Tuesday, July 17, 2018

I Was the Mob Until the Mob Came for Me - Quillette

I Was the Mob Until the Mob Came for Me - Quillette:
Social justice is a surveillance culture, a snitch culture. The constant vigilance on the part of my colleagues and friends did me in. That’s why I’m delivering sushi and pizza. Not that I’m complaining. It’s honest work, and it’s led me to rediscover how to interact with people in the real world. I am a kinder and more respectful person now that I’m not regularly on social media attacking people for not being “kind” and “respectful.”

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Opting Out by Thomas Chatterton Williams

The American Scholar: Opting Out - Thomas Chatterton Williams: On the decision to “retire” from being black

Worth reading for its own sake, of course, but also because it includes this quote:

“Treating race as a social fact amounts to nothing more than acknowledging that we were mistaken to think of it as a biological fact and then insisting that we ought to keep making the mistake.” —Walter Benn Michaels

Sunday, June 24, 2018

This may show the problem with the current masters of Fourth Street Fantasy

The people who love safe spaces are the people who love a story that says bravery is walking away. And, of course, those people love that story because they don't even have the courage to walk away. They enjoy their economic privilege by insisting the main problem is social privilege.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Weaponizing politeness

Being asked to moderate your tone is called "tone-policing" by social justice warriors. If I was prepared to enter a Wikipedia edit war, I would correct their entry on tone-policing, which currently says tone-policing is
an ad hominem and antidebate appeal based on genetic fallacy. It attempts to detract from the validity of a statement by attacking the tone in which it was presented rather than the message itself.
If that was correct, then any attempt to establish terms for debate is a logical fallacy. But the truth is tone-policing is only a request for common courtesy.

When SJWs say they reject tone-policing, they are engaging in their own form of tone-policing: they're saying they may speak rudely because they are oppressed, but others may not speak rudely to them. The tactic is often effective with polite people, who shut up and wonder if they were being rude by being polite. They end up like a computer in a 1960s sci-fi show: This does not compute! This does not compute!

Social justice warriors reject politeness because they fear what politeness is meant to create, a level playing field where everyone may speak. Suspecting they cannot compete as equals, they demand a quiet audience for their views. Their goal is to turn a debate into a lecture and their opponents into students. They cannot imagine a world where people treat each other as equals.

Related: The Terrible Sea Lion: Persistent Politeness is Loved by Friends and Feared by Foes

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Definitions of and for identitarians, neoliberals, and social justice warriors

Neoliberalism: Contemporary capitalism that promotes privatization and deregulation. Replaced Keynesian/New Deal liberalism in the late 20th century. Prominent neoliberals include Bill and Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Tony Blair, Justin Trudeau, and Emmanuel Macron. Extreme neoliberalism practiced by people like Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, and the Presidents Bush is also known as neoconservatism.

Socialism: The belief that our economic class—whether we can live off income from what we own or must work to survive—matters most, and therefore wealth must be shared. Socialism can be democratic or authoritarian. Though socialists prioritize class, the history of the struggle for equal rights for women and people of color is filled with socialists, from Charles Fourier who gave feminism its name to Martin Luther King, a democratic socialist.

Identitarianism: The belief that our social identities—race, gender, nationality, religion, and so on—matter most. Right-identitarians believe people of certain identities are superior. Left-identitarians believe people of all identities should be equally represented from the top to the bottom of society.

Right-identitarianism is ancient. The belief that men are superior to women is, as Marx and Engels noted, as old as the class system, and the idea that white people are superior dates back to the invention of race and “white people” in the 17th century.

Left-identitarianism is much younger. After the civil rights struggles of the 1960s, Ivy League academics like Derrick Bell, father of Critical Race Theory, rejected the anti-capitalism of thinkers like King and Malcolm X. Where socialists saw sexism and racism as tools of the rich to divide workers, liberal reformers saw unique forms of prejudice and oppression that could be addressed in isolation. This reductionist approach sometimes put feminists and anti-racists at odds. To resolve this tension, one of Bell’s students, Kimberlé Crenshaw, developed the theory of intersectionality.

Intersectionality: Originally, the belief that race and gender are independent forms of oppression that sometimes intersect, creating unique hardships for people like women of color who are doubly oppressed. Left identitarians have added class to their analysis, but it fits awkwardly: people with social identities want respect for their identities, but poor people want an end to their economic class.

Social justice: Originally, the belief that the rich should treat the poor with respect and kindness. First developed by Catholic priests in the early 1840s as an alternative to the growing movements for democracy and socialism that resulted in the revolutions of 1848, social justice remained a religious concept for over one hundred years—the famously anti-semitic Father Coughlin published a magazine called Social Justice, and during the civil rights era, people like King and Malcolm X did not use the term.

In the 1980s, the name was appropriated by left identitarians to describe their concern for social rather than economic justice.

Social justice worker: Someone who works in the world to help the poor. Social justice workers like Dorothy Day and Dom Hélder Pessoa Câmara treated everyone with love and respect. Their tactics include civil disobedience and peaceful protest.

Social justice warrior: Someone who rages online about social identity. Social justice warriors reject civility and “tone policing”, and treat their targets with contempt. Their tactics include censorship, doxxing, blacklisting, and death threats. For an early example of SJWs doxxing and terrorizing a woman in the science fiction community, see The Outing of Zathlazip.

Possibly of interest

Neoliberalism – the ideology at the root of all our problems by George Monbiot.

Monday, May 28, 2018

WisCon: literally no longer a literary convention

The latest kerfuffle: a panelist was banned from the current convention and may be banned from future ones. Her sin? Suggesting that Confederates and Nazis should be treated as human beings in fiction.

No one’s ever made a clear distinction between fiction and literature, but a traditional one is that literature deals with nuance: in a literary work, there may be good guys and bad guys, but they exist on a spectrum and their motivations come from complex histories. A pulp fiction writer doesn’t need subtlety or a knowledge of history or sympathy for people who come from different circumstances: Nazis and Confederates are bad people who may be killed without a second thought as the plot demands. There’s no need to ask why fascism is popular in times of economic desperation or to note that many Confederates were conscripts or deserters. In pulp fiction, Crusader logic applies: kill them all and let God sort them out.

Ah, well. Whether WisCon was ever truly a literary convention is debatable. That it is not one now is not.

More info about the kerfuffle:

Killable Bodies In SF Panel - WisCon

Pixel Scroll 5/27/18 Pixels Scroll Good, Like An E-fanzine Should | File 770

And a flash from WisCon's past:

Doxing Zathlazip

ETA: An Israeli writer speaks up:

Friday, May 25, 2018

Atonement as Activism - The American Interest

Atonement as Activism - The American Interest:
Fifty years ago, a white person learning about the race problem came away asking “How can I help?” Today the same person too often comes away asking, “How can I show that I’m a moral person?” That isn’t what the Civil Rights revolution was about; it is the product of decades of mission creep aided by the emergence of social media. 
What gets lost is that all of this awareness was supposed to be about helping black people, especially poor ones. We are too often distracted from this by a race awareness that has come to be largely about white people seeking grace. For example, one reads often of studies showing that black boys are punished and suspended in school more often than other kids. But then one reads equally often that poverty makes boys, in particular, more likely to be aggressive and have a harder time concentrating. We are taught to assume that the punishments and suspensions are due to racism, and to somehow ignore the data showing that the conditions too many black boys grow up in unfortunately makes them indeed more likely to act up in school. Might the poverty be the key problem to address?

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Perhaps the most important part of Patrick J. Deneen's "The Ignoble Lie"

From The Ignoble Lie by Patrick J. Deneen:
The ruling class denies that they really are a self-perpetuating elite that has not only inherited certain advantages but also seeks to pass them on. To mask this fact, they describe themselves as the vanguard of equality, in effect denying the very fact of their elevated status and the deleterious consequences of their perpetuation of a class divide that has left their less fortunate countrymen in a dire and perilous condition. Indeed, one is tempted to conclude that their insistent defense of equality is a way of freeing themselves from any real duties to the lower classes that are increasingly out of geographical sight and mind. Because they repudiate inequality, they need not consciously consider themselves to be a ruling class. Denying that they are deeply self-interested in maintaining their elite position, they easily assume that they believe in common kinship—so long as their position is unthreatened. The part of the “noble lie” that once would have horrified the elites—the claim of common kinship—is irrelevant; instead, they resist the inegalitarian part of the myth that would then, as now, have seemed self-evident to the elites as well as the underclass. Today’s underclass is as likely to recognize its unequal position as Plato’s. It is elites that seem most prone to the condition of “false consciousness.”