Questionable Motives

October 28, 2018

Is the future of politics popular or liberal?

Filed under: Uncategorized — tildeb @ 10:48 am

If you find this question of any interest to publicly debate, then who might you get to present the populist side? How about Steve Bannon who organized the rise of Trump? Does that give him bona fides? 

There is a semi-annual event held in Toronto discussing public policy issues to “provide leading thinkers with a global forum to discuss the major issues facing the world and Canada.” These debates are called the Munk Debates after the person who funded a charitable foundation to organize them.

Concerning this particular question up for debate, arguing on the other side is David Frum.

Well, according to the Bannon-Frum Welcoming Committee organizing an online petition and call-in tactic (with written script available and below), we need to dis-invite Bannon because he is described by this ‘liberal’ organization as “a leading figure for the racist White ethno-nationalist movement.” That’s really bad, you see, and we are told this is why the New Yorker Magazine cancelled a high profile event featuring Bannon, and Scotland’s First Minister pulled out of an event which included Bannon calling him a fascist.

Fascist?

Fascist definition (OED): extreme authoritarian, oppressive, or intolerant views or practices

Who is being oppressive and intolerant here? Someone willing to publicly debate controversial ideas about the rise of populism in today’s political culture or those who want to stick their fingers in your ears and stop you from being able to listen?

Look at the charges being leveled here by these ‘committee’ members and the claims being made:

PHONE SCRIPT

Hello my name is _______________

I’m calling your office today because, as a Torontonian, I am disgusted at the platform you are giving one of the most notorious, contemporary white supremacist, racists of our time, Steve Bannon.

Hate and warmongers like Bannon increase violent hate crimes in cities across the US and Canada. We are facing violence, danger, and division in our communities. I am outraged that you are actively choosing to make our city less safe, for all of us.

I’m calling to demand that you condemn the actions of white supremacists and the politics of hate in our city by canceling this Munk Debate!

I’ll be watching closely to see what actions you take.

My question – politically incorrect, I’ll grant you – is how do we allow Bannon to publicly respond if we are to close our ears to what he has to say by doing our part to shut down any and all public means for him to do so? Or should we just go along to get along with these illiberal liberals on the Committee and pretend the accusations they make are sufficient in themselves to allow them to decide for each and every one of us who we may and may not hear in the public square? Is that call to dis-invite Bannon not fascist by definition?

70 Comments »

  1. tildeb,

    As painful as it sometimes becomes to allow all sides of an issue to be said and heard in civil ways, we have to do it. Admittedly, this seems impossible for me personally anytime our POTUS is given broadcast time to speak — I immediately mute or turn off the device. If I don’t “plug my ears” when he utters 8th-grade level nonsense, my blood-pressure rockets up and I literally become sick to my stomach. I kid you not. However, despite how nauseating a speaker might be to my personal viewpoints, Noam Chomsky is absolutely right:

    If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.

    But just being honest… holy crap it is sometimes like having scabs pulled off your skin or wounds listening to people like tRumpsky or Bannon.

    That said, there is one particular Australian social philosopher and author I admire and enjoy immensely who has many powerful messages for our current political social climates: Roman Krznaric. He has something incredibly valuable to say about discussion, civil discourse, and contentuous groups or parties finding collaborative methods for progress, understanding, and empathy. If I may tildeb, this in my opinion is a profound 4-min video of what I’m talking about…

    Thank you and great post even though it is a painful one to embrace and push us further toward the better human virtues. 🙂

    Comment by Professor Taboo — October 28, 2018 @ 1:30 pm | Reply

    • Thank you for this important contribution, Prof. Notice that empathy studies indicate very high levels of success on the individual level through sharing a common task (just ask any member of a diverse sports team) at overcoming group stereotyping and discrimination based on group membership. I cannot emphasize enough how framing the world as a hierarchy of groups detracts directly from this unifying path, of learning how to see the Other as one’s self, but erects ideological barriers that very intentionally divides people into Us and Them categories and then actively burns even the idea of building any bridges of understanding. That toxic strain of intolerance is revealed by those who advocate not listening to people with whom we assume we have a fundamental disagreement like Bannon. And I say this because I have listened to him at length in different venues and, although I have a certain amount of disdain for some of his positions, I know he has something very important to say about the dangers in the rise of populism in politics. He should know: he was integral to Trump’s successful campaign strategy. The guy knows what he’s talking about because he’s PROVED it. I think we need to pay close attention to people who have ‘Been there, done that’ and have demonstrated success when they are willing to explain how and why. There is insight to be found even from those with whom we disagree, but we throw away that opportunity when we presume our own opinions already possess the right insight. How many times, for example, can the Democrats in the US disembowel themselves at the polls before they begin to figure out that if you can’t beat a candidate like Trump, something is very badly wrong in the Democrat camp. Wouldn’t it be wise to find out over and above the dislike one may have for someone willing and able to explain it?

      Comment by tildeb — October 28, 2018 @ 5:44 pm | Reply

      • You are right tildeb, totally right. (Professor holds up his hands as guilty and busted LOL) Even this past Friday night watching Real Time with Bill Maher, his frequent guest Anthony Scaramucci, a pretty staunch Conservative Republican, was trying many times to explain to Bill and the show HOW and WHY tRump’s in-your-face tactics worked and why his base loved/loves him.

        I tell ya tildeb, doing what you and Roman Krznaric are passionately conveying/teaching, and rightly so, sometimes requires the specialized gifts and talents of a veteran double-agent: to remain calm and composed no matter your crisis or chance to die. 😬 On the futebol/soccer field during my pro and semi-pro career surrounded by hostile fans, etc, that was easy for me. But THIS isn’t the same, probably because I am a progressing novice, NOT a pro.

        Excellent stuff tildeb!

        Comment by Professor Taboo — October 28, 2018 @ 6:03 pm

      • Reading your comment I am reminded of watching one of Hitchen’s videos a number of years ago. He says this very thing – that even if there is one dissenting voice, that voice must be paid heed. As you say, it’s fine to disagree (and perhaps even encouraged, in many cases).
        I think my problem is that there are so many different opinions available, and each may contain a particle of sense. I find it difficult to really make up my mind and stick to a solid ‘mantra’. I envy those of you who can.

        Comment by carmen — October 28, 2018 @ 8:04 pm

      • I’m with you, Carmen. I just think it’s fundamental to informed consent (or even opinions) to have access to dissent, to hear those with whom we may strongly disagree. Without this fundamental principle upheld by the vast majority, I think we are in serious trouble from becoming what we hate.

        Comment by tildeb — October 29, 2018 @ 12:28 pm

  2. The problem I have with Bannon is that he’s completely open about his belief (desire?) that history repeats itself and fascism will rise once again.From my perspective, that is someone who should be sidelined, for reasons of basic common sense.

    Comment by john zande — October 28, 2018 @ 3:06 pm | Reply

  3. I’m in Australia now so I’ll have to look this guy up. . . And I agree with you about free speech. The thing to do with Bannon is just not show up. If he gets no attention for his views then perhaps he’ll change them. We have also stopped watching the news because we just don’t want to hear, see or experience anything tRump. (Not that we were ever avid TV viewers anyway) CBC these days . . .all about cannabis. We turn that off too. . . 🙂

    Comment by Carmen — October 28, 2018 @ 4:40 pm | Reply

    • I think you’re right on the money here, Carmen. So-called Mainstream Media (ie. normal media outlets) pay waaay too much attention to Fox News. In reality, Fox has an average of 3 million viewers through the entire day. That’s it. 3 million. But by all the attention they get it amplifies that tiny number into a seemingly enormous voice, when it’s not. Ignore them. That’s the right thing to do.

      Comment by john zande — October 28, 2018 @ 5:09 pm | Reply

      • One of the problems these days is, with the advent of social media, extreme (and outrageous) views get attention. Too much attention, in my view. Is it because I’m 60, I’m thinking, that the completely preposterous ideas must be given the same thoughtful consideration as mainstream? Things that I used to laugh and shake my head at, it seems, have become worthy of consideration and even elevation in the public eye. I have to admit that many events these days just completely mystify me. I now laugh and shake my head in private. Often. 🙂

        Comment by carmen — October 28, 2018 @ 5:33 pm

  4. Str8grandmother wants me de-platformed and VioletWhisp and Pink calls this kind of commentary from me ‘ranting’, so it’s nice to hear on occasion that maybe, just maybe, what I say has any merit at all! Thanks for this, Prof and please feel free to disagree on some part or in whole at any time on the condition you explain why so that everyone can benefit, not least of who is me (who, whom?… I think I got it right).

    Comment by tildeb — October 28, 2018 @ 7:33 pm | Reply

  5. I don’t mind ranting, yours or anyone else’s – but I think evidence is a primordial factor in any debate. If what a person is offering is a theory that’s not supported by facts (i.e. building a wall will resolve the jobs crisis in the rust belt), then allowing that false information to be endlessly propagated is irresponsible.
    Show me some verifiable evidence and I’m open to any discussion. Bannon doesn’t do that. He offers double talk and a very sophisticated discourse designed to deceive the listener.

    Comment by The Pink Agendist — October 29, 2018 @ 7:56 pm | Reply

    • Umm… might being in charge of Trump’s election victory count at all as ‘evidence’ that maybe he has some insight into the rising role of populism in politics?

      Comment by tildeb — October 29, 2018 @ 10:30 pm | Reply

      • He doesn’t attend any conference to talk about the rising role of populism as if he were some sort of academic. He attends to spread more misinformation. You can go through any of his talks, from the one with Fareed Zakaria to his appearance with Marine Le Pen and all you hear is custom tailored fraudulent narratives. There is zero evidence to support the myth of no-go zones in France, or any of the other racist fantasies he promotes. On CNN he denied Russian involvement in Trump’s ascent to the presidency. He also promoted the antisemitic Soros conspiracy. Point after point we see the promotion of fraud, so to try to disguise it as something else, as you do in your comment is also an attempt to deceive.

        Comment by The Pink Agendist — October 30, 2018 @ 5:59 am

      • So what? This is the point you simply don’t grasp in your righteous wrath and hurry to vilify others but will, instead, double down on telling everyone why the person you despise is so very, very deplorable… according to The Ministry of Truth’s clerical representative Pink. Hallelujah for Pink. Where’s the collection plate?

        Does this belief you hold about the deplorable status of others grant you the right to shove your fingers in my ears when it comes to hearing for myself what someone like a Bannon has to say on this specific topic… a topic about which I think he may have some insight worth hearing? Are you really in a position of authority to assume I’m incapable of critically thinking about what I hear and from whom? You’re going to protect me, are you? Well, aren’t you the little champion! Do you have a list of names I’m to check to see whom I am permitted to listen to and whom I must not so that I can know ahead of time which approved names are on your list that I am allowed to hear? It would save time. Are you really academically sanctified yourself, oh Mighty Professor Pink, to determine on my behalf who I should listen to – because your academic credentials to determine those of any speaker you detest back up your judgement? Just because you presume there is an academic status you deem is lacking, you think you’re right to then justify your intolerance regarding who I may and may not hear and on what topics?

        Really?

        That must explain why you’re able to justify to yourself and based on your own moral code why it’s fine for you to vilify those who do not accept your intolerant belief about the value of what others may contribute. I keep forgetting that you are just filled to the brim with concern for the welfare of others and the tolerance they MUST show to you that it is this concern that then drives your authoritarian demands… especially when it comes to affording others the means to hear from anyone you deem to be such a high risk to tolerance and respect for others and are, according to your Ministry of Truth file sent over from the GroupThink office, an overall terrible person without any redeeming qualities worth listening to. You have no problem doing your best to then vilify the rest of us who dare to insist that we have the right to listen to what someone you deplore might say. Imagine the effrontery! Your indignation must be your tolerance in action. Going against your opinion to even listen means we must be racists and bigots for daring to question your right to insist we shouldn’t even be allowed to listen for ourselves because, well, your target is such a terrible person that anyone willing to listen to them must equally be so.

        Maybe you’re not the tolerant and benevolent champion you think you are, Pink, and maybe your authoritarian opinion about the terribleness of others is not the end all and be all that should be enforced on everyone by your fiat. Maybe your ongoing support to deplatform and disinvite people to public events – because they are such terrible people, donchaknow – isn’t tolerant at all but simply a fascist tactic you advocate to effect. But what’s a little fascism between progressive friends to combat fascism? Oh wait… the risk us plebs run is just too to high to suit your intolerant tastes because such plebs might be influenced into becoming another Deplorable themselves. After all, your motives are pure of heart and your fascism is fully justified by your membership to the outreach arm of the Ministry of Truth aptly named the Social Justice League concerning the protection of delicate little ears so many people have. You have so much work ahead of you. So it cannot possibly be a fascist tactic of intolerance you’re advocating if it keeps potential victims from hearing what others have to say when you already know the victimizers are such terrible people.

        Comment by tildeb — October 30, 2018 @ 10:09 am

      • Wow. Again that was far beyond the pale. Also misleading. No one is saying Bannon cannot speak, many, including myself are asking that fraudulent information not be presented alongside information for which there’s verifiable evidence.
        You want to call that Ministry of Truth and have a tantrum, go right ahead. I stand firmly by the point that anti-vaccination myths not stand on the same platform as pro-vaccination evidence. And “intelligent design” should not be taught alongside evolution, as if it were a reasonable alternative theory. When fake cancer cures like those in alternative medicine are presented as equals with chemotherapy, people can die.
        So go ahead and listen to Bannon, or even this born again Christian Right brigade promoting anti-trans ideology. People are free to do so, as I’m free to raise my voice against the methods of the charlatans and opportunists that have been used to demonize LGBT people for much of history. And before that Jews. And now they’ve set their sights on trans people, one of the most at-risk groups in society. So don’t expect me to applaud as fraud that endangers lives is perpetuated.

        Comment by The Pink Agendist — October 30, 2018 @ 10:46 am

      • The point of the post was not about Bannon. It was about deplatforming him. In your typically deceptive way, you try to make it sound as if this were reasonable, that to disagree is a tantrum, as if unlike me you know Bannon to advocate fraudulent arguments and therefore disinviting him is perfectly fine and not fascist at all. It’s not fine and it is a fascist tactic commonly applied by those who share your ideological social justice bent, and that is the main point I am raising and one you refuse to acknowledge until I challenge your deception directly. And then it’s this blustering, “Oh, your response is deceiving because I have no card from the Ministry of Truth and wouldn;t possible suggest people shouldn’t listen and that bad people have done bad things and think of the victims” bullshit when you malign others as if you do carry such a card. You continue to equate talking and listening about controversial issues like gender as if those who do are supporting the ‘wrong’ side, that doing so only supports the bigots, and so are part of promoting ongoing discrimination and bigotry. That’s a deplorable, deceitful tactic you employ over and over again while claiming purity of intention over and over again… all the while constantly using group based arguments that appear to support you while ignoring all group based data that conflicts with this framing. And that’s what I think demonstrates highly discriminatory thinking you rationalize through twisting and then employ over and over again, suggesting that listening to Bannon on this issue about the rise in populism in politics is equivalent to creating the same false equivalency as empowering creationism, anti-vaccinations, anti-gay and -trans, medical quackery and so on. That’s the twisting I’m talking about, this need you seem to have to demonize anyone who doesn’t go along with your ideologically driven opinions about helping the victims of intolerance… by going along with your intolerance. And you still don’t see it. Good grief.

        Comment by tildeb — October 30, 2018 @ 12:09 pm

      • I called it a tantrum because your comment qualified as a tantrum by using childish terminology like “Ministry of Truth” (repeatedly). The tone was neither reasonable nor rational.
        I don’t need to manipulate language or the listener to demonstrate Bannon’s discourse and ideology fall under the category of hate speech and are devised and intended to incite hatred. He’s even been denounced by the (Jewish) Anti-Defamation League. It was under his direction at Breitbart that articles like this were published:
        1. Dear Straight People: I’m Officially Giving You Permission To Say Gay, Faggot And Queer”
        2. Gay Rights Have Made Us Dumber, It’s Time To Get Back In The Closet”
        3. I’ve Worked It Out: Isis Is A Gay Death Cult
        4. Day Of Silence: How The LGBT Agenda Is Hijacking America’s Youth
        5. Georgia Governor Caves To Big Gay Hate Machine, Vetoes Religious Freedom Bill
        He personally chose anti-lgbt figures like Austin Ruse to spread this class of misinformation on Breitbart. Alongside misogyny and antisemitism. So you can’t call that demonizing. Demonizing is when the person is innocent. When they actually do peddle fraudulent information to incite hatred, people have every right, and in my opinion responsibility, to oppose the spread of ideology that will in all likelihood have nefarious effects not only on the public debate but on real lives.

        Comment by The Pink Agendist — October 30, 2018 @ 1:30 pm

      • Still missing the point, I see. And the vilifying I claimed you were doing was not about Bannon; it was about the tactic you use against anyone who wished to listen to him talk about the rise of populism in politics. You continue to bang away at just how deplorable a person is in your mind as if this qualified you to determine on behalf of others what they may and may not listen to in the public domain. That’s the twisting you do, and then build on it to vilify those who disagree with you as equivalently vile.

        In real life, I have spoken publicly and alone in support of inclusion and worked to bring about real life solutions to real world concerns of what was at that time the very first openly transsexual student in a very blue collar area transferring into the local middle school. In your mind, none of that matters because in your mind I’m already a bigot. You’ve deemed me so. Therefore, it must be true and reality can fuck off. You’ve got a narrative to follow and nothing should interfere with that; if it does then obviously the fault and blame must lie beyond you.

        I sincerely hope that someday you put aside your ideological framing of just how deplorable people are with whom you might disagree and stop working so hard to vilify and find wanting in so many ways (surprise, surprise) what you presume defines their character; instead, I hope you can learn how to see some version of yourself in the Other. That’s a first step in coming to understand that that’s who you are really vilifying with this manipulative and distorting tactic: yourself. I hold out hope that you’re not as big of dick as you like to pretend you are, that our interests and areas of concern are actually quite similar even though our opinionated ‘solutions’ (if you will) might diverge.

        Comment by tildeb — October 30, 2018 @ 4:23 pm

      • Keep talking, you two. I am learning from your back-and-forth. 🙂

        That’s the idea, isn’t it?

        Comment by carmen — October 30, 2018 @ 5:05 pm

      • Of course. That’s a truly fascinating view of vilification you’ve got.
        Equating gays and trans people to rapists and pedophiles is acceptable discourse and should be given space in the public arena as Bannon has done. That’s not vilification. Vilification is when we ask that sort of fraudulent discourse not be given airtime.

        That’s not me following a narrative. That’s me telling you in no uncertain terms that by giving promoters of hate speech a platform discrimination against LGBT people continues to be promoted. It spreads and it contaminates people like a disease. And LGBT people are the ones who suffer the consequences. When people pull their children back from an LGBT person, you’re not the one who feels mortified – we are. If you want to talk about twisted consider what your values are in this context.

        Comment by The Pink Agendist — October 30, 2018 @ 5:33 pm

  6. This is fun. It’s like you’re becoming a parody of own arguments. Defending the right of racist, homophobic fascists to be invited to high profile events to air their views, thereby making them socially acceptable or even suggesting they are people who can have something resembling ‘academic discussions worth having’. And good to see you denouncing the individual right to request that organisations we fund actually invite people we want to hear speaking. You go Tildeb, great work! 🙂

    I wonder how many people suggested that Hitler shouldn’t be given speaking platforms for similar reasons, and how many others were just happy to be having the conversation. Whatever the conversation is. Because that’s real freedom, saying what you want about people you fear/hate/distrust. That’s the foreigner, the racial minority, the other social class, the gay people, the trans people – take your pick, there are loads of minority groups we can blame and oppress for [insert your fear here]. Glad humanity has moved on from all that …

    Comment by violetwisp — October 30, 2018 @ 6:00 pm | Reply

    • Interesting to bring Hitler into it… and paradoxical that your concern about his stated intentions is aimed where it is versus the reality, where Hitler’s words are not just acceptable to your ideological scholars, but passed by peer review, and published in academic journals the re-writing by Pluckrose, Lindsay, and Boghossian of Mein Kampf as intersectional feminism! The irony is delicious. And so very pathetic that you seem oblivious to your own intellectual stumbling.

      As the new Sokal Hoax team reveals, “This is deeply concerning because the work of grievance scholars has gone on to be taught in classes, to design education curricula, to be taken up by activists, to influence how media is produced, and to misinform journalists and politicians about the true nature of our cultural realities.”

      I see you didn’t get the warning label, VW, in your ongoing quest to vilify me as if I were the problem in my willingness to listen to those with whom I have much to disagree and not the utter lack of academic scholarship, knowledge, and critical thinking that continues to fuel your faith-based belief in your own ideological righteousness. Good thing you are reading this blog, then, because it seems you’re not going to hear any of this from your ‘trusted’ sources.

      Comment by tildeb — October 30, 2018 @ 11:26 pm | Reply

      • Again your comment demonstrates an egocentrism so profound it’s shocking. Vilification is only an issue when it may concern you or people of your ideological bent. Meanwhile in the majority of US states LGBT people can be fired, evicted and denied service *legally* for no other reason than being LGBT. You’re fired, you have 48 hours to leave this apartment, get out – we don’t serve people like you. What’s the weight of that as compared to an editor being fired for an editorial choice his readers strongly disagreed with?
        In this mindset you propose homophobia, misogyny and racism are an acceptable part of the world turning – but to call someone out for those things? How dare people! What an outrage that someone gets fired for saying blackface is acceptable!
        Again that’s the David Irving method at work. By that standard groups A, B and C have to experience and endure high levels of abuse (and do). But when a minute fraction of that happens to the group you’re a part of society is suddenly falling apart. It wasn’t falling apart when all the abuses were happening to the other groups, but now – oh my!

        Comment by The Pink Agendist — October 31, 2018 @ 6:20 am

      • So, if I’m following you correctly, the way to correct the injustice of GroupThink in the former is to use more GroupThink in reverse and that this will magically produce more justice. Umm… I don’t think this is reasonable in either case and argue that the root problem is acting on this faith-based belief that groups are real things and should be treated as such rather than treat each individual with equality in law who constitute both. You interpret that to mean I “propose homophobia, misogyny and racism are an acceptable part of the world turning.” And you wonder how on earth I could accuse you of twisting what I say into saying what you believe I mean and that this tactic is deceitful because it does not accurately reflect what is the case, does not honestly reflect what I think, but intentionally distorts what I say and creates conclusions divorced from reality. When I try to explain just how warped is your ideological framework that produces such broken thinking, you claim I am ranting as well as being a bigot because I have done an insufficient job in your eyes of collecting informed evidence from the right sources to come to the same conclusion as you about groups… as if you are the arbiter of determining that.

        Well, I’ve got to say, Pink, I think you are being intentionally dishonest and disreputable in the service of your ideology as you vilify those who disagree with your various interpretations. And I think I can conclude that with confidence because of the compelling evidence you consistently produce whenever we disagree.

        Comment by tildeb — October 31, 2018 @ 9:27 am

      • The obvious problem is your grasp of reality is fleeting. When you say “the root problem is acting on this faith-based belief that groups are real things and should be treated as such” you seem to ignore it wasn’t the blacks, Irish and dogs who made signs banning themselves from public pools. Those discriminations were imposed, against the will of the discriminated groups. When the military bans gay or transgendered people, it’s not the gay or transgendered people who signed a petition asking to be grouped together so they can collectively have less rights. It is decided and imposed by the people with power. Neither I nor anyone else wakes up and chooses to be part of any discriminated minority group, so you’ve got to have a lot of nerve to imply people are “taking advantage” of this artificial construct – that what we created? Laughable.
        And yes, I’ve seen you personally associating trans people with rape, that feeds into the discrimination machine. When you repeat the arguments the Christian right used against gays, you’re legitimising their narratives by proposing those (debunked) thought processes are valid.
        I dare you to find something I’ve said to you that I can’t back up with evidence. Saying “I’m not dishonest, you’re dishonest.” is nothing but a childish Trumpism you resort to when your ad hoc explanation fails. That’s how you explained away the train carriage lie, and how suddenly after bringing up Bannon yourself you say it’s not about Bannon.
        Every time your arguments are debunked instead of admitting you just don’t have the evidence to back up your prejudices you go off on another tangent.

        Comment by The Pink Agendist — October 31, 2018 @ 9:45 am

      • See? You did it again. I call discrimination against a group – gays, in this case – an injustice that I think will not be corrected by continuing to think of gays as some group. I strongly and consistently advocate we treat individual people with equality and respect. You then turn that around to mean I think gays have lumped themselves into a group. It’s always a twisting tactic by you to intentionally turn anything I say, anything I actually mean, into revealing some deplorable aspect of my character that is in fact contrary to what I actually think, actually say, actually do. You create these twisted fictions to vilify others you deem worthy of your disdain, create deplorable camps into which you then assign people based on your fiction, and then make no attempt to understand the common ground of concern we actually share. That’s why I say what you do using this tactic harms yourself because it makes it impossible for you to see yourself in the Other, in this case see our common concern reflected in both of us. I also warn that this is a fascist tactic because you justify to yourself whatever injustice occurs to such people is deserved or is an acceptable cost to some cosmic balance of kismet. That’s why your ideology with which you frame people such as I am is so dangerous and why it needs to be challenged on principle. Of course, it’s easier to not challenge your deceptive tactics and stay silent but that’s exactly how such people like Trump attain democratic power… from those who feel like your ideology is the greater danger than the brutish and blunt idiocy of a Trump and his ilk.

        Comment by tildeb — October 31, 2018 @ 10:17 am

      • Tildeb,
        For your point to be true, that the problem is people being grouped into discriminated categories, do you know what you’d have to be advocating?
        Against the power structures and systems that do that. Protest the government, protest Steve Bannon for joining hands with Viktor Orban and Marine Le Pen, protest the US army for its new anti-trans policies. Or in fact protest the 31 states where anti-gay discrimination is legal, alive and well.
        Instead, your primordial targets are the victims of the discrimination and the people fighting to stop it. Those bastards protesting Bannon! How dare they not accept that he promote the sort of hatred that causes harm to whole sectors of society.
        How dare women protest an editor who published a piece which brushed off sexual assault.
        How dare people protest costumes that ridicule ethnic groups.
        That’s not me twisting your words, that’s the meaning of what you say.
        People can scroll up and down and see what you’ve said on my post and check. As I said, everything I’ve said here is verifiable. Including the fact you equated trans people to rapists and presented the sleeper carriage argument and instead of taking responsibility for it and retracting you gloss over it as if it didn’t happen. The same way there’s no evidence to support an epidemic of trans children being forced to transition and you’re still insinuating it is instead of taking responsibility and retracting. That’s the dishonesty in this debate and it’s coming from you.

        Comment by The Pink Agendist — October 31, 2018 @ 10:43 am

      • So because you are willing to listen to people with whom you disagree, you think it is useful for society in general to embrace and publicise the ideals of individuals promoting messages of hate and intolerance? Am I understanding your argument correctly?

        That’s fantastic that Hitler was so academically rigorous, it would have been a crime to deny him speaking engagements on that basis. People like you could have argued persuasively against him in your bubble head (and feel pride in your abilities to blow hot wind too) while snippets of messages of fear and hate motivated enough people to back to him into power.

        If I’m a member of a club, society, or university to which I pay fees, I don’t want my club, society or university paying speaking engagement fees and giving attention or publicity to anyone who promotes messages discriminating against oppressed minority groups. I don’t want them giving publicity and attention to you, Hitler or Banon. I’m happy to chat with people like you on the internet as individuals, but I don’t want you to profit from your anti-trans message, or pay for you to attempt to convince other people that trans individuals are to be feared. Does that clear it up about the rescinding of speaking invitations?

        Let me give you another example. Take Bolsonaro. It seems he got a lot of attention for his extremely hateful views of gay people well before he was elected – people like Stephen Fry and Ellen Page wanted to confront him, debate the issues, have it out. What’s the result? His profile is raised, he’s a personality, he’s worthy of conversation, he’s acceptable. He’s now president. Deplatform and ignore is clearly the best policy. The media now responds to hits on their social media, their websites. Doesn’t matter why they get the hits – hits mean money.

        Comment by violetwisp — November 1, 2018 @ 5:42 pm

      • This is what the principle of free speech means in action and why the ACLU was once a respected organization considered the defender of Constitutional rights and freedoms. Can you even imagine what those same ACLU supporters who advocated the same principle be protected today in a similar situation would be called by people like you? Oh wait… we already know… Nazi sympathizers, haters, bigots, racists, blah, blah, blah. How about what would happen to any teacher who tried to teach about this event to ‘vulnerable’ students today? Maybe that’s why it isn’t… because people like you vilify those who stand up on principle for the rights of equality and freedom be upheld and demand they be fired. You are so wrong, VW, you aren’t even wrong and seem to have no ability to even consider why that claim might have legitimate merit.

        Comment by tildeb — November 1, 2018 @ 7:11 pm

      • It seems to be a completely black and white issue for you. Either there is free speech (which, for you, means we have to invite people who say hateful things about minority groups to public events) or there isn’t free speech (which, for you means we can’t choose who we pay to give talks within our own organisations). So there’s no sense of context (should we invite a holocaust denier to an area with high levels of anti-semitism? should we invite Arb to an area where trans people are being abused on the street?) and there’s never any evaluation of risk and consquences. There’s only good, old-fashioned, healthy debate that everyone benefits from! Jolly hockysticks from the position of privilege. Seems terribly, terribly naive: a simplistic, short-sighted and fundamentalist interpretation of ‘free speech’. Bear in mind this is not a law from invisible gods but a mere human concept, and its implementation is much more complex than the snappy linguistic label suggests.

        Comment by violetwisp — November 3, 2018 @ 4:44 am

      • How about you start by examining the ‘we’ and ‘our’ you presume to represent. From where I sit, that means ‘you’. That means you presume to know better about risks and consequences than anyone who is willing to listen. You also claim ownership of these organizations in order to do so. Now look at the ‘invite’, as if someone is forcing you to do something you don’t want to do, invite deplorable people to speak deplorable things and force/fool susceptible and weak people into believing what you do not and that then actually harms real people in real life. In the case of the Munk debates, it’s their Board’s choice to invite certain speakers they think best represents different sides in what they think are issues of public concern. You presume to insist they should not have this choice until is given the okay by you, that you are better positioned to determine who should and should not be allowed to speak in such forums. But the fact of the matter is that you’re not inviting them. I’m not inviting them. The Munk Foundation is inviting them, a charitable foundation over which you neither represent nor own but presume the right to claim you should be able to control.

