zompist bboard

a congress of convoluted conworldery
It is currently Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:40 pm

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 20 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:19 am 
Smeric
Smeric

Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2006 12:25 pm
Posts: 2114
Why isn't anyone calling out Jordan Peterson on his presupposition that premodern societies were more peaceful or stable than ours? If anything, they were more prone to sudden collapses than modern societies, but they were repeatedly revitalized by copycat successors who didn't know any better. Peterson seems particularly fascinated with Mesopotamian myth, which is disturbing since Ancient Mesopotamia was among the most warlike civilizations in world history. Contemporary Islamists are meek as lambs compared to the Babylonian kingdoms. If they had been armed with nuclear technology, the biosphere would already have been vaporized. Which brings me to my explanation for why Peterson thinks ancient civilizations were more peaceful. It's not that they were wiser. Rather, they were too weak to damage the earth on a planetary scale. Peterson is like a guy who is trying to imitate the philosophy of a quadriplegic Islamist because "he has never hurt anyone".

_________________
If you hold a cat by the tail you learn things you cannot learn any other way. - Mark Twain

In reality, our greatest blessings come to us by way of madness, which indeed is a divine gift. - Socrates


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Venting thread
PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:17 pm 
Lebom
Lebom
User avatar

Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2017 3:31 am
Posts: 125
Location: Montrouge, France
This article is a (very long) rebuttal of "the past was way better":
http://slatestarcodex.com/2013/10/20/the-anti-reactionary-faq/


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Venting thread
PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:08 am 
Visanom
Visanom
User avatar

Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2007 12:03 am
Posts: 6323
Location: Netherlands
rotting bones wrote:
Why isn't anyone calling out Jordan Peterson on his presupposition that premodern societies were more peaceful or stable than ours?

Because no-one knows Jordan Peterson, nobody cares about Jordan Peterson and we have bigger problems in the world right now? What you tell of him makes him look like an ignorant dick though...


JAL


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Venting thread
PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:13 am 
Smeric
Smeric

Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2016 3:25 pm
Posts: 2087
Location: Austin, TX, USA
jal wrote:
rotting bones wrote:
Why isn't anyone calling out Jordan Peterson on his presupposition that premodern societies were more peaceful or stable than ours?

Because no-one knows Jordan Peterson, nobody cares about Jordan Peterson and we have bigger problems in the world right now? What you tell of him makes him look like an ignorant dick though...

+1 to all of this.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Venting thread
PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:03 pm 
Smeric
Smeric

Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2006 12:25 pm
Posts: 2114
jal wrote:
Because no-one knows Jordan Peterson, nobody cares about Jordan Peterson and we have bigger problems in the world right now? What you tell of him makes him look like an ignorant dick though...

Q. Why should people take Jordan Peterson seriously?
A. Because Peterson is a "smart" conservative voice with the potential to unleash a new movement that would provide a perfect cover for neonazis to strategically inject a subset of their policy proposals into mainstream culture. No one will be happier than me if Peterson's popularity trails off, but if it doesn't, then this is your chance to prepare for that future before it becomes a reality. Having said that, Peterson himself is almost certainly not a neonazi, just a psychologist with an interest in myth and socially conservative leanings.

Q. This is ridiculous. What makes you think Peterson poses such a threat?
A. Like in interwar Germany, the American far right is slowly becoming obsessed with content-free ideologies based on imagery. Most of these people are impossible to take seriously, but Jordan Peterson is perceived by teh internets as a genius with the authority to argue along those lines. I have no faith that politicians wouldn't show up who hint that social policy should be guided by the core of wisdom common to medieval Christianity and Mesopotamian myth.

Q. Why would people vote for such a lunatic?
A. Donald Trump is leader of the free world. Open your eyes! Voters obviously have higher priorities than mere sanity.

Q. What could possibly be more important than sanity?
A. People don't want to be right. They want excitement in their lives. They don't want to follow rules. They want to feel alive.

Q. We're getting off track. I mean, Mesopotamian myth and Western conservatism? Really?
A. Mesopotamian myth is exciting enough in itself, so what happens if mainstream commentators find themselves unable to respond adequately because they have never encountered scholarly arguments like that before?

