It is natural to think of cults as being filled with gullible people bamboozled by a charismatic confidence man. It is popular to portray the cult leader as a deeply cynical, maybe even evil, person, who is using his flock to inflict harm or make himself rich. The Nazis are often described as the quintessential cult and Hitler as the ultimate cult leader. The implication of this way of looking at things is that the people who get caught up in a cult are dupes, fools or gullible innocents. Because they were well-intentioned, they can be forgiven, to a point, for falling in with a bad crowd.
The truth is a bit different. The true believer seeks out movements to join. They do not need convincing. They are filled with self-loathing so they seek out groups to join in order to swap out their identity with that of the group. By immersing themselves in the movement, they obliterate their sense of self and assume the identity of the group. It is why within five minutes of meeting a vegan, they tell you they are a vegan, because it is, literally, their identity. It is also why cult members ferociously defend the group. It is self-defense.
Being in a mass movement or a cult only works if the logic and beliefs of the cult explain the world to a satisfactory level. If the cult says the world is going to end tomorrow, it better end tomorrow. Otherwise, the cult collapses as it fails to comport with observable reality. Since reality never fully comports with the worldview of a mass movement, there has to be a method to deal with dis-confirmation. This either means filtering out contrary data or finding a method to fold it into the beliefs of the group.
A good recent example is the Afghan Muslim, who shot up the gay club in Orlando. For the modern liberal, Muslims and gays are always victims of bad whites. Therefore, this event creates a paradox for the Cult of Modern Liberalism as it means two of their beliefs are mutually exclusive. To resolve this, they created a backstory claiming the shooter was actually gay and this was gay rage. The extreme homophobia of the bad whites finally sent this poor gay Muslim over the edge. Therefore, he is just another victim of the bad whites.
It did not take too long before it was clear that this guy was not gay or struggling with being gay-curious. Because the liberal media kept promoting the idea, the FBI eventually had to announce that they found no evidence to support the claims. It was also clear that Mateen was a Muslim lunatic with ties to other Muslim lunatics. None of that mattered as the Cult had their narrative and every Lefty now believes this had nothing to do with Muslims. It was all the fault of white America, homophobia and Islamophobia. The dis-confirmation was turned into confirmation.
Normal people wonder how it is that liberals so quickly cook up these weird theories and then agree on the story, as if it is coordinated. Look at how quickly they produced the gay rage stuff and how every liberal was saying the exact same lines within hours of the incident. Well, look at a school of fish. There is no head fish calling the shots, but they move in concert, responding to perceived dangers, as if they are under a uniform command. The school swarms in one direction and then, in an instant, veers in another direction, as a big fish approaches.
Liberals work similarly. They are always looking to one another for signals as to how they should respond. As soon as one lefty pulled the gay rage card, the rest started repeating it as it felt like the path away from danger. It is why they watch the same shows and read the same news sites. They are constantly watching one another for cues as to which way to swarm. Being in a mass movement is first and foremost about blending seamlessly into the whole. Again, the adherent is there to swap their identity for that of the group so they are hyper-sensitive to the direction of the group.
When faced with dis-conformation, the members of a mass movement will first look to one another in order to reinforce their beliefs. This “circle the wagons” instinct is clear with the reaction we are seeing to the Brexit vote. Instead of wondering what they did wrong, the Remain crowd is blaming it on the moral degeneracy of the Leave voters, calling them racists and xenophobes. The Remain people are locking shields to clearly set themselves apart form the evil Leave voters. Their instinct is to first defend the faith, and then look to each other for the correct response.
You will also note something else in the response to the vote. They are blaming it on old people. We see this in the States after every Democratic loss. When they win, it is young people who carried them to victory. When they lose it is those grubby old racists, who were driven by fear and hatred that defeated them. Mass movements make a fetish of the youth. At least a dozen times since the vote in Britain I have heard a liberal say “the delusions and fears of an aging population have thrown away the future of the young in Britain.”
What is going on here is the process of turning contrary evidence into proof that their cause is righteous. Further, they are turning the loss into a reason for hope. After all, those horrible, racist old people will be dead soon. Then the young and righteous will inherent the earth and usher in the promised utopia. Since there can be no doubt about the validity of their beliefs, focusing on the alleged weaknesses of their adversaries inspires the faithful to keep up the fight. And they always keep up the fight. They never quit. They never change their minds. They just keep at it until they get their way.
