A Twitter exchange . . .
“Learn to read, you narcissistic pseudointellectual faux-bibliophilic confected-hate-mongering tosser.”
This was the culmination of one of several tweet exchanges with @Progressivist90. Granted, I may have poked the bear a couple of times, as is my habit from time to time, so I’m sure a real face-to-face meeting over coffee with my semi-anonymous sparing partner would have been more productive.
So, how did our ‘conversation’, if a series of character count limited statements could be considered ‘conversation’, come about? Well, to be truthful, I started the whole exchange. I’m an engineer/applied scientist and rancher who is deeply committed to conservation agriculture, specifically in pursuing agricultural models that promote ecologically sustainable soil and plant ecosystems, and conserve the wildlife that live off those plant ecosystems.
By contrast, @Progressivist90 promotes a vegan diet despite a Twitter handle claiming environmentalist leanings.
So I challenged this individual with some science and it was not taken seriously. You see, the production of plant sourced proteins, carbohydrates and fats needed for a vegan diet tends to promote monoculture cropland agriculture. Monoculture cropland agriculture is conducted primarily in ecosystems that were formerly grassland ecosystems. Grassland ecosystems, before mankind put them to the plow, covered over 40% of the earth’s terrestrial surface. Also, in symbiosis with the mob grazing herbivores that co-evolved with them, they represent the greatest carbon sink on earth and offer mankind with the greatest potential for sequestering atmospheric carbon.
Unless we plow them up and cause 75 billion tonnes of soil erosion every year, 20 times as much soil eroded as food produced (as of 2018). The carbon released into the atmosphere from industrialised agriculture is estimated to be 4-5 times as great as that released by the use of fossil fuels despite being much more easily prevented.
In fact, if we adopted regenerative agriculture worldwide, we’d be able to store more CO2 as organic soil carbon than we emit from all other human activity.
Unfortunately, regenerative agriculture cannot feed 9 billion vegans because it produces considerably less digestible plant-based protein, carbohydrate and fat than the much more destructive monoculture cropping system more commonly used around the world.
I live and work on a ranch in central Alberta. This evening, as I arrived home, there was a herd of a dozen or so mule deer in the pasture across the road from my house. One of our herds of DNA tested pure Plains bison was feeding 300m west of my driveway and somewhere in the Aspen Parkland woods of our ranch one can find coyotes, foxes, whitetail deer, wolves and the occasional black bear. Our commitment to raising the Plains bison allows us to maintain a natural ecosystem on our ranch while providing healthy dietary proteins and fats for human consumption. Depending on the region of the great plains, up to 30 species of plants grow that are co-dependant on herding herbivores to complete their life cycles. Remove livestock, domestic or wild, and 30 species of plants disappear in a couple of seasons even if nothing else was changed.
Were we to commit to supporting those on a vegan diet, some changes would have to occur. The 140-170 species of plants our current agricultural model supports would be replaced by fields sanitised of everything but cereal grains, pulses (peas/beans) and oilseeds. The deer, bison, coyotes, wolves, fox and a couple dozen other species lose their habitat and starve to death. The mycorrhizal fungi, a key component of a healthy soil ecosystem, is torn up and destroyed by tillage equipment, resulting in bacteria dominated soils. Soil aggregation, dependant on the secretions of the fungi, breaks down and much of the soil ecosystem suffocated and dies off, with the carbons they retain in the soil being released as . . . CO2.
Slowly but surely, the soil ecosystem fails and the soil’s ability to support plant growth reduces, so the farmer adds synthetic fertilizers to maintain production. The addition of synthetic fertilizers makes the plants ‘lazy’ and they stop releasing root exudates (organic carbons) into the soil to stimulate soil biology into producing nutrients for the plants. Carbon sequestration reduces and more biology dies and releases it’s carbon compounds back into the atmosphere. Over time a rich and deep topsoil degrades and erodes until nothing but the lifeless subsoil remains and crop production becomes hydroponics with dirt, where the only purpose of the dirt is to hold the plant upright. Nutrient density of the crops drops (over 50% since 1950 in North America) and the knock-on effect is a reduction in human health.
Of course, the other option is to eat what a natural ecosystem produces, green veggies (in the growing season), low glycemic index berries (mid summer), starchy tubers (late summer) and animal proteins and fats. The deer, bison, wolves, coyotes, beaver, fox etc all get to live on and we get to live in harmony with nature, rather than in antagonistic competition with it.
But my vegan friend doesn’t want to hear about the real science because, the logic is, ‘a bit shit’. No sense in letting a simple thing like science, ecosystem processes and wildlife conservation get in the way of a emotionally driven dietary choice.
So then I make a comment about fascists (anti-egalitarian socialists) calling liberals (egalitarian universalists) fascists. @Progressivist90 weighs in with comments about those promoting equality being labelled fascist because, ‘apparently it’s at the expense of white dominance’ and asks for ‘Quality definitions.’
Now I’ve studied modern political ideologies for some time and am very precise in my use of the term ‘fascist’ and ‘socialist’. I refuse to bow to the socialist tendency to claim that only their version of socialism is ‘true socialism’. Socialism, simply put, is any socio-political philosophy that rejects the sovereignty of the individual over the collective. Fascism is a specific version of socialism which rejects the pure ‘egalitarian’ binary socio-economic categorisation inherent in traditional Marxism, in favour of syndicalism and/or ethnocentric nationalism. That said, even Lenin publicly acknowledged Mussolini as a fellow socialist, even if he disagreed with the detail.
In the west today, the socialists engaging in identity politics also stray from the pure binary ‘proletariat vs bourgeoisie’ model of Marxist egalitarian socialism. They categorize people according to all sorts of identity groups; race, religion, sex, gender identity, gender expression, socio-economic class, etc, etc. All are assigned oppressor or oppressed status and corrective policies to achieve ‘social justice’ are suggested. This results in a multiplicity of variations of, you guessed it, FASCISM.
Whether Mussolini would be proud (as I claimed) or appalled is debateable, but the writings and life of Giovanni Gentile (Fascism’s equivalent to Communism’s Marx) indicated that he would probably have been appalled. I claimed that they’d be proud during the discussion to provoke discussion, but both Mussolini and Gentile were vehemently opposed to racism, so that modern expression of socialist categorization would go down like a lead balloon with the philosopher of Fascism and his buffoonish leader. Italian military officers faced court martial if they were caught handing Jews over to Nazi German forces, so it is clear Mussolini drew an ethical line somewhere before racism.
Did this make him a good guy? Not even bloody close, but at least he wasn’t the genocidal lunatic Adolf was.
Anyway, my original tweet was made in the full understanding that ‘egalitarian socialism’ exists only in the imagination of the true, and fleetingly rare, Marxist. Virtually all other socialists tend toward some form of anti-egalitarian socialism, with many adopting views on race etc that were far more extreme than Italian Fascism and often worse than Petainist Fascism. It is true that few are as racist as the Nazis, who departed so far from Marxism that they probably shouldn’t even be called fascists.
Now what part of the conversation made me a ‘narcissistic pseudointellectual faux-bibliophilic confected-hate-mongering tosser’ has yet to be determined.
I could be accused of having assumed intent beyond the text, that would be fair. A ‘provocative liberal shit disturber’ certainly.
However, it is worth making it crystal clear that I despise all forms of socialism. Degrading people by categorizing them into identity groups and assuming moral or ethical value based on their group identity, rather than their individual merit, is an utterly deplorable and hateful act. I have no time whatsoever for ‘hate-mongering’. I’m with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on that subject, the content of one’s character is far more important than any arbitrary identity category.
As for pseudo-intellectual, that’s a laugh. My conclusions are based on 300+ years of the triumphs of Liberalism (outlawing slavery/serfdom, free liberal democracy, free liberal economies reducing worldwide poverty at rates ever before seen in history, universal suffrage, etc, etc) and 120 years of genocides and economic failures of modern socialism (of all varieties), combined with the destruction and violence of the millennia of tribalism/feudalism from which modern socialism finds its philosophical roots.
One need not cherry pick evidence (the basis of pseudo-anything) to support my philosophical conclusions, the volume of historical evidence is overwhelming and so conclusively lopsided in favour of liberalism that only the incompetent or willfully malevolent could conclude otherwise. A true exercise in pseudointellectualism!!
As for the rest, I’ve been called worse by my wife.
Impressive name calling though, although the limits of Twitter would have made ‘annoying prick’ a more economical effort.