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'Why Is Everyone Talking About Hegel?': James Lindsay and the New Critics of Utopia
Explaining a trend
They will try to blame James Lindsay. Who, to be clear, deserves credit for first-rate scholarship and being the first to popularize the knowledge he had gained. But the truth about Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and his intellectual heirs has always been out there, just waiting for someone to shine a bright light on it and call out loud until people noticed. James Lindsay is simply the man who did what was bound to be done, one day.
Lindsay’s critics, such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, antifa, and the various left-wing organizations working to cancel his public appearances, attempt to dismiss him as a “conspiracy theorist.” While it is certainly possible to disagree with Lindsay’s interpretation of current events — as I do, on some matters — his YouTube channel is in fact a first-rate textual study of the sources of leftist dogma, past and present, sometimes in excruciating detail. However, listening to Lindsay, and more importantly reading after him, turns out to be a rewarding experience, if you are up to the work.
Long story short: the godless ideological formulas driving politics around the world today make the most sense as a mystery cult movement, or even a religion. We have new prophets in place of the old ones. “God is dead,” Nietzsche declared, predicting s “superman” would replace the divine. Instead, we have become pagans. Our new gods have names like Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Sustainability, and of course, Safety.
The argument is not even original to Lindsay. “Hegel is not a philosopher,” Glenn Alexander Magee writes in the first sentence of Hegel and the Hermetic Tradition. “He is no lover or seeker of wisdom — he believes he has found it.” In painstaking and dense detail, the book is a catalog of Hegel’s personal library and the influences behind his work: the Corpus Hermeticum, a compendium of magical texts from disparate, and often contradictory, schools of thought across time and cultures; medieval manuals of Kabbalah; alchemy, mysticism, the occult, theosophy; Masonic rituals and Rosicrucian religion. Hegel titled Phenomenology of Spirit so that we would understand his work as a kind of bible. This is why so many terms must be capitalized in translation: Hegel is not concerned with ‘history’ as a narrative of past events, but capital-H History as an explicitly spiritual process that can be understood through the wisdom we have received from him. Hegel took his inspiration from explicitly spiritual sources: Jakob Böhme, Bruno Bauer, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. He was no historian at all, but a sorceror. Philosopher Eric Vogelin rubbished Phenomenology as “a grimoire” and “a work of magic — indeed, it is one of the great magical performances.” A number of modern political movements and most of the American university’s history department thus derive their underlying intellectual framework from a would-be wizard.
Hegelians themselves differ over the question of his esoteric roots. Many, like Magee, embrace Hegel the mystic. Others dismiss or ignore him. Leftist political professors drain Hegel of spirituality in an attempt to create programmatic solutions to historical problems, but as Lindsay’s work shows, the results of application (‘praxis’) are always bloody. The intellectual heirs of the French Revolution offer “a transcendant source of being and order” in the form of a political epistemology, Vogelin writes in Science, Politics, and Gnosticism: Two Essays. Thus modern political movements serve as “ersatz religions” displaying all the violent and dogmatic behavior of fundamentalist faith movements. One of Hegel’s heirs stands out. “Marx is a speculative gnostic” in his Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844, Vogelin says, because he “construes the order of being as a process of nature complete in itself. Nature is in a state of becoming, and in the course of its development it has brought forth man: ‘Man is directly a being of nature.’” The most eye-watering passages of Marx are ersatz spirtuality, which is why students struggle to understand him. Vogelin calls Karl Marx “an intellectual swindler” for whom “all of so-called world history is nothing but the production of man by human labor.” To Marx, we all live in a “prison of being” and capitalism is the demiurge maintaining this prison. “Knowledge — gnosis — of the method of altering being is the central concern of the gnostic,” Vogelin explains. Put simply, Marx was just another sorceror. “It would be difficult to find another document of modern gnosticism that in power and clarity of expression, in intellectual vigor and ingenious determination, would compare with the manuscript of the young Marx,” Vogelin writes.
Gnosticism is not a monolithic topic. However, gnostic religious movements have existed in the world since at least the 7th century BC, when the age of “ecumenical empires” (Vogelin’s term) brought diverse peoples together with all their differences of culture, language, and gods under metropolitan authorities. (Think of Manhattan humanity; New York is the ‘Empire State.’) Gnostic theology varies in specific iterations, but broadly, the gnostic believer is dissatisfied with the world because it is poorly organized by wicked people — greedy villains who can only be stopped by disrupting history through action and education. Although “modern gnostic mass movements derive their ideas of perfection from Christianity,” promising constant progress with phrases such as ‘the long arc of the universe,’ the alternatives they offer are but “depictions of a desirable final state that are designed as negatives of some specific evil in the world.” Vogelin calls this “activist mysticism.” James Lindsay calls it wokeness. Defenders of wokeness often challenge interlocutors to define ‘wokeness.’ Here is a simple definition: wokeness is 21st century gnosticism, or if you prefer, activist mysticism.
Within gnostic movements, “an essential connection exists between the suppression of questions and the construction of a system.” Magical thinking requires the banishment of doubt. “Whoever reduces being to a system cannot permit questions that invalidate systems as a form of reasoning,” Vogelin says. “In the clash between system and reality, reality must give way. The intellectual swindle is justified by referring to the demands of the historical future, which the gnostic thinker has speculatively projected in his system.” Only an evil person would ever contradict the gnostic, who has all the correct opinions on everything. “The position of the gnostic thinker derives its authority from the power of being. He is the herald of being, which he interprets as approaching us from the future.” When reality inevitably clashes with theory, and the ‘right side of history’ fails to show up, gnostic movements turn to violence. “Historically, the murder of God is not followed by the superman, but by the murder of man: the deicide of the gnostic theoreticians is followed by the homicide of the revolutionary practitioners.”
Little wonder that Lindsay’s work appeals so much to anyone the least bit suspicious of Klaus Schwab, the World Economic Forum, or promises of a future in which we eat bugs, own nothing, and are ‘happy’ — or at least, ‘happy’ as they define the word. (Changing the definitions of words is another habit of German gnostics and their intellectual tradition.) On his channel, Lindsay reads from documents about “sustainable development goals” and “degrowth strategies” for hours at a time, pointing out the places where the authors have committed intellectual swindles. Lindsay’s argument does work out in a clear political direction, per the American system, a two-party affair. However, Lindsay also spends a great deal of his time deconstructing the “obvious traps” of right-wing reaction, such as Christian nationalism, ethnonationalism, and ideological violence. He is most often criticized for ‘predictions’ that are in fact counsel against over-reaction.
Admired by religious people, Lindsay is personally godless. When he has expressed a philosophy, it is the eastern elemental system that comes packaged with the martial arts he studies, and he is clear that his meanings are entirely metaphorical constructions. Thus, anyone who wishes to ‘debunk’ the work of James Lindsay faces the diffuculty of first reading and understanding his sources. Because almost all of his sources are leftists themselves, a thorough ‘debunking’ would also have to simultaneously rehabilitate the works of Paulo Friere, Herbert Marcuse, Anthea Butler, and Gayle Rubin. That is why no one ever actually ‘debunks’ Lindsay. It is too much hard work. It is much easier to just call him names and blame ‘the alt-right.’
But this is not about James Lindsay. This is about his fans.
I joined Lindsay’s YouTube channel early this year after the algorithm served up one of his videos about modern gnosticism. I was researching the topic for my own reasons and his is just one of the channels to which I subscribe that discusses this history of ideas. Anyone eager to ‘debunk’ Lindsay must then also debunk TIK History and the Esoterica channel and the Seekers of Unity channel. Like me, all of them come to the same material from entirely different directions than Lindsay, and all of them have vastly different opinions. This convergence speaks to the solid intellectual ground on which Lindsay stands.
