Censorship

I came across a blog post today that I happen to agree with. Not everyone will.

Nonetheless, I decided to share it and let you make up your own mind.

**For some known-only-to-Wordpress (!) reason, the “reblog” option on the website didn’t work, so following is the intro with a link to read the remaining post.**

The title of the post is: Shall We Start Burning Books Again? (This is a rant…read if you like)

The blogger begins with a reference to the recent news related to six of Dr. Seuss’s books and then continues …

Ok, people things have gotten ridiculous.  It needs to stop.

YES, we can look at books, movies, advertising, tv shows, songs, etc. from the past and see the racism, sexism, ageism, and all the other isms!  We can see the flagrant homophobia.

BUT, I’m sorry we cannot erase history AND we shouldn’t as then we are doomed to repeat it.  Historical context is important. Where does it stop? Do we end up with a list of “approved” reading and that is it?  If we go through every book and ban/block/add to a no publish list everything that is offensive to someone in some way there would be no books left!

Continue reading HERE.

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Image by Prettysleepy from Pixabay

77 thoughts on “Censorship

  1. I am opposed to censorship.

    However, at times I can get a little cynical. In the discussion I saw, nobody had ever heard of those particular Dr Seuss books. So maybe they are being abandoned because nobody was buying them anyway, and the reason given was just an excuse to make the publisher look good.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. It is a fine line…somewhere along what is the intent? What’s the worse that can happen? If it’s to encourage bodily harm, ruin someone with lies and doctored information, have the hate speech extreme enough to incite dangerous action etc….well then I’m for some degree of censorship. But politically correct stuff, especially if it was from another era, then no.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Clear-cut incitement of violence is illegal, but there is rightly a very strict standard for defining it legally — as a free society, in doubtful cases, we must always err on the side of more freedom of expression rather than less.

      In any case, that’s not remotely the issue in this specific case. The Dr Seuss books contain some mildly racist images, but nothing that could remotely be taken as an immediate incitement of violence. This is about fear of offending people — and if that’s the standard, there is no more free society at all.

      To sum up, anybody who thinks they have a right to limit what opinions, ideas, or even prejudices I can read about (or express) can go [redacted*] themselves, no matter who they are, or what their reasons are, or whether they’re “left” or “right”.

      [*out of respect for Nan’s likely preferences concerning the type of language used on her blog.]

      Liked by 6 people

      • In the case of the Seuss books, is it a case of offending some people’s sensibilities, or is it a case of the images conveying an acceptance or normalising the belittling of sections of society – attitudes we no longer find acceptable?

        For example, being autistic, I personally find it offensive when a temper tantrum is described as autistic behaviour. But that in itself is not a sufficient reason to “ban” its use in this way. At a superficial level, a temper tantrum does look somewhat like an autistic meltdown. But the reason why such a label should not be used is because it conveys and reinforces a common misconception about what meltdowns are and about the nature of autistic people in general.

        I’m still conflicted about the public displays of monuments honouring past events or persons we no longer consider honourable. We need to recognise the people existed and the events took place, and why they were considered worthy of being honoured at the time. Failure to do so will inevitably lead us to repeat past mistakes. We also need to understand why they are no longer considered honourable today. Simply “cancelling” them is not the answer. There needs to be a way of acknowledging persons and events of previous generations without giving undue glorification of them. How, I’m unsure.

        Liked by 2 people

          • I wasn’t aware of that particular defense being used although I was aware of the incident.

            Autism does not lessen a person’s understanding of “right and wrong”. If anything, because autistics generally are observers of rules, they less likely to break them than non-autistics.

            On the other hand, as someone who has been on the receiving end of violence and considerable bullying and ostracisation simply for being “different”, I can understand how someone might reach a level of despair, a breaking point, beyond which they might make stupid choices. In the case of autistics, this is more likely to be self harm or suicide than violence towards others. In some counties, deaths by suicide in autistics is up to 10 times the rate of the general population.

            I would say the person in question was motivated to do harm to society by the treatment society dished out to him. It was wrong, can never be tolerated, deserves to be punished, but I can understand why he might have been motivated to do what he did.

            Liked by 2 people

            • Having just watched a video of Alek Minassian’s interview with the police, my comments above do not necessarily apply to this particular person. However I still stand by my view that minorities and neurodivergent minorities in particular are poorly served by law enforcement.

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          • Frankly, one outstanding example does not negate the dozens of examples of prejudicial, harmful behaviour law enforcement enact on a daily basis towards people they have little to no understanding of. I don’t think this is an appropriate forum for bringing up example of such behaviour, as it wouldn’t be to bring up examples of the leniency of courts towards those who commit violence or murder on autistic people in their care because the offender found it difficult to cope.

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          • Having just watched the video, I don’t see anything outstanding at all. That should be the norm, and in this country it is, possibly minus the gun as police are not routinely armed in New Zealand.

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            • I know… nothing at all, but I wanted to take the rare opportunity to contact Barry about his thought on it. Sorry for what I intended to be only a quick diversion, selfish and greedy piggy that I am.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Sorry Nan. Absolutely nothing. Tildeb directed a question to me on a topic I’m passionate about. And even though I intended to not to go off topic, I got carried away. I’ll try to be a good boy in future.

              Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Nan. Lots of time, if you “like” a post & then try to reblog it, it won’t reblog. Just go back to the original post, but not hit the Comment button & you’ll be able to reblog it (usually). Great post, thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m pretty sure I’ve “liked” and reblogged in the past … but who can remember every move we make??? I sure can’t!! In any event, thanks for the advice! I’ll definitely keep it in mind.

      And I’m glad you enjoyed my/her post!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m almost convinced that there’s a gremlin (or several, each with their own specialisation) inside WordPress that delights in causing confusion and irritation just because it (they) can.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s worth noting that Dr. Seuss Enterprises decided to remove the books from publication, as mentioned in the AP article linked in the original post. So I think the notion that this is part of some grand censorship scheme is sensationalized. This was a business making a business decision because it understands the insensitivity of some of its material published several decades ago.

    So when the author asks, “Who decides what ideas are ok to share and who has access to them?” I think the answer, in this case, is the company established in the author’s namesake. I guess I just don’t want to perpetuate an overzealous fear of the erasure of “history” because a company is pulling six books I’d never even heard of.

    Liked by 5 people

      • Melanie, appreciate your response. I understand that your scope is much wider than Dr. Seuss, but I guess I’m a bit stuck there. You are right to say it’s a dangerous thing to try and erase history, as we must understand our history fully if we are to learn from it – good and bad. If there begins a mass effort to censor all controversial literature then we have every reason to worry. But I haven’t seen evidence of that. So far I think a few rogue stories like Dr. Seuss have devolved into a fear that this will become widespread. I guess I’d just need to see more evidence of censorship being a norm before I feel this is a concern.

        Liked by 1 person

        • You know, I’ve been criticizing the lack of a liberal response to this decidedly anti-liberal and highly regressive ‘woke’ ideology for over two decades as it has become part and parcel first in post secondary education, then into the teachers of elementary and secondary, and then into government, business and even law as these ‘graduates’ assume positions of authority and allow and enable this spread. At almost every turn, every occasion where criticism is called for multiplied by thousands and thousand of small events in local schools, local chambers, local councils, local boardrooms, the absolute typical response has been similar to your comment here, that it’s not really a problem because it’s not yet ‘normal’ enough to be considered consider real enough, widespread enough, for criticism.

          I often think this is way of waving away tens of thousands of real events that has harmed real people in real life, a kind of partisan denialism that wants to keep the focus on the the other guy because, hey, the other guy is the real problem. What is not seen, what is often REFUSED to be considered, is the direct connection that failure to support and enable liberal values and principles locally, what amounts to an essential abdication by a majority of the population to deploy and implement liberal principles and values in response to this use of the toxic and malignant anti-liberal ideology but self censor necessary criticism and go along to get along, a refusal to address this spread when the local opportunity arises and stand up against its deeply anti-liberal and discriminatory policies. This abdication throughout and by the Left is EXACTLY what the other guy, the Bad Guy, uses as fuel to justify whatever response benefits this populist. It’s playing out throughout the West. But nope, nothing to see here.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I don’t want to come across like I “refuse” to see this side. My mind could be changed on this subject. It’s a topic with which I haven’t devoted much attention.
            I feel rather dense but you’ve lost me in your second paragraph. I might be missing your point.

