Sunday, 29 October 2017

Ernest Everhard Speaks his Mind - Oct 29, 2017

A compilation of my thoughts over the week.

Too often during the 20th century, the leftist warning that freedom in law will not be sufficient was mistaken to mean that freedom in law is itself unimportant, or worse, a mere rationalization for other forms of privilege, be it economic class dominance (think Leninism) or the more recent emphasis on race or gender privilege.

This mistaken interpretation has been disastrous before, in the USSR and its satellites, and will be disastrous again in the hands of the western regressive left should they end up in a real position of power.

The hollowness of mere equality in the law in a bourgeois society does not mean that equality in law doesn't doesn't matter and can simply be dispensed with as a means of achieving some higher, more transcendent kind of equality. Quite the opposite.

It reminds me of Bakunin's formulation that liberty without socialism is privilege and injustice, while socialism without liberty is slavery and brutality. A wise man, Bakunin.

We're kind of the new old left, as it were.  A lot of these guys: Sargon, Jordan Peterson etc. start off as reasonable anti-SJW liberals, but always end up drifting right.  That doesn't happen to us.

Phrases like "white people don't get to decide what's racist" or "males don't get to decide what's sexist" should raise red flags for left wingers, and not the kinds of red flags left wingers typically like and are associated with.

"You don't get to question the diktats of the leadership, the party line or the church doctrine" is the statement of what kind of leader? An authoritarian leader, by definition. What kind of group? A cult, a fundamentalist religious sect or a fascist party, that's what kind.

These statements are a kind of linguistic dishonesty. They depend for their effect on definitions of racism and sexism that are already commonly understood. Meaning that discrimination and supremacist views on the basis of race or sex, which are commonly held to be bad things. So there's actually no real need to discuss whether or not whites get to decide what's racist or males get to decide what's sexist because we already know what those terms mean.

When it is stated that whites/males don't get to decide what's racist/sexist, what it is really being used to convey is that they do not get to question what this or that self appointed representative of feminist or minority interests deems racist or sexist. This suggests to me that they wish to appropriate the moral force of anti-racism and anti-sexism for their own benefit in some manner, such as to police culture with impunity. This suggests to me that these so called anti-racists and feminists do not want their ideologies and the nature of their activism scrutinized. This suggests to me that these self appointed representatives might have something to hide.

Of course claims of racism and sexism should not simply be hand waved away as the hypersensitivity of easily triggered SJW snowflakes in need of a safe space either, as the alt-right would suggest. Rather we should scrutinize the claim of racism or sexism and ascertain whether or not it's actually describing discriminatory practice, supremacism etc., or advocacy thereof.

The adherents critical race theory and feminist theory have declared that white males do not get to question them on what is racist or sexist. For the alt-left, we must take this as being true, in a way. For we have not merely the right to question them so, but now the responsibility to. And this responsibility is not despite the fact that we are liberals, but because of it.

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Sunday, 22 October 2017

Ernest Everhard Speaks his Mind - Oct 22, 2017

Me Too!
A compilation of my thoughts over the week.

Hollywood gossip then: who's dating and who's sleeping with who?
Hollywood gossip now: who's harassed or made inappropriate innuendo to who? 

"Most men, myself included, have our own horror stories about the sexual misconduct of the fairer sex, so called.  Though hopefully we would not use them to impugn the entire female gender.  Many men, myself included, have grave concerns that dogmatic movement feminists are intent on silencing male victims, or on weaponizing issues surrounding harassment and assault so as to stigmatize all male heterosexuality, or similarly conflating all forms of heterosexual flirtation and courtship with the objectification of women, or with eroding due process for men accused of sexual offenses against women, all so as to preserve a narrative of universal female victimhood and male guilt that can, in turn, be leveraged for advantage in public and private relationships.  This is also indefensible and needs to stop.

That does not mean, however, that real sexual harassment and assault of women does not happen and is not an excuse for silencing discussion of it.  Nor do the very real instances of rape and harassment of women justify the silencing of male victims or the concerns of men discussed above.  And let's not forget LGBT victims and perpetrators alike.  Nobody should get a free pass."  From Me Too, on Samizdat Broadcasts.

"He will, as I have, come to the conclusion that most feminism today is not about equality at all, but about the maintenance of a cultural myth of feminine purity and moral superiority. He might not know this intellectually, but he senses it instinctively.

"This means using privilege theory as a legitimizing way of erasing or rationalizing away instances of female misconduct towards men, or of silencing dissent and criticism of feminist ideology, since they jeopardize the narrative of monolithic male power and female victimhood that the myth of innate feminine morality depends upon as an axiomatic foundation." Why That Guy Got Defensive Over Your MeToo Hashtag at The Alternative Left.

"For the dogmatic ideological male feminist, sexually harassing or even assaulting a woman is not a betrayal of his principles, but rather the end result of those principles. He failed to display respect for women because he never really respected them in the first place. He respected only the categories into which his ideological convictions place people. He never respected women as human beings, which is really the only way any kind of person can be respected, rather he objectified them in the most underhanded and duplicitous of ways. So should it ultimately surprise us when he is outed as an abuser, a rapist or a harasser?" The Growing Distrust of Feminist Men at the Alternative Left.

