Summary: This week we had simultaneous two-minute-hate sessions run by both Right and Left against Obama and George Will. These are fine demos of peasants’ protests in New America, proving that we remain capable of collective action: fun, righteous, purposeless swarming. Orwell predicted it. The 1% laugh.
- We enjoy our two minutes hate
- About Obama’s prisoner exchange
- About George Will & the epidemic of sexual assault
- For More Information
(1) We enjoy our two minutes hate
How do a people act who see themselves as powerless heirs to a Republic? Passive and apathetic, yet feeling a legacy of responsibility to act — resulting in severe cognitive dissonance. Pressure building each day as they see the Second Republic decay around them. Stress, emotion, demanding an outlet. This week we saw the reaction, simultaneous in both Left and Right.
- Obama denounced for exchanging a disgraced Army deserter for 5 Taliban terrorist leaders, soon returning to the battlefield.
- George Will defended rapists. “One in five women is sexually assaulted while in college” — and Will criticized Obama’s efforts to take back the night.
The rage was palatable. No denunciation was too lurid. No exaggerations of the evil one’s beliefs is condemned. No guess about his motives is questioned. It’s all nonsense, on several levels. The accusations are largely false. There’s not even the pretense of rational criticism (debating darkness!). Nor is this political activity (no personal activity results); it’s the substitute for it.
In a nation of isolated individuals, participation in political swarms gives us the feeling of belonging to something good and larger. Fun faux righteous togetherness.
And it relieves the pressure on us. Until the next time. Worse, as America slides away the pressure builds more quickly — and so these become more frequent. At some level we know these accomplish nothing. They convince nobody, change no policy, leave no trace. They’re peasants’ protests, not politics.
The 1% smiles, since hatred instead of rational debate prevents communication — keeping us divided and weak.
In this, as in so many things, George Orwell foresaw us.
The Hate had started. As usual, the face of Emmanuel Goldstein, the Enemy of the People, had flashed on to the screen. There were hisses here and there among the audience. The little sandy-haired woman gave a squeak of mingled fear and disgust.
… Goldstein was delivering his usual venomous attack upon the doctrines of the Party — an attack so exaggerated and perverse that a child should have been able to see through it, and yet just plausible enough to fill one with an alarmed feeling that other people, less level-headed than oneself, might be taken in by it.
… Before the Hate had proceeded for 30 seconds, uncontrollable exclamations of rage were breaking out from half the people in the room. … In its second minute the Hate rose to a frenzy. People were leaping up and down in their places and shouting at the tops of their voices in an effort to drown the maddening bleating voice that came from the screen. The little sandy- haired woman had turned bright pink, and her mouth was opening and shutting like that of a landed fish.
… The dark-haired girl behind Winston had begun crying out ‘Swine! Swine! Swine!’ and suddenly she picked up a heavy Newspeak dictionary and flung it at the screen. It struck Goldstein’s nose and bounced off; the voice continued inexorably. In a lucid moment Winston found that he was shouting with the others and kicking his heel violently against the rung of his chair.
The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but, on the contrary, that it was impossible to avoid joining in. Within 30 seconds any pretence was always unnecessary. A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledge-hammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one’s will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic.
It’s a peasants’ protest for busy people. Fast, concentrated. Afterwards we feel better, and life goes on — unchanged. But we can do better than this.
(2) About Obama’s prisoner exchange
- “Taliban prisoner swap makes sense“, Anand Gopal, CNN, 5 June 2014 — Bind-blowing facts about the 5 Taliban
- “Taliban Prisoner Swap: A Fact-Free Controversy“, Justin Raimondo, AntiWar, 9 June 2014 — “Who needs facts when we have our emotions?”
- “‘We’re in a war’“, Steve Benen (Producer, The Rachel Maddow Show), MSNBC, 10 June 2014
(3) About George Will and the college sex assault epidemic
The subject of tomorrow’s post.
