Brimelow’s inability to criticize Roberts, cont.

A reader sent me Peter Brimelow’s reply to a Vdare reader who had written politely and respectfully to Brimelow pointing out that Vdare’s continuing publication of the insane columns of Paul Craig Roberts will turn people away from Vdare and the immigration restrictionist movement.

Peter Brimelow replies: Sigh. We have received many similar letters recently. As I’ve said before, we run syndicated columnists Michelle Malkin, Paul Craig Roberts and Pat Buchanan (nobody seems to object to him—funny thing) because they are among the few MSM writers sensible about immigration. As we have to pay for all their columns, we run them all. But we don’t necessarily endorse all their opinions on everything, which (as readers have noticed) often contradict each other.

But I must say (again) that I do wish Craig, whom I’ve known for nearly 40 years and who has been a good friend both to VDARE.COM and to me personally, would go back to writing more about immigration.

Sighing, as if to suggest the matter is completely out of his hands, Brimelow tells the reader that he has no choice in the matter, because, uh, because…?

Well, he gives two reasons. The first is that Roberts is among those who write sensibly on immigration. The second is that, “As we have to pay for all their columns, we run them all.”

Let us consider these two reasons.

First reason: Roberts, says Brimelow, is among those who write sensibly on immigration.

This is not true. Brimelow himself says he wishes that Roberts “would go back to writing more about immigration,” meaning that he is not at present writing much or even at all about immigration. A VFR reader who follows Roberts pointed out the other day that Roberts virtually never deals with the immigration issue. Furthermore, when Roberts did bring up the subject of immigration, in a column this past May, he said that he would have no problem with the entire population of Mexico coming to the U.S., if only that would rid America of neoconservatives. What connection there could be between a Mexican invasion of the U.S. and the physical removal of all neoconservatives from the U.S. is not the point; the point is that Roberts sees a few score neocon journalists as more harmful to America than the mass takeover of America by 130 million Mexicans.

So, Roberts does not write about immigration, and when on rare occasions he does write about it, far from saying “sensible” things on the subject, he utters completely insane things in favor of open borders.

So much for Brimelow’s first reason for publishing all of Robert’s columns.

Now for the second reason: Since Brimelow pays for all of Roberts’s columns, he runs them all. Uh, that’s it? That’s the final, determining factor? In reality, since Vdare has paid for all of Roberts’s columns, it would lose nothing if it simply declined to run his insane columns and continued running the others. Clearly, there is nothing that requires Peter Brimelow to run all of Paul Roberts’s columns. Brimelow’s second reason thus comes down to saying that he chooses to publish all of Robert’s columns, because he chooses to publish them.

Which takes us to a deeper level of the discussion. Even if Brimelow did not feel under some mysterious general necessity to publish all of Roberts’s columns without exception, why, given the complete absence of any actual criticism by Brimelow of Roberts’s clinically insane columns, would Brimelow choose to do otherwise? There is no reason for Brimelow even to contemplate spiking the crazy articles of Roberts, since, as is evident, Brimelow does not object to Roberts’s crazy articles.

Brimelow’s post reveals a refusal to engage in reasonable and moral thinking, meaning that he neither considers the facts, nor draws moral conclusions about them. Indeed, just as Jared Taylor had nothing to say, let alone anything critical, about the Nazi-like anti-Semitic demonstration at the 2006 American Renaissance conference, Brimelow has nothing to say, let alone anything critical, about Robert’s hate-mongering writings that regularly appear at his website.

It is further evidence of the relativistic, tribalistic mindset of the paleocon right that I have been writing about for years. The paleocons don’t believe there are things that are intrinsically right and wrong. The paleocons are a group which has its own ways and habits, its likes and dislikes, its mutual loyalties among the group members, and its shared hatreds of certain other groups. If there is someone who is a friend or a member of the group, nothing he does can be seen as wrong. Just as, for Muslims, no Muslim can do wrong. Just as, for liberals, no liberal can do wrong. All these groups are tribes, having no belief in a standard of truth or rightness that exists outside the group itself.

If the paleocons want to help lead America in a better direction, and not just be an embittered clique forever indulging their own hurts and resentments, they need to take a look at themselves and change their way of thinking.


Here are other recent posts by me on PC Roberts

Roberts’s lunacy, brought to you by Vdare

Roberts calls for Mexican conquest of America, if it would eliminate neocons

Reader says that Roberts is sane and that I’m demented

Vdare and PC Roberts, perfect together?

- end of initial entry -

M. Mason writes:

Your commentary, and particularly that insightful second-to-last paragraph, has cut through all the rhetorical misdirection, obfuscation and moral relativist fog surrounding the issue and gotten straight to the heart of the matter. That’s the problem, all right.

A reader said he was saddened by Vdare’s publishing of Roberts, but also said that I should point out how much we all owe Vdare. I replied:

I guess you’re right that I could have pointed out Vdare’s contributions to soften my criticism. But I have called on Vdare so many times to do something about this outrage with no results other than Brimelow’s evasive replies that I just don’t have it in me to preface my criticisms with compliments. Also, I feel there are far too many compliments in today’s culture. Everyone acts as though we were courtiers in the court of Louis XV. The fact that I keep saying that Vdare’s publishing of Roberts harms their contribution clearly indicates that I see their contribution as worthwhile. Obviously, if I didn’t think that Vdare mattered, I wouldn’t bother complaining about their publishing of Roberts.

I feel the tone of my analysis of Brimelow’s reply to a reader is objective. My analysis was neither trying to rip him apart, nor kow-towing to him, but plainly stating what the problem is as I see it.

Also, more fundamentally, as long as people keep kow-towing to Brimelow even as they criticize his publishing of Roberts, that gives him an escape from doing anything about it. I think it will only be when lots of people express serious annoyance about this that Brimelow will finally get the message. Until then, he’ll just keep avoiding the issue.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 22, 2007 04:16 PM | Send

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