Diversity Macht Frei
April 13, 2016
The Guardian continues its war on free comment with research purporting to show that women and minorities are disproportionately targeted by abusive comments (link). Part of the article features an exercise where you role-play the moderator. It asks you to allow or block certain comments. Of course I voted to allow all of them. This was one:
“I don’t think that pointing out the disproportional political influence Jews have in most western societies can be called a conspiracy. But branding people that point it out and labelling them anti-Semitic seems to me part of a conspiracy.”
Here’s the Guardian response:
You answered allow. We thought differently. This was removed for antisemitism: claiming Jewish people have disproportional influence in politics is an antisemitic trope with a long history. The comment also seems to suggest antisemtism doesn’t really exist other than as a way to silence people.
Of course this ignores the criterion of objective truth. And this is indeed what you find in much of Muslim and Jewish discourse.
Indeed, this was one of the things that sparked my original insight into the similarities between Jews and Muslims. I had been reading a few things that day, some written by Muslims, some written by Jews – and I had an intuitive sense that there was something similar about them. I couldn’t figure out what it was at first. Then it came to me: the absence of any reference to objective facts. Many articles written by Muslims and Jews focus on the invocation of emotive symbols and insinuations of wickedness. They are almost entirely fact-free. Read Nick Cohen’s articles in the Observer for a good example of the style.
The search for objective truth – the quest for knowledge – strikes me as the defining characteristic of Europeanness. It’s what’s missing in our Oriental friends.
In this context of this comment, there are various objective measures of political influence. You can count the number of MPs/Senators/Congressmen and compare it to their share of the population. You could perform similar exercises for newspaper commentators or donors to political parties. And in each case you would find that Jews were very significantly overrepresented compared to their share of the population.
As Europeans, we must hold fast to the criterion of objective truth and not allow our debate forums to be turned into Oriental swamps where dusk-complexioned people quarrel about Good and Evil.