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Offline Rama Set

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The Breitbart Crew
« on: May 31, 2016, 04:51:14 PM »
Late a couple of nights ago I learned about the existence of Milo Yiannopoulos and Ben Shapiro.  Really interesting characters, who I really expected not to like; except that I found myself agreeing with a number of their positions, idealogically at least. They have a strong message of self-responsibility, which I strongly agree with, even if they don't always apply it evenly.  I was surprised to learn that the gender wage gap was something of a myth as well.  I really appreciate the hardline approach they take on safe spaces/trigger warnings as an impediment to free speech and also the de-emotionalizing of race politics in the US.  That being said Ben Shapiro is an ungracious asshole, who does nothing to build bridges with people he purports to want to help, but that is not particularly important.

Does anyone know of any good criticism of these guys, or have anything they feel is important to balance out their positions?  I am looking around with some interest and will post any goodies I come across.
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Offline Blanko

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Re: The Breitbart Crew
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2016, 06:08:18 PM »
I've been following both of them a lot for a good while now and they're not as similar as you make them seem. First of all, Ben isn't even at Breitbart anymore, and secondly their political views are quite different: on a surface level they both stand strong for free speech and personal liberty, but Milo does it from a cultural libertarian standpoint whereas Ben is a hardline conservative. Milo is much more of an entertainer, he calls attention to himself by being a provocateur (and extremely fabulous). I'm guessing you found about Milo because of the DePaul debacle, which is a perfect example of what Milo does best. He makes the left expose themselves as raving lunatics and brings it to widespread public attention. None of those special snowflakes have any actual arguments against Milo, because under the swagger Milo does speak in hard facts which the left choose to willfully ignore. And obviously to any rational person it doesn't make any sense to call a race-mixing gay Jew "racist, sexist, homophobe" so the usual leftist counters are dismissed out of hand.

Some, like Ben himself, would suggest that Milo perverts conservative ideals with his methods, which I suppose might be true to some extent - but at the same time, I think Milo is proving his methods to be extremely effective, much more so than Ben's more formal and grounded methods. Ben is more like an embodiment of the ideal conservative. He wants small government and he hates Trump and the alt-right. What you call "burning bridges" to me is really just him sticking to his convictions. He's not an entertainer like Milo is, but he's very intelligent and very good at debate. I think his main intellectual weakness lies with Jews and Israel, because he's obviously so deeply biased due to his religious convictions. He's very quick to dismiss any critics as anti-semites like a triggered SJW.

I'm not sure if you're aware, but Milo and Ben have actually agreed to debate each other in the very near future. You should definitely check it out.

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Offline Rama Set

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Re: The Breitbart Crew
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2016, 07:07:57 PM »
I came across Milo in a "Milo Yiannoppulos destroys feminist on TV!" video and thought he was a factoid spouting arsehole. Then I watched the DePaul fiasco as well as his talk with Christina Hoff Summers and realized there was more to him than I first suspected. I agree that his persona and tactics are much more effective tha Ben Shapiro's and his cultural libertarianism is strangely something missing in mainstream media.

In regard to Ben Shapiro "sticking to his convictions" I see that, and respect it, but I still call it bridge-burning because most of his thinking sounds like an ultimatum with very little room for alternate interpretation or for him to be wrong.

For example, his position on transgenderism is sound but does not acknowledge that there are gray areas in the medical science surrounding it, yet he still insists that the only correct way to proceed is to call transgendered people delusional. He doesn't say, "you probably are delusional" or "the current state of science indicates you are likely delusional". He is unequivocal despite there being some evidence to undermine his position.  That kind of narrowness of interpretation is bound to alienate anyone except those who agree with him, which is a sure way never to make progress.
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Re: The Breitbart Crew
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2016, 07:53:58 PM »
i can only speak for myself, but i find shapiro distasteful.  here's a big long thing that says better than i could what i find so distasteful about authors like shapiro. tl;dr: he writes and thinks like lenin.  but, you know, conservative instead of liberal.  no thanks.

http://foucault.info/doc/foucault/interview-html
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The polemicist , on the other hand, proceeds encased in privileges that he possesses in advance and will never agree to question. On principle, he possesses rights authorizing him to wage war and making that struggle a just undertaking; the person he confronts is not a partner in search for the truth but an adversary, an enemy who is wrong, who is armful, and whose very existence constitutes a threat. For him, then the game consists not of recognizing this person as a subject having the right to speak but of abolishing him as interlocutor, from any possible dialogue; and his final objective will be not to come as close as possible to a difficult truth but to bring about the triumph of the just cause he has been manifestly upholding from the beginning. The polemicist relies on a legitimacy that his adversary is by definition denied.

[...]Very schematically, it seems to me that today we can recognize the presence in polemics of three models: the religious model, the judiciary model, and the political model. As in heresiology, polemics sets itself the task of determining the intangible point of dogma, the fundamental and necessary principle that the adversary has neglected, ignored or transgressed; and it denounces this negligence as a moral failing; at the root of the error, it finds passion, desire, interest, a whole series of weaknesses and inadmissible attachments that establish it as culpable. As in judiciary practice, polemics allows for no possibility of an equal discussion: it examines a case; it isn't dealing with an interlocutor, it is processing a suspect; it collects the proofs of his guilt, designates the infraction he has committed, and pronounces the verdict and sentences him. In any case, what we have here is not on the order of a shared investigation; the polemicist tells the truth in the form of his judgment and by virtue of the authority he has conferred on himself. But it is the political model that is the most powerful today. Polemics defines alliances, recruits partisans, unites interests or opinions, represents a party; it establishes the other as an enemy, an upholder of opposed interests against which one must fight until the moment this enemy is defeated and either surrenders or disappears.

[...]Has anyone ever seen a new idea come out of a polemic? And how could it be otherwise, given that here the interlocutors are incited not to advance, not to take more and more risks in what they say, but to fall back continually on the rights that they claim, on their legitimacy, which they must defend, and on the affirmation of their innocence? There is something even more serious here: in this comedy, one mimics war, battles, annihilations, or unconditional surrenders, putting forward as much of one's killer instinct as possible. But it is really dangerous to make anyone believe that he can gain access to the truth by such paths and thus to validate, even if in a merely symbolic form, the real political practices that could be warranted by it.

oh hey that was still only half as long as the bullshit i usually write.

ninja edit: in case i obscured my own point, i don't think there's anything to gain intellectually by reading authors like shapiro.  there are all kinds of super awesome conservative thinkers out there who are writing about ideas rather than reducing political science to a rivalry between the sharks and the jets.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2016, 08:02:42 PM by garygreen »
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Offline Blanko

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Re: The Breitbart Crew
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2016, 08:28:51 PM »
I wouldn't say there's nothing to gain intellectually by reading Ben Shapiro, because anyone who's intellectually honest can easily look past the polemic style and judge his arguments for what they are. Polemicism becomes an issue in a position of power, and in that regard I would agree that Ben would be a terrible politician - but as a mere author I think the main issue is that it damages his sphere of influence. He's an advocate for a branch of conservatism that quite simply does not exist, and while I agree with him on very many ideological points, I find it very difficult to gauge why he chooses the allies that he does when he's so unwilling to compromise. It's an issue of his character, not his intellect.

George

Re: The Breitbart Crew
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2016, 04:49:39 AM »
The notion that liberalism/progressivism is the one and only home of "special snowflakes" who flip out over others expressing their free speech and can't handle hearing other opinions doesn't hold up to the facts.  It's not young progressives who are currently ranting and raving about the new Ghostbusters movie, it wasn't them who organized and took part in the mass complaints of Gamergate or Sad/Rabid Puppies, it's not them who frequently throw fits on the Internet about "Censorship!" or "Pandering!" if a video game dev chooses to remove something politically incorrect from a game or add something politically correct to it, respectively, and so on.  Donald Trump himself, perhaps the patron saint of awesome manly men who are too badass to care about being politically correct, was triggered something terrible when Megyn Kelly asked him unflattering questions during a debate, so much so that he refused to take part in the next Fox News debate.  What a crybaby/beta/cuck/pussy, amirite?  Oh, no, those terms only apply to liberals or progressives when they complain.  When conservatives do it, it's ethical and admirable.

Every demographic has its complaints and protests.  Sometimes they're justified, sometimes they're not, but they're nothing new, and they're certainly not a product of this one specific coddled generation of liberal college students.  To give a more positive example, I'm pretty sure that the people who give the Westboro Baptist Church grief (blocking them from view at the funerals they protests, drowning out what they have to say) skew both older and more conservative  Of course, nobody bothers writing articles about this terrible suppression of the WBC's free speech, and what it says about the spineless generation that can't bear to hear differing opinions.

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Offline Rama Set

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Re: The Breitbart Crew
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2016, 05:02:45 AM »
The notion that liberalism/progressivism is the one and only home of "special snowflakes" who flip out over others expressing their free speech and can't handle hearing other opinions doesn't hold up to the facts.  It's not young progressives who are currently ranting and raving about the new Ghostbusters movie, it wasn't them who organized and took part in the mass complaints of Gamergate or Sad/Rabid Puppies, it's not them who frequently throw fits on the Internet about "Censorship!" or "Pandering!" if a video game dev chooses to remove something politically incorrect from a game or add something politically correct to it, respectively, and so on.  Donald Trump himself, perhaps the patron saint of awesome manly men who are too badass to care about being politically correct, was triggered something terrible when Megyn Kelly asked him unflattering questions during a debate, so much so that he refused to take part in the next Fox News debate.  What a crybaby/beta/cuck/pussy, amirite?  Oh, no, those terms only apply to liberals or progressives when they complain.  When conservatives do it, it's ethical and admirable.

Every demographic has its complaints and protests.  Sometimes they're justified, sometimes they're not, but they're nothing new, and they're certainly not a product of this one specific coddled generation of liberal college students.  To give a more positive example, I'm pretty sure that the people who give the Westboro Baptist Church grief (blocking them from view at the funerals they protests, drowning out what they have to say) skew both older and more conservative  Of course, nobody bothers writing articles about this terrible suppression of the WBC's free speech, and what it says about the spineless generation that can't bear to hear differing opinions.

No one said liberalism are the only "special snowflakes" [sic].  All I said was that I agree with the above-mentioned stances on safe space/trigger warning culture specifically as it pertains to free speech infringement.  I similarly do not agree with anyone who disapproves of Rey from the Force Awakens because they feel like it fulfills a left-wing cultural agenda.  All of these parties are distasteful in my eyes.  So, not sure why you are putting words in people's mouths, but stop, mmmk?

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Offline Blanko

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Re: The Breitbart Crew
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2016, 05:15:17 AM »
The notion that liberalism/progressivism is the one and only home of "special snowflakes" who flip out over others expressing their free speech and can't handle hearing other opinions doesn't hold up to the facts.  It's not young progressives who are currently ranting and raving about the new Ghostbusters movie, it wasn't them who organized and took part in the mass complaints of Gamergate or Sad/Rabid Puppies, it's not them who frequently throw fits on the Internet about "Censorship!" or "Pandering!" if a video game dev chooses to remove something politically incorrect from a game or add something politically correct to it, respectively, and so on.  Donald Trump himself, perhaps the patron saint of awesome manly men who are too badass to care about being politically correct, was triggered something terrible when Megyn Kelly asked him unflattering questions during a debate, so much so that he refused to take part in the next Fox News debate.  What a crybaby/beta/cuck/pussy, amirite?  Oh, no, those terms only apply to liberals or progressives when they complain.  When conservatives do it, it's ethical and admirable.

Every demographic has its complaints and protests.  Sometimes they're justified, sometimes they're not, but they're nothing new, and they're certainly not a product of this one specific coddled generation of liberal college students.  To give a more positive example, I'm pretty sure that the people who give the Westboro Baptist Church grief (blocking them from view at the funerals they protests, drowning out what they have to say) skew both older and more conservative  Of course, nobody bothers writing articles about this terrible suppression of the WBC's free speech, and what it says about the spineless generation that can't bear to hear differing opinions.

Pretending that concerns over free speech are limited to internet comment sections is incredibly disingenuous at best and horrible pandering to the left at worst. You know very well that the Youtube comment section doesn't stop anyone from seeing Ghostbusters or playing a video game, and nobody is saying that free speech means you can never complain about anything, so quit being so defensive. The discussion has always been about restricting the rights of others. Just today protesters at a Milo event in UCLA physically blocked people from entering the venue - and here you are equating that to trolls on the internet.

The fact that you picked such shitty insignificant Gawker clickbait examples shows just how sheltered you are. Was PC culture also not a problem in Rotherdam where the raping of 1400 children was covered up by officials who didn't want to seem racist? Or how about people getting imprisoned for "hate speech" when all they do is criticize government policies? This is about people's lives, not your petty obsessions.


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Re: The Breitbart Crew
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2016, 01:39:41 PM »
Was PC culture also not a problem in Rotherdam where the raping of 1400 children was covered up by officials who didn't want to seem racist? Or how about people getting imprisoned for "hate speech" when all they do is criticize government policies? This is about people's lives, not your petty obsessions.
George is still right in a sense.

The moderate approach is always best cause there are always two sides to the coin. I would like to see sources for both of these incidents you're referring to and the proof that it is PC culture. I'm absolutely not a fan of PC culture, but I still have a hard time believing that it's as heavy handed and powerful as you claim.

And after reading/listening to Milo a bit I have a few things, while he does put out some thought provoking ideas I think he has some failings. He says people on the left fall into baseless name calling arguments while he calls Zuckerberg a "cuck". I don't see how the possibility of Zuckerberg censoring news on a social media site makes him a cuck. And he falls into the fallacy quite often of "I don't see it, so it must not be real" in regards to sexism, racism, homophobia. A nice little quote of "black people talk differently, that's not racist it's just true" or something to that regard. He has a problem of labeling people incorrectly. It's not their blackness that dictates how they speak, it's more of a class issue rather than skin... and yeah I can see how someone would call him racist for that comment.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2016, 02:03:37 PM by rooster »

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Offline Pete Svarrior

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Re: The Breitbart Crew
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2016, 05:36:13 PM »
Calling people cucks is the newest right-wing dank meme, much like calling people sexist and racists is the top leftie meme. There's no rhyme or reason to it, and trying to find a good explanation for it is an exercise in futility.
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Offline rooster

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Re: The Breitbart Crew
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2016, 06:18:38 PM »
Calling people cucks is the newest right-wing dank meme, much like calling people sexist and racists is the top leftie meme. There's no rhyme or reason to it, and trying to find a good explanation for it is an exercise in futility.
Oh, I know. But it struck me as particularly hypocritical since he wrote a whole article about leftist fallacies including name-calling.

George

Re: The Breitbart Crew
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2016, 09:05:58 PM »
No one said liberalism are the only "special snowflakes" [sic].

[sic] is what you say when you're quoting someone who's made a mistake.  You don't say it when you're the one who's made the mistake.

Pretending that concerns over free speech are limited to internet comment sections is incredibly disingenuous at best and horrible pandering to the left at worst. You know very well that the Youtube comment section doesn't stop anyone from seeing Ghostbusters or playing a video game, and nobody is saying that free speech means you can never complain about anything, so quit being so defensive...The fact that you picked such shitty insignificant Gawker clickbait examples shows just how sheltered you are...This is about people's lives, not your petty obsessions.

I didn't claim that they were "limited" to Internet comments, but that's very much a part of it, and a not-insignificant chunk of the alt-right, led proudly by Milo, have been very vocal and very hypocritical on that subject.  They're the ones you should be criticizing for being sheltered or having petty obsessions.

