Fun with #GamerGate

Full disclosure:  I don’t really play videogames, and I certainly am not a “gamer.”  And I  hate the -”Gate” construction with the nuclear fire of a thousand suns; just typing it makes me want to punch something.

That said, I’m getting a real kick out of the whole thing.  Like here.  Vox Day has been on this from the start, and you can check his “games” tag if you feel like following the whole sordid tale.  What I’d like to emphasize is the following:

As Vox says, when you boil it down, the left has one — and only one — tactic: Disqualify, disqualify, disqualify.  They can’t win on logic, because their positions are 95% feewings.  They can’t win on facts, because they don’t have many, and the ones they have often don’t say what they think they say.  They can’t defeat the speech, so they must attack the speaker.

Problem is, “gamers” (another phase I white-hot hate) can’t really be disqualified.  They can’t be shamed.  You can’t outgroup someone whose core sense of self is the outgroup.

The SJWs are starting to realize this.  And it’s driving them bonkers.  And oh, how sweet is their suffering.

But more than that, it’s actually costing them money.  It’s not just their pwecious widdle feewings that are getting bruised — as Vox points out in that piece, Intel and Mercedes have pulled their ads from the main anti-GamerGate sites.  “Social justice” is taking cash out of their pockets.  And as we know, cash is liberalism’ great enabler — the only people who engage in SJW nonsense are the ones who can afford to.

I think we’re on the verge of a real change in Smart People’s opinions.  I wouldn’t be surprised if they suddenly find a whole new respect for the sanctity of private opinion, or the operation of the free market, in this one particular instance.

And great shall be the joy I’ll take in pointing out their disgusting hypocrisy, again and again and again and again and again and again and again…. :)

Bingo

Sonic says it all in the headline.  And follows it up with:

People who don’t want to believe these things about our Smart People betters in government need to mainline an increasing amount of Vox-style propaganda to even function daily. This is what the Vox-style outlets of the internet are really good at, supplying the Believers with propaganda talking-points that they can cling to like a blanket and use to shield their brain from obvious facts and reasoning that threatens their world view. That Voxian infrastructure is needed by a goodly 40% of the population just to function, like a network of ideological methadone clinics.

“Ideological methadone clinics” is the best description of the online left I’ve ever heard, and I plan to shamelessly rip off “sample” it regularly (I’m bloggin’ hip hop style, yo).

RTWT.

Democrats at <50% Favorability

for the first time in the history of polling, Ace says.

And to think, all it took was them unleashing a deadly plague with potentially millions of casualties!

Seriously, though: If this doesn’t shake lots of people’s faith in socialism, we’re doomed.  Like, literally doomed.

Updated with a quick thought that just occurred to me:  I’d better never, ever hear another word out of any lefty’s pie-hole about Hurricane Katrina.

A Return to Monarchy?

The comments on this post are interesting.  I might be checking out some of Mr. Lind’s work in the future.*

Meanwhile, the older I get and the more of the world I see, the more I think Leviathan is the only political science tome you’ll ever need.

Thoughts?

*If I can get past the anti-Semitism, of course.  Sigh.  What is it with these “dissident right” folks and their Protocols of the Elders of Zion bullshit?  It’s the main reason I can’t hardly stand to read Steve Sailer anymore, or much of the commentary at Vox’s.  You get a whole bunch of really interesting, meaty ideas to chew on… and then, BOOM! the whole thing veers of into mouth-frothing conspiracy nonsense about flouridated water and chemtrails.

If you’re so up in arms against the rhetorical tactic of “disqualification” — attacking the messenger instead of the message — then do please try not to be so eminently disqualifiable.  Anti-Semitism is the oldest, most blatant case of question-begging in the entire history of the human race.

“The Jooooos! did it”

“Really?  ‘It’ didn’t seem to work out so well for them, whatever ‘it’ is….”

“That’s just what they want you to think!”

et cetera ad nauseam.

For fuck’s sake, people: How is this any different from Marxism?  Socialism is Truth, and if you don’t see it, it’s False Consciousness.  Circular fucking reasoning, boys.  Turtles all the way down.

Oh, wait, I forgot — the Bolsheviks were also Joooooos!.

Sigh.

Democracy and Oligarchy

I found this e-poster posted by one of my friends on Facebook today …

Bernie

Well … Bernie Sanders (I) should read Bernie Sanders (S) … he’s a self-avowed socialist.

Still, he’s sort of right here – but he’s using a little sleight of hand, and leaving out something very important.

We don’t really have a Democracy. Democracy would be bad, and our founders knew it. Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what’s for dinner. A Republic is a well-armed lamb contesting the result.

Still, we do have a Democratic Republic in that we do use Democracy as a tool for input into the system as long as what is decided doesn’t violate the inalienable rights of others (life, liberty, property being the big three).

And there is no question that for it to work a full discussion of the issues that affect us is necessary.

But that’s not what we get. The Daily Show and a news media that is 80% self-described progressive-liberal is what passes for “discussion” today. If we actually had real discussion no billionaire could “buy” an election by donations (they’d have to cheat the old-fashioned Tammany Hall way – actually, they kind of do, they’ve just made the ballot boxes easier to stuff).

voting patterns

Voter suppression used to be a problem back in the day when southern Democrats passed laws literally intended to keep black people from voting. Those days are over.

However, there is a reason one party fights just about every attempt to thwart voter fraud — and that tells me pretty much everything I need to know right there. They fight such laws because it makes it harder for them to cheat. And that is how voter suppression is done today. It’s not strict voting laws that suppress votes — it’s lax ones. Every fraudulent vote in effect negates the vote of a valid voter.

It also turns out that the people who “determine what we see, read, and hear” from the media to college campuses are largely sympathetic to Bernie’s worldview – and it ain’t capitalist fat cats trying to get rich — it’s generally socialist do-gooders trying to “make a difference”.  An Oligarchy isn’t necessarily wealthy people (though Oligarchs often do become wealthy because they have the power to take people’s stuff and rig the rules) … an Oligarchy is rule by a relatively small group of people.  They could be royalty, wealthy, family, educated-elite, corporate, religious, military … but since Bernie’s a Marxist, he wants The People to fixate on the rich and be jealous and outraged.  Because that’s the road to power when it comes to Marxism.

So while Bernie is partially right here, he’s leaving out a few things and he wants you to believe that the people who are keeping you down are his opponents.

By and large, they’re not. They’re his friends.

Witch Hunts

Sniff, sniff. Are you a good anti-Fascist?

-George Orwell

ducking-stool_1673736c[This started as a response to Morgan's post, here.  I didn't want to overrun his comment section so I put  it here.  It's my answer to the question, "why are we still hating Sarah Palin -- who totally doesn't matter -- five years after she ran for office?"]

It’s another heresy hunt.

(I prefer that to “witch hunt” since “witch hunt” has been so overused, it’s meaningless, but if it helps, switch it in as needed.  Anyway….)

The point of a heresy hunt is to prop up a ruling power that’s on the verge of collapse.  Since we moderns don’t believe in God anymore, whenever we read about witch burnings and religious persecutions we think it’s one of those incomprehensible medieval arguments about theology.  “Is Jesus co-equal with God, or somehow less, because He was created?  Wow, and they killed people over this?”

But heresy hunts are always entirely secular.  When things are going well — when institutions are strong and cultures are stable — they disappear.  In England, for example, which had strong institutions and remarkably stable government, there were hardly any heresy trials, no witch burnings, and none of those evangelical rebellions that plagued less strong, less stable regions like southern France.  In Germany, where institutions were close to nonexistent, heresy hunts and witch burnings were industrial scale (all the famous apparatus of witch-hunting — the Malleus Maleficarum etc. — were developed in Germany).  Only when the old order began collapsing — in England, under the Tudors and Jacobeans — did you see that kind of thing in other places.

You’ll notice, too, that the reaction is way out of proportion to the crime.  If you read up on the Salem Witchcraft Trials, for instance, you’ll notice that they rarely mention what the witches actually did.  What was the maleficium for which they were killed?  Even the worst witch in the most frenzied trial had a lower body count than the typical village judge. (It’s interesting to note that the Salem Witch Museum’s FAQ page doesn’t even say what the girls did).  Similarly, the actual beliefs for which most “heretics” were burned were bizarre but harmless.

That’s because the crime isn’t the point.

You burn witches and heretics because they are witches and heretics.  The assumption is that their very presence pollutes the social order.  The reasoning is NOT “our crops failed; a witch must’ve done it.”  That’s modern thinking, conditioned by 400 years of the scientific method.  The reasoning is “our crops failed; there must be a witch here.”

It’s a subtle difference, but it’s vitally important.  In a very real sense, witches don’t do; witches are.

