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Posts Tagged ‘left-right myth’

 

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I don’t think it’s controversial (it certainly shouldn’t be) to say that street workers suffer far more violence than sex workers with higher screening barriers.  It’s not like every damned study ever done on the subject hasn’t said the same thing.  If this is in any way controversial to some people, I’d say it derives from the modern infatuation with Manicheanism.  Far too many moderns want to believe that all of society can be neatly divided into sheep and goats, “workers” and “capitalists”, renters and landlords, oppressors and oppressed, white and POC, old and young, straight and queer, etc, etc, ad nauseam.  So when people laboring under that grievous cognitive error see a statement like “x is safer than y”, they read it as “X is completely safe and Y unrelentingly dangerous”.  But of course, that’s no more true than any of the others; we don’t live in a Hollywood black hat/white hat world.  The first time I was ever raped on the job, it was by a businessman in a 5-star hotel, but that doesn’t change the fact that on average, I was safer from violence by clients, cops, and criminals than my sisters on the streets.  The chance of a suburban kid being killed by cops firing wildly into her parents’ house is dramatically less than that of an inner-city kid suffering that fate, but it still isn’t zero.  And of course the same can be said for all those other imaginary dualities.  Sex workers who should certainly understand the wrongness of Madonna vs whore will nonetheless subscribe to the equally absurd renters vs landlords or labor vs management dichotomies if they find it politically convenient to do so, even while simultaneously condemning the state’s pretense that sex workers can be cleanly divided by a bright, clear line from “pimps” (despite the fact that this notion is a littermate of the Marxist labor vs management divide).

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I find paywalls distasteful, and so many people find this blog valuable as a resource I just can’t bring myself to install one.  Furthermore, I find ad delivery services (whose content I have no say over) even more distasteful.  But as I’m now semi-retired from sex work, I can’t self-sponsor this blog by myself any longer.  So if you value my writing enough that you would pay to see it if it were paywalled, please consider subscribing; there are four different levels to fit all budgets.  Or if that doesn’t work for you, please consider showing your generosity with a one-time donation; you can Paypal to maggiemcneill@earthlink.net or else email me at the same address to make other arrangements.  Thanks so much!

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I find paywalls distasteful, and so many people find this blog valuable as a resource I just can’t bring myself to install one.  Furthermore, I find ad delivery services (whose content I have no say over) even more distasteful.  But as I’m now semi-retired from sex work, I can’t self-sponsor this blog by myself any longer.  So if you value my writing enough that you would pay to see it if it were paywalled, please consider subscribing; there are four different levels to fit all budgets.  Or if that doesn’t work for you, please consider showing your generosity with a one-time donation; you can Paypal to maggiemcneill@earthlink.net or else email me at the same address to make other arrangements.  Thanks very much!

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I’m seeing an increasing tendency for American writers to present “democratic” as the opposite of “authoritarian”, which it is not by any means; a “majority” can be just as authoritarian as a dictatorThe opposite of “authoritarian” is “liberal”.  If anything, an authoritarian government enacted by election is much worse than one produced by a coup, because while the latter can have little credible pretense of legitimacy, the former can represent itself as fully legitimate and claim the “right” to do whatever awfulness it wants because “the majority wills it”.  If one fights a clearly-illegitimate government, one can count on plenty of covert support (a la the French resistance).  But if one fights a “democratically elected” government, little help will be forthcoming from anyone bamboozled by collectivist nonsense about “society” and “the greater good” and “law and order“.  One who fights such rulers must assume every man’s hand will be against him, and every offer of help is bait in a trap, because 99% of everyone has swallowed the bullshit dogma of a “social contract” and/or “legitimate leaders”, and think the “duly elected” government must be respected, no matter how mindlessly brutal and nonsensical its diktats.  Tyranny generally starts by being directed against despised minorities (racial, ethnic, religious, sexual, or socioeconomic) and then expanded by convincing the Great Unwashed that the pretended “problems” posed by these minorities (from “crime” to “THE CHILDREN!” to “they’re taking our jobs!”) require giving up “just a few” of their rights, “temporarily”, until the “problem” is “solved”.  And the morons march to the ballot box to re-elect by landslide.

