This article is the final one in my China Mieville series beginning here. Herein I sum up the glaring inconsistencies, double standards and associated hypocrisy of the liberal genre community re the shrill trumpeting on ‘Islamophobia’ in contrast to the white-glove treatment that popular and award-winning writer China Mieville (and his ilk) receives as far as his brazen, obscene and relentless anti-Semitism is concerned. This article continues where the previous one left off. It is also somewhat repetitive re the themes in the previous article, for which I apologize.
The disturbing truth of the matter is that Mieville’s politics are not that unusual, nor considered that odious and beyond the pale in the UK (and across the Atlantic) as I point out in the previous article. In the UK and North American genre scene, such a Marxist outlook is not unusual nor unfashionable. Au contraire. Even as Mieville’s SWP is marginal and largely dismissed by the mainstream.
Mieville’s anti-Semitic prejudice cuts too close to a pervasive political, cultural and ideological malaise in the UK, North America and the West as a whole that is mainstream. Not too many (in and out of the genre community) want to look too closely at any of this, because it would mean acknowledging that the differences between the SWP and its ilk and the mainstream (liberal and otherwise) are not cut and dried. The lines are blurred and overlap. Who wants to look at the thinking that shapes the SWP/Respect? UK schooling, the universities, the media, the social, family and work environment, the pervasive traditional prejudices of British society… (and the Western world as a whole. Why single out the UK?) It would mean taking a deeper look at themselves and their world and we couldn’t have that now.
It’s even worse than that… The British (and North American) speculative fiction community leans heavily to the far Left, so there is not only a lack of embarrassment at Mieville’s politics; it is a case of – why is there anything to be embarrassed about at all?
On the contrary, the response I got to the query directed Jewish genre writers way – do you consider Mieville anti-Semitic in light of my series on him? – is to receive lame name-calling tweets in reply. Noted UK Jewish writer Charles Stross is typical. Stross mistook pathetic personal attacks, even an accusation of conspiracy paranoia directed my way, in response to my query, for an intelligent rebuttal (see the updated part of the article). His fellow British liberal mate, academic and SF maven Paul Graham Raven made sure to let me know that being put in Mieville’s company – among others – was a compliment; a tweet that Stross had no problem with at all. Raven then dismissed me by misusing bizarro style my series on Holocaust Denialism against me – denying the evidence I present in this regard without reading a single word in that series!! All this obscene obtuseness gladly endorsed by Stross (see same article).
I have covered this same ‘can of worms’ territory over here re the de rigueur acceptance of polite anti-Semitism from within ‘progressive circles’.
I don’t think the US is any better than the UK (it’s just that Mieville is British). After all where was the public censure and outrage of Mieville’s politics from US and Canadian liberal genre writers, editors etc? Jewry is conspicuous and heavily represented in the North American genre community, at all levels (as writers, editors, agents, publishers, Con organizers etc) and they have been conspicuously silent. Heated confrontations and personal clashes between Mieville and other genre folk over what appear to be largely broader capitalist vs communist political/economic issues do not count, I’m talking beyond that. Easier for ‘liberal’ Jewish genre folk to blabber on about the usual suspects and go after easy targets – George W Bush, Cheney, Fox News, Wall Street, Creationists, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh and Haliburton blah blah. Well it’s the path of least resistance and safer and easier of course and earns one the smug applause from all the (often anti-Semitic) Gentile liberal folk many of these Jews are clearly desperate to ingratiate themselves with. The elephant in the room is best ignored. At best, yet it’s far worse than that as part 10 in this series details.
Mieville’s blog is here http://chinamieville.net/
Other than the usual suspects – America, the UK – guess which other nation of the nearly two hundred in the world comes in for the most harsh censure, condemnation, and frothing-at-the-mouth vilification when Mieville waxes political? No not Iran, no not the Sudan, North Korea, Zimbabwe, Syria, Turkey, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Yemen, Russia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Egypt, Indonesia. No not the sadly plentiful despotic, tyrannical, brutally corrupt and/or murderous regimes across Asia, Africa, Latin America. No not any jihadist groups from Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah to the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, Al Shabaab and the Sudanese Janjaweed (Mieville’s and his ilk’s fellow anti-Zionists every last one of ‘em).
