If you’ve kept in touch with sociopolitical trends these past few decades, you’ve surely noticed that the spokesmen of the Left are full of plans for “re-educating” us uncultured barbarians in the Right. There must be something wrong with us not to see things as they do, they “reason,” so once they’ve got sole possession of the levers of power, we’ll have to be “fixed.” (I didn’t start that sentence with that double entendre in mind, but let it stand.) And of course, those of us who successfully reject indoctrination will have to be disposed of. Regrettable, perhaps, but necessary. Just ask Bill Ayres.
Let’s “declare halftime and change ends,” shall we, Gentle Reader? Put yourself and the pro-freedom Right generally into the catbird seat. There’s that pesky Leftist remnant to be dealt with, still screeching about “discrimination” and “inequality,” still agitating for all sorts of utterly unAmerican measures, and upsetting decent Americans to no end. Now that the battle has been conclusively won, what shall we do about them? What can be done about them?
This leads us to a reconsideration of the Great Distribution.
You see, no political community is uniform. There’s a “structure of production” to each. It’s not dissimilar to the structure of economic production in an advanced society. The individuals in it are best understood in light of their positions in that roughly pyramidal structure.
At the pinnacle of the structure, we find the originators of ideas and doctrines. These theorists are often found in academia, which insulates them from the demands of the mundane world. From their sinecures, they propose all sorts of notions about “the way things ought to be.” That those notions are seriously at odds with reality is consistent with the theorists’ insulation from the way things actually work. Indeed, it would be hard to imagine the opposite outcome.
On the structure’s second level, we find the promulgators and popularizers. These folks take the emissions of the originators and weave them into policy proposals and “narratives” intended to render them attractive, or at least palatable, to the general public. “Think tanks,” op-ed perches in the media, and similar institutions provide these persons with amplified megaphones through which to proclaim the semi-reified notions of the originators and how they could be put into effect.
The third level is where the rubber first makes contact with the road. Here we find the organizers. Every sort of movement must have local and regional authorities whose job is to assign responsibilities and get people moving. They might also participate in the grubby work, but their principal significance lies in their ability to motivate the larger group of ground workers.
On the fourth level are the ground activists. These folks knock on doors, make phone calls, distribute leaflets, tack posters to power poles and public message boards, and assist in getting allegiants to polling places: the low-level work of political mobilization. They’re fully in contact with the public, and as such deserve a large share of the attention and credit for the successes of their movement.
The fifth level is allegiants. These people broadly share the convictions of the movement, though they probably don’t think of themselves as part of the structure at all. They donate. They vote. Perhaps they have casual conversations with others about their positions. They are many, but only loosely connected to the levels above.
What I hope the above implies to me and hopefully to you, Gentle Reader, is the distribution of degrees of conviction and varieties of personal investment in the movement. At each level, the degree of passion and the kind of “return on investment” the participant gets is characteristic of that level.
Also, the effect of humor on each level is distinctive.
Have a few words from Stephen Kruiser:
Because everyone on the American Left traffics in fear mongering, the brand tends to be rather pinched, sour, and bitter. It’s difficult to be lighthearted when engaged in a quest to find grievances every waking moment of every day. The humorlessness has really taken root in the younger generations. I’ve noted on many occasions that today’s 20-somethings are the crankiest “Get off my lawn!” types in America.
Now, I know that not everyone on the left is like this in real life. I’ve been in the entertainment industry since my late twenties, so I’ve been surrounded by leftists for most of my adult life. I’ve had a lot of good times with them. As I said though, the political brand is an angry one. Once they get online or in a political discussion, they all look and act as if they’d just downed a mug of vinegar.
Stephen knows whereof he speaks. The orientation of the Left is explicitly anti-humor:
…and generally anti-fun:
For today, I’d like to focus on the critical distinction between the psychologies of Right and Left. It’s one that the media have attempted to efface:
- Leftists regard all of life as fodder for political processes and State intervention. No subjects, no activities, and no attitudes are regarded as intrinsically private.
- Rightists believe in a private sphere in which politics and the State have no place. (Some Rightists disbelieve in any sphere for State action, but that’s a separate subject.)
In this connection, ponder well this essay on the Sturm und Drang besetting the video gaming community. Take particular note of the following highly revealing snippet:
[W]hile watching a video about GamerGate, I clicked on a link to an archive of one of the original articles, “A Guide To Ending Gamers” by Devin Wilson at Gamasutra….
I was scrolling down through the article’s list of strategies for eliminating gamers, trying to keep an open mind, and actually thinking there were one or two somewhat valid points. Then I got to item #11:
We stop upholding “fun” as the universal, ultimate criterion for a game’s relevance. It’s a meaningless ideal at best and a poisonous priority at worst. Fun is a neurological trick. Plenty of categorically unhealthy things are “fun”. Let’s try for something more. Many of the alternatives will have similarly fuzzy definitions, but let’s aspire to qualities like “edifying”, “healing”, “pro-social”, or even “enlightening”. I encourage you to decide upon your own alternatives to “fun” in games (while avoiding terms like “cool” and “awesome” and any other word that simply caters to existing, unexamined biases).
That paragraph represents everything that is wrong with social justice thinking in less than 100 words.
Indeed it does…but be sure to isolate the central concept rather than merely turning away in disgust:
The Left abhors fun because it’s inherently apolitical.
This is a giant stop-look-listen signal to the American Right. Yet it has gone largely unappreciated.
If the Left’s reaction to humor is like that of a vampire to a crucifix, then humor should be among our most potent tools: both for now and for after the battle for the soul of America has been won. We should be studying the great humorists, past and present, and absorbing as much of their insight and wisdom as we can hold. We should also be studying the detail reactions of Leftists at each level of their pyramid to humor as wielded in our service. That’s vital because we don’t want solely to defeat them in the contest for dominance; we want to convert them, willy-nilly, into Rightists…or at least, non-Leftists.
I’ll return to this, though perhaps not today. Meanwhile, think about it. Please!