Most people who observe the Left for any length of time eventually remark on how atavistic their thinking is.  I’ve done it myself (rather poorly).  I used the word “feudalism” there, just as I’m using the words “heresy” and “witchcraft” here, because I like history and the comparisons seem obvious to me.  But if that doesn’t work for you — and medieval / early modern history is really, really weird — try this one:  ideological autism.

As everyone knows, you can’t reason someone out of leftism.  Their fundamental propositions are self-contradictory — “one can only see the world through the lens of one’s race / class / gender, but somehow I can see it all, since I’m telling you that you can only see the world through the lens of your race / class / gender.”  But that doesn’t bother them at all.  The Ishmael Effect only works on conservatives.

Are you seeing where this is going?  Logically, Sarah Palin is harmless.  She’s a gadfly with a Facebook page.  I’ve never even heard a conservative start a conversation with “you know, Sarah Palin has a really good idea about ____.”  But if you think of her as The Heretic or The Witch, it starts to fall into place.  Like modern-day autistics, pre-modern Europeans had great difficulty grasping nuance.  They were baffled and frightened by the concept that a person could act one way, but actually be another way.  Indeed, at bottom that’s what witches and heretics are – they look just like you and me, but they’re really in league with the Devil.

The social order must be maintained at all costs, in other words, because that’s the only way the world makes sense to them.

Our ideological autists / heresy hunters can’t stand Sarah Palin because she screws up their heuristics.  They function in the world by assigning a certain set of beliefs and behaviors to the category “woman,” and they literally don’t know how to behave if their mental picture doesn’t match up with external reality.  So they fall back on the only thing they know how to do:  Burn the witch!

This has been characteristic of the Left for a long, long time.  I led with an Orwell quote.  Here it is in context:

By 1937 the whole of the intelligentsia was mentally at war. Left-wing thought had narrowed down to ‘anti-Fascism’, i.e. to a negative, and a torrent of hate-literature directed against Germany and the politicians supposedly friendly to Germany was pouring from the Press. The thing that, to me, was truly frightening about the war in Spain was not such violence as I witnessed, nor even the party feuds behind the lines, but the immediate reappearance in left-wing circles of the mental atmosphere of the Great War. The very people who for twenty years had sniggered over their own superiority to war hysteria were the ones who rushed straight back into the mental slum of 1915. All the familiar wartime idiocies, spy-hunting, orthodoxy-sniffing (Sniff, sniff. Are you a good anti-Fascist?), the retailing of atrocity stories, came back into vogue as though the intervening years had never happened. Before the end of the Spanish war, and even before Munich, some of the better of the left-wing writers were beginning to squirm. Neither Auden nor, on the whole, Spender wrote about the Spanish war in quite the vein that was expected of them. Since then there has been a change of feeling and much dismay and confusion, because the actual course of events has made nonsense of the left-wing orthodoxy of the last few years. But then it did not need very great acuteness to see that much of it was nonsense from the start. There is no certainty, therefore, that the next orthodoxy to emerge will be any better than the last.

As the orthodoxies change — as the old regime crumbles — the heresy hunters redouble their efforts.  The good news is that witch hunts always end, usually with the witch-hunters themselves on the rack.  The bad news is that a lot of people suffer needlessly before it’s over.  At the very least, we owe Sarah Palin a small debt of gratitude for taking so much of the venom that might well be directed at us.

“Superversity”

I like it!

I especially dig this bit:

For the world of art and literature is largely dominated by the Left, and the Left is dominated by people whose world-view is inherited from their great-grandfathers. In this view, we need labour unions to defend us against the peril of child labour, Big Government to defend us against Standard Oil. America is one false move away from theocracy and Jim Crow; Europe is one false move away from another World War. Nothing can save us except a wonderful new panacea called Socialism, which has never been tried before, and with which nothing can possibly go wrong. These, in the main, are the ideas of the Left even today; and the people who believe these things have the nerve to call themselves Progressives.

They call for progress; but they are still trying to progress from 1914 into 1915. They call for subversion; but the thing they are trying to subvert no longer exists.

As we often say around here, ignorance of history is liberalism’s flux capacitor; it’s what makes faith in socialism possible.

images“Superversion,” if I take their meaning correctly, is restoring what was once “subverted.”  You know, truth, beauty, morality, all the stuff that let Marcel Duchamp stick a title card on a toilet and call it “art.”

Good stuff.

 

I Guess Our Work Here is Done, Y’all

Here at Rotten Chestnuts, we try to examine some of the stuff “everybody knows” that just ain’t so.  But we can’t know everything.  We are, after all, just people.

Sexy, wonderful people, to be sure, but still just people.

But the eggheads at Vox, now… those guys know everything.  Really.  The Federalist breaks it all down.

We can’t possibly compete with that.  It’s time to pack it in, guys.

When Politics Gets in the Way of Truth

Yeah, it happens to the good guys, too.

Over at Ace’s Sunday book thread, they’re discussing a book called Wisconsin Death Trip, which is a collection of photographs of Victorian prairie life.  Based on the blurbs, the poster concludes — no doubt correctly — that the author, historian Michael Lesy, went with the grotesques:

So my question is, out of the 30,000 photos he had available, how did Lesy decide which ones were “most compelling”? Let me guess: he picked the absolute worst ones he could find, the ugliest, the most disturbing, the most shocking. And any that conveyed any hint at all of joy or beauty or happiness were not used. I don’t know this for a fact, but considering all I’ve been able to read about this book, I think it’s highly probable. Pre-progressive America, as settled by the descendants of Europeans, must always be presented in the worst possible light.

Again, this is no doubt true.  And yet, Victorian prairie life was awful.  It objectively sucked, on just about any metric you care to name.  Remember the five A’s — aspirin, antibiotics, antiperspirant, automobiles, and air conditioning — that make the eco-fascists such hypocrites?  They didn’t have those in 1877 Wisconsin, either.  Go put on an extra three layers of clothing on a summer’s day when the a/c breaks, then tell me about idyllic pre-Progressive America.

Or better yet, go down to your local city or county historical society.  Read a few diaries and letters.  Or hell, take a walk through your town’s oldest graveyard.  Count up the number of stones with dates like “May 17, 1889 – May 22, 1889.”  Look at all the women who died in childbirth, the tubercular teens, the patriarchs — themselves only 50 or so — buried next to four or five wives in succession.

Again, I don’t doubt that Lesy’s thesis is “pre-Progressive America really sucked.”  I’m sure he is (or was) a tedious human toothache in the Howard Zinn mold.  Just like Sinclair Lewis was a tiresome socialist gadfly whose novels are only considered “classics,” so far as I can tell, because they competently fictionalize the “pre-Progressive America really sucked” thesis.  But it doesn’t mean they’re wrong.

Let’s not fall into the same identity politics trap as Our Betters, the liberals.  By all means, resist with all your might the argument that “pre-Progressive America sucked; therefore we need socialism.”  But don’t do it by lying about the first part.

Conservatives vs. Libertarians

Matt K. Lewis at The Week breaks it down:

Conservatism and libertarianism are not the same. There are obvious differences on hot-button issues like military intervention (libertarians tend to oppose it while many conservatives tend to favor a robust U.S. military) and immigration reform (libertarians want borders that are a whole lot more open than what conservatives prefer). And there’s also the ever-present tension between freedom and virtue, between order and liberty.

So far, so good, but then we get to this:

Libertarians are full steam in favor of individual-liberty issues like gay marriage and marijuana decriminalization. And while not every conservative thinks these things will be the downfall of Western civilization, we do worry that emphasizing rights over responsibility and radical individualism over community might have unintended consequences.

And there you have it.  The emphasis is mine, because in my fairly extensive experience, those are really the only things “libertarians” are in favor of.

Look, I live in a college town.  “Doctrinaire left-liberal” and “poseur libertarian” are about the only two political identities on offer.  Goateed, fedora-wearing, Cheeto-stained dudes who are just too cool to be in your World of Warcraft guild always opt for the latter, and needless to say they’re not exactly nuanced political thinkers.

These guys would vote for fucking Stalin if he promised to loosen up the pot laws, is what I’m getting at.

Let’s look at that list again.  Libertarians favor:

  • non-intervention
  • open borders
  • gay marriage
  • pot legalization

You know who else thinks all those things are just super great?

indexOf course, he’ll go on about military non-intervention as he’s bombing the living shit out of just about everywhere — we’re up to seven different countries at last count — but you know that if he had his druthers, the (ick!) military would be a glorious coeducational gay-friendly knitting circle.

I’ll start listening to “libertarians” when and only when I see one who doesn’t go full progtard the second he gets a whiff of doobage.