A queer way to be ourselves

Bearded bloke walks into a bar. Says to the barman, “I’ll have a bottle of that new beer, please, the Pink IPA.”
“Sorry, sir,” says the barman, “this beer is for women only.”
“Well, actually,” says the customer, “I am a woman. It’s how I self-identify.”
“Very well, madam,” says the barman, “a wise choice of gender, if I may say so, and of ale. The lady’s IPA is on special offer at £1 less than the gentlemen’s IPA.”
“To be honest,” says the customer, “that’s why I became a woman. Cheers!”
No, this isn’t a joke. Apart from a bit of editing to bring out the comical side, it is a conversation that actually took place in a bar in Cardiff, where customer Thomas Bower was told by the bar staff that a pink-labelled bottled beer called Pink IPA was only for women drinkers as it had been launched to highlight the gender pay gap. Punk IPA, a comparable bottled beer from the same brewery and available to men, was priced at £1 more.
Bower, who has a beard, felt forced to self-identify as a woman so that he would be allowed to buy a bottle of the less costly brew. He subsequently sued Brewdog brewery for sex discrimination and won £1,000 damages, which he donated to charities helping both sexes.
So what’s the moral of the story? Clearly, we learn that Mr/Ms Bower is a resourceful gentleman/lady, but it occurred to me that we kind folk might be able to harness Bower Power for our own ends (new readers might want to check out my September 2015 blog After the Ball and After the Fall for the origins of “kindness”).
We should self-identify as children! Children’s fares for travel and half-price entry for any number of shows and events would only be the beginning. We could join the Scouts or the Guides, the Cubs or the Brownies; we could sue any parents for discrimination if they refused to let us join their kids’ summer camps and slumber parties. Children’s playgrounds, schools, bathroom facilities, no problem!
This very idea was actually put forward a couple of years ago, supposedly by a group of activists going by the name Clovergender. It turned out to be fake news, exposed as such by the excellent Bernie Najarian. However, the hoaxers may have been inspired by another case, one which looks convincingly real to me.
Perhaps you remember seeing it in the news. Paul Wolscht, a father of seven in his fifties, left his family to live as a six-year-old girl named Stefonknee – pronounced Stephanie and packing a pun with the “on knee” bit. She went to live with an adoptive “mommy and daddy”, spending her time playing with dolls and the couple’s young grandchildren.
This all came after his wife, Maria, decided she was not going to put up with his age and gender cross-dressing (think artist Grayson Perry’s little girl alter ego Claire). But get this: the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto proved far more accepting. According to a report in the Daily Mail, “much of the congregation is made up of LGBT members who have formed a special support group just for her”.
It could of course be argued that “Stefonknee” is perfectly genuine and not just gaming the system. But what about the great Canadian trans-waxing controversy? Brendan O’Neill, in Spiked, described a series of cases brought by one supposedly trans man:

A born male who identifies as female, and whose male genitalia are still intact, is suing female-only waxers on the basis that their refusal to wax his bollocks – sorry, her bollocks – is an act of discrimination. Yes, this person believes that because he identifies as female he should therefore have access to every female service, including the most intimate female services. Any female beautician who refuses to tend to his testicles is being ‘transphobic’, apparently, because they are denying his womanhood. Even though he has a penis. And testicles. And is a man. That’s hate speech, I know.
This is the case of Jessica Yaniv, born Jonathan Yaniv, who has filed complaints against more than a dozen female waxers with the Human Rights Council (HRC) in British Columbia. Yaniv claims that the women’s refusal to give him a Brazilian – that is, to handle his penis and testicles and to remove his pubic hair, activities these women did not want to carry out – is discrimination.

As if all this were not pushy enough, an article in Quillette said evidence had been put to the tribunal that “Jessica” had posted online asking for advice on how to approach a naked 10-year-old girl to ask for a tampon, and whether it might be appropriate to enter a bathroom stall with a 10-year-old to show her how to put a tampon in. “She” claimed “her” account had been hacked, and withdrew the case (but her many other cases are still going forward). Hacked or not, at a time when radical trans persons, especially trans women (i.e. natal men) are aggressively pushing the envelope ever further and faster, often getting away with it thanks to the backing of a huge feminist movement and a framework of human rights law, it seems entirely possible that crafty kinds could self-identify as children on an entirely spurious basis in order to gain intimate access to kids.
Devious dodges of that sort are not, in all seriousness, to be recommended. Nor should the pushiness of a few selfish extremists be used to discredit trans people in general – as the TERFs and alt-right try to.
Exactly how those of us with a sexual orientation towards children and adolescents should identify is more legitimately open to debate. To identify as paedophile is to invite being shunned as worse than a murderer, so we are never going to get P added to the acceptable diversity brought together in the alphabet soup beginning LGBT. I wrote about this in LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM – WTF?, when my emphasis was on the malignantly divisive side of identity politics. Nor are we going to be accepted under the kind label any time soon, because many of us who feel we are kind in the best sense do not accept that sexual intimacy with willing children is unkind. And society is not ready for that.
The news on this front is that research has now been published showing a tendency, at least among “virtuous” folk, to identify as queer. The paper, in the Journal of Homosexuality, is  titled “I’m Not like That, So Am I Gay?” The Use of Queer-Spectrum Identity Labels Among Minor-Attracted People. Author Allyn Walker wrote in the Abstract, “There are now those who object to the use of labels such as “gay” and “queer” by minor-attracted people (MAPs), raising the question, “to whom do queer-spectrum identity labels belong?” I engage with this question using data from my research with 42 MAPs”.
It is a good question, answered broadly in the article by the idea that it is fine for MAPs to use “queer-spectrum” identities, including “queer” itself. It is important to realise,” Walker writes, “that invalid and reductive historical assumptions that gay men were predatory are a mirror image of current assumptions about MAPs” (see cartoon below). The author adds, “Accepting MAPs’ preferences in their uses of queer-spectrum labels would go a long way toward reducing the shame felt by this population, and historically shared by other queer communities.”
Walker, who has just taken up a post as an assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice at Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, identifies as queer himself (or rather “themself”). They recruited participants for the study largely from b4uact and Virtuous Pedophiles. In order to participate in this study, respondents were required to identify as “being preferentially attracted to minors, and have refrained from any sexual activity with minors since adulthood”.
The article includes a section called “History of association between MAPs and other queer communities”, which gives a useful reminder that gay activists have not always disowned MAPs, and have even sided with law reform. They write that “…multiple gay activist groups, including New York’s Gay Activists Alliance… and the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Rights Coalition publicly favored abolishing the age of consent”.
These activist organisations take us back to the 1960s, to the era of Stonewall and its aftermath. Another excellent recent paper digs into the somewhat deeper past to explore connections between homosexual identity and the age to which people are attracted. This is The Age of Attraction: Age, Gender and the History of Modern Male Homosexuality, by Kate Fisher and Jana Funke. The full text of this paper, which is in the journal Gender and History, is free to read online and to download.
Fisher and Funke throw some very useful light onto the role of the scientific study of sex as it developed from the mid-19th century onwards. We find that right from the early days “constructions of male homosexuality were driven by anxieties about interactions between children or adolescents and older men”. Also, “To assuage fears about the violation of youth, homophile sexual scientists keen to present a socially acceptable model of male same-sex relationships rejected affirmative framings of age-differentiated relationships.” So much, one might think, for the “objective” aspect of sexual science! However, we learn that:

…authors who were close to or part of sexual scientific circles, continued to champion age-differentiated attachments, while simultaneously engaging with and participating in sexual scientific debate. Drawing on the claim that childhood sexuality was naturally undifferentiated, writers argued that same-sex attachments in youth were not always opposed to the child’s own desires or interests. They also rejected the idea that age-structured relationships between males were necessarily corruptive. Indeed, they maintained that such relationships could be beneficial to both young people and society as a whole. These arguments resonated with early twentieth-century sexual scientific debates.

This brilliant cartoon (adapted by David Kennerly, with his own text, from another original ) offers offers an admirably concise and hard-hitting (!) take on history.

 
VICTIM CULTURE’S NEVER ENDING STORY
Three and a half long years have passed since February 2016 when Heretic TOC published a blog called V.I.P. fiasco: you heard it here first, which began thus:

So, the sensational allegations of brutal, even murderous “V.I.P. paedophilia” that were hailed as “credible and true” by a top cop in Operation Midland, which was set up to investigate them, have now tacitly been admitted as the ravings of a fantasist by the toppest cop of the lot, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, head of the London Metropolitan Police, writing in the Guardian.

My headline, “you heard it here first”, takes us back even further, to when Heretic TOC ran a number of blogs drawing attention to the folly of giving any credence to the allegations in question. It was always obvious they were never going to stand up to serious investigation. As I said in It’s all been happening out there, in February 2015, the police appeared to be relying on dubious witnesses who would go back time and again to be “raped” by politicians and other VIPs. They had “even attested to the murder of several boys… but we are not told about any bodies being found, nor any names of missing persons who might have been the victims.” Another factor that made me doubt the credibility of these witnesses is that one of them “made similarly lurid allegations against my old friends Charles Napier and Peter Righton, accusing them of callous and sadistic abuse. I am absolutely certain these were outright lies.”
Now, at long last, a lot of the truth about these mad allegations and the even madder credulity shown by the police, has emerged with the trial of fantasist-in-chief Carl Beech, which recently ended with his conviction for perverting the course of justice, resulting in an 18-year prison sentence. Most sensationally, Beech, under cover of the anonymity accorded to “victims”, and known to the public only as “Nick”, had made grievous allegations against a number of public figures, including former prime minister Edward Heath.
The most damaging revelations about the police came just a few days ago, in a story splashed by the Daily Mail, which ran very detailed online coverage amounting to over 6,000 words, plus several videos and well over a dozen photos. For once, unlike the mainstream press coverage of the original allegations, which for the most part had been just as “believe the victim” in tone as the police approach, this latest Mail reporting is well justified.
The story centres on a sensational claim made by senior retired judge Sir Richard Henriques. Giving in-depth reasons for his view, he asserts that leading police officers in the Carl Beech case were themselves engaged in perverting the course of justice. The clear implication is that they were complicit in Beech’s numerous lies and incredibly damaging false allegations. On that basis, logically, they too should be put in the dock and, if convicted, join Beech in prison for a long stretch behind bars.
How often do you hear a judge say such things, not just about one “bent copper” but about several named members of a team, going up to the highest ranks of the force?
The judge’s allegations were made principally on the basis that officers used false evidence to obtain search warrants in the case, wrongly claiming – and knowing the information to be untrue – that “Nick” had been consistent in his story when in fact he had patently and drastically changed it a number of times.
But there is no need for me to go into the details. Heretics, at least here in Britain, will already have seen the headlines on whatever news platforms they use. If they have not already read it, though, I would commend the Mail’s coverage, not least for its inclusion of what Henriques says at length in his own words (Search for a cross-heading with the phrase “Shattering verdict of Sir Richard Henriques”).
I would just point out that the police are by no means the only ones left with egg on their face following Beech’s conviction. Another worth noting is the deputy leader of the Labour Party. James Heartfield, writing in Spiked, under the headline Tom Watson: time’s up for the paedo-finder general, noted that “In 2012, based on his conversations with Beech, Watson said there was ‘clear intelligence suggesting a powerful paedophile network linked to parliament and No. 10’.” Heartfield’s verdict: “This was a complete and utter lie.” What Watson had done was to use his position as an MP, speaking in parliament, to generate a baseless witch-hunt and thereby raise his profile, making a name for himself as a fearless exposer of dark deeds in high places.
There will always be chancers and charlatans like Watson. There will always be dodgy cops. Sometimes, they will come unstuck, as in this case. What should concern us even more, though, is a terrible malaise – victim culture – that allows the excesses of such people to flourish. It is now so deeply entrenched as to seem impervious to criticism. Made institutionally manifest in the UK in the lumbering behemoth that is the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), it is even now, and will be deep into the future, churning out ever more legions of officially authenticated victims to be paraded in the media, where they will be lauded for their “courage” ­– at least until such time as they too are discredited. The latest batch are from Nottinghamshire, where the city and county councils are said to have tolerated child “rape” in care homes and foster care for decades. Frankly, we would be foolish to take a word of it at face value.

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Dissident

This is a cut and paste of my response post to Tom down below about the economic discussion between David Kennerly and me. I re-posted it up here because I discovered the one I posted down below in its proper thread was so “spaghettified” that it’s a very unwieldy read. Tom, please feel free to simply delete that one, because it’s otherwise identical to the following:
Hey, Tom. Thank you for weighing in with a few good points, and I wanted to make it clear that I do not actually disagree with any of your responses where you say you align more with David’s thinking. To wit:
Where I lean more towards David’s side of the debate is on scepticism over revolutionary politics.
The thing is, reformist policies that keep the basic structure of class rule and authority by the few intact have never lead to substantial change. The various benefits they have resulted in for workers, such as Europe’s social democratic programs, have proven to be vulnerable to rollback over time, sometimes fairly rapidly as soon as a Thatcher and their cronies are elected to office. And this is something the wealthy invariably accomplish due to their disproportionate degree of economic leverage they are allowed to retain, which enables them to fund campaigns and bribe the bureaucrats who are also left in power.
Dissy mentioned “phony ‘communism’ of the former Soviet Union and similar nations that never had the slightest intention of providing equal outcomes”.
This might actually be doing a disservice to the idealism of the early revolutionary leaders, who tended to be very driven, committed activists, people willing to put their life and liberty at risk for the cause they believed in.

