Thursday, February 11, 2021

I Know These People Really Well

 


Lifted from the comments section, Donxon writes at the post How Do We Win?:

I know these people really well. I grew up in Sonoma County surrounded by liberal hippies and they all grew up to be woke SJWs, and then they all moved to Portland. The first time I got in a fight at school, the other guy's dad was in The Grateful Dead. That was the scene up there. My dad was Harry Browne's editor for 30 years, so I discovered libertarianism very young and have been having this argument with these people since the 6th grade.

Here's libertarians miss: most of them are terrified of each other. They all know that if they don't tow the line, they could be the next one the mob turns on and throws under the bus. They're not all Maoists. Most of them are well-intentioned, very confused people who have been manipulated by the Maoists in their midst into thinking and doing all sorts of crazy things.

At first they get roped in because of all the moral anxieties that have been cultivated in them since grade school. At the hippie private school in Petaluma we were taught about global warming in kindergarten in 1990. Get in kids' heads at that age and the anxiety over the weather will never go away, so in junior high they start becoming political because it makes them feel like they're doing their honorable duty to deal with a dire problem. If my politics are a product of my virtue, then my opponents must be wicked, so they learn how to hate the people who don't agree with them.

Then at some point the driving dynamic shifts. Maybe they say the wrong thing and get a little taste of being on the receiving end of all that righteous anger, and they sure don't like that. One day they wake up and their fear of being on the wrong side is because of what it will mean for them, not because of how they feel about capitalism or the environment or patriarchy or whatever. All their friends are in the culture, what would their life be like if they got kicked out. The thought is intolerable and the trap is complete.

I see most of them as hostages more than enemies, though the enemies among them are particularly vicious. It's the same attitude I have about the dumb schmucks who sign up to become marines and invade Stanistan to defend freedom. Their moral compass points them toward the recruiter, they don't want to be thought of as cowards by their small town full of veterans. They're helpless against the trap they're in. They have to sign up. I think most of those guys want to be honorable warriors who defend their friends and families, but the lunatics at the pentagon know how to warp that into something wicked.

There is no stopping this train. Get out of it's way and let it jump the rails. These people have no constraining principles and without resistance to push against they turn on each other because deep down most of them are motivated by the inescapable fear of being the one is turned on and thrown under the bus.

17 comments:

  1. Well there comes a point where you can't save the system or, those who are spiraling out, so you start helping them hit their bottom(turning on each other). We were all messed up lefties of some sort if you look back far enough. Most outgrew it, others are trapped as the article points out.You can never completely write off leftists, some of them might show up as reinforcements in the wisdom of liberty camp some day.

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    1. You are absolutely correct about helping them to their bottom. Its behaviorally so much like and addiction that they have to want to turn aside

      You will very rarely convince them. This is why I have called them the Idiocracy for years.

      But when do hit bottom. You can use liberty and RW's private property stance to serve as a sort of 12 step process. When you have a cogent alternative at the bottom there will be listeners.

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  2. Interesting observations. I had a similar experience growing up in the late 1950's and 1960's. Early on I was instilled with the fear of being in the right group particularly when it came to the atomic bomb. So we were taught to stop, drop and roll if outside during an attack and to hide under our desks if in the classroom. Comical in hindsight but hysteria will make people do silly things without noticing how destructive our own society had already been with this weapon. The 60's were mostly about the Vietnam war and arguments about the "domino theory." A theory which instilled more fear while the National Guard killed college students on American campuses. Then there were a string of assassinations. President Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Robert F. Kennedy and of course race riots. All of these tragedies were enabled by useful idiots, or the "hostages" that Donoxon refers to. Encouraged by power mongers which Donoxon refers to as "Maoists." Whatever they are called, "hostages" or "Maoists" there are too many people full of fear and lacking in reason. The overall similarities between our experiences suggests that letting this train "jump the rails" may have to occur multiple times before a non-destructive track is found.

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  3. This is such a great comment.

    David B.

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  4. Our train of thought, our logic and reason is so foreign to some of these people that they do not understand what we are saying.

    I have a decent amount of contact with the woke: family, friends, etc. Sometimes the concepts I present or the questions I ask are so misunderstood their reactions are as though we are talking about different things. It’s as though we are coming at the discussion from two separate context.

