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This episode is a reply to listener-feedback on the previous episode about liberalism.

The difference between a leftist and a liberal (RW54)

The left loves to critic and to theorize about itself. Generally, one component of the left is theorizing about another component of the left, chastizing and in some way spelling out how that other component of the left is failing to meet their obligations. It fairly hard for the left to sit on their hands and reflect on themselves for a moment. When John was a young leftist, he was admittedly not particularly self-reflective either. This in-fighting is one of the things that defines the left, but the right does it, too. Bernie-bros hate being called Bernie-bros by middle-aged liberals like John, because middle-aged liberals are letting the whole cause down by virtue of their middle-agedness. Middle-aged liberals fail to appreciate the necessary radical action. Instead, they are comfortable with their home-ownership and their PTA-meetings. They are not making bold steps, but they are holding people back with their democratic party and its structure of slow-motion! There is a lot of energy in young leftists right now which is not even in the nature of young people. Leftists feel that truth and justice are on their side and that middle-aged liberals are out of touch. That out-of-touch-ness has ultimately always been true for those people. Middle-aged liberals were always middle-aged even when they were 22. It is very easy for a 22-year-old to believe that they are the first people who ever conceived of civil rights while all those 64-year-olds who devoted their whole lives fighting for civil rights back when it was a lot harder than it was now are just collectively swept into the dust bin.

John was online the other day and some obviously young person, which you could tell by the way they wrote, said that ”if you sympathize with Nazis, you are a Nazi-symaphizer. Full-stop!” John can see why that rolls off your tongue. It sounds logical, but it is not true. Second of all, ”sympathizing with Nazis” is a real simplification and a real reduction of the process of looking at the other side and wondering what they are all about. Taking a moment to reflect about them is not the same as sympathizing with their believes. John is a very public leftist and to a young person there is no greater insult than to tell John that John is a liberal and not a leftist, because John is not sufficiently radical. The fact that John wants to take a second to reflect incites in young people the immediate desire to quote Martin Luther King from the early 1960:s saying that the real enemy of civil rights is not the KKK-member, but the go-slow liberal who claims to want civil rights, but wants to be patient and wants to do it without public protest and without implication of pending violence. Street protests and throwing teargas canisters back scares the white liberal and makes the white liberal uncomfortable.

That uncomfortableness is the actual enemy of the progression of civil rights, much more so than the person in the white robe standing at the other side of the cops. This is a very appealing reduction of the white liberal with their mealy-mouth-ness and their foot-dragging and their discomfort. Everybody can identify the upper-westside Manhattanite who supports the arts and is a friend to civil rights in word, but gets uncomfortable when civil rights get to close to their apartment. Applying a blanket assessment of an uncomfortable person who stands athwart progress and wants everybody to slow down to every action of momentary reflection, to every criticism of progressive revolutionary behavior, and to all strategic thinking is a conceit of people who haven’t been thinking strategically themselves. They blanket-describe and denunciate slow-moving liberalism. Of course there actually are tons of white liberals who do not understand how important it is to protest, to throw back the teargas grenades and to advance progress. There are foot-draggers and liberals who are just contemptuous and dismissive of young people.

What Dan and John talked about in the previous episode isn’t controversial, except that liberals like to hate one another more than anything else. It is their favorite past-time! John has spent a lot of his life fighting Nazis, back in the 1980s when Nazis were trying to make a white homeland in the Pacific Norhtwest. The cops fought the Nazis by surrounding their compounds and shooting them out with guns. Nazis were at punk-rock shows and they were physically threatening. The left is really ”Hackles up! Knifes out!” right now because they feel under assault by the pure insanity that is happening in our national government every minute of every day. It is a very dangerous time to be an internal critic of the leftist response and to question if this advances our strategic project in any way. If you are following the situation on the Internet, you are made to believe that literal Nazis are at the door. But literal Nazis are not at the door! Crazy people are put into our government, people who believe that there are UFO:s under the North Pole, people way beyond of who should ever be given the reigns of even small portions of the government, let alone become the National Security Advisor. The president and the executive has a lot of power, but it is not unchecked power! The fact that there is a conservative republican majority in the congress gives the combination of those things a lot of power, but it is still not unchecked power! They shut down epa.gov yesterday and there is a lot of understandable panic about what’s about to come. but John’s question is when was the last time anybody went to epa.gov? Panicing and screaming at each other is not going to advance our cause.

