Don’t kid yourselves, this isn’t 1968
BY ED WEST
Monday, 8 June 2020
Today’s disturbances in the United States have drawn parallels with the French protests of 1968, generally seen as the start of a great cultural shift in social mores. It was the year of the sexual and cultural revolution when the baby-boomers came of age, and the conservative cultural dominance of the American, French and British elites were swept aside (although in each case in a slightly different way). …
In contrast the 2020 protests, and the Great Awokening of which they are part of, have almost universal establishment approval. …
The only institution not in favour is the police.
Perhaps most bizarrely, even health officials overturned their own advice about demonstrations in the middle of a deadly pandemic because racism is a “public health crisis”. When Star Wars actor John Boyega bravely declares that “I don’t know if I’m going to have a career after this” because of his support for BLM, he can’t honestly think he’ll be blacklisted in Hollywood for voicing approval for something universally supported by America’s elite?
In contrast a number of people have lost their jobs just in the past few days for daring to question this progressive orthodoxy. As Scott Alexander wrote of the Great Awokening, the student protests in American universities like Yale, Missouri and Evergreen were not young people protesting against society’s norms or values. They were demanding that society adopts more of its norms, more stringently, and punishes people who disobey them.
They’re not saying ‘Down with Stalin!’ They’re saying ‘we need two Stalins! No, 50 Stalins!’
Anti-racism is not just the norm in polite American society, it’s a religion. The reason that we obsess over the idea of American racism is not because the country is more racist than other parts of the world, such as India, China or the Middle East, but because it’s obsessively less racist.
If you espouse conventional anti-racism, like Ta-Nehisi Coates, you get paid $41,500 to speak for 40 minutes and showered with plaudits and approval. In contrast, perhaps the most interesting critic of mainstream thinking, Steve Sailer, is relegated to a hugely obscure blog and has to beg readers to keep him going; many mainstream conservatives read Sailer, but they don’t dare to reveal the fact. If an actor admitted to it, he genuinely wouldn’t have a career.