Thursday, December 15, 2016

Freddie deBoer Slams the Condescending, Certain, and Incoherent Left

He's a great writer.

He's far left, but usually honest about his ideological tendencies. At least as far as I can remember. The main strike against him is he used to blog with E.D. Kain at the League of Ordinary Gentlemen, a stupid blog that's still in operation, it turns out.

In any case, here's Freddie, "condescending, certain, and incoherent":
I’ve been asking my friends on the academic left what rights conservative students have, in an era of a university culture obsessed with trauma. Two things are broadly true: one, they think that it’s ridiculous to suggest that there’s any reason to worry about what conservative students can and can’t say – there’s no questions here, no conflicts, nothing even to discuss. Two, despite the mutuality of this dismissal, no two of them have the same idea about what answers are stunningly obvious, only that they are. I am told that of course students can support Trump and say so, but that “Make America Great Again” is hate speech, despite simply being the slogan of the campaign that they just said students have the right to support. They say that it’s not permissible for students to identify with the alt-right, which is a hate group, but it’s fine for them to be plain-vanilla conservatives, despite the fact that the latter group has indisputably done vastly more to harm marginalized people than the former.

What are the rules? I don’t know, and I’m ensconced firmly in these debates. I harp on civil liberties and free speech a lot because, yes, I think they’re worth defending and that the traditional association between leftist politics and support for them was substantively correct on political theory grounds. But also because they’re a perfect example of the holes in current left theory. When does someone’s trauma outweigh the right of another to speak? Who can say what, in which contexts, when? I have no idea what people think the answers are. I just know that they think the question is so obvious as to not be worth asking. It’s an inverse argument from incredulity, not “I can’t believe you could possibly think that” but “I can’t believe you don’t already.”
As they say, RTWT.