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December 04, 2013

Comments

svh

An identity defined in terms of victimhood needs fresh injections of oppression to sustain its existence

They're making shit up and blaming innocent people for a greater truth.

R.Sherman

Anyone with an ounce of sense would've realized Ms. Morales was a fraud the moment she released her story. I mean, how many restaurant servers introduce themselves by informing patrons of the server's sexual preferences in addition to taking cocktail orders and informing of the daily specials?

Anon

Fraudian slips do happen, you know. 'Good afternoon, my name is Dayna-with-a-Y, I'll be your lesbian today. Sorry, I meant I'll be your lesbian waitress. No, waitress today, that's it. Can I get you anything to...' pause, carefully: 'drink?'

rxc

I think that this is one of the reasons that the concept of "privelege" was invented. It is extremely useful to identify and focus the two-minute hate. Perhaps this is an outgrowth of the Saul Alinsky strategy for identifying and demonizing the object of one's concerns.

pst314

"Good afternoon, my name is Dayna-with-a-Y, I'll be your lesbian today. Sorry, I meant I'll be your lesbian waitress. No, waitress today, that's it."

Shades of Fawlty Towers "Don't Mention the Second World War".

A lesbian Basil Fawlty. That would make a funny show.

David

I think that this is one of the reasons that the concept of “privilege” was invented.

Well, the notion of “privilege” allows you to indulge in theatrical displays of guilt, sensitivity and moral elevation, like this one here. That the guilt, sensitivity and elevation are pretentious and irrational won’t really matter as the people who buy into it tend to be pretentious and irrational too. And prolonged exposure results in mental knots no mortal force could untangle. More to the point, the idea of “privilege” allows you to browbeat people not for what they’ve done or said, but for their levels of melanin or the possession of external genitals. You can berate people simply for being. And so the opportunity to scold – which is what matters, don’t forget – no longer depends on someone actually doing something bad.

It saves a lot of time and is very liberating. For a certain kind of sadist.

Ten

David, your last two paragraphs are astute, although I'd add that faux intellectualism is an added component, and when the chips are down, perhaps the only one.

The inherent superiority of the leftist mind, carefully nurtured as a narcissistic but unique entity in special institutions state-funded just for the purpose of seeking out such brainpower, accounts for the unique visionaries enshrined there.

I see, therefore I am, therefore others shall regard me. If you saw as I do, you'd have proven your merit and worth to society.

It's a whole ball of QED but I suggest that given the sheer narcissism of the whole charade, the foundations - if I may use the word in this context - lie in the arrogance of a reactionary mind, committed to its inherent superiority (as the consequence, typically, of some rearing gone bad).

It's classic dysfunction: They're just too smart. The social justice be damned; that's just the horse they rode in on.

David

The social justice be damned; that’s just the horse they rode in on.

Absolutely. Narcissism and vindictiveness are, I think, more plausible motivations. How else might we explain this malign creature or any number of her peers?

Ten

From the link:

As becomes clear if you watch the Blue Eyed video, Elliott is unwell and what drives her is not benign. She’s also aware of the intimate and long-term damage she so zealously inflicts. In an interview Elliott describes how one of her younger victims went from being a “brilliant, self-confident, excited little girl to a frightened, timid, uncertain little almost-person.” Who would have guessed that abusing and manipulating children until they feel “discomfort, guilt, shame, embarrassment and humiliation” might leave some of those children fearful and utterly demoralised?

"...unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me..." so to put it.

David

I tend to think of Jane Elliott as illustrating the end-stage of such thinking, i.e., irreparable and utterly malignant. In less serious cases, where the bad faith is mixed with more credulity or the person has no power over others, it can be quite funny in a grim and twisted sort of way.

Joan

it can be quite funny in a grim and twisted sort of way.

Wow. She's not a happy bunny. Nothing says 'I'm a reasonable person' like SWEARING AND CAPS LOCK.

David

Nothing says ‘I’m a reasonable person’ like SWEARING AND CAPS LOCK.

And that’s another oddly common feature of the people who buy into this hokum - the elevation of rage to a virtue, a credential.

Laurie Penny and her groupies are forever romanticising anger and saying they’ve written something that’s “angry,” as if anger were the important thing, the marker of status, as opposed to, say, being coherent or truthful. “It’s getting harder to stay angry,” wrote Laurie. “That terrifies me more than anything.” One of Ms Penny’s fans asked her, “Why do you feel it important to be angry all the time?” Sadly, no answer was forthcoming. But it’s interesting to reverse the sequence of ideas. After all, pretending to be angry makes some people feel important all the time.

[ Added: ]

And for some “social justice” warriors, being gratuitously obnoxious to random people is a credential too.

Patrick Brown

Don't know if you've seen this:

http://comicsbeat.com/kibbles-n-bits-120413-cartoonists-start-fighting-and-you-wont-believe-what-happens-next/

The second story involves American political cartoonist Ted Rall being banned from the Daily Kos as a racist for drawing Barack Obama much like he draws everyone else (caricature is evidently not his strong point). More shit-stirring and manufactured hate crimes from the ID politics mafia.

David

Patrick,

I was under the impression that pretty much any criticism of Obama was proof of racist intent. Even using the words ‘Chicago’ and ‘golf’ is apparently taboo.

bastiches

"Laurie Penny and her groupies are forever romanticising anger ..."

Yes, perfect. It is a 'romance' in the original sense of the word.

They create public theater for the opportunity to play the hero, leap on stage and yell, "Villain!"

Breaking Quixote. Starring Cryin' Grievance.

David

Nothing says ‘I’m a reasonable person’ like SWEARING AND CAPS LOCK.

Despite all the guff about listening to criticism and mutual dialogue, that isn’t the dynamic we actually see. Based on the behaviour mentioned above, and dozens of other examples in the archive, it isn’t about dialogue at all. It’s about tribalism and deference: “Feel my pain. Now do as I say.”

As Jim Goad noted recently,

So much for transcending labels and viewing one another as individuals. These people want to institutionalise such labels. They balk at the concept of “assigned identity,” yet they also seem unable to live without it. So many of these multitudinous oppressed “identities” seem like nothing more than cheap cloaks to mask nakedly annoying personalities. People with bad personalities seem to have a built-in defence mechanism that makes them believe you actually hate them for any other possible reason besides their bad personalities. With all the banter about oppression, it’s hard to think of anything that stifles free speech and free expression more than such strident humourlessness.

It’s also quite funny when two competing victim narratives collide. Being equally oppressed, at least in their own minds, neither side will back down and so the drama escalates to a shrieking competition, where it remains for what feels like hours. A particular highlight is when, caught in the gravity of the howling lesbians, the willowy gay guy announces that he too is a lesbian. (Because… well, extra points!) Despite the claims of being oppressed and the appeals to Judith Butler, it’s really just a row over whose Rules of Pretending™ should prevail. And this little pantomime hasn’t been arrived at by accident. It’s a drama they’ve been taught. It’s how the theory they’ve internalised works in practice.

Joshua Barker

Laurie Penny and her groupies are forever romanticising anger and saying they’ve written something that’s “angry,” as if anger were the important thing, the marker of status, as opposed to, say, being coherent or truthful. “It’s getting harder to stay angry,” wrote Laurie. “That terrifies me more than anything.” One of Ms Penny’s fans asked her, “Why do you feel it important to be angry all the time?” Sadly, no answer was forthcoming. But it’s interesting to reverse the sequence of ideas. After all, pretending to be angry makes some people feel important all the time.

Anger, like many things, can be an addiction. It makes one feel powerful, purposeful, self-righteous, better-than. For people who have severe self-esteem issues or who have little else in their lives to give them meaning, anger is an opiate that makes the pain of self go away. But like all drugs, it eventually requires greater and greater doses to achieve the same effect, and can ultimately lead to people going full-on bat-shit crazy.

David

Joshua,

Anger… makes one feel powerful, purposeful, self-righteous, better-than.

A shortcut to virtue. Or a substitute for it.

full-on bat-shit crazy.

Quite.

Joan

People with bad personalities seem to have a built-in defence mechanism that makes them believe you actually hate them for any other possible reason besides their bad personalities.

Laurie Penny in a nutshell.

David

Laurie Penny in a nutshell.

Well, she does spend a lot of time claiming that she’s mocked and derided – sorry, “attacked” and “hated” - for being an outspoken woman, or a feminist, or genderqueer, or polyamorous, or whatever it is she’s clutching at that particular day. She doesn’t pause to consider that the mockery and derision is largely because of what she actually says and how she behaves – the hectoring and interruption, the laughable pretension, the shameless dishonesty and made-up anecdotes, the “occupations” of other people’s property, the endorsement of spitting on people she doesn’t know, the attempts to justify thuggery, theft and vandalism as “a political act.”

Little things like that.

The-devils-towelboy

Have you ever looked at this from the perspective of slave morality?

http://www.sparknotes.com/philosophy/genealogyofmorals/section3.rhtml

David

The spam filter is still twitchy. If anyone has trouble posting comments, email me and I’ll shake them loose.

David

The-devils-towelboy,

Have you ever looked at this from the perspective of slave morality?

Feel free to elaborate.

Ren

It's good to see this conversation grow to encompass symptoms of evil. Leftism is fundamentally a disorder, and since disorders are not uncommon and since the disordered have no less inclination to organize, it follows that they'd likewise find plenty of companionship and plenty of opportunity to organize.

Leftism is based on dishonesty and theft. Sure, envy, covetousness, unmitigated anger, intolerance, hypocrisy, supreme existential arrogance, rampant dislike and hatred, false religiosity, tribalism, consciencelessness, oppression, revisionism and other symptoms also tag along, but at its root the left is a scheme to co-opt a variety of things both tangible and intangible, things both minor and major, and to lie about it relentlessly without remorse.

Leftists harbor the gamut of disorders, not exclusively but technically and thoroughly - altering meaning, intent, and ethics are therefore a primary going concern because this alters the rules and definitions in the favor of the disordered. Leftism is an institution of disorders. Leftists see one another as tools, not allies. And so on.

I realize the family of clinical disorder is only a classification and not a genetic marker or species or race, but seeing it as such may clarify how to treat it.

Anna

caught in the gravity of the howling lesbians,

*Snort*

Anon

Here's an interesting spin:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2013/12/02/tom_daley_and_maria_bello_come_out_is_no_label_gay_ok.html

Obviously the purveyors of identity politics lose their power if people start seeing themselves as individuals rather than aligning with the approved list of interest groups, so if celebrities start doing that sort of thing it must be stamped on hard before it spreads.

Anon

(It's interesting, isn't it, that in lists of 'privilege' the first is always 'the privilege to be seen as an individual rather than a representative of my group'. So be definition if you think of yourself presenting to the world as an individual, rather than identifying with the group, it means you must either be privileged, and therefore an oppressor, or suffering from false consciousness, and need to start thinking of yourself as being seen as group-first, individual-afterwards.)

David

*Snort*

But comedy aside, I think those videos are quite instructive. It’s a teachable moment, as they say. Although there’s lots of shrieking, finger wagging and bare breasts, the shriekers and finger-waggers are following what they see as the progressive rules of conduct, the victimhood hierarchy. And they don’t seem to understand why those rules suddenly aren’t working. The chief participants both claim the victimhood trump card, for themselves or on behalf of a third party, which they clearly feel entitles them to deference and hushed agreement, regardless of mere facts and logic.

They’re so busy being outraged by their respective claims of victimhood not being deferred to – and interrupting each other with the words “you’re not allowed to interrupt” (on account of their victimhood) - that the initial crux of the argument – whether Big Vested Lesbian must think of a trans woman as equally female and part of the lesbian’s tribe – is lost in the commotion. And so for twenty minutes they play every card they have with growing bewilderment – denouncing each other’s “privilege,” shouting over each other about the importance of listening and dialogue - all to no avail. Even the Quote Judith Butler Card™ burns up on re-entry.

Watchman

For obvious reasons, the German government is not allowed to gather information on people's ethnic identity/presumed skin colour, and I think (not checked this) sexuality. Oddly, Germany doesn't seem to have developed the same identity politics issues as the UK and US.

I suspect that not putting people into boxes makes it very hard for people to make a living out of defending those boxes (and abusing the identities of those within the boxes by treating them as an amorphous whole).

Still, in the long term there is hope - I suspect that ultimately all identity groups will turn on their self-appointed 'community leaders' and defenders, and then the need to use that label will fade away. After all, when was the last time you saw a question about identity that included the ethnic option Jewish (and I note Irish is disappearing as well).

Anonymous

Most of the strident gays I've seen would no doubt announce their sexual orientation in mundane circumstances, such as taking a drink order. Sexual orientation seems to be their single defining trait, and they never miss an opportunity to broadcast theirs.

Watcher

Look at me! Look at me now! I CARE and I care MORE THAN YOU!

See, that was easy. Now which group shall I join?

Jo

caught in the gravity of the howling lesbians,

As a lesbian I'm outraged and deeply offended.
And still laughing at that video.

David

Jo,

As a lesbian I’m outraged and deeply offended.
And still laughing at that video.

But spare a thought for those brave little warriors. It must be exhausting. The outrage, I mean, not the lesbianism.

The chippy indignation is a full-time job and being needlessly captious and quarrelsome seems to be how devotees of identity politics establish their position in the new pecking order. Ditto hyperbole. And it can get quite competitive. So, for instance, if someone misspells “trans person,” you have to jump down their throat, call them an oppressor and berate them at length, as if they’d spat at your grandmother and then burned down an orphanage. You’re supposed to take hair-trigger umbrage wherever possible, ideally over the most tiny and innocuous of details, and then demand a public apology from the bewildered stranger you’ve just ambushed and called “a cissexist piece of shit.”

I’m pretty sure those are the rules.

Kay

"Well, the notion of “privilege” allows you to indulge in theatrical displays of guilt, sensitivity and moral elevation, like this one here. That the guilt, sensitivity and elevation are pretentious and irrational won’t really matter as the people who buy into it tend to be pretentious and irrational too. And prolonged exposure results in mental knots no mortal force could untangle. More to the point, the idea of “privilege” allows you to browbeat people not for what they’ve done or said, but for their levels of melanin or the possession of external genitals. You can berate people simply for being. And so the opportunity to scold – which is what matters, don’t forget – no longer depends on someone actually doing something bad."

Even better, the notion of "privilege" has been extended to browbeat people who choose to do something that is objectively good for any human being, such as exercising and following a healthy diet. If you want to have a fun afternoon, get a group of your most athletic and physically healthy friends together (make sure to include some who work hard to stay at a healthy weight) and introduce them to the This Is Thin Privilege (TiTP) tumblr. This is where people go to complain, viciously, bitterly, and at length, that thin people have NO RIGHT to ever be viewed by society as more sexually attractive, desirable, healthy, confident, etc. than fat people. This is the crew that considers "If I managed to lose weight and keep it off, you can too!" pep talks to be hate speech.

(I found TiTP via JustTheStupidParts tumblr, which is run by a "trans, queer" man who was kicked off TiTP for not believing in fat acceptance and is now their sworn enemy. Victims aplenty!)

D

Even better, the notion of "privilege" has been extended to browbeat people who choose to do something that is objectively good for any human being

This counts for doing anything good for other people as well, even minorities. There was all kinds of whining about how patronizing the actions of the couple in "The Blind Side" were when the film came out and was successful; apparently the correct, non-racist thing to do would have been to admire the "authenticity" of the poor black kid's experiences as he lived in the gutter for the rest of his life, from the safety of their expensive house.

When the film "300" came out there was talk of how awful it was to have the white people fighting the brown people with the former being the good guys, despite 1) the fact that the white(ish) people in the story actually lived, actually did fight those brown people, and actually were in the right and 2) the fact that the brown people doing the fighting were slaves being forced to fight for the glory of the system that enslaved them. While the Spartans certainly weren't fighting to liberate the Persian people, surely the defeat of Persia would be in the common Persian's best interest, as it would weaken the oppressive rule under which he struggled. But no, the outward appearance of white people killing brown people and being considered to be in the right was offensive to many film critics.

Hal

But spare a thought for those brave little warriors. It must be exhausting. The outrage, I mean, not the lesbianism.

Exactly.

And out here in reality, we adults have better things to do, and do them.

Quite a few years ago, San Francisco had something come up for a vote, and I’m not remembering what. It did involve SF city finances, and therefore tax rates. Somehow, the situation and circumstances also wound up involving being gay, or gay related something . . . the details have faded.

While a paraphrase, time and memory again, the flat out statement of a gay friend of mine was “Don’t give me any crap about some gay vote, that thing will raise my taxes, _I_ am voting against it!!!”

D

Found this passage in C.S. Lewis, which seems relevant to a lot of discussion here:

Not only is the thing likely to happen; it is already planned and avowed. Mr, J. W. Saunders has set it all out in an excellent article entitled "Poetry in the Managerial Age" (Essays in Criticism, iv, 3, July 1954). He there faces the fact that modern poets are read almost exclusively by one another. He looks about for a remedy. Naturally he does not suggest that the poets should do anything about it. For it is taken as basic by all the culture of our age that whenever artists and audience lose touch, the fault must be wholly on the side of the audience. (I have never come across the great work in which this important doctrine is proved.) The remedy which occurs to Mr. Saunders is that we should provide our poets with a conscript audience; a privilege last enjoyed, I believe, by Nero. And he tells us how this can be done. We get our "co-ordinators" through education; success in examinations is the road into the ruling class. All that we need do, therefore, is to make not just poetry, but "the intellectual discipline which the critical reading of poetry can foster" the backbone of our educational system. In other words, practical criticism or something of the sort, exercised, no doubt, chiefly on modern poets, is to be the indispensable subject, failure in which excludes you from the Managerial Class. And so our poets get their conscript readers. Every boy or girl who is born is presented with the choice: "Read the poets whom we, the cultured, approve, and say the sort of things we say about them, or be a prole." And this (picking up a previous point) shows how Charientocracy can deal with the minority of pupils who have tastes of their own and are not pure Plasticine. They get low marks. You kick them off the educational ladder at a low rung and they disappear into the proletariat.

-C.S. Lewis, Charientocracy

D

The whole essay is good and very relevant. You can read it here:

https://archive.org/stream/worldslastnighta012859mbp/worldslastnighta012859mbp_djvu.txt

Plus I just enjoy any excuse to read more C.S. Lewis.

D

Oops, the essay is called "Lilies that Fester," not "Charientocracy."

David

The remedy which occurs to Mr. Saunders is that we should provide our poets with a conscript audience; a privilege last enjoyed, I believe, by Nero.

Heh. The spirit of Nero lives on in, among others, the socialist film maker Ken Loach. You see, not enough people want to watch his films, therefore something must be done. Something bold.

D

Glad you enjoyed that. There's also this:

Another advantage is that, besides providing poets with a conscript audience for the moment, you can make sure that the regnant literary dynasty will reign almost forever. For the deviationists whom you have kicked off the ladder will of course include all those troublesome types who, in earlier ages, were apt to start new schools and movements. If there had been a sound Charientocracy in their day, the young Chaucer, the young Donne, the young Wordsworth and Coleridge, could have been dealt with. And thus literary history, as we have known it in the past, may come to an end. Literary man, so long a wild animal, will have become a tame one.

...

Culture is a bad qualification for a ruling class because it does not qualify men to rule. The things we really need in our rulers - mercy, financial integrity, practical intelligence, hard work, and the like - are no more likely to be found in cultured persons than in anyone else.

-C.S. Lewis, "Lilies that Fester"

And this:

We must take great care to preserve our habits of mind from infection by those which the situation has bred. Such an infection has, in my opinion, deeply corrupted our artists.

Until quite recently until the latter part of the last century it was taken for granted that the business of the artist was to delight and instruct his public. There were, of course, different publics; the street-songs and the oratorios were not addressed to the same audience (though I think a good many people liked both). And an artist might lead his public on to appreciate finer things than they had wanted at first; but he could do this only by being, from the first, if not merely entertaining, yet entertaining, and if not completely intelligible, yet very largely intelligible. All this has changed.
In the highest aesthetic circles one now hears nothing about the artist's duty to us. It is all about our duty to him. He owes us nothing; we owe him "recognition" even though he has never paid the slightest attention to our tastes, interests, or habits. If we don't give it to him, our name is mud. In this shop, the customer is always wrong.

But this change is surely part of our changed attitude to all work. As "giving employment" becomes more important than making things men need or like, there is a tendency to regard every trade as something that exists chiefly for the sake of those who practise it. The smith does not work in order that the warriors may fight; the warriors exist and fight in order that the smith may be kept busy. The bard does not exist in order to delight the tribe; the tribe exists in order to appreciate the bard.

-C.S. Lewis, "Good Work and Good Works"

On the one hand I enjoy reading Lewis's excellent comments on this situation; on the other hand it's depressing that it's been going on long enough for him to have written about it in the 1950s.

Anon

If you want to be really depressed, read The Abolition of Man.

First time I did, I considered the last chapter to be where dear old Jack had gone off the rails a bit into science fiction. But as the years flow by, it becomes increasingly apparent that, fifty years after he left us, it is all coming to pass.

'We laugh at honour, and are surprised to find traitors in our midst.'

Nik White

You’re supposed to take hair-trigger umbrage wherever possible

And for some “social justice” warriors, being gratuitously obnoxious to random people is a credential too.

This is the same mentality that vigilantes have and, like most, acts of vigilantism it inevitably results in this kind of farce-cum-thuggery.

I know this to be true because I've found myself – twice so far – on the receiving end of just this kind of mentality. The anecdote is quite lengthy and admittedly a bit moany/whiny in parts but if you have a minute or two …

In the town where I live, the EDL (English Defence League, a racist organisation / mob of drunken thugs in the UK) have staged demonstrations over the past few years and each time they have been met head-on by a coalition of anti-fascist protestors (Respect, Socialist Worker Party, Anarchists, the English Disco Lovers etc.) holding a counter-demonstation.

The first time there was a demo, I knew nothing about it until the street I was walking down at the time suddenly had to be cleared to make way for the anti-fascist protestors to march through. I was standing in a shop doorway, waiting for them to pass, when a young man of about 20 with a Trotsky beard and thin, wire-rim glasses broke away from his friends rushed up to me and fairly screamed 'EDL GO TO HELL!!!!!' right into my face.

I was as embarrassed as all hell as everyone in the street with me began to eye me with suspicion / hatred and some of the other shoppers in the same doorway even started to shuffle away from me. If you're reading this anecdote, please do understand that I am absolutely not, never have been or ever will be, a member or even a tacit supporter of any kind of moronic organisation like the EDL; I hope it's also clear that I'd never seen the Trotskyite before in my life, nor him me.

The next time the EDL came to town, I didn't feel like a repeat of that experience so I went to my local pub – a place which I've been going to at least twice a week for the last five years or more – and sat down with a pint and my Kindle to quietly read a novel (one of the Game of Thrones books, as it so happens).

Later that afternoon, antifascists from the English Disco Lovers piled into the pub. A few of them looked at me suspiciously from the bar.

A few minutes later, I nipped to toilet only to find that, when I came back my table, it had been 'occupied'. My coat and bag had been flung onto the floor, with their boots ground onto them. It's possible they thought I had left the pub, but I doubt it and anyway it became obvious why they had done this as I had a surreal five minutes where they refused to speak to me or even move their feet off my stuff while I hauled up my coat and bag off the floor. They had never seen me in their lives before, nor I them.

I could obviously have just left the pub, but I didn't see any reason why I ought to be intimidated out of a place where I am a regular by out-of-towners who'd only come up for the day. Also, I had done nothing other than read a Kindle, so why should I leave? So I went up and took a stool by the bar. As more time passed, more antifascists came in and two more of them came up to interrogate me –

What was I reading? (They looked genuinely taken aback when I told them it was Game of Thrones, as they clearly were fully expecting me to say Mein Kampf)

Why was I there? What was I doing in this pub as my accent was obviously not a local one? (On that point they at least got one thing right – I am in fact from the North of the UK but now live in the South-East)

They were both very hostile throughout and made it clear in no uncertain terms who they thought I was. They also made it clear that I they could not be persuaded by any lies I might tell about who I 'really' was and were very suspicious indeed at anything that hinted that I might be reasonably well educated. Strangely though, they never asked the one question that should have been most obvious (i.e. Are you a fascist?).