I also find it amusing that you criticize me for bringing up supposedly trivial issues, and yet you're trying to portray Milo's recent troubles with colleges as equivalent to covering up child abuse and imprisoning innocent people.  Please.  If this - a notorious asshole deliberately going to a hostile audience with a ridiculously-inflammatory "message" and successfully provoking them into a hostile response - is the extent of the grave threat to freedom of speech in this country, then I'd say we're in good shape overall.

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Offline Rama Set

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Re: The Breitbart Crew
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2016, 12:51:51 AM »
No one said liberalism are the only "special snowflakes" [sic].

[sic] is what you say when you're quoting someone who's made a mistake.  You don't say it when you're the one who's made the mistake

I was using it to denote that I was using your turn of phrase, which, although not the most common usage is still valid. Now what mistake did I make?
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Offline Blanko

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Re: The Breitbart Crew
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2016, 02:21:35 AM »
I didn't claim that they were "limited" to Internet comments, but that's very much a part of it, and a not-insignificant chunk of the alt-right, led proudly by Milo, have been very vocal and very hypocritical on that subject.  They're the ones you should be criticizing for being sheltered or having petty obsessions.

The alt-right is not "led proudly" by Milo. Can you stop being so disingenuous?

Quote
I also find it amusing that you criticize me for bringing up supposedly trivial issues, and yet you're trying to portray Milo's recent troubles with colleges as equivalent to covering up child abuse and imprisoning innocent people.  Please.  If this - a notorious asshole deliberately going to a hostile audience with a ridiculously-inflammatory "message" and successfully provoking them into a hostile response - is the extent of the grave threat to freedom of speech in this country, then I'd say we're in good shape overall.

Ah, yes, sorry for bringing up several examples of actual rights being restricted in the same post. Perhaps I should have stuck to comparing them to whiny babies on the internet instead like you.

And yes, the state of free speech in the US is currently the best in the world, but it's getting worse unless something is done about it. The reason I brought up examples of Europe was because that's what'll happen to you if you allow it.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2016, 02:28:37 AM by Blanko »

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Offline Pete Svarrior

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Re: The Breitbart Crew
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2016, 08:40:27 AM »
[sic] is what you say when you're quoting someone who's made a mistake.
Look, I completely sympathise with the faux grammar Nazi attitude, but could you please try to be less wrong?

If this - a notorious asshole deliberately going to a hostile audience with a ridiculously-inflammatory "message" and successfully provoking them into a hostile response - is the extent of the grave threat to freedom of speech in this country, then I'd say we're in good shape overall.
Are you trying to prove Blanko right? You just explicitly stated that universities are hostile towards a certain set of political views or even simple statements of fact.

Either you believe that universities should be political boot camps for the left wing (in which case you're exactly the type of person Milo is fighting), or you've become so sheltered that you can no longer understand that these views exist for good reason.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2016, 08:43:38 AM by SexWarrior »
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Offline Blanko

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Re: The Breitbart Crew
« Reply #15 on: June 02, 2016, 08:51:14 AM »
Facts are ridiculously inflammatory.

George

Re: The Breitbart Crew
« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2016, 10:39:05 PM »
No one said liberalism are the only "special snowflakes" [sic].

[sic] is what you say when you're quoting someone who's made a mistake.  You don't say it when you're the one who's made the mistake

I was using it to denote that I was using your turn of phrase, which, although not the most common usage is still valid. Now what mistake did I make?

I said "liberalism/progressivism is the one and only home of "special snowflakes.""  You implied that I called liberalism itself "special snowflakes," which of course doesn't make sense grammatically.

The alt-right is not "led proudly" by Milo. Can you stop being so disingenuous?

Of the entire alt-right movement, no, but he's absolutely a leading figure in the faction that rages on the Internet about how popular culture is supposedly full of feminist propaganda, gay agenda-pushing, "cultural Marxism" (more like cucktural Marxism amirite), and all that nonsense.  Like the way he spearheaded Gamergate, despite having nothing but contempt for video games and gamers.

