2020/02/18

CLs and FSWs

Nick J Fuentes Police - Chris Emerson
Art by Chris Emerson

The great Ethan Ralph takes to his venerable blog once more to decry YouTube's censoring of rising Paleocon star Nick J. Fuentes.
The banning of Nick Fuentes from YouTube is generating a great deal of discussion across the broader internet about the future of free speech online and censorship. There are two types of people that you will commonly see during high profile bans like Fuentes’s, which we will refer to here as “Cynical Libertarians” and “Free Speech Warriors™”. Understanding the behaviors of these groups of people is important so that dissidents can properly respond to them and future bans like the one that happened to Fuentes.
Cynical Libertarians (CLs) are a mostly harmless group of principled pricks. A CL is a staunch opponent of censorship and a strong supporter of free speech, but cannot do so without self-aggrandizing or making petty attacks on the censored. When an individual gets censored, CLs are quick to condemn the censorship and celebrate their own consistency and/or invoke qualifiers about the beliefs or lack of support for free speech of the censored before defending them. At best, this behavior is vapid virtue signaling, but at its worst, is an attempt to poison the well, attack the censored, and lends legitimacy to the censorship. Consistently supporting other people’s free speech is no different than refusing to execute gay people by throwing them off buildings, it’s not something to be celebrated, it’s doing the bare fucking minimum! As for CLs that criticize someone’s beliefs before stating they would defend them, it is a cynical maneuver (hence the name) that allows them to wash their hands off after masturbating to their own morality. It, like this metaphor, is dezzgusting and needs to stop.
CLs are the Pharisees of the Cult's utopian wing, AKA Low Tax Leftists. Ralph is right that inconsistently supporting free speech isn't their besetting sin, but he's off the mark as to why. It's not that upholding absolute free speech is the bare minimum of civil conduct. It's that doing so consistently is impossible because free speech is not absolute, and no one really believes that it is.

Nick Fuentes' censoring by YouTube once again shows that speech does in fact have a price. The CLs' sin is paying lip service to the tech oligarchs who can demand said payment. The CLs pay because they start by conditionally accepting the Liberal moral framework that the Cult embraces unreservedly. They thereby preemptively disarm themselves against the censors they claim to fight.

"How can we make all speech free?" is the wrong question. "How can WE be the ones exacting a price for speech and acts that violate our morals?" is the only thread of inquiry that doesn't cede the moral high ground to the enemy.
Where the Cynical Libertarians act in good faith for egotistical reasons, the Free Speech Warriors™ (FSW™s) are dishonest and badly motivated for their own financial reasons. As censorship by big tech and other groups have intensified over the past several years, support for free speech has become an increasingly popular marketing gimmick. Otherwise unremarkable businesses like Gab.com have raised millions of dollars by branding themselves as providing people “Free Speech Software”, only to change their definition of free speech when allowing things that go against their owner’s personal beliefs and access to new credit card processors were on the line. Meanwhile individuals like Jordan Peterson and Ben Shapiro have made being censored FSW™s a central part of their brands, which has netted them millions of dollars, but time and again, they failed to live up to their reputations when push came to shove. Far worse, FSW™s will often repeat slanders that would get people censored, then proclaim their opposition to censorship when the targets of the smears eventually get censored. Successful gaslighting by FSW™s is incredibly difficult for casual and even seasoned observers to properly detect, diagnose, and criticize. FSW™s are often able to proclaim their opposition to murdering Murray Franklin on his Live Television set, despite repeated past statements of “You get what you fucking deserve!”
Ralph has the FSWs' number. He just got it through keen intuition instead of working the equation.

FSWs like Ben Shapiro and Jordan Peterson are cynical grifters who pay lip service to free speech like the CLs. But they take it a step further and bilk free speech absolutists like crooked TV preachers conning old ladies.

The mistake of a guy like Torba was writing checks his ad hoc ideology couldn't cash. Billing his social media site as a temple to absolute free speech was always doomed to end in a tragedy of the commons. We've made the experiment, and contra the utopian hopes for free speech, the best ideas don't rise to the top. Instead, the best hucksters sway the mob.

You can't seriously blame Torba for not wanting smut on his site. Legal hazards aside, no good comes to an outfit's officers or users for allowing that garbage. Torba actually took a moral stand in opposition to the Cult, but he stumbled over the free speech block he himself set up.

The Cult has no qualms against using the institutions it controls to push its moral vision. That's how it's always operated. People who call out Progressives' hypocrisy for abandoning support of free speech miss the point. Progressivism is, as the name implies, progressive. It bows to no limits. As such, it's never satisfied, and it never stands still. It's also perfectly willing to make alliances of convenience only to throw its former bed mates under the bus when their usefulness is exhausted.

