The Liminalist # 148.5: Who Pays the Piper (with Theodore Dalrymple)

Part two of conversation with Theodore Dalrymple (Anthony Daniels), on the urge to liberate as a totalitarian urge, liberacion vs. salvation, seeking perfection in legislation, Trump as lightning rod, the Trump double-bind, the whirligig of time, a declining demographic of Trump support, illiberal liberalism, antifa fascism, Katy Hopkins protests, society as an imaginary autonomous entity, everyday oppression, a hierarchy of bullying, the managerialism of our lives, the desire for freedom for consequences, who pays the piper, aligning our desires with the State and corporations, a worthy authority, a life of suffering, self-inflicted suffering as a sign of privilege,  Chekov’s choice, misfortune as destiny, to misery born, a systematic denial of agency, complicity with monsters, taking the religious viewpoint too far, possessed by trauma, the danger of absolution dehumanizing, dealing with panhandlers, the last days of the tramp, reserving compassion for pure victims, dividing the world into victims and perpetrators, creating the scapegoat, the reverse of sentimentality, the Alt-Right, conspiracy speculation, conspiracies vs. The Conspiracy, the evidence for social engineering, the harm done by bad ideas, the Fabians’ Open Conspiracy, open ostentation of vice, Jimmy Savile, the Freudian sect, complicity as conspiracy.

Accompanying essayHigh-Road to Hell: Theodore Dalrymple & Progressive Politics as Perpetual Misery Machine (2 of 2)

Songs: “I’m Going Insane,” “Away from Here,” Embellir” (with Les Gauchers Quintet), “15 Bistro 2,” by Lee Maddeford.

4 thoughts on “The Liminalist # 148.5: Who Pays the Piper (with Theodore Dalrymple)

  1. Interesting thoughts there on the idea of not allowing culturally programmed anxieties and cues to dictate personal interactions (here in the context of interactions with a homeless person). Something for me to work on.

    I liked the articles on Dalrymple, and the conversation was interesting. He didn’t seem particularly open to any ideas insinuating conspiracy, even at an unconscious level. The comparison of the Fabians with Savile was particularly interesting to me. Dalrymple says people wouldn’t suspect Savile since he had an outwardly charitable appearance, after saying that the Fabians were all about helping people, so their misdeeds were likely from unintentional consequences of their good intentions. The bit about wearing on the outside the worst parts of yourself which you can’t hide was an interesting insight (and perhaps explains their wolfs in sheeps clothing coat of arms).

    Dalrymple’s ideas about how “victims” of society must be imagined as totally innocent and helpless have given me more to think about. It’s a rather effective and horrible tactic, where those who are disadvantaged to begin with are made to feel more helpless, and the government can be invited more deeply into every aspect of life as a means to rectify the disadvantage.

    I have one complaint or perhaps correction. Your characterization of the alt-right is way off. The forums I sometimes frequent are militantly pro-free speech, and as a result, there are many alt-right people there. I don’t consider myself alt-right, but I do think they have a few decent ideas which can be backed up with scientific data.

    Describing the alt-right as pro-Alex Jones is ridiculous. Alex Jones is called a zionist shill by alt-righters. It’s as ridiculous as claiming Jordan Peterson is alt-right – alt-righters also call Peterson a zionist shill (perhaps you’re seeing a pattern here). Alt-righters do believe in some conspiracies, but they don’t generally believe in “one conspiracy” that rules everything. They certainly blame Jewish influence for many things, but the degree to which they believe things are “controlled” varies widely. Some support Trump, some think Trump is a zionist shill.

    Interestingly, many alt-righters believe that pedophiles and child traffickers/sacrificers are in positions of power all around the world. It might make one wonder, is the idea of a pedocracy being pushed as an “alt-right” idea as a means to discredit it?

    Alex Jones was supported mostly by people on the left when Bush was in office (he even appeared in that Linklater film). In my opinion he’s there to make conspiracy theorists look insane. He also says somethings which are true – of course, he must, otherwise he would not be as effective at tricking people. But characterizing the alt-right as pro-Alex Jones is buying the mainstream media narrative about the alt-right. Describing the alt-right as being conspiracy loons is just false, and bizarre, to me, seeing as the conspiracies alt-righters believe in are largely the ones that have decent evidence. I get why the mainstream media would call them loons, but I don’t see how you could. I certainly can’t, their acceptance of evidence supported conspiracies is what made me open to listening to them at all.

    • I can’t recall what I said exactly besides associating alt-Right with Alex Jones, which was lazy short-hand, I admit, due to speaking to someone I felt sure was largely ignorant of this area of society and internet culture. I do not take the term “Alt-Right” seriously, at all, and I am not sure why you would or do. I suppose insofar as there are people who choose to self-identify thus it now exists, but it apparently came about largely through a spin campaign by David Brock (as blogged about previously).

      I certainly wouldn’t have referred to it, them, or anyone, as conspiracy loons. I think what you detected was my strategic attempt to get past TD’s defenses and assuage his fears that he might be speaking to such a “type” – by signaling my ability to discern between fact-based research and wild theories.

      Interesting point about Jones moving from Left to Right in associations.

      • I’m certainly suspicious of the rise of the alt-right as the new counterculture (especially considering how the last counterculture seemed to be propped up and promoted), and I do think the term alt-right started out as a weaponized term most likely. However, if we simply define alt-right as pro ethnostate, “racial realist,” anti-neocon, anti-communist right wingers, there are a rather significant number of these people. They may be being co-opted and subverted like the hippies to be used as a tool, but I hardly think we can deny their existence.

        Another case where it’s hard to see what’s real and what’s people following the programming.

        But I get what you’re saying about your discussion with Dalrymple.

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