"Neither side really captures the essence of it.  Many leftists no doubt think of themselves in the manner described in the meme.  And there's nothing wrong with it.  Universal health care, education, housing and assistance to the poor are fine things in and of themselves.  The problem with standard leftist arguments is that they assume the right wing disagrees in principle.  Not necessarily.  The ends, as far as the right winger is concerned, do not necessarily justify the means.  That's the basis of the right's objection, and the impasse they find themselves at.

Fair enough, but the right winger is not conceptually framing this properly.  This kind of vulgar economism underlies a lot of right wing fallacies.  The problem with the right wing counterarguments boil down to this: The right winger thinks of socialism as robbing Peter to pay Paul.  This isn't what it is.  It is both Peter and Paul paying into something that both can use when both have need of it.  I bold and italicize this so that its importance can be impressed upon you.  It is crucial to understand this."  Why I am Left Wing at the Alternative Left.

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Why I am Left Wing

This little gem turned up in my Facebook feed the other day.  The meme on the left - fittingly, and the response from the comments.  This was a typical response, most other critical responses said roughly similar things.  

Neither side really captures the essence of it.  Many leftists no doubt think of themselves in the manner described in the meme.  And there's nothing wrong with it.  Universal health care, education, housing and assistance to the poor are fine things in and of themselves.  The problem with standard leftist arguments is that they assume the right wing disagrees in principle.  Not necessarily.  The ends, as far as the right winger is concerned, do not necessarily justify the means.  That's the basis of the right's objection, and the impasse they find themselves at.

Fair enough, but the right winger is not conceptually framing this properly.  This kind of vulgar economism underlies a lot of right wing fallacies.  The problem with the right wing counterarguments boil down to this: The right winger thinks of socialism as robbing Peter to pay Paul.  This isn't what it is.  It is both Peter and Paul paying into something that both can use when both have need of it.  I bold and italicize this so that its importance can be impressed upon you.  It is crucial to understand this.  

The left has, in part, itself to blame for the right's successful misframing of social democracy.  Their own framing of social welfare is that they're going to make "the rich" and "the corporations" pay for programs that are intended to help the needy because they are "not greedy bastards."  They're setting themselves up for the right's "robbing Peter to pay Paul" counter criticisms.  A better way to phrase support for social programs than would be "everybody pays into what everybody benefits from."  

This kind of socialization of expense and benefit is not necessarily the best way to provide for all goods and services in an economy.  There are plenty of things for which people can and should provide themselves, government bureaucracies come with their own pitfalls and private incentives and capital markets matter in economic activities and can't be dispensed with without serious economic chaos.  In my experience, the advocates of pure revolutionary socialism do not understand what it is they're plugging for on anything but the most superficial level, and are usually intersectional social justice warriors beneath a thin red and/or black veneer for that reason.  So central planning is not what I advocate.  Full out worker's control would be fine if the working class actually wanted it, but in my experience they're content to have professional management run things.

But sometimes it makes more sense to socialize, both from an economic and a social point of view.  This is generally the case with core infrastructure that is widely if not universally used and makes other kinds of economic activity possible.  Sometimes, as with public health insurance, the wisest thing is to realize superior economies of scale and nationalize it in the form of a universal public healthcare scheme.  

That in mind, let's have a look at the comment's counter-claims against the original meme.

Your parents never taught you to respect private property ... A straw man and an ad-hominem.  There is nothing about belief in social welfare that would imply this, unless its advocates also insist they be exempted from the taxation required to pay for it.  A person willing to pay their share into a public insurance scheme or for social infrastructure that all people make use of, and when socialization really is the better way to provide said infrastructure, is not showing a lack of respect for private property, but is giving it a higher valuation than the "annoying kid" who does not recognize his own responsibility to pay into what all make use of.

It means you are an ideologue, who wants things based in wishful thinking rather than rationality.  This is no less true of the fiscal libertarian, who thinks unbridled free markets the solution to all ills and an axiomatic moral principle that is beyond question.  If you are not such a libertarian, then congratulations!  You are a pragmatist who doesn't insist upon either privatization or socialization on principle, but rather on the basis of what is most fitting for the market under consideration.

It means you don't see the difference between education and indoctrination.  And that concerns public health care and education how, precisely?  Again, this can be said of any ideologue.  While there is a lot of dogmatism on the left, especially on the cultural left these days, dogmatism is not an inherently leftist characteristic.  Again, free market fundamentalists in their think tanks are no less guilty of this.

It means you care enough about the sick and disabled to give them other people's stuff, but not enough to help out yourself.  Go back and reread the bolded and italicized text in my third paragraph above.

It means you are less fortunate and want others to care for you instead of working hard to get out of it.  It means being wise enough to know that misfortune can happen to anyone, and collectively insuring ourselves against at least the worst catastrophes might not be a bad idea.  It means that in the real world, no one "gets out of it" or even comes at all into fortune and wealth entirely of their own efforts - though this is important - but rather with the assistance of a support network.  Perhaps the objecting commentator is fortunate enough to have a private support network that can help him out when things go off the rails in his world, and thereby takes for granted his relative wealth and fortune.  Perhaps having safety nets in place can mean the difference between the misfortunate being able to get back on their feet again via hard work, and being completely mired in poverty and hardship due to the lack of leverage in the marketplace that marks those clustered at the bottom of the social hierarchy.  

It means you want to use buzzwords to signal your virtue while not doing a thing about the things you say you want to stop. This is sadly true of many on the left, again especially surrounding social and cultural issues.  But again, willingness to pay into a social program intended to combat a social evil hardly constitutes "not doing a thing."  

