Another round of tech censorship is upon us. The Trump campaign has been banned from streaming service Twitch (which I thought was just for gamers and girls with big boobs). A bunch of conservative and Right-leaning personalities have been banned from YouTube, including Gavin McInnes, who built his own platform at Censored.TV. Immigration patriot website VDare may lose its domain registrar, forcing the website to the Dark Web and TOR browsers.
Probably the most shocking is the digital defenestration of Stefan Molyneux, the grandiloquent Internet philosopher. Molyneux’s Freedomain Radio touts itself as “the world’s number one philosophy show,” and Molyneux’s output is ponderously prolific. Within hours of major news events, Molyneux will have long “The Truth about [Insert Controversial Figure or Event Here]” videos uploaded, meticulously researched and supported with fact-filled PowerPoints.
Lately, though, Molyneux has been posting videos of his daughter’s tadpole pool, or of the two of them building a turtle garden. He’s also been livestreaming Doom—controversial in the Tipper Gore era of schoolmarmish censorship of video games and music, maybe, but not thirty years later, and certainly not grounds for deplatforming.
So why did the Left decide to destroy Molyneux’s livelihood? The simple answers: because he’s Right-wing, and because they could.
It also bears remembering that we’re in an election year, even though the hysteria over The Virus and the earlier impeachment fiasco (who even remember that now?) have clouded that fact in the American mind. Much of the looting and rioting we’re seeing is part of the Left’s desperate attempt to kick President Trump out of the White House.
But Z Man suggested in his post yesterday—“And Don’t Come Back!“—that for the Left, there is no rationale for deplatforming. Rather, deplatforming is part of this strange progressive religion—call it Floydism, or Social Justice, or simply Cultural Marxism—to which the ruling class and its useful idiots adhere. To quote Big Z at length:
The important part of [Leftist deplatforming] is not the targets, but the ritual. As you see with Molyneux, they will claim a milquetoast libertarian actor is Hitler in order to fill the role in the morality tale. It’s not important that he is not actually Hitler. What matters is they have someone to parade around as a heretic on whom they can ritualistically heap their scorn and then chase from their midst. For all it matters, these recently proscribed people could be macramé enthusiasts or bird watchers.
…They are physically incapable of being around those who dispute the tenets of the faith. Jared [Taylor] is just a blasphemer, an agent of the great evil against which they fight. The same is true in varying degrees for all of the people thrown off these left-wing sites.
For the people doing this, the only time they bother to listen to the damned is after the fact, when the condemned are complaining about their banning. Progressivism is a sadistic faith, fueled by the suffering of its enemies….
Z Man makes a great point, too, in this essay: none of these tinpot censors are actually listening to Molyneux—or any conservative, for that matter—from a position of dispassionate reason, or even some degree of feigned objectivity. Molyneux isn’t one of them, so he must be destroyed.
That’s the terrifying point I made in my post “Postmodern Iconoclasm“: the Left is not seeking compromise or a fair hearing of every side of an argument or issue. The Left is seeking to erase their opposition, or to absorb them into their totalitarian ethic. The message is clear: become one of us, or be eliminated.
Z Man’s prescription is simply to disengage with radical Lefties entirely, or at least as much as possible. He argues that they feed, vampirically, off of our outrage at their own hypocrisy. When we get mad and try to spout off at them on Twitter, they revel in our outrage, perhaps in part because they realize how toothless it is. For Z Man, then, the solution is to starve the beast.
It’s an interesting approach, and one that makes Rod Dreher’s “Benedict Option” seems more plausible. I have been critical of that approach, as it seemed like the path of surrender. But perhaps it is the only viable option in an age when the Left has clearly won—and has been winning for years—the culture wars.
It’s worth mulling over. Regardless, here’s wishing the best to Molyneux and other deplatformed conservatives. The big fish in conservative YouTube—such as Ben Shapiro—need to go to bat for these other creators. The alligator eats us all eventually—it can’t be appeased with smaller morsels forever.