        Next, look at your presumption of already knowing what a speaker is going to say. You presume you actually know someone’s speech ahead of time and so can define it correctly as ‘hate’ about ‘minority groups’. How might you know if you are absolutely wrong? Well, not by listening is an excellent way. That much is obvious.

        That’s why I continue to raise the red flag about the reliance on faith-based belief people use who share your willingness to impose your will on everyone else in the name of protecting some vicitimized group for some victimizer group and achieve this end by denying rights and freedoms to real individuals in real life. Unlike you, I can clearly see the similarities between those willing to reduce our rights and freedoms in the name of some ‘higher’ social justice in the same way the religious believer operating on revelation and assumptions and faith does, of presuming by divine fiat of being more righteous for holding these beliefs than those who do not share your fundamental beliefs and go along with your presumed authority, all the while negating any means to actually test them nor much if any concern at all if reality offers compelling evidence they are incorrect. The similarity doesn’t stop there: you think in a tribal framework about the virtues and vices of groups and then assume you are arbiter of characteristics on an individual level based on agreement or disagreement that determines who is and is not a blasphemer and who can claim authority based on righteousness.

        This is the blueprint of how good but badly misguided people become the promoters and enforcers of some totalitarian system: relying on faith they are not when in fact they are.

        Comment by tildeb — November 3, 2018 @ 7:32 am

      • All sounds good in theory Tildeb. But none of what you say here is an accurate reflection of your actual position: the position that societies/universities should invite anyone to discuss anything even if their members consider the viewpoints of speakers to be harmful, hateful or even dangerous. You completely disregard the context of the talk (in terms of things like current political climate, level of threat against minority groups, hate previously incited by individuals) in pursuit of some imaginary higher ‘free speech’ principle. I have no fundamentalist beliefs on this – I advocate evaluating each case individually, balancing the need for public debate with sensitivity for the context. You are the one with the faith-based, quasi-religious fundamentalist belief that there is a good and bad, a black and a white, a right and a wrong, a catch-all theory that insists ‘free speech is law and all speakers must have platforms’. I’m not relying on faith, I’m calling for sensible evaluations that learn lessons from history and listen to society. My world evolves and attempts to respond appropriately to given situations, your world is a static nonsense of arbitrary rules in your robot head.

        Comment by violetwisp — November 3, 2018 @ 7:49 am

      • In fact, I think you and I and people with whom we may vehemently disagree share the same rights and freedoms. In fact, you don’t. You try to deny me the right to listen to someone by trying to deny that someone the right to be heard. This is authoritarian, VW. You are a supporter of this kind of authoritarian rule, presuming you may keep the freedom to do so while denying the same right to others. This is a recipe for social disaster and this is why the Left who goes along with your rationalizations in the name of combating the same problem from the Right only accomplishes one thing: the establishment of authoritarianism, which I think is a shared root problem for all individuals that constitute the entire political spectrum and one that requires a common refusal to go along.

        Notice the same thread of rationalization that helps us to identify this Regressive Left authoritarian ideology in action: you wish to impose authoritarianism in order to combat authoritarianism. This is the hallmark feature of GroupThink, ‘protecting’ some principle while acting contrary to it. This kind of thinking when followed demonstrates the insane ideology you’re trying to support, bomb a village to save it, implement racism to combat racism, implement intolerance to combat intolerance, implement equity to promote diversity, and so on. It’s insane.

        Comment by tildeb — November 3, 2018 @ 8:17 am

      • Where am I imposing anything? I suggest we listen to the concerns of minority groups, learn lessons from history about how hate/fear speech affects humans, and all make decisions together. Not dismiss concerns out of hand to honour a vague notion of free speech.

        Comment by violetwisp — November 3, 2018 @ 8:23 am

      • By advocating these speakers be deplatformed, disinvited, and claiming that anything they say causes terrible things. You are advocating for organizations and institutions to comply with your wishes rather than understand that to ensure your freedom of speech rights means you must offer the same in return. This, you are not doing, but trying to impose your wishes on everyone by this deplorable authoritarian method. What you are advocating or protecting is not freedom of speech but the opposite; you are undermining it and trying to replace it with ideologically acceptable (to you) speech, approved speech. Again and again you go to the poisoned well that you already know any speech from people you identify as haters thereforfe is going to always be hate speech. That’s your faith in action and you have no such knowledge and so the reasons you think justify it about protecting people harms real people in real life by your anti-free speech advocacy. You are undermining my rights to listen to whomever I want by trying to shut people up by proxy with whom you disagree so that I cannot hear them in these public venues. You have no right no matter how fervently you believe you are protecting what you imagine you are protecting. You’re not; you attacking me indirectly as well as every other human being on the planet when you try to shut certain people up using these deplorable methods.

        Comment by tildeb — November 3, 2018 @ 12:22 pm

      • Again, you’re pushing this discussion into black and white corners that don’t reflect reality. People like Bannon have free speech, he’s been pushing his messages through his own media outlet, he can hire a room at his own expense for people like you to pay to hear him, he can publish a book, he can sing a song, whatever. That’s free speech. However, organisations providing a platform for someone who has openly pushed homophobic/xenophobic/transphobic ideas is a choice and also an honour that inadvertently lends credence and respectibility to those views. Is it a choice that is wise to make in a time of particular oppression and unrest? I would argue not. And I cannot dismiss out of hand the objections made in any of the cases you’ve thrown my way over the last couple years.

        What’s your opinion on the free speech rights of holocaust deniers? I’d be interested to know if there are any lines to cross for you, when you would agree not to promote certain views, or if you actually believe there and ‘rights’ and ‘wrongs’ in debate and that some nebulous ‘truth’ always wins.

        In case you hadn’t noticed, we’re animals. We’re not that bright and we’re often violent. If we don’t constantly refer to the lessons of our past (technological and scientific advancements do not affect our underlying motivations) to keep our worst herding and fear impulses in check, we are capable of doing awful things to each other. So while open conversation about ANY topic is always good, actively promoting the views of people who have clearly stated aims in terms of oppressing minority groups is something that has to be considered very carefully. And I see a very big difference between the two.

        Comment by violetwisp — November 4, 2018 @ 7:16 am

      • People like me? In your mind, I’m some kind of Bannon supporter because I want to afford him the same right to speak as Frum. But you don’t carry though with the thinking you’re using here: I must be a Frum supporter because I want to afford him an opportunity to speak, too. And you accuse me of black and white thinking. The truth is, you have no idea what kind of supporter I am because you simply will not accept what’s true: I am a supporter of classical liberal values… in this case free speech. All you’re certain about is what you believe about me: I must be wrong and immoral and deplorable not because I’m willing to listen to a David Frum but because I’m willing to listen to a Steve Bannon. You have a created a fiction about me and you believe in the truth of this fiction no matter what I may say or do contrary to it. I just can’t get you to see that you are responsible for importing faith-based beliefs but believing them to be extracted from reality when they’re not in exactly the same way a religious believer imports faith-based beliefs about the divine but believes s/he has extracted evidence for this belief claim from reality. When reality is then examined and found contrary to the claim, the the True Believer discards reality. You’re discarding the same and by doing so you are acting as an adversary to fundamental classical liberal values, believing yourself more righteous to decide who gets to do what and when than those with whom you disagree.

        Comment by tildeb — November 4, 2018 @ 8:05 am

      • Jeez, like to misinterpret much? “People like you” who want to go and see controversial speakers, for whatever reason. Also, you haven’t responded to my question about if you have any limits – it makes any kind of discussion difficult when you avoid the questions and just lambast your sarcastic religious parody at me repeatedly. Try and help the discussion move by engaging. Every point I made in the last comment has been ignored. What’s your opinion on the history of human behaviour and learning lessons from periods of violence? Is there any topic you would accept that people have a point if they don’t want it projected through public talks in their neighbourhood? Engage, man. I’m not here to ‘win’, I’m here to understand where you’re coming from.

