A few weeks ago, the website “Feminist Current” wrote an article about the coming propagation of sex robots. As you might expect, it was not in favor of men utilizing these sex robots. The reason given for this trepidation was that sex robots are the epitome of patriarchy—now, women would no longer be seen as metaphorical sexual objects by the pipe smoking, Brylcreem-wearing patriarch of feminist nightmares. Men would have literal sexual toys, and this would, of course, inspire them to see women as sexual toys even more than they already do, in a vicious cycle of female abuse. If I may, I find this explanation to be a bit flimsy, for a few reasons: I want to make something perfectly clear (since the typical “femsplanation” for any protest against feminist talking points is that said protester is a pathetic virgin loser with a tiny penis and no life): I have no interest in sex dolls or sex robots. I’m in a loving and happy relationship with a real, flesh…
The eternal lament of old timers is, “Young people these days,” and not without good reason. What one generation tolerates in moderation, the next will embrace to excess, or so I’ve heard it said. The Greatest Generation had to deal with their children being pot-smoking, long-haired hippies, neither of which are cardinal sins these days, in point of fact, they’re par for the course. Unwashed hair, unshorn armpits, and a perpetual high are now normal (I’m not sure if patchouli stink will ever be or has ever been tolerable) but even the hippies cleaned up their act in time for the golden age of the eighties. They knew the party wouldn’t and couldn’t last forever and eventually they grew up and reclaimed the dignity their parents tried to instill in them. In our day and age of gratuitous sexuality and violence in entertainment, it’s difficult to see young people these days ever reclaiming a vestige of self-respect, if they had any to begin with. The ultimate cultural coup d’etat…
Something that my readers may not know about me is that I am an anthropologist by training, biological (or evolutionary) anthropology to be exact. Indeed, BS from Rutgers University of New Brunswick, New Jersey, on the Dean’s List my senior year, which frankly makes me as legitimate a scientific authority as Bill Nye. Jokes aside, I’ve noticed in our little sphere of the internet that amongst men who have taken the red pill, so to speak, anthropology is not respected very much, if not seen as a major reason for why the cultural zeitgeist of today sucks as hard as it does. And…yeah, I’m inclined to agree. But I don’t think it should be that way if anthropology is taught and studied properly; that is to say, if actual archaeological and ethnographic evidence is used rather than being swept under the rug in order to promote an ideological agenda. But to answer the question of how anthropology does make the world worse…that is an answer that will require a good amount of…
Berkley continues allowing liberal snowflakes to rule their institution. And why wouldn’t they? Universities are businesses. They need to keep customers happy. Otherwise, they take their business elsewhere. School administrators don’t approve of the property damage caused by student’s outbursts. Yet, those students have parents paying huge loads of money, funding their education. Which, in turn, finances the institution. These temper tantrums, in the name of social justice (of course), could represent a more serious problem which has been happening for decades. Our parents and our grandparents were held responsible for their bad behavior growing up. Back then, parents sided with school administrators, reminding their children that teachers were not their babysitters. However, a complete cultural 180 has taken place, and not just with liberal dominated schools like Berkley, but across the nation. When kids act up, it seems parents question why school administrators are so hard on their kids. Then, in situations where a teacher or principal attempts to handle an out-of-control student, parents make claims that their…
Modern academia is downright shameful. Is this nothing more than exaggerated hyperbole? No, I mean this full stop. Academia has abandoned an entire generation and geared them towards disaster. What used to be the marketplace of ideas is now a nursery of anti-intellectualism. Academia was once known as a place for a young adult to develop his own thoughts by hearing new ideas and contending his ideas with others. It was not established to be a home. Its purpose was to be an intellectual arena, a boot camp for the mind. The decline of academia came when relativism took over. Relativism is the idea that knowledge and morality are all subjective. Which is why you hear the phrase, “Everyone has a right to their own opinion,” uttered so frequently, and while most certainly might be true, it does not mean that everyone has a right their own facts or truth. When you make every argument relative, when moral standards become subjective, you begin to erode our society. Because when…
Given the rhetoric of conservative activists and Republican officials during the 2008 presidential campaign, it was clear that the opposition to President Barack Obama would be strong. At the time, the rhetoric often spoke of unprecedented socialism and the idea that America would be forever changed. Obama was seen as more than just a liberal or a progressive, he was a devout socialist with numerous ties to dangerous radicals to his opponents. After Obama took office, a movement of conservatives and libertarians would rise from the ashes of a defeated cause. Despite failing to stop Obama in 2008, these activists and concerned Americans would not give up. The result was a movement of people known as the “Tea Party.” The name is derived from the original Boston Tea Party during the American Revolutionary period, where demonstrators dressed up as Native Americans and dumped tea into Boston Harbor.
President Trump’s first 100 days have certainly had their share of pitfalls and disappointments (at least for many of his supporters). This being said, they have not been nearly as bad as either the Democrats’ media propagandists or even some of his supporters would have us think: (1) Corporations that would have otherwise relocated operations in other countries—Bayer and Monsanto; Walmart; Amazon; General Motors; Hyundai; Sprint/Softbank; and Carrier, to name but a handful—have been motivated by Trump’s election to remain in the United States. They have also pledged to create thousands of new jobs. (2) Consumer-confidence has “soared” under Trump to a high that it hadn’t reached in 17 years. Even the penultimate of “fake news,” CNN, perhaps the one network that despises the President more than any other, had to acknowledge this. In typical CNN fashion, however, it wasted no time in immediately qualifying this fact by noting that consumers’ “track record when it comes to predicting the financial future” is checkered.
A leftist narrative gaining a lot of momentum in our current climate is “hate speech isn’t free speech!”, which, in essence, translates to “this speech, that you use, is not protected by the first amendment”. Seems a bit…convenient. Challenge this narrative, requesting a definition of “hate speech” and you will most likely find out that “hate speech” just means anything with which they disagree. This is why they don’t view your speech as permissible or even defensible under the law (the very law which they do not understand). Liberals also own this narrative so they no longer see it valuable to defend free speech at all. The left wing in American politics is increasingly becoming more radical now that they seem to have a monopoly on allowable opinions. From here on out, the tyranny of the mob dictates. The terrifying reality of this is the censorship effect. There are truly great and decent people who just don’t want to be branded racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, etc. They don’t want to…
I come to you today to discuss Jack London’s The Iron Heel. Jack London was and still is considered one of America’s premier authors and a fascinating character to study in his own right (while I will not go into great detail about this in this article, his life story personifies the proper usage of the old adage “write what you know” ie: “make sure that what you know is interesting”). This is not one of his more well-known works (ask Joe Schlub on the street about Mr. London, and, presuming he doesn’t give you a blank stare followed by scrotum scratching, he’ll probably tell you about Call of the Wild, White Fang, or To Build a Fire), but it still bears an analysis as it is a politics-heavy work—albeit politics distinctly to the left, as were his own politics. However, this book is almost as relevant to “our side” as it was to his. Beyond politics, the book is notable for probably being the first work of dystopian science…
CLICK HERE to watch the debate starting at 7 pm Eastern. West Lafayette, IN – Today, as Israel marks another Holocaust Remembrance Day, Purdue University’s Forney Hall will host a debate on what many consider to be a modern holocaust – abortion. Seth Drayer, Director of Training for the pro-life group Created Equal, will square off against Dr. David Sanders, Associate Biology Professor at Purdue. According to a press release from Created Equal, The pair will debate the question of whether abortion is a moral injustice, with Drayer taking the affirmative side and Sanders arguing in opposition.
So, as you’ve probably noticed, the United Airlines incident has been in the news quite a bit, in which an elderly Asian doctor with a somewhat checkered past was asked to leave an airplane due to seats being needed for repairmen to do repairs at the airport that was the destination for the flight. The man refused and was forcibly dragged off the plane, being somewhat bloodied in doing so. This incident made the news around the world, and as one might expect everybody has their own take on this. Some side with the airline, some side with the good Dr. Dao, and there are a million arguments for each.
In a time where naked parasitic leftism is running wild, libertarians are faced with a choice. They can either stand and fight against this menace, or wave the white flag of surrender. This seems like it would be an easy choice for any lover of liberty, but if you listen to certain voices within the movement, cowardice is the most noble of options. “The left-wing combatants claim to be anarchists, and yet are furthering the state,” commentator Dan Sanchez wrote in a FEE column. “The right-wing combatants claim to be for liberty, and yet are putting liberty in danger. If these conflicts continue to escalate, no matter which side “wins,” liberty will lose.” Sanchez’s commentary is indicative of the academic, elitist, ivory tower mindset that plagues the libertarian movement. This mindset fosters passive inaction and stagnation. It has gotten especially pernicious since Ron Paul retired from public life. Isolated in his bubble, Sanchez and others like him have forgotten what the people need right now. They don’t need a…
By now you’ve likely seen the April 9th video of a 69-year-old Asian doctor being forcibly dragged off a United Airlines flight at the Chicago O’Hara Airport. If not, check it out here. According to United Airlines, the flight was overbooked. There were enough seats for passengers, just not enough for the entire flight crew. Therefore, passengers had to be removed to open seats for members of their crew. At first, the staff offered money and a free night’s stay at a Chicago hotel for anyone willing to give up their seat. Only two accepted the offer. When no one else offered up their seats, the staff had to decide who else would need to give up their seat. Through some sort of random selection process, Kentucky doctor, David Dao, was chosen.
If you have read in my past columns, I have a “love-affair” with North Korea. No, I don’t want to defect like James Joseph Dresnok did in the 1950s; but, more or less, I hold a deference for the people that comprise the true makeup of the oppressed population. To our avail, analysts of North Korea long question the grip that the country has on its people. Obviously, the one thing that prevents an uprising against a despotic government is an effective international and domestic propaganda machine that demonizes the United States as imperialists, etc.
You, the humble reader, might have noticed that race relations in the United States (particularly between blacks and whites) are at something of a nadir-not THE nadir of race relations, as that is an actual name given to a period from the end of Reconstruction to some point early in the 20th century, but pretty close to it-certainly the nadir of race relations in the last 30 years. There are a variety of reasons for why this is case, depending on who you ask: police shootings, media denigration of (insert race here depending on your viewpoint), white privilege, black criminality, “The Cathedral” stoking resentment of white people, the political class supporting any of the above, the internet giving millions “the red pill” and, of course, Donald Trump. These alleged reasons also vary in terms of accuracy. One of the most common charges leveled at the scions of Europe-and indeed, often cited as a reason for POC resentment towards the pale devils-is the charge of “cultural appropriation”. This concept, which…
Contrary to popular opinion, we at The Liberty Conservative are quite capable of entering stable, monogamous relationships—and I’m certainly no exception to that, as I am currently in a stable, monogamous relationship with a single woman. Why do I bring this up, and what does it have to do with the title of this article? The other day, the lady and I were discussing literature. More specifically, we were discussing a book I had recently purchased, that being Flannery O’Connor’s A Good Man Is Hard To Find. In describing Ms. O’Connor, I raised some umbrage when I described her as “…Harper Lee but for grown-ups”.
“Islamophobia” is a real problem. Or so we’re led to believe by the usual suspects in the grievance industry par excellence, the Racism-Industrial-Complex (RIC). It’s a problem because, it is tirelessly declared, “Islamophobia” is only going to create more Islamic “extremists.” An article from a December 2015 edition of The Independent represents this all too common view. The title of the piece reads: “Want to create more extremists? Ignore the Islamophobia people like me face every day.” The author is Shehab Khan, a Muslim who lives in England.
If you are like me, you love liberty. I am sure if you are reading The Liberty Conservative, you hate big government. You probably imagine the founding fathers turning over in their graves by the government’s intrusions of your God-given rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. One of the reasons I write for The Liberty Conservative is because I desire to hone my ability to articulate the principles of liberty. Every day I met people who want to share with me the problems they see with our government. The more I study the principles of liberty, the better I am at sharing the principles of liberty.
Six years ago, what was known as the “Occupy Wall Street” movement situated itself in Zuccotti Park, which is located in the Wall Street district. The group of mostly millennials protested the worldwide economic inequality emanating from New York’s financial district. Their protest created, or depending upon your point of view, spawned, new terms: “99 percent” and “1 percent,” to illustrate the economic disparity between the majority of the population being controlled and impoverished by the one percent elite that controlled Wall Street and the world’s wealth.
Public policy expert Tom Nichols recently wrote an article entitled, “The Death of Expertise.” In it, he writes at some length about his fear of “a Google-fueled, Wikipedia-based, blog-sodden collapse of any division between professionals and laymen.” Expertise, Mr. Nichols explains, is being replaced by “a sanctimonious insistence that every person has a right to his or her own opinion,” which in his words is both “silly” and “dangerous.” For Mr. Nichols, it’s silly because “without real experts, everyone is an expert on everything.” It’s dangerous to him because you can’t have a bunch of uneducated proles running around making decisions, can you? His fears aren’t completely unfounded and the article as a whole is a generally good examination of the relationship between us common folk and the egghead class in the information age. But there are some observations to be made on behalf of the laymen he chastises.
The attacks keep coming. Murder or maiming by Muslims living among us is an almost daily occurrence in the West. The latest was knifeman Khalid Masood, who plowed a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, London, and then proceeded to slash at them with a 12-inch blade. Immoral media counted five dead, with the killer. In addition to the four murdered, 50 people were injured. Promptly did Prime Minister Theresa May get her Churchill on: “[W]e are not afraid and our resolve will never waver in the face of terrorism.” How easy it is to wax fat from the safety of a bunker! May was whisked away from the Houses of Parliament by an armed security detail. In fact, the only reason Masood hadn’t claimed more lives for his vampiric God (a peaceful entity, promised Prime Minister May) was because he committed Jihad at the Parliamentary estate. There, a “close protection officer,” essentially a bodyguard to a politician, drew a gun and dispatched the rampaging Muslim.
The closeted Roy Cohn called him less a homosexual and more a “voyeur,” getting his jollies by listening the sex tapes of political leaders he acquired through FBI wiretaps. Oliver Stone disagreed, having him in his laughable Nixon (1995) practically french-kissing the help. The wife of a mobster provided information of him in drag in a hotel room with Cohn present: “[He was] wearing a fluffy black dress, very fluffy, with flounces, and lace stockings and high heels, and a black curly wig. He had make-up on and false eyelashes. It was a very short skirt, and he was sitting there in the living room of the suite with his legs crossed. Roy introduced him to me as ‘Mary’”. Why, in our age of gay tolerance, does it matter whether the above-mentioned FBI director J.Edgar Hoover was gay? After all, shouldn’t right-wingers be allowed the same orientation? The easy answer lies in Hoover’s behavior to those he might have shared an orientation with. A lifelong bachelor who lived with…
In his lifetime, George Orwell diagnosed the symptom of leftists and their power worship of Stalin as partly stemming from having no contact with reality; specifically no contact with the working classes they supposedly champion. Despite the considerable numbers of writer/intellectuals who supported Stalin, Orwell never had to contend with those who took over the universities. This feature, so part of our time, is addressed, Orwell-like, by British conservative intellectual Roger Scruton toward the intellectuals of a New Left whose control of the language of political discourse (a particular beef of Orwell’s) is chiefly responsible for their takeover of academia.
The late great Christopher Hitchens was nothing if not surprising. To cite one example of his iconoclasm, Hitchens, an almost life-long supporter of Leon Trotsky, did not apply an ideological litmus test when picking his favorite novelists. For topping the list were fascist sympathizers such as Evelyn Waugh, and gruff Tories like George MacDonald Fraser. With the latter, Hitchens had, despite obvious political differences, a kinship with Fraser because of both men’s dislike of political correctness. Fraser’s novels centered around an amoral, cowardly, selfishly-indulgent, traitorous soldier in the mid-19th Century named Harry Flashman, who Fraser appropriated the bully character in Tom Brown’s Schooldays. But Fraser’s politics, which were decidedly socially conservative, championed the very values Flashman did not subscribe to: “standards of decency, sportsmanship, politeness, respect for the law, family values.”
I‘m about to drop a thesis that some might find…a bit controversial. And that thesis is—contrary to the popular wisdom, with its talk of “invisible knapsacks” (my featured image being a visible knapsack) and “stereotype threat”, stereotypes may, in fact, be beneficial! And not in the typical sense of stereotype formation having evolved as a quick ‘n dirty way to characterize a group of people when a more in-depth sociological profile is not an option in order to determine whether they are friend or foe.
In the 1920s to the late 1930s, Ernest Hemingway and leftist author John Dos Passos were the best of friends. But something happened toward the end of the Depression decade. Both men parted company, Hemingway angrily, and Dos Passos, shocked, and never regained their friendship. That “something” was Jose Robles.
In The Bonfire of the Vanities (1987), Tom Wolfe’s British journalist uses his accent and his British sense of humor to cadge meals from his spellbound American colleagues. By the 1960s to 1980s, being a spellbinding conversationalist was all actor/director Orson Welles had left. Because of his excesses (relying on style rather than substance in his films; an almost self-destructive refusal to tailor his films for mass audiences not leaning to the avant-garde; self-destructively taking on studio heads) no studio would touch him.
With its patriotism and lone-man-against-the-system theme, Mr. Smith Goes To Washington (1939) is a popular favorite among conservatives. But, although directed by conservative populist Frank Capra, the script was in actuality penned by a then-member of the Communist Party named Sidney Buchman. It is difficult to believe in our era of flag-burning and bomb-throwing leftism that once upon a time American Communists promoted patriotism, which depending upon your point of view, was either authentic or a pose to meet the needs of Moscow. But Buchman may have been the real deal, as evidenced by his clashes with director Frank Capra and his later abandonment of Communism because it wouldn’t fit the democratic conditions of his country.
Eighty-four years ago, the Marx Brother’s film, Duck Soup (1933), premiered and despite being considered their masterpiece today, flopped. Its anti-war, anti-establishment, anti-politician message (if there can be a message in a Marx Brothers’ film), flew against the zeitgeist. Leader-worship was in vogue in 33, from Mussolini’s Italy and Hitler’s Germany (both countries banned the film) to even FDR’s America. Satire and criticism, rampant in the 20s, which was really the Marx Brothers’ decade, was considered politically incorrect in “let’s pull together” ethos of New Deal America. Literally in Duck Soup, the Marx Brothers, un-plugged, un-policed, refuse to close ranks. There is no loyalty to any country. Chico only joins Groucho’s side because “the food is better over here.” Harpo switches sides constantly from spying on Groucho to recruiting soldiers for him. Groucho himself switches uniforms from scene to scene (Napoleonic one minute, Confederate General the next—there was no feverish debate of banning the Confederate flag in those days) as if to say it doesn’t matter who he represents.…
It would appear that higher education has become a Politically Correct caricature of itself. Yet for an increasing number of students, this is no laughing matter, for academia’s ceaseless drift toward the abyss of far-left ideology has been accompanied by an increase in threats of violence. College campuses in many places have become dangerous for certain kinds of students. Specifically, they have become dangerous for conservative students. The College Fix (TCF) is a student-run publication. It is also a national treasure. Its writers deserve praise for drawing the public’s attention to the outrages that pass for higher education today. Parents should be particularly appreciative to learn that those of their children who they plan on sending to university could be harassed and threatened with violence for not endorsing the ideological groupthink that substitutes for education in the contemporary academic world.
