A partisan, left-liberal media loves to see a Conservative wade into areas of “progressive” debate. It is easy to paint such critics of woke identititarian politics as being reactionary and hopelessly out of touch with what is (oxymoronically) referred to as “The Liberal Consensus” – when there’s no consensus and it is the very antithesis of “liberal” thought. What could possibly be more authoritarian than promoting a narrow worldview and punishing and shaming anyone who dares to think outside it?
The genius of “Libs of TikTok” is that they offer no commentary, they cannot be accused of misrepresenting the argument put forward by “Liberals” – they merely copy and collate statements made willingly – and invite their audience to react to the more outrageous excesses of arguments that are never debated honestly by those who espouse them.
When arguing with those on the ultra-progressive Left, of course debate must be silenced. The easiest way to prevent ones argument from being examined, its flaws exposed to ridicule, is to prevent any discussion of it in the first place.
Anyone who is not willing to go to war against the woke is compelled to agree with their nonsense, or at the very least stay silent on the matter, for fear that they too will be “cancelled” or face accusations of bigotry.
So, rather than try and counter id-pol obsessives, what Libs of Tik Tok does is simply replay their own comments – in all their ridiculousness. The effect is profound.
Progressives cannot claim their views are being misrepresented- (they are being replayed verbatim) – so rather than attack the message they are forced to attack the messenger, thus the person behind the website is identified and the Twitter hate-campaign rolls into action.
If your ideas can’t stand up to a bit of debate then they’re probably not very sound ideas. But rather than debate honestly the progressive left instead tries to frighten and cancel any who would stand up to their silly yet dangerous agenda.
Taylor Lorenz, who has bleated about suffering PTSD after she faced some vitriolic push-back on her cancel-culture Id-Pol agenda driven output, now shows her true colours by going after and naming someone with whom she disagrees. That is indefensible and should frankly end her career as a journalist – though of course it won’t. The Left absolve themselves of blame because they sincerely believe their opponents deserve it – so different rules apply.
You cannot lay claim to a principle and then apply that principle inconsistently. To do so is – by definition – hypocrisy.
Lorenz’s indignation is a sham, a self-serving and conspicuous lie. Though few people who are familiar with her output – or that of her employers – would be too surprised to discover that they are canting hypocrites.
The Taylor Lorenz angle is made worse by the fact that she bleated about her ‘PTSD’ because of online attacks and doxxing attempts… about 3 weeks ago. Has she learned nothing in that time?
But this is not the same thing at all, you see, because she is not the victim, so therefore it is okay.
This is where the current progressive left seems to come unstuck, simply down to their unquestioning belief that their point of view is intrinsically virtuous, thus everyone who thinks differently to them must be wrong. And not merely wrong, but somehow “Evil”.
This is their “Get out of jail free” card, at that point all bets are off, which allows them to do as they please. They can dox you, but cry foul if the same rules of the game are applied to them.
They appear willingly blind to the possibility that other, perfectly decent and thoughtful people might, quite justifiably, think differently to them. I think this is the fundamental cause of the pessimism and rancour that permeates almost all left-leaning discourse.
Nailed it Paddy…..
Utter hypocrisy defines the Left.
“The Left absolve themselves of blame because they sincerely believe their opponents deserve it – so different rules apply.”
They absolve themselves of hypocrisy, too.
They think, “Why should I pay attention to the gilded, phony arguments of bigots?”
They have one standard: unless you deserve it.
They say, “I abhor violence — unless you deserve it.
They say, “I am against intolerance — unless you deserve it.”
They say, “I’m against discrimination — unless you deserve it.”
See? One standard.
It’s a bit like the Soviet Union where you had amazing legal protections that protected your right to free speech…
Unless you “lied”
“What could possibly be more authoritarian than promoting a narrow worldview and punishing and shaming anyone who dares to think outside it?”
Quite so. Hence my personal definition of wokeness: the authoritarian pseudo-progressive usurpation of liberalism.
