Modern politics and the internet itself seem to be powered by outrage. As they try to defend ever-more extreme positions, they are beginning to double-down on attempts to silence dissent through labelling, name-calling, even the “shaming” they vigorously claim to oppose (that is, when the spotlight is on them.) The various groups which make up the American Left, having achieved a supremacy over their opponents, are beginning to fragment and turn these tactics towards one another. It is an amusingly childish spectacle of passive-aggression, hipster obscurity one-upsmanship, and identity-politics posturing that is only going to get more entertaining with time. On subjects such as feminist racial solidarity to whether or not society unjustly privileges “cis-sexuals,” there can be only one victor. Identity politics, based on immutable things such as race and gender, can never assimilate or compromise with the out-group; they can only marginalize and eliminate. In this winner-takes-all arena, there is no point in civil discussions, and outrage and ostracism are always the first tools pulled from the box.
In contrast, I’ve found the supposedly backward, outrageous, pick-your-insult ring of bloggers I follow to be a surprisingly civil community. Ideas are discussed openly, and while the knowledge is certainly used to obtain some diametrically opposed goals, there is a respect between the various authors. One of the tensions in the community is between the religious, who see our special school of applied sociology as a means to clean out and restore society and the Church, and the a-religious, who use their understanding for hedonistic purposes, to maximize their fiddling as Rome burns. And yet, as opposed as they are in goals and worldview, there is still respect:
I have great respect for Roissy, for Heartiste, and for Dalrock. I even have a fair amount of respect for GBFM. We are all part of the same great cultural battle for the mind and soul of the West, which has been deeply corrupted by Marxism, by equalitarianism, by secular humanism, by atheism, and by feminism. But the fact that GBFM’s heart may be more or less in the right place does not excuse the abandonment of the truth. -Alpha Gameplan, Response to GBFM
To have found and participated in such a community has been both intellectually stimulating and personally rewarding. It stands in stark contrast to the daily beating of the war-drums to rally the zombie-ideologue troops for a brainless fight against “the enemy.”
While the original intent behind my blogging was very introspective, mostly committing my observations, both humorous and serious, to writing, I’ve enjoyed the growing dialogue in this corner of the internet. I have no idea where it’s going to end up, but I’m sure I’ll be smarter for participating, whichever way it goes.