Noted, and I do appreciate that idealism, which I like to think I share. I do not attempt to take anything away from that. What I do lament is how they have too often given into political traps by compromising those ideals and policies by supporting some “lesser evil”, which translates into an alternate form of authoritarian rule that is supposed to eventually “allow” a transfer to a completely egalitarian system. This is what the idealistic Bolsheviks did when they embraced Leninism.
The trouble is, revolutionary zeal itself tends to be disastrous, quickly leading to unfortunately “necessary” terror tactics to defeat resistance by anyone branded a “class enemy”.
It certainly can. Which is why I have always adamantly opposed terrorist tactics that target the personhood and property of innocents, and resort to uncivilized methods to achieve a civilized society. Socialists of my stripe have always done so, and have always been adamant that the means we use to achieve our end must be consonant with the type of better, more civilized system we seek to create.
It seems to me that now, just as at the time of the Russian Revolution, it would be utterly impossible to get rid of capitalism (to be replaced by what, exactly? Marx did not have answers that have stood the test of time) without resort to disastrously violent means.
Well, this is not actually true. Marx and Engels always insisted that the only way for a classless, stateless, and moneyless economy to be created was in an industrially advanced system that spanned the breadth of the globe. They were quite clear on this, and a definition of such a system is simply this: control of all the industries and services by all the workers from bottom to top, and production to meet the needs of everyone rather than for barter or profit. This can be accomplished by guaranteeing everyone a vocation that is applicable to their individual skills, automate the tedious jobs no one wants to do (which is very technologically possible nowadays), and provide all workers with full access to products from the social store as needed as opposed to individual ability to pay.
With this being clear, the Russian Revolution was so violent and resulted in the Leninist/Stalinist system of bureaucratic class rule rather than a true Marxian system because in 1917 Russia was not industrially advanced, but was still largely an agrarian society. It lacked the technological capability of producing what Marx and Engels outlined, and since the Bolsheviks did not receive the global assistance from the international working class as they hoped for, they could accomplish nothing more than creating a different form of class-divided society that would enable them to industrialize the nation over time the point. And since an authoritarian government was put into place to do this, that ambition was permanently scuttled by an entrenched ruling class whose only goal was to preserve class rule indefinitely.
Revolutions also tend to provide opportunities for cynical opportunists to engage in venally corrupt betrayal of the revolution’s aims. Human selfishness does not disappear when political regimes change, sadly.
Yes, which is why revolutions so often fail, and are filled with potential pitfalls. This doesn’t mean that the concept of revolution itself is faulty, or that they are not necessary from time to time. It simply means they are often curtailed or sabotaged by setbacks. Every successful revolution of a truly progressive nature that advanced society for all was preceded and followed by several more that failed to do the stated task for all the pitfalls you mentioned. This is why revolutionaries need to stay vigilant and seek to avoid the temptations and problems you pointed out.
Not that I despair of humanity. Unlike chimps, we have evolved an immense capacity for cooperation and relatively harmonious social relations in many contexts. I like to think we can gradually go more in the bonobo direction but ambitions for the (necessarily violent) overthrow of capitalism would plainly be self-defeating in this regard: they would just be a repetition of past mistakes.
For the record, I never harbored ambitions for the violent overthrow of capitalism, or advocate for the working class to literally go into armed warfare with the most heavily-armed ruling class in the history of the planet. Some violence would ultimately prove necessary, of course; no revolution is utterly without blood spilled. However, the Founders of America actually placed Article V into the Constitution, which was designed to allow a vast majority of citizens to initiate a peaceful revolution via consensus mandate. Thomas Jefferson even noted prior to that in the Declaration of Independence that it was the profound duty of a citizenry to overthrow any system that eventually moves past its progressive status, which capitalism had just done by ousting the outmoded system of feudalism. Jefferson, at least, never presumed that capitalism would be an eternal system; simply, that it was the best possible system the level of technology at the time could create (which it was during the waning days of feudalism and prior to the Industrial Revolution as we know it).
This wouldn’t be as easy as it sounds, of course, but a mass movement of workers that performed a series of lockouts in the capitalist owned workplaces, backed up by a mass international movement connected to a large political party that was truly under the control of the workers, could accomplish that revolution with a relatively minor amount of bloodshed. This type of approach is not only civilized and in harmony with the principles of democracy, but it takes into account that the armed forces and professional police are comprised almost entirely of working class citizens–it would likely turn out to be a tall order to get them to literally shoot down a working class movement that truly spanned the breadth of the working class.

Hypersonic

Kino debated a YouTuber named Combat Wombat with over 100K subscribers. They mostly went around in circles. He is really ignorant and dismissed Kino’s research as biased.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBYJWkp7RkA

Hypersonic

Kino just made another response to Shoe0nHead.
Shoe0nhead is too Rude to Pedophiles Part 1
https://www.freespeechtube.org/v/1099

Dissident

What is often not even broached in these anti-ped videos, or even considered, it seems, is the fact that a lot of behaviors commonly attributed to children are societally manufactured. In a nutshell, this means that we are viewing and assessing kids’ capabilities and desires on the basis of what they are allowed to express in a highly age-segregated, adult-controlled world without being severely censured–and in which they have no political agency or economic resources to resist without extreme difficulty and risk. In other words, we are seeing a culturally indoctrinated version of kids that may be unique to this type of political environment in this particular period of time that no more represents what may be “natural” to them than was the behavior of women raised during the Victorian era.
Sh0ebox is admittedly cute and funny, and that along with her emotionally dramatic way of expressing things gets a lot of attention. But it constitutes no real substantive analysis of the situation. Instead, it is filled with histrionic name-calling, moralizing, virtue-signalling biases, and the use of emotionally subjective and loaded terms like “creepy”. She attempts to bypass the reasoning faculties of her viewers by going straight for the gut and succeeds depending on who her audience happens to be.

Hypersonic

Shoe0nhead is too Mean to Pedophiles
https://www.freespeechtube.org/v/108F

daniel

I see that Leon is trying to address other issues that needs to addressed first and foremost because it is a massive problem that can’t be ignored, i have to admit though he seems to be doing a lot better than me.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXtgWcDW6bs

Kino Supporter

I re-uploaded it, but I couldn’t include the custom thumbnail because I needed a verified account.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6VM-A2Ty58

Hypersonic

Kino aka Amos Yee made a response video to Shoe0nHead.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bEGqtRW4MA

Christian

Amos has a blog, Kino Diaries: https://kinodiaries.wordpress.com/

Christian

Old YouTube videos by Amos have been saved on a channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCe05hBjZ6Qq8xO6iIOKlSrw
Otherwise, what happens? No new post, no new comments…

Explorer

Happy to hear about it – what will the topic be?

daniel

a new blog sounds interesting.

Kino Supporter

I am surprised that Kino’s original video was re-instated by YouTube. Now the original and my mirrored video are still up and growing in videos. I also got my account verified so I could add his custom thumbnail. Great.

Explorer

Amos’s new YouTube channel is already banned. Why I’m not surprised?

Dissident

Unfortunately, these videos have been removed for “violating YouTube’s terms of service.” Which means that some antis did the usual by hitting the “flag” button and getting Amos censored for offending people. The fact that YouTube couldn’t effectively monetize any of his videos since no sponsor would allow adverts for their business being streamed on them is likely another factor in their decision: the views of MAPs, particularly of the pro-choice variety, do not sell products and thus are bad for business.
The fact that Amos’s views were expressed calmly, rationally, and with a relaxed tone meant nothing to the administration as far as their “terms of service” is concerned.

Yure

Offtopic, but you should remove Cart’o’Graph from your blog roll, as his channel was terminated by Youtube.

Yure

Indeed, big Tom.

Anon onan

Maybe don’t delete, just change the link to his videos on freespechtube?

daniel

I know this an off topic, but i would like an opinion on this, lets say that a person is mired for their past destructive/self destructive behavior due to drugs,depression and alcoholism and their reason for their aggressive attitude is because they at the time genuinely believed that they where bad because of ie their social situation and they also got the impression off their family in one way or another that they where bad, is it possible to change that behavior (especially if they are aware that it doesn’t come naturally) and as long as the person keeps trying no matter how hard certain people in their life make it for them can and will that good behavior one day become second nature to that individual?

stephen6000

Apropos of nothing in particular, I thought this photo rather lovely. It shows Patty Duke with the elderly Helen Keller, whom Patty had portrayed as a girl on stage and screen in the ‘The Miracle Worker’:comment image
For more information about Helen Keller, see :
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_Keller

daniel

>You can’t reason with these anti’s; they are willfully ignorant.
In the fullness of time Peadosexuallity will be accepted, one way or another its just that as we have learned from the persecution of homosexuals society always has to do things the hard way it gets me down how great our persecution is, it is difficult for us to come to terms with but one day i believe our brethren will be free and my love and pares got out to the many of us who go through the most ghastly of struggles we just need to learn to try and stay positive, like i say we will be accepted.
THEY WILL HAVE NO CHOICE.

Hypersonic

Tomorrow, someone from our community is having a live debate on pedophilia and youth rights, August 6th at 9 PM EDT. Here is where the debate will be streamed:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCERwMd3xZ6c-Z4LkuOm7-KQ

Hypersonic

You can’t reason with these anti’s; they are willfully ignorant. I did fight with them a bit on their Discord server, but I never actually joined the stream. Amos Yee joined the stream for a few minutes, but he left because he couldn’t tolerate all of the hostility. He thought it was unproductive. Anyway, it was still kind of fun for me last night, and we had a post-debate chat with friends.

David Kennerly

AMOS LEE couldn’t tolerate the hostility? Wow, it must have been REALLY bad! 🙂

daniel

i have listened to it today, it seems to me that our adversaries seemed to be doing most of the talking which i found rather disappointing.

Explorer

LSM has posted a new essay – something he hasn’t done for ages!
https://consentinghumans.wordpress.com/2019/08/05/the-trouble-with-radical-paedophilia-part-1-propaganda-utopias/
At the first glance, it is quite provocative… But let us read and think. Hope to meet you all on the LSM’s blog comment section.

Explorer

LSM has just posted a second part of his essay:
https://consentinghumans.wordpress.com/2019/08/06/the-trouble-with-radical-paedophilia-part-2-the-third-scenario/
It is provocative indeed… And I disagree with it quite strongly, as, I think, most of us here will be.
Wait for your replies there!

David Kennerly

Well, it is interesting (Not sure how to italicize text here) although I have not yet finished reading it and turning it over in my mind.
Still, I have an immediate reaction. I suppose that it comes as no shock that I don’t agree with it. I offer only this comment: I have heard statements from our friends on the left for a very long time that we should look to capitalism and consumerism for the causes of our, and children’s, oppression. I keep waiting for a theory that I find plausible or uncircuitous but, so far, have yet to read or hear anything credible. That’s not surprising as I have already identified, to my satisfaction, the proximate, and far more obvious and demonstrable causes for our dreadful status the most obvious and egregious of which is religion and especially, Christianity. It’s all right there: means, motives, opportunity.
For this to be true does not require that all of our enemies be Christians or even religious. They know not why they think or hate but hate out of long-standing, eon-stretching habit and, yes, because of contemporary propaganda that freshens up the hatred with modern rationales as well as new twists on old-fashioned lies. The hatred was planted thousands of years ago but, like an evolving and chemical-resistant weed, it’s still with us, worse than ever.
As for why things have gotten so bad at such a late point in Christianity’s dominance, well, this is more complex but it does, indeed, include some dominant form of feminism, the information revolution, the rise of evangelicalism as a response to the sixties and the steadily dwindling array of disenfranchised minorities which society was allowed to hate as well as the growing political influence of the increasingly enfranchised masses, themselves. Indeed, I would say that this is the perfect instantiation of populist hatred, carried out right in front of our eyes for all of us to see.
But I am enjoying reading it and will keep an open mind.

Dissident

I have already noted many times, David (as you know) why I fully blame capitalism for much of these problems, and I will reiterate it here very succinctly (for a guy who had trouble with brevity in the past, that is). Capitalism is a system of inequality; it obviously thus creates power structures and hierarchies that demand control over the common citizens (read: common workers). In a plutocracy that purports to have a nominal political democracy, this forces authoritarianism to take on subtle but very effective forms (largely via the use of corporate and state controlled propaganda), and to find ways of getting the “free” citizens to police themselves. This isn’t difficult to do when the press are controlled by the few (be it corporations or a state apparatus — and even less difficult when the corporations have huge contracts with the military, and allows branches of the military to advertise in their media as prominent sponsors). The changes that came about due to the Industrial Revolution led to the creation of a new and very insular family form, the end of youth rights as the world once knew them, and a media and culture that relies on moral panics as much as any previously established class-divided system to convince the citizens to get in line with oppressive and intrusive government policies because they are “necessary” to protect them from the latest boogeyman. Add to that a system that encourages and literally thrives upon greed, selfishness, brutal competition, war, conflict, and mistrust of one’s fellow human, it is no wonder that it’s so easy to foster such a mindset in the public by the few who control the media and write the authoritarian school textbooks. Most citizens are simply too busy struggling to “make a living” than having time to worry about or question what they read in the media, and they are already predisposed to anger every time they watch or read a piece of media.
Now, as for Christianity: I would likely agree with much of what you say about its more oppressive forms. But how does a religion become so powerful and oppressive in the first place? When it’s used by any type of class-divided society to bypass its stated spiritual purposes and become another hierarchy of emotionally-based control for society. Anyone who may be perceived as a threat to the hegemony’s established norms that preserve said hegemony will be targeted at various points.

David Kennerly

“Capitalism is a system of inequality.” Capitalism is a system which does not guarantee equality of outcome, it is true but it is a system that provides opportunities unknown in any other system. Any system that has tried to guarantee “equal outcomes” has failed in spectacularly illiberal and devastating ways. That’s the lesson, apparently, which must be learned afresh every few generations who learn it only after plunging their societies into impoverishment and chaos. I say that because, some thirty years after seeing the Soviet empire fall apart amidst its vicious contradictions and abject dysfunction and poverty, there are again those who wish to erect very similar systems of state coercion and control today.
“Capitalism is a system of inequality; it obviously thus creates power structures and hierarchies that demand control over the common citizens”
I don’t see “capitalists” doing this in the U.S., I see politicians and government doing this here but not succeeding to the extent that they would like simply because basic freedoms are enshrined by a piece of paper that sits in the Library of Congress.
Yes, we are oppressed here, absolutely, but it is not by markets or capitalists but by those who would subvert the Constitution to their own ends. This includes not just people who have money but those who have little but who vote and organize to oppress others. This isn’t a failure of capitalism but a failure of government to uphold republican values.
“In a plutocracy that purports to have a nominal political democracy, this forces authoritarianism to take on subtle but very effective forms (largely via the use of corporate and state controlled propaganda), and to find ways of getting the “free” citizens to police themselves. This isn’t difficult to do when the press are controlled by the few (be it corporations or a state apparatus — and even less difficult when the corporations have huge contracts with the military, and allows branches of the military to advertise in their media as prominent sponsors).”
I don’t argue that there are no plutocrats exerting such forces today but they are not as a result of capitalism. That’s critical because it points to the possible remedies which can defeat forces of illiberalism one of which is to champion freedom of thought and liberal values of education. Yes, there are too few independent media voices today but they do exist. They have not been entirely silenced even if those of us who are currently least popular find our voices most silenced. Nevertheless, here we are, talking. That’s not something that could have been done in the Soviet Union or even now in China or in Putin’s Russia.
Our general wariness and mistrust, which we are right to have today in the U.S./Western Europe, would be replaced by outright terror.
“The changes that came about due to the Industrial Revolution led to the creation of a new and very insular family form, the end of youth rights as the world once knew them, and a media and culture that relies on moral panics as much as any previously established class-divided system to convince the citizens to get in line with oppressive and intrusive government policies because they are “necessary” to protect them from the latest boogeyman.”
Well, all of these things have happened but we don’t agree on their causation, how they relate to us today or their cure. Certainly, the Industrial Revolution was not an entirely unalloyed good but neither was it the collapse of an agrarian idyll in which youth rights, to cite one of your examples, flourished. You could just as easily argue that it gave kids more choices even if they appear very grim to our eyes today.
“Add to that a system that encourages and literally thrives upon greed, selfishness, brutal competition, war, conflict, and mistrust of one’s fellow human, it is no wonder that it’s so easy to foster such a mindset in the public by the few who control the media and write the authoritarian school textbooks. ”
Jeez, when has it ever been otherwise? Capitalism is relatively new but these things have been with us practically forever.
I say that capitalism is not the cause of any of these things, it is the nature of great apes who dwell in us still. By starting with such insights you will go much further in taming these injustices than in throwing overboard the single greatest advancement of freedom the world has ever known.
“Most citizens are simply too busy struggling to “make a living” than having time to worry about or question what they read in the media, and they are already predisposed to anger every time they watch or read a piece of media.”
Of which period or place could this not have been said?
Once again, the key is in properly identifying the source of our oppression and in seeing that they are all around us.
By the way, I’m much more afraid of the “masses” than I am of the “elite.” Those are truly people of which we must be afraid.
“…how does a religion become so powerful and oppressive in the first place? When it’s used by any type of class-divided society to bypass its stated spiritual purposes and become another hierarchy of emotionally-based control for society. Anyone who may be perceived as a threat to the hegemony’s established norms that preserve said hegemony will be targeted at various points.”
Religion has always been a tool of oppression no matter who wields it as a cudgel. That it gets subverted for use as a weapon is nothing new. The ray of hope for me is that its influence in the West is declining dramatically, even in the bible-besotted U.S. The nation’s youth are rejecting it more than ever. In that lies some hope.
I doubt that either one of us are convinced by the others’ arguments but all we can do is make our case and hope that some of what we say can have some influence upon someone reading it.

Dissident

This is gonna be a great exercise in being succinct for me 🙂
“Capitalism is a system of inequality.” Capitalism is a system which does not guarantee equality of outcome, it is true but it is a system that provides opportunities unknown in any other system.
Really, David? How many people actually become multi-millionaires, if they weren’t already born into that economic class? How many regular workers are even entering the “middle class” these days in this late period of capitalist development when automation is displacing so many workers and we are fast becoming a low-paying service sector and gig oriented system?
Any system that has tried to guarantee “equal outcomes” has failed in spectacularly illiberal and devastating ways.
These systems you mention were all class-divided, with money and the wage system that paid different amounts of currency for different jobs, with the owners striving to pay as little as possible. Case in point: that phony “communism” of the former Soviet Union and similar nations that never had the slightest intention of providing equal outcomes; or social democratic nations in Europe, which are all essentially capitalist with liberal reforms that still pay varying degrees of money for different jobs. That is why there was no equal material outcome/compensation. A classless society taking advantage of modern technology that gave provided everyone with meaningful work and all of them with full access to the collective social store as rightful compensation would accomplish this.
That’s the lesson, apparently, which must be learned afresh every few generations who learn it only after plunging their societies into impoverishment and chaos.
And systems thriving on unequal outcome… do not cause impoverishment of vast numbers of people? The main disagreement I have with you and your fellow Libertarians, David, is that your description of the system you promote bears no resemblance to what I and literally a few billion other workers experience or see in our day-to-day lives.
I say that because, some thirty years after seeing the Soviet empire fall apart amidst its vicious contradictions and abject dysfunction and poverty, there are again those who wish to erect very similar systems of state coercion and control today.
Bingo! I do not support the Soviet system, and it was never intended to provide equal outcomes. It was a statist society where a handful of privileged bureaucrats dominated a vast amount of largely impoverished workers who were stuck living “paycheck-to-paycheck” with a few handouts here and there, which was nothing remotely resembling full access to the social store for everyone.
don’t see “capitalists” doing this in the U.S., I see politicians and government doing this here but not succeeding to the extent that they would like simply because basic freedoms are enshrined by a piece of paper that sits in the Library of Congress.
That’s what the Libertarians do–blame the government and overlook the fact that the capitalists (no quotations–class divisions are real) establish the government, get bailed out by it when they invariably come close to destroying the economy with their greed, and write much of the laws governing private property and business laws via their lobbyists that throw huge amounts of money into the campaign coffers of politicians (along with offering them lucrative consulting positions with the companies when they leave office). The Libertarians find all of this cool, including their support for the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court that gave domestic and foreign capitalists alike carte blanch with liberally buying the government’s loyalty.
Further, capitalists’s executives sign the paychecks, decide how much workers at any given job will get paid, how much they charge for products, whether to relocate overseas, and basically hold the economic equivalent of a gun over workers’ heads. The fact that Libertarians are cool with all of this and support a patently false story of what a capitalist landscape looks like is why I am not a Libertarian despite mostly agreeing with them on civil libertarian matters.
Yes, we are oppressed here, absolutely, but it is not by markets or capitalists but by those who would subvert the Constitution to their own ends.
And the capitalists do not do this? Despite controlling how the economy operates, and establishing a government whose primarily purpose is to preserve the capitalist status quo and protect private property. And this includes the many corporations in the “defense” industry that literally profit off of war-mongering, private prisons, imperialist conquest, etc.
This includes not just people who have money but those who have little but who vote and organize to oppress others. This isn’t a failure of capitalism but a failure of government to uphold republican values.
It is indeed a failure of capitalism, because it is their lobbyists, and the fact that the two major political parties are dominated in full by capitalist politicians, that ensure that Big Business and Wall Street determine which politicians win the primaries, so people are given the impression they have no choice but to either vote for a wealthy politician indebted to Wall Street and the status quo or simply abstain from voting altogether. The capitalist media likewise ensures that Democrats and Republicans (in the U.S.) get the lion’s share of coverage, and that all truly economically progressive politicians are heavily demonized. This is easy to do when every politician making it past the primaries, and a large chunk of their campaign supporters, are obscenely wealthy. Yet you are suggesting that government is a separate entity from big business that prevents it from creating prosperity for everyone?
I don’t argue that there are no plutocrats exerting such forces today but they are not as a result of capitalism.
The plutocrats had nothing to do with the Citizens United decision? Or with controlling the economy in all the ways noted above? Including the munitions (read: war) industry and the media?
That’s critical because it points to the possible remedies which can defeat forces of illiberalism one of which is to champion freedom of thought and liberal values of education.
And shouldn’t this result in critical thinking that leads to a realization that we need to make full use of what modern technology allows to move past a system based on barter, money, competition, war, etc., and to one where everyone receives an abundance as compensation for work in an occupation of their expertise? I say yes.
Yes, there are too few independent media voices today but they do exist.
Yes, but how much are they read compared to those backed up by capitalist sponsors, which often have huge contracts with the government, particularly the military? Let us not forget how Jeff Bezos signed a 6 billion dollar contract with the CIA, how he now owns The Washington Post, and how the U.S. Armed forces are major sponsors/advertisers in these big media outlets, which puts paid to the idea that capitalists and the government are separate and antagonistic entities. Capitalists only make that claim when government tries to place regulations on their rapacity, and this is done to help preserve capitalism, not “destroy” or “corrupt” it.
They have not been entirely silenced even if those of us who are currently least popular find our voices most silenced. Nevertheless, here we are, talking. That’s not something that could have been done in the Soviet Union or even now in China or in Putin’s Russia.
Oh, it is done here, because unpopular voices that anger the sponsors of big media outlets are frequently fired from their jobs or subject to demonization in the mass corporate media. That, as I noted before, is an example of an alternative way of control and oppression that does not constitute throwing people in jail or executing them in public. Threatening their livelihood and character is more than enough in a capitalist society to control us that way while keeping up a thin pretense of “freedom of speech.” Let us see if Slate.com will publish any of our articles, as an example.
Our general wariness and mistrust, which we are right to have today in the U.S./Western Europe, would be replaced by outright terror.
As opposed to… the terror I honestly suffer every day as to whether or not I will be able to afford a roof over my head, enough food to eat, losing my health insurance, or actually be able to afford a much needed vacation even once per year? Or, the constant terror of losing what what income I do have due to sudden job loss, a spate of bad health, losing access to my phone, or becoming homeless since my landlord has to up the rent? Because this is the life which I and all of my neighbors in my home city experience everyday, despite most of us being hard workers. Hence, I do not oppose the system I see and live within.
Well, all of these things have happened but we don’t agree on their causation, how they relate to us today or their cure.
In a nutshell, yes. I am cool with agreeing to disagree on this and focusing on the civil libertarian issues we can usually agree on, but this is why I oppose capitalism and rebut defenses of it.
Certainly, the Industrial Revolution was not an entirely unalloyed good but neither was it the collapse of an agrarian idyll in which youth rights, to cite one of your examples, flourished. You could just as easily argue that it gave kids more choices even if they appear very grim to our eyes today.
What choices are these exactly, David? For all the good the Industrial Revolution did in terms of the technology it gave us (which I enjoy as much as you do), it nevertheless caused us to lose a lot due to the economic context in which this development occurred (as per my contention). The newly emerging unions and spurt of women entering the factory economy caused the former to favor adult workers and support policies like child labor laws–under the guise of “benefiting” kids by “protecting” them from sweatshop conditions, which it could have accomplished more democratically by opposing sweatshop conditions in general alongside legally empowered youth workers–the establishment of the conception of “adolescence”, the establishment of compulsory education to ensure that kids were properly babysat and kept out of most of the labor market under an extremely authoritarian system of “education”, and fully established the growth of the uber- insular nuclear family unit as part of the established norm.
“Add to that a system that encourages and literally thrives upon greed, selfishness, brutal competition, war, conflict, and mistrust of one’s fellow human, it is no wonder that it’s so easy to foster such a mindset in the public by the few who control the media and write the authoritarian school textbooks. ”
Jeez, when has it ever been otherwise? Capitalism is relatively new but these things have been with us practically forever.
Because before capitalism, previous forms of class-divided systems (specifically, ancient chattel slavery and feudalism) were likewise class-divided systems. Prior to that, we had primitive communism, which created an equality of poverty due to poorly developed methods of production that could not provide the equality of abundance that modern technology can; and forced different tribes of people to compete against each other for these very limited resources. However, under capitalism, warfare and the prison system have grown into bona fide business rackets utilized for essentially profit. These industries literally force the government to become hawkish and pass increasingly repressive laws to meet the needs of these industries.
I say that capitalism is not the cause of any of these things, it is the nature of great apes who dwell in us still.
I do not agree with the “human nature” argument so often used to give the system under which we live a free pass. Human behavior is considerably more complex and adaptable than members of the animal kingdom that rely on primarily instinctual behavior in a highly competitive environment. We have the capacity for abstract reasoning and choice, and the ability to develop technology to enable us to rise above a “law of the jungle” type of existence, and thus an ethical obligation to do so that cannot be reasonably expected of other animal species. Also, not all species of apes resort to the equivalent of violence and war to resolve problems among them; chimpanzees do, but gorillas and bonobos most certainly do not.
By starting with such insights you will go much further in taming these injustices than in throwing overboard the single greatest advancement of freedom the world has ever known.
Capitalism is not “freedom,” it’s the latest form of class-divided society that had an important hand in developing technology to the point where human civilization can now move past a system based on “law of the jungle” competition, barter, required greed, exploitation, inequality, and oppressive laws designed to enforce class rule. Capitalism served an important historic purpose, but it has now become archaic, and therefore destructive to the planet itself and counter-productive to our social advancement. The “freedom” to exploit others and gain tremendous amount of power over your fellow humans is not freedom for the masses, but a tyranny of the few.
“Most citizens are simply too busy struggling to “make a living” than having time to worry about or question what they read in the media, and they are already predisposed to anger every time they watch or read a piece of media.”
Of which period or place could this not have been said?
My point being… it doesn’t have to be this way anymore if only our system of economics would evolve to take full advantage of what modern technology allows.
Once again, the key is in properly identifying the source of our oppression and in seeing that they are all around us.
I will not blame our species as a whole for the problem, save for its tendency to take so long to form a periodically required revolutionary mindset.
By the way, I’m much more afraid of the “masses” than I am of the “elite.” Those are truly people of which we must be afraid.
A tyranny of the majority can be avoided via a constitution that grants full rights to express minority viewpoints and lifestyles, etc. Tyrannies of the majority or that of a few elites are both equally bad, and the power of the latter is often complicit with manipulating the masses into doing their dirty work for them via their control of the mass media and “education” system.
“…how does a religion become so powerful and oppressive in the first place? When it’s used by any type of class-divided society to bypass its stated spiritual purposes and become another hierarchy of emotionally-based control for society. Anyone who may be perceived as a threat to the hegemony’s established norms that preserve said hegemony will be targeted at various points.”
Religion has always been a tool of oppression no matter who wields it as a cudgel.
If it is wielded as a cudgel by those with power, yes. And a system based on inequality will cause this to happen. But it can have positive benefits for those who do not wield it as a cudgel.
That it gets subverted for use as a weapon is nothing new. The ray of hope for me is that its influence in the West is declining dramatically, even in the bible-besotted U.S. The nation’s youth are rejecting it more than ever. In that lies some hope.
I am one of the firmest and uncompromising civil libertarians you will ever meet…yet I am religious and spiritual (albeit not Christian, Jewish, or Muslim), and you never see me shoving my religious beliefs down the throats of anyone else, do you? Let us note that government systems that enforced strict atheism like the former Stalnist system of the Soviet Union can be as oppressive as any theocracy or quasi-theocracy, because all of the motifs and moral paradigms familiar to religion can take on entrenched secular forms. We have noticed this with the pedo panic and other moral panics, which atheists adopt and promote as much as any religious fundamentalist. Let us also note that SJWs are often proud atheists and firmly anti-Christian, yet their authoritarian belief system resembles a secular religion to a terrifying extent, right down to having the equivalent of “original sin” based on the gender, race, sexual orientation you are born with.
I doubt that either one of us are convinced by the others’ arguments but all we can do is make our case and hope that some of what we say can have some influence upon someone reading it.
Agreed.