Good for you, you understand there is suffering and want to change it. Problem is, you are going about it all wrong. "Give a man a fish and you've fed him for a day, teach him how to fish and you have fed him for life". The left knows only how to give fish, and doesn't bother with the teaching part, until it runs out of fish and collapses. After all, teaching people to help themselves would be "blaming the victim" or such other nonsense.  Rubbish, for the most part.  

If the left "didn't bother with the teaching part" then why do so many of them advocate for free college (which I don't personally support), universal public education or for full employment.  The left can thrive on learned helplessness, and yet again, I think they do this more where cultural issues and identity politics are concerned.  This is why I'm alt-left rather than mainstream left and oppose these kinds of politics.  

Reasonable people on the left are all for "teach a man to fish and feed him for life."  They also know he has to eat in the meantime.  They also know that trawlers are too capital intensive for even the most industrious of fishermen to procure for themselves by their own efforts alone, and mere nets and fishing rods cannot compete with them, especially after the stocks have been depleted.  

For a relatively small portion of the population to own entire fleets of trawlers to then tout the morality of self reliance to those who do not seems a tad disingenuous and self serving, to put it mildly.  Doubly so if it was much more by fortune than by effort that they got to become part of the majority shareholding class to begin with.  Perhaps it is they who have been the true beneficiaries of fiscal policy that has robbed Paul to pay Peter.

It is not always for lack of knowledge of how to fish or the willingness to do so himself that it is necessary to give a man a fish and feed him for a day.  You can teach a man how to fish and feed him for a lifetime if fishing rods and nets are as far as the need or ability to fish can practically go.  In a capitalist economy, however, a share in the fishing fleet might just be what's required. 

Saturday, 21 October 2017

The Growing Distrust of Feminist Men

I'm Seeing a Lot of This Lately

When I hear of an outspoken male feminist being outed for harassment, assault or some other kind of shitty behavior against women, I am never surprised.  I've even read some suggestions that they are our era's version of the televangelist who was outed for infidelity or latent homosexual tendencies, or the sex abuse scandals in the Catholic Church.  I largely agree with these assessments, and the underlying psychological dynamics with all of them are quite similar.

One cannot first respect women if one does not first respect human beings as individuals.  Respect is a personal sentiment that one feels towards others deemed worthy of respect.  I may genuinely respect individuals who are women, just as I may respect individuals who are men. 

Feminism as an ideology does not see people in human terms, which is to say in individual terms.  It sees people as demographic categories: male, female, white, person of color, straight, LGBT, cis, trans.  Human beings fade into mere abstractions.  One cannot love, honor or respect arbitrary ideological demographics as one can love an individual human being.  The best that can be done is to exalt the categories deemed marginalized and denigrate the categories deemed privileged.

As a result, feminism attracts men who struggle to interact with women in a human way.  He uses the talking points of feminism to construct an idealistic view of women.  For the feminist male, this precludes the natural and normal human feelings of romantic and sexual attraction towards women, as his ideological convictions cause him to routinely conflate attraction with objectification.  Thus he views the individual women in his life through the lens of ideological archetype.  His expectation is that they assume a sort of maternalistic stance in relation to him, as a guide and teacher in his ideology.

Those of us who understand the dynamics of the virgin/whore dichotomy should see how this can go so wrong.  Since he regards his inherent sexuailty as a degrading and oppressive thing, he cannot help but express it in degrading and oppressive ways. His repressed urges he projects onto his political opponents, for whom he expresses the absolute blackest of hatred in, quite curiously, the most degradingly sexual ways.  Especially reprehensible to him are women who do not meet his archetypal expectations, whom he sees as not merely ideological, but moral traitors.  That which is idealized will come to be hated precisely to the degree it was idealized after it falls from the pedestal it was placed on, and the most natural way to express this hatred is with precisely the means by which men are held to degrade and oppress women: open sexuality.  Notice how there is no misogyny like the misogyny displayed by progressive men towards nonfeminist women. 

For the dogmatic ideological male feminist, this is not a betrayal of his principles, but rather the end result of those principles.  He failed to display respect for women because he never really respected them in the first place.  He never respected human beings, rather he objectified them in the most underhanded and duplicitous of ways.  He idealized an ideological abstraction and valued that only in as far as it served to maintain his own psychological equilibrium. 

Doubtlessly, many male feminist sympathizers will claim that none of the above applies to them, and they are quite capable of having mutually consensual sexual as well as platonic friendships with women.  I have little doubt that this is often true.  But it is true in spite of, rather than because of, the feminist ideological sympathies.  If you need an ideology in order to respect women, I'd suggest you have deeper problems.  If I'm not describing any particular male feminist reading this, don't take offense, but rather take note.

Sadly, many of the men who've been posting #howIwillchange hashtags in response to women's revelations of sexual misconduct at male hands will only double down on their ideological convictions, which will in turn only intensify rather than relieve the underlying psychological tension. If they truly wanted to change for the better, they'd confront their own fears of interpersonal intimacy (and - this is experience talking - that's hard to do!) and humanize their perceptions of both sexes, rather than double down on ideological categorizations.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Why That Guy Got Defensive Over Your Me Too Hashtag

Why "That Guy" Got Defensive Over Your Me Too Hashtag, and Why he Really Shouldn't Have

I'm writing this as if my reader was any woman who's used the #MeToo hashtag in the days since the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment scandal broke out of Hollywood.  I doubt that I have many such readers, but if you are, thank you for taking the time to consider things from another point of view, as it were.  That seems to be a challenge for people in all segments of the political and cultural spectrum these days.

