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January 02, 2013

Comments

Anna

Saddened by the proles thinking for themselves. Saddened and baffled.

Heh. Happy new year, David.

Peter Risdon

This is a problem with Twitter. Once, these sorts of statements were protected by doctor/patient confidentiality. Now the patients just blurt them out in public, because they can do so easily.

Anna

Once, these sorts of statements were protected by doctor/patient confidentiality.

Spot on. "Why do I have to have a job and pay my debts, doctor? Can't I just live in my old bedroom forever? It's so unfair!"

David

The tone does quite often suggest a peevish teenager.

sk60

@occupytheory... theorist-in-progress

They like this 'theory' business, don't they?

David

They like this ‘theory’ business, don’t they?

Theory is much more compliant than reality, so you can imagine the advantages. Plus, you get to call yourself a critical theorist or some other self-flattering bollocks.

Peter

Most normal people look back nostalgically to the carefree freedom and optimism of their youth. What kind of person yearns for lost uncomplicated anger?

SpinsterAndCat

I'm afraid I don't see what the problem is with most of these tweets. Except for the first one which is idiotic and the second one which is callous, the ones in the middle seem to be mostly personal and quite sane. A possible exception is the ones referring to "rich workers" not following the correct politics, but rightwingers do the same damn thing so it looks a tad hypocritical for you to be mocking it.

David

What kind of person yearns for lost uncomplicated anger?

People for whom childlike anger equals feeling important and being noticed?

Rob

Tidal, could you lend me £50? Ta.

Mr Grumpy

Once again DT trawls through manure to fish out the nuggets of pure gold so that the rest of us don't have to. Resolution: remember he has a PayPal button. Happy New Year!

rjmadden

Our biggest tasks r 2 defeat the two ideological pillars of capitalism: 1) that we have to pay our debts and 2) that we have to have jobs.

Swap the word 'capitalism' with 'adulthood' and all becomes clear.

Happy New Year, David (and all the regulars).

David

Resolution: remember he has a PayPal button. Happy New Year!

Your host endorses this message wholeheartedly.

Mike James

Forgive me for occasionally thinking that this is a parody site. Real, grown-up adults don't really say things like this. Do they?

Mags

Our biggest tasks r 2 defeat the two ideological pillars of adulthood: 1) that we have to pay our debts and 2) that we have to have jobs.

Yep, it's definitely clearer (and more honest).

Spiny Norman

Real, grown-up adults don't really say things like this. Do they?

Actually, no, grown-ups don't. rjmadden speaks the truth.

Anna

I guarantee you that, eg, Delingp doesn't go to bed every night wondering if he's doing the right thing…

Wow. Only lefties have consciences, then?

David

Wow. Only lefties have consciences, then?

The thread from which that was taken (via Peter Risdon) was almost a group hug, with the self-dramatizing participants congratulating themselves on their extensive (alleged) fretting. Though if Laurie Penny were in fact anxious to “justify” her writing and were in fact “wondering if [she’s] doing the right thing,” wouldn’t she engage with her critics once in a while? I mean engage substantively, not just denounce them as racists, misogynists, right-wingers or unspecified haters of some kind. And maybe if Laurie maintained some connection with reality and logic, as opposed to her usual wild supposition and rhetorical avalanche, she might not feel quite so obliged to display her personal insecurities and Enormous Leftwing Conscience™.

Still, it’s good to know that presumptuous self-flattery is the path to enlightenment.

Peter

Only lefties have consciences, then?

Oh, they believe that wholeheartedly. Brains, too, as well as compassion, empathy, a yearning for peace and a love of humanity. That's why they walk around 24/7 in a red-hot rage.

DensityDuck

I think she's realized that she's becoming the kind of person that her friends tell her she should hate. And this troubles her, because she doesn't think of herself as a bad person. Hence all the flap about "justification" and "uncomplicated hate".

It is a peculiar quirk of the liberal mindset that one can allow hate of people, but not of persons. If you hate people, well, that's a faceless indiscriminate mass, a movement or an ideology or an income level, recreational preference, view on teenage sexual practices. The liberal sees nothing wrong with hating a general characteristic applied to a large group (indeed, the liberal will probably tell you that hate is both necessary and laudable, because only through hate can we overcome all those things we...um, well, hate.)

But if you hate a person, then it means you hate an individual because of their specific characteristics. And that's bad, and wrong, and evil, because hating someone for who they are is a bad wrong evil thing to do.

This is how a liberal can go on a bitter, angry rant against the concept of overpopulation, and then turn to their pregnant friend and say "so how's your baby?" And they would be honestly surprised if you were angry with them, because obviously they weren't talking about her. What are you, some kind of idiot?

But as you get older it gets a lot harder to justify hating "people", because you stop being able to convince yourself that "people" and "persons" are different. Not only do you know more persons, but you start looking like the people you've always hated. And you're not a bad person, right? So what does that mean for all those other persons?

Bart

You have to feel a little sorry for R. Ville.

I mean, thinking that behaving like an obnoxious arse during an otherwise mundane and innocuous conversation counts as an achievement. A heady triumph worthy of online bragging, no less.

The patheticness is strong in this one.

dicentra

the ones in the middle seem to be mostly personal and quite sane

The underlying assumptions that we find absurd are as follows:

@carolineholding—The idea that one's socioeconomic status is also (or should be) an ideological determinant.

@PennyRed—The idea that the more she wrings her hands about her privilege, the more righteous she is. And that public, self-righteous moral preening is anything but unbecoming.

@Prolapsarian—Not sure what idea is being expressed here. Help?

@PennyRed—The idea that taxing the bejezus out of the evil rich is always morally correct.

@MarkOneinFour—The idea that what one thought and felt in one's 20s ought to be yearned for instead of grown out of.

@ihatehackney—The idea that gender/sex MUST BE independent of biology; the idea that stifling other people's trivial, non-compliant conversations is a moral victory.

@ihatehackney—The antiquated Marxist vocabulary: "direct action collective"; the need to fulfill oneself by pissing in other people's cornflakes; the inability to recognize that cutting off gas supplies hurts the poor and needy FIRST and WORST.

That's just what I pulled out of my elbow. There's SO much more to be gleaned...

Greg

...thinking that behaving like an obnoxious arse during an otherwise mundane and innocuous conversation counts as an achievement.

R. Ville's motive was undoubtedly to derail a conversation that did not - and would not - centre on him/her. Mediocre Dave is appropriately labelled.

blackmamba

"Mediocre Dave is appropriately labelled."

I'm not so sure. I think he may be suffering from delusions of mediocrity.

David

Dicentra wins cake.

Karen M

Our biggest tasks r 2 defeat the two ideological pillars of adulthood: 1) that we have to pay our debts and 2) that we have to have jobs.

Why Marxists have trouble getting a mortgage.

John D

Enormous Leftwing Conscience™.

Enormous Leftwing Ego™.

Fixed.

David

Why Marxists have trouble getting a mortgage.

What’s funny – well, maybe not funny… What’s interesting is that many of the slacker ‘anarchists’ and ‘critical theorists’ featured in this series are, knowingly or not, following Marx’s own personal example. Anyone familiar with the actual life of Uncle Karl will recognise the rejection of responsibility and reciprocity, the colossal vanity and sense of entitlement, the chronic dependence on (and repeated exploitation of) friends, family and bourgeois values, the fits of spite and childlike rage, the apocalyptic fixations, and the instinctive contempt for people who dare to disagree.

Thomas Sowell’s essay Marx the Man is a handy summary and quite revealing.

Peter

David, according to Paul Johnson, Marx's mother, tired of being hit up for money by her son, once mused that she wished Karl would try to amass some capital rather than just write about it.

David

Peter,

It might be interesting to take a toothcomb to Marx’s writing and see just how much of it is more plausible as an elaborate rationalisation of his own chronic mooching and personal demons.

Bart

I'm not that familiar with Marx's writings, but I am curious: did he ever presume himself to be an artist, declare that his self proclaimed artist status gave him preternatural powers of truth-seeing not accessible by the common rabble, then hint heavily that he therefore should have his existence subsidised by other people without his having to work? Or is this a modern innovation?

DMartyr

This would be the most brilliant coffee table book EVAH!

http://www.blurb.com/

dicentra

Dicentra wins cake.

Rats. I just swore off carbs and sugars.

rabbit

Sloth and parasitism clothed in a fig leaf of political righteousness. In former centuries they would have been shipped to Australia.

Mr. X

On the topic of leftist rubbish, the Guardian's got a piece out today which is bizarre even by their standards:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/jan/03/paedophilia-bringing-dark-desires-light

Squires

"...how much of it is more plausible as an elaborate rationalisation of his own chronic mooching and personal demons."

"...declare that his self proclaimed artist status gave him preternatural powers of truth-seeing not accessible by the common rabble, then hint heavily that he therefore should have his existence subsidised by other people..."

The Muhammad of the West.

Fiend's Brave Victim

I cut off people's gas supplies for an actual (well paid, even) job. In context I think that's perfect irony...

Fiend's Brave Victim

Bart: No no no, Marx claimed not that he was an 'artist', but that we would all be artists, such was the liberation he was to provide to us. As explained to me many years ago by an eager young Marxist. You'll probably find him on twitter somewhere or in a mental health clinic.

I don't think Marx said anything about art progressing from the representation of beauty to the polemical posturing of adolescents, but then it has been a long time since I read it. And actually it would explain the whole 'we are all artists' thing.

Tom Foster

Laurie's latest in the Guardian today about the cost of train travel hilariously claims that "it costs £101 to get to Norwich". As various people then point out, she doesn't even think it's worthwhile telling us where she's travelling *from*.

I mean, *everyone* lives in Islington, don't they?

David

More on the “isn’t this work thing just awful” theme. Nina Power – noted here previously – wants to “abolish existing structures.” Though how and to what end, and what might replace them, is, as usual, rather vague, indeed entirely undefined. Being a Nina Power article, it’s long on assertion, much of it bizarre, and short on logic or realism.

Still, never mind. When our Marxoid betters take charge everything will be free, comrades!

[ Added: ]

Note that when someone draws attention to the article’s wild fantasy and lack of substance, our fearless “anti-capitalist” replies, somewhat snootily: “[Abolishing work] is a fairly standard anti-capitalist argument. Surprised you’ve never encountered it before.” Pressed on this curious, albeit typical, lack of detail, our Marxoid radical gets a little sly: “Comment is Free is not really the place for speculative political economy. Presume the article is to prompt that.”

Ah. So Nina Power - a Marxist academic who enjoys a media platform precisely because she’s a Marxist academic and supposed to think about these things - doesn’t actually have to support her political fantasies with a serious argument. Or even a sketch of a serious argument. She can just posture and pretend, untroubled by practicality of any kind. Other people will have to do the actual thinking, at some point, possibly.

All rather symbolic, really.

rjmadden

Nina Power – noted here previously – wants to “abolish existing structures.” Though how and to what end, and what might replace them, is, as usual, rather vague, indeed entirely undefined.

'Abolish existing structures' means other people should give her free food, free housing, free everything. That's food someone else has to grow, houses someone else has to build. So basically other people should work for her without getting paid.

peter horne

'Abolish existing structures' means other people should give her free food, free housing, free everything. That's food someone else has to grow, houses someone else has to build. So basically other people should work for her without getting paid. '

Indeed. Leftists are usually in headlong flight from reality.They are the ultimate denialists. Joseph Stalin, for example was busy creating his fantasy world when he was mugged by reality. His mugger, as Martin Amis once said, was called the Wehrmacht.

