Harvey Weinstein and the future of leftism

More than two years after the fall of Harvey Weinstein's empire, Weinstein awaits a criminal trial next month on charges of rape and related sexual misconduct.  It is time to take stock of what we have learned from this scandal.

The most important characteristic of Weinstein's conduct (and that of many other media celebrities) is the use of money and power to facilitate and cover up their misconduct.  Weinstein was as powerful an individual as existed over the past thirty years.  His movies shaped our culture.  He could and did make or break careers in Hollywood.  The people he favored became rich and influential.  His money and influence filled the coffers of powerful politicians.  He and the Hollywood that he dominated were the epitome of Howard Beale's rant from the old fictional movie Network.  Weinstein truly could "make or break presidents, popes, prime ministers."  Arguably more than any other single media figure, Weinstein was the "most awesome g------ propaganda force in the whole godless world."  (Beale was speaking of television instead of movies, but a young Harvey Weinstein must have been taking notes.)

In particular, Weinstein's influence and money bought Hillary Clinton.  For nearly a quarter of a century, Hillary was either the co-president or the president-in-waiting, depending on what decade one is talking about.  The money that rained down upon her, her campaigns, and her foundation was sure to pay rich dividends to the donors in the form of more influence and protection when the inevitable coronation day arrived.  As long as that coronation day loomed on the horizon (near or distant), her contributors never had cause to demand the return of their 30 pieces of silver.

Weinstein was free to run his empire with impunity.  He spent company money to ensnare his female victims, to employ them, to fly them around the world, to bribe them into silence, to investigate and intimidate witnesses and reporters, etc.  Moviemaking and script approval decisions often depended on Weinstein's tactics for engaging in or covering up a particular scandal.  Weinstein was not alone in this regard as Matt Lauer spent plenty of NBC money ferrying his female "producers" around the world with him for ostensibly journalistic purposes — and then additional NBC money ferrying his wife around the world when she insisted on keeping an eye on those "producers."   

The makers of our culture thus enjoyed all of the privileges of a third-world dictator.  Their subjects were at their disposal for sexual purposes.  Weinstein and his contemporaries enjoyed the immunity that their money and influence bought.

This situation changed in 2016. When Hillary unexpectedly lost the presidential election that year, her benefactors were suddenly vulnerable.  All of the expectations of a Hillary presidency were gone.  She could no longer trade on her future ambitions.  She could not protect Weinstein from the flood of allegations.  Less than a year later, Weinstein's victims felt free to seek justice.  The dam burst throughout the media and popular culture.  Weinstein and other media and political figures were accused and forced to resign.  The "me too" movement grew.  Hollywood promised that the era of sexual excess was over.

But the end of the harassment culture has probably not yet arrived.  Joe Biden's presidential campaign has not yet imploded despite his well documented past (and present).  Congressman Katie Hill resigned, but, with the help of the New York Times, she is "still in the fight."  Even so, the "me too" movement soldiers on.

Why does it matter whether or not the party is over for sex-crazed media moguls and celebrity journalists?  For decades, sexual excess, gratification, and even violence have been the spoils of power.  This has been true from the rape rooms of Uday Hussein to the hotel suites of Harvey Weinstein.  It has been no secret that Weinstein's and the culture-makers' political activity is overwhelmingly tilted toward socialist advocacy.  When they funded Hillary, they did not expect her to lower taxes, shrink the federal government, or close the borders.  They expected socialism.  When the Weinstein accusations first exploded in 2017, his first reaction was to speak publicly of his commitment to fighting the NRA.  For years, the culture-makers have advocated greater totalitarianism and have received sexual impunity in return.

If sexual violence is no longer the reward for power, what incentive does the left have to seek totalitarianism in the United States?  Will the leftists continue to pursue the chaos of gun confiscation, gender confusion, election fraud, open borders, socialized medicine, and climate hoaxes if they cannot capitalize sexually on the power that such oppressive policies bring?  Must the rest of us continue to pretend that educated media moguls pursue ruinous Venezuelan-type policies for some reason other than the sordid spoils of power? 

Not all leftists seek totalitarian power solely for sexual gratification.  For some of our freshmen congresspersons, "the Venezuelan States of America" would be its own reward.  The forcible displacement of most Americans through the "Green New Deal" or the forcible subjugation of America to sharia law are the actual goals instead of means to more salacious goals.  Barack Obama once told his supporters they should vote in order to obtain "revenge."

So the future of leftism may involve a battle between two competing groups: (1) the purists who seek totalitarianism solely for the sake of vengeance or religious persecution and (2) the Weinstein faction that seeks power for the sake of sexual domination.  We face the spectacle of a perpetual battle between Qusay and Uday.  The rest of us may be too busy digging for food in dumpsters to enjoy the show.  If we want to avoid this fate, we had better hope that Trump is successful in draining the swamp.

Image: David Shankbone via Wikimedia Commons.

