John C. Wright Bids Farewell

John C. Wright Bids Farewell May 7, 2014

to the insufferably politicized Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America with his characteristically vivacious prose.

The thing about PC thought crime punishment is that it is often unleashed against the defenseless. But in this case, the victims happen to be some of the most articulate and smart people writing in English. And they won’t just shut up and take it. They will find–or create–alternative venues and they will keep speaking. (It’s not like Science Fiction and Fantasy writers haven’t been outsiders before.) And when they do, the Thought Police will face a fate far worse than simply a philippic in Intercollegiate Review. They will (and I tremble to think of this) become immortal characters in stories.

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  • Sagrav

    I’m happy to let people like John C. Wright take his ball and go home. The writers that he defends sound like awful people, and I do not consider myself poorer by their absence. For example, he makes a point of whining about Theodore Beale being expelled from the SFWA for being an unapologetic racist. Here is the diatribe that got Beale kicked out of the club:

    He calls people of African decent a bunch of backwards savages. He even implies that they are somehow genetically less Homo sapien then less “savage” races. If you were a member of the SFWA, would you really want someone representing your group in such a manner? How is the world of science fiction enriched by minds that apparently fossilized in the 1950s?

    • JM1001

      I notice that Beale rants about John Scalzi in that post. But when Beale’s Hugo nomination came down, Scalzi was one of the few people to stick up for him with charm and class:

      Vox Day has every right (so far as I know, and as far as you know, too) to be on the ballot. You may not like it, or may wish to intimate that the work in question doesn’t deserve to be on the ballot, but you should remember what “deserve” means in the context of Hugo (i.e., that the nominators follow the rules while nominating), and just deal with it like the grown up you are. …

      Instead, take a look at the work, read the work, and if you like the work, place it appropriately on your ballot. Because why shouldn’t you? Regardless of how a work got on the ballot (or more accurately in this case, how you think it got onto the ballot), it’s there now. Read the books and stories. If you like them, great. If you don’t, there’s plenty of other
      excellent work on the ballot for your consideration.

      It’s that kind of charm and class that John C. Wright feels has been lost in the science fiction community, and why he has departed the SFWA.

      • chezami

        Yep. I’m not overly fond of Beale’s cranky Dark Enlightenment bullshit either. But I see no reason why that should mean that if he writes a good yard, it can’t be honored. Caravaggio was a murderer and Ezra Pound a fascist, but they made good art. This is about art, not politics.

        • The thing is, you can only forgive the murderer and view his work objectively if you have a strong cultural authority that maintains the judgment on sin even in the midst of forgiving the sinner. We don’t have that, anymore. Our cultural moral judgments are very, very fragile, and must be maintained by purges.

          • I think it’s more a matter of there being very, very few matters of morality left upon which everyone is presumed to agree…and so, unless and until we’re able to let go of the idea of right and wrong altogether (don’t worry, some of the best minds in academia are working on this!), our heavily-suppressed moral sensibilities are liable to explode in fanatical purges when one of those few remaining things comes into view.

            Or it could just be that purges are encoded in the hard Left’s DNA.

    • Matthew

      I hope you never listen to Mozart, since he was a Mason.

    • Hezekiah Garrett

      Some people really should have their pens forcibly removed for shocking chasms of ignorance!

      Case in point, whoever ready Beale and thought he was calling Africans “less” homo sapien than others.

      Beale, much as I don’t care for the man, just successfully bated you into righteously demonstrating your scientific illiteracy. See, geneticists recently determined that, while persons of purely African descent are purely homo Sapiens Sapiens, the same cannot be said for the rest of the human population of this planet, because all others (my own Redskinned ass included apparently) are and admixture of neanderthal and sapiens.

      In other words, he said exactly the opposite of what you accused him, and you were both too scientifically ignorant, and wedded to your ideology, to understand what he said.

      Beale is odious, but he isn’t a vain moron. Too bad his most vociferous opponents are proud to prove themselves vain and stupid.

      Put so Sagrav can’t understand: Beale said no such thing, and only an idiot could honestly believe otherwise.

      • Harry

        Right, ’cause if I called a black woman a ‘half-savage’, compared her to illiterate African tribesmen and insinuated she wasn’t fully human it would actually be HER fault for getting pissed off, because she wasn’t sufficiently in the know about recent genetic research into Homo Sapiens Sapiens.
        What, I’m supposed to congratulate him for making a crack he knew would be taken as racial abuse just because he threw in a little scientific detail? Well then, all is forgiven! Every hint of racism has been completely removed from what he said – it’s all clean, apparently.
        You want to defend Vox’s right to be taken seriously as an artist aside from his personal views, go right ahead. But for the love of God don’t – in the words of that wonderful American phrase – piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining.

        • Ye Olde Statistician

          I notice another beartrap. As I heard it (at a remove or two, admittedly) he called the lady “savage” because she had bragged about committing assault on someone and feeling good about it; and that people “like her” were people who felt good about themselves for committing assault. Yet, the first thing some folks glom onto is a purely cosmetic feature that, in their own view, is not supposed top matter.

