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The New York Times Meets Lord Of The Flies

Bari Weiss resignation
The very public resignation of New York Times contributing editor and writer Bari Weiss has generated a bit of schadenfreude commentary on the Right. It also generated a lot of unsurprising “she deserved it” commentary from the woke Left.

However, no one on the Left seems to have carefully parsed Ms. Weiss’s description of the very troubling process by which she was ousted.

And that’s probably because it describes an extremely dangerous Maoist atmosphere at the New York Times that could reach critical mass at any institution that has a large staff that has passed through American higher education in the past decade or so.

As Ms. Weiss described it in her letter of resignation:

My own forays into Wrongthink have made me the subject of constant bullying by colleagues who disagree with my views. They have called me a Nazi and a racist; I have learned to brush off comments about how I’m “writing about the Jews again.” Several colleagues perceived to be friendly with me were badgered by coworkers. My work and my character are openly demeaned on company-wide Slack channels where masthead editors regularly weigh in. There, some coworkers insist I need to be rooted out if this company is to be a truly “inclusive” one, while others post ax emojis next to my name. Still other New York Times employees publicly smear me as a liar and a bigot on Twitter with no fear that harassing me will be met with appropriate action. They never are.

What Ms. Weiss discovered in a very brutal and personal way was that her bona fides as civilized Liberal – being an open Lesbian and leaning Left on the old Liberal checklist of issues mean nothing to the savages who use social media as their hunting ground, because the alleged adults who are supposed to be running things, such New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger, have been terrified into submission.

So, instead of imposing order, and firing the sullen troublemakers who have somehow managed to turn Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms into a sad substitute for real life, they allow them to make their own rules.

The result, when there are no adults to impose order is, as William Golding suggested in his classic The Lord of the Flies, a natural reversion to savagery:

“Which is better –to be a pack of painted Indians like you are, or to be sensible like Ralph is?”

A great clamor rose among the savages. Piggy shouted again.

“Which is better –to have rules and agree, or to hunt and kill?”

Again the clamor and again – “Zup!”

Ralph shouted against the noise.

“Which is better, law and rescue, or hunting and breaking things up?”

Now Jack was yelling too and Ralph could no longer make himself heard. Jack had backed right against the tribe and they were a solid mass of menace that bristled with spears.

Or as Ms. Weiss put it:

What rules that remain at The Times are applied with extreme selectivity. If a person’s ideology is in keeping with the new orthodoxy, they and their work remain unscrutinized. Everyone else lives in fear of the digital thunderdome. Online venom is excused so long as it is directed at the proper targets.

If you are in the correct tribe, online or in the New York Times newsroom, you remain relatively safe, but it is the safety of submission to autocracy, or as Golding put it:

The boys found themselves eager to take a place in this demented but partly secure society. They were glad to touch the brown backs of the fence that hemmed in the terror and made it governable.

Only submission makes the terror governable, however, as Ms. Weiss discovered, even then you are only really safe under the protection of the strongest tribe.

In Lord of the Flies the tribalism and the reign of terror came to an abrupt end when adults arrived back on the island. The fearsome savages in their paint, brandishing the spears that killed two of their fellows, quickly reverted back to children when confronted by adults acting with authority. The same thing could happen at the New York Times and society at large, if only there were any adults left to take charge.

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On the bright side...a rainbow if you will

I've been consistently amazed and pleased to see an increasing number of LGBT for Trump on social media like FB and Tik Tok. Outspoken about how comments made within their own community led to vicious attacks, claims that they were not woke, not radical enough, insufficiently hateful or hate-filled towards Trump and his supporters, and just plain not in line with being 100% leftist...They often show or describe brutal examples of how their former party has left them behind.

Now they have left that party and jumped on the train. There, they are met with open arms and congratulated for joining the "right side" of the increasing divide between those that love America the Beautiful and those that see nothing good about it.

As Bari may or may not agree, the silver lining to the rainbow cloud is that the left is cannibalizing itself and further fracturing a formerly solid LGBT base. The same may be said for the Jewish vote - colleagues calling Bari (Jewish) a Nazi? That's OK now? Black vote Biden's "You aint black" gaff, jeopardize the Hispanic vote with the calls to boycott Goya after Trump introduces favorable legislation for the path to citizenship and is thanked for it? The horror.

I feel for Bari. Welcome to the new normal...that is until the Silent Majority, fully woke ourselves, fiercely fired up, and willing to fight back and turn the tide. We have turned the other cheek and looked away, go along to get along for long enough.