Probably the only thing that everyone agrees upon in modern America is that the ideological divide has grown wider over the last few decades. This divide becomes even starker when one redefines the Right to be the center of dissident opinion, rather than conventional conservatism. While the Buckley crowd runs faster after the radicals as they plunge into the darkness, the dissidents are pretty much where the Buckley Right was at the start of the cultural revolution in the 1960’s.
In fairness, the dissident right has moved further into the biological realism camp in the last ten years or so. If we define Left and Right as one pole being the blank slate and the other being biological reality, the Right has now moved further toward the later pole, as the Left has raced toward the other. This is explains why the great compromisers, the Buckley Conservatives, have been pulled apart over the last two decades. It is no longer possible to ignore these poles and no longer possible to bridge them.
One thing that everyone outside the radical Left seems to accept is the Left has become far more emotional and emotionally unstable over the last few decades. The Left, of course, would dispute this, if they bothered to address it, but even the most cowardly of Buckley Conservatives agrees with this assessment. The Left is now defined by its emotional outbursts and demands to shut down anyone that dares question the tenets of their faith. The waves of censorship are a direct result of these demands.
A good example of this institutional hysteria is the recent book by Hindu nationalist Angela Saini, which purports to show that biology is a social construct. This is a woman, who for very personal reasons, has to claim that race and ethnicity are figments of our imagination, but writes books celebrating her people. Saini is a great example of the internally conflicted and perpetually panicked Left. Her latest book is an effort to use cherry picked science to anathematize the human sciences, in defense of ideology.
The fevered tone, however, is self-defeating, as it further isolates the blank slate crowd as a ghetto culture of radicals. When an algorithm can create your face just from your voice, the notion that we are not what of biology dictates is preposterous. When ancestry companies are relying upon cheek swabs to tell people their race, ethnicity and the origin of their people, Angela Saini sounds like a mad woman. This is what the Left appears to be today. A collection of emotionally overwrought primitives.
The question is why the Left appears to be going mad. David Aurini has a go at it looking at the Big Five Personality Traits. The radical Left is high in Agreeableness and Neuroticism, while being very low in Conscientiousness. As a result, they panic when they perceive any threat and demand everyone get along – or else. They are also more intensely on-line (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube), which tends to amplify their sense of being surrounded by threats, thus elevating their level of panic.
Of course, another way to looking at this great divide is along sexual lines. The Left is clearly more feminine today than at any time. The people on the Left assailing biological reality are people like Angela Saini, Amy Harmon and Cordelia Fine. They write books claiming biology is a social construct. While there are some thirsty betas on the Left nodding along with these sorts of women, the point of the spear in the war against the human sciences is mainly populated with the daughters of Mars.
Another aspect to this is the browning of the Left in America. The Left is not only being feminized, it is being tribalized by people like Angela Saini. She can never be occidental and is therefore condemned to live outside the Western tradition. Because she can never be fully part of the West, but is detached from her people’s past, she has to work toward creating a new reality that can include the immigrant reality. While in the past, Left and Right existed within Western identity, the Left is slowly detaching from it.
This is probably the key reason the Left now feels so alien to even the milquetoast members of the Buckley Right. People like David French desperately try to keep pace with the Left as it rockets away from the core of Western identity, but he remains tethered to Western tradition. There’s simply no way to fit the shared reality of strangers, who immigrated to the West, into the shared reality of the natives. Their realities are too different and largely at odds. The Left is now defined by its degree of separation.
Just as important, this new identity evolving on the Left is a negative one. It is defined by its hostility to the core Western man. The attempts by those in the remnant of the Buckley Right to find common ground with the new Left is seen as an assault. Any effort to incorporate the identity of the new comers into the Western tradition is viewed as cultural appropriation, another way of saying an assault on their identity. As a result, it appears the West is at war with itself as the distance between the poles widen.
To some degree, the West has been at war with itself for a long time. One side has always thought the importation of strangers was suicide. The other side came to believe it was vital. There’s no bridging the gap between these two opinions. It turns out that the former was always correct. The new political divide, therefore, will be between those alien infiltrators, and their native collaborators, hostile to the heritage identity, and the natives, who remain in the core Western tradition and identity.
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