Accumulated Ethics Notes On The Charlottesville Riots, The Statue-Toppling Orgy and The Confederate Statuary Ethics Train Wreck, Part 2 Of 3: Amy Alkon Loses Her Mind

Part One is here.

Perhaps the scariest capitulation to the Confederate statue hysteria is Amy Alkon, the usually astute and level-headed blogger, advice columnist and political correctness foe (her book is called “Good Manners For People Who Sometimes Say Fuck“). I often quote her and cite her blog, which in some ways is similar to Ethics Alarms.  Tragically, this issue has both lobotomized and hypocritized her:

Not “Foolish” To Remove Confederate Statues From Public Squares — It’s What We Do To Be Decent Human Beings And Fellow Americans To Black Americans

That “so foolish” remark is how the President put it — and, as usual — as John McWhorter pointed out on CNN, it comes from an impulse appropriate to a 12-year-old boy.

There’s the argument some are dragging out that Jefferson owned slaves (so shouldn’t we yank his statues and pictures, too?). I’m disgusted by that; however, it’s a side note to what he was to this country — to all he gave to this country. So, no, I’m not for going around the country and doing searching background checks on all the subjects of monuments and pulling them down.

Having monuments to confederate leaders in public squares, however, is like naming a school “Hitler Junior High.”

It’s a horrible slap in the face to black citizens and it makes me sadder than any of the stuff that we’ve seen in the news lately.

Yes, disgustingly, people are actually fighting to have monuments up that glorify people who believed blacks to be inferior and fought to the death to protect that view and the shameful capture and enslavement of other human beings that went with it….

What? What hysterical, historically ignorant social justice warrior has a cocked gun at Amy’s head, making her type crap like this? Let’s see:

1. It is foolish…short sighted, destructive, presentist, hysterical, knee-jerk—to remove “Confederate statues” by which Suddenly Stupid Amy really means “Individuals who at some point in their career performed bravely or ingeniously in the Confederate army, or on the side the Confederacy.” Are monuments to President John Tyler, who served in the Confederate cabinet, Confederate monuments? Tyler is the one who decided that the Vice President should become President, not just acting-President, when a President dies in office. I’ve visited his home in Virginia; we honor him on President’s Day.

If Tyler hadn’t made his stand for the continuity of government, Lyndon Baines Johnson, the masterful liberal Democrat who moved heaven and earth to pass the Civil Rights Act, would almost surely never have been President at all. Every American should raise their eyes heavenward in thanks to Tyler’s statues and monuments, especially African Americans. Were his honors raised to emphasize Jim Crow? Hardly. Jefferson Davis was a distinguished statesman based on his public service before the civil war, just as Pete Rose was a record-setting baseball player before he got himself thrown out of baseball for gambling. Pete’s statue is justified for his on-field achievements, just as Davis’s honors can be justified by his that had nothing to do with the Confederacy.

2.The President’s words are typical of a twelve-year old. Those criticizing him for properly standing up for his nation’s historical record, complex human beings and major figures in our history who are not just good or bad but an amalgam of influences, upbringing, the times and regions in which they lived and the circumstances under which they made crucial choices, and for seeing immediately the perils of forced cultural amnesia may be more articulate—it isn’t hard—but have failed a test of citizenship that he has passed with flying colors.

3. The fact that Thomas Jefferson was not only a slaveholder but one who repeatedly raped a slave who did not have the power to say “no” while he was extolling her “inalienable rights” is no “side issue.” How breezily Alkon, a fierce feminist, abandons her values so she can oppose Donald Trump!

Yechh.

Alkon is taking the “No True Scotsman” fallacy in her teeth. “We must pull down the statues and memorials of supporters of slavery because they are insults to African Americans, but Jefferson isn’t really a supporter of slavery.” No, he was also a moral coward, a liar, a thief, and perhaps the biggest hypocrite in American history.  Forced to choose, I’ll take Robert E. Lee over Jefferson for character every time. However, Tom wrote our mission statement as a nation, defined our values in his words (though not his conduct), and managed to pull off the Louisiana Purchase.

Those achievements are worth every honor we have given him. The thesis behind the statue assault, however, is that only the bad stuff recognized in hindsight matters. Amy’s rebuttal to those who rightly recognize the unethical nature of that assertion consists of shouting “That’s ridiculous!” She doesn’t have a legitimate rebuttal. There isn’t one.

4. “I’m not for going around the country and doing searching background checks on all the subjects of monuments and pulling them down.” Alkon is usually a writer who eviscerates blatant dodges like that. Nobody’s complaining that you are going to do that, Amy. They know that sufficient numbers of the zealots doing what you are defending will.

5. Hey Amy! Did you know that George Washington pulled out a slave’s teeth and used them to make false teeth for himself? Isn’t it a horrific insult to make black citizens today look at his monument, live in a city named after him, or a nation with a capital that honors him?

6. Alkon’s initial statement—that tearing down the statutes of significant participants in the Confederacy is “what we do to be decent human beings and fellow Americans to black Americans” —is a complete contradiction of everything she has written before. For example, last year, she quoted with favor Kira Barrett writing for the Smithsophian, the Smith College newspaper,

I learned, along with every other student, to walk on eggshells for fear that I may say something “offensive.” That is the social norm here. But to be offended by something is not a rational argument. To paraphrase British writer and actor Stephen Fry, being offended does not give a person certain rights or put them on a higher moral ground. It is nothing more than a complaint. Once we are armed with the response “I am offended by that,” there is no limit to how far that phrase can take us. One could be offended by nearly anything.

Alkon added,

This is the height of babyish stupidity; it is emotionally and intellectually unhealthy…After I turned, oh, 6, I stopped needing to have everybody agree with me to feel okay being in their presence. In fact, dissent makes us better, same as sand in a tumbler polishes a rock but throwing a sponge at it a couple of times just leaves a wet mess on the floor in front of it.

Yet apparently African-Americans are exempt from her standard that mature people in a democracy need not be protected from ideas, opinions, images and memories that they may find “offensive.” How does she justify this reversal of position? I don’t know. It would seem that she feels African-Americans have the unique status in the U.S. in which their sensitivities matter more than those of the rest of us, and must be assuaged no matter what the cost.

What is political correctness, other than the demand that Americans must show “respect” to groups and individuals who are offended by something by hiding, censoring, burying, destroying or condemning that something whether the offense is reasonable or proportionate? Why is it uniquely mandatory to remove what African-Americans have a negative emotional reaction toward?  Veterans are offended and angry at Jane Fonda; why isn’t banning Jane Fonda movies “what we do to be decent human beings and fellow Americans to our brave veterans who have sacrificed so much”?  The owner of Chick-Fil-A opposes gay marriage; why isn’t kicking his chain out of  New York and Boston and Chicago—as the mayors of those cities suggested—“what we do to be decent human beings and fellow Americans to gay Americans”?  And isn’t driving Rush Limbaugh off the airwaves “what we do to be decent human beings and fellow Americans to offended feminists”? Shouldn’t we use “xe” and “frbxz” or whatever the new unpronounceable pronouns being rammed down college students’ metaphorical throats are because that’s “what we do to be decent human beings and fellow Americans to tans and non-binery Americans”?

What’s the difference, Amy? What’s the difference?

You are a terrible disappointment, Amy. With fascism of the Left and hostility to free speech mounting a siege against pluralistic society, dissent, and democracy itself, you, a self-proclaimed champion of unpopular words and opinions, signaled that you will submit to the commands of your chosen opposition.

It seems clear  that you have done this because you are so disgusted by Donald Trump that you can not muster the integrity to agree that on this issue he is correct. The United States should not  re-write history and exile important figures of the past because interest groups sanctified by the Left demand it. (This isn’t really what’s happening, but this is your rationalization.) Of course they shouldn’t. That however, is what the thought, speech and history bullies are attempting to do in order to bolster their plan for ideological  indoctrination, intimidation and domination.

I assumed, based on your courageous and well-argued essays that often buck progressive conventional wisdom, that you had the fortitude and integrity to hold to your principles, even when it meant having to momentarily take the same “side” as those whose values you detest. You couldn’t do it. You flunked the test.

90 Comments

Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, History, Race, Rights, U.S. Society

90 responses to “Accumulated Ethics Notes On The Charlottesville Riots, The Statue-Toppling Orgy and The Confederate Statuary Ethics Train Wreck, Part 2 Of 3: Amy Alkon Loses Her Mind

  1. Still Spartan

    I’m with Amy, and it has nothing that do with Trump. To quote my husband, “I was for pulling down Confederate statues before it was cool.” There is an Alexandria Council meeting mid-September to discuss renaming Jefferson Davis Highway. Perhaps you can try persuading them. I’m hoping that it gets renamed Grant Highway myself. After all, we can’t forget our history!

    • Yes, but you haven’t been a staunch supporter of resisting political correctness bullies like Amy has. You are wrong, but consistent.
      Thanks: I’ll go to that meeting, and don’t bet on me NOT persuading them.

      Did you know that Grant let his own wounded men slowly died on the Cold Harbor Battlefield? Did you know that he and Lincoln deliberately created the conditions that led to captured Union soldiers looking like this?

      Why should I have to see these imaged when I drive down “Grant Highway”? My son is named after Grant, but you can justify toppling anyone’s statue.

    • Isaac

      Amy Alkon, however, has a public platform, and you would assume that she, at least, would have more than a cliff-notes knowledge about the Civil War. It’s not surprising that most citizen’s don’t.

      Now that she has publicly flaunted her ignorance, I suspect that she has been properly bombarded with comments and emails trying to explain to her the larger context of the War, that Confederate veterans are still considered American war veterans, that slavery was a non-issue for many on both sides who participated for entirely different reasons, and that a bloody civil conflict between brothers (in many cases literal brothers) isn’t the same as a war to fend off a foreign invasion.

      She almost certainly will not care and won’t wish to learn. In fact, any new information that changes her narrative will simply not process, and be treated as just excuse-making for racists, or perhaps just lies.

    • Still Spartan wrote, “There is an Alexandria Council meeting mid-September to discuss renaming Jefferson Davis Highway.”

      Doesn’t it already have a more appropriate name, Highway 1.

      Personally I’ve never understood the practice of naming existing buildings and roads after people; if they want to honor someone with some kind of monument then build a damn monument!

      How many people have driven down a Martin Luther King Boulevard that is littered with potholes and loads of annoying traffic; yup, that’s a great “honor”.

      • ”Personally I’ve never understood the practice of naming existing buildings and roads after people”

        Sometimes there’s a method to the madness.

        Know why Great Lakes University (“Back To School”) named its new building the Thornton Melon School Of Business?

        Dean David Martin (Ned Beatty): “In Mr. Melon’s (Rodney Dangerfield) defense, it was a really big check.”

  2. Tippy Scales

    Anyone who thinks this will end at Confederate statues is sadly mistaken.

    • “sadly mistaken”= deluded, naive, dishonest, or stupid.

    • Isaac

      It didn’t even START with confederate statues!

      • They came for the flag first… in Texas they already got 5 of 6… and the last one is already being mentioned as racist.

        Explanation: Six Falgs over Texas took down 5 of the 6 flags representing the different governments who have presided over Texas in written history. The only flag left is the American one… and leftists are already talking about how that one is racist too.

  3. North American colonial slavery was imported from a system that had been in place in South America & the Caribbean West Indies for centuries, developed by the Spanish & Portuguese.

    Just a thought, but shouldn’t the Reparationistas be going after those that got the ball rolling? If so, the present day progeny of those Iberians would be the ones targeted and assessed, right? Gosh, who might they be?

    To ramp up righteous indignation to the necessary flashpoint, they couldn’t be referred to as Latinos, perhaps “White Hispanic” would suffice?

    Fun fact: Of the estimated 10.7 million Africans that survived the transatlantic “Middle Passage” journey west, a mere ~ 388,000 ended up in what is now the U.S.

    http://www.pbs.org/wnet/african-americans-many-rivers-to-cross/history/how-many-slaves-landed-in-the-us/

    SJW’s at the ready!

  4. valkygrrl

    Are monuments to President John Tyler, who served in the Confederate cabinet, Confederate monuments? Tyler is the one who decided that the Vice President should become President, not just acting-President, when a President dies in office. I’ve visited his home in Virginia; we honor him on President’s Day.

    You’ve got a point, let’s cut the fingers off any of his statues. Didn’t King Stannis say “A good act does not wash out the bad, nor a bad act the good. Each should have its own reward.”

  5. Cleophus

    You just had to repeat the slander against Jefferson didn’t you?

    And Washington did not pull out a slaves teeth. That is a gross distortion of the actual events. Dentists bought teeth in those days even from slaves.

  6. wyogranny

    Here’s a small thought. Think of yourself. Think of all the thoughts that go through your mind. Think of the actions you take based on those thoughts. Think of how many times you find out later that you were wrong about something. What do you do? Rational people recognize they were wrong and try to fix their mistake. Rational people thank God they didn’t do something so stupid it can’t be fixed, or that their moral luck prevented something unfixable from happening. Rational people go about fixing their own mistakes and look at the world a little more charitably because they know how easy it is to make a mistake. Now think of the damage that can be done if those rational motions to recognize, have remorse and make it right are never allowed to be completed. Who is benefitted by that? What could be served by refusing to forgive and move on? What could happen to the person who refuses to forgive and move on?

    • valkygrrl

      What could happen to the person who refuses to forgive and move on?

      You get jackasses flying confederate flags 150 years later. You get monuments to the founder of the KKK. You get people who claim to love America showing reverence for men who tried to destroy it. Not the bullshit destruction people use to smear their political opponents, but the destruction of levying war because they didn’t like the president.

      It’s funny to see so much respect for the confederate leaders from those who deride people who want to resist Donald Trump.

      • fattymoon

        Here’s an idea… leave the statues (too late hahaha!) and every school year take the kiddies on a field trip visiting the statues while offering non-partisan commentary on the good and the bad of the men depicted.

      • “You get jackasses”

        Hilarious, if unintended, tie-in: using the legendarily well-deserved symbol of the democrat Party to make a point.

        Know what else you get?

        You get catastrophically clueless glassy-eyin’ lock-steppin’ unquestionin’ ovine ungulate Lefties slobbering “Peace through Violence” yet completely immune to the staggeringly hypocritical irony.

      • Why is that funny? The opposite is what is ironic: those retroactively deciding that defying the government is traitorous (though that is not what was happening) while they try to overthrow the elected government. The liberal fanatics shouting about Confederate secessionists advocating secession themselves in California.

        Saying that the South tried to destroy the country by leaving it is so wrong that you have to explain whether it is just silly hyperbole or genuine ignorance. Was the US trying to destroy Great Britain by declaring that it was independent? Don’t insult our intelligence.

        A better case can be made that Lincoln risked destroying the country by not allowing the South to leave peacefully, as it would have.

        • valkygrrl

          Amazing, making war on the United States, not traitorous. Filing articles of impeachment, traitorous.

          So the impeachment of Bill Clinton was traitorous?

          A better case can be made that Lincoln risked destroying the country by not allowing the South to leave peacefully, as it would have.

          Who was it who fired on Fort Sumter? I forget. Maybe we could ask the attorney general.

          • Now, now. You are cheating. Clinton’s impeachment was based on actual high crimes: specifically obstructing justice and lying under oath. Illegally impeaching a President is a “crime of trying to overthrow the government,” or damn close to it. Meanwhile, the South did nt seek to overthrow the US government, but to form its own and leave, which the Constitution did nor forbid. They were called rebels, but not traitors…but by all means, keep using the word incorrectly. It really makes you and anyone else who does it spectacularly ill-informed. Words matter.

      • This moral equivalence of the two sides is not a post-war rationalization. It’s something that Lincoln was talking about even during his Senate campaign in 1858.

      • wyogranny

        Well, val, you’re half right. You get the same thing from the other ideology as well, but it’s a start. Half right is better than none. If you’re interested in following it through all the way to the end you can get to the forgiveness part and move on. That’s if you really want to.
        Don’t mistake my meaning. You can forgive and not condone the sin. The upside is the freedom you come out with after you let it go. And, just so you don’t think I’m a massive hypocrite; No, I haven’t managed to let my anger about the forces of hateful ideology tearing at the fabric of our country go yet.

      • wyogranny

        It’s interesting that you see my little thought as respect for confederate leaders or for Trump. I must not write very well, because the opposite is true. I don’t respect any side in the violence or any side that destroys things.

  7. fattymoon

    I stand with Jack on the statue issue. Leave ’em alone. Oh, too late, huh?

  8. Wayne

    Well, I guess Amy gets the Nitwit Award which I’ve just created for wrongheaded thinking. I guess she’s bought into the “I’m offended” trump card that the progressives repeatedly used as a weapon to further their agenda. I don’t know what she majored in at the university she previously attended but it certainly wasn’t history.

  9. Mrs. Q

    You know I just love it when lefties decide for me & other minorities what we should be offended by. Then using whatever fill-in-the-blank minority group is available for X cause, they decide how to “solve” the problem for us. Wow that isn’t infantilizing at all!

    I like to call it In The Name Of or ITNO virtue signaling/faux justice. It’s always in the name of some other group & doing what’s supposedly in their best interests. When minorities don’t show proper gratitude for their elite liberal masters, a backlash always follows in the form of assuming the minority is too stupid to know what’s best for them, or that the minorities are being uppity & must be treated as an outsider to the group like an uncle Tom or something similar in order to discredit their objections. Decades involved minority coalitions has proven this time & time again.

    Another trick is to make sure if a well meaning white isn’t in front of the camera, that an “exotic” enough but still articulate representative is able to parrot the message their leaders give them. Extra bonus points for really dark skin, ethnic style clothing, a head covering, or something else different but accessible; so white liberals in particular feel the matter is represented by the group but is streamlined enough to not turn away a potential donor.

