Is neoreaction a form of postmodernity?

May 24, 2014 § 202 Comments

The modern world is pervasively characterized by the nothing-buttery I broadly call positivism.

Scientism (scientific positivism) proposes that RealTrue[tm] knowledge is nothing but what can be verified using scientific methods: other kinds of knowledge may exist, but they are inferior and in practice can be dismissed as irrelevant. Liberalism (a particular kind of political positivism, though not the only kind) proposes that legitimate authority is nothing but what promotes and protects freedom and equal rights: other kinds of “authority” may exist in a non-normative sense, but they (contra reality) have no teeth, and indeed must be made to have no teeth.  Behaviorism proposes to reduce the human experience to nothing but observable behaviors. Nominalism proposes that there are no meaningful universals or essences, so language is nothing but the arbitrary use of arbitrary names, and what words mean is exhaustively characterized by analyzing their function in communities: meaning is verified by (and is nothing but) linguistic usage.

Whenever we see claims that the meaning of something is nothing but what is revealed by some verification procedure or functional manifestation, we should suspect that positivism is in play.

There is a broad perception that postmodernism is the opposite of scientistic positivism, since the scientistic view is frequently seen as in conflict with the postmodern view.  Notice though that this is quite similar to the false perception that right-liberalism is the opposite of left-liberalism, rather than both being instances of the same kind of thing.  Notice also that unprincipled exceptions are the rule here: no sane human being can function in general as a nothing-buttery positivist; so the ‘tools’ of positivism are deployed selectively, and exceptions abound as long as we take care not to permit the exceptions to challenge the dogma.  (In general we need to be very suspicious of ‘one drop’ justifications of things: if ‘one drop’ of truth represented by ‘moderation‘ and unprincipled exceptions constitutes defense of an idea then the fact that the Nazis cared for their own children justifies Nazism).

Finally, notice that different kinds of modern ideologues are always (falsely) accusing their own close cousins of insincerity with respect to fundamental principles: this is precisely because, although they actually are committed to the same fundamental principles, they have adopted different baskets of unprincipled exceptions. If you want to know what people sincerely think, you just have to listen to what they say and watch what they do.  Yes, people lie; but in general, conspiracies that involve more than a few people are not sustainable and we can know what most people really do think just by asking them.

Now postmodernism isn’t all that different from the positivism it supposedly despises, just as progressive leftism isn’t all that different from the classical liberalism (or even the national socialism) it supposedly despises.  If meaning is nothing but how language functions in a community (ahem) then meaning disappears, and all we are left with is a power struggle of arbitrary “narratives”.

Postmodernism isn’t a rejection of modernity; it is an agree-and-amplify.

I am not familiar enough with neoreaction to be able to say whether it is or is not intrinsically postmodern.  But I am starting to get the impression that even if it isn’t intrinsically postmodern, it is certainly deeply infected by postmodernity.

Appropriate to recent discussions of racism (see here and here), I’ll leave you with an example of how a political reactionary can be against liberal propaganda and at the same time can avoid going down the postmodern language-power-narrative-propaganda rat hole (assuming he actually wants to avoid that, as opposed to seeing it as a virtue).  It is for example possible to generally oppose the use of the term racism without the self-immolation involved in contending that “racism” is an anti-concept and that thinking of black people as the moral equivalent of pets isn’t racist.

I myself have been contending for years that folks really should avoid using the term “rights” as much as possible because of the function that the word tends to perform in liberal society.  I could I suppose have further claimed – and perhaps built an historical argument –  that because of its etymology, the term “rights” has generally been used more as liberal propaganda than for anything else.  But I don’t bother to do that because the etymology and social function do not destroy the concept of rights: they do not reduce “rights” to nothing but an anti-concept.

“Rights” really do mean something: rights refer to a kind of discriminating authority, and if I made the postmodern move of pretending that the term means nothing at all, or is nothing but its behavioral function in society – if I denied that “rights” have an essence – it would become impossible to understand, let alone criticize, liberalism.

Nominalism intellectually castrates the nominalist, and to the extent neoreaction is postmodern it has already been neutered by modernity as a force for the good, the true, and the beautiful.

I suggested at one point that the “noble lie” of zero group differences is powerful because modern people viscerally understand that it is the only thing that stands between the modern liberal free and equal superman and the nazi. The propagation of the ideas that torture and racism are anti-concepts seem to support my view.

§ 202 Responses to Is neoreaction a form of postmodernity?

  • jamesd127 says:

    Come on. Race realism is racist?

    You are not in fact using the term “racism” in accordance with your purported definition any more than the defenders of Martin Trayvon were.,

  • Zippy, here’s your problem. Christianity got entryized by Calvinism, which got entryized by a bunch of stuff, which got entryized by Ultracalvinism/Socialism/Communism/Progressivism. Which is currently getting entryized by neoreaction.

    So you correctly see NRx as agree and amplify to progresivism.

    And you’re frustrated because you want to go back to mere christianity.

  • Zippy says:

    Peppermint:
    The problem with postmodernism isn’t that I don’t like it. The problem with postmodernism is that it is false, so folks who buy into it are engaged in a kind of evangelical self deception.

  • Come on. Race realism is racist?

    Yes or no answer (Zippy, if you’re not interested in this discussion just say the word): Is saying “Its okay if I look at and treat black people exactly the same way I look at and treat my pets” racist or not?

    In a show of good faith, I’ll answer directly: Yes, it is racist, because you’re putting human beings on the level of animals.

    What is your answer?

  • jamesd127 says:

    Agreed postmodernism is false, indeed insane.

    The question at issue however, is what does “racism” mean?

    Does “racism” refer to a useless concept that no one ever finds any real need to express?

    Or does “racism” in fact mean what people actually use it to mean?

    Words mean what people use them to mean. That is not postmodernism, that is communication 101. If you were to say “Trayvon Martin decided to mug George Zimmerman because he he was a racist” 99.9% of people would not understand you, and, trying to make sense of your nonsensical and absurd words, would read you as saying “Martin Trayvon decided to mug George Zimmerman because George Zimmerman was a racist”.

    Try it and see what happens.

  • Zippy says:

    Malcolm:
    The way this works is that James doesn’t have to answer your questions, but you are supposed to answer his. And even when you have answered his, he gets to pretend that you didn’t and that your answer would be whatever he says it would be.

  • jamesd127 says:

    Malcolm:

    The way this works is that James doesn’t have to answer your questions, but you are supposed to answer his.

    So, ask me a question, any question.. I am eager to engage in debate. I failed to notice Zippy asking any questions. I was under the impression he was merely calling me insulting names.

  • jamesd127 says:

    Zippy originally claimed that the word “racism” meant hating people and doing bad things to them on the basis of race.

    By which definition Martin Trayvon is racist, and slave owners were not racist – which obviously goes against normal usage.

    So, seems to be changing definition, so that slave owners were racist for being aware of the large differences between blacks and whites, and believing that this meant that blacks needed someone to make decisions for them.

    By which definition, of course, Martin Trayvon is not racist, and George Zimmerman is racist.

    Trouble is, Zippy wants to emotional impact of one definition,(hating and intentionally harming) to be applied to the other definition: Heresy!

    It is perfectly clear that neither slave owners, nor George Zimmerman, wanted to harm black people. Indeed if George Zimmerman had invented peanut butter, rather than protected his community against a burglar, he would have been classified as black.

  • CJ says:

    You said yourself that slave owners treated black slaves like pets. Treating a human being as something other than human due to their race fits squarely within Zippy’s definition.

  • Zippy says:

    James:

    Zippy originally claimed that the word “racism” meant hating people and doing bad things to them on the basis of race.

    No, it refers to injustices motivated by race.

    By which definition Martin Trayvon [sic] is racist, and slave owners were not racist – which obviously goes against normal usage.

    Both Trayvon Martin and American slave owners engaged in racist actions. When you claimed that nobody says that Trayvon Martin’s actions were racist, you were provided with counterexamples. For example I gave you a link to a column by Ted Nugent, a household-name-famous rock star and libertarian, in which he says that Martin was a racist thug. When I type “Trayvon Martin was a” into the Google search box, the top two results from Google Suggest are “thug” and “racist”.

    So this notion that nobody thinks Martin’s actions were racist – a weak contention upon which to hang your postmodern hat even if it were true – is contradicted by that little thing I like to call “reality”.

    Now I suppose we can get into a postmodern scrabble over whether “reality” is an anti-concept.

    You are still welcome to actually answer Malcolm’s question if you like.

  • jamesd127 says:

    No, it refers to injustices motivated by race.

    By which definition, Martin Trayvon can never be racist, since injustices can only be committed by authority. So you might as well say that racism refers to the fact that whites are hateful evil and responsible for all bad things that happen everywhere, whereupon the fact that Martin Trayvon attempted to mug George Zimmerman on the basis of racial hatred becomes anti racism, not racism.

    Are “injustices” suffered by blacks “motivated by race”, or caused by real black inferiority?

    Recall that blacks taken to America as slaves grew taller than in their homeland, had a higher rate of reproduction than in their homeland. When the slaves were freed, about twenty percent of them died off as a result of lower living standards or self destructive behavior or both, thus the owner’s perception that they were looking after the slaves, taking care of them, protecting them from themselves, like pets or domestic animals, was not obviously false.

  • Zippy says:

    James:

    … injustices can only be committed by authority …

    No, James, no. Check your priors.

  • jamesd127 says:

    You are still smuggling hostile and hurtful intent into you definition, so that it gets the right emotional response, and then turning around and sneaking hostile and harmful intent out of your definition, so that you can apply it to the right people,

  • Zippy says:

    James:

    You are still smuggling hostile and hurtful intent into you definition…

    Um, no.

    Justice is a matter of objective morality, not subjective ‘hostility’ or ‘hurtful intent’ or whatever. If I steal something that doesn’t belong to me I have committed an injustice against the owner: it has nothing to do with feelings, etc. Nor does telling a story about how the person I stole from is better off justify my theft, for that matter.

    In fact the complaint is more than a little precious, since probably the thing I write about more than any other subject is the objectivity of moral norms of behavior.

  • jamesd127 says:

    For example I gave you a link to a column by Ted Nugent, a household-name-famous rock star and libertarian, in which he says that Martin was a racist thug.

    Ted Nugent ostentatiously presents himself as low class and low status, and using words incorrectly is part of that image.. People who present as high status do not spontaneously call Trayvon Martin a racist and people, whether high status or low status, who call Trayvon Martin racist are unlikely to be understood.

    “racist thug” is likely to be understood, but calling him “racist” without the qualifier “thug” is unlikely to be understood.

  • jamesd127 says:

    If I steal something that doesn’t belong to me I have committed an injustice against the owner: it has nothing to do with feelings, etc. Nor does telling a story about how the person I stole from is better off justify my theft, for that matter.

    This presupposes that the slaves were stolen. In some cases they were, but in most cases the local lords found that they were without visible means of support, were hunting someone else’s cattle, and gathering in someone else’s fields, and condemned them to slavery for vagrancy and theft.

  • Zippy says:

    James:

    People who present as high status …

    Not much to say about this farrago of nonsequiturs other than that it confirms that you are taking a postmodern approach to language and meaning.

    This presupposes that the slaves were stolen.

    Not at all. In fact I wasn’t talking about slavery at all in the citation: I was talking about the fact that justice is objective not a matter of “hostility” or whatever, and I used theft as an illustration.

  • jamesd127 says:

    This presupposes that the slaves were stolen.

    Not at all. In fact I wasn’t talking about slavery at all in the citation: I was talking about the fact that justice is objective

    Suppose, as seems likely, and, if false, seems likely that the slave owners believed, that a slave had been legitimately and rightly condemned for slavery by legitimate local authority in Africa, that he was a lot better off as slave in America than in Africa, and also that most slaves, or many slaves, or slaves that had not been properly selected, trained and prepared for freedom, were better off as slaves of Christian owners in America than abruptly receiving unsupervised freedom in America.

    Where then is the intent to do injustice? Where is the mens rea?

    You are sneaking the following concepts into your definition, and then promptly out of your definition: that all men are naturally equal, and that inequality is the result of evil intent

    You cannot have a coherent definition of racism that has the moral import you intend, and at the same time includes both slave owners and
    Trayvon Martin.

    And, your definition becomes too clever by half, too ingenious to be what people intend to be understood in ordinary conversations.

  • Zippy says:

    James:
    I should thank you for being such an effective Exhibit A for the thesis of the OP.

  • josh says:

    Jim is nothing if not an “exhibit A”, God bless him.

    In defense of slave-owners, I know of no instance wherein a slave-owner refers to a slave as a pet. Many slave-owners acted unjustly toward their slaves; and no doubt, race was likely a contributing factor if not a leading cause of many of these injustices. I think this conversation would be clearer if we were to acknowledge that it is not servitude itself that is “racist” or unjust, but that many injustices occurred under the actual system of slavery (e.g. on some occasions not respecting marriages, sexual misconduct, encouraging rather than discouraging vice).

  • Zippy says:

    Josh:
    For the present discussion a simple acknowledgement that some slaveholders sometimes engaged in racist acts is the obvious and basic demonstration of sanity. Even though I am convinced that chattel slavery is always morally unjust (since it treats subjects as if they were mere objects), I am certain myself that it wasn’t always and in every case motivated by race; and by the same token it isn’t as if the mere act of chattel slaveholding is the only kind of racist act that was ever done. It is as ludicrous to deny the fact of racist acts as it is to attempt to define justice as liberalism. The fact that the pushers of this particular falsehood are at least nominally against liberalism doesn’t turn the lies they are selling into the truth.

    The categorical denial of racism is just pure postmodern claptrap, and no serious adult should take neoreaction seriously if that kind of postmodern claptrap is essential to it.

  • jamesd127 says:

    For the present discussion a simple acknowledgement that some slaveholders sometimes engaged in racist acts is the obvious and basic demonstration of sanity.

    Some of them, most of them, were white, therefore racist, since racist is, like “cracker”, just a hateful word for white.

