Credentialism, Crisis and Censorship: How the Left Eliminated Debate
Everything that progressive fascists believe is now an official fact.
By Daniel Greenfield
“The Big Truth: Upholding Democracy in the Age of the Big Lie,” authored by a CBS reporter and a political activist, is the latest effort by leftists to wrap themselves in the banner of truth.
Media bias has shed its protective coloration of neutrality and blares that its side, leftists, represent the truth and conservatives the ‘lie’. The title of “The Big Truth”, an otherwise forgettable exercise in virtue signaling, is interesting only because it so perfectly encompasses a media feed that is a mad libs game of “X Republican lied, Y Democrat hopes the truth will win out.”
The problem is that this isn’t just propaganda distilled to its raw essence so that every media headline now reads like the title of Al Franken’s “Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them”.
The problem is that the leftists created the infrastructure of a new truth using the three Cs, credentialism, crisis, and censorship, to eliminate debate and the marketplace of ideas.
Credentialism has experts, activists, academics, members of leftist think tanks and non-profits, wrongly described as non-partisan, and other interested figures with degrees, declaring that a leftist narrative, global warming, systemic racism, transgenderism in children, or election results is a fact backed by studies and research. A crisis is declared accompanied by dire warnings that questioning their manufactured truth will cost more lives. In the final stage, censorship, internet monopolies, allied with the media and politicians, suppress disagreement as misinformation.
Before, in between, and after the media serves as the connective tissue, promoting partisan hacks as experts, hammering home the crisis, and pressuring tech firms to censor dissent.
While pandemic lockdowns will quickly come to mind, the model was operating before then and has come to be used on virtually any issue from refugees to questioning elections (won by the media party) to crime and school sexualization. Everything the Left believes is now a fact and a crisis, disagreeing with it is disinformation, treason, and terrorism. The crackdown swiftly follows.
Facts, we are often told, cannot be debated. And since everything the Left believes is a fact, there is no longer any room for debate. Reasonable and intelligent people of good faith, the media tells us, would never disagree with these facts. Only bigots, trolls, and extremists peddling disinformation, and dissent. And since they disagree with the truth and the facts, they’re liars.
And censoring “extremists” and “liars” has become the new civic duty of internet monopolies. This is the ubiquitous progressive fascism of cancel culture, censorship, and endless battles against misinformation that have come to define what used to be the marketplace of ideas.
Questioning the credentials of the experts is an attack on science, facts, and the very idea of truth. Civil society, the experts tell us, can’t exist unless we trust them. Anyone who disagrees is out to undermine society and tear apart the official artificial truth that is meant to bind us in the digital Mordor being built by mighty tech monopolies one server farm and fact check at a time.
Add on the second C, crisis, and there isn’t even any time or space to debate the ethics of silencing political dissent while people are dying from cow flatulence, law enforcement or an inability to speedily sexually mutilate children. Censorship becomes more urgent than ever.
Declaring that their opinions are “truth” and that any disagreement is a “lie” is a crucial element.
The media’s narrative is more than just propaganda. The rhetoric you used to hear from Franken, Stewart, and Colbert has become a crucial part of a massive censorship scheme. But by focusing on the negative, the censorship of dissent, it’s easy to miss what has actually happened, which is a manufactured consensus tying together the government, the media, think tanks and non-profits, academia, and internet monopolies in one totalitarian system.
Progressive fascism suppresses disagreement in order to unilaterally impose its official “truths”.
At the heart of the debate is the question of what truth is and how we arrive at it. Media bias and debates over what objective journalism are run up against the “new truths” every time.
A simple bit of factual objective reporting might be that Bob X shot Jack Y in the head in the middle of Main Street. Caught on camera, what went on down is the indisputable truth. The new truth, the one that increasingly shows up in media coverage, is that systemic racism, income inequality, and the lack of gun control laws led to a shooting on Main Street. Bob and Jack, like all individuals, are mere bit players in the larger leftist sociopolitical dramas of class and race.
The school shooter is an afterthought in the scramble to call for new gun control laws, the rapist is just a figment of abortion laws and misogyny, and hurricane victims have to make way for reports about global warming. The traditional leftist belief that people are just pawns of academic phenomena pervades the media because it represents the new truth.
The new truth treats a worldview as a fact. Individuals in the media have become types, irrelevant as people, vital only in that they convey the larger leftist worldview. A school shooting victim who advocates for gun control can easily gain a national profile, but one who calls for locking up criminals never will.
Journalists used to think that truths were personal, not political. The new truth has reversed everything with the ultimate truths being political and personal truths relegated to the anecdotal.
Who, What, When, Where, and Why have been reduced to only the last W. Only the ‘Why’ matters and the answers are always political. The ‘Why’ is systemic racism, global warming, a lack of gun control laws, the patriarchy, capitalism, homophobia, colonialism, and the rest of the attacks on civilization. The other four Ws are just there to provide examples to illustrate the fifth.
The media wraps itself in the banner of the truth because it’s retreating from the facts. Its fact checks, a crucial tool for both credentialism and crisis, will often deem things that are true to be false because they lack context. And given enough of the right context, things that are factually false can be made to seem true and things that are factually true can appear false.
Credentialism makes narratives seem to resemble facts. But the narrative is a belief system that contends that leftist ideas are absolutely true in some higher sense, despite failing to work in real life. It’s the ‘truthiness’ that Colbert made his career mocking, with activists in expert drag to make it seem as if it’s the product of objective research rather than feelings.
The Left is not a movement of facts, no movement is. People are not passionately driven to fight and die, to uproot lives and transform society through objective facts and research studies. They fight out of love and hate, a desire for independence, tribalism, greed, ego, idealism, and a search for meaning and a thousand other intangibles that are part of human nature, not for facts.
Emerging in an era where scientific discoveries were changing the world, the Left has always garbed its prejudices, biases, drives, and malice in the veneer of academic theory. Its genius has been to bridge the lower realm of the peasant revolt with the intellectualism of the salon, the mind, and the heart, claiming the sanction of both reason and empathy when it has neither.
The new truth is more of the same. Its truth is the conviction that the holistic leftist worldview is factually accurate in all of its details. The expert credentialism deployed to create facts and then fact checks are just apologia for an ideological movement. What used to be propaganda, activists in expert drag, has morphed into full progressive fascism that is out to impose its truth on you.
And to silence everyone who disagrees.
Credentialism, Crisis and Censorship: How the Left Eliminated Debate
Nemo me impune lacessit