My understanding is that the me too hashtag has been posted and/or commented on several million times on numerous social media sites, worldwide.  That is indeed a substantial outpouring of emotion over a serious issue.  However, not all responses have been positive, or at least what many women using it have hoped for.  Some men have also posted their me too confessions of harassment at the hands of women, and some have responded with a not-all-men kind of response that feminists on social media find so infuriating.  To be fair, many women, including many feminists, have expressed support for men using the hashtag to articulate their own negative experiences.

I do not doubt that many of these me too posts from women are valid.  I am sorry such things happen to so many of you.  Were it in my power to prevent it, I would.  As someone who's survived some kind of sexual assault, perhaps you feel invalidated when men post similar stories about their own experience, or post some "not all men" type of response.  Doubtlessly, some men out there are truly indifferent to your suffering, and a few most definitely have contributed to it in some way.

While I do see where you're coming from, dear female survivor of male maleficence, I also see where the guys who post their own me too stories or not all men kinds of hashtags are coming from.  I think there is more to be gained from mutual understanding, and I probably do have at least a rough idea why it is that guy in your Twitter or Facebook feed posted his own me too story, or a not all men kind of hashtag, or referenced false rape accusations or the like.

The most crucial thing to understand is this: just as your me too hashtag was not directed at that guy specifically and deliberately, so too was his response not directed at you specifically and deliberately.  Just as you know that not all men are harassers, he knows that not all women make up false allegations of harassment.  If there is no need for him to therefore get defensive, there is likewise no need for you to do likewise.  He's not trying to silence you.

Social theories prevalent on college campuses and in the media today speak of social demographics: males, women, whites, blacks and so on as if they were incorporated bodies whose actions are guided by the collective will of the majority of its members.  This corporate metaphor will not be directly stated.  It is implicit in the manner in which demographic groups are spoken of, especially when the privilege of one is stacked against the marginalization of the other.

This will sound patronizing, but it needs to be said.  There is no annual general meeting of the male gender, whereat they collectively elect their directors and decide what their collective future policy will be.  There was no motion that was passed deciding that women should be paid less than men or that men are entitled to women's bodies at their whim.  Men are not acting as agents or representatives of the corporate body of the entire male gender when they grope or cat call.

At the most, he's been exposed to a subculture wherein a disdainful attitude towards women was expressed.  I've seen many over the years.  I would hope that he would not allow this subculture to rub off on him, but he's less capable of challenging and changing it than you might think.  So what that guy is trying to tell you is that ultimately, he's nearly as powerless as you are.  Perhaps moreso.  You'd be very surprised at how little control he, or any guy, has over the collective conduct of the male gender as a whole, or even of the conduct of any guy other than himself.

There's a good chance even that boorish and shitty behavior is as a result of  powerlessness, not
power.  This is not, and should not be a consolation to you nor a defense of his actions, but in the moment when he's a boor or even a rapist, he has power that he otherwise does not have.  There's also the possibility that he's mentally ill or else has a personality disorder of some kind or another.  Neither of which are at all related to his gender or his societal attitudes towards women.  Of course, it's quite possible that he is a male chauvinist or even a misogynist.  There's no sense denying that they exist, and there's more of them than we'd like.  But human motivation is, if anything, complex.  There is very rarely a single cause of why people behave the way they do.

I do get the appeal that concepts of male power and privilege have, especially for women who've been hurt by men.  If only the male of the species could exert their collective will and remedy the ills that befall womankind at their hands.  As a woman who's been hurt by the conduct of a male, you have neither the power nor the responsibility to make that change.   That men are not collectively doing this must mean that they are unwilling to give up on their power and privilege.  And from there, they have the gall to demand your sympathy for their Mickey-Mouse feelings of injustice at being targeted by a social media hashtag campaign!

If only it were so easy.  That guy in your social media feed is giving you really bad news, and I understand why you don't like it.  What he's telling you is not that he won't stop the ills that travail women.  It's that beyond the reach of his own actions, he can't.  That is the limit of his, or any of our power.  And that means that the problems of rape and sexual harassment will not be so easily solved.  That's not what you wanted to hear.  I get that.  That's not what I wanted to say either.  But that's the cold, hard truth.

It's worth considering that if he really didn't care, or he regarded you as the object your feminist theories tell you he does, he wouldn't be trying to communicate his own sense of powerlessness to you.  I do not suggest in saying this that you should prioritize that guy's emotional struggles over your own.  He needs to own his insecurities, just as we all do.  Unless he too has been a victim, his insecurities do not match the pain you've suffered if you've been sexually assaulted.  I do not suggest otherwise.  But it might lessen your own angst somewhat to understand that he is not so ill intended as you might think.

Of course, that guy may well be guilty, and we can only hope that he'll reflect upon his conduct and change his ways.  But if that guy is not guilty, than lumping him in with the men who are simply because they have "male privilege" will not only be ineffective, it may well be quite counter productive.

When that guy hears feminists attacking and denouncing him, he quite understandably begins to question the validity of the entire feminist enterprise.  After all, acknowledging that things might not be so great for him does not in any way nullify your own very real and legitimate pain.  If anything, it's a greater recognition of how serious a problem sexual assault and harassment really are.  Yet time and again he hits walls of ideologically driven self righteousness and denialism when he attempts to articulate his own viewpoint on the matter, which again is not done with the intent of silencing your viewpoint.  It is not a zero sum game.  He wonders why it is being treated as such.  Isn't this about equality, after all?

