response to scott alexander

scott has a post up — Five Case Studies On Politicization — in which he mentions the last post i wrote on rotherham, etc. — stop creating a climate of fear! i tried a couple of times to leave a comment there, but i keep getting an error message (“Not Acceptable!”), so since i’m absolutely lacking in patience, i’m just leaving my response here rather than to try and try again over there.

you might want to read scott’s whole post first. or at least section iii in which the gang-rape business is brought up. here’s my response:

@scott – “I have no doubt that her outrage is genuine. But I do have to wonder why she is outraged about this and not all of the other outrageous things in the world. And I do have to wonder whether the perfect fit between her own problems – trying to blog about race and genetics but getting flak from politically correct people – and the problems that made Rotherham so disastrous – which include police getting flak from politically correct people – are part of her sudden conversion to political activism.”

well, first of all, this wasn’t “sudden.” i’ve been writing about rotherham and the larger scandal of which it is a part since 2012. you’ve just missed it:

diversity über alles

secondly, why am i so particularly outraged about the pakistani gang-rape thing going on in britain (and very likely some other european countries — belgium for one)? i’m not sure — i’ve asked myself the same question. i think the reason is that it brings together multiple elements, each of which angers me on its own, but when added together absolutely enrages me. (i admit it — i become quite irrational when i think about rotherham, etc.) those elements are: the abuse of young children, ill-considered immigration policies, class “war” (or whatever you want to call it), and the seemingly willful ignorance of politically correct people. oh, and the lies told by the media, too, although that is sort-of a subset of political correctness really.

you might ask — in fact, you do — why don’t i get upset about other atrocities in the world. like, for example, FGM in sudan or egypt. well, while i do think that FGM is a terrible practice and people should stop it, i’m all for letting peoples decide how they want to conduct their affairs in their own countries. it’s no business of mine if in afghanistan or yanomamo society they marry girls off at age 12. it *is* my business when girls in the west are tortured — tortured — and pimped out by gangs of whomever. (you should know that i also lived not too far from rotherham for a handful of years, so i identify with the place and the people, as they say.)

however, and i think you may have missed this, the main target of my anger in that post was not the gang rapists or immigrants but the politically correct crowd, *specifically* the ones who scream RACIST!! at the drop of a hat. the social workers and police officers in rotherham were *very* clear on the fact that they held their tongues and did nothing out of fear of being labelled racists and, therefore, of losing their jobs. this is not a joke anymore. this is not a stupid argument on twitter or facebook where feathers might get ruffled, but everyone goes home pretty much unscathed. in this case, people got hurt. children got hurt. directly because of the climate of fear that politically correct idiots have created.

they need to know that they have blood on their hands this time. they need to start thinking about *exactly* what they’re achieving.

see also: sex and “the other”

(note: comments do not require an email.)


  1. Nobody has to justify being outraged by widespread slavery and gang rape of children, and to suggest otherwise is preposterous.

    I would guess that, as a progressive, Alexander is incapable of understanding that underclass white girls are people. Therefore, he’s not going to understand that any people got hurt.

    If he ever gets his head around that concept, he’ll have to decide that the Real Culprit is racist white males.

    Ever try to push the positive poles of two strong magnets together? Communicating with progs is like that.


  2. >(you should know that i also lived not too far from rotherham for a handful of years, so i identify with the place and the people, as they say.)

    A fellow U of Sheffield alumnus? (I understand if you don’t want to reply yes/no because anonymity etc)


    I agree with your point about FGM vs Rotheram, except I’d put it more forcefully: Rotheram is a hostile incursion of a foreign set of cultural* practices utterly at odds to Western civilization, i.e. the civilization in which I live. It has affected people I know, but even if I lived on an isolated Scottish island and knew nobody from Rotheram it doesn’t bode well for future decisions like “should I live in a multi-ethnic town”, “should I raise children in this country”, and so on. That the police, whose existence should make me feel safe when I leave my flat at night, are so ideologically compromised that they allowed this barbarism to continue for years, erodes trust in both them and in public institutions generally. The edifice of British society splinters a little with each new case like this, as Muslims withdraw physically and socially into their own enclaves, local authorities devolve into anarcho-tyranny through the dual poisons of appeasement for the criminals and censure for the victims and law-abiding, and whites feel dispossessed and atomized.

