I Held a Protest for Poor White Boys From Appalachia – Nobody Came

I held a protest here in Chicago for poor white boys from Appalachia – nobody came.  Not the feminists.  Not the black folks from the south side who call cops murderers.  Not the social justice warriors who deplore the plight of brown children.  The progressives were nowhere to be found.

I am being facetious of course.  I didn’t actually do this.  But I make the example to raise a point: we are all bigots.  But more importantly, from a classical liberal perspective: we are all selfish.  Sure, we care about people … but we care about them more if they look like us, talk like us, think like us, or are our own children.  The difference is that classical liberalism knew that the key was to channel such rational self-interest, to align those selfish desires of individuals with the greater good for society.

A perfect example of this: recently here in Chicago there was a black barber shot by police on the southside.  The shooting launched a series of violent protests by blacks in those neighborhoods, aided by various white SJWs.  It was interesting to see the protests, with cops there ensuring the peace so they could go on, while those very same protesters screamed in their face calling the police “murderers”.  Of course, the police chief released the body cam footage of the shooting, showing the suspect clearly carrying a gun, pulling away from the police as they try to question him, ignoring commands, and reaching for the gun at his waistband attempting to draw the weapon.  Interestingly, the police trying to stop the man were a black cop and woman.  Yet somehow this is all about racism?

Contrast this with the Massachusetts cop shooting that occurred the very same day.  Brown guy grabs gun and shoots a cop 4 times during a traffic stop, as well as shooting and killing an innocent bystander.  All that to make this simple point: these are volatile situations, when a suspect is acting crazy who knows what they might do.  Cops are naturally afraid for their life too, ignoring that ignores human nature.  It’s important to put yourself in their shoes.

But the real aim of contrasting these stories goes back to point above about rational self interest.  Should we be surprised that black people are protesting the first example, even in light of the second example?  I would posit that we should not.  They are bigots, just like you and me.  They look out for their own.  That makes sense.

The problem comes when we as a society fail to appropriately channel those self-interests.  The result is anger, violence, fighting amongst groups.  This is why we see the outcomes we do in socialist societies, who attempt to temper the rational self-interests of some groups in order to create a false Equality of Outcomes.  A la Harrison Bergeron style.  This is the ultimate problem with things such as Feminism and Progressivism.  With countries like Venezuela.  With the misplaced outrage we see in the police shooting examples above.  It is a failure of society to adequately channel that selfishness.  A failure of a society that thinks it has the power to alter human nature.  A society that thinks it can overpower a raging flood, rather than build canals and dams ahead of time to control the floodwaters when they come. Or perhaps even put such floodwaters to good use like irrigation or a reservoir for the future.

The educated question then is how to we harness those rational self-interests … because if we are doing so then, from a Classical Liberal perspective, we are successful, despite the outcome.

The above issues are a perfect parallel with how we deal with women and Feminism in modern day society.  It would be easy to deplore women’s hypergamous nature, and their resource exploitation of men.  But like above, we should expect them to be selfish.  AWALT.  The issue is how we channel those selfish desires.

An interesting recent example comes from Sweden, where apparently feminists are now berating mothers in public parks for not putting their kids in daycare and going back to work.  Of course, Sweden has a 61.9% personal income tax rate to support that, due largely to policies pushed by Feminists and Progressives.  This is the flipside of generous maternity leave and state-sponsored daycare, women no longer have choices.  As Friedrich Hayek eloquently argued in Road to Serfdom , such “central planning” core to communal socialist states is a slippery slope to slavery and tyranny.  In this instance, Feminists have all but made normal motherhood an illegal, impractical choice.

In a broader sense, women and feminists generally expect men to act against their own rational self-interests, and there’s the rub.  Such a system only works if men are given certain privileges for acting against their own self-interest, such as respect and opportunities (what some people might even call “patriarchal”).  And if what is good for an individual man aligns with what is good for society.  That is the basis of classical liberalism.

Gynocentrism and Classical Liberalism, in that sense, are at direct odds.

Even on the individual level, we are raising women these days who don’t seem aware of the trade-offs, who don’t seem to realize the supposed “chains” they’re railing against are, in fact, the chains of freedom.  Because none of us are ever really truly free, only free-er.  We all live as part of some Social Contract … the question is what form that contract takes.

Indeed, many of the women I date these days only give me respect when I threaten to walk away completely, or make it apparent thru my behavior.  I suppose that is one way to channel women’s rational self-interest, to repeatedly slam the door in their face, so to say.  But such a last resort on the part of individual men bespeaks a misalignment of those desires with what is good for society. She wants the best available man (i.e. hypergamy), and I signal that I am such a man by showing I have options and can walk away at any time.  But she can never be sure, so she continues to push, until I ultimately do walk away.  Who wins?  No one.

And perhaps that misalignment is the ultimate failure of Feminism.

Striking parallel: what would happen if we started NOT policing black communities?  93% of blacks are killed in black-on-black crime, not police shootings.  Would those black folks prefer the cops not come around?  Because they are definitely not going to police those communities if guys like the one in the video can pull a gun on them.  I certainly wouldn’t.

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The Orwellian Curse – How the Democrats Became the Anti-White, Anti-Male Party

Totalitarianism is always a losing strategy in the long-run. Whatever power you may gain from it, will always come back to haunt you. Call it the Orwellian Curse.

I wrote about this  a couple years ago, when we watched the Boomerang Effect of identity politics come full circle to bite Hilary Clinton’s 2016 presidential election campaign in the ass.  Clinton not only lost to Trump amongst white men, she even lost with white women.  This is a stark shift in voter demographics from even just twenty years ago (see below). Which is of course fascinating on the surface since Hilary is actually a white woman.  But more importantly, it tells us something of the totalitarianism-based approach that underlies modern Progressivism and the identity politics that goes with it.

In short, Totalitarianism is defined as a political entity or group that attempts to completely control both the behavior AND thought of the society it inhabits.  It is an attempt to shape and control the dominant Cultural NarrativeThe problem is that once a society has been desensitized to using thought to punish/shame/exclude others, that subtle shifts in the narrative can eventually turn it on its own creators.  The real danger of such cultural narratives is that when one “single story” comes to dominate the discussion, then it warps our sense of right and wrong.  Political decisions and policy choices then become more about engaging in acts of social display, i.e. virtue signaling, than fact-based political discussions.  It becomes a race, a competition, to prove who is the most ideologically “pure”.

In fact, given the nature of societal mobs, it is almost a certainty this will happen at some point.  Like unleashing a dragon.

This is what we mean by the Orwellian Curse.  Indeed, Orwell’s book 1984 is not really a book about fascism or authoritarianism per se … it is a book about Totalitarianism. About political groups controlling and manipulating thought, and the dominant Cultural Narrative.

And so in many ways, one can argue that the Democrats and their progressive wing have really been the victim of their own success over the thirty or forty years in the United States.  From civil rights to gay rights to feminism to gender fluidity to white guilt, they have radically reshaped the cultural narrative in the U.S.  To the point that even suggesting that “diversity” or “equality” may not always be a good thing, that there may be downsides, is enough for shocked public outrage and humiliation.

In more recent years, this has meant many former allies of the Democrats, including the white working class (who still make up nearly 70% of the U.S. population) and many men, have become casualties of the Orwellian Curse.  The problem is that if they advocate for their own children, or god forbid themselves, they are seen as “ideologically impure”.  Try being an anti-feminist Democrat and let me know how that goes …

Social media lies at the root of a lot of this Orwellian Curse phenomenon in the modern West.  I would argue, in hindsight, that social media like Facebook are actually perfect tool to cause the over-fermentation of totalitarian social movements.  And that it in many ways contributes to the place Democrats in the United States find themselves now.  Let me explain.

It is easy to contend that social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter lead to greater polarization and extremism in politics.  Friends share things with like-minded friends (that is why you’re friends in the first place, right?), and automated algorithms further mold and shape what you see based on what you react positively too.  A positive feedback loop that simply reinforces your prior beliefs and prejudices.  Or, in a nutshell, a Filter Bubble.  Facebook belatedly seemed to realize that after the 2016 presidential election, though only because foreign entities were able to manipulate the news feeds and narrative for their own purposes.

But the bigger problem is how social media normalizes radical positions and virtue signaling.  In fact, one could argue that social media is basically all about virtue signaling.  Unless all my friends are really living perfect lives??  Traveling the world and always taking that perfect candid photo??  But probably not.

Social media is in effect a market economy for virtue signaling, where the currency is dopamine hits people get from likes and shares and retweets.

