Liel Leibovitz writes on no longer being able to go with the flow, and more importantly — on realizing the American left is no longer recognizable as a voice for the people.
“You might be living through The Turn if you ever found yourself feeling like free speech should stay free even if it offended some group or individual but now can’t admit it at dinner with friends because you are afraid of being thought a bigot. You are living through The Turn if you have questions about public health policies—including the effects of lockdowns and school closures on the poor and most vulnerable in our society—but can’t ask them out loud because you know you’ll be labeled an anti-vaxxer. You are living through The Turn if you think that burning down towns and looting stores isn’t the best way to promote social justice, but feel you can’t say so because you know you’ll be called a white supremacist. You are living through The Turn if you seethed watching a terrorist organization attack the world’s only Jewish state, but seethed silently because your colleagues were all on Twitter and Facebook sharing celebrity memes about ending Israeli apartheid while having little interest in American kids dying on the streets because of failed policies. If you’ve felt yourself unable to speak your mind, if you have a queasy feeling that your friends might disown you if you shared your most intimately held concerns, if you are feeling a bit breathless and a bit hopeless and entirely unsure what on earth is going on, I am sorry to inform you that The Turn is upon you.”
“Because, after 225 long and fruitful years of this terminology, ‘right’ and ‘left’ are now empty categories, meaning little more than ‘the blue team’ and ‘the green team’ in your summer camp’s color war. You don’t get to be ‘against the rich’ if the richest people in the country fund your party in order to preserve their government-sponsored monopolies. You are not ‘a supporter of free speech’ if you oppose free speech for people who disagree with you. You are not ‘for the people’ if you pit most of them against each other based on the color of their skin, or force them out of their jobs because of personal choices related to their bodies. You are not ‘serious about economic inequality’ when you happily order from Amazon without caring much for the devastating impact your purchases have on the small businesses that increasingly are either subjugated by Jeff Bezos’ behemoth or crushed by it altogether. You are not ‘for science’ if you refuse to consider hypotheses that don’t conform to your political convictions and then try to ban critical thought and inquiry from the internet. You are not an ‘anti-racist’ if you label—and sort!—people by race. You are not ‘against conformism’ when you scare people out of voicing dissenting opinions.”
Spotted via Crisis magazine’s article, “Leftists Leaving the Left“.
I’ve just finished a book you said sounded interesting – Hiking With Nietzsche: Becoming Who You Are by John Kaag. I think you’d definitely like it, or at least find it worth the read. Full review will be up in a few weeks.
Sweet! Will look forward to it, then.
Probably too late for your RoE reading but you might want to pick up this at some point:
Sounds like a great way to do RoE but not miss science reading, actually. 😀