Dan Savage is a crocodile
Yes, Something Awful, the behaviors I’m describing here are a common pattern, not limited to the left. Another common pattern is this. No one’s said I should’ve been killed at birth, but plenty of people have said that I should be killed, that my family should be killed, that ‘all you people’ should be killed, that the outgroup should be rendered unemployable, and so on. You can understand why someone who Peter Singer would have killed wouldn’t like a movement that tolerates Peter Singer, but can’t understand why someone who people on your side would have killed wouldn’t like a movement that tolerates them — and then you go on to criticize Scott Alexander for failing to apply his higher-level principles consistently.
As if cheap Googlebombing campaigns weren’t enough, Dan Savage decided to put on his New Atheist hat and do what they—and 13-year-olds on Livejournal—do best: rattle on about the Bible in the same tone of self-righteous willful ignorance as they imagine conservatives adopting on evolution. “If we came from monkeys, why are there still monkeys, huh?” If Leviticus talks about shellfish, why do Christians still eat shellfish, huh?
Now, I’m not concerned here with his embarrassingly simplistic New Atheist view of theology, wherein all religion that was, is, and ever will be is fundamentally isomorphic to overliteral bookstore-Protestantism; having been raised into a thoroughly secularized version of said Protestantism (albeit one with some strange bits mixed in—I’ve put pepper on food maybe twice in my life), I’m most likely the least qualified person to talk theology out of those who are aware that there’s more to it than reading what’s in the monosyllables-only translation picked up for $5 at Walmart. (Now, now, Julius, put down that Talmud. You aren’t a rabbi; stop playing at it. You’ll poke someone’s eye out.) I’m also not going to bother with the lines he recycled from that hack Sam Harris; a ten-year-old could do that, unless the demon-virus Whiggery has already implanted itself in their knowledge of history. Even his shifty-eyed insistence that Universalism is somehow on the decline, when one would have to be delusional to think gay marriage will not be widely accepted in thirty years, will be left aside for now. My question here is a simple one:
“Pansy-ass”? Really? What are these high school students doing applauding a kindergarten line?
The answer, of course, should be obvious to anyone who has read Moldbug. One quick find-and-replace, and…
[Savage] really goes beyond smugness. Searing arrogance is more like it. I am reminded of the tone of the famous Soviet humor magazine, Krokodil, which loved to parody the buffoonish, corrupt doings of the hooligan dissidents. Alas, Krokodil is no more. But perhaps we can remember the entire trope in which the smug and powerful mock the hooligans, peasants and barbarians as crocodile humor.
Crocodile humor, from a crocodile. Notice his tone throughout the speech: raining curses with one finger raised, reveling in the worthlessness of his constructed enemy, he smirks and shakes his head at the filthy, fuck-dumb proles. I’ve seen it before: it’s the tone, the exact same tone, my professor takes when he goes colonial, starts rattling on about the backwardsness of the idiots in town, how silly they are for caring about little things like the college bringing in a crane to pluck the cross from its chapel, built on the highest point in town, or for almost electing a newcomer over an “all-around great guy” who just happens to be a
colonizer Democrat. Dan Savage wishing that the Republicans would go away sounds exactly like the professor wishing… well, that the Republicans would go away. Odd coincidence, that.
“These savages don’t have a leg to stand on!”, the crocodile cries. “Why won’t they get out of our way? After all, we know better. We are better. With actual power, just think what we could do!”
The mere existence of active opposition, no matter how powerless, is enough to set the crocodile off. The enemy must be crushed: converted if possible, raped and slaughtered if not.
(This, I suspect, is why crocodiles are so drawn to the left: a movement that advocates the mass rewriting of society will naturally draw those who want to rewrite society in their image.) Fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem of war; but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity, then open the way for them: for the International Community is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
Of course, it should come as no surprise that the rhetoric of war fits so naturally here; the main difference between caste-war and the normal kind is that the latter has an end. And once the Kernels are situated, that is when the game is afoot. The true war begins, light versus dark, good versus evil. This is a war that the forces of light are always destined to lose…