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a voice for men cassie jaye entitled babies irony alert male supremacy men who should not ever be with women ever misogyny MRA paul elam warren farrell woman's suffrage

MRAs: We just want equality between men and women. Also MRAs: Allowing women to vote was “the single worst blunder in American history”

Who’s that snooping around the Anti-Woman suffrage headquarters?

CLARIFICATION: According to filmmaker Cassie Jaye, Paul Elam says that the tweet I quoted was not his. His exact quote, according to her: “No, it is not my tweet and I did not authorize it, nor does it reflect my feelings.”

I believe that Elam is lying, and will offer my evidence in a post shortly.

UPDATE: And here is that post.

By David Futrelle

Apparently he couldn’t hold it back any longer. Paul Elam, proud founder of the Men’s Rights hate site A Voice for Men, has insisted over and over again that despite all appearances to the contrary, he’s really not a misogynist — and that all he really wants is true equality between men and women.

So imagine my shock when I saw this pop up on the tweeter earlier today:

Paul Elam
E Bellfort Bax tried to warn people about this back before we mistakenly allowed women to vote. It was the single worst blunder in American history, unleashing the worst of political nightmares. A narcissistic, solipsistic voting block like no other. #TruthHurts

I have so many questions. So that whole “slavery” thing was just a little “oopsie” compared to the terrible blunder that was … giving women the same voting rights as men? Apparently so, at least in the fevered brain of one of the most well-known MRAs out there.

Another pressing question: Why can’t Elam learn the difference between a “voting bloc” — that is, “a group of voters that are strongly motivated by a specific common concern or group of concerns” — and a “voting block,” which would the dude pictured below, I guess, if he were in the process of casting a ballot. (Elam has evidently been confused about this distinction for some time.)

I tweeted at Elam’s two best-known sort-of-mainstream supporters — author Warren Farrell and director Cassie Jaye — to see what they thought of Elam’s tweet, but have gotten no response from either one yet. And somehow I doubt I ever will.

EDITED TO ADD: The @MRApsychic Twitter account has now vanished. But it doesn’t say the account was suspended so maybe Elam deleted it? I replaced the embedded tweet with a screenshot and linked to an archived version.

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Hippodameia
Hippodameia
1 year ago

Poor Pitiful Paul.

cornychips
cornychips
1 year ago

Heeeey new thread! Its like a new day lol

Women were the voting block that made vaccines part of the norm today. Those selfish assholes, not wanting their children to die of smallpox or measles!!

Hippodameia
Hippodameia
1 year ago

Yeah! Manly men die of preventable diseases!

calmdown
calmdown
1 year ago

I like how in 1919 the men just woke up one day and benevolently gave women the right to vote. Not like they gave them a ton of shit for it or anything. /s

Aaron
Aaron
1 year ago

The account itself is a little weird: the bio says “I channel Paul while he sleeps,” and it has a Matrix-esque background. Is this for sure Elam’s actual Twitter account?

I mean, it very well could be; I don’t really follow him. It just seems… off.

Anonymous
Anonymous
1 year ago

When an activist vgroup has “equality”, “justice”, “rights”, “freedom”, etc. in its title, there is a high chance it is actually some sort of collection of bigots whose real goal is to suppress somebody else. Not *always* by any means, but often.

epronovost
epronovost
1 year ago

MRAs do want men and women to be equal. It’s just that men are more equal then others in their case :p

Lainy
Lainy
1 year ago

@Anonymous

Sure buddy.

Anonymous
Anonymous
1 year ago

Incidentally, about the woman with the “ban white men” sign: people like that do exist, as do Muslims who hold “Islam will dominate the world” signs or students holding “free speech is unsafe” signs.

But did you notice the camera is always *quite close* to these protestors in the photos published in the media?

That is in order to hide the fact that in all these cases, the protest consists of about 15-20 loonies that thousands of women, Muslims, or students (respectively) just ignore.

kupo
kupo
1 year ago

@Anonymous

Incidentally, about the woman with the “ban white men” sign: people like that do exist, as do Muslims who hold “Islam will dominate the world” signs or students holding “free speech is unsafe” signs.

First off, that image started as a 4chan hoax.

Second, your anti-Muslim dogwhistle is not welcome here.

Third, unrestricted free speech is, in fact, unsafe, as hate speech is violence. Full stop.

Finally, mind the comments policy. “Loonies” is not appropriate.

Rabid Rabbit
Rabid Rabbit
1 year ago

Is anyone else starting to get really bored by Anonymous? I’m not saying he’s worthy of the banhammer yet, but could we revive the troll challenges for him or something?

Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
1 year ago

If I went to a demonstration and saw a sign reading No White Men, I would assume that it was either a joke or an extreme opinion that was not shared by many in that crowd — or elsewhere.

But Paul Elam — a sophisticated cultural critic — understood immediately that this woman was just saying what all feminists think. Thanks, Paul, for enlightening us.

Not Edward
Not Edward
1 year ago

So that whole “slavery” thing was just a little “oopsie”

Given the considerable overlap between MRA’s and white supremacists, I suspect a lot of them don’t regard slavery as an “oopsie” at all – delve deep enough (or frankly not that deeply) and I suspect most of them regard the “oopsie” as being abolishing it.

Cassie Jaye
Cassie Jaye
1 year ago

‪As someone who cares about finding the truth, I directly reached out to Paul Elam about this tweet. His response: “No, it is not my tweet and I did not authorize it, nor does it reflect my feelings.” Paul then said he would work to have it removed.
David Futrelle, I look forward to the retractions on this blog post. ‬

Moggie
Moggie
1 year ago

@Kat:

If I went to a demonstration and saw a sign reading No White Men, I would assume that it was either a joke or an extreme opinion that was not shared by many in that crowd — or elsewhere.

Every march I go on*, there are quite a few signs which are jokes. But perhaps protesters should think more about the potential for their signs to be used maliciously against their movement?

* Nowadays, at least. I don’t remember this being a thing back in the 80s, but that could just be selective memory at work.

vaiyt
vaiyt
1 year ago

Democracy was a mistake because people vote in ways I don’t approve of. Why don’t we restrict the vote only to people who agree with me?

Anonymous
Anonymous
1 year ago

But I was not being Islamophobic. My point was precisely the opposite: that the *media reports* are being unfair *to* Muslims (and similarly to women and students) by portraying fringe groups as central.

I am glad to hear the photo is a hoax, but even if it *weren’t* it would still only be one individual, which the so called “men’s rights” groups unfairly show as typical of women.

vaiyt
vaiyt
1 year ago

Wouldn’t democracy be better if only people who agree with me got to vote?

Phaos
1 year ago

Silly women and minority groups, voting for things that are in their interest! Not like us strong, conservative white men, who know it’s best to vote ourselves into an early grave in support of the ultra-rich.

Karalora
Karalora
1 year ago

Wouldn’t democracy be better if only people who agree with me got to vote?

In all seriousness, I have been wondering lately whether there’s a “paradox of democracy” similar to the “paradox of tolerance.”

For those unfamiliar, the “paradox of tolerance” is the idea that tolerant societies cannot be infinitely tolerant–there are some ideologies they cannot tolerate if they wish to remain tolerant overall.

Maybe there are some people–authoritarians–who shouldn’t be allowed to vote if we want to keep our democracy. Or maybe they just shouldn’t be allowed to hold public office, i.e. be put in a position where their authoritarianism can erode democracy for others.

Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
1 year ago

this post contains sarcasm… your mileage may vary

The entire purpose of representative democracy is to allow spoiled white men to be treated like they were the suburban white kids on the covers of 1960’s-era LIFE Magazines…. Nobody who isn’t actively benefiting from that should be ALLOWED to vote.

(content warning for sexual assault, victim-blaming)

I thought the 80’s were the worst decade… goddamn, was I WRONG

https://jezebel.com/man-who-kept-teen-girl-as-sex-slave-in-dog-cage-will-no-1834434251

https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/30/us/new-york-school-bus-driver-rape-plea/index.html

kupo
kupo
1 year ago

@Anonymous
See, what trolls do is they start with small things that seem logical. For example “some feminists want to ban white men, but it’s in the minority” and then they take that seed of doubt they’ve sewn and they grow it and grow it until they can proclaim something entirely opposite to the truth (“feminists are anti-male!”). Since you’ve consistently shown contempt for us in this comment section there’s no way I’m giving you this bullshit based on a fake photo. You can’t just claim “some” muslims do these things without it being relevant and certainly without any evidence whatsoever. (And no, it wasn’t relevant to the discussion of a fake image of a feminist.)

