I'm sick. I'm tired. I'm concerned. No, actually it's worse than that. I'm flat out worried. I've studied too much history. I have a degree in it. I've studied the use of propaganda. I actually wrote an the use of propaganda on the Eastern Front during World War Two for a class. (No, it didn't get published. I've never been published for anything. Don't bother looking to tell me I'm not published because I already admitted it.) Does that make me all seeing and all knowing? No, but it does give me some insight into what I'm about to talk about. So what am I going to talk about? I'm going to talk about the treatment of conservatives at science fiction conventions. I'm going to talk about Jon Del Arroz being banned from Worldcon. I'm going to talk about John Ringo and his mutual agreement with the concom to not attend ConCarolinas. What I'm really going to talk about though, is why it matters.
Believe it or not science fiction conventions are, in essence, a microcosm of society. It's true that most of us may not be as interested in sports as some others. It's definitely true that the average fen is much more interested in science fiction than pretty much any mundane. That's what makes us us. In a lot of ways though, it doesn't matter that much. At the end of the day, we're all products of the society we live and grew up in. Native born (and by that, I mean anyone born in the United States and not just Native Americans) individuals are a member of just one cultural group. Yes, I said that. Race does not define culture. A person's surroundings do. Immigrants who remember what it was like to live in another country are members of two cultures. The children of immigrants kind of are and they're kind of not. They may have parent(s) who are a little different than everyone else but they themselves see the differences between their parents and the native culture than anyone else. '
What we are looking at here is a split in fandom, as well as in the greater United States, into two ideological camps. This in and of itself would not be a problem. Disagreement is healthy in any society. It's how things move forward. The problem is that it's also how things can move backward. Sometimes disagreement can stop progress. At its core though, disagreement is not a bad thing as long as both sides in any disagreement understand that there are two sides and give their ideological opponents enough respect to allow them to disagree.
We no longer have that in fandom or in this country. Things are getting out of control. The accusations flung around by Leftists in this country are damaging not just to the arguments of the Right but also to the rights and freedoms we're all supposed to share. They don't get this. Actually, they sort of do, but they don't think of things in those terms. When a Leftist hears something they disagree with, they immediately pull out the race card, or the gender card, or the gay card, or the transgender card, etc. It's because they honestly believe that once they've declared your argument one of the above it becomes invalid and they win. It's why we're all told that we have to take each accusation of racism, sexism, etc. seriously. If they let us debate them, we might lose. It's all about silencing dissent. The thing here is that Leftists actually believe that once they've tossed an -ist out at you that your right to speak is over. They call it hate speech and say it should be illegal. What they're really saying is that you should have no legal right to disagree with them.
The Left loves talking about the Right and all of the “code words” that Rightists use. They're projecting. They do it all the time. Don't believe me?
“Diversity and Inclusion” = Affirmative Action
Rape is a crime which no man should ever commit, in which a man forces a woman to have sex against her will.
“Rape” is a man disagreeing with a woman and trying to win an argument.
“Feeling threatened” is having someone disagree with you.
“Violence” is arguing with a liberal who already called you an -ist.
And so on.
At the end of the day, it's all about silencing people that they disagree with. The ironic part (and the Left has no sense of irony when it applies to politics) is that these same people will run around carrying signs about how “Silence is Violence,” but never stop to consider that silence is precisely what they are requiring from their enemies. But it doesn't just stop there.
The hallmark of any totalitarian society is silencing dissent. Whether we're talking about Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union, The People's Republic of China or Cuba under the Castros it all comes down to that. Any dictatorship destroys those that disagree. Even in Medieval Europe it was considered treason to contradict the king. Dissent wasn't just supressed, it was all but destroyed. That's what the Leftists are trying to do to us. They want to destroy those who disagree with them and their ideas.
Listen, I get the fact that John Ringo has said some things that some people find offensive. He is who he is. He was threatened with physical violence for the potential crime of showing up to a con he was invited to. Let that sink in for a second. We're not talking about some crazed commando who threatened to run into a con in a paramilitary uniform and armed to the teeth. We're talking about a science fiction author who has sold literally millions of books who was invited to attend a convention. A man who would have drawn in fans who would not ordinarily have come, thus generating revenue for the con and helping to fund it for future years. His only comment was to accept the invitation.
He was frozen out because he is a conservative. Listen, I'm not going to act like I'm best friends with the guy and know his every private thought. I've never even met John Ringo. What I do know is that he has said some things that weren't always polite and he has written some books that weren't exactly in line with the things my mother would want me to read. Does that mean he's a bad guy? I don't think so, but even if you do that doesn't give you a right to threaten the man with real violence. And yes, I'm speaking of the Right's definition of violence, which means physical harm. I don't agree with calling words violence, but honestly if you want to call the man names, go ahead. He was asked, and agreed, to cancel his engagement with the con because people were threatening to hurt him. Please note that I'm not blaming the concom. They had to do what they had to do to keep their con from becoming a riot.