If now you're wondering what it is that I could possibly have been doing or saying to have elicited such immediate vilification, I can tell you – nothing. However, what I am definitely guilty of is the following:

I am a middle-aged white (well, pasty blue-green with splotches of red), male and a bit overweight; my hair is receding so I keep it cropped short; a few years ago I was in a road accident (through no fault of my own I might add) and so now I have a noticeable scar down one side of my face; finally, on a weekend I tend to dress casually, which often means jeans and some kind of hooded top.

In other words, I was guilty of nothing more than looking like someone's cartoon idea of what all British fascists must look like which was apparently more than enough evidence in their eyes to assume that I must obviously therefore be a fire-breathing fascist beyond any shadow of a doubt.

The bitter irony of anti-racism protestors pre-judging a person on literally nothing more than their clothing and physical appearance, and then classifying them according to a crude, pre-existing stereotype was not lost on me, though clearly it was on them. They are – or at least a few of them are – clearly far more like the people they oppose than they have the imagination to realise.

Some friends of mine have suggested that I shouldn't ever wear a hooded top because people are naturally going to be a bit prejudice towards me based on the way I look. Possibly, you may agree with them. I've just realized that this may sound suspiciously like a classic tale of victimhood/oppression/poor-me-ism (or even, God preserve us, a 'healing moment') – but just to be absolutely clear, that is not my intention. I think I can just about survive having an young student buffoon shout in my face and through the magic of washing machines I had no problem cleaning my coat and bag from boot prints after the other EDL had loved doing a little disco on them.

I really just wanted to give two personal examples of the vigilante bullshit that can result from the virtuous anger that, as noted above, Laurie Penny and her chums are so enthusiastic about.

As I think others in the thread have already pointed out, no one will question the necessity of a group they belong to when virtue is the reward for membership. So members quickly fall into the conclusion that the group wouldn't exist if it wasn't necessary; but it does exist so therefore it must be necessary.

Once the raison d'être for the group has lost touch with reality in that way, any objective sense for the actual scale of the threat it's been set up to oppose is lost along with it. The vice the members are opposing by force of virtue is proportionate to the depth of feeling it provokes in them.

So if they can't find 'the enemy', it's because the Devil-of-the-moment is using his cunning to hide in plain sight – the group simply needs to look harder to uproot the Evil in its midst. Failing that, they're just as happy to settle for a second-best option, someone with the vaguest passing resemblance to the object of their hatred to wreak their virtue upon.

David

Nik,

They are – or at least a few of them are – clearly far more like the people they oppose than they have the imagination to realise.

From what I’ve seen that’s, if not the norm, then certainly very common. The ostensible cause may differ, but their members seem to thrive on the same mob anonymity and license to intimidate. They, like their supposed opposites, attract a certain type of person. People who confuse being righteous with simply being angry. Who else would go out of their way to spend their free time in the middle of that kind of dynamic and psychology, with the threat – or promise – of thuggery and violence? As I think my posts on Occupy illustrated, many, many, times, the overlap of the categories “social justice warrior” and “opportunist thug with serious mental health issues” is… well, quite large.

Henry

Very interesting story from Nik White, thanks.

The bitter irony of anti-racism protestors pre-judging a person on literally nothing more than their clothing and physical appearance, and then classifying them according to a crude, pre-existing stereotype was not lost on me, though clearly it was on them

Recently I was involved in a minor online debate under a newspaper website's comment section - not the Graun. The debate centred around the complex but well-worn issue of immigration into the UK. One fellow gave the more or less standard pro-immigration viewpoint, and fair play to him.

But one of the less agreeable things that you hear from this crowd is the continual repetition of the theme that those opposed to immigration are racists/xenophobes. i don't think you can rush to this assumption - it's too much like the easy trump card, the cry of "racist" that shuts down any further argument.

The interesting thing was this: having denounced his opponents as stupid racists, he warmed to his subject and curiously announced that British people were not only very lazy, but ugly too, and that thanks to high immigration levels "our grandchildren will be beautiful".

Said about any other nationality this would be classed as racism, no doubt about it. But that he was confident that he wouldn't be called out on it (he was - by me) tells you a lot about the (rarely sincere) use of the word "racist" in politics.

It's just the behaviour of crowds - like groups of children at school. They ascertain that it is wrong to pick on one person or group, then turn on someone else they can find culpable. Sooner rather than later they are exhibiting exactly the same vindictive behviour towards the new victim - showing that they've learnt nary a thing, and care not in the slightest.

rxc

"...practical criticism or something of the sort, exercised, no doubt, chiefly on modern poets, is to be the indispensable subject, failure in which excludes you from the Managerial Class..."

This line brought back to me memories of the chore of doing book reports in early high school(~13 years old) "English" classes. For you non-Americans, this was a class in english composition, where students read different books and poetry and short stories, and then wrote about them. It was an attempt to teach students how to write reports, using stories as the subject.

I used to dread these classes, because I never understood the reading material, which I thought was dull and unfathomable. How can a 13 year-old kid understand the humanity of Silas Marner, or any of these sort of works? You don't have the life experience to understand what the characters are going thru. And Shakespeare, which came when we were older, was like a foreign language.

I hated to write book reports, until I discovered (1) the strategy, which was to write one introductory paragraph, one longer middle section, and one conclusory paragraph, and (2) discovered all the answers, in the library, on the shelves of lit crit. I just wandered theu the stacks looking for someone's crit of the assigned work, picked out a few paragraphs of likely-sounding stuff, and the report was done, and I got good grades (good marks) for it.

This was my founding experience with the lit crit world, and I think I see it in all sorts of other areas where the chattering classes talk about stuff that they don't really understand (engineering, science, math, etc). All they do is talk, talk, talk to one another, stringing together pretty words in clever ways. I think that Post Modernism is the ultimate end of all of it - lots of words that mean absolutely nothing.

I even tried to get a masters degreee in Italian Renaissance Art at Harvard(!), under the GI Bill, to complement my chemical engineering/nuclear engineering/computer degree, but it got really deep, really quickly, and I couldn't BS my way very well. I guess you need an BA to get an MA in BS.

Hal

On the one hand I enjoy reading Lewis's excellent comments on this situation; on the other hand it's depressing that it's been going on long enough for him to have written about it in the 1950s.

I've noticing that the three axioms of hipsters are:

There is a hipster born every minute.

Never give a hipster an even break.

---and of course---

For you will always have the hipster among you.

---And whatever "the hipster" is called at the moment is irrelevant.

AC1

> clearly far more like the people they oppose than they have the imagination to realise.

Projection is one of the traits I've noticed amongst the Marx worshipping faithful

AC1

>having denounced his opponents as stupid racists, he warmed to his subject and curiously announced that British people were not only very lazy, but ugly too, and that thanks to high immigration levels "our grandchildren will be beautiful".

More Projection the term for these types is Oikophobes.

Nik White

David,

Eye-opening links as always – I have to confess that I gave up at a certain point – there was only so much of the madness that you can wade through at any one point. I did enjoy this comment from the roving blogger-photographer though:

One thing quickly became apparent to me: Occupy Oakland at first tried to create a completely anarchistic rule-free social utopia — but as the days and weeks pass, the Occupiers are inescapably re-creating society from scratch, and before long will have all the same rules and customs and problems that they tried to abandon. (All of this is entirely predictable, I might add.)

Especially once this was followed by the photos of the 'Occupolice' and their tent/stall with a sign requesting funds for victims of crime. They may not be aware of it, but they're also treading well-worn paths: there was the Russian народничество as far back as the 1860s/70s,for example, which was a dismal failure of course, unless the rise of the more militant Bolshevism can be counted as a 'win'.

A similar failure was the equivalent Peruvian version of the народничество in the 1950s – though it may have succeeded in paving part of the way for Abimael Guzmán's Sendero Luminoso or 'Shining Path' movement.

Nik White

Henry,

The interesting thing was this: having denounced his opponents as stupid racists, he warmed to his subject and curiously announced that British people were not only very lazy, but ugly too, and that thanks to high immigration levels "our grandchildren will be beautiful".

I think there will always be occasions that one someone follows a particular dogma, they very quickly find themselves running out of things to say – they are left either to repeat themselves or, as apparently the case with the guy you mention above, revealing the considerably less enlightened views than the one's he has borrowed.

David

there was only so much of the madness that you can wade through at any one point.

Welcome to my world. Spend an afternoon sifting through Occupier tweets and you’ll be trying to gnaw through your own neck.

Nik White

Along similar lines:

Five students at Sussex Uni banned from campus for 'peaceful protest'

    Around 40-60 students have occupied a conference centre and top floor of a University of Sussex building as "a last recourse" to prevent the privatisation of ... catering and estate management services.

Not quite sure how the privatisation of the canteen symbolises the end of civilisation as we know it, but anyway ...

Students occupy Sussex University in protest against privatization

David

“The suspension… has caused outrage among students.” Isn’t it just awful when your actions have consequences?

Mark

"In the town where I live, the EDL (English Defence League, a racist organisation / mob of drunken thugs in the UK) have staged demonstrations over the past few years and each time they have been met head-on by a coalition of anti-fascist protestors (Respect, Socialist Worker Party, Anarchists, the English Disco Lovers etc.) holding a counter-demonstation."

You know who else was "anti-fascist"? Communists. That's who your buddies are. They are, in fact, PAID communists. Paid by your government (and mine) to brutalize you into acquiescing to a campaign of genocide committed against you by ( I'll give you 3 guesses,but you won't need 'em.) the governments of most of the Western nations, who are entirely captured by a species of Communism or perhaps more accurately a diabolically twisted oligarchism which resembles communism,a bastard political scion of the most poisonous aspects of capitalism welded by pure class hatred to..... well, how do you pick which aspects of communism are the MOST poisonous?

"The first time there was a demo, I knew nothing about it until the street I was walking down at the time suddenly had to be cleared to make way for the anti-fascist protestors to march through. I was standing in a shop doorway, waiting for them to pass, when a young man of about 20 with a Trotsky beard and thin, wire-rim glasses broke away from his friends rushed up to me and fairly screamed 'EDL GO TO HELL!!!!!' right into my face."

What a shocker. Guess what? That's not a fellow civilian. He's a paramilitary shocktrooper. The same ones go to every one of these events ,all around the world,and terrorize everyone without a Che Guevara T-shirt/ski mask ensemble on. Incidentally, do you know why they wear masks? I mean, aside from the fact that terrorists wear masks? Reread what I wrote earlier, I gave you the answer. It is so you won't recognize that a couple hundred of them, at most, are going to EVERY SINGLE ONE of these events. It is always the SAME GROUP. I'm an American. Our government has been doing this stuff,destabilizing societies,that is,throughout most of the last century. Yours has too, probably not as successfully as us,though.

It seems they have figured out that destabilizing their own societies is a good way to gain even greater power for themselves.They can tear up those pesky constitutions and have their detractors summarily executed,the wet dream of every tyrant.

"I was as embarrassed as all hell as everyone in the street with me began to eye me with suspicion / hatred and some of the other shoppers in the same doorway even started to shuffle away from me."

You know why that is? You should. You're one of the ones creating the situation. Consider the following paragraph:

"If you're reading this anecdote, please do understand that I am absolutely not, never have been or ever will be, a member or even a tacit supporter of any kind of moronic organisation like the EDL; I hope it's also clear that I'd never seen the Trotskyite before in my life, nor him me."

You're CREATING the climate of fear you live in, by agreeing that organizing in the interests of white British is A BAD THING, a "moronic" thing,a thing you should feel ashamed of. Listen, these antifas organize enraged mobs for a living. Their job is to terrorize you. The only antidote to their terrorism is to use terrorism against them. It is the only thing terrorists understand. If they are coming at you with a knife, you need at least a knife, and really, a gun if you can get one, in order to insure that you SURVIVE the encounter.

Ergo, it follows that if they bring threats screamed into your face at close range, you need to surprise them by planting a brick in the middle of theirs. First, because it immediately puts you back in control, which you have every right to as he was the one who violated your personal boundaries, and second, because it marks them. When you see the toothless guy with the broken nose at the next antifa hate rally in support of white genocide, everyone knows he's a soft target. He's been punked before, so he'll be easy to step over to get to the next commie or easy to track in order to ferret out where,precisely,his money and directions are coming from.

You are in a war, Nik. If you do not favor Communism,if you have no desire to be a serf in your grandfather's country, you need to join with other British who also despise it, and you need to FIGHT these bastards. You need to start screaming in THEIR faces, before they ever get a chance to scream in yours. If you don't, you will be destroyed. The aim of the masters of the so-called antifascist commies is to KILL YOU. The longer you wait, the less chance you have of staging an effective resistance. You will be tyrannized, you will be unjustly imprisoned, and ultimately, you will be murdered.

I'm not saying join the EDL. From what I hear, they're controlled opposition. but,you have to realize something. YOU are the "fascist" that they want to destroy, and you are a good guy who deserves his life, his liberty, and his property. The "fascists" that these commies are intent on wiping out are the GOOD GUYS. The guys who love their country, who've dutifully paid taxes for years, who've meekly accepted the constantly-escalating intrusions and encroachments on their privacy, their dignity, even their sanity. You were not targeted by accident. You were attacked ON PURPOSE. They would never dream of attacking a real fascist. He might stab or beat them to death. Instead, they have orders to assault YOU, and claim victory over "fascists". I cannot overstate this. To them, YOU are the fascist.

They will make a little old lady into a "fascist" in the eyes of their dull-witted supporters,after the fact, unless she beats the crap out of them.


These guys claim to fight "fascists" but they are fighting YOU. If the "fascists" don't show up to this war that the commies want, well-armed and well-prepared,and spoiling for a fight, then YOU are the one who will lose your property,your liberty, and perhaps even your life.

Choose whom you will serve. Will you support "fascism" and suffer accusations of racism and bigotry in the short-term for it, or will you support this globalist collectivism that wants your blood, and perish, taking your fellow good-natured,law-abiding,patriotic countrymen down with you? I know whom I have chosen to stand with. I have no right to put the lives and well-being of others in jeopardy because I refuse to stand on their behalf.

If they are so scared of "fascism", then it must be the perfect vehicle for robbing them of any power to terrorize myself and my loved ones. Antifas are not Gods,they are not priests, they are not even elected officials. They are mercenaries and terrorists of an alien government; alien because it is neither wholly your government, nor mine, nor Germany's, nor Spain's,Nor France's but all of them, all of the wretched,delusional,power-mad bastards. Loose the f*cking dogs on the cowardly pricks,I say.

Terrorists have always called themselves something other than terrorists, whether it's "holy warrior","freedom fighter", or "antifascist". Anti-fascist is a codeword for Terrorism.

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