My road to small-l liberalism
well as you know i did not know you were hoste, who tbh always seemed unbalanced in some way (ok, let's be honest, genocidal), and now it is clear you were just a prototype of the teen-20something anon LARPer that is ubiquitous now. a cautionary tale of why ppl should be very careful about using anon identities online unless they have self-discipline because the performance overtakes the real persona. that being said, many people have 'evolved' in various directions over 15 years so it is what it is.
you are what you always were from when i saw you first on twitter, weird but interesting.
Frankly, you would be more sympathetic despite (or because even) changing your views, often dramatically, if you weren’t so aggressively arrogant and contemptuous about whatever your views are at this moment. A rational person typically infers from having changed his views often that his current views are less certain, and he’s likely going to have to change them again in the future, rather than thinking “now this time I’ve got it 100% right and it’s obvious” after each iteration.
A very mature post, and a good example of why I - probably among the 10% most liberal of your readers - continue to find you to be often worth reading. And defended doing so on Twitter. It is precisely your desire to be heterodox, and to listen to new sources of information and reflect on and reconsider your opinions, which both leads to you being able to show us a different side of an issue, as well as for you yourself to grow as a person.
“If you import non-Whites they will vote for you”
They won’t because political views are heritable. Reagan has already made that mistake and Conservatives in Canada, Britain and Australia are doing the same thing, but guess what?
Minorities aren’t voting for them lol
And besides the main opposition towards importing non-Whites is that they will make a society a much shittier place. Less cohesion, more Crime, poor institutional performance, bad infrastructure, income inequality and etc is what to expect when we become enriched by them. I’m not even talking about differences in group evolutionary strategies and inherent group conflict between them. Before their importation the political debate was about class. Now thanks to them it shifted into a political “race warfare”.
The argument for rejecting your previous work is peer-pressure. There is no logical argument that could lead you to abandon your previous views.
Gayest thing I've ever read
I like to think, and I follow you because I find you to be an incredibly interesting thinker and writer. It doesn't shock me that someone who argues with such unique, often contrarian positions would've held much more crude and radical views in the past. I judge your value by your current work, not your past.
People learn and develop more nuanced views as they get older and more experienced??? Color me shocked!!
Thanks for explaining this, Richard. I wasn’t too worried that you were some secret white supremacist today (based on your writing, it’s clear you’re not), but it’s interesting to have an explanation for why your views have changed so much.
The kind of criticism you make towards the right is so incisive that this kind of background makes some sense.
If you are apologizing for racism - you have already lost
This is very helpful. I wasn’t completely sold on you to begin with, and while I initially thought the leftist substack writers pillorying you were exaggerating, or misrepresenting, I then saw these recent “NOS” revelations and was thrown.
1. you’ve been friendly with me on here in the past, even when I disagree with you
2. I don’t share the left’s tantrum-based opposition to statistics, reality, etc.
This last is a big part of why I’m a leftist, but I’m still constantly frustrated with my own side. I care more about integrity and accountability than tribal loyalty.
So-- I’ll dig into this further later, but to me it comes across as self-aware in a way that partisans almost never are.
I didn't actually read the HuffPo hitpiece, so I don't really know *specifically* what you are apologizing for in this article, but from the reaction it provoked, I gather it was really bad stuff.
I read this reply and I have sympathy for the fact that whatever you wrote was 12-15 years ago. That is a long time. Time brings change, and no one remains static throughout the years.
I understand many people say "never apologize to the mob!" but it can sometimes be the right thing to do, if it is sincere. When I first became "redpilled" like 5+ years ago, for example, I definitely wrote stuff in e.g. /pol/ threads that the current, maturer version of myself would be repulsed by and apologize profusely for. I have forgiven myself for writing those things. Forgiveness and personal growth is possible.
Wuzzup, my racist! https://substack.com/@barsoom/note/c-15102391
You cannot argue your way out of a bad-faith character assassination hit job. These are the same pundits who make excuses for mobs of South Africans chanting about genociding whites. They are not serious people. Treat these clowns like the joke that they are.
