Re: the term "eugenics"

From: Russell Blackford (
Date: Sat Aug 25 2001 - 17:30:34 MDT

Mike said
>Aw, c'mon, Russell. If certain unnamed, self declared 'liberals' around
>here are going to continue to claim that I, and others, are somehow
>'racist', then there is no reason I cannot be as loose in my definitions
>when I describe those who espouse authoritarian policies.

Fair go, Mike. Two wrongs don't make a vicious right-wing totalitarian.
(BTW, you'll note that *I've* never called you a racist or anything remotely
like it, despite my being one of those horrible left-liberals in the
American parlance; admittedly, I also seem to be a border-line libertarian,
but I think the real point is that I like to avoid inaccurate, emotive

>Whether their concerns are based on fascist political theory or not is
>immaterial. How they wish to implement the prescriptions for their
>concerns is, in fact, based on fascist political theory, and how they
>conduct their campaigns in the streets with propaganda, disinformation,
>and terror is, in fact, based on fascist political theory. Those who
>insist you can only judge someone by their intent, and not their acts,
>are simply espousing another form of justifying means by the ends.

Undistributed middle:

(1) All fascists use propaganda, disinformation and terror
(2) Leon Kass uses propaganda, disinformation and terror
Conclusion: Leon Kass is a fascist.

Of course, (2) isn't even true. Kass at least attempts to debate rationally,
however irrationalist I actually think his arguments are. Overall, it would
be unfair to call his material "propaganda". I think the same applies to
"disinformation"; I don't think there's a lot of attempt to spread false
"facts". And "terror" would be a great exaggeration of his wish to invoke
the coercive power of the state to enforce his religious morality.

However, I now understand that you weren't so much thinking about people
like, say, Kass, Margaret Somerville and Bill Joy (to take a bit of spectrum
of neo-Luddite thinkers) when you mentioned "luddites". If you had
anti-globalisation protesters in mind, I see your point, though it still has
the effect that any irrationalist revolutionary type who uses force becomes
a "fascist". I'd rather stick with the idea that fascism is a virulent
sub-set of totalitarian thinking with some nasty memes all its own. It is
not fair to brand even these demonstrators as fascists unless they exhibit
those particular memes. Avoid guilt by association.

>Refusing to call a spade a spade aids in their disinformation and
>propaganda, and lends them an undeserved legitimacy.

Well, it can. I hope you see my point that it would be very silly and
counter-productive to call someone like Bill Joy or even Leon Kass a
fascist. As for the anti-globalisation demonstrators, I am happy to describe
them accurately (calling a spade a spade), but an accurate description would
not incude the word "fascist".



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