David

I fear you’ve given this more thought than Dr Nina Power has. But yes, it’s curious just how often professed egalitarians make noises that suggest they, being egalitarians, are so much more important than everyone else. As, for instance, when the British taxpayer was forced to bankroll Laurie Penny’s “artistic” trip to the Arctic, where she and her shipmates – a “think tank,” no less – congratulated themselves on their leftwing politics. All for only half a million pounds. Of someone else’s money. And when some of those uppity taxpayers dared to suggest that their confiscated earnings might have been put to better use, Laurie waved aside such grumbling as “anodyne” and “inconsequential.”

There ain’t no arrogance quite like socialist arrogance.

Squires

"Abolish work... for us," in short.

One of the cunning things about Marxism is the way it utilizes state control of, dare I say it, capital to discretely institute slavery for the benefit of the nomenklatura. And of course, as in the antebellum South, those who would be the slave-masters insist it's all for the best for the slaves as well. they need to be controlled for their own good, and clearly any correct-thinking person can see that!

peter horne

Socialism is slavery, as I think Von Mises argued in his masterful analysis of the subject. He also said 'Every socialist is a disguised dictator', a thought worth keeping in mind when dealing with lefties.That is its eternal attraction - power.

David

Re the Nina Power article, one Guardian reader actually says,

People build a bunch of houses, a bunch of other people live in them... nobody’s any worse-off if the people living in them aren’t paying.

Free stuff, see?

That’s the thing about Marxoid politics and the kinds of people to whom it appeals. There are always resentful intellectuals and pretend intellectuals, who presumably imagine they’d be among the nomenklatura – administrators or consultants of some kind, directing “progress” from a position of privilege or immunity. And there are also dupes and dullards whose grasp of reality is arrested at the level of a small child.

“Daddy, I want an Xbox.”

“Yes, Jimmy, I know. You’ve said. But daddy will have to work for X hours to earn X amount of money to pay for that Xbox, so that the people who make Xboxes get paid too.”

“Daddy, I want an Xbox.”

Incidentally, according to Laurie Penny, Nina Power’s article is a “brilliant piece… a timely analysis that really shouldn’t be as controversial as it is.” “Power’s piece,” she tells us, “went viral for good reason.” What that reason is, and why the piece is “brilliant,” remains unspecified. Which I’m sure shocks no-one.

Spiny Norman

They want Huxley's Brave New World made real, and they want it NOW!

Rafi

David, you cynic. They're fighting the power and keeping it real.

Squires

Remember that Obama appointee who waxed all weak in the knees over the memory and grandeur of Mao?

http://www.countingcats.com/?p=13675

I wonder what she'd have to say to a man like Yang Jisheng.

Bart

“brilliant piece… a timely analysis that really shouldn’t be as controversial as it is.”

Well, it's not really that brilliant. It was rambling and incoherent, and aside from the fact that Ms Power doesn't like capitalism, the Tories or work, it had no clear point to make.

And it wasn't, strictly speaking, an analysis either. Those tend to have stuff like facts and data, and attempts at processing information in order to come up with a cogent theory about whatever you're talking about. Ms Power's article had nothing remotely resembling any of that whatsoever.

Also, it's not particularly controversial either. Controversies aren't generally ignored, barring some moderate mocking, by their detractors, nor are they described as "fairly standard" arguments by their supporters.

Say what you like about Ms Penny but the fact is, she can cram considerably more wrong into a single sentence than you can.

David

Say what you like about Ms Penny but the fact is, she can cram considerably more wrong into a single sentence than you can.

She’s gifted that way.

Though there is some competition.

Squires

"Say what you like about Ms Penny but the fact is, she can cram considerably more wrong into a single sentence than you can."

When your religion demands that two-plus-two must never, ever equal four, one gets a great deal of practice in pretending that it doesn't.

Spiny Norman

Say what you like about Ms Penny but the fact is, she can cram considerably more wrong into a single sentence than you can.

So our dear Ms Penny is paid by the error?

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