There was another Super Ma’am freak-out this week, and this time from a black trans woman mocking a “no neck bitch” after she was called “sir” in a place of business. As many who follow me know, I spend a fair bit of my time attempting to refute the common anti-trans stereotypes that are so often thrown around, and it’s frustrating to see “my own people” willfully playing into those stereotypes instead of challenging them.
We do a great disservice to children by not teaching them the proper place of emotions, as they can be used for good or destruction. The power of raw emotion, and the critical importance of tempering them, is something that I discuss frequently, and will always discuss when the opportunity rises. An emotion can be either a fire that burns or a piece of steel to be forged. Isolating that emotion to a concrete building and letting it burn itself out is certainly a valid choice, but it isn’t my preferred one–instead, use the anvil of reason and the hammer of creativity to turn the lump of steel into a sword. Don’t let it be a fire that engulfs you; use it to create, like the song above, “Your Fall From Grace,” which I wrote while in the throes of anger–and it shows, being the most angry song I’ve ever composed.
But more to the point, we need to discuss perceptions, word choice, and human interactions, because the “Learn your pronouns!” stuff has to stop.
Anyone with even a passing interest in psychology or economics (the study of human action) will realize very quickly that words like “he” and “she” are selected by the user automatically, with little or no cognition put into them at the time of usage. From very, very early ages, we are taught when to use “he” and when to use “she,” just as we are taught when to say “please” and when to say “thank you.” No one has to put any thought into it to determine whether to say “please” or “thanks” when the occasion comes up; it happens automatically and without deliberate selection. When making a request, one says “please.” When receiving something, one says “thanks.”
The power of the human brain is that it’s capable of shifting much of our interactions into auto-pilot like this. We don’t have to think about whether to say “hello” or “goodbye” when we run into someone, which frees our brain to think about other things (while it also controls our breathing, movement, heartbeat, and other necessary functions). Just ponder for a moment how exhausting it would actually be, when faced with any person, to have to dedicate any amount of thought to whether you’re supposed to say “hello” or “goodbye.” This is a useful feature, and one would hope that everyone would be aware of it, but this doesn’t seem to be the case.
Whether to say “sir” or “ma’am,” or to refer to someone as “he” or “she” is similarly automatic. When we ask someone to call us a different pronoun, we are asking them to dedicate part of their conscious thought to casual conversation–we are asking them to do work. We are asking them to throw a wrench into an automatic process in the course of a conversation and to instead deliberately ponder whether to say “hello” or “goodbye.” This is not an easy task, even for the most “woke” person out there, and we should never be upset when someone slips back into auto-pilot in conversation. Neither should we be upset when someone does it intentionally, of course–at least, we shouldn’t simply allow that emotion to burn uncontrolled in the forest of our life.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it many more times: I get called “sir” every single night at work, most commonly over the phone. Sometimes, though, people do it in person. As accepting as my co-workers are, and as visible as they are putting aforementioned deliberate effort into calling me “she,” the truth is that if I got bent out of shape and went on a wild, emotional tirade every time this happened, I wouldn’t still have a job. No one wants to work with someone so unpredictable, unhinged, and uncontrolled, nevermind that it would also mean that I regularly lashed out, chastised, and drove away paying customers. I work as a female and live as a female, and my coworkers are among the most accepting people I’ve ever met (realistically, probably more accepting than I am), but a lot of this acceptance is due to the fact that I’m not an insufferable cunt.
That’s what this is really about, of course. While “he” and “she” are programmed into us at very early ages and are selected automatically and unconsciously, this doesn’t change the fact that the other person’s perceptions of me are what their brain uses to determine which to use. Rather than forcing that person to put in the work to consciously choose which pronoun to use, if I am the one who wants to change their speech, then the onus falls onto me to alter their perception of me. If their brain determines I am more masculine than feminine, they will say “he.” If their brain determines that I am more feminine than masculine, then they will say “she.” Why does this need to be pointed out to any adult?
I am not entitled to make them think about me a certain way, or to make them use certain words when referring to me. This is true in general, but it must be recognized in particular with those people who intentionally use the non-preferred pronoun.
An ordinary occurrence, to be honest. Also of note: there is no chance I’m going to be kicked from LRN.
But, as mentioned previously, why would I give “Pussy ass leftist” the power to make me upset? This would require that I care about his opinion, and I don’t have the energy to care about the opinions of random dipshits. Who does? There are a few people who could genuinely hurt me by intentionally misgendering me, and they’re the people least likely to do so. They may still slip occasionally, but if they can make the effort to call me “she,” then I think it’s only fair that I make the effort to adjust their perception of me, and to overlook any accidents. It’s generally called “being an adult.”
I firmly believe that the greatest threat facing western society today is that we have stopped teaching people how to temper their emotions, or the value of doing so. What else can I think when congressional officials talk of being “morally right, but factually incorrect?” What else can I think when a person sees a photograph of coal miners, acknowledges they are coal miners, and then writes a lengthy article about how upset they are about the “blackface,” despite acknowledging that it isn’t blackface? What else can I think when, following the election of Donald Trump in 2016 on largely jingoist slogans and emotional appeals, there was an onslaught of people recording videos of themselves crying and flipping out, and sharing them for all the world to see? This is the Era of Unbridled Emotion, and that’s dangerous, because emotion has not ever been a valid pathway to truth. Feeling something is true won’t make it true. Emotion doesn’t keep the jet in the sky, or the automobile moving.
“The road to hell is paved with good intentions,” they say, and we similarly see this playing out in New York following its Minimum Wage increase, with restaurant owners forced to raise prices, and customers shocked at how much more expensive it has become to eat out. The result was both predicted and expected: fewer people eat out, so some of the wait staff is fired. After all, the Minimum Wage is a direct price floor on the cost of labor, and price floors always create surpluses; a surplus of labor is called “unemployment.” When you raise that price floor, you simply get… more unemployment. This is basic economics, but many adults today simply don’t want to hear it, and instead truly believe that their feelings on the matter, that “everyone deserves a ‘living wage,'” will somehow make all this work out.
An emotion is nothing more than an internal reaction to external stimuli. It is our own proclivity and inclination that determines our reaction to the external stimuli, and even if we can’t actually change how we feel, we can and absolutely should limit the scope of those feelings in our behavior and beliefs. It isn’t easy, but I don’t know why anyone thinks that it should be. It’s supposed to be more difficult to resist animalistic impulses and overcome them. But it isn’t just for “the good of society” that we need to relearn this art; it’s far more important than that, because…
Controlling one’s animalistic tendencies is what it means to be human.
There are two main sides within the Libertarian Party these days. One side believes the party exists to win elections, and the other side insists that the party exists to spread the principles of liberty. We can definitively settle the matter right now by taking a look over at the Libertarian Party’s official website and checking out its official platform, wherein it states:
Our goal is nothing more nor less than a world set free in our lifetime, and it is to this end that we take these stands.
It’s pretty explicit and hard to misinterpret. So if you happen to fall in the “the party exists to win elections” camp, then I’m going to have to ask you to free your mind for a moment, because you’re wrong. The party exists to set the world free in our lifetime; winning elections is one of many ways of achieving that goal. The goal is “to create liberty,” basically, to keep things short. The method–that is, how we get from here to “a world set free”–is not explicitly defined, except in the platform that follows, but that’s more or less just a list of ways that we aren’t free. There is nowhere in the platform any suggestion that we must or, heaven forbid, should go through the state in order to achieve liberty.
That is by design.
It is entirely possible that we may one day set the world free by doing nothing more than spreading the word and making people aware of the reality of the state, and that one day we might have the numbers to simply shake off the fleas and be done with them, without ever electing someone to a political office. That so many people assume that we must go through the state simply shows how trapped in the statist mindset they are. Not only have there been countless sweeping changes throughout human history that did not go through the state, but the best changes have always not gone through the state, and have always been spontaneous creations of individuals acting in liberty, not because of a mandate.
Anarchists Versus Minarchists/Classical Liberals/Statists/Big Ls
This is closest to being honest I’ve had one of the Big L Libertarians get. I’m sure many people reading will instinctively agree with what Tristan said. However, read what Tristan said. “This is our party, and we’re going to do what we want. If you don’t like it, leave.”
It’s been my contention for some time now that when Big L Libertarians talk about “compromise” they don’t mean “with anarchists,” and they actually mean “with Republicans and Democrats.” They love talking about compromise, but when it actually comes down to it, they’re typically intransigent and seem to think that “compromise” means that they get whatever they want, and dissenters get to go along with it or stfu. Compromise is a two-way street, and it means that one side gives up something to secure something that would be tolerable, while the other side gives up something to secure something that would be tolerable. If the nominations of Gary Johnson and William Weld, of all people, didn’t prove beyond any doubt that Big L Libertarians have absolutely no desire to make any concessions–when so many superior Vice Presidential candidates were available, like Will Coley–then I’m not sure what will.
I think that’s the part that Big L Libertarians don’t get: compromise means that they have to make concessions, too. The anarchist-preferred candidate of 2016 was undoubtedly Daryl Perry. Compromising on John McAfee would have been excellent middleground between Big L Libertarians and Daryl Perry. However, they had no reason to compromise, did they? No, because they outnumbered us and have always outnumbered us. We were willing to compromise with having Daryl Perry as a libertarian (not anarchist) candidate. And “we” (I say “we” meaning “me,” but surely most anarchists would have happily agreed) were more than willing to compromise with having John McAfee as something more like a minarchist (whether McAfee is a minarchist or anarchist, I don’t know, but he is certainly easier to sell in the mainstream, simply by weight of his name). And, of course, we had already compromised by playing at all in the system that we want to destroy.
We are, and remain, willing to compromise… with minarchists.
I gladly admit that I have no desire to compromise with Republicans and Democrats. I do not compromise with people who are so blatantly wrong and whose modus operandi is force, violence, and coercion. I will not compromise my freedom to people who see nothing wrong with outlawing abortion, or to people who want to steal from me to pay for other people’s stuff. Not only am I unwilling to compromise with the people who devastated the Middle East and the people who are gleefully beating the Drums of War with Russia, but if you are willing to compromise with such people, then that throws your judgment immediately into doubt, as far as I’m concerned.
If Big L Libertarians want to compromise with Republicans and Democrats, there’s not much we anarchists can do about it, because we are outnumbered–we seem to comprise about 15-20% of the party. Obviously, they are perfectly free to compromise with whoever they want… Or are they? Does compromising with a tyrant or a sycophant not stain one’s hands? Isn’t this a bit like compromising with Charles Manson–“Okay, Charles, we’re going to compromise. You can’t kill anyone, but, I tell you what, we’ll let you torture one person every six months, as long as you don’t kill them. Deal?” How clean would one’s hands really be in such a compromise? And aren’t we all aware that the state is infinitely more horrific than Charles Manson?
Regardless, the issue is that Big L Libertarians act and speak as though what they want is to compromise with the anarchists who actually belong in the Libertarian Party. This is part of the leadership crisis that we face, but we’ve also got a major problem with collectivist thinking having infected the party. They regularly talk about how they wish that the in-fighting in the party would end, and I have to agree, but I dispute their understanding of the in-fighting. The rift is between anarchists and minarchists, or radicals and moderates, however one would like to put it, and exists because the minarchists/moderates have convinced themselves that the Libertarian Party belongs to them and that, at best, anarchists are the red-headed stepchild.
It is not and has never been a minarchist party–nor is it an anarchist party. It is, however, every bit as much an anarchist party as it is a minarchist party, and as it is a classical liberal party. Larry Sharpe came under fire recently (does the drama never end???) for making a video that people interpreted as his saying that he didn’t want anarchists in the party. Even though that isn’t what he said or meant, the whole thing still dances around the issue without actually stepping foot on it: it’s not Larry Sharpe’s party. It’s not minarchists’ party. It’s not their party to say they do or don’t want us in it.
