Friday, May 27, 2016

Filed under: Culture, Determinism, Naturalism, Fascism, Futurism and Data Culture, Utopia and Intentional Communities, Sexuality, Philosophy, Politics, Transhumanism and Transgender, Make it Idiot-Proof,

A letter to TPM
Keeping it brief: Thiel essentially got his public start by founding the Stanford Review. That publication quickly, if not at its inception, was devoted mainly to “anti-PC” arguments, defending in particular fellow reviewer Keith Rabois, another future PayPal zillionare who, as a Stanford Law student was involved in "screaming 'Faggot! Hope you die of AIDS!' and 'Can't wait until you die, faggot,' in the direction of the resident fellow cottage of lecturer Dennis Matthies.

According to a Stanford news release at the time: "first-year law student Keith Rabois ... sent a letter to the Stanford Daily confirming the allegations."

"Admittedly, the comments made were not very articulate, not very intellectual nor profound," Rabois wrote, according to the news release. "The intention was for the speech to be outrageous enough to provoke a thought of 'Wow, if he can say that, I guess I can say a little more than I thought.' 
Both Thiel and Rabois were/are gay.

This wasn’t just a youthful indiscretion. ... Thiel rode the incident to a book deal and publication in the Wall Street Journal. I assume his conservative bona fides, rooted here, played a serious role in his public profile and early business network? They also weren’t straightforwardly voicing some political/religious position: they were rather rancidly scapegoating other gay men as part of some closeted psychodynamic.

So Thiel’s high horse on speech about gay people runs rather contrary to his own actions (to the NYTimes: “Gawker has been a singularly terrible bully”?), which he has benefitted from—which he was only too happy to defend and promulgate on grounds of free speech/press. ... Don’t know why Gawker hasn’t called him out on this particularly: Thiel’s philosophical (come on) position hasn’t really diverged; while he’s now posing as a champion for liberal sensibilities about his sexuality and privacy he’s still happy to take positions against political correctness, immigrants, women’s suffrage and undermine the press he used as an exemplar of his own protections.

Thiel
But I must confess that over the last two decades, I have changed radically on the question of how to achieve these goals. Most importantly, I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible....

As a Stanford undergraduate studying philosophy in the late 1980s, I naturally was drawn to the give-and-take of debate and the desire to bring about freedom through political means....

As a young lawyer and trader in Manhattan in the 1990s, I began to understand why so many become disillusioned after college. The world appears too big a place. Rather than fight the relentless indifference of the universe, many of my saner peers retreated to tending their small gardens. The higher one’s IQ, the more pessimistic one became about free-market politics — capitalism simply is not that popular with the crowd. Among the smartest conservatives, this pessimism often manifested in heroic drinking; the smartest libertarians, by contrast, had fewer hang-ups about positive law and escaped not only to alcohol but beyond it....

The events of recent months shatter any remaining hopes of politically minded libertarians. For those of us who are libertarian in 2009, our education culminates with the knowledge that the broader education of the body politic has become a fool’s errand....

The 1920s were the last decade in American history during which one could be genuinely optimistic about politics. Since 1920, the vast increase in welfare beneficiaries and the extension of the franchise to women — two constituencies that are notoriously tough for libertarians — have rendered the notion of “capitalist democracy” into an oxymoron....

The critical question then becomes one of means, of how to escape not via politics but beyond it. Because there are no truly free places left in our world,...
On and on it goes.
If you inter-railed across Europe, only stopping with gay fascists, there aren’t many sights you’d miss. France’s leading post-war fascist was Edouard Pfieffer, who was not batting for the straight side. Germany’s leading neo-Nazi all through the eighties was called Michael Kuhnen; he died of AIDS in 1991 a few years after coming out. Martin Lee, author of a study of European fascism, explains, “For Kuhnen, there was something supermacho about being a Nazi, as well as being a homosexual, both of which enforced his sense of living on the edge, of belonging to an elite that was destined to make an impact. He told a West German journalist that homosexuals were ‘especially well-suited for our task, because they do not want ties to wife, children and family.’”

And it wouldn’t be long before your whistlestop tour arrived in Britain. At first glance, our Nazis seem militantly straight. They have tried to disrupt gay parades, describe gay people as “evil”, and BNP leader Nick Griffin reacted charmingly to the bombing of the Admiral Duncan pub in 1999 with a column saying, “The TV footage of gay demonstrators [outside the scene of carnage] flaunting their perversion in front of the world’s journalists showed just why so many ordinary people find these creatures repulsive.”

But scratch to homophobic surface and there’s a spandex swastika underneath. In 1999, Martin Webster, a former National Front organiser and head honcho in the British fascist movement, wrote a four-page pamphlet detailing his ‘affair’ with Nick Griffin. “Griffin sought out intimate relations with me,” openly-gay Webster explained, “in the late 1970s. He was twenty years younger than me.” Ray Hill, who infiltrated the British fascist movement for twelve years to gather information for anti-fascist groups, says it’s all too plausible. Homosexuality is “extremely prevalent” in the upper echelons of the British far right, and at one stage in the 1980s nearly half of the movement’s organisers were gay, he claims.
etc.... etc.... [etc....] etc....  etc....
It’s always amused me how many people refer to queer theory and queerness as being attacked by the right, without defending it explicitly as being of the left. But Queerness isn't a critique of class and economics; it's defined as mocking bourgeois normalcy. Over the past two centuries both the left and right have done that and now especially there's confusion about who's doing it and why.

But what replaces normalcy? For the majority of whatever political, sexual, religious or philosophical persuasion, the answer's, "nothing".  Fantasies of permanent revolution, the entrepreneurial spirit, or the fabulous life are all fantasies of a minority; most people want stability and stability is boring. The focus of contemporary theory on systems of power relations assumes that if society and normalcy are coercive they must also be unjust. It's an argument from hypertrophied individualism, mixing Plato, Foucault and Ayn Rand with the accent on one or another according to preference, and stating either that the powerful are powerful because they are and that this therefore is just, or that rules will always be broken and we shouldn't defend them nor even the ambiguous relations of laws and their undoing -that being the definition of the arts and specifically of literature- but merely celebrate their breaking. All of this is based in turn on a romantic reading of Freud and a hatred of him for his mistakes, a fondness for de Sade and The Story of O, and/or a televangelist’s version of Adam Smith. If capitalism in it's ascendancy was the child of humanism, anti-humanism has become the philosophy of it's maturity. It's held variously that we are never conscious, that we do not behave responsibly in the face of desire, that we need to be free, that we're greedy, and that the greedy are the most free.
Click on the fucking links and learn something.

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