It’s depressing to watch smart people chase their tails, searching for moral high ground.
To the parties involved, there is some pretence or engagement or negotiation, but the reason the new right and the feral left cannot communicate is that they are speaking two completely different languages. Reality is a relative experience. As Scott Adams has pointed out, there are two different American realities operating in the same geographical space. Adams says that it is OK if the movies in our heads are inconsistent, as long as this doesn’t manifest conflict in reality. Well…
Negotiation is impossible where there is no agreement on even base levels of morality, and where there are no pre-existing rules of argument or evidence.
The split between the left and right is in some ways even worse than a failure to communicate between those from different nations, because it seems to us that if we are speaking the same language. The differences are not at the literal level, but the connotative.
Post-Spencer punch, there are now different definitions of racism and Nazi operating in society in order to enable/excuse violence. There are also different definitions of
- life (abortion);
- of sexual intercourse, consent and rape;
- of gender;
- of fascism;
- comedy, art and politics.
Repeating the same definition again does not make it any more or less true. There is no empathy, no negotiation. Repetition is not an argument.
Cultural wars are not being fought for geographical territory. They are fought for semantic dominance. This is because we live in an overly litigious society, and these seemingly insignificant definitional inconsistencies become extremely significant when they are being used to direct the coercive power of the State.
The epidemic inability to empathise becomes clear when one looks at how history is understood in society and how legal definitions have changed over time. It is impossible to understand concepts like freedom, law, family, marriage, love, life and sovereignty in the past without levels of empathy that most are incapable of. When one learns that in the past, a married husband and wife were one legal entity under unita caro this is an outrage to one with the contemporary understanding of property right and legal title. Anyone who believes this legal fiction resulted in households with demure women who had no say in how the household was kept wildly overestimates the influence the operation of the law has over culture. Most standards that seem outrageous to us now can be traced to logical conclusions for those living in that culture. To fail to achieve this level of empathy is to believe that for all of human history mankind was a barbarous rabble, completely unrecognisable from the enlightened, end-products we are now.
Until we become more aware of why these conflicts are so hard to reconcile, until it can be understood that some common cultural values are the basis of negotiation, we will continue chasing our tails, pursuing endless definitional alterations, arguing over the truth of arbitrary concepts.
In Rant Chuck Palahniuk describes a world in which the privileged older classes live by day, and the youthful underclass lives by night, dictated by a strict curfew. This is to deal with the problem of overpopulation – two cities existing in the same space, but in different temporalities. In his excellent YouTube video Stefan Molyneux described these disparate world’s and the inevitable collision that will result.
This metaphor is not too far removed from the truth. Go to any modern Western city and see – the baby-boomers still hold all the best jobs, still hold all the best real estate and still dictate culture and policy. The ageing population has meant that the most selfish of all generations has been able to retain control of this reality for an abnormal amount of time. The world shouldn’t be theirs anymore…
Like the youth in Rant, youth today is forced to live around this dominant skeksis class, pedalling ever-faster to keep the boomers’ flawed contraption in the air, for a increasingly irrelevant and anachronistic privileged class who repay in nothing but criticism and shame. The youth are a slave class, working minimum wage, casual hospitality jobs, spit-shining the emperor’s non-existent clothes. Society is divided by race and gender and sexual preference and every damn thing under the sun except the real division – age.
The semantic arguments need to stop. The real enemies must be identified before any grounds for negotiation can be established. The longer the tide is held back, the bigger the wave.
Truth Bombs for Boomers
The Shallowest Generation by James Quinn
Laziness, Greed, Entitlement – Baby Boomers Defined by Stefan Molyneux
Millennials are the Greatest Generation by Mike Cernovich