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Good news from the western front of the culture war

I have been watching the ‘Sad Puppies’ campaign in the world of science fiction and fantasy writers for a while now, with mounting amusement. If you are unaware what it is, think of it as a backlash against the overt cultural Marxist ‘Social Justice Warrior’ clique who have been dominating the Hugo Awards for many years now.

Well this year it looks like some folks are aiming to blow up the SJW Death Star.

Several on the left have remarked the sudden slew of anti-authoritarian nominees has been due to an influx of GamerGate supporters. Yet as the number of votes has only increased slightly, it would appear the GamerGate people were already there, they just finally decided to stand up, form two ranks and figuratively shoulder their Martini-Henry rifles, whilst facing the podium occupied by the establishment.

Anyone who thinks the Culture War is unwinnable or not even being fought by our side is not paying attention.

32 comments to Good news from the western front of the culture war

  • David Crawford

    Story. Characters. Politics. Pick two. Most writers only have the chops to do two, if that, of those. And the SJW-types always pick politics then worry about the other two later, if at all. Funny thing is, they are shitty at politics as the way they write is about as subtle as a baseball bat to the head.

  • Regional

    The best way to fight a war is not tell the other side there’s a war.

  • That is what the other side did. Our side only just noticed

  • Kevin B

    There’s a meme going around at the moment that goes something like:

    “The left won the culture war and are now scouring the battlefield and shooting the survivors.”

    This is applied to incidents like the Indiana pizza shop debacle whereby a ginned up story causes a nationwide furore that eclipses the Hillary e-mail scandal, the Iran nuclear deal and the Garissa atrocity in terms of MSM coverage.

    Of course, the culture war is never won and the antics of the SJWs seem designed to ensure that when the pendulum swings back the other way, (and it will), instead of going towards a position of liberty it will prompt a different set of religious fanatics to attempt to impose their totalitarian will on the rest of us.

    The culture war is a religious war. It can never be won, but there will be a lot of collateral damage in the fight.

  • Veryretired

    Exaggerated pessimism can be a form of surrender. It is painful to see so many comments and other expressions saying that the battle has already been lost, the Republic is lost, the Constitution is no longer viable, etc., etc.

    There are always threats to liberty. They often seem formidable, and overwhelming, unstoppable.

    Every day, it is possible to win another skirmish, make one’s case, stand up and be counted as an advocate of freedom, and free expression, and an implacable foe of repression, and any ideology which preaches the right of some “superior” people to smother any disagreement and contrary ideas.

    Ordinary people are busy living their lives, making a living, doing the million and one things that need to be done every day. Ideologues, these phony cultural warriors, have only their obsessive devotion to the doctrines that consume them.

    Western religious people, for all their flaws and faults, tend toward live and let live in most cases. There are some very foolish people, secular and religious, who will rue the day they woke this sleeping giant, and filled him with a terrible resolve.

    Happy Easter if you care about that, or just happy spring if you don’t.

  • Michael Brown

    “… they woke this sleeping giant, and filled him with a terrible resolve.”
    If #gamergate was the start of something, and the Memories Pizza crowdfunding ($840,000 the last I saw) its continuance, can we hope for a Midway someday?

    Happy Easter.

  • Mr Black

    Limited counter-attacks against a weak flank do not typically change the course of wars. They are, at most, a minor setback for the attacker especially when they dominate virtually every sphere of combat.

  • the other rob

    @Kevin B: My wife, who is an instinctive leftist. has seen right through the whole pizzagate debacle. It’s very unlikely that she’s the only one to have done so…

    @Perry: I actually own a Martini Henry, a Mk.3 iirc, along with a few dozen rounds of ICI made .577/450. If you’re ever out this way, you can have a go on it.

  • Alastair

    Have people seen the recent film ‘Kingsman’? It’s the most libertarian mainstream film I’ve seen in ages. The spy agency that the main protagonists belong to is privately owned and run; the chief villain is a climate alarmist eco-facist; the hero, who is from a socially disadvantaged background, is told by his mentor that overcoming his background is entirely down to his own choices and efforts; and the Davos crowd, particularly the politicians, are portrayed as venal, selfish and ultimately enthusiastic to see the mass of humanity destroyed to avoid environmental catastrophe. And it’s well made and enormous fun (if you don’t mind some spectacularly violent action scenes). The Guardian reviewer hated it.