This is my house that I’m writing this from. It belongs to me. If I don’t want you in it, that matters. But if I’m in Bob’s house and I don’t want you in it, that doesn’t matter, because it’s not my house. The very idea that Larry Sharpe or anyone else is in any position to want or not want anarchists in the party is patently absurd–this house belongs every bit as much to the anarchists as it does anyone else. It’s not Larry Sharpe’s house for him to proclaim who he doesn’t want inside, and neither is it any other minarchist’s or anarchist’s.
And the entire root of this rift is that the Big L Libertarians (of whatever variety) do think that it’s their house, and that we’re simply guests whom they allow to sleep on the couch. That… is… wrong. It is factually and historically wrong. Minarchists simply told themselves and convinced themselves that it was their party, and then they began marginalizing the anarchists. However, proclaiming something to be true does not make it true.
The Libertarian Party of the United States was founded in 1971–some of its founders are still around, and you can find them on Facebook and discuss it yourself with them (assuming they are willing). Merely three years later, the Dallas Accord was struck between the anarchists and the larger minarchist faction, wherein the two sides agreed that the question of whether a state was desirable would be intentionally avoided until such time as a libertarian society had been achieved; it was the agreement that the Libertarian Party was neither a minarchist nor an anarchist party, and this was only three years after the party was formed.
In 2006, the minarchists took control and became hostile to the anarchists, deleting most of the party platform and replacing it with things like “Government exists to protect rights…” This doesn’t make it right, and it’s an outright betrayal of the anarchist faction. It caused a mass exodus of anarchists from the party that had betrayed them so brazenly, and was dubbed the Portland Massacre. Now we have a party platform that says that a state-owned military is necessary! It was an obvious stab in the back to the anarchists, and in the years since the minarchists have not only betrayed anarchists further but have betrayed themselves and leaped right into classical liberalism and something very much like Constitutionalism.
I dread to think what the Libertarian Party would become if there weren’t still anarchists out here trying to stick it out and keep the party tethered to its principles, because it has betrayed so very many people, factions, and ideas. Now we have language that says the state should use immigration laws to “protect” us, which not only is patently un-libertarian, but it’s not even classically liberal–it’s full-blown statist, as even the Constitution didn’t grant the Federal Government the power to control immigration. In its desperation for mass approval and Quixotic quest for electability, is there any principle that the Big L Libertarians won’t betray?
Politics & Elections
As stated clearly, the party exists to cause liberty to happen. It is certainly conceivable–although I find the idea incredulous for reasons I’ll detail in a moment–that winning elections could be a valid method of achieving that goal. However, it is foolish, absurd, and narrow-minded to act like it’s the only possible way of achieving that goal, or even acting like it’s the best method of doing so. Given the results so far (widespread betrayal of anarchists and libertarian principles, schisms in the party, some Big L Libertarians even calling people like me enemies…), I’d argue that it’s not even an acceptable way of achieving that goal, even if it is possible in theory.
There seems to be this idea that we can pull a Bait & Switch on the electorate, and that we can run a “moderate Libertarian” who gets into office and enacts actual libertarian policies. This is called “deceit,” and it is generally frowned upon. It is false advertising, and it is considered to be deceptive–because it is deceptive. It’s like marrying a woman not because you love her (as she thinks you do), but because she’s a millionaire with no kids and no one to leave all her money to when she dies. It’s a clear case of false pretenses–everything about it is immoral, and that’s before we get into whether or not it would actually work.
Hint: it wouldn’t.
It is strangely denialistic to think that if you can convince Bob to legalize marijuana, then you’ll have an easier time convincing him to legalize all drugs. If there was any truth whatsoever to that, then the repeal of Prohibition in the 1920s would have prevented any further substances from being outlawed in the first place, because, in American history, Bob was convinced that outlawing alcohol was more trouble than it was worth, didn’t actually eliminate alcohol, created a black market, created gangs, and was a gross violation of people’s liberties. That didn’t stop Bob from turning around and making marijuana illegal barely a decade later, or from adding methamphetamine, heroin, and countless other substances to the list of banned narcotics.
Libertarian: “Bob, Prohibition isn’t working. We need to repeal it and just let people be free. This has done nothing but caused death and misery.”
Libertarian: “Great! Let’s repeal prohibition of heroin, too! And cocaine! And crystal meth!”
Bob: “Hey, you’re right!”
… That’s so obviously not what would happen. Bob would reply, “Are you out of your mind? Marijuana is one thing, but heroin? No way! That’s something else entirely!”
That’s the flaw with the incrementalist/moderate approach. Just because you can get me to drive five miles doesn’t mean you can get me to drive five hundred miles. It’s absurdly unrealistic, and I find it hard to believe that anyone actually thinks such an approach will have any success. Legalizing marijuana won’t end the drug war; it won’t shift Bob’s position on the Drug War even the tiniest bit. I can already point to at least a hundred people I know who want to see marijuana legalized but who would recoil in shock and incredulity if I suggested to them that we should also legalize heroin.
Phase 1: Legalize weed!
Phase 2: ????
Phase 3: The drug war is over!
Phase 2 is “something magical happens.”
The “legalize marijuana” versus “end the drug war” thing is such a wonderful parallel to the radical/moderate divide, because this is true in nearly every sense. I’ve convinced plenty of people that a business owner has the unalienable right to choose the people with whom they associate, and that they therefore don’t have to serve LGBTQ people if they don’t want to. It’s not too difficult to convince people of this. But the next thing out of their mouth is always, “But what if they’re racist and don’t want to serve black people? We can’t allow them to do that!”
It’s insane. It’s either a huge misunderstanding of reality or a purposeful self-delusion about human nature. Though I’ve convinced at least twenty people that discrimination of LGBTQ people by business owners is an unalienable right, I have never convinced anyone that discrimination of black people by business owners is an unalienable right. According to the incrementalist approach, once I convince them that discrimination against LGBTQ people is a right, they should be receptive to the “more extreme” form, yes?
Except they’re not, and they never are.
A World Set Free
It should come as no surprise that the Big L Libertarian faction (which doesn’t include every libertarian, minarchist, or classical liberal) seems incapable of grasping the idea that there might be some other ways to set the world free than by going through the established political system. For anarchists, the established political system is optional–however, we do not deny that it is an option. In contrast, the Big L Libertarian faction denies that there are any other options: they know only the state, and so they only know to go through the state. But that’s where libertarianism starts to contradict itself in the first place, because anyone who follows the ideas to their logical conclusions will end up as an anarchist, since aggression is the only way that the state can do anything while still being a state.
It’s just another example of how anarchist ideology isn’t even being considered by the larger faction, and, if they’re not even considering it, they can’t possibly be able to compromise with it. It’s like that Jody guy who blocked me when he claimed to be an anarchist immediately after saying that the state should exist to protect liberty. If you’re unwilling to even learn what anarchists think, then how can you compromise with them? If you’re trying to sell something to a person, don’t you kinda have to know what they’re offering to pay? But, of course, they’re not willing to compromise–as we’ve established–and they aren’t willing to even consider anarchists enough to learn what we have to say. If they were, then they would already know that going through the existing state is most certainly not the “only” way to set the world free (and, if one follows the ideas to their conclusions, it’s actually impossible to use the state to set the world free because the state is literally what you’re trying to set the world free of).
To compromise with someone, you must first know what they want and what they believe. Judging from my person experiences, the Big L Libertarians (which, again, isn’t inclusive of every minarchist, libertarian, and classical liberal) have no idea what anarchists want or believe. Jody’s silliness was the most flagrant, but it was hardly unique.
These Big L Libertarians seem to operate solely on their belief and their idea of what they want the Libertarian Party to be, making whatever assumptions they like, and from there they seem wholly resistant to facts. This Travis person has the idea in their head of what the Libertarian Party is (and, it’s worth mentioning, that their understanding of the Libertarian Party just coincidentally is exactly what they want it to be), and nothing will shake that delusion.
To say that the Libertarian Party exists to win elections is to say that anarchists aren’t welcome in the party, because we imagine different ways of achieving the Libertarian Party’s goal (which, one will read, is to set the world free, not “to win elections, duh!”). Having our methods spit upon and waved away even as we’re willing to go along with their methods, as long as they agree to the standards that we laid down in 1974 to solve exactly this problem… We’re using our preferred method, but we’re also willing to help you and use your preferred method to get libertarians elected to office. Our method and your method are only at odds because you set them to be by saying our method is meaningless, that yours is the only method that matters–by usurping the entire party and proclaiming it to be nothing more than a vehicle for your chosen method!–and that we’re not even welcome in the party if we don’t cease our method, shut up, and meekly go along with you.
This is our party, too.
And that’s why the goal of the party is to set the world free, not to win elections. Like the liberals I’ve talked about before who associate their emotion with their preferred method, it has trapped you and left you unable to even fathom that there might be some other way of achieving that goal. After all, the liberal takes “There shouldn’t be anyone starving in America!” and links that directly to “We need to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour!” It’s the basest and most confused of human behaviors to link a given goal inextricably to one’s preferred method of achieving that goal, and then dogmatically sticking to that method regardless of whether it works (like how liberals continue to demand increases to the Minimum Wage, despite the unemployment that it has caused).
Our method is 100% as valid as yours, and the Libertarian Party is 100% as valid as a vehicle of our method as it is a vehicle of your method.
There sometimes comes a time when the voices of internet activists are so loud that they begin to effect an actual change in the real world. There sometimes comes a time when enough people shouting, “We aren’t happy!” prompts other people to ask, “So what do you want us to do about it?”
It’s true that my activism takes place primarily on the Internet. There are a few reasons for this, but it’s mostly a matter of timing, and I’ve been working through the last six months to transition that activism into the real world. Even so, I don’t think that internet activism is automatically slacktivism, because I can point to at least five people whose ties to libertarian thought originated with my Facebook posts. Five, of course, is a drop in the bucket, but I would consider the time spent writing to be well used if I’d introduced even one person to libertarian philosophy.
Something I’ve written about before is continuing to happen, though, and Arvin Vohra gives is a clear case of it within the Libertarian Party. I’ve frequently said that Black Lives Matter enjoyed the national spotlight for nearly two years and yet didn’t accomplish a single thing except to make people aware that they weren’t happy. No policies were changed, and no police were found guilty. You’d be forgiven for thinking that we hadn’t just seen interstates throughout the nation shut down by protests. It’s a curious thing that protesters could command that level of attention and organization, yet accomplish absolutely nothing.
The activist has goals, and usually has at least some idea of how to get from where we are to that destination. The slacktivist has no goals, and instead has only emotions. “Everyone should be treated equally!” isn’t a goal, after all–it’s an emotional statement that could lead one to formulate a goal. “The military should be dismantled entirely” is a goal, albeit one that is hard to sell to the masses. It’s an actual action with an actual outcome, not a loose guide.
Considering Arvin Vohra, the emotional statement is “You shouldn’t say negative things about this group!” while a concrete action would be “Arvin should be removed from office!”
At a glance, I’d say that the difference between activism and slacktivism is that the slacktivist wants to tell other people what to do, while the activist wants to do things that have a desired outcome. The slacktivist proposes mandates of other people’s actions, knowing that they can’t be enforced, while the activist cares little about what other people are doing because the activist is working personally for the change they want to see. The slacktivist says, “You do this.” The activist says, “I’m going to do this.”
