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Thursday 6 November 2014

TheRPGsite's Philosophy on Censorship Distilled Into a Single Rant Against an Anti-Transgender Shithead

theRPGsite has sometimes been criticized for its strong free-speech values. Pseudo-Activists have claimed that the mere allowing of sometimes bigoted statements is tantamount to supporting those statements.  Of course, some of those very same Pseudo-Activists have then come onto theRPGsite with sockpuppets and posted intentionally inflammatory and bigoted remarks to try to give the forum a bad name, but I guess from their perspective that's allowed if it's for the "cause".

Let me point you toward what may be that (it certainly has some of the hallmarks of a sockpuppet troll), or may just be a case of an asshole deciding to join theRPGsite explicitly to be an asshole (possibly having naively bought into the often-slanderous things that the Outrage Brigade like to claim about me or my forum).

Surely, wouldn't it be better to just not allow this person to talk about how he's bothered by Paizo's inclusion of transgender characters in their adventures?

No.  And my response to the dude is why.

Here's the most important bit, for those who don't want to read the whole thing:

So yeah, all of this, all of this concern about how the paladin theoretically won't be able to kill theoretical demons now because of the Transgender Agenda, and how her god not immediately smiting her for selling a weapon to help someone she loves, is all because you think transgender people are icky.

Just say it.
Admit it.
You'll feel better if you stop trying to hide your true feelings, won't you?
Come out and say it, and stop pussyfooting around if its what you actually believe and you don't think it's wrong. If you're worried about being banned, take note that I'm the OWNER of this forum (and also the first guy to ever put a transgender character on the cover an RPG rulebook, so there's also that!), and I'm promising you that you won't be banned for sharing what you really think about transgender people.
You might be banned if you turn out to be a sockpuppet, or if you turn every other thread you post in into an soapbox for a totally off-topic personal issue, or if you post porn, or if you stalk someone else. But I absolutely PROMISE that you don't have to hide behind arguments about fictional paladins serving fictional gods and not getting fictionally punished here, you won't be banned for just saying that you don't want any of those icky transgender people in your RPGs, and showing us all just what a stupid fucking bigot you really are.

You'll just be ruthlessly mocked, and have your arguments torn to shreds by people smarter than you.

Because I strongly believe no one should ever be banned or censored for saying stupid fucking bigoted things. It causes us all to lose learning opportunities that way


Currently Smoking: Masonic Meerschaum + Image Perique


  1. Great post. Will have to check out the link.

  2. Hi Pundit - have been following your blog and recently posted a few things on the forums on RPGSite.....

    Obviously kudos on your stance on diversity.... ....

    I am not sure on the issue of allowing bigoted gamers space to enable them to post their difficult views.....

    which highlights an intellectual tension in liberal values:
    - the belief that it is important to protect minorities from oppression from the majority and to socialise people into being tolerant of diversity VERSUS
    - freedom of speech

    Obviously you support diversity and encourage people to be tolerant, whilst also deciding to defend the individual's right to post anything (over the potential damage/ harm this will do to minority groups)

    The problem, as I see it, is that there are a lot of angry heterosexual male gamers out there who are not at all interested in being tolerant.... and I guess the question is, other than occasionally slam-dunking a few like your post above, by allowing them a space to post their bigoted views freely are you giving them oxygen and validating their point of view (indirectly)....are you enabling them? (this is not a personal rebuke but rather, a question!)

    I have got the impression, maybe erroneously, that those who oppose bigotry with reference to cultural studies / sociology/ political perspectives can be seen as these one dimensional 'social justice warriors' which are sock-puppets for RPGnet, Cultural Marxism or whatever.....Their approach reminds me of McCarthyism: whatever you do to defend minorities is prove that you are really a Marxist, who is trying to take away their freedom (to be a bigot). Any attempt to change this view is ideological brainwashing. All feminist academics are anti-freedom who want to enslave men/ kill them/ take away their freedom. etc etc.

    I am sure you have noticed that quite a few posters on your RPGSite have issues with minorities if you are to look at the threads....

