So Long, Thank You, and This is Really About Svetlana Voreskova
OK, I’m done with Medium. It’s pretty clear that if you’re not a paid member (I hate paying monthly fees for anything, even if it’s only a rotten five bucks) Medium has limited utility. Shame, too, having amassed (checks profile) 762 followers, which is a not-bad number for a nonprofessional blogger who replies far more than she posts. (Fortunately, I can export those followers. No telling if I can import them into Substack, which is my most-probable landing zone.)
But, it’s more than that, and that brings me to Svetlana Voreskova.
Lana was (I assume, still is) a Russian-born academic who, at last sighting, was a professor at an unnamed Irish university. Back in the distant past, before there was a President named Trump and when Vladmir Putin was still somebody the US considered a worthwhile counterparty (you remember, back in those days when Mitt Romney was mocked by Mr. Obama and his minions for suggesting that Russia was actually a geopolitical enemy) she posted here frequently; and built up a substantial following.
She was anti-Putin, anti-leftist (these were the days before ‘woke’ was a broadly used term, but she most definitely would have been anti-woke), pro-Russia, anti-NATO, and considered the recent incarnation of feminism as something to be amused by. Although atheist, she held firmly to the values inculcated by Christianity as important to society, and because she lived under the USSR rule until her late teens (IIRC), she could — and did, speak eloquently on the new leftism growing in the West and how it was, in many ways, indistinguishable from the communism she was raised under.
That all said, she posted frequently, both in original articles and in reply to anyone whose writings got under her skin. Her prose was succinct, to the point, fact-based, with numerous references and internal logical consistency, and when she found a weakness in your argument, she went for the jugular, often mixed with amusing analogies that made you want to read more.
And although sometimes her commentary was biting (well, often, actually), it was never personal.
And, regarding more current debates, she would have had great sport with anyone proclaiming TWAW. Supporters of that absurd notion would not have won those debates; she would have knocked away any rationalist attempts to justify TWAW like flies, using wit, logic, and reason.
But, of course, you see where this is going. Because Medium is, at its core, a thought bubble for left-liberal ideas, and where left-liberal authors can pat one another on the back and tell each other than their views are better and wiser and more sublime than they actually are, and conservative commentary, when offered, must be polite and indirect (the left-leaning posters, of course, can be as insulting and engage in ad hominem attacks all they like) she was banned.
And, it wasn’t just that she was banned. Her posts were LONG, and content rich with references to books and articles and studies and polls. She put a lot of work, and a lot of herself into that prose, and to think that all that work can just be wiped out and erased because an ideological censor doesn’t care for your opinion on —whatever — a rank odor of unfairness hung in the air.
So how does banning of a writer seven years ago lead one to leave a platform today? Well, it’s been a long slow slide, and I probably should have bailed back during COVID, because I haven’t written much since 2019. But the fact is that as commentary on Medium has become more socially left, the interesting conservative writers have left, the interesting conservative people who used to engage on my posts are gone, and now that shift seems to be extending into the moderate centrists as well. When your most interesting engagement is gone, and when writers are being told they are bigots for expressing centrist points of view that polls show majorities agree with (TWAW of course comes to mind, God Help Us if we think GenderQueer shouldn’t be in elementary school libraries, and even worse, if one were to defend JK Rowling) one realizes that one has hung out too long, and that there are greener pastures to write in.
For that, I’m sure that precisely nobody within the left-liberal cohort will be sad to see me go, (although the newer, ever *more* liberal group probably hasn’t seen me much) and I expect comments along the lines of “Good Riddance!”. I’m glad you have a nice online social club with likeminded people to talk to. It’s just time for me to go find one that’s a little more diverse, and where diversity of thought is appreciated.
Pax. Shalom. Salaam.