Thursday, 7 February 2019

Essay #3: Mass Movements and Boredom

"There is perhaps no more reliable indicator of a society's ripeness for a mass movement than the prevalence of unrelieved boredom."
-- Eric Hoffer

One of the cornerstones to a charged up movement is that you have a group of people with no real 'life'.  They aren't members of bowling club, a church, a weekend softball league, or bear-hunter's association. 

When Eric Hoffer wrote True Believer in the 1950s....he had done a fair amount of study over revolutionary groups and found that those who ran in and joined in the early stage.....really didn't have much of a life.  They were bored.  A mass movement or revolutionary group....was a relief to boredom.

You need a purpose and an identity.  You need something that gets you out of bed and peppy....when boredom is the reality of your life.

When you go and look at the Antifa groups, or the young social justice warriors.....they all have the same basic element....a bunch of members who don't have much of a life or enthusiasm for anything beyond their 'club'.

My brother (the engineer) often makes the analysis that guys need a good eight to ten hours of hard physical labor to get the boredom prevent them from doing stupid things (like tipping cows over at 11PM, or drinking to 2 AM in a honky tonk).  It's probably true that if people just got that boredom all pumped out.....they'd quietly avoid mass movements or social justice warrioring. 

Essay #2: Mass Movements and Hatred

Hatred is the most accessible and comprehensive of all unifying agents.  It pulls and whirls the individual away from his own self, make him oblivious to his own weal (a bruise left upon the body after a slap or hit) and future, and frees him of jealousies and self-seeking. 
-- Eric Hoffer

In a true mass movement, you need something to 'hate', resent, avenge for, or just something to bother you on a day-by-day or week-by-week basis.  Just being satisfied and happy....won't achieve a long lasting attachment to a movement.

The neat thing about having this hate or resentment....being in the company of can sit and talk about your hatred, and find companions who feel like you do.  A team of 'haters'?  Well, it's a great thing.  They can come out to some meeting and get all hyped up....getting the adeline flowing, and feel a certain charge.  You don't get that with 'love' people or happy people.

So you start to look around and notice that social media has created various 'hate-groups'.  They seek your attention and look for charismatic folks with hate-charm, and push them to the front to further the talk and escalation of more hate.

You can create songs around hate....comic dialogs based on hate....movies driven by hate....and even sports hype to generate hate.  The NFL, with the Colin Kaepernick kneeling business helped to generate hate, which translated into lesser TV rating, fewer fans, and a very likely NFL strike in 2021.  News story generations can be contrived in such a way that a hate-fan base will feel great happiness in the hate story, and drive the movement along to the next agenda. 

As long as people are oblivious to the hate hype and continue to fall for the 'trap' proceeds on.  The minute that you have people stop in mid-stream and start to ask questions over the hate.....then you have a problem. 

If hate swivels up and slows down?  The mass movement is in trouble. 

Virginia, Blackface, and Intrigue

Over the past two weeks, I've sat and watched this episode with the Virginia Governor, and Lt-Governor.  Both are democrats and it's just rather odd that some downfall would occur like this. 

First, you would think that in the vetting process...both (the Governor with the blackface episode and the Lt-Governor with the sexual assault episode) should have laid this out prior to running, or someone should have spoken about this.

Second, both intend to stay on and fight for their cause. 

Having grown up in Alabama in the 1960s and 1970s....I have to admit this rare just didn't have plays or parties going on, with blackface being used.  Maybe I didn't hang out with the 'right' crowd.  But you just didn't notice things like that.

This sexual assault story?  Once you sit down and read the whole just reminds you a lot of the Michael Douglas 1987 movie....'Fatal Attraction'.  You walk into some situation....bump into some lady who is not completely 'normal', and wake up to realize you got a mess on your hands.  I feel sorry for the Lt-Governor, but I think every single guy in age 18, should watch 'Fatal Attraction' and write down a dozen personal rules about situations to just walk away from and avoid like the plague.

Why so many people latching onto this scandal-drama?  Well....the public, mostly because of social media and stupidity, are behaving like a herd of cows.  While there was a time when the controllers of the internet could herd the cows in one direction.....I suspect we've entered the stage where the herd can flip and turn quiet well now.....on their own.  Just one hint of a scandal, and that can move out and reach one-million people in a matter of six hours.  Politicians are just not prepared for this type of environment where some little small scandal item from 1984 pops up, and they have to launch into a defense.

The odds that the next Governor's race in Virginia will be a freak show?  I think it's going to be hard to sign up for a race, and have everyone drilling down into your find your sexual assault or your blackface incident to show up.  A simple DWI from 1982, or a financial mess with 22 credit cards in 1998, or four-week visit to a 'fat-farm' in 2002.....all could lead to some public 'casting of the stones' on the candidate.  Just admitting that you routinely bet $50 on NFL games, or that you dated a Russian-model for a year in the 1990s....would be enough now to disqualify your candidacy.