Well you know which country…
Hey China Mieville is predictably consistent, he is UK SWP after all.
With Mieville – unlike late SF writer James P Hogan and conservative Tangent editor Dave Truesdale we are not talking about Holocaust Revisionism (all this is heavily detailed at this blog. Isn’t the genre community filled with uh interesting characters?) – we are talking the cookie-cutter nuttiness that defines the UK SWP and large swaths of the British Left.
On Truesdale’s Holocaust Revisionism by the by, genre Jewry have nothing at all to say *publicly*. AND I DO MEAN NOTHING. Naturally not all of Elizabeth Moon’s Jewish critics neither – Lavie Tidhar, Farah Mendlesohn, Abigail Nussbaum and Catherynne Valente notably (see the previous article for the details). I wrote thirteen articles in my series at this blog detailing Holocaust Denial and associated Judenhass in the genre community, revolving in the main around Truesdale but by no means limited to him. Tidhar didn’t tweet nor blog anything on that (as he did with Elizabeth Moon’s ‘Islamophobia’). Neither did anybody else. That includes other Jewish genre folk who have expressed public contempt and derision (via twitter) for the only blog – as far as I know – exposing anti-Semitism in the genre community. Such SF Jewdom include Rose Fox, Scott “I’ll side with … China Miéville any day over an odious, bigoted, nasty little blogger” Edelman and of course Charles Stross already mentioned. Also Israeli SF editor and writer Nir Yaniv and writer Laura Anne Gilman. There was also Felix Gilman later on. F Gilman did tweet on my Holocaust Revisionism series, willfully oblivious to what it was about.
Maybe Tidhar for one does curse Truesdale. He just does it in private see, not in the public way he berated Elizabeth Moon and not in the public way he berated uh myself as a loon no less (several times over). I predicted the non-response from genre Jewry to my series on Truesdale’s Holocaust Revisionism here as well. It was a safe bet, no precognitive powers were necessary. The ugly reality of course proved even worse than deafening silence! (see my first article on Nick Mamatas, and the articles on ‘Jewish’ genre fans Mark Pontin and Dybbuk Press’s Tim Lieder for the brain-dead details) The odd and harebrained response from Paul Graham Raven to my own allusion to my series on Holocaust Revisionism, endorsed by the Jewish Charles Stross, has already been remarked upon further up.
As far as China Mieville is concerned and his political campaigning for the SWP/Respect – the base, extreme anti-Semitism of the SWP is as obvious and naked as it is ignored by Mieville’s fans and genre peers. At best ignored, at worst excused, justified and commended. That’s because extreme anti-Semitism as ‘new’ anti-Semitism has never been more fashionable and ‘progressive’, especially if you hide it – no matter how flimsily – behind all the cover terms and slogans (new anti-Semitism in principle). And on that, well who wants to know? It cuts too close. The cover terms and mindless slogans are paper thin…
Tidhar insists on walking the tightrope act re Mieville without a safety net; he almost, almost falls off the wire but just about keeps his balance. Actually that’s debatable. I go into that in detail over here.
Mieville’s campaigning for the UK Respect Party amidst the heated political climate in the UK during the middle of the last decade alone, makes him arguably the most conspicuous among the major genre writers involved in politics on either side of the Atlantic. Yet the most politically active major genre writer (and a best-selling and highly acclaimed award-winning writer at that) in the English language world (the first and so far only triple winner of the Arthur C Clarke award) has garnered zero negative public responses and rebukes in regard to his intemperate anti-Semitism from his professional genre colleagues and peers in the UK and North America. As with his political clone, writer Iain Banks who likewise supports boycotts against Israel and has definitely called for his books not to be made available for the Israeli market.
Given Mieville’s campaigning for what is frankly a rabidly anti-Semitic and left-wing fascist political party, his blogging for a harshly anti-Semitic HAMAS and Hezbollah supporting blog and his support for BDS against Israel (anti-Semitic in principle and viciously so), his brazen obscene slander on the Mavi Marmara incident, his membership in the harshly anti-Semitic BWISP and its and Mieville’s persistent and relentless harebrained anti-Semitic spew (eg the open letters to Ian McEwan), Mieville’s series of persistent and relentless, vocal ‘progressive’ anti-Israel lies and slander in numerous forums over the years; well this complete lack of rebuke is simply shocking, disgusting, hypocritical and COWARDLY. And yet entirely unsurprising. That is it’s the way of the world. I mean by this that Mieville’s anti-Semitism is not far removed from mainstream society and culture. The difference between Mieville and his political ilk’s prejudice and much of the general public is one of degree not kind. That’s all. This is especially the case with those immersed in the liberal ‘intellectual’ culture and academia and that would apply especially to the British and North American genre community.
Remember Mieville is not a minor writer, he is one of the major genre writers of his generation. In fact he is arguably the leading British genre writer of his generation (sure this is debatable) and a prolific one at that. Surely he is in the top five (in terms of critical recognition) and in terms of sales of quality genre fiction he ranks highly as well. The public silence from genre Jewry re Mieville’s anti-Semitism – as with Iain Banks – is as pathetic as it is cowardly. It sticks out. It’s shameful, a disgrace. It’s been worse than that of course, as I describe above (and in my previous article and elsewhere where I cover a lot of the same ground. Apologies for the repetition).
Maybe genre Jewry such as Lavie Tidhar, Abigail Nussbaum, Farah Mendlesohn and others should THINK THINGS THROUGH before playing to the PC peanut gallery, and there is a lot of fashionable, extreme and vicious anti-Israelism within that peanut gallery ie anti-Semitism. Think things through just a little before jumping on board with their fellow liberals (many of whom are base Jew-haters even as they almost always tend to deny it) to defend Islam/Muslims (millions of whose adherents are genocidally anti-Semitic) from any and all criticism, clumsy and condescending or otherwise (I am referring to the whole Elizabeth Moon ‘citizenship’ brouhaha. See the previous article likewise). Did they not think that it is pathetic, cowardly and hypocritical to commit to the former, whilst having nothing to say about rabid anti-Semitism from their own genre peers and colleagues? Of course that’s a rhetorical question.
If they think about it at all, they probably don’t think their fellow liberals could possibly be anti-Semitic because you know liberals are never racist nor anti-Semitic don’t you know. They are liberals after all. And it’s 1968. Maybe they think anti-Israelism is never anti-Semitic, no matter how debased, rabid, extreme and brazenly dishonest, so long as disingenuously hid by cover terminology? Clearly this is the case with Tidhar for one, and he is hardly alone here. Maybe they just choose not to notice the mammoth in the room. They just don’t think really. Hardly anybody does, on anything much.
What else could be the defense of these Jewish genre folk I criticize here? Namely the glaring contrast between their public silence on rabid anti-Semitism from their notable genre peers (Mieville in this case, and what of Banks, Truesdale and the late James P Hogan? This is hardly a complete list – just some of the most egregious examples) and public censure against those (Elizabeth Moon in this case) ‘guilty’ of the dubious thoughtcrime of ‘Islamophobia’. They didn’t know about Mieville’s extremist and anti-Semitic politics for one? Pulleez. Mieville is arguably the most politically active genre writer on either side of the Atlantic. I don’t mean in terms of his being politically vocal (plenty of genre writers are vocal on politics, as Tidhar’s political fiction alone attests to). Then again how many of these progressive genre Jewry even remotely recognize new anti-Semitism for what it is?
To repeat something I mention in part 10 of this series, Lavie “the Palestinians have become the true Jews” Tidhar is anti-Israel and heavily pro-Palestinian in his politics. Thus his feuding with myself, with all its connotations and associations is entirely unsurprising. That article authored by Tidhar from The Jewish Daily Forward (November 2010) is odious in the extreme, morally perverse (the very title is extremely perverse and outrageous) and averse to basic facts and history, inclusive of the ugly reality of Palestinian Islamist Jew-hatred and the jihadist terror that is the fruit of the former. ‘Remembering how to be a Jew‘!! You have got to be kidding. Scarily Tidhar is not kidding.
Yet there is the rub. Tidhar’s ‘Remembering how to be a Jew’ article is the kind of perverse rubbish that would earn a big thumbs up from China Mieville and his ilk. How could it not do so?
Getting back to Mieville, what other excuse – other than not wanting to rock the boat – do genre Jewry have as far as their silence on the former’s obscene anti-Semitism is concerned? Mieville has campaigned for a political alliance, the Respect Party, that garnered a lot of media attention (if not votes) in the UK during the last decade – a party co-founded by one of the most loudmouthed left-wing anti-Semitic jihad supporting fascists in the Western world, George Galloway. Mieville was one of the leading intellectual figure in the UK Respect coalition in the last decade past and remains a significant intellectual heavyweight in the UK Marxist Left. Given this and given the fact that Mieville is a very well-known, award-winning and best-selling genre writer; the excuse that is ignorance of Mieville’s politics, doesn’t wash.
What other excuse do the likes of Lavie Tidhar, Farah Mendlesohn (who Mieville thanks in the Acknowledgments to The City & The City as I have mentioned before), Abigail Nussbaum and other genre Jewry who um think just like them have? Rose Fox, Charles Stross and the Gilman twins also come to mind. Scotty Edelman truly can’t think at all.
The president of the SFWA John Scalzi literally sucks up to Mieville (see the very end of that article). Ah the symbolism! Scalzi is publicly proud of it, and within a day or two of being made ‘cognisant’ of my article on Scalzi himself; that addressed in large part Mieville’s anti-Semitism as documented in detail at my blog!
I guess the liberalism of genre Jewry excuses everything. Truth is it certainly explains everything.
One assumes Jewish genre folk would have a problem with Mieville campaigning for the Judenhass jihad supporting Respect party, his blogging for a harebrained Judenhass Hamas and Hezbollah supporting blog, his support for BDS against Israel (and no other nation on earth), his membership in the rabidly anti-Semitic BWISP, his relentlessly rabid and obscenely mendacious anti-Israel tirades over the years in a number of venues. (some of which I have documented in this series, the most recent being his odious commentary upon the release of Gilad Shalit) If they think none of this is anti-Semitic in the slightest, can they let us know? Truth is one shouldn’t make any assumptions with Court Jews.
To repeat myself and in closing:
I asked for a straight answer in this regard from the following Jewish genre writers and editors who have all poured public scorn on myself (via twitter). They are Lavie Tidhar (indirectly), Nir Yaniv and Laura Anne Gilman. Later I asked the same question of their fellow genre Jews – Charles Stross, Rose Fox and Scott Edelman and for the same reason (given their snide dismissal of this blog). I never got a straight answer from any of them. (with the debatable exception of Edelman who arguably sets the bar lower than the rest of Court Jewdom in this regard. So far…) Ditto Felix Gilman. I asked the same question of John Scalzi, given that he is president of the SFWA and he likewise had dismissed me earlier. He repeated the MO of the genre thought police in reply – that is he didn’t answer the question and instead indulged in harebrained name-calling directed my way.
But hey genre Thought Police, make sure that Elizabeth Moon never gets another invite to another Con again (well not a feminist one), and William Sanders former Helix editor can go rot on a reservation (he also got a Con disinvite). What of Frank Miller, and the call to boycott his books over his anti-Occupy Wall Street commentary?
The liberal Jewish and Gentile professional SF folk know who the enemy is (no not really). China Mieville and his ilk in the genre community have nothing to fear, no ostracisation, no disinvites (unlike Moon and Sanders), and he and they know it. On the contrary. Mieville is a liberal after all, even better a communist. His politics, being Left, are just right. As the likes of Nick “butt-fucking is just mentorship between a man and a child” Mamatas, Paul Graham Raven, Tobias Buckell and Charles Stross will be sure to remind you (among others).
Liberal genre Jewry if anything will run cover for these folk. (look at Edelman for one! And what about Rose Fox and the Gilman twins?) Lavie “I am, to a large extent, a political writer” Tidhar can always be counted on to lead the way.
Here is a brief account from an online Jewish encyclopedia on the Court Jews of Europe.
Many of the genre community folk appear to inhabit the distant planets and parallel universes they read (and write) about in SF. On planet earth they are not. Perhaps none of this should surprise us in the least, after all escapism is what the genre of science fiction is all about in the main, thin-skinned denials and screeds about literary and subversive SF to the contrary. To be fair all this hypocrisy and moral and cultural relativism, the ‘progressive’ anti-Semitism that is either ignored or pandered to, is a reflection of the wider mainstream culture; a disturbing, sinister and obtuse zeitgeist in the West. That however is no cause for comfort whatsoever.