UPDATE III (11/29): Did Stefan Molyneux Fail To Properly Credit Ideas From My Book, ‘Into the Cannibal’s Pot’?

Ethics,History,Ilana Mercer,Intellectualism,Logic,Morality,South-Africa

The implication in this Southern Poverty Law Center article is indeed that, in a 2015 video, vlogger Stefan Molyneux liberally used the material from my book, “Into The Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa,” published in 2011.

The authors at SPLC hate me just as much, so they don’t care to harp on unethical use of material they had traced to me (“Into The Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa”), if there was any. Still, their facts imply that no attribution was made or  direct credit given to me for a Molyneux podcast based on the rather idiosyncratic ideas that came from a chapter in Cannibal titled “APARTHEID IN BLACK AND WHITE: A Strategy for Survival” (pp. 65-70).

Writes the Southern Poverty Law Center:

In 2015 Molyneux published a video wherein he quoted an unnamed historian who claimed that “Apartheid wasn’t an expression of racism but concern over the survival of the white population.” The source for this quote is Ilana Mercer, a paleolibertarian writer and pro-Trump activist. Mercer’s 2011 book, which forms the basis for Molyneux’s YouTube video, is entitled “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa.” The tome received a glowing review from Jared Taylor’s American Renaissance website. “Apartheid was never based on a theory of racial supremacy; rather, it was a survival strategy for the badly outnumbered Boers,” the review reads. This is a mirror image of Molyneux’s sleight of hand: a decontextualized racism is deemed immoral but it is argued that Apartheid makes sense. The real message Molyneux and Taylor are delivering to their audiences is that the application of racial discrimination in South Africa was essential to ensure white survival (read: dominance) and that force and laws should be applied to keep different races apart.

Of course, the ideas in my chapter, “APARTHEID IN BLACK AND WHITE: A Strategy for Survival” (pp. 65-70), are not quite those expressed by the second-handers.

In any event, one gets accustomed to such lowly practices in this business. But if this is indeed true, and Stefan Molyneux had failed to fully credit this author for ideas that are nearly verbatim from “APARTHEID IN BLACK AND WHITE: A Strategy for Survival” (pp. 65-70)—then this is a new low.

Citing one’s sources is the very essence of ethical thinking and writing. If you don’t, you can’t claim to be an ethical thinker, much less a thinker. You lose all credibility.

It’s also so unmanly—and oh so very common. Yuk.

UPDATE I (11/27):

As was said, “Citing one’s sources is the very essence of ethical thinking and writing. If you don’t, you can’t claim to be an ethical thinker, much less a thinker. You lose ALL credibility.”

Ever wonder why Stefan Molyneux, and many men on the so-called hard right (some of whom came well after me), have never asked me (one of the few people who knows the ins-and-outs of apartheid South Africa) on their shows to speak to matters South African (or to any other matters)?

A LOT OF men are simply uncomfortable with certain women. (Hint: Young blondes showcase them better and are easier to best.) As a result, libertarian men (or mini-men) end up mouthing crass, historically wrong, right-wing talking points, on their shows, about my birth place. Coming from libertarians, this laxness is a disgrace.

At least credit your sources if you don’t want to engage the writer! Before Into the Cannibal’s Pot, nobody spoke about South Africa in any meaningful way in the US, other than the praiseworthy WND reporters, and one or two others liberally credited in my book. You see, I cite my sources (primary and secondary) religiously. Again, many of the johnny-come-lately sorts whom the Mini-Men aforementioned (or hinted at) interview on their limited shows speak a load of right-wing crap about South Africa.

Still and all, some ideas are too idiosyncratic to be generic—which is the case with a hell of a lot of what’s in Into the Cannibal’s Pot.

UPDATE II (11/28): “The Art of the Ego: Review of Stefan Molyneux’s Stupid Book”

If you can get past the author’s redundant liberal preening (it sullies a solid piece), Alexander Douglas makes short work of Stefan Molyneux’s short-on-logic book.

… Molyneux’s first few chapters outline some basic principles of logic. His explanation of ‘logic’ is as terrible as you might expect from someone with neither qualifications nor natural talent (see this review). Molyneux is one of these people who thinks that (barely) being able to do the First Figure Syllogism is ‘knowing logic’?—?the logical equivalent of the Astonishing Human Calculator who can add single-digit numbers in mere seconds or Sir Andrew Aguecheek who can speak languages without book. The really telling thing, however, is how Molyneux deals with his own ignorance. …

… Here is what he says about abduction, for example … Now, many people don’t know what abduction is. Nothing wrong with that. And you might find yourself in an exam, where you’re asked to define abduction, and maybe you missed that lecture, or you drifted off, or you just can’t remember. Then you might just write some bullshit, hoping to get a few marks. Perfectly acceptable behaviour. But if you’re writing a book on reasoning, and you remember that abduction is a form of reasoning but you can’t quite remember what it is?—?can you imagine in that circumstance just writing down some bullshit and hoping to get a few marks? Wouldn’t you just google it or something? Imagine being so devoid of intellectual humility. …

… It does help to show that, while logicians have no claim to be any better at informal reasoning than anyone else, there is such a thing as being godawful at informal reasoning. I’m not sure I knew that before looking at this book. But Molyneux is as bad at reasoning as he seems to be at everything else. Yet somehow, through some Dunning-Kruger pathology, he seems to regard himself as good enough to educate others. He is desperately in need of education himself, although I wouldn’t blame you if you preferred to put him ‘through the fist’ (“There are only two ways to resolve disagreements: through The Argument, or through the fist”). …

Myself, I’ve never been able to get through anything Molyneux writes. Other libertarians, systematic thinkers all, have said the same. My favorite, David Gordon, calls Molyneux’s arguments “often preposterously bad.”

“A (Tiny!) Bit More on Molyneux,” also by Alexander Douglas, delves into the problems of logic.

UPDATE III (11/29/018): On crap output and arrogant overreach. As someone who labors over every sentence she puts out (to the best of my abilities, which are respectable but far from infallible), these points, as made by a professional logician, are good.

Alas, and as noted by Tocqueville in the 19th century and Solzhenitsyn in the 20th, conformity of thought and anti-intellectualism are powerfully prevalent among Americans (the kind who follow Stefan Molyneux type Svengalis) .

Molyneux on logic just humiliates himself. And frankly it’s irritating to have spent years of hard study trying to master some elementary logic and then have some pontificating fraud claim the right to lecture others without doing any work at all

An Open Letter on Jordan Peterson and Stefan Molyneux” By Alexander Douglas.