Monday, November 27, 2017

Trust And Joinerism

     I keep saying it, yet it seems no one believes me:

Don’t Be A Joiner!

     Always maintain your independence of judgment – what a Randian might call the integrity of your mind. It’s the essential difference between the thinking man and the Joiner.

     Now, to be perfectly clear about the above, it is possible to align oneself loosely with certain groups without becoming a Joiner. But there’s an attitudinal requirement for maintaining one’s personal independence. Here’s an example:

JOINER: What political alignment are you?
FWP: When I vote, it’s usually for a Republican.
JOINER: (sneers) Oh, one of those.
FWP: Excuse me? One of what?
JOINER: A Republican.
FWP: (loudly) Oh, I’m so sorry for you! Is it congenital?
FWP: (even more loudly) Your hearing defect. I didn’t say that I’m a Republican. I said when I vote, it’s usually for a Republican. You must not have heard me correctly.

JOINER: (slowly) No...I did. But—
FWP: No buts, asshole. Either you have a hearing defect or you’re incapable of understanding simple English.
JOINER: (draws himself up) Well, what’s the difference?
FWP: A Republican is a partisan, one who allows the Republican Party to decide whom he’ll support. I will only vote for a candidate I personally approve, and I don’t automatically approve of a candidate just because he’s the Republican nominee. I suppose you let the Democrat Party make your decisions for you?
FWP: Got the idea now, or should I have used shorter words?

     The counter-sneer at the end is absolutely required. You want the Joiner, once he’s revealed himself, to walk away feeling bruised. Joiners submerge themselves in the collective. They surrender their independence of judgment to a group – and it’s seldom a group over which they have much influence. It is right and proper to leave them feeling ashamed.

     Identity politics is toxic for that reason.

     We’ve had endless demonstrations of a critical sociodynamic theorem: that persons who prize power over others will pursue it more effectively than persons who don’t. Along with that goes an observation that far too few persons have made and even fewer have respected: that any group more formally organized than the Friday night slosh-and-gripe at the neighborhood tavern will offer the prospect of power over others. Together, these tendencies guarantee the deterioration of formally organized groups – to be clear, that refers to groups that have a hierarchy of authority over pooled resources – away from their original purposes and toward the purposes of those who rise to command them.

     Fortunately, most formally organized groups can’t compel their members to remain members. For example, a book club taken over by zealots for some Cause will eventually lose all the non-zealots. Thus the club will mutate from a book club into a Cause club – if, that is, there are enough zealots to keep it going.

     However, a group in the process of being transformed that way can do quite a lot of damage before its membership disintegrates.

     The environmental-action groups provide a choice example. When nuclear power first became technologically and economically feasible in the late Fifties, it was plainly the cleanest and safest form of electrical power generation available to Mankind. As such, the environmental-action groups, nominally concerned with reducing the production of wastes that pollute the air and water, should have embraced it. Unfortunately, they were already well into the process of being subverted by socialist zealots who saw in them a prospect of undermining America’s capitalist economy. Those zealots could not embrace nuclear power; by the very nature of their real aim, they had to condemn it. So it is today.

     Many sincere environmentalists will tell you that there’s nothing wrong with nuclear power from an environmental least, once you get enough alcohol into them. However, those who have remained loyal to one of the big eco-fascist groups, such as the Sierra Club or Earth First, will at best be tormented by the admission. They’ve been sending their dues checks to a Group controlled by anti-capitalist zealots. Those zealots have another aim in mind and would pillory them for their statement.

     Pick a group, any group, as long as it has size and profile enough to command at least the specter of political influence. You’ll find the dynamic operating in every one of them.

