GioCities

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The Génocidaires: Intro

Genocide. It’s a big word. It describes possibly the worst atrocity the institution of society can commit. It’s so mind-bogglingly terrible that a staple holocaust denial argument is that it was simply too bad to have really happened.

Genocide is such a big word that I didn’t title this “The Case for Genocide”, even though that’s what it’s about: the case people actually make for genocide, here, today.

“Genocide”, definition, semiotics🔗

It’s counterintuitively difficult to talk about genocide because of how thoroughly the word has become shorthand for pure evil. So first, let’s define the word itself. The United States Holocaust Museum has an excellent page on the definition of the word here:

Genocide is an internationally recognized crime where acts are committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group.

This is the “narrow definition” found in the 1948 Genocide Convention, written as a response to World War II and the atrocities of the holocaust. Modern groups like Genocide Watch classify other genocidal crimes like ethnic cleansing and political mass murder as genocide.

Genocide literally means “to kill a tribe”, or “to kill a population”. It has the -cide suffix, meaning to kill, but the “geno” is a population. The crime is the extermination of a group, not just the murder of its members. So, if someone decides that they want to make a thing no longer exist, and that thing is a kind of person, executing on that belief is genocide.

In practice, genocide is not just the crime of the act, but also the agenda. Directly killing members of the group is one act of a genocide, but so is “deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part” or “Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group” – economic oppression and eugenics, respectively. Genocide is “a coordinated plan to annihilate the individual lives of a targeted national group through disintegration of the institutions of culture, economics, language, religion, and destruction of other essential foundations of personal security, liberty, and dignity”. In addition to the effects of the act, there is also a premeditation on behalf of the organizers and drivers of the agenda.

This usually maps well to a political faction, but it isn’t necessarily driven by one particular authority: James Glass’s paper talks about the “Idea as leader” in the psychology of genocide: that the ideology is a kind of shared fantasy in a psychological space, and that Rousseau’s “fervour of intolerance” can be amplified in willed belief and enthusiastic participation in an idea greater than oneself.

There are obvious examples of genocide, both historical (like Nazi Germany) and current: the ongoing Uyghur genocide in China, but also cases where it’s not yet generally understood that a genocide event is even occurring.

(Trans people. I’m talking about trans people.)

I shouldn’t need to explain how genocide works in practice. How it starts with “us vs them” ingroup/outgroup polarization, how it’s used by authoritarians to pin the blame on their own failings or unavoidable facts of life on subgroups that can be demonized and persecuted, how the importance of national identity becomes prioritized above the people who make up the nation, how the outgroup is made to be recognizable and distinguishable in order to facilitate attack, how the definition of that subgroup shifts to meet the political needs of the people in power, how the perpetrators dehumanize the outgroup with language that equates them with animals, filth, and disease in order to numb human empathy, how the dominant ingroup wields political and societal power to deny the victims full rights of citizenship, and how the victims are ultimately persecuted, displaced, deported, or killed (extrajudicially or otherwise). Above all, the unabashed cruelty that ensues. You should know this. After the 20th century, all educated people should know this.

So here it is. A genocide is happening right now in America and Europe against trans people with the goal of eradicating the population. So let’s take a good, hard look at it. Let’s really crack this egg open.

Prerequisites for genocide🔗

So why do people keep doing it? What is the mentality that accepts genocide, or advances it?

Studies of genocide divide the population into four loose categories: perpetrators, bystanders, rescuers, and victims. Perpetrators actively push the genocidal agenda, bystanders passively allow it due to psychic numbing or a perceived lack of agency, and rescuers make an attempt to fight against the genocide despite not (presently) being members of the target group. Both bystanders and perpetrators resort to denial, rationalization, and righteous anger at the victims for being the threat and causing the mess in the first place. (See Robert Jay Lifton, “Gazing Steadfastly at the Holocaust: The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide. for a more in-depth discussion of this.)

