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May 18, 2023Liked by Barry Brownstein

What a remarkable piece, thank you. Devastating. Imagine the agony our fellow humans have endured, that we scarcely know about. I can't believe people proudly call themselves Marxists or Socialists. It's so bizarre. Thank you for your great work.

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Thank you, Celia. I honored by your kind words and I greatly appreciate the share.

Bizarre is the right word. You are right we "scarcely know about" the mindless and avoidable suffering hundreds of millions have endured.

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Tragically similar to what we're experiencing today -- on a subtler volume, yes, but with the same globalist-control intent over thoughts and emotions.

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Yup, an' I sure hope some'a them rough decades are behind us already cuz ta think they're yet to come (i.e. for most folks ta come ta their senses) is cold comfort...too much harm kin be done meantimes too-- So here's hopin' our shoutin' ta them rafters (with honor!) is heard sooner ruther than later an' folks take off the green goggles (NEW green goggles too!) an' see Oz fer what it is, includin' all the puppet meister charlatans behind the curtains.

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More harm than we can imagine, so we will continue to "shout" when appropriate, but at the same time take comfort in knowing what we affirm, moment by moment about our own humanity and the humanity of others will play a bigger role in creating the future than we can ever know.

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Hard ta believe we're all seein' this is the Who-in-the-Heck-You-Knighted States've Amerika... A cautionary tale--in the makin'! Talkin' in their sleep?! geeze-Louise that's skerry. Problem is "kids" (college-aged ones too) don't KNOW this his'try. They have no idear. I used ta be stunned when an' ol' friend from college named his dog Mao--I mean WHY? But then 'fore our fambly high-tailed it outta New Yawk (the sittee) it was NOT unusual ta see fool-hipsters wearin' Mao n' Che t-shirts (an' stores that'd sell those soul-crushin' mugs...on MUGS!). Might be that Substack is the Last Stand in this Western cuz I'm seein' the censor-ship sail from coast ta coast here. Meanwhile, 'been fascinated learnin' 'bout a staunch anti-communist Irving Kristol an' his then-unpopular "take" on how allowin' "red thought" to flourish in the name of free speech was not (as we kin see clearly now!) such a boffo idear. Turns yer brain in a knot in the land where the 1st Amendment is supposed ta be sacred... (And yup, Joe McCarthy was a horror but Kristol gives one cause ta pause...) Mebbe ya kin opine on Kristol (likely too complex fer a quick comment) but it seems he was prescient. Then again, when I hear the appelation "neocon" I just 'bout cringe (Vicky Noooooland an' others unsavory) but perhaps it meant sumthin' different back in the day... Anyway, so appreciate this egg-cellent reminder on how close we're comin' to open the mis-fortune cookie none've us here want...

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Daisy, Thanks for adding your wisdom. About Kristol's ideas, speech influences but only if we want to be influenced in that direction. As I always said to my students, if Hitler or Stalin had been born in America, they would have ended up as a bum muttering on the subways. Then, no demand for their "services." In a few years, who knows.

A few years ago, I indexed my writing by topics and found these essays on free speech:

Without Free Speech, All Speech Becomes Government Speech

Google Is Burying Alternative Health Sites to Protect People from “Dangerous” Medical Advice

Why It Must Be the People Who Preserve the Flame of Liberty

California's Bill Restricting Speech Is Authoritarian

On Free Speech, 40% of Americans Are Closer to the Chinese Government’s Interpretation than the Founders

Twitter Doesn’t Realize that Protecting Hate Speech Promotes Tolerance

Censorship Kills

A Soviet Dissident Explains American Censorship

Attacks on Dissenting Voices Set Back Scientific Progress

Fahrenheit 451 Predicted People Would Demand Tyranny

After reading this horror story this morning https://www.thefp.com/p/judges-ruin-high-school-debate-tournaments I'm going to compile my free speech essays in one post in the next few days.

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I'm with ya all the way 'bout free speech GIVEN a full / uncensored public forum fer it.... Wow, that's a fine list of articles--much ta look'it!

Hadn't thought much on it but there are risks when folks are told free speech is "king" (and that said king is in power...i.e. "reigns") and then the "rulers" (of the republic) monkey with what is REALLY free--so some folks only see / hear some of it and that "some" is edited, twisted, delivered in misleadin' ways... So I think that's the issue--when so-called Free Speech is weaponized! And it's done all backhanded--censorin' conservatives / deletin' alt voices, hollerin' that theyze only censorin' "hate speech" but callin' questionin'--hate. I feel it's SO true now. With communism bein' more romanticized than ever (t-shirts, down-with-USA in the skools...etc), I wonder WHEN this seed wuz planted. NOW (thinkin' 'bout Kristol) I see how--folks started gettin' thrown "TO" it....to support all things Red because folks natch'u'ly wanna come ta the aid of the underdawg. I think the situation we have now was developed post WWII! I had figgered it was later but now--nope.

For decades good folks (includin' the academics) seemed ta have been drawn to Communism (slow n' steady...) an' ta anti-US thought...I'll include Zinn etc among'em--because all "reds" were so reviled by Joe McCarthy (I think most Americans found his tactics horrific / deplorable and patently "un-American" himself!). So given lit'rally fascist tactics durin' the "Red Scare"-- I now wunder that Joe M. wasn't a patsy fer turnin' the USA inta bein' sympathetic to all those he vilified. Or a willin' participant... To this day, I'm not so sure, now thinkin' that THEN we had a red reversal.

Anyone decent jus' had ta defend the underdogs... not realizin' the dangers in doin' so...