More than two years after the fall of Harvey Weinstein's empire, Weinstein awaits a criminal trial next month on charges of rape and related sexual misconduct.  It is time to take stock of what we have learned from this scandal.

The most important characteristic of Weinstein's conduct (and that of many other media celebrities) is the use of money and power to facilitate and cover up their misconduct.  Weinstein was as powerful an individual as existed over the past thirty years.  His movies shaped our culture.  He could and did make or break careers in Hollywood.  The people he favored became rich and influential.  His money and influence filled the coffers of powerful politicians.  He and the Hollywood that he dominated were the epitome of Howard Beale's rant from the old fictional movie Network.  Weinstein truly could "make or break presidents, popes, prime ministers."  Arguably more than any other single media figure, Weinstein was the "most awesome g------ propaganda force in the whole godless world."  (Beale was speaking of television instead of movies, but a young Harvey Weinstein must have been taking notes.)

In particular, Weinstein's influence and money bought Hillary Clinton.  For nearly a quarter of a century, Hillary was either the co-president or the president-in-waiting, depending on what decade one is talking about.  The money that rained down upon her, her campaigns, and her foundation was sure to pay rich dividends to the donors in the form of more influence and protection when the inevitable coronation day arrived.  As long as that coronation day loomed on the horizon (near or distant), her contributors never had cause to demand the return of their 30 pieces of silver.

Weinstein was free to run his empire with impunity.  He spent company money to ensnare his female victims, to employ them, to fly them around the world, to bribe them into silence, to investigate and intimidate witnesses and reporters, etc.  Moviemaking and script approval decisions often depended on Weinstein's tactics for engaging in or covering up a particular scandal.  Weinstein was not alone in this regard as Matt Lauer spent plenty of NBC money ferrying his female "producers" around the world with him for ostensibly journalistic purposes — and then additional NBC money ferrying his wife around the world when she insisted on keeping an eye on those "producers."   

The makers of our culture thus enjoyed all of the privileges of a third-world dictator.  Their subjects were at their disposal for sexual purposes.  Weinstein and his contemporaries enjoyed the immunity that their money and influence bought.

This situation changed in 2016. When Hillary unexpectedly lost the presidential election that year, her benefactors were suddenly vulnerable.  All of the expectations of a Hillary presidency were gone.  She could no longer trade on her future ambitions.  She could not protect Weinstein from the flood of allegations.  Less than a year later, Weinstein's victims felt free to seek justice.  The dam burst throughout the media and popular culture.  Weinstein and other media and political figures were accused and forced to resign.  The "me too" movement grew.  Hollywood promised that the era of sexual excess was over.

But the end of the harassment culture has probably not yet arrived.  Joe Biden's presidential campaign has not yet imploded despite his well documented past (and present).  Congressman Katie Hill resigned, but, with the help of the New York Times, she is "still in the fight."  Even so, the "me too" movement soldiers on.

Why does it matter whether or not the party is over for sex-crazed media moguls and celebrity journalists?  For decades, sexual excess, gratification, and even violence have been the spoils of power.  This has been true from the rape rooms of Uday Hussein to the hotel suites of Harvey Weinstein.  It has been no secret that Weinstein's and the culture-makers' political activity is overwhelmingly tilted toward socialist advocacy.  When they funded Hillary, they did not expect her to lower taxes, shrink the federal government, or close the borders.  They expected socialism.  When the Weinstein accusations first exploded in 2017, his first reaction was to speak publicly of his commitment to fighting the NRA.  For years, the culture-makers have advocated greater totalitarianism and have received sexual impunity in return.

If sexual violence is no longer the reward for power, what incentive does the left have to seek totalitarianism in the United States?  Will the leftists continue to pursue the chaos of gun confiscation, gender confusion, election fraud, open borders, socialized medicine, and climate hoaxes if they cannot capitalize sexually on the power that such oppressive policies bring?  Must the rest of us continue to pretend that educated media moguls pursue ruinous Venezuelan-type policies for some reason other than the sordid spoils of power? 

Not all leftists seek totalitarian power solely for sexual gratification.  For some of our freshmen congresspersons, "the Venezuelan States of America" would be its own reward.  The forcible displacement of most Americans through the "Green New Deal" or the forcible subjugation of America to sharia law are the actual goals instead of means to more salacious goals.  Barack Obama once told his supporters they should vote in order to obtain "revenge."

So the future of leftism may involve a battle between two competing groups: (1) the purists who seek totalitarianism solely for the sake of vengeance or religious persecution and (2) the Weinstein faction that seeks power for the sake of sexual domination.  We face the spectacle of a perpetual battle between Qusay and Uday.  The rest of us may be too busy digging for food in dumpsters to enjoy the show.  If we want to avoid this fate, we had better hope that Trump is successful in draining the swamp.

Image: David Shankbone via Wikimedia Commons.