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“One of these (rules) requires you not to impugn other people’s motives”
The “antivaxxer” & “conspiracy theorist” labels insinuate that the ‘motive’ behind a person’s comments are ideological & misinformed, therefore not rational or valid, effectively ‘impugning’ it.
I asked the question because, in the comments on the open (?) comment pages of Murray’s blog, I’ve been noticing a worrying prevalence of the use of these labels in pithy & formulaic responses to anyone expressing ideas contrary to the ‘official’ COVID/vaccination narrative.
These labels seem to conforms to a pattern over the past year of closing down debate & forcing the adoption of a narrow political agenda, at least in main stream media & online discourse.
This is not healthy & I think that’s reflected in the number of thoughtful commentators, high & low profile, who have been terrified away from expressing a dissenting or counter argument, except in whispered conversations between trusted & close confidants, or in more openly ‘rabid’ & polemic circles.
However, this does seem to be the ‘trend’ of the year, exemplified in attacks on people having opinions not officially sanctioned by the ministry of ‘woke’, in regards to gender, race, sexuality or any number of ‘isms’.
Only that, in relation to the corona virus conversation, not being ‘woke’ enough implies you are a potential murderer. I know that sounds melodramatic, but that does seem to be the inference & very strongly held. If you don’t “toe the line”, you are a potential ‘killer’.
Which is not a new put down, either. When the official narrative was that Saddam was 45 minutes away from bombing the country, to question the mainstream was to support terrorism and the “enemy at the door”. To condemn the destruction & looting of Libya or to question the support of ‘moderate’ terrorism in Syria was to condone murderous tyranny.
What has most struck me over these 12 months, viewed from afar, is the degree of hatred & name calling on both sides, which I have honestly found more horrifying than the perceived health crisis.
Yelling “anti vaxxer” seems no different to yelling “Covidiot”. The only difference being that the former adheres to the ‘official’ line of the day & is given a sheen of respectability, but both serve only to stifle debate & assume that motivations are ideological rather than possibly relevant.
I’m not suggesting that moderators need to adopt this into their “conventions” of permissible dialogue. Just exploring what feels like an inconsistency.
btw, I’m not “…an employee of a foreign government agency..” blah, blah, blah. Just in case anyone was wondering 🙂