Friday, September 15, 2017

Culture Bubbles and Purity




My thoughts about this piece.
1. I think Wong is totally wrong about (whatever percentage he's referring to... that's unclear) about people on the left who are willing to do violence to the alt-right. He implies they are only there (in the far left culture bubble) because they just want the fun adrenaline of doing violence. He accused them of not being FOR something and only being AGAINST something. I just doubt that's the case for many of them. I assume that like me (someone closer to the SJW end of the spectrum than most) they are doing what they do because they want JUSTICE for oppressed people. That's IS being FOR something.
2. I think Wong is absolutely right on the money about how culture bubbles compress, refine and 'purify' people to get more and more radical, which makes more and more of the world an 'enemy'. I spent most of my life on the Right, and in conservative religious circles. I've seen some of what he's talking about with the competition for righteousness. But I've NEVER seen it to the extent and abandon that I've seen it on the Left over the last couple years. My religious experience was seeing "the righteous ones" shake their heads and cluck their tongues at the "poor misguided souls" outside the circle. But so many of my friends on the Left not only vilify everyone slightly less-left than them, but have zero compunction at name calling, ridiculing, wishing graphically gory and violent deaths on them, and generally working themselves up into a frenzy. It's so surreal because the general consensus on the Left is the fundamentalist religious conservatives are the ones who act like that, and the leftists are about peace and equality. Anyway, I've harped on and on about this in the past, so I'll stop ranting now. I just find it sad that as someone who traveled so far from right to left (because of a LOT of research and soul-searching) I'm alienated by a culture of spite from the people who you would think would be welcoming me as an ally.... because I only see things 80% their way instead of 100%.
This is the part that stood out most to me:
""Nazis are bad and must be opposed."
Agree!
"People who enable or defend Nazis must also be opposed."
Makes sense!
"Unlawful violence is perfectly acceptable when opposing Nazis and their enablers."
Wait, I'm not sure I'm on board with that ...
"Anyone who opposes the use of unlawful violence against Nazis is also a Nazi enabler."
What? No! I'm one of the good guys!
"Also, if you think about it, all American institutions and capitalism itself help support white supremacy, therefore all are Nazi enablers and eligible for violent retribution."
Hey, I think you just declared war on literally everyone who isn't currently in the room with you."


For me, personally, I moved left MOSTLY because of research, reading opposing opinions, and coming to my own conclusions. But my understanding is that most people land on the opinions they have because of social/relational reasons, then they justify their positions with whatever rhetoric their social circle uses.  I’m sure I have MANY opinions that have formed this way, and I’m sure it is how PART of my political convictions were formed.  However, if I had moved left for primarily social/relational reasons I would have moved back right again. There is no acceptance or welcome here. No display of character that I find appealing or healthy. I wonder how many people the hard Left has turned away because they quickly realized they could never be Left enough to get the praise and adoration from the taste-makers in that bubble. This seems to be a prime example of "perfect" being the enemy of the good.

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