2017 February 04 Saturday
Illiberal And Stressed Responses To Trump, Milo, Closeted Repubs

The response to Trump is part of a larger phenomenon that preceded his rise. The violent attack at Berkeley to prevent Milo Yiannopoulos from speaking is also part of that larger phenomenon that notably includes a long run pattern of shutting down right-wing speaking events by leftists that stretches back many years. There is considerable support by media leftists for the violence against right wing people they detest. Is the motive really aimed at shutting down free speech of non-progressives? Here is an interesting interpretation: the aim is to prevent freedom of assembly that would allow like minds of a particular faction to boost each others' morale.

Free assembly can be twisted into an individual right -- for a particular person to congregate with his fellows in some group -- but the natural interpretation is that it is a right of an entire group to manifest itself somewhere, sometime, for some purpose. It wants to pump itself up, get the members resonating on the same wavelength, and come away from the gathering stronger and more unified.

Denying the group to gather in this way is not meant to restrict their communication about beliefs and opinions, but to weaken the group by leaving its members feeling more isolated than unified. Collective action by such an atomized "group" will not be possible, and the assembly disrupters will be able to push their own agenda as a team with ease.

By contrast, the Right did not organize attacks on the Women's March. And, aside, it is truly bizarre that a co-leader of the Women's March is pro-Sharia Law, makes light of prohibition of women driving in Saudi Arabia,and vehemently opposed to Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

Is this a fearful rage against the loss of narrative control? But I think the attempts to silence right-wingers precedes the loss of narrative control. So the loss of narrative control is only part of the cause of the increase of illiberalism on the Left.

The rage against Milo bears the hallmark of impotence that comes from the loss of a narrative. The entire narrative of the Western left is one of structural, systemic exploitation by the forces of patriarchy, economics, and social-conservatism. Milo, regardless of how odious and abhorrent some of his views may be, is a living antithesis to this narrative. He is a charismatic gay icon, with a tremendous ultra macho conservative/libertarian male follower base. His followers, contrary to conventional wisdom, include leftists as well as right wingers, classical liberals and neocons, both men and women, joined by a common cause of defending free speech and opposing Islamism.

Assembly in secret is still possible if you trust the people who you assemble with to keep it a secret. In San Francisco Bay Area some on the right wing already do their meetings in total secrecy out of necessity: Bay Area Conservatives Keep Meetups Secret Fearing For Their Safety.

The big emotional upsets about Trump which you will find in the mainstream media aren't just a simple reaction to Trump. A lot of changes had to happen preceding this moment in order to make media and academic elite and tribal reactions so intense. Brendan O'Neill thinks the deep emotional reactions are a result of the breakdown of the media's power to filter and interpret events to give people a greater feeling of safety. As he explains, many are not handling this well. Read this essay.

I find this response to Trump intriguing. I also think it is too widespread and honestly felt to be written off as stupidity, or ‘snowflakeism’. Something more serious is at work. What I think we’re witnessing is the end result of the dismantling of all the filters through which people once viewed, experienced, understood or kept at bay the political world. Where once we had ideology or institutions with which to interpret or simply protect ourselves against the vagaries of life in modern society, today, with the decline of ideas and corrosion of institutions, things seem to come at us more directly. Unfiltered, untranslated, psychically rather than politically.

This is all made much worse by the postmodernist teachings about safe spaces and microaggressions. First, convince the kids that they shouldn't ever have to hear views they disagree with and convince the kids that lots of neutral statements are really attacks. What happens? Academia and the media produce a society that gets upset a lot more easily.

Also read The Hindu interview of economist-mathematician Nassim Nicholas Taleb: ‘Trump makes sense to a grocery store owner’.

Also read a few Scott Adams posts on cognitive dissonance: The Time That Reality Forked Right in Front of You, A Lesson in Cognitive Dissonance, and The Cognitive Dissonance Cluster Bomb.

Scott Adams thinks we are living thru a period of severe cognitive dissonance for Hillary Clinton supporters and that this period of emotional upset will pass. Well, will it? It is not clear to me. Peter Turchin is forecasting a surge in political violence in the 2020s. If he's right then what we are seeing now is a run-up to a more violent future.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2017 February 04 11:14 PM 

Brett Bellmore said at February 6, 2017 3:33 AM:

I don't see how we could not have a surge in political violence. The universities are churning out Red Guard by the thousands, and they're going to be doing that for years yet. There are people who've been conditioned to think that violence is the appropriate response to any attempt to express dissenting opinions.

The only positive here is that, as Trump won, the DoJ will at some point get interested in this. The left's political violence machine has had at least 8 years of being shielded by the feds, and that will soon be over.

The Berkley riots were a clear violation of 18 U.S. Code § 241 - Conspiracy against rights. It will take a little while to overcome the institutional inertia, and the reluctance of Obama hold-overs to prosecute anything that might make the left look bad, but at some point there will be action.

