Talking To the Devil: Did Vox Day Foretell Donald Trump’s war on Political Correctness?
For my next look at the culture wars, I talked to controversial alt-right figure Vox Day: game designer, science fiction author, and Amazon-bestselling political philosopher, who some claim to be an inspiration for Donald Trump’s No Apologies strategy.
He’s written about taking the vote away from women, blamed the lack of woman science fiction writers on poor science education in universities, been involved in #Gamergate and disrupted the venerable Hugo science fiction awards, among other things.
He’s been a regular target of feminists, social justice warriors and left-wing activists. For all that, it is hard to know how seriously he takes some of his positions and how much he is angling for a reaction. I asked Vox that we don’t get into personal attacks. Let’s pretend we’re at a Sunday picnic with nice people.
Vox, thanks for joining me. Can you tell us how you came to be a well-known opponent of the social justice left?
It was initially the result of ideological opposition within the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America to my nationally syndicated column, specifically one I wrote concerning an attack by Susan Estrich on Michael Kinsley.
You were called a misogynist, racist, anti-Semite. It got very heated.
It did. Before long, multiple writers at The Guardian were writing articles about what a terrible, awful, very bad person I am. Media outlets from NPR to the New Zealand Herald were joining in the fun. All that did was introduce me to new readers and turn my little blog into a juggernaut.
You say a lot of things that seem outrageous. To what extent are you winding people up?
Not at all. Everything I advocate has a solid basis in science, reason, and history. I find that it is mostly my tone of open contempt for my intellectual inferiors that tends to upset them.
That brings us to Donald Trump. He’s had a remarkable run in the US Primary Elections. He speaks often against Political Correctness. Some have noticed parallels between your book SJWs Always Lie: Taking Down the Thought Police, and Trump’s campaign tactics.
All I have done is to translate Aristotle for the 21st century and demonstrate how to apply the distinction between rhetoric and dialectic. Now, it does seem unlikely that Mr. Trump is particularly well-read in the classics and he also appears to be more than a little familiar with a number of the concepts introduced in the book, so I understand why some people believe he is making use of it. But it’s also possible that he is simply a natural rhetorician.
His opponents say Trump doesn’t actually know very much. They also say that he’s inciting violence against demonstrators. Your thoughts on that?
He’s not an intellectual, but he’s a man of wide-ranging experience and his opponents would be foolish to underrate his intelligence. Trump isn’t inciting any violence. If he was, you’d be seeing violence taking place at Cruz rallies, given that Cruz has been his target ever since Rubio imploded in Florida.
Donald Trump Jr was mocked when he retweeted, from you, an accusation that a woman pictured giving a Nazi salute at a Trump rally was in fact a Bernie Sanders supporter. She wasn’t. You refused to take down your tweet. Your book says that social justice movement always lies; always doubles down; and always projects. Isn’t that exactly what you are doing and what the Trump campaign is doing? Lying, doubling down and projecting?
Not at all. It wasn’t my accusation. I merely tweeted an image containing two pictures that someone else had sent me and I had no reason to suspect that it wasn’t actually the same woman. It wasn’t a lie, and I publicly corrected the error as soon as someone sent me a newer picture of the Sanders supporter that made it clear they weren’t the same woman. I didn’t take the tweet down for three reasons: I don’t try to hide my mistakes, I don’t give in to SJW demands, and the woman who had been mistakenly identified never asked me to do so. I did think it was telling, though, that so many SJWs on Twitter were more concerned about the mixup than she was, most likely because it inadvertently disrupted their false “Trump supporters are Nazis” narrative.
Despite all this, even some critics of both Trump and you are questioning elements of Political Correctness.
They are wise to do so. The SJW monster is not only going to eat them too, it’s going to eat them first. The SJWs have learned that we of the alt-right are much harder targets.
That sounds dramatic. Are there people on the left, in feminism and political correctness that could deal with and even that you admire?
Certainly. I live in Europe, where the ideological spectrum tends to be wider and people more readily socialize from one end to the other. Die Gedanken sind frei and I reject the notion that the personal is the political. Micro is not macro. We can agree to disagree, even vehemently, and still be friends.
As for people of the Left I respect, I was a massive admirer of Umberto Eco and consider his death a great loss to humanity. I think Camilla Paglia is wonderful. I have the honor of editing Martin van Creveld, the Israeli historian who is one of the best military minds on the planet, and I immensely admire him. I also learned a great deal from the socialist economist Robert Chernomas when I studied under him. But that being said, all four of them are, (or in the case of Eco, were) of the serious intellectual Left, not the politically correct infantile Left. I can respect a Leftist. But there is no place for SJWs in any organization or society that intends to survive.
Saying there is “no place for” anyone seems ridiculous and, frankly, daft.
The SJWs have been saying there is no place for anyone who disagrees with them for years, we’re simply applying their logic from our perspective… As for why any of us should be taken seriously, I will simply observe that reality doesn’t care what any of us believe, it just is. Whoever’s philosophy is most in line with reality will win in the end.
Thank you Vox Day.
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