One of the weird things about this age is how certain groups of people remain locked in a form of psychological stasis. Their views of the world remain the same as they were at some point in the past. For some it is always 1985 and the biggest fear is the commies will get control. Some are locked in 1968 where they are trying to keep corporate interests from crushing the working man. These people live like modern people, but their worldview remains in the world of the past.
From the perspective of dissidents, the most obvious of these groups are the civic nationalist types. Long time users of Gab have suddenly been made aware of these folks after Trump and Trump fans were dumped from Twitter. The J21’er is a person who signed up for Gab in January of 2021. They decorate their profile with patriotic symbols and far too much information about themselves. Politics for them is right out of a civics textbook from the late 1980’s.
These people are not just lost in the past. They have plenty of examples in the media who are right there with them. This post in the American Conservative is a good example of the type. It is a long piece about the future of conservatism that reads like it was written in 1992. No mention of immigration, the most important issue facing the world at this time. No mention of race and racial politics, which has convulsed the country since the end of the Obama administration.
The writer is a regular at the site so it is safe to assume his views reflect those of the editorial staff. It links to many other sites that wave the conservative flag, so it is in tune with the sensibilities of that old tribe. This is the right world to use as they exist like an isolated tribe in the Amazon, unaware of the world that exists outside their remote villages. This is one of the links in the post. It is a debate about conservatism by people who should be in a museum exhibit about the 1990’s.
It is not just a phenomenon of the legacy Right. The BreadTube phenomenon is an example from the Left that parallels the one on the Right. These are people promoting things like socialism, communism and anarchism, but from the perspective of the 1970’s when such topics were actually discussed by adults. They want to steer young people away from identity politics, but they also want to combat what they call “far-right extremism” that appears on YouTube and other places.
This is where you see the time warp. The people they consider to be far-right are people like Ben Shapiro or Jordan Peterson. Not only that, they stick to an old 1970’s liberal view of politics when the Left was sure their ideas were so convincing, they could engage with their opponents and win every time. Like their analogs on the other side, they seem to have missed the last couple of decades. They are unaware of the fact that people get fired from their job for holding the wrong opinions.
Of course, the establishment Left itself is trapped in a time warp. The people banging on about structural racism and white supremacy also bang on about the dangers of corporate media and corporate power. They do so on global corporate platforms, often from the corporate offices. If people actually wore the labels of their supporters, the street protestors would look like NASCAR drivers. Their little outfits would be festooned with corporate sponsors. “This riot brought to you by Amazon!”
Listen to the people behind the Critical Race Theory stuff and they carry on as if it is 1955 and the imaginary Jim Crow stuff is real. They claim to be fighting the racism of whites and the oppression of the white power structure. They are weirdly unaware of the fact that none of this ever existed or exists today. Everyone with the least bit of power is on their side. Their people they are attacking are without any representation in the halls of power. For the antiwhites, time stopped in 1968.
Some of this is just human nature. People stubbornly cling to old ways of thinking about things out of habit. There were still supporters of the Whigs long after they had disappeared into the past. Ideology provides structure and a way to understand the world, so abandoning it is difficult for some. Until they find a suitable replacement, they stick with the old views. We see this with the Trump phenomenon. Many jumped on it simply as a way out of conservatism.
Then we have demographics. White people are the oldest tribe in tribal America now, so whites are going to be slower to adapt to the new reality. The fans of Ben Shapiro are old people mostly. He is what they hoped the future would be like and what they imagine it was like in their past. For someone who is 70 years old, it is tough to accept that all they fought to preserve will be washed away. The dream of returning to the civic nationalist paradise is better than facing present reality.
Reality is the thing that does not go away when you stop believing it. The people locked in these time warps will eventually return to this part of the timeline. Again, you can see this on Gab. Many of those J21’er have quickly adapted to their new home. Every time a bell rings a new dissident is born and every day the bells are ringing, thanks mostly to the behavior of the ruling class. The behavior of the government the last year has collapsed many of these time bubbles.
Something similar is happening on the Left. Jimmy Dore, for example, is a man who considers himself on the Left. Yet, he is every bit as skeptical about the radicals as the typical dissident. Glenn Greenwald is another good example. Matt Taibbi is another guy who is having an awakening. These are people looking around and coming to the realization that their old views on things no longer track with reality. The old Left is starting to have their own red pill moment.
Political transformation is like the old line about bankruptcy. It is slow at first, often glacial, then it happens all of a sudden. The individual begins to break free from their time bubble and then all off a sudden they have their awakening. As is always true about the behavior of people, some are too timid to look up. They fiercely cling to their ole ideas like a dog with a bone. Their fight to remain trapped in the past is a weird sort of conformation. Some people will just be lost to time.
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