    Yet…

    Today over 900+ unborn black babies will be aborted. That’s 5 times the rate of whites. Where is the tearing down of the institutions that contribute to this injustice?

    If I had one message to send out to anyone belonging to a minority group it would be this: Don’t let anyone tell you, no matter how well meaning, who you are & what you should believe. Subjugation starts in the mind & keeping oneself free of hype & questioning those who say they speak for us is ground zero for personal sovereignty.

    • ”When minorities don’t show proper gratitude for their elite liberal masters, a backlash always follows”

      Minorities that leave the Lefty Plantation pay a high price for choosing to think for themselves: withering ridicule, scathing shaming, and ugly name-calling.

      I humbly applaud those (Dr. Ben Carson, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Justice Clarence Thomas, Senator Tim Scott, Arthur Brown, Jason Riley, Michael Powell, Will Hurd, Herman Cain, Allen West, Elbert Guillory, Artur Davis, Janice Rogers Brown, Larry Elder, Shaquille O’Neal, Michael Steele, Antonio Williams, Deroy Murdock, Lynn Swann, Dr. Thomas Sowell, Mia Love, Star Jones, Stacy Dash, Ward Connerly, L.L. Cool J, J. C. Watts, Michael Steele, John McWhorter, etc.) with the courage to pay it.

        • wyogranny

          What is a cuck?

          • ”What is a cuck?”

            Perhaps the talented Ms. Tyler a South Carolina fan and hit the wrong key…?

          • I will spare you the more hardcore New Right link to a definition! Here is a fun, if skewed, vocabulary:

            http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-pol-alt-right-terminology-20161115-story.html

            • wyogranny

              Is this a slur you are using seriously?

              • Yes, but not quite as the LA Times would have it. To recover conservative principles, according to me (‘us’ if you wish) involves a radical effort of redefinition. The postwar American ‘conservative’ is an ideological freak who has adopted all the tenets of liberal through and ideology.

                American Conservatism, at different junctures, purged out of itself the more ideologically driven pole, the more radical pole, and the more decisive pole, and ‘conservatism’ became handmaiden to the hyper-liberal present.

                To recover true conservatism involves a detailed and demanding study-process where all ‘liberal’ assumptions are challenged. Equality, race-difference, gender definitions, all the gay crap, revisionism (American Civil War, WW2 et cetera) and in my own view will involve challenging the tenets of ‘the American civil religion’ (see Bellah) and the world-scale activity and influence of The Americanopolis’.

                Just that alone frightens away most everyone.

                I have often said —- here few or no one understood — that a true conservative position must involve a recovery of a metaphysics that can act as a brake and a ‘reverse’ to the hyper-liberal present. I got that from Richard Weaver. What does ‘metaphysics’ mean? The most radical innards of the Christian position in essence. Unless one is a hyper-Protestant. 😉

                You might consider siging up for my on-line correspondence course. I sell vitamins too! 🙂

          • Cuck is how the alt-right pretends the *conservative/traditional* right is really just a knock off sissified version of the modern progressive left. It’s their best method to distance themselves from the same fold and premises the modern progressive left came from as well.

            The alt-right, is to pretend like they are a new replacement for the right, when in reality it is a desperate attempt bring European style political definitions into the American realm.

            • That sounds similar’ish to what I wrote in another thread, “I think these people have gone so freaking far left that their mindset has merged with the right on the extreme back side of the circle in some weird convoluted form of communism and totalitarianism. Commutotalitianism?” Maybe Commutotalitianism was the wrong term, but I’m sure you get the idea.

            • Good Morning Texas! As with many things, especially in our chaotic, narrative-conflicted present, a term such as ‘Cuckservative’ requires a thoughtful analysis. I hereby note down your interpretation which is relatively simplistic. I do not myself think your definition is sufficient though.

              There are a few ways to look at the animus behind the term (slur) ‘cuck’. The most raw, subversive, and thoughtless use of such a ‘transgressive’ term and idea is likely found on the 4chan (et cetera) message boards. It is an irrationalist name-calling and its only purpose is to ‘culture-jam’. As I get a better understanding of the current complexity within all this ‘transgressive’ politics such as the radical turn against the SJW, the radical ridicule, the undercurrent of violence and hatred which can be noticed almost everywhere, a deliberate subversion against common and accepted — hypocritical — ‘values’, it is fair to say that there is something going on that is profoundly psychological. It is somewhat like the dysfunction of siblings who are locked into resentment and back-biting. I can explain it perhaps from my own angle when I meditate on the irrational hatred, really quite brutal, that I have received on certain left-leaning boards when I have tried to articulate my intellectual positions. They come at you with all the verbal and psychic violence they are capable of. Your idea is irrelevant, they come at you with bold irrationalism and they only mean to do you some harm.

              I am willing to say that it is this ‘animus’ that is a wicked poison that has infected conversation and communication. And I would be willing to admit that, for some, and among some, the use of the term ‘cuck’ seems a form of interpersonal (or interpolitical) deviousness.

              But there is another level. There is, there really is, a critical stance against American Conservatism based in its purgings of more ideologically-driven and those who held more radical ideas and opinions. As much as I would like to write you a small essay, take you under my wing and school you just a wee bit, I regret that I do not have the time right now. So I merely assert that American Conservatism had come under the sway of American Progressivism substantively. One could focus on the mechanisms by which this influence was exerted and, IMO, it is to be found in use of public relations tools. This means propaganda essentially though I accept that PR is not precisely the same as deliberate propaganda. To get to the bottom of what, and who/whom stands behind this PR/Propaganda is a fraught task. Progressivism, social Marxism, Sixties radicalism with all its emotional, ideological and progressive tinges. I sum this all up with a general term Social Engineering, and I assume that the State, intelligence agencies, behind-the-scenes powerful actors, groups and boards, succeeded in putting these things in motion. I have already written about the concerted and deliberate effort to ‘homosexualize’ the country and I maintain that this shift in values and ethos came about through a deliberate and a sustained PR effort that was clearly outlined in ‘After the Ball’ (Marshall Kirk, the original title of a serioes of articles was ‘The Overhauling of Straight America’ and appeared in a Homosexual publication called Guide).

              In short, the postwar (2) era in America has very much to do with a vast, sometimes concentrated and articulated, sometimes loose and non-articulate, effort at deliberately perverting the country on many different levels. One must add to this the militarization of the country and the construction of the Pentagon-based economic jump-start system.

              Now, you as ‘Conservative’ (or libertarian Christian or whatever in fact you are) cannot talk about any of this. You and many ‘conservatives’ have LOST YOUR BACKBONE. You have become intellectual and moral cowards and in this precise sense have been ‘cuckolded’ by the Progressive Establishment. In this sense you directly participate in the same moral climate (sic) and you participate in the construction of a perverse political and social reality. Everyonce in w while you might have something to say about this, some weak complaint, but you have no moral nor ideological position on which to locate yourself intellectually to combat the ‘present’ in this sense. You are captured by its flow, in its current, and you ‘gargle int he rat-race choir / bent out of shape by society’s pliars’.

              But Good Lord how you talk up a storm! Like a deflating bag there oozes out of you a flatulant rhetoric as you declaim against ‘what is going on’ while truth be told you have no idea how to reverse the current of open and outright perversion.

              But I sugest to you that there is an intellectual movement within the American world of ideas that is deeply concerned about what is going on and seeks tools of analysis and understanding, and that to get hold of these tools they turn in various directions and, yes, to Europe. We look to Europe to see how some theorists react against the imposition (as they see it) of a mass American culture-machine. What has been called The Americanopolis. That is something you are intellectually incapable of because, as I see things, you are coopted and ‘cucked’ by your own myopia. It is the classic American attitude really, the known and discussed American anti-intellectualism. You see your Americanoplis as a manifestation of God’s Will onto the Earth and you are incapable of a critical position (it is a sort of perverse Hegelianism!) .

              Similarly, you simply push out of the way with brutal force those who desire to bring a different analytical lens into onto the local, home-scene. They speak, and you shoot them down. They bring forward ideas, you bring out ridicule.

              In any case, what I have attempted here is to show the two different levels of animus that stand behind the use of the term Cuck. I propose that there must be a radical change within conservatism.

            • From “Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars From 4Chan and Tumblr to Trump and the Alt-Right”.

              Gramscians of the alt-light

              There were two major figures of the online culture wars Trumpian right who wrote glowingly about the hard core of the alt-right in a heavily quoted piece in Breitbart called ‘An Establishment Conservative’s Guide To The Alt-Right’. These were Milo Yiannopoulos and Allum Bokhari, who traced the intellectual roots of the amorphous alt-right back, in quite a flattering portrayal of the movement, to a number of key intellectuals and schools of thought.

