Do it for the children

When you need to know how our modern society actually works, remember the phrase “Go get ‘im, boys!”

Politics works through fear or the inverse of fear, which is talismans against fear. Outside of things they worry about, people do not care about governance in the same way they generally don’t care about their lawn mowers, so long as they keep working.

If you want to mobilize people for something positive, you need to cook up an image of its enemy and demonize it, then claim that your positive plan is necessary to drive out the demon and, only incidentally of course, achieve your goal.

This amounts to going out to the town square, setting up your stump, and bloviating dramatically for a few hours. The crowd first shows up to be amused, then gets afraid, then reacts in simian rage. The speech ends with “Go get ‘im, boys!” shouted over the pitchforks, torches, tar buckets and nooses.

Not a positive view of humanity, is it. But we are a species in evolution between our chimpanzee ancestors and our future state as mostly-logical beings. We’re here on the margin so we can prove whether we have the will to reach higher, or simply to fade away.

And so this is how it is.

The targets of our rage

Politics works best when we create a hollow justification to mobilize people. This either has to be something hated, or a talisman against hatred that proves we’re nice.

For this reason, the biggest justifications are:

  • The poor.
  • The minority.
  • The physically damaged.
  • The children.

If you had $5 for every time you heard “Think of the children!” or “My opponent’s program disproportionately disadvantages minorities, women and the poor,” how many gold-plated Uzis could you afford?

Because those justifications are so successful, the biggest targets are the opposite of these pity-justifications above, and are pity-targets:

  • The rich.
  • The majority.
  • The normal.
  • The autonomous.

These targets do not need to be literal “Go get ‘im, boys!” and they are often manifested in other forms. For example, we don’t say we should hang normal people, but we imply to them that they should feel guilty for having what others do not.

The targets of our pity

The flip side of this is that we use our pity-justifications. We use them for our own purposes. In their name, we do what is convenient for us.

As in the example of the politician above, this can be a legitimate use. If we need new water treatment plants, but because they’re boring no one wants to fund them, we’re in a pinch. We end up saying that Hitler hates our water system and that it needs to be upgraded, or it will disproportionately affect minorities and the poor. The poor! Minorities! You must just about be Hitler to not vote for this water system upgrade.

However, “Do it for the children” has become a cliche because it’s a hollow justification. So is fighting racism, and other politically-correct crusades. People are beginning to figure out that racism, homophobia and sexism are found whenever someone needs more funding for their government programs or an easy job (“diversity coordinator,” now found in almost all corporations).

But in the process, we’ve forgotten that our mentality is using our children as tokens. We do this even to our own kids. They are not there for their own lives, but as accessories and status symbols to make our lives better.

How many times have you seen a parent treat their children like a product, or a precious antique, without regard for how this shapes the child’s mind? We joke about the “baby bangle” but it’s how most modern parents treat their kids.

In other words, kids, you are here to make me look good, feel good and have something to talk about with my friends.

This varies from the arrogant “yummy mommies” who ramble around in giant SUVs, always with a reason on the tip of their tongue as to why they should go in front of you in line or get that last loaf of bread — it’s for the children, remember, and they’re good mothers and so they’re in your face, and do you have kids? If not, you’re no one — to the young women sitting around in cafes comparing their children’s latest “art” projects, which since the kids are three amount to nothing more than discordant scribbles.

These children will grow up in a paradoxical frame of mind. On one hand, they’re told they are free; on the other, there are hidden objectives of the parent that the child is expected to fulfill, visually.

Plenty of hidden sabotages await in this setup. For example, the upper middle class in the United States and Europe specializes in teaching its children to be compliant, kind, generous, passionate and artistic — all skills that will put them at a disadvantage at a job, and guarantee they’ll get date raped. To make Mommy and Daddy happy, they raise their children as doormats who do “significant” things but have no skills. The parents like to keep the kids dependent.

It’s the same way, when you think about it, with other pity targets. People like compliant minorities who show up to have magical insights in films, but don’t actually have a culture of their own to clash with the dominant culture. They love the poor who need them, not the poor who are not photogenic and an opportunity for the giver to publicly appear magnanimous.

To internalize this lesson shows us the downside of equality, which gets us politics of “Go get ‘im, boys!” We use other people for their value as symbols, and in the process destroy them. Normally we’d call this “predation” and run it out of town with pitchforks and torches.

13 Comments

  1. Bevis says:

    Forgive me for what is likely to be the umpteen-millionth inquiry on the subject. Why do your archives not include the years 1972-2001?

    1. Those early dates were used to archive ancient and modern texts on traditionalism, since the software won’t let us assign dates earlier than 1970 and the dates on many of these pieces of text are missing anyway.

  2. Lisa Colorado says:

    Here’s a tactic that works on both sides at the same time: Traumatize, then offer a solution. I get this idea from Michael Tsarion. A mild example is something like “halitosis. Do YOU have HALITOSIS? You might have it and never know until it’s too late. You’re in a crucial situation with a potential love interest, who takes one sniff of your breath and…they’re gone from your life forever.” And then they sell you mouthwash.

    In the case of politics, it’s like when they tell you that Liberals are Marxists who want no borders, all the poor taken care of, all the rich leveled out so we can live in a liberated society. Half of the people think that sounds great and half know that it is a false idea but don’t know how to combat it in terms the ignorant would understand. So, that’s when the other side steps in and Conservatives say they will provide safety and structure, but the ignorant people are poisoned to that ideal. The ego wants to be in charge.

    They tell you that Conservatives are fascists who want to have the government involved with big business and leave the poor to “fend for themselves.” That’s easy to throw out there and scare people with, because we have been conditioned to forget that once people have a roof over their heads and food in their stomachs, the next job is to start building on that and everybody has to continually do this in life, and most people really can do that. Drug addiction gets in the way of succeeding, so it’s kind of a good thing to get people on drugs so the case can still be made.

    The two paragraphs I just wrote are really scrambled and I’m not sure they make my point. However, just writing them I felt the trauma and psychological damage. And I get the idea that nobody is listening anyway.

    I’m proposing a new faith. An improbable one. A non-solution that nonetheless will get some kind of emotional circulation going again, and that is to do “listening.” It would work like a 12-step group for people to just go and learn how to shut up and let someone take their turn expressing their ideas. The article of faith would be that people can spiral through their nutty idea, let it have its expression in words, and then see if they still think the same way later or feel the same about it. It’s amazing when you realize you’ve changed. This way one would have make one’s own changes.

    1. The paragraphs are jumbled because the thought process they describe is brain-damaged; however, your writing is totally accurate in that this is how politics is conducted. The parallel to advertising is accurate as well in that advertising is the model politics emulates. It’s all commerce.

      I think the problem is the nature of politics itself. The idea of manipulating masses is inherently dishonest and will cause all sorts of horrible corruption of truth in the search for emotional symbols that motivate a herd.

  3. Ted Swanson says:

    And just what the hell is racism and sexism and homophobia and bigotry anyway? They’re a lot like terrorism: vague, nebulous, ominous clouds perpetually “out there.” It really is talismans and magic!

    You would think with all these social “movements” from the past 60 years and all their celebration for all they’ve accomplished, that they have, indeed, accomplished something! But apparently not! These same people claim the magic clouds are STILL out there! But if that’s the case then all their movements have been abject failures. That’s the contradiction: they’re apparently successful yet unsuccessful!

    1. Terrorism reminds me of the Satanic ritual abuse scare of the 1980s. Pedophiles were out there, but no one knew what they looked like, so they found a symbol instead: it was Satanic rape cults in the basements.

      Of course.

      Terrorism is our surrogate for the damages of globalism. Multiculturalism, internationalism and liberalism produce masses of alienated people clinging to whatever they can find, which conveniently pits them against one another.

      Far below, Satan laughing spreads his wings…

      1. Anon says:

        Wonder how many people got the Black Sabbath reference…:-)

  4. “we are a species in evolution between our chimpanzee ancestors and our future state as mostly-logical beings”

    Nope.

    We are a mishmash of different hominids that are collectively in devolution.

    The modern culture breeds for socialisation and not pattern recognition/IQ/traits that lead to a conservative outlook.

  5. NotTheDude says:

    Had to laugh at the bit about the three year old’s scribbles being praised! So true. Why do many parents seem to keep trying to educate their young continually? I often hear ‘Oh look Ollie look!’ What is that? Oh its Corvus frugilegus, that common farmland bird the Rook! Can you say that?’ Of course he can’t! He can barely walk up the lane without having to be hoisted onto his father’s shoulders! haha. Children learn by watching, listening and doing it seems. Let them!

  6. crow says:

    Logic makes a poor God.
    It can be whatever you want it to be, and most of all, it can justify just about anything.
    This might also be said about God(tm), but at least one is reverent towards one’s God, whereas logic serves the one using it, not vice-versa.

    1. I don’t think one should substitute anything for God. It is a dubious idea to say that we can have a part of God replace God. At that point, we’re off into na-na land.

      However, I think “logic” is a much-abused term. All thinking is a form of logic; what our modern society calls logic is linear logic, and as a part of God it cannot replace God.

      Hope that made sense.

    2. Lisa Colorado says:

      Yes. Logic can take you anywhere you want to go. I’m sure the holocaust was done for logical reasons. Logic is not nearly the same as Truth. Logic has Force, which will be opposed and out-forced at some point. Truth has Power, which originates in Reality but which the human mind can’t really get, but can only resonate with or avoid.

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