Why don’t Presidents fight the war?

 

Nice song, eh?

Brings back good memories, stuff about my youth and being disenfranchised against the system and just wanting to destroy everything about a world I hated. There’s a fragment of this song that I think is not given enough attention, and has been part of political discourse for a very long time. Boris Vian, in a very touching poem and song, wrote about his experience in the first World War and how he refused to fight in the new one. It was called “Le Déserteur” (the Deserter). Toward the end, the poem goes a little bit like this:

S’il faut donner son sang

Allez donner le vôtre

Vous êtes bon apôtre

Monsieur le Président

“If blood must be spilled, go and spill yours, you are a good apostle, Mr. President.”

This is more or less a translation of the above. At the time, it was quite revealing of the mindset of some people in France. Throughout the song, Boris Vian describes the horrors he went through and his time as a prisoner of war. It’s sung in a rather melancholy tone, one of resignation. One which makes sense, because the song ends shortly after that last paragraph on:

Si vous me poursuivez

Prévenez vos gendarmes

Que je n’aurai pas d’armes

Et qu’ils pourront tirer

“Should you pursue me – advise your officers – that I will be unarmed – and that they can shoot me.”

The song in itself inspires civil disobedience but also a kind of resigned pacifism and pessimism. He knows fully well that people like himself can get imprisoned for pacifism and that desertion can lead to getting executed. Yet, for all the risks that his decision entails, the man portrayed in the song has decided he’d rather die than go back to the front and kill other “poor folks”. Since then, the song has been taken up by various artists, some more renowned than others, but the original I think is still superior to anything else, simply because of the minimalistic musical arrangement.

 

Sure, it’s bloody, but at least only one man died instead of hundreds. I would much rather there never be war, but humanity being what it is, it seems nigh impossible that war will cease to occur in the foreseeable future (barring a complete extinction of the human race). That being said, let’s move on to actually answering the question.

Presidents don’t fight wars, they make them

In order for a state to go in war against another, the decision has to come from the top. Citizens cannot themselves declare war upon another state and say that their warcry represents their country. In order for that to be, they have to be backed by an order from the highest authority in the nation. In America, it’s the President; in Canada, it’d be Parliament along with the Prime Minister. Once that is done, does Congress or Parliament go to war themselves? Of course not, that’s for the lower classes to do. They have a state to manage.

It’s in war that politics becomes truly honest, because politicians are safe from the war they are having the citizens wage. This makes sense, after all, because if the governors and mayors and ministers and representatives all went to war, who’d be left to enact anti-desertion laws? That’s notwithstanding the fact that even if the people are not in the mood for good old state fisticuffs, there’s nothing that some properly constructed propaganda can’t fix. Propaganda has become the new means of political coercion in the so-called democracies we live in.

Once you have a known protagonist and a known antagonist, all you have to do is pit one against the other and proclaim the protagonist as being righteous in HIS violence against the antagonist’s wife and children. Wars serve the appropriate role of perpetuating friction and tension between nation-states, so that very slight changes in political playgrounds open old wounds that are steeped in extreme violence. While we are chanting the praises of the Allied victory, we would do well not to forget the atrocities that Allied forces also committed against conquered nations. These were fueled by an intense hatred that originated not only in the existence of the Axis, but in the way members of the nations that allied themselves with Nazi Germany were described.

The Japanese stereo-type of the squinty-eyed professor with glasses on and buck-toothed grin originated from the American propaganda of the time:

Résultats de recherche d'images pour « ww2 american propaganda japan »

Such a violent, over-the-top caricature of ethnicity was the name of the game even for the Japanese and the Germans. When states engage in such univocal messages of who the enemy is, there is an irrevocable image in the members of nation-states as to who the enemy is, was and will be. At that point, the President can be assured that the people have gained a thirst for war that will be easy to summon, when a new enemy arises and that he only needs to spread some carefully crafted propaganda for the populace to join in.

Thankfully, in the era of social media, such propaganda would be offset by the presence of critical thinkers on the web who would point holes in the imagery, much like I myself had to correct progressives on the usage of “neoliberalism” when used to depict DNC voters. There is one thing that I can see that propaganda can be worthy for, and that is to ridicule an enemy which otherwise has an overly arrogant attitude about themselves. Caricatures exist for that reason: To make fun of that which is seemingly forbidden. Now, the difference here is that caricatures based on faults a person has is good, but a caricature that vilifies an entire ethnicity is no longer just caricature, it is propaganda aimed to galvanize citizens for war.

There’s nothing morally wrong about killing someone whom you think to be nothing more than a buck-toothed hobgoblin with poor hygiene and depravation of all virtue. It ends up feeling almost like putting a bastard animal out of its misery with a merciful shot to the head. At that point, the President has successfully created the recipe for total war, and the people did not even need to vote for it.

Not all propaganda is created equal

Hold on there, my little centrist, I see you. If antifa make gross characterizations of fascists, does that not make them the same as fascists?

Were I comparing two undisclosed parties, you would be correct in your assumption that one party’s actions does not justify the other’s. Astutely deduced, in fact. My problem with such a fallacious interpretation of the ethics of hatred is that some hatred, although unjustified, is understandable. For example, I can understand that some people would hate fascists, whose only existence is to “clean” the world of all non-white supremacists, to create a utopia where only the best and the prettiest exist and copulate. I can’t understand how someone opposed to that would be painted as similar or equal to the same fascists.

I would concur that I don’t agree with ethnic cleansing or the cleansing of Nazi ideologues themselves, but I do believe that fascism has a root cause and that root has to be undone, dissected, burnt to a crisp and thrown in the abyss from whence it came. Antifa would rather get rid of every fascist alive, and that is their choice. I am but one man, and what I am good at is attacking bad ideas. Physically assaulting a person is not my forte and I would probably not be very good at it, even if I have the shape for it. Ask me whether I’d like to be rid of fascists or antifa and I’ll respond to you:

Get rid of the former and you’ll see no more of the latter.

Concluding

The reason why Presidents don’t fight the war, aside from the very obvious institutional conditions forbidding them to do so, is that those who profit from war require a constant influx of belligerents, regardless what country they are from. Weaponry is not fabricated by the State, it is bought by it. Those who make the weapons are those who profit from war as well as the ideologues backing them. War is a lucrative businesses, and military contractors are all too eager to get juicy business deals with the major governments and institutions of this world.

If Presidents went to war themselves, then the connections and the networks that they had to finance the wars would collapse and someone else would have to take over. Don’t ask yourself why America believes itself to be the Big Brother of all the other states, protecting the weak from injustice. It is because the beast has to be fed, and it requires human blood as a sacrifice.

Now, as a parting gift…

 

Sex Positivity in Social Media

You would think…

That in our society of great sexual proliferation, both commercially and culturally, that we’d be more open to sex positivity. Whether it be with regards to appreciating multiple body types rather than what is considered “the norm”, our society compared to many decades ago is leagues forward in terms of moral standards. Yet, it appears that our reactions to outliers is just the same as before. Why would that be?

Well, I have a theory on that.

Reality

It is a pesky and annoying thing. At any point in time, anyone, including myself, will have a rigid worldview within which, any outliers become oddities that we try to single out as mere glitches in the system. This does not change from divine morality to secular morality. As no system or social structure is without its failings, there is always something in this world that threatens our worldview and thus our very existence. At least, that is how our brain reacts. When faced with “facts” or “claims” that would defy what we think we know of the world, our reaction will be defensive, accusatory and perhaps even “skeptical”.

Now why is that? Because we are animals, deep down and because despite all our technological supremacy over other living things in this world, we still fail, as they do, when met with challenges that once were physical, and now are merely conceptual. In relative morality debates, there always comes a moment where we will compare the most reprehensible of actions to that which our opponent is suggesting. That can either be in the shape of Godwin’s law or baby mutilation. Most of us agree that the Nazis were horrible people and that baby mutilation is unimaginably awful.

Yet, that has not kept some people from doing both and to still praise one or the other. Bertrand Russell, in one of his most worthwhile works on ethics and society, demanded of his readers to entertain a chancy position: That in order for me to be as rigid as I am about a concept or an act, I must understand that someone is equally rigid about its opposite. It serves me nothing to at once disregard a position because it is alien to all I know. On some occasions of course, I can disregard a position because I know it to be objectively false.

Does that make me right? Is it even necessary to be right, in such instances?

On that, is it possible that someone who entertains the same worldview as I have, by and large, might hold certain views that contradict mine? If so, does that make them less of an ally? Some, it would appear, nod their heads in unison at this notion. As a feminist, you must be 100% behind the emancipation of women (and men) with regards to the patriarchal society.

Some ask: “Well, what if I am but I also think I should be allowed to be a housewife?”

At that point, the concept of emancipation becomes a lot more complex than simply not being bound to a home, but rather having the opportunity and the capacity to choose. There is no surprise when you then hear some of the more rigid members of the feminist movement consider being a housewife as a cardinal sin against feminism. Not all of them, of course, but what sociology can tell all of us is that nothing is ever perfect and whatever you do, there will always be assholes in any group.

My theory? There is radicalism in everything. From music, to visual arts, to economic practices, to working habits, to masturbation and even to stamp collecting. Not one sphere of human life is safe from “the radicals”. Even Buddhists have their own violent uprisings every now and then, so why shouldn’t feminists? Now, I am not saying that this is a good thing, but that it is silly not to expect such radical reactions to things as apparently harmless as the following:

Social commentary

The following is just social commentary. I’m not trying to paint an entire movement or an entire group of people with a strawman’s brush, but rather give an example of what I am saying here: That radicalism exists in any and all spheres of human activity.

Mr Tripps posted about his wife's body size on Instagram.
Source

Above is a picture of a man with his wife, which he used in a post where he praised not only his wife’s body, but that of other women who like herself, have physical attributes that fall off of the prescribed norm in society. This, with sprinkles of feminist cheers. The picture above seems rather harmless on its own and the status is simply put, a love letter to curvy women with a shout-out to feminist ideals, who taught this man to see beyond prescribed norms.

What was the reaction of the web? #NeverReadTheCommentSection

“strong contender for least fave type of male feminist is “man who thinks liking a curvy woman is revolutionary” – Julia Pugachevsky

“I would dump a guy so quickly for patting himself on the back for having the audacity to date me.” – Kat Blaque <— Was quite surprised to see Blaque take the bait, here.

And then amazingly enough, when I went digging deeper, I’ve found people who purposely scoped his profile for previous posts of his wife, where he praises her beauty and emphasizes the fact that she’s curvy, while apparently suggesting size does not matter. If that is what he had said, then that would be true, but he quite clearly says in his post that he LOVES women with her body type and felt ashamed of such for most of his adolescent life.

More than anything, it feels like a coming out to men in his entourage who feel like women like his wife are out of the norm. To those who live way out of the norm, this seems like childish nonsense, and for good reason: They preach this diversity of body types constantly, so why is a cishet white man’s praise of their body types somehow more important than the many times they’ve called for this type of tolerance?

Therein lies the crux of the issue.

Social commentary lends itself to a univocal interpretation of what has been said, and more often than not, those who perform such commentary will then utilize their own lens to analyze the person making the comment. So, if a comment seems to threaten the fabric of reality for one person, then that person will use their own reality to explain away the individual’s outlier reaction. As above: Two women who do not appear to appreciate a man praising a specific body type, because they are used to men objectifying women for their own benefit. What is the goal here, ultimately?

Academic vs popular

It is extremely tempting, when you get into academic studies, to invest your time in educating everyone around you on the things they get wrong. I do it all the time, but what I have learned over the last few months is that you should only dispense your teachings to people who will listen. When you dispense the teaching on those who feel they have no benefit to extract from it, you waste that teaching and therefore your efforts. You may have heard of the phrase “choosing your battles”.

This is a situation where someone who is probably not as radical a feminist as others might be, decided to give appraisal to a specific body type in women and therefore his wife’s, lining it with some feminist social commentary on how our society expects certain things both of men and women: Women should be careful with how they look and men should choose their women carefully, with the physical attributes holding chief priority over all else.

Tripp’s intent here, from what I have gathered, was solely to raise awareness, in his own fashion, that liking curvy women is not a bad thing. Those who are deeply within the social disputes regarding this react sarcastically, because of course they know. My problem with this attitude, however, is that you have a rather inoffensive man making a rather accessible post on tolerating various body types, and on the other side, you have certain people deciding that his appraisal is not only unnecessary, but it is objectifying toward his woman and that she should be offended by his appraisal of her body, because they are.

A divide must be drawn between academic analysis of social interactions between men and women and people just writing things on the web because they feel good about themselves. That is why I titled my blog post “Sex Positivity on Social Media”, because what this looks to me, more than anything, is people being uncomfortable with a man’s physical preferences in women, particularly one that they consider “otherness”. At once, we have the same people demanding to be respected despite their curves, and when someone not only does that, but claims that their curves make them that much hotter in his mind, then it is wrong.

Gender studies are good for telling you how genders function in society, but it is not up to you to educate every single soul on this earth on how their behavior is wrong. Teaching does not work like that. On the contrary, what we’re seeing here is basically punishment-based behaviorism. It might work if every person on the web was your student and you their teachers, but on social media, everyone is a teacher and no one wants to be a student (mostly).

If this man takes what is being said to him to heart, what he’ll have learned is that not only was he shamed by his peers for liking curvy women, he is shamed now by the “progressives” for openly talking about his preference for curvy women. There is no win-lose situation here. In an atmosphere of SJW shenanigans where everything the “left” does is reminiscent of SJWs to some people, this is definitely not helping.

And come on…

Of course he does not think it is revolutionary that he likes curvy women. He just wanted to say it. Are we going to shame people for stating their preferences in body types?

In Conclusion: Otherness

My conclusion is that as a person who LOVES academic debates, I absolutely understand the perspective of those in the social justice community who reacted negatively to this outburst from Tripp. They have a point, but only causally. What they don’t want people to get away from his post is that curvy women should be the norm. That isn’t what he said, but it could easily be construed as such. In my post here, I didn’t pretend to say they were completely wrong, but that the reaction to this post is really overkill.

Vitriolic retweets abound from the original tweet this man sent out, and most of them seem to paint sexual preferences in a negative light. As if it is wrong de facto to enjoy women who have curves and specify this preference. It is quite likely that this preference of his is steeped in some kind of sexist bias, but I think some people are stepping way out of bounds to suggest that this man should not be talking about the body types he likes in women. He suffered social stigma and psychological stress due to it, so it feels only normal that he would like to expel all this negativity with a worshipping tweet about his “Curvy Goddess”.

Deciding to name “otherness” whatever does not happen to be normal has the unfortunate side-effect of creating yet another “normal”. The hypocrisy here ends up being about how we want people to be accepted for their otherness, but also we want that otherness not to be highlighted or praised in the fashion Tripp did here. The radicals lost a point here, simply due to their erroneous interpretation of the original post.

Not only that, they have probably revealed a lot more about themselves than they have about the man they criticized: They want to become the new normal, and in so doing, do not wish to be praised for who they are, but respected as normality. Isn’t that the goal of  most of Feminism and LGBTQ identity politics? To challenge norms?

I leave the answer to those who have one.

Philosophy: The Examined Life

Who are the philosophers?

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In order for one to be a philosopher, do they have to spawn the social and historical critique of society, à la Marx? Do they have to win a nobel prize, à la Bertrand Russell? Do they have to invent a whole new method by which we inspect the world, and therefore, ourselves?

Some would have you believe that you must be one of these things. Others think that philosophy is much more simple or much more complex than that. That in order to do philosophy, one has but to sit down and ponder their life’s doings and come upon a reasoned conclusion of its meaning. My reading of Daniel Desroches‘s “La philosophie comme mode de vie” (“Philosophy as a way of life”) so far, has revealed to me that even that question is difficult to tackle. In order to find an answer to it, we must constrain as much as possible, the venues from which answers may pour out.

Indeed, when inspecting currents of thought, Daniel seems to indicate that we can’t situate philosophy’s beginning with the pre-Socratics. Thales of Miletus may have spawned the first recorded existence of a school of philosophy, with his multiple disciples and descendants, but only in the Occident. A cursory look at history, reveals to Daniel that even ancient societies had specific instructions on how to regulate breathing, to encourage peace of mind.

(he cites, in page 40, that in 2600 B.C., the Minoan civilization had such practices, indicating strong evidence for the traces of what we now  call “philosophy”)

In fact, it was not until late in Greek history that words such as “philosophos” began to become more commonplace in Greek language. Not only that, but he addresses the fact that we tend to look at philosophy, in the West, as the dry academic writings of famous authors. When Pierre Hadot (from whom he cites frequently) inspected these antique writings, in order to find out why they appear to be so disorganized, so loosely connected and contradictory, as to confuse one as to what was really being taught?

The error resided not in the writings of the philosophers but in our lens, as moderns, that would have us look for a structure that we can find in 20th century philosophers. Hadot appeared to have made the discovery that Greek philosophers did not write in a structure that we were familiar with, causing us to see these contradictions where in fact was nothing more than the expression of changing cultural norms and mores. There was no theoretical dialectic to follow, merely the teachings of men who lived as what they taught.

Diogenes was a man who lived according to the creed which he taught: Simply, in poverty perhaps, but simply nonetheless. Plato was a man of letter and a strong character. His political life was testimony of this. Socrates was a man who taught very important things, particularly that of restraint toward the self, questioning our own beliefs. He would be made fun of for not using his intelligence to profit, unlike his adversaries.

In more modern times, Simone Weil was teaching an egalitarian method of seeing her fellow humans. As such, she worked jobs that some would claim were beneath her, being such a smart individual. Yet, that did not keep her from doing so and still write the books she wrote. These people lived as the philosophy they taught. Something a lot of academic philosophers referred to as “the good life” or “eudaimonia”, but taught in such a way as to make it seem the project of the elite alone.

The postulate, therefore, is not that we should all live like Plato or like Confucius, but that the philosopher needs to stick to a self-prescribed code that they remain true to as much as they can. Confucius was true to his code as much as he could, but he did not refrain from admitting his faults. That is also sticking to this conduct, by admitting when we are going away from our own teachings, allowing us to perhaps see them from an exterior angle and polish them.

So, in a nutshell, philosophers are individuals who live a life as observers, inspectors and sometimes activists, who scrutinize the way we live and question why we do so, then apply their findings to their own lives. If their philosophy is worth teaching, then merely by virtue of existing, they shall teach others how to live the life of a philosopher. Because the risk, as in all things, is dogma, and philosophers would do well to guide away their pupils from only following their teachings, and to find their own path.

Spirituality in philosophy

I’m getting the feeling, the more I read Desroches, that philosophy is some kind of spiritual conquest of the mind. As if philosophers turn inwardly with a shield and sword and seek out their own prejudice and dogma, with the aim of defeating them and then becoming as serene individuals as they can be. After all, this is what I personally think the “eudaimonia” consists of. Were I to teach something to pupils (should I ever get any), it would be that life never presents itself to us the way we want to, and that only in restraint of our expectations can we be happy. In fact, the search for happiness is how we alienate it from our lives. Why, do you gather?

That the more we think of how happy we could get, the more we realize how unhappy we are, because what we would like for life to be is not as it is and may very well never be. Does that mean that if I am poor I should remain poor? No, of course not. There is exhilaration if we choose the path to happiness and know ourselves to be capable of reaching it. Once we reach the milestone we sought, there is liberation of a sort, but that is not the life of a philosopher. A philosopher is not seeking a milestone like becoming a CEO of his own company. That might be a peripheral goal that he wishes to fulfill, but the life of a philosopher is in the endlessness of his journey.

There is no milestone to reach. The philosopher’s life is not lived between the past and the future but in all of them. Everything can be a source for his contemplative thought. You can see a form of pantheism here, perhaps, but a belief or lack of belief in God is not necessary for a philosopher to be. The only thing he should guard himself from is dogma. At all times, dogma is the only enemy of philosophy. Once it sinks its fangs into the mind of the philosopher, he ceases to be a philosopher and he becomes a Professor.

“There are nowadays professors of philosophy but there are no philosophers.”

This is a saying by Pierre Hadot, as this realization settled in from his research. It refers to the impracticality of studying philosophy, particularly the task of teaching it as it conforms to the methodologies of education. In the times of the Greeks, philosophy was not taught by one man in an assembly, with students sat at desks and waiting for him to pour out his wisdom. It was a constant exchange of words and wisdom. Compared to the way we teach philosophy today, you cannot but notice the stark difference.

While the systematic teaching of philosophical notions that prove practical in everyday life is laudable, to study them does not make one a philosopher, merely a person who knows of philosophy and how some of its components work. Next should come the question of applying these notions to our lives. It is not only the ability to look at things logically that is important, it is also the restrained disinterest that philosophers showed toward the world at large. Not in a way as to seem careless, but as to seem impassible, untouchable by mere insults or character assassinations.

Philosophers were and have been individuals that would promulgate their thoughts with nuanced approach, where applicable, and kept quiet when their knowledge was superseded by another’s in a given field. This is also important: A philosopher does not hold all wisdom and therefore authority in all things. No, the philosopher must recognize his ignorance, because it’s only in recognizing it that we may overcome it. Guard yourself from the delusion of being able to overcome it for long, because as you progress spiritually from your self-interest, the mind always drives you back to it.

At once, you are wise and the following moment, you are furious with anger, ready to lash out against all who oppose you.

To do philosophy

One must therefore do the following:

  1. Step outside of yourself.
  2. Inspect the world around you as if it was the first time.
  3. Correlate the thoughts you gather from this new regard with your old view.
  4. See where you might have failed and correct these errors or silence yourself until you do.
  5. Own up to the mistakes you make, right when you make them.
  6. Never take anything that you know for granted and never presume that you should always be teaching, because we are all teachers and we are all students.
  7. Be compassionate toward your fellow human being, always. For life is anguish and suffering, but it takes a compassionate heart to make it a tolerable experience.

Now these are guidelines, as Daniel says himself in the book, and you shouldn’t expect me to have the final word on them. These are simply what I have gathered. You should, as a philosopher, make your own path and your own guidelines, but number 7 is key to holding an honest view of the world. There is misery, there is untold violence and there is sheer cruelty, but one person’s kindness can pave the way to change in another’s heart.

 

 

Need and Want

The dialectic of desire

If you watch television or any kind of media that has advertisement in it, you’re going to come across a specific discourse and dare I say, a dialectic. Marketing people are quite skilled at working the barriers between a “want” and a “need”. That barrier or the central unifying core of the two is called “desire”. By simply calling to our desire, a want becomes a need and a need becomes a want. In order to manipulate this weakness in human understanding, we simply appeal to psychological markers that apply to a majority of individuals. This is how marketing becomes geared to specific demographics and causes most people to just skip or change the channel on an ad. It’s quite easy to see why.

In most cases, an ad won’t even speak to you because it doesn’t hit any of the necessary psychological cues that will cause you to listen. That’s usually because the ad on its own is not meant to be seen by someone like you. It’s meant for someone else. Retirement funds will be geared mostly toward entrepreneurs and aging individuals, so young people will seldom be interested by these ads. They are written and filmed in a way as to appeal to that demographic.

When in the 80s and 90s, marketers wanted to reach out to children, you’d get ads where adults were either doing rock’n’roll or hip hop in a cringeworthy fashion, to appear “hip” with current trends. Although the ads themselves were horrible to most children, they did stick with them, because the irony of these ads is that adults DON’T understand children, but try their best to do so, even if it comes off as awkward nonsense. I also touched on gender-based advertisement in my series on feminism. Considering the cultural ecosystem of then, kids couldn’t get much advertisement other than on TV or through magazines, to the tiny bit of time these advertisers could get kids’ attention HAD to be attention-grabbing and completely out of whack.

The ads that DID work with kids, at least, kids my age back then, were those that featured amazing gadgets and modular toys like Legos and others with plastic catapults pretending to be missile launchers. Of course, the ads didn’t always feature the price tag (I think they usually didn’t), because kids would know that the products were probably too costly for their parents. So, pumped up teenagers would run up to their parents and start begging for new toys based on that AWESOME ad they’d just seen on TV. Were the toys that great? Were they worth the price tag? That did no longer matter, because the ad had made it seem like it was the best toy ever.

Choosing this one example allows me to introduce the dialectic in more theoretical fashion. The advertisement as I said triggers certain psychological cues in our mind, to first grab our attention, then once the attention is given, the advertisement presents the content therein, based on the demographic it wishes to reach. Finally, as a conclusion, once the person has been “convinced” of the worth of the product advertised, the ending will throw a bone to the future customer, by inviting them to come get their own. It will sound like some kind of recruitment speech to some, where the private interests are pointing at the clients and yelling: “I need YOU to spend your hard-earned money on MY products! It’s worth it!”

For example, if you take a car ad, the car is normally introduced in a mysterious fashion, then its interior is briefly demonstrated, along with a beautiful exterior that fits with the overall scenery: River-side mountain road, calm country haven with long stretches of empty road, salt flat desert, etc… Then, when it seems the car of our dreams has been shown to us, it drives away, beyond our grasp. This sensation of yearning is exactly what makes marketing so successful.

Don’t miss out on your retirement, don’t miss out on your mortgage, don’t miss out on the best experience of your life, don’t miss out on the best vodka in the world, don’t miss out on the best BEER in the world, don’t miss out on the best movie in the world, etc. etc…

The marketer knows that these are things we don’t necessarily need from them, but they have to sell it to us to make a profit, so their advertisement is geared in that direction, to make us NEED their product, not only want it. That’s how the superstitious notion of supply and demand is created. We speak constantly of innovation, in marketing, for whatever product or service there is to be provided. Because innovation claims “first of class” privilege to said product or service. Now, how can there be a demand for a product or service the likes of which has never been seen until now?

An explanation is that there isn’t, but by appealing to the greed of men and women, the 30 seconds the advertisement has is enough to make people dream and then look at their surroundings in demoralized disgust. How much more happy would I be if I owned this too… I could be just like the man in the ad. He looks so happy driving that spacious Lexus, so sure of himself.

I don’t just want to be like him, I NEED to be like him.

Superstition

Going back on that superstition of supply and demand, I’m now going to expand. If initially, there is no demand, there can be no supply. Only by removing the supply from those who demand it will I create that demand. It can only be through the removal of seemingly vital products that I can then tell people: You need me. You need what I have to give. That’s why I see it as a superstition, because the demand is fabricated, it is not inherent to the market. Products have to first be seized from the general public by way of private ownership, before a demand can be created. Otherwise, there would be no market the likes of which we now see. Everyone would be able to be self-sufficient. There would be little place in this world for the nebulous concept of want vs need. In essence, we should not want what we do not need and we should not need what we don’t want.

That is how the economics of desire work; by creating jealousy where there is no need for it to be. This jealousy pushes individuals to seek that which they do not have, want what they do not need. In this case, is need subjective or objective? It remains quite objective, but a qualitative definition has to be made on just how subjective “need” is. A need is that which is necessary for the continued survival of an individual or the maintaining of their way of life or its improvement (should that be necessary). Now, do I NEED to buy an expensive car? Do I NEED to buy a car? That might be a possibility. Initially thus, my need is the car, because it provides transportation, but do I need to have a 500hp engine with a sunroof and re-heating bucket seats with a 370watt subwoofer in the trunk? Probably not.

Now, of course, there’s no one stopping anyone else from buying such things, but what we must reconcile with is that these are not needs, they are wants. What I say when I buy something expensive is that I am of a higher class, I am a person who is successful and deserves to be given better products than those who are not. That does make sense to a key, and I have to say I completely agree that a person who worked very hard should be given their just dessert. Why, though, is the man who has worked his entire life doing a job nobody else would want to do, not entitled to having better things? Even more distressing, why is that man’s retirement going to be spent in a home, forgotten by all, while a more wealthy individual will be able to live the last years of their lives in regal comfort?

The logic of the desire dialectic is that those who gain access to that which they desire deserve to receive all that they want and more. This, in lieu of proper prioritization of what is good for society, tells us that one man’s life is worth more than another, because one man is the owner of a marketing firm whose entire business model is based around creating false narratives that will attract new customers. Why is this dishonest work worth more than the work of a man who teaches children, essentially helping to raise the next generation of citizens? Because the market decides what is worthy and what is not.

If we follow the logic, we will end up thinking no one ought to be a teacher and we should all be entrepreneurs who make millions off of the products and services that we offer. That is nonsense, but that is the reality that we are given by modern media: Be pretty, be quiet, take abuse and reap the fruits of your self-inflicted punishment. No wonder we weep the death of empathy in our societies, we are far too busy tearing each other down than we are helping each other up.

Status

It is status that drives us to want things we don’t need. Like a Christmas tree adorned with lights and plastic objects hanging from its branches, we hope to shine like a model in a clothing store glass. How dignified do we look to others? What is that job we could have that would make people envious of us and our possessions? Desire is the magic mirror reflecting to us the image we wish we had but do not yet bear. It promotes hatred of the other, jealousy at every turn. Once you are snatched by this vicious circle, you will not escape. What of desire, in this case, then? It speaks of the deepest and most basic of instincts that we have as animals. Other species simply use plumage or intricate mating behavior to attract a worthy significant other. We, in a sick and twisted and intense desire to make love to ourselves, seek to find the beautified version of us, and wallow in its self-love. It reveals that deep inside, we hate ourselves, not because of who we are, but because of the others. Other people are happy, why aren’t we?

Status soon becomes a ghost we chase but never catch, because it is not status that will fix the unending pain we feel inside, that void of meaninglessness we try to fill with niceties and video games, cars, accessories, social clubs… That hate soon evolves out of us and is dispensed onto the others. Our lens is darkened by our failing attempts to gain success, and before long, we no longer love and we no longer appreciate the little things we have, because of the things the OTHERS have. This is simple animalistic behavior that certainly does not warrant a philosophical entry like this one, and could probably be summed up as: Humans are selfish and their selfishness kills their humanity.

Solutions?

What are solutions open to us to keep from engaging in this constant circle of materialism and self-hatred, followed by hatred of the other? Well, for one, we need to revise how we see our social transactions with other people. They are not goods and services, they are individuals with their own hopes and dreams, and their hopes and dreams do not necessarily overlap ours, nor do we need to trample theirs. We should carefully, either in meditation or in discussion with our friends, evaluate what it is we want of life, instead of keeping it to ourselves. When the smoke of doubt dissipates, we can then appreciate the little we have and learn not only to evaluate our wants and our needs, but why we have such feelings toward them.

If the feeling is to gain social status over another, we should cease and desist. Should the feeling be that it will procure US great happiness but is not necessary to our survival, we need to admit it is a want and not a need. Our needs can only be inserted into our wants when they are necessary for the improvement of our quality of life and, if possible, that of others. Altruism will ensure that we do look out for others and they us, and from hatred of the other, we will gain love and from love, we can all have that which we need, because we will care for each others’ dreams on more than an anecdotal level.