Dissident

Hey, Tom. Thank you for weighing in with a few good points, and I wanted to make it clear that I do not actually disagree with any of your responses where you say you align more with David’s thinking. To wit:
Where I lean more towards David’s side of the debate is on scepticism over revolutionary politics.
The thing is, reformist policies that keep the basic structure of class rule and authority by the few intact have never lead to substantial change. The various benefits they have resulted in for workers, such as Europe’s social democratic programs, have proven to be vulnerable to rollback over time, sometimes fairly rapidly as soon as a Thatcher and their cronies are elected to office. And this is something the wealthy invariably accomplish due to their disproportionate degree of economic leverage they are allowed to retain, which enables them to fund campaigns and bribe the bureaucrats who are also left in power.
Dissy mentioned “phony ‘communism’ of the former Soviet Union and similar nations that never had the slightest intention of providing equal outcomes”.
This might actually be doing a disservice to the idealism of the early revolutionary leaders, who tended to be very driven, committed activists, people willing to put their life and liberty at risk for the cause they believed in.

Noted, and I do appreciate that idealism, which I like to think I share. I do not attempt to take anything away from that. What I do lament is how they have too often given into political traps by compromising those ideals and policies by supporting some “lesser evil”, which translates into an alternate form of authoritarian rule that is supposed to eventually “allow” a transfer to a completely egalitarian system. This is what the idealistic Bolsheviks did when they embraced Leninism.
The trouble is, revolutionary zeal itself tends to be disastrous, quickly leading to unfortunately “necessary” terror tactics to defeat resistance by anyone branded a “class enemy”.
It certainly can. Which is why I have always adamantly opposed terrorist tactics that target the personhood and property of innocents, and resort to uncivilized methods to achieve a civilized society. Socialists of my stripe have always done so, and have always been adamant that the means we use to achieve our end must be consonant with the type of better, more civilized system we seek to create.
It seems to me that now, just as at the time of the Russian Revolution, it would be utterly impossible to get rid of capitalism (to be replaced by what, exactly? Marx did not have answers that have stood the test of time) without resort to disastrously violent means.
Well, this is not actually true. Marx and Engels always insisted that the only way for a classless, stateless, and moneyless economy to be created was in an industrially advanced system that spanned the breadth of the globe. They were quite clear on this, and a definition of such a system is simply this: control of all the industries and services by all the workers from bottom to top, and production to meet the needs of everyone rather than for barter or profit. This can be accomplished by guaranteeing everyone a vocation that is applicable to their individual skills, automate the tedious jobs no one wants to do (which is very technologically possible nowadays), and provide all workers with full access to products from the social store as needed as opposed to individual ability to pay.
With this being clear, the Russian Revolution was so violent and resulted in the Leninist/Stalinist system of bureaucratic class rule rather than a true Marxian system because in 1917 Russia was not industrially advanced, but was still largely an agrarian society. It lacked the technological capability of producing what Marx and Engels outlined, and since the Bolsheviks did not receive the global assistance from the international working class as they hoped for, they could accomplish nothing more than creating a different form of class-divided society that would enable them to industrialize the nation over time the point. And since an authoritarian government was put into place to do this, that ambition was permanently scuttled by an entrenched ruling class whose only goal was to preserve class rule indefinitely.
Revolutions also tend to provide opportunities for cynical opportunists to engage in venally corrupt betrayal of the revolution’s aims. Human selfishness does not disappear when political regimes change, sadly.
Yes, which is why revolutions so often fail, and are filled with potential pitfalls. This doesn’t mean that the concept of revolution itself is faulty, or that they are not necessary from time to time. It simply means they are often curtailed or sabotaged by setbacks. Every successful revolution of a truly progressive nature that advanced society for all was preceded and followed by several more that failed to do the stated task for all the pitfalls you mentioned. This is why revolutionaries need to stay vigilant and seek to avoid the temptations and problems you pointed out.
Not that I despair of humanity. Unlike chimps, we have evolved an immense capacity for cooperation and relatively harmonious social relations in many contexts. I like to think we can gradually go more in the bonobo direction but ambitions for the (necessarily violent) overthrow of capitalism would plainly be self-defeating in this regard: they would just be a repetition of past mistakes.
For the record, I never harbored ambitions for the violent overthrow of capitalism, or advocate for the working class to literally go into armed warfare with the most heavily-armed ruling class in the history of the planet. Some violence would ultimately prove necessary, of course; no revolution is utterly without blood spilled. However, the Founders of America actually placed Article V into the Constitution, which was designed to allow a vast majority of citizens to initiate a peaceful revolution via consensus mandate. Thomas Jefferson even noted prior to that in the Declaration of Independence that it was the profound duty of a citizenry to overthrow any system that eventually moves past its progressive status, which capitalism had just done by ousting the outmoded system of feudalism. Jefferson, at least, never presumed that capitalism would be an eternal system; simply, that it was the best possible system the level of technology at the time could create (which it was during the waning days of feudalism and prior to the Industrial Revolution as we know it).
This wouldn’t be as easy as it sounds, of course, but a mass movement of workers that performed a series of lockouts in the capitalist owned workplaces, backed up by a mass international movement connected to a large political party that was truly under the control of the workers, could accomplish that revolution with a relatively minor amount of bloodshed. This type of approach is not only civilized and in harmony with the principles of democracy, but it takes into account that the armed forces and professional police are comprised almost entirely of working class citizens–it would likely turn out to be a tall order to get them to literally shoot down a working class movement that truly spanned the breadth of the working class.

Zen Thinker

Religion is not necessarily the cause of oppression, I think the secular authorities have quite taken over that one. Many of today’s fervent right wing ideologies are non-religious. Although Islam is deeply conservative, as are American Evangelicals, I think the mainstream of Christianity tilts to the left, at least on economic issues. And religion ceased to have a real voice in social issues since the Sixties revolution, I think the socially oppressive voices come more from the secular right personally.

David

See my earlier comment: “For this to be true does not require that all of our enemies be Christians or even religious. They know not why they think or hate but hate out of long-standing, eon-stretching habit and, yes, because of contemporary propaganda that freshens up the hatred with modern rationales as well as new twists on old-fashioned lies. The hatred was planted thousands of years ago but, like an evolving and chemical-resistant weed, it’s still with us, worse than ever.”
The idea that, when societies become secular and non-religious, they abandon all influences of religion is a fallacy. We emerged from a religious society and retain many of its prejudices.

David Kennerly

One additional cause of the pedo-apocalypse which I hadn’t mentioned but which comes closest to acknowledging a role for consumerism and capitalism is the role of “plenty” upon society. For “plenty” (relative to all other political systems) is what capitalism has provided in those societies in which it has been genuinely implemented.
Full stomachs, sturdy roofs over their heads and the reasonable assurance of a comfortable life which extended into the future provided society with the luxury of indulging its boogeyman fantasies in the absence of other perceptible threats. A society that no longer worried much about savage warfare, untreatable diseases or periodic famines was one free to channel those primal fears and prejudices towards conquering ever more remote and ambiguous threats. Remember, too that these witch hunts also have great entertainment value and give people meaning and purpose, they’re not just about identifying or misidentifying threats.

David Kennerly

Only the LAST sentence? 🙂 Hey, I’ll take it.

Dissident

For “plenty” (relative to all other political systems) is what capitalism has provided in those societies in which it has been genuinely implemented.
Full stomachs,

Seriously, David? I can barely afford the food that is produced in abundance but which the majority of us cannot have in abundance because it’s likewise produced as a commodity that one has to purchase it order to have — which is a serious problem in a market system that has currently become a largely low-paying service sector and gig-based economy. I just shopped earlier today, and I was almost flat broke after buying just a small number of food items I needed (and trust me when I say I try to shop places that cater to low-income patrons).
sturdy roofs over their heads
When you can afford one. Which many cannot in a system where quality of housing depends on one’s ability to pay for it, and there are ten empty new houses for every single homeless person in America. I’ve come close to being homeless numerous times, no matter how hard I have worked and “earned.”
and the reasonable assurance of a comfortable life which extended into the future provided society
“Assurance”? When so many of us have no idea if we will have a reliable paycheck even next week, let alone during the remainder of our lifetime? And in a system where housing and jobs are not guaranteed as human rights, but only available to those who can pay for the price demanded of them on the market? So that one obscenely wealthy person with a family of three can afford ten lavish manses across the world, and the numerous poor working class families in my city can barely afford a single small apartment for a family of six?
Don’t get me wrong here, David, I am not trying to insult you and I respect you quite a bit personally. This is simply to let and your fellow Libertarians know yet again that the capitalism you describe is not the capitalism that me, my neighbors, and countless others I know across the U.S. and elsewhere in the world live and work in. The technological advances that capitalism established during its first century did indeed bring us a world of plenty, but it needs to give way to a new, more advanced system that provides everyone with the guarantee to benefit from that plenty as a human right.
with the luxury of indulging its boogeyman fantasies in the absence of other perceptible threats. A society that no longer worried much about savage warfare, untreatable diseases or periodic famines
These things shouldn’t be experienced anymore, true. But they are when war is actually an important avenue of profit for the ruling corporate class, when so many treatable diseases go untreated or uncured because so many people cannot afford to purchase health care or it’s more profitable to treat than cure a given illness, or still experience famine-like conditions because when natural disasters occur adequate relief is not given because not enough money is available to “justify” such a financial expenditure of the readily available resources. Witch hunts were a common feature of all previous class-divided systems as well as the current one, and largely for the same reasons.
Remember, too that these witch hunts also have great entertainment value and give people meaning and purpose, they’re not just about identifying or misidentifying threats.
Like Tom, this one I fully agree with you on.

David Kennerly

This one is easy. No country that has not adopted free markets can compare to those who have in providing previously unknown levels of material prosperity. If you think that you’re poor in whatever capitalist or quasi-capitalist economy you are now in, I suggest going to visit countries where there are no functioning and unfettered markets. I’ve been to many of those countries which lacked our market freedoms and they’re desperately poorer than our own. Most of the countries have command economies in one form or another. Some were communist, others socialist (like India, which rarely gets noticed for having had a socialist command economy for many decades which it is still substantially subjected to today) and others just simple dictatorships which allowed only markets which benefited the ruling class.
If the argument is that we don’t get everything we want simply by longing for it without an expenditure of effort, then no, there is no place which will satisfy you. Still, better to be poor in a country that has functioning markets than in one which does not. Your poverty will be the envy of the impoverished of other countries.

