Sunday, August 08, 2010

Totschweigetaktik "Death by Silence"

Our reader and commenter Law Wells sent a link yesterday to an opinion essay in the Sydney Morning Herald. The author, Miranda Devine, makes a cogent case against the tactics and attitude of progressives in Oz; her arguments could be applied equally well to deracinated elitists anywhere, but especially do they ring true for the members of the Political Class in our Western culture:

Again and again, smugly, arrogantly, patronisingly, progressives declare themselves to be moderates, claiming to represent a reasonable ideological middle ground, while showering the real moderates, who they dub ‘‘right-wing’’, ‘‘conservative’’ or ‘‘extremist’’, with abuse — subtle and not so subtle.

Ms. Devine mentions the Austro-German word totschweigetaktik, one for which we do not seem to have an equivalent in English (though we sorely need a neologism for this one since it’s such a prevalent maneuver in the MSM):

…’’death by silence’’ is… ‘‘an astonishingly effective tactic for killing off creative work or fresh ideas or even news stories. You don’t criticise or engage with what’s being said or produced or expressed; instead you deprive someone and their work or opinion of the oxygen of attention’’.

Conservatives know totschweigetaktik all too well. It has become common to ask if a particularly egregious move by the progressives will make its way past the increasingly p.c. media threshold into the light of day. Often these stories die in the dark. The portal seems to shrink even as their tactics become more odiously obvious.

Ms. Devine explains why:

Progressives keep trying to redefine the centre in their own image, instead of adjusting their expectations and accepting the reality of a public far more entrenched in conservatism and commonsense than they can imagine.

Their attitude, based as it is on a fundamental dishonesty, leads them to all sorts of self-delusion, fakery and spin that works — because it’s done well — but only temporarily.

Progressives really believe that by willing something into being, by talking it up and writing about it and employing their combined brilliance they can somehow engineer a mass change in social sentiment. It is a core belief. But more and more the arguments run away from them.

And when those arguments “run away” (or more often, when the lid is lifted on a particular can of worms) do the elites undergo any fundamental change in their thinking? Heavens, no. Look at the eroding evidence on one of their principal orthodoxies: global warming. The more the evidence fails them, the more frantically do they patch the leaks with new “evidence”.

There is a whole laundry list of “everybody knows”, from the laughable “Food Pyramid” of the Food and Drug Administration (laughable that is, if you’re not dying from their advice) to the flimflam of their holy dogma about recycling.[pdf]

Ms. Devine continues:

They can belittle and shun people who refuse to accept the genius of their world view but they just make their enemies stronger because all the energy they expend on maintaining the charade that they represent the reasonable middle ground means they fail competently to perform their day jobs — say, running a democratic country.

Or perhaps “failing” to reflect competently and fully the reality they see and refuse to report?

This hubris was in full evidence last week when black members and supporters of the Tea Parties held a news conference at the Press Club in Washington. They gathered in front of an audience of journalists in an attempt to challenge the received — and repeated to the point of tendentiousness — wisdom of the chattering MSM. This “wisdom” they proclaim is their persistent belief, in spite of reality, that the Tea Party phenomenon is racist, specifically that it is anti-black.

This video shows the question-and-answer period at the end, after all the speeches:

Lloyd Marcus (the guy in the black hat), is one of the most public of the Tea Party Express members. He had this notice about the press conference up on his website:
- - - - - - - - -

  • Ambassador Alan Keyes, Chairman of Conservative Majority PAC
  • Star Parker, President, Center for Urban Renewal and Education
  • Lloyd Marcus,Tea Party Express/ NAACPC, author of Confessions of a Black Conservative
  • Kevin Jackson, author of Amazon best-selling book, The BIG Black Lie, President of the Black Conservative Coalition and The Black Sphere, LLC
  • Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, Founder and President of BOND Action
  • Ted Hayes, NABS (National America’s Black Shield)
  • William & Selena Owens, Higher Standard Publishers
  • Mychal S. Massie, Chairman Project 21-The Nation Leadership Network of Black Conservatives
  • Frantz Kebreau, National Director, NAACPC (National Assoc. For the Advancement of Conservative People of ALL Colors),
  • Timothy F. Johnson, Ph.D., The Frederick Douglass Foundation,
  • Lloyd Marcus,Tea Party Express/ NAACPC,
  • Michael Steele, RNC Chairman,
  • Ron Miller, president of Regular Folks United and author of SELLOUT: Musings from Uncle Tom’s Porch
  • C. Mason Weaver, President Mason Media Company Author of It’s Ok to Leave the Plantation
  • Emery W. McClendon, Amateur Radio Military Appreciation Day,
  • Ruth Bryant White, Editor-in-Chief of BreakingNewsJournal.Net, Leader on Conservative Moms For America and author of “Life Through The Eyes Of An Interracial Couple”
  • John Felix, President/CEO/founder of the Caribbean-American Cultural Association, Inc. of North America
  • Bob Parks, Member, National Advisory Council, Project 21; Video Producer, Media Research Center
  • Bishop Harry Jackson, Pastor of Hope Christian Church and Chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition

I recognized some of the faces on the stage.

