Jonathan Chait and the End of Liberal Society in the West
The Charles Hebdo affair presents a difficult dilemma to liberals and the left in general. Typically, they have no problem with censorship of views they don’t like. They jump on board campaigns to fire college professors for publishing about race differences or White dispossession, and they shed no tears when some poor soul in the media gets fired for blurting out something about Jewish power in Hollywood. They would love for such people to go to prison.
But they want to think of themselves as principled and high-minded. So what to say about the murderous attempt to shut down Charlie Hebdo?
Here’s what Jonathan Chait says in New York magazine:
Let us stipulate for the sake of argument that Charlie Hebdo is crude and even racist. Freedom of expression is not a strong defense of crude, racist, or otherwise stupid expression. Indeed, one of the most common and least edifying defenses made by people who have proffered offensive opinions is that they have the right to free speech. The right of expression is not the issue when the objection centers on the content.
This last comment—that “the right of expression is not the issue when the objection centers on the content”— reflects Chait’s intellectual arrogance about the dogmas of liberalism — that for example, there is no such thing as race, but if there is, genetic differences are irrelevant to average group differences in IQ or any other trait important for success in the contemporary world, etc. From his point of view, these dogmas are set in stone and massively supported by scientific data. So it’s perfectly legitimate to exclude people who dissent from these dogmas from having any voice in the mainstream media, and exert pressure to get them fired them from their jobs or put them in jail.
And Chait, as a prominent contributor to the elite media, is well aware that he is in a great position to do exactly that. Read more