I noticed this morning some overt signs of a trend that appears to be emerging in our collective social dynamic. It seems to be arising in response to a culture of rabid divisiveness, group identity politics, and, particularly from the regressive left, contempt for the universal right to think, speak, and associate freely.
People are getting fed up with being labeled, put in a box, invalidated, attacked, cut off, and silenced for daring to have and express their own thoughts and ideas that don't conform to some supposed standard. This attitude of intolerance has been most virulent and visible in the SJW movement, which is now the laughingstock of YouTube thanks to its juvenile tactics and ridiculous lack of realism and reasoning ability. The toxic, malignant front of ideological dogmatism and us-versus-them herd mentality has become so perfectly crystallized in the SJW movement that it is provoking a serious backlash among free thinkers of all stripes.
These entropic tendencies are certainly not exclusive to the group I'm pinpointing. The point is that this group, aided and abetted by mealy-mouthed cowards and wolves in sheep's clothing in politics, academia, and the media, exemplifies them to a degree that pushes the rest of us up against the wall. We are literally facing a threat of totalitarianism that could extinguish what remains of the light of Western society if we don't unite and push back.
People often express bemusement at the cognitively-dissonant alliance between the social justice movement and Islam, the latter being the epitome of inequality, intolerance and hate in our world today. But the alliance makes perfect sense. They share a common enemy. The intellectual dishonesty and fevered unconscious projection of the cult of post-modern, cultural-Marxist orthodoxy mask the fiery hatred and thanatotic self-loathing at its core. This core, I suggest, is of like emotional frequency with the distress that underlies radical Islamic fundamentalism. Both embrace violence as a final solution. Both are expressions of a mind-virus that knows no peace but the vision of a tightly-enforced uniformity that can never be achieved and will never result in real peace.
The manifest pathology of these two factions, embodying as they do some of humanity's most destructive psychological distortions, holds up a mirror to the rest of us. Their campaign to wipe out and colonize their enemies is so clearly a path to spiritual, cultural, and even physical extinction that we who oppose that campaign are forced to confront the demons they represent, first within ourselves, in order to be able to counter the destructive frequencies of consciousness that assail us from within and without.
We're beginning to see that we can't afford to remain cloistered in our islands of ideology, lobbing cheap shots at each other for the approval and amusement of our fellow islanders. These islands are illusory to begin with. We must see that there is only a web of humanity composed of individual nodes, all intimately interconnected yet distinct universes, and that that shared fabric of society rises or falls as one.
We're beginning to realize that we can't afford to maintain the barriers that keep us from engaging in civil discourse with people we disagree with. That disagreement itself is a natural thing that need not overshadow an underlying sense of unity, of being ultimately on the same side as human beings.
We're starting to see the need to reach out to and support others regardless of ideological differences. We're seeing that openness, critical thinking, and diversity of opinion and perspective are what keep us vibrantly engaged in a robust evolutionary process of growth and refinement leading to synthesis, integration, and true enlightenment.
We're being called to arm ourselves with knowledge, to develop the maturity and learn the principles and skills needed in order to have fruitful, meaningful discussions. To learn to think clearly and formulate well-considered positions. To smelt the ore of information, separating the dross from the valid and useful.
Knowledge, Understanding, Wisdom: The Trivium
Those of us who were never taught the Trivium in school, who were cheated of a real education, must now take remedial steps to educate ourselves. This intellectual foundation is indispensable for a free and functioning society, and developing it is a lifelong journey for each of us. The way we do it is by practicing these elements in the real world of our day-to-day issues and interactions, right down to the personal level.
The other area for development, which I alluded to already, is the emotional realm. We can't be intellectually honest or truly civil without also resolving our emotional wounds and attachments. It takes courage to face the monsters we've buried, but that is what we must do. To kindle and act on that courage is something we all have the ability to do. It takes a critical mass of danger and discomfort to push us over that threshold, and we can thank the new inquisition for doing their part to provoke our innate immune response.
Remember: healing in the body only takes place when there's enough serotonin and other "feel-good" neurochemicals in the system and when levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, are low enough. That means the key is to consistently make choices that make us feel deeply better inside, more whole, at peace, and energized. Each of us knows what those choices are if we just listen closely to our real inner voice.
There is hope. We have what we need to pull through and create a renaissance together. We just have to step up and do our best. I believe in myself. I believe in you. I believe in all of us. Let's do it.
Here are the videos that prompted me to write this post today:
You Can't Sit With Us! | Purity Spirals & Group Cannibalism
"Why do groups demand perfect ideological conformity? What does it lead to and how can we avoid purity spirals, ingroup fighting and cannibalism?"
Huge Win in the Battle of Ideas
"We're taking back the narrative from people who use buzzwords and outrage to silence the rest of us who are trying to have meaningful conversation."
Why Free Speech (even Hate Speech) is the best friend of the Oppressed
Jonathan Rauch makes a passionate argument in favor of free speech, and tells an inspiring story of Frank Kameny using his free speech to overcome bigotry and discrimination.