CultState| You are more than your identity
It’s been over a year since The Theory of Fracturing Monocultures was published and during that year, the theory has been successfully tested.
The Twitter hashtag #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen was the first application of the theory. Members of the 4chan board /pol/ created dozens of fake accounts designed to look like women of color. They used the same techniques pixel-based feminists utilize to game social media: _dehumanization of critics, signal boosting the mundane, and tone policing_. This resulted in several days of white feminists desperately pleading on Twitter to be quiet and listen and eventually the monoculture obeyed.
Soon after that, many of these same accounts were utilized to promote the #endFathersDay hoax. For a week, prominent feminists and feminist blogs actively promoted the idea. Even after the hoax was revealed, the monoculture was not able to quickly disengage from the narrative since the tone of the hashtag was similar to something the monoculture would actually believe.
The results are conclusive: The imperial monoculture of pixel-based feminism -CAN- be fractured, but how was it fractured and why did it fracture?
1.) Self-identification is automatically trusted
The lure of the monoculture is that as long as you self-identify with an orthodox identity, then you will be able to leverage the entire monoculture for your goals. (Promoting blogs, reviews, and other gamified content) However, once the identity is pledged, every action after that will be under imperial review with strict punishment for the slightest violation. This dual incentive for compliance creates a walled garden that, in turn, creates the illusion of a grand ideological unity. Finally, this illusion is essential to the cherished “safe space“ of the monoculture and to question any component of this complete illusion threatens the safe space.
Therefore, questioning the self-identity of another erodes the illusion of unity, which might erode the safe space, which means all self-identifications must be automatically trusted. Furthermore, the self-identification cannot be considered false as long as it is speaking in the tone of the monoculture as a whole.
In the event of #solidarityIsForWhiteWomen, members actively feared being labeled a racist, which means that questioning the self-identity of a woman of color would result in potential excommunication.
In the event of #endFathersDay, the self-identification was automatically trusted, allowing the narrative to get as loud as it did.
2.) The safe space is sacred
The safe space is only possible through absolute obedience to the monoculture. However, the same obedience shields it from criticism, which in turn, dramatically weakens the monoculture’s ability to adapt over time.
The safe space is sacred. Anything that is responsible for the safe space is sacred. The initial conditions responsible for that safe space are also sacred, so if there is a fundamental error in the design, then it is the fault of the believer, not the monoculture.
In the event of #solidarityIsForWhiteWomen, the safe space was totally shattered and had to be forcefully recreated by asking the monoculture to “be quiet and listen.“ Members of the monoculture were quick to blame themselves for not listening to women of color… without overtly self-identifying as racist themselves. (Though, is is theoretically possible members will even self-identify as racist if that means they get to retain membership within the monoculture)
In the event of #endFathersDay, instead of shattering the safe space, agitators spoke in the appropriate tone to amplify it. The monoculture generated a believable tone that was quickly championed for several days. When it was revealed that the safe space was actually compromised from the start, the monoculture was quick to lay blame and generated a new safe space. There must always be a safe space or the monoculture cannot provide returns. Members were not allowed to conclude that safe space -can- be compromised, because that would invalidate its holiness.
Therefore, the safe space is entirely open to be manipulated (either to be destroyed or to be amplified) by -any- identity (and thus, invalidate its promise of safety) because the monoculture is not allowed to examine fundamental flaws in its own structure.
3.) You must find an enemy
The monoculture rewards the membership that engages in imperial conquest. By denouncing, humiliating, or otherwise dehumanizing a supposed enemy of the monoculture, the conqueror is rewarded in retweets, likes, upvotes, reblogs, and other arbitrary metrics of progress. The more targets that are attacked, the more points they receive. This naturally creates a structure that rewards any attack on anything, regardless of fault, through increasingly under-handed tactics.
Therefore, the monoculture exists to provide incentives for perpetual acts of dehumanization.
In the event of #solidarityIsForWhiteWomen, black membership attacked white membership, and when the agitators magnified the vitriol of the attack, white membership dehumanized itself in proportion to the vitriol.
In the event of #endFathersDay, the success of the trend was based entirely on fulfilling the required mandate of dehumanizing an enemy of the monoculture, in this case, fathers.
If there isn’t an enemy, one must be found because there is no other way to collect points.
Even in the wake of two successful attempts at covert manipulation, the monoculture has not even attempted to fix its fundamental flaws. With the advent of #NotYourShield, the three aforementioned fracture points were tested and broke yet again.
