Spurred on by this article about 8 things conservatives need to understand about the alt-right, I want to lay down a few points that the alt-right doesn’t quite understand. Maybe they’re playing 4D chess or something. I don’t play those games because I know I am not smart enough. I do know what’s important though.
First, group identities are not set by the color of your skin or the color of your hair or even language or culture. If that were true, then Europe would’ve always been united, there never would’ve been a Western Roman Empire and an Eastern Roman Empire, and China would still be on the Xia dynasty.
Let me help you understand what I mean.
Story one: My ancestors were Scottish (among other things, of course, but I identify more with my father’s side and they were pretty much Scottish.) I had an opportunity to get to know a real Scotsman along with his wife. They explained to me carefully how things really worked and what the situation was for my ancestors and why our family records don’t include much elaboration on why we left other than “As soon as father got out of prison, we packed our things and decided America couldn’t be much worse.”
The Scottish are jerks. Royal pains in the rear end. If I were living in Scotland, I’d be looking for some other place to live rather quick. Add to that the fact that the English just couldn’t seem to keep their hands out of Scottish affairs. I mean, we have the Illuminati or the Bildebergers and such that we fear, but the Scots feared the English king and his Machiavellian schemes. You name it, they actually did it. Entire towns are gone because they decided to side with the English an the English returned the favor by committing genocide against their clan. Other towns are gone for who knows what reason.
You have two peoples living on an island for thousands of years, and after all that time, they still found reasons to hate each other and hate themselves.
Europe never was united like it is today. Not even close! The best we have is Emperor Charlemagne and his re-re-re-establishment of the Roman Empire, but even then, it was what, like 10 years and they were back to fighting each other.
You can actually follow the history of towns that share the same ancestry. I mean, you really can’t get closer kinship than among some of these European places that have fancy names but represent rotten holes in the ground where people lived in filth at the time. And yet, look at their history and you’ll see they were constantly fighting each other.
Put simply, mankind has never been united among racial lines. Never. Ever.
What we have in America is unique in the world. We’ve had over 200 years of history and we’ve only tried to kill each other once, and even with all the atrocities that we committed against ourselves, it wasn’t as bad as what happened elsewhere.
My point is this: The White People will never unite. The Black people and the Yellow people will never unite. Sure, they may have some affinity for people that look like them, but this is literally only skin deep. I work with Chinese co-workers and I used to work with Indian co-workers. They don’t like each other. Sometimes they really, really dislike each other, and sometimes it is because of history and sometimes it is because of real differences in regional dialects and culture. The better you get to know a race, the more you realize it’s pretty much same no matter where you go.
If you truly want to understand what I mean, go visit the people who are in your alt-right movement. Go find out who they really are and what makes them tick, and I guarantee you’ll probably question why you are aligning with them.
Second point: My comments about 4D chess are probably lost on you. As an actual genius (I’m not talking MENSA garbage, I’m talking I-actually-earned-a-BS-in-physics-with-a-good-grade type genius), I know how much not like geniuses even the smartest among us are. Socrates said, roughly, “The only thing I know is I know nothing.” The higher you go up in intellectual capacity, the less intelligent people think they are.
The reason why some guy like Einstein could come along and school the entire discipline of physics not just once or twice but several times is because Einstein knew the limits of human reason. Einstein is remarkable in the simplicity and clarity of his thinking. If you want to truly understand Einstein’s genius, go read his paper on Special Relativity. It’s kindergarten-type stuff. I honestly believe that anyone can grasp all the concepts of Special Relativity if they have a rudimentary understanding of algebra and read his paper carefully. Now, it won’t come overnight, and will take at least a week if not more of careful thought and reading, but anyone can do it.
The thing about geniuses like Magnus Karlsen is not that they think faster or better, but that they think with more clarity and precision. I guarantee you that if you were to peek into Magnus’s mind during a chess match, you would see that he’s playing a much simpler, easier game than you think. I bet he has everything in there sorted and organized and tagged, and he’s just looking for one specific kind of thing among all the things in there. He’s remarkable when he plays because he doesn’t always pull out the computer-defined best move, but the moves that make his opponent do more work to keep up.
Let me put it another way. When you make a move in chess, you have to consider all the possibilities. That means taking a 2D board and turning it into a list of possible move candidates. Then you have to sort through that list, trying to find the best move, quickly. Computers define the best move as “the move that will give me the best position” and so they don’t really consider how hard their opponent works. Magnus seems to not only understand the “best” move in that light, but he also includes how hard his opponent has to work to not make a mistake and so he prioritizes other moves that the computer would not. It takes chess enthusiasts days and days to catch up to what Magnus does in his games. Imagine what his opponents feel when they realize they have to work 10 times harder than Magnus to not screw it up.
Finally: Populism is a terrible ally. The problem with populism is it is popular, and the problem with popularity is it doesn’t stay popular for very long. If you think you can maintain a power base by a green frog and memes, then you are just like the guys who thought they could get elected by playing rock music at their rallies in the 70s. How did that work out for them? Or do you think you are going to be able to stay ahead of the curve and maintain your popularity? Can you name one celebrity who hasn’t faded over time, one company that has always been the most popular for a very long time?
The people don’t know what they want, and they certainly don’t know what they need. If they did, we wouldn’t need governments in the first place, and we could just let everyone play 4D chess in their minds as they worked out how it’s more advantageous in the long run to not kill your competitors. But that’s not what people are like. If you find your politics to be popular, it’s probably because you’ve messed up somehow and haven’t communicated the ideas very clearly, or worse, your ideas are bad. It’s rare indeed that the people get things right.
All that said, we’re playing politics here. Whoever gets the most votes makes the laws. And the alt-right seems to be getting some votes. So I don’t mind being their friend and ally for the foreseeable future. They’re not preaching hate, they’re not out there to kill anyone, and they’re not going to deprive people of their God-given rights. At worst, they’re going to say unkind things about people who they don’t like, including me, but I can live with that. I welcome my green-toad pepe overseers and will tolerate their worship of the mighty Kek. But I’m not going to stop telling them why they’re wrong.