The liberal scholars and professors who stifle conservative voices on university campuses and unwelcome conservative thinkers. The LGBT activists who focus more on the festive spectacle of their identity politics than on the economic side of it. The social policymakers who use multiculturalism as a blanket rhetorical defense for all minorities including the undesirable immigrants. The supporters of affirmative action who fail to see that it is no longer useful but alienating to groups that are disenfranchised. The people who push for the legalization of vices--drugs, prostitution, gambling, etc.--without considering moral arguments. The white feminists who are losing their political narrative regarding women's solidarity across nations, cultures, and societies. The liberal politicians with socialist tendencies who continue to preach the contemptuous idea of robbing the rich and spoiling the poor. The practitioners of political correctness that discourages expression, dissent, and dialogue but political noise, drama, and victimhood. The Hollywood elitists who socially define, paint, and frame the American cultural life without including the conservative culture and rural life. The liberal thinkers who refuse to critique themselves and change the course of their alienating political ideas and social narratives.

They are all the reasons and causes why there is a current political resurgence of racism, sexism, homophobia, and other prejudices expressed openly and politically.

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Comment by Huon Wardle on March 13, 2017 at 12:04pm

It ain't adjectival or metaphorical fascism if the people involved espouse fascist ideals. As to British politics and public schools -- Nigel Farage, Trump's favourite British politician went to one of them and was well known for his fascist views. It seems that Dulwich college used to resound to Farage singing the National Front anthem 'gas them all, gas them all, gas them all'. 

The clever part of all this from a propaganda point of view, and so far particularly American, since Europeans don't use the word 'liberal' in this sense (you can go a lot further left in European politics, you can even be a communist and nobody will pay much attention) - and this is what Wolfe should be skewering given its contemporary relevance -- 'adjectival liberalism'. The 'safe space' of the sorority, the frat or the public school are precisely where these newer fascist ideas, like Kellyane Conway's delightful 'alternative facts' (Phi Beta Kappa), are coming from.

No doubt it is a lot more palatable to have a chuckle at what a bunch of crazy 'liberals' are talking about, but a quick look at the people actually in government should give pause; they are also a bit of a joke, Trump is the biggest source of bemusement in contemporary political history, but the ideas they espouse are not just adjectives they are objectives.

Comment by Lee Drummond on March 11, 2017 at 9:30pm

 

M Izabel, are you there?  You have a lively blog post going;  ready to jump in? 

 

Huon,

    Alas, and here I’m more “bemused” than critical, I’m afraid your account of American “frat boy fascists” is as far off the mark as if  I were to attempt to describe the relationship between British (not so) public schools and British politics. 

    First, “frat boys” of any political stripe are a tiny and increasingly insignificant  part of American higher (I use the term loosely) education.  Right now there are around 20.5 million undergraduates in the U. S.; some 750,000 are members of fraternities and sororities (are these soro girl fascists?), or a bit under 3% of the total student population.  So there are, what, maybe 400,000 potential frat boy fascists.  In a national population of around 325 million, those kids will have to be awfully clever to take over the country. 

    Within the small world of fraternities there is a decades-old split between up-tight “soces” (social, status conscious types) and jocks (athletes) on one hand and fun-loving, booze-swilling , anti-establishment guys on the other.  This conflict is immortalized – like any important social issue – in movies, of which the all-time classic is Animal House (in company with Revenge of the Nerds, which stars a “frat boy fascist” ?? named Booger).  Here we may have, ah yes, a metaphor for American society as a whole, and one which valorizes the up-yours, let the good times roll kids.  Here are a couple of images of “frat boy fascist”?? candidates: 

 

 

Frat boy fascists plotting violent overthrow of U. S. government  

Frat boy fascists in their ultra-Establishment lair 

   A huge problem with your argument is that – uh oh, he’s gonna blame the liberals – is that fascist behavior is now the province of those students and non-students who shout down and rough up speakers they don’t agree with and who riot for the same purpose.  Isn’t a core definition of “fascism” the use of violence to silence and intimidate free expression?  As an aside, the confrontation at Middlebury College, which sent one professor to the hospital, involved no frat boys because Middlebury, like most other small liberal arts schools, has no fraternities. 