Pingback: The "I'm Just Going To Leave This Here" Thread - Please Add Your "Finds" - Page 59
This is a wonderful, incisive, concise piece. I don’t want to be petty or distract from the content, but no one else seems to have commented, so I will mention it. I think you mean inherit, not ‘inherent the earth’ in the last paragraph. Otherwise, perfect!
Joe Sobran wrote of the Left as The Hive. His old writings on the subject are worth reading.
I think the big lightning bolt moment for me was when I realized my political stance could be summed up as “anti-egalitarian.” Beyond a baseline moral equality, I just don’t think people are equal in ability or nature or life outcomes and I don’t believe it’s possible to make them so. This is the assumption underlying all our political madness today, and it’s fundamentally wrong.
I agree entirely except for you last word. Wrong implies mistaken, confused, poor or inadequate information leading to a false, but reasoned within limits, judgement. I think “insane” would be more descriptive, as in a delusional rejection of all human history and knowledge.
It must be adhered to, not believed.
Makes a mighty fine club to whack Dirts over the head with. Those sinners!
If the cult says the world is going to end tomorrow, it better end tomorrow. Otherwise, the cult collapses as it fails to comport with observable reality.
That’s actually not true. Leon Festinger wrote a book about a cult titled “when prophecy fails” and the members became more enthusiastic supporters of the cult when the predicted disaster failed to occur. According to the prediction, California would be destroyed by floods but the cult members would be saved by flying saucers. Didn’t happen and the cult didn’t collapse’
If you read the rest of my post, you will see I addressed exactly that.
You might want to read your post again and keep in mind the unfailing support for Donald Trump that you so often espouse.
The absolute support for one man, the explaining away of things that don’t make sense (i.e. donating to Democrats), the “explanation” of those things suddenly becoming a meme among his followers (“that’s just the way the game is played”), the attacks on the unbelievers…it all speaks of cultism as much as any other movement. It amazes me how Trump supporters mirror Obama’s supporters.
But, then, you will reread your post and explain away the incongruities anyway.The lack of cognitive dissonance is another sign of a true-believer. Those who are in cults never realize that they are in a cult.
You should stop trying to read into my posts things that don’t exist. That way you won’t come off as a wacko. I’ve made my position on Trump clear. Your obvious failure to comprehend it reflects very poorly on you.
I don’t recall a single commenter around here being enthusiastic of Republican Presidential candidates going back several elections, but given Novnmber they generally favor stupid over evil. That is what separates Democratic and Republican voters. This is what you call mindless support? Trump is highly valued for one thing, and that is revealing all the Republican candidates and politicians to be punks. There is a value in that.
Yep. The great value in the Trump Effect is reveals the gold plated phonies on the so-called Right.
Now, now. Cruz would’ve brought everyone to belief in Jeebus, and then the final triumph of the End Times could begin. You Wreckers.
If you were doing construction business in New York City, who would you give political contributions to? Would you give it to out of power Repubs or would you give it to the Dems controlling the unions and the permits? The attacks from the unbelievers are coming from the #NeverTrumps. They seem to think, like the EU, that we should do away with elections and have an elite pick our candidates.
Elections got us here, it won’t be elections that get us out.
If nothing else, the BIG difference is that Trump is a known quantity. Obozo came out of nowhere and his bonfides where hidden from everyone. Well, the media didn’t work very hard to find anything and fricking lawyers protected his “rights” to keep everything confidential. So you tell me who the cultists were?
And today, we have Hillary. Yes, Hillary who asks for his tax filings to be released to the public but will not release content of speeches she was paid to make. Ummm? So many things to investigate, so many incriminating things simply over looked. If I, a private citizen did only one thing, not even approaching the likes of stealing something from the WH, I would be a jail for an awfully long time and my life destroyed.
Used to be the voting decision was summarized as “a choice between the lesser of two evils.” Well, in the case of Hillary, that is no choice at all. My vote is for Trump because I am simply willing to give him the “benefit of the doubt.” She is a proven criminal and incompetent politician who has garners titles but accomplished nothing positive. She has only left death and destruction in her wake. And it is a very large wake!
Haven’t been reading this site long but certainly don’t see the Trump love you discern. As for me, I probably won’t vote for either Party, since in reality they are two side of the same coin, but I can say that the majority of people supporting Trump are doing so because of who he is NOT. The more he is reviled and castigated by the pedigreed and titled the more solid his support among the peasantry becomes. I’ve talked to some folks that don’t have a problem with Iran having a couple of nukes knowing that, being bereft of imagination, the Mullahs would almost certainly waste them on D.C.; in one stroke annihilating their besties and freeing the rest of us from the onerous civic duty of searching out suitable lamp posts. If being opposed to unaccountable and insatiable lust to power is being a True Believer, though I don’t recall Hoffer describing it that way, then so be it.
