Humanity in the West is rapidly separating into two groups: an increasingly-emboldened realist wing, and then those who want to continue the path of the last century toward accelerating Leftism.
Most have phrased this as a heartland-versus-the-coasts division, but increasingly, it is looking more like a separation between those who can live independently of this system and those who depend upon it:
In an important essay for The Washington Post, Will Wilkinson recently examined President Trump’s consistent rhetorical hostility to cities and noted the salience of the urban-rural divide for understanding the outcome of the 2016 election. “The bigger, denser, and more diverse the city, the better Hillary Clinton did in November. But Trump prevailed everywhere else — in small cities, suburbs, exurbs, and beyond.”
And so it has been in other places as well. In the Brexit vote, London strongly voted to stay in the EU, while less densely populated industrial centers and more rural areas voted to leave. Most recently, Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s anti-democratic referendum in Turkey narrowly passed despite strong opposition in Istanbul and Ankara, because it was strongly supported in outlying areas. The same is likely to happen in France’s upcoming presidential election, in which Marine Le Pen of the far-right National Front will do well outside of Paris while losing the capital in a landslide.
Since the time of Aristotle, political philosophers have noted that those who live in cities have a different sensibility than those who live in the countryside. The American constitutional framers were certainly aware of and concerned about the difference. Thomas Jefferson famously declared that republican government needed to be founded on the virtues practiced and fostered by yeomen farmers — and fretted that commerce encourages vices that could be incompatible with it.
The above sets up two groups. The first are not as diverse, in smaller cities, suburbs, exurbs and rural areas. The second are diverse in large or dense cities as one finds on the coasts. The difference between these is that people in the rest of the nation have to be more self-reliant, where city living is inherently interdependent, making social influence more important. This means that people get their political opinions from what the hive thinks.
Someone in the suburb or a small city must figure things out for themselves, have some money set aside, own their own tools, and so on. In the city, there is no room to store tools or possibly even have a car. For this reason, people are more interdependent than independent.
Even more, we have to look at the cause-and-effect dimension here. What type of person wants to live in a city? A highly social one, possibly one accustomed to codependent relationships. Who strikes out for the burbs, smaller places or rural areas? Those who like recognize that society is a farce, that life is a solitary pursuit, and that meaning must be had outside of the world of socializing.
With the Battle of Berkeley, we see the sides being formed. On one hand are the Leftists who want full Socialism or more, and on the other, an awakened roots Right that merges Nietzschean and commonsense sentiments in a view that our civilization has collapsed, and we have to tear out the bad and rebuild.
To a city person, this view is apocalyptic because it will infringe on their lifestyle right now. They do not care about twenty years from now, or the future beyond their own lifespan. They want the convenience they depend on in order to make city life workable, even if that leaves a cloud of doom after them.
This attitude is consistent with a lack of independence. To be independent, you have to be willing to give up convenience for solid values, and this requires discovering how things work, which in turn provokes an appreciation for the timeless and incessant. It is an entirely different mentality.
It is possible that this split shows us nature separating humanity into new species. One species for example might totally turn its back on our hunter-gatherer heritage and become more hive-oriented, like ants or bees. These humans will probably be dumber, more social, and exist as either leaders or drones. They will operate exclusively through swarms. And, they will always produce the same type of hive, with the same activities, dead-ending evolution.
The other is going to pick up the mantle of evolution as produced the West. These independent creatures will be community-oriented because having a stable civilization serves the cause of independence, and not individualistic, because asserting individualism before realism weakens the individual. They will also be ruthlessly self-focused and view most of humanity as an aggravated screw-up which will go nowhere, and therefore will brush it aside and push ahead.
Our ancestors were like this, but were interrupted when the power of socializing came about. For the last few thousand years, humans have been beguiling and manipulating each other with social symbols, and this has brought on an age of decay. Now the groups are separating: those who wish to liquefy the assets of society and live on the proceeds, and those who want to rebuild and restore a renewed Western Civilization.