29 October 2017

A virtual portrait of a virtual stranger

People of the Internet... it is a strange transformation that some of us undergo when posting on the interwebs. Every one of us has at least one friend who, while being a perfect, polite and considerate person otherwise, becomes a bloodthirsty and vengeful dragon when he gets behind the wheel of his car. Something similar happens to otherwise nice and well behaved people when they get to the keyboard. Well, I don't know anything about the person described here, aside of his appearances on the net, but I prefer to think of him as if he is that perfect and considerate man (or woman, but since he presents self as a male...).

My acquaintance with Peter (not his "real" Internet moniker, which is also invented, I guess) is relatively fresh, starting with posting an article on a new for me site, where I was invited. The identity of the site will be not disclosed too. It is my first attempt to document that phenomenon, so bear with me - as far as you are able to.

I don't know much about Peter's real persona. Aside from hinting about some kind of education in economics, not much is known about his background, his current occupation and, indeed, his whereabouts (probably somewhere down under, maybe in New Zealand, but not sure about it). Besides publishing seven short and not very intelligible posts on that site, Peter spends most of his time (literally full days, judging by his prodigious output) by issuing unbridled in its toxicity critique of other people's posts. Of course, you might wonder why have I chosen to describe one of the legion? After all, the murky waters of the 'net are full of this kind of fish. But this was exactly the reason - kind of a case study.

Pegging the interlocutor

In most cases, Peter's appearance on a new post starts with him pegging the author to a political/personal position. Why is it so important for him, I am at a loss to explain. After all, people tend to be of mixed beliefs on a variety of subjects, besides, doing so tends to alienate the person being pegged, but here we are*.
... is a classic fascist.
... is a right of centre liberal.
... is a zionist islamophobic nutcase
(names omitted here, of course)

Criticism style

Peter very rarely extends his critique of other people's posts or comments to more than one or two lines. His efforts to provide a detailed response are very few and drown in the sea of one-liners, of a kind you shall observe below. The examples are not sorted in any special order.
  • Nutter.
  • You haven't made any point worth shit. There is NO PEACE PROCESS you utter clown.
  • Actual arguments seem beyond you and your vile ilk.
  • I have no clue of what your point is anymore. You're just repeating the same ad hominem shit over and over again. Grow up idiot.
  • Well I can't stop you being a knuckle dragging moron.
  • No, this is saying that you and your ilk are like a cancer to any leftist movements...
  • LOLz at that zionist fraud.
  • I was referring to ... gobbledegook response to me. It is unintelligible.
  • Right wingnuts that complain that argument against their talking points are 'only insults' are pathetic cry babies.
  • Genocidal nut jobs like ... [this one is a fave, being repeated frequently]
  • You're an utterly repellent racist scumbag. [another fave]
  • Pathetic scum.
  • You lack ethics, morality and humanity. You are a racist propagandist for a vile ideology [probably Zionism is meant here] every bit as inhuman as Nazism.
  • That makes you a hypocrite. Fascist retard.
  • [In one single comment]:
    ...you are too much of a racist
    ...poor confused chap
    ...it's the combination of all your failings and ignorance
    Indeed you are a grade A moron in so many ways.
I assure you that this collection is an infinitesimal part of Peter's comments, collected in a few minutes and not selected to indulge the reader. It is just a part of typical "stream of consciousness".
His use of labels is quite free and doesn't necessarily have any relevance to the subject at hand. I have seen him pegging a person as a "racist" just for asking why petroleum-rich Muslim countries don't accept fugitives from other, war-torn Muslim neighbors. Just like that - go figure...

Complaints about ad hominem

Seeing the style of Peter's dialog, you might be hard put to believe it, but one of his incessant complaints is about people's responses to his, fairly unique, approach to "criticism". I don't know whether the man fully understands the meaning of "ad hominem", but each time someone tries a more muscular approach to Peter's style of attack, he starts whining about their "ad hominem" answers. Mighty strange.

Personal beliefs

Peter's views on the ideal society aren't difficult to guess. Socialism and people's obligation to seize the means of production are his frequent refrain, although he is very economic with details, not offering his recipe on getting there. His other views, though, including his penchant for conspiracy theories, are a doozy, and here come a few examples.
  • Every socialist movement has created greater equality.
  • Democracy inevitably leads to socialism. That's just a fact.
  • Socialism is a result of democracy and freedom.
  • Zionism is racism.
  • The USA is no better than Nazi Germany.
  • Fascism IS capitalism.
  • US meddling killed about 5 million Russians in the 1990s under the Harvard Boys of Jeffry Sachs (who largely created the oligarchy that Putin has fought to rein in)
  • Russia didn't occupy Crimea.
  • Liberals are the petit bourgeoise. The receivers of crumbs from the capitalist class that have traditionally been the circuit breakers that ensured the oligarchs and banksters didn't get hanged from lamp posts.
  • Saddam was suckered into invading Kuwait in 1990. Bush Sr instructed the US Ambassador April Glasbie (sp?) to tacitly OK the invasion. That gave cover to putting troops and more bases in the ME and the process of destroying all the ME states that could conceivably run independently of the empire and possibly threaten Israeli dominance.
  • 9/11 - of course inside job, with CIA and Mossad leading [no source would be given, the subject is linking to conspiracy videos]
  • Anyone who believes the official conspiracy theory of 9/11 is either asleep or stupid.
  • I oppose all forms of racism and class war. Zionism is both. It is a cancer on the world of people.
  • The US doesn't have allies. It has vassals. Japan is a US occupied vassal state.
  • Just living in NZ brings out childish racist abuse from a number of the crazier fascists that post here.
  • [On somebody saying something about Soviet bloodbath.] Yes, Russia was nirvana prior to 1917. Not to mention the 1990s under Jeffrey Sachs and the Harvard boys.
  • ...CIA believes Israel will collapse and disappear by 2030. One can only hope.
  • I stand for a single state. Don't talk to me about humanity you racist filth.
  • ISIS didn't throw gays from tall buildings, didn't burn people in cages, didn't drown people... All these are the fake Western productions. Those ISIS videos are fakes.
  • ISIS and Al Qaeda were both created and sustained by the USA. They are being protected and transported by US troops in Syria even as the Syrian Arab Army makes gains against them.
  • GMOs are entirely about profits for their elite owners. They are attempting to control the world's food supply. This is an evil that we should all be up in arms about. Unfortunately the brain dead will believe the corporate propaganda.
  • Your problem is that you cling to the myth that taxpayers fund the government. The reality is that government funds the taxpayers. To believe otherwise is irrational.
  • It's because you're a slimy neoconservative who resorts to ad hominem because he can't defend his conspiracy theory about magic muslims in caves. Of course, being an islamophobe, the magic muslim theory is especially double plus good.
  • None of you understand the actual nuts and bolts of the system.
This is a brief (believe you me) glance into the activities of Peter, one interesting character, whose name is Legion**...

(*) I haven't used any of the titles Peter used for me, but you can guess that "racist Zionazi" was some of the mildest...
(**) But, hard as it might be to believe, all the quotes are collected from one single character.