Speaking of “true believers”…
Is funny how virtually every argument, including all the cutesy memes put up on Facebook, against the Leave vote consists of variations on how dumb the other side is. No argument on the economic or political merits, simply crap like, “Now we know that there is a nation dumber than the US”. In the few discussions I’ve had with Remainers, simply open with “Have you ever had to do business in the EU?”. So far all answers have been “no”. But they do know somebody that is going to be inconvenienced in the passport line going on holiday. Since I have had the experience–never ever, ever voluntarily try to shut something down in Belgium and redomesticate it to the UK–I explain what the layers of local country and EU regulations are like. And how much effort goes into ongoing operations. It is though you are speaking Urdu. Absolutely no impression at all. Frankly the turmoil in the financial markets is because the Brits have dared to utter the truth about what a complete clusterfuck the EU Central bank is and the folly of imposing a single currently across sound northern European and unsound southern European economies. A fiscal death pact if there ever was one. And frankly, more a German driven effort to secure borrowing capacity in the south to shore up a massive seller financing scheme for exports. Better to shake it out now than later. The rot is simply going to get worse.
When the entire New World Order gets its panties in a bunch, it is a pretty good sign that something unexpected happened.
This is far from over, there is too much at stake for the beneficiaries of the status quo.
Their next move will be to eliminate messy elections once and for all, or start marching the aging, over 60, “Blue Eyed Devils” that came out in droves to vote for Brexit right to the assisted suicide parlors.
It’s getting pretty damn close to that in Canada as we speak.
“El Polacko!!” That’s funny.
Yes, the EU leaders, instead of falling on their swords like Cameron, will double down and apply their facist tactics because they cannot allow anyone to challenge them. So expect Britain to be punished explicitly. This will not be a consequence of wanting independence and normal change but a concerted effort to make an example out of Britain so others contemplating a similar move will be cowered back into line. “Don’t EVEN think about it.”
Ah, you mean the Orwellian British program, N.I.C.E. (mandated euthanasia centers for seniors).
They sedate them, then refuse them water, or food.
One tough old bird in her eighties survived eleven days without water.
Heartless. Heartbreaking. Horrible. Yeah, she was really terminal, that one.
The cult behavior you describe is not peculiar to liberals. Ideologues on both sides of the political spectrum tend to pivot away from a heretical thought like a school of fish. As you point out, they do it for the same reason: self-defense. They have invested themselves completely in their ideology, so any threat to it is a threat against their person. Thus, their response to criticism of their ideas is often an ad hominem attack. It’s what happens when an ideology — any ideology or political idea — becomes an end rather than a means to an end.
Just as the world elites will not let the UK leave the EU, they will also find a way to prevent Donald Trump from becoming president of the U.S. The Cult has become an unstoppable global phenomenon. There may be internal squabbles, but when it comes to overarching threats it will unite and not stop until the threat is destroyed. This is a bleak assessment, but since the Cult’s opposition consists basically of individuals who by definition can never achieve cultness, the outcome is inevitable. This is not to say that the Dirt People should give up. There is great honor in standing your ground and defending your values, in fighting on by whatever means come to hand. The many factions in the Cult will battle each other unto death some day. The strongest will emerge, and the result will be the kind of tyranny that Jefferson described as that which is legal for the government but illegal for the citizenry. We may be there already.
I don’t think they’re unstoppable. They tell themselves that. They tell anyone who will listen that. And then.. when their agenda is throttled, they throw fits like a 3 yr old. We’re near the end-times for their movement. I think we might see the implosion of the progressive movement and the kneecapping of the liberal/commie/socialist/progressive group-think we’ve been dealing with since the 1920’s… it’s finally playing itself out. The worm has turned. ( I hope so anyway… and I think I’m right )
Agreed, RobM. They are not invincible and their vision of the future is not inevitable. The “youth” who are held in their sway will pass on while those who continue to have families and who appreciate the best from the past and who can transmit that to the future generationally will take the day.
I of course hope you’re both right.
The “blame the old” excuse is ridiculous, and could only survive in a culture which doesn’t value history, even the most recent. How old is “old” in this case? Over 50, like me? Must be, because I doubt there are enough over 80s in England to swing the vote their way. People in their 50s were children when Britain entered the EU. Unlike today’s young people, they not only grew up in it, they matured in it. They lived long enough to see where all the big promises and happy talk would lead, and they decided that they’d been lied to for long enough.
But, that sort of hate think must always be prohibited. If we start remembering things we’ll never make it to the vibrant future.
One thing Remain forgot in the campaign was that old buggers like me have seen over the past forty years what the EU was really up to. Staying put and not making waves* was being sold as ‘the future’ which had no link to the past in any way (and one that carefully avoided mentioning Belsen, Normandy, etc.). The young had no such recollection of such an ancient time, and can only see some sort of hazy golden futures where all live in harmony because there are laws that say it must be so.
Don’t forget too that we are of the Faceberg era, and all young people supposedly want to ‘befriend’ everyone in the world on the basis that all young people of whatever religion, culture or outlook are all the same. Yes, even your middle-east raised muslim just wants to party and have fun. Anyway, many of the young can’t understand why everyone doesn’t like rap and refuses to smoke something that makes you light in the head. The EU to a lot of yoof is just a big party (though I don’t see Mrs Merkel as the ultimate disco queen, sorry.)
*In the ‘sixties the yoof I grew up with built barricades in the quest for freedom and tried to burn cities, but now they just want to say “lolz” on social media and change the world, one hashtag at a time.
@ UKer – We all know monetary policy and devaluation of a currency is at the whim of those who control the markets. If Angela Merkel trips on the steps of the Bundestag, the Euro drops 2% for no other apparent reason. So the recent devaluation of the pound following the Brexit to me is nothing more than media scaremongering and corporate bankers revenge.
But, I must ask two questions:
1.) Do you really think the UK will be able to rebound and rebuild it’s failed industries?
2.) How much do you think Britain’s problems are self inflicted and how much are really the fault of bad EU policy?
I don’t think it is unfair to say that the majority of British industry has been in the tank for years; from steel, to automotive, to ship building and so much (like the US) has been outsourced. Not to mention the problems of the labor unions – it was as if the Brits were in competition with the French for who could strike the most.
Is it likely the window of opportunity has already closed for Britain to regain it’s position on the global market? Let’s be honest, the Japanese beat the Brits at building good, reliable small cars well before the UK entering the EU and VW, Toyota and BMW have done very well in recent years in contrast to Rover, MG and other native British brands. China has flooded the world market with steel and both China and south Korea are currently the largest ship builders.
So now that you are out of the EU, how do you foresee the UK getting back into the global game?
In the case of the Brexit, I wonder how much of the difference between the youth vote and the older vote can be explained by the fact that the proportion of voters named “Muhammed” or “Abdullah” is so much higher in the former category than the latter. After all, the Brexit sends a strong signal that immigration may be coming to a close and you soon may not be able to import your first cousin bride from Lahore or Aleppo (getting back to that idea).
If I was a young Briton named Florence or Ollie, I’d think that I’d want to get behind my elders just this once.
We were all young once and we know that being young means, among other things, being reckless and stupid. No offense to the ladies, but the dumbest human walking earth is a 20-something unmarried female. Once they get married and start having kids they begin to wise up, but until then they are a slave to their biology. Males are not much better, but they also tend not to vote in youth so they are less of a problem.
I was in the Emerald City this weekend and had precisely the same thought after I saw about the 20th young lady in her scanties out running alone. At least most of them weren’t wearing headphones.
A bit of obscure Americana. There is a theory that the Wizard of Oz was actually a political satire. The yellow brick road is the gold standard, the Cowardly Lion represents WilliamJennings Bryant, etc. Washington D. C. is the Emerald City according to this interpretation.
Thanks for the clarification. 🙂
Emerald City or “Smaragdstadt”
I think he means Seattle which had a “Pride ” event this weekend (4th largest in nation) at which many young “ladies” were seen to be cavorting naked, or nearly so.
Not to be a jerk, but the drift of the country got a swift kick when women got the vote,… and then even more when the Democrats spearheaded dropping the voting age to 18. Funny, huh. Almost as if a nefarious plot.
and yes, I know the history of the twenty-sixth amendment and the WWII origins.
I’m a woman, and have said for 2 decades the 19th amendment should be repealed & voting limited to taxpayers who can pass a basic civics test. This comes from many years of being employed as a political pollster in my youth.
When I find myself in a conversation concerning universal suffrage I ask my interlocutor if they believe strongly in universal suffrage, they invariably answer yes. I then ask if they can argue that government will not be determined by the lowest common intellectual and moral denominator; to which they answer, “no, but…” at that point I stop them and ask whether they can argue that a People with a Representative Democracy do not get the government they deserve. Discussion terminated and I don’t have to listen to foolish drivel for at least a couple of days.
One observation of the post-Brexit kerfuffle here in the UK has presented us with an astonishing and perhaps unexpected development related to the idea of democracy.
An MP (a Labour member of parliament by name of David Lammy) has called for the referendum vote to be blocked in the House of Commons, making it clear while he applauds democracy when he was voted to power, he then uses that power to block democracy. His own petty interests and narrow view (and probably that of his close-and-closed circle of friends) trumps the right of the people to have their say.
But then as most of us know, to the leftards ‘democracy’ is just another virtue word to be bandied about. Like ‘freedom’ and ‘equality’ it doesn’t mean what it is supposed to mean. One just uses it to earn nods from the chattering classes; the last thing one wants is to see is it in action.
@ UKer – It wouldn’t surprise anyone if the EU pushes the Brits to vote on this again, again, and again until they get it “right”. Not unlike when they forced Ireland to vote again on the rejected Lisbon Treaty back in 2009. It’s the typical Brussels version of democracy – keep the plebs voting until we get the results we want. Oddly enough, this is timed quite well with the European football season. Coincidence? I think not.
That’s been my expectation. We see that in the states. The Left thinks the time is right to foist some new idiocy on the people of their state so they get a ballot initiative going. When it fails, they do it again and again until they get the result they like. At that point, they break out in the chant of “settled law” and claim any attempt to roll back the vote is an assault on democracy.
That said, my bet is the mild rumbling in the markets is called a major catastrophe and used as an excuse to put everything on hold until markets settle down. This is to buy time and let the EU figure out how to respond. Once the phony crisis passes, there will be some new excuses as to why the Brits have to wait. Eventually, Labor will win Parliament and they will cancel the results of the referendum and that will be that.
I find it amusing that the “remain” cult is blaming the “old and uneducated” for the results. Oddly enough only 36% of 18-24 year olds even bothered to vote. While 81% of 55-64 year olds and 83% of the 65+ crowd turned out. Yes, I see it now – it’s those old stupid people who ruin everything!
The follow on polling done to ask why people voted as they did is revealing. The Remain people were mostly concerned about economics, but something close to half are OK with the result. The Leave voters were mostly conserved about national sovereignty and the needs of the next generation.
What’s clear is that the scare tactics of Remain missed the mark entirely and may have convinced some voters that they were not on the level. It’s an important reminder that people will vote for someone they trust, even if they disagree with them, when the alternative is someone they don’t trust. Barak Obama got a second term entirely due to no one believing anything Romney said about anything.
And yet I have to wonder what would have happened if all those “can’t vote for a Morman” Christians, who chose not to vote, had concluded that a Marxist closet gay muslim was a worse choice and just voted for the evil of two lessors. Seems we have a similar set up looming.
The opportunity for revival in the US is a direct result of the clarity we’ve been provided by Obama’s reelection. The left has played it’s cards. The globalist GOPe have too. We’ll either pivot for the good in November or make a turn further down the rabbit hole.
That turn will not be doom, but likely move more to action. It will be a time of choosing. The status quo is running out of line.
Or…if they can’t get the results they desire they go to the courts (see Prop 8 in California).
The Left, like rust, never sleeps.
Totalitarians love “youth”, as they are typically gullible cannon fodder and all.
Libs have boxed themselves in lately. Their groupthink post-Orlando has placed the Muslim above the gay, and they risk losing a bunch of gay support. Many gays, too, have realized who their real enemies are. Finally, the less flamboyant gay community has found a sort of mutual acceptance and shared self-interest with much of the non-gay community, as mutual tolerance and acceptance (and shared targets on all of our foreheads) trump prior differences. Strangely, Orlando has had a sort of “mainstreaming” effect on much of the gay community.
I hope you’re correct, that large #S of gays are waking up. Personally, I’m hoping I’m still alive when black people realize what the white Regressives have done to them, continue to do to them.
re: schooling of fish and progressives
Spend some time with Rupert Sheldrake and his Morphic Fields and Synchronicity.
Since I started reading your stuff, especially your comments about being ‘borrowed’ I notice it everywhere now. You were the first in the blog machine to use the Old Greek Proverb about the Trees that I noticed and now it has hit the YouTube set.
This Sargon guy presents as sensible left, but I sense that he is heading into the fringe. A wife and child can do that to a man thinking about the future.
I read this blog, watch Sargon’s videos, and I used the proverb today, thinking I was being original. Oops. How did I miss both of these guys using it before me? That’s embarrassing.