“While everyone else was telling these young white men to check their privilege, the alt-right was speaking powerfully to their Millennial woes.”
I honestly believe that our culture, perhaps our species, is on an evolutionary cusp. A few of the core questions are:
- UHC and “Universal Income”. As automation keeps the net wealth constant while reducing the number of jobs, our concept of what is “right” and “wrong” in terms of individual action, industry and occupation HAS to shift, or the society dies. You simply cannot tell millions of unemployed people they are “bad” to be unemployed…unless there are jobs that will actually allow them to pay the bills.
- Global Warming. Most of human history, we could be defined as the animals who use more and more of the biosphere’s energy per capita every few generations. If you don’t think that a combination of this tendency combined with increased population wouldn’t affect the planet, you won’t be able to hear what I’m saying here. This is not for you.
- Male-female relations. Shifting drastically, due to birth control, industrialization, firearms, and post-optimal population levels. It only makes sense that the sexual dimorphism the human race adapted to maximize the number of grandchildren would start to be less important, that the “walls” between the genders would grow more porous. Those rigidly committed to those roles will be terrified, but the truth is that there is real freedom and power on the other side of this: both sides have suffered, and only those who can see that can lead the way to the future. Men who blame women, or women who blame men, are each others’ natural partners, and the family gatherings won’t be fun at all.
- Racial demographics. Tougher than male-female relations in some ways, because men and women are two sides of the exact same creature, whereas different races can easily be seen as competing tribes in a zero-sum game. One tribe really CAN wipe out another…and thrive. I believe this is one reason why the Civil Rights movement had such a spiritual component. Why should I give up power, when direct material benefits are so difficult to see? It requires a spiritual perspective, a deep dive into the question “who are we?” to produce a clear answer.
- There are others: alcohol vrs Pot, Obesity vrs. Lean bodies, etc. Evolution, change, awakening, awareness. We are in a challenging time.
The Alt Right boys strike me as males caught up in #3 and #4. If you don’t think white males have good reason to wonder if their grandfathers were luckier than they are, you aren’t looking carefully. Both men AND women fail to factor that the most basic human desire is NOT to have power or make money or be famous. It is to live. Life itself. And men have been conned, tweaked, bred and programmed to accept their own lives as less important. No, it isn’t women who controlled this, although they are certainly complicit: we co-evolved biologically and socially. Our genetics and memetics are in control. This arrangement got the maximum number of grandchildren onto the game board. All else was secondary.
Hapless “Incels” don’t understand the new dynamics of relationships, which aren’t really different from animal mating patterns, but ARE different from the prior social rules arising from them. I will leave it as an exercise for the reader what the female equivalent of this might be. Its a different discussion.
These young white males fear that shifting demographics will place them in a weakened position, or even lead to extinction. If they don’t think they have advantage, then they MUST consider that the relative statistics of POC and white performance in America is due to innate differences. (A great irony isn’t it? The belief that racism is not a powerful and damaging factor in American life is itself racist. Wow. That’s kinda bizarre.)
They are, in other words, racist without being willing to speak that racism clearly. Sometimes without realizing it. The problem is that their fear is a real thing whether racism (the belief that one group is superior or more worthy than another, based on race or ethnicity) is a valid theory or not!
- The groups are NOT equal. Oops! Then “them durn SJWs” will destroy the system by lifting up inferior peoples. The monkeys will take over the zoo.
- The groups ARE equal. In which case you have stupendous, mind-boggling guilt and fear. Guilt over what was done in the past, and fear for possible revenge in the future. After all, THEY would want to kill anyone who oppressed them as those groups have been repressed. Projecting that naked fear onto others assumes that they are angry, and will take violent action the first chance they get.
For people like this, the future looks horrifying. There is literally no way out. Worse, they can’t even see themselves forming healthy relationships with women, leaving them out of the reproductive stakes.
Death, on the personal and genetic level. Loss of power. Increase of pain. Stress crippling perception, leaving them unable to grasp some basic realities:
Men and women are the same creature, and what is healthy for one will inevitably be healthy for the other. The world as we see it was created by both.
The different “races” of human beings are more social constructs than anything else, and the gathering of the tribes is actually as natural and beautiful as the unfolding of the universe as a whole, a simple increase in connection and complexity.
Sigh. The danger is fear, of course. The answer is love.
- Love yourself. Respect and care for yourself. Learn to nurture yourself with proper rest, proper physical and emotional nutrition, and calculated stress.
- Love one other person. The process of unshielding your heart and soul to love another, ESPECIALLY if the union creates children, is one of the most powerful forces of awakening on the planet.
- Understand history without guilt, blame, or shame. Human beings are just animals reaching for the stars. Understand both the root and the flowering. Note what we’ve done to each other from fear and greed…but also the fact that violence has DECREASED over the centuries. We really are learning and growing. Have faith…but be cautious.
- Don’t argue with trolls. Fear-driven people: black or white, male or female, will try to polarize this game. Under the words is a belief that they are the superior ones. Don’t fall for the comforting delusions. We’re just people. Instead, find the tribe of people who believe we are equal and complementary, and hew to that belief even when it is terribly hard. You will be attacked by BOTH radical Right and Left. Everybody wants to rule the world. Until they realize they ARE the world…and the game changes.
- Win…with integrity. Be kind, but take no shit. Don’t drop your guard if you aren’t totally certain you can protect yourself (remember rule #1). Be CLEAR on what your ultimate outcomes are, and why you want them, and never step away from your values and morality. Moral strength, clarity of emotional and spiritual purpose is one of the most powerful forces in the world. It is damned hard to stop someone willing to die for what they believe in. But remember that most of your opponents are not snakes or monsters…they are afraid. Terrified. Don’t understand that their map is warped, that the cheese is no longer in the maze.
You will probably not be able to hear what I’m saying if you haven’t taken care of step #1–you will be in fear, and anger, and pain, and wish to strike out. There is a time to strike out, there is no doubt, no slightest question. I am not a pacifist. I AM a lover of humanity. There is a difference.
But first…love yourself. That’s where it all begins. If you are stressed out, set the countdown timer on your watch for three hours, and every time it goes off BREATHE deeply and slowly for sixty seconds, and then set your watch for another three hours. That will get you started.
You deserve to have the best week of your life. Hard to get that, when you are filled with pain and fear.
But protect yourself.