As it becomes clear that Leftists and Rightists want entirely different types of societies, the culture wars are heating up as they have not since the 1970s. The Left has fired the first shot by invoking the dying nu-internet industry to attack non-Leftist expression as a means of perpetuating the Leftist monopoly over intellectual discourse in America.
However, both parties agree on one thing: online spaces are vital not just for command and control, but so that people can participate in a movement despite being geologically disparate:
According to researchers, the key to hooking new recruits into any movement, and to getting them increasingly involved over time, is to simply give them activities to participate in. This often precedes any deep ideological commitment on the recruitsâ€™ part and, especially early on, is more about offering them a sense of meaning and community than anything else.
People do not need to analyze ideology or philosophy. All they need is a gut feeling, and a liking for the people they encounter, and they will drift toward this new social group. At that point, they can absorb enough of the conversation to understand and be able to answer back with the responses to certain common questions, so that they feel mastery over their new belief system.
Naturally, the Left wants to prevent this from happening. In their view, they want to use fear of being excluded as a weapon, and to imply that “everyone agrees” on certain Leftist ideas, so that people are not drawn by positive ambition to the group, but kept in it out of fear of being excluded, because that makes one an enemy of the group, and all friends and opportunities are lost.
Following up on that idea, the Left is preparing to remove any online spaces where Rightist thought can be discussed with impunity:
A new study by researchers at Emory University, Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Michigan suggests that the most effective anti-hate tactic may be what amounts to a nuclear option: identifying and shutting down the spaces where hateful speech occurs, rather than targeting bad actors individually or in groups.
…Some users who had posted offensive material on the forums that were shut down stopped using Reddit entirely. Of those who continued to use the site, many migrated to other forums, but they did not bring significant amounts of toxic speech with them, and the forums they moved to did not become more hateful as a result of their presence. Over all, the users who stayed on Reddit after the bans took effect decreased their use of hate speech by more than 80 percent.
…â€œThey didnâ€™t ban people,â€ he said. â€œThey didnâ€™t ban words. They banned the spaces where those words were likely to be written down.â€
We have heard this one before. It is the Left’s “no platform” agenda from the 1970s and 1980s, when Antifa protested any venue that allowed a forum for Right-of-center bands, figuring that if people heard Right-wing ideas, they would be seduced and infected and come over to the dark side. In their view, it is like ideological inter-racial porn: people will just be unable to stop themselves from being attracted to it.
This decision by the Left is fortunate, in that by driving Right-wingers from mainstream platforms, the Left is forcing the creation of an alternate internet. At first this will be run through darknets and other invisible means, but eventually, alternate infrastructure and free speech hosting will emerge, which when put together, will be like an internet invisible to normal people, but easily turned on when someone wants to be drawn to the dark side.
Even better, the Left has enforced the idea that Right and Left cannot coexist because we want different societies. In the Leftist world, Right-wing ideas are so taboo that they cannot be tolerated at all, and in the Right-wing world, Leftist ideas are so laughably out of touch and irrelevant that there is no point bothering to keep them around.
In this way, the online war is bound to further the ideological split among Americans and Europeans. The Left wants equality, the Right wants quality. There can be no middle ground, and as we separate online, we prepare to separate in real life.