Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Barbarians of Pathological Democracy

Nick Peters and his wife called us last night to talk to us about something that happened on a forum she participates in, which I think illustrates a lot about the problems apologists face with the current generation that has been stupefied by a form of pathological democracy.

It’s Autism Awareness Month. Since both Nick and his wife are citizens with a related syndrome (Asperger’s – which my little brother also has), she started a thread on a general interest forum on the subject. There were a few people who said nice things there, but then there were a few – what shall we say? Trolls? Here’s some of their commentary:

all those poor kids playing minecraft

inb4 flood of "lol a** burgers" Seriously though, you might wanna take this somewhere else.

Q. why is this forum so obsessed with autism/aspergers?
A. Because it's the cool thing to pretend you have.

Hers was not the only thread on this, as it turned out. Someone else started one and some of the same type of comments popped up:

I'd rather support world hunger or something...

Autism is unnatural and all Autistic people should be executed.

Everybody has autism/a**burgers these days. I swear it's become a fad.
I was at an autism speaks benefit at my school a couple years ago and suddenly this autistic guy start making these insanely weird loud shouting noises right behind me and it scared the s**t out of me. Autism speaks, and it's ******** terrifying.

Autism is a myth.

The oddest of all was a comment by a member with autism who objected to people who, of their own free will, posted the first names of people they knew with autism:

Do you want your name posted on the internet to complete strangers because of something you were born with? Do you realize how extreme an invation [sic] of privacy this is?

Um, yeah. After all, it’s pretty clear that readers can tell right away who that “John” is that you’re talking about. They see him every day.

I bring this all to attention because it’s pretty much a parallel to what I’ve encountered on YouTube these days – pathological democracy and a generation of kids being told how special they are even when they screw up has led to the production of a class of idiots like these, who not only spew nonsense for which they can accept no correction, but has also given them the free and public venue to spread it – which in turn encourages them to think that their nonsense is worthy of attention. A perpetual cycle of endless idiocy. How nice.

On the one hand, it’s nice to see this isn’t limited to discussions of religious issues. On the other hand, it’s sad to see that it isn’t, too. But really, it’s the not-unexpected result of a perfect storm of social and technological factors that have led us here, and we shouldn’t be surprised.

It’s not hard to see how we can get from “autism is a myth” to “the Zeitgeist movie says….”


  1. It probably has something to do with the internet's power to make any user almost completely anonymous, and thus how anonymity breeds contempt:

  2. Exactly what I think Maiorem, In my Philosophy unit we looked at the ring of Gyges, a ring that would make the user invisible. Plato suggested that this would lead to the person committing heinous acts because 'they would never be caught'. I believe that the internet is a modern ring of gyges, affording those with little else to do a place to say, and do, some truly evil things