A while back I was perusing some old Louder with Crowder videos. I had options you see… continue with my study of Dante’s Inferno, digest the indigestible work of Robert Massie’s Peter the Great: His Life and World, or watch funny YouTube videos.
I chose the former.
I have always enjoyed Louder with Crowder. His “Change My Mind” videos are both interesting and disheartening at the same time.
As I was scrolling through his list of videos, I started to notice the occasional long-format video that clearly had a different agenda than his traditional ones. One in particular sort of screamed out for me to watch: his soirée into the world of Marxism as he attended his first Socialist Convention.
Now, it is important to remember that this video was filmed during the Trump administration and was pre-toilet paper wars. That said, from the perspective of a viewer who knows how the narrative turns out, watching the video was less amusing, and far more thought provoking. It also shows us who is now in charge.
During the video, Crowder, along with his sidekick, attempts to figure out how to “sound” like a Marxist so they can fit in and not draw suspicion to themselves. Of course, predictable hilarity ensues.
But then there is the “scene” that I think, in retrospect, really was a harbinger of things to come: At one point Crowder and his friend need to transit from one location to another and two “real Marxists” decide to carpool with them. A camera on the dashboard records the action. The two Marxists in the back seat of the car are young women who they met at the conference.
Crowder is making small talk as they drive around looking for what is supposed to be a “worker’s rally” that had been previously scheduled. He says something about thinking they might be lost, and one of the women in the back seat exclaims that she finds the term “lost” to be offensive; it suggests that as a male, he would always know where he is and the fact that he is now claiming to be lost suggests a pejorative attack on gender.
Crowder seems legitimately perplexed.
His partner then exclaims the fact that she has called him out for being lost is triggering him and he is suffering from an anxiety related to conflict.
This causes the other female to exclaim that she, herself, is being triggered by the openness of the dialogue that is reminding her too much about her childhood traumas.
Not wanting to feel abandoned, Crowder issues forth what he suspects is a superior form of aggrieved status trumping all of theirs.
For the rest of the video a sort of strange competition ensues with each of the group trying to “out offend” the other.
While Crowder and his partner are, of course, play acting, the two women are deadly serious. Each seems to have a vested interest in being acknowledged as the strongest victim in the group.
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This culture of victimization has now become institutionalized. This should not be terribly surprising. Political pendulums swing, but usually within a fairly narrow arch. Since the 1960s, that swing has been enhanced by two separate factors. The guardrails of social discourse have been dismantled, thus social barriers of conduct have been removed, and the mechanism causing the pendulum to shift has been given high octane rocket fuel… that propellent is called: money.
There are far too many people in our society who have a vested pecuniary interest in maintaining conflict, or the appearance of conflict. Institutional and systemic racism / sexism /ageism / techism / ludditeism, et al have not become the issues to be avoided in modern society, but in a bizarre contra-textual aspect, the issues to be embraced.
Like the French after WWII, the only legitimate French citizen was one who worked in the resistance in occupied France. Miraculously, everyone and anyone in France claimed they had, in fact, been working in the resistance!
Today, the only way to establish credibility within the system is to proffer the status of victim. If proof is not forthcoming, then the act of simply “being” can be construed as sufficient proof of victimization.
The complexity of the tapestry of victimization is amazing too. Not only can you be a victim due to your skin color, your ethnicity, your religion, your desires, your diseases, your compulsions, your conditions… but the quality of your “victimhood” gives you a certain status among equals.
Yes… all victims are created equal, but certain victims are more equal than others.
Will the pendulum swing back again?
Oh, of course it will. It is inevitable. Those who believe in the arrogance of permanence are usually the first to be sacrificed in a revolution. We should not be surprised that the mediocre have ascended to the throne… after all… isn’t mediocrity the ultimate manifestation of victimization?
Yes… perhaps the inmates have taken over the asylum, or maybe a better metaphor would be to suggest that the sheep have banished the sheep dog and canceled the herder. This is all well and good until the wolf decides to return.