The goal of the slacktivist is nothing better than ensuring that everyone knows how unhappy they are; the activist doesn’t really have time to wax at length about their emotional reactions to various stimuli. In Buddhist terms, the slacktivist says, “I am suffering,” while the activist says, “There is suffering.”
Everyone has goals, though–even the slacktivist. However, the slacktivist just wants everyone to know that they aren’t happy. Slacktivism obviously isn’t limited to the internet, but the internet has made it much easier for Random Joe to spread his discontent, so it’s going to be more common on the Internet. How many pointless, ineffectual petitions are there on Change.Org? Tens of thousands? That’s slacktivism in a nutshell.
Why, there’s even a petition there to remove Arvin.
When the slacktivist sets out, their goal is to make sure other people know they are unhappy, and their method is to tell everyone that they aren’t happy. They want nothing beyond that, and if their voices become so loud that it seems they could actually achieve something beyond that, they’ll strangely back off. The child doesn’t want the parent to do anything except acknowledge that the child is throwing a tantrum.
It came as no surprise to me, to see a motion put forward to remove Arvin, and to immediately have the masses of people calling for his head to say, “Oh, hold on, let’s not be hasty here!” The same thing happened with Comey just a few weeks ago–mere months ago, liberals were calling for his head, but as soon as something real happened, they flipped entirely to the other side.
It reminds me of when I ran for class President my senior year, and proceeded to Ralph Nader the crap out of it. I didn’t want to win, and it’s a tremendously good thing that I didn’t. But, strangely, that didn’t stop me from running and campaigning. I didn’t win, but I split the white vote (in a school that had a very slight white majority, and it’s a matter of record that most people voted along racial lines–yes, even the black kids) enough that the black girl who had run and lost each year actually won the election. All that said, I didn’t want to win, and I didn’t even really want to spoil the vote. But that didn’t stop me. I guess I just wanted to see if I could. I don’t know. I was an idiot high schooler who dropped out a month later.
The platitudologists among us would probably say that the slacktivists truly want to accomplish things, but they are more paralyzed by a fear of success than anything else, and that could work as an explanation of this strange behavior, but I don’t think that “fear” is the right word. They’re not afraid of success; they’re just not aiming for the goal that most people assume, and that they even express to be their goal.
They say they want Arvin removed, and I know of many people who said that, right up until a motion was made. The removal of Arvin Vohra was not their goal; however, the threat of removing Arvin Vohra was among their methods for achieving their goal. They just wanted everyone to know they weren’t happy, to give them attention and acknowledge their discontent, and to at least pretend to give a shit what they feel. Toward that end, they did two things: they bitched, and they made what they thought were mostly empty threats. Like if I said I was going to nuke Washington D.C. (Hello, NSA/CIA!) if Trump didn’t step down, that would be an idle threat that no one would take seriously. But what if some rabble-rouser who shared my sentiments agreed and sent me a nuke?
Uh-oh. I’d suddenly be in a pretty awkward position (not to mention–in Gitmo) of having to find some kind of way to avoid admitting that I was totally full of shit. To that end, I’d backpedal from my previous hard-line stance, and would probably say, “You’ve gotta give Trump a chance to comply…”
Just like people backpedaled on Vohra and, now that they metaphorically have nukes, are suggesting that he must first be given a chance.
“Full of shit” indeed.
They didn’t want to remove Arvin. They just wanted to threaten to, as a way of forcing people to take their incessant whining seriously. Without that threat, they have nothing, and can easily be dismissed. “I’m not happy!” by itself is a lulz-worthy whine. “I’m not happy! Fix it or I’m gonna…” can be a potentially serious threat.
I say we should call them on their bluff, and call them on their bullshit.
While there are obvious similarities between the Universal Basic Income and the Minimum Wage, there is also a difference that causes the former to be immeasurably more stupid than the latter. The MW, of course, is a legal guarantee that one’s labor will have a certain value; the UBI is the guarantee that one’s existence will have a certain value.
It’s absurd, stupid, and another example of how our confused species has enjoyed luxury so great that we’ve forgotten we live in a universe where it’s an organism’s responsibility to secure its own survival.
I voluntarily provide my cats with a UBI. I’m not kidding, and anyone who thinks I’m kidding has missed the point. Nothing is required of them, and each day they’re provided with food, water, air conditioning, medical care, and a roof over their heads. This is precisely what the UBI is meant to assure people.
While I’ve undertaken this as my responsibility, the fact remains that they are subsisting entirely off my productivity. My labor acquires food, and so they don’t have to expend their own labor hunting mice in the surrounding fields. That I refill their water bowl means they don’t have to chase down water sources. Whatever else is true, it costs me to do these things, and it requires no more effort from them than to get their fat asses to the food bowl.
Even so, I don’t owe this to anyone. There are millions of cats to whom I give nothing, simply for practicality’s sake: if I spent all my time chasing down stray cats to take care of, I’d have no time to secure the money I use to buy the stuff they need. And though it really doesn’t take long for me to buy a can of cat food, it remains true that someone has to put in the effort to get my cats something to eat. It’s easier for me to work a few minutes and buy what they need than it is for them to go out and find dinner, water, and a place to stay; moreover, they are incapable of getting health care for themselves. It also remains true that food is not going to magically appear for them.
This isn’t true of humans. It’s no easier for me to go to college and establish a career than it is for anyone else to do it. The ease with which I, being a human, can acquire the stuff my cats need and want means less energy is expended when I simply take care of it. Additionally, it’s an obligation I chose to take on voluntarily, because I like them and they’re my friends.
In the grand scheme of things, I actually had a harder time securing a college degree and a career than the average person. Yet advocates of the UBI don’t care. Part of my productivity should, they argue, be siphoned off and used to secure things for other people. After all, manna doesn’t fall from the sky. My cats may not realize it, but their food bowl isn’t magical–I have to actually expend effort earning the money to buy their food. It’s not free food. It’s just free to them.
So let’s drop the bullshit for a moment and call things what they are.
It’s Socialism. It’s entitlement. It’s this notion that one is entitled to the necessities of survival, and that it’s okay to enslave other people and command them to provide one with food, water, and other things.
Bullshit. It’s backward. It’s called “slavery.”
There is no escaping this. That food, that water, that electricity, that doctor, that pharmacist… All of that stuff is other people’s labor. The doctor is a human being, not a mechanical dispensary of diagnoses. The farmers, the biochemists, the nurses, the coal miners–these people are all entitled to be paid for their labor. They must be, because the idea that it’s okay to make them work for free is unequivocally called slavery. If you can put a hundred people to work in a nightmarish coal mine and then not pay them because no one has paid you for your coal, then you don’t have a hundred employees–you have a hundred slaves, and you are simply the Enslaved Slave Master, enslaved and commanded by others to command other slaves. You’d be the ultimate Uncle Tom: the slave given a prestigious position and power over other slaves.
It can be taken a given, then, that the owner of the coal mine and the coal miners should be paid for their labors. “But it’s so useful to the function of society!” can’t be used as an argument to justify refusing to pay them, because people once said the very same thing about cotton as a justification for slavery. “Cotton is critical to the function of society and to the economy!” people claimed [which, it’s worth mentioning, if this was truly the case, then people would be willing to pay enough for it to keep the industry alive without slavery]. Perhaps doctors do provide a service to society that is so extremely useful, but it doesn’t matter–the utility of the service a person provides cannot be used as an argument for their slavery.
Someone has to put in the productivity to earn the money to pay the coal miner, the doctors, the farmers, and everyone else. Again, this is because manna doesn’t fall from the sky. We live in a universe that pretty much never stops trying to kill us. Life is born with an expiration date. That expiration date can be pushed back by eating, drinking, and taking care of oneself, but it cannot be postponed indefinitely. The only thing a living being is entitled to… is death.
It’s easy to forget this, especially in western nations, where food and water are so abundant. A newly born infant, however, is going to die in just fewer than 48 hours if someone doesn’t provide it with food and water. We could certainly justify making the argument that it’s the parents’ responsibility to provide the helpless infant with the necessities of survival, much in the same way that my choice to take in two cats came with the responsibility to ensure their well-being, but the entire reason the parents may be required to provide the food and water is because the infant will die if it doesn’t get it. By being born at all, the infant is sentenced to death, and it becomes the responsibility of the parents not to ensure survival but to postpone death until such time as the infant is old enough and capable enough to postpone their own death.
Attrition is part of the universe. We are mortal beings. Starvation, malnutrition, disease, dehydration, and countless other things are literally trying to kill us around the clock. The very moment we lapse in our responsibility to stave off these bringers of death is the very moment they overtake us. Life itself is trying to kill you right now. It’s the reason you’ll become hungry and thirsty today. It’s the reason you might catch a cold. At this very moment, life is trying to kill you, and it requires effort and energy to stave off its victory. If you do nothing–if you simply sit there and do nothing–you will die, with 100% certainty. Our efforts to eat don’t assure immortality; they postpone mortality.
Energy must be expended. Someone must use their labor to keep you alive. Ideally, that person is you. No one has to take care of me and ensure that I have food, because I’ve gone out and secured my food in the way that any healthy, sane organism has to be able to do because the very essence of life is constantly trying to kill that organism. This is true of literally everything in our universe. The passage of time ensures the destruction of everything and everyone, from planets to humans, and the best anything and anyone can do is expend energy to postpone that moment. Stars expend this energy through nuclear fusion; humans expend this energy by taking jobs. These are the most basic aspects of our reality, and they cannot be ignored with good feelings that are meant to obfuscate systemic slavery.
Effort is required simply to stave off one’s own destruction, because the universe is trying to kill everyone, and because if that energy isn’t expended, then death is imminent.
The Sword of Damocles constantly hangs over our heads. This is literally what it means to be mortal, to have a finite existence. We must strengthen the string by which the sword hangs, because the moment we fail to is the moment the sword will fall and kill us. If we choose to just lay there, then gravity and friction will take over, the twine will tear, and the sword will break free. Only by constant effort can we prevent that, and only temporarily with our very best efforts.
The universe doesn’t owe us anything, and I certainly don’t owe anyone anything. I expend my energy keeping my sword from falling. Coming up to me and demanding that I use some of my energy keeping them alive so that they don’t have to is parasitism, slavery, and statism. That’s exactly how we ended up with the state in the first place, and how it became our responsibility, as productive members of society, to provide ancient kings and lords with food so that they didn’t have to toil in the fields.
People call this UBI shit progress–it’s quite clearly not. Having a class of people who sit in their homes with another class of people bringing them food and water? We’ve been down that road before: it’s called serfdom. In feudal times, that lord had to eat, after all. Someone had to work in the field to grow the food. The lord, who didn’t want to do it, instead used force and violence to force people who did work in the fields to bring him food. To say today that we should revisit this idea is the opposite of progress. Whether it’s someone who calls themselves a lord using knights to force everyone to give a portion of what they have for the lord’s benefit, or someone who calls themselves a progressive using police and the state to force everyone to give a portion of what they have for the progressive’s benefit, it’s still just feudal serfdom, and we’ve been down that road before.
Having a larger part of the population make up the unproductive parasitic class of lords, whose defining feature is that they use force to acquire necessities from productive classes, hardly constitutes progress. It simply means that the lowly peasants who are productive must pay the lords a greater tax, because now there are more lords. Whereas feudal times saw fewer than 1% of the population being titled lords parasitically siphoning resources from the productive classes, modern UBI times would see huge sections of the population setting themselves up as lords parasitically siphoning resources from the productive classes. Instead of a member of the productive class paying 65% in taxes to sate the lord’s greed, the member of the productive class has ten times the number of lords and has to pay 95% in taxes.
Progress down the Road to Serfdom, but that kind of progress won’t take us anywhere else.
