Thursday, April 22, 2010

Enemies Part II

The reading for today is "keep your friends close, but your enemies closer", which would explain why my blog is pointing towards Autism Speaks again today.

There has recently been some speculation on line that the Autismo hub much popularised by the New Republic is to be avoided, not to mention to be declared anathema, because it not only highlights the blogs of those who oppose our opinions, it rates our own blogs unequally in a way which the group think of the Autism hub would possibly never countenance. Oh well having been persona non grata on the mainstream hub what should I care? Indeed the alternative hub does make such a pronouncement, that the mysterious administrators do not care to have their decisions challenged so any attempt would be pointless.

This is by the by, because to return to the original theme "keep your friends close, but your enemies closer" I do like to read what the opposition are writing on their blogs, it is just as important to the debate as what we write, and if we only stuck to our own circle of blogs it would be like a mutual self appreciation society after all.  I do not need Socrates' sometimes dubious tracker to know who is reading my blog, amongst the readers are the usual suspects of Harold Doherty, John Best Jnr, and of course Jonathan Mitchell, whose comments turn up from time to time, so why shouldn't I be able to access a convenient hub that keeps me posted on their latest blogs too?

Anyway to define who my enemies are, would be appropriate perhaps, after having inferred that enemies rather like to take the roofs of cathedrals in my last blog, it might be better to be a bit more specific and say that I consider my enemies to be anyone who compasses harm to my being, or the being of people like me, which therefore most definitely puts the US organisation Autism Speaks into that category because to eradicate Autism is to eradicate me. That is why I do urge everyone to actually read their blog, it's not just relevant to the USA, having seen the organisation represented at all manner of events and conferences it is very pertinent for us to know just precisely what they do countenance, and if we get through the censorship of the comments section of that blog to put the countervailing argument.

Indeed what is democracy, if there is no debate, and it is all one sided, a dialogue of the powerful and wealthy only. We should speak to each other, whether we can always remain polite is another matter, I have learnt a rather bitter lesson recently that it probably does behove me to be a bit more polite than I have sometimes been.

Politeness does not however mean relinquishing strong opposition. Reasoned arguments from a political as well as scientific perspective are needed, because make no mistakes the battle is for representation. The very name "autism speaks" is a misnomer, for the organisation are not autism, we are and as the old slogan of the disability rights movement says, "nothing about us, without us" it is time to put our individual differences aside, as I have said before, in order to ensure that at least it is autistic voices who are doing the talking, even if they do not always meet with our wholehearted approval, it's better than the alternative.

Of course there is another saying, and I think the opposition know this well and put it to use. "The enemy of my enemy is my friend"  something that FDR and Churchill knew well, not that I would ever have wanted to get into bed with Uncle Joe Stalin, but that is another story. That being said one does see this principle played out to rather strange effect amongst our opposition to an extent that sometimes seems to defy all logic.

And before I leave, touching on matters controversial I would urge everybody to sign this on-line petition, since blogging can be hazardous in the UK without the 1st Amendment to protect us. It might be you one day, so lets get this law changed once and for all.


Mark Stairwalt said...

I agree wholeheartly. Autismo is following the model laid down by memeorandum (, doing for the autistic web what memeorandum does for the political web. It provides a valuable service, not only because your "enemies" analogies are dead on, but because being well-oriented to the lay of the land is essential to being a credible and effective voice.

Socrates said...

The hazards of blogging here in the UK are never far from my mind.

I've grown overly familiar to the Wild West freedoms of the US blog-o-sphere - despite this, knowing people like Bob Wright have taken time to visit the New Republic, then called their lawyers have given me many (literally) sleepless nights.

We must, absolutely must, know our opponents Cant off by heart.

Our Perseverations should always include the systematic collection and analysis of their writings, and

Patrick said...

It will take me some time to catch up on my reading. Sounds like there is yet another conflict between the free speakers and some power and control faction going on. Not even sure if I will stumble upon anything with which to categorize the participants or the dissonance, or if I even get to stay that long.

A few months ago I disappeared when some web changes happened and I was unable to leave comments in various places (Clay and Socrates blogs comment boxes still don't even show for me somehow, not sure what setting to change be it java or activex or security.)

And then I return to find out that again we may be needing to ascertain on how many legs the members of the loose consortium stand.

I am glad, however, to see that you still endure the commotion.

The author said...

Well I see (or maybe it would be more appropriate to say I don't see)

That Socrates has pulled his latest blog, which only starts one speculating as to whether that was entirely voluntary, or because someone let him have it with both barrels.

Socrates said...

You don't understand - Double-Barrelled lives in the next village - rumour has it he's chairing the judges at the Produce show this year.

I haven't spent the last six months raising my Aquilegias, for them to be dismissed out of hand 'cause I didn't turn up to his Focus group...

Politics, you see. "parvis imbutus tentabis grandia tutus" - as we say in the New Republic.