Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Is Jeremy Duns A Moral Fascist

Nancy Lee has put forward a fascinating view on Jeremy Duns in the comments section of this blog, and I feel it deserves  a wider audience, so I have decided to re-produce it as a separate post.

Here is what Nancy has to say: 

Maria, I have to say first that I don’t believe that you are correct to describe Jeremy Duns as right-wing. The impression I have gleaned is that he is in fact a left-wing moral fascist, the type who seem to dominate the Social Media networks these days.

I am currently working on a PhD dissertation on the growth of internet bullying, specifically on Twitter. The name of Jeremy Duns kept cropping up during my research, and that is what led me to your blog.

I am fascinated by what motivates people to bully on the internet. It is a relatively new phenomena and one which I think needs to be explored so that we can first understand it and then put in place safeguards to minimise it.

In the Spectator magazine British journalist Toby Young wrote an excellent article on the left-wing Twitterati as he describes it - http://www.spectator.co.uk/life/status-anxiety/8780801/the-tyranny-of-the-twitterati/ There is no doubt in my mind that Jeremy Duns is a member of this group.

It was only when Jeremy Duns revealed here that he had in fact been adopted by his step-father and changed his name that I realised what has made him the man he is. Jeremy Duns was adopted by a rich, successful man who was able to buy him the best possible education. He went to Winchester which is one of the top private schools in England and then to Oxford, one of the country’s best universities. He benefited from a truly privileged education out of the reach of most people. (Incidentally there is some confusion about private and public schools. Jeremy Duns went to Winchester which in England is described as a public school. However it is a very expensive private school and only the wealthiest of students can attend. In the United States, a public school is a Government school open to anyone. That can cause confusion!)

As an aside, it is interesting how many of his Social Media friends went the same route. I have looked at many of the people that he corresponds with on Twitter and it is noticeable that many are from the north of England who went to top universities such as Oxford and Cambridge but then went on to have less than successful careers. Like Jeremy Duns they seem to take pleasure in attacking others from what they see as the moral high ground, the trademark of the left-wing moral fascist. The Twitterati as Toby Young calls them.

Great things were expected of Jeremy Duns when he was young, but recently he celebrated his fortieth birthday and it is clear that he has been far from successful. Despite applying for jobs on most major newspapers the only post he could get was on a small magazine in Belgium, where he failed to shine. He wrote a handful of mediocre spy novels that failed to sell. Despite the most privileged of educations, he is now basically a house-husband living with a more successful Swedish lady.

It is interesting that much of his writing is set around the time of the Cambridge Five, the notorious double agents who were recruited at university. I would be very surprised if Jeremy Duns had not applied to work for MI5 and MI6 (the English equivalent of the CIA) , and his wish to write spy books reflects the fact that he was rejected by them. In fact Jeremy Duns has been plagued by rejection his whole life – by his biological father, by newspapers, by the intelligence agencies, and by the book-buying public.

My feeling is that it is this rejection manifested itself in a jealousy that now motivates him and in fact it is what motivates most of the bullies who operate on Twitter. It is noticeable that Jeremy Duns tends to attack successful writers and journalists, those who have the careers that he wanted and was denied. A simple Google search will show up a long list of people that he has attacked on Twitter and on his blog, often based on the most spurious of information.

Is he anti-gay? I think probably not. His left-wing political stance wouldn’t allow him to express anti-gay or racist views even if he had them. But my belief is that he is motivated by jealousy. In years gone by, bitter men like Jeremy Duns would sit alone muttering about how life had treated them unfairly or writing angry letters to local newspapers and politicians which would almost always be ignored. No one would care about their views and least of all take them seriously. The internet has given them a voice, and they are keen to take advantage of it to heckle, bully and taunt. Jeremy Duns is just one of many, unfortunately. The question of course is what can be done about them. 

As, I said it is a fascinating view, and adds a lot of our knowledge. Whether Duns is right-wing or left-wing is not really the point. I think Nancy is right to describe him as a moral fascist: his bullying, the violence of his language, the anger, and the threats to anyone who disagrees with him, these are all fascist traits. I think she underplays the hatred of women and gays that runs through his work. I have not yet investigated whether he is a racist or not. But certainly the writers he praises were.

Where I certainly agree with Nancy is that men like Duns represent everything that is ugly and wrong about our world. And what we have to do is women is work out ways of standing up to them. 

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