The New Woke Marxism: Penicillin-Resistant Ideology

 

In National Review Philip Magness wrote a piece about how the 1619 project rehabilitates the ‘King Cotton’ thesis (emphasis mine),

It’s not just the New York Times that uses NHC scholarship to distort the economic history of the U.S. At a congressional hearing earlier this summer, journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates enlisted another of Baptist’s claims to argue for reparations. “By 1836 more than $600 million, almost half of the economic activity in the United States, derived directly or indirectly from the cotton produced by the million-odd slaves,” Coates said.

This stunning statistic quickly became one of the most memorable sound bites of the occasion. It is also unambiguously false — the result of Baptist double- and triple-counting intermediate transactions from cotton production to artificially increase its economic share. Through an elementary accounting error, Baptist had inflated the actual size of the cotton sector by almost tenfold. At approximately 5 to 6 percent of the antebellum economy, cotton did indeed constitute a major output, roughly comparable in size to the northern-dominated railroad sector. It was not, however, the commercial monarch of either Confederate fantasy or Baptist’s revisionism.

Dubious statistical claims and shoddy research practices are alarmingly common in the broader NHC literature. Those who rely on it repeat these mistakes. In the 1619 Project, Desmond uses another of Baptist’s stats to attribute a 400 percent increase in the daily yield of cotton-picking between 1800 and 1860 to the systematization of whipping and torture as a means of increasing production. This “calibrated torture” thesis forms the central claim of Baptist’s 2014 book The Half Has Never Been Told, purporting to show that slave-based production was a capitalistic enterprise at its core and, furthermore, that modern industrial-management techniques (the recording of daily outputs, the comparative tracking of employee productivity, the keeping of double-entry accounting books) take a page from the most evil chapter of American history.

Yet again, Baptist’s thesis is built on misinterpreted evidence — or perhaps intentional deception. He bases his argument on the empirical work of economists Alan Olmstead and Paul Rhode, who assembled decades of plantation records to study the growth in cotton-crop yields before the Civil War. Olmstead and Rhode discovered the same 400 percent increase in cotton-picking rates yet found a completely different cause: The yields grew primarily as a result of technological improvements to the crop from cross-breeding different strains of cotton seed.

The Big Con is on. Once again magical Marxists are out in force. They make almost believable arguments based on almost-believable facts. The young, the unsuspecting, these are the targets. Still, to hold onto their naive prey the Marxists need more than just a good story. They must confuse and disrupt all opposition. Having sowed the seeds of dissension and distrust on the large economic issues they can proceed to create paranoia in the primary social structures that sustain life. Sexual schizophrenia becomes a cause celeb; abortion rights for transgender men becomes an important policy position of the major leftward party. That working-class income has been rising rapidly under conservative leadership must be trivialized.

To lead this new ‘Big Con’ you need the energy that only young fresh ideologues can provide. At the Times this has been provided by Arthur Gregg Sulzberger. Brought in as the publisher at the very young age of 37, the new Sulzberger looks, acts, and speaks the part of an SJW executive.

At Breitbart we read about the hypocrisy: “New York Times Alleges Conspiracy After Backing Boycotts of Conservative Media:”

New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger alleged that his newspaper was the target of a vast right-wing conspiracy on Sunday — after the paper boosted an effort to shut down conservative media by encouraging boycotts since early 2017.
Last week, Breitbart News exposed a history of racist and antisemitic tweets by a Times politics editor, Tom Wright-Piersanti. The Times admitted Sunday, in a news article, that the tweets were racist and antisemitic — though it did not indicate what action, if any, it was taking against the editor. In a statement to newsroom staff, Sulzberger — who did not acknowledge that the tweets were racist and antisemitic — alleged that the Times had been the victim of “a coordinated campaign by President Trump’s allies to attack hundreds of journalists in retaliation for coverage of the administration.”

The Times‘ objection is rich, given that it boosted an effort by left-wing activists to shut down conservative media solely for their journalists’ coverage of the left and their editorial support for President Donald Trump.

Arthur Gregg Sulzberger looks like someone without the gravitas to run a very large American corporate business organization and without the judgment to run the most influential news organization in the world. Yet, even though his father was young enough to keep going for decades as the chief exec, they brought in the kid early. I would suspect that A.G. Sulzberger’s chief qualification is his blind willingness to lead the “woke” crusade.

What does this all mean for we few, we happy few, on the right? Imagine that you are an epidemiologist and have been fighting a dangerous infectious disease. Assume that some well-known antibiotic like penicillin has been working well. Now suddenly there is a new outbreak of the disease but this time you realize that there must be a new mutant strain and the old penicillin won’t work. You can’t just keep on doing the same thing and hoping. You’ve got to look for something new that will work. Purely by accident (actually, the original penicillin was an accident too) you discover a powerful new “orange” antibiotic. It has a few side effects that annoy but ones you can live with. However, this new orange stuff really packs a punch and it nails the new mutant strain.

New challenges require new methods to confront the challenge. That potent orange stuff is really working because you can hear the new mutant strain scream!!