Sucker-punching a Nazi (RW54)

This whole discussion started when that Nazi-guy Richard Spencer got punched in public, which was a very gratifying punch to watch. There is a lot of Schadenfreude after watching him standing there with his smug little bow-tie, all content in his hipster-fashism and his hipster-white-nationalism, which you can tell is just a cool costume for him. He is expressing a frat-boy nationalism that has always been a component of frat-brows, but he has 10 cameras pointing at him and thinks he is a pretty cool cat. Then he gets punched by a person in an traditional anarchist costume with a hoodie and a face-mask. It is a sucker-punch because he didn’t see it coming and that is part of the Schadenfreude. John was saying online that this was strategically a super-bad move, because as gratifying as it might be, it is missing a crucial point: To believe that you can’t reason with the violent racists who are now in positions of power and to believe that the only way to counter them is to resort to their own techniques and beat them up is to abdicate the whole premise of liberalism! That is not how we do it! We don’t put government in place because of threat of violence! We don’t counter violent racist nationalism with violent progressive liberalism! If you put something in place through violence and you defeat your enemies through violence, the power you have accrued to yourself will be completely corrupted. People are then asking about the time when we defeated our enemy in WWII, but there is no comparison between that and the domestic politics of the United States. If this guy Richard Spencer had been spitting in that other guy’s face, shouting ”Fuck you, you are going into the camps!”, then absolutely, punch him in the nose, because he has earned it. But that punch in his face has been delivered to him only because of his execrable politics with which we all virulently disagree.

To punch somebody and then celebrate that punch as a political move is terrible strategy. The Nazis will always be more violent than the liberals and they are looking for a reason to be violent. They are also looking for a reason to say that the left is out of control and needs to be suppressed! They look at Black Lives Matter and say that the blacks are taking over their streets. They are animals, they are shooting at each other in Chicago, and we need to crack down on them. We need martial law and we need to suppress this rebellion! We can’t give more ammunition to that because hey will always bring more violence than we are capable of. To punch this character multiple times and to think that taking this kind of violence to the streets is in any way a positive action on behalf of the left, a renunciation of Naziism is just not strategic. What is going to happen next is that they are going to respond and there is going to be some violent retribution from the right. Unfortunately the left and the Bernie-bro-side of the world are going to take this as a validation of their action because it will make it seem that you can’t reason with them and you have to fight them on their terms. That is part of the lack of reflection. No one is ever wrong anymore. You punch this guy and then his people will punch you back harder, but no-one ever takes a step back and says that we shouldn’t have punched him. It is a little bit like Internet-tough-guy. 99% of the people who have really been enjoying that punch have never been in a fight. They are not prepared to go down into the streets and literally start to fight. There are a lot of 24-year-olds who think they are prepared to do that but they have never done it and they don’t know what it looks like and they don’t know what it feels like and they don’t want it!

