Fascinated By Intellectual Fascism


A “moderator” on a social media foamed at the mouth against yours truly, in a public post reacting to my preceding essay on the semantics of “Quantum Supremacy“, it was weird:

Do not direct your vile aspersions at me, nor imply that disagreement with your melodramatic phillipics [sic] is an indicator lack of wit. You know nothing of the conversation of moderators before action is taken, or how we reach consensus, nor can you hope to realize the amount of effort taken to give you leeway before speaking to you.

Truly, I did not know the existence of that excited character, and I had been (mostly) speaking of the irruption of cheap racism in fundamental physics, so I was a bit surprised. Why so much excitement? My reply (very slightly modified); to avoid accusations of defamation, although she made her attack public under her name for at least 1,600 readers I know of, I would call her Ms BSS, for obvious reasons:

“Vile”? “To you”? Where did I mention you, Ms BSS? I was not aware of your existence, prior to this, as I am noticing it presently. Thus I notice mosquitoes when they sting. Let me scream intellectually, out of politeness to you. I had no idea someone thought so lowly of me to call me “vile” in public. I guess that’s a compliment: vile creature denounced by the righteous moderators! Facebook told me I was suspended for 30 days for “Hate” reported in the Facebook group that you apparently help to “moderate”. Facebook was specific about “repeated violations” at that group, III; and quoted one such violation explicitly referring to the policy of the Nazis regarding Japan.

I had to send Facebook pages on the Nazi policy regarding Japan. They then recognized their mistake, recognized I had the right to inform the public about historical racism, and apologized to me, reinstating me immediately… after their apology.

In the preceding context, it is fascinating that you refer to “philippics” as Demosthene, who uttered them, is a philosopher and martyr whom I admire, and whom all genuine democrats should admire (and that the Macedonian fascist plutocratic Aristotle hated, naturally).

philippic is a fiery, damning speech, or tirade, condemning a political actor. The term originated with philosopher Demosthenes of ancient Athens. The term itself is derived from Demosthenes’ speeches in 351 BC denouncing the imperialist and fascist ambitions of Philip of Macedon. They later came to be known as The Philippics. Three centuries later the term qualified speeches of the famous lawyer and Consul Cicero of ancient Rome.

Demosthenes and his fiery philippics tried to get Athens to resist Macedon in a timely manner (the objective ally and ultimate insider and teacher of Macedon, Aristotle, had to flee Athens). Athens gave Demosthenes ambassadorial powers to argue with Macedon, but the philosopher was unsuccessful in getting Athens to go to war early enough. When finally Athens went to war belatedly she, Thebes and their allies nearly won, but a charge of Alexander won the day for Macedon. (The modern analogy is France accompanied by Britain, going to war against Nazism too late to avoid the Holocaust… But early enough to ultimately win thanks to their progeny, the USA…)

Fascinating as in fasces, of course. Democrat Demosthenes, an Athenian patriot and industrialist, was killed by the vile Macedonian fascists of the generalissimo Antipater, the senior general of (long dead) king Phillippe of Macedonia (in a refinement of cruelty, the Macedonian fascist, who had just defeated Athens militarily, actually sent an old friend of Demosthenes on an island to arrest him; so Demosthenes, after talking to his friend, expecting torture to death, committed suicide with the poison he carried with him at all times). The real history of philosophy is extremely violent: most of the great philosophers of the time were involved in the greatest forms of melodrama, including, but not limited to death, execution, large scale military action, fleeing for one’s life, or living with a husband who contradicted who may have been the greatest philosopher of antiquity, Aspasia. Aspasia’ life work was greatly demolished by her own husband… its greatest exponent!

Funny how some people get enraged… even when talked to kindly and reasonably, stooping down to lift the crushing ignorance under which they crawl. There again, it’s not an accident: ignorance causes pain to the beholders, so they hate. And they prefer to hate as a mob, that’s safer and mightier.

Here is a melodramatic example for you, Ms BSS, full of blood and gore.

Once I knew some racist fascists on another continent… I talked to them reasonably, several times, and they tolerated me: my arguments were powerful and their minds weaker. Ultimately, then, as the good Nazis they were, they resolved to use violence, the final solution. Moderated into oblivion, such is the way of the fasces.

In an academic setting (!), according to generally accepted classification, the world’s top college prep (8 Nobel Prize laureates), the Neo-Nazis attacked. Such was the paradox: the top school, attacked by the vilest minds. They threw a homemade bomb on me, and it was quite powerful. I lost my hearing for days. Very eerie. There were pieces of human flesh everywhere. From the guy who stepped in the way of the bomb. And that was not even the worst, which came later. So here you have it: supreme viciousness, and supreme goodness, entangled. Relativize, but don’t compromise on the basics, that’s should be the way (and was Demosthenes’).
https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2014/09/28/aristotle-destr

Aristotle was the philosopher of monarchy (although his Macedonian buddies were more of a fascist oligarchy). In any case, he was favorable to intellectual fascism, hence his enduring favor with anti-democratic politicians in the last 24 centuries… But the “vile” critics are still around…

Emotion is more basic than reason, and the emotion of the sheep is all the reason it needs:

The ferocity people deploy in purely intellectual matters illustrates well the importance of intellectual debate for human beings. Intellectual supremacy is arguably the deepest specifically human instinct. Intellectual supremacy is the essence of humanity, it is always in conflict with the herd instinct with its countless sheep, barking dogs, and opportunistic fleas.

Patrice Ayme

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3 Responses to “Fascinated By Intellectual Fascism”

  1. Gmax Says:

    Funny how people get all riled up about nothing and take personally abstract considerations.
    Was not there a Stanford experiment about prison guards, students who became abusive just bcs they had the power? Moderators have the power… does power attract abusers? The mind reels with possibilities

    Like

  2. Gregory Lathrop Says:

    I’d like to believe that true universal genius would consider such things trivial, as everybody can be intellectually superior to another on a limited field of subjects.

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Yes, indeed. However a true universal genius can’t be universal when no one knows about her, the fate of many women in the last 6,000 years. When some moderators conspire to bar geniuses from Facebook, at this point in civilization, they block genius as something society would get cognizant of, period. BTW, intelligence tend to be universal: someone scoring high in a particular dimension, say music, would tend to score high say in reading or math. This is even used pedagogically.

      Like

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