Okay, after that third instalment, I suspect we would all like a good dose of mind-bleach. But, blinding ourselves to the insidiousness of the Long March is not the way to save ourselves from it. Still, after dealing with the creepiness of the commie kiddy-fiddlers, let’s deal with a, well, not exactly wholesome, but less yucky aspect of the Long March: Cancel culture.

In the 1960s, the left were the ones pushing the Free Speech movement. 50 years later, the left are adamantly opposed to free speech. Free speech is damned as “hate speech” and a “right-wing plot”. This turnabout is purely strategic: the left were all for free speech when it helped them; now that they hold the reins of power, free speech is a threat to be stamped out.

Hence, we find ourselves dealing with the spectre of Cancel Culture. Once again, we need only heed the words of Long March founder, Herbert Marcuse.

Marcuse’s argument that in order to win the revolution activists had to ignore free speech, impartiality and tolerance represents a second important aspect of critical theory […]

Marcuse argued for a new form of inequality won by censoring dissent. He wrote that a subversive majority could be established by undemocratic means including the withdrawal of toleration of speech and assembly from groups that dissented from left-wing politics.

Such is the pervasive and dominating influence of political correctness and cancel culture, the American feminist Camille Paglia writes, “We are plunged once again into an ethical chaos where intolerance masquerades as tolerance and where individual liberty is crushed by the tyranny of the group.”

Once again, the Long March’s focus on conquering education is a strategy that has paid off handsomely. Over successive decades, schoolchildren have been increasingly inculcated with the egocentric worldview of I Am Special. Combine that everybody-gets-a-prize mentality with the neo-Marxist, post-modernist conceit that “there are no absolute truths or objective reality, as how we perceive and understand ourselves and the world in which we live is subjective and relative”, and the result is, well, Trigglypuff.

“Trigglypuff” is the name given to the student protester who was just one of many who disrupted a panel consisting of Milo Yiannopoulos, Christina Hoff-Summers and Steven Crowder. Outraged by Hoff-Summers criticisms of “contemporary, third-wave campus feminism” as “madness”, Trigglypuff was reduced to, well, madness. An incoherent, screaming tantrum. Thus, she became the avatar of the modern leftist.

Because, once you have been taught to believe that you are special, that how you perceive the world is the sole metric, and that words are “literally violence”, well, how else would you react, when someone contradicts you?

The screaming, brick-throwing children cancelling Bettina Arndt and even Germaine Greer, and violently attacking a speech by Charles Murray are just doing as they’ve been taught.

Jennifer Oriel, in her chapter in Cancel Culture and the Left’s Long March, says Marcuse “justified a new form of inequality that would be made manifest by censoring right-of-centre freethinkers”. Such examples include no-platforming speakers like Bettina Arndt and Germaine Greer, the ABC failing to employ conservative voices, and peer-reviewed journals and university appointments being open only to the chosen […]

The concept of a liberal education involving what Matthew Arnold in Culture and Anarchy describes as “a pursuit of our total perfection by means of getting to know, on all matters which most concern us, the best which has been thought and said in the world” gives way to cultural-Left ideology, language control and groupthink.

But, hey: so what? This is all just the sort of nonsense campus activists have always got up to, surely?

The problem is that campus activists grow up — well, grow older — and move out into the workplace. So, we end up with newsrooms staffed wall-to-wall with left-wing activists, left-wing activists running big business’ communications strategies, left-wing activists hiring and firing in HR departments, and, of course, left-wing activists with near-total dominance of the academy.

So, is that it? Have the Long March left won?

The popularity of the Canadian academic Jordan Peterson, whose YouTube videos are watched by millions, the work of British academics including Douglas Murray and late Roger Scruton, and the popularity of Greg Sheridan’s books on Christianity also suggest opposition to cancel culture is alive and well. Even the ABC’s 2019 Australia Talks survey found that 68 per cent of those surveyed agreed that “Political correctness has gone too far in Australia”.

Quadrant Online

The West has its back to wall, have no doubt. All that stands between the Long March left and the complete subversion of the liberal-democratic West are hundreds of millions of ordinary men and women — mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, friends and colleagues — all waking up and wondering, in louder and louder voices, How the hell did it come to this?

As the “Mama Bears” in Virginia showed, when the people rise up, they find that they are strong.

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How the Long March Took Over Pt 4: Shut Up, Fascist!
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Lushington D. Brady

Punk rock philosopher. Liberalist contrarian. Grumpy old bastard. I grew up in a generational-Labor-voting family. I kept the faith long after the political left had abandoned it. In the last decade...