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Re: Masculinities of the far right

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:05 pm
by American Dream
Facebook's fight club: how the Proud Boys use the social media platform to vet their fighters
August 02, 2018

Hatewatch Staff

Want to join the far-right group the Proud Boys? Simply apply to your nearest regional vetting page on the world’s largest social network, Facebook.

The fraternal order of “Western chauvinists” received one of its biggest promotional boosts since its founding when Ethan Nordean — who goes by the nickname “Rufio Panman” — delivered a knockout blow to an antifascist protester in the streets of Portland, Oregon, at a rally on June 30.

Six of the Proud Boys’ largest private “vetting pages” on Facebook — groups where administrators review applicants for approval into a private chatroom where local chapters are organized — have experienced an explosion in recruits in the last 30 days since the melee in Portland, jumping nearly 70 percent according to the metrics Facebook makes public. This represents 823 potential new members (including international members).

These private vetting pages serve as ideological echo chambers and as spaces for planning and putting out calls for action, helping place Proud Boys on the ground. The Proud Boys once attempted to set up their own private web forum called the “Proud Boards” but it failed.

“Seeing that soy boy antifa scum get knocked the fuck out has been the highlight of my year. Ive [sic] watched it over and over,” wrote one new member in a vetting page on Facebook. “[If] you want to find out about the Proud Boys, looks [sic] at the dozens of videos of the Portland Rally when antifa attached the March and got streamrolled and some of them put in the hospital," wrote another member. "Here's a slogan for you, fuck around and find out."

“Our vetting page has 100 plus guys being vetted atm,” wrote a page administrator last week.

Nordean’s now viral punch was not the only violence that occurred during the rally that descended into a riot. Multiple gang beatings were caught on video and one person reportedly suffered a cranial hemorrhage.

Nor was Nordean’s brawling the first time a member of the Proud Boys publicly engaged in violence or made serious threats of violence to political enemies.

In May, a Proud Boy appeared at the home of a video editor in an effort to intimidate him. The video editor had published videos lampooning the group and its founder, Gavin McInnes.

On June 3, Donovan Flippo, a Proud Boy, and Allen Puckett of the rabidly anti-LGBT Hells Shaking Street Preachers, were filmed attacking a man outside of a parking garage.

On June 8, Tusitala “Tiny” Toese, a Proud Boy and muscle for U.S. Senate candidate Joey Gibson of another far-right group Patriot Prayer, emerged from a group of men who were shouting “build the wall” and punched a man in the face, according to the victim.

After the Portland riot on June 30, a freelance journalist was threatened on Twitter by a Proud Boys who wrote “We aren’t going to let you lie about us anymore and we are going to beat the ever living shit out of every single one of your douche-bag comrades who assaults us from now on.”

Fighting is part of the group’s DNA, which reserves the “fourth degree” of its membership to those who engage in street brawls with antifascists. McInnes, no stranger to physical altercations, uses his podcast to gin up rage about “antifa” and muse about violence.

“[O]ur adversaries want to not silence speech, [but] kill the person talking," McInnes said in a recent episode discussing the far-right free speech martyr Tommy Robinson. "And that will be a huge victory for them. So the reaction has been very good on our side of things. We’ve said ‘no you’re not going to kill Tommy - we’re going to kill you! We’re going to fight back!’"

Recruiting, planning on Facebook
This escalating rhetoric should be a concern for Facebook. While Twitter has received significant criticism for verifying Proud Boys accounts, it’s Facebook that appears to provide the recruitment machinery for the group. Nordean, for example, is a member of the “Northwest PB Vetting Page and Trans Positive Safe Space” private group on Facebook. In the past 30 days Nordean’s group has posted 603 times and added 190 new members.

In April, Facebook released its formerly internal Community Standards in an effort to reassure its users and the public that the company was committed to creating a safe social media platform.

In a section titled “Credible Violence” the company outlines its goal to “prevent potential real-world harm that may be related to content on Facebook.” There are subsections on “Promoting or Publicizing Crime,” and “Coordinating Harm,” which state that Facebook “prohibits people from facilitating or coordinating future criminal activity that is intended or likely to cause harm to people, businesses, or animals.”

In a recent interview with Recode, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg reiterated the company’s hard line on content and users that promote violence.

The principles that we have on what we remove from the service are: If it’s going to result in real harm, real physical harm, or if you’re attacking individuals, then that content shouldn’t be on the platform.

Asked for comment, Facebook responded that Nordean's private vetting group did not violate its community standards. "In evaluating content, we look closely at context. In deciding whether to remove or leave up references to violence, we look at numerous factors, such as the source, the specific speech in question, the target, and other considerations."

Continues: ... r-fighters

Re: Masculinities of the far right

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:51 pm
by American Dream
Young Men’s Rights Activist who delights in “making feminists’ spines crawl” is baffled that he can’t get a date

Dating a feminist is dangerous business!

By David Futrelle

If you’re having girl problems I feel bad for you, son. Just don’t go to the Men’s Rights subreddit for help.

Consider the case of one lonely high school student and budding MRA who recently asked his fellow Men’s rights Redditors for some advice: how can he find himself a girlfriend who isn’t one of those awful feminists?

“I have a lot of problems with feminists,” he explained,

but one of my biggest comes to dating and all of their drama. It’s amazing to me that feminists believe they’re entitled to a good man like me when they’re entitled to trash. With their false rape accusations, lack of honesty, lack of respect, lack of significant value in cultures, customs, and traditions, and just simply acting so brash and out of line, dating a feminist would be an absolutely hellish experience.

Dude, I really don’t think you have to worry much about feminists begging you to date them.

I have never had a girlfriend before and the big reason I’ve somewhat restrained my endeavors in romance is because of the feminists I always have to share classes with.

I’m sure they were equally thrilled at having to share a classroom with you. ... more-30537

Re: Masculinities of the far right

PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:58 am
by American Dream
This is what the life of an incel looks like

Most of the world was introduced to incels in 2014 when Elliot Rodger killed six people and injured 14 more at University of California - Santa Barbara. Rodger wrote a long manifesto blaming women for not having sex with him, and it made him a hero among some incels. On message boards and forums, they joke that they’re going to “go E.R.” In April, Alek Minassian, 25, drove a van into a crowd in Toronto, killing 10 people. He’d praised Rodger on Facebook. The attack made incels the subject of international news, a mysterious internet phenomenon to be feared and ridiculed.

We wanted to talk to an incel on camera, someone who could explain this subculture and where it came from. A source from the radical political internet world put me in touch with Joey. (They’d met in a chatroom.) After a few weeks of chatting on Discord, a text and voice app designed for gamers, Joey agreed to an interview, and a tour of his online world.

Joey doesn’t have a job, and he’s not in school. His mom pays for his apartment. He didn’t go to college, because he wasn’t mentally healthy when he graduated high school. He says he’s been diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder, agoraphobia, social anxiety, and social paranoia, the latter of which he says isn’t a thing. He’s been prescribed SSRIs, SSNIs, benzodiazepines, tricyclic antidepressants. “I’ve literally been to some of the best psychologists in the country, and not one of them hinted that my problem may be societal,” Joey explained on Discord. “They all acted as if it was specific, and drugs were all that helped. Then when I started going online, I realized there is literally an epidemic of men just like me.”

Incels believe that 20 percent of men are “Chads”—handsome and charming guys who have sex with about 80 percent of the women in the world. Because feminism has removed some of the stigma on female sexuality, the theory goes, women will sleep with countless Chads, leaving incels sexless. Some incels are “blackpilled,” meaning they think this is their lot in life, and it cannot be changed. Others try to “looksmax,” meaning make themselves more attractive by getting plastic surgery or doing exercises to make their necks thicker. ... looks-like

Re: Masculinities of the far right

PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:52 am
by American Dream

Re: Masculinities of the far right

PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 7:20 am
by American Dream
Before the Alt Right

Anita Hill and the Growth of Misogynist Ideology

Alex DiBranco


Date Rape and Date Robbery: The World of Warren Farrell

Since the 1990s, this sense of male hostility and aggrieved entitlement has been promoted by Dr. Warren Farrell, once a 1970s feminist and “men’s liberation” activist who took a hard turn toward misogyny as he began to believe that men were the truly oppressed class. The shift began to be visible in his 1986 book, Why Men Are the Way They Are, but it was his 1993 The Myth of Male Power that laid the foundation for a new ideology of “men’s rights” and inspired a movement based on the notion of male victimhood to balance out the women’s movement’s gains. (While ostensibly race-neutral, Farrell’s audience has been primarily White men.)

The Myth of Male Power inspired a movement based on the notion of male victimhood to balance out the women’s movement’s gains.

Rejecting the existence of a male-dominated society, Farrell instead claims men and women have been equally harmed by sex roles: “Both sexes made themselves ‘slaves’ to the other sex in different ways.” But, Farrell writes, women were still better off. Under the traditional system of sex roles, he explains in an analogy that trivializes the history of slavery, “[t]he male role (out in the field) is akin to the field slave—or the second-class slave,” while he views “the traditional female role (homemaker) [as] akin to the house slave—the first-class slave.”

The influence of the right-wing portrayal of Anita Hill’s testimony on Farrell’s thinking is visible in a section primarily drawn from Brock’s work, where 10 footnotes in a row cite “The Real Anita Hill.” Farrell regurgitated the worst elements of the article, pointing to allegations that “Anita,” as he referred to Hill, was “untrustworthy, selfish, and extremely bitter,” and an incompetent employee covering her inadequacy by falsely claiming sexual harassment. He repeats the “pubic hair” accusation, and although Brock has since admitted that this was merely one aggrieved former student’s unverified claim, Farrell let it, and the debunked assertion that “many students have confirmed” it, remain in the 2014 ebook edition (which was elsewhere updated to include changes to the text like a reference to Fifty Shades of Grey).34

Farrell writes that as the definition of sexual harassment expanded—in his words, “to anything a woman defined as a ‘hostile work environment’”—“Men were oblivious until the Clarence Thomas hearings pulled their heads out of the sand: they saw that the definition of harassment had expanded to include discussing pornography, telling a dirty joke, calling an employee ‘honey,’ or taking a longer look at a short skirt.” Warning that “One woman’s accusation of sexual harassment can stop the government in its tracks (a la Anita Hill),” Farrell promised his book would outline “the steps we can take before we paint ourselves into a corner.”

Farrell’s framework let men off the hook for sexual violence, blaming women for abetting men’s “addiction” to female beauty.

In everyday interactions as well as grand political battles, Farrell saw women as wielding enormous power over men. What kind of power? To Farrell it was a women’s “sex power” or “beauty power,” including the “secretary’s miniskirt power, cleavage power, and flirtation power”—something he saw as equivalent to (or greater than) that of the secretary’s male boss. He approvingly quotes one of Hill’s colleagues saying, “Her flirtatiousness, her provocative manner of dress, was not sweet or sexy, it’s sort of angry, almost a weapon.” In his chapter on “The Politics of Rape,” Farrell claims that rape occurs because of men’s “addiction to female sexual beauty,” which women reap the rewards of in getting men to pay for and pursue them. Rejecting the feminist analysis of rape as a crime of power, Farrell’s addiction framework lets men off the hook for making their own decisions when it comes to sexual violence, and relocates the blame onto women for cultivating this disease.

In another segment, Farrell blames women’s “date passivity”—a phrase used to describe women’s expectation that men initiate physical intimacy—for sexual violence. “If we want to stop date rape by men, we have to also stop ‘date passivity’ by women,” Farrell argues, deftly drawing upon half of a feminist critique of gender roles—that men are expected to initiate romantic and sexual behavior—while ignoring vital issues of consent and assuring men they aren’t responsible for their actions. In this way, Farrell weaves a twisted version of feminist ideology throughout his book, strengthening its appeal for readers unfamiliar with feminism who sense a ring of truth.

In other places, he’s blunter, consistently trivializing rape and comparing it to male disappointment, claiming that paying for a woman on a date—something Farrell suggests calling “date robbery”—and then being “rejected [for sex] can feel like the male version of date rape.” “Feminism has taught women to sue men for sexual harassment or date rape when men initiate with the wrong timing,” he writes, but “no one has taught men to sue for sexual trauma for saying ‘yes,’ then ‘no,’ then ‘yes,’ then ‘no.’” Elsewhere in the book, he continues the theme: “A man being sued after a woman has more sex than intended is like Lay’s being sued after someone has more potato chips than intended. In brief, date rape can be a crime, a misunderstanding, or buyer’s remorse.” (Representative of secular misogyny, Farrell’s ideology pays little attention to abortion; the most attention he gives to this occurs in section on “The Social Incentives for False Accusations,” in which he critiques laws that only allow abortion in case of rape or incest as pressuring women to make false accusations.)

After falling out with the feminist movement by the 1980s, following his divorce from his first wife, Farrell returned to the media spotlight with The Myth of Male Power.35 In The Washington Post, Camille Paglia praised the book as “the kind of original, abrasive, heretical text that is desperately needed to restore fairness and balance to the present ideology-sodden curriculum of women’s studies courses.”36 Publishers Weekly added, “While some feminists may assert that it is an attack on women, the book attempts to show areas in which males operate at a disadvantage without claiming that women are responsible for their plight.”37

Simon & Schuster, Myth’s publisher, followed up the next year with Christina Hoff Sommers’ Who Stole Feminism? How Women Have Betrayed Women. Like The Real Anita Hill, Sommers’ book was written with support from right-wing foundations (including the John M. Olin Foundation and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation).38 In it, Sommers coined the term “equity feminist” (also used by Paglia) to describe an ideological stance that claims to support equal gender rights but rejects the existence of structural oppression, aligning it with the men’s rights position and other libertarian philosophies.39 (The Independent Women’s Forum, which emerged out of female support for Clarence Thomas, displays this type of ideological thinking.) Similarly to Farrell, Sommers challenges statistics regarding the extent of sexual and physical violence against women, emphasizes the specter of false accusations, and denies the existence of continuing structural inequalities against women.

More: ... -alt-right

Re: Masculinities of the far right

PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:52 pm
by American Dream
Evo Psych, Incel Edition: “It’s your biological responsibility to rape a female and advance our species”

Keep your sperm to yourself, you pieces of shit

By David Futrelle

Evolutionary Psychology is a problematic discipline to begin with, relying heavily on simplistic evolutionary “just-so” stories that for some mysterious reason always seem to reinforce the most reactionary notions about gender and human nature.

Read More→

Re: Masculinities of the far right

PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:23 pm
by American Dream
The Brawler

2018 Summer Issue
August 05, 2018

Alexander Zaitchik

The hard-charging neo-Nazi from East Texas known as Azzmador was supposed to take the alt-right’s ground game to the next level.

After Charlottesville, he and his colleagues at The Daily Stormer are having doubts.

Amid the crowds and chaos of last August’s “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, members of the general public might have recognized, at most, two of the far-right attendees. David Duke, the movement’s increasingly plastic-faced elder statesman, was ubiquitous on the rally grounds, mugging for cameras and leading chants of “The Goyim Know!” Then there was Richard Spencer, who appeared as the voice of a new generation, less than a year into his notoriety as a media star and clean-cut face of the racist “alt-right.”

Charlottesville also buzzed with a second-tier of intra-movement celebrities, unknown to the wider public but famous and admired within the alt-right’s online ecosystem of websites, podcasts, social media sites and chat forums. Figures like Matthew Heimbach of the Traditionalist Worker Party, the podcaster Johnny Monoxide, Henrik Palmgren of Red Ice Radio, and a dozen others were observed in Charlottesville giving interviews and posing for fan selfies.

Chief among this second-tier was a roughhewn 51-year-old neo-Nazi from East Texas named Robert Warren Ray, better known by his nom de guerre, “Azzmador.” A writer and podcast host for The Daily Stormer, the leading website of the alt-right, Azzmador was an organizing force on the ground in Charlottesville. He led clashes with counter-protesters, ran the Stormer’s livestream, and appeared in a much-discussed Vice News documentary talking about “communist kikes and criminal niggers.” After being kept at arm’s length by organizers in the run-up to the rally, he was chosen to deliver a Saturday night “victory” speech at an after party on behalf of the Stormer’s founder, Andrew Anglin.

With his biker’s beard, potbelly and ponytail, Azzmador cuts an aggressive contrast to the coiffed hair, clean shaves and vested suits of Spencer and Duke. He is also senior by the standards of the youthful alt-right scene. Indeed, it is difficult to separate his age and appearance from his assumed role as the movement’s grizzled, flame-throwing, no-bullshit uncle.

After his rapid ascent within the emergent alt-right in 2015, Azzmador became known for leading street actions and advocating an “IRL” (In Real Life) strategy to take the movement offline and into the fray, pepper spray in hand. Eight months after Charlottesville, the strategy he once personified is the subject of a pained introspection and debate within the alt-right, if not the source of a widening cleave. The optics of an aggressive ground game built around high-profile conflicts with anti-racists and other counter-protesters — once thought the key to recruitment and growth — has not turned out to be the winning strategy Azzmador and others in the movement had promised.

Robert Warren Ray in 1999.

“There’s been a lot of really weird stuff going on in the movement,” Azzmador lamented on a post-Charlottesville episode of his podcast, “The Krypto Report.” “The alt-right got huge during the Trump campaign. Then we had 2017 and things kind of went off the rails.”

It must have been a difficult admission to make. If anyone stood at the center of the year everything “went off the rails,” it was the man known to his legions of fans as “Azz.”

To see what Azzmador’s street strategy looked like a year ago, roll the voluminous tape recorded at Charlottesville. Living up to his reputation, Azzmador led shield-walls into clashes with counter-protesters and initiated loud chants of “The Jews Will Not Replace Us!” He bragged on camera about pepper-spraying “kikes,” and about telling the academic Cornel West to his face that he was a “foul ape for the rope.”

For his alleged role in organizing the rally, at which 30 people were injured and one killed, Azzmador is named among the co-defendants in a civil suit brought last October by several residents of Charlottesville in a Virginia federal court. The suit accuses Azzmador and his fellow organizers, led by Jason Kessler, of conspiracy “to terrorize [the city’s] residents, commit acts of violence, and use the town as a backdrop to showcase for the media and the nation a neo-nationalist agenda.”

The defendants have submitted a motion to dismiss that argues their internet memes and rhetoric about gassing Jews and lynching black people should not, and were never meant to be, taken seriously. But in a series of leaked chat room logs from Discord, an online messaging service for gamers, Azzmador and other rally organizers write of their readiness to “crack skulls” and “shank … niggers.” The suit includes sections of the Discord logs in which Azzmador (“defendant Ray”) writes, “I come bare-fisted … But my guys will be ready with lots of nifty equipment.”

The suit’s allegations against Azzmador find further support in the celebratory letter he read at an afterparty that weekend on behalf of The Daily Stormer’s editor-in-hiding, Andrew Anglin.

“A day is quickly coming when it is we who will be digging graves,” Azzmador says in a leaked recording of the event, a day after a counter-protester was killed. “This is our war! Death to traitors! Death to the enemies of the white race! Hail victory!”

Exhortations to violence with echoes of Nazi ideology are consistent with Azzmador’s self-styled role as The Daily Stormer’s fearless face in physical space. The “Texas Barbaryan” (Azz’s Skype handle) is the coordinator for a national “offline” network of Stormer-affiliated “Book Clubs” and has led his own East Texas affiliate into numerous skirmishes with anti-racists and the media. In a March 2018 Stormer post, he described the Book Clubs as being about “comradeship … men helping each other, and always having a bully squad to show up when a bully squad is needed.” The Book Clubs’ symbol features flanked maces, studded clubs used in early medieval warfare.

Continues: ... 18/brawler

Re: Masculinities of the far right

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:59 am
by American Dream
How brave of these chaos provocateurs to come into the belly of the beast and count coup for the entertainment of their social media bros, amp up the jeering one-liners so the easily-baited Antifa and their puerile Black Bloc will do their salivating thing, the whole world watching as Berkeley once again reenacts the Long 1968, cue the truncheons and tear gas, the plateglass cannonading in the Student Union. I think of that diminutive professor holding his ground in Dwinelle and I want to retch as farce becomes tragedy. The Long 1968 casts a long shadow.

I know if I were an Iraq or Afghanistan veteran I’d be mighty pissed. Fought and died for this dungfest? I don’t know how many are attending UC on the GI Bill, but even an army of one is enough to inform the shock troops of the alt-right that they defile at their peril. This time around veterans have the University’s back.

Paroxysm to the People: The Years of Learning Dangerously at Berkeley, by Robert Andersen

Re: Masculinities of the far right

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:07 pm
by American Dream
Remember “Enforced Monogamy?” Nazi misogynist Andrew Anglin shows us just how ugly it could be

Andrew Anglin thinks his version of enforced monogamy will lead to bumper crops of babies

By David Futrelle

Jordan “Women are Chaos” Peterson got into a bit of hot water a couple of months back when he told a reporter for the New York Times that some sort of “enforced monogamy” might be necessary to make sure the supply of women is properly distributed amongst the male population.

Read More→

Re: Masculinities of the far right

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:20 pm
by American Dream
What Is Jordan B. Peterson Really Saying?


If you are an English speaker and have had access to the Internet, television, radio, or newspapers anytime within the last few months, odds are you have heard the name Jordan B. Peterson. A year or so ago you might have shaken your head in ignorance and muttered an innocent ‘who?’ at the mention of Peterson and not been accused of cultural illiteracy. But not anymore. With the release of his book, 12 Rules For Life: An Antidote to Chaos, at the start of 2018, Peterson shot to the top of the bestselling lists in Canada – his native land – the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia practically overnight, and is maintaining his dominance, an important word for Peterson, even as I write, with successful book tours and sold-out audiences. Before this he was a prestigious but relatively little-known Canadian professor and psychologist who did important work at Harvard in studying the links between aggression and drug and alcohol abuse and who had a long and passionate obsession with the place of evil and suffering in human existence.

This obsession with what C.G. Jung, a central influence on Peterson, called ‘the shadow’ in the human psyche gave rise to a fascination in him with totalitarian ideologies and the question of how human beings can be so enamoured of their belief systems that they were willing to engage in global conflict – even annihilation – rather than abandon them. Nightmares of nuclear catastrophe and nihilistic dread informed much of Peterson’s early years.

Peterson’s research material was ready to hand: the Cold War that he had lived under since his birth in 1962 – in Fairview, Alberta – until the fall of the Soviet Union, the Stalin purges that preceded it and the atrocities of National Socialism that hit a high water mark for human inhumanity. His first book, Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief (1999) was an ambitious if not entirely successful attempt to come to grips with how human beings generate ‘meaning’ – how we create order out of chaos, a central theme for Peterson – with the help of behavioural psychology, ancient myths, and healthy doses of then current neuroscience. It took Peterson thirteen years to write and it had its readers. Not as many as 12 Rules for Life, although the success of his second-born is benefiting his first. His publishers, keen to capitalise on Petersonmania, are bringing out a new edition of the work. This is not sheer opportunism. The 12 rules for life Peterson sets his new readers to follow are anchored in the insights of his earlier book, and adventurous readers of his later work may want to follow his ideas to their roots.

What took Peterson out of relative academic obscurity and into the media spotlight was controversy. In 2016 he came to public attention, at first in Canada then farther afield, when he refused to comply with rules of ‘compelled speech’ – his term – that would come into effect on the University of Toronto campus, where he taught, when the hotly debated Bill C-16 was passed, as it seemed sure to be, by the Canadian government. This proposition would add “gender identity or expression” as prohibited grounds of discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act. It would also widen the definition of what committing a ‘hate crime’ meant under Canada’s criminal code.

