PZ Myers asks this question today, before denouncing a protester who shoved a privileged politician. A sharp eyed reader might ask: why would he care about violence? He’s been excusing antifa violence for months, hasn’t he?
The short answer is: the politician in question is a Democrat, and the issue in question isn’t one PZ supports. Violence doesn’t matter. In fact, as long as it’s directed against his perceived political enemies, violence can be a good thing. But when it’s used in an attempt to further a cause PZ Myers doesn’t like, well, then it’s a horrible, no-good, awful thing.
And this is why we get jaded sometimes reading PZ on a daily basis. Our outlook is generally happy and optimistic, but it’s hard to stay that way reading lie after lie and hypocrisy after hypocrisy. It’s almost enough to make us quit our (volunteer, unpaid) job.
But, we won’t. Today at least. We have at least two lies to cover.
PZ Myers Lie [in bold]:
The fascists and capitalists and corporate goons and colonizers have been running the world for a few centuries now, and it’s time to overthrow the old order. There will be great pain in the churn.https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/08/22/the-patriarchy-has-deep-roots-its-going-to-hurt-to-dig-them-out/
PZ concludes a post about science-fiction with these words, and had he limited himself to “capitalists and corporate goons” we probably wouldn’t have called this a lie. We happen to believe the abundant evidence that shows capitalism (freedom) has greatly benefited the poor all over the world, and while wouldn’t have used the term “goon,” that word alone wouldn’t have made the sentence a lie.
Including the words “fascists” and “colonizers” in the group of people supposedly “running the world” does, however, change things.
To begin with, it sounds more than a little like a conspiracy theory to say that X group is “running the world.” Antisemites insert “Jews” into that equation and everyone readily identifies the racist sentiment. For PZ to charge that “fascists” and “colonizers” are running the world is equally silly. To the extent there is any global governance it comes in the form of the United Nations. Is PZ claiming they are “fascists” or “colonizers”? There are fascists regimes, like North Korea, that exist in the world, but they are isolated and no one with any sense would say they are “running the world” in any way. In fact, from one perspective, the history of the 20th century could be seen as a struggle between freedom and fascism, with the free side emerging victorious. There was a lot of pain in that churn as well.
And to the extent there are “colonies” anymore, they are mainly relegated to small communities of people who have been given the choice to become independent. We recently visited New Caledonia, a remnant of French colonialism in the South Pacific. They are part of France, have citizenship and voting rights, and have voted on becoming their own, separate entity. They rejected it. But, more importantly, because France had colonies at one point, does that mean they’re “running the world” at the moment? Of course not.
To sum up: to the extent anyone is “running the world” it certainly is not “fascists” or “colonizers.”
We’ve often tagged PZ with the “evangelical progressive” label, and lies like this are one of the reasons we think it’s a good fit. His worldview is pseudo-religious in nature and events like slavery and colonization are the “original sins” of mankind that we must pay homage to and atone for in order to move forward in the world.
It’s also the reason he has to attack Steven Pinker. If, as Pinker’s work has shown, the world is getting better over time, then there is no reason for the revolution PZ advocates for to “overthrow the old order.” People are bad. They’ve always been bad. Capitalism and fascism – whatever that is – are making them worse and the only thing to do is start a revolution to conjure the socialist utopia into being and the whole world will be better off.
It’s a fascinating, delusional worldview, and one that needs a lot of lies to maintain its edifice.
PZ Myers Lie #2 [in bold]:
Orac writes about an anti-vaxxer, Austin Bennett, who walked up to a California senator on the street and shoved him because he was insufficiently appreciative of his conspiracy-theory ravings. That that movement is working itself up towards more violence is troubling (they’re following the trajectory of the anti-choice movement, right down to screaming that they’re killing to protect the children), but what also bothers me is that the rhetoric is so unhinged.https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/08/22/when-did-we-become-jaded/
For the record, we abhor the anti-vax movement and the pseudo-science they use to further their claims, but that doesn’t mean we’ll give PZ a pass for lying about them. Here, he claims anti-vaxxers say they kill to protect the children, just like people associated with the anti-abortion movement have at various times over the years.
That’s a lie.
Anti-vaccine activists are not generally violent and have never been charged with killing anyone in the name of protecting the children. An internet search brings up only this incident. We found nothing else. Whereas anti-abortion activists have been very vocal about the fact that the crimes they committed were done to protect the children being aborted, anti-vaccine activists do not appear to have committed any violent crimes in the service of their activism, save this one.
Here, it’s “troubling” that the anti-vax movement is “working itself up towards more violence.” In June, however, PZ said this:
But since everyone is currently very concerned about free speech, I think we need to be able to objectively discuss the pros of punching out fascist bigots. After all, any attempt to silence conversation about the virtues of antifa would be a violation of people’s free speech rights, and we can’t have that. I think also that Mr Ngo would want us to consider the benefits of seeing him punched in the face.https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/07/01/if-antifa-has-no-recourse-but-violence-how-can-you-condemn-them-for-taking-action/
Compare/contrast: Democratic Senator gets pushed on the back, and that’s “troubling.” Journalist gets beaten to the point of a brain hemorrhage, and PZ thinks we should “consider the benefits” of that.
Definitely not a reason to become jaded.
Today: 0 science-related posts, 5 posts on other stuff
Since 30 May 19: 88 science-related posts, 272 non-science posts.
24% of the posts on a “science blog” are about science.
Today: 2 PZ Myers Lies
Since 30 May 19: 96 PZ Myers Lies
Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.