Q. But SeriousTM people like me don't take thinkers SeriouslyTM unless they are referred to us by CredentialedR Academia Inc. Why should I engage some rando outsider like Jordan Peterson?
A. I see you are familiar with how the process of obsolescence works, by looking down on new developments you don't understand. You guys said the same thing about Mencius Moldbug and now Trump is in power. In the age of the internet, you can't stick with people everyone has "heard of" because everyone loathes the people they have "heard of" with a passion. No one believes the people they have "heard of" are looking out for their interests. They may be or they may not be, but basically no one believes that they are. A lot of Americans voted for Hillary only because Trump was the alternative. This is why, if you want to stay on top of politics, you have to actively seek out nobodies who are gaining momentum online.

Q. The right way to deal with such people is refusing to talk about them. Don't all problems go away if you ignore them resolutely enough?
A. This attitude betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of how the media works. The media is fueled by ad revenue. This means that in commercial media, whatever show draws the most viewers will always decimate its competition. This means the media is structurally incapable of refusing a platform to a controversial politician with a strong base like Trump as long as the relevant free speech laws are in effect. Refusing to talk about these people inside your bubble only strengthens their position in the mainstream.

Why is the left turning itself into a fossil that is hilariously out of its depth in information age politics?

_________________
If you hold a cat by the tail you learn things you cannot learn any other way. - Mark Twain

In reality, our greatest blessings come to us by way of madness, which indeed is a divine gift. - Socrates


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Venting thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 1:01 am 
Visanom
Visanom
User avatar

Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2007 12:03 am
Posts: 6323
Location: Netherlands
rotting bones wrote:
Q. Why should people take Jordan Peterson seriously?
A. Because Peterson is a "smart" conservative voice with the potential to unleash a new movement that would provide a perfect cover for neonazis to strategically inject a subset of their policy proposals into mainstream culture.

Say what? We have a US with a president saying Charlotteville nazis are "very fine people" while protesting athletes are "sons of bitches", until recently a bunch of neo nazis or very right leaning people in the Whitehouse (Bannon, Gorka), Richard Spencer can freely talk on a university campus, not to mention a congress that thinks that's all fine and wants to make all but the very rich very poor and take away women's rights, and you think we need a random, unknown, unimportant dude called "Jordan Peterson" to inject neonazi ideas into mainstream culture? Obsessed much?

That said, this discussion doesn't belong in this thread, perhaps a moderator can split it of, if you feel the need to respond.

@Risla: Sad to hear about your hearing loss. What frequencies are a problem for you? As for friendships, that co-worker was just a nasty person. I hope you can find some friends that are good enough to hang out with so you don't feel lonely.


JAL


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Venting thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:57 am 
Boardlord
Boardlord

Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2002 8:26 pm
Posts: 10421
Location: In the den
rotting bones wrote:
A. Because Peterson is a "smart" conservative voice with the potential to unleash a new movement that would provide a perfect cover for neonazis to strategically inject a subset of their policy proposals into mainstream culture.


Dude, this already happened.

Quote:
Why is the left turning itself into a fossil that is hilariously out of its depth in information age politics?


Seriously, if you think Nazis are FRESH OFF THE PRESSES HOT NEWS, you are the one who's not keeping up.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Venting thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 12:52 pm 
Smeric
Smeric

Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2006 12:25 pm
Posts: 2114
You think I said that highly specific thing without knowing about it? Like what, I guessed it? Since this is the Venting thread, here's a caricature of the conversation as it's playing out in my head right now:

"Properly argue against Moldbug and the dark enlightenment rather than throwing them out of conferences."

"Why even mention those idiots when Republicans are campaigning to ban abortion? Watch as we promote Trump in the Republican primaries so we can beat them more easily. Hahahahaha...Oh shit! The dark enlightenment has spawned the alt right that has made Nazi talking points culturally mainstream!"

"Okay, you messed up that one, but think of the future! No one is taking note of a psychological theory that is going viral which presents social hierarchy as the only alternative to evil."

"So you expect us to do nothing about the subset of neonazi talking points injected into the mainstream from our last mistake... that was identical in form to the one you're warning us about right now?"