The génocidaires – the genocidalists – are the members of the first group, the perpetrators. Bystanders would be people who don’t lend the genocide their support, participatory or otherwise. With modern media culture and political polarization, there are very few bystanders who don’t join in and support one group or the other.

Cognitively, genocide has some tautological requirements. To be genocidal, you must believe that:

  1. Some groups of people should not exist
  2. You (or your leaders) are correct in making the judgement of which
  3. You (or your leaders) are qualified to execute that judgement

“Some groups of people should not exist”🔗

The first criteria is probably the easiest to hit, both for the vicious and for the intellectually lazy. You can always come up with an outgroup such that it seems like it would convenience your group for them to all vanish, or to all be replaced by the kinds of people in your community. This outgroup is safe to criticise, safe to mock, safe to propagandise against.

Establishing the outgroup as other and appealing to members of the ingroup is critical. In Ethics in an Age of Terror and Genocide: Identity and Moral Choice, Kristen Monroe studies how “non-rescuers … see the world in “us v. them” terms, consistent with Social Identity Theory”:

Monroe, K. R. (2008). Cracking the Code of Genocide: The Moral Psychology of Rescuers, Bystanders, and Nazis during the Holocaust. Social psychological explanations, in particular, social identity theory’s emphasis on the ingroup/outgroup dynamic, are central to the classic description of the process by which group identities crystallize. Further work [cited] described how this process makes each group the enemy of the other; groups then limit individual choice by telling members what is appropriate behavior. One contention is that genocide erupts when ethnic identities become reified and boundaries harden into politicized—as opposed to less polarizing cultural—identities.

I used categorization theory to identify the subtle process of recategorization through which a perpetrator distances a neighbor, slowly turning a friend and fellow citizen into “the other” who is now seen as threatening and against whom violence as self-defense thus becomes justified.

(How do these outgroups come about? Who decides who the targets are? I’ll get to that later.)

Schools of Thought🔗

There are a few different schools of thought that all lead to the same heinous goal of eradicating a population:

  • Religion: You believe religiously that the group should not exist and/or only exist due to their own sin, and so must be and deserve to be destroyed.
  • Xenophobia: You believe his group is different and disruptive to society.
    • This exists as a wide range spanning from “it is inconvenient to accommodate their existence” to “their existence disrupts our fundamental structure in a way so dangerous it could lead to complete apocalypse”.
    • Fundamentally a “true conservative” mentality.
  • Community: Members of your existing community believe, and agreeing is natural.
    • Pushing back would be alienating, and would disconnect you from your social circles. Group psychology.
    • Alternatively, you’ve been propagandised into believing the group is evil, but don’t have a personal understanding as to exactly why.

And a few that are specific to trans genocide:

  • Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminism: You are a feminist and you believe transgenderism is an attack on women.
  • Parental Abuse: You want to maintain your abusive relationship over your child/children, and allowing them medical agency undermines your power.
    • In abusive situations, maintaining control over the victim is key, which means denying them agency to make personal decisions. Imposing a gender identity can be a form of control.
    • People in this category will often resort to subjecting children to so-called “conversion therapy”
    • Note that I’m not counting all child abuse as a result of conversion therapy here, as that’s an incidental harm driven by another school of thought.
  • Biological Essentialism or Bioessentialism: You believe the defining essence of a person is their biology; your experience and presentation of gender is and should be defined by your genetics, not circumstance, upbringing, or culture.
    • Bioessentialism is the odd one out here. This is what you get if you put religion, xenophobia, and TERFism in a blender and don’t think very hard about what comes out.
    • Bioessentialism has many parallels with scientific racism, with pseudoscience used to justify preexisting conclusions and create seemingly scientific metrics to legitimize judgement. More on this and “transvestigations” later.

There are a lot of different groups and affiliations at the present moment in American politics that “like” the genocidal ideology. The gender critical movement, the anti-gender movement, “tankies”, TERFs/gender-criticals, the proud boys, (Christian) nationalists, MAGA, the alt-right, even a few self-proclaimed American Fascists. And, fundamentally, hard-line conservatism in general, for the reasons discussed. When I say they “like” the genocidal ideology, I mean any of “frequently have members who agree with”, “dabble in” or “are intellectually compatible with”. I’m not interested in getting too bogged down in the specifics of how certain political groups currently identify and the mountains of word-lawyering that prompts, but to avoid bringing up groups at all would be to imply that the mentality I’m describing might be theoretical or rare, and I feel the need to emphasize that that is not the case.

In a political sense, the ingroup/outgroup dynamic in genocide is philosophically the diametric opposite of pluralism. The genocidal mind is comfortable with the idea that some groups of people – not hypothetical groups and not pseudogroups like “bad people”, but cultural populations of people that really exist – should not exist, that their existence reflects some kind of error. And – and this part reminds us that the genocidal are intellectually dishonest – that “error” never demands an interrogation of a societal issue (looking at you, “incarcerated” population), it’s always either something wrong with the outgroup, or even “we should have nipped this in the bud”.

The pluralist demands the exact opposite: that people with different backgrounds, views, and attributes can and must exist together in society. The United States is ostensibly a pluralist nation, with enormous amounts of political history dedicated to the prevention of any one faction exploiting another. This has met with mixed success.

I am a pluralist. I am not trans or the parent of a trans child, but I am not so grossly arrogant as to impose my hunch as to what is best for strangers on them, overriding the wishes of doctors, parents, and children, and ignoring medical science. If there is uncertainty, we don’t err on the side of restricting everyone in the world to making the choices I imagine I might make if I were they. The state isn’t God, and neither am I.

“You (or your leaders) are correct in making the judgement of which”🔗

Well, this is a depressingly easy criterion to meet. People always have faith in their own judgements by default, and they look for trustworthy leaders. It takes character and sustained effort to consistently interrogate your own assumptions and preconceptions. And that’s made all the more difficult if you’re entrenched in a society or group defined by some of those beliefs.

But unforced error has actually become more prevalent among postmodern rationalists. You know the ones. The people who live and die by the words Rational and Logic and Reason and Critical and Facts, the latter of which quite famously don’t care about your feelings. The people who define themselves by their correctness.

Traditional rationalism says “I will learn the truth, and once I know the truth, I will defend it unless I’m shown reason to believe I’m wrong”. But this brand is “postmodern”, which means none of that pesky truth business. These people don’t start with facts and reason and preach the conclusions Reason arrives at. Instead they define themselves as intrinsically rational and make whatever conclusions follow that.

It’s an idea of “rationality” that views it as an innate quality, like your race or hair colour, and not as a discipline to be practised. If they believe something they know that the reason they believe it is because they must have arrived at that conclusion rationally, because they’re a rational person. And if they arrived at it rationally, then it must be true. And, because the position we know to be rational is what they believe, anyone who disagrees with them is irrational, illogical, and unworthy of serious consideration. It’s a posture of aggressive and unassailable ignorance that takes an active pride in not being receptive to contrary information.

Depressingly few people are as vigilant with themselves as they need to be. And depressingly many are choosing to be as entrenched in that habit of non-practice as possible.

“You (or your leaders) are qualified to execute that judgement”🔗

One of my favourite pieces of media is the 1947 US war department’s antifascist propaganda film Don’t Be a Sucker:

It’s a beautiful piece of pluralist literature that makes a powerful argument against fascism. It explicitly denounces tribalism with the closing monologue “You see, here in America, [it] is not a question whether we tolerate minorities. America is minorities, and that means you and me. So let’s not be suckers. We must not allow the freedom or dignity of any men to be threatened by any act or word.”

In a pluralist America, the population is made of minorities. Whether or not we “tolerate” each other isn’t a policy question up for discussion. To defend against fascism is to reenforce our pluralism, and a defence against fascism is a defence against the horrors it commits.

