What was once forbidden is now mandatory. What was once mandatory is now forbidden.
The New Yorker
Tim Cook introduces the new Apple products during a special event in Cupertino, California, on September 9, 2014. Tim Cook introduces the new Apple products during a special event in Cupertino, California, on September 9, 2014. Credit Photograph by Xinhua News Agency via Redux
On Thursday morning, the head of one of the world’s most admired companies, Tim Cook, of Apple, announced that he is gay. Although not entirely a surprise, Cook had guarded his privacy. As he put it in a piece for Bloomberg BusinessWeek, “While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven’t publicly acknowledged it either, until now,” adding pointedly and poignantly, “So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.” Cook instantly became the most prominent openly gay C.E.O. in history.
Cook’s announcement is one of many signs that gay rights is no longer an automatic wedge issue in American culture and politics. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court declined to review appellate court rulings that overturned gay-marriage bans, a move that brought marriage equality to more than a dozen new states. More…
We live in a world full of prejudices and inequality, where racist and sexist parties like Britain First can exist and where people will back these parties. In a world that has these many different types of prejudices, we call the people opposed to them ‘Egalitarians’ or ‘Feminists’ or ‘Humanitarians’, but do they actually fight for true equality?
While misogyny is an unbelievably huge problem, I would argue that misandry is a really big problem too, and one that is not recognised by many people. I was discussing this with a male feminist the other day and he stated “The only people who have a problem with misandry are either those who have experienced it, or those who don’t know it isn’t a problem.” Now, I don’t know about you, but I felt greatly offended by this statement. He first stated that some people are affected by this problem, only to then disregard it completely. I find his reasoning tantamount to claiming that Ebola isn’t a problem as it affects fewer people than cancer. This is a ludicrous statement, but this is just one person’s (foolish) opinion.
If only the cause of overthrowing the Empire would proceed as rapidly as gay marriage.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe today signed an executive order that directs state agencies to comply with the U.S. Supreme Court’s action that legalized same-sex marriage in Virginia.
The governor signed Executive Order No. 30 directing all Virginia state agencies, authorities, commissions and other entities to make the necessary policy changes to comply.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear appeals from the 4th, 7th and 10th U.S. Circuit Courts that sought to keep bans on same-sex marriage in place.
The ruling immediately ended court-imposed delays on same-sex marriage in Virginia, Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah and Wisconsin. It is also likely to result in expanding same-sex marriage to six other states, Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
Adding those states would mean same-sex marriage is now legal in 30 states and the District of Columbia.
Last Friday proved a more eventful one than usual in New Zealand: on top of the usual weekend hustle, the Kiwi nation hosted the wedding of one Travis McIntosh to his partner, Matt McCormick. As it took place at the hallowed rugby venue of Eden Park, the union attracted a fair bit of attention from the national press, as well as the customary curiosity of queer advocates.
Sounds like your modern run-of-the mill gay wedding ceremony if one subtracts the disproportionate fanfare, right?
You’d be forgiven for thinking so at first glance.
Apart from, and above, the matter of the venerated venue, another aspect of the event distinguished it from others of its ilk: whilst Messrs. McIntosh and McCormick do indeed share similar genitalia, the only balls they express any interest in are those scrummed over by the athletes frequenting their selected spot. With a professed preference for females rather than fellas, the best-friend duo tied the knot as part of a radio competition for tickets to next year’s Rugby World Cup, here in Blighty.
I suspect that at some point in the not too distant future there will be a growing movement to decriminalize or legalize prostitution, comparable to the gay rights movement in its early phase or the present movement for legalization of marijuana. This is to be welcome from an anarchist perspective, of course, but look for this to be a divisive issue on the Left between progressive statists, totalitarian humanists, and feminist-fascists on one end and the libertarian left on the other.
Liberals are increasingly religious about their own liberalism, treating it like a comprehensive view of reality and the human good.
At the risk of sounding like Paul Krugman — who returns to a handful of cherished topics over and over again in his New York Times column — I want to revisit one of my hobby horses, which I most recently raised in my discussion of Hobby Lobby.
My own cherished topic is this: Liberalism’s decline from a political philosophy of pluralism into a rigidly intolerant dogma.
Note: See this news story for background: “A bakery owned by a Christian family is facing legal action after it declined to make a cake printed with a message supporting gay marriage.” (Belfast Telegraph, 8th July 2014)
Speaking in London today, Sean Gabb, Director of the Libertarian Alliance, made this statement:
I have spent much of my life denouncing the persecution of homosexuals. More recently, I have turned to denouncing the persecution of Christians by homosexuals. I do both on exactly the same grounds, of freedom of speech and freedom of association.
I urge our gay friends to join in these denunciations. The current persecution is wrong in itself, and is also undertaken without regard for its consequences. These, I have no doubt, will eventually include the recriminalisation – probably indirectly in the first instance – of homosexual acts. Homosexuals are the weakest element in the pc coalition of the oppressed. On the one hand, they are widely hated within the other groups. On the other, most of them have the option of creeping back into the closet the moment the winds shift direction – one whiff of persecution, and the gay lobby will become a leadership without a membership.
Now is the time for us all to take a stand for the traditional liberal values of freedom of speech and association. These cover the right of gay people to live as they please – and also of traditionalist Christians to have nothing to do with them.
Several times I’ve seen what I assume was a hypothetical suggestion that PC elites might one day persecute a Xian bakery for refusing to bake a cake for a gay wedding . Well, that day has now arrived (more or less). The Great March Of Progress shatters another fascistic obstacle in the fight for universal equality! Death to the Nazi Bakers and their reactionary evil!
I’m really not making this shit up; check the BBC story here
Jason Hurley, an acquaintance from maverick anarchist circles, offers the following insights concerning this article by Matt Walsh. Read Walsh’s article here. Says Jason:
“Matt Walsh, your entire premise is based in medicalized morality. It’s no secret that early doctors and scientists of the developing western world carried their Abrahamic biases with them as they made discoveries and observations. They effectively synthesized their own moral prejudices into the taxonomy of disease they were building, and lacked the properly equipped mind or methodology to ask the much more important and responsible question, “Is it even a disease at all?”
Your premise assumes that sex possesses an intrinsically sinister or dirty underpinning, and that certain types of sexual relationships are universally traumatic to all human beings. But just as many people do not become squeamish in the face of blood or viscera, not every person thinks of public sex or even monetized sex as being a painful, exploitative invasion of their sacred pee-pee temple. Many people who aren’t repulsed by blood become surgeons. We value surgeons in our crypto-Abrahamic, nominally secular society. People who are not affected adversely by promiscuity or public displays of orgy become porno stars. We don’t value porno stars or prostitutes in our society. That is the only difference. More…
I agree with Dr. Gabb’s comments concerning this advertisement 100%. The discuss that follows on the Libertarian Alliance blog is also interesting.
By Dr. Sean Gabb
I suspect that many of our regulars will need to pause when they see this, to wipe the vomit off their monitors. But I suggest the following:
1. It is not our business what consenting adults do in bed together;
2. It is mean-spirited to pass even non-coercive hostile judgement on what they do;
3. So long as no one who disagrees with the above is persecuted, there is nothing objectionable about gay marriage;
4. While the ideal is for children to be brought up in a stable union of both their biological parents, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with the sort of family shown in the picture – it looks better than many defective versions of the ideal;
5. Though no hotelier should be forced to offer accommodation to such families, it is praiseworthy if one does.
I should, therefore, regard the advertisement as one of the few good things about the modern world. For some reason, however, I don’t. Is this because I am secretly as intolerant of homosexuality as Stephen Green? Or is it because the advertisement has an agenda that goes beyond liberal tolerance? Or am I now inclined to see Enemy Class propaganda in everything I look at?
All I can say for sure is that both men look like lefties.
The Dangerous Times
It’s not just that I think morality is non-cognitive and largely bad in most people, it’s that I think it’s useless to engage in. The struggle someone on the political and cultural fringes faces is not moral or intellectual – a matter of normative values or ideas – but physical. If we have the physical organization, including of course intangibles like network, influence, wealth, etc. we need not concern ourselves with the broken moralizing of herd animals or the cultivated ignorance of the creepy left: just as left-liberals don’t bother Chinese eugenicists, it isn’t because the Chinese won an argument, it’s because they will shoot liberal fruitloops who try to interfere.
