Everyday Feminism advocates violence in the cause of social justice

The site Everyday Feminism is devoted to two things: 1. Making listicles, and 2. Telling you why you’re oppressive. It’s good for a few chuckles, but its propensity for shaming everyone also exemplifies the identity politics that are ruining the Left. Go have a look at the front page and see how many ways you’re part of the problem.

When I saw the headline below on the Everyday Feminism site (click on screenshot to go to article), I had a pretty good idea what I’d be reading.

I thought I’d be reading a call for more violence in protests. I wasn’t wrong. But it’s a deeply confused piece, as none of the reasons it gives for the conclusion below lead to that conclusion,  Here’s the conclusion first:

But we all need to be more critical about how we define violence, because we’re seeing a lot more marching, protesting, and direct action than has previously been covered in mainstream news media.

And while it might make us uncomfortable to acknowledge, violence is often a necessary tool of resistance. The sooner we recognize that, the sooner we can end oppression.

Well, it was only a matter of time. . .

Now the author, Kim Tran, doesn’t really specify what kind of violence is a “necessary tool of resistance”, but one gets the sense, especially from her discussion of MiloGate, that it’s okay to riot, break windows, loot, and maybe even shoot people.  Here are her “reasons” (quotes indented, emphasis the author’s):

1). Non-Violent Action Has Always Been Violent 

In other words, the Civil Rights Movement that you think of as nonviolent actually included many actions that you might consider violent.

Moreover, it’s important to note that the super nonviolent act of existing as a person of color has historically been in and of itself enough to get you killed.

Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, and Black people have been continuously killed for minor – if any – offenses.

. . . It’s time to recognize that not all violence is created equal. Part of nonviolent protest has always been violent, and in fact, some of what we call “violence” might not be violence at all.

People do have the right of self defense if they’re being threatened by other people (not, however, police), but this argument fails to show why demonstrators should initiate violence.

2).  What’s Legal Isn’t Always What’s Right

A lot of people are encouraging activists to stay within the limits of the law when it comes to direct actions resisting their oppression.

If you agree with these people, you might claim that the US has mechanisms in place for state-sanctioned protests. You tell us, “don’t break windows, don’t disrupt the peace, don’t assemble without a permit,” and so on.

In other words, don’t stray from the boundaries of what the government has decided is legally permissible.

But allow me to remind people that the law has never been race neutral and often, it hasn’t been fair.

Absolutely true! Much civil disobedience during the 1960s in the service of civil rights involved illegal actions against unjust laws. But those were peaceful protests, the heart of civil disobedience. And it was the peaceful nature of those protests, and those of the Indians resisting British occupation, that helped forward their causes. Again, Tran doesn’t make a connection between illegal peaceful protest and her perceived need for illegal violent protest.

3). Civil disobedience Needs to Be Disruptive

Civil disobedience requires that we resist what looks, feels and frequently functions like the same old system we’ve grown accustomed to our entire lives.

It means we decide en mass [sic] to walk out of work or school, to strike and boycott our favorite restaurants or rideshare apps because we must interrupt the ways economic, political, and physical violence has became routine.

Well, civil disobedience needn’t always be disruptive of people’s activities, simply of their sentiments, as in lunch counter sit-ins. Regardless, though, the actions that Tran mentions here are not violent, but peaceful. That is, unless she redefines violence, which of course is what the Regressive Left wants to do so they can ban speech they don’t like.

4). Ask who Is the Least Safe–and Why

During Yiannopoulos’s talk at the University of Milwaukee, a trans student’s picture was broadcast to the crowd and mocked. Afterward, in an open letter to the administration, the student wrote: “I am done getting repeatedly abused and shit on, and expected to just take it and not be angry.”

When we spend all of our time protecting the rights to “free speech” (harassment isn’t free speech, by the way) we’re protecting the rights of racists, transphobes, and pedophile apologists at the cost of the marginalized people who actually matter in this equation.

We need to ask, who is the most unsafe here? Is it the millionaire white person with a fetish for dating Black men, or is it the trans, undocumented student whose life will be made a living hell when they’re outed to a room of 900 white supremacists?

. . . What I’m calling for isn’t a form of the oppression olympics in which we rate everyone’s level of marginalization.

I’m asking that we consider how some people at any given moment will bear the brunt of a racism, transphobia, and heteropatriarchy unevenly and that those of us with the relative ability to do so must show up to be in solidarity with them as needed.