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            • In a nutshell, it’s more important than ever to stand up locally to the bully tactics used by those who think social justice – in whatever form it takes – requires over-riding and/or replacing liberal principles and values. If history has taught any lesson at all, it’s that when liberal principles and values are NOT supported, really bad things happen.

              Liked by 1 person

            • So, to draw from the initial example, we need to stand up to local censorship or suppression of history – like removing books or media – that disguises itself as ‘social justice?’ And in doing so we affirm that we don’t want history to be stripped in a global, sweeping effort because we understand the consequences of these kinds of patterns. Am I close?

              Liked by 1 person

            • Yes, you’re close.

              My point is two-fold, in that each of us has a personal role in our local environment to do our best to try to live up to classical liberal principles and values.

              1) When we personally retreat in the face of anti-liberal actions or words or decisions or policy or whatever (usually these come framed as some kind of exchange in the currency of moral virtue to do so, which is usually part of ‘joining in’ with some anti-liberal action under the banner of promoting a larger ‘social justice movement’), we become part of – or at least a silent collaborator or co-conspirator – the problem fueling not just the anti-liberal movement coming mainly from the political and ‘liberal’ Left

              but ALSO

              2) provide the necessary fuel for the Bad Guy populist to have political clout.

              Liked by 3 people

            • So, in a sense, when we virtue signal in our local environments by rallying around terminating books we dilute efforts of true social justice. We’re giving time to eradicating sensitive words instead of fighting tangibly against systemic injustice. No disadvantaged person in my community benefits from me burning a book.
              Additionally, we’re giving the populist crowd more ammunition because it’s easy to rally around decrying “cancel culture” and will use that as leverage in any argument. Then it only draws more attention to these ‘moral virtues’ and away from what matters.

              Liked by 2 people

            • True social justice occurs when liberal principles and values are applied. The problem is that this tends to be an arc over time but also has the benefit of partisanship evaporating and ‘we’ become responsible for getting rid of slavery, emancipating women, building the social safety net, implementing civil rights, and so on. All of these progressive polices have come about by first recognizing and then legislating and then enforcing classical liberal values – none more important than the legal autonomy of the individual. Today’s warped version of social justice is the opposite principle, the strong push to suppress and then change the legal autonomy of the individual with the replacement of communal rights based on identity groups. That’s why this is regressive in that it dismantles individual rights and replaces it in legislation and then law with different treatment based on immutable characteristics – the very definition of bigotry. It is beyond ironic that the claim to reduce ‘systemic’ racism by this communal identity approach requires the implementation of systemic racism. You’d think this might be a clue… a tiny bit of a red flag… alas…

              Liked by 1 person

            • And this civic-wide attack on liberal values and the widespread support it gains is the fuel I’m talking about that populists use to ‘defend’ people from this obvious personal threat. It ain’t got nuthin to do with white supremacy and everything to do with a sustained attack on the fundamental precepts of the Constitution. That’s why millions and millions and millions of Americans see Trump as LESS a threat than this ideological communal movement.

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            • I’m trying to formulate an intelligent response, but you’ve lost me here.
              I’m not dumb, I swear. Just miss the point sometimes I suppose. Sorry.

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            • The question about how Trump could conceivably get so many voters to support him and the Republicans seems to be mystifying to so many who clearly saw the increasing danger to the country and all its institutions by his possible re-election. The notion that over 70 million voters are just completely ignorant and/or batshit crazy and/or white supremacists and/or religious wingnuts I don’t think explains the root problem that has divided the country to such an extent.

              One idea I’ve floated here several times is that the evidence just doesn’t support these claims but is often in direct contradiction of them.

              The main complaint I’ve heard from my family members is that, in spite how terrible Trump as a candidate was, he was the better option. So I explored that and discovered that indeed what many Republicans were and continue to vote against is this woke ideology embraced by the Democrats, that every example of woke ideology in the name of ‘social justice’ was exactly what gave increasing confidence that Trump was the better option.

              So my comments are intended to explain why the communal aspect of identity politics and the social justice movement is such a threat to the central principles laid out in the Constitution starting with the individual as the base unit from which all legitimate authority comes from and the shared position all citizens have for which all other laws must support. Authority comes from the individual. It doesn’t come from kings and queens, not some god, not a rich guy, not a populist leader or strongman, but the individual.

              This notion that identity with a group defines a hierarchical authority for citizens depending on which group they belong and to varying degrees within that group, what is called communal authority, is systemic and must be systemically removed by repositioning group power politically, economically, socially, and legally. This is expected to be imposed on a population by various organs of the state when the communal ideology through the Democrats takes power. This is seen as THE fundamental threat most people who voted for Trump fully endorse. Every example of this communal ideology in the news – often called ‘Woke’ or ‘Social Justice” – is a demonstration that reinforces and hardens this viewpoint that the greatest threat to the country’s central pillars is from the Democrats who support and incorporate this ideology when they gain political power.

              So when people of the political Left go along with and accept the ideology, they are seen as enemies of the People, enemies who would willingly give up not just their own but everyone’s personal legal autonomy in the name of something else. That’s why Trump was considered less of threat.

              So my point here is that by not standing up and confronting this woke social justice ideology locally, when we go along and stay quiet and self censor, we make this situation worse, we deepen the divide, we increase the threat. Every time. We have to show the SAME concern and respect for the country’s central pillars if we want the US to survive as a cohesive unit. Otherwise, there’s gunna be a shootout… on a national scale.

              Liked by 2 people

            • @Raz: ” No disadvantaged person in my community benefits from me burning a book.”

              Weimar Germany banned the Nazis from 1923 until 1927. The ban did not help the Nazis, but it did provide some protection for us Jews.

              Then, in 1927, Weimar decided to legalize the Nazis in the name of freedom. In retrospect, that looks like a bad decision.

              This puts us in the position of Popper’s Paradox: By tolerating the intolerant, the intolerant will gain in power until they gain control and silence everyone else. Therefore, there are some things that cannot be tolerated if we are to have a free society.

              This leaves us with two alternatives:
              1) Censorship, which I have a problem with.
              2) Widespread social criticism and disapproval of the intolerant and of bigotry.

              If society has changed so that this image is no longer socially acceptable, that is a good thing.

              This is not the same as banning an image. The Jim Crow Museum at Ferris State is full of such racist imagery. It is placed in a context that says the imagery is wrong.

              @tildeb: “it’s more important than ever to stand up locally to the bully tactics used by those who think social justice . . .”

              If criticism is a bully tactic, then how are we supposed to oppose the bullying of fascists, racists, sexists, homophobes, transphobes, and others?

              ” That’s why this is regressive in that it dismantles individual rights and replaces it in legislation and then law with different treatment based on immutable characteristics ”

              Examples, please. The law prohibits discrimination based on skin color. Since everybody has a skin color, it applies to everyone. The same thing with sexual orientation – everyone has one (counting asexual as an orientation).

              Liked by 1 person

            • Sam, “if criticism…” Well, it’s not criticism. It’s flat out bullying in that the presumption of guilt is then acted upon as if true that then causes harm to those so accused and justified by the perps as justified BECAUSE they felt such actions were deserved. All by presumption with zero recourse. Just look at the authors list now deemed to be racists and bigots and Nazis not by evidence but by proclamation. For example, does anyone know the name of the Dr Seuss book that tackles racism directly? I mean, from the banned books (and yes,Ebay has banned their sale and threatened posters with sanctions for ‘promoting hate’) people presume Dr Seuss must be a racist and a bigot in the same way JK Rowling is presumed by accusation alone to be a transphobe and Jordan Peterson a fascist and Woody Allen a pedophile. By proclamation, acted upon by employees of publishing houses as if true, causing harm by trying to censor the books from within. The kindest description of these deplorable actions is ‘bullying’ behaviour. But hey, who cares if a Nazi gets punched in the face.