The left has not been training for the race war the same way that the crazies on the right have. All you need to do is go google ”Fortify your neighborhood” and you will find all these blogs talking in terms of turning your neighborhood it into an unassailable castle. You need to start thinking about how to fortify your neighborhood and you need to figure out what the entry- and access-roads are and how to block those roads by felling trees. You need to find out where the high-points in your neighborhood are and where the clear lines of fire are, so that when the unnamed rebel-zombies will come into your neighborhood to raid after the disintegration of society, and when those rebel-zombies start to encroach about your neighborhood, you will be able to protect your wife and kids by securing the whole area as you prepare to decamp to the mountains. There are whole sections of this crazy land who have been preparing for this for years and there is nothing they want more. In fact, this is their only plan! Donald Trump doesn’t want to run the government, but he wants to destroy the country with the civil war that is going to cleanse our nation from the polluted blood of the darks and the liberals. The liberals are even worse than the immigrants! Our strategy is not to defeat them on the street, but to defeat them by using our superior intelligence and greater vision. It is not easy to do and it is not appeasement and it is not white liberal foot-dragging, but it is fucking knowing how to wage an actual war. It is the art of war. You don’t expend your energy, but you let your enemy expend their energy!

Ever since that punch there is this new meme on Twitter asking you if you are upset about that Nazi getting punched, how do you feel about this total degradation of our civil rights, together with a link to the latest news. That is not what is happening! John is not upset that Richard Spencer got punched in the face, he is not upset for him or ringing his hands whether it is nice to punch somebody or not. John wants nothing more than for Richard Spencer to truly put himself into a justified line of fire. But John is saying that it is a betrayal of what makes the left morally superior. We have to maintain our high ground and everything we do that is momentarily gratifying but that doesn’t think strategically about how to regain control is just kid’s stuff! We have to think longer term and we have to think in a superior way. This is not always the most gratifying way to wage a war, because the results happen further out. There is less immediate bloodshed and more ”I wonder what happened, all of a sudden things have changed and we have neutered our enemies”. That’s what we do! We neuter them, we let them burn themselves out and we let them fight dumb battles. This fucking Mexican wall is hilarious! If they spend $15 billion trying to build this wall, OMG, let them drain their treasury! Let’s just assume they are already not going to fund the arts. Not that the arts were particularly well-funded under Obama even, but let them direct their attention to this craziness! A lot of the things they are proposing are unconstitutional and that is why John is giving a lot of money to the ACLU. The courts will continue to operate and the courts are reasonable. There are also a lot of democrats in congress.

The only way the federal government can exert pressure on states is through the budget. They give us tons of money and they have threatened to take it away if we don’t obey. The city of Seattle is starting to say that they rather want to go without that money than to implement these abhorrent laws. They have the authority to do that and they just have to figure out a way to work around the lack of these huge balls of money. It is just one way of starting the rebellion, an example of true action that has a profound and lasting effect, bigger and quieter than yelling and marching. The goal of marching is not to wage a war against actual Nazis who are standing across the street. The goal of marching is to convey to the mayor of Seattle that there is a city-wide conviction that we should pursue this radical course. He hears the message, he shares it because we voted him into office, and he is a foot-dragging liberal himself, but he gets where we are at. It is very difficult right now. There are certainly a lot of people listening to this program who are writing down on 3x5 cards all the ways they disagree with John and all the ways in which we need to take the fight to the Nazis.

Comparing the current government to the Third Reich (RW54)

All this comparison to 1934 and 1938 is all specious. There is no comparison! It is easy to say that this is how it began, but it is not how it began! Even if it were, it would not have changed history if all of the jews in Germany had started fist-fighting with Nazis in 1934. It would have expedited the process! The jews could not have risen up in Germany at that time to form militias and to fight the Nazis in the streets. That rebellion would have been violently suppressed and it would not have particularly changed German opinion in a positive way toward protecting the jews. Some political situations are truly fucked and we all want to say that we wouldn’t have allowed what happened in history, but it is a fucking cliché to say whether or not you would have stood up when the Nazis came to take your neighbors. The implication is that every person in Germany was morally corrupt, which is a very youthful reduction of the way of the world. There were as many moral people in Germany and as many people ready to swing their fists in behalf of justice as there are in America.

This was one of the crazy things during his walk across Germany: John had been looking for Naziism everywhere. He looked for it in the little towns and in the forests, but the Germans have erased any sign of national socialism. There are little bridges and culverts out in the woods that were clearly built by the nazis and that once had a little swastika on them, but somebody has come out into the forest and chipped the swastika away. There is a little chapel in the mountains outside of Garmisch Partenkirchen, one of those crazy little German forest chapels that are out there to worship nature Gods, but if you go around the back of the chapel, there are framed photographs of all of the Wehrmacht soldiers from Garmisch who died in the war. It is a little temple for their relatives, not a shrain to Naziism, but just a place where they allowed themselves a place to put up the pictures of their sons and husbands. John was startled and stunned that it existed, but the Bavarians are a little bit more tree-worshiper and they allowed themselves this.

One other time John was in little town of 500 people who had a museum devoted to their former coal mine. There were framed pictures of all the miners dating back to the dawn of photography. There were pictures from the 1800:s of people arrayed in front of the mine, year by year. John was curious if the photographs from 1936-1945 had survived. In a lot of Germany those pictures are strangely missing, but in this little museum there were pictures from throughout the war and for a couple of years there were swastika-flags hanging in the background. It was startling to see because so much of this stuff has been erased. John’s experience of it was that Germany is as liberal a democracy as any. They are as much a liberal democracy than the United States was then and they are maybe more of one now, while in living memory they were systematically burning people in ovens. The old people that John was passing in the streets were there, some of them were complicit and John’s take-away was that it is lurking everywhere all the time. Liberalism, government and democracy are a bollwork against it. It is not some anomaly and it is not some mental illness confined to Germany in the 1930:s and 1940:s. When John sees young leftists pursuing the same amount to stormtrooper tactics in advance of their own political ideology, which they think is unimpeachable, it is just as scary in the sense that this is not what we are trying to build! There is less violence in the world right now than what has been, and there is less war!

There is a cause for optimism (RW54)

A statistician named Max Roser posts the most interesting stuff. He has a genius way of advancing a political understanding of the world simply through statistics measured over time. Every day he has a new take on world hunger, human rights, politics or war, and in every instance he is able to graph back to the dawn of information-keeping. In every case he presents, the trend is positive! In some ways he is the most optimistic person, but he is just a scientist who presents some social science numbers. Here are the statistics! Here are the numbers! Here is the demographics! There is no instance except for Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere where the trend is toward doom. Otherwise, the trend is always toward improvement and that is the work we have to build upon. We are not about to descend into the national socialist end-times that it seems like we are on the cusp of, just because the left is so organized and has so much authority and power. We are not ruled from the center. The center takes it’s power from the mass in a way that wasn’t true of Germany then, but is true of Germany now. In a way it wasn’t true of the US then, but it is true of it now. That is our starting point!

What that practically means is: ”Don’t panic! Don’t freak out! Don’t yell at John for telling you not to panic!”, but if you say that in public, the immediate response from the contemporary left is that it is easy for you to say, because you are not LGTBQ or Muslim. As a white male you have the privilege to say ”Don’t Panic!” None of those things make any sense! To defend liberalism throughout time is not privilege, but it is the essential truth of the matter! It is why we can even talk about those notions and it is why we have the freedoms we have today. It is a historical view and it is one that we should all take great pride in. Just imagine the idea of saying ”Do not punch Nazis, for the love of God, it is just a dumb move!” and then watching that guy do it! John knows that kid who threw the punch. He is one of those fucking squatters who beats his girlfriends. He is a shitty person, you can just see it! He is one who is throwing a brick through the window of Nike-town because he believes that spraying an anarchist-sign on the door of Nike-town will end global capitalism. John has been dealing with those people since he was that age. They are not even really progressive, but they are just shit-disturbers. He was not wearing that mask because he is truly afraid that the police-state is going to identify him for his peaceful marching, but he is wearing it because he thinks he is a cowboy and some kind of member of the resistance. He is a partisan fighter on the barricades! You dingeling! There are a dozen Nazis on the other side of the barricades who think exactly the same thing about themselves.

