Why Young Americans Love Socialism

No, it’s not ignorance of history, despite what wildly overrated old fossils like Camille Paglia say.  You can “know” all the history ever written, but you won’t learn a damn thing if you keep shoving it into the same tired old boxes.  See, for example, the wildly overrated old fossil Camille Paglia:

“While I believe that boom-and-bust capitalism is inherently Darwinian and requires moderate regulation for the long-term greater good,” she says, “I insist that capitalism has produced the glorious emancipation of women.” They can now “support themselves and live on their own, and no longer must humiliatingly depend on father or husband.”

That’s exactly backasswards, sugar tits.  Oh, capitalism “emancipated” women, all right.  But that’s BAD.  Nothing makes me want to take a long, hard second look at Marxism — or radical Islam — more than capitalism’s emancipation of women.

“Capitalism” is the bastard child of the Enlightenment, which was a gross error based on Western culture’s oldest, most comprehensively refuted, yet most enduring myth: That Man is the “rational animal.”  Life would be so much better, everyone from Aristotle to Rousseau argued, if people simply carried on their affairs rationally.  Someone like David Hume might’ve had the good grace to squirm a bit if he were forced to attend a service at one of Revolutionary France’s “Temples of Reason,” but neither he nor any of the other Enlightened could’ve objected.

Nor could any “capitalist.”  All the hooey about “freedom” that has grown barnacle-like on the word “capitalism” is exactly that — hooey, eyewash, propaganda against the police-state thuggery that Marxism so obviously entails, and Marxists so fervently embraced.  Stripped of all that, “capitalism” is nothing less than the Cult of Reason in action: purely rational actors, trading on objective information — information, that is, stripped of its human element.  Faith, hope, charity, culture, blood and soil… none of that matters to the bottom line, so all of it has to go.  To the “capitalist,” women are just labor-units and consumption-units… grossly under-utilized ones, in fact, and there’s your “emancipation of women.”  Ladies, now you too are free to toil in cubicles 50 hours a week, to buy stuff that no one could possibly need…

… except that “free” isn’t quite the right word, is it?  “Required” is much closer.  “The Economy” needs you to make partner at the law firm, gals, and to do that it needs you to take out that hundred large in student loans, to sacrifice your prime childbearing years, to forego marriage completely, if we’re being honest.  Just like it needs you to pop out that one designer, turkey-baster kid at age 40, so that there’ll be a few little consumer-units to keep the day cares (and colleges!) in business until those autistic, benzo-addicted consumer-units get around to making partner and popping one out on their own…

Other than the fact that the NKVD are all volunteers these days — check your Twitter feed! — what, exactly, is the difference between life under “capitalism” and life in a Worker’s Paradise?  You, ladies — certainly including Prof. Paglia — are no more “free” to reject iCrap than Stalin’s slaves were to not use the equally-shoddy, broken-in-three-months products of Soviet industry.  “Capitalism” is as antithetical to real human life than Communism ever was.

Given all that, “Socialism” seems like a decent deal.

Not only that, but “Socialism” — as it’s taught in schools, the way college kids understand it — offers not just an alternative, but a meaningful alternative.  What does “capitalism” offer?  If you were tempted to mutter any iteration of “freedom,” I want you to re-read the last few paragraphs fifteen more times.  Then I want you to go rent a room in the nearest college town, and spend a weekend wandering around.  Freedom?  College kids are the freest people on earth.  The entire ecosystem is devoted to them.  They can watch, eat, drink, pierce, insert, or have inserted, anything, anywhere, at any time.  No kink, quirk, or hang-up is so bizarre that you can’t find at least one other enthusiastic participant near you in a five-minute trawl through your smartphone.

The very word “choice” is meaningless to college kids, because things are defined by their opposites and they’ve never had anything but limitless choice.  Want to know why I retired from teaching college?  There were lots of reasons, of course, but by far the biggest one was this: Any time I tried to enforce the rules — stuff like “due dates” and “proper use of apostrophes” — I’d get students flooding my office hours who weren’t just mad, but bewildered.  It didn’t take too many incoherently angry freshmen demanding that I change any and all class policies at their whim for me to realize that I was the first person who had ever, in their entire lives, told them “no.”

In a world like that — which is the world of pretty much every young American, from sea to shining sea — what could the word “freedom” possibly mean?