So he harbours doubts.  And as time goes on, those doubts will only grow as his inquiries are met with increased self righteousness and sanctimony.  Those are harsh words, I know.  But I really do think we're at a moment now where real motives must be questioned.  He will, as I have, come to the conclusion that most feminism today is not about equality at all, but about the maintenance of a cultural myth of feminine purity and moral superiority.  He might not know this intellectually, but he senses it instinctively.  And he knows it's wrong.

This means using privilege theory as a legitimizing way of erasing or rationalizing away instances of  female misconduct towards men, or of silencing dissent and criticism of feminist ideology, since they jeopardize the narrative of monolithic male power and female victimhood that the myth of innate feminine morality depends upon as an axiomatic foundation.

If women are so powerless, he wonders, then why is feminist theory virtually hegemonic in colleges and universities?  Why does it enjoy such favorable media bias?  Why is it rarely subject to any kind of real fact checking or scrutiny, except from rival ideologies with their own sets of problems?  Why do they have the willing ear of legislators on a whole bevy of issues?

Feminists claim that males are so rarely told that they are not entitled to women's bodies or emotional labor.  He, like I, don't know whether to laugh or cry when we hear such claims.  Most of what he and I are exposed to day in and day out on social media is feminist sloganeering from people who think their self declared marginalized status exempts them from all the moral strictures they expect us to live by.

It seems to that guy, as it does to me, that feminist claims of universal male privilege and female marginalization are more a kind of "big lie" - an ideological rationalization that escapes scrutiny because it underwrites too many cherished assumptions of too many people with the clout to insure that it remains uncriticized, and repeated often enough by enough credible enough sources that to even think of questioning it will strike many as beyond the pale.

When that guy tries to speak his peace, he is told that he is derailing conversations, and buzzwords and slogans are unloaded accusing him of "making everything about men."  Again, tell a big enough lie and hope the ensuing confusion ends the discussion.  Truth is, the discussion is already about men.  It's been about men, about all men and collective male responsibility at least as far back as Susan Brownmiller's 1975 polemic Against our Will: Men, Women and Rape.  Wherein it was made very explicit that rape is "a conscious process of intimidation by which all men keep all women in a state of fear."

The disingenuous voices in this discussion, then, would be those calling men out for making a discussion "all about men" when men is what the discussion already is all about.  What feminists object to is men daring to assert themselves and to have their own points of view in relationships with women, private and public, at all levels of society.  That guy, like myself, fails to see how this is conducive to positive relationships and an atmosphere of mutual respect, though if he's anything like me, he's long since given up believing that feminist ideologues, at least as they represent themselves in all their maternal sanctimoniousness on social media, care a whiff about positive relationships or mutual respect.

I would hope that they do in real life, leastwise given how many of them do seem to be in intimate relationships of some kind or another with men. At times I wonder how sincere the whole thing really is.

Remember, my thoughts here are not about you, female readers.  Nor do I think it wise or accurate to simply reverse the feminist narrative and declare all women privileged and men the marginalized caste in society.  And I certainly don't doubt your very real negative experiences at male hands.  Instead, I think we need to go beyond these ideologies of collective identity and responsibility.

That will be a long time in coming.  In the meantime, I will agree with you on one thing, however.  That he should not interject his own issues into feminist discussions.  He should simply bow out of them entirely.  Not because he, or I, do not care about the very real problems women face.  It's because we lack the power feminists attribute to us, and we really oughtn't subject ourselves to the moral judgement of those who seem to us to be more interested in exploiting issues like harassment and rape so as to feel superior to us than they are in solving the actual issues. 

Many feminists do not seem willing to listen to anyone who does not confirm their faith in the moral and intellectual infallibility of feminist theory, and use "power plus prejudice" kinds of formulations to rationalize their ideological hubris.  Real social justice involves huge amounts of listening and dialogue rather than ceaseless one way sermonizing.  Other people, male and female, are to be valued as ends in and of themselves with every right to their own dignity, not merely as instruments for the pleasure of others (as the sexual abuser sees them) or merely as heathens to be converted to the one true faith or sinners to spend their days in ceaseless repentance for sins they did not commit, as many (though not all) feminist theorists see them.

It's regrettable that things have to be this way, but I've long since concluded that my time and effort are not well spent on this kind of egocentrism and emotional parasitism.  What's passing for feminism these days has more in common with a cult than it does with any meaningful movement for positive social change.

I would suggest to this guy that he should not have relationships of any kind with women or men who exploit feminist theory in these kinds of self righteous and self serving ways.  He sure shouldn't waste his time arguing with them on the internet.  I've seen far too many battle of the sexes kinds of discussions online, and they've all generated far more heat than light.  Fragile egos are what matters in these situations.  My observation is that repetitious talking points, buzzwords, slogans and copy pasta continually get trotted out and presented with all the reverence of holy incantations.  As if they were the word of God, or perhaps more appropriately Goddess rather than the tentative theories of fallible human beings.  Discussion with this kind of irrationality is futile. I prefer reasoning to liturgy and problem solving to self indulgent ritual.  The only way to win is not to fight.