Rik Storey is an idiot who has no idea what he’s talking about, cherry-picks to support his chosen ideology, ignores evidence that conflicts with his internal ideas, and spreads this madness for other people to absorb. The only reason I know about this alt-right goon is that he’s a member of a Voluntaryist/Anarchist/Libertarian group I’m in on Facebook, and no one has seen fit to kick him from the group yet for constantly talking about his alt-right positions and why they’re not only part of libertarianism–his latest post is about “the alt-right faction of the Libertarian Party”–but are critical to libertarianism–such as his post “Why Libertarians Need Protectionism.”
This is the idiot who said that multiculturalism is bad.
I’m not going to go into a line-by-line analysis of his writing and where his reasoning breaks down. I’m going to instead talk in broad strokes, because I don’t have the patience right now to read his trite dribble again. I have read his stuff, and I have countered his stuff; he has ignored the counters and continued peddling his inanities anyway.
Anyone who thinks that the United States is at risk of losing its culture needs to turn their sights inward. America runs the world, not just politically but also culturally. Our movies are cherished, our music is highly prized, and our video games are widely praised. Video games are the only cultural area where we don’t run the full sweep, but Bethesda, Bioware, and Blizzard–interestingly, all of whom begin with a “B,” although I think Bethesda is Canadian?–clearly show that the U.S. is a major player in the video game industry, even if it is dominated by Japan. Mass Effect: Andromeda released today, and has surely already sold millions of copies. World of Warcraft, anyone? Fucking Skyrim?
The wonderful thing about mainstream culture is that it’s always representative of the wider cultural values at home. This is obvious when you think about it. No movie in the 1950s would have depicted a gay marriage scene, because gay marriage was almost universally reviled, and the movie makers wanted to make money. Putting in a gay marriage scene would have resulted in widespread protest of the movie, and they wouldn’t have made any money. Culture, of course, is a multi-faceted thing, but the point still stands: America is projecting its culture out into the rest of the world, influencing the rest of the world.
Not the other way around.
We’re not sitting at home watching Bollywood movies and being increasingly influenced by Indian cultural values. We’re not watching Chinese sitcoms and slowly being pushed away from individualist thinking and toward collectivist/clan-based thinking that is more dominant in Asian cultures. American values are a teenage girl telling her middle aged father, “No, father! I will not marry that man, because I do not love him! I don’t care if he can save the family fortune!” An Indian or Chinese film would have the teenage girl saying, “Yes, father. I will do what is best for our family.” Remember, I said we’re speaking in broad strokes.
That kind of stuff influences people. We’re constantly being influenced by movies, television, music, video games, and literature. Take “The Purge,” for example, a movie that I boycotted on the basis of promoting facetious reasoning and the assumption that legality is what keeps people from killing one another. Show people movies like that long enough, and they will come away from it having concluded that the government is what keeps people from killing one another in the streets.
It’s far beyond my abilities to explain how art becomes a catalyst of cultural change while also attempting to be safe enough to make money, but it’s an observable phenomenon. It probably has something to do with the Marilyn Mansons and GG Allins of the world who take refuge in audacity, and whose outlandish behavior breaks down many barriers, opening the door for more mainstream musicians to safely mimic some of that behavior without going quite as far. Marilyn Manson, A Perfect Circle, and Nine Inch Nails all sang about dead gods and anti-religious sentiments, and now no one bats an eye if a rock band says something anti-religion. The dam is broken.
I’ve no doubt that a culture expert can explain this, but it’s not really important to the point at hand. The point is simply that American culture is, by an enormous margin, the most influential culture in the world today. The question we must ask is: What values is American culture promoting? The recent re-release of Beauty and the Beast features a gay kiss, and a lot of conservatives are up in arms about it. This is hardly ultra-liberal, but it doesn’t have to be ultra-liberal, because that dam is already broken. There have already been gay couples in all manner of entertainment, and openly gay musicians and actors. Having a gay kiss is now a safe spot to be in.
Protectionism won’t protect your values if the culture of your society doesn’t reflect your values. You can go as far into isolationism as you would like, and it will not save your social values now. It’s too late. Your values are dying, and nothing can be done to stop that. We will never have an American society again where being gay is criminalized or hidden. We will never have an American society again where being transgender is a capital offense. We will never have an American society where women are depicted as anything less than the equals of men. The tide has changed, and whether your values go as far as these straw values or not, the fact remains that progress is a one-way street. Once people realized that those other people are other people, you can’t convince them that they’re not. Once you convince people that black people are just like white people, you can never again convince them that black people are inferior, because they already identify with them.
The values you wish to protect with your cultural protectionism are already on the chopping block, and isolationism and protectionism can’t save them. Your values are being eroded from the inside, from within America itself. It’s not outside cultural elements convincing us that gay people are ordinary people, too, and that there’s nothing wrong with being gay. That’s something we came up with all by ourselves. We weren’t propagandized by German movies into believing that transgender people are deserving of dignity. We weren’t corrupted by Chinese music into believing that black people are equal to white people. We weren’t twisted by British propaganda into believing that women are equal to men. Again and again and again, these ideas originated–at the very least, in their modern movements–in the United States. We are Ground Zero for these social changes, and we emanate them outward into the rest of the world via our entertainment, which is a reflection of our culture and the very social changes that the alt-right has a problem with.
Why do you think China is relentlessly screening what movies, music, art, and literature enters their country? Even video games have to be screened, censored, and, often, changed before China will allow them in. Why? Because China is engaging in cultural protectionism. We are the influencers, you idiots. We are the ones influencing them. We’re not sitting around going, “Oh, I hope this famous Chinese movie has no subversive communist elements in it!” Dumbasses! We’re going, “Sweet! This movie is fucking awesome! U! S! A! U! S! A!”
This notion that outside elements are trying to influence us is so bizarre to me that I wonder if we’re even in the same reality. What cultural influences are impacting us? Paris has long stopped being the art capital of the world. We still have a lot of fondness for European culture–and, for some reason, we consider it more highly valued than our own, as though the Eiffel Tower is just inherently better than the Sears Tower–but it’s not influencing us. Europe is increasingly socialist, and that’s influencing some of our youngest who look to Europe as a utopia, but protectionism won’t change that, either, because it’s not Europe that people like Rik Storey have a problem with. In fact, they want to include Europe in their protectionism, and save it from all the “icky brown people” who are trying to change the culture that we’re literally influencing everyone else with.
These people are nuts. Fully detached from reality. Anyone with even a tenuous connection to reality can see plainly that it’s the United States that is influencing everyone else, not vice versa. It’s our movies that rock the world. It’s our musicians that rock the world. It’s our television shows that break new ground. It’s our Broadway. It’s our Fiddler on the Roof. It’s our Citizen Kane, our Gone With the Wind, our Titanic, our Avengers, our Avatar. What the hell are you worried about? You’re backward. We are influencing them.
The basic idea of Rik Storey’s idiocy is that we need protectionism to keep out “bad elements” because a libertarian society is a high trust one, and so we need to be able to trust other members. I call this “idiocy” because it is.
As always, let’s begin by dissecting assumptions. What is “trust?” Trust is nothing more than a conditioned expectation to stimuli. There’s no such thing as trust; there’s just an expectation that this action will have this result, or that this other person will do that in response to this. It’s not about trust; it’s about expectation. We don’t trust the mailman to come everyday; trust is unnecessary to the process, because we know from experience and real-world examples that the mailman will come everyday. We’re not pulling from some emotional idea and faith in the mailman; we’re pulling from real experiences and real data to establish an expectation that is in-line with our experience.
Similarly, I don’t “trust” that my girlfriend would be pissed off if I cheated on her. I know she would; trust has nothing to do with it. I’m extrapolating from past experiences–not personal experiences, to be clear–and establishing an expectation based on those past experiences. Neither do I “trust” that she won’t cheat on me; I expect that she won’t, based on my past experiences with her. Trust never, ever enters into the picture. It’s just a misnomer, a colloquial way of saying “I have this expectation based on previous experiences.” A betrayal of trust isn’t a betrayal of trust; it’s when someone does something counter to our expectations that impacts us in a negative way.
That said, I dispute the idea that a libertarian society is a high trust one in the first place. I don’t have to trust that Bob won’t rob my house if there is no law against it, because I can shoot Bob for trespassing and violating my property. The state society involves exactly this same trust, too, because we know that laws don’t create moral behavior; they merely provide a framework by which immoral behavior is punished. No one is out there going, “Damn. I would steal, rape, and kill, if only there were no laws against it!”
So a stateless society–or a libertarian one–doesn’t involve more trust than any other sort of society. It doesn’t matter whether there is a law against it or not; trust isn’t the factor distinguishing the two. We don’t operate under the good faith trust that Bob won’t break into my home and steal my stuff in a libertarian society, just like we don’t operate under the good faith trust that Bob won’t break the law in a state society. We expect moral behavior based on our experiences with most people and we have ways of dealing with immoral behavior when it occurs. That doesn’t change in a libertarian society.
For That Matter, WHO Are You Trusting?
Rik Storey makes it pretty clear that he trusts straight, white people. He constantly talks about the greatness of western society, claiming credit for the work of the ancient Greeks, the ancient Romans, and the American ancestors. This is common for such people, of course: by taking credit for the great things that other people did, they give themselves an ego boost by identifying with those other people. “I’m great, because people who were just like me did great things! I can take credit for the fact that the Greeks invented democracy, because I’m white and they were white!”
I can’t speak for everyone, but if I was motivated to be racist, sexist, and sexual orientationist, then straight white men would be the last people I would trust. This is where Rik’s “logic” really breaks down: he wants to claim credit for all the great things that–there’s no reason to be coy–white people did, while he says nothing about the abominable acts that white people have done. If we’re talking about “white people” as a single collective unit, then, yes, they invented democracy, libertarianism, self-governance, and other cool things.
They also started two World Wars, executed the Holocaust, enjoyed American slavery for centuries, annihilated the Native Americans, have invaded countless sovereign nations, have tried more than any other race of people to conquer the world, and have dropped not one but two atomic weapons on civilian population centers. They systemically oppressed women, black people, Asians, Native Americans, LGBTQ people, non-Christians, and anyone else who wasn’t exactly like them. So yeah, if you’re a straight white man with Christian leanings, I could see why you’d be okay trusting other straight white men with Christian leanings. They’ve never turned their viciousness onto you, after all.
But if you’re literally anyone else, then the notion that you should simply trust straight, white Christian men is absurd in the highest degree. There is no other demographic less worthy of trust. Rik Storey’s inability to see this and realize it is exactly because he is part of that demographic and, in the classical sense of that demographic, is incapable of seeing the world through anyone else’s eyes. Straight, white Christian men must be trustworthy, he concludes, because he’s a straight, white Christian man and straight, white Christian men have never done anything to him.
He claims credit for the great things his ancestors have done and uses those great things as reasons why his demographic is inherently more trustworthy, as far as a libertarian society goes. His thinking is that white people invented libertarianism, and thus only white people can be trusted in a libertarian society. He conveniently ignores the fact that white people also invented the nuclear weapon, the cluster bomb, the UAV, and a host of other things that add up to being pretty good reasons why not to trust those people.
I don’t buy any of that. There is no “straight, white Christian male” group that acts and thinks in unison, that is more or less worthy of “trust” than anyone else, because there are only individuals with various characteristics. The above rant is not an attack against men, white people, straight people, or Christians except as an extension of Rik Storey’s own thinking–which I reject in the first place. If Rik Storey truly believes his own spiel, then his conclusion must be that straight, white Christian men whose culture is under threat from the outside world aren’t worthy of trust in the first place, and that it must be a good thing that those outside cultural influences are impacting his values.
