Tag Archive | Us and Them

Demons, Demons Everywhere, and No Exorcist In Sight

“Nazi.”

The very word inspires fear and enmity from those who hear it, evoking emotional responses that leave rational discourse behind in ashes like those of the Reichstag Building. The “Nazi” is the Go To enemy for video games, movies, television shows, and literature, whenever an unambiguously evil enemy is needed, and no further justification for killing them or defeating them is necessary. They are Nazis, and so they deserve death. It’s that simple.

It would appear, based on widespread reactions from otherwise normal and rational people, that this mentality has carried over into the real world, and real people are reacting to the presence of Nazis in Charlottesville with the disgust and hatred typically reserved for cartoonishly evil supervillains, which is dismaying, because one look at any of the photos or videos circulating of these Nazis will reveal that they are just cartoonishly comical.

This is what happens when a word, a label, is demonized to this extent. Yesterday, I was repeatedly called a Nazi Sympathizer, and even blocked by one person in the liberty movement, for having the audacity to point out that it is required, if we are to have peace, to actually listen to these people and acknowledge their concerns. This is a foolish interpretation of my position—I’ve long been anti-authoritarian, and that will not change simply because many of my allies are demanding that I become authoritarian to forcefully stop the other authoritarians. And that is, in essence, what many libertarians are demanding.

After all, the libertarian idea is that the state is an institution of force and coercion, and they wish to use force and coercion to eliminate the Nazis, from suggestions of widespread murder of them to just beating them all unconscious. It is not in any way different from what the actual Nazis of Germany did to Jews—a comparison I made last night on The Call to Freedom—except that, as of right now, most of the anti-Nazis have not yet carried out their plans to round up and exterminate everyone who disagrees with them to that extent.

Co-host of the show Thom pointed out that the Nazis have chosen their ideology, while they targeted people who were born with a certain heritage. Ironic, isn’t it? Especially given that so many of these Nazis are flying Confederate Flags and throwing around that word “heritage” with reckless abandon. There is also the fact that Judaism is a religion, and that not all of the Jews killed by the Nazi Regime were Jews by heredity; some were converts to the religion, and were exterminated all the same.

It shows a remarkable disconnect, since the position is basically that the Neo-Nazis (the term I’m going to use to continue differentiating these people from, you know, actual Nazis who actually exterminated people) are basically told that they can have their heritage—as long as they aren’t proud of it, as long as they don’t expect any monuments to their heritage to remain standing, as long as they don’t try to protect it from being erased from history, as long as they don’t take pride in it, and as long as they roll over for the “progress” of society.

I spent most of Saturday sharing memes mocking these people. Because, absolutely, they are worthy of mockery. These poor, pathetic basement dwellers with pedo ‘staches and tiny dicks can’t get laid, and so they figured, “Well, fuck it. I guess I’ll become a Nazi.” They’re terrified of everything and everyone that isn’t exactly like them, and they’re so meek and afraid that they refuse to allow their cultural values to be stacked in fair competition against other cultural values—because they know they will lose, because they are losing. It wasn’t long ago that I wrote this critique of “traditional values,” and pointed out that the beauty of the United States is that we are a cultural buffet, where a person can take dishes from whatever culture they want, grabbing only the dishes they like and leaving the ones they don’t. The net result of this, over a period of time, is that the dishes that very few people like fade away, as we are seeing with homophobia, transphobia, and racism.

Racism is on the decline, of course, with even the KKK, despite its resurgence in the last few years, basically defunct, and the reason is simple: racism is stupid. A businessperson who refuses to hire anyone but white people will not hire the best except by sheer coincidence. It is entirely possible that the best person he could hire is a black man, but instead he would hire an inferior white man, and his business would suffer as a result. This is why diversity is a good thing, and why diversity quotas are a bad thing—merit should be the sole determining factor. Using skin color, gender, orientation, and other things as factors is fundamentally flawed, even if we have twisted it such that it’s a positive thing to have your black skin factored into the equation because the company will hire you to meet its quota. It’s bad for the company if you’re not the best person for the job, and this is what the “Google Memo” was all about: these other, unimportant considerations have supplanted merit, such that a woman who is less suitable for a position is more likely to be hired because of her sex than a man who is more suitable for the position. Just as it is not good or acceptable for a company to refuse to hire a person because she’s a woman, so is it not good or acceptable for a company to choose to hire a person because she’s a woman. This should not be a controversial statement.

Yet it is.

And so extensive is the demonization that pointing this out results in one being called anti-diversity, misogynistic, bigoted, and hateful.

And this is what so very many people are getting wrong about the current political climate.

I watched former vice presidential candidate, Muslim activist, libertarian activist, and all-around awesome guy Will Coley have his work repeatedly spit upon and rejected solely because he is white. I’ve seen people say to him, “No, you are not my brother. You are a white devil.”

Yet this vile vitriol is considered acceptable, and it is a sentiment that is echoed all over the United States. The Southern Baptist Convention can’t even come together and vote by an overwhelming majority to condemn racism without being called racists. That’s the position we’re in today, and nothing is going to change if we pretend like that isn’t true, or that it isn’t a problem. It is. In fact, it’s the root of what the Neo-Nazis complain about. As I said, the root of their grievances is legitimate. They have, in their desperation to wear the Victim Badge that everyone is welcome, taken those grievances and blown them to ridiculous degrees, but what American group has not done so? Hardly a week goes by that I don’t see a trans person crying foul because they couldn’t use the restroom of their choice, and they present this as though it’s just the height of discrimination, and as though it’s just one step removed from extermination of trans people. It’s hard to take these people seriously, and I don’t think they should be taken seriously. But, as with the Neo-Nazis, there is a legitimate core to the grievances expressed by these misguided trans people: there is resistance among institutional powers to restrict one’s gender identity and sexual identity to whatever it happened to be at the moment of birth.

During the course of discussions yesterday, someone assured me, “I’ve been observing these people before you even knew they existed!” The exclamation point, of course, was part of his emotional rant–a rant so emotionally charged that he ended up unfriending me, calling me “he/his” purposely and deliberately to try to elicit an emotional response from me, and finally blocked me when these efforts failed. The conversation was quite interesting, because I provided sources directly from these Neo-Nazis to back up what I was saying, and he repeatedly declined to do so, saying only “Stormfront!” and “Google it!”

It really shows a remarkably myopic viewpoint, though, to say something like that to me–the Anarchist Shemale, born and raised in rural Mississippi to fundamentalist Christians who are openly racist Trump supporters. My grandfather and uncle own a gun and confederacy store called “Confederate State Arms.” In fact, I’d speculate that some of the flags waved in Charlottesville were purchased from my grandfather and uncle. I was born to these people. I grew up around these people. When I was 11 or 12 years old, my family was training me to fight the Anti-Christ, and telling me things like, “When we’re patrolling, if you hear something, turn and shoot. Don’t hesitate, don’t call out. Turn and shoot.” We had actual compounds for when the Anti-Christ took over. It would be really hard for someone to be more exposed to these people than I have been.

I’ve written an entire book about the brainwashing and abuse these people inflicted upon me. They are solely the reason that it took me to my mid-20s to come to terms with being trans, even though, as early as three years old, I preferred wearing female clothes and preferred women. Don’t even get me started on the many, many ideological problems these people have, or the grotesque abuses of which they are capable. There is, naturally, no dispute: the majority of these Neo-Nazis are white southerners and cling to their Christianity-inspired “traditional values,” despite anything that Jesus actually said.

So during the course of saying all of this–I, the transsexual atheist anarchist with a long history of arguing against authoritarianism and identity politics–was told that I was a Nazi Sympathizer, virtue signaling to the alt-right, a boot-licker, and then, when those claims proved wildly inaccurate, I was told that I couldn’t possibly understand the people we’re talking about as well as Random Guy #13 who occasionally browsed Stormfront. After pointing out that I have been around these people literally my entire life, fully exposed to their ideology and reasoning, and firmly rejected their positions, and that these are the reasons (aside from being trans) that I lost my entire family and many of my friends, predictably the phrase “Stockholm Syndrome” started getting thrown around.

Whatever it takes to discount what I’m saying, right?

Kangaroo done hung the juror with the guilty.

After spending Saturday laughing at and mocking these people, I spent yesterday attempting to build a bridge, because a bridge is necessary. We know how the alt-right and Neo-Nazis came into existence and prominence. They told us so. For years, they expressly stated their fears. They reluctantly accepted the social changes, but they routinely stated that the feared the changes would go too far. They reluctantly tolerated homosexual marriage, but stated the fear that churches would be forced to provide same sex marriage ceremonies. They stated they were worried that Christians would become oppressed by the state, forced to service people with whom they didn’t want to associate. They stated that they were worried that any random guy could claim to be trans in order to gain access to the women’s restroom. They stated that they were worried “LGBT Equality” would become “LET’S ALL RAVE NAKED IN THE STREETS AND BE DEGENERATES!” They stated that they were worried that Affirmative Action would become “Well, this person is a woman, and this person is a man, so… Hire the woman. Who cares that the man is more qualified?” and “Well, this person is Hispanic, and this person is white, so… Hire the Hispanic guy. Who cares that the white guy is more qualified?” They stated that they feared expressing their conservative positions would become demonized, and that their right to free speech would be trampled, that they would lose the right to say that they personally don’t approve of gay people–and they worried that they would lose the right to act in accordance with those beliefs. Because, whether we like it or not, the right to believe something necessarily includes the right to act in accordance with those beliefs.

