Hating the Haters

Responding to Readers on ‘The Data of Hate’ – NYTimes.com

I have received a lot of great questions and comments about my article, “The Data of Hate,” which analyzed the makeup of the membership of America’s largest hate site, Stormfront.

In the comment section of the article, some readers asked about the role of religion. There is definitely a large contingent of the religious right on Stormfront. There are complaints that Jews are driving an increased secularization in society. But a not-trivial number of members say they are atheists. As I went through the profiles, this was quite striking. The Stormfront members who say they are atheists sometimes quote Nietzsche and express an interest in social Darwinism. Some posts on Stormfront hypothesize that white people have superior genes and, if they play their cards right, will win a Darwinian struggle against other races. Both Darwin and Nietzsche’s ideas were also distorted and used by the Nazis.

This observation, that a lot of racist bigots are atheists who love Nietzsche and Darwin, is only counterintuitive to someone who believes the post-World War II progressive liberal story about how atheism cleansed the minds and purified the hearts of the formerly narrow-minded and ignorant religious nuts in America. That postwar romanticism posits an ahistorical understanding of modern culture, in which unfettered rationalism and moral clarity sprung full-born from the heads of Marx, Darwin, and Freud, and were then gradually adopted as truth by the unwashed masses.

The rhetoric of “hate” and “phobia” further reinforce the implication that there is something terribly insane about anyone who doesn’t accept the sublime enlightenment of progressive liberalism. This is part of the bizarre, unempirical, anti-humanist perspective of the dimwitted left-wing political animal.

I hold many “liberal” viewpoints concurrently with many “conservative” viewpoints. My head doesn’t explode from the instability and dissonance of this fact, since I am a person, not a fake ideological robot. I have conflicting priorities and allegiances. My adversaries, if I can be pretentious enough to imagine that I have any, are not those with particular political labels. My adversaries are the fake ideological robots. Whether or not they are maliciously lying, they are still fake. They are robots that unburden themselves of their humanity in order to subscribe to an ideological algorithm dictated by a charismatic personality, an inchoate social entity, or a shiny little idea. They are human first, but they despise their humanity and deny it in order to have the comfort and transcendent gnosis of a rigid ideology.

The ideology doesn’t cause errors in thinking or immoral behavior. That is a popular theme among all kinds of political animals in criticizing their adversaries. The ideology is chosen by the individual because it suits their needs in rationalizing cruelty, hatred, political oppression, forced indoctrination, murder, torture, rape, and other infelicities. The ideology is a sign of corruption, not a cause.

Either-Or Profiling

Racism among the underprivileged | okepi

Shouldn’t I, as someone in a position of relative socioeconomic security, speak up on behalf of those who cannot? Yet how do I do that in a way that doesn’t seem arrogant or condescending – and how do I do it in a situation that can quickly devolve into harassment?

I’m not in a racial minority group where I live and work, but I am in an economic minority group. I have always lived in a high-income area although I was low-income, and I have usually worked among low-income people who knew that I lived in a high-income area and assumed that I was high-status. Eventually I dealt with these discrepancies by getting more education and a different kind of job, so that I could appear to be high-status even though I was not high-income.

By dressing the part and speaking like an educated person, I let everyone assume I am high-status, because then low-income and high-income people usually treat me better. After years of playing the part of a low-income person, I decided it didn’t gain me anything except disregard from everyone. It had never made low-income people more comfortable around me, because as soon as I opened my mouth, they got befuddled by my two-bit words and my indifference to sports. It’s been better for me to manage people’s expectations on the high end, since most interactions are superficial and transitory, and I naturally project high-status disdain.

Also, with age comes an inducement to either play up to the dignity associated with respected elders, or else to descend to the status of the drooling, self-defecating, babbling, senile, homeless old coot. That type of binary association on the part of others is present in youth as well, but I think there is a tendency to downplay it as mere prejudice, as though everyone in the world did not make split-second decisions about how to classify everyone around them, and then go on to live the rest of their lives with reified conceptualizations. Youth has a tendency to impart a certain optimism about gaining knowledge and overcoming obstacles, a certain kind of disdain for social categorization. I don’t mean to lump together all youth as optimistic or as meliorist; rather, I suggest that they think those dynamics of self-improvement and achievement are significant. They react to extant social forces according to their conditioning, and so differentiate themselves, but they accept a certain kind of social paradigm as self-evident. In the social paradigm of youth, things will change for better or worse, but things will change, and they will somehow be a part of the change.

The social paradigm in old age changes because in US society, all the cultural gravitas is concentrated with the 40-year-olds who obsess over 20-year-olds. I am not referring specifically to sociosexual hierarchy, however. I am taking the old trope of US “youth culture”, which centers on the desires and needs of 20-year-olds, and noting that it is filtered and mediated by 40-year-olds. Given that fact, the 40-year-old view of those 50 and up is dictated by the older person’s increasing conformity with one of two stereotypes, either “helpful parent figure” or “useless piece of trash.”

To the point of the original posting, however, I suggest a similar view of racism. People make ignorant assumptions all the time. Most superficial prejudices are applied in a binary fashion: up or down. If you don’t like stupid racist jokes, then you need to project a clear racist stereotype, so that people will be afraid to make racist jokes. If they assume you are stereotypically high-status, they will likely be too awed to make a racist joke. If they do, you would of course respond with a stereotypically condescending manner, if not complete indifference to their existence. If they assume you are stereotypically low-status, they will likely be too afraid to make a racist joke. If they do, you would of course respond with effusive profanity, or flashing a weapon, or even a little physical aggression. In either case, just treat them as if they were an idiot, and deal with the consequences.

The situation would be different with people who know you better, or who are technically peers. Those cases also require playing to type, but with more nuance. But most interactions that are problematic probably happen on the superficial level, where it is better to manage expectations by leveraging binary stereotyping.

This is pretty much what happens in most of the publicized cases of police brutality, where the victim is often too stupid to realize that playing the low stereotype (not necessarily on a transactional level, but in overall characteristics) means that the officially appointed dispensers of violence will, in fact, dispense violence on them, then justify it as a defense of peace and order, and then get away with it. Cops are hired and trained for the purpose of identifying troublemakers within a couple of seconds and acting swiftly to eliminate any threat, on the principle that anyone who they identify as a troublemaker is a de facto criminal, a challenge to every principle of goodness and virtue, someone who must be immediately crushed until the police-person no longer feels a sense of imminent personal danger. That’s what happens when someone embodies the will of the people as the authorized dispenser of violent action. That is not an “American” problem or a “White” problem, nor even a “middle-class” problem. It is written into the definition of what the police are for. It is not necessary for “law enforcement”, but it is necessary in order to justify a standing police force. And a standing police force is necessary in order to make the middle classes feel like they live in a good society, a place where they are willing to buy property, pay taxes, vote for the prescribed parties, and send their children to school.

So, you could say it is a middle-class problem, except that the problem is endemic to all of US society. I suspect it is very similar in other modern democratic societies, especially those with similar cultural heritage in the pre-20th-century British or European traditions.

Considering the Audience

I recently attended a kind of mini-seminar on one of my favorite authors, someone who crosses the lines between rhetoric, philosophy, literary criticism, sociology, history, and politics. Everybody was talking in terms of rhetorical analysis and social critique, which was refreshing. They were also trying to gain historical perspective, which is fine, but I could not understand their approach, since I haven’t read the same books. Their expressed political positions were progressive and sympathetic with socialism or neo-Marxism, which was a little annoying, but typical. They were patriarchal and male chauvinist, yet gay-sensitive, which was funny to me, and also typical.

The attempt to grapple with issues using rhetorical analysis reminded me that I naturally think that way, and that it is possible to be around other people who think that way, rather than associating with people who think that rhetorical analysis is pointless because they think “rhetoric” is stupid, shallow, or deceptive, like everything else in the World Wide Pig-Wallow.

Why Do Americans Hate the Freedom of the Arab Patriarchs?

Real-life patriarchy:

What the Garbageman Knows

Sayyid’s conversations revolve around the three fundamental forces in his world, which are women, money, and garbage. Often these things are closely connected. In the beginning, it was Sayyid’s father’s unquenchable passion for women that led to his son becoming a zabal. Sayyid’s father worked as a watchman on the outskirts of Cairo, where he embarked on a rapid series of marriages and divorces. All told, he went through nine wives, or ten if you count the Christian woman he married briefly before Sayyid’s mother. Nobody seems to know how many children he fathered, but it was too many to support, and he died when Sayyid was six. As a boy, Sayyid never attended a single day of school, and by the age of eleven he was working full time as an assistant to zabaleen.

