People navigate society through archetypes. They understand a basic rule, and extrapolate from that to understand others. On a broader level, each age in history is defined by an event that succeeded which everyone else emulates.
Since the 1960s, our archetype in the West has been the overthrow of cultural order by hippies. Before that, it was the fall of Berlin. Before that, the jazz age flapper casting off a dying social order and being “free.” Before that, the victorious North freeing the slaves. Before that, the rag-tag band of underdog colonists driving back the most powerful nation on earth in a total Cinderella story.
When Leftist rioters burned, looted, vandalized and assaulted their way across Berkeley, California, many commentators mentioned the similarities to the 1960s activism. In both cases, an order was overthrown… except that in this case, Trump overthrew the Leftist order and the rioters were mainly raging against bourgeois armchair Leftists for not turning up the dial on their liberal beliefs to the setting “Full Soviet.”
But there is a more exact archetype in play here. We can see the long shadow of the Kent State shootings in the response of police and community:
Shields reportedly came to the defense of a man that was being attacked by people that wore masks that hid their identities. Shields later said, “They attacked him for being a Trump supporter, no other reason.”
After protecting the man, Shields confronted some of the masked protesters, saying, “You guys have your faces covered. You’re attacking people. You are being (expletive) fascists. Look at you guys, you’re (expletive) embarrassing. It’s not okay.”
In a Twitter post about the incident, Shields indicated that police officers and other citizens watched as the attack unfolded. He indicated that several people were attacked, and that he was involved “in a few scuffles” during the riot.
In other words, the cops were told to stand down. They might have done this because those above them agreed with the protesters. But it took a lot of people to not oppose that order. The simple reason is this: they wanted to avoid another Kent State, where pictures of dead students shoot around the world overnight and make your town or university a synonym for dead protesters.
The Left is playing a passive-aggressive game which is part of the circular reasoning at the core of all Leftist beliefs, which act by creating the assumption that a certain ideology is universally adopted, then styling those who fail to agree as attackers.
In this game, the Leftists pretend to be peaceful protesters and the media backs them up on that. Then, they attack, hoping to be injured so that they have a cause for victimhood and an excuse to counter-attack that much harder. They want us to lash out at them, so they can brutalize us. This is a classic “bullying” pathology; Leftists are bullies who are smart enough to hide behind altruism.
Their need for this victimhood relates to the swarm psychology of the mob. The mob cannot act proactively because it cannot agree, but it can react defensively if it feels one of its members has been injured. For this reason, to unite a mob, one must come up with a victim and claim that the victimization of that person will affect all. This creates Simian group panic and retaliation.
It does not make sense to view Leftism as an ideology so much as a pathology that hides behind ideology. There are few true Leftists, only people who are broken and who, when given an excuse for revenge, act it out with fervor to distract themselves from their own existential emptiness and shattered, purposeless, and disorganized lives.
The way around this is to get rid of equality. When someone brings up a protest, look at their history instead of just the single incident. Look at the psychology required to live their lives. And then, fear not writing them off as insane or incompetent, much like the army of baristas and waiters that burned down Berkeley.