Sunday, September 17, 2017

Derision For Liberalism And Individual Rights On The Left

What really interests me about this piece by Freddie deBoer is just the beginning--the acknowledgement that (as people paying attention already know) much of the American left has turned anti-liberal, and anti-individual-rights. It's clear that they're against free speech and the right to peaceably assemble, for example. I was on a discussion board not so long ago on which a swarm of lefties was deriding free speech, and denying that free speech was ever an idea that was central to liberalism. They were utterly insane, obviously...but that's what they were claiming. They acted as if they had simply never heard of such a thing as liberals caring about freedom of expression.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I was on a discussion board not so long ago on which a swarm of lefties was deriding free speech, and denying that free speech was ever an idea that was central to liberalism."

How historically illiterate are these people? Have they never heard of Voltaire, or really any early modern?

Honestly, this is a systematic failure of the education system at this point, beginning with the necrotizing fasciitis of fashionable, revisionist leftism in the universities and spreading to primary and second schools.

10:24 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

It used to be a good board...in fact, the looniest people on there used to be conservatives. The lefties basically, over the course of the last ten-ish years, just became insufferable. They have become so obnoxious--and, frankly, stupid *and* intellectually dishonest--that that they've slowly driven off almost everyone else. Honestly, you just simply can't believe the stuff they say, nor how repulsively obnoxious they are.

Seriously...the trajectory of that board has really altered my view of the left. I've almost always thought that the far left was a bunch of kooks...but this is one of two formerly-reasonable discussion boards I've seen turn rabidly, insanely leftist over the past almost-a-decade. I mean...those people are outright *insane.* I go on some conservative boards, but haven't seen any mainstream boards turn right.

Conquest's second law, I guess...

11:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I go on some conservative boards, but haven't seen any mainstream boards turn right."

I'm not entirely sure that is true. There are basically two cases I have seen of "rightwards" movement in internet commentary. One is troll brigades, which was happening a ton around 2015-2016 when the Left started really jumping the shark on refugees and BLM. A ton of major news organizations, and Twitter which caters in large part to the journalists at major news organizations, shut down their comment boards because the trolling was uncontrollable.

The second is alternative media, which the conservative grassroots is now largely capturing. The right is increasingly dominating youtube (a lot of this is the knock on effects of Gamergate and the fact gamers are such big you-tubers). But there are others like Jordan Peterson, who has become a minor celebrity, and the Rubin Report (who is really liberaltarian, but is considered "right" because he criticizes PC).

I think the contrast between trolling and content creation is pretty clearly a function of environment. Youtube is a true media market. (Until very recently) you can put pretty much any content up and Google's insane discovery tools match existing interest to your content with remarkable skill. Value is assigned through entirely anonymous views, so there is no effective way to shame people into avoiding your content.

On the other hand, major news organization comment boards are heavily controlled. There are roving bands of bad faith leftists trying to enforce consensus with the usual ad hominems and motte and bailey, and of course some have direct moderation as well. You can't guarantee your views will reach market properly, so instead you rebel in the only way the internet knows: you troll.

11:46 PM  

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