Friday, July 13, 2012

Gawker reminds us that not all anti-Shimer idiocy comes from the right

After a few years of Shimer being assailed from angry right-wing zealots on NRO and points beyond, who profess to believe that Shimer is some sort of leftist indoctrination camp, there's something refreshing about being criticized from the other side of our country's impoverished political spectrum. At least that's the best spin I can put on this week's idiocy from Gawker writer Moe Tkacik.

Tkacik's chosen target is not Shimer in general, however, but Dorian Electra, of Shimer's class of 2014 -- known in Tkacik's fevered imagination as "the Libertarian Lolita." (You may know Dorian from the front cover of the current issue of the Symposium, or from the recent Shimer video.) (In fact, in what may be the most unforgivable sin of this ugly hit piece, Tkacik does not mention Shimer at all, although she does at least include a link to one of Dorian's numerous posts on blog.shimer.)

Here is a representative paragraph from Tkacik's piece:

Now, where the conservative movement will probably never want for obnoxious junior Bible-thumping blowhards like Jonathan Krohn, Gomberg/Electra is the product of a much more delicate and nuanced decades-long project to make right wing ideology hipster-friendly. Her love affair with free markets began at the $16,000-a-year School of the Woods Montessori of Houston, Texas, producer of 66% of the recipients of 2009 Students for Liberty Foundations of Freedom Fellowships. (Montessori education has been infested with libertarians since Ayn Rand decided it was "the most promising educational method now available"-the Charlie's Angels of learning, if you will.)

Showing admirable restraint, current student Matt Kawahara responded in the comments:

This article makes it seem like she was constructed in a laboratory by libertarians to be some sort of fiscal-conservative propaganda machine. [....] I am a socialist. I find libertarianism to be an intolerable doctrine. I think the Koch bro's are evil corporatist assholes that are actively ruining this country. I have a lot of conversations with Dorian about economics, liberty, and politics. Let me tell you, you have her wrong. And honestly, you're just making yourself look pathetic. (...more...)

A fairly thorough -- if regrettably ideological and self-satisfied -- dissection of the article has been posted by Steve Horwitz of St. Lawrence University on Students for Liberty:

Moe Tkacik’s July 6 column on the young musician Dorian Electra is a perfect example, as she manages to simultaneously distort her ideas, accuse everyone involved in the movement of being either stupid or out to indoctrinate, and most offensively, turns a young woman who writes the lyrics and music, produces, directs, and stars in her own music videos into a mere pawn and sexual toy of mysterious dark (presumably male) forces. (...more...)

Much of the Gawker piece hinges on Dorian's viral hit "I'm In Love with Friedrich Hayek" ... the careful viewer will, I think, detect several layers of nuance that appear to have eluded Ms. Tkacik:

If nothing else, Tkacik's piece serves as a useful reminder that the "humorless doctrinaire liberal" is not exclusively a figment of the right-wing imagination.

I wonder what Tkacik thinks about quantum physics? Is it evil too?

1 comment :

Ricky Tenderkiss said...

Both the Gawker piece and your response are very interesting. But how is the Gawker piece "anti-Shimer idiocy," as stated in your title, when Shimer is neither mentioned by name nor even referred to peripherally?