Freddie: categorically imperative

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Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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21 Responses

  1. Avatar Murali
    Ignored
    says:

    It’s it me or is Freddie starting to sound like Jonathan Haidt?Report

  2. Avatar Burt Likko
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    says:

    Breaking news: fanatics are difficult to reason with and understand neither nuance nor strategy. To punish the unorthodox is easier and more enjoyable than to engage the enemy. Equally true at all points along the spectrum; easiest to see as one approaches polar cluster points.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Burt Likko
      Ignored
      says:

      @burt-likko

      Freddie is largely critiquing the actions of young adults in the 18-22 year old range. We are not talking about people who have mastered the arts of rhetoric or nuance yet. I can find plenty examples of young (and not so young) conservatives being attracted to inflammatory rhetoric and people would tsk tsk me for saying the entire right is like the 18-22 year old kids. Let’s give the young kids a chance to get the flames of passion out of their systems.Report

      • Avatar j r in reply to Saul Degraw
        Ignored
        says:

        Freddie is largely critiquing the actions of young adults in the 18-22 year old range.

        Well, that’s just not true at all. Some of his critiques include college kids, but it’s pretty obvious that Freddie’s beef isn’t with them. His beef is mostly with the ecosystem of journalists, activists and politicians that enable this sort of behavior and keep the focus on progressive status signalling instead of on what Freddie considers meaningfully advancing the cause.

        If you want to gig him for setting himself up as the arbiter of what is and is not meaningful progressive work, that’s fine, but don’t make stuff up.Report

  3. Avatar j r
    Ignored
    says:

    This is, frankly, a ludicrous thing to believe. It renders human life impossible. The basis of morality is discrimination — the ability to assess the evidence of a particular claim to offense or harm, apply your best moral reasoning, and arrive at a personal judgment about the truth or falsehood of the claim.

    I had this realization twenty years ago as a undergraduate philosophy major. Specifically, it was in regard to post-structuralist schools of thought and the project of deconstruction. You can easily get to a point where you have so deconstructed the world around you that you lose all basis for making decisions, morally, ethically, epsitemologically. At that point, all that’s left is a struggle for rhetorical power, or worse.

    Deconstruction is only half a project. At some point, you have to put the pieces back together.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to j r
      Ignored
      says:

      Yes, the point of refining something is to remove the dross from what is precious.

      Post-structuralism leaves nothing but ash.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to j r
      Ignored
      says:

      it was in regard to post-structuralist schools of thought and the project of deconstruction. You can easily get to a point where you have so deconstructed the world around you that you lose all basis for making decisions, morally, ethically, epsitemologically. At that point, all that’s left is a struggle for rhetorical power, or worse.

      Well said. Like, really fishing well said.Report

  4. Avatar Mike Schilling
    Ignored
    says:

    Freddie is really being offensive.Report

  5. Avatar Mike Schilling
    Ignored
    says:

    Anyway, progressives don’t treat all claims to offense or harm as legitimate. Take for example, the claim that gay marriage offends and harms religious conservatives. Or that affirmative action offends anyone’s sense of fairness or harms the person who doesn’t get whatever the prize was.Report

  6. Avatar greginak
    Ignored
    says:

    From reading Freddie’s recent posts he seems like he is in a better spot with his life and his blogging has improved. Good for him.Report

  7. Avatar Saul Degraw
    Ignored
    says:

    I know he is a former alum but I take the LGM stance on De Boer. He seems to think he is the savior of all things that afflict and harm the left and if the left would only listen to him and make him Capitan. He is also rather off-putting and arrogant in his prose tone in my opinion.

    Even when he is saying something interesting, he manages to have a kind of smug view.Report

    • Avatar greginak in reply to Saul Degraw
      Ignored
      says:

      Freddie has always seemed to relish an argument which brought a lot of righteous shouting. Even when he had a good point it would be lost in the harsh wind. But the LGM guys have their faults and could be described themselves the way you describe Freddie. Freddie has been making a lot of good points but has toned down a lot of his volume and shouty ness which is good. He seems less arrogant recently to me and that is good since his good points shine better.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw
      Ignored
      says:

      Freddie’s biggest problem is that things are so very obvious to him that it frustrates him immensely when people don’t reach the same conclusions that he has. He can tell the difference between right and wrong. He knows how to set priorities between the perfect, the good, and the better.

      Why in the hell haven’t you done so?Report

      • Avatar j r in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        That is one way to look at it. Another way is that Freddie can tell the difference between right and wrong, something that a surprising number of professional typists have trouble doing, and that he is better at setting priorities, which is all just a longer way of saying that Freddie is much smarter than most of the people he spends time criticizing.

        Is that a problem? More importantly, is it Freddie’s problem?Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to j r
          Ignored
          says:

          Is that a problem? More importantly, is it Freddie’s problem?

          Good question. I suppose the answer involves what the goal is.

          Is the goal something measurable? Then let’s measure it.
          Is the goal something intangible? Then I suppose we can argue over intangibles.Report

        • Avatar InMD in reply to j r
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          says:

          I’m a fan of Freddie but I don’t think it’s so much about right and wrong as it is he insists on intellectual honesty. It’s his best trait and why I like him. However, in a world where a lot of political writing falls either into the view from nowhere or full throated affirmation of the audience intellectual honesty can come off as really harsh. I see a similar dynamic in a lot of the criticism of Glenn Greenwald from the left.Report

          • Avatar j r in reply to InMD
            Ignored
            says:

            I’m not sure how you can say this isn’t about right and wrong. If Freddie is right (spoler alert: he is), the overwhelming majority of people who have made it their private and professional passion to correct the world’s injustices happen to be spectacularly bad at even correctly diagnosing those injustices, much less formulating any coherent and durable movement to correct them.

            The intellectual honesty defense starts to break down when the errors are of a fifth grade reading comprehension types. At that point you have to start wondering if some of these folks just are not intellectually up to the task.Report

            • Avatar InMD in reply to j r
              Ignored
              says:

              We’re in complete agreement, I think I may have misread the intended breadth of your comment. I was talking about the larger and ongoing debate Freddie has been in with internet/social media leftism, not just this particular post.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Saul Degraw
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      says:

      Oh look, tone policing.Report

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