"No, I expect you to devote an appropriately tiny fraction of your resources to engage, in the domain of scholarly discourse, a dangerous trend that is currently growing massively in popularity. This is to prevent neonazis from being able to explicitly push for even more of the things they want, but can't because no one will take them seriously right now. You know, like the dark enlightenment allowed them to before.

Let me explain. Trump may not exactly be the great moral leader of our times, but even he doesn't want us to live in The Handmaid's Tale. Neither does Peterson, but his stance can be easily exploited to push for that in the same way neonazis exploited the half-Jewish blogger Moldbug. I believe neonazi leaders really do think strategically like that on the basis of solid evidence. That's why I'm thinking of ways the Overton window could move even farther to the right in future elections. No matter how bad things are, they can always get worse.

To guess where the future may be going, you have to think in terms of trajectories instead of the immediate present. Such speculation can't always be right, but you can't avoid it if you want to be prepared for the future when it arrives."

If you think "No one I haven't heard of at this moment could ever be important in the future. Hahahahaha..." is the right response to that, then the shortsightedness of the ivory tower left is a Kafkaesque nightmare going in a loop. Still, I really hope we live in the world you think we live in.

_________________
If you hold a cat by the tail you learn things you cannot learn any other way. - Mark Twain

In reality, our greatest blessings come to us by way of madness, which indeed is a divine gift. - Socrates


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Venting thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 1:19 pm 
Sanno
Sanno
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2004 5:00 pm
Posts: 16318
Location: One of the dark places of the world
I think the problem here is that you have delusional, paranoid ideations about particular people and their degree of popularity, or indeed notability. You are talking about people who a) nobody outside your tiny hysterical bubble has ever heard of and who have no political influence whatsoever, and who b) are entirely unremarkable. A Canadian psychology lecturer says he doesn't want to say "zher"? Well, OK - not sure that's really grounds to single him out as the progenitor of a future international conspiracy that leads to robots overthrowing humanity and turning us into batteries neo-Nazis converting to reconstructed Sumerian religions and taking over the world.

Look, it's easy to forget that tiny, excitable little groups on the internet are not even vaguely representative of the public at large, or even of 'the intenet' at large. "The internet" has decided Jordan Peterson is a genius? No. a) The internet decided Ron Paul was a genius, and look how that turned out; and b) "the Internet" has never even heard of Jordan Peterson and a letter he wrote once about not wanting to say "zher". You have, sure, and you're very excited about it, but you're just you, you're not everybody.

That's not to say that I'm being complacent. Oh no, I think we're in for an era of reaction and oppression, at the very least. But I'd rather save my worries for the actual, not-a-figment-of-my-sleep-deprived-imagination people who are going to bring that about - the people who are doing things, and the people who are inspiring the ones who are doing things, rather than fixating on some the-Basque-monks-made-all-the-other-languages Jordan Peterson is going to conquer the world because Mesopotamia fever dream... no offence.

_________________
Blog: http://vacuouswastrel.wordpress.com/

But the river tripped on her by and by, lapping
as though her heart was brook: Why, why, why! Weh, O weh
I'se so silly to be flowing but I no canna stay!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Venting thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 2:01 pm 
Smeric
Smeric

Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2006 12:25 pm
Posts: 2114
Risla, please keep us updated on how you're feeling.

_________________

Since "the internet" wasn't specific enough, let me clarify that the same people who were into Mencius Moldbug are now into Jordan Peterson. They can't ignore him after his recent interview with the guy who was fired from Google, for example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEDuVF7kiPU (Google shouldn't have done that unless he had done something worse, BTW.) Do you at least admit that failing to publicly debunk the factually incorrect ideas put forward by Moldbug and his friends sooner than we finally got around to it has been a mistake, because there is a connection between the dark enlightenment and Trump?

(No, posting lists of people would be a bad idea.)

_________________
If you hold a cat by the tail you learn things you cannot learn any other way. - Mark Twain

In reality, our greatest blessings come to us by way of madness, which indeed is a divine gift. - Socrates


Last edited by rotting bones on Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Venting thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:17 pm 
Lebom
Lebom

Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2016 6:35 pm
Posts: 116
Location: 0xF745
Salmoneus wrote:
Oh no, I think we're in for an era of reaction and oppression, at the very least.


