the viciousness of tribalism
two ugly sides of the same coin
firstly, this is exactly, perfectly correct.
this is how you enroll willing, even gleeful ranks of vicious brownshirts not only ready but desperate to oppress others. that’s why half of them joined up in the first place. if it were not this cause, it would be some other. the form the pretext takes is immaterial. it is the chance to do wrong and call it righteous that attracts.
it’s easy to provide.
you simply invert this base human desire to dominate and attack (often in plentiful supply in the upper reaches of the beta groups) into “civic virtue” by othering and segregating out-groups.
you make it no only OK but actually laudable to engage in the nasty, brutal actions that would otherwise be taboo.
you need not run around conscripting assistance to totalitarian regimes. the mawkish middle will fall all over itself in its rush to sign up as long as they get to wear a hall monitor sash and push people around.
this, of course, has a flip side as well which is that all in these groups must endlessly and ostentatiously profess group membership and loyalty at all times for fear of becoming the next target of this focused aggression, because, of course, there must always be such a target. it is this unification to assail the “other” that generates group purpose and cohesion. it is the essential ethos and pathology of such assemblages.
this is why it’s such an effective and time honored tool of demagogues. it draws the right sort of amoral shock troops to you and holds them in thrall for once they have transgressed, there is no getting down off the tiger.
it does not take some orchestrated conspiracy to get them all singing from the exact same hymnal and keep them marching in lockstep. it’s just emergent behavior from the same base fear of being shunned and attacked if they falter.
once they cross the line into calling oppression honorable, they are yours.
many think this must be some set of talking points or botnet. it’s not.
this is the terror of being deemed “unclean” manifesting in performative social prostration, for the greatest fear of the brownshirt is always the other brownshirts.
“i am not deplorable.”
“i did everything right!”
“i am still one of you, do not turn the baleful eye of your righteous anger upon me…”
this is what deep, atavistic social fear looks like.
even the high status fear the tribe turning on them because they know just how mean spirited and ruthless it can be because they feel it in their own wants and drives. they know what they would do to you if you turned apostate and the prospect of it being done to them terrifies.
this is the essence of the nature of the bully.
the weakest and worst among them actually NEED to believe this so that they can convince themselves that they are not dirty and worthy of contempt.
they have so internalized the “having covid is to be filthy and fallen” narrative that they cannot bear it even in themselves and need to rationalize and prove that they are still OK.
the illness and neuroses has reached the point where many of the faithful are in desperate need of reassurance.
stop and really ponder the fact that an article like this was required to be written. what must the underlying pathology of this group look like to engender such need?
this tribe is in the throes of tearing itself apart both internally and externally.
the simple fact is this: in the US anyway, they already lost.
half the country said no to bio-tyranny, more of the center are joining them every day, the “vaccines will save us” narrative is in tatters, and omicron is mild for the vaxxed and unvaxxed alike. the facts are too plain and the comparisons too stark.
the attempts at suppression have become too blatant.
and this is breaking brains. the surpassing vitriol and mean-girl savagery is the defense mechanism of a worldview eating itself.
it’s going to be nasty and brutish.
mercifully, it’s also going to be short.
this is a strategy that must either win completely and cow everyone or will wind up alienating the whole right-thinking middle.
and it cannot win, too many already stood up. so it’s all self-defeating now.
this is the last barrage of cruel tantrum and pitiless derangement of reason before it all falls apart.
it’s all out in the open now, and america does not want a new and enduring regime of institutional prejudice in the form of “jim covid” laws.
do not fear this remorseless and inhuman assault.
it does not come from a place of strength but rather demonstrates just how weak their cause has become.
they are freaking out because they can feel the end coming and the reckoning after such excess is unkind and they will face it not just from those they tried to conquer but from one-another as well and they fear each other even more than they fear us.
the locales and leaders that push and implement this will not get to keep the ground they just grabbed. this is the hill they die on.
i have a feeling that this is the fight we're going to be in now. team panic congealed into a set of vicious tribal norms that function like a fundamentalist evangelical sect
and now, even as they see the evidence for their worldview collapsing, they cannot climb down because to do so would make THEM the new target of all the righteous rage that's boiling over from not just losing but from having been tricked.
they are stuck in a loop of tribal self-immolation. it looks fearsome, but it’s not.
this is where we win.
it’s time to push, time to resist, time to disobey.
this is the time to peacefully but implacable say “no” and to take down the incipient authoritarians who so badly over-reached and who so direly misjudged us and our tolerance for them.
this country is ours, not theirs and it is damn well time we made that unmistakably clear.
not later, now.
not someone else, all of us.