The new fascists are coming. Actually, they’re already here.
Postmoderns’ primary weapon in their growing arsenal is language, words used to intimidate, cajole, and destroy their opponents. And, as the student reporter discovered, no verbal ploy, however caustic, is off limits. Few who saw the video clip represented by the photo here will ever forget it. University of Missouri Assistant Professor Melissa Click was calling for “muscle” to remove a student reporter covering a campus demonstration. Click, a communications professor, modeled typical postmodern communication; no civil discourse about free speech, this was an intimidating rant meant to end discussion and force compliance.
Philosopher Stephen Hicks explains:
On this hypothesis, postmodernists need not believe much of what they say. The word games and much of the use of anger and rage that are characteristic of much of their style can be a matter— not of using words to state things that they think are true— but rather of using words as weapons against an enemy that they still hope to destroy.
Hicks enumerates the postmodern devices: “… ad hominem argument, in-your-face shock tactics, and equally cynical power plays. Disagreements are met— not with argument, the benefit of the doubt, and the expectation that reason can prevail— but with assertion, animosity, and a willingness to resort to force.”
Language as a weapon in the mouths of fascists
When truth is removed from the culture, language changes. Truth is replaced with power. Language is used for conquest rather than communication. Postmoderns have weaponized language to empower victimized identity groups. Hicks explains:
What we have then are two positions about the nature of speech. The postmoderns say: Speech is a weapon in the conflict between groups that are unequal. And that is diametrically opposed to the liberal view of speech, which says: Speech is a tool of cognition and communication for individuals who are free.
Hicks points to the smear as a tactic of power and intimidation:
The truth or falsity of the rumors does not matter, and whether those you tell believe you does not really matter. What matters is that you score a direct, damaging hit to someone’s psyche. You know that those accusations and rumors will cause tremors, even if they come to nothing.
A leading edge in the use of language to intimidate is the Antifa movement. Its leaders portrays themselves as militant anti-Fascists opposing neo-Nazi, white supremacists. Millennials are action oriented. Those who favor violence join Antifa action networks. They are largely middle-class whites, ideological leftists rebelling against the perceived sexism, racism and classism of the establishment. Yet, at the same time, they uphold the establishment’s politically correct views and oppose those outside the bounds of political correctness. They don’t seem to recognize the inconsistency of railing against the establishment with one hand, while sustaining it on the other.
Antifa roots go back 100 years in Europe. They are currently engaged in the U.S., Europe and Australia. They are trained to use intimidation, violence, direct confrontation and property destruction as a means of resistance. They look very much like the Fascists they provess to be confronting and justify their actions as “self-defense.”
The new climate control
One arena in which we see this intimidation playing out is creation care. Of course the environmentalists never use the term “creation.” For them it’s “nature.”)
While stewardship of the creation is a biblical mandate, environmentalism is an ideology which worships nature. As economic/political Marxism collapsed, the cultural Marxists looked for a compelling narrative, which they reduce to three words: SAVE THE PLANET!
These are radical egalitarians who preach a moral equivalency of all species. An amoeba is as valuable as an ant, an ant as valuable as a mammal. No distinction is made between humans and other species. (Actually in its most extreme version, humans are the only species unworthy of life.) This is known as “deep ecology.” Stephen Hicks writes, “The production of wealth itself is in mortal conflict with environmental health. And capitalism, since it is so good at producing wealth, must therefore be the environment’s number one enemy.”
Ten years ago, Ben Stein—lawyer, writer, actor and provocateur—produced a movie documenting how universities are shutting down free speech and inquiry. The movie, “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” demonstrates that the academy, by fiat, has declared the time is over for discussion of evolution and climate. The science is settled. Evolution and man-made global warming are “facts.” Stein’s movie documents how PhD scientists who challenge Darwin are denied tenure and expelled from the university. What’s more, reporters who write about these expulsions are often blacklisted.
Notwithstanding lots of evidence to the contrary, 97% of 1,372 climate researchers say that man-made climate change is real, according to a 2010 survey! Vice President Al Gore declared the science settled, and President Obama gave political heft to the claims. Scientific inquiry is suspended. The postmodern era is the post-science era.
Further examples abound
Want some more examples of weaponized language in the climate-change discussion?
- Following the spring 2016 hurricanes that struck Texas, Florida and the Caribbean, author and journalist Brian Merchant wrote, “Climate change denial should be a crime. In the wake of Harvey, it’s time to treat science denial as gross negligence—and hold those who do the denying accountable.”
- Independent journalist Mark Hertsgaard wrote a Sep 2017 article in The Nation titled, “Climate Denialism Is Literally Killing Us.” His claim? “The victims of Hurricane Harvey have a murderer—and it’s not the storm.” He goes on to say that climate deniers are responsible for the deaths in the hurricane flooding. “The first step toward justice is to call things by their true names. Murder is murder, whether the murderers admit it or not. Punish it [climate denial] as such, or we encourage more of the same.”
- In March of 2016, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch told the Senate Judiciary Committee that her AG team had discussed taking civil action against “climate change deniers.” Her office “referred it to the FBI to consider whether or not it meets the criteria for which we could take action.”
– Darrow Miller