              They singled out Oswald Spengler, the German philosopher who wrote The Decline of the West in 1918, who influenced the whole discourse of civilizational decline and advocated a nationalist non-Marxist socialism and authoritarianism, H. L. Mencken, the deeply elitist but undeniably brilliant anti-New Deal US satirist and cultural critic, who also made Nietzschean criticisms of religion and representative democracy, Julius Evola, the Italian philosopher loved by the Italian fascist movement, who advanced traditionalist and masculinist values and believed modern man lived in a Dark Age, Samuel Francis, the paleoconservative US columnist and critic of pro-capitalist neoconservatism and lastly, the French New Right, who importantly were sometimes called ‘Gramscians of the right’.

              The French New Right or Nouvelle Droite adapted the theories of Antonio Gramsci that political change follows cultural and social change. Andrew Breitbart’s phrase was that politics is always ‘downstream from culture’, and was often quoted by Milo. Belgian far-right anti-immigration party Vlaams Blok leader Filip Dewinter put it like this: ‘the ideological majority is more important than the parliamentary majority.’ Prior to 1968, the right had taken the view that ‘ordinary people’ were still inherently conservative which you can see echoed today in the ‘silent majority’ rhetoric of modern establishment conservatives.

              The French New Right’s Gramscian aim, which the alt-right today also shares, was to break with the view that defeat of radical elites or vanguards would enable the restoration of a popular traditional order and instead took stock of how profoundly the 60s had changed the general population and become hegemonic. As Andrew Hartman outlined in his book on the 90s culture wars, The War for the Soul of America, the radical upheavals of Paris 1968 and the rise of the New Left was proof to the demoralized right that the whole culture would now have to be retaken before formal political change could come.

              This led to the pursuit of a ‘metapolitics’, and a rejection of the political party and traditional activism within a section of the right. Instead, they set about rethinking their philosophical foundations and creating new ways to counter the ‘68 ideology of Social Progress. The resulting French New Right shared many of the alt-right’s preoccupations like multiculturalism and imminent Western decline, also drawing on and adapting ideas from across the political spectrum. For example, they had a strong critique of capitalism, promoting instead local ‘organic democracy’. Today, the movement that has been most remarkably successful at changing the culture rather than the formal politics is the alt-light. They were the youthful bridge between the alt-right and mainstream Trumpism. Although the tactics of the online right are updated to a digital age, it is hard to think of a better term than Gramscian to describe what they have strategically achieved, as a movement almost entirely based on influencing culture and shifting the Overton window through media and culture, not just formal politics. They succeeded largely by bypassing the dying mainstream media and creating an Internet-culture and alternative media of their own from the ground up. Here, I want to look more closely at those being called the alt-light, who became major independent social media figures with huge audiences well before Trump’s win.

              They influenced Internet-culture and eventually more mainstream culture. How did they do this and why did it work? First, think for a moment about the amount of scholarly and polemical writing that has come from a broadly left perspective in recent generations, attempting to explain why it is that the project of the revolutionary socialist left continues to fail and remains unpopular. Entire schools of thought about the culture industry, media hegemony, discourse, narrative, normativity and power have this problem either overtly or implicitly at their core. Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky’s ‘manufacturing consent’ thesis has remained quite dominant in left rhetoric ever since it was written.

              The Frankfurt School and the Situationists remain canonical in university theory courses. Of all the Marxian and Marxoid schools of thought, Gramsci’s is perhaps the most influential today, placing media and culture at the center of political analysis and praxis in a mediated age after the decline of the old labour movement. And yet at the end of 2016 it was the candidate of the right, Donald Trump, who was elected President of the United States despite all mainstream news agencies, including conservative media from Fox News to National Review, working openly against him.

              Figures like Milo, who were being dismissed as an irrelevant Internet fringe despite their growing mass online audiences right up until the election results came in, rose to mainstream success along with him. Let’s also remember that during the Obama years millennial cultural liberals had their own new media platforms to fill the vacuum left by the decline in the centrality of mainstream newspapers and TV as the general arena for public discourse. In this brave new world of clicks and content, their alternative came in the form of the often-sentimental feel-good clickbait sites like Upworthy and listicle sites like Buzzfeed. Other liberal sites like Everyday Feminism, Jezebel and Salon delivered a strange mixture of ultra-sensitivity, sentimentality and what was once considered radical social constructionist identity politics.

              [et cetera]

      • wyogranny

        Especially since joining the mob would be so ridiculously easy.

  10. From the “You Gotta Be EFFIN‘ Kidding Me” files:

    “(A USC) student group has declared the equine mascot of the school’s Trojans football team to be a symbol of ‘white supremacy.’