(4) For More Information
(a) Reference pages about American politics:
- Posts about politics in America
- Posts about reforming America
- The Information reference page lists posts about propaganda run against us by our military, the Left & Right
(b) Posts about two-minute hates:
- George Will: climate criminal or brave but sloppy iconoclast?, 23 February 2009
- 5 years later: checking up on the 2-minute hate at George Will about melting of the polar ice, 10 June 2014
- More attempts to control the climate science debate using smears and swarming, 19 October 2009
- Well-funded organizations inciting us to hate & fear, again. How gullible are we?, 7 December 2013
- Nate Silver goes from hero to goat, convicted by the Left of apostasy, 25 March 2014
- The Left stages a two minute hate on Nate Silver, Roger Pielke Jr (& me), 29 March 2014
(c) Posts about peasants’ protests:
- Occupy Wall Street, another futile peasants’ protest, 5 October 2011
- The Million Vet March, a typical peasants’ protest. Does it portend more serious protests in our future?, 13 October 2013
- Occupy & Tea Party are alike, both saving America through cosplay, 18 October 2013
- Lessons from the failure of Occupy Wall Street, its lasting legacy, 7 May 2014
14 thoughts on “Swarms of hate against Obama and George Will, peasants’ protests in New America”
That is the primary illusion.
All else springs from that.
Until that is broken, shown for what it truly is….self induced; I am not at all certain, we can do better than this.
You can experience this at almost any level.
People actually believing that their individual actions have no effect on the “others” even in their immediate social and familial range.
Autonomy, independence…what strange ideas for a species that has arisen from a need to secure bonds and connections and closeness for historical survival.
Another fine example, thx.
On another similar note: fascinating reply to a Comment:
“Please get out of the way of those of us trying to fix things.
When the time comes I suspect you will gladly side with the 1%!”
……paraphrasing of course but still dead on.
“Until that is broken, shown for what it truly is….self induced;”
That’s of course correct. But there’s another aspect to this. As the series of posts about heroes showed, our myths are quite 1% friendly. We shape our myths, and our myths shape us.
It’s all quite complex.
Backlash against George Will might be unfair – but fairly predictable. Not sure how he could claim that being a rape victim is a “coveted status” and NOT expect a backlash.
A rant about “progressivism” and the “regulatory state” is something I would expect from the Drudge Report or the Blaze, not a column in a mainstream newspaper. I’m surprised he didn’t bring up “Marxism” and “Shariah Law” as well.
Wait until he hears they let coloreds use white water fountains.
This was like his article about arctic ice. Essentially accurate but sloppy analysis and exposition.
It is a structural problem. The nice people, careful and moderate with good spelling and grammar who only color between the lines — they never attack a society’s dogma. It is not sensible to risk this kinf of public lynch mob. Now it’s only virtual, but from personal experience I can state that it is not fun. He probably gets far more death threats than I’ve gotten, but even a few dozen make a big impact.
On the other hand, is his sloppy expression (there was a sensible point under his weird phrasing) worse than the millions who read that one of every four women at college is sexually assaulted. There is nil analytical data backing that up (in any usual sense of the term), although decades of repetition have made it a cultural truth.
One reason we are weak as a people is that we have lost our traditional skepticism. We read nonsense and nod like bobble-headed dolls. I suspect that gives us a weak basis to so quickly stone others for bad logic and facts.
Hate mail and death threats are a risk any public figure will encounter — one could even consider it a badge of honor of sorts.
Hate E-mails with Richard Dawkins
As for George Will – yes his point was sloppy at best – I don’t think even he himself knows what his point was – the only thing that IS clear from his column is his hatred for young women- he sounded like a bitter old man before I even looked up his age (born in 1941!) – the social mores he grew up with have changed, and like many others, it has left him angry and full of venom.
I don’t know or claim to know the accuracy of the statistics – but an interesting analysis can be found here:
I would imagine the more taboo a subject, the more difficult it is to get an accurate picture of it – male rape is even murkier a topic!