This was the same dynamic motivating the Left's embracing and subsequent ditching of free speech. They correctly saw Classical Liberal notions of liberty as useful tools for disarming their only real opposition--the Church. Within the lifetime of some people reading this, Christians had the power to levy a social toll for blasphemous speech and immoral acts. The fist time Hollywood debauchery ran amok, a coalition of Presbyterian and Catholic leaders forced the studios to adopt moral guidelines that reined in the poz.

Now that the First Amendment written to safeguard Christians' rights has been used to shackle them, the Death Cultists in the media are turning the tables and forcibly censoring Christians.

Here's how the moral code which now governs public discourse works. The media is the new inquisition that enforces the Death Cult's morality. Anyone who doesn't want everyone dead--even utopians who only want enough dead people to usher in the revolution--will eventually be cancelled.

In short:
  • Wants everyone dead = brave and fierce!
  • Wants < everyone dead = Nazi!
If the last four years have taught us anything beyond a reasonable doubt, it's that you don't fight fanatical adherents of a depraved moral vision with appeals to value-neutral license. You fight it with a superior moral vision, and the only vision the Death Cult fears is the Beatific Vision.

Captivating theological horror!

27 comments:

  1. Brian

    excellent post with actionable prescription

    1) invoke the witch test
    2) demand how X contributes to the common good

    xavier

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    1. Prescription 2 suffices. CLs and free speech absolutists rarely try to co-opt Christian morality. FSWs are more likely to claim generic Christian affiliation. Save the test for them.

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    2. Brian

      Thanks again for the correction.

      xavier

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  2. There are a whole lot of people out there saying the Left hates free speech, whites, 'cis/heteros', etc, and while there is some truth to all of those, it is Christ that they hate. When they attack speech, they seek to destroy our ability to fulfill the Great Commission. When they attack whites they attack those nations that have until recently been the primary means by which the gospel is spread. When they attack the family, marriage, normalcy, they are attacking what most Christians are called to, and the most common means by which the gospel is spread.

    People are confused about the 'Coalition of the Ascendant' or 'Coalition of the Fringes', how can they possibly work together? They hate Christ.

    The Left exists for the purpose of opposing Jesus Christ and his people. And yet all of creation is His domain, His enemies are as a footstool, and His people exalted as kings over His crushed enemies. Fight with joy, for the victory has already been delivered.

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    1. I think perhaps that both sides tend to focus on the tactical dimensions and the 'wedge issues' of the war we're fighting - the relationship between freedom and virtue, the rule of law, the family, healthy and moral sexuality, masculinity, femininity, the comparative value of given cultures, and so forth - because many people on both sides can't see the grand scope of the thing, even if they actually accept the notion of spiritual warfare. On the tactical level, these various avenues of approach have been used to demoralize us, to undermine the ground we should be defending, and to rob us of our courage. If one dismisses the notion of spiritual warfare as silly or sensationalistic, it becomes impossible to see the battlefield for what it is, even as one constitutes a part of it.

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    2. Well and truly said, both of you.

      I can only add that free speech absolutists' insistence on letting blasphemers profane Our Lord's Name and letting smut peddlers ply their wicked trade will not hinder those who hate the Christ.

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    3. Thank you, sir.

      I kept thinking about this, as I tend to do. I would add that while our side has the tools to begin to grasp the scope and nature of the battle, because we have passages like Ephesians 6 telling there's a war on and what to do about it, some on the other side have a vested interest in not perceiving the war, the battlefield, or their role in it. To admit that there is a true and literal war for souls between God, His Church, and His loyal angels on the one side, and the powers of darkness on the other would be to admit that there is a God, that we have souls, and that everyone is either a combatant for one side or the other, or a casualty. That in turn requires each man to "choose this day whom you will serve." Those whose hearts scream "non serviam" have a lot of reasons to avoid seeing the necessity and reality of that choice.

      I was actually going to reference free speech as one of the wedge issues, before I rephrased to "freedom and virtue," because true freedom requires self-control, which requires virtue. Freedom is only good if it means the freedom to be good. Even then, it's not essential. Daniel's three friends were thrown into the fire because they insisted on being good when they weren't free to do so.

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    4. @Reader, you've got it, even some of those issues that motivate us the most, issues that reveal the witches for who they are, are but 'wedge' issues. Abortion has become this line in the sand for Christians, but you can find many conservative Christians who will chide you for exhorting the gospel to those seeking an abortion. Weaklings like Matt Walsh say that we don't need to tell these people to repent, we just need to tell them how unsafe abortion is, or how much they will regret it. But it is only because Christ died that it matters whether or not they chuck their baby in a volcano. We needn’t tell them to ‘choose life’, when we should be saying, ‘choose Christ, be redeemed’.

