Posted by Curt on 2 June, 2020 at 7:10 am. 40 comments already!


George Orwell’s timeless admonition, “Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals believe them,” has been given new life by the desperate efforts of pundits, scholars and Twitter blue-checks to defend the violence, looting, disorder and general monstrousness that have overtaken America’s cities.

The glorification of mob violence and petty criminality that was one of the disgraceful hallmarks of bien-pensant thinking throughout the 20th century resonates through every tweet, every deep TV observation and every piece of writing that casts the coast-to-coast destruction and anarchy in a positive light.

A Northwestern University journalism professor named Steven Thrasher took to Slate to offer this analysis: “The destruction of a police precinct is not only a tactically reasonable response to the crisis of policing, it is a quintessentially American response, and a predictable one. The uprising we’ve seen this week is speaking to the American police state in its own language, up to and including the use of fireworks to mark a battle victory. Property destruction for social change is as American as the Boston Tea Party. . . .”

Sure, that’s why “protesters” in New York City set NYPD vans on fire. It’s why a “protester” in Seattle was seen carrying a strawberry cheesecake from a Cheesecake Factory — as she sported a mask to protect herself from contagion.

It’s why Somali immigrants who spent their life savings opening restaurants in Minneapolis lost everything in a single night — and even as they began to clean up the debris from a business that will likely never reopen, told Minnesota Public Radio that they, too, felt grief and anger at the killing of George Floyd.

Thrasher’s effort to turn an act of wanton arson and wholesale destruction into an episode of “Schoolhouse Police State Rock” follows directly in the path of Norman Mailer’s groundbreaking 1957 essay “The White Negro,” whose purpose was to infuse rank inner-city delinquency with social significance:

“It can of course be suggested that it takes little courage for two strong 18-year-old hoodlums, let us say, to beat in the brains of a candy-store keeper . . . Still, courage of a sort is necessary, for one murders not only a weak 50-year-old man, but an institution as well, one violates private property, one enters into a new relation with the police and introduces a dangerous element into one’s life. The hoodlum is therefore daring the unknown.”

The difference between the hoodlums of Mailer’s day and the antifa “insurgents” of Thrasher’s and our time is that our insurgents are fully aware there is a phalanx of media and academic apologists at the ready, who will not only excuse their behavior but laud it. This both provides them internal psychological cover for the unleashing of the evils inside them and a vocabulary to explain away the evils they release.

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