Patterico's Pontifications

7/23/2019

Tribal Affiliation And Mob Mentality

Filed under: General — Dana @ 1:40 pm



[guest post by Dana]

This:

Which brings us to the problem of trying to have a productive conversation with people who are caught up in the vast sprawling electronic apparatus of self-moronization. It does not matter what anybody actually has said or written. The rage-monkeys have an idea about what it is they want you to have said, or what people like you are supposed to think about x or y. I cannot count how many times I have had some person respond to something critical I’ve written about some lefty fruitcake with “What about Trump, huh?” When I point out that, among other things, I wrote a little book called The Case against Trump, the response is: “Well, Republicans . . .” And then when I point out that I am not one of those, either, the retreat into ever-vaguer generality continues incrementally. The fundamental problem is that what’s going on in “conversations” such as these is not conversation at all but a juvenile status-adjustment ritual. These people do not care about ideas — they care about who sits at which cafeteria table in the vast junior high school of American popular culture.

Kevin D. Williamson is a great writer.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

21 Responses to “Tribal Affiliation And Mob Mentality”

  1. This isn’t just an online phenomenon.

    Dana (bb0678)

  2. 1. No, it is not. You see examples of this in the hallowed halls of Congress with increasing frequency.

    Gryph (08c844)

  3. For the umpteenth time the establishment corporate democrats who were used too control the left after the vietnam war has been DISCREDITED! Pelosi and whats left of the clintonistas have the tiger by the tail. The democratic base is lead by AOC not wealthy silicon valley donors. Grper joe biden is a beached whale flopping around in the sand. The democratic base loves antifa and black lives matter not a corporate establishment stooge like pelosi or clinton. All this screed does is talk about the people who hate you and they don’t care!

    lany (c3c525)

  4. The left can’t silence Trump. I think your safe Mr. Williamson.

    mg (8cbc69)

  5. Great article by Williamson.

    I think this also lends to the idea that nationally, big progressive/conservative agendas are never going to be popular enough to pass federally.

    I wish people try to be pragmatic here.

    Here’s my take as to why: The sheer size of the US matters a lot. As well as we are a lot more “diverse” naturally than other countries since we are all at one point or another immigrants with probably one of THE most generous immigration policies. We also have extremely diverse industries across the nation competing for various influence. One of our biggest issues as a country as far as I am concerned is we really don’t much like each other and certainly don’t spend much time trying to. Also add an unhealthy amount of distrust to the government and you can see why we have a hard time getting things done nationally.

    The solution? Preach federalism. Get back to advocating states rights.

    Devolve as much as you feasibly can back to the states and let the people there choose what kind of states they want it to be.

    Let California be California. Let them figure out how to pay for universal health care and free college education. Let Texas be Texas. If Alabama wants to ban all abortions, let them.

    Then, the citizens will either vote with their feet to find a state that aligns with the world view, or work with the political environments within their state to affect change.

    It’d be a lot easier to do that, than it is to either leave the country or to have national political parties pushing their agendas.

    But, alas, instead we’re getting exactly what we’re getting as described by Williamson. People think it’s easier to convince a nation to “do this thing together and if not, you will be forced to”…

    And they couldn’t be more wrong.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  6. 5. You start talking about states rights, folks on both sides of the aisle are going to look at you like you’re a neo-segregationist longing for the Confederate glory days. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth; but nonetheless, America as our founders envisioned it is dead. What you describe is an ideal that I would like to see, but I’m not holding my breath.

    Gryph (08c844)

  7. The quicker we get to “it” the better of we’re going to be.

    MasterBaker (bcae7b)

  8. Which is exactly why I turned down an invite to be on a panel on a certain hot button issue around town. It would help my side more to have them say “we can’t find anyone on the other side to talk to us” than to go and be the designated objet d’outrage.

    Patricia (3363ec)

  9. whembly, I agree, size matters. It was pretty easy for Hitler to bamboozle a country about the size of Wyoming, but the US? Much tougher bc of size and different cultures.

    Patricia (3363ec)

  10. Confederate, I love that word. I am one. Always will be.

    Richard K Mahler (fd2ee5)

  11. 10. You wanna wear that hat proudly? Go right ahead. Not everyone who believes in states rights believes that the Confederate cause was just.

    Gryph (08c844)

  12. “It does not matter what anybody actually has said or written. The rage-monkeys have an idea about what it is they want you to have said, or what people like you are supposed to think about x or y.”

    No one forced Kevin Williamson to make the choice to alienate as many people as possible on both sides with tone-deaf rhetoric and insulting generalizations, nor did they force him to earn his money by parroting the talking points of the rich. (Which, as a landlord, by definition a rent-seeker, he can’t help but be sympathetic with. I understand, I do!)

    “The fundamental problem is that what’s going on in “conversations” such as these is not conversation at all but a juvenile status-adjustment ritual. These people do not care about ideas — they care about who sits at which cafeteria table in the vast junior high school of American popular culture.”

    Some people find the rents they seek and the status they bestow on their own, and can afford to talk vaguely about ‘ideas’ once the bank account is secure. Others lack this option, and choose instead to master tactics and social interactions that benefit them irrespective of personal fortune. Complaining about it won’t actually solve a thing even if it strokes your ego. Most people are team players, simply because they have no other real choice, and no functioning nation was ever made of only individuals seeking their own individual highest good.

    (Well, Jamestown was for a while, but they were eventually forced to use Team Captain John “Chad” Smith to enforce basic Biblical community discipline just to keep the place from falling apart)

    Chartreuse (f4f4ab)

  13. 12. Rent seeker != landlord. A “rent seeker” in the political sense of the term is someone who seeks help to profit from government intervention without any further effort on the seeker’s part. That sounds to me exactly like how Trump operated in Manhattan, but I digress…

    Gryph (08c844)

  14. Progressives are sort of into states’ rights these days.

    https://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2016/12/12/13915990/federalism-trump-progressive-uncooperative

    Patricia (3363ec)

  15. 14. Of course. It’s easy to be all about freedom when it’s your own ox being gored.

    Gryph (08c844)

  16. “12. Rent seeker != landlord.”

    “A “rent seeker” in the political sense of the term is someone who seeks help to profit from government intervention without any further effort on the seeker’s part.”

    Okay, so only about 80-90% of landlords then.

    “That sounds to me exactly like how Trump operated in Manhattan, but I digress…”

    Trump, crucially, was a landlord BEFORE he was a businessman, and learned the art of finding good tenants before finding the lowest cost human capital. Most Republicans get it backwards and thus end up ruining communities before understanding them.

    Chartreuse (62e901)

  17. 16. Trump was a property manager before he was a landlord. As I point out so frequently to whoever will listen (and that’s not many people), he started out working for his dad and his wealth was inherited. He is not and was never a self-made man.

    Gryph (08c844)

  18. a rent seeker, means income derived from political connections,

    narciso (d1f714)

  19. Confederate, I love that word. I am one. Always will be.

    Richard K Mahler (fd2ee5) — 7/23/2019 @ 3:36 pm

    Which part of the confederate cause did you find most compelling?

    Their constitution changed 5 things
    1. Tariffs on good shipped on rivers.
    2. Owning black people as slaves was legal.
    3. If someone owned a black person and that black person ran away you couldn’t stop them from taking them back.
    4. All new member stated of the confederacy would make it legal to own black ppl.
    5. Confederate states weren’t allowed to leave the confederacy.

    Time123 (b4d075)

  20. confederates say I’ll never forget! and they are right they should never forget that they LOST! the movie harriet tubman will be out soon. some liberals may not like it because she doesn’t believe in gun control.

    lany (5365fb)

  21. A tribal mentality centered on hero-worship is double trouble. Even during the primaries, if you said a critical word about Trump in an online debate, you would probably be labeled a leftist, a Bernie fan, a Hillary lover, etc. You had to be in the enemy camp if you didn’t follow Trump unquestioningly.

    It was not a lot different, in essence, from the claims that anyone who said a critical word about Obama or any of his policies (or even those of Democrats in Congress) had to be an evil racist.

    Painting people you disagree with as evil is so much easier than rethinking your views, or the views of the tribe you’ve latched on to. And we affiliate with tribes for the sake of emotional security.

    I think many of the Trumpists began with the belief that they were making a bold, iconoclastic choice, and being independent thinkers, but they quickly built their own unbending orthodoxy with a cult of personality at its core. And if you’re not part of the cult, they’ll say you’re not a “real American.”

    Radegunda (f133c3)

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