    I also can't quite get my head round why those so called libertarians (of the right wing variety) are such an OTT fashion.

    I get the idea that libertarians what to do their own thing and not feel lectured at..... but at the same time I find it intellectually curious as to why so many posters on your forums are anti-tolerance and diversity of LGBTs, empowered independent women etc etc. It seems (often) that if you are speaking out for these communities, you are then likened to sock-puppets of cultural Marxism, a troll, a robot, a SJW....and that, by having such views you are an idiot, a douche, a one-dimensional moron. For these individuals, there is no such thing as patriarchal values, homophobia, racism...there is simply the natural order of individuals all self-seeking and pursuing their own goals.....textbook Ayn Rand....

    I don't often post/ get involved online - I don't have much free-time - but the banning of you and Zak S from RPGnet, - as well as in the UK the trolling/ death/rape threats to prominent women behind getting Jane Austen's head on the back of a £10 note, and then gamergate, have flagged up the amount of anger, misogyny and homophobia etc online has made me both curious as to what is happening on gamer forums......thus my use of your site.... and then my encounters with some very strange people.

    Kelvin (Green) tells me the best way to avoid these folks is using G+ but at the same time it would be nice if forums could be free of bigoted nonsense .... but I am also aware that this can lead to forum moderators then having too much power....which can lead to them abusing it.... as in RPGnet.... sigh.

    am gibbering. Time to make breakfast. English style :)

    Keep up the interesting posts at any rate!


  3. First, I don't think that the majority of posters on theRPGsite are 'bigoted against minorities' as you suggest. If you look at that thread above, there was pretty well no one who wholeheartedly supported the OP's stance, and only two or three that expressed even mild support for it. Whereas almost everyone else who posted there took a stance against bigotry.

    Second, I think you have to be careful not to conflate a hatred for Pseudo-activists and cultural marxists with actual bigotry. If you are a cultural marxist, and someone talks about what a fake self-serving shithead you are, I can see how the natural response would be "that person must be a racist/sexist/homophobe! Because he opposes ME! And obviously anyone who disagrees with me and my self-serving agenda and my use of minorities as a shield for said agenda must be a sexist/racist/homphobe!"
    But that's not the case.

    Certainly, there are some people who claim that just having a non-caucasian on the cover of a D&D book is "political correctness gone mad", or what have you, but that's very different from people who are being accused of being Racists because they don't want Tracy Hurley or the RPGnet modclique to get to decide what sort of RPGs can be published or who to blackball from the industry forever for disagreeing with them.

  4. And finally, if you're a REAL Liberal, or even just a fundamentally logical person, then there can be NO debate or doubt about which to chose more fundamentally between "socializing people to the tolerance of diversity" and "free speech".
    It's Free Speech, every single time. Because the protection of minorities DEPENDS on inalienable freedoms being preserved. If we don't absolutely defend the freedom of expression, then the rights of minorities to express themselves do not exist. The only justifiable way we can protect both liberty and equality is if there is freedom of speech.

    Without it, you can create a totalitarian dictat where people you like get special protections and others don't, but you have no actual moral basis to justify your actions besides that you personally feel it's right; and thus, it will only last as long as you can violently enforce your will on the population. And then, if someone else comes along who's stronger than you and says "now these guys can talk, and you can't; and by the way I'm going to brutally repress homosexuals", you have no actual foundation by which to oppose him.

    If we don't live by absolute principles, which include allowing the same equal freedoms to our enemies, then the only thing we're arguing for, fundamentally, is Might Makes Right. And in the long-term, Might Makes Right tends to go very very badly for minorities.

  5. Hi Pundit.... my politics are.... complex....! I teach A level Political Sciences and see merits in a variety of perspectives... each has strengths and weaknesses.... I veer towards libertarian ideals as well as recognising that true freedom comes from trying to create lower levels of economic inequality.... as well as being concerned about environmental issues along with combatting oppression based on gender/ sexuality/race etc...