Everything about his thinking is backward, skewed, and confused. In a libertarian society, we don’t have to trust our neighbors won’t violate the NAP, because we will have ways of dealing with it if they do. The existence of laws against violence don’t mitigate our trust or increase our trust; they are unrelated to the entire affair, as they are nothing more than the framework we use to punish people when they violate our morality. The morality remains in a libertarian society, and so does the tendency to punish people for violating it*. Just as you’d use law and the state to punish people for stealing from you in a state society, so would you use the NAP and some mechanism to punish people for stealing from you in a stateless society. Trust has nothing to do with it.
And if you really want to ride that demographic identity train, I don’t think it will arrive at a destination that people like Rik Storey will be comfortable with. Because if you’re going to take pride in all the great things that white people, men, straight people, and Christians have done, then you must also take responsibility for all the absolutely horrible things those same people have done: the Inquisition, the Holocaust, the Salem Witch Trials, McCarthyism, the Oklahoma City Bombing, the bombed abortion clinics, both World Wars, Nagasaki, Hiroshima… I’d be moderately interested in seeing Rik Storey’s tally where he has added up all the positive things his demographic has done and stacked them against all the negative things his demographic has done, and whether the math shows he is correct in trusting his demographic.
But he isn’t correct, and it’s stupid anyway, because we are individuals, not amalgams of characteristics and not extensions of people who lived and died thousands of years ago. I think it’s interesting that Storey wants to take credit for the Greeks inventing democracy, but I’d bet my shiny new A Perfect Circle tickets [Yes, that phrase again] that Rik Storey vehemently opposes the notion of reparations for black Americans.
So do I, as it happens, but I oppose it because individuals who didn’t do something shouldn’t have to pay for something that other individuals did to individuals who didn’t have it done to them. That is what a position of consistency looks like. “White people are worthy of trust because they invented libertarianism! But that they invented and remain the only people to have used nuclear weapons? No, that isn’t a factor” is not what a position of consistency looks like.
The alt-right is replete with this sort of cherry-picking, denial of history, and doublethink. I don’t criticize white people for the Holocaust; I criticize Hitler. I don’t praise white people for democracy; I praise the unidentified individuals who conceived it. I’m not worried about outside influences impacting American culture because I’m not a blind moron, and I can easily look out into the world and notice that it’s the other way around; American culture is heavily impacting the rest of the world. And even if I shared Storey’s timid, insecure values, I still wouldn’t be able to get on board with his “conclusions,” because I’m capable of noticing that America’s values are changing from within.
And if he’s arguing that those individuals who are fighting to change America’s values from within need to be excised or killed, then he obviously isn’t a libertarian of any sort, but that’s okay, because the alt-right isn’t a faction of libertarianism anyway. Libertarians means liberty for ALL, and let the consequences of freedom be whatever they will be. If liberty means that Rik Storey’s values are eroded and ultimately wiped from history, then so be it. Libertarianism means liberty for all, even non-white, non-straight, non-Christian, non-men. Liberty for one demographic obviously isn’t liberty; it’s tyranny.
So no. Alt-right ideas are fundamentally incompatible with the precepts of liberty. Libertarianism means other people are free to come in and influence your culture, because they aren’t using force, violence, and coercion. If your culture is so weak that it can’t survive that, then there you go–your culture is weak.
I tend to think that Storey must know this. Protectionism is all about insecurity, after all. If Microsoft is so scared of competition that they have to engage in protectionism, then it means they know their products suck and can’t stand up against competing products. If Storey is so scared of competition that he has to engage in protectionism, then it means he knows his culture sucks and can’t stand up against competing cultures.
Letting the weak be defeated by the strong through competition absent force, violence, and coercion? That is libertarianism.
So it’s not other cultures that are incompatible with libertarianism, Storey.
It must be nice to have opinions that are so popular and so mainstream that you can cease enjoying people’s content if you disagree with them on something politically. In fact, it seems to me that this is the very essence of privilege, at least with opinions and politics. If I refused to watch videos from people with whom I disagree, or listen to music from musicians with whom I disagree, then I’d find myself very quickly in a droll, colorless, unfunny world, with a total number of musicians I can safely listen to being about two.
It occurred to me that the reason I have no difficulty enjoying the content of people who I disagree with is precisely that my positions are so unorthodox and rare. It’s necessary, if I am to get any enjoyment at all out of life, that I learn to love Stephen Hawking’s physics books, even though he makes me grind my teeth when he starts spouting off at the mouth about the necessity of a world government. In contrast, people whose opinions are extraordinarily common don’t have to make that adjustment. Why, if they don’t like Jon’s political views, they can easily do a search and find a half-dozen people who make funny gaming videos and who they don’t disagree with.
That’s a luxury. It is… a privilege.
See, I can’t do that. If I am bothered by the political opinion expressed by a YouTube personality, I can’t just pop open YouTube and find a gamer who makes funny videos and shares my political opinions. And before anyone prattles on about popularity lending opinions credibility, I’ll just say… argumentum ad populum.
It’s similar to how I’m not offended by a lot of things people say about transgenderism and transsexualism. I don’t have the luxury of being offended over stupid, little things, just as I don’t have the luxury of turning against a content producer over a political opinion.
So I’ll provide a brief recap before sharing Jim’s video with you. Jim does a series called Jimpressions, where he downloads and plays games to get a first impression of them. While doing this one day, he played a game called “The Slaughtering Grounds,” which was, at the time, just another shitty game in a long list of shitty games that The Steam Cleaner had been trying to protect gamers from. The people who put The Slaughtering Grounds together, in their confusion, mistook the first impressions video as a review, proceeded to shit themselves in ways shockingly glorious for those who weren’t involved, and ultimately filed a lawsuit against Jim Sterling for ten million dollars.
Now that it’s over, Jim can finally talk about it, and the above video is spectacular, and a long time coming. Since the suit was filed, we’ve all known that it would ultimately be dismissed, although–having been hit with a frivolous suit myself in the past–this is of no consolation to the defendant, who has to lawyer up and deal with the possibility of a judge being in a bad mood. I actually lost the frivolous suit filed against me. An ex-girlfriend had given me a guitar, and six months after we broke up showed up at my house to ask for it back. I no longer had it, as I’d traded it for a new amplifier. She decided to sue me. Seeing as she was asking only for $300, I did not seek an attorney, and I instantly lost the case the moment that I told the judge I’d sold the guitar–which was technically true. Someone bought the guitar from me, and I used the money to buy an amp.
It was immediate, and my father watching from the back saw exactly the same thing: the judge’s demeanor instantly changed. It was no longer a simple matter of someone having given something away and then decided half a year later that they wanted it back. Suddenly, the judge saw this mean boy–I was 18 at the time–and this poor, impressionable little girl who had left her guitar at her boyfriend’s, decided one day to go get it, only to learn that the ex-boyfriend had spitefully sold it. It did not matter that I could prove the guitar’s value was only $75. The judge said, and I quote, “She can say it cost however much she wants.”
This, of course, is Mississippi, so it’s hardly surprising. This case that should have been instantly thrown out as soon as we both said the same thing–that she’d given me the guitar and then decided she wanted it back–yet I lost it anyway. The very fact that I’d sold it painted me, in the judge’s eyes, as a dick ex-boyfriend being a dick to this poor, sweet little girl. It was the most audacious thing I’d ever heard until he found for the Plaintiff in the amount of $300 and I objected, saying, “Your honor, here is the official listing of the guitar from the manufacturer–it’s a $75 instrument,” and the judge replied, “She can say it cost however much she wants.”
Life is funny sometimes, because I ended up marrying her.
So I know first-hand that stupid, frivolous lawsuits are never a sure thing, and even the dumbest lawsuit represents a very real danger to the defendant, especially since legal costs get exponentially more expensive. I could certainly have appealed the decision, but it would have cost well over the $300 I was demanded to pay–and never did pay, by the way. We ended up getting back together less than 3 months after the lawsuit was over, and neither of us ever mentioned it again. That is how frivolous and obscene the lawsuit was.
Knowing this, I was worried for Jim. I like Jim, and I don’t want to see anyone have the legal system weaponized against them, much less in a way that is blatantly unfair–even by normal societal standards–and aggressively stupid. But I also knew that Jim had gotten a lawyer, while the idiotic James Romine was exercising his right to represent himself.
In a lawsuit for ten million dollars.
And this is where, at least for me, the imminent uprising of fascination truly begins.
James Romine: A Study in Sheltered Delusion
I absolutely cannot believe that no one close to James at any point in this utter stupidity told him that this was horrendously stupid. Watch Jim’s video above for the full recap, but let’s keep in mind that James attempted to sue one hundred anonymous users on the Steam platform, which caused Valve–the company that manages Steam–to remove all of his games from their store. We have to marvel, we rational, thinking, non-delusional adults, that someone who reached the age of adulthood somehow got it into their head that it was not only possible but a good idea to attempt to file a lawsuit against one hundred anonymous people on the Internet.
It’s a downright shocking detachment from reality.
I’m perhaps unusually able to see just how remarkably stupid the lawsuit was. Not everyone got sued for stupid shit when they were 18, of course. Not everyone got to spend a 25 hour period in solitary confinement at the age of 17.
A Story About a Dog
One day, I was called to a client’s–Revid Realty in Memphis, Tennessee. They had this big ass dog who walked the office as he pleased. I’m very familiar with dogs, so I did what everyone is supposed to do: I presented my hand for the dog to sniff. And, for whatever reason, the dog bit me and drew blood. At that very moment, I had a lawsuit against Revid Realty. But I’m not that kind of person. Their employees freaked out, washed out the wound, put some Neosporin on it–no doubt, they were all thinking the same thing: they had to make me very happy, or I was going to sue them. Of course, I had no intention of doing so.
The owner of the realty company, and the person who “owned” the dog, decided to keep the dog in his office. I continued going about doing my job and went into an office to check the network settings. While I was behind the desk connecting the toner to the ethernet jack, I heard growling behind me. I jumped up and turned around, and the big ass dog was right behind me, growling. It attacked.
I immediately left the site. For several hours afterward, the owner attempted to go through who was then my boss to contact me, but I had nothing to say to him. He knew that his dog had attacked me, and yet he let the fucking animal back out to walk around freely anyway. That is not only grossly offensive, it is indisputable, classic legal negligence. Any attorney in the tri-state area would have taken that case, and I’d have owned that realty company by the end of it. Perhaps if the dog had attacked me once, there wouldn’t have been much of a lawsuit, though there probably would have been, in today’s overly litigious system.
However, after the dog had bitten me once, it absolutely crossed a line that he allowed the dog out unsupervised, where it attacked me a second time, this time far more viciously than the first. It not only tore open several bites on my arm, but destroyed my shirt in the process. I looked like I’d been attacked twice by a fucking dog. And I had been. And it was 100% the owner’s fault, and 100% gross negligence since the dog had already attacked me. This was actually such a jarring experience that for years afterward, my sister’s pit bull scared me, even though the pit bull had never done anything even remotely aggressive toward me. For years, big dogs scared me. I’m still hesitant around them.
It only takes once.
Based on that alone, that I’m still dealing with a fear of large dogs, I could probably still sue. We have email records and phone records of how it all transpired, and the owner admitted fault. He attempted to appease me by offering to buy me a video game, and then said the most shockingly offensive thing yet: “Look, kid. I’m a millionaire. I mean, how many times in your life do you think you’re going to have a millionaire apologize to you? So just accept this and let’s put it behind us.”
There, on site at another client’s premises, I replied over the phone, “I don’t give a fuck how much money you have. You’re a piece of shit and your money can’t fix that,” and I hung up.
But that’s what an actual, valid lawsuit looks like. It takes someone being a total dick, and usually not just once. A reviewer saying that your video game is shit… does not qualify. And attempting to sue an independent video game reviewer for a sum of even one million dollars is exorbitant and would never, ever be awarded by any sane judge.
James Romine’s detachment from reality is nothing short of shocking. Not only did he truly believe–clearly, as he not only filed the suit, but he stood against Jim Sterling’s lawyers and amended the suit after having stood before a judge–that he had a chance of winning, but his understanding of finances are so bewildering that I think we can piece together a clear picture of Romine and the background he comes from.
He’s spoiled as fuck.
He’s not simply spoiled, though. He’s also sheltered. One or both of his parents has almost certainly babied him through most of his life. If I told my father that I was going to file a ten million dollar lawsuit against someone who said some mean things about one of my articles on the Internet, once he stopped laughing he would probably finish disowning me. And while, clearly, James is an adult or he wouldn’t have been able to file a suit in the first place, I still have to wonder why he never asked either of his parents about this. One of my parents was murdered when I was 12, and my father is a drug-addicted, pathologically lying amoral sociopath, but even so there are plenty of older, wiser, more experienced people of whom I could ask about this lawsuit, if I didn’t already know that it was completely retarded.
It’s not James Romine that I pity. It’s his brother, who was not a party in the suit, and, though I can only speculate, I would wager these things:
First, the other Romine brother is the older one. This is because younger ones tend to be the babied ones, and I’m sticking with that contention: only someone who was ridiculously sheltered through their life could ever think that “someone saying mean things about my game” justifies a ten million dollar lawsuit.
Secondly, the other Romine brother probably wanted nothing to do with any of this, and has probably taken great care to separate himself professionally from James.
We can’t speculate too much about people based on things they say, but we can make pretty good speculations based on the things people do. And filing a ten fucking million dollar lawsuit against a YouTube personality because he didn’t like your game… That doesn’t even qualify as “delusional.” By the time you reach that point, “Delusional” is twelve miles back in the rearview mirror, and the next exit involves a straight jacket. I am a linguist, and we don’t even have a word for that level of delusion.
Clearly–and I do mean clearly–James Romine does not live in the same world that the rest of us live in. His understanding of the world and the roles that other people play in the world is so James-Romine-centric that his vague and wild conspiracy theories about collusion between a foreign company called ECC and Jim Sterling, and between Jim Sterling and Valve, is substantial enough to be put in an actual honest-to-fuck legal document. You know–to go to court. Where people are innocent until proven guilty. Where evidence is required. Where you can’t just say “Jim is conspiring with Valve. Trust me, I totally know what I’m talking about, and I’m not a lunatic, like totes 4 real” and expect the judge to say, “Ah, well shit. Seems legit, bruh. Pay up, Jim.”
I hate that Jim–one of the few people I consider worthy enough to personally sponsor on Patreon, by the way, to give you an idea of how much I respect the man, his opinions, and his work–had to put up with this, but what is “this?” What, exactly, did Jim have to put up with?
The insane, delusional ravings of a spoiled, sheltered baby who appears to still have no idea of how the world works, or what his place in that world is. I had a clear, easy-to-win, demonstrable lawsuit against an actual fucking millionaire, and I didn’t pursue it. As an aside, we did drop the client for it. Conversely, James Romine acted out his delusion on an epic scale, for all the world to see, throwing a temper tantrum through the legal system and trying desperately to find some way–some fucking way–for baby to get what baby wanted. Because that’s how it’s probably always been for him.
Being just totally honest here, I think we can take it as a given that, if not literally every single person, then at the very least almost every person to whom James Romine talked about this nonsensical lawsuit surely advised him against it, and surely told him that it was the dumbest thing they’d ever heard, that it could not possibly end well for him, and that now was as good a time as any to sack up and stop being a baby. I cannot make myself crazy enough to even fathom the possibility that everyone around him told him to proceed with this. My brain cannot detach itself from the real world enough for me to even imagine the hypothetical scenario where friends and family are saying, “Yeah, man! His saying that there isn’t enough popcorn on Earth–that’s totally libel against you!”
And yet… He did it.
He proceeded with it.
Once he stood down Jim’s attorneys, he continued pressing with it, and allowed the stupid thing to actually go to a court. An actual fucking court. And here the judge’s hands were bound: he could not fully dismiss the case because it could be amended to be compliant, and the judge couldn’t deny Romine the opportunity to amend it. Rather than going, “Oh, shit. I don’t know fucking anything about law, do I? I’ve sent my evidence to the opposing attorney. I’ve initiated proceedings in the wrong order. I’ve sorta asked Jim’s attorney for legal advice, when you really get down to it… And now a judge has told me that I didn’t even properly do the thing right! I should just let this go!”
Rather than doing that, he amended the thing nonsensically, having decided that because he checked the sole proprietor box on PayPal, this meant that he was actually the owner of a sole proprietorship.
No, James. That’s not how this works. PayPal doesn’t have the legal standing to declare you a sole proprietor.
As the sole proprietor of an I.T. firm–with an actual bank account and business phone lines and stuff–I can tell you that it’s a bit more involved than checking a box on PayPal. In fact, the process is so convoluted that I’d recommend anyone wanting to do it to go through LegalZoom. Seeing as I’ve got an actual DBA with an actual EIN and an actual tax identifier, I could sue someone as <the I.T. firm that I own>. You checked a box on fucking PayPal.
The sheer scale of the misunderstandings shown by James Romine–not to even mention how he interpreted “fair use” to mean that the reviewer had to be “fair to the game,” rather than actually, you know, having anything to do with copyright–are absolutely astounding. Granted, I lived a childhood and adolescence bad enough to write an actual book about, so I’m about as far from sheltered as a person can get, but I still cannot comprehend how someone could reach the age of adulthood–but clearly, not actually adulthood–and misunderstand things in such fundamental ways. And not just misunderstanding, but misunderstanding them in a way that is noticeably skewed in his own favor. His understanding of how “fair use” is applied clearly works in his favor. His understanding of how libel laws work is clearly bent in his own favor. His understanding of sole proprietorship is similarly skewed so that he understands it only through the lens of how it benefits him, instead of understanding it as an actual thing with an actual legal existence, which is odd considering Digital Homicide is [allegedly] an LLC.
Jim and Jim’s attorney had to face this sad, pathetic man’s delusions and James Romine-centric understanding of the world head-on.
I have no doubt in my mind that James Romine still believes that he is right, and that the only reason things turned out the way they did is that he couldn’t afford an attorney. Because that’s the end result when someone is so sheltered, and so babied through their entire life, that they honestly think that there is the smallest chance in hell that suing someone for libel because they said on Twitter that there wasn’t enough popcorn on Earth will be successful. I don’t know how else to explain that level of delusion, that level of reckless detachment from the real world, and that level of ego that interprets everything solely through a filter of how it can benefit him.
By the way, James, if you found this by Googling yourself, this isn’t libel, either. But you’re welcome to try.
As I hoped, Ellison, who represented the “progressives,” has lost the race for the DNC Chair to Perez, who represents a more mainstream faction of Democrats. I’m certainly not a Democrat, and so all I was comfortable doing was watching it unfold from the sidelines, but I have to admit that I’m pleased with Perez’s victory. However, it has not had the effect that I hoped it would have.
Progressives–and I’m going to continue calling them “progressives,” though there isn’t anything progressive about them–have a wildly overblown ego and understanding of their own importance and political popularity. This really kicked off and became out of control around Occupy Wall Street, when they convinced themselves that they “represented the 99%,” a point that South Park hilariously dug into by having reporters ask protestors, “Technically, I’m part of the 99%… So what do I think about this situation?”
It’s a real problem.
There are countless Facebook pages and groups professing to be the One True Voice of the majority. There’s “The 99%.” There’s “The Other 98%”. Jill Stein repeatedly stated throughout her campaign that she represented the 99%, even though, no, objectively speaking she represented the inverse of that; she represented about 1% of the people. The actual numbers, though, don’t seem to matter.
I mean… What do you even say?
To a certain extent, it’s only worth it to roll one’s eyes at the almost constant proclamations from progressives that they represent this huge supermajority of people, despite all evidence to the contrary, but there is a bigger problem–they seem to actually believe that they are speaking for a huge, unspoken, mysterious supermajority, and, generally, anyone who states otherwise needs to shut up and surrender their voice to the progressives who represent this alleged supermajority. This incongruity between reality and their imagined self-importance has caused them no end of trouble, and I think it’s going to get worse.
So allow me to be the one to inform you candidly, progressives…
You don’t represent “most people.” You don’t represent 99% of people, 98% of people, 51% of people, or even 49% of people. Based on the numbers, at absolute best, giving you the benefit of the doubt in major ways, we can estimate that you represent about 4% of people. You are not a supermajority; you are not even a majority. You’re a stupefyingly loud minority with an exaggerated sense of self-importance, and if you truly believe that you represent anything that is even remotely close to a majority of Earthlings, Americans, young people, or any other division of things or people, then you are hopelessly out of touch with reality.
Progressives went into the Democratic Primaries firmly believing themselves to represent, if not 99% of everyone, then at least 51% of people. As such, they literally could not even when Sanders lost the nomination per the written rules of the Democratic Party to Hillary Clinton. While I’ve lambasted Hillary as much as any progressive and while I firmly agree that the DNC conspired with Hillary to win the nomination, it doesn’t matter, because they didn’t actually do anything against the rules. No one expects the DNC Chair or the RNC Chair to be completely neutral, and progressives don’t expect that, either. Their ire is a result of the fact that Debbie was not a Sanders supporter, not that she wasn’t neutral.
They immediately did what progressives have been doing since the primaries started: bitching, complaining, shouting, and rioting. It was Sanders supporters–progressives–who caused the riot in the Nevada Democratic Primary, and Nevada was not the only state that this happened in. While they did not riot at the Democratic National Convention, they were so boisterous and loud at having lost that Sarah Silverman famously told them they were being ridiculous. And they were, but how could we expect anything else? After all, they firmly believe that they represent 99% of people, or at least 51% of people, so any democratic result must have their side winning–that is their understanding. If the vote doesn’t go their way and they represent 99%, 98%, or 51% of people, then clearly the election was stolen from them. That’s their logic, and that’s how they understand these events.
Their hostility and anger stems from that severe misunderstanding–the fact that they’ve fallen for the bullshit political rhetoric that they’ve been telling themselves year after year. In their echo chambers, all around Buzzfeed and Facebook and Twitter, they’ve been telling each other over and over that they represent 99% of people. Like one progressive who said after Trump’s election victory, “When the top trending tags on Twitter are #AmeriKKKa and #NotMyPresident, that should tell you that this isn’t what America wants.”
Right. The top trending tags on this platform that isn’t limited to just Americans and that doesn’t contain anything even close to all Americans–primarily because Twitter has a notable bias toward banning right-wingers, thereby denying them the voice that might have prevented #NotMyPresident from trending in the first place… are how we should gauge the American pulse. Not by having some day where literally every American adult citizen can firmly and unequivocally state their preference. No, as Sargon of Akkad joked, “What’s Trending on Twitter” is clearly how a government should determine its rulers.
But the point is that they do think that–because Twitter is an echo chamber. And so is Tumblr. The numbers are actually in here, and it’s a proven fact that liberals are far more likely to block people over political views, with over 44% of self-identified liberals stating that they had unfriended or blocked someone over political differences. We have a word for this, when a person or group consistently refuse to associate with people who disagree with them: it’s called an “echo chamber.” And though we can’t extrapolate too much from the studies, if nearly half of self-identified liberals are isolating themselves from people who disagree and demonstrably hold institutional power in places like Twitter, where tweets like this are determined to not be violations of the policy:
… then, obviously, yes. Yes, they’re going to become wildly out of touch. And if, on top of that, they repeatedly tell each other all about how they represent a majority or supermajority of all people, after they have already ensured they won’t even hear the voices of people who disagree with them, then what on Earth could possibly be the result, if not exactly what we see today?
So after Sanders lost the nomination, some progressives defected to the Green Party and bolstered Jill Stein’s numbers to the 1% that she ultimately received, while others refused to vote and still others bit their tongues and voted for The Devil in a Pantsuit. The widespread assumption, of course, is that Sanders would have beaten Trump. This, naturally, ignores the fact that Trump didn’t have very good turnout, either, because a fair number of Republicans–among them George H. W. Bush–actively preferred Hillary over Trump. If Hillary had not been the Democratic nominee, then those Republicans who didn’t vote or who voted for Hillary would have had more invested in the outcome. And as much as George H. W. Bush, Mitt Romney, and all the others disliked Trump, believe me when I tell you that they hate Socialism a whole lot more.
So if we assume–which we certainly can–that Stein’s boost came from jaded Sanders supporters who refused to vote for Hillary, and we reduce her numbers back to 0.3%, then we add less than 0.6% of voters to Sanders’ side, while we probably take at least that many Republicans away from Hillary and restore them to the Republican nominee. This sort of speculation is worthless, my own included, especially since the demographics and Electoral College system complicate matters, but my point is just to say that, mathematically, there is no reason to believe that Sanders would have beaten Trump. As many liberals stayed home because they refused to vote for Hillary, just as many Republicans stayed home because they refused to vote for Trump. If you instead offer up a candidate who represents literally the opposite of everything they profess to stand for, then I’m not sure they’d have complacently sat at home.
Take, for example, my uncle and aunt, who considered Sanders such a threat to their way of life that they voted in the Mississippi Democratic Primary, despite being registered Republicans. Or they attempted to. Thankfully, Mississippi requires party registration, so they weren’t allowed to commit such a travesty of voter fraud by interfering in another party’s election. I realize progressives don’t understand that people like that exist–and I realize that I’m preaching to the choir because progressives have long since stopped reading this–but they do, and in shockingly large numbers. Contrary to their proclamations of representing majorities and supermajorities, the reality is that Americans absolutely hate communism–it’s why we fought the Cold War. Well…
And to the average American voter, there isn’t a difference between Communism and Socialism. To them, it’s two ways of saying the same thing: “Fuck you, fuck your liberty, fuck your rights. Do as we say, or we’ll shoot you or throw you in the Gulag.”
And when progressives are out there inflicting violence on people for not agreeing with them, and threatening to revolt because the Democratic Party didn’t “do as [they said],” we can’t really blame the average American for thinking that. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck…
Then chances are… it’s a duck.
At literally every vote that has been held, progressives have lost. They lost the Sanders nomination, they lost the 2016 election, and then they lost the DNC Chair. Yet this delusion of theirs that they represent a majority of people persists, and that is the heart that must be attacked.
You don’t. The numbers suggest that progressives represent, at best, 4% of the American population. This is so obvious that it shouldn’t need to be said. The best we have right now is that roughly half the population even cares enough to vote. Only half of those are Democrats, so we’ve immediately reduced the progressives’ “supermajority” to no greater than 25%. And since evidence suggests that they are far more motivated and likely to pursue political matters than the average Democrat–as the saying goes, the unhappy minority screams the most, or something like that–losses in the nomination and DNC Chair mean that progressives can’t represent more than 12% of the population. Giving you guys a third of that 12% is being extremely generous, because you guys are animated, loud as hell, and extremely disruptive.
Most people are surprised to learn that the average Democrat accepts Trump’s victory. Most people are surprised to learn that the average Democrat didn’t care much one way or another between Trump and Hillary. There’s a reason that Primary turnouts–not to even get started on historical turnouts to vote for a party chair–are so much lower than turnout in the general election: people just don’t care that much. Perhaps because they recognize that the overall impact the state has on their day-to-day life is negligible, and that changing presidents is going to result in fuck all changing. Regardless, it’s certainly the case that the loud, “woke af” progressives are surely going to appear disproportionately to their actual numbers. And this disparity is so great that they believe themselves to be “the 99%” when they actually represent about 2%.
My Advice to Progressives
First, look at the actual numbers to determine what portion of the American population you actually represent. Strictly speaking, you don’t represent any portion of the American population. When a person speaks, the only person they are truly representing is themselves. But let’s put that aside and just say that you represent all people who share your ideology. It won’t be anywhere near 99%, 98%, or 51%. In fact, it will be closer to 1%.
Secondly, stop blocking people who disagree with you. This week, I had a progressive block me on Facebook. When you block people who disagree with you, you insulate yourself against disagreement and completely become disoriented about the popularity of your views in the world. You’re rather like certain anime fans who have been living and breathing their favorite anime for so long that they have completely lost touch with the fact that their show isn’t popular; they insist that it is, because familiarity is generally how we gauge popularity. If you block people who disagree with you, then you’ll obviously end up believing that very few people disagree with you, and you’ll only become more familiar with people who do agree with you, until you’re finally so convinced of your own popularity that you state you are the 99%.
Thirdly, accept that you live in a world with other people, and not all of them agree with you. Moreover, they believe they are right just as strongly as you believe that you are right. And even more over, you aren’t objectively correct. They are just as objectively correct as you are, because neither of you–indeed, no one–is objectively correct. You’re arguing your subjective opinions against their subjective opinions, and I know you feel really, really, really hard that you’re truly correct. But you’re not. You just think you are. And so do the people who disagree with you.
I think we have major problems, dudes. That is–I think the problems are more severe than I’ve been estimating, because I was just looking at pictures from the *sigh* protests and marches at Trump’s inauguration, the women’s march, and all the other things that liberals did over the weekend to make sure that we all knew that they are not happy, and it occurred to me. It’s been said before, but it really hit me as I was looking at the images.
These people… genuinely believe that “democracy” means they always get to be in charge. One of the signs I saw said “He doesn’t represent me!”
Welcome to my world, chick.
None of these people represent me. Trump doesn’t represent me, Hillary didn’t represent me, Johnson didn’t represent me, and even John McAfee didn’t represent me. But, and this is crucial, you don’t represent me, either. But it’s a sort of sense of… entitlement… isn’t it, to think that the president is even supposed to always represent you? Let’s return for a moment to the foundational ideas of our republic, and the folly that is having Representatives versus Direct Democracy.
Keeping things very simple, there are nine of us in our Republic. We have a Bill of Rights that means the Leader can and can’t do certain things, to protect any minorities from being oppressed by a majority. Cool, right? So even if five people vote for Bob, Bob can’t tell the other four to empty out their pockets and turn over all their possessions. There are limits, basically, to what Bob can do, even if he has the support of 8/9 of the voters.
In an ever-changing world, sometimes your group would win voting for Tim, and sometimes the other group would win voting for Bob. You don’t like Bob. You have serious issues with Bob’s positions. I understand. Believe me–I understand better than you think I do, because I have extreme concerns with the positions of every single politician who has ever been elected, and, regardless of who is elected, I never win. Liberals, of course, do get to win–they just spent eight years winning the presidency, basically.
But we can easily see that if there are two sides of an issue, then it’s ipso facto impossible for Bob to represent both sides. It’s sad that I have to point this out to people. Let’s take the abortion issue. If Bob is Pro-Life and wins the election with 5 votes, how asinine would it be for the four pro-choice people to declare, “Bob doesn’t represent us”? Well, no, of course he doesn’t. He doesn’t represent you because we have a representative government and your representative lost. The greater question is why in the freaking world you expect the candidate who represents the side that is opposed to you to represent you.
At some point in their city-centric and “higher education” indoctrination, some wires got mixed and their love for Socialism and the sharing that necessarily entails somehow didn’t get applied to sharing with… Well, people who disagree.
I had a fascinating exchange earlier with a full-blown SJW. This is the guy who made me aware that they have taken Empty sympathy and confused it with genuine empathy, when he stated pointlessly on Facebook that he felt bad for all the old women who won’t live to see the first female president, and I replied that I’d rather live in a world where the gender of the President is a non-issue.
Me: “Joke is on them. Barron is a billionaire kid who will grow up wiping his ass with toilet paper worth the bashers’ annual salaries.”
SJW: “He will grow up to be another billionaire corporatist who steps on the backs of labor for his selfish gains. But I agree while he’s a child he’s off limits. But as soon as he turns 18 I am gonna go nuts.”
Me: “That’s pretty judgmental.”
SJW: “You already judged all of the left just now [a fair point]. Hypocrite lol”
SJW: “and you already said it yourself. He will be a billionaire. And when someone like his father raising him who is a selfish narc, id say I’m spot on as to how he will turn out.”
Me: “I’ve written at length about the left’s hypocrisy, divisiveness, and judgmentalism. It’s a matter of record that these people were leftists. What has Trump done in the last year that was selfish?”
Me: “Point to any single act that Trump publicly undertook [that] brought no benefit to anyone but himself. After all, a selfish act must be one that benefits no one but the person taking it. If other people benefit, it cannot, by definition, be selfish. It can be mutualist, but not selfish.”
SJW: “not divesting himself of his business, constantly tweeting about on unfair it is that people protest, making every story about him. Are you kidding me? You hated Trump but now that he’s your Right wing president you are gonna sympathize? Typical partisan.”
^ Pay careful attention to that allegation that I’m being partisan.
SJW: “that’s where we differ in philosophy. Yes, a billionaire using cheap labor is selfish. So fuck off you libertarian property is a right BS.”
SJW: “this is why we probably can never be friends. We fundamentally disagree on what is ‘selfish.’ Your world views disgust me.”
Let’s take a brief moment, before continuing, because I didn’t do it earlier, to bask in how vitriolic and hateful this “tolerant” and “sympathy-driven” SJW’s words are. Never mind that he’s commented my status, right? Studies routinely show that liberals are more likely to unfriend people than conservatives, but the idea of allowing politics to get in the way of a friendship is ridiculous, but there’s an entire group on Facebook–the Pantsuit Nation–where people brag about doing just that, with friendship and filial relationships.
Me: “I’ve done nothing but criticize Trump. That you see neutrality as me siding with a President that I’m ideologically opposed to does, indeed, reveal your partisanism, and how you see the world in terms of Either/or, where anyone who challenges you on anything must be a Trump supporter. Tweeting is selfish?”
SJW: “and now you are defending him.”
SJW: “look at his fucking tweets!!!! It’s all about him are you blind?”
Side note here because I didn’t go into it in the thread, but… Who else would Trump be tweeting about? I probably have a worse ratio of “tweets about me” to “tweets about other people” than Donald Trump. I began to write the comment that I think he misunderstands the point of Twitter, because he seems to expect that people would not use social media to talk about themselves, which is especially funny since one of his most recent posts is that he’s leaving Facebook [again], but he hasn’t yet done so. Posting that you’re leaving, dude? Really? That’s at least as narcissistic as anything Trump has done.
Me: “[That] lengthy conversation we had–what happened to that?”
We had a very lengthy, hours-long conversation once about libertarianism and anarcho-capitalism, and I felt that I’d made a lot of progress with the guy, including giving him further reading. He appeared to be interested, and he was swayed by the arguments.
Me: “I am not defending him. I am asking you to show one selfish act that he’s done in the last year.”
SJW: “I decided that libertarianism is an excuse for greedy people. And he didn’t divest from his business. That’s selfish. Fuck off.”
It’s really hard, at this point in a conversation, to remain calm and on target. I’ve been told to fuck off twice, I’ve been accused of partisanism because I asked him to substantiate his claims, and he waved off an entire ideology because he “decided” that it was an excuse for greedy people–which means, of course, that he is calling me greedy. It’s emotional drivel, through and through, and that’s all the more reason for me to overlook it and stay on point. So I did.
Me: “You decided that on what grounds?”
Me: “So I’m greedy?”
SJW: “yes u Are”
SJW: “You condone corporatism by supporting Trump”
Me: “I do not and have never supported Trump. I’ve asked you a simple question, and you still haven’t answered it. The fact that you confuse that as ‘supporting Trump’ is the exact partisanism you accuse me of.”
Me: “On what grounds do you accuse me of being greedy?”
Me: “https://anarchistshemale.com/2016/10/23/pro-corporation-or-pro-market/ You can accuse me of anything, but I can demonstrate otherwise. I advocate the market, not corporatism. I’d wager that I fight corporatism harder than you do. You just want to enslave the population and take stuff from people that you didn’t earn. That is what is selfish.”
Me: “Okay, so now that we’ve firmly established that I’m not and have never been a Trump supporter, and that I’ve been fighting corporatism probably longer than you, what is your justification for calling me greedy? That I believe stealing is wrong?”
There was no further reply from the SJW. I expected him to unfriend me and/or block me, but then he posted that he’s deleting his Facebook–and still hasn’t.
So congratulations, dude. You are part of the problem. Anyone who can read the replies of SJW above and think “yeah, that’s right! Tell her!” is a maniac. Blinded by socialist dogma wrapped up in SJW bullshit that has moved the goalpost from egalitarianism to special interest protections, a move that caused pushback from the right and gave us Brexit, Donald Trump, a bill to leave the UN, and the possibility of Italy leaving the EU. This trifecta that you have made of socialism, social justice, and centralized authority–people don’t want it.
People will accept egalitarianism when you show them the error of their ways. It is why I don’t want or need anyone’s help existing here in Bible Belt Mississippi. I am leaving, of course, but in the meantime, there is nothing that anyone can do that I can’t. These people don’t need to be forced to deal with me. They need to be shown that I’m just a normal person trying to go about my life, that I’m not getting in their way, that I’m not inhibiting what they want to do, and all I ask is that they not inhibit what I want to do.
Democrats and liberals–especially these younger ones who have just spent 8 years under a Democratic president–seem to be learning the painful lesson that, in a representative democracy, their representative doesn’t always win the election. And now they seem confused, perplexed, and angry that the person who represented other people isn’t representing them anyway. How important do they think they are? How entitled, how narcissistic, how self-engrandized must they be, to think that, “I know my representative didn’t win, and that the representative of these people opposed to me won, but goddamnit, the representative of the people opposed to me should represent me anyway, because I’m just that important! I matter more than they do!”
The people who were arrested for rioting in D.C. apparently face felony charges, which means that they’ll never be able to vote again, but a brief look at the numbers suggests that only one in three of the protesters actually voted anyway.
I’m worried that Trump will crack down heavily on that sort of thing–the violent protesting. Modern liberal hero Abraham Lincoln cracked down on peaceful dissent. Hell, Trump would be following in Lincoln’s footsteps precisely if he used the military to squash these little rebellions as they pop up. And then if California actually tried to secede, and he invaded? He’d be Lincoln Part 2. Lincoln was no fan of journalists, either, and had his fair share of editors arrested. He even had a senator deported. Lincoln was a bloody, vicious tyrant. But Democrats love them some Lincoln.
If they prick too hard at the state, it will strike back. It has always struck back. The United States Government has shown more restraint than many governments in the past, but it has also proven itself willing to do anything it takes to maintain its power–its law and order. If you go out disrupting that law and order, you better have a goddamned good reason, and you’d better be ready to fight the war that it will start.
That’s my issue with these protests, demonstrations, and marches. They’re pointless. They’re whines. We can thank Black Lives Matter for it in a lot of ways, because they enjoyed the media spotlight for years and never accomplished a single damned thing, because there was never an objective, no goal, no stated aims. The protests we’ve seen recently are exactly the same; they’re just wanton acts of destruction and loud, anguished cries of “We aren’t happy!” And they’re accomplishing exactly what one would expect incessant whining to accomplish: nothing.
Liberals, if you succeed in igniting a civil war–as you clearly want–you cannot possibly win. You do not have the popular support that you think you have, and your demonstrations have become passe, cliche, and tedious. We’re sick of it. When I say “we,” I mean average Americans. We’re fucking tired of it. It’s always this special interest group marching or demonstrating for some unstated reason, with no goal and no objective. It’s simply noise. Loud, annoying noise.
So no. I’m not the one who needs to fuck off.
Return to the drawing board, stop running on pure emotion, think, and figure out what the hell it is that you want to accomplish. And then take steps to achieve that goal.
Hell, you guys can’t even do a women’s march properly! That’s how screwed up you’ve become! I’ve seen countless posts criticizing the fact that there were a lot of white women there. Are you kidding me? You racist assholes. I’m more impressed that all these people whose lives are so bad had the freaking money to go to D.C. and spend a day protesting… something…? Hell, I can’t afford to go to the A Perfect Circle concert and they’re my favorite band–that breaks my heart more than you know–and they’re coming within a hundred miles of me for the first time in 14 years.
Yep, but I’m greedy.
I really, really want to get started in on Donald Trump, who has already started killing people in Yemen, carrying on Obama’s drone policy. I’d really like to talk about how fucked up that is, how we shouldn’t be killing people, and how we should be absolutely horrified that our new president didn’t even make it a week before he had blood on his hands. But for fuck’s sake, liberals, between you and Donald Trump, you are the bigger problem. Your detachment from reality is so severe, and your reliance on your emotions so extreme, that I don’t think there’s anything that can be done to reach you.
Be warned: if you haven’t read Western Nihilism Part 1 and Western Nihilism Part 2, some of this may seem unsupported or even nonsensical. So the links are provided there, since we’re building off that framework with a more specific example.
See, I just read a 1400 word whine from a partner of Vice about how she’s totally judged because of her height, how her height makes her life difficult, and how she often intimidates people. The article ended with a link to a partner article about how standards of age are a form of bias. We’ve really reached this point, then? We’ve genuinely forgotten that we’re animals to the extent that we can’t recognize the real, primal, and largely uncontrollable reasons that we sometimes find tall people intimidating and short people adorable.
Little Things Are Cute
We’re programmed to think that little things are cute. This is part of the human operating system–it’s not a third party program that some people installed. We find kittens adorable, puppies adorable, and babies adorable, for the same reason we find one-inch figurines cute. Those things are immediately read as helpless, and that’s what we’re drawn toward (in the absence of imminent danger).
People finding you adorable because you’re short is a simple byproduct of how genes programmed us to protect our offspring. Because let’s be real a moment: what defense does a pooping, peeing, and crying baby have? None. It survives by two biological processes–the first I’ve already mentioned. Being cute is the baby’s first line of defense against the innate tendency humans have to discard things that cry and poop everywhere. The second is the parental bond, of course, but the parental bond can’t explain it all, because just about any human would do anything in their power to protect a baby.
Helplessness is generally what humans find cute–helplessness makes the thing precious to us, like kittens and babies. We recognize on deep, primal levels that these things cannot fend for themselves, and that this marvelous living creature needs our protection and love. This triggers endorphins to release in the brain and triggers, “Oh, my god, he’s so precious!” to come out of the mouth.
Just think about anything you’d call “precious.” Now think about anything you’d call “adorable.” There is a 1:1 correlation between those things: whatever you find precious, you’ll find adorable, and whatever you find adorable, you’ll find precious. This is just the way humans work.
Demanding that we cast off all of that biological programming and cease letting ourselves think short people are adorable is nihilistic. It’s an attempt to undermine, consciously ignore, destroy, or mitigate the very biological processes that cause people to like babies. So you having people say “You’re super cute!” isn’t really that big a deal, is it? Not when stacked against the evolution of our species and, hopefully, the continued evolution that happens when people find little things cute and when the perception of helplessness (being a kitten, being short, whatever) is what triggers the endorphin release that makes them gush over infants.
So get over yourself.
“I’m tall, so I intimidate people.”
“I’m tall, and I intimidate people,” is what one should say. Being tall–within ordinary human limits, not talking about people like Shaq–is not inherently intimidating. If you’re intimidating people, it’s going to be because of:
Being very tall and very large (fat or muscular)
It’s almost certainly going to be the latter. Most people don’t pay any attention to their body language, but doing so would fix these issues people are having. I learned in my last year of college that i intimidated the crap out of people. Muscular, wearing A-shirts (“wifebeaters”), wearing eyeliner, shaved head, intelligent, a bit over six feet tall… But it was my demeanor that intimidated people, not my height, intelligence, or any of the other excuses I could list to wriggle out from under the fact that my demeanor was intimidating people.
Of course I had a litany of viable excuses ready to go. Perhaps it was the chains on my Tripp pants? Maybe the eyeliner. Maybe the shaved head. None of those things were “on me,” and that’s the difference. “I’m just being myself, and I can’t help that, so if people are intimidated then it’s their problem, not mine.”
It wasn’t any one thing; it was the whole package that was “my presentation,” and it intimidated people. The biggest part of that was certainly my body language.
Height isn’t really an issue.
I couldn’t guess how many people I’ve met in my life, and I can only think of one person who truly intimidated me. His name was Joe, and he was the manager at a client’s office. He was enormous, possibly seven feet tall, and stocky. He had a deep voice and a No Nonsense attitude. Square jaw and square chin–looking at him was like looking at a cinder block that decided one day to grow a body. I avoided him whenever possible.
His height had little to do with that. It was the whole package (his demeanor) that was intimidating.
My ex-wife is now married to some old dude who is even taller than I am. We knew him for years (and no, there was nothing going on there–it seems she just latched onto the first guy she found after me), and I have never in the least intimidated by him. The drummer in my band then was almost the same height (I’d guess about 6’5″), and he was never intimidating, either.
Because it’s not about height. It’s about demeanor. It’s about the whole package you’re presenting, not one aspect of it.
Escaping Personal Responsibility
Seeing as they view personal responsibility as some deprecated, gross thing that should be rejected because “It’s everyone else with the problem, not me. I’m perfect!” it’s not surprising that we see here another way to lift blame from the one responsible (The one presenting the demeanor) and shifting it onto people who aren’t responsible (The ones witnessing the presentation).
If you made a PowerPoint presentation using terrible font choices and horrific colors, would you blame the viewers if they said your presentation sucked? “You’re just biased against people like me who love these fonts and colors!”
Sure, that’s true, in a limited, narrow, and asinine sense. There are biological reasons that we prefer complementary colors, largely due to how our eyes evolved first seeing only light and dark, then red and green (if I recall correctly), and then the other colors incrementally until we had the vision we have today. At the heart of it are more biological processes that we don’t have any control over. We like clear, readable fonts in vibrant, contrasting colors. Dark blue script fonts on a black background won’t be appealing to many people. And that’s not our problem.
It’s yours, because it’s your presentation.
We Are Animals
And we have forgotten that. We are compelled by genes and biological processes that we’re only beginning to understand, but the shocking revelation has been that it’s not really the survival of the individual that our subconscious minds care about; it’s the survival of our genes, which led to the term Gene Machines.
If you spit on everything that helped ensure the survival of those genes, then yes, you’re certainly being nihilistic. In and of itself, that isn’t a bad thing, but this nihilistic tendency is really starting to dominate western society. After all, we’ve legitimately reached a point where someone writes an article about being stereotyped because if one aspect of their demeanor, and how everyone else is at fault, and the writer isn’t laughed off the internet for being ridiculous.