But one of the things I’ve been wondering about for the last three months is just what happened? What’s going on here? This is crazy. I’ve been accused of a lot of things, some of which are no doubt true. But I’ve been accused of being a racist and being a transphobe and— what else — profiteering, and I guess the other one was scaremongering! Yeah that’s the other one. Scaremongering.
And so course I’ve been wondering if those things are true because it’s not like my heart is as pure as the driven snow, hardly. And everyone has biases and all of that.
And I also — while this unfolded had a group of friends who were definitely critics who were watching everything I was doing and letting me know pretty forthrightly when I was being arrogant or when I was — looked kind of disheveled and when my arguments weren’t as clear as they could be and so these were smart people and their comments were very incisive and then of course I had all the blowback.
And I was paying attention to it because, well, you should pay attention to such things. And I do pay attention to things! That’s the thing; I actually pay attention to things.
And if I’m embroiled in a controversy even if it’s a problem in my home, I try to get to the damn bottom of it. And the bottom of things is not a pretty place to look. When you’re arguing with someone at home, even someone you love, you notice that your argument can get out of hand pretty quick.
So if you’re arguing with your wife or your husband — and it depends on how volatile you are of course — but you start arguing about some little thing and then you come to understand pretty quick that it’s not actually about that little thing at all — that little thing is associated with a bigger thing underneath that, and maybe that’s associated with even a bigger thing under that.
And soon you’re taking each other apart — and assuming you’ve been married for twenty years — for all the stupid things you’ve done to each other over the last twenty years, and it doesn’t have to end there. And that’s not pleasant. It’s really hard to bind a conversation so it doesn’t go everywhere, so one thing you can do if you’re talking with someone about something you disagree with — someone you love you can tell them a bunch of good things about what they’ve been doing which you actually believe and then just say “Well but there’s this little problem here, and I’d just like it adjusted in a minor way. And maybe that’ll sort things out a bit between us.” And maybe you won’t fall into that stupid pit, which is easy to fall into which certainly can lead to divorce, among other things.
And so a huge part of the issue always is just exactly what is this about? Well I’ve been asking myself that question for a long, long time, because I’ve been interested in authoritarian conflict and atrocity and totalitarianism for way longer than anyone with any sanity should ever be interested in it.
And then this all came up and I thought OK OK OK. It’s like all right well — am I a bigot and a transphobe? Well, I probably have my biases because people tend to have in-group biases and that’s associated, by the way, with compassion! Just so you know it, because one of the things compassion does is make you much more strongly bound to your in-group.
A mother is compassionate because she loves her baby and she loves the baby more than other things that aren’t the baby obviously. And so actually compassion is one of the main sources of in-group bias which is something for the compassion warriors to think about for like 3/5ths of a second.
There’s nothing less compassionate to you than a mother grizzly bear protecting her cubs. And so you should think about that when you think about empathy for a minute. Because empathy is by no means an untrammeled moral virtue. In fact, it’s responsible and can be responsible for absolutely atrocious actions.
It depends on who you’re empathizing with. If you’re empathizing with someone that you regard as an infantilized victim, then you automatically snap into a frame of mind where everyone who might be oppressing that infantilized victim is a predatory parasite. And you’re not very bloody empathetic to them I can tell you. So that’s a big problem.
Anyways, with regards to this scaremongering issue, so yeah… biased. Yeah probably. And blind? Definitely. Like more than you might expect? No… I don’t think so. and one of the things that actually protected me through all this was that I’ve actually tried to come to terms with the evil that lurks in human hearts, particularly my own.
And I have 500 hours of lectures on that online, if anybody has the bizarre desire to pound their way through them, they can more or less figure out what I think because I’ve said 500 of hours of it publicly. And so I didn’t feel too bad about my level of bigotry or hatred.
I think you can probably infer that from watching the videos, so it’s kind of protected on that front. And then there was this “scaremongering” issue and that’s a good one, that’s a tough one man because if you look at Bill C16 it just kind of looks like “Well we’re extending protection to another oppressed group” which isn’t actually true because gender identity — no gender expression — that’s not a group.