Hey everyone! I’m Mattasher and this is Endgame, a show about the final days of the technium.
In this video I’m going to present a theory. I’ve only had it for about a week, so it’s still quite raw. But as soon as I began exploring it, I noticed that it did a better job than any other framework I know in terms of explaining our current cultural and political moment. Maybe you’ll agree.
The theory came to me while listening to the latest episode of the Radio Lab podcast, For Whom the Cowbell Tolls. It tells the story of a Nancy Holten, a Dutch woman who moves to a small Swiss village, and immediately begins complaining about their style of life. Holten hates the morning church bells. She hates the meat eating. She hates having to wear shoes. She even hates the cowbells, the very symbol of her adopted home. She hates all these things so badly that she tries to get everyone around her to give them up. The community, as might be expected, pushes back against her.
It turns out that in Switzerland, the community you settle in gets to vote on your citizenship. It’s a throwback to the country’s roots as a highly decentralized democracy.
As might be expected after aggressively insulting her new community, they vote no to her citizenship petition. Twice.
Holten’s story makes for a very interesting podcast. More than interesting, though, I found it revealing. While certainly not told in a one-sided way, reporter Kelly Prime clearly wants us to see Holten as the victim of closed minded xenophobic yokels. She’s a powerless immigrant, a barefooted, free-spirit minority the Swiss are cruelly trying to deny citizenship to.
But she’s not an immigrant. Not really.
She’s a colonist.
The analogy I want to make here, the thing that’s becoming clear to me, is that those who oppose globalism and the cultural left, those who resist the Resistance, are now in the position that Native Americans were in a couple hundred years ago.
This is the theory. And I understand it’s may seem like a stretch, but hear me out.
Let’s start by recognizing that the dominant narrative, in almost every mainstream media outlet, is that immigration is good, especially when it involves the movement of people from non-western cultures into the west. In these stories, we are meant to sympathize with those who want to come in, not those who want to keep out. And we are meant to sympathize with immigrants struggling to keep their culture in a new environment that’s hostile to the practices and languages they bring with them. The very framing of these conflicts makes the biases clear.
To the cultural elite, including almost every well known journalist, reporter, talking head, or politically active celebrity, globalism is good, nationalism is bad. And decentralization, especially the kind of decentralization that let those backwoods Swiss hicks try and block citizenship from an immigrant. That’s bad.
Anti-globalists. Those who believe in local autonomy, they are the natives, the Indians in this analogy. There may still be a lot of these folks, but their days are numbered. The cultural left is, right now, in the process of rolling over them with a relentless campaign of propaganda. To the left, if you are part of this native cultural population, you’re way of life is already dead. You’re on the wrong side of history, and it’s only a matter of time before manifest destiny eliminates your backwards culture. Every era has it’s demonized population, and right now, that’s you. You are the indigenous population, and you have to go.
Seem extreme? Consider the parallels. Assume with me, for the moment anyway, that your tribe is the indigenous population, and the culturally left globalists are the colonists.
What would that look like?
We might see the following: Stories of bad things done by your tribe are amplified endlessly by the press, while stories of bad actions by the colonists are ignored. If an Indian kills a settler? That’s front page news for months! But if a hunting party of colonists “accidentally” shoots a couple of your kind, and then takes their land. So what?
In this context, complaining about bias doesn’t matter. Pointing out the unfairness of the situation doesn’t matter. Playing the victim card, like you see those colonists do over and over, that doesn’t matter. The colonists don’t care because they *want* you to be the victim. Your victimization is their goal. They want your land, and they despise your way of life.
At best you appear to them as some kind of noble savage, like the modern left views those pitiful coal miners and their simple minded ways, good for plucking the fiddle but we all know what happens if you stray too deep into their territory.
In this theory the left, the so called Resistance, is really engaged in a war of cultural conquest. In particular, they are attempting to colonize native populations and wipe out their idiosyncratic beliefs and practices. The weapons of this war are guilt and propaganda, the soldiers are mainstream journalists backed up by swarms of angry blue checkmarks on Twitter.
At the physical level, they take over territory the same way American settlers did two hundred years ago, they move in, and they occupy it, crowding out, or directly pushing out the decentralized groups who were already there. They’ve done this with higher education, they did it with every mainstream magazine and almost every news channel, they did in with Hollywood, and right now it’s being done with the physical migration of people.
