Ethics Quote Of The Year: The Editors Of Commentary Magazine

“Across the United States, a great unraveling is in progress. A rolling crime wave, under the guise of social activism, has left city after American city shattered and smoldering. Armed anarchists seized territory inside Seattle with the blessing of local government. In Minneapolis and other cities, a campaign to enfeeble or eliminate the police has gained full legitimacy. In Kentucky, the governor has vowed to provide free health care only to one racial group. In the private sector, companies such as Uber Eats have pledged their commitment to a policy of race-conscious discrimination as well. And major media organs sanction all of the above as proper and good.

“The unraveling goes further still. Social-justice mobs have taken aim at freedom of expression, inventing new heresies daily and ruining the lives of those who unwittingly give voice to them. Forced confessions and language proscriptions are the order of the day. Poetry, fiction, movies, and television shows—including children’s cartoons—are canceled and excised from history. Indeed, all art and opinion are now subject to the chopping block lest they prove insufficiently propagandistic.

“To rewrite the present, the mob has rewritten the past. They have forced upon us a distorted and grotesque version of American history. With the support of corporations and education boards, school textbooks and curricula tell of an unredeemable America founded not on the promise of human liberty but human bondage. What’s more, this history discounts the transformative progress on racial equality for which Americans—black and white—have given their lives.

“Through the violent politicization of all aspects of American life, the mob aims to destroy the country as we know it and replace it with a new one—an anti-America that trades speech for violence, police for thought police, a free press for an indoctrination network, and the respect due the citizen for the obeisance owed the mob.

“There is one way to stop the unraveling: Refuse the mob. We have seen again and again that the mob comes only for those who hope to please it. And when it does, no amount of apology will save you. We stand against the mob and all its aims. We stand against the chaos and violence, the silencing of debate, the purging of heretics, the rewriting of history, and the destruction of the greatest country in the world. We will defend the most majestic achievement of humankind, the United States of America, against the most ignoble impulse in human history, to tear down that which is good….”

Read the rest, including the Commentary Magazine editors’ statement of what they stand for, and what the rest of us ought to, here.

I agree with and endorse every word.

20 thoughts on “Ethics Quote Of The Year: The Editors Of Commentary Magazine

  1. This, rather than the cookie cutter grovels being issued by so many of them, is the sentiment a responsible company should express, and I believe any company doing so would benefit in teh long run from doing so far more than the marketing dept. pieties we are getting elsewhere.

    It also reminds me how tragic it is that we have in the White House a leader who is incapable of expressing this exact position to the nation. He could do worse than reading it verbatim…in fact, I’m sure he will. But the essential message needs to be delivered from the highest hill possible, and quickly.

    • “Across the United States, a great unraveling is in progress. A rolling crime wave, under the guise of social activism, has left city after American city shattered and smoldering. Armed anarchists seized territory inside Seattle with the blessing of local government. In Minneapolis and other cities, a campaign to enfeeble or eliminate the police has gained full legitimacy. In Kentucky, the governor has vowed to provide free health care only to one racial group. In the private sector, companies such as Uber Eats have pledged their commitment to a policy of race-conscious discrimination as well. And major media organs sanction all of the above as proper and good.”

      Who is doing this? Essentially, it is the State itself in collusion with a vast array of capital interests. This is not a ‘spontaneous uprising by an angry mob’ but a cultivated series of events that, if looked at in certain ways, extend back to the political and war-making machinations that came out of the 9/11 events. That is to say: State-managed events that have some ulterior purpose.

      What does this paragraph say? I understand that it describes a present view, like in a tableaux, but it does not contain any interpretation. Who is conducting this? And to what end? This has to be identified. It is a weak fallacy to use the term ‘the Democrats’ to describe causation. It is something else or something additional, and it has to be named.

  2. Amen:
    – De-Google the platforms
    – Defund the colleges and universities
    – Abolish American tackle football, boxing, and all other forms of commercialized human-to-human semblances of third-order and higher derivatives of position and motion.
    – Pass a Speech Emancipation Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that explicitly designates sarcasm, expressed in any form of verbal communication, as absolutely unalienable, uninfrigeable, unregulated and otherwise unrestrained and unrestrainable free speech.

  3. Truly embarrassing that the ethical guru would endorse such sensational trash.

    Art must be propagandist or be chopped away? (What art? Where? Who? Propagandist? How?)
    Roving anarchist mobs? (Where? Who? Why?)
    Indoctrination networks? (Like this publication publishing this absolute devoid of substance article)?

    Christ man, give it a break.

    • It may not have occurred to you, but public statues are art. That statement is substantive and accurate. A statue of George Washington was vandalized and “chopped away.” “What art? Where? Who? Propagandist? How?” just proves you’re either not paying attention, lying or in denial. “Roving anarchist mobs” is a fair and accurate description of what the looters and rioters accomplished in many cities. Again, “Where? Who? Why?” is either ignorant or dishonest.

      How is a professional opinion blog “indoctrination”? Indoctrination is what biased news organs and one-view schools and colleges do, and it’s not difficult finding hundreds–thousands— of examples. Commentary’s assertions are demonstrable and substantive—simply denying without any facts at all–which is what your comment does— is lazy and useless.

      Do better.

    • All right Adam, let me throw those questions right back at you.

      Tell me which Mayor, governor, city council members have imposed systemic racism on one sector of the community. Don’t tell me Orange Man Bad. Racism, where it exists, is promoted locally through its people and elected leaders not at the federal level. Which people in your neighborhood facilitate oppression and racism. Do your parents? Systemic means that is imbued in all parts of society so give me names and prove it. I want names. I want specifics.

      How have they oppressed the black community when they get billions from the Federal Government for all sorts of social development programs. What did they do with all that money? I want to know exactly how this occurs so a solution can be created. BTW oppression does not occur just because one group has more resources than another. If simply having more than another is oppression there are a lot of minorities oppressing me. You have to show exactly how they FORCE people down using those resources.

      Tell me which cops – by name- are roving in the streets hunting young black males so we can go arrest them. If racism is prevalent do black cops hunt white kids as there are in absolute numbers more unarmed whites killed by cops than blacks? And why, do only some speakers that the left object to get shouted down or cancelled on campuses or the venues need massive amounts of security when they do speak. Why isn’t anything the left utters Hate speech but microaggressions, perceived by some self classified minority, are tantamount to the resurrection of human bondage?

      Finally, tell me how does burning the Mercedes Benz dealership in Oakland or attacking the CNN headquarters shooting bb’s and pellets at those inside, looting Target, CVS, Macy’s and Nike stores promote a cause and dispels the idea there are no roving bands of anarchists/hoodlums in the streets.

      Perhaps you should ask Patrisse Cullors her overall strategy to bring down the United States through her BLM organization and other identity groups she trains in Marxist tactics. That is not my assessment that is her stated goal and methodology.

      Patrisse Cullors, the co-founder of Black Lives Matter proudly admitted she’s a radical, anti-white Marxist.

      “We actually do have an ideological frame,” Cullors said. “Myself and Alicia are particularly trained organizers — we are trained Marxists. We are super versed on ideological theories…”

      Black Lives Matter is seeking to transform America by defunding the police, dismantling capitalism, ‘destroying the patriarchy,’ breaking down the nuclear family unit, emptying prisons, redistributing wealth in the form of reparations among other far left objectives. Gateway Pundit

      I know you know this because your comment was framed in the Marxist tactic of demanding – what? – Where? Who? – throw the opposition off balance. You are not fooling anyone.

  4. “We have seen again and again that the mob comes only for those who hope to please it. ”

    I can’t believe that people think that this is so. I think that the mob will come for anybody and, if turned away, it will then try to wreck the person through superiors, customers, even family. I think that the mob will only stop when significant costs are imposed on being part of the mob.

    • So what’s the alternative? Hide in a hole or comply? Yes the mob will at times attempt to ruin those it deems guilty. Mobs can also have short attention spans. Saul Alinsky noted in his Rules for Radicals that at some point a topic gets stale and new topics have to be introduced. At some point the mob will move on to other people and topics.

      Online I have noticed that when, say a Twitter mob, tries to harass and intimidate someone, the more the person doesn’t aquiesce, the sooner the mob moves on. A problem with media is we mostly hear about who the mob conquered, when I suspect many don’t give in but that narrative isn’t highlighted.