        Comment by violetwisp — November 4, 2018 @ 9:40 am

      • The problem with your questions, VW, is that you have already framed them (such as, “When did you stop beating your spouse?”) in such a way that you’re not the least bit interested in any honest discussion of views to find out out honest meaning. I think I can safely conclude that these are not your motives or you would have asked them first to pursue a better understanding (“help the discussion move by engaging”) before launching into a vilification of anyone questioning your demand to cancel public appearances and take away any offered platform from those you deem objectionable… on behalf of the safety of others, of course. (I wonder how many people went to bed on debate night a liberal and woke up a deplorable? I’m thinking zero.) You still think the problem is only with people like Bannon who say stuff you find deplorable and not with people like yourself determined to stop anyone from hearing them! I think your approach is by far the more dangerous to the safety of others because it undermines one of most important shared freedoms we must have to underpin the central importance of the individual’s equality in law. You threaten that equality by trying to manipulate who I may and may not hear in public debate.

        Comment by tildeb — November 4, 2018 @ 5:15 pm

      • And maybe you’re highlighting the dangers of public debate – people evade questions in favour of mindless repitition of meaningless soundbites, which become the main memory of the discussion. Oooh, freedom under attack, threatening equality – he said it so often it must be true!

        I have no idea how you can equate “are any views so objectionable they shouldn’t be given a platform?” with “when did you stop beating your spouse?”. I should have remembered that for all your love of debate, you don’t do it in any useful way yourself. Hot air and hammers – it’s an egotistical game for you, not a discussion.

        Comment by violetwisp — November 5, 2018 @ 9:46 am

      • See? Rather than ask an honest question (such as, “How do think I’m framing the question?”) you just shift the blame elsewhere and then continue on. That’s why I say you’re really not in the least concerned about ‘advancing’ the discussion whatsoever. You say, “I have no idea how you can equate “are any views so objectionable they shouldn’t be given a platform?” with “when did you stop beating your spouse?”. Does the bold help even, after I seriously question your assumption about private events offered to public consumption that YOU feel you are in a position to suggest YOU are offering something that you feel YOU can retract as YOU see fit? You just ignore my questions and then whine that I’m not answering yours when, in fact, I explained that your framing of such questions was the problem getting an honest answer. You just carry on doing the same thing as if you’re somehow an innocent bystander while you feel perfectly entitled to claim, therefore, that I’m the one full of hot air and hammers pontificating for egotistical reasons. You do this, VW, by assuming, by assuming your assumptions are true, by then adding a framework to discussion as if your framing were accurate, and then produce a version of the person with whom you have no intention of understanding as some kind of deplorable character. That seem to be the method by which you expect to advance the discussion and then marvel that it hasn’t… which reinforces in your mind that you must have been correct to assume just how deplorable the person must be. Using this method, how could ever find out if you were wrong? Fancy that: you can’t… just like the True Believer who already knows just how deplorable the blasphemer must be even though you are trying so valiantly and righteously to help overcome their false certainties! Good grief.

        Comment by tildeb — November 5, 2018 @ 12:25 pm

      • “So because you are willing to listen to people with whom you disagree, you think it is useful for society in general to embrace and publicize the ideals of individuals promoting messages of hate and intolerance?”

        The impression that I continue to get from tildeb is that he doesn’t recognize people like you and pink to be legitimate arbiters of what is and what isn’t acceptable discourse, what is and isn’t “hate speech” and that he’d prefer to decide that for himself.

        Comment by Ashley — November 2, 2018 @ 3:38 pm

  7. Tildeb,
    Are you planning to attend the debate? I noticed another friend of mine – he lives in Toronto – feels that neither of these are ‘leading thinkers’ and that he’s staying home. It’ll be interesting to read the follow-up to the event.

    Comment by carmen — October 30, 2018 @ 9:23 pm | Reply

    • No, but I’ll listen to a later broadcast on CBC. I always enjoy the debates. Have you noticed how many politicians are jumping on board the deplatforming bandwagon using Trump’s name and fighting xenophobia as the excuse? That calculated response is a ploy against the over 75% public concern over poorly regulated immigration, which is why Trudeau today announced a ‘crack down’ on the more the 18,000 immigrants in country who have had their applications denied but won’t leave. I love when a ‘crack down’ is announced ahead of time… as if this had no effect on those receiving ‘fair’ warning that it’s time to relocate to avoid being subject to the tough-on-crime law!

      Comment by tildeb — October 30, 2018 @ 11:11 pm | Reply

  8. Okay, the debate event is now over. The final results? 72-28 in favour of Frum, which may look like a ‘win’ for those who think the future of politics is liberal. But what I think is important is that very little if any shifting of opinions occurred, which I think tells me liberalism itself is in serious trouble by not recognizing the rise of populism in real life results (Brazil this week anyone?) and what fuels it.

    Comment by tildeb — November 4, 2018 @ 8:18 am | Reply

  9. I’m sure this means I’m right and you’re wrong – no evaluation of risks and consequences: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/11/bannon-frum-munk-debate-what-really-happened/574867/

    And even if the bungled vote hadn’t been publicised, slipperly eels like Bannon would always come away from a speaking engagement like that with more prestige, more likability under their belt. But then maybe that’s what you want, who knows?

    Comment by violetwisp — November 5, 2018 @ 3:52 pm | Reply

    • When I checked in after the debate to see some reviews, every source indicated the bungled announcement in results so I didn’t give that any attention. Mistakes happen with technology. What I wanted to know is how the debate itself went and saw the (now) usual attempts by misguided demonstrators to derail the event. Each source paid more attention to these disruptions and the assaults and juvenile behaviour we have come to expect than the content of the event itself, which I found disheartening. Nevertheless, Bannon told us something important about how populism is promoted and for those with ears to hear and a desire to turn the tide, we now have good information to work with crafting the kinds of responses to the target audience necessary to thwart populism when it surprises us with a new issue. The actual talking points Bannon raised were and remain important concerns; how populists use these to advance their causes can then be used in response against them, but the take away point is how to replace the fear and uncertainty populists require not with responses per se but by preemptive strike.

      This argument reminds me strongly of parenting skills. Those parents who constantly respond to child rearing issues are always in trouble and desperate enough to seek out any advice no matter how destructive and counter-productive it may turn out to be. As long as it seems effective giving the parents the appearance of immediate control, many parents will give it a shot. These efforts are all doomed in the same way regressive liberals try to vilify the populists and anyone who thinks they are talking about important issues. I deeply suspect that not a single demonstrator nor anyone who assaulted anyone at this debate won over someone undecided. If anything, such actions only turn people into silently supporting bad ideas while saying they support even worse ones to avoid vilification by the so-called ‘progressives’. (That’s certainly the point raised by my American cousins.) The effective parent has a goal and a clear understanding of the steps needed to get there. The effective parent preempts the problems – having spent some effort trying to find out what typical problems await them – with available solutions so the child chooses better behaviours over worse ones. A child who controls his or her behaviour is always far more productive than one who requires the heavy hand of being made to obey the orders of others. Populism and liberal values in politics requires the same understanding, to preempt the empowerment of populism with better policies that address the same emotional concerns in a mature and reasonable way for real progressiveness to occur. If history can be used as a teaching guide, the majority of the electorate will choose liberal values every time if they can.

      The rise in the political clout of populism is the wake up call for liberals to return to acting on liberal principles, implement liberal values in policy, and argue about results with honesty in politics, to stop telling people who they must support because the other person is deplorable and start earning the respect of those they say they represent. And one of those values is demonstrating the security of liberal values by implementing them even for people who believe ideas we don’t like. The sky will not fall when people who believe as Bannon does speak out, especially when it can offer a very strong case for why good people should prefer better solutions.

      Comment by tildeb — November 5, 2018 @ 4:42 pm | Reply

      • I see David Frum has posted his reaction to the debate. Sorry, but I’m on my ipad here and don’t know how to post a link. . .

        Comment by carmen — November 5, 2018 @ 5:42 pm

      • I’ve already read it. VW posted a link to it above.

        Comment by tildeb — November 5, 2018 @ 6:12 pm

      • Sorry for missing that link, violetwisp. These days I seem to be guilty of skimming. ..

        Comment by carmen — November 5, 2018 @ 9:09 pm

      • Okay, you’ve made your point here better than anywhere else and I now understand your concerns. But I still think it’s a rather blinkered and idealistic approach to reality. You don’t at any point address the honour and status that a public invitation to speak bestows on someone. This kind of attention is how marginal/laughable figures get noticed, raise their profile, and become serious political contenders. I don’t think there’s an easy way to evaluate it, but listening to concerns from local community members, rather than dimissing them out of hand with rude name calling, would certainly be a start. As I’ve said all along, they still have the right to air their opinions, they are not being silenced – there is a clear difference between ‘silenced’ and ‘promotion’.

        Comment by violetwisp — November 6, 2018 @ 3:08 am

  10. […] You threaten that equality by trying to manipulate who I may and may not hear in public debate. (Tildeb) […]

    Pingback by free speech – who can we safely deplatform? | violetwisp — November 5, 2018 @ 4:19 pm | Reply

  11. @VW

    “So there’s no sense of context (should we invite a holocaust denier to an area with high levels of anti-semitism? should we invite Arb to an area where trans people are being abused on the street?”

    Wow full marks for casual character assassination. The low road you choose to take speaks volumes with regards to the strength of your arguments.

    The conflation of disagreement with hatred is real. You quickly adopt some of the strategies used by entitled males to silence female thought and opinion; well done(?). Disagreement or difference of opinion does not equal hatred against the person expressing it.

    The whole world isn’t the off-the-wall partisan blood-fest that is American politics.

    My apologies tildeb, for biting on the troll-bait, but this sort of BS rankles me a bit.

    Comment by The Arbourist — November 6, 2018 @ 4:07 pm | Reply

    • When religious folk do this kind of thing against atheists, we call it the drive-by smear… assuming as they do that other like-minded people will accept the smear because it’s against atheists… and we all know what they’re like… Who cares if the charge behind the smear is true? Not those with an agenda.

      Comment by tildeb — November 6, 2018 @ 4:19 pm | Reply

      • @Tildeb

        Yep. It is the same MO. Pity really.

        I always hope that ‘us’ in the non religious community can set the bar a bit higher when it comes to debating and arguing about issues in society.

        Oh well.

        Comment by The Arbourist — November 6, 2018 @ 4:47 pm

    • Why does it rankle you? I don’t think it would be a good idea to invite you to give a public talk and therefore expose more people to your anti-trans theories. It was a genuine example that I knew Tildeb would instantly understand.

      Comment by violetwisp — November 6, 2018 @ 4:22 pm | Reply

      • @VW

        Violetwisp uses the same tactics like holocost deniers, wife beaters, and animal tortures…. et cetra et cetera.

        Whaaaaat? I’m just using a clear example….

        Anti-trans? Good heavens, you mean speaking up for the rights of females in society, like Fair Play for Women (UK) is anti-trans? Because legitimate disagreement is blasphemous, eh?

        It would seem that you endorse only disagreement/arguments that are ‘acceptable’ to you.

        Your hatred for reality seems almost pathological.

        “It was a genuine example…

        Bullshit again.

        You said this: “should we invite Arb to an area where trans people are being abused on the street?

        The assumption being that I wouldn’t help people on the street being abused?

        Your libelous subtext is noted.

        Comment by The Arbourist — November 6, 2018 @ 4:43 pm

      • You wish to deny the right of existence to an oppressed minority group: “This isn’t about hating a particular subset of people because they are a certain way, this is about disagreeing with the bullshit they spew and the demands they make. Case in point, the idea that somehow biological sex is merely a social construct (it isn’t, it is an observable fact), or that by the power of deep gender-feels, one can change an immutable features of ones physical body.”

        And, to be honest, I find your faux outrage disgusting. At least have the honesty to be open about your discriminatory views, instead of patronisingly trying to cloak them in theoretical feminist bullshit.

        Comment by violetwisp — November 7, 2018 @ 2:16 am

  12. @VW

    Fascinating. Just look at what you did. You make the straw argument first – denying the right of existence to trans individuals – and then you quote my actual argument which is my disagreement with their ideology and violent demands they make and the bullshit you have to believe.

    What is frustrating is your continual avoidance of what the arguments are. So here they are in easy to understand and amazingly clear prose

    “Memo. Radical feminist women never “deny the existence” of blokes who say they are women. It’s impossible. You’re right there. In a wig and a frock performing woman for us. We don’t just think “JFC I’m drunk and seeing things!” You’re clearly there. You’re just not female.

    And your dress and wig and lippy and heels are perfectly fine. Crack on. You can sit at my table. Chat with me. Ride a bike with me. You just can’t cross my boundaries and call yourself me. We are different. Woman is different to man. You cannot be in women’s space.

    And there’s no “But I can use your loo … I’ll do it quietly … no one will notice … that will be ok..?” No that is not ok. The line is clear. Women need concede no ground on this. We aren’t unkind. We don’t hate or fear you. We have boundaries. For our safety and dignity.

    You cannot demonise us or bully us or threaten or coerce us to make us say you are women. We cannot say untruths. We will not lie or pretend. That isn’t hatred. It is respect for ourselves and acknowledgment of our own intellectual capacity to determine the meaning of woman.

    So … be yourself. Enjoy your life. Continue to exist. Enjoy all the “womanny” clothes and shoes. I’ll happily smile in my boots and jeans as you totter by in your heels and lace. And we can all get along. Fight for space away from other men if you need it.

    But do not expect us to harbour you in our limited and hard-won safe spaces. Women shed blood to get them. You are male. They are your people. Their violence is yours. Women are fighting to stay alive. We do not have resources to help you with that as we are the sex most at risk.

    The dead bodies are ours. The raped bodies are ours. The abused bodies are ours. Overwhelmingly. The violence is male on female. So …. we don’t deny your existence. We are simply clinging to our own. We are keeping women alive when we define “woman” and our needs.

    And we are not ashamed. “

    So, argue against that and not your favorite conflations of what you think I’m saying. Or don’t.

    Really… because this is the nth time we’ve been over this and the same obfuscations and libel just pop up again and again which leads me to believe that I have not been clear enough in my arguments or… you don’t have an argument of your own that is worth sharing or defending.

    I think the real problem is that the truth is uncomfortable and dangerous for defenders and handmaidens of Trans ideology. Pink popped up in unrelated thread to give a trigger warning on my ‘anti-transness’ and my alleged promotion of myths. Not my arguments. Not a fact that is wrong or incongruent with reality. Just me. Because I am an “X” you should not believe me. Let me paraphrase – Don’t believe him because he doesn’t think like us – aka totalitarian thinking at its finest.

    In this thread you lumped me in with Holocaust deniers —– and right there is the scary shit that Tildeb is always banging on about, almost as much as I go on about women and their rights — your actions demonstrating a fundamental disavowal of the basic freedoms (freedom of thought, and freedom of speech) that classical liberal societies grants its members because what it seems, at the base, your inability to acknowledge or comprehend unwelcome, uncomfortable, truth.

    So, truth and those who dare speak it are the problem. Not the incongruity with fundamental physical material reality, that is out of bounds(?).

    Your tactics are bullshit.

    Transactivist ideology is bullshit.

