Time for more questions!
Comment: Hi Francois, just wondering if you speak French? I’ve been looking for someone to translate I Blame the Patriarchy with me. I have Twisty’s permission to translate to French but I can’t do it alone. Just wondering since you have a French name.
Yes, and I have minor experience in translation. I’m nowhere near professional level, obviously, but I’d be happy to lend a hand. I was sad when I discovered IBTP and saw that it was dead. Now she seems to be resurrecting it, which is great news.
Name: peter cowen
Comment: Hi Francois,
Big fan. Commented a few times, reposted more than a few. Your thoughts are compelling and I am definitely a fan of your processes.
I’m curious. There are various philosopher protagonists around the internet, now for no particular reason than convenience (absolutely nothing to do with personal history or debates between you two) I’m going to compare your exposition to Stefan Molyneux’s. My curiosity is on what you think frames the nature of your enquiry and your content. This is where the comparison comes in, I’d say there is definitely a genuine curiosity and desire to rationalise and understand the best way for society to progress in both people and you both started off with quite tightly defined political philosophies. His deepened, you questioned and expanded your thoughts. You are both concerned though with what makes a good society, what are the least harms and what is the best way for society to progress (or at least your desire to spread information suggests this).
Over time though in both cases the gestalt of the societal problems seem to have fragmented down into say anti natalism as a natural logical outcome, or in SM’s case into Child Abuse. And then a further evolution or fragmentation into feminism in your case (damn feminazi..kidding) or in SM’s case into the rather silly position MRA, a stance apparently furthered by the propagation of shit statistics and endorsing the poisoning of a woman by her spouse who did not want to be pregnant. He relented and admitted it was shit after being directly questioned by myself on his wall – still though.
So I have to ask, when a philosopher or a man seriously seeking solutions arriving at complex ideas facing society, do you think that this fragmentation of focus and ideas is a way of chunking down problems to big into easier to manage small issues?
None of this is meant in a derogatory way FYI, except for Stefan Molyneux endorsing poisoning – fuck that.
First, I think Molyneux’s new pro-MRA stance and his position of blaming mothers for everything that’s wrong with society is absolutely wrong and unconscionable. I haven’t followed him for a very long time and I have no idea how he got to this point, but it’s pretty pathetic.
I can tell you what my approach is. My motivation has always been to try to understand how society works. My first interest was in cults (especially Scientology, since it’s a paradigmatic example) and trying to understand how they brainwash people, how the doctrine is a means to that end.
The one good thing I’ve inherited from Objectivism, which ironically has led me to radicalism, is the belief that ethics and society, like nature, function according to laws that can be discovered and analyzed. I say ironically because that basic insight has led me far, far away from Objectivist tenets (such as anti-feminism, capitalism and selfishness) and its over-simplistic “logic.”
I would tend to agree with you that a person’s ideology should ideally “fragment,” in that it should stop being general and get into more specific issues. There is only so much you can do by staying at such a general level of inquiry that you can’t really focus on anything specific. I find it’s much more useful to draw conclusions from specifics than to try to derive some Aristotelian “logic” about specifics from very general statements. By definition the specific is always gonna be closer to reality.
Realistically, it also takes a lot of time for a person to find out about these different fields. I just didn’t hear anything about antinatalism until I found Benatar’s book. I didn’t hear anything about radfem until I found the famous blog entry about Schroedinger’s Rapist. So there is always the issue of simply not knowing where to look, at first.
But in answer to your question I’d answer not necessarily, no. Someone who wasn’t born in privilege like me could very well start from a specific position and use it as a springboard into other areas and to observe certain universal phenomena and go from there. I’d say that’s probably where most radfem are coming from. And I think it’s probably a better starting point, if only because you’re actually starting from something real and therefore true. I started purely from philosophy bullshit and it took me a very long time to get down to anything that had any considerable level of reality to it.