Conclusion

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The Culture War

Résultats de recherche d'images pour « Multiculturalism »

*Pictured: A multiculturalism poster next to the Lambda symbol, used by right-wing identitarians groups

Multiculturalism vs White Nationalism

I was in a very unproductive discussion yesterday with a Kekistani individual on Facebook, who true to the infamous Troll Nation’s culture, opted for personal attacks rather than what he called “rational debate”, although perhaps to some, that is what being rational entails. Tell me if you’ve heard this before: “Virtue Signaling”?

Why yes, if you happen to explain your point of view to a Kekistani, their reaction is most likely to be that of either mocking you for mocking’s sake or saying you are virtue signaling. Now, this phrase I find very contentious and the reason that is is because it’s just as harmless a phrase to throw out as a leftist calling anyone who disagrees with them a Nazi. If I explain to you why I think multiculturalism is good, I may virtue signal, because no one is capable of being completely objective with regards to their worldview, because it is subjective. So saying someone is signaling their virtue is perhaps just as useless as sticking your tongue out at someone in a “debate” as an argument.

All it does is probably annoy your interlocutor and give you a momentum to pull away from the very pressing issue that is: You have no virtue.

Buzzwords on the internet

The Multiculturalism vs White Nationalism (or Identitarian Nationalists) debate stems from a natural reaction to the helplessness we feel in a world increasingly confusing to us. We’ve crossed bridges between cultures and have started not only exchanging goods with them, but skills and employees. The capitalist economy requires such an exchange of cultures in order to embrace the “infinite growth” that economists salivate over. For some reason, however, the Identitarians think that letting these people move freely between borders will hurt their representation in politics, and rightfully so. It seems fairly logical that if demographics change, those that normally held a cultural and political sway will eventually be shrinking over time. You can’t really go against that, however, unless you want to impose poverty on your people for the sake of cultural homogeneity.

So how do the identity politicians of the right resolve the need for a prosperous economy with a desire to see their culture upheld in supremacy over all others in their own country? They really don’t. In fact, most of their time is spent trying to figure out how best to skew statistics in order to make immigration and immigrants seem like evil people by default or by simply existing. Now, the reason why I’ve been switching from White Nationalism to identitarians is because the people who are Identitarian Nationalists know fully well that they espouse white supremacy views, but don’t want to come out on the streets and shout “White Power!” or even sound like they would. In order to do that, they find new definitions for things that already exist (or don’t, in the following cases).

White Genocide: The theory that white people are being slowly killed off due to mass immigration in their countries, and their precious purity is being soiled by interracial marriages (particularly of muslim and non-muslim marriages), and that this is being imposed on them by the Left who are unknowingly (or knowingly, to some) leading the White race to the ovens. It is a conspiracy theory, pure and simple. Why is it a conspiracy theory?

Well, because if we look at the history of genocidal practices, that’s not really how genocide occurs. In fact, when Germany thought they were being overtaken by jews in their own society, THEY killed off the jews. Makes you wonder how exactly are these minorities going to take over white societies if the white man can just hoist a white nationalist in office and kill off anyone who disagree with them that they are in danger.

At that, how can we agree that the white race is endangered, when white people pre-emptively kill off those that threaten their expansionism? Alright, alright… let me just nuance my statement here. I don’t mean your aunt Janice nor your little brother or even YOU for that matter, but the historical representation of “white culture” as a whole. Glad we could clear that up.

The conspiracy lies in bed with another one, which is very, very famous on the web.

Cultural Marxism: Ah, the Frankfurt School. Famous for its jewish philosophers who single-handedly infected Western civilization with the cultural Marxism parasite, which infects left-leaning cucks with the notion that they should give up their wealth to an undeserving minority of people. Those identitarians who refer to this conspiracy theories typically think that social justice is a code-word for communist overtaking of western values. Things like critical race theory or critical theory at all, are seen as tools of the cultural Marxists to find problems where there are none and thus force the superior white man into standing down from his pedestal to kiss the black man’s foot.

In all seriousness, the theory SOUNDS like it might have a point when you inspect it a little further. A lot of Marxist thought is being taught in school, particularly in the social sciences, even economic sciences, but is Marx the ONLY thing driving social sciences forward? Of course not. That does not stop white nationali– I mean identitarians from claiming that it is and that every feminist / civil rights activist / antifa / socialist etc. has only and will only ever read the Communist Manifesto in their entire lives. Not only that, but that the Communist Manifesto is responsible for the indoctrination of students in school who take sociology classes, making them into rabid S-Jews who think we should treat people who are not like us as equals to us.

Quite the horrible notion, that.

It’s a conspiracy theory simply by being associated with the original McCarthyism of communists trying to overtake “The West” by indoctrinating our children. Why is communism terrible? Plenty of reasons, but for the cultural Marxist, it’s terrible because it’s communism and communism is being taught in school and has taken ahold of the liberal media. Any person moderately educated in political theory or media control will be able to tell you that this is nothing but rubbish. (spoiler: The Liberal Media stands for centrist-right and centrist-left media which attempts to report on things in an unbiased lens)

Post-modernism: As a philosophy enthusiast, this is a personal pet-peeve of mine that is being spread by a Canadian doctor called Jordan Peterson. The idea behind the post-modernism conspiracy theory (oh, another one!) is that post-modernists (which ones? it’s never really clear) are singlehandedly responsible for the corruption of political discourse and the presumptuous statements on sexual dimorphism and equality between genders. Those who believe in this conspiracy theory will hold adamantly that not everyone is equal and that the leftists (again) are single-handedly responsible for putting us in a state of political turmoil, because they won’t abide by normative behavior which would put a lot of people in utter misery except for those who want to uphold the status quo. You’ll gather, at this point, that this is a conspiracy theory that works exceedingly well with conservatives and extreme centrists, who think their “both sides are wrong” routine has any rational value when one side is evidently wrong.

It does help the identitarians however, because it allows them to basically single-handedly disregard any social science research of the last 50 years as being nothing but post-modernist hogwash. I’ve noticed they are particularly hateful toward the philosophers like Jacques Lacan, Derrida and Foucault. In their mind, all these people do is write nonsensical essays and books on rather simple subjects but complicate them needlessly, causing a reinterpretation of objective truths. Now, if that were the case, I would be quite alarmed, but I have read Foucault’s book on Subjectivity and nowhere do I see the notion where he thinks we should doubt that the Earth is round, for example.

Rather, he explains that multiple cultures have various interpretations of similar concepts and you may find a unifying interpretation amongst them. For example, in the opening chapters, he uses the historical analysis of pachyderm mating behaviors and how various philosophers and clergymen from medieval and modern eras as well as the greek Aristotle described these behaviors. Not only that, but each of these people, separated by multiple centuries, all felt that there was some kind of intelligence to the way elephants mate, and that they take their time to make offspring.

Conclusion: Foucault doubts the reality of mating behaviors? Of course not. As I’ve learned over the years, however, dogma is not only religious. It’s very easy, when we’re looking for an anchor with which to dock, to react irrationally to concepts we don’t understand, to the point of resorting to conspiracy theories. I consider those to be plasters put on open gaps in our thinking. By the by, Foucault was a poststructuralist, which inserts itself in post-modernism. Think about that for a moment.

Social Justice Warrior: A pejorative used to brand basically anyone who has a passing resemblance to leftist thought as an irrational, shrill, “autistic” social justice seeking cuck (“feminist” in short, for women). SJWs are normally depicted as being those infected with the virus of which the above notions are the symptoms: A belief in multiculturalism as a good venue for the future of society, a belief that equality has not yet been reached across the people and a belief that we should bring even our most deeply held beliefs into question (aka: Postmodernism). Now, there IS something that the White Nationalists say that is right here, but they’re not the first ones to have said it. Ever since the inception of feminism, there have been radical feminists that held some pretty abhorrent views. So this isn’t new. However, what the White Nationalists do is grab whoever is the loudest and most nonsensical character in the SJW circles and hoist them on their multi-platform social media accounts, for their fans to make fun of and confirm their bias on how rational they are.

While the identitarians will decry identity politics as being poisonous to political discourse, they will have no problem using it to deny the validity of any “leftist” arguments, simply by branding that person an SJW. My main problem, myself, with SJWs although I get called one and rather identify with the ideology myself, is that they’re full of hyperbole themselves and very often, I see words being used out of their context and it annoys me because I would expect us leftists to be held to a greater standard. In fact, we are, but more often than not, it is being done in a way as to identify allies.

The great majority of SJWs however are not irrational activists. Could I say the same of white nationalists and the identitarians? No, because they adhere to age-old and defunct ideas of society that have been demystified in the last century, but are still being raised as vanguards of virtue and secular dogma (which is really just hiding one’s bias against any other ethnic minority and their culture).

And I’ll have to say I am personally not at all worried about people who want to change the way we look at culture and gender, compared to those who would have my ass shot for merely agreeing with these people. One is a change on mere socio-cultural grounds, while the other is an imperialistic ideology that seeks to expel any non-purebloods by way of “selective administrative changes” (read: ACTUAL deportation).

Difference between Identitarianism and White Nationalism?

There is none.

You may be brought to believe that Identitarianism just want their cultural supremacy upheld, but in the end, as you’ve seen above, the things they detest about the world are essentially that they are being criticized on their so-called objectivity. The issue really is that these people don’t want to be identified as Nazis, because that is what they are. They also don’t want to be working underground, because that’ll undermine the political exposure of their ideology. So, one of the best ways to do that is to come up with more politically correct terms for things they normally said with much more hyperbole than they do now.

White Nationalism has become Identitarian Nationalism, White Genocide has become the “Great Replacement”, etc. etc…

The point here, if you haven’t noticed, is that these people want to be taken seriously. In order to be taken seriously, they have to move away from the headlines, and to do so necessitates utilizing more acceptable verbiage and appearing to be victims of the left rather than victims of their own skewed worldview and the reactions it begets. While I’ll definitely admit that the left has its own reactionaries who will call for murder of capitalists, and others who simply DON’T want to bring their ideology into question at any point in time, I think if we take a moment to analyze this rationally, there’s a big difference between the two.

For one, the Left hardly has any sway in politics other than P.R. campaigns. Neoliberals have understood that there’s a lot of people who are politically active who also happen to espouse leftist ideals, so they’ll make all sorts of marketing campaigns catering to these people, but do they bring about any DECISIVE change? Not really, no. Most countries in the Western world are still very much liberal (in the doctrinal sense, not the ideology), and liberalism does not lend itself well to leftist doctrine.

Who benefits from using the weaknesses in the liberal society to their own gain? White Nationalists. They do so by using laws to protect their speech and by ensuring that what they say is not perceived as hate speech, by endowing it with sweetening words, to appear just as rational as everybody else on the left and on the right. In order not to be fooled by this, we have to recognize when these specious buzzwords start being used and cease to take whoever uses them seriously.

Let them speak, but don’t engage on a “rational debate” with someone who thinks the jews are out to get them by mass indoctrination of students in public school systems. One side is obviously wrong, and it bears you no benefit to argue with someone who is objectively wrong, at least, not in any meaningful fashion. A very rational excuse can be brought up for this: Any time you can actually corner them, they will resort to any sort of stratagem to cause a reaction out of you, and claim victory simply due to your outrage to their blatantly racist and sexist remarks.

Do not react to that.

Conclusion

The Culture War is on and the right-wing extremists are clashing with left-wing extremists, and the extremists are not the SJWs. From my experience on the web, SJWs want to gain hold of the status quo and that’s about it. No meaningful structural change occurs under the SJW ideology. It does not seek to change the government, it does not seek to change how we view the economy, it merely wants people to be equal to each other, notwithstanding the structures that hold these inequalities in place. It’s a fairly moderate ideology which, like any other, has some very vocal representatives. It is a war and passions are flaring, but as I said above: I fear white nationalism a LOT more than I do students who demand safe spaces in college campuses.

One of these ideologies is clearly evil, the other is merely misguided at times.

 

Short Story – The Cave

Inception

Walter wakes from a deep, comforting sleep. Last night, he met with a mysterious girl at the bar. She had one of the most profound subjects to talk about, and although he didn’t drink very much, he came home drunk with infatuation. That girl’s beauty was not in her shape or the fact that her eyes were so tantalizing. No, the amazement came from the way she composed herself and the depth of her language. Although he did not get her phone number, Walter went home with a new love.

“There’s more to life than this,” she said. Oh yeah, he’d heard it a thousand times before, but that night, their discussion had led to this point. It wasn’t a simple phrase uttered by some person on the street. From the beginning of life to recent history, the practices of ancient civilizations and the debauchery of the new. Why are humans stuck in a 9 to 5 job which, although it pays well, provides so little in terms of personal empowerment? In the past, a man could spend his life building a domain with his bare hands. Now, all he does is use his fingers to program or crunch numbers. Once upon a time, his fingers touched his wife’s skin, when he made love to her. Now, all he can hear is the repetitive sound of his fingers playing on the keyboard.

It pays the bills. That way, he doesn’t have to end up on the street, even though all he wants is to escape. Yeah, it feels like if he does little but change any one of the pieces in the puzzle, everything will crumble. Upon waking up, though, Walter has a realization; an epiphany. It strikes like lightning, to the point where he drops his coffee on his feet. For some, this sort of stuff happens when they are in their bath, while it happens to Walter while he’s enjoying some routine peanut butter and jelly toasts. Small comfort when all he does all day is sit in front of computers. His life is wired to the internet, and much like in the movie The Matrix, if he wants to get out of this life, he has to… unplug?

Exploration

Walter goes to work in a different mood today. He sings on his way to the subway. His smartphone is playing some of the tunes he used to listen to when he was a carefree teenager. His air guitar is tuned and he’s jamming it up to Led Zeppelin and Sweet. “Ballroom blitz!” he yells in the train. Normally, his train ride to work is eventless, monotonous, but today, he is singing in the rain; celebrating an infinity of possibilities that have now opened to him. As he goes to work, and begins his daily routine, his boss comes to him to ask him to do overtime next Saturday.

He says no and to pick someone else for once. His boss is shocked at this behavior, but decides to honor Walter’s wishes and picks the colleague who never does overtime. At the coffee machine, that colleague has a lot to say to Walter, who spends most of his time imagining various kama sutra positions with the executive assistant. All the things his colleague lies about having done so he wouldn’t have to do overtime fly over his head. Finishing his coffee, Walter nods and leaves the break room with a nonchalant: “That’s great, bud.”

During lunch time, his colleague spends some time writing a defamatory e-mail to the boss, explaining all the wrongdoings of Walter over the years, which most are false, but the boss trusts him. Walter eats while listening to the vagina monologues. During the afternoon, his boss takes him away from that project he’s working on to see him in his office. The discussion escalates here and Walter decides to quit, when his boss throws a number of unfounded accusations on him. “You know what, Jim, I’ve sweated and bowed out of too many vacations for you to give me that crap. I quit.” Walter storms out of the boss’s office and the tower, leaving behind unfinished work, but still… he smiles.

Revelation

Life is good, better make the most of it. With his job not about to bother him again for a while, Walter decides to go downtown and try all the things that once scared him: going on the wrong side of town, crossing the street where it is forbidden, flipping the bird to an impatient driver, hanging around with a bunch of youngsters, talking to a homeless man – giving him money for his trouble, hitting on a woman and getting rejected.

