Who should be shamed, and who not?

by on August 21, 2017 at 12:32 am in Education, Philosophy, Political Science, Uncategorized | Permalink

Let’s start with the distiction between people and their ideas and also their behavior.  We might condemn the ideas of a person without condeming the person himself.  Of course, if the ideas are very, very bad, sometimes we condemn the person too.

We seem to mind less when the bad ideas come from another time and space altogether.  For instance, hardly anyone seems to mind if a Mexican migrant has incorrect and deeply offensive views on the Oapan-Sam Miguel land disputes.  Those beliefs, even if they sanction violence against innocents for the purposes of land grabs, don’t impinge much on current American status competitions.  Similary, I don’t see that many objections to intellectual “monuments” erected in favor of classical Athens, in spite of the significant role of slavery in that society.  The pro-Athenian faction isn’t going to command any electoral votes the next cycle.  Was Joan of Arc problematic?

How many people object if a high percentage of the best jobs for Indian-Americans go to members of higher castes?  Does anyone push for affirmative action within the Indian-American community?  Not that I am aware of.  Those status contests aren’t salient for most of us.

I see many people who have behaved very badly — and here I mean legally convicted criminals — but where the prevailing “mood affiliation” among American liberal intellectuals is to favor their rehabilitation.  For instance, if a company does not ask job applicants if they have criminal records, this is considered to be good, and maybe it is.  For one thing, many of those criminals are the products of bad circumstances and we may have various (true) theories that help to excuse their behavior.  So we don’t go to the nth degree to shame and disgrace those ex-criminals, even if they have been convicted of prior violent activities.

How are we then to feel about contemporary neo-Nazis?  Most of them have not been convicted of anything at all.  Yet right now we are going to great lengths to shame and disgrace them.  We regard them as on a lower moral rung than the convicted criminals.  But is wishing for violence that much worse than having committed it yourself?

Or sometimes those two qualities go together.  If you are a neo-Nazi and you have committed a violent act, like the guy who drove that car into the crowd, it seems OK to put your photo on the internet in any kind of stereotypically despised, lookist, “white filth” portrayal that is possible, with maximum scorn and contempt.  Should we cover a prisoner on Death Row the same way?  What about someone who has been judged mentally ill?  What if in the meantime we simply do not know?

There may be a good utilitarian reason for the distinctions we draw, namely that we wish to discourage neo-Nazi behavior, and the behavior of potential copycats, for future-oriented reasons.   (Is that shaming even the most effective way to do so?  We don’t seem to obsess over shame threats for convicted criminals, to keep them — and others — on “the right track.”).  Perhaps shaming and disgracing them is necessary because they hold very bad ideologies, and perhaps potentially contagious ideologies, ideologies that most violent criminals do not seem to promulgate.

Maybe this utilitarian view is correct, namely that the shaming of an individual should depend on social context and political impact, and not just on the prior behavior of that individual.  But then notice what we are doing, we are moving away from moral individualism ourselves, and treating the shamed person as a means in the Kantian sense.  I even feel that such shaming makes me a slight bit like them, in a way I wish to avoid.

Do I have the option of just feeling sorry for the neo-Nazis, and at the same time dreading their possible social impact, in the way one might dread and hate a tornado?  But not shaming or scolding them?

Or should I feel bad about benefiting from the shaming activities of others, and being a kind of free-riding Kantian moral purist?

What if deterrence is not your actual goal with the shaming, but rather you are shaming for the purposes of motivating your own “troops”?

Another group being shamed over the course of the last week has been the misogynistic EJMR posters.  But I am curious as to the implicit theories held by the shamers here.  Why do those men write such nasty things?  Is it all just bad socialization, or might some of them them have a genetic inclination toward such behavior?  But once we consider the latter, we seem dangerously into the kind of stereotyping we were objecting to just a moment ago, when we sought to shame them.

What if sexual bullying lies deep in male DNA?  Not for everyone of course, but for some people.  And those same people may well have grown up in disadvantageous circumstances, surrounded by the wrong kinds of nerds, and then they ended up sad and broken on EJMR, for lack of having had the right role models.

Overall I am not impressed by how most of you are writing and thinking about these issues.  I wish to shame you a bit.  Everyone wishes to shame someone.  For me it’s you — sorry!

1 Matt August 21, 2017 at 12:46 am

Is it possible to shame various anonymous internet trolls (like many posters at the EJMR site)? I mean, we can point out what bad people they are, and that might make them, de re, feel ashamed. (It should. What they are doing is shameful.) But, I am not sure that we can shame them, given that they are anonymous. (It’s sad to have to add this, I guess, but I mean this as a real question. It’s not clear to me that outsiders can shame people, in the relevant sense, when the outsiders don’t know who the targets are. The outsiders can only hope the targets will feel ashamed when their shameful behavior is called such, or so it seems to me. Is that wrong?)

2 HA2 August 21, 2017 at 12:49 am

There’s an easy answer, which is that whatever the answer is in difficult cases, Nazis waving literal swastika flags are the end of the slippery slope. No more hypotheticals or what-ifs needed!

If your set of people to shame is non-empty, it should include the literal Nazis.

3 Brian August 21, 2017 at 12:58 am

Is waving a literal swastika flag worse than killing people? If not, seems like they’re not at the *end* of the slippery slope.

4 kevin August 21, 2017 at 11:33 pm

I assume you mean murdering people, otherwise, waving a swastika may well be worse, particularly if its killing such as the allies were forced to do in WWII to prevent even worse atrocities, atrocities that waving swastikas now celebrates.

5 stephan August 21, 2017 at 1:02 am

And also the literal communists displaying the hammer and sickle symbols or Mao’s red book. They are responsible for more than 100 M deaths in the 20 century

6 Hazel Meade August 21, 2017 at 11:51 am

I have no problem shaming those people.

They should be shamed a LOT MORE OFTEN.

7 Brian Donohue August 21, 2017 at 12:33 pm

It’s not at all obvious to me that being shamed by someone you don’t like or respect achieves any positive result at all.

This goes for people who get a hold of nice sounding but horrific-in-practice ideologies as well as people responding to dark voices welling up from within.

Maybe it’s cathartic for you though.

8 Hazel Meade August 21, 2017 at 12:54 pm

I should say that it’s not really the “shaming” aspect to me. It’s more the general social exclusion. You don’t have to shame someone to just not hang out with them.

It’s probably also better policy for a private website to simply ban racist commenters or delete their comments than to have other commenters shaming them. Heavy moderation > shaming. But in public spaces where that’s not possible, shaming is the only option.

9 Art Deco August 21, 2017 at 2:01 pm

It’s probably also better policy for a private website to simply ban racist commenters

It doesn’t seem to have occurred to y0u that terms like ‘racist’ have no fixed and sensible meaning. They’re rhetorical thrusts and social signals, nothing more.

10 Hazel Meade August 21, 2017 at 4:58 pm

It certainly CAN have a fixed an sensible meaning in terms of comment moderation policy.
Anyway, it’s up to you who you wish to exclude, based on your beliefs. Everyone’s entitled to decide for themselves whose too racist to hang out with and who ought to be shamed.

11 Art Deco August 21, 2017 at 5:47 pm

It certainly CAN have a fixed an sensible meaning in terms of comment moderation policy.

Whose the moderator, Hazel?

After years of residence in this country, you’ve learned nothing about political discourse. Uttered by a black nationalist, the term ‘racist’, means ‘there’s something I want you not givin’ me’. Uttered by white progtrash, ‘racist’ means ‘I’m losing this argument’; I’m goodwhite, you badwhite’; or, ‘you’re in the way and embarrassing us’. Uttered by standard-issue Republicans and denizens of Conservatism, Inc., it means, ‘no, not me! I surrender’.

Very seldom does it mean anything technical. The Unz crowd is largely racist, as is the AmRen crowd, the Stormfront crowd, and, yes, BLM. The first three have very little influence. You’ve made it a point around here to make the case for the fourth, because obtuse.

12 msgkings August 21, 2017 at 5:51 pm

Art, how can you declare Unz, AmRen, Stormfront, and BLM as racist if the word doesn’t mean anything?

13 Anonymous August 21, 2017 at 9:57 pm
14 Hazel Meade August 22, 2017 at 11:20 am

Uttered by standard-issue Republicans and denizens of Conservatism, Inc., it means, ‘no, not me! I surrender’.

Riiiiiiight. Because Republicans and conservatives of course ought to be defenders of white people’s political power and interests and status, right? To even admit that there might still be racism affecting black people in America is giving up on one’s natural moral obligation as a Republican to defend the interests of white people, exclusively. One can’t, as a white person, have any moral obligation to defend the interests or rights of black people.

15 Art Deco August 22, 2017 at 1:16 pm

Riiiiiiight. Because Republicans and conservatives of course ought to be defenders of white people’s political power and interests and status, right? To even admit that there might still be racism affecting black people in America is giving up on one’s natural moral obligation as a Republican to defend the interests of white people, exclusively. One can’t, as a white person, have any moral obligation to defend the interests or rights of black people.

I could tell you to listen to what people say to you and quit conversing with the voices in your head. However, if you could do that, it’s a reasonable wager you’d be doing it already.

16 msgkings August 22, 2017 at 4:23 pm

That’s a lot of words for a weak dis, Art.

17 A clockwork orange August 21, 2017 at 7:02 pm

Look Hazel, we’re all tired of your reflexive discourse. But maybe you should consider watching the Cinderella man while you are kitesurfing. Recursively speaking, shaming has no sense in the same neo-nazis don’t act in an apt manner. You need to wash your hands of this mask your wearing once and for all.

18 derek August 21, 2017 at 1:06 am

So what does that even mean? The guy in Charlotteville lives on the other end of the continent. He and a very small group were in that place. How can you shame them?

You can’t because you aren’t there.

You can show everyone around you how much you would like to shame them, but that isn’t about them, that is about you trying to look good to others.

What you can do is harangue everyone around you to show the same vigorous desire to shame someone who is on the other end of the continent.

Or maybe what you should really do is figure out why a modern developed industrial nation, cultured and well educated fell for such an ideology. What you will find is that last week’s moral panic was one of the characteristics of human nature that was exploited by people who wanted to gain power. What you will find will scare you, because those people were not so different from us. It was a long ride into madness where everyone involved lost their minds, partly because they didn’t even dream that something like that could happen, partly because it was in their interest to not stop it. And much was about fear, the fear of being left out, left behind, attacked. And what you will find out as well is that there was an equally evil regime to the east who was a few steps ahead of the Germans in the descent into madness.

I’ve asked this question here before. In Argentina it is said that at the dinner table people would openly discuss who would be best disappeared. After reading the justifications for violent action in the Washington Post and the New York Times, are these conversations happening right now? Who are having them and about whom?

19 prior_test3 August 21, 2017 at 7:38 am

‘You can’t because you aren’t there.’

One can be fairly confident that Swift was never at any baby market / dinner party either.

‘What you can do is harangue everyone around you to show the same vigorous desire to shame someone who is on the other end of the continent.’

Or you can be like Swift, using anonymity, and write one of the greatest examples of satire in the English language, one so good that many first time readers still think he was serious. Apparently, Swift was virtue signalling when shaming the ruling class on a completely different island. Do enjoy the link to ‘A Modest Proposal For preventing the Children of Poor People From being a Burthen to Their Parents or Country, and For making them Beneficial to the Publick’ – http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1080?msg=welcome_stranger

‘In Argentina it is said that at the dinner table people would openly discuss who would be best disappeared.’

Not at the dinner tables of these people – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mothers_of_the_Plaza_de_Mayo

20 secret August 22, 2017 at 11:06 am

I think economists, more than most people, have an obligation to stop shifting equilibria like this. Sociologists too, although they probably can’t be relied on.

21 Dick the Butcher August 21, 2017 at 7:56 am

A guide-book for left-wing thugs would be Henry C. Lea’s excellent history of the Inquisition in the Middle Ages. FYI Similar to you vicious scum, the Inquisition burned at the stake people for their beliefs, not for any act.

It’s all virtue-signaling, anyhow.

22 Art Deco August 21, 2017 at 8:45 am

Henry C. Lea’s excellent history of the Inquisition in the Middle Ages.

The Spanish Inquisition was active from 1478 to 1530. That’s the Renaissance and Early Modern period, not the Medieval period.

23 China Cat August 21, 2017 at 1:04 pm

The first three sentences of the preface of Lea’s A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages, found at Archive.org:

“The history of the Inquisition naturally divides itself into two portions, each of which may be considered as a whole. The Reformation is the boundary-line between them, except in Spain, where the New Inquisition was founded by Ferdinand and Isabella. In the present work I have sought to present an impartial account of the institution as it existed during the earlier period.”

24 Art Deco August 21, 2017 at 1:58 pm

Lea was a polemicist against the Catholic Church, and, as you can see, not averse to the games people play when they’re trying to make a point. The only inquisition with which you might use the definite article was located in Spain. There was no ‘the Inquistion’ during the Medieval period. The most sustained and meticulous effort at suppression of heresy occurred in the south of France during the early 14th century.

And, of course, if you’re going to critique The Inquisition, you might take a gander at how criminal justice was customarily administered here, there, and the next place, and what it looked like where you didn’t have The Inquisition. The serial panics over witchcraft weren’t happening in Spain.

25 Thomas August 21, 2017 at 10:12 am

“Nazis waving literal swastika flags are the end of the slippery slope.”

Am I not understanding your analogy correctly? Nazis waving literal swastika flags are at the top of the slippery slope, with innocent white dudes with military style haircuts (4″ in length on top allowed, with no hair touching ears in Navy), getting stabbed in Denver more toward the bottom of the slope.

26 Samoht August 22, 2017 at 11:08 am

Several weeks ago I got accused of supporting white supremacy while in the hospital receiving chemotherapy treatments.

27 FXKLM August 21, 2017 at 1:01 pm

Let’s set aside the question of whether shaming is an overly harsh punishment for neo-Nazis. To me, the bigger question is whether it’s productive. A guy waving a Nazi flag is not afraid of being hated. I think it’s safe to assume that he likes the conflict, and telling him that society overwhelmingly thinks he’s awful or evil is probably not news to him. It’s obviously someone who likes being hated so what exactly are we hoping to gain by expressing that hatred?

I can see how mocking them might be effective. Or maybe if the shame was coming from someone they like and respect (like Trump).

28 msgkings August 21, 2017 at 1:12 pm

“Shame” in the current events context also includes online shaming/harassment, and getting fired from your hot dog job. I guarantee they are afraid of that, as many have posted tearful whiny bitching about how unfair all this shaming is.

29 Brian Donohue August 21, 2017 at 1:17 pm

PG Wodehouse’s take-down of UK fascists in the 1930s was more along the lines of mockery.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roderick_Spode

Probably more effective, and definitely more fun, than shaming like a bunch of dour Puritans.

30 msgkings August 21, 2017 at 1:20 pm

+1. Wish Wodehouse were around to mock Trump, although he may be satire-proof.

31 Thor August 22, 2017 at 8:39 pm

He would have had a field day with Hillary too. And Podesta. And Weiner.

32 Sure August 21, 2017 at 12:51 am

Funny thing, in a post about “shame” no mention is made of the current tactic of shaming those who merely interact with neo-Nazis. We are no longer shaming Nazis, we are shaming those unfortunate enough to have employed or commerced with them. Beyond what level of shame on the actual offenders is worthwhile and rational, how many degrees of separation should that shame extend? What level of interaction and commerce should be tolerated before we shame those who provide goods, services, and employment to Nazis?

We do not live in a society that shames you holding the wrong opinion. We live in a society that shames you for not holding the “correct” opinion strongly enough.

33 P August 21, 2017 at 1:07 am

Not even that – now we shame people for not denouncing them enthusiastically enough.

34 msgkings August 21, 2017 at 2:11 am

I think this is a very Nazi-specific thing. Nazis are just the literal worst thing the American psyche can think of. Any hint of it and the antibodies come out in force. Society is a thing even if you are of a bent to wish it were not so or not believe it at all.

35 Josh August 21, 2017 at 6:46 am

Is Tyler’s post even literally about people who call themselves neo-nazis or has it become acceptable to identify a much wider set of political dissidents with an 80 year old German social movement?

36 prior_test3 August 21, 2017 at 7:27 am

‘or has it become acceptable to identify a much wider set of political dissidents’

Wait, you have never heard of Godwin’s law? Really? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law

37 Dick the Butcher August 21, 2017 at 8:11 am

While you self-anointed saints were frenetically running about looking for statues to topple and Nazis to beat up, Trump averted a nuclear confrontation., six Chicagoans were killed, two PO’s assassinated, and Trump is nominating judges to restore individual liberty to the judiciary.

Antifas is a terrorist/vigilante organization. In three days, more than 144,000 Americans signed a White House petition to designate antifa as terrorism. .

In short, you feverish people are working 24/7 to help get Trump re-elected.

38 Cassiodorus August 21, 2017 at 10:50 am

Does he get credit for “averting a nuclear confrontation” than seemed possible only because of his bumbling?

39 Art Deco August 21, 2017 at 1:14 pm

seemed possible only because of his bumbling?

If you fancied ‘his bumbling’ was the cause, you fell asleep in 1992 and just woke up.

40 please August 22, 2017 at 11:10 am

I’ve yet to see an explanation for how Trump is responsible for the current crisis that wasn’t just people who don’t understand deterrence 101 getting mad at him for threatening “fire and fury” if North Korea attacks Guam.

41 Greg August 22, 2017 at 6:51 am

So you should be happy, but you seem unhappy.

42 Rich Berger August 21, 2017 at 8:13 am

Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here! This is the War Room!

I had no idea what this EJMR was, but now I know and it’s comical.

43 prior_test3 August 21, 2017 at 9:20 am

You aren’t a very loyal (or possibly long term) reader – http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2012/08/econjobrumors-com.html – ‘That site specializes in…economics job market rumors. It is also a more general bulletin board for discussing matters involving the economics profession.’

And here is the very first comment from that link –

‘tomhynes August 3, 2012 at 3:13 pm

Right now, the top thread is: “Who is your favorite porn star?” with 45 posts and 883 views.’

Just in case anyone wondered about the sort of place EJMR was back then, at least, when Prof. Cowen was linking to it.

44 Hazel Meade August 21, 2017 at 1:00 pm

We are no longer shaming Nazis, we are shaming those unfortunate enough to have employed or commerced with them.

I don’t think this is true, and to the extent it is, it’s more that many of those who “interact with” neo-Nazis have presented some evidence to believe they are sympathetic to their views.

I don’t think anyone should be shamed just for selling a hamburger to a neo-Nazi. But if you’re sort of giving Nazis a wink and a nudge, maybe you should be. I mean THOSE people are the MOST likely to be affected by shaming tactics. The people who harbor secret Nazis sympathies, but don’t want anyone to know about it are already ashamed. Those are going to be the easiest ones whose behavior can be adjusted.

45 Sure August 21, 2017 at 7:14 pm

Oh please, what evidence was there that GoDaddy or Cloudflare were in any way sympathetic to Stormfront? Or any of the other web services companies the SPLC and other activists have shamed for providing content blind services?

Or perhaps I missed something where activists began phoning a hot dog joint from across the country because said eatery employed a racist.

Or perhaps we can go back to when Brendan Eich, whose sole reported offense was contributing money to an anti-gay marriage organization. Somehow activists felt fine going to his employer and publicly shaming Mozilla until he was gone.

Or perhaps we can go with Angela McCaskill who thought it would be a good idea if the people of Maryland voted directly on gay marriage. Activists went to her employer, Gallaudet University, and shamed them for employing her.

This is not just an anti-Nazi thing and has not been for half a decade. This is not going after people or organizations with any evidence of sympathy for the offending positions, this is literally shaming organizations who will not shame the target themselves.

So please, deal with the real world.

46 JS August 21, 2017 at 1:00 am

The idea that the criminal code is in any way correlated with ethics or morality is a deeply autistic and inhuman thought that no one who’s experienced the moral questions an adult human faces could hold.

47 derek August 21, 2017 at 1:12 am

Sure. But the criminal code is the means that a community acts against those who do wrong.

Are you suggesting that we throw that away and let our desires and hatreds have full rein?

There are very good reasons to not do that, to act outside the law. There are very good reasons why the law must be limited and controlled. The best reason, and anyone on the left who doesn’t know this should be ashamed, is that inevitably the tide turns against you and you lose your life.

The protections that allow someone who is abhorrent in their beliefs to go about their lives without harassment unless they commit an act are the same protections that allow you to go about your life without harassment.

48 prior_test3 August 21, 2017 at 1:23 am

‘is the means that a community acts against those who do wrong’

No, it is the mans the community acts against those who have broken the law. Law is not, and never will be, perfect, and there can most certainly be laws that are wrong. I recognize that this a comment section that Prof. Cowen feels needs to be shamed, but one hope that a distinction can be made when looking at the rightness of those that defied the laws of whites only water fountains. Law is not about morality, regardless of how much Prof. Cowen or others seem to think so.

49 prior_test3 August 21, 2017 at 1:13 am

Prof. Cowen is a member of the GMU econ dept – what did you honestly expect?

50 Anon7 August 21, 2017 at 3:07 am

Suffice it to say, Socrates thought a lot more deeply about the question than you ever will and to deny any relationship between law and morality is the argument of a sophist.

51 prior_test3 August 21, 2017 at 7:13 am

‘and to deny any relationship between law and morality is the argument of a sophist’

Would denying the relationship of law to profit make someone opposed to public choice economics?

Part of the charm of the Enlightenment was its attempt to allow personal conscience to play a role in determining to what extent morality should be the basis of law, and to what extent unjust or immoral laws should be respected (when you have a chance, maybe you could read the Declaration of Independence, it being a good example of that style of thought). Socrates lived a couple of thousands years to early too be able to make meaningful observations concerning the Enlightenment’s philosophical framework.

52 Anon7 August 21, 2017 at 2:21 pm

Your very response concedes my point, namely, the extent to which morality is or should be the basis of law, not a categorical denial of any correlation between law and morality, which is what was originally argued. And if you had any understanding of the Declaration (which you have yet to demonstrate) you’d know that it relied on a very old idea of nature and natural law that stretches back to pagans even if it differed in certain respects and did not buy into the extreme divorce of law from morality found in certain Enlightenment thinkers.

53 prior_test3 August 21, 2017 at 2:50 pm

‘did not buy into the extreme divorce of law from morality’

As you wish – I have been reliably informed by both Mormons and fundamentalist Christians that Jefferson never wrote about the separation of church and state either.

54 Anon7 August 21, 2017 at 3:57 pm

The separation of church (the realm of the eternal soul) and state is not the same as the separation of morality from law. Law regulates actions (including “victimless” ones), which is the realm of morality and ethics, and the effect of laws is to habituate people to act in certain ways and thus is part of moral education. Even Locke agreed. Simply because a state can become tyrannical and there is a right to revolution does not gainsay the connection between the two as the norm. One has to be a political/religious radical or moral purist to deny any correlation at all.

55 jason y August 21, 2017 at 9:20 am

well, they’re obv correlated, so maybe you’re exactly the sort of person who needs more autism in their life. embrace neurodiversity!

56 an autist August 21, 2017 at 12:41 pm

that’s insulting to autists, who are neither “inhuman” or lacking in ethical or moral reasoning.

57 Chip August 21, 2017 at 1:08 am

I think it helps to clarify what exactly is the new development here. The neo Nazi idiots have been having their little marches for decades. They’re inconsequential, and the long-running GSS survey shows racism has been declining for decades.
https://journalistsresource.org/studies/society/race-society/white-racial-attitudes-over-time-data-general-social-survey

The new development is the rise of the violent radical Left. It started with campus bullying and has metastasized into a nationwide orgy of violence that includes shooting congressman, killing policemen (two more in Florida this weekend) and – perhaps more worryingly – a growing acceptance in the media and business world that it’s all kind of justified. That Antifa is regularly attacking speakers and even beating journalists makes the media’s tacit support quite remarkable.

Of course, it’s all grown out of the Left’s unwillingness to accept the results of the election. The violence is just the tip of a very long spear that includes turning the bureaucracy against political opponents.

To illustrate how jarring this has become, the other day I was watching an old documentary about Studio 54, the wild epicenter of gay clubbing in the 1970s. I sat up when the narrator was rattling off a list of regulars inciuding Warhol, the Village People etc when he mentioned Donald Trump. Yes, the guy who was happily hanging with the gay and trans glitterati decades ago has somehow transformed into a small-minded neo-Nazi – after a detour into colluding with Russia of course.

And to juxtapose quickly, Trump is apparently a far right Hitlerite because he has trouble stringing coherent sentences together, but Bill Clinton is double plus good even though he gave the eulogy at Robert Byrd’s funeral just seven years ago.

Part of me wishes that the media and other so-called elites are evil to the extent that they’re pushing this nonsense for political gain, because the thought that they honestly believe this stuff – like a torch-bearing
Salem mob – is almost too depressing to bear.

58 prior_test3 August 21, 2017 at 1:30 am

‘The new development is the rise of the violent radical Left.’

A documentary clip from 1980, concerning an Illinois demonstration, shows an example of a violent radical Left mob in action – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTT1qUswYL0

This reaction against Nazis in public has a long, long history in America, with the full endorsement of Hollywood.

And if you want violent left, read more about this – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greensboro_massacre

59 msgkings August 21, 2017 at 2:21 am

Trump is not a freakin’ Nazi. He’s a clown. He’s not even Berlusconi. It’s a joke, and the joke is on us because Americans voted him in fair and square.

60 Chip August 21, 2017 at 3:01 am

Agreed. He’s a clown. And America’s political class is so awful that the clown had better policies and even more honesty than the alternative.

At the end of the day, Trump isn’t the problem. Sure he’ll stumble and bumble around but he might manage to loosen up some unnecessary regulations, cut taxes, boost the energy sector and appoint a sober judge or two.

The problem is that a large share of the country has slipped their psychological moorings and is now drifting unanchored to any critical thinking or civilized restraint. I’ve given up watching and reading the news. They’re all nuts.

61 Art Deco August 21, 2017 at 8:00 am

The problem is that a large share of the country has slipped their psychological moorings and is now drifting unanchored to any critical thinking or civilized restraint. I’ve given up watching and reading the news. They’re all nuts.

Yes, that is true, here and abroad. You can see that on our Facebook wall. Much of this has to do with the pathologies of our professional-managerial bourgeoisie: who they think they are, who they think the rest of us are, and how they understand (and are failing to understand) the events going on around them.

We have a married couple in our circle of friends, born in 1948 and 1949 respectively, retired from an academic institution where he was a on salary (and a peripheral faculty member) and she had a staff job. She’ll put up 10 posts a day, sometimes, all consisting of crud like Jon Oliver clips and poster-memes. He attended the ‘women’s march’ and posted a picture of himself taken there, his face screwed up in rage. What’s right and wrong with their lives (and that of their children and grand-children, who live within 10 miles of them) has nothing to do with Washington politics and not likely to be injured by those politics unless something really blindsides everyone. Actual changes in public policy since they met and married nearly 40 years ago have been incremental and not injurious to them in any obvious way (or, at least, in any way for which the Republican Party is peculiarly responsible). What threatens their neighbors is derived from deficiencies in local politics over which Trump et al have little influence.

What gets you is that this pair are not and never were political sectaries at any time in their life. They grew up in small towns in New England in respectable wage-earner families.

62 fake Art Deco August 21, 2017 at 12:48 pm

I’m impressed and astonished. I agree with this completely, it’s well stated, and reasonable, and completely lacks the usual virulent prejudices (particularly homophobia) of an Art Deco post.

why is it that sometimes you can post like this but most of the time it’s endless shitposting?

63 msgkings August 21, 2017 at 11:19 am

Agreed that policy-wise he won’t do much damage, because he’s so boxed in by Congress and the media. 538 did a nice piece on how not much would be different policy-wise if Clinton had won. The issue is a big reason why the country is having a psychological breakdown is directly attributable to Trump. If a clown like that can get elected president, it’s very disconcerting. It’s proof we live in a crazy time. It’s simply not a good thing to have a person like that as president. I understand the “alternative was worse” line even if I don’t agree with it, but that doesn’t make what I’m saying invalid.

You get it Chip, you prefer him to her but realize he’s a disaster too (at least I think you do). I still don’t get why the Reps don’t want to replace the clown with Pence, who will do everything they want and more because he’s not bringing the drama.

64 Brian Donohue August 21, 2017 at 12:36 pm

Maybe it’s proof that the system is robust.

65 msgkings August 21, 2017 at 12:38 pm

Agreed, I was hoping so after he won.

66 msgkings August 21, 2017 at 12:40 pm

Still the system appears to be robust, and that’s good because we live in a batshit crazy time.

67 the clown is a better distraction August 21, 2017 at 12:51 pm

^^^

68 Massimo Heitor August 21, 2017 at 8:48 am

Trump is a great president. He’s very savvy. His political hires and decisions have been great. I value his course correction to political discourse.

69 msgkings August 21, 2017 at 11:14 am

Sure, go with that.

70 TMC August 21, 2017 at 4:31 pm

Dead cat bounce after Obama.

71 Steve Sailer August 21, 2017 at 4:02 am

What’s really different in recent years is that the Democrats have figured out that their grand strategy is to turn America into a one party state via inflating their Coalition of the Fringes thru immigration. It’s a pretty obvious card trick, but it depends upon two supporting factors:

– Prevent their opponents from noticing what a tawdry scam is being pulled upon them.

– Prevent their Coalition of the Fringes supporters (e.g., transgenders vs. black church ladies vs. Muslims vs. Jews vs lesbians etc.) from turning upon each other.

The solution to both problems has been to demonize cishet white males as Evil.

Unfortunately for the Democrats, most of the really bad things committed in America, like murdering 49 gays in Orlando or 5 cops in Dallas, have been committed by members of the Coalition of the Fringes.

But every so often one of those horrible cishet white males we’ve been hearing so much defamation about does something bad too, and then Democrats can use their control of the media to make it the biggest story in the history of the world for awhile.

72 prior_test3 August 21, 2017 at 7:02 am

‘What’s really different in recent years ‘

Is nothing at all, except in a few people’s fever dreams.

73 msgkings August 21, 2017 at 11:14 am

I don’t know why you think the Dems have any chance of doing this, as they control so few branches of Federal and state governments.

74 Brian Donohue August 21, 2017 at 11:32 am

But immigrants to America have been overwhelmingly Democrats for close to two centuries now.

The real problem the left faces is that, over time, many of these immigrants become Republicans. Something like 30% of Latinos voted for Trump, for example.

And 2016 showed that control of the media ain’t what it used to be.

75 David Condon August 21, 2017 at 1:13 pm

It is really weird to turn this all around and blame this on the media when a more likely explanation is that this is a story because Trump made it a story by not knowing how to respond. The more violent 2015 Charleston shooting by a white supremacist didn’t get nearly as much attention as the Charlottesville incident because Obama had the sense to respond appropriately to the situation.

76 Art Deco August 21, 2017 at 1:15 pm

Obama had the sense to respond appropriately to the situation.

I’ll let the Cambridge police and Gladys Zimmerman know that Obama is always deft.

77 msgkings August 21, 2017 at 1:18 pm

No one cares what you do “Art”

78 Art Deco August 21, 2017 at 1:32 pm

It took your nonchalant and indifferent self all of three minutes to reply to something not addressed to you.

79 msgkings August 21, 2017 at 2:27 pm

This is fun for me, and it’s almost costless to type a short comment here. Nice non-sequitur though bringing up Zimmerman.

80 msgkings August 21, 2017 at 1:18 pm

It got plenty of attention but it was just one asshole who was caught. tried, and convicted. The Nazis marching committed no crime (except the car murderer), so this massive public discussion is the result. If a bunch of people had marched to free Dylan Roof we’d be shaming and doxxing them too. To be fair, Obama would not have said there were some good people marching there.

81 Anonymous August 21, 2017 at 9:54 pm

Is Tyler asking why Steve was not more richly shamed?

“One party state” paranoia is both ripe and deserving.

82 Art Deco August 21, 2017 at 7:21 am

Studio 54 was a highly fashionable discotheque. It was never a gay joint, though their bouncers may have let gays in the door.

83 Steve Sailer August 21, 2017 at 7:46 am

Tom Wolfe disagreed.

84 Art Deco August 21, 2017 at 8:36 am

Did Rubell and Schraeger ever let him in the door?

85 Ricardo August 21, 2017 at 9:40 am

“I sat up when the narrator was rattling off a list of regulars inciuding Warhol, the Village People etc when he mentioned Donald Trump. Yes, the guy who was happily hanging with the gay and trans glitterati decades ago has somehow transformed into a small-minded neo-Nazi – after a detour into colluding with Russia of course.”

The serious criticism against Donald Trump is not that he is personally a racist or conspiracy theorist — it is that he looks at racists and conspiracy theorists and pretty clearly considers them a part of his coalition whom he should try to not upset too much.

That aside, this is still a pretty weird argument. Donald Trump was in his 20s at that time and it is reasonable to think his main preoccupations at the time were making money and getting laid — of course he was hanging out at Studio 54. It doesn’t tell us anything about his personal beliefs now that he is in his 70s.

86 Thomas August 21, 2017 at 10:21 am

“The serious criticism against Donald Trump is not that he is personally a racist or conspiracy theorist — it is that he looks at racists and conspiracy theorists and pretty clearly considers them a part of his coalition whom he should try to not upset too much.”

The Democrats have made a party out of hatred of white men and the resistance to that is a coalition of white men including those that hold repugnant views. Your argument is an assailant complaining about the self-defense tactics of his victim being unsportsmanlike.

87 Ohioan August 22, 2017 at 12:57 pm

The Republicans have made a part out of inaccurately dogwhistling the Democrats as a part of “hatred of white men.”

I do not feel the hate of white men from the Democrats.

On the other hand, I do have enough skills in non-STEM courses (couple of Ivy League degrees in fact, in addition to a STEM degree from Local U here in the Buckeye state) to know that “Black Lives Matter” doesn’t mean “Only Black Lives Matter.”

88 Hazel Meade August 21, 2017 at 1:09 pm

The new development is that people are now taking them seriously and think they have more political power. Heck THEY think they are being taken seriously and have more political power.

Why is that?
Is the left totally wrong about the connection between Donald Trump and the alt-right? Are they totally wrong that Trump’s support base depends, at least in part, on racist extremists?
If so, Trump can make this go away easily enough by convincing people that he unequivocally does not in any way, support these idiots. He has not done that. Why is that?

The antifa leftwing types are reacting to what they believe, rightly or wrongly, to be a connection between the Trump administration and the far right. It’s not their job to prove themselves wrong.

89 Art Deco August 21, 2017 at 1:50 pm

Is the left totally wrong about the connection between Donald Trump and the alt-right?

Yes, of course, and the non-stupid among them understand perfectly well they’re running phony fundraising pitches.

90 TMC August 21, 2017 at 5:35 pm

Trump is connected to the far right, obviously, but that doesn’t mean the white power people. The KKK has always been associated with the democratic party.

91 msgkings August 21, 2017 at 5:53 pm

Always, until the last 4 decades or so. Now it’s Reps, but of course you know this.

92 Ohioan August 22, 2017 at 12:59 pm

I believe the term you are looking for with is “Southern Strategy.”

93 A clockwork orange August 21, 2017 at 8:38 pm

Oranges And Thongs may break my heart but Tom Clancy will rear my burden.

94 prior_test3 August 21, 2017 at 1:11 am

Well, another opportunity to watch people behave badly at MR, without impinging much on current American status competitions. Though a select few undoubtedly need not fear being shamed by Prof. Cowen.

‘But not shaming or scolding them?’

Contempt is the word you seem unable to find. Contempt for someone’s ideas is not about morality or virtue signalling. No one is ever required to respect to someone else’s ideas merely because the other person demands it. Though contempt has nothing to do with a tornado either, which is a natural event that has little to do with how people live with each another.

Was there any discussion along these lines here when these sorts of laws were being so enthusiastically endorsed in the U.S? – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_offender_registry#United_States

‘Do I have the option of just feeling sorry for the neo-Nazis’

Sure – really, just read Sure’s comments.

95 prior_test3 August 21, 2017 at 1:13 am

Sure’s comments in previous threads, not the one posted before this comment.

96 Sure August 21, 2017 at 5:12 am

It is mainly from my experience treating sex offenders that I wonder what the limits to racism shaming should be. It is by far more costly to society to have a large bulk of people who cannot work and lack social ties. Many of my sex offender patients have no friends, no job, and no hope of achieving either. Many of them turn to petty drugs just to function at all.

At what cost are willing to shun and shame Nazis? Would we really prefer they live off the private dole than to allow somebody, somewhere to employ them? If we are not willing to let them have jobs, then we had better be prepared to burn a lot of cash caring for or killing them.

97 prior_test3 August 21, 2017 at 6:03 am

‘It is by far more costly to society to have a large bulk of people who cannot work and lack social ties.’

Especially, when at least according to Wikipedia, public urination is grounds to be put on a sex offender registry. (Which is bizarre, and recalls Frank Zappa’s remarks back in the Tipper Gore record warning label era that America has laws against depicting things which every human being engages in on a regular basis.)

‘At what cost are willing to shun and shame Nazis? ‘

A very high cost, considering that the last time they were in power, they used that power to engage in genocide and mass warfare. Sex offenders certainly cause harm, but they have yet to organize a program of mass extermination. No slippery slope – this is what Nazis advocate, and it is what Nazis practice.when in power.

‘Would we really prefer they live off the private dole than to allow somebody, somewhere to employ them?’

Any employer in the U.S. who wishes to employ a Nazi is welcome to do, the same way that any employer in the U.S. is free not to employ a Nazi. It really is that simple – and a Nazi who wishes to be employed need only keep private their affiliations and beliefs, something which is not possible for those placed on a sex offender registry.

‘If we are not willing to let them have jobs, then we had better be prepared to burn a lot of cash caring for or killing them.’

Or simply fund some German style Aussteiger programs, which can be used to solve your dilemma regardless of the specific ideological ideals held – ‘But if the young Muslim is German, he might be in luck. The German government is looking at new ways to work with what are essentially ISIS dropouts, and it is drawing from its previous work with right-wing extremists. It appears many of the same methods used to reform neo-Nazis are directly applicable to young people who are taken in by violent Salafist groups like ISIS.

—————————————–

Hayat-Germany grew out of a program called Exit-Deutschland, which targeted neo-Nazis and right-wing extremists, groups that German authorities have been working to de-radicalize and fold back into German society for years. Berczyk says the Hayat program is premised on the belief that the lessons from working with right-wing extremist programs can be applied to radical Islamists as well.

“There is a commonality between extremist ideologies,” she says. “But also, if we are talking about sects and cults, there are certain things that all these groups have in common.”‘ http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2016/05/10/477043520/methods-for-reforming-neo-nazis-help-fight-the-radicalization-of-muslims

Unfortunately, I can only find German language reporting on Exit-Deutschland, but their are other approaches.

98 Sure August 21, 2017 at 11:41 am

Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought a large part of this program was using socialization and gainful employment to reinforce normal socialization; kindaof the exact things shaming tends to make impossible.

I do find it interesting that the individuals who propose engaging with North Korea, Venezeula, and Zimbabwe to encourage normalization tend not to be the people to apply the same logic to skinheads.

99 prior_test3 August 21, 2017 at 2:42 pm

‘but I thought a large part of this program was using socialization and gainful employment to reinforce normal socialization; kindaof the exact things shaming tends to make impossible.’

Normal socialization in terms of not being an active advocate of genocide, which is something German society remains ashamed of committing in the past, a sense of shared shame that clearly failed in the case of a neo-Nazi’s socialization, leading to other measures being taken..

100 stephan August 21, 2017 at 1:20 am

Internet shaming is just mob justice. It’s a tool of the perpetually outraged to denounce those who do not think and act like them and feel communal righteous indignation.
Today it’s the neo- nazis( and who is going to defend them ? ) , but anyone who makes a half sexist or half anti diversity, anti green comment is fair game. They can’t make free speech illegal, so they want to make it prohibitively costly to the speaker.

101 prior_test3 August 21, 2017 at 3:31 am

‘and who is going to defend them ?’

Look around – you just might be able to find one or two here.

102 dearieme August 21, 2017 at 7:00 am

First they came for the neo-Nazis, …….

103 prior_test3 August 21, 2017 at 7:22 am

Actually, in the U.S., when it comes to restricting the rights of people to hold unpopular opinion, first they came for NAMBLA – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_Man/Boy_Love_Association

After that, they came for the creators of file sharing software – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napster

Then they came for the people that allowed legally purchased DVDs to be played on whatever system the DVD owner wished – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DeCSS

Whining Nazis are just the latest in a long list of people who have experienced the oppression inherent in the system, though unsurprisingly, the master race adherents seem to have not paid attention to the world they actually live in before starting up the torch lit processions again.

104 diggyg August 21, 2017 at 2:10 am

The risk distribution for nazis has a much fatter tail that the risk from convicted criminals. Furthermore, your tornado is not going to respond to scorn the same way a nazi will. Invest your scorn accordingly.

105 Al August 21, 2017 at 2:34 am

Careful Tyler, you are jeopardizing your Bloomberg column and your future invitations to swanky parties.

These are not questions that should be asked.

106 msgkings August 21, 2017 at 2:38 am

I love the cocktail party bit though. These mopes think Tyler just swans around town at one swanky soiree after another sipping martinis with the elites.

107 prior_test3 August 21, 2017 at 5:04 am

‘These are not questions that should be asked.’

No, the sorts of questions that are not to be asked among the sort of crowd that Prof. Cowen hangs out with is whether an employer should have any restrictions placed on their economic freedom to immediately terminate any employee at any time for absolutely no reason at all.

Questioning economic freedom über alles is the sort of thing that Prof. Cowen will likely exert quite a bit of effort to assiduously avoid bringing up in such discussions.

108 Michael August 21, 2017 at 3:14 am

These are good questions, but I can’t shake the feeling that Tyler is so committed to being contrarian that he frequently gets paralyzed in an ethical muddles and can never commit to any firm beliefs.

109 Chip August 21, 2017 at 3:41 am

Not sure it’s contrarian to see Antifa as violent instigators and worry about destroying the lives of law-abiding individuals, whether they’re racists, Christian bakers, supporters of a California marriage referendum or writers of memos.

The public at large seems pretty sensible. The media and Google executives less so.

110 prior_test3 August 21, 2017 at 3:57 am

‘Not sure it’s contrarian to see Antifa as violent instigators’

Of course it is – why, just look at how that narrative was being demonstrated in Canada.

From ten years ago – ‘ “At no time did the Quebec provincial police officers act as agents provocateurs or commit criminal acts. Also, it is not part of the policy of the police force nor is it part of its strategy to act in this manner. At all times, the officers responded to their mandate to maintain law and order,” the QPP said in a news release on Thursday night.

The police said after viewing a video clip from YouTube.com and video shot by police officers, they were able to confirm the three were Quebec provincial police officers.

Earlier, both the QPP and the RCMP had denied altogether any of their officers were involved.

The Quebec provincial police declined to comment further, a spokeswoman in Montreal said. And while Quebec Justice Minister Jacques Dupuis was made aware of the news, a spokesman from his office said he will not comment on the matter either.

Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day rejected opposition calls Thursday for an inquiry into agents role in trying to provoke protesters into violence at this week’s North American leaders summit in Montebello, Que. ‘ https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2007/08/23/quebec_police_admit_agents_posed_as_protesters.html Odd how some of those black bloc antifa demonstrators never seem to get in trouble.

And here is last year, again in Quebec, showing just how far some of those black bloc antifa protesters are willing to go – ‘Near the end of the confrontation, university student Katie Nelson, who reported that the demonstration had gone “strangely violent right away,” noticed four men in black clothing and face masks who appeared to be members of the “Black Bloc” anarchist formation. But when one man removed his mask, Nelson immediately identified him as an undercover police officer who had arrested her at a previous demonstration. Having seen that Nelson had recognized him, the undercover cop quickly put his mask back over his face, then whispered something to a fellow undercover officer.

Shortly thereafter, a brief melee ensued. Two undercover officers arrested a protestor who had also questioned their identity, shoving his face into the ground. A member of the press who moved to record the incident was then manhandled. Nelson, who was leaving the scene, was violently struck from behind by one of the men she had identified as a provocateur. She was taken from the scene by ambulance and hospitalized with a serious neck injury and possible concussion.

In the midst of all this, several demonstrators converged on three of the undercover policemen to demand that they identify themselves and who they work for. One of the officers then pulled a gun on the protestors. When questioned days later by the press about this particular incident, Montreal police spokesman Ian Lafrenière vehemently defended the undercover cop’s actions, claiming that he had feared for his life. According to Lafrenière, the undercover cops, “cried, ‘Police, back off!’ It didn’t work, so one of them took out his gun, and at that point, the protesters fled.”’ https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/01/05/cana-j05.html

Then there was the case of the black bloc antifa guys in Toronto during the G20 meeting. Admittedly, the link is undoubtedly from another easily dismissed hard core leftist antifa supporter – ‘It is now an indisputable fact the cops engaged in massive infiltration. According to newly released G8/G20 summit documents, the RCMP dispatched poseurs and agents provocateurs to infiltrate the ranks of anti-war, anti-globalization and anarchist groups.

———————————————————-

Reports filed by the Joint Intelligence Group formed by the RCMP-led ISU (Integrated Security Unit) reveal that various police services contributed at least 12 undercover officers to take part in covert surveillance of potential “criminal extremists” in a bid to “detect… and disrupt” any threats, according to CBC News.

In other words, the RCMP was assigned the task of discrediting the larger anti-war and anti-globalization movement and making the public believe they are bomb-wielding anarchist criminals.

“There’s a lot of stuff that isn’t in there, that’s been redacted, or isn’t spelled out. But it says these undercover operations were going on, that there were 12 officers,” investigative journalist Tim Groves, who requested and obtained the reports through an access to information request, told the CBC. “The problem is that, looking at these documents, police expected criminal extremism everywhere.” https://www.infowars.com/documents-reveal-canadian-cops-used-agents-provocateurs-to-disrupt-2010-g20/

111 Alnair August 21, 2017 at 3:47 am

Dear Prof. Cowen,

Change Neo-nazis for Jihadist, and repeat the arguments to see how it make you feel.

Would It be acceptable a Jihadist march?

112 prior_test3 August 21, 2017 at 4:06 am

Not speak for Prof. Cowen, but American citizens who consider themselves jihadis most certainly have a right, under the 1st Amendment, to have a march in the public square. They even, hard as this might apparently be to imagine for some, have the right to burn an American flag while shouting things along the line of ‘Down with the Great Satan.’

The 1st Amendment makes no distinction when it comes to belief, as every American citizen hopefully learned in their 8th grade civics lesson.

Of course, jihadis are as unlikely as Nazis to be applauded by their fellow American citizens for their beliefs, but they have every right to express those beliefs in public. Just as those who find them contemptible human beings have every right to express their opinion.

113 blah August 21, 2017 at 5:27 am

You are obfuscating, perhaps with malicious intent. It all depends on “how violently/violence-promotingly and self-identifyingly nazi” or “how violently/violence-promotingly and self-identifyingly jihadist”. This is a matter of highly subjective perception.

114 prior_test3 August 21, 2017 at 5:46 am

Well, there is no ‘obfuscating’ that both Nazis and jihadis are free, in the public square, to express themselves in a self-identifyinglmanner, and to the extent they feel that America should be smashing its true enemies (clearly both believe that the current American government stands in the way of various parts of political agenda, whether it be exterminating subhumans or beheading infidels), they are welcome to be ‘violence’ promoting under the 1st Amendment. Of course, violence itself is not protected under the 1st Amendment.

Of course, there is a point at which the 1st Amendment does not protect promoting violence – when someone at the head of a demonstration starts saying kill the person that the leader is explicitly pointing to, for example, their speech is obviously no longer protected. Direct and credible death threats are, and have never been, included within the framework of free speech.

The 1st Amendment protects people expressing any ideology equally, from the most pacifistic to the most murderously genocidal.

115 blah August 21, 2017 at 9:04 am

I was responding to Alnair, not to you.

116 msgkings August 21, 2017 at 12:00 pm

LOL that’s never stopped his passive aggressive logorrhea before. He’s safely ignored.

117 Tyler August 21, 2017 at 5:04 am

I’m pretty sure people’s problem with Nazis, Nazism, Nazi symbols, etc. is not about violence on the level of criminal behavior – shooting a rival gang member, killing the clerk in a 7-11 holdup, etc.

It’s about genocide.

118 MattW August 21, 2017 at 8:30 am

Exactly. When white people organize big things happen. Black and brown people behaving contrary to the rules of the system is very low scale in comparison, poses little to no threat.

The system, the establishment, is worried about white people organizing in any contrary way because it poses a real threat.

119 TMC August 21, 2017 at 9:19 am

16,000 people were murdered in the US last year. How many did the nazis kill?

120 anti-contrarian August 21, 2017 at 12:59 pm

60 million (as of 1945)

or did you mean how many would they attempt to kill if given the opportunity again?

121 TMC August 21, 2017 at 5:36 pm

60 million last year, as I asked? You would have thought that’d make the news.

122 Tarrou August 21, 2017 at 11:35 am

Given the far, far higher death toll and international popularity of international socialism, shouldn’t we be that much more intolerant of socialist symbols and and socialism? Nazis are a third-order threat compared to the socialists, and if we’re going to choose the targets of our shaming based on the likelihood of genocide and the potential damage of it, surely all our shaming should be directed toward those who wear Che Guevara shirts or who carry hammer-and-sickle flags to protests. Or maybe the presidential candidate who got the endorsement of the Communist Party in the last election.

123 WhatDaveThinks August 21, 2017 at 7:40 pm

I think part of the issue here is that “Group X has killed Y people” becomes less meaningful when so many people and groups are labeled as X. In recent political rhetoric, we’ve heard that:
— Obama was a socialist
— pretty much all of Europe is socialist, but especially Scandinavia

So when you ask someone to think about the death toll of socialism, they *might* reach the conclusion that the absolute toll is higher, if they study history. But they also see all these examples of recent socialists that *haven’t* been committing genocide. On the other hand, the only Nazi regime anyone ever thinks of is Hitler’s Germany.

So the “Nazi” file in the average person’s brain has a 100% coincidence with “genocide”, and the “socialism” file … doesn’t. And the perceived “deaths per regime” rate (or whatever proxy for frequency you want to use for perceived frequency) is probably higher for “Nazi” than for “socialism”.

124 Alistair August 22, 2017 at 9:53 am

>> ” they *might* reach the conclusion that the absolute toll is higher, if they study history”

The risk metric is deaths per capita year. But the threat level is total deaths. As a historical quant, you’re confusing your efficiency with your effectiveness. Also, “communist” is probably a better descriptor than “socialist”; just compare the 1-party states.

125 Alistair August 22, 2017 at 9:49 am

Hush. Now you’re demanding moral consistency from the posers.

Yes, we should really. And not just card-carrying communists; all those who were sympathetic or useful idiots on the left. We should root the scourge of communism out from our communities. Statues of communist sympathisers should be defiled then pulled down by howling mobs. Left-wing thinkers should have to publically distance themselves from communist thought. Labour union organisers should issue grovelling apologies for past communist associations. A bonfire should be made of all authors who endorsed or sympathised with Soviet Russia and Maoist china. We should purge the academy of all communists, and not employ them in any other job, ever. Addresses should be publicised so the mob can let them know what we think of them. Communists should go through life afraid.

Just sayin’. Consistency and all that.

126 Sandia August 21, 2017 at 6:10 am

Of course there is an infinite regress embedded in this comment, but broadly speaking it is preferable to leave people alone to the extent possible and just enforce the law. If you don’t like the law, spend your time trying to change it somehow.

This extra-legal shaming and condemnation is illiberal in the classical sense, especially in today’s social media environment. It leads to a pernicious type of mob rule and undesirable high frequency political correctness and impulsive group decision making. Due process likely suffers as a result.

Again, infinite regress aside, if you are spending your time creating and enforcing what is effectively a shadow legal system you are contributing to a nasty and hostile illiberalism.

A good sign of this is illiberal posture is if you spend a lot of time being a scold and using phrases like “should, “ought”, and “must”. Comparing people whose opinion you disagree with to people who have actually broken laws is another sign.

127 prior_test3 August 21, 2017 at 6:30 am

‘This extra-legal shaming and condemnation is illiberal in the classical sense’

The writers of the 1st Amendment would reject your opinion, as the 1st Amendment fully protects shaming and condemnation..

‘especially in today’s social media environment’

Yes, this is where the writers of the 1st Amendment are not a reliable guide any more, and is an interesting discussion in its own right. Mob justice is always a problem when it arises, regardless of the reason. However, acting in ways protected by the 1st Amendment is not mob justice, and never has been.

128 Sandia August 21, 2017 at 7:29 am

Since this entire post is about behaviors not proscribed by the legal system, bringing up the First Amendment is not really relevant. In fact I think you have missed the entire point here.

A few further comments. It seems wise to distinguish between beahviors toward ideas and behaviors toward individuals as Tyler noted. In other words, protest the ideas but teave the individuals alone, unless crimes are committed. It is certainly expected that law enforcement will be investigating groups of people who espouse violence and breaking the law, whatever their political bent, and arresting them if they do break the law.

Finally, purely from a strategic point of view, creating huge protests against tiny fractions of the population that no-one takes seriously, and are not really creating much trouble in the scheme of things sems silly. It just makes them more important., which is what they want. That undersirable raising in profile is caused the media/social media positive fedback loop combned with an insatiable desire for people to posture.

129 prior_test3 August 21, 2017 at 7:53 am

‘Since this entire post is about behaviors not proscribed by the legal system’

Which is undoubtedly why the word ‘criminal/s’ never appears in it, right?

‘In fact I think you have missed the entire point here.’

You are welcome to believe that, of course. But any time anyone whines about how it is unfair that people can use their 1st Amendment rights to call for a boycott or express their opinion that someone supporting a genocidal ideology is contemptible and deserving as much public scorning as possible, it would appear that those whining losers feel that the 1st Amendment is a problem.

‘distinguish between beahviors toward ideas and behaviors toward individuals as Tyler noted’

Some of us, strangely enough, think that an individual’s ideas are actually relevant to judging them as an individual.

‘protest the ideas but teave the individuals alone’

Again, you really, really seem to have a problem with the 1st Amendment, which fully protects my right to call for a boycott against anyone for any reason. There is absolutely no obligation for any American citizen to act the way you seem to believe that they should, a reality which is fully protected by the law. Anyone who has a problem with that fact has a real problem with the 1st Amendment.

‘It just makes them more important., which is what they want.’

It also provides them the opportunity to realize that they are vastly outnumbered – which makes a delusional sense of importance harder to maintain. And this without the government playing any role at all, apart from ensuring that all citizens have an equal opportunity to express their opinion in public.

130 Alistair August 21, 2017 at 9:47 am

I recognise that witches are a threat and fully support your right your denounce them and shun them from the company of Godly-fearing folk. I myself wouldn’t employ a witch in any capacity.

That said, I’m concerned with the amount of effort we are expending on witch-denouncing, witch-hunting and witch-burning. There are only a few witches nowadays, and deaths from witchcraft are mostly a thing of the past. We have only 1 page of printed news a week and its been “witches, witches, witches” since about thanksgiving last year. Could our esteemed editors not bring us some fresh intelligence? I think we need to worry more about the potato blight and Iroquois threat, which killed 20 militiamen last week upstate, or the possibility of the governor being in league with Spain.

To be honest, I think most people are only going along to the anti-witch marching for the free bread and to bolster their standing in church. Nearly every woman in good standing is going on a anti-witch march and then going home and quilting about it endlessly with their circle. The men are just as bad; loudly pledging that they will never apprentice a witch or sell them horseshoes, even though they’ve never so much as given a lay sermon on the matter before recent times. And don’t get me started on the anti-witch youths from Boston; you’d think their cities were overrun by servants of the devil by the way they carry on. I don’t mind admitting they scare me a little bit; one of them asked me point-blank the other day if I liked black cats. Well, obviously I said no but the whole episodes left a taste in the mouth.

As I said at the start, I’m aware that age-old danger of witchcraft are now a proven scientific fact. I’m just wary that we are spending too much time of the issue and folks are getting a little carried away given the number of hexes they have cast recently.

131 Hazel Meade August 21, 2017 at 1:56 pm

Unlike witches, which are imaginary, racists aren’t harmless.

Racist behavior has real, measureable, negative effects on other people in society.
If society wants to prevent such harms from occurring, it has a positive interest in controlling and minimizing racist behavior.

132 prior_test3 August 21, 2017 at 2:34 pm

Yes, please do use one of the more shameful examples of American history to make your point about how people advocating a genocidal ideology are exactly the same as an innocent man being crushed/suffocated to death because he refused to plead guilty to a crime he did not commit – ‘Giles Corey, an 81-year-old farmer from the southeast end of Salem (called Salem Farms), refused to enter a plea when he came to trial in September. The judges applied an archaic form of punishment called peine forte et dure, in which stones were piled on his chest until he could no longer breathe. After two days of peine fort et dure, Corey died without entering a plea. His refusal to plead is usually explained as a way of preventing his estate from being confiscated by the Crown, but, according to historian Chadwick Hansen, much of Corey’s property had already been seized, and he had made a will in prison: “His death was a protest … against the methods of the court”. A contemporary critic of the trials, Robert Calef, wrote, “Giles Corey pleaded not Guilty to his Indictment, but would not put himself upon Tryal by the Jury (they having cleared none upon Tryal) and knowing there would be the same Witnesses against him, rather chose to undergo what Death they would put him to.”‘ Let us know when some brave Nazi is tortured to death by their fellow Americans, then maybe we can have a discussion.

To stick with your example, ‘As I said at the start, I’m aware that age-old danger of witchcraft are now a proven scientific fact.’ is wrong, as that danger was taken on faith. Whereas the results of the last time the Nazis were in power is historical fact – no need to take it on faith that people chanting ‘Jews will not replace us’ are not equally aware of that historical fact, it is just they consider the work unfinished, till now. As one of those brave Nazis apparently noted quite often online, saying ‘Hitler did nothing wrong.’

133 Art Deco August 21, 2017 at 3:53 pm

Racist behavior has real, measureable, negative effects on other people in society.

Only if it’s motivating officialdom, worksite supervisors, or street thugs. Otherwise, it’s dog do on the sidewalk.

134 Alistair August 22, 2017 at 9:40 am

@ Hazel,

Yes, yes, of course wacism is baaaaaad. But don’t you think, relative to the small number of racist idiots, their actual and potential societal power, that we’re expending rather more ammo on them than the threat justifies? Organise a modest counter-protest and ignore those losers.

The whole affair has dissolved into hysteria. Hence Salem.

135 Hazel Meade August 22, 2017 at 12:49 pm

@Alisair,
If it wasn’t for Trump and the alt-right, I would agree with you. Until recently, overt racists were a marginalized, nearly irrelevant minority. Or at least I thought so.
However, the rise of the alt-right and it’s role in electing the current president has exposed an undercurrent of white racism that is significantly larger than I had believed.

The antagonistic reaction to Black Lives Matter, which to me appears to be a largely legitimate response by black people to longstanding problems with policing in black communities, has also exposed what I see as a shockingly intense racist reaction among many white people. The idea that standing up for black lives, emphasizing that it matters in myriad ways when black people get shot and killed or mistreated by police, amounts to anti-white racism, is absurd. It is based on a willful refusal to acknowledge that black people might ever have experienced any legitimate harm from racism, or that they are ever in any way treated unjustly. Any reasonable person approaching this topic has to start by acknowledging that racism still exists, still affects blacks, even if it may not be the entire story. The total refusal to admit that black people might actually have some legitimate grievances can only be explained by an irrational antipathy towards them.

136 TMC August 21, 2017 at 9:20 am

Sandia +1

137 Hazel Meade August 21, 2017 at 1:27 pm

This extra-legal shaming and condemnation is illiberal in the classical sense, especially in today’s social media environment.

It’s not illiberal in the classical sense. Social norms are how we enforce civil behavior, and always have. It’s not illiberal to have social norms that restrict socially undesirable behavior, such as racism. The fact that the norms have changed over the last 100 years or so doesn’t make them illiberal, and if anything they have evolved in a MORE not less liberal direction. Instead of shaming women for having children out of wedlock, we shame people for expressing racist beliefs. The latter serves the function of making society a MORE liberal place for people who aren’t white.

I once again return to the point that the people being shamed here are being prevented from exercising the exact same kind of ostracism against people who happen to have the wrong skin color. One can keep one’s opinions to oneself, but one can’t hide one’s skin color in public. Making the public sphere a comfortable place for non-whites to interact and speak has priority over making it a place where people can freely express prejudices against non-whites. It’s really really hard to have a public space where non-whites can interact without being subject to harassment if nobody is allowed to shame racists for harassing them.

138 Art Deco August 21, 2017 at 1:48 pm

Instead of shaming women for having children out of wedlock, we shame people for expressing racist beliefs. The latter serves the function of making society a MORE liberal place for people who aren’t white.

Oh, we benefit so much socially from 700,000 abortions a year and 40% of the children born as bastards.

139 Hazel Meade August 21, 2017 at 2:02 pm

Exactly. You can make a good argument that there was a positive social purpose in shaming people for having illegitimate children. Just like there’s a positive social purpose in suppressing racism.

140 Art Deco August 21, 2017 at 3:51 pm

Just like there’s a positive social purpose in suppressing racism.

What is an ‘abortion’ and what is ‘bastardy’ are not things difficult to define or understand, and avoiding these states requires limited but real virtue. Invocations of ‘racism’ are exercises in gamesmanship. That aside, striking poses does not require much virtue. Or any virtue.

141 Hazel Meade August 21, 2017 at 5:01 pm

Yes, Art, it’s all social signalling, racism doesn’t exist and black people aren’t harmed by it.

142 Art Deco August 21, 2017 at 5:38 pm

Hazel, you are not fit to shine my grandmother’s shoes, no matter how much you babble about how not-racist you are.

143 msgkings August 21, 2017 at 5:56 pm

OK here’s an interesting one to unpack. Is Art saying here that his grandmother is still alive and wears shoes at age 120 or so, and that she’s black?

144 Hazel Meade August 22, 2017 at 11:15 am

I would probably suck at shoe shining anyway. I don’t have those negro shoe-shining genes.

145 anonymousforareason August 22, 2017 at 11:20 am

The norms are a bad match for current technology. Shaming works if it comes from a dozen people in your small tribe who are opposed to you and your group of three peers for something very important. Shaming is disproportionate when it’s one million people calling up your employer and family and harassing them, looking through your life history to find dirt on you, all in response to a minor comment. We’ve ratched up people’s sensitivity to noise, and we’ve given people increased ability to enact punishment.

I don’t want to live in some kind of modern medieval village-nation where having the wrong opinions on homosexuality or heliocentrism can get me killed or ruin my life.

Unless we think that people the internet believes to be Nazis deserve to be homeless, alone, and without any support, we should stop these shaming tactics. If we do think id’d Nazis deserve that, then for consistency’s sake we probably should also immediately legalize torture against US citizens, vigilantism, cyberbullying, etc. After all, right wing terrorists kill two dozen people a year. Pro-life politicians out to control women’s bodies are literally using the tactics of slavery and the Holocaust to deny thousands of women their freedom. Stubborn business executives who lobby against climate change are literally putting the future of life on earth at risk. Do you really think this will stop here, or that none of the groups attacked will start to use these tactics in turn?

146 Edward Burke August 21, 2017 at 2:16 pm

Should: the motive for those brands of evil not inspired by “Can”.

Ought: the apotheosis of preferred outcomes.

147 harpersnotes August 21, 2017 at 6:30 am

Shaming, stigma, and the smoking of tobacco – there’s been quite a bit of debate over the years about that, as well as comparisons to fat-shaming as an attempt to encourage people to lose weight. (A minor irony here perhaps is that some people initially start smoking in order to lose weight.) The (ahem) weight of the evidence seems to be that with smoking for example, “Only 3-5% of unaided quit attempts are successful, and defeated efforts may negatively impact smokers by decreasing self-efficacy and increasing stigmatization upon relapse.” (PMC4636189.) So the effectiveness of shaming in at least in some instances at changing the targeted individuals’ behaviors seems minimal or perhaps even negative. (There is an image of a very old Psychology Today magazine cover that has never left my mind with a title something like, ‘He’s an alcoholic. Pour him a drink!” Shifting gears — Crows scold, or at least that’s what they people who study them call it. When they see someone they recognize as having been bad at crows in the past they will loudly caw at them in a menacing fashion. I imagine it can be a little intimidating and at least a little bit annoying, but it doesn’t change the behavior of the human or the researchers who is wearing the ‘bad-guy’ mask at the time in the experiment. My understanding is that the animal behaviorists see it as a way of teaching the other crows that ‘this is a bad creature here’. The ultimate origins of a behavior and the beliefs about why the shaming is happening at the time of the shaming in the minds of the people doing the shaming are different things. Humans are of course not crows. Humans are amazing at their ability to use their intelligence to deceive themselves about the reasons for their behaviors. (Here there is the whole context of Robert Trivers et al on self-deception and Robert Kurzban et al on human hypocrisy.) Humans engage in a lot of what I think of as ‘moral bullying’ – remove the soundtracks and bullying and bullying in the name of good intentions look all too similar. (Here too 1930’s Prohibition echoes in my mind.) Claiming to others and themselves that they are doing bullying-like behaviors for good moral reasons all too often like bullies excusing their behaviors to others by saying they were ‘only teasing’, or it will toughen up the person targeted, and so on. On top of all this there is then the way we humans weaponize everything in situations triggering group psychology and inter-group conflict and war. But as everything gets weaponized the means for not escalating or even de-escalating conflict to less harmful interactions becomes less and less possible and eventually what goes around comes around.

148 rayward August 21, 2017 at 6:33 am

What about an economist who helps lead a cabal in what has been a highly successful economic and political movement intended to undermine public institutions, a movement in which he stressed that “conspiratorial secrecy is at all times essential” to mask efforts to protect the wealthy elite from the will of the majority, promoted by surrogates who could be “indoctrinated” with right-wing ideas, the success of his efforts reflected today in political polarization and increasingly paralyzed government institutions, not an enlightened public but an increasingly radicalized and divided public willing to take up arms against fellow citizens who don’t share their radical beliefs. Is such a person a subversive to be condemned or a hero to be canonized?

149 cthulhu August 21, 2017 at 10:53 am

Aaaannnddd…conspiracy theory rayward makes his grand appearance!

150 Hazel Meade August 21, 2017 at 12:18 pm

I see you’ve read Nancy Maclean.

151 Careless August 21, 2017 at 3:19 pm

You know so little about everything, and then go out of your way to fill your head with fiction peddled as non-fiction?

152 reed e hundt August 21, 2017 at 6:44 am

Dear Tyler, find harder topics to use your magnificent brain on; you’re making a molehill out of a mountain of obviousness in this case. Reed

153 Philo August 21, 2017 at 12:58 pm

But it’s a mountain that most commentators wouldn’t touch. Bravo, Tyler!

154 Tyler isn't that smart, really August 21, 2017 at 1:03 pm

you’re overestimating his intellect and underestimating his courage

this post is about challenging orthodoxies, not about saying something nobody else has ever thought before

155 Todd August 21, 2017 at 6:50 am

Problematic current nazis are problematic and should be shamed if they can be shamed effectively.

156 Tarrou August 21, 2017 at 11:38 am

I’m sure getting that kid fired from a hot dog shop will change him into a paragon of leftist moral virtue preening. Well done. Such heroism we have not seen in many years, as those who will bravely band together and fight against all odds, with the total backing of every sector of the society, to stick it to the Man, who works in a fast food joint.

157 msgkings August 21, 2017 at 12:13 pm

No but it might make him and others like him keep their Nazi filth to themselves.

158 Tarrou August 21, 2017 at 3:09 pm

There you go, the real agenda slithers out! Hilarious how fast the “progressives” turned into the Christian Right, circa 1978. Vicious, endless hatred couched in terms of support and “love”. Love won, you fucking filth, now bake the cake!

159 msgkings August 21, 2017 at 3:38 pm

Da fuq? Tarrou likes Nazi filth?

160 Careless August 21, 2017 at 3:43 pm

You don’t have to be a progressive to want Nazis to STFU

161 Dain August 22, 2017 at 10:52 am

How long had he been working there and keeping it to himself?

162 Axa August 21, 2017 at 6:51 am

I’d say shaming is not important at all. It’s something teenagers do that adults should have overcome long ago.

Perhaps I read too many counterculture books and my brain got fried. I think adults can choose to live life as they want and not as someone else says. It’s about doing things that bring happiness to life not following the will of others expecting to be loved for being obedient. Jazz, hippies, rockers, punks, hip hop……..this is how I am, if you like it fine, if you don’t I don’t care.

What’s up with these people that are at the fringes of society (neo-nazis) but cry for being rejected by most of people? Living in the fringes is for the strong, posers not welcome. Perhaps it’s just a bunch of confused suburban young people.

163 Rich Berger August 21, 2017 at 7:08 am

Does anybody know what happened to the MR website? Was it moved to some secret location and they left behind a parody site, complete with commenters ?

164 The Other Jim August 21, 2017 at 11:15 am

Records show there was some kind of Massive Status Loss Event that occurred in the first week of last November. The MR authors were hit hard; passwords were lost, URLs got damaged, and most commenters went instantly insane.

Backups were attempted and secret sites may exist, but what you see here is what you get. Whatever remains of the MR authors are pawing through the NYT daily, trying to find that magical op-ed that makes them heal. Don’t hold your breath.

165 Rich Berger August 21, 2017 at 1:51 pm

Thanks OJ. I thought they were gaslighting me.

166 Earnest Hemingway August 21, 2017 at 7:18 am

Tyler, I’m confused. You said something to the effect in The Complacent Class that the low rates of political violence today reflect our complacency. Now we just had some political violence. This should make you happy. After all, from what I can tell, your formula is something like this: political violence is a sign of non-complacency, which necessarily involves suffering, but suffering isn’t all bad because it leads to dynamism, and dynamism leads to economic growth, and economic growth is the ultimate value (or perhaps I’m not reading Stubborn Attachments correctly). So what do issues of shame and status matter to you really? They seem like secondary concerns.

167 peri August 21, 2017 at 11:25 am

Touché. Maybe TC only skimmed his own book, as is his self-described wont.

168 peri August 21, 2017 at 11:36 am

I would add that his loose talk concerning political violence makes me “ashamed” for him. He reveals himself to be just another run-of-the-mill intellectual: you know them by their principal object – to keep ordinary people from getting along.

169 Bill Benzon August 21, 2017 at 7:20 am

“We might condemn the ideas of a person without condeming the person himself.”

From Catholic Answers:

It’s from St. Augustine. His Letter 211 (c. 424) contains the phrase Cum dilectione hominum et odio vitiorum, which translates roughly to “With love for mankind and hatred of sins.” The phrase has become more famous as “love the sinner but hate the sin” or “hate the sin and not the sinner” (the latter form appearing in Mohandas Gandhi’s 1929 autobiography).

170 Bill August 21, 2017 at 7:34 am

Free speech has always carried the risk that people won’t like you for what you say.

Are you arguing that neo-Nazis and KKK members should wear hoods?

171 Thomas August 21, 2017 at 10:26 am

“Free speech has always carried the risk that people won’t like you for what you say.” -> Antifa beatings, stabbings, lobbing of missiles, and attacks with urine and feces are free speech?

172 Bill August 21, 2017 at 12:01 pm

Speech v. conduct. Do you know the difference?

173 Thomas August 21, 2017 at 3:20 pm

Do you? I’m not the one using the “counter-protesting” argument, with its implicit 1st amendment appeal, to justify political violence, you are.

174 Bill August 21, 2017 at 3:52 pm

Well, apparently you don’t know the difference between speech and conduct.

Political violence is conduct, Thomas, and it has no “implicit” first amendment appeal as you perversely claim, and I will defend the First Amendment whether you like it or not.

175 Hazel Meade August 21, 2017 at 11:57 am

Hoods are worn by cowards who wish not to endure the social consequences of their speech.

176 Careless August 21, 2017 at 3:47 pm

Say what you will about those Nazi idiots, but they were stupidly brave. Unlike Antifa.

177 msgkings August 21, 2017 at 4:00 pm

It seems by their reactions to the consequences, they were more stupid than brave. When their dads went to Nazi marches doxxing hadn’t been invented yet.

178 Art Deco August 21, 2017 at 7:38 am

Prolix meandering.

Genuine virtue lies in good and consistent execution of things which require diligence: respecting your marriage vows, keeping your kids under some kind of control, paying your bills, making sparing use of debt and paying it off regularly, controlling your appetite, conducting yourself with a certain modesty and dignity &c. We now live in an age where our haut bourgeois have reconceptualized this to refer to diligence in professional and educational realms only. Personal self-expression is now witlessly valued (especially among the chatterati) and a series of pseudo-virtues added which are tremendously important to academics and medial personnel, a very other-directed crew of people, by and large.

It’s pretty much a waste of time to go on ruminating about Nazis (or Klansmen). Between they, they number in the low four digits and their primary impact is to provide fundraising hooks for the likes of con men like Morris Dees. They’re creepy and commonly socially-incompetent failures.

The affection of haut bourgeois for criminals and obstreperous juveniles is largely derived from self-centered and self-aggrandizing tendencies. The people who think that way can usually insulate themselves from the consequences. That aside, their vanity induces them to think of themselves as ‘sophisticated’ and ‘humane’. Straightforward enforcement of social norms implemented by the sort of chaps recruited to the police force and the corps of prison guards is just so ‘simplistic’. They’d much prefer to spend money on community colleges, social workers, and psychotherapists.

179 Brad DeLong August 21, 2017 at 7:59 am

Re: “Another group being shamed over the course of the last week has been the misogynistic EJMR posters. But I am curious as to the implicit theories held by the shamers here. Why do those men write such nasty things? Is it all just bad socialization, or might some of them them have a genetic inclination toward such behavior? But once we consider the latter, we seem dangerously into the kind of stereotyping we were objecting to just a moment ago, when we sought to shame them. What if sexual bullying lies deep in male DNA? Not for everyone of course, but for some people. And those same people may well have grown up in disadvantageous circumstances, surrounded by the wrong kinds of nerds, and then they ended up sad and broken on EJMR, for lack of having had the right role models. Overall I am not impressed by how most of you are writing and thinking about these issues…”

You try to “shame” me—I am going to shame you back:

EJMR:

>New York Times: EJMR is a hotbed of misogyny

>>Economist 8ace: ^so what, b1tch?
>>Economist af62: I dare you to define it. “Sexism – Treating a person differently purely because of his or her gender regardless of his or her ability?” All of Academia is doing exactly this against men. Especially white and Asian males. You know it. I know it. Everyone knows it. “Words like sexism have no scientific meaning” lmao
>>Economist 0197: Ah, yes, I too prefer to make generalisations about the world economy after studying Zimbabwe’s.
>>Economist 64c6: I don’t feel like wading thru this thread. Can I get a tl;dr?
>>Economist b3ba: Poor, little broflake has to argue against the intellectual merits of an undergread’s senior thesis “There are no merits in it. It was flawed from the get go. Make no mistake, this is a bad thesis.”
>>Economist 2c6d: “I don’t feel like wading thru this thread. Can I get a tl;dr?” UG wrote a thesis about EJMR that said what we already know – there is sexism and racism aplenty here.’ Some say her paper is nonsense but overall correct others say just nonsense.
>>Economist b3ba: “I find it funny that folks are posting about rupturegate as if it was somehow exclusively an enlightened debate about the merits and originality of a piece of research. There was so much s**tposting polluting that discussion that it would have been impossible without the aggressive moderation.” Are you HH? If not then you should remember that she started that when she started saying that people where sexist for criticizing that paper that was 95% plagiarized from already published work. Before HH wrote that open article outing herself as the corrupt co-editor that published her coauthors work people were criticizing the plagiarism. Then HH started the whole sexist debacle. HH is one of those people that needs to be removed from the publication process because of her clubby and corrupt behavior playing favorites to her coauthors.
>>Economist af62: Do you need machine learning to prove this ? “I dare you to define it. ‘Sexism – Treating a person differently purely because of his or her gender regardless of his or her ability?’ All of Academia is doing exactly this against men. Especially white and Asian males. You know it. I know it. Everyone knows it. “Words like sexism have no scientific meaning” lmao
>>Economist 7cc6: “I would say this is wrong based on the anecdotes I know of” Oh wow, I guess we’re done here now
>>Economist 14a9: but what about the cuuunt Card?

That’s those elements of the start of this thread that have **survived** “moderation”…

The point here, Tyler, is not that we have set out to shame the assholes at EJMR.

The point is to try to make a better world for Alice Wu, Melissa Kearney, Claudia Sahm, Trevon Logan, and others who find EJMR a downer. As Adam Smith said, often “mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent”.

If you have better ideas about how to go about trying to have the back of and be good allies to the innocent here, let’s hear them. If not, please think harder, and come back and opine about this when you do.

Re: “might some of them them have a genetic inclination toward such behavior?” As Daniel Davies wrote once about evopsych in general: “There is something decidedly funny about a grab-bag of intellectual tools which purports to explain the reason why things are the way they are, but which could simultaneously be used (as above) to explain why they were the way they were even if they were some other way…. And there is something extremely funny about the way that a bunch of male commentators have been so quick to jump on board with a theory that, if it were not for the fact that it helps to bolster a number of propositions about sexual morality which they wanted to assert anyway, would be recognised as being about as likely and as useful, as tits on a peacock…”

On another level, as Terry Eagleton wrote once, moral argument typically take this form: “to say ‘sexual discrimination is wrong’ usually means that we _do_ do that kind of thing around here, but we shouldn’t…” “It’s in our genes” simply asserts that “we” do that kind of thing. The question is how to have the back of

180 Art Deco August 21, 2017 at 8:41 am

The point here, Tyler, is not that we have set out to shame the assholes at EJMR.

Look in the mirror, Brad.

181 prior_test3 August 21, 2017 at 9:10 am

Go back to deleting comments, professor. Oops, sorry. ‘moderating.’

182 Thomas August 21, 2017 at 3:23 pm

“The point is to try to make a better world for Alice Wu, Melissa Kearney, Claudia Sahm, Trevon Logan, and others who find EJMR a downer.”

The problem with the left is that even if EJMR is a misogynistic forum which could be changed to better suit the small number of women who would like to post there, there is no way in hell that the people advocating for that would advocate for making something like everydayfeminism a male-friendly, misandry-free forum. The push for equality, safety, or whatever else only goes in one direction.

183 Art Deco August 21, 2017 at 5:36 pm

What, you’re telling me soi-disant feminists are self-centered and narcissistic? Say it ain’t so…

184 Careless August 21, 2017 at 4:45 pm

Brad “I’d be sufficiently shamed on my own website did I not delete vast numbers of comments disagreeing with me” DeLong shows up!

and, of course, will slink away, as he cannot moderate here.

185 N August 21, 2017 at 10:54 pm

Our host is fond of provocative but nuanced opinions that must have gotten him in a lot of hot water in the past. I imagine that he has suffered greatly at the hands of the politically correct. I wish he would suppress that and put himself in the shoes of Wu et al for a little longer.

If there were a systemic bias against women in some fields, what would it look like? My field is tech, and I’m anonymous so I can safely postulate that there are sex-linked differences in interest, and also that males show higher variance. There is science supporting this, but it don’t look strong enough to explain the overwhelming dominance of men in tech, particularly as women are have made strong gains in other fields. Even if male variance plus a cutoff predicts more men at the high end, women are vastly outnumbered in tech at all levels. Something else is going on.

Put it another way: if I saw a 60-40 split on a 50-50 variable, that would look like a meritocracy with some gender differences. But at a 90-10 split, it suggests that there is a binary filter on gender, even I’m not one of the 10% who experience it.

Let’s grant that intervention against monopolies is distasteful and prone to perverse consequences. How bad do things have to be before you intervene? When winner-take-all effects go too far, how does it feel to be one of the winners? Coetzee’s “Disgrace” comes to mind.

186 Nigel August 21, 2017 at 8:18 am

Overall I am not impressed by how most of you are writing and thinking about these issues. I wish to shame you a bit. Everyone wishes to shame someone. For me it’s you — sorry!

I was going to suggest that you start with your comments regulars, so no offence taken.

As far as your thoughts on the criminal justice system are concerned, it might be useful to start with a comparison to those of other democracies. The US is a substantial outlier (to put it mildly) both in terms of the numbers it incarcerates, and also the proportion of those charged with criminal offences who are persuaded to plead guilty without coming to trial.
With respect to shaming, you might also consider levels of felony disenfranchisement.

Without leaping to any conclusions, it is at least reasonable to suggest that such considerations ought to colour some of the comparisons (between Nazis and violent felons, for instance) which you draw in your post.

187 Art Deco August 21, 2017 at 8:40 am

it might be useful to start with a comparison to those of other democracies.

It isn’t. And, of course, you wish to end there too. You’re useless in a discussion of crime control.

188 Nigel August 21, 2017 at 10:50 am

And, of course, you’re wrong.
And worse than useless.

189 Sam Haysom August 21, 2017 at 11:33 am

He reduces you to sputtering rage on occasion. I find that highly useful.

190 Nigel August 21, 2017 at 11:54 am

Perhaps.
In this case, I was merely extending him the same degree of courtesy and informed argument that his original reply contained.

191 Art Deco August 21, 2017 at 1:24 pm

No, I’m not wrong. It’s a shtick of the chatterati in this country to fancy Europe does it better (not that they know what Europe does) and that deviance from European practice must be an indication of da stupid American. Well, see Theodore Dalrymple on the British penal system.

If you actually took an interest in penology and social peace, you could ask yourself if our current distribution of efforts is suboptimal and if rebalancing expenditures (less on prisons, more on police patrols) would reduce the incidence of crime. You might use European data. Or you might be smart and compare Louisiana to New York.

192 Careless August 21, 2017 at 4:49 pm

With respect to shaming, you might also consider levels of felony disenfranchisement.

Got to say, to the extent that they’re guilty of crimes with victims, I’m proud of that one. Countries like Australia should be shamed for penalizing people for refusing to vote.

193 Judah Benjamin Hur August 21, 2017 at 8:28 am

“Do I have the option of just feeling sorry for the neo-Nazis, and at the same time dreading their possible social impact, in the way one might dread and hate a tornado? But not shaming or scolding them?”

No need to scold, and when the subject of Nazis comes up, let’s even wonder if free will exists!

I must admit that when I heard I guy got fired from his hot dog job, I felt it was over the top. Unfortunately, that’s the response one could get from just reading about the news. After watching the videos, seeing the organization, the extreme levels of hate, and the unmistakable promise of violence, I felt differently. The alt.Nazis are conspiring to commit mass killings. Most are willing to wait until the odds are more on their side. Thinking of my kids, I see no reason to give them that chance. We need to begin considering internment camps for the alt.Nazis. We can send the leaders to Guantanamo right away. After pandering to the alt.Nazis, this would be an opportunity for Trump to make amends.

194 TMC August 21, 2017 at 9:33 am

It seems like your post is serious. The neo nazis have been planning to take over for years, yet keep losing support every year. It will never happen.

Then you call for internment camps. Is that the right thing for anyone, especially a Jew, to call for? Ignore them like we’ve been doing for years and their numbers will dwindle as they have been doing. Keep up all the crazy rhetoric and their numbers will swell.

195 cthulhu August 21, 2017 at 10:57 am

Nice use of irony and sarcasm, especially considering that Jerry Lewis died yesterday…wait, you’re SERIOUS?!

196 Massimo Heitor August 21, 2017 at 8:43 am

The visceral emotional reactions of shame and hatred are invoked regarding competitions for status and power.

Cowen’s “we” refers to a class of Western liberal university elites. That group that famously had more vicious hatred for Margaret Thatcher than Osama bin Laden.

Standard convicted violent criminals are not a realistic status/power threat to the university elite. Similarly, the injustices around the world are only of interest if they can be exploited in western status/power contests. The injustices mentioned in India are simply not useful in that capacity and have no value.

The small number of people who actually wore Nazi symbols aren’t a status/power threat at all and are not realistically a major concern of violence, but they are extremely useful in associating with white conservatives and Republicans who are a major status/power threat.

197 Sandia August 21, 2017 at 9:59 am

Indeed, masssive over-reaction to the cause du jour forces an ideological purity test. Those who fail to over-react or “condemn” fail the purity test and can be eliminated from the core, pure group. Academia has been running these types of purity putsches for a long time.

198 msgkings August 21, 2017 at 12:24 pm

But who cares about that, outside of academia?

199 Massimo Heitor August 21, 2017 at 1:22 pm

Academia has a very privileged position of power and authority in our society, so everyone should care what they say.

200 Art Deco August 21, 2017 at 1:45 pm

I’d prefer to take their toys away from them so we can all be indifferent to whatever bilge they are peddling.

201 Massimo Heitor August 21, 2017 at 6:37 pm

I agree. I don’t think they deserve the elevated power. However, reshaping society like that is not in my hands.

202 Alistair August 21, 2017 at 1:34 pm

+1 for identifying the social group motivations of the whole affair. This has little to do with shaming a few thousand loser fascists and everything to do with group self-identity and mutual signalling.

The two-minute hate isn’t there because the Party is threatened by Goldstein.

203 Art Deco August 21, 2017 at 8:48 am

Another group being shamed over the course of the last week has been the misogynistic EJMR posters. But I am curious as to the implicit theories held by the shamers here. Why do those men write such nasty things? Is it all just bad socialization, or might some of them them have a genetic inclination toward such behavior?

I gather at the GMU Rathskellar it’s not permitted to suggest they may have been burned in this life.

204 prior_test3 August 21, 2017 at 9:06 am

Pretty sure that the Law and Economics crowd hangs out in Arlington, in the main.

205 B.B. August 21, 2017 at 8:54 am

Hmmm…

Should we be ashamed that major streets in major cities are named after Malcolm X, who was a petty criminal who later joined a crackpot racist religious cult and advocated violence? Nation of Islam is just a black version of the Nazi Party.

And why does the State Department have Fulbright Fellowships, named after an isolationist arch-segregationist?

What about all those buildings named after Sen. Byrd of WV? He was a high ranking Klansman. Why was he honored by Bill Clinton and a host of leading Democrats?

I think Arnold Kling could give a good answer to these questions. It is not about the libertarian axis, but the oppression axis.

206 msgkings August 21, 2017 at 12:25 pm

So much whataboutism these days. Can’t condemn anything ever because look over there that is/was also bad!

207 Thomas August 21, 2017 at 3:33 pm

“Whataboutism” is a weak argument to make in defense of hypocrisy. This isn’t whataboutism, this is the right turning the weapons of the left against the left. You don’t get to run around with impunity, eliminating the statues that evoke pride and identity in the identity of a subset of conservatives. The selective outrage and selective application of the ‘not progressive -> no statue’ principle betrays the political motivation. I for one fully support vindictive moves by the right to destroy monuments to progressive heroes for their flaws and I hope you blame yourselves when they are also taken down.

208 prior_test3 August 21, 2017 at 9:04 am

‘ Nation of Islam is just a black version of the Nazi Party. ‘

And it is to Malcom X’s credit that he rejected the hateful Nation of Islam – a rejection that likely lead directly to his death. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malcolm_X#Assassination

209 Ricardo August 21, 2017 at 9:05 am

Now *that* is why I read MR!

210 John Thacker August 21, 2017 at 9:11 am

How many people object if a high percentage of the best jobs for Indian-Americans go to members of higher castes? Does anyone push for affirmative action within the Indian-American community?

I have heard occasional musings on the issue, but no one pushing. You hear more grumblings about affirmative action for blacks disproportionately benefiting immigrants rather than the descendants of the victims of (American) slavery, and perhaps a small amount about Hispanic affirmative action benefiting those with substantial Spanish ancestry who also have long been on top both here and in neighboring countries.

Presumably the more that one believes Gregory Clark’s research on inter-generational social mobility the more interest one should have in these sorts of remedies. (And, similarly, the more interest one should have in both reducing, e.g. legacy admissions advantages but also giving affirmative action to various white Americans from poor social backgrounds.)

211 Careless August 21, 2017 at 4:59 pm

Are you aware of how small the legacy admissions advantage is compared to AA?

Here’s the legacy advantage: if they’re choosing between a legacy and non-legacy who both have 3.7 GPAs and 1450 SATs, the legacy is far more likely to get in.

Here’s the AA advantage: If they’re choosing between a black guy with a 3.4 GPA and a 1250 SAT and an Asian with a 3.7 and 1500 SAT, the black guy gets in.

Non-celebrity legacy admissions are within the bounds of normal acceptance material.

212 John Thacker August 22, 2017 at 9:56 am

Yes, but it’s understandable why you chose an Asian in the example. It’s true that affirmative action (especially at the higher institutions, which are the ones that practice it) mostly in the numbers results in decreasing Asians and substituting blacks and Hispanics.

Thus legacy admissions have a stronger effect in determining which white people get in than affirmative action. Thus, as I said, the more that you believe Gregory Clark’s research, you should be more against legacy admissions.

213 Ricardo August 21, 2017 at 9:33 am

The comparison between current neo-Nazis and past criminals doesn’t work for obvious reasons. Shaming people for criminal conduct that may have occurred years or decades ago during a person’s youth strikes people as misguided for all sorts of reasons: the value of forgiveness, the logical consequence of “paying one’s debt to society,” the fact that people would not want to be judged themselves for the worst things they ever did between the ages of 18-25, and many others.

Racists of various sorts are being judged for their current actions and associations. We do this because, like every society that has ever existed, we recognize that some ideas and practices can be extremely harmful to society if they flourish. Yes, there are social justice warriors who shame in bad faith but that doesn’t change the fact that shame is often the most effective tool for enforcing certain social norms. Shame deters people from violating the norm and it also a convincing demonstration that the norm represents a widespread social consensus.

214 polly August 21, 2017 at 9:52 am

What Ricardo said. In fact that’s the point I came on here to make. The reason to react more strongly to threatened future hypothetical violence than to past, investigated, prosecuted, punished violence is deterrence, and rehabilitation.

215 Thomas August 21, 2017 at 10:30 am

“We do this because, like every society that has ever existed, we recognize that some ideas and practices can be extremely harmful to society if they flourish.”

This argument just seems Dishonest, Ricardo, when put in to the context of justifying Maoist and Stalinist violence against Nazis real and Nazis perceived (for things like agreeing with Hillary Clinton’s 2012 position on gay marriage, or opposing corporate tax increases).

216 Sam Haysom August 21, 2017 at 11:37 am

These arguments would be less laughable if most of us weren’t aware of the obsequious coddling the chatterati class in this country gave to communists.

If Alger Hiss is a folk hero for your movement you shouldn’t be in the shaming people because of associations and beliefs game.

217 msgkings August 21, 2017 at 12:28 pm

Setting aside the absurdity of “If Alger Hiss is a folk hero for your movement” (99% of the shamers of today’s Nazis have no idea who this is), like I said above we can’t condemn anything today because some people got some things wrong almost 70 years ago?

218 Thor August 22, 2017 at 9:34 pm

Wasn’t that long ago, mate. Socialism is pretty popular in many circles, though for good reason very few people call themselves communist.

219 Ricardo August 21, 2017 at 1:46 pm

That’s quite a non sequitur. My second paragraph is something that just about any conservative would agree with — that social norms are important to the functioning of society and shame is useful to enforce compliance. I wasn’t alive during the Alger Hiss affair, you probably weren’t either, and I have never seen him mentioned in a positive light by anyone of any current significance.

220 Thomas August 21, 2017 at 3:36 pm

Quote from Dishonest Ricardo: “We do this because, like every society that has ever existed, we recognize that some ideas and practices can be extremely harmful to society if they flourish.”

Response from Sam Haysom: “If Alger Hiss is a folk hero for your movement you shouldn’t be in the shaming people because of associations and beliefs game.”

Response from Dishonest Ricardo: “That’s quite a non sequitur.”

In what way is providing an example of the left’s embrace of “ideas and practices that can be extremely harmful to society”, in response to a claim that the left behaves as it does to prevent the adoption of such ideas, a non-sequitur. It isn’t, and that is why you are Dishonest Ricardo.

221 msgkings August 21, 2017 at 3:43 pm

No this is why whataboutism is such a weak argument. Alger Hiss is a non sequitur because we are talking about shaming Nazis not some commie from 70 years ago no one today has heard of. Either defend, ignore, or shame Nazis, the past isn’t relevant to that choice.

222 Massimo Heitor August 21, 2017 at 3:36 pm

“Some ideas and practices can be extremely harmful to society”. And who is the judge? On many issues, both sides consider the opposing side, “extremely harmful to society”.

Shame seems a way for people to use social status to apply political or ideological pressure. And the judgement on those political issues is highly subjective.

223 msgkings August 21, 2017 at 3:45 pm

Yes on many issues. Not on Nazis. Like I said, this particular tempest is somewhat Nazi-specific. There’s really not two sides to the story.

Taking down statues, that’s something else, and there are two sides there. Nazis? Give me a break.

224 Careless August 21, 2017 at 5:09 pm

+1

As long as we can keep the definition of who actually is a Nazi pretty tight.

225 Floccina August 21, 2017 at 9:48 am

Great post. I think of neo-Nazis like I think of ISIS people (yes maybe excessively aggressive people) caught up in a bad ideology. As far as I can see they often got interested in the ideology through random interactions. I think we should try to pull them out of that ideology toward Christianity or at least away for Nazi and ISIS ideology.

In high school I knew a racist who talked very bad about Jews and Blacks, others would get him going and laugh at him (BTW he was not a loser he went to Dartmouth after high school) but I would bet (and hope) that he matured out of that silliness. I am more inclined to try to convince him that his view of the world makes no sense than to imprison or even always shout him down. Same with communists and radical anti-white people etc.

I like this guys approach: http://www.mrctv.org/blog/left-could-learn-something-mans-approach-kkk

Now if they are violent toward someone or steal defraud then we should punish them.

226 Arthur Gailes August 21, 2017 at 9:54 am

I’m a little surprised Tyler doesn’t include the most obvious motivation: fear. As a black man, the idea of white supremacists marching down the street with torches scares me. It doesn’t make me shake my head, or yell at people, or go counter-march – it makes me shiver. It makes my wife not want to have children. It makes my friends avoid entire swaths of the country.

“Fear leads to anger…”

(None of this is an argument for shaming people, btw. I agree with Tyler’s conclusion. The premises are, however, incomplete and faulty.)

227 Sandia August 21, 2017 at 10:16 am

This raises another good point. If the First Amendment is interpreted to protect these deomonstrations, I see no reason that conditions can’t be placed on the demonstrators (some already are). IE no guns, torches, bats, guns, even post signs. I think the ACLU has previously argued against these restritions but they seem unreasonable. I think certain municipalities may have differing regulations on this. A violation would be a criminal charge. See this from LA:

Los Angeles Municipal Code Section 55.07 makes it a misdemeanor to
possess during a demonstration, rally, picket line or public assembly any
length of lumber, wood, or wood lath unless it is one-fourth inch or less in
thickness and two inches or less in width, or if not rectangular, not more
than three-quarters inch in its thickest dimension

However see ACLU website:

“The government can’t deny a permit just because past demonstrations by your group or others ended in civil disobedience or a disorderly brawl. Likewise, officials can’t ask you to promise that protesters will obey the law before agreeing to issue your permit.”

Violent protests are part of the Left’s DNA in this country.

228 Sam Haysom August 21, 2017 at 11:40 am

Which is why you’ve spent the last decade insisting that the anti-fa not wear masks- which is in direct defiance to countless local laws preventing masked demonstrating. Oh nope you did no such thing your clenched fist is good.

229 scared man August 21, 2017 at 10:43 am

As a human being, looking at mob killings and burnings in Africa scares me. Looking at the Muslim world’s violence and religious extremism scares me. Looking at China’s state control and ultra-nationalism scares me. Looking at Brazilian, Mexican and Central American drug wars and jail beheadings scares me.

And it ought to scare ‪everyone a lot more than a few dozen white men with tiki torches in a country where the bill of rights is holy writ.

230 Alistair August 21, 2017 at 1:28 pm

Agreed. Threat assessment and media resource allocation by large segments of the population seems badly screwed up.

231 Slocum August 21, 2017 at 12:32 pm

“It makes my friends avoid entire swaths of the country.”

Statistically speaking, that makes no sense. A black family could move to the most bigoted red-neck town in the country and still reduce their risk of violence by at least an order of magnitude over the neighborhoods many of them inhabit in Chicago, Detroit, St Louis, and other cities.

232 Cosmo Politan August 21, 2017 at 10:33 am

Which ideas should we shame people over? Which are the universal values we expect everyone to have?

Do we expect every country to allow atheists to be able to openly criticize Islam and deny the holocaust without being arrested? Do we expect them to be given the miranda warning and have all illegally obtained evidence excluded? Or are those national values and not universal values?

Is the right to an abortion and gay marriage universal values or western values?

233 Art Deco August 21, 2017 at 1:29 pm

Is the right to an abortion and gay marriage universal values or western values?

Neither. It’s legal-profession-media-professoriate values shoved down everyone else’s throat because reasons.

234 Boonton August 21, 2017 at 10:49 am

A mix of different ideas here that result in confusion.

Let’s consider a company asking or not asking about previous criminal convictions. This is not really about ‘ideas’ but about behavior. Their assumption is past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. This is the same assumption that resumes are built on. “Hey company, look at how great a salesman I was at all these previous companies! Assume I’ll be equally good for you!” Maybe, or maybe just the opposite will hold. Maybe you think you’re the top dog now and aren’t really hungry like you used to be. Maybe you’re looking for kudos for your past glories but aren’t really going to produce future ones. Perhaps a savy hiring manager might instead give the job to a guy with a criminal conviction and no track record because he will jump to it in a way you will never again jump. Hiring you is a ‘safe choice’ for the manager because if you fail no one can blame the guy that hired you….look at your resume. But actual glory might be reserved for the manager who can go outside the box.

But ‘shame’ here works for a different purpose, the ‘marketplace of ideas’. Unpack that cliche. The idea behind a marketplace is that in theory anyone can come to the market and try to compete. But not all products/services are equal. Go try to open a hot dog cart and you probably won’t find a huge number of barriers. You can probably get loans from banks, investors, even credit cards. But what if you think you can take on Amazon.com and bring them down? You’re not going to easily raise $150B to start that project up.

You can go along with the market or go against the market. Either might pay off big but the second imposes a lot of barriers.

Ideas do not come free. It takes time and effort to debate them, consider them, build off their base. It is sensible then that unpopular ideas demand a higher cost to the person holding them. Consider the guy who posted the “Trump vs CNN” video that got retweeted by Trump who also had “Jews controlling the media” memes versus Richard Spencer. The first guy remains unknown but when CNN found him out he declared he just liked to cause trouble online and begged them to not reveal who he is. The second guy is well known as an alt-right icon and got himself punched in the street. In terms of ideas the first guy had no willingness to put any ‘skin in the game’. He’s no different than a guy who tries to get a $100K business loan but refuses to put up his own assets as collateral. Most banks won’t bother even considering such a loan.

So yes scrutiny is part of this whole free speech ‘market of ideas’ concept. So is inflicting an uphill battle on those that would push society to adopt unpopular ideas. That also explains inconsistency. There’s no need to spend a lot of time with someone who holds a really eccentric idea (such as a monarchist, or someone aspiring to bring ancient Greek social structures to the present) anymore than the financial markets must think a lot about people asking for $150B business loans to take down Amazon.

235 Alistair August 21, 2017 at 1:24 pm

Enthymeme: Why should an “unpopular” idea carry cost? You seem to assume:

1. “Unpopular” ideas are more likely to be wrong.

2 Wrong ideas create social costs through wasted time and resources.

But even if true, there is a balance function here. By penalising unpopular ideas, you reduce the flow of unpopular ideas that turn out to be correct! What is the cost to be imposed on an unpopular idea such that this function is optimised at the margin? How do you know this before the idea is tested or entertained?

236 Boonton August 21, 2017 at 2:00 pm

Amazon.com is a ‘popular idea’ in the sense that it has a huge market share. Why should unseating that market share command a lot of capital? Why should it be a tough sell for me to demand that I be given a huge amount of capital (say $150B) because I claim I can do what Amazon does better rather than that capital be spread out among ‘traditional’ places like Amazon?

If that’s confusing consider a field like theoretical physics. Let’s say at the moment there’s a group that are partisans of string theory. There’s others that say string theory is totally off base. The first group tries to flesh out the implications of string theory and nail down the exact form of string theory they think is ultimately right. To the second group this is a waste of time and resources, not unlike the 19th century efforts to discover ‘aether’ as the medium for light waves.

If the second group is right, then we are wasting a lot of resources but if the first group is right it would be a waste to divert everyone away from string theory. Moving minds from one idea to another is not a ‘free good’. There’s a lot of ‘intellectual friction’ just as in business there’s friction between one business method (say Sears catalog and retail sales) being overturned for a radically different one (Amazon.com). The more friction a change demands the higher the ‘skin in the game’ collateral people should demand.

That means that yes perhaps giving me $150B to redo the whole Amazon idea might in fact be the ‘best idea’ but the market will instead opt for more conservative investments until/unless more information comes forward revealing that truth.

237 Billford August 21, 2017 at 10:49 am

It is a hard issue. Take any revolution, whether it be the American Revolution, the nazis grabbing power in the 1930s, the communist revolution in Russia before that, the Mexican revolution, right before the American Civil War, etc. At some point, just before the point of no return, you had two or more belligerent sides, with a whole lot of moderate/apathetic people who just wanted to stay out of it. If one supposes the tipping point is close, and that one side is about to win, then therefore it is a now or never change, than I suppose one must fight with all that one has.

On the other hand, if you think the current political system will survive, then a more reasoned and patient approach is indicated. But then, how do you oppose a heavily armed hate group that attract young men, and seems to be having success attracting more? ISIS does come to mind, even if history will treat them as a footnote, because of what they have done already. In practical terms, one probably needs anywhere from 200 to 2,000, to maybe 20,000 “normal” citizens to counter an organized group of maybe 20 extremely violent and organized young men. If you assume that if 20 violent young men will show up looking for a street fight, then the vast majority of the normal citizens, who have jobs, families, who are women, older, younger, and family men, etc., will stay home. This is a problem, if it allows the hate factions to grow if they can combine an appealing message with demonstrated success. It almost becomes a contest to see who can win the hearts and minds of the violently-inclined young people. If indeed, this is an accurate description of the situation (probably too hysterical a description, admittedly), then anything that diverts violent young men to the side of the counter-protesters is best.

238 Art Deco August 21, 2017 at 1:39 pm

Nice try. There aren’t any ‘heavily-armed hate groups’ in this country of any consequence (unless you count the antifa goons – who are, however, nothing much without the connivance of Democratic local governments and campus administrations). As for Germany, the Nazi Party was inconsequential prior to 1930 and only landed in power because of a perfect storm of nincompoopery on the part of salient figures in the German establishment (Paul von Hindenberg, miscellaneous figures in the German high command, Alfred Hugenberg, Franz von Papen &c).

239 Ryan T August 21, 2017 at 11:13 am

I don’t have very sophisticated views on who should not be shamed, though it seems obvious to me that anyone who participates in a white nationalist rally should be shamed and ashamed. If these participants cannot be punished, it seems natural that the rest of the society would want to at least shame them. It may be that many of the other cases you mention are not viewed as threats to the society’s norms in a way that society feels the need to employ shame — or perhaps shame is employed, but it is not as “loud” in the public discourse.

This may not be helpful, but the first time I encountered any discussion of shaming was actually in Friedman’s “The World is Flat.” If I recall correctly, he felt shaming was a very good way to ensure that organizations that are not easily bound by law or regulation behave more admirably. (I think the he discussed were corporations.)

The next time I encountered the topic was on Bill Simmons’ podcast when he said that Charles Barkley had established a voice that allowed him to speak without be easily shamed — not that LeBron James didn’t shame him successfully during the last NBA season.

Next up was Jon Ronson’s “So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed,” which looks into the consequences of being shamed.

240 Boonton August 21, 2017 at 11:28 am

I think a key insight we have from the first 6 months of Trump’s presidency is the failure of the ‘alt-right’. Whether you’re talking Charlottesville or Bannon’s failure to make any serious policy impression, you have a very deep failure for what was billed (mostly by themselves) as the next great intellectual movement of the right wing. Contrast this with the success conservatives had early in the Reagan administration against the more Nixonian elements of the GOP establishment from back then.

What might account for this failure? Well one interesting feature of the ‘alt-right’ is that much of it tries to be immune from shame. Gamergate and other brouhaha’s consist of mostly anonymous alt-righters going after non-anonymous figures. Not being public means they are protected from public shaming. A few times they are forced to be public, they recoil and cower away (see what happened when CNN found out who made the ‘Trump vs CNN’ tweet).

Public shame is a price signal in the ‘marketplace of ideas’. Without it you essentially get what you had in socialist markets where there was no competition and prices were set centrally. You get store shelves that are either empty or filled with crappy products no one will buy unless nothing else is available. The moment competition opens up the crap is exposed for what it is. By risking public shame, a person is sending the signal he believes in his ideas enough to put his own skin in the game. The alt-right, though, has argued that ‘free speech’ means people should be made immune to public shaming. As a result they forgot that at some point a ‘market’ implies an actual decision is made and some products are chosen by consumers and others become failures. Instead they think ‘market of ideas’ means the type of environment you get on Twitter or Facebook where it is free to endlessly retweet the same ideas without regard for what succeeds and what fails.

241 Hazel Meade August 21, 2017 at 12:12 pm

I do think there is a role for anonymity in online discourse though. There are lots of cases where popular opinion is stupid and wrong and people need an environment when they can express ideas that run against established opinion. Or just speak freely without having to worry about having your boss or your uncle read every damn word you say.

On the other hand, I think you’re correct that alt-right demands that their speech be immune to public shaming. And ultimately to make something immune to shaming is to restrict someone *elses* speech. You’re ether restricting the speech of the neo-Nazi or you’re restricting the speech of the person shaming the neo-Nazi. Not in a literal sense, but via social etiquette. And what do we really want to be more socially acceptable? Racist or shaming racist speech? Or even take it a step back futher and remember that the neo-Nazis are making speech intended to lower the social status of racial minorities. \

So what should be more socially acceptable? A) Having black skin, B) making racist speech, C) shaming racist speech. It seems to me that A and C are compatible, but B is not compatible with A and C. At least, if you’re going to make A and B compatible, then C has to be allowed. You wouldn’t really want a situation where black people are just standing around, being black, and racists are insulting and denigrating them, and nobody is allowed to say anything because that would be shaming racist speech, which is verboten.

242 Boonton August 21, 2017 at 2:25 pm

I do think there is a role for anonymity in online discourse though. There are lots of cases where popular opinion is stupid and wrong and people need an environment when they can express ideas that run against established opinion. Or just speak freely without having to worry about having your boss or your uncle read every damn word you say.

I think that’s roughly equal to saying there’s a role for people saying “there should be a product that does X or a movie about Y” as opposed to people who actually put money behind X or Y trying to make a profit. They are roughly what consumer focus groups are or people who answer surveys. Data points that amount to almost nothing individually. It’s not just having an idea or ‘expressing it’, it’s also communicating that your idea is worthy and if you don’t want to wager your reputation on it then why should I?

Now that being said you can have an anonymous online reputation. I could see how someone can build up an online reputation without using his actual name so then when he gets behind an idea he or she is actually putting skin in the game. This is essentially what major media outlets do. Most of the time we read an article on the NYT or CNN without paying attention to the byline. We go by the corporate reputation of the source rather than the individual reporter who may or may not have any track record we care about.

243 Hazel Meade August 21, 2017 at 11:49 am

Again, the thing that keeps being left out here is that the people being shamed in many cases want to shame others – or at least socially ostracize them – for irrelevant factors that are beyond their control. Like their skin color, or the behavior of other people with their skin color.
Shaming people for actually expressed views is not like shaming people just for being white, or male, or or black, or female. People should avoid attempting to shame white men for the behavior of other white men, for invoking “white privilege” as a reason why all white people ought to feel shame. And they should avoid holding black people responsible for the behavior of other black people. But once something mysogynistic or racist actually comes out of a person’s mouth, that’s a different story. There’s no violation of moral individualism in shaming an individual for what that individual actually said.

244 Alistair August 21, 2017 at 12:53 pm

Enthymeme: Why does the degree of control over a factor make it irrelevant?

245 Alistair August 21, 2017 at 1:08 pm

I think you’ve unconsciously internalised an ethic which demands desserts are individually justifiable. Leaving aside what constitutes “beyond your control” I’m not sure that you can demand NOT to be targeted based on incidental characteristics that you share with bad behaviour types.

1. You are ethnically German and live in Nazi Germany. Can you complain about being bombed?
2. You are ethnically black and live in central Detroit. Can you complain about excess police scrutiny?
3. You are ethnically south asian and live in Jalalabad. Can you complain about excess airport security?

Incidental characteristics can be very powerful heuristics in the absence of more detailed information. Only a fool would discard them in assessing risk.

246 Hazel Meade August 21, 2017 at 1:37 pm

Incidental characteristics can be very powerful heuristics in the absence of more detailed information. Only a fool would discard them in assessing risk.

“Heuristics” is a euphemism for “prejudices”. If you’re judging someone based on no other information than skin color or gender, that’s a prejudice. Should an employer throw all the resumes from black candidates in the trash, simply because it’s cheaper than sifting through them to find qualified individuals, based on the statistical likelihood being lower?

There are many things about treating people fairly that have costs. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do them.

If you have no other information to go on besides “black person”, it’s morally wrong to assume that person might be a criminal and refrain from doing business with them.

247 Boonton August 21, 2017 at 3:02 pm

Shaming is an idea like any other. You can shame someone for spouting racist talk. You can also shame someone because they shame other people too often (as sometimes happens when an institution or person is accused of being too politically correct). Like any other idea the idea of what is proper or improper shaming competes in the marketplace.

Often the shaming that works in one ‘submarket place’ doesn’t work in another. If you’re talking about Big Foot at a bar with some hunting buddies excessive ‘shaming’ is probably out of order but if you’re discussing this at a conference of zoologists it probably is.

248 Edward Burke August 21, 2017 at 11:52 am

Innocent query: while contemporary moral inquiry presupposes the existence of “ethics and morality”, what “ethics and morality” other than proffered utilitarian, emotivist, or Kantian models? No Confucian or Laoist models?

Do any of us today reflect on an actually observed “ethics and morality” (including but not limited to any traditional and/or cultural ethic) or do we only extend the range of historical momentum by citing and appealing to ethics and moralities with meagre intellectual appeal but no grounds for conviction and belief, regardless of how ameliorative or prescriptive their proposed outcomes might be?

249 Alistair August 21, 2017 at 12:51 pm

+1

Because whilst bleating about universal values, the archetypical western liberal never thinks about how local and conditional theirs are and would be hard-pressed to even describe their own ethic in anything other than mushy terms.

Most people don’t reflect on or study ethics. They adopt one subconsciously from the milieu and simply believe they are correct. If pushed, they have little fall-back beyond it being self-evident that the universe agrees with their prejudices and people who don’t are either stupid or evil.

Consequently most people have no good grounds for believing their ethics are better than the Nazis. That’s not to say such grounds don’t exist, simply that most people and particularly SJWs couldn’t robustly defend them.

250 msgkings August 21, 2017 at 1:08 pm

Sure, most people aren’t intellectual, or smart enough to studiously defend their carefully constructed system of ethics. Most people are basic good people of common sense, who recognize obvious wrongs. Most people correctly view Nazism as one of these wrongs, maybe the worst one. Communism (for you whatabouters) is commonly known to be wrong too, but not as evil (the ethos, not the practice) because it doesn’t single out inferior groups or call for hatred of people just for being who they are.

251 Anon7 August 21, 2017 at 3:05 pm

What are obvious wrongs? Slavery was widely practiced for most of human history. Common opinion today only abhors it because of the rise (and inevitable fall) of a peculiar set of beliefs that constitute the contemporary cave.

252 msgkings August 21, 2017 at 3:50 pm

OK, so obvious wrongs are things which are obviously wrong like slavery. It wasn’t obvious before, and now it is. Many common folk probably knew it was wrong even back then, but there weren’t enough of them to change things. Now there are. And why is the “fall” of those “peculiar” beliefs “inevitable”? Are you implying opinion will eventually swing back and slavery will be cool again?

As some have speculated, eating meat from animals you kill (as opposed to growing the meat in a lab) is one of those things which is not an obvious wrong now and may become one. And like slavery long ago there are many who do think it’s an obvious wrong but not enough of them to change the culture. Someday that may happen, and common sense will update accordingly.

253 prior_test3 August 21, 2017 at 2:08 pm

‘That’s not to say such grounds don’t exist, simply that most people and particularly SJWs couldn’t robustly defend them.’

Being opposed to an ideology that preaches genocidal extermination of some of one’s fellow citizens on the basis of race or being ‘defective’ is actually remarkably easy to ‘robustly defend.’

254 Nate Rausch August 21, 2017 at 12:59 pm

It seems to me that any social sanction is only worthwhile if we can influence it’s expression via incentives.

It does not make sense to shame or otherwise punish people for being short. It does make sense to shame people for lying or killing.

As to the question of how much to shame, this is well solved in our legal system. The degree of the shaming should be proportional to the crime. We shame a lot for murder, we shame less for theft, and even less for lying on your resume.

In the court system we have well-developed proportional systems. In the social sphere shaming is more like a tool that is laying around for anyone to use with devastating effects. And the only way to keep people from using it indiscriminately to shame people either non-proportionally or as a weapon, is social norms on the use of shaming. And thus the social incentives for using them.

An example here is “slut shaming” among women. Probably developed from letting some women outcompete others to the detriment of everyone. In the modern world there is large pressure to reign in this shaming method to more appropriate proportions.

Further one can say that given how we know that nazism and communism has cause so many deaths in recent history, we may want to shame people who propose these ideas. The general rule would then be: if some ideas have evidence to be genocidal in recent history, then the act of supporting it is deserving of some shame in addition to refutation.

I am unsure about whether this is correct. Though I feel with some certainty that it should be limited (not on the level of shaming of say, actual murder).

My and I suppose others concern nowadays is that the shaming tools are being used as political weapons. This contradicts fragile equilibria of civility and understandeably people are upset when the shaming for sharing moderate opinions against the conform ones is met with the maximally possible shaming. It indicates a movement that is able to override the civility-norms which are there to protect everyone and make society function well.

255 woman August 21, 2017 at 1:04 pm

“Perhaps shaming and disgracing them is necessary because they hold very bad ideologies, and perhaps potentially contagious ideologies, ideologies that most violent criminals do not seem to promulgate.” Errr, yes, obviously? They are walking about literally advocating genocide of Jews and generally non-white people – avoiding propagation of these ideas seems like a reasonable to hold a counter protest to say “This Is Bad”, since there are obvious examples of what happens when these ideas take root – as they can. Effectiveness aside, on the face of it, “shaming” seems like a simple, intuitive, *non-complacent*, way of dealing with the resurgence of nazism and violent white supremacy.

But if there’s something that’s painfully absent from all this discussion and the comments (except for Brad de Long’s comment, thx mate) it’s some degree of empathy with the shamers themselves. Are they even shaming as a goal, as their main activity? Do you think women or non-white people decide to Shame just for fun? Now, sure everyone gets a kick out of being oh so righteous, but Tyler, please, use your non-complacency powers to emphasize for a sec. I get regularly catcalled, grabbed, called a bitch or a slut – and it hurts! It hurts so much. It makes me sad and horrible about myself and ashamed to walk in the street. When I started my masters, classmates (probably on EJMR) asked who I’d slept with and for naked pics. When I don’t feel safe, if someone harasses me in the street, I look down, don’t reply, walk faster & feel horrible. When I feel safe, I shout DONT TOUCH ME YOU PIECE OF SHIT FUCK OFF. LOOK EVERYONE THAT PERVERT IS HARASSING ME and I feel better and safer and (I think) I reduce the odds of that asshole using his free speech to reduce my rights again.

(side note: which of these behaviours is the complacent one?)

You get the drift. It’s not shaming, it’s self-defense, and shaming is a side-effect. The difference is you see the shaming a negative externality of me defending my sense of self, I see it as a positive one. But remember that for me, shaming isn’t the point, I don’t care about the motivations of the street creep, I just wanted to go for a bloody walk.

256 msgkings August 21, 2017 at 1:10 pm

Brava, well said.

257 Art Deco August 21, 2017 at 1:43 pm

But if there’s something that’s painfully absent from all this discussion and the comments (except for Brad de Long’s comment, thx mate) it’s some degree of empathy with the shamers themselves.

Leave the likes of Charles Murray and Heather MacDonald in peace, get a permit before you flood the streets, don’t start fights, and take off the masks. When you’ve completed these tasks, we can talk.

258 Careless August 23, 2017 at 11:29 pm

lol what percent of this is believable? 30?

259 belisarius August 21, 2017 at 1:12 pm

Nobody should be shamed by the state. Are we reverting to the scarlet letter era? We are supposed to be a nation of laws not a nation of organized emotional destruction. Why is it wrong to call someone who wears glasses four-eyes, but it is okay to publish the names, pictures and address of people who have utilized a prostitute’s services? Is someone breaks the law, they should be punished under the law. And whatever happened to the old adage that begins: “Sticks and stones…” If we attack everyone who says or does something that we don’t agree with, then that reinforces my previously stated thought that we are in the most discriminatory era in American history. Whereas, in the past, a person was discriminated against because of their skin color, national origin, religion, of sexual choice, now any person can be discriminated against at any time by hundreds of different entities.

260 matt August 21, 2017 at 1:14 pm

2 points:
Shaming is more important for neo-Nazis than murderers precisely because murder is illegal and neo-Nazism isn’t. In a society with strong free speech norms, shame is one of the few ways to disincentivize anti-social ideologies. Anti-social actions can be criminalized, and when given the choice society has opted on that mechanism over shame. When the criminal systems seems to give punishments incommensurate with the moral transgression (e.g. Wall Street malfeasance) then and only then is shame brought to bear.

Second, I would treat statements by public officials differently, call them denouncements. In that case, it seems to me that a major use is to credibly promise not to support the ideology in question and not to seek support from those who do. This would predict that denouncements would be demanded only for issues with policy valence to the polity in question, as noted with the Mexican land grab example. It also would predict that a failure to denounce would be read as tacit endorsement by both sides, but that denouncements would only be used for issues/idealogies that a politician would never contemplate, such as things truly outside the political mainstream. A further prediction would be that as political polarization increases and the probability of making compromises on the other side of a single political spectrum decreases, politicians will increasingly make these sorts of statements about issues closer to the political center.

261 Sean August 21, 2017 at 1:45 pm

The kid who drove the car into the crowd has a potential self-defense case. Video shows him accelerating after his car was struck with a baseball bat. IMO pretty impossible to know what his true intentions were when you have a mob of antifa running around with lead pipes. My guess it ends in a plea deal because I’m not sure how you get over reasonable doubt when his car is under attack and he’s surrounded by a mob of antifa thugs (who officially advocate violence in their protests).

Risks of death penalty likely means he takes deal.

262 DK12 August 22, 2017 at 1:14 pm

Yes, it appears the driver accelerated from maybe 30mph to 40mph as someone struck his rear bumper with an object. Not sure I’d call that self-defense…perhaps he was frightened that his attempt to kill people with his car would be thwarted so he hit the gas to avoid people trying to stop him? Surely self-defense drove his decision to flee the scene after he ran over people and killed someone…he knew he’d be beaten to death if he didn’t get out of there quick.

263 Evan Harper August 21, 2017 at 1:46 pm

So most Americans failing to have moralized opinions on issues that are extremely obscure to most Americans shows… something or other, I’m not exactly sure, about how this is all fashionable status competition or some shit…? Maybe rethink this.

264 Hannu August 21, 2017 at 1:51 pm

Very interesting! Shaming is for social control of social rules, but shaming’s benefits (the feelgood, signaling, distracting) sometimes make us distort those rules, overly extend the control, invent evidence, etc.

Shaming is necessary because reasoning only goes so far. That also applies to raising – socialising – kids: the (post)modern parenting is laborous, hard and often nonrewarding, and leaves children without means to handle pain or feel shame. If feel ashashashasha.. I’m a victim!

Reasoning why you should not commit *that dreadful crime* is too late if your inability to feel ashamed and to respond to that threat behaviorally (not only cognitively!) or the lack of necessary correcting signals in your society, or both, have allowed your drift to the edge of the cliff in the first place. Why shouldn’t I commit, why.. oops, there goes.

The severity of punishment was mostly in proportion to the observed lack of shame. Our ambivalence about shame has made us unsure also about crime (what is it) and punishment (why is that).

As you discuss above, we live in double standard(s) of shaming. Also, society cannot be based on moral individualism only. Recognizing those means recognizing that we should explicate reasonable, civilized and civilizing rules of shaming – and of shaming that one should be ashamed of.

265 Hazel Meade August 21, 2017 at 2:08 pm

One might consider how many black people have grown up to feel ashamed about their skin color, due to the society and culture and the messages they receive about blackness from others.
One might also wonder what effect that has on the psychology of the average black person.

(And as a side note, same thing for the rhetoric about white privilege. I often wonder if the reason for the popularity of that terminology is that it’s a way for non-whites to get back at white people – to make whites feel what they have felt.)

266 Art Deco August 21, 2017 at 2:57 pm

One might consider how many black people have grown up to feel ashamed about their skin color, due to the society and culture and the messages they receive about blackness from others. One might also wonder what effect that has on the psychology of the average black person.

Anatole Broyard died 27 years ago, and his type were never that common. Here’s an experiment: ask a random selection of blacks to consider the following: Imagine, a la Finnegan’s Rainbow someone could magically turn you white. How much would you pay for the service? The smart money says the answer would be less than zero, that your interlocutor would insist on a six or seven figure compensation to consent to being turned white.

267 prior_test3 August 21, 2017 at 3:01 pm

‘How much would you pay for the service?’

Almost as if you had never heard of the term ‘passing.’

268 Careless August 21, 2017 at 7:13 pm

Likely that he hasn’t heard of anyone passing black to white in recent decades.

269 matt August 21, 2017 at 9:26 pm

But would that answer change if someone offered to turn your children white?

270 woman August 22, 2017 at 12:31 pm

And I suppose YOU would be totally indifferent to you or your kids being black? How much would YOU require in compensation if the machine were to turn you black? And do you think the figure for the average white person would be different than black people or the exactly the same?

Seriously, don’t answer those. It’s a silly thought experiment as blackness can become a valuable (however difficult) part of identity, family and culture, and it’s just not so simple to estimate the cost of discrimination by willingness to pay for whiteness, and people being attached part of their identity doesn’t mean they don’t suffer unfairly for it. Next.

*Obviously, this attempted rebuttal falls flat quite tragically if you’re black…*

271 Careless August 23, 2017 at 11:27 pm

I’ve got to say, getting a free ride at Harvard would have been nice if someone had zapped me black.

My daughter’s best friend has a surname that is almost entirely black (she’s white/Asian). Her mother gave her one of the most common specifically black first names. Now that’s some tiger mother planning

272 meets August 21, 2017 at 2:09 pm

It is interesting who we choose to shame.

Nazis, of course they are horrible. Plus it helps mobilize voters because Trump appears sympathetic to racist groups.

But what about the elite, high status people who supported Hugo Chavez all the way through until the collapse of Venezuela? Arguably these people caused far more pain and suffering.

Or how about the minimum wage. A well-done study was done on Seattle by the University of Washington. A competing “fake” study was put out by Berkeley. Continuing to raise the minimum wage too high will do massive damage to the poor.

Of course, it’s not a simple calculation of who causes more suffering. But yes, it’s interesting to think about.

It also strikes me that EJMR is right of center economically, so that makes it an even more obvious target.

273 prior_test3 August 21, 2017 at 3:00 pm

‘But what about the elite, high status people who supported Hugo Chavez all the way through until the collapse of Venezuela?’

You are free to call for boycotts – Citgo comes instantly to mind. ‘Citgo Petroleum Corporation (or Citgo) is a Venezuelan-owned American refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products. The company has its American headquarters in the Energy Corridor area of Houston, Texas.’ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citgo

274 Akavane August 21, 2017 at 4:44 pm

Tyler,

You referred to influences on people’s behavior (socialization, genes) that might be mitigating factors in the legitimacy of our desire or duty to shame. Could you reply or post on your opinion of the relevance or usefulness, if any, of a deterministic view of agency on pressing, highly socialized (ie, in or of an actual social situation) moral questions? Can my belief in the entirely illusory identity of a discrete self and will, and with them, moral agency, have any application in an exercise that assumes moral blameworthiness and consists of many participants who insist on it?

275 jdgalt August 21, 2017 at 7:08 pm

The important lesson to be learnt this week, especially from the events in Charlottesville, is that nobody should be FRAUDULENTLY shamed; and we need to explore ways to extend defamation law to protect the victims, both individual and institutional, of this increasingly common practice.

What happened in Charlottesville needs to be retold because the police and media narrative about it is a bald faced lie.

First, a few die-hard leftists turned themselves into fake Nazis. In particular, the alleged Nazi leader at Charleston, Jason Kessler, has only belonged to that group for 10 months and was previously a leader of both OFA and the Occupy movement.

Second, this core group fraudulently advertised a “Unite the Right” rally, to draw in ordinary conservatives and libertarians so that he could embarrass them by getting them corralled into standing under Nazi and Confederate banners (and thus providing visible fake-evidence of the Big Lie assertion that at least some right-wingers are racists and/or hate Jews).

And third, this group conspired with the Virginia State Police to deliberately and forcibly herd those people into going where “Antifa” could assault them.

If some police heads don’t literally roll over this despicable act, then the opening shots of US Civil War II have already been fired.

276 lol August 21, 2017 at 7:58 pm

“I see many people who have behaved very badly — and here I mean legally convicted criminals — but where the prevailing “mood affiliation” among American liberal intellectuals is to favor their rehabilitation. For instance, if a company does not ask job applicants if they have criminal records, this is considered to be good, and maybe it is. For one thing, many of those criminals are the products of bad circumstances and we may have various (true) theories that help to excuse their behavior. So we don’t go to the nth degree to shame and disgrace those ex-criminals, even if they have been convicted of prior violent activities. How are we then to feel about contemporary neo-Nazis? Most of them have not been convicted of anything at all. Yet right now we are going to great lengths to shame and disgrace them.”

tl;dr: “Aha! I see that you think it’s GOOD to shame neo-Nazis who believe in ethnic cleansing and can never legally face any formal societal sanctions for it but BAD to shame people who have *already served time in prison* as a formal societal sanction for–most of the time–non-violent or petty crimes. Are these two situations not the same? Seems mighty INCONSISTENT, eh? Checkmate, libs.”

What a goddamn mess this post is.

277 woman August 22, 2017 at 12:12 pm

This.

278 Erica Grieder August 22, 2017 at 2:23 am

Re: the EJMR thing

1) I am curious as to the basis of your assumption that the misogynistic EJMR posters in question are “being shamed” at all, given that they’re anonymous and have high-profile defenders including George Borjas, and you.

2) For similar reasons, I’m curious as to the basis of your assumption that the critics of the misogynistic posters, or “shamers” as you call them, are motivated by a desire to shame the anonymous men they’re criticizing. (Have you asked them?)

3) For what it’s worth: I’m a journalist, so I have some experience with anonymous internet misogynists, and I do have some theories about why so many men are motivated to harass women and feel entitled to do so. But when I object to the unsolicited harassment I receive, it’s not out of a desire to shame these men, most of whom are, again, anonymous, and who have high-profile defenders including Borjas, you, and the president. It’s because unsolicited harassment is objectionable–like, just from a deontological perspective, think about it. And I’m not their mom.

279 woman August 22, 2017 at 12:15 pm

And this too, as I tried to say above.

280 JH August 23, 2017 at 3:44 pm

“But is wishing for violence that much worse than having committed it yourself?”

The purpose to which the violence is directed matters in how its implementation or advocacy is evaluated. That’s pretty much rule #1 for any person who doesn’t adopt pacifism. I’m confused and disturbed that this didn’t come up in your thought process.

It looks to me, Tyler, like you’ve fallen into such an abstraction hole, lamentably omitting relevant information in the quest for clarity, that you see the neo-Nazis as just a group of white men with eccentric ideals and have a strong impulse to identify with that and circle the wagons to protect them. This isn’t good and I think you know it.

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