“Half adolescent and half malevolent” is one columnist’s description of the self-anointed left-wing “journalistic” watchdogs, a group that I personally regard as the advance guard of the America’s incipient woke capitalist Peoples Democracy.
This apt description was supplied recently by columnist Glenn Grenwald, a self-described liberal free-speech advocate, to characterize the growing legions of young “woke” journalists, notably New York Times Tech reporter Taylor Lorenz, who have undertaken a wholesale cleansing of digital venues on the basis that they harbor intolerance.
I must confess that I detest prattling little busybodies such as these more that Hell itself. Any thinking person who cherishes the manifold freedoms, notably free speech, which have been secured across centuries through a considerable expenditure of blood, should, too.
Indeed, whenever I run across horrendous accounts such as these, which, alas, are becoming increasingly frequent, I’m prompted to ask: What compels someone to trifle with such a deeply revered Anglo-Amedican tradition, one regarded on this side of the Atlantic as a constitutional right, formally enshrined in both state and federal law? For that matter, why would anyone associated with a profession that historically has regarded the First Amendment as the cornerstone of a free, open society arrogate to onself the privilege of circumventing such a elemental right? And it’s worth stressing that this is a right that has been reaffirmed generation after generation by legions of eminent jurists – legal specialists – who possess considerably more training and insight into this subject than any journalist, certainly a tech reporter such as Lorenz.
Until recently, I’ve tended to think of the wokesters, especially self-anointed Millennial watchdogs and hall monitors such as Taylor, simply as fanatics, though writer and social critic Jim Kunstler recently offered an even more damning characterization. He believes that much of this woke zeal this is driven by sheer sadism.
“Wokery is not about principle, not even a teeny-weeny bit. It’s simply about coercion and punishment,” Kunstler contends, adding that the recent Trump impeachment trial is the first step in the setting out of a narrative through which elites will undertake the permanent persecution of the unwoke. Much of this is being driven by our elites sheer passion for vengeance, he argues.
Recently, though, the thought has occured to me that the hall-monitoring penchant evinced by Taylor and others among the oligarchy’s agit/prop apparatus stems from a social phenomenon that has garnered deepening roots within elite education for the past few decades.
Educational critic and author William Deresiewicz, a searing critic of the Ivy League, calls out all forms of elite education, particularly the Ivy League, for the way its admissions policies tend to produce apple polishers – sycophants, more commonly known as teacher’s pets.
In his book Excellent Sheep, Deresiewicz contends that the admissions policies of most highly selective universities typically emphasize two factors: stratospheric SAT scores as well as high extracurricular achievement, factors that have tended to favor the sorts of students who have perceived the advantages of attacting and endearing themselves to teachers and other authority figures.
He also contends that the marbled halls of federal power and the newsrooms of the nation’s elite media outlets teem with these sorts of people, those who feel that they not only are genetically endowed but also singled out by the people in charge to undertake lofty tasks such as ferreting out and condemning unsavory speech.
Maybe it’s this, more than a penchant for sadism, that accounts for the herd mentality among so many of the woke inquisitors, such as Lorenz.