Yes, Bob has the right to dislike homosexual people. He also has the right to act in accordance with that belief by refusing to associate with homosexual people. The two things are inextricably linked, because behavior, as we all know, is a function of beliefs and environment. A person’s behavior cannot be separated from their beliefs without threatening their right to belief.

Anyway, so that was what these people were saying in the mid-90s. Though they gritted their teeth and weren’t happy about it, they went along with it, for the most part, and didn’t do much to actively resist it, even here in the south. They did this because of their hope that it would be limited to tolerance, and “gritting one’s teeth and allowing the behavior in question” is literally what tolerance is. We’ve twisted it to mean “acceptance” these days, and have decided that Bob saying “I don’t like gay people” means that he is intolerant. However, he isn’t. In fact, “tolerance” strongly suggests disapproval. We don’t tolerate things that we like. We like them and embrace them. We tolerate things that we don’t particularly care for. I don’t enjoy having the cats sharpen their claws on the back of my furniture, but I tolerate it. It makes me grind my teeth, and it makes my skin crawl, but I tolerate it. When did we forget this? And why? Seeing “tolerance” twisted into “acceptance” put the writing on the wall–they were not going to be required to tolerate people whose behavior they didn’t approve of; they were going to be required to accept people whose behavior they didn’t approve of.

Meanwhile, the various identity politics groups allied together under the left’s banner repeatedly put on the Victim Badge, over any and every possible slight, no matter how trivial and inconsequential it was. This continues happening today. Trans people, of course, love crying about “oppression” and “discrimination” if they can’t use the restroom of their choice. In the grand scheme of things, that issue is wholly asinine, not to mention that it absolutely pales in comparison to the trans women who are placed in men’s prisons, where they are raped a reportedly 2,000 times in a handful of years. Additionally trans people pretend like they don’t have to tell romantic partners that they’re trans, and then they cry “I’m a victim!” when their romantic partner finds out and, quite understandably, rejects them. I know of one trans girl who purposely put herself in that position, where she was attacked, and used the excuse, “Why should I have to tell him I’m trans? It’s just normal to me, so I don’t think about it to tell people!”

Bullshit.

Let’s look at this from a related angle.

In essence, you’re a woman who can never give your partner children. Imagine a woman who is sterile going out on dates. How many dates are required before the woman confesses to the man that she is incapable of giving him children? I’d say “Before they had sex, at least.” Before there was too much emotional attachment, certainly. Because, for whatever weird reason, most people do want kids, and being unable to provide those is very often a deal-breaker. It is certainly the woman’s responsibility to tell the man that she cannot bear children, because there’s a very high chance that he will one day want children. As a trans person, she was incapable of providing children, and should have told him that. This would have led him to ask why, at which point the only acceptable answer would be the truth: “Because I’m trans.”

But despite all of this, she and others wear the Victim Badge. It’s not their fault that a man expects to take off a woman’s pants and find a vagina, not a penis. They’re the victim here, not the man who was deceived by omission of important details.

Then, of course, there was the disastrous attempt last year for people on Twitter to use the hashtag “Straight Pride.” Goodness, what a fiasco that was! The single most common response that anyone received for using that hashtag was “Die” and “Kill yourself.” What is the message here? “You’re allowed to be proud of your sexuality, unless you’re straight. Then fuck you.”

I recently saw a Tumblr post from someone who said something. One person replied, “Or, you know, straight people exist?” To this, someone else replied, “Ugh. Don’t remind me.”

Such hateful, divisive rhetoric. What did people expect?

You’re allowed to have LGBT Pride, Asian Pride, Hispanic Pride, Black Pride, Muslim Pride, and Female Pride. And asinine though all of these things are, and asinine though this response is, if you dare try to take pride when you’re not in one of these groups, you will be condemned as a bigot. People will gleefully tell you to kill yourself.

Now we see a good employee, and certainly a qualified employee, dismissed from Google because of his dissenting opinions. He went against the status quo, and the status quo is “LGBT Pride, Asian Pride, Hispanic Pride, Black Pride, Muslim Pride, and Female Pride are good. And it’s perfectly okay to hire a woman who isn’t qualified over a man who is, or a minority who isn’t qualified over a white who is.” That status quo is wrong and needs to be changed. We shouldn’t take pride in the fluke conditions of our births, and this is true whether one wants to take pride in being LGBT, being white, being 6 feet tall, being brunette, being black, being female, being male, or whatever.

That is egalitarianism: sexual orientation, race, and gender shouldn’t be determining factors in things. This is what Martin Luther King, Jr. advocated. He never said, “I dream of a world where black men are hired because they are black.” He explicitly and repeatedly said, “I dream of a world where a man is judged not by the color of his skin, but the content of his character.” And giving someone a job because of their skin color… is judging them by the color of their skin, even if you’re doing it to their advantage. Just as it was racist and messed up to give people jobs simply because they were white, because this actively harmed qualified people who weren’t white, so is it racist and messed up to give people jobs simply because they aren’t white, because this actively harms qualified people who are white. Skin color shouldn’t freaking matter to any of this. We should all be treated as individuals with our own merits, abilities, thoughts, and gifts, not as monolothic entities defined by arbitrary flukes of birth.

The alt-right saw this, too. They saw these changes. They saw how “skin color shouldn’t matter” became “this black person should be hired, because he’s black.” They saw how “gender shouldn’t matter” became “this person should be hired, because she’s a female.” All of this shit happened in plain sight for anyone with the intellectual honesty to look and see it.

Some small portion of them resisted, certainly, and clung to the past, to what they thought were the “glory days” of racism, sexism, and sexual orientationism. But these people were very small in number, and they continually waned over the last few decades. By and large, most of them came to tolerate the changes, even if they didn’t like it. But it doesn’t matter if they like it or not. That’s up for them to decide personally. It’s not up to us to tell them they have to like it, to make them like it. We can choose to disassociate from them if we don’t like the fact that they don’t like it, sure, but that’s not what we did. We went further than that, as they feared we would.

Their response to this has been to play the Identity Politics game themselves, and to clamor after the Victim Badge that everyone else is wearing. They want to be victims just like everyone else. They want to feel like martyrs, like they’re oppressed and treated like dirt because of relatively small and almost imperceptible slights. And, ironically, many on the left demand specific examples of this institutional assault on straight, white, normal, Christian men, which is an inevitable byproduct of shooting past equality and going straight to elevation of all non-straight, non-white, non-normal, non-Christian non-men, even though, if you ask them for specific examples of the “institutional racism” that they talk about, they scoff at the idea. Yet there they go, demanding that same thing of the right.

They were being called “Nazis” long before they really started looking and talking like Nazis. Do you remember when Hillary Clinton referred to Trump supporters as “a basket of deplorables?” Do you remember how they responded to that? They adopted the moniker proudly, getting it emblazoned on hats, and happily called themselves deplorable. Since they disagree with the left, there is no greater honor for them than being called “deplorable” by the left. That, to them, means they’re on the right track. “If you’re a degenerate, disgusting maggot and you call me deplorable, then I guess I’m on the right track!” was their take on it, and this is why they consciously took on the label.

But they weren’t just called “deplorable.” Goodness, no. Through the last two years, it’s been almost non-stop attacks from the left, with increasingly hyperbolic and vicious insults thrown at them. Racist, misogynists, sexists, homophobes, transphobes, bigots, fascists, xenophobes, Nazis… Again, what did people expect to happen? We didn’t listen to their relatively benign and genuine concerns that they expressed meekly twenty years ago, when they said they feared it would become a celebration of degeneracy, anti-white racism, anti-male sexism, anti-Christian hatred, and so on. We laughed at them and mocked them, saying, “Yeah, equality only feels like oppression when you’re privileged. Hurr dee hurr dee hurr!”

Even today, the overwhelming majority of Americans insist that we haven’t even reached equality–and we haven’t, in many places, but this isn’t a dichotomy–in any meaningful sense, and that straight, white, Christian men still have so much privilege that no amount of wrongdoing done to them because they’re straight, white, Christian men could possibly matter. “Fuck them. They’re privileged. Who cares that he didn’t get the job because someone less qualified had a vagina? Who cares that he didn’t get the job because someone less qualified is black?*”

I’ve been through it–twice, in fact. I was the only white person in the Pizza Hut that I worked at, and I faced minor slights regularly. The most egregious example was when I worked 10a to 6p one day, and other drivers began showing up at 4:00. There hadn’t been a delivery the entire day. The girl who came in and started dispatching assigned deliveries back-to-back-to-back to the other drivers, even though I was first in the queue to do a delivery, since I’d been there 6 hours before anyone else, and yet they took several deliveries. I didn’t get a delivery until I brought it up to her and pointed out that I had been there all day and she gave the deliveries to people who were behind me in line. The distinction? The other two drivers was black, and so was she.

I went through it even moreso when I worked at Sam’s Town in the hotel housekeeping department, because I was literally the only white person in the entire department. There, the most egregious example came about one New Year’s Eve. Everyone had to work on New Year’s Eve, that was the policy for the first year. By the time the second one rolled around for my employment there, I was second in seniority, and business had slowed down considerably–people were actually going to be allowed off. So even though New Year’s Eve fell on my regular day off, I was told to come in and work, while one of the newer guys was given the day off, even though it was, for him, a regular work day. There were countless smaller examples, like how I was always given a secondary set of keys instead of one of the primary sets, even though I had seniority, and I was always the one sent to the backdock to unload the truck. Always. What’s particularly odd about that is that one needs the primary set of keys to get into the backdock. Their argument for having me unload the truck every day that I worked was that I had seniority, of course, but the backdock required the primary keys. But that “seniority argument” didn’t matter then, and I routinely had to call someone who had been there a full year less than I had to come and open the back dock for me. It’s insulting to be treated that way, and so I have the greatest sympathy for anyone who has experienced racism. But if you think the fact that I’m white and experienced racism somehow discounts it, then you are the problem here. You are the racist.

All of these things are real, and they actually happen. It doesn’t mean that anti-black racism has ceased to exist. Certainly, it still exists, and it needs to stop. How do we stop it? By treating people as individuals, and by not having skin color as a factor. That’s how we stop using skin color as a factor, which is the definition of racism.

Now I’ve been demonized for having the audacity to treat the Neo-Nazis as anything other than detestable scum who need to be shot and killed. I’ve committed the groupthink heresy of daring to admit that the core of what they’re saying is a valid point, and it’s their solution that is wrong. Many of them are simply idiots who are throwing out Nazi salutes and flying swastikas for the same reason they wore t-shirts that said “Deplorable,” and have no interest in killing anyone, forcing anyone to leave, or any of that other shit that the more extreme ones–who do exist–want. But we’re not talking about those extreme fools who have always been white supremacist idiots. We’re talking about the ones who begrudgingly accepted diversity in the 90s, and who have since warped into Neo-Nazis.

Those types can be talked back from the edge, and they should be talked back from the edge. We’re not going to achieve anything by continuing to push them, by continuing to insult them, and by escalating it into violence against them, because they will perceive it as a violent attack against straight, white, normal men. They will. If you attack them, you will reinforce their position. What are you going to do? Kill them all? Kill everyone who has even the smallest seed of these ideas in their heads? If you’re proposing that, then I would suggest that you are the actual Nazi here.

Stop demonizing them and listen to them. Go back to the source of their arguments, put aside the hyperbole, and put aside the emotions. It didn’t have to come to this. It did not have to come to Neo-Nazis marching in the streets. It came to that because no one listened back when they reluctantly went along with the social changes. Instead, they were mocked and derided, and slowly pushed into a corner. Now they’re in that corner, and they’re beginning to lash out, as cornered animals do, and as terrified people do. We will achieve nothing by pushing them further.

If we’re to resolve this situation peacefully, it’s going to take doing something that apparently few people are wiling to do: listen to them. Already, though, that’s nearly impossible, because of that word–that demonized word that invokes so much emotion that people instantly and vehemently reject the idea that they could have anything worthwhile to say. But we can’t forget the critically important fact that, ten years ago, very, very few of these people were Neo-Nazis. They were pushed to that, because they embraced Identity Politics and Victimization–the left’s tactics–to use against the left. This is, of course, wrong.

They can be shown that.

But to show them that, we have to drop our own Identity Politics and Victim Complexes. We have to start advocating actual equality, not this shit that people call “equality” but is actually just a reversal of the power structures. We have to start advocating that skin color, sex, orientation, and religion should not matter, not that “they should matter, as long as historically disenfranchised groups are benefited by it.”

It’s not an easy road ahead, and it may already be too late, considering that I can’t even say this without being accused of being a Neo-Nazi, or being a Nazi sympathizer, of being on their side, licking their boots, and so on. Because when you’ve demonized people to that point, you split the world into Us and Them. You dehumanize Them into a homogeneous blob of pure evil. This has been going on for a long time. Just last week, I read someone on Quora who said, “I can’t for the life of me figure out why these otherwise moral people can still support Trump…” I couldn’t help but wonder, “Did you consider asking them why they still support Trump?”

No, of course not. Because Trump supporters are pure evil, and nothing they say matters. We don’t want to hear what they have to say, because they’re pure evil.

I once pointed out to a girl that the confederate flag does not represent racism to the people who fly it. It really does just represent an anti-government heritage for them. She disagreed. I asked whether she had actually asked some of these people what it means to them. Naturally, she said she had not, and that she wasn’t going to.

It’s a widespread refusal to given any credence whatsoever to the other side. We’ve seen how refusing to acknowledge the validity of someone’s grievances results in escalation. It’s what caused 9/11. If we had listened to Al Queda and others who told us for years and years and years that their issue was that we wouldn’t leave them the hell alone, 9/11 wouldn’t have happened. But instead, what happened? People booed Ron Paul when he got on-stage and pointed out that the United States was in the wrong.

“I’m in the wrong? INCONCEIVABLE! The people who are saying I’m wrong are evil and clearly in the wrong themselves!”

Refusal to listen.

We absolutely must start listening to the other side. And we must start now, before this shit escalates further.

* Obviously, qualifications are independent of skin color and sex. It’s sad that I have to say this, but a person is more or less qualified regardless of their skin color, and there are plenty of examples of women who are more qualified for jobs than men, and plenty of examples of black people who are more qualified for jobs than white people. This is a given, and there’s no reason I should have to say it to ward off cries of sexism and racism.

 

What Steam Greenlight Teaches Us About Anarchy, Part 1 of 5

Through the last year, I’ve been working on a book titled What Steam Greenlight Teaches Us About Anarchy.  Since I was also writing (and completing) Dancing in Hellfire, which had a higher priority, as well as daily articles, thrice-weekly podcasts, and weekly videos through most of last year, SGAA (Steam Greenlight and Anarchy) didn’t get much attention, but I did make a fair bit of progress with it–it’s about 100 pages. I’ve actually got several documents that are around that length and in some state of “needing to be finished.”

Unfortunately, Valve is shutting down Greenlight, which immediately made the book obsolete. By the time I finish it, Greenlight will be little more than a bad memory for people, but it’s also eerily pertinent that Valve has, due to community pressure, shut down the anarchic Greenlight to replace it with an alternative that is, without irony, much more state-like, with more power concentrated in Valve’s hands and with Valve employees unilaterally making the decisions that the wider community once made democratically. It basically parallels the rise of the state, and what we would expect to happen in an anarchic society if the underlying mentality is not first eradicated.

The underlying mentality is two-fold:

  • “I don’t approve of this, and therefore it shouldn’t be allowed to exist.”
  • “We have to take these measures to protect ignorant/naive/stupid people from themselves.”

These statements are never said so bluntly, but those are the hearts of the position that we need Valve to intervene in the process and implement some quality control.

I Don’t Approve

It hardly needs to even be pointed out that “I don’t approve of this” is a subjective value statement, and isn’t an objective truth. Even if there is 100% agreement that the item in question is of extremely low quality, it remains a subjective value statement, because widespread agreement doesn’t turn a subjective value into an objective one. We can go back fifty thousand years and find 100% agreement that the Earth is the center of the universe, but that wouldn’t make that an objectively true statement.

As far as I can tell, this mentality is limited pretty much to Steam, as I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say something like, “This movie is shit! What is it doing in Wal-Mart, where some unsuspecting person who doesn’t know any better might buy it, believing it to be a good movie?” or “This music album is terrible! What is it doing in this record store? It has no business being in this store alongside Pink Floyd’s A Momentary Lapse of Reason!

Yet when it comes to Steam, we do hear these sorts of arguments.

In a lot of ways, I agree with the premise. I no longer even check Steam’s weekly sales and specials, because it’s never anything more than page after page after page of bullshit games that no one has ever heard of and are on sale at 19 cents from 99 cents. Here is a screenshot I took a few months ago of exactly this. It has actively discouraged me from browsing Steam’s special, which, in the longrun, hurts Valve because it means they aren’t selling games.

What is all this bullshit?

 

I would have rather seen more advanced filtering options, though. Even something simple like being able to filter out all indie titles or all “games” smaller than 100 MegaBytes would have gone a long, long way toward fixing the problem that is an overload of what I consider to be bullshit, crappy games that aren’t worth 99 cents by a long shot. I wouldn’t download and play this shit if it was free. I don’t want to look at it, I don’t want to look through it, and I don’t want to see it.

So… I don’t.

Rather than demanding that what I consider to be bullshit is prevented from landing on Steam altogether, I find it vastly preferable to check my ego and entitlement and to remind myself that there are billions of people in the world, and that my opinions aren’t objectively right. Rare though they may be, there is surely someone out there who genuinely likes Pajama Sam and wouldn’t have found it if it wasn’t on Steam. There’s surely someone out there who likes Temper Tantrum, The Slaughter Grounds, and all kinds of other games that I consider to be bullshit trash. I consider Rise of the Tomb Raider to be bullshit trash, too, and Mass Effect 3. Not to mention Dragon Age: Inquisition.

Basically, what I’m saying is that I have my preferences and you have your preferences. We all know this to be true, and people only get butthurt when they mistake a reviewer’s word as objective truth. But despite the tendency of some misguided people to interpret my or Jim Sterling‘s reviews as irrefutable fact, the only fact is that reviews are opinions and opinions are, by their very nature, subjective. So we need only apply this to our assessment of games on Steam to realize that just because we dislike a game–despite probably never having played it–doesn’t mean that no one likes the game, and that any attempt to remove the game simply because we and 99% of other people like it is nothing more than an attempt to spit on, ignore, and overrule the 1% who do like it.

There’s no escaping this, and constituting a majority necessarily involves power–the power of the mob, peer pressure, and the innate human desire for acceptance through conformity.

This is dangerous.

Some would say that “We’re only talking about video games! C’mon, and chill out!”

But we aren’t just talking about video games, because this same pattern plays out in the real world in very real, damaging ways. It wasn’t terribly long ago that homosexuality was illegal because this minority of homosexuals was overruled and forced to go along with the majority who felt that homosexuality was bad. And while we might say “Yes, but we’re enlightened! We’re on the other side of that argument!” it would be wrong to say that, because right now exercising one’s rights to act in accordance with their religious beliefs is being universally spit upon by the majority. The minority of people who want to live their lives according to their moral values and choose with whom they do and do not associate are being spit upon and, once more, forced to go along with the majority.

The attitude hasn’t gone away. It’s just a new majority tyrannizing a new minority. Nothing has changed beyond which side of the aisle has the power. Tyranny today remains alive and well, such that this woman has lost the right to choose with whom she associates, simply because she is in a minority of people who would choose not to associate with people who partake in behavior that she doesn’t approve of. Of course, we say that we don’t approve of her behavior, don’t we? We don’t approve of her lifestyle choice to not associate with LGBT people, and therefore we won’t even allow her to do it. It’s no different from fifty years ago, when the majority didn’t approve of the lifestyle choice to be LGBT, and therefore wouldn’t even allow people to be LGBT.

Tomayto-tomahto.

Same shoe, different foot.

It’s my contention that this mentality has to be assaulted and addressed everywhere that it appears, because we do readily see it playing out in the real world. It’s not the application to LGBT issues or to video games that is the problem; the problem is the underlying mentality that connects both, that arrogance and ego that suggests, “I don’t approve of this, and thus it shouldn’t be allowed/shouldn’t exist.” How can we say we’re just talking about video games, when we see exactly the same thing happening in the real world, and real people being demonstrably tyrannized and prevented from being free to choose the people with whom they associate, simply because they are in a minority?

We find ourselves arguing opinion against opinion. Bob is a fundamentalist Christian who hates LGBT people, believes they are the product of Satan, and believes they’re going to hell. Tim is what we’d call a Social Justice Warrior, and as such Tim hates fundamentalist Christians. Bob thinks that being LGBT constitutes “abhorrent behavior.” Tim thinks that hating LGBT people constitutes “abhorrent behavior.” Bob wants to make it illegal to be a practicing LGBT person, and Tim wants to make it illegal to be a practicing fundamentalist Christian*.

Once upon a time, the majority agreed with Bob, and homosexuality was illegal and transsexualism was a mental illness. Today, the majority agrees with Tim, and fundamentalist Christianity is illegal in practice. There aren’t too many people who are more impacted by this than I, since I’m an openly transsexual lesbian resident of the state of Mississippi. And yet I stand, and will continue to stand, for people’s right of free association, even when I am the person they don’t want to associate with. It would certainly suck to walk into a gas station and have the owner tell me that I wasn’t welcome there, but it’s the owner’s business and property. At what point did we forget this?

We have to separate ourselves from the situation and recognize that we are arguing opinion against opinion and that neither side is objectively right. Bob isn’t objectively right to say that being LGBT is evil, and Tim isn’t objectively right to say that wanting to disassociate from LGBT people is evil. Why? Because morality is a set of subjective value statements built from assumptions. Even something like murder can’t be definitively stated to be good or evil, so how can something infinitely less destructive be objectively good or evil? The only exception to this might be rape, because, despite many attempts to do so, I have yet to come up with a theoretical scenario wherein rape would be considered morally good. It doesn’t matter how far-fetched our hypothetical scenario is; if we can come up with even one example wherein murder would be the morally right thing to do, then the conclusion must be that murder is not objectively wrong. So, to reiterate, with even murder being morally ambiguous, how could we ever attempt to make the argument that something with consequences considerably less dire and permanent can be absolutely morally clear?

Right now, you and I are on the wrong side of historical morality in countless ways. Two hundred years from now, people will look back on us and will decry us as heartless, immoral fiends, just as we do today when we look back at the ubiquity of slavery, sexism, and racism. We shouldn’t delude ourselves into believing that the set of moral values we currently have are eternal and will never change, because they will, and I can point to at least one specific area where, in a few centuries, you and I both will be known as evil barbarians.

Animal rights.

We are horrific to our non-human brothers and sisters. Not only do we kill them and eat them after they’ve lived their lives in abysmal conditions that we would quickly identify as torture if a human was forced to endure them, but we actively consider animals to be our property. Does that sound familiar? It should, because the arguments people use today to justify their treatment and perception of animals are exactly the same arguments people put forward 150 years ago to justify their treatment and perceptions of non-white people. Even though we know now, scientifically and beyond a shadow of a reasonable doubt, that animals think and feel things, we continue to largely treat them like unthinking, unfeeling automatons who are our property.

“‘My’ pets,” people say, claiming ownership of these living, breathing, thinking, and feeling creatures. Even I say “my cats,” though my position on them is clear, and I generally use the expression as shorthand–“my” cats are mine in the same way that my friends are “mine.” But even without going into how we commonly have to do things that animals don’t want “for their own good,” the fact remains that we participate in the widespread enslavement, torture, and murder of, if I recall correctly, eighty-five million animals a day, just in the United States. Society will one day look back on us, having ruled that eating meat is immoral, and call us evil barbarians.

My position is almost identical to Richard Dawkins’ position on this. Strictly speaking, yes, the vegans are absolutely right. It is unconscionable, and it is unjustifiable, yet I continue to do it. I eat meat. I passed through a vegetarian, and even a vegan, phase, but today I eat meat. But they’re right–the vegans are right, and their logic is unassailable. I’m not trying to convert anyone to vegetarianism or veganism, but it’s simply true that there’s no way to justify it in the modern world, and that a rational evaluation of the situation leads inexorably to the conclusion that eating meat and using animal products are immoral things to do.

We Have To Protect People From Themselves

I noticed last year that a scary number of people want to speak for me, to the extent that if I dare try to speak for myself, I was frequently slapped back down and told to shut up. The most jarring example was my video about the Liberal Redneck, where I criticized him for criticizing a fundamentalist Christian woman, and criticized him for asserting that she was a racist, simply because the woman was a white Christian. The response to this video was so bad that I actually took the video down. The video had like 5 likes and more than 80 dislikes, and one comment after the other, it was just “Uh… He’s speaking up for you, you idiot!” and “He’s on YOUR side, dumbass!”

It was one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever experienced, because there I was, speaking for myself and expressing what side I was on (neither the Christian’s nor the Liberal Redneck’s), yet people were disregarding that and telling me to shut up so that the Liberal Redneck could speak for me. This continued through all of last year. I remember seeing one Facebook post from Occupy Democrats that I remarked, “This had better have been written by a black female Muslim lesbian. If not, whoever wrote it needs to seriously re-evaluate why they think they have the right to speak for so many people.”

We have divided ourselves into these groups, and these groups demand our loyalty, to the extent that if we dare speak for ourselves or show any disloyalty, then they will turn and hang us alongside the other group. It’s an attitude that is rampant in the United States: “If you aren’t with us, then you’re against us.” Take, for example, how I repeatedly attacked Hillary last year, which led to countless people assuming that I supported Trump. This is especially noticeable on my Quora profile, where nearly everything I said about Trump or Hillary led to someone calling me a Trump supporter. I don’t know why. I have never supported Trump, and never would. His positions are contrary to almost everything I believe.

The recent women’s march showcases this, too, because it wasn’t a “Women’s March,” was it? No, it was a Democratic Women’s March, but no one is allowed to say that. When a Pro-Life group of women expressed the desire to join the march, they were told that they couldn’t. So it couldn’t possibly have been an All Women’s March; it was a Women’s March As Long As You Side With Us Politically. It was the same thing I experienced with the Liberal Redneck–neither he nor the dozens of vicious people who attacked me were interested in LGBTQ people. They were demonstrably only interested in Liberal LGBTQ people.

I’ve written before about how the Democratic Party doesn’t care about women, Muslims, Mexicans, black people, or LGBTQ people. They only care about votes and support. I couldn’t begin to convey how ostracized from the LGBTQ community I am simply because I’m an anarchist, never mind that I choose–for very good reason–to identify as a shemale. They demand that I be quiet and sheepish, that I nod and go along with whatever they say on my behalf, and Cthulhu help me if I dare speak up on my own behalf. No ally would demand you be silent while they speak for you, it’s as simple as that. Anyone who demands you sacrifice your voice to the mob isn’t your friend. Anyone who demands that you conform to what they want and what they say isn’t your ally.

You speak for you.

I’ll speak for me.

The only “group” I speak for are the lesbian shemale anarchists, and, the last time I checked, I’m the only one of those.

More to the point, a few years ago the Russian government made gay pride parades illegal. The reason they gave was that they had to protect children from being corrupted. While I’ve no doubt that the person reading this disagrees with the Russian Government about what constitutes “corruption,” the fact remains that their desire to protect the “innocent children who don’t know any better” from things they deem to be bad is what led them to do it. Again, that should sound familiar, because it is precisely what people have argued in regard to Steam Greenlight–it is necessary, they say, to protect the people who don’t know any better from being exposed to these things that they deem are bad.

If you haven’t seen that mentality playing out in the United States, then you haven’t been exposed to what we call the Social Justice Warrior. This isn’t an insult aimed at anyone who advocates social equality–I’m an egalitarian, after all. No, SJW refers to a specific type of person, like the kind of person who would say something like “I can’t wait for all these people who disagree with me to hurry up and die.”

Scary.

That’s fucking scary.

That should fucking scare you.

And these are the people who say that their positions come from empathy! This guy honestly and truly believes that he came to his beliefs because he’s just so filled with empathy toward Group A–and all this empathy that he feels with Group A just accidentally leads him to talk like a fucking psychopath about the people in Group B. I can barely imagine something more psychopathic than “People who don’t agree with me need to hurry up and die.”

And it’s got a like!

This is the long-run result of the extreme divisiveness that has characterized American society for the last several decades. “If you’re not with us, then you’re against us. And if you happen to have any of these characteristics by which we’ve divided ourselves but you still don’t agree with us, then you’re an idiot who should shut up and let us protect you from yourself and your stupid opinions.”

* Many would instinctively reject this assessment, but they would be wrong. It is currently illegal to live according to fundamentalist Christian values, as the previous link about the flower woman shows. It would be illegal for someone to tell me that I wasn’t welcome in their store because I’m transsexual. We are willing to allow them to quietly believe these things, but the moment they attempt to act in accordance with those things they believe, they are committing a crime, and we will prosecute them. So yes. It absolutely is illegal in the United States to practice fundamentalist Christianity.

Stay tuned for Parts 2 through 5, which will be posted over the next week and are from the actual book What Steam Greenlight Teaches Us About Anarchy, instead of this precursory explanation.

Libertarian Love

A lot of people say that libertarians are without empathy, that they feel no sympathy for people who struggle, and that they care about no one else’s plight. Seeing as I’ve spent the last few days burning straw men, I thought I’d burn one more: the Straw Libertarian.

Particularly on the left, I’ve noticed people tend to use the word “empathy” without knowing what it means.

Like this:

Notice also the arrogant and condescending pet name of "sweetie". They've learned nothing.

Notice also the arrogant and condescending pet name of “sweetie”. They’ve learned nothing.

Here is a woman so confused about empathy that she thinks it’s being okay with violence and people’s property being destroyed. I’m not going to get into how this woman’s current “suffering” is entirely in her head, because just notice what she said. I, a transgender resident of Mississippi, have no understanding of her plight and no empathy for people who, entirely in her mind, are being attacked and having their property destroyed–an “empathy” so powerful that it leaves her being okay with people being attacked and having their property destroyed.

Her “empathy” isn’t empathy at all, is it? It’s a disguised division of Us and Them where she doesn’t give a damn about Them. Those Trump supporters and innocent bystanders having their cars totaled, their businesses broken into, physical bodies assaulted–she doesn’t care about their real pain and loss, because it is her side inflicting it.

I’m not against protest. I’m not even against rioting. There sometimes does come a time when it’s necessary to take up arms against the government. Not against hapless bystanders who just happened to park their car in the wrong place. Before you attack someone or destroy their property, there are two things you must be absolutely sure about:

  1. The person you’re about to victimize has done you real, quantifiable harm. Esoteric harm does not count. That you heard it from a guy who heard it on Twitter from someone who like totes 4 real watched a video where Trump totally said it does not count.
  2. The person you’re about to victimize is directly responsible for your real injury.

If those criteria are not met, then your protest is not in any sense just; it is indiscriminately inflicting destruction and violence with no goal or effect except to hurt people.

Unlike the left, I condemn violence against the right. Unlike the right, I condemn violence against the left. I condemn all violence against innocent people and condemn all destruction of random property.

So do all libertarians.

We condemn violence precisely because we do have empathy for our fellow human beings. A political disagreement does not affect our desire to see them happy and unharmed. “Just because they disagree with us” is not enough justification for us to want to see them harmed. If it is enough for you, then I would suggest that you are the one who lacks empathy. If you only care about people on your side of the political aisle, fine, but don’t you dare pretend that blatant tribalism is empathy.

img_20161111_125747

These are my people.

img_20161111_125726

If you define empathy as that warped thing, or as refusing to acknowledge that a person can stand on their own two feet, then it’s true: libertarians lack empathy. Libertarians don’t want the government to protect me, to help me, or to cradle me in the nest so that I never have to fly. They will stand with me. They will not stand for me. They do not care in the slightest that I’m transgender (except that it makes me an oddity, since most lgbt people are democrats, so it gives me an edge gaining supporters). They care that I’m standing.

img_20161111_125708

Pictured: empathy.

There has been a large outpouring of support because of something I said elsewhere, on one of Tom Woods’ posts, about how people need to chill out and live and let live. I’ve no doubt that hearing that from a transgender person is a breath of fresh air, juxtaposed with all the lgbt people screaming that religious people can’t be allowed to act in accordance with their religious beliefs.

But that’s the key element, isn’t it? I’m not one of many. I’m not sacrificing my identity to the group for safety in numbers, chaining myself to a dogma that homogenizes me into a tally mark on a page. I am not so insecure and afraid that I sacrifice my sovereignty to others who totally promise to have my best interests at heart, and libertarians don’t want me, or anyone else, to sacrifice my identity so that they can act in my best interests.

They want to make sure that I am able to act in my own best interests. They don’t want to give me a fish. They want to get the state out of the way because the state’s restrictions are what is keeping people from learning to fish. They will do nothing for me. But a lot of them will choose to do stuff with me.

So thank you, libertarians, anarchists, and voluntaryists, for standing with me, rather than for me. Thank you for caring enough about people that you want them to be strong, independent, sympathetic, and free.

I was going to include all the comments from people showing support, but it seemed kinda masturbatory for me to do it. Liking their support even felt masturbatory, but it was better than replying “Thank you!” over and over.

Can Everyone Just Calm Down?

I’ve talkedquite a lotabout how Americans are increasingly drawn to the extreme ends of the spectrum, to the extent that I am convinced we Americans have begun to genuinely think in hyperbole.

When someone says, “I don’t think welfare benefits the poor,” we have come to expect a response something along the lines of:

Oh? So you just want to let the poor starve?

That libertarians are so often accused of “wanting poor people to starve” is, if nothing else, a shocking example of how pervasive this extremism has really become. It happens to anarchists, as well. “I don’t think the state does anything to benefit society.” Of course, then the response comes:

Oh? So you’re okay with being ruled by rape gangs?

It’s a mark of how sensationalized, hysterical, and extreme we have become that these two innocuous statements are met with such hostility; those making these replies appear to be legitimately unable to fathom that “the state” and “rule by rape gangs” (one might say that this is not just a false dichotomy but also a false choice, as “the state” and “rule by rape gangs” are exactly the same thing, but now is not the time for that…) are not the only possibilities.

A few weeks ago, frustrated with how Jill Stein was attacking Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, I commented one of her posts asking why she was becoming a shill, why she was wasting her energy targeting another third party candidate, when it served no one except the two dominating parties for the third parties to begin chiseling away at each other. I observed that she was acting like the youngest child petulantly attacking the middle child because the oldest child wouldn’t let her play with the toys. Thankfully, Jill Stein ceased her attacks on Gary Johnson.

Anyway, Rusty–we’ll call him “Rusty” because he’s a Steiner, and no one reading this will get that reference, and wouldn’t get it even if it wasn’t so tenuous–commented my comment to basically shriek, in all caps half the time, that it was stupid to expect Jill Stein of the Green Party to support Gary Johnson, when their policies, as I’d pointed out, were diametrically opposed.

On the surface, he had a good point. Why did I expect Stein to support Johnson?

Because I didn’t.

I asked Stein to stop attacking Gary Johnson. “Not attacking Johnson” and “supporting Johnson” aren’t even remotely the same thing. If I could not respect a candidate without supporting them, then my presence on Jill Stein’s page–which came about specifically because I respect her; I just disagree with her… on everything…–would have been impossible. Until Stein attacked Gary Johnson, I never attacked Stein, and I immediately stopped as soon as she stopped. I’m not attacking Stein now. I still don’t support her, because her platform is the anti-thesis of everything I stand for.

The idea that Jill Stein could just not say anything about Gary Johnson was something that Rusty couldn’t comprehend. In his extremist, ends-of-the-spectrum World of Either/Or, Jill Stein must attack Gary Johnson, because otherwise she supports Gary Johnson.

It’s easy to see how this came about, since we live in a society where the false dichotomy has thoroughly conquered the political landscape, and everything starts there and stems from it. If I post something negative about Trump, people take me as a Hillary supporter. If I post something negative about Hillary, people take me as a Trump supporter. My Quora page demonstrates this clearly.

I support neither one of those toxic devils, and it is my fondest wish that they both withdraw from the race. Trump is no better than Hillary, and Hillary is no better than Trump. They are both just absolutely awful, but for completely different reasons. It’s as close to a real-life example of “Pick your poison” as I’ve ever seen, and I am not going to do it. I will not eat a bowl of shit simply because the other bowl is diarrhea. I will leave the table.

But I doubt that the two party system is really the source of the problem; I suspect it’s a reflection of something that lies underneath, within the average human’s mind, and stems more from psychology than manipulation. This election just makes it more apparent. I know very few Trump supporters. Indeed, most of the Republican Party seems to be saying something along the lines of, “We don’t like Trump, but we really hate Hillary.”

Democrats point that out, too. I’ve seen Democrats suggest that the RNC was little more than a “We Hate Hillary” party. Fine. I’ll gladly grant that. However, they’re delusional if they think that the DNC was anything but a “We Hate Trump” party. The average liberal spends far more time trashing Trump than they do supporting Hillary.

It’s distressing how many people consider Hillary to be the apex of progressivism, though. That’s a scary amount of cognitive dissonance.

More than ever, we’re not voting to put someone in. We’re voting to keep someone else out. And all the while we bemoan the state of the nation and ask how it came to this. I don’t know why anyone should be surprised it came to this, or confused on how this came to be. It’s quite obvious. A country full of sensationalized masses who only think in the ends of the spectrum will obviously view their political enemy as “LITERALLY” Hitler and “literally” the devil. So it doesn’t matter how bad their candidate is–their candidate is opposed to “literally” Hitler and “literally” the devil, so their candidate is automatically preferable.

They’re too terrified of “literally” Hitler and “literally” the devil to even dream of voting third party, and they will absolutely hate you for doing it. Why?

I’m not sure why. It’s an ongoing examination.

I’ve noticed it elsewhere, too. You wouldn’t believe how hostile people have been because I tried reasoning with them over this clown shit and tried to point out to them that they’re being hysterical–textbook definitions of “hysterical” at that. Ad hominen is their bread and butter; they immediately launch into it, seizing anything and everything they can. One woman did this by attacking my grammar, though, if she’d actually bothered to read anything that I wrote, she’d have noticed that my grammar is borderline impeccable, and things like “but” being used to start sentences are intentional departures from formality. Another decided to inform me that she could see the feather’s end in my hair, and that it was tacky.

Basically, I was met by weak and petulant personal attacks, exactly as I was when I first joined Youtube with my video targeting the Liberal Redneck and criticizing him for assuming that this white family was racist simply because they were white. The response was so vicious that I ultimately pulled the video down, and it is what first clued me into the false dichotomy that the average American appears to be trapped in. The podcast I linked above is from that period, and the preceding and succeeding podcasts dive into the same issue.

It was clear. They hated Christians, so any attack on Christians was fair game, no matter what the attack was, regardless of how unfounded it was, and without respect to its applicability. That I, a transgender atheist, dared defend the Christian from an utterly baseless attack presented them with a cognitive dissonance too great for them to face. They saw me, and so they saw someone who refused to jump on their hateful bandwagon pulled by a horse named fear.

And they hated me for that.

I received more hate from those liberals calling themselves progressive and “Allies” than I’ve ever received from Christians for being transgender–if you don’t include my family. Meanwhile, as they spouted their vitriolic, hate-filled rants, they insisted that they were spreading love and tolerance. Is it a case of people believing that the ends justify the means? We should not be surprised that people think that they can use violence and hate to put an end to violence and hate–it’s the idea that allows the state’s existence to persist, after all. “We hate hate!” they proudly proclaimed. “So fuck those Christians, and fuck you for defending them, you boring, terrible, idiotic, treacherous piece of shit! Whose side are you on, anyway?”

“Whose side are you on, anyway?”

That was an actual comment, and it was such a transparent example of the Us and Them, False Dichotomy, World of Either/Or bullshit that I thought, “Surely no one can refute me now.” I had the evidence right there–I had proof right there, that I had called it from the start. People were overly sensationalized, trapped into thinking only in hyperbole and extremes, because they had locked their minds in a vicious Us Versus Them state where anything that didn’t fit with “Us” was, by definition, “Them,” and thus to be ridiculed and hated. And then there was this person who just straight-up asked me whose side I was on, implying that I could be on the Christians’ side or I could be on the liberals’ side, but that there were no other options.

We have to calm down, and we have to re-open our minds.

We have to stop thinking in terms of Us and Them.

A Study on Mob Behavior

The week has been interesting.

For those unaware, I posted a video heavily criticizing the Liberal Redneck Trae Crowder for being a disrespectful bigot and racist. Before you click Play, I’m gonna go ahead and warn you: if you’re okay with insulting Christians, or you’re okay with being racist against white people, then you’re not going to like what I have to say, and trust me when I tell you that you’ll be happier if you just don’t watch the video.

However, if your mind is truly open and not chained to one ideology or another, then you’ll probably like the video, because… well, everything I said is irrefutable. The only point of contention is that I was disrespectful of Trae, and that’s a valid point except for one consideration: Trae and like-minded people (liberals and “progressives”) have power and authority. I don’t, and neither do American conservatives. A member of a majority openly disrespecting and being bigoted of a minority is a very different thing from a member of a powerless minority being disrespectful and bigoted, and a very different thing from someone who is a minority of one being disrespectful. The balance of power is a supremely important consideration, and there is no doubt that the coalition of blacks, hispanics, LGBT, millennials, etc. that is the Democratic Party/Liberal union is tremendously more powerful than conservative Christians. Trae himself acknowledges it: “This is our world now, and you’re not getting it back.”

He’s not wrong. It is “our” world now, and conservatives are not going to get it back. And that’s my problem with his disrespect and bigotry against them. This is our world; i.e., we are the ones in power. It is absolutely, unequivocally, and indisputably our responsibility to protect the rights of the minority, no matter how much we disagree with them. No matter how disrespectful they are, we are the people in power, and thus the onus is upon us to respect them, because they lack the means to fight for respect.

It is well recognized throughout human history and Western Society that is the responsibility of a majority to care for and protect the rights of a minority. This is the year 2016–I should not have to explain this. I don’t care how disrespectful the minority is. They are a minority. They are outnumbered. They lack power. If we fail to respect them, then they are oppressed–by definition, because that’s what oppression is. What we are seeing is nothing more than the tyranny of the majority over the minority, and it is being done solely on the basis that these people have different beliefs.

I can’t believe I’m having to point out that this is wrong. It was wrong when they were the majority, and it’s wrong now that you are the majority. Oppression is always wrong. And if the majority group, if the group in power, is not respecting the rights of the minority, is not acknowledging the relevance of the minority’s dissenting opinions and beliefs, then the minority is, by the very definition, being oppressed, marginalized, and discriminated against. That this has to be said… is horrifying. Everyone should know this. It should be a given.

Have people simply not realized that conservative Christians are the new minority? The other night someone commented about how marginalized LGBT people are in the United States. What? Are you kidding me? Marginalized? Our issues take center stage. We get whatever we want, and conservatives get nothing. No one is allowed to stand against us. No one is allowed to stand against us. We, this group that represents only FOUR PERCENT OF THE POPULATION according to the latest data, have almost unfettered power to push our agenda. We have far, far more power than conservatives. We are Mike Tyson, and they are infants.

We have this power because we allied with women. This immediately severed their majority, which was once based on race. There’s no doubt about it–it once was based on race; it was a white majority. That died with the Feminist Movement, and women fled the Republican Party en masse to the Democrat Party. Black people vote with the Democrat Party somewhere between 80 and 95% of the time. That’s an extraordinary majority. Consider that at best 50% of white men are conservative, and it shouldn’t be hard for you to do the math.

There’s a reason no one is talking about it. And it’s because it shatters the idea that you’re oppressed, and the liberal agenda needs that. They did this shit consciously, and Republicans pointed it out decades ago. They pandered. They didn’t offer equality. They offered benefits. To all of us. And benefits are tempting, and we were tempted. We were systematically recruited and used by the liberal authoritarian agenda that is best represented by Bernie Sanders–let there be no doubt. His sudden appearance as a Democrat is not coincidence.

If even 50% of white men are conservatives, they are still vastly outnumbered by the women to whom Democrats promised benefits, disguising them as “equality.” The reason this distinction matters is because benefits don’t promote equality–they continue divisiveness, but shift the balance of power. One example: LGBT people wanted equality. Now you can receive a government grant to go to college just for being LGBT. This, by definition, means that being straight disqualifies you for that scholarship. It is inherently divisive. It continues the group-based division of benefits, and brings us no nearer to equality. It only shifts the balance of power. It only changes who benefits from the imbalance. The imbalance remains. The bigotry remains. The only thing that changes… is who is the victim.

Open your eyes.

The problem is that we divide the world into terms of Us and Them. As I wrote in the last article, “Them” isn’t really the problem. Identifying too strongly with Us is the problem, because it starts to demand our loyalty, our obedience, and our conformity. We can no longer think of individuals and break away from the group; we have to think like the group, go along with the group, and do as the group does. If we don’t…

Well, just see the comments I received on that video.

Belonging to that group shackles your mind. It forces you to conform at all cost, no matter how fucked up the group’s behavior is. You’re not allowed to think differently. And if you do think differently, you better keep it to yourself, because the mob will turn on you instantly, and if we have learned anything in these 7000 years of society, it is that the mob is vicious.

Please watch that video. “Conformity” by TheraminTrees. It is exceptional, and it is the reason that I see what I see now. And there can be very little doubt that what I see… is what is.

As I titled the post, I have been vindicated. I am speaking largely about this podcast:

http://ariadimezzo.podbean.com/e/fft-ep-08-square-peg-round-hole/

…wherein I discussed the mob mentality, and the motivations behind the comments that I was receiving. I discussed how they viewed the entire world as consisting of triangles and circles, and how they literally couldn’t understand that I’m neither a triangle nor a circle–I’m a square. Their minds are so shackled by the mob mentality, by the Us And Them bullshit, by the false dichotomies… that they are incapable of understanding the obvious fact that I am neither a circle nor a triangle.

Whose side are you on?

That’s the most recent comment to my video. It is an absolute vindication of everything that I have said. It is a thorough vindication of the video itself, and it is an absolute vindication of my assessment of the comments, the mob mentality, and their infantile, limited, and narrow worldview that shoved everyone into one of two groups: us… and them…, and fell into a group that demanded such loyalty, conformity, and obedience that they have become incapable of entertaining any idea that goes against the group.

They must break their minds free of those chains. They simply must.

Do not conform.

Think for yourself.

Question authority.

The Absurdity of Citizenship

It’s hard to find any ground on which one can stand in regard to the issue of immigration, illegal aliens, and citizenship. The first real snag that comes to mind in thinking about citizenship is that it’s probably the most asinine concept we human beings have ever come up with. If we place two houses along the Mexican/U.S. border, one house exactly one foot to the North of the border (and thus in the United States) and the other exactly one foot to the South of the border (and thus in Mexico), this difference of a mere two feet become a distance that might as well be two thousand miles.

A person born in the house one foot south of the border will be a citizen of Mexico and visiting his neighbor two feet to the north on a whim would be a crime. I have a hard time finding anything more inane than labeling people based on the geographic location of their birth, especially when the label is theoretically so clarified that a distance of one foot can be the difference between a Citizen and a Criminal.

I find it hard to believe that there is anyone who truly believes that the person born one foot to the south is any different from the person born one foot to the north. Even over a span of millions of years, natural selection and adaptation wouldn’t cause two human beings who were geographically separated by only two feet to show any real differences. Is there some difference between the two people that should label one as a criminal for not filling out mounds of paperwork just to travel to California? Of course there isn’t.

Since one’s geographic location at birth has no more impact on a person than the position of the constellation Aquarius at the time of birth, it follows that the only real difference between these two people would be the label that we stick on them: one is, by an arbitrary distance, a Citizen and the other is, by an arbitrary distance, not a citizen. These are simply labels, though, and we can choose to apply or not to apply them however we see fit.

We’ve chosen so far to apply them, despite the fact that a person’s birthplace has no impact on the person beyond that label that we apply. We can’t use the argument that the person’s parents weren’t citizens of the United States, either, because the same problem applies to their supposedly being non-citizens (I.e., we’d be judging their parents’ citizenship status based on the location of their birth).

All in all, there are only two differences between a “natural U.S. citizen” and a “non-U.S. citizen.” The first difference is that the latter’s parents were not U.S. citizens. The second difference is that the latter was born in a geographic location that is not part of the arbitrarily-defined borders of the United States. To the first, judging the individual’s parents as “non-U.S. citizens” is based exclusively upon their birthplaces and their parents’ birthplaces and their parents’ birthplaces, ad infinitum. Since this is asinine from the start—because a person’s birthplace is probably the most irrelevant detail we can use in judging a person—we have to look at the second reason the individual is a “non-U.S. citizen.” And… look at that! The second reason is exactly the same as the first reason: it is based entirely on a person’s birthplace and is completely inane and arbitrary!

Is a man born in California any different from a man born in New York? Is a woman born in Florida any different from a woman born in Washington? Of course not, to both questions. There will be cultural and manner differences, but these will be slight. They’ll also be insignificant, having no impact whatsoever in how society “values” that particular individual.

I am stricken with confusion when I think about the fact that the “Land of the Free” doesn’t grant citizenship to everyone who enters its borders. Why should we have requirements that must be met before a person can become a citizen of this country? The tests that must be passed are difficult enough that the vast majority of naturally-born U.S. citizens would fail them. Should we not give the Citizenship Test to everyone, even those who are born within the United States—if we are going to give it to anyone? Should we deport to somewhere else everyone who fails the test, even if they were born in the United States? If not, why should we deport to somewhere else anyone who fails the test? Why require a test at all?

Natural U.S. Citizens didn’t earn their Citizenship. I didn’t earn my citizenship. I was born within the United States, and that apparently gives me the right to live on the part of the Earth that is called the United States. I did nothing to earn my Citizenship. If I had been born as a Mexican, then it would be a crime for me to live on the part of the Earth that is called the United States. What madness is this? If anyone must “earn” their Citizenship, then everyone must earn their Citizenship. If not everyone has to earn it, then no one should have to earn it.

Why should my being born in the United States make it any easier for me to live and function in the United States? Is it because I pay taxes? Well, if we got rid of this asinine Citizenship concept, then anyone who wanted to could come to the United States and be equally qualified, because they’d have to find a job and with that job they’d be required, just like everyone else, to pay taxes.

We shouldn’t simply allow anyone who wants to come to the United States and be a Citizen. We should go further and treat everyone on the planet with the same rights, privileges, and respect that we would extend to other United States citizens. We shouldn’t place any significance in where a person was born or what the citizenship statuses of that person’s parents were, because this is the most irrelevant and meaningless factor that goes into defining “who” a person is.

Citizenship as a whole divides the world into “Us and Them,” which, if you pay attention to the things I write and say, is a gigantic problem and a mentality that must be abolished. That mindset is an abomination to our species; we are better than that. Citizenship and immigration divide the world into two groups: Us… and Them.

If you ask a conservative what their problem is with illegal immigration, they’ll rattle off some bullshit about how they don’t like it when immigrants break the law. You can easily reveal their underlying “Us and Them” mentality by following up with a simple question: “Okay, so what if we just made it legal for them to walk over here? What if we got rid of all the red tape, and let them just walk over here legally?” They’ll reject the idea. They’ll scream about how “them dang illegals, they done went and

jerbs

What are they really saying, though? They’re saying “No, we want to be able to control who allowed to be one of Us. We want to control who can be in our group. We want to keep them out. We want to keep Us doing better than them.” I mean… There’s no other way to slice it. That’s simply what they are saying.

Detour: Me and “They”

I say “they” a lot. It’s something I’ve known for a while, and I’ve just kinda ignored it. I criticize people all the time, though, for thinking in “Us and Them” ways. What’s the difference between them saying “they” about some people, and me saying it about all people? Well, it makes me a minority of one, first of all, and means that my only loyalty is to myself.

Groups demand loyalty. My god, do they demand loyalty. And if you do anything that suggests you aren’t loyal to the group, they will turn on your instantly and viciously. The “Progressive” group is tremendously guilty of this, and they do it brazenly and openly, justifying everything from religious bigotry to outright racism because their group is the one doing it, and they are loyal to their group.

But it’s not really that they see others as “them” that is the problem here, is it? As I said–the problem is that the group demands loyalty. The problem is the mob mindset of us. It’s okay to see everyone as they when you are a minority of one, not forced to go along with a mob. It’s the mob that creates the problem; it’s the Mob of US that causes the division, intolerance, and bigotry. After all, if you’re just a you, just an individual with no group membership, then you lack the mob that is necessary to enforce division.

They isn’t the problem.

Us is the problem.

“Dancing in Hellfire” Preview

I’ve temporarily put other projects on hold while I work on an autobiography. Don’t get me wrong–I’m no one special. I’m actually writing it because I’ve wanted to since I was about 13 or so, because… well, it’s been an interesting one. Between my parents’ heavy drug use, the alcoholic and abuse boyfriends my mom had after the divorce, the lengthy custody battle wherein neither parent was deemed fit, the loss of my brother for 6~ years because he was a coward, my mother’s “Unsolved Mysteries”-like disappearance when I was 12, the open secret that she was murdered by my uncle, and a few other things like that, my early childhood and teen years are interesting enough before the transgender thing is even thrown in. Once that’s added in, it really does become “Oprah Winfrey Show” level of “Seriously–wtf?!”

Rather than being split into chapters, it’s being split into time periods. There is the Introduction, Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, Tween Years, etc, and each of these is divided into smaller chunks, depending on what happened. I hope you find it as interesting to read as I did to write it; it is interesting to dig up some of these old memories–they aren’t necessarily repressed; they’re just things I never think about. So here is Pre-Kindergarten: South Pontotoc. Enjoy. 😀

One of the first things that came to mind when I first began exploring this part of my memory was the superiority that I felt over North Pontotoc. It’s curious, especially from a sociological and psychological standpoint, because I couldn’t have been older than 5, as I hadn’t yet started kindergarten, yet I looked down on North Pontotoc and had the sense that South Pontotoc was superior. Despite having no idea what these divisions meant or what difference there might have been between the two, I essentially knew only that there were two groups, and I was part of one group, so the group I was in was better than the other.

It’s odd to think about how innate that sense of “Us and Them” really is in humanity, because I sincerely doubt anyone ever bad-mouthed North Pontotoc—there was no reason to, and I suspect that my three year old self was the only person who cared in the slightest that there even was a distinction. There was probably some rivalry between the schools, but not enough that would have spurned a pre-school child to look down on one.

I was born premature, though I no longer recall the exact circumstances of my birth, and the details aren’t pertinent enough for me to bother looking into it. It’s worth mentioning, however, that I was born black—and what I mean by that is that I was born the color black—because the umbilical cord had wrapped around my throat. It’s likely that this is a result of my mother smoking and/or eating painkillers while pregnant; my father once assured both my sister and me that our mother did not do drugs while she carried us, but that… No, c’mon, dad. Mom was stoned off her ass, and you know it.

My earliest memory, however, is of being in a small hospital bed. My family insists that there is no way that I could remember this, but… I remember it. It’s strange to have them insist that I can’t remember something that I brought up out of the blue and did not know about before I brought it up. I wouldn’t exactly call it a bed, though, because I don’t recall the details that vividly. I remember only that the back of my right hand hurt like hell, and it hurt because there were a bunch of needles and tubes and stuff in it. Apparently, I could have been no more than a few weeks old when this occurred, but I don’t care; I remember the syringes and tubes in the back of my hand.

The details are blurry and fuzzy, which is what we’d expect from such early memories, but I recall a few things nonetheless. I do recall that they hurt, and that they itched; they irritated me, and I wanted them out. I remember also being afraid and confused. I had no idea why these things were stabbed through my hand, no understanding of what was going on; I knew only that I was hurting and helpless to do anything about it. This is my earliest memory, this was my first experience with the world, and this is how I was introduced to the universe.

The first few years of my life were relatively normal, and were about what anyone would expect from a southern lower middle class white family that subsisted more off the successes of previous generations than the merits of its own. Most of the land and holdings in my family were purchased by my grandparents’ generation; my parents’ generation has done little-to-nothing to add to it, and more often than not they’ve taken from it. I’m not a materialistic person, so these are points of contention for me, but I do find it fascinating.

I was, of course, born a male, with a penis and everything. Whenever all my briefs, my tidy-whities, were dirty, my mother put me in my sister’s panties; it wasn’t a punishment or anything along those lines, if that’s how that sounded. I, being the clever child I was, soon began hiding all my underwear so that I could tell my mother I didn’t have any and could wear panties instead. I took them out of my underwear drawer and threw them all into the closet—the closet that no one ever used or looked inside—and reported the sudden lack of underwear to my mother.

So when I say that I’ve been transgender since birth, it’s as close to “since birth” as someone can get. I could not have been older than 3 at this point, because my sister had not yet begun kindergarten herself. I can only guess what was in the mind of my 3 year old self, but I intend to do so.

First, I know that I preferred women over men, even then; I loved my mother and sister, and even at that age I had a deep appreciation for feminine beauty. My experience with men at this point was limited to my father (who was fat and not overly pleasant to look at), my brother (who was thin, but who had nothing on my mother), and my grandfather (who was also fat). I imagine it’s typical that young boys love their mothers, and I surely loved mine; I wanted to be just like her, and I suspect that had a lot to do with it. Who can say? I was three when it began.

I remember also being a very horny child. Being only three to five years old, the point of masturbation was not to orgasm but just to pleasure myself, and I did so—in weird ways. I remember stuffing one of my plush stuffed animals into the front of my underwear on a few occasions, for example. But I was a child. An unusual child, who had a penis, wanted to be like his mother, loved everything about women, and wanted to be a girl.

Due to my birthday, I was six years old before I began kindergarten, and not a whole lot else happened between my birth and beginning school. The only really important thing to be taken away was that even then I wanted to be a girl.

Actually, there are a few other things worth noting. I had a blanket—what most people would refer to as “a blankie,” except I never called it that. It was just my blanket. It was one of those cotton-threaded ones almost like nets, it was blue, and I refused to go to sleep without it. I also had a pillow, but the pillow wasn’t that important; it was the pillow case that was. For whatever reason, I loved rubbing the pillowcase between my finger and thumbnail, a habit I occasionally still find myself doing to this day.

I also slept on the floor, on top of the central heating vents, much to the irritation of my dad. I don’t recall my mom ever complaining about it, but I know that my dad did. I loved it, though, sleeping on the central heat vent with my blanket over me and pillow under me; it was great. I’d venture the guess that a therapist or some other doctor would say that my sleeping on the central heat vent had something to do with my being premature and wanting to feel that warmth, like being in the womb. Whatever the case, the preference for heat continues today, as well; as I sit here typing, the central heat in this house is set at 78 degrees, and I’m still a little chilly.

Kindergarten was mostly uneventful, but even then I was sort of a loner. I believe I was friends with a girl named Tiffany, but I don’t remember anything about her except that she was pretty tall. Pretty soon, however, my mom left my dad, taking my brother, my sister, and me with her. This is when things really started to go downhill.

I’m almost positive that it was a schoolday on which this happened, because I just recall for some reason that we were supposed to be in class but got to stay home that day. My mom told me that we were leaving dad, and I’m sure I handled that about as well as a six year old would. It was pretty brutal, and I didn’t understand what was going on. I remember I spent the entire day crying, and I believe that my sister did, too. Whatever was going on between our parents had nothing to do with us, and I didn’t understand why I would have to see my dad less because of it.

Too young to understand what was really going on, my primary concern was that I couldn’t decide whether to leave dad “the good Nintendo” or the bad one. There was nothing really wrong with either, except that the “bad one” took a while to get working. Both my dad and I were pretty big on video games, as was my brother; my mom and sister also played occasionally, and there were plenty of family moments when we all took turns playing.

I agonized over that decision far more than a six year old should have, and I don’t believe my mom gave the situation the attention it truly deserved. She was tearing our family apart, breaking our home into pieces, and I don’t think she ever sat down with my sister and me to explain to us what was going on, to assure us that we’d still see our dad, or to promise us that it would be okay.

She was cowardly about it, too, because she did all of this while my father was at work—or looking for a job, I honestly don’t know which. I was told that the reason she left him was because he wouldn’t find a job, but I have no idea if that was the case, and it doesn’t really matter anyway. We lived in a trailer on my grandfather’s land, however, and I’d wager that my grandfather alerted my dad to the fact that a U-Haul was at his hosue and that it appeared we were leaving. I don’t know if that’s true or not, because my grandfather later offered to kill my mother for my dad, so he probably wouldn’t have been restrained enough to simply inform my dad what was going on.

Due to sheer coincidence, I suppose, dad happened to pull up while we were finishing and preparing to leave. I have no idea how things played out from there, and I truly wish that I could remember. The only thing I remember from it is my dad shouting and trying to stop my mom, and then pretending that she’d run over him. He threw himself into the side of the car and then hit the ground, fell onto his back, and then lie there in the grass. My sister and I screamed and cried—our dad had just been run over!—and our mom shouted at us to stop yelling. I remember looking out of the back window at my father, lying still and unmoving in the grass, thinking only, “Dad is dead.”

So there I was in the back of the car, crying quietly, having just watched my father die from being run over, at the age of six years old and being shouted at by my mother because I freaked out when I thought I’d just seen my dad be killed.

*************

If you’re interested in seeing more, maybe you’d like to donate some funds for my transition at GoFundMe: www.gofundme.com/ariatransition

😀

Or alternatively, you could wait until I finish this manuscript and publish it to Amazon, probably for $2.99, although I think I’m going to provide it free of charge to those who have donated at GFM; seems fair to do that, at least. Or you could check out “Dead or Alive” on Amazon. It would also help just to have Share clicked under any of these. Or you can just keep reading–that’s perfectly great, too. XD

It also seems that my short story may be available on the galaxy’s most resilient website, but I don’t know anything about that.