Idiomdrottning’s homepage


Informed consent is the core pluralist value.

The populist core value is tradition. Sometimes flimsy-ass traditions that are only a few decades old, sometimes ancient granite boots stomping a human face forever.

So in the mind of a populist, the pluralist ethic might seem like a mess of contradictions. We protest when Iran forces hijabs and when France forbids them. We protest islamophobia but support LGBT which many imams speak out against.

In the minds of our foes we seem like flickering candles unable to make up our minds, unable to wrangle our minds to fit their beloved hobgoblin of consistency.

But we have an iron pillar that everything else logically flows from: Consent. Treat other people with respect and let them rule themselves. Might makes responsibility, not right.

Photo of Ashley Johnson dressed as Henry Crabgrass, a CR character that teaches consent basics


Freedom vs Tradition

The right wing shouldn’t get too boastful about their consistent hobgobline since they have, for the last few centuries, used a very clever trick to prop up their rich-gets-richer program. Sometimes they are in favor of freedom, other times in favor of tradition, all the way to the bank. Since those two things often contradict each other they can cover almost any situation in a way that makes them come out on top.

Hockey-team politics

It’s human nature to fall into the mental trap of “everything my team does is good because it’s our team doing it and it’s in service of our team” and it’s just not how I think. If you do evil things, you’re doing evil things no matter what color jersey you’re wearing. That’s just straight up facts.

Both sides are susceptible to this mental trap. Again and again. That’s one of the biggest reason why I definitively don’t give a blanket endorsement of everything labeled “left wing”.

The values we’re fighting for should pervade and inform our every decision. Yes, we have to make hard choices about means vs ends, but that’s just it. Hard choices. Not an automatic “our leader told us to do such-and-such” or “solidarity with my fellow comrade trumps the values we originally signed up for”.

Don’t get caught up in the team spirit to the point that you lose sight of your responsibilities and values.

Existentialist ethics

It’s important to realize that the “iron pillar that everything else logically flows from” is kinda illusory. It’s a really, really good rule of thumb that’ll get you through 99% of daily life, but ultimately in the world of existentialist ethics there can never be a rote formula to replace our responsibility to choose wisely in every given situation.

There are always gonna be weird corner cases and contradictions even with this iron pillar core value. Sometimes my nose and your right to swing your fist just happen to overlap in a way that can be tricky to sort out using just simple heuristics and rules-of-thumb.

Condemning flashers and dick pics while supporting the right to dress anyway we want to.
The right to divest while supporting gay couples’ wedding cakes.
In the world of neurodivergence, some kids need to stim while others want a calm environment in order to function.

Dialectics in the face of distraction

I’ve dipped into this intersectional social justice thing a few times on this li’l homepage but I have a pretty good reason to try to limit the amount of words I spend on this topic.

It’s vitally important that we all understand that we’ve seen a shifted political cleavage point from trying to understand, and fix, the larger systemic issues (economics & power), to just tearing each other apart while trapped behind the increasingly invisible prison bars of this system.

That doesn’t mean standing idly by when a coworker implies black lives don’t matter or a friend falls down the stairs twice the same way.

Dialectics, which means reconciling seeming opposites (first you think one thing, then you think the opposite, then you realize that both were kinda wrong and you need to take both viewpoints into account to create a new, third, better way of looking at things, a “synthesis”), can be a tricky thing sometimes.

We want to hold two things in mind at the same time here:

  1. The owners are making hay and burning the planet while we tear each other apart. Keep your eye on the ball and don’t get distracted.

  2. The things we are tearing each other apart over are no small things. They do matter. Understanding our core values can help us reason about them more effectively.

So “don’t get sidetracked by values fights” and “care about our values” at the same time. That sounds like a contradiction.

The dialectic is to practice awareness of the systemic issues, our larger “prison walls”, the inherent bugs in the capitalist system that causes these wealth gaps and these values fights and these climate emergencies, and to have our values fights with awareness and a keen eye for opportunities to make larger, systematic improvements.

We do need our intersectional social justice values ♥︎ but we need new, sane economics even more urgently.