On the off-chance you aren’t familiar with the term gaslighting, it is derived from a play called Gas Light. Known in the US as Angel Street, it was filmed in 1940 and remade in 1944. In the fictional version, a man tries to drive his wife mad by moving objects around and persuading her she had done so, subtle things like that. In real life and person to person, it consists simply of lying. On a national or international scale, it is similar to the big lie technique described by a certain German former soldier in his 1923 book. It amounts to lying on a grand scale and using the pressure of conformity to accept the lie.
Gaslighting is a surprisingly common behaviour, and can be found even in primary schools. In the adult world of politics however, we like to think that if our leaders don’t always tell us the truth, they at least don’t treat us like total imbeciles. Sadly, since the Trump era, we have seen precious little else from the Democrat opposition which is now unfortunately in power. A classic example is the claim that Antifa doesn’t exist. Christopher Wray, the man Donald Trump used to replace James Comey (and regretted it) has claimed Antifa is a movement or an ideology, but not an organisation. Some Democrats go further than this, but while Antifa is indeed a movement, it is also an organisation, or rather a series of organisations. Its stronghold in the United States is Portland, Oregon where its members and supporters have caused damage to property on a colossal scale, both public property and private property. In Portland and Minneapolis, they have actually tried to murder police officers. Yet they get a free pass…because they claim to be anti-fascist?
Cancel culture is something else some people are attempting to gaslight us over. Although the phrase hasn’t been around that long, the practice has. The extreme left has a long history of pressurising organisations and individuals to boycott “racists” and others they find reprehensible, often by threats of violence or actual violence. Recently however, it has taken a new turn with people’s social media accounts being trawled from years ago in search of some disparaging comment. The children’s author J.K. Rowling of all people has been targeted for daring to point out the obvious fact that men are not women.
Even so, there are some people who would have us believe cancel culture doesn’t really exist. The American actor Don Cheadle is the latest person to make this absurd claim. Nobody is cancelled for making one controversial statement he says. rather these people have a pattern of such behaviour. Exactly what is the pattern of behaviour with J.K. Rowling? Of course, this claim also ignores the fact that the mob is intent on cancelling large tranches of our history, including some of our most famous historical figures. Famous and great in the case of Thomas Jefferson, or George Washington. While it is difficult to believe that even Antifa and their fellow travellers would dare to attack statues of the Founding Fathers, it is even more difficult to believe they would be allowed to get away with it. As Dinesh D’Souza pointed out, if they did something like that in India or China, they would be shot.
While the left wing press should never be taken too seriously, of late it appears to have lost its mind. The latest offering by the Guardian is the claim that the tie, yes, the necktie, is an outdated symbol of white male rule. While some people find ties to be constricting, check out this piece of feminist absurdity from Claire Robinson, who is a professor, if you can believe that.
Finally, someone we should take seriously because he walks around with a warrant card in his pocket. Rob Jones of Britain’s National Crime Agency is quoted in this article about David Wilson, a particularly odious character who has just been given a 25 year sentence for unspeakable crimes involving the grooming of young boys. The real villain of the piece we are told isn’t Wilson but Facebook because it is planning to use end-to-end encryption which will increase the security of the website. If it does, it will be more difficult to bring people like Wilson to book.
This emotive argument is superficially persuasive until considered reductio ad absurdum. What is to stop the man next door beating his wife? Perhaps every room of every house should be fitted with CCTV linked to a central monitoring station? If you haven’t read the book or seen the film, think 1984. We have the best child protection software already, it’s called parents, and just because there are evil people in the world doesn’t mean we should give all power to the state, because there are evil people who work for that too. Or have you forgotten the pretext for the riots of last summer already?
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.