Dear Butch: Am I a Leftist?

BrightAbyss replied to my Dodging Leftward post. I thought it would be easier to respond on a new post than to put a longish response in the reply. I have responded inline.

“I like that you did your homework.

Couple things:

Just because I support gender equality, revolution, re-engineering society to mitigate climate change, and i’m against the plunder and domination of vulnerable populations by dominant institutions doesn’t mean in “leftist”, at least not how I understand it. Why? Because I don’t see the world through the prism of high school poli-sci heuristics. Those are your labels and lists, and that is the simplistic framework upon which you want to demarcate things and people to create your in-group. Yeah for you. But ‘Left/right’ is meaningless to me, and so I refuse your categories and rhetoric and all the bullshit antagonisms and logics (decisional binary sets) that go with it. Ideology is not my focus and ultimately meaningless to me – although unavoidable in subtle ways.
I’m a pragmatist and an empiricist. So I’m ‘against’ all things damaging to the human (and other) species and ‘for’ all things that might lead to a more health inducing arrangement of populations. Those are my guiding commitments. So I’m not lying I’m just refusing your game. Period.”

Hahaha! Now this is amusing: you are not sure you’re a Leftist!

Personally, I don’t buy it. You’re retweeting articles from Marxists calling each other ‘comrade’ where they emphasize the importance of building a New Left to fight the capitalist crisis. But you’re not a Leftist? Come now. Let’s drop the pretenses.

You claim to be an empiricist. Are you telling me that you have never done an empirical analysis of your own beliefs? Let’s say you did a cladistic analysis of this idea of ‘plunder and domination of vulnerable populations by dominant institutions’. That means you would try to figure out where that idea originated, because you are definitely not the originator. That sounds identical to the Marxist idea that ‘the bourgeoisie (owning class) dominate the proletariat (working class) by controlling capital (the means of production)’. And you are an anti-Capitalist. Doesn’t that mean anything to you? It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that what you are against is what Marx was against. Again, I’m not buying this bullshit.

You can refuse my labels and lists, call it simplistic and refuse my categories. The truth is you don’t like the labels. You don’t want to be labeled a Leftist. You’re fine with thinking and acting like a Leftist, just so long as you’re not labeled as such. That’s your entire point. Sorry. Words have meanings. If you walk like a Leftist, and you talk like a Leftist, then you are a Leftist, whether or not you like that label. That’s why your bullshit is so petty. You understand clearly that we have norms of language, and that by flouting those norms, by refusing to use the words and their actual meanings, that you degrade our commons. When you refuse to label something that clearly deserves that label, because the application of that label would make you uncomfortable, then that is the same as lying. I’m sure cigarette manufacturers don’t like the labels either.

“I’m against the Koch bros because they put profit over ecosystems and do some in illegal and brutal ways. I’m against Marxism because it puts bureaucracy and ideology over people. I’m for reorganizing the economy to decrease carbon emission in order to mitigate global warming. I’m against involuntary taxes (socialism) because it consolidates money in the hands of wayward institutions. I’m for small government. I’m against financial oligarchy. I’m for valuing the family and individual responsibility. I’m against identity politics and the culture of blame. I’m for collectivising modes of production (for efficiency). I’m against fundamentalism.”

Collectivising modes of production? Probably you were thinking ‘means of production’. Collectivism, as in socialism, communism, fascism… consolidating the means of production into the hands of the state. Got it. But you’re against involuntary taxes because it consolidates money in the hands of wayward institutions. As though consolidating the means of production into the hands of government institutions is not exactly the same as consolidating money into the hands of wayward institutions. The lack of logical consistency and awareness of what you are saying is astounding. Amazingly empirical.

Also, you’re not against fundamentalism, you’re against Christianity. Please stop with that bullshit. Remember: I’ve read your Twitter feed.

And I draw from a lot of sources – left and right, but mostly empirical studies. Doesn’t mean I am committed to every organization or theoretical stance I re-tweet or draw from. Life is messy and so is one’s intellectual growth. SO where do these commitments put me on your color by number chart? Left-right? 

Where does that put you on my chart? Let me see.
[Beep boop beep bop… ping!].
Yep. As I suspected. You’re a Leftist.

Look, I suppose it’s possible (in the same way that a coin landing on its edge is possible) that you are so immersed in Leftism that you think you understand the sum of all things that might lead to a more health inducing arrangement of populations, but you don’t know that the aggregation of all those things has a name, and that name is Leftism. You just think it is common sense. Of course, you would be wrong in that assessment.

I also suppose you think you are some rational atheist. You should read RadishMag’s Reign of Reason article. Or maybe Free Speech, you know, so you can do an empirical cladistic analysis of your ideas to find out from whence they originate.

Dodging Leftward

Apparently, BrightAbyss disagreed with my assessment of him as a Leftist using Marxist tactics, as expounded in my previous post: Christians and Boiling Pitch.

He feigns ideological neutrality on Twitter: 

1h1 hour ago

– ya, the problem is I’m neither “leftist” nor Marxist so your ideological frames just don’t fit. Sorry.
This is typical of Leftists. They are persons without virtue, they have a dual set of morality. They shamelessly lie to those in the out-group. I decided to take a moment to peruse BrightAbyss’s Twitter timeline to see if his interests really were not Leftist or Marxist. Guess what I found? Wait for it… a boatload of Leftism and Marxism. 
Why does he lie? Because he must. As I stated in the previous post, it is the business of Leftists to spread lies and discontent. BrightAbyss, you do know that I can read your Twitter feed, right? Why play this game? I had you pegged from that single tweet of yours that I referenced.
I have documented BrightAbyss’s tweets below. But my absolute favorite is his retweet of the article Piketty, Marx, and the Political Economy of the Internet, which states (emphasis mine):
all three reactions do not help the task of creating a New Left that is urgently needed in the situation of sustained capitalist crisis. Marxists will certainly view Piketty’s analysis of capitalism and political suggestions critically. I argue that they should however not dismiss them, but like Marx and Engels aim to radicalise reform suggestions.
Wow. Interested in creating a New Left to take on that whole capitalist crisis, are we? The Marxists are having some internal discussions on the topic? But you’re not a Marxist are you, BrightAbyss? Are you sure we shouldn’t take another look at those ideological frames of mine?
Here’s what I found on the rest of his Twitter feed. It seems that BrightAbyss is extremely concerned about Climate Change and Ecological Disaster. He thinks that all aspects of our lives should be re-oriented to address climate change. He implores President Obama to DO SOMETHING. He Tweets about oppressed minorities being crushed under the Capitalist boot. He retweets on behalf of the journal of Decolonization, which is anti-colonialist. He retweets against the evil Koch brothers. He calls for riot and a Revolution Now at some Occupy Wall Street rehash. He calls to gang rush the Capitalist Devils. He defines nationalism as pathology. He mocks others for calling out him and his causes as Marxist agitation – insisting that Communism and the Cold War are dead. (nice deflection) He tweets about how disgraceful it is to be wealthy and honored in an unjust society. Oh, wait. That sounds awfully like social justice to me. He tweets that real men support gender equality. He defines Whiteness as entitlement. He accuses others of ideological projection, while pretending that he has none. He’s openly anti-Christian, but I didn’t bother documenting that.
So we have: radical climate change support, anti-capitalism, class warfare, anti-colonialism, anti-nationalism, social justice, gender equality and anti-racism. Really, BrightAbyss? My ideological frames just don’t fit? Ha! They fit you like a glove.
Let’s look at Eric S. Raymond’s list of Leftist memes infecting the West and propagated by Marxists, enumerated in his Suicidalism post:

Consider the following propositions:

  • There is no truth, only competing agendas.
  • All Western (and especially American) claims to moral superiority over Communism/Fascism/Islam are vitiated by the West’s history of racism and
    colonialism.
  • There are no objective standards by which we may judge one culture to be better than another. Anyone who claims that there are such standards is an evil oppressor.
  • The prosperity of the West is built on ruthless exploitation of the Third World; therefore Westerners actually deserve to be impoverished and miserable.
  • Crime is the fault of society, not the individual criminal. Poor criminals are entitled to what they take. Submitting to criminal predation is more virtuous than resisting it.
  • The poor are victims. Criminals are victims. And only victims are virtuous. Therefore only the poor and criminals are virtuous. (Rich people can borrow some virtue by identifying with poor people and criminals.)
  • For a virtuous person, violence and war are never justified. It is always better to be a victim than to fight, or even to defend oneself. But “oppressed” people are allowed to use violence anyway; they are merely reflecting the evil of their oppressors.
  • When confronted with terror, the only moral course for a Westerner is to apologize for past sins, understand the terrorist’s point of view, and make concessions.

Having read Raymond’s list, read through BrightAbyss’ tweets that I have selected below. I think the tweets speak for themselves.

BrightAbyss, you are a Leftist and a Marxist agitator and a liar.

Boiling pitch for you.

 ·  Nov 6

“Whiteness” as kernel of essentialist racial ontologies is not about biodiversity but rather about existential entitlement.
[m]: retweeted
We can’t afford a climate movement that’s just an ethical add-on to business-as-usual. Climate action must become the new business-as-usual.
[m]: retweeted
ICYMI: As Casualties Mount, Scientists Say Global Warming Has Been “Hugely Underestimated”
[m]: retweeted
Piketty, Marx, and the Political Economy of the Internet … great new essay from comrade
If I read the word ‘neoliberal’ one more time I’m going to punch something in its pinky toe. Let’s call it what it is: corporate mafia. Thx.
Monsanto has a revenue of over $10.5 billion per year, yet it is currently suing farmers in poor countries who make less than $500 per year.
“To be wealthy and honored in an unjust society is a disgrace.” – Confucius
[m]: retweeted

Our new issue is OUT! Check it here, and please share!  

Note: Overview of Decolonization Journal

Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society is an undisciplinary, peer-reviewed, online Open Access journal committed to supporting and advancing decolonization scholarship, practice, and activism within and, more importantly, beyond and against, the academy. We believe in connecting decolonization struggles across locations and experiences, in connecting academics, activists, and artists – and their production – within larger communities of decolonial struggle, and connecting knowledge production to histories of resistance to colonial power; we believe in a lived out decolonial praxis. Decolonization is not new and we do not aspire to meet the academic demand for new and invigorating paradigms; it is not the academy we are interested in invigorating. Instead, we seek to ground decolonization in the lived experiences and histories of those individuals and communities that have and are living out decolonization, seeking to invigorate connections, struggles, and knowledges that reside beyond the academy.
[m]: retweeted

Inside the Koch Brothers’ toxic empire:

Northern Cree occupy Manitoba Hydro dam over longstanding grievances
the COMMIES are coming the COMMIES are coming! For yer guns and yer monies!!!
– commies?! LOL you do know the Cold War is over? The Red scare is not necessary. Do you have any real thoughts?
“We cannot condemn our children & their children to a future that is beyond their capacity to repair” < THEN DO SOMETHING
do you have a right-wing nutter bingo card you need to fill? Your tired arguments are all ideological projection
Insurrection is the appropriate response to inappropriate social conditions.
Emma Watson to men: Gender equality is your issue too Real men support gender equality
The cops would be powerless to stop hundreds of thousands of people rushing Wall Street with riotous intent. REVOLUTION NOW
. Stop Capitalism. End the Climate Crisis. LETS GANG RUSH THOSE DEVILS!!!
That unawkward moment when an interview with your 15 year old activist daughter is interviewed on p.2 of the daily newspaper.
Nationalism is pathology but regionalism is an opportunity to align local priorities with geo-affordances via infrastructural innovation.

Christians and Boiling Pitch

The other day I read a particularly disgusting piece of White Hate, which prompted me to write this rather Nietzschean response:

To which BrightAbyss responds:

Ah, so now I’m on top of the socioeconomic hate machine because of my Will to Power over those who would destroy me and my brothers. I smell anti-racism and social justice, two ugly babies of Cultural Marxism. Anyone who uses the word hate to denounce the other is a Leftist. Among Leftists, Hate is overloaded  to mean heresy, denoting any thoughts which a Leftist finds distasteful. My refusal to submit anti-racism may be the worst of the Leftist heresies. His use of the word socioeconomic is a reference to class, which is classic Marxism; as socioeconomic status is a primary division used in critical theory to divide oppressors and oppressed. The article that he defends even bemoans the dead end that critical race theory has encountered in South Africa. I’m sure that breaks BrightAbyss’s heart too.

