I keep liberal friends on my friend’s list, if only to have insight into liberal dynamics and views. It’s an attempt to mitigate standpoint theory, which accurately describes what I’m getting at here, namely what I call ‘thede-induced blindness’. The term hints at underperformance relative to one’s actual abilities, given the strong pull of loyalty toward one’s own thede.
Let’s take the example of ‘cultural Marxism’. Not a few days ago, a liberal acquaintance posted something to the effect of: “Cultural Marxism is everywhere!”—of course it wasn’t in a serious tone. Then came to the enthedening process. It seems thede-induced blindness increases the more intense that thede bonds are. It also seems that thede-induced blindness is both a function of thede bonds, but also innate susceptibility to blindness, so there is a self-selection effect to a certain extent.
The following responses questioned whether ‘cultural Marxism’ was even ‘a thing’. After that came the attempt at a very academic explanation, in which a postdoctoral fellow went on at length, comparing the term to its vapid counterpart of ‘neoliberal’. He also added that no one actually holds to cultural Marxism.
I didn’t post a vehement response because I don’t want to have to take the time to dig up replacement liberals to have in my circles.
I need a term for these ‘people,’ because I just stylistically don’t like repeating ‘people’ over and over again. Let’s go with Blinders. So what are we supposed to say about the social game that was played?—before that is just a raw analysis of the truth-seeking aspects of the game.
Blinders wondering about whether or not cultural Marxism even refers to anything are like blind bats in a cave who annoyingly speculate about affairs above ground. It’s immediately obvious that if the Blinders fucking Googled it, they would’ve seen at least a dozen articles clarifying the nature of the term and the extent of its application. Cultural Marxism returns 4,430,000 results on Google. That no satisfactory definition can be garnered from the sheer number of articles available beggars belief.
It isn’t really about work ethic. I don’t think it’s really about humility and honesty, either, as those seem to be overridden by thede-blindness. Both tendencies are simultaneously possessed by Blinders (but not always), but there’s an overriding mechanism present, namely blindness. It wasn’t a lack of intelligence, either.
The users who responded were well above average intelligence, and it does not good to say that because they suffered from thede-induced blindness, they must not be very intelligence. That’s nonsense. Thede-induced blindness and performance/score on a de-theded, de-contextualized IQ test are entirely different phenomena, although of course this Blindness will make it look as though the Blinder is stupid and dull, about as bright as the average partisan hack. But that’s just it: regardless of intelligence, not much will be accomplished if you’re crippled by the Blindness.
The Blinders endlessly scoff about the existence of trees, while failing to avail themselves of their two good eyes and feet that could drag themselves out of their four-walled, windowless prison of furious circle-jerking.
The mantra of the Blinder: “There is no world outside my thede. There is no world outside my thede. And if there is, it is void of definition and has no referents.”
Note that instead of jerking each other off, they could solve their absolute befuddlement in less than a few minutes. Yet, they reliably will not.
It seems to me an effective way to strengthen the enthedening process is to find an activity commonplace in another thede and belittle it, in order to build solidarity within one’s own thede. To do so, break the activity down into its constituent components and express exasperation as to how any meaning or enjoyment is derived from ‘hitting a ball back and forth a couple times before sending it past an arbitrarily drawn line of white chalk into a swish-swish net.’
This is boring and unhelpful in terms of criticizing the actual activity, but very helpful in the enthedening process. Personal aesthetics is a motivating factor for the ‘constituent components’ criticism, but it also occurs if a person or thede doesn’t like another person or thede. The activity is then taken as a proxy for that thede, which is why the activity must be subject to mocking, etc.
Women are a little more open about the process—by which I mean they’re more likely to just say they ‘hate’ something, whereas men have the need to dress everything up in pseudo-argumentation, in order to justify aesthetic tastes. You don’t like X. Good for you. But don’t pretend that that’s actually a substantial criticism, and don’t go about masking it with the ‘constituent components’ approach.
People primarily and inescapably think in terms of thedes, however. Thede management is important. People don’t see capitalism as such. They see capitalists. They don’t see Christianity. They see Christians. They don’t see ‘as such philosophy’. They see internal group dynamics, and they actually equate the two. For them, the internal dynamics of the thede just is the ‘as such philosophy’.
Is blindness all that bad? Let me put it this way. Excessive tolerance and open-mindedness on the aggregate is a proxy for lack of thede strength and feelings of belonging. There are trade-offs. Other thedes within a given area may suffer as a result of another thede’s enthedening process. Certain interested parties may consider this as absolutely unacceptable trade-off, and so will erode and constrain thedes down to tepidity. Misery and lack of community is the price to be paid for putting thedes to sleep. When the thede is wide and awake, there may be violence and outgroup persecution.
This applies to leaders of thedes, as well, although in a slightly different way.
And so this gives rise to the phenomenon of politicians who sincerely quote scriptures verses, while in the same breath cursing everything good and decent—with no knowledge that one is not supposed to follow the other. At best, you might get an admission beforehand that they’re just a sinner saved by grace. In fact, I’ve been shocked at the lengths these folks go to in signalling their Christianity, say. The instincts of others are usually to de-signal Christianity when they act out, and to openly acknowledge the dissonance when called to account.
But for the politicians, cognitive dissonance is not functioning properly. Politicians do not take any notice of their contradictory behaviors and beliefs. And if there is any semblance of acknowledgement, it comes in the form of an unconscious acceptance of a double standard. It isn’t merely lying. That’s too simplistic an analysis. They really do believe it. And they really do not believe it, at the same time. The mechanism by which discomfort is generated, in order to reconcile the two conflicting beliefs just is not there. This is how they’re able to advocate so fervently—using moral language—for the minimum wage, while at the same time not paying their interns at all. So ubiquitous is the phenomenon that I hardly need to trot out a series of examples—all that’s needed is a conceptual framework to make sense of it all.
I need a word to describe these people more specifically than politicians, since the terms aren’t strictly identical. I’m going to call them NoCogs. The NoCogs are destined for leadership, and leadership selects for their abilities. Absolute, unwavering confidence is really easy to have if you can’t detect internal cognitive dissonance. Truth-seeking is clearly not very important to success in this arena. Rather: A feel for what people need and want to hear, an ability to shepherd, to deal with intense psychological hatred directed towards them. Political life selects for candidates who are entirely unaware of their own dissonance, leading them to be aggressive value promoters, but also self-interested, Machiavellian bastards in the same sentence. It’s remarkable to watch. Yet, these people succeed because along with that lack of dissonance comes defense mechanisms against insane amounts of public pressure, baseless attacks, criticism, vitriol.
Normal folks would melt into a puddle within a day.
People consistently underestimate the demands of leadership. They demand what they themselves could never achieve. They criticize and hold leaders to unfair standards. They act, in other words, like children, and that will never change. And that is why we have NoCogs. We have them because the masses are feminine, and the masses act like children. The masses demand NoCogs and whine bitterly when they get what they want. Some autistic NoCogs are perpetually confused as to why they are not adored when they spoil the child and give it everything it wants.