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Laird Wilcox on Ritual Defamation
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Laird Wilcox, author of the 1994 book Crying Wolf: Hate Crime Hoaxes in America, wrote 27 years ago:

The Practice of Ritual Defamation

How values, opinions and beliefs are controlled in democratic societies.

Laird Wilcox
1990

Defamation is the destruction or attempted destruction of the reputation, status, character or standing in the community of a person or group of persons by unfair, wrongful, or malicious speech or publication. For the purposes of this essay, the central element is defamation in retaliation for the real or imagined attitudes, opinions or beliefs of the victim, with the intention of silencing or neutralizing his or her influence, and/or making an example of them so as to discourage similar independence and “insensitivity” or non-observance of taboos. It is different in nature and degree from simple criticism or disagreement in that it is aggressive, organized and skillfully applied, often by an organization or representative of a special interest group, and in that it consists of several characteristic elements.

Ritual Defamation is not ritualistic because it follows any prescribed religious or mystical doctrine, nor is it embraced in any particular document or scripture. Rather, it is ritualistic because it follows a predictable, stereotyped pattern which embraces a number of elements, as in a ritual.

The elements of a Ritual Defamation are these:

In a ritual defamation the victim must have violated a particular taboo in some way, usually by expressing or identifying with a forbidden attitude, opinion or belief. It is not necessary that he “do” anything about it or undertake any particular course of action, only that he engage in some form of communication or expression.

The method of attack in a ritual defamation is to assail the character of the victim, and never to offer more than a perfunctory challenge to the particular attitudes, opinions or beliefs expressed or implied. Character assassination is its primary tool.

An important rule in ritual defamation is to avoid engaging in any kind of debate over the truthfulness or reasonableness of what has been expressed, only condemn it. To debate opens the issue up for examination and discussion of its merits, and to consider the evidence that may support it, which is just what the ritual defamer is trying to avoid. The primary goal of a ritual defamation is censorship and repression.

The victim is often somebody in the public eye – someone who is vulnerable to public opinion – although perhaps in a very modest way. It could be a schoolteacher, writer, businessman, minor official, or merely an outspoken citizen. Visibility enhances vulnerability to ritual defamation.

An attempt, often successful, is made to involve others in the defamation. In the case of a public official, other public officials will be urged to denounce the offender. In the case of a student, other students will be called upon, and so on.

In order for a ritual defamation to be effective, the victim must be dehumanized to the extent that he becomes identical with the offending attitude, opinion or belief, and in a manner which distorts it to the point where it appears at its most extreme. For example, a victim who is defamed as a “subversive” will be identified with the worst images of subversion, such as espionage, terrorism or treason. A victim defamed as a “pervert” will be identified with the worst images of perversion, including child molestation and rape. A victim defamed as a “racist” or “anti-Semitic” will be identified with the worst images of racism or anti-Semitism, such as lynchings or gas chambers.

Read the whole thing there. Awfully prescient …

 
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  1. turnip says:

    Sincerity or parody: who can tell?

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    • Replies: @Bard of Bumperstickers
    Sincerity appears exclusively in The Onion:
    http://www.theonion.com/article/local-dipshit-planning-fighting-trump-administrati-56576 .
    All else is fake news.
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  2. Polynikes says:

    On one hand, it’s nice to see that this is nothing new under the sun since someone was writing about it 25+ years ago. On the other hand, maybe social media makes it more swift and pervasive than it used to be?

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  3. The Salem Witch Trials are a sufficient historical antecedent. The particular evil genius is that advocacy in favor of giving the witch a fair hearing implicates the advocate in witchcraft.

    This is actually a good view apropos of both the au courant Google Campus/Academic Campus (notice the intentional similarities) controversies, but also the impending trouble with the Norks – the Norks have assigned an observer for every citizen and a system of weekly group struggle sessions/confessionals where each citizen must confess a transgression against the regime of Dear Leader:

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  4. Luke Lea says:

    His description of extremist traits sounds like just another day on campus:

    Laird Wilcox
    on
    Extremist Traits

    [The Hoaxer Project Report, pp. 39-41]

    Robert F. Kennedy wrote:

    “What is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents.”

    In analyzing the rhetoric and propaganda of several hundred militant “fringe” political and social groups across the political spectrum, I have identified a number of specific traits or behaviors that tend to represent the extremist “style”…

    1. CHARACTER ASSASSINATION.

    Extremists often attack the character of an opponent rather than deal with the facts or issues raised. They will question motives, qualifications, past associations, alleged values, personality, looks, mental health, and so on as a diversion from the issues under consideration. Some of these matters are not entirely irrelevant , but they should not serve to avoid the real issues.

    Extremists object strenuously when this is done to them, of course!

    2. NAME-CALLING AND LABELING.

    Extremists are quick to resort to epithets (racist, subversive, pervert, hate monger, nut, crackpot, degenerate, un-American, anti-semite, red, commie, nazi, kook, fink, liar, bigot, and so on) to label and condemn opponents in order to divert attention from their arguments and to discourage others from hearing them out. These epithets don’t have to be proved to be effective; the mere fact that they have been said is often enough.

    3. IRRESPONSIBLE SWEEPING GENERALIZATIONS.

    Extremists tend to make sweeping claims or judgments on little or no evidence, and they have a tendency to confuse similarity with sameness. That is, they assume that because two (or more) things, events, or persons are alike in some respects, they must be alike in most respects. The sloppy use of analogy is a treacherous form of logic and has a high potential for false conclusions.

    4. INADEQUATE PROOF FOR ASSERTIONS.

    Extremists tend to be very fuzzy about what constitutes proof, and they also tend to get caught up in logical fallacies, such as post hoc ergo propter hoc (assuming that a prior event explains a subsequent occurrence simply because of their before and after relationship). They tend to project wished-for conclusions and to exaggerate the significance of information that confirms their beliefs while derogating or ignoring information that contradicts them. They tend to be motivated by feelings more than facts, by what they want to exist rather than what actually does exist. Extremists do a lot of wishful and fearful thinking.

    5. ADVOCACY OF DOUBLE STANDARDS.

    Extremists generally tend to judge themselves or their interest group in terms of their intentions, which they tend to view very generously, and others by their acts, which they tend to view very critically. They would like you to accept their assertions on faith, but they demand proof for yours. They tend to engage in special pleading on behalf of themselves or their interests, usually because of some alleged special status, past circumstances, or present disadvantage.

    6. TENDENCY TO VIEW THEIR OPPONENTS AND CRITICS AS ESSENTIALLY EVIL.

    To the extremist, opponents hold opposing positions because they are bad people, immoral, dishonest, unscrupulous, mean-spirited, hateful, cruel, or whatever, not merely because they simply disagree, see the matter differently, have competing interests, or are perhaps even mistaken.

    7. MANICHAEAN WORLDVIEW.

    Extremists have a tendency to see the world in terms of absolutes of good and evil, for them or against them, with no middle ground or intermediate positions. All issues are ultimately moral issues of right and wrong, with the “right” position coinciding with their interests. Their slogan is often “those who are not with me are against me.”

    8. ADVOCACY OF SOME DEGREE OF CENSORSHIP OR REPRESSION OF THEIR OPPONENTS AND/OR CRITICS.

    This may include a very active campaign to keep opponents from media access and a public hearing, as in the case of blacklisting, banning or “quarantining” dissident spokespersons. They may actually lobby for legislation against speaking, writing, teaching, or instructing “subversive” or forbidden information or opinions. They may even attempt to keep offending books out of stores or off of library shelves, discourage advertising with threats of reprisals, and keep spokespersons for “offensive” views off the airwaves or certain columnists out of newspapers. In each case the goal is some kind of information control. Extremists would prefer that you listen only to them. They feel threatened when someone talks back or challenges their views.

    9. TEND TO IDENTIFY THEMSELVES IN TERMS OF WHO THEIR ENEMIES ARE: WHOM THEY HATE AND WHO HATES THEM.

    Accordingly, extremists may become emotionally bound to their opponents, who are often competing extremists themselves. Because they tend to view their enemies as evil and powerful, they tend, perhaps subconsciously, to emulate them, adopting the same tactics to a certain degree. For example, anti-Communist and anti-Nazi groups often behave surprisingly like their opponents. Anti-Klan rallies often take on much of the character of the stereotype of Klan rallies themselves, including the orgy of emotion, bullying, screaming epithets, and even acts of violence. To behave the opposite of someone is to actually surrender your will to them, and “opposites” are often more like mirror images that, although they have “left” and “right” reversed, look and behave amazingly alike.

    10. TENDENCY TOWARD ARGUMENT BY INTIMIDATION.

    Extremists tend to frame their arguments in such a way as to intimidate others into accepting their premises and conclusions. To disagree with them is to “ally oneself with the devil,” or to give aid and comfort to the enemy. They use a lot of moralizing and pontificating, and tend to be very judgmental. This shrill, harsh rhetorical style allows them to keep their opponents and critics on the defensive, cuts off troublesome lines of argument, and allows them to define the perimeters of debate.

    11. USE OF SLOGANS, BUZZWORDS, AND THOUGHT-STOPPING CLICHES.

    For many extremists shortcuts in thinking and in reasoning matters out seem to be necessary in order to avoid or evade awareness of troublesome facts and compelling counter-arguments. Extremists generally behave in ways that reinforce their prejudices and alter their own consciousness in a manner that bolsters their false confidence and sense of self-righteousness.

    12. ASSUMPTION OF MORAL OR OTHER SUPERIORITY OVER OTHERS.

    Most obvious would be claims of general racial or ethnic superiority–a master race, for example. Less obvious are claims of ennoblement because of alleged victimhood, a special relationship with God, membership in a special “elite” or “class,” and a kind of aloof “highminded” snobbishness that accrues because of the weightiness of their preoccupations, their altruism, and their willingness to sacrifice themselves (and others) to their cause. After all, who can bear to deal with common people when one is trying to save the world! Extremists can show great indignation when one is “insensitive” enough to challenge these claims.

    13. DOOMSDAY THINKING.

    Extremists often predict dire or catastrophic consequences from a situation or from failure to follow a specific course, and they tend to exhibit a kind of “crisis-mindedness.” It can be a Communist takeover, a Nazi revival, nuclear war, earthquakes, floods, or the wrath of God. Whatever it is, it’s just around the corner unless we follow their program and listen to the special insight and wisdom, to which only the truly enlightened have access. For extremists, any setback or defeat is the “beginning of the end!”

    14. BELIEF THAT IT’S OKAY TO DO BAD THINGS IN THE SERVICE OF A “GOOD” CAUSE.

    Extremists may deliberately lie, distort, misquote, slander, defame, or libel their opponents and/or critics, engage in censorship or repression , or undertake violence in “special cases.” This is done with little or no remorse as long as it’s in the service of defeating the Communists or Fascists or whomever. Defeating an “enemy” becomes an all-encompassing goal to which other values are subordinate. With extremists, the end justifies the means.

    15. EMPHASIS ON EMOTIONAL RESPONSES AND, CORRESPONDINGLY, LESS IMPORTANCE ATTACHED TO REASONING AND LOGICAL ANALYSIS.

    Extremists have an unspoken reverence for propaganda, which they may call “education” or “consciousness-raising.” Symbolism plays an exaggerated role in their thinking, and they tend to think imprecisely and metamorphically. Harold D. Lasswell, in his book, *Psychopathology and Politics*, says, “The essential mark of the agitator is the high value he places on the emotional response of the public.” Effective extremists tend to be effective propagandists. Propaganda differs from education in that the former teaches one what to think, and the latter teaches one how to think.

    16. HYPERSENSITIVITY AND VIGILANCE.

    Extremists perceive hostile innuendo in even casual comments; imagine rejection and antagonism concealed in honest disagreement and dissent; see “latent” subversion, anti-semitism, perversion, racism, disloyalty, and so on in innocent gestures and ambiguous behaviors. Although few extremists are clinically paranoid, many of them adopt a paranoid style with its attendant hostility and distrust.