    I’m afraid that your evoking the scourge of “frat boy fascists” puts you in league with those who sound the alarm over “adjectival fascism” as skewered by Tom Wolfe in “In the Land of the Rococo Marxists” (in Hooking Up).  I strongly recommend you take a look at it.  Wolfe’s argument:  American intellectuals are constantly playing catch-up with their European counterparts.  They have real fascism, complete with jackboots, mobs, concentration camps, totalitarian regimes, well we have adjectival fascism – not quite there but always trying.  

Comment by Huon Wardle on March 10, 2017 at 4:22pm

In case anyone needs reminding about the frat culture exemplified by the Breitbart claque... And, of course a reminder too of the incredible chutzpah of seeing 'liberals' as the ones to blame.

From Inside Greek U.: Fraternities, Sororities, and the Pursuit of Pleasure, Power, and Prestige Alan D. DeSantis University Press of Kentucky:

Comment by Huon Wardle on March 10, 2017 at 3:30pm

Agreed. Those people aren't actual liberals. However, be that as it may, Milo Yiannopolis has fallen victim to the very selective bigotry of his own claque of frat boy fascists (this isn't rhetorical -- they are literally fascists and products of the American 'frats' -- 'is the frat a safe space? Discuss'). They want freedom of expression for themselves without extending it and they certainly have no interest either in tolerance or equality of opportunity--liberalism is a contract, you don't get to pick and choose. It is these frat boys who have seeded the idea that 'liberals cause racism' a turn of thought that would have made even George Orwell smile.

Huon:  An actual liberal is a person who follows the tenets of liberalism--basic principles being tolerance, freedom of expression and equality of opportunity.  

As evidenced by:  

Berkeley riot protesting planned/cancelled speech by Milo Yianopolous (incidentally, home of the "Free Speech Movement" in rosier times).  

Comment by Lee Drummond on March 9, 2017 at 9:21pm

Huon:  An actual liberal is a person who follows the tenets of liberalism--basic principles being tolerance, freedom of expression and equality of opportunity.  

As evidenced by:  

Berkeley riot protesting planned/cancelled speech by Milo Yianopolous (incidentally, home of the "Free Speech Movement" in rosier times).  

and: 

Middlebury College students protest Charles Murray lecture, causing its cancellation.  

Check out the video versions -- democracy/liberalism in action.  

Comment by Abraham Heinemann on March 9, 2017 at 6:21pm

Hi M Izabel, Thanks for this interesting blog post! Can I invite you for your next blog post here on our new website www.openanthcoop.net/forum. If you register for an account there then its quite straight forward to setup a new discussion thread for future blog posts :)

Comment by Huon Wardle on March 9, 2017 at 11:33am

An actual liberal is a person who follows the tenets of liberalism--basic principles being tolerance, freedom of expression and equality of opportunity. It being America we are talking about the kind of liberal who really believes that they caused racism should perhaps go to a counselling group for 'self-hating liberals'. Mind you, as a colleague of mine likes to say, the trouble with words like 'liberal' is whose mouth they have been in before you use them.

Comment by Lee Drummond on March 8, 2017 at 7:27pm

Huon, 

    On reading your comment, M Izabel's remark at the end of "whom to blame" seems especially apt: The liberal thinkers who refuse to critique themselves and change the course of their alienating political ideas and social narratives.  Your "actual liberals" (!!) are so "bemused" (read complacent, smug) that they get a good chuckle with their friends over conservatives' views.  This sounds much like Hillary's notorious "basket of deplorables" remark to the Manhattan elite who also got a good chuckle over their $25,000 per plate dinners.  That was an even more expensive laugh: It may have been the single event most responsible for Hillary's loss.  So tell us, so we'll know whom to call on for our bemusement,who are those "actual liberals"?  Any Americans I should consult?  Is there an approved list? 

You go, M Izabel!  

Comment by Huon Wardle on March 8, 2017 at 11:05am

Or maybe not. This whole new line that racism is the fault of liberals seems to have been dreamed up by a bunch of frat boy so-called 'alternative right' kids playing at anarcho-fascism-- lobbing bricks through burgerlich windows while spitting on passers by. Actual liberals are so bemused they buy this dross and replay it to their liberal friends.

Comment by Lee Drummond on March 4, 2017 at 8:40am

Whom??  Needn't be grammatically correct in these times of stress.  Why not rephrase your question to correspond with your text, and keep time with such diverse types as Naipaul and Motorhead:  Tell me who to kill.    

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