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10/05/2018 3:29 pm  #41


Re: Christine Blasey Ford is a liar

Jeremy Taylor wrote:

Hypatia wrote:

Sure, if you've got them. All I've seen by Hirono is comments about it not being a court of law and legal standards of evidence not applying.

I don't see how it's relevant, though. If you're specifically pointing to the troubles of white conservative men because of situations like this, then that is identity politics. If you think that this particular situation makes it legitimate to engage in identity politics, then I suppose that's fair, but then we would need to determine why identity politics are legitimate in some situations and not in others.

I saw Hirino first say that men should shut up, then she said something like the presumption was against him because of his judicial philosophy.

I think that the issue is whether we simply argue for the importance of treating people equally, or whether we wallow in perceived slights against white men. That's the difference between a legitimate critique of the modern left and turning that into some kind of identity politics.

I agree. I have no problem with legitimate critique on either side--I think it's usually on point, but matters descend into perceptions of victimization and "you evil liberals/conservatives" way too often and way too quickly.

Jeremy Taylor wrote:

Hypatia wrote:

The gang rape allegation is outside of the norm, but cases concerning teenage athletes raping girls at parties come up every so often, and there are always concerns about safety surrounding frat parties. The real issue is boys pressuring and in some cases raping their girlfriends, though--I've had several friends who this happened to in high school, so it's definitely more than a stereotype. Statistics concerning sexual assault are pretty awful, especially on campuses. 

When you say awful are you talking about the veracity of the statistics? I thought it was widely known the campus rape epidemic was a myth. Women are less likely to be raped on campus than outside, and the whilst all sexual assault is terrible, there's hardly an epidemic, on or off campus.

Widely known amongst whom? I'm speaking more to personal experience, which is of course anecdotal but matches up to what is claimed: it's not at all uncommon to run into women who were raped in high school or college. If you factor in other types of sexual aggression, the number of stories are going to go up exponentially. Unless you lock yourself in your house, you're likely to run into a scary situation sooner or later, and that is without tossing alcohol into the mix.

 

10/05/2018 6:40 pm  #42


Re: Christine Blasey Ford is a liar

seigneur wrote:

I see most attacks on Marx also as attacks against more like an allegory, not against the person or his ideas. This is particularly so given the fact that hardly anyone politically active (in the United States or broader in the West) explicitly or knowingly operates with reference to Marx or Marxism. And even implicitly there is nothing much in Marx to serve as a guideline or explanation for the behaviour of the current mainstream left. The political parties straightforwardly self-labelled as Marxist or Communist, who would include members most likely to have read Marx or Lenin or Trotsky, have always been an ignorable minority.

The influence of Marxism on the New Left is huge and obvious. Reas Scruton's Thinkers of the New Left. The influence of quasi-Marxist beliefs is growing on the left today. Radical feminism, much LGBT activism, post-structuralism, post-colonialism, etc., all have important Marxist antecedents, even if they certainly aren't pure Marxism.

  wrote:

Now-now, how is rule of law or basic fairness a bourgeois value?

Yes, it is a stupidity of Marxism to talk as if such things as bourgeois, but that is what happened. It is eye-opening to see Western intellectuals, from Hobsbawn to Merleau-Ponty, line up to excuse or dissemble over communist tyranny and oppression.

As Scruton notes, there's something almost nihilistic in the use of the word bourgeois. Lukacs, Adorno, Sartre, Foucault, hated most of their own society, and by labelling it bourgeois (even when it went back far beyond this) and, in various ways, entirely tainted by its exploitative origin, they could call for its total destruction, with some vague Marxist utopia to replace it.

Even when I was a late teenage libertarian socialist, Marxism never really appealed to me, even of the council communist variety. The historical materialism and class struggle stuff just turned me off. Marx's business cycle theory is insightful and he did some interesting work on primitive accumulation; otherwise, I think Prince Kroptkin, William Morris, Proudhon, or Benjamin Tucker much more interesting socialists.

Interestingly, Marxism originally didn't have much influence on the British left. When the first wave of Labour MPs got to parliament around 1910, they did a survey of their favourite political work. The top influence was Ruskin's Unto This Last. Cobbett, Ruskin, Carlyle, Morris, H. J. Massingham, Tawney, were, for a long time, far more important to the British left than Marxism. It would be a good day if Marxism and identity politics could be dropped for these authors by the British left.

