August 18, 2022

The Culture Curators Want To Think For You

Sandor Mecs was a child when his family lived in the town of Szentendre, Hungary. Today, it is a picturesque town 20 miles north of Budapest that is lined with winding cobblestone streets, colorful centuries-old homes, cottages and churches. It is a tourism center with its flourishing museums, charm and proximity to the capital.

While the picturesque footprint was the same for Mecs and his family and thousands of other Hungarians 60 years ago, life in post-World War II Hungary was anything but ideal if you were a free thinker.

“At that time, we had become a Stalinized state of the Soviet Union, and Matyas Rakosi ruled the country for over seven years as a dictator who demanded no one strayed from the collective approved government thought,” he said.

If you did, you disappeared.

“Everything in government was militarized, and everything in our culture, the arts, the media, where you shopped, was all part of the government,” he explained.

There was no freedom of thought. You believed what the government and, by default, culture and new organizations told you to believe.

The government force was so oppressive that it established a secret police called the AVH, or the Allamvedelmi Hatosag, to make sure everyone thought the same and that no one dissented from whatever the government believed. Mecs explained, “My parents and family members lived in fear of people overhearing a conversation that might deviate from accepted thought.”

He said his father understood that after the doomed Hungarian Revolution of 1956 failed, it was time to flee the family’s home country.

“You have to understand when you leave, you leave everything behind, whether it is family members, belongings or the roof over your head,” he said. “A week after the revolution, my dad realized we’ve got to get out of here, and we literally snuck across the border with Austria in the dead of night.”

Back then, there were people who, for money, would get you safely across the border. “They were taking groups of maybe 20 people at a time and getting them past the barbed wire. One of the border guards actually caught the group that we were in when a very familiar face caught his eye,” he said.

It was the guard’s sister. “So he let us go,” he said.

Within a short period, over 200,000 men, women and children escaped their homeland, much like the Mecs family did. It was an exodus and scattered much of the educated and intellectual class. The only people who could afford to leave managed to spread globally, with many of them going to the United States and the United Kingdom.

Many intellectuals in the U.S. frequently toss around the word “dictatorship” or “dictator” about political parties they don’t like, and with such abandon, it is now deemed normal in some circles to use the terms without irony, primarily when referring to the Republican Party.

In their zeal to dismantle conservatism, they miss the true dictator in our country. They are our cultural curators. The corporations, much of the media, the entertainment industry, major league sports organizations, academia and Silicon Valley all demand that we fall in line with how they think. They want to approve of how we speak, what books we read, what movies we watch, what words we use, who we support politically, how we educate our children and what parts of history are acceptable to teach.

Many of these entities have gone from trying to appeal to a wide range of customers based on the products they sell or services they offer to social justice organizations, far removed from their core missions and their consumers.

When one of them deems something unacceptable in its version of the world, many others follow suit, often crumbling to their younger employees’ demands. The latter has been given enough power in this age of corporate social justice to destroy the very place they work if that corporation does not bend to their demands.

The decision no longer to publish six Dr. Seuss books was made internally. So was Disney’s decision to prevent young viewers from watching “Dumbo,” “Peter Pan,” “Swiss Family Robinson” and “The Aristocats.”

Voice an opinion on social media about the practice of removing books and the result is usually ugly, even if you argue that offensive images should exist in the marketplace so that you can point out their offensiveness.

Last week, Winston Marshall, the banjo player for the band Mumford & Sons, tweeted his support for author Andy Ngo for his recent book “Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy.” Within moments, his life changed, thanks to the culture curators. The next day, he announced that he’s “taking time away from the band” to examine his “blind spots.”

His career and life may have been destroyed because his thoughts were outside the norms of what our cultural curators deem socially acceptable, and why? You see, Ngo is conservative. Almost no one within our cultural curators is conservative, and if a person is, he or she remains silent.

One of the most significant reasons conservative populism began to rise in 2009 was that these people lacked a connection or commonality with our cultural curators. The people who run things in this country have little in common with the very people who use their products or watch their shows or attend their football or basketball games.

Part of that reason is the culture curator boardrooms have very little diversity — not only racial or by gender, but also in culture. Rarely does someone who attended a community college or state school have any input in how something is marketed. There is also a scarcity of gun owners or churchgoers in newsrooms getting dispatched to cover gun control, hunting, religious freedom or the anti-abortion movement.

When you have little commonality with those you are marketing to or covering, you will often be blind to how they view the tone in an ad, tweet or coverage.

But the more significant problem is that none of these cultural curators quite care if you don’t like the way they demand you think or if you are going to buy their product, because their people — the people who think the way they do — are the people who have the largest megaphone.

It isn’t cancel culture. It is a cultural dictatorship because the suppression of dissenting speech is an instrument that only the most brutal dictators have used throughout civilization.

Mecs said the right to free speech was one of the compelling reasons his family came here: “It is the very core of American exceptionalism and idealism, and it should be cherished and celebrated.”

In December 1860, Frederick Douglass declared in a speech in Boston that “liberty is meaningless where the right to utter one’s thoughts and opinions has ceased to exist.”

His words in that speech emerged because of an incident that happened the week before, when a meeting in which he was scheduled to speak at on abolishing slavery was invaded by a mob that sought to silence him.

Those powerful words in Douglass’ speech were not directed at the mob’s disruption. Instead, they were directed at the mayor of Boston, who canceled the event rather than defended Douglass’ right to speak.

Private companies, industries and organizations are not obligated to allow your viewpoints to be heard. Still, when they hold this much power in our culture and their sentiments are shared by the ruling party, we are heading down a road on which we may never be able to reverse course.

Salena Zito is a staff reporter and columnist for the Washington Examiner. She reaches the Everyman and Everywoman through shoe-leather journalism, traveling from Main Street to the beltway and all places in between. To find out more about Salena and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at


Last Updated: Monday, Mar 15, 2021 16:34:19 -0700

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Stephen Russell (@guest_1176084)
1 year ago

Dont need some damn leftist to think for me NO sorry
Wont work

S.L. (@guest_1176101)
Reply to  Stephen Russell
1 year ago

Amen and quadruple Stephen. What kind of idiots are they anyway. Banish them forever as they are the schemers and filled with their hateful dribble and ideology we don’t want and don’t need.

Cindy Fuller (@guest_1176229)
Reply to  Stephen Russell
1 year ago

Those that stole the election and making a terrible attempt at “leading” our country can’t think for themselves, much less tell us how to think and what to say! NO, no and no! Not in our country!

roger vanhulle (@guest_1176092)
1 year ago

Communists have been telling Americans how to think and what to say for years and years now.
Lies are false narratives.
Misspoke is caught in a false narrative. ETC, ETC ETC. Are we being distracted from groupthink accomplished?
Black anything, might just be foul language
Was it just not about 15 or 20 years ago a student could get a master’s degree in EBONICS?

Concerned (@guest_1176093)
1 year ago

I like this article. It is well written and makes a lot of sense. I don’t know how the cancel culture got started, but it had gotten out of hand. We see it day to day in the ruling party in our government. If one of their kind is being looked they say nothing, but if the same issue is with the monkey long party it is the worse thing. I am old enough to remember what it was like growing up. Neighbors helped neighbors, not so anymore. I am terribly worried what this country is becoming. Its no longer a free country, you either go with what everyone says is correct or you get run over. What she said in the article has to do with people came here for freedom. But whoever comes now they will be helped only until the new government is established. Once there is no longer the peoples government, the people will be in the same boat that they ran from. God help us all

Frank T (@guest_1176138)
Reply to  Concerned
1 year ago

The new communist government is already here and flourishing.

sharon (@guest_1176099)
1 year ago

Words of history and wisdom. Many who have migrated to this country legally from other countries experienced the same censorship and so they left . Many are seeing the same happening here. Universities are not diverse-they are racially divided by the university’s own guidelines. No free speech for those who don’t conform on campus. And yet our tax dollars fund these useless so-called schools of education. This all started in our schools when teachers were unionized and taxpayer dollars followed. Now if the schools want government dollars-have to teach what the government demands-thus commoncore, transgenderism and etc. Who set that in motion in the 1960’s? The democrats. Learned behavior and etc. WE REAP WHAT WE SOW. Unfortunately voucher systems where the monies follow the child are not democratic ideas. Parents need to wake up and pay attention to what the school is now teaching your child.

Robert (@guest_1176100)
1 year ago


Stephanie T. (@guest_1176112)
1 year ago

Cancel culture=culture curators=cultural dictatorship…yep, I agree. It’s been in the works for decades! Now, how do we undo this?? Usually in the pocketbook, but not sure this time.

Jan (@guest_1176133)
1 year ago

It’s a communist country when they take away your freedom to think and do, it’s as simple as that. The big companies and techs want to do that and are trying very hard. I lived many years without Facebook, Google, etc and I can live as many years as I have left on this Earth without them. Now that’s also a simple statement. Get the picture????

Richard Milton Wise (@guest_1176172)
1 year ago

I you love your children, parents fight for them NOW! Start teach history in school again!

Edwin Buck (@guest_1176418)
1 year ago

I know exactly what he’s talking about. My experience was on the other side of the world. I’m 86 years old. I’m one of the last living survivor civilian POW on the Pacific war. I was 7 years old and was interned in Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines with my family. All tho my father came to the Philippines during the Spanish American war in 1900, I was born in the Philippines, but according to the Japanese we were AMERICANS We were not allowed to say anything against the Japanese, or even think anything against them. In order to show us that they were now the masters, they forced us to watch what will happen to us if we even thought differently. They beheaded people in front of us. They cut open the belly of a pregnant woman, pulled out the fetus, threw it up in the air and caught it with their bayonets. They grabbed a baby, about a month old, put the baby where the Filippinos pounded rice, pound it to a pulp and told us if we misbehaved this will happen to us. I was 8 years old. They ruled by FEAR, This what these people in Washington is doing to us, RULE BY FEAR

roger vanhulle (@guest_1176438)
1 year ago

With our own money taken from us and basic cost rising to keep us in line, fear will become a natural thing.

Billy (@guest_1176980)
1 year ago

I think for myself not following the Cancel Leftists like Pres. Biden now we pay for his darn pen on reversing all Trump accomplishments and there trying to destroy us. Who thinks for you?

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