If there’s one thing that defines the totalitarian right, it’s an overwhelming sense of entitlement. Being born into a country, into a class/caste/sect or into a particularly coloured skin (othering criteria being whatever is the most self-serving and/or to coincide with established totalitarian tradition) entitles you to a whole heap of opportunities that The Others aren’t.
One of the most basic demands of the totalitarian right is that entitlements are beyond criticism, often followed by the paradoxical expectation that the totalitarian right-winger is a free-thinker. A participant in a absolutely free market of ideas. Right-wing totalitarianism could hardly be seen as having prowess if it wasn’t seen to perform in such a light.
But it doesn’t perform. Genetic fallacy, hasty induction, argument from tradition, argument from authority, argumentum ad baculum – and that’s just some of the fallacies. Don’t get me started on the cognitive biases (particularly the out-group ones) or the flakiness of the objectification of the identity of Others. Right-wing totalitarianism is rife with shoddy thinking.
Usually when one calls a racist person, or a racist idea, racist, they to varying extent allude to these kinds of intellectual short-comings or at least to the sordid psychological motivations behind them. Not always, but usually.
Occasionally, “that’s just racist” is used to shut people up. It happens to scientists studying the human genome for example, who have no such motivation and who’s only crime is to make some anti-science bigot feel insecure.
But the average right wing totalitarian is far from being your average geneticist. Usually they are looking a convenient Other to blame for their own failures or lack of opportunity and let’s face it, geneticists aren’t people you could call failures or deprived of opportunity.
The right-wing totalitarian is mediocre in all but the grandeur of its delusions.
Continue reading “Growing right-wing discontent”
Originally posted on Thinkers’ Podium on the 3rd of September, 2007.
“Hitler got the fascists sexually aroused. Flags, nations, armies, banks get a lot of people aroused…” – Gilles Deleuze.
The Green Left Weekly that gets emailed to my blog-related email account (who in Paramatta was it that signed me up?) is telling me not to be afraid to protest at the APEC meeting this weekend. Even if someone were to offer me a lift interstate and magically get me off the hook with regards to my daily responsibilities, I wouldn’t go.
Not that I think that the content of the APEC meeting (specifically our Government’s participation) is going to be particularly good, it’s just I like pick my protests based on their capacity to get a point across. APEC protesters don’t get listened to. Even if the media gave them a fair go they simply don’t have the resonance, or an well-informed informed or consistent message to get across to the public.
Their campaign isn’t like the 2003 Australian protests against the Iraq war. That campaign had a more or less consistent message, and it had resonance in spades. It wasn’t tainted by the confected outrage of a jaded group of the usual suspects.
I want an alternative to what is being sold at APEC, but I don’t want the Democratic Socialist Party’s (DSP) alternative. More importantly, I want alternatives delivered more effectively.
I want more thought-out alternatives to be sold on the floor of APEC to a captive audience of attendees. I don’t want these alternatives desperately thrown at them from a distance by a dis-empowered citizenry. The public shouldn’t be fronting up to global decision making as beggars.
However, I do respect the right of the likes of the DSP to peacefully protest and to do so without persecution, defamation or being subjected to violence. No matter how much conservative Australia may be aroused by the prospect of violating these people.
Continue reading “APEC sado-erotica for the modern Australian conservative”