Why @scalzi is (slightly) wrong about @nero

John Scalzi has some comments on Milo Yiannopoulos being banned from Twitter. Among many sound points about how Milo was not banned for being a conservative, Scalzi says:

being an asshole is orthogonal to political philosophy.

I disagree and I don’t think I’m just being pedantic.

In this case being an asshole (or arsehole for that matter) is very much not orthogonal to political philosophy. Essentially Vox, Milo, Cernovich, Roosh, and more notably Trump have made being an obnoxious jerk essential to their political philosophy. Further, this is very much something that is of and from the right.

The pathological form of individualism is those who see themselves as the inherently superior AS INDIVIDUALS doing what they like to others often for the express purpose of humiliating and putting down others. It is taking the traits of psychopathy and making it an ideology.

Yes, others in other ideologies can be obnoxious people and lots of people on the right can be nice people. However, what this systematic, ideological assholish-ness is about is exerting privilege over others and elevating bullying into a systematic view of how society should be.

Nor should we be surprised. As well as the pushback against sexism/misogyny and xenophobia/racism and against other forms of prejudice there has also been a societal pushback against bullying as acceptable behaviour. Part of a consequence of that social change is that those who OPPOSE social change EMBRACE the thing that is being acted against.


15 thoughts on “Why @scalzi is (slightly) wrong about @nero

  1. Hmmm. I think I’m on Salzi’s side here. The recent open letter (“We are the Left”) is an alarming indictment of similar tendencies from the other end of the political spectrum (and yes, I know you pointed that out.)
    I’m not even convinced that humiliation is the primary desired outcome; it just happens to be a frequent side-effect. No, it seems more like that pathological conviction that since one’s own views are self-evidently correct, they should be imposed on other people, regardless of the consequences, and, more to the point, that the individual should be elevated to a position where that would become possible. In a sense, I admire Mr Beale for his identification of a small pond in which he could achieve that without actually having to exercise much effort!
    Both the extreme left and the extreme right are very fond of what might be called “purity tests”. It’s one of the few rules I have for identifying groups that I am going to run away from, very fast.


      1. Arrgh hit send before finishing!
        That lind of obnoxiousness is present at either end of the spectrum.
        Trump & lesser characters such as Milo aren’t being assholes out of an unwillingness to compromise beliefs – the exact opposite. They’ll happily throw any given position under a bus if they get bored of it. Being an asshole is less of a side effect here and is the actual payload.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m not a big Milo fan, but I must say it is entirely in keeping with Silicon Valley’s Lefty slant that they would ban the Republican gayboy. He’s deliberately goading them to use their power, so they used it.

    Meanwhile, and at the exact same time, Twitter/Facebook/Google is full of #BlackLivesMatter bullshit about killing cops, and selfies from the Nice killer taken inside the murder weapon, his truck.

    That’s why Milo keeps goading them. So they will show their true stripes.

    As to racism and misogyny, you want to take a look at the comments in Michelle Malkin’s or Anne Coulter’s twitter feed. Your Lefty ideological brothers and sisters are wont to opine that those two women need to be raped. The prevailing theory appears to be that a good, solid hate-fucking will cure an uppity woman of Wrongthought. Day in, day out, seven days a week, since Malkin and Coulter first raised their voices on the Intertubes. Stalkers, trolls, actual violence against them at speaking events, it’s all good.

    But Milo, the fag that asks inconvenient questions about global warming and wears an “I shoot back” t-shirt, he gets banned for making fun of the Ghostbusters movie. Seems fair, right?

    Generally I find that if I don’t want to do any homework on an issue, I just look to see which side Scalzi is on and then do the opposite.


    1. Nice rant Phantom but that all points too companies like Twitter having clear rules around what is and isn’t acceptable. Doing things ad-hoc or when the target is famous enough is bad policy and business. Have clear rules and then people know.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Still trying as hard as you can not to admit the game is rigged along political lines? Why? It’s painfully obvious. Republicans/conservatives get banned for life over Ghostbusters, #BLM gets a sternly worded letter over death threats -after- a massacre. There’s no question about it. Why even argue? Any rules they may have are “flexible”, depending on political stance.

        Or, try the media feeding frenzy on Trump this week. I am not a Trump fan. But even I, non-Trump fan, am giggling over the rabid coverage. They are frothing at the mouth, it isn’t even faintly objective at this point. Again, there’s no question the thing is rigged like the Crown and Anchor wheel at the county fair.


      2. Republicans/conservatives get banned for life over Ghostbusters, #BLM gets a sternly worded letter over death threats -after- a massacre.

        so pathetic bullying manbabies are reacting with as much anger because a film has women in it as black people are because they’re literally getting murdered with impunity by state employees meant to protect them.

        also, which “Republicans/conservatives” have been banned other than Yannopoulos? it can’t be that widespread, because there are plenty of outspoken conservative people still out there.


      3. is that really the best you can do? a hashtag disappearing for a few minutes before reappearing? 250k posts is a sign that they’re censoring discussion? i’ve seen conservatives talking about the leak on Twitter, and i don’t even have an account!


  3. If you think Silicon Valley is “Lefty”, Phantom, you really don’t understand either thing. They are not champions of regulation or government constraints on any level. Silicon Valley is as libertarian as it gets. They monetize everything, and fetishize disruption and innovation and data. Real leftists despise them.

    Nice series on climate change CF. I’m currently in a place where one can see its effects directly — it’s not good (and definitely exists)


    1. What KR said. Silicon Valley are rapacious libertarians. They’ve perfected capitalism and make your average Republican look incredibly generous about a safety net — even Republicans approve of church-related charities.

      They don’t go in for overt hate speech, they aren’t religious, they love their recreational drugs, and they’re okay with gays, but they’re still a bit racist and incredibly sexist, ageist, and ableist. The non-CEO class are hugely into the alt-right (they’re where the neckbeard and fedora stereotype came from), and all of them measure the worth of a human entirely in monetary terms. Trump is their ideal.


  4. “Part of a consequence of that social change is that those who OPPOSE social change EMBRACE the thing that is being acted against.”

    I was thinking about this and it seems to accurately describe a shift I’ve seen among a lot of conservative friends over the past decade or so, where they’ve started trumpeting about the silliness of microaggressions and terms like “cis,” when I would have thought they might have thought about the origin of the discussion. There’s a weird “I don’t agree with this, therefore the person saying it must be very silly (or some other, less civil version) and I can’t talk to them” vibe that gets in the way of really talking about things sometimes.

    I’ve got a piece coming out in Clarkesworld Aug 1. I’ll be curious to get your take on it.

    Liked by 1 person

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