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Institutions writers could once count on to defend them…now race to see who can kowtow most obsequiously to the censor-morons.
–  “Censorship Ascendant

Until a few years ago, traditional top-down censorship was largely a thing of the past, something I wrote about annually at the beginning of Banned Books Week to remind people that it could happen again.  As recently as 2016, I used the occasion to write,

…top-down state censorship…is very rare now in the United States, and has been for decades; the majority of “challenges” now (despite the celebration’s name, it’s pretty rare that books are actually removed from public collections) originate not with state officials or other “authorities”, but with individuals seeking to “protect the children” from thoughts their parents don’t want them to have

Of course, none of that is true any longer.  Top-down censorship has returned with a vengeance, mostly implemented by fascist corporations acting on behalf of governments.  But in the US, politicians in many states have implemented traditional censorship in school libraries, even to the point of threatening librarians with criminal charges.  The “Thought Control” tag, which formerly appeared only once in a while, has had several entries a month since this new book-burning fad took off last November.  Meanwhile, the “cancel culture” censorship which has been growing for years has grown so pervasive that even the somewhat pro-censorship New York Times can no longer endorse it.  I’m honestly unsure where this will end; we’re well into uncharted territory my librarian self would’ve found unbelievable.  So if you haven’t been paying attention, I suggest you peruse the aforementioned “Thought Control” tag, and revisit the columns I’ve quoted from below.  Because there’s only one thing about this situation which is certain: like all authoritarianism, it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

We are watching the advent of a new dark age, and in such times no light is entirely safe from being snuffed out by zealots, speech-cops and bureaucrats whose ideal model for human society is the anthill.  –  “The Convergence of Censors

Every two-bit dictatorship has recognized that all it needs to do to justify thought control is parrot Western “hate speech” idiocy.  –  “The Return of the Censor

Though lily-livered fools have been demanding they be “protected” from ideas they don’t like for several years now, it’s terrifying how quickly this terrible idea has moved from the lunatic fringe to the mainstream.  –  “Suppression

[Many young adults] not only display an ovine passivity in the face of censorship, but actively run to the nanny-state to hide in her skirts lest they see or hear some idea or word, or see some image, that will cause some ripple in the placid lakes of their privileged lives and perhaps actually require them to think rather than merely consuming and regurgitating the dogma they’ve been spoon-fed.  –  “Unwise Monkeys

The censor-morons are loose, and they’re coming after everyone who dares to disagree with them.  –  “The Censor-Moron

It doesn’t matter whether the excuse is “sin” or “feelings”, or the injured party is conceived of as an individual or collective, or the suppression comes from above or below, or the method is violence or economics; the suppression of thought and speech is evil, tyrannical and socially self-lobotomizing.  –  “Moral Climate

Thinking people must not let themselves be intimidated by…self-appointed guardians of the public morality; we must speak out against all forms of censorship and speech suppression, whether advanced by guns, threats, intimidation or appeals to nebulous “harm”.  –  “Censor Chic

The belief that the state or collective has the right to [censor] is an abomination; it is nothing less than the dogma that the state owns every individual, body and soul, and has the right to torture or maim those individuals as it pleases.  –  “Crippling Thought

The important thing to remember when listening to any demand for censorship is that no matter what excuse the censor presents to attain his goal, he is ultimately lying.  It’s not really about “public safety”, or the “children”, or “community standards”, or whatever else he may claim; it’s about the fact that his leaky mind is unable to keep unwelcome thoughts out, so he demands that society do it for him.  –  “Thought Control

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I often criticize the foolish but popular idea that all human thought, opinion, and belief can be neatly divided into two rigid “sides”, but it’s rare that I am presented with such a perfect example of the absurd results of clinging to such a childish view and then acting surprised when real people in real life don’t act like your imaginary theoretical “side members” are supposed to act according to your scheme.  For those who missed it, Kansas voters overwhelmingly rejected an amendment to their state constitution which would’ve opened the door to for Kansas politicians to jump on the forced-birth bandwagon:

Voters overwhelmingly voted against a measure that would have allowed abortion to be banned in Kansas in the first post-Roe test of abortion’s legality put directly to the people…The ballot measure would have amended the Kansas constitution to state that it did not protect the right to have an abortion.  Such an amendment would open the gates for state lawmakers to ban abortion—an option currently blocked by a 2019 state Supreme Court finding that the Kansas Constitution’s guarantee of “equal and inalienable rights” included a “natural right of personal autonomy” that protected abortion access.  But voters yesterday gave a resounding no to the question “should the Kansas constitution be amended to remove protections of abortion rights?”…Whether Kansas is a good bellwether for the rest of the country on this issue is debatable.  But Kansas is a relatively conservative and Republican state, and residents voting against an anti-abortion initiative at least suggests that conservative enthusiasm for banning abortion might not be as strong as many believe…