      This isn’t to say that these ‘wedge’ issues aren’t excellent opportunities to proclaim that Jesus is King, but I’m not ‘pro-life’, I’m ‘pro-Christ’.

      As long as we are only fighting on the field of politics, we aren’t going to make any headway. As Brian has said many times, ‘politics is downstream from culture, but culture is downstream from religion’.

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  3. @Patrikos - I think a lot depends on how one goes about being "pro-life." I think "40 Days for Life" provides a very good example of how to get it right. The message from the 40 Days folks is both Choose Life and Choose Christ. They do this by affirming the dignity of mothers and fathers in crisis, and the humanity of the children at risk, and also the humanity and dignity of the folks working in those offices and clinics. They pray for their deliverance and conversion, as much as for the mothers and fathers who are under social or economic pressures to throw their children away. The vigil volunteers help the clinics' potential customer-victims with everything from rent to diapers to whether or not they're even pregnant, and they help clinic workers who want to find a way out get out, thus attacking the abortion industry from the supply side and the demand side. There's a whole ministry called Rachel's Vineyard focused on helping abortion workers leave the industry and find Jesus and freedom.

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    1. @Reader, While there are certainly some ways of being 'pro-life' wrong, I'm not really trying to call out a particular ministry. Rather that if being 'Pro-life' is our identity, we have strayed from our identity being Christ and Him crucified.

      The same could be said of many of the issues that Christians now regularly champion. I would imagine that if you polled those that went to the 2nd Amendment rally in Virginia a month or so ago, you'd find many are practicing Christians. If you asked them how they were honoring God in their protests, they would likely stutter and stammer. Which isn't to say that every Christian needs to be able to write a detailed treatise on self-defense, but rather that Christians often get lost in the fog of war, and forget why it is that we fight. And we don't fight for those rights enumerated in the US Constitution, but rather for the King of kings, and that His will be done.

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    2. @Patrikos - That is a point well taken. Thank you.

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  4. I used to be a free speech absolutist, but it's like unilaterally disarming. I hear all the time (especially from Ben Shapiro) that they "don't want to live in a world where somebody can be fired for their politics." Well, neither do I, but that's not an option any more than living in a world where nobody dies for being born on the wrong side of a national border. The world that attitude brings is one where leftists fail upwards and everybody else can be made destitute if they fail to toe the Death Cult's line.

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    1. That's rich coming from Shapiro, who's on record calling for people to be fired for their politics.

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  5. Brian -

    Any advice on getting Christians to fight at all? Using a superior moral vision would be a bonus.

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    1. A lot of Christians still harbor the misconception that the Left are mistaken but basically well-meaning people who subscribe to a more or less erroneous set of political positions. Some Christians have proven willing to push back when that illusion is dispelled.

      In other words, Christians need to be shown that it's OK to fight back. Pointing out that the enemy are actual satanists intent on taking kids away from their parents to be groomed by mentally ill men in dresses and castrated seems to be doing the trick.

      As always, Leftist overreach is our greatest persuasive tool. The enemy are now so brazen about their hatred of Christ that not even the most conciliatory Christian can plausibly deny it.

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    2. We need something more. I’ve heard too many of my fellow Catholics state that fighting is never an option, but that we must embrace the cross and accept the persecution and aggression coming from the enemy. I don’t know if pacifism was ever declared a heresy or suggested as one by a theologian, but many Christians think Christ’s example is the only option for all instances. They never consider who he was fighting, what the rules were that God had set and put into place regarding atonement, and Christ’s specific mission. If true, the. The Crusades, Lepanto, Vienna, Covadonga, the Reconquista, the Inquisition, and other major Catholic fighting engagements were all 100% immoral acts, rather than pious ones.

      Your average Christian can’t fathom that a Christian truly concerned about the salvation of a soul would tell a same sex attracted individual to repent and seek help, because that would hurt feelings and be considered mean.

      Your average Christian can’t see the gift of giving a murder/rapist/pedophile abuser etc. the chance to repent followed by swift execution. Repentance and execution gives the individual the best chance at an eternity in heaven. The execution gives justice to the victims and prevents the sinner from hurting others and possibly leading others into sin. Many think the Christian way is to forgive all, quickly, without evidence of conversion and as a long term burden on the public since we can no longer make prisoners do some kind of hard work that benefits society.