    And the fact that you have trouble getting your mind around the fact that some owners were black and a lot of them were native Americans and that some slave were white demonstrates that this is in fact what “racist” in fact means.

    As for sexual misconduct, observe actually existent Africa. Or indeed actually existing Detroit. It seems unlikely that slave owners tore families apart to the extent that our existing government does.

    It is as ludicrous to deny the fact of racist acts as it is to attempt to define justice as liberalism.

    We don’t have a word for woodism, the belief that some woods are better than others. And we don’t really have a word for racism. It is not in fact used in the claimed manner and I am attempting to demonstrate that you are not in fact using it in the manner that you claim, and in this very comment to which I respond, were not in fact using it in the manner in which you claim.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    racist is, like “cracker”, just a hateful word for white.

    James: “I reject your reality and substitute my own.”

    As for sexual misconduct, observe actually existent Africa. Or indeed actually existing Detroit.

    James: “Because people do bad things, it’s okay for more people to do bad things.”

    We don’t have a word for woodism, the belief that some woods are better than others. And we don’t really have a word for racism.

    James: “Nothing means anything. I am lost in the void. Please save me Zippy.”

  • jamesd127 says:

    racist is, like “cracker”, just a hateful word for white.

    James: “I reject your reality and substitute my own.”

    Martin Trayvon uttered a hateful epithet for “white” before leaving the vicinity of his dad’s house to mug a smaller and lighter skinned man,

    If you google “Trayvon racist” you will at once see what “racist” ,actually means, you will at once see what the actual reality is.

    Words mean what they are used to mean. If you call Martin Trayvon a racist, you are unlikely to be understood, People who present as belonging to a social class that uses words correctly are reluctant to call him a racist, for fear of being perceived as ignorant or crazy.

  • Zippy says:

    James:

    People who present as belonging to a social class that uses words correctly …

    I’ll just note in passing (without stipulating the background factual premise) James’ acceptance of the postmodern premise that words mean just what a certain social class and only that social class says they mean, nothing more, nothing less.

    Paging Lewis Carroll.

  • jamesd127 says:

    I’ll just note in passing (without stipulating the background factual premise) James’ acceptance of the postmodern premise that words mean just what a certain social class and only that social class says they mean, nothing more, nothing less

    Liar

    That is the opposite of what I said, and the opposite of what I meant.

    I am telling you, your social class, that the word racist does not mean what you say it means. It means what you actually use it to mean.

    And you are therefore lying when you claim it means something different from what you actually use it to mean, just as you are lying when you claimed I said the direct opposite.

    Racism is an anti concept, because when you tell us what the word means, this is not in fact what you use it to mean.

  • Zippy says:

    James:

    Liar …

    … And you are therefore lying … just as you are lying …

    Racism is an anti concept …

    Have a nice day!

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    I’d like to refer to a couple blocks from Zippy’s previous post about anti-concepts:

    The latest real thing to be cast as an anti-concept is racism: the assertion is that racism isn’t really anything at all, it is just an epithet expressing the disapproval of the person uttering it. This is supported by an appeal to etymology, as if we are supposed to accept the nominalist presupposition that the essence of something is brought into being by the coining of a term.

    But of course racism really is (and quite manifestly) a thing. If it weren’t a thing then propagandists wouldn’t have any reason to anchor their propaganda to it. Furthermore, anyone who cannot see racism in (say) a group of black thugs beating a white man to death while shouting “cracker” at him, or in a group of white slavers burning an “uppity nigger” alive, is a moral imbecile utterly incapable of even having a discussion about reality.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    If my intention directs the actual meaning of my words, then there’s no point in trying to communicate at all.

  • nathanjevans says:

    I’ve only recently been trolling anywhere on the internet where the term “neoreaction” is known at all (does that make it an anti-concept?), but if James is any indication, then Neo-Reactionaries beat left-wing Post-Modernists at their own game in stride. Maybe that in itself is useful, if only to show how utterly vacuous and devoid of meaning the whole Post-Modern (and modern before it) project is.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    I think a good deal of the source of the problem is the (nominalist?) idea that meaning can only come from within ourselves. An orange is only an orange because we’ve defined it as such. If meaning can only come from within ourselves, then meaning is whatever we say it is. If we just play around with it enough, that orange can become an apple. We end up with piles of language games that just destroy our ability to so much as communicate.

    Even though Calvin really really wants “Yakka Foob Mog. Grug Pubbawup Zink Wattoom Gazork. Chumble Spuz.” to mean “When viewed in an inertial reference frame, an object either remains at rest or continues to move at a constant velocity, unless acted upon by an external force.” it doesn’t.

    Even if anyone (including James) really really wants “racism” to mean “a hateful word for white” it doesn’t.

    Oh, and it made me laugh when he said:

    And the fact that you have trouble getting your mind around the fact that some owners were black and a lot of them were native Americans and that some slave were white demonstrates that this is in fact what “racist” in fact means.

    I could actually hear the whistling noise the point made as it sailed over his head. Just to protect myself from any shouts of “You Ad Hominem-ing bastard!” I’ll elaborate. At no point in time has Zippy ever asserted that racism is only possible as a thing whites do to other races – he has no trouble getting his mind around the facts he’s supposedly denying. In fact in his writing here –

    Furthermore, anyone who cannot see racism in (say) a group of black thugs beating a white man to death while shouting “cracker” at him, or in a group of white slavers burning an “uppity nigger” alive, is a moral imbecile utterly incapable of even having a discussion about reality.

    – I believe the entire point of the first example is to avoid such ridiculous claims. James’ “argument” here really boils down to “Screw reality! Racism is what I say it is, and because I said so!”

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    Words mean what they are used to mean.

    Or perhaps James means words can mean something different every time someone uses them – in which case I just give up, because he has defined language to be something with which communication is literally impossible, and any attempts to pound some logic into his skull would be intrinsically futile. (Ironically enough – if you hold this position and you think these words mean something – you should already be seeing the flaw in your logic.)

  • Ita Scripta Est says:

    Neo-reaction seems to be a slightly more edgy version of anarcho-capitalism, which I guess makes sense since most of their thinkers come out of that milieu. Practically all of their teachings derive straight out of 19th century liberalism:

    -scientific racism

    – unrestrained (anarcho) capitalism especially as promoted by figures like Murray Rothbard and Hans Herman Hoppe

    -“liberty” not virtue or goodness as the highest political goal (see Jim’s tagline “liberty in an unfree world” this is illustrative.)

    – enlightened monarch/ruling class

    – technology as progress (Vox Day)

    – 19th century religious movements (Charlton)

    To be sure not all neo-reactionaries hold such views but I do not think I am being unfair in ascribing these views to some of the main neo-reactionaries like Moldbug, Vox Day, Captain Capitalism, Anarcho-Papist and of course our friend Jim.

    It goes without saying that a faithful Catholic must ultimately reject neo-reaction as a false ideology despite their appropriation of De Maistre or their attacks on Calvinism. Neo-Reaction is not even post-modern so much as it is a resurrection of old-liberalism in modern garb.

  • jamesd127 says:

    – I believe the entire point of the first example is to avoid such ridiculous claims.

    Well then, why not use the example of native Americans or muslims enslaving whites?

    In actual practice you guys don’t call a bunch of black people beating up a white guy “racist”.

    If racism was a thing, it would have been a thing before the twentieth century. Why no word for it before the twentieth century?

  • jamesd127 says:

    Or perhaps James means words can mean something different every time someone uses them

    Or perhaps, unlike you guys, I use words in accordance with their purported definitions, and only use words likely to be understood as meaning their purported definitions. Unlike you, I mean what I actually say, and say what I actually mean, which I why you keep needing to announce that I am saying the opposite of what I have plainly said, and plainly meant.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    Just because people generally don’t call profitable full-recourse loans usury doesn’t mean they’re not usury.

    Just because people generally don’t call abortion murder doesn’t mean it’s not murder.

    Just because people generally don’t call racism towards white people racism doesn’t mean it’s not racism.

    Just because we haven’t had a word for “molecule” for most of human history doesn’t mean molecules didn’t exist before we had a word for it.

    Just because the word “atheism” was invented in the 18th century doesn’t mean atheists didn’t exist before then.

    Just because “racism” has only been a “thing” since the 20th century doesn’t mean racists didn’t exist before then.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    unlike you guys, I use words in accordance with their purported definitions, and only use words likely to be understood as meaning their purported definitions.

    Believing you can capture the complete and consistent meaning of a term with a definition based in language is positivism. I suggest you take this up with Kurt Godel.

  • jamesd127 says:

    Just because people generally don’t call racism towards white people racism doesn’t mean it’s not racism.

    If it is racism today, would have been racism in 1900. And we would have had a word for it in 1900.

    “Abortion is murder” is such a commonplace statement that people are sick of hearing it. “Martin Trayvon mugging George Zimmerman is racism” is such a weird statement that you will have trouble being understood.

    Just because the word “atheism” was invented in the 18th century doesn’t mean atheists didn’t exist before then.

    “Atheos” is a classic Greek word, invented several centuries BC, meaning “atheist”

    In the sixteenth century the Greek word “Atheos” became the french word “atheist”, and in due course the English word.\

    Before the sixteenth century, “atheists” were referred to as “Godless”

    Before the twentieth century, there was not only no word “racist”, there was no word that meant racist. Before the sixteenth century, there was a word that meant atheist.

  • Catholic Economist says:

    Ita Scripta Est-

    Bingo. I believe in a different post here I mentioned that the Neoreaction makes a great deal more sense if one simply views its constituents as want-to-be social engineers. As you correctly point out, their entire thesis seems to be that liberalism isn’t wrong per se; rather it simply needs to be rehabilitated, redesigned, and repackaged. And to what ends? Well, insert whatever measure of worldly success you want, because if you desire it they can rationalize it and call it virtuous.

    The Neoreaction just a rebranding exercise. “Want money, power, and women and the ability to still call yourself a ‘Christian’? Well, try our newest product: Game™! (sold in some places as Applied Psychological Techniques for Social Dominance). Or are you looking to create a brand new group of technocratic elites? Well, just a few uses of HBD™ and you’ll understand that members of Group X are less intelligent and able than members of Group Y because Science™ said so!

    I think the thing that I find the most distasteful is how individuals who purportedly call themselves Catholics can act as shills for this nonsense. I mean the pre-Conciliar Church produced an enormous body of work on how the Social Kingship of Christ should be reflected in our economic, political, and social affairs. If you are Catholic and you are not starting from this foundation, then you have already failed before you even began.

    JustSomeGuy-

    I think I’ll start the slow clap for you my friend.

  • Zippy says:

    James:

    In actual practice you guys don’t call a bunch of black people beating up a white guy “racist”.

    You keep repeating that even though you have been shown its falsity. Then in response to that hatefact you claim that people who do call black attacks on whites “racist” are wrong to do so because of their social class.

  • Zippy says:

    If airplanes were a thing, they would have been a thing before the twentieth century.

  • Zippy says:

    I believe the word “pornography” is relatively new too. So it must be an anti-concept.

  • King Richard says:

    Of course neoreaction is a form of post-modernity. The first clue is the very term ‘neoreaction’. A Prince Jonathan recently put it,
    ‘Neoreactionaries are like most modern monarchists. At some level they understand they should like or believe certain things, they just can’t bring themselves to actually do it. They are, in a way, just verbose fanboys of concepts they don’t embrace”

  • CJ says:

    You guys are doing yeoman’s work in continuing to engage with James. If I weren’t familiar with other neo-reactionaries, there’s no way I would take them seriously after his contributions to this thread.

  • Zippy says:

    KR:

    They are, in a way, just verbose fanboys of concepts they don’t embrace.

    I genuinely do not pretend to speak authoritatively on neoreaction, since the bits of it I have read tend to come from folks who ‘cross over’ and comment on or link to stuff I do read. The question mark in the post title is not ironic.

    Aside: I’d swear that I read some Moldbug in a now-defunct Jim Kalb forum before Kalb launched View from the Right; and I’ve always found Moldbug hopelessly verbose, despite a quotable sound bite here and there. I’m an ‘executive summary’ kind of guy, for better or worse: get to the bloody point in as straight-shooting a manner as possible, or I’m not going to bother with you. NRx seems at least stylistically to be the very opposite of getting to the point with straightforward, honest speech: another thing it has in common with Derrida.

    But it may be worth pointing out that communism broke from classical liberalism (in a “neoreaction”) over the fact that democratic capitalism failed to achieve the liberty and equality that was promised. Granted this is based on a superficial reading of blog titles and such, but it strikes me as possible that “neocommunism” might actually be a better name than “neoreaction”; though unlike communism the emphasis is (under the delusion that it is more coherent, perhaps) more on “liberty” than “equality”.

  • King Richard says:

    Zippy,
    Here are some personal anecdotes:
    1) I encountered neoreaction due to its discussion of natural hierarchy. A large contingent of neoreactionaries embrace as core ideas that equality is impossible, that natural hierarchies exist, and that democracy and Liberal concepts are inherently too flawed to survive. When discussing them supporting monarchy, they all declined. When I approached a theorist about what sort of government he would support his reply was ‘I am not a follower, so i can’t really address that’.
    2) Prince Jonathan engaged in a long correspondence with a rather prominent neoreactionary who is both loudly Catholic and loudly anarchist in his outlook. This person admitted that ‘neoreaction’ and Catholicism both demand hierarchy, obedience, etc.but he could not comply because he believed in ‘freedom’.
    3) As I have mentioned before I was peripherally engaged in a discussion between various neoreactionaries who used the same pieces to reject Modernism and the Enlightenment and also call for the use of game theory to craft a new, “relevant”, concept of sacred honor.

    Staunch supporters of hierarchy who are not followers or leaders; a proude Catholic reactionary who advocates anarchy; anti-Modernists who wish to use game theory to make sacred honor relevant.

    When I started the great venture I am engaged in, that I have committed my family to, I thought that my greatest challenge would be to teach Liberals what ‘conservative’, ‘right wing’, and authority’ really mean.

