It’s so strange, living in such a socially precarious time, after having grown up in the bubbly era of the 90s and 2000s. I find myself having to watch what I say when I go out and meet new people, since voicing the wrong and otherwise harmless view could immediately turn you into their enemy. I am a conservative. Expressing many of my views on the current government, society at large, and even facts about biology could get me thrown out of establishments I frequent for leisure and business. I wouldn’t have thought that I’d end up living in such an Orwellian environment, yet here we are. Many talking heads warn of the impending fascist crackdowns on freedom of speech, but those crackdowns are already here, in the form of social pressure.
I’ve seen this behavior seep into nearly every fandom and community I’ve held dear since childhood. Comic books, Magic the Gathering, even Star Trek and Star Wars have fallen victim to toxic concepts like identity politics, third-wave feminism, and grievance culture. These concepts are inherently hateful, exclusionary, and destructive. They bloom forth from anger at institutions that their adherents view as racist, misogynistic, homophobic, and a host of other claims that can be summed up as “problematic”.
Seneca said that anger is “greedy for revenge even when it drags the avenger to ruin with itself.” Such is the nature of those on the left who utilize the concepts I stated earlier to “correct” the mediums and works they gain control over. In their rush to imbue their own views into products that have been successful for decades, they end up running them into the dirt. They destroy the very things they gained dominion over, only to end up being ridiculed by their competitors (in some cases) or fired (in the best case). But because they have built up their network of supporters through the unifying concept of Intersectionality, they are never truly punished. If they fail at one endeavor, they are simply given another endeavor to fail at, no matter how colossally they failed in the first place. So the destruction is perpetuated again and again, as it infects nearly every institution in the western world.
The far right has been guilty of violence, but it is hard to say that they have caused as much strife and division as the left. Charleston may have been a terrible event, but it doesn’t compare with the constant violence perpetrated by AntiFa, the calls to violence against the right by leftist celebrities and media personalities, and the constant negative reporting and seemingly never-ending criminal investigation of the President of the United States, Donald Trump, which only serves to divide the country further.
There has been much discussion about the causes and effects of the Culture War we are experiencing currently. Both questions have complex answers, but one thing is simple and apparent; this war is destroying people’s ability and desire to communicate with people that they view as different from themselves. Self-segregation is becoming more and more common, which only exacerbates the problem. Both those on the right and on the left are alienating themselves from each other more and more, with constant ad hominem attacks made about each other.
“Leftists are crybaby snowflake SJWs who aren’t capable of independent thought.”
“Everyone on the right are racist neo-nazis who want to kill all POC and LGBT people!”
What is necessary is a common ground to be reached between both sides. What is needed is a….dare I say it…”safe space” where both sides can carry on dialogues without fear of mob retaliation for expressing their views. If this cannot happen, if the two sides can’t restore rational communication between each other, then we are left with a fractured society. We will be left with a civilization split into various factions, unwilling to have meaningful engagements with each other. Although I am not completely opposed to smaller groups being formed that govern themselves independently , I do think that it would be a shame to no longer be able to exist within a large, open nation. Another possibility would be the seizing of power of society by the group who already seems to have the most power, the Leftists. Some theorize that this is inevitable, seeing as how western civilization has always seemed to move more and more to the left. In that situation, the Leftists would most likely enact increasingly socialist policies that would quickly bankrupt the nation, leading us into a hard economic downturn that could pave the way for an authoritarian government. I feel that this possibility is the most likely, and it isn’t something I look forward to.
In any case, I’m doing my best to have open dialogues with people when I can, and to passively resist the ever increasing destruction of traditions that benefit society. We can’t, after all, openly rebel against the group with all the power. We can compete with them, and form our own institutions independently of theirs. Giving people an alternative to the madness all around them gives them the ability to combat it by living a life that transcends it.