Socialism offers an identity, a goal, a sense of purpose.  Sure, it’s a pointless identity and an impossible goal, but they don’t know that.  How could they?  Their entire “education,” K-thru-PhD, has been designed specifically to avoid them knowing it.  The only other option they see is the status quo, which to them is: Take out the loans to get the degree in order to get the job, which you have to have to pay off the loans that got you the degree that got you the job.  Someone like Greta Thunberg is a hero to them because she’s for something, anything, that isn’t that.

If we’re ever to get off the Internet and into the real world, Our Thing must realize how desperately hungry for purpose our young people are.  They’re wrestling with a deep, pervasive nihilism, and as we know, whoever accepts nihilism always — always — flees to the biggest, most all-encompassing collectivism on offer.  Right now that “Socialism,” however you want to define it.  But it doesn’t have to be.

Take a page from the gamers.  Set up “fetch quests,” mini-games, that kind of thing — objective statistics, complete with badges of rank.  It sounds silly, but it works.  Look at how the kids on the Left are killing themselves — sometimes literally killing themselves — to prove who’s the #Wokest.  There’s tremendous energy there, tremendous vitality.  Give them a purpose — and a way to show others they’re working towards it — and they’ll do anything you want.  The Socialists understand this.  Why can’t we?

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15 thoughts on “Why Young Americans Love Socialism

  1. Vizzini

    Looks like you’ve hit the big time. Disney’s “Circle” internet filters now have rottenchestnuts.com blocked on at least the “teen” level.

    Now, me, I’d say disney.com poses a bigger danger, but I suppose then one would have to ask “danger of what.”

    1. Severian Post author

      Sweet! We were once on the block list at US Cyber Command, too, I’ve been informed…. though sadly, I suspect the Disney ban is more because of my fondness for salty language, rather than content.

      (I am a tech illiterate, but I know tech people — especially tech Leftists — pretty well, and I have this theory that they’re actually very, very lazy, as well as ideologically enstupidated. So they take the path of least resistance. They can’t block strings of words like “white nationalism,” because all of their friends constantly complain about it on their many, many, many (many many many) social media accounts. So they block strings of words they think only we drooling reich-wingers would use. So unless you type “I love Donald Trump” or something, any blog below a certain very large threshold won’t get blocked (and even the big ones only get blocked because they actually come to someone’s attention over there). Maybe I’m wrong, but never forget that one of our biggest advantages is how stupid our enemies are).

      1. Vizzini

        For whatever reason, it’s a recent addition, like “today” recent, because I keep this setting on the main household computer that is “my” desktop computer by default. Of course, I added you as an exception. I was actually wondering if it was something in today’s post. I agree they’re dumb, but if some SJW reports you, I suspect they add you without much investigation (and that getting off is a couple orders of magnitude harder). #believeallSJWs

        1. Severian Post author

          Huh. Well, there it is. If I had to guess, it’s probably because I mentioned Scoldy-locks Greta Thunberg, but who knows. Disney can suck it. Don’t they know that getting blocked by the likes of them is a badge of honor for the likes of us?

          1. Vizzini

            I was looking through my exceptions on MeetCircle and I realized that I have never had to enter an exception for a leftwing site. In fact, I tried in vain to find a left-wing site that they were blocking.

            What do they consider too dangerous for teen eyes (other than typical porn blocking?) Here’s my exception list:
            accordingtohoyt.com (new today!)
            amren.com (of course)
            geocentricity.com (an odd but harmless “Biblical Astronomy” site)
            mindingthecampus.org
            rottenchestnuts.com
            thezman.com
            urbandictionary.com (I suppose that’s understandable)
            blogspot.com (can’t remember if it was all blogs or just one in particular I made the exception for. Probably Vox Day)
            vdare.com

            Meanwhile, teens are waved ahead on
            thechive.com (a famously racy site)
            rosecityantifa.org
            thinkprogress.org
            democraticunderground.org
            moveon.org
            blacklivesmatter.com
            cracked.com
            coed.com
            totalfratmove.com

            Drunk, slutty girls in wet t-shirts: A-OK!
            White people have interests? BADTHINK! NO GO!

      2. RRW

        You have apparently been pardoned by cybercommand. Rotten Chestnuts hatespeak can again be read by ne’er do wells in the corridors of power.

        1. Severian Post author

          @Vizzini,

          that’s… interesting, but not really surprising. Which is why I think they actually rely on human narcs to block things, rather than any but the most basic algorithms (that auto-block the word “porn” etc.). Any string of terms I can think of that would auto-block “white folks having interests” would also auto-block all those “antifa” sites, because that’s what they complain about all day long…

          I’ve long thought that creating a meetup for Our Thing would be as simple as setting it up as an “antifa” event. If you could somehow get the word out that X website, which looks like your typical SJW sewer, is actually the hidden decoder ring for Our Thing, all you’d have to do is post that we’re meeting up at the pub on First and Elm to discuss the protest against __ that we’ll be holding later this month. Get some distinguishing mark in case any real “antifa” show up — the white ball cap or something — and it’s good to go. It won’t get flagged as dangerous by any ISP, because as we know, you can say or do whatever you want so long as you’re a Leftist in good standing.

  2. Pickle Rick

    Fetishizing capitalism and the “free market” is a feature of Conservative Inc., and it’s failing miserably and I can’t wait to see it buried in a shallow grave. The Cat Fancy people did have some valid points, that unfettered international business was poisonous to a people -the Socialists of course blamed classes, but that’s increasingly becoming a racial issue to our Woke Left. Capitalism is “white”, but not bagels (for now, although people like Omar and her ilk are going off the reservation) We’re not supposed to be homo economicus, units of production and consumption. Fight Club was a paean to that philosophy.
    What’s that leave us? Feudalism as a third way? Considering that that is exactly what developed after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, will we see a return after the American Empire crumbles?

    1. Publius

      The American Empire is just a stand-in for the British. We’re the Franks to their Romans.

      They built an empire to profit themselves. We take care of it’s trade routes because we’re scared not to.

    2. Severian Post author

      I’m tempted to do a whole big long thing on Fight Club. They thought they were making a movie about “toxic masculinity,” back when all that gender studies stuff was just breaking containment from the ivory tower. Being too clever by half, though, the writers ended up making a comic book hero for the very people they thought they were lampooning. Good show.

      1. Pickle Rick

        I hate listicles, but it would definitely be in the “Top Ten Subversive Films for Our Thing”.

  3. WOPR

    Universities were always the last bastion of socialism and the experience back in the olden days made you not want to relive it. Early on you got stuck in some non-airconditioned dorm that somehow managed to then be 90 degrees on the coldest winter day. Unless you were lucky, you were stuck with some bonehead as a roommate. You shared a phone for the entire floor. Weekends were a mix of accumulating horror in the hallways and bathrooms, repetitive fire alarms*, and the smell of weed. Waiting in line for everything from books to class scheduling felt like a recreation of those Soviet era pictures. Your food choices were whatever the cafeteria was dishing out that day. Sure there was some freedom. It was also only somewhat above public housing. Basically, it was bad enough to make you want to leave.

    Today, university students live better than they will when they leave college. Leaving is a step down.

    *By some happenstance, I was in the dorm with the football and basketball team my freshman year. They were ready to kill some airhead who pulled the fire alarm the first weekend. That was the first and last false alarm of the year.

  4. Maus

    Ah, the poor younglings. Their aimless lives are bereft of meaning; so they cling to collectivism as an antidote? Well, here’s an idea. How ’bout we fill their lives with some fear and loathing. If they are going to hate us no matter what we do, then let’s own it. Start with a round of vigorous genocide, followed by some mass enslavement. F**k woke capitalism: there is absolutely no need to tolerate freaks, and we don’t need robots either. Hell, with enough minimally fed slaves housed in strategically positioned concentration camps, we don’t even have to pay workers. The problem with the Cat Fancy crowd was their attempt to justify their actions with a lot of mystical bullshit. I would be quite content with some good old-fashioned neo-feudalism. I don’t have to be a lord as long as I am not therefore a serf. To restore the middle Our Thing needs to re-establish the hierarchy. Human equality is a corrosive lie.

  5. RRW

    Nietzsche wrote something along the lines of “there must be order of rank”. Now I don’t think he was either the father of cat fanciers nor the proponent of some kind of return to feudalism, but he was right in acknowledging the fact that we’re not all equal. Some have got to be in charge over the rest.

    I don’t necessarily want to be in charge, but I would like it if those in charge were worthy of the responsibility.

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