Bob Parks has a blog, and back when we were rich (i.e., employed) we contributed to his political campaign. Kevin Jackson has a blog, and I’d hoped to buy his book but by the time it came out our book budget had disappeared. I’ve had email conversations with both of them, and with Lloyd Marcus and his wife.

Since she is mentioned on the guest list above, the woman who spoke in that first video may or may not be Star Parker, a columnist at Townhall. She could also be Ruth Bryant White. I’ve never seen either woman, so it's a guess.

However, I have read Ms. Parker’s columns. She has the peculiar distinction of being banned from giving a college speech because the school authorities found Anne Coulter inflammatory. No, I’m not making that up. You know how it is: all conservatives are alike, can’t tell ’em apart, better to ban in haste than repent in cramped fury after the unpleasant experience of being exposed to conservative thought. Protect the children.

I forgot to mention another hallmark of progressives, one you can’t have failed to notice: a frightened, angry lemming-like quality that makes them actively avoid these occasions of exposure to conservative thought. Or, once exposed to the evil, they must perforce exorcise it by ridicule, banishment, and the assignment of fraudulent motives to conservative thinkers in order to diminish them in the eyes of the public.

Ms. Parker had planned to talk to the students about the impact of abortion on minorities, and the early history of Planned Parenthood’s links with eugenics. Which may be the real reason she was uninvited by this Catholic school. Can’t let the children know the ugly beginnings of Planned Parenthood or PP’s less-than-saintly patron saint, Margaret Sanger.

The big surprise (for me) was Niger Innis, from CORE. He’s not on Lloyd Marcus’ invitation list, but he sure made his presence known. My, oh my, things have changed. Watch out, NAACP: your irrelevance is starting to show.

This is a four minute video from Bob Park’s site, showing his speech during the first section of that Press Club conference:

I wish all the speeches given at that conference were available.

There is one on YouTube of Alan Keyes, here.

Another partial speech, by Niger Innis, put up by CNN, can’t be downloaded. View it here (you have to wade through the commerical).

Here is the report from CNS:

Black conservative leaders from around the country gathered in Washington on Wednesday to denounce the NAACP for its resolution charging that elements of the Tea Party movement are racist.

“The accusation by the NAACP is just another example of playing the race card because of failed policies,” conservative talk show host Herman Cain said at the event, which was organized by the Tea Party Express and held at the National Press Club.

“And it’s being used as a distraction from what really ought to be happening and what the NAACP, in particular, ought to be doing -- and that is focusing on many of the problems in the black community.”

Cain said in his opinion, “the NAACP has lost its relevance and they are looking for relevance in all the wrong places.”

Niger Innis, spokesperson for the Congress of Racial Equality, said the NAACP has betrayed its own legacy by adopting the same tactic it was formed to fight in the first place. “The same racial terror that was employed by whites in hoods is now being employed by blacks and whites in suits,” Innis said. “The victims now are Americans who just want to exercise their First Amendment rights,” namely members and leaders of the Tea Party movement, he said.

…Innis and others at the event also blamed the Black Congressional [Caucus] for injecting racism into politics and using it as a weapon against the Tea Party movement.

They noted that the first racism charge against the Tea Party movement followed rallies on Capitol Hill against the Democrats’ health care. “And it was the fraudulent and phony charge issued by the Congressional Black Caucus, or some clueless members of the Congressional Black Caucus, that alleged that the ‘N’ word was dropped and that people were purposefully spit upon,” Innis recalled.

Innis mentioned that one of the Tea Party factions wrote a letter to the Caucus, stating they “take very seriously any charge of racism within our ranks” and asking the caucus to join them in investigating the matter. “The Congressional Black Caucus has yet to respond to this letter,” Innis said.

Kevin Jackson, president of the Black Conservative Coalition, said the Congressional Black Caucus makes race an issue to further its liberal agenda and keep its members in office.

Americans of different nationalities, creeds, colors, and religions mingle at grocery stores and sporting events without “a hint of racism,” Jackson said. “Yet as soon as a piece of legislation comes up, the Democrats roll out [the Congressional Black Caucus] as their intimidation group,” similar to what used to happen with the KKK.

Speaker after speaker at the event said that the Tea Party isn’t about race or racism but about all Americans who value the free market, limited government and the Constitution.

