Bill Maher on distinctions of badness

Not long ago I wrote about the demonization of Matt Damon because he said these words:

“I do believe that there’s a spectrum of behavior,” he said. “And we’re going to have to figure out — you know, there’s a difference between, you know, patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation, right? Both of those behaviors need to be confronted and eradicated without question, but they shouldn’t be conflated, right?”

“All of that behavior needs to be confronted, but there is a continuum. And on this end of the continuum where you have rape and child molestation or whatever, you know, that’s prison. Right? And that’s what needs to happen. OK? And then we can talk about rehabilitation and everything else. That’s criminal behavior, and it needs to be dealt with that way. The other stuff is just kind of shameful and gross.”

There’s not much to disagree with here, but Damon was attacked and chastised until he was forced to apologize and grovel, noting that he should have kept his mouth shut. No, he shouldn’t have.  Yes, nobody should have to endure unwanted sexual behavior, but not all of it is equal in its odiousness and harmfulness. Yet the attacks on Damon implied, more or less, that all such behavior is equal, and those who say otherwise are saying something bad or untrue. Why are we (and by “we”, I mean Leftists) suddenly supposed to be blind to meaningful distinctions? Is that supposed to be a tacit form of rape apologetics? It surely isn’t!

Bill Maher, another supporter of the #MeToo movement, had a comedic rant about “the distinction deniers” on his show the other day. I believe the bald bearded guy is Andrew Sullivan.


  1. Rasmo Carenna
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    It is Andrew Sullivan indeed. Maher was right on point. I have always been frustrated by that inability to grasp the most elementary logic:
    if you say “A is bad. B is worse than A”, it doesn’t follow that you are saying A is good or defending it. But these are troubled times for logic. Maybe logic is just another instrument of white patriarchy, who knows…

  2. Craw
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Why? Virtue signalling. Anyone can understand that rape is bad, it takes a refined soul to appreciate the a shoulder pat can be just as harrowing. Both after all are nothing but expressions of the patriarchy.

    [PLease note: these are imputed thoughts that I am ridiculing.]

  3. Posted January 25, 2018 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    I was going to write a quick, snarky, little snippet of Pascal to demonstrate the lack of introspection in regards to today’s evils. But it rapidly grew into something complicated.

    If somehow everyone that even posited an argument was forced to “play chess” as a metaphor for that argument, I believe the floor would be littered with pieces because of the second or third move blunders committed time and time again.

  4. Randy Bessinger
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Why does the left keep shooting itself in the foot and delivering the right a get out of jail free card. Sad really. All sexual harrassment is bad but to deny degrees is ludicrous.

  5. Randall Schenck
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    It is the wrong conversation because it doesn’t say anything that isn’t self evident. If I wanted to have a conversation with the world about just how much temperature change had human cause there would be a wave of just how much, opinion from 0 to 99 percent. Then some thinking person would step in and say, how much is in dispute but that we need to do something about it is not.

    • mikeyc
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      You’re right that it is (or ought to be) self-evident but having the conversation can be helpful in reminding us that real live people are harmed by failing to make the distinctions, especially when it is clear that many of those most vocal about the issue act as if there aren’t any.
      This is more than rhetoric and online arguments as real lives are being harmed. Some deserve it but others don’t. Failing to make those distinctions will, ultimately, undermine the movement because people are generally not stupid and can see that Maher and Damon are correct.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted January 25, 2018 at 9:59 am | Permalink

        But you are correct, Maher and Damon are correct. Nowhere did I say different. I say just about everyone of common sense knows the distinctions without some celebrity to tell us or some Comedian to do 6 minutes on his show entertaining us with the obvious. I hear no one say what to do about it. You know why this is…because they are lost in this other conversation and they either do not know or don’t really give a damn.

        • mikeyc
          Posted January 25, 2018 at 10:13 am | Permalink

          You hear no one saying what to do about it? I’m not sure what you mean.

