We’re actually going to talk about two different things today, and then we’re gonna wind them into the same topic. Because here in the Grey Layer, (where we are all blinded and wandering ghosts) that’s how we roll.
Counterculture and dehumanisation. That’s where we’re going today. I just saw Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) declare that conservatism is the new counterculture. In fact, he’s been screaming it on his Twitter feed for basically a week now, and I felt like taking that on for a moment. My basic question goes a little something like this: why is there a need to declare counterculture, and what, exactly, does that do? If we define counterculture, have we also magically defined culture? Or is counterculture independent of wider meanings, without needing a “culture” to be counter to?
I know. Big questions. I guess let’s start with, what’s culture?
Culture seems to be a set of traits and beliefs which are widely shared across the spectrum of a given community. Rome had a culture. Ancient Greece had a culture. Islam currently has a (pretty aggressive) culture as Iran tests rockets in the Mediterranean Sea.
Do we, here in Canada, have a culture? Sure we do. There’s a reason that we can be stereotyped, right? The same things that let people make fun of us, also lets us take pride in who we are. We say “sorry” a lot. We include everyone. We’re tolerant and polite, at least outwardly. We drink a lot, and have socialism as a political model.
So what is our counterculture? Does it necessarily mean that you have to be, what; someone who never says sorry, includes absolutely nobody ever, is completely intolerant and impolite at all times while being completely sober and rooting for anarchism?
Of course not. It couldn’t possibly work that way, because our hypothetical countercultural person couldn’t possibly sustain existence, right? Who would hire someone like that, much less keep them on for long enough that they can build a life for themselves inside a culture which is created of inverted values. Who would marry someone like that? If our person is female, she never leaves the house anyway. If our person is male, well, women are much more socially conscious and culturally-oriented than men as a trend, and so, you know… good luck?
Counterculture has to survive. It can’t be dangerous or interesting or even (as it seems to try to be) edgy and noticeable if it never gets to participate in anything. Societal infrastructure is built on the premise of shared culture. It’s why we have official languages, modes of conduct, currency, monetary principle, property rights, and so forth.
So what is it, exactly? It has to defy, probably, at least one major component of culture at a time. But what, now, is culture? Canada, for example, has incorporated a nearly infinite number of distinct ideologies which could have been counted as “culture” throughout history; Chinese, Japanese, Islam, Pan-Arabian, Pakistani, Mongol, Russian, German, American, and anything else which has ever existed under the human sun and during human timelines.
If counterculture just has to defy one of any of the trends that any of those cultures might espouse, then everyone is counterculture.
That doesn’t seem to be the way this works, though. So, here’s my hypothesis. Counter-culture emerges when people begin to defy what the majority of the community agrees upon, and not only agrees upon, but creates as social policy.
What is social policy? Think of a social justice warrior and the things they believe, then try to backtrack to where they might’ve learned about all that stuff. Those most basic principles that are the glue which holds a society together.
So what are social justice warriors all about? Well, they can be said, in their more sober moments (when not filled with frothing crimson rage) to be about tolerance and equality. They have, of course, failed to realise that when you weaponise values like tolerance and equality, they stop being tolerant and equal-minded.
Weapons, naturally, have to be used against people, and when you run out of victims, the weapons become useless. So you have to never run out of victims, and therefore must continually broaden your definition of the “people who are against tolerance and equality!” Those people, naturally, are not to be tolerated or thought of as equal. You can see the problem, there.
Counterculture, then, must be deployed against tolerance and equality… or should it? The thing about Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) is that he’s not against those things, despite all the screaming. He’s against other people being only ostentatiously for those things, but without the substance behind it.
Really, he’s against incorrect application of culture (and I use him as an example because Britain and the West at large’s culture is very similar to Canada’s, now) and therefore is actually… for… culture?
The thing about conservatism is that it seeks to cling to the values of the society. It seeks to change little or nothing, but rather to reinforce the values which created the society in the first place. Tolerance and equality and the rule of law all feature prominently in the West in the historical sense, along with the separation of church and state and democracy, at least in the representative sense.
What does that go against?
And yes, yes, yes that just happened. We’re back to left vs right again.
Remember, we are a Great Mass of C-average entities. There are only two choices, because two whole, discrete choices with their ramifications and consequences are more or less the limit of what we are apparently able to divine across the macrocosm of human experience.
The further left you swing the societal pendulum, the further to the right will counter-culture emerge.
Look at how far left we are. The Canadian government is literally about to repeal freedom of speech. That’s how far left we are. We’re so far left we’ve wandered into feminist fascism, where we’re working so hard to protect people’s feelings that we’ve decided to eliminate the basic tenets of our society in the doing of it.
So what is counterculture now?
Hard-edged rationalism. Homogeneity. Ethnocentrism, in some cases, but not in any real sense. Nobody cares about anyone’s nationality as long as they cleave toward Western values. Counterculture now is what conservatism always has been. Free speech. Capitalism. Constant revolt and challenge. Competition on the market with hard-nosed brutality, and most of all? A complete disinterest in unity in terms of anything other than clinging to those Western values.
You’ll notice that those are all things the left hates about Donald J. Trump. He prefers to shift immigration (from its current focus on recruiting from the Middle-East and South America) from Europe. He wants to build a wall to hold out illegals, which only doesn’t make sense to people who aren’t rational; breaking the law means you’re in prison, or deported. Shit’s that simple. He talks. A lot, and with great relish, which has always been a very American tradition, and of course, Trump is a monster capitalist.
Basically, the Americans managed to elect the counterculture candidate, and something similar is occurring in nearly every single Western democracy, from Brexit to Front Nationale to AfD to the rise of Maxime Bernier in Canada.
What does counterculture mean to you?
Counterculture is rehumanisation.
Counterculture is currently (because, by its nature, it’s always current—it must always be deployed against the current dominant force) how you re-attach conservatism to actual human beings. Not the Westboro Baptist Church. Not Nazis. Not irate KKK members. None of those are real, forceful institutions despite the desperate, hyperbolic screaming of the left.
What counterculture does, eventually and over time, is erode public confidence that their “culture” is the only correct answer to any given problem, simply by existing as an alternative behaviour. It lets people see that there are other options for behaviour, for speech, and even for fashion choice—which is the usual route by which people express countercultural opinions. That all those options exist while still being a member of your society is a big deal, because it begins to open up choice and speech.
So if you want to engage in free speech, say, do, or wear things differently than the Great Mass, and show people that they can still. The world only seems frightening until you stop following and playing wallflower.
Put on something crazy, talk about that thing you think that you always ignore because other people won’t agree with you, and do whatever you want for a few hours one of these days. You’ll be amazed at how free you feel.
PS, go give @PrisonPlanet a follow on Twitter, and see if you can get a feel for what I’m talking about.