No, Ryan Bell, I’m Not Right Wing and I’m Not Okay With Sexual Harassment

No, Ryan Bell, I’m Not Right Wing and I’m Not Okay With Sexual Harassment June 18, 2018

I want you to think of someone you admire. It doesn’t have to be the person you admire the most, just someone whose work you appreciate. Maybe you share their content online when it’s released or recommend their books to your Facebook friends. Maybe you go to all their movies or like all their original tweets. Perhaps you attend any talks they’re giving within a 50-mile radius. You know, you won’t get their face tattooed on your back or anything, but you appreciate what they do and support it when you can.

Now, I want you to imagine that person, who has never spoken to you one-on-one before, suddenly becomes aware of your presence in the world and tweets that you’re a right-wing sexual harassment apologist.

Welcome to my weekend.

Before we get into details, I’m going to tell you how I feel about sexual harassment and where on the political spectrum I lie. Of course, there are many of you who seem to think I might have reason to lie about this and will be adamant I am not being truthful, but there’s just no talking to people like you. This post is for those who understand and can cope with the fact that I know myself better than anyone else does. Yes, even you.

I am a rape victim. Twice over. So, you can imagine where I might stand on the issue of sexual harassment. Granted, I think the term is used too loosely in some cases, but I don’t think sexual harassment is a good thing. Beyond my assaults, I have been sexually harassed at almost every job I’ve ever had, and even groped and propositioned on the streets of Bali at age fifteen.

I don’t and never will let these things define me, but I think mentioning them might help you understand why calling me a sexual harassment apologist is bereft of any thought whatsoever.

As far as the political spectrum goes, I’m so left I’d make Karl Marx blush. I believe in universal health care; in free post-secondary education; in universal basic income. I believe in charity, an entirely left-wing notion. I believe in workers controlling the means of production and that the fruits of their labour ought to benefit the whole of society and not just the 1% at the top. I think that those who believe that their hard work should only benefit themselves are unneighbourly, lacking compassion and self-centred. I believe that even those who cannot or will not work deserve the necessities of life and that we are all responsible for each other. It’s why I stop when I see someone run out of gas on the side of the road: sure, it was their own lack of planning that led them there, but I don’t know what’s going on in their life and in their mind. I don’t know their struggles. I see a human being who made a mistake and needs some help.

I’m a leftie and if you want to call me a commie, I wouldn’t take offense.

So, naturally, when someone calls me a right wing sexual harassment apologist, it kind of sucks. Obviously, I am not doing a good enough job of portraying who I am here. Either that or the person who posted this tweet, Ryan J. Bell, just didn’t have the time, energy or wherewithal to do his homework. He was looking for the shock value, the low-blow, the uncalculated virtue signal that was absolutely worth a few casualties.

For those of you who don’t know Ryan, he was, at one point in time, a Seventh Day Adventist pastor. That means he took his sabbath on Saturday, believed Jeeby watched him beat the bishop and was pressured to think same-sex relationships were icky. Over time, he began to see reason, became an atheist and left his church. Not an easy thing to do. Mountains of respect to Ryan for this.

Ryan wrote about his experiences going from his pastoral duties to being an outspoken heathen in his blog, Year Without God. He did a great job. He was a great communicator and, at one point in time, I might have suggested he was among the most important voices in our movement. You could say I was a fan. I’m still a fan of that work.

I followed Ryan on twitter one day and to my surprise and absolute honour, he followed me back.

It wasn’t long before I noticed his penchant for hyperbole, though. It wasn’t long before I began to see a whole load of content I disagreed with. The constant virtue-signalling and promotion of violence were disappointing. While I vehemently disagreed with the things he said and how he said them, it really wasn’t a game-changer, though. I can cope with people having vastly differing opinions from my own and continued to follow him.

It wasn’t until this weekend that I noticed he’d posted this tweet four months ago:

This is a collage by the creators of Mythcon, an atheist convention I was scheduled to be at. Now, maybe it’s because it’s my own face, but I think my image in this collage is the one that stands out the most. The colour in everyone else’s photo just seems to be muted, while mine is like an ad for a Hewlett-Packard photo printer.

So, when I noticed this tweet, with my face front-and-centre, from someone I have admired for a long time, with the labels “right wing” and implying we are sexual harassment apologists, you might be able to imagine how my heart broke a little bit.

What have I ever done to Ryan to deserve this? I honestly don’t recall ever having said one word to him… ever. I don’t recall Ryan interacting with any of my content and so would bet money on the assumption he’s never read a word I’ve written. Is this merely because I was in the line-up of speakers at the controversial Mythcon? Is that all I did to attract this sort of attention?

Adding to my horror at this tweet are the presence of other people in the collage who I would never describe as right-wing sexual harassment apologists. Stephen Knight, for example, host of the brilliant podcast Godless Spellchecker. The first time I ever got to speak with Stephen was when he invited me on his podcast to bring attention to the campaign I was running to free Mubarak Bala from his commitment to a mental hospital after telling his Muslim father he was an atheist. I have watched Stephen, over the years since, stand up for the rights of women in the Middle East and speak out against atrocities committed against innocent people, mostly women. I’ve seen him use his massive and respected platform that has hosted guests like Ricky Gervais to draw attention to human rights violations relentlessly.

To call this man a right-wing sexual harassment apologist is to willfully ignore the evidence to the contrary. Stephen has probably done more for human rights and the rights of women than all the Ryan Bells of the world combined.

But alas, Ryan still thought it would be a good idea to post this tweet.

Why? Because Mythcon has invited, for the second time, a man who tweeted about not wanting to rape someone. Carl Benjamin, A.K.A Sargon of Akkad, who tweeted “I wouldn’t even rape you” in response to a sexual assault victim, is scheduled to be at the con just as he was last year. Of course, I would never have tweeted what Carl tweeted and I think there are better ways to communicate your point, but I do not see this as a rape threat, nor as a reason to boycott a con filled with many other people who do wonderful work. Unfortunately, there are people who disagree with me and believe that the con must be taken down by any means necessary. All casualties are acceptable on the way to this end.

The fact that Carl Benjamin will be in attendance makes it okay to call a two-time rape survivor a sexual harassment apologist, in public.

The irony here is so overwhelming, I feel like I’m breathing it.

These people are so outraged at an inflammatory tweet to a sexual assault survivor, that they have tweeted an inflammatory tweet to a sexual assault survivor.

Something tells me, though, that there will be no outrage in their camp over Ryan’s tweet, despite the fact that there is little difference from the tweet by Sargon that has them all in a tizzy.

I think it was Saturday night when I received an apology from Ryan in my direct messages. He tore me down in public and apologized in private. Included in his half-assed apology was his reasoning for not apologizing to Knight. He claimed Stephen Knight had been harassing him.

Of course, what Ryan meant was that Stephen had written up a fair criticism of the poor handling of a crowd-funded project for which Ryan Bell had been the primary promoter. A Year Without God, the documentary, of which Ryan was the subject, raised over $20,000 in 2016 and up until Stephen Knight’s post, little had been said about when the final product would be delivered. The filmmakers and Ryan, for the most part, appeared to have gone silent on it. Stephen wrote about it, offering the facts and when he received responses that explained where the project stood, he didn’t hesitate to update us all. Fair and balanced. This is a wonderful example of Stephen Knight standing up for people who, from all outward appearances, had been done wrong. The backers of this project deserved to know where their money had gone and through his efforts, they got the information they needed.

Ryan’s response? Though it was his face on the project and he was the primary promoter of the crowd-funding campaign, he could not be held responsible for the project itself. In other words, “It’s not my fault!”.

Of course, it never is with these hyperbole-loving, professionally outraged regressives. When he was called out for including me in his latest inflammatory tweet, it wasn’t his fault either:

“I didn’t make the collages, genius.”

