Liberal Fascism

Neiwert Cont’d

I’ve pretty much moved on, but I liked this email from Jeff at Protein Wisdom:

Jonah –

I’ve had a couple of run-ins with Neiwert myself and you’re absolutely 

right — he isn’t worth the expenditure of energy it takes to rebut 

him, because he’ll ignore every rebuttal and then go right on 

insisting you haven’t answered his (predictable, shopworn, automatic 

– pick one) indictments.

In my case, the debate was over how conservatives are 

“hypermasculinist” — a trope picked up by Glenn Greenwald, Professor 

Rick Caric, and Reason “libertarian” Jim Henley (he of the, ‘I marched 

with ANSWER, but that doesn’t mean I’m granting them legitimacy’ dodge).

In the course of our “debate,” Neiwert’s sole rhetorical maneuver – 

one you, too, identify — is to rely on what he has internalized as 

received truth.  In short, he proceeds from question begging, and then 

declares himself vindicated when he is then able to “prove” his 

premise through the circular reasoning that seems to plague all 

insulated demagogues.

Unfortunately, such is the stuff of academic success these days – 

when its anti-intellectualism should be enough to disqualify it from 

polite society of thinkers.

But the inmates have taken over the asylum.  Which, sadly, I learned 

first hand.

Keep up the good fight.  It’s a shame that someone like Neiwert — who 

essentially has internalized a couple of early 90s Stanley Fish 

articles on how the “right” stole the magic words — is given license 

to regurgitate the same nonsense a decade and a half later in a semi-

influential leftwing policy magazine.

But without Fish’s skill or flair, leaving the brushstrokes so exposed 

as to be laughable.

Take care,

Jeff G


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