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Culture War Roundup for the week of November 27, 2023

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Wokeness, victimhood and how right wing associated groups "not caring" about being victimized makes you non woke.

This is such a common claim especially here that it deserves to be addressed in general.

What is wokeness about? Its simply the ideology, of lbierals, leftists and those fake conservatives that have been colonized by this ideology that denies any level of legitimate victimhood to its right wing outgroup (the epitome of it would be right wing white christian straight men) and promotes excessive rights and victimhood for its left wing associated ingroup. That frames the left wing ingroup as permanent legitimate oppressed and right wing outgroup as illegitimate oppressors who can never challenge the status of the first.

Its what the ADL, Soros pushes. Both pushing the mantra of white christians as threats to minorities and promoting an onesided hateful narrative and discriminatory policies including totalitarianism and dracognian very one sided hateful hate speech laws. And of course supporting mass migration because it would lead to the extinction of their ethnic outgroup. And do not allow dissent from this mantra and in fact portray all dissent as white supremacy.

Wokeness has plenty of common with certain extreme nationalists of every type and obviously with not only religious Judaism, but the ideological extreme that retains aspects of religious judaism the secular combo of progressive extremism and Jewish ultranationalism has been one of the most key parts of it. And various fellow travelers of that. The one that denies Jews any blame whatsoever on how they treat others except perhaps other intersectional tribes and does not allow any negativity and frames it as antisemitism. Since this is the biggest taboo, I find it important to focus upon it more and I would focus upon a different tribe if I gotten there more pushback. If you are SJW only for the Jews then you are still part of this especially since powerful Jewish organisations like the ADL are important players.

When even Fox News attacks Musk when he tells jewish organisations to knock it off with their antiwhite racism, and entirely denies this you know that the end result of Fox News influence is not going to bring things to jewish organizations with this ideology knocking it off. End of wokeness should mean end of the narrative of the eternally oppressed Jews who should now as lord ordains rule others. This ideology should not be tolerated and Jews should adjust their religious and secular self conception to abadon it. People of any faith can still believe in their religion but should respect the rights of others. If this means their Christianity, Judaism, Islam lacks a certain vision of conquest that existed in the original text, then so be it. And this applies to those supposed secular atheists who seem to have retained aspects of the religion, relating to excessive nationalism.

Are right wing related identitarians like white identitarians then woke? Well, no because they have a different who/whom. It is possible for them to be equally extreme to be similar but not necessarily the case.

Are all victimhood related arguements woke and only abandoning the issue makes one antiwoke?

Not again. Victimhood is actually directly related to justice. Recognizing accurately victims is a necessary component of justice. Excessive victimhood for the ingroup and 0 victimhood for the outgroup is of course injustice and why the woke are unjust. Its what every criminal wants, to get maximum sympathy and get away with it and their legitimate victims to not be seen as victims. And this is why you are part of the woke if you argue like the woke, for zero victimhood for the right wing outgroups.

The argument that the only antiwoke way is to not recognize rights and to concern troll right wing associated groups to not care by people who are in fact sensationalized towards right wing racism is preposterous. We know this argument isn't promoted in good faith for those who subscribe to it don't have a stance of never caring about victimhood ever, nor are they tolerant to what would seem as hardcore right wing racism. More than that, you see this political coalition be sensationalized in opposition of left wing associated victimhood proponents like MLK and civil rights movement even though that movement too like modern woke had its element of seeking excess. MLK argued that USA should treat blacks especially better for having treated them in the past especially bad and used both pressure of sit ons and threat of violent protests to demand that organisations upped black representation considerably treating it as evidence of racism where blacks were underepresented. Lyndon Johnson also considered Herbert Marcuse influence as very important to the civil rights act. key civil rights remaining figures have promoted this party line and with their activism caused multiple race riots too. Modern wokeness is a continuation and part of the progressive hued "rights" movements of the past who had all these elements there too.

If you have a completely hagiographic attitude to said movements, yes you are way is the way of the woke.

Victimhood politics for any tribe tends to increase sympathy for them and can reduce sympathy for others. This is why a political environment where certain tribes are sacred cows and other tribes have no victimhood, is one that will inevitably be extremely racist in favor of first and at expense of the later. The racist hateful people who promote this hateful dogma then pretend to be antiracist and slander others which is an additional injustice.

Concern trolling right wingers and identity politics of the right wing outgroup is wokeness 101 and those who do it are part of it. It is blatant racism to oppose people being opposed to racism because "victimhood politics" i.e. opposing you being victimized is "woke". Such distortion of reality is amazing to witness.

Another false claim I have seen even by right wingers is that adopting the mentality of the woke for your own group would be ethnomasochistic. But the woke are not masochists, they are extreme identitarians and they have gotten plenty of what they want. You could oppose being exactly the same, although some level of tribalism for your tribe too is obviously justifiable and complete lack does not lead to justice but you being preyed upon. The primary arguement against being as selfcentered as the woke would be that is an unjust dishonest mentality and the second arguement that it causes unecessary conflict and the third that it is paperclip maximizing dominance over other things that matters. That is that the woke way is the way where their end point is racist supremacy and their boot over others face, which is both a bad end and results in conflict and could wreck civilization.

I guess one could oppose intersectionality right wing style too on basis that it makes compromises with other tribalisms.

Also, if your group is being mistreated, noticing and opposing this is actually promoting justice and can not be opposed on the primary problems that wokeness has that a) its unjust b) that it alienates unnecessarily others and causes conflict in that way c) that it is a totalitarian vision that never ends that is indifferent and leaves no space for other important considerations.

There is a title for people who support racism against Christians or white people and oppose any opposition. Of course, I personally have a less strict definition of racism. I don't consider all restrictions of any kind racism. I believe we should act in line with reality. In fact I consider say migration restrictions to be anti-racist and mass migration anti nativist racism that leads to genocidal colonization as one example. Just like I consider property rights to be less classist in the ways that matter than a marxist society even though the marxist considers the first classist and his attempt to destroy the class enemy as end of classism.

Plus, I don't aknowledge that some of the things that people whining about isms are problems we should give a fuck about and can be good too, while in a consistent manner other things that might fall under this label are serious problems relating to injustice (treating others unfairly). For example, it is admirable for parents to care about their children first and put effort to raising them right and not Kin-ist and unfair to other children, but it would be evil if for the sake of your family and children having a bigger property you stole your neighbor's house or behaved like a mafia, became Walter White supposedly to provide for your family. I guess in this manner I also oppose this idea from some on the right that there is no such thing as racism, although I approve not taking seriously all the things in a very one sided manner that are called racism which ironically would make you a racist at your own expense, if you did take them seriously. I do think it is foolish not to prioritise the most pervasive racism of our time, especially when right wing associated legitimate grievances are denied by the use of all sorts of dirty tactics. When it isn't this type of concern trolling, the typical other way is to put a smear label of far right, or worse.

Nevertheless, the fact remains that unfortunately for right wingers who want to be exactly like the woke and not be called unjust, that this type of one sided fanaticism would be unjust for any tribe. Any right wing tribalism is not like the woke however, as it can be of a moderate form and pushes back at it in our current political environment where we have excessive tribalism for progressive stack tribes and too little for right wing associated groups. We don't live in a society where even most real right wingers demand that any left wing tribalism is abadoned, in fact you see even them often compromising with opposing real victimization of left wing associated groups and compromising with respecting identification of left wing associated tribes with left wing associated broader tribes of religious, racial, and ethnic nature.

There can be gray areas. What isn't a grey area are massive double standards and a greedy totalitarian mentality of the woke. Who would never have had the success they have if they were just a few kids at college. The concern trolling the right wing outgroup so that it doesn't promote victimhood by opposing racism at its expense is directly a very key part of wokeness and it is a mistake to buy into the self identification as non woke of those who with their influence are promoting this ideology and at best inconsistently promote limited hangouts. Those concern trolling the right wing outgroup should be more honest and say that they are racists.

What should be done about the woke movement? Well plenty can be written, to keep things for once short, I would say that as wokes abuse their power and use both goverment and private institutions to impose their ideology, screwing principles, law, precedent, that the way to go is to ban their NGOs, which includes ethnic supremacist organisations of left wing associated tribes too, not just general left wing organizations, and to not allow the woke to run any institutions and to be intolerant towards their ideology from the perspective I promote here that it is a fundamentally unjust ideology due to excess tribalism for ingroup and lack of due consideration for the group rights of the outgroup, that is no respect for tribalism of the outgroup. And treat all individual branches of the tree the same. The goal should be to stop this ideology from being enacted and to deradicalize people so they abandon it.

  • -26

As the @thenether said, while I'm pretty sure you're being sincere this post and several of your replies downthread read like a satire/parody of how a woke freshman poli-sci major would imagine their opponents think.

It's not exactly disabusing me of the notion that "woke-left" and "dissent/wignat-right" are two sides of the same coin, and in some cases literally the same people.

I am not part of the dissident right although there are some ideas where there is crossover, as is to be the case to anyone opposing the prevailing racism of our time and standing for the rights of groups associated with the right. Your crossover with the woke is quite much closer though.

And obviously the people who agree with the woke like you, do not allow victimhood politics for right wing identity groups but you do tolerate and allow it for left wing identity groups, and you directly attack those opposing this distinction. Your ideas fit directly with the woke. Your constant attacks towards any victimhood/identity politics for white people in particular is obviously racist especially when there are no white identitarian groups with substantial influence, and much more of other groups with said influence which promote a racist agenda. This is a very extreme and also very ahistorical agenda. It has only been promoted as the way to eliminate tribalism among moden far left and American liberals, who often don't realize how radical they have been.

I deliberately argue that unlike the woke we need to actually try to separate legitimate victimization with illegimate excess promotion of a group as victims where it is unwarranted. That accurately recognising victims and perpetrators is a key aspect of justice, which is undermined by various people not just you who try to argue that caring about victims of the wrong tribes is inherently evil and is dissident right-esque as you try to portray it. Which is a blatant circular argument. Its evil because you define those arguing it as evil.