Scanisaurus
Scanisaurus
1 year ago

@Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie

The entire purpose of representative democracy is to allow spoiled white men to be treated like they were the suburban white kids on the covers of 1960’s-era LIFE Magazines…. Nobody who isn’t actively benefiting from that should be ALLOWED to vote.

You’ve put it better than I could, and one of the reasons I think knowing history is so important is exactly because otherwise we get dumb white men painting up a false idea of a lost “golden age” where they were treated as kings and everyone else their loyal servants.

And of course they think that it was weak men in power who just gave human rights away to women and minorities, because why would those have had to fight for it when they were really just fine living as servants? Urgh.

Aaron
Aaron
1 year ago

Maybe there are some people–authoritarians–who shouldn’t be allowed to vote if we want to keep our democracy.

But who will make these evaluations? And what gives them (whoever they are) that right? It seems to me that the process of disenfranchising “authoritarians” is itself inevitably a form of authoritarianism.

Otrame
Otrame
1 year ago

@Aaron

Bingo. There is no nice comfy and/or righteous way to limit the franchise to the “right” people. The only real solution is to make sure the “right” people (i. e. those who agree with me) exercise their franchise and hope like hell those other people can’t be bothered to vote.

In case I haven’t made it clear in the past, I don’t blame Trump on his voters. I blame him on all those who didn’t want him to be president but couldn’t be bothered to vote.

Lesley
Lesley
1 year ago

I don’t see a “contact us” form anywhere so I’m just leaving this post here as a general warning of a weird trend I’ve seen in the creepo underbelly of the Interwebz that I haven’t really seen anybody document or address yet.

I keep seeing white supremacist types using the phrase “globohomo” and it appears to be a word for some slightly newfangled Protocols of the Elders of Zion conspiracy to homosexualize human civilization…or something.

When you run a search for this, you just get a bunch of weird propaganda websites and I didn’t find any prominent results of somebody with credibility dissecting this or debunking it or otherwise documenting it explicitly for what it was.

I have seen it leak over into general comments sections of various other websites and people respond with confusion more than outrage, asking for what it means and such, giving white supremacists a chance to try to sell some watery version of it.

It seems like it should be fairly self explanatory that “globohomo” is a nonsense word, but people unfortunately don’t seem to have much common sense.

Inasmuch as this website serves as a sort of documentation of the seediest, nastiest parts of the internet as a warning to people and a tool to delegitimatize this stuff, it might be worth keeping an eye out for this language and channeling some explicit ridicule and/or debunking its way.

If there is actually some place that’s dissected this I don’t know about, I’d appreciate a point in that direction.

Anonymous
Anonymous
1 year ago

@Otome

(This is a different Anonymous than the other guy who was posting here. Granted, I can’t prove it here but Dave should be able to tell.)

The alternative Karaloa mentioned (limiting authoritarian access to public office) seems like it would be a somewhat more viable option, but then you run into how exactly you’d be able to tell if somebody counted as an authoritarian (or if they did, that they would then be willing to act on their authoritarian tendencies when in power in a way that would erode democracy).

I think it might be more effective to find ways to encourage more individuals with anti-authoritarian tendencies seek public office, but I also imagine that those same tendencies would make them averse to doing so (e.g. mistrust of the system in its current state, or not wishing to be tempted by the promise of power in the positions they would win).

Even worse, most of the traits that feed authoritarian tendencies are also the ones that enable the most success in the political arena nowadays. I’m not sure what could be done to resolve that.

Anonymous
Anonymous
1 year ago

@Lesley

I’ve seen a few posts here mentioning it in the context of Roosh’s tweets, and while it’s too new for anyone to analyze I think it’s some kind of portmanteau combining “globalist” and “homosexual”. Naturally, as both of these are popular boogeymen among the extreme right wing it was almost inevitable that they’d try to combine the two into a single buzzword.

Honestly, the word is in itself silly enough to not need explicit ridicule, but I suppose a little more wouldn’t hurt anyone other than the people trying to push the term.

