Tom Sunic on Self-Censorship

Tom Sunic posts occasionally at the Occidental Observer. He correctly notes that speech in America is in no way free but is self-censored based on social and professional ostracism.

He attributes this to the usual subjects, and is right as far as that goes. But self-censorship seems to be deeply rooted in English-speaking societies. George Orwell mentions in his collected essays how it worked at the BBC in World War II. On a deeper level, he talks about how Jonathan Swift presented a consensus-oriented culture among elites in his portrayal of the Houyhnhnms, an elite class of horse people supported by primitive humans, in “Gulliver’s Travels”.

I don’t have the book handy and I haven’t been able to come up with a satisfactory way to express my thinking about it, but Orwell connects the emotionally constrained Houyhnhnms and their desire to maintain harmony among themselves over debate with the English elite, and I think this is correct. Elites can’t really afford much debate. Debate is for the relatively insecure. Different cultures and societies have different ways of maintaining control. English society has been very successful for centuries, and this must mean the English way of maintaining control is better. The SPLC is certainly good at letting people know what they can’t say, but their program only works because people have been conditioned for centuries to accept it.

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About thrasymachus33308

I like fast cars, fast women and southern-fried rock. I have an ongoing beef with George Orwell. I take my name from a character in Plato's "Republic" who was exasperated with the kind of turgid BS that passed for deep thought and political discourse in that time and place, just as I am today. The character, whose name means "fierce fighter" was based on a real person but nobody knows for sure what his actual political beliefs were. I take my pseudonym from a character in an Adam Sandler song who was a obnoxious jerk who pissed off everybody.
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12 Responses to Tom Sunic on Self-Censorship

  1. Ryu says:

    LOL. Well, self censor is one way to put it. Another is that if you say the wrong thing, the ADL, SPLC or even the police come after you. Thus, people avoid saying things that attract attention. The internet has been a great liberator.

  2. Heil Hizzle says:

    George Orwell’s most famous example was of the two circus dogs. There is one dog who will only do the trick when the whip is cracked. The other dog preempts the command and does his trick without the threat of the whip. Most of us are now the latter dog.

  3. oogenhand says:

    Every group has its own speech taboos. Just different ones.

    • The English speech taboo seems to be oriented around the common good, which is a good thing. If you can manage to redefine your political and social goals as “the common good” you have hacked the system.

      • oogenhand says:

        Hacking the system is my speciality. Nice meme: “The racist Roosevelt defeated Hitler”. After all, before MLK, most Americans were “racists”.

  4. fnn says:

    FDR put the “Japs” in concentration camps over J:Edgar Hoover’s objection, refused to expend any political capital to speak for an anti-lynching bill proposed by Republicans and even did very little to promote Jewish immigration to the US when he could have saved them from persecution and (eventually) death. “Funny” how, in the 1930’s, FDR frothed at the mouth like a mad dog over German action against the Jews (then non-lethal) while completely ignoring millions of Ukrainians and others killed by Stalin.

    Churchill was an even bigger white racist than FDR.

    • oogenhand says:

      And of course Stalin, Anti-Fascist hero, deported Chechens and Crimean Tatars.

    • FDR at the Casablanca Conference had this to say about the jews:

      “[t]he number of Jews engaged in the practice of the professions (law, medicine, etc.) should be definitely limited to the percentage that the Jewish population in North Africa bears to the whole of the North African population…. [T]his plan would further eliminate the specific and understandable complaints which the Germans bore towards the Jews in Germany, namely, that while they represented a small part of the population, over 50 percent of the lawyers, doctors, schoolteachers, college professors, etc., in Germany were Jews.”

      I don’t know if it would work, but it looks sensible at first glance. Malaysia uses similar affirmative action favoring the native stock, and have yet to submit to minority rule by the Chinese minority there.

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