In reality the moderate position that is in line with justice and the truth is that identity groups associated with the left, need to knock it off with their victimhood politics and hatred and come to tolerate and compromise with respecting the rights and identities of groups associated with the right like white christian straight middle class men. And of course those who have a self hateful mentality which is blatantly unjust should do likewise for their own group.

I even argued against right wingers adopting the same mentality as the woke and gave specific reasons of why, rejecting the claim that it is slave morality for the right to adopt that kind extreme supremacist tribalism. My specific argument was that it was unjust, caused unnecessary conflict and was a totalizing vision. So unlike you, I manage to distinguish my position with an extreme one in favor of any group. And I leave room for moderation for left wing associated groups too. I do think that both tribalism to a point and promoting legitimate victimhood to a point is justifiable for different groups and also explicitly for any identity groups associated with the right.

Especially those associated with the right, in the time where progressive extremism that disregards their rights is the more pervasive movement.

What is satirical is how you twist things and paint yourself as someone in the middle or as a "conservative" who somehow focuses much more on attacking the right than the left. Especially when the left wing tribalism is dominating by denying the right wing groups any legitimacy, which is an agenda that you completely fit into. In your David French-esque world it is Hlynka and those fake conservatives like the Torries who actually implemented the far left agenda in policies such as hate speech laws, mass migration, intolerance to native identity politics and AA that represent the true conservatism, while actual opponents of it are "woke"!

Apparently, these ideas are too incoherent for various people here to give a damn, which is convenient for those like you who try to muddy the waters.

Either various people here have a problem with their comprehension. And they tend to be those who previously have shown the same lack of comprehension and promoted this concern trolling argument. Or they actually can comprehend this distinction fine but like to pretend they don't.

In any case, the argument in favor of concern trolling white people, Christians, right wingers, men, whoever, is a blatantly false and easy to undermine through basic logic. The fact that so far it hasn't been sufficiently attacked and ridiculed is itself insulting for those who failed to do their duty and weaken a horrible argument that is pretty key part of the worse behaviors in politics today. There is clearly in certain spaces a shameful lack of conviction in areas where strong conviction is fully justifiable, but would challenge the basic premises of the woke/progressive stack faction. Worse than that the excess of conviction exists in trolling those who actually try to undermine these pervasive today fallacies.

And obviously the people who agree with the woke like you do

Hi there, I've been posting in rat-adjacent spaces under this pseudonym since the fall semester of 2012, yet clearly you are unfamiliar with me. If you were you would already know what my reply is going to be.

I see your claim that "unlike the woke we need to actually try to separate legitimate victimization with illegimate" and raise you. We need to reject the entire victimhood narrative/framing device wholesale. It's all illegitimate. Hegel's whole schtick about oppressors and the oppressed is a crock that bears only a tangential resemblance to the real world. Likewise, the entire concept of "slave-morality" is what the kids these days call "a cope" a desperate attempt by 19th century leftists to rescue their narrative from the increasingly overwhelming evidence of history. Amusing when viewed in light of the post about Napoleon's legacy up thread.

I see your claim that "unlike the woke we need to actually try to separate legitimate victimization with illegimate" and raise you. We need to reject the entire victimhood narrative/framing device wholesale. It's all illegitimate.

I didn't read OP's comment and have no interest in alt-right talking points, but isn't this an un-Christian take? Imo concern for victims is a much more ancient, Christian idea than a Hegelian one. My main problem with the current victimhood stuff very much is that I see it used by people who are already well off and privledged to look down on others. Figuring out the people in society who are actually struggling and uplifting them seems like a very reasonable Christian project - certainly that was the kind of thing I was taught in church at least.

Privileged/disadvantaged is exceptionally close to bully/victim, but it isn't the same. Being a victim doesn't make you righteous, it increases the possibility, but that's beside the point because victim hood isn't what's important - what is important is that you help people who are suffering so they don't have to suffer.

Not against that, but it still suggests looking at things through the framework of figuring out who the victims are (in order to uplift them) is valid, ordinary Christian business.

It does, but I worry that that's why mainstream Christianity has gone so astray and is currently falling apart. We made a measure a target. Basically I'm with hlynka, we need to abolish the victimhood narrative, not rework it - and while there might be versions of Christianity which support the victimhood narrative, they are flawed imo compared to our borderer shtick of personal responsibility and finding meaning in helping others.

Hegel's whole schtick about oppressors and the oppressed is a crock that bears only a tangential resemblance to the real world

The oppressor/oppressed bit is aaaaa-bsolutely not a Hegel original. His contribution (founding contribution IMO) to the current sickness was that knowledge begins with a relation among things, which is where the idea of oppressor/oppressed ultimately comes from, but was not him. He wasn't exactly an old school conservative, but he also isn't clearly recognizable as a modern liberal or leftist in any way whatsoever.

Likewise, the entire concept of "slave-morality" is what the kids these days call "a cope" a desperate attempt by 19th century leftists to rescue their narrative from the increasingly overwhelming evidence of history.

Also, Nietzsche was also completely not a leftist. The slave morality is indeed supposed to be a cope, of a sort, not of the 19th century but of the 7th century, BC. An ideology reaction of the Jews to their conquest by virile, life affirming masters.

The Leftist affair with Nietzsche is not based upon his being in any way on their side. He wasn't. The Masters are the good guys in his telling, to the extent there are any. The horrible man-beasts whose pure will and lack of moral feeling are not Leftists. Their love of him is based on outright ignoring most of what he had to say in order to grasp at a sense of libertinism.

The slave morality is indeed supposed to be a cope, of a sort,

You misunderstand.

Nietzsche may not have been a leftist but Nietzsche's philosophy starts from a position that the primary axioms of the left are true. That Rousseau is Right and Hobbes is wrong, that the church are a bunch of stupid meanies wanting to regulate your behavior, and that personal emancipation and actualization are the greatest of all goods. When I say "the entire concept of slave-morality is a cope" I'm not saying that slave morality is a cope. I'm saying the entire concept is a cope.

That "The slave morality is indeed supposed to be a cope, of a sort, not of the 19th century but of the 7th century, BC. An ideology reaction of the Jews to their conquest by virile, life affirming masters." is the sort of lie secular left-wing continental Europeans tell themselves to avoid confronting the fact that they lost the great power race to a nation of shopkeepers (the British Empire) and their mongrel ner-do-well foster kids (the US).

philosophy starts from a position that the primary axioms of the left are true

No, it really doesn't.

That Rousseau is Right and Hobbes is wrong

Uh are you sure about that? Nietzsche doesn't really "start" with the idea that all men are created equal, and I don't think you're talking intelligently about him or his work if you make that claim.

I'm honestly not sure if this is just you reacting to a half-baked understanding of Nietzsche gleaned from a mixture of other people reacting to his work (and maybe some disconnected quotes) or an incredibly artisanal hot take, but I feel like stressing that Nietzsche's philosophy very much did not start from the axiom that all men are created equal.

Rousseau's core axiom is not "that all men are created equal".

Rousseau's core axioms are, that all injustice is a product of social structure, and that social structures are imposed from the top down. Accordingly, the first step to building a healthier and more just society must be to demolish and discredit the existing social structures/norms. It is this conclusion that both Nietzsche and the political left are starting from.

However, as @FCfromSSC observes, the logical end point of this sort of belief is that there is no such thing as morality or "a higher law". Everything is "the will to power" all the way down. And I would argue that is why explicitly secular progressive and technocratic governments have displayed a historical tendency to pile mountains of skulls that put the likes of Genghis Kahn and the Holy Roman Emperors to shame.

Rousseau's core axiom is not "that all men are created equal".

You'll have to forgive me, because I thought that's what you were referring to when you opened up with talk of the primary axioms of the left. Equality and equity are very big bugbears on the left, and that's what my mind immediately jumped to when you spoke about a core axiom of Rousseau in the context of core axioms of the left.

However, as @FCfromSSC observes, the logical end point of this sort of belief is that there is no such thing as morality or "a higher law". Everything is "the will to power" all the way down. And I would argue that is why explicitly secular progressive and technocratic governments have displayed a historical tendency to pile mountains of skulls that put the likes of Genghis Kahn and the Holy Roman Emperors to shame.

I don't even see anything here that Nietzsche himself would disagree with. My understanding of his stance is that morality is in fact just another expression of the will to power, and it isn't like he has a terribly big problem with mountains of skulls. I think he'd disagree heartily with the left on exactly whose skulls should be put onto the pile, but the existence of it isn't really a problem from within his philosophy. Yes people are going to die, and as long as they aren't great people, who cares?

That said, I don't think there's all too much aversion to mountains of skulls these days. If you gave rationalists a button which said "In exchange for 98% of Subsaharan Africans getting their skulls removed and placed into a giant pyramid you will receive a perfectly aligned AI and full implementation of your desired social policies" I think that there'd be more than a few willing to push it.

Uh are you sure about that? Nietzsche doesn't really "start" with the idea that all men are created equal, and I don't think you're talking intelligently about him or his work if you make that claim.

...I don't think @HlynkaCG is claiming that Neitzche starts from the axiom that "all men are created equal". He's free to correct me, but he seems to be arguing, correctly in my view, that Neitzche starts from the axiom that humans are in charge, that there is no basis for morality beyond the human mind, that there is no God and no innate moral order to the universe, beyond what we impose on it through our own will and nature. That, not equality, is the core axiom of Rousseau, in my view.

That, not equality, is the core axiom of Rousseau, in my view.

I can appreciate that, but I was under the impression that we're talking about the overlap between Rousseau and the political left - which is why my brain pattern-matched the way it did.

'legitimate victimhood?'

Are you like, the edgy version of the Republican boomer that says 'Democrats are the real racists?' 'Wokes are the real oppressors?'

If you define wokeness by that parameter it means on some level you've functionally accepted the priors of critical theory and therefore are not particularly based in any aspect. Cringe indeed.

Are you like, the edgy version of the Republican boomer that says 'Democrats are the real racists?' 'Wokes are the real oppressors?

Nah because said "Republican boomer" would simply provide an example of some DEI type talking about how judging people on the content of their character instead of the color of their skin is "problematic" and leave it at that.

OP's post here goes above and beyond that threshold.

