One day in the life of a blogger

Kittysjones here describes the venomous personal abuse she suffered as a result of posting a critical article about the Greens, linking them to Malthus and 19th century fears about population outstripping food supply, and the ‘Blut and Boden’ ideas of the German Volk and Nazi movements. The article was bound to be controversial, but it had a very solid factual basis. However, with a few honourable exceptions that Kitty mentions, her opponents have chosen instead to smear her as some kind of establishment spy, and then just simply resorted to sheer, ad hominem abuse in the most foul and vulgar terms.

The accusations of being a government agent are actually almost par for the course for anyone expressing any kind of scepticism publicly about radical or underground politics or groups. The more extreme members of the UFO community also indulged in it with their critics. When the sceptical journalist Jim Schnabel wrote his books, Dark White, which argued that alien abductions were an internal, psychological experience, and Round in Circles, where he revealed that crop circles were faked, and that he himself had been part of a group that did so, he was immediately ‘outed’ by some of the more paranoid as a government agent. There developed an entire fantasy of a group of CIA agents called ‘The Aviary’, because they all had bird codenames. Schnabel was known as ‘the Canary’. It was all paranoid rubbish, and said far more about the weird mindset of a certain section of the Ufolks than it ever said about Schnabel.

As for the vile personal abuse, this seems to be a product of certain aspects of internet use and culture. Because you are never in personally near the person you are addressing, it seems to me that some people go back to the infantile attitudes of the school playground, where personal abuse is seen as entirely acceptable. Quentin Letts, the right-wing columnist for the Daily Heil, has suffered the same kind of abuse. In his book ’50 People Who B*ggered Up Britain’, he includes ‘Webonymous’. He states that even the letters he received from people with clear mental problems writing in green ink usually had more personally courtesy, and were ended with ‘yours faithfully,’ and the letter writer’s name. On the internet, however, all this is discarded and the result can be what Kitty has experienced: sheer personal abuse of the vilest type. It says something about declining standards in society and the fact that so many people now confuse combating an opinion, with which they disagree, with attacking the person, and are unable to string a coherent argument together without abuse or threats.

Politics and Insights

Recently I wrote an article about Green ideology, and in particular, I explored the tension between environmentalism, human rights, equality and social justice. This is an important issue, because how ideologies are translated into policy often has profound and far-reaching social consequences.

I discussed the environmentalism and “blood and soil” philosophy underpinning the Volk and Nazi movements, the Nazis being an exemplar of the issues I raised. I also discussed Malthus, and his ideas on population growth and the finite nature of resources. I linked some of the Green philosophy and policies with Malthus’s ideas. My point was that it is not the ideas in themselves that are problematic: it is the context, the application, the way those ideas are translated via policy and the consequences that warrants some discussion.

Malthus’s ideas both informed and were informed by a context of Social Darwinism, eugenics, laissez faire capitalism, competitive individualism…

View original post 2,168 more words

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