Friday, 12 April 2019

Seeds of Destruction

   We are seeing a rise in violence by white nationalists and neo-nazis. The current popular narrative is that these bad people are appearing from nowhere, as if by magic, and no one can figure out where they are coming from, or why. If they are not simply described as individual nut-cases, this worrying trend is not being explained or addressed, but leaves a large number of people with lots of letters after their names scratching their heads and proposing any number of reasons why so very many seem to be appearing now in such numbers and laying the blame all over the place. I'd like to suggest it's actually those very erudite, knowledgeable people who are ultimately causing this problem.
   In the first place, for decades, the masses were lectured to about how people with lots of letters after their names had all the correct answers, and their policies were so carefully crafted that everyone was going to be just fine if they just went along, especially with the make-believe science of economics. So all the major Parties in all the democratic Euro-American sphere went along, certain economic policies became differentiated only by flavour, not any real difference, arguments over how wonderful or not social programs would be and how everyone would be helped into a utopian world where no one gets hurt and everyone gets to live a comfortable life. This failed. Miserably. Predictably, the scapegoat of Rich White Men who run the Capitalist System became the bugbear onto whom all the worlds woes were blamed. There is no lively discussion amongst economics schools as to whether their ideas actually work for the benefit of people, but that's not the point: decades ago the whole equation became flipped so that the economy no longer works to provide benefits to people, people now work to keep the economy healthy. People will put up with a lot, but when they start to get hungry and sink from relative wealth into poverty and they see everyone around them also sinking, they tend to turn to anybody who even pretends to address their concerns.
   Enter the populists, fronting for the real totalitarians.
   On the second hand, and this is where we get to the heart of the problem, despite decades of social work, social policies, social experimentation to elevate certain defined visible minorities from poverty and to integrate them into a utopian world where everyone has an equal chance to be well off and happy, this, too, has failed miserably.
   As the decades have worn on, the more these policies and hand-outs have failed to produce the promised results, the advocates have become ever-more strident in their insistence that, because they have gone to school, and made all sorts of studies, and have gathered all sorts of data that they must be right, and have doubled-down over and over again on their failed programs. In the process, this approach has become the holy shibboleth of social-activists promoting righteous moral causes. As their theories have needed to become ever-more abstract, their ideas have become ever-more hyper-sensitive to slights and injuries, real and imagined. The Noble Causes, having seen very little improvement, if any, then seek for any answer as to why, and, in typical human fashion, place blame outside long before they question their own behaviour, and The System is the easiest, most obvious target. But who runs The System is, of course, the largest minority group. And thus everything about them comes under scrutiny and this scrutiny must turn up all the ways in which The System works to prevent the suffering group in question from succeeding. And thus these intellectuals awaken to the realization of how much everything is stacked against them, and become woke to the awful situation.
   Then this hyper-awareness becomes the cause of their own failure.
   The Woke-Left has not only grouped together and conflated multiple assorted issues, some of which are turning out to be incompatible if not actually antithetical, but in each case, they have reduced the complexities of those issues to the simplest, most uni-dimensional Manichean definition of good vs. evil, and lumped everyone not wholly in agreement with the narrow, defined range of acceptable speech and behaviour as absolutely, unquestionably evil. There is no nuance. So if everyone else who questions a premise is derided as a “Fascist Nazi,” then this gives legitimacy over to actual Fascists and actual Nazis who can claim ownership of reasonable concerns and thus have a way to ooze out from the cracks and crevasses into which they were relegated decades ago. 
   This is the flip-side of the assumption of the mantle of Conservatism by Evangelical Christians who are absolutely socially restrictive and inflexible in their attitudes and utterly unwilling to compromise on any point, and who define everyone not entirely part of their group as Godless Marxist Socialists.

   e.g. immigration. I think this started to become an issue of social concern when the percentage of immigrants from very specific places North West Europe decreased and immigration from Southern and Eastern Europe increased, then particularly when immigration from even more alien cultures of Asia began to become the principal source of newcomers. Fear of cultural loss and valid questions around which aspects of foreign cultures are compatible with existing values and how much change a society can safely tolerate have become conflated with racism, and “racism=bad” is the reductionist simplification that has prompted so many social justice activists to twist themselves into knots trying to justify support for people who have essentially broken the law. The Woke-Left reduced a complex discussion to a spectacularly overly-simplified black-and-white (no pun intended) moral choice (these poor wretches deserve your pity and therefore must be uncritically welcomed) and defined everyone not wholeheartedly on their end as being equivalent to mass-murderers. It is one thing to have human sympathy for someone desperate enough to pick up all their belongings and make an arduous trek in the hope of succor and a better life, it’s entirely something else to dismiss out of hand any concerns about preserving the very way of life that attracted numbers of immigrants in the first place, as inherently evil. This has given the Alt-Right all the oxygen it needed to come crawling out of their dank holes, to become the standard-bearers against illegal immigration and cultural loss through mass-migration.

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