The problem, Ryan, is that you shared the collage insinuating that the faces within are “right-wing” and implying we are all okay with sexual harassment. You clearly saw all the faces before you tweeted it. You certainly couldn’t have missed my hyper-colour, Cheshire Cat grin. You didn’t take the time to grey some of us out. You didn’t opt to list the folks you had a problem with instead, thereby enabling you to leave me and Stephen and other innocent bystanders out of it. No, you shared it without thought to get a reaction. You shared it without any consideration for how a rape victim might feel about being called a sexual harassment apologist.

This is why I am always open to the conversation. This is why I am willing to be intellectually charitable. This is why I’m always willing to sit down and talk with those who believe and say awful things. Because the alternative is what Ryan’s chosen. He’s chosen, instead, to remove himself from the conversation, get out his bullhorn and make incoherent noise while he sinks lower and lower. Finally, he’s sunk so low that you have to squint really hard to see the difference between what Sargon did to spark all this outrage and what Ryan did in his hyperbolic tweet four months ago.

If you can’t rise above, you end up just like those you’re screaming about. Ryan was so blindly angry about a tactless tweet to a rape survivor, that he ended up sending a tactless tweet to a rape survivor.

Unlike your camp, however, I will choose the high road. I am sure you didn’t mean for your tweet to be directed at me. I accept your apology though I urge you to issue your apologies in public and include the other people in the photo collage you consciously shared who don’t fit your comments on it. Going forward, I hope you can manage to be a constructive part of the continuing conversations about sexual assault, harassment and the divisions in the atheist community, rather than standing on the sidelines calling names. You might consider going to Mythcon yourself, to talk to those with whom you disagree and potentially change a mind or two.

After all, you, Ryan, of all people should know that minds can and do change. If they didn’t, you’d still be leading prayers every Saturday to a congregation of homophobes, now, wouldn’t you?

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Image: Creative Commons/Pixabay

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Thank you for this thoughtful response to this tactless, witless attack. I can’t do anything more than express my admiration.

  • Richard Sanderson

    Ryan J Bell is a “Humanist Chaplain” at the University of Southern California, yet his bullying and abuse of humanists and liberals begs the question whether he is suitable in that position.

    He tweeted out a list of “good humanists” a few weeks ago. Among them was Dan Arel, a noted antisemitic bigot, who endorses violence towards anybody he doesn’t like, including women and disabled people. Arel defines himself as a “Communist” and an “Anarchist”, not a “Humanist”. Arel, like Bell, serves up daily abuse and smears towards genuine humanists. Another “recommend” was Stephanie Zvan, a known pro-harasser who once defended a fellow blogger (Greg Laden) who sent threats of violence to a fellow blogger. Bell’s social media circle consists of truly awful people, including trolls, New Racists, Regressives, and racists. Yet, as per usual for a regressive, he claims that HE is the one pointing out bad behaviour in other atheists/humanists. Complete BS. Ryan J Bell is a POS, and it is people like him who are wholly responsible for much of the toxicity in the atheist and humanist movement.

    Time to call these pseudo-Humanists out. Oh, and a lot of these creeps really hate Stephen Knight, aka Godless Spellchecker. A good guide to finding out who the garbage “humanists” are, are the ones who don’t like Knight. Follow him if you can.

  • Hallie Widner

    This is why you are genuinely respected and admired. I hope Ryan reads this and learns something about how to behave as a human being.

  • thompjs

    Maybe Carl is not so bad, but his followers are.

    I think he is an ass.

    Hope you enjoy the trip.

    Also the guy in Waco was raping little girls, just so you don’t feel any empathy with him.

  • Thank you so much!

  • I absolutely follow Knight. Could not agree more, all though I may have a little bit more naive hope that some of these people will hear reason and come to their senses.

  • Thank you so much, Hallie. That’s a wonderful compliment.

  • john smith

    sargon wouldnt even sexually harass anyone. dave rubin was raped but hes a dude so its cool.

  • Richard Sanderson

    I was going to say I don’t understand why Knight gets so much hostility from the smear-grifters and regressives, but I think I know why. Knight has principles, and he won’t allow hatred and emotion to cloud those principles. For example, the “should we punch Nazis” argument. Emotion and hatred say yes, but principles and humanism say no. Knight has laid out very reasonable grounds on why having the attitude of punching everyone you deem a “Nazi” is perhaps a bad idea, and a regressive and non-humanist one. The likes of Bell and Arel can’t counter this calm logic, and hence, they try to smear him.