The problem thus is clear, social media mixed with politics simply exacerbates the race for ideological “purity” and accelerates the Orwellian Curse.  Hell, there was an op-ed in the Chicago Tribune by Mary Schmich last week contending that Father’s Day is “outdated” because all her gay and transgender friends on Facebook think so, and all her straight friends rushed into agree so as to look like the most “progressive” of the Progressives (le sigh).  Covert Bigotry at its finest.  So if you are wondering how it seems like all the sudden in the last decade or so the Democrats have become increasingly anti-white and anti-male, well there you go.

Interestingly, if you go back to the first Clinton (Bill, her husband) who was president in the 1990’s, you will see that just twenty years ago Democrats virtually split Republicans on both the White vote as well as the male vote.  Food for thought.

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Women Lie – When Common Sense becomes Counterintuitive

Over at The Red Pill (TRP) sub on Reddit, we have a saying: TRP is the radical notion that women are just people.

And just like all people, they have flaws.  Sometimes women cheat, steal …. even lie.  The saying is ironic, in that the notion isn’t really all that radical.  It is only “radical” within the current climate.  Women lie.  Shocking, I know.

It begs the question: Should MeToo really be called “MeTooMaybe”?  Because the fundamental problem with the whole MeToo movement is that it glosses over the fact that women sometimes lie.  And by insisting that we automatically believe any female accuser, it is really asking us to pretend that women are perfect angels.  To ignore the fact that women are people, and that people are not perfect.  It is the Women are Wonderful Effect to the nth degree.

And doing so, ironically, dehumanizes women.  It assigns them a sense of hypoagency. In short, it is how we often treat children – they could never be evil nor held accountable, only misguided or mistaken.  The notion of hypoagency is a core component of modern feminism.  The corollary to that being that women are NOT responsible for their own actions.  But, most problematically, there are real victims in the world, and allowing these false accusations to profligate is a slap in the face to them.  Not to mention that we are teaching our children that there are no consequences for lying.  That irrational beliefs drawn from such misconceptions can be the basis for rational decision making.

None of the above is in any way consistent with Classical Liberalism.

Any man who has a decent amount of experience dating women knows they lie, that they are no more trustworthy than a man.  Any notion otherwise is laughable at best to an experienced man.  Makes one wonder if the whole MeToo movement has been advanced purely by women along with their male compatriots who don’t get laid very much.  Strange bedfellows.

One of the other principles of TRP is that women operate based more on their feelings, i.e. Feels over Reals.  How women feel at the moment often trumps the actual facts, even to the point of re-writing history if necessary.  This is known as the Lightswitch Effect.

Any many who has ever argued with a woman over something, or been suddenly accused by a girlfriend or wife of doing something they never did, knows this phenomenon very well.

What is really disturbing is how common the “women don’t lie” trope is in the media.  As I’ve written about here before, individualism is rooted on individuals having good information to make decisions.  That is the lifeblood of a liberal society.

The recent Sylvester Stallone accusations are a glaring example of this.  There are multiple witnesses in that case contradicting her story, including the woman’s boyfriend.  She only filed a police report after media outlets refused to pay to publish her story.  I mean, how much more blatant can you get?

Stallone is just one of many prominent instances of women lying about sexual assault in the last few years.  From the Duke lacrosse case to Emma Sulkowicz to the Jackie Coakley University of Virginia Rolling Stone debacle, the world seems full of these “MeTooMaybe” stories.  Sure you too lady … maybe.

There are of plenty of other Celebrity stories too.  The accusations against Morgan Freeman were probably the most ridiculous (there is actually videotape footage completely contradicting some of the core accusations).  The list of falsely accused goes on: Aziz Ansari, Tom Brokaw, James Franco, Ryan Seacrest, and many more.  At best, the facts of those cases were exaggerated or distorted – at worst they were outright lies.  Not to mention the recent accusations against the top Democrat in Illinois Mike Madigan’s aide … if that counts as “sexual harassment” then I’ve been sexually harassed dozens of times in my life by women.  We should just shut it all down Puritan-style and stop men and women from interacting in any way … after all, the puritans of MeToo is an apt representation.

This what we get when society forgets that women do, in fact, lie.  When common sense becomes counterintuitive.  When we forget that the Lightswitch Effect is a very real thing.  A gynocentric society where feelings dominate truth, and where rationalism falls by the wayside.

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A Feminist’s Tale – How to Disempower Your Opponent

In martial arts, there are two basic principles one must master: 1) how to attack, and 2) how to prevent your opponent from counter-attacking.  Many people usually simplify this to attack and defense.  But the reality, which most martial arts figured out long ago, is that one of the most effective forms of “defense” is actually preventing your opponent from counter-attacking you in the first place.

This may take the form of disabling your opponent.  For example, a common boxing tactic is punching the opponent’s body, which weakens their ability to counter-punch, reduces their coordination, and produces tiredness, shaky legs, and shortness of breath (not to be confused with a liver shot which can knock an opponent out, but is relatively uncommon with trained fighters).  Numerous other examples of the same tactic can be found in Aikido, Krav Maga, Brazilian Ju-jitsu, and the like.

The whole point is to render your opponent defenseless.  Only then can you unleash your full arsenal without fear of reprisal.  Total domination.

It is not surprising then that we find this same two-principle approach – attacking and preventing your opponent from counter-attacking – in modern Feminism.  If you look at phenomena like the MeToo movement, the entire idea is to create a paradigm where men cannot defend themselves, even from accusations.  No Fault divorces and the Family Court system are essentially the same thing.

A world where women are always victims, and men always perpetrators, means that any accusation by a woman cannot be countered by the man.  He is guilty by default.  He cannot “counter punch”.

All of this is the result of the gradual erosion over the last fifty years of men’s ability to have healthy boundaries in their dealings with women, both interpersonally and professionally and legally and relationship-wise.  No surprise then that many are starting to see modern Feminism as a female supremacy movement.

The Chicago Tribune ran an article last week about a national survey showing teenagers in the United States are losing interest in STEM.  At least that was the headline.  On closer inspection, the article actually says that percentage of boys interested in STEM dropped from 36% to 24%, while the percentage of girls interested in STEM remained unchanged at 11%.  Yet the article goes on to lament the fact that girl’s interest didn’t increase, rather than focusing on the 35% drop in boys’ interest.

Clearly programs to increase female participation in STEM appear to be making those fields less palatable to young boys, without creating any improvement in female participation.  But nowhere in the article is that problem discussed.  Feminizing STEM careers is only serving to undermine young men in the modern West.

All of this is a very clear example of the Feminist agenda: how to disempower someone.  All the while young men and boys in the modern West suffer increasingly worse outcomes, without any recourse …. and our society suffers for it as well.  It is a strange notion – that “empowerment” can be rooted in disempowerment of others.  Tearing others down, rather than raising yourself up.

The real irony, of course, is that classical liberalism is rooted in empowering individuals to pursue their own endeavors, rather than the collective endeavors of any one group.  Feminists must have not got the memo.

I will give one final example of this sort of power play, on a more interpersonal level, which I originally posted as a comment in response to a question over at RedPillGirl’s blog.  This comes from one of the girls I’m dating right now. She’s about 30, thin, tight body, youthful looking, what most men would consider attractive. She’s half-asian so that helps.

She does this thing where she uses some problem in her life (usually a contrived problem at that) to try and elicit sympathy from me, and if I don’t cave to that expectation she calls me “mean”. It’s classic female shit-testing. And I’m sure it’s worked on most guys she’s come across here in the modern West. She does it repeatedly, trying to get the man to cave a little more each time. Of course, I never do.

Her whole purpose, from an evolutionary standpoint, is to manipulate the man into giving her things, at first emotionally but over time resource-wise. This is part of her method of accomplishing that – emotional manipulation.

Now that would all be fine, especially if we still lived in a world where men could openly wield “hard power” to keep her in line. But we don’t, so my only options as a man are to either walk away from her demands, or to counter her with psychological maneuvers of my own, i.e. fight fire with fire. This is the gist of Red Pill theory and TRP.

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Is the Concept of “White Privilege” an Attack on Science?

The very concept of “White Privilege” is an attempt to undermine the basic principles of evolution and biology as it applies to humans.  It is an anti-scientific position.

That may sound like a weird point, but stick with me here.

Evolution is based on the premise that parents and previous generations are essentially selfish.  Their primary goal is to maximize the success of their offspring, their children.  This means, for instance, that bear mothers don’t go sharing food with other bears’ cubs, if it means their own cubs would starve or have to do with less.  The bear mother wants to ensure her offspring are as strong and healthy and big as possible, in order so that they can survive and out-compete other bears as adults and, hopefully, reproduce themselves.

That is evolution 101.

All animals follow that same script.  Parents accumulate resources for their own children and genetic kin.  Even in social animals like wolves and baboons, where sharing of resources and effort does occur, primacy is given to one’s own children and close kin.  To the point that, if there is for example a sudden shift in power in a baboon troop, infanticide is very common.

So what does this have to do with the concept of “White Privilege”, you may ask?