    I was wrong; my greatest challenge is teaching the real meanings of these words to self-described conservatives.

  • Zippy says:

    KR:

    When I approached a theorist about what sort of government he would support his reply was ‘I am not a follower, so I can’t really address that’.

    Bending the knee to authority is all well and good as long as it is only abstract theory.

  • Zippy says:

    It makes me wonder if that is why race became such a ‘thing’ in modernity generally and is now so high on the NRx list of rallying points. Race provides a nexus for feelings of loyalty and connectedness without actually asking anything concrete of us. For white liberals that makes race a constant source of guilt, because it is a traditional distinction that cannot be washed off. For neoreactionaries race makes a great libertine substitute for loyalties which actually require us to make hard non-self-centered choices, as to the Roman Catholic Church.

  • King Richard says:

    Zippy,
    Interesting idea. ‘Race Realism’ is anything but realistic, after all.
    In the absence of actual obedience to Church, to King, or to Truth is all that is left the Modernist idea of race? You can convince yourself the Pope isn’t Catholic, that you are better than any king, and inconvenient truths are easy to forget but people who believe race is something other than ephemeral seem to think it is forever….
    And it justifies anti-authoritarian behavior (‘the king isn’t a race realist, so I may dismiss him’). and mirrors their obsession with that laughable concept of game, which also seems to be popular with them.
    I would love to see you expand upon that.

  • Zippy says:

    KR: New post is up to at least open the discussion along those lines.

  • jamesd127 says:

    In actual practice you guys don’t call a bunch of black people beating up a white guy “racist”.

    You keep repeating that even though you have been shown its falsity.

    Where have I been shown its falsity? You linked to a guy who radically opposes your pope, and who boldly presents as a member of a demonized class, a class notorious for using words incorrectly.. That is not “you guys”

    To show its falsity, you need to link to your past writings, or, failing that, to someone of your class and cultural and political identification – to someone who thinks Pope Francis is Catholic.

  • Zippy says:

    James:
    ‘Twas brillig and the slithy toves did gyre and gimbal on the wabe.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    This is how I (and I think Zippy as well) think about words:

    A word is a tool that points to an essence. An essence is “that which defines what it is to be X.” The word is not the essence. I would assert that “that which defines what it is to be X” is God’s understanding of X.

    For example, the word “Airplane” is a tool that points to an essence that’s something along the lines of, “a powered fixed-wing aircraft that is propelled forward by thrust from a jet engine or propeller.” Furthermore, the entire reason that the essence of airplane is the essence of airplane is because God understands what it is to be an airplane.

    In short, all meaning comes from God and words are tools (independent of that meaning) used to point to that meaning.

    The point is you cannot change meaning by playing word games.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    I would assert that the word “racism” has been applied to many a white man when it’s use would be unjust – and conversely – not applied to many a non-white man when it’s use would be just. That’s using the word incorrectly, however, and does not change the meaning of “injustice motivated by race”.

  • jamesd127 says:

    If airplanes were a thing, they would have been a thing before the twentieth century.

    Unlike airplanes, whites who you would certainly call racist existed before the twentieth century. Why were not people like yourself calling them racist before the twentieth century?

  • Zippy says:

    James:
    Stop indulging in etymology pornography.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    @James

    We’re dealing with three distinct realms here:

    1. Things that are real
    2. Things that we know
    3. Language

    Just because something is real doesn’t mean we know it. Just because something is real doesn’t mean we have language for it. Microorganisms existed before we came to know them in 1675. Gravity was no less real before men walked the earth – before language even existed.

    Injustice motivated by race – that is racism – was real before we had language for it. It’s possible it was real before anyone had any sort of concept of it. It seems to me that you believe language defines what we know and what is real, rather than the other way around.

  • jamesd127 says:

    This is how I (and I think Zippy as well) think about words:

    A word is a tool that points to an essence. An essence is “that which defines what it is to be X.” The word is not the essence. I would assert that “that which defines what it is to be X” is God’s understanding of X.

    If God thought there was such a thing as “racism”, one of his spokesmen would have told us to not be racist some time in the past several thousand years.

    Not all words are tools that point to essences. Some words are tools to lie with, tools that are used to justify hatred and harm, twisty definitions used to define evil as good, and good as evil

    “racism” artificially and arbitrarily links harm and hatred to noticing racial differences in the same way as “sweatshop” artificially and arbitrarily links investment and entrepreneurship to poverty.

    Thus “racism” links unlike and unrelated things, just as “sweatshop” links unlike and unrelated things, as if one was to have a word for oranges and roast pork, but not for other foods.

    Such a word, a word for roast pork and oranges, would not point to an essence, but to a lie. It would be used to claim that roast port is the same sort of thing as oranges,

    Thus, “racism” not an essence, but a lie.

    And in practice, Zippy does not use this word to tell truths, for example that Martin Trayvon attempted to mug George Zimmerman, but to tell hurtful lies, for example that slave owners felt hostility and intended harm to their slaves.

    For example, a “sweatshop” is entrepreneurship, capital, and low paid labor. Which is no more an essence than entrepreneurship, capital, and tuesdays.

    If communists work people to death in the hot sun in twenty hour shifts, seven days a week, and no food, not a sweathshop by definition. If a capitalist builds and air conditioned factory in the third world, and has eight hour shifts, five days a week, but inadequate bathroom breaks, is a sweatshop. This is used to argue that by definition, capital, investment, and entrepreneurship makes people worse off, even though it is glaringly obvious that it makes people better off.

    “racism” is a word used to justify attacks on whites, the genocide of the Tutsi, and so on and so forth, in the same way as “sweatshop” was used to keep the third world poor.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    If God thought there was such a thing as “racism”, one of his spokesmen would have told us to not be racist some time in the past several thousand years.

    “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” – Mark 12:31

    Not all words are tools that point to essences. Some words are tools to lie with, tools that are used to justify hatred and harm, twisty definitions used to define evil as good, and good as evil.

    When words are abused, sure. A tool can be used for good or for ill. It’s the difference between when I club you over the head with my hammer to loot your body for valuables and when I use my hammer to build useful things.

    “racism” is a word used to justify attacks on whites, the genocide of the Tutsi, and so on and so forth, in the same way as “sweatshop” was used to keep the third world poor.

    Yes. Those words have been abused. That’s what I’m trying to beat into your skull with my useful hammer.

  • Zippy says:

    JustSomeGuy:
    You’ve made some interesting contributions to the discussion and are welcome to continue doing so; but for the record it is a mistake to respond with the expectation that James argues in good faith, accurately restates what others have said, addresses any questions other than those he thinks he can use to make some ‘gotcha’ point, acknowledges facts contrary to his assertions, etc.

    He doesn’t.

    James:
    All of the consumers of Internet porn will be delighted to hear that, under the James Donald Postmodern Rule of Etymology, it is an anti-concept and therefore cannot be morally wrong.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    @Zippy: I’m just a glutton for punishment I guess.

    @James: Note that a lot of people are lying when they say the word racism – simply by the merit of having chosen the word racism rather than other words – because they do not actually mean the word racism. A good example of a similar case is the word “right”.

    Almost no word is equivocated with as much as “right”. People don’t hesitate to use it to mean things like, “a guarantee of a freedom” when it suits them, but it really is a discriminating authority. If someone utters the words “I have the right to free speech”, the word “right” itself is the lie there. (A material lie, at least, as the speaker may honestly believe the sentence to be truth.) If someone utters the words “George Zimmerman was a racist,” the word “racist” itself is the lie there.

  • jamesd127 says:

    If God thought there was such a thing as “racism”, one of his spokesmen would have told us to not be racist some time in the past several thousand years.

    “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” – Mark 12:31

    Somehow, God neglects to employ the essence “racism”

    George Zimmerman was protecting his neighbors. Martin Trayvon was preparing to rob and mug his neighbors, and in due course attempted to mug George Zimmerman – which was a very stupid idea, for someone who is watching for criminals is likely prepared for what may happen when he finds them.

    George Zimmerman loved his neighbors, even though some of them were black. Trayvon Martin hated his neighbors, largely because most of them were not black.

    When George Zimmerman sighted Trayvon and assumed (correctly) that Travyon was there to steal stuff, largely on the basis that he was black and a new face, who was the racist?

    And who gets called the racist?

    Face it. Most of the time Zimmerman’s assumption would be unfair, thus would fit Zippy’s definition. Most blacks are not criminals – but most criminals are black. So, unfair to someone wrongly suspected for being black, but fair to his neighbors, who were at risk from blacks, not whites.

  • jamesd127 says:

    “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” – Mark 12:31

    God, however, finds it unnecessary to have a special word for failing to love neighbors on the basis of race, just as he finds it unnecessary to have a special word for failing to love them on tuesdays.

    To pack unrelated concepts into a single definition is to utter the lie that the concepts are the same, or that one causes the other.

    Such lies are invariably applied to do harm to people.

  • If race is merely extended family, focusing too greatly on favoring those of like race is committing the sin of partiality. And the Bible does speak against nepotism.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    Somehow, God neglects to employ the essence “racism”

    Racism is an injustice. Love always involves doing what is just. Also, I’d like to point out that the quote is immediately proceeded by the parable of the Good Samaritan. If you’re unfamiliar, the Jews distrusted and disliked Samaritans on the basis of race.

    And who gets called the racist?

    Zimmerman does. And it’s a lie.

    Most of the time Zimmerman’s assumption would be unfair

    His actions meet the requirements for just self-defense.

    To pack unrelated concepts into a single definition is to utter the lie that the concepts are the same, or that one causes the other.

    All abortion is murder, but not all murder is abortion. All racism is injustice (and therefore unloving/hateful) but not all injustice is racism.

  • jamesd127 says:

    Somehow, God neglects to employ the essence “racism”

    Racism is an injustice

    Is it. And what injustice did Donald Sterling commit?

    Did any of you guys defend Donald Sterling, or condemn those supposed conservatives and supposed libertarians who enthusiastically jumped in to condemn him?

    Let us suppose you define the horrible evil sin of greenism, which is defined as doing evil while wearing a green shirt. Hard to keep “and” and “or” straight, so somehow, “greenism” is in practice applied to doing evil or wearing a green shirt.

    And since it is redundant to use “greenism” when referring to people actually doing evil, pretty soon “greenism” is the horrible evil sin of wearing a green shirt, while not, in fact doing anything otherwise evil: for example Charles Darwin, Donald Sterling, etc.

  • jamesd127 says:

    That’s using the word incorrectly, however, and does not change the meaning of “injustice motivated by race”.

    So, what stand did you take on the Donald Sterling affair?

    Not only does everyone use the word “incorrectly”, including you,, the word is by its nature not going to be used “correctly”, because it, like greenism, defined as doing evil while wearing a green shirt, does not correspond to a real essence or a natural kind.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    Racism is essentially an injustice. It just is injustice motivated by race. Wearing a green shirt – unless you have psychological issues on a level beyond help – probably won’t motivate you to do any evil. Someone’s race might. In practice we know it does.

    Let us suppose you define the horrible evil sin of greenism, which is defined as doing evil while wearing a green shirt. Hard to keep “and” and “or” straight, so somehow, “greenism” is in practice applied to doing evil or wearing a green shirt.

    This is a false analogy, since you’re applying the trait to the doer of evil and not to the target. A more correct analogy might be “Let us suppose you define the horrible evil sin of greenism, which is defined as doing evil to someone who is wearing a green shirt.” However, this is still a false analogy, as we neglect to mention what the motivation for “doing evil” is.

    Notice that racism – injustice motivated by race – is defined by the motivation of the doer. If we are to have an analogous concept, it must also be defined by the motivation of the doer. If the analogy is to hold, greenism must be “injustice motivated by the target’s wearing of green.”

    If I buy a slave who happens to be Indian because I want a slave (and for no other reason) then that is not a racist act. If I deliberately buy an Indian slave because I hate Indian people, then that is a racist act.

    If I stab a person who happens to be wearing green because I wanted to stab someone (and for no other reason) then that is not a greenist act. If I stab someone who is wearing green because I hate people who wear green, then that is a greenist act.

    The reason we have a common word for racism and not for greenism is because the concept behind the word racism is a common concept to have to think about and deal with – whereas the concept behind the word greenism is not. I would question the general sanity of humanity even more then I already do if it were. That doesn’t make the concepts behind either word any less real.

    As for Sterling, all I even know about him comes from the tidbits you can’t help but overhearing. I couldn’t possibly tell you for sure if he committed any racist acts because I don’t know enough about what exactly he did. However, you can judge for yourself if you have the time and interest (which I don’t). You just need to ask the question “Did Sterling commit any injustice with the race of the target as his motivation?”

  • jamesd127 says:

    Stop indulging in etymology pornography.

    Your link leads to the following:
    from Greek pornographos “(one) depicting prostitutes,… In ancient contexts, often paired with rhypography, “genre painting of low, sordid, or unsuitable subjects”

    So the word “pornography” goes all the way back to ancient greece,

    In contrast, racism, racist, etc are new words, with no equivalent or synonym before the twentieth century.

    If racism was a thing, we would have had a word for it. Racism is not an essence, not a natural kind. Such words are always used to lie

    As for Sterling, all I even know about him comes from the tidbits you can’t help but overhearing. I couldn’t possibly tell you for sure if he committed any racist acts

    So his evil thoughts are sufficient – clearly you are not using “racism”. and “racist” in the way that you claim you are:

    Nor is it likely that anyone would or could use “racist” in the supposedly intended manner

    You just need to ask the question “Did Sterling commit any injustice with the race of the target as his motivation?”

    But you don’t need to ask the question because you already know Sterling was racistg.

    Obviously if Sterling had committed unjust acts on the basis of race, you would be hearing about them. That you have not heard about them shows he has not committed unjust acts on the basis of race, merely forbidden words.. But you still feel he is guilty on the basis of his evil thoughts, even though everyone knows perfectly well that his evil thoughts are entirely true.