In the Western world today, particularly in America, there persists this idea among both Christians and non-Christians alike that, to be a Christian, one must endorse a specific kind of vision of how societies should be organized politically. While it is true that few if any contemporary Christians endorse a theocracy, and while it is true that few advocate on behalf of anything approximating a utopian politics, it is no less true that a good number, and possibly most, Western Christians are political perfectionists.
One of the oldest sayings is that there are “no atheists in foxholes.” But for those soldiers either wounded or hit with the body parts of their exploding friends, the more apt expressions were caught by Paul Fussell, forty-percent disabled World War II vet and the most articulate historian of war. Before combat, Fussell catches the mindset of the virgin soldier: “It can’t happen to me. I’m too clever/agile/well-trained/good-looking/beloved/tightly laced etc.” Then after combat, the realization hits: “It is going to happen to me, and only my not being there is going to prevent it.” Kurt Vonnegut, definitely “there,” amazingly, emerged from the war more optimistic and, although not believing in God, saw such faith as necessary.
Robert Benchley, humorist and member of the famed Algonquin Round Table, once said of writing for the New Yorker in the 1920s, “you could write anything you liked, as long as you did it in evening clothes.” Benchley, no radical, was likely referring to the magazine’s toleration of him skewering everything and anything with his lethal wit.
For all of its conceits, the post-modernist treatment of narrative, which eschews a traditional beginning, middle, and end, does nevertheless convey the mindset of the tortured. Psychiatrists tell us that traumatic events are remembered, not in coherent order, but in jumbled flashbacks. The mind apparently cannot structure the unendurable into a story line. The figures most associated with flash-backing terror are the Vietnam Vet and the Holocaust survivor. It is, in reality, the former inmate of the Soviet gulag system, those graying figures who today jump at knocks on the door or accidental flashlights in the eyes, who has been ignored.
Conservative humorist P.J. O’Rourke has been compared to journalist H.L. Mencken. But on closer examination, the comparison is not so apt; for Mencken’s attacks on white trash Southerners, Democrat and Republican Presidents, puritan-types, and “red scares,” was powered by a pro-German, even borderline fascist agenda. O’Rourke, although obviously conservative, has no grand vision, save that of human beings being retarded, especially when personified by liberals who believe they know what’s best for everyone else.
A picture of Hemingway, mere months from suicide, has him leaning drunkenly against a wall separating him precariously from a bullfight, guzzling a bottle. The immediate impression is one of pity toward an old man pathetically trying to recapture days of glory in a setting that once made such days possible. The same could be said of the photos of Hemingway with Cuban dictator Fidel Castro; one more last hurrah for an old man pining for Spanish Civil War days when he was relatively young and still capable of writing.
Asked before his death about his proudest achievement, liberal actor Paul Newman stated, “making Nixon’s enemies’ list.” And that is a view shared by many 70s-era liberals (their counterparts today are probably hoping that Trump keeps such a list and that they will soon be on it). But to my mind, the more dangerous list, given their penchant for overseas’ liquidations, at least during the 30s and 40s, would be that compiled by the Soviet Union. And the person who made the top of the list, a title he held from 1968 to 1989, from the Brezhnev era to the collapse of the Soviet Union, was not a Trotskyite, or a KGB defector but a British historian/poet.
