It’s amazing how many people confuse egoic masturbation for revolutionary political activism.
We talk a lot about how you can discern the real intentions of a given politician, plutocrat or official by ignoring their words and watching their behavior, but this principle can be applied equally to everyone. And if you were to ignore the words of the people you see sharing dissident ideas in revolutionary-minded circles today and watch their behavior instead, you’d come away with the impression that most of them are actually interested in drama, conflict, social climbing, accolades, and scoring points on social media.
They want dominance and approval from their tribe, in the same way our evolutionary ancestors wanted dominance and approval in theirs. It’s the same primitive, hardwired impulse. The majority of the people who find themselves moving in circles that are dedicated to upheaving the status quo in some way are primarily motivated first and foremost by this impulse, no different from anyone else in any other clique.
Obviously, tickling one’s ego is not the real purpose of political activism.
Still others spend their time chest-thumping over which ideas are the most correct, and who in their circle has the purest ideology. They often spend time writing dry essays that hardly anybody reads arguing against other dry essays that hardly anybody reads over what’s the correct way to view this or that obscure strain in a given sub-sect of political ideology. Political dissidents who devote themselves to this activity often find themselves isolated into tiny echo chambers with the very small number of people who share their exact worldview, taking comfort in their sense of rightness so they don’t have to feel bothered by their total lack of meaningful influence.
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