Sunday, June 25, 2017

Response to "Cynical Libertarian Society": Stating the Obviouis

The following includes an unsolicited tirade from anonymous "Cynical Libertarian Society" (CLS) ostensibly in response to my recently published book, Eco-Nihilism: The Philosophical Geopolitics of the Climate Change Apocalypse. But, honestly, it's hard to tell. 

You can find the complete CLS post here:

I have quoted the opening segment in total--but warning, it is graphic:

Wendy Lynne Lee is opposed to free speech zones. Who the fuck is Wendy Lynne Lee? She’s an unattractive cookie-cutter femistatist cunt.
I am a writer. I chose philosophy as the best possible tool with which to wrench into being what I saw to be true, beautiful, and knowable–often uncomfortable compatriots.
I have been intimately involved in the feminist movement, the queer identity movement, animal rescue, and the movement for an ecologically desirable future for many years.
I am a mother, a daughter, and an ally.
I’m a union member. I tattoo my experience and my commitments on my arms. I am a vegetarian. I have worked very hard for the movement to end industrialized fossil fuel extraction.
If I must sum up some semblance of my commitments and values, I might say this:
Beauty–over mere survival.
Wisdom–over willful ignorance.
Compassion–over smarmy indolence.
Wit–over mendacity.
Laughter–over every fucking evil thing.
She has published three books. No surprises here.
Eco-Nihilism: The Philosophical Geopolitics of the Climate Change Apocalypse
On Marx
Contemporary Feminist Theory and Activism: Six Global Issues
She is very confused about what violence is.
The denial of healthcare is an act of violence.
Bombing Yemeni children is an act of violence.
Vomiting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere is an act of violence.
When Hussein Obama murders Muslims with missiles launched from flying robots that is not violence. That is enlightenment for Hussein Obama is The Messiah, The Lightbringer, The Source Of The Cum Wendy Swallowed For Eight Years. All Hail The Messiah!
I tried to post a response to CLS at the website--but while he/she solicits comments, there's actually no mechanism for posting.

So I'll post my comment here, and then say a bit why I think it's important--sometimes--to confront folks like this.

Dear Cynical Libertarian Society:

It is most unfortunate that you're neither cynical nor a libertarian. First, mere name-calling isn't cynical; it's cowardly. It's the first indication that you have no argument to make. And you certainly don't disappoint!

Second, libertarians are among the most vocal opponents of free speech zones. They argue that cordoning off speech into safety zones is a violation of the first amendment--and they're right.

What's just laughable here, however, is that you call me a cunt, but then go on to make abundantly clear that you have absolutely no idea at all what I write about or why. In fact, you jump ship to another indecipherable topic altogether.

I do have to thank you. Posting your incoherent rant has generated even more interest in my new book, Eco:Nihilism: The Philosophical Geopolitics of the Climate Change Apocalypse.

It will also make an excellent example of the fallacy "ad hominem" for my students this Fall term.

If I'm irritating self-proclaimed Nazis like yourself, I must be doing something right.

But, hey, that's stating the obvious.


Wendy Lynne Lee

I think it's tempting to hold the view that the best response to self-avowed misogynist bigots like this (presumably) gentleman is to just ignore them. Sometimes that's the case. But since the election of Donald Trump as president, I think we have a responsibility to get much braver than we've been in the past. I think, in fact, that we must confront bigots like this one for the following reasons:

1. They're in charge. Anyone who thinks that these plainly hate-filled rants are not mirrored--however much more gentile the language--in the worldview of people like Steve Bannon, or in ideologies like "economic nationalism" and "Make America Great, Again!" just isn't paying attention.

2. When we don't take a stand we allow for this kind of rhetoric to become normalized. Perhaps we think these are "just words." Absolutely not. Words like "I think the Muslims hate us," "grab them by the pussy,"  and "I don't want poor people in my cabinet" helped to get the willfully ignorant in chief elected to the presidency.

3. Our silence makes us complicit. You don't have to be a member of the Progressive Left to see what's wrong in this fellow's characterization of women, of Obama. And even a cursory scan of his website makes clear that the only people he thinks should get to speak, to act, and to rule are white men who share his dark worldview. We let that go at the peril of far more than mere hypocrisy.

4. Screeds like this are opportunities. CLS is neither unusual nor particularly more obscene than many of the blogs that litter the alt-right blogosphere. They offer us the chance to show thinking people just how violent and tyrannical is the far right--and how close it is. It is a pristine opportunity to exercise the right to free speech by showing through reason and evidence just how malignant and dangerous is the worldview at least some of those who support the Trump regime.

There is no cordoned off "free speech zone" in cyberspace--at least not here, not yet.

So my hope is that CLS will see this and respond. To him I say: bring it on

My greater hope is that my readers will take that opportunity as well. 

No comments: