Political exploitation of personal suffering

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Mona Pereth
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13 Jun 2021, 10:06 am

HacKING wrote:
As somebody with autism myself, I dislike seeing the whole left wing intersectional crowd often claim autism as part of their list of oppressed groups.

Where have you seen this, for example? I could be wrong, but I'm under the impression that it's still rare for us to be mentioned as part of a standard list of marginalized groups.

HacKING wrote:
The reason I believe it is regressive is that the whole ideology is largely pushed by journalists, corporations, politicians, and entertainment industry juggernauts.

I think you may be confusing both the left wing in general, and the concept of intersectionality in particular, with the corporate/establishment co-optation thereof.

Almost anything that becomes sufficiently popular on its own -- and especially anything that becomes sufficiently popular within organized (non-elite) subcultures in major cities that are also major corporate and/or mass media centers, such as NYC and LA -- will eventually have some of its ideas adopted, to some extent at least, by the establishment.

HacKING wrote:
All of these people are interconnected and there is significant mingling between them. They're basically an elite class that all mutually benefits from drumming up social outrage so that the politicians they've aligned with will win so they can dish out paychecks and favors to corporations and those corporations can dish out paychecks to others.

Much of what you say in the above paragraph is true, except that it's wrong to perceive the elite as the originators of most political ideas. Rather, what the elite does more often is to further popularize ideas that already have a significant grassroots following.

As for the rest of what you say in the above paragraph, that's how electoral politics in general works here in the U.S.A. Because the structure of most elections here in the U.S.A. intrinsically favors the existence of just two major parties, both parties need to consist of broad alliances, and both parties also need tons of money. Both parties also motivate their voters via fear and loathing of the other side. The two parties differ in which groups they aim to appeal to.

Changing this would require radical changes in how elections work.

HacKING wrote:
It doesn't help that this ideology is attached to policy that gives government significant power which in turn helps perpetuate the interests of this elite class. The plot is this- The media, corporations, and Hollywood cook up incendiary narratives for a list of special groups for they want to get votes from

No need to "cook up incendiary narratives." There is plenty of real oppression that you apparently aren't fully aware of.

Furthermore, the idea of an alliance of oppressed groups, although it does get utilized by "an elite class," was not originated by the elite. It originated in various grassroots civil rights movements and various grassroots leftist groups forming alliances with each other.

For example, the recent wave of minority-rights activism that began about ten to twelve years ago wasn't cooked up by an elite class -- except perhaps as an unintended consequence of the invention of cellphone cameras and YouTube, which made it a heck of a lot easier to document police brutality than it had been previously. The latter is what birthed the Black Lives Matter movement.

And then, as usual here in the U.S.A., whenever there is a wave of activism by or on behalf of Black people, various other marginalized groups then get inspired to stand up for their rights too, resulting in an explosion of support for other, already-existing civil rights movements (and sometimes the grassroots creation of totally new civil rights movements too).

This in turn makes it safer for those few members of the "elite class" who happen also to be members of marginalized groups to become more assertive about their own rights within the "elite class." This, along with the sudden vibrancy of the various grassroots civil rights movements, persuades other, more mainstream members of the "elite class" that they might further their own interests by co-opting the civil rights movements. In some ways these elite champions then advance the civil rights movements they've adopted, while in other ways they distort them.

The concept of "intersectionality" was coined at least as far back as 1989. It is usually credited to a Black feminist named Kimberlé Crenshaw. It is a natural way to discuss an alliance of overlapping civil rights movements, with or without the involvement of an "elite class."

HacKING wrote:
exploiting that emphasize an oppressor vs oppressed heirarchy. This weaponizes genuine pain and suffering of people in a manner that incubates hatred, and of course with all the intense emotions related to these topics, people either rationalize or overlook entirely the more overly authoritarian policies they want and if that doesn't do it they'll create a moral panic around the issue.

Agreed that moral panics are a serious danger. But that's not a reason to reject the very idea of an alliance of civil rights movements. It just means that people in civil rights movements need to think more critically.

There have always been individuals within various civil rights movements who said NO to moral panics. A good example is the 1980's "Satanic ritual abuse" scare, which, for a while, gripped pretty much nearly everyone across the entire political spectrum. But eventually debunkers emerged on both the right and the left, including some feminists such as Debbie Nathan, who stood up against the tendency of other feminists to fall hard for the SRA scare. And eventually the debunkers won, at least in the mainstream political realm (although the SRA scare continued to percolate on the fringes and eventually morphed into Pizzagate/QAnon).

