Unlike most writers, surly nihilists like myself identify human social behavior as the root of our problem, note that as a society succeeds social behavior becomes more important than realistic adaptation, and point out that the end state resembles Communism, even if it began as a Right-wing endeavor.
This argument says that social pressures invent something like Leftism, which as a philosophy is simply egalitarianism, instead of the other way around, and that while it is important to reject Leftism, we have to reject Crowdism too by finding another direction that does not involve social pressures.
Social pressures unite individualism and collectivism. The individual wants to become more powerful through social pressure and to be free from criticism, so he finds a lowest common denominator — love everyone, we are all one, etc. — and creates a dark organization based on acceptance of this.
Like a clique, gang, cult, trend, mob, herd, sect, or riot, this group operates by demanding obedience to the group above all else and being hostile to anything else. You either join or fight, in other words, so like a snowball the group picks up new members and soon beats the others in power, but then has to face the ugly fact that it has no realistic plan and therefore will fail.
The important factor here is the recognition that human downfall does not occur through ideology; ideology arises because of downfall, and the cause of downfall is human psychology, so we need to “design around” this psychology if we want to avoid future civilization collapse.
Crowdism tells us that The Human Pattern (of dark organization, cult, and failure) appears in any organization, group, community, or society, and does not require an external force (Satan, Jews, Communism) but is innate to humanity.
We can see this through the cautionary tale of how an idealistic project because a herd propaganda amplifier despite having been started with the noblest intentions:
Historically, Wikipedia has been written and monitored by a community of volunteers who collaborated and contested competing claims with one another. In the words of Wikipedia’s co-founder, Larry Sanger who spoke to Freddie Sayers on LockdownTV, these volunteers would “battle it out”.
This battle of ideas on Wikipedia’s platform formed a crucial part of the encyclopaedia’s commitment to neutrality, which according to Sanger, was abandoned after 2009. In the years since, on issues ranging from Covid to Joe Biden, it has become increasingly partisan, primarily espousing an establishment viewpoint that increasingly represents “propaganda”. This, says Sanger, is why he left the site in 2007, describing it as “broken beyond repair”.
More likely, what happened was that people found out that with the audience on the internet, certain lies were always more popular than anything else. People did not care that they were lies; they needed them to feel better about their lives.
Consider that the average person on the internet is either very young, very old, or a drop-out from life, usually by having a do-nothing job but sometimes by being on disability or welfare because of inability to function.
If you put together a group of humans and impose no goal, culture, or social hierarchy, you always end up at the same place: anarchy plus free stuff, or “Libertarian Communism,” namely roughly where our democracy has arrived with market socialism and civil rights.
This expresses basic individualism, namely “no one can tell me that I am wrong” plus the idea of the group supporting the individual so it can chase its own desires and whims, enforced by the pretense that this herd impulse is the only good, better than reality itself, and therefore every other approach is wrong.
Over time, every human thing from public bathrooms to civilizations gets ruined by group impulse. The initial group rewards those who achieve what is needed to adapt, so a hierarchy forms, but once everything is in place and repetition is all that is needed, people give up on competence and turn toward unity, or making everyone feel included, important, iconoclastic, different, unique, tolerated and, most of all, not wrong in their lifestyle choices. People prioritize existential warm feelings over the confidence in well-being that one gets from adapting to reality.
Crowdism appears wherever humans do, but can be steered off by having a goal, social hierarchy, culture, and competitive system that rewards the actually adept over those who are merely clever and self-serving. Over time, most human societies and groups break down in this regard.
We can see the effect of Crowdism in how it turned Twitter from an information resource to a chattering hugbox for insiders to complement each other on their unrealistic ideas and preening:
The platform has also given the greatest possible voice to the general scold: the type of person who achieves great pleasure in taking offence and even causing someone to lose their livelihood or reputation — the “I am offended by that” or “I don’t find that funny” brigade. Where once people simply shrugged, now they “take to Twitter”, in the annoying parlance, to show that they are unimpressed, or to tell people off for saying something which they disagree. There is a performative rage which the platform has encouraged, and which people find it hard to withdraw from once they are caught up in it. It’s addictive. It’s thrilling.
In this life, you either have internal direction which points you toward something to accomplish, or you are simply going through the process that has worked for others in the hopes of getting your share.
Those who follow along with the process, which in unstructured human groups consists mostly of social impulses, find themselves experiencing social success, but also forced into compromise with the dark organization clique. That is, they have to work with their fellows, and that means principle goes away.
For this reason, you have to distrust anyone who is vested in the system because they have prioritized compromise above goals:
Those are the kind of people who proudly make infrastructure deals with the Biden administration for the hollow sake of “bipartisanship” and then get rolled without exacting a price for it (“My starting offer on infrastructure is now the devolution of OSHA to the states, the privatization and localization of the TSA, the end of mask mandates in airports, block grants for states to control highway funds, and the non-negotiable inclusion of serious energy infrastructure like nuclear power plants.”) Shrier gives the example of Sen. James Lankford’s inability to critique the Biden administration replacing the word “mother” with “birthing person,” which enables abominations like this.
Republicans do this because too many still do not understand — or refuse to understand — the nature of the opposition. They are culture war Neville Chamberlains, feeding Americans to the Minotaur one generation at a time while believing it’s a bargain, because, after all, the Minotaur isn’t eating everyone, and they’ll certainly die before it’s their turn to meet him.
A display of this kind of mental and moral cowardice is utterly disqualifying from anyone who wants to hold office as a Republican going forward. That’s because only fools make deals with barbarians expecting them to keep it. People who can’t tell a citizen from a barbarian aren’t fit to lead.
We can see that Crowdism compromises any system, and that once the system is compromised, it can no longer be viewed as anything but an enemy because it is anti-realistic and therefore, in favor of delusional thinking that leads us to collapse.
What succeeds in the short term — working within the system, getting along with others, being inoffensive, being tolerant, and bringing in more customers — destroys society in the long term, because society has become based on illusions instead of pursuit of what is real and also good.
Those middle class bourgeois ethics that bring about higher profits, job promotions, and social popularity work against the success of society, which in turn makes people miserable, because they realize that they are working toward nothing with permanence, only treading water.
You can recognize a society in decline by the dual mania for success and distrust of success:
Like many social scientists, Weber wanted to understand the origin of capitalism. Why, he asked, did capitalism arise in Western Europe? His answer was that Westerners had adopted a peculiar attitude towards work — what Weber called the protestant work ethic. Rather than see work as a chore, protestants (especially Calvinists) saw industriousness as a virtue. This culture shift, Weber argued, was key to understanding the emergence of capitalism. Without the idea that work was a virtue, people would meet their basic needs and then relax. But when work became a goal in itself, the wheels of capitalist accumulation were set in motion.
While Weber’s specific hypothesis may not be correct, it’s now clear that he was onto something. The transition to capitalism came with a host of changes in people’s worldview. Evolutionary psychologist Joseph Henrich calls it becoming WEIRD. This is his acronym for ‘Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic’. It’s a clever double entendre because people in WEIRD countries are legitimately weird. From visual perception to attitudes about cooperation, WEIRD people have psychologies that differ from the rest of the world.
Interestingly, the quantification of culture seems to support this view. People in developed countries tend to be more individualistic than those in less developed countries. WEIRD people also tend to be more skeptical of autocracy and more receptive to norm-shirking behavior (behavior that economists would call ‘innovation’).
In a Crowdist civilization, conformity becomes the only means of getting ahead, and therefore people work not so much to achieve anything, but as a signal of their conformity. This shows that they are upholding their contract with the Crowd: everyone contributes so that Crowd can rule.
This in turn creates a huge audience of pity pets who do not work and achieve nothing of use, generally doing the opposite by making constant crises. Those allow people to signal that they are good obedient people by rushing to clean up the mess and subsidize the pity pets.
Society has now set up a new kind of economy, one based on good feelings. When people look out and see everyone working busily away on nonsense, it affirms to them that these people are harmless and therefore will not decrease their individual power, status, and wealth.
They see people who are controllable. They are no longer striking out for themselves; they have decided themselves to the Crowd, and as good tools of the herd, can be manipulated with carrot and stick. They are not lawless criminals or freethinkers; they are good bourgeois citizens!
That situation creates the W.E.I.R.D. mentality where people work all the time on stuff they know is inconsequential. In a society like this, obedience, conformity, and being inoffensive matter more than achievement. It is 1950s commercial society, hybridized with a Leftist superstate.
For that reason, people fear leaving the herd, and have to be shocked out of their stupor by exposing them to something outside the narrative and getting them to agree with it, at which point they will defend it as a personal choice and therefore, worth defending by the Crowd:
By posting mainstream conservative content most of the time, these extreme-right groups were able to build up an audience numbering in the range of 30,000 to 40,000, which they could then incrementally expose to radical content.
Towards the end of the account’s lifespan, the admins would dial up the ratio of radical content dramatically. Posts would frame shifting demographics as a “Great Replacement” orchestrated by nefarious transnational elites or describe how climate change would soon force harsh decisions about the distribution of scarce resources in the global north. Ultimately, they would put forward that, against the scale of the coming crisis, civil unrest and violence were not only permissible, but necessary.
We are watching Crowdism unfurl in real time. The Crowd is at maximum power, and so everything that rises quickly becomes taken over without any state action being taken; it is entirely social, decentralized, bottom-up, informal, and done from individual pursuit of personal profit, power, and status. People are competing in the free market for conformity in order to adapt to the system (but not reality) and thrive.
In return, however, the power balance has shifted. Now that the revolutionary Narrative has become the mainstream Establishment narrative, the Left finds itself defending its own past choices more than it would like. Consequently, we see even more competition for affirming the unrealistic and ludicrous, as the denialists insist on loudly proclaiming every trope to come out of the Left to be true.
Our only hope rests in the large number of people who are defecting daily. Once they see one crack in the façla;ade, they accept an alternative truth (which is hopefully closer to reality), and having accepted that, rationalize all their other decisions on that basis, including defending it.
The illusion of equality remains at the core of the power this Revolutionary Establishment has over us. As long as people believe that to be good, they will rationalize everything else in its terms, and therefore corrupt everything else, purely through peer pressure.
However as alienation spreads, the idea of equality becomes ludicrous, because no one wants to extend equality to the other half of society that they fervently hate. Consequently, we see Late Stage Democracy collapsing in on itself through the same conformity and bourgeois obedience that created it.