  5. Very interesting ‘declaration” on the part of Commentary magazine. Podhoretz (editor) wrote a famous article in 1968 titled “My Negro Problem — And Ours”:

    He began his essay talking about his complex feelings toward Blacks as a Jew in Brooklyn. He reveals the causes of his animosity and then, later in the essay, says:

    The hatred I still feel for Negroes is the hardest of all the old feelings to face or admit, and it is the most hidden and the most overlarded by the conscious attitudes into which I have succeeded in willing myself. It no longer has, as for me it once did, any cause or justification (except, perhaps, that I am constantly being denied my right to an honest expression of the things I earned the right as a child to feel). How, then, do I know that this hatred has never entirely disappeared? I know it from the insane rage that can stir in me at the thought of Negro anti-Semitism; I know it from the disgusting prurience that can stir in me at the sight of a mixed couple; and I know it from the violence that can stir in me whenever I encounter that special brand of paranoid touchiness to which many Negroes are prone.

    This, then, is where I am; it is not exactly where I think all other white liberals are, but it cannot be so very far away either. And it is because I am convinced that we white Americans are—for whatever reason, it no longer matters—so twisted and sick in our feelings about Negroes that I despair of the present push toward integration. If the pace of progress were not a factor here, there would perhaps be no cause for despair: time and the law and even the international political situation are on the side of the Negroes, and ultimately, therefore, victory—of a sort, anyway—must come. But from everything we have learned from observers who ought to know, pace has become as important to the Negroes as substance. They want equality and they want it now, and the white world is yielding to their demand only as much and as fast as it is absolutely being compelled to do. The Negroes know this in the most concrete terms imaginable, and it is thus becoming increasingly difficult to buy them off with rhetoric and promises and pious assurances of support. And so within the Negro community we find more and more people declaring—as Harold R. Isaacs recently put it in these pages—that they want out: people who say that integration will never come, or that it will take a hundred or a thousand years to come, or that it will come at too high a price in suffering and struggle for the pallid and sodden life of the American middle class that at the very best it may bring.

    The most numerous, influential, and dangerous movement that has grown out of Negro despair with the goal of integration is, of course, the Black Muslims. This movement, whatever else we may say about it, must be credited with one enduring achievement: it inspired James Baldwin to write an essay which deserves to be placed among the classics of our language. Everything Baldwin has ever been trying to tell us is distilled here into a statement of overwhelming persuasiveness and prophetic magnificence. Baldwin’s message is and always has been simple. It is this: “Color is not a human or personal reality; it is a political reality.” And Baldwin’s demand is correspondingly simple: color must be forgotten, lest we all be smited with a vengeance “that does not really depend on, and cannot really be executed by, any person or organization, and that cannot be prevented by any police force or army: historical vengeance, a cosmic vengeance based on the law that we recognize when we say, ‘Whatever goes up must come down.’” The Black Muslims Baldwin portrays as a sign and a warning to the intransigent white world. They come to proclaim how deep is the Negro’s disaffection with the white world and all its works, and Baldwin implies that no American Negro can fail to respond somewhere in his being to their message: that the white man is the devil, that Allah has doomed him to destruction, and that the black man is about to inherit the earth. Baldwin of course knows that this nightmare inversion of the racism from which the black man has suffered can neither win nor even point to the neighborhood in which victory might be located. For in his view the neighborhood of victory lies in exactly the opposite direction: the transcendence of color through love.

    Yet the tragic fact is that love is not the answer to hate—not in the world of politics, at any rate. Color is indeed a political rather than a human or a personal reality and if politics (which is to say power) has made it into a human and a personal reality, then only politics (which is to say power) can unmake it once again. But the way of politics is slow and bitter, and as impatience on the one side is matched by a setting of the jaw on the other, we move closer and closer to an explosion and blood may yet run in the streets.

    Will this madness in which we are all caught never find a resting-place? Is there never to be an end to it? In thinking about the Jews I have often wondered whether their survival as a distinct group was worth one hair on the head of a single infant. Did the Jews have to survive so that six million innocent people should one day be burned in the ovens of Auschwitz? It is a terrible question and no one, not God himself, could ever answer it to my satisfaction. And when I think about the Negroes in America and about the image of integration as a state in which the Negroes would take their rightful place as another of the protected minorities in a pluralistic society, I wonder whether they really believe in their hearts that such a state can actually be attained, and if so why they should wish to survive as a distinct group. I think I know why the Jews once wished to survive (though I am less certain as to why we still do): they not only believed that God had given them no choice, but they were tied to a memory of past glory and a dream of imminent redemption. What does the American Negro have that might correspond to this? His past is a stigma, his color is a stigma, and his vision of the future is the hope of erasing the stigma by making color irrelevant, by making it disappear as a fact of consciousness.

