Tuesday, January 19, 2021

As awful as the Capitol riot was, it is very difficult me to "join up" and "take sides"

July 4, 2014

First, to open the discussion today, Karlyn Borysenko notes that she was denied the privilege of posting to Facebook for seven days for posting a link to a tweet showing a photo of one of the rioters trying to warn members of the Senate to evacuate (as if to prove that the rioters may not have had such destructive intentions).  She appealed, and Facebook answered that the Covid19 pandemic was reducing its ability to consider appeals, so she remained suspended.  That shows that severe lockdowns do affect tech companies, despite working from home.

Tim Pool reports (Jan. 14) that Facebook has demonetized him, for reasons that he doesn’t see anything as other than political contrariness.

That brings me to another observation.  Yes, we are hearing about the severity of the threat of white supremacy and the radical “alt-right”, leading to unprecedented lockdowns before the inauguration, and these may be slow to lift.

Agreed, the behavior I saw live at home on CNN on January 6 was much worse than I would have expected (and even allowing for Charlottesville).  A female Facebook friend from  a western state inquired of me about housing, and a couple of posts about sharing rides and how critical this rally was, to come to DC and fight.  I said, well, try a hotel.  (We know the Harrington and other hotels shut down.) In retrospect, it seems rather chilling that someone would think I would participate in such radicalism (and by the way, maybe get COVID).

None of this, however, means that it is OK for an Antifa mob to storm into an outdoor restaurant and visit my table and demand that I join them in “allyship”. I'm not going to pick between white supremacy with fascism, and then communism.  You could say that's deciding whether you are better off with Hitler or with Stalin (or Mao or now Jinping). 

I don’t join things and pick sides, when both are wrong.  Sorry. (Well, what would I have done if I had been living in Germany in the 1930s?  You’re right, it would be over.)

Yet, as I’ve noted before, as COVID remains uncontrolled (and we don’t know if the more contagious variant is about to explode out of control, resulting in more destructive lockdowns, maybe shutting down even a lot of the Web, like theses blogs) there is a certain paradox in that people used to being alone (like me) right now have a survival advantage (especially if they don’t allow visitors to crash for protests!).

But as we finally get to a new normal, much our past personal agency (related to physical freedom of movement in the real world as well as globalized speech) could be severely curtailed.  People could be expected to bond in family groups, which then have to negotiated (or fight) their way through political process and challenge power structures.  Welcome back to critical theory!   This is particularly problematic for me not simply because of homosexuality, but because I perceived the subservience demanded by others especially insulting because of not being “competitive” enough to have had my own lineage.  Indeed, that harkens back to anthropological theories of homosexuality (as opposed to “incel-ship”) as related to a need for extended families to have backups for caregiving and long term survival as such.  That is a particularly painful irony right now, that not many people want to recognize.


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