It really is a kick in the face that I happened to be born at just the right time to see the majority of my life turn to shit.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Venting thread
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 5:30 am 
Šriftom
Šriftom
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2002 4:43 pm
Posts: 7884
Location: Three of them
malloc wrote:
Salmoneus wrote:
Oh no, I think we're in for an era of reaction and oppression, at the very least.


It really is a kick in the face that I happened to be born at just the right time to see the majority of my life turn to shit.


Count yourself lucky. Imagine being born at the same time as me!

_________________
"Taste our powers!!!" Unarguably Thespia's finest manifestation.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Venting thread
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 6:20 am 
Boardlord
Boardlord

Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2002 8:26 pm
Posts: 10421
Location: In the den
rotting bones wrote:
You think I said that highly specific thing without knowing about it? Like what, I guessed it?.


Stop making up shit and pretending someone else said it. It's not half as clever a rhetorical move as you think it is.

To be a little kinder: you're obviously upset about this dude. That's fine. But the way you're going about trying to share your concerns is pointlessly confrontative and egoistic. It's been a rough year over here and your notion that you are The Only One Who Knows is pretty ignorant and offensive.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Venting thread
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:19 am 
Osän
Osän
User avatar

Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2003 12:35 pm
Posts: 15760
Location: Tokyo
malloc wrote:
Salmoneus wrote:
Oh no, I think we're in for an era of reaction and oppression, at the very least.


It really is a kick in the face that I happened to be born at just the right time to see the majority of my life turn to shit.

Mate, you're still banned from this thread. Jog on.


ok carry on now


Last edited by finlay on Tue Oct 24, 2017 9:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Venting thread
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 3:30 pm 
Smeric
Smeric

Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2006 12:25 pm
Posts: 2114
zompist wrote:
Stop making up shit and pretending someone else said it. It's not half as clever a rhetorical move as you think it is.

You say this to everyone who argues against you and it is often an unfair characterization, as it is in my case. I interpreted everything that was said to me 100% literally, and I responded to it as straightforwardly as I know how. This is not cleverness. It's social awkwardness.

I was told that the injection of Nazi talking points into the mainstream had already happened. This made no sense to me as an objection because what I intended to say is... (Okay, let me sit and think about this until I can put my thoughts into a form that wouldn't be mistaken for a pointless rhetorical flourish...) I expected my readers to be aware that it had happened once. I intended to argue that the Nazis could gain a fresh victory from another quarter using a technique similar to the one they had used before. Their last victory had arguably come from an unexpected source. Because the new source I thought some of them might be considering shared many features with the one they had used last time, I expected people to reach the conclusion that their new avenue of attack is less unexpected than the last one. But no, I received exactly the same reaction as before.

Obviously I was not getting through to people, so I decided to lay my cards on the table. I thought that if people could see what the conversation looked like from my point of view, then they would be able to infer the intended meaning of my statements from the fuller context made available to them.

zompist wrote:
To be a little kinder: you're obviously upset about this dude. That's fine. But the way you're going about trying to share your concerns is pointlessly confrontative and egoistic. It's been a rough year over here and your notion that you are The Only One Who Knows is pretty ignorant and offensive.

Look, if the left is being threatened by sources like the dark enlightenment, and it is common practice among the left not to treat sources like the dark enlightenment seriously, then it follows analytically that the left is ignorant of the source of its troubles. Obviously I'm not implying that the Western left doesn't know they're in trouble. You know, if people had just said, "From what I see of Peterson, I don't think he will gain any traction," then my reaction would've been, "Oh, okay then. I thought otherwise because XYZ, but your perspective makes me feel a lot better." Instead it was all like, "I haven't heard of Peterson, so isn't asking people to refute him just silly?" (100% accurate summary AFAICT) which makes no sense in the context of what I intended to say when I wished people would refute him.

Of course, even if I'm right about everything else (probably a long shot), the Mesopotamian attempt might simply fall flat on its face. Their victory from betting on the dark enlightenment might have been a fluke. But if you read Jordan Peterson's books like I have, you will find he sounds very reasonable and convincing to the layman, so it's not obvious to me that a politician who studies Jordan Peterson will fail to appeal to the masses. In Peterson, I see an emotionally engaged obsession with Mesopotamian and other mythological worldviews without ever making a single obviously unscientific statement. If your popular taste hasn't been ruined by overexposure to academia (a compliment IMO), I think you'll find Peterson sounds like a genius, not a crank. He's still wrong though, some of the reasons for which being the ones I mentioned at the outset.