I disagree with your definition of "woke". It might have been telephoned to that degree, but I operate from a much different vantage. In short, I see woke as "Systems of power have been designed, and they weren't made with your prosperity in mind. Don't fall in the cracks that their laws and loans and research has made. Don't be a victim of The System: stay woke."

A medical example: sodium is painted out to be a much bigger factor than it is in blood pressure studies. But the government & processed food industries stand to make money off of advertising and low-rigor studies, so re-education is low on the priority list. Staying woke means cooking from scratch and adding salt to taste.

Now if you're going to look for grift, you'll find it. There is more bullshit being written every day than you can read. If you want to find something to fight, you're going to. But why would that be good for you?

If you are acting as if woke ideology doesn't exist and what only exists is opposing victimization of the system, then you are promoting something that is completely false and utterly distorts reality in the most extreme degree. Such things are dangerous, more so for humanity as a whole for big things than if you are in a sinking ship with a massive hole in it and we have people acting as if the hole only exists in your head.

The reality is that far left hateful extremists have captured private institutions and goverments and been implementing both hateful propaganda, and discrimination and even authoritarianism enforcing the agenda to destroy and defame the right wing outgroups while making the left wing ingroups sacrosanct of criticism. Distorting things is bad while noting the ugly reality and opposing bad things is obviously good.

This propaganda, discrimination, and agenda has been so pervasive, and so often talked about even in motte, that I can not take your framing as being an honest but as purposefully deceitful.

The likelihood that someone in good faith claiming that this is about sodium in blood studies is rather small. But it that eventually that I don't actually entertain as a real one, your judgement would be bad and you would be wildly misinformed. And since the correct goal should be to stop this movement and promote justice, and secondarily is part of the purpose of institutions to be run by reasonable people, then your mentality that greatly distorts reality in praise of wokeness and is pro woke, should be seen as part of the problem of wokenes, that is so damaging to civilization. What we need is reasonable people to be those in our discourse, not deliberate distortions or even at best discussions about how many angels can dance in the head of the pin.

MLK argued that USA should treat blacks especially better for having treated them in the past especially bad and used both pressure of sit ons and threat of violent protests to demand that organisations upped black representation considerably treating it as evidence of racism where blacks were underepresented.

King's era was, I would argue, of a considerably different social climate than today, and to suggest his aim (or the SCLC's aim at the time) was simply trying to "up" black representation (and you make it sound as if black representation was both fine at the time and that this was the only problem--as opposed to, for example, segregated schools, water fountains, churches, lunch counters, and a general caste system with blacks at the very bottom simply because they were black). The mid century US wasn't the same as it had been 100 years earlier, but it was pretty damn racist, particularly where I am from, the deep south.

Anyway possibly you weren't implying what I inferred from your quick gloss of MLK, but that certainly jarred.

It wasn't what I implied, so you shouldn't claim that it was. MLK was an antiwhite racist. If he opposed any antiblack racism that existed then too, doesn't change the fact that he was an antiwhite racist.

Also, MLK assumed all disparities were due to discrimination. There is also MLK's immoral personal conduct. https://chroniclesmagazine.org/web/the-sordid-legacy-of-dr-king/

The mid century US wasn't the same as it had been 100 years earlier, but it was pretty damn racist, particularly where I am from, the deep south.

Well, establishing how much racist against blacks that society really was and how far "seperate but equal" worked in practice would be an interesting question. My view is that it was anti-black and the so called civil right movement opposed that but they exaggerated how much the problem was pervasive with their assumptions of all disparities due to racism and their goal and what they tried to do and did succeed was to change the system into pro black and anti-white. The aspects of the woke agenda was there with them all along. One must also not forget all the riots and violence too.

Fundamentally all progressive "civil rights" movements have been a scam precisely due to this fact of not seeking an honorable end. The general scam about them being about opposing racism and sexism (or misogyny). The same applies with feminism and the other isms, too.

Does this imply that such movements can never have any legitimate grievances? No.They can have them at the start, but as they win, that doesn't apply. And even from the start there is a distortion of history and seeking extreme ends.

If these movements don't succeed in behaving in a sufficiently restrained manner, they should be condemned for that. It has been long overdue, and if it was more pervasive we wouldn't have the excesses in the directions that the so called civil rights movement wanted.

I would argue, of a considerably different social climate than today

The leftist activist climate has a lot of continuity. Things aren't as different as it might seem.

I did say it was my inference, but okay. I see. Well, I disagree with almost all of what you're saying here so I don't feel I'm erring too much in dismissing your other conclusions.

Do you have a valid reason to disagree, or is it just due to partisan bias in favor of progressive movements, no matter how extreme? There is a great continuity in rhetoric. MLK's own rhetoric and of his movement was about giving blacks special treatment in their favor. He was for reparations.

His quote:

A society that has done something special against the Negro for hundreds of years must now do something special for the Negro,” King wrote in “Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community

What I said about his personal conduct is backed up and you can find the evidence of his democratic socialist biographer in the link I posted.

Quoting from that:

https://chroniclesmagazine.org/web/the-sordid-legacy-of-dr-king/

Hitherto unseen FBI surveillance records reviewed by King biographer David J. Garrow in 2019 surfaced shocking allegations about King’s personal life that are in stark contrast to his reputation as an icon of social justice and Christian morality. Apart from more graphic details about numerous extramarital affairs, these documents allege King participated in the rape and sexual abuse of a female parishioner by a fellow minister. “King looked on, laughed and offered advice,” during the rape, according to the files.

You can also find in addition to that link even leftists arguing how MLK supported reparations, which he did. https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1996-10-27-mn-58503-story.html

We know that the civil rights act did not satisfy MLK who kept pushing for reparations and the mantra of USA as a racist country that must pay back, and also he kept seeking more representation for blacks, even where they were not discirminated for their race. Then he died, and the rest of this movement, including key players brought things in the direction things has been brought towards so the movement remained and can be judged.

https://www.inquirer.com/news/martin-luther-king-jr-reparations-ados-i-have-a-dream-20200118.html https://www.christiantoday.com/article/martin.luther.king.jr.and.the.question.of.reparations/137794.htm https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2016/02/would-mlk-support-reparations-today/625124/

If you look at feminism, you will find the extremism in the radicals of decades before too. And so on, and so forth.

Can you clarify what your thesis is exactly? That those progressive movements have been antiracist? That is falsified by what they have been agitating towards and what they have done. We live in a world of double standards and one sided hatred in the pro progressive direction and without even allowing representation for the identity interests of the target groups. Where people are blamed for oppressing those who they don't oppress, while the systemic injustice is the other way around.

And of course the marxist movement that there was also a lot of crossover with the other progressive movements itself has had a horrible track record in showing restraint and attaining actual justice.

King's affairs were well-documented, though the "watching a rape and laughing" bit is new to me and I'd probably want a bit more in the way of substantiation. Regardless, I am not holding up MLK as a bastion of morality and did not suggest that I was. What I am suggesting is that hindsight is easier than foresight, and to attribute as intention the many missteps of both the civil rights and feminist movements is to perceive a genie that isn't there. Law of unintended consequences.

I don't have a "partisan bias in favor of progressive movements, no matter how extreme." I'm not sure where that's coming from; it's possible you're being slightly over defensive.

I would suggest it's not wildly irrational to sympathize with the ostensible and stated desires of MLK's version of the civil rights movement (which may seem like fluff to the cynical, but MLK was a preacher) while simultaneously acknowledging the considerable shortcomings of, say, BLM. The same with 1st wave feminism and its descendant distortions.

Sorry, I’ll admit I only skimmed through the text as it’s very long.

the way to go is to ban their NGOs, which includes ethnic supremacist organisations of left wing associated tribes too, not just general left wing organizations, and to not allow the woke to run any institutions and to be intolerant towards their ideology

Let’s say I agree with everything you just said. How would you propose actually doing this? It’s not like anyone in control of any institutions are going to willingly give up their power.

That isn't the main issue and it is something to be examined in detail in another day. The idea was mainly to examine the concern trolling and what should be done about it as a small aside but not to come with an exact strategy in an already long post and no reason to post any exact gameplan.

Under this logic how can anything ever change? All things must change, and just like the communists lost, so will the woke. Part of the way to oppose things is to undermine the moral legitimacy of an immoral system, which actually matters. We do see a rise of wiser opposition that is less fooled by the pretenses as it used to be. Precisely because liberals in the past that were woke like were less extreme and their agenda was less pervasive. The same overused dirty tactics have become predictable and the scam has been realized.

So I make my own small contribution as a cog in the machine of opposing something that deserves opposing and in doing so contributing productively in discourse by bringing truth and clarity on an issue by uncovering how it has been framed in a manner that is deceitful and unjust.

It’s not like anyone in control of any institutions are going to willingly give up their power.

It is not as if previous orders were led by people who never had their own will to hold to power. All empires fall and such will be the fate for the progressive woke one. Others before you expressed that same certainty for the permanency of their revolution and found themselves wrong. The woke which is a short hand for leftist/liberal progressive stack supporters are not the first group who thought they would manage to put their boot permanently on others neck. So I wouldn't be so sure about it in your place.

Ah ok, I misunderstood what you were going for. Thanks for explaining.

A lot of these "NG"O's depend on government funding, I suppose you could pull off some DeSantisesque "no funding for Critical Theorists" bill.

Create an equal funding law, every dollar sent to a DEI group has to have one sent to a heteronormative, white identitarian, or men’s rights group.

not balanced enough, every dollar spent on DEI needs to go to an explicitly anti-identitarian heteronormative human rights group

Or radical idea just cut funding to NGOs. Why am I taxed to fund shitty NGOs I hate?

I kinda think my idea would be more effective at actually cutting funding to NGOs...

It's curious how non-governmental organizations seem to be so often funded by governments and directly involved in important questions of governance. Was it always this way? It increasingly feels like we're being governed by non-governmental organizations.

We aren’t. Which ones do you have in mind?

Rather, the government and the NGOs are both tentacles of the same entity.

I tried to read the whole thing, I really did, but my eyes glazed over around the time you tried to use Jewish advocacy as the type specimen for wokeness.

I’m sure it’s not quite fair to summarize the rest of your post as “ethnic favoritism is immoral, except when I like the people involved,” but you’re not making it easy. There’s so much Russell conjugation. And what do you even mean by “racism against Christians?” I think your argument would have been a lot more clear if you’d tabooed the words “racism” and “antiracism” rather than holding on to them as boo-lights.

You've accumulated a lot of reports on this post, and it annoys me that I had to read through this wall of text to parse out the arguments you are making.

Essentially all you've posted is a tribalistic screed. Making an argument that boils down to "My enemies are evil" is just culture warring. You hit all the old classics - Jews, MLK, Herbert Marcuse - but here and in the comments below you basically poison-pill the discussion because anyone who questions your priors or your definitions is just part of "woke."

This is a bad post that barely makes a coherent argument. There are ways to write essays about how evil your enemies are that actually make arguable points and present things to discuss. This is just fist-pounding.

I'm going to refer to this post in the future when people say "All you have to do to not get modded on the Motte is be verbose." This is an example of a very long, verbose, arguably even "effortful" post that is still crappy and low value.

Of course there is a coherent argument there.

Which is that concern trolling the outgroup that it should not show victimhood is promoting injustice for X and Y and Z reasons. Because recognising victimhood accurately is a core component of justice and the progressive extremist movement has denied this to the outgroup and promoted excessive for the ingroup. And then explaining how this movement has operated historically with all its components.

It is a gross misrepresentation to claim that my post boils to claiming my outgroup is evil and I don't make a coherent argument. I explain why this movement has been unjust in this manner. It might not be the argument you would like, especially because you fit with said progressive movement of having double stadnards and have consistently promoted the victimhood of the progressive ingroup and downplayed of the progressive outgroup. Hence your attack and denunciation.

There are plenty of groups that I have disliked throughout the years and been critical off. Progressive extremists/woke are one of them but I have been willing to be critical to right wing groups showing the same extremism although of course i consider it a mistake to prioritize this in the current circumstances. I even qualified and been consistent of it that restraint is a key part.

This idea of "hating on the outgroup" is an excuse for authoritarianism from you ironically who hates your outgroup of course and you certainly have been very willing to hate on those not sharing your progressive politics often enough. Its a way to undermine any valid criticism to promote a limited hangout for the progressive extremist movement. The suffocating constraints of the political commissars, the Amandabs of this world is how we reached the current situation.

The progressive extremism that needs to be condemned and not tolerated is a harmful movement, that we would benefit from its sharp criticism and it been replaced in influence by a more moderate ideology that lacks its one sided tribalism for their favorite groups and their complete disregard for respecting the group rights, and the groups it self that they deem as oppressors. That is the truth, and also what is just, no matter how you try to spin it.

Your insults and slander were expected and mean nothing to me.

** By the way I am disappointed not in you, but in someone else here not addressing the central claim about since wokeness does not respect any victimhood for the outgroup and promotes excessive victimhood for the ingroup, justice requires to actually respect victimhood for right wing associated groups. Because the pervasive concern trolling and arguments I have seen here and elsewhere was against promoting victimhood for right wing associated groups. If I am making a valid point, it would be nice to see someone aknowledge it for a change, and if they disagree on the substance, I would like to see where it is the error in the logic. But it is easier to just condemn as a way to support your extremist faction.

It ain’t slander if it’s true, comrade.

I mean you are an ADL supporter who supports hate speech laws and have never gotten any beef with it from any moderator for it. It is fair to bring it up when you post here to attack me.

Obviously you take the negativity towards the woke for their racist extremism and its hypocrisy personally because you do share that ideology and you resent the valid criticism and want to silence it as this movement has always done.

That’s an ad hominem, baby! That means I win!

Why should supporting hate speech laws deserve “beef?” If this community just banned people for endorsing bad ideas, we’d still be on Reddit, because 95% of our users would be gone. Instead, the Motte aims to allow the most degenerate, reactionary, humanist, traditional, secular, surreal opinions.

The catch is that the rules favor playing defense. Why? Because, by default, it’s easier to start fires than to put them out. And the psychology of tribalism means that it’s more immediately rewarding, too. A community which adds no extra incentives will tend towards flames. Thus, we added rules to penalize hasty or nebulous attacks.

I play a lot of defense. I also think the community does a pretty good job policing. This is not a coincidence.

Dude, you attacked me and then you claim to play defense and try to frame it as you being someone motivated to reduce inflammatory claims when it isn't true.

This dishonest game of defecting and then pretending you never defect and just spin after spin, might have something to do with why people have a problem with your faction.

Why should supporting hate speech laws deserve “beef?” If this community just banned people for endorsing bad ideas, we’d still be on Reddit, because 95% of our users would be gone. Instead, the Motte aims to allow the most degenerate, reactionary, humanist, traditional, secular, surreal opinions.

One man's boo the outgroup that is negative towards the progressive movement and wokeness ADL, Soros, civil rights movements or even the behavior of Jewish establishment and tries to articulate it is the other person's tolerance of bad ideas when they hate white supremacists, white identitarians, right wing identitarianism, support hate speech, or even dehumanizing the palestinians and approving of attrocities against them and so on.

People are allowed here to concern troll right wing identity politics and they are not vilifying the outgroup but we are not allowed to argue that this is racist. Nor that it leads inevitably and promoted by a faction that we see in practice tolerate or outright themselves promote excessive victimhood for the ingroup. Nor to connect it with the progressive identitarian movements in general, and to argue against them all.

Because this isn't merely an idea, but "booing the outgroup"! Conversely the people here who think the other side are racists like you do are not booing the outgroup! So one side has carte blache to vilify the opposition and spin it self as good, lets call them the progressive side that tries to put sometimes a bit of limited hangout. That can include in it the Bill Maher types. This side consistently frames the opposition to it as racist. Even more so certain branches of it. A direct opposition is not allowed, but I guess if you accept some of the progressive's framing that tribalism for the right wing side and victimhood is bad period, maybe you would be allowed some space... But not if you directly oppose it as a bad ideology and argue that it would be good for society if it lost influence, even if you qualify it to think that equal racist supremacist movement on the right wing dominating would also be bad.

Maybe just maybe you who supports censoring your opposition and aligns with the progressive stack movement are trying to censor your opposition.

Reddit is another forum that was ruined by left wing pro progressive stack anti right wing moderation and those who run it also pretended that this was reddit just banning people who break the rules and right wingers break the rules more.

Personally, I think speaking truth to power and criticizing sacred cows and movements that have captured power and vilify and mistreat classes of people, based on false dogmas is necessary. As someone who has studied the history of your movement, I know of the consistent viciousness that they close ranks and has treated any dissent and enforced conformism. It is why it is especially important for people faced with the demand for struggle sessions to not be discouraged when dealing with such people. They should know with what they are dealing with.

Conversely, there is something both cowardly and obscene with siding with groups like the ADL and left wing establishment as they abuse their power to enforce lies and punish dissent, and discriminate, harm and vilify their ethnic and right wing outgroups. Whether in the most overt manner. Or in the slightly more indirect manner of their protectors and fellow travelers who demand that they are allowed to defect, align and support this but for us to pretend that this isn't the case. That demand that any treatment of this phenomenon is wishy washy, of course.

But somehow this concern trolling doesn't exist when it comes to clearer denouncation of right wing historically more pervasively seen racist supremacist movements, or ages. Nobody will be treated to vilify the outgroup if they argue that Jim Crow was anti black, but it sensationalizes as boo outgroup to call MLK and his movement as antiwhite. To attack the KKK does not sensationalize instead of the much more relevant ADL or George Soros which does sensationalize you. To attach dissident right wing identitarians somehow doesn't result in accusations of vilifying the outgroup. Hell, even when I argue that Jim Crow age was anti-black, there is no care in the world.

The daft utopian dogma that condemning as bad particular factions is evil and intolerable (which vilifies those accused of doing it) is obviously not enforced consistently but concern trolling the outgroup. I am also not aware of any society that it has existed and enforced consistently.

Both you who are more transparent at it, and obviously Amadan and others of this mentality want submission to your false and blatantly prejudiced ideological vision of who are the good guys (who ought not be criticized) and who are the bad guys (which you are allowed to sharply criticize) and hide under platitudes of people "booing their outgroup".

All right, this is a thread full of personal attacks after personal attacks at basically everyone who argues with you. Apparently everyone who disagrees with you is a vicious, racist woke.

I'm also starting to agree with the folks who suspect you're using ChatGPT to generate these screeds. Many of the things you say have no actual connection to what the person you're responding to said.

Stop fucking around. You're banned for three days, and it will be longer/permanent if you just bounce back in to do the same thing.

I'm also starting to agree with the folks who suspect you're using ChatGPT to generate these screeds

It seems to me more like the manifestation of mental illness, sadly.

Feels more like it's earnest but bad output as opposed to chatgpt, it just doesn't feel like chatgpt's cadence or grammar? But maybe it's prompted with that style or something idk. Not sure. (edit: either way, good decision)

I mean I am an IRL reactionary and agree with both netstack and amadan. You authored an extremely long and incoherent post that does little except bash the outgroup.

I have had the exact opposite opinion about you being a reactionary poster both here and when I read your posts in the other forum. Plus we got in a fight in the past over the Israel issue.

Look, if I work to make arguments and you people just throw incoherent, "booing the outgroup" and other insults, you don't give anything of value to work with, because there is none.

Part of this is a complete lack of charity and the most insanely unfair criticism. If you want me to be more concice that is one thing.

My general impression of this forum and motte before it (I lurked here before posting) has always been that a decent amount of people here are the same as any reddit with their groupthink and attacking right wingers. Just unpleasant vicious intolerant extremists hating on those who they don't see as part of their political tribe with a few exceptions they learned to tolerate. And trying to abuse all dirty tricks in the book to enforce groupthink and destroy discussion.

Which is to be expected when majority are liberals and is an offshoot of the rationalist blog. The mainstream of liberalism and prevailing sentiments among what one sees among rationalists are full of these mentalities. Get off your high horse.

Plus, maybe you found an opportunity of allowed person to attack. Again, I have seen this mentality from you people to be vicious and shit towards others, and I really see no point in treating it as having anything of value.

Its cowardly conformism through and through. Congrats on the quality discussion of ideas that several people who have deliberately promoted stupified discussions that ignored the obvious, have oh so randomly chosen to focus upon, over actual arguments of issues directly addressed relating to the culture war. Insulting me is you managing to discuss the culture war productively.

  • -11

It might not be the argument you would like, especially because you fit with said progressive movement of having double stadnards and have consistently promoted the victimhood of the progressive ingroup and downplayed of the progressive outgroup. Hence your attack and denunciation.

Yeah, that's what I mean. "Everyone who disagrees with me is just in the enemy camp, hater!" is not how you argue here.

and you certainly have been very willing to hate on those not sharing your progressive politics often enough.

I doubt you can accurately describe my politics. I hate few people and like a lot of people who very much do not share my politics.

Your insults are expected and mean nothing to me.

I am not insulting you, I am telling you that you need to improve your manner of posting. This should mean something to you because repeated warnings for this type of boo outgroup ranting may result in a loss of posting privileges.

Yeah, that's what I mean. "Everyone who disagrees with me is just in the enemy camp, hater!" is not how you argue here.

This is hypocritical when you attacked me here in such a vicious manner as being hateful for disagreeing with you about the progressive movement and arguing that the woke movement and those who concern the outgroup are unjust.

There are factions that have negative influence that I am going to be critical towards. If you want me to be pro woke, that isn't going to happen. And yes, of course the mainstream liberals have treated their outgroups as the enemy. To demand that I then treat those who follow that politics as non woke, is to demand to distort reality to your satisfaction. It matters what are the pervasive politics of dominant movements. Why should I lie about the civil rights movement? About the ADL? About George Soros? About any of that?

If the truth sounds terrible in your ears, then you probably should react less and try to learn more, and show some respect to your outgroup that you hate and vilified in your mind for bringing valid points that are taboo to your prejudices.

Your reaction has been a blatant attempt at character assassination and censorship because you judged negativity against woke and progressive extremists and deeming it a bad faction that shouldn't have pervasive influence as "hating the outgroup".

I provided arguments and explained why concern trolling the outgroup and not allowing victimhood for it and promoting excessive for your favorite left wing groups is in line with wokeness.

Instead of arguing in favor of your ideology you try censorship.

I am not insulting you, I am telling you that you need to improve your manner of posting. This should mean something to you because repeated warnings for this type of boo outgroup ranting may result in a loss of posting privileges.

You are hardly an independent party to this when you have done yourself what I argued against which is to promote with fanaticism excessively the victimhood for your ingroups and downplay strongly the victimhood of your rightwing outgroups. You abuse your mod position to advance your political agenda. It is not an improvement of my manner of posting to distort the facts so I promote a more positive picture of those who concern troll the right wing outgroup, or promote a more positive picture of the progressive movements or particular branches of it that you are especially sympathetic towards and are even more authoritarian and SJW about.

You might be trying to play a political game where you try to advance certain agenda where the only space that is treated as legitimate is the one of the limited hangout of progressive extremism that still has its double standards, still censorious to opposition and promote claims "that there are no woke people in the motte", but that is promoting a lie. I am not going to pretend that we are dealing with a few kids at college, and that the progressive movement has not been this. But the core substance of my post has been about an arguement that you want to silence, which has been of substance, that concern trolling the right wing outgroup is blatant racism.

Your demands for censorship and for others to say what you want, else you will slander, hate them and censor them is a part of the problem of what the world is facing today. Many Amandabs working within different institutions have brought things to the current point.

I doubt you can accurately describe my politics. I hate few people and like a lot of people who very much do not share my politics.

Your politics are not a mystery and you are certainly a hateful and rude poster who abuses their moderator position to get away with insulting and being rude against others. And certainly more so with the progressive slant you have against non progressives. You also use the tactic of slandering and denouncing others to win arguments by pretending that posts that include work to substantiate claims are inherently without value.

Clearly, you are insecure about your idea you constantly promote of your moral superiority and moral inferiority of the people you argue with that you typically insult and call all sorts of names, often some sort of racist.

Someone like you can't cope with those who don't respect and accept your false framing of the moral hierarchy, which is why you make an inadequate referee if the goal is to promote something even handed. You know which includes saying things you don't want to hear, that contest the falsity of the morality of those who concern the right wing outgroup and have such double standards as you also have, and are therefore obviously an unjust, cruel faction if one bothers to analyze it. But for the role you do have, you do fit quite well.

  • -12

So, almost everything you just said is wrong. You're allowed to be wrong. What you're not allowed to do here is be insulting and engage in personal attacks. Take heed of that.

The Illegitimacy of Power

In the beginning, the world was just, populated by true equals. Injustice was born when a Will first imposed itself upon another. How? Power. Is it possible to learn this “Power”? Not from the Good. Might makes wrong. Might as well submit, and take your righteous place in the great chain of...

The Interlocking Wills

With Power, the original Will comes down from above, and as it passes through inert Wills, is transmitted losslessly to the bottom . An ukrainian supports war on his government’s orders, itself a vassal of the EU, itself a vassal of the US, itself controlled by the CIA, the telephone company, boomers, elites, jews, rich cishet whites, billionaires, english royalty, the NWO, or you-shall-name-and-blame-it. Whoever He is, we are all NPCs in the Prime Mover’s single-player game. His shadowy Will reigns supreme. Fear not and rejoice, for it means we are...

The Bloodstained Innocents

We have no agency, pure victims even as we victimize. Our crimes are His crimes. Passing them down the chain, and guilt up the chain, we are a perfect conduit of power. Can’t victim-blame the helpless oppressed. As absolute power corrupts Him absolutely, utter lack of it frees us from corruption. Free to dance and sing and reach for...

The Clouds Above

All our ideas are at best irrelevant, at worst another manifestation of His Will. As we are powerless, it appears he manipulates us through media and everything else for the hell of it. Or an epiphenomenom, the illusory superstructure rising from the base like a cloud of smoke.

edit: I do not believe any of this.

  • -16

Action is not simply giving preference. Man also shows preference in situations in which things and events are unavoidable or are believed to be so. Thus a man may prefer sunshine to rain and may wish that the sun would dispel the clouds. He who only wishes and hopes does not interfere actively with the course of events and with the shaping of his own destiny. But acting man chooses, determines, and tries to reach an end. Of two things both of which he cannot have together he selects one and gives up the other. Action therefore always involves both taking and renunciation.

[...]

Wherever the conditions for human interference are present, man acts no matter whether he interferes or refrains from interfering. He who endures what he could change acts no less than he who interferes in order to attain another result.

Ludwig von Mises - Human Action

I think in general the custom is to stay away from what looks like schizoposting, even when not schizoposting.

“Just following orders” is not generally accepted as an excuse. Without it, I don’t see how this would absolve anyone.

Edit: more importantly, it makes for a poor parody. There are people who would endorse this sentiment, but I think you have to go a lot further auth than just retweeting an oppressor/oppressed (or paranoid conspiracy theorist) catchphrase.

I do think part of the left sees power as illegitimate (automatically defending ‘the weak’, and inferring from it an oppressor/oppressed relationship) and the bloodstained as innocents. The interlocking wills, people’s lack of agency, and the irrelevance of ideas/ ease of manipulation is a frequent narrative of the hard right on here. They also defend the carrying out of immoral orders (I had multiple debates about Lee and Rommel's moral character) without blinking.

They also defend the carrying out of immoral orders (I had multiple debates about Lee and Rommel's moral character) without blinking.

At least in our conversations, it seemed to me that the disagreement revolved around what constituted an immoral order.

  • Otherwise-moral and even admirable actions become evil if they benefit evil. Lee leads the Confederate armies, the Confederates are evil, so Lee is evil.

  • The status of "Evil" is judged by the worst significant feature of a society. Sufficient evil, even if concentrated in a portion of the population, overwhelms the moral weight of other non-evil or even good portions of the population. The Confederate government perpetuates slavery, therefore the entire Confederate polity is evil, and so cannot be served without serving evil. Lee can't fight for "his home" or "the people" or "his men", who might be more worthy of such valor, but all his moral action must be assigned to "the confederate government", and hence, "slavery".

  • Big actions are more culpable than small actions; Lee is evil, but a confederate policeman isn't, because his action is smaller, less pivotal? Would this be an accurate inference?

  • Nevertheless, Evil people have no moral right, no defense permitted, no action allowed beyond unconditional submission to the Good.

Would these be a fair summation of your views?

First two points roughly correct.

Lee is evil, but a confederate policeman isn't, because his action is smaller, less pivotal? Would this be an accurate inference?

Even he had agency, and therefore chose to serve, and is, evil, just considerably less so.

Nevertheless, Evil people have no moral right, no defense permitted, no action allowed beyond unconditional submission to the Good.

What does this even mean? If you “unconditionally” submit to evil, you’re evil. If you’re evil, different moral rights apply.


Let’s not necessarily rehash that discussion just from that narrow aspect. In my view, you, pal, are also guilty of ‘clouds above’ postmodern thinking and denying people’s agency, making Lee, Rommel and all the nameless followers your bloodstained innocents.

Even he had agency, and therefore chose to serve, and is, evil, just considerably less so.

Suppose I'm a non-southerner, who travels to the south to free and arm the southerners' slaves. I do so peacefully unless resisted with force, at which point I shoot those resisting me. Your argument would be that a Southerner who tries to defend himself and his fellow southerners against me, and the lawyer who prosecutes me, and the jury who convict me, and the judge who passes sentence, are all evil in the same general manner as Lee (if considerably less so), correct?

What about the Southern baker selling bread? Is he evil in a similar fashion as well? He's contributing to the Southern economy, isn't he?

...The question I'm aiming at, is whether the Southerners can be rounded to "evil" in the way you claim. Suppose I say Lee is not fighting to defend slavery, but rather the bakers and the butchers and the candlestick makers, the mothers and their children, the poor farmers who own no slaves, and so on; his problem is that he can't defend the former without also defending the latter. One might put it more simply by saying that Lee recognizes that his society contains both good and evil, realizes that he must defend either both or neither, and believes that it is better to defend the evil alongside the good than to leave the good defenseless.

As I understand it, you believe that the Evil invalidates the good, and that therefore it is better to leave the good undefended if it means the evil is undefended as well. Correct?

What does this even mean?

"Good" attacks "Evil". And to be clear here, we're explicitly not talking about people "attacking" in a way that's intrinsically Good, if such a thing exists, we're talking about people who you consider "Good" attacking people you consider "Evil", through morally-neutral methods like tanks and bombs and guns. Your position, as I understand it, is that the "Evil" people have no right to defend themselves from the "Good" people, because they're evil and therefore unworthy of defense. As you say, "different moral rights apply". Would this be accurate?

In my view, you, pal, are also guilty of ‘clouds above’ postmodern thinking and denying people’s agency, making Lee, Rommel and all the nameless followers your bloodstained innocents.

And in my view, your moral arrogance is matched only by your moral incoherence. Clearly, one of us is seriously in error. And yet, how are we to determine which without examining the particulars of the arguments? I am amused by the fact that in the last thread, I argued that everyone is guilty, and in this thread you're rounding my position to saying that people are innocent or somehow not responsible for their actions, a position I have never held and categorically reject.

Your argument would be that a Southerner who tries to defend himself and his fellow southerners against me, and the lawyer who prosecutes me, and the jury who convict me, and the judge who passes sentence, are all evil in the same general manner as Lee, correct?

And the farmer, and the postman, and the tinker taylor soldier spy. Not the thief.

They have no right to “defend” their “property”, human beings.

believes that it is better to defend the evil alongside the good than to leave the good defenseless.

The good are friends to one another, they do not fight wars against themselves. “Leaving the good defenseless” here means “refusing to fight a losing war that will end up harming them more”.

we're talking about people who you've labeled "Good" attacking people you've labeled "Evil",

Why do you keep insisting that it’s me who labels them evil when you’re out of arguments? If you want to argue that the confederacy and nazi germany weren’t evil, just do so. Your original argument, if you recall, is that the overarching evil somehow does not ‘transfer’ to those who help and carry it out.

I am amused by the fact that in the last thread, I argued that everyone is guilty, and in this thread you're rounding my position to saying that people are innocent or somehow not responsible for their actions

I told you a million times: when you condemn all, you condemn none. Your binary thinking, once again, erases all meaningful distinction. Hey, if everyone is guilty, that means your previous distinction between the good and the evil in southern society is moot, so that baker can be rounded off to evil by your own standards.

Not the thief.

Interesting. Are you claiming that a person doing evil things to evil people therefore becomes good?

They have no right to “defend” their “property”, human beings.

In this case, presume these people in particular don't own slaves, they merely live in peace with the people who do. In this scenario, suppose I shoot several people for resisting my attempts to free slaves, and then their non-slaving neighbors arrest, try, and sentence me for my "crimes". After all, by the laws they live under, I had no right to either free slaves or shoot people who stop me from freeing slaves. By enforcing the laws against murder, they align themselves with the evil those laws were protecting, correct?

The good are friends to one another, they do not fight wars against themselves.

This would seem to imply that whenever a war is fought, at least one side is evil by your standards, correct?

“Leaving the good defenseless” here means “refusing to fight a losing war that will end up harming them more”.

It is by no means obvious, especially in advance, that the war would harm them more than submission. Especially since the most recent experiment in the large-scale abolition of slavery terminated in a campaign of torture, rape and murder by the slaves against their former masters, resulting in the complete extermination of the formerly slave-owning society. I'm curious as to why you believe that Southerners in the pre-civil-war period should have known for a fact that freeing the slaves would harm them less than, say, fighting the civil war and another century of Jim Crow. I do not know that for a fact even with the benefit of hindsight.

Why do you keep insisting that it’s me who labels them evil when you’re out of arguments?

I have not yet begun to argue. I have not yet even disagreed with what I perceive to be your labels. If they are not your labels, however, then state which physical laws or empirical tests establish their Goodness or Evil and provide the equation by which we might crunch the numbers on a given sample. Failing that, name the divine authority by which they are so defined, and explain the rules by which their Goodness or Evil is determined. Either of these is a reasonable basis for discussion. What is not reasonable is to insist that the set of Good people and the set of Evil people is too obvious to require justification, and also happens to exactly coincide with your own opinions on the matter.

If you want to argue that the confederacy and nazi germany weren’t evil, just do so.

That is not my argument. I have already stated that I think all states and indeed all humans are evil. I also think Nazi Germany was significantly more evil than the Confederacy, and think it arguable whether the Confederacy is more evil than the US in its current state. But in any case, your understanding of what it means to be Good or Evil is evidently not one I share, and it seems to me that the implications of our two definitions diverge rapidly. I'm trying to nail down what you mean by "evil", so that I can productively explain my disagreement.

I told you a million times: when you condemn all, you condemn none.

No. If I have ten prisoners, condemn all ten, and promptly shoot all ten in the back of the head, they in fact all die. If I kill every living human, the equality of the outcome doesn't bypass its finality.

[EDIT] - the disagreement here seems to amount to you thinking that when it comes to morals, whatever is not forbidden is mandatory. That is to say, if someone is "condemned", then they must be killed, and if they are not to be killed they should not be condemned. I do not think condemnation works this way, or should. Someone can deserve death, and yet be spared due to mercy, expedience, extenuating circumstances, etc. This does not make them deserve death less, it merely means that giving them what they deserve must be balanced against our other interests.

Your binary thinking, once again, erases all meaningful distinction.

No, it does not. I am arguing that Lee should be respected not because I think all men should be respected, but specifically because I think some men should be respected in this way and others not, and I think Lee is among the former. The fact that I reject your distinctions and definitions does not mean I reject any distinctions and definitions. One would not think this a difficult point to grasp, yet it evidently eludes you.

Hey, if everyone is guilty, that means your previous distinction between the good and the evil in southern society is moot, so that baker can be rounded off to evil by your own standards.

No, because I don't think "rounded off to evil", in the sense you seem to mean it and the way you seem to describe it, is a thing that should be done. Under certain circumstances, I'm willing to say that the baker should be fought and even killed. Under rather more stringent circumstances, I'm even willing to say his hometown should be firebombed indiscriminately, killing his family. But this is because he's an enemy, not because he's "Evil", and if we can resolve the conflict such that he becomes my friend again I am willing to consider the fighting and killing he did against my own side as a regrettable tragedy, and his service in opposition to my side as honorable conduct even if it involved killing my own family, friends and neighbors.

Of course, this presumes he conducted himself honorably. Honor forms a backstop, limiting the scope and scale of conflict, so that even mortal conflict does not become existential conflict. If he does not conduct himself honorably, if he pursues evil for its own sake, then it becomes justifiable (though not necessary!) to cast aside all restraint, and to condemn any who aid or even tolerate him as evil themselves. Slavery as practiced in the South was quite noxious, but it was not evil for the sake of evil. The extermination camps in Nazi Germany, and organizations like the Cheka in the Soviet Union were. But all germans, and even all german soldiers, were not as evil as those knowingly participating in the extermination of the Jews, or those who raped and tortured and murdered the innocent at the direct orders of Lenin and Stalin. Nor is there any shortage of examples where, having conquered the Evil, the victors extend them mercy they doubtless do not deserve, and while I have my reservations about such mercy, I have my reservations about condemning it as well.

The attitude I describe above is the raw material for constructing a durable peace from a state of serious conflict, and it was in no way rare in previous generations. Northern soldiers do not generally appear to have hated Southern soldiers at the conclusion of the Civil War, and reunions that brought together soldiers of both sides to commemorate their shared struggle were common so long as those soldiers survived. That people like yourself have lost all concept of this way of thinking speaks poorly both of your education and of our future prospects as a society: when the serious conflict comes, you will have no conceptual grounding to even recognize the road back to peace.

Interesting. Are you claiming that a person doing evil things to evil people therefore becomes good?

Do you see the parallel to the justice system? Parasitic behaviour, like thieving, on an evil entity (itself parasitic, among other things) is fundamentally good. Plying one’s trade and paying taxes, thereby strengthening the entity, is to become its accomplice.

By enforcing the laws against murder, they align themselves with the evil those laws were protecting, correct?

More or less, but it’s unclear if it’s murder. The northerner just gives the slaves guns so they can answer the guns that keep them in slavery. Turns raw oppression into a gentleman’s duel.

This would seem to imply that whenever a war is fought, at least one side is evil by your standards, correct?

Yes, the good can’t fight a war against a side they believe to be good. There is no ‘doubly just’ war.

I'm curious as to why you believe that Southerners in the pre-civil-war period should have known for a fact that freeing the slaves would harm them less than, say, fighting the civil war and another century of Jim Crow.

Imo your view of the american civil war is too colored by your present CW concerns. I’m not interested in re-litigating that issue, what interests me is the general question of personal ethics under a (universally accepted) evil regime. If the evil of the southern cause is too murky and personal for you, take the nazis or pol pot or whatever.

the disagreement here seems to amount to you thinking that when it comes to morals, whatever is not forbidden is mandatory

Yes, I don’t believe in supererogation. That doesn’t mean all those who fail to do ‘the best’ deserve death or imprisonment, but they have failed morally to a degree.

Someone can deserve death, and yet be spared due to mercy, expedience, extenuating circumstances, etc. This does not make them deserve death less, it merely means that giving them what they deserve must be balanced against our other interests.

Of course. Evidently we’re talking past each other if you think I condemn them all to death, even after the war and regime has ended. That’s just an absurdly barbaric position. I also never implied we should ‘cast aside all restraints’ in defense of the good, a position you keep imputing to me.

That people like yourself have lost all concept of this way of thinking speaks poorly both of your education and of our future prospects as a society: when the serious conflict comes, you will have no conceptual grounding to even recognize the road back to peace.

That’s rich coming from you, the guy constantly saying no peace is possible with his enemies. Have I not consistently affirmed my belief in the resolution of conflict by democracy and discourse, and defended a westphalian peace, against those who think like you on both sides?

More comments

The attitude I describe above is the raw material for constructing a durable peace from a state of serious conflict, and it was in no way rare in previous generations. Northern soldiers do not generally appear to have hated Southern soldiers at the conclusion of the Civil War, and reunions that brought together soldiers of both sides to commemorate their shared struggle were common so long as those soldiers survived. That people like yourself have lost all concept of this way of thinking speaks poorly both of your education and of our future prospects as a society: when the serious conflict comes, you will have no conceptual grounding to even recognize the road back to peace.

I think the biggest problem is binary thinking: evil vs good. To quote The Dragon: "'I've been taught this'... Everyone has been taught this. But did you have to graduate at the top of your class?" All these people have different culpability (the list is not sorted in the middle):

  • those who come up with monstrous ideas
  • those who enthusiastically support them because they like these ideas
  • those who enthusiastically support them because they are grifters
  • those who enthusiastically support the cleaned-up version of them because they are dumb
  • those who see through the veil, but still do their idea-adjacent job because they are afraid
  • those who see through the veil, but still do their idea-adjacent job because they think they are bound by oaths
  • those who see through the veil and try to distance themselves from the ideas, but don't challenge them

All of them are responsible, but the responsibility varies greatly.

I mean as a practical matter, removing the moral elements, this is how the world tends to work. Most of us meekly follow along with the powers that be. We might grouse about it, but we’ll do it because most of us have remarkably little power in our lives. If you have to at least pretend to love big brother (in whatever form it takes) just be a you have to eat, keep a roof over your head and so on. If you have to feed your and especially your kids, you’ll give your consent to a lot of things that if they were proposed without the stick you’d be opposed to. I don’t think anyone in a cold state would agree that any given medical procedure should be a condition for getting into a store or restaurant. But if you know you’ll be fired if you don’t check the vaccine card, you’ll check the card.

There’s a gulf between mitigating circumstances and true innocence. The OP relies on the latter, because otherwise, there would be something left to make it down the chain. Real life has lots of mitigating factors and a shortage of absolutes.

anyone in a cold state

Maybe I’m misunderstanding you, because I would and do endorse mandatory vaccination. The MMR vaccine is my preferred example, but I’ll still bite the bullet on most of the original COVID restrictions.

For what it’s worth, I had coworkers who outright quit before the government-contractor mandate was suspended. Mostly older ones who were both very right-wing and very close to retirement.

The man who submits to undue authority is himself making a moral choice. His slavery is a choice.

One's life or that of one's family's may be to steep a price to pay for one to oppose evil, but it is nevertheless a bargain one strikes. A bargain no different from all other such compromises in nature.

Most conceptions of morality still require you to act right under difficult circumstances. Arguably, morality is only useful under such.

The virtuous man does not free himself from the burden of conscience at the first sign of a cost, and the heroic man does not do so even in the face of annihilation.

Right. You explain it to them, because I’m not getting through. Doing the right thing isn’t supposed to be costless. Your inner morality is worth precisely zilch. A power imbalance isn’t a valid excuse to submit.

The man who does the wrong thing enthusiastically is a bad man. The man who does the right thing at great cost is a hero. Somebody who does what he can, when he can, is just a man.

I look up to people who do brave things, but I don't think it's fair to look down on people for not being superhuman. That said, people should exert what agency they do have - I just find the philosophy implied by "Your inner morality is worth precisely zilch. A power imbalance isn’t a valid excuse to submit." a bit too yeschaddish for my tastes.

Somebody who does what he can, when he can, is just a man.

He’s the weakest man, a leaf in the wind. He is indistinguishable from an amoral man. If he’s lucky, he’s on the good side, his self-interest happens to coincide with morality, so he’s good. If he’s on the bad side, he’s evil.

Sure, people are weak, and you can’t damn most of humanity for weakness. But the question remains: should one carry out the immoral order/fight an immoral war? You “commend them for [fleeing or disobeying]”, and I agree. @FCfromSSC and friends’ position, as I understand it, is that they should obey, out of ‘honor’, duty to their homes, oaths, loyalty to their superiors, because ‘obedience is good’, etc.

Secondly, even if we agree that people are weak, we can expect more or less of them. At the extreme end (and I do see it on themotte sometimes), their hands are metaphorically tied when they face the slightest cost, and their wills are inert.

He is almost indistinguishable from an amoral man. But the almost is important, I think :)

But the question remains: should one carry out the immoral order/fight an immoral war?

I expand a bit on immoral orders here: https://www.themotte.org/post/772/culture-war-roundup-for-the-week/165384?context=8#context

In short, yes, I won’t look down on you for following explicit orders but I will for showing initiative or being enthusiastic.

With respect to war it gets a bit more complicated, I think. If it’s an offensive war and you aren’t conscripted, then obviously don’t help unless you have no choice (as above). If you are conscripted, or it’s a defensive war, then it’s tricky because defending your comrades or your people is something that I would regard as morally good. I don’t think that I would regard a nazi as evil for shooting me or my friend in battle, even though to some extent he is implicitly defending Auschwitz. Obviously he’s still the enemy and I’ll shoot him if I can but that’s pure practicality. When I talked about fleeing or disobeying, I meant the guard in the concentration camps not the guy who sells his wife’s friend bacon.

Basically it would be case-by-case.

that they should obey, out of ‘honor’, duty to their homes, oaths, loyalty to their superiors, because ‘obedience is good’, etc.

Any combination of those, or even not. It remains my opinion that it there are good moral grounds for people to choose either compliance or resistance, that both options can be backed by good reasons and do not categorically deserve condemnation. That most people are, in @Corvos' words above, just men, and we gain nothing by holding them to the standards of heroes. Of course one can still condemn outright villains.

But the question remains: should one carry out the immoral order/fight an immoral war?

There are orders which cannot be carried out honorably, and those should never be followed. It seems theoretically possible that there could be an entire war that was similarly dishonorable, but I can't think of an actual example.

You've said that you would rather the general on the other side of a war torture prisoners to death for sport rather than fight with honor. That is madness.

I didn't say that. I said one can, and should, avoid heaping evil upon evil. I said it would be better if the evil general was dishonorable coward and a drunkard rather than a competent general, like it is better to be a german thief than an upstanding nazi baker.

You're not answering the question. Did lee, rommel and the grunts make the right decision to fight for their count(r)y ?

I didn't say that. I said one can, and should, avoid heaping evil upon evil. I said it would be better if the evil general was dishonorable coward and a drunkard rather than a competent general, like it is better to be a german thief than an upstanding nazi baker.

You think being a Nazi thief is better than being a Nazi baker, because the evil the thief does harms the Nazi government and the good the Baker does serves it.

If a nazi general tortures and murders prisoners, and this reduces the morale and thus effectiveness of his own men and increases the morale and thus effectiveness of the soldiers on the other side, would that not be better, by your lights, than the same general treating prisoners with respect and decency, if doing so created the opposite effect? In this scenario, the torturer, like the thief, harms his government, does he not? And if he harms his own government, you should prefer him over an otherwise identical honorable man for the same reason you prefer the thief to the baker.

If heaping evil on evil should reduce the effectiveness of the evil to resist the good, would you be for it?

You're not answering the question. Did lee, rommel and the grunts make the right decision to fight for their count(r)y ?

I don't know. I do know that they didn't obviously make the wrong one, the way the troops working the camps did. What they did was not more obviously evil than fighting for America or Britain.

The moral system you argue for is exactly how evil is reliably heaped on evil. Your blindness to this fact is exactly why that outcome is inevitable.

I also think that the sheer size of the US, and its initial consequent egalitarianism, created an expectation of personal agency that just doesn't work in crowded societies with fairly rigid social structures.

The problem with this idea is what Hannah Arendt calls the banality of evil. The idea that one can do evil without being evil.

In modern societies, acts, a fortiori evil acts, are parts of large, complex, systems and institutions where a whole bunch of collective actors do small reasonably small evils that ultimately culminate in large atrocities for which no single human can be held accountable.

This state of affairs evidently requires a stricter sense of morality to prevent those large atrocities than one that accepts the small pragmatic transgressions of people whose interactions do not have reach beyond their immediate circles.

Some solve this problem by encouraging strong militancy in everyone ("you can't be neutral in a moving train", etc). Others, like myself, prefer to require of everyone the ethical discipline that used to be reserved for kings. But one's responsibility has to be established somehow.

This is a well-written rebuttal, and I understand your position. To be frank, I do not believe that we can meaningfully address this. It’s just a feature of how humans are, and how they behave in groups. We can deal with individual monsters (serial killers, rapists, child-killers etc. but we cannot bring down large-scale tyrannies until they’ve already begun to decay. That’s what I mean when I say that I don’t want to condemn people for merely being a human and doing what humans do.

That said, the minimum I demand is this:

DON’T be enthusiastic. DON’T help. Don’t go along with things unless you can’t get out without significant cost, and to the extent that you must participate, do so as reluctantly and inefficiently as you can get away with.

In the context of Nazi germany, you don’t have to be the guy smuggling Jews out of Germany (although good on you if you are) but don’t you dare be the one who tips off the gestapo for giggles or to get a promotion. In the context of the modern day, don’t go along with cancellation campaigns against your friends, and if you have to join in with some stuff don't look like you enjoy it. In short, if you must commit small evils, keep them as small as possible.

Ideally, this leads to a slow spreading understanding that all of this is bullshit that nobody wants. Enforcing it gets harder and the bounds of acceptable heresy grow until the thing falls over. It’s slow and unsatisfying but I don’t think there’s a realistic alternative. We (conservatives) failed to nip this stuff in the bud and now it’s too late for anything except attrition. And keeping the memory of sanity for when it’s possible for it to grow again.

I believe this is the attitude invoked in the CIA’s field manual for sabotage:

https://www.the-future-of-commerce.com/2022/05/06/cia-sabotage-manual-for-organizations/

Why is that a problem? If most people are merely banal gears in the mechanism of evil, then they are indeed not particularly responsible. The argument is smuggling in the assumption that there aren't other humans who are actually are evil running the thing... but there are. Both the Nazis and the Stalinists had plenty of evil people with a lot more agency than even Prison Camp Guard #1629, let alone Private Soldier Schmidt/Kuznetsov.

“Just following orders” is not generally accepted as an excuse. Without it, I don’t see how this would absolve anyone.

Sure it is--eg, look at how women are treated by the justice system: that they had a male partner/pimp is often used to excuse their misbehavior. "Just following orders" is only not accepted as an excuse when we are predisposed to lack sympathy for the people given the orders.

“Just following orders” is not generally accepted as an excuse.

Apart from one case in 1474 and a couple of others in the 1800s, it was generally accepted that soldiers were expected to obey the orders of their superiors and that responsibility rightly belonged to the man giving the order not the man carrying it out. We (the Allies) unilaterally suspended this post-hoc because we were understandably disgusted by the Nazis and we wanted to pretend that disgust was backed by law.

Personally I think it is cruel and irresponsible to set up a situation where people are required to follow orders and punished for failure to do so, then punish them for doing what they were told. There may be conditions in which this is less clear (overzealously following or interpreting an order, for example) but I think it is wrong to punish somebody for following a direct order. They might flee or disobey, and I would commend them for doing so, but I think it's wrong to punish somebody for not being a hero.

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

https://law.adelaide.edu.au/ua/media/2389/alr_432_04_gray.pdf

Thanks, I really appreciate this. I’ve still been digesting the latter pdf.

OK, but why?

I denounce all of the above, which is a parody of ‘woke oppressor/oppressed’ and ‘helpless paranoid alt-right’ beliefs.

Your ideas matter. Your actions matter. Your crimes are your own, even if you were ordered/influenced from above. Your will is not inert, it reacts with more powerful wills, you can refuse. Power is legitimate, and you have some.

It doesn't matter that free will doesn't exist, you have to act as if it does anyway.

Alright, no one is getting it, my bad, failure to communicate, I’m adding an edit. I suspect people agree too much with the parody, so the underlying criticism creates an uncanny valley or something.

I figured it was parody when you said in the beginning the world was just because everyone was equal, but I thought you were looking for responses in the same pithy quasi-religious style. What kind of responses were you hoping for?

I expected alt-righters to find the flaws in the reductio ad absurdum and explain how their ideology is totally different from similar woke theories. More progressive posters, if they still exist, to do the opposite. And guys like igi and me to argue and laugh at the spat.

But I think I once again underestimated how widespread those wokish-postmodern ideas have become on here. They don’t feel the need to defend them anymore, they just downvote and move on (ITT company excluded). I think they really do believe a version of this caricature.

Alternatively, you posted a lazy, low-effort caricature of what you think others believe, in direct violation of several of the sidebar rules, and people here object to that sort of behavior.

I thought it was neat, and zeroed in on a deep disagreement between the factions, but the Popular Will evidently disagrees. Am I not allowed to present my interpretation of where their ideas lead to? I thought it was identifiable as a criticism, but even if it wasn't, I quickly corrected the misunderstanding.

I don’t know why you bother responding to me if you’re trying to get me banned for insufficiently docile contradiction of rightism like so many before me.

I thought it was neat, and zeroed in on a deep disagreement between the factions, but the Popular Will evidently disagrees.

Can you name someone who is willing to say that you have accurately described their own thinking? If not, you haven't zeroed in on a disagreement between the factions, you've generated a strawman.

I don’t know why you bother responding to me if you’re trying to get me banned for insufficiently docile contradiction of rightism like so many before me.

I'm not trying to get you banned. I'm not a mod, and I have not reported you to the actual mods. I'm pointing out that you are engaging in behavior that will get you banned by the mods if you keep it up. I'm doing this because I want our conversations to be able to continue, and if you get banned that won't happen.

Docility has nothing to do with it. You can rain hellfire on people here, and there is no restriction on who you do it to, provided you do it the right way. One of the reasons my replies to you contain so many question marks is because I don't believe I understand your position well enough to explain it to you in my own language, and have you agree that the explanation is accurate. That's the gold standard this community runs on, and you often don't appear to even be trying to meet it.

If I say "progressives hate freedom and want more dead black people", I will get modded, because that is an inflammatory claim made without evidence. If I say "progressive ideology constantly finds itself in conflict with our essential freedom, here's why and here's some examples to prove the point, and progressive policies claim to protect black people but actually get a lot of them killed, as proved by these events and those statistics", I will not get modded, even though the two statements are pretty similar in their conclusions. It's not what you say, it's how you say it.

Speak of The Law, and it will appear. I don’t think this is even close to rule-breaking.

If I left out the ‘interlocking wills’ part and presented it strictly as a standard attack on the woke ('them' instead of including the reader in the criticism with 'we' , made the bloodstained innocents the oppressed bipoc minorities, and hypoagency an exclusively feminist/female concept), you wouldn’t be lecturing me on mottiquette, and I’d be upvoted.

Can you name someone who is willing to say that you have accurately described their own thinking?

Tough standard, don't you think? The woke don't like to be called woke, it's called 'basic decency'.

The standard response to a strawman would be to deny that people hold the view, not agree that people (soldiers and bakers) have no agency, that orders should be followed , ‘this is how the world tends to work’, and ‘evil people are actually running the thing’.

The only ‘strawman’ objection to my characterization was “Just following orders is not accepted as an excuse” , and that was heavily criticized.

There's so much interesting stuff going on right now - why is every post here such a snoozefest? Is anyone else checking here less and less often because equal quality commentary seems increasingly available elsewhere?

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I think the effort requirement dissuades some people from posting. probably some users want to share bare links, with little or no commentary.

The reason why Twitter (uncensored) is popular for political discourse is because you don't actually need a forced verbose comment for most discussions. I've long felt The Motte could use a more casual venue as an alternative hangout with less strict rules compared to the weekly CW thread. Think of it as a downstairs café instead of the uptight think-tank.

But yes, I share your view that too much of content here is very "snoozy" and unnecessarily long.

My highly personal pet theory is that the culture war is changing is combination of

  1. Twitter changes with community notes, needing an account to see replies and so on
  2. Reddit changes, like shutting down alternative clients that "Culture Warriors" both users and mods relied on.
  3. The fall of highly polarized news blogs like Vice and Gawker Media properties mostly due to high interest rates. As it turns out activists aren't profitable, especially when the main platform to spread rage bait Twitter is changing(see point 1, some rage bait is just killed of with a community note).

I believe that the masses of culture war is not participitating anymore in the same way because of these things and the "heat" is turned down.

Where are you looking?

Between new twitter, substack, and a few discords there seems to be one of everything available and two of most, I used to come here first to learn things, now I come looking for after-commentary and there often isn't even that

Which Twitter accounts/Substacks/Discords?

Twitter has this down to a science, when you follow CatGirlKulak or whoever you might like, it will recommend a group of accounts to follow along with it. So I don't even know most of the people I follow, at least initially

The best advice I can give for Twitter is basically “follow eigenrobot and work outward from there.” tszzl (roon) and growing_daniel are also good “hub accounts” for the tech side of things. If you prefer to start with motte-adjacency, go with ymeskhout, AnechoicMedia_, sonyasupposedly, CremieuxRecueil, and Kulak.

There are a lot more accounts I could mention (I follow around 900 people) but the clear entry point to Twitter for people from here is the ACX-adjacent section (TPOT), which maintains a high standard of amiability/sanity norms while talking about much the same stuff as here.

This place would be a lot more interesting if AnechoicMedia_ and sonyasupposedly were still around.

You can become the change you want to see!

The forum also might have seasonal effects, after Thanksgiving to New Years is a busy time for many.

What is the interesting stuff?

I'd also like to know.

Most people don't feel like writing long toplevel posts most of the time, and the BLR isn't allowed because at least 'long effort post' is a content-neutral filter and the mods don't want to have a filter that isn't content-neutral (both for philosophical reasons and because it'd take more mod effort). I think this is a mistake.

Also, is there so much interesting stuff going on right now? Seems about usual to me.

Most people don't feel like writing long toplevel posts most of the time

I feel like most of the really enjoyable stuff I read here has the same template. Someone wants to talk about a topic but lacks an interesting opinion about it or haven't really thought it throughly. They make a clumsy top level post. Then they get dunked on by 2-3 second level posts explaining why the OP is wrong. The second level posts are typically much more heavily upvoted and well written/argued. Being that OP sucks a bit. I had an experience with this trying to start a discussion about a topic without a clear argument and then the comments destroying me were selected for quality contribution. They were indeed quality contributions but the whole discussion wouldn't exist without me sticking out my neck first and saying something possibly unpopular.

Where are people getting the idea that you need a longpost on the top level? Just write a conversation starter. A good writer could do it in a paragraph, a bad one would need 2-3 tops.

Some interesting stuff going on:

Elon Musk antisemitism controversy, advertisers defecting, etc

Beff Jezos doxed

Henry Kissinger dies

Israel vs. Palestine ongoing developments

2024 election developments

Apparent strength of US economy vs disconnect from voters

Cybertruck debut (not really culture war but a big story)

Russia vs. Ukraine ongoing developments

Protests/riots in Ireland

I would hardly say the news cycle is slow

Those are all pretty lame though.

The same amount of interesting stuff was present year ago, 2 years ago, 3 years ago, 4 years ago and so on.

Yeah, and we’ve discussed all of that here, so it seems like a baseless complaint.

On the subject of the BLR, I have been wondering if we could allow a reduced effort level in exchange for disallowing current events. Something like allowing a paragraph-long post with a link for things more than 1/2/4/8 weeks old. Not convinced that would work, but it at least (mostly) avoids stomping on someone writing a longer post.

"Bare links more than one year old" ?

I like that idea a lot.

That could be worth a shot. +1

There's so much interesting stuff going on right now - why is every post here such a snoozefest?

Like? What is interesting happening like now? Right now the culture war is in the WWI trench warfare no man's land mode. And everything is more or less old news. There is plenty to be outraged about, but nothing new. I have also noticed that this place has fewer of the breaking news type of posts, but that is mostly because there is marginally more breathing room on twitter. So lately we have more bird's eye overviews.

Like? What is interesting happening like now?

Pokimane tried selling rebranded cookies at absurd markup. Twitch streamer drama is a criminally neglected topic on this forum. Shame given how central it is in deciding the course of state policy.

Is this a sarcastic post? As much as I think LSF-adjacent stuff does provide culture war fodder, I don't think it's all that good a fit here, nor is it that important in the grand scheme of things, outside of how much it indicts institutional culture.