The left is more social than the right. In general. By which I don’t mean they’re more socialist (they’re that too right now, and therein lies their danger, in embracing an anti-human and destructive philosophy) but they’re more social.
Humans are social apes, just just because we are that, it doesn’t mean all of us are all that social.
I used to discuss this with Dave Freer who is a real biologist and has observed primates (and other mammals) in the wild, and he says there is a range from really social, needs to follow the group to extremely resistant and even solitary/weird.
I’m not going to say the right — in the US, it’s different in Europe — is all composed of these “non conforming” Oddities, but it’s closer to them in the continuum. And perhaps the right as it exists in the US only exists in the US because we’re a relatively recent (in genetic terms) frontier, which always attracts non-conforming humans. And there is a genetic component to your degree of sociability.
I think if you have a two-party system, you’re always going to have a system that is more responsive to those who want a group and to really fit in well with the group, and those who just want to be left alone.
It is permissible to think of the future, should Marxism be as thoroughly discredited as it would be in any world where the human race survives, as having the “I wan to care for you with the power of my regulations” party and the “Leave me alone party.” And of us who are leave-me-aloners thinking through and sometimes voting for the other side, because, well, on things like borders or say outlawing murder they (sometimes) have a point.
The fear of course is that when international Marxism outwears its shiny and its value as a social-positioning aid, the left will find a belief just as poisonous, such as say the European right’s national Marxism, or the weird kind of “individuals must be subdued” religious fervor I’m seeing more and more often from Europeans on line. (Often flying under the flag of Catholicism, mind you, but it could be any religion.)
And it could happen startlingly fast.
Because these are creatures of the band, creatures who want to ape those they think have “high status” and get some of that on them.
This is how revolutions happen over night. And they’re not happy making. I am not 100% sure I’d be any better under that kind of regime than the current one. Yay for borders being defended and some pride in our nation, but … even leaving aside most Americans decide I’m not quite white, there’s …. the mind and the tendency to poke holes in narratives. I mean, I left Europe ONCE already.
But we also have to accept that this “follow the band” instinct is probably the majority of the human race. Fortunately, like every other human trait, it’s a sliding scale, so most humans aren’t SLAVISH followers.
Of course, in a society where communication is mostly achieved en mass (“mass media”) the influence of the slavish followers of whatever is in power is going to be disproportionate.
Which is why leftists did so well under a mass media/top down entertainment and art/mass education regime. They will. Saying “But we should have” is ridiculous. Yeah, someone should have, early on, but the leave-me-aloners just wanted to be left alone.
The thing is, the species can’t survive with just “followers”. Not for long. There’s too much chance to careen down blind alleys that make no sense.
Or blind alleys that work but are utterly static. It could be said, over time, that is the fate of humanity. Look at our really old civilizations, like China. “Oh, I have an idea. Let’s burn all the books and kill 2/3 of the population” seems to recur.
I suspect the west is different only because of the black plague. It broke the social structure and allowed a new (and weird) one to flourish. In many ways, as a species, we’re still processing the Great Death. (I wonder, and this is idle thoughts of an sf/f mind, because there’s no way to prove or even investigate, but we know some genetic traits are linked to both psychological traits and susceptibility to disease, if the Plague killed more sheep than goats, in general terms. If more followers than loners died — perhaps because of course, it was more transmissible in close proximity — enough that hereditarilly it flipped the genetic balance of the west. This might be possible to study in terms of more/less affected countries and the subsequent ideas of freedom. Who knows. And it makes no difference. It’s just an interesting thing to poke at, and how my mind tends to work. And no, it’s not my job and definitely not today. Still half-sick and working at short story, and we had a bunch of weird “household” stuff to deal with this morning.)
But it’s important to remember that sometimes just because a strategy works really well with Mass Media, it doesn’t mean the left is doing it by design or really consciously at all. It could just be the reflex of people who really, really, really are good at “follow the leader.”
The current “Go back where you came from” trend illustrates both how this works on the left, and the dangers of letting the followers have sole control of ANY asylum, no matter its organizing principle. They are sort of like a distributed mob.
Look, some of you have met me. A lot more have heard me in recorded podcasts, readings, and interviews.
I swear my accent HAS to be getting worse, too. Because I used to be able to go to the store without someone asking me if I was from Russia. Or perhaps my body language is now more native and sets people off when they hear the accent. Or perhaps because I lived in a small area, and saw the same people every day and they talked to each other, they stopped asking.
Anyway: no one listening to me is unaware I wasn’t raised here.
Number of times ANYONE in any political circles has told me to go back where I came from: ZERO.
So, why, since the left decided that’s what Trump said (it’s not) are all sorts of democrats (Including severely heterosexual Cory Booker) claiming to have been told to “go back where you came from.”
Look, if no one tells ME to go back where I came from, why would they say this to Cory Booker who looks and sounds completely American?
They wouldn’t. There is no sense in it. Not even Trump did that. NOBODY does that.
So are they lying? Some, I’m sure are. Some are hearing it. Because it’s the new hotness in victimhood. And victimhood is hot, hot, hot. And they want to be victims in the new, hot, socially approved way.
There are, heaven knows, lots of situations where people can imagine they heard something. Or remember hearing something. And if they’re by nature followers, they hear what “everyone is hearing.”
This is how #metoo went off the rails in a second.
This is how the left gets obsessed with things, and all pile on them/imagine it happened to them/see them everywhere. They have a mob mentality, and they become a “distributed mob.”
It’s all ape-signaling up and down the line.
It’s baffling for us, who aren’t part of it, or inclined to it, and we tend to think it is on purpose, it’s a strategy and that it was planned.
Oh, sometimes, perhaps. But most of the time it doesn’t need to be. There is no conspiracy, just everyone wanting to be seen as being right and smart and good.
This is a huge danger. Honestly, given the centralization of communications in the 20th century, perhaps its huge butcher bill was light, compared to what it could have been. Because mobs got to mob.
Distributed/individual communications and entertainment are best.
We can — even us — long for a mythical time of “everyone believed this” but the truth is there was never any such thing. Just the appearance of it. And the appearance of it puts us in extreme danger as a species.
When the entire country (or the entire Western World) becomes a band, we’re all likely to go careening after the “new way of signaling we’re the best” which unfortunately more and more tends not to be innocuous stuff like “we all wear purple outfits and hats five times taller than we are” but truly dangerous stuff like “Believe ALL women” (Hell, I wouldn’t even tell you to believe all Sarahs. Sometimes you shouldn’t even believe all me. I’ve times of being feverish, for instance, and hearing things.) or “Let’s erase borders.” Or of course “Let’s kill all x.”
We on the right need to remember that, remember it’s not always intentional, even if it’s irritating, and that the only way to counter it is to make communications/entertainment/etc. distributed. To make sure there is never, ever again a single “respected voice” that commands discourse.
And what the left needs to remember is that they’re band followers by nature. This is masked, because the hotness for the last 200 years has been to be “unique” and “rebels” so they often imagine they’re rebels.
There’s nothing wrong with being highly sociable and highly socially adaptive. You’re more like to be very successful than us goats, for one. And more likely to have more offspring (which is why we Odds need frontiers.) You are also more likely to survive upheavals, revolutions and invasions, by adapting to the invader VERY quickly.
The problem is that when you utterly dominate, it’s also easy to careen from totalitarianism into totalitarianism. And it could flip on a dime.
And the rest of us don’t feel like being victims of your enthusiasms, along with you.
And if the species is going to survive, we need both sheep and goats, and neither utterly dominant. (Though goats survive better in high change and frontiers.)
As for me, for us, let’s go out and work on this culture thing, and create alternate channels and alternate modes of being.
Do it for humanity.