    Rotheram really crystallized the idea for me that civilization is the promise you make to tomorrow. My parents’ and grandparents’ generations tried – really tried – to work hard, to make a better future. One might argue about what they constructed (e.g. the welfare state), but what nobody can deny is that it was an honest promise they made, and this scandal is another sign telling us “no, wanting a high-trust, low-crime homogeneous society where you can safely raise a stable family is Evil”. They’re being prevented from making good on their promise, not because the promise was unattainable, but because the Narrative declared the contract invalid. Why should I teach my children virtues like sharing and civility and compassion when they will just be taken advantage of? In words that Scott Alexander might like, it’s as though we had a nice collection of bots that had learned to Cooperate with each other most of the time, and then the nasty Matrix overlords introduced a bunch of Defectbots and surgically removed the original bots’ abilities to retaliate.

    I don’t get all worked up over FGM, because I don’t feel the emotions of shame, betrayal and nostalgia of something beautiful and noble becoming ugly and cancerous. The hellholes where FGM is practiced were never beautiful, and their inhabitants are still stuck on Defect/Defect.

    *all together now: “but where does culture come from???”

    This is the most emotional thing I’ve written for a long time so apologies if this comes out strange.


  3. Hoopty Freud: You have a clever nick, but you do not have a very good picture of Scott Alexander’s political views at all, which is good news, because that means you haven’t read his blog, and that means reading through ALL HIS ARCHIVES will be a new and very enjoyable experience for you!


  4. Scott posts some really interesting stuff, but his posting length X frequency can make him hard to keep up with.

    Several things make Rotherham uniquely anger-inciting, in my view. For one unlike so of the other dastardly deeds done across the world this one was within the powers of Western authorities to directly control. But they dropped the ball, not once, not a few times, but systematically. It demonstrates the paralysis that occurs when the ideals of “diversity” trips up against unfortunate realities.

    Second, the renewed revelations came at a time when there is near sheer hysteria about a purported ubiquitous “rape culture” that exists in the West. Yet, faced with the existence of an actual rape culture – in the West – there was nigh utter silence from the usual suspects. This demonstrates not only paralysis when one PC tenet trips up on another, but the ludicrous hypocrisy of the whole thing.

    Third, to even make that charge is on shaky ground. I didn’t read the context in which Scott made the case, but it’s dangerously akin to the question one often receives when one wants to look at human differences: “why do you want to study that?” As if “because it is there” isn’t a sufficient reason.


  5. For me, the answer is simple: Rotherham has long been a taboo subject, and the only way to break a taboo is, well, to talk about it.

    There was a time, not so long ago, when female genital mutilation was taboo, and for similar reasons. FWIW I made a point of talking about it back then. Now that it’s fashionable to discuss it, I’ve moved on to other things.

    Why indeed should I take “controversial” stands that, in reality, are not controversial and incur no cost to me either personally or academically? Yeah, I know the answer to that one, but it has nothing to do with moral consistency and a lot to do with intellectual cowardice.


  6. If the PC crowd does not respond to your admonishment to “start thinking” about what they are doing, do you have another suggestion or back-up plan?


  7. Isn’t it logical to be more concerned about 1) things that go on in your own country, 2) that you actually have some level – if minimal – of influence over, by means of spreading information, voting (hah hope springs eternal), etc; 3) that directly relate to the themes and issues you blog about?

    On Twitter, Scholar’s Stage claimed Scott’s post was the best politics piece he read this year. I skimmed though it and was it was meh… didn’t see anything particularly special or insightful there.


  8. My above comment is hyperbole of course, not meant to be taken literally! I thought I better make that clear.


  9. @Akarlin-

    Sometimes I think Alexander is actually a secret neoreactionary who uses his platform as a nice, logical, and trustworthy liberal respected in the atheist/rationalist blogosphere to slowly introduce the better reactionary ideas into the mainstream with words and language they can understand and accept.

    His posts will probably not seem enlightening or novel to anyone who has paid a minimum amount of attention to what the NRx community claims. (And heck, I have made a similar point about Palestine/Israel conflict for years. now). The strength of this series (for the two posts really ought to be read together) is that it presents one of reaction’s most worthy observations without any of the goobly-gook code speak or base vulgarity fashionable in reactionary circles. They pop sacred cows and force readers to recognize the contradictions of American politics.

    To foreigners and the unenlightened this insight is banal; but most of my social network — especially on twitter (my facebook network is much more international) — is American and unenlightened. Scott’s post is the best essay I’ve seen for nudging them towards enlightenment.

    As for his use of ‘chick’s post as an example — I really would not worry about it. I am not Scott so I cannot say what his intentions are. BUT right after I read that passage I said, you brilliant son of gun.That is the perfect way to introduce ‘chick’s web-site as the kind of place that rational, curious, free-thinking sort of people read without declaring yourself a scientific racist. Brilliant..

    I might be wrong about that. But I don’t think so.


  10. As said above there are bad things that people are trying to stop and bad things people are trying to cover up. I’d have thought concentrating on the latter makes perfect sense.


    There’s another broader point about Rotherham (and all the other Rotherhams that haven’t fully come out yet) which ought to be non-controversial but isn’t because the media has been covering up the consequences for 50 years and that is age and gender distribution.

    Mass immigration is not always but often disproportionately **young males** and so the ratio of young males to young females in the receiving area can dramatically increase. Leaving aside all questions of ethnicity, culture, religion etc this on its own causes violence through supply and demand either a) sexual violence directly and male/male violence as local vs migrant gangs form to fight over access to the females and/or b) the increased demand for cheap prostitution (as young males in this situation don’t tend to have any money) leads to gangs forming to coerce teenage girls into prostitution (as they’re the smallest, weakest and easiest to terrorize).

    One or both of these are absolutely guaranteed at some level even if the ethnicity is the same i.e. if a coal mine opens near a small town and lots of men from other towns in the same region come to work there. (It’s why the south African townships are the rape capital of the world.) The scale of it may vary greatly – and i think does – due to various other factors but the ratio of young males to young females is a cause in itself but because during mass migration that *cause* of violence is *correlated* with the migration the media all over the west have censored it from the news for 50 years.

    And that’s *one* of the primary causes for all the hundreds of Rotherhams there are.


  11. @Peter Frost, “There was a time, not so long ago, when female genital mutilation was taboo, and for similar reasons. FWIW I made a point of talking about it back then. Now that it’s fashionable to discuss it, I’ve moved on to other things.”

    Recently it was discovered that all the girls in a school class in Sweden, many born in Sweden, had been mutilated. It was noted briefly, but no outrage. Feminists and other progs ignored it until criticized for ignoring it. It’s certainly not fashionable here. I doubt anything that makes multiculturalism look bad will be fashionable in the foreseeable future.

    As for being upset about what happens in the rest of the world, it’s only natural to be more concerned about those in your cultural proximity. But also the fact that the PC establishment who claim to side with the weak and oppressed did not side with the raped children when these became a threat to their authority. You don’t have to have a high disgust sensitiviy to be sickened by that. That’s not ignorance, blind tradition or crazy religion. That’s complete moral bankrupcy.


  12. HBD Chick – gateway drug to reactionary drivel. Who knew?

    Of course there is all that Star Wars stuff. She could very easily switch us over to Harry Hobbit land. Hmmmmmm


  13. This post, and what many of the commentators have written (especially Hoopty Freud, ckp, and Harold ) resonate very deeply with me.