    On a related note, women are finally recognizing (and fighting for their rights despite male threats and violence) what a threat gender self-id and the associated ideology is to them in society. Fair Play for Women and A Women’s Place are Women’s movements spearheading the charge against the GRA in the UK, and not a moment to soon.

    “And, to be honest, I find your faux outrage disgusting.

    And I find your lack of honesty, charity, and intellectual integrity similarly displeasing. *shrugs* Sadly its par for the course when dealing with much of the Regressive Left. But do continue to focus on my character and not the arguments in question, it looks good for the converted and many outrage points will be scored (woo-haa!).

    Comment by The Arbourist — November 7, 2018 @ 2:11 pm | Reply

    • I get where fear and vulnerability kick in and ignite to outrage when exposed to actions and words of individuals. I see that trans people’s expression of their sense of being doesn’t match some feminist theories on sex and gender. But can you not see where reacts spill over to paranoia and hate? Are you so blinded by your saturation in this topic that you can’t see how hateful, dismissive, cruel and potentially dangerous what you’ve quoted here is? It’s unacceptable to talk about any group of people like that but to be under the impression that it’s justified because it could ever protect another oppressed minority group is baffling. You’re lost.

      Comment by violetwisp — November 8, 2018 @ 3:19 am | Reply

    • Oh, and a great example for deplatforming people like Germaine Greer on the basis of her comments on this topic. It’s because she’s given a public platform and says similar things to the quote above that it has been normalised and you think it’s “okay”. Have a big think about we can demean other oppressed minority groups through similar language. A “fact” to a hater is often a harmful parody that further decreases status in society. Moody women, black faces, chicks with dicks. (Excuse me)

      Comment by violetwisp — November 8, 2018 @ 3:28 am | Reply

  13. “And I can think of no better rebuke to the protesters who wanted to shut this debate down than to say that I came out of Roy Thomson Hall a better-informed person than when I’d walked in.”

    That is a quotation from Jonathan Kay who attended and later wrote an article about the Munk debate between Bannon and Frum. Please note that such a statement could not have been made had the organizers crumbled in the face of so much Leftist hostility and cancelled the debate, if such organizers in positions of authority had gone along with the righteous people advocating for deplatforming invited and contrary speakers justified by their illiberal group-based, victim-protecting, anti-free speech ideology. That’s the loss and cost that such social justice warriors seem oblivious to making, that their ideology is always destructive to the foundation principles of Western liberal secular democracy. Always.

    Comment by tildeb — November 9, 2018 @ 9:46 am | Reply

  14. Glad to see you’ve not abandoned your blog.
    But this Bannon thing?
    It surprises me.
    (…briefly scans down the page…)
    “Me too”?
    “Southern poverty law center”?
    “Social justice warriors?

    Where did this all come from?
    Kinda surprised. Never seen you post like this before.

    Comment by Cedric Katesby — November 16, 2018 @ 7:15 pm | Reply

    • It gladdens my heart to see you have not disappeared from your online contributions. I look forward to your comments.

      I see a very close analogy between the rise of the social justice movement aka political correctness aka the regressive/ctrl Left aka Post Modernism aka New Marxism mirrored in the thinking that empowers religious belief aka faith. I see the same pernicious effects caused using the same vilification techniques against the blasphemous non believers in this New World Order. And I see an increase in real victims harmed in real life by its righteous True Believers. Because I see myself as an adversary of faith-based belief gaining power in the public domain, I feel it is my civic duty to expose the rot that is gaining momentum and criticize it… while I still can. When I try to do so on other blogs, I am moderated and banned and vilified without my criticisms being addressed fairly or even with a modicum of intellectual honesty. Par for the course in religious circles but startling from others with who I know are capable of thinking better, of understanding why evidence is just as important in this social context as it ever was regarding religious claims. Hence, this blog… where I had felt I had said what I wanted to say about faith-based religious belief but see the same problems, the same lack of intellectual integrity, coming into being and having affect without much organized resistance. That’s why I think we need more New Atheists to come forward and stand against this toxic quasi-religious anti-liberal, anti-science social movement. There are some who stand thus… like the Heterodox Academy and the Dark Web intellectuals… but I think we need more everyday foot soldiers like me in the blogging ranks to keep the criticisms circulating until an online tipping point can be achieved and we can once again use the internet as the place where religion/regressive social justice comes to die.

      Comment by tildeb — November 16, 2018 @ 11:39 pm | Reply

      • tildeb, I hesitate to comment.
        I really do. I have no idea how to proceed with any commentary without causing offence or a defensive reaction.

        I don’t recognize the subject matter you are hotly focused on or even the terminology you employ. Maybe you’ve touched on this in old posts from ages ago but it reads like some total stranger has taken over your blog.
        It just strikes me as bizarre and ill-considered.
        And the way you have reacted to some of your commenters here reflects badly on you.
        I’m sorry. But there’s no way to sugarcoat that part.

        “the social justice movement aka political correctness aka the regressive/ctrl Left aka Post Modernism aka New Marxism mirrored in the thinking that empowers religious belief aka faith.”

        (…)

        I’ve never seen you write this way.

        “a leading figure for the racist White ethno-nationalist movement.” That’s really bad, you see….

        This was the first thing that arrested my attention. I really want to give you the benefit of the doubt on it. I’m clearly late to this particular party but…Huh?
        Can I get you to re-visit this and explain your choice of words?
        There’s other stuff that just makes the hole deeper and deeper but we can touch on that later.

        I see the same pernicious effects caused using the same vilification techniques against the blasphemous non believers in this New World Order.

        As you well know, I’ve been around for a while on the Net and interacted with both creationists and climate deniers amongst other various ‘types’ that we both know very well.
        I’m familiar with this sort of accusation. Exactly this sort of accusation.
        Why are you aping their language?
        This is how they talk.
        I don’t see how it’s healthy to imitate them.

        Comment by Cedric Katesby — November 17, 2018 @ 8:32 am

      • When I try to do so on other blogs, I am moderated and banned and vilified without my criticisms being addressed fairly or even with a modicum of intellectual honesty.

        I somehow missed this part.

        Not to sound like a Debbie Downer but this bodes ill. Very ill indeed.
        I’m going to need a detailed list of these blogs.

        Perhaps you have been banned from some really kooky places. Perhaps these blogs have a hard-earned rep for being unfair and lacking in intellectual honesty and arbitrary banning.
        Could be. It happens.
        If you managed to get yourself banned from Uncommon Descent then, hey, welcome to the club. You are in illustrious company.
        But is that what we are talking about? I’m hoping so.

        So, yeah.
        I’m going to need a detailed list of who’s been banning you and over what time frame. Plus links to the threads where you can. That would really help. The more detail you can provide, the more accurate I can make my assessment.

        Comment by Cedric Katesby — November 17, 2018 @ 9:32 am

      • (…waits patiently…)

        Comment by Cedric Katesby — December 4, 2018 @ 12:46 am

      • (…time passes…)

        Comment by Cedric Katesby — December 16, 2018 @ 11:12 pm

    • (…time passes…)

      Comment by Cedric Katesby — December 19, 2018 @ 10:46 am | Reply

  15. “But this Bannon thing?
    It surprises me.
    (…briefly scans down the page…)
    “Me too”?
    “Southern poverty law center”?
    “Social justice warriors?
    Where did this all come from?
    Kinda surprised. Never seen you post like this before.”

    This is very surprising! It’s like…you have different views than me! I just assumed that since we’re like minded in one dimension (atheism), that naturally we’d be aligned on every other topic that could possibly be discussed.
    *briefly scans the page for other “triggering” words or phrases…*
    I don’t know how to feel just now!

    I’m going to need a list of every blog you’ve ever been banned from please.

    Good f*&king grief.

    Comment by Ashley — February 25, 2019 @ 12:24 pm | Reply


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