David Frum tweets: “My view: if you have something to say online, you should sign your name. If you won’t sign your name, you shouldn’t say it.”
When I started writing professionally a little over a quarter of a century ago, I seriously considered using a pseudonym like Eric Blair / George Orwell. But I couldn’t figure out how to cash checks made out to a pseudonym, so I eventually junked the idea. But I generally wish I had gone with a pen name, for reasons that are obvious at this point to me, but I won’t mention them because they are so obvious.
Comments at Steve Sailer:
* Goy: And then they tell us to watch what we say on Facebook and elsewhere because of possible adverse consequences.
In short: Get your mind right or shut up.
* The goys at MPC throw shade at you (from the Right), but they can be pure at “our thing” because they write under pseudonyms.
* A name, by itself, doesn’t amount to much. The problem is once you have the legal name of a person it is possible to locate their physical address. David Frum might not be so enthusiastic if, e.g., he were in Florida and got a minor traffic violation. Here the county clerk would post that fact at the county clerk website and it would reveal Frum’s home address, drivers license number and even his phone number. As a political polemicist Frum might not be too happy about that as stalkers, fanatics and people who just want to have a word with him might come by. Frum would not know their identities so his idea would leave him at a great disadvantage should some undesirable event happen.
* In 1980s communist Hungary, if you criticized the regime, you could be hounded out of your job, harassed or beaten up by the police, and occasionally even arrested. Some people committed suicide. Very rarely some people were sentenced to relatively short prison terms, but their lives could be destroyed without having to resort to that. By the 1980s, nobody was executed any longer.
The soft totalitarianism is getting harder. I mean, there’s still more liberty than in 1980s Hungary (it’s probably much easier to fly under the radar, and even some prominent badthinkers can easily survive the regime), but whereas 1980s Hungary was usually moving in the direction of more freedom and less oppression, we now seem to be constantly moving towards less freedom and more oppression. The communist regime in Hungary was also getting more and more coy about oppression, our elites now are getting more and more open with their threats and demands to curtail freedom of expression.
* Typically to be professionally pseudononymous I think you get a trusted lawyer to act as your agent and the checks go to him. But I’m not sure how well that would work in today’s environment where the lawyer would be subject to the same consequences even for associating with your badthink.
I can’t fully express how annoyed it makes me to read comments like Frum’s from people who never think let alone say anything controversial. I wish they had enough self awareness or humanity to feel embarrassed by the ridiculousness of what they are saying but they don’t.
* Here is an interesting possibility: one day soon even anonymous commenters (like me) will risk being doxed by big data software that will suck up huge volumes of commentary and use idiosyncrasies in your writing style, along with other hints (e.g., characteristic arguments, or anecdotes you’ve used more than once), to link anything you’ve ever written under one name to anything you’ve ever written under any other. Anyone who has ever used their real name on the Internet will be at risk!
* Justine Sacco wishes she’d used a pseudonym.
* Well, in 2017 America, here’s what can (and likely will) happen if you publicly challenge the Cult of Equality theocracy (see if notice any similarities.):
1. Hounded out of your job. Check
2. Harassed. Check.
3. Beaten up by the police. Hey, look at that, we have a winner. No, the police will not beat you up, though you could get punched in the face by an overzealous SJW.
Here are a few more things that could happen to you:
4. Lose your friends and be ostracized by your community
5. Lose your wife and kids due to losing your job and friends
6. Lose your home and savings due to points 1 and 5
So, let’s see, if you speak out, there’s a reasonable chance that you can end up a jobless, bankrupt, divorced, broken man who rarely gets to see his children. Who needs police thugs and gulags? That is plenty to prevent all but the rare person from speaking out.
Steve and the Derb are marvels, but they found a writing niche that can’t be exploited by large numbers of people. The rest of us wouldn’t make it.
No, this silliness will hold its grip for a long time to come and will only fall when the disorder creeps into the homes and neighborhoods of upper middle class whites, which is still a long way off.
* Which survey of employee attitudes is likelier to get accurate responses: one in which the responding employees must use their real names, or one in which the responding employees can remain anonymous?
* I’ve encountered the attitude enough that it’s clearly some odd point of pride to use their real name. But is a luxury point of view.
David Frum makes his living from his thoughts, which are conveniently very “safe” and fashionable, even if it doesn’t feel that way at times. We who have bad thoughts, no trust funds, and non writing occupations know that the obvious risks of real names are not worth it.
* Yes, David. In a country where posting a photo of yourself in a MAGA hat on Facebook could very easily ruin your career, what you say makes a great deal of sense.
Maybe if I had his Jewish privilege I would feel safe too. But as a white male, I am the hunted, not the hunter.
* But the SPLC and ADL have heard of his writings, and they pay people to keep tabs on and cause trouble for those who write things the SPLC and ADL do not like.
The WASP Elites active in politics also know Sailer’s name, and they too dislike what he says. Most of them – see the Bush family history, for example) have histories of using wealth and connections to buy out those who voice what they oppose, and failing that to ruin them financially and socially.
* There was a website started a couple of years ago to publicize people who had made racist Facebook or Twitter comments and put pressure on their employers to fire them. These were mostly low level service workers and most them had been fired. The internet makes it much easier to go after people no matter how insignificant they are and destroy their livelihood.
* Does that apply to 1940s resistance press, David (((Frum)))? Or anti-slavery pamphlets? Or pre-1960s invective against Christianity and tradition?
Is there going to be a re-evaluation of the (until very recently) countless jewish free speech proponents?
* On the bright side, no pseudonym = no threat of CNN style blackmail doxxing, or the “Seek & Destroy this Mad Brute!” campaign the Scottish Daily Record launched against Youtube blogger Millennial Woes.
* I think it’s pretty awesome that you use your real name, I hope there haven’t been overly bad consequences for you, other than being unpersoned and frozen out of the MSM.
The commentariat says probably more than you’d want to say anyway.
Even being rich is no great protection. Look at Donald Sterling. He’s even Jewish, for god’s sake. If an uber-rich geriatric Jew can’t say what he thinks, what hope have the rest of us got? This is why we crawl under the rocks in the first place, Frum, you a**hole.
* The obvious reasons are the nontrivial chance that some member of the Coalition of the Fringes will act on the SPLC’s designation of Sailer as a one-man hate-group and carry out some vigilante anti-racist action on his person, property or family.
I don’t know how much ostracism Sailer has faced in his meatspace life because of what he’s written.
* What do you suppose Frum thinks of the secret ballot?
It was devised to protect the privacy and anonymity of the voter’s choice, so that it might not be influenced by social pressures or the fear of retaliation. In other words, a desire for secrecy in voting is motivated by the same concerns as are anonymous or pseudonymous expressions of opinion.
The labor unions’ promotion of “card check” over secret balloting in workplace organization elections under the last administration is a recent example of the left’s hostility to anonymous expression of opinion. The unions want card check because they know it is much more difficult for an employee to refuse to sign the card, aware that union organizers and his fellow workers will know he did so, than for him to vote against unionization by secret ballot.
Following Frum’s logic, one’s opinion as expressed by his vote during an election should be as much a matter of public record as his writings.
* Years ago the blogger Half Sigma (formerly known as Calico Cat, now known as Lion of the Blogosphere) created a fake blogging persona as “Libertarian Girl” and immediately racked up a pretty big audience.
* Also, if you DO sign your name and your thoughts fall outside of a narrow window of acceptable opinions, you will be personally ruined and will never be able to support your family again. And to reiterate, you have absolute freedom to speak your mind in this country.
* This is from the man who presumed to write paleo-cons out of the list of conservatives, becuase of their rejection of a bogus war which he helped to cook up.
* Gavin McInnes doesn’t get that he’s chosen to make a living being a controversialist who pulls edgy pranks and says naughty things. He’s carved out a well-worn niche for himself that even the dullest normie can understand. They get that some people say some “crazy stuff” and they’re allowed to do so because they’re journalists or comedians or celebrities of some kind. The same dull-witted normie would not, on the other hand, understand it if Gavin McInnes were a local bank manager, swimming pool salesman or assistant prof and said online 1/20th of what McInnes does. They’d have their ass handed to them by HR.
Matriarchal managerialsim and late stage consumer capitalism does not get free speech, except in approved spaces and cases. McInnes is one of those cases.
* An alternative explanation is that Frum isn’t concerned about threats of physical violence or career ruin from the Left because he’s part of the controlled opposition, which helps the Left consolidate their gains after a half-hearted and engineered-to-fail resistance. He’s determined to be seen as one of the few “respectable” Republicans, where the Republicans’ political enemies control the grant of respectability. He augments his respectability by enforcing the Left’s rules and declaring the Republican base and Right wing dissidents un-persons.
One of the other bright lights of the controlled opposition is Nicole Wallace. During the general election Presidential Campaign she criticized Trump’s appeal, stating (paraphrased) “would you even want to win with only white votes?” Recall that this woman (along with Frum) was in the Whitehouse of Bush the Lesser, and a linchpin of the McCain/Palin Campaign, the latter of which was a sort of engineered failure in search of virtue points for midwifing the first black President into existence. The campaign, advised by the likes of Wallace, advised against using Mr. Obama’s past racial hucksterism and radical associations while helping the opposing campaign to malign any real opposition to Mr. Obama as a pack of inveterate racists. In sum, we all got to go through a kabuki exercise in order that Wallace and others like her could receive pats on the back from their peers for running an “honorable (and doomed to fail) campaign.”
* A person’s name is the sweetest sound to them. Don’t know about pseudonyms. When Mark Stein makes reference to “Steve Sailer” while guest-hosting for Limbaugh, the most listened to radio program in the U.S., it would be such a rush to hear your name on the radio as you are driving your 15-year old Honda shitcan along the 101, no?
* One of the other aspects of the anonymity of platforms, especially twitter, is that it is a rare opportunity to interact with the ruling class where people like Frum can’t employ their credentials to dismiss challenges to their ideas and attitudes. Someone like Chris Cuomo really thinks he’s achieved his current station in life by virtue of his merit, rather than the networking power of a long-standing political dynasty. So when Cuomo tweets something that demonstrates the depth and scope of his stupidity and ignorance, he immediately gets backtalk setting him straight and embarrassing him – all from an egg avatar with 120 followers, most of which are porn bots.
This is the sort of thing that leads to a crisis of status – viz, how can it be that there are people out there seemingly without my credentials and achievements who know more than me? How can they disregard the authority of my station? If they exist, is my place secure?
* In (slight) defence of David Frum he actually is willing to stand by his opinions even when they aren’t popular. Now he is mostly an effective social climber to be sure but consider his opinions on immigration. As Steve has long pointed out he is one of the few neoconservatives who has been on the right side of that debate. He doesn’t mention the cultural/racial stuff but he does get into the economics and the crime aspect of it as well. Not sure why he isn’t criticised for it given how verboten it is but it is certainly not a popular position.
Likewise he did get kicked out of the Conservative Movement to some extent by giving into healthcare reform in 2009. Granted, it was a position that endeared him to liberals and his unorthodoxies tend to find him squarely in the centrist spectrum. By the same token he still defends the Iraq war, a lost position today, on the other hand that endears him to neocons who are still reeling.