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A few days ago I saw a top-level comment wondering why prostitutes don't like being called whores and sluts, since "that's what they are."

Sigh. Out of whole mountain of content - and I don't claim it's pure gold, but there's certainly a wide range of topics discussed and post effort levels and seriousness of approach - this is the single example of things actually discussed in the whole post. I am not sure how I can make myself take it seriously.

Are you arguing that what he writes is false? For comparison, that is what is promised by the Culture War thread:

Optimistically, we think that engaging with people you disagree with is worth your time

Look at the discussions there are right now.

https://www.themotte.org/post/329/culture-war-roundup-for-the-week/57553?context=8#context

Quality post, but not very culture war-y. Anyway, right now, no one really disagrees.

https://www.themotte.org/post/329/culture-war-roundup-for-the-week/57543?context=8#context

A post criticizing a labour MP for his anti-incels politics (anti Labour so we might assume right wing). No one really disagrees.

Are The Global Elites Coordinating to Push LGBT Acceptance And Gender Theory? (https://www.themotte.org/post/329/culture-war-roundup-for-the-week/57433?context=8#context )

Obviously right-wing, but there I have to admit there are some people arguing the other way. But the post was quite extreme by itself.

https://www.themotte.org/post/329/culture-war-roundup-for-the-week/57424?context=8#context

A post about liberals using AI to push their views. Pretty right wing. Everyone agrees. More or less.

I stop there. I don't think the CW thread delivers on its promise to challenge your beliefs, especially if they are right wing or libertarians.

A post about liberals using AI to push their views. Pretty right wing. Everyone agrees. More or less.

I object to that. Anti-woke, yes. But not right-wing. The usage of "libtard" is tongue-in-cheek, as clearly stated.

Are you arguing that what he writes is false?

I'm actually not arguing at all, since I am not sure his arguments raise above "boo outgroup" level, at which level it is useless to argue - since the point of the argument is to mock and denigrate the target, not to identify areas for improvement. The author considers "The Motte" dead (hence the "postmortem"). People here, obviously, do not (unless we are a den of necrophiliacs?) I am not sure which argument could change that perception. Yes, of course there are right-wing postings here. Why not?

It's not that there are right wing discussions, it's that there are almost only unchallenged right wing posts in the CW thread. The CW thread used to be a place where the culture war takes place, it is now a place where you can comment about the culture war taking place somewhere else.

In the comments further down, it gets pretty thoroughly dismantled, too. That alone was worth the click to me.

Very disheartened by this "postmortem".

In my experience, it's not the "icky red tribe discussion" that's lowered the quality of the sub. It's actually the increase in number of people with niche or unpopular opinions, that are often coded right wing.

Worse, the newcomers or people discovering this place for the first time are not properly acquainted with the culture it inherited, a culture where their ideas are discussed and debated (on good faith). When someone genuinely tries to steelman their viewpoint and argue against it, the newcomer finds their genuinely held belief challenged. They will double down rather than change their mind or accept a new argument - as opposed to the standards of the motte, where steelmen grind against each other, and the weak are ground into filings - they consider any challenge to their viewpoint just plain wrong even in the face of evidence.

This results in a norm of more and more people that are willing to assert increasingly outlandish claims without evidence, as they understand on some level that outside this place, evidence is not needed to convince others for or against their viewpoint.

Evidence didn't convince them away from their viewpoint before, so why would it convince anyone else? This makes arguing in good faith extremely difficult.

Hats off to the mods, even if I agree or disagree with their positions. There are a significant number of genuine shit-stirrers who explicitly set out to skirt the rules while actively trying to sabotage discussion, and the place is the worse for it.

Not to be too much us vs them but reading some of the comments on that thread...

If you imagine a total opposite of Julius Branson, you get these sort of posters. Instead of making ten alts to continue the war effort, they buckle under the pressure of ten downvotes. But what they lack in tenacity they make up for with narcissism. So unlike Branson they engage in a cold war in their own minds, not having any tenacity or alts to rely on, until they can post some narcissistic masochistic historical revision about what 'happened' and why things are now worse since their 'status' was not respected. I've never read a more pathetic diatribe of self centered nonsense.

For the record I'd take a Julius Branson and five of his alts over any one of these whiners. Absolutely pathetic.

I've never read a more pathetic diatribe of self centered nonsense. [...] Absolutely pathetic.

Meta-debate. I disagree that The Motte is anything like what OP is portraying, but that's just a difference of opinion. No need to morally shame them for disagreeing and thinking we're Voat... the sphinx is the least interesting part of a debate even when what he says is true.

The Motte is just a parlour game we all play. Barring the astronomical chance that someone here is a future revolutionary a la Lenin who reshapes the world according to theories they read here, The Motte provides zero external benefit and therefore people have zero duty to engage. There's no point if they're not having fun debates.

I agree with what you say for the most part. Whilst I think there is more value in the sphinx than you do.

I don't know if I am misunderstanding you but to me these people did engage by effort posting about the alleged woes of the motte. And considering the nature of their claims I'd stand by my assertions and 'shaming' language about where these claims come from. Though I am not trying to shame them to participate, I'm shaming them for participating the way they did.

I think your criticism is valid but I take issue with the wording of it. Why you would level that criticism at me for shaming 'them' when, as far as I'm concerned, and taking everything you say at face value, both parties are worthy of it? It seems to me, pardon the framing, that you walked into a 'fun' debate to tell me that it is low brow. I don't disagree but I'd still say it's worth having considering the lackluster display of the 'opposition'.

My complaint is the following.

Meta-debate is when you speculate about the motives and character of the other party rather than addressing their points. /u/trexofwanting wrote that he thinks The Motte is dead because he saw a post where someone calls a woman a slut. Instead of counter-arguing — for example, that trex is mischaracterizing the post, that one post does not represent the state of discourse, that speculating about female sexual nature is within bounds for The Motte's mission statement — you said he was only saying that because he was narcissisitic, lacks tenacity, and was unable to keep his emotions in check.

Even if that's 100% true (and trust me, I have an opinion on that) it's the lowest level of discourse. To the extent The Motte becomes dominated by meta-debate and social shaming, I'll find it less fun.

I wasn't referring to that comment or that complaint in particular. I was referring to comments more along the lines of mcjunker, and the general sentiment it imbues. Hope that serves as some clarification.

Barring the astronomical chance that someone here is a future revolutionary a la Lenin who reshapes the world according to theories they read here

My hope is that this chance is not so astronomical. Seems like generally social media platforms get dozens to hundreds of times as many views as they do comments. Given the high level of discourse here and the thousands of comments per week, I expect there are at least tens of thousands of views per week with people with at least a bit more potential to change the world than the average.

The Motte provides zero external benefit and therefore people have zero duty to engage.

Zero duty to engage is quite a different scenario than writing that post. The people who quietly leave are fine; posting an obnoxious and hateful "postmortem" is the opposite of zero engagement.

No need to morally shame them for disagreeing and thinking we're Voat.

I think I disagree there. If that thread deserved any response, it was a thorough sneering of its own. The tactic of crybullying is at least somewhat dependent on everyone else politely pretending that crybullies aren't pathetic and contemptible. The emperor is wearing clothes, and it's a frumpy smock with the words "INFERIORITY COMPLEX" scrawled in flashing neon LEDs.

Nearly every complaint I've ever heard about themotte being too far right just comes off as incredibly whiny. If you want to parrot simplistic leftist talking points to an unquestioning audience, become a middle school history teacher.

A long time ago I would have agreed with you, but it’s shocking how much the quality of this place improved once the mods brought the full banhammer on JB and his alts.

Ahh, but that gives us an absence of both jb and the whiners.

Whenever I see posts like this, I fully admit that I get a bit self-conscious and morose. I can’t help but recognize that my worldview (specifically when it comes to race - my views on a variety of other topics are far less scandalizing), and my willingness to express it in this space, make me one of the posters to whom these people are referring when they talk about the factors that repel them from participating here.

On the one hand, I don’t feel like the ways that I express that worldview are particularly egregious; to the best of my recollection I have never received a ban, and the handful of mod warnings I’ve received have been a result of me intentionally poking at the boundaries to see what’s permissible, rather than a result of me flaming out or trolling or whatever the usual banned accounts are accused of. I endeavor to be careful about the things I say, to engage only sparingly with certain users whose posts or beliefs I find “triggering”, and to always acknowledge when my interlocutors have made good points effectively countered one of my arguments.

However, I also can’t help but acknowledge that, for certain people visiting this community to see if it’s worth sticking around, there’s no amount of polish and civility that are going to make my posts palatable. And I want to offer a guarded defense of those people. If you’re, say, a black person, and you are genuinely concerned about the rise of white supremacy and convinced that smart, normal-seeming white people around you actually harbor deep antipathy towards you, which they conceal on a day-to-day basis only because they’re biding their time until they can go mask-off, it is probably very disconcerting - even viscerally scary - to see posters like me, and to see my arguments treated seriously and not dogpiled. To watch evil be expressed openly and with genteel calm, and to see people who claim to be good-hearted and to value justice not respond to every one of my (and, to be clear, other posters of a similar bent) posts with full-throated outrage.

I have personally experienced a similar feeling of alienation and shock - that sense of “wait, are you all hearing what this person is saying - and you’re just going to sit here and take it, and *act like this is normal?!*” - during my days as a minor progressive activist in college and shortly thereafter. Hearing the vicious, seething contempt expressed for white people, and watching white individuals - and individuals “of color” from whom I would have naïvely expected some support - just nod along as if that was a normal thing for people to say - was one of the defining catalysts leading to my lurching away from the left. It really is different when someone is directly targeting you and your identity group, and when you’re silently praying that someone else - someone with clout in that community, whose voice others might take seriously - will come to your defense, and you get nothing. You feel hung out to dry, and even if you can recognize that the discourse norms were not designed to harm you, and that perhaps those norms produce overall salutary effects in the overall balance of things, it doesn’t mean that you’re going to sit there and take it. And being the lone voice pushing against it is never going to be enough, because of the inevitable social dynamics of any human space.

Now, obviously none of this should be taken as an endorsement of changing anything about the norms of this space. If anything, I’ve lobbied for looser enforcement of certain rules than what our current status quo permits. I just want to offer some pushback against what I anticipate will be the overwhelming community response to this post, which is “Leftists are just bad at arguments and don’t like losing. Sour grapes!” Yeah, that’s absolutely a thing. But I want to try and at least have the self-awareness of the ways in which I’ve contributed to the process by which these progressives have come to find this place intolerable. It probably won’t change anything about my behavior, but it will at least help me build a better model of the intellectual landscape and the dynamics at play within it.

But the entire point is that there is no argument being made (because even having a debate would be a concession of the nature of the topic as up for questioning.) The overall cultural milleu of the present day means that many leftists try and bludgeon their political opponents through authority, not argumentation. If a evangelical Christian showed up to a university and cited the King James Bible as an authoritative we'd all laugh at him but that happens all the time in spaces like these.

When left-wingers make grandiose claims of moral and cultural authority, they get greatly offended when I tell them that I don't accept their expertise. They don't want to get down in the weeds and fight it out because that would give the right a platform and validity, as if our positions were equal to theirs. Their counterparts on the right have to fight for every inch of ground to even be heard and they don't even want to step out of their ivory-tower citadels to engage with opinions they don't aesthetically like!

So I don't care what they think, to be perfectly honest. They can wring their hands and whinge behind my back on how mean we are all they'd like. Chekists deserve only contempt.

When left-wingers make grandiose claims of moral and cultural authority

This isn't unique to left wingers. In a previous CW thread, OP posted an "excellent" essay by Jared Taylor in which the author ironically goes full smug

Our most powerful weapon is that we are right. The way we see the world is... morally unimpeachable. Ours is as noble a cause as history has ever seen. One for which a man would thankfully lay down his life. We must not destroy [our opposition] but enlighten and lead to the truth... This is the greatest challenge our people have ever faced. Together, we will fight in the greatest cause for which anyone has ever fought, and we will certainly win.

Simply responding to OP, Taylor, etc with: "Chekist/Nazi's/outgroup deserve only contempt" is antithetical the the goals of themotte.

Chekists

What are Chekists?

Officers of the Soviet Cheka, the NKVD, the secret police who carried out the dirty work of arrests, torture and execution against real or imagined dissent. Here, a label being applied to people who attempt to impose and enforce arbitrary ideological conformity.

I like it. It's succinct and to the point. Will use it in the future.

A funny variant is "Bluecheka", from Twitter's "Bluecheck".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chekism

Hereditary ideological enforcer.

Thanks!

There seems to be a bit of "weak leftists hate a forum where other views are tolerated" in this reaction thread. While those people exist, I do think that we need more "arguing in favor of a position" and less "hiding a weak argument by cynicism about other people Not Getting It." There were always conservatives posting (the accusation of pro-conservative bias goes back to the original SSC's comment threads), and that didn't prevent all non-conservatives from posting. "Having pushback" isn't discouraging; it's why I liked posting in /r/SSC originally. Having a weakly-argued rant get upvoted while a reply asking for evidence gets downvoted and ignored is discouraging.

And that's why I've been continuously asking for public upvote/downvote records. Voting plays a tremendous role in shaping a community, however much we want to LARP as logical supermen who certainly would never be swayed by social approval or disapproval. It's high time we acknowledged that and at least introduced the vague threat of being judged by the direction in which one nudges the forum in this fashion. As I see it, half an hour spent upvoting polemic hot takes one agrees with and downvoting challenges does more damage to the discourse than a single shitpost, and yet nobody has ever been banned or even called out for the former.

Why? We don't even see numbers until moat conversations are already over?

I wish we'd go back to instantly visible or not having them at all. Having them appear after one day combines the worst of both worlds.

Seconded. They really serve no purpose. They don't shrink, there's no purpose.

People still keep track (both of their own history, and what happened to other posters in older parts of the thread), I imagine. If the numbers are hidden for longer, that just makes it more insidious, since the up/down ratio still shapes the community by influencing the ordering in which replies are presented.Apparently I missed that we don't do sort by votes and probably also lost Reddit's graying of heavily downvoted responses.

since the up/down ratio still shapes the community by influencing the ordering in which replies are presented.

The default is "sort by new". I guess if you changed it back to the reddit "sort by top" that would be a concern.

