Responding to criticisms and questions
Among the reality-turned-on-its head lies that have been repeatedly told about me are the charges that I only allow people who agree with me to post comments at VFR; that I am unable to reply to criticisms and refuse to do so; and that I exclude commenters who question me and my ideas.
In fact, since I myself challenge, often in blunt terms, so many currently dominant beliefs and attitudes, and am attempting to advance a different approach to politics and culture, an approach that I openly acknowledge is extreme and heterodox according to prevailing views among both liberals and “conservatives,” I am fully aware of the fact that I need to explain myself—which I do, over and over again. Far from being unwelcome, such exchanges help me refine, expand upon, and defend my positions, and are often persuasive to readers who initially thought my position was off-base. They are a large part of what VFR is about.
Below is a collection of entries where I have replied to criticisms and questions, often tough and fundamental questions. As can be seen from the titles, many of the discussions deal with a particular charge that is frequently made against me, that I am too critical of mainstream conservatives. There are also a couple of entries where I am not exactly replying to criticism, but simply explaining myself. The list of articles will continue to be updated and expanded.
Note, August 29, 2009: While I was doing some minor editing of this entry today, it occurred to me that the frequently made charge that led me to create the entry in the first place—that I refuse to post criticisms of myself, that I refuse to reply to criticisms of my positions or am unable to do so—has not been made for a long time. So it appears that this entry may have served its immediate purpose of putting that false charge to rest.
“Culturist” John Press calls me a racist [John Press, who says that we should only talk about cultural differences, not racial differences, wrote “An Open Letter to Lawrence Auster” in which he stated repeatedly that my position is racist and harmful to conservatism; and I reply. October 2011.]
Should the word “racism” be shelved altogether? [A reader challenges me on the use of the word racism, saying it has only a false meaning and shouldn’t be used at all. I entertain the idea, but finally reject it.]
Are Christianity and America finished and is it delusional to defend them? [A reader says that Christianity is dead, America is dead, and that it was foolish for conservatives like me to keep trying to hold on to them; and I reply. April 2006. Follow-up posted in February 2010.]
Explaining my position on the 2008 election [A reader criticizes me for not actively trying to convince readers that they should, like me, withhold their vote from McCain, and I reply.]
Do I fail to treat my interlocutors as human beings? [From a much longer discussion with Canadian leftist Ken Hechtman.]
The heck with both of them [In this entry, Brandon F. takes issue with me for not reacting more strongly against Obama’s extreme pro-abortion stand and saying that this definitely makes Obama worse than McCain, and I reply.]
The Morningside Heights atrocity, and a question for Obama [A reader asks me why in reporting black on white crimes I emphasize race rather than other possible factors, and I reply.]
Does the First Law of Majority-Minority Relations apply to the Jews? [The anti-Semite Tanstaafl (before I realized how serious an anti-Semite he was), asked me at another blog why I don’t apply the First Law to the Jews, and I reply.]
Black savagery, cont.[On the pack-savage kicking-and-stomping murder of the brother of black author Carol Swain. A reader says I set myself up as a racist when I speak of black savagery, and I reply.]
The worst of Steyn, redux [I explain and defend at length my criticisms of the Islam critics, particularly Mark Steyn. Several readers disagree with my view that Steyn is a “traitor to the West,” and I give my reasons, based on his statements, why I think he is one. An exchange is quoted in which Conservative Swede objects to my strong criticism of Steyn, and then is persuaded by it. He writes: “Touche! It’s just so hard to take it in that (Steyn is) really saying that. Incredibly hard. I still haven’t completed taking it in…. And I used to admire this man.”]
VFR’s editor accused of wanting to be America’s philosopher-king [A reader criticizes me for attacking establishment conservatives, accuses me of respecting no one but myself, and says I’ll grow into a bitter old man, and I reply. October 2005]
What Spencer has told people about me [Robert Spencer accuses me of seeking to discredit all other writers on Islam, so that I “will stand as the only trustworthy authority on Islamic and immigration issues.” I reply. 2007-2008.]
Truth, authority, and the anti-Auster right [A reader accuses me of trying to make myself the “sole judge of what constitutes acceptable opinion on the traditional right,” and I reply. August 2010.]
Two responses to the death of Britain: the prophetic and the ironic [March 2007. After I said that the British are so far gone they need to be melted down in order to be saved, and I referenced Gurdjieff to explain my point, Robert Bove at New English Review thought it was contradictory of me to quote approvingly a non-Christian conservative writer, and I reply.]
Replying to charge that I am anti-woman, uncivilized, unworthy of consideration, and (the most unkindest cut of all) humorless [August 2007. In response to my argument that Ayaan Hirsi Ali is not an ally of the West against Islam, Mary Jackson at New English Review said the reason I was criticizing Ali was that I viewed her as an “uppity” female. She then used by questioning of the women’s vote, in an entirely unrelated thread, to read me out of political debate and out of civilization. I reply at length to Jackson’s political correctness and the assumptions that underlie it.]
Is it wrong to call Bush “Boilerplate”? [A reader considers my nickname for President Bush, “George W. Boilerplate,” inappropriate, especially coming from a conservative. In replying I both defend the usage and indicate that I may drop it, which in fact I did.]
A reader displeased over my attacks on Bush [In a follow-up, the same reader says I am beginning to have “stink of the gadfly” about me, and that VFR is “rapidly turning into another miasma of round-the-clock Bush hatred.”]
Reply to John Carney [John Carney, a contributor to VFR during its first year, attacked me at length for my criticisms of Lew Rockwell and the paleolibertarians, and I replied. Note: due to an idiotic error by me during VFR housecleaning in 2008, Carney’s original entry was wiped out. However, my entry quotes all points that I was replying to.]
Another Darwinian thinks he’s got me [A reader says my idea that the evolution of internal fertilization and copulation in vertebrates requires mutually compatible and simultaneous mutations in both sexes is false and baseless and disproved by the existence of intermediate stages. I point out that he has not disproved my idea at all and I explain it once again, despite his insulting language and increasing hostility.]
On lynching and the right of the West to survive [A reader says I support lynchings and calls me a “genteel, intellectual racist” who “creates the atmosphere of irrational hatred in which others can commit cross burnings, lynchings or church bombings with impunity,” and I reply.
Have I misinterpreted Fred Barnes? [A reader says I’m totally off-base in my view that Fred Barnes said that Republicans must defer to President Obama because of his superior moral authority as a nonwhite; and I reply.]
Am I being too mean to Steyn? [For the nth time, a reader complains that I’m being too tough on Mark Steyn, and asks why I don’t try to be friends with him instead.]
A secularist ally attacks me [When “Together facing the new totalitarianism,” a manifesto signed by European leftists, attacked “theocracy,” by which they meant Christianity as much as Islam, I attacked the document, and a secularist ally attacked me.]