    Racism is essentially an injustice. It just is injustice motivated by race

    Your words are ambiguous. They could be read as “It is not racism unless you do something to hurt someone of a different race to your own”, or they could be read as “thinking that black men are inferior is unjust”

    You claim you mean the former, but your emotions and choice of examples correspond to the latter – that you are untroubled by the Sterling affair indicates the latter meaning, as does your choice of slave owners as examples of white racism.

  • jamesd127 says:

    Your definition of “racist” gives us no reason to care about whether something is racist or not. We first have to conclude that act is evil on grounds unrelated to race. Having concluded that the act is evil on grounds unrelated to race, why bother to drag race into it?

    That you do care shows that you don’t, in fact reason “This act is evil,therefore racist”, but rather “This act is racist, therefore evil”. Your evident emotions reveal that you are not using the definition you claim to be using.

    If anyone really thought that was what “racism” meant, they could never be bothered using the term.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    If racism was a thing, we would have had a word for it. Racism is not an essence, not a natural kind. Such words are always used to lie.

    If molecules were a thing, we would have had a word for it. Molecule is not an essence, not a natural kind. Such words are always used to lie.

    So his evil thoughts are sufficient

    Of course not. There are two requirements for a racist act:
    1. A concrete act of injustice is carried out
    2. The performer of the concrete act was motivated by the target’s race

    Your words are ambiguous. They could be read as “It is not racism unless you do something to hurt someone of a different race to your own”, or they could be read as “thinking that black men are inferior is unjust”

    No they are not, at least if “injustice” and “motivation” mean anything. You’re deliberately trying to complicate a simple concept here. If you honestly believe that is not what you’re doing, then you’ve probably spent enough time destroying your own ability to communicate that trying to do so would be futile. Both of your ridiculous blanket statements very obviously do not equate to “Racism is injustice motivated by race”.

    that you are untroubled by the Sterling affair indicates the latter meaning, as does your choice of slave owners as examples of white racism.

    I don’t keep up with a lot of news that I would find “troubling” if I bothered to do so. And the buyer in the slavery example was Black/Chinese.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    Your definition of “racist” gives us no reason to care about whether something is racist or not. We first have to conclude that act is evil on grounds unrelated to race. Having concluded that the act is evil on grounds unrelated to race, why bother to drag race into it?

    Because people don’t do evil things when they don’t have any motivation to do them. Understanding motivations is part of the process of “admonish the sinner”.

    That you do care shows that you don’t, in fact reason “This act is evil,therefore racist”, but rather “This act is racist, therefore evil”. Your evident emotions reveal that you are not using the definition you claim to be using.

    I don’t reason in either of the ways you suggested. “Racist acts” are just a subset of the more general “Evil acts”.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    Apologies, that third block of text is supposed to be quoted.

  • jamesd127 says:

    Your definition of “racist” gives us no reason to care about whether something is racist or not. We first have to conclude that act is evil on grounds unrelated to race. Having concluded that the act is evil on grounds unrelated to race, why bother to drag race into it?

    Because people don’t do evil things when they don’t have any motivation to do them. Understanding motivations is part of the process of admonish the sinner”.

    People cared a lot whether Trayvon Martin left the vicinity of his father’s house with the intent of mugging George Zimmerman. There really was and is not much interest in his motivation. Black guy attempts to mug someone, Dog bites man. Yawn. Boring.

    There was however intense interest as to whether George Zimmerman kept an eye on Trayvon Martin in part because of his race, and of course it was in part because of his race, even though George Zimmerman’s motivation was to do good to his neighbors, while Trayvon Martin’s possession of burglary tools and stolen goods suggests Trayvon’s motivation was to rob his neighbors.

    We observe that people are emoting in ways that indicate Zippy’s definition of “racist” does not in fact generate interest in whether something is “racist” or not – that a word referring to racially motivated evil deeds is almost as boring, irrelevant, and meaningless as a word referring to evil deeds committed while wearing a green shirt, or evil deeds on a tuesday.

    We emotionally want a word that allows the reasoning “racist, therefore evil”. A word that requires “evil, therefore racist”, is not interesting, is boring, unlikely to be used.

    And in practice, Zippy seems to be reasoning “Racist, therefore evil” as much as anyone.

    If he was reasoning “Evil, therefore racist”, would conclude that Donald Sterling was being punished for witchcraft, and this would cause some alarm.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    We observe that people are emoting in ways that indicate Zippy’s definition of “racist” does not in fact generate interest in whether something is “racist” or not – that a word referring to racially motivated evil deeds is almost as boring, irrelevant, and meaningless as a word referring to evil deeds committed while wearing a green shirt, or evil deeds on a tuesday.

    James: “Racism isn’t interesting, so it must not be real.”

    Oh, and just to let you know, I put on my green shirt every Tuesday and push a Black guy in the way of a bus.

    And in practice, Zippy seems to be reasoning “Racist, therefore evil” as much as anyone.

    I’d say that assertion is completely unfounded. Give me an example, if you can.

  • vishmehr24 says:

    jamesd127,
    “Trayvon Martin’s possession of burglary tools and stolen goods suggests Trayvon’s motivation was to rob his neighbors.”

    I believe Trayvon Martin was NOT carrying burglary tools while in Zimmerman’s neighborhood. I do not get how you say that his motivation was to rob Zimmerman’s neighbors.

  • vishmehr24 says:

    Jamesd127,
    “Having concluded that the act is evil on grounds unrelated to race, why bother to drag race into it?”

    Because it is politically relevant. Political equality is a liberal dogma, not ours.There are always natural political groups, such as races, peoples, nations. We are not solely thinking in terms of individual rights and wrongs
    as libertarians do, but we take into account social rights and wrongs, such as social justice, and thus racism is relevant.

  • vishmehr24 says:

    jamesd127,
    “And what injustice did Donald Sterling commit? ”

    We are not committed to defend each and every accusation of racism. The point is that racism exists. But whether a particular person or act is racist is an entirely different matter.

  • Zippy says:

    I’ve never heard of Donald Sterling.

    Greenism would be a thing if it were commonplace for people to commit injustices against people who wear green shirts because of their green shirts. It is conceptually coherent as a concept (it is not an anti-concept); it just never actually happens so it is arbitrary: invoking it gives James a postmodern way of (falsely) implying that racism is just as arbitrary a term.

    The English word “pornography” is roughly as new as the English word “racism”. If we are appealing to roots and cognates we can find equivalent antiquity. (Not to imply that the argument from etymology has any validity in the first place).

  • […] the comments below, we are told that race is as arbitrary as the color shirt that a person chooses to […]

  • jamesd127 says:

    > James: “Racism isn’t interesting, so it must not be real.”

    Not what I said, not what I meant.

    What I said is that if you used the word racism to mean what you claim it means, you would not care a tinkers dam about it. Yet you obviously do care.

    Further, it is perfectly obvious that 99.9% of actual usages of the word “racism” that show up when you use google do not correspond to your definition. That you are untroubled by this, for example untroubled by the Donald Sterling affair, suggests that what you mean by “racism” is exactly what everyone else means by “racism”, and not what you claim to mean.

    That 99.9% of people who use the word “racist” also use the word inconsistently with any meaning that they would be prepared to admit to is one of the things that makes it an anti concept.

    If you really thought racism meant “unjust acts motivated by race”, would you not be more concerned by 99.9% of actual usages being incorrect, than people arguing that the word is an anti concept, having no meaning that anyone will honestly admit to?

  • jamesd127 says:

    And in practice, Zippy seems to be reasoning “Racist, therefore evil” as much as anyone.

    I’d say that assertion is completely unfounded. Give me an example, if you can.

    You never called Trayvon Martin racist, and you never called Donald Sterling not racist.

    Donald Sterling is “racist” as the term is usually used, but no one has suggested he is “racist” as you define the term. You seem quite comfortable with what has ensued.

  • jamesd127 says:

    I believe Trayvon Martin was NOT carrying burglary tools while in Zimmerman’s neighborhood.

    He had earlier been carrying burglary tools and stolen goods. George Zimmerman assessed him as casing the neighborhood. Presumably after deciding on a suitable target, he would have gone back with burglary tools – but instead he decided to mug George Zimmerman.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    What I said is that if you used the word racism to mean what you claim it means, you would not care a tinkers dam about it. Yet you obviously do care.

    Perhaps – if I was supreme dictator of what reality is – I wouldn’t care. However, racism is a real thing – a real problem – a real type of evil. In an ideal world I wouldn’t care about any type of evil, because evil wouldn’t exist. Racism exists. It’s a real problem. A real type of evil. Thus I care about it. Know thy enemy, and all that.

    And in practice, Zippy seems to be reasoning “Racist, therefore evil” as much as anyone.

    I’d say that assertion is completely unfounded. Give me an example, if you can.

    You never called Trayvon Martin racist, and you never called Donald Sterling not racist.

    ….your point?

    Donald Sterling is “racist” as the term is usually used, but no one has suggested he is “racist” as you define the term. You seem quite comfortable with what has ensued.

    I believe I already said I don’t know enough about Donald Sterling to assess whether or not he committed any racist acts. Not everyone is interested in getting the full scoop on the latest media frenzy.

    If he performed any concrete sinful actions that were motivated by the victim’s race, then he performed racist acts. I haven’t done the due diligence to have a solid opinion on whether or not he did.

  • jamesd127 says:

    99.9% of uses of the word racism fail to correspond to your purported definition, and you never once complained about such usages.

    It is not that you failed to protest every such usage. It is that you have failed protest any of such usages.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    99.9% of uses of the word racism fail to correspond to your purported definition, and you never once complained about such usages.

    It is not that you failed to protest every such usage. It is that you have failed protest any of such usages.

    Ground Control to Major Tom
    Ground Control to Major Tom
    Take your reality pills
    and put your helmet on

    If you hadn’t noticed, this isn’t a ‘racism’ blog. I wouldn’t be here if it were. Racism is actually a relatively uninteresting topic for discussion. It’s very straightforward and transparent. It’s only “interesting” when someone like you comes along and tries to obfuscate a straightforward topic. This is like saying, “Since you didn’t protest against Nazism on a blog devoted to seafood recipes, you must not understand Nazism.”

  • jamesd127 says:

    I believe I already said I don’t know enough about Donald Sterling to assess whether or not he committed any racist acts

    But you do.

    If he had committed any acts that were “racist” according to your definition, it would have been shouted from the rooftops a thousand times, and everyone on the entire planet would have heard about them till he was completely sick of hearing about them.

    Google “racist”. Check the first hundred hits that refer to specific identifiable examples of “racism” Do any of them fit your definition?

    None of them do, and yet you have never complained about any examples of people using the term “racist” incorrectly.

  • jamesd127 says:

    Racism is actually a relatively uninteresting topic for discussion. It’s very straightforward and transparent.

    If it is so straightforward and transparent how come it is so extraordinarily rare for anyone, even you, to use the word in accordance with what you claim is the definition?

    Google “racist”. Take the first 100 references that accuse a specific individual of being racist for specific reasons.

    How many of those references fit your definition?

  • jamesd127 says:

    The English word “pornography” is roughly as new as the English word “racism”.

    We have had words meaning “pornography” for over two thousand years. We never had a word meaning racism until the twentieth century.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    If he had committed any acts that were “racist” according to your definition, it would have been shouted from the rooftops a thousand times, and everyone on the entire planet would have heard about them till he was completely sick of hearing about them.

    …why?

    So far as I can tell this is just a very stupid lie. Evils we don’t even hear about – never mind know all the relevant details about – get committed every day. Your logic goes: “If someone does something evil, then the whole world will go nuts about it and no one could possibly not have all the details.”

    Google “racist”. Take the first 100 references that accuse a specific individual of being racist for specific reasons.

    How many of those references fit your definition?

    James: “Popular opinion defines morality.”

    you have never complained about any examples of people using the term “racist” incorrectly.

    What do you think I’m doing right now?

  • Zippy says:

    JustSomeGuy:

    What do you think I’m doing right now?

    <snicker>

  • jamesd127 says:

    you have never complained about any examples of people using the term “racist” incorrectly.

    What do you think I’m doing right now?

    I was unclear: Let me rephrase: You have never complained about the overwhelming majority usage of “racist” to mean “whites have it coming to them”. You are, however, complaining when someone protests that that whites do not have it coming to them, and promptly come up with a definition of racist that implies that whites do have it coming to them.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    You have never complained about the overwhelming majority usage of “racist” to mean “whites have it coming to them”.

    As I said earlier: This isn’t a ‘racism’ blog. This is like saying, “Since you didn’t protest against Nazism on a blog devoted to seafood recipes, you must not understand Nazism.”

    If it helps though, I do protest to any usage of “racist” to mean “whites have it coming to them”.

    You are, however, complaining when someone protests that that whites do not have it coming to them, and promptly come up with a definition of racist that implies that whites do have it coming to them.

    I’m not complaining when you protest that whites have it coming to them. What part of anything I’ve said suggests I do think whites have it coming to them? What part of “Racism is injustice motivated by race” suggests that whites have it coming to them? I’m complaining when you assert that the word “racist is, like ‘cracker’, just a hateful word for white.”

  • jamesd127 says:

    “Racism is injustice motivated by race” suggests that whites have it coming to them?

    Everyone knows that all whites are racist – see for example this speech.

    Should anyone doubt this universally accepted official truth, he will lose his job. If he does not lose his job, his employer will be sued for a hostile work environment.

    So if racism is injustice motivated by race, all whites are acting unjustly.

    If you don’t think all whites are acting unjustly, then you should be pushing back against the overwhelming majority usage of the term “racism”, not neoreactionary criticism of the term.

  • Zippy says:

    Actually if we want to oppose liberalism (including its demonization of white men) we should do so rationally, not by attempting a self-destructive postmodern deconstruction of racism.

  • jamesd127 says:

    Actually if we want to oppose liberalism (including its demonization of white men) we should do so rationally,

    If racism was a thing, it would have been a thing two thousand years ago.(as pornography was)

    The word “racism” has never been used in accordance with its purported definition, and if people generally refrained from using it except in accordance with its dictionary definition, it would be used so little that no one would understand it, no one would remember what it meant, no one would care what it meant. There is no room in the language for a word with so artificial and contrived a meaning, there is no natural kind corresponding to “racism”, no essence to which it refers.

    It is used to attack white men (and sometimes Tutsi men, etc Tutsis are racist for being raped and murdered. Hutus are not racist for engaging in rape and murder.)

    The supposed definition of “racism” is merely an insult, not a definition, merely the rage filled snarls of a vicious animal, merely rage and hate, not meaning.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    universally accepted official truth

    At best it is a shaky lie that few people truly accept. However, seeing as moral behavior is not determined by popular opinion or the majority, this is still an Ignoratio Elenchi fallacy even if you are correct (which you’re not).

    So if racism is injustice motivated by race, all whites are acting unjustly.

    Well that’s as blatant a non-sequitur as I’ve ever seen.

    If you don’t think all whites are acting unjustly, then you should be pushing back against the overwhelming majority usage of the term “racism”, not neoreactionary criticism of the term.

    Because it’s okay to lie as long as good comes from it, right? All that this argument boils down to is the fact that saying “Racism is just a hate-word for white” is a lie.

    If one says, “That man is a satanist” about a man who is not a satanist, the meaning of the word ‘satanist’ isn’t changed. The sentence is just a lie.

    If one says, “That man is a racist” about a man who is not a racist, the meaning of the word ‘racist’ isn’t changed. The sentence is just a lie.

    So, when one uses the word ‘racist’ to tell a lie, the meaning of the word ‘racist’ doesn’t change. He is just lying.

    Personally, I’d rather use truth to show people the truth, rather than more lies.

  • jamesd127 says:

    universally accepted official truth

    At best it is a shaky lie that few people truly accept.

    Observe a long queue of white people. A couple of black men jump the queue. They let him, when they would not let a white man. Because they have internalized and accepted the horrible shame of being racists.

    Those people, those people at the head of the queue, they accepted it. And you are telling them they should accept it, by endorsing a definition that is no definition at all, but merely spite, malice, and hatred.

    Because it’s okay to lie as long as good comes from it, right? All that this argument boils down to is the fact that saying “Racism is just a hate-word for white” is a lie.

    It is a long standing principle of the english language that a word’s use is defined by actual usage.

    And in actual usage, “racist” is just a hate word for white, as is easily verified by googling actual usages of “racist”

    According to the highest authority, the Oxford English Dictionary, English words are defined by usage.

    And use of the word “racism”to refer to unjust acts motivated by race are so extraordinarily rare as to be, for all practical purposes, nonexistent.

  • Marissa says:

    According to the highest authority, the Oxford English Dictionary,

    I am now starting to really understand nominalism.

  • Zippy says:

    Marissa:
    It isn’t obvious at first because we are so steeped in it as modern people. But (like liberalism and modernity’s other metaphysical/ideological “water to fish”) once you’ve started to recognize it you will see it everywhere.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    Observe a long queue of white people. A couple of black men jump the queue. They let him, when they would not let a white man. Because they have internalized and accepted the horrible shame of being racists.

    Give me real world examples instead of a made-up story. I’ve never observed anything remotely like this. Besides, as I’ve said, even if you are right about this (which you’re not) it would still be an Ignoratio Elenchi fallacy and utterly irrelevant to the debate at hand.

    you are telling them they should accept it, by endorsing a definition that is no definition at all, but merely spite, malice, and hatred.

    What part of “Racism is injustice motivated by race” implies spite, malice, and hatred? What part of “Racism is injustice motivated by race” implies that “they should accept it”?

    According to the highest authority, the Oxford English Dictionary,

    As Marissa pointed out, I can see you are a nominalist (or at least have nominalist tendencies). Believe it or not, no matter how many people say “That apple is an orange” the apple remains an apple.

  • jamesd127 says:

    Observe a long queue of white people. A couple of black men jump the queue. They let him, when they would not let a white man. Because they have internalized and accepted the horrible shame of being racists.

    Give me real world examples instead of a made-up story

    It is not a made up story. It is what I saw happening. It is the sort of thing that I see happening all the time. Blacks act like lords, and white people encourage them by acting like serfs.

    If you want a real world example we can both observe, observe that those purporting to argue that Zimmerman attacked Martin, produced as evidence for their claim, arguments that were not evidence that Zimmerman attacked Martin but that Martin was entitled or provoked to attack Zimmerman. Aristocratic privilege.

  • jamesd127 says:

    What part of “Racism is injustice motivated by race” implies spite, malice, and hatred?

    Because it means “Whites commit injustice merely by being white”

    And in practice that is what you and Zippy use it to mean.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    It is not a made up story…

    If you want a real world example we can both observe…

    …you know what, I’m done with this. No one with half a brain (evidently not you) asserts that all whites are racist. Pointing out the few stupid people who do doesn’t change this.

    But for the third time, even if you’re right that this is a “universally accepted truth” (which you’re not) it’s still an Ignoratio Elenchi fallacy to the debate at hand. Popular opinion doesn’t define moral behavior.

    Because it means “Whites commit injustice merely by being white”

    ….no. No it doesn’t. That has to be the most disjointed non-sequitur I’ve seen from you yet, and you’ve had some pretty bad ones.

    And in practice that is what you and Zippy use it to mean.

    ….no. No we don’t. Give me one example of any instance where that has been our meaning. You can’t, because it never has been.

  • jamesd127 says:

    Popular opinion doesn’t define moral behavior.

    Customary usage does however define words. And, as the word “racism” is ordinarily understood and used, including used by you, all whites are racist. Hence their behavior in the queue.

  • jamesd127 says:

    You don’t like my analogy of racism with greenism, (evil deeds done while wearing a green shirt) because, you say race matters.

    Well, why don’t we have a word for unjust acts committed out of sexual jealousy, a word for unjust acts committed for profit, a word for unjust acts committed out of envy?

    Such words do not point to essences, to natural kinds, and so, are not normally and naturally used. Not by normal people. And not by you.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    Customary usage does however define words.

    Thank you for so effectively demonstrating how nominalism intellectually castrates you and allows you to deny manifestly obvious realities that happen to make life anything other than just happy fun time.

    as the word “racism” is ordinarily understood and used, including used by you, all whites are racist.

    Manifestly false. Ignoratio Elenchi even if it isn’t.

    Well, why don’t we have a word for unjust acts committed out of sexual jealousy, a word for unjust acts committed for profit, a word for unjust acts committed out of envy?

    Um… we do. In fact, they’re all part of the seven deadly sins.

    “acts committed out of sexual jealousy” – that one’s probably envy. Could be lust or pride.

    “a word for unjust acts committed for profit” – that one’s greed.

    “a word for unjust acts committed out of envy” – that one’s (obviously) envy.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    Sorry, broken link. Hopefully this one works.

  • Zippy says:

    But JustSomeGuy, you never use the term “greed” to refer to unjust acts motivated by money. Greed is an anti-concept that means nothing other than disapproval of rich people.

  • Silly Interloper says:

    I’d like to drop a hint — or a bomb, as it were — for James.

    James, what is the definition of “usage?” (Second hint–I’m asking you to think of the ramifications of the question, not to provide me an actual definition.)

    And a bonus clue:

  • Marissa says:

    Customary usage does however define words.

    James, what do you think of Newspeak, the language developed by the IngSoc government in the novel 1984? Does the widespread use of the word “unperson” mean the man referred to as such never existed? There is no essence to such a concept. There is an essence to the concept “injustice motivated by race”. Maybe your issue with this concept is that “injustice” is applied to many situations where no injustice occurred. But I could certainly be wrong.

  • So wait. Is the argument now that because we don’t have a specific word for everything that may or may not matter, racism does not exist?

    Am I rude if I say that’s stupid?

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    Maybe your issue with this concept is that “injustice” is applied to many situations where no injustice occurred.

    You’re exactly right. The neoreactionary correctly asses that the word ‘racism’ has been extensively abused to accuse people of injustice when none has taken place. They err when they decide “since the word ‘racism’ has been abused so much, the concept of racism must not exist.”

    The whole idea that there is even such a thing as an ‘anti-concept’ is a load of hogwash. That should be manifestly obvious by merit of the fact that we’re capable of thinking about them in a coherent manner the first place.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    Am I rude if I say that’s stupid?

    Of course not. Simply scroll back through the comments to observe the typical neoreactionary appeal to etymology. “Things can’t exist unless we have a word for them.”

  • Zippy says:

    Marissa:
    The problem with “unperson” is that it is self contradictory: it attempts to define (by nominalist fiat) some persons as not persons. This is similar to the liberal synthesis “equal rights,” which attempts to require that discriminating authorities (rights) must neither discriminate nor assert authority (must be equal).

    But notice that we can’t even understand or talk about this coherently if we are nominalists. That is what makes the whole postmodern approach self-defeating.

  • jamesd127 says:

    you never use the term “greed” to refer to unjust acts motivated by money

    Indeed. You don’t. Has anyone ever called a mugger or shoplifter “greedy”

  • jamesd127 says:

    James, what is the definition of “usage?”

    If you had ever called Trayvon Martin racist, that would usage.

    If you had ever denied that Donald Sterling was racist, that would be usage.

    Since you have done neither of these things, usage is what comes up when you google for people using the term, which is that George Zimmerman is racist, Donald Sterling is racist, and Trayvon Martin is anti racist.

    Words mean what they are used to mean, not what people claim they mean.

  • jamesd127 says:

    They err when they decide “since the word ‘racism’ has been abused so much, the concept of racism must not exist.”

    Of course the concept of racism exists. I am white, therefore racist.

    The question at issue is what does the word mean.

    The concept of unjust acts motivated by race no more gets a word than unjust acts motivated by jealousy. or unust acts motivated by money. If that was what the word meant, no one would use it, and in practice, no one does use it in that meaning, at least if they expect to be understood.

    “Racist” is a hate word for white, more generally a hate word for members of market dominant groups.

    That “racism” refers to unjust acts committed on the basis of race is not a definition, but a hate filled smear.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    Ladies and gentlemen we have a Ferrous Cranus.

    James, you’ve failed to bring up a single argument that hasn’t been refuted ten times over.

  • nathanjevans says:

    “Has anyone ever called a mugger or shoplifter ‘greedy'”

    I’m beginning to wonder if communication with this person and others like him is even possible, just from observation of this thread. I hear people say things like “those [insert criminal here] got too greedy” all the time, implying their acts were greedy in the first place (otherwise, they wouldn’t be “too” greedy).

    As for this whole racist thing, as the others have said, there would be no point in using “racism” as a wedge if there was no such thing. Propaganda equivocates and flat-out lies in its usage of the term, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t an underlying thing. Nonsense words can have a short-term effect, but they can hardly dominate political discourse for decades across a whole civilization. Eventually, their usage will breakdown. For instance, the alleged “war on women” meme is already becoming a tired old nonsense statement outside Feminist conventions, and that’s after use in one election cycle.

    However, people understand that there is something wrong about mistreating people because of their race, and that there was a systematic way of doing so for a period of time in the past (though, perhaps, its significance in world history is significantly overblown). So, progressive liberals anchor their propaganda in combating this alleged “racist” zeitgeist that supposedly still secretly rules white people’s inner souls. This propaganda line is breaking down, especially in Europe, but notice that people still think “racism” is a thing even though they aren’t as swayed by its propagandist use by the left-wing media as they might have been ten years ago. They simply deny the allegation.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    I’m beginning to wonder if communication with this person and others like him is even possible.

    Since they always equivocate everything they say and freely redefine reality to suit their desires…. usually not.

    However, even if James continues to live in denial, I’d imagine this thread already demonstrates the utter ridiculousness of neoreactionism very plainly to anyone who’s not already been infected by it.

  • jamesd127 says:

    I hear people say things like “those [insert criminal here] got too greedy” all the time, implying their acts were greedy in the first place (otherwise, they wouldn’t be “too” greedy).

    If the criminal’s previous acts were the correct amount of Greedy, then not using “Greedy” to mean a wrongful act motivated by money, but rather to mean loss of self control and lack of forethought, short time preference, referring to a particular vice, (loss of self control caused by immediate gratification) not to any wrongful act motivated by profit..

  • Silly Interloper says:

    If you had ever called. . .

    Wow. I don’t guess I expected you to get it, James, but you didn’t even try. The androids in the StarTrek clip exhibited more effort and more complex thought than you have—and I’m not being mean, it’s just true. You are trapped in a linguistic straight-jacket, and you don’t even know you are trapped.

    There are two things I hope you can get, but you will have to step out of your pseudo syllogistic repetitions and actually think about them.

    The first thing is that you are using the concept of “usage” as some kind of absolute determiner of meaning. Not only is that impossible, but the common usage of the word “usage” is not used the way you use it, including by the Oxford Dictionary editors. Have you not noticed that dictionaries can often have many definitions for one word? I actually did google racism, and you know what—I found many ways that it is used, but I didn’t find one single example that used it in the exclusionary way that you have been proselytizing. In no case did racism exclusively mean “white” as an object of hate. There were always other elements of particular actions, injustices, and inequality claims.

    And, of course, that would be the case. After all, the vast majority of liberals who abuse the term to condemn whites are not going to do so without justification. Only the idiots among them will do that because without justifications (however false or true they are doesn’t matter) the usage will not have any traction at all. So I call bullshit on you. For you to say that a google search provides the proof that your meaning of racism is the common usage is at best a big, steamy pile of crap, and at worst a bald-faced lie. So—what are you serving, James?

    But ultimately what I was getting at with the paradox thing is that it is self-contradictory and irrational to say: “Usage only and always determines meaning (thus being absolute); therefore, meaning is always relative to usage.” Because what necessarily follows from that is: “Usage is absolute; therefore, the meaning of usage is relative.” It is manifestly self-contradictory, so it cannot mean what you think it means, and it is, in fact, not used that way in common practice at any level.

    The contradiction is directly displayed in your own words when you say: “Words mean what they are used to mean, not what people claim they mean.” Oh, really? Well, what exactly do the people USING the words CLAIM they mean? If they do not claim that these words mean anything, then the usage is meaningless. If the usage has any meaning at all, it is because the user claims the words have particular meaning. Now—c’mon. You can’t be so daft as not to see that, can you?

    Where you really become overtly ridiculous, though, is when you continuously assert that the word cannot possibly mean anything other than what you have claimed, and to further assert that it cannot possibly be used in the way that Zippy and JSG — among many others — are using it. The fact that they are using it that way is, in fact, *usage*, and not just some esoteric usage. It is very, very common—unlike your bullshit claim.

    And that’s my second point. You are so dead set on disproving your interlocutors, that you are being profoundly irrational in your refusal to even recognize the essence of their claims. Their usage is completely reasonable and part of common usage and understanding, while yours is not. You are the equivalent of a child crossing his arms, stamping his feet, and refusing to admit that spinach is a plant. (I GOOOOOOOGLED it, and people use it to mean money, so your stupid and spinach is not a plant! <—Yes, this is what you read like to anyone with a fraction of a brain.)

    Is it possible someday that common usage brings “racism” in some contexts to exclusively mean an hateful epithet for “white?” Doubtful, but sure. It’s possible. But even if that day comes, it doesn't erase other usages of “racism,” nor does it erase the essential meaning of the usage on this blog that is “injustice motivated by race.”

    But, wow, James. Just wow. Try, try, try to actually think. It would be good for you.

  • Silly Interloper says:

    I wrote:

    Well, what exactly do the people USING the words CLAIM they mean?

    By the way, it should be obvious to most readers, but I am not implying that meaning can be determined by a “claim.” It is obviously more complicated than that, but the revelation that usage itself is a kind of claim and that James’ statement is a contradiction should be clear.

  • nathanjevans says:

    “If the criminal’s previous acts were the correct amount of Greedy, then not using ‘Greedy’ to mean a wrongful act motivated by money, but rather to mean loss of self control and lack of forethought, short time preference, referring to a particular vice, (loss of self control caused by immediate gratification) not to any wrongful act motivated by profit”

    This is essentially saying that words can’t have multiple meanings or even sub-meanings. The overarching definition of greed is lust for power or money. Unjust acts in pursuit of power or money are “greedy” acts. Getting “too greedy” is being so overwhelmingly caught up in your lust for power or money that you needlessly risk exposing your misbehavior for rather meager gain. This is rather simple to ordinary people. It’s so simple they don’t even have to think about it.

    Unless, of course, you think there should be a different word for absolutely every single essence possible, even when they are sufficiently similar as to be part of an overriding idea. Like the difference between greedy-to-the-point-of-carelessness and the greedy pursuit of money. Also, vices tend to flock together, so, you get excessively greedy and you start to be lazy. It would be hard to communicate if we had to use a different word for every vice combination instead of just adding the word “too” and figuring out what people mean by context.

  • jamesd127 says:

    “Words mean what they are used to mean, not what people claim they mean.” Oh, really? Well, what exactly do the people USING the words CLAIM they mean?

    They make the same hateful lie as Zippy does. That racism refers to unjust acts committed on the basis of race.

    If you claim that X and Y is a natural kind, is an essence, you are claiming that X is Y, that X causes Y, that X necessarily goes together with Y.

    Thus, Zippy’s (and the dictionary’s) definition implies that taking race into account, making decisions based on race, is itself the same sort of thing as beating up a black man on account of his race – that Donald Sterling, by thinking that blacks are prone to bad behaviors, was himself causing the consequences of these bad behaviors.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    They make the same hateful lie as Zippy does. That racism refers to unjust acts committed on the basis of race.

    *facepalm*

    Really James? Really? You’ve already proven that you’re immune to logic. Are you really gonna keep going?

    I’m not even going to bother refuting “Zippy is a hateful liar” again. You only need to scroll up to see how that notion’s been well and thoroughly trampled upon.

    If you claim that X and Y is a natural kind, is an essence, you are claiming that X is Y, that X causes Y, that X necessarily goes together with Y.

    I think you’re having a competition with yourself to come up with the most disjointed non-sequitur possible.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    …is a natural kind, is an essence…

    Also, just to clear something up, do you actually think that essence = natural kind? Some of the things you’ve written seem to suggest that.

  • Zippy says:

    Ordinarily I would have dropped James into moderation after his first “liar liar pants on fire” meltdown. But I think the thread has been instructive as an example of just what I meant in the OP.

  • Silly Interloper says:

    They make the same hateful lie as Zippy does. That racism refers to unjust acts committed on the basis of race.

    Okay, this is hilarious. So you say in one comment that you can only know what something means by how people use it, then in this comment you say that people who use the words other than how you like are liars. You really are that stupid. You’re incoherence and self-contradiction is so profuse, there’s really no value in talking to you. (Because the rest of us are LIARS! Yeah—if liar means reasonable and honest, I guess so, Mr. Usage Expert.)

    I mean, what the hell is this?:

    If you claim that X and Y is a natural kind, is an essence, you are claiming that X is Y, that X causes Y, that X necessarily goes together with Y.

    It reminds me of a Chrissy Snow meltdown. (Drat–couldn’t find Youtube example.) You’ve thrown down an incomprehensible string of X-Y relationships without having established anything about these actual relationships regarding the things we are talking about.

    Thus, Zippy’s (and the dictionary’s) definition. . .

    Seriously, dude. Buy a good textbook on logic. Your syllogisms are defunct and mangled, without even having established your premises. And Zippy didn’t imply anything of the sort. You are putting your words in his mouth and calling him a liar. You condemn yourself with this moronic crap.

    That being said, you’ve been reduced to the intellectual equivalent of a quivering mass of lacerated flesh that doesn’t know its dead, so there’s really no point in continuing to kick you.

    I’ll leave you with one thought that maybe—just maybe—you will be able to understand and learn from (though I doubt it). Here it is: If someone serves you spinach, eat it graciously, don’t try to spend it at the mall.

    On the other hand, you may not have any choice in the straight-jacket you’ll be wearing.

  • jamesd127 says:

    Also, just to clear something up, do you actually think that essence = natural kind? Some of the things you’ve written seem to suggest

    A natural kind has an essence. If we can adequately describe the essence, which we frequently cannot, the essence defines the natural kind, or enables us to recognize instances of the natural kind.

    When you issue a definition that rails to correspond to a natural kind, which is to say, fails to correspond to an essence that defines a natural kind, you are making an error, or telling a lie, implicitly claiming that it is a natural kind.

    If your definition is “X and Y”, there is an implicit claim that X is Y, or X goes with Y, or X and Y reliably cause each other, that they are naturally closely associated. In this case, in the case of “racism”, an implicit claim that acting on the basis of race is itself an unjust act, thus Donald Sterling was acting unjustly by requesting his mistress to refrain from socially associating with black men.

    Which is, of course, a hateful lie.

  • Zippy says:

    James:

    When you issue a definition that [f]ails to correspond to a natural kind, which is to say, fails to correspond to an essence that defines a natural kind, you are making an error, or telling a lie, implicitly claiming that it is a natural kind.

    Airplanes are an anti-concept.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    A natural kind has an essence.

    But not all things with essences are natural kinds. These are distinct concepts. Take an airplane (like Zippy said) for example. None of the mechanical components which make up an airplane are of a natural kind in relation to one another. Humans have to put them together. This doesn’t mean the essence of airplane – that which defines what it is to be an airplane – doesn’t exist.

    When you issue a definition that rails to correspond to a natural kind, which is to say, fails to correspond to an essence that defines a natural kind, you are making an error, or telling a lie, implicitly claiming that it is a natural kind.

    Um… no. By this logic the word ‘airplane’ is intrinsically a lie.

    If your definition is “X and Y”, there is an implicit claim that X is Y, or X goes with Y, or X and Y reliably cause each other, that they are naturally closely associated.

    There you go with the raging non-sequiturs again.

    Essence =/= natural kind.

    acting on the basis of race is itself an unjust act

    We’ve never said that. Acting on the basis of race is not intrinsically unjust in and of itself. Committing an unjust act with the race of the target as a motivator is.

  • jamesd127 says:

    Okay, this is hilarious. So you say in one comment that you can only know what something means by how people use it, then in this comment you say that people who use the words other than how you like are liars

    They, and Zippy, use the word one way, and claim they are using it another way.

    Hence, liars.

    The purported definition is itself a lie, an effort to throw your friends to the crocodile, in the hope that you will be the last to be eaten.

    It is a lie because your definition fails to correspond to a natural kind, but pretends to correspond to a natural kind

    It is a lie because that is not in fact how you use the word. You don’t actually use the word in the way that you claim to define it.

    It is a lie because any word that fails to correspond to a natural kind will in practice be used to mislead.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    They, and Zippy, use the word one way, and claim they are using it another way.

    Except we don’t. You’ve been well and thoroughly rebutted on this point ten times over. You just can’t seem to get it through your thick skull because you’re a Ferrous Cranus.

    Still, the beatings will continue until rationality improves. Please, feel free to point out any instance where we’ve used the word ‘racism’ to mean anything other than ‘injustice motivated by race’.

    Wait… you can’t.

    It is a lie because your definition fails to correspond to a natural kind, but pretends to correspond to a natural kind

    Racism makes no pretense whatsoever of correspondance to a natural kind. Your whole idea that essence necessitates a natural kind is bogus. Plenty of things that aren’t a natural kind exist, have essences, and have words that point to them. Here’s some more things (other than racism) that aren’t real if that’s true:

    Airplanes

    The United States of America

    Positive Law

    Evil

    Neoreactionism

    If racism doesn’t exist – doesn’t have an essence – because it doesn’t correspond to a natural kind, then neither do any of these things.

    It is a lie because that is not in fact how you use the word. You don’t actually use the word in the way that you claim to define it.

    Again, this is just manifestly false (see above). Frankly, it depresses me that I’m not amazed that this level of self-delusion is possible.

    Oh, and that article you linked to is nothing but a re-statement of the fallacy-feces that you’ve already flung all over this thread. It does nothing other prove my point that you’re a Ferrous Cranus.

    Still, I feel the concluding paragraph desrves some mention.

    If capitalism and poor work conditions were a natural kind, that would imply that capitalism is poor work conditions, or causes poor work conditions. If injustice motivated by racial difference was a natural kind, that would imply that noticing racial difference is injustice.

    I think I’m beginning to see the root of the fallacy here. The idea that essence necessitates natural kind – an idea that, while you implied it a few times earlier, I dismissed as being fundamental to the argument because it’s just so ridiculous. I mean, you’d have to willfully ignore reality to think that. But, then again, willfully ignoring reality seems to be what these neoreactionary types are all about.

    If something manifestly exists in the real world – whether it be airplanes, The United States, or injustice motivated by race – it most definitely has an essence. The idea that essence is caused by natural kind is – best as I can tell – some sort of very strange twist on a Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc fallacy: “Hmmm… These things are a natural kind. Hmmm… They also have essence. Hmmm… The natural kind must be the cause of the essence. Hmmm… Nothing that’s not a natural kind can have an essence. Hmmm… Brilliant!”

    Of course, that’s just speculation on my part. The ridiculousness remains regardless of how it was arrived at.

  • jamesd127 says:

    When you issue a definition that fails to correspond to a natural kind, which is to say, fails to correspond to an essence that defines a natural kind, you are making an error, or telling a lie, implicitly claiming that it is a natural kind.

    Um… no. By this logic the word ‘airplane’ is intrinsically a lie.

    Why? You agree that airplanes are a natural kind, and that this natural kind has an essence. So if you define the word “airplane” either by pointing to examples, or by adequately defining its essence, the word is true,

    We’ve never said that. Acting on the basis of race is not intrinsically unjust in and of itself

    If you define the word chickenpig word as meaning pigs or chickens, but not other animals, you implicitly claim that pigs are chickens, that chickenpig is a natural kind. If you define a word that refers to doing unjust acts on the basis of race, you claim that acting on the basis of race is unjust.

    We don’t have a special word for killing people on the basis of jealousy, and if we did, it would imply that jealousy was the same thing as killing people.

  • jamesd127 says:

    whether it be airplanes, The United States, or injustice motivated by race – it most definitely has an essence.

    Does injustice on Tuesdays have an essence?

  • Zippy says:

    The airplane tree only sprouts on Tuesdays.

  • Zippy says:

    This thread has become a crime of passion.

  • […]  For example I’ve recently gotten the impression that there is a strong strain of nominalist postmodernism in neoreaction; an impression that has only been reinforced by the manner in which self-styled […]

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    Why? You agree that airplanes are a natural kind

    No I don’t. Seems to me that you’re willfully ignoring the point.

    So if you define the word “airplane” either by pointing to examples, or by adequately defining its essence, the word is true,

    Great! You’re admitting that racism isn’t an anti-concept. (Even if you won’t admit you’re admitting what you’re admitting.) This is precisely what you’ve been claiming can’t define racism this whole time. “So if you define the word ‘racism’ either by pointing to examples, or by adequately defining its essence, the word is true.”

    if you define the word chickenpig word as meaning pigs or chickens, but not other animals, you implicitly claim that pigs are chickens, that chickenpig is a natural kind.

    No you don’t. That doesn’t follow. By this logic, when I use the word ‘silverware’ I’m saying forks, spoons, and knives are natural kind – which they’re not.

    Your entire argument seems to be boiling down to essence = natural kind, which is a load if I’ve ever seen one.

    Does injustice on Tuesdays have an essence?

    Scroll up to learn why this is a false analogy, Ferrous Cranus.

  • nathanjevans says:

    “Does injustice on Tuesdays have an essence?”