      Many think we must endure having Satanists educate our children, entertain us with perverse media, corrupt our children with porn (and get our daughters to be whores), engage in child sex trafficking, lie to us via the news media, and act recklessly and incompetently as our institutional, corporate and governmental leaders rather than engage these people in ever escalating warfare until it is clear that those who will not repent need to destroyed less they lead more souls to hell.

      Until Christians believe in Heaven again, and in the importance of the soul, truly in their hearts and minds, most Christians will believe the Faith = being nice losers.

      Something mentally needs to change in Christianity. We need to see that again that we are not to tolerate Satan in our midst, even unto death.

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    3. The history taught in public school and on TV has led to the common misconception that revolutions happen when the elites' oppression of the poor reaches a tipping point, and the peasants rise up.

      That's incorrect. Look at the French Revolution. It was the middle class that allied with lesser nobles to overthrow the old order.

      Among contemporary Christians, the elites--like the bishops in the Examiner piece--are insulated and oblivious. The imported peasants are gorging on bread and circuses. Change won't come from either group.

      It's Dave Hanrahan the heating and cooling guy, Steve Pulaski the engineer, and Paul Morelli the CPA who have the vocation to renew the Church. The Enemy knows this. That's why he's lulled them into lukewarmness with the Cult of Nice.

      Just like how political dissidents know nothing is gonna change until the middle class really feels the pain, most middle class Christians wont wake up until they see the Death Cult driving them to poverty, raping and killing their kids, and laughing.

      In that vein, the growing push back by Christians against Tranny Story Hour is encouraging.

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    4. We have stewing in a toxic soup of modernism, relativism, and universalism for generations now. Even those who can plainly and unashamedly say that "[Jesus] is the way, the truth, and the life", and that "no man comes to the Father except through [Him]" may still have received a lot of relativist tendencies, as if by osmosis. It wasn't really osmosis, of course, except in the sense that previous generations, deliberately indoctrinated to anti-think that way, would have passed on the tendency without really understanding the poison they were propagating. Our education seems dangerously shallow, where it is not dangerously wrong. We are like the rocky soil, where the seed of the Gospel falls to be received with gladness, but where the plant that grows can't develop deep roots, and thus cannot survive adversity. Modernism might also operate for some like the thorns on the thorny ground, I suppose. Rejecting modernism takes work that many of us literally may not know we need to do, because we have to break habits we may not even realize we've acquired.

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    5. Brian, Durandel, A Reader -
      Good stuff to think on. Thank you for your responses.

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    6. As it turns out, I also read the Rorate Caeli blog. They had an interesting post up recently about Catholic Anti-Modernism and something called the "Pian Sodality". I'm sure I don't grasp its full implications, but it seems like an interesting line of inquiry, at the very least.

      From an evangelical Protestant perspective, I think Francis Schaeffer the Elder's "Christian Manifesto" makes a pretty good case that Leftism and Christianity are ultimately antithetical. (I would also concede that we can go wrong the other way, too, because we are strangers here below and our Lord's Kingdom is ultimately not of this world. If the Christian Right is ever more Rightist than it is Christian, it will to that extent have ceased to be Christian.) Schaeffer's Trilogy - The God Who Is There, Escape from Reason, and He Is There and He Is Not Silent - that modernism itself isn't even worthy to be called philosophy and that modern art and such are aesthetically repulsive and morally bankrupt because they deny transcendent truth and objective reality. If taken to their logical conclusions, they all produce nihilism. Along the way, they produce noise, eye-sores, garbage, and filth.

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    7. Francis Schaeffer is probably a must read for all Christians, I don't recall him ever getting really into the weeds on issues that divide. Though I've generally found that traditional Christians of any stripe, have more in common with eachother than they do with their modernist co-creedals.

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    8. To hear you guys describe it, Schaeffer is in line with my Catholic graduate theology studies regarding the dangers of conflating Christianity and political ideology.

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  6. I would have to reread "A Christian Manifesto" to be sure of that point. I can do that this weekend and get back to you. Rereading the Trilogy will take a bit longer.

    To oversimplify a bit, IIRC, his reasoning is that Leftism is founded on Marxism, which is founded on materialism, which is fundamentally atheistic, of course. We could do the same for fedora-tipping Righties by replacing the top layers of the Left's architecture - Leftism and Marxism - with silliness like Objectivism or Anarchism. To quote the Psalmist, "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no no God.'"
    By the same token, one might assess whether a government founded on the principles of the Enlightenment does not have the same problem. Perhaps there are songs in our hymnals that have no place there, because they express our civic religion and not the true faith.

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    1. I have in fact made that assessment on this very blog.

      Check out The Tyranny of Liberalism by James Kalb.

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    2. I find your arguments on that subject persuasive. I just want to be sure I'm not ignoring the plank in my own eye.

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