Tucker Carlson announces a new book in which he interviewed executives of publishing company Simon & Schuster (which is also publishing the book) about their censorship practices. pic.twitter.com/R4rTHTJbkq— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) June 4, 2021
A spectre is haunting the publishing industry.
It is the spectre of woke progressivism and incipient totalitarianism.
“In the 1960s, Simon & Schuster’s co-founder Max Schuster was facing a dilemma. Albert Speer, Hitler’s chief architect and armaments minister, had written a memoir providing new insights into the workings of Nazi leadership. As Michael Korda, Schuster’s editor-in-chief, recounted in his memoir Another Life, Schuster knew it would be a huge success. “There is only one problem,” he said, “and it’s this: I do not want to see Albert Speer’s name and mine on the same book.”
In the liberal industry of publishing, the tension that exists between profit and morality is nothing new, whether it’s Schuster turning down Speer (the book was finally published by Macmillan), or the UK government introducing legislation to prevent criminals making money from writing about their crimes.
But the debate over what should be published has reached a fever pitch. Publishing staff who feel uncomfortable about working on certain titles are speaking out more often and more loudly, through open letters and on social media. In April, more than 200 employees at S&S in the US asked their employer to pull out of a seven-figure book deal with former vice president Mike Pence. …
Publishers today are teetering on a tightrope. Which voices should they amplify with a publishing deal – those their staff agree with, or those with an audience who agree with them? How far does an author have to go before their views are deemed unpublishable? What about when the personal views of an author, say JK Rowling, are condemned and staff object to working on her next children’s book? Where to draw the line? …
The Pence memoir, Heath believes, “will be an important test case – if it is withdrawn, it could open the floodgates for similar action. And in the wake of BLM, #MeToo and other recent, empowering social movements, publishing executives may increasingly feel it behoves them to fall into line with the wishes of their staff.” …”
Is this “authoritarianism”?
What do the “fascism” scholars who were so worried about Trump have to say about this?
I remember how terrified and triggered Andrew Sullivan was when we owned the libs and elected Trump in 2016. I followed along laughing as he wrote overwrought columns about the imminent collapse of the Republic under King Donald. In the Trump years, he seemed to slowly backpeddle and reverse course as he wrote about Sarah Jeong being hired by the New York Times, the burning of Notre Dame Cathedral, the “trans” social contagion and then finally his resignation from New York Magazine and how the corporate media abandoned any consideration for the truth over pushing a political narrative in the Atlanta Spa Shooting. It turns out Sullivan had his eye on the wrong threat.
“As the origins of our current moral panic about “white supremacy” become more widely debated, we have an obvious problem: how to define the term “Critical Race Theory.” This was never going to be easy, since so much of the academic discourse behind the term is deliberately impenetrable, as it tries to disrupt and dismantle the Western concept of discourse itself. The sheer volume of jargon words, and their mutual relationships, along with the usual internal bitter controversies, all serve to sow confusion.
This conceptual muddle also allows everyone to have their own definition and gives critical theorists the opportunity to denounce anyone from the outside trying to explain it. So it may be helpful to home in on what I think is a core point. No, I’m not a trained critical theorist. But no one should have to be in order to engage a field of thought with such vast public ramifications. But I have spent many years studying political theory, which is why, perhaps, I am so concerned. And, for me, the argument is not really about race, or gender, or history, or identity as such.
It’s about epistemology at its most basic. Which, of course, is just a fancy word for the question of what we can know and how we can know it. It’s the beginning of everything in any political system. Get it right, and much good follows. Get it wrong, and we’re in deep trouble.
In his forthcoming book, “The Constitution of Knowledge,” Jonathan Rauch lays out some core principles that liberal societies rely upon. These are not optional if liberal society is to survive. And they are not easy, which is why we have created many institutions and practices to keep them alive. Rauch lists some of them: fallibilism, the belief that anyone, especially you, can always be wrong; objectivity, a rejection of any theory that cannot be proven or disproven by reality; accountability, the openness to conceding and correcting error; and pluralism, the maintenance of intellectual diversity so we maximize our chances of finding the truth.
The only human civilization that has ever depended on these principles is the modern West since the Enlightenment. That’s a few hundred years as opposed to 200,000 or so of Homo sapiens’ history, when tribalism, creedalism, warfare, theocracy or totalitarianism reigned. …
This debate is not about whether you are a racist or an antiracist. The debate is about whether, in your deepest heart and soul, you are a liberal or an anti-liberal. And of those two options, I have no doubt where I stand. Do you?”
I’m not sure where I stand in this debate.
Am I on the side of liberalism or authoritarianism?
Unlike his coworkers, I personally never gave a shit that Andrew Sullivan was writing his column at New York Magazine. I don’t waste my time surveilling people, invading their privacy and boasting about getting them fired from their jobs over their political beliefs like the hall monitors. I don’t give a shit what other people are saying on social media. I’m not trying to dictate to people whether they can own firearms or what they can drive or what they ought to eat or what books they are allowed to read. I don’t spend my time disturbing the dead in graveyards or mobbing people in restaurants.