I felt the need to write a philosophy essay about “political correctness”, and I know some of you are going to think: “Oh great another attack on the right from a left leaning pinko.” But no. I am going to attack the LEFT wing this time, because, assholes can be found on both the left and the right. (Literally!)
Because I am not a regular watcher of Twitter (BORING!), I was unaware of one of my favorite You Tube essayists Lindsay Ellis was “Cancelled” on twitter. I’m not going to bore you with the details when Lindsay herself did so in this 1 hour 40 minute essay. Suffice it to say that she typed a not very well thought out tweet that some thought was racially insensitive, and it blew up.
What I will do instead is show this awesome interview of comedian Russell Brand by reporter Jeremy Paxman back in 2013:
In 2013, this is a great and funny interview that ultimately split the left wing in the UK into “pro” and “anti” Russell Brand. Those on the “anti” side started throwing out accusations that Brand is a “sexist” that has nothing to do with this interview.
What do these two incidences have in common? They are both left wing victims of what philosopher Mark Fisher (1968-2017) calls “Vampires’ Castle” an unorganized left wing movement out to punish left wing “sinners”.
‘Left-wing’ Twitter can often be a miserable, dispiriting zone. Earlier this year, there were some high-profile twitterstorms, in which particular left-identifying figures were ‘called out’ and condemned. What these figures had said was sometimes objectionable; but nevertheless, the way in which they were personally vilified and hounded left a horrible residue: the stench of bad conscience and witch-hunting moralism. The reason I didn’t speak out on any of these incidents, I’m ashamed to say, was fear. The bullies were in another part of the playground. I didn’t want to attract their attention to me.Mark Fisher “Exiting Vampire’s Castle“
The essay was a response to the left wing attacks on Brand, though it could just as easily be a response to Lindsay Ellis’s high profile twitter stoning. Brand’s response was similar to Ellis’s though a bit shorter:
“I don’t think I’m sexist, But I remember my grandmother, the loveliest person I‘ve ever known, but she was racist, but I don’t think she knew. I don’t know if I have some cultural hangover, I know that I have a great love of proletariat linguistics, like ‘darling’ and ‘bird’, so if women think I’m sexist they’re in a better position to judge than I am, so I’ll work on that.”ibid citing an interview of Brand by Mehdi Hasan
In explaining “Vampire’s Castle”, Fisher says it originates in a part of the left wing that does not believe in class warfare. I find this very interesting because the most fascist of the right wing who constantly attack socialism and liberalism without understanding either term are also deniers of class warfare. Is class warfare the elephant in the room? Yes, yes it is.
Class consciousness is fragile and fleeting. The petit bourgeoisie which dominates the academy and the culture industry has all kinds of subtle deflections and pre-emptions which prevent the topic even coming up, and then, if it does come up, they make one think it is a terrible impertinence, a breach of etiquette, to raise it. I’ve been speaking now at left-wing, anti-capitalist events for years, but I’ve rarely talked – or been asked to talk – about class in public.
But, once class had re-appeared, it was impossible not to see it everywhere in the response to the Brand affair. Brand was quickly judged and-or questioned by at least three ex-private school people on the left.
The problem that the Vampires’ Castle was set up to solve is this: how do you hold immense wealth and power while also appearing as a victim, marginal and oppositional? The solution was already there – in the Christian Church. So the VC has recourse to all the infernal strategies, dark pathologies and psychological torture instruments Christianity invented, and which Nietzsche described in The Genealogy of Morals. This priesthood of bad conscience, this nest of pious guilt-mongers, is exactly what Nietzsche predicted when he said that something worse than Christianity was already on the way. Now, here it is …
The Vampires’ Castle specializes in propagating guilt. It is driven by a priest’s desire to excommunicate and condemn, an academic-pedant’s desire to be the first to be seen to spot a mistake, and a hipster’s desire to be one of the in-crowd. The danger in attacking the Vampires’ Castle is that it can look as if – and it will do everything it can to reinforce this thought – that one is also attacking the struggles against racism, sexism, heterosexism. But, far from being the only legitimate expression of such struggles, the Vampires’ Castle is best understood as a bourgeois-liberal perversion and appropriation of the energy of these movements.ibid
This all comes down to an adherence to Nietzsche’s horribly outdated “Genealogy of Morals” which equates that there are different morals for the “Heroic Creators” and the “Herd”. Just to prove how outdated this book is, both the left and the right consider themselves the “Heroic Creators” and the other side as the “Herd”. The reality is that since the time Nietzsche wrote the essay, it has degenerated into “rich” vs “poor”, and there are left and right politics in both groups.
