Much ado has been made about the supposed “left-right” cultural divide. More recently, the divide has been explained in terms of genetics. The origins of the “culture war,” some people say, lie in the populating of the North and South of the United States by people from different parts of England, with those same parts having gone to war in the civil wars that rocked that country in the 17th century. The descendants of those warring populations, housed in their regional homelands, would roughly overlap in America’s civil war. So a case can be made that these are the origins of today’s “culture war,” with ideology only the projection of genetics.
But this viewpoint might be too constraining. More and more former constituents like Dave Rubin and Bret Weinstein (the Evergreen college professor hunted by the mob on that campus) are turning against the left and I remain convinced that adherence to “social justice” is mostly fueled by a desire for status. “Social justice” thus moves forward as a ghost in a machine, not by its own merits, which only the activist class really believes in. Hard genetic categorization may be a stretch too far.
Instead, the biggest left/right divide that I can see is in terms of language and information processing. Words, labels, and images control behavior far more than any kind of contemplative thought process, with leftists succumbing to this to a larger degree than their more conservative counterparts. Specifically, leftists process information in terms of what Roosh V Forum veteran AnonymousBosch calls “irrationalism, emotionalism, and symbolism.”
A Tale of Contrasts
As August began, President Trump introduced something that was vitally important to his most ardent supporters – an overhaul of the dated legal immigration system to favor skills and an inflow that protects American workers. The predictable opposition began that day, but it was drawn along two lines that showed a clear divide in thinking and information processing.
For instance, Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) came out against the proposal, saying the cut in the rate of immigration would be detrimental to economic growth, and that “conservatives welcome immigrants.”
I can’t find the video, unfortunately, but note that the label “conservative” is to a large degree controlling his thinking. Even so, paired with it is a reason why he thinks the proposal would be bad. Jeff Flake may be a contemptible, out of touch pussy, but at least he has a real world argument for his self-professed beliefs.
Note that Acosta had zero reasons for his position in his diatribe. It was all irrationalism, emotionalism, and symbolism.
The symbolism came with Acosta’s processing of the issue through the Statue of Liberty and that poem that was added later. This led directly to the emotionalism surrounding it, with Acosta giving away the game by pondering aloud whether the RAISE Act was some kind of attempt to ethnically engineer who could come in – namely “can only people from Britain or Australia come in?”
This brings us to the third leg of the “degenerate triad” – the irrationalism that came when Acosta thought that only those two countries speak the English language, even though millions of people from every continent (Nigeria and India particularly come to mind), speak English as a matter of second nature, if it wasn’t their first language to begin with.
This is why Miller’s attempts at rebuttal, in my opinion, fell short. Don’t get me wrong, he did a great job, but he could have been more persuasive. If it were me, instead of responding with “cosmopolitan bias” (a term that almost no one will understand and that will certainly not be processed by those thinking along the lines of the “degenerate triad,” as Acosta showed), I would have probably said something like, “What are you Jim, some kind of racist? Do you think that only people from Britain and Australia are capable of speaking English?”
Not only is this a more potent attack and a better display of frame control, but more crucially for this post, it communicates with the leftist in his own language – irrationalism, emotionalism, and symbolism. In many respects, you have to communicate with leftists in their own language to stump them.
Talking Past Each Other?
When I said “communicate in their own language,” I really meant it. In many respects it does seem as though the left and right not only have political differences, or perhaps even genetic ones, but communicate in a different language using the same words. This is why so often it’s said that the two sides are “talking past each other.” They might just be, literally.
This is why to make the most of your meme-ing efforts, you have to recognize this “degenerate triad.” I would argue that a huge part of why the traditional conservatism of the past 50 years has been such a failure at conserving anything is because it often actively seeks to avoid the “degenerate triad,” but in doing so, it isn’t as engaging to the public, and allows the left to push forth their narrative unimpeded because it can’t respond to language it doesn’t understand. If the fake news media is going to be reporting in narratives, you have to communicate with those narratives to have a decent shot at disrupting the bad reporting. Facts are only secondary.
Trump consciously or unconsciously knows how to speak to the “degenerate triad.” The result is that the left constantly gets triggered, melts down, and is forced to be reactive, rather than proactive. It allows Trump to dominate control of the narrative and ultimately make the left look like idiots with nothing to offer besides being anti-Trump, partially because he has become the symbol of evil incarnate to them, forcing them to “resist” no matter how bad it ultimately makes them look.
This has been a year that’s seen leftists and their media propaganda apparatus whitewashing jihad coming from the lips of Linda Sarsour, ignoring, as much as possible, Antifa riots and an attempt at mass assassination on Republican congressional leaders, and generally excusing as much violence and violent overtures as possible, all because Trump is the ultimate symbol of evil to them.
This streak was of course broken by the disaster in Charlottesville, which stemmed in large part because the idiots in that march both failed to understand the power that symbolism holds for their opponents and at the same time were motivated by the same degenerate triad that the “social justice” left is. As Samseau put it:
The optics were indeed terrible when you use images of the worst sorts of racists imaginable. Nazi and KKK imagery is pathetic beyond words.
Imagine if this rally had been done by Christians; organized with Cross imagery, asking for fair treatment for Whites. Then the antifa comes in and attacks White Christians. That would have been fantastic optics. Instead we now have to defend vile and repugnant people’s first amendment rights. The fact is, MANY of these WN’s are no different than SJW’s who will never listen or reason with you. They will tune you out or call you names. Go to WN boards and speak with them if you don’t believe me.
Not a word of this passage is incorrect. To Antifa, the symbolism Samseau mentioned would still be evil, which would trigger irrational and emotional responses, almost programming them to attack like robots…but it would certainly alienate the general public, again. Yet, because a merry band of Nazis decided to come out and cosplay in Charlottesville with their own symbols that were so important to them, Antifa now got to be the heroes in the fake news media, even though, as Trump said, both sides were essentially worthless thugs that deserve each other.
The lesson is clear: understand the language of irrationalism, emotionalism, and symbolism. It’s especially imperative when communicating with the left, and indeed, protecting yourself from their violent antics, which will get worse.