The most ironic part of the whole thing is that Mr. Ringo is now facing blame for threatening violence. It's like the time those feminists called in a bomb threat to the restaurant where some of the guys involved in Gamergate were meeting up and then blamed them for bomb threats. Seriously. I want to say I can't believe it, but at the end of the day, I can.
Threatening your enemies and then throwing the blame on the is some damn good propaganda. It's worked throughout history and for things much more serious than a con. Hitler himself had several Jews dressed in Polish Army uniforms and left on his side of the border to justify his invasion of Poland. No one outside of Germany was actually fooled (and if anyone in Germany saw through it they were smart enough to keep their mouths shut) but he did it. So, commit the action, then make it look like the other side did it. Good job folks. You're imitating one of history's greatest murderers. I hope your proud of yourselves.
Jon Del Arroz had a somewhat similar situation with Worldcon, only he was a paying customer. They denied him entry due to his politics. They accused him of threatening to troll the con when the truth was (once again) that he had been threatened with ostracization and basically a good shouting down if he dared to attend. He was scheduled to be on precisely zero panels and didn't even have a showcase for his Evil Conservative ideals. The other fen decided he wasn't welcome because he said something they didn't like and the concom agreed with them. Mr. del Arroz is currently engaged in a lawsuit against Worldcon. I wish him luck but I have no legal background and thus no way to evaluate his chances in succeeding. I really hope he wins millions. It would make me happy to see the Left and its cons hurt for purging people who they see as guilty of thoughtcrime.
There is a term that Leftists use: Othering. It's supposed to dehumanize the object of othering. It's seen as a way of encouraging various -isms. If you other a race, or a gender or whatever it makes it easy to hate them. It makes sense. It really is a good propaganda technique. It's one that was used by Pol Pot too. He made all of the uneducated people hate the “other”, the people with educations. Then he opened the killing fields. It worked for Stalin. Anyone who disagreed with him as “an enemy of the revolution” and got sent to Siberia. It hasn't reached that level yet here. That doesn't mean that it can't or even that it won't. It just hasn't happened yet.
The crazy part is that they've actually claimed that our policies lead to death. Try again folks. Gun control made the Holocaust possible. As a matter of fact, gun control started in the United States when black people started shooting the Klansmen that were coming to lynch them. Socialized medicine and Human Rights courts killed Charlie Gard by denying his parents the right to seek an effective treatment until it was too late. Sixty million died in China due to the policies of Chairman Mao. Stalin killed twenty five million in the Soviet Union. Yes, I'm comparing them to Communists because people who run around railing against Capitalism, taking guns away and destroying free speech rights are Communists. They can try to deny it but I, for one, am too smart to believe them.
It's time to take a stand, both in and out of cons. This is an SF/F blog and so I've focused on cons, but what happened to John Ringo at ConCarolinas isn't all that different than what happened to Milo Yiannopoulos at Berkley, except for the fact that Ringo backed down. I'm not sure what can be done about the cons themselves, except for starting our own. It's only right if we let the Lefties speak there, but if we make more cons in the vein of Libertycon, which is a con for Rightists, maybe we can lead by example and shame them into fairness. I doubt it. The average Leftie has less self awareness than the average earthworm, but maybe it's worth a shot. We just can't act like them or we become as bad as them. I won't stand for that. I don't know how to fix this, short of actually doing what they're accusing us of threatening. I'm not willing to take it there. What I know is that we cannot allow this to stand.
For now, I'll just urge you all to buy the works of Ringo and del Arroz. Show some support for our side in a way that matters, with your dollars. I've seen a lot of people raging on Facebook. They're all swearing that they'll never go to ConCarolinas and that they'll urge all their friends not to. Guess what guys. The con didn't cause this. The fen did. Even more than that, let's face it. You weren't going anyway. It would be like me boycotting Cuban cigars. I don't freaking smoke. I mean, I'll legitimately never buy one but I wasn't going to anyway. It doesn't hurt them. Raising awareness can be a good thing, but it is not a be all end all.
If hating on our enemies doesn't work then our only remaining solution is to support our own. I'm certainly not suggesting that anyone needs to send hot cocoa and blankets to either man or create a safe space for them. They're real adults who don't need that. Seriously though, buy their work. Promote their work.
Get our ideas out and don't allow yourself to be silenced by some screaming Leftie. Scream back. Seriously. Nothing shocks a Leftist like someone standing up to them. I've stopped more than one in their tracks simply by refusing to back down. They're so confident in their position as the town bully that they don't know how to respond if you don't immediately fold. Poke holes in their arguments where they can hear you. Don't give in to emotional arguments. If we don't hold the line with words, it's going to require greater measures later. Don't give up. Don't give in. Go to cons. Speak your peace. Support your beliefs. Just don't stop.
A few of the works of John Ringo and Jon del Arroz are available at the links below: