Monday, November 02, 2015

Our Insecure Culture Warriors

Culture War 2.0 is as inescapable as it is obnoxious. Its loudest proponents, the Social Justice Warriors, live off a drama that they create, playing enlightened victim-activists fighting micro-struggles against micro-aggressions in areas most people have never even thought about.

The issues are ideological, but they're mainstreamed by focusing on personal narratives. The victim-activists are usually millennials from wealthy families with useless degrees. It's a story as old as radicalism, but in the dawn of the 21st century, it's activism and culture war being replayed as farce.

Culture War 2.0 politicizes narcissism and insecurity. It obsessively masticates culture the way that its political predecessors destroyed people. Its target audience lives and thinks in terms of premium cable shows. They are to it what novels were to its 19th century counterparts.

Even its ideology is more grievance than theory. It only cares about theory to the extent of parsing the Victim Value Index and determining who has more or less privilege, who ought to feel more guilty and who ought to feel more victimized. This is ideology as soap opera. Politics as a means of deciding who gets to play what emotional role in a societal drama.

Its political expressions exist in the space of the personal narrative. In this tawdry post-Orwellian future everyone will get their essay of victimhood on Medium or ThoughtCatalog read for 15 minutes. Their drama will, very temporarily, be a trending topic. For a generation of overindulged children, broadcasting their petty pains is the closest thing their lives have to love and meaning.

1984's world was obsessively serious. Our 2015 social tyranny is absurdly trivial. It's a world whose leaders is always looking for goofy photo ops while he violates the last remaining shreds of the law. Every crime is buried under a thousand shrieking viral headlines that alternate between fake empowerment and fake outrage.

We don't have an adult totalitarian state, because we no longer have adults. Instead we have Lord of the Flies and Mean Girls. Overgrown children advance a totalitarian state out of spite and envy. Identity politics is everything because tribalism is more innate to children than it is to adults. Enemies have to be punished for emotional validation. Freedoms have to be eliminated out of insecurity.

The politicization of insecurity lets everyone be a victim. Anyone can turn their feelings of shame or ostracism into political awareness. Feelings not only displace reason, they warp ideology around themselves, so that ideology becomes a means of emotional venting. Activism becomes catharsis. Hating others becomes therapy. No one is cured, but making things better was never the point.

Our emotionally unstable activist elites veer from narcissism to insecurity. Their politics are manic-depressive efforts at managing their emotions by controlling others. They retreat to political safe spaces, gnaw at each other and then emerge forth to demand that the world be made safe for their feelings.

The left always gets what it wants and is never happy. The purpose of its idiot activism isn't progress, but drama. Each achievement leaves behind a sense of emptiness. It isn't about rights, it's about conflict. It's not about giving to someone. It's about taking from someone else.

Without the conflict and its accompanying self-dramatization, there is only the emptiness.

The social justice warrior seeks to escape insecurity by dramatizing its own victimhood all the way over into narcissism. But such dramas need participants. Politics is its means of manufacturing that drama by finding antagonists. Without antagonists, there is no drama. Without drama, there is no sense of importance and the activists loses what it hoped to gain, a sense of self. 

Our emotionally insecure culture warriors other themselves and then assemble an identity that makes them the victim of some larger primal force, racism, the patriarchy and privilege, when really they are Rachel Dolezals, unstable types who manufacture their victimhood out of a paranoid dislike of people.

Paranoia is the political currency of the emotionally unstable culture warrior who is always certain that someone is looking at them the wrong way, threatening them on social media or committing some other microaggression against them.

There are people who can't hear a "good morning" without seeing a conspiracy against them. In normal life, they're diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenics. In political activism, they're just sensitive to microaggressions.

The left has always valued oversensitivity because neurotics are easy to convince of their own victimhood. And career victims naturally dehumanize those they consider to be their oppressors. As neurosis has become culture, the only way to escape accusations of privilege is to find your own victimhood. And there's nothing like being forced to develop insecurities to make you insecure.

Culture War 2.0 is culturally crazy. Its personal dysfunction so entangled with politics that there is no way to tell where one begins and the other ends. It politicizes insecurity and narcissism for campaigns that are indistinguishable from trolling. It reduces every issue to personal unhappiness and demands the abolition of traditional freedoms and rights as the answer to that unhappiness.

Its demands are unanswerable because they are personal. There is no solution to them except sanity. And in a cultural conflict where insanity is an asset, sanity is no answer. It's an accusation.

The truly paranoid see the world as hostile and are driven to destroy it. Their crusade to find happiness by making everyone else miserable can only success halfway. They can never be happy, but they can always make others miserable. 


Anonymous said...

Spot on!

Fasatcorners said...

Excellent, if you don't mind I'm going to link to this article. I don't know how old you are Daniel but you are wise beyond your years.

Anonymous said...

Excellent Daniel.

Alex in Montana said...

...and it never changes. Orwell wrote about the same 75 years ago. He got his education in the Spanish Civil War, fighting on the Communist side, getting shot and then realizing Communism was rubbish. Orwell was an anti-totalitarian socialist. He wanted equality but not by coercion and shooting people.

If Obama had unlimited power he would be no different than the other famous 20th century Socialists; the International Socialism of Mao, Lenin and Stalin who collectively murdered 100 million people or the National Socialism of Hitler and Mussolini who murdered 30 million people. Who knows how many millions Obama would murder as tyrant-in-chief, but at the end as Mr. Greenfield ably suggests, Obama would not be satisfied.

GreenEyedJinn said...

There is value in forming our own "tribes." At some point the mob of intolerant children must be faced by more than determined adults.
Stand together. Watch each others' backs. Take the fight to them, before they ambush you. They will lie; you just have to catch them at it. They will project; you just need to be ready to exploit their weakness.

Unknown said...

I was grinning from ear-to-ear. I don't know how better to describe the Ta-Nehisi , Mary Francis Berry, Melissia Harris Perry crowed as the Cultural Warriors, par excellence

Empress Trudy said...

The problem is that the cultural warriors are in charge of a great deal. Coates for instance won a MacArthur 'genius' grant and was on the short list for a Nobel Prize.

GT Kona said...

Awesome is overused to the point of making the word meaningless. Nevertheless: AWESOME! However , now I need to find an hour so I can digesting and internalize the brilliance on display!

Uncle Vladdi said...

Liberals have perverted even the most simple basic principle of our right and responsibility to use our brains to scientifically, objectively determine our place in the world: Since their theology is that we have no free will, that life is always too complex for us to understand, even our illusion of "choice" is really externally imposed on us by force: by "historical predeterminism" (to Marxists) because we are all victims - of our environments, mere products of "society," (and of course slaves of "allah")!

Liberals pretend all of our thinking processes and thoughts - both good and bad - are forcibly pre-determined, but then they perpetually also energetically keep on trying to prove the opposite, by just keeping on coming up with better, more thought out and articulate reasons why someone ELSE should do things for them! They delusively lie to them selves and others, pretending that the best alibi-making liar to excuse his own criminal desires and actions by manipulating others, will somehow "win" the intellectual might-makes-right award contest!

Therefore, since to them all 'facts' are really only opinions anyway, such that all entirely fact-free, subjective opinions are the diversely opposite equals to all silly objective facts - every helpless oppressed victim's opinion must be aggressively indulged in, as if it were a fact!

You want to pretend you're an aardvark?! The law must decree it so!

To "progressive" liberals' judgment, the only crime is judging - them.

They want to make it an illegal crime to offend criminals by hurting their feelings with the often-painful Truth. Truth is, to them, a crime!

Liberals are dividers: without "victims to defend," their lives just aren't worth a dime. Without being able to slander groups which won't fight back, making new "laws" to punish them without trial in order to gain more fear control over everyone else by fostering dependency, such criminals are bereft of their main alibis to excuse their own criminal desires and actions.

Such Marxists have always used group-might-made-rights to assert that, since some other group of people who sort of looked like you, at some other time and in some other place, may have oppressed people who looked sort of like them (or like their favorite victims-du-jours) - you now owe them!

Jealous Marxists have always slandered those who bothered to make and earn stuff, as really having somehow stolen it from those who didn't bother to - so, once again, to them: you owe them!

All criminal thieves must either reverse or ignore objective cause-and-effect reality in order to subjectively blame their victims, and pose as their victims' victims. They always have, and they always will.

Uncle Vladdi said...

See also a very similar recent analysis, from here:



Post a Comment