Forney with Aurini had a recent stream on Candice Owens and her rise to prominence via “grifting” in Conservative circles. I will say that I don’t hold quite the antipathy toward Owens as others do and I specifically appreciate her role in helping to confirm what many of us already knew about Zoey Quinn – that she was harassing herself and making a virtue signaling false flag racket with it.
It however brings up an overall trend that’s been happening in the last few years and what I’m going to label as “Dissident Appropriation”. We saw it with the anti-feminists on YouTube, the Skeptic “community”, various members of the Red Pill communities, and in the Dissident Right in general.
What did we see?
Even in the Dissident Right as well as other associated spheres, you’ll notice there’s a crop of people – often anonymous or semi anonymous – trying to create a name for themselves. It happened with the manosphere and now it’s happening throughout the Dissident Right at large.
People coming in to make a quick buck and trying to create a product – not a bad thing necessarily – but with little actual ORIGINAL thoughts and ideas. They just rehashed what had been circling in the various spheres from the abstract and intellectual writings of reactionaries to the Red Pill shock jock larger-than-life style bloggers.
Regardless of what mortals you follow, adore, admire, and pay homage you will at some point disagree with them. Whether it’s most of the time or almost never, no one will ever hold exactly all the viewpoints that you have come to cherish.
A tweet from Milo Yiannapolous prompted the above line of thought in which he voices disagreement with libertarians on the NSA spying incident – color my libertarian tendencies irked.
Obviously, he is mistaken, as his his later tweet about Snowden being a traitor and not a hero. I’m also above reproach in my conclusion.
Today, the internet echo-chamber or “communities” as we call them is often bereft of any actual substance in discussion when it comes to disagreement over just about anything. Dissenters are labeled “concern trolls” or just “trolls” in general. In fact the word, “troll” has lost it’s meaning because of the abuse of the term.
Throw in “safe-spaces” and this takes on a whole new layer of people who immediately dismiss anything that comes from an opposing side. If you make the mistake of identifying with a label that is considered “bad” or triggering, everything you say is immediately dismissed – regardless of the validity of what you say.
We need to start judging statements, comments, and opinions based on what they actually are – the merit and validity of them – instead of who said them. Whether they come from a radical liberal feminist or a neo-con warhawk, it shouldn’t matter; we need to reject guilt by association.
Well, I don’t agree. Okay, I couldn’t resist. Take a look at this specific observation:
“Which one of us agrees on everything with any other single person? No one! Certainly, many of us share similar passions and congregate according to common interests, it’s only human to interact with those who you resonate easily with. But if you dig deeper, or you spend enough time together, it isn’t long before one discovers there are indeed some, if not many points of disagreements with those we are in relationship with.”
As she points out, no one will ever agree on everything, but with today’s identity politics and culture its often either all or nothing. If someone doesn’t share enough “similar” passions, interests, and convictions, chances are that most people won’t give anything they say the time of day. This is more likely if they know about your “opinions” and affiliations before they evaluate what you’ve actually said.
“If we are honest with ourselves, adding the phrase is a form of social insurance. We want to protect ourselves from the risk of being associated with certain things this person represents. “
It certainly is a form of social insurance, but why?
People seem conditioned to pre-judge and make assumptions based on labels and what they “represent”, so what choice is there but to adjust? Unfortunately, this is the reality of where we are at. It rather sucks that these qualifiers are needed, but can anyone point to topics of conversation where they aren’t?
The risk of being associated with someone who is deemed a racist, bigot, homophobe, ect or any other culturally deemed demagogues can be cause for your employment to be revoked. Consider Razib Khan who was initially hired by the New York Times, but then let go because of his “association” with right-wing publications who were deemed to be mired in racism. So much for diversity of opinion right?
Shockingly, the fact that he isn’t even white was enough to save him from the wrath of social justice warriors who usually excuse certain people from terrible actions, deeds, and statements based purely on their genetics. Another mighty journalism giant bows before Gawker and SJWs. Apparently, all you need to do is label someone a racist enough to make them suffer the effects of today’s modern heresy.
For instance, Cindy describes herself as “social justice-y” on the side bar of her site. GASP!
Someone, pull the alarm. Danger is near.
My spidey sense is tingling.
Now a large amount of people will probably dismiss anything she has to say because of the affiliation with social justice. Don’t make that mistake; don’t fall prey to guilt by association. I may fall to this ever constant trap subconsciously, but then force myself to read what is actually state. Some exceptions are made for Tumblr…
I strongly disagree with almost everything modern day social justice folks advocate – what normal sane person wouldn’t – but I won’t necessarily dismiss something because of who is advocating it.
“We can dialogue with people as people, other human beings with different personalities, life experiences, and ideas. We can celebrate common ground without erecting walls or drawing boundary lines. We can connect without disclaimers, embracing the whole of our conversation partner along with her ideas. Let’s base our conversations with one another from a place of shared humanity instead of basing it on fear by association. “
Is this really possible? Can we connect without disclaimers? I don’t think we can.
Tales From The Online Crypt
I recently encountered and “argued” with some conservatives on TheRightScoop about the subject of police abuse. Obviously, they deny this is a real problem. In order to even get them to look at anything I have to say, I had to utter the following disclaimer, “I’m not a democrat…”
This is of course true, but if I didn’t point this out, said conservatives would assume I’m some sort of liberal because I disagree with one of their viewpoints.
Behold, the current state of online discourse.
If you disagree with someone on an issue you are immediately considered to be a follower of the opposing “side”. If you disagree with some of the trash on the Huffington Post, you are a right-wing bigot, ect, ect, ect. If you take issue with something on Breitbart you are left-wing marxist, socialist, ect, ect, ect. Qualifiers are absolutely necessary.
“The power of association, of tribes, of communities, is so strong that we take extra measures to ensure boundaries are clearly marked, compelling us to insert disclaimers even in casual conversation. We are so fearful of being grouped with the “wrong” crowd as perceived by the person we are speaking with.
I do not think this is a healthy way to dialogue. I think it is a sign of disrespect to curate someone’s ideas, extracting it from their whole selves with all of their complexities and personhood.”
She is right; it’s not a healthy way to dialogue. Yes, we must consider the context of a person – if that makes sense – which is necessary to fully understand their ideas and why they have them. However, in today’s charged, “guilt by association” culture, you absolutely have to introduce qualifiers into the conversation or anything you say will be dismissed based on you supposedly are.
One popular “Debate” tactic is Godwin’s law. To sum that up, it means that you equate a certain argument, idea, or even person to Hitler. This of course invalidates anything they have to say. Or does it?
This time-held tactic is “guilt by association/wrong by association” and is employed by disingenuous teenagers, tumblrites, and many adults who want to shout down others based on who they are, rather then what they’ve said on extremely important blogs and websites where their comments clearly make a difference.
Don’t be one of “those” people.
People who engage in daily displays on their Facebook feeds in guilt by association tactics usually have something in common; they are angry, upset, and jaded.
Their life is a never ending stream of un-fulfilled selfies, self-loathing, and vicious attacks on anyone who looks like they wallowed in depression for weeks upon end. All of these bitter people online have one goal in mind; if they can’t be happy – neither can you.
Go outside of your bubble and live.
It’s been said that you can’t argue with certain people, and that is true. Argument however shouldn’t be the goal of every interaction. You don’t need to “win”. All you need to do is engage, discuss, and see if any new seeds are planted in either your mind or your “opponent.” In order to any of that, you must reject guilt by association.
Perhaps, you may just develop a relationship with someone where you don’t need qualifiers, but you must take the initiative to do just that.
I encourage all to go out and have face-to-face conversations with people you know you disagree with. You will be surprised at what happens when both of you or others involved have a conversation that isn’t based on “convincing” anyone of a particular point, but is focused on the exchange of ideas and worldviews.
This is how you grow and become a more rounded individual.
It is one of the first steps in today’s vicious culture in becoming a renaissance man.
Sometimes, you have mini epiphanies come to you out of nowhere. It’s happened to me at work, but I never have time to write it down there. This time however, I was shaving when my “epiphany” occurred. Can I really call it that? Perhaps.
Today when we think of the “right” and the “left”, most of us think of two differing ideologies that are clashing with each other on both a cultural and political scale. I suppose that’s true. You can also be a libertarian like me and look at both sides Ideology as inherently statist, but that just isn’t relevant to this point/idea that cropped up in my rather unfocused mind. (I really am rather jealous of those who can focus their thoughts into concise points and articulate them like talking heads who know exactly what they are talking about.)
Notice alot of the issues that have popped up since the early 2000s, both culturally and politically. When you mention the word “big government” concerning an issue to someone who is supposedly a progressive or on the left on whatever the issue might be, what happens?
You are assumed to be a conservative. (But I’m a libertarian!)
They advocate in favor of whatever action big government is participating in concerning the subject.
Their position on the action big government is taking becomes more valid in their mind.
Most liberals I know define their support or opposition of big government based on the concept that conservatives define it by. So notice the trend. Depending on whatever position conservatives advocate, liberals will advocate the opposite even if that is not necessarily their position on the subject. This applies vice versa as well. It’s almost as if a kind of “partyspeak” exists. People tow a certain party line.
When it came to the subject of the Patriot act, note the opposition that was there when it was enacted and notice it now. Apply that same line of thought to the issue of drone strikes. Apply it to the whole Monsanto debate. Apply it to the War on Drugs. Apply it to recent censorship and internet piracy debates. Keep applying it to much of the political dialogue over the last decade. Notice anything?
Liberals and Conservatives aren’t necessarily opposed to big government or in direct support of it. They are all of course opposed to whatever the other side supports. Do you know any liberal or conservative who is actually in support of unrestricted Drone Strikes? Indefinite detainment of American citizens? Invading or participating in more foreign conflicts? Internet censorship?
I suppose the assumptions we make about either side somewhat become a self-fulfilling reality even though the specific boxes and categories we try to put people in really don’t fit as well as they should. Could some of these attempts to categorize people and make very widespread assumptions about said people result from our Western drive to categorize, organize, and make every kind of distinction we can? Even if it is, I’m not sure if we can shed those presuppositions and our thought process that may be one of the factors in what drives party line ideology today.
I believe our very time-saving and “immediate” cultural attitude and behavior may be somewhat at fault here. We however must make the effort to not be lazy and avoid the time consumption convenience of assuming either side or whatever the ideology may be is always wrong. If an idea is valid, it doesn’t matter who proposes the idea. Guilt by association just doesn’t seem to be the proper mindset if one actually wishes to examine and filter ideas through as many individual perceptions on a subject to determine the validity of said ideas.