Three months ago, I was included into a group Twitter/X direct message thread by an acquaintance who, like me, had discovered Lindsay in search of answers to what the heck was going on with wokeness. Isaiah Carter is a dear friend but also very different from me. I soon discovered that Lindsay fandom was the only uniting factor in a rather diverse group. Best of all, they seemed capable of disagreeing with Lindsay on fine points, and with each other, without getting upset about it. The name of the group was “the anti-communists,” and while they deplored the excesses of historical communism, it was soon apparent to me that what everyone in the thread really opposed was utopianism.
These are weirdly un-American times in America. The liberal tradition is under threat from censorious liberals. Conservatism is morally and intellectually bankrupt. No one really believes things will get better. Pessimism is a new attitude in our history. America was founded by utopians and has featured a fair number of utopian projects. As a child, some part of my summers always got taken up by my father’s hobby of visiting ‘intentional communities’ across the country. While some of the towns and cities are still there, all of these utopian projects failed. One of them, Ford City, a utopian project of Frank Lloyd Wright and the eponymous Henry Ford, never even got past the planning stage. It is just a few miles from my house. This all-American optimism has landed in strange places. Looking Backward, Edward Bellamy’s utopian novel, was written in the 1880s. Progressive and upbeat as his vision of the future was, the book was among the literary inspirations for Hitler’s national socialism. One might even write a whole history of the United States as a utopian project that has failed several times, such is the utopian strain of the American national character.
Wokeness — modern gnosticism — is a utopian project to replace this present, allegedly failed, utopian project. A whole new DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) bureaucracy has been invented to carry out this plan. Woke Disney destroys the old Snow White to replace their creator’s world of classic fables and a ‘small world’ with a new, race- and gender-swapped utopian project. The WEF wants to destroy gasoline car ownership so we can have a utopia of electric cars that operate on a Chinese social credit system instead. BLM wants to destroy your city’s police department and create an urban utopia that looks like junkies having a retail store riot in San Francisco. As with the intentional communities I visited in my youth, none of these ideas ever work out in the real world as actual utopias. Either people break free of their ideological constraints to figure out what actually works or the community dies. America has been a wrestling match of ideas and thrived in spite of, or perhaps because of, utopias failing. Revolutionary ‘praxis’ — theory and practice — always goes sideways because it is pseudoscientific hokum from the floor-up. Plato sent students abroad to become philosopher-kings, ruling through wisdom. To a man, they all turned into tyrants, tearing down everything, building temples to themselves, reviled by the people until they were themselves overthrown.
Intrigued, and sensing that we may be on the cusp of a social phenomenon, I held a Twitter/X space as a group interview. You can listen to it here. I have followed up in phone calls with these individuals. The remainder of this essay is a social history of the James Lindsay listener, challenging assumptions about who that person is.
Patrick Sheridan grew up in a liberal family of Wilsonian Democrats. “Once 2020 happened with Covid, George Floyd, and then the Rittenhouse trial” his perspective changed. “I watched the trial while watching the media’s coverage of it, and saw how dishonest it was, and that sort of sent me down this path.” Patrick was a seeker of answers, though not spiritual ones.
“I found James Lindsey, and little by little with each podcast, was able to wake up to what was actually happening in our country with our current cultural revolution we’re all suffering through,” he says, unironically using the all-American revivalist metaphor of awakening. Pointing to Nina Turner as an example of ‘progressive’ politicians “deconstructing America,” Patrick now finds the utopian political project terrifying. Too much is at stake. “These ideologies … are completely irrational,” he says.
There’s no end point to it. It’s never, ‘Okay, let’s sit and pause and wait on the progress.’ It’s just non-stop progress for progress’s sake. And if you read a lot of what they say, they literally don’t really have like an idea or an end-point to what it’s going to be. They just know that eventually they’ll get to Utopia if they deconstruct enough of our institutions and then rebuild them essentially in their image.
Patrick is appalled by the ‘racecraft’ being taught in public schools. “They’ll say that whiteness is a form of property that must be undone in order to make amore equitable America. If you look at what they mean by ‘whiteness,’ it’s just the foundations and ideals of America.” It is a recipe for destabilization and destruction: first, conflate ‘whiteness’ with America itself, then erase American values and principles (free speech, for example) with ersatz values and principles (‘safety for the marginalized’) under the rubric of anti-whiteness, or ‘decolonization,’ or anti-racism.
“Being on the woke left made me hate the flag, it made me angry at religion,” Patrick tells me. He was “desensitized,” but awareness of the cult of pediatric sex trait modification appalled him into a new consciousness. “Once I found out that this was happening to children, that they were being lied, to that they were being experimented on, I became outraged,” he says.
Bisexual, Patrick joined Gays Against Groomers and learned to use Twitter. He is no longer with the organization, but still wanted to build “a peaceful protest movement that unites various groups in the state” against Queer Theory and ‘gender identity’ grooming in schools. His impulse was to unite people in a time of war, supposing that a “protest and rally movement to promote a message of peace, to show that we can no longer be manipulated or divided by these superfluous and insignificant” differences that divide us, will bring Americans together in solidarity.
“Politicians play up those narratives, they play up the racial tensions. I’m tired of us being divided by all of these things,” he said in a recent interview. “Every single group that is interested in peace and love should be included. We want as many people as poosible to come together to share this message of peace and love.” Even the opposition, the angry Pride-flag waving goon squad that shows up to counterprotest such events, “ have to be approached with peace as well.” He was, perhaps, being a bit utopian himself. Now frustrated by the hyperpartisan environment, Patrick has “stepped back” from anything political. The dialectic is too fraught.
‘Rachel’ (pseudonym) tweets as Right Side of History. She grew up in a conservative household, but considers herself a centrist. Like Patrick, she found Lindsay’s work seeking answers to what was up with ‘woke’ in general and ‘gender’ in particular. Her journey began with the campus controversies at Evergreen College and the story of Bret Weinstein. It has led her to do an enormous amount of reading, often from several books simultaneously.
“The trans issue has radicalized me,” she says. The new industry of experimental medicine operating on postmodern philosophy are “eugenicists.” America is in the grip of an idea that is “not rational, but spiritual,” a “trans theocracy” in which we are required to cheer for pornography and pronouns in schools. The leftist zeitgeist stresses “abnormality,” she says, and the “breaking and remolding of the physical body” by cosmetic surgery “is making a new material reality.” She cites Queer Theorists claiming that incest laws ‘perpetuate harmful constructs’ as an example of the moral inversions that take place in a “rationality independent of empiricism, where everything is a construct that exists to perpetuate itself.” Deconstructing human sexual dimorphism is an inherently utopian project, she says, because “utopia is an idea begot from ideas severed from material reality.”
“In observable reality and historical reality, there is no such thing as a successful utopia,” she argues. “Also considering that there’s not a [universal] utopian ideal, there’s no objective meaning” to the ideal of utopia. “What is considered utopia is relativist. The yearning for utopia, the methodology to reach Utopia — it never considers the past failures of such methods.”
“Utopia is meant to be one variation of the synthesis" of the dialectic, Rachel says. Philosophers since Plato have engaged in the debate of thesis and antithesis to create synthesis. Because “Hegel never explicitly invoked a concrete idea of a utopia,” allowing for “different iterations of utopia,” no single utopia can be universal. She cites Marxist Paulo Friere, who “wrote that whenever one revolution is complete, another is positioning for the next revolution. The work of revolution is never finished, the work is never done.” Utopia is always one more revolution away. Splitting the world into good and evil, the “dialectical opposite are those who are anti-progress, whatever the popular meaning of progress is at that current time in history.” Reactionaries thus participate in the dialectic without realizing that it works to the advantage of the radical. Lindsay is keen to make this point in his podcasts, exhorting listeners to refrain from words and actions that advance the agenda they oppose.
“I’ve been reading a lot more Hegel” as well as continental philosophy, Rachel says, though the rewards can be difficult to identity. “I almost feel like I’m not better off,” she says. “The more I learn, the harder it is to put the pieces together.” A graduate student in both law and biomedical engineering, she says that her study of Hegel has helped her to discern “what is propaganda versus English common law” in modern ideas like Critical Theory. “I gave up on the esteric stuff,” she says, because “it was frustrating. I couldn’t figure out what was important and what was not.” Part of her problem, she says, is that Lindsay’s understanding of Hegel has evolved as well, so that “going back to his older stuff kind of re-confused me.” She struggles to figure out what has the most utility: “It feels like I'm looking at a picture in low resolution.”
‘Jarrett’ developed a philosophy habit in school. “I have a gnoseological disposition,” he says: he was striving not just to know, but to know how to know. He was drawn to theories of knowledge and knowing. He felt different from his peers, as though “tragically cut off from reality.”
“I was a gnostic,” he now realizes, because I wasn’t materialist.” His journey through text in search of answers “was almost chronological,” he says, starting with the Greeks and working his way forward. “But I skipped Hegel for understandable reasons,” Jarrett says. “He’s legendarily impossible to read he tried.” He summarizes: Hegel “tried to get around nihilism by describing a teleology to his system.” God was dying in the 19th century, so Hegel tried to replace God with a philosophy of history that explained everything by its purpose. Marcus Aurelius asked of each particular thing “what is it in itself, in its own construction?” Hegel asks instead: “why did an ersatz God of History put that particular thing there?” He famously referred to Napoleon as “the world-spirit on horseback.” Accordingly, we must conclude that History put the Adige River where it is so that Napoleon could cross over it on a pontoon bridge to outflank the Austrians at Arcole.
Consider the following quote from Metahistory by Hayden White, an incredibly dense book about modern historical philosophers that I had to struggle through in graduate historiography. “Hegel’s thought about history began in Irony,” White writes, capitalizing the word irony to make it pompous. “He presupposed history as a prime fact of both consciousness (as paradox) and human existence (as contradiction) and then proceeded to a consideration of what the Metonymical and Synecdochic modes of comprehension could make of a world so apprehended.” This is the opening of the chapter on Hegel, White’s first modern historical philosopher, which follows eighty pages of introduction and a first chapter that are meant to set up the reader’s understanding of it. White then spends fifty pages explaining what it means. He is at least as difficult to understand as Hegel. There is simply no shortcut.
Because Jarrett could not read Hegel, he could not associate with the contemporary left at all. He was not political at all, though — not until “I had political interests that were downstream of my philosophical interests,” he says. He found James Lindsay in the course of his long-running personal research into gnostic thought. Lindsay “was the best resource” on how the topic applied to the present day, Jarrett says. But he is pessimistic that the downward spiral will ever stop.
“I think it’s over,” he says in the wake of the October 7 attacks. “There is no liberal-democratic solution to our problems. Democracy without a superordinate religion is, and can only be, mob rule.” Our ersatz gods are leading us to disaster and we have no way out of the Hegalian dialectical trap. Dystopia is upon us. “I’m a high school English teacher,” he says." “Millennials are pretty bad, but if people had any idea how profoundly inept Gen Z is, they would abandon all other pursuits in order to start building a doom bunker.”
“Gen X might’ve been nihilistic, but at least it could read. Gen Z? Not so much.” Utopianism has already gone too far. The gender identity stuff? “It’s cancer,” he says. But it has already metastasized.
There are virtually no people who will change their minds due to X activism, in part because our basic orientations are seldom the result of abstract reasoning. But even if some do change their minds politically, they will simply catalyze the dialectic from the opposite side. Followers are fans, not students. We all build our own reality tunnels, and hardly anyone does this with an eye toward invalidating their own (at this point deeply fortified) beliefs.