“We have an obligation to defend what made us great,” Mychal Massie, chairman of the Project 21 black leadership network, said. “This is the greatest country in the world, and it will continue to be only as long as Americans stand up and fight to keep it that way.”

Mr. Massie is correct, though standing up for America is becoming harder since the malignant growth of Political Class leaves the space in which we have to stand much smaller with each passing election.

I guess we'll just have to stand closer together...and refuse to capitulate to their totschweigetaktik.

Louder, please.

Amended on August 8th 2010: correction for the spelling for "totschweigtaktik" to totschweigetaktik.

Thanks to Liz for the heads-up.


In Hoc Signo Vinces† said...

In hoc signo vinces

Words fail us, totschweigtaktik - this on an individual level is the weight of isolation a tactic that the political elites are adept at. In the UK this tactic has been taking one step further - isolation then criminalisation to see the ultimate outcome of this tactic check out the isolation and criminalisation policy directed at indigenous welfare recipients.

Unfortunately "conservatives" have bought into this hook, line and sinker, surprisingly with the reality of a working class/underclass that is far more entrenched in conservatism and commonsense than they can imagine.

Ask any UK politician which group is the most politically active, the answer the indigenous underclass.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the "Totschweige-Taktik":
Some big Media Czar once states:
"whatever we chose not to print didn't happen!"
You can see this principle at work as stated in your article.

Regards from Austria,


Unknown said...

Here's the original totschweigtaktik article, from Quadrant, that Miranda Devine so kindly mentioned in her excellent column. It explains how it works and why it's so lethal. (And why, as our world is polarising, it's an increasingly common tactic.) For some reason, the word is known in Austria, not in Germany. I first came across it in a piece in The Spectator by Geoffrey Wheatcroft. It captured something I'd seen in action; I had just never known it had such a chillingly apt name. SG

Beach Girl said...

Thank you, Baron. Words fail me too. I cannot thank you enough... Yes, let's stand closer together...

Anonymous said...

Unofficial transcript of CBS' "Niger Innis" segment starting @0:37 - with links added to additional video footage w/explanations:

"My wish to rid black neighborhoods of crime, get black children access to quality education, build the CEO mindset in black children makes me a neanderthal, an oreo, an Uncle Tom, a sellout, a tool of the white man, a sufferer of the sick Stockholm Syndrome, a cracker lover, a black man who dates white women, Clarence Thomas and a race traitor. Of what race? The human race? One thing the Democrats don't want to discuss is their history of racism and their history is repeating because Democrats re-enslaved America and this time, it's not just catching blacks. It's catching whites as well. It's catching everybody. That's why I call 2010 "Emancipation II". This time, even the white folks get freed. The other day, Obama appeared on "The View" and he actually called black people "mongrels". The left blatantly allows criminals who intimidate voters to go free, appoints avowed racists to high level government positions and makes every piece of legislation racial - yet they want to sell the idea that the tea party has a fringe of racism. They say that their icons only 'dabbled' in racist organizations like the KKK, the 'Progressive Movement", eugenics, slavery and the denial of civil rights - asking us to believe that fat meat and greasy rattlesnacks make good house pets. They say they are not elitist as they park their yachts in sanctuary states, make money trading carbon credits as they fly in their private jets, many at tax payers expense - selling blacks and other minorities on 'voting democrat' should be more difficult than selling skinny Rosie O'Donnell dolls in Harlem. But democrats do create black leaders. Blacks lead in unemployment, high school drop out rates, incarceration rates, teenage pregnancy rates, home foreclosures, abortion, crime in neighborhoods. The tea party on the other hand represents black America because the tea party movement empowers black people and, in fact, it empowers all people. The tea party movement challenges blacks and other minorities to understand that government is the problem not the solution. The tea party movement is scarey to those who want big government and is the hope of America and this movement is the freeing from bondage. The left has weilded racism like a dirty nuclear weapon destroying whole cities and the hopes and dreams of many Americans, not just blacks anymore..." (audio stops working here).

Unknown said...

Okay, sorry, should have heeded the instruction on URLs - just google the term totschweigtaktik + Quadrant magazine to find the original article that Ms Devine so generously quoted. I was a little amused though, Dymphna, to get "totsched" so thoroughly, in your cut and paste, from my own quotes. Talk about unkind cuts: we freelance writers notice those things! But thank you for drawing attention to Miranda's column - and this invidious tactic. Shelley Gare

Dymphna said...

[amended comment from the original to include the situation in the UK]


...I was a little amused though, Dymphna, to get "totsched" so thoroughly, in your cut and paste, from my own quotes. Talk about unkind cuts: we freelance writers notice those things!...

"Amused"? Surely you're a more generous person than I, Ms.Gare. I'd have been annoyed, to put it mildly. And it would've furthered my concern about the careless plagiarism which is an increasing problem for writers today.

