I keep listening to Chapo Trap House.
I don’t mean to. I just do.
Sometimes the podcast reminds me of the book The Red Flag…about the history of communism. Or better yet, it reminds me of the scene in Monty Python’s Life of Brian, where all these left-wing “Judean People’s Fronts” are fighting for the same thing but can’t achieve their objectives because they’re too busy fighting each other. That’s pretty much the state of far-left politics….they’re too caught up in their pedantic differences.
If you follow the Democratic Socialists of America as much as I do, that’s seemingly their biggest problem…too much mocking and squabbling with other liberals. (The Right has similar problems, but the Left has a longer history of this shit) Which is why Chapo Trap House can sometimes be tiring.
But, it’s the only place where I can listen to a “debate” between Slavoj Zizek and Jordan Peterson. So I’m left with little choice.
Yet CTH does provide me with insight into pop culture references because I’m essentially an 80 year old man in a 30 year old body (I only recently learned who Cardi B is). For instance, there are frequent mentions of “normies”. Upon investigation, normies are those that basically get caught up in pop culture references in social media and otherwise can’t think for themselves…they prefer the mediocrity of shows like the Walking Dead or shit on cable TV over anything that might challenge their worldview. Or, as someone on CTH pointed out, a good method of determining if someone’s a normie is by assessing their opinions on abstract art. If their response is something like “that’s something my child can do”, that pretty much tells you all you need to know. It’s for these reasons why I find CTH helpful.
But staying on the subject of “normies”, CTH brought to my attention the danger they present. Specifically the danger of fascism.
Case in point are the Nazis, the most famous fascists. Hitler, a man that thought of himself as an artist, hated abstract art. As a painter, he mostly stuck to landscapes and buildings. This narrow perspective that Hitler took in art is why absolutely no one considers him a decent artist (that, and he committed genocide). In this respect, we can consider Hitler a “normie” because he wanted to steadfastly hold onto a tradition and failed to appreciate differing interpretations. But he wasn’t alone. His followers were just run-of-the-mill, Bavarian, beer hall, abstract-art-hating Germans…simple German “normies”.
A bit of a stretch, I know. But I’m going to keep rolling with this….
But in modern day United States, who are our “normies”? CTH cited NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch. By researching her Twitter feed and discovering her love of the Walking Dead and use of pop culture references long past expiration date, CTH determined that Loesch was a prime example of “normie”. But she perfectly represents members of the NRA and those that support the organization: white, suburban, middle class careerists that don’t have time or concern for “abstraction”. They might show concern for things like “liberty, justice, and free speech” AS LONG as those things fall within their narrow purview. Or in other words, “Liberty, justice, and free speech” are fine and good if you are white, suburban (or rural because that’s where white people are), and careerist. THEY are the normies.
Fascism doesn’t come around because a strongman muscles his way to power, but because “normies” ALLOW a strongman come to power because they believe he is a representative of them….a group of total intellectual simpletons.