So this One Time, at Hate Camp…

by rsbakker

Aphorism of the Day: Being the enemy of your enemy doesn’t make you your friend.


Anybody notice how the partisans of ACM and Vox were so careful to avoid one another? As far as I know, they didn’t even acknowledge each other’s existence in their own playpens, let alone here.

Let’s begin with ACM. The idea is that I represent misogyny in my books, not because I’m critical of it, but because I like it. The evidence for this claim seems to boil down to the fact that I am male who represents misogynistic cultures in his books. Any argument I raise to the contrary is labelled ‘mansplaining’ (with little, if any regard to what Sady Doyle means by the term). I can’t help but think my sin is really one of calling ACM out.

She has to be a fraud, doesn’t she?

I introduce her to Theo Beale, the prolific and well known Vox Day, someone who vigourously promotes views like this, who is in fact the very antagonist she wants me to be (or at this point, needs) and still, she only has eyes for me.

The question is why this is the case. Why would ACM and Vox so studiously avoid each other?

This got me thinking about trolls, and how they’re exclusively interested in earnest interlocutors. One of the things that has always puzzled me about this fracas is the way the Hate Camp is so bent on perceptions of my ‘emotional distress,’ the idea that they are ‘getting to me,’ or causing me real emotional anguish. And I realized, these are people who want to hurt people they deem ‘immoral.’ They want, quite simply, someone to punish – or a ‘punching bag,’ as ACM has it.

Now this is more than a little troubling. But it does explain why they have no patience for nuance or debate. It’s hard to hurt people when their guilt is aired as an open question. If they’re innocent, then you being so bent on hurting them says some pretty nasty things about you.

Think about it. ACM is utterly incapable of acknowledging that she has made any mistakes, as are any of the partisans of the Hate Camp. Why? Because the violence of their condemnations entail (for most people) emotional distress. Acknowledging they could be mistaken would be tantamount to acknowledging that they could be hurting innocent people. Their careers. Their reputations. Their emotional well-being.

Any reference to lists like this is bound to make the Hate Camp itch, bound to make them come back to the well time and again. Given what we know about moral outrage and human cognition, it would be nothing short of a miracle if ACM hasn’t made more mistakes than otherwise. So the question I would pose to her is simply, ‘Given that you’re just as error prone as the rest of us, how many innocent people do you think you have harmed with your insults and accusations?’

Odds are, you won’t be seeing an answer to that question. But who knows? Maybe she has ‘super-intelligence’ like Vox!

Passing moral judgement on a person, especially in public, is a very serious thing. If you’re wrong, then you’re the bad guy. So you quite simply have to be right. If you don’t have the argumentative tools to silence dissent, you go on a hate-mongering campaign—you try to inflict even more harm, scare people, friend or foe, into minding you. If you do have the argumentative tools, you begin gaming every ambiguity you can, and cherry-picking like there is no tomorrow.

You just gotta be right! Otherwise, you just fucked up huge

Which is why, I humbly submit, that TPB has become that pesky chicken bone the Hate Camp just can’t seem to swallow. Vox feels it. So does ACM. That’s why they both came back. The more names they call me, the more they make my point. I mean, really, my argument against them boils down to ‘How do you know?’ I could be twice as full of shit as they are, three times – more! – and still my point stands. I could bite all their bullets: “Yes, ACM, I’m a feces-clad-serial-masturbator…” “Yes, Vox, I’m pseudo-intellectual retard with homosexual tendencies…”

“But I was, um, like just wondering, given, you know, that you say such hateful stuff and all, um, How can you be so sure?”

Moral certainty is required to punish people.

Which begs the question: why not punish Vox? Why not attack someone who pretty much exemplifies all the things they claim to hate? At least in his case they don’t run the risk of becoming the bad guy!

Well, because, quite simply, he can’t be punished

And why is that? Because, in a strange sense, he’s one of them. He too belongs to the Hate Camp, albeit the one that hates them.

It’s like two rabid dogs, bent on spreading their particular brand of hate-rabies… They would be wasting their time on each other, and they both know it.

Stop for a second. Try to imagine a debate between the two…

[Sorry… had to take… a short break… to recover my wind…]

Honest debates are the ones where you trade cockpits, fly each other’s hopes and ideas around for a while. The only way to do this is set aside your hate, and to acknowledge from the outset that you could be wrong. But these guys aren’t interested in trading cockpits, they just want to break in, either pilot you to some hostile nation, or fly you straight into the ground.

Hate is a one way emotion. It locks doors to better kick other doors in. Vox and ACM don’t bother with each other because they know all about the dead bolts. They implicitly recognize that they have no interest whatsoever in openly discussing or debating anything whatsoever

This is Hate Camp for real, people. No victims, no fun.