So, I’ve come to think Christopher Cantwell may be an archetype, if I’m using that term correctly. He is an example of a newly growing faction of people in the U.S. today. Sort of a white nationalist of nessecity. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not excusing any of racist or nationalist comments or actions.
My conclusion came from a book called Empire by Orson Scott Card. Its a very good story about a near-future civil war in the U.S. between the “Left” and the “Right”. The terms Left and Right of course are very vague and the idea of a large scale war between them is ridiculous because there are no clear geographical lines; Very different from the situation in 1861. But Card said, you don’t need clear geographical and cultural lines like we did in the American Civil War. To spark conflict in a highly diverse culture with high tension, all you need is one group to think they are being targeted.
Americans and people in general, tend not to be strongly political. Though many people have an opinion and speak out in support of one cause or another, people just tend to speak their piece and go back to buying scratch off tickets and making babies. Its only when these average people get the impression they are being specifically targeted that they start choosing sides. There are thousands of examples of this throughout history. A powerful example in recent history was 9/11. Before 9/11, people in the U.S. didn’t think much of the country they dwelt in, but after? Afterwards, there was a distinct and potent sense of patriotism. People were convinced they were being attacked because they were American. Soon enough, ordinary, little old Kansas ladies were harassing taxi drivers of middle-eastern decent. And as hilarious as that image is, it represents something dark and evil.
Its this survival collectivism that we are seeing once again in people like Cantwell. My understanding is that this recent group of white nationalist activists that Cantwell was a part of are primarily white men, between 20-30 years of age that have some college study and are not currently working or are working part time. So, it seems to me, we have a bunch of otherwise ordinary men with a lot of free time that have been shamed by liberal courses and a liberal media. Shamed for being men and for being white. I went to a West Coast liberal arts school, so I know the shaming is subtle. (One particular course on Feminism that I took comes to mind.) Little smirks, immediate dismissal of the male or white perspective, any unique opinion results in either societal banishment if not outright backlash from your peers.
Is it any wonder these otherwise ordinary, peaceful people are banding together in opposition to this perceived threat and escalating the conflict from shaming to threats and sometimes violence? Again, let me be clear, I believe I understand this phenomena, but I do not condone it. This trend towards collectivism/tribalism is the last refuge of a man with no intellect and no drive to produce. (This is kind of a rephrasing of a George Carlin quote.)
-What do you think?