The reality is that advantages given to white children in much of the West are the result of their parents and grandparents and so on following that same script – monopolizing as many resources as possible for their own childrenJust like all animals do … it’s an evolutionarily smart move.  Those advantages are really just the result of smart choices made by their ancestors.

Some may argue that black or other minority children in the United States suffer from “historical disadvantages” like poverty or lack of education or wealth.  And while that is undeniably true on average, the reality is that even that stems from historical choices: white Europeans developed guns and long-range ships and conquered the world before anyone else.  And then they made sure to monopolize resources for their children like any good parent would do.  If black Africans had developed those technologies first and conquered the world, they would have done the same thing.

Prioritizing your own offspring is not a “social construct”.  It has nothing to do with race, or racism.  It is how all animals behave.

The concept of “White Privilege” in that sense is really just a twisted distortion of evolutionary principles … it is not “privilege”, it is what you are supposed to do.  What evolution has programmed us to do.

Indeed, the notion of privilege as used by Progressives and SJWs is really just an attempt to turn good parenting into a bad thing, to make people feel guilty that their ancestors were more successful than others.

This all conflicts with Classical Liberalism, which is rooted in Empiricism and rational self-interest.  Undermining basic evolutionary principles is an attack on scientific rationale.  On empirical reasoning.  Progressives and SJWs are really trying to get people to behave in ways that goes against their best interests.  To think non-empirically.

There was a fascinating article in the Chicago Tribune last week about the “Elect Black Women” movement and the push to get Stacy Abrams (a black woman) elected governor of Georgia, and about the cognitive dissonance starting to bubble up around Identity Politics.  To quote from the article:

Perri Chandler got dressed up to celebrate Stacey Abrams’ success in Georgia’s Democratic gubernatorial primary last week by donning a black T-shirt that read “Elect Black Women.” It was a defiant statement at a time when liberals are having a heated internal debate about whether a focus on “identity politics” is driving some white voters to support Donald Trump and candidates who mirror his style and policies.

It is funny since I wrote about the American Left’s increasing alienation of whites and Trump nearly two years ago.  Abrams actually beat a white woman in the primary to win the nomination.  As many of you may know, young single white women are predominantly liberal (at least by their own definition) and vote democratic in the United States.  It will be interesting to see how they react over time if they start to see women of other races taking resources and opportunities away from their own children.

Except we don’t have to wait to see.  One of the really interesting phenomena in the United States is in large liberal cities like New York and Chicago and Seattle, where affluent white Progressives in those places who talk a big game about equality  don’t actually send their kids to public schools in those places – they predominately send them to elite private schools (source here).  In fact Seattle is one of the most racially segregated cities in the United States.

All of this goes back to my main point: parents do what is best for their own offspring and genetic kin.  They try to maximize resources and opportunity for them.  And from an evolutionary standpoint, or a scientific one, that is what they should be doing.  It is the empirically rational thing to do as an evolving living organism.

Arguments otherwise are really just an attempt to obfuscate this point.  To create terms like “privilege” to demonize rational behavior.  To convince others to behave in non-rational ways.  To gain power through weakness.  A perversion of power.

And none of that has absolutely anything to do with encouraging individual endeavor.  It is NOT liberal whatsoever.  An inherently illiberal position.

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The Ethical Lapse of Modern Journalistic Standards

A fundamental problem of modern Western liberal democracies is the lapse in journalistic ethics of reporters and news media.

Two recent articles from the New York Times have been reporting about the rise of the Intellectual Dark Web, and how it is largely a reaction against excesses of Progressives on the extreme Left.  This “dark web” is a loosely-affiliated group of free thinkers and iconoclasts from across the political spectrum – Jordan Peterson, Bret Weinstein, Sam Harris, Ben Shapiro, Joe Rogan, etc. – who are breaking with the current mainstream Cultural Narrative, political correctness, social justice, cultural Marxism, and the like.  A sort of “red pill” liberal awakening, to use the metaphor.

What is really interesting about the Intellectual Dark Web phenomenon is how it traces its roots to a growing sense of hegemony of the progressive/SJW/feminist narrative in the media.  That perhaps there is a lack of objectivity in current news reporting. That perhaps we are not getting the whole story.

Of course, journalists aren’t held to any ethical standard of objectivity.

