There’s a fascinating old book called Codes of the Underworld, that discusses things like face tattoos on convicts. He makes an obvious — yet almost entirely unobserved — point: The kind of folks who do things like that have totally given up on “straight” society. Those tattoos, and other mob-type behaviors, aren’t intended to communicate with normal folks; they’re signals to other lowlifes. To normal society, they convey only one message: “I am dangerous; stay away.” But to their fellow scumbags, prison tattoos and the like contain a wealth of vital information. Only people who are part of that world can understand.
We normal folks have the same problem when confronted with Leftists. Just to stick with a theme, consider tattoos. A quick googling suggests that something like 20% of Americans ages 18 and older have at least one tattoo. This Federalist piece doesn’t cite its source, but the claim that 40% (!!!) of those aged 18-29 are tatted up sure feels right — anecdotes aren’t data, of course, but I taught college for years; I’ve got lots of anecdotes. Kids these days are slathered in garish, gaudy ink.
Now, it’s probably safe to assume that those tats don’t mean anything criminal… but how would you know? Back when only sailors and military types had tattoos — you know, those dim dark days before about 1994 — tats had fairly obvious meanings. Globe and anchor — Semper Fi, buddy. But these days they seem entirely random. Which is the point — if you catch yourself wondering “What kind of idiot would get that permanently etched into his flesh?”, then by definition the message isn’t for you. But think about how much time, effort, and money is expended on tattoos. They mean something, I promise you.
Dealing with Liberals is like that. Every element of every tattoo is recognizable, but the meaning of the whole is utterly opaque. So it goes with Leftist language, Leftist gestures. We understand all the words that they say, and they do all the things normal people do, but not for any reason any normal person can figure out. We don’t live in their world.
Actually it’s worse than that. We think we know what they’re doing. We’ve got a cute label for it: “Virtue-signaling.” But that doesn’t go far enough. What virtue, specifically, are they signalling? Figure that out, and we might be able to find a way to break it.
I suggest that the key to understanding Leftism is: Conspicuous consumption. I think it’s the point of all those weird college-kid tattoos, too. The whole point of the exercise is to show that you have the resources — the money, tight young skin, and above all time — to undergo such a laborious process. Time is the most precious commodity of all. All the money in the world won’t buy you a single second more. Every second you spend worrying about your pronouns is a second you can’t spend doing anything productive… which is, I submit, the entire point of worrying about your pronouns. Only the young, or those stuck in permanent adolescence, can be so profligate with time.
This is why young people are the Left’s shock troops. The Left uses young people to break into organizations they want to ruin the same way they use gays to break into neighborhoods they want to “gentrify.” Since gays have nothing but disposable income and will never care what the schools are like, they can jack the neighborhood rents up to the point that it drives out the Vibrancy. So it goes with the young folks. As I’ve written many times, you simply can’t beat Trigglypuff. She has more time than you ever will. Even if you somehow could drop all your normal-person commitments — you know, your job and family and the like — you’d still have less time than she does, because you have to sleep sometime and she doesn’t (college kids can’t use an apostrophe correctly to save their lives, but they all know how to game Student Health into giving them unlimited prescription psychotropics).
The key, then, is to somehow get these young people to put some skin in the game. If time’s what they’re wasting, then take their time away. Stopping the student loan scam would be a fantastic start. Universal conscription would be even better. How to get either of those actually passed is beyond me right now, but hey, it’s a start. Suggestions?Loading Likes...