I would instead suggest to him that he take his concerns to alternative media spaces where gender issues are discussed more openly and freely and with less emphasis on dogmatism and ego.  There is no sense in trying to reason with the kinds of ideologues we now see so prevalent on social media and in partisan media outlets.

Men like he and I and the women who likewise reject gender theory dogmas need instead to organize and strategize on how we can one day claim the commanding heights of our culture: academia, media, government and civil society more broadly, for those who reject the ideas of male chauvinism and female moral superiority alike.

If you are not that feminist, you have nothing to worry about.  And even if you are, you'll find mutual respect and partnership far more satisfying in the long run than the temporary ego boost granted by institutionalized feminist theory.  And it will probably eventually result in less rape and harassment of women (and men) in the long run.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

The Toxicity That Toxicity Created

I know I am going to catch some flak from alt-left purists for this, but I belong to several Jordan B Peterson fan groups on Facebook.  These groups do tend to attract a lot of alt-lite and neoreactionary types of people.  In some ways I wish they wouldn’t, because Peterson’s views are more nuanced than that and he has, in fact, been critical of the alt-right on a number of instances, though he does trade in many of their talking points.  I do have my disagreements with Professor Peterson (not that he’s losing sleep over what I have to say!) and I go over those in detail here

However, I can also see his popularity with this section of the population.  Since the decline of Christianity and nationalism in the western world, and the subsequent rise of progressivism and feminism to replace them, many white males in the west have felt as if they were without an identity and without a mythology.  Identity and mythology are crucial to any person’s sense of self, and Professor Peterson, having spent his life studying and teaching depth psychology and mythology, knows this better than anyone.  I ask of the alt-left “What shall be our Mythology” because these are such crucial topics.

A female member in one of these groups made the following post:
I posted this as a comment in a different thread but I'm truly surprised and felt the need to separate this into a different post: 
It's interesting to me that the go-to in this group is mocking, immature personal attacks, and arrogant narcissism rather than respectful dialogue with actual logic/info. 
Very sad to me. It also shows painful insecurity and a simmering anger. Why??
What's going on underneath all this facade? 
What's touching a raw nerve that the majority of people in here respond with anger and ad hominem? (Mostly males, although I've seen a few females exhibit these traits as well.) 
Truly. I'm asking genuinely because the majority of comments on all threads seem to be made by angry boys with no filter, not men. I say that with respect to men because I know a lot of really good honorable men. 
Of all the groups I've participated in over the last few years, groups like this that are predominantly white/male tend to be this way. It's noticeable and it's heartbreaking. 
Anger is usually a symptom of deeper issues/hurts/fears etc.
What's REALLY going on here underlying all this???
I would be astounded if this group was in any way exceptional, at least as far as groups with this kind of political slant go.  Rightly or wrongly, JP has become a lightning rod for people, predominantly white males with neoreactionary sympathies, for reasons I’ve outlined above.  Which are really just a backlash against the anti-white, anti-male sentiments so often expressed in progressive spaces, and the accompanying irrationality and rage.  While a lot of this can just be chalked up to the anonymity of the internet and the license it gives all kinds of people to act like assholes, this has begun to spill into the offline world now.  See the riots on college campuses and so on.

I mean, take a look at a lot of feminist spaces online.  Actually attempting a dialogue with them will get responses of just plain snark or rudeness.  There's no talking to them, and they've made it quite clear that they're not interested in discussion. Now there may be some reason for this.  Maybe after dealing with enough rude males over the years, a lot of women just shut off.  You stop caring what the idiots think.   

While this is understandable, this isn’t helpful long term, because it will eventually drive the other side – nonprogressive males, to respond the exact same way.  Why should reasonable white dudes who are generally innocent of racist or sexist wrongdoing keep trying to reason with and stress mutual trust and goodwill between the sexes when this is the kind of response we get?  It's out of the question now to assume that anything is going to cause the columnists at The Mary Sue or Jezebel, as two examples among many, to be reasonable human beings.  Once people like Clementine Ford or Anita Sarkeesian are your spokespeople, you're pretty much irredeemable at that point. 

As far as the progressive mainstream is concerned, you're either completely with them, or you're a Nazi, racist, misogynist, homophobe, etc.  And their worldview is so hermetically sealed that they refuse to see how ultimately counterproductive this is.  They're so hopped up on their heroic mythology of direct action and “fight the power” that they're completely impervious to any kind of reason.  As Sam Harris recently observed, this is how the left will die.

So eventually even moderate white dudes end up retaliating in kind.  Should it surprise us that red pills are pretty much being mass produced at this point?  Are the academics and pundits on the left really so self absorbed that they thought anything else was eventually going to happen?

And, again as a moderate white guy, you also feel betrayed.  You also hate seeing the so called progressives, the liberals, with their dream that we all be judged by the content of our character rather than the color of our skin, be consumed by their postmodernist, intersectionalist, privilege theory obsessed offspring without so much as a whimper of protest.  When queer feminist theorists and critical race theorists insisted that disagreement in good faith with them was impossible without being racist or sexist, the liberal establishment completely caved.  White male guilt trumped intellectual responsibility and moral clarity.  Should it surprise us that Trump is what we'd eventually have to show for it?

As a modern white male, you were perfectly willing to go along with the liberal ideal until some virtue signalling college chick intentionally took something you posted out of context and made you say something that was light years away from what you intended to say, in order to brand you a racist and win brownie points with the rest of her 'collective' for the umpteenth time.  At some point you clued in. It wasn't about being anti-racist or feminist.  It was about using anti racism and feminism as a club to shame others.  

