It’s the Silly Season in America again, when the Wars of the Tribes grows most fierce and racism shows its unrepentantly ugly head.
No love is lost between the race of Blue People and the race of Red People.
During the Quiet Seasons, if you asked somebody “what do you think about Public Figure X,” the answer would, for most normal, sane people who are mere conscripts in the Wars of the Tribes, be “I have no idea. Tell me about Public Figure X and what he or she is doing or saying. Also, is it worthy my time and energy to actually care about Public Figure X?”
During the Silly Season, all that is suspended. During the Silly Season, the conscripts have a simple response: “Public Figure X is the Other and I will believe anything I am told about this person by my alpha pack members. To do otherwise is unthinkable and will result in my expulsion from the tribe.”
The Great Red Tribe and The Great Blue Tribe are not the only tribes, of course. But their sickness infects everything. It infects things which it shouldn’t, which have nothing to do with Public Figures At All.
Everything you just read is a lie.
The Great Red Tribe and The Great Blue Tribe are, actually, quite small. Oh, their influence is just as vast as one suspects. That’s not the lie. The lie is what the Tribe Members say to the Conscripts. They say “you are part of the Great Belonging that is the Good Tribe, and We Must Come Together To Stop The Bad Tribe.”
The conscripts aren’t members of the tribe. They do not gain the spoils of tribal victory, nor suffer the loss of their castles during tribal defeat. They are, in fact, not a part of the daily life of the Tribes at all. Only during Silly Seasons do the actual Members of the Tribes pay attention to the conscripts at all, in the great war of “we push harder with more conