John Hayward again:

A generation after the supposed triumph of classical liberalism at the "end of history," free speech exists nowhere on Earth as a matter of principle. Every single tech mogul's commitment to free speech evaporates when powerful authoritarians demand censorship.

Authoritarian foreign regimes know they only need to threaten blockage of Western social media services to make their management comply with censorship demands. Some push back harder than others, but in the end, they all cave. They can't afford to lose access to growing markets. . .

Domestically, we've seen government officials using economic leverage and ideological affinity to limit speech in collusion with their Little Partners in the private sector. . .

Equity vs. Merit

Heather MacDonald has written a new book on the poisonous influence of the concept of "equity" in our society today. The following interview, almost an hour long, is excellent. She offers many, many examples to back up the destructive power of replacing merit with equity.

No one is better than Heather MacDonald at expressing gratitude for the gifts of Western Civilization. And dismay that, say, younger university students are being deprived of these gifts.

At the end of the Q&A she offers a call to action. How to take action is left to others.


This 13 minute podcast by James Lindsay, When to Stand Up, is quite interesting, I think. I hesitate to direct people toward his Twitter feed. He's one of those people who could use a Twitter editor. Seriously. But his New Discourses site is valuable.

The podcast reminds us that the fight against Marxism is not going to get easier. There is an interesting review of how long it took the Maoists to take control in China. Plus a reminder not to over-react to the provocations of the Left, thus playing into their hands. Standing up doesn't have to be something dramatic. It can be as simple as becoming educated.

How to stand up is important. This is also true for Republicans on an institutional level, but it is going to take them a long time to figure that out. They are not doing real well at this time dealing with this kind of extortion in Montana and elsewhere. James Lindsay described (on Twitter) one strategy involving studies of why transgender ideology led to so many suicide attempts (among other steps).

Incidentally, Lindsay's friend, the Australian videographer Michael Nayna is doing a breakdown of his movie on the grievance studies hoaxes, if you know anyone who is into that kind of thing. These hoaxes were certainly one way to fight back. Did people pay attention?


In Defense of Merit in Science

Yesterday, a social media friend picked up this piece from the Journal of Controversial Ideas via Bari Weiss at The Free Press.

"Lysenko arises . . ."

This paper's authors-hardly a group of unknowns--say they first tried to publish the paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). But the journal's editors reportedly advised them to remove the word 'merit' from the title of the paper, which is simply titled: In Defense of Merit in Science. According to the journal's editorial board, 'This concept of merit. . . has been widely and legitimately attacked as hollow.' We urge you to read the whole paper here.
Bari Weiss


Merit is a central pillar of liberal epistemology, humanism, and democracy. The scientific enterprise, built on merit, has proven effective in generating scientific and technological advances, reducing suffering, narrowing social gaps, and improving the quality of life globally. This perspective documents the ongoing attempts to undermine the core principles of liberal epistemology and to replace merit with nonscientific, politically motivated criteria. We explain the philosophical origins of this conflict, document the intrusion of ideology into our scientific institutions, discuss the perils of abandoning merit, and offer an alternative, human-centered approach to address existing social inequalities.

Imagine "Merit" being a CONTROVERSIAL IDEA!

Today, this piece hit the WSJ and Instapundit:

In some ways this new species of Lysenkoism is more pernicious than the old, because it affects all science--chemistry, physics, life sciences, medicine and math--not merely biology and agriculture. The government isn't the only entity pushing it, either. "Progressive" scientists promote it, too, along with professional societies, funding agencies like the National Institutes of Health and Energy Department, scientific journals and university administrators. When applying for openings as a university scientist today, job candidates may well be evaluated more by their record of supporting "social justice" than by their scientific achievements.

The authors of the Grievance Studies Hoaxes were right: The ideologies underlying these fields of studies are taking down our universities. And, as Glenn Reynolds notes, our other institutions. Professional societies, funding agencies, government, etc.


But never fear:

the youth will save us.jfif

* * * * *

Story time

The "other kind" of extremist education in America

It would be best to read the whole thing, but this gives you a flavor of the piece:

But in reality, Public Education is conversion therapy. "Education" has actually become a form of bawdy exhibitionism. Every wild idea imaginable is paraded in front of students. Children are transformed into voyeurs. Turned into victims. They aren't being educated, they are being assaulted.

These days kids are taught to list every injustice in society, but can scarcely name a single justice on the Supreme Court. They can tell you all about Martin Luther King Jr., but think that Martin Luther was his dear old doddering daddy. I suspect that they believe that Alexander Hamilton wrote musicals. And they wouldn't know Adam Smith from Adam's housecat. So when students know neither the basics of biology nor the rudimentary facts necessary to pass a citizenship test, we can safely call that a bad education. . .

Now, don't get me wrong. I am the product of a poor education, but poor education of another sort. I think pi is something that pairs well with ice cream, and I don't know a hypotenuse from a hippopotamus. Even so, there was precious little that I had to unlearn from my time in the classroom. Not once was I ever encouraged to trade my boot cut Wranglers for a prom dress so I could woo the quarterback.

When our local public school introduced "sex ed" in the 7th grade, my folks pulled me out and enrolled me in a Christian school. "It isn't rocket science anyway," my Grandaddy said. "People have been doing it with successful results for centuries without charts and graphs." Learning on the job seems to have worked fine until now. . .

Trinity Academy was so extreme that it affirmed absolutes in both math and morality. While it may be regrettable that I wasn't encouraged to read LGBTQ (letters without end, amen) poetry, I was expected to commit at least one third of the Psalter to memory.

We had gun racks in our trucks and knives in our pockets, but never a school shooting or stabbing.

We prayed before class, before meals, before tests, during chapel, at games, and after all sorts of failures and successes.

I graduated in a senior class of three from a Christian school tacked on to the tail-end of a country church and then went on to receive three degrees, including a PhD from one of Great Britain's ancient universities. All in all, I am quite thankful to have been the recipient of a poor education.

Thought about home schooling? Or a trustworth religious school?


So Familiar

* * * * *

Hope you have something nice planned for this weekend.

This is the Thread before the Gardening Thread.

Serving your mid-day open thread needs

* * * * *

Last week's thread, April 22, The Gods of the Copybook Headings -- Here and Now

Comments are closed so you won't ban yourself by trying to comment on a week-old thread. But don't try it anyway.

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