I think what a lot of people don't understand is that Indo-European imagery was very cool at the time when the Nazis adopted the Swastika and their bogus "Aryanism" that had no relation to authentic Hindu conceptions of nobility, much like how Mesopotamia is cool and mysterious right now. Consider its role in Snowcrash, in names like Sargon of Akkad, etc. (Not that Sargon is a Nazi, just an opportunistic jerk.) Hindu imagery is not what made Nazis Nazis. Are we really that much more civilized than early 20th century Germans that a genuinely popular American Nazism wouldn't adopt Mesopotamian imagery? But even if you disagree with me there, does anyone at least agree that we should have properly debunked the dark enlightenment before it had caught on and turned into the alt right?

_________________
If you hold a cat by the tail you learn things you cannot learn any other way. - Mark Twain

In reality, our greatest blessings come to us by way of madness, which indeed is a divine gift. - Socrates


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Venting thread
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 4:22 pm 
Sanno
Sanno
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2004 5:00 pm
Posts: 16318
Location: One of the dark places of the world
rotting bones wrote:
Do you at least admit that failing to publicly debunk the factually incorrect ideas put forward by Moldbug and his friends sooner than we finally got around to it has been a mistake, because there is a connection between the dark enlightenment and Trump?


No.

Look, you found some guy with a blog, Yarvin, and that guy is right-wing. You observe that there are also other people who are right-wing. You're not wrong to notice that all these right-wing people are right wing. Where you sound... overly excitable... is in the way you assume that this correlation is underlain by a causation - that one guy, Yarvin, being right-wing, has caused all the other people to be right-wing.

But this does not seem plausible. People have been right-wing since long before Yarvin started his blog a decade ago. Yarvin didn't invent Toryism, or neoconservativism, or communitarianism, or fascism. [Yarvin himself appears to be a conventional if extremist High Tory, with a libertarian-capitalist emphasis - at a glance, he kind of looks like a more extreme form of someone like Jacob Rees-Mogg in the UK]. In the US, the neoconservative Bush became President in 2000; in the UK, the Blondite Cameron became leader of the Conservative Party in 2008.* Indeed, Yarvin himself describes himself as a Carlylite.]
There are many strands of thought on the right and the far right, and Yarvin is hardly representative of the worst excesses of the alt-right. This is a Jewish guy who has condemend Trump and called for Elon Musk to run for President, for instance. Much of the alt-right is explicitly against him and his positions, and vice versa.

More generally: the "alt right" is a tiny movement with very little influence politically; they're only a tiny fraction of the American right wing (and less than a tiny fraction in most other countries). The part of the alt right that cares in the slightest about Yarvin's ideas seems to be only, in turn, a tiny fraction of the alt right. He seems far less influential than someone like Spencer, for example, who emerged around the same time out of the white supremacist community, which has been long-established. Spencer in turn is far less influential than someone like Paul Ryan.


The other thing I'd take issue with is the idea that it's the job of "academics" to personally debunk the mad rantings of every blogger on the internet. It's not. Academics discuss academic questions - if someone's ideas aren't original or interesting, or fail to garner any support in academia, then there's nothing to debate. People like Yarvin are not intellectually a "threat". Now, you can be a political threat without being intellectually credible, of course. Trump, for instance. But that's for politicians to deal with. And it's naive to think that the way to take on someone like Trump or Yarvin is to have a public academic debate with them - that's just not good politics.




*Phillip Blond is a noted thinker of the new right, who promotes a form of modernised High Toryism. He's not a nutter, and he'd also disagree with Yarvin on economic structure, as he's a more conventional High Tory who prefers a market of small businesses, but that's the general direction. He was considered the ideological father of the Tory modernizers of the Cameron era, and has also been influential in the US and Canada.