    17. USE OF SUPERNATURAL RATIONALE FOR BELIEFS AND ACTIONS.

    Some extremists, particularly those involved in “cults” or extreme religious movements, such as fundamentalist Christians, militant Zionist extremists, and members of mystical and metaphysical organizations, claim some kind of supernatural rationale for their beliefs and actions, and that their movement or cause is ordained by God. In this case, stark extremism may become reframed in a “religious” context, which can have a legitimizing effect for some people. It’s surprising how many people are reluctant to challenge religiously motivated extremism because it represents “religious belief” or because of the sacred-cow status of some religions in our culture.

    18. PROBLEMS TOLERATING AMBIGUITY AND UNCERTAINTY.

    Indeed, the ideologies and belief systems to which extremists tend to attach themselves often represent grasping for certainty in an uncertain world, or an attempt to achieve absolute security in an environment that is naturally unpredictable or perhaps populated by people with interests opposed to their own. Extremists exhibit a kind of risk-aversiveness that compels them to engage in controlling and manipulative behavior, both on a personal level and in a political context, to protect themselves from the unforeseen and unknown. The more laws or “rules” there are that regulate the behavior of others–particular their “enemies”–the more secure extremists feel.

    19. INCLINATION TOWARD “GROUPTHINK.”

    Extremists, their organizations , and their subcultures are prone to a kind of inward-looking group cohesiveness that leads to what Irving Janis discussed in his excellent book Victims of Groupthink. “Groupthink” involves a tendency to conform to group norms and to preserve solidarity and concurrence at the expense of distorting members’ observations of facts, conflicting evidence, and disquieting observations that would call into question the shared assumptions and beliefs of the group.

    Right-wingers (or left-wingers), for example, talk only with one another, read material that reflects their own views, and can be almost phobic about the “propaganda” of the “other side.” The result is a deterioration of reality-testing, rationality, and moral judgment. With groupthink, shared illusions of righteousness, superior morality, persecution, and so on remain intact, and those who challenge them are viewed with skepticism and hostility.

    20. TENDENCY TO PERSONALIZE HOSTILITY.

    Extremists often wish for the personal bad fortune of their “enemies,” and celebrate when it occurs. When a critic or an adversary dies or has a serious illness, a bad accident, or personal legal problems, extremists often rejoice and chortle about how they “deserved” it. I recall seeing right-wing extremists celebrate the assassination of Martin Luther King and leftists agonizing because George Wallace survived an assassination attempt. In each instance their hatred was not only directed against ideas, but also against individual human beings.

    21. EXTREMISTS OFTEN FEEL THAT THE SYSTEM IS NO GOOD UNLESS THEY WIN.

    For example, if they lose an election, then it was “rigged.” If public opinion turns against them, it was because of “brainwashing.” If their followers become disillusioned, it’s because of “sabotage.” The test of the rightness or wrongness of the system is how it impacts upon them…

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    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    Right-wingers (or left-wingers), for example, talk only with one another, read material that reflects their own views, and can be almost phobic about the “propaganda” of the “other side.” The result is a deterioration of reality-testing, rationality, and moral judgment.

    I must be an extremist because I've totally stopped listening to non-rightwing media. It all sounds like unhinged left-wing propaganda, beyond anything people were subjected to in the old USSR. I don't find anything in it that causes me to reconsider my own views or that presents facts that challenge my assumptions. It reflects the Bizarro world take on reality.
    , @res
    Wow. He nailed it. Thanks! It's like a checklist for Current Year behavior.

    Here is Laird Wilcox on hate hoaxes (1994): http://www.fakehatecrimes.org/Crying-Wolf-by-Laird-Wilcox.pdf

    , @Alden
    The list of extremist tactics is exactly what ADL, AJC, SPLC, NOW, ACLU etc do to the designated enemy.
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  5. HBD Guy says:

    Hi Steve: How about a blog post on teen suicide? Male teen suicide rate ix 3.5 TIMES female’s yet even when the media covers it, the focus is on females:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/suicide-rates-teen-girls_us_59848b64e4b0cb15b1be13f4

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    • Replies: @Jack D
    I don't know how this plays out in teens, but in general the rate of ATTEMPTED suicide is much higher in women while the rate of "successful" suicide is much higher in men despite far fewer attempts. Men are much more effective at killing themselves just as they are more effective at getting other stuff done, especially stuff involving solo effort. So a typical female "suicide attempt" is taking 3 Tylenol or scratching the skin of their wrist with a razor and going to the emergency room - more in the nature of a "cry for help". While the male jumps off a bridge or shoots himself in the head. So who's the smarter one?
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  6. I listened to Joe Rogan’s interview with Brett Weinstein, the liberal professor at the center of the Evergreen College imbroglio. Someone here at iSteve recommended it and I found it quite interesting. Weinstein made a point similar to the one in this essay: “a victim who is defamed as a “’subversive”’ will be identified with the worst images of subversion, such as espionage, terrorism or treason.”

    He noted that this is the shell game played with the epithet “racist.” On the one hand, there is the modern application of the term, which is applied to virtually all white people due to their “privilege,” implicit bias, invisible backpack, etc. Then there is the term’s use to describe behavior that everyone would condemn as racist, such as the bombing of the black church in Birmingham or Dylann Roof’s mass murder.

    Weinstein noted that when the term is thrown around in its all-encompassing modern sense, it still intends to carry the same weight that it has in its more meaningful sense.

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    • Replies: @res
    I think that is a good example of the Motte and Bailey Fallacy in action: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Motte_and_bailey

    One of those things (like who-whom or projection) that once you start looking for it it shows up seemingly everywhere.
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  7. newrouter says:

    Havel 1970′s

    “BETWEEN the aims of the post-totalitarian system and the aims of life there is a yawning abyss: while life, in its essence, moves toward plurality, diversity, independent self-constitution, and self organization, in short, toward the fulfillment of its own freedom, the post-totalitarian system demands conformity, uniformity, and discipline. While life ever strives to create new and improbable structures, the post-totalitarian system contrives to force life into its most probable states. The aims of the system reveal its most essential characteristic to be introversion, a movement toward being ever more completely and unreservedly itself, which means that the radius of its influence is continually widening as well. This system serves people only to the extent necessary to ensure that people will serve it. Anything beyond this, that is to say, anything which leads people to overstep their predetermined roles is regarded by the system as an attack upon itself. And in this respect it is correct: every instance of such transgression is a genuine denial of the system. It can be said, therefore, that the inner aim of the post-totalitarian system is not mere preservation of power in the hands of a ruling clique, as appears to be the case at first sight. Rather, the social phenomenon of self-preservation is subordinated to something higher, to a kind of blind automatism which drives the system. No matter what position individuals hold in the hierarchy of power, they are not considered by the system to be worth anything in themselves, but only as things intended to fuel and serve this automatism. For this reason, an individual’s desire for power is admissible only in so far as its direction coincides with the direction of the automatism of the system.

    Ideology, in creating a bridge of excuses between the system and the individual, spans the abyss between the aims of the system and the aims of life. It pretends that the requirements of the system derive from the requirements of life. It is a world of appearances trying to pass for reality.

    The post-totalitarian system touches people at every step, but it does so with its ideological gloves on. This is why life in the system is so thoroughly permeated with hypocrisy and lies: government by bureaucracy is called popular government; the working class is enslaved in the name of the working class; the complete degradation of the individual is presented as his ultimate liberation; depriving people of information is called making it available; the use of power to manipulate is called the public control of power, and the arbitrary abuse of power is called observing the legal code; the repression of culture is called its development; the expansion of imperial influence is presented as support for the oppressed; the lack of free expression becomes the highest form of freedom; farcical elections become the highest form of democracy; banning independent thought becomes the most scientific of world views; military occupation becomes fraternal assistance. Because the regime is captive to its own lies, it must falsify everything. It falsifies the past. It falsifies the present, and it falsifies the future. It falsifies statistics. It pretends not to possess an omnipotent and unprincipled police apparatus. It pretends to respect human rights. It pretends to persecute no one. It pretends to fear nothing. It pretends to pretend nothing.

    Individuals need not believe all these mystifications, but they must behave as though they did, or they must at least tolerate them in silence, or get along well with those who work with them. For this reason, however, they must live within a lie. They need not accept the lie. It is enough for them to have accepted their life with it and in it. For by this very fact, individuals confirm the system, fulfill the system, make the system, are the system.”

    http://www.vaclavhavel.cz/showtrans.php?cat=eseje&val=2_aj_eseje.html&typ=HTML

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  8. benjaminl says:

    I’d never heard of this guy but a quick glance shows that he has attacked the $PLC and also wrote a book on Hate Hoaxes in *1994*. Talk about prescient.

    Also looks a bit like John Goodman.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    I was thinking Jack Black or Zach G.
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  9. @Luke Lea
    His description of extremist traits sounds like just another day on campus:

    Laird Wilcox
    on
    Extremist Traits


    [The Hoaxer Project Report, pp. 39-41]



    Robert F. Kennedy wrote:

    "What is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents."



    In analyzing the rhetoric and propaganda of several hundred militant "fringe" political and social groups across the political spectrum, I have identified a number of specific traits or behaviors that tend to represent the extremist "style"...



    1. CHARACTER ASSASSINATION.

    Extremists often attack the character of an opponent rather than deal with the facts or issues raised. They will question motives, qualifications, past associations, alleged values, personality, looks, mental health, and so on as a diversion from the issues under consideration. Some of these matters are not entirely irrelevant , but they should not serve to avoid the real issues.

    Extremists object strenuously when this is done to them, of course!



    2. NAME-CALLING AND LABELING.

    Extremists are quick to resort to epithets (racist, subversive, pervert, hate monger, nut, crackpot, degenerate, un-American, anti-semite, red, commie, nazi, kook, fink, liar, bigot, and so on) to label and condemn opponents in order to divert attention from their arguments and to discourage others from hearing them out. These epithets don't have to be proved to be effective; the mere fact that they have been said is often enough.



    3. IRRESPONSIBLE SWEEPING GENERALIZATIONS.

    Extremists tend to make sweeping claims or judgments on little or no evidence, and they have a tendency to confuse similarity with sameness. That is, they assume that because two (or more) things, events, or persons are alike in some respects, they must be alike in most respects. The sloppy use of analogy is a treacherous form of logic and has a high potential for false conclusions.



    4. INADEQUATE PROOF FOR ASSERTIONS.

    Extremists tend to be very fuzzy about what constitutes proof, and they also tend to get caught up in logical fallacies, such as post hoc ergo propter hoc (assuming that a prior event explains a subsequent occurrence simply because of their before and after relationship). They tend to project wished-for conclusions and to exaggerate the significance of information that confirms their beliefs while derogating or ignoring information that contradicts them. They tend to be motivated by feelings more than facts, by what they want to exist rather than what actually does exist. Extremists do a lot of wishful and fearful thinking.



    5. ADVOCACY OF DOUBLE STANDARDS.

    Extremists generally tend to judge themselves or their interest group in terms of their intentions, which they tend to view very generously, and others by their acts, which they tend to view very critically. They would like you to accept their assertions on faith, but they demand proof for yours. They tend to engage in special pleading on behalf of themselves or their interests, usually because of some alleged special status, past circumstances, or present disadvantage.



    6. TENDENCY TO VIEW THEIR OPPONENTS AND CRITICS AS ESSENTIALLY EVIL.

    To the extremist, opponents hold opposing positions because they are bad people, immoral, dishonest, unscrupulous, mean-spirited, hateful, cruel, or whatever, not merely because they simply disagree, see the matter differently, have competing interests, or are perhaps even mistaken.



    7. MANICHAEAN WORLDVIEW.

    Extremists have a tendency to see the world in terms of absolutes of good and evil, for them or against them, with no middle ground or intermediate positions. All issues are ultimately moral issues of right and wrong, with the "right" position coinciding with their interests. Their slogan is often "those who are not with me are against me."



    8. ADVOCACY OF SOME DEGREE OF CENSORSHIP OR REPRESSION OF THEIR OPPONENTS AND/OR CRITICS.

    This may include a very active campaign to keep opponents from media access and a public hearing, as in the case of blacklisting, banning or "quarantining" dissident spokespersons. They may actually lobby for legislation against speaking, writing, teaching, or instructing "subversive" or forbidden information or opinions. They may even attempt to keep offending books out of stores or off of library shelves, discourage advertising with threats of reprisals, and keep spokespersons for "offensive" views off the airwaves or certain columnists out of newspapers. In each case the goal is some kind of information control. Extremists would prefer that you listen only to them. They feel threatened when someone talks back or challenges their views.



    9. TEND TO IDENTIFY THEMSELVES IN TERMS OF WHO THEIR ENEMIES ARE: WHOM THEY HATE AND WHO HATES THEM.

    Accordingly, extremists may become emotionally bound to their opponents, who are often competing extremists themselves. Because they tend to view their enemies as evil and powerful, they tend, perhaps subconsciously, to emulate them, adopting the same tactics to a certain degree. For example, anti-Communist and anti-Nazi groups often behave surprisingly like their opponents. Anti-Klan rallies often take on much of the character of the stereotype of Klan rallies themselves, including the orgy of emotion, bullying, screaming epithets, and even acts of violence. To behave the opposite of someone is to actually surrender your will to them, and "opposites" are often more like mirror images that, although they have "left" and "right" reversed, look and behave amazingly alike.



    10. TENDENCY TOWARD ARGUMENT BY INTIMIDATION.

    Extremists tend to frame their arguments in such a way as to intimidate others into accepting their premises and conclusions. To disagree with them is to "ally oneself with the devil," or to give aid and comfort to the enemy. They use a lot of moralizing and pontificating, and tend to be very judgmental. This shrill, harsh rhetorical style allows them to keep their opponents and critics on the defensive, cuts off troublesome lines of argument, and allows them to define the perimeters of debate.



    11. USE OF SLOGANS, BUZZWORDS, AND THOUGHT-STOPPING CLICHES.

    For many extremists shortcuts in thinking and in reasoning matters out seem to be necessary in order to avoid or evade awareness of troublesome facts and compelling counter-arguments. Extremists generally behave in ways that reinforce their prejudices and alter their own consciousness in a manner that bolsters their false confidence and sense of self-righteousness.



    12. ASSUMPTION OF MORAL OR OTHER SUPERIORITY OVER OTHERS.

    Most obvious would be claims of general racial or ethnic superiority--a master race, for example. Less obvious are claims of ennoblement because of alleged victimhood, a special relationship with God, membership in a special "elite" or "class," and a kind of aloof "highminded" snobbishness that accrues because of the weightiness of their preoccupations, their altruism, and their willingness to sacrifice themselves (and others) to their cause. After all, who can bear to deal with common people when one is trying to save the world! Extremists can show great indignation when one is "insensitive" enough to challenge these claims.



    13. DOOMSDAY THINKING.

    Extremists often predict dire or catastrophic consequences from a situation or from failure to follow a specific course, and they tend to exhibit a kind of "crisis-mindedness." It can be a Communist takeover, a Nazi revival, nuclear war, earthquakes, floods, or the wrath of God. Whatever it is, it's just around the corner unless we follow their program and listen to the special insight and wisdom, to which only the truly enlightened have access. For extremists, any setback or defeat is the "beginning of the end!"



    14. BELIEF THAT IT'S OKAY TO DO BAD THINGS IN THE SERVICE OF A "GOOD" CAUSE.

    Extremists may deliberately lie, distort, misquote, slander, defame, or libel their opponents and/or critics, engage in censorship or repression , or undertake violence in "special cases." This is done with little or no remorse as long as it's in the service of defeating the Communists or Fascists or whomever. Defeating an "enemy" becomes an all-encompassing goal to which other values are subordinate. With extremists, the end justifies the means.



    15. EMPHASIS ON EMOTIONAL RESPONSES AND, CORRESPONDINGLY, LESS IMPORTANCE ATTACHED TO REASONING AND LOGICAL ANALYSIS.

    Extremists have an unspoken reverence for propaganda, which they may call "education" or "consciousness-raising." Symbolism plays an exaggerated role in their thinking, and they tend to think imprecisely and metamorphically. Harold D. Lasswell, in his book, *Psychopathology and Politics*, says, "The essential mark of the agitator is the high value he places on the emotional response of the public." Effective extremists tend to be effective propagandists. Propaganda differs from education in that the former teaches one what to think, and the latter teaches one how to think.



    16. HYPERSENSITIVITY AND VIGILANCE.

    Extremists perceive hostile innuendo in even casual comments; imagine rejection and antagonism concealed in honest disagreement and dissent; see "latent" subversion, anti-semitism, perversion, racism, disloyalty, and so on in innocent gestures and ambiguous behaviors. Although few extremists are clinically paranoid, many of them adopt a paranoid style with its attendant hostility and distrust.



    17. USE OF SUPERNATURAL RATIONALE FOR BELIEFS AND ACTIONS.

    Some extremists, particularly those involved in "cults" or extreme religious movements, such as fundamentalist Christians, militant Zionist extremists, and members of mystical and metaphysical organizations, claim some kind of supernatural rationale for their beliefs and actions, and that their movement or cause is ordained by God. In this case, stark extremism may become reframed in a "religious" context, which can have a legitimizing effect for some people. It's surprising how many people are reluctant to challenge religiously motivated extremism because it represents "religious belief" or because of the sacred-cow status of some religions in our culture.



    18. PROBLEMS TOLERATING AMBIGUITY AND UNCERTAINTY.

    Indeed, the ideologies and belief systems to which extremists tend to attach themselves often represent grasping for certainty in an uncertain world, or an attempt to achieve absolute security in an environment that is naturally unpredictable or perhaps populated by people with interests opposed to their own. Extremists exhibit a kind of risk-aversiveness that compels them to engage in controlling and manipulative behavior, both on a personal level and in a political context, to protect themselves from the unforeseen and unknown. The more laws or "rules" there are that regulate the behavior of others--particular their "enemies"--the more secure extremists feel.



    19. INCLINATION TOWARD "GROUPTHINK."

    Extremists, their organizations , and their subcultures are prone to a kind of inward-looking group cohesiveness that leads to what Irving Janis discussed in his excellent book Victims of Groupthink. "Groupthink" involves a tendency to conform to group norms and to preserve solidarity and concurrence at the expense of distorting members' observations of facts, conflicting evidence, and disquieting observations that would call into question the shared assumptions and beliefs of the group.

    Right-wingers (or left-wingers), for example, talk only with one another, read material that reflects their own views, and can be almost phobic about the "propaganda" of the "other side." The result is a deterioration of reality-testing, rationality, and moral judgment. With groupthink, shared illusions of righteousness, superior morality, persecution, and so on remain intact, and those who challenge them are viewed with skepticism and hostility.



    20. TENDENCY TO PERSONALIZE HOSTILITY.

    Extremists often wish for the personal bad fortune of their "enemies," and celebrate when it occurs. When a critic or an adversary dies or has a serious illness, a bad accident, or personal legal problems, extremists often rejoice and chortle about how they "deserved" it. I recall seeing right-wing extremists celebrate the assassination of Martin Luther King and leftists agonizing because George Wallace survived an assassination attempt. In each instance their hatred was not only directed against ideas, but also against individual human beings.



    21. EXTREMISTS OFTEN FEEL THAT THE SYSTEM IS NO GOOD UNLESS THEY WIN.

    For example, if they lose an election, then it was "rigged." If public opinion turns against them, it was because of "brainwashing." If their followers become disillusioned, it's because of "sabotage." The test of the rightness or wrongness of the system is how it impacts upon them...

    Right-wingers (or left-wingers), for example, talk only with one another, read material that reflects their own views, and can be almost phobic about the “propaganda” of the “other side.” The result is a deterioration of reality-testing, rationality, and moral judgment.

    I must be an extremist because I’ve totally stopped listening to non-rightwing media. It all sounds like unhinged left-wing propaganda, beyond anything people were subjected to in the old USSR. I don’t find anything in it that causes me to reconsider my own views or that presents facts that challenge my assumptions. It reflects the Bizarro world take on reality.

    Read More
    • Agree: Alden
    • Replies: @Yak-15
    You don't need to specifically seek out the alternate to our viewpoints - they are the dominant narrative inherent in most common media offerings.

    To listen, read or watch one of these outlets is to understand the intellectual heft of the po-mo progressive arguments - which are often devoid of deep, complex reasoning because they must appeal to the masses.

    If alt-right thinking, or HBD, or neo-nationalism, etc is to be successful, it must be simplified into digestible bits that even those of the humblest of intellects can understand. Sending out a manifesto with "big-words" and replete with hyperlinks to obscure studies is not going to break the neo-moralist revivalists and their mora authority. But it's a start.

    Someone in an earlier thread mentioned that this is a 95 Theses moment reverberating through time. That missive also took down the aggressive moral narrative of its era. Remember, the most disastrous wars in European history followed.

    Are you prepared for similar consequences? Are any others here?
    , @Lurker
    Agree. We're constantly bombarded with poz, even if it's only a matter of listening to the radio for ten minutes driving. I hardly need to seek out left-wing media to maintain a sense of balance. Left-wing viewpoints are the media sea we all swim in already, I don't think I'm being blinkered by sticking my head above the waves for a bit of oxygen.

    And it's not as if there are deeper arguments that I'm missing out on, the shrill SJW demands are the same however many layers down you go - unless you want to uncover the anti-civilisational, anti-white agenda below that.
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  10. eah says:

    Bonus points for being hypocritically self-righteous — muh feelings — btw imagine going to a job interview knowing you’ll be speaking with and evaluated by such people.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Olorin
    I like the critical/evaluative realm-switching above.

    1. "Women are better at coding than men."

    2. "Women's code is viewed more favorably by their peers."

    The first term means nothing without a means to assess its accuracy.

    The second is mobbing.
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  11. res says:
    @Luke Lea
    His description of extremist traits sounds like just another day on campus:

    Laird Wilcox
    on
    Extremist Traits


    [The Hoaxer Project Report, pp. 39-41]



    Robert F. Kennedy wrote:

    "What is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents."



    In analyzing the rhetoric and propaganda of several hundred militant "fringe" political and social groups across the political spectrum, I have identified a number of specific traits or behaviors that tend to represent the extremist "style"...



    1. CHARACTER ASSASSINATION.

    Extremists often attack the character of an opponent rather than deal with the facts or issues raised. They will question motives, qualifications, past associations, alleged values, personality, looks, mental health, and so on as a diversion from the issues under consideration. Some of these matters are not entirely irrelevant , but they should not serve to avoid the real issues.

    Extremists object strenuously when this is done to them, of course!



    2. NAME-CALLING AND LABELING.

    Extremists are quick to resort to epithets (racist, subversive, pervert, hate monger, nut, crackpot, degenerate, un-American, anti-semite, red, commie, nazi, kook, fink, liar, bigot, and so on) to label and condemn opponents in order to divert attention from their arguments and to discourage others from hearing them out. These epithets don't have to be proved to be effective; the mere fact that they have been said is often enough.



    3. IRRESPONSIBLE SWEEPING GENERALIZATIONS.

    Extremists tend to make sweeping claims or judgments on little or no evidence, and they have a tendency to confuse similarity with sameness. That is, they assume that because two (or more) things, events, or persons are alike in some respects, they must be alike in most respects. The sloppy use of analogy is a treacherous form of logic and has a high potential for false conclusions.



    4. INADEQUATE PROOF FOR ASSERTIONS.

    Extremists tend to be very fuzzy about what constitutes proof, and they also tend to get caught up in logical fallacies, such as post hoc ergo propter hoc (assuming that a prior event explains a subsequent occurrence simply because of their before and after relationship). They tend to project wished-for conclusions and to exaggerate the significance of information that confirms their beliefs while derogating or ignoring information that contradicts them. They tend to be motivated by feelings more than facts, by what they want to exist rather than what actually does exist. Extremists do a lot of wishful and fearful thinking.



    5. ADVOCACY OF DOUBLE STANDARDS.

    Extremists generally tend to judge themselves or their interest group in terms of their intentions, which they tend to view very generously, and others by their acts, which they tend to view very critically. They would like you to accept their assertions on faith, but they demand proof for yours. They tend to engage in special pleading on behalf of themselves or their interests, usually because of some alleged special status, past circumstances, or present disadvantage.



    6. TENDENCY TO VIEW THEIR OPPONENTS AND CRITICS AS ESSENTIALLY EVIL.

    To the extremist, opponents hold opposing positions because they are bad people, immoral, dishonest, unscrupulous, mean-spirited, hateful, cruel, or whatever, not merely because they simply disagree, see the matter differently, have competing interests, or are perhaps even mistaken.



    7. MANICHAEAN WORLDVIEW.

    Extremists have a tendency to see the world in terms of absolutes of good and evil, for them or against them, with no middle ground or intermediate positions. All issues are ultimately moral issues of right and wrong, with the "right" position coinciding with their interests. Their slogan is often "those who are not with me are against me."



    8. ADVOCACY OF SOME DEGREE OF CENSORSHIP OR REPRESSION OF THEIR OPPONENTS AND/OR CRITICS.

    This may include a very active campaign to keep opponents from media access and a public hearing, as in the case of blacklisting, banning or "quarantining" dissident spokespersons. They may actually lobby for legislation against speaking, writing, teaching, or instructing "subversive" or forbidden information or opinions. They may even attempt to keep offending books out of stores or off of library shelves, discourage advertising with threats of reprisals, and keep spokespersons for "offensive" views off the airwaves or certain columnists out of newspapers. In each case the goal is some kind of information control. Extremists would prefer that you listen only to them. They feel threatened when someone talks back or challenges their views.



    9. TEND TO IDENTIFY THEMSELVES IN TERMS OF WHO THEIR ENEMIES ARE: WHOM THEY HATE AND WHO HATES THEM.

    Accordingly, extremists may become emotionally bound to their opponents, who are often competing extremists themselves. Because they tend to view their enemies as evil and powerful, they tend, perhaps subconsciously, to emulate them, adopting the same tactics to a certain degree. For example, anti-Communist and anti-Nazi groups often behave surprisingly like their opponents. Anti-Klan rallies often take on much of the character of the stereotype of Klan rallies themselves, including the orgy of emotion, bullying, screaming epithets, and even acts of violence. To behave the opposite of someone is to actually surrender your will to them, and "opposites" are often more like mirror images that, although they have "left" and "right" reversed, look and behave amazingly alike.



    10. TENDENCY TOWARD ARGUMENT BY INTIMIDATION.

    Extremists tend to frame their arguments in such a way as to intimidate others into accepting their premises and conclusions. To disagree with them is to "ally oneself with the devil," or to give aid and comfort to the enemy. They use a lot of moralizing and pontificating, and tend to be very judgmental. This shrill, harsh rhetorical style allows them to keep their opponents and critics on the defensive, cuts off troublesome lines of argument, and allows them to define the perimeters of debate.



    11. USE OF SLOGANS, BUZZWORDS, AND THOUGHT-STOPPING CLICHES.

    For many extremists shortcuts in thinking and in reasoning matters out seem to be necessary in order to avoid or evade awareness of troublesome facts and compelling counter-arguments. Extremists generally behave in ways that reinforce their prejudices and alter their own consciousness in a manner that bolsters their false confidence and sense of self-righteousness.



    12. ASSUMPTION OF MORAL OR OTHER SUPERIORITY OVER OTHERS.

    Most obvious would be claims of general racial or ethnic superiority--a master race, for example. Less obvious are claims of ennoblement because of alleged victimhood, a special relationship with God, membership in a special "elite" or "class," and a kind of aloof "highminded" snobbishness that accrues because of the weightiness of their preoccupations, their altruism, and their willingness to sacrifice themselves (and others) to their cause. After all, who can bear to deal with common people when one is trying to save the world! Extremists can show great indignation when one is "insensitive" enough to challenge these claims.



    13. DOOMSDAY THINKING.

    Extremists often predict dire or catastrophic consequences from a situation or from failure to follow a specific course, and they tend to exhibit a kind of "crisis-mindedness." It can be a Communist takeover, a Nazi revival, nuclear war, earthquakes, floods, or the wrath of God. Whatever it is, it's just around the corner unless we follow their program and listen to the special insight and wisdom, to which only the truly enlightened have access. For extremists, any setback or defeat is the "beginning of the end!"



    14. BELIEF THAT IT'S OKAY TO DO BAD THINGS IN THE SERVICE OF A "GOOD" CAUSE.

    Extremists may deliberately lie, distort, misquote, slander, defame, or libel their opponents and/or critics, engage in censorship or repression , or undertake violence in "special cases." This is done with little or no remorse as long as it's in the service of defeating the Communists or Fascists or whomever. Defeating an "enemy" becomes an all-encompassing goal to which other values are subordinate. With extremists, the end justifies the means.



    15. EMPHASIS ON EMOTIONAL RESPONSES AND, CORRESPONDINGLY, LESS IMPORTANCE ATTACHED TO REASONING AND LOGICAL ANALYSIS.

    Extremists have an unspoken reverence for propaganda, which they may call "education" or "consciousness-raising." Symbolism plays an exaggerated role in their thinking, and they tend to think imprecisely and metamorphically. Harold D. Lasswell, in his book, *Psychopathology and Politics*, says, "The essential mark of the agitator is the high value he places on the emotional response of the public." Effective extremists tend to be effective propagandists. Propaganda differs from education in that the former teaches one what to think, and the latter teaches one how to think.



    16. HYPERSENSITIVITY AND VIGILANCE.

    Extremists perceive hostile innuendo in even casual comments; imagine rejection and antagonism concealed in honest disagreement and dissent; see "latent" subversion, anti-semitism, perversion, racism, disloyalty, and so on in innocent gestures and ambiguous behaviors. Although few extremists are clinically paranoid, many of them adopt a paranoid style with its attendant hostility and distrust.



    17. USE OF SUPERNATURAL RATIONALE FOR BELIEFS AND ACTIONS.

    Some extremists, particularly those involved in "cults" or extreme religious movements, such as fundamentalist Christians, militant Zionist extremists, and members of mystical and metaphysical organizations, claim some kind of supernatural rationale for their beliefs and actions, and that their movement or cause is ordained by God. In this case, stark extremism may become reframed in a "religious" context, which can have a legitimizing effect for some people. It's surprising how many people are reluctant to challenge religiously motivated extremism because it represents "religious belief" or because of the sacred-cow status of some religions in our culture.



    18. PROBLEMS TOLERATING AMBIGUITY AND UNCERTAINTY.

    Indeed, the ideologies and belief systems to which extremists tend to attach themselves often represent grasping for certainty in an uncertain world, or an attempt to achieve absolute security in an environment that is naturally unpredictable or perhaps populated by people with interests opposed to their own. Extremists exhibit a kind of risk-aversiveness that compels them to engage in controlling and manipulative behavior, both on a personal level and in a political context, to protect themselves from the unforeseen and unknown. The more laws or "rules" there are that regulate the behavior of others--particular their "enemies"--the more secure extremists feel.



    19. INCLINATION TOWARD "GROUPTHINK."

    Extremists, their organizations , and their subcultures are prone to a kind of inward-looking group cohesiveness that leads to what Irving Janis discussed in his excellent book Victims of Groupthink. "Groupthink" involves a tendency to conform to group norms and to preserve solidarity and concurrence at the expense of distorting members' observations of facts, conflicting evidence, and disquieting observations that would call into question the shared assumptions and beliefs of the group.

    Right-wingers (or left-wingers), for example, talk only with one another, read material that reflects their own views, and can be almost phobic about the "propaganda" of the "other side." The result is a deterioration of reality-testing, rationality, and moral judgment. With groupthink, shared illusions of righteousness, superior morality, persecution, and so on remain intact, and those who challenge them are viewed with skepticism and hostility.



    20. TENDENCY TO PERSONALIZE HOSTILITY.

    Extremists often wish for the personal bad fortune of their "enemies," and celebrate when it occurs. When a critic or an adversary dies or has a serious illness, a bad accident, or personal legal problems, extremists often rejoice and chortle about how they "deserved" it. I recall seeing right-wing extremists celebrate the assassination of Martin Luther King and leftists agonizing because George Wallace survived an assassination attempt. In each instance their hatred was not only directed against ideas, but also against individual human beings.



    21. EXTREMISTS OFTEN FEEL THAT THE SYSTEM IS NO GOOD UNLESS THEY WIN.

    For example, if they lose an election, then it was "rigged." If public opinion turns against them, it was because of "brainwashing." If their followers become disillusioned, it's because of "sabotage." The test of the rightness or wrongness of the system is how it impacts upon them...

    Wow. He nailed it. Thanks! It’s like a checklist for Current Year behavior.

    Here is Laird Wilcox on hate hoaxes (1994): http://www.fakehatecrimes.org/Crying-Wolf-by-Laird-Wilcox.pdf

    Read More
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  12. res says:
    @Harry Baldwin
    I listened to Joe Rogan's interview with Brett Weinstein, the liberal professor at the center of the Evergreen College imbroglio. Someone here at iSteve recommended it and I found it quite interesting. Weinstein made a point similar to the one in this essay: "a victim who is defamed as a “'subversive”' will be identified with the worst images of subversion, such as espionage, terrorism or treason."

    He noted that this is the shell game played with the epithet "racist." On the one hand, there is the modern application of the term, which is applied to virtually all white people due to their "privilege," implicit bias, invisible backpack, etc. Then there is the term's use to describe behavior that everyone would condemn as racist, such as the bombing of the black church in Birmingham or Dylann Roof's mass murder.

    Weinstein noted that when the term is thrown around in its all-encompassing modern sense, it still intends to carry the same weight that it has in its more meaningful sense.

    I think that is a good example of the Motte and Bailey Fallacy in action: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Motte_and_bailey

    One of those things (like who-whom or projection) that once you start looking for it it shows up seemingly everywhere.

    Read More
    • Agree: Desiderius
    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    Thanks for the link, very interesting. I never quite got the Motte and Bailey concept before.
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  13. @benjaminl
    I'd never heard of this guy but a quick glance shows that he has attacked the $PLC and also wrote a book on Hate Hoaxes in *1994*. Talk about prescient.

    Also looks a bit like John Goodman.

    I was thinking Jack Black or Zach G.

    Read More
    • Replies: @benjaminl
    Personally, I find it worthwhile to follow a few lefties on Twitter, like Matt Yglesias, Chris Hayes, Josh Barro.

    When they cover a topic that doesn't touch on the sacred taboos -- such as antitrust policy, wage stagnation, or free trade -- sometimes they have good ideas. And occasionally -- as in critiquing the "environmentalist" NIMBY building restrictions in low-density elite California enclaves -- they even start to echo Steve. A little bit.
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  14. Dr. X says:

    It’s a very eloquent and insightful essay. But prescient? This is nothing new. What Wilcox describes is as old as the Trial of Socrates and the execution of Jesus.

    This is simply (flawed) human nature. This is what people do in every society and every age.

    Read More
    • Replies: @benjaminl
    Not sure if "prescient" was referring to my comment where I used that term, but I was specifically referring to the "Hate Crime Hoax" thing, which I think didn't really metastasize until the Obama era, and Steve pointed out the usefulness of the concept in Sapir-Whorf terms. Sure, there has always been "blasphemy" or "lese-majeste," but Hate Crimes are a new thing in the current era.

    That said, I recognize that "ritual defamation" is nothing new under the sun.

    However...

    I would still argue that at the present time, the wave of Progressive witch-burning fervor has been growing rapidly in a way that would have shocked a lot of people in 1990. Speaking as someone who was a young person in 1990, I think back then the old-fashioned liberal / enlightenment narrative of the Triumph of Free Speech and Free Inquiry was pretty persuasive (i.e. "we used to have irrational sacred taboos and now we don't"; I think of my old-fashioned liberal Baby Boomer high school journalism teacher, who taught that and really believed it).

    It really was a different age - what Derb calls the "interglacial." Jared Taylor had his book reviewed by Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews... even the Forward, the Baltimore Sun and the Detroit Free Press(!)
    https://www.amren.com/archives/back-issues/february-1993/#article1

    The Forward (Dec. 4, 1992), the national Jewish newspaper based in New York, appeared to be even more confused. On the one hand, it wrote that the book’s “straight talk suggests hope of an exhilarating breakthrough: a chance to move on finally toward a more accurate diagnosis.” The paper also called the book a “deep and powerfully damning indictment of the way that most Americans have come to think about race.”
     
    Kevin MacDonald's book got a favorable review by Lawrence Loeb in the Jewish Folklore and Ethnology Review.
    http://www.kevinmacdonald.net/reviews.htm

    Make no mistake. This volume from a barely visible publisher and unlikely to be reviewed in Judaic or social science circles, is a watershed contribution to the understanding of Judaism and Jewish life. I found the data and reasoning compelling despite my general rejection of evolutionary anthropology in explaining complex societies. While I did find myself questioning and confronting many assertions and uses of evidence, this is [a] most worthwhile reading experience."
     
    Peter Brimelow, John Derbyshire and Steve Sailer were star members of the National Review roster. Bill Clinton appointed restrictionist Barbara Jordan to lead the immigration panel. It goes on... Can you imagine any of that? It's hard for me to imagine, even though I know it happened.

    In conclusion, I contend that while "ritual defamation" may not be a new concept, its relevance and prevalence has increased massively since that essay was written.
    , @Jack D
    The witch trial, the dictator, etc. exploit certain flaws or bugs in human software. The problem is that our OS is at least 10,000 years old and is set up for much smaller networks - large family bands or maybe tribes with a couple of hundred users, maximum. If you try to scale this OS up to networks with thousands or millions of nodes, it doesn't scale up properly - algorithms that work well on a small scale and where everyone is assumed to be a trusted user return highly flawed results when you increase the n greatly. And we have no way to update our software at the lowest level. We can skin the user interface, but underneath we still have tons of legacy code running - some of it goes back to the lizard days.
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  15. Yak-15 says:
    @Harry Baldwin
    Right-wingers (or left-wingers), for example, talk only with one another, read material that reflects their own views, and can be almost phobic about the “propaganda” of the “other side.” The result is a deterioration of reality-testing, rationality, and moral judgment.

    I must be an extremist because I've totally stopped listening to non-rightwing media. It all sounds like unhinged left-wing propaganda, beyond anything people were subjected to in the old USSR. I don't find anything in it that causes me to reconsider my own views or that presents facts that challenge my assumptions. It reflects the Bizarro world take on reality.

    You don’t need to specifically seek out the alternate to our viewpoints – they are the dominant narrative inherent in most common media offerings.

    To listen, read or watch one of these outlets is to understand the intellectual heft of the po-mo progressive arguments – which are often devoid of deep, complex reasoning because they must appeal to the masses.

    If alt-right thinking, or HBD, or neo-nationalism, etc is to be successful, it must be simplified into digestible bits that even those of the humblest of intellects can understand. Sending out a manifesto with “big-words” and replete with hyperlinks to obscure studies is not going to break the neo-moralist revivalists and their mora authority. But it’s a start.

    Someone in an earlier thread mentioned that this is a 95 Theses moment reverberating through time. That missive also took down the aggressive moral narrative of its era. Remember, the most disastrous wars in European history followed.

    Are you prepared for similar consequences? Are any others here?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jack Hanson
    It was me.

    Perhaps the question you should be asking is: Are you ready to bind yourself in intellectual submission to people who think they deserve to hold your leash as long as you can enjoy stupid entertainment or are you willing to fight for your freedom to hold an opinion?

    Scary, I know. Many on here think the highest form of allowable dissent is edge posting on niche blogs.
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  16. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    Jordan Peterson to post youtube talk with ex googler soon.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Same for Stefan Molyneaux (sp?).
    , @Old Jew
    Indeed Mr. Sailer,

    Stefan Molyneaux likes too much to hear himself.
    Too little of James Damore's words.
    Peterson gave Mr. Damore a much larger slice of air-time.
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  17. There is more going on with the Google incident than just some people arguing over gender roles. Does a big company really care about the rights of some putatively oppressed groups? Of course not – they’re just using them to make money. They are using “social justice” language to destroy any shred of communal feeling among their employees. They want their employees to be isolated and suspicious of each other, so that they will never stick up for each other.

    This is what passes for innovation today. These big companies are out of gas as far as inventing new products. Google Glass, Siri, the Retina display, these are the hyped “triumphs” of our age, and none of them has the impact of something even as mundane as the automobile starter. So all the companies can do is beat the crap out of their employees, and buy politicians to give them trade agreements and immigrants so they can sell the same old junk to more people.

    The saddest part is watching people like blue hair chick from a couple posts ago, who thinks she’s the vanguard of a new age, but is just helping fat cats sell ads for cheeseburgers.

    Read More
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  18. Alden says:
    @Luke Lea
    His description of extremist traits sounds like just another day on campus:

    Laird Wilcox
    on
    Extremist Traits


    [The Hoaxer Project Report, pp. 39-41]



    Robert F. Kennedy wrote:

    "What is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents."



    In analyzing the rhetoric and propaganda of several hundred militant "fringe" political and social groups across the political spectrum, I have identified a number of specific traits or behaviors that tend to represent the extremist "style"...



    1. CHARACTER ASSASSINATION.

    Extremists often attack the character of an opponent rather than deal with the facts or issues raised. They will question motives, qualifications, past associations, alleged values, personality, looks, mental health, and so on as a diversion from the issues under consideration. Some of these matters are not entirely irrelevant , but they should not serve to avoid the real issues.

    Extremists object strenuously when this is done to them, of course!



    2. NAME-CALLING AND LABELING.

    Extremists are quick to resort to epithets (racist, subversive, pervert, hate monger, nut, crackpot, degenerate, un-American, anti-semite, red, commie, nazi, kook, fink, liar, bigot, and so on) to label and condemn opponents in order to divert attention from their arguments and to discourage others from hearing them out. These epithets don't have to be proved to be effective; the mere fact that they have been said is often enough.



    3. IRRESPONSIBLE SWEEPING GENERALIZATIONS.

    Extremists tend to make sweeping claims or judgments on little or no evidence, and they have a tendency to confuse similarity with sameness. That is, they assume that because two (or more) things, events, or persons are alike in some respects, they must be alike in most respects. The sloppy use of analogy is a treacherous form of logic and has a high potential for false conclusions.



    4. INADEQUATE PROOF FOR ASSERTIONS.

    Extremists tend to be very fuzzy about what constitutes proof, and they also tend to get caught up in logical fallacies, such as post hoc ergo propter hoc (assuming that a prior event explains a subsequent occurrence simply because of their before and after relationship). They tend to project wished-for conclusions and to exaggerate the significance of information that confirms their beliefs while derogating or ignoring information that contradicts them. They tend to be motivated by feelings more than facts, by what they want to exist rather than what actually does exist. Extremists do a lot of wishful and fearful thinking.



    5. ADVOCACY OF DOUBLE STANDARDS.

    Extremists generally tend to judge themselves or their interest group in terms of their intentions, which they tend to view very generously, and others by their acts, which they tend to view very critically. They would like you to accept their assertions on faith, but they demand proof for yours. They tend to engage in special pleading on behalf of themselves or their interests, usually because of some alleged special status, past circumstances, or present disadvantage.



    6. TENDENCY TO VIEW THEIR OPPONENTS AND CRITICS AS ESSENTIALLY EVIL.

    To the extremist, opponents hold opposing positions because they are bad people, immoral, dishonest, unscrupulous, mean-spirited, hateful, cruel, or whatever, not merely because they simply disagree, see the matter differently, have competing interests, or are perhaps even mistaken.



    7. MANICHAEAN WORLDVIEW.

    Extremists have a tendency to see the world in terms of absolutes of good and evil, for them or against them, with no middle ground or intermediate positions. All issues are ultimately moral issues of right and wrong, with the "right" position coinciding with their interests. Their slogan is often "those who are not with me are against me."



    8. ADVOCACY OF SOME DEGREE OF CENSORSHIP OR REPRESSION OF THEIR OPPONENTS AND/OR CRITICS.

    This may include a very active campaign to keep opponents from media access and a public hearing, as in the case of blacklisting, banning or "quarantining" dissident spokespersons. They may actually lobby for legislation against speaking, writing, teaching, or instructing "subversive" or forbidden information or opinions. They may even attempt to keep offending books out of stores or off of library shelves, discourage advertising with threats of reprisals, and keep spokespersons for "offensive" views off the airwaves or certain columnists out of newspapers. In each case the goal is some kind of information control. Extremists would prefer that you listen only to them. They feel threatened when someone talks back or challenges their views.



    9. TEND TO IDENTIFY THEMSELVES IN TERMS OF WHO THEIR ENEMIES ARE: WHOM THEY HATE AND WHO HATES THEM.

    Accordingly, extremists may become emotionally bound to their opponents, who are often competing extremists themselves. Because they tend to view their enemies as evil and powerful, they tend, perhaps subconsciously, to emulate them, adopting the same tactics to a certain degree. For example, anti-Communist and anti-Nazi groups often behave surprisingly like their opponents. Anti-Klan rallies often take on much of the character of the stereotype of Klan rallies themselves, including the orgy of emotion, bullying, screaming epithets, and even acts of violence. To behave the opposite of someone is to actually surrender your will to them, and "opposites" are often more like mirror images that, although they have "left" and "right" reversed, look and behave amazingly alike.



    10. TENDENCY TOWARD ARGUMENT BY INTIMIDATION.

    Extremists tend to frame their arguments in such a way as to intimidate others into accepting their premises and conclusions. To disagree with them is to "ally oneself with the devil," or to give aid and comfort to the enemy. They use a lot of moralizing and pontificating, and tend to be very judgmental. This shrill, harsh rhetorical style allows them to keep their opponents and critics on the defensive, cuts off troublesome lines of argument, and allows them to define the perimeters of debate.



    11. USE OF SLOGANS, BUZZWORDS, AND THOUGHT-STOPPING CLICHES.

    For many extremists shortcuts in thinking and in reasoning matters out seem to be necessary in order to avoid or evade awareness of troublesome facts and compelling counter-arguments. Extremists generally behave in ways that reinforce their prejudices and alter their own consciousness in a manner that bolsters their false confidence and sense of self-righteousness.



    12. ASSUMPTION OF MORAL OR OTHER SUPERIORITY OVER OTHERS.

    Most obvious would be claims of general racial or ethnic superiority--a master race, for example. Less obvious are claims of ennoblement because of alleged victimhood, a special relationship with God, membership in a special "elite" or "class," and a kind of aloof "highminded" snobbishness that accrues because of the weightiness of their preoccupations, their altruism, and their willingness to sacrifice themselves (and others) to their cause. After all, who can bear to deal with common people when one is trying to save the world! Extremists can show great indignation when one is "insensitive" enough to challenge these claims.



    13. DOOMSDAY THINKING.

    Extremists often predict dire or catastrophic consequences from a situation or from failure to follow a specific course, and they tend to exhibit a kind of "crisis-mindedness." It can be a Communist takeover, a Nazi revival, nuclear war, earthquakes, floods, or the wrath of God. Whatever it is, it's just around the corner unless we follow their program and listen to the special insight and wisdom, to which only the truly enlightened have access. For extremists, any setback or defeat is the "beginning of the end!"



    14. BELIEF THAT IT'S OKAY TO DO BAD THINGS IN THE SERVICE OF A "GOOD" CAUSE.

    Extremists may deliberately lie, distort, misquote, slander, defame, or libel their opponents and/or critics, engage in censorship or repression , or undertake violence in "special cases." This is done with little or no remorse as long as it's in the service of defeating the Communists or Fascists or whomever. Defeating an "enemy" becomes an all-encompassing goal to which other values are subordinate. With extremists, the end justifies the means.



    15. EMPHASIS ON EMOTIONAL RESPONSES AND, CORRESPONDINGLY, LESS IMPORTANCE ATTACHED TO REASONING AND LOGICAL ANALYSIS.

    Extremists have an unspoken reverence for propaganda, which they may call "education" or "consciousness-raising." Symbolism plays an exaggerated role in their thinking, and they tend to think imprecisely and metamorphically. Harold D. Lasswell, in his book, *Psychopathology and Politics*, says, "The essential mark of the agitator is the high value he places on the emotional response of the public." Effective extremists tend to be effective propagandists. Propaganda differs from education in that the former teaches one what to think, and the latter teaches one how to think.



    16. HYPERSENSITIVITY AND VIGILANCE.

    Extremists perceive hostile innuendo in even casual comments; imagine rejection and antagonism concealed in honest disagreement and dissent; see "latent" subversion, anti-semitism, perversion, racism, disloyalty, and so on in innocent gestures and ambiguous behaviors. Although few extremists are clinically paranoid, many of them adopt a paranoid style with its attendant hostility and distrust.



    17. USE OF SUPERNATURAL RATIONALE FOR BELIEFS AND ACTIONS.

    Some extremists, particularly those involved in "cults" or extreme religious movements, such as fundamentalist Christians, militant Zionist extremists, and members of mystical and metaphysical organizations, claim some kind of supernatural rationale for their beliefs and actions, and that their movement or cause is ordained by God. In this case, stark extremism may become reframed in a "religious" context, which can have a legitimizing effect for some people. It's surprising how many people are reluctant to challenge religiously motivated extremism because it represents "religious belief" or because of the sacred-cow status of some religions in our culture.



    18. PROBLEMS TOLERATING AMBIGUITY AND UNCERTAINTY.

    Indeed, the ideologies and belief systems to which extremists tend to attach themselves often represent grasping for certainty in an uncertain world, or an attempt to achieve absolute security in an environment that is naturally unpredictable or perhaps populated by people with interests opposed to their own. Extremists exhibit a kind of risk-aversiveness that compels them to engage in controlling and manipulative behavior, both on a personal level and in a political context, to protect themselves from the unforeseen and unknown. The more laws or "rules" there are that regulate the behavior of others--particular their "enemies"--the more secure extremists feel.



    19. INCLINATION TOWARD "GROUPTHINK."

    Extremists, their organizations , and their subcultures are prone to a kind of inward-looking group cohesiveness that leads to what Irving Janis discussed in his excellent book Victims of Groupthink. "Groupthink" involves a tendency to conform to group norms and to preserve solidarity and concurrence at the expense of distorting members' observations of facts, conflicting evidence, and disquieting observations that would call into question the shared assumptions and beliefs of the group.

    Right-wingers (or left-wingers), for example, talk only with one another, read material that reflects their own views, and can be almost phobic about the "propaganda" of the "other side." The result is a deterioration of reality-testing, rationality, and moral judgment. With groupthink, shared illusions of righteousness, superior morality, persecution, and so on remain intact, and those who challenge them are viewed with skepticism and hostility.



    20. TENDENCY TO PERSONALIZE HOSTILITY.

    Extremists often wish for the personal bad fortune of their "enemies," and celebrate when it occurs. When a critic or an adversary dies or has a serious illness, a bad accident, or personal legal problems, extremists often rejoice and chortle about how they "deserved" it. I recall seeing right-wing extremists celebrate the assassination of Martin Luther King and leftists agonizing because George Wallace survived an assassination attempt. In each instance their hatred was not only directed against ideas, but also against individual human beings.



    21. EXTREMISTS OFTEN FEEL THAT THE SYSTEM IS NO GOOD UNLESS THEY WIN.

    For example, if they lose an election, then it was "rigged." If public opinion turns against them, it was because of "brainwashing." If their followers become disillusioned, it's because of "sabotage." The test of the rightness or wrongness of the system is how it impacts upon them...

    The list of extremist tactics is exactly what ADL, AJC, SPLC, NOW, ACLU etc do to the designated enemy.

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  19. @Anon
    Jordan Peterson to post youtube talk with ex googler soon.

    Same for Stefan Molyneaux (sp?).

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    • Replies: @EriK
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TN1vEfqHGro
    , @larry lurker
    It's up!

    I'm guessing Google has been thinking about bringing the hammer down on Stefan for a while now, so this may be a brilliant defensive move on his part. "Hmmm, so Stefan was the first guy to interview the dissenter and now they're crippling his channel?" It probably won't stop them, but at least the optics will be that much worse.
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  20. @turnip
    Sincerity or parody: who can tell?

    Sincerity appears exclusively in The Onion:
    http://www.theonion.com/article/local-dipshit-planning-fighting-trump-administrati-56576 .
    All else is fake news.

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  21. Obviously, this is the tactic taken by the MSM with Trump too. Border wall debate? No need: he’s just literally Hitler!

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  22. EriK says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Same for Stefan Molyneaux (sp?).

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  23. @res
    I think that is a good example of the Motte and Bailey Fallacy in action: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Motte_and_bailey

    One of those things (like who-whom or projection) that once you start looking for it it shows up seemingly everywhere.

    Thanks for the link, very interesting. I never quite got the Motte and Bailey concept before.

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    • Replies: @benjaminl
    I believe that concept was recently popularized by Slatestarcodex here:

    http://slatestarcodex.com/2014/07/07/social-justice-and-words-words-words/


    Which, by the way, for a not totally pseudonymous, left-leaning sophisticated polyamorous irreligious Jewish Berkeley-trained psychiatrist with a largely Silicon Valley-type readership, that guy shows a very admirable willingness to charge right into areas of major Thoughtcrime in ways that force his readers to grapple with the unthinkable. Last month:

    http://slatestarcodex.com/2017/06/21/against-murderism/

    And this week:

    https://slatestarcodex.com/2017/08/07/contra-grant-on-exaggerated-differences/
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  24. The interesting thing about this is that on the management side it’s taught as a technique of control. I don’t have a citation, but I know from interacting with managers that they are taught specifically not to engage with internal criticism.

    One thing Wilcox could have added is that the defamation almost always involves the person in power presenting their own position as objective. For example, in the case of Google, management asserts that the memo writer is harming the Google community. Of course, this assertion requires that you accept the management’s definitions of the Google community and what it means for that community to be harmed, successful, etc.

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  25. Wilcox’s essay also dovetails nicely with the excellent documentary “Defamation” (2009), which showcases ritualistic aspects of perceived anti-Semitism. It can be can viewed (in full) on YouTube here.

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  26. @Steve Sailer
    Same for Stefan Molyneaux (sp?).

    It’s up!

    I’m guessing Google has been thinking about bringing the hammer down on Stefan for a while now, so this may be a brilliant defensive move on his part. “Hmmm, so Stefan was the first guy to interview the dissenter and now they’re crippling his channel?” It probably won’t stop them, but at least the optics will be that much worse.

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  27. Bill P says:

    Laird is a rare bird. He’s been morally and philosophically consistent over decades of work, which makes him seem like a dinosaur, but his unflinching consistency made him cutting edge starting in the 90s.

    I’ve corresponded with him briefly, and in so doing asked him about this gender issue some years ago. The context was false accusations, smearing, etc. He’s written about racial hate hoaxes, so I asked him about the gender aspect. If I remember correctly, he replied that he just didn’t have the time to address the enormity of this trend.

    Laird Wilcox is radically normal, in a good way. He isn’t all that young anymore. His work speaks for itself. He was one of the few sane voices in the 90s, but hardly anyone paid attention.

    I’m really pleased to see him featured here on iSteve. I’ve linked to him several times from here, but there never seemed to be much response.

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    • Replies: @Desiderius

    Laird Wilcox is radically normal, in a good way.
     
    It's the Sailer Way.

    I like "Hard Center."
    , @Olorin
    Same here, but these things sometimes take awhile to percolate through.

    His views in the '90s were a major factor in my concluding that my experience in the Ed Biz and foundation world was not all in my head. And that my dissent against what I was observing had some moral, philosophical, and ethical ground under it...even though I couldn't at that time articulate any of that.

    But I see a blinder in Wilcox's approach: he frequently confuses propaganda (PR, advertising, news, etc.) with reality. His thinking focuses on what people say they believe, rather than their deeds.

    Thus the "militia movement" about which he wrote so much--"right wing extremists"--have had next to zero power and little access to institutions or media that assemble this political capital.

    The "left wing extremists" by contrast have had the full panoply of organized power.

    Both may propagandize in terms we can choose to view as common--as Luke Lea at 4 above includes Wilcox's "extremist traits." But how much of that for various "extremists" is shitlordery and how much is action?

    At the end of the day, what is more dangerous? A kid who makes a Hitler meme saying "jass the gews" and a guy who joins up with his buddies to shoot guns? Or people who destroy other people's careers in the name of moral superiority and political correctness? Or cities/neighborhoods in the name of anti-racism, etc.?

    Still, the concept of "ritual defamation" is useful, and I have long admired him for his solitary efforts to call attention to how the SPLC and ADL operate...even as I've considered him rather too lefty for my tastes (he's a lifelong ACLU and Amnesty International member, e.g.).
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  28. @Bill P
    Laird is a rare bird. He's been morally and philosophically consistent over decades of work, which makes him seem like a dinosaur, but his unflinching consistency made him cutting edge starting in the 90s.

    I've corresponded with him briefly, and in so doing asked him about this gender issue some years ago. The context was false accusations, smearing, etc. He's written about racial hate hoaxes, so I asked him about the gender aspect. If I remember correctly, he replied that he just didn't have the time to address the enormity of this trend.

    Laird Wilcox is radically normal, in a good way. He isn't all that young anymore. His work speaks for itself. He was one of the few sane voices in the 90s, but hardly anyone paid attention.

    I'm really pleased to see him featured here on iSteve. I've linked to him several times from here, but there never seemed to be much response.

    Laird Wilcox is radically normal, in a good way.

    It’s the Sailer Way.

    I like “Hard Center.”

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  29. Whiskey says: • Website

    I am prepared for War because one way or another we will get it. Either half a billion Africans move to the US alone and make us all their slaves; or rather, all us White men with the willing connivance I think of most Upper Class White women and a good many Middling Class White women; or we fight.

    The whole social structure of today is anti-male, see a partial lyric of Sinatra’s “My Way” (written by Neil Diamond):

    For what is a man, what has he got
    If not himself, then he has naught
    To say the things he truly feels
    And not the words of one who kneels

    The record shows I took the blows
    And did it my way

    No man aspires to be a cringing, kneeling yes man. A mark of status and power, and thus sexual attractiveness, is saying what one feels without regard or regret. To be, in essence, like Frank Sinatra. Women love to submit, indeed their existence is predicated on submitting in some way to some powerful man.

    If you ask me, I’d rather fight than be the slave of some illiterate African with 22 kids and eleven wives. But that’s just me.

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  30. Veracitor says:
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  31. Boethiuss says:

    This is where the Sailerite/Leninist who?/whom? ought to be coming to play.

    We’ve got our guy in the Big Job, why can’t he be putting some ritual defamation on some of these idiots.

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    • Replies: @MBlanc46
    Maybe he's not do much our guy.
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  32. Olorin says:
    @eah
    Bonus points for being hypocritically self-righteous -- muh feelings -- btw imagine going to a job interview knowing you'll be speaking with and evaluated by such people.

    https://twitter.com/MrFrexit/status/894987113267052544

    I like the critical/evaluative realm-switching above.

    1. “Women are better at coding than men.”

    2. “Women’s code is viewed more favorably by their peers.”

    The first term means nothing without a means to assess its accuracy.

    The second is mobbing.

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  33. Olorin says:
    @Bill P
    Laird is a rare bird. He's been morally and philosophically consistent over decades of work, which makes him seem like a dinosaur, but his unflinching consistency made him cutting edge starting in the 90s.

    I've corresponded with him briefly, and in so doing asked him about this gender issue some years ago. The context was false accusations, smearing, etc. He's written about racial hate hoaxes, so I asked him about the gender aspect. If I remember correctly, he replied that he just didn't have the time to address the enormity of this trend.

    Laird Wilcox is radically normal, in a good way. He isn't all that young anymore. His work speaks for itself. He was one of the few sane voices in the 90s, but hardly anyone paid attention.

    I'm really pleased to see him featured here on iSteve. I've linked to him several times from here, but there never seemed to be much response.

    Same here, but these things sometimes take awhile to percolate through.

    His views in the ’90s were a major factor in my concluding that my experience in the Ed Biz and foundation world was not all in my head. And that my dissent against what I was observing had some moral, philosophical, and ethical ground under it…even though I couldn’t at that time articulate any of that.

    But I see a blinder in Wilcox’s approach: he frequently confuses propaganda (PR, advertising, news, etc.) with reality. His thinking focuses on what people say they believe, rather than their deeds.

    Thus the “militia movement” about which he wrote so much–”right wing extremists”–have had next to zero power and little access to institutions or media that assemble this political capital.

    The “left wing extremists” by contrast have had the full panoply of organized power.

    Both may propagandize in terms we can choose to view as common–as Luke Lea at 4 above includes Wilcox’s “extremist traits.” But how much of that for various “extremists” is shitlordery and how much is action?

    At the end of the day, what is more dangerous? A kid who makes a Hitler meme saying “jass the gews” and a guy who joins up with his buddies to shoot guns? Or people who destroy other people’s careers in the name of moral superiority and political correctness? Or cities/neighborhoods in the name of anti-racism, etc.?

    Still, the concept of “ritual defamation” is useful, and I have long admired him for his solitary efforts to call attention to how the SPLC and ADL operate…even as I’ve considered him rather too lefty for my tastes (he’s a lifelong ACLU and Amnesty International member, e.g.).

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  34. HL Mencken as always, wrote the definitive piece on this:

    http://www.kevinislaughter.com/2010/hl-mencken-on-the-crowd/

    What happens when a crowd cuts loose is not quite what Le Bon and his followers describe. The few superior men in it are not straightway reduced to the level of the underlying stoneheads. On the contrary, they usually keep their heads, and often make efforts to combat the crowd action. But the stoneheads are too many for them; the fence is torn down or the blackamoor is lynched. And why? Not because the stoneheads, normally virtuous, are suddenly criminally insane. Nay, but because they are suddenly conscious of the power lying in their numbers— because they suddenly realize that their natural viciousness and insanity may be safely permitted to function.

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    • Replies: @Cortes
    But Mencken was restating Swift's notion of the confederacy of dunces. By the way, the excellent novel of John Kennedy Toole "A Confederacy of Dunces" couldn't find a publisher during his lifetime. It contains a sly couple of scenes eerily prescient of the "rainbow warrior" controversy of today.
    , @ChrisZ
    Ali, that Mencken quote strikes me as a good description of our general predicament: the urge to dominate and destroy that comes with confidence in numerical power. The fringe lefties received that confidence with the election of Pres. Obama; they've been drunk on that perception ever since. And because they're by nature weak and resentful, with little experience of exercising power, and even less of the prudence that comes from such exercise, there are no restraints on the uses to which they're willing to put their power.

    The election of Pres. Trump was the first great challenge to the perception that the fringe lefties are indeed numerically dominant. Of course they insist that it was some kind of fluke or trick, and are busy trying to exercise their taste for power by other means: protest, cultural and financial influence, ritual shamings and firings, etc.

    The fight we're in right now is to show that there's at least an equal force arrayed against them, that will not easily lie down and can even exact reprisals against its members: i.e. establish a "balance of terror."

    Mencken's metaphor suggestests that the confidence of the mob eventually abates, and with it its will to destroy and "punish" (see John 8). But how long will that take? A few years? In the Soviet Union it took 70.
    , @Desiderius

    Nay, but because they are suddenly conscious of the power lying in their numbers
     
    Social media delivers the numbers piece, but not the power naturally assumed to follow (as it would in an actual, physical mob). The result is a lot of people overestimating their (relative) power resulting in the usual arrogant ignorance one sees in abundance.
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  35. Cortes says:
    @Ali Choudhury
    HL Mencken as always, wrote the definitive piece on this:

    http://www.kevinislaughter.com/2010/hl-mencken-on-the-crowd/

    What happens when a crowd cuts loose is not quite what Le Bon and his followers describe. The few superior men in it are not straightway reduced to the level of the underlying stoneheads. On the contrary, they usually keep their heads, and often make efforts to combat the crowd action. But the stoneheads are too many for them; the fence is torn down or the blackamoor is lynched. And why? Not because the stoneheads, normally virtuous, are suddenly criminally insane. Nay, but because they are suddenly conscious of the power lying in their numbers— because they suddenly realize that their natural viciousness and insanity may be safely permitted to function.
     

    But Mencken was restating Swift’s notion of the confederacy of dunces. By the way, the excellent novel of John Kennedy Toole “A Confederacy of Dunces” couldn’t find a publisher during his lifetime. It contains a sly couple of scenes eerily prescient of the “rainbow warrior” controversy of today.

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  36. KM32 says:

    What is the most effective tactic against this?

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    • Replies: @JackOH
    KM, no one's tried to answer this yet? It's an excellent question.

    I don't have time for a more thoughtful reply, but here goes. Make sure your heart and head are in the right place. Are you going to disrupt stuff because it's the right thing to do, or are you motivated by revenge? Do a gut check. Try to figure out when you'll back down. Do your homework. Are you sure you have enough information to say something is seriously wrong? Give yourself a break by giving the other guy a break. In other words, be temperate about pressing your points to an audience that may not be ready for you yet. Conserve your psychic energy.

    Defamation? Sure, you'll get smeared. It's a tool of the strong and hypocritical against the weak. Allegations of sexual misconduct, financial misconduct, and booze and drugs are top faves. You may be propositioned by hookers and queers beholden to corrupt policemen. You may be tailed, your public records exposed, and more. Good news is that the defaming party (ies) run the risk of you exposing them, which may bolster whatever case you're making. Trust me, it's a good feeling to see important people who've been working against you getting a nice black eye.

    Identify potential allies among local elites. Plot an exit strategy that will save your self-esteem, and might give you some points for having made an effort to make America a little better.

    Good luck.

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  37. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    The lastest SJW tantrum: publisher of a new translation of Max Stirner is a “neo-nazi”. Stirner himself on spooks is quite relevant to today’s purity fanatics and pearl-clutchers.

    https://www.counter-currents.com/2017/08/the-sad-sour-spook-max-stirner-and-his-proper-ties/#comments

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  38. benjaminl says:
    @Dr. X
    It's a very eloquent and insightful essay. But prescient? This is nothing new. What Wilcox describes is as old as the Trial of Socrates and the execution of Jesus.

    This is simply (flawed) human nature. This is what people do in every society and every age.

    Not sure if “prescient” was referring to my comment where I used that term, but I was specifically referring to the “Hate Crime Hoax” thing, which I think didn’t really metastasize until the Obama era, and Steve pointed out the usefulness of the concept in Sapir-Whorf terms. Sure, there has always been “blasphemy” or “lese-majeste,” but Hate Crimes are a new thing in the current era.

    That said, I recognize that “ritual defamation” is nothing new under the sun.

    However…

    I would still argue that at the present time, the wave of Progressive witch-burning fervor has been growing rapidly in a way that would have shocked a lot of people in 1990. Speaking as someone who was a young person in 1990, I think back then the old-fashioned liberal / enlightenment narrative of the Triumph of Free Speech and Free Inquiry was pretty persuasive (i.e. “we used to have irrational sacred taboos and now we don’t”; I think of my old-fashioned liberal Baby Boomer high school journalism teacher, who taught that and really believed it).

    It really was a different age – what Derb calls the “interglacial.” Jared Taylor had his book reviewed by Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews… even the Forward, the Baltimore Sun and the Detroit Free Press(!)

    https://www.amren.com/archives/back-issues/february-1993/#article1

    The Forward (Dec. 4, 1992), the national Jewish newspaper based in New York, appeared to be even more confused. On the one hand, it wrote that the book’s “straight talk suggests hope of an exhilarating breakthrough: a chance to move on finally toward a more accurate diagnosis.” The paper also called the book a “deep and powerfully damning indictment of the way that most Americans have come to think about race.”

    Kevin MacDonald’s book got a favorable review by Lawrence Loeb in the Jewish Folklore and Ethnology Review.

    http://www.kevinmacdonald.net/reviews.htm

    Make no mistake. This volume from a barely visible publisher and unlikely to be reviewed in Judaic or social science circles, is a watershed contribution to the understanding of Judaism and Jewish life. I found the data and reasoning compelling despite my general rejection of evolutionary anthropology in explaining complex societies. While I did find myself questioning and confronting many assertions and uses of evidence, this is [a] most worthwhile reading experience.”

    Peter Brimelow, John Derbyshire and Steve Sailer were star members of the National Review roster. Bill Clinton appointed restrictionist Barbara Jordan to lead the immigration panel. It goes on… Can you imagine any of that? It’s hard for me to imagine, even though I know it happened.

    In conclusion, I contend that while “ritual defamation” may not be a new concept, its relevance and prevalence has increased massively since that essay was written.

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  39. ChrisZ says:
    @Ali Choudhury
    HL Mencken as always, wrote the definitive piece on this:

    http://www.kevinislaughter.com/2010/hl-mencken-on-the-crowd/

    What happens when a crowd cuts loose is not quite what Le Bon and his followers describe. The few superior men in it are not straightway reduced to the level of the underlying stoneheads. On the contrary, they usually keep their heads, and often make efforts to combat the crowd action. But the stoneheads are too many for them; the fence is torn down or the blackamoor is lynched. And why? Not because the stoneheads, normally virtuous, are suddenly criminally insane. Nay, but because they are suddenly conscious of the power lying in their numbers— because they suddenly realize that their natural viciousness and insanity may be safely permitted to function.
     

    Ali, that Mencken quote strikes me as a good description of our general predicament: the urge to dominate and destroy that comes with confidence in numerical power. The fringe lefties received that confidence with the election of Pres. Obama; they’ve been drunk on that perception ever since. And because they’re by nature weak and resentful, with little experience of exercising power, and even less of the prudence that comes from such exercise, there are no restraints on the uses to which they’re willing to put their power.

    The election of Pres. Trump was the first great challenge to the perception that the fringe lefties are indeed numerically dominant. Of course they insist that it was some kind of fluke or trick, and are busy trying to exercise their taste for power by other means: protest, cultural and financial influence, ritual shamings and firings, etc.

    The fight we’re in right now is to show that there’s at least an equal force arrayed against them, that will not easily lie down and can even exact reprisals against its members: i.e. establish a “balance of terror.”

    Mencken’s metaphor suggestests that the confidence of the mob eventually abates, and with it its will to destroy and “punish” (see John 8). But how long will that take? A few years? In the Soviet Union it took 70.

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  40. benjaminl says:
    @Harry Baldwin
    Thanks for the link, very interesting. I never quite got the Motte and Bailey concept before.

    I believe that concept was recently popularized by Slatestarcodex here:

    http://slatestarcodex.com/2014/07/07/social-justice-and-words-words-words/

    Which, by the way, for a not totally pseudonymous, left-leaning sophisticated polyamorous irreligious Jewish Berkeley-trained psychiatrist with a largely Silicon Valley-type readership, that guy shows a very admirable willingness to charge right into areas of major Thoughtcrime in ways that force his readers to grapple with the unthinkable. Last month:

    http://slatestarcodex.com/2017/06/21/against-murderism/

    And this week:

    https://slatestarcodex.com/2017/08/07/contra-grant-on-exaggerated-differences/

    Read More
    • Replies: @res
    I think that SSC article was where I learned about motte and bailey. I agree with your comments. Though he gets some pushback from the left Scott does a good job of walking a difficult line between thoughtcrime and goodthink. For those here who want an overview of Scott's work I would recommend this tag: https://slatestarcodex.com/tag/things-i-will-regret-writing/
    Note that all three of the articles you reference bear that tag ; )

    It can also be fun to search for iSteve comments on SSC posts.
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  41. benjaminl says:
    @Steve Sailer
    I was thinking Jack Black or Zach G.

    Personally, I find it worthwhile to follow a few lefties on Twitter, like Matt Yglesias, Chris Hayes, Josh Barro.

    When they cover a topic that doesn’t touch on the sacred taboos — such as antitrust policy, wage stagnation, or free trade — sometimes they have good ideas. And occasionally — as in critiquing the “environmentalist” NIMBY building restrictions in low-density elite California enclaves — they even start to echo Steve. A little bit.

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  42. Jack D says:
    @Dr. X
    It's a very eloquent and insightful essay. But prescient? This is nothing new. What Wilcox describes is as old as the Trial of Socrates and the execution of Jesus.

    This is simply (flawed) human nature. This is what people do in every society and every age.

    The witch trial, the dictator, etc. exploit certain flaws or bugs in human software. The problem is that our OS is at least 10,000 years old and is set up for much smaller networks – large family bands or maybe tribes with a couple of hundred users, maximum. If you try to scale this OS up to networks with thousands or millions of nodes, it doesn’t scale up properly – algorithms that work well on a small scale and where everyone is assumed to be a trusted user return highly flawed results when you increase the n greatly. And we have no way to update our software at the lowest level. We can skin the user interface, but underneath we still have tons of legacy code running – some of it goes back to the lizard days.

    Read More
    • Replies: @ia
    Well, you could say envy is still envy and pride, or hubris, will still bring nemesis. Actaeon torn to pieces by defiling the innocence of Artemis and nature can still apply. Read some Ovid.
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  43. Jack D says:
    @HBD Guy
    Hi Steve: How about a blog post on teen suicide? Male teen suicide rate ix 3.5 TIMES female's yet even when the media covers it, the focus is on females:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/suicide-rates-teen-girls_us_59848b64e4b0cb15b1be13f4

    I don’t know how this plays out in teens, but in general the rate of ATTEMPTED suicide is much higher in women while the rate of “successful” suicide is much higher in men despite far fewer attempts. Men are much more effective at killing themselves just as they are more effective at getting other stuff done, especially stuff involving solo effort. So a typical female “suicide attempt” is taking 3 Tylenol or scratching the skin of their wrist with a razor and going to the emergency room – more in the nature of a “cry for help”. While the male jumps off a bridge or shoots himself in the head. So who’s the smarter one?

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  44. @Ali Choudhury
    HL Mencken as always, wrote the definitive piece on this:

    http://www.kevinislaughter.com/2010/hl-mencken-on-the-crowd/

    What happens when a crowd cuts loose is not quite what Le Bon and his followers describe. The few superior men in it are not straightway reduced to the level of the underlying stoneheads. On the contrary, they usually keep their heads, and often make efforts to combat the crowd action. But the stoneheads are too many for them; the fence is torn down or the blackamoor is lynched. And why? Not because the stoneheads, normally virtuous, are suddenly criminally insane. Nay, but because they are suddenly conscious of the power lying in their numbers— because they suddenly realize that their natural viciousness and insanity may be safely permitted to function.
     

    Nay, but because they are suddenly conscious of the power lying in their numbers

    Social media delivers the numbers piece, but not the power naturally assumed to follow (as it would in an actual, physical mob). The result is a lot of people overestimating their (relative) power resulting in the usual arrogant ignorance one sees in abundance.

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  45. Old Jew says:
    @Anon
    Jordan Peterson to post youtube talk with ex googler soon.

    Indeed Mr. Sailer,

    Stefan Molyneaux likes too much to hear himself.
    Too little of James Damore’s words.
    Peterson gave Mr. Damore a much larger slice of air-time.

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  46. MBlanc46 says:
    @Boethiuss
    This is where the Sailerite/Leninist who?/whom? ought to be coming to play.

    We've got our guy in the Big Job, why can't he be putting some ritual defamation on some of these idiots.

    Maybe he’s not do much our guy.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Boethiuss
    Maybe he's not. Or maybe he's A Guy, but not The Guy.
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  47. @Yak-15
    You don't need to specifically seek out the alternate to our viewpoints - they are the dominant narrative inherent in most common media offerings.

    To listen, read or watch one of these outlets is to understand the intellectual heft of the po-mo progressive arguments - which are often devoid of deep, complex reasoning because they must appeal to the masses.

    If alt-right thinking, or HBD, or neo-nationalism, etc is to be successful, it must be simplified into digestible bits that even those of the humblest of intellects can understand. Sending out a manifesto with "big-words" and replete with hyperlinks to obscure studies is not going to break the neo-moralist revivalists and their mora authority. But it's a start.

    Someone in an earlier thread mentioned that this is a 95 Theses moment reverberating through time. That missive also took down the aggressive moral narrative of its era. Remember, the most disastrous wars in European history followed.

    Are you prepared for similar consequences? Are any others here?

    It was me.

    Perhaps the question you should be asking is: Are you ready to bind yourself in intellectual submission to people who think they deserve to hold your leash as long as you can enjoy stupid entertainment or are you willing to fight for your freedom to hold an opinion?

    Scary, I know. Many on here think the highest form of allowable dissent is edge posting on niche blogs.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Yak-15
    I doubt many would actually submit themselves to Damore's fate. But if enough stand up, it may change things.
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  48. Lurker says:
    @Harry Baldwin
    Right-wingers (or left-wingers), for example, talk only with one another, read material that reflects their own views, and can be almost phobic about the “propaganda” of the “other side.” The result is a deterioration of reality-testing, rationality, and moral judgment.

    I must be an extremist because I've totally stopped listening to non-rightwing media. It all sounds like unhinged left-wing propaganda, beyond anything people were subjected to in the old USSR. I don't find anything in it that causes me to reconsider my own views or that presents facts that challenge my assumptions. It reflects the Bizarro world take on reality.

    Agree. We’re constantly bombarded with poz, even if it’s only a matter of listening to the radio for ten minutes driving. I hardly need to seek out left-wing media to maintain a sense of balance. Left-wing viewpoints are the media sea we all swim in already, I don’t think I’m being blinkered by sticking my head above the waves for a bit of oxygen.

    And it’s not as if there are deeper arguments that I’m missing out on, the shrill SJW demands are the same however many layers down you go – unless you want to uncover the anti-civilisational, anti-white agenda below that.

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  49. res says:
    @benjaminl
    I believe that concept was recently popularized by Slatestarcodex here:

    http://slatestarcodex.com/2014/07/07/social-justice-and-words-words-words/


    Which, by the way, for a not totally pseudonymous, left-leaning sophisticated polyamorous irreligious Jewish Berkeley-trained psychiatrist with a largely Silicon Valley-type readership, that guy shows a very admirable willingness to charge right into areas of major Thoughtcrime in ways that force his readers to grapple with the unthinkable. Last month:

    http://slatestarcodex.com/2017/06/21/against-murderism/

    And this week:

    https://slatestarcodex.com/2017/08/07/contra-grant-on-exaggerated-differences/

    I think that SSC article was where I learned about motte and bailey. I agree with your comments. Though he gets some pushback from the left Scott does a good job of walking a difficult line between thoughtcrime and goodthink. For those here who want an overview of Scott’s work I would recommend this tag: https://slatestarcodex.com/tag/things-i-will-regret-writing/
    Note that all three of the articles you reference bear that tag ; )

    It can also be fun to search for iSteve comments on SSC posts.

    Read More
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  50. ia says:
    @Jack D
    The witch trial, the dictator, etc. exploit certain flaws or bugs in human software. The problem is that our OS is at least 10,000 years old and is set up for much smaller networks - large family bands or maybe tribes with a couple of hundred users, maximum. If you try to scale this OS up to networks with thousands or millions of nodes, it doesn't scale up properly - algorithms that work well on a small scale and where everyone is assumed to be a trusted user return highly flawed results when you increase the n greatly. And we have no way to update our software at the lowest level. We can skin the user interface, but underneath we still have tons of legacy code running - some of it goes back to the lizard days.

    Well, you could say envy is still envy and pride, or hubris, will still bring nemesis. Actaeon torn to pieces by defiling the innocence of Artemis and nature can still apply. Read some Ovid.

    Read More
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  51. Boethiuss says:
    @MBlanc46
    Maybe he's not do much our guy.

    Maybe he’s not. Or maybe he’s A Guy, but not The Guy.

    Read More
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  52. epebble says:

    Just saw this on local TV:

    Lynch elementary schools will lose the ‘Lynch’ due to racial implications

    The national movement to change racially offensive names of buildings, sports teams and landmarks will soon touch a group of schools in southeast Portland. Lynch Meadows, Lynch Wood and Lynch View elementary schools will shed their “Lynch” before the upcoming school year in response to growing concern about the word’s racial connotations.

    The schools, part of the Centennial School District, were named for the Lynch family, which donated land over a century ago to build the first of the schools. But Centennial Superintendent Paul Coakley says many newer families coming into the district associate the name with America’s violent racial history……

    http://www.oregonlive.com/education/index.ssf/2017/07/lynch_elementary_schools_will.html

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  53. Yak-15 says:
    @Jack Hanson
    It was me.

    Perhaps the question you should be asking is: Are you ready to bind yourself in intellectual submission to people who think they deserve to hold your leash as long as you can enjoy stupid entertainment or are you willing to fight for your freedom to hold an opinion?

    Scary, I know. Many on here think the highest form of allowable dissent is edge posting on niche blogs.

    I doubt many would actually submit themselves to Damore’s fate. But if enough stand up, it may change things.

    Read More
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  54. JackOH says:
    @KM32
    What is the most effective tactic against this?

    KM, no one’s tried to answer this yet? It’s an excellent question.

    I don’t have time for a more thoughtful reply, but here goes. Make sure your heart and head are in the right place. Are you going to disrupt stuff because it’s the right thing to do, or are you motivated by revenge? Do a gut check. Try to figure out when you’ll back down. Do your homework. Are you sure you have enough information to say something is seriously wrong? Give yourself a break by giving the other guy a break. In other words, be temperate about pressing your points to an audience that may not be ready for you yet. Conserve your psychic energy.

    Defamation? Sure, you’ll get smeared. It’s a tool of the strong and hypocritical against the weak. Allegations of sexual misconduct, financial misconduct, and booze and drugs are top faves. You may be propositioned by hookers and queers beholden to corrupt policemen. You may be tailed, your public records exposed, and more. Good news is that the defaming party (ies) run the risk of you exposing them, which may bolster whatever case you’re making. Trust me, it’s a good feeling to see important people who’ve been working against you getting a nice black eye.

    Identify potential allies among local elites. Plot an exit strategy that will save your self-esteem, and might give you some points for having made an effort to make America a little better.

    Good luck.

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  55. oops says:

    is there a certain group thats usually behind this “ritual defamation”?

    like the same group that controls your media?

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