What We Should Learn from Idiot Protesters

 

People are desperate for meaning, for being part of something greater than themselves. People are, rightly, interested in making their lives something more than long

If society/religion/nation offer that vision, and people buy into it, then it can be an outlet for this need. Even if the vision is no deeper than “Greater Russia.” Nationalism is an outlet, and not necessarily a bad one.

But when we offer no vision, then at least hating Jews is standing for something. The hunger does not go away just because society has lost its way. It just becomes an angry mindless mob.

We ignore these lessons at our peril. It is not enough to point out how stupid and ultimately evil these protests and protesters are. We have to market and sell something better. We have to do it with belief and confidence and even inspiration – because everyone, from the smallest child to the oldest person, admires a cause that is pursued with passion. Which means we have to go on the offensive in these culture wars, or civilization is lost.

 

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  1. Fritz Coolidge
    Fritz
    @Fritz

    Pat Buchanan said much the same in 1992. The issues that fueled the culture war then are still in the thick of it today —  abortion, bearing arms, church/state issues, free speech, politics of sex, and so forth. The Left never stops pushing, never rests, so the fight goes on.

    Will the upcoming generations even know enough about American liberty, with all its flaws and shortcomings, that they’ll believe it worth preserving? Will they recognize their freedoms now in danger of being lost forever? 

    • #1
  2. Old Bathos Member
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    The young people in the antiwar movement in the 60s and activists in civil rights movement did not ask for likes, clicks, followers or subscribers online. Narcissism tends to distort or even supplant a search for meaning.  Combine that with an astonishing degree of ignorance and a groupthink culture and we get the sexually confused shilling for the most loathsome people in the entire Middle East where the competition for that designation is quite stiff.

    • #2
  3. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    There’s a great memoir by Sebastian Haffner, who came of age in Germany between the wars. 

    He says that when the economy and society began to significantly stabilize – which he credits to Gustav Stresemann’s chancellorship and the introduction of the Rentenmark into the monetary system – most people were happy:

    The last ten years were forgotten like a bad dream. The Day of Judgment was remote again, and there was no demand for saviors or revolutionaries…There was an ample measure of freedom, peace, and order, everywhere the most well-meaning liberal-mindedness, good wages, good food and a little political boredom. everyone was cordially invited to concentrate on their personal lives, to arrange their affairs according to their own taste and to find their own paths to happiness.

    But not everyone was happy.  A return to private life was not to everyone’s taste:

    A generation of young Germans had become accustomed to having the entire content of their lives delivered gratis, so to speak, by the public sphere, all the raw material for their deeper emotions…Now that these deliveries suddenly ceased, people were left helpless, impoverished, robbed, and disappointed. They had never learned how to live from within themselves, how to make an ordinary private life great, beautiful and worth while, how to enjoy it and make it interesting. So they regarded the end of political tension and the return of private liberty not as a gift, but as a deprivation. They were bored, their minds strayed to silly thoughts, and they began to sulk.

    and

    To be precise (the occasion demands precision, because in my opinion it provides the key to the contemporary period of history): it was not the entire generation of young Germans. Not every single individual reacted in this fashion. There were some who learned during this period, belatedly and a little clumsily, as it were, how to live. they began to enjoy their own lives, weaned themselves from the cheap intoxication of the sports of war and revolution, and started to develop their own personalities. It was at this time that, invisibly and unnoticed, the Germans divided into those who later became Nazis and those who would remain non-Nazis.

    I think that in America today, we have a considerable number of people who get, maybe not all of the entire content of their lives, but much of the content of their lives delivered gratis, so to speak, by the public sphere, all the raw material for their deeper emotions.  

    See my post The Hollow Men–and Hollow Women too.

    • #3
  4. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    The Hillsdale curriculum used in charter schools and at the college itself asks students — after studying the western canon, including the Bible — to write a senior thesis answering the question, “what is the good life?” It is an antidote to the postmodern nihilism destroying our civilization. I imagine there are others (religious upbringing in a stable home with two (Jewish or Christian) adherent parents, for example). But, the current public education system is an agent of chaos. What we’re seeing starts well before kids get to university.

    Public education delenda est. 

    • #4
  5. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    The protesters are so ignorant.

    • #5
  6. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    iWe: People are desperate for meaning, for being part of something greater than themselves.

    Our obsession with sports is a good illustration of this.

    • #6
  7. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    When people’s lives lack meaning, they’ll latch on to anything that gives them purpose, no matter how wrong . . .

    • #7
  8. GlennAmurgis Coolidge
    GlennAmurgis
    @GlennAmurgis

    These will be the next set of tenured facility or the head of your DEI department at your company. 

     

    • #8
  9. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    The Hillsdale curriculum used in charter schools and at the college itself asks students — after studying the western canon, including the Bible — to write a senior thesis answering the question, “what is the good life?” It is an antidote to the postmodern nihilism destroying our civilization. I imagine there are others (religious upbringing in a stable home with two (Jewish or Christian) adherent parents, for example). But, the current public education system is an agent of chaos. What we’re seeing starts well before kids get to university.

    Public education delenda est.

    Government schools = less than no value added.

    • #9
  10. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    I think that what the protesters hate is Jews slaughtering civilians, women and children, by the tens of thousands, and Jews attempting to starve them by the millions.

    From a longer perspective, what the protesters seem to hate is the Jewish conquest, ethnic cleansing, and oppression of the Palestinians.

    Others might see the facts differently, but I’ve been paying attention to what people opposed to Israel’s actions are saying, and this is generally what they are saying.

    It is interesting to me that so many people here at Ricochet don’t seem to be able to understand this.

    • #10
  11. Fritz Coolidge
    Fritz
    @Fritz

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    iWe: People are desperate for meaning, for being part of something greater than themselves.

    Our obsession with sports is a good illustration of this.

    I have seen it posited that sports fandom benefits society in general by giving people the outlet to feel intensely passionate about something which in the general scheme of things has no effect one way or the other on society. Unlike passionate politics, for example.

    • #11
  12. ToryWarWriter Coolidge
    ToryWarWriter
    @ToryWarWriter

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    I think that what the protesters hate is Jews slaughtering civilians, women and children, by the tens of thousands, and Jews attempting to starve them by the millions.

    From a longer perspective, what the protesters seem to hate is the Jewish conquest, ethnic cleansing, and oppression of the Palestinians.

    Others might see the facts differently, but I’ve been paying attention to what people opposed to Israel’s actions are saying, and this is generally what they are saying.

    It is interesting to me that so many people here at Ricochet don’t seem to be able to understand this.

    They dont want to.  

    • #12
  13. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    ToryWarWriter (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    I think that what the protesters hate is Jews slaughtering civilians, women and children, by the tens of thousands, and Jews attempting to starve them by the millions.

    From a longer perspective, what the protesters seem to hate is the Jewish conquest, ethnic cleansing, and oppression of the Palestinians.

    Others might see the facts differently, but I’ve been paying attention to what people opposed to Israel’s actions are saying, and this is generally what they are saying.

    It is interesting to me that so many people here at Ricochet don’t seem to be able to understand this.

    They dont want to.

    Get back to me when a million Palestinians starve.

     

    • #13
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