Political exploitation of personal suffering

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Mona Pereth

Joined: 11 Sep 2018
Age: 63
Gender: Female
Posts: 4,152
Location: New York City (Queens)

19 Jun 2021, 8:47 am

slam_thunderhide wrote:
It doesn’t matter to me how these LGBT-type groups started, the question I am interested in is why are their causes given so much publicity. Why are the sexually abnormal interests of a tiny minority given such prominence while the economic interests of the far larger number of regular people are ignored? How can anyone possibly think this is “people power” in action?

Probably because:

(1) Paying attention to the "economic interests of the far larger number of regular people" would require more government spending (on lots of different things), which would require taxing the rich, which would offend some of the biggest political campaign donors.

(2) There isn't enough organized "people power" behind the "economic interests of the far larger number of regular people" to counteract the influence of the afore-mentioned political donors.

Civil rights for various minorities, sexual and otherwise, cost a lot less government money. Hence a lot less people power (but still some organized people power) is required in order to attain them.

Also, as far as the mass media are concerned, topics related to sex, gender, etc. grab audience attention more than topics related to economics, hence are featured more in the mass media, whose profits depend on grabbing as many people's attention as possible.

slam_thunderhide wrote:
I mean, US embassies throughout the world have even started flying the LGBT flag alongisde the US flag during pride month. Is this more democracy and people power in action? Does anyone seriously think the average person wants to see this sort of thing? No, the main reason the US officials loudly proclaim their support of “gay rights” is that “gay rights” is a moralistic justification they can use for interfering in other countries and influencing their populations,

Can you provide examples of such interference with this particular justification?

Here is an ABC News story about the embassies: Biden admin. grants 'blanket authorization' to fly Pride flag at embassies: The move overturns the Trump administration's effective ban on Pride flags. Note that the embassies are now permitted -- but not required -- to fly Pride flags during the month of June. So the final decision about whether to fly the flag is made by the upper-level staff of the individual embassy, and they are flown only during the month of June.

If indeed a lot of US embassies have been flying the rainbow flag, my guess as to the most likely reason would be simply that a lot of top-level embassy employees (the political appointees) happen to be gay, since we now have a Democratic president. I wasn't personally a volunteer for the Joe Biden campaign, but I did briefly volunteer in Hillary Clinton's campaign in 2016, and one thing I noticed was that a lot of her campaign volunteers, at least here in NYC, appeared to be gay. So it would appear that a lot of gay activists have gotten involved in Democratic Party politics, at the grassroots level at least. That being the case, it wouldn't surprise me if a lot of Democratic Party political appointees are gay also.

It should be noted also that, here in the U.S.A., civil service jobs (i.e. jobs for government workers who are not political appointees) have long been a haven for minorities of all kinds. Many middle-class black people, for example, attained middle-class status via civil service. LGBTQ+ people too have been disproportionately drawn to civil service jobs.

Given the long history of U.S. interference in other countries, it's understandable why some people might fear that everything a U.S. embassy does is an excuse for interference. But I don't think that's the case with the rainbow flags.

slam_thunderhide wrote:
just as they use it to divide and control America’s people.

At least here in the U.S.A., if anyone is using the LGBT rights issue issue to "divide and control America’s people" it's the anti-LGBT Republican groups, IMO.

For an example of "astro-turf" top-down right wing organizing, see the Wikipedia article on Paul Weyrich. Note how his initial concerns were economic (in a way that favored big business), but then he branched out into religious right wing organizing as a way to bring conservative evangelical Christians and other religious conservatives into the Republican Party.

Similar astro-turfing just doesn't happen very often on the left, nor does it happen very often in the Democratic Party. If you think it does, I challenge you to find some documented historical examples -- at least subsequent to the end of the Cold War. (Before then, there was some left-wing astro-turfing, with the aim of providing alternatives to Communism. Mostly this took the form of anti-Communist labor unions.)

slam_thunderhide wrote:
Mona Pereth wrote:
slam_thunderhide wrote:
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.

I think what you are seeing here is simply that people who are already comfortable being out of the closet as LGBTQ+ people are also much more likely, than other autistic people, to be comfortable being out of the closet as autistic people. More generally a person is already comfortable with being a public freak in one way is much more likely than most people to be comfortable with being public freak in other ways as well.

This doesn't mean they aren't genuinely autistic, but it does mean they aren't representative of all or most autistic people. Due to Facebook's "real names" policy, people who are openly autistic on Facebook are a highly nonrepresentative sample of autistic people.

Your opinion on this is no less speculative than mine.

My opinion is based on many years (off and on) of experience within the organized LGBTQ+ community.

slam_thunderhide wrote:
What I do know is that young people are very suggestible, and easily influenced by what the media presents to them as cool (including things like drug-taking and other forms of degeneracy).

Drug-taking is very different from sexuality. If someone is genuinely, naturally heterosexual, no amount of gay "coolness" is going to take that person's heterosexual sex drive away. If someone has no natural erotic attraction to members of the same sex, then no amount of gay "coolness" is going to give that person such an attraction. (At most the person might be induced to experiment with same-sex erotic activity, but such experimentation will not change the person's sexual orientation.)

slam_thunderhide wrote:
So if we have a society that glorifies freakishness, it seems likely that we’ll see more young people embracing it, when they would probably live quite normal lives in a saner society.

In what you call a "saner" (more conformist) society, people with minority sexual orientations and gender identities would still exist, but would be under more pressure to be closeted. They would not live genuinely "normal" lives.

In a society that "glorifies freakishness" there would be a lot more respect for individuality in general -- and also a lot more creativity, including the kinds of creativity that are at a premium in today's economy.

slam_thunderhide wrote:
Also, I know that a large numbers of normal people are fed up of all this victim culture, with all these groups demanding concessions and issuing demands about how they should be addressed,

We've gone through periods like this before. When I was a little kid, back in the 1960's, many older folks felt that the world was completely falling apart due to all the social changes happening back then. By the mid-1970's, things calmed down quite a bit, at least on the social/cultural issues front, as far as the majority of people were concerned. Progress continued, although more slowly. Backlash movements arose too, but the LBBTQ+ eventually prevailed against them to a large degree.

slam_thunderhide wrote:
and I feel that autistic people (who actually do need support) will feel the force of any backlash against it.

Autistic people won't win by opposing other marginalized groups.

slam_thunderhide wrote:
Mona Pereth wrote:
slam_thunderhide wrote:
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.

Which "outsider identities" do you believe are "astroturfed," and on what basis do you believe that?

Transgenderism would be the obvious one. Intersex conditions are real (and people who have them deserve support), but transgenderism is not. As several experts (the honest and brave ones) have said, people who think they are a different sex to what their chromosomes and their biology say they are need psychological support, not surgery.

As the Transgender Equality FAQ explains:

Why don’t transgender people get counseling to accept the gender they were assigned at birth?

Counseling aimed at changing someone’s gender identity, sometimes known as conversion therapy, doesn’t work and can be extremely harmful. The belief that someone’s gender identity can be changed through therapy runs counter to the overwhelming consensus in the medical community. Telling someone that a core part of who they are is wrong or delusional and forcing them to change it is dangerous, sometimes leading to lasting depression, substance abuse, self-hatred and even suicide. [...] However, many transgender people find it helpful to get counseling to help them decide when to tell the world they are transgender and deal with the repercussions of stigma and discrimination that comes afterward.

This "overwhelming consensus in the medical community" has grown slowly over many decades of dialogue with the transgender community. It is not a sudden new fad. The "medical community" tends to be conservative, if anything. It does not tend to be subject to sudden fads.

slam_thunderhide wrote:
A high number of people who have the surgery come to regret it.

What is your evidence for this "high number"? (Feel free to send it to me via PM if you prefer.)

In any case, if you're worried about kids making rash decisions, adolescents do not get "the surgery," or even hormone treatments. The only relevant medical treatment that young transgender people under 18 can receive is puberty blockers, whose effects are temporary (although there is still some controversy over possible longterm side-effects). The purpose of puberty blockers is to give the kids more time to decide what they really want/need in the long run.

slam_thunderhide wrote:
Mona Pereth wrote:
Just because you "barely heard of" them a few years ago doesn't mean that they didn't exist.

If you're referring to transgender people, for example, that's far from new. See, for example, Wikipedia's Timeline of transgender history and GLAAD's Transgender Visibility Timeline.

Yes, I’ve already heard plenty about Magnus Hirschfeld and his Institute. Transgenderism wasn’t any more real back then than it is now.

And your basis for denying its reality is ...?

The existence of transgender people, or at least transwomen, has been documented as long ago as ancient Sumer (the Gala priestesses of Inanna), and in the ancient Greek and Roman empires (the Gallae), and there is a longstanding tradition of transwomen in India (the Hijra (South Asia)). The only thing that was new, as of the 1930's through the 1960's or so, was modern sex reassignment surgery and hormone treatments.

Since the 1960's, what is most important and relevant to your question is the growth of the transgender community and the development of its relationship to the larger LGBTQ+ community, as well as its relationship to the medical community. These relationships evolved over many decades between then and now, primarily at a grassroots level (within the transgender community itself and the larger LGBTQ+ community), which was eventually reflected in academia and in the more progressive wings of the Democratic Party, until it eventually reached critical mass.

slam_thunderhide wrote:
Mona Pereth wrote:
You've seized upon what seems to you like a logical explanation based on your political beliefs, but you evidently have not studied the real history of these things.

Your assumption about me is pretty much back-to-front. It was mostly through reading about “these things” that I formed my political beliefs. Before that I was a liberal. Clearly I have read different books from yourself. And I think if I quoted from some of these books I’ve read there’s a good chance my post will get removed.

You may send the quotes to me via PM. I promise not to report you for stuff you send me in a PM as long as it's not personally harassing.

slam_thunderhide wrote:
Mona Pereth wrote:
Also, I would hazard a guess that you do not live in a major city of the kind where these subcultures have existed for many decades. (Or, if you do live in such a city, you haven't been paying regular attention to local news.)

I’ve lived my whole life in London, England. Is that a major enough city for you?

I should have specified that you don't live in a major city here in the U.S.A.. I'll admit that I'm far less familiar with how things work in the U.K. than with how things work here in the U.S.A. But I do know that your claims about how leftist political movements work are certainly not valid here in the U.S.A.

slam_thunderhide wrote:
I follow US politics fairly closely because developments in the US often warn me about what new forms of cultural degradation I can look forward to in the UK two or three years down the line.

London has had a gay subculture for a long time, and it's been pretty much a matter of common knowledge and indifference to most local people. It's only in recent years with gay pride flags showing up everywhere that people are starting to wonder what on earth is going on.

slam_thunderhide wrote:
Mona Pereth wrote:
And you've evidently never marched in a LGBTQ+ Pride parade -- or held in your hands a list of all the many mostly-grassroots organizations marching in said parade.

You’re quite right that I’ve never marched in a LGBTQ+ Pride parade. Call me old-fashioned, but I’m not mad keen on the idea of people walking round in broad daylight semi-naked or in fetish gear while children are watching. I don't know if the early parades were like this, but photos I've seen suggest the modern ones often are.

You're focusing here on the photos you've seen of just one small section of a typical parade. What you apparently don't see -- but politicians do see -- is the many people marching in the wide variety of other sections of the parade.

slam_thunderhide wrote:
Mona Pereth wrote:
Nor, in all likelihood, did you ever personally know the individual who originated the very idea of what at first were called Gay Pride parades: Brenda Howard (who was a close personal friend of mine back in the mid-1980's).

As I say, I am far less interested in the question of how things like Gay Pride parades originated than in the question of how and why LGBT issues have been given so much support and publicity. So your name-dropping is not really relevant.

My point is that I am politically experienced enough to know that the LBGTQ+ rights movement, at least here in the U.S.A., has followed a typical trajectory of minority rights movements here in the U.S.A.

That trajectory is, basically, that marginalized groups of all kinds tend to follow the lead of the black community. Whenever there's a major revival of activism by and for black people, it tends to inspire major revivals of activism by and for other marginalized groups as well. These revivals typically occur first on a grassroots level (within a given marginalized group itself), and then find their way into academia and then (eventually, usually in very diluted form) into corporations and the government.

As I said earlier, the most recent revival of black grassroots activism, revolving around opposition to police brutality, began around 2010 or so, enabled by the inventions of smartphone video cameras and YouTube, which suddenly made it much easier for random people to make live videos showing the police in action. Various other minority-rights groups were then inspired to organize too (including, in the autistic community, ASAN). It then took several years for all this grassroots activism to percolate, in diluted form, into the establishment.

This gave rise to a backlash, in the form of the election of Trump, whose outrageous offensiveness inspired a counter-backlash -- a further revival of various grassroots minority-rights movements, followed by their diluted establishment reflections.

So that's the answer to your question of "Why now?"

Hopefully the backlash will eventually run out of steam, as has happened numerous times in the past, as more and more people got accustomed to the new sensibilities.

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