January 11, 2015

Ace of Spades post

UPDATE: OK, It's up now.

I was inspired to write a post that I submitted to Ace. This morning I sent it to the Ace of Spades Gmail account, which I imagine gets a thousand emails a day, so it's very likely it'll get lost in the shuffle. (But I didn't know of any other email address I could use.)

But you never know; he might notice it and he might like it.

If I haven't heard back from him in a couple of days, I'll post it here.

UPDATE: The reason I'm saying this now is that I am pretty sure at least one of the regular writers on Ace of Spades is also one of my readers, and I hope he'll make sure Ace sees my email. (Fingers crossed.)

UPDATE: Oh, what the heck. Here it is:



A Crisis of Faith

No, not Muslims; it's the the western press. The Press have created an ideology over the last fifty years or so that approaches the level of a secular religious dogma. They believe that the Press are like the referees in a football game, present everywhere but not involved in the action. Surrounded by violence, they themselves never contribute to the violence and are never the objects of violence. And they are strictly neutral, favoring no one but simply calling it all like they see it.

Except that they've also mixed in a big dollop of Marxist ideology: they aren't, and shouldn't be, strictly neutral. As good progressives they can and must work against global capitalism and everything associated with it. That means it's OK to criticize Christianity and Judaism, for instance, because those religions are part of the Capitalist monolith. By working against all the things that Marxism says they should, this gives them credibility with the world's proletariat, who will respond to that by leaving the press alone. Or so they think.

And violence by the world's proletariat is a good thing because it may presage the global Socialist revolution prophesied by the sainted Marx. That includes, in particular, all the violence in the world being committed by Muslims.

Like a lot of religious dogma, this is subconscious in a lot of the press. They simply accept that it's the way things are (or should be) and don't worry about where it came from or whether it really makes any sense.

The lethal attack on Charlie Hebdo, and the firebombing of a tabloid in Germany, has brought out a major contradiction in the Religion of the Press, and a lot of members of the press are demonstrating their confusion in how they respond.

First, there is the fundamental dogma of press freedom: no matter what the press says or does, no one is supposed to harm them in return. They're the referees, dammit, not players in the struggle!

Second, though, is the fact that Charlie and the Hamburg tabloid which was firebombed broke the compact by criticizing Islam. This was wrong! Not, surprisingly, because Muslim fanatics are dangerous (that is a good thing!), but because it is hoped that dangerous Muslim fanatics will fight against the Capitalist enemy which all good progressives are supposed to be working to undermine. Islam is a Third World religion, and criticizing it undermines the Press in trying to prove to the world Proletariat that the Press is on their side in the great Marxist struggle.

And as a result of this Progressive sin, Charlie Hebdo et. al. have dragged all the rest of the press into the battle, on the front line, where they no longer seem to have their assumed immunity.

And that's why a lot of them have a deer-in-the-headlights look on their collective faces. A common response has been, "We believe in absolute press freedom, but with freedom comes responsibility, and Charlie Hebdo and everyone else who published cartoons critical of Islam are abusing their responsibility and... deserved what happened to them." (That last isn't usually stated quite so bluntly, but you can see it if you read between the lines.)

They know how bad this sounds, but they can't really say anything else without violating the Press religious dogma themselves and further undermining their presumed alliance with the World's Proletariat.

How much of this is cowardice? I don't think they are really thinking in those terms. For one thing, the Press in the US thinks of itself as being brave, in part because of all the critical things they say about Christianity. There are all those "bitter clingers" out there with closets full of AR-15's just aching to shoot up the NYT and any other press outlet who dares say anything bad about Christianity (never mind that nothing like that has ever happened) and the Press bravely go ahead anyway. Likewise, they bravely risk being taken away by the Secret Police for criticizing the government when there's a Republican President (again, never mind that no one has ever been taken away like that). They're brave, damn it. They know they are! It's all very romantic and revolutionary.

No, the problem, and the reason a lot of them won't republish the Charlie cartoons, is that the Press isn't supposed to be doing that kind of thing. It isn't Progressive! It's the wrong damned target!

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Site Stuff at 08:55 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
Post contains 881 words, total size 5 kb.

1 I look forward to reading it, wherever it appears.

Posted by: Siergen at January 12, 2015 02:43 AM (r3+4f)

2 Well done, sir!

Posted by: DavidS at January 12, 2015 11:30 AM (yj1vR)


I think I fouled up somehow. This email ended up in my inbox instead of my sent box, and I'm not sure why. Like as not Ace never received it.

Ah, well, such is life.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at January 12, 2015 03:23 PM (+rSRq)

4 OK, communications problems straightened out, and my post has been accepted. It's supposed to go live tomorrow morning, and I'll post a link when I have one.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at January 12, 2015 10:33 PM (+rSRq)

5 It's up - my favorite comment:
49 You know some serious shit is going down when Steven Den Beste is writing about it.

Posted by: DavidS at January 13, 2015 06:36 AM (yj1vR)

6 Thanks, BenK!, whoever you are here, for getting that post up.

Posted by: topmaker at January 13, 2015 07:47 AM (i0rVe)

7 As demonstrated by Clarence Page, the press's response to this contradiction has been three-fold. Warn of the anti-Muslim backlash that never seems to come. Find a politically correct victim to focus on, in this case the Muslim policeman killed. Finally, double down on blaming the victim by calling Charlie Hebdo islamophobic and racist. People have pointed out the latter is particularly ignorant since Charlie Hebdo was anti-racist and one of the dead cartoonists, Cabu, was famous for a comic strip called Mon Beauf. "So spot-on was this caricature of an average, racist, sexist, vulgar, ordinary Frenchman that the word 'beauf' (short for "beau-frère", i.e., brother-in-law) has slipped into ordinary use."

Posted by: muon at January 19, 2015 02:40 AM (XIprt)

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