    What none of them understand is that they are advocating for the initiation of force. They have not thought through what they advocate for enough to understand that if participation is not on a voluntary basis, violence or the threat of violence is required.

    If they can be made to realize this their concept of how to organize civilization is so limited that they try to justify the violence with platitudes such as “we just want to help people.” Or they have utilitarian arguments for none voluntary collectivist systems.

    These people are typically arrogant and ignorant. They think they have the moral high ground. They think that they are so correct that no further inquiries are needed. They become incensed when asked to defend their positions.

    The initiation of violence is difficult to defend. But a lifetime of propaganda can lead some to try. The few that seem to understand that there are huge ethical issues with what they have been advocating for need to concur their cognitive dissonance. Most of them do not. They just move on in the same direction they have been going and ignore the elephant in the room.

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    1. My experience is exactly the same. Sometimes it seems like I am trying to talk to a dog.

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    2. Spot-on. It's not a train hurtling toward the washed-out bridge so much as a herd of sleepwalkers, or of zombies ("walkers") plodding toward a cliff...immovable, implacable, impossible to reason with; People can't or won't even discuss particular political policies anymore (maybe because there is so little difference between the two major parties nowadays) and only want to argue who is better, Team Blue's Champion vs. Team Red's Champion. Donxon is right, people's politics is so large a part of their identity---like an inoperable, cancerous tumor encircling their heart---they are unable to go near it, let alone modify it.

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  5. Is there a way to wrangle the ones on the fence who go along to get along?

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    1. Yes! You have to give them somewhere else to park their anxieties.

      It's like when Indiana Jones swipes the idol with the bag of sand to keep the boobytrap from going off.

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    2. The trap went off anyway and there were people waiting to kill Indy once he made it out of the tunnel.
      This op we are in is going to hurt, very much. The network means business and the woke crowd are very useful idiots.
      I'm not advocating doing nothing. We simply must understand that much of what we try may not work and that once the network gets around to culling in large numbers, nothing may work

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    3. The trap did go off in the movie, true, but the analogy holds. You can't reason people out of their sentiments, so try to find something else for them to do with their sentiments. It's marketing 101.

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  6. Donxon, do you have a blog or a Twitter account or something?

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  7. My successful experiences have come from planting brain seeds. Pointing out things that are inconsistent, perspectives never considered, and questions that cannot be answered without deeper understanding, all in a non-confrontational or unpleasant way that puts a bad taste in the persons conciousness. There is no way to force people to consider alternative perspectives, only time and nagging inconsistencies can. In my experience, after around 1 year those seeds begin to take root as events unfold, all from the persons own volition, without any force whatsoever. It is a beautiful thing I have witnessed multiple times with people that are now close friends and "on the level".

    That said, it is important to recognize who is a thinker and genuinely searching for answers and truth (misguided), and who is just a natural born follower/enforcer (intentionally dense). The latter is a waste of time and energy. But if you simply plant seeds with the first type, the perspectives that prove out in the long run will slowly take hold with them over time. All that is needed is some clever brain farming and patience.

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    1. I have had similar success. There are those few that eventually conquer their cognitive dissonance. People that take time for contemplation can be accessible. My observation is that few make time to do some deep thinking. Maybe there are only few that are capable of anything but shallow thought.

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  8. I like the analogy that they're like addicts who can't be changed or helped until they hit rock-bottom. Unfortunately, rock-bottom can result in collateral damage in the form of the deaths of hundreds of thousands or millions of people---witness Maoist China, Hitler's Germany, Pol Pot's Cambodia, etc.
    And yes, like hostages---hostages with Stockholm Syndrome who have come to love their captivity.

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  9. "At first they get roped in because of all the moral anxieties that have been cultivated in them since grade school. "

    And there lies the problem. This is why the schools were taken first. The biggest difficulty is convincing someone that a grade school teacher told them something that is not correct. It seems even though it occurred when they were children, they seem to have this investment in believing what they were told. That it as if believing it and it being wrong somehow lessens them.

    Apparently they never experienced where they knew more than the the teacher in any little facet or ever got to the point where they realized that grade school teachers often aren't particularly bright or knowledgeable.

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