Directive Four

Blog-friend Nightfly has revealed something important about the journalism-industrial complex.  Behold Directive 4:

I am struck by something much more primal, however – call it Directive 4, which shuts down all functions in the JournoCops whenever they try to disobey it: “A journalist is always the underdog crusader.”

They are addicted to this narrative and self-image at all costs. They MUST be the eternal Prometheans showing the way to enlightenment at great personal risk – though it cost them all they have they soldier on bravely, bravely, forever fighting The Power of Darkness.

Directive 4 is a mental parasite that colonized the minds of journalists back in the 1920s.  You might recall that some people like to call the period from c. 1890 – c.1930 “the Progressive Era.”  This is also the era in which the first journalism schools were founded.  This is, as Marxists say, no accident.

Before the “Progressive Era,” journalism was nakedly partisan.  You wouldn’t read newspaper to get The News; you’d read it to get the Republican, Democrat, or Socialist news.  Their titles reflected this — even quite small towns would have both the Daily Democrat-Picayune and the Evening Republican-Intelligencer.  Bigger cities would also have a socialist rag and several papers pitched to ethnic communities, written in the language of the old country.

It was only in the “Progressive Era,” when leftists first managed to convince a section of the public that liberal biases were scientific truth, that we developed the myth of the nonpartisan press.

Not that the press can’t actually be nonpartisan if it so chose.  The problem isn’t that humans are incapable of reporting straight news.  It’s just that this would be the most boring job on the planet.  It’s not even stenography — you’re not copying down the President’s remarks verbatim; you’re boiling them down to a paragraph or two and rephrasing them to the lowest common denominator reading level.  Nobody in his right mind would want to do it as a career.

So nobody in his right mind did.  Instead, “Progressives” got into the journo biz specifically to control the public’s access to information explain to the rubes the scientifically-proven benefits of socialism.

They weren’t actively lying, mind you — it took I.F. Stone’s raging hard-on for Stalin for that to happen — but they were, shall we say, rather selective with their reportage, while loudly beating their breasts about their objectivity at every opportunity.

And then World War II came, and the Baby Boom happened, and soon enough The Dumbest Generation of Narcissists in the History of the World was going to j-school.  And they were perfectly ok with lies, noble or otherwise, to advance The Cause, whatever that happened to be this week.

And that’s when Directive Four was born.  As we know, the Boomers’ original, unforgivable sin is fetishizing rebellion.  Like all adolescents, they thought their first time doing or thinking or saying ____ was the first time ___ had ever been done, thought, or said, in all of human history.  Unlike normal adolescents, though, they never grew out of it.  They took Philip Larkin’s vicious mockery of their attitudes at face value:

Sexual intercourse began
In nineteen sixty-three
(which was rather late for me) -
Between the end of the Chatterley ban
And the Beatles’ first LP.

And thus you see bent, stooped, gray old people running around in rock band t-shirts and smoking dope and telling everyone to question authority, maaaaaan, even though he’s a hedge fund manager and she’s got a law degree and they live in a $500,000 McMansion in a gated suburb.

Such a person literally can’t function in reality.  He can’t be The Man — even though he is, and has been since about 1982 — because his whole self-concept comes from sticking it to The Man.

These are the people who man the editorial boards at newspapers nationwide.

And the kids who work under them are Gen Xers, those special little snowflakes, and now even some Millennials, aka the specialist snowflakes that ever were or ever could be, are getting into the act.  Thought has deteriorated accordingly.  The original “Progressives” at least made a nod to reason and evidence; it’s what led them to socialism.  Even the Boomers acknowledged that, by and large, reason and evidence were desirable, though of course any evidence that argued against sex, drugs, rock’n'roll, and/or socialism didn’t really count as evidence.

But these snowflakes, the Occupy generation… these fucking kids honestly don’t know the difference between fact and opinion.  They are the specialist snowflakes that ever were or ever could be, and they’ve never heard a bad word about anything they’ve said or done in their entire lives.  Endlessly pampered and mollycoddled and helicopter-parented, they truly believe the world owes them a favor for rolling out of bed in the morning.  If the world doesn’t line up with their whims, then damn it, something’s wrong with the world, and they’re going to whine and moan and Voxsplain until the universe finally gets its act together.

Directive Four.  It explains the entire media.  God help us all.

Consistency is the Hobgoblin of Little Minds

This is delicious.  Slurp up the sweet schadenfreude.

In case you don’t feel like reading a long “GamerGate” piece (I don’t blame you in the slightest), here’s the short short version.  Stop me if you’ve heard this one before:

A group of activists coordinates their protests against a large corporation, because said corporation does not advance the social policy that the activists favor.  The protests are successful, causing the company to reverse course.

Mozilla and Brendan Eich?  Sadly, no — this time it’s Intel and GamerGate, and that makes Social Justice Warriors so mad they could just spit.

The issue, as always, is the hypocrisy.  The point of Gawker’s piece isn’t “c’mon, Intel, sack up and don’t give in to harassment.”  No, no.  It’s that harassment itself is out of bounds, dirty pool, a contemptible low blow:

On October 1, the computing giant Intel pulled its ads from Gamasutra, a trade website for game developers, over an essay called “‘Gamers’ don’t have to be your audience. ‘Gamers’ are over” by a journalist named Leigh Alexander….Unable to run Alexander out of game writing, as they had with the writer Jenn Frank, or force her from her home, as they did to the developer Brianna Wu, or threaten her from public engagements, as they did the following week to the critic and activist Anita Sarkeesian, Gamergate went after her publisher. And, in an unbelievable and embarrassing act of ignorance and cowardice, Intel capitulated. The company’s laughable “apology,” released late on that Friday afternoon, didn’t cover up the fact of Gamergate’s victory: Intel was not replacing its ads.

Isn’t that just the most schadenfreudily savory thing you’ve ever read?  An eeeeevil corporation changed its policy thanks to pressure from a group of activists threatening it with social and financial harm.  Phil Robertson just called to ask, “U mad bro?”

Ain’t that always the way with Our Betters, the liberals?  They’ll politicize the shit out of anything and everything, but when you politicize their politicization, they suddenly discover that politicizing things is a hate crime.

If cognitive dissonance weren’t bullshit (sorry, Gary), the machine-gun rattle of SJW heads exploding would be deafening.

Science Update

Internet trolls are awful, psychologically damaged people.

“… the associations between sadism and GAIT (Global Assessment of Internet Trolling) scores were so strong that it might be said that online trolls are prototypical everyday sadists.” [emphasis added]

Trolls truly enjoy making you feel bad. To quote the authors once more (because this is a truly quotable article): “Both trolls and sadists feel sadistic glee at the distress of others. Sadists just want to have fun … and the Internet is their playground!”

But you knew that already.

The study didn’t specifically mention ink-squirting and tentacles, but they’re strongly implied.

H/T Ace’s overnight thread.

Fun with #GamerGate: Gay Marriage Edition

As I’ve said many times, I don’t care about computer games (and I loathe the -Gate construction).  But the whole show is an object lesson, for any who choose to learn, about the limits of cultural Marxism.

The left has one, and only one, tactic: Outgrouping.  Call it “disqualification,” or “shaming,” or RC favorite “point-and-hoot,” that’s really all there is to it.

And so far, sadly, that’s been sufficient.

Take “gay marriage.”  According to recent polls, the left have been able to point-and-hoot a bare majority of Americans into pretending that sodomagy is “marriage.”  They’ve been able to point-and-hoot some state and municipal governments into violating the religious freedom provisions of the Constitution.  But since there are still some reactionary legislatures out there, and because there are still a few brave souls in the judicial system that believe in constitutional governance, there is still so much more pointing-and-hooting left to do.

They’ve yet to experience their limits in this area.

With gamers, by contrast, they’ve hit the wall.  They’ve been able to point-and-hoot some game development companies into creating a few make-work jobs for the girls out on the periphery.  Zoe Quinn, the whore whose whoring kicked the whole thing off, even managed to point-and-hoot a company into publishing her sub-Zork queef of a game, DepressionQuest.  But that wasn’t enough for them.  Now the SJWs insist that not only shall games like DepressionQuest be published, but that gamers shall actually play them.

This is the equivalent of mandating that not only must we allow gay marriage, we must also enjoy gay sex.

Which is a whole ‘nother ballgame.

It’s easy to force the publication of games like DepressionQuest.  Hell, it’d be a snap to force people to buy them (just treat it like health insurance, and slap a punitive tax on anyone who doesn’t download it).  But you cannot force people to play it, or enjoy it, in the same way that no amount of point-and-hoot will ever be able to make a straight guy get an erection for a gay guy.

Point-and-hoot absolutely fails in the face of basic biology, just as it absolutely fails in the face of people who take positive pride in being pointed- and hooted-at.

They’re finally learning this.  And it’s driving them so wonderfully, hilariously bonkers.

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.

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.