“Dismantling Systems” Can Never Be Progressive
In my first and most read Medium article, I said:
Quarantines and lock downs forced people indoors and onto social media. That means that everyone’s own emotions became the most important thing in their world. Suddenly, everyone is in the daily habit of an unhealthy and irrational solipsism. Not because we wanted to be, or would be under other circumstances, but because we are all being conditioned to be introverted and consumption-obsessed egomaniacs.
The most serious and immediate problem with our current societal over-focus on our feelings and emotions, as intensified by Covid-19, is that the most violent and least reasonable people among us are given automatic moral authority, just by virtue of the fact that they really feel whatever they’re saying, right now. Nu-bullying is what happens when violent people are given moral authority — they act out violently, and are treated with impunity by the justice system. And thus, a new thug caste is born.
Often times, when someone has something in their personal life that they don’t want to deal with, they compensate by attempting to affect large-scale social change in order to avoid their real problems. People who wallow in self-loathing will resent those who refuse to do it with them. If you make good decisions for yourself, there will always be someone who will resent you for it. Resentment, when given moral authority, leads to nu-bullying, in which the bully believes they are morally superior for their abuse of others.
In fighting for social justice, we must continually ask ourselves, “what is my end-game goal?” Do we want to “dismantle systems of oppression?” What is a system of oppression? Which portions of society? Which of our systems, specifically, are the oppressive ones? This is a serious question.
If your answer is that you would potentially dismantle any and all systems, you are not fighting for justice, you are fighting against the very idea of civilization itself, and fomenting chaos and destruction. That is what is known as extremism.
If you think that any attempt at “building a structure,” or establishing some kind of order, is oppressive and fascist, you will never build a structure that will stand.
The paradigm that any and all structures are potentially a “system of oppression” is a Marxist idea. This new style, though, focuses on group identity in particular. It is mixed with the ultimately nihilistic belief that “narratives,” that is, the stories, and beliefs, and moral principles onto which people naturally cling, the ideas that hold human communities together on a fundamental level, are all relative (and subsequent, ultimately, meaningless) falsehoods. What often results from this explosive mixture of hateful, resentful, destructive ideologies is an underlying idea that any attempt to build something, to improve our situation, to form a community, is all based on meaningless lies, and is just a power game resulting from our point of view within our respective group identities. This idea is unbelievably destructive.
The only legitimate path to a more equal society is individualism, not collectivism. Groupthink is what causes everything from racism to riots. Individualism and a respect for the individual as The Ultimate Oppressed Minority is how a republic achieves equality and improves happiness.
The Old “Land Ownership to Vote” Thing
Why did the founding fathers originally require land ownership in order to vote? Was it a cynical combination of racism and classism? Was it to keep freed slaves from voting?
No, it was none of those. The reason is that land is important to the existence of a nation. This piece of statecraft existed in the US Constitution to make sure voters had “a dog in the race,” that they were connected to the land, before they could have a say in its government.
This also speaks to why the US Electoral College exists. “Land can’t vote”? Actually, that was the whole point: The people of a nation must be connected to its land, because land is inseparable from a nation. The Electoral College in particular exists to ensure that, no matter what state you happen to move to, you always have the same level of capability to affect change in the government.
Why have we been induced to do away with the focus on land as important to the existence of a nation? Partially because it would make the integrity of our border matter less to us. Ultimately, if people aren’t connected to the land, trusting communities and their genuine principles (their narratives) cease to exist, and the overall populace is consequently less cohesive as a community of individuals with a common goal. That way, everyone is a little bit more hopeless, nihilistic, and afraid, and we’re all that much easier to control, or overthrow, or loot, or destroy, depending on who is currently playing the tyrant against whom.
On “Disrupting the Western-Prescribed Nuclear Family Structure”
Why did BLM’s website say (until someone noticed it) that they want to “disrupt the western-prescribed nuclear family structure”? The Family, in the corniest and most honest sense, is the single best point of focus for the health of communities of all colors. Families form stronger communities. Strong communities improve lives. Disrupting the family structure is the worst possible course of action for struggling communities.
Working to cause chaos will never be progressive. It will always be regressive, especially for the communities we believe we would be helping.
The solution is to recognize the individual, conceptually, as the ultimate oppressed minority. Each of us, in our own way, is oppressed by life itself. The most compassionate answer is individualism, not collectivism.