And how can an actual bourgeois value, such as instituting the distinctions of prosperity between employees, business owners, and consumers, anything to do with basic fairness?

Even as anti-capitalist, I find this irrelevant. It is nothing like the liquidation of the Kulaks. That's proletarian justice!

For example the LGBT gang keeps pressing the button of basic fairness and drags people to court to be judged according to law, no? So, rather than abolishing basic fairness, the idea is to redefine it and then to employ it with redefinition for their own purposes. Just like it happened/is happening with marriage - they did not abolish it but redefined it so that it is on the way of becoming a pointless thing.

Yes, as Scruton shows, newspeak has been an important feature of the left since the Jacobins, but especially in the Marxist tradition. Orwell knew this well. And we see it more than ever today.

One of the ways identity politics has come to thrive is by passing itself off as just a continuation of old fashioned liberal ideas of justice and equality. But identity politics subtly switches its very different, collectivist, Marxist-inspired framework for the more common sense, individualist liberal one. So, for example, both the liberal and the leftist believe strongly in equality between men and women, so today the leftist insinuates himself with the liberal for various complex reasons and the boundaries blur between the two, but the leftist brings with him his whole schema. And the left-liberal thinks he's just defending the equality of women in a basic liberal way, as he has long done, whilst drawing more and more from radical feminist, Marxist-inspired nonsense, like patriarchy, rape culture, etc. Even if he doesn't always use the exact vocabulary, more and more of the basic ideas, assumptions, and perspectives filter through. Today, the British and American mainstream left are increasingly an unstable amalgamation of liberalism and radicalism. The gay marriage ruling was the swan song of a purer, live and let live liberalism. Already, the civil libertarian aspect of mainstream left-liberalism is significantly on the wane. Those who just a decade or two ago were vociferous followers of Voltaire's maxim on free speech, are now defenders of more and more restrictions. Some of this maybe because they have won the culture wars, and the restrictions now are generally on their ideological opponents. But some of it is clearly due to the spread of quasi-Marxist ideas. In Marxism free speech given equally to different classes, regardless of their wealth and power, is no free speech at all. This idea has spread, so whilst in liberals individuals deserve basic rights, no matter what class or class-like group they belong to, left-liberals today are less sure of this.

 

10/05/2018 7:00 pm  #43


Re: Christine Blasey Ford is a liar

Hypatia wrote:

Widely known amongst whom? I'm speaking more to personal experience, which is of course anecdotal but matches up to what is claimed: it's not at all uncommon to run into women who were raped in high school or college. If you factor in other types of sexual aggression, the number of stories are going to go up exponentially. Unless you lock yourself in your house, you're likely to run into a scary situation sooner or later, and that is without tossing alcohol into the mix.

Well, the one in five statistic that activitists were touting turned out to be bogus. I believe the real figure was something like 2-3% across four years. That is lower than for those who don't attend university. And that is with a wide definition, like being patted or pinched on the bottom or unwanted attempts at kissing (by which measure, I've been sexually assaulted by women half a dozen times or so).

The Human Rights Commission in Australia tried to manufacture the same kind of panic here. They did a survey on sexual assault and harassment on campuses. But they tried to stack the deck: they used very wide definitions (staring, for example, was a form of sexual harassment) and the stats were based on self-reporting. For the sexual assault, they allowed the incident to have occurred in the last two years, rather than the one for harassment. Really, the whole thing didn't make sense. In Australia, most domestic students go to university in the city they grew up in and still live at home. Most students don't live on campus or hang out there much outside classes, so the assaults would have to be occuring in classes or in corridors between classes, or perhaps the food court. It is usually international students who live on campus or with other students, and knowing the Human Rights Commission, they wouldn't want to suggest the problem is prevalent mostly amongst foreign students.

 

10/05/2018 7:42 pm  #44


Re: Christine Blasey Ford is a liar

Jeremy Taylor wrote:

Well, the one in five statistic that activitists were touting turned out to be bogus. I believe the real figure was something like 2-3% across four years. That is lower than for those who don't attend university. And that is with a wide definition, like being patted or pinched on the bottom or unwanted attempts at kissing (by which measure, I've been sexually assaulted by women half a dozen times or so).

Do you have a source for this? If we're working with that wide a definition of sexual assault, then that 2-3% figure is absurdly low even for men, not to mention women. 

I would worry that the "real" figures are at least as likely to be partisan as ones presented by activists, if not more so. Activists at least have a more robust understanding of the phenomenon than whoever might oppose them.

Jeremy Taylor wrote:

The Human Rights Commission in Australia tried to manufacture the same kind of panic here. They did a survey on sexual assault and harassment on campuses. But they tried to stack the deck: they used very wide definitions (staring, for example, was a form of sexual harassment) and the stats were based on self-reporting. For the sexual assault, they allowed the incident to have occurred in the last two years, rather than the one for harassment. Really, the whole thing didn't make sense. In Australia, most domestic students go to university in the city they grew up in and still live at home. Most students don't live on campus or hang out there much outside classes, so the assaults would have to be occuring in classes or in corridors between classes, or perhaps the food court. It is usually international students who live on campus or with other students, and knowing the Human Rights Commission, they wouldn't want to suggest the problem is prevalent mostly amongst foreign students.

That would be a serious difference then, since living on campus is of course much more common in the United States. I can't speak to what's going on in Australia, but the college campus is really the sort of artificial environment that begs this type of problem, especially when you take modern sexual permissiveness and too much alcohol into account.

I'm not sure how the stats on something like this could be based on anything but self-reporting, though, given problems with under-reporting.

 

10/05/2018 8:16 pm  #45


Re: Christine Blasey Ford is a liar

I don't have those stats, but I read them somewhere. This quotes a DOJ study that puts the figures even lower:

http://thefederalist.com/2014/12/11/new-doj-data-on-sexual-assaults-college-students-are-actually-less-likely-to-be-victimized/

Self-reporting makes the sample non-random. I would think a study trying to be as accurate as possible

I certainly wouldn't take official statistics as gospel without looking into them, but I would hazard a guess that, when the official ones aren't compiled by activists, the official ones are probably more trustworthy. The activists are ideologues, and identity politics ideologues for decades have shown a great tendency to distort and manipulate statistics and research. Just about any statistic that comes from radical feminists, for example, should be suspect until shown otherwise. Read, for example, the late sociologist Murray Straus on what happened to him when he and his research partner actually asked women if they commit domestic violence and under what circumstances. They found women do commit such violence to a degree not far off that of men, and generally not in circumstances where it can be called self-defence or justified retaliation. For this, he and his research partner were vilified and  even threatened by both activists and alleged scholars. Straus also talked about the lengths feminist scholars, and universities and governments under their sway have gone to make sure such findings are repeated. So funds are hard to    obtain, for example, for research that doesn't take a gender-based approach, and might, for instance, ask women about their own violence. Or feminist scholars just distort findings or even give a different finding from that the research establishes. I strongly suggest reading Straus's article. I can't find the article right now, but this page seems to go through the main points (though I can't speak for the site, as I just found it on a search for the original article):

http://menaregood.com/wordpress/straus-exposes-the-academic-veils-placed-on-domestic-violence-research/

 

10/05/2018 10:57 pm  #46


Re: Christine Blasey Ford is a liar

Jeremy Taylor wrote:

I don't have those stats, but I read them somewhere. This quotes a DOJ study that puts the figures even lower:

http://thefederalist.com/2014/12/11/new-doj-data-on-sexual-assaults-college-students-are-actually-less-likely-to-be-victimized/

Self-reporting makes the sample non-random. I would think a study trying to be as accurate as possible

I certainly wouldn't take official statistics as gospel without looking into them, but I would hazard a guess that, when the official ones aren't compiled by activists, the official ones are probably more trustworthy. The activists are ideologues, and identity politics ideologues for decades have shown a great tendency to distort and manipulate statistics and research. Just about any statistic that comes from radical feminists, for example, should be suspect until shown otherwise. Read, for example, the late sociologist Murray Straus on what happened to him when he and his research partner actually asked women if they commit domestic violence and under what circumstances. They found women do commit such violence to a degree not far off that of men, and generally not in circumstances where it can be called self-defence or justified retaliation. For this, he and his research partner were vilified and even threatened by both activists and alleged scholars. Straus also talked about the lengths feminist scholars, and universities and governments under their sway have gone to make sure such findings are repeated. So funds are hard to obtain, for example, for research that doesn't take a gender-based approach, and might, for instance, ask women about their own violence. Or feminist scholars just distort findings or even give a different finding from that the research establishes. I strongly suggest reading Straus's article. I can't find the article right now, but this page seems to go through the main points (though I can't speak for the site, as I just found it on a search for the original article):

http://menaregood.com/wordpress/straus-exposes-the-academic-veils-placed-on-domestic-violence-research/

I would be very careful immediately associating sexual abuse advocacy with radical feminism. The feminist movement is far from monolithic, and there are many other voices in there besides the radical feminists. The queer theorists, for one, have been challenging that narrative of victimization for decades now, and there's really no reason an activist can't come from that school--or any other school--instead of specifically radical feminism. I am very familiar with modern feminism and gender studies broadly, since I went to the type of college that is a hotbed for the movement, and any article that discusses feminist beliefs as some sort of one-size-fits-all tyranny, as that Men Are Good page does, is really going to set off warning bells. Some feminists would admittedly like to believe that women can do no wrong and men are always the oppressors, but you'll also find a lot of interest in men's studies and the ways in which social expectations harm them as well. So please don't insinuate that everyone who has an interest sexual abuse advocacy is a radical feminist. We're not.

On to the surveys, looking into it further, there are a number of different ones, and not all with questionable survey procedures (I see what you mean by self-reporting now; I thought you meant compared to actual reported crime statistics before). This DOJ study from back in 2000 put the number at 1/36 per year (6.91 months), but points out that if that rate remains stable throughout the entire college career, it could rise to 1/5. Much more disturbing, it reports that almost half of women whose incidents were categorized as completed rapes did not consider that incident to have been a rape at all. (Which sounds very strange, but I can certainly attest to not knowing whether or not I've been sexually assaulted. Nothing serious, but my quickness to excuse it is really problematic.)

Both this survey and the one linked in that Federalist article discuss the differences between the various results. One thing that came up is that the survey with lower numbers was specifically looking at the issue from a criminal angle and tailoring its questions for that end rather than approaching it as a public health issue. This is going to result in significant underreporting if there is a strong tendency amongst rape victims to deny that they've been raped at all.

Here is another survey I found from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, not specifically dealing with college age violence, but still on the topic of sexual assault. It says that 1/5 women and 1/71 men will be raped at some point in their lifetime, and that 1/2 women and 1/5 men will experience other types of sexual violence victimization. I don't know if you want to call this an epidemic, but I hope we can all agree that it's not good.


 

Last edited by Hypatia (10/05/2018 11:04 pm)

 

10/06/2018 1:11 am  #47


Re: Christine Blasey Ford is a liar

I'm sorry, but as far as I can see, queer theory, women's studies, critical theory, radical feminism, post-colonialism, post-structuralism, etc., are just ideology posing as serious scholarship. That isn't to say there might not occasionally be something of worth brought up, but it is so lost in the accretions of nonsense and ideology as to be irretrievable. These are the kinds of bilge that made the Humanities and social sciences a joke, which as an early career Humanities/social science annoys me no end.

Without looking deeply into those figures, I would take them a huge grain of salt. The kind of chicanery that goes into those kinds of statistics is myriad. There are clear alarm bells in what you mention. Notoriously, these kinds of studies are famous for using very broad definitions of sexual assault, and for then concluding incidents as sexual assaults, even when the alleged victim didn't see them this way. So, for example, it may well be case that when the female has had alcohol, that would count, even if the male had just as much, or it was only a small amount. Any unwanted touching might be counted, even if it would used to be called sexual harassment, rather than assault (i.e., the knee or an attempted unwanted kiss). And any kind of pressure, even the slightest attempts at persuasion or nagging, would count. Interestingly, the only area where the definition is narrowed, at least of rape, is male rape, where the CDC (amongst others) are famous for counting only male-on-male rapes and those rare times where a woman somehow penetrates a male. Incidents of women forcing men to penetrate aren't counted as rapes, but sexual assault. There is some limited evidence, I recall, that this latter happens quite a lot more than you'd think (though I'm not sure what definition is being used, or whether it is as broad is the case for female sexual assault).

Really the 1 in 5 claim, even over a life time, is so high it should cause questions set off alarm bells about the methodology and cause questions to be asked.

