This, via Chuckles, was the one we started on the other day. It fits in with the post yesterday about being a right bastard [me, not Chuckles] and is about Science Fiction and the politics within it.
I’m not an SF reader but do like much of it. In fact, I don’t read all that much for pleasure these days, writing far more and reading to research. So, not being up with the latest in SF, except over at Vox’s place, which gets a mention in the article, it came as a bit of a shock but perhaps shouldn’t have.
I’ve been aware for some time of a culture war simmering in the SF world. And trying to ignore it, as I believed it was largely irrelevant to any of my concerns and I have friends on both sides of the divide. Recently, for a number of reasons I may go into in a later post, I’ve been forced to take a closer look at it. And now I’m going to have to weigh in, because it seems to me that the side I might otherwise be most sympathetic to has made a rather basic error in its analysis. That error bears on something I do very much care about, which is the health of the SF genre as a whole.
Both sides in this war believe they’re fighting about politics. I consider this evaluation a serious mistake by at least one of the sides.
At least one of the sides?
On the one hand, you have a faction that is broadly left-wing in its politics and believes it has a mission to purge SF of authors who are reactionary, racist, sexist et weary cetera. This faction now includes the editors at every major SF publishing imprint except Baen and all of the magazines except Analog and controls the Science Fiction Writers of America (as demonstrated by their recent political purging of Theodore Beale, aka Vox Day). This group is generally frightened of and hostile to indie publishing. Notable figures include Patrick & Theresa Nielsen Hayden and John Scalzi. I’ll call this faction the Rabbits, after Scalzi’s “Gamma Rabbit” T-shirt and Vox Day’s extended metaphor about rabbits and rabbit warrens.
On the other hand, you have a faction that is broadly conservative or libertarian in its politics. Its members deny, mostly truthfully, being the bad things the Rabbits accuse them of. It counteraccuses the Rabbits of being Gramscian-damaged cod-Marxists who are throwing away SF’s future by churning out politically-correct message fiction that, judging by Amazon rankings and other sales measures, fans don’t actually want to read. This group tends to either fort up around Baen Books or be gung-ho for indie- and self-publishing. Notable figures include Larry Correia, Sarah Hoyt, Tom Kratman, John C. Wright, and Vox Day. I’ll call this group the Evil League of Evil, because Correia suggested it and other leading figures have adopted the label with snarky glee.
Oh dear, where do we start? I was vaguely aware of this and knew Vox had been summarily despatched because a long series of posts on his site followed it, taking the SF establishment apart.
Now isn’t that interesting, eh? That the left sphere of influence should extend even into the fiction we read. They want complete and utter control, don’t they? And it’s not unlike Julia Middleton’s take-over of the Scottish Arts Council. The left cannot leave any small pocket untouched – they have long meetings and seek out any last vestige of opposition, then campaign against it along tried and true paths.
1. Say there’s an issue;
2. Have big names lined up to agree there’s an issue;
3. Start a war but they’re better prepared, of course;
4. Argue from emotion and faux appearance of fact, e.g. hockey stick with IPCC;
5. Have a range of pejorative terms to trot out, e.g. Evil League of Evil;
6. Call meetings to expel this person or that;
7. Get it passed.
The way they get it passed is the same in any area they infiltrate, the left. They don’t move until they own the establishment. It might take decades, it might just take a few months. The manner in which they go about it was described by Senator Jenner in 1954:
On Feb 23, 1954, Senator William Jenner of Indiana said before the U.S. Senate: “Today the path to total dictatorship in the United States can be laid by strictly legal means, unseen and unheard by Congress, the President, or the people.
We have a well-organized political action group in this country, determined to destroy our Constitution and establish a one-party state. It has a foothold within our Government, and its own propaganda apparatus. One may call this group by many names. Some people call it socialism, some collectivism. I prefer to call it ‘democratic centralism.’
The important point to remember about this group is not its ideology but its organization. It is a dynamic, aggressive, elite corps, forcing its way through every opening, to make a breach for a collectivist one-party state. It operates secretly, silently, continuously to transform our Government without our suspecting the change is underway.
This secret revolutionary corps understands well the power to influence the people by an elegant form of brainwashing. We see this, for example, in the innocent use of words like ‘democracy’ in place of ‘representative government.’
The important point to remember about this group is not its ideology but its organization. It is a dynamic, aggressive, elite corps, forcing its way through every opening.
Yes. And they have the game sewn up before they make their first play.
I saw this in education all the time. Someone would raise an innocuous question about texts at a meeting, finding fault with some text. I’d go away and look at the text again and see nothing wrong but look at their criticism and it was a political criticism, e.g. about Noddy and Big Ears.
Then would come points 1-7 above. The very fact I was aware of the procedure marked me down as “paranoid”, “playing favourites”, all the usual guff and of course it looked that way. How could I possibly accept someone being called gollywog? The fact that it was the fiction of the time and classic at that did not wash.
The greatest obstacle to opposing them – and they knew this – was that on some points they were right. Times do change and gollywog is not [cough] the way we refer to our coloured brethren these days. So they’d force that concession and on the back of that concession, just as in China, they’d bundle two or three other gains over which we would not agree in the least.
But the momentum had already carried it.
They know that if they’re in the ascendancy in society by a process of constant removal and appointment of the chosen ones, “sound” people in their eyes, in other words uncritical receivers of the Narrative who don’t need to think for themselves, as the instruction manual is supplied with the box – then the numbers will eventually overwhelm. In 50s SF, that’s how it was done too.
Then some device such as a gas in the atmosphere or some virus would wipe out the enemy. However, in this case, the enemy has the same organic structure as humans. Mentally and spiritually metamorphosed, yes but physiologically the same.
It’s virtually impossible to fight them. Take the EU. A committee comes together to “recommend” a course of action, then it disbands. The Commission takes it up and thinks gee, this is good. It passes through the parliament and is sent to the national parliament, also termited by the champagne left.
It passes when people are away on holiday or when there is a crisis to distract them. Sometimes it is a frontal assault, e.g. Cameron on gay “marriage” – overwhelming force in a “conscience” vote, when the groundwork has been done and the whips report it would pass at this time.
The left shrug and say that’s good politics.
No, what it is is dishonesty. Beginning with faux political precepts to begin with, they then act like Pod People, constantly reinforced by the Narrative through bulletin boards, arranged meetings, discussion groups and that dread one – I tremble when contemplating it – the workshops.
What an unmitigated load of crap a “workshop” is in this context. What do they make in it? Absolutely bloody nothing constructive which might help the organization.
And they’re constantly metamorphosing into something new. So, Agenda 21 had its time, Common Purpose had its time, when the sane population finally woke up and latched on, they were well past that and on to something new. Constant splintering and factions within their ranks. They guffaw when hamfisted people like us call them all Marxists.
In a pitying way, it’s explained that there is no such thing, that classical Marxism was abandoned in such and such a year, following such and such a series of works and so we get dragged down into that faux discussion. The sheer volume of books and pamphlets, even in the feminazi area, is bewildering. They distract from the main point at all costs, at every point. All is disputed.
And where is their hard evidence? In the climate case, it’s all faux. It’s all for a political agenda so Them can drop climate taxes and regulate movement of peoples around the world. combined with the phony war on terror, it makes flying an unpleasant experience.
And they delight in the game. It’s a matter of great rejoicing when they put one over but of course, has nothing to do with the principle being fought over. The principle is only a means to an agenda gain. For us opposed to them, it’s very important, that principle.
They can remove or neuter opposition. If they wish to do for me, they only need point out how this post jumps from one point to another in a “strident” manner. They know they’ve created deep anger in many people across the nation and use it against them. So people like us then call them scum and voila … they’ve won. Easy-peasy.
One of their experienced leaders of thought, Nurse Ratched, will look at this post and say: “Mental Case.” Needs lobotomy. They are very, very dangerous people because they seem so innocuous and sugarcoat the poison pill with all this talk of equality, diversity, tolerance, love one another.
But far worse is that the state supports them, abets them, thinks it’s all jolly good because it furthers the cause of Statism. Or in other words – State oppression.
And they target the young. Two weekends ago, in Iceland, they got the Scout movement, no less, to come out and campaign for that faux concept “gay rights”. They utterly ignore that children should have nothing whatever to do with sexuality in any formal way – leaving aside what kids have always done with each other. They go into schools, courtesy of complicit staff – also left, appointed by left admissions officers and speak with 5 year olds about their sexuality.
This is not just outrageous but it it is sick and dare we even use the word – evil. And the population is now so inured, many don’t even see it. The Telegraph had the audacity, yesterday, to put up an article that there were worse things than the ISIS killings. Yes? Robin Williams’s death?
You need a name, a single name? OK, in America, there’s an evil muvver called Eric Foner. Explore him and see the damage he’s done in a lifetime of education, how he’s twisted pupils incapable of taking his uncritical thinking on.
And naturally, he’s highly decorated and his tomes seem innocuous until you delve into them.
Nuff of that for now. To finish up with the SF again, one commenter wrote:
I think the Rabbit vision is necessarily political. Leftists tend to make everything political. Literary status is a symptom, but at the core it’s politics in the form of social status. Rabbits are marching under the banner of civil rights, congratulating themselves and each other on their virtue and wisdom.
They bond with one another by labeling all opponents as racist-sexist-homophobes. They are self-righteous missionaries for their new “enlightened” point of view against hatred and for inclusiveness, and if you don’t agree, they will hate you and exclude you. (And then explain how it’s not a contradiction or a double standard.) I read one person describe SF fandom as an “unreconstructed institution,” and I don’t think that sentiment is unique to him. This is about more than literary status envy.
Vox himself describes the left’s “hive mentality” and that those on the other side are of greatly divergent opinion. I’d say it’s like herding cats trying to get them together and thus they’ll always lose.