          • Randall Schenck
            Posted January 25, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink

            Do you not understand the difference between stating the obvious and moving on to do something productive about the problem. You seem to think the problem is that some guy is going to get wrongfully convicted? Well, that happens in the court of law and opinion. If you do not recognize sexual harassment as a big problem in the work force I think we are finished talking here. Just in case you do care, take a look at the recent (yesterday) sentencing of the Olympic Doctor. Also notice the Head of Michigan State University is going out. For years 156 girls were molested by this guy. Do you want to talk about the degrees on each one or what.

            • Posted January 25, 2018 at 11:16 am | Permalink

              You know Randall, your rhetoric to me doesn’t help my mood in responding to you. Where in the world did you get the idea that I don’t “understand the difference between stating the obvious and moving on to do something productive about the problem.”? A charitable reading of other’s comments is a virtue, not a character flaw.

              Anyway, to this;

              “You seem to think the problem is that some guy is going to get wrongfully convicted?”

              I say, absolutely I do. For the very same reason I believe in an important underpinning of our legal system; it is better that a hundred guilty go free than one innocent be imprisoned.

              What if it were you wrongfully accused, or you did do something that someone interpreted as harassment but was just you being friendly and clumsy, and as a consequence you are pilloried in public and you lose your job. I think you might obtain a different perspective on this issue then.

              • Randall Schenck
                Posted January 25, 2018 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

                I say we are talking way past each other and are not on the same wave length at all. I said you seem to be concerned with all the poor guys out there who are being crushed by false accusations. I say that is minimal and many more who get away with it verses a false accusation. Is that too hard for you to understand. How many did this Wiesman victimize before he was caught. How many did Cosby assault before he was even found out – the statute of limitations lets him off free.

                How many did this doctor molest (156) before they got him. You and I are going our separate ways on this so just suck it up. Try to pretend you are a women in the work place being sexually harassed by one or more guys. Then explain to me what action she can take to get it stopped. Remember she works for them and needs the job. If her company has no system in place, and most do not, she is screwed.

            • Alpha Neil
              Posted January 25, 2018 at 11:26 am | Permalink

              “Do you not understand the difference between stating the obvious and moving on to do something productive about the problem.”

              Who says we can’t do both? It seems to me that you have to.

        • Posted January 25, 2018 at 11:23 am | Permalink

          I say just about everyone of common sense knows the distinctions without some celebrity to tell us or some Comedian to do 6 minutes on his show entertaining us with the obvious.

          The trouble is that a lot of people don’t have common sense. Why is it that people didn’t say “yes we knew that, let’s move on” in response to Damon? Why was the attack on him so intense that he had to make a grovelling apology for stating what we here all agree is a true fact?

          And it’s rubbish to say nobody talks about what to do about it. |When the allegations against Al Franken became public, did everybody run around in circles wailing that they didn’t know what to do about it? No, they called for his resignation and he duly obliged.

          • nicky
            Posted January 25, 2018 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

            Sad, indeed.

      • Posted January 25, 2018 at 10:18 am | Permalink

        But it’s not about correctness it’s about the Expansion of the combat zone, it is about the possibility of dominance of public space, the dominance of public discussion, the demonstration of utter virtue – and all this can only be achieved by leveling all differences and negation of differences. The black hole of the forbidden is getting bigger and bigger and his mighty power is tearing more and more away from the edges. Groping or raping the difference does not matter any more, it is treated as it would be the same. And why are the deneirs acting that way? They pretend to do the right in sake for the good of the society, but what drives them forward is the will to get access to the scarce resource of public attention and to exercise power.

        • mikeyc
          Posted January 25, 2018 at 10:28 am | Permalink

          I have little doubt that many are motivated in the way you characterize it. However many others are not, but get swept up in the righteousness of the cause and Maher is voicing the concerns of many. We need to keep in mind the distinctions Damon point out so that those who truly deserve the opprobrium and damage to their lives get it but those who are clumsy, socially inept or (heaven forfend) downright innocent get treatment appropriate and proportional to the “crime”.

          A murderer deserves a long jail sentence, a jay-walker should get a fine.

          • Posted January 25, 2018 at 10:45 am | Permalink

            You are probably more willing to see the good in people and think that they are driven by noble motives. I do not believe in that. Distinction deniers are driven by the motivation to rule the public opinion and by this to get influence and some kind of power that you would never get by accepting that there are differences.

    • Posted January 25, 2018 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      When people like Minnie Driver and Kirsten Gillibrand respond as they did, they are not treating Matt Damon’s distinction as self-evident. They want to keep the conversation on [their] point. They believe that, once we start looking at gradations of such crimes, it is just a step onto a long, slippery slope. Unfortunately, people are being punished for these crimes and that requires we look at the gradations.

    • Posted January 25, 2018 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      What we do about climate change depends on the degree. If the degree is zero what should we do about it?

    • Vaal
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 12:18 pm | Permalink


      You keep arguing that the distinctions Damon made are recognized as “obvious” by all the relevant parties.

      That’s just not the case, and it’s the reason why he made the remarks in the first place.

      We have been facing the problem, detailed on WEIT and all over the net, of “concept creep” by the left and those who want to defend feminism/transgender rights, etc (good things to defend!).

      This is what people like Jonathan Haidt and Jordan Peterson are rightly on about: the way traditional, reasonable lines are being blurred by the reach making everyone a victim, and if anyone objects or wishes to talk in nuance, they are castigate for “not being on the team” or “being part of the problem.” And one of the tools for this has been the ever expanding creep of words like “abuse, violence, trans-phobic, misogynistic, hateful” etc.

      This was demonstrated perfectly, for instance, when Jordan Peterson was part of a panel discussing “Genders, Rights and Freedom of Speech” on the CBC. For simply rejecting the idea of being commanded by law to use particular gender pronouns, and even questioning the wisdom of changing the language in that way, the Transgender Studies Professor on the panel described such a stance as trans-phobic, violence, abuse and a form of “hate speech.”

      This is a VERY SINISTER way of eroding important distinctions, with the result of putting people in the “heretic/enemy” box.

      Various feminists and actresses reacted by essentially saying Damon as a man was in no position to delineate the differences between a grope or a rape. “They all hurt!”

      And they accused his line of reasoning as “excusing” people like Louis CK, or guys who grope, “because, hey, it’s not as bad as raping.”

      This is all exactly the elimination of nuance that is worrying. Damon didn’t make any excuse for either, saying both need to be confronted and eradicated. He was saying essentially “we should still keep in mind the spectrum when we are throwing people under the buss for their behavior.”

      And just for voicing that reasonable concern…feminists rose up and wanted to THROW DAMON’s career under the bus! Calls for boycotts of his movie, the whole shebang!

      And of course, we now have instances like the Aziz Ansari phenomenon, some thinking that a “bad date” is just as worthy of ending or endangering a man’s career than if he were a rapist.

      But many supporting feminism musn’t have anyone else enunciating nuance; you are either with us towing the party line exactly as we are dictating it, or you are against us.

      And this is not good for anyone, feminists included.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted January 25, 2018 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

        Vaal – read what I said without the assumptions. I did not say the distinctions are recognized by all parties. If you believe I said that, you are making stuff up. I am, in so many words, saying those would want to make the distinctions are wasting my time and I don’t care about that part of the argument. Why spend a bunch of time wringing your hands with some one so dumb, they don’t know the difference between butt slapping and rap. It is a childish argument.

        As I have said on this site many times, I am interested in fixing the sexual harassment problems, not wasting my time arguing with those who don’t know what it is and want to do nothing but make distinctions.

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted January 25, 2018 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

          should say “rape”

          • Posted January 25, 2018 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

            “Why spend a bunch of time wringing your hands with some one so dumb, they don’t know the difference between butt slapping and rap”

            Indeed. So I take it you won’t be supporting the “Gillibrand 2020” campaign?

            BTW, the typo is kinda funny if you take it out of context.

        • Vaal
          Posted January 26, 2018 at 9:44 am | Permalink


          That’s like asking “Why bother worrying about those “dumb” people who are conflating “not using a specific gender pronoun with “violence, abuse and hate speech?”

          It’s a real thing that is happening, it matters, and has real consequences.

          The idea that one is with the woman’s movement ONLY to the degree one toes exactly the same ideological or semantic line, and is to be castigated otherwise, is a real thing. It’s the same in/out grouping that’s part of the problem of identity politics, where even speaking of nuance puts out on the outside. It’s bad for feminism, bad for everyone.

          I first noticed this when people like Sam Harris were being condemned as misogynists.
          The line for “purity testing” on the issue had been drawn so tight, and the creep of the word “misogynist” was so overt, that it had effects on readers like myself “Wait, I truly, deeply support equality for women…but if THIS level of critique is going to become the norm, then feminism seems more headed to a PZ Meyers/Pharyngula type implosion/backlash of purity testing, and that really doesn’t seem to be a good thing.”

          And sure enough…this we see this already starting to happen – both the “with us or against us” mindset and the backlash.

          We really can walk and chew gum at the same time, acknowledging the absolute need to ensure the equality of woman and working to educate more men about unacceptably boorish (and illegal) behavior. But also we need to be able to speak with nuance and actually allow for some disagreement without casting someone who truly shares our goal as one of the enemy, should he not agree on every point.

          • Vaal
            Posted January 26, 2018 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

            I should point out in case it’s not clear that I don’t mean to reference “all feminists” are falling into the pattern I was referencing. I’m only referring to the ones who do. I’ve seen plenty of comments by women on-line who identify as feminists who haven’t fallen into this concept creep or strict ideological dividing, and who bring wonderful nuance to the discussion. (And that includes my wife and a number of other women with whom I’ve discussed these issues).

    • Pliny the in Between
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      Randall, In listening to my wife’s, daughter’s and assorted women friends of ours I think a pattern emerged that has changed my thinking on this. Every one of these women and every woman they know has experienced workplace gender bias. Every one has experienced sexual harassment. At least 1 in 3 has experienced unwanted physical contact of a sexual nature. 1 in 5 had been stalked to such a degree that they had approached the police. 1 in 10 admitted to having experienced sexual assault. Every one of them easily recognizes the distinctions and various levels of severity among these categories. Every one of them considers each category part of a larger continuum of challenges faced by women every day.

      Every one of these women rolled their eyes at the Mimi Driver comment.

      They also rolled their eyes at the Captain Obvious Matt Damon comment. When I asked, they told me that it seemed like a typical case of defensive mansplaining that is equivalent to when some white people responded to the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement with shouts of all lives matter. Of course the white lives matter response suggested that the white people saying it had missed the whole message – Black Lives Matter TOO.

      My impression after listening to them was that they saw the MeToo Movement as the latest wake up call to the extent of a systemic problem plaguing 50% of us. Hard as it is to hear it, I’m trying to keep my ears open and just listen. And thinking about ways I might have been contributing to the problem so I can fix that too.

      (note: not trying to mansplain my self, just sharing some conversations from people who don’t frequent this site)

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted January 25, 2018 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

        That is very good. All I can say is keep listening to those women in your family. And also think of practical and workable ways to put systems in the workplace that will a
        effectively deal with the sexual harassment problem. They do exist, I know because I have seen them.

  6. Martin Stubbs
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Great stuff but wasn’t this already posted on this site on January 20th?

    • Geoff Toscano
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      I knew I’d seen it before! Worth repeating.

  7. Daniel Engblom
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Dawkins had exactly the same problem a few years ago, trying to argue on twitter and in public about the simple logic of something being worse or better and trying to get people to see shades and not just black or white.
    Also I think he got again into trouble with his memoir, talking about an uncomfortable experience he had with a groping priest or something as a child, but not wanting to equate his experience with someone who would have had it worse, like actual rape, and for that again people saw Dawkins being in the wrong.