              I won’t go into details for your second question as these do not pertain to the OP but I suggest you try a search engine for, say, Harvard and race or the removal of SATs.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Thanks, Sam. My statement was a conclusion I attempted to reach, I think, unsuccessfully, of understanding @tildeb’s comments. I got that one wrong. Your response makes sense to me. There’s plenty to be said about the distinction between your alternatives, with which I agree. And I fully support the “widespread social criticism” over “censorship.” The Ferris State example is more social criticism than censorship then, yes? I view that as preservation of historical flaws so we can learn from them – but at the same time refusing to glorify them or give them a positive platform.
              Maybe my initial stance on Dr. Seuss was misguided. I was fine with the publisher removing the books from rotation; however, I understand that a larger-scale censorship movement would be a detriment. Your examples are cogent and I hadn’t heard of Popper’s Paradox so I’ve been learning more. Appreciate your insight.

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  5. The insidiousness of today’s censorious climate starts inhouse. Just like the editorial board of the NYT are not the senior editors and owners but lower tier employees and Twitter who tell them what to do, so too are the publishing houses employees deciding on behalf of all owners and those with whom they have contracts what they will and will not publish. Students decide what a professor is allowed to say and they send demands to administrations insisting their intellectual comfort and ‘safety’ and ‘feelings’ trump academic content. And we see administrations of all kinds kowtowing to these infantile hissy fits. So is the problem the morally certain anti-liberal cretins who presume they know best for everyone or the spineless administrators who continue to cave into the mob?

    Liked by 4 people

  6. I believe people are a product of the times, to some extent. Things we’d never say or do today, might not have been entirely appropriate in the past, but were somewhat tolerated then. Do I think that’s ok? Not really, no. Do I think we should be looking back in time with the intent of torching our history, because we as humans, weren’t as politically correct at the time? No I do not.

    Todays knee jerk reactions to much of what I’m seeing are just a tad ridiculous. We have bigger issues as a society to be much more concerned with. Let’s work on fixing what we can in the now, and let the past drift away behind us.

    All this cancel crap, regarding things that happened decades, or centuries ago, seems to me, a waste of human emotion and resources. We need that energy focused on the issues of the day. They are numerous, and are a much more fundamental threat to our here and now.

    Looking backwards is a good way to work on fixing our mistakes. We should all do a bit of that.

    Looking forward though, is our future. It is the one thing we can change, if we work at it.

    Let me be clear, I do not think we should ignore the racism, the slavery, or any of the many atrocities we are guilty of. I feel we should learn from those things and try to become better than that. Cancel culture seems to me like a bunch of petty pecksniffs with their panties all in a bunch, who ain’t got the good sense to know what they should be angry about, running around, digging through history to find something to be upset over, then patting themselves on the back for being one of the cool kids.

    There are better things that need doing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It seems to me that the elements we condemn from our collective past are our failures to apply liberal principles and values but are used as if representative of them and so they become justification today to attack and dismantle liberal principles and values!

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  7. “Those that don’t learn history are doomed to repeat it”. Unfortunately we see that those that do learn history are doomed to repeat it too. We’re playing the same act, with the same tools, with the same script for way too long. It would be nice if there was another option. Not a middle way, but something really revolutionary and altogether different.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I have not read those particular childrens books, so I can not possibly talk about the specific case. However, cencorship is a strong term, when we talk about childrens books. If some Hitlerjugend version of the Main Kampf was on sale for kids it might be asked if the publisher and the retail marketter knew their responsibility. Even so, if one ever was published, it should – in my humble opinion – be published with the proper introduction.

    It is not realistic for every parent, granparent, or someone in a similar position to thouroughly know all childrens books before they buy them, not to make the mistake that that the gift contains some racism, or be otherwise degrading to the human value. That said, I think the final responsibility of what the kids read and how they percieve what they read, falls on the adults responsible for them. In any case, if an old childrens book if found at the attic of the grandparents house, the parent or other responsible adult on the scene has to be able to explain and put into context the content of the possibly outdated book.

    In my view, if there are any reactions to homophobia, racism, sexism, fascism, misogyny, or any such evil, that somehow seem to go overboard, it only goes to show how the society has not gotten over those problems and attitudes. It is not that we have become over sensitive, but that we do not know how to best fight those still lingering harmfull ideas and phenomenon.

    What a children’s book should not contain? If we think sex, violence or for example violent sex should not be found in a children’s book, why should we think racism, sexism, fascism, misogyny, or homophobia should be there either? Just because some former generations thought those were simply swell attitudes to teach to kids? To me the story about the particular books seems like a sales pitch. A cheap trick to buy them publicity in a society divided into camps one of wich can not understand why for example racism is wrong?

    Liked by 2 people

    • “I think the final responsibility of what the kids read and how they perceive what they read, falls on the adults responsible for them.”

      Just so.

      To have a group of people ‘inhouse’ – other than the publishing house editors and owners who decide what is to be published under their banner – feel perfectly justified to decide for all adults what books their publishing house will publish (what every child may and may not read from this business enterprise) I think is by far the greater crime here than any biases to be found within the covers of any children’s book. This is infecting all kinds of publishers with all kinds of writings including the NYTimes what you as a reader may or may not read based on some small but active mob mentality.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Kudos to everyone for the interesting discussion here. tiledb, I liberally used the “liked” button on many, many of your comments!

    And yet, and yet:

    My main disagreement, and it is a strong one, is that the “wokeness” you (correctly) decry is not a new phenomenon at all. It has always been a fundamental basis of pre-woke American identity ever since the 3/5 rule in our vaunted liberal Constitution! The only difference is the arbiters of group power and group identity (especially the former) were white Europeans. Especially WEALTHY white Europeans.

    To be a bit harsh, I think it is almost ludicrous to suggest that Trump voters are in anyway defending “individualism” and “Constitutional values.” No. They are voting in reflexive rejection of the changing demographics and power flows in this country. Group identity was FINE when it involved discrimination in employment, bank loans, redlining neighborhoods, urban renewal, sundown tons, “black and white” drinking fountains, and anti-miscegenation laws.

    i detest the virtue signaling and ever more pious parsing of saints and sinners as much as you do. The ever more bizarre definitions of groups. At one “heretical” left wing site I follow, we noted that some activists are claiming that there are “hundreds of “genders”, many of which we cannot even recognize yet” Each “gender” is of course, uniquely victimized. It becomes tiring, and I agree 110% that it encourages the right wing, including some very scary people. But I disagree that this right wing is primarily fighting for “American values” and “the Constitution” (unless you believe the Constitution means dragging a gun into an elementary school…or courtroom). They are fighting more for THEIR little group.

    Liked by 1 person

    • basenjibrian, you’re not wrong. In fact, group identity is not a new phenomena whatsoever but actually the default setting for almost all of human history. (Ya gotta have two groups to have a nice little war.) This is what liberalism has actually had to fight tooth and nail to make headway. It takes belief in groups to make all kinds of communal thinking to work. Think of tribalism. Think of class. Think of language. Think of honour systems. Think of religion. Think of male/female roles. Group identity and the privileges/costs that go with socially enforced membership is exactly what liberalism has challenged and why it takes so long for liberal values like legal equality between individuals to supplant these ancient and archaic group labels and practices and privileges.

      I also agree that it’s hardly the case that most Trump voters as a cohort are generally stout defenders of individualism and Constitutional values even though this is how many see themselves. But I do think there are enough voters in this cohort who find more refuge for their global concerns in their support for Trump than they find from the Democrats, and so I think many voters are voting against a growing perceived threat than voting for a party. I think they’re wrong in their threat assessment, but I don’t think this is a negligible number. I think it’s a key factor and one that can and should be tapped by Democrats who share the same liberal values even if their party affiliation is different. I think there is a vast majority who share the same liberal values in both parties but feel they have been mostly silenced. And it may help to explain why we find various increases in support for Trump from the very people who constitute many members of the supposedly ‘victimized’ groups championed by so many Democrats. Something is not making sense here.

      I think there are many, many factors involved diving people into partisan camps including correlations between urban/Democrat – rural/Republican, post secondary/coastal – no degree/heartland, and so on. But walk into any small town America and I think you’ll encounter a significantly higher number of wear-your-heart-on-your-sleeve Americans demonstrably nationalistic and very proud of what it means to be so to them. Waving away this perception as skewed or wrong or ignorant or racist doesn’t eliminate its unifying effect. This kind of patriotism actually hardens if treated with disdain even if it is also an unquestionable and a highly communal attitude (creating more of the Us v Them framework), whereas this overt patriotism is almost invisible in the core of almost every major city, where anarchists and the dispossessed seem to congregate. I also think awareness of country is significantly more apparent and important in Republican strongholds than can be found in any city and so it isn’t much of a problem understanding that Republicans have been better at tapping into this loyalty than the Democrats. Do it for your country! Throw in the social media gap and internet speeds differences between rural and urban with differing ease of access and costs and you have the setting necessary for a fairly strong ‘natural’ divide in how we map the world we inhabit.

