How Leftists Play Both Sides

How popular was the Soviet Union? In the West, we tend to portray Russians as victims of their government, but the reality was that the government was perpetuated by them and seemed massively popular, especially when things were good. When they tired of it, it went away, leaving people wondering why they had not simply done that fifty years before.

Most people do not realize that the kid at the back of your history class was right: almost everything in our world is excremental. Most of the music, books, movies, politicians, products and public figures are simply moronic. The herd, which is conscious only of The Now™ and therefore oblivious to options not in front of its face like sale items on a shelf, accepts what is “better” but never stumbles to awareness of what is “good.”

Leftism is perpetually popular. If you tell a group of people that everyone is equal and we do not need a hierarchy to rule over us, the vast majority of them will swoon and fall to delighted excitement. There will be a small group at the rear, old men and teenagers mostly, who realize that not only is the statement not true, but that it is the oldest and vilest lie.

Why is Leftism so addictively popular? The first reason is that it is pacifism. The women especially love this part; when everyone is equal, there is no more inequality, so no more internal competition. They do not understand basic information dynamics, however, which would inform them that when everyone is equal, the need for competition is intensified as people try to rise over the generic level.

However, that does not explain the seemingly fanatical way that people take to Leftism even when they have never heard of it before. Something clicks in their minds, and they are able to visualize some way in which Leftism is relevant and important to them, and they go from indifferent to maniacally committed fans — who would rather die with the idea than live without it — in minutes.

Comparing it to heroin addiction is entirely wrong. Most addicts use the drug for some time before realizing that they are addicted, or in other words, cannot visualize their lives without it. It makes life so much better that to give it up is to die, or at least feels that way. Leftists without Leftism are people who cannot visualize themselves existing.

Its appeal must be something very simple, very primal, in order to be so universal in potential appeal. It does not appeal to everyone; possible two-fifths of the population are immune through instinct, another twenty percent or so by indecision, and maybe a twentieth are born with the onerous knowledge that illusion is not real but a real threat and must be fought.

If this addictive idea is like others, its appeal occurs to the individual. That is: the individual finds it desirable because it makes the individual more powerful. In this way, analysts like J.R.R. Tolkien are correct about the seductive power of the one true ring just as Melville correctly identified the white whale. People lust for power over their smallness in the world, and it changes them.

To a game theory analysis, the individual will choose whatever position allows them the most power balanced by the least risk. Leftism offers a position like this by giving them a weapon with which to paralyze others, but while still allowing them to “cheat” on the rules on their own. This occurs through the pairing in Leftism of demands for equality and perception of victimhood.

The demands for equality prevent others from rising; the perception of victimhood means that the Leftist is always entitled to something from those others. This means that the Leftist is in an ideal position according to game theory, which is that there is minimum obligation and maximum entitlement:

  • Minimum Obligation. Egalitarianism demands equality, with the idea that there is a collective “we” that enforces this. As a result, the burden of responsibility and action passes from the individual to society. Couple that with the fact that under egalitarianism, society cannot reject people for being insufficient or limit their access on the basis of their being of the wrong caste, and people are empowered to make whatever silly decisions they want knowing that society must support them and clean up the mess.
  • Maximum Entitlement. In an egalitarian society, the more-equal are expected to subsidize the less-equal because this is the only way that equality can be achieved without acting in the Darwinian method of killing or reproductively penalizing the less-equal in order to improve the genetic quality of the group. This means that any who demonstrate victimhood can lay claim to part of the wealth of the society, and also get themselves protected status as not being assumed to be strong.

These combined effects mean that egalitarianism offers a “great deal” to the individual: they can do whatever they want, force society to subsidize them, and if they are willing to act wounded, can seize power and wealth without risk of being punished for having done so. Even more, egalitarianism makes it easier to be “good” by changing the definition from achieving good results to being symbolically good.

Egalitarianism produces this type of symbolic thinking because it is easier for the citizen. Instead of having to do much of anything, they have to raise the right symbols and say the right things at the right times. Once they have done that, they are free to ravage whatever they choose. Even better, if they find a victim and very publicly lift him up to equal, they are assumed to be ideological heroes and forgiven transgressions.

Leftism succeeded because it enabled people to manipulate society. Instead of having social standards that people were rewarded for obeying, society adopted an assumption of reward and need at the same time, which let people be “equal” by separating their actions from the consequences of those actions.

This allowed them to play the society “game” and win by contributing little, removing standards that would restrict them, and simultaneously force others into behaviors that destroyed them unless those ideals were recognized as insincere, and the others also adopted an attitude of public compliance and private manipulation as well.

Through these means, Leftism destroys societies. The symbol replaces reality. The symbol also becomes duplicitous. People are schooled to be greedily self-interested and corrupt, deceptive. And the herd is unleashed because it is no longer responsible for its actions, and can externalize the costs of its acts to the collective and then blame that collective for any failings.

We can see this as a primal human behavior, which is why it is immediately recognized.

For example, consider some teenagers riding bikes through the woods. One of them knows that there is a dirt mound ahead that he likes to jump from on his bike. He can do this safely because he knows the right groove in the dirt to ride to launch easily to a safe landing zone on the soft forest floor. The others do not.

His greatest advantage comes in urging others to jump their bikes as recklessly as possible, knowing that they will fail and may be injured while he will not be. Because he knows the secret, he can jump his bike safely and look more competent than the others, while they will fail and be injured and lose social status. He wins.

Another example of this pathology can be found in road rage. A person who is driving badly, when someone else who is driving well unintentionally points out the bad driving by contrast, will blame the person driving well, because that person interrupted the solipsistic narrative of the person driving badly that claims the bad driving was in fact good. Awakened from the illusion, they retaliate.

The primal example comes to us from the Christian Bible. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve fall into typical human individualism and desire to have the knowledge of God. When a deceiver promises no consequences, they commit a proscribed act, and then blame the deceiver and each other. For them, the game victory is found in suspending responsibility and denying their own solipsistic narrative.

Leftism remains eternally popular, like other human pitfalls that make us feel powerful without having to actually fight against the evils eroding civilization. It appeals to the clever monkey in all of us that wants to have the benefits of society without having to actually be good, or do what is right in all areas, substituting symbolic action for reality.

As we go forward, we must realize that the “right side of history” is in fact a form of decay that rationalizes itself by claiming that what is right concerns a small subset of what we must think about, and that we can solve these by making ourselves more important than reality. Like most paths to Hell, it begins with good intentions and leads us into a ghetto of our own illusions and denial.

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16 Responses to “How Leftists Play Both Sides”

  1. Johann Theron says:

    The herd degenerates into the horde. The horde is effectively zombies feeding on each other driving the crescendo higher and higher.

    It’s better modelled with swarm theory where the unpredictable parameters resonate within the swarm.

    Police are disoriented by this because they are only trained with urban and rural warfare doctrine. Ie. by engaging them police assumes recognition while the horde effectively don’t even “see” them.

    New methods are required at all levels including understanding of this “enemy ” who is not really an enemy, just people without remorse getting off on doing unprincipled activities.

    Good article.

    • Thank you for reading. I agree with the analysis, except by the police. This is an echo of the Ferguson effect, but also, of Kent State: if cops get involved and one of the precious snowflake protesters gets hurt, cops and higherups will lose jobs and have careers destroyed. Therefore, the winning play for the cops is to do nothing, then clean up afterward, and let business absorb the cost.

      Swarm theory presents a good explanation. We know some seeds were dropped — paid protesters who apparently do little other than this, live in squats and are entrenched in the Leftist establishment — but really, these people can be viewed as essentially aimless but animated by some “opening” or opportunity. Like drunk people at bars, they thrive on destruction and when given an excuse, will have a little party. Reminds me of the LA Riots.

  2. Avraham Rosenblum says:

    I got tired long ago of asking people that lived under the USSR, “How were things?” Their answers were always the same. (1) Not bad, (2) Better than now, (3) Everyone worked [implication is that now few work and there are no jobs and then they would point out some aimless alcoholic on the street.] If you went into more detail they would start telling you how inexpensive everything was. But if you asked people that were higher up in government or in the KGB, they were usually more aware of the problems and not such nice aspects. Sometimes I would get an ear full of family history going back to the Civil War between the Reds and the Whites.
    No one ever told me it was bad. Even dissidents. On fellow’s mother was a dissident and was put into prison but even there she was able to get married and have children. I never figured that one out.

    But no one believed in the system. The Capital of Marx (in the central book store) had not been touched (much less bought) for years and there was think layer of dust on it.

    • These are all excellent reflections. It seems to me that the system died because it did not work, but that people were OK with the idea of it not working so long as they felt like they were smashing down those who opposed them. Once it became clear that the Soviets were no longer victorious as in 1945, especially after the Wall fell, the pride was removed as was the sense of self-gratification for bashing down others, and the mob fell apart, and then the political apparatus did.

    • EX says:

      There are those who think sovietism was ok, like in you examples and then there were those who claim that it was hell on earth and that their newfound democracy is the greatest thing ever. Many of them, but not all being politicians who were ex-soviet party members, their offspring and other collaborators. Soviet mentality was never really purged in most places, it just changed its facade and masters.

      • Avraham Rosenblum says:

        The people I asked were in shop workers, or babuskas in the Bazar or general people on the street. Rarely did I meet people high up the hierarchy. And when I did their reaction towards the USSR was just the opposite. They were very much against. And the higher they were in the hierarchy the more they were against it. Those that were with real emotional hatred towards the USSR were believe it or not actual people that worked in the KGB in Moscow.

  3. JPW says:

    This is their weakness and their hidden fear. Stop being “cool” and the mob will turn on you. It gets righteously ugly when the Visigoth Holiday runs out of beer.

    • They are a social movement. That is, based on socializing, and how they look to others. Reality is far away. If we make them simultaneously cool and unwanted, maybe we can send them someplace cool like Rio…

  4. Wilson says:

    “Like most paths to Hell, it begins with good intentions…”

    for themselves to the detriment of everyone else. Fuck ’em.

    Civil society is a social construct based on the honor system. It only takes one person acting selfishly to fuck it up for everyone else. Hence, why hierarchy must always exist to enforce compliance of the law.

    • Civil society is a social construct based on the honor system. It only takes one person acting selfishly to fuck it up for everyone else. Hence, why hierarchy must always exist to enforce compliance of the law.

      This reasoning or something like it essentially convinced me of the need for an aristocracy. About 20% of society creates 80% of the problems, and another 20% creates 80% of the non-useless behavior, but it is the 60% in the middle who are morally waffling that need to be kept in line. When one cheats, the others cheat also in order to remain efficient (not at a disadvantage).

  5. into the void says:

    so they want to do whatever they want, whenever they want, without dealing with the consequences of there actions

  6. […] Leftism succeeded because it enabled people to manipulate society. Instead of having social standards that people were rewarded for obeying, society adopted an assumption of reward and need at the same time, which let people be “equal” by separating their actions from the consequences of those actions. […]

  7. Very nice one Brett !

  8. -A says:

    Just like modernism and modern “art” liberalism may or may not have some decent ideas (taken from more complex theories) and will always make the illusion of a good idea or a good message. In reality, it entirely depends on your own rationalization. This is why they ask you what you think the painting means. They love it when they are surrounded by legalistic dysfunction because it makes their “follow your heart, if it feels good do it” motto seem like rebellion and something new.

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