    Forgive me if someone else has already gone over this, but racism is injustice based in the fact of race. Injustice on Tuesdays, not based in the fact that it is Tuesday, is no different that injustice committed on any other day of the week. Furthermore, there hasn’t been in our history injustice committed because it is Tuesday. However, if, let’s say, an arbitrary dictator came to power and decided that on Tuesdays he will commit acts of injustice simply because it is Tuesday and he feels like it, we would quickly have a word and a concept for injustice committed because it is Tuesday. As it stands, that is simply an arbitrary idea.

  • jamesd127 says:

    Forgive me if someone else has already gone over this, but racism is injustice based in the fact of race.

    Except that it is not.

    If you make one word of it, you are claiming one natural kind, not the intersection of two natural kinds. So the word necessarily means that any action or condition based on the fact of race is an injustice, that one race being inferior is an injustice committed by the superior race.

    For it to have the meaning you claim, it would have to be two words, “race based injustice”, analogous to “crime of passion”, which designates the intersection of a natural kind (crime) and an essence (passion)

  • If you make one word of it, you are claiming one natural kind, not the intersection of two natural kinds.

    That doesn’t remotely follow. Racism means injustice based on race. If you commit an injustice based on race, racism has taken place.

    If you do something based on race but it’s not unjust, it’s not racism.

    There, a coherent concept of racism. Why is this so hard for you to grasp?

  • jamesd127 says:

    If you make one word of it, you are claiming one natural kind, not the intersection of two natural kinds.

    That doesn’t remotely follow. Racism means injustice based on race. If you commit an injustice based on race, racism has taken place.

    If you do something based on race but it’s not unjust, it’s not racism.

    Observe actual usage. One word, implies one kind. And that is how everyone uses it.

  • But it isn’t, which we’ve proven a billion times over.

    …What is even the point of what I’m doing here, anyway?

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    I don’t know about you Malcolm, but I’ve had little hope of convincing James from the start. He’s too far gone into the realm of arationality (Note I say arational instead of irrational). I’ve kept arguing for the same reason you give a child a paddling in front of his peers. Even if the child getting paddled obstinatly refuses to learn his lesson, the observers might.

  • jamesd127 says:

    Observe actual usage. One word, implies one kind. And that is how everyone uses it.

    But it isn’t, which we’ve proven a billion times over.

    If zippy was using the word “racism” the way he claims to be using it, he would believe that Donald Sterling was not in any way racist.

  • Except that all Zippy said was that he hadn’t studied the situation and didn’t care. That doesn’t contradict anything that he said.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    James is a Ferrous Cranus who considers argument from ignorance valid when it suits him.

  • jamesd127 says:

    Zippy said was that he hadn’t studied the situation and didn’t care.

    If you believe in his supposed definition of racism, you don’t need to study the situation and should care.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    you don’t need to study the situation

    James: “People can know things without knowing those things.”

    and should care.

    James: “In order to care about the fact that evil exists at all, you need to make sure you’re intimately familiar with every evil action anyone’s ever performed.”

  • Okay, you’re not worth talking to.

    See you later.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    Malcolm is either smarter than me, or less masochistic.

  • jamesd127 says:

    No one is accusing Donald Sterling of “racism” in the sense of the intersection of two natural kinds.

    Everyone is accusing Donald Sterling of “racism” in the sense of a single natural kind.

    That Zippy, and yourself, are unpeturbed by this proves that what you mean by racism is a single natural kind – that your definition means that making a distinction on the basis of race is inherently unjust.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    No one is accusing Donald Sterling of “racism” in the sense of the intersection of two natural kinds.

    Everyone is accusing Donald Sterling of “racism” in the sense of a single natural kind.

    Really? You’re bringing up this same tired argument again?

    I quote Silly Interloper: “The first thing is that you are using the concept of “usage” as some kind of absolute determiner of meaning. Not only is that impossible, but the common usage of the word “usage” is not used the way you use it, including by the Oxford Dictionary editors. Have you not noticed that dictionaries can often have many definitions for one word? I actually did google racism, and you know what—I found many ways that it is used, but I didn’t find one single example that used it in the exclusionary way that you have been proselytizing. In no case did racism exclusively mean “white” as an object of hate. There were always other elements of particular actions, injustices, and inequality claims.”

    In other words, please stop saying that reality isn’t real.

    That Zippy, and yourself, are unpeturbed by this proves that what you mean by racism is a single natural kind – that your definition means that making a distinction on the basis of race is inherently unjust.

    You’re begging the question. Your conclusion is also one of your premises. Your logic goes:

    1. Racism is used to refer to only one natural kind.
    2. Zippy and JSG are unperturbed by this.
    3. Therefore, racism is used to refer to only one natural kind.

    You need to prove that racism exclusively refers to only one natural kind before you can so much as accuse us of ‘not being perturbed’ by it.

    Besides, this thing you think we should be ‘perturbed’ by is just false. We aren’t ‘perturbed’ by people using the word racism to mean a single natural kind because people don’t use the word racism to mean a single natural kind, as demonstrated by Silly Interloper.

    What we are perturbed by is abuses of the word ‘racism’ to falsely accuse people of injustice.

  • Zippy says:

    I still don’t know who Donald Sterling is.

  • jamesd127 says:

    No one is accusing Donald Sterling of “racism” in the sense of the intersection of two natural kinds.

    Everyone is accusing Donald Sterling of “racism” in the sense of a single natural kind.

    Really? You’re bringing up this same tired argument again?

    Because it is a completely devastating argument to which you have made no coherent reply.

    If you were really using “racism” in the sense “unjust acts motivated by race”, (the intersection of two natural kinds) rather than the sense “acts motivated by race are unjust”,(a single natural kind plus a hateful smear) you would find the massive Donald Sterling media blitz evil and wrong.

    because people don’t use the word racism to mean a single natural kind,

    Turn on your television. You will be lectured about the horrible horrible horrible sins of Donald Sterling, which horrid sin is using race as criterion, therefore, by definition, by your hateful definition, is unjust.

    That you are untroubled by the Donald Sterling media blitz demonstrates that your purported definition is an effort to throw your friends to crocodile in the hope of being last to be eaten.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    …completely devastating argument…

    *snicker*

    …to which you have made no coherent reply.

    Wow. You are that self-delusional.

    You have been provided with utterly overwhelming evidence that racism doesn’t refer to one and only one natural kind. If you simply refuse to see it, I can only conclude that you’re willfully ignoring reality, as seems to be your specialty.

    If you don’t get it, scroll up and re-read the comment thread until you do. (We might be here awhile.)

    If you were really using “racism” in the sense “unjust acts motivated by race”, (the intersection of two natural kinds) rather than the sense “acts motivated by race are unjust”,(a single natural kind plus a hateful smear) you would find the massive Donald Sterling media blitz evil and wrong.

    Because I find abortion evil and wrong, obviously I must go out and investigate the relevant details of every single committed abortion.

    Because I find racism evil and wrong, obviously I must go out and investigate the relevant details of every single committed act of racism.

    I usually only ever learn the cursory details of anything there’s some big media frenzy over. I don’t need to go learn about every evil act that’s been performed in order to care about evil.

    Turn on your television. You will be lectured about the horrible horrible horrible sins of Donald Sterling, which horrid sin is using race as criterion, therefore, by definition, by your hateful definition, is unjust.

    Did you even read Silly Interloper?

    “I actually did google racism, and you know what—I found many ways that it is used, but I didn’t find one single example that used it in the exclusionary way that you have been proselytizing. In no case did racism exclusively mean “white” as an object of hate. There were always other elements of particular actions, injustices, and inequality claims.

    And, of course, that would be the case. After all, the vast majority of liberals who abuse the term to condemn whites are not going to do so without justification. Only the idiots among them will do that because without justifications (however false or true they are doesn’t matter) the usage will not have any traction at all. So I call bullshit on you. For you to say that a google search provides the proof that your meaning of racism is the common usage is at best a big, steamy pile of crap, and at worst a bald-faced lie. So—what are you serving, James?”

    In other words, nobody with half a brain (evidently not you) has ever used the word ‘racism’ to refer to a single natural kind.

    That you are untroubled by the Donald Sterling media blitz demonstrates that your purported definition is an effort to throw your friends to crocodile in the hope of being last to be eaten.

    What did I just tell you about begging the question? Naughty naughty James. Besides, for the nth time, it is completely unreasonable to expect native commentary on racism on this blog. It’s like saying that I can’t possibly understand Nazism because I didn’t condemn Nazis on my blog devoted to seafood recipes.

  • CJ says:

    I still don’t know who Donald Sterling is

    He is a lawyer, real estate tycoon, and the former owner of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team. For decades, there have been rumors of racist actions and comments attributed to him. He was sued by the feds for housing discrimination: he allegedly would rent to whites and Asians but not blacks or Latinos. His wife allegedly posed as a housing inspector to snoop in the apartments of blacks and Latinos who did live in his properties in order to find reasons to evict them. He settled the lawsuit with no admission of liability.

    Earlier this year, his half-black/half Mexican mistress recorded a phone call where he told her that she embarrassed him by taking pictures with black celebrities and sitting with them at Clippers games. He told her not to bring black people to his games. She released the audio to the media resulting in a firestorm and players threatening to forfeit playoff games rather than play for him. The NBA commissioner suspended him for life, fined him $2.5 million, and started proceedings under the NBA constitution to force him to sell the team. Before the other owners voted on the forced sale, his wife had him declared incompetent and sold the team to Microsoft billionaire Steve Ballmer. Sterling is suing the NBA for $1 billion.

  • He’s also a two time NAACP lifetime achievement award winner.

  • jamesd127 says:

    If you were really using “racism” in the sense “unjust acts motivated by race”, (the intersection of two natural kinds) rather than the sense “acts motivated by race are unjust”,(a single natural kind plus a hateful smear) you would find the massive Donald Sterling media blitz evil and wrong.

    Because I find abortion evil and wrong, obviously I must go out and investigate the relevant details of every single committed abortion.

    But you don’t need to investigate the Donald Sterling blitz, because it is being shoved in your face by the mass media.

    Plus, your supposed evidence for the word “racism” being used in the sense that you claim resembles the evidence for flying saucers. Assembling a mountain of highly unconvincing evidence merely draws attention to the complete absence of the sort of evidence that would exist if flying saucers existed, would exist if the word “racism” was used in the claimed sense.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    But you don’t need to investigate the Donald Sterling blitz, because it is being shoved in your face by the mass media.

    And the mass media always reports all relevant details in an unbiased manner, right?

    Besides, not everyone follows the mass media.

    Plus, your supposed evidence for the word “racism” being used in the sense that you claim resembles the evidence for flying saucers

    Then so does yours. You’ve provided no evidence other than “google it” and “turn on the tv”. Well we did. We found the results of doing such to contradict you rather than support you.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    You don’t get to say “googling the word ‘racism’ is adequate to support me if it supports me, but not adequate to support you if it supports you.”

  • jamesd127 says:

    I still don’t know who Donald Sterling is He is a lawyer, real estate tycoon, and the former owner of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team. For decades, there have been rumors of racist actions and comments attributed to him

    If you really thought that “racist” means what you say it means there have been absolutely no rumors of racist actions attributed to him, and if you really thought that “racist” means what you say it means, how can a comment said in private, behind closed doors and drawn blinds, be “racist”

    When you say that racism means unjust acts motivate by race, this is just a hateful smear, an effort to throw your friends to your enemies in the hope that you will be last to be devoured.

  • CJ says:

    there have been absolutely no rumors of racist actions attributed to him,

    The allegations in the lawsuit, if true, are racist under the definition we’ve been operating under.

    how can a comment said in private, behind closed doors and drawn blinds, be “racist

    Depends on the comment. Calumny or slander motivated by race would fit the definition.

  • jamesd127 says:

    The allegations in the [Donad Sterling] lawsuit, if true, are racist under the definition we’ve been operating under.

    You admit then that the actual definition you have been operating under is that noticing any differences between races is racist and therefore unjust – not the intersection between two natural kinds, but one natural kind plus a hateful smear.

  • CJ says:

    No. Directing someone to gain entry to another’s residence on false pretenses for the purpose of finding a pretext to evict them is unjust. Doing so because of the resident’s race is the subset of injustice that we call “racism.”

  • jamesd127 says:

    You’ve provided no evidence other than “google it” and “turn on the tv”. Well we did. We found the results of doing such to contradict you rather than support you

    CJ above gave a summary of what is on the tv: the accusations against Donald Sterling. You perceive these accusations as accusations as accusations of racism, therefore you are lying about how you use the word racism, about what you perceive the word racism to mean.

  • jamesd127 says:

    Directing someone to gain entry to another’s residence on false pretenses for the purpose of finding a pretext to evict them is unjust.

    Donald Sterling’s tenant was stinking up Donald Sterling’s building by relieving himself on the floor and furniture. This is not a “pretext”. It is not even racism as normally defined, since it was Donald Sterling’s nose that was offended, not his eyes.

    Just as you propose that Trayvon Martin had special privilege to attack white people, you propose that black people are not required to meet white standards for bowel control.

    If a nuisance is emanating from a white person’s apartment, he will find his landlord makes entry with or without a pretext.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    If you really thought that “racist” means what you say it means there have been absolutely no rumors of racist actions attributed to him

    Here are the two things I knew about Donald Sterling before this whole thing started:

    1. The media was accusing him of being racist
    2. He had something to do with football

    I haven’t done enough research on him to be sure, but based solely on what CJ has said, it’s quite possible he has committed acts of slander and/or calumny motivated by the target’s race. If he has, he has committed racist acts – acts of injustice motivated by the target’s race.

    how can a comment said in private, behind closed doors and drawn blinds, be “racist”

    If I open a new tab and [redacted], that is most definitely a sinful and unjust act despite the fact that it took place ‘behind closed doors and drawn blinds’.

    So much as deliberately entertaining evil thoughts is sinful and unjust. If I deliberately entertain a sexual fantasy, that is sinful despite the fact that it never left the realm of my thoughts.