     Identity politics was on my mind when I started this diatribe. It’s still there. I spent a good bit of the early morning collecting links to recent stories that illustrate where it leads. But as I did so, it occurred to me that there were other stories relevant to the damage groups can do that aren’t explicitly political:

     Explaining the motives behind any of the linked stories requires Joinerism: both its promotion and its effects. How many persons sincerely concerned about environmental degradation would endorse the article about “climate change” causing volcanoes? You can bet the zealots who control the environmental groups would do so, and would be wroth with members who would laugh it aside. How many people who have resolved to tolerate (however grudgingly) adult homosexuals, bisexuals, and transgenders would approve of that Times article? Yet the activists who control the directions and resources of organized LGBT groups would glare sternly at any member who dared to speak a word of protest.

     Feel free to complete the exercise for yourself.

     Men of independent judgment, determined to assess all questions of importance according to evidence and reason, are never comfortable as members of a Group. They exhibit a certain social reserve: they’re not unfriendly or aloof, but they lean away from extensive disclosures of their opinions. When asked for their opinions on some current controversy, they tend to change the subject. They back away from activists of whatever stripe. They swiftly come to despise those who seek power over others, regardless of the seeker’s espoused motivations.

     These are the men we need for the century ahead of us to be better than the one behind us. We have far too few of them, in large part because membership in a strong group is too widely seen as the best possible defense against the predations of other strong groups.

     Food for thought.


Oldfart said...

"... membership in a strong group is too widely seen as the best possible defense against the predations of other strong groups."

Which also explains why people band together into cities.

Unknown said...

RE: toxicity of "identity politics"

Mr. Porretto,
While I 'get' your point as far as the Left's use of it with blacks, women, gays, hispanics, illegals, etc etc,
please provide a theoretical example to show 'why' it is toxic for WHITES to use the same tool/weapon against the Left...thinking of some parts of the Alt Right.
Thank you.

Francis W. Porretto said...

There’s no problem there, Kauf. In truth, white Americans are fortunate in being too numerous to be organized that way. That might be a bit obscure, so allow me to explain.

An identity group such as Black Lives Matter is only stable because it’s a fragment of a small relevant population (American blacks). That fragment is smaller still: perhaps no more than a few thousand activists, and perhaps ten or twenty thousand persons who provide moral and material support. That’s a size that’s susceptible to being organized under the five-levels threshold:
Layer 1 (the bottom): Supporters
Layer 2: Local activists.
Layer 3: Local captains.
Layer 4: Regional organizers.
Layer 5: (the top) Strategists and power-brokers.

It’s mathematically demonstrable that an organization with more than five levels breaks down internally into smaller, informally autonomous sub-organizations with five levels or fewer, regardless of the will of the participants at any level. In every case, the folks at the top will be those who prize power above all other things. However, were the group to expand greatly, perhaps to six or seven digits, they would lose de facto power even if they were accorded de jure CEO status. The organization would regionalize, just as the major political parties have regionalized. Compare what it means to say “I’m a Republican” in Texas to what it means in New York, in terms of positions actually held and policies actually supported.

There are approximately 200 million American whites, if we discount Americans who would label themselves “Hispanic.” There’s absolutely no way to organize a group that large in five levels; the deterioration of communication from one level to the next makes it absurd even to try. So we’re safe from the dynamics involved in such organizations.

It’s fine to insist upon white Americans’ perfect right to be and live as white Americans – to maintain our right to preserve the communities and cultural commonalities we’ve maintained for centuries. Our problem is of another sort: we’ve been browbeaten for decades by the racialists, the feminists, the homosexualists, and the other victimist groups, straining to make us feel guilty for things we haven’t done – indeed, for things no American alive today has ever done. They seem powerful because the Legacy Media are on their side, acting to amplify their voices. In reality, they’re too small to have any practical power...other than what white Americans who succumb to their propaganda give them by surrendering to their demands. Getting white Americans generally to realize that would go a long way toward dispelling the miasma.

This is really material for another essay, one that addresses the difference between demand-oriented groups and defense-oriented ones, whether explicitly organized or recognizable only in social statistics. I’ll get to it someday.

Linda Fox said...

I come from a long line of hillbillies. You might say that I"m genetically disinclined to be a joiner.

I'm generally suspicious of organizations, and the people who run them.