We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The threat to free speech has always been conformity and cowardice - nobody's ever gotten into trouble for being a popular person saying popular things. Any time you find yourself defending the right to free speech, it's always going to be somebody everybody claims is a loathsome person saying loathsome things. And it's always going to be easier just to keep your head down and your mouth shut when the mob gets riled up.
He was good but he lost me when he said that political correctness and speech codes was a conservative idea. I'm not aware of a mainstream conservative movement to restrict free speech. Conservatives didn't appreciate or want certain speech, but I don't remember any speech codes enforced by any conservatives.
Of course, right after he said that, he talked about it being done now from the left.
I'm also not sure about his (early) Marxism. He says the early Marxism is all about liberating humanity from poverty. I'm not saying he's wrong about Marx's early theories - I haven't read them, but I would say that the later Marx would still say it the same way but getting from the principle to a reality doesn't necessarily mean that the reality in the end adhere to the principle.
The normally excellent Brendan O'Neill could express his views a little more clearly. He is surely not suggesting that it is the INTENT of the environmental movement to hurt the poor of Africa? These loonies are merely trying to save the Africans from the depradations of Capitalism and giant multinational corporations. They just don't see the harm that they're doing. Similarly, political correctness may be conservative in effect but it is hardly being adopted by those who consider themselves to be Conservatives. The practititioners consider themselves to be the ultimate Progressives.
I do believe that the environmental loonies are more than willing to sacrifice Africans to further their agenda. Some years back when Zimbabwe was enduring a crop failure (caused by their Marxist/racist/left wing policies) and their people were starving the U.S. sent boatloads of corn (their preferred food) to their country. The left wing activists hyped the fact that the corn was GMO and convinced the IQ challenged leaders of Zimbabwe that it was better for their people to starve to death than to eat GMO corn. Yes! Literally that was their arguement.
Consider that since "Silent Spring" and the unscientific dicision to ban DDT that 50 million plus African children have died from malaria. The most effective treatment, still to this day for controlling malaria is DDT. But the loony 'environmentalist' consider the banning of DDT to be a huge win for their side EVEN in the face of scientific evidence that DDT was never as bad as they painted it. The Africans are nothing but useful pawns in the left wing agenda.
The guy is right about conformism but wrong about its roots. "Political correctness" is a translation from Russian, it originated in early Soviet Union and was borrowed by american communists. And yes, they talked a lot about "liberation", but somehow didn't mind Gulag. War is peace, freedom is slavery, you know.
Found by way of Instapundits Ed Driscoll, another astute media watcher. Good catch, News Junkie.
I think Brendan is learning. He might try some reading by those who experienced the evolution of Marxism. I'm reminded of this quote:
“And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand? After all, you knew ahead of time that those bluecaps were out at night for no good purpose. And you could be sure ahead of time that you’d be cracking the skull of a cutthroat.”
― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956