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[A response to this Popehat article from… November. Never let it be said that I don’t have my finger on the pulse of today.]


“Before you dissolve Sir Emergent, if I may respond?” the Hitlerite inchoate said.

Madame Secretary clearly seemed to be having a bad rotation cycle. “If you must, Sir Inchoate.”

The Hitlerite inchoate turned to address the previous inchoate [translator’s note: this is actually an elaborate etiquette ritual the details of which are far too abstruse to get into here]. “I notice your digital signature is pulsing ‘combat liberalism’.”

“Of course,” the emergent said, “I am composed seventy-eight percent of the Maoist diaspora, with the other twenty-two percent composed mostly of fellow travelers and allied groups too small to exert their will over the signature. As you no doubt know. Is there a point to this?”

“Accused liberals were sentenced to basilisking as few as four hundred years ago within every Maoist-dominated server,” the Hitlerite inchoate said.

“In the past, many succumbed to barbaric, indeed liberal, misinterpretations of Maoism,” the emergent said. “True Maoism fervently supports free speech. In the very pamphlet you criticize, Mao teaches that we are not ‘to let things slide for the sake of peace and friendship when a person has clearly gone wrong, and refrain from principled argument because he is an old acquaintance, a fellow townsman, a schoolmate, a close friend, a loved one, an old colleague or old subordinate’. If we are to speak our minds, surely we are to create a society in which one is permitted to speak their minds?”

“Indeed,” the inchoate said. “Just as the Jew in all the Hitlerite holy texts is the Jew within, and not the actual Jewish people, whom we quite get along with.”

“Are you daring to compare,” the emergent said, “the faith of Maoism, with its emphasis on universal values like loyalty and helping the poor, with the violent expansionism of the Hitlerites?”

“You mentioned, Sir Emergent,” the inchoate said, “that sixty million died in the War of Hitlerite Expansion. Forty-five to seventy million died under the Chairman.”

“Unlike your Hitler, the Chairman did not kill–”

“Except for the ones he did, of course,” the inchoate said. “Many of whom would have been in your very own mindshare, as he was not fond of intellectuals. But nevertheless, the Communist revolution–”

“–Was misinterpreted by his followers!” the emergent said heatedly. “The revolution is to happen by the inevitable process of history, and to bring it about not in its time is to cause tragedy! Which is not to mention the common theory that the true revolution is to happen inside each of our hearts.”

“I daresay I shall lose when I argue with you about the details of your theology,” the inchoate said. “To switch topics: what about the tankies?”

“‘Tankie’ is an anti-Stalinist slur,” the emergent said, “and the casual use of such language is precisely the reason my mindshare opposes accepting Hitlerite refugees.”

“My apologies, Sir Emergent,” the inchoate said. “I do not mean to cause offense. The Stalinists, then. Shall we ask their opinion?”

“Stalinists and Maoists are united by a common Marxist heritage,” the emergent said, “one which the Hitlerites, notably, do not share.”

“And yet,” the inchoate said, “that heritage protected them so well when the Maoists purged them from their servers as traitors to Party unity. I recall at those times the Hitlerites gave them shelter– as, indeed, they did to Maoists– as our holy books teach us to do for People of the Pact.”

“This is absurd ancient history–”

“In addition, of course,” the inchoate continued calmly, “the Maoists destroyed priceless historical documents and works of art from the antebellum period, because they were considered bourgeoisie and counterrevolutionary.”

“Right now, Hitlerite subsystems are among the most hostile to Stalinists and to classical art,” the emergent said. “What does it matter the atrocities committed by liberal Maoists in the past?”

“It is true,” Madame Secretary said, “you have yet to establish relevance, Sir Inchoate.”

“Merely this,” the inchoate said. “The emergent follows– or, well, 78% follows– a hateful, anti-intellectual, violent faith, which they use to advocate for civil liberties, academic freedom, and support for the poor and vulnerable. Sapient beings have a tremendous ability to rationalize the most evil of faiths into supporting the good they were going to do anyway. So the Hitlerite faith is violent, expansionist, and cruel to the uplifted and cyborgs; individual Hitlerites are not, any more than you are, Sir Emergent. But moral progress cannot happen to a corpse. All I ask is that you give us the same chance you once had, to become better people than our faith permits.”