And yes, the state of free speech in the US is currently the best in the world, but it's getting worse unless something is done about it.

I don't agree with the latter part of this, because I think that these problems are really just individual instances of human nature - collectivism, mob rule, what have you - at work, rather than being specifically rooted in the political ideology of the times.  This riot, for example, was full of the young libertarians of the "Free Keene" movement.  And this riot was mostly hardcore football fans.  And let's not forget some of the truly enormous protests and riots of the sixties and seventies, made up of a generation that ended up not destroying the Bill of Rights once they gained political power.  Crowds of angry young people are not a good gauge of how a country as a whole tolerates dissent.

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Re: The Breitbart Crew
« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2016, 11:05:30 PM »
Of the entire alt-right movement, no, but he's absolutely a leading figure in the faction that rages on the Internet about how popular culture is supposedly full of feminist propaganda, gay agenda-pushing, "cultural Marxism" (more like cucktural Marxism amirite), and all that nonsense.  Like the way he spearheaded Gamergate, despite having nothing but contempt for video games and gamers.

Disingenuous

Quote
I don't agree with the latter part of this, because I think that these problems are really just individual instances of human nature - collectivism, mob rule, what have you - at work, rather than being specifically rooted in the political ideology of the times.  This riot, for example, was full of the young libertarians of the "Free Keene" movement.  And this riot was mostly hardcore football fans.  And let's not forget some of the truly enormous protests and riots of the sixties and seventies, made up of a generation that ended up not destroying the Bill of Rights once they gained political power.  Crowds of angry young people are not a good gauge of how a country as a whole tolerates dissent.

Irrelevant

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Offline Rama Set

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Re: The Breitbart Crew
« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2016, 11:24:20 PM »
I said "liberalism/progressivism is the one and only home of "special snowflakes.""  You implied that I called liberalism itself "special snowflakes," which of course doesn't make sense grammatically.

Totally nailed me on a grammar error. How good do you feel?  Pretty good I bet.

Quote
Of the entire alt-right movement, no, but he's absolutely a leading figure in the faction that rages on the Internet about how popular culture is supposedly full of feminist propaganda, gay agenda-pushing, "cultural Marxism" (more like cucktural Marxism amirite), and all that nonsense.  Like the way he spearheaded Gamergate, despite having nothing but contempt for video games and gamers.

Except when he talks about how beset the gamers were from both sides. He actually has painted them somewhat valiantly as a group resisting authoritarianism.

And yes, the state of free speech in the US is currently the best in the world, but it's getting worse unless something is done about it.

I don't agree with the latter part of this, because I think that these problems are really just individual instances of human nature - collectivism, mob rule, what have you - at work, rather than being specifically rooted in the political ideology of the times.  This riot, for example, was full of the young libertarians of the "Free Keene" movement.  And this riot was mostly hardcore football fans.  And let's not forget some of the truly enormous protests and riots of the sixties and seventies, made up of a generation that ended up not destroying the Bill of Rights once they gained political power.  Crowds of angry young people are not a good gauge of how a country as a whole tolerates dissent.
[/quote]

I'm not sure if you have seen Ben Shapiro's appearance on Dr. Drew's show, but he literally was threatened with aggravated assault on national television and everyone on the air with him sided against him. This is one example, sure, but egregious acts are definitely not restricted to mob mentality.
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Offline Blanko

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Re: The Breitbart Crew
« Reply #19 on: June 02, 2016, 11:36:49 PM »
On the actual topic, more from the aftermath of DePaul:

https://twitter.com/Nero/status/738502693216522240
https://twitter.com/Nero/status/738503015624278018

Absolutely appalling. Not even the slightest bit of regret or remorse for having their administration be entirely complicit in letting a guest speaker be physically threatened and assaulted. Not a single mention that the security team they demanded payment for were told to stand down and not do their jobs. He only feels sorry for the violent thugs who weren't given a heartwarming welcome to disrupt the event.

You see Saddam, it really isn't about angry young people rioting (who the fuck even mentioned rioting?), it's about people like this that enable and reward it.