Friday, November 11, 2016

Why Trump Won

Leftists tend to hate anything that has an image of being strong, good and successful. They hate America, they hate Western civilization, they hate white males, they hate rationality. The reasons that leftists give for hating the West, etc. clearly do not correspond with their real motives. They SAY they hate the West because it is warlike, imperialistic, sexist, ethnocentric and so forth, but where these same faults appear in socialist countries or in primitive cultures, the leftist finds excuses for them, or at best he GRUDGINGLY admits that they exist; whereas he ENTHUSIASTICALLY points out (and often greatly exaggerates) these faults where they appear in Western civilization. Thus it is clear that these faults are not the leftist's real motive for hating America and the West. He hates America and the West because they are strong and successful.
(Industrial Society and its Future, Ted Kaczynski)

There are patterns in human history which briefly trend, then reverse.

Humanity likes to experiment, or to manipulate existing social and thought patterns.  But our success as a species is because if a social pattern or a way of thinking is not working, we change course.  Sometimes not so quickly, but eventually.

What is the historical pattern which has trended for the last few decades and which is now reversing all over the world?  The reversal may again be temporary, but the signs are there.  And my bet on Trump was a bet on the strengthening of this reversal.

The Trump victory must be studied across disciplines.  The margin of victory was small, and it could have easily gone the other way.  But remember the passion at Trump's rallies, the extraordinary support for Trump on social media, and the massive assault on Trump from the entire establishment.

The denigration of Trump and his supporters was brutal, unrelenting and widespread.

Why was the opposition to Trump so vicious?  And why was his support so passionate?  I have some thoughts on this.

This was a war between two narratives.

I recognized this early on, in late 2015.  It was unimportant to note the specifics of Trump's policies.  It was only important to understand where he was in the narrative; it was only essential to note who was for him and who was against him.

Welfare recipients.  Against.
Leftist commentators.  Against.
Advertising-based media.  Against.
New-age spirituality.  Against.
Feminists.  Against.
Beta males.  Against.
Multiculturalists.  Against.
Globalists.  Against.
Interventionists.  Against.
Atheists.  Against.
Urban millennials.  Against.
Vacuous Hollywood (Seth Rogen, Amy Schumer, Madonna, etc.).  Against.
Saudi Arabia.  Against.
Established politicians.  Against.
Intellectual Yet Idiot class. Against.
Establishment Economists. Against.

Since I was operating at the level of narratives, I had to seek who all were against the narratives peddled by the group above (let's call the above Group A).  I realized that in time all those against Group A would unite.

Jailed or exiled Hackers.  Against A.
Heretic Thinkers (Taleb, Thiel, etc.).  Against A.
The Manosphere. Against A.
Modern horseback riders (Bikers). Against A.
Self-Reliant Romantics (Gun owners). Against A.
Habitual Skeptics (Conspiracy Theorists). Against A.
The so-called "Alt-Right".  Against A.
The Heavy Lifters (Firemen, Police, Border Patrol). Against A.
The Brexit advocates.  Against A.
Those proud of their cultures.  Againat A.
Alpha/Masculine figures (Clint Eastwood, Join Voight, Hulk Hogan, Mike Tyson, James Woods): Against A.

The first narrative is that of socialization, institutionalization and alienation.  The second narrative is that of autonomy, individualism and identity.

The first narrative is that of relativism (situational ethics).  The second narrative is that of absolutes (moral imperatives).

For the last few decades, the first narrative has been pushed down the throats of unwilling people.  People are living emotionally vacuous lives, alienated, without a sense of purpose or meaning.  Long-existing structures of family, religion and self-reliance have been slowly losing out to consumption, superficiality and powerlessness.

It has become fashionable to criticize the old structures.  TV ads and movies pooh-pooh father figures.  There is all the talk of the corruption of religion without any commentary on its benefits.  Fashion is promoted endlessly over frugality.  Consumerism and Media and Fiat money and Bernanke/Fed believers and Big Bang orthodoxy and Feminism and String Theory fanaticism and Global Warming clique are sometimes contradictory but entirely understandable partners in this cultural warfare.  They may not be wrong, but they are smug and they are bullies.

This was a cultural bubble getting ready to pop.

In the last decade, a counter-culture has arisen to defend itself from the mainstream narrative.  And I have been (and continue to be) part of that movement.  That counter-culture is against the dogmas of group A.

The second group is that of the counter-culture.

So, when Trump entered the fray in 2015, I realized that this counter-culture had (unwittingly) joined hands with middle America, which had been systematically exploited and bankrupted, I knew it was only a matter of time before this union of insulted and the humiliated (the poor middle America) and the counter-culture would gather enough momentum to achieve at least some victories on Group A.

It was possible that Trump could have lost.  But I had, and continue to have, faith in the momentum of the counter-culture.  The viciousness of the media against him, and against the counter-culture, only solidified my resolve.

Both the powerless and the cultural warriors were needed for victory: the middle America was needed for the numbers on election day.  The counter-culture was needed to provide hope and cultural ammunition against group A.  I wasn't part of the middle America.  I don't even have a vote yet.  But my sympathies were completely with them.  And I reveled in the counter-attacks at the front lines of culture.

This was guerrilla warfare to defend poor "uneducated" natives from a pillaging post-colonial army.

Trump was/is the symbolic leader the guerrilla cultural warriors and the natives needed.  He may or may not be able to fulfill all his promises.  But my bet was only on the strength of this movement.  What the movement is able to achieve via Trump remains to be seen.

I knew that people defending are always more passionate than those attacking.  The attackers were in many cases professional, paid-for employees.  The defenders were working to save their way of life.  The attackers (not knowing what they were fighting for) lost enthusiasm and many stayed home on election day.

That difference in passion was enough.  And Trump won.

1 comment:

bboy Yen said...

Dear Harmanjit,

Great to know you're still writing this blog. You do not know me, I don't think we've ever spoken. I was a member of the Dharma Overground when it was going through its actualism-phase.

I am a Chinese-American male, 25, my parents are first-generation immigrants to this country, and I also voted for Donald Trump. I first became involved with the seduction community in the spring of 2012, and learned some of its fundamentals. Later on I encountered the “red pill”/manosphere in spring of 2013. I hung around that community for some time, enjoying its social and cultural commentary. I even wrote an article for Return of Kings.

In the fall of 2015 I heard that Donald Trump was running, and it immediately occurred to me that he would win. I then said to a few other people that he would win and that he would do a “not-bad” job. Over time I predicted to multiple people that he would win. Finally on election night, a friend texted me: “you were right.”

And like you, or James Damore, I paid almost zero attention to policy. I have no knowledge of “real” politics. All I knew was culture, to a lesser-extent I connected these political/cultural wars to ideas found in religions (the Left vs. the Right, falsehood vs. truth, evil vs. good, etc.). I thought it was fairly obvious that the often humorous and rational/logical commentary that came from these Alt-Right people would convert people by the millions or thousands (or whatever), via Twitter, or YouTube, or whatnot.

This Left vs. Right meme appears everywhere. Jeremy Griffith addresses it in his writings on the Human Condition (yet another writer from Australia who writes about the Human Condition... patterns?), Muḥammad (ﷺ) spoke about it in his Ḥadīth (“the Antichrist doesn't appear until its people are gathered into two camps: a camp of faith without hypocrisy, and a camp of hypocrisy without faith”, paraphrased), Shīʿīs speak about it, the Hindus definitely speak about it, in fact for the Hindus it appears to be a theme of all the Purāṇas as well as the Mahābhārata, namely the war between the devas and the asuras.

Anyways thank you for your commentary, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was something that I would consider to be not-dumb.