But rather than come to the sensible conclusion that Liz Brown did above – that maybe most people who label themselves “conservative” might not be quite as deranged as their “leaders” – we instead got a lot of apples-and-oranges nonsense like this:

He goes on and on, for tweet after tweet, doggedly comparing Trump’s election results to the results of this election, as though it were a foregone concluson that every single voter of both schoolyard “teams” was so mindlessly-obedient to their “team’s” agenda that their votes on each and every issue can easily and accurately be predicted by simply tallying their votes in the most recent presidential election.  Of course, if that were actually true, there would be no point in going through the trouble and expense of any election other than presidential ones.  But of course it isn’t true, no matter how much the Manicheans pretend otherwise.  In plainer language: just because you and/or the pundits you follow decided that support for Trump and hostility to abortion rights go together like bacon and eggs, doesn’t mean every single person who eats eggs also loves bacon.

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I’ve noticed some people seem to be laboring under the delusion that if one of the schoolyard culture war “teams” temporarily espouses some position which happens to look something like one of mine, that means I “belong” to that schoolyard team.

No.

I am an individual, and my positions are derived from decades of ethical consideration based in one simple a priori principle:  Every individual owns themselves and the fruits of their own effort, and nobody else (individually or collectively) has the right to control either, regardless of excuse.  So if your preferred law, policy, regulation, politician, gang, or whatever claims the right to control any individual without their consent in any way, even if you claim it’s for “the greater good” or “their own good”, I am against it.  That’s it.  It’s really quite simple.  And yes, harming others is a form of controlling them, so please let’s have no whataboutery involving violent crime, or sophistry attempting to equate some consensual, nonviolent behavior to actual violence in order to excuse the State violating an individual’s rights.

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Since I was one of the loudmouthed harlots who helped create the social climate which made all this possible, I think I’ve earned at least a little rest.  –  “Eleventh Anniversary

I think I can safely say without fear of contradiction that this is the largest single-creator blog on the internet; it now consists of 4384 daily posts, 106 static pages, and far too many words to count, published over a period long enough for a typical sex worker to have been reading it since she was a schoolgirl.  Indeed, I’ve been told many times that my blog helped a lot of girls get their bearings when they were contemplating a sex work career, or helped them solve problems when they were still green.  A lot of today’s activists were inspired by my work, and quite a few journalists, academics, thoughtful people in general, and even politicians credit me with opening their eyes to the truth about sex work and the lies spewed by authoritarians about it.  When I started this blog, the “sex trafficking” hysteria had not yet reached its peak; now (as I predicted over ten years ago) it’s imploding in real time, and many of those who were only too happy to profit from the moral panic are now being forced to distance themselves from it.  This does not, unfortunately, mean that things are becoming better for sex workers; as I also wrote way back when,

…the “trafficking” myth [is] “an increasingly-erratic cultural meme spinning wildly out of control, whose far-flung debris is going to cause a lot more damage before it finally disintegrates“, and…[in] this last and most dangerous phase we should expect to see a lot more people hurt…

Those of y’all who have been paying attention probably already recognize that we’re in that last and most dangerous phase.  Decades of allowing puritans, crypto-moralists, copsuckers, badge-lickers, petty tyrants, deranged busybodies, violent sociopaths, and other opportunistic, power-hungry trash to undermine civil liberties in the name of “safety” has created the dystopia into which the United States is collapsing, pulling much of the Western world with it, and a lot of the rest of the developed world is competing to be even more awful.  Free thought and free expression are in greater danger than they have been at any time since the Enlightenment, and the Marching Morons who make up three-quarters of the human race are divided into two main camps: those who eagerly embrace 21st-century technotyranny, and those whose chief criticism is that their preferred “leaders” are not the ones operating the machinery of oppression.  And all of it – every last bit – is the result of moral defectives happily supporting any and every form of repression against those they see as different from them.  The State tested its weaponry on “criminals”, drug users, sex workers, and members of various minority groups (racial, ethnic, religious, sexual, etc); it has increasingly criminalized both consensual behaviors and those which, while offensive to others, aren’t treated as actual crimes in healthy societies; and it has increasingly inserted itself into the lives of individuals to an extent and depth that would have been inconceivable to people of the 19th century or earlier.

So where is this all going? Honestly, I don’t know. But I’m planning to keep sounding the alarm and commenting upon news ites on topics pertaining to self ownership that come across my path, whether for good or ill, until either death or the Establishment stops me.

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