Thursday, September 22, 2022

Punitive Public Criticism

I was going to call this "Woke Criticism," but there are conservative versions as well.  I think there are fewer and they are less powerful and prominent, but they are there. There is a point about this criticism that I have known for years, yet somehow keep forgetting.

The intensity of the attacks are not a measure of out outraged they are or how wrong they think you are. They go after those they think they can hurt.  They go after people who have bosses and can't afford to lose that job, or have vulnerable, fragile, fickle audiences and can't afford to lose them.  Howard Stern said far more offensive and outrageous things years ago and continues to say them. It blew up one day, he gave a minor apology that "it was a different time then" and that he was sorry, and it was over in 24 hours. Just because he is bulletproof and everyone knows it. I recently learned that the criticism of Rush Limbaugh lessened, even though he was just as hated and did not moderate his content. Critics knew they couldn't really hurt him, so they went after others.

They only go after you if they think they can hurt you. It is similar to street behavior, or any place where young males compete. It is noted how extra dangerous it is for child molesters in prison, and the explanation is that they are especially hated, with fanciful theories about why that would be.  It's much simpler than that.  It's because child molesters are less violent and less good fighters, and the prisoners know the guards won't defend them.  They aren't hated more.  They are perceived as more vulnerable, and so can be hated and punished with impunity.

This is also true for the sociopathic sorts who are perceived as the most vile racists because they say the worst things. They aren't especially racist, as they will party with black people and team up with sociopathic black people to go after other targets. They say those things because they think they can hurt you and/or they can get away with it.  They say vile things to women or other ethnic groups. If they think those won't work they will go after personal characteristics. Whatever will hurt you.


james said...

Interesting note on the child molesters in prison. I read that political prisoners in the Soviet gulags were at the bottom of the hierarchy, well below ordinary criminals--presumably not because the prisoners cared about doctrinal disputes. Weakness and the guards not caring (or even encouraging the attacks) seems like a pretty good explanation.

Ganzir said...

I see a parallel here with nature. Carnivores will usually retreat even from a 50:50 fight because they can leave and attack another target. Herbivores will always fight to the death because, if they lose, it's over.

This is also why ideologically motivated terror groups, like the Klan or Irish Republican Army, have historically been more powerful and terrifying than their money-driven organized crime counterparts like the Mafia. They're willing to take risks and they're driven by conviction, whereas gangsters just want to make money and stay out of prison.

Korora said...

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -- Three guesses who and the first two don't count.