I’ve set up this blog a few weeks ago to accompany the Berlin screening of the movie „The Red Pill“ that I hosted on Nov. 14. I am writing this post in English because there is a movement of people and groups hosting Red Pill screenings all over the US, Canada, Australia and Europe, and I want my report to be visible in that context.
First things first, I would say that the screening was a great success. There were well over a hundred people and no disturbances. The atmosphere was warm, loving and optimistic. I’ve only learned the next day that a couple of (male) feminists were present who since then published articles trying to smear the event with lies, fantasies and a lot of condescending rhetoric (archived, archived) while preemptively blocking me on Twitter. But to my knowledge, nobody was aware of their presence at the time. I certainly wasn’t. So the mood was great, new acquaintances were made and follow-up networking and other activity is likely.
Looking back, it has been weird to live through several weeks with the feeling I am engaging in conspirational activity.
Before the screening, there was only one hostile blog article (archived) that basically expanded the insane Susie Smith petition narrative. It was published by a blog that is notorious for fearmongering on all kinds of issues, focusing mostly on agriculture and food scares. In their estimation, the Fukushima reactor meltdown was a threat to the survival of mankind (German source). In their estimation many things are. So it’s generally not a source people take seriously. They earned a dozen or so comments telling them that the article is nonsense, trying to explain that men’s rights isn’t pickup and that upon close inspection, Cassie Jaye isn’t RooshV. Other than that, nothing came of it.
Meanwhile, I received a lot of positive feedback via e-mail, the Kickstarter page, and in person during the event itself. It almost felt silly – but also fun – how everybody thanked me for organizing the event and I thanked them back for funding it. But these comments, up to the event all made in private e-mail messages, had an aura to them as if I was doing something heroic. It’s absurd that planning to screen a movie that is advertising compassion and understanding puts you in a position as if you were selling illegal firearms or something.
Nobody is surprised that the movie is given the label „controversial“, and I don’t even think it’s a bad label. What’s the point of a work of art that just reaffirms everybody’s views? But it shouldn’t be controversial to say hey, people are suffering and you’re not seeing it, people are being treated unfairly and not even allowed to talk about it, and on the other hand, people who believe they are furthering human progress have become hateful agitators who don’t even take the time to really look at what it is they are trying to destroy.
The left has abandoned universalism
Maybe the most absurd line in the movie comes from a protester who claims that a small assembly of men’s rights guys is a „fascist nazi front-group with white supremacists“. While the allegations of sexism/misogyny are also false, at least you can understand how people mistakenly arrive at the conclusion when they hear the unfamiliar term „men’s rights“. But there is absolutely nothing to make the constant allegations of racism even remotely plausible. It is as if a heuristic of conditoned reflexes is in place. This – a men’s rights group – feels real bad to me, when I think real bad I think racism, so these guys must be racists, at the very least they must be right-wing, because everything bad is right-wing.
While in actuality, Cassie Jaye’s standpoint as well as the standpoint of the MRAs featured in her documentary is a direct outcome of what once was the very core of the political left: universalism.
The left-right topography of political thought is severely messed up these days. One of the strongest and most tragic symptoms of this is that the left has abandoned universalism.
By universalism I mean the idea that all people are equal in terms of their rights, their value and their dignity as human beings. It is the principle that makes us strive for equality, value fairness and justice and loathe oppression.
Says the so-called progressive left: „Nah, you just don’t get it, we’re for equality, but right now we don’t have equality, therefore we have to treat people unequally to level the playing field.“ They might phrase it differently, but this is essentially what they would say.
But I do get it. The problem is that you are vastly and dangerously overestimating your ability to engineer social relationships and society as a whole. You are a butcher who tries to use his butcher’s knife to do a heart transplant.
Why? Well, let’s assume that in total, men have „more power“ than women. I’m using quotation marks because I think that by reducing human relationships to a struggle for some unspecified, raw quantity called „power“, you are missing the complexity of the human condition by a huge margin. Some theorists are obsessed with this simplistic and simplifying idea of „power“; most people aren’t. I think most theorists aren’t in their real lives either.
So even if we assume this power imbalance in total is true, your strategy is to look at the male CEO of Deutsche Bank to note the „power“ and „privilege“ he has, and then you proceed to punish the homeless guy who asked you for a buck on public transport yesterday and is perhaps freezing to death as you read this for it. Of course, this homeless guy only exemplifies millions of guys you categorically deny the right to empathy, let alone help, for absolutely no reason they are responsible for.
You think you are creating justice by dishing out injustice to millions of people each day. And although the social sciences are firmly in your hand, you also don’t see the very obvious problem that the victims of these injustices might not react the way you would like them to. Hurt people hurt people. This adds another layer of conflict, violence, suffering, and relationship chaos.
What are your ideas made of?
Universalism means that every single human being matters. To you however, actual human beings don’t matter. To you, an individual is just a cross-section of collective attributes which put them in a hierarchy of empathy versus contempt they deserve – they deserve regardless of who they are, what they do and what they have ever done as individuals. This approach guarantees that you treat people unfairly to the degree that they deviate from the collective stereotype you attach to them. As a matter of necessity, the proportion of people deviating from a stereotype is always 100 percent.
Milo Yiannopoulos says that about a third of his fans are „disaffected liberals“. Yeah, that’s me. I was firmly on the left for all of my adult life. Now I don’t recognize you guys anymore. It sounds cliché, but in a lot of ways you have very much become what you profess to fight.
I don’t agree with everything Milo says and I wouldn’t put any money on a bet there’s a single person walking the earth who agrees with everything he says. But he believes in people. You only believe in your blueprint of what people should be. Your concept of what people are is that half of humanity is inclined to oppress and hate the other half and this other half is somehow too stupid or too damaged to even notice. Every sane person knows the devotion and willingness to sacrifice that come with love, and this is perhaps the most noble and at the same time joyful (also painful, I admit) aspect of being human. But to you, nah, there is no love, there’s just a bitter, spiteful zero-sum struggle for raw power, a constant struggle of the eternally abused against their eternal abusers.
This is a horrifically dark and misanthropic view of humanity. Everyone should reject it loud and clear.
I’m glad to see that more and more people do just that. Cassie Jaye could have shed more light on the dark side of the manosphere, just like she could have shed more light on the dark side of feminism. I agree with her decision not to. Ideas have the power we invest in them, no more, no less. She invested in ideas of compassion, understanding, and common sense, and I’m glad I was able to add to that investment with the event. If others want to put forward the message that no, some people don’t deserve compassion and understanding although nobody even claims they’ve done anything wrong, and that we have to brainwash common sense out of us to be virtuous, let this be their message and let time be the judge.