John has known enough leftists who’s leftism was absolutely unimpeachable on paper, but they were the most misogynist people John has ever met in person. They treated their girlfriends and the women in their community like shit, they were agro, adrenal, dicks-out-anarchist leftists, and they are nobody we should take pride in. They are the worst! If your project as a leftist is to combat bullying and domestic violence, to eradicate rape culture and misogynistic violence and violence in schools, those three things alone, how does that punch further any of those things? It just puts violence back front and center! You can't think that he deserved a punch, which he did, and then turn around and start talking about rape culture in the same moment. By all of John’s native assessment of a person, it is in that guy's instinct to be a raper. His instinct is to see this guy, disagree with him and to walk up to him and hit him without warning on the side of the face. Who are those people if they are not the same people who bully in school, abuse women and are creating precisely the environment that we don’t want. It is harder not to punch the guy than to punch him. John doesn’t particularly care about the punch or the guy, but he believes that all of his liberal community is not just enjoying the punch, but it is mocking people on the left who want to take a step back and take a look. Twitter is full of this leftist contempt at that kind of reflection and dismissive stinkface at anyone who says that this is not our language. It is the stinkface that infuriates John, because it represents a fundamental failure to understand our cause and our political language.

The conversation about white privilege (RW54)

John can't effectively communicate this outside of his podcast, because the debate will end up between him and a bunch of people who have 65 followers. There is a lot of subtweeting going on, which means people are responding to a tweet without using the reply function and/or without calling out the person. It means replying to someone in a way that the original author won’t ever learn about. A friend of John with the handle @moltz whom he generally likes and sees as an ally on Twitter keeps retweeting people who say ”If that punch in the face hurt your feelings, how would you feel when the Mexican wall gets built?”. It feels a little subtweety, almost like talking behind someone’s back. Maybe Moltz and a lot of the other people who are doing it are not doing that, but John doesn’t know how many people are out there arguing against the punch. John certainly did it publicly and Moltz follows him. Over time they understand that they are in a conversation with one another and therefore it does feel like a reply. There is tons of that happening! That idea of ”Oh, if this punch makes you sad” The punch doesn’t make John sad, dummy! The war John is fighting is the war and he wants to fight this war hard! When the Nazis will come with their guns, which he doesn’t think they will, then he has guns as well, he knows how to fortify his neighborhood and he knows which trees he is going to cut down. John is not buhuhu-ing! He is aggressively ready to take this war to every tower he can find. Just think for a God-damn second about what we are trying to do!

John should be writing editorials and papers, but he had a bad experience online writing something that people disagree with. It cauterized him somehow and he doesn’t want to be an enemy of the left, which he knows he isn't. John is the heart and soul of the left! He is deeply and profoundly a life-long member of the progressive coalition to make the world a better place and he has thought about it a lot. Running for office was a big part of trying to put his money where his mouth was, but these days it is just so easy to get Bernie-broed or to be described as a Nazi-sympathizer and then you are off to the races. Norman Mailer in 1965 got reviewed in the New York Times book review, but he wouldn’t wake up every morning and find his inbox full of people saying that he is complicit in genocide because he was a pretty far left liberal middle-class person who is advancing some theories about what our project is. John doesn’t have the resilience to write about that stuff without having any kind of social media access to himself where people can throw burning shit on him, or to be a Michael Leon Black (?) and reply to hostile tweets for 8 hours a day. John doesn’t want either thing.

A lot of people of John's age including himself have been re-educated as a result of the novel way that the current white privilege conversation was framed. Yes, we have all worked our whole lives to advance the cause of justice, but the conversation was framed in a way that encourages you to reflect upon your prior assumptions, your prior gifts and the ease of access, which affects your ability to be truly neutral or to advance your case. Without having reflected on it, your coloration and unchecked privilege somewhat invalidates the premise of you saying ”Here is how easy it is to do X or here is the obvious next move” The value of the current conversation about privilege is to produce enlightenment and to produce the desire to be re-educated or to take new information into account. The value of it is not to continue to use that denunciation as a cajole to silence people. The idea is not to say ”You are white privileged, which makes anything you say and all your thoughts and contributions invalid”, but the premise is to take another look at yourself before you weigh in and before you step into these conversations with your unreflected-upon advantages. If you do have reflected upon it, you are hopefully encouraging other people to do the same with the goal to contribute better to the discussion. It is about improving their participation in society, not eliminating it. The white privilege conversation really quickly became a way to dismiss your opponent who is also on the left and is also trying to accomplish the same goals. That person isn’t really your opponent, but people just love to silence people. It is one of the instincts we have, like ”No red-heads allowed in this conversation, because red-heads are gross. They have freckled skin!”

Removing slur from our language (RW54)

Merlin and John grew up in a world where they called each other fags. By the time they started their podcast, they had already been vogue enough to not call each other fags anymore. Their argument through the early 1990s was that they were not actually talking about gay people, but certain things were just faggy things to do. It was part of the common parlance in the world John grew up in. They called each other fags more than they used almost any other word. Even into the early 2000:s there were still a lot of people in John’s generation who wanted to stand their ground on that word in particular. Actually, there were two words: Fag and retard. Somewhere in the mid-2000s they collectively got it: The point is not the utility of that word, but you are establishing a general feeling of intolerance and insult that isn’t necessary. It created an unhealthy and unholy environment. It is so simple to just eliminate that way of talking and it re-educated a whole generation of people as it happened. They were no homophobes, but they were like the liberals in the 1960:s who stopped using the word negro and started saying black person. That process of re-education happened to them in realtime within the last 10 years. There was a kind of a casual reference to that conversation in the early days of the podcast, an undercurrent of kidding that was both aware of the progressive motion and also critiquing or defying it. Then they both continued their re-education and eventually they stopped even playing that game, because they were not advancing the cause of progress by being snarky about a desire to rid the language of slur. That re-education has in some ways been the cause of this generation of activists. Removing that slur from the language also in subtle ways removes the tendency to practice that slur in the culture.

The cause for unisex bathrooms (RW54)

Unisex bathrooms then became a very easy leap for them to make, because they had already realized that these small things really matter and have big effects. It is not hard to implement. Why would you waste your time to stand your ground on gendered bathrooms? It couldn’t be simpler! Maybe in a baseball stadium where there are giant pissoirs, there should of course always be pissoirs, because people who stand up to pee should not have their own little rooms to do it, but they should just piss into a trough. That is basic civilization. Downtown Seattle should have 25 pissoirs, just like Paris has. It is a urinal that has no accoutrement. There is no flushing and nothing. There is a screen like a phone booth where you walk into so nobody can see you clearly and you pee against a little screen. Half of the people out there would rather pee in an alley than pee in a Starbucks, but if you put these little sheds, it eliminates people peeing in alleys. They don’t even need a door or they don’t even need to be maintained except something flushes it every 3 hours. In a way they seem like a retreat from civilization, like a Roman empire thing, but that is just advancing the livability of cities. The peeing is going to happen! If you go into an alley in Pioneer Square in Seattle, you will smell 100 years worth of urine. The alleys are uninhabitable and you can’t even walk through them. If there were two pissoirs in Pioneer Square, it would eliminate that problem.

