|January 8th, 2014||#21|
∞ 𐌙 λ
Join Date: Dec 2009
This thread should really be considered for the Showcase sub-forum. It really captures the vicious hateful nature of the extremist "liberal". Is there any other place on the Web that even come closes to what is said here?
These extremist "liberals" may be the most underestimated danger to Whites. It is hard to believe that anybody does not know there is some troubling issues with the jew. I mean, can any intelligent person really believe that the jew has been falsely accused for hundreds of historical events over the last 3,000 year. Many may be willing to admit the jew had done evil in the past, but they were forced to in order to protect themselves. But with the extremist "liberals", the vast majority of the population, regardless of the political orientation, have not conception of the extremist "liberals" nor their vicious and vengeful nature.
It is these extremist "liberals" that nobody pays attention. And it is them that will play a key role as the jew navigates the White race towards genocide. And if the jew's plan should be temporally derailed, it will be these extremist "liberals" who will be blamed by the jew giving the jew another opportunity. Not hard to imagine a jew one hundred years saying: "It was a non-jew the issued the order for the execution of an entire White town in Minnesota and it was a non-jew that that the death squad".
Are these extremist "liberals" the reincarnation of the shabbos goy members of the Bolsheviks? Was Stalin one that just got out of control?
Can these extremist "liberals" be considered vicious attack dogs that the jew is been grooming to unleash on the "haters" and "racists"?
|January 13th, 2014||#22|
Join Date: Mar 2012
The Europeans are very big on manners. There are strict rules on how you are expected to behave in various situations. And they are very quick to correct anyone not abiding by the rules. But only when the offender is white. Protected classes are excused from criticism.
Liberals have inherited this disposition to group-think. Homosexuals and niggers are treated with tolerance and courtesy regardless of how offensive their behavior. But if you are White then you belong to the group and are expected to conform to the groups values.
Jews are clever. They have invented another lie, that twists the White mans desire for order and homogeneity into a hideous distortion resulting in chaos and racial conflict. The White race is by nature extremely intolerant. We've fought horrendous wars over the stupidest things. But when monsters from Africa invade our homelands we become impotent. Because the prevailing orthodoxy demands we show these animals every possible courtesy.
The double standard that allows niggers to behave badly is entirely racial. Deep down every liberal knows that niggers are incapable of behaving like civilized human beings. So they don't expect them to.
|January 13th, 2014||#23|
Join Date: Sep 2013
The formulating for good manners started about 500 years ago, as class hierarchy in Whites intensified to a new degree, and the cream of the upper crust wanted to culturally further separate themselves from their bottom feeding inferiors. I believe the rise of good manners helped spark the way to the Enlightenment of the next 200 years of faggot philosophies.
|January 14th, 2014||#24|
What we have are justified fears of the consequences of anti-PC expressions or activities, that's the stick. Then we have the christian carrot, of the Pope approving us for being racially disloyal and, say, helping Africans invade Lampedusa.
So we have a double incentive to comply with the jewish communist line: we avoid penalties, and our sellout leadership, our popes and politicians, praise us for doing The Right Thing.
White men, if they would deserve the appellation, must spit on pope and pol and Pet and go their own way.
|January 14th, 2014||#25|
In normal daily intercourse, if we have set ways of acting, it greatly eases things for us. We just do what we're supposed to, and life proceeds smoothly. The more formal a society, paradoxically, the less mentally stressful for people. We don't have to make it up as we go along, there is a prescription for how to act. People are polite, and keep their distance. In an egalitarian, every funky being for itself, this is lost. We all have to invent a persona and pattern. Most of us don't have many brains or much imagination or courage. We are bewilderbeests on this scary new savanna. So we end up not as individuals, but as xeroxes. We find one of the jewsmedia-created personas and copy that. We get tattoos and act like a moron; we copy the clothes and attitudes of hollywood actors; we trick out our cars and act like rappers. No one knows how to act anymore. It's all about self-expression. Manners = weakness. Fuck the other guy. "YOLO" and "haters gonna hate" are both expressions of this me-first, fuck-the-world attitude. It makes for a confused and selfish time. With genuine manners, we focus on the other guy, and making him comfortable, and ourselves less disgusting to him. It is a paradox that the LESS we think about ourselves, and the more we think about others, the happier we are.
For me, I'm a skittish animal. I'm not extroverted, except professionally. I like to watch things, to think about things, to be amazed and admire things. I don't like to be gang-pressed into someone else's life-movie by means of law, overfamiliarity or any other device. A more formal society, with well known and established behavior, is more to my liking, oddly enough. A tighter society is, paradoxically, more liberating, freer. The looser society becomes, yes, you have more opportunities for sex and other forms of incontinence, but you lose the real thing. Your politics become restricted, because hey buddy we're all in this together su dinero es mi dinero (your money is my money) socialism becomes the rule, enforced less through the courts than through the media, as many rich people have discovered when they found themselves on the wrong side of public opinion. We decline into a society in which the guy who discovered the freakin' genetic code can't make a simple, factual observation about black intelligence.
|February 9th, 2014||#26|
A comment from a deadspin article on the canceled Zimmerman/DMX boxing match.
IronMikeGallegoUSean Newell4851L U
Despite not being in any sort of physical danger, Zimmerman still plans to shoot DMX. Yesterday 4:46pm
That's about the highest number of stars I've seen on any one comment, nearly 500! That commenter is one of the old-school all-stars. The quote isn't funny by any means, and the commenter is perfectly capable of being very funny. His comment is simply a statement of creed: we reject the facts and insert our religious myth. All in the cult say "Hail!" The girls with the purple Kool-Aid will now make their way up the aisles...
|February 19th, 2014||#27|
Here's Ray Rice Dragging His Unconscious Fiancée Out Of An Elevator
WhiskeyBlackoutUTom Ley2361L U
Somewhere, Darren Sharper just got an erection. Today 11:20am
I hate myself for laughing at that.
Very common illiberal statement, and it has a deeper meaning.
Have you ever hated yourself for laughing at something? I haven't. It seems to me that laughter is spontaneous. That's kind of its 'thing.' It's unbidden, hence undeniable. Something either is or isn't funny, and it's pretty objective, if you could measure "it," or even identify it. Why in the world would you feel bad about laughing at anything? Laughter means something is funny, not that you agree with it or that your reaction to it says anything about your character.
Illiberals "hate" themselves because their involuntary reaction suggests their nature is at war with the higher morality their political ideology is supposedly based on. Humor draws them back to earth, where they are one with the common folk. For a minute their pretensions are gone, and they're no better than anyone else - they laughed! At a racist joke (or something)? I mean, that's the humor equivalent of pointing out the association between negroes and violent crime! ! We cultists are supposed to be what-Joe-calls (Family Guy) better than that. Our pretension disappears with our laughter. Humor-truth drags us back down to reality, and we love it but when the laughter ends we hate it. Time to repair the breach in the bubble wrap.
Illiberals are uncomfortable with themselves, and comfortable only among themselves, because they are a cult, with views that make them, as I've said many times, the ideological equivalent of bubble boys. When you live in a bubble, dangerous pricks are everywhere. You become fearful and defensive - and this manifests, in politics, in suppression of all alternative views - it's the only way your wacky ideas can survive, in the fart-heated hothouse you and your fellow cultists have created by pulling a giant ideological blanket over all your heads.
To leftists, everything is political. Everything. And reality is the enemy. Imagine how mentally painful the world must be. That's why leftists have to control the mass media and keep out contrary views - it's the only way their views can succeed. It's the only way they can feel comfortable.
