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Leiter vs Molyneux

Gottlob

159 day(s) ago

... and also just wrong and cringeworthy. Critiquing Molyneux in racialized terms isn't just counterproductive; it adds nothing of any intellectual value to the critique.

Stilpo

159 day(s) ago

Molyneux is pretty clearly a charlatan or an idiot (probably both).

Nevertheless, I find the quasi-etiological explanatory critique of "alt-right" figures and ideas quite silly. I take that critique to be: these people/ideas are obviously rubbish, but they have a certain degree of influence because they flatter the emotions and stoke the resentments of the "average/mediocre white guy."

The people who make level this critique don't know very many average white guys, most of whom are...driving forklifts or trimming trees to provide for themselves and their families. They may have various resentments, but these are certainly not directed at postmodernists.

As with Ayn Rand, this stuff appeals to the interests of people who are *not average* in various ways; i.e., they have some inchoate idea that philosophy is an interesting and important subject, they read books about quasi-philosophical topics for fun, and so forth. To the extent that such people are drawn to the works of charlatans, we should, to some degree, blame ourselves.

Georg

159 day(s) ago

... and also just wrong and cringeworthy. Critiquing Molyneux in racialized terms isn't just counterproductive; it adds nothing of any intellectual value to the critique.

Gottlob

Yeah I don't think it's "just" counterproductive. I was agreeing specifically with the "shooting themselves in the foot" phrase.

The more the campaign against Molyneux is tied up with a more general campaign against the alt-right, the harder it is going to be to convince people who might be sympathetic to his politics that really, regardless of your views on immigration, race, or whatever, you shouldn't take him seriously. In an ideal world, an intellectually honest argument will also be a persuasive one. The world isn't always ideal, but in this particular case, the two values line up--leaving out the gender and race angle makes your critique of Molyneux more intellectually honest, AND more persuasive to its target audience.

Giambattista

159 day(s) ago

... and also just wrong and cringeworthy. Critiquing Molyneux in racialized terms isn't just counterproductive; it adds nothing of any intellectual value to the critique.

Gottlob

Yeah I don't think it's "just" counterproductive. I was agreeing specifically with the "shooting themselves in the foot" phrase.

The more the campaign against Molyneux is tied up with a more general campaign against the alt-right, the harder it is going to be to convince people who might be sympathetic to his politics that really, regardless of your views on immigration, race, or whatever, you shouldn't take him seriously. In an ideal world, an intellectually honest argument will also be a persuasive one. The world isn't always ideal, but in this particular case, the two values line up--leaving out the gender and race angle makes your critique of Molyneux more intellectually honest, AND more persuasive to its target audience.

Georg

I think you are correct. The focus on gender and race ties these reviewers in to a set of philosophical-political committments which will cause those who may have sympathies with SM to dig in their heels.

For what it's worth, I also think that talk of the 'alt- right' should also be avoided. Their is no clear extension connected with the term, as far as I can see; it seems to be a term of abuse.

Emma

159 day(s) ago

Really, this clown deserves no attention here. It saddens me that some alt-right types seem to have found this forum.

Evelyn

159 day(s) ago

"For what it's worth, I also think that talk of the 'alt-right' should also be avoided. Their is no clear extension connected with the term, as far as I can see; it seems to be a term of abuse."

I agree about there being no precise extension, but I don't think that's unusual ("liberal" and "conservative" aren't much different). I think it's clear enough. As for it's being a term of abuse, I'm open to hearing that lots of people labeled as "alt-right" by detractors don't actually accept it. That wouldn't be a knockdown argument against using the term, but it would suggest a potential for it to be misleading. But my impression was that the people labeled as "alt-right" tend to accept it--they came up with it themselves, after all (Richard Spencer coined it). For what it's worth, when I've seen people criticize the use of the term, it's usually from the other direction--e.g., call them "white nationalists" or "white separatists" rather than the more anodyne "alt-right".

There are terms that I mostly avoid for reasons like the ones you state --"neoliberal", for one. Pretty much nobody self-identifies as a neoliberal, and for just about any policy that the left doesn't like, you can find somebody calling it neoliberal (which is to say, it's very far from having a clear extension). "Alt-right" strikes me as pretty different. Though I'm open to being convinced otherwise.

Bernhard

158 day(s) ago

Just like 'neoliberal' the term 'alt-right' is now just another label the left employs to avoid open and honest debate. As Milo explains in his book 'Dangerous', the 'alt-right' has been hijacked by white nationalists such as Spencer. It wasn't initially a movement associated with racists. That, however, hasn't stopped the media from referring to self-identifying classical British liberals such as Jordan Peterson (who clearly isn't alt-right) as members of the alt-right, thus linking them to racism and fascism. As with 'racist', 'fascist', and indeed also 'neoliberal', 'alt-right' is now a term of abuse, whose frivolous use by activists trying to silence disagreement should inflate its meaning.

By the way, this might be a good moment to refer to Milo's (and Allum Bokhari's) co-authored explanatory article on the alt-right, when the movement hadn't been hijacked yet: http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2016/03/29/an-establishment-conservatives-guide-to-the-alt-right/

(Milo refers to this article in his book.)

Salomon

158 day(s) ago

Interesting that the 'alt-right' *so described* has been "hijacked" by, among others, the guy who coined the term.

Bernhard

158 day(s) ago

Yes, it's sad, but that's how it is. Let me give a quote from Milo's book.

Alt-right is dead. It was killed by the media.

You see, if you call something neo-Nazi long enough, it will invariably attract actual Neo-Nazis and—this may surprise you—scare off normal people.

The alt-right has always had a fringe element of Reich-loving basement-dwellers who describe the Holocaust as a “Holohoax” and want to ban “race-mixing.” When Bokhari and I wrote our alt-right guide, these were just one of many factions in it, alongside dissident intellectuals, taboo-breaking kids, and instinctive social conservatives.

[...]

Thanks to the willingness of old-school conservatives to march in lockstep with the mainstream media, the alt-right gradually came to be dominated not by friends of Pepe, but by actual white nationalists. A turning point came shortly after Donald Trump’s election victory, when Richard Spencer encouraged a room full of his supporters to “Hail Trump,” which about three people promptly did—with so-called “Roman salutes.”

Even nominal white identitarians like Paul “RamZPaul” Ramsey decided they’d had enough with the movement after that, and promptly disavowed it.

It increasingly looks like the only people left in the alt-right movement are Holocaust- deniers, Richard Spencer fans and Daily Stormer readers. If that’s the case, I want nothing to do with the movement—and, as I’ve made clear, the movement wants nothing to do with me. Still, I can guarantee CNN will continue to refer to me as the alt-right’s leader anyway.

Milo Yiannopoulos

Gustav

4 day(s) ago

Really, this clown deserves no attention here. It saddens me that some alt-right types seem to have found this forum.

Emma

Forgive me if I'm misunderstanding you, but are you saying that Leiter is a member of the alt-right? If so - laughable!



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