The implosion of the progressive left - and what it can tell us about media meltdowns
Taking a risk here in stating my opinion...
Thank the changes in the economy that has put educated women in charge at a pace that exceeded the capacity of educated women to acclimate to the role and responsibility.
Men and women are cognitively different. This is science. It is physical, it is genetic... it certainly might be evolutionary... and with enough time we would see relative changes in the difference. But the shift to a female-dominated academia. media, HR, medical, etc... while also seeing significant advances of women in positions of influence, power and wealth in almost all aspects of the economy and society in general... in less than two generations... well it has thrown a big monkey into the wrench.
This isn't just a problem with the media. As pointed out, it permeates almost every organization where there are a significant number of college-educated female employees.
I have a 40+ year corporate career in industries that were highly male dominated (banking) and then highly female dominated (health care). I have worked for as many women as I had men in my career. I tended to have diverse staff and diverse coworkers. I got to observe gender differences from all perspectives.
And my conclusion is that females in the work place, in general, were often ill-prepared and uncomfortable in positions of authority. It was like they were stuck with this background noise that they needed to be ambitious in their career goals, but in doing so having to repress other needs... and doing that made them often irritated, and sometimes irrational.
There is also this different orientation with hierarchy with women in the workplace. While males would compete directly for it with relationship building and direct conflict... females would tend to use passive-aggressive tactics (passing rumors and holding grudges) that would end up being toxic to the work culture. If a boss does those things, her staff will pick up the same tactics. This then contributed to a level of unhappiness in career as the place became a drama-factory where inefficiencies grew and less real work got done.
Of course I am generalizing here as I worked with many females that were excellent managers and ran high-performing organizations. Ironically all of those women confided in me that they thought male staff were easier to manage than were their female staff.
Now, at the same time we have seen this rise of the unprepared educated female in society, we have also seen males sort of devolve. Young people have fewer coping skills. Less experience dealing with real struggle and adversity. Their lower-level needs are satisfied by helicopter parents and nanny government... and they immediately demand self-actualization without ever having climbed the needs ladder to get there.
They graduate with a degree in victim studies and $80k in student debt, and rage that they don't get handed a $100k per year job working 30 hours per week and with 6 week of paid vacation.
But isn't really what they need.
Many, even those with a cushy job at Facebook, are unhappy, unfulfilled, directionless... and they have adopted the woke cult in desperation of filling those gaps. We have mess of economic and societal changes that have happened WAY too quickly and it has ripped away both the social and physiological foundations of the healthy human condition. All this social and political turmoil is based on the fact that most people know something deep is broken and want it fixed.
I think we are starting to recognize that the "fix" being demanded by the left, and the globalist cabal that exploits the left, is the wrong one.
Personal experience: After 4 years of managing a (very) small non-profit that provided day services to adults with cognitive delays, I took the Executive Director job at a chapter of the (then known as) Association for Retarded Citizens, or ARC. My staff was very young and enthusiastic about our "Mission", but quite naive about how the real world worked. I was referred to a call from a distraught mother, whose son was a student in the Special Education Department of a local High School. The school had organized an outing for an entire class, which required knowing in advance how many students were going and if they had any special requirements. Forms were sent home well in advance of the trip, asking the parents to indicate if their child was going to participate in the activity, and if they had any special requirements that the school would need to meet. This particular parent didn't respond, and complained on the day prior to the trip directly to the Principal about her son not being included. My staff made it quite clear that they expected me to be incensed about the whole situation, and to confront the Principal with the entire institutional outrage of the ARC, including referral to the possibility of a lawsuit charging infringement of the boy's rights under various Special Education regulations.
I sensed that they were quite disappointed when I called the Principal directly and worked it out so that he would do whatever was needed to get the kid his trip. Apparently I didn't exhibit the proper amount of shocked disbelief and anger over the whole situation, and I noted a significant lessening of their respect in our future interactions.
I once read something about what I remember as "the Rule of Steel", though I can't find any references to it. The gist of it is that anyone who wants to rise in a nonprofit that is charged with the "rights" of any subsection of the general population must loudly declare their total commitment to modes of action that are at least somewhat more radical than the declared goals of the organization itself, even if these actions are less functional than a more moderate course of action. Thus, the outcomes that are useful for the group or individual theoretically being advocated for are in contrast to the employee's desire to be holier than their peers. Human nature. Hence the need for a Board of Directors with some experience in the field that will have the Director's back. Shortly after this incident (and others) I resigned and went back to direct service to this same group of vulnerable people. WAY less possibility of sinking into the swamp of righteousness!
“The Left’s Fever is Breaking.” Sorry, I'll believe it when I see it.
The recent debacle with the Green Party of Canada is another example of the (hyper)progressive Left's descent into insanity. i would like to hope that the "fever is breaking," but as some others have commented here, i am skeptical. Seeing more obvious "centrist" things happen politically would give me hope, as well as a more explicit acknowledge that we need to take more "socially conservative" people and views seriously would also help me. But considering the demographic of those in power - and those who will ascend to power via university educations - i have my doubts. i think the "fever" could last a great deal longer.
Thanks again, Tara, to directing us to worthwhile ideas outside the silo.
Thoughtful article as always Tara :)
As someone from the 1980s to the early 2000s who was extremely active on the left (Green Party, Council of Canadians, Amnesty International, Oxfam and other human rights groups dealing with Burma, China and Indigenous peoples) it has been disheartening and bewildering to see the left go crazy thanks to Climate Change, Covid, Trump and Woke. DIY (Do It Yourself), and solidarity have been thrown out the window.
At the local level in Canada lots of small NGOs and individuals are getting things done. Municipal and local governments seem much more responsive. I have hope that the future will be a return to sanity and that the noisy angry left of today will be pushed aside.
Until their are full mea culpas I will stay away from the center left political parties (Greens, Liberals and NDP), big unions, big NGOs and woke academia.
“This type of false solidarity is a form of charity that weakens the individual and the collective.” - 💯
A question about your correction. You said you were under contract to the CBC until Dec 2022... don’t you mean Dec 2021, after which you left to start this great substack and podcast?
If I were on the right I'd be worried about people like Maurice Mitchell. I'll bet someone tries to cancel him, though, for not fawning enough for those working on The Cause.
Makes me think of the CBC.
Good read - small typo "organizations that* an already distrustful public"