Saturday, July 19, 2008

Auster wants to publish private emails

With reference to my comment at Atlas Shurgs, Auster writes:
"Notice how Swede, without garnishing a single fact to back up the charge, equates me with Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs, saying that Auster, just like Johnson, does not "have any shame or any limits in how deeply [he] will degenerate into dirty games."

But the way Auster is prepared to go all the way down in dirty games is a well-known fact. And it supports the comparison with Charles Johnson. But there is more to that comparison. In spite of the stark differences between Auster and Johnson and their respective followers, they have several interesting features in common. I will have to write an essay about it.

Auster continues:
"And notice how, in the manner of the Big Lie, he is doing to me what he falsely accuses me of doing: observing no limits on how low he will go in order to tear down a former colleague."

First of all, my major point here is in the part of that quote that Auster cut out: "They [Auster and Johnson] both regularly attack any and all other anti-Jihadist of importance. They are both destroying for the movement (each in their different way and from different directions), and thereby isolating themselves. OK, Johnson still accepts Spencer, and Auster still accepts Fjordman, but let's see for how long. In the end they can only accept themselves as the only prophet. They each have their respective sort of purism that by the end of the day will make them fall out with everybody."

I keep friendly relations with other anti-Jihadists (Auster and Johnson are the exceptions). The notable thing with Auster and Johnson is that they generally don't. The vast majority of anti-Jihadists are "former colleagues" to them. So yes, this time around I'm prepared to go all the way down with Auster. But that is only for the common good. And I'm not the one here setting the rules of the game.

Then Auster announces:
"Perhaps the only way to put this particular lie of Swede's to rest will be to quote the e-mail exchange which led up to my saying that I would not speak to him any more."

Sure. Go ahead! I have nothing to hide. And we should make sure to publish all emails relevant to this, and not just some convenient cherry-picking. But even so it's hard to see how what I wrote could be described as personally hostile. I never wrote a single hostile word. The exchange consists of Auster using threatening language, because I had written blog posts critical of him, while I'm expressing regret that we did not get along and ask if we couldn't just continue the discussion.

Whatever Auster considers an hostile act, a personal attack on him and the whole of his work, etc., is found in my blog posts of June 2007. Apparently the worst personal attack on him was when I wrote: "I've been forced, by his way of acting, to criticize Auster strongly here. But I should add that in spite of Auster's serious flaws at display here, he's still at the overall level a person that encourages debate, and wants to play it fair, and is open to differing opinions. This has not changed. But I think Lawrence has been a bit shocked and shaken by some of the things I have said. So this whole thing might take some time."

Anyway, this way of Auster--which is so characteristic of him--to take the thing into publishing private email exchanges, is a perfect example of what I mean with having no shame or any limits in how deeply he will degenerate into dirty games. While I don't mind it in this particular instance, most people do not view this favourably, to say the least. They see it as a serious breach of good manners, and as a personally hostile act. Auster of course, fails to understand this. He's got his special double standard when it comes to good manners.

A final note. When I wrote my last post referring to John Savage and Vanishing American as two friends of VFR who, a year ago, were then easily led into seeing chimeras of how rude I was, just because Auster had declared so, I had overlooked the fact that since then Auster has made sure to ravage those good relations and burned the bridges to them. (Yet another similarity between VFR and LGF, btw.)

Auster ravaging a personal relation, coming soon to you too! And watch what you write in emails to him! Probably best to not write any emails at all.

[End of post]


Nobody said...

Given Auster's practice of selecting and editing all e-mails he receives before publishing them, instead of letting his contributors post their views uncensored, it's not surprising to see him (selectively) post private e-mails. Anybody who does what he does wrt publishing edited e-mails can't conceivably see the difference between posting an e-mail edited for publishing, vs posting a private e-mail, conveniently edited for 'gotcha' games.

Another similarity with a nuanced difference - unlike JihadWatch, LGF has open and closed windows in which new posters can join, whereas Auster allows anybody, but forces all posts to go through him. Neither of them can take an open debate.

Wusses of different stripes

awake said...

I left for vacation last week only to return to see Auster still throwing around insulting labels to his critics.

I love how he has rationalized his position on Spencer as being inconsistent on Muslim immigration by the obscure (and singular) example in the JW post where Robert was clarifying his positions as independent of Fitzgerald's.

Auster gives credit for the link claim to a reader named mp (who I believe comments at JW as well), but it is ironic that given the steadfastness of Auster's claim that he would not already possess a mountain of evidence to support his claim about Spencer's position on Muslim immigration.

He, no doubt reads this blog and I am sure will comment on this thread, in his usual "Austerized" way.

He has yet to clarify whether Kristor's statements about Auster himself "peeling away layers of his own liberalism" is an accurate one. If so, you know the adage about living in glass houses.

awake said...

"And watch what you write in emails to him! Probably best to not write any emails at all."

There's the rub. It is the only way to communicate with Auster, solely on his slanted terms.