The Posh Boys & Girls @TheEconomist defend ‘free speech’? Old Socialist comments ( Revised, August 24, 2019 3:15 PM, PDT)

Headline: The global gag on free speech is tightening

Sub-headline: In both democracies and dictatorships, it is getting harder to speak up

After a roll call of political bad actors, in nation  state contexts, on the vexing question of ‘Free Speech’ the Posh Boy & Girl coterie @TheEconomist shift their narrative by means of this utterly weak segue:

Meanwhile, in mature democracies, support for free speech is ebbing, especially among the young, and outright hostility to it is growing. Nowhere is this more striking than in universities in the United States.

The Economist reactionary clique then rely on Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt’s anti-student political hysteria of “The coddling of the American mind”

The Economist clique is utterly ignorant of the American political context that is essential to an understanding of ‘The Coddling‘ , as political polemic.An integral part of an American Anti-Intellectual, Anti-Student tradition.

For those of us who came of age in California during the late 50’s and 60’s, can recall Max Rafferty as State Superintendent of Public Instruction from 1963- using the dismissive trope of coddling or its cognates ,to describe The Free Speech Movement of 1964, led by Mario Savio, Reagan’s governorship from ’67 to ’71 steeped in anti-student bile, the San Francisco State boycott and its conservative hero S. I.  Hayakawa.

Not to forget the substantial pioneering work done by Allen Bloom  in his  ‘The Closing of the American Mind’ of 1987 ,that described in detail, the students of succeeding generations addled by narcissism and ‘Rock Music’. ‘Students’ ignored self-appointed Platonic Guardian Bloom.  The poor old neglected Professor, had his revenge, in his polemic framed in World Historical terms, a la Hegel as interpreted by Alexandre Kojève.   Introduction à la Lecture de Hegel  its English language version compiled by Bloom. Its charitable to call Bloom’s polemic bloated hysteria mongering.

American Anti-Intellectualism was given further weight by attacks on academic professionals in Kimball’s 1990 ‘Tenured Radicals’ and Dinesh D’Souza’s 1991 ‘Illiberal Education’. 

The Economists writers recount to its readers, the horror stories collected by Lukianoff and  Haidt aided by other destructive actors like Black Lives Matter, “antifa” , French “yellow jacket” . ‘The Proud Boys’ are alluded to in this essay , by means of this: ‘far-right extremists’. What is reader to think of the writers at The Economist who, not very carefully, launder a gang of White Nationalists?

Headline: James Fields Guilty of First-Degree Murder in Death of Heather Heyer

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Sixteen months after swastika-toting white supremacists swarmed the streets of Charlottesville, one of the demonstrators was convicted of first-degree murder Friday by a jury that found he intentionally drove his car into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing one woman and injuring nearly 40 others.

James Fields Jr., 21, faces up to life in prison for the death of Heather Heyer, 32, in a case that has stirred soul-searching in a city that prides itself on being a liberal bastion. Mr. Fields, who traveled from Ohio to attend the Unite the Right rally, was also convicted of nine other charges, including aggravated malicious wounding and leaving the scene of a fatal accident.

Friday’s verdict was cheered by those fighting racial and religious hatred and provided some closure in a case that cast a national spotlight on Charlottesville, the scene chosen by racists and anti-Semites to rally for their cause, near a Confederate monument that some city leaders were trying to remove.

Yet none of these organization named, Black Lives Matter, “antifa” , French “yellow jacket” exist as State Actors, but indigenous civic actors, but without any demonstrable connection to State Power!

Another feminist, 60-year-old Maria MacLachlan, was beaten up by a transgender activist at Speakers’ Corner in London, where free speech is supposed to be sacrosanct.

The failure of this Economist Coterie to convincingly connect the Populist Bad Actors, in their National political contexts, with the political horror stories provided by Lukianoff and Haidt , with additional embroidery, renders this essay a mere excuse for more of the same, from this ultra-conservative newspaper: Populism, and a decline in an argued ‘free speech’ allied to a  ‘political civility’, are connected to a ‘radicalism’ that threatens the benefits of ‘Centrism’ . Call that ‘Centrism’ an utterly collapsed Neo-Liberalism that cannot right itself.

Old Socialist




About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.'
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.