Citing the previous two attempts against the monoculture, they believed that #NotYourShield was yet another covert operation. They quickly found an enemy, (chan) and generated a safe space, (“Those aren’t actual minorities, those are sockpuppets”) but this time, the safe space had a *very limited amount of authorized identities. (The gamer identity is now forbidden from the monoculture)
It turned out that the hashtag was actually comprised of a significant amount of non-white racial identities as well as female identities. The monoculture leveled their sights on active membership, monoculture supporters, and potential monoculture inductees, and unloaded upon them.
This means that the agitators have successfully exploited the immutable weaknesses of the monoculture (two jabs and then… nothing. The monoculture took the lead and attacked its own) and can potentially weaponize the entire structure for their own usage. And because of the monoculture’s impulse to punish all criticism, the membership that sees this exploitation isn’t allowed to fix it, (they’ll be forced to fracture off entirely and build a new monoculture) and the membership that cannot see the exploitation are not allowed to hold such a heretical belief, allowing successful agitators to issue internal purges almost at will.
The entire monoculture of pixel-feminism has been demonstrably and irreversibly compromised by non-approved identities because of three fracture points: the complete inability to handle identity emulation, the worship of an impossible standard of safety, and easily provoked bloodlust. And if one identity (especially one the monoculture hates so much) can direct the wrath of the monoculture against its own kind, then other identities are free to steer it just as easily.
This is a concept I’ve been working on since 2012 because it is the only solution I can think of to the zero bound problem that kept Ben Bernanke awake for his entire career at the Federal Reserve.
To preface, the zero bound problem “is a macroeconomic problem that occurs when the short-term nominal interest rate is at or near zero, causing a liquidity trap and limiting the capacity that the central bank has to stimulate economic growth.“
Monetarists believe that as long as the central authority continues to buy government bonds, then you’ll continue to have policies that expand GDP while promoting Keynes’s virtuous circle, but only under one condition: You must pay interest on a massive accumulation of reserves in order to prevent inflation.
There is one unfortunate side-effect: commercial banks will not leverage the public as a way to beat the Fed rate. This means commercial banks will not lend to you because they don’t have to. The Fed is paying all of the interest itself, so the commercial banks end up with massive cash reserves as well. Today, the Federal Reserve has a total reserve of $4.4 trillion. (To drive home the point, review their history of total reserves and see that this technique was recently embraced. )
And it is paying interest on this pile of money as their only way to suppress inflation.
Let’s depart from the technobabble and break this down in plebspeak.
In 2008, The Federal Reserve (the people in charge of all of the dollars you have to accumulate to pay your bills) performed a massive asset swap. They gave major banks cash in exchange for their toxic mortgage assets.
At nearly the same time, Federal Reserve also started quantitative easing, its long-term policy of purchasing US government bonds.
These two efforts should have most certainly caused inflation (causing gold prices to spike as a hedge, a position I was telling friends to get into in the early days of the 2008 crisis) but the Fed, under the guidance of the monetarists, preemptively positioned one policy as the foundation for the New Normal: they started paying interest on their reserves… two years before the crisis of 2008.
This means that, when a commercial bank takes a loan from the Federal Reserve, they have to pay nearly zero interest on that loan. This is because the Federal Reserve is paying that interest as was authorized by law in 2006.
This means that commercial banks have no reason to even lend that money out to you to help them beat a near zero rate. This means both the Federal Reserve and the commercial banks stockpile money since the motivation to involve with the public via interest rates are being handled centrally.
In short, the Federal Reserve is playing Atlas, holding up the world. And while Krugman only argues from the perspective of the Group of 30 and only sees a liquidity trap, I argue from the very different perspective: The Federal Reserve is caught in a confiscation trap: assets are first rescued, then increasingly borrowed, then finally outright taken as the only way to reduce the inflation caused by Atlas’s own passing.
In response to this, the world is placing their bets that Atlas will shrug one day. The Greenspan Put has been met with two outcomes: Putin Short and the Drone Long.
When left unchecked, the confiscation trap eventually has to promote social policies of direct dehumanization, typically achieved through identity politics. This provides the political will to target marginalized identities with additional asset confiscation. This generally results in civil war if executed too quickly, however, never before in history have central authorities been able to create a non-human confiscation force. When weaponized drones are paired with fairly simple object detection, then Atlas can raise a considerable confiscation force without drafting a single soul or importing a single mercenary. And who will build these drones? A public that has been systematically smoked out of its opportunity potential by the Federal Reserve playing Atlas. A public that will gladly build such things in exchange to even a pittance of the massive assets held by both commercial banks and the Federal Reserve. So, yes, it is different this time around. This is an investment position I call the Drone Long.
Another valid response to the confiscation trap is what I am calling the _Putin Short, named after Vladimir Putin. His investment position is to embrace what I have long called petrocurrency mercantilism_; a national policy of smoothing out risk to the reserve currency (The money created by the Federal Reserve) by way of exporting domestic energy to growing nations. Vladimir Putin himself is not a novel personality per se, but he’s just the first to be overtly vigorous in his establishment of this policy. I call this a short position because its gains are only realized during reserve currency instability. If Atlas shrugs and the reserve currency is ultimately undone, this framework rapidly descends into nations racing their monetary policies to the very, very bottom to promote energy exports, making nationalist warfare a very attractive means of wealth accumulation especially when it is conducted by an nearly-autonomous confiscation force.
As of today, the former Chief Economist of President Obama, Jared Bernstein, has written an article for New York Times, effectively asking to accelerate the world to embrace petrocurrency mercantilism by dethroning the dollar’s reserve status. With the removal of the reserve currency, nations will have no choice but to manage their own relations and investments, both of which can be perceptibly solved via the Drone Long (the purchasing of nearly-autonomous security) and the Putin Short. (the exporting of energy to afford said nearly-autonomous security)
When freedom is achieved (The information revolution) the monopoly on force will reposition itself accordingly. (From financial to military in this case) I have no clever, clickbait-friendly way to summarize this other than by saying the cycle of human suffering will continue well into the foreseeable future.
Censorship is not a top-down reaction chasing down an idea after it has gained popularity. That’s Fischer Price’s “My First Dictatorship“; some fairy tale plebs tell their children if they do bad things.
Real censorship is a multi-layered process. In order to prevent popularity of an idea, you have to prevent the idea from being spoken.
To get started, you foster an environment where everyone has their own subjective definition of every single word. This can be done by giving everyone nuggets of positive reinforcement (Henceforth referred to as “gold stars“) every time they perform behavior that demonstrates their willingness to create their own subjective lexicons. An example of this is to demonstrate clever-sounding hand-waving to describe a situation. The more grandiose the hand-waving, the bigger the gold star.
For instance, if the question is “Why did X happen?“ then acceptable ways to get gold stars would be answers likes “God“, “racism“, “classism“, and other shallow attempts to display an understanding of more complex affairs without being held responsible to demonstrate mastery of such complexity. The interface for authority (Parents at first, then community leaders, then mass media) gives the gold star, and the Pavlovian response is established.
This is the first layer of censorship: Rewarding acceptable behavior. The source of these gold stars must be an interface for authority.
This creates the second layer: Associating positivity with interfaces of authority.
This naturally creates an environment where failure to provide gold stars (by failing to accept the hand-waving) is not just a simple misunderstanding of semantics, but is, instead, a direct call for violent, identity-preserving confrontation.
This is the third layer: Punishing those who do not provide gold stars. The interface for authority can never dole out the punishment since the positive Pavlovian reinforcement must never be broken. This means that the offended must be free and even encouraged to punish the offender.
For example, if the question was (“Why does X suffer?“) Party A displays standard hand-waving grandiosity (“Because Y oppresses them“) and Party B says that’s incomplete, (“But Y is a symptom of Z“) Party A will fly into a rage and intimidate Party B (By typically shouting, “You’re atheist/racist/sexist/terrorist/etc.“) until gold stars are procured. Only gold stars can satiate the rage. Once mired in confrontation for even the slightest miscommunication, ideas and words cannot be spread at all.
This is the fourth layer of censorship: Fear of confrontation. As people have ideas in the future, they must filter them against previous examples of communication-inspired conflict. The fear of confrontation will prevent them from sharing the idea. This, unfortunately, does not eliminate the idea, however, and the idea holder may still have their behavior influenced by that idea even subconsciously.
This creates the fifth layer of censorship: Self-censorship. Once fear of confrontation has taken hold as the law of the land, people will voluntarily eliminate their own ideas (and anything that is similar) out of fear that simply having them will provoke conflict.