In this post, I elided your quote from Ms DeVine's essay because (a) it would have distracted from my theme re our American political situation, and (b) your description and naming of this situation are startlingly apt. Thus, I'd intended to do a search on your work today, with the idea of wrting a second post about this phenomenon in all spheres.

However, before I could even google your information, you supplied it in your first comment:

Death by Silence in the Writers' Combat Zone

Your essay from Quadrant is an amazing tale. Again, however, the particularities of names and writers, mostly Australian, would not serve my specific mission -- i.e., fisking the base motives of the American Left in their concerted efforts to silence the conservative voice in our public square.

If you'll email me here -- dymphnachromatismnet, I'll let you know when the next installment of Totschweigtaktik is posted. It will definitely feature prominently one Shelley Gare, whose name produced 680,000 hits on a Google search.

Your verb, "totsched" is elegant. "Totschweigtaktik" should become part of the lexicon; I'll do my bit to spread it as a meme (w/ credit to you). However, we are a small blog, so there's no way to know if the larger conservative blogosphere (the VRWC -- that is, the VastRightWingConspiracy, as we were dubbed by Hillary Clinton) will pick it up or not.

Lt. Col Allen West, who is running for Congress in south Florida (and who, coincidentally, is black) said:

When tolerance becomes a one-way street, it leads to cultural suicide.

An Austrian who writes for this blog has his quote in her signature line.

In the next installment, while the Australian experience will be mentioned, my focus will be how your insights can be used to fight the VastLeftWingHegemony in American media, academia, politics, etc.

A commenter prior to you in this thread, 4Symbols, talked about the steps of this process in the UK, where it is truly alarming. First there is the individual weight of isolation, followed by criminalisation. He says

see the ultimate outcome of this tactic [;] check out the isolation and criminalisation policy directed at indigenous welfare recipients.

The English Defence League knows this all too well.


BTW, we have numerous Australian donors. When I asked one of them why our blog seemed to be so popular in Oz, he explained there were few right wing outlets in your country. I think it may be even worse for you than for us, but in neither case is it as bad as the UK.

Professor L said...

Quite right Dymphna. There are, in Sydney (pop. 4.5+ million) three newspapers - The Daily Telegraph (tabloid, owned by News Ltd), The Sydney Morning Herald (fairly left-leaning broadsheet - Miranda Devine is one of a few conservatives on the opinion pages. Mike Carlton (radical lefty) is more representative, if a bit blunter), and The Australian (national broadsheet, owned by News Ltd. More conservative than the Herald, but they're republican through and through (Me being a monarchist, a proper conservative paper would favour retaining the Crown)). Apart from a few local papers (distributed for free - they run off advertising), our physical media is extremely concentrated (channels are ABC, SBS, Seven, Nine (News Ltd, again) and Ten. Two are government owned).

I do, from time to time, read the Australian Conservative, but that generally focuses a lot more on politics. On matters referring to the Constitution, I would suggest Australians for Constitutional Monarchy (pretty active most of the time. Professor Flint is also a constitutional lawyer, or was).

But both are online, and have little readership beyond those like me with a bit too much time on their hands.

This concentration is a problem I've really started noticing.

Also, just to clear things up, the LAW in my name are actually the intials of my given names (while Wells is my surname). It lets me post under my real name while still retaining a spot of privacy.

Unknown said...

Thanks Dymphna and I'll email you as well. I did note that you'd done the elisions, quote marks etc; I was just mortified, after all that work and research - and two essays on the subject (another appeared in The Spectator's Australian edition) to have been so neatly "disappeared" for clarity. But thanks again for a generous post and so pleased the word has inspired you and others. (Again, my thanks to Geoffrey Wheatcroft and his original use of the word in the British Spectator.) Most of us have seen this tactic in action; we just didn't know what to call it. best wishes, Shelley

EscapeVelocity said...

Here is the Sydney Morning Herald, pimping for Islam.

Ill point you to a particularly vomit inducing article on Shiek Hilaly who famously called Australian women cat meat, who were asking to get raped by Muslim men...among other things.

The mufti we love to hate

Age and experience have softened the outspoken Sheik Taj el-Din al Hilaly, who talks to Ben Cubby.

My The mufti we love to hate

Check out the lovable ole guy in the kitchen cooking up a nice meal for the family. Propaganda at its finest, PR campaign selling Islam and Hilaly.

Notice the framing of the title. Australians are haters of the kind old man who doesnt deserve the hatred of the white Anglo supremacists.


The article on Abo conversion to Islam is also interesting (and of course biased and reeking of disinformation on Islam).

A new faith for Kooris

More Aborigines are finding similarities between their culture and Islamic principles,

A New Faith for Kooris