In the Washington Post, Jen Rubin said we have to ‘Burn Down the Republican Party,’

Sunday on MSNBC’s “AM Joy,” Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin called for the shunning and shaming of the supporters of President Donald Trump, which she argued was part of a plan to “burn down” the GOP and start from new.

Don’t worry about Jen, the Washington Post health care plan has extensive new coverage for psychiatric services; one of the coverage codes is for TDS. She’ll be just fine but this morning she beat the stuffing out of her Teddy Bear so, for now, she has been placed in the safe space facility at the Post. Plenty of Hot Cocoa and soothing music and she’ll be as right as rain.

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  1. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    The institution of slavery greatly delayed mechanization, and the consequent productivity improvements, in the American South.

    Frederick Douglass, himself a former slave, visited a shipyard in New Bedford shortly after obtaining his freedom. Here are his comments on observing a cargo being unloaded:

    In a southern port, twenty or thirty hands would have been employed to do what five or six did here, with the aid of a single ox attached to the end of a fall. Main strength, unassisted by skill, is slavery’s method of labor. An old ox, worth eighty dollars, was doing, in New Bedford, what would have required fifteen thousand dollars worth of human bones and muscles to have performed in a southern port.

    Of Energy and Slavery

     

    • #1
  2. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    David Foster (View Comment):

    The institution of slavery greatly delayed mechanization, and the consequent productivity improvements, in the American South.

    Frederick Douglass, himself a former slave, visited a shipyard in New Bedford shortly after obtaining his freedom. Here are his comments on observing a cargo being unloaded:

    In a southern port, twenty or thirty hands would have been employed to do what five or six did here, with the aid of a single ox attached to the end of a fall. Main strength, unassisted by skill, is slavery’s method of labor. An old ox, worth eighty dollars, was doing, in New Bedford, what would have required fifteen thousand dollars worth of human bones and muscles to have performed in a southern port.

    Of Energy and Slavery

     

    And if left alone slavery would have ended just because it was economically inferior.

    • #2
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    I don’t know whether the extent of the huge distortions is the most discouraging, or whether the fact when the lies and distortions are revealed, we’re the only ones who pay attention. Sigh.

    • #3
  4. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    Kozak (View Comment):
    And if left alone slavery would have ended just because it was economically inferior.

    It probably would have, but it would have been gradual and taken 50 years, consuming the working lifetimes of a lot of people.

     

     

    • #4
  5. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    David Foster (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):
    And if left alone slavery would have ended just because it was economically inferior.

    It probably would have, but it would have been gradual and taken 50 years, consuming the working lifetimes of a lot of people.

    I doubt it would have taken that long.

    How many lifetimes were consumed by the Civil War?

    • #5
  6. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    The 1619 project is a noble endeavor both to explain the evils of the United States and to get Trump, and all other GOP removed from office. Anybody that does not understand that, is a racist, alt-right stooge.

    • #6
  7. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    It isn’t so much about the fact that the NYT et al are peddling evil and stupid. It is that the ability, knowledge and willingness to reject evil and stupid appears to be in ever shorter supply. A lot of folks have convinced themselves the emperor’s new duds are actually pretty hip.

    • #7
  8. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    It isn’t so much about the fact that the NYT et al are peddling evil and stupid. It is that the ability, knowledge and willingness to reject evil and stupid appears to be in ever shorter supply. A lot of folks have convinced themselves the emperor’s new duds are actually pretty hip.

    OldB,

    “Facts don’t matter, only the narrative matters.” In a previous generation, this statement could get you into a mental ward. In this generation, this statement could get you into Harvard. I did my comic post on Claire’s epistemic crisisThe problem is that this is no joke (maybe you’ve got to laugh rather than cry). How can you claim to have any critical reasoning skills whatsoever when you don’t believe in “facts”.

    Other than participating in a screaming mob what else can people with this epistemological outlook do?

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #8
  9. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    It isn’t so much about the fact that the NYT et al are peddling evil and stupid. It is that the ability, knowledge and willingness to reject evil and stupid appears to be in ever shorter supply. A lot of folks have convinced themselves the emperor’s new duds are actually pretty hip.

    OldB,

    “Facts don’t matter, only the narrative matters.” In a previous generation, this statement could get you into a mental ward. In this generation, this statement could get you into Harvard. A did my comic post on Claire’s epistemic crisis. The problem is that this is no joke (maybe you’ve got to laugh rather than cry). How can you claim to have any critical reasoning skills whatsoever when you don’t believe in “facts”.

    Other than participating in a screaming mob what else can people with this epistemological outlook do?

    Regards,

    Jim

    Whenever I am told that the country was intrinsically slavery-based, I know that detailed historical arguments about how much of our constitutional history was about efforts to restrict and limit slavery are probably a waste of time. 

    I think I will just start condemning the many Union troops who defected to the South and thus let them win the Civil War and immediately impose slavery on Pennsylvania and New York. If the response is that that did not happen, I will ask then who are all those Americans you somehow think were opposed to slavery? As if there were any major political parties opposed to slavery or any significant commerce other than slaves, cotton and tobacco which accounted for at least 93.4% of the US economy (#Math)….right? I think outdumbing the 1619 project and encouraging people to stumble back into factual reality and rationality may be the only approach left to us.

    • #9

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