Ah, I didn't realise. Sorry, I guess that's actually a non-concern then.

I’ve been here (well, ‘here’) for 7 years because this is the best-moderated generalist discussion forum on the internet, with the highest standard of writing and a generally friendly and polite audience who have many interesting stories and experiences to share. When something interesting happens in the world, you’re the people whose opinions I’m interested to hear about it.

I do wish that there were more of the principled and well-read leftists open to opposing views that I’ve met in real life here. They seem to be in short supply online. I also opposed the move from Reddit because I think it makes new user acquisition extremely difficult. There may be room for the gentle dissuasion of single-issue topic warriors, if only because it gets boring having the same arguments over and over again. Still, these are relatively minor complaints.

I just can't sympathize with the complaints in this vein:

By the time I got to the motte, there was an awful lot of IQ/race discussion, and if you want a diversity of viewpoints, maybe consider that people that are the target of that kind of talk find it pretty exhausting to have to share space with people who seem to be obsessed with devaluing them. It creates its own sort of echo chamber.

This just sounds like someone who belongs to the dominant ideology and has never experienced people unapologetically stating non-mainstream views before. As a reactionary conservative Catholic for the last 20 years, the overwhelming majority of opinions I've read have been counter to my beliefs, to put it mildly. There are people on this site who think I'm a net negative to the human race. And that's just fine. I'm hear to read what they say because it's interesting and because I can handle it. If it's standard prog/transhumanist/libertarian argument #2,547 I might skim it, but there's still a good number of novel (to me) ideas in the posts here.

I really think this describes the majority of the left wing burnouts. "It's too hostile! Everyone's always pushing back on what I say!" Maybe that's because your own ideas are soft because your rarely receive pushback. No, your Thanksgiving dinner table argument with your redneck dad doesn't count even though it probably made you feel like Rosa Parks. The right wingers here are more tenacious and educated then average, so their criticisms and argument sting more. Welcome to The Motte, that's what this place is for.

To be clear, I'm not trying to dump on those folks. I'm sure it's a legitimately challenging and shocking experience. And I want to give special thanks to the left of center folks who stick around on The Motte. Without y'all this place wouldn't work, and I hope you stick around to keep the right wingers on their toes.

(Also one of the other posts successfully guilted me into resuming janny duty. Forgive me Zorba for I have sinned.)

To be clear, I'm not trying to dump on those folks. I'm sure it's a legitimately challenging and shocking experience. And I want to give special thanks to the left of center folks who stick around on The Motte. Without y'all this place wouldn't work, and I hope you stick around to keep the right wingers on their toes.

It's made harder I think, by the reversed polarity of the mainstream/counter culture that happened during the noughts. Because before that it was the other way around - leftists had strong arguments that made rightists feel uncomfortable. But it's really hard to notice that you don't have to fight as hard as you used to, especially if you have been trying to improve yourself - maybe you have just gotten better at arguing!

Incidentally, that's part of why I credit the posts in that thread that mention that we have moved further rightward since leaving reddit. Although I also think the move bonded us as a community more, which has also tempered things.

I think I have read every top level post of the past four weeks, and I don’t recall someone’s key argument being that prostitutes should be called whores.

There is room to explore how language evolves, though, and who decides when an emotionally potent word becomes a slur. Not every potent word is a slur: the words “felon”, “rapist”, and “racist” have high emotional potency today, in that calling someone these things creates a serious negative emotional reaction in the listener. In the case of “rapist” this emotional residue is clearly acceptable, but what about felon? What about those who are blankly labeled “racist” without qualifier for making the most innocuous of mistakes, and who are then categorized with history’s worst people? Functionally speaking, is that any different than a slur? Who is deciding when a word is so strong or unjustly used that it’s a slur?

The word “whore” has had a stable definition for a thousand years, almost identical to the Old English “hore” and similar to the proto-Germanic “horon”. It’s used in the King James Bible. It is used by Shakespeare 59 times. It has long-standing use in English. When did it become a social violation to call a prostitute a whore, and is this justified by virtue of the connotation of her act? If someone has a strongly-held personal belief in the immorality of prostitution, and his own holy book calls those in the profession “whores”, is he justified in using the term? Are we justified in preventing him, any more than preventing him from using the words “sinner” and “damned”?

So it is an interesting question, and it cuts to the root of the potency of language and its control by vague and unspecified powers. I doubt any of us would use the word “whore” outside of private company, and I wouldn’t despite making the rational argument for its use. But… why? It’s not actually an easy thing to puzzle out. “Because of the social connotation” is just begging the question! How are we all accessing the same terms blacklist in our linguistic OS?

"Whore" is a preferred self-descriptor for Maggie McNeill, longtime escort, blogger, and activist. She has an idiosyncratic vocabulary in general. "Amateur" is her term for a woman who exchanges sex for anything other than an explicit sum (e.g. attention, status, love, financial support within marriage). Fascinating lady!

Today is a day to shamelessly celebrate our shameless history, not a day to cater to the precious fee-fees of amateurs by neutering our terminology so as not to offend their delicate sensibilities with a raw, unsanitized word like “whore”. ...This is a day for sexual outlaws, not well-behaved “workers”...

She intends to reclaim "whore." She almost certainly can't succeed.

"Whore" has been rude for a very long time, hence the proliferation of slang and euphemisms. This source says it's been uncomplimentary since at least the 13th century. But it probably became unsayable in the Victorian era and in our time for a reason.

In Nine Nasty Words, John McWhorter describes how profanity in English has followed this general course: blasphemy > bodily functions > identity slurs.

To medieval English speakers, the worst things you could say were all religious curses: "God damn you!" or "God blind me!", "God's blood/wounds/hooks/nails!", etc. Earthly matters like sex and excretion were no big deal. The common kestrel was known as a windfucker, and anybody would give you directions to Gropecunt Lane where the brothel stood. This shifted post-Enlightenment. As sanitation and privacy improved, bodily functions became matters of greater and greater delicacy. To the Victorians, nothing could be less polite than your gross meatbag and the gross stuff it does. By the 1940s, even the word "belly" was a bit vulgar. If we can't even call to mind digestion in polite company, we certainly can't allude to what "whores" do.

Then the late twentieth century! We've conquered so many pathogens, we hardly fear them anymore. Bodies are beautiful, natural things! Parents are encouraged to teach their children the proper names of body parts, and their functions are no reason to blush. These days, George Carlin's "seven words you can't say on television" (all related to excretion, body parts, and sex) are heard more and more freely. As I typed this, I overheard a teenage girl on a TV show call someone a "motherfucker."

We still have taboo words, only now they are all slurs against identity groups. We don't call sex workers "whores" because there is nothing currently ruder in English than insulting someone by category.

I definitely don't recall any whore post, so either it's in another thread I haven't bothered reading, or our friend is doing a bit of rhetorical exaggeration. I haven't stuck around the original SSC since the Motte originally split off, and there seems to be the same thing as what is going on with TheSchism there - now all the horrible witches have left on our broomsticks and the pure kind reasonable folk remain, the comment threads shrink to one-tenth of what they were because "I think niceness is nice!" "Me too, I agree!" doesn't make for the same kind of engagement.

or our friend is doing a bit of rhetorical exaggeration.

This is excessively charitable. Another poster pointed out the probable source of the comment. It was misrepresented.

This is another quokka thing. When someone says "you suck", they may not be acting in good faith. If you immediately respond to that saying "well, we do sort of suck and I can understand how you see why we suck", you're playing into his hands. But rationalists can't resist doing that.

This is also related to the adequacy.org style of troll--the post has impeccable grammar, and argues at length, qualities which we here tend to treat as an insightful post. But the content is terrible anyway.

This is also related to the adequacy.org style of troll

Fascinating. Tell me more, please.

Why do leftists seethe at the mere existence of a tiny irrelevant forum where people might be saying things they don’t like? We had to move off Reddit, eventually the userbase will dwindle and disappear and we have no larger cultural influence.

Assuming the question wasn't rhetorical...

Liberals and to a certain degree Americans have a belief in free speech. Not just as a God-given right, but as a principle that creates the most public good.

Good ideas will win out over time, reasonable people will be able to identify bad ideas, poke holes, and most people will go along with the good ideas. Truth has nothing to fear from its enemies.

So what does it mean when there is a forum dedicated to the principles of free and civil discussion... and it doesn't converge on what you know to be true? When your beliefs that are widely held on highly-censored forums become difficult to defend on a free-discussion forum?

It is easier to believe there must be some other fatal flaw with TheMotte than it is to believe that there is something wrong with your beliefs. It must be dog-pilling, witches, some other phenomena. But what if there isn't anything flawed about TheMotte, it's either your beliefs or the principle of free discussion that is flawed? That would be a hard pill to swallow and I can see TheMotte's existence bothering people on a subconscious level.

America is diseased, rotten to the core.

  • -22

Avoid low effort comments that only add heat and no insight. "I Hate Thing" is not a meaningful contribution.

Hi dear mod,

This is in fact a funny quote from this famous meme https://youtube.com/watch?v=LmWQd8zhEg4

So I was being light hearted which contrasts with most of my hyper-serious longform comments, besides even literally this is not hate speech per se, one can diagnostic flaws in America as a "disease" from which it needs solutions/healing so it should be seen as an empathic statement that strives compassion towards the state of America and also could feed subsequent thoughts about what exactly are the problems and how could we solve them?

In case you think this is off-topic, the rise of censorship is a political, social and cultural problem.

It's not off topic, it's just low effort. Don't expect the mods to be familiar with all the latest memes.

I posted this on /r/SSC, but I wanted to repost here because I feel like it's a good summary of my commenting approach:

I also still enjoy themotte. I might, in some ways, be one of the crazed right-wingers that many don't like, but I at least hope I'm not -- when I write to describe my (admittedly right-wing) viewpoints on things, my goal isn't to wage the culture war or to be a dick, it's to ensure that a high-quality version of what I understand to be true is out there, especially in response to criticisms that I feel misrepresent my views. My goal isn't to convince, but to clarify, and indeed to help others and myself come to an understanding regarding where and why we disagree. I think that's the most important goal in discussion of any kind, and I had some very personal and enlightening conversations with philosophy professors in college who helped me come to that understanding of the value of intellectual debate.

One of the best things about culture war thread -- and I admit it was more common when it was on this sub than it is now -- are people steelmanning and going to bat for underrepresented views or views they themselves don't hold. I try to do that as often as I'm able.

There are definitely low-effort sneers and very silly comments full of uncharitable takes and extreme nonsense. I try to ignore those, but sometimes they do suck me in and I end up arguing for 3 hours over whether 6,000,000 +- 1,500,000 people dying in gas chambers and hard labor camps is still a genocide. It is.

However, I will also go on record saying that I do, regrettably or not, enjoy the ideological bent of the site in a way that more left-wing posters may not. I have been rather desperate for a place where, whether there are witches there or not, something close to the best and brightest of the American right are able to discuss their views without getting shouted down. I'm open to left-wing viewpoints (I am a dissident from the right on some issues, like healthcare) and I would rather the motte not be a total echo chamber, but the lean of the place, well, it's given me something I have wanted for a long time. I think (in Jonathan Haidt terms) the American right has something crucial to offer society, which is often drowned out by the nonsense that spews from its more populist talking heads (and I'm talking about some of who you might be thinking of, and some who you might not). So, I'm glad there's somewhere on the internet that at least tries to give right-wingers who can type in complete paragraphs a place to discuss their views with anyone and everyone who is willing to listen.

I would highlight @FiveHourMarathon (I don't recall his reddit username) as a great representative of themotte's ability to attract intelligent right-wingers. We've had some strong disagreements, but I always appreciate his input. There are certainly ways he deviates from the conservative mainstream, but in most ways I think he's representative of who

In that sense, I rather resent the Fox News comparison; I don't think we're dealing with the normie conservatives but with rather smart ones. Even the witches are rather bright, as witchy and as vile as I may find them. While I do find some of their antics offensive, I try not to feed the trolls too much.

I would also add that, ultimately, if we ban Holocaust discussions I don't know if we can avoid the long and nebulous descent into banning other things, too. I have my own hobby-horses that I like to comment on which are unpopular, and I'd like to still be able to offer my opinion on them. I see tolerating the Holocaust discussions, which I think are more boring than anything, as the price to pay for a generally free discussion space.

Additionally, I'd argue that the motte has become less appealing to many because the culture was has heated up.

Several of the comments on the linked post went along the lines of, "well, I used to like commenting on the culture war thread, but now Republicans are Opposing Trans Rights and so I don't want to talk with conservatives." I think this shows, in a way that wasn't true back in 2014 when Scott wrote his CW masterpieces or later on when the CW thread was on SSC, that the right has woken (heh) up to the culture war being a big deal and is now actually trying to wage it. The left, in response, has amped up its culture war waging too, and people are being forced to take sides. "Free debate amongst dissenting people" became right-coded, and hence the motte did too.

I recall, once upon a time, when I felt like no side in the political sphere really represented me, because nobody wanted to go to bat for culture war issues I cared about. Who was talking about feminism's impact on young men or the obfuscation of language in social justice in 2014, other than Scott? So his blog made unlikely allies out of more traditional liberals who disliked some aspects of the social justice movement, and conservatives who felt like there was no one else offering good criticisms of their enemies. ("It's just a few kids on tumblr.")

Now, though, the mainstream right has adopted lots of CW aspects into its platform, especially in Florida. The culture war isn't just a discussion about what's going on on Tumblr or what's going on on college campuses; it's a real war, being fought by actual politicians, now. So blue tribers are retreating to their enclaves, and red tribers to theirs, while the grey folks (I love you, boo kiss) are rather being forced to pick a side. Scott Alexander, for all his criticisms of the left's approach to the culture war, is a polyamorous atheist living in the Bay Area; of course his allegiance is to the blue tribe, even if by their standards he's a heretic.

A few more liberal folks like Haidt are holding their ground in favor of free discussion with the opposition, but increasingly I feel like I myself have become more partisan, more ideological, less inclined to compromise than I was in, say, 2018, in part because I feel like my opposition has gotten more extreme, but also because I increasingly feel my own side is invested with Glorious Purpose. I'm not saying that's definitely true or anything, that's just how it feels. I think the same has probably happened to a lot of more left-wing people.

I would highlight @FiveHourMarathon (I don't recall his reddit username) as a great representative of themotte's ability to attract intelligent right-wingers. We've had some strong disagreements, but I always appreciate his input. There are certainly ways he deviates from the conservative mainstream, but in most ways I think he's representative of who

It was an honor just to be nominated, but I can't help but feel that naming me as your favorite right-winger is rather like an MSNBC fan naming Joe Scarborough as her favorite Republican. That is to say, I can't fight off right-wing as an accusation, but I certainly couldn't claim it as a laurel either given my generally degenerate morals by right-wing standards.

Scott Alexander, for all his criticisms of the left's approach to the culture war, is a polyamorous atheist living in the Bay Area; of course his allegiance is to the blue tribe, even if by their standards he's a heretic.

What is widely perceived as right-wing tolerance of left-wing heretics is more just right-wing retreat. I recently attended a local Republican candidates event, and it is immediately obvious that the conservative morality police are in full retreat; orderly retreat to a greater or lesser extent for each issue or individual. One of the proposals being forwarded over and over was that all public school LGBTQWERTY issues should be shuffled into an elective course that students could take with parental permission. This is a reasonable, and fairly libertarian!, compromise position: people who want their kids to learn this stuff can have them take the class, people who don't want their kids in that class can avoid it. But I'm old enough to remember the Republicans on the school board when I was a young teen trying, repeatedly, to ban the Gay Straight Alliance club from the high school. Two decades ago the position was that students outside of class should not be allowed to talk about Gay issues on campus; now that the war has been lost, they're just hoping to keep it out of English class.

Out of the handful of people there, we had multiple open (married) homosexuals, and Hispanic candidates. If one has a longstanding commitment to a certain format of gay rights or racial tolerance, then as Chicano activists in Texas used to say: We didn't cross the border, the border crossed us.

There are definitely low-effort sneers and very silly comments full of uncharitable takes and extreme nonsense. I try to ignore those, but sometimes they do suck me in and I end up arguing for 3 hours over whether 6,000,000 +- 1,500,000 people dying in gas chambers and hard labor camps is still a genocide. It is.

This is what lends the critique of The Motte it's validity, I don't really enter the culture war roundup thread here, just check what the self posts have to say, because whenever I enter the culture war thread I get bogged down by someone who ardently holds a very controversial opinion, and lacks the eloquence or intelligence to properly defend that argument.

The smartest red tribe enclave on the internet still has a reason to exist, as someone on reddit said: "I would still go there just to see what the intelligent right-wing position on this issue is." The current Motte fails to live up to that standard.

  • -15

I don't really enter the culture war roundup thread here, just check what the self posts have to say,

This is the part that removes all validity of your criticism. You ignore 95% of the content of the site, but one cherry-picked example is damning?

Its like going to the park and spreading your picnic blanket next to the only pile of dog shit.

The smartest red tribe enclave on the internet still has a reason to exist, as someone on reddit said: "I would still go there just to see what the intelligent right-wing position on this issue is." The current Motte fails to live up to that standard.

You might be right that it doesn't live up to that standard, but the example you quoted does not provide an argument for that. Just because a place allows some people to dabble in revisionism or denialism, doesn't mean you don't otherwise get good arguments from a particular side there.

Oh, it's definitely flawed. But sadly I really don't know a better space to find what I'm looking for.

Well just look how genuinly retarded the other two answers to my post are. I wrote that I no longer enter the culture war thread, because too often there are low quality shitflingers inside, i.e. the density of people who do not contribute to the discussion yet engage with it anyway is too high for my tastes. The two critiques to that? "The existance of low quality contributors does not exclude the existance of high quality contributors" (no shit, it is about how proportional they are, every page will have both) and "As I don't use the website my criticism of it is irrelevant." (I stopped using the bulk of the website because of the criticism...). In the spirit of good grace I have to add here that the second response is vastly more retarded than the first one.

I am not actually sure where I go nowadays if I want a smart right wing perspective, I used to lurk another forum where a few full blown nazis were around due to extremely lax moderation, but some of them were wicked smart, but I don't go there anymore for various reasons, mainly that it was too addicting. I guess I just read books of individual conservatives I respect now, I havn't found a place where their wheat accumulates, too much chaff everywhere.

Westernman.org is an interesting rabbithole I found on 4chan's /lit/, kind of a Platoist/Aristotelean new coat of paint for the alt right, but they don't seem to have a forum yet.

  • -22

I know you are just trolling but for the peanut gallery here

I don't really enter the culture war roundup thread here

is different from

I no longer enter the culture war thread

so, good job on moving those goal posts there, but in general the Culture War thread is the bulk of the content on the site, even if you don't like it.

Well just look how genuinly retarded the other two answers to my post are.

You would get responses just about as retarded as those anywhere else on the Internet. And infinitely more retarded ones as well.

The crux of the matter is the retardedness really stands out when you are in disagreement. Similarly weak arguments, missing the point, etc; are forgiven when they are committed by tribe members.

Well just look how genuinly retarded the other two answers to my post are.

Okay, so like, I just had a discussion with someone about the difference between saying "You're an idiot" and "Your argument is idiotic." Generally, the latter is just enough veneer of civility to let pass, even though we understand that functionally it pretty much means the same as the first statement.

Escalating to "genuinely retarded" is just dialing it up too much. Not because we prohibit the so-called "r-slur", as reddit calls it, but because you're making it as obvious as you possibly can that you're calling other posters retarded. You can criticize their answers as low quality, but don't take swipes like that.

No offence mate, but your username is unfamiliar. I don't remember seeing you getting bogged down arguing with anyone, and you don't have any links to evidence of your issue. Without a reason to believe that you know what you are talking about, people won't be able to empathise with you and they won't believe you know what you are talking about. Maybe you could link your reddit history? If it won't make you too easy to identify.

In the spirit of good grace I have to add here that the second response is vastly more retarded than the first one.

The irony here is just delightful.

So blue tribers are retreating to their enclaves, and red tribers to theirs, while the grey folks (I love you, boo kiss) are rather being forced to pick a side. Scott Alexander, for all his criticisms of the left's approach to the culture war, is a polyamorous atheist living in the Bay Area; of course his allegiance is to the blue tribe, even if by their standards he's a heretic.

I grow increasingly confident about my claim that insofar as the color tribes exist, the gray tribe surely doesn't. It's just "blue tribe", expect, basically, super duper blue every which way. Not just urban, but chiefly concentrated in the citiest cities available. Not just secular but - as a rule - atheist/agnostic expect with a surprising interest in Eastern religions. Not just living in a post-Sexual-Revolution culture, but one big polyamorous cuddle pile. And so on.

The thing is, precisely, that the "gray tribe" is so super blue it actually alienates them from "regular" blue tribers, making them the folks that your regular middle class liberals can point to and laugh: "Whoa, look at those weirdoes!" Lots of commentary like that when people have discussed the FTX scandal, for instance. It's this alienation that frees them from the comfy social sphere that underlays the blue tribe attachment to general blue politics, taken as what all smart and moral people obviously believe as a matter of course, and leads them to potentially explore other political ideologies and avenues. (Of course, that's not the only necessary factor, there's plenty of weirdoes who largely stick with some version of more conventional blue politics.)

