2020/05/07

The War on Meaning

Leftist Memes

A common observation made about the Left is their penchant for projection. If you want to know what kind of shenanigan a Leftist is up to, the old saw goes, pay attention to what he accuses others of doing.

Conservatives aren't immune to projection, though. Most notably, they tend to predicate of the Left those same motives that drive them. It's understandable. Conservatives tend to be practical people who, when they seek such things, tend to pursue money and influence for utilitarian ends. The Republican movie star or best selling author uses his earnings to buy a ranch in Idaho so he can live as freely as possible. His natural dispositions lead him to assume that the Left seeks money and influence for similar, but inverse, reasons. Instead of using their gains to secure greater freedom, he reasons, the Left wants power and control.

Look beyond the veil of binary politics, and you'll soon see that Leftists don't pursue government control as an end in itself. Their governing track record shows them to be the proverbial dogs chasing cars in that regard.

Modern Leftists aren't Bolsheviks whose end goal is implementing socialism. That's just a means to their true ends. In reality, they're unholy crusaders seeking to imminentize the eschaton of their heretical Death Cult. What the freedom-loving Conservative's worldview won't let him see is that the Cult doesn't hate freedom. It loves it with an untamed abandon he can't even contemplate. Unlike the Conservative, the Cultist takes absolutizing freedom to its logical extreme. Reality itself stands in the way of unrestricted license, so reality is the ultimate foe to be defeated.

You can see it in Leftist memes--or what passes for them. Memes are symbols, and symbols convey complex meaning in simple images. As Catholic author Dean Koontz once said, stained glass windows don't have subtitles.

But to be of the Left is to be at war with reality, and thus with inherent meaning. Their stock in trade is using language to obfuscate ideas. Thus we have "gender" instead of sex, "undocumented migrant" instead of illegal alien, and "gay marriage" instead of sodomy. Because their whole game entails replacing simple concepts with overwrought fabrications, their attempted memes end up as word salad walls of text.

It's also why the Pop Cult's IP agitprop factories can't produce art--or even tell a coherent story. Effective storytelling relies on tropes, which could be called literary memes. Attacks on established tropes are favored tactics in the Cult's war on meaning. Think of all the bluehairs on YouTube decrying good vs evil plots, damsels in distress, and orcs.

Author David Stewart and I delve deeper into these and many other related topics in his latest livestream. Watch it here.


Thanks in part to Corona-chan, indie has its best-ever shot at replacing oldpub. Attaining market dominance over dreary message fic may not win the war on its own, but politics is downstream from culture, so it will be a major step back from the precipice.

You can help indie creators take back pop culture by supporting us instead of people who hate you. I wrote a #1 best seller to that effect. Buy it now!

Don't Give Money to People Who Hate You - Brian Niemeier

13 comments:

  1. You and David always have great conversations.

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  2. That was a really good NewPub talk you both had. It lasted much longer than I thought it would and I hardly noticed until it was over!

    Corona has done tremendous damage to these dinosaurs. The results from it might be the meteor to finally wipe them out.

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  3. It's always a bit frightening dealing with true believers, isn't it? They're not out for money or power. They're out to win souls and war with reality. Makes you realize that "Muh economics!" arguments are stupid non-starters from the beginning.

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    1. Conservatives' myopic focus on economic arguments to the detriment of the culture war can be traced to a single book published in 1974. The title escapes me at the moment, but therein lay Conservatives' surrender.

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    2. Brian

      This strikes me as an Anglosphere phenomena. The Adam Smith/dissenters branch has always struck me as the dominant strain. In Europe, the economist view of life is vulgar Marxism. At least both side take culture.
      Unfortunately the continental conservatives have allowed themselves to be intimidated as ultra right, fascists etc.
      xavier

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  4. When a Conservative says "freedom" he means freedom to exercise his natural rights. I think Feser has written about this, I will have to read it. This definition of freedom is radically different to the leftist/progressive definition, which is the absence of constraints on their impulses and desires.

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    1. Both Leftism and Conservatism are species of Liberalism, which tries to uphold freedom as a good in itself without reference to an intrinsically good object.

      Because Conservatives accept the Liberal framework of freedom-as-absolute, even their appeal to natural law as a limiting principle on license comes off as arbitrary. That's the real reason why Conservatives always lose.

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    2. I'll have to think about that; I'd argue that to the extent a Conservative holds freedom per se as an absolute, he can't be said to be conservative. Natural law can be argued to imply natural moral rights, the abolition (but not contextual control) of which would therefore be immoral. However, I am not properly familiar with the arguments.


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  5. To put it another way, when pleading for freedom:
    the conservative says, "stop forcing my to violate my conscience", the progressive says "stop forcing me to have a conscience".

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    1. The progressive says, "Your conscience is a subjective imposition on my right to self-expression."

      Both are vulnerable to the question, "What objective good does serving your conscience/indulging your personal preferences serve?

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    2. Brian

      The discussion of the objective good reminds of an article by Charles de Koninck entitled La primauté du bien commun contre les personnalistea (It's available in English)
      I haven't read it yet but it might be apropos in the current discussion

      xavier

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