Conservative Swede’s view of me:
The other day, I quoted Conservative Swede’s deranged comment about me at Atlas Shrugs, but at the time I did not fully take in some of his choicer tidbits. Here is an except from the comment. Notice how Swede, without garnishing a single fact to back up the charge, equates me with Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs, saying that Auster, just like Johnson, does not “have any shame or any limits in how deeply [he] will degenerate into dirty games.”
Quite as Charles Johnson [Auster] is exploiting the situation of a deranged world, and many people being worried, for his own aggrandizement. I’d say they are both best understood as cult leaders. And while their respective skills and modus operandi are indeed very different, they both have a lot in common. E.g. how they are prepared to go to any length (neither of them have any shame or any limits in how deeply they will degenerate into dirty games) in defending their cult and their cultish status among their acolytes…. And they are equally prepared to tear down a former colleague for the pettiest of reasons.Swede pours pure ad hominem smears on me, vicious statements about my character, my writings, and my intentions that he does not back up with a single fact. And notice how, in the manner of the Big Lie, he is doing to me what he falsely accuses me of doing: observing no limits on how low he will go in order to tear down a former colleague.
Now for the first time I’ve looked at his comment about me the other day at Brussels Journal. His account consists of one lie after another. For example:
Then about “on the basis of single point I made about Islam that he didn’t like, suddenly became personally hostile to me.” Well, what happened is that Lawrence Auster had enough of my questions to him that he couldn’t answer and decided to “excommunicate” me.The charge that I “excommunicated” Swede because he had questions for me that I couldn’t answer echoes the fantastical view of me that has become a truism among certain factions. It bears no resemblance to the way I actually deal with people. When Swede shocked me by becoming personally hostile, I said this was no way to talk and asked him to lay off. He continued speaking in an insulting way, and at that point I said I wouldn’t speak with him any more. That’s what happened. And that’s the way I reported it. But in today’s culture, if you refuse to talk with someone who is insulting you, that is portrayed as “refusing to answer questions, and banishing people for asking questions.” As Eric Voegelin explains in the passage from his chapter on Plato’s Gorgias that I quoted earlier today: “The only defense possible against such practices [i.e., practices that make rational discussion impossible, including insults and personal attacks] is the refusal to continue the discussion: and this refusal is socially difficult because it seems to violate the rules of comity and the freedom of speech.” And indeed this has happened throughout the history of VFR. When people go over the line and become persistently abusive, they are excluded from making further comments. And then, invariably, they charge that “Auster is a thin-skinned tyrant who will banish you if you ask him questions he is unable to answer.”
Perhaps the only way to put this particular lie of Swede’s to rest will be to quote the e-mail exchange which led up to my saying that I would not speak to him any more.
Here’s another recent Swede comment about me, from his website:
And from having been on the receiving end of Auster’s attacks I know how he consistently lies and distorts everything about the quarrel he started. His site is highly edited: the comments are highly edited, his exchanges with other people are highly edited, he posts selected parts of private conversation when and how he feels like it. He picks and chooses to paint the picture that he wants. And when you know, as I do, the real facts behind, before the manipulation of the image by Auster. When you, as I, have seen him lie and distort so consistently. Then you just cannot take him seriously anymore. All these other stories where he depict himself as the poor little righteous man under vicious attack from wicked people, why should they be believed since he so systematically lies and manipulates?In the same discussion at Swede’s site, the only commenter who fully agrees with him about my badness is the great Mike Slumber himself, aka Awake, while quite a few commenters find value in my work. But among that group, no one takes Swede to task for his fact-free smears of me as a total liar, manipulator, and fabricator driven by some weird personal motive to put other people down.
Which supports the point I discovered in the Rules of Discourse for the Conservative and Anti-jihad Blogosphere, that in today’s the conservative blogosphere, personal attack, even the most vicious and defamatory personal attack, is not considered objectionable.