    • Historian
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      People who feel passionate about an issue often do not think logically about it. It would be nice if people could set aside their emotions and discuss rationally a topic of concern. Unfortunately, this often does not happen and I see no solution for this situation.

  8. George
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    PCC(e) will have fun commenting on this. Luigi Zingales, a professor at the Booth School of Business, invited Steve Bannon to speak on campus.

    The University of Chicago issued this statement:

    The protesters are already out –

    • Posted January 25, 2018 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      Oy! Had I known this, I would have headed over to the Business School to see the fracas! I hope the University stands by its doctrine of punishing those students who attempt to block a talk by violating University Regulations.

    • Historian
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      Here is the gist of the protestors’ argument against letting Bannon speak on campus:

      “His presence on campus sends a clear message that the administration cares more about ‘freedom of expression’ than the lives and well-being of students, faculty, staff, and Hyde Park residents.”

      Apparently, there is no explanation as to why his talk would negatively impact the groups cited. What underlies this statement is a contempt for those people who somehow could be “infected” by Bannon’s speech – a true Little People argument. The statement implies that the listeners to the speech lack the ability to evaluate it and would therefore accept what Bannon might say. In reality, hearing the speech may convince the listeners that Bannon is a right-wing white nationalist and his views are worth only total rejection.

    • Historian
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      Let me present a case study of how to effectively protest a speaker with repugnant views. Back in the 1960s, when I was attending the City College of New York, a group had invited to speak Ross Barnett, segregationist governor of Mississippi. His speech was held in a very large hall, seating several thousand as I recall. I wanted to hear the speech, but I got there too late because the hall was already filled to capacity. By the doors to the hall, a small group of Marxists attempted to disrupt the speech by rattling them. However, they were ineffective in their efforts. Barnett gave his speech. As far I recall, there were no disruptions of the speech as I was told by a friend afterwards. However, when the speech was concluded, virtually the entire audience rose to their feet and sang “We Shall Overcome.” Now, that’s the way to protest!

      • Craw
        Posted January 25, 2018 at 12:57 pm | Permalink


        I watched recently some footage of similar stuff from the 60s, when I was a wee bairn. It was impossible not to be impressed by the audiences, seriously listening even to the worst speakers (and Ross Barnett is about as bad as they come.) Listening does not imply agreement!

  9. another fred
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    These days we just go from one emergency to the next.

    I think people have a sense of impending doom and and that results in a heightened sensitivity.

    “…full of passionate intensity.”

    It’s going to be a long century for you young folks.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      Well, as a fella name o’ Yeats observed at just about the same point during the last century, “The best lack all conviction, while the worst/Are full of passionate intensity.”

  10. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Well, I still think MD said a perfectly true thing at the wrong time and place.
    The moment of catharsis is not a courtroom. The other MD (Minnie Driver) was talking about pain not punishment!! She’s not making an observation about the scales of justice- she’s making a visceral observation about feelings of being trapped, helpless, and uncertain about what’s happening next. I don’t think Damon was trying to adjucicate that, but Maher seems to be.
    Schitte is different from Shinola but they may be equally painful to many to attempt to eat.

    • Posted January 25, 2018 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      “She’s not making an observation about the scales of justice- she’s making a visceral observation about feelings of being trapped, helpless, and uncertain about what’s happening next.”

      A good point, well said.

  11. Posted January 25, 2018 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    One of Bill Maher’s best closing monologues, perhaps the result of being off for a couple of months. He also has “After Hours” chats with his guests after the HBO show finishes. These are on YouTube and sometimes are really, really good.

  12. Richard Bond
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    What is so depressing about political commentary these days in the USA, is that comedians (John Oliver, Seth Meyer, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, Samantha Bee) are so much more perceptive that supposedly serious journalists (Charles Pierce excepted).

    • Craw
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      I disagree. Did you see the Cathy Newman interview with Jordan Peterson? What Oliver, and Bee, and before them Stewart, do is no different from what Newman did, except she had the guts to do a live interview. The point of this post, the inability to make sensible distinctions, is part of the erosion of debate, and Stewart, Oliver, and the rest are some of the worst culprits in the process.

      • Posted January 25, 2018 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

        Care to elaborate on some of the cases where Stewart or Oliver have failed to make “sensible distinctions”? I’m not saying they are perfect. They will certainly twist things a bit for a laugh but I believe the audience knows which bits are intended to be truth and which are for comedic effect.

      • Posted January 25, 2018 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

        One key difference though. Stewart, Oliver Bee et al, were making jokes, Newman was dead serious.

        I agree that the comedians share responsibility for the coarsening of public debate, but sometimes humor is appropriate and helpful and the ones mentioned are very good at it.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted January 25, 2018 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

          They are very good at it, but they aren’t coarsening public debate. Foul language is a privilege earned by raising public debate if you’re deft and funny enough (see Carlin, George). The guy coarsening public discourse is the one who mocks the handicapped, expresses revulsion at women’s bleeding wherevers, and brags about the size of his peter in public.

          • Posted January 25, 2018 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

            You’re right, of course, about the mockers you cite but those comedians also mock. They mock approved(tm) targets, so I guess they’re in the clear.

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted January 25, 2018 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

              I’m open to humor from any quarter, toward any target. It’s just that there don’t seem to be as many truly funny folk on the Right — though P.J. O’Rourke usually gets a laugh outta me. 🙂

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted January 25, 2018 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      Oh, I think humorists have been more perceptive than serious commentators since the days of Twain and Mencken and Will Rogers (and probably going back to the days of Aristophanes).

  13. DrBrydon
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    . . . shit is measurably, chemically, different than Shinola . . . .

    You’ll always get a smile out of me with a Shinola joke. Maher is, of course, correct. There are degrees of offense, damage, and injury. The zero tolerance attitude is, I think, for the most part a political trope that makes it very easy to damn opponents, and put them in an Untouchable category. Of course, in Franken’s case it backfired on the #MeCarthyists (nice one, Maher). We see it in play in “discussions” (there is no discussion) of gender identities and racism, too. Obviously, telling a Polish joke is not the same as being Hitler.

  14. SweetPeavey
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    I got confused for a second because I was sure I saw the Maher clip on this blog a few days ago and seeing it posted again, thought I was losing my mind until I looked and found it. I’m not sure why it’s been posted twice but I still think it’s bang on, and I usually find Maher annoying and smug.

    Someone asked why it should be that Maher and others would feel compelled to base a segment on what should be self evident common sense, and to them I would say that if it were self evident, than Matt Damon and others wouldn’t have to eat shit on Twitter when they bring it up

  15. Pablo
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    To the regressives gender is a spectrum, but sexual assault is binary.

  16. J. Quinton
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    What really bothers me about this is that it implies that men cannot have an opinion about rape and sexual assault. Who gave Minnie Driver divine authority (heh) to silence Matt Damon? Is it only because she’s a woman?

    What about men who have been raped or sexually assaulted? Is it impossible for them to have perspective on what it’s like to be assaulted in that way? Are people like Minnie Driver implicitly defining rape/sexual assault as something that only happens to a woman, and something that only a man can do?

    If so… what a disgusting and hateful ideology. People who think like that don’t want equality. They want their turn with the whip.

    • Posted January 25, 2018 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      “Is it only because she’s a woman?”


  17. Jon Gallant
    Posted January 25, 2018 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    J. Quinton posted: ” People who think like that don’t want equality. They want their turn with the whip.”

    That is a perfect characterization of the attitude underlying the “regressive Left”, from Leninismo to Madurismo, not to mention feminismo and all the small-time diktats under discussion here.

    What depresses me, after 6 decades of looking for something else on the Left, is the perfect replicability of these attitudes, generation after generation, in one context after another. Yes, I know we commend ourselves as the anti-regressive Left—but this always seems to be such a minority position as to qualify as an eccentricity.

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