I think the left is starting to wake to their legal peril, thus the absurd rumor they've put out that the Berkley riots were a false flag operation by Breitbart.

chris said at February 6, 2017 5:27 AM:

The Left is setting themselves up to get BTFO. Republicans will control the Executive, the Judiciary and the Legislature for the next 4 to 8 years at least.

If they win 2 more state legislatures then they can pass their own constitutional amendments.

Just imagine a no welfare amendment, or a no spreading falsehoods to a large public audience amendment, or a no taxes for ideological propaganda at universities/schools (Gender/Ethnic studies and Critical Theory) amendment, or an amendment revoking birthright citizenship for children of non-citizens, or an amendment to restrict the franchise to net tax contributors or those who aren't in the receipt of welfare or financial assistance from another? The sky's the limit.

Black Death said at February 6, 2017 8:34 AM:

Steve Bannon called the MSM the "opposition party." He's correct. The Left likes to carp about "Russian propaganda" influencing the last election, which is nonsense, of course. The real propaganda was the massively slanted reporting from the MSM in favor of the Democrats. But somehow that doesn't count.

These folks are naturally not happy about the election results - the White House, Congress and most of the state governments under the control of Republicans. But I think there's a larger issue - they no longer have total control of the flow of information. A few decades ago, before the development of the Internet and alternative news sources such as Fox, these people pretty much controlled what was being said. No longer. Plus, half the country simply doesn't believe them anymore. Why should they? I don't think they will ever be able to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

Seth W. said at February 8, 2017 2:10 PM:

The only in-depth changes for improvement anywhere have always come about in violent ways. We're overdue for a major civil war or at least a national comprehensive referendum on the most urgent issues. If none of those is to be here soon, the country might simply decay due to stagnation. People want to see major heads roll off the guillotine, that is the psychos in power, not just the average maladjusted dudes in prison. A malignant narcissit in power can cause harm to society for decades, whether the narcissist is liberal, illiberal, democrat, republican, left, right, russian or american.

Ted said at March 5, 2017 9:04 PM:

"The universities are churning out Red Guard by the thousands, and they're going to be doing that for years years."

Downside: Need more ammo.

Upside: Target practice.

Check it out said at March 14, 2017 4:00 PM:

Emotional responses are the result -in part- of how people perceive a very emotional president. The biggest problem with Trump is not all that enraged, fascist, narcissistic early 20th-century rhetoric. Rather, how much he bleeds and how much he suffers.

Donald's a millionaire who can live any life he wants and buy pretty much anything he wants: things, services, women, loyalties, ass-kissing, love, wives, etc. Why does he suffer so much? Why can't he even act like the rabid dictator he wants to appear as? He is a fucken childish whiner.

Does he actually think that he accomplishes a lot with his dumbass cartoonish handshake? And then he squeals about how Mexico is not treating the U.S. with respect? How can anybody not feel pity and embarrassed for the poor man? Is that that what caracterizes toughnes now in the U.S.? Sad. "The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave". Just saying that proudly would make any other decent folk feel so much shame.

At least Hitler's, Mussolini's, Stalin's, Franco's and Pinochet's implicit language and attitude said "I can do anything I want; nobody can fuck with me; I'm the boss and that how my universe is"; but this old pussified hag Trump has to shout louder as he appears weaker and dumber. I'm expecting that one of these days he's going to start crying hysterically in one of his speeches...

Maybe Trump will be the first American president in history for whom the people will feel sorry.

JJ Cintia said at March 19, 2017 10:02 PM:

This shouldn't be surprising. I've said for years that the left is a Giant Cult. They're reacting EXACTLY the way members of a cult would. They are stifling dissent, taking members away from opposing views, and attacking anyone who threatens their cult's beliefs. And no its not like Christianity or Christians. Christians are far too tolerant of other views. It damages their group and religion to "tolerate" these disruptors. The same idiots that attack Christians for being intolerant will attack dissent from the diseased suicidal mindset of the Leftist Death Cult.

jb said at May 1, 2017 9:15 AM:

and that this period of emotional upset will pass

No, it won't pass because it's driven by demographics. The left can almost taste the fruits of the colonial conquest they've been waging against white America and are frustrated that their white slaves are still offering fairly effective resistance and keeping them from actually tasting that fruit. They think the war is over and White America should quietly resign themselves to their chains. They no longer fear an electoral backlash from the "Silent Majority" because that majority no longer exists. What's more an increasing number of these "activists" are non-whites, for them it's a straight battle of racist exploitation that they're not going to give up on until there is nothing left to wring out of their victims. Demographics is destiny, the race war is permanent, though it may abate if the croppies are willing to lie down.

Zamman said at October 28, 2017 9:18 AM:

Well this is just the end of capitalism; decrepit system bringer of economic discrimination that has turned all human interactions into economic transactions: fake smiles, "have a nice day's" "guest" instead of "customer", "for your convenience", inequality and all that 20th-century crap.

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