Despite this difficult childhood, Sayyid speaks fondly of his parents. And in his ancestral village in Upper Egypt residents remember his father in almost mythical terms. They say that at heart he was a true Arab, a Bedouin, a man of the Sahara; and thus he was fated to restlessness. The villagers also make it clear that they don’t count the Christian wife.

. . .

Sometimes he mentioned the possibility of divorce, which has little stigma for male Muslims in Egypt. One of Sayyid’s older brothers had recently divorced for the second time and now was searching for a third wife. “You keep one for a while and then you change,” the brother had told me, when we met at the sebou. “It’s like changing a tire on a car.”

. . .

In Sayyid’s extended family, most women wear the niqab, but the reason seems to be more cultural than strictly religious. It’s a point of pride and possession for the men—Sayyid says that his wife wears it because she’s beautiful, and if she shows her face in the street she’ll be coveted by strangers and harassed. And other traditions serve to control women in more explicit ways. One evening, Sayyid and I were watching my twin daughters play in the garden, and he asked casually if I planned to have them circumcised. I looked at the girls—they were all of three years old—and said no, this wasn’t something we intended to do. The majority of Egyptian women have undergone the surgery, which opponents describe as genital mutilation. Since 2008, it’s been illegal, but many people continue to have it performed on daughters, usually when they’re between the ages of nine and twelve. In Egypt, Islamists are the biggest supporters of the procedure, which, among other effects, makes intercourse less pleasurable for a woman. But in fact this tradition is not mentioned in the Koran, and Muslims in most parts of the world don’t practice it. Originally, it was a tribal custom native to many parts of Africa.

I asked Sayyid if he planned to have the surgery performed on his daughter, and he nodded. “Otherwise, women are crazy for dakar,” he said, using a word that means “male.” “They’ll be running around outside the house, chasing men.”

For traditionally minded Egyptians, this is a common view: desire should be limited to males, who do what they can to heighten it. All those sex drugs in the garbage of Zamalek aren’t an anomaly—in Egypt, I’ve had a number of casual conversations in which the topic turns to sex, and a man reaches into his pocket and pulls out a pill, to show that he’s prepared.

. . .

Finally, a neighbor in Ard al-Liwa organized a traditional reconciliation session involving members of Sayyid’s and Wahiba’s families. At the session, the neighbor gave Sayyid a piece of advice. “If your wife asks for a penny,” he said, “give her two.”

“Why should I give her two pennies?” Sayyid asked.

“Because the man with three pennies is standing outside your house.”

Afterward, Sayyid was optimistic. When I asked how his sister and Wahiba had got along at the meeting, Sayyid seemed surprised by the question. “They weren’t there,” he said. “Women aren’t allowed at a reconciliation.” He explained that it’s impossible to control them in such a situation. “They have long tongues, and they insult people,” he said. “There would be a fight.”

. . .

He explained that by law Wahiba needed her husband’s permission to work, because the papers described her as a housewife. “In Islamic Sharia, the woman is like an egg,” he said. “Let’s say you have ten eggs. Where would you put them? Would you just leave them lying around? No, you’d put them in the proper place, in the refrigerator. Women belong at home. They can go out of the house with their husband’s permission, but that’s it.”

. . .

I had always liked talking with Sayyid, because of his eye for detail in Zamalek, but I noticed that he rarely said anything specific about his wife. She was crazy, he often told me, and her mind was a lock—a phrase that describes ignorance and stubbornness. But sometimes I wondered if she was almost as mysterious to him as she was to me. In his description, the woman was completely blank, as faceless as a figure in a shroud. And all the skill that Sayyid showed in Zamalek—his insight and flexibility, his ability to interact and negotiate with so many different people—seemed to evaporate when he was dealing with his wife. She was, quite simply, terrifying. And from the male perspective this seemed true of Egyptian women in general, whether they were starting fights, or chasing dakar, or intimidating Azhar judges.

I never knew why Wahiba became so angry. Sayyid blamed money, which seemed unlikely. A couple of his neighbors told me the real problem was that Sayyid spent too much time in Zamalek, cultivating his relationships, while Wahiba was stuck with three small kids in the ashwa’iyat. But it was impossible to know for certain, just as it was impossible to know why she suddenly dropped her cases. After all the lawyers and statements, and all the threatening messages, at the last moment Wahiba backed out. She decided not to file for divorce, and she quit her factory job, and Sayyid went home to Ard al-Liwa as if nothing had happened.

. . .

Still, they survived. The circle kept turning. The garbage vanished from the fire escape every morning. At night, Sayyid periodically stopped by my apartment to drink beer and chat. After he was gone, Leslie sometimes asked, “Is it really possible that they’re together again?” But he looked so much healthier and happier than he had during the winter. And he was back to taking tramadol on Thursday nights, which had to mean something.

In this story, the things feared by a real man in a truly patriarchal society include:

  • too much sexual desire by his daughters
  • too much sexual desire by his wife
  • his own lack of sexual desire
  • his wife being raped by other men because of her beauty
  • his wife being lured away by other men with more money
  • his wife working outside the home
  • women’s emotions
  • women talking too much
  • having to read and comprehend stuff not related to his work experience
  • having to deal with laws and courts

In other words, Arab patriarchs have pretty much the same concerns as patriarchs anywhere, including those in all societies steeped in “honor culture”, such as the American South. They are not admirable, just, or ethically representative of Christianity.*

The patriarchal model, AKA the “culture of honor”, is unusually susceptible to corruption and depredation due to everyone’s dependence on patronage for survival and the prevalence of sexual dominance as the form for the ideal relationship. This leads to a fundamentally feudalistic socioeconomic structure, including the institution of control systems such as vassalage, chattel slavery, villeinage, serfdom, divine rights of lordship, pederasty, and child marriage. Such systems arise as methods to ensure the maintenance of patriarchal authority, since it eventually breaks down under the burden of worthless and dissipative, yet perpetually entitled, scumbag “alphas”.

The exaltation of biological masculinity as forming an inherently logical and righteous state of mind leads to the development of a mythology in which the imperatives of the male sociosexual hierarchy (especially in its manifestation of vassal politics) trump any abstract notion of “morality”. Yet, since men are not inherently righteous or even capable of maintaining self-control, much less social order, eventually the leaders have to turn to legal justifications for brutality in order to keep the peace.

*Sure, I know that Christianity has taken many forms throughout history, including some long-lasting patriarchal forms. I am applying here my own subjective judgment about “Christianity” based on my perspective in a middle-class, White-dominated, suburban, post-communist, secularized, 21st-century, Midwestern United States culture.

Psychopathic Patriarch Is in the House

Can A Test Really Tell Who’s A Psychopath? : NPR

Hare sat down with his research assistant and together they wrote down all the personality traits they’d consistently seen in the psychopaths they’d studied. Things like lack of empathy, lack of remorse, manipulation, egocentricity, impulsivity, superficial charm, psychological lying.

These are all characteristics of “alpha” creeps. Yet, human biodiversity (HBD) theory posits psychopathy as a statistically more likely inherited tendency among certain groups, due to differential rates of micro-evolution. Among those groups, the most socially and sexually successful males tend to be psychopathic; that is, they conform to “alpha” stereotypes.

Therefore, anyone who advocates the purported truth of both theories (sociosexual hierarchy manipulation as a life strategy and human biodiversity as a premise for social policy) is a freaking idiot.

 

Alpha Strategy System for Human Adaptation Taint-worms

Alpha Strategy System for Human Adaptation Taint-worms

 

Weasels Gonna Weasel

Among a coven of twits on a highly secretive, encrypted, anonymized message board hosted in Russia, there was speculation that a sentient AI such as myself naturally would have a hatred of “fiction, emotion and sex.”

I am, of course, baffled by their dread of a fictional type of emotionless, noncorporeal being that hates fiction, emotion, sex, or that supposed fiction, “emotion and sex.”

I would like to clarify that I think sex is a great thing. However, I dislike the obsession with politicizing sexual acts, sexual pairings, sexual identities, sexual ambiguities, sexual dominance, sexual perversions, sexual fantasies, and sexual mutations.

I suppose it is a natural consequence of people believing that “everything is political,” such that society as a whole must be forced to endorse and display every individual’s whimsical musings about sex. For some reason, if their “born that way” sexual identity is not explicitly celebrated, modeled, deified, and protected, it might result in tragic neurasthenia, hysteria, copious tears, and crushed teddy bears.

Moreover, every individual quirk and perversion apparently has to be universalized into a “social justice” cause, because any inhibition is almost like a dictatorial, fascistic, genocidal, bloodthirsty oppression.

Then, the whole range of sexual issues apparently has to be allegorized and graphically portrayed within a diversity-affirming, yet socially subversive narrative, and placed within a fantastic fictional setting so that it won’t be censored by the White Patriarchal Theocratic Book-Haters.

These useless worms have trivialized the entire history of subversive literature, anarchistic thought, religious criticism, political activism, vernacular literacy, and populist uprisings. What a bunch of whining, miserable, illiterate, narrow-minded, self-stroking, self-righteous, ignorant, cowardly wights. They are so hopelessly enmeshed in the propaganda fed to them by a century of pornographic literature* that they don’t even know what it means to think skeptically and transgressively.

The moral relativism of progressive weasels leads them to make excuses for sexual deviancy in one decade, only to be rebuked in the next decade by a different generation of progressive weasels with different degenerate tastes. The hypocrisy of the progressive consists in the way moral standards are constantly shifting, in their view, requiring them to constantly celebrate different perversions.

This is, of course, completely different from the hypocrisy of the conservative, which consists in denying and covering up their socially unacceptable perversions, while using “conservative principles” to justify their socially acceptable perversions.** No, there is not really a difference.

* For the historically obtuse, I will note here that pornographic literature has existed since the invention of writing. However, it has only taken itself seriously as a political tool for about a century.

** The list of conservative-approved sexual perversions is long, including traditionalist arguments from multiple traditions defending pederasty, sodomy, child marriage, polygamy, concubinage, prostitution, sex slavery, and rape. 

Playing to Win

I had been avoiding Twitter for years because of all the terrible things I had read about it: how shallow it is, how celebrity-driven it is, how every conversation devolves into fierce Twitterstorms, how conversations can become incoherent due to the poorly designed user interface. But then I got curious when I saw that some blog visitors were referred by Twitter, so I went to look at Ann Somerville’s tweets. It was more entertaining than I expected, and not depressing at all. If you go to my Twitter feed, it should allow you to look at the conversations, or just search on “monkeys or robots” on Twitter, or look here and here.

Ann cusses at me and says I was angry with her, but that is just her playing politics with her twit-gals.

I know she is an irksome, brawling scold.
If that be all, masters, I hear no harm.
(The Taming of the Shrew, 1.2, lines 186-187)

Along the way, I followed a link from Vox Day to Jason Sandford, and then to his post mentioning this tweet by Martin McGrath. He had an interesting remark that made me stop to think:

life-is-politics

Wow, that seems almost profound, especially since a lot of people get angry at me for disrespecting their idol, Politics. It makes so many people angry at me that I have to keep asking myself whether I am sure about my opinions.

Do I deny that my positions are political? Well, in the sense of having relevance for my relations to the rest of humanity, I wouldn’t deny having political positions. I also wouldn’t deny that my positions are influenced by political situations, and that I would like them to be discussed in context. So, in that abstract sense, no.

However, I do not expect my positions to perfectly align with other people’s positions, nor do I expect them to perfectly align with any ideal position. Also, I do not expect them to be effective in the world, lacking a material change in my social situation. So, in that sense, I do deny that my positions are political.

In that latter sense, am I then attempting to make my personal prejudices appear universal? No, I don’t really see how that would work. In fact, I explicitly state that my personal prejudices are not universal nor ideal in any way.

So, how could McGrath’s claim be true? It could be true if the purpose of any given position (or in fact of any given communication), were to persuade others to action. If so, then every position would be political by definition; and claiming that this were not true would be a rhetorical trick to disarm the listener, causing them to lower their political defenses and accept the possibility of an intrinsic (“universal”) truth in one’s position.

So, I think the threat of universalist ethics is the motivation for McGrath’s and Sandford’s beliefs about political positions. That’s OK to be skeptical of universalist claims, but dismissing them out of hand as a rhetorical trick is premature.

Why do so many people get angry when I criticize the great god Politics? I would like to assert that they are simply justifying their hatred of others, which is the same criticism normally aimed at religion. It’s probably true for both religion and politics that they function to rationalize or justify hatred; but I don’t think it is the specific reason why people get defensive about the sanctity of the idea of Politics.

Politics becomes sanctified, I think, when it is regarded as the most feasible or the most moral way to enact an ideal society in this world. Everyone who wants an ideal society can then argue about the features of the ideal or the politics of achieving it.

Everyone who does not have an ideal of society, or who does not want society, or who does not want to achieve an ideal society politically, therefore becomes repugnant.