Today's topic needs no introduction. It's been a staple of human experience for time immemorial. It's the language spoken by both the intelligent and the insane, the high born and the low. The tool of communication that punctuates, emphatically, any point being made.
You might justifiably be wondering what that has to do with a pine cone. So, let's briefly recap before we get to our main point... that like other patterns in nature, hardship is required for growth.
We've discussed in the past that not all violence is created equally, and that those calling for violence generally have very little experience with it. Here, we'll open the next Matroshka and say that all stories, taken to their logical conclusion, end in violence. You can't negotiate or compromise indefinitely, and as in a street fight, the guy who lands the first hit generally walks away having absorbed the least punishment. That has significant impacts for the current events in the United States as of the time of this writing.
As Yogi Berra famously said, "predictions are tough, especially about the future." While we can look at current events and overlay them with other historic events, no absolutes exist save one: We're moving towards greater destabilization. We've had very tense moments in the past - to include a civil war - so this article isn't to present a doomer approach to spur you into diving headlong into a bunker and living there until the next World War has passed. On the other hand, a destabilized republic in 1862 had much different global impacts than a destabilized US Republic in 2020, if for no other reason, the United States is the progenitor of the world's reserve currency. We won't belabor the point much, but during the civil war, loads of false currency was introduced into the economy to destabilize the economic productivity and output. That had very real consequences then, but now, could send the west into some very rough air in the near term future.
In Understanding Emergencies, we discuss at length the hysteria that accompanies shortages. We're beginning to see the initial waves come crashing home with regards to the shortages that have accompanied our feud with China, and those are likely minor in comparison to what's coming.
If we tie these points together, we're going to see that:
- The global economy is going to take a hit... likely a massive hit.
- The United States is at a rolling boil and will likely continue to creep towards further instability as antagonists encourage destabilizing violence.
- This will very likely impact the availability of goods and services we take for granted in the West.
- Resource shortages are a precursor to desperate behavior.
- Othering and social mistrust greatly exacerbate the propensity for people to act out violently against 'others'
Given that, we should spend a minute looking at something we touched on in "Civil War Huckleberries", and that's the matter of "who does war hit the hardest?"
The answer is, very sadly, the people who want nothing to do with it. For example, in World War II, the ratio of civilian vs military deaths is cited as 45,000,000 - which is a staggering toll, and dwarfs the combat casualties. For a consolidated list of some of the major wars over the last 100 years, give a look here. Just remember, whether or not it's your war, the war doesn't care.
The Boys of Low Standing
Muzafer Sherif had a term for the agitators within the groups. He identified the loudest, most antagonistic boys within the Robber's Cave experiment as "boys of low standing".
He found, that though they contributed almost nothing to the greater effort fo the group, they had a propensity to be the first to incite violence and cheer others on to do violence in their stead. As we've said in the past, the Boog-boys, ANTIFA, and others that like the idea of violence more than the actual violence are exactly this: Boys of low standing. Dressing up and trashing your city, or financing expensive kit to LARP for instagram is sending a big smoke signal that you're pretty much useless, despite the steady stream of social media virtue signaling.
So, what differentiates one from the boys of low standing?
Hard work, toughness, problem solving, compassion for his/her tribe, the ability to lead by example, and a sense of equity when it comes to work.
In short, the things that require sacrifice bring standing, while the behaviors that push burdens on others diminish standing.
The neutral tone of ISG gets tough to maintain at times, but what we saw in Kenosha Wisconsin was an example of this. You can draw your own conclusions about who's who.
Being familiar with violence, it's easy to identify some of the markers that instill it in a person. Tumultuous upbringing. Exposure to violence. Being rewarded (either by praise, standing, or material rewards) for committing acts of violence. Richard Rhodes book "Why They Kill" is an excellent look at the process of violentization, and while LtCol Grossman has his critics, his synthesis of the facts from soldiers at war hold true:
Not everyone is naturally violent.
Most people have an internal matrix that cranks out 'risk vs reward' reckonings that acknowledge that a cornerstone component of doing violence is the risk of having violence done upon you. What we mostly see is the 'monkey dance', or a sort of social violence that amounts to minor jockeying for social position.
When we really look at how violence morphs from social positioning to 'breaking the seal' and committing violent acts, we need a few ingredients:
- Unanimity - people need to feel as if they have the full support of those around them.
- Dehumanization - they need to feel as if those they attack are 'less that human', or beneath them.
- Cultural Speciation - there needs to be a cleanly defined line that separates cultures, and allows for them to be victimized with impunity.