When did we have this “traditional skepticism”? When grown men at the Scopes trial argued about a talking snake in an enchanted garden? When we rounded up Japanese Americans into internment camps after Pearl Harbor? When Air Force generals were discussing (completely serious) nuking Dien Bien Phu?
That’s a charitable article, although it hints at some of the contrary evidence (there is much stronger evidence that they don’t include). The strongest they mention is the CDC survey showing a 1 in 5 lifetime incidence of rape; other data shows women in college have lower incidence of rape than other groups.
Web surveys make nice headlines, but are almost useless as data sources. Even surveys using statistically sound sample constructions are difficult to do in this area.
As for male rape, see the posts here are prison rape. Horrific, in effect state-sanctioned. Often of minors. Unlike rape of women, it’s a socially accepted practice. It’s often mentioned on TV shows, often humorously. No mention of this by Obama, or outrage in the news media.
I really do find his rant about “progressivism” amusing. So if he sincerely believes that liberals increase the rate of sexual assault, why do conservative countries consistently have sexual assault rates massively higher than that of liberal countries?
“So if he sincerely believes that liberals increase the rate of sexual assault…”
I missed that. Where does he say this?
Someone apparently has an axe to grind…
“And academia’s progressivism has rendered it intellectually defenseless now that progressivism’s achievement, the regulatory state, has decided it is academia’s turn to be broken to government’s saddle.”
“Academia is learning that its attempts to create victim-free campuses — by making everyone hypersensitive, even delusional, about victimizations — brings increasing supervision by the regulatory state that progressivism celebrates.”
“Which serves them right. They have asked for this by asking for progressivism.”
Notice the not-so-subtle play on words here. These women “asked for it” by defying traditional conservative values. They deserved to be raped, not because of, for example, poor decisions or too much alcohol – they deserved to be raped on the basis of ideology – by accepting “progressivism”.
I don’t believe those statement can fairly be represented as saying “So if he sincerely believes that liberals increase the rate of sexual assault”. Not even close.
As for the Right vs academia: that’s a battle raging since the 1960s, and probably earlier. In the 1960s US academic culture — in the humanities and social sciences, primarily — consciously decided to become “socially relevant” by adopting Leftist thinking — both academically and in the internal operation of the university (as usual, done only in fits and starts, when convenient). This included discrimination against conservatives in hiring.
This had political advantages for the Left, but at the cost of reduced base of support. That’s starting to hurt. See Congress’ cutting support for the humanities during the past 20 years. Now they’re cutting funding for political sciences. They’re not stop there.
Where and how often is male rape humorized?
It is however noticeable that the Conservative establishment absolutely refuses to discuss or even acknowledge male rape. Which makes sense really, because it doesn’t fit the narrative, it doesn’t match their warped and backwards perceptions of masculinity. The Guardian and other liberal outlets are the only ones publicizing the story.
If anything – more attention to female victims, in turn, provides more attention to male victims. Traditional conservative establishments – the key example being the military – have deliberately ignored, covered up, and even sanctioned male rape for hundreds of years. It was only after the influx of women members, and backlash against female rape, were male victims FINALLY recognized.
On cop shows. NCIS, NCIS-LA. On rom-com police procedurals, like Castle. The good guys smirk about how the suspect will be raped in prison.
He said it in plain English – his intent and venom are pretty clear. Not sure why he deserves sympathy when he clearly has nothing but contempt for other people.
Did he really expect to use such incredibly incendiary language – that college women were “asking for it” by becoming progressives, and not get his fingers burned?
As for Conservatives in academia – I don’t think a person who believes people ran around with dinosaurs a few thousand years ago, the best economic system is carrying around blocks of gold in your pocket, and that every field of science is a lie by leftists to destroy Christian values – is going to have a future in academia. Maybe conservatives brought this upon themselves with their insane beliefs.
“that college women were “asking for it” by becoming progressives, and not get his fingers burned?”
I don’t believe that’s a fair, or even logical, interpretation of what he said.