HacKING wrote:
This mixture of personal suffering, false empathy, moral outrages, and resentment churns out what are essentially acolytes to this ideology; people that adhere to every single position the elite class puts out there from their massive bully pulpit of cultural institutions. They can't think for themselves or break off from it because this ideology has taken the place of actually coming to terms with their personal suffering. Their pain has been successfully exploited by the elite class.

Again you seem to see "the elite" as the originators of civil-rights and/or left-wing ideology. See above.


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13 Jun 2021, 2:59 pm

This is how things often happen.

There is some "socialist" demands made.
Corporations scream bloody murder, spend a lot of money and effort lobbying against it.
Said corporations figure out how to monetize it.
Said corporations spend a lot of time and effort virtue signaling about an issue they used to harshly oppose, branding themselves as oh so progressive.
Average citizens who opposed the idea have to suck it up or drop out.
If the cause turned out to be right most of those opposed will go with the flow and get rewarded and those that still oppose will miss out.
If the cause was wrong while the "woke" companies profit everybody else suffers. Resistance still is futile, too much money is behind it. Maybe if the adapted policy is that horrendous some "reforms" or "modifications" are made that don't solve the basic problem which is the policy and the thinking behind it.


I have an issue not with the possibility the "wild" "crazy" "conspiracy theories" might on occasion be true, but with global elite conspiracy theories. Elites got that way because they have giant size egos, and have often bucked conventional wisdom to get where they are. I find it hard to believe that a few hundred or whatever of these types of personalities could not only agree to a conspiracy but have the discipline to keep it going year after year and get their offspring to keep it going for generations. This is what the global elite conspiracy theorists who think they have "connected the dots" and figured out what the masses of sheepie have missed have not figured out themselves.


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13 Jun 2021, 5:49 pm

I'd say Autism Speaks probably speaks for us much better than the intersectional (reactionary) left, especially if the later got really serious about speaking on our behalf - our representatives would be incredibly well cherrypicked.


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13 Jun 2021, 9:46 pm

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
I'd say Autism Speaks probably speaks for us much better than the intersectional (reactionary) left, especially if the later got really serious about speaking on our behalf - our representatives would be incredibly well cherrypicked.

"Cherrypicked" by whom?

Why are you equating "intersectional" with "reactionary"?


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13 Jun 2021, 10:06 pm

Mona Pereth wrote:
"Cherrypicked" by whom?

The game theory of purity tests, also zealotic 'bothers and sisters in arms' who have certain ideas about how the given group should feel or what political talking points they need to stick to in order to be 'authentic'.

Mona Pereth wrote:
Why are you equating "intersectional" with "reactionary"?

It might just be the timing and sequence of events as I experienced them but it's really tough not to see this as a knock-on effect of the 2008 financial crisis, the sense that the financialization of things was going to lead to K-shaped recoveries, and it turned into a way for people to start fighting each other over who got what remained. I suppose it's really tough to call it 100% anything because so many people are involved and feeding different inputs but what seems to be shaping it now is corporate adoption, different white people running their own rackets, and rarely do things that really solve problems come up front and center. It's the aggressive ersatz nature of it that suggests that it's largely unconscious and to the degree that it's conscious it's being shaped much more successfully by cynical actors. Also to the degree that people have taken this up but can't even put their fingers on the right targets (like a culture where Darwinian game theory is seen as the best solution for everything or runaway Pareto distributions) they can't focus, or find leadership who would focus, on grappling the actual problems - which makes it sound like it's head-locked, tapped out, and coopted by the same forces they set out to fight in the first place.

I look at the people who are pushing the momentum in this and I wouldn't trust them to define autistic, what it is to be autistic, or to try and tell us what an autistic identity is let alone what an autistic voting block is.


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13 Jun 2021, 10:42 pm

Something I'm watching that actually seems pertinent based on their discussion of ressentiment:



The main idea - you shouldn't need to eat wafers to be what you are. Nor do you need the wafers to identify and solve problems, if anything they tend to get in the way.


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14 Jun 2021, 12:00 pm

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
I'd say Autism Speaks probably speaks for us much better than the intersectional (reactionary) left, especially if the later got really serious about speaking on our behalf - our representatives would be incredibly well cherrypicked.


Who is us? Autistic People, The autism community(autistics, caregivers, psychologists, researchers)?

"Reactionary" in the political not literal meaning of the term means a desire to undo a political or social change and go back to the way it was. By this definition, ND opponents are the "reactionaries". They want to revert back to the Medical Model of Autism(Autism is not an identity, it is not difference that needs to be accepted, but a disease that needs to be cured)


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14 Jun 2021, 12:18 pm

HacKING wrote:
As somebody with autism myself, I dislike seeing the whole left wing intersectional crowd often claim autism as part of their list of oppressed groups. Generally I dislike the oppression heirachy these people push because it still perpetuates an oppressive mindset it just takes the current pyramid and reverses it. And as the old saying goes, two wrongs don't make a right.

So when I see autism lumped into this it bothers me for the same reasons I dislike that whole concept, except in this case it's personal. I don't think there's anything wrong with advocating for yourself and I do believe autism (and some of the other groups these people include in their coalition) do have their own unique challenges, I believe the way they go about the advocacy is regressive.

The reason I believe it is regressive is that the whole ideology is largely pushed by journalists, corporations, politicians, and entertainment industry juggernauts. All of these people are interconnected and there is significant mingling between them. They're basically an elite class that all mutually benefits from drumming up social outrage so that the politicians they've aligned with will win so they can dish out paychecks and favors to corporations and those corporations can dish out paychecks to others. It's almost like multi-level marketing all funded by taxpayer dollars.

It doesn't help that this ideology is attached to policy that gives government significant power which in turn helps perpetuate the interests of this elite class. The plot is this- The media, corporations, and Hollywood cook up incendiary narratives for a list of special groups for they want to get votes from exploiting that emphasize an oppressor vs oppressed heirarchy. This weaponizes genuine pain and suffering of people in a manner that incubates hatred, and of course with all the intense emotions related to these topics, people either rationalize or overlook entirely the more overly authoritarian policies they want and if that doesn't do it they'll create a moral panic around the issue.


I think I am largely in agreement with this.

It seems obvious to me that if you have an elite class that cares little for the masses they rule over, then one way for them to tighten their control would be a divide and rule strategy of encouraging an ever expanding list of identity groups to fight against the masses of ordinary people (in the name of "securing their rights"), all the while ignoring those same elites - and that this quite accurately describes what we see in the US and to a lesser degree throughout the West.

With respect to autism, two things I have noticed spring to mind.

Firstly, whenever I check social media, I see that an unusually high number of left-wing accounts are run by people who have self-diagnosed themselves with autism along with two or three other neurological or psychological conditions and, usually, some strange new gender /sexual identity. I would be fairly confident that several of these autism self-diagnoses are inaccurate, and that several of these people would be better able to address their personal issues in a society where people were not encouraged to think that by adopting these various identities they were somehow "fighting the powers that be". Also, I think there is a danger that this trend will undermine the credibility of autism as a diagnosis.

Secondly, when I browse WrongPlanet, I see a high number of people who buy into this sort of stuff, which I find fairly disillusioning. It's as if some people on the spectrum think that just because they are (naturally) one of society's outsiders, that they're supposed to automatically identify with every other "outsider identity" they ever hear about, no matter how astroturfed it is.

As to the people on this thread who seem to think that it's the masses who have forced the powers-that-be to recognize all these "oppressed groups" that we'd barely heard of a few years ago - rather than the powers-that-be imposing this stuff on the masses through academia, the media and politics - well, I just find that naive beyond belief.



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14 Jun 2021, 12:35 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:


I have an issue not with the possibility the "wild" "crazy" "conspiracy theories" might on occasion be true, but with global elite conspiracy theories. Elites got that way because they have giant size egos, and have often bucked conventional wisdom to get where they are. I find it hard to believe that a few hundred or whatever of these types of personalities could not only agree to a conspiracy but have the discipline to keep it going year after year and get their offspring to keep it going for generations. This is what the global elite conspiracy theorists who think they have "connected the dots" and figured out what the masses of sheepie have missed have not figured out themselves.


In contrast, my view is that it's people who repeat the boilerplate claim in your penultimate sentence above (regardless of the context) who have an over-inflated view of their own insight.

I mean, the facts about Western elites going against the (shall we say) "conservative" views of the general public are pretty much out in the open; there's rarely anything hidden or illegal about them. Moreover, systems of power given an initial ideological impetus (e.g., the anti-nationalist sentiment among many Western elites following the end of World War 2) often continue moving in the same direction through inertia.

For example, Western populations have never voted for mass immigration from non-Western countries, but this is what they've been given. Some schools in the US were racially integrated at gunpoint. The people of California voted against gay marriage in 2008, but this was struck down in the Supreme Court. Whatever anyone might think about the rights and wrongs of all this, these are clearly not cases of elites respecting the popular will.



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14 Jun 2021, 1:56 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
Who is us? Autistic People, The autism community(autistics, caregivers, psychologists, researchers)?

I'll clarify I wasn't pitching that as a pro Autism Speaks message, I was going more in the other direction - I have zero trust for IP other than its capacity to divide and conquer without solving problems.

ASPartOfMe wrote:
"Reactionary" in the political not literal meaning of the term means a desire to undo a political or social change and go back to the way it was. By this definition, ND opponents are the "reactionaries". They want to revert back to the Medical Model of Autism(Autism is not an identity, it is not difference that needs to be accepted, but a disease that needs to be cured)

I'd go back to what I said a few posts above in response to Mona Pereth's question.

There was a Spiked TV discussion a while back as to whether the left was 'eating itself' and I actually liked Brendan O'Neill's challenge to the question - you sure this qualifies as 'the left'? With the video I posted above - when all of corporate America and the CIA goes woke and not a thing has changed other than a proliferation of hash tags, what sort of signal bounces back from that?

This is something else where I've criticized woke a lot in the past and certain people are then devoted to the mindset that antiwoke either equals ignorant or worse, krypto-rightwinger. For anyone whose watched the Weinstein bros, Coleman Hughes, Sam Harris, even Noam Chomsky, you get a very different and validly left-of-center read of the situation and the angles. To say that to be validly x you have to eat the communion wafer, that's what cults do. It's mind control. If you need to control minds and control speech it doesn't bode well for your solutions and if anything suggests that no one in charge of that has any aside from power. At the same time, network dynamics being what they are with almost anything political, what rises to the top isn't the people with the best ideas but the people who sling the best zero-sum games.

If you do think there's a better terminology than 'reactionary' for this I'm open to changing my opinion but it's neither intelligent nor particularly helpful to the causes that it injects itself as saving. A bit like how people criticize the US for telling itself the story that it's the world's Superman coming to save the day and leaves wreckage, it's sort of the same idea here meets the start of a new imperial religion.


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14 Jun 2021, 2:37 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
techstepgenr8tion wrote:
I'd say Autism Speaks probably speaks for us much better than the intersectional (reactionary) left, especially if the later got really serious about speaking on our behalf - our representatives would be incredibly well cherrypicked.


Who is us? Autistic People, The autism community(autistics, caregivers, psychologists, researchers)?

"Reactionary" in the political not literal meaning of the term means a desire to undo a political or social change and go back to the way it was. By this definition, ND opponents are the "reactionaries". They want to revert back to the Medical Model of Autism(Autism is not an identity, it is not difference that needs to be accepted, but a disease that needs to be cured)


You sound so woke and yet so utterly reasonable. ;)


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14 Jun 2021, 2:43 pm

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
Who is us? Autistic People, The autism community(autistics, caregivers, psychologists, researchers)?

I'll clarify I wasn't pitching that as a pro Autism Speaks message, I was going more in the other direction - I have zero trust for IP other than its capacity to divide and conquer without solving problems.

ASPartOfMe wrote:
"Reactionary" in the political not literal meaning of the term means a desire to undo a political or social change and go back to the way it was. By this definition, ND opponents are the "reactionaries". They want to revert back to the Medical Model of Autism(Autism is not an identity, it is not difference that needs to be accepted, but a disease that needs to be cured)

I'd go back to what I said a few posts above in response to Mona Pereth's question.

There was a Spiked TV discussion a while back as to whether the left was 'eating itself' and I actually liked Brendan O'Neill's challenge to the question - you sure this qualifies as 'the left'? With the video I posted above - when all of corporate America and the CIA goes woke and not a thing has changed other than a proliferation of hash tags, what sort of signal bounces back from that?

This is something else where I've criticized woke a lot in the past and certain people are then devoted to the mindset that antiwoke either equals ignorant or worse, krypto-rightwinger. For anyone whose watched the Weinstein bros, Coleman Hughes, Sam Harris, even Noam Chomsky, you get a very different and validly left-of-center read of the situation and the angles. To say that to be validly x you have to eat the communion wafer, that's what cults do. It's mind control. If you need to control minds and control speech it doesn't bode well for your solutions and if anything suggests that no one in charge of that has any aside from power. At the same time, network dynamics being what they are with almost anything political, what rises to the top isn't the people with the best ideas but the people who sling the best zero-sum games.

If you do think there's a better terminology than 'reactionary' for this I'm open to changing my opinion but it's neither intelligent nor particularly helpful to the causes that it injects itself as saving. A bit like how people criticize the US for telling itself the story that it's the world's Superman coming to save the day and leaves wreckage, it's sort of the same idea here meets the start of a new imperial religion.

The “wokes” are not reactionaries, they are revolutionaries with an Orwellian bent. they want to completely redefine understanding of American history with the goal if replacing American institutions. The Orwellian part is what you describe redefining and weaponizing language for not only mind control, but control period.


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14 Jun 2021, 2:47 pm

funeralxempire wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
techstepgenr8tion wrote:
I'd say Autism Speaks probably speaks for us much better than the intersectional (reactionary) left, especially if the later got really serious about speaking on our behalf - our representatives would be incredibly well cherrypicked.


Who is us? Autistic People, The autism community(autistics, caregivers, psychologists, researchers)?

"Reactionary" in the political not literal meaning of the term means a desire to undo a political or social change and go back to the way it was. By this definition, ND opponents are the "reactionaries". They want to revert back to the Medical Model of Autism(Autism is not an identity, it is not difference that needs to be accepted, but a disease that needs to be cured)


You sound so woke and yet so utterly reasonable. ;)

Must be some subconscious inner wokeness. :oops:


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14 Jun 2021, 2:56 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
funeralxempire wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
techstepgenr8tion wrote:
I'd say Autism Speaks probably speaks for us much better than the intersectional (reactionary) left, especially if the later got really serious about speaking on our behalf - our representatives would be incredibly well cherrypicked.


Who is us? Autistic People, The autism community(autistics, caregivers, psychologists, researchers)?

"Reactionary" in the political not literal meaning of the term means a desire to undo a political or social change and go back to the way it was. By this definition, ND opponents are the "reactionaries". They want to revert back to the Medical Model of Autism(Autism is not an identity, it is not difference that needs to be accepted, but a disease that needs to be cured)


You sound so woke and yet so utterly reasonable. ;)

Must be some subconscious inner wokeness. :oops:


More likely a matter of perspective, you get what it's like to be part of one community that needs to self-advocate.

NT college kids who are worked up over saving the world shouldn't advocate for ND people, instead ND people as a whole and as more specific communities should advocate on their own behalf to the greatest extent possible.


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14 Jun 2021, 3:02 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
The “wokes” are not reactionaries, they are revolutionaries with an Orwellian bent. they want to completely redefine understanding of American history with the goal if replacing American institutions. The Orwellian part is what you describe redefining and weaponizing language for not only mind control, but control period.

You're probably right about a fair percentage of them. There are also flanks and particular thinkers/authors like Ibram X Kendi who seem to be more on the reform route although it's radical reform - eg. adding a fourth wing of government to clear all bills passed by congress for their racial equity impact. There's also the puritan busy-bodies who want to be their brother or sister's keeper who are being mobilized, although I can't deny the likelihood that these were tapped equally well with Leninism/Stalinism and Maoism. Then there are the white social-climbers trying to climb to the top of the stack of white people by stepping on heads more vigorously than anyone else.

The video above is actually interesting because it's a couple gay left-wing intellectuals and magicians actually criticizing IP from the left. I find that I actually resonate with all sorts of left-wing criticisms of the current system whether from Chomsky, Hedges, Zizek, etc. as there's a lot of signal in what they're seeing but at the same time I'd tend to agree with Daniel Schmachtenberger that there's likely no historical system that would help us and we're really looking at the need for something new. I really like the idea of 'anthropic' capitalism, where the economy serves humanity and the richness of culture and civics rather than humanity being repurposed to serve the algorithms of economy, that probably sits somewhere to the left of neoliberalism and to the right of social democracy. It seems like so many of the problem's we're dealing with are seeing that the neoliberal promise to build wealth in the 3rd world, get incomes above 5K per year individual income for those countries to be well-off enough to have fall in birth rate and even have the capacity to implement and abide by environmentalist policies that would do things like save the rain forests from slash and burn farming or the need to collect wood to make a living, but the downside of this sort of neoliberalism is that the west rushes head-long toward neofeudalism.

It really seems like, at root, the problems we're grappling with center on an economic story. This is part of where we actually need a left in the US that cares about the working class. The Democratic party seems to have traded labor for celebration of group status because the later doesn't cost anything.


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14 Jun 2021, 3:10 pm

funeralxempire wrote:
NT college kids who are worked up over saving the world shouldn't advocate for ND people, instead ND people as a whole and as more specific communities should advocate on their own behalf to the greatest extent possible.

The trick would be figuring out what it looks like for ND people to do things like set up co-ops and see what outward-facing models work. At least in the world as it presently stands the trick is ensconcing ourselves as an economic entity and we'd have to figure out what suits us well or what it takes to set up Cleveland model endeavors.


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"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is a hard business. If you try it, you'll be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privelege of owning yourself" - Rudyard Kipling