_________________
Blog: http://vacuouswastrel.wordpress.com/

But the river tripped on her by and by, lapping
as though her heart was brook: Why, why, why! Weh, O weh
I'se so silly to be flowing but I no canna stay!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Venting thread
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 4:52 pm 
Smeric
Smeric

Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2006 12:25 pm
Posts: 2114
I'm not saying that academia should publicly challenge the blogosphere to a formal debate, just that knowledgeable citizens who are concerned about public welfare should refute dangerous ideas that are gaining traction on their own time. For example, an Indologist was once asked to justify the existence of his department. He answered that Indology exists to keep our scholarly knowledge of India alive. This is useful to the public in cases where ideas about India influence our decisions. All I ask is that justification be fruitful in this case.

I explicitly said Yarvin is not a Nazi. I have even explained the nature of the connection between him and neonazis, so I don't understand why I need to be convinced that he's not literally Hitler who fled to the 21st century in a time machine disguised as a Jew or whatever it is you think I'm saying. If you don't think the dark enlightenment is connected to the alt right, then at least your worldview is internally consistent. I didn't make up that connection though. I hardly ever do that, and when I do, I usually preface it with words like, "I think".

_________________
If you hold a cat by the tail you learn things you cannot learn any other way. - Mark Twain

In reality, our greatest blessings come to us by way of madness, which indeed is a divine gift. - Socrates


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Venting thread
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 6:24 pm 
Boardlord
Boardlord

Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2002 8:26 pm
Posts: 10421
Location: In the den
rotting bones wrote:
zompist wrote:
Stop making up shit and pretending someone else said it. It's not half as clever a rhetorical move as you think it is.

You say this to everyone who argues against you and it is often an unfair characterization, as it is in my case. I interpreted everything that was said to me 100% literally, and I responded to it as straightforwardly as I know how.


I said you were not up to date on the Left's awareness of Nazis, and you responded by pretending I said you had made up your account of Peterson. That's "100% literally" not what I said. If you want a conversation, you make it nearly impossible when you do this sort of strawmanning. Who wants to spend half their time swatting away the misconceptions you've introduced?

And these fake conversations "from your point of view" are more of the same. There's a quote function in the board software for a reason. Making up invisible people to argue with: just not a good idea, OK?

Quote:
I was told that the injection of Nazi talking points into the mainstream had already happened. [...] I expected my readers to be aware that it had happened once.


"Once"? Are you really unaware of people like David Duke, Richard Spencer, the Charlottesville organizers, Jason Kessler, Brad Griffin, Stormfront, the militia movement, the Malheur occupation, Sebastian Gorka, Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller? Or fellow travelers like David Clarke, Roy Moore, Joe Arpaio, and the gamergaters? (And please note, this is not an attempt to provide a complete list. This is off the top of my head.)

Quote:
Look, if the left is being threatened by sources like the dark enlightenment, and it is common practice among the left not to treat sources like the dark enlightenment seriously, then it follows analytically that the left is ignorant of the source of its troubles.


Again, this is just hilariously wrong. Seriously, did you do a moment of research to verify that "the left" is doing nothing? Did you find nothing about the Southern Poverty Law Center, Antifa, the Democratic Socialists, Black Lives Matter, or Our Revolution? (Again, these are just off the top of my head.) People have been tracking the far right for literally decades. My Twitter feed is probably atypical, but jeez, there hasn't been a day since the election that's not full of awareness campaigns against alt-righters and calls to action.

Sal's post is also relevant. The alt-right has received a lot of media attention, and its connections to Trump are disturbing. On the other hand, the plain old right is what's in power, doesn't need any alt-ness to cause a lot of damage, and properly receives the lion's share of people's attention. The power of Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Mike Pence, Rush Limbaugh, the Koch brothers, Mark Meadows, and Ted Cruz dwarfs that of the alt right. They will also cheerfully throw the alt right under the bus if they have to.

I'm not saying not to worry about your dude Peterson. I am saying you need to be aware that no one person is behind the modern right. And rather than making statements about "the left", you should try to find out what other people are already doing about them.

I also agree with Sal that "debunking" some particular alt-righter is not necessarily where people need to be spending their time. Again, there's been a lot of ink spilled since the election on how to reach voters, and much less consensus. But just arguing with people turns out not to be a terribly effective strategy, and sometimes backfires— e.g. discussions of race tend to actually increase racist beliefs. One intriguing idea is that the best counter to right-wing populism is not to denounce it (a strategy that failed in 2016) but to provide an attractive set of counter-proposals.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Venting thread
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 6:53 pm 
Smeric
Smeric

Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2006 12:25 pm
Posts: 2114
Well, if you just meant the left is aware of and tracks far right activities, then I totally agree with you. In fact, I even mentioned the instance where Moldbug was thrown out of a conference. I never said anything in this thread that disagrees with that, so I don't understand why saying it counts as a response to my post.

Since I started this conversation, and you were responding to me, I thought it was reasonable to assume you were addressing the points I was making. That's why I was trying to make my points easier to understand. For example, that it helps the left to debunk people like Yarvin rather than throwing them out of conferences is one point I'm arguing for, so arguing against it would directly challenge one point I've made. Although providing examples would of course make your post more convincing than flatly contradicting me. (You can't just "debunk" someone like Trump as he's coming to power, but you can sometimes debunk bloggers before their followers reach critical mass.) By contrast, since I wasn't saying that in all human history, supporters of equality have failed to prevent potentially violent enforcers of social hierarchy from reaching the cultural mainstream exactly one time, I don't see why I have to respond to points like that. (As you might imagine, the purpose of saying "once before" was to draw a parallel to the current situation, not comment about the state of the multiverse. Are these explanations even helping at this point?)

As for Sal's post, long before Trump actually came within reach of the white house, Yarvin's blog was actually a lot more equivocal about the fascist-leaning right. He quoted diaries of ultranationalist German soldiers and discussed how great they are and stuff. This whole intellectual climate bled over into the alt right. Where do you think I got this information if not the left that tracks the far right?

_________________
If you hold a cat by the tail you learn things you cannot learn any other way. - Mark Twain

In reality, our greatest blessings come to us by way of madness, which indeed is a divine gift. - Socrates


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Venting thread
PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:21 am 
Boardlord
Boardlord

Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2002 8:26 pm
Posts: 10421
Location: In the den
rotting bones wrote:
Well, if you just meant the left is aware of and tracks far right activities, then I totally agree with you. In fact, I even mentioned the instance where Moldbug was thrown out of a conference. I never said anything in this thread that disagrees with that, so I don't understand why saying it counts as a response to my post.


You said the left doesn't take these people "seriously". I disagree; they're taken quite seriously.

Quote:
Since I started this conversation, and you were responding to me, I thought it was reasonable to assume you were addressing the points I was making.


No, do not assume that I am some other person who said something entirely different. I quote the bits I am replying to so you can see what I am replying to.

Quote:
(As you might imagine, the purpose of saying "once before" was to draw a parallel to the current situation, not comment about the state of the multiverse. Are these explanations even helping at this point?)


Not really. Who was talking about "the multiverse"? Now you are just confusing me. I don't get why you bring in something neither of us said ("the multiverse") and specify that, in fact, you didn't say it.

You said "I expected my readers to be aware that [the injection of Nazi talking points into the mainstream] had happened once." It's hard not to interpret this as a claim that this insertion happened just once. I disagreed. If you meant "many times", it would have been helpful to write "many times".

Quote:
Where do you think I got this information if not the left that tracks the far right?


I dunno, but you were claiming a few posts ago that the left was "ignorant" of these things. So they told you about all this, but they're ignorant?

I realize this is all getting very meta, but you seem— I think— honestly uncertain why people get so confused by what you write. You are careless about who said what, and you're careless about your own claims, and this just makes the discussion way more difficult than it should be.

Something to address your general concerns: I'm not convinced that the more heterodox parts of the alt-right are likely to become popular. Americans are just not very likely to go for aristocracy and kings— nor for Mesopotamian mumbo-jumbo. That doesn't mean that they're not important at all, but it does mean they're a hard sell. What's an easy sell is age-old, comfortable right-wing ideas: anti-immigration sentiment, hatred for minorities, authoritarianism, racism. Your Peterson guy will sound good to people who already believe that "political correctness" is awful— but, well, that's because they already believe that and they like a professor telling them they're right. When it comes to ideologies to support their view, they're still a lot more likely to turn to Evangelicalism than some sort of alt-right paganism.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 20 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group