Sorry for late response, just finding this while reading quality contributions list.

I find it hard to believe grey tribe doesn't exist.

There might be some super blue tribe group, but I never thought of them as grey tribe.

To me the grey tribe is the anti-tribe, or the tribe-less outcasts. The Matt Parker and Trey Stones of the world. The serial contrarians that can't help but feel incorrect when they agree with everyone around them.

I don't want to laude then, I consider myself grey tribe, but not with any pride. Instead I think my brain might be broken, or I'm missing a fundamental part of human psychology. I can't have sports teams I cheer for, I can rarely feel the energy of a crowd, I can't connect with any tribe, and I have no loyalty to any group of people.

When shown divisive personas like Trump I just have to shrug and say "I don't get it". I don't get the love or the hate.

My mother and sister are blue tribe, my father and brother are red tribe. I know what both sides look like. Neither side would claim me, and I wouldn't fit in either way.

Maybe I'm not this "grey tribe" that people discuss, but I strongly believe that society is not fully divided into a binary red and blue tribe.

insofar as the color tribes exist, the gray tribe surely doesn't. It's just "blue tribe", expect, basically, super duper blue every which way.

Fully agreed. "Gray tribe" is like the cringey "Class X" chapter in Paul Fussell's book about the American class system; it's mostly a way for the people reading to feel smugly superior to the rabble who haven't broken free from their class origins/tribal behaviors. Fussell seemed concerned with separating himself from "uncultured" "embarrassing" middle classes while his supposed "Class X" was extraordinarily middle class, just like the people here who are embarrassed by Team Blue and say they are "Gray tribe". I am embarrassed by them too! But I don't pretend that I am something else just because I'm good at math or vote Republican.

The grey tribe is definitly more red-accomodating than the wider blue tribe. I am a Christian, and rationalist-adjacent spaces are pretty much the only space where I sometimes feel like fencing against atheists and doing a very mild form of proselytising, in other blue tribe circles that would be pearls before swine. (Matthew 7:6)

take a look at the subredditoverlaps for SSC.

Yes, samharris and redscarepod have strong blue tribe identity at x63.78 and x17.64 respectively. But there is also truechristian (right wing christian sub) at x10.67, jordanpeterson at x8.58 and catholicism at x6.52. For not explicity Christian red tribe associated subs there are lockdownscepticism at x10.42 and goldandblack at x7.20. Also stuff like menslib at x11.54 and moderatepolitics at x8.54. Neoliberal at x10.00. Classical right wing reactionaries are underreprestented, but there seem to be quite a few conservative Christians, classical liberals, neoliberals and centrists around next to the blue tribers in the grey tribe (although neoliberals are probably blue tribe, hard to tell since left wingers hate them so much).

take a look at the subredditoverlaps for SSC.

/r/redscarepod/

I tried listening to them. Besides listening to the very peak of urban millennial irony poisoned women, I don't get it. How do have a fan base? What's the point?

Neoliberal I wouldn’t include with red tribe spaces. That sub is full fledge Democrat establishment now. It’s not your Milton Friedman neoliberalism. It’s basically Hillary Clinton supporters who are online too much,

The grey tribe is definitly more red-accomodating than the wider blue tribe. I am a Christian, and rationalist-adjacent spaces are pretty much the only space where I sometimes feel like fencing against atheists and doing a very mild form of proselytising, in other blue tribe circles that would be pearls before swine. (Matthew 7:6)

The barpershop pole theory of political tribalism?

That or it's the status totem pole rearing up again, super blues may not be afraid of having red assiciation rub off on them, while nominally blues are. Super high class can adopt low class dress and manners with less risk of being seen as low class, in many ways someone just rising out of the low class can't.

If you ever click through the profiles of the most obnoxiously progressive and ideologically rigid Redditors, you'll often find they are "lumpen-intelligentsia" of a sort--mostly people from small, irrelevant cities (nothing wrong with this!) who seem to be trying to emulate big-city liberals who read the New York Times. Actual big-city progressives don't seem to spend nearly as much time trying to prove their blue tribe bona fides on Reddit, they're busy in graduate school or at a climbing gym.

As long as it is spinning fast enough noone can tell what colour it is from the outside haha

I grow increasingly confident about my claim that insofar as the color tribes exist, the gray tribe surely doesn't.

I feel it should be pointed out that this was Scott's original take as well. He mentioned the idea of the grey tribe, but then said they're basically a specific faction of the blue tribe and weren't really their own thing in his analysis.

Sure, though that makes it just one more instance in the list of Scott-originating concepts that have since mutated to something other than intended originally.

Finally, the first frontal assault on our new fort! I'm surprised it took this long actually.

This is going to turn into yet another meta thread. Critics of The Mote, especially former posters on Reddit, do not appreciate that The Motte is probably one of the few places online where any position, provided it's well argued and not too egregious, is allowed and will not be censored or ghosted by overzealous mods. Go ahead in find any other community on Reddit that allows this. Or any forum.

case in point:

https://old.reddit.com/r/slatestarcodex/comments/10cyp8d/the_motte_postmortem/j4mm5vb/

Honestly I am tempted to just dismiss the whole thing as banned users of a community airing their grievances.

I personally don't find the new site too echo-chamber-y at all, though I'm a wishy-washy centrist. I guess it's natural that someone accustomed to the norms of explicitly leftist discussion spaces would find it pretty witchy though.

I think it's become less of an echo chamber lately. It was pretty bad during 2020 and early 2021, but once people got burned out of covid/vaccine/Trump discussion things have gotten a lot better.

I have observed that well-argued left-wing positions are well-received here. It's not as bad as some on reddit are claiming. There might be some pushback but I have seen plenty of right-wing views, like about vaccines, also get pushback.

I think right-wing-favored topics like anything to do with the vaccines are getting pushback more out of exhaustion than because of their substance, IMO. Or, at least, people are less-willing to forgive some of those right-wing agendas for epistemic mistakes.

I thought nk the opposite, I used to be a push back on vaccine posts but these days I just collapse them. Everything has been said and there isn't much to fight over besides collecting the slow trickle of results and dunking on long past predictions.

Amen, brother. I just so don't give a shit. I realize that's a luxury that some don't have (gotta check that privilege), but where I live, there are no masks, no vaccine requirement, you can get one if you want. Yes, it was bad for a while, but they never actually forced it (except maybe for healthcare workers, which was something of an own-goal, and also reasonably understandable to me).

I think Covid broke people's brains in both direction (Bill Gates is implanting chips, and if you don't double-mask outdoors you want to kill my Grandma and give me long Covid).

And there were offshoots of the offshoot. Some users moved to a more "right" version of The Motte called (I think) /r/culturewar (it's banned now, so that would make sense...). One prominent moderator on The Motte started a more "left" version.

Ah, a retrospective of someone who hasn't even been following closely enough to know /r/culturewarroundup and /r/theschism exists, surely they'll have a balanced reading on the place.

A few days ago I saw a top-level comment wondering why prostitutes don't like being called whores and sluts, since "that's what they are." Some commentators mused about why leftist women are such craven hypocrites.

I read at least the top post on every thread and don't know what this could even be referring to. Why is it whenever people critique this place they always come up with the threads that don't represent the modal motte thread at all? This all comes off as a thinly veiled /r/sneerclub post trying to keep /r/slatestarcodex users from visiting us.

I feel like I did see that post, but I genuinely can't remember the actual content, so who knows. I'd rate the Motte as a whole pretty much sex-neutral and any sex-negativity is more a side effect of the women-are-not-wonderful mindset that does find purchase here.

The tendency towards labeling neutral discussion of women as hostile towards women is yet another example of "When you are used to privilege, equality feels like oppression".

There are some genuinely hostile-to-women people here. We haven't had a "are women actually sentient?" post in a while, but those people are still around, as well as some other folks who are pretty seething on the topic.

If I remember that series correctly I don't think you've accurately summarized the, still quite objectionable, post. It was morning that women were sentient, not questioning whether women are sentient. I know that doesn't make it all that much better but I've seen it summarized the way you put it a few times and it always strikes me as wrong. If you agree with his premises, which I don't, the pity seemed reasonable.

We might be remembering different posts, and I don't want to call out the OP in question, but the one I am remembering was definitely more along the lines of "Is it possible women are basically p-zombies?"

Perhaps so, or maybe different posts in the same thread.

Those were some of my favorite series of posts. Some of the most unique insights into gender relations or less optimistically the gender war, were to be found in those threads.

Maybe my calibration is way off,but I dont really notice any hostility towards women here, I see the absense of ass kissing.

If you don't think proposing that women are literally non-sentient and/or should be property isn't evidence of some hostility towards the "meme sex" (not a phrase that gets used here, but the mood is certainly there), yeah, I do think your calibration may be off.

I honestly dont recall any such instance after the sentience kerfuffle died out.

Or in .org not r/.

I have noticed more hardline thoughtless rightwingers on datasecretlox forum as well. You know the ones who repeat obviously false or misleading rightwing talking points they just saw on Fox news.

>Checks post history: /r/antiwork. Every fucking time. And lots showing up from /r/subredditdrama, /r/hobbydrama, /r/leopardsatemyface, /r/socialistprogrammers, /r/sneerclub, /r/onguardforthee, /r/LateStageCapitalism, etc. Plus all the usual names: callmejay, lightweavernaamah, evinceo. And everyone disagreeing with them getting downvoted, as if there's some kind of brigade...

It's almost like the goal of all these complaints is to enable the leftist colonization and domination of a space they don't control, to censor... well, let's just quote them: "Those who engage in bad faith with intent of disseminating a worldview deemed unfit for civilized society"

On a related note, has anyone noticed how enforcement of the "no culture war" rule completely vanished from SSC so that people from those subs with names like "marx789" can come in and wage it without opposition?

BTW, what's that talk about /u/895158 going on a podcast and getting canceled? First I've heard of it.

And is the ssc discord a leftist echo chamber? Like the poster said, I kinda figured because of the general discord userbase, but still sad if true. They must have to do a lot of self-gaslighting.

Owch, name recognition, and not the good kind. I'm curious about how I earned a place in your rogues gallery. Am I really that bad?

It's almost like the goal of all these complaints is to enable the leftist colonization and domination of a space they don't control, to censor... well, let's just quote them: "Those who engage in bad faith with intent of disseminating a worldview deemed unfit for civilized society"

I was a mod for a sub about a somewhat controversial figure for years. This is how it works.

It's an incredibly weird phenomenon, because I can't see what's in it for them, but you get these people cycling in and out and spreading negativity into every thread and demand censoring of this or that voice or topic. There'd be constant threads about The Rising Number of People Talking About X Thing The Mods Really Need To Clamp Down On.

It's almost like it's a matter of principle for them to not let People Being Wrong On The Internet have their own space. And they strongly intersected with sneerclub-style subs that hated said controversial figure.

The goal was basically too harangue and annoy the mods enough to either do their bidding or to mire the sub in so much negativity that their point of view predominates. This seemed to exhaust normal people who just liked the content, meanwhile they seemed to feed on it.

I think, at one point, a mod tallied the comments and found that one particular leftist grudge-poster was making like 2% of the comments.

I wonder a lot if I should have just had a purge tbh. Cause I got exhausted enough to quit and I don't think they did.

I think there is a psychological component that explains that behavior.

If you hold mainstream woke views. All of the Internet discussion places (especially Reddit) are practically yours. Everyone is a friend, every subreddit is a room in your house. One has a stake in maintaining order in his house. To not let in the (enemy) outgroup for he might scare away your friends or harm them.

When those with non-mainstream non-woke viewpoints carve out their space in a subreddit, it is the equivalent of the drug dealers and gang bangers in your neighborhood sitting in your friends living room associating with them. So you go and try to let them know "hey I don't think you should be hanging out with them".

And to them, being wrong is a moral evil. It's the utterance or the thought of wrong ideas itself. "Please don't take God's name in vain in my house", It's the exact same impulse. Please don't be a bigot in my house. (But eventually gtfo my house)

IMO, you probably ought to have just purged. Arguing for censorship of others should be an instaban, justified on the irony alone.

Oh, there was a good argument for it. And it was made by other mods.

In hindsight I really do wonder if I was just being pretentious about "principles" and missing the forest for the trees.

Seeing how other "jannies" have acted with no consequences since then has made me feel even more silly.

And is the ssc discord a leftist echo chamber? Like the poster said, I kinda figured because of the general discord userbase, but still sad if true. They must have to do a lot of self-gaslighting.

I would say much more of a libertarian echo chamber -- reddit leftists would probably froth at the mouth about equally much though for different reasons. Much heavier emphasis on guns, economics, and policy, much lighter emphasis on race and sex dynamics.

It's quite a bit more strongly moderated for tone over there though - posting contentious takes and refusing to back them up tends to result in a ban, and I do think that tends to happen more for right-wing contentious takes than left-wing ones.

Categorising the DSL branch of the family as "Fox news watchers" told me everything I needed to know about that person. I dipped in and out because it's a little too to the right for me (American version) but they are certainly not the slack-jawed yokels in MAGA hats this poster wants to paint them as (some of them may own MAGA hats, who knows? but why not?)

Plus saying that CultureWarRoundup was less right-wing than here. I go over there to say the mean things I can't say on here 😂

I did get strong sneerclub vibes off them. Why is it not enough for them to have gained control of SSC and driven the witches off? They want everywhere to be colonised by them, which is probably ironic in view of their quite possibly strongly anti-colonialism slant.

Plus saying that CultureWarRoundup was less right-wing than here.

That one got a guffaw from me.

BTW, what's that talk about /u/895158 going on a podcast and getting canceled? First I've heard of it.

I think they're referring to TracingWoodgrains. He even posted about it here shortly after the move.

Oh thanks, I'm dumb, just assumed that

The mod who created it (and some suspect he did so purposely to divide and destroy the community) doesn't even post there

was talking about 895158 rather than TW, since the malicious intent was way more obvious from numbers-guy. Went "oh, he's a podcaster too?" without even considering the obvious answer >_>

Clearly bedtime.

Right-leaning communities must accommodate leftists or else it's considered an echo chamber , but left-wing communities are allowed to exclude conservatives.

The solution to prevent the motte from becoming a "den of witches" whilst still preserving its founding ethos is... variability. The mottes generalist nature is a strength here.

The pertinent issue is that a certain group of people have an overwhelming axe to grind on a specific issue and there is just no way a neutral observer can even fight back because they did not spend a literal 1000 hours grinding whichever side of that axe. Resulting in evaporative cooling (People just don't like seeing things they disagree with over and over and over again, irrational yes, they can just ignore them, but they are still people).

However. Because the motte is generalist. A lot of discussions can concurrently take place on a lot of different topics. The axe grinders can grind their axe in the corner with their fellow enthusiasts and the others can have a discussion on something else entirely.

To prevent a specific topic from sucking out too much oxygen. The mods should probably.. limit the number of discussions on a specific topic if it starts getting unwieldy.

I'll drop my hot take here. If there are too many posts about the Jews or the Holocaust. The mods should just go "Alright, we have reached our Jew discussion quota for the next two days, time to move on to a new topic". I personally REALLY don't care about this topic, I don't care if it was 6 million or 600 or 600 septillion. That topic makes the motte worse for me.

The mods could also add a banner to a specific post such as "This is an Urban Planning post" or "This is a Holocaust skepticism post", allowing for people looking to grind their axes to find their fellow axe grinders. And there will be a limited number of banners allowed per day. Shitty idea, I know, but I am throwing it out there.

I don't care if I am surrounded by witches. I am okay with associating with them. I don't even care if I have to see their witchy ramblings. I just don't want to see ONLY witchy ramblings.

What I thought is can we move threads? Move the new ones under an old one or something and replace the op with a link to the new thread.

Looking through the past CW threads, I'm not seeing it - "ONLY witchy ramblings." This is basically the only space of this kind that doesn't ban critical discussion on Jews or the Holocaust, which are very important topics in the Culture War, so when it does come up it is probably bothersome to a certain type... but:

I personally REALLY don't care about this topic... That topic makes the motte worse for me.

Does not follow. There are some topics that come up here frequently that I REALLY don't care about, and I click the '-' button within the 0.5 seconds it takes me to realize I'm not interested in the thread. You should just say that it's a topic that you do care about, and it bothers you when people discuss it with a critical perspective. That would be a more honest complaint, and it would ring true for the vast majority of people.

Allowing those topics (though I personally have posted 0 top-level threads on Holocaust denial (so far)) will lower the status of the community in adjacent spaces like SSC. I get the impression the mods are more committed to the purpose of the community than they are status signaling to other rationalists (and I don't mind the token denunciations from the mods here in that thread).

I get the impression the mods are more committed to the purpose of the community than they are status signaling to other rationalists (and I don't mind the token denunciations from the mods here in that thread).

Oh, make no mistake, when I denounce Nazis and Holocaust deniers, there's nothing token about it. But I actually do believe in the purpose of this community, and also, watching you trot out your best arguments when you're on your best behavior and not completely mask off gives me an idea of what your tactics are.

which are very important topics in the Culture War,

I find this statement unsupported. You can deny the Jews cultural veto in the same way you deny the black Americans, no need to prove anything about chattel slavery never happening in the south.

The focus on the topic generally is why I find white supremacists and nationalists utterly boring.

Can you explain exactly what you think is unsupported? You don't think the Holocaust narrative is important to the Culture War? It would be hard to take that position. Or you agree it is important but it's just boring and unnecessary to talk about it critically?

I think it's unnecessary to talk about in the context of the culture war. Your post almost sounds like you're denying the Holocaust for instrumental reasons, although I think you've posted that your reasoning went the opposite way. In any case, there's no need to deny the Holocaust to think the ADL is full of shit or to think that mass immigration is bad. If not the Holocaust (which I do think happened) someone will simply make up a fake genocide like the time the French killed more than the entire population of Algeria when they conquered it. But that would not justify Algerian immigration to France even if it was true!

Historical arguments are rarely politically productive. It's not like debunking Rousseau would destroy progressivism by taking out its roots, people would carry on exactly as they had before. Disproving the Holocaust would be the same. We know MLK was an awful person, but it hasn't taken even a little bit of wind out of the sails of progressivism.

Let's say theoretically that Revisionists are correct, you would still say it's unnecessary to talk about in the context of the culture war? Revisionists being correct wouldn't change your opinion on any culture war topics? If so, then we can just agree to disagree, and you're free to avoid discussion of it as you please.

If, theoretically, you learned the Revisionists aren't correct, would it alter your opinion of Jews at all?

That's why most most people don't really care about Holocaust denial and would not be much moved even if you could convince them that at least some parts of the historically accepted narrative are false.

That's why most most people don't really care about Holocaust denial and would not be much moved even if you could convince them that at least some parts of the historically accepted narrative are false.

"At least some parts" of all historical narratives are false, I'm obviously making a stronger claim than that. I think a lot of people would be moved by learning, for example, that there were no gas chambers or extermination camps. People here put on a display pretending that they wouldn't care if that Revisionist critique of the historical narrative turned out to be true. But it's hard to believe them when they otherwise seem pretty dishonest about their disposition towards Revisionism.

With all the criticisms you could make of Holocaust denial, "most people don't really care about Holocaust denial" is probably the least believable complaint you could make. People care a lot about Holocaust denial. Revisionism is systematically censored across all major platforms for publishing, social media, and video content. It's banned by law, with many people currently serving time for the crime of Holocaust denial. Canada, last year, is the most recent nation to criminalize Holocaust denial. Recently the head of CODOH, Germar Rudolf, has resigned and is in hiding in the United States because the US has denied his green card renewal and denied his application for political asylum- despite the fact he is married to an American wife with whom he has American children, and Germany has simultaneously refused to renew his passport. He is trying to avoid being deported to Germany for which he would spend many years in jail.

The people who seem to be most animated in responding to Holocaust denial also seem to be the ones saying how they don't care about the topic, or find it boring, but I just don't believe you because it's not the way someone acts when they have no investment in a topic. The number of replies I have received suggests that a lot of people care about the topic.

Okay, I should not have said "People don't really care about Holocaust denial," because you're right, obviously they do, it's an emotive topic.

But what I meant (and I think you know I meant this), is that even convincing people that the Holocaust was "less bad/exaggerated/not an intentional planned industrial-scale genocide" is not going to get anyone where you are actually trying to get them, which is joining you in your animosity towards Jews and following you down the ZOG rabbit hole.

So when I say I (and we) are bored and don't care about your umpteenth iteration on the subject, it's because (a) we do not find your arguments convincing and repeating another wall of text about it looks like you're taking the obsessive "This time, I'll get through to them!" route, and (b) we know what your actual agenda is (it's not clarifying historical inaccuracies). It's like JB and his never-ending theses which always generated a lot of replies. The fact that he could always provoke lots of replies with very emotive topics does not mean he was not tiresome and boring going on about topics people were sick of. I get that you're going to keep doing it because you are on a crusade and you're hoping to pick up a few converts, but "Haha, obviously you care a lot because you keep arguing with me!" is not the own you think it is.

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I'm already pretty right-wing, I would become more skeptical of historians in your scenario but none of my political positions would really change. If revisionists were correct about the Holocaust, it would be very important to set the historical record straight. But I think it would have a pretty minimal effect on the culture war.

Let me ask you a question: What do you think would happen, culture-war wise, if you were able to prove that the Holocaust was fabricated?