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The Dangerous Stalinism of the “Woke” Hard-Left by Alan M. Dershowitz (Gatestone Inst.)

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Aug. 31, 2019

  • People on the “woke” hard-left seem so self-righteous about their monopoly over Truth (with a capital T) that many of them apparently see no reason to allow dissenting, politically incorrect, views to be expressed. Such incorrect views, they claim, make them feel “unsafe.” They can feel safe only if views they share are allowed to be
    expressed. Feeling unsafe is the new trigger word for demanding censorship.
  • The other dangerous similarity between the Stalinists and the “wokers” is that both disdain due process for those they deem guilty of political incorrectness or other crimes and sins. They reject any presumption of innocence or requirement that the accuser bear the burden of proof.
  • For Stalinist and “wokers,” there is no uncertainty or fallibility. If they believe someone is guilty, he must be. Why do we need a cumbersome process for determining guilt? The identities of the accuser and accused are enough. Privileged white men are guilty perpetrators. Intersectional minorities are innocent victims. Who needs to know more? Any process, regardless of its fairness, favors the privileged over the unprivileged.
  • That is why I make the controversial claim that today, the “woke” hard-left is more dangerous to civil liberties than the right. To be sure there are hard right extremists who would use — and have used — violence to silence those with whom they disagree. They are indeed dangerous. But they have far less influence on our future leaders than their counterparts on the hard-left. They are not teaching our college age children and grandchildren. They are marginalized academically, politically and in the media. The opposite is true of hard-left Stalinists. Many have no idea who Stalin even was, but they are emulating his disdain for free speech and due process in the interests of achieving the unrealizable utopia they both sought. They also have in common the attitude that noble ends justify ignoble means.
  • We must always remember that it is not only the road to hell that is paved with good intentions. It is also the road to tyranny.

Civil liberties are in greater danger today from the intolerant hard-left than from the bigoted hard-right. This may seem counterintuitive: There has been far more violence — mass shootings in malls, synagogues and other soft targets — from extremists who identify more with the hard-right than with the hard-left. But the influence of the hard-left on our future leaders is far more pervasive, insidious and dangerous than the influence of the hard-right.

People on the “woke” hard-left seem so self-righteous about their monopoly over Truth (with a capital T) that many of them see no reason to allow dissenting, politically incorrect, views to be expressed. Such incorrect views, they claim, make them feel “unsafe.” They can feel safe only if views they share are allowed to be expressed. Feeling unsafe is the new trigger word for demanding censorship.

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