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Condemning Tribalism is Suicide

Condemning Tribalism is Suicide

Tim Pool recently put out another video talking about how we are in a cold civil war… and it’s getting worse.

We are in a cold civil war. There is violence in the streets, and people are being smeared on the left and the right. People on the right are called “Nazis” and nationalists, and the media is framing everything in very specific ways — in my opinion, not intentionally, but to generate money in this extremely polarized climate.

It is well-worth the watch, but we can take an independent look at his primary source, a PEW research paper from October 2017 showing the comparative closeness of the parties in 1994,

PEW 1994.png

and even as recently as 2004:

PEW 2004

 

We only see the schism really appear sometime between 2004 and 2014.

PEW 2011.png

Of course, the cause of this division is probably decades in the making, but we see the most pronounced change between 2004 and 2014.

PEW 2014.png

However, things have definitely been exacerbated in the past four years.

PEW 2017

If I were to guess, 2018 would look even more divergent than 2017, although the shift would not be as dramatic as between 2017 and 2014.

As we can see from the pattern in the data, the Democrats are flat-out wrong when they posit that Trump is to blame. And in my opinion, the charge is a little ironic. Not to point any fingers, but the 2011 chart more closely resembles the 2004 than the 2014, so the data inclines us to believe that the greater instigation of the schism occurred somewhere between 2011 and 2014.

The Democrats, after all, are no strangers to this kind of chutzpah. Nothing of substance has come of the Russia investigation, in which Democrats blamed Republicans for Russians making memes that may have in some manner influenced the election… while they themselves have been heavily in bed with foreign governments and organizations including China and Israel. Nothing has been proven, nor even the smallest shred of legal evidence proffered in the pseudo-trial of Brett Kavanaugh, while progressive icons like Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein who have been convicted. After an initial few years of the Left falling head over heels in love with Pope Francis for his quasi-communist remarks, it seems that he too is as bad as any other.

When a particular meddling group always lies and always projects, “audacity” ceases to entirely cover the matter.

But that is all a digression. It is just further evidence of what has already been established and written about here. We are in a Cold Civil War, where politics is driven not by disagreements over what is in the common interest, but by competing interests which are not held in common. Tribalism is in, whether you like it or not. To swim in these turbulent waters, you have to be tribal.

The other option is to sink.

I feel it is important to bring this up because there is a sizable population of moderates who seem to believe that the most prudent strategy is to pretend that we are not in a civil war, even as they acknowledge the facts that indicate the contrary to be true. They believe that tribalism is the problem, and they are hoping desperately that they can unify across the middle, if only they are ardent enough and even-handed enough. That is to say, if they are as willing to condemn their own side as they are to attack the other.

At first glance, it seems like a noble idea. But the people who think this attempt at anti-tribal unification might work are generally the same people who have been wrong on all related issues, from the dangers of immigration (many ostensible Republicans have been for open-borders) to the election of Trump.

Tribalism is not the problem. It is the reality. Going to war against tribalism is just going to war against yourself. Battle lines have been drawn and the other side is going to continue behaving in a tribal fashion. If you are going to be anti-tribal, it means you must ignore the lines between the sides, and you will inevitably weaken your own side as much as you will weaken the other side, or strengthen them as much as you strengthen yours.

Because you “don’t see sides.”

There is an idea that you can refuse to take a side and let the ideas amongst each other, and whichever idea is best will be the winner. Such an ideal, most eloquently promulgated by John Stuart Mill, sounds like a perfect solution to these sorts of problems… except that no one cares about the ideals of Mill and sorting things out through the open market place. Politics has become about competing groups vying for power, and when it comes to your own group, no one is willing to allow themselves to die for the sake of truth, or economic optimization, or freedom, or whatever other ideal.

Where Kavanaugh is concerned, the truth of the claims is not particularly relevant to the nation. At some point, it will be relevant, but only when we’re all on the same page. For now and for the foreseeable future, Kavanaugh is a piece on a chess-board. The attacks are not based upon the credibility of the ludicrous allegations, but upon the purported politics of the accused.

He is a conservative, therefore he is guilty.

Guilty of what? Of being the enemy, of course.

You can choose not to participate in this war, but you can’t stop the enemy from participating, and it only takes one side to declare a war. Condemning tribalism and group-think sounds nice and reasonable until you see where it leads: victory for the instigator of the division, and submission for those pleading for tolerance and decency. The least tolerant side wins, and trying to “lead by example” for a side that hates you will never, ever work.

These classical liberals and moderate Republicans believe that if they can convince progressives that they’re not Nazis or racists or fascists, then they’ll be able to get back to the way things were in 2004. It’s too late for that. They hate you just as much as those groups. The progressive makes no distinction between a real fascist and a moderate conservative with libertarian sympathies, because he doesn’t care about the distinction. They are both “the enemy.”

There is an old saying about praising in public and criticizing in private. This is especially true when it comes to dealing with enemies. Criticizing one’s own side to the enemy was once considered treason, giving “aid and comfort” of an emotional kind. Wars are won and lost on morale, and deflating the morale of your own side is no philosophical undertaking for the advancement of liberty. The other side doesn’t care about that. They only care about winning.

So don’t talk to the media, or give comfort to the enemy. Become antifragile, and above all, recognize that there is an enemy — that we are beyond politics and well into the war. This perspective has better predictive power than the belief that we’re just a little bit more divided. It might help prevent you from feeling shocked when you are suddenly turned upon by friends loyal to another side, and may even allow you to preempt such a conflict altogether.

More importantly, acknowledging the war you are in may help preserve the nation that has a place for you. The enemy has been hard at work trying to destroy the nation we started with and replace it with their own, and there is no place for white Americans in the nation to come. Especially those with conservative opinions.

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