By contrast, if you're reality oriented, you don't feel bad about natural reactions. You're not at war with yourself. You don't continually rebuke your eyes and ears (and nose) for telling you thinks your brain insists must not be true, even though you plainly know, in the wee hours, they damn well are.
Last edited by Alex Linder; February 19th, 2014 at 08:31 PM.
|February 24th, 2014||#28|
∞ 𐌙 λ
Join Date: Dec 2009
Nominating this thread for the:
There seem to be at least types of "liberals":
Most people are unaware the second type's existence or the evil they fantasize about inflicting on their fellow Whites if they imagine it will deliver humanity to Utopia.
Not sure if there is any other place on the web that attempts to characterize/define the viscous and vindictive "liberal".
|April 3rd, 2014||#29|
Intra-leftist insanity. Semitical correctness run wild, as leftists go after each other with anti-white epithets
|April 3rd, 2014||#30|
Would it be inflammatory to say that you think white men are sort of the enemy?
Um. I mean I think they are, and we might as well label it. Whiteness will always be the enemy. It’s not like I want to hurt them, it’s not like I want them to have any pain, but like, I just want them to realize what they have, and to honor the advantages. And I don’t think it’s much to ask to just even acknowledge it.
You’ve also said you’re a fan of “The Colbert Report.” So I guess I find that a little confusing, because he has done this sort of race-based humor for so long … I’m having trouble consolidating those two things, based on our conversation.
Well, first of all, I don’t think anything exists as a dichotomy. I think we need to be able hold multiple things at one time, and play with those tools in a really nuanced way. And so I think people want to categorize, either she’s an activist, or she’s a creative writer, she cannot be both, she cannot be pulling the rug on us, when I am. In the same sense, I think, people keep asking me, where were you in 2005 with your critical race theory critique of the Colbert show. And I was like, “first of all, I was waiting for Twitter to be invented, and second of all I was getting my braces tightened because I was still in middle-school.”
[she was waiting for a white man to invent Twitter so she could criticize other white men for being white]
[comment left at Salon
A. Linder just now
She was waiting for a white man to invent Twitter so she could bash white men. Cho-ho-ho: Asian comedy, folks, it'll be here all weak. Edit (in 5 minutes)]
Last edited by Alex Linder; April 4th, 2014 at 12:07 AM.
|April 5th, 2014||#31|
Portlandia Sharia: No Way To Live
By ROD DREHER • April 5, 2014, 12:29 PM
A reader alerts me to an ongoing saga from Portland. It seems that a woman named Chauncy Childs is planning to open a premium food store, a place where she can sell locally-raised and grown fresh meat and vegetables, including the non-GMO food she grows on her farm. But the people in the progressive neighborhood where she’s planning to open read her Facebook page, and found that she does not support same-sex marriage, and was kind of ugly about it. Ruh-roh! Excerpt from the Oregonian report:
Childs said she is religious and has a libertarian view that government should not be allowed to dictate whom a business does or doesn’t serve.
“We’re not going to refuse to serve anybody,” she said. “But we believe a private business should have the right to live their conscience.”
She said she believes that gay marriage is wrong because it is the start of a slippery slope that could eventually lead to pedophilia and bigamy. But she said those are her private religious beliefs and don’t reflect how the store will operate.
Childs, who owns a farm in Oregon City, said her idea was to open a place where she could sell her own GMO-free produce and dairy along with other GMO-free products made by local vendors.
Well, naturally there’s talk of boycotting her store when it opens, even though she’s spent a lot of money renovating the empty storefront. The Oregonian said that the locals had been excited about having a new store from which to buy the kinds of food they like. No more. From the story:
“They’re choosing to open a business in a very open-minded neighborhood,” said Tom Brown, owner of Brown Properties and president of the Sellwood Moreland Business Alliance. “I think their personal views are going to hurt.”
Think about the paradox of a neighborhood so open-minded that it will not tolerate the presence of a businesswoman who privately holds negative views about same-sex marriage.
But now boycott talk is swinging towards a local thought criminal restaurant owner who said on Facebook that it’s wrong to boycott a business for the private opinions of its owner.
This comments thread started when a stay-at-home dad in that neighborhood posted a seven-minute video (now taken down) expressing angst and hostility toward the as-yet-unopened food store. One thing he said: What about the children who have to walk past that store every day, knowing that it is owned by a woman who doesn’t support gay marriage?
Yes, he said that. Portlandia!
Nick Zukin makes sense; from that comments thread:
I’m wondering, Robert, if you’ve researched any of the other businesses nearby. Who are their owners? What are their religious beliefs? Do they give money to a political party? Etc? What about your dentist, your doctor, your wine vendors? It’s a bad way to live.
Yes it is. But it looks like we’re going to be living that way, at least those of us who live among the Progressive Puritans, who keep vigil day and night to prevent witches from living among them, poisoning their wells and worse. How are we to know that Chauncy Childs won’t kidnap liberal children and bake gluten-free cakes from non-GMO flour in the back room of that foodie boutique of hers?
When we lived in Brooklyn, we routinely shopped at a local food store owned by Yemeni Muslim immigrants. If I had to bet, I would guess they held strongly anti-gay views, strongly anti-feminist views, and probably strongly anti-Christian views. But you know what? They were always polite to us — friendly, even — and their products were good. They were good neighbors. Who cares what they think privately, as long as they treat customers with respect?
When we lived in Philly, we shopped all the time at a local organic food co-op that was fairly Portlandish in its progressivism. But the food was good and the people were really nice to us. If they had known that they were dealing with a right-wing Christian troglodyte every time they saw me at the register buying food, it probably would have appalled them. And I’m sure that at least some of those workers held offensive prejudices about Christians and conservatives. But you know what? They were nice and we were nice and we enjoyed sharing the same neighborhood with them. Who cares what they think privately, as long as they treat customers with respect?
In the Philadelphia area, you run into Amish folks at farmer’s markets, selling their produce. I was told by a local foodie that long before farmer’s markets became popular, the Amish were holding the line on locally-grown fresh food. According to this person, the reason the farmer’s market movement started so early and became so strong in Philly was because of the presence of the Amish from Lancaster County and elsewhere. People love them. You think the Amish are for gay marriage? You think the Amish hold properly progressive views on sex, gender roles, or anything else? Who the freak cares?! At the Baton Rouge farmer’s market, the best local milk comes from Mormon dairy farmers, and the best chicken comes from Muslim chicken farmers. You think they are pure enough for Portlandia? In my town, which is fairly conservative, some of the most beloved businesses are run by liberals, and employ gay people. Nobody cares. Nobody should care. You are a bad neighbor if you care, and not just a bad neighbor, but an asshole.
From what I’ve read about Chauncy Childs, it sounds like she was, and is, obnoxious on the subject of same-sex marriage. She doesn’t sound like the kind of person I would want to socialize with. But if I lived in Portland, I would make a point to go shop at her store, just to take a stand against this rotten movement to investigate the personal lives and beliefs of people and ruin their livelihoods if they don’t measure up. Besides, I believe that we can’t have enough places to buy organic farm-raised meat, vegetable, and dairy. Chauncy Childs, whatever her sins and failings, has apparently invested a lot of money in opening that kind of place, a food store that the neighbors were looking forward to until somebody went online and discovered her thoughtcrime. Do you think Chauncy Childs’s mind is going to be opened to gay rights after this? Do you think this kind of thing builds community, or makes it more possible for we who live in a pluralistic community to get along better with each other, despite our differences?
Portlandia’s version of sharia is no way to live.
Last edited by Alex Linder; April 5th, 2014 at 07:32 PM.
|April 9th, 2014||#32|
Join Date: Sep 2005
Re comment #31 above:
Chauncy gave protection money to some gay organization.
Like Eich, Childs assured her detractors that her personal religious beliefs will have no bearing on the way she runs her business, and that homosexuals will be as welcome to shop and work at her store as anyone else. Childs even donated $1,000 to a local gay organization as a gesture of goodwill, and encouraged others to do the same.
“Need' now means wanting someone else's money. 'Greed' means wanting to keep your own. 'Compassion' is when a politician arranges the transfer.”
― Joseph Sobran
|May 6th, 2014||#33|
Join Date: Apr 2004
The guy holding the sign is a nutty Christian, but he's not bothering anyone.
Listen to how the little fag screams and cries about "HATE SPEECH" after he tries to assault the guy and ends up getting thrown to the curb.
Last edited by varg; May 6th, 2014 at 08:47 PM.
|May 6th, 2014||#34|
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Crawlin' from the wreckage
I sure hope that screeching little wench isn't typical of "men" attending college these days, bit I'm afraid it's more typical than we might think.
izzy really is doing a number on White youth.
|May 6th, 2014||#35|
The Struggle Over Egalitarianism Continues
By Murray N. Rothbard
May 6, 2014
[Rothbard's 1991 introduction to "Freedom, Inequality, Primitivism, and the Division of Labor,"which was written in 1970.]
In the two decades since this essay was written, the major social trends I analyzed have accelerated, seemingly at an exponential rate. The flight away from socialism and central planning begun in Yugoslavia has stunningly succeeded over the entire “socialist bloc” of Eastern Europe, and there is now at least rhetorical allegiance to the idea of privatization and a free-market economy. More and more, Marxism has become confined to the academics of the United States and Western Europe, comfortably ensconced as parasites upon their capitalist economies. But even among academics, there is almost nothing left of the triumphalist Marxism of the 1930s and 40s, with their boasts of the economic efficiency and superiority of socialist central planning. Instead, even the most dedicated Marxists now pay lip service to the necessity of some sort of “market,” however restricted by government.
I. New Areas of Inequality and “Oppression”
But this does not mean that the struggle over egalitarianism is over. Far from it. On the contrary, after the New Left of the late 1960s and early ’70s had been discredited by its bizarre turn to violence, it took the advice of its liberal elders and “joined the system.” New Leftists launched a successful Gramscian ”long march through the institutions,” and by becoming lawyers and academics — particularly in the humanities, philosophy, and the “soft” social sciences — they have managed to acquire hegemony over our culture.
Side Bar: ”Seeing themselves defeated and routed on the strictly economic front, the Left turned to the allegedly moral high ground of egalitarianism.”
And, as they did so, they turned increasingly to what was suggested in the last paragraph of my essay: de-emphasizing old-fashioned economic egalitarianism in favor of stamping out broader aspects of human variety. Older egalitarianism stressed making income or wealth equal; but, as Helmut Schoeck brilliantly realized, the logic of their argument was to stamp out in the name of “fairness,” all instances of human diversity and therefore implicit or explicit superiority of some persons over others. In short, envy of the superiority of others is to be institutionalized, and all possible sources of such envy eradicated.
In his book on Envy, Helmut Schoeck analyzed a chilling dystopian novel by the British writer, L.P. Hartley. In his work, Facial Justice, published in 1960, Hartley, extrapolating from the attitudes he saw in British life after World War II, opens by noting that after the Third World War, “Justice had made great strides.” Economic Justice, Social Justice and other forms of justice had been achieved, but there were still areas of life to conquer. In particular, Facial Justice had not yet been attained, since pretty girls had an unfair advantage over ugly ones. Hence, under the direction of the Ministry of Face Equality, all Alpha (pretty) girls and all Gamma (ugly) girls were forced to undergo operations at the “Equalization (Faces) Centre” so as all to attain Beta (pleasantly average) faces.[i]
Coincidentally, in 1961, Kurt Vonnegut published a pithy and even more bitterly satirical short story depicting a comprehensively egalitarian society, even more thoroughgoing than Hartley’s. Vonnegut’s “Harrison Bergeron” begins:
The year was 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren’t only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General.
The “handicapping” worked partly as follows:
Hazel had a perfectly average intelligence, which meant she couldn’t think about anything except in short bursts. And George, while his intelligence was way above normal, had a little mental handicap radio in his ear. He was required by law to wear it at all times. It was tuned to a government transmitter. Every twenty minutes or so, the transmitter would send out some sharp noise to keep people like George from taking unfair advantage of their brains.[ii]
This sort of egalitarian emphasis on noneconomic inequalities has proliferated and intensified in the decades since these men penned their seemingly exaggerated Orwellian dystopias. In academic and literary circles “political correctness” is now enforced with an increasingly iron hand; and the key to being politically correct is never, ever, in any area, to make judgments of difference or superiority.
Thus, we find that a Smith College handout from the Office of Student Affairs lists ten different kinds of “oppression” allegedly inflicted by making judgments about people. They include: “heterosexism,” defined as “oppression” of those with nonheterosexual orientations, which include “not acknowledging their existence”; and “ableism,” defined as oppression of the “differently abled” [known in less enlightened days as "disabled" or "handicapped"], by the “temporarily able.” Particularly relevant to our two dystopian writers is “ageism,” oppression of the young and the old by youngish and middle-aged adults, and “lookism” (or “looksism”), defined as the “construction of a standard of beauty/attractiveness.”
“Oppression” is also supposed to consist, not only of discriminating in some way against the unattractive, but even in noticing the difference. Perhaps the most chilling recently created category is “logism” or “logo-centric,” the tyranny of the knowledgeable and articulate. A set of “feminist scholarship guidelines” sponsored by the state of New Jersey for its college campuses attacks knowledge and scientific inquiry per se as a male “rape of nature.” It charges:
mind was male. Nature was female, and knowledge was created as an act of aggression — a passive nature had to be interrogated, unclothed, penetrated, and compelled by man to reveal her secrets.[iii]
“Oppression” is of course broadly defined so as to indict the very existence of possible superiority — and therefore an occasion for envy — in any realm. The dominant literary theory of deconstructionism fiercely argues that there can be no standards to judge one literary “text” superior to another. At a recent conference, when one political science professor referred correctly to Czeslaw Milosz’s book The Captive Mind as a “classic,” another female professor declared that the very word classic “makes me feel oppressed.”[iv] The clear implication is that any reference to someone else’s superior product may engender resentment and envy in the rank and file, and that catering to these “feelings of oppression” must be the central focus of scholarship and criticism.
The whole point of academia and other research institutions has always been an untrammelled search for truth. This ideal has now been challenged and superseded by catering to the “sensitive” feelings of the politically correct. This emphasis on subjective feelings rather than truth is evident in the current furor over the teaching of the distinguished Berkeley anthropologist, Vincent Sarich. Sarich’s examination of genetic influences on racial differences in achievement was denounced by a fellow faculty member as “attempting to destroy the self-esteem of black students in the class.”[v]
II. Group Quotas
Indeed, one radical change since the writing of this essay has been the rapid and accelerating transformation of old-fashioned egalitarianism, which wanted to make every individual equal, into group-egalitarianism on behalf of groups that are officially designated as “oppressed.” In employment, positions, and status generally, oppressed groups are supposed to be guaranteed their quotal share of the well-paid or prestigious positions. (No one seems to be agitating for quotal representation in the ranks of ditch diggers.) I first noticed this trend in a paper written one year after the present essay at a symposium on The Nature and Consequences of Egalitarian Ideology.
There I reacted strongly to the quotal representation for designated groups insisted upon by the McGovern movement at the 1972 Democratic Convention. These victorious Democrats insisted that groups such as women, youth, blacks and Chicanos had fallen below their quotal proportion of the population as elected delegates to previous conventions; this had to be rectified by the Democratic Party overriding the choices of their members and insisting upon due quotal representation of these allegedly oppressed groups. I noted the particular idiocy of the claim that youths aged 18–25 had been grievously “under-represented” in the past, and indulged in what would now be called a “politically inappropriate” reductio ad absurdum by suggesting an immediate correction to the heinous and chronic underrepresentation of five-year-old “men and women.”[vi]
“Seeing themselves defeated and routed on the strictly economic front, the Left turned to the allegedly moral high ground of egalitarianism.”
And yet, only two years before that convention, another form of quotal appeal had met with proper scorn and ridicule from left-liberals. When one of President Nixon’s failed Supreme Court nominees was derided as being “mediocre,” Senator Roman Hruska (R., Neb.) wondered why the mediocre folk of America did not deserve “representation” on the highest Court. Liberal critics mockingly charged the Senator with engaging in special pleading. The self-same charge, levelled against denouncers of “logism” would drive such critics from public life. But times, and standards of political correctness, have changed.
It is difficult, indeed, to parody or satirize a movement which seems to be a living self-parody, and which can bring about such deplorable results. Thus, two eminent American historians, Bernard Bailyn and Stephan Thernstrom, were literally forced to abandon their course at Harvard on the history of American race relations, because of absurd charges of “racism” levelled by a few students, charges that were treated with utmost seriousness by everyone concerned. Of particular interest here was the charge against Bailyn’s course on race relations in the colonial era.
The student “grievance” against Bailyn is that he had read from the diary of a southern planter without giving “equal time” to the memoirs of a slave. To the complainants, this practice clearly amounted to a “covert defense of slavery.” Bailyn had patiently explained during the offending lecture that no diaries, journals or letters by slaves in that era had ever been found. But to these students, Bailyn had clearly failed to understand the problem: “Since it was impossible to give equal representation to the slaves, Bailyn ought to have dispensed with the planter’s diary altogether.”[vii]
Spokesmen for group quotas in behalf of the “oppressed” (labelled for public relations purposes with the positive-sounding phrase “affirmative action”) generally claim that a quota system is the furthest thing from their minds: that all they want is positive action to increase representation of the favored groups. They are either being flagrantly disingenuous or else fail to understand elementary arithmetic. If oppressed group X is to have its “representation” increased from, say, 8 to 20 percent, then some group or combination of groups is going to have their total representation reduced by 12 percent. The hidden, or sometimes not-so-hidden, agenda, of course, is that the quotal declines are supposed to occur in the ranks of designated oppressor groups, who presumably deserve their fate.
III. Who Are the “Oppressed”?
In this regime of group egalitarianism, it becomes particularly important to take one’s place in the ranks of the oppressed rather than the oppressors. Who, then, are the oppressed? It is difficult to determine, since new groups of oppressed are being discovered all the time. One almost longs for the good old days of classic Marxism, when there was only one “oppressed class” — the proletariat — and one or at most a very few classes of oppressors: the capitalists or bourgeois, plus sometimes the “feudal landlords” or perhaps the petit bourgeoisie.
Side Bar: “Perhaps the most chilling recently created category is ‘logism’ or ‘logo-centric,’ the tyranny of the knowledgeable and articulate.”
But now, as the ranks of the oppressed and therefore the groups specially privileged by society and the State keep multiplying, and the ranks of the oppressors keep dwindling, the problem of income and wealth egalitarianism reappears and is redoubled. For more and greater varieties of groups are continually being added to the parasitic burden weighing upon an ever-dwindling supply of oppressors. And since it is obviously worth everyone’s while to leave the ranks of the oppressors and move over to the oppressed, pressure groups will increasingly succeed in doing so — so long as this dysfunctional ideology continues to flourish. Specifically, achieving the label of officially oppressed entitles one to share in an endless flow of benefits — in money, status, and prestige — from the hapless oppressors, who are made to feel guilty forevermore, even as they are forced to sustain and expand the endless flow. It is not surprising that attaining oppressed status takes a great deal of pressure and organization. As Joseph Sobran wittily puts it, “it takes a lot of clout to be a victim.” Eventually, if trends continue the result must be the twin death of parasite and host alike, and an end to any flourishing economy or civilization.
There are virtually an infinite number of groups or “classes” in society: the class of people named Smith, the class of men over 6 feet tall, the class of bald people, and so on. Which of these groups may find themselves among the “oppressed”? Who knows? It is easy to invent a new oppressed group. I might come up with a study, for example, demonstrating that the class of people named “Doe” have an average income or wealth or status lower than that of other names. I could then coin a hypothesis that people named Doe have been discriminated against because their names “John Doe” and “Jane Doe” have been “stereotyped” as associated with faceless anonymity and, presto, we have one more group who is able to leave the burdened ranks of the oppressors and join the happy ranks of the oppressed.
A political theorist friend of mine thought he could coin a satiric oppressed group: short people, who suffer from “heightism.” I informed him that he was seriously anticipated two decades ago, again demonstrating the impossibility of parodying the current ideology. I noted in an article almost twenty years old, written shortly after this essay, that Professor Saul D. Feldman, a sociologist at Case-Western Reserve, and himself a distinguished short, had at last brought science to bear on the age-old oppression of the shorts by the talls. Feldman reported that out of recent University of Pittsburgh graduating seniors, those 6’2″ and taller received an average starting salary 12.4 percent higher than graduates under 6 feet, and that a marketing professor at Eastern Michigan University had quizzed 140 business recruiters about their preferences between two hypothetical, equally qualified applicants for the job of salesman. One of the hypothetical salesmen was to be 6’1″, the other 5’5″. The recruiters answered as follows: 27 percent expressed the politically correct no preference; one percent would hire the short man; and no less than 72 percent would hire the tallie.
Side Bar: “The groups specially privileged by society and the State keep multiplying, and the ranks of the oppressors keep dwindling…”
In addition to this clear-cut oppression of talls over shorts, Feldman pointed out that women notoriously prefer tall over short men. He might have pointed out, too, that Alan Ladd could only play the romantic lead in movies produced by bigoted Hollywood moguls by standing on a hidden box, and that even the great character actor Sydney Greenstreet was invariably shot upward from a low-placed camera to make him appear much taller than he was. (The Hollywood studio heads were generally short themselves, but were betraying their short comrades by pandering to the pro-tall culture.) Feldman also perceptively pointed to the antishort prejudice that pervades our language: in such phrases as people being “short-sighted, short-changed, short-circuited, and short in cash.” He added that among the two major party candidates for president, the taller is almost invariably elected.[viii]
I went on in my article to call for a short liberation movement to end short oppression, and asked, where are the short corporation leaders, the short bankers, the short senators and presidents?[ix],[x] I asked for short pride, short institutes, short history courses, short quotas everywhere, and for shorts to stop internalizing the age-old propaganda of our tall culture that shorts are genetically or culturally inferior. (Look at Napoleon!) Short people, arise! You have nothing to lose but your elevator shoes. I ended by assuring the tallies that we were not anti-tall, and that we welcome progressive, guilt-ridden talls as pro-short sympathizers and auxiliaries in our movement. If my own consciousness had been sufficiently raised at the time, I would have of course added a demand that the talls compensate the shorts for umpteen thousand years of tall tyranny.
IV. The Romantics and Primitivism
Turning from the topic of the oppressed, my own view of the Romantics, certainly jaundiced twenty years ago, is far more hostile today. For I have learned from such sources as Leszek Kolakowski and particularly the great literary critic M.H. Abrams, of the devotion of the Romantics, Hegelians, and of Marxism to what might be called “reabsorption theology.” This view stemmed from the third-century Egyptian Platonist, Plotinus, seeping into Christian Platonism and from then on constituting a heretical and mystical underground in Western thought.
Briefly, these thinkers saw Creation not as a wonderfully benevolent overflow of God’s goodness, but as an essentially evil act that sundered the blessed pre-Creation unity of the collective entities God, Man, and Nature, bringing about tragic and inevitable “alienation” in Man. However, Creation, the outgrowth of God’s deficiencies, is redeemable in one sense: History is an inevitable “dialectical” process by which pre-Creation gives rise to its opposite, the current world. But eventually history is destined to end in a mighty “reabsorption” of these three collective entities, though at a much higher level of development for both God and Man.
Side Bar: “Eventually, if trends continue the result must be the twin death of parasite and host alike, and an end to any flourishing economy or civilization.”
In addition to other problems with this view, the contrast with orthodox Christianity should be clear. Whereas in Christianity, the individual person is made in God’s image and the salvation of each individual is of supreme importance, the allegedly benevolent reabsorptionist escape from metaphysical alienation occurs only at the end of history and only for the collective species Man, each individual disappearing into the species-organism.[xi]
As for primitivism, later anthropological research has strengthened the view of this essay that primitive tribes, and premodern cultures generally, were marked, not by communism — à la Engels and Polanyi — but by private-property rights, markets, and monetary exchange. The work of the economist Bruce Benson has particularly highlighted this point.[xii]
V. The Division of Labor
I have come to realize, since writing this essay, that I overweighted the contributions and importance of Adam Smith on the division of labor. And to my surprise, I did not sufficiently appreciate the contributions of Ludwig von Mises.
Despite the enormous emphasis on specialization and the division of labor in the Wealth of Nations, much of Smith’s discussion was misplaced and misleading. In the first place, he placed undue importance on the division of labor within a factory (the famous pin-factory example), and scarcely considered the far more important division of labor among various industries and occupations. Secondly, there is the mischievous contradiction between the discussions in Book I and Book V in the Wealth of Nations. In Book I, the division of labor is hailed as responsible for civilization as well as economic growth, and is also praised as expanding the alertness and intelligence of the population. But in Book V the division of labor is condemned as leading to the intellectual and moral degeneration of the same population, and to the loss of their “intellectual, social, and martial virtues.” These complaints about the division of labor as well as similar themes in Smith’s close friend Adam Ferguson, strongly influenced the griping about “alienation” in Marx and later socialist writers.[xiii]
But of greater fundamental importance was Smith’s abandonment of the tradition since Jean Buridan and the Scholastics that emphasized that two parties always undertook an exchange because each expected to gain from the transaction. In contrast to this emphasis on specialization and exchange as a result of conscious human decision, Smith shifted the focus from mutual benefit to an alleged irrational and innate “propensity to truck, barter, and exchange,” as if human beings were lemmings determined by forces external to their own chosen purposes. As Edwin Cannan pointed out long ago, Smith took this tack because he rejected the idea of innate differences in human talents and abilities, differences which would naturally lead people to seek out different specialized occupations.[xiv] Smith instead took an egalitarian-environmentalist position, still dominant today in neoclassical economics, holding that all men are uniform and equal, and therefore that differences in labor or occupations can only be the result rather than a cause of the system of division of labor. Moreover, Smith inaugurated the corollary tradition that differences in wage rates among this uniform population can only reflect differences in the cost of training.[xv],[xvi]
Side Bar: “It is a constant source of surprise how rereading Mises continues to provide a source of fresh insights and of new ways of looking at seemingly trite situations.”
In contrast, the recent work of Professor Joseph Salerno has illuminated the profound contributions of Ludwig von Mises’s emphasis on the division of labor as the “essence of society” and the “fundamental social phenomenon.” For Mises, as I wrote in the essay, the division of labor stems from the diversity and inequality of human beings and of nature. Salerno, in addition, brings out with unparalleled clarity that for Mises the division of labor is a conscious choice of mutual gain and economic development. The process of social evolution therefore becomes “the development of the division of labor,” and this allows Mises to refer to the worldwide division of labor as a vital “social organism” or “oecumene.” Mises also points out that division of labor is at the heart of biological organisms, and “the fundamental principle of all forms of life.” The difference of the “social organism” is that, in contrast to biological organisms, “reason and will are the originating and sustaining form of the organic coalescence.” Therefore, for Mises “human society is thus spiritual and teleological,” the “product of thought and will.” It therefore becomes of the utmost importance for people to understand the significance of maintaining and expanding the oecumene that consists of the free market and voluntary human exchanges, and to realize that breaching and crippling that market and oecumene can only have disastrous consequences for the human race.[xvii]
In the standard account, writers and social theorists are supposed to mellow and moderate their views as they get older. (Two glorious exceptions to this rule are such very different libertarian figures as Lysander Spooner and Lord Acton.) Looking back over the two decades since writing this essay, it is clear that my views, on the contrary, have radicalized and polarized even further.
As unlikely as it would have seemed twenty years ago, I am even more hostile to socialism, egalitarianism, and Romanticism, far more critical of the British classical and modern neoclassical tradition, and even more appreciative of Mises’s great insights than ever before. Indeed, for someone who thought that he had absorbed all of Mises’s work many years ago, it is a constant source of surprise how rereading Mises continues to provide a source of fresh insights and of new ways of looking at seemingly trite situations. This phenomenon, in which many of us have experience, bears testimony to the remarkable quality and richness of Mises’s thought. Although he died almost two decades ago, Ludwig von Mises remains more truly alive than most of our conventionally wise contemporaries.
Murray N. Rothbard
Las Vegas, Nevada
[i] See the discussion in Helmut Schoeck, Envy: A Theory of Social Behavior (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1970), pp. 149–55. Schoeck’s work was originally published in German in 1966 under the title Der Neid, and the English translation was first published in 1969.
[ii] Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., “Harrison Bergeron” (1961), in Welcome to the Monkey House (New York: Dell, 1970), p.7.
[iii] John Taylor, “Are you Politically Correct?” New York (January 21, 1991, p.38. Also see ibid., pp. 32–40: “Taking Offense,” Newsweek (December 24, 1990), pp. 48–54.
[iv] Newsweek, loc. cit., p. 53.
[v] Paul Selvin, “The Raging Bull of Berkeley,” Science 251 (January 25, 1991): 369.
[vi] Murray N.Rothbard, “Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature,” in Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature and Other Essays (Washington, D.C.: Libertarian Review Press, 1974), pp. 7–8.
[vii] Taylor, “Are You Politically Correct?” p. 33.
[viii] Feldman’s case would have been strengthened had he written after the 1988 campaign: not only did Bush tower over Dukakis, but Representative Charles Wilson, (D., Texas) was able to express the tallist bigotry of his region: “No Greek dwarf can carry East Texas,” without calling forth protests and marches by organized short-dom. On the Feldman study, see Arthur J. Snider, “Society Favors Tall Men: Prof,” New York Post(February 19, 1972). On all of this, see Murray N. Rothbard, “Short People, Arise!” The Libertarian Forum IV (Arril 1972): p. 8.
[ix] It might be instructive to study whether the savage treatment accorded to Senator John Tower in his confirmation hearings for Secretary of Defense was due to discrimination against his short size.
[x] A possible project for American historians: most of the big business tycoons of the late-nineteenth century (e.g., Jay Gould and John D. Rockefeller, Sr.) were very short. By what process did the tallies quietly seize power in the corporate world?
[xi] See Leszek Kolakowski, Main Currents of Marxism, vol. I, The Founders (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1981), pp. 9–39; M.H. Abrams, Natural Supernaturalism: Tradition and Revolution in Romantic Literature (New York: Norton, 1971); M.H. Abrams, “Apocalypse: Theme and Variations” in C.A. Patrides and Joseph Wittreich, eds., The Apocalpse in English Renaissance Thought and Literature (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1984), pp.342–68; Ernest L. Tuveson, “The Millenarian Structure of the Communist Manifesto,” in ibid., pp. 323–41; and Murray N. Rothbard “Karl Marx: Communist as Religious Eschatologist,”[PDF File] The Review of Austrian Economics 4 (1990): 123–179.
[xii] Bruce L. Benson, “Enforcement of Private Property Rights in Primitive Societies: Law Without Government,”[PDF File] Journal of Libertarian Studies 9 (Winter 1989): 1–26; and Benson, The Enterprise of Law: Justice Without the State (San Francisco: Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy, 1990), pp. 11–41. Also see Joseph R. Peden, “Property Rights in Celtic Irish Law,”[PDF File] Journal of Libertarian Studies 1 (1977): 81–95: and David Friedman, “Private Creation and Enforcement of Law: A Historical Case,” Journal of Legal Studies 8 (March 1979): 399–415.
[xiii] On Ferguson’s influence, see Abrams, Natural Supernaturalism, pp, 220–21, 508.
[xiv] Edwin Cannan, A History of the Theories of Production and Distribution in English Political Economy from 1776 to 1848, 3rd ed (London: Staples Press, 1917), p. 35
[xv] Contrast Smith’s egalitarianism with the great early-fifteenth-century Italian Scholastic, San Bernardino of Siena (1380–1444). In his On Contracts and Usury, written in 1431–33, Bernardino pointed out that wage inequality on the market is a function of differences of ability and skill as well as training. An architect is paid more than a ditch-digger, Bernardino explained, because the former’s job requires more intelligence and ability as well as training, so that fewer men will qualify for the task. See Raymond de Roover, San Bernardino of Siena and Sant’Antonino of Florence: The Two Great Thinkers of the Middle Ages (Boston: Baker Library, 1967), and Alejandro Chafuen, Christians for Freedom: Late Scholastic Economics (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1986), pp. 123–31.
[xvi] Modern neoclassical labor economics fits in this tradition by defining “discrimination” as any wage inequalities greater than differences in the cost of training. Thus, see the standard work by Gary Becker, The Economics of Discrimination (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1957).
[xvii] Joseph T. Salerno, “Ludwig von Mises as Social Rationalist,”[PDF File] The Review of Austrian Economics 4 (1990): 26–54. See also Salerno’s critique of Eamonn Butler’s uncomprehending reaction to Mises’s insights, charging Mises with the “organic fallacy,” and “difficulty with English.” Ibid., p. 29n. The implicit contrast of Mises’s view with Hayek’s emphasis on unconscious action and blind adherence to traditional rules is made explicit by Salerno in the latter part of this article dealing with the socialist calculation debate, and in Salerno, “Postscript,” in Ludwig von Mises, Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth (Auburn, Al,: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 1990), pp. 51–71.
|May 6th, 2014||#36|
Join Date: Feb 2004
They're herd animals; ingesting the popular liberal rhetoric of the day and have never bothered really thinking it through. All they know is this: They have a strong agreement with popular views on television and they are very, very angry when someone resists them.
They are the same people who are outraged when whites want to segregate themselves but never say a peep when blacks, Latinos, Asians, Jews, or Muslims do it. They're the same people who are outraged when someone accuses a white person of racism, but are silent when the victims of it are white.
Their positions are weak. They do not withstand critical analysis. They are unable to defend them when questioned which is why they often argue in ad hominem invective, deflections, gender baiting, gay baiting, and appeals to emotion. They're lemmings. Useful idiots. Cognitively impaired, and often outright stupid.
|June 21st, 2014||#37|
Bread and Circuses
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Jewed Faggot States of ApemuriKa
Blog Entries: 1
Xenophobia is fear of the alien; Oikophobia is fear of the familiar: "the disposition, in any conflict, to side with 'them' against 'us', and the felt need to denigrate the customs, culture and institutions that are identifiably 'ours.' " British philosopher Roger Scruton
Left-leaning Whites often are driven by conscious and subconscious Oikophobia.
Xenophilia is an attraction to foreign peoples, cultures, or customs. Or by other words the state of caring so little about your own ancestral heritage, homeland and peoples you are happy to call them racist and invite mass immigration till they are a minority in their own land.
|December 15th, 2014||#39|
[feminist doesn't want goyim free to disagree with her. since we have the power to ban comments, we should]
Comment sections are poison: handle with care or remove them
Comments are often regarded as a right but they can do more harm than good. In the absence of strict moderation, we’d be much better off without them
Prolonged exposure to comment sections can cause hair loss, sustained vomiting, muscle wasting and radiation burns.
It sits there like an ugly growth beneath articles, bloated and throbbing with vitriol. It groans as hatred expands its force, waiting for any point of dissent to break it – to unleash its full fury on targets who dare convey some measure of civility or dissent (if you want almost guaranteed hate, be a woman). Comment sections, to me, are the chronic pain centres of the internet, the part of the digital body we’re all forced to accept exists, but must manage by injecting policies and systems into.
Some find great value in comment sections and one feels almost obliged to say “Not all comment sections”. They are, like the internet itself, tools: we don’t discard wrenches because of a few accidents. Yet, if people start using wrenches to mostly beat each other with, maybe it’s time to radically rethink whether they should be allowed at all.
They’re not going anywhere
I’ve never really been a fan of comment sections and have often interrogated their necessity. But, since writing for sites that allow them, I’ve mostly taken the “don’t read the comments” approach – to my own and others’ writing. Every internet writer will tell you something different.
Recently, however, a colleague penned a piece that defended a woman – it doesn’t even matter which woman or what context. Every week brings a new reminder women are not welcome – especially on the internet.
The site published it proudly – however, and inevitably, the comment section ended up a fat sack of misogyny hanging like an unwanted testicle below it. This wasn’t a special case; it seems to happen every time a woman writes something that somehow defends some aspect of women’s autonomy.
But this isn’t just about the awful way women are treated. It’s about the awful way almost everyone is (and no, people are not treated equally in terms of receiving contempt but we all still receive it, even grieving daughters).
So this awful space now existed leeching off the good space above it. My friend’s article was not itself a place to engage her in discussion, nor the issues; it became a platform of hatred, misogyny and all manner of awfulness. Why should we accept this?
‘That’s just the internet’
A lot of times when people express their hatred for people’s behaviour online, wizards emerge to inform us, “That’s just the internet. Learn to deal with it.”
This assertion gives no humanity to victims: everyone is a blank, emotionless internet user, with no history of being targeted for her sex, race, sexuality. As much as we should be treated equally, in reality, we come from backgrounds where we’re not – and we continue not to be treated fairly. Second, in this assertion, the internet, too, becomes an amoral wasteland where only the “fittest” survive – and by “fittest” we usually mean individuals who rarely face prejudice or hostility premised on their gender, race, etc.
People remain people, whether behind keyboards or at your dinner table. That means we can and do take action and decide what kind of spaces we want to create: it’s for this reason, comment systems have blocking tools, social media sites have restrictions!
This, too, dear wizards, is also the internet! Namely: cutting off the tongues that would shriek and outlining why their rage is horrible.
The internet is the biggest, most diverse, most deep, most annoyingly beautiful space we’ve created: lives are entirely made here. It’s not different to the “real world”, it’s part of it. To portray it as some disconnected space helps no one; indeed it only provides ammo to those who would see it as a mere playground for their sadistic taunting.
Just as we shape our social lives in physical space, we can shape our digital space. We block, remove, shut down as we want to create spaces we prefer – indeed, we even create our own tools when the providers themselves do not.
One area we can manage – but seem not to – are comment sections.
Below the line
One of the many pieces of “advice” we get regarding comment sections (and other areas) is “don’t feed the trolls”. Dr Whitney Philips, a communication lecturer at Humboldt State University and who is releasing a book on trolls, writes in The Daily Dot:
‘Don’t feed the trolls’ frames conversations about aggressive online behaviours solely in terms of the aggressor. Even if a person avoids feeding the trolls (and/or the person accused of trolling), he or she is still playing into the aggressor’s hands.
While I would not weep if more sites removed comment sections, Dr Philips thinks slightly differently. She tells me:
We should encourage more dialogue online, not less, particularly when the people speaking have been historically silenced, delegitimised, or minimised. What hateful, unnecessary commentary does (especially when identity-based) is run counter to that basic objective; that’s what warrants onsite intervention. That said, what can or should be done about problematic online speech and behaviour depends on who is speaking to whom, in what tone, and to what effect.
Dr Philips’ colleague, College of Charleston assistant professor of communication Ryan Milner, studies participatory media and public conversation. He tells me something similar when I ask him if comment sections should be the exception or rule of websites.
I think it could be a mistake to make them ‘the rule’ and then just leave them there unattended. I think if you want a comment section – and I believe in the power of voice to public engagement, mounting evidence to the contrary – then it has to [be] alongside a commitment to curating civil engagement. This means technological, editorial, and social steps to make them the agora you want them to be.
Adam Lee, who runs popular atheist blog Daylight Atheism (which means it’s never controversial right?), welcomes comments but thinks it’s digital suicide to not moderate.
Unmoderated comments will never work. There are too many cranks, crackpots, bigots and nasty people with nothing but time on their hands. And no intelligent, thoughtful person will take the time to jump into a comment thread that’s a cesspool (and who could blame them?), so bad comments inevitably drive out good ones.
This again doesn’t mean Adam wants no comment sections, just better managed ones – as Philips and Milner highlight. For Adam, it matters in an importantly, positive way to have comments:
I do value comments. When I get something wrong, people can correct me; and often readers will suggest related material or ideas that I didn’t know about.
So the advice “don’t feed the trolls” is not only bad, but misguided. It is not only playing by the trolls’ rules, it also negates curation and proper engagement with your comment section. This is what results in comments flooded with trolls, bigots, and so on, instead of a curated space of proper discussion and debate to move important ideas forward for all.
When it works
Several internet spaces are renowned as cesspools of racism, sexism, misogyny and all forms of bigotry: 4Chan is often regarded as such as a space, as is reddit. Yet, for me, one of the safest, protected, and supported spaces is within reddit, called CreepyPMs.
Aside from showcasing the most vile examples of (mostly) men being utter creeps to women, CreepyPMs is a safe space and support network. The rules for the site are prominently placed and state: “comments that are not conducive to a supportive and positive environment may be removed, even if they don’t violate the rules.” This might seem harsh to some, but the mods allow you to respond if you think your comment removal is a mistake.
There are more than 30 moderators in the group, meaning that you’ll rarely see, for example, an awful sexist comment blaming a woman for receiving creepy messages (“well, what were you wearing on your profile page?”, etc). If you do see one, it’s usually gone shortly (it’s really remarkable, it can be seconds or minutes sometimes). Members of the group can take comfort knowing that whatever they post, they won’t be blamed, harassed or targeted – at least in that subreddit. This is the curated agora Professor Milner mentions comment sections can and should be.
I asked the mods how they manage this incredible feat of creating a wonderful, safe space, while dealing with the toxicity that comes with women and sexuality online.
“We have a clearly defined goal,” they told me. “We seek an open, friendly and inclusive space. We’re a support group. When you keep that goal in mind, it’s easy to see how to moderate a thread. If someone’s attacking another user, it’s pulled. If someone cries ‘Fake’ it’s pulled. If someone says, ‘This is so typical of this ethnicity’ it’s gone.”
Their most important lesson is something even major sites often forget. Marginalised and targeted individuals are not likely to share their stories or opinions when the door is left open to the rest of the world; a world already demonstrating its antagonism toward such people. They told me:
We understand that someone who’s already feeling vulnerable is unlikely to want to share their experiences in a space where they’ll have to constantly defend their actions, so we give them the promise of a friendly, clean comments section – free from further harassment.
This should be the rule, not the exception. Yes this is a small site moderated by passionate people aimed at helping others. You could argue sites are platforms, not support networks: the kind of incredible moderating CreepyPMs demonstrates simply can’t be paid for, people are insufficiently qualified, etc.
If so, I fail to see why that means keeping your door open as opposed to locked. If you can’t afford a bouncer, you don’t prise the doors off their hinges.
Wading through the muck
Comments have reached a point where there are even entire satire sites, social media accounts, and so on, dedicated to mocking them. There are two Twitter accounts, for example, mocking The Daily Mail and the worst one showcases comments – not “satirises”, not “makes up”, etc, but merely showcases.
The Mail is regarded as another notoriously awful space, especially in its comment section. A person who used to moderate this comment section told me they would try use their powers for good:
Occasionally, I’d deliberately shape a comment thread: allowing all the more tolerant views through and stifling the (admittedly legal) views of racists, sexists and general idiots.
We were obliged to moderate a strict quota of comments a day though, so that wasn’t always possible. Sometimes, if we were particularly busy, I’d disallow anything over 100 words just on the basis that I didn’t have time to read it.
The ex-moderator suggests a way to combat poison from arising is having “everything you publish online … tied to a single, verified account. If you’re ashamed of what you’re saying, you shouldn’t be saying it.”
This may go some way to helping, though it’s ambitious. We know anonymity has less of an effect than we might think toward encouraging abusive behaviour: these people are “trolls” in real life, too.
The major thing isn’t anonymity so much as it is non-accountability: there is no tangible, negative consequence for treating someone awfully.
Though that’s slowly changing, with people being convicted for internet behaviour – because more of us, and the more powerful of us, are realising internet behaviour is still behaviour and it has an effect on targeted people.
Comment sections as a gift, not a right
Many people often feel slighted at comment moderation when their opinions are removed. Yet, people who complain about having their comments removed seem to be the kind of people you don’t want commenting in the first place.
Because comment sections exist, people believe it’s a free soapbox on which all opinions – even awful ones – are given voice and space (I’m sure some will joke about Comment is Free here). Sites need only adhere to (mostly) their own rules and policies: they can set whatever parameters they want. You, as a reader, do not.
It seems to be a terribly entitled perspective: your opinion is so golden delicious a website will fall and collapse if it does not publish it. This is not only a high-minded opinion of yourself but also negates the entire 99.999999% of the internet that really does allow free rein to voice bizarre and bigoted views. (If the site really needed your opinion to survive, I assume they’d be paying you to write atop the line.)
Sites often seem hesitant about banning or shutting off comment sections, having to step forward hat-in-hand to their readers to explain why (when they turn off comments on often highly sensitive articles).
That to me is the wrong approach: comment sections shouldn’t be the rule, but they should be a carefully managed gift to readers on an article-by-article basis. That means readers should be thankful they’re allowed to comment directly on the site – not feel infringed when it’s not there.
Many people, including myself, won’t read a comment section if it is not moderated – often not reading an entire site, even the articles. As The Atlantic’s Adam Felder notes: “unmoderated comments appear to have a small, but real deleterious effect on readers’ perception of the sites on which they appear.”
Indeed, as Columbia Journalism Review’s Dorian Rolston notes, comments themselves colour perceptions of the article (though I know many contest the studies this is based on); meaning writers can work hard on research, clarity and still be left up to the mercy of commenters clouding perceptions. This helps no one except the worst offenders.
We must remember, though, that it does take time and effort to moderate. As Derek Mead, editor-in-chief of Vice’s Motherboard tells me: “In practice, it takes a huge amount of time to keep up with comments sections, and defining the line of a bad post or a good one is difficult; it saves a lot of time and frustration just dealing with the worst.” Thus, even when moderating does occur, as we note with Mead and the ex-Mail Online moderator, awful comments will still exist. (I am reminded by the ex-Mail Online moderator that if we think the comments we see are awful, think about the ones moderators have removed.)
The internet is by definition changing the landscape of media engagement. Immediate news can be immediately judged; commenters who are better qualified than the author can show the rest of the world – on the same platform – why he’s wrong. The idea of Letters to the Editor might be a nice way to combat the unending tide of opinion demanding publication, but that requires time editors might not have.
With rolling, 24-hour news; breaking stories emerging with visuals and audio from social media; camera phones blinking at the world capturing its existence in stuttering moments and shaky footage – we’re left with a deluge of data to interpret, record, report and analyse. This data that journalists and writers collect is thrown to the wolves, their audience, who devour and/or spit on it. With instant comment replies, these same writers must manage their audience’s consumption – while also trying to manage the data being consumed in the first place.
This is difficult but it is possible. A rethink of what it means to allow an audience to participate matters. Claims you will “lose” an audience by not giving them a platform is proven wrong again and again: many, like myself, love websites without comment sections. Some even thrive, as Felder notes of one site:
The National Journal changed its comments policy, opting to eliminate comments on most stories as a way to stem the flood of abuse that appeared on the site. For all the boycott threats and comparisons to Hitler, though … the site seems to be doing better now. If anything, user engagement has increased since the comment policy changed. Page views per visit increased by more than 10%. Page views per unique visitor increased 14%. Return visits climbed by more than 20%. Visits of only a single page decreased, while visits of two pages or more increased by almost 20%.
PopSci shut off its comments. Pacific Standard did, too. Both are doing fine. As indicated, nobody wants to enter comment sections that become poisoned with vitriol. It may seem populated, but often it’s populated by the very kinds of people making it poisoned in the first place. By removing comment sections altogether, you not only can get more audiences in terms of numbers, but more willing to return as they know it’s a safer space
Perhaps there are sites that failed because they removed comment sections, but I am not aware of any. (And it would take a lot to show it was the comment section removal itself that did so, as opposed to poor management, editing, etc.)
The precious way comment sections are viewed as a kind of right – by site owners and commenters – needs to change. At best, they should be heavily moderated and shut off without apology, viewed as gifts; at worst (?) removed altogether. No one is shutting off every open blogging platform and internet forum in the world where commenters are free to take their opinions.
It’s about time we combated entitlement by prioritising safety, solidarity and quality (as places like CreepyPMs do) over so-called “free speech”, that benefits only the loudest and usually most vile.
Or you know: shut them off altogether.
|December 15th, 2014||#40|
Vandalized: Residence of U-M Student Who Dared to Mock Trigger Warnings
Robby Soave|Dec. 15, 2014
Omar Mahmood is a student at the University of Michigan. He considers himself a political conservative and a Muslim. And until recently, he enjoyed writing for both of the campus's newspapers: the institutional, liberal paper, The Michigan Daily, and the conservative alternative paper, The Michigan Review.
After penning a satirical op-ed for The Review that mocked political correctness and trigger warnings, The Daily ordered him to apologize to an anonymous staffer who was offended and felt "threatened" by him. He refused and was fired.
Last week, he became the victim of what The College Fix has described as a "hate crime." The doorway of his apartment was vandalized in the middle of the night; the perpetrators pelted the door with eggs and scribbled notes like "shut the fuck up" and "everyone hates you you violent prick." They left copies of the offending column and a print-out picture of Satan. (Hmm, when I was a similar position, my jew friend stuck a picture of Hitler and another Nazi on my door. I was a conservative individualist, not a racist or anti-jew. I didn't really mind, but it goes to the point that jews know where you are headed if you think certain thoughts; to them all whites are potential nazis and conservatives are halfway there.)
The column that caused such a controversy, "Do the Left Thing," was published in The Review last month. It's a first-person narrative in which Mahmood pretends to be a left-handed person who is offended by the institutional patriarchy of right-handedness. A sampling:
A staffer at The Daily who saw the piece was furious, however, and complained to editors. One of Mahmood's bosses at The Daily told him that article—which ran in The Review, remember—created a hostile work environment and made the staffer feel "threatened." Mahmood was asked to apologize, which he refused to do.
Daily editors dug up the paper's bylaws and found a provision that forbids students to work for both papers without prior permission from the editor-in-chief. He was told to resign from The Review immediately. After he failed to do so, he was sent a termination letter.
I can't recall whether that rule was ever enforced during my tenure as editorial page editor at The Daily in 2009. But it does exist, and appears to give The Daily just cause to fire Mahmood. But it's difficult to believe that his work at both papers is the root cause of his termination, rather than the views he expressed.
As Susan Kruth of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education warned, The Daily's actions could end up stifling student-journalism by making writers afraid to express contrarian views:
Of course, independent student newspapers like theDaily are not bound by the First Amendment, but students who value unfettered debate and free expression do not punish peers for saying or writing things with which they disagree. Instead of forcing Mahmood to choose between writing satire and reporting for the Daily, any editor who was offended by his column should have offered his or her own counterpoint to Mahmood.
Instead, the Daily’s actions will serve to make students reluctant to write further satire, confining their writing either to the non-controversial or, perhaps, to less entertaining forms.
That was the end of the story—until last week, when The College Fix reported that Mahmood's off-campus apartment was vandalized. The four criminals wore hoods and baggy clothing to disguise themselves; less brilliantly, they changed in full view of the apartment complex's security camera. They appear to be women of unclear ages. The video footage is available
I spoke with Mahmood, who tells me the police are looking at the matter. And I understand that some people have identified the women in the video footage. I will publish an update when their identities are confirmed.
The whole string of events is a sorry indictment of the rampant illberalism of the modern, "liberal" college campus, where writing something that offends someone else is considered threatening, but censorship, vandalism, and actual threats are not.
Robby Soave is a staff editor at Reason.com.
[i'm sure this guys is a neocon, but campuses are so far left that no disagreement on anything can be tolerated at all]