    Whilst I agree with you to an extent, I am also painfully aware that tackling prejudice and discrimination has never happened without conflict and folks having to struggle against those who want the status quo to remain the same... thus I don't think libertarianism works per se all the time: some forms of inequality say on prejudice are so ingrained they need more direct action...

    But certainly I would have myself in the liberal, attempting to apply logic to problems (whilst recognising my values/ bias) than in the camp of the 'shit heads'/ cultural Marxists/ sock-puppets ;)

    And I think there was a cross-wire back there - I didn't mean to imply most of your posters on RPGSite were bigots.....just that there is a small enclave on them on there (they seem to be the dominant voice on the gamegate# thread) but on the one you highlighted above, yes, there were plenty of voices standing against them.

    Neither do I/ did I mean to conflate a hate for cultural Marxism with bigotry.... one does not lead to the other I would agree!

    But I have to say, I do find the concern about Marxism and its pernicious influence ..... a little strange - in the sense that I don't think Marxism is at all influential these days.....

    Surely the biggest influences on our culture these days are corporations - through how we are socialised into work cultures/values; advertising; etc etc...... whilst capitalism comes in different cultural forms to an extent, reflecting local cultures...on one level, it is capitalism in the US, Uruguay, the UK...

    and when it comes to dated thought systems which oppress minorities... their cause goes back into history.. but is also tied up to religions, as well as modern cultural production (film, music, art etc production) which is getting better but nevertheless, is a site of conflict and struggle by various groups trying to get heard/ have an input into some of the products being made....

    am with you on the problems of power corrupting absolutely....and thus the inherent dangers of 'thought police' online etc..... but at the same time I am still concerned about online harassment and bullying that can go on.... as well as having safe spaces for minority groups (power-wise) to be able to interact safely ....

    These are complicated subjects.... where I think there are a variety of competing ethical goals
    - personal freedom of expression
    - freedom from harassment and bullying
    - an end to institutional forms of oppression (class, gender, race, sexuality etc)

    I think we have similar ideas - although we come to it (freedom) from different angles - you from the right in politics, and me from the green-feminist-left. Thus I think there is some value in Marxist and anarchist analysis and I know full well you think the opposite there! ;)

    Good to chat - and good luck with the RPGSite


  6. Marxism as a system does not have great influence, but the memetic weapons that Gramscian Socialism unleashed against the western cultural paradigm have enormous powers. We're fighting against the missiles of a dead giant that no one believes in anymore, and many people firing those missiles don't even realize what the source was.

    For the record, I don't really define myself as "right". And most right-wingers who read me think of me as a raging liberal, just like most liberals who read me think of me as a hidebound conservative. So usually what people define me as says a lot more about their politics than about mine.

  7. was not trying to pigeonhole you Pundit..... just reflecting - on a keyboard - how I believe we are coming at a similar issue from different angles (rather than inferior ones).... thus was not putting you into a raging/ hidebound anything.... I teach Politics and Political Ideologies after all to A level students.....going back to doing A levels in political sciences in my late teens, studying them at Warwick Uni and eventually teaching them.... thus my focus out of interest/ the way my brain works rather than an attempt to smear you.

    Moreover 'right' and 'left' tend to vary in regards as to where you live/ what the cultural norms are.... the UK's 'left' is now very firmly on the right - which you see on an up to date Political Compass graphic, if you take that with any credibility, esp since you like me don't live in the US. (Some of its questions and thus indicators of political leanings are more designed for US citizens)

    Will leave you in peace!

  8. Yes. The thing is my ideology would perhaps best be described as a strong social libertarian and economically a classical (i.e. 19th century) Liberal.
    More accurately, I'd say I'm Thelemite.

  9. for many folks here in Brighton, this is very much their ideology/ philosophy....mixed in with a green tinge. My gaming group encapsulate a variety of ideologies...... from yours to libertarian anarchist to 'green capitalism' (for want of a better term), to my mish-mash libertarian-green-feminism. Makes for interesting disagreements. :)