    If a ‘private’ comment is slanderous/calumnious, it is most definitely a sinful and unjust act. If said comment was motivated by the target’s race, then it was a racist act.

    When you say that racism means unjust acts motivate by race, this is just a hateful smear, an effort to throw your friends to your enemies in the hope that you will be last to be devoured.

    No. It is an effort to identify a particular type of evil – similar to how the word ‘greed’ is used to identify injustice motivated by a desire for material goods or wealth.

    Any abuse of the word ‘racism’ to demonize The White Man is just a lie. It doesn’t magically transform the word ‘racism’ into naught but a ‘hateful smear’.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    Donald Sterling’s tenant was stinking up Donald Sterling’s building by relieving himself on the floor and furniture…

    …it was Donald Sterling’s nose that was offended, not his eyes.

    If that’s true, then it is quite possible that there were no racist acts. Like I’ve told you over and over, I haven’t done the necessary research to know for sure.

    Just as you propose that Trayvon Martin had special privilege to attack white people

    We propose no such thing.

  • jamesd127 says:

    Donald Sterling and the tenant reminds me of the queue jumping incident. If a black jumps the queue, and a white protests, its racism. If a tenant stinks up the building, and the landlord protests, it is racism.

    Racism, in this usage, is whites getting uppity, which they are not allowed to do because black people are more equal than others.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    Donald Sterling and the tenant reminds me of the queue jumping incident. If a black jumps the queue, and a white protests, its racism. If a tenant stinks up the building, and the landlord protests, it is racism.

    …or a false accusation of racism where none has actually taken place.

  • CJ says:

    Just as you propose that Trayvon Martin had special privilege to attack white people, you propose that black people are not required to meet white standards for bowel control.

    I have never proposed any such thing. Your statement is calumnious. Being motivated by nominalism, it isn’t racist though.

    Donald Sterling’s tenant was stinking up Donald Sterling’s building by relieving himself on the floor and furniture. This is not a “pretext”. It is not even racism as normally defined, since it was Donald Sterling’s nose that was offended, not his eyes.

    Source please. The only relevant hit I found searching for Sterling and “feces” or “excrement” was a story about how a woman had to dispose of waste by hand because Sterling wouldn’t make repairs. Also, this was a pattern of behavior and didn’t just happen to one person.

  • Zippy says:

    When James uses the term “liar” in this thread, he apparently means “someone who disagrees with James, and everyone should know that makes you a BAD PERSON [tm].” In typical postmodern fashion he doesn’t actually use words for the purpose of communication though, so I expect he uses “liar” differently elsewhere when it suits his purposes.

    I can almost see everyone’s pants on fire.

    Part of what is so amusing about all this is that, although I haven’t blogged about Martin-Zimmerman, and although I almost never use the term “racist” for reasons I explained in a previous post, IRL I actually have said that Trayvon was racist – and was understood perfectly, without elaboration. I also donated a modest sum of money to George Zimmerman’s legal defense fund.

  • I wish I could post a gif of flaming pants right now.

  • jamesd127 says:

    how can a comment said in private, behind closed doors and drawn blinds, be “racist”

    If I open a new tab [redacted], that is most definitely a sinful and unjust act despite the fact that it took place ‘behind closed doors and drawn blinds’.

    So, if one says that blacks are inferior, and one would rather not associate with them, this is “racist”. But now you again concede that you are not using the definition “unjust act motivated by race”, but rather “act motivated by race”, plus the smear that acts motivated by race are unjust.

  • Zippy says:

    So now, James concedes that snurfles are froobious. I’m goon to pop the top off a LIAR! and take a snarf.

  • CJ says:

    But now you again concede that you are not using the definition “unjust act motivated by race”, but rather “act motivated by race”, plus the smear that acts motivated by race are unjust.

    He didn’t concede that. The point of his example was to refute your implication that an action that takes in private, behind closed doors and drawn blinds cannot be unjust.

    Still waiting for the source on that tenant of Sterling’s BTW.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    Just to clarify for James – who is eternally in denial of the obvious – slanderous or calumnious ‘private’ comments are sinful and unjust even when they’re about a member of your own race. Shocker.

    It has to be an unjust act to be racism. An act motivated by race which is not unjust is not a racist act.

    For example, making true observations about a race as a whole is not racist. Statistically Asians are worse drivers than most other races. Statistically Asians have higher IQs than most other races.

    Acknowledging that we are, in fact, essentially different from each other and not self-created through reason and will is not racist.

    Racist acts usually come about when someone treats the fact that we’re essentially different as justifaction for behaving as though a certain race doesn’t have the same vast and incommensurable human dignity which we all share.

  • jamesd127 says:

    On 2014-06-03 13:19, Zippy Catholic wrote:

    slanderous or calumnious ‘private’ comments are sinful and unjust even when they’re about a member of your own race.

    If a white landlord decided to get rid of a white tenant for no reason at all, and gave him due notice and all that, you would not think it unjust

    Your rationalizations are pretty good examples of black privilege and white guilt – of blacks being more equal than others.

  • Zippy says:

    James:
    Now you are citing other people and attributing it to me. LIAR! (Was that histrionic enough?)

    And actually it is unjust to evict a tenant for no reason at all. Libertarian fantasyland is three doors down to the left, and then more left, and then even more left.

  • CJ says:

    If a white landlord decided to get rid of a white tenant for no reason at all, and gave him due notice and all that, you would not think it unjust

    If the white landlord (or his agent) lied his way into the white tenant’s apartment to find a pretext for eviction, it would be unjust. It just wouldn’t fit into that subset of injustice we call “racism.” It would still be unjust though. Really.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    Zippy Catholic wrote:

    slanderous or calumnious ‘private’ comments are sinful and unjust even when they’re about a member of your own race.

    Um… no. I wrote that.

    If a white landlord decided to get rid of a white tenant for no reason at all, and gave him due notice and all that, you would not think it unjust

    Um… yes. Yes I would.

  • jamesd127 says:

    If the white landlord (or his agent) lied his way into the white tenant’s apartment to find a pretext for eviction, it would be unjust.

    If it was white on white, you would not call it a lie but an excuse.

    Nor would you think he needed a pretext for eviction. Freedom of association. Tenancy is a relationship that can be rightly terminated by either party with reasonable notice.

    Rather you would interpret him as wishing to find out the cause of the stench, and being polite about his reasons for investigating. You would not think he needed an excuse to investigate a disturbing smell, but that to make up an excuse was politeness.

    As I said, your reaction is an example of, black privilege, white guilt, and blacks being more equal than others.

  • Zippy says:

    James wrote:

    Nor would you think he needed a pretext for eviction. Freedom of association. Tenancy is a relationship that can be rightly terminated by either party with reasonable notice.

    I realize this is just more of James’ postmodern antics, but this specific claim does reveal his libertarian premises in the moral domain. The idea that some actions are morally just no matter why the person does them is part of the false morality that liberalism teaches. All acts done for unjust reasons are unjust, even if the same concrete action might be justified if done for different reasons.

    Any concrete action at all can be unjust, depending on intentions and circumstances. Eviction is a serious matter and, whatever the requirements of the positive law, the natural law requires that it be done only for serious reasons.

  • CJ says:

    Your entire post is a fantasy. You argue with phantasms of your own invention rather than the actual people attempting to engage you.

  • Zippy says:

    CJ:
    Oh it has been clear for some time that whatever James is doing, it is not having a conversation. He is engaged in a solipsistic fictional dialogue in which he has assigned our names/handles to various fictional characters that he writes into the story.

  • jamesd127 says:

    I realize this is just more of James’ postmodern antics, but this specific claim does reveal his libertarian premises in the moral domain. The idea that some actions are morally just no matter why the person does them is part of the false morality that liberalism teaches. All acts done for unjust reasons are unjust, even if the same concrete action might be justified if done for different reasons.

    So would you attribute a similar immorality to a white landlord capriciously terminating a white tenant with reasonable notice but for no articulable reason, or a black tenant leaving a white landlord for no articulable reason?

    You seem to define “postmodernity” as any skepticism to the claim that to be white is evil and shameful, and to be black is to be superior and righteous.

    But, in any case, the landlord did articulate a reason: That something stank, leading him to believe the tenant was pissing on the furniture and the carpet. Again, if this was a white landlord and a white tenant, you would not call it a “pretext”

    When you tell me that motives can make the act unjust, which is true of some motives, and also tell me that the allegedly racist character of the motives make the act unjust, you are abandoning your purported definition of “racism” (the intersection of two natural kinds, racial motives and unjust acts) and admitting to your real definition: Making racial distinctions, a single natural kind, plus the smear that such distinctions are unjust.

  • Zippy says:

    James:

    So would you attribute a similar immorality to a white landlord capriciously terminating a white tenant with reasonable notice but for no articulable reason, or a black tenant leaving a white landlord for no articulable reason?

    Sure.

    People never do things for no reason at all, so the moral question is always, in the particular case, what the real reasons are. If the particular circumstances call for serious reasons it is unjust to take the action absent serious reasons, and in general the moral requirement to make a just prudential decision cannot be handwaved away.

    Making racial distinctions, a single natural kind, plus the smear that such distinctions are unjust.

    Is it your contention that mere racial preference and racial preference alone always constitutes morally sufficient reason in itself to evict a tenant that is already renting from a landlord, no matter what other circumstances obtain?

    A forthright, non-evasive answer to the question is the price of entry for further commenting.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    So would you attribute a similar immorality to a white landlord capriciously terminating a white tenant with reasonable notice but for no articulable reason, or a black tenant leaving a white landlord for no articulable reason?

    Yes.

    A common modern misconception about property is that we are the little gods of what we own and it is morally acceptable to do whatever we wish with what we own.

    God owns all that is. When something is our ‘property’ we are stewards over that property – we are not dictators. We have an obligation to treat it morally.

    So no, it is not morally acceptable to boot anyone out of an apartment on no more grounds than whimsy.

    You seem to define “postmodernity” as any skepticism to the claim that to be white is evil and shameful, and to be black is to be superior and righteous.

    Um… no. This entire time we’ve been arguing against demonizing the white man. As I’ve said before, there are essential differences between humans in general – even of the same race. The thing we all share is our vast and incommensurable human dignity.

    But, in any case, the landlord did articulate a reason: That something stank, leading him to believe the tenant was pissing on the furniture and the carpet. Again, if this was a white landlord and a white tenant, you would not call it a “pretext”

    I repeat CJ: source please.

    Besides, like I said before, if this is true, then it’s quite possible that no racist acts took place. It’s quite possible that there was no pretext, but rather a valid reason. I’m not even arguing with you about this one.

    When you tell me that motives can make the act unjust, which is true of some motives, and also tell me that the allegedly racist character of the motives make the act unjust, you are abandoning your purported definition of “racism” (the intersection of two natural kinds, racial motives and unjust acts) and admitting to your real definition: Making racial distinctions, a single natural kind, plus the smear that such distinctions are unjust.

    Um… no. I’ve never contended that “racial motive” is what makes the act unjust. I’ve always contended that race is – manifestly often – a motive to perform unjust acts.

    I feel Zippy’s question merits repeating:

    Is it your contention that mere racial preference and racial preference alone always constitutes morally sufficient reason in itself to evict a tenant that is already renting from a landlord, no matter what other circumstances obtain?

  • jamesd127 says:

    [REDACTED]

    Is it your contention that mere racial preference and racial preference alone always constitutes morally sufficient reason in itself to evict a tenant that is already renting from a landlord, no matter what other circumstances obtain?

    I did not answer because I thought the question merely rhetorical. Of course racial preference is sufficient reason, if done politely and with reasonable notice. People are entitled to associate with the sort of people that they find comfortable. It is called freedom of association. You don’t get upset when the black kids all sit in the black section of the school cafeteria, but you would get upset if the white kids tried to have a white section. [Actually the real me, as opposed to the fictional me in your narrative, would not get upset. -Z] Similarly, female only spaces are supposedly just fine. indeed liberating, but male only spaces are an evil hate crime [Not according to any of the people in this thread that you are pretending to talk to but are not actually talking to. – Z].

  • Zippy says:

    James:

    Of course racial preference is sufficient reason, if done politely and with reasonable notice. People are entitled to associate with the sort of people that they find comfortable. It is called freedom of association.

    It isn’t sufficient reason no matter what circumstances obtain, and, more generally, an unqualified “freedom of association” is a libertarian fantasy.

    For example, if the circumstances were such that evicting a white tenant merely because he was white would result in his deportation back to Britain where he would be imprisoned for hate speech against Mohammedans, it would be immoral to evict him in those circumstances merely because of a preference to no longer rent to white people.

    Examples can be multiplied: the point being that racial preference is actually not sufficient reason for an action in this case.

    And those cases where racial preference is not sufficient reason to render an action just, and yet where racial preference is the actual reason for the action, are cases of (perfectly intelligible, non-anti-concept) racism.

  • Scott W. says:

    Moar bracket [ ] editing please.It makes it easier to find the bits worth reading. 🙂

  • CJ says:

    It isn’t sufficient reason no matter what circumstances obtain, and, more generally, an unqualified “freedom of association” is a libertarian fantasy.

    Zippy, not to get all positivist on you, but would you mind discussing principles that should be considered when qualifying freedom of association?

  • Zippy says:

    CJ:
    I’ll put up a new post with a few thoughts.

    In the meantime, apparently a great controversy has broken out over to what extent neoreaction should be welcoming to transsexuals (or a particular transsexual), as long as those transsexuals are helpful to the cause. That must be what The Unreal Woman was talking about. Our pal James comes out on more or less the right side of that controversy, from what little I’ve seen, though it isn’t something I plan to investigate in depth.

  • […] In the comments below I wrote that unqualified freedom of association is a libertarian fantasy, which led CJ to ask: […]

  • Yes, that was what I noted in the other thread. I’m still honestly surprised that they consider it a matter for debate.

  • […] this and “anarcho” that, seemingly without irony.  Putative reactionaries argue in my own comboxes for “freedom of association” as some sort of absolute right that renders actions […]

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