Yesterday reddit announced that the popular site was banning subs devoted to vices and forums that trade in them. Example? The market for pipes and pipe tobacco — deleted without any warning, chance to appeal, etc. This is crazy, and not merely because tobacco is legal and pipe smoking perhaps less harmful to smokers than the more popular cigarettes and chewing tobacco. Note that even if they couldn't keep facilitating the sale of tobacco, a lot of the posts were for pipes, which according to reddit's own rules is still OK. Same thing happened to popular subs such as beer trading, scotch trading, cigar market. Pretty much all gun-related ones are gone too (THE CHILDREN), including one that was for airsoft guns. Meanwhile, you can still use reddit to watch pornography, see videos of people dying, trade for dirty panties, get advice and support on how to commit suicide, etc. etc. etc. All the important stuff. And YouTube, this week, gun manufacturers and instruction videos have been de-platformed. The assault is in full swing. The culture war that increasingly divides the First World just got huge teeth, and major Internet companies are doing what the governments have hesitated to do: engage in ideological and values-based censorship. This is so eerily reminiscent, isn‘t it, of the “puritanism” of the Moral Majority and other “rightwing” religious groups of the 1980s and earlier? Of the Code put in place under Catholic pressure in the 1930s? But the impetus is not coming from that quarter. The censorious, nannyist crowing about this guns and tobaccy and beer etc. is entirely from the progressive wing of the culture war. As I (and not a few others) have been saying: It is the progressives who are the new conservatives, repressive and paternal and hubristic. Droll, too, how this is a performance by progressives of an old anti-liberal theme: “corporations can be just as dangerous as governments.” Yet the performance did not come from a natural flowering of corporate entelchy — it has come from progressives themselves taking over management and H.R. departments and hijacking them for their political-moralistic ends. And though this looks very dark for the open society, at the moment, for liberality and live-and-let-live — for tolerance and true diversity (value diversity; thought diversity) — and it looks very much like a huge consolidation of power by progressives, I suspect that the game is not over, and that we have reached Peak Progressivism. And, indeed, that is probably why this is happening. Progressives have seen the backlash growing, and they are scared. Panicking. Over-reacting. Which shall lead to even more anger at the progressives. I do not really doubt that the tide is turning. But I do not know how long this crest of tyranny will carry on before it crashes in the surf of history. More ominously, I do not know if it will come to fighting in the streets and death squads and what else. So, progressives: your comeuppance is at hand. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
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