The genocidal mentality maps extraordinarily well to capital-f Fascism. They work together and support each other. Genocide is fundamentally authoritarian. This is observable, historically, but it’s also been well studied independently.

In The psychology of genocide: perpetrators, bystanders, and rescuers, Steven Baum studies how the most integral trait for predicting whether someone was a perpetrator is an authoritarian personality. Baum calls authoritarianism “the basis for the genocidal mindset” based on the work of Altemeyer and Adorno in addition to his own evidence. Adorno’s “F-scale” test measures the degree of a fascist or authoritarian personality with questions like

  • Obedience and respect for authority are the most important virtues children should learn.
  • A person who has bad manners, habits, and breeding can hardly expect to get along with decent people.
  • What this country needs most, more than laws and political programs, is a few courageous, tireless, devoted leaders in whom the people can put their faith.

In the F-scale test, Adorno determined that the people inclined towards an authoritarian personality and inclined to act aggressively towards others possessed the following traits:

  • Conventionalism: Rigid adherences to conventional values
  • Submission: Uncritical attitude towards their own group’s idealized moral authority
  • Aggression: Punishment for those who violate convention
  • Anti-intraception: Intolerance of tender-mindedness
  • Superstition and stereotypy: Rigid categorization and belief in the supernatural
  • Power and toughness: Preoccupation with power and dominance, strength/weakness
  • Destruction and cynicism: General hostility
  • Projectivity: Placing their sexual and aggressive impulses onto others
  • Sex: Preoccupation with sexuality and morals of others

The characteristics of authoritarianism and the traits in perpetrators in genocide overlap heavily, directly and indirectly, almost to the point of making authoritarianism a prerequisite. You can’t wage mass murder without a willingness to accept such behaviour as legitimate.

Submission, aggression, anti-intraception, power, and destruction map very clearly to the genocidalist ideology. However the traits of conventionalism, stereotypy, projectivity, and sex-preoccupation hint as to why trans people are such attractive targets.

Left of bang🔗

To the 21st century vocabulary, “trans genocide” almost sounds absurd. So much so that if the topic comes up you might seamlessly slip into jokes about lynching trans children en masse to emphasize how safe trans people are. (Well, unless you’re not a psychopath, but that’s a surprisingly high bar.) Why would someone say such a thing? Trans people must just want to be oppressed. Outrageous.

But it’s not absurd or outrageous. In fact, the more I dug into actual evidence, not just hunches, the more clear it became.

The trouble is the holocaust broke a lot of people’s brains about what genocide actually is. We imagine genocide is supposed to be convoys explicitly carrying undesirable populations directly to their deaths. Anything short of that is just politics as usual. That’s wrong, of course. Genocide isn’t just death camps. Genocide is pogroms, lynch mobs in the street, targeted eugenics campaigns. Genocide is inflicting poverty on groups, criminalizing their behaviour, and publicly cheering their misfortune. Genocide is when a major political issue is when whether or not society should allow the existence of a population is a political question: “the Jewish question”, “the transgender debate”. (What happens if the trans people lose “the transgender debate”, I wonder?) “Never Again” doesn’t mean “don’t volunteer to push the button at the death camp”, it means defend marginalized groups before it gets bad.

I draw a lot of material from holocaust studies myself because of the wealth of information available, but trans genocide (at this stage) really maps better to the pogrom: violent riots against specific populations encouraged by significant powers and the state.

I’m hardly the first to notice. The transgender genocide has already seen coverage, from blog posts (Meggan Sommerville, ChicagoNow) to magazine spreads (DONE magazine) to full-on digital humanities projects (transgendergenocide.com).

The current anti-trans push in the US is a clear example of a genocidal agenda picking up stream. And while transgenderism is being intentionally framed as a niche issue, it’s not at all a small population: Trans people make up about 5% of young adults; that’s about one trans adult for every two left-handed adults. It isn’t a culture war. It isn’t a question. It’s an extermination. It’s a one-sided moral evil.

The anti-trans policies being enacted are being enacted by people who want the community to stop existing, and the purpose of those policies is to exterminate it. In some cases by directly denying medical care, in some cases pushing people into poverty, and in some cases driving people to suicide. The goal is clear throughout.

I want to wipe you out, I just don't want you to describe it like that @KatysCartoons: I want to wipe you out, I just don’t want you to describe it like that

Of those 5 categories of genocide, US law is already engaging in at least 4 against the trans community: causing serious harm to members of the group, deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to lead to destruction, imposing measures to prevent new members of the group, and forcibly relocating children out of the group. That’s not a 80% score, mind you; that’s a 400%. The UN’s definition of genocide only requires one of those activities to be occurring; more than one only means the genocide is worse.

We see this in things like denial of life-saving medical care; even, in some cases, explicit religious exemptions signed into law to protect doctors who refuse to treat trans people. This seems obvious, but additional restrictions on medical care that target trans people directly harm the overall health of the community.

And states like Texas, removing children from parents on the basis of trans care being child abuse. Splitting up families and punishing trans people with institutionalization for existing.

Hundreds of legal and social policies that all deliberately inflict conditions of life calculated to induce suicide. People not legally being allowed to use the correct restroom. Hate crimes and violence against people on the basis of them being trans (which increased 587% between 2013 and 2019!)

Trans people as the target🔗

There are a few reasons trans people are particularly attractive targets to authoritarians.

One of the main functions of the abject cruelty seen in fascism and genocide is the assertion of power. Cruelty punishes people who try to hold on to self-governance, who rebel against the supposedly perfect order. This is why you see cruelty inflicted on people who express self-determination: restrictions are made on religion, marriage, birth, and other deeply personal affairs so people are unable to be individualistic, and so that people who try to be can be singled out and punished. The use of cruelty is a specific political tactic of authoritarianism. The cruelty isn’t the point. Cruelty is the tactic. The point is power.

Freedom of gender expression is a social liberation. It’s an assertion of bodily autonomy and personal existence outside the constraints of the state, an act anathema to authoritarians. To them your body belongs to the state, to the culture, not to something as petty as you.

Gender expression, of course, is a cultural phenomenon. Gendered clothes, gendered hair, gendered accessories, gendered voices. None of it comes from biology; you won’t find suit cuts anywhere in the SRY protein. Woman doesn’t mean “born with XX chromosomes” and literally never has. (In fact, the opposite is true: scientists discovered the correlation long after womanhood was an established concept.) But authoritarians (really, fascists) see their cultural values as moral and factual absolutes. To them, any deviation from their societal structure is an absolute heresy and a violation of natural law. This is why the “biology” argument gets thrown around so much. The idea that liberals are “denying science and the truth of genetics” obviously doesn’t make any actual sense when applied to social expression, but it sounds right to people because it invokes the conservative/authoritarian “wrongness” of a violation of an understood social truth without directly making the argument. The “trans people are denying biology” arguments are obvious folly when applied to this question of categorization and taxonomy, but to the wrong person, they seem right.

Shapiro is right, actually, that normalizing gay background represents a threat to something he cares about. It’s just that the thing he wants is bad, so he has to lie about it.

Freedom of expression fundamentally offends the fascist. In Nazi Germany, there was only room for a single “correct” style of architecture and a single “correct” style of art. All others were vile, “degenerate”, and need to be publicly ridiculed and destroyed to enforce order. There is only room for one religion under authoritarianism: either a state religion, or the state as religion. To diverge from the state is to be counter to the state. There is no room for exploration or any advancement of learning, only traditionalism. To think is to disagree, and to disagree is treason. And so too does the fascist only see room for one concept of gender and sexuality (a concept on which fascists’ identities are particularly dependent, as discussed well in Baum’s work and Umberto Eco’s ur-fascism). The authoritarian demands that there must be one true notion of sex and gender, to be established and enforced with whatever violence is necessary to do so.

And, to the fascist’s delight, such anti-trans policing is only possible by granting the state additional power to police sex and gender. Just like with the denial of abortion rights, granting the state policing power over gender attacks the right to privacy and opens the way to extreme granular control over everyone’s most personal affairs. And the outgroup continually narrows, because of the pleasure of aggression and the hunger for ever more expansive power. And like all policing, gender policing will keep looking for new ways to police. Do you look enough like a man? Are you behaving like a woman should? Does your career match your biology? Are you having enough children? Only fascists and fools want their self-expression regulated to such a degree.

This objection to privacy is actually a very common throughline in authoritarianism as part of their general objection to general autonomy. The authority, whether that’s the parent that owns a child or the state that owns a citizen, can always be trusted to make the correct decision, even and especially since what’s “correct” is usually not what the wretched little people want.

Meanwhile, in reality, people are so bad at actually identifying the trans people they think are so different than them it’s a running joke:

That's a freak, nothing else.

None of these people were even trans. And yet the atmosphere of hostility toward trans people and gender non-conformity in general opened an avenue to hate and abuse. But the anti-trans people don’t care about collateral damage, they care for the pleasure of aggression of waging their war on the Others. To them, the side effects of that are collateral damage towards other groups they dislike at best, and barely a consideration at worst.

Not only are people very bad at determining people’s genetic makeup from a cursory visual inspection, but the people who get angriest and care the most seem to be the worst at it. This is also a preview of what enforcement will look like: angry men attacking women for not conforming to their hyperspecific images of how they imagine good women should look and act.

Ohio’s Save Women’s Sports Act🔗

Chumps on the internet making dumb replies is almost comedic. The extent to which policing is willing to go to wage its war is not. I’ll talk more about laws in the next article but for now, here’s a taste in Ohio.

In the 2021-2022 regular house session, Ohio passed HB 151, the “Save Women’s Sports Act” 56-28 to “designate separate single-sex teams and sports for each sex.” (Worth noting: the real Save Women’s Sports Act was House Bill 61. not 151, 61 wasn’t up for consideration. This language was instead shoehorned into a different, unrelated amendment to push it through.) I do like women, and saving their sports sounds nice. But that’s not what this does. What this does is sexually assault children.

Sec. 3313.5318.

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(C) If a participant's sex is disputed, the participant shall establish the participant's sex by presenting a signed physician's statement indicating the participant's sex based upon only the following:
    (1) The participant's internal and external reproductive anatomy;
    (2) The participant's normal endogenously produced levels of testosterone;
    (3) An analysis of the participant's genetic makeup.

This law allows anyone to dispute the sex of an athletic participant on a school team. The specific medical procedure is defined here by law to be as invasive as possible. This mandates a full medical examination of the external and internal anatomy, which includes a doctor feeling the child’s uterus and ovaries from the inside. This is meant to be painful and traumatic, and an exam like this would never be performed on girls this young without a clear reason to fear their health is in danger. It is sexual assault by design.

Anyone who claims they suspect an athlete lied about their sex can sue the school district. If that girl’s parents are unwilling to have their child sexually traumatized, the district has to pay the accuser, end of story. Because this gives the general population discretionary bounty-hunting power, this will be used vindictively against targeted populations, as discretionary power always is. A special legal carve-out is provided to allow people to abuse this law without liability. No provisions are made for people who this is used maliciously against.

That title though, the “Save Women’s Sports Act”. Saving sports from what, exactly? How many trans children were there in public sports? One. One single high-school junior. Said Rep. Rich Brown(D), “This is not a real problem. This is a made-up, ‘let’s feed red meat to the base’ issue.” But to them, it’s worth it. It doesn’t matter the collateral damage, it doesn’t matter that public schools are now formalizing institutional sexual assault of children. What matters is eliminating the enemy. It’s cruel on every level.

Trans person likely upended entire life to gain advantage in volleyball competition, reports idiot

Across the board, though, we know the “men posing as trans women to cheat at sports” panic is absurd. The Olympic committee has allowed trans competitors since 2004, and the NCAA has since 2011. Despite those huge sample sets – more people and over a longer time span than any clinical study – there has yet to be a transgender Olympian or a dominant transgender athlete in college sports. (If someone were found to be getting an unfair advantage, the leagues would ban it, not kick out players who didn’t violate any rules – this is a regular practice, not a new problem.) Nor has there ever been Meryl Links’s theoretical study: a statistical analysis that demonstrates trans women win (X+A)% where the A is greater than the statistical margin of error. You see none of that, just the occasional anecdote amplified by conservative media. The numbers don’t show sports are in danger because they aren’t. Sports are just being used to attack trans people, with sexism and fear of people “taking advantage” used in lieu of reason and evidence.

Hypocrisy🔗

Hypocrisy is always rampant in authoritarianism. Hurting the people you claim to protect, acting in ways totally opposed to the justifications you use, and just blatant lying. I’m not going to spend too much time arguing the existence of every case of hypocrisy, because it so thoroughly permeates the whole discourse that I could get stuck doing that for years.

Obviously the religious argument that people are made correctly and transgenderism is therefore a sin is just regurgitating the very obviously wrong anti-medicine points that lead people to deny their children necessary medical care, which is actual child abuse. But it’s just unending. I’ll show you cases where people use the rhetoric of “free speech” as a weapon to keep people from speaking, or even compel specific political speech. I’ll show you people who fight against “partisan politics” by demanding ideas their side dislikes be banned from libraries. I’ll even show you a pastor preaching from the pulpit that exterminating the LGBTQ community because they’re categorically brute beasts with no hope of salvation is the only way Christians can truly love their fellow man. You really don’t need my help to notice the hypocrisy, it’s right there in the open.

The problem is that – borrowed observation – the hypocrisy isn’t an error, the hypocrisy is the point. It’s a show of power: it demonstrates that the authoritarian isn’t constrained by morals or reason, they just get to impose their will on the world because they’re strong enough. It comes from the same place as bombarding your opponent with an exhausting amount of obvious lies. It demonstrates power over meaning; that they’re strong enough that nothing but them matters. The hypocrisy isn’t subtle or even meant to be, it’s a flex.

Ryan Ellis tweet Ryan Ellis review

So I don’t point the hypocrisy because it’s a slam-dunk argument that will make people realize the error of their ways, because that’s not going to happen. I’m not operating under the misconception that the villains of this story can feel shame. I point it out partly to demonstrate what proper critical consumption of information looks like, but mostly as a reminder of how disconnected the people driving genocide are from reality. They don’t care that they’re wrong, and you can’t persuade them with reason. So instead of “arguing the case” that this is wildly hypocritical, I’m just going to point out that it is.

Jean-Paul Sartre:

Never believe that anti-Semites are completely unaware of the absurdity of their replies. They know that their remarks are frivolous, open to challenge. But they are amusing themselves, for it is their adversary who is obliged to use words responsibly, since he believes in words. The anti-Semites have the right to play. They even like to play with discourse for, by giving ridiculous reasons, they discredit the seriousness of their interlocutors. They delight in acting in bad faith, since they seek not to persuade by sound argument but to intimidate and disconcert. If you press them too closely, they will abruptly fall silent, loftily indicating by some phrase that the time for argument is past.

Next🔗

This is a high-level intro and the first of four articles I’m writing about this topic.

In the next part, I’m going to dive into some of the specific genocidal laws and policies being enacted.

This shit sucks, and it sucks having to explain why it sucks and it sucks that assholes will argue it doesn't suck.

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