The Death of Liberalism: Beating and censoring our way to a progressive new America

The Death of Liberalism: Beating and censoring our way to a progressive new America, by Daniel Greenfield.

Liberal has become a slur on the illiberal left which is intolerant of open and tolerant systems.

The defining symbol of the illiberal left is the campus safe space where no free speech is allowed. Safe spaces take the college, once the symbol of a liberal commitment to the free exchange of ideas, and invert it into a space that is safe from the free exchange of ideas under a warm and fuzzy name. …

After Trump’s win, the left reacted by finding fault with an excessively open society. The media blamed “Fake News” spread on social media for his victory and pressured Facebook, Twitter and Google into agreeing to let its fact checkers decide what was and wasn’t legitimate. It wasn’t censorship, they insisted. It was social responsibility. And social responsibility is how censors justify what they do.

Meanwhile the latest wave of blacklists seeks to shut down organizations and silence individuals. …

Free speech has the same problem as free enterprise. It assumes that we should trust people. And why would we want to do that? People are stupid, racist, selfish and greedy. If you give them a chance they’ll sell large sodas, buy salty foods, shout racist slurs, watch FOX News and vote for Trump.

Justice and identity politics don’t mix:

The illiberal left’s contempt for the individual has even bigger implications for the justice system.

There was a time when “Innocent until proven guilty” was the gold standard in criminal justice. These days it’s as extinct as “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

Instead certain kinds of people are always innocent and other kinds of people are always guilty. The Baltimore drug dealer has a presumption of innocence from here to eternity, but the police officer who arrests him needs to be locked up now. Campus rape cases should begin with guilty until proven innocent, but the same rape case in an urban area should begin with a presumption of innocence. …

The old liberal view of the justice system was balanced on the fulcrum of individual rights. And the illiberal left only believes in group rights. Why bother deciding if Bob did it? Individuals don’t matter. What does matter is doing the intersectional math to see who is being oppressed here.

If Bob is a drug dealer in the ghetto, he’s a victim. If he’s a white Lacrosse player at Duke, hang him.

The left thrilled when the ACLU defended Islamic terrorists “on principle”, but was furious when it defended Neo-Nazis “on principle”. Principles are only meant to protect the bad people the left likes.

The new left is most illiberal:

That’s where the left breaks utterly with liberalism. It doesn’t believe that a free system is a fair one. Only a system where the outcome is predetermined to favor oppressed peoples is fair and just.

The left isn’t just picking winners and losers in business. It picks winners and losers when it comes to who gets to speak, who gets to practice their religion (Muslim judges are welcome, Catholic judges aren’t) and who gets a fair trial and who gets a kangaroo court backed by a howling internet lynch mob.

Freedom or tyranny? The new left chose the latter.

There are two basic views of how to make the world a better place. The first is an open system that will let everyone decide what they want to do. The second is to have the right people running everything.

The liberal element of the left is almost dead. The leftists who believed that open systems plus organizing, activism and education would lead naturally to the triumph of their ideas are a dying breed. Today’s leftists don’t strive to build open systems, only closed ones. …

After 9/11, the left lectured Americans that the mere murder of thousands, attacks on the Pentagon and the White House, didn’t justify abrogating any civil rights. Today the left insists that politically incorrect Halloween costumes and their uncle’s Facebook posts are crises that justify any abrogation.

hat-tip Stephen Neil