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Brace yourself for the summer of 'sluts'

This “sluts’ rights” stuff is getting pretty intense.
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The summer of sluts was kicked off this week when msnbc cable host Ed Schultz, perhaps channeling Dan Aykroyd in his old “Saturday Night Live” debates with Jane Curtin (“Jane, you ignorant slut!”) called conservative radio personality Laura Ingraham a “right-wing slut” on his syndicated radio program . Schultz apologized, but was suspended from his cable show for a week.

The incident provided an unexpected publicity boost to “Slut Walk” protests planned for cities all over North America. Chicago and Los Angeles will see parades of of self-proclaimed “sluts” June 4, followed by San Diego on June 11, with 70 or so walks in Seattle, Portland, New York and other cities through the summer.

The walks, which began in April after a Toronto police officer advised women in a York University audience not to dress like a “slut” to avoid sexual assault, are not only attempting to raise awareness about sexual violence, but to redefine the meaning of “slut.”

“We have taken up the word slut … to claim that a slut does not have to remain a pejorative and demeaning epithet,” Toronto Slut Walk organizer Heather Jarvis told me. “A slut can be someone who is in control and unashamed of their sexuality…. A slut can be someone who is unafraid to enjoy consensual sex. A slut can be someone who refuses to believe…that enjoying sex or owning one’s sexuality is an invitation of violence.”

In other words, activists are attempting to do for “slut” what was done for “queer.”

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26 replies »

  1. Great quote from the comments section of the article:

    “This is a terrible and misguided attempt to address a serious social issue. Slut walks began because of the patronizing culture of “blame the victim” in sexual assault cases. Parading around and calling ourselves sluts completely fails to address this issue. Also, trying to lessen the derogatory meaning of “slut” will not make it any more acceptable in society or any less hurtful when hurled upon a woman or young girl. We as intelligent, socially responsible, and empowered women need to teach ourselves and those around us to treat all women with respect and common courtesy.
    Come on ladies, we can be better than this!”

  2. “Also, trying to lessen the derogatory meaning of “slut” will not make it any more acceptable in society or any less hurtful when hurled upon a woman or young girl.”

    It is acceptable if it is an accurate desscription of the female in question. Sometimes you just have to call a spade a spade.

  3. Not quite true. I’m proudly Ayn-Rand-Virtue-of-Selfishness-selfish, and in addition to an extremely conceited concern for myself I also care deeply for my friends, for my few allies in this world, for those who have shown me justice and kindness, and for the greater civilisational and material structure which makes a rational and liberated existence possible

    But if you mean the sweet rot of humanity fused together by the resin of family and custom, then, no- I don’t care one baht for your festering dishwater dirtpile and would gladly raise both a glass and a sizeable contribution of funds for the privilege of watching you all drown in your own cherished filth. The thought that I might get a chance to keep munching bonus chocolate while you lot starve is itself a cheerfully sufficient reason to stay around long enough to watch how this game plays out.

  4. Jared-

    Aside from their current policy of political deception, the greatest strength of fascists is aesthetic- the aesthetic of communitarian/familialist sentimentality, of course- but also the worship and vicarious identification with self-contained high-performance power. May I implore you that the latter is a trap, and an unnecessary trap, whose power derives largely from the affirmation of the scars of patriarchal pedagogy?

    Power may be an inescapable aesthetic, but framing it out of one’s politics may be worthwhile. One can admit to oneself the badass appeal of a soldier in uniform and still remain entirely conscious that the literal application of the principle of that uniform is a disgusting carnage of human bodies and human minds, the enslavement of the human spirit and the murder of artists and philosophers. When you meet an intelligent person who embraces the spirit of the uniform, keep in mind that what they love is inextricably tied to airtight conformity and concentration camps. Gangs and warlords want to see you dead or in terrible, lifelong repression. “Long live death” has to be taken seriously. They worship pain- theirs and yours. One becomes free of them by learning to love oneself and one’s life.

    Despite my own practical left-wing elitist vices, intellectually I increasingly conclude that even educational or cognitive elitism is dangerous in the end: partially because the difference is mainly an unjust matter of childhood/educational privilege, and partially because there really isn’t that much difference- it’s mostly a matter of self-deceptive attention to conventionally selected virtues. In reality the masses are more capable of reason than we credit, while the ‘higher men’ are as captive to the comic disproportions of the human condition as those they disdain. Furthemore, whether the ‘masses’ or ‘elite’ are culturally healtheir depends upon the culture- in Wellington, the working class is culturally somewhat healthier than those above them in conventional status. Real aristocrats- or their left-wing and right-wing equivalents in today’s power-structure- are thoroughly cold-blooded creatures, who will betray you and anyone else the moment it becomes expedient. Whatever the aesthetic, intellectual, or practical merits of elitism, the truth is that the value systems we associate with elites and aristocracies are inescapably fraudulent Potemkin jobs, and do not come from the same spiritual place as genuine self-actualisation. Those things which they encourage one to feel superior about are usually of dubious actual value and only appear to ally with one’s own interest. You can ace everything at Harvard, but if you refuse to guide your mind and contact by class expectations you’ll eventually find that Harvard education is less valuable than its looks, and that what the Oxbridge set really cares about is a class harmony of interests and identity. The best-and-brightest game, like the ‘achievement’ ethos of the business class, is mostly a fraud all the way down. And where it is not, the excellence and achievement was acquired in spite of the spirit of these social circumstances and not because of it. I increasingly conclude that the democratic individualism of Tom Paine, Emma Goldman, or Ellen Willis got it right over the aristocratic individualism of Neitzsche, Stirner, Ortega, or Ayn Rand. Elitism is critically vulnerable to cooption to actual aristocrats or aristocrat-wannabes- and when politically inclined these guys are monsters- just as libertarianism bellyflopped into servtiude to the Southern elites and the Koch brothers. It’s just the flip-side error to populism.

    Of course, anything is fair game to throw at fascists, starting with mustard gas. They aren’t even human, after all.

  5. “You can ace everything at Harvard, but if you refuse to guide your mind and contact by class expectations you’ll eventually find that Harvard education is less valuable than its looks, and that what the Oxbridge set really cares about is a class harmony of interests and identity.”

    No argument here. What that tells me to do is to be so elitist that I look down on elitists.

    The world is made up of owls, wolves, and sheep, and most of the sellouts coming out of Harvard are high-IQ sheep. Owls — the wise few who have personally overcome at least some of the governing myths — look down on them.

    I’ve been pondering the nature of sellouts and I’ve concluded that there’s some moral impulse that compels them to sellout. They think they are doing the right thing by conforming, not making waves, and advancing within the system.

    Dave

  6. Ironically, I just received two messages attacking me for hanging out with “fags, negro-terrorists and fucking redskins.” I just can’t win. 🙂

  7. Ironically, I just received two messages attacking me for hanging out with “fags, negro-terrorists and fucking redskins.” I just can’t win.

    Of course you can… By rejecting attacks on your race.

  8. Keith,

    Almost all my friends are fags, negro-terrorists and redskins but mostly Asians, some are even gay-negro-terrorists who think that they’re redskins. These are the only folks who will associate with me publicly because uptight, straight, white people all think that I’m a nazi. But you know what, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I would consider it winning.

  9. Aster,

    “Power may be an inescapable aesthetic, but framing it out of one’s politics may be worthwhile. One can admit to oneself the badass appeal of a soldier in uniform and still remain entirely conscious that the literal application of the principle of that uniform is a disgusting carnage of human bodies and human minds, the enslavement of the human spirit and the murder of artists and philosophers. When you meet an intelligent person who embraces the spirit of the uniform, keep in mind that what they love is inextricably tied to airtight conformity and concentration camps. Gangs and warlords want to see you dead or in terrible, lifelong repression. “Long live death” has to be taken seriously. They worship pain- theirs and yours. One becomes free of them by learning to love oneself and one’s life.”

    As I’m not sure what this is referring to that I wrote, or is it just Keith’s whole program in general. I will say two things about this; the first thing is that I have no use for “the spirit of the uniform” as it is antithetical to the values that I hold such as individualism, freedom of thought and action, etc. The second thing is about power in general. One area where I may have some disagreement with you (I’m not sure so I’m wrong I apologize) is that I am not opposed to the empowerment of individuals. I happen to think that things like courage are not desirable to the ruling classes in general and in fact, fear is their main way of keeping the population in control. When it comes to crime, people are scared into voting of harsher laws and giving more power to police because of their fear of being victimized by criminals and they are also scared into “being good” by being shown all the horrors that will befall them if they step out if line http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJoI6X_HC_A

    “Despite my own practical left-wing elitist vices, intellectually I increasingly conclude that even educational or cognitive elitism is dangerous in the end: partially because the difference is mainly an unjust matter of childhood/educational privilege, and partially because there really isn’t that much difference- it’s mostly a matter of self-deceptive attention to conventionally selected virtues. In reality the masses are more capable of reason than we credit, while the ‘higher men’ are as captive to the comic disproportions of the human condition as those they disdain. Furthermore, whether the ‘masses’ or ‘elite’ are culturally healthier depends upon the culture- in Wellington, the working class is culturally somewhat healthier than those above them in conventional status. Real aristocrats- or their left-wing and right-wing equivalents in today’s power-structure- are thoroughly cold-blooded creatures, who will betray you and anyone else the moment it becomes expedient. Whatever the aesthetic, intellectual, or practical merits of elitism, the truth is that the value systems we associate with elites and aristocracies are inescapably fraudulent Potemkin jobs, and do not come from the same spiritual place as genuine self-actualisation. Those things which they encourage one to feel superior about are usually of dubious actual value and only appear to ally with one’s own interest. You can ace everything at Harvard, but if you refuse to guide your mind and contact by class expectations you’ll eventually find that Harvard education is less valuable than its looks, and that what the Oxbridge set really cares about is a class harmony of interests and identity. The best-and-brightest game, like the ‘achievement’ ethos of the business class, is mostly a fraud all the way down. And where it is not, the excellence and achievement was acquired in spite of the spirit of these social circumstances and not because of it.”

    I think I would agree with everything you wrote here. I don’t hold intelligence as some ultimate mark of desirability in its own right. In a previous comment below an article reviewing one of Jared Taylor’s books, I did refer to myself as a cognitive elitist, but I also went on to say that there are other values that just if not more important to me. I think the point I was trying to make there was that I value people based upon characteristics that they possess that are important to me regardless of their race. Intelligence itself is no guarantee of tolerance and compassion; some of the worst authoritarians have been intellectuals who used their minds in the service of social liberalism. Furthermore, there are also countless people who may score high on the IQ chart, but are still playing the domination game that uneducated thugs play. Does it really matter whether one uses one’s muscle or one mind to control and dominate others? The results for the victims can be just as bad.

    “I increasingly conclude that the democratic individualism of Tom Paine, Emma Goldman, or Ellen Willis got it right over the aristocratic individualism of Neitzsche, Stirner, Ortega, or Ayn Rand. Elitism is critically vulnerable to cooption to actual aristocrats or aristocrat-wannabes- and when politically inclined these guys are monsters- just as libertarianism bellyflopped into servtiude to the Southern elites and the Koch brothers. It’s just the flip-side error to populism.”

    Yes, I agree 110% and I think it’s unfortunate that most people cannot seem to make a distinction between the two. Democratic individualism is Imo, the only kind that really considers the individuality of all members of society important, whereas aristocratic individualism, in Emma Goldman’s words, “has meant all the “individualism” for the masters, while the people are regimented into a slave caste to serve a handful of self-seeking “supermen.” I also think there is a difference to be made between concern for others and recognizing the bonds that hold people together versus a collectivism where individuals wants and desires are subordinated to the vague abstraction known as society, the tribe, the state, the party, the greater good etc. If I may also make a point about elitist, I do use the term from time to time, my idea of what elite means is different than most peoples. In my view, the elite are those, who by their lives and ideas have demonstrated the true potential that (hopefully most if not all) human beings can aspire to. I wish I could express that thought better than I did, but writing is not a particular area of strength for me. In my own idiosyncratic definition, the first group of people you mentioned are far more elite than all the kings, emperors, generals, and most of the intellectuals that have usually had that label attached to them.

    “Of course, anything is fair game to throw at fascists, starting with mustard gas. They aren’t even human, after all.”

    Well I hope that some people can actually be persuaded by rational argumentation instead! Btw, I never knew what that song was actually about until now, quite interesting stuff.

  10. “Not quite true. I’m proudly Ayn-Rand-Virtue-of-Selfishness-selfish, and in addition to an extremely conceited concern for myself I also care deeply for my friends, for my few allies in this world, for those who have shown me justice and kindness, and for the greater civilisational and material structure which makes a rational and liberated existence possible

    But if you mean the sweet rot of humanity fused together by the resin of family and custom, then, no- I don’t care one baht for your festering dishwater dirtpile and would gladly raise both a glass and a sizeable contribution of funds for the privilege of watching you all drown in your own cherished filth. The thought that I might get a chance to keep munching bonus chocolate while you lot starve is itself a cheerfully sufficient reason to stay around long enough to watch how this game plays out.”

    You are neurotic and in need of counseling.

  11. Keith u should consider publishing those hate messages for several reasons

    +1. Were they anything like this little gem?

    Vince
    Sunday 29 May 2011 10:54 pm

    Hi, I’m Vince, but you can call me Chief Buffalo Raven! I’m actually too lazy to do anything with my life (blame whitey), but I occasionally dream about cheating on my wife and using counter-economics to take the white man’s land! Then we’ll use his technology to make the perfect Indian eco-village! We’d come up with our own, but that’d take away time from the pow wow!

  12. “+1. Were they anything like this little gem?”

    Yeah, that was one of them. Here are some others?

    “Hi, I’m Keith Preston! I walk around like I’m some sort of traditionalist, but I love surrounding myself with blacks and fags! Please take me seriously!”

    “Hi, I’m Jared! I write multi-paragraph comments about oppression and shit, but really I’m just here to prove that Keith Preston is a fake traditionalist who loves fags, not to mention negro-terrorists and fucking redskins!”

    “Hi, I’m David Heleniak! My only purpose in life is pretending that my libertarian utopia has something to do with the European tradition instead of being a threat to the survival of the white race worldwide! The only sellouts are those who willingly sacrifice their race, but I prefer to keep my head in the sand!”

    It’s funny how we get attacked by antifa from one end and Nazis from the other. We must be doing something right. Welf Herfurth and Andrew Yeoman have said they get the same kinds of attacks from the same kinds of suspects.

  13. “One area where I may have some disagreement with you (I’m not sure so I’m wrong I apologize) is that I am not opposed to the empowerment of individuals.”

    I’m totally bewildered as to why you might think this… could you kindly elaborate? As a feminist and post-Randian, “empowerment” and “individualism” are some of my bedrock virtue words. I’m against martial modes of ’empowerment’, if that’s what you mean, but that’s because I don’t think war and soldiering can be empowering or anything more than an inherently destructive evil which is unfortunately sometimes inescapable. Otherwise, I thought that individual empowerment was the whole point of my politics, and honestly totally fail to understand what I’ve written which might make you think otherwise (admittedly, I’ve made plenty of philosophically imprecise remarks in anger here and there).

    “I also think there is a difference to be made between concern for others and recognizing the bonds that hold people together versus a collectivism where individuals wants and desires are subordinated to the vague abstraction known as society, the tribe, the state, the party, the greater good etc.”

    I totally agree. There are plenty of egoistic reasons to wish the world in general to be a happier place, and most Randians think I’m a bleeding heart liberal because of thius I personally don’t like the term “bonds”, but I think that friendship is one of our greatest joys in life. Showing affection for those who really make you happy is wonderful. I loathe my birthfather and the whole social code which says that you should love your parents regardles of their character, but I truly love the adoptive parents I’ve found in New Zealand. What I’m against is a social expectation that people should be tied to the random place and time in which they happened to be born, or that one should spend one’s life being a giving tree for people one doesn’t respect, value, or enjoy.

    “If I may also make a point about elitist, I do use the term from time to time, my idea of what elite means is different than most peoples. In my view, the elite are those, who by their lives and ideas have demonstrated the true potential that (hopefully most if not all) human beings can aspire to. I wish I could express that thought better than I did, but writing is not a particular area of strength for me. In my own idiosyncratic definition, the first group of people you mentioned are far more elite than all the kings, emperors, generals, and most of the intellectuals that have usually had that label attached to them.”

    I’ve no real objections to this kind of elitism, and for good or for evil I have signed myself into commitment to the aesthetic. What you describe above is certainly my humanistic ideal. The reason why I have become increasingly suspicious of “elitism” derives from watching the libertarian movement, which started off in Randian humanistic elitism but which today has blurred into various classist, sexist, racist, and nationalist elitisms deeply destructive of the human spirit, and especially of individuality. I have come to suspect that there’s something nasty in the psychology of superiority independent of a particular superiority’s standards. “Individual supremacism” seems psychologically to bleed towards racial or sexual supremacism despite and to the annihilation of the individual excellence for which one was originally supposed to be superior.

    Which brings me straight to the larger point. The reason why I’ve been writing you is that I don’t understand what attracts you to someone like Keith. It’s not a matter of blame or guilt. Partially, it’s because you have a good mind and I find you interesting (and your writing skills are far better than you credit). But more broadly, I am trying to figure out why and in what precise respect the libertarian movement went wrong. So I’m curious as to what you find here.

    Is it a loathing of ‘liberals’? I’ve certainly had plenty of nasty experiences with establishment liberals, granted- the truth is that quite a number of them only believe in their own values so far as those values narrowly maintain their own social class. But they’re not all like this by any means, and for that matter modern liberals exist on every social level, and are not confined to the “new class”. And even if liberals can be fairly identified with their worst, their worst is still better than conservatives, and light-years of better than the rising fascism. They may only respect my rights 50% of the time, but that’s 50% better than most of the competition. I just can’t see modern liberals as a big bad, and people who specialise in attacking liberals are almost always nastier than the liberals themselves, and are fundamentally dishonest in their motives.

    But more broadly, I would think that liberalism in the broad philosophic sense is the highest political good imaginable. The people who built liberalism- Voltaire, Spinoza, Franklin, Paine, Humboldt, etc.- are personal heroes to me. Establishment liberals hardly have exculsive claim to this brand, especially when the leaders of the establishment- people like Pelosi, Clinton, or Obama- aren’t even liberals by the establishment’s own standards. People like the alternative rightists are engaged in a bait-and-switch game; they’re villianising liberalism by equating it with its traitors, which is about as intellectually honest as attacking feminism because the American Empire sometimes uses feminist rhetoric while engaged in its quest to kill people and take their stuff.

    “Well I hope that some people can actually be persuaded by rational argumentation instead!”

    The trouble is that “to argue with a man who has renounced his reason is like giving medicine to the dead.” I’ll grant that there certainly exist some rightists who can be reasoned with. But the fascists/neo-traditionalist/alternative rightists/nouvelle droit types are not those rightists. The core of these positions is the reverence and cultivation of cultic-collective religous/national myth. It’s about trying to live that myth, with engagement in politics an expression of one’s right to remake society in the myth’s image over the broken bodies of dissenters and foreigners. The primary enemy of fascist philosophy is the open society, which denies these myths the cultural hegemony required to enclose people inside a collective dreamworld. You can’t argue with a fascist any more than you can argue with a fundamentalist- they are not looking at reality in the first place. And one crucial element of this is that the fascist myth, which forces people to be set peices in its social drama, must necessarily remove individuals and groups whose existence isn’t compatable with its organic vision of a national order. The fascist wants to rid his society of Jews, queers, feminists, liberals, communists, immigrants, sex workers or whatever because such people by their existence threaten the collective psuedo-self-esteem which is the payoff of a worldview centered around tribe, heritage, nation, custom, culture. A fascist will kill you to preserve this unity which he has chosen to cherish in place of a truly self-created soul. No amount of rational argumentation will help; the fascist’s sense of pride in being (pick nation/sex/race of the moment) is as much a delusion as religious enthusiasm and exists in constant tension with reality. Typically, fascism is an alliance between (1) elites or wannabe-elites who cement their rule with a nationalist piety which peoticises the social order in which they are dominant and (2) a group of spiritually impoverished medocrities who desperately grab on to a narrative which flatters their undistinguished existence. Both groups will kill to preserve their illusions. The only thing to be learned from fascists is how to understand them for the purpose of identifying and defeating them.

  14. ”People like the alternative rightists are engaged in a bait-and-switch game; they’re villianising liberalism by equating it with its traitors…”

    Aster, you aren’t the only person here who’s picked up on this.

  15. Aster,

    “I’m totally bewildered as to why you might think this… could you kindly elaborate? As a feminist and post-Randian, “empowerment” and “individualism” are some of my bedrock virtue words. I’m against martial modes of ‘empowerment’, if that’s what you mean, but that’s because I don’t think war and soldiering can be empowering or anything more than an inherently destructive evil which is unfortunately sometimes inescapable. Otherwise, I thought that individual empowerment was the whole point of my politics, and honestly totally fail to understand what I’ve written which might make you think otherwise (admittedly, I’ve made plenty of philosophically imprecise remarks in anger here and there).”

    That is sort of, what I meant (not exactly) and I think that is where we may have some real disagreement. While I believe that it would be desirable if no one ever had to use violence, the reality is that it is not a perfect world. I am opposed to a collectivist martial mindset where a person is programmed to fight only for something other than him/herself, but I don’t think that is the same thing as having fighting skills and courage. I don’t think that such things should entail barbarism is human beings are decent and civilized, that is one of the reasons that I have always thought that gun control should logically be embraced by the right more than the left because the right believes human beings are fundamentally degenerate. Even if that is the case, I personally would still consider such attributes desirable and would want them for my children (if I had them) as it would be good to have such an edge on others if the world is at bottom a dog eat dog place (it might even be essential for survival if the whole system collapses e.g. economic meltdown, peak oil and such). It’s also not clear to me from things should be monopolized by fascists, would it not better if there were more anti-authoritarians who could actually fight back like this person http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7420469.stm. There is more I could say about this subject, but as I cannot seem to find the words, I will move on.

    “Which brings me straight to the larger point …”

    As I said before, the reason I first started reading Keith’s site was because if an article that Keith wrote on another site back a few years ago. One of the things that interested me initially was the fact that he had a realistic view of the world unlike many left-leaning libertarians and anarchists. I disliked the National Anarchist movement since I first came across it, but I assumed that such a thing was simply a strategic matter and did not consider it important at the time. I think I have covered this ground in a previous comment, but I see myself here as mainly an observer, I am not involved with any sort of project or anything like that with anyone else associated with the site and I also would not use the term “attraction” as it seems to imply that I am somehow a follower of Keith, a Prestonite which I am not. I actually will not probably be around here as much as I now have a blog and if I want to post annoying screeds like this, I will be using that instead of taking up “precious” comment space on this blog. The address of my blog is http://ahopefulpessimist.blogspot.com/ if anyone here is interested (It probably won’t have anything on it for a few days as I am still fooling around with the design a bit). I’m sure you would probably have been happier if the blog name’s was Keith Preston sucks 🙂

    I do loath most liberals though I don’t think that is the reason that I read this site and it certainly would not push me towards the right. There are some good liberals out there that are relatively mainstream, (Glen Greenwald comes to mind) but the majority are terrible. I would agree that the centre-left is better than the centre-right and far better than the far right, but I don’t see that as a reason for me to think highly of them. I would support them if all other options were worse, like the situation in the election in my country, which unfortunately resulted in a majority conservative government for the next four years.
    As for most liberals, it’s actually hard to even know where to begin with my grievances and I could probably write another 10’000 words going through them if I felt like that but I don’t and I would not even take up that much space in my own forum on that issue. Therefore, to narrow out down a bit, I think my main beef with liberals are that they are conservatives. I agree that “liberalism in the broad philosophic sense is the highest political good imaginable” and I likewise share the same admiration for the figures you mentioned. The only thing is that most mainstream contemporary liberals reject those things and I do not consider them successors to the classical liberals at all.
    In one of your posts on the libertarian left forums on a thread about Keith Preston, you said something that already stood out to me and highlighted the difference between the liberal vision and the conservative one http://libertarianleft.freeforums.org/on-keith-preston-and-pan-secessionism-t367-75.html

    “The notion that authoritarianism is a sickness which can be cured is a political elaboration the Socratic idea that evil is fundamentally simply an ignorant misjudgement as to how we might best live – i.e., that we may trust in the human capacity for reason. It follows from this that the education of the individual and society- social progress-, is an option. Both the left and libertarianism are fundamentally variants of the Enlightenment project of improving the human condition by refounding the social order upon reason. Left-libertarianism, which seeks to rejoin these separated strands, thus implies a redoubled confidence that human beings, by exploration and education, can discover by the exercise of their own minds how to live well, prudently, and peacefully. Just as we can eradicate smallpox and end the slave trade, just as we can massively extend our life expectancies and invent reliable contraceptives, so too can we enhance the human condition by the creation of better societies whose cohesion depends upon mutual rational self-interest rather than myth and authority. We can make free speech. We can make political secularism. We can make a just socioeconomic order. We can make racial and gender equality. We can make sexual freedom. We can- I hope- make a stateless society. Most essentially- I believe this will prove the last stone- we can learn how to teach the young with kindness and respect rather than by fear and awe.

    There is a contrary worldview, which views the human condition as a vale of suffering, its pains and burdens fundamentally inalterable. There is a sociology which would cherish inherited closedness and convention at the expense of individual rights.

    There is a name for the political philosophy which views authority- that is to say, social illiberty and inequality- as inevitable and unchangeable, and derides as naive and foolish projects which aim to change this. The name of the poliitical philosophy is conservatism. The name of its party is the Right.”

    Forgive me for that indulgence, but my point in reproducing that was to demonstrate that the vision of the world that the majority of liberals hold is that of the second philosophy and they repudiate the idea that authoritarianism can be abolished. Initially, I was going to give a whole bunch of examples at this point to lend support to my case, but I don’t want to waste time and space putting up a bunch of pointless links and words, I have already written more than I should and the fact is that this is just my opinion, people who hold to a contrary view would be convinced by me anyways. One further point I want to make about liberals and their implicit conservativism is that the logic of their views would lend support to the sort of abusive relations that you been concerned about in your writings. In another of your postings on Charles Johnson’s blog about prisoner abuse in Louisiana, you pointed out how the view that criminals are simply children who have not internalized the abuse of childhood would lead to the sort of thing discussed. The thing is that liberals who accept law and order rhetoric (many of them do) I think are inconsistent when they denounce the physical abuse of children. After all, if children are little monsters that need to be tamed, then what is wrong with a parent putting the fear of “authority” into them if they step out of line? It will instill them the fear of all authority after all.

    “The trouble is that “to argue with a man who has renounced his reason is like giving medicine to the dead.” I’ll grant that there certainly exist some rightists who can be reasoned with. But the fascists/neo-traditionalist/alternative rightists/nouvelle droit types are not those rightists.”

    I very well do think that some people is an exercise in futility, but at the same time, I think that one has to be cautious about just writing people off. In addition, I think it’s important to draw a distinction between true bigotry based on malice versus remarks that are insensitive, but come from a place of ignorance. The second type can be changed a lot easier than the first kind because there is not a fundamentally hateful intention there. One point though that I need to make, and I think this is something I was trying to do in an admittedly shoddy fashion in responding to the articles reviewing Jared Taylor’s work, is that many on the hard right are very intelligent people and they people to science (especially sociobiology) to bolster their views. They believe that it is the left that is out of touch with reality and motivated by ideology rather than facts. In such cases, one has to take such thinkers on in the realm of ideas and hurling insults (fascist, nazi, etc.) will not do the trick.
    Lastly, I admit that I have not really expressed myself the way I have wanted to here, my mind has turned to mush for some reason, but I hope I have at least put out something worthwhile. This will be the last comment with a ridiculous length like this that I will write on this site.

  16. “One of the things that interested me initially was the fact that he had a realistic view of the world unlike many left-leaning libertarians and anarchists.”

    You have identified what I believe is the core difference between myself and most of my critics. It’s the historic conflict between the constrained and unconstrained visions of human nature, the nature of human societies, and what is actually possible in the real world given the limitations posed by the nature of humanity and human institutions.

  17. You don’t have to be a WN to appreciate traditional European culture. I stand by my claim in my book on Rousseau that libertarianism grew out of classical liberalism which grew out of the Enlightenment which grew out of Greco-Roman paganism. I would add to this that Northern European paganism had a positive impact, albeit implicit, on the Enlightenment. It, like the Southern European variety, was this-worldly and pro-human, which characterizes the Enlightenment thinkers.

    Dave

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