“This movement ossified as the perceived public influence of its traditional religious enemies waned, and its scolding attitude toward religious authority was brought to bear on other, less establishmentarian foes.” Woo is woo, no matter how new and no matter the source, even it’s from the left. That some right-wingers might find some aspects of scientific skepticism attractive should be encouraged. It might be the beginning of clearing up their conspiracy-filled view of life.
Politically they are all over the place. The Guardian TERFs are centre-left, but there are also tankies (The Workers Party have made a big deal about being anti-trans) and there are some prominent TERFs who are aligning with the far right, complete with white supremacist and anti-semitic conspiracy theories about how trans women are working with the Jews to emasculate white men.
The one thing they all seem to have in common is authoritarianism. They all think they can legislate trans people away.
@beschizza Some of your best work. Insightful and exceptionally well-written.
What’s the mininum amount of Quilette I need to consume to get a sense of how this works? I don’t feel like giving them too many clicks so feel free to post direct links to particularly egregious examples.
And thereby, nevertheless, give them more clicks? Why not just take Rob’s word for it?
Or you could just hang out at bbs a bit more, where the more conservative commenters sometimes post approving links to Quillette garbage.
Oops, I do indeed. Sorry Toby Jones!
You got a shout-out on the Pinkerite:
“Best title of the year: why Quillette sucks”
Perhaps the purpose of Quilette is to publicly fret. I’d like to think that this sort of thing gets old pretty fast.
I’d like to know who funds it, since I suspect its purpose is less benign than that. Like rightwing and other mainstream media in the US, its purpose seems to be spreading ideas that, when adopted, help the wealthy stay wealthy, or get even more so.
I would worry more about the LD50 to your soul.
Perhaps there are some articles from Quillette on archive.org . Do a search there on articles about the subjects Rob discussed. You’ll quickly find confirmation of the opinions of others here who made the error of giving them clicks (and a chance).
A really direct article on why you shouldn’t read Quillette.
In 2017, a Portland State University lecturer, Alexander Reid Ross, coined the term “fascist creep” to refer to “the crossover space between right and left” through which, “at least in its early stages, fascists often utilize ‘broad front’ strategies…to gain access to mainstream political audiences.” One fact progressives ignore at their peril is that fascism is opposed to the democratic capitalist state. Many fascists use the slogan “neither left nor right” because they want to convey a deep antagonism to the current political structure without actually supporting left-wing ideas like popular democracy or a society without hierarchies. Instead, fascism courts liberals by defying norms while defending what it considers the natural hierarchies under which we should be ruled. (Whites, men, and other “natural” elites should dominate all others). When it comes to class, Quillette endorses a disturbing premise of fascism: The “best” wind up with the most wealth and social power if they are not otherwise constrained.
Quillette is Reid Ross’s fascist creep par excellence; it’s fascism creeping so close to liberalism that the radical ethicist Peter Singer was willing to write a short statement for the magazine condemning a protest against a racist professor, and erstwhile liberal Steven Pinker praised it as “a gust of fresh air.”
Following up on my earlier comment about Quillette’s flavour of Libertarianism being a gateway to fascism, this 2018 article looks into how that process works despite the seeming contradictions:
I argue that it works because of the contradictions. Capitalism and libertarianism are actually two incompatible ideas, what happens when other peoples liberty stops you from making more money? What is more important, liberty or profit?
For the people who think that liberty is more important, they will move to the left, to agorism or mutualism, and in some cases may go all the way to anarcho-communism or libertarian Marxism. For the people who decide that profit is more important than other peoples liberty, then there are plenty of libertarian have theorists who develop an authoritarian attitude if their ability to make money is threatened. Hoppean libertarianism is particularly concerning, as I can’t view it as anything other than fascism.
I went to the site for the first time after reading Rob’s article thinking “haha, I’ve read Rob’s article, I’m ready to sniff out their crypto-fascism” and the headline article splashed across my screen was “How all my Politically Correct Bones were Broken” whose opening paragraphs were gushing about a “tough-love” college professor (I didn’t make it much further, I…didn’t really need to).
When I went back just now to get the exact wording for this post, today’s was: “As a Gay Child in a Christian Cult, I Was Taught to Hate Myself. Then I Joined the Church of Social Justice—and Nothing Changed” Ether they decided to really lean into it after Rob’s take-down, or it was never terribly subtle about its The-Important-Thing-Is-ness.
I don’t know if this is the same Peter Singer. The philosopher is one of the most consistently provocative and interesting thinkers out there. Animal Liberation, for example, had a big effect on a lot of people when it came out.
Yeah, I’ve doubted so before as well, although I do seem to recall that commenter chiming in at times to espouse vegetarian and animal rights views.
so much for this “model”
While it could be the same Peter Singer, I doubt it. The writing style of their comments seems different from Singer’s books and essays. Then again, maybe that’s just their more informal voice. But if it’s not the same person, given the commenter’s content, handle and avi, they certainly seem to be trying to give the impression that they are the ethicist.