It is hard to gain perspective on the current crisis, due mostly to the mayhem and chaos that fills the screens of our life. Every day brings a new outrage. For a normal person, daily events are like drinking from a fire hose. First comes the howling from the usual suspects, then once that abates, it is the mob descending on the streets or on the life of a white person. Then more howling from the usual suspects, followed by the orgy of violence. The cycle just keeps repeating.
If you step back and take a look at things, one of the things that stands out is just how primitive and superstitious the people are at the center of this crisis. It is not just in their appearance either. The new religion that has emerged among our rulers is not a great leap forward in consciousness, but a leap backward. It is primitive, superstitious and simplistic in its statements and actions. It is as if the world has been taken over by an ancient tribe of primitives who hate us.
Take a look at the frenzy, among the nation’s circus performers, to lecture the rest of us about their goodness and our wickedness. The sportsball leagues have been the most egregious in this, as they are actively alienating their customers in an effort to appease a constituency that does not exist. NASCAR seems to be under the impression that the people burning down Wendy’s will one day be tailgating at Talladega. It is live action role playing combined with wishcasting into a marketing campaign.
Beyond the self-indulgent fantasies, take a look at this heroic statement from the National Football League. The point of this effort is to tell the peasants, otherwise known as customers, that the league is in a life or death struggle with the dark forces of systemic racism and historic injustice. These twin evils are why the league exists, not the pointless entertainment. The singular focus of the people running the NFL is the final defeat of this great enemy of democracy!
Notice that no one ever bothers describing these terms. The closest you get with systemic racism is “discrimination against black Americans is embedded in the political, economic and social structure of the country.” The implication here is that we have secret rules and laws that prevent blacks from doing something. They have to be secret, as we have spent three generations now erasing every rule, regulation and law that allows for any personal preference among white people.
The way around the absolute lack of evidence in support of discrimination is to treat it as a miasma that permeates white society like a fog. You see, you don’t even know you are an evil bigot because you are immersed in a racist system. It is a primitive form of communal salvation. Instead of blaming the drought on unidentified sinners in the village, the complete backwardness of black people is the fault of evil spirits that animate the institutions of modern society.
This primitiveness turns up all over the new religion. High paid activists on cable chat shows preach about the need for Americans, especially the white people who make the country possible, to repudiate their history of structural racism. That’s usually done in the context of the statue toppling or the desecration of cemeteries. Apparently, the twin monsters of systemic racism and historic injustice really hate it when a collection of brown savages topple over a statue on YouTube.
Let’s take these claims at face value. Let’s assume the way forward is for white people to have a group struggle session in which every bit of the past is repudiated. What happens after that is over? What is supposed to happen at that point? Will the clouds part and a new era of peace and harmony descend upon us from the heavens? Will all of the stuff that makes modern life possible stop working? After all, if you are repudiating the past, it must mean abandoning the works of the past, right?
Of course, no one knows and there is no point in speculating about these things, other than for entertainment purposes. The reductionists among us want to pretend that the people behind these spasms of lunacy seek power or they are trying to undermine Trump in the election. Small minds need to personalize things this way. In reality, the people behind what we are seeing live unexamined lives. They are caught up in this for the same reason people join religious cults.
The beautiful people from the NFL marketing offices don’t want to think about how it is they get to live like royalty by staging mock battles between gangs of black men for the amusement of white people. It is much easier to hoot about structural racism. The same is true of the people behind NASCAR. These people hate their fans, but they depend on them for lives of excess. These primitive howls about confederate symbols are a pressure relief valve for this conflict in their lives.
The primitiveness of this new faith is probably the appeal. Unlike a sophisticated religion that makes demands upon the mind of the believer, this new religion works for even the dumbest person. They just have to chant some meaningless phrases and begin smashing things up on their YouTube channel. It is another example of how liberal democracy cheapens and degrades everything it touches. Even the religion of it becomes a degenerate and artificial form of the original.
That may be the final irony of liberal democracy. This self-destructive ideology eventually reduces the most ardent adherents to simpletons, incapable of performing the basics required to keep the system running. Given the choice between a world run by howling primitives, rushing about smashing everything in sight, and any other form of rule, people will choose the latter. At some point, the people fear the primitives more than anything else, so anything else becomes the best option.
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