For what it's worth, I don't think the fact men are probably more likely to sexually harass and assault women than the other way around is because women are more respectful or virtuous. I think it is more a matter of women naturally wishing to be pursued, rather than pursue, to a degree at least, and on average being more timorous. This is just my own observation and experience, and I have nothing solid to back it up (though the made to penetrate data is interesting), but I think it's the case. As I said, by the broad definitions (although I'm not counting girlfriends who didn't meet the activitist definition of affirmative consent - if that is even meant to apply to women as well as men) used in much research, I've been sexually assaulted several times by women. To the degree there is a problem with sexual assault and harassment in our societies, I don't think it is a matter of maleness, toxic masculinity, rape culture, etc., as human nature.

 

10/06/2018 3:58 am  #48


Re: Christine Blasey Ford is a liar

Jeremy Taylor wrote:

The influence of Marxism on the New Left is huge and obvious. Reas Scruton's Thinkers of the New Left. The influence of quasi-Marxist beliefs is growing on the left today. Radical feminism, much LGBT activism, post-structuralism, post-colonialism, etc., all have important Marxist antecedents, even if they certainly aren't pure Marxism.

For a moment, let's disregard that I have no idea what New Left is. Looks like an attempt to resuscitate the Red Scare.

Now, that aside, I can agree with Scruton's assessment - with a stretch of imagination. Yes, the connections are there, but the problem is that they are imaginary, not concrete. For example LGBT activists have not read Marx at all and never refer to him. Post-structuralists and feminists only extract some de-nuanced concept from Marx such as equality or masses or minorities and ignore the rest, while they in fact more often operate with "plurality" which is not Marx's.

With the exact same stretch of imagination, I can assert that Scruton has fascist antecedents. He even likes Wagner! So let's drop these too easy associations.

To associate critical theory and radical deconstructivism with Marx and Marxism is a straightforward mistake. Marx was highly structured. His idea was not just revolution, but to establish other institutions that he outlined - after first having described with good precision the contemporary institutions. On the other hand, the current brand of art and social critique/analysis relying on critical theory has nothing constructive in it. It just aims to deconstruct and demolish what is currently standing, and has no ideas beyond that.

These two things are related only with a stretch, and it's particularly a stretch when the representatives of the latter do not fall back to the former and you cannot back up the latter by quoting the former without distortions.

Added: The best possible claim to the association would be perhaps to say that the representatives of the current "New Left" trends serve as unknowing "useful idiots" to a great Marxist masterplan that is slowly spanning over centuries. But this claim goes into the same basket as Illuminati theories. In fact, Illuminati theories are actually more concrete, because the theorists are able to point out real-life grey eminences such as certain banking dynasties. The claims to the LGBT-Marxist connection would achieve the same credence as soon as someone can point out similar grey eminences. Until then, the Illuminati theories remain much more credible.

Last edited by seigneur (10/06/2018 4:26 am)

 

10/06/2018 4:19 am  #49


Re: Christine Blasey Ford is a liar

I think you raise a good point about the activists. Most don't read academic works, to any considerable degree, and most of those who do are unlikely to read Marx in detail and derive most of their ideas from him. The influence is second or third hand, but that is not unusual in cases of intellectual influence. But there are still important influences, and key shared themes, those mentioned. The point about Scruton, on the other hand, is not a good one. In what sense Scruton is influenced by fascism in a way analogous to the Marxist antecedents of identity politics, is hard to see.

I'm confused about what you mean by Marx being constructive. Marx was notoriously vague about how his utopia would work or be realised. He spoke of a man doing a number of jobs or hobbies in a day, but filled in no details about how this society could be operate. The anarchist tradition of Kropotkin is far more interesting and thoughtful on this scores, although many anarchists have fallen under the spell of Marxist class struggle/historical materialism nonsense.

 

10/06/2018 4:33 am  #50


Re: Christine Blasey Ford is a liar

Jeremy Taylor wrote:

I'm sorry, but as far as I can see, queer theory, women's studies, critical theory, radical feminism, post-colonialism, post-structuralism, etc., are just ideology posing as serious scholarship. That isn't to say there might not occasionally be something of worth brought up, but it is so lost in the accretions of nonsense and ideology as to be irretrievable. These are the kinds of bilge that made the Humanities and social sciences a joke, which as an early career Humanities/social science annoys me no end.

​The New Atheist writer Pete Boghossian has turned his attention to some of these fields with some new hoax papers in 'Grievance Studies':

https://areomagazine.com/2018/10/02/academic-grievance-studies-and-the-corruption-of-scholarship/

The rape culture problem among dogs in parks in Oregon is a good one, and it won a kind of prize.

 

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