    There are legitimate criticisms of Sargon (his ramblings about Syria and the Las Vegas shooting are straight-up conspiracy theory nonsense, and JAQing off), but he is not a “Nazi”. You can make a case he is alt-right and of course, a shit-poster,, but is he any more toxic, nasty, abusive, and untrustworthy than the likes of Thomas Smith, Stephanie Zvan, PZ Myers, and of course, Dan Arel and Ryan Bell. I would say “no”.

    Bell recently spoke at a “Secular Students” event, and yet, conference organisers are never bombarded with threats and intimidation. If the likes of Bell, PZ, and Zvan can speak at conferences, then so should Sargon.

    Message to the far left smear-grifters: Remember, NOBODY is forcing you to buy a ticket to attend. If you don’t like a speaker, or the overall conference, then walk your dog, or finish that 1,000-piece jigsaw, instead. DO NOT send, or encourage other to send, threats of violence to conference organisers, which is what the likes Dan Arel, Steve Shives, and Kristi Winters, did.

    Addition: Bell really is a “Humanist Chaplain” at a University. Let that sink in.

  • Raging Bee

    “The guy?” Specifics and citation required.

  • Martin Penwald

    I’m so left I’d make Karl Marx blush.

    Yeah! More or less where I stand too. Don’t you feel alone politically-wise in Canada?

  • I said that MythCon was a conference for right-wing atheists. I didn’t say you were right wing or that you approved of sexual assault. Personally, I would not share the stage with Richard Carrier who is a sexual harasser, and certainly not Carl Benjamin, Armored Skeptic, who last year helped to cheer on sexual assult and encouraged the Kekistan crowd. My feeling is that if you went to MythCon last year and didn’t realize what you were getting into, even after Aron Ra and Seth Andrews pulled out, when MythCon organizers welcomed Carl Benjamin (also the newest UKIP member) back for a second year, you can easily see what the conference is about. So, if you want to go to a conference for right wing folks, be my guest, but don’t be surprised if you’re get their stain on you.

  • Patrick Dexter

    I dont have an archive of the tweet but if you look at screencaps you can see Sargon also put #AntiRapeThreats in the tweet. I feel like he made a genuine effort that he’s never given credit for to make what he said difficult to perceive as a rape threat.

  • Illithid

    I’m saddened to hear this said about Steve Shives, whose work I admire. I don’t follow such things much; can you tell me where you saw that? I’m not trying to pick any sort of fight with you, if this is true I want to know it.

  • You’re also spreading Stephen’s falsehoods about the film. I signed away my rights to anything and have zero control over the project. I tried to get someone to investigate the project myself a while ago. Then one time producer let the project sit while he had petty arguments about the creative process. No one has been more angry about this project not being finished than me. I and others have explained this more than once to Stephen and there’s an explanation pinned to the top of my @yearwithoutgod twitter.

  • Michael Neville

    Who gives a rat’s ass about the movie? Are you ready to PUBLICLY apologize for calling Courtney a right-wing sexual harassment advocate? This is a yes or no question and your final grade depends on your answer.

  • igotbanned999

    The inclusion of the word ‘even’ implies that he considers raping people to be a normal and common activity for him.

  • See my answer above. I can’t apologize for something I didn’t do.

  • Michael Neville

    Are you claiming that you did not post a picture of Courtney with the caption “Right wing atheism has its own dedicated conference now. Now with added sexual harrasment!”?

    Sorry, asswipe*, you fail. Come back when you learn how people act when they’ve wrongly insulted someone else.

    *I’m a retired Navy Chief, I don’t call a spade a spade, I call it a fucking shovel.

  • Mister Man

    This is not my beef nor do I have a Twitter acct. but from the average observer’s perspective your tweet does seem to imply that everyone in the photo are right wing atheists. You may not have intended that but thats what it looks like.

  • I definitely did not intend to imply that all the people in the photo are right-wing and do acknowledge that it could look that way. I don’t even know everyone pictures. I do know Carrier and I know of Carl. That, plus the complete debacle of last year, and it seemed clear to me where the intentions of the organizers lie. Thomas is a friend and he went last year against the advice of a lot of people. I would have called the conference right wing last year but I was never under the impression that Thomas was right wing.

  • Yes, you have accurately quoted my tweet, congrats! And still, in spite of reading it repeatedly, I don’t see where I said everyone attending the conference or speaking at the conference is right wing. If you can’t see how an event is right wing without every participant being right wing, I don’t think I’ll be able to help you any further.

  • This is classic Bell. He was already like this four years ago, when I called him out on his chauvinism: https://www.skepticink.com/avant-garde/2014/12/28/ryan-bell/

  • FineassStructureConstant

    Too late…

  • FineassStructureConstant

    They’re just mad because you understand the concept of racism and how it requires privelage to exist and they don’t. I honestly had no idea Godless Mom was involved in this ugly side of public atheism. Disappointing.

  • Richard Sanderson

    Erm, you are a “Humanist Chaplain” and you call Dan Arel a “good humanist”. Arel is an antisemitic bigot and a known thug with a vile temper, so much so that a woman formerly involved in “movement atheism”, felt intimidated by him while at a conference. You also chum with known fraud and smear-grifter “Sacha Saeen”.

    Who the feck are you trying to fool? You are not a Humanist. You are part of the gang of goons who harass and bully Humanists, liberals, and progressive Muslims.

    You also owe Stephen an apology, as well. What the feck has gotten into you?

  • Richard Sanderson

    Ryan understands “racism” so well, he chums and associates with racist thugs like Dan Arel.

  • Richard Sanderson

    You referring to the conference where your racist friend Dan Arel, along with Steve “handsy” Shives and Kristi Winters sent, or encouraged others to send, threats of violence to the conference organisers?

    Oh yes, I remember that!

    You chum and associate with racists and thugs, don;t be surprised if you get their stain on you. Oh, too late, you already have.

  • Richard Sanderson

    Shives defends and associates with a known racist thug, Dan Arel. He’s a regressive fraud who was involved in the sending of violent threats to conference organisers.

  • Richard Sanderson

    Do “Secular Students” and USC know that Ryan Bell endorses known racist thugs?

  • Richard Sanderson

    Folks, “FineassStructureConstant” only joined Discus today, so it could easily be one of Ryan, or Dan’s, or Sacha’s bots posting.

  • Illithid

    I looked, but couldn’t find anything. Do you happen to have a link or reference or anything like that? Curious why you say that about Dan Arel, as well.

    Again, these things could be true; I don’t know.

  • FineassStructureConstant

    Nah I’d never even heard of Ryan Bell before this post. I just happen to agree with him here more than Godless Mom.

  • Richard Sanderson

    Where did you look? Shives tweets and chats with Arel all the fecking time. In fact, he was part of the group (with Kristi Winters and Dan) who sent, or encouraged others to send, threats of violence to conference organisers.

    As for Arel, he called a Jewish person who lost relatives at Auschwitz, a “Nazi”, and continued to do so after he was informed.

    So now you know.

  • Richard Sanderson
  • FineassStructureConstant

    Really. I know it may be hard for you to believe but some people actually do understand racism and white privilege and don’t support racism apologists.
    But, you’re always right, right?? I mean obviously the only way anyone could disagree with your perfect logic is if they were a “bot”.

  • Illithid

    The only person I can find Arel calling a Nazi is Richard Spencer. I’m not on Twitter. If these people sent threats of violence to the organizers (of Mythcon, I assume), it shouldn’t be that hard to reference.

    I understand if you have better things to do with your time, but one person’s unsubstantiated word isn’t convincing.

  • Richard Sanderson

    “The only person I can find Arel calling a Nazi is Richard Spencer.”

    Really?

    “I’m not on Twitter”

    Ah, that explains it. He has called hundreds of liberals and humanists, “Nazis”.

    There is a long backstory to this, and it looks like you have stumbled in to it fresh. You’re right, I have better things to do.

  • Richard Sanderson

    There are many on the regressive left, who bang on and on about “racism” and “white privilege”, who are also racist antisemites……Dan Arel, Linda Sarsour, etc.

    Ryan Bell is a close friend and supporter of Arel, and he claims he is a “good humanist”. I will continue to call him out on that, and Bell’s claims of moral goodness will be dismissed, just as I dismiss most SJWs.

    Oh, and yes, I am always right. I was right about PZ Myers. I was right about Carrier. I was right about Dan Arel. I was right about Werleman.

  • Raging Bee

    Your warning is kinda hypocritical, given that you chose to use her image in a mess of your own, and thus actively spread that stain onto her.

  • Elizabeth A. Root

    When you show people’s faces next to a remark, it implies that you are talking about them personally.

  • NathairNimheil

    There are lots of us up here.

  • Sophotroph

    He knows that. He’s just going to pretend he doesn’t. He’s determined not to take any responsibility for his actions.

    He’s learned well from the alt-right.

  • Richard Sanderson

    There is a lot of commonalities between the alt-right and the regressive left (or New Racists), of which Ryan is a part of.

    They get really angry when you point this out to them. Hence Dan Arel crying about the Horseshoe Theory. They don’t like.

  • Richard Sanderson

    Ryan J Bell: I don’t like MythCon because they invited Sargon, and he’s “alt-right”.

    Richard Sanderson: Hold up, don’t you associate with racist thugs such as Dan Arel? The guy with such a nasty temper that, at a conference, a women formerly involved in movement atheism felt intimidated by him, and thought he was close to lashing out at her?

    Ryan J Bell: [SILENCE]

    🙂

  • thompjs

    Texans will know — David Koresh. State Police asked Feds to do raid since they had automatic weapons. Arrest Warrant named Federal Firearms charges and state pedophilia charges.

  • Godless Spellchecker

    Ryan,

    Please point to a single ‘falsehood’ in my blog. I even included your statement.

    I’ve noticed you are also tweeting that I’ve made false ‘accusations’ about you. What accusations are these? There’s not a single accusation in my blog, false or otherwise, as people can see for themselves.

    You have accused me of harassment however. You are yet to point to where or how this happens. I’ve never harassed you and you should retract

    https://www.gspellchecker.com/2018/06/where-is-ryan-bells-crowd-funded-documentary/

  • Jamie Stantonian

    I had the pleasure of meeting Ryan and his girlfriend a few years ago at a QED conference, where we had dinner and enjoyed a good night, as I recall. However, in the last few years I’ve seen him sink, slow motion, into the swamp of intersectionalism and critical theory with its tactics of snarky thought-terminating cliches, promiscuous use of emotionally laden labels and identity-calculus to win arguments. I’ve seen it happen before, sometimes to friends, who are taken-in by its alleged M.O. of making the world a better place by pursuing “progress” and can’t see it has become a monoculture of thought conformity and intolerance, masked by a veil of neologisms.

    As with so many others, Ryan’s heart I think is in the right place, but he’s fallen in with a bad crowd, and I fear he’s intoxicated with the sense of community that comes with this extremity of epistemic closure, rather than with the actual pursuit of justice, or truth.

  • Muero

    If you want to criticize an event, then maybe you should use the name/logo of the event, instead of people’s faces?

  • Cryny

    Sooo…maybe you should’ve just said that MythCon was a conference for right-wing atheists, and left the picture out of it?

  • wolfypuppy

    ((hugs)) could it be another case of the anonymity of the Internet and the ease of hitting Send allowing people to post without thinking first? That’s no excuse, and I’m on a high horse about apologizing and taking responsibility for one’s actions. I’m so sorry he got under your skin.

  • Otto

    You said ‘right wing atheism has its own conference’…I think the clear implication was that the conference will be categorically hosting speakers who are pushing a right wing agenda. If you don’t feel that is actually the case and that it is not just a right wing conference than you are admitting your characterization as such was wrong. Why not just admit that and play reasonably nice, or even decent? I mean I have no problem with calling out specific people for issues you disagree with, but you lumped everyone in the same boat…so either they are in the same boat or they are not…and if they are not, than why do that?

    This mentality of creating an ‘us vs them’ culture is really damaging for everyone involved. We progress by having disagreements and debating issues, we don’t progress when we resort to demonizing and vilifying any and all opposition and anyone who consorts with them. Strictly speaking atheism is just an agreement on one question, so it should not be surprising that there will be a whole lot of people within it that we disagree with on a number of issues.

  • Melody

    “He’s determined not to take any responsibility for his actions. He’s learned well from the alt-right.”

    Or from (his former) Christianity.

  • Sophotroph

    I’m not really a fan of the term “regressive left”. It seems to have originated on the right as a label to slap on any left-leaning individual who does anything wrong or has any odious ideas. People can do dumb things without immediately ceasing to be allies of the causes they do support, eevn if they do need to receive censure for such things.

    Call me paranoid, but it feels like a way to attempt to fragment the left when it should be uniting against the right instead of engaging in a pogrom of ideological purity.

    I’m also not really convinced by the whole Dan Arel “punch a nazi = violent extremist” smear.

    For a good while, our official policy on Nazis was that punching didn’t go far enough.

  • Richard Sanderson

    A liberal Muslim created the term, and the origin of the term doesn’t matter. Common usage is what matters.

    The use of the term “regressive left” is not fragmenting the Left. The Left’s adoption of identity politics and anti-liberal dogma has damaged it more than any term.

    As for Dan Arel, you have to take into account that he is an anarchist and a Communist, and his definition of “Nazi” includes any liberal, humanist, centrist, a Jew who lost relatives at Auschwitz, and anybody (including you, probably) who happens to be left of Marx.

    People like Dan rounded up more than just “Nazis” when they got the chance, and the logic of punching extremists can easilty be applied to the far left (like Arel), and Islamists. You support all that – mobs of people going around punching people who have been marked out as deserving to be punched?

  • Martin Penwald

    C’est la lutte finale
    Groupons-nous et demain
    L’Internationale
    Sera le genre humain

  • NathairNimheil

    For reason in revolt now thunders
    And ends at last the age of cant.
    Away with all your superstitions

  • Otto

    There are some ideas on the left that scare me like some ideas on the right scare me, and it doesn’t matter what term is used. People who think free speech should only be for the marginalized, people that claim that having an ethnic restaurant if you are not of the same ethnicity is morally wrong, people that think violence is a fine response to speech if the speech is hateful enough are a couple examples.

    Dan Arel equated ‘classic liberals’ with ‘white nationalism’; that is silly, absurd and is nothing more than an attempt at demonizing people that he should consider allies because they do not walk in lockstep with every view he has. It is an ‘either you are with us, or you are against us’ mentality and I find it problematic regardless of which political side it comes from.

  • Virtual Atheist

    They fuck right up.
    Then play the victim.

    It’s what they do.

  • Sophotroph

    “Classical liberal” is, in my every experience, a code word for a libertarian who doesn’t want to use the word “libertarian” for whatever reason.

    Given how commonly libertarianism and white supremacism seem to buddy up, I don’t know that he’s wrong.

    I’d have to see the statements verbatim and in context to judge them.

    White supremacists, to me, are a difficult case. They’d kill if they could, they have before, and they are not going to turn down the ability to do so again if it comes up.

    I don’t think we can both have white supremacists in large numbers and civil society at all. I don’t know how to solve that problem besides keeping peace until we’re almost all beige and nobody cares anymore.

    I’m not super confident that strategy is going to avoid violence.

  • Otto

    A lot of white supremacists may be libertarians, that does not mean libertarians are therefore white supremacists. Your conclusion is faulty.

    I agree with you that a civil society if not going to function very well with large amounts white supremacists though.

    I am not super confident painting people with political broad brushes is going to solve the problem either, or avoid violence.

  • Nicely stated!

  • Thank you!