Really excellent comment as a whole. Thanks.
Well, you could say the Spanish Inquisition was more authoritarian on the same basis, so maybe we should count our blessings.
Better shamed than burned at the stake, eh?
Thanks Paddy, your comment is in some respects more insightful than the article!
“If your ideas can’t stand up to a bit of debate then they’re probably not very sound ideas.”
This is exactly the point of cancel culture. The Progs are so unsure of their ideas being robust to criticism, the only way to be able to keep believing in them is to eliminate competing ideas. The Progs live most of their intellectual lives (oxymoron) in a bubble; they want that bubble to encircle the world, thus ensuring a ‘safe space’ in which they don’t need to think or defend their lunacy.
Hence the safety pins on their lapels!
Conservatives often make the mistake of believing that the so-called “war of ideas” stays within the realm of ideas. War never stays within the expected boundaries of the battle plan (ask the Russians and Ukrainians.)
We are at war with progressives who want to destroy us. That will use any means available to do so: lamenting doxxing while doing it, using intelligence agencies to promote disinformation, having tech companies silence us, etc… We must be willing to play the same game; otherwise, we’ll be forever on defense. This week, I saw the first offensive strike: DeSantis now has a bill to destroy Disney’s ability to behave like a municipality. Orange County, FL will now have regulatory authority over Disneyworld. This is the sort of thing we must do. Everywhere.
The Left wants us conservatives silenced, bankrupted, imprisoned, or dead, generally in that order (ask Any Ngo.) To the extent that corporations, or media, or universities have enlisted in that war (Disney wasn’t drafted; they chose to enlist), they are fair targets. If conservatives want to win, we’d better get used to using political (state) power to hurt our enemies, because it’s the only power we have left.
I just pray that it’s not too late…
You are bringing a rational penknife to an emotional gunfight. You are going to lose.
Two days ago Jen Psaki, press secretary to the President of the United States, wept on air because of the damage being inflicted on what she calls trans children by the Florida law that bans instruction in gender identity to children ages 5 to 9.
Argue with that.
You are bringing a rational penknife to an emotional gunfight.
Better that than the Trans lobby trying to defend their position on the right to indoctrinate children in gender ID.
They’re turning up to a battle of wits completely unarmed.
They don’t care is the issue. There’s no rational thinking with these people.
“Destroying the lives of random citizens by exposing them to a wider, hostile audience is very much a bipartisan enterprise.”
No it isn’t.
Stop trying to equate the two sides. Ad hominem attacks, cancel culture, using threats and physical violence to bully ideological opponents is pretty much a leftist-marxist modus operandi.
And that’s why this incident is sinister. The envy angle is true, but you glanced past a more important point: Libs of tiktok, Rogan, Tucker Carlson are popular. They are popular because they represent what common people want and think.
Wapo, NYT, Guardian and their obnoxious, evil ideas are not popular,they are supported by a minority. Their ideas are ridiculous and vulnerable to mockery (which again is why they hate Libs tiktok).
But here is the issue: those unpopular Leftist views (mass immigration, toddler grooming, softness on crime etc) are still being forced on us in an undemocratic way. And the way the likes of Wapo are doing this includes suppressing any kind of debate or questioning, the kind of tactics being used against Libs of tiktok.
Wapo, NYT, Guardian and their obnoxious, evil ideas are not popular,they are supported by a minority…
Very true, which is why deception, cancelling/silencing, infiltration and force/mandating/weaponising of power structures must be deployed …because you cannot convince people using rational argument.
The methods are the clue that the ideas themselves suck.
The dispute over Libs of TikTok is an example of the elite alienation of the West.
When the common people stare at the leading edge of the elite’s Arc of History and are repulsed (much like what happened with CRT during Covid public school Zoom instruction), then the people must be punished.
Those who are “pushing the envelope” are treated as both victims and brave pioneers. The people’s disgust, on the other hand, is seen as bigoted, not righteous, by those who presume to lead them.
One day one of these organisations will ‘dox’ the sort of person who might end up going postal in their head office, so it’s a dangerous path they’re heading down.
For all its virality, I never heard of them till yesterday.
Having had a quick look it’s unwatchable, modern, gnat attention span, nut job American, drivel anyway.
As an American, I approve this message!! Onward…
Watch it because these people are in classrooms teaching toddlers and young childfen.
*Watch it because these people are in classrooms grooming toddlers and young children.
It is important to recognize this aspect of the Left’s so-called “Long March Through the Institutions.”
Conservatives often complain that they do not compete well against the Left because “We have jobs. We work for a living. All they do is agitate and protest.”
What the videos of Libs of TikTok show is that the folks on the cultural Left do work. They have jobs too. They are teachers, daycare workers, Librarians, HR officers and diversity staffers.
The difference is that the Left have gotten us to pay their salaries and benefits.
Am I the only person on the planet who, bar this medium, had no involvement in any soshul meeja whatsoever, and actually do not even know who/what most of the names mentioned actually are?
No, count me in.
You’re not alone.
I don’t have accounts, but I find out about these kind of sites and see some of their output through aggregators. Though I have no interest in participating in social media myself, it is very beneficial to see what is out there. For one, people are using it as a means of influencing others. Twitter is the classic example: its users a very tiny minority who can overrule a majority due to the megaphone that platform gives them. TikTok is another, and while it is more geared towards youth, that is in a way what can make it even more disturbing when you see what some adults–especially when they are teachers or daycare workers–are telling children.
Without these mediums, and without conservative-minded people following them, we could be ignorant of what is going on in the background. In fact in a way we have been: many articles (here and elsewhere) have noted the shocking rise in kids identifying as transgender the past decade. While some of that might be following the herd or jumping on the latest trend (instead of just being goth like in the ’90s or punk in the ’80s), stuff like the Libs of TikTok account help show that there have been people in positions of influence and power over youth actively pushing this agenda onto them without their parents’ knowledge or consent .
That’s what makes it so dangerous and insidious; by the time you realize what’s happened it’s entrenched and metastasized.
It’s not hard to know at all — the sin is being more popular than “legitimate” media. I think it’s worth reminding people to always check a link if you can BEFORE you open it. Every click on, say, a Guardian or a WaPo page makes that outlet more valuable to advertisers; it’s not all about subscriptions. If you open one of their pages, you’re inadvertently helping them, but every time you refuse to do so, you hurt them some more.
One outflow of liberalism is the idea that those in positions of authority and power must demonstrate their legitimacy.
Washington state just passed a rule that all employee complaints automatically go into the public domain so that they can be judged in the court of public opinion outside the court system.
This is a move to a sort of anarchism and combined with the power of social media, the mob has power, indeed, a power that may be greater than afforded by hierarchical power structures.
Hegel’s trick to absolute power was to declare a class of victims that together formed a mob but individually had no control and therefore were legitimate and then transfer that legitimacy to an autocrat who gave up his identity and assumed the identity of the class of victims thus achieving unassailable legitimacy and absolute power.
But, social media reveals the effectiveness of mob behavior, and society must subject it to similar standards of legitimacy. A mob of so-called victims is not powerless or lacking authority; on the contrary, witness them overwhelming authoritative structures they deem oppressively powerful.
The rich irony is that the Left cackled with joy when the doxxing “Borat” movies were released…they proclaimed such parodies were a true window into the soul of wacko Middle Americans.
Remember when Obama famously declared with a broad stereotypical brush, “And it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations…”
Now ‘Libs of TikTok’ is pulling a Borat and Obama on the Left by showing a number of their intolerant and wacko views in their own words (and with less manipulation than the Borat movies).
Cue the outrage and cancel culture…can’t allow mockery of very accurate views the Left.
As an aside, this is why Saturday Night Live is currently about as funny as Pravda doing comedy skits during the CCCP years. Propaganda is dreadfully unoriginal.
This is also why Borat and Libs of TikTok are so funny. There’s grains of truth that go beyond stereotype about how some very wacky people think.
As Jordan Peterson once highlighted, comedians are the canaries in the coal mine…the jester in the king’s court is the only person allowed to tell the truth. The king who can no longer tolerate his jester has become a tyrant.
I miss our comedians.
Wait wait wait- Libs of TikTok is wrong? Reposting in one place the completely insano ‘libs’ outing themselves as groomers and sexual deviants is wrong? Interesting moral judgement.
I think this piece reiterates the general shift in the social movement of the conservatives in the United States. More and more conservatives who have lived the last decade of feeling like they were isolated in their social views due to societal pressures and institutions like the mainstream media are waking up to the fact that they aren’t so alone.
I believe the media is realizing this in a way and the example covered in this article is just one in a long line of reporters trying to stir up witch hunts to stop conservatives from realizing they can win on social issues. Think the Nicholas Sandmann story slandering a teenager for having the audacity to smile and wear a Trump hat, or CNN threatening to dox a Reddit user over posting a Trump gif.
The media can’t have people seeing this content because the more of it they see the more comfortable they feel in expressing their views. Maybe we are going too far with LGBT concepts in schools? Maybe we shouldn’t teach concepts like Critical Race Theory? Maybe we can start also talking about problems Men face in society as well?
It’s these questions that deserved to be asked in American society that haven’t been asked in the last decade, and they’ve been desperately censored through threat of cancelling or doxing those who might express them. However, they’re finally finding out it’s just not working anymore.
Kudos to Samir Iker, he nailed it.
Yes he did, and so did Paddy Taylor.
The greater sin is being popular.
Since Libs of TikTok is just reposting content, they are not wrong, the original poster is wrong.
On a more simplistic level. Is Libs of TikTok not merely the new National Enquirer, brought back to life. And not a moment too soon, judging by the reaction as illustrated by this article.
What would the good folks Ukrainians think of all this nonsense?
Of Americans en masse making themselves miserable through tiny screens? Tiny screens no doubt! It’s never-ending electioneering. And it never used to be like that.
In the old days the young watched TV. Strict and fussy parents used to decry the youth who would lounge too long on the sofa just watching light entertainment: cartoons, westerns, Buster Keaton, The Incredible Hulk, McGyver. That was the stuff that cheered up those political refugees who found sanctuary in the West back in the day also – light entertainment was a novel thing for them. But today, what with the imagery of violence on the internet, it might actually be a blessing to see youth leisurely staring out the window or just watching (on the television) a John Wayne western: their bones are more likely as strong as Ukrainian ones. Leave such youth well alone!
At the rate America is going, all Americans will somehow claim to be familiar with Tom & Jerry and The Road Runner – without their ever having actually watched a whole single cartoon of either.
Such is the mania of bombarding imagery on the American mind, today, thanks to the ridiculously tiny tyrannical screens.
CRT? Everyone back in the old days understood that to mean a cathode ray tube.
I viewed parts of a few Libs of TikTok videos. They are without exception, cringeworthy. However, they are no doubt posted simply to enrage rather to inform, to “destroy” or “own” the left. A most uninspiring ambition.
There are, in this big, wide world, people on both ends of the spectrum, however you want to name it, which cause me to cringe and there is a probably a Rednecks-of-Reddit blog somewhere which is equally enraging and uninformative. Of course the attempt by some established media giants to demonize LOTT and its aggregator comes as absolutely no surprise. The notion that these outlets represent the truth and are unbiased was never the case and now that alternate channels are available, is becoming embarrassingly obvious.
So the person behind this site has been outed. So what is my first thought. The fundamental problem with Twitter is the ability to be anonymous, so that so-called “free speech absolutists” can spout hate speech. I have no idea what this person has written and I have no interest in finding out, but if it was worth publishing then she should be honest and not hide behind a wall of secrecy.
Gatekeepers must be gatekeepers. Please respect their role.
Kat has been growing as a commentator on culture and is now matured & become wise