Sell Your Soul or Lose Your Livelihood

 

Every day, people are losing their jobs because of political opinions or assertions about reality which are considered unacceptable. David Shor, a political data analyst, lost his job after tweeting a summary of research indicating that nonviolent protest tactics tend to be more effective than violent tactics. At the Poetry Foundation, both the president and the chairman resigned after being heavily attacked because their statement on the current situation…which said that the members “stand in solidarity with the Black community, and denounce injustice and systemic racism”…was vague and lacked any commitment to concrete action. An Illinois high school principal finds her job under attack after advising students that, if they protest, they should refrain from violence and looting. The list could be expanded indefinitely and includes people in all industries and at all levels.

This isn’t new. For the last two decades, the ‘progressive’ left has loudly insisted that dissenting voices (dissenting from the Prog worldview, that is) must be suppressed. But the trend has accelerated sharply.

I am reminded, as I often am, of the memoirs of Sebastian Haffner, who grew up in Germany between the wars. One very affecting section of the book describes what happened to Haffner’s father–a civil servant under both Weimar and the Kaiser–following the Nazi takeover. The elder Haffner, long-since retired, had considerable accomplishments to his credit: There had been great pieces of legislation in his administrative area, on which he had worked closely. They were important, daring, thoughtful, intellectual achievements, the fruits of decades of experience and years of intense, meticulous analysis and dedicated refinement”–and it was extremely painful to him to see this work ruthlessly trashed by the new government. But worse was to come.

One day Mr. Haffner received an official letter. It required him to list all of the political parties, organizations, and associations to which he had ever belonged in his life and to sign a declaration that he ‘stood behind the government of national uprising without reservations.’ Failure to sign would mean the loss of his pension, which he had earned through 45 years of devoted service.

After agonizing about it for several days, he finally filled out the form, signed the declaration, and took it to the mailbox before he could change his mind.

“He had hardly sat down at his desk again when he jumped up and began to vomit convulsively. For two or three days he was unable to eat or keep down any food. It was the beginning of a hunger strike by his body, which killed him cruelly and painfully two years later.”

Haffner Senior was retired; he would surely have no chance for other employment if he crossed the new regime. He could either violate his convictions and sign the document, or sentence his wife and himself to total impoverishment and possibly actual starvation.

As recently as 10 or 15  years ago, it would have seemed unlikely that any American would have to face Mr. Haffner’s dilemma. But things have changed. If current trends continue, it is very likely that you will have to foreswear your beliefs or face career and financial devastation.

Plenty of markers along this dark path have been visible for years. Things have been especially bad in academia, it seems. At Yale, lecturer Erika Christakis resigned after being vitriolically attacked for suggesting that people not get all stressed up about Halloween costumes. Her husband, Nicholas, has also resigned from Yale. Ms. Christakis says that many of those were intellectually supportive of the couple were afraid to make their support public: “Numerous professors, including those at Yale’s top-rated law school, contacted us personally to say that it was too risky to speak their minds. Others who generously supported us publicly were admonished by colleagues for vouching for our characters.”

This article uncomfortably parallels the Haffner story:

(Iowa State University) students are told that they must abide by the school’s policy against “harassment” of anyone in the university community. Students must complete a “training program” consisting of 118 slides online, covering the university’s non-harassment policies and procedures, and then pledge never to violate them.

But what if a student thinks that the ISU policy goes way beyond preventing true harassment and amounts to an abridgement of his rights under the First Amendment?

In that case, ISU reserves the right to withhold the student’s degree. So either the student agrees to abide by the policy even though it may well keep him from speaking out as he’d like to, or have his academic work go for naught.

Iowa State is going beyond ‘only’ requiring you to shut up about your opinions and will also require you to positively affirm beliefs that you may not share.

The attack on individuals’ careers and finances due to their political/philosophical beliefs is by no means limited to academia. There is the case of Brendan Eich, who was pushed out as CEO of Mozilla because of his personal support (in 2008) of a law that banned same-sex marriage in California. There are multiple cases of small businesspeople subjected to large fines because of their refusal to violate their convictions by baking a cake or providing other services for a same-sex wedding.

And don’t think that just because you support gay marriage — even if you support what you think is 100% of the ‘progressive’ worldview — that you are safe. Deviationism can always be found, as the Old Bolsheviks discovered during the time of Stalin. Northwestern University professor Laura Kipnis, herself a self-defined feminist, was investigated by the university after complaints were made about an essay she published under the title “Sexual Paranoia Strikes Academia.” Kipnis writes:

A tenured professor on my campus wrote about lying awake at night worrying that some stray remark of hers might lead to student complaints, social-media campaigns, eventual job loss, and her being unable to support her child. I’d thought she was exaggerating, but that was before I learned about the Title IX complaints against me.

At least some liberal/’progressive’ academics are evidently starting to realize that they are not exempt from Deviationism or Heresy accusations. One may have 99.99% of the approved opinions, but there is always the danger of that .01% mismatch. Especially since the approved opinion set is highly subject to change.

And proof of an accusation is not necessarily required, a mere allegation may suffice to destroy your career. So may association with one of the accused.  ”Goody Thompson was seen talking to Sarah Williams, and we all know that the Williams woman has attempted to summon the devil.”  See Jonathan Kay’s story, here.

And also consider what the work climate is going to be like for those that do manage to stay employed and avoid dismissal for political reasons. Again I cite Haffner–here, he describes what conditions were like in his place of employment, the Prussian Supreme Court (Kammergericht) following the Nazi takeover. The Jewish judge had been moved down to an administrative role in a lower court, and his place had been taken by a young and inexperienced man who was there to represent the Nazi position on legal matters. The new judge didn’t seem to know much about law, but asserted his points in a “fresh, confident voice.”

We Refendars, who had just passed our exams, exchanged looks while he expounded. At last the president of the senate remarked with perfect politeness, ‘Colleague, could it be that you have overlooked paragraph 816 of the Civil Code?’ At which the new high court judge looked embarrassed…leafed through his copy of the code and then admitted lightly, ‘Oh, yes. Well, then it’s just the other way around.’ Those were the triumphs of the older law.

There were, however, other cases–cases in which the newcomer did not back down…stating that here the paragraph of the law must yield precedence; he would instruct his co-judges that the meaning was more important than the letter of the law…Then, with the gesture of a romantic stage hero, he would insist on some untenable decision. It was piteous to observe the faces of the older Kammergerichtsrats as this went on. They looked at their notes with an expression of indescribable dejection, while their fingers nervously twisted a paper-clip or a piece of blotting paper. They were used to failing candidates for the Assessor examination for spouting the kind of nonsense that was now being presented as the pinnacle of wisdom; but now this nonsense was backed by the full power of the state, by the threat of dismissal for lack of national reliability, loss of livelihood, the concentration camp…They begged for a little understanding for the Civil Code and tried to save what they could.

Surely this passage comes close to describing the feeling and actions of many genuine scholars while watching their university departments be taken over by the forces of political correctness, or the emotions of many experienced government officials and corporate managers as these institutions also are subjected to the rack of ideological absolutism.

There can be no serious doubt that the election of a Democratic President..especially if coupled with Democrat control of Congress…would greatly strengthen the push toward an America in which the expression of unapproved opinions is dangerous and the affirmation of approved opinions is mandatory.  We are already heading in that direction at alarming speed: a Democrat presidency–with all that means in terms of empowerment of the ‘progressive’ wing of the Democratic party and its allies in media and academia–would accelerate the trend greatly and quite possibly make it unrecoverable.

(An earlier version of this post was published in 2016; it has been updated here in light of recent developments)

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  1. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    This is truly terrifying when these news items are combined in this way. Yale? Iowa?

    That said, it is also noteworthy that the original date of the heart of this post is 2016. That tells a story in and of itself.

    This type of political movement has always followed periods of prosperity throughout human history. It’s not coincidence. Even in Germany, there was quite a bit of wealth accumulating in the post-World War I years.

    Mark Steyn wrote during the runup to the Iraq War in 2003 when GW was trying to get help from Western European countries that he should forget about it. Western Europe was too invested in their dental plans to go after a brutal tyrant in Iraq.

     

    • #1
  2. colleenb Member
    colleenb
    @colleenb

    And speaking of the left/communists eating their own and everyone else, today The Guardian in Britain (about as left-leaning as one could imagine) is under attack for having been started by slave trading money and being against President Lincoln and the North/Republicans in the Civil War. Next we do go after the Vikings!

    • #2
  3. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    I hope someone compiles a comprehensive list of the victims of this blood lust.  

    • #3
  4. Bob W Member
    Bob W
    @WBob

    I wish the President understood this threat for what it is and immediately issued orders to the Justice Dept to prosecute any and all firings, demotions, or other such humiliations as violations of a citizen’s civil rights. If these abuses would never be tolerated if they were used against racial minorities, then there’s no legal reason we must tolerate them for First Amendment violations. There needs to be a take-no-prisoners, all out assault on this scourge right now. 

    • #4
  5. lowtech redneck Coolidge
    lowtech redneck
    @lowtech redneck

    colleenb (View Comment):

    And speaking of the left/communists eating their own and everyone else, today The Guardian in Britain (about as left-leaning as one could imagine) is under attack for having been started by slave trading money and being against President Lincoln and the North/Republicans in the Civil War. Next we do go after the Vikings!

    Nah, their victims were white, so their lives don’t matter.

    • #5
  6. lowtech redneck Coolidge
    lowtech redneck
    @lowtech redneck

    I will once again post this (and once again beg anyone reading to embed it for me):

    And yeah, I was posting this in 2016, too.

    • #6
  7. Ontheleftcoast Member
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    An example is what’s happening to William Jacobson, the founder of Legal Insurrection.

    From his first post on the situation:

    There is an effort underway to get me fired at Cornell Law School, where I’ve worked since November 2007, or if not fired, at least denounced publicly by the school.

    Ever since I started Legal Insurrection in October 2008, it’s been an awkward relationship given the overwhelmingly liberal faculty and atmosphere. Living as a conservative on a liberal campus is like being the mouse waiting for the cat to pounce.

    For over 12 years, the Cornell cat did not pounce. Though there were frequent and aggressive attempts by outsiders to get me fired, including threats and harassment, it always came from off campus.

    I made great efforts to keep this website separate from my work. I did not write about Cornell that frequently, and rarely about the law school itself. Nonetheless, the website and my political views were the elephant in every room, because the website is widely read, particularly by non-liberal students.Over the years, many students approached me privately and behind closed doors to express gratitude that someone was able to speak up, because they remained politically silent out of fear of social ostracization with the related possible career damage from falsely being accused of one of the “-ists” or “-isms.”

    Not until now, to the best of my knowledge, has there been an effort from inside the Cornell community to get me fired.

    The impetus for the effort was two posts I wrote at Legal Insurrection regarding the history and tactics of the Black Lives Matter Movement:

    Those posts accurately detail the history of how the Black Lives Matters Movement started, and the agenda of the founders which is playing out in the cultural purge and rioting taking place now

    Here’s a recent conversation Jacobson had with Mark Levin

     

    • #7
  8. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    lowtech redneck (View Comment):

    I will once again post this (and once again beg anyone reading to embed it for me):

    And yeah, I was posting this in 2016, too.

    I’ll see if that works.

    • #8
  9. lowtech redneck Coolidge
    lowtech redneck
    @lowtech redneck

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):

    I’ll see if that works.

    Thank you.  How did you do that, anyway?

    • #9
  10. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    lowtech redneck (View Comment):

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):

    I’ll see if that works.

    Thank you. How did you do that, anyway?

    I clicked on the YouTube link in your comment and used the ‘Remove link’ button on the comment toolbar. 

    • #10
  11. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Above Top Secret
    @CarolJoy

    I stated this once before and will state it again: when I was doing at the request of my editor Don Deane an analysis of the timeline of the events of Nine Eleven, in addition to my talking to the top spokesperson for the US Air Force, I also consulted one very informative internet website.

    What was the name of the website I favored? It was the official website for the  CIA.

    My investigations occurred between Oct 2001 and January 2002. On the CIA website, there was one interesting topic up and freely available to the public. That topic’s discussion centered on the idea that it is very hard to ever expect anyone in the American military to fire upon their fellow citizens. There was discussion to the effect that try as they might, analysts could not figure out how this would occur.

    There were other discussions that suggested the CIA took very seriously the notion of a coming civil war.

    Again this was information on that website in late 2001 and early 2002. It might be that we are arriving at the Civil War that was anticipated 18 years ago.

    • #11
  12. Ralphie Inactive
    Ralphie
    @Ralphie

    After receiving and being assaulted with emails from companies letting me know how concerned they are about diversity, etc. (Kind of like cut and paste coronavirus concern letters), I will not open and read one more. I generally do not believe in boycotts, but am thinking about it. Kohl’s just sent some blathering piece of junk one of their public relations people copied from someone else, real sincere and heartfelt. Yeah.

      These letters are a secret code. They are really saying that they need our good nature to allow them to appease those that may burn them down or cost them their jobs. So they put out impotent letters assaulting the intelligence and good will of good people, their customers, because they assume we will fall for it, and know we won’t burn down their business.  They are not captains of industry, but sniveling weenies. Have they not been aware of these social concerns? Doubtful, they have HR staffs full of people making sure they toe the diversity quota line. They have departments called Security or Loss Prevention, which is mainly about theft. They understand exactly what is going on, and they believe these letters, who are addressed to customers who actually buy stuff from them will play along with the game.   Arg.

    I’m becoming very cynical.

    • #12
  13. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Above Top Secret
    @CarolJoy

    It should not be all that surprising that the takeover of the USA by the CCP is perhaps imminent.

    Those of us who looked at the Big Money that was behind Al Gore’s “Global Climate Change” campaign saw how easily scientists who knew better signed up to look the other way as the university offering them the paychecks and pension plans eagerly embraced the goals of the “New Global Climate Change Order.” This was especially disheartening when the scientists were meteorologists or others whose education and experiences informed them that Gore’s “hockey stick” projection was fantasy.

    Doctors and nurses submitted to the new Corporate model of health care, where a patient is allowed eight to ten minutes of consultation time with a nurse or doctor before being shuttered off with a prescription for a med they most likely did not need. Often the pressing need that brought said patient to the clinic was never mentioned, as pharmaceutical reps have taught doctors how to frame all patient/doctor consultations with the goal of new prescriptions in mind.

    For 20 years, we have lost scientists and medical practitioners – people we should have been able to count on from our being led astray. Meanwhile, the media, the educational institutions and political parties have abandonned the middle class in favor of those who are paying the piper.

    The only good news is the ability of everyday people to use the internet to bring forth needed information and feature valued guests that CNN, ABC, and other media giants have deliberately “ignored.”

    • #13
  14. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Above Top Secret
    @CarolJoy

    Circa 2017, I was amazed at the number of former friends labeling my remarks as “racist” – as that is not someone I am in either thoughts, words or deeds.

    Then Tucker Carlson mentioned in a broadcast later that year that to be called a racist, all an individual needed to do was mention that standards need to be enforced.

    So that explained a lot. My many posts about the decline of standards in health care in the SF Bay area, in which I confessed to dismay and bewilderment that the actual law on the books stipulating how employees in hospitals working  patient care must be fluent in English – that law was totally ignored.

    Because although the Japanese community in the SF metro area was encouraged by the state health agencies to hire only Japanese fluent employees in their clinics and nursing homes, as that is good for the mental and overall health of the Japanese, it was somehow morally wrong to state that this same  standard should also apply to the white people, black people and Asian people in predominantly English -speaking communities.

    Why? Because “racism.” Having standards is now racist.

    After all,  so many who come to Calif lack literacy in both English and Spanish and do not have the ability to undertake the proper required training – so let’s overlook those failings and pretend that letting these folks be valued employees in health settings is not harmful.

     

    • #14
  15. MichaelKennedy Inactive
    MichaelKennedy
    @MichaelKennedy

    CarolJoy, Above Top Secret (View Comment):

    It should not be all that surprising that the takeover of the USA by the CCP is perhaps imminent.

    Those of us who looked at the Big Money that was behind Al Gore’s “Global Climate Change” campaign saw how easily scientists who knew better signed up to look the other way as the university offering them the paychecks and pension plans eagerly embraced the goals of the “New Global Climate Change Order.” This was especially disheartening when the scientists were meteorologists or others whose education and experiences informed them that Gore’s “hockey stick” projection was fantasy.

    InterestingDoctors and nurses submitted to the new Corporate model of health care, where a patient is allowed eight to ten minutes of consultation time with a nurse or doctor before being shuttered off with a prescription for a med they most likely did not need. Often the pressing need that brought said patient to the clinic was never mentioned, as pharmaceutical reps have taught doctors how to frame all patient/doctor consultations with the goal of new prescriptions in mind.

    For 20 years, we have lost scientists and medical practitioners – people we should have been able to count on from our being led astray. Meanwhile, the media, the educational institutions and political parties have abandonned the middle class in favor of those who are paying the piper.

    The only good news is the ability of everyday people to use the internet to bring forth needed information and feature valued guests that CNN, ABC, and other media giants have deliberately “ignored.”

    Interesting. My wife was in the local hospital a week ago. She has chronic respiratory trouble and takes a lot of meds. She is also a nurse practitioner with three degrees.  I am an MD but was not allowed to visit after I dropped her off at the ER door at 3 AM Sunday a week ago.  The first hospitalist, a female of course, told her that she would not be allowed to take her usual medications that have kept her out of the hospital the past 5 years. This was accompanied by the announcement , “I am a board  certified internal medicine specialist.”  By Tuesday  morning she sounded so bad on the phone that I feared I might not see her alive again. Later that day, after she was severely dyspneic with a low oxygen saturation, a chest x-ray apparently suggested acute pulmonary edema, and she was given 40 mg of Furosemide IV. Her regular daily furosemide, 20 mg, had been one of the drugs denied.  Fortunately, a new hospitalist, also female, showed up that day and she is now home getting her strength back slowly.

    • #15
  16. tigerlily Member
    tigerlily
    @tigerlily

    Great article David! You catalogued an awful lot of these abuses of free speech & freedom of thought by the progressives in recent years, but it really just scratches the surface because the abuses are accelerating so rapidly. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again; the biggest problem with the Left isn’t any specific belief or policy proposal (although they got a lot of really bad ideas), it is instead that the Left lacks a limiting principal. There is no point at which they will say “enough, that’s as far as we’ll go.” At it’s core, Leftism is, and has to be, totalitarian.

    • #16
  17. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    David Foster: At the Poetry Foundation, both the president and the chairman resigned after being heavily attacked because their statement on the current situation…which said that the members “stand in solidarity with the Black community,

    Does the Poetry Foundation want the White community to take a position, so that it can stand in solidarity too?  The Poetry Foundation can only know the position of the Black community (so they can be in solidarity with it) by communications from the Black leaders.  Likewise, the Foundation can only know the position of the White community by communication from the White leaders.

    Today there isn’t, as far as I know, a White community, and there are no White Leaders.

    (Everyone would call me “White”, and when I think of it, that’s what I call myself, at least if the other check boxes are “Black” and so on.  Now, I could get a pardon maybe, by blood relations.  My best buddy and grandson Jack and my granddaughter Coco will check “African American”, I guess.  Dad’s Egyptian, and Egypt is in Africa.  Or is 50% White blood enough to taint their blood and make them guilty of being White?  My grandson AJ is what?  His Mom and Dad were American, under the both of the old standards (“God created all men equal”, and they were both US born and bred) but now I guess AJ is Chinese?  Or is he White…is 50% White more than enough to poison him and make him White?  No matter, White or Asian, AJ won’t get into college unless he’s enough more qualified than the others to earn one of the coveted slots awarded to what AJ’s Mom jokingly calls the Asian Caucasians.)

    It’s off-subject, but if I were “Black” I would not be keen to be assigned membership in the Black community.  If I don’t join it, you can’t make me a member.  Even I, as an officially helpless, dependent, victimized person by reason of my skin color, am protected by Freedom of Association.

    In fact, I would, Constitution notwithstanding, be forced in this glorious Age of Aquarius to be a member of the Black community, unless I said I plan to vote for Trump, in which case Joe Biden would issue a proclamation stripping me of my class privileges.

    But then I would want the right to vote for or against the Leaders of the Black Community.  But I wouldn’t get to. It’s an unelected position.

    If the Poetry Foundation get their way and get a White community created, I am afraid that, to assure equal rights, none of us who are judged White by the State will get to choose the White leaders.  But anyone who’d run for the honor, I wouldn’t vote for.  They’d all be worse than Al Sharpton.

    • #17
  18. Scott R Member
    Scott R
    @ScottR

    The job offer to the incoming dean of the ASU journalism school was revoked because of the following tweet: “To the family of George Floyd, the good police officers who keep us safe, my students, faculty, and staff: Praying for peace on this BlackoutTuesday”.

    That’s some hateful rage-tweeting there. Western Civ done lost its mind.

    Do any lefties have regrets, I wonder? Did Robespierre as the blade dropped?

    • #18
  19. Ralphie Inactive
    Ralphie
    @Ralphie

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):

    CarolJoy, Above Top Secret (View Comment):

    It should not be all that surprising that the takeover of the USA by the CCP is perhaps imminent.

    Those of us who looked at the Big Money that was behind Al Gore’s “Global Climate Change” campaign saw how easily scientists who knew better signed up to look the other way as the university offering them the paychecks and pension plans eagerly embraced the goals of the “New Global Climate Change Order.” This was especially disheartening when the scientists were meteorologists or others whose education and experiences informed them that Gore’s “hockey stick” projection was fantasy.

    InterestingDoctors and nurses submitted to the new Corporate model of health care, where a patient is allowed eight to ten minutes of consultation time with a nurse or doctor before being shuttered off with a prescription for a med they most likely did not need. Often the pressing need that brought said patient to the clinic was never mentioned, as pharmaceutical reps have taught doctors how to frame all patient/doctor consultations with the goal of new prescriptions in mind.

    For 20 years, we have lost scientists and medical practitioners – people we should have been able to count on from our being led astray. Meanwhile, the media, the educational institutions and political parties have abandonned the middle class in favor of those who are paying the piper.

    The only good news is the ability of everyday people to use the internet to bring forth needed information and feature valued guests that CNN, ABC, and other media giants have deliberately “ignored.”

    Interesting. My wife was in the local hospital a week ago. She has chronic respiratory trouble and takes a lot of meds. She is also a nurse practitioner with three degrees. I am an MD but was not allowed to visit after I dropped her off at the ER door at 3 AM Sunday a week ago. The first hospitalist, a female of course, told her that she would not be allowed to take her usual medications that have kept her out of the hospital the past 5 years. This was accompanied by the announcement , “I am a board certified internal medicine specialist.” By Tuesday morning she sounded so bad on the phone that I feared I might not see her alive again. Later that day, after she was severely dyspneic with a low oxygen saturation, a chest x-ray apparently suggested acute pulmonary edema, and she was given 40 mg of Furosemide IV. Her regular daily furosemide, 20 mg, had been one of the drugs denied. Fortunately, a new hospitalist, also female, showed up that day and she is now home getting her strength back slowly.

    Socialized medicine works good when you don’t need it.

    • #19
  20. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    colleenb (View Comment):

    And speaking of the left/communists eating their own and everyone else, today The Guardian in Britain (about as left-leaning as one could imagine) is under attack for having been started by slave trading money and being against President Lincoln and the North/Republicans in the Civil War. Next we do go after the Vikings!

    Turnabout is fair play? The Guardian, after all, has a long record of wanting to “cancel” all who oppose the Left.

    • #20
  21. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    David Foster: At the Poetry Foundation, both the president and the chairman resigned after being heavily attacked because their statement on the current situation…which said that the members “stand in solidarity with the Black community, and denounce injustice and systemic racism”…was vague and lacked any commitment to concrete action.

    I believe the Poetry Foundation was singled out for special attention because it has a huge endowment (over $200 million, gifted in the early 2000’s) which the Left covets: “give us your money or we will make your lives intolerable with a program of public defamation, private whispers, harassment, demonstrations, riots, vandalism, and arson.”

    One of the excellent reasons to oppose the Left is that the Left does not recognize the concept of a private life: everyone and everything is to be drafted into the Revolution. And if that isn’t fascism, then nothing is.

    • #21
  22. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):
    One of the excellent reasons to oppose the Left is that the Left does not recognize the concept of a private life: everyone and everything is to be drafted into the Revolution. And if that isn’t fascism, then nothing is.

    In his memoirs, Russian rocket developer Boris Chertok tells of a friend, Oleg, who was a talented poet as well as an army officer.  Irrespective of his military abilities, Oleg’s prospects for promotion were not viewed as favorable, because his poetry was “very unsettling to the political department.”

    And why was Oleg’s poetry looked upon with disfavor?  It was not because the Red Army had any dislike of poets.  Nor was it even because his poetry contained criticisms of the regime–there were no such criticisms.  No, the objection was because of what the poetry didn’t contain.  As another friend of Chertok’s, Mira, explained the situation:

    The political workers consider his poems to be demoralizing and decadent.  Not once does he mention the Party or Stalin in them.

     We’re moving in that direction in the US currently.

    • #22
  23. colleenb Member
    colleenb
    @colleenb

    David Foster (View Comment):

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):
    One of the excellent reasons to oppose the Left is that the Left does not recognize the concept of a private life: everyone and everything is to be drafted into the Revolution. And if that isn’t fascism, then nothing is.

    In his memoirs, Russian rocket developer Boris Chertok tells of a friend, Oleg, who was a talented poet as well as an army officer. Irrespective of his military abilities, Oleg’s prospects for promotion were not viewed as favorable, because his poetry was “very unsettling to the political department.”

    And why was Oleg’s poetry looked upon with disfavor? It was not because the Red Army had any dislike of poets. Nor was it even because his poetry contained criticisms of the regime–there were no such criticisms. No, the objection was because of what the poetry didn’t contain. As another friend of Chertok’s, Mira, explained the situation:

    The political workers consider his poems to be demoralizing and decadent. Not once does he mention the Party or Stalin in them.

    We’re moving in that direction in the US currently.

    Yes so much of the current “preferred/required” pronouncements have a very Stalinist ring to them. Along, of course, with having to delete pictures and writings that are no longer correct.

    • #23
  24. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    David Foster (View Comment):
    In his memoirs, Russian rocket developer Boris Chertok tells of a friend, Oleg, who was a talented poet as well as an army officer

    Would that be Rockets and People, published by NASA in 4 volumes?

     

    • #24
  25. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    David Foster (View Comment):
    In his memoirs, Russian rocket developer Boris Chertok tells of a friend, Oleg, who was a talented poet as well as an army officer

    Would that be Rockets and People, published by NASA in 4 volumes?

    Yes, Rockets and People is a great book.  I reviewed it here.

     

    • #25