    The Pakistani gang rapes seem to have sparked a deep rage in many of us, including me. Perhaps it is rooted in tribalism. My grandparents were working class people from the UK (who moved to Canada, thank Goodness). One of my daughters ” went off the rails” and took drugs as a teenager. She would have been a prime target for the Paki rapists. Thank God there weren’t any such people in our town. (If there had been I would probably be in prison now for murdering them. )

    My daughter is doing OK now, married and with her own dear little daughter. I fear for my grandchildrens’ future. I work at a university which in recent years has figured out that recruiting international students is a good way to raise funds. Many of the students are young Muslim men, some are Africans. Lots are from Soddy Barbaria. Muslims seem to be infiltrating every part of the west. I fear for the future.


  14. @T. Greer:

    “As for his use of ‘chick’s post as an example — I really would not worry about it. I am not Scott so I cannot say what his intentions are. BUT right after I read that passage I said, you brilliant son of gun.That is the perfect way to introduce ‘chick’s web-site as the kind of place that rational, curious, free-thinking sort of people read without declaring yourself a scientific racist. Brilliant..”

    I (not too long ago) used to think that better marketing (with a cavalier degree of dissimulation) would be helpful to spread the ideas of HBD to a wider audience of sweet, naive right-thinking people. But now (partly based on experience), I’m doubting this view:

    When it comes to getting out the truth, it’s not how you say it so much as who:

    Only when someone (or, even better a good part of the establishment) with real clout is saying these things will they get some play. By speaking “their language” so to speak – which inevitably means a degree of lying – you may get temporary play, but it all dissipates the closer and closer they get to the “awful” truth:

    “Squid Ink” | JayMan’s Blog


  15. Don’t ever comment when the number gets over 100. It will never persuade anyone left on the thread and will only cause you to froth over the many stupid things people have said. I have almost learned this lesson.


  16. @Jayman- I suppose that may or may not be true. We would need a large scale empirical study to find out how effective ‘marketing’ can actually be. My off hand knowledge over other fringe political ideas going mainstream (say, communism) suggests that the right pattern is to a have a small number of prominent and unyielding zealots who will push to overton window to their side coupled with a few prominent voices who can seed their discussion of other topics with more palatable versions of the same heresies (making them seem reasonable in comparison to the ‘extremes’ both sides, but functionally shifting the conversation into ‘heretical’ terms nonetheless).

    Things like ‘trigger warnings’ and other SJ bugaboos of our day seem to have followed this pattern of acceptance to the letter.

    We would need a large scale study, however, to determine if this model generalizes.


  17. There seem to be a lot of people on the Right who have a lot of respect for Scott Alexander, just because he doesn’t actually get hysterical in the face of right-wing arguments. I suppose that is better than screaming “raciss!” like most of Alexander’s political allies do, but this seems to be more the soft bigotry of low expectations than anything else, and Scott’s most recent post proves it.

    Boiled down to its essentials, Alexander seems to be saying that, unless you are equally outraged about every outrage in the world, you are a hypocrite and a “politicizer”, which is absurd. As many of the above commenters have pointed out, there were plenty of reasons to be particularly outraged about Rotherham, and if Alexander can’t see them, he’s the one who is politicizing matters, not HBD Chick.


  18. FWIW

    Unless you are going for a cult you will probably want to drop the accept, believe, truth type language.

    Communism offered an utopian vision.

    HBD offers the prospect that not only does one have to deal with culture one will have to deal with biology in order to effect change. If all the movers and shakers were HBD aware, all of the social and economic problems would still be here.

    People want easy solutions. HBD shows that solutions will be extremely difficult to find and execute, if not impossible. You can’t sell that to us peons, ever.

    You will/are getting squished by the PC crowd. They have been burning heretics, witches, libraries and universities for a long time. They haven’t lost yet. The only times that they don’t achieve complete victory is when they start to fight among themselves.

    If you want to try and go up against them, don’t do things like poo-poo rape prevention measures at a time when the current headlines include stories on rapists and murders of college students.


  19. “don’t do things like poo-poo rape prevention measures at a time when the current headlines include stories on rapists and murders of college students”

    The biggest rape prevention measure would be to not massively increase the ratio of young males to young females in a particular neighborhood through mass immigration i.e. no one is forcing the people who want unlimited mass immigration to do it in such a way (massive disproportion of single young males) that guarantees the maximum amount of gang violence, sexual violence and forced prostitution i.e. they could do the same thing with couples without the mountain of bleeding 14-year-olds the number of which – if the media ever started telling the truth – most people wouldn’t be able to believe.


  20. “Where were the parents of those Rotherham girls?”

    Getting arrested when they complained.

    “Many of these girls were well under 14 when the attacks started, they were victims of statutory rape, whatever the circumstances. Many reported to the police or social services or schools and sought help. Not only were they denied protection, they were themselves criminalised. Not only trashed by the authorities who are paid to protect them but arrested and charged. So were loved ones – mothers, fathers, brothers … – who tried to get the rapes to stop.”


  21. The Scott piece is a fine example of the “no panacea” fallacy – that is discrediting an approach because it does not completely solve an issue. Few problems get solved in one try. Thus disparaging an approach because it does not do so constitutes the no panacea falacy.


  22. Umm, how are you disagreeing with what he said.

    Of course as a human being you tend to find some things more engaging (or outrage producing) than others. All he is doing is suggesting that the reason you felt this way in this particular case is because it neatly lined up several things that threaten or at least oppose your way of thinking about the world (my too) including over PCness that prevents one from stating simple facts about genetics or culture.

    He in no way suggested your conclusion was wrong. Just offered a causal story for why you do care about this more than other instances of human suffering (and truly there are many much worse instances).

    Ironically, the responses in the comments prove his point. Rather than admitting that one can say true things to good effect but that the motivation to focus on that issue rather than another is driven by personal feelings grounded in how we view society people are jumping up and down as if he was accusing you of being wrong.

    That’s just his point. As humans, even when the content of a message might be true and unproblematic, when it appears to offer ammunition to our enemies we tend to react very strongly.


  23. @Peter Gerdes

    Insightful comments.
    Sometimes it can be difficult for me to decide which side I am on.
    Do you frequently have that problem?
    How were you able to decide that you were on Alexander’s side rather than HBD Chick’s?


  24. “Not only trashed by the authorities who are paid to protect them but arrested and charged. So were loved ones – mothers, fathers, brothers … – who tried to get the rapes to stop.”

    1. Fabianism (the UK’s dominant secular religion) holds, like its American cousin Progressivism, the state as an Earthy god. Both are completely collectivist, as in justice defined as emanating from acts taken by state employees while considering all non-state actors to be the definition of illegitimate. The Rotherham crime wave is thus a perfect example of the politicization of law within the apotheosis of postmodernism: crime can be redefined on the fly based on political litmus tests and depend on the political standing at that moment of who is doing what to whom. The Paki men had standing, their victims didn’t, so no crime could be committed in the Bizarroworld equalitarianism of PC. In hindsight the level of doublethink required on the part of people “in authority” seems astonishing, yet when viewed via the lens of a secular religion, it’s quite normal.

    2. For all the hand-wringing about deep levels of gun ownership in the USA, it is difficult to imagine that a similar depth of political somnolence could head off a mass murder of “protected class” criminals. This is in part why, when there are major race riots they don’t spill into places where those to be victimized don’t act according to the script.

    Rotherham was an early prototype testing the power of Fabianist (Left-collectivist) somnolence. The current and future suicide of Western Europe is the same somnolence placed into mass production. Should that somnolence break down, it seems likely that a few years from now will witness levels of bloodshed across Europe not seen since 1916.


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