    ”Why? Because the horse bears a name similar to that of a steed that belonged to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.”

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/08/19/usc-mascot-squabble-trojan-horse-for-political-correctness.html

    Welp, USC’s “Traveler” (spelled with one “L” as opposed to Lee’s “Traveller” with two) is reportedly white.

  11. Being able to see both sides of this issue is tough. I think the underlying problem here is that people don’t agree on what it is that statues and things that are named after people are supposed to signify. Well, that and the changing values of human society (which are still fractured).

    The paradigm on the Left seems to be, “We are honoring this person because they not only did important things, but are also a person of excellent character.” The weird part comes in when you realize that by that standard, much fewer important people should have statues, but Leftists try to pretend that their present-day heroes are 100% admirable, so they still think those people deserve statues even though they wouldn’t by their own standards.

    I appreciate the paradigm of honoring people for important contributions to a field and ignoring their actions outside of that field. When you have a whole county named after someone, though, people who look up what they did will have to rely on trust that they’re not being honored for their transgressions. Ultimately, a memorial or dedication is not a comprehensive endorsement, but rather a recognition of a person’s important positive contribution to something or other, and a call to learn a bit more about them.

    The other problem here is that some deeds become retroactively heinous. Yes, this is because humans weren’t smart enough to get ethics right the first time. They still aren’t. Human biology hasn’t changed. Take any human baby born today and raise it in the past, and it will have (had) the same chance of growing up racist, or sexist, or homophobic, et cetera.

    Should we celebrate having moved forward as a society? Absolutely. But what exactly is the point of condemning people of the past, given that they’re dead and so is almost everyone who shares their ill-formed beliefs?

    We honor the memory of Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire because of their large influence on modern philosophy and civilization, even though they practiced slavery (albeit not quite as brutally as in the antebellum American South). We idolize knights and samurai because of their bravery and discipline, even though they existed to defend feudal systems with oppressed serfs (“Come see the violence inherent in the system!”). Vikings and pirates, once famous for raping and pillaging, are now children’s costumes and wacky cartoon characters (see David Mitchell’s take on it below). Abrahamic religions don’t seem to have a problem with Biblical heroes doing raping, pillaging, and outright genocide (though Darkmatter2525 has some good deconstructions of those stories, taking away the reverential glamour so we can bask in the sociopathic absurdity).

    My point here is that humans started out as territorial tribes with animalistic social structures, and have made great advances while simultaneously trying to change as little as possible from what they’re used to. All of human history is shaped by that process. Once we acknowledge that, we don’t have to be quite so angry or disgusted at historical figures, and we can focus that extra energy on the issue that really matters, the most important reason for learning about any of these people in the first place:

    Breaking the chain of complacency and asking ourselves how we can further improve as a society, and how we can make those improvements without destroying the advancements we’ve already made.

    (Generally speaking, the Right foolishly believes we don’t need to improve any more, while the Left believes we need to improve a great deal but is too foolish to identify the improvements or how to make them constructively.)

    • I’ve posted quite a bit about this issue, but not much about the statues themselves. One of the things that I think is lost is that equestrian statues are usually among the prettier public art. The best-looking animals are better-looking than people, and horses tend to scale up very well. I think that with most equestrian statues, people see more horse than rider.

      It’s been asked multiple times about pulling down statues in Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union. I don’t think that those questions are direct analogies, because statues get adopted and, in effect, changed by the population over time. The statues destroyed by the Taliban were not generally being used for Buddhist worship, but the local seems to have grown to like them as part of their community, somehow watching over everyone.

      Statues have to be movable from parks. Any community will only have so many places for parks. Those parks will only have so many places that are appropriate to place memorials. History will not come to a stop because the parks are full. Statues themselves will rust or erode. So there should be a system in place to move or replace things. It seems to me that best practice would be to offer the statues back to groups that paid for them, or to other communities or museums that will haul them away.

      What bothers me is the reviling of the characters of all the subjects of the statues. Lincoln, as always, is best practice with respect to this subject. American slavery was inherited from slave cultures on three other continents, and then continued for generations. When the bill came due, most of the people with most of the responsibility for it were long gone. The generation that fought the war, on both sides, was the generation that had to pay that bill. I think that Lincoln’s way of looking at things is exemplary, and that if we actually adopted that sort of thinking then, for instance, we would not have had such a direct route from WWI to WWII.

  12. So is Virginia renaming Jefferson davis highway? It seems they are and are taking suggestions from the Internet.

    If Twitter is any indication, looks like y’all will get Interstate Roadie McRoadface.

    I hope this isn’t true.

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