Dissident

This one is easy. No country that has not adopted free markets can compare to those who have in providing previously unknown levels of material prosperity.
Though not nearly as much as we would have if we were allotted full access to the social store as rightful compensation for our hard work. And modern technology also would enable us to reduce the work week dramatically for all workers if used outside the context of profit.
If you think that you’re poor in whatever capitalist or quasi-capitalist economy you are now in, I suggest going to visit countries where there are no functioning and unfettered markets.
Comparing my condition to that of those in other countries overlooks two important points: 1. We should have far more security than we do, let alone the fears of being homeless and going without enough food in one of the most heavily industrialized nations in the world; 2. The residents of these other nations would share an equality of abundance with those in our geographic location if we weren’t all stuck in a system that is based on separate nation-states run by competing ruling classes each fighting for dominance and imposing varying degrees of inequality and poverty upon the mass workers. Unfettered markets are largely what the free trade agreements that place so many already impoverished nations in debt to such entities as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
I’ve been to many of those countries which lacked our market freedoms and they’re desperately poorer than our own.
Market “freedoms”? The only “freedom” of the market is for those who have money to control the lives of those who do not, and to acquire massive (but varying) degrees of privilege and power over the majority. I cannot have any product, including shelter, adequate food, medicine, clothing, etc., unless I can pay for it. That is not freedom if you work at a job controlled by capitalists who refuse to pay you enough money to live comfortably and securely, and to actually enjoy the fruits of modern technology to its fullest. The U.S. isn’t the most productive nation in the world because it has more “unfettered” markets, but because it exploits its workers far more effectively than other nations. Many of these nations are filled with impoverished people due to economic embargoes placed on them by the U.S. government or imperialist exploitation.
Most of the countries have command economies in one form or another.
Which are class-divided systems run primarily by bureaucrats rather than capitalists, and have all the essential features of capitalism. Citizens in the European nations often enjoy a better lifestyle than those of us in the U.S. because their capitalist economies invest money back into the system to provide them with things such as social safety nets and universal health care. However, these levels of security are still far less than what everyone in these nations should be enjoying, and these regulated systems are constantly under attack by their respective capitalists. If everyone received the full fruit of their labor, then social safety nets and taxes, etc., would be completely unnecessary.
Some were communist, others socialist (like India, which rarely gets noticed for having had a socialist command economy for many decades which it is still substantially subjected to today) and others just simple dictatorships which allowed only markets which benefited the ruling class.
These definitions of “communism” and “socialism” are far removed from what Marx and Engels used them for, and what Marxian socialists like myself use to define the system: a classless, moneyless, stateless, industrially advanced system that provides an abundance for all, not a “command” economy or one dependent on markets which only benefit the wealthy. And how, exactly, does American markets benefit the labor class here, mein freund? If you can’t pay for it, you can’t have it, no matter how much you need it or how much work you put into the system per week.
If the argument is that we don’t get everything we want simply by longing for it without an expenditure of effort, then no, there is no place which will satisfy you.
My whole point is that we are not given justifiable compensation for the amount of hard work we put into the system! Saying we do is describing a system that bears no resemblance to the one my neighbors and I work and operate in every day of our lives. Hard work for wildly varying and very often low pay in thankless, wasteful service sector jobs that many of us are not suited for but stuck in anyway is a common feature of captitalism at this level of its development…in the USA, mind you!
Still, better to be poor in a country that has functioning markets than in one which does not.
A statement that makes no sense, because if you are poor, you end up homeless, without enough food to eat, without adequate medical care, without access to the media that connects all of us, etc., no matter where you live, regardless of what you consider “functioning markets” or not.
Your poverty will be the envy of the impoverished of other countries.
The main point of mine being: with the level of technology we now possess as a civilization, no one in the world should be without a vocation they enjoy or without full access to the abundance we collectively produce with our hard work. Nor should we display a lack of concern for the conditions of others “worse” than us as long as we get the better perceived deal. Material abundance for all is technologically possible at this point in human civilization, and we should have a system that allows for it rather than forcing us to continue to live in a “law of the jungle”, “dog eat dog” environment that brings out the worst in us.

Dissident

I will read, I will think… and I will rebut. But I am not sure where yet, and I want to put enough thought in it to be fair to the effort that Lensman put into it, and provide counter-insights rather than simply venting.

David Kennerly

Tom, that cartoon is entirely down to my perverse imaginings. Not the drawing, itself which has been liberally borrowed from someone with more comic-drawing skills than my own but the text, which is all mine. I thought that it communicated, with a remarkably concise distribution of words, exactly where we are in the evolution of “kind” acceptance by society. I’m looking forward to a less pugilistic installment for this comic series based upon future social advancements. So, in that respect, this comic is destined to unfold over extreme time scales relative to other comics. Any guesses on when that will be, anyone?

David Kennerly

Ha! Yeah, that what was kind of my thinking, too. I’m not sure about the cartoonist and if he would welcome a “re-purposing” of his drawings. From his style, he’s obviously in the “underground comics” realm. Maybe we should have a contest and see if any of your readers can identify the comic. I do know who he is. You can credit me as an editor who went crazy re-writing the dialogue.
Glad you enjoyed it. Nobody else seems to have found it sufficiently funny to comment upon.

leonard sisyphus mann

>”Glad you enjoyed it. Nobody else seems to have found it sufficiently funny to comment upon.”
I was on the verge of commenting on how the cartoon tickled me- it’s very apposite – and the use of duplicated frames is very comical.

David Kennerly

Thanks, Leonard. I was thinking to project it forward into an imagined future in which case I would also reuse the cell where the woman is congratulating him on his lifestyle choice but having been told by him that he likes twelve-year-olds.
The only question would be, what should the date then be? Shall we start a betting pool on when that sort of proclamation will become acceptable, even lauded? Alternatively, she could react with even greater fury and, say, annihilate (or castrate?) him with a ray gun.
This could also be the basis for a cheesy board game: predict the date correctly when you will be able to unambiguously state your scandalous age-of-attraction and be showered with praise for your “bravery” or guess wrong and be castrated with a little plastic knife. Hours of fun!!

leonard sisyphus mann

>”I was thinking to project it forward into an imagined future in which case I would also reuse the cell where the woman is congratulating him on his lifestyle choice but having been told by him that he likes twelve-year-olds.
The only question would be, what should the date then be? Shall we start a betting pool on when that sort of proclamation will become acceptable, even lauded?”
Well, I have to confess to not being much of an optimist on the question of radical change.
In fact, all being well, I should be publishing a couple of posts on my blog that could be described as mixing pure pessimism with pure panglossism. I’m expecting a good tarring and feathering from any RadPeds that read it.

Dissident

Well, I have to confess to not being much of an optimist on the question of radical change.
Bingo. You will note my mention of cynicism and a gloom-and-doom feeling towards humanity’s potential being one of the prime reasons I will cite for your attitudes expressed in your last 2-part blog.
In fact, all being well, I should be publishing a couple of posts on my blog that could be described as mixing pure pessimism with pure panglossism. I’m expecting a good tarring and feathering from any RadPeds that read it.
A tar and feathering, Leonard? No, nothing that drastic. I am not going to hurl personal insults at you, if that may be your concern. That is not productive, and how I feel about your change in stance is something you already know how I feel about personally, and thus goes without saying. You will receive a spirited rebuttal to your stated points, of course, but it needs to have the same level of thought you put into your essays, and I am going to see what I can do to get it up on a blog rather than simply as parts of a comments section or a message forum.

Yure

> They write that “…multiple gay activist groups, including New York’s Gay Activists Alliance… and the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Rights Coalition publicly favored abolishing the age of consent”.
Honestly, they are pretty hypocritical for persecuting us today alongside the very mob that persecuted them before. I might forgive, but never forget.

sugarboy

Actually, Tom, I don’t understand how you could choose to get back to that madhouse instead of enjoying the sanity of the mind in Qatar…

sugarboy

I’m not a fan of psychiatric diagnoses, but British society shows all the symptoms typical of collective psychosis…

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