This is the fifth in a series on what I have started referring to as “2nd Wave Internet Skepticism”. 2nd wave internet skepticism seems to fold tribalism in under the guise of critical thinking. It includes a lot of rhetoric that I first saw in the “Men’s Rights Activism” movement. The same rhetoric can be seen in the modern neo-nazi movement known as the “alt right”. These guys (and I do mean guys, mostly white guys) seem to think that because they’ve figured out that 9/11 truth and chemtrails are bullshit that anything they dislike, ranging from feminism to trans rights and beyond, is also bullshit. I imagine many skeptics will disagree with the ideas I am presenting here, and that’s fine. I have found that the cult of 2nd wave internet skepticism generally hates criticism even though many of those in the movement suggest that “safe spaces” are ruining everything. Hypocrisy and perceptions of one’s own victimhood are on full display in this, the war of really bad ideas.
Virtue Signaling: “Both Sides Are The Same”
So, I notice many, including prominent 2nd Wave Internet Skeptics, are claiming to be “reasonable” or “centrists” and suggesting that the reaction by what we’ll call “the left” to Klan rallies is pretty much the same thing as the Klan rallies themselves. They bitch about “identity politics” (looking at you, Sam Harris), they say that the anti-fa (which literally means anti-fascist) is just as bad as, and sometimes worse than, a fucking Klan rally coming to someone’s town.
So I ask the “centrists” who are obviously the only ones thinking rationally, what the fuck do you want me to do? Cuz I mean, you’ve identified the problems on “the left”, and since I am on “the left” I would hope that you self described rational thinkers in “the middle” have some suggestions for a person like me on the left, you know, the correct way to push against the fucking Klan if they come to my town. I mean, since these rational centrists won’t lift a finger if the Klan comes to their town, the least they can do is share some advice so that those of us opposing the Klan can meet the standard of rationality and moral acceptability. Maybe Dave Rubin will have some sound advice as a former member of the left who is now riding that 2nd Wave Internet Skepticism gravy train.
I hope that one of these self described rational middle types will have some suggestions for a more constructive way to oppose the fucking Klan when they come around, cuz any and all reactions that have happened recently are obviously just as bad as, you know, the fucking Klan coming to your town with guns and swastika flags. It’s just as bad as the fucking Klan having a night time march with torches that any fool can tell is designed specifically to look like a lynch mob.
Some examples of the complaints I see from those holier than thou, those who are obviously enlightened enough to see that “both sides are the problem”:
Black Lives Matter is as racist as the KKK
Okay, so if you actually think that, what the fuck am I supposed to do about it when the Klan comes to town? Tell them to go home? And then what? If they don’t listen to me what do I do? Am I to throw my hands in the air and cross the line and go over the the Klan side because you don’t like Black Lives Matter? Should I just go home because you say that BLM is racist?
Social Justice Warriors basically caused this
Okay, so if I stipulate this for the sake of argument, what do I do about this when the fucking Klan comes to my town? Do I DDOS Tumblr so some person who wants to be referred to as “they” and has 11 followers can’t post stuff? Do I demand that any chick with short blue hair go home? Do I cross over to the other side because I saw a “Social Justice Warrior”? What’s the solution here?
Your side created this by calling these people nazis
Okay, so first of all, I basically don’t call people nazis unless they are quite clear about the fact that they are white nationalists, and even in that case I call them white nationalists as it is a better description than nazi, which basically means “anyone who doesn’t agree with me” when you’re in an internet discussion no matter which side of the spectrum you’re on. But when people show up to the fucking Klan rally in my community with swastikas and people call them nazis, what do I do to fix this? Do I tell people to stop calling people who brought actual nazi flags to the Klan rally nazis? If they don’t stop calling those people nazis, should I be crossing over and asking for my own swastika flag because of the moral outrage I should feel due to someone holding a swastika flag being called a nazi?
This is all the result of identity politics
Even if I stipulate this, should I go find anyone with a symbol that relates to their identity and demand that they remove it so that we can have a more reasonable debate? Maybe I should find some 21 year old twinky gay guy with rainbow paint on his chest and use turpentine and a wire brush to remove that symbol of his gay identity because that’s why all of this is happening? Should I find someone waving the flag of a foreign nation that they moved to the USA from and take that shit from them and give them a bit of a scolding for engaging in “identity politics”? Should I be ripping those pussy hats off of the heads of women for having the temerity to wear a symbol of female identity?
The anti-fa is exactly the same as the Klan
Okay, so if the anti-fa is actually a nazi group that is engaging in orwellian doublespeak, what do I do about it? Do I refuse to oppose the Klan when they come to my town because there are anti-fa there? Should I give the anti-fa a stern talking to about the optics of the situation? Should I take a poll of everyone in attendance and should the percentage of anti-fa exceed about 20% maybe I should join the other side because at least they’re not anti-fa?
Many of the protesters are communists
Even if I were to believe this talking point, what do I do about it if the fucking Klan comes to my town? Do I need to hand out copies of Atlas Shrugged? Do I need to have a debate with every collectivist there about the merits of collectivism vs individualism? Should I tell them that their ideas on economic systems are exactly the same as wanting to take the rights of others based on race, religion, or sexual orientation? Should I get on a skype call with Milton Friedman so he can explain the “free market” to them. Again, what are my options here?
Those who are above it all may find these words to be a bit glib, and honestly they are, I wrote this article on the train on my way into work and then went over it again on the train on my way back. So maybe you’ve hit the nail on the head about my glibness. But I do put the call out to all who are essentially “virtue signaling” that they are not going to be taking a side even though one side is a resurgence of the motherfucking Klan. Just pick one of the topics above and get me an answer so my resistance to the fucking Klan can be based on criticalthinking(™) and not based on being “triggered” or what the fuck ever.
I think I know what’s going on though, well at least with the prominent skeptics who are making these arguments. Over the last few years you’ve convinced yourself that “Social Justice Warriors” are coming for you means that you see these things as equal, not because they are, but because publications like Salon dared to criticize you when you say froggy shit about muslims for example. You and your fans have had a big old sad about it each and every time (again, looking at you Sam Harris). And Klan members have not seen fit to victimize you by having the temerity to suggest that what you’re saying might be kind of shitty, largely because you’ve provided the intellectual firepower for their arguments about Islam. It's interesting how there's "moral clarity" about the threat posed by radical islam but not the fucking Klan.
So fucking congratulations, you’re above the fray. Even Mitt Fucking Romney figured out what’s going on here. Think about that for a second, criticalthinkers(™). When the Klan comes to your town, you can sit on your fucking ivory tower and say “look at how silly both sides are being”. The fact that one side is the fucking Klan isn’t really relevant in this, the war of bad ideas.