The Second Version

27/09/12

Ostracizing in the XXI Century

This is a rather unusual post for me, because I've been away from blogosphere politics a long time - and I don't miss it one bit.

Yet, Jeff Goldstein wrote a long piece about how he turned from a respected and appreciated voice in the "conservative" blogosphere to a pariah with only a handful of loyal followers left:
All of which I note just to provide some context to my now three-years long dismay at what I’ve come to see as a kind of coordinated attempt to keep marginalized among right wing opinion leaders. My marginalization, the point being, has nothing to do, I don’t think, with my output or the quality of my writing or thought. Instead, something else led to it. And that something else is what has me so upset, and so willing, today, to write this post — knowing full well the response it’s likely to receive from many who even bother to read it.

Now, granted, Jeff is stubborn and tenacious and he has a very clear idea of what a "line in the sand" is: cross his line at your own peril.
But a probably bigger problem is that his pieces are not easy-reading, and not paying the maximum attention will leave the reader with the wrong impression.

In this case, the idea that he was out to ruin someone personally rather than debating - even if forcefully, and with a peculiar sense of humor - his ideas.

Add to that the big ego of someone in an important public office (the person thinking Goldstein was out to destroy him) and you have a recipe for persecution.

Do I believe this campaign to ostracize Jeff did occur? Yes, I do - I am convinced, actually. I have read about similar things happening in the USA, and seen vicious personal attacks in Italy (and in Indonesia you don't even need to be subtle when doing these things if you have connections); what happened to Jeff would be nothing new or exceptional.

Read the whole piece if you have will and time, and make up your minds, I'm not here to preach. Or just ignore this whole thing, as you please.

For one thing I have to be grateful to Jeff Goldstein, and it is demonstrating that intentionalism is the only correct way for the interpretation of a text.

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