Holten, the woman in the Radiolab story, she’s a colonists. Imbued with the god given right to move wherever she wants and begin imposing her views on the native population, because her views are right. She’s on the right side of history, the locals are the backwards people who just happen to live in an idyllic rural paradise she wants to occupy, so long as they get rid of the church bells and the cow bells and the meat eating any anything else that bothers her sensibilities. Her sensibility would be instantly familiar to a a colonial settlers upset by the practices of all those savage non christians around them.
In this model, colonization is the end game. Subdue the natives and take over their land. Destroy their culture. Send their kids to residential schools taught by colonists.
To win this game, abstract principals, like democracy, are only supported to the extent that they can be used as weapons in service of the colonial agenda. If not, they are and challenged, disparaged, deprecated as relics of a naive past.
Witness the transition, the absolutely whiplash inducing ideological switch, that colonists made two years ago when they went from attacking Trump for questioning the purity of the electoral process when they thought he would lose, to questioning the legitimacy of the election, and electoral process itself, the moment he won.
Or witness the protracted attempt to keep Great Britain in the EU after their citizens voted the “wrong” way on Brexit.
Or witness, as recounted in the RadioLab episode, how Holten was able to appeal her citizenship decision to the central government, nullifying the local autonomy of her villages for making the mistake of voting the “wrong” way on citizenship for her.
I want to take a step back and be careful about some things here, with this theory. It’s easy to personify a group of people, then attack their motives as if this they were all a single one big devious group with all the same beliefs. It’s easy to try and find a Soros or Mano Negra behind everything.
I want to be clear that this isn’t what I’m arguing. That’s not the theory. I believe the colonists of the cultural left are doing what they are doing out of a conviction that they are (metaphorically or literally) doing God’s work. It’s manifestly clear (to them) that they are good people, and the natives, no mater how noble, are savages under the surface. Their college professors told them this. The mainstream media told them this. The evidence is all around. How can you miss it?
Just take a moment to play the mainstream media’s favourite sport, “spot the savage” and you’ll see it. Everyone outside the frontier gates is some form of deplorable. Look hard enough, and sooner or later you’ll see it.
Perhaps we let these savages into the city briefly to trade with us, but never forget their true nature, and never hesitate to string them up if they exhibit any of that savagery on our territory. Like we did with racist Rosanne, when she exposed her true nature with that tweet. Scratch hard enough, and you can expose every Indian as a savage.
This unmasking is often presented to as a key moment in the narrative. Listen for the moment in the RadioLab episode, when reporter Kelly Prime, after ever so carefully introducing us to both sides in the conflict, clutches her pearls in horror as she, oh so regrettably, spots the savage.
Once you start looking for the colonists playing spot the savage, you’ll see it everywhere. On feminist podcasts that dissect everything the opposition says looking for evidence of sexism. In mainstream press headlines that continually bash the opposition as dumb.
More than any other other theory I know, this one explains the colonist’s detachment from the traditional enlightenment virtues of logic and persuasion. For the cultural left, accusations of racism and sexism are tools to dehumanize the enemy. To “expose” them as savages.
And if your enemies are savages, and it’s your manifest destiny to take over their lands, then the means you use to achieve those ends are largely irrelevant. So what if you lie? So what if you steal?
So what, if you murder.
Historically, war is held in check not by the opposition’s guns, but by internal tribal norms. Young men are always up for a raiding party to capture some of the enemies cattle or women. What holds them in check, generally speaking, isn’t the fear of getting killed, it’s internal norms.
It’s the old folks who’ve learned the wisdom of keeping these passions in check, along with teachers who instruct us that attacks need more moral justification than a desire to take what someone else has. Human civilization has avoided the state of constant tribal warfare because even warriors learn that if they strike out against another tribe by themselves, even if this attack is a success, they’ll come back to disapproval or punishment. Their own tribe will be ashamed of them.
For the new colonists, internal enforcement of traditional western norms for dialogue with the opposition, like rules of honesty and moderation of response, are largely absent. Even worse, tribe members who attempt to enforce them are, themselves, scorned.
Witnesses the intra-tribe hatred directed towards Matt Taibi and Glenn Greenwald, both left leaning journalists who joined the opposition in criticizing the Russia Collusion myth, and the members of their own tribe who pushed that hoax.
In daring to criticize their own, Taibi and Greenwald located themselves outside the colonial walls, with the enemy!
This is NOT to say that the colonists have no norms. They have lots of them. Just that when it comes to engaging the enemy, not even the moral equivalent of slipping them smallpox infested blankets is condemned by the fellow colonists as a whole.
Only when a cultural colonist goes so far as to suggest a teenager be literally fed to a wood chipper, for wearing a MAGA hat and smirking at someone. Only then does this colonist face some measure of condemnation from his own tribe, enough, at least, to compile the colonist to take down a tweet and apologize.
It’s telling that on a liberal campuses you can get the well indoctrinated colonists to agree with the statement that Trump supporters should be put involuntarily put in re-education camps.
If all this cultural-colonialism talk seems to extreme to believe, look at how well it explains the dynamics of the skirmishes we see.
Look at what happened when religious conservative Ben Shapiro challenged cultural Marxist Alexandria Occasio-Cortez to a debate about socialism.
Her response was to decline the invitation by saying she didn’t need to reply to every cattle call. For the right, this looked like an admission that she was afraid to debate. But for Occasio-Cortez, and her fellow colonists, her response was perfect: You’re a savage, I don’t respond to savages.
In the model I’m presenting, natives are fighting’s with the tools of the enlightenment, whereas the colonists are using newer, much more potent weapons. Identity politics. Victimhood theology. And linguistic shenanigans, in particular the normative-normative two step, which I’ve blogged about before and will discuss more in future video (hit subscribe now so you don’t miss it).
These tools work because they are backed up by aggressive emotional appeals and an internal logic so twisted, that arguing against it is like debating a flat-earther. Just try and get someone who claims they lack privilege, to understand how strange it is that they feel entitled to yell at people they disagree with to Sit Down and Shut Up!
If you are a native, if you oppose the colonists. Your speech is called hate speech and banned. Your tweets and posts are censored or hidden. Your arguments are considered so dangerous that the colonists needs safe spaces to hide away from them, and can’t tolerate allowing anyone to make them on their campuses.
The great fear of the colonists is that their members will defect and go join up with a native tribe. This explains why colonists invest so much energy stigmatizing the others. It’s why they excommunicate friends who vote red. It’s why they beat up so many people for wearing MAGA hats. It’s why they try and label anyone who doesn’t agree with them with the vilest slurs they can imagine. They aren’t trying to win over the natives, there trying to destroy them, and prevent any of their own tribe members from going native by raising the social costs of dissent.
Getting red pilled is the new version of going native.
Lately the natives have begun to realize that the tools of the enlightenment are failing them in this war.
They natives have developed their own form of guerrilla warfare. The main new weapon used to fight back against the cultural colonists, is Memes. If calling memes a weapon seems like a silly claim, it didn’t seem silly to Hilly Clinton in 2016, when she spent a significant amount of energy going after a cartoon frog.
Because people like to take things out of context, or assume things that aren’t said just because their not disclaimed, I want to be as clear as possible about something.
The theory I’m presenting is NOT meant to be a defense of any indigenous group or their beliefs. It’s NOT to say that every complaint of the cultural colonialists against the natives is unfounded. And it’s most certainly not to claim the the peoples they are colonizing are saints. This is not a defense of any ism.
There are, you might say, bad people on both sides of the frontier walls. There are people with nasty beliefs, and deplorable tactics, on both sides of the culture wars.
I just don’t find the argument that the cultural colonists are trying to bring enlightenment to the savages very compelling. Like a group of unbathed, disease ridden colonials lecturing the natives about purity, I can think of lots of ways the modern cultural colonists could improve themselves instead of pointing their fingers at the natives.
At the close of the Radiolab episode, Kelly Prime makes a big deal of noting that once Holten got the federal government of Switzerland to override the local vote, and grant her citizenship, she was willing to put shoes on her previously bare feet.
One way to view this is as an overture to assimilation. Once she’s forced the local population to accept her presence, she moderates her behaviour as a show of respect to theirs.
But I have a hard time seeing it that way. To me, it looks like a colonists, secure in her victory over the indigenous population, hanging up one of those dream catchers from her window as a talisman, a reminder of some romanticized vision of the vanquished.
You can find me on twitter or minds as @mattasher, or you can comment wherever you’re watching this. Follow or subscribe to join the conversation.