The truth is that there is a different set of morality for the “rich” and the “honest hard worker”, and as you can tell from this 128 year old quote, it has been that way for a very long time. The “rich” control the government, and therefore control the ability to make rules that benefit themselves rather than benefit the masses. That was Russell Brand’s point, too.
Fisher’s argument is that there is a “rich” liberal wing that does not like it when “rich” can’t be true left wingers, because they always adhere to the dictates of their class first. Rich liberals are vulnerable to working class accusations of being bourgeois. Their knee jerk response : Accuse the accuser of racism and/or sexism.
When accusations of racism or sexism are directed against the right wing it is brushed off as liberal lies, but used against other liberals, these are potent attacks.
I don’t think the attacks on Lindsay Ellis came from exclusively “Vampires’ Castle” liberals. They merely invented and legitimized the process by which working class liberals can be taken down. I think it also came from conservative leaning sharks smelling blood in the water.
Twitter: The perfect shark pool
Every major social media platform is designed to work different than any other platform. If Twitter and Facebook worked the same, people would just pick one. Facebook is about circles of friends and fandom groups. Twitter puts everybody in one big group and you have to filter what you see.
If you are trending on twitter, people will check what’s happening, so if you are trending because you said something others don’t like, or if you say something the wrong way, people are going to respond, and you can end up a social pariah in minutes.
This is kind of why I avoid doing anything on Twitter besides reposts.
The Elephant: Class Warfare is REAL!
I’ll admit that Mark Fisher’s thesis makes more sense in the UK than it does in the US. Same for Russel Brand’s advocacy for not voting. In the UK, the opposition Labour Party is a real left wing party, that hasn’t been in power for more than a decade because the vast majority of the press in the UK has a conservative bias.
The US on the other hand, has a mostly left leaning press, but our Democratic Party is mostly center-right, and not truly liberal at all. Most Democrat Party leaders are rich and refuse to even consider working class reforms. And we are stuck because, the only other legitimate party is openly racist and sexist, and pro slave-labor wages.
Will there ever be a worker’s revolt? Eventually, yes. Soon? No. The population is constantly being manipulated in order to keep revolution talk to a minimum, but the formula they are using will eventually fail, just like FED control of the money supply has failed during the pandemic. Money has become meaningless. That’s why multi trillion dollar government programs are not seeing much opposition.
More time to keep the Herd happy. It’s worked for over a century, why stop now? I’ll end with a little more from Fredric Scrimshaw’s unfortunately timeless 1893 essay:
Business, trade and commerce are nothing less than a chaos of clashing, discordant self-interests; a universal war; a pandemonium of noisy lying, overreaching, cheating and stealing.
Patriotism, too—especially with our so called upper classes—has become almost universally a “livery of Heaven to serve the devil in,” and is the particular characteristic of the hypocritical scoundrels whose whole business in life it has been to trade on the necessities of the Government, and to make money out of the wholesale theft of the public domain, the sale of the liberties of the people, and the bonding and mortgaging of the future products of their labor—even unto those of the grandchildren of generations yet unborn—to the leeches and loafing non-producers of every foreign country. The land is full of such worse than Benedict Arnolds. Blatant hypocrites they are, who—Judas-like—ostentatiously kiss the Flag and worship the republic today, but are ready at any convenient moment to haul down the one and overthrow the other for an extra 5% dividend on the bondage of the people.
The Church, as always, is the willing handmaid of the oppressor everywhere; and to suit the wealthy lords who are her chief support, preaches a [Monetized] God and an insipid, harmless, garbled and un-Christlike Christ; and in all her wide domain, has no real hope or help for the groaning millions but a shadowy future world.
For this universal degeneracy the people themselves are wholly to blame. Was it not Montesquieu who said “all governments are as bad as the people will let them be?” They are the masters whensoever they will so to be. But they do not will, because they are ignorant and asleep. When they shall awake and come to a knowledge of their wrongs, they will have but to command through the ballot box, and they shall cease.
We need a new race of Whittiers, Lowells, Phillipses, Lincolns and Garrisons to arouse the people from their lethargy and inspire them to take back their stolen heritage of rights, before their one last peaceful remedy, the ballot, shall be stolen away too.“The Dogs and the Fleas By One of the Dogs” Preface by Frederic Scrimshaw