I don’t know much about Milo Yiannopoulos, and it probably could have stayed that way. However, it looks like I’ll hear more about him in the future. Some people on “the left” have elevated his celebrity status, to the point where he jokingly calls himself a “supervillain.” He’s making the news big time now, and winning points. Why?
There have been violent protests to stop him from speaking on college campuses.
The most recent example, as stated by UC Berkeley:
“Amid violence, destruction of property and out of concern for public safety, the University of California Police Department determined that it was necessary to remove Milo Yiannopoulos from the campus and to cancel tonight’s scheduled 8 p.m. performance.”
The statement goes on: “The violence was instigated by a group of about 150 masked agitators who came onto campus and interrupted an otherwise non-violent protest.”
Dare I say it? These types of things are exactly why people like Milo become famous, and they helped Donald Trump become President. They really and truly did. It’s not like either person is more correct than the average liberal/leftist in their opinions, but they’re better at looking normal to many average Americans. Think about that. When Donald Trump seems like more of an intellectual than the left in general, you know the left’s in trouble.
And here’s the thing: I would be considered a leftist. It pains me to see conservatives/Republicans gloat about the “rabid left” not valuing free speech, and being intolerant and just plain stupid. Riots add fuel to their fire. Every time something like this happens, it’s a major victory for “the right.” Still, somehow, some way, people who are supposedly on my side are just too dumb to understand that. Or, being PC SJW’s (that is, politically correct social justice warriors) they’ll probably bizarrely focus on my using the word “dumb” there, and claim it’s discriminatory against people who can’t speak.
That brings me to my next point: Stop discriminating against people who can speak, and who want to, but who have different opinions from yours. If their opinions are unfair, sinister, evil and misinformed, go ahead and prove it. Milo Yiannopoulos doesn’t seem like some intellectual giant, so what’s the problem?
The problem is — and I hate to say this — the idiots have taken over on the left. They really have. I’m not even trying to be divisive in saying that. In fact, it’s many other people in the left seem divisive, too politically correct, and plain old asinine. And I’m not even trying to be superior to them, either. I’m just being relatively normal, calm, reasonable. I’m not hypersensitive and ultra-offended by most things.
An example of what I mean: Recently I was in some anarchist Facebook forum, and someone asked what we should call Donald Trump politically. I said, “I’ll settle for ‘idiot.'” I was actually told that “idiot” is a hateful term, as it’s linked to the eugenics movement. Think about that for a moment. According to this person, every time you call someone an idiot, you are advocating eugenics. That logic speaks volumes about how convoluted the left has become, and it didn’t happen in a pro-Trump forum. Supposedly, this was someone on my side. I hate to say it, but I left that forum. I just don’t know how to communicate with people that far off in distracto-land. Call it intellectual cowardice, but I couldn’t hack it there.
So, what to do?
The most obvious conclusion (at least for me) is that, instead of throwing labels around like “left,” “right,” “liberal,” “conservative,” etc., people need to start focusing more on actual progressive principles, and what used to be actual feminism (gender equality, rather than considering all men rapists or puritanically demonizing guys who like big, bouncing boobs).
One of those principles would be — or at least should be — creating alternatives to capitalism, corporations and the state when it comes to managing social life. This could actually be far easier than it sounds, if people weren’t so distracted with stupid bullshit like rioting to prevent idiots from speaking. The Democrats, liberals, progressives, etc. all collectively have enough resources to create a better world, but they don’t do much of that. Why? Because, aside from relying too much on the state, they are intolerant and stupid, exactly like the conservatives they so condemn.
It’s just the same cycle over and over, and people are tired of protesters. Riots don’t look vastly superior to Donald Trump’s smug, moronic face. That’s the simple reality. Protests in general have limited impact nowadays. More people need to vote with their feet, and actually meet up with each other. In the process, they should put identity politics aside (which is often very much possible, if we’re not idiots) and focus more on common points of agreement rather than our genitalia, skin color, and even the wealth divide.
Maybe we’ll never all sing “Kumbaya” together, but we can do better than act like assholes to prevent some other asshole from speaking on campus. In short, do be a walking Social Justice Warrior stereotype. These people have managed to seem stupider than the dreaded “Tea Partiers,” which is actually quite an accomplishment.
And see? Now I’m probably seeming divisive, which is exactly the problem. These divisive movements are contagious, and, by creating one label, you encourage the creation of at least one other counter-label. Again — and I know I’d have to repeat this for some people to understand — a person is not necessarily just their skin color, their genitalia or their wallet.
And I feel I need to emphasize my points repeatedly here: Protests have limited impact. This is true of peaceful ones, too.
Back in Nov. 2011, a UC Berkeley Associate Professor, Celeste Langan, had attended a protest. When she was arrested, she supposedly “offered her wrist to the police in surrender,” saying “arrest me, arrest me.” However, she was “nevertheless aggressively pulled by her hair to the ground and cuffed.”
This too was not all that constructive. It didn’t accomplish much. A lot of people didn’t take notice. There is more to “changing the world” than taking turns between peaceful and violent protests. How about just acting normal for a change? Talk to people. If you think they’re wrong about something, try to calmly explain why they are wrong. If you are to use violence, make sure it’s purely in self defense — especially if your very life seems in danger. Other than that, just try to be a good person and create alternatives to rotten institutions around us. There’s no reason that has to be such a daunting challenge, or even some earth shattering change. It’s just being normal.