This is also why I find the ‘libertarian movement’ to be tedious and ineffectual, despite broad sympathy with their ruling-class-annihilation schemes. The fact is that the masses are not educable, that their morality is not amenable to reality, and that libertarians can be as right as they want, if they’re not willing to fight the state they’re just not committed to libertarianism.
It used to be that homosexuals were subject to criminal prosecution, psychiatric incarceration, and severe professional and economic sanctions. See this old CBS documentary from 1967 for an example what the old order was like. Now, half a century later it seems the homosexual rights movement is bent on inflicting the same treatment on dissenters. This is a classic illustration of how former outgroups become just as abusive as the former ingroups they replace when they become powerful. It may not win me any friends by pointing this out, but that’s too damn bad. The truth is still the truth. The wider question for anarchists and libertarians is what exactly does the gay rights movement contribute to the wider struggle against the state, the ruling class, or the empire at this point in history? So far as I can tell, the answer is nothing. Individual gays, lesbians, LGBTQs, etc. may contribute mightily (see Justin Raimondo, Glen Greenwald, Chelsea Manning, etc.) but the sexual minority rights movement has become institutionalized like labor unions, civil rights, and feminism before it. That’s why it’s time for serious radicals to move on to other things.
The ousting of Brendan Eich as CEO of Mozilla seems to be a first in the history of American corporations. After just two weeks in the top job, Eich stepped down as chief of the company that makes the popular Firefox web browser. Though CEOs have taken heat for their positions on controversial issues—Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein has said the investment bank lost at least one major client because he holds the opposite view from Eich, in favor of gay marriage—none have ever resigned their posts as a result of public protest over a private political stance.
The sex worker rights movement is growing at the same time that the anti-sex trafficking hysteria continues to expand. Look for these two to clash on the Left in the future. Another crack in the PC coalition.
On the left, prostitution used to be seen as a bad thing: part of the general degradation of the working class, and the subjugation of women, under capitalism. Women who sold sex were victims, forced by circumstances into a painful and humiliating way of life, and socialism would liberate them. Now, selling sex is sex work—just another service job, with good points and bad—and if you suggest that the women who perform it are anything less than free agents, perhaps even “empowered” if they make enough money, you’re just a prude. Today’s villain is not the pimp or the john—it’s second-wave feminists, with their primitive men-are-the-enemy worldview, and “rescuers” like Nicholas Kristof, who presume to know what’s best for women.
Neither a sacrament nor a threat to civilization.
Richard Blake Interviewed by by an Irish Gay Magazine that was so shocked by the Attendant Vulgarity that the Magazine Cannot be Named!
You’re a historical novelist, which confuses some people when they come across it first! What does it mean, and how do you blend fact and fiction together through it?
As a specific genre, the historical novel is only about two centuries old. Historical fiction in the wider sense, though, is at least as old as the written word. The Epic of Gilgamesh, the Homeric poems, the narrative books of the Old Testament, Beowulf – the earliest literature of every people is historical fiction. The past is interesting. It’s glamorous and exciting. Perspective allows us to forget that the past, like the present, was mostly long patches of boredom or anxiety, mixed in with occasional moments of catastrophe or bliss. Above all, it’s about us.
Religious liberty is a deeply radical concept. It was at this country’s founding and it hasn’t become less so. Preserving it has always been a full-time battle. But it’s important, because religion is at the core of people’s identity. A government that tramples religious liberty is not a government that protects economic freedom. It’s certainly not a government that protects conscience rights. A government that tramples religious liberty does not have expansive press freedoms. Can you think of one country with a narrow view of religious liberty but an expansive view of economic freedom, freedom of association, press freedoms or free speech rights? One?
All that’s left to decide is the terms of surrender that will be dictated to conservatives, says Ross Douthat. He says there were two scenarios that might have played out. In the first, after same-sex marriage was achieved, the culture would have settled down, and gays would have gone about their business getting married and divorced like everybody else, and things would have returned to normal. In the second, gay partisans and their supporters would have put constant pressure on any holdouts or pockets of resistance, attempting to crush any opposition. Excerpt:
My take on the question of discrimination law: Genuinely private and voluntary associations (i.e. those with no connection to the state) should be allowed to discriminate against anyone they wish for any reason they wish. However, government agencies (funded by the taxpayers), private cartels allied with the state (crony capitalists) and ostensibly private institutions that receive the majority of the their funding and business from the state (welfare enterprises) should not be allowed to arbitrarily discriminate against racial, religious, or sexual minorities.
Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul, a Republican with libertarian leanings, recently questioned the provision of the 1964 Civil Rights Act that bans discrimination in restaurants, hotels, and other businesses. Bloggers and editorialists responded with a deluge of negative, and often unfair or inaccurate, commentary about the libertarian position on antidiscrimination laws.
The most serious charge has been that libertarian skepticism of antidiscrimination laws that apply to private entities reflects, at best, insensitivity to race discrimination. One blogger, reflecting a significant swath of progressive sentiment, argued that no matter how committed to racial egalitarianism any individual libertarian claims to be, “Libertarianism is a racist philosophy. Libertarians are racists.”
This is a rather odd criticism. For both philosophical and utilitarian reasons, libertarians are presumptively strongly opposed to any government regulation of the private sector. It naturally follows that libertarians presumptively oppose restrictions on private sector discrimination. It’s hardly an indication of racial animus, or even insensitivity, for libertarians to enunciate the exact same position on antidiscrimination laws that they take in all other contexts.
The progressive libel of libertarians as racial troglodytes for their consistent defense of private-sector autonomy is ironic, given that similar illogic has so frequently been used against modern liberals. When liberals defended Communists’ free speech and employment rights in the 1950s, their critics accused them of being Communist sympathizers, if not outright Communists. More recently, progressives have been accused of being American-hating jihadist sympathizers when they stood up for the rights of terrorism suspects. Critics have even charged civil libertarians with abetting racism for opposing hate speech laws.
In the last couple of years, I have noticed that just as the anti-drug hysteria of past decades has started to wane and the War on Drugs is becoming more unpopular, a corresponding and comparable hysteria over “sex trafficking” has emerged to take its place and repression of sex workers is on the rise. This is entirely predictable. As the perceived credibility of one enemy is diminished, the state must find other enemies to crusade against and legitimize itself.
As H.L. Mencken said, “he whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
Like the War on Drugs and Prohibition before, the repression of sex workers is being perpetrated by both Left and Right, whether Joe Arpaio’s fascist police state in Phoenix or the totalitarian humanist empire of the European Union.
To discriminate, or not to discriminate? That is the question.
…That is to say, this is the distortion of reality presented by a modern media.
Support gay sex or face gay sex in prison.
The argument is typically framed as one side discriminating the other. That this is an unsatisfactory situation goes without saying. Of course it’s bad to discriminate. Now salivate when I ring the bell.
Should the government coercively sanction business owners who, out of apparent religious conviction, refuse to serve particular customers?
While such behavior is repugnant, the refusal to serve someone because of his or her race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation is nevertheless an exercise of self-ownership and freedom of nonassociation. It is both nonviolent and nonviolative of other people’s rights. If we are truly to embrace freedom of association, logically we must also embrace freedom of nonassociation. The test of one’s commitment to freedom of association, like freedom of speech, is whether one sticks by it even when the content repulses.
But does this mean that private individuals may not peacefully sanction businesses that invidiously discriminate against would-be customers?
No! They may, and they should. Boycotts, publicity, ostracism, and other noncoercive measures are also constituents of freedom of association.
Of all the court cases the press have pored over recently, none have fascinated me more than that of John Welden, who recently started a 14-year prison sentence for drugging his girlfriend into a miscarriage. If memory serves me well, I first heard about the case last spring, when Welden first entered the dock on a charge of no less than murder.
According to the Mail (emphasis mine):
[Remee Jo Lee] was six or seven weeks pregnant when she miscarried.
Welden pleaded guilty in September to tampering with a consumer product and conspiracy to commit mail fraud. He had faced a possible life sentence if convicted of his original charge, killing an unborn child.
It would be interesting to see how our “left-libertarian” rivals respond to this. The nature of the totalitarian humanist revolution as a form of censorious persecution is made clear in Dr. Gabb’s presentation, and it is also demonstrated that the totalitarian humanists are not necessarily the sexual libertines their critics and fans alike often consider them to be. This presentation also shows that cultural leftists hardly have a monopoly on defending the rights of pervs.