Maybe dystopia is not the right word, but I am sure you are aware about how GAMA/Origins “disinvited” Larry Correia in 2018 over a complaint made by someone. Upon examination, it seems the whole things was not a concern for GAMA or Origins and, from what I can tell, Larry did not do anything wrong. The complaint involved a controversy completely outside of Origins or GAMA and something that had happened months earlier. According to Larry’s own account, he found out about being “disinvited” through a posting online, so apparently the mere accusation of doing ‘something’ was enough to get him taken off the schedule, and that is what we have here today. Do or say the wrong thing, even if completely by accident, and anyone accuses you, and you are all done. You are out, disinvited, taken off the schedule, never to be talked about or mentioned again. I would call that dystopian nature.
While GAMA/Origins has a harassment policy that specifically states that the right to not be harassed is NOT the same as a ‘right to not be offended’; i.e. just because you do not like what someone is saying or their beliefs does NOT mean it is harassment. Unfortunately GAMA/Origins does not appear to hold to this in practice and these words mean nothing. When one says or does the wrong thing, even if by accident or just making an inquiry, and there is any accusation, the person being accused is thrown out without any kind of inquiry as to what happened or why and only finds out after the fact.
I, myself, had all of my lectures cancelled in 2016 when some people, who were never even verified as going to attend Origins, posted on social media and made slanderous and libelous accusation about me. I did not even find out this was going on for some time, especially since people were talking about this in a closed group on rpg.net. Apparently, I am now ‘persona non grata’ and will never to be allowed to present on anything even though I had given lectures for years and worked to present as many as possible to help the program.
I have contacted the entire GAMA board, officers and any other staff that I could find contact info for, and nothing has been done. The only message I got, that I remember, was from John Ward who said basically, “We can do whatever we want”.
As such, I intend to secure a seat on the board and will, myself, work to correct this situation.
My take on this is that anyone connected with GAMA is that they are all simply terrified of some internet mob trying to ruin them if they do not do what the mob wants. As such they have decided that they will not do anything to correct the situation. Of course, the problem with such tactics is that when one gives in to these tactics and behavior, instead of just telling the people off, it just encourages more of the same and is nothing more than extortion. As anyone can tell you about being on the receiving end of any kind of extortion, is that there is no future in allowing it to continue. Since eventually, as things become worse, it will reach a point that the one being extorted can’t or simply won’t be able to comply with the demands being made.
While I can understand that some people are completely irrational and unable to handle any discussion on #Gamergate or The Culture Wars, and I could have understood if GAMA decided to take those off the schedule, there was absolutely no reason or justification to take my other lectures on economics between the World Wars off the schedule and to prohibit me from ever giving a lecture at Origins again.
And that is why I fear what we have is a modern day dystopia.
In what is supposed to be an academic environment, in a free and open society with free speech, we are not supposed to be booting people out because someone ‘feels’ they are some kind of imagined threat.
Good luck and Take Care,
Louis J. Desy Jr. – June 8, 2019