The unimpeachable left – G. Patrick Lynch
As someone who has some respect for the norms and implicit rules of this constantly evolving language, American English, I try to keep myself up to date despite my increasing age. Still, the phrase “woke up” makes the grammar fascist in me inexplicable. So I have tried to ease the tension by respectfully but firmly leaning on the word “awake” to explain my commitment to cleansing society of all that is evil, wrong, and presumably “asleep”. I am desperately trying to wake up.
In my search for a hypercaffeinated version of “awake,” I am delighted to see that the great movement has managed to rid such critical media as Teen Vogue, the New York Times, and children’s literature of racists, homophobes, and fascists. However, it seems to me that we have much larger fish to fry. My awakened soul has called me to use the pitchforks, torches and cancellation privileges to alert my comrades to a number of unacceptably sleeping persons and historical movements that should be removed, erased, removed and wiped out from our accepted discourse and our intellectual lives. Out with discussion, pluralism and context; with the perfect tolerance for the purity requirements.
Well, I would like to say to my sleepless comrades who are rather closely related to members of the American Foundation, Dr. Seuss, Aristotle, and other unmistakably obvious candidates for exclusion from history have focused, not slander, but we must face reality. A number of intellectual giants on the left must go. Karl Marx has to be canceled. This, of course, is no secret to someone who actually took the trouble to read his historical theory, which contains large sections dealing with racial determinism. But his personal correspondence is littered with derogatory references to blacks, Jews, Slavs, and other people of color. If we want to get rid of statues of David Hume and Adam Smith, people whose public writings never dealt directly with issues of race, how can we justify Marx? The answer is we can’t. All of his works must be removed from public discussion, and statues and monuments must be removed. I know this will hurt some of my comrades awakened, but at least we don’t have to read Das Capital again.
The same goes for Rousseau. While Rousseau argues that “savages” are actually less affected by the stain of property and are thus closer to their idealized and cherished state of nature, his other writings make the situation much grimmer for the great thinker. In Emile, for example, Mercer Cook noted that Rousseau chose a European child as a subject because the brains of people from colder or warmer areas “Negroes and Laplanders do not have the intellects of Europeans”. But one of the sleepers might answer: “Rousseau wrote extensively on the horrors of slavery! Doesn’t he have to be considered a hero? ”Unfortunately not. He never explicitly mentioned black slavery as a problem, did not sign any of the abolitionist letters that were publicly circulated in Paris during his lifetime, and clumsily his work was cited by Caribbean slaveholders as a justification for their practices.
Unfortunately, these two famous thinkers are more often quoted, accepted, and used by the most sleepless scholars, but never mind. We can purify our thoughts and philosophy by removing these harmful influences from our beliefs. We cannot let go of our vigilance. Tragically, the same is true of many of the revolutionary icons dear to us insomniacs. As we turn our gaze to the long oppressed people of Latin America, we must awkwardly acknowledge that some of the more prominent figures in the movement who seek to rid the Latinx of their white oppressors are people we must remove from our history.
It starts with one of the most recognized personalities among the fashionable security guards, Che Guevara. While Che’s face adorns countless T-shirts at elite universities and awakens political gatherings in the understandable spirit of kinship with farmers in colorful clothing throughout South and Central America, he and his comrade Fidel Castro also targeted gay people and locked them up in his Lives involved in racist activities. The Argentine author Guillermina Sutter Schneidner rightly describes him as a “racist, homophobe and mass murderer”. Last time I checked the waking state, all three views are still against, even if they make for great fashion. Castro himself believed that homosexuality was incompatible with the “new revolutionary man” he was trying to create in Cuba. Unfortunately, it will be necessary to throw the Cuban revolution overboard in order to defend the LGBTQ community. It is surprising that this has not yet happened.
We all know that whenever a conservative white man discusses the word “federalism” or, more poisonously, the term “state rights” (it’s always men, aren’t they?), Slavery and segregation are meant.
Antonio Gramsci, another pillar of left thought, spoke of anti-gay people ripe for removal from public discourse and made a fateful and unfortunate decision to argue that heterosexual monogamy is essential for achieving Marxist hegemony be. Anyone who wishes to argue that heterosexual relationships are essential to anything but patriarchy and oppression must be removed from reasonable discourse. In the year the world passed the Trump presidency, it is time to stop harming our awakened LGBTQ comrades and remove Gramsci from our civil “talk”.
But we must not stop by simply canceling and removing people from the history books and fashion stores in developed countries. We also need to rethink our theories and the way we think about history. We all know that whenever a conservative white man discusses the word “federalism” or, more poisonously, the term “state rights” (it’s always men, aren’t they?), Slavery and segregation are meant. This is because it is so. Federalism is only not racist if our fellow sleepless people discuss it.
It is with great regret that I must say that those of us who are awake must now purge the idea that organized labor has been a laudable force in advancing the cause of justice. Why, you might ask? Well, it is well known that the early labor movement was heroic for its attempts to make the relationship between workers and owners of capital more just. What is less well known is that the early labor movement was also actively racist. Paul Moreno is one of many scholars who have clearly shown that the earlier labor movement actively viewed ex-slaves as nothing but scabs and advocated laws to prevent such actions by freed slaves. The historical literature here is so well established that we can easily turn to literature. Upton Sinclair’s famous book The Jungle describes a confrontation between a young union fighting for its workers and a group of African-American scabbles – sadly described derogatory. As much as it hurts me, Sinclair has to go, but so does any benevolent reference to the organized workforce. If slavery was part of the founding of the United States and the 1619 Project made any difference, we must also throw away any glorification of organized labor and its racist foundation.
That brings us to some of the most painful cuts of all for those of us who are the most caffeinated and awake. These are people who helped lay the philosophical foundation for postmodern thinking and thus enabled us to break open the door to reevaluate all of the hidden hatred and racism that surrounds us. We have to start with Jean Paul Sartre, who unfortunately had quite a bit of sexist language and imagery in his writings. Can’t you believe it? Don’t trust me – check out the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on him that admits it. The author of the post tries to defend him as a feminist with ham, but this completely contradicts what his followers believe. And then there is Foucault. We have all been a little too sympathetic, perhaps, to the man who in his lifetime signed a petition to legalize sex between adults and minors. One of his friends has now announced that he has paid young Algerian boys to have sex with him in cemeteries. These facts make his current status as an insomnia icon embarrassing at best. Off with his intellectual head!
Finally, I can’t finish this piece without mentioning the great enemy of the awake Ray Bradbury. Bradbury’s deeply offensive novel Fahrenheit 451 openly mocks the entire concept of awakening. If we cannot literally burn these offensive and appalling texts, why should we pursue these goals and make all these efforts? Ultimately, if you want to make fun of the burning of books, you have to ask yourself, isn’t that a disguised criticism of the great goal of being awake? If we plan to pick up what is not our current tastes, don’t we essentially appreciate the right to destroy the physical representations of these offensive ideas? What burns a little book while awake? Let’s build sleepless social capital, collect some copies of Bradbury’s work, and burn, baby, burn.