During the 70’s and 80’s, Generation X children grew up watching “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood”; wholesome programming focused on character development. Near the end of each episode, good old Fred Rogers would take his young viewing audience on an exciting journey to the “Land of Make Believe”. A kingdom of sorts where imagination could run wild and all life’s problems were resolved to everyone’s satisfaction. Now, fast forward to today and you’re likely to find many on the far left clinging to the idea that Mr. Roger’s “Land of Make Believe” really exists, and why shouldn’t they? Like a rich kid with no athletic skills and barely able to maintain a C-average, Obama used his position to win over his constituents with charity. Whenever his diehard supporters cried out for special rights and privileges, in many cases, they got it. The only tradeoff, boost his ego and click the like button when he posted selfies.
Neocon has been the go-to pejorative in libertarian circles for many years, and deservedly so. The Bush Administration ripped up the Constitution, thrust the country in endless wars, and sent the debt through the roof. These policies were then aggressively continued during the Obama regime, but times are finally beginning to change. In the age of Trump, neocon influence is waning. His “America First” talk does not align with their agenda, and tensions are bubbling to the surface. The neocons are clearly working to undermine Trump, and their star within Republican circles is fading fast. They floated Evan McMullin as an Independent Presidential candidate for the sole purpose of sabotaging Trump’s chances. Former neocon all-stars Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain are now national laughingstocks. Perhaps it has come time for libertarians to take the term neocon. Libertarians have the opportunity to Make Neocons Great Again, but not in the traditional way. Instead of meaning neoconservativism, the term must be co-opted and re-appropriated to mean the far more interesting and…
Rep. Steve King walked back his remarks with ease. King had told Iowa radio host Jan Mickelson that “we can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.” The Republican congressman quickly re-framed the comments. It was not race he was alluding to, but “our stock, our country, our culture, our civilization.” Those sound like proxies for race. Nice try, congressman. More instructive than what Rep. King said or meant to say are the lessons about what we’re not supposed to say. We dare not suggest that a civilization created by a particular people with a particular religious and racial profile, may well perish once those people are replaced or have engineered their own replacement.
To conservatives, film critic Pauline Kael will forever be known as the one who labeled the Silent Majority film, Dirty Harry as fascist, and for registering her confusion as to how Richard Nixon was re-elected in 1972 since “everyone I know voted for McGovern (Nixon’s Democratic opponent).” But an examination of her career shows that she was far from being part of the mainstream media. This is particularly apparent when Kael reviewed films that peddled heroic views of American communists.
When I was a graduate student, my mentor of sorts, John Patrick Diggins, told me of an incident he had with blacklisted screenwriter Lester Cole, who along with nine others, testified before Congress 70 years ago, in 1947. Both were watching the Watergate hearings, when Cole exploded to Diggins, “See, it has to be done like Castro—democracy doesn’t work!” Whether true or not, this moment certainly fit Cole’s character. For, as the only member of the Hollywood Ten who remained a Stalinist, Cole hated till his dying day.
When it was rumored that leftist actor Ed Asner was slated to play Stalin it was only natural, for although deprived of Stalin’s lethal tools, Asner has emulated all the left-wing hate and paranoia of the Soviet dictator. Serving two terms as president of the Screen Actor’s Guild in the 1980s, Asner sought to use the Guild to oppose then-President Ronald Reagan’s policies against the totalitarian Sandinistas in Nicaragua, who ruled the country with an iron fist, shutting down opposition newspapers, jailing critics, and beating up those who tried to vote.
In his life, John Updike was considered to be one of, if not the, premier American novelists of the 20th century-his Rabbit Angstrom books are still considered to be one of the best satires of the archetypical downtrodden American husband and father (the genre arguably started by Sinclair Lewis’ Babbit), full of broken dreams and mediocrity as he struggles against the changes of the world around him. But that’s not what I’ve come here to discuss: My favorite of his works is the 1978 best seller The Coup, an excellent read in its own right, but so much more than that: For The Coup is quite possibly the only satire of post-colonial Africa (or at least, the only one I’m aware of). More to the point, in satirizing latter 20th-century Marxist states, The Coup shines a light on some aspects of modern leftist ideology that confuse and infuriate us today, and shows that even back then there were competing camps in the leftist “big tent”. And of course, there is an…
Liberals today smirk at American Cold War culture of the late 40s to early 60s with their typical moral vanity. Unable to avoid the failures and horrors of communism, they nevertheless try to salvage 1960s’ era views of American culture as hysterically misinformed about a superpower that had missiles pointing at the U.S. But upon examination, it is apparent that the Left has done considerable editing by halting history around 1970, thus skipping whole decades of Venona revelations, the Berlin Wall falling and workers in Red Square toppling Lenin’s statue, resuming it. Hence archaic terms like military industrial complex can seem fresh and applicable.
“I fear I am writing pornography.” So said former Communist and blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo about his on-again off-again attempt to address the Holocaust through the first-person narration of a concentration camp officer. When Auschwitz was liberated (ironically by the Red Army, which would soon institute a pogrom against Jews), a variety of writers tried to grapple with the Holocaust. Various interpretations of the Holocaust have been offered though out the years: Marxist (the Final Solution was the logical culmination of heartless capitalism and the fascism inherent in it); the banality of evil, the we-are-all-responsible school, etc.ect. ad nausaem.
Asked once toward the end of his life about what he was proudest of, liberal activist and actor Paul Newman cited his appearance on Nixon’s “enemies list.” The flip side to this occurred with conservative actor John Wayne making it onto Stalin’s enemies list, with much more lethal consequences than anything Nixon had at his disposal. According to those close to Wayne, Stalin ordered Wayne liquidated after learning of the outspoken conservative actor’s popularity and anticommunist beliefs from a Russian film-maker who visited New York in 1949.
Our once great nation is overflowing with poseurs who make believe they’re fighting the good fight against an uneducated army of Philistines, that is, anyone who votes Republican. And so, the myth goes, without the posturing of pawns in entertainment, news media, social media, politics and government, the least fortunate and most misunderstood among us (blacks, Hispanics, gays, transgenderism, etc.) would be crushed under the unfeeling boot heels of puritan era artifacts who long ago outlived their usefulness, if they were ever useful to begin with. Unpaid big-mouthery is all the rage these days and it always has been; people are frequently lazy but they’re opinionated too. The bifurcated quest for righteous bragging rights and the path of least resistance leads inevitably to the human inclination to proclaim outrage at the supposedly outrageous while doing next to nothing to correct often wholly imagined injustices.
When William Peter Blatty, author of The Exorcist (and whose screenplay for its adaptation won him the Academy Award), died in January, tributes poured in praising the former Jesuit student for creating the ultimate horror masterpiece. But now as then, people didn’t realize that despite the bull-bellowing blasphemies and head-spinning, Blatty had an ideological purpose in writing the book–a purpose that was socially conservative in nature.
For those writers who began as conservatives on his magazine and graduated into liberalism, William F. Buckley of National Review called them the “apostates.” Probably the most notorious of these figures was Joan Didion, who, in the words of Buckley’s sister Priscilla, started as “a conservative” staffer and ended up a “flaming liberal.” At first glance, Joan Didion’s trajectory seemed to bear this out. She went from writing for National Review and voting for arch-conservative Barry Goldwater to defending Bill Clinton at the height of his impeachment proceedings, to lambasting George W. Bush, to voting for Barack Obama in 2008. She seemed to be that familiar figure of the Baby Boomer generation: a conservative pushed leftward by the sixties. But in her view, though, this “Goldwater girl” never really changed. Like Reagan (who Didion criticized and was alone in seeing him as too unprincipled to qualify as the heir to Goldwater), she stated that the “parties changed” and that her “unorthodox conservatism” hadn’t. She reminded readers into the 21st…