  • Laird

    Alastair, I have seen it and enjoyed it quite a bit.

  • Jon

    Can I just check that we’re defending the pizza people because we support their right to be dicks, rather than because we don’t like the people they don’t like?

    We’re absolutely fine with someone opening up a shop next door and refusing to serve Christians because their religion is preposterous and caused them to make poor commercial choices?

  • Mr Ed

    Stage 1 of the culture war. Stop state funding or suoport for every non-STEM University department.

    Stage 2 in the UK. Nationalise and realise all property of the Church of England to pay down the National Debt.

  • Paul Marks

    Mr Ed normally I would be outraged by your second suggestion – however, you are just taking the Church of England (and the Roman Catholic Church and…. )at their word.

    If people declare that the “needs of the poor” trump private property obviously they are saying that their own private property should be confiscated.

    This principle could be extended to the millionaires and billionaires who back the “environmental” (Agenda 21) and “Social Justice” movements.

    If they do not believe in private property, indeed believe it should be taken by force by the state (for the “good of the people”) what can their objection to their own land and goods being confiscated?

    If they object they are no better than the “arms dealers” who “promote wars” (bullshit), or the foes of the noble deal with the Iranian regime which will promote peace (more bullshit).

    They actually boast of their (fictional) poverty and claim (in “I am ever so humble” fashion, in fact showing the pride of Mr Heap)to live in humble conditions.

    So what could their be objection be to the confiscation of he palaces and so on that they claim they do not have?

  • Mr Ed

    Indeed Paul, I am outraged at my own suggestion. We must resist the temptation to do unto others as they would do unto us. A culture war does require some compromises however, and to see the reaction would be the main point of the proposal.

    And is Church property really private property? Is it property held by statists for the promotion of statism?

  • Paul Marks

    Perry – I can remember (as can you) when the internet was largely libertarian.

    Back in the days when Janet and Super Janet turned into the internet (back in about 1990 – when I was at the University of York and called myself “Lycophron” on line) people being supportive of private property rights and hostile to big government was normal on the internet (then various discussion boards and so on).

    But then an academic (I forget her name) started to ask us questions.

    Did we really believe that Hitler was a socialist?

    Did we really believe that that government spending was too high?

    Did we really believe that money should be a real commodity rather than the whims of the government and government backed conmen?

    The lady was not interested in our arguments (she just assumed we were wrong – about everything) she wanted to know if we really existed – if we really bad all these evil “reactionary” opinions.

    Then, a couple of years later, the leftist Hive-Mind hit the internet.

    A Legion of Devils (or mindless zombies) who all had the same opinions on everything – and got their opinions (off the peg) from the education system and the media – without ever having to think for themselves.

    The only “freedom” the Hive-Mind was interested in was “liberation” from “big business” and the end of the “oppression” of women and ethnic minorities and homosexuals (and ……) by “capitalist society”.

    Outside a few ghettos (such as this one Perry) the internet is now dominated by the same attitudes that control the education system and the media – especially the entertainment media).

    Science fiction and fantasy was a bastion of individual freedom, support for private property (and moral responsibility – free will), opposition to big government.

    The left have noticed this – they have noticed the fantasy writing of C.S. Lewis and Tolkien and so on, and they S.F. writing of the “Golden Age” of American Science Fiction (Heinlein and so on), and they have moved in to take over.

    They are using the standard methods – both of the Italian Gramsci and his followers and of the German-American “Frankfurt School of Marxism”, as well as traditional British “Fabian” and American “Progressive” tactics.

    You point out that there is a fight back going on against the evil forces of “Social Justice” (i.e. the supporters of the totalitarian, total, state) in SF.

    This fight back should indeed be praised.

  • Kevin B

    Jon: I think we’re defending the pizza people because a reporter walked in to a small town pizza parlor and asked a few hypothetical questions and then reported the owners answers to these hypotheticals as an hate crime.