In the progressive world, winning was all that mattered, even if you "won" over a grotesquely distorted and decontextualized version of what your 'opponent' supposedly stood for instead of what they were actually saying.  Poststructuralist academia declared that the author was dead, after all, so didn't this give feminist bloggers and columnists leave to misconstrue their opponents with complete impunity.  And then they have the gall to decry the Trump administration for its "alternative facts" and to scream heresy against white nationalists couching their arguments in multiculturalist terms and Christian fundamentalists demanding equal time for young-earth creationists as well as evolutionists.  Did the academic left not open the door to this in its embrace of radical social constructivism and ideational relativism in its "deconstruction" of the white male western canon?

As a modern white male, you knew was wrong and perverse, and that you were being betrayed. You might not have known it intellectually, but you knew it instinctively.  

The promised land seen by MLK turned out to be an endless barrage of 140 character or less torch-and-pitchfork maternalistic sanctimony, always delivered with the same buzzwords, catchphrases, slogans and cutesy clever portmanteaus.  And for anyone who tries arguing with them, site moderators and administrators are always on hand to play the banhammer wielding white knight.
So yeah, there's a lot of anger.  A lot of it is just vindictiveness and spite.  A lot of it is delivered in the crudest and basest of terms.  Like the angry feminist on the other end of the fiberoptic cable, you stop giving a shit.  You start rolling your eyes whenever women online talk about rape and harassment.  Which is too bad, but they similarly rolled their eyes when false allegations were brought up.  What did you expect when The Boy who Cried Wolf was apparently another of the dead white male canon that was to be banished from the schools and colleges in order to make them more "inclusive."  What makes the issues raised by females so intrinsically valid compared to the issues raised by men?  Nothing other than that they're female issues? 

This is what you get when pandering to college chick egos became what progressivism was really all about, and all the nice social justice concepts were appropriated and manipulated to that end.  For all their fancy degrees and supposed intellectualism, how could the progressives have failed to anticipate anything other than a toxic far right white male backlash.  The toxicity you see, even in Jordan Peterson fan spaces online, is the toxicity that toxicity created.  

Given a different culture among academic and mainstream liberals, one that was more interested in standing with rather than above the common people, things might have turned out differently. Had regressive leftists not doubled down on “power plus prejudice” rationalizations for why it's okay for their holy trinity of women, POC and LGBTQ people to act like assholes, when it’s Nazi oppression when white males do it, and we might be in a different cultural space now.  One without the alt-right or President Donald Trump.  
Had the new atheists understood as Professor Peterson understands the real reasons why people gravitate towards religious and mythical belief systems and spoken to that, instead of intellectual smugness: “something something spaghetti monster, something something fallacy, something something invisible pink unicorns, something something inbred Republican hicks,” people like Jordan Peterson would not be gaining the steam that they are.  And while Peterson himself might not be “full fash” as they say in NRx circles, he does lean undeniably right, and he does attract that kind to his fanbase.  

Liberals and progressives would be quite surprised to know how little their opponents give a shit about how correct and infallible liberals and progressives think their ideologies are.  Perhaps they should try a bit of listening and maybe some dialogue instead of doctrinaire smugness and faux outrage, and see as they start getting different results.  Maybe it's well past time that the left rethought its late 60s strategy of a long march through the institutions, especially academia, and the intentional blurring of the distinction between scholarship and activism.  It's producing an inferior quality of both.

And as long as academic and media progressives continue to think that they can shame and browbeat white males into accepting the morally inferior status to which they’ve been cast, reaction is exactly what they’re going to get and their unwillingness to accept this is a measure of their arrogance.  Since we are talking about Jordan Peterson here, we could describe neoreaction as the shadow of the feminist progressive left.  A reflection of the unstated reality that progressivism is much more an assertion of a collective maternalistic archetype than it is a speaking of truth to power.  The purpose of the maternal is not to be venerated for its own sake indefinitely by a population of infantilized boys not permitted by this collective maternal ego to grow into independent men.  

The right wing will offer no real answer, of course.  The right wing will do what it always does once it takes power.  Retrench corporate and state power, indifferent to and often at the expense of the well being of the common people, including the angry white male segments thereof.  We’re seeing this in Trump’s America, and it’s going to make everything worse in the long run.  Antifeminist and anti civil rights anger will serve only to continually perpetuate the cycle, making a reassertion of feminist and black rage in the future, or more likely a deepening of the already intense feminist and black rage of the present, inevitable.  

The rejoinder to a collective maternal archetype is not a collective paternal archetype, but the completion of the archetypal journey of Jungian individuation or the Campbellian monomyth: girl to woman, boy to man and reconciliation between the two.  Resistance to this journey would seem to be the defining characteristic of the culture wars of our time.

If you enjoyed this article, be sure to read its companion pieces: The Nation as Family Metaphor and What Shall Be Our Mythology.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Muh White Genocide

This question was recently posed: "Is WHITE GENOCIDE Real? Who is behind it? Why are Whites shamed everywhere and portrayed as the evil people who should be to blame for everything?" [not my words]
It's not real. and being shamed and "blamed for everything" is not even remotely the same thing as genocide, even if that were happening. you guys are watering down the meaning of the word genocide just as the leftists are watering down the meaning of words like rape and racism. being shamed into feeling guilty about your history is not the same as mass execution. obviously! show me one instance of white people being rounded up and executed because of their skin color and I will listen to your concern... what's with you people, seriously! Trump is not organizing genocide of POC and nobody (neither the left, nor the Jews) is organizing white genocide. there is no genocide happening in the west... god damn!
While the South African Farm Attacks are, as of yet, a far cry from actual genocide, they are not a good sign nonetheless.   South Africa could well follow Zimbabwe into failed statedom if they carry on as they are.  Things are not getting better.  The ultimate regressive left movement, the Fallists, follow a doctrine much like that of the most fanatical black power movements in the US, but also have the demographic majority to make the threat they pose much more legitimate.  Things are not heading in a good direction down there. 

Other than that, I agree with the quoted paragraph.  The big deal with this whole white genocide narrative - declining birth rates - are universal occurrences in the developed world and are even affecting less developed regions.  While the Islamic world still has the highest birth rates on average overall, there's been decline there likewise.  Consider Iran, a country with an average birth rate of 6.5 children during the early part of Ayatollah Khomeini's reign, now sits with a fertility rate of 1.62

It's not restricted to Iran. The notion that Islamic birth rates are skyrocketing while western birth rates plummet is simply not true.  While their birth rates are still the highest by religion, Muslims are not immune to the demographic trends that affect the rest of the world.  They are supposedly going to sweep in and jihad us all to death once they gain the demographic advantage needed to do so. Not if their women learn how to read first, which is looking more and more likely. Birth rates boil down to female literacy and overall economic development, not conspiracies.

In particular, I find the idea that the Jews are behind white genocide to be patently absurd. In this narrative, the Jews apparently want their allies in the west to be overrun by the populations of their enemies in the middle east. What genius! Makes total sense! Yeah, sure ... Granted, Israel does not equal all Jews, but the idea that Jews would be conspiring to bring about the downfall of western liberal democracies in such a way when it would be so clearly harmful to the Jewish state simply defies logic and common sense.  All of this assumes that the Jews are actually capable of such a far reaching conspiracy in the first place, a highly dubious proposition.  While conspiracies can and do happen in history, theories positing so flawless execution of so vast and sinister a conspiracy with absolutely no leaks, miscalculations or screw ups should elicit skepticism from all who hear them.  

I don't agree with the "progressive" propensity to demonize white males and think it hurts the left in the long run. They're better off sticking to economic and political approaches to dealing with injustice, because identity politics alone aren't working out well. The fact that this is a far cry from genocide doesn't make it right. However, it IS a far cry from genocide. Ratched up rhetoric and hyperbole is the stuff of which the internet is made, however. Want to draw attention to yourself and your cause? Nothing makes headlines like overblown extremist nonsense.
No, "white genocide" is not real as in a planned out thing. 
Yes, whites are being attacked by European, American, and Canadian governments in favor of non whites. 
The context of this debate is often lost because Neo Nazi groups spin it in a way to frighten people in the wrong way. 
Yes, there absolutely is a self censoring double standard that white people in the west face... Yes, the media, government, and pop culture are allowing black and Islamic violence to continue. 
No. It is not a planned thing. It is the result of overly passive people who were not properly raised as humans and have a guilt complex.
I agree with this. Whites are not so much being "attacked" as being passed by in favor of cheaper foreign labor.  Some things are cheaper to import than they are to produce domestically, and surplus population is one of them.  Whether an immigrant is being brought in to take the white man's job, or the white man's job is being outsourced to the third world, the bottom line is, well, the bottom line.  The Fortune 500 guys making these decisions are themselves overwhelmingly white.  But the only color that's really important here is green. 

As for white guilt, it became the fashionable path of least resistance on college campuses that fell under the increasing domination of the various strands of leftist identity politics - feminist theory, critical race theory, queer theory and so on. It was suggested that these bodies of thought required protection from white male criticism as a prerequisite for marginalized people to develop an authentic sense of consciousness in a supposedly oppressive society wherein they faced discrimination. So it became taboo for white males to criticize them. The potential cost of resistance outweighed the potential benefits from the perspective of any individual contemplating it, so it just wasn't done.

The results were quite predictable. The women's studies and black studies classes (among others) became echo chambers wherein critical thought and reality testing took a back seat to in group solidarity. They could bash white males all they wanted, and could use some variant of the power-plus-prejudice argument to rationalize why it wasn't racism/sexism or whatever when they did it, and were largely supported in these rationalizations by academic institutions (at first) and later media and other institutions into which these indoctrinated students would graduate.  Now there's a very widespread de facto expectation that whites will not protest when they are bashed in ways that would be beyond the pale if it were another ethnic group.  It may well behoove the regressive left to rethink this, and I would urge them to do so if they do not wish to see white identity politics continue its ascent, but do not wait with baited breath for that to happen.  

The right wing response, quite predictably and typically, was to assume it was planned from the start this way by some sinister cabal. The Jews, the Democratic party, the persons of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Cultural Marxism and so on. The ultimate motivation is much more a reflection of the anxieties of right wingers, typically involving the imposition of a socialist economy, inflating away the value of their gold stockpiles, taking their guns away, raising taxes of course, and for the fringe right, white genocide.  For the right wing, it always has to be a conspiracy hatched by some omnipotent and malevolent individual, hell-bent on ruining everything.

Egolitarianism - the Core Disease of the Left

But we did, Nathan. And that's precisely the problem. In the unlikely event that Nathan J. Robinson of Current Affairs magazine and...