Peterson had by this time attracted attention by his vocal objection to ‘political correctness’, which for him is a form of leftist social authoritarianism, an outgrowth of postmodernism, an intellectual and cultural movement that he considers a kind of nihilistic Marxism. For Peterson the demand that he use neologisms like zhe and zher, as C-16 would compel him to, when addressing a student or faculty member that ‘identified’ as a non-binary gender, was bad news. Innocuous as such a demand seemed, he believed it was the thin edge of the wedge that would open the door to more immediately recognisable and less easily resisted consequences. As he put it, such compulsion marked “the vanguard of a postmodern radical leftist ideology that I detest, and which is… frighteningly similar to the Marxist doctrines that killed at least 100 million people in the 20th century.”1

The links between contentious personal pronouns, postmodernism, and the evils of Pol Pot may not be immediately obvious. But Peterson had his reasons for believing they exist and he was not shy about letting people know.

Introducing Jordan Peterson
I first became aware of Peterson when a Facebook friend suggested I watch the videos of his classroom lectures that were on YouTube. Peterson had been posting them since 2013 and in 2017 he hired a production crew to do a professional job of it. They did. Peterson may in fact be the first YouTube philosopher; it was certainly through these videos, and not the demanding pages of Maps of Meaning, that he became a grassroots sensation. Peterson is an engaging speaker, committed and feisty, something like a prairie Jeremiah come to call the corrupt to account; it’s not surprising that he draws a great deal on the Judeo-Christian tradition, with equal helpings of Dostoevsky, Nietzsche, Orwell and Solzhenitsyn. One of his most popular lecture series deals with his reinterpretation of biblical symbols. He also has a sense of humour.

When I clicked on one link my correspondent had sent, I was taken to a video of an exchange between Peterson and a transgender student which was warm to begin with but quickly heated up. Peterson, however, didn’t lose his temper and stuck to his point, expressing it as clearly as he could. He gave his reasons calmly but firmly, maintaining a composure that has served him in good stead.2 He was serious. A crowd gathered and soon shouting started. But he kept to the issue: that while there are things he agreed he shouldn’t say – he is no fan of ‘hate speech’ – he would not comply with words that he was compelled to say. He was being told what he had to say, what he must say, and he refused. Period.

I got his point. It was, as Peterson maintained, a question of freedom of speech, which ultimately means freedom of thought. Words are what we have to think with and what we use to express thought. Being compelled to use certain words means being compelled to think certain thoughts. That, of course, is the whole idea of Orwell’s 1984 in which the dictionary of the English language becomes smaller and smaller with each new edition, leaving fewer and fewer words with which to express one’s fewer and fewer thoughts. Eventually all that are left are grunts and groans, or in our case, emojis.3 Paranoid? Perhaps. But Peterson’s point came home to me and I had to say that I agreed with him.

I watched a few other videos, read some articles about the pronoun scandal and others, and learned that at campuses and other sites Peterson had been shouted down and his talks cancelled because of student protests and disruptions that became increasingly familiar to him and his followers.4 This happened to some other academics who were also deemed not politically correct.5 Even teaching assistants were being interrogated for not denouncing Peterson as an evil equal to Hitler.6 It was also happening to advocates of more obviously far-right ideas, putting the notion of ‘tolerance’ through several difficult twists.7 They, too, were shouted down and suddenly it seemed that ‘free speech’ had become a conservative issue, a neat turnaround. Predictably, Peterson, who declares himself a centrist and “old style British liberal” with no interest in the far-right, got entangled in this, and has been picked up by some fans of the alt-right. In recent times he has gone out of his way to make his political position more clear.8

When we think of student protest we generally have in mind the 1960s, and the civil rights and anti-Vietnam war demonstrations. But there were students before the 1960s and they did not always protest in favour of peace and love. In the 1930s, in Nazi Germany, students harassed Jewish professors until they resigned, were fired, or worse; they also burned books.9 And in the 1960s, many leftist student radicals were not averse to using violence to attain their aims.10 Protest in itself is neither here nor there; who is protesting and for what are the important questions. And there is a difference between a protest and a mob. Free speech means being able to say things that others disagree with. It also ensures that those who disagree can voice their arguments in reply. The aim of this exchange is to think things through. It is not so much a right, as Peterson points out, as a responsibility. It is through this dialogue that civilisation carries on, and bad ideas get weeded out. Shouting down voices you do not want to hear, as a mob does, is a sign of barbarism, not civilisation.

There was another reason I found myself agreeing with Peterson. I was aware of the dominance of leftist ideas and sensibilities on American universities, of the spread of postmodernism and deconstructionism through the humanities, having experienced some of the effects of this myself, years earlier. While getting my undergraduate degree in California in the late 1980s, I was advised not to be seen reading Allan Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind, which sounded a warning about precisely the situation that Peterson, and many others, believe we are in. Thirty years ago Bloom warned that the student radicals of the 1960s were now tenured professors – ‘tenured radicals’ as another book had it – and in their classrooms were spreading the medley of half-digested Nietzsche, Heidegger and the Frankfurt School that fed the postmodernist monster.11 A few years later I hit this wall myself when I embarked on a PhD track in English Lit at a prestigious southern California university. The department was dominated by the fashionable postmodern schools and I soon realised that had I continued I would most likely not have found a job. I was a white male mature student who had no interest in deconstructing anything. I dropped out after a year and abandoned the idea of an academic career – a good decision, as it turned out. Now Peterson seemed to be taking on practically singlehandedly the fully grown behemoth that I had encountered in its infancy and I found myself thinking ‘good for him!’

The Post Modernist Project
What does Peterson have against postmodernism and the politically correct shibboleths to which it has given rise such as the ‘patriarchy’, ‘equity’, ‘white privilege’ ‘cultural appropriation’ and others, which increasingly seem aimed at giving modern white males a guilt-complex and undermining Western civilisation, if not seriously impacting on children’s Halloween costumes?12 The short answer is that he sees postmodernism and its fellow traveller, deconstructionism, as Marxism 2.0.

Peterson points out that by the late 1960s and early ‘70s, the belief in Marxism as an ideology furthering the human project had bottomed out. Although many French intellectuals, such as Jean-Paul Sartre and Maurice Merleau-Ponty, had bent over backward to absolve Stalin of his crimes – at least six million Russians were killed in Ukraine alone during the agricultural collectivisation of the 1920s – or at least to ignore them, the events of the Prague Spring and the publication of Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago (1973) made it apparent that, as the title of an early critique of Communism had it, the Soviet experiment was a “god that failed.”13

Yet old intellectual habits and political resentments die hard. What happened, according to Peterson, was that the new crop of anti-Western ideologues, the generation of May ’68, abandoned the old economic class war as the basis for their detestation, which they could no longer uphold and be taken seriously, and widened their brief. Now economic oppression need not carry the weight of their condemnation alone. It was no longer simply that the bourgeoisie oppressed the worker. The entire structure of Western civilisation was built on the principle of oppression. From day one the system was geared to favour white European males and the mechanics of oppression inform it from top to bottom. It is rooted in our language and in the very attempt at using logic and reason to understand the world – which, sadly, the West has been trying to do since around 500 BCE, give or take a century, with admittedly debatable results.

Although versions of this assessment had earlier been voiced by Nietzsche and Heidegger, this last indictment was made most influentially by the doyen of deconstructionism, the French philosopher Jacques Derrida, an avowed Marxist. Derrida argued against the very idea of logic, a neat trick for a philosopher, or anyone, as argument itself relies on it. But no matter. Yet that is precisely the point. As Peterson spells out in lecture after lecture, the whole idea of logic and argument is anathema to postmodernism. Logic is a tool of white European male oppression. Technically it is termed ‘phallogocentricism’, a Derridean coinage highlighting a male organ not usually associated with logical thinking. To avoid it, many promoters of political correctness rely on emotion and what Peterson calls “weaponised compassion” to support their ideology. Hence the attempts to paint Peterson as a bully when he merely tries to be logical and stick to a point. But that is what an oppressive white male would do, wouldn’t he?

Derrida took the work of the nineteenth century Swiss linguist Ferdinand Sausurre who argued that language was based on a system of arbitrary signs, and ran with it. There are signifiers – words – and the signified – things – but there is no necessary relation between them. Words point, they do not ‘mean’, in the sense that they do not point to a meaning that is there, waiting to be discovered. Meanings are culturally generated, which is not far from Marx’s belief that all ‘meanings’ and ‘values’ are socially produced, are the products of ‘history’, that is, relative, not absolute. Truth, in the sense that the Western mind has pursued it since Plato, does not exist; nor for that matter do the Good or the Beautiful. Even worse: all three are agents of oppression and have been used to secure and maintain the dominance of one view of the world to the exclusion of others: that of Dead White European Males, or DWEMs. This meant Plato, Shakespeare, Dante, Newton, Goethe, Beethoven, and the rest of what we consider the A list of Western culture. What it also means is that all criteria of truth produced by this culture are suspect. Does 2+2=4? For a diehard postmodernist, it does only for those who benefit from such an equation – which, one assumes, includes the postmodern professor, when it comes to his pay-check.

As Peterson points out, this is an expression of the postmodern belief which has practically come to be accepted as fact – forgetting that postmodernism itself denies the reality of facts – that everything we know, believe, and understand about ourselves is ‘socially constructed’. What is behind this process, Derrida and company say, is power, nothing more. How could there be if there is no Truth but only ‘truths’ relative to the cultures that produce them? What a postmodernist would say about the ‘truths’ of National Socialism is unclear, although one prestigious deconstructionist, the Belgian Paul de Man, was able to accommodate some aspects of it.14 Just as for Marx, religion, philosophy, literature, art – all culture in fact – were merely part of the ‘superstructure’, the pleasant façade of Western society camouflaging the ugly truth that everything depended on the ‘means of production’ – which, of course, was in the hands of the hated bourgeoisie – so, too, for postmodernism all ideas about Truth are simply many disguises concealing the ugly truth – we can’t escape the word – that what is at work here is simply power, who has it and how they keep it.

‘Existential Self-Help’: 12 Rules for Life
These concerns have trickled down from the academic heights and infiltrated everyday life, Peterson says, affecting how we live and what we think, hence his worry. The social and political influence of postmodernism, he believes, is wholly pernicious because, among other things, it denies the reality of human nature and the unique differences and potentialities with which each individual is born. For postmodernism, the idea there are things about us that are not ‘socially constructed’ but simply given – such as gender and its differences – is merely another weapon in the hands of the oppressor. It hates the idea of a human nature because it suggests something resistant to its desire to create a perfect world through social planning and legislature, as previous Marxist experiments attempted – with, as Peterson points out, disastrous results. This would be a world of ‘equality’ where there are no winners or losers, no differences between people, only a homogenous sameness – an odd target for utopians concerned about ‘diversity’. In the meantime, what this leaves, Peterson warns, is a culture of victims and perpetrators, a society of the ‘oppressed’ which is encouraged by postmodern ideology to take out its revenge – called ‘social justice’ – on its oppressor, in order to level the playing field.

What this amounts to for Peterson is an attack on the individual and the value of personal responsibility. For politically correct reasons, he or she is reduced to being merely a member of a group; as such they are responsible for the perceived guilt or privilege of that group, regardless of their own individual conduct. Just as Marxism does, postmodernism denies the autonomous ego. They – we – do not exist. There are only representatives of different communities – racial, economic, national, sexual, etc. – who are embroiled in a ‘war of all against all’ in the scramble for power. Hence ‘identity politics’ and ‘tribalism’. This is Hobbes’ vision of our natural state before civilisation, enshrined as its summit.

For Peterson, such a vision enables one of the darkest, most shadowy aspects of human reality, what Nietzsche called ressentiment, to arise. This is the sour grapes attitude toward life. It blames its own shortcomings on others and disparages what it is unable to achieve. In the worst cases it takes revenge on life itself – or ‘being’, as Peterson prefers – for not going out of its way to make things easier for it, and for allowing others to do well. This existential spite, Peterson argues, is behind much of human evil, from Cain’s slaying of his brother Abel, to violent revolutions, serial killers, and totalitarian governments.

Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life is his prescription for the exact opposite attitude. It is a personal and professional pep talk and day-planner for taking responsibility for one’s life. As a motivational work, which it is, it is less combative and more inspirational than his videos. At times it does not avoid an eyebrow raising earnestness. But for a self-help book – Peterson is, after all, a psychotherapist – this is not unusual and shouldn’t take away from the main message. Which is: don’t blame anyone else – the ‘system’, your parents, your wife, your boss, the ‘patriarchy’ – for your failings. This, he tells us, is the first step in overcoming them. No wonder that ‘clean your room’, ‘get your act together,’ and similar admonitions are his mantras.

I call this a work of ‘existential self-help’. It begins with the fact – one not socially constructed – that we find ourselves in a world we do not understand, having no idea where we came from, why we are here, and what we are supposed to do now that we are. But we nevertheless have the capacity – the responsibility, Peterson insists – to face these dark unknowns honestly, authentically, and with some dignity. This means, as Peterson points out, taking on the burden of being and consciousness, embracing the pain, suffering, confusion and failure that are inextricable parts of life – perhaps its most important parts – without trying to avoid them or resent them as the work of some oppressor. This is an existential attitude, and he finds it in Dostoevsky and Nietzsche, but it could also be called a religious one.

As I followed Peterson through his rules – I leave the reader to discover them if they haven’t already – it struck me that they all emerge from what we can see as his own Golden Rule #6 in the book: Set your house in perfect order before criticising the world.15 If you want to change the world, the best place to start is with yourself. You can start with something small and go from there. As the Swedish savant Swedenborg said long ago, do the good that you know. It is not hard to find. Usually it is right there, in front of you.

It’s this call to the individual to stand up for his or herself – straight and with your shoulders back, Rule #1, that is responsible for Peterson’s popularity, especially with young people. He challenges them to own their own lives rather than whine about them, and to fix what they can rather than save the world. His message seems to be getting across. His audience is growing. His YouTube subscribers number more than one million and his videos have been seen by over 50 million viewers. 12 Rules for Life remains on the bestseller lists and his Patreon forum, which raises a not inconsiderable sum, has nearly 10,000 supporters.16 If Petersonmania carries on like this, we may be post-postmodernists sooner than we think.

Re: Masculinities of the far right

PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:53 am
by American Dream
After Charlottesville, solving the problem of angry men: What does healthy masculinity look like?

Salon talks to sociologist Michael Kimmel about radicalized men, extremism, white supremacy and Jordan Peterson

This is how racism works. Racism disaggregates white people so each individual white person is discussed as an individual. Thus, it is an individual mental illness problem. Whereas when black people act or when Muslims act, it's collective--it's them, it's their culture, it's their religion. What racism does is it desegregates white people and aggregates people of color. The second thing I noticed, of course, is that they're all male. It's not that there's something genetic or biological or chronic about men's violence and picking up guns. There is something about the cultural meaning of masculinity.

For example, if this violence was really caused by mental illness is it not rational to assume that rates of mental illness would be relatively similar between teenage boys and teenage girls? The answer is yes they are. So why is it that they're all boys? Well, it could be that boys have more access to guns, but it could also be that there's something about the meaning of masculinity that says when you are ashamed or when you are humiliated this is a gendered experience of emasculation and violence. The way you restore your manhood is through violence. All of these guys feel aggrieved and that something bad has been done to them. They are the "victims" and they are going to get even. American men don't get sad. We get mad. And American men don't get mad, we get even.

What triggers these young predominantly middle class white men and boys who are privileged in society to commit these acts of mass murder? American society is organized around protecting white heterosexual male privilege. How come they cannot process basic slights and rejections in a healthy way? Is it a function of collective narcissism?

It's about entitlement. Narcissism is a type of self-aggrandizing behavior. I believe that these boys are coping with self-hatred and feeling emasculated. So that's the flip side, what is a disordered mirror image of that narcissism. These guys feel like they're the "victims". They start out with a notion that there is an adversarial relationship between women and men. It's a battle of the sexes. It's war between the sexes. Dating and sex and relationships are made into combat. You know as well as I do that when you go out with her she has something you want and you have to figure out strategies to get it. If you get some, you win and if she gives it up, she loses.

These guys all feel that way. They are following the Elliot Rodger model "I'm good looking, I'm attractive, I'm the perfect gentleman and I keep getting denied and I'm destined to die a virgin."

When you read work by Jordan Peterson or Ross Douthat which tries to analyze this crisis in masculinity--and in the process seems to enable some of the worst aspects of men's behavior--how do you make sense of it all? Why is their work so popular and apparently respected as being "serious" and "worthy of debate" because it is "rigorous"?

To start I would not lump Jordan Peterson and Ross Douthat together. They are not the same in terms of the origins of their claims.

The broader lesson here is that every 20 years or so some male guru comes along and he says to men, "Your lives are empty. They're meaningless, you're not going anywhere". Now you have Jordan Peterson saying, "Your life is shallow, stand up straight, dig in, do something hard, do something meaningful with your life, will you? Just get off your ass. Oh by the way, it's not your fault that you're sitting there watching the world go by, it's women's fault". This is an argument that people have always been making.

In this logic, "If women would just put out a little more, men wouldn't have to rape them. If women would put out a little more, prostitution would end". It takes the types of malaise that Peterson observes among men and tries to offer solutions. I agree that young men are looking for meaning in their lives. They will find it, but not in the places that Jordan Peterson thinks. He basically says you men are lacking meaning and resilience, but it's not your fault. It's women's fault. And what is this system that these right-wing "men's rights" types and others are suggesting but basically a kind of state-run brothel?

We're talking about the "Handmaid's Tale" here. In many respects, Jordan Peterson is a philosophical clown, an intellectual court jester. He likes being provocative but he's not conscienceless. Peterson is a serious guy who has serious ideas about male malaise, but his diagnosis of it is so mistaken that he can't possibly offer a solution to it.

How is this malaise uniquely "male"? If we are looking at social malaise, atomization, economic insecurity, fear, depression, and other negative social forces they are present for all genders. Neoliberalism and globalization are impacting all people.

If you start with neoliberalism and globalization then the next step is the global economic restructuring of class relations in the United States which means that a large number of white men--and lower middle class and middle class and working class men as a group--are downwardly mobile as compared to their fathers and grandfathers. Then came agribusiness, then came Walmart, then came the outsourcing of all of those manufacturing jobs, the war against the unions, all of those things.

This is what sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild is in part arguing in the new book, "Strangers in Their Own Strange Land." I make a similar argument in my book "Angry White Men." These guys believe that they are entitled to certain kinds of jobs and other positions but they don't get them. The "other people" such as black people, gay people, women and immigrants are getting those jobs and opportunities.

I think that the difference is these white men start from a position of aggrieved entitlement and victimization. They believe they've gotten a bad deal and are getting screwed. Now, if you feel that you're a victim and you've gotten screwed, you have to figure out why you feel that way. One idea is the global restructuring of neoliberalism. Now if you think systematically and structurally you would conclude that, "Gee, I'm in the same position as African- American men and other dispossessed men. I should make an alliance with them." That is what we would call left-wing populism.

But if I say that those people of color and those immigrants are the cause of my malaise, the cause of my distress, then I move to right-wing populism because the difference between right-wing populism and left-wing populism is your position on race.

If you focus on class over race then you're a leftist. The right-wing populists supports Donald Trump and his predecessor The Tea Party because they focus on race.

Here's the thing about Trump that's really interesting to me. His base is almost entirely angry white men who experience aggrieved entitlement and believe that they deserve certain jobs and status and all these immigrants, people of color, gays and women and everybody else is getting what they "deserve." They're angry because they feel dispossessed. They're emasculated. Now, what Trump has managed to do is to take this individual experience among his base and make it America's policy. We've got to, "Make America Great Again!" so we can be the biggest, baddest bully on the block. This is really a brilliant strategy to take the individual experiences of those individual angry and white men who feel dispossessed and make it a national sentiment

In the United States these so-called "dispossessed" white men you are describing join right-wing domestic terrorist groups and also become diehard Trumpists. In other parts of the world they join ISIS, Al Qaeda or other terrorist organizations. How are these processes of radicalization similar or different?

In my new book I examine several groups and organizations that work with ex-neo Nazis skinheads and white supremacists as well as one that works with ex-Islamic Jihadists. The reason for that is because I consider gender as something that links them all together.

Whether they're jihadists or neo-Nazis or the old established white supremacists like David Duke or the more contemporary skinheads, they are all searching for a kind of communal validation of masculinity. They also are seeking an assertion of manhood and feeling like strong and powerful men with missions. There is a big difference between the jihadists and the white supremacists that I interviewed which is around the process of radicalization.

The men who joined the neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups tend to be guys who are kind of lonely, isolated and bullied. The schools were not good for them. There are young and the skinhead movement gives them a feeling of brotherhood, camaraderie and connection. The ideology starts later. They get in not because they're ideologically committed, but because they feel like they have found brothers, community, family.

More: ... look-like/

Re: Masculinities of the far right

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:57 am
by American Dream

Re: Masculinities of the far right

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 3:32 pm
by American Dream

Re: Masculinities of the far right

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 4:44 pm
by American Dream
How to Be a Trans Writer in the Era of Never-Ending Gender Wars


I know you aren’t my allies. I dare to proclaim you aren’t my community either.

You don’t want resolution, you don’t want healing.

You want blood. You want a fight.

You want rape and slow, brutal, verbal murder. You want the chance to scavenge our still-breathing corpses for every wrong word, wrong deed, and wrong idea. You want to choke out the life of young trans people, filling their heads with fake statistics about their alleged lifespan until they succumb to a suicide you can count with glory in your spectator martyrdom. You want to keep repeating that bullshit no matter how many times it is explained to you that it is wrong. You want to silence whatever anarchic spirit rises contrary to your pleasure, your comfort, your conceptualization of us, the writers, givers, power-shakers, the disabled, the whores, the mad.

You are insatiable.

And in your demand, there is no liberation. There is no break from the trauma in your consumption of us. We will perpetually be rape victims and sex workers, permitted only ever to be destitute survivors or proudly empowered feminists in this trade, never trafficked, never coerced, never self-hating, never grown-up traumatized children working through toxic relationships to sexuality and capitalism. For the duration of a Facebook thread or a five minute speech at your weekend rally, we will be fabulous and stunningly feminine, brave and on brand, centered and amplified, righteous and fuming—or we will be no one remotely of value. Never are we allowed to heal, to not care, to decline, to merge with the Ohr Ein Sof, to love drag culture, to just move on or dare to politic differently.

Your concern for trans people is limited to an abstract rendering of our lives into a consumable text format or sound bit for you to like and share and boldly critique without ever having to consider the author as a human being who breaks, who cries, who has limits, who has boundaries.

You are a hammer. You demand a nail. You demand to crucify.

You don’t want to hear trans voices. You want to hear yourself echoed and applauded in a lifeless metaphor embodied by a trans person you couldn’t give two shits about.

You want to share a witty piece about emotional labor, but you wouldn’t dare interrogate your own unceasing demands for it.

You want to conjure us out like personal Jesus goddesses every time there’s a conflict in the community, as if our whole lives begin with every moment you need us.

You want another battle royale, angry dykes vs. angry trannies, angry feminism, blood and hormones, a performance for your entertainment and never our own resolution. I think it was Utah Phillips who asked Ani Difranco why don’t you write angry feminist songs anymore?

You want to catalogue our identities so you can catalogue our sins.

You want clearly MALE or clearly FEMALE, clearly CIS or clearly TRANS, because you still cannot handle the glorious, radiant biology of intersexuality, the sex of angels, the holy mystery of ambiguity and the tidal movement of life between continental bodies in a shimmering ocean.

God/dess bless you. Bless all your hearts. ... nder-wars/

Re: Masculinities of the far right

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 11:33 pm
by American Dream
Fix struggling Hooters chain by letting men DEBATE THEIR WAITRESSES, dude suggests

Hey, large-breasted women: Debate him if you disagree that you should debate him! (Note: This is not actually the Hooters debate guy, by the way; it’s a meme.)

By David Futrelle

Have you heard the bad news about Hooters? The infamous “breastaurant” chain, a place where America’s creepiest dads and granddads could live out their fantasies of gawking at their waitresses’ boobs without the owners of said boobs being able to complain about it, has been, well, sagging a bit lately.

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