In short, we are so far removed from health and reason that activism looks silly. We have reached such a nadir of cultural/spiritual rot that “What Is A Woman?” actually found an audience. An even potentially healthy culture could not supply an audience for such a thing. Its subject matter would be beneath contempt.
Jarrett is now reading The Orthodox Way by Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, a critic of gnostic Christianity. He found Ware through Jonathan Pageau, who had been mentioned by Jordan Peterson, James Lindsay, and Eric Vogelin. Jarrett cannot help his gnoseological disposition. At one point, jesting in the direct message thread, Jarrett and I discover a mutual love of Maynard Keenan. “Bless his gnostic heart,” Jarrett remarks of Keenan’s spiritual lyrics.
Once you can see it, you see it everywhere, and then you cannot unsee it.
Isaiah Carter has been a Twitter/X acquaintance of mine going back several years. During January 2020, he approached me in a frantic search for understanding what was happening to him. Having become aware of the problems with ‘gender identity’ recently, he balked at using they/them pronouns for a ‘nonbinary’ acquaintance in conversation with his girlfriend, herself a DEI bureaucrat, when the third party was not even present. His heresy was unacceptable to her, indeed it was like “listening to nails on a chalkboard” and reason to cancel the relationship, according to a series of disturbing text messages that Isaiah received afterwards.
“It was insane to watch,” Isaiah says. In those moments, he “finally began to understand what DEI was.” He now saw vulnerable black women being used as tokens to advance policy goals against their own interests. Her behavior since that time has further demonstrated the “dysfunction” at the heart of her career, he says. “These DEI commissars are broken people looking for something that was missing in their own lives,” he says. They are “very narcissistic, have horrible home lives.”
As Isaiah came to understand that ‘gender identity’ is a new gnostic faith movement — an alchemical admixture of Marxism and sexual paraphilias that sterilizes children and encourages Cluster B narcissism — he found himself swinging away from the left, a political pendulum. Looking anew at the ‘progressives’ of 2021, Isaiah found himself completely alienated. “I don’t know who the fuck these people are anymore,” he told conservative podcaster and author Adam Coleman recently. Isaiah was raised in a conservative family that now encourages him to remain a Democrat in order to fight the gender monster within the party. His politics are entirely up in the air right now.
Politics are in fact the problem, Isaiah says. His primary pet peeve right now, for example, is the state of soccer fandom. Isaiah is a DC United fan, but he is repelled by their obeisances to Pride™. The puritanical language-policing behind the dismissal of star forward Taxi Fountas — a native of Greece who uses an English interpreter — over unproven allegations of using racial slurs was outrageous to Isaiah. “It was strictly hearsay,” he says. Dutch forward Nigel Robertha “lied on him to get extra minutes,” Isaiah believes. “The coaches did not know what to do. The club made a bunch of overtures of DEI obeisance. They wore black armbands.” While the largest fan group, Screaming Eagles, did nothing, smaller, but more vocal groups leaned on the team to dismiss Fountas regardless of evidence. “It’s one of the greatest injustices in sport that I’ve ever seen,” Isaiah says.
After a great deal of virtue signalling, “it’s said that they mututally terminated the contract, but there was no way. There was just no way,” Isaiah complains. Adding injury to insult, “that screwup cost the club $5.5 million in transfer value” that should have come from Taxi’s current team. “That money should have gone in the team’s coffers,” he says. Instead of a real investigation, the club chose politics. “That political shit is going to kill MLS,” he worries. If the team ‘diversity’ program excludes non-native speakers for sounds they supposedly make during soccer practice, according only to people who do not speak Greek, then the team diversity program is the bigot.
Isaiah’s Twitter/X account was suspended for 119 days in 2021. His crime was giving grief to Daniel “Danielle” Muscato, who had been arrested on suspicion of drug manufacturing, by referring to him as “Walter White” in a tweet. (Muscato was released without any charges.) Furious, he kept filing requests for reinstatement. Finally, after Chappelle made a joke about white men using ‘trans’ identities to be racist in his Netflix stand-up show, Isaiah wrote another request for reinstatement that pointed out Twitter was literally enacting Chappelle’s joke. It worked.