          My personal opinion, based on what I have heard, is he should have been far clearer; but then I have also heard he likes yanking chains. People tend to see what they expect to see.

          • James H, London

            He does indeed delight in winding people up, just to see them go.

            He has more in common with JCW, and our esteemed host, than anyone might be willing to consider.

            I have a $0.02 to add: we should remember that Ricism is used by our common enemies to shut people up. Read, before ranting.

    • chezami

      Caravaggio was a murderer and Ezra Pound was a fascist. They were also fine artists. Judgments about art are about the work not about whether the artist is a good person.

  • Mark S. (not for Shea)

    SFWA may have started with good intentions, but it’s turned into a bitter clique that only exists to argue and give each other awards. If there’s a more pointless organization out there, I can’t find it.

    • PalaceGuard

      Read “Bimbos of the Death Sun”! For thus has it ever been.

  • Humphrey

    I just want to use this topic to thank Mark.From him i learned about mr.Wright who is absolutely brilliant.

    From VD i learned about Mark Shea,it`s a small world. I just feel sorry for mr.Wright, he is on good terms with VD and Mark and these too are so similar yet they consider them self to be so different.

  • Francisco J Castellanos

    Mr. Wright is right about the “thought police” but, above and beyond that, Thedore Beale seems to be a weird guy. A direct quote from Beale’s post: “Considering that it took my English and German ancestors more than one thousand years to become fully civilised after their first contact with an advanced civilisation, it is illogical to imagine, let alone insist, that Africans have somehow managed to do so in less than half the time with even less direct contact. These things take time.” Huh?

    • Ye Olde Statistician

      You could make the argument that as of 1945,the Germans were not yet then fully civilized. So maybe more than 1000years.

      Probably he is dating the German’s first contact with an advanced civilization to the Battle of Teuroberger Wald and Hermann the German, though the Rhenish tribes had been picking up bits of Roman civilization for a while even then. That would put their “fully civilized” somewhere around AD1000 and the Battle of Lechfeld.. And indeed the cities of the North become prominent after this time. The Britons had an earlier start, since they had been fully conquered. The Gauls and Iberians, we learn from Peter Brown’s TheWorld of Late Antiquity began speaking Latin and calling themselves Romans only in the fourth century AD, and began providing the Latin world with pagan rhetors and Christian bishops.

      • Alma Peregrina

        Iberians only began speaking Latin in the fourth century AD? I learn something new everyday! I thought that Lusitania was conquered through romanization, so I automatically assumed that meant incorporating the roman language.

        But please tell me: why did Iberians and Gauls only begin speaking Latin when the Roman Empire’s power was on its clear decline?

        God bless.

        • Ye Olde Statistician

          The localism of the early empire — effectively a federation of city states under the imperial umbrella — gave way as Roman citizenship was extended to more and more people and senators were being made in the provinces to a devotion to the person of the Emperor as the unifying principle and the legend in the West of Romania Aeterna. The Peter Brown book mentioned above contains details.

        • Latin spread after the fall of the Roman Empire for the same reason that English has spread in South Asia and East Africa since the end of British rule. Let’s say you’re in India under the Raj- if you learn English and use it, you’re declaring a particular relationship to the colonial power. But after 1947, the British are yesterday’s news. So a Hindi speaker and an Urdu speaker, doing business with each other, might well turn to English as a neutral language, one which puts them both “at an equal disadvantage,” as they say in India.

          Likewise in post-Roman Europe. If you and your neighbor speak different languages, you can’t very well expect him to speak your language when you are trying to settle something important, not unless you are his lord and master. And vice versa, you aren’t going to be enthusiastic about staking anything on the outcome of discussions conducted in a language that is his and not yours. So, you resort to the language of the former colonial power, which neither of you has more of a claim on than does the other.

          • Alma Peregrina

            Thank you. That makes sense. But I would just point out that your analogy fails because English remains a língua franca after the Brittish Empire decline… because there is still a superpotency that speaks English: the USA.

  • Newp Ort

    I love John C Wright’s scifi, and will continue to read it. But this article is pretty whiny and petulant. He says Heinlein could never win a Hugo today, but two of the authors he lists as unfair victims of PC pogroms are in fact nominated for Hugo awards. One of whom is an unabashed sexist and racist.

    • Most of the puzzlement you’re expressing is due to coming in near the end of a long and bitter feud within SFF fandom.
      In a nutshell those two authors were nominated because Larry Correia’s fans broke the left-leaning monopoly that had long prevailed among Hugo voters.
      Those two nominations are the result of hundreds of Joe and Jane SFF fans who never cared about awards before rallying to support their favorite author. It’s democracy in action, and it proved Larry’s point that for years, the Hugos have been little more than a popularity contest where awards went to authors who preached the approved narrative the loudest without regard to the merits of their work.

      Larry explains it all here: