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.

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