When he returned to Twitter, Isaiah found James Lindsay. “I think I was just really, really curious to know about what I was seeing back in 2021,” he says. He finds Lindsay “prescient. He can be heady for most people’s tastes, I get it.” Isaiah has no trouble keeping up. “Maybe it’s my own spiritual background, my parents are devout Christians, but a lot of his philosophical conceptions, I have a head for. I understand it.” He was reading Woke Racism by John McWhorter and Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality by Helen Joyce when he found Lindsay, but all of his reading is online these days. Listening to Lindsay read and explain communist literature is more convenient for Isaiah, a transportation worker, than reading the texts himself.
What does he get from Lindsay? “Prescience. He is prescient,” Isaiah responds. “I used to say ‘James Lindsay has not been wrong about anything.’ This guy was as normal as I was. He went and got his PhD, he’s a math guy, sure. But early on in this thing he was just a massage therapist.” Lindsay had discovered the rot at the heart of the American university campus and returned to the world to tell everyone. His story resonates with Isaiah.
And then there is yours truly, dear reader. I found James Lindsay while researching the story of Gnosticism and gnostic ideas to retrace the origins of a new faith movement I discerned spreading upon the land. Lindsay calls Marxism and wokeness “cults,” whereas I had already been convinced for some time that ‘gender identity’ is a new gnostic faith movement when I ran across his work in the research process.
I had developed this insight because I had witnessed the fanaticism with which the gender zealots carried out their cancellations. As I made my views on the topic known, for example, the psychotic reaction in social media responses was something to behold. There were open calls for violence. People who had stood with me to defend abortion clinics in the past suddenly spoke in tongues at me like the holy rollers who blockaded patient access when the Army of God came to town. It was not even my first cancellation, but it was the hottest. I was fascinated. I was also terrified — not for myself, but for America, because I understood that there will have to be a reckoning for the revolutionaries.
We only ever have two political parties in the United States. The reasons are mathematical, not conspiratorial. We hold winner-take-all elections (majority rules) to choose representatives for geographical districts (because ‘no taxation without representation etc’). This fair-seeming system simply produces two major parties over time because of the ‘spoiler effect.’ (French mathematician Maurice Duverger figured this out, therefore it is known to political science as Duverger’s law.) Because we only ever have two political parties, Americans must always resolve a dialectic between them. Blue Democrat thesis meets red Republican antithesis; we vote; the result is supposed to be a synthesis. Lately, however, fewer Americans than ever before still adhere strictly to the program of either party, or wear a party label, while those who do wear it seemingly have no other identity, and everyone seems more interested in exercising power than respecting rules. Both parties struggle to decide what they really are.
Meanwhile, a great remixing is going on. Americans are being atomized in our politics, ionizing and realigning as free political particles, becoming something different than we were. Lindsay is a gravity well that gathers them up like dust in gravitation, perhaps coalesces some of these particles into chunks, forms others into rings, and flings still others into the darkness, towards other lodestars. To be sure, this is not a representative sample, but it demonstrates that something much larger than James Lindsay is happening, something too big and complicated to dismiss with glib labels like ‘right wing talking points.’
This is far from over. What is happening is still happening. I said above that it seemed the group of “anti-communists” could agree to disagree, but instead, some of the people quoted here have left the group in recent weeks. They are exhausted by the dialectic. No utopia exists where everyone is in agreement on the basic principles of understanding. World events have drained hope lately. Pessimism is a problem for many people right now, and these people are tuning out the news cycle just like everyone else. Who knows how many of us will still be listening to James Lindsay in a year, or five years, or how we will vote at that time. To make assumptions about us, or our future, on faith alone, is perilous.
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