Election Lessons: Surprise! Tribalism Still Sucks

If this reaches two people it will be time better spent than voting.

Regardless of who wins, how have we ended up in a situation where one person can launch the nukes? It’s so absurd that one may be tempted to keep their eyes to the ground and worry about their day to day. However, the tribalism of the masses is fun to analyze. Looking at the prospect of the Donald or Clinton as emperor, no punches can be pulled, no critiques silenced.

Before we delve in, I understand some voting this election. I can be idealistic and pragmatic. With Trump in the mix and his pages and pages of pure, directly quoted authoritarian dribble, I understand those voting Clinton to prevent the baby from getting the nuke rattle. I in no way respect those voting for Trump or Clinton because they think either is genuinely good, moral,  or decent. Both sides–those genuinely aligned with tribe Republican (alt-right) or tribe Democrat (the new moderate Right)–will never lead to a better world. People need to recognize authoritarian patterns and reject them.

Since Hillary’s cabal is the same hope and change that Obama used, I think I’ll look at patterns coming from the alt-right. I favor neither side of authoritarianism, but Trump is likely stoking a hotter, more oppressive fire.

Nationalism/Jingoism. All the mouthpieces for the alt-right place America above all. America is some kind of entity separate from the individual, there’s no thought of the individuals whom comprise it. Placing America in this static form of whiteness, “freedom,” Christianity, and protectionism allows for zero criticism from differing ideas. There’s no changing their minds: immigrants are not white, free markets are not their variety of “free,” Islam is not Christianity, period, end of discussion. These people deal in absolutism; the social construct of America, as it is now, is the result of hundreds of years of individual contributions in spite of political meddling–that’s why it’s far from their perverse ideal. The alt-right, by designating America as these things, is fundamentally anti-freedom. Autonomous individuals pursuing their own goals will always create a pluralistic society (barring Walter Block’s voluntary Nazi towns), it will never end up where the white-nationalist wants it–that’s why they need Trump (statism personified) to force it down our throats.

Holding to their authoritarian, nationalistic view, the alt-right waves any responsibility beholden to the individual. Sure, they’re out now, massing people in support of their static image of America, but they’re organizing in hope of winning a popularity contest. And their emperor says he’ll fix it, he’ll talk to Putin, he’ll punish companies with tariffs. These people are not pro-freedom, they want their perverse version of fascism veiled as classical liberalism enforced by the State. I strongly suggest questioning the validity of any idea requiring the boot of the state. Any failed policy will be met with “damn government” not “why did I vote and defend these people.” Logically, people that abstain from voting or vote to prevent a strongman from holding the reigns are the only ones who can say “damn government,” that is, if Emperor Trump doesn’t designate it as one of his many libel infractions.

Conspiracy Theories/Rigged Election. Continuing with the idea of alt-righters placing all individual responsibility on a strongman/government, they have a plan b. If they lose, and they will, it’s not going to be due to their shit ideals, it’s because the popularity contest is rigged. Again, no responsibility on the individual white-nationalist, the system is at fault. These people won’t dig deep and realize they lost on a fair battlegrounds, because even considering such an idea would require the thought that their unwavering ideal is testable. Any variant of the static image of America is immediately rejected by the diehards. There is no debate with absolutism; for them the whole system is meticulously rigged by a group of individuals they say are incompetent in the same breath.

There are conspiracies and there are State agents perpetrating them, but the alt-right including their birther candidate muddy the waters. Conspiracies devised by the likes of Alex Jones (a Trumper) put a lot of reasonable concerns under the umbrella of kooky conspiracy theories. The election, won or lost, will not disperse the alt-right back to the fringes of libertarianism/neoconservatism/neoliberalism, these people are galvanized under the  static white, protectionist, nationalist flag. Racial diversity is the conspiracy of the left to them, and they’ll continue their fight.

The only positive thing is they’re not hiding in their old party’s shadow. They’re in the light. Proponents of freedom can be taken more seriously having cast away the bigots, protectionists, Nazis, white-nationalists, and truthers.

Moving Forward. Don’t be fooled by rhetoric, there are prominent individuals showing alt-rightism as being compatible with liberty and modern economic scholarship, and it’s not, it’s absolutely antithetical to prosperity. Looking at contemporary economists, of all political persuasions,you’re either emotionally triggered by rhetoric or racist if you think open borders/liberal immigration is a negative on the economy. Or, likely, you think economics is a conspiracy.

Lastly, as an anarchist myself, if you’re now an alt-righter but were previously identifying as a libertarian, anarchist, etc., enjoy your new house built by bigots out of pseudo-science. We will interact with you peacefully and counter your totalitarian arguments with arguments of freedom and tolerance. When Trump and ultimately alt-rightism fails, don’t think you can keep your love of State force and slither back to anarchism/libertarianism.

 

 

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