Thursday, February 18, 2021

 Leiter and "condescension from below", again, this time against Taibbi.

"Marcuse was a Millian"

I show that Marcuse agreed with Mill that free expression is only truth-and utility-maximizing if certain background conditions obtain: thus Mill argues that the British colony in India would be better off with "benevolent despotism" than Millian liberty of expression, given that its inhabitants purportedly lacked the maturity and education requisite for expression to be utility-maximizing. Marcuse agrees with Mill that the background conditions are essential, but has an empirical disagreement with him about what those are and when they obtain: Mill finds them wanting in colonial India, Marcuse finds them wanting in capitalist America.

Puritans and drunks. Authoritarian bureaucrats vs anti-political moralists. Leiter loses this one to Taibbi and anyone else who laughs at his first line. 

Taibbi: "The man who probably wouldn’t have touched a Harley, a blues guitar, a Budweiser, or  a baseball without a Haz-Mat suit..." Taibbi is an idiot.

Angela Davis with Marcuse, and Erich Honecker. I have to shrug.

Taibbi's old friend Yasha Levine

Matt went from helping set up what is probably the most radical and avant-garde American literary experiment of his generation to sounding like a caricature of a reactionary boomer, all this at the tender age of 50.

From Russia with Lust 

“People are afraid of what our paper will write about them, so they give us free shit,” Mr. Taibbi said.

They say they also take advantage of what they like to call the “white god factor” and make trips to the provinces. “Tens of millions of people live in dire circumstances, stranded in the center of the world’s largest continent, with little hope of going anywhere,” said Mr. Ames. “Which means–sexual opportunity for me.”

We walked to the Village Idiot. Beer, pool, darts. Two college girls were dancing together to Elvis, provocatively.

Mr. Ames said he didn’t like the trend toward lesbianism among American women. “Nothing coils my dick up faster,” he said. “When I was in school in Berkeley, there were dykes all over the place who hated my guts for being a tall male. They don’t like tall men, really.”

He spoke about his sex life in Moscow. “Russian women, especially on the first date, expect you to rape them,...” 

I switched out the link. Levine linked to Vanity Fair.

They're all fucking idiots. Satire is conservative and moralizing and Taibbi has aged into bitterness. That's all.

They were friends with Yegor Letov and Limonov, but the Americans were just voyeurs who could bail to the US whenever they wanted, just like every other decadent journalist partying in Saigon in the 60s. They began doing the apology tour in 2017, because someone remembered, or found out what was never secret. 

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