Archives for posts with tag: Right Wing

They say that if you’re not a socialist at 20 you have no heart, and if you’re not a conservative at 30 then you have no brain. Now this quotation may have originated as derision against naive republicans by the more sober and rational monarchists, but now that democracy is pretty much universally understood as the undeniably greater alternative, our current incarnation of this maxim must be the definitely true version. That being the case, now that I’m over 30, I must concede that justice is a worthless cause and self-interest is the highest virtue. I wouldn’t want anyone to think I’m stupid enough to deny the supremacy of inherited, incestuous leadership! …I mean, conservatism!

So here it is. My conservative conversion expressed through the medium of cute animal pictures. Eight of them.

1.

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I believe that anti-white rhetoric has a censoring effect on my speech, but I never quite make the leap to believing that anti-black, anti-women, and anti-LGBT rhetoric might have the same impact

2.

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Communism can never work because centralized power is intrinsically corrupting and destructive, unless it resides within the corporate executive office, in which case centralized power is the bedrock of civilization itself

3.

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You might think it is disingenuous that I equate anti-fascists with fascists, but it makes a lot more sense when you remember that I also equate refugees with terrorists and war criminals

4.

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I absolutely loathe the permissive, liberal, welfare culture that surrounds me, but I refuse to welcome the statistically more conservative, community-oriented, and traditionalist immigrant groups because of their “culture”

5.

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Let’s convince those abroad of the supremacy of our values by murdering their families. If that doesn’t work, it can only be because they reject our values

6.

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I vehemently support law and order policies, but not corporate regulations. Rules are for people, not businesses. If you put arsenic in my drink, I will revel in your lethal injection, but if your company dumps toxic chemicals into the river that feeds into my reservoir, I will support you 100%

7.

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I claim to be devoted to my neighbours, but I believe that my personal views should supersede the collective view when deciding the community’s future. If there is any attempt to include me in communal responsibility, I will call it theft. I actually reject the very notion of society because I enjoy pretending that I transcend any kind of real participation within it

8.

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I choose to ignore the entire scientific community simply to spite liberals

9.

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For some reason I am ominously comfortable with a nuclear holocaust. Like, I’m sure you get by now that this is a parody, and to be perfectly honest I think that tradition and community-values are important to keep around, and that the conversations surrounding trade and globalization are nuanced and complex, but like, what the fuck is the deal with being just TOTALLY FINE with world-ending catastrophes?

I know that last one wasn’t a cute animal picture. I only promised you eight.

You remember back in the day when white people were so upset that they couldn’t say the n-word, but black people could? Now they’ve grown up a little bit, I didn’t say matured, and decided that this is a free speech issue, and it is the single greatest threat to modern society. Everyone knows, or at least has the confidence of blind zealotry, that free speech is an unalterable human right. Human rights are funny things. They’re conceptual ideas that are basically made up, their only justification being that they sound nice, and then it’s claimed that everyone is entitled to them. Free speech can be a human right, sure, but so can healthcare. So can collective bargaining. If the entire basis of your demand for free speech rests on the fact that it’s a human right, wellllllll maybe look into the distinction between negative rights, positive rights, and collective rights, because odds are you’ll abandon the entire foundation of your argument, go back to saying the n-word, and just give up on trying to justify your racism. The tricky thing about human rights is that they are usually conceived in such a way as to benefit everyone, not just those with the loudest voices.

However, free speech is often seen as a human right even by those who roll their eyes at the Milo Yiannopoulos’ of the world, and so let’s look at free speech as a human right. If you’ve had access to literally any news source within the last few years, you’ll probably know that it is under attack… from the left wing of the political spectrum.

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I’m here for your speech to redistribute it so that everyone has an equal share.

Everyone knows how the right cracks down on free speech. They use violence to enforce their rigid ideology, cracking down on any dissent. This turns into censorship, and fascist propaganda is used to replace alternative perspectives. Today, the tables have turned, and now you can’t even say women are chromosomally inferior at computer programming without some SJW calling you sexist. Antifa beats up journalists! Both sides!

So what’s the difference between universities not allowing certain speakers from lecturing, or Twitter users dog-piling on someone for a bad joke, or protests popping up against companies that discriminate against gay people, and the government torturing and killing journalists and academics? According to some, nothing. They are exactly the same. The smug self-righteousness of “centrists” claims that the left and right, after a certain distance from the reasonable centre, become identically insane. They both want to crack down on our free speech!

Let me stop you before you start talking about Stalin and his purges and pogroms, because a university declining a platform to someone whose claims are as dubious as a Flat Earther is not anywhere near the same thing. That’s what is known as a false equivalency. Don’t do that.

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Stalin claimed to represent communism. Communism is on the left. Those who act on leftist principles must be harbouring Stalinist urges. See? Like that. It’s dumb.

Let’s look at an example of free speech. Imagine a company that has one black employee, and the rest are white. Within this company, there is a group that loudly makes racist jokes and comments. Whenever the black employee contributes at a meeting, this group laughs and derides whatever they contribute, regardless of its merit. The group can’t be silenced since any attempt would be censoring their free speech, nor can they be fired for the same reason. Reasonable discourse regarding the illegitimacy of racism goes nowhere because these people are buffoons. How long do you think before this black employee either stops contributing, or simply leaves the company? My guess is not that long. You can replace the black employee with female, homosexual, or whatever you like. When a majority group is allowed unregulated freedom to trammel the minority under foot, the minority will be silenced or excluded.

Free speech, as demanded by centrists and the right, is simply the demand to silence the speech of minorities by creating environments where they are not welcome. If a university allowed racist and sexist commentators, would ethnic minorities and women really be able to claim a place there? How safe would they be if those whose violence is only tempered by its social stigma are suddenly given legitimacy by reckless, but free, speech? When leftists claim that speech can be violent, they mean the violence of social exclusion, and actual, literal violence that is its logical consequence. Inciting a riot is an uncontroversial crime, as is uttering threats. When the violence is social, its causal network is more complex and the results are more ambiguous, but the link is there.

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A white supremacist who openly recognizes the link between speech and social consequences? Must be a utopia.

Free speech cannot be universal because unregulated free speech censors the speech of the less powerful, which means, ultimately, that it fails as a human right. You know how allowing the super rich to contribute as much money as they want to political parties essentially means that the average person’s voice no longer means anything in a democracy? That happened in the States, and the argument of “free speech” was the driving force behind it. This means that when the left challenges the “free speech” of racists and misogynists, they are not attacking a human right, or censoring a dissenting opinion, they are fighting for the voices that this “free speech” silences. They are promoting democracy, not defying it.

Is the solution to violently attack those who take advantage of their role as social censors under the irony of free speech? Is it morally permissible to punch Nazis, basically. Unfortunately, it’s a narrative that drives these attitudes, not facts and figures, which makes discourse a difficult endeavour. Disallowing that narrative to spread is one way to combat it, but it also needs to be replaced with a better one or it will lash out as it is backed into a corner.

Post-Script: Twitter is just fucking stupid at its foundations. It has real life consequences that are depressingly inane across the spectrum, and social media in general should be abolished. That’s my view of Twitter censorship.

There is this belief that the centre possesses the highest moral value. The Golden Mean of Aristotle suggests that the ethical character exists between two extremes. Between cowardice and rashness is bravery; between stinginess and prodigality is liberality. When applied to politics, the spectrum appears as a horseshoe with the Right and Left extremes meeting near the bottom, allegedly indistinguishable from one another, and the glorious yet humble centrists take their position at the pinnacle of enlightened political thought.

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It kind of looks like seating arrangements with the head of the table being really conspicuously obvious. Whoever came up with Horseshoe Theory must have been a centrist.

Of course this is incredibly patronizing to those without liberal viewpoints, but it’s also patently absurd. It’s the “both sides” rhetoric which equivocates fighting Nazis with being Nazis. The truth does not lie between two extremes of an argument. It’s like going to a court case, and assuming that justice exists somewhere in the middle between the positions of the defense and the prosecution, without listening to either side.

Not listening is key to political centrism. It’s telling victims that, while I recognize that there is bad shit going on, I understand your situation better than you, and I will judge you harshly for your response to violence that I do not have to endure. It’s telling those who victimize others that, while I recognize that what you’re doing is socially destructive, I respect your right to do so within the written law. Centrism is the perpetuation of the status quo even if the status quo is harmful to certain groups and privileges others, which means, by its very nature, centrism benefits the socially destructive simply by its passive allowance of their flourishing.

Centrists assume that any dialogue is productive. It suggests that groups who want to secure basic freedoms can solve their differences amiably over tea with others who believe those groups to be subhuman. I’m not saying that dialogue can’t solve the issue, but the type of conversation matters more than simply having a conversation. To be politically centrist is to avoid productive debate, despite conventional wisdom, because they insist that the louder and illegitimate voices have an equal seat at the table, despite the silencing effect that this has on others. Marginalized voices must be given a microphone in order to be heard above the din, and certain arguments are unjustifiable in productive dialogue, like the supremacy of one group over another, and those arguments must be quashed or ignored if we’re going to actually make any progress. White supremacy, for example, cannot be debated because it is not grounded on a debatable foundation.

Despite the language we use to understand politics as a spectrum, it’s far more complex and nuanced than a horseshoe or even a linear framework. It seems asinine to perceive climate science as a position on the political spectrum, but it is. Believing that black people should be murdered less too finds its place on the political spectrum. If someone believes that gay people shouldn’t be able to marry, we consider them right wing, but if they murder someone because they’re gay, are they are more right wing? Is murder on the political spectrum? That’s like saying a Muslim who commits a terrorist act is more Muslim than one who doesn’t. If someone believes that workers should own the means of production, we call that left wing. What about the difference between those who want to achieve it through revolution compared to those who wish to achieve it through incremental reform? Is one more left than the other? The belief is the same, the methodology is different. We consider revolution more extreme, and therefore somehow “more left”, but the basic political beliefs are identical. Political methodology should not impact political position. If we were in Eastern Germany during its Communist phase, and someone set off a car bomb because they wanted liberal democracy, would they be considered more centrist than someone who only handed out pamphlets? Jean-Jacques Rousseau would never be considered a centrist during his time, even if what he was fighting for are the values of centrists today. We have the term Overton Window to describe acceptable social discourse (ie. centrist values) which can shift depending on the surrounding culture, which means that centrism is essentially arbitrary. Politics is issue specific, and that’s why we have racist Gay Rights activists and fiscal conservatives who think pot should be legal. There isn’t really a defined spectrum, just a mainstream with the “extreme” political views falling on the outside of that. Centrism is only pop-politics.

To self-describe as centrist is nothing more than virtue signalling. It’s buying into the myth of the spectrum simply because it puts you in a flattering light. Centrists get to claim the moral high ground because of the perceived golden hue of the mean, even if what they advocate is otherwise morally bankrupt. Claiming a label that identifies you as socially responsible unlike those types is choosing to remain ignorant because the destruction going on around you does not affect you personally. Listen to the arguments, research the data, and see if “both sides” truly have equal merit.