This charming blog entry by a Freedomain Radio member was forwarded to me by a Liberating Minds member. It is a response to the press that FDR has gotten lately, and I am going to highlight some passages if you don’t feel like reading the whole thing. I promise to highlight them in context, but then freely remark upon them–so I may go off topic.
A great deal of my response to this blog will rely on my background knowledge about FDR and this brand of anarcho-capitalism. I don’t know how much the reader stumbling upon this entry will be able to deduce from my remarks and the links to various places I’ve provided in early entries, but FDR and Liberating Minds members should know what I am getting at, even if they don’t agree. In a nutshell, the psychology at FDR basically is that FDR = Truth and Morality, and if you disagree with the Truth and Morality it is because you are bad or you don’t know about it yet. There is no allowance for disagreement. If you say statist things because you didn’t know about FDR, it is excusable, but once you hear the message, choosing to disagree is False and Immoral. The only loophole is for people who disagree because they don’t fully understand it (and who will be directed to read some Molyneux books and listen to Molyneux podcasts) or because they are afraid of it (and who will be directed to seek professional counseling immediately).
That is probably an insufficient summary, but it’s the best I got right now.
(WARNING: The following link contains some vitriol. Of course, so does my entry. Tit for tit as they say.)
These articles demonstrate the kind of terror that people feel when faced with highly threatening truths. Most of these parents have lived their lives completely unconscious of the importance of good parenting. They have no meaningful self-knowledge. They may be able to mouth platitudes about intimacy and close relationships, but they are ignorant about the fundamentals about relating to others.
The highly threatening truths are about statism and anarchy, and parenting (mostly). If you haven’t figured it out by now, the premise is that people are so brutalized by their parents that they unconsciously submit to government violence, too. If everyone had better parents, we’d have less government. What I love about the preceding passage is that it is such a perfect (albeit unwittting) example of the kind of opposite-talk that goes on at FDR. I was the recipient for a long time of opposite-talk, so I can recognize it. But let’s parse some sentences:
These articles demonstrate the kind of terror that people feel when faced with highly threatening truths.
True, very true. But what is opposite is that it is the author of the blog and his co-members of FDR that are terrified by the idea (I wouldn’t call it Truth) that they have picked the wrong team. It is not the readers of the articles and the journalists who are terrified. And just as a petty dig, FDR isn’t Truth. It’s plain old Ideas, and some of them frankly aren’t any good. The very best ones are impractical.
Most of these parents have lived their lives completely unconscious of the importance of good parenting.
Again, the blogger is describing himself and his co-members, not parents in general. He doesn’t know how most parents have lived their lives or to what degree of consciousness. He can’t. It’s a broad statement that is absolutely unfounded and speculative. It’s wishful thinking, because if it were true and he could prove it, he might have a case. Here’s my baseless speculation about most parents: Most parents are highly aware of the importance of good parenting. If people screw up, it is not out of obliviousness. Besides, have you seen what counts as bad parenting as described by him in this very blog entry? (I am skipping ahead in the entry a little.)
You have nothing to offer in a relationship to a young person. You are old, creepy, stupid, boring and inscrutable.
How dare you be old, parents! And boring! Gah! I commented in an earlier blog entry or maybe the comments that being boring was a legitimate to cut off all ties with your family, and it’s being restated here. Wow. So much for old boring parents. Don’t have kids, kids! You’ll bring nothing to the relationship.
So back to my paragraph:
They have no meaningful self-knowledge.
Says who? Says you? You get to judge the meaning of someone else’s self-knowledge? Someone you aren’t even in contact with? That’s the height of arrogance.
They may be able to mouth platitudes about intimacy and close relationships, but they are ignorant about the fundamentals about relating to others.
Opposite talk! Opposite talk! The blogger makes this statement about other people, but doesn’t realize it describes himself and his co-members much more. Take a tour through their Psychology and The Individual threads. Read the DeFoo letters (a search will bring up dozens of pages), and their analysis of how their parents received the letters. They relate to each other perfectly fine (because they all speak from the same script), but whenever they try to talk about something with a person outside the community it all goes to pieces. Those people go off script, and it is very hard to talk to people off script–these aren’t great improvisers. But do they wonder why everyone else goes off script all the time? Not very hard. They just blame it on that person being evil or in denial.
There’s also this terrible dismissal of “mediocre” relationships. You are a soulmate united by perfect agreement on all matters (from psychology to religion to politics to philosophy), or else you are compromising your moral integrity by hanging out with people who want to see you dead. They lose friends they have by being dogmatic and hypercritical and demanding and (dare I say) boring. Once you start hearing this script–which could kick in without warning, at the slightest of triggers, including a television commercial–it goes on and on and when you ask to change the subject you are told that you are denying the speaker’s rational faculties–which, turns out, is an aggressive act.
Here’s another paragraph from the blog entry:
You have nothing to offer in a relationship to a young person. You are old, creepy, stupid, boring and inscrutable. You have the emotional range of a pig with diabetes and other assorted ailments. Your phone calls are banal. You have no taste. You never like who we’re dating. You believe that you have right granted by the universe to continue blathering to us about how to run your lives.
You are not the source of some special, mystical wisdom. You are just some schlub who managed to make a baby. This does not give you a right to the fruits of your loins until the end of your benighted and pointless days.
If you’ve read the articles (and if you are reading my blog, you probably have), you know that Molyneux is expecting a child this month. That means he’ll become a parent, which will relegate him to the ranks of us old, creepy, stupid, boring, inscrutable types with the emotional range of pigs. (Fortunately, we learn from pigs that some animals are more equal than others, so perhaps it won’t matter.) I’m pretty sure Molyneux won’t like who his kid ends up dating, if that teen happens to be religious, or statist, or go to a public school. I”ll happily glom onto the description of Molyneux as some schlub with no special, mystical wisdom (but plenty of gametes) who passes his benighted and pointless days online just like I do (for varying degrees of fun and profit).
But all kidding aside (because I know the blogger had no intention of including the parent Molyneux in the same category of all other parents, so I am playing a game with his meaning), what I read about parents at FDR is very disturbing. There are podcasts of Molyneux purportedly describing his fears about seeing his evil mother in his child’s face (I haven’t heard the podcast, but I’ve seen people writing about them at the discussion board, so this description of it is probably worse than third-hand).
Volume 4, Podcast 1146: Stef’s Baby Dream (clicking the link will open the audio)
But then there’s this discussion board thread, “1146 Stef’s Baby Dream,” which horrifies and saddens me all at once:
Stef’s discussion of this tendency in himself, projecting aggression onto an unborn child, definitely helped to illuminate to me that I am doing this myself. I know that he isn’t trying to hurt me, he is just trying to touch my face and cuddle with me. It is very hard for me not to try and hide from him though, as I am constantly afraid he is going to cause me significant pain. I’m not sure what to do to stop from being afraid of him.
This is a baby with sharp nails, and his father is afraid of him. Believe you me, I’ve felt baby-sharp nails–they are like razors. But it’s a baby! A baby excitedly reaching for his father’s face–a father who has heard a podcast by a father-to-be who is projecting aggression onto an unborn child, and now suddenly he’s afraid of this infant. You sit there and tell me who the scary parents are. You tell me who is dangerous in this story. You tell me who is sending confusing and hostile messages to a child who wants to snuggle. It’s not the statist. (Nor, in fact, is it the FDR member mother, but women and anarchy and women and FDR are topics for another day.)
Molyneux is the first person to respond, and instead of suggesting that the baby isn’t trying to hurt the original poster, he asks who else has tried to hurt the poster. This is disturbing. Molyneux asks again if he understands why he should associate this baby boy with his own evil mother. This is harmful to children. This is opposite talk at its worst. “My parents were the problem!” they say. Now it’s, “My children are the problem! My children and their teeny tiny fingernails!” So parents AND children are the problem, but everyone else is the one with a poor grasp of a successful relationship. O-P-P yeah, you know… Wait. I mean, O-P-P-O-S-I-T-E.
The blogger is right. You should be very afraid of these people. That is, in principle. Their grand plans for world domination, however, are still in blueprint stages and aren’t likely to get past it, all rhetoric about being conquistadors and French guillotiners and Godzilla with an electric hard-on breathing gamma rays notwithstanding. Who’s being aggressive now?
Turns out that the blogger wrote that entry in the dead of night when he should have been sleeping and got carried away. I get that a lot–it’s worse than drunk blogging. A night’s rest put him in a more reflective state of mind:
He’s vaguely, gloatingly conciliatory, but he still thinks it’s just for kids to give parents the shaft and that parents deserve it. Those people deserve to be hated, but it isn’t attractive to be seen doing so publicly, and he doesn’t cuss this time. I don’t think he’s learned the object lesson about how what you say online follows you, though–he advertises himself as a freelance writer and because he uses his real name at FDR and in this blog, these comments and remarks are going to pop up one day when a potential client does a search. Perhaps he and Conrad at Liberating Minds can swap notes.
Think of the children!