Writer Daniela Greenberg’s job at Business Insider is the latest casualty of the preposterous circular firing squad that the Left’s supposed victory in the Culture Wars has foisted upon us, for the vicious crime of suggesting that any actor can play any role, and that therefore Scarlet Johansson needn’t step aside from a role playing a transgender person in favor of a transgender actor.
“Only TG people should play TG people!” they squawk. “Only gay people should write fiction involving gay characters! Only Chinese people can wear traditional Chinese dresses to their proms!”
In the cultural Left’s world, of course, your group identity is (assuming a lack of membership in their analogue to the Washington Generals, the officially designated Bad Guys) your moneymaker, and anything that might dilute its value must perforce be sheer theft. What has made them think they get to expand this and apply it to everyone, though?
Part of the answer is that they lost the 2016 election, which not only made them feel angry and as if they had nothing to lose, but disgraced the leadership of both parties. It was only the Democratic leadership, more practical and transactional than the base, that held them back before this (and at that, only partially).
The underlying impulse, however, due to the fact that large parts of the Left are essentially Calvinist. They believe in economic and cultural predestination, and that no one gets ahead without the active assistance of others. Have something? “You didn’t build that!” Want to do something or have something? “Can’t win; don’t try– but we’ll take it using government and hand it to you in exchange for your votes.” This is nothing new, of course, in economics. Unions used to guard their territory with incredible jealousy, stifling innovation with rebranded greed, normalized rent-seeking and a zero-sum mentality, that culminated in the snarling bag of cats of labor in 1970s Britain. Now it has spread to culture, in which ethnic groups are strongly encouraged to be grasping, narrowminded and suspicious of incursions on “their property”, as though Chinese culture were some sort of hydroelectric plant that you can’t permit any scabs or imperialist melting-pot advocates to enjoy or profit from until the Central Committee condescends to permit it.
Everyone is acting as though there’s no way of punishing the social-media shaming addicts. They will be punished, though, sooner or later, the same way the Brexiteers won Brexit and Trump won the 2016 election– from sheer built-up pressure. It had better happen soon, though, or the punishments of the Woke will go beyond shame or job loss. Violence and vigilantism will rear their ugly heads. None of us wants that, but so far, none of us wants to give up what we’d have to give up to avoid it– the non-Left out of having been pushed as far as we’ll go, and the Left, out of ambition born of righteousness.