To be fair, the national Society for Professional Journalists (SPJ) does have a Code of Ethics, but that list is mostly concerned with dealing with sources, accuracy, and fact-checking.  There is one item about “clearly labeling advocacy and commentary”, i.e. opinion, but it is sparse on any detail.  The Wikipedia page on journalistic ethics doesn’t even mention it.

The problem here is not about sources or fact-checking – it is that journalists are infusing what are supposed to be objective news articles with snippets of their own opinions and viewpoints.  The line between an opinion piece and actual hard news is blurred.  Rather than an unbiased report on the facts, and letting the reader make their own assessment.

This is a failure of modern journalism.

Much like scientists, where Science’s search for the truth depends on the objectivity of its practitioners, modern liberal democracy depends on its citizens getting objective information from its journalists and news media.  A failure to do so isn’t just a matter of professional or personal choice … it is a failure to adhere the ethical responsibilities that being a journalist in a free liberal society entails.  That is a vital role.

Yet that is not being taught rigorously enough to journalism students.  It is (as pointed out above) barely mentioned in the codes of ethics of various journalist professional societies.  An afterthought at best.

The founding fathers however knew how vital the role was … it is why they enshrined a free press in the First Amendment of the U.S. constitution.  A free press is a fundamental property of classical liberalism.

As such I posit this fact: much like a medical doctor is ascribed to certain ethical conduct by the Hippocratic Oath, so should a journalist in a liberal democratic society should be held to similar standards.  The health of the patient, or in this case the society, comes before any personal or professional desires they may have, or viewpoints they may hold.  They are honor bound to do what is best for the patient/society.

Yet, negative reporting about Trump is occurring at twice the rate of any previous president, even more than the at-the-time hated republican president George W. Bush, according to a Pew study.  Which regardless of your stance on Trump, is clearly problematic for several reasons from an objectivity standpoint.

And that lack of objectivity, that lack of journalistic ethics, has negative consequences for liberal societies.

Let me describe something to you:

It was the end of a controversial Presidential Election year in the United States. A dark horse “outsider” candidate but who had some celebrity fame won.  The Republican Party was bitterly divided.  A major economic crisis a few years prior resulted from the popping of an economic bubble, and the failing of several iconic financial companies.  A piece of massive domestic economic legislation that would fundamentally alter America was hotly debated, some wanting to push further others to repeal.  Immigration issues were coming to the forefront, with proposals to ban people of certain ethnicities or from certain countries.

Do you know what I am describing? Trump and the 2016 election?

No not quite.  I am actually describing the U.S. presidential election of 1880, that of James Garfield (see wiki for more).

The funny thing about the current political climate in the United States and much of the modern West, is that this has all happened before.  There are many, many similarities (and differences) between 1880 and 2016.

Garfield was a controversial candidate, with “unconventional” ideas that split the Republican party.  Civil Service Reform, along with the “Greenback Issue” were the major domestic issues of the day roiling the United States, a la “Obamacare” of modern times.  In the still heavily agrarian farming-based economy of the United States during that time, those issues had major implications for the average American’s economic well-being.  Circulation of such liquid “Greenbacks” during the decade prior had led to massive speculation on land, an economic bubble, and eventually the Economic Crisis of 1873.  One of the major financial houses in the United States, Jay Cooke and Co, failed.  The resulting recession lingered for over a decade.  At the same time, anti-immigrant sentiment had been boiling over post Civil War.  People from certain countries, such as Chinese via the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, were effectively banned from immigrating to the U.S.

Ironically, it was during this same time period late 1800s post Civil War that American news media saw the rise of the Muckrakers and Yellow JournalismPlaying their role in the cycle of panics and divisive-ness.   Coincidence, I think not.  A lesson to be learned about the consequences for a liberal democracy from a lack of journalistic ethics.

To conclude, I would posit two very simple ethical standards that we should demand of journalists in a modern classically liberal democracy:

  1. Any actual news item (not an opinion piece or editorial) should maintain as much objectivity as possible. The journalist’s particular viewpoints, political or otherwise, have no place in it.  Now obviously complete objectivity is impossible, but much like science, objectivity is the goal.
  2. Any editorial or opinion piece should be clearly labeled as such. Editorializing outside of such pieces should not be tolerated.

Neither of these should be an afterthought … they should lay at the core of standards for journalistic ethics.  A “Hippocratic oath” if you will for journalism.  If journalists want to complain about “attacks on the free press”, then it is incumbent upon themselves to ensure they are adhering to their own ethical responsibilities … as well as living up to their vital role in a liberal society.

Otherwise, they have no one to blame but themselves.

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