Transgender bathrooms are easy to do, you just make all bathrooms transgender and then you put pissoirs around. Done! The only people who need to use the bathroom are people who need to sit down to go to the bathroom. What would it solve exactly? Most of the activity that happens in a men’s room, surely 85%, is peeing. Dan adds that it is definitely not washing your hands. At any larger event there is no line at the men’s room while there is a line of 40 women going from foot to foot, waiting in this line for the 5 stalls in the women’s room. At the same time there are 5 stalls in the men’s room, but there are also urinals in the men’s room, so the stalls are largely unused. Those 5 stalls should be available to all and the urinals should be right out on the sidewalk or elsewhere. They don’t need to be near the potties, because they have nothing to do with the potties! It requires almost no infrastructure, whereas a bathroom is a big operation. John was at a fancy museum event the other day with a very mixed crowd and there were 40 people in the line to the women’s room and two of these people were John’s daughter and her mother. John waltzed into the men’s room and peed and waltzed out and he felt awful and stupid about his privilege to not have to wait in line at the bathroom. That is a phenomenal privilege and John can’t imagine being a woman and standing in that line, watching those men going in and out of their little piss-house and knowing that in there are 5 out of 7 stalls either empty or being used by somebody to pee while you wait 20 minutes to go to the bathroom. It is a form of fucking torture to deny people access to a bathroom. It is an example where we are just doing it wrong. The lack of equality in access to bathrooms is a culture-wide slap in the face and a culture-wide failure to understand that half of our citizens need a different accommodation.

Conclusion (RW54)

All by way of saying: There are only so many people who can be woked. If you are resistant to being woked, yelling at you or shaming you is going to have diminishing returns. John was initially in general support of the idea of wokitude, but he also wanted some accommodations to the way he had always talked. It wasn’t the shaming that turned him around, but it was a little bit of reflecting on it over time. During the early 2000s, John’s Rock’n’Roll group of friends had the universal farewell of ”See you faggots later!” and it was shortened at some point to SYFL. They would all just say SYFL to each other. It was already at a point where saying the word faggot felt a little bit like a political statement. You were not going to get politically corrected because you were a liberal and everything, but at least you were not one of those crazy fucking college nutjobs who are censoring our language. Not only wasn’t he alone with that attitude, but there was also Dan Savage, a man who did more to advance the cause of general acceptance of everyone than any other American and any other living human being. He and his sex-advise column put all the great panoply of human impulse and human desire in front of them. He blew John’s mind and nobody woke him as much as Dan Savage. Throughout the 2000:s Dan Savage was like: ”Give me a break! I’ve been a faggot my whole life and everybody I know is a faggot, so get off of it!” What ultimately changed Dan's mind was word "Tranny", because he had been a drag queen during his young life and he continued to use the word Tranny. At a certain point he did it in a way that he felt was a protest for reason. But the tide had changed and he encountered a whole generation of people who considered it truly a slur on the level of nigger. They couldn’t hear it without feeling a whole world of oppression.

Dan Savage eventually came around. In some cultures of young people, he is still considered a piraya or an old. Every one of those people who consider him an old are living in a world created by Dan Savage, but he took a while to come around to this new language and so did John. It was because John wanted to be better and wanted to be good. He had stuck to his guns because he had thought he was fighting on behalf of justice with the belief that censorship of language is authoritarian by its nature. John has never been 100% convinced by the theorization that language creates reality, but in this case he realized that he was pissing up a rope or tilting at windmills. This is not a thing that John should spend any effort defending, because it serves nothing and even if the potential consequences as described are over-dramatized or if there even are any consequences, even if it makes 1 person feel bad, why the fuck do it? Why continue to use white privilege or wokeness or these things past the point of making that initial impression on someone, having said ”This is in your hands now, you understand now what white privilege is, it is up to you to think about it and make the change."

This is the nature of progressive change. It isn’t to put people in camps who don’t follow the prescription, but it is to offer enlightenment and then presume that people generally have the autonomy and the will to come to those conclusions on their own. Reflect on it and make those decisions, each person in their own time and their own way! Don't set loyalty-tests or do the leftist’s favorite past-time which is to critique each person’s every statement according to your own personal reflections on what those things mean. Each of them goes through that process individually and then immediately begins applying what their small and independent reflection on that means. Applying that template to everyone else’s speech is intrinsically illiberal and it doesn’t matter that it is in the service of what people think of a progressive idea, because it is the ends-justify-the-means-question and the means matter. Liberalism is all about the means way more than it is about the ends, because fascism is about the ends and doesn’t care about the means. Liberalism is about the means.

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