So here we get to free speech, which appears to be “hate speech” that Tran doesn’t like.  And yes, I criticized Milo for publicizing a trans student in one of his college talks. That was reprehensible, but it was not violence, and it didn’t justify violence at Berkeley. Real violence involves physical damage to people and/or property, and there’s no excuse to commit it.  Sitting down at lunch counters isn’t violence. Chaining yourself to a tree about to be logged isn’t violence. Blocking entrances to nuclear weapons sites isn’t violence.Hitting someone or damaging property is violence, and is best abjured if you seek justice.

None of the four points made by Tran go even a millimeter to justify her conclusion, “violence is often a necessary tool of resistance.”  But I can’t help but feel she thinks it does, and the “violence” she’s calling for is real violence, not hate speech.

50 Comments

  1. Paul S
    Posted May 12, 2017 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Worse, she wants to be able to commit violence without retaliation or consequence.

    • BJ
      Posted May 12, 2017 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

      Even worse, she and those like her want to be able to commit real violence while calling speech they don’t like “violence” and banning it on those grounds.

      • Craw
        Posted May 12, 2017 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

        I remember at the time of the Melissa Click thing the crowd bullying a reporter. The student reporter was being shoved, and said “stop pushing me.” The thug in the crowd replied, “I’m just walking forward. Don’t I have a right to walk forward?” That’s a similar bit of linguistic perversion.

        “Stop shooting me.”
        “I’m just bending my finger. Don’t I have a right to bend my finger?”

        • Posted May 13, 2017 at 2:48 am | Permalink

          “Don’t I have a right to walk forward?”

          No, not into space that is occupied by somebody.

  2. Posted May 12, 2017 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Gandhi and MLK Jr are spinning in their graves.

  3. Craw
    Posted May 12, 2017 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Large parts of the Left is entranced by violence. I hope it will surprise no-one here to learn that there are large parts of the Right who are as well. Society tries to keep these impulses bottled up. uncorking them might have results Tran doesn’t expect.

    • DiscoveredJoys
      Posted May 14, 2017 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

      Once you blur the line between protest and violence others can exploit that confusion.

      Capital punishment as an expression of society’s protest? Torture as a means of getting your point across? OK, extreme cases but ‘the moral justification for just a little violence’ sounds very much like ‘the ends justifying the means’. And that’s not good.

  4. Christopher Bonds
    Posted May 12, 2017 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    I would like to ask such persons what are the characteristics of a perfect society, especially with respect to equality of race and gender. Then, what they think is the best means of achieving that. I see a lot of tactics, but I’m less aware of some overall plan.

    • Will G
      Posted May 12, 2017 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

      There is no overall plan. It’s like what Andrew Sullivan wrote when Middlebury students put Tran’s vision of activism-via-terror into action:

      “The only thing this religion lacks, of course, is salvation. Life is simply an interlocking drama of oppression and power and resistance, ending only in death. It’s Marx without the final total liberation.”

  5. Posted May 12, 2017 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    So at the same time that those on the regressive left are attempting to define non-violent things (such as ideas) as violent in order to suppress them, they are trying to justify actual violence as acceptable.

    • Harrison
      Posted May 12, 2017 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      If speech is violence then violence is also speech. I can’t fault them for being inconsistent on this.

      Trouble is equating the two opens the door to violent reprisal from the political right toward leftists guilty of merely speaking unpopular opinions.

      The real issue is that the left is currently suffering an infestation of chickenhawks, people who would never put themselves in harm’s way but are happy to cheerlead violence from the safety of Twitter or Facebook or wherever.

      • netizen_james
        Posted May 12, 2017 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

        Well, haven’t we been subjected to violence in return for speech for a long time – isn’t that what ‘blasphemy’ laws are? Isn’t that what ‘obscenity’ laws are? When we throw someone into prison for downloading an image of ‘kiddie porn’, isn’t that trading violence for ‘speech’?

        The idea that the powerful interests will give up that power without a struggle is nonsense, as Frederick Douglass warned us. MLK’s peaceful marches would have done NOTHING without the race-riots and fear of widespread violence which is what brought the establishment to the table at all. MLK was sought after by the establishment because the alternative was MalcomX, not just because of his commitment to non-violence.

        Bottom line – they’re going to treat resisters with violence regardless of what tactics the resistance uses. Ever thus. Just like the white supremacists used violence against the non-violent civil-rights activists. So really – does it make any difference whether the resisters fight back or not?

        It’s as easy to sit on the sidelines and tell those people getting beaten on the head to sit down and take it, as it is to sit on the sidelines and tell people to rise up and act out. Sitting on the sidelines is the easy part, regardless. SOMEONE has to be on the field, or there is no contest, and no challenge to the status quo.

        And no, it doesn’t matter whether the person beating you on the head is wearing a badge or not. Self defense is self defense – it doesn’t matter who the aggressor is, or whose uniform they’re wearing.

        • Harrison
          Posted May 12, 2017 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

          Who the hell said anything about “telling people getting beaten to sit down and take it”?

          Self-defense is one thing. Instigating is another. Do you really not know the difference or are you just being disingenuous?

          • Harrison
            Posted May 12, 2017 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

            Actually, I’ll apologize for being a bit excessively rude here. This topic just pushes a lot of buttons for me. Violence is something I take very seriously. And I feel like there’s an attempt to reframe all these avoidable conflicts as trading blows within a larger culture war. But sucker punching someone, even an odious person, isn’t self-defense. That’s embracing the ideology of “honor” cultures where starting avoidable fights or just brutalizing someone is excused because “they had it coming.”

            And all this is a door that swings both ways.

        • BJ
          Posted May 12, 2017 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

          “Well, haven’t we been subjected to violence in return for speech for a long time – isn’t that what ‘blasphemy’ laws are? Isn’t that what ‘obscenity’ laws are? When we throw someone into prison for downloading an image of ‘kiddie porn’, isn’t that trading violence for ‘speech’?”

          That’s why we don’t have blasphemy or obscenity laws in the US, and no, kiddie porn is not “speech.” You need to harm someone (the child in the pornography) in order to produce it. It is actual violence, and by consuming it, you are implicated in that violence/harm.

          • Adam M.
            Posted May 12, 2017 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

            You need to harm someone (the child in the pornography) in order to produce it.

            I think most ‘child pornography’ is of teenagers engaged in consensual acts with each other, or with somewhat older people in countries where the age of consent is 14. I agree with you in the case when it’s really involves a child, or when it’s nonconsensual.

            It is actual violence, and by consuming it, you are implicated in that violence

            I don’t see how that’s true in general. Few people actually pay for it, and I’d argue that those selling child pornography aren’t just doing it for the money; they’d probably be doing it anyway. People in it for the money usually stick to producing legal porn. But for the majority who obtain the pictures anonymously without paying or without any interaction with the producers (like the vast majority of Internet porn is obtained), it’s hard to argue that they’re facilitating it. How does merely downloading a video over Bittorrent or Freenet harm anyone? We also don’t accept such an argument for any other crimes: movies, fictional or real, depicting murder, (adult) rape, robbery, animal cruelty, and other heinous crimes are legal to download, while even a line drawing of nonexistent naked children is prosecuted harshly. It seems to me that it’s just a taboo “because kids”.

            • BJ
              Posted May 13, 2017 at 6:06 am | Permalink

              …while even a line drawing of nonexistent naked children is prosecuted harshly.”

              First, just let me get this out of the way: you can draw whatever you want in the US, and it’s for precisely the reason I outlined with regard to why child pornography involving real people isn’t seen as free speech (drawing nonexistent people is considered free speech).

              You may have some interesting points to debate on the philosophical end of whether or not the end consumer actually promotes the harm committed to make the video, but it’s really just a philosophical point. If we drew the line at “you have to be directly involved in paying the person who made it,” we’d be leaving out quite a bit of what drives the market (infamy, selling to third-handers, etc.). Most of all, child pornography usually involves children, as that is the most lucrative kind.

              I’m not sure, beyond all this, what your argument is with what I said, but regardless, drawing the line of harm where you suggested would leave out many of the people driving that harm.

              • Adam M.
                Posted May 13, 2017 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

                Well, I’ll point to the cases of Dwight Whorley, sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for possessing pornographic Japanese manga; Chris Handley, a comic collector who had some pornographic comics and faced 15-20 years imprisonment, but pled down to a lesser jail term; and Christopher Bee, jailed for having “incest comics”.

                Maybe you can technically draw anything you want, but if you send such drawings to anybody or receive them from anybody, you can face prosecution under the PROTECT Act, which prohibits “a visual depiction of any kind, including a drawing, cartoon, sculpture or painting” of sex with or between minors that’s judged to lack “serious” artistic, literary, etc. value. I don’t see how that protects real children, and the argument that it some kind of gateway activity that will lead to kids being raped seems really stretched (and unevidenced).

      • Craw
        Posted May 12, 2017 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

        The problem is too many “chicken hawks”? So it would better if we had more left wing thugs out and about actually beating people?

        • Harrison
          Posted May 12, 2017 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

          No, that’s ridiculous.

          Did you think Democrats criticizing Republican chickenhawks during the Bush administration were in favor of MORE war?

          The charge is hypocrisy in service of a bad cause. That should be plainly obvious.

  6. Posted May 12, 2017 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    The Left certainly needs to rethink violence.

    For instance, displays or wrongthink in feminist philosophy magazines AREN’T violence.

    You have a choice. Do you want to be mollycoddled in a safe space or do you want to get gangsta with someone who is legally justified in shooting you in the face in a stand your ground state?

  7. Posted May 12, 2017 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    I’d have thought asking ‘who is the most unsafe here?’ is a reason for NOT escalating violence.

    Good luck throwing bottles at gun nuts.

  8. Pliny the in Between
    Posted May 12, 2017 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Sadly, this mornings panel seems more and more appropriate

    http://farcornercafe.blogspot.com/2017/05/qpf-defined.html

    So long and thanks for all the fish

  9. Randy C Treibel
    Posted May 12, 2017 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    I went to a Milo talk and i bet 0 white supremacists. It’s a strawman statement

    • Randy C Treibel
      Posted May 12, 2017 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      I went to a Milo talk and i met 0 white supremacists. It’s a strawman statement

  10. Posted May 12, 2017 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    … or is it the trans, undocumented student whose life will be made a living hell when they’re outed to a room of 900 white supremacists?

    This is “alternative facts”. The trans student was not “outed”. They had appeared (with face shown and name stated) in an interview with a local TV station advocating trans rights. Milo used nothing that was not already public, and indeed this person was already well known in the university owing to their activism.

    The “900 white supremacists” also sounds like “alt facts”.

    • Taz
      Posted May 12, 2017 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

      It’s become the sacred example that will be brought up over and over again to “prove” that right-wing speakers make entire campuses unsafe. Similar to how Ayaan Hirsi Ali will always be completely defined by that one sentence in an old interview.

    • Kiwi Dave
      Posted May 12, 2017 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

      Likewise, ‘Trayvon Martin was killed for walking in a gated community’ is such a massive distortion of what actually happened that you wonder what else she has misrepresented.

  11. Tom
    Posted May 12, 2017 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    From across the pond ending oppression in America seems a lost cause as everybody from the White House down seems to be complaining that they are the oppressed

  12. Posted May 12, 2017 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    I must be overly sensitive today as this brought to mind the May Day March in Portland, OR which, after it became became violent, was designated a riot by the police department and no longer a legal march. I was in Portland on the 10th and there was still plywood covering broken windows on storefronts. Distruction of private property is not effective in producing change. Breaking storefront windows and setting fires, as was done in Portland, reminds me of the bank robberies and murder by the SLA
    (Symbionese Liberation Army) in the 70s.
    The cities are made up of citizens that are harmed by these kinds of actions.

    Following is an internet source of a letter to the Oregonian against the actions of the City of Portland and the Police Department:

    https://itsgoingdown.org/portland-may-day-response-oregonian/

    • Posted May 12, 2017 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

      “Destruction” – sorry for the typo.

    • Paul S
      Posted May 12, 2017 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      From the article: “minor corporate property destruction”
      This is where the protesters lose my sympathy. That statement is intended to exculpate violent behavior, because reasons.
      As with Tran, once you commit to violent acts, you cannot excuse yourself from responsibility of the consequences. You don’t get to blame the response while downplaying your involvement.
      Did the police overreact, very probably. Would they have without the initial violence? I don’t know.

      • Taz
        Posted May 12, 2017 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

        From the same sentence: “and threw some harmless smoke toys within the crowd”.

        Whoever wrote this is a disingenuous asshole.

  13. Posted May 12, 2017 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Where would there ever be “900 white supremacists”? When the hell would that ever happen?

  14. Darren Garrison
    Posted May 12, 2017 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    There appears to currently be an effort to broaden the definition of violence. I recently read where a copyeditor of a book changing the pronoun “they” was committing “an act of violence.” Yes. Copyediting. Violence.

    Link:

    http://www.pretty-terrible.com/failures-of-empathy/

  15. Nobody Special
    Posted May 12, 2017 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    Off on a slight tangent here but in the part about who is least safe I couldn’t help but notice the ‘white person…..Black men’. I’ve seen it used elsewhere but have never seen the difference explained beyond claims basically saying that Black is a proper noun when referring to people but white isn’t. Why not? It just isn’t, so shut up, you racist.

    • fizziks
      Posted May 12, 2017 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

      Also, it has been pointed out to me, and it is entirely true, that SJW and leftist publications and blogs will refer to “black men” but never “white men” (regardless of capitalization). They only refer to whites as “white people” or even sometimes “white boys” if men under 30. As far as they are concerned, whites can be ‘people’ or ‘boys’ but never men.

  16. DrBrydon
    Posted May 12, 2017 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    Tran fails to explain what it is about current conditions that requires violence. She also seems to fail to appreciate the inestimable value of civil peace. Of course, there is a brand of revolutionary theory that says meaningful change can only come through violence. They never have addressed the issue of putting Humpty Dumpty together again.

  17. Don Mackay
    Posted May 12, 2017 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    Things are getting a bit serious above, so in a lighter vein, and reminded of this by your use of listicle in line one: I taught science for many years and there was often the need for a short revision test, usually based on homework. So I would announce to the class (of boys, in those days), ‘OK chaps, close your texts, time for a testicle’.
    Which of course begged the question…..(I’m not fishing for answers, thanks!)

  18. fizziks
    Posted May 12, 2017 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    There are serious questions about whether Everyday Feminism is sincere or an elaborate parody site. This is far from the most ridiculous thing they’ve published.

  19. Graham
    Posted May 13, 2017 at 4:07 am | Permalink

    I was once physically assaulted by someone who claimed to be both a Quaker and a practitioner of Marshall Rosenberg’s ‘Non-Violent Communication’. When I asked her why she felt justified in hitting me her answer was that I had shouted at her, which is violence, and the only difference between my violence and hers is that mine is socially sanctioned and hers is not.

  20. Bruce Gorton
    Posted May 13, 2017 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    Clicked on the link, got a whole thing saying “Save Everyday Feminism”.

    I’d rather not.

  21. Posted May 13, 2017 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    “Well, civil disobedience needn’t always be disruptive of people’s activities, simply of their sentiments, as in lunch counter sit-ins.”

    Actually, a sit-in at a lunch counter DOES disrupt other people’s activities. If those seats are taken, then other people can’t sit. They may be able to order food (and scream profanities), but fundamentally they are stopped from performing the action of sitting in that chair (without a chair-mate, obviously, as someone could choose to sit on a protestor). There are no forms of peaceful protest that don’t disrupt the activities/lives of other people (would you protest in an empty field that no one enters?), even if it just means that the public has to see, hear, and/or walk around or through protestors.

    As for this quasi argument in favor of some obscure form of violence, calling it an example of the stupidity of the “regressive left” is unhelpful. What you should call it is “hate speech” and leave off the lefts (and the rights).

    I only started to follow this blog because the title is ” Why Evolution is True” and I actually EXPECTED that there would be regular postings on science about evolution and refutations of Creationism. Instead all I see are numerous posts about the “regressive left”, which sound increasingly like a program for Fox News.

    Would you ever dare complain about the “regressive right”? Even as you complain about ” supposed to be neutral ” institutions (NPR) daring to employ religious individuals, I have not seen you actually discuss the way the Religious Right really DOES want a new world order of controlled thought.

    Your fight, I assume, for libertarianism is incredibly unbalanced when you attack the left for opposing real and/or perceived oppression while giving those who are constantly calling to legalize discrimination get a free pass!

    Ironically, I think discrimination SHOULD be legal because I cringe at the idea of government mandating actions and ideas, HOWEVER it is essential that we inclusive individuals call out those who do discriminate as the assholes that they truly are! We need to boycott bakeries who refuse to serve LGBTQ people because treating anyone as less than a full individual is asshole behavior. By attacking ONLY those who’s goal is to force equality, you are only telling half the story–you need to spend more time in the real world where discrimination does exist, instead of trying to claim that the radical left is “making all this shit up”.

    But anyway, I’ll be unfollowing this blog due to its false advertising, not it’s content. I was looking for a science blog, not anti-left rants. For those, I read Fox News, the Christian Post, and, most atrociously, the daily newsletter from the American Family Association. All of which get regular skewering on my Facebook page (out of habit–I need to teach myself to post these skewerings to WordPress).

  22. Posted May 13, 2017 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Great post and commentary. What I always found most intriguing about the so-called “social justice warriors” is not their views. There’s no shortage of opinion from eccentric to not even wrong.

    I’m most amazed by their utterly blatant doublestandards to virtually anything, which is also folded in n-dimensions: It’s Okay When They Do It(TM), even physical harm and violence. But you? You cannot tweet without it being considered violence and “literally” taking away the humanity of somebody — your opinion was something like “gender isn’t a spectrum”.

    SJWs want to say anything, anywhere, unchallenged, but want other people’s platforms refused to them. They think of themselves as the kindest, most empathic people but in reality you found comment sections on certain atheist blogs that were the most hatefilled, nastiest, and extremest the internet has ever produced. YouTube’s can be offensive, disagreeable, noisy, but they aren’t massive dogpiling, personalized attacks and wishing a hapless invididual would go away to preferably die.

    And this pattern produces quickly a self-similarity on any level you look at. From individual behaviours, actions and manners, up to how communities or “movements” are organized. From what is being held as good standard to what you see put to practice. It begins in the informal, and continues all the way to “theory” (so-called, usually rooted in postmodernism). Even scholary work follows the warped path of “social justice warrior” mindset, e.g. intersectionality means two contradictory things. Crenshaw was a hero for pointing out how “black women” are overlooked and fall between the cracks of antiracism and feminism, Richard Dawkins was viciously attacked for commenting something similar regarding a “dear muslima”.

    Many got away thinking this whole thing, intersectionality, woke culture, 4th wave feminism, social justice warriorism, regressive left (it’s not all the same, though) is a form of either mental illness, extreme tribalism or partisan mindset, or a overall, a kind of religion — which has been described also in terms of the former two.

    I am still most amazed that none of the people associated with this movement, supposedly functional members of society, never stop and wonder out loud about their extreme doublestandards.

    • Samedi
      Posted May 13, 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      I think you raise an interesting question about the characterization of Intersectionalism. I view it more as an extremist political movement than a “religion”. We have plenty of examples from the 20th century of other political movements behaving like this.

      On the other hand, the distinction between fanatical religious belief and fanatical political belief isn’t that clear. My guess is that they both spring from similar underlying psychological mechanisms, probably the tendency towards fanaticism, especially group fanaticism.

      Perhaps psychologists on this forum can comment on the psychology of group fanaticism?

      • Posted May 13, 2017 at 11:07 am | Permalink

        This is a view commonly associated with Émile Durkheim, one of the founders of social science, which is how “holy” ideas/items foster groups, which impose taboos and rules, and which are a tool to discrimminate against freeloaders and outgroupers. The former are discouraged because adhering to the rules is made costly, the latter serve as the “other”, the background and contrast to consolidate the own group as different (and, of course, better).

        Another way of going about this is by the psychology of the authoritarian mindset. See for example, a review posted on this blog site: Guest post: Linda Calhoun reviews “The Authoritarians”, which observed:

        [Altemeyer] describes the lack of logic in their thinking; when they like the conclusion, how that conclusion was arrived at is irrelevant. When they like the behaver, the behavior is acceptable; when they dislike the behaver, the behavior is not.

        He then goes on to describe high Social Dominators. These people want power, and they don’t much care how they get it. “The end justifies the means” is their guiding principle.

  23. pablo
    Posted May 13, 2017 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know the name of the person who first said it, but years ago he/she referred to Salon.com as: “Where speech is violence and violence is speech.” That seems to be becoming the norm.

  24. Alex Gee
    Posted May 14, 2017 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    This is nothing new in the UK these brain dead thugs have been conducting campaigns of violence and intimidation to shut down debate on UK university campus for some years; They seem to particularly target Jews?.

    One of these moronic thugs even managed to get herself elected as president of the National Union of Students.

    Although she’s recently been deposed, a large number of her fellow cretins still infest the NUS and university life in the UK.

    The vast majority appear to come from cultures where the enlightenment is something that happens when you press a light switch

    What’s also appalling is that cowardly university faculty have so far folded in the face of their intimidation. Thereby making the problem far worse! A large number of faculty even share their views.

  25. TJR
    Posted May 15, 2017 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    “I used to thing it was our politics, not how we treat people, that tells us who we are. I was wrong.”

    – Darren Hayman


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