I think this would be a total non-story if not for your previous expressed hostility to online anonymity, and in particular your bragging about how brave you are for writing wrongthink under your real name. Personally, I don't really give a shit what you wrote for VDARE 10 years ago or whatever, and if anything I find it funny. But I don't think anonymous online right wingers are the greatest evil of all time either.
What I find notable is that, at the same time that you told us how brave you are for posting about black crime statistics under your real name and how cowardly we are for using screennames, you were sitting on this the whole time. You didn't feel the need to share your previous views and activities with the world as part of your professed bravery? One can't help but notice that you only went from anonymous to self-identified after your views likewise evolved into something more tolerable to social sensibilities (relatively speaking--you're controversial by mainstream standards, but still a far cry from "we should literally sterilize the low IQs" which you apparently wrote in the past).
If you're acknowledging that your hostility towards the anons is in part self-criticism, why didn't you tell us about this sooner? Why didn't you show your bravery by putting it out in the open and saying "look guys, I've been there myself, I have personal experience with this?" Why did it have to be dragged into the open by the Huffington Post? It seems to me that the only possible answer is because of the likely social consequences, no? In which case, how is that really much different from people who post anonymously out of fear of exactly this sort of cancel attempt targeting them?
Since you're trying to emphasize your capacity for "nuance" a lot here, I think maybe we can have some nuance on anonymity. Yes, a lot of anonymous posters are unhinged trolls, but in the same way that the heavily flawed "conservative" movement remains a less bad option than the race-communist left, maybe having some tiny semblance of actual free speech allowed online is still a better alternative than the deafening silence which would be the only other option.
Oh, and "the media are still good" remains one of your worst takes. IIRC, that was the article where you defended the media by pointing out that they write lots of factually accurate things with zero accounting for whether those things were about politics or not. Again: Writing twenty million factually accurate articles about irrelevant curiosities like cuisine trends in Southeast Asia or something, does not in any way compensate for lying about race, crime, COVID, etc. This should be self-evident if you really think "concerns over disparate impact" are actually that big of a deal. Trust me, you can still get your quirky little food blogs from plenty of other places online if the Huffington Post goes out of business.
Lol just ignore these commies dude
I agree with Matt Yglesias that you've written some interesting things, and (regrettably) I've engaged with one of your arguments before, but to come out now and claim that you're not racist is ridiculous, and this article is an obviously disingneuious effort to remain in good standing with liberal writers.
Two months ago you wrote an article titled "Why I Oppose Eugenics." The entire article says nothing about opposing eugenics - it simply says you would like to call "eugenics" something else. This tracks with your Twitter, where you've repeatedly endorsed the idea of racial differences in IQ, suggested the disabled should euthanize themselves, and endorsed the abortion of disabled children. So even taking this article at face value, your evolution is from "the state should act to eliminate the untermensch" to "the untermensch should be eliminated by individual choice and the free market."
Maybe you shouldn't be cancelled for being an internet Nazi a decade ago. And in some way, I'm glad your writing exists, because it is a useful reminder to everyone of what conservatism looks like without Christianity. But you certainly deserve criticism for being a ruthless, Nietzschean social darwinist with no sense of morals or ethics, and people who believe in the idea of basic human dignity are entirely within their rights to not engage with you.
We all change our beliefs as we and the world change. Cancel culture is increasingly becoming less potent. It will take a lot more than a HuffPo antifa hatchet man to take you down. Stand strong Richard!
You were 28 years old writing about sterilizing black people. Supported eugenics into your 30s. You were old enough to know better, and the behavior you had online persisted for years. Why would anyone trust a thinker who had this type of history? People change, and maybe you did. But even if you did change, this Huff Post article signals something about your thinking. It signals that you were a poor judge of ideas very late into adulthood. You exhibited bad reasoning, a tendency for lazy thought. You were uncritical in searching for the truth and you chose to defend evil ideologies presumably because you enjoyed being contrarian more than being ethical. You need to look inwards. Ask yourself why you believed in the wrong things for so long. What about you made you get excited about those ideas? Do you, Hanania, believe you’ve purged that tendency to get excited about those ideas? Do you trust yourself to be an honest voice for tolerance, liberalism, and capitalism?