Thursday, November 21, 2019

The Final Solution: Alt-Rght or Left?

The Bill of Rights and the Constitution represent a set of beliefs that derived from the thinking of enlightenment figures like John Locke. But these ideas don’t come naturally. Due process is, when you consider it, rather foreign. Most humans have impulse control problems and live by making snap judgements. That’s how you avoid hitting a car in traffic. Notions like globalism or fighting wars in foreign nations or inviting immigration don’t come any more easily—even though this is a country of immigrants who arrived usually because they were fleeing persecution elsewhere, Americans are not immune to the stranger anxiety, that on a socio-political level, manifests as xenophobia. What’s frightening and disturbing about Trump and his base is that the bare knuckles approach to reality has an appeal. Alt-right people have no monopoly on prejudice. When there are a rash of extremist attacks by a minority of any ethnic group, it’s easy to jump to the notion of excluding everyone, as Trump did when he tried to impose his travel ban. It’s easy to come to the conclusion that America doesn’t need to fight other people’s wars and that an Iran nuclear treaty is as nonsensical as the Paris climate accords. In fact, the whole Obama agenda represented some sophisticated higher brain work (as opposed to mid or lower brain, emotion-based thinking) that is as novel as the whole idea of democratic society must have seemed when it was first proposed. The ferocity of the liberal discountenancing of reactionary thinking only displays a certain lack of introspection. It’s like murderous instincts. You have to understand them in order to avoid their destructive eruption on both an individual and collective level.

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