You can read the thread, but the short of it is that BrightAbyss tries to pick up Christianity and use it as a moral club to beat me into submission to the Marxist ideology. Good luck with that.

This approach fails miserably because I am not terribly philosophical, ideological or moralistic. I’m thedish. My consistency is in loyalty, loyalty to my in-group and to my thede (still working on phyle). I come from a long line of Christians. I can trace my lineage back the the Revolutionary War (really more of a secession, but that’s for another time), and to a Christian doctor who was jailed, pilloried and had his ears cropped for criticizing the Anglican Church in England.

“In this sign, you will conquer”

You see, unlike most Christians in America, I understand that the current state of Christianity as BrightAbyss (mis)understands it, is a watered down, Leftist shadow of its former glory. The reason for this is that for hundreds of years now Enlightenment philosophers have reformulated Christianity in Enlightenment terms and imbued it with Enlightenment values.

To the side is a bronze of Emperor Constantine, who conquered under the sign of the cross. Christianity has been the light of the West, and Westerners have bathed the world in blood to bring Christian peace. You see, paradoxically, peace is achieved through violence. Peace does not occur in Nature, because Nature is a Hobbesian war of all against all. Peace is unnatural, it is manufactured. Peace can only be manufactured by men who have the Will to Power.

The West rose to power through the creation of Capitalism (an economic or social technology, in addition to other engineering technologies), a system which suppresses involuntary transfers of property, leaving no choice but to engage in the market. The Christian exhortation of men to behave peaceably, and to obey the authorities, has been extremely helpful in the creation of productive markets which lead to Western power. The Catholic church operated much as the House of Commons in modern systems, being the voice and advocate of the people to the Executive Branch function performed by the feudal lords, the Aristocracy. The story of the survival of Christianity through the Middle Ages, is the story of Aristocrats using violence, technology and economics to create and maintain walled gardens of civilization in a sea of barbarism.

You see, Christianity only functions in a civilized society. The rules of Christianity only apply within that walled garden, they do not exist in the sea of barbarism. This is why Christians built walls around their tiny pockets of civilization, to specifically exclude the barbarians. Christianity is a social technology, but social technologies do not work with all peoples and in all times and places. We must use the right tool for the job. To our fellows within the walled garden, we turn the other cheek. To the barbarians on the other side of the wall, we pour down boiling pitch. Get the idea?

Leftists are the barbarians, intent on tearing down the walls which keep our civilization safe. They are an infection, eating out our normative commons, dissolving norms of behavior, sowing discord and distrust in every corner. They subvert the Will to Power, spreading the lies listed in hacker hero Eric S. Raymond’s Suicidalism and Gramscian damage posts, leading to a listless and defenseless Christianity.

BrightAbyss is not in my thede. He admits in the thread that he’s not a Christian, yet he wants to throw Scripture in my face and to tell me what it truly means to be a Christian. The intellectual dishonesty and hypocrisy is astounding: Why would a non-Christian exhort me to behave in a Christian manner, to follow rules that he admits he does not believe? Well, the answer is obvious: it is a transparent manipulation. He wishes to bind me down with the chains of modern Enlightenment Christianity, which lock me onto the Progressive plantation. I’ve got your number, buddy:

We Christians have been fools. We have been too trusting. We have allowed snakes in our midst to spread lies and discontent. We have treated our enemies as though they are Christians, rather than as the barbarians and destroyers of Christian virtue that they truly are.

Christians have always been willing to fight, kill and die for their civilizations. I am no different. Leftists like BrightAbyss need to understand this: it is Christian forgiveness for those inside the wall, and boiling pitch for those outside of it. Many modern Christians have lost the Will to Power, but my eyes are open: Peace is forged through Power.

So, I don’t need BrightAbyss to tell me what Christianity means, but maybe he can help any Leftist readers with some of their other burning questions: