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Daily Briefing: AMERICA’S DEEPENING POLARIZATION (February 23, 2021)

Table of Contents:

The Fracturing of the American Ideal: Andrew A. MichtaNational Review, Feb. 7, 2021

“The oligarchization of American elites and the parallel pauperization of the citizenry is the real but uniformly suppressed story behind the country’s ongoing Balkanization, while the preferred narrative has been that alleged racial and gender injustice must be overcome by executive fiat.”

The idea of the self-constituting citizen, endowed with rights and constrained by law, has been indispensable to the forging of a stable democratic political system in America, legitimizing its institutions and ultimately birthing a cohesive nation bereft of the prerequisite of an underlying common ethnicity. This principle has been the source of America’s unprecedented success for over two centuries.

In contrast, each time in recent history that governments have favored group-based systemic solutions, despotism has followed and, ultimately, the implosion of the state built upon it. And yet this is where America’s elite class seems hell-bent on taking the nation.


Peter Foster: Sustainable Newspeak by 2050: Peter Foster, Financial Post, Jan. 5, 2021

George Orwell pointed out that one of the first casualties of socialism is language. The damage is not collateral, it is deliberate — designed to numb minds and render critical thought difficult or impossible. The instrument of this dumbing down in ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ was Newspeak, the official language of the English Socialist Party (Ingsoc). Newspeak was a sort of Totalitarian Esperanto that sought gradually to diminish the range of what was thinkable by eliminating, contracting and manufacturing words. New words had a “political implication” and “were intended to impose a desirable mental attitude upon the person using them.” The meaning of words was often reversed, as was most starkly emphasized in the key slogans of Ingsoc:
 
War is peace.
 
Freedom is slavery.
 
Ignorance is strength.
 
‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ was written in 1949. Its nightmarish fictional world is now 37 years in the past, so one might reasonably conclude that Orwell was far too pessimistic, but his great book was less a prediction than a warning, and above all an analysis of the totalitarian mentality. Meanwhile, there is another significant date in ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four.’ The book’s appendix on “The Principles of Newspeak” stressed that the corruption of language was a multi-generational project whose fruition would not come until well into the present century. Ingsoc’s objective was to render independent thought impossible by “about 2050.”


How the Left Hijacked Civil Rights: Robert L. Woodson Sr. and Joshua Mitchell, WSJ, Jan. 15, 2021

The civil-rights movement, led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. , helped deliver America from the historic sins of slavery and Jim Crow by forcing the nation to confront the full humanity of its black citizens. King’s words and actions glorified America by transfiguring its racial wound and revealing its redemptive promise. Yet today many black leaders have lost sight of King altogether and are aiding and abetting the crucifixion of their own people. Rather than hope, they see despair; rather than the Easter Sunday of true liberation, they offer the bleak Good Friday of never-ending misery.

The history of black American responses to slavery and Jim Crow generally followed three paths. They were hotly debated, but all emphasized human agency, sought liberation, and rejected despair.

First, there were the recolonization or “back to Africa” movements championed by the likes of Marcus Garvey. These movements sought an exit from America


Is there legal relief for political correctness?: Howard Levitt, National Post, Jan. 9, 2021

As always, courts will look to see that a proper internal investigation or analysis of the circumstances took place before an employee was sanctioned, and that the sanction is proportionate to the misdeed. — Howard Levitt
 
What Conrad Black referred to in a recent column as the “apparently invincible, bone- crushing advance of the juggernaut of political correctness” increasingly has descended from our campuses to some of our workplaces in a creeping assertion of political orthodoxy. Is there legal relief?
 
“Political correctness” initially referred to language or measures intended to avoid offence or disadvantage to certain groups. But in recent years, it has become a cudgel wielded to enforce ideological orthodoxy and punish or ‘cancel’ dissent on a range of topics.

 

For Further Reference:

We’re Living in a Gigantic Lie’—Dennis Prager Talks Free Speech | American Thought Leaders:  Epoch Times, Jan. 14, 2021 — On the heels of the breach of the U.S. Capitol, big tech companies have swiftly censored the President, the emerging social media platform Parler was effectively shut down, and there are growing calls for no-fly lists.

Social media and free speech: Trump’s ‘deplatforming’ explained:  Tyler Dawson, National Post, Jan. 11, 2021 — It has now been a few days since the world has seen a tweet from U.S. President Donald Trump, a somewhat jarring reality, given that for the last four years, we could all depend on death, taxes and tweets from Trump.

Court pronoun policy stifles free speech:  Mark Van Manen, National Post, Feb. 10, 2021 — The British Columbia Supreme Court released Practice Direction 59 in December advising parties and their lawyers, when introducing themselves in court, to provide their “correct pronouns” to be used in the proceeding.

Jesse Kline: Capitol riots show how Twitter and Facebook poison democracy and free speech:  Jesse Kline, National Post, Jan. 14, 2021 –– When anti-government protests started in Tunisia at the end of 2010 and quickly spread to other parts of the Middle East, it appeared as though the dreams of cypherpunks and crypto-anarchists were finally coming to fruition — namely, that the internet would enable the spread of information and foster democratic discourse, which would lead to the downfall of repressive regimes worldwide. The reality turned out to be much different.

Karl Marx’s Shameful Life Repudiates His Evil Ideology:  Casey Chalk, The Federalist, Nov. 30, 2020 — This month marks the anniversary of the first congress of the Communist League in London (1847), when Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels were commissioned to write the “Communist Manifesto.”

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