Doethreetwoone
Doethreetwoone
1 year ago

@Anonymous and @Lesley,

I believe the most recent Roosh article (linked by Rabid Rabbit above) set “globohomo” as a portmanteau of “globalization” and “Homogenization”. Whether this explanation is sincere or not, one cannot ignore the obvious homophobic slur that was “coincidentally” the result.

I think the idea is that “they” are trying to impose a “soyboy”/”feminist”/”cuck” monoculture on the world for…reasons, I guess.

Aaron
Aaron
1 year ago

I’m pretty sure “globohomo” originated at Chateau Heartiste, and it is indeed meant to be short for “global homogenization.” However, this does not mean that “homo” is not also meant as a homophobic dogwhistle.

Karalora
Karalora
1 year ago

But who will make these evaluations? And what gives them (whoever they are) that right? It seems to me that the process of disenfranchising “authoritarians” is itself inevitably a form of authoritarianism.

*shrug* You could say the same of the Paradox of Tolerance, i.e. who gets to declare which attitudes are too intolerant to be tolerated?

I don’t like the idea of telling certain people “No, you don’t get to vote, because we have reason to believe you’ll vote for tyranny, which defeats the purpose of voting.” But how else do you protect democracy when people within it are bound and determined to undermine it? Once authoritarianism gets a foothold, it uses that foothold to tighten its grip.

Rabid Rabbit
Rabid Rabbit
1 year ago

It is an unfortunate fact that democracy will give us people like this guy. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/may/01/republican-matt-shea-rightwing-rally-guns

obertson said: “Of course, you all know that you should have an AR-15 and a thousand rounds of ammo, right? Because Antifa is kicking up and getting ready to defend, right?”

Shea’s speech flirted with themes of civil war, but mostly focused on the idea of separating eastern Washington out into a separate political entity, with the view of having “an entire geographic area repent”.

He began by proposing “a simple idea that may make you cringe a little at first. And that idea is that liberty must be kept by force.”

Shea said the reason America was no longer a “beacon of Christianity”, was “because of compromise. And it’s not knowing that the communists are training, they’re planning, they’re organizing and they are lying in wait.”

He added: “If you don’t believe that, then you don’t understand what is really wrong with America.”

Not that he’s creepy at all.

Aaron
Aaron
1 year ago

You could say the same of the Paradox of Tolerance, i.e. who gets to declare which attitudes are too intolerant to be tolerated?

Not really. The “paradox” of tolerance is generally asserted in the context of private groups/forums/entities: communities (even very large communities, like Twitter) are usually built around at least some basic moral values; hence, maintaining the integrity of these communities requires one to be intolerant of those who do not share those values. So the answer to your question – who gets to declare which attitudes are too intolerant – would be the community’s founders, administrators, etc.

But the federal US government is a different story. With some extremely minimal caveats, the government does not require its citizens to share a set of moral values. And therefore, the government does allow for intolerant speech, for the very reason that I object to an authoritarian “test” to determine who is authoritarian: it’s impossible to determine objectively which speech is intolerant.

(Some people, such as antifa, assert some major exceptions to this tolerance of intolerance – but again, it’s important to note that antifa are not the federal government; they are private organizations and individuals.)

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
1 year ago

In the US, at least a big part of why the far right wins so many raced is not that too many Nazi types are voting as but that the votes of those who would oppose them are suppressed. Fighting voter suppression and gerrymandering would be a much more effective strategy than trying to suppress the vote of the far right.

Karalora
Karalora
1 year ago

Not really. The “paradox” of tolerance is generally asserted in the context of private groups/forums/entities: communities (even very large communities, like Twitter) are usually built around at least some basic moral values; hence, maintaining the integrity of these communities requires one to be intolerant of those who do not share those values.

That’s a fair distinction.

Fighting voter suppression and gerrymandering would be a much more effective strategy than trying to suppress the vote of the far right.

The trouble I have with this notion is that once you’ve got voter suppression and gerrymandering to contend with, the authoritarians have already infiltrated. You can’t use democracy to counter people who ignore democratic principles when they acquire the least shred of power, as we here in the U.S. are discovering every day.

Hippodameia
Hippodameia
1 year ago

Hey, Cassie.

As someone who cares about finding the truth

Still claiming you won an award at Cannes?

My Best Documentary award from the Cannes Independent Film Festival is real and was won among other very talented independent films and filmmakers. Cannes is a city in France that has had many events that include the city’s name in them. One such event was called the Cannes Independent Film Festival which is not affiliated with Festival de Cannes, and as an independent filmmaker pursuing screenings for my low-budget documentary called “Daddy I Do”, I was thrilled to be able to screen it to a French audience, and even more thrilled to accept the award for Best Documentary that was selected by a jury at that festival.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cassiejaye/the-red-pill-a-documentary-film/posts/1403561

Because here’s what the Festival de Cannes said about the “Cannes Independent Film Festival” at the time:

Indeed, the CIFF web site makes mention of screenings at the “CIFF Villa”, yet we couldn’t find any mention of where this actually is or how to get there. It also didn’t escape our attention that the CIFF website was not updated at all during the event. And even a week later, it still makes no mention of whether winners were selected, prizes awarded, or even a half-decent party hosted. You’d think a festival which charges up to £110 for submissions would be able to find a few minutes to update their website during their flagship event!

https://www.cannesguide.com/17/Think-Twice-Before-Submitting-to-the-'Cannes-Independent-Film-Festival

And here’s what the Festival de Cannes says this year:

Despite information to the contrary on the CIFF website, the festival had zero presence in Cannes for the years it claims to have operated, falsely described itself as an official part of the Marche du Film (2010), and in 2012 claimed links to the Marche du Film via a company (The Independent Festival Film Company) which was not registered for the event and had zero footprint anywhere on the web beyond the CIFF site. Likewise, the CIFF web site attempted to bolster its prestige by suggesting that it screened films in Cannes at the Palais des Festivals, glossing over the fact that in reality, films were screened (if indeed they were) in section of the Palais which is used by the Marche du Film. Far from the red carpet, screening rooms in the market are tiny affairs, with a small number of seats reserved only for film buyers (who usually only stay for the first 10 minutes anyway).

https://www.cannesguide.com/cannes-festival-guide/faq/index.php?id=20

The truth is that Elam’s a misogynist and you’re a liar.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
1 year ago

Well, I don’t know if that was really Cassie Jaye or not, but whether or not that account is Elam’s, AVFM is no stranger to loving on E. Belfort Bax. In fact, this site is the only reason I’ve heard of him.

https://wehuntedthemammoth.com/2015/01/26/a-voice-for-mens-brilliant-new-money-making-scheme-translate-edwardian-antifeminist-e-belfort-bax-into-hip-and-happening-modern-lingo-make-ebook-roll-around-in-sweet-sweet-cash/

https://www.avoiceformen.com/feminism/ernest-belfort-bax-on-feminisms-relation-to-chivalry/

https://anearformen.com/blog/the-real-history-of-mgtow/

That third one was written by Elam himself.

Reaching back a bit further in time, to 1896, Ernest Belfort Bax neatly summarized the obvious driving force behind the resistance. In his essay titled “The Matrimonial Privileges of Women,” Bax outlines 12 key areas that put men at unjust, egregious disadvantage, vulnerable to fraud, deception, violence and incarceration at the hands of wives.

tim gueguen
1 year ago

@Rabid Rabbit, Shea sounds like he’s about half an inch away from going openly white supremacist. Certain elements of the hard right have long advocated building a white supremacist stronghold in the Pacific Northwest.

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
1 year ago

@Rabid Rabbit, Tim Gueguen: Matt Shea is a Nazi, full-stop. “The communists are organizing and we need lebensraum!” was Hitler’s pitch to Hindenberg and the rest of the Weimar right wing, fer cryin’ out loud.

@various: I’ve sometimes wondered if we’d get a better democracy by dispensing with elections and picking representatives by lottery. It would be like jury duty, a mandatory service that any citizen might be called upon to perform. The mechanism for drawing SSNs out of a hat would need careful watchdogging to make sure it was properly random, but then, we have to watch for attempts to stuff ballot boxes now, don’t we?

The upside is that the legislature is pretty much guaranteed to statistically resemble the actual population in every respect: race, sex, gender identification, orientation, income/class … there are also no issues with gerrymandering, low voter turnout, or voter suppression. There would need to be an ironclad rule that any citizen who paid taxes and was over the age of majority was eligible, as any more complex eligibility rules would be subject to manipulation by the right wing. (E.g. disallow prisoners = blacks and the poor end up underrepresented.)

The downside is you’ve got rank n00bs in the government every time, which may make the advisors and other long-term-employed civil servants who surround them relatively more powerful, and the non-apolitical subset of these might then become the “power behind the throne”. The selected would have to decide goals but leave ways-and-means up to the domain experts even more than is already the case, and if those domain experts are corrupted (e.g., climate deniers) there’s a problem. You might also get a “mad President” from time to time, as the random selection process will be choosing from a very large deck with very many jokers in it. The scope of executive authority relative to the legislature would have to be very constrained, and perhaps the legislature would need to have the capacity to veto executive orders by supermajority vote. (Of course, the Weimar Republic had that feature, and that didn’t save it from sliding into dictatorship.)

My own suspicion is that such a system might work for a small, esp. egalitarian community of, say, 10,000 people, but is unlikely to scale well to something the size of e.g. the United States where much more complex decisions must be made to make policy, involving much more complex underlying issues.

That then suggests some kind of hybrid system. A major factor right now is that candidates are self-selecting, which biases the distribution toward people with high SDO. So perhaps candidates would be randomly selected from the adult citizen population well in advance of election day, and in the runup to election day they would all basically post their CVs: ideas they have, information about their credentials, what they would do — the sort of thing candidates currently spread in the way of self-promotion during a campaign. Independent fact-checkers would flag any lies, especially about credentials, including important enough omissions (someone having ties to coal or other fossil fuel business, for example). Then the people would vote from among these lottery-selected candidates and the winners would receive some months of training (subject to monitoring by interested parties watching for partisan bias) between election day and inauguration day.

The hybrid system would select some for charisma, which might not be a bad thing (legislators with people skills might get more done), and hopefully for better-qualified candidates (which unfortunately might select somewhat for higher class, though not nearly as badly as what we have now). Of the selectees for legislature chambers, the top 538 (or however many) ranked by votes received would win; the top one for president; and so forth.

What might be lost here is regional representativeness, if people go for people who resemble famous people more than for ones who resemble local people. In the US that could result in NY/California overrepresentation (which, however, would beat the current rural overrepresentation, which favors the right wing and reactionary “values” over the left and cosmopolitan ones).

The hybrid system can be made regionally representative if it’s applied separately for each state to pick the two senators and however-many congresscritters from that state, selecting random adult citizens of that state and then having the rest of the adult citizens of that state vote among them.

All of these proposals have the capability of wiping out political parties entirely from existence, it should be noted. Certainly it eliminates any internal party discipline, as there is nothing to stop a card-carrying Republican who is selected and then wins from not being a climate change denier and getting away with it. The party apparatus can revoke their membership or something, but not boot them from office or render them somehow ineligible to be selected again someday. Party ceases to mean much if the party leadership is made completely powerless. It just becomes a badge of affiliation and an indicator of likely leanings on various issues at that point.

Ingmar
Ingmar
1 year ago

On the paradox of tolerance, that’s usually provocation by bigot groups, I understand the right concern on how to decide who’s authoritarian, yet we know the “so much for the tolerant left , lel” theme. The fallacy would be ingenuously assuming that the idea of tolerance and anti shaming is absolute, so they troll the society on this. Some people who are transversally convinced of that, fall for this rethoric trickery “hey, true, they don’t tolerate homophic people, totally the same, how hypocritical, we are all intolerant of something”
First off how many of these alleged free speech at all cost groups would want to prohibit the Quran as a hate book?
Actually their bottom line is, as said “we are all intolerant of something, you’re just like us, plus tribalism is just normal, but you call that racism”.
Actually it’s just the principle that some things should not be shamed, but not for absolute principle, but because it shouldn’t be other people concern for choice who don’t affect other, it’s a cultural battle, which is precisely against shaming people for being gay, trans, etc, of minorities or different race than the shamer. That wouldn’t work without shaming homophobia and racism, which is a totally right thing to do, it assert a principle of shaming behaviors and specifically behaviours which consist on attacking other people prejudicially for their cathegory.
If such people have the audacity to cry persecution, they could cry a river, I think it’s an occasion to remind them to think how the ones they feel in their right to shame, humiliate or deny rights would feel, would they prefer to be shamed for how they are without doing any harm?

Anonymous
Anonymous
1 year ago

@Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation

Among other issues with your hybrid concept, some things take far more than only a few months to be fully trained in, and the general public might not be able to interpret the candidates’ CVs adequately. Think about it: the idea of “experts” is already disliked among a fair segment of US society, and randomly selecting as you suggest runs the risk that it still picks nobody who could actually be able to perform their job. (And of course, there’s also the “who watches the watchmen” problem of the monitors and fact checkers themselves becoming corrupt, but that’s even less of a solvable problem.)

At minimum, the random selection should be targeted to a specific group of the population that has demonstrated at least baseline competence with the political process. I believe this would be best served by requiring potential selectees to take something like the civil service exams in Imperial China, but based on principles of governing (or other relevant knowledge to the post) rather than on literary matters. Should they score sufficiently high (whatever that may be, it would likely vary depending on how important the position is and the degree of expertise it would require), they will be eligible. If not, they would be excluded from the selection but have the opportunity to take it again when the next election cycle-equivalent begins. Ideally, the exam would be free of charge to ensure that income would not exclude anyone from the process.

While that kind of screening would still favor the highly educated, it would ensure everyone involved would know how to carry out their duties. It would also help screen out those who have no interest in being elected to start with- if you don’t take the test, you won’t be entered into the selection process.

Rabid Rabbit
Rabid Rabbit
1 year ago

@Surplus

To a large extent, the random selection system was what was used in Classical Athens, where the restrictions around citizenry meant the population it applied to was indeed a small homogenous group. (IIRC, one justification for only choosing the 500 jurors for a trial the morning of the trial itself was so that there was no time for the jurors to be bribed.)

Anonymous’ suggestion about education is intriguing, but experience shows it’s not that great a way of ensuring equality: on the practical level, it’s how things work in France, where basically everybody in any position of power went to one of two or three schools dedicated to producing civil servants and politicians, but that just causes its own problems — like how in England most of the top politicians went to Eton, and the fact of having gone there is more important than the blatant fact that they might be idiots.

In my utopian dreams, I sometimes wish that voting was contingent on people passing a test demonstrating minimum critical thinking skills and awareness of current events. After all, we don’t let people drive without passing a test. But alas, that actually would be disenfranchising for all the wrong reasons. So the dream gets modified and becomes “All people finish high school and school gives a proper grounding in civics, history, and distinguishing truth from fiction.” Then I consider the odds against that ever happening and become despondent.

The problem with utopian reorganizations of society is that most utopias can only function with a very small group of people. Switzerland’s direct democracy via constant referendums, for instance, is unthinkable in a much bigger country, simply on the practical level (though technology might change that, if it could be made unhackable). And the fact it took until the 70s for women to get the vote there is a reminder that more power to the people doesn’t always make things better.

Anonymous
Anonymous
1 year ago

@Rabid Rabbit

My concern was more about enduring that equality didn’t have the side effect of promoting incompetence, hence it being presented as a form of exam. Where you went to school shouldn’t matter- either you would pass the exam or you would not.

I suppose the exam could be brute-forced in theory given a very large time span, but with only one attempt permitted per election cycle it would be more trouble than most people would be willing to put up with.

Ingmar
Ingmar
1 year ago

Rabid rabbit.
Not sure, but universities are often a very specific field of knowledge, plus if we talk about politicians some of them might not use this knowledge in good faith, it’s mostly about people being ignorant or having bad memory, for example confronting precedents, what a politician said, what they hated of the previous government etc. For example in Italy, when Berlusconi attempted to attack the Article 18 of the worker statute, who protected them from non just cause firing, there have been a fierce and strong opposition in 2002. Then came Renzi, the neoliberal who won the PD (democratics) primaries succeeded him in 2014 and made the Jobs act, which basically overridden the Article 18 and most of the left or the people who voted him, was accepting that out of loyalty.
Now same could be said of people who lamented Renzi detaxed the 5% richest people first house, who are now accepting the League projecting the Flat Tax, doublethink :).