This is a supplement to my last post, mostly for entertainment purposes. Consider it a walking tour of the liberal waste dump if you will.
I mentioned that Corey Robin mischaracterized a detractor. This is what that detractor, Bleeding Heart Libertarians blogger, Jason Brennan, actually said that Robin described as a call for a ‘purge’:
[Replying to Chris Bertram of Crooked Timber, where Robin contributes]
“Chris, you should really consider kicking Robin off the blog. I’m not convinced that he’s not just pulling some sort of extended Sokal Hoax on the pseudo-intellectual Left.”
Let’s completely put aside the most important thing, which is that Brennan has absolutely zero influence over Crooked Timber, and simply consider his remark, which seems to be a jab at Robin’s scholarship, not his ideology. As I am a huge fan of the Sokal Hoax, I think it’s a good one, too. Since it’s about integrity, not ideology, it’s not a call for a purge, and that makes Robin’s mischaracterization — which Freddie DeBoer obligingly parroted — a self-serving smear.
For a chuckle, bear this incident in mind and, in particular, recall the gravity with which DeBoer traced the lineage of Brennan’s remark to Nietzsche and ‘murderous despot Augusto Pinochet.’ Then read the first comment on another Corey Robin piece about Nietzsche at the liberal site, Crooked Timber:
I wonder if perhaps it is time for certain philosophers to be drummed out of polite society…Maybe it’s time to purge not only Nietzsche but also Strauss, Plato (the root cause) and possibly Hegel as well from the curriculum. Make it clear that these people and their views are evil and discredited…Plato, via Leo Strauss, caused the Iraq War…
Clearly the Crooked Timbers are not all about the epistemic whatsit the way libertarians are. Remember how they championed Erik Loomis’s academic freedom to say people he disagrees with should go to jail?
For more amusement, compare the snark, stonewalling and smears by which DeBoer and pals ‘defended’ his post on libertarians, with the civil, substantive, very heterodox discussion of Robin’s piece taking place between libertarians and lefts at the very site DeBoer cited as his bad example. Even by his own stupid yardstick, DeBoer is, once again, a loser.
Finally, it is with a great deal of schadenfreude, no, actually just freude, that I direct you to this post on Lawyer, Guns and Money, where our old pal, the aformentioned Stronzo di Tutti Stronzi, Erik Loomis — who intensely dislikes DeBoer for all the wrong reasons — unfairly implicates him in race science advocacy on his way to slamming Andrew Sullivan. DeBoer foolishly enters the fray and gets gleefully, meanly and unjustly skewered.
It’s terribly unfair but it’s undeniably delicious seeing DeBoer’s chosen comrades, the liberals, so wonderfully not anarchist nor libertarian, beating him senseless at his own smeary, dismissive game, mere hours after he’d keenly observed the ‘snarky dismissal and invective’ with which less evolved tribes discourage independence. He returned to his blog to complain:
I signed the petition insisting on Loomis’s academic and intellectual freedom. Today, despite his loud stand for his own academic freedom, he threatens my own.
To which Professor Loomis replied:
Ah poor Freddie, but it’s not like I didn’t warn him.
Authoritarianism advances when authoritarians advance…ensuring that an obvious authoritarian can keep his job and advance professionally toward greater influence must surely be a tactical draw at best from the standpoint of entrenching free speech as a social good.
Oh, liberals, please never change. We need the laughs.