    I share this hope, but I cannot see how it will ever be realized unless color does in fact disappear: and that means not integration, it means assimilation, it means—let the brutal word come out—miscegenation. The Black Muslims, like their racist counterparts in the white world, accuse the “so-called Negro leaders” of secretly pursuing miscegenation as a goal. The racists are wrong, but I wish they were right, for I believe that the wholesale merging of the two races is the most desirable alternative for everyone concerned. I am not claiming that this alternative can be pursued programmatically or that it is immediately feasible as a solution; obviously there are even greater barriers to its achievement than to the achievement of integration. What I am saying, however, is that in my opinion the Negro problem can be solved in this country in no other way.

    I have told the story of my own twisted feelings about Negroes here, and of how they conflict with the moral convictions I have since developed, in order to assert that such feelings must be acknowledged as honestly as possible so that they can be controlled and ultimately disregarded in favor of the convictions. It is wrong for a man to suffer because of the color of his skin. Beside that clichéd proposition of liberal thought, what argument can stand and be respected? If the arguments are the arguments of feeling, they must be made to yield; and one’s own soul is not the worst place to begin working a huge social transformation. Not so long ago, it used to be asked of white liberals, “Would you like your sister to marry one?” When I was a boy and my sister was still unmarried, I would certainly have said no to that question. But now I am a man, my sister is already married, and I have daughters. If I were to be asked today whether I would like a daughter of mine “to marry one,” I would have to answer: “No, I wouldn’t like it at all. I would rail and rave and rant and tear my hair. And then I hope I would have the courage to curse myself for raving and ranting, and to give her my blessing. How dare I withhold it at the behest of the child I once was and against the man I now have a duty to be?”

  6. I submit for consideration that in America today — and it begins to extend to the world — we are in the midst of a giant and developing idea-war. I think that this war is part of a developing and unfolding World War that will occur under very different terms than any other war. (But I do not yet have enough information to talk about this).

    World-level lock down, biological events (if not warfare), world-scale political control mechanism, shutting down of economies, ruining people and their wealth-base and setting them back. Seismic movements that underpin the *surface* movements. Need I go on?

    This seems simply obvious yet my suggestion is that it needs to be seen with more clarity, and it needs to be understood within the context of international and *global* struggles. While I certainly agree with and share the anger and frustration of the editors of Commentary, and certainly respect the Paleo-Conservative perspective, I still hold to the awareness that in the largest of large scales I am being manipulated.

    Poderhertz ends his essay with the ‘moral declaration’ that the necessary and ethical way to end the racial problem in America — it is the Negro Problem and Our Problem he says — is through miscegenation: race-blending.

    So, let’s take that as the declarative starting point, not as the end point. In order to even see this, in order to even begin to look at the social-engineering that is ultimately being insisted on by the State, we have to be willing to be able to say “No, I want no part of that at all and I refuse it absolutely.”

    Here, with Poderhertz, you can discover what has been described as one of the cores of Jewish liberalism and Jewish radical activism. Is this an absolutely forbidden topic simply because it involves looking critically at Jewish radicalism? Perhaps — for you — it is. We do know that there are forbidden topics. But my point is not to provoke a descent into such considerations. But it is to suggest that we can begin to distinguish ‘larger machination’ that we might not immediately recognize as operating, as we work to interpret the literally incredible and utterly strange — and dangerous — events that are unfolding around us.

    I find Adam’s contribution interesting . . . because it is totally brainless! It is more than stupidity. It is the absence of the possibility of having any idea at all, any free-roaming and genuine idea at all about *what is going on in our present*.

    But his inane encapsulation is common, not an exception to the rule. But my further point here is that we need our selves to take numerous steps back from our own interpretations of what is going on in this strange present . . . because I am beginning to think that we (we who have more will to rationally investigate) are not fully seeing the largest picture.

    In any case: this is what I am trying to do and will continue to try to do despite opposition. And the opposition I get is not from the Progressive Left but from those who say they are on the Conservative Right.

  7. I, too, endorse the Commentary statement of what they stand for. Our government/culture/society is under attack from Left and Right. I hope that a Biden Administration will work to end–or at least to seriously diminish–the battles, and to attract people from both sides back to the Commons.

    • I, too, endorse the Commentary statement of what they stand for. Our government/culture/society is under attack from Left and Right. I hope that a Biden Administration will work to end–or at least to seriously diminish–the battles, and to attract people from both sides back to the Commons.

      Oh boy, yes, the Biden administration shows every sign of clearing things up toot sweet! (I read things like this and feel I am dealing with silly children, not responsible adults, but that’s just me!)

      Here’s the soundtrack:

      Moving on from one surreality to another!

      The bio-threat terror is an emerging method of political control that is unprecedented. The temptation of a given state to use that method of control is too powerful to resist. Who is employing that threat today? How did this come about? Well the only answer there is: government. But saying *government* we have to get more specific. Who in government is availing their self of this use of power? And to what end? This is a complex question and not a simple one. Because structures of power are labyrinthian. Power necessarily camouflages itself, that is a basic Machiavellian rule.

      Our government/culture/society is under attack from Left and Right.

      Keep pushing on that question and I think that the only answer we have is ‘para-military power’, or concentrations of power that have the power and control to avail their self of that universal application of power. Neither Left nor Right.

      Perhaps we need to examine ‘states of exception’. A state of exception became necessary and useful after 9/11, didn’t it? Whatever power determined that it had to do superseded the normal state. But what happens when The State of Exception becomes the rule? Well, all categories become confused. The reasonability or perhaps the continuity of reasonable processes moves into an absurd territory. (As for example during the Covid-19 Bio-Crisis). Isn’t that what the New Normal is said to be? It is the quotidianization of the State of Exception by entry into something like a Cloud of Absurdity. You no longer know what is going on because it is made impossible to rationally understand (and thus absurd).

      I do not know what it means, and less what it portends, but for the last few months a State of Emergency and a State of Exception have, in many places, allowed for governing echelons to control their populations in unprecedented ways. We have been exposed to a régime of State of Exception. I have not been around that long but I’ve seen nothing like this. Everything hinges on *power concentrations*. Who has the actual — the real — power and who can pull this off? It is a curiously complex question.

      Giorgio Agamben’s text State of Exception investigates the increase of power by governments which they employ in supposed times of crisis. Within a state of emergency, Agamben refers to the states of exception, where constitutional rights can be diminished, superseded and rejected in the process of claiming this extension of power by a government.

      “In every case, the state of exception marks a threshold at which logic and praxis blur with each other and a pure violence without logos claims to realize an enunciation without any real reference”

      Shall I translate? 🙂

      prax·is (prăk′sĭs)
      n. pl. prax·es (prăk′sēz′)
      1. Practical application or exercise of a branch of learning.
      2. Habitual or established practice; custom.
      [Medieval Latin prāxis, from Greek, from prāssein, prāg-, to do.]

      It isn’t easy but here is my understanding:

      In this State of Exception (and we seem to live in an Era of Exception especially, in my experience, since 9/11 (which can be understood as a ‘priming’ event) is one in which a praxis — a large application of a method of control — blends with a certain distortion of logic, or a situation in which logic becomes inapplicable for a group of reasons, and these meld into an undertaking that expresses a unique *violence* at its core, yet one that is irrational-in-essence (‘without logos’) and which realizes itself in a manifestation of power that has no tangible or identifiable point of reference. What is going on? One asks the question and there is no answer.

      If you think that what I said is convoluted I wonder if you can express it in clearer terms. We do recognize ‘madness’ of course, but this goes undefined.

      One might be guilty of a somewhat overstated reference to *totalitarianism* and indeed the word has been used (always to describe the machinations of certain government actors like Polosi or Schumer or AOC, always some *other* and some *not-us*). Yet it is pretty clear that when we place our gaze on Chinese Totalitarianism and all its machineries that we have no problem distinguishing it as such. But the ‘inner truth’ here is that it is just this which has crept into our *world*.

      It happened suddenly, didn’t it? The day was sunny and bright and one whistled in some certain joy. And then the mood changed radically. Life was circumscribed by ‘exception’.

      These are developing ideas so if they are crude you’ll have to bear with me.

        • Oh, my!

          Interesting it was to discover that Baum (author of Wizard of Oz) made profound political commentary in his books.

          Wiki: “ Numerous political references to the “Wizard” appeared early in the 20th century. Henry Littlefield, an upstate New York high school history teacher, wrote a scholarly article which was the first full-fledged interpretation of the novel as an extended political allegory of the politics and characters of the 1890s. Special attention was paid to the Populist metaphors and debates over silver and gold. Baum was a Republican and avid supporter of Women’s Suffrage, and it is thought that he did not support the political ideals of either the Populist movement of 1890–1892 or the Bryanite-silver crusade of 1896–1900. He published a poem in support of William McKinley.”

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