To clarify point 3 - you often hear preppers and such discuss defending their homes with violence. What happens when the person you kill lives in your community? How will the community view you? Do you have the unanimity of support and do all those you live around believe the person killed was a distinctly different culture that was beyond redemption?
If the answer is no, it should make us consider our approach to violence. If we need a further case study, there are too many examples to list of police being attacked recently.
Because the recent years have provided a cultural rift that satisfies those three above points against them. Citizens in certain areas are emboldened by support against police, who are viewed as subhuman aggressors from an entirely different culture. Think carefully about how this phenomenon will translate to life in the West if our social cohesion continues to fracture.
As we discussed in "Trust your Gut", there are some expressions and gestures that are largely universal. It doesn't matter if you smile at someone on the street in Topeka or Uganda, it's recognized as a friendly or non-hostile expression. Paul Ekman did a tremendous amount of work on this subject, and found that largely, the 7 primary facial expressions are universal... but there is still some contention and challenges to whether or not that's entirely true.
The only reason we mention this is that there is absolutely NO misunderstanding a brick to the head, a punch to the stomach, or someone sticking you with a knife.
These are acts that are universally understood, and outside some very select circumstances, no normal person gets jaw-jacked and expects to see a friendly smiling face.
We universally understand violence, even if we don't understand why it's happening.
This is crucial from a conceptual perspective because our Republic and form of government requires intelligent discourse using common language to uphold our constitution and social contract. It's probably no surprise if you're older than 35, you've probably lived through some Kafka-esque linguistic metamorphosis not only of our roles in society, but the approved language.
While words such as Mulatto or Negro may send shockwaves of offense through some members of society, those were words that were commonly used to describe a person's ethnicity. I never once heard them used as pejoratives (as stronger, more insulting phrases exist, as you undoubtedly know), but they've become sensitive and divisive, all the same. Think about just how much power those words have over us. Are they inherently bad, or have they been manipulated into being tools that target known sore spots?
Are they ever used to patch up old wounds and foster understanding?
That's a pretty trivial matter in the scheme of things, because in all but the most extreme cases, people simply understand that they belong to an ethnic group. What happens when we can't commonly discuss gender?
Worse, what happens when we misunderstand the difference between "rights" and "privileges", or who is a "citizen"?
Here's the thing: most people who've spent time in the military around either CAPOC or Intelligence knows there's tremendous power in the manipulation of words. What's the principal difference between an "immigrant" and an "undocumented worker", for example?
In reality, there really isn't one - but semantically, there are a lot of assumptions baked into "undocumented worker". For one, is that person really working? If they're not a citizen and don't have documentation, it's not like you can find their visa and backtrack. Undocumented sounds a lot less severe than "illegal" immigrant, and deeming someone illegal immediately conjures fears of criminal behavior. Is that person a criminal?
The point to take from this, and this topic will be tackled in greater detail later, is this:
Manipulation of language is used to obscure facts, and those facts are crucial for having a precise understanding of the topic being discussed.
If we allow those words to become meaningless or inciteful, we lose our principle gift as humans: our ability to rationalize.
Bezmenov mentions "demoralization" as a critical component of undermining a culture; part of this is the twisting of language and meaning so that:
You cannot change their mind, even if you expose them to authentic information.
Despite abundance of information, no one is able to come to sensible conclusions... The facts tell nothing to him.
Unsurprisingly, this lack of understanding impacts society on a basic level, so that no one can make a cogent point, and have it universally understood - even if it's to be disagreed with. Also unsurprising, is that the goal of demoralization is destabilization, which leads to crisis.
Now, we've arrived at the critical portion of this article: crisis is the point at which we cast off attempts at using verbal and written understanding and default to the 'universal language'.
While this might all seem grim, it's a part of a natural cycle that's persisted for time immemorial. It may end up burning itself out, and it may precipitate into the collapse of the Western World into warring factions. While that may seem extreme, it's easy to forget we've been at war with Germany twice in the last century.
So, with that sliver of reality acknowledge, we can draw a further conclusion, this one a little more optimistic:
Even the most vicious wars ultimately result in peace. No different than the seritonous seeds encased in a resin that won't allow germination until all around them is char and ash, peace will come on the tail end of whatever violence is coming. Peace, and the willingness to be understanding will likewise be sheltered by toughness that won't be easy to strip away. But, as the madness continues to burn, go with the knowledge that the eventuality is that we will once again need to learn to "live together as brothers, or perish together as fools."
Be able to speak the universal language, but be fluent in peace, too.