T'day I'm not so sure Hitler OR Stalin would end up like one'a them subway bums--there are more skeery followerz 've Uncle Adolph in the US of Ehhhh than I could ever imagine existin'-- I'm sure it's WORSE now than ever. Ditto fer followers've Mao (some like the BLM folks are open Maoists)--an' Stalin. Still I'm fer free speech but without OPEN DEBATE it ain't free speech--I think that's the part that's missin!... as without fairly presentin' the other arguments--no interruptions either (like pullin' a fire alarm on RFK!--that wuz underhanded...)... the "preferred" soap boxes get stacked up mighty high--kinda like Yertle the Turtle! an' the other ones 'r set back where the crowd cain't see 'em.... even that an "in-cumber-ant" doesn't have ta debate is concernin'...

Sure, the extremists'll topple as did Stalin & Hitler--but not before SO MUCH damage--n' death--comes've it--seein' that now too. I fear we're there today--decades 've demagogues an' no "genuine" debate--and that sad story ya shared--that open debate is "canceled" is livin' proof....

How to fix it?

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Daisy, I agree we may have to get past a rough few decades before Reality triumphs again.

So short-term I am a pessimistic (there are waves of human madness that are not easily overcome) yet I am not a determinist. We all have the power of choice and we (one by one) can wake up at any time.

In the meantime we do what we are doing, to the best of our abilities "acting our part with honor."

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May 20, 2023Liked by Barry Brownstein

Excellent article Barry...Sadly, Maoism is dominate in Canada and soon will become in the USA unless the silent majority wake-up. BTW , I saw Gordon Lightfoot in concert in San Diego in 2019 when he was 80. I grew up with his rock-folk music in the early 70’s. RIP!

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May 22, 2023·edited May 22, 2023Author

Thanks, Mike. If we wake-up, politicians will change.

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May 18, 2023Liked by Barry Brownstein

Wow! Mao's China was worse than I'd realized. The parallels with contemporary America are undeniable, but unlike China there is a strong and growing backlash in America, at least to some of the sickest manifestations of the cutting edge would-be totalitarians, if not so much to the always-dangerous looking to government to solve every problem. I think, for example, that every record set by men pretending to be women in sports will be expunged and those titles returned to real women, within the next few years. It may take longer to let go of the obsession that 13% of math professors (etc. for every profession) must be black, and that attaining that goal is more important than considering trivial things like skill, competence, and the like. Still, I see more and more people finding the nerve to stand up in the face of the screaming that is certain to result from the "woke" crowd and their friends.

Thanks for sharing this reminder of how bad it can get if we don't take individual responsibility for resisting.

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JdL, There is an ongoing reaction but I still see too few speaking out in places they have influence, at work, in their communities and families. There is every possibility things will get much worse after another economic crisis.

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May 18, 2023Liked by Barry Brownstein

I agree that things will get worse before we're over the hump.

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So sad.

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As an independent, I see what you're talking about, but not on the left. Who is in the Mao repression business now? Objectively, the Republican party: book banning, draconian abortion bans which 2/3 of the nation disagrees with, travel bans for pregnant women, throwing Democratic members out of state houses, outrageous racist voter suppression, blatant racist gerrymandering, the creation of the oligarch state, a decrease in human rights, and last (in this list) but certainly not least, forcing on its citizens a culture of guns and death that 85% of the public abhors. And I won't even go into the trash talking culture Trump has ushered in, that has also become part of our daily discourse. Not to mention all the lives that were ruined because they became red meat for the MAGA mob. Oh yeah, and can't forget the new phenom of right wing political violence. Remember January 6 and etc? Going over this list, it is reasonable to ask, what is the end game here?

In light of all of this, you're really going to compare the Democrats to Chairman Mao? Yes, it was time to correct some of the most ridiculous political correctness and even rein in some of the more virulent ideas of the left, and it seems you've pushed back and made gains. But it was never enough, or maybe even the point. Fiscal responsibility? Trump ran up the deficit more than any president in history. Law and order? Red cities and states have the highest crime rates in the country. Instead I've watched in horror over the last years as the Republican party has slipped ever deeper into the muddy waters of Christian Nationalist fascism, a kind of sloppy Mao's Handmaid's Tale where the entire culture is bent to the twisted hypocritical religious dictates that are determined by a few predominately old and white, and all rich, men.

But these things happen, I know. Everything, including systems, evolve and cycle, often ending up very far, or indeed opposite, from where they started. This is true of the Republican party, started as a platform for Abraham Lincoln with the lofty and idealist vision of emancipating slavery evolving into the party of slavery and corruption. Look at Clarence Thomas, for example, a black man owned, bought and paid for, by a white man in American today. And Republicans secretly applaud it. At least, not one has come out against it. Look at Trump's blatant corruption which Republicans all defend. And they can't even expel a indicted fraud from their midst. Tell me what that says to you.

You may think I gloat over this but you would be wrong. My heart breaks over this. But more than that, it frightens me a lot. We need a healthy Republican party to make our democracy work. At least the Democrats have not been lawless; Jim Jordan refused Congressional subpoenas issued by Democrats but Democrats have honored subpoenas issued by Jim Jordan. We need integrity in both parties and all I see from Republicans is cowardice and corruption. So pile on if you want, friends. What would make me feel better as a citizen and voter in this country is to see a real 'come to Jesus' meeting with the Republicans. The party is sick right now. It needs a healing.

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I think you misunderstood the article and the author's political stance over all. And it's a shame because I think you could really benefit from his articles. He doesn't say anything about left or right. He only talks about the Maoist status quo and its similarities with the american academia, that are conspicuous.

He is pro-individual, so he is critical of collectivist -anti-individual- regimes that pervade both the right and the left. And through his articles he empowers the individual by talking a little bit about spirituality also. At least this is how I interpret his content. I really like this substack.

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Μίτσιγκαν, you are very kind and that is a fine summary. Thank you!

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Who's paying you? Your utter lack of integrity is glaring. Troll.

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