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I’ve written a few articles on the so-called “cultural libertarian” movement, typically I’ve been addressing the people who are the cause of the movement; the coddled, incredibly single-minded cry-bullies that genuinely believe the world should exclusively cater to their point of view. This time around, I’m highlighting some of the great and thought provoking people who’ve taken a stand in defence of satire, free expression, free though and free speech. So with that in mind, it’s time for us to roll out!
So what exactly is a “cultural libertarian”? It’s kind of difficult to define; various figures associated with the concept can be from conservative, liberal, left-wing and right-wing movements. In a generalised sense though, “cultural libertarians” are advocates of classical liberal values; free speech, free though, free religion and free expression, valuing education, support for a system of equality and democratic virtues. Basically the system of values and morals that most western democratic countries were founded on.
So how did this movement come to be? Well, it’s mostly seen as a reaction to what many have called excessive social policing. Once upon a time you might’ve heard someone use the phrase “political correctness gone mad” and we all had a good chuckle because chances are the person who said it was that one uncle/aunt who drinks too much at family gathering and seemingly morphs into Hitler’s cheerleader. Sure it was funny then, but these days you actually could make a solid argument that political correctness has quite genuinely gone mad. Before you tell me I’m crazy just take a look at this;
That colourful character got nicknamed “AIDS Skrillex” by the internet, and while it might seem mildly amusing and could be written off as an isolated event this sort of thing is happening quite a bit. For example;
That polite student was at a lecture panel discussion featuring journalist Milo Yiannopoulos, Doctor Christina Hoff Sommers and comedian/radio personality Steven Crowder. Throughout the 90 minute lecture she felt the need to repeatedly interrupt speakers, scream abuse and make threats toward the presenters. That sort of attitude has led to the rise of various media personalities that have made it their goal to challenge the popular narrative being pushed. Here’s a clip of one such personality, her name is June Nicole but on Youtube she operates as Shoe0nhead, a few months ago she made a video addressing a piece by Buzzfeed, check it out;
Hopefully you watched it, she’s hilarious, recently June had quite a boost in her popularity which led to a number of people telling her she had “internalised misogyny” (that’s not a thing). Similarly this is a video produced by Blaire White, a transgender woman who has openly criticised people obsessed with political correctness and the “rules of conduct” regarding speech and culture. Funnily enough Blaire is often referred to as a “traitor to transgender people” you know, despite being a transgender person herself.
That’s the sort of argument that’s become quite prominent in these circles; in the even that anyone who “shouldn’t disagree with me” (women, gays, transgender people and racial minorities) does disagree with you, you have to come up with a magic reason as to why. For example; the research think tank DEMOS was commissioned by the British government as part of its “Reclaim the Internet” movement, DEMOS found that 50% of online abuse and harassment was committed by women source , which flew directly in the face of the “Reclaim the Internet” movement’s claim that almost 90% of online abuse and harassment was exclusively from men. How did “Reclaim the Internet” react? Well, for the most part they dismissed the findings (that they commissioned) and said that more research needed to be done ($10 says that wouldn’t have happened if the findings supported their hypothesis).
The DEMOS issue got even worse when Clementine Ford (an Australian columnist with no qualifications in psychology, sociology or mental health, but somehow an “expert” in male psychology) claimed that “most of the women were probably just men pretending to be women” source, because that’s obviously the most logical explanation. These sorts of arguments have become commonplace, if facts and logic contradict your established point of view you no longer have to address them; you just get to scream about conspiracies and blame an unseen boogeyman for all your problems. Here’s Larry Elder a journalist and academic currently working with Prager University;
You may or may not agree with what Larry Elder just said in that video, but here’s the funny thing after he posted that video Larry was targeted with a large amount of racial abuse, but it wasn’t from angry white conservatives; it was from so-called “progressives” who accused Elder of being a “race traitor” and “secretly white”. The next video I’m showing you is by Dave Rubin; Dave is an openly gay and married man who hosts The Rubin Report, Dave’s a registered member of the Democrat party (that’s the left-wing political party in the USA) and much like Larry Elder, when Dave has spoken out against “progressive” protesters attacking journalists and forcing political correctness on others he has been called a traitor, a “fake gay man” and a right-wing Christian racist (he’s an atheist).
After watching that clip you should be struggling to see how Dave could be guilty of anything these people are accusing him of, again it seems as though racism and homophobia are allowed as long as they’re directed at people who have “the wrong opinion”. I’ll throw up a few more of these folks; here’s Doctor Christina Hoff Sommers an author, philosopher and university professor who works for the American Enterprise Institute, she also operates an online series called The Factual Feminist, here’s a short episode of that;
Dr Sommers cops a fair amount of abuse too; typically she’s called a “Men’s Rights Activist” a “rape apologist” and “A misogynist” not because she’s ever apologised for rape, advocated on behalf of men or abuse women. Sommers just thinks that trigger warnings and speech policing is making it harder for students to engage in critical thinking. You heard that correctly and educator wants to make it easier for students to engage in classes and instead is told “only if you say what we want”. Bill Maher is another great example; a Jewish comedian who used to host a TV series called “Politically Incorrect” which was eventually cancelled because Maher felt the need to criticise the US government and the invasion of Afghanistan. The irony of a show called Politically Incorrect being cancelled for not being politically correct was not lost on people at the time, here’s Maher on his current talk show Real Time discussing the censorship of comedians on college campuses;
I’m going to wrap up this piece now; cultural libertarians aren’t what I’d call a “unified” movement, for the most part they’re just a variety of media personalities that have gotten sick of the constant speech policing and aggressive attempts to shut down open discussions in the public forum. Looking back at the clip that opened this article; AIDS Skrillex (real name unknown) is a prime example of this over the top PC culture; instead of arguing a point of view accurately he just screamed “you’re a fucking white male” as though that was some genuinely decent answer to a question. I’ll leave you now with two final clips, the first is of comedian/radio personality Steven Crowder on plus sized models and the second is a long form interview with Trey Parker and Matt Stone (South Park) discussing why satire and comedy should always operate in defence of free speech and expression.