    This of course unleashed a twitterstorm followed by a mainstream media storm and a ton of threats to the poor pizzza people in a reaction which makes Orwell’s two minute hate seem like a storm in a teacup.

    So we’re defending them, (those of us who are), on the ‘there but for fortune’ principle*.

    As for their commercial choices; perhaps the small community in which they live is a nest of fundamentalist christians, (or moslems), and if they’d said they would cater gay weddings, their shop might be boycotted by the locals. Or maybe the only gay in the village is already married. Or maybe they forsaw the storm and the reaction to it and thought ‘sod making pizzas, we’ll just sit back and collect a million bucks, (and that’s before they sue the TV channel that ginned up the furore in the first place)’.

    *And then there’s the ‘first they came for the pizza shop owners…’ principle.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Alastair: you had exactly the same reaction as i did!
    A couple of things you did not point out, that make it “conservative” in addition to libertarian:
    * A dark-skinned POTUS and the “Scandinavian” PM endorse the culling of the human race, while an unelected Scandinavian princess does not.
    * Old fashioned English gentlemen are portrayed as supermen.

    IIRC there was also a rather cheap shot at Maggie Thatcher, but never mind.

  • Jon

    Kevin- that’s funny. The same logic – ‘there but for the grace of Kylie…’ was used by some minority groups to decide to fight religious or racist types. Except not many gay people have bashed bishops (sorry- couldn’t resist) or organised gangs of drag queens to beat up missionaries. The church can’t say it hasn’t incited the reverse- a Twitter storm? Still not that bad compared to the sanctification of the KKK.

    Can’t help feeling Jesus wouldn’t be terribly proud of his side in the culture wars. Speaking more about money or divorce than he ever did about homosexuality, the scant cover afforded by readings of Deuteronomy and that ‘confirmed bachelor’ Paul’s letter to the Romans – suggests to me the church cherry-picked an enemy they thought they could beat for once to rally the dwindling band of troops (having failed to stop the tidal wave of divorce, usury, garments made from mixed cloth and rampant mixed- crop planting), surely they could beat up on a few ‘girly men’, and lo, rednecks in shitsville followed up.

    I’m uncomfortable with the state telling people what to do, what to think, and what businesses should sell to whom. But organised religion is incredibly coercive and collectivist, by definition. In the culture wars on gay marriage, its two types of socialist fighting one another. And as Jesus himself said, a house divided against itself will soon fall.

    Maybe Perry doesn’t need to be so pessimistic after all.

  • Niall Kilmartin

    Jon, to answer your question, yes, I think, ‘we’ (both ‘we’ meaning the community here and ‘we’ meaning those of us in that community who are Christians) would defend the right of a pizza shop to refuse to cater a Christian marriage ceremony, whether because they didn’t believe in any religion, or because they were already booked to cater an event for Richard Dawkins that day, or because they were fanatical adherents of the force and would only cater weddings for Jedi Knights, etc. They could say no courteously, as did the pizza people, or they could follow the style of your post in describing the Christians they would not serve as ‘dicks’; it wouldn’t matter.

    I think we also tend to believe that the power of the state (direct state action or selective denial of law enforcement) is involved whenever “just carry on down the street to the one that will be happy to do your event” is statistically untrue for any length of time. However the principle would apply even if this were not always true, or not always becoming true as quickly as we would wish.

    (To avoid the nitpickers, yes I know that Jedi Knights can’t marry; presumably Anakin and Amidala’s wedding was catered very discretely. 🙂 )

  • Maybe Perry doesn’t need to be so pessimistic after all.

    I am not pessimistic at all, in spite of agreeing with a chum of mine that “things will get worse before they get worse” 😉

    Personally I would be happy for a business I owned to cater for a gay interspecies three way wedding between a transgendered man, a horny goat and a jellyfish. I really could not care less what people do when it comes to such things, and the only God for me is the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or maybe Cthulhu. Moreover I do not *really* care over much about the Hugo Awards in spite of being a SFF fan myself.

    For me the issue is simple: the Pizza Christians, the non-Socialist SFF writers involved with the Sad Puppies and GamerGate/NotYourShield are all part of a wider culture war against statists (often led by overt Critical Theory Marxists) who support state control of other people’s lives, and who are in addition some of the nastiest shits I have ever interacted with in a way that did not involve gunfire.

  • But organised religion is incredibly coercive and collectivist, by definition.

    No it is not – unless it is backed by the power of the State, just like anything else, organized or not.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Can I just check that we’re defending the pizza people because we support their right to be dicks, rather than because we don’t like the people they don’t like?

    Jon: apart from the fact that it’s not a good idea to start off by antagonizing your audience, this is a question that does not deserve an answer. The “pizza people” should not need a reason to choose whom they do business with: it’s their pizza parlor.

    We’re absolutely fine with someone opening up a shop next door and refusing to serve Christians because their religion is preposterous and caused them to make poor commercial choices?

    Again, this implies that one needs to give reasons before refusing service to Christians!

  • Jon

    Phew! I’m glad.

    My tone was deliberately rude because I wanted to simulate some of the annoyance being turned away by an establishment may cause before anyone answered. FWIW, I’ve been travelling around Australia, NZ and now Thailand for a while with my partner and our child and encountered barely a battered eyelid. And I was all ready to crazy on trip adviser! 😉

    Alisa- presumably the Vatican fails your test?

  • Kevin B

    Perhaps Jon means Vatican City State, Alisa, an independant state ruled by the Bishop of Rome. I’m not sure how coercive in terms of religious belief the Pope is for the eight hundred or so citizens of the place but since most of them are clergy of some sort and most of the rest are his Swiss Guards, he probably doesn’t need to come down too heavily.

    Most of the actual work in the city, like cleaning the roads or policing the pickpockets in St Peter’s Square, is done by non-citizens imported from Rome. How these commuters are affected by any rulings handed down by the elected monarch might make a fascinating subject for research. Or not.

  • lost-lost cousin

    But organised religion is incredibly coercive and collectivist, by definition.

    No it is not – unless it is backed by the power of the State, just like anything else, organized or not.

    What about religions that take on attributes of statehood?

    Al-Shabaab isn’t a state. Neither is ISIS, except in their own imaginations. And yet, both behave in manners that I could only describe as “coercive.”

    That being said, there are so few such movements in recent years in the US (and let’s be honest: we’re talking mainly about the US this time)…I hesitate to call the Moors or a few of the Christian Identity assclowns “statelike” in anything other than their own imaginations. That being said, there have been instances of state-like behavior by religions here, in Dearborn, MI, and Minneapolis, MN…

    All that being said, I fully support the right of any business owner to refuse to accommodate anyone because “F*** you, I don’t want to!”

  • lost-lost-lost-lost….cousin: Islam certainly has built into it the aspiration of being a State, and where this aspiration is materialized, it is in fact very coercive and collectivist – but that was in fact part of my point. It’s not any religion ‘by definition’, as per Jon, that is collectivist and coercive, it is when a religion does possess these particular attributes, it tends to seek the power of the state to support these attributes and these aspirations. IOW, it’s the State that does it, in the end – whether it has religion attached to it or not.

  • Oh, and both Al-Shabaab and ISIS are states, whether you and I like it or not.

  • lost-lost cousin

    Where do you draw the distinction between an armed gang and a state?

    I think holding territory has to be at least part of that. I also think that having that territory and its borders recognized by someone or some entity other than just the claimant is also at least part of “statehood” as opposed to “gang.”

    I don’t think anybody worth mentioning has recognized either as being more than crowds of very violent and nasty people with a flag and a Youtube channel.

  • I agree with you about territory, and ISIS does have that for sure (I may be wrong about Al-Shabaab?). I do disagree about outside recognition, and in any case such recognition is irrelevant to the point about collectivism and coercion made by Jon and further commented upon by me – no more so than the gang in question being motivated by religion or some kind of secular ideology.

  • The Daesh Islamic State has a substantial conventional (rather than guerilla) army with artillery, tanks and drones, all directed centrally by a cohesive political authority. The Daesh IS issues currency, runs mandatory state schools, collects taxes and imposes laws within a territory larger that many countries. It is a state by any reasonable definition of state.

    Al-Shabaab only really controls significant land tenuously: they are a guerilla army rather than a state.