Amerika

How Crowdism destroys all good things

radical_individualismThe first secret of Crowdism is that it is never unique. It is a universal human tendency that ruins things, like laziness or narcissism. It does not require anyone to invent it, because it is invented in all of us. It is an inherent pitfall to intelligence. Some might call it hubris.

Crowdism is what happens when individuals, deciding to act in their own interests, band together to make any rule other than “the individual does what the individual wants” taboo. This occurs in gradual stages, and can happen at any level of politics, family, society, culture or any other form of decisionmaking.

The key to this is that it’s a paradox. “Anarchists unite!” makes no sense to most people (it always made sense to me; if you want to change the world, you’re going to do it in a group, even if advocating no group control). Crowdists are radical individualists who are in a group only to use guilt to compel others to yield to them.

“Everyone agrees” is one of the most powerful statements in any language. It is paired with the individualist’s notion of being victimized by my inability to act out my individualistic desires. Both of these are passive-aggressive motions designed to put you into the defensive for opposing an illogical idea.

Suppose I and ten friends decide that we like dessert better than the main course, and want to switch the two. That is, you get half a cake for dinner, and then a tiny dab of steak and potatoes for dessert. We begin eating like this on a regular basis in public. Someone from out of town comes into our community and sees us at the local diner eating this way. “That’s terrible for you!” she exclaims. One of us stands up and asks her why she’s oppressing him. He only wants to eat cake for dinner, see? What’s wrong with that? Prove that it’s so bad. Another stands up and tells her that everyone here does this and it makes perfect sense. Now she’s on the defensive; the burden of proof is on her to prove that what is normal is somehow right. This is how crowdism works. (I’ve omitted the part where we hand a dipsomaniac doctor and two scraggle-bearded researchers a huge chunk of cash in order to have “science” declare cake-for-dinner as not just legitimate, but “surprisingly” healthy.)

There’s a reason that Crowdism overlaps with ironism. It is the tendency to pick that which is not normal, with normal being defined as “what generally works,” for reasons which have nothing to do with practicality. The radical individualist doesn’t care at all about the consequences of his actions on society at large. He wants what he wants; end of story.

Crowdism begins to work through several general principles: first, in order to make itself accepted by everyone, it wages war against standards themselves. That means it demands radical equality of all people, which attracts to it an audience starting from the bottom of society’s people: the lost, the chemical cases, the confused, the perverse. They might be wealthy or not, but what unites them is degeneracy and shame. So they make war on the standards that allow degeneracy to be noticed and shame to be felt. Their goal is pluralism: to legalize all behaviors without any standards, and enforce them through the notion that pluralism and equality are a higher justice than standards.

Here’s where things get tricky: the Crowdist’s goal is to replace all of social function with its new ideology. This requires that organic institutions like family, aristocracy, caste, religion, and even the rites of childhood get replaced with the Crowd itself. Because the Crowd has no voice, it creates a proxy through representative government, which is any government that bows to a large number of people who are agitating for or against something. This is the key to democracy; it’s not about “majority wins” but the fact that any outrage can unite enough people to swing a vote for or against something. When enough members of the Crowd become agitated about an issue, they form a “hive mind” which true to its name generates an internal buzz or droning sound that re-inforces the views of its members until they’re all repeating the exact same meme or mantra.

Representative government is receptive to hive-minds because it fears the votes that tip the balance. For a democracy, business as usual is when the two sides — realists versus idealists — are in balance. This creates an equilibrium of compromise which is totally unresponsive to real issues, but allows government to grow and solidify its position, which makes sense because government is a business and thus does what any business seeks to do, which is strengthen, diversify, build up revenue clusters, etc. The problem with business as usual is that even a small group can tip the balance if a hive-mind is formed, so government ends up being a servant not to the feelings of the majority, but to the activity of the determined (or, for realists: obsessive) few.

Crowdists like this kind of government because they are radical individualists. Radical individualists want zero social standards, which means what they actually want is the ability to shoot down any proposed standards. If all that’s required is that they and a few hundred friends start buzzing like frenetic methed-out drones and thus achieve the social avalanche required to shoot down the standards, that’s optimum for them. It’s easier than anything else because there’s no reality check, no wise elders and no ability to counteract it. If anyone opposes it, they claim to be oppressed and victimized by this taboo on eating cake for dinner, and accuse their opponents of being fascists/royalists.

In order to maintain a Crowd of individualists, a religion of Ideology must be created, which is that everyone is accepted. In politics-speak this means that everyone is equal and everyone is right in pursuing whatever notion they think is right for them (pluralism) and also that all differences between people must be abolished, as these are impediments to equality. Therefore they oppose borders, gender roles, and anything else that reeks of a standard that says behavior x is accepted but behavior y is not. Ideology does not create; it destroys those who attempt to insist that reality is consistent, and thus we should adapt to it and adopt rules that reflect its consistent workings. Ideology has one goal, which is to liberate the individual from rules by using the guilt, shame, passive aggression and cognitive dissonance of the Crowd, and the relative weakness of those who use common sense to oppose it.

Why is it so hard to oppose a Crowd? You don’t have an issue. The Crowd is worried about tangible, deconstructed, and isolated bits of reality like “gay marriage” or “marinalize legaljuana.” It is not worried about “restore common sense” or “let’s try reality for a change!” or other broad, make-all-of-society-sensible projects. These are in fact its anathema because the goal of the Crowd is to deconstruct any complex thinking into small issues that it can complain are oppressions to its members, create a hive-mind, and obliterate. It never tackles the question of “what type of society do we want,” which is the question inherent to the task of reality-based informers. In other words, those who oppose the Crowd have many issues wrapped into a single question, where the Crowd always breaks apart questions to target them as issues, peeling back layers of an onion to deconstruct society itself.

As a result, Crowdism proceeds like an infection more than revolution, although its primary metaphor is revolution because it provides a healthy-sounding goal for people. First, it starts at the periphery, injecting doubt about the validity of beliefs. “Surely not all killers meant to kill,” they say, shifting the issue from how to remove threats to society to a personal judgment about the person involved. That’s how radical individualists work; for them, everything is personal, and everything is a question of victimhood by larger society and its standards. They don’t care if the murderer is a threat. They only care if they can argue for his inclusion in their group, as a victim, and thus to use his situation to argue for fewer restrictions on the group as a whole. This cancerous mentality causes the Crowd to spread as it gobbles up anyone with a dysfunction or a misfortune, because such people are often looking for someone to blame for their problems. The more people it finds, the more it expands. It argues backward from their condition to an alternate cause, which is that they’re not dysfunctional or unlucky, but that they’re victims of an organized agenda to impose standards on people, and that this process is the cause of all human suffering and failure.

By appealing to self-pity and the desire for a scapegoat, Crowdism spreads. When it peels back enough layers of the onion to reach the core of society, it creates a fatal change: it installs taboos at the heart of society that prevent people from ever enforcing reality on the Crowd. That has been its goal all along, and instead of some brilliant subterfuge, what it does is act utterly consistently. Always destroy standards. Always emphasize the individual. Stress victimhood. Blame society for our problems. And so on. When it reaches the core, it creates a series of Soviet rules: all are equal, and any other idea is haram; there are no borders, and no genders, and those who blur the line are good; if some rise above the others, it is injustice; drag everyone down to the same level, force equality on us, and we’re all the same. These usually manifest in speech and behavior codes at a social level more than official government rules.

As a way of trapping dissent, Crowdists create a series of “pet enemies”: consumerism, environmental damage, gated communities and other petty acts of rebellion. They like to create these little safe harbors because they allow you a harmless way to express discontent. If you’re pissed off at us, go buy an SUV! Yeah, that’ll show us! The joke’s on you because you’ve just committed the energy that could go to a significant act and instead put it into a useless one. It’s like that old cellophane wrap over the toilet prank. One of their biggest objections is to classism, racism, ageism and sexism. These are bad because they notice differences between people, which thwarts the Crowdist vision of universal equality for all radical individualists. However, they’re also tempting targets because they lure dissenters into socially-rejected behaviors, which marginalizes dissenters and makes them impotent. If you wonder why society loves it when the Westboro Baptist Church, Ku Klux Klan or PETA stages a demonstration, it’s because it’s the “two minutes hate” where the dissenters come out and act out the drama that official propaganda says they will, and then people yell at them and everyone goes home having cheered for their own team, but the basic gist of it, again, is that the narrative imposed by the Crowdists appears to be true from the events that transpire. Instead of creating dissent, such displays strengthen the forces against dissent.

The grand Crowdist dream of making everybody equal requires that the strong be compelled to help the weak, standards be abolished, national borders be destroyed, differences between people be erased and so on. Anyone with a whit of common sense will find this abhorrent and oppose it, but the Crowdists will defeat them by deconstructing that complex principle into many tiny issues expressed through a binary equation of oppression-victimization or its opposite. The real kicker is that they win on demographics, because for every person who knows the difference between a realistic proposition and a thumb-warmer, there are thousands of “useful idiots” who know nothing and care to know nothing, but have eyes gleaming for the thought that perhaps they can gain personal power by becoming part of the Crowd and, as it snowballs, gain what they couldn’t gain for themselves. (Usually, this is the wealth of those who by persistence, obedience, genius or luck succeeded where the Crowdist did not.)

Great societies are not conquered; they conquer themselves. In the absence of a forward goal, they look within, which encourages the kind of navel-gazing and blame-deference which incites Crowdism. However, the essence of Crowdism will always be the radical individualist, who wants the advantages of society without the obligations. A radical individualist is basically an anarchist who likes grocery stores and quick police response when his iPod gets stolen. The task upon them then is how to get such benefits without being forced to restrain their behavior to the type of behavior that makes for an orderly, values-oriented, upward (not forward) moving civilization; these are the only types of civilizations that develop higher functions like rule of law, hygiene, etc. and thus escape the third world levels of dysfunction, crime, poverty, corruption, filth and disorder that are the default state of humankind. As a result, they come up with a type of logic against logic itself, and use that to gain power and take over.

You, the average citizen, are probably wondering, “Why the heck should I care? They’re doing their thing and I’m doing mine.” The first response is that what they’re doing will eventually obliterate your ability to do what you’re doing by wrecking the inner works of society itself, so that your society will drop from first-world-level to third-world-level and soon you’ll be fighting through a dystopia just to get a loaf of bread. The second is more abstract but more reality-based, which is that who you are responds to your environment. If you let crazies take over your environment, you’ll (slowly) go crazy too, and all of the good things in you — honesty, intelligence, honor, gentleness, compassion, wisdom — will become traits that work against you because those traits are contra-insanity. This will mean that you are nothing other than another warm body ready to follow instructions for money, and all of what makes up your personality and soul will be forgotten.

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