Friday, March 15, 2019

Closet Neo-Nazi Public Intellectuals

Jerry Coyne wonders why Steve Pinker is hated so much, while he sees only admirable qualities.

I think I know. Suppose you are a neo-nazi. Neo-nazis exist only in the imagination of left-wingers, but pretend anyway. Who are you idols going be, with no public figures being neo-nazis?

You are going to admire the ones who emit neo-nazi dog whistles. The leaders are Steve Pinker, Presidential candidate Andrew Yang, and (pseudonymous) psychiatrist blogger Scott Alexander.

Yes, all three are leftists, but the original Nazis were left-wing socialists also.

I mentioned the possibility that Pinker could be a White supremacist. He denies it, of course, and so do Yang and Pinker. But they would have to, or their careers would be terminated.

Again, I don't believe these guys are neo-nazis. But they do demonstrate a willingness to deviate from leftist groupthink.

Apparently these guys already get a lot of heat from the Ctrl-Left for being neo-nazi sympathizers, or even just right-wing sympathizers, and I don't want to add to it. I commend them for being leftists who are willing to think for themselves.

Alexander, aka SlateStarCodex, writes:
This post is called “RIP Culture War Thread”, so you may have already guessed things went south. What happened? The short version is: a bunch of people harassed and threatened me for my role in hosting it, I had a nervous breakdown, and I asked the moderators to get rid of it.

I’ll get to the long version eventually, but first I want to stress that this isn’t just my story. It’s the story of everyone who’s tried to host a space for political discussion on the Internet. Take the New York Times, in particular their article Why No Comments? It’s A Matter Of Resources. Translated from corporate-speak, it basically says that unmoderated comment sections had too many “trolls”, so they decided to switch to moderated comment sections only, but they don’t have enough resources to moderate any controversial articles, so commenting on controversial articles is banned.

And it’s not just the New York Times. In the past five years, CNN, NPR, The Atlantic, Vice, Bloomberg, Motherboard, and almost every other major news source has closed their comments – usually accompanied by weird corporate-speak about how “because we really value conversations, we are closing our comment section forever effective immediately”.
He says this, even tho his commenters were overwhelmingly leftist, and comments were easy to moderate. The problem is that there will be some opinions that the Ctrl-Left cannot tolerate.

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