Category Archives: Free Speech

UPDATED (8/30): Book ‘In Defense Of Looting’ ‘Argues’ Looting Is ‘Joyous’, Produces ‘Community Cohesion’

China, Crime, Cultural Marxism, Ethics, Free Speech, Intellectualism, Morality, Race, Racism

We inhabit a culture in which high-brow polemics are banned and banished from the public square by grubby, low-brow, social engineers like Facebook functionaries.

In the same culture, a new kind of Kafka confronts any author whose thoughts veer from those of the mono-cultural mainstream.

Books that enlighten never see the light of day; badly written pamphlets that dim debate find publishers and “respectable” reviewers (for now).

One such immoral enterprise is Vicky Osterweil’s In Defence of Looting: A Riotous History of Uncivil Action.

To its disgrace, the Economist has gone along and dignified the author’s hedonistic “argument” from criminality:

Some civil-rights activists fret that the latest events in Chicago will weaken national support for police reform that has grown in the months since Floyd was killed. The Rev Jesse Jackson called the events in Chicago “humiliating, embarrassing” and “morally wrong” on August 10th. Not everyone agreed.

A few radical activists, including some associated with Black Lives Matter in Chicago, argued that looting can be legitimate. One woman, protesting at a police station that held arrested looters, called it a form of “reparations” for white oppression.

This really is a live debate. Vicky Osterweil, author of “In Defence of Looting: A Riotous History of Uncivil Action”, published this month, sets out the same argument at book length. Looting by the poor, black or otherwise repressed is a radical tactic that brings welcome change, in her view. Peaceful civil-rights demonstrations are too easily ignored, whereas “riots and looting are more effective at attracting attention to a cause”. The shared experience of looting can also be “joyous”, produce “community cohesion”, count as a small act of “direct redistribution of wealth” and, she reckons, does little harm to those who have insurance. She thinks it also leads people to question high levels of inequality.

Her claims are unconvincing. Those who snatched swag from Gucci or Louis Vuitton in order to sell them on hardly share her anti-capitalist views. Nor is it clear that looting spreads solidarity in poor neighbourhoods. The grandmother of the man shot by police condemned the looting. Ms Osterweil might be right, however, that residents of poor areas, who rarely even set foot in the wealthy central parts of their city, are fed up. Looting is not a helpful way to respond, but the resentment at this disparity is real enough …

Osterweil’s political porn has two rotten reader reviews on Amazon:

1. “Poorly written, poorly reasoned.” One star.
2. “Garbage: terrible ideas and a terrible book.” One star.

Yet, is has a rather good Amazon rank. How you ask? The rank is not market-generated, but is due to the corrupt enterprise of university book-buying. State subsidized university libraries have enormous budgets to purchase  drek with which to indoctrinate your kids. They will pay hundreds of dollars a copy.

Down to its libraries, the American universities are corrupt.

China might control thinking in its universities, but do their apparatchiks promote material  meant to make the people thieving, dumb and decadent? Unlikely, considering that the Chinese have a wicked work ethic, low-crime rates and that criminality is severely punished.

UPDATE (8/30):

Here’s the disgrace of In Defense Of Looting, a “book”: someone read the book, endorsed its publication, someone edited it, someone else set it in type, designed a cover, compiled an index, read the proofs. Now people are reviewing it.

UPDATED (8/22/): NEW COLUMN: Was The Cop’s Knee On George Floyd’s Neck ‘Racism’? No!

Conservatism, Free Speech, Law, Left-Liberalism, libertarianism, Paleoconservatism, Political Philosophy, Race, Racism, Reason

NEW COLUMN IS “Was The Cop’s Knee On George Floyd’s Neck ‘Racism’? No!” It featured on Townhall.com, WND.COM, the Unz Review, and Newsroom For American and European-Based Citizens.

It is currently a feature on American Greatness:

“Was The Cop’s Knee On George Floyd’s Neck ‘Racism’? No!” It is the second in a series deconstructing the racism construct. For the first, there is also a quick YouTube primer.

Excerpt:

Racism consists of a mindset or a worldview that boils down to impolite and impolitic thoughts and words written, spoken, preached, or tweeted.

If that’s all racism is, you ask, then what was the knee on George Floyd’s neck? Was that not racism?

No, it was not.

Judging from the known facts, the knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck was a knee on a man’s neck. That’s all that can be inferred from the chilling video recording in which Floyd expired slowly as he pleaded for air.

Floyd begged to breathe. But the knee on his neck—“subdual restraint and neck compression,” in medical terms—was sustained for fully eight minutes and 46 seconds, causing “cardiopulmonary arrest.”

There are laws against what transpired between former Officer Derek Chauvin and Mr. Floyd.

And the law’s ambit is not to decide whether the offending officer is a correct-thinking individual, but whether Mr. Chauvin had committed a crime.

About Officer Chauvin’s mindset, the most the law is supposed to divine is mens rea—criminal intention: Was the officer whose knee pressed on Floyd’s neck acting with a guilty mind or not?

For fact-finding is the essence of the law. The law is not an abstract ideal of imagined social justice, that exists to salve sensitive souls.

If “racism” looks like a felony crime, then it ought to be prosecuted as nothing but a crime and debated as such. In the case of Mr. Chauvin, a mindset of depraved indifference seems to jibe with the video.

This is not to refute the reality of racially motivated crimes. These most certainly occur. It is only to refute the legal and ethical validity of a racist mindset in the prosecution of a crime.

Surely, a life taken because of racial or antisemitic animus is not worth more than life lost to spousal battery or to a home invasion.

The law, then, must mete justice, in accordance with the rules of evidence, proportionality and due process. Other than intent, references to the attendant thoughts that accompanied the commission of a crime should be irrelevant—be they racist, sexist, ageist or anti-Semitic.

Ultimately, those thoughts are known only to the perp.

To make matters worse, legions of libertarians and conservatives have joined the progressive establishment in the habit of sniffing out and purging racists, as though they were criminals.

Sniffing out thought or speech criminals is a no-no for any and all self-respecting classical conservative and libertarian. We should never persecute or prosecute thought “criminals” for utterances not to our liking (unless these threaten or portend violence). …

READ THE REST. LATEST COLUMN IS currently a feature on American Greatness:

UPDATE (8/22/20):

Loup-Bouc:

Fine article, Ms. Mercer. Unlike all other Unz Review authors who have addressed the Floyd case, you apprehend accurately/correctly much of the pertinent law. ..I observe that you have written a fine article. Brava.

This essay is the clearest and most effective explanation as to why racism and other bad ideas are not criminal. Of the numerous Mercer essays I have read, this is the best. Thank you.

 

 

Strip Social Media’s Social Engineers Of Their State Grants-Of-Privilege

Argument, Business, Conservatism, Free Speech, Law, libertarianism, Republicans, Technology, The State

As ever, the political caste, in general, and “the party of industry and commerce,” in particular, has shown itself to be arrayed against Middle America.

How so?

An army of Covington Kids ought to have advanced on social media’s loathsome moral crusaders and censors. It can’t, because stripping the tech trolls of their state-grants of privilege has slipped down the order of business.

Depriving social media’s social engineers of their state grants-of-privilege seems more than reasonable.

Nobody conservative is arguing that “government should regulate content moderation of social media,” CATO Institute.

What is being advocated is that social-media censors be deprived of their state-grants of privilege and protections against liability. For social media are collective frauds. While acting as editors and social engineers, they are legally safeguarded as mere platform providers.

Under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, tech companies currently enjoy broad immunity from civil lawsuits stemming from what users post because they are treated as “platforms” rather than “publishers”.

Trump’s executive order is designed to pressure regulators, including the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission, to come up with new rules that would curtail that immunity. It is likely to face legal challenges. (The Guardian)

Look, laws exist. Too many of them. It would be great were there fewer of these laws. However, whether intended or not,  the upshot of corporate libertarianism is that laws only ever hamper the little guy and gal, never the multinational shyster and fraudster.

Naturally, conservatives must agree that unfettered speech is just that.  They can’t start carving out pet exceptions.

MERCER DOMAINS BANNED BY DEEP TECH FACEBOOK

Cultural Marxism, Donald Trump, Free Speech, Ilana Mercer, IlanaMercer.com, Liberty, Political Correctness, Technology

“Not everything that’s banned by social media is worth reading. But the time is fast approaching when one can say with confidence that most of what isn’t banned is not worth reading.”—ILANA MERCER.

Or, at least, is unimportant. (Self-serving hyperbole? Maybe a smidgen.)

Facebook has banned both my domains: Even mention of their names is flagged on Facebook.
I’ve mentioned the latest blog post on Facebook by directing readers to Twitter.

Note how I’ve already censored myself, removing a perfectly fine adjective from the blog’s description on Facebook (“Wall Of Moms? More Like Wall Of [Feral] Flesh.”)

In any case, my guru confirms the following: “It looks like Facebook has banned www.barelyablog from posting to Facebook. It looks like they’ve also banned ilanamercer.com. Their reasoning is that you’ve ‘violated their Community Standards.’ What the violation was they will not say.”

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Indeed, the “Continue” button leads only to more Kafka:

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Disagreeing with Deep Tech gets one nowhere.

“You’re obviously doing something right,” suggested a Twitter friend. First it was, “If you’re not called a racist, you’re doing something wrong.” Now it’s, “If you’ve not been banned by Deep Tech, you’re doing something wrong.”

Another asked, “Why the concerted effort at censorship by big tech right now, do you think?” For me, Arthur Pogonatus, the marginalizing has been ongoing for 20 yrs. First the Republicans when, in 2002, this writer came out against Bush’s Iraq war–and for being independent on most issues. In 2018, I’m told, Wikipedia, the Southern Poverty Law Center of “encyclopedias, banned me. Banishing has been ongoing from one faction or another.

The best description of the New America comes courtesy of my colleague, Fred Reed, writing on the Unz Review, which has also been banned by Facebook and has become a haven for dissidents:

Congress does nothing, one parry neutering the other and all bought and paid for by special interests, by Wall Street and the arms makers and the big corporations. Local governments submit to the rioters or stand aside as the burning goes on. This is not society. It is chaos.

I agree with the Reed paragraph that precedes the one just posted, but, see, I can’t post it, because, this time, people on the Right would evince an allergy to aspects of the objective truth and they’d “blow.”

Fred’s right. “It’s Gonna Blow: Be a Miracle if it Don’t.”

A Washington Post writer compared the “fight against big tech [to] the fight against organized crime.”  I’m not sure this comparison holds. For one, what fight?

Certainly, the author fails to mention the plight of those on the speech spectrum who’ve incurred the wrath of Deep Tech. In particular, those of us on the dissident right who’ve been banned and lack political representation or hefty champions (other than one small woman, whom I call “The Force”: Michelle Malkin).

It’s certainly not Don Trump, Jr. See “Is Political Participation Predicated On Views About Holocaust?”

RELATED:
The Anatomy of A Twitter Blocking — My Own,” Ilana Mercer, June 27, 2019