How Can You Be For This?

What I will never comprehend is how people can support this:

If things weren’t already chaotic enough, Serbian soccer player Aleksandar Katai was released from the Los Angeles Galaxy last Friday following a day of indignant protests by fans outside Dignity Health Sports Park. What was Katai’s great offense? Being married to Tea Katai, who made Instagram posts comparing police-brutality protestors to cattle, called for violent action against them (“shoot the s***s”), and captioned an image of a supposed looter carrying off a pair of sneakers with “Black Nikes Matter.”

How can you be a good person and be for that? How can you be for the people who are trying to get that kid with an ancient MySpace page at Yale expelled? How can you be for the people who got Gordon Klein removed from teaching and receiving death threats for wanting to hold a final exam in his course? The people on social media who are soliciting information on postings by students, including underage, to dox and persecute them? There’s a million more stories, so these are not outliers.

Most people are good so there’s got to be some complicated defense system they have come up with to explain this to themselves. What is it? How can you vote for the side that supports this? What’s the justification?

“It’s not going to happen to me because my old social media accounts and my relatives are 100% virtuous including by the currently unknown standards that will spring up in the future”?

“This doesn’t happen to good people like me”?

“This only happens to people with desirable jobs, and I hate them anyway”?

“Yes, these are unfortunate excesses but on the flip side they are promising single-payer healthcare”?

Is it some sort of a completely primitive partisanship?

Or are people so enslaved, so irreparably stunted that they don’t understand why this is bad? Are they yes-butting it? Are they unwittingly using Stalin’s favorite talking point about “unfortunate excesses in limited places”? Which takes us back to the theory about people being irreparably stunted intellectually, and I don’t want to believe that.

13 thoughts on “How Can You Be For This?”

  1. The only problem here is that there’s almost no way to counter that. A less authoritarian regime can counter state censorship, but this…

    Firing 90% of Humanities professors in college? And replacing them by who?

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  2. Stalin’s favorite talking point about “unfortunate excesses in limited places”

    Maybe Stalin’s purges aren’t the right lens here as they were directed from above and enforced by the authoritative power of the fused party/state.

    Maybe Mao’s Red Guards in the Cultural Revolution are the more accurate point of reference. There, terror was from below and so its targets were often arbitrary and unpredictable. It was always far better to be a screaming member of the denunciation chorus in a struggle session than the sap in the metre-high dunce cap being vilified as a capitalist-roader and exiled to the countryside to work in the fields.

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  3. OT: I’m sending you email on something unrelated. You may have received several emails on this already, btw.

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    1. This is a fantastic system! For daycares. Anybody over the age of five doesn’t deserve to be infantilized like this. But for toddlers, it definitely makes sense.

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        1. I especially loved the part about how different professors having different grading system is unpredictable. Because absolutely nothing in the lives of adult people is unpredictable or chaotic. There’s absolutely no reason to learn to prepare for that aspect of existence.

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      1. “This is a fantastic system!”

        I’m trying to imagine how you would have reacted had the first university in NAmerican that you attended made a public announcement that students from former Soviet countries would be allowed to cheat because that’s how it was done there and they can’t possibly cope with the burden of being honest…

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