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the memetic application of frustration
evolutionary gradients for social movements
mass movements feed off frustration like hurricanes feed off the warm, wet air of summer oceans. it is their fuel, their motive force.
frustration engenders desire for change and radicalizes and focuses belief and motivation. it distills them into action.
all social movements are memes and spread as such. they are therefore subject to the same viral and evolutionary pressures as their biological counterparts.
make a copy of me and pass it on.
this is the prime directive. this is the ONLY directive. that which remains and which successfully occupies and persists within ecosystems is that which has effectively made copies. nothing more. but certainly nothing less.
the origin of species and origin of societal ideas converge because they are shaped by the same forces.
the evolutionary gradient and the revolutionary gradient are one and the same.
compete for scarce resources. be fruitful. multiply.
frustration is endemic to the human condition. it represents the growth medium in our evolutionary petri dish. if it can be channeled into seeking mutually beneficial self-advancement through voluntary trade and commerce, then such memetic movements can spawn great human flourishing. cities rise and poverty recedes. technology and medicine and art evolve and mitigate hardships. life becomes good. life becomes soft.
no other force or human idea has ever successfully and durably drawn the masses out from the crushing poverty that is their default state. this meme and this meme alone seems to possess such power.
even the poor live beyond the wildest dreams of the captains of antiquity. but it is not enough. it cannot be enough for the human mind esteems its own welfare not in absolute but rather in relative terms. so even those possessed of so much as to inspire the envy of antediluvian princes feel frustration that others might exceed them.
no surfeit is sufficient so long as someone else has more.
thus, like a shark, this structure must swim ever forward.
gotta do more. gotta be more.
run faster, the other rats are gaining.
would that this were not so, but history seems testament that such inclination resides intrinsic in humanity and inseverable from society or citizen.
the contention of such productive struggle is perhaps the greatest game of all and available to each and everyone. as this meme propagates, it engenders striving and such striving and endeavor begets, ironically enough, a contest in which all are winners. some may win more and some less, but even the mere participation trophies of modern free market society sparkle beyond the dazzle of any ancient crown. health, wealth, longevity, and safety are unparalleled and widespread.
but this meme is fragile and, despite all its self-reinforcing success and virtuous cyclicality, carries within itself the seeds of its own antithesis; a herd animal that spawns its own predators, fed and enabled by the very bounty it provides.
for if one breaks the flow and channel of this meme, its energy can be redirected and energy in these systems is plentiful in a manner never before seen.
by disrupting belief in the idea of self and of mutual advancement the system can be made to cease to seek progress and instead twisted to seek redress. and that way lies destruction for this system is a thoroughbred, and nothing runs downhill faster than a thoroughbred.
the dream is not your dream. you cannot have it because they keep it from you. you are disaffected and others rise beyond you not because their virtue or effort or luck exceeds your own but because the game was never fair. you are down because they put you there. your frustration will never know surcease nor your pain succor. so rise and knock over the game board. rise and start anew.
such heady sentiments are the opiate of the disaffected.
it was not your fault, the fault lay elsewhere. it was inflicted maliciously and their malice should evoke your own.
communism, nationalism, critical race and colonial theories, and myriad other persecution fantasies are memetic morphine. balm for the soul and fire for the belly. a right and rationale to take that which was not earned and feel not just replete but righteous.
but such stratagems are inevitably short term in nature and the parallel to opioids stretches further into addiction and into ruin for such policies must always harm and, taken too far, kill the host society. plenty becomes paucity and perspicacity becomes predation. striving ceases and times grow ever harder.
such hardship generates and propagates frustration providing ever more fuel for the mimetic hurricane that lays prosperity and liberty low and replaces virtue with cronyism and liberty with grievance.
the meme engenders dependence upon and addiction to itself for those who cease to strive begin to fail and if such failure is externalized and blamed upon others, if it is attributed to and presumed as evidence of unfair play, there is no system by which to arrest the decline.
the brake has been mistaken for the gas and will be pressed harder in response to further slowing. that which cannot be faced is drowned beneath another dose of the dissociative. this is addiction.
each step further into the loss of well being and ever growing conflict over an ever shrinking pie evokes greater distress. the sinking swimmers to grasp ever more fervently the selfsame anchor that holds their head beneath the waves.
this is a meme that propagates by inflicting damage. your harm becomes its fertilizer.
this virus spreads like dandelions with each new rooting carrying the seeds for 100 more for it is simple, seductive, and each outbreak renders society yet worse off and thus more fertile for future infection.
left unchecked, it is invariably fatal as greater contest for declining resources intensifies into calamity and catastrophe.
failing the redistributionist prisoner’s dilemma is exquisitely costly.
but, like other dangerous and over-fatal diseases, it is also self limiting. life at the expense of degrading and killing the host is maladaptive and a free society will once more generate the memes of faith and fortitude, endeavor and virtue that will yet again elevate the people and place their striving and success squarely in the moral center. flowers will grow from the mulch of that which died. springtime will come again.
but, prerequisite to such renewal is freedom.
you may make any mistake and it will be self-correcting so long as the freedom to correct it remains.
but when you surrender that freedom, the productive channels and virtuous cycles can only be regained once more at great peril and cost, by violence and by fire. liberty once ceded is not easily regained and they who took it will have violence and fire of their own.
be exceedingly wary of those who would trade you a utopia in exchange for the inalienability of your rights. this trade has never yet been honored.
if it seems like the goal of so many of this current crop of would be tyrants is to break things, to spread and amplify misery, to sow division, and to sell poverty as panacea and helplessness as agency, perhaps it is.
such stratagems are neither crazy nor reckless.
they are planful.
they seek frustration. they seek its energy and to harness its motive force to the memes of grievance and attack. they seek to ennoble the taking of that which was not earned by invoking the hallucinatory pretext that a sucker punch was self-defense.
this is the fuel for their war machine and the path to the tyranny of the mediocre.
those who would prey upon you want you frustrated. they seek to cultivate your discomfort, your envy, and most of all your disbelief in your own capabilities to improve your circumstances. any hardship can be lightly borne if light shines from the end of the tunnel. it is misery without hope of reprieve that drives despair. they seek to hamstring your hope because hope is anathema to them.
the conjoin of anger and powerlessness is a bad place.
masses become malleable, weaponized, and ready to throw in their lot with those making easy utopian promises which validate the desire to aggress against the very grievances these provocateurs so raptorially instilled by repetition and attestation. it’s a soup to nuts call to forever-war and a self amplifying echo chamber.
the damage these regimes can inflict and the poverty they perpetuate will, if taken to sufficient extremes, become an inescapable trap.
venezuelans and cubans no longer kowtow for love of regime or ideology. they are way past that. they are simply too weakened to fight.
rebellion is the province of those still possessed of enough agency to undertake it.
revolution is the luxury of those with enough to eat.
every country that fell to such forces had one thing in common: a deep and abiding belief that it could not happen here.
i’d get over that one if i were you.
those who would subjugate you harbor no such illusions.
your hope and freedom are you arms and armor. do not trade them for a cage, however cunningly it is crafted to seem like safety or like justice.
the society you save may be your own.