Social movements built on virtuous victimhood are wide open to capture by the unscrupulous and the insane. Those on the Left recognize this in those on the Right, and vice-versa. This common recognition, though, fails to grasp that it’s happening on both sides, and only feeds the process by rendering each side as the virtuous victim of the other.
This polarizing opposition acts like a “walker” in The Game of Life, a simple computer model developed in the 1970’s which spurred the development of complex systems theory by demonstrating the possibility for complex behavior to develop from simple rule sets. The “gliders” in this video are “walkers”, which head off in a straight line because of the interaction of the pattern and the rule set.
When I’ve said “the march to fascism proceeds on two legs”, this is what I’ve been talking about. So many people I know are fixated on “resisting fascism”, whereas I see them as feeding the march toward it by means of this resistance. This resistance forms one ‘leg’ of the walker, which in turn drives the creation of the other. Repeat till fade, or ad nauseum, or off the cliff… which ever comes first.
The legs in this process are social structures driven by the signaling of virtuous victimhood. A recent study has demonstrated the connection between such signaling and the so-called “Dark Triad” of Machiavellianism, Narcissism and Psychopathy. We are, in short, paving the road to Hell with good intentions, by cultivating a society that rewards those who signal virtuous victimhood. A society that amounts to an incentive structure for the worst people and the worst within people.
There’s nothing really new in this incentive structure. What seems new is the way it is becoming culturally dominant. I’m not sure how to undermine it. Maybe it’s not possible.