A cause that has any hope of surviving past the novelty phase will demand from its followers a sacrifice to show commitment. Criminal organizations are the simplest and easiest examples of this phenomenon. A street gang will require all of the members to get a tattoo, for example, to show their commitment. More mature criminal organizations will require new members to commit crimes in front of other members to prove their willingness to sacrifice for the gang.
In more sophisticated movements, the adherents will perform rituals or make symbolic sacrifices to show their commitment to the cause. It has not been unusual for cultural movements to adopt a style of dress. The macaroni style, for example, was an extreme expression of commitment to a cultural and social class. In this age, the sexual subcultures often embrace clothing styles like the “lesbian kit” to set themselves apart and show commitment to the subculture.
Whether it is getting the gang symbols tattooed on your face, wearing an unofficial uniform or committing yourself to a way of life, every cause requires something from the members as a payment. This sacrifice is not only a signal to the other members, showing their shared commitment to the cause, it is also a form of advertising to potential members of the cause. More important, it adds a sense of value to membership in the cause. The members feel committed.
The people displaying their pronouns in their e-mail signature and social media profile are signaling their commitment by sacrificing some portion of their dignity. There is a noticeable discomfort in these people then they say “I go by they/them” because they know what they are doing is foolish. It is as ridiculous as wearing a flowerpot on their head, but that is the point of the ritual. They are making a fool of themselves in public as a way to show their commitment to this cause.
The same thing is at play when white people take to the stage and begin hectoring their fellow white people about racism. It is patently absurd for a white person to stand up and condemn their ancestors for being white or for the crime of having created a culture that is now called white supremacy. Some of what drives this is mental illness, for sure, and some is the “my fellow white people” act. Much of it, however, is the need for the adherent to show their faith by committing an act of lunacy.
For example, look at this post from a gym teacher about the racists power structures at the local swimming hole. His profile makes clear that he is a fully enculturated bug man, but as a white male, he is at the bottom of the woke subculture. His post about how the man is conspiring to keep black people from swimming is a sacrifice of whatever dignity he retains as a man. The point is not to change minds, but to show others in the subculture that he is fully committed to the cause.
A key part of the cult ritual is the irrationality of it. The systemic racism claims are just modern magic. There is no rational or empirical argument behind these claims, but that is what makes them appealing. You just have to accept them on faith. That is the sole appeal of the trans business. One has to strip themselves of all sense of self in order to claim that humans are assigned sex at birth. The ridiculousness of the claim does not allow for even a shred of dignity.
This is why we are being flooded with a wave of public testimonies about how the trans community is ignored in some way. In this post, we learn that the guitar makers have ignored transgenders and women. The fact that the sex of the performer has no bearing on the instrument or that there is no such thing as transgender is central to the sense of sacrifice the writer feels when posting this. In another age, he would have been writing about elves and sprites with the same conviction.
Part of this self-degrading ritual within the identity subculture is the attention these humiliation rituals gain the adherent. It is why we have gone from publicly tolerating homosexuals to take your child to a drag show events. Each step has been more bizarre and degrading than the next. Post-Marx culturalism has been a weird race to the sea that has finally led to mothers offering up their children to predators. The believers seek the ultimate sacrifice they can make to the cause.
How much the shot callers on what we now call the Left understand the forces they are manipulating is hard to know. It is not particularly clear that the trend setters in this cult understand the intellectual history behind their movement. They have simply embraced the primary modes of thought and let nature take its course. Robin DiAngelo could simply be a fame seeking huckster who landed on the right cause at the right time to make money from a movement desperate for a purpose.
Despite this cult’s efforts to tart up their thing with jargon from the sciences, what drives it is a need to vanish into a cause. The appeal to the adherent is the need to sluff off the identity of the adherent and take on the identity of the group. Self-loathing has always been at the heart of mass movements. Christianity explicitly embraced this reality with the concept of sin. To be a Christian is to not only accept the teachings of the particular sect, but to accept and embrace your sinfulness.
These modern identity cults are less sophisticated, feeding on a population desperate for immediate gratification and lacking the intellectual capacity for high culture organizational structures like mainstream Christianity. This is why the rituals are so primitive and crude. The barrier for entry is low, so the people flooding into this scene tend to reflect that standard. It is also no surprise that they have arrived at the cusp of child sacrifice. Spilling innocent blood appeals to the savage mind.
Counterintuitively, these spasms of ritualized self-degradation may be a positive sign that the culture is finally ready to free itself. For generations, American culture has been locked into cultural norms so ingrained in the land that the present culture has not been able to evolve to fit the times. The energy of each generation is channeled into civic nationalism, which is throwing seeds among the stones. American culture has been a zombie shuffling along with no real purpose.
Oswald Spengler used the term pseudomorphosis to describe “an older alien Culture lies so massively over the land that a young Culture, born in this land, cannot get its breath and fails not only to achieve pure and specific expression-forms, but even to develop fully its own self-consciousness.” This is most obvious in the obsession with the Founders you see on the Right. All of the energy of youth for building something new is channeled into ideas from men who wore powdered wigs.
What left-wing identity politics is signaling is the old culture finally losing its grip on the present, which is why these maladapted mutants can easily organize in public and attack the symbols of the old culture. The subculture is not a replacement for the old culture or a genuine culture in itself. Instead, it is a cancer on the old culture, slowly eating away at its organs. Coinciding with it is the swelling hatred by the young culture ready to break free from the old body.
There is the other part of Spengler’s concept. At some point, after enough pseudomorphs have been created, the next flowering of cultural energy is fueled by a hatred for the old forms. In the present age, it is those asking how useful is that old civic nationalism rooted on the culture of the Founders when it has led to suburban mothers sacrificing their children to groomers? Perhaps it is now time to shed the old forms and think about creating a new model appropriate to this age.
Of course, everything comes to an end. The current spasms of degeneracy could simply be the death throws of a dying West. What comes next may not be a new West, but a return to the barbarism that has been the standard for humanity. What gets left behind is a reminder that a people once thrived and reached for the heavens. Like all prior civilizations, this one will end in rubble. What will remain is the high achievements along with the mystery as to why it failed.
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