      And I think you’re absolutely correct in saying there is the same communal power setting hard at work fighting for their little group on both sides of this divide that is not individualistic and not Constitutional. But that’s the battle liberalism always fights and why it’s results are an arc of evolving social change claimed to be owned by both sides of this divide and not an event or a piece of legislation aimed at a complete solution.

      So my point here is that there are many, many liberals in the Republican camp who can be tapped to swing elections towards liberal goals of equality and fairness and opportunity regardless of group affiliation who, if not threatened by ‘communist’ powerbrokers and mass demonstrations for upheaval, can help bend that arc and make this world a better place for everyone. And I think such common people who have these values are the majority of those most likely to vote Republican as they are bombarded by messages from the ‘libtard’ Left who cast them as stupid, gullible, slobbering, gun-toting racist villains when they know in their hearts they are anything but.

      The greatest lie being promoted in today’s Woke age – the Big Lie – is that the term ‘liberal’ is being inverted to mean everything it’s not. And this is the first, most common, tactic used to undermine social cohesion: attack and alter the language of cohesion to take away common ground and create division. The words needed to describe common values like equality, equity, diversity, opportunity, education, expertise, honesty, criticism, are inverted to mean the opposite. When words are inverted this way the lie comes nicely packaged and tied with a moral bow. This tactic is used to seed doubt, to seed mistrust, to sow enough dissent to stop a unified confrontation and challenge to an idea contrary to people’s best interests. The evidence for this is coast to coast.

      In regards to today’s Big Lie, people honestly believe they are being ‘liberal’ today when they call for special privilege and targeted sanctions for moral reasons. Atheists especially should be highly aware of this method and how pernicious it is. People believe they are fighting against liberalism when they uphold individual rights and freedoms. People believe the failures to implement liberalism represent liberalism, and so on. The common ground – the liberal values we widely share – is being turned under by those who are mostly good people with good hearts and good intentions – who see their anti-liberal actions as moral – but who do not realize they are being used as pawns (awarded by the ideologues with patronizing words like Gold Stars and Merit Badges of other inverted words – words like ‘champion’ and ‘defender’ and ‘patriot’ ‘freedom fighter’). Because it takes the public to apply enough pressure to gov’t to get the liberal state to implement and impose this privilege, these anti-liberal policies, the very nature of these ideological movements is deeply anti-liberal from both side of the political divide and highly destructive of social cohesion.

      Like

      • tildeb, I’m going to pull you up short … AGAIN! Your comments continue to wander off into your personal vendettas against this, that, and the other thing — mostly political. (Not to mention, they tend to be waaaay too long.)

        My post was NOT intended to be political. It was related to the censorship of stories that were written BEFORE the “woke” generation. There’s no doubt that politics played a role in the action –it seems to interject itself into most everything– but I don’t really think this was what Melanie had in mind when she wrote her post. (Correct me if I’m wrong, Melanie.)

        I’m letting this comment stand but if you don’t stick to the primary topic of my blog posts, I will be forced to moderate.

        Like

    • Brian, from my personal perspective, I don’t believe Melanie’s post was intended to be “political.” I feel she’s simply disturbed that certain and various powers-that-be take it upon themselves to censor things simply because they don’t fit into the existing political climate.

      I understand that you, as well as others, have very strong feelings about things that are going on in the political world, but as they say … there’s a time and place for everything.

      Like

  10. I am coming to this quite late when there have been excellent commentary from many others. But first, I take issue with

    BUT, I’m sorry we cannot erase history AND we shouldn’t as then we are doomed to repeat it.

    not because I support erasing history but it’s been happening all through human history. History, as I understand it, is a record of the past and who writes history? Many times, it is the victor and this erasure of some voices.
    Look at how history is taught in many places around the world, it is all erasure. And all this banning didn’t start now. The catholic church has a long index of banned books. Not that it is a good idea, but only that our criticism should at least attempt to be broad.
    Having said that, I find Brian’s comment above very agreeable.

    My shelldigger friend says

    All this cancel crap, regarding things that happened decades, or centuries ago, seems to me, a waste of human emotion and resources. We need that energy focused on the issues of the day. They are numerous, and are a much more fundamental threat to our here and now.

    and I think I would disagree. The point some of these people are making is that the past informed the present and that past has not been fully addressed or acknowledged.
    But i think it is ridiculous to ban or cancel Beethoven as I saw somewhere that his music is elitist or something of that kind. That to me is pure madness.
    Maybe the solution is to let these people vent without taking them too seriously.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Mak, you may be correct about who writes history, per se. But taking stories like those offered by Dr. Seuss, I think he was just writing from a common place that existed at the time. Writers in the future will do the same about us … and I’ll bet they’ll have a bushel full to draw from!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t think I have ever read any of his works so I really can’t comment on them directly. But we are agreed that we write in the periods we live in with a little borrowing from the past & imagination about the future.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow. I want to thank you, Nan, for posting this, Melanie for writing the first post, and all of the commenters.

    I once bought a little book that was the most disgusting, racist thing I ever read. I wanted to see how bad the racist mind was back when it was written (c. 1920s). I got rid of it because I did not want to be tied to such tripe in any way. Had it been banned or censored, I would not have learned what I did.
    The book is still out there.

    I’m working on plans to facilitate a group discussion on how PC effects writing. Lots of good points made here.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This self-editing by people who work for a publishing house and who use their internal clout to make demands on the editors and owners is a growing trend across many areas – from scientific journals to autobiographies to fiction to recipes! Yes, recipes that offend. Who knew? It seems to me only the most powerful people can withstand this ongoing hall monitoring assault on their written word and even then to mixed results.

    If Mak is correct about history as we know it being written mostly by victors and who usually implement a form of erasure (but is it really?), then imagine the historical story that will emerge if the victor’s version is now rewritten by ‘archival rescue teams’ (an actual term for actual teams of actual people going through past issues of recipes at the NY Times to correct for cultural improprieties that might cause offence!) through an ideological purity sieve. What could go wrong?

    Liked by 1 person

    • It may not be erasure. Just omission. I saw the other day that a food journal were editing titles & articles from 6 years ago because those titles are no longer kosher & this really is a shame.

      Liked by 2 people

    • In my previous response, I conceded some ground on the point of erasure but I would like us to revisit it. What would we call the absence of Thomas Paine in most of US history?
      If many of you were familiar with the history of my neck of the woods, I would have pointed to examples of such erasure.
      Why do you think in the recent past we have had a few people attempt to write history of the common people? You would think common people do not do anything. Things just happen to them. They are like victims, for lack of a better word, without agency. But is this really the case or commoners are boring? I don’t know.
      On a different point but still on the subject, I think a lot need to be said for identity politics/ crisis as long as we are not having a victim Olympics, some identity politics is defensible.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You may want to revisit it, and I may want to respond, but I’m pretty sure Nan would not be pleased if I did so. So I will hold off for now unless Nan decides otherwise. The Paine thing is interesting, an author I read alongside Burke for a compare and contrast paper and so his evolution of thought is worth studying… whether Americans do or not I have no clue. But Paine certainly wasn’t erased in my education.

        Liked by 1 person

        • You are Canadian last I checked. I would hope Americans would tell us their experience on the teaching of history & how many of them were taught about the contributions of Paine to the revolution.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I grew up in Australia. Yes, I heard of Tom Paine, though probably not much.

            In contemporary America, I rarely hear mention of Paine. He is mentioned in academic circles, but not much elsewhere.

            Like

        • tildeb — you really need to do more promoting of your own website where you can editorialize to your heart’s content! 😊

          As I think I’ve mentioned before, I appreciate your intelligence level –you do have a grasp on a plethora of topics– but on my blog, I prefer to keep the conversations flowing along the lines of the post topic.

          I appreciate your respect of this in this most recent comment. 😍

          Liked by 1 person

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