The Anointed And De-Platforming (Why Google, Facebook, Twitter And YouTube Are Starting To Suck): Part Three

In our previous two episodes, we began examining the mindset of people who feel entitled to silence others by quoting from Explaining Postmodernism by philosophy professor Stephen Hicks. Let’s jump in with another quote:

Postmodern accounts of human nature also consistently emphasize relations of conflict between those groups; and given the de-emphasized or eliminated role of reason, post-modern accounts hold that those conflicts are resolved primarily by the use of force, whether masked or naked; the use of force in turn leads to relations of dominance, submission, and oppression. Finally, postmodern themes in ethics and politics are characterized by an identification with and sympathy for the groups perceived to be oppressed in the conflicts, and a willingness to enter the fray on their behalf.

So here’s what we know about postmodernists so far:

  • Unlike the objectivist/Enlightenment thinkers, they believe logic and reason are irrelevant and don’t teach us anything about reality – because there is no objective reality
  • They believe feelings are more important than reason
  • They are monolithically far-left in their politics and are drawn to subjectivism because Marxism doesn’t fare well under any objective analysis
  • They believe reason and logic are tools of the oppressors
  • They believe many of us who employ reason and logic are unwitting tools of the oppressors
  • They believe their mission is to enter the fray on behalf of the oppressed

It shouldn’t surprise us that people with these beliefs have a rather different view of the purpose of speech and the value of freedom of speech. But before we get into that, let’s return to the book, where Hicks lays out the objectivist arguments for freedom of speech:

In contemporary language, here are the elements of those arguments that are still with us:

  • Reason is essential for knowing reality (Galileo and Locke).
  • Reason is a function of the individual (Locke, especially).
  • What the reasoning individual needs to pursue knowledge of reality is, above all, freedom—the freedom to think, to criticize, and to debate (Galileo, Locke, and Mill).
  • The individual’s freedom to pursue knowledge is of fundamental value to the other members of his society (Mill, especially).

A corollary of this argument is that when we set up specialized social institutions to seek and advance our knowledge of the truth—scientific societies, research institutes, colleges and universities—we should take special pains to protect, nurture, and encourage the freedom of creative minds.

Freedom of speech – the freedom to reason, criticize and debate – is how we eventually get to the truth. That’s how John Stuart Mill believed The Marketplace of Ideas benefits individuals and society as a whole. Postmodernists have a slightly different view:

Language is not about being aware of the world, or about distinguishing the true from the false, or even about argument in the traditional sense of validity, soundness, and probability. Accordingly, postmodernism recasts the nature of rhetoric: Rhetoric is persuasion in the absence of cognition.

Using language as a tool of conflict resolution is therefore not on their horizon. In a conflict that cannot reach peaceful resolution, the kind of tool that one wants is a weapon. And so given the conflict models of social relations that dominate postmodern discourse, it makes perfect sense that to most postmodernists language is primarily a weapon.

Now we’re getting to the crux of the matter. Viewing language as a weapon rather than as a tool to get to the truth leads to very different kinds of language:

This explains the harsh nature of much postmodern rhetoric. The regular deployments of ad hominem, the setting up of straw men, and the regular attempts to silence opposing voices are all logical consequences of the postmodern epistemology of language. Stanley Fish, as noted in Chapter Four, calls all opponents of racial preferences bigots and lumps them in with the Ku Klux Klan. Andrea Dworkin calls all heterosexual males rapists and repeatedly labels “Amerika” a fascist state. With such rhetoric, truth or falsity is not the issue: what matters primarily is the language’s effectiveness.

Dennis Prager, an affable conservative commentator who has been laughably accused of promoting “hate speech” by the wackadoodle left, recently wrote this in one of his columns:

As I constantly note, truth is a liberal and a conservative value but has never been a left-wing value. The left’s only criterion in determining whether or not to say something is not whether it is true or false but whether it is effective or ineffective.

Hicks continues with the same point:

On this hypothesis, postmodernists need not believe much of what they say. The word games and much of the use of anger and rage that are characteristic of much of their style can be a matter—not of using words to state things that they think are true—but rather of using words as weapons against an enemy that they still hope to destroy.

If you hate someone and want to hurt him, then hit him where it counts. The truth or falsity of the rumors does not matter, and whether those you tell believe you does not really matter. What matters is that you score a direct, damaging hit.

Saul Alinsky spelled out the strategy in his book Rules For Radicals. It can be summarized like this: If you can’t debate your opponent on the facts, change the argument by calling him a racist instead. If racist doesn’t work, you can always try sexist, homophobe, climate denier, animal murderer … whatever lures your opponent into a sidetrack debate he can’t possibly win.

I’m amazed at how many people still fall for this tactic. During the 2016 campaign, Jeb Bush used the term anchor babies in a discussion about whether kids whose mothers sneak across the border just before giving birth should automatically become U.S. citizens. One of the fine, objective news reporters covering the campaign immediately declared (loudly) that anchor babies is an offensive, racist term. Bush fell for it. Instead of ignoring the comment and continuing to debate the actual issue, he ended up arguing with the fine, objective news reporter about whether he was using racist language. Mission accomplished.

I recently had someone try the tactic on me during a Twitter debate. As so often happens in Twitter debates, my opponent felt free to raise challenging questions, which I answered, but simply ignored the challenging questions I asked him. I eventually told him to man up and answer my questions or go away. That drew a response something like this:

Man up?!  Do you know how many men have committed suicide because they were told to just MAN UP instead of dealing with their mental-health issues? That phrase has caused more damage to men … blah-blah-blah.

This guy had been insulting me at every opportunity, by the way.  He was quite fond of name-calling. But as soon as I suggested he man up, he wanted to sidetrack me into argument about how insensitive I am towards men suffering from mental health issues, as evidenced by my use of man up.

Unfortunately for him, I recognized the tactic and told him if he’s emotionally triggered by the term man up, he’s far too sensitive to be engaged in Twitter debates and should go get some therapy instead … and then man the @#$% up.

But I digress. The point is, postmodernists aren’t actually interested in debate and discussion. They don’t view language as a tool to get to the truth; they view language as a weapon, period. And just like any weapon, it can by wielded by bad people to hurt good people. Yup … they believe engaging in free speech causes actual harm if you say the (ahem) “wrong” things, as Hicks points out:

Postmodernists infer there is no distinction between speech and action, a distinction that liberals have traditionally prized. According to postmodernists, speech is itself something that is powerful because it constructs who we are and underlies all of the actions that we engage in. And as a form of action, it can and does cause harm to other people. Liberals, say postmodernists, should accept that any form of harmful action must be constrained. Therefore, they must accept censorship.

The oppressors have used reason, logic and free speech to harm the oppressed. Therefore, while the oppressed can say anything they choose, the oppressors must be censored to prevent them from causing even more harm. That’s the belief system.

This isn’t some paranoid interpretation. In their excellent book The Coddling of the American Mind, Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt describe how many young people today believe that if they’re exposed to ideas and speech they don’t like, they are actually being harmed. College students (full of the nonsense put in their heads by postmodernist professors) have rioted to prevent conservative speakers from appearing on campus. When asked why they felt justified in resorting to violence instead of just ignoring the speaker, the little snowflakes have given answers like I don’t have to tolerate people who are threatening my very existence!

Yeah, right … someone gives a speech you don’t like, makes arguments you don’t want to hear, and your life is in danger. Goodness, you’re just like Anne Frank, aren’t you? How very important and relevant you are, bravely standing up to those who threaten your very existence. But hey, if that’s what you feeeeel, then it has to be true. So go ahead and riot to prevent someone else from speaking. You’re entitled to defend yourself.

So who gets to distinguish between the oppressors and the oppressed? Who gets to decide who’s allowed to speak freely and who has to shut the hell up? Well, that’s where the fun really begins. Naturally, this wackadoodle belief system has created a stampede of people heading for the nearest door labeled I’m One Of The Oppressed … or the door labeled I’m Exempt From Censorship Because I Support The Oppressed.

If you can’t squeeze through either door, well, too bad for you … because now it’s okay to prevent you from speaking, lest you harm the oppressed. Delete your Wikipedia page, ban your Facebook group, take down your YouTube videos, suspend your Twitter account … whatever we have to do to stop you from causing actual harm to the oppressed with your bad words.

I began this series of posts by writing about people and groups that have been deleted, banned or otherwise de-platformed on social media sites: Malcolm Kendrick, Jimmy Moore, Uffe Ravnskov, me, a Banting diet group, etc. Perhaps you’re wondering how the twisted logic of it’s okay to censor the oppressors figures into it.

I believe this answers the question:

There you have it. Noakes may not be powerful himself, but he’s a shill for the meat and dairy industries … and by gosh, those industries are powerful. They’re run by powerful, powerful, evil people who oppress innocent little animals! Milking cows is a form of sexual abuse! Hens are rape victims! Meat is murder! And worse, they’re all causing global warming, which will harm the oppressed people in poor countries the most! (We know this is true, because Walter Willett told us so in the Eat-Lancet manifesto.)

As I pointed out in my speech Diet, Health and The Wisdom of Crowds, The Anointed like to believe that anyone who opposes their Grand Plans is either evil or stupid.  It doesn’t matter if neither label makes any actual sense.

A lefty buddy of mine from my days in L.A. once commented that conservatives are CLIMATE DENIERS because we’re more interested in protecting oil-company profits than saving the planet. Being a logical sort, I pointed out that he’s single with no kids, while I actually have kids who will inhabit the planet long after I’m gone. I also have zero investments in the oil business. Was he actually suggesting I care more about Exxon’s profits than my children’s future well-being?  How does that make any sense?  But of course, logical arguments bounced off his head like little rubber bullets.

Remember, as far as the postmodernists are concerned, there’s a good chance you’ve been duped into being an unwitting tool of the oppressors. So if you promote a diet based on meats and eggs, it doesn’t matter that you’re not intentionally supporting the evil meat and dairy industries … you’re still engaging in speech that helps them to oppresses the innocent animals, so it’s okay to censor you.

If you’re a CHOLESTEROL DENIER, you’re undermining the attempt to scare people away from animal foods, which means you’re encouraging further oppression of the innocent animals — not to mention overheating the planet which will harm people in poor countries — so it’s okay to censor you.

If you convince people that grains are harmful, they might end up eating more animals foods instead … which means you’re encouraging further animal murder, cow sexual abuse and hen-raping, so it’s okay to censor you.

In the first post in the series, I asked why the people who support de-platforming don’t just make their own counter-arguments instead of attempting to silence those whose opinions they don’t like. Now you know. They believe that free speech produces an unfair fight in which the powerful (or their unwitting tools) will dominate the oppressed.

They believe that for people (and animals) to be truly free, we must restrict freedom, including freedom of speech. Here’s a quote from Herbert Marcuse, a major influence in the postmodernist movement, describing what must be done:

They would include the withdrawal of toleration of speech and assembly from groups and movements which promote aggressive policies, armament, chauvinism, discrimination on the grounds of race and religion, or which oppose the extension of public services, social security, medical care, etc. Moreover, the restoration of freedom of thought may necessitate new and rigid restrictions on teachings and practices in the educational institutions.

So if you’re against, say, the expansion of Medicare, you should lose your freedom of speech and assembly. That’s the mentality. Unfortunately, his prescription for restoring freedom of thought through “rigid restrictions on teachings and practices in the educational institutions” is already being filled. I’ll get to that later.

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56 thoughts on “The Anointed And De-Platforming (Why Google, Facebook, Twitter And YouTube Are Starting To Suck): Part Three

  1. George Henderson

    And here we have the reductio ad absurdum – Prof Jim Flynn, quite possibly the most well-intentioned and honest Leftist academic in New Zealand, is being censored under UK hate speech law for daring to discuss ideas he disagrees with!

    Personally I find Marx’s ideas, at least as condensed in Thomas Sowell’s precis, very useful for explaining what is going on today.
    Massive changes in technology (means of production) are producing new social classes every day. But which is the new revolutionary class that will sweep all others before it? Maybe it’s the alt-right pricks on Gab and 4-8chan, More hopefully it’s people like you and I, the newly radicalised middle.
    But it sure as shit ain’t the people still clinging to an overcooked version of a Victorian thinker whose prophecies involving the relatively static classes he could see in front of his own nose didn’t even pan out in their lifetimes…

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Oh. My. God. More proof that the Left will eat their own if they step even a teensy bit out of line.

      1. Bret

        Comedians (real comedians, that is) are a growing example of this as well. Louis CK, Kevin Hart, whole bunch of folks have gotten punished by their celebrity/media mob overlords for thoughtcrimes, some of them decades in the past. Uber leftist George Carlin’s 1980s and 90s material would get him outrage-canceled in the blink of an eye today.

        Bill Maher is a far-left loon for the most part but seems to have a genuine appreciation for freedom of speech. He has been tiptoeing around the idea that the Democrats have gone completely insane. But he’s in an impossible spot. He has built his brand on leftism. So he has to choose: either he has principles and will lose his audience, or he’ll keep his audience by abandoning his principles.

        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          I disagree with Maher on many if not most political issues, but he’s been quite vocal about freedom of speech. I applaud him for that. We’ll see if it finally gets him canceled.

  2. Richard

    I’m sharing this one with everyone I can…it gets to the heart of why the left and right are talking past each other. I doubt even many liberals would support the post-modernist approach once they stopped to consider its implications. It’s pure brain-rot.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I agree with Dennis Prager: we need to distinguish between liberals and the loony left. They’re not the same people. One of the best books I read on the movement to stifle dissent was “The Silencing: How the Left is Killing Free Speech,” written by Kirsten Powers — a liberal who worked for Bill Clinton.

  3. Jennifer

    Whenever I encounter ‘feelings are more important that reason’ I shudder — these people are letting the microbes take over. Consider everything we have learned about microbiome over the past couple of decades and how bugs in our gut can affect our moods. I sure as hell am not giving up my power to some microscopic freeloaders.

  4. John S.

    After reading your first article in this series I sat down and read “Explaining Postmodernism” by Stephen Hicks. I have to say that it was the most frightening book I have ever read, and I read a lot. It also goes a long way towards explaining almost every “news” story I see or hear. Thank you for the reference.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I suspect a lot of logical, reasonable people are simply unaware of the nonsense these people preach and how common it is in universities now.

      I believe if people read Explaining Postmodernism, Antifragile, Skin In The Game and The Vision of The Anointed, they’ll understand a helluva lot of what’s happening. I’d add The Smear by Sharyl Attkisson to the mix as well to understand the media game.

  5. Firebird7479

    The Saul Alinsky Approach, to perfection, from a friend on Facebook:

    As a man with Aspergers I may not agree with her 100% but my god do I respect her. I at 16 could never ever get the courage to speak to the f—ing UN on something this important. She is my hero. You trash her or post shitty uneducated memes about a brave child f***ing unfriend me. I hate your soul.

      1. Firebird7479

        The latest. Someone else:

        “Everyone who criticizes her should be burned at the stake!”

        ME: “Won’t that increase carbon emissions?”

        “You’re a climate denier? I’m not wasting my time with you!”

        Then proceeds to write several more posts calling me everything under the sun without once debating the issue.

        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          Yup, that’s typical. In her book “The Smear,” Sharyl Attkisson describes how “denier” and “conspiracy theory” are routinely tossed out to dismiss arguments without having to debate or refute them. The really sad part is that she’s describing media reporters who do that, not just average dummies.

          1. Firebird7479

            Just a thought…this guy is calling for the murder of anyone who disagrees with this child. Who used to do that?

            Idi Amin
            Pol Pot

            And the funny thing is, they will call you a Nazi of compare you to Hitler for having an opposing point of view!

  6. Don

    So, if language is a weapon, everyone is at war. Divide and conquer? It would seem, though, that free speech proponents should have the upper hand since they possess reason and logic and the other side does not. Why then are they losing ground?

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      That’s why the loonies want to censor free speech. They know the Marketplace of Ideas isn’t kind to them.

  7. Trish

    It’s interesting that you bring all this up now as Greta Thunberg is being hailed as a climate change visionary. Hard leftists see a powerful advocate who speaks with legitimate terror about how everyone’s destroying the world. I see a severely mentally ill girl whose self-proclaimed “superpower” of Asperger’s/autism is the least of her problems. Her fame-seeking parents, a minor opera singer and an even more minor actor, literally filled her head with climate horror stories (her mother comes from a long line of environmentalists), making an already anxious child nearly catatonic with fear. She also has OCD and a significant eating disorder–by her mother’s admission, she went for almost two years without eating solid food and supposedly eats little now other than pancakes stuffed with rice, which is why she’s nearly seventeen years old but looks twelve. But Cthulhu forfend you say anything about her other than OMG SO BRAVE AND TRUTHFUL because if you do, you’re immediately accused of picking on a mentally ill child. This poor kid needs help that doesn’t involve her having a panic attack in front of the UN that the left tries to sell as passion.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Exactly. That’s a favorite tactic of the postmodern loonies: trot out a spokesperson people are afraid to debate or disagree with for fear of looking cruel.

      The truly cruel people are the ones scaring the hell out of kids to advance their political agenda — and that’s what global warmi– er, climate change is all about.

      1. Bret

        Also thrusting that little girl (mentally challenged or not) into the spotlight and subjecting her to worldwide media attention, which will surely bring a large amount of verbal abuse, threats, etc. Child abuse.

        Mini AOC (the 8-yr-old on Twitter) couldn’t even publish parody videos without avoiding violent threats, etc. What do these irresponsible child abuser parents of Thunberg think is going to be the outcome of speaking on a radioactive topic like this?

        People are absolutely nuts. I feel like we’re entering our late stages like the ancient Roman empire did, when greatness was replaced by lunacy.

        1. Lori Miller

          You only have to hear from Greta’s parents that 1) the speeches and other publicity stunts are all Greta’s doing and 2) “forces were trying to silence them” to know they’re full of baloney.

        2. Trish

          It’s already happening. I don’t blame Greta at all, but I absolutely blame the idiots calling themselves her parents.

          1. Tom Naughton Post author

            Years ago, the local schools announced that the USDA inspectors were coming around and every kid’s lunch — even ones packed at home — had to include a grain product. So the girls took sandwiches to school that day. Some people commenting on the blog said we should have refused. I replied that I’m not putting my daughters in the middle of a battle that isn’t theirs to fight. That’s how sane parents think.

        1. Firebird7479

          “hail Greta Thunberg as the most radical and relevant UN debutante since Yasser Arafat”

          Arafat? More like Benjamin Netanyahu. There’s a reason why people call him “Nuttyahoo”.

      2. Firebird7479

        The local news program that I watch has been putting out global warming, er climate change, “statistics” during the weather forecast since she made that speech. We keep hearing how average temperatures have risen two degrees in the past x number of years in September for this region and last night, he showed a graphic of how much the ice has decreased in the Arctic. They have NEVER done that before.

        Meanwhile, Montana is about to get hit with 50″ of snow.

        And Greta is throwing a fit.

    2. Firebird7479

      I see Rhonda from the play/movie “The Bad Seed”.

      “That medal is mine!”

      “You give me back those shoes!”

  8. Lori

    And yet they virtually sit at the feet of little Greta Thunberg, the mentally disabled child who supposedly helped write a scientific book. Even if you completely agree with everything she says, is this the person you want to speak for you? I believed the book 1984 was about to come true at that age.

      1. Tom Naughton Post author

        Won’t make a difference, of course. The hysteria over climate change is nothing more than a bludgeon The Anointed are using to force through more Grand Plans they always wanted.

        1. Firebird7479

          And they throw a 16 year old girl with mental disabilities out there. This way, if you criticize her, you’re cruel, and thus, you cannot criticize their grand plans.

          And it was just 9 months ago when it was perfectly OK to criticize and call for the severe beating of a 16 year old boy for wearing a MAGA hat for smiling at a Native American who got into his personal space and banged a drum.

          The girl reminds me of the movie “The Bad Seed”.

          1. Tom Naughton Post author

            There you go being logical and pointing out the glaring inconsistency. You realize logic has no effect on these people, right?

  9. Bret

    “This guy had been insulting me at every opportunity, by the way.”

    One of my favorite media moments ever was when Jordan Peterson froze Cathy Newman in her tracks by asking her why she should have the right to risk offending him (asking ironically, of course). She had been interrupting him the entire time and grilling him for supposedly hurting the feelings of females with his rational arguments. He flung her logic right back in her face, and she was stunned speechless for an excruciating 10 seconds…it was as if a rapidly built house of cards had just collapsed.

    On the topic at large, our media, academia, and political class have lost all comprehension of freedom of speech. They believe they’re owed 1A rights, but not those they disagree with or purport to be offended by (Free Speech for Me, but Not for Thee//the late Nat Hentoff). As such they have a tremendous potential to poison the future generation irreparably.

    I’d like to believe a critical mass of grassroots folks know the truth and are resistant to the new state religion, but I’m honestly not sure. Way too many people voting Democrat and way too many people expressing no interest whatsoever in libertarian principles for me to rest assured.

  10. Bob Niland

    Speaking of Prager U., Dr. Bret Scher did a video for them lately (without first doing his homework on how it might trigger the snowflakes). You can see the predictable consequences in the comments under the DietDoctor page on it:

    This comment says it all:
    “I feel that DD should suppress this post.”

    It’s pretty easy to tell what side of a debate has no case at all. They’d be the ones demanding that the other side be censored.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Yup. They’d also be the ones screaming that anyone disagrees with them must be a racist, sexist, Nazi, etc.

    1. Arthur Jones

      It’s interesting you say that; I think it was Yogi Berra who was meant to have said ……. “It’s like déjà vu all over again.” !!

      When I think about your suggestion: we have the controversy; we have a number of very agitated scientists; we have a number to drive down; it is the sole number; we have a simple explanation; we understand the science at the outset; then it all keeps changing; we have consensus; hmmmmm; sounds familiar

  11. JB

    I haven’t read them yet, but it appears that Vox Day’s books SJWs Always Lie and SJWs Always Double Down explain the St. Greta phenomenon from a contemporary persepctive.

  12. Susan

    “someone gives a speech you don’t like, makes arguments you don’t want to hear, and your life is in danger.” Too true!
    I was talking with my ex-daughter-in-law (mother of my only granddaughter, so I need to maintain the relationship) when the subject of immigration came up. When I suggested that border crossers were welcome, but only those who followed the established rules, you’d think I’d stabbed her in the heart. She was still feeling injured hours later. We’ve had to ban all political discussion between the two of us. What a sad world we are heading into.

  13. Firebird7479

    What a shame that “That Sugar Film!” star Damon Gameau has gone off the rails (from his Twitter account)

    Textbook climate denial tactics over the past week:

    Discredit: ‘Greta only 16 and must be paid or put up to it’
    Deflect: ‘kids should give up phones or trendy clothes if striking, let kids be kids.’
    Delay: ‘we need more debates on this topic or a royal commission’

    Call it out

  14. Walter

    OK, if there is no objective reality, how can people be oppressed?! It’s just a subjective opinion and can be ignored.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      All cultures are equal, but Western culture is really, really bad.

      The U.S. is a racist, sexist, imperialist country, but we should allow anyone to move here with no restrictions.

      Police departments are full of racists who want to shoot minorities, but only the police should be allowed to have guns.

      Women and men are exactly the same, except in the many, many ways women are better.

      Men and women are equals in every way, but if a college man and a college woman both get drunk and have voluntary sex, she can bring him up on rape charges later because the alcohol removed her ability to consent to the encounter, but not his.

      Don’t expect any logical consistency from these people.

  15. wayne gage

    Marcuse on what must be done. “…They would include the withdrawal of toleration of speech and assembly from groups and movements which promote aggressive policies, …” And how is this to be done, ‘cough, cough’ through aggression.

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