The afternoon is filled with adventures that are as chaotic as they are amusing. Passed six o’clock, Walter has a small following of people who like him, have recently had a self-actualizing discovery of life. They go to a bar, and then he sees her… the mysterious girl. Without a word spoken, he goes to sit with the woman, who appeared to be waiting for someone. Noticing the different attitude of the man she met last night, the woman presents herself. “Maria,” she says. “Walter,” he responds.

Rather than exchange words, the impromptu couple share flesh and sweat. In the bar’s alleyway, Walter has a meaningless sexual encounter with Maria. Once they have finished, Maria takes her things and moves to leave. Walter holds her arm, but she rejects him. “Why?” asks Walter, shocked that his new forward demeanor has not allowed him more respect from Maria. “I don’t date men that I fuck on the first night.”

Walter interrogates her, begs, even, to know whether there is something between them. He goes home saddened, knowing that he will never see Maria again, because the answer is no. For all his confidence, all his brash behavior, the woman he fell in love with was in love with another man. The man whom he once was. That man he can no longer see himself becoming, because that man is back there… back where the world was so bleak and confusing.

He can’t be that man anymore… and yet Maria, she hasn’t changed. She won’t.

The Cavern

Walter does not sleep tonight. He cannot. Although he allowed himself to live an absurd life for 24 hours, he realizes he no longer has an income to pay the bills, does not have anyone around him still. Shadows of doubt entrench him between life and his anxiety. Calling his boss back yields nothing… He has been replaced. During the year, he struggles to find a new job, and ends up going back to university, on his savings, moving back to his mother’s home. A psychiatrist diagnoses him with depression, and for the first time in his life… he feels candid with himself. Life has shifted, and the worries of the past have gone, the Sun’s light has illuminated him for a moment, but now he is back inside the cavern, looking for a way out.

 

 

Youtube: Ben Shapiro and Transgenderism / Pro-Choice

Not a shift in direction

This isn’t a shift in direction for the content I make. I just figured I could do something a bit more entertaining, partly because I can’t edit videos and because I lack the time or skill necessary to make response videos and I also lack the will to get out there and debate people on subjects I’d rather debate in the quiet of a voice chat amongst politically diverse friends.

As the person I’m analyzing today is quite an ideologue, I expect to hear some extreme things and others perhaps more reasoned. I’ve only heard of Ben Shapiro by name, and through people in the Social Justice community. He appears to be one of those “Rationals”, pseudo-intellectuals who are looking to bring back reasoned discourse into modern day dialogue. That just happens to be my goal as well, so let us see what Mr. Shapiro has to say for himself.

This video is called “Ben Shapiro DESTROYS Transgenderism and Pro-Abortion arguments“. My presumption here is that he makes some convincing knock-down arguments against the concept of being a transgender AND the necessity for abortion. With a title like that, though, I can probably guess that whoever made this entry is a very big fan of this man, so I’m going to take that title with a grain of salt. These are reactions I got as I was listening to the video live, so there was no prior experience with this video.

First impressions

Seems like a conference where Shapiro is taking questions, which is already a very honest thing to do, and considering the video starts with a seemingly overweight female with make-up, possibly in her early twenties, I’m going to guess that this person is one of the bad guys.

0:18 – The person asking the question asked why Shapiro says things like “transgender people are girls trying to be boys and boys trying to be girls”, which on its own is kind of false already. Quickly after, the girl says: “Gender is disconnected from sex” to which Shapiro interjects saying the opposite. First argument.

0:22 – It is still a cultural thing, it is still from society, says the girl. To which Shapiro responds: “No it is not in the mind. You’re not a man if you think you’re a man.”

0:55 – “The idea that gender and sex are malleable is not true.” – “I am not denying your humanity if you are a transgender person, I am denying the sex which you claim to be.”

Okay, and Shapiro appears to know something about the psychological connections between gender identity and the DSM’s interpretations of it, even going so far as to admit that it has changed names. Well, if the definition of misidentified genders has changed, is it possible that the lines between gender and sex, through scientific discovery and cultural change, has also shifted? Also, if the girl he’s talking to knows her stuff, a proper rebuttal to this would be: “I am not claiming anything with regards to my sex. I am claiming things with regard to my gender. These are not the same things.”

1:16 – “I’m not going to change biology because it threatens the subjective sense of what you are.”

Here again, Ben Shapiro decides to disregard that there is any disconnection between gender and sex but does not really provide an appropriate rebuttal to the notion other than making reductive wisecracks, that for sure take away from the girl’s point, but don’t really make a convincing case if it turns out the speaker does not even understand what he’s talking about.

1:38 – “You have to be a boy to be a boy scout.”

I’m sorry, what? Where… huh? What does that have to do with gender identity? The girl appropriately falls for it by asking “Where’s that written?” which leads to the heel-arr-eous response of “In the name “boy scout”.” All of this would be very interestingly put and a convincing argument against transgenderism if that had anything to do with it. In the end here, Shapiro knows he has no idea what he’s talking about, so he’s eloquently directing his interlocutor in obvious pitfalls, probably (and by probably, I mean definitely) with the aim of stirring up his crowd of fans who react to every punchline he makes. Quite the stand-up comedian, for sure. A thinker? Not so much.

2:00 – “And if I call you a moose, are you suddenly a moose?”

Moose is not a gender. I’m… yeah. Not a gender. No. Or are you saying a person’s species is equivalent to their gender and sex now? Damn it, Ben, you are losing me!

2:34 – “Why aren’t you sixty?”

… I think I can emulate the girl’s dumbstruck expression right then and there. Be QUIET you guys in the back, I’m trying to listen to this man telling me age is the same thing as gender.

2:44 – To “Age is not the same thing as gender”, Shapiro responds “You’re right, age is significantly less important than gender.”

2:49 – “You can’t magically change your sex. You can’t magically change your age.”

Ohhh, now it all makes sense. Age is the same thing as gender! So I suppose I can identify as 60-year-old-gender now, according to Ben Shapiro. What an enlightening young man he is. This is starting to look a lot like gish galloping. Throwing out as many different outlandish claims so that the person speaking with you has no time to address even one of them, because to do so would take too much time. Doesn’t seem like Ben is here to chat, more like ridicule off of – hmm, what’s the word – a preconceived bias?

3:01 – “Just because you can do things legally does not mean that they are correct biologically.”

In response to the girl saying that you can change your sex, your name and your gender, all within the bounds of legality, this is definitely a good response to the last thing Shapiro said, but knowing she’s just beaten him on his argument, Ben quickly jumps on the one word that is easy to misconstrue as meaning something else than what she said. Now, of course she once again fell for it, being a naïve 22 year-old. (that’s her age, she says so in the video)

3:10 – I will now proceed to compare transition surgery to sterilization of the mentally ill.

I don’t think this needs to be addressed, considering it stems from a red herring that Shapiro aptly put into place. It is an invalid argument by virtue of not addressing what the girl said: You CAN change your sex. The word “magically” here does not matter, because if Shapiro admitted that sex transition surgery took place, he’d also have to conclude that there’s a discrepancy between gender and sex. I suppose we can’t have that now, can we?

3:17 – *Round of applause for a successful red herring!*

3:32 – “All their problems would go away if I would just pretend that they are the sex to which they claim.”

Not sex. GENDER. Although technically yes, if they do the transition thingie where they replace ladybits with manbits, you would probably not be able to tell the difference. Only upon discovering the truth would you suddenly be outraged and demand the person to then be called a He instead of a She. Now why would you want to do that? Because you’re an asshole seems like a good reason, but otherwise I see it as simply being a closed-minded conservative who doesn’t like change. No amount of incorrect interpretation of biological science is going to change that.

4:33 – “40% suicide rate in transgender people is not due to bullying according to any science that I know of.”

Although Ben stresses he’s against bullying of any sort, he does seem to deny the possibility that being transgender does not lead to bullying which could lead to suicide. Well, then! Let’s have a look at some numbers. Apparently, from the same study Ben so quickly cites in a hush toward this girl, there is a high prevalence of suicide attempts from people who come out to their entourage about their gender non-conformity.

Prevalence of suicide attempts is elevated among

those who disclose to everyone that they are

transgender or gender-non-conforming (50%) and

among those that report others can tell always (42%)

or most of the time (45%) that they are transgender

or gender non-conforming even if they don’t tell them.

Oh and this…

Respondents who experienced rejection by family and

friends, discrimination, victimization, or violence had

elevated prevalence of suicide attempts, such as those

who experienced the following:

— Family chose not to speak/spend time with them: 57%

— Discrimination, victimization, or violence at school,

at work, and when accessing health care

• Harassed or bullied at school (any level): 50-54%

• Experienced discrimination or harassment at

work: 50-59%

• Doctor or health care provider refused to treat

them: 60%

• Suffered physical or sexual violence:

— At work: 64-65%

— At school (any level): 63-78%

— Discrimination, victimization, or violence by law

enforcement

• Disrespected or harassed by law enforcement

officers: 57-61%

• Suffered physical or sexual violence: By law

enforcement officers: 60-70

— Experienced homelessness: 69%

Well, then! Glad to see this is not legit, otherwise I would’ve single-handedly defeated Mr. Shapiro’s argument. (src: https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/AFSP-Williams-Suicide-Report-Final.pdf)

All in all, that report shows a higher frequency of suicides in males (as in most studies on suicide figures) and also includes some stats on LGB folks, notwithstanding transgenders, and comes to similar statistics even amongst non-transgender individuals. So I guess all that talk of bullying not being a cause in the suicides of LGBTQ+ demographics is not only misleading, but factually incorrect.

I should hope this isn’t the report Shapiro was citing in his speech, because that would be quite embarrassing, considering most of the information I just cited above is available in the first few pages. You’d have to not have read the study and report its stats from second-hand sources to miss such a glaring highlight.

Now then, let’s carry on.

4:56 – Third world countries have lower suicide rates than first world countries.

Oh, joy, more stats to verify! According to this page on Wikipedia, Canada ranks 87th, and the United States rank 48th.

The top highest (top 5) suicide rates are:

  • Sri Lanka
  • Guyana
  • Mongolia
  • Kazakhstan
  • Côte d’Ivoire

5:02 – “Suicide appears to be a privilege of the upper-classes if you look at it from a financial perspective.”

That probably makes even less sense than age being the same thing as sex.

5:43 – “There’s no evidence to suggest that suicide rates would go down in transgender communities if people just started pretending men are women and women are men.”

Well, again, no one is asking for that and according to the stats you yourself used, yeah… it would probably help. You are part of the problem, at this point, because you not only refuse to acknowledge the issue, you disregard it entirely by way of willful ignorance.

6:43 – “Planned Parenthood perform 300,000 abortions a year.”

While this is correct, this is only 3% of their service each year. In fact, their website does not even speak about abortions in their “At a glance” section.

https://www.plannedparenthood.org/about-us/who-we-are/planned-parenthood-at-a-glance

Planned Parenthood health centers focus on prevention: 80 percent of our patients receive services to prevent unintended pregnancy.

Planned Parenthood services help prevent an estimated 560,000 unintended pregnancies in a single year.

Planned Parenthood provides more than 295,000 Pap tests and more than 320,000 breast exams in a single year, critical services in detecting cancer.

Planned Parenthood provides more than 4.2 million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted infections, including more than 650,000 HIV tests.

Planned Parenthood affiliates provide educational programs and outreach to 1.5 million young people and adults in a single year.

Planned Parenthood has 10 million activists, supporters, and donors working for women’s health and safety and our fundamental reproductive rights.

Now, you would be dishonest to claim that all Planned Parenthood does is abortions and provide condoms. Which, obviously, is what Shapiro does.

6:48 – “They’re not the only people in America who provide affordable birth control. You can get a pack of condoms for 12$.”

Ahh yes, because condoms never break. I suppose if it breaks, tough luck, bitches! You should’ve abstained from having sex.

7:17 – “I don’t care that you get a condom from Planned Parenthood, I do care when you start killing babies. This is a problem for me.”

So I’m supposing Mr. Shapiro has evidence of this “baby killing” other than the 300,000 statistics about abortions, which does not indicate whether the fetuses aborted were viable or not. Because aborting a fetus that is not viable is not the same as killing a baby, don’t you know? He doesn’t, does he.

7:38 – “Very low percentage of abortions from rape statistics.”

While that’s not incorrect, the women who end up finding out they are pregnant do, in 50% of cases, get the baby aborted.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8765248

A total 32.4% of these victims did not discover they were pregnant until they had already entered the second trimester; 32.2% opted to keep the infant whereas 50% underwent abortion and 5.9% placed the infant for adoption; an additional 11.8% had spontaneous abortion.

And the study’s conclusion:

CONCLUSIONS:

Rape-related pregnancy occurs with significant frequency. It is a cause of many unwanted pregnancies and is closely linked with family and domestic violence. As we address the epidemic of unintended pregnancies in the United States, greater attention and effort should be aimed at preventing and identifying unwanted pregnancies that result from sexual victimization.

So, Shapiro’s dismissive tone here again serves only to highlight his bias on this subject. He isn’t grounding his reasoning on evidence but rather on morality.

8:00 – “I’ll agree about rape-related pregnancies and abortions if you admit that all the other abortions are also bad.”

Objection! The speaker has utilized a loaded question. Agreeing to its terms would be admitting that aborting a rape-related pregnancy is bad versus non-rape related pregnancies. The most ideal response to this would be: “I didn’t say rape-related abortions are bad. I asked you to nuance your position on pregnancies by calling upon rape as being a definitely unwanted pregnancy and whether you would allow someone in such a situation to abort their unborn fetus.”

But unfortunately, the girl didn’t get that opportunity, as someone in the back shouted “All abortions are okay!” Which made Ben laugh in acceptance of the person’s honesty, but then when a sign was risen for him to read, his response was:

8:06 – “Oh! A sign that I can’t read because it has lots of words on it.”

COLOUR ME SURPRISED. BEN SHAPIRO REFUSES TO READ THINGS WITH LOTS OF WORDS ON THEM.

8:14 – “Does the vagina magically confer personhood?”

Wh-… huh? I…

8:38 – After being told that it’s upon the first breath by a participant. “So if you stick a knife through the belly into the head of a nine month old unborn infant, was that baby not a person because it was not breathing?”

Holy hell, watch it with the loaded questions!

I’m pretty sure that this is not related to your initial question, considering you are referring to two different things. One is the graphic description of what a potential late-term abortion would be, and those are rare, but I suppose you won’t bother with statistics on that, will you?

9:30 – “Are you willing to stipulate that all the other abortions are bad, not only the marginal cases?”

The girl barely has the time to answer you that you immediately assume what she was going to say here. She said “No” and I couldn’t make out the rest. The proper answer here, miss, would have been: “I don’t need to stipulate on that because I didn’t say those abortions were bad.”

10:03 – “I believe rapists should be castrated or killed.”

Well, I certainly stand by such a sentiment, but I wouldn’t make it a policy, because someone could definitely abuse that. Earlier you said the “left side of the isle” wants to give them five years in prison. I don’t know what “left side” you’re talking about here, because I certainly wouldn’t consider that a generally agreed-upon view on the left.

Conclusion

In conclusion, my impression of Ben Shapiro is that he hides his religious / conservative dogma behind a façade of evidence-based thinking, which as I’ve shown here, is quite defective. The evidence he accepts seems to be very selective and the sources he cites don’t really agree with him once you’ve taken some time to read. Other than being a loudmouth, this man thus has very little to provide to an intellectual debate other than snide remarks and wisecracks.

His argument on Transgender rights: Transgenderism is false because boy scouts. That is all.

His argument on abortion: Wear condoms, bitches.