The core concept of Western jurisprudence is that the individual is presumed innocent when accused of a social transgression by the State. It matters little to the accused whether the power of the State is given or coerced when they are faced with the weight of society. The idea that the individual is sovereign and it is society that bears the burden of proof arguably gives the accused an advantage. And as the severity of the accusation increases, the burden of proof is usually more rigorous, until for capital crimes the proof must usually be rigorous and narrow. The legal concept of individual sovereignity is the very basis of individual liberty and freedom.
Unless you live in the Western world, where the accusation is now the proof; a practice that extends even to the courts. Let someone be accused of crime think and it is the accused who must provide the evidence, in essence required to prove a negative, and an exercise with a very high degree of difficulty. In this world the individual is subordinate to the State. Unable to ‘prove’ their innocence on the shifting sands of rule-of-man, the individual must stay silent or be punished.
The Left has used this as a control strategy for decades. Charge someone with being an ‘-ist’ and they are instantly immobilized as they try to extricate themselves from the horrible accusation. It’s not even necessary to believe that someone actually is an ‘-ist’; the stigma is all that’s required. It’s a case of a wholesale transfer of power from a group of people to their detriment. And it’s a voluntary transfer. Wanting to appear to be good people, the accused dare not challenge the accuser, lest additional punishment be warranted.
Control strategies are effective as long as there’s a compatible environment, and the ‘-ist’ strategy is effective as long as those attitudes are prevalent. The world has changed the last half-century and Progressivism hasn’t. A lot of people are really tired of being told how bad they are when they know differently. I’d say that a good part of why the Left lost in 2016 wasn’t just because of their message, but because large parts of their message are no longer relevant.
So if someone calls you an ‘-ist’, just say ‘Prove it’. Then shut up and let them squirm for a change.
The Beat Rolls On
The beating of Duke basketball teams, that is. A day after the men’s team was defeated by South Carolina (7), the Duke (9) women’s team was ousted by Oregon. Unranked Oregon. That’s gonna leave a mark in Durham.