Triggers

This is seriously weird.

January 14, 2014admin 66 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Humor

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66 Responses to this entry

  • Nick B. Steves Says:

    Wherein a superabundance of neuroses, of both the imaginable and unimaginable kind, comes to the aid of mere garden variety neuroses.

    This is isn’t First World Problems… it is First World, +3 Sigma+, Spent 30 Years in an Hermetically Sealed Incubator, Mommy & Daddy Fawned Incessantly Upon Your Angelic Special-ness Problems.

    These people need a good fart joke, not therapy.

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 14th, 2014 at 7:02 pm Reply | Quote
  • Mai La Dreapta Says:

    Well, you know, the original past (to which Scott A is responding) is a pretty typical bit of progressive aggression: A member of an aggrieved minority demanding that opposing opinions and other forms of thoughtcrime be suppressed.

    I find Scott A’s response to be more interesting, because he’s doing what I have tried to do, namely appease the ruling class with the appropriate cant about privilege, etc., but then make a counter-point about the ways that even members of “privileged” classes are abused and may need “safe spaces”. I used to do this until I learned that it never works. An orthodox progressive is incapable of conceiving of “privileged” people as anything but aggressors, or “allies” if they repent of their privilege and confess the orthodox progressive creed. A progressive who recognizes the fact of progressive bullying is but two steps from ceasing to be a progressive.

    So Scott’s final paragraph will fall on deaf ears. The bullying and purging will continue, and the fact that you complain is proof that you deserve it.

    [Reply]

    pseudo-chrysostom Reply:

    the pro(re)gressive views members of a superior caste as ‘oppressive’ by their very existence, and they are quite right.

    privilege and racism becomes equivalent to competence and virtue at the hight of leftoid ideological precision.

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 14th, 2014 at 7:11 pm Reply | Quote
  • Alex Says:

    Might not a trigger warning act as a trigger?

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 14th, 2014 at 7:16 pm Reply | Quote
  • Handle Says:

    Non-sequitur: zerocoin goes its own way.

    Of course, you get ZeroCoin2, ZeroCoin3, etc.. same problem as before.

    Professor Green is just up the road in Baltimore. Just need to find a way to couple these to some marketable securities and we get HandleCoin.

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 14th, 2014 at 7:29 pm Reply | Quote
  • Drethelin Says:

    An example of the problems with being unable to see your enemies as enemies. Scott is trying to explain to people who he views as fundamentally nice and on his side in a meta way that he is fundamentally nice and on their side. It will only be convincing to those already on his side . To anyone else he’s just trying to cement his already existing privileges( eg continue to hold territory he has claimed as an enemy).

    [Reply]

    subforum Reply:

    This seems to be a common failure mode for high-IQ white male nerds who haven’t developed a memetic immunity to “social justice.” Neurotypicals understand intuitively that when the homely, green-haired performance art major screams about gender being a system of arbitary oppression, she’s engaging in a performative act (“Fuck you and your curfew, Dad! And fuck you, Chad, for not calling back after our hookup!”) whose semantic content is secondary at best. But some guys don’t have the social skills to recognize when a communication is about signalling and who/whom rather than truth-seeking. Is there a shorthand term for this bias?

    One ought to assume good faith and reciprocate it where demonstrated, of course, but you’ve gotta know when to quit.

    [Reply]

    subforum Reply:

    And as for the girlfriend, y’all sure that’s really a “she”?

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 14th, 2014 at 7:38 pm Reply | Quote
  • SGW Says:

    “I struggle against this all the time. H.L. Mencken writes “Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.” Well, this is my temptation. It requires more willpower than anything else I do in my life – more willpower than it takes for me to get up in the morning and work a ten hour day – to resist the urge to just hoist the black flag and turn into a much less tolerant and compassionate version of Heartiste.”

    For the love of FAI, someone please give the man a little push. LessTolerance anyone?

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 14th, 2014 at 7:42 pm Reply | Quote
  • Carl Says:

    Celebration of weakness and psychological fragility tends to perpetuate such weakness. It’s not rational behavior, but who ever said the Rationalist community was rational? Oh wait…

    [Reply]

    piwtd Reply:

    Correct attitude towards weakness is a narrow path between celebration as a ditch on the left side of the road and contempt as a ditch on the right one. Trying to avoid falling into one excessively carries the danger of falling into the opposite one. Strength with compassion to weakness is the perfection to be aspired to. Scott Alexander walks the path reasonably well.

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 14th, 2014 at 7:55 pm Reply | Quote
  • Anonymous Coward Says:

    Can we get “social justice is my trigger” on the t-shirt list?

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 14th, 2014 at 8:03 pm Reply | Quote
  • Stirner Says:

    I wonder how long it will take for this sort of thing to flip Scott Alexander to being a full member of the DE.

    He writes a sustained attack on Reactionaries, and the response from the DE is a fair share of respect, attempted rebuttals, and some strawman burning. NOT a bunch of butthurt whelping about meeeen he is being to us.

    or to mangle the quote from Spaceballs: “Evil will always defeat good, because good can’t use gendered pronouns.”

    [Reply]

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    He’s probably too rational to flip over. The mind’s antibodies against being kicked out of the herd are strong.

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 14th, 2014 at 8:32 pm Reply | Quote
  • Karl F. Boetel Says:

    The social justice warrior is one good rally away from firing up the gas chambers. I wouldn’t mind except they’re just so tacky. They need uniforms. And fewer fat chicks.

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 14th, 2014 at 8:52 pm Reply | Quote
  • Handle Says:

    Heh, “… telling me I’m not allowed to be triggered by my triggers is itself a trigger.”

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 14th, 2014 at 9:07 pm Reply | Quote
  • spandrell Says:

    Entryism! The non leftists at LW should admit defeat and move en mass to Jim’s blog, where they’ll be schooled on how the world really works.

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 14th, 2014 at 9:09 pm Reply | Quote
  • argus100 Says:

    “Reactionaries had to invent new words that loaded the argument in their favor. Denied the ability to use their own words and forced to use the same vocabulary as the rest of us, their argument totally falls apart…..”

    Ah, yes. We must use their hamstringing invented vocabulary, not the neologisms appropriate to the concepts and issues we’re debating. Should we type blindfolded and with mittens on too?

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 14th, 2014 at 9:12 pm Reply | Quote
  • John Says:

    Pure leftist insanity. But what would you expect from an ideology based on the aesthetic of nobody ever having their feelings hurt?

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 14th, 2014 at 9:15 pm Reply | Quote
  • Alrenous Says:

    I just learned to recognize insanity from writing tone. It reminds me of a drug description I once read, of inducing brittle cheerfulness. Any sharp knock and it will fall all to pieces.

    Triggering is a real term (not made up propaganda like, say, ‘ze’) and is being correctly used. However, it is a real issue being sublimated into a different issue, whether by or about SJWs.

    In my experience it has been about emotions the subject will not face, rather than cannot. This results in the same kind of intellectual metastatic cancer as any deeply-held lie. Any fact that would require the subject to admit the emotion they refuse to face must not be a fact. It is worse in smarter subjects, as they have longer inferential distances, and compartmentalize less, thus the tendrils spread faster. Some particularly enterprising victims manage to un-learn logic entirely so that facts no longer require them to admit anything.

    Nobody genuinely believes their triggers are threatening. But the mind obeys a certain conservation-of-emotions law, and if they won’t be felt about their actual causes, then they will be felt about something else.

    Daddy issues are a cliche because it’s that common. What does the mind do when it realizes it has no choice but to rely on someone unreliable? Alexander desperately wants to trust his government, which is obviously madness. But would he feel that need if he had been able to trust his family? I repeat, I’m speculating based on statistical trends. Alexander’s smart enough to keep the obvious tells out of his writing. That or I have better things to do than scour for them.

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 14th, 2014 at 9:28 pm Reply | Quote
  • Rasputin's Severed Penis Says:

    Wow! Way to go to have a super-rational public breakdown – I really think he could flip. I mean, after writing as extensively about NR as he has done – denouncing it – and still getting this kind of toe curling critique from some wannabe Leftist Inquisitor for being insufficiently of the Left.

    “Social Justice”… and what make social justice Scott? Come on just say it… “the C..C..Cath…Cathedral!!”

    There you go!

    Feels better already doesn’t it?!

    [Reply]

    spandrell Reply:

    He’ll have to drop ze girlfriend before joining.

    [Reply]

    Erik Reply:

    But is he a boyfriend, or a beta orbiter?

    [Reply]

    spandrell Reply:

    http://slatestarcodex.com/2013/04/06/polyamory-is-boring/

    Iirc its ozymandias, she puts a pic of herself in the comments.

    You be the judge.

    Thales Reply:

    I judge her to be a 4, maybe a 3 with the blue hair.

    Thus, her opinions mean nothing since she is the one who should be orbitting any man of value.

    Steve Johnson Reply:

    That’s a guy – that’s not a “her”.

    That is a major bar to leaving the left.

    Doug S. Reply:

    There’s a lot more to being hot than looking like a movie star in a Twitter pic. Which is why, to approximately quote Tina Fey, “There’s always that one person on People Magazine’s sexiest people list who has no business being there, and this year I’m proud to be that person.” Marilyn Monroe apparently could turn “it” on and off at will; there’s a story of her walking through the streets of New York City without being recognized, to the confusion of the person interviewing her, until she says “Do you want to see her?”, changes the way she carries herself, and is almost immediately recognized by fans.

    And Ozy is indeed that kind of hot – the kind that’s not obvious in a still picture, but comes across when you interact. (Says the guy who only knows her through the Internet.) Is it weird to say that, much like some people have sexy voices, Ozy has sexy writing?

    Steve Johnson Reply:

    and confirmation for those who had any doubt:

    http://slatestarcodex.com/2014/02/23/in-favor-of-niceness-community-and-civilization/#comment-42072

    ozymandias isn’t a woman. He’s a man.

    Posted on January 14th, 2014 at 11:07 pm Reply | Quote
  • piwtd Says:

    It’s probably futile to argue this point again but let me try nonetheless.

    To see through the worldview of the contemporary american mainstream liberal academic/journalistic/USG establishment, or as you call it “the cathedral” does not commit one to feudalism, monarchism, abandoning the enlightenment, or even to “the right”. To see that men and women are different, that Germany is a better place to live then Turkey and it would be unfortunate if the former turned into the latter, that democracy is vulnerable to populism, that welfare state encourages dependence, that Tim Wise has no soul etc.. is not taking the red pill, it’s not awakening from the matrix, it’s not dark enlightenment, it’s common sense. Everyone knows it, people on the street know it, people who work on TV know it, people who watch TV know it, they don’t say it out loud on TV because they are being polite but it is being silently assumed. Now it’s true, some people don’t know it, they are called college liberals and they are objects of mockery behind their back, mostly they grow out of it but sometimes they don’t and they end up working for some NGO pushing for some silly agenda, or at some internet newspaper writing some silly articles. They do control humanities departments at universities though, so that is something to watch out for.

    “The cathedral” is not some evil conspiracy, it’s not the arch-enemy of civilization that will retard the technological singularity. It is a passing fad that reigns supreme in the humanities only until it will be replaced by some other intellectual fad. It is understandable over-reaction to genuine grievances caused by the patriarchy and white segregationism. To talk about “leftoids” and to ascribe to them attributes Tolkien ascribes to orcs is the same rational-discussion-killing close-mindedness that you rightly denounce the left for when the topic of correlation between race and cognitive performance comes up.

    There is perfectly consistent and balanced middle ground between the cathedral and reaction. Scott Alexander seems to be pretty much there. He is perhaps little more to the left for my sense of balance, I, for instance, could never bring myself to actually use the word “zir”, but then again there is nothing wrong with being extra polite and at worst he’s erring on the side of caution. This is a popular documentary about HBD and stuff like that standing firmly on this middle ground, I can’t recommend it enough; it’s on YouTube. This is a woman who writes about how immigration from Muslim countries in combination with the welfare state is ruining Europe and how European culture is superior to the Muslim one because it is based on the values of the enlightenment in contrast to the medieval religious code of Islam. They are sane and balanced responses to “the cathedral”, Moldbug, on the other hand, is not. He started as a libertarian, correctly saw the conceptual incoherence of libertarianism and from there arrived at the conclusion that America is a communist country and slavery should be re-instituted.

    I’ve said my piece. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

    [Reply]

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    That’s not an argument, it’s a long list of assertions. But if the world of 2014 sprang into existence from Zeus’ forehead, it would be a tenable set of assertions. The existence of the ratchet makes them untenable.

    [Reply]

    piwtd Reply:

    That’s not an argument, it’s a long list of assertions.

    My assertion is that there is a third position, “the cathedral or neoreaction” is a false dichotomy. The argument for that assertion is the existence of the people who hold it. You’re right that I gave no argument for that actual position, the point of the post was only to argue that it exists, which itself doesn’t seem obvious around here.

    [Reply]

    NeshSelg Reply:

    Calling it a third position implies too much. Since allegiance is closer to analog then beliefs a set of positions between “the cathedral or neoreaction” might be described one with parts of the other or by a summery of the details of the beliefs. In believing a position like you describe a person might draw on both or use more basic principles. While possible, It’s just not clear any position like you describe exists in the memeosphere with enough prevalence to exert the unifying and defining effects of an established ideology.

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    No one denies that there is an apparent middle ground. Lots of them, in fact! The argument is whether the apparent middle ground is a real middle ground. In other words, the argument is about whether the ratchet and the cathedral exist. Saying they don’t is assertion, not argument.

    I am more a fellow-traveler with neo-reaction than an actual neoreactionary and I’m sympathetic to some of your points. But for the most part you haven’t even gotten to first base.

    Karl F. Boetel Reply:

    “It is a passing fad…”

    This does not match my observations of academic trends over the past 100 years.

    “… genuine grievances caused by the patriarchy and white segregationism.”

    In other words, you are a progressive, i.e., part of the Cathedral.

    “… the same rational-discussion-killing close-mindedness that you rightly denounce the left for when the topic of correlation between race and cognitive performance comes up.”

    Nope, it’s a fair and open-minded assessment based on the available evidence.

    [Reply]

    piwtd Reply:

    In other words, you are a progressive, i.e., part of the Cathedral.

    Does that not contradict the narrative about “no enemies to the left”? I mean, if parts of the cathedral can accept HBD, what has the world come to?

    My position is that slavery was bad and forced segregation was bad, so it’s good that people were progressive for long enough to get rid of those things. It is unreasonable however to expect to see perfectly proportional representation of all races in all professions because HBD is a real thing. My position is that it was bad when women could not study at the universities, so it’s good that people were progressive for long enough to make that possible. However for evolutionary reasons many women would be happier if culture went back to one-income families and being a housewife would be destigmatized. Is that what the cathedral stands for?

    [Reply]

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    Actually I agree with you on both points. But what neoreactionaries argue is that when you pick up one end of a stick you pick up the other. That progressivism has no internal braking mechanism that allows it to do only the good stuff but not the stupid stuff, and we haven’t found an adequate external mechanism for permanently applying the brakes either. We’d like the train to stop short of Finland Station, but so far it shows no sign of doing so.

    That at least explains my interest in neoreactionary analysis. I accept that progressivism began at least with modernity in the 1500s, probably with the West in the 1300s, but I don’t accept that its works have always been inherently evil and that it is intrinsically desirable to replace it. I don’t think that feudalism worked better than bourgeois monarchy or that real monarchy worked better than bourgeois republicanism/constitutional monarchy. I don’t think the growth of the free market was bad. I think slavery sucked and getting rid of it was all for the good. So me and 90% of neo-reactionaries are theoretically at odds. But we aren’t really, because they are right that we keep moving to the Left. Every conservative victory is temporary. Reagan brought us deregulation and lower taxes? OK, but we now have more regulation than ever, just as much total tax burden as ever, if not more, much more spending than ever, and on and on. From that perspective, progressivism looks like a Ring of Power that you wield at first to do much good, but that you discover you can’t take off:

    “Do not tempt me! For I do not wish to become like the Dark Lord himself. Yet the way of the Ring to my heart is by pity, pity for weakness and the desire of strength to do good.”

    Mai La Dreapta Reply:

    Guys, leave piwtd alone. We are not howling progressive hatebats who must hound and attack the heathens until they convert.

    He’s already expressed two different forms of thoughtcrime, which is two more than an orthodox progressive will do. If he doesn’t want to be a progressive that’s fine. We are not a proselytizing religion.

    [Reply]

    pseudo-chrysostom Reply:

    >genuine grievances

    white rule was the best thing that ever happened to the third world, its subsequent dissolution and democratization, the worst.

    colonialism would be far more preferable to the system of debt imperialism in use today.

    [Reply]

    piwtd Reply:

    To admit the incopetence of African nations to govern themselves does not force one to deny the atrocities whites comited there. The question of how the government should be run there is obviously not a trivial one.

    [Reply]

    John Reply:

    Yea, but it’s a cost benefit thing. Sometimes atrocities + economic development + modern technology + healthcare + rule of law is greater than the alternative of continued primitive existence and all the misery that entails, along with all the very well documented African on African atrocities that continue to this day.

    Wilhelm von Überlieferung Reply:

    Africa Addio

    [Reply]

    spandrell Reply:

    People who bet that against leftism going ever lefter were called conservatives for centuries. They lost. They always lose. As do you. This is no fad, and the people who you say have common sense, won’t have it in 10 years time. You live in an inconsequential backwater. But it’ll get there too, and next thing you know you’ll have Somali refugees in Prague under a transexual mayor.

    [Reply]

    piwtd Reply:

    Well what place is of consequence? America? Won’t the american loss of global hegemony entail a corresponding diminishment of the global influence of its memes? You live in Japan, right? Aren’t Japanese people pretty racist? Won’t they still be in 10 years? Do they have cathedral in China?

    In Europe as a whole I see the pendulum swinging to the right. I’am deeply ambivalent about it, because at present I’m more scared of skinheads than I am of Somalis.

    [Reply]

    Peter A. Taylor Reply:

    This is one of my points of contention with Moldbug. To what extent is modern Western insanity an American export, and to what extent is it produced jointly by the chattering classes throughout the first world? How much does the construction of an aircraft carrier contribute to the prestige of the Sulzberger family? In Open letter to open-minded progressives, part 4, Moldbug talks about three ways of forming a consensus. He explains the Cathedral in terms of a “peloton”, or “attractive power distortion”, but then he refers to it as the “gleichgeschaltet media”, which implies “coercive power distortion”.

    It looks to me like joint production. But maybe the distribution of blame depends on whether we focus on democracy or socialism.

    http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2008/05/ol4-dr-johnsons-hypothesis.html

    spandrell Reply:

    You don’t get it, do you.
    European leftism has been getting worse every year, not because of increased American pressure. It’s endogenous, and it gets worse.

    Japanese old people are casually racist, but they aren’t allowed to say it. You won’t hear them say Blacks suck or Whites are annoying. Young Japanese, especially the educated elite are positively universalist, and all try to be holier-than-thou and talk about bringing Third World migrants to Japan because the economy needs them you know.
    And recently the Korean community with help of the native Communist party and I suspect American friends have been importing Cathedral terminology that didn’t exist 2 years ago. Now all Twitter here is full of “anti-racist fighters” and demonstrations against “hate speech”, with a quite powerful lobby arguing for hate speech legislation. In short time being racist will be illegal.

    You are afraid of the local skinhead trash, I get it. But the pendulum is not swinging to the right. The Greeks thought it was swinging to the right, then they murdered a couple of Golden Dawn dudes, outlawed the party and arrested its leadership.

    The day will come when those very skinheads are afraid of the Somalis, who follow orders of the black lesbian that heads your police department.

    peppermint Reply:

    Ask yourself what the King would say to the skinheads.

    Then stop worrying about people trying to impress each other by exercising some power.

    Posted on January 15th, 2014 at 1:22 am Reply | Quote
  • piwtd Says:

    He’s already expressed two different forms of thoughtcrime, which is two more than an orthodox progressive will do.

    I just don’t think those are really thoughtcrimes. Most people I meet are more casually racist then I am. I was thinking that perhaps it’s the cultural difference between here (The Czech Republic) and America (you know, with the whole history of slavery thing they might be a bit more touchy on the subject) but seeing you’re Romanian that surprises me. Is’t in your country anti-gypsy prejudice ubiquitous?

    [Reply]

    Alrenous Reply:

    Now I’m fond of the Czech republic. Nice work.

    First nobody talks about it because everyone knows it but it’s impolite, but children are naive and don’t know any better. Since nobody talks about it, it is forgotten.

    If somehow it’s not, the universities will help it along. Eventually, only those who are professionally (i.e. in person and materially) affected by the falsehoods will know better, and won’t dare to talk about it.

    [Reply]

    Shenpen Reply:

    Nope. Hungarian here, things are roughly similar to the Czechs:

    - University does not really carry such a high prestige as in the West. It does not quite increase the earning potential much – the people who are envied, who rake in the most money are the criminals and the political crooks or the tax cheating entrepreneurs.. So in Eastern Europe it is not really an argument that X is bad because the prof said so, the prof has little status over the tax cheating bar owner who makes 10x as much.

    - People feel and see their behavior every day, it is real, it cannot be denied, largely because it is less segregated as the US cities where a white suburbian really does not see the ghetto much.

    - We are poor enough that we are not going to feel much guilt for minorities. Some people think the plight of the gpysies is caused by the white majority, the usual stuff, but an unemployed white dude drawing a monthly benefit of of $60 a week is not going to beat up himself over it. He thinks life sucks for me too so your suckage is no excuse for behaving bad.

    - The university educated young people are actually going towards the other extreme: they buy into crazy theories about how capitalism is a plot manufactured by jews to rob the in astonishing numbers.

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 15th, 2014 at 3:49 am Reply | Quote
  • Mai La Dreapta Says:

    Oh, you live in Eastern Europe. Whole different ballgame. You’re correct, in Romania thoughtcrime is still widely regarded as common sense. But I live in the US right now, and over here things are different.

    In an unguarded moment here in the US, you can get a lot of people to admit to the sorts of things that you mentioned in your original post, so long as they think that it’s safe. But there are plenty of orthodox progs who wouldn’t admit to ever even thinking such things. If you’re any kind of a public figure and you say such things where people can hear, you stand a good chance of being persecuted and purged.

    [Reply]

    piwtd Reply:

    I can see that you ruin your career if you are a politician, but isn’t it true of any controversial stance? By having a non-trivial opinion on anything you risk more then you can possibly gain. And I’am not sure about academicians. My opinion on these subjects has been largely formed by reading Charles Murray and he seems to be doing OK. In the Norwegian documentary I linked above (which again, I can’t recommend highly enough) all the reasonable “yes, people are biological creatures, yes, there is human nature, yes, different groups of people are different” people were either American or British.

    [Reply]

    Coriolanus Reply:

    It’s not only politicians who are at risk. They, it can be said, have grabbed hold of that risk willingly to make a career of it. But it’s everyone else too. Any public figure who can be credibly (or incredibly) accused of tripping any politically protected triggers is routinely pilloried and purged, pour encourager les autres. Look up Paula Deen. Look up Phil Robertson. (Well, in Phil’s case the prog agenda ran too hard against the profit motive I think — more work to do here, comrades!). Charles Murray can’t be stopped from publishing, but he can’t be hired or even invited to speak at the major US universities.

    And it doesn’t stop there. All large companies where I’ve worked have “diversity training”, and anyone accused of violating its codes, by letting slip for example that the African IT guy is an idiot, can be called up for disciplinary action. Once that’s in play, you’re as good as fired. Ever FB’d or tweeted something “insensitive”? Better hope no one at work takes offense. The enforcement engine is driven by corporate fear of lawsuits, decided by leftist judges, in a system that really does regard “triggering” as a tort. It’s career suicide for most people to oppose this machine. You think we (almost) all use pseudonyms here because we’re just coy?

    [Reply]

    Peter A. Taylor Reply:

    http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2008/11/singapore_where.html

    Bryan Caplan compares free speech in Singapore to the US:

    “Scoff if you must, but Singaporean bureaucrats are less afraid to criticize their government than American bureaucrats are to criticize theirs. Neither group would be afraid of legal punishment; but the Americans would be more worried that saying the wrong thing would hurt their careers.”

    I think of US anti-discrimination law in terms of an analog to Letters of Marque. The government attacks thought criminals through fellow employees as proxies, who attack employers as further proxies.

    Posted on January 15th, 2014 at 3:57 am Reply | Quote
  • Jaymo Says:

    Playing the kansas city shuffle with word definitions is what the left is all about. Trigger is a powerful concept, wouldn’t it be great if we could conflate its meaning with heresy? Then whenever anyone says anything heretical we complain that they’re insensitive to triggers, and if they try to argue then they’re even more insensitive!

    That said, the correct response to psychological trauma is to eventually deal with it. Apparently some people prefer a different approach:

    “This would be a good time to admit that I am massively, massively triggered by social justice.”

    “or any of the other three million things of this sort I see on Tumblr every day”

    Somehow I suspect I was better off not knowing how Scott Alexander attains orgasm.

    [Reply]

    pseudo-chrysostom Reply:

    double-think through redefinition is part and parcel of post modern normative justification. old precognitive associations are applied to new contexts which would otherwise imply a different sentimental reaction under the initial ideal framework being operated under. of course nature will always hurry back after routing her out, and inevitably associations will begin to change again through involvements with reality, whereupon we hop back on the neologism carousel (par example, the term gay was originally adopted by the queer community due to its positive associations).

    hence we see, despite its claims of transcendence, post-modernism operates very much within the enlightenment tradition, and this phenomena in general is more properly understood as a sort of ideological parasitism. however much it claims to oppose and deconstruct ‘tradition’ in a categorical manner, it is only intelligible in anyway *through* such previous traditions, it relies on them intimately. so naturally, it is the particularly unreflective and unimaginative who are most susceptible to such sophistication. not merely voluntary crimestop, but an inability to take trains of thought further to natural conclusions to begin with, compartmentalized and dissociated, oblivious to connections and contradictions lying in different modes. as beings are world forming, the worlds they can form are rather small (the autist attempts to compute and systematize, but knows not what telos he is really advancing).

    certainly it takes a, unique, sort of mind to come up with such things genuinely, but it is much easier if rather acting in bad faith.

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 15th, 2014 at 4:49 am Reply | Quote
  • Peter A. Taylor Says:

    I sympathize with Scott Alexander regarding the word, “demotism”. I’m not at all clear on what it means. I thought it meant something like “turning democracy into a religion”. Surely this is not the same thing as paying lip service to democracy, while actually being a dictator.

    Also, I’m uncomfortable seeing “the Cathedral” used as a synonym for “Progressivism”. It sounds like a category error. The one is a set of corrupt institutions. The other is a quasi-religion. Progressives currently dominate these institutions, but they are not necessarily the same thing, unless we define Progressivism strangely.

    [Reply]

    spandrell Reply:

    It’s pretty much paying lip service to democracy, yes. That has consequences too.

    [Reply]

    Mike Reply:

    Yes, we do need a robust definition of “demotism”. Bryce defines it as the level of grievance politics present in the politics of the country (see http://anarchopapist.wordpress.com/2013/12/09/struggle-ontology/), but that’s more of a diagnostic heuristic than an actual definition.

    I prefer the definition someone (possibly Spandrell, I forget) gave elsewhere (I forget where): demotism is the view that the morally correct locus of political power is popular endorsement (e.g. elections).

    If you view this as stupid, e.g. if you think that competence is more important than public endorsement, then you are anti-demotistic.

    [Reply]

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    I.E., is voting an end or a means.

    [Reply]

    pseudo-chrysostom Reply:

    my view of a meaningful demotism is simply this; the practice and application of equalitarianism, the pursuit and enforcement of equality by various means, to various lengths (right down to a more perfect equality in oblivion).

    [Reply]

    Peter A. Taylor Reply:

    We already have a word for egalitarianism. The word is, “egalitarianism”. If that’s what “demotism” means, it’s just obfuscation.

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    spandrell Reply:

    Demotism is a theory of legitimacy, and as such, it has real world consequences as it shifts many a Schelling point.

    Peter A. Taylor Reply:

    @Spandrell:
    The US Declaration of Independence talks out of both sides of its mouth regarding its theory of legitimacy. Does USG theoretically get its legitimacy from securing its citizens “unalienable rights” (i.e. natural law), or from the murky “consent” of [some subset of] the governed [to an item from a menu offered by some elite]? If I understand you, “demotism” is the theory that the “consent” clause takes precedent. In contrast, libertarianism is the theory that the natural law part takes precedent. Have I got it now?

    spandrell Reply:

    I don’t know about libertarianism, my impression is they have no real theory of illegitimacy as government is intrinsically evil.

    Demotism is the idea of popular sovereignty, that legitimacy comes from the consent of the demos, however you define it.

    Surely the theory of legitimacy plays an important role in any society.

    Posted on January 15th, 2014 at 5:49 am Reply | Quote
  • sconzey Says:

    When Mr Alexander finally turns — and turn he will — it’s going to be a full blown Road to Damascus thing. ‘Ze’ is the St Paul of the Dark Enlightenment.

    “Let them raise the white flag; our banners are black!” — Erik Von KL

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 15th, 2014 at 1:31 pm Reply | Quote
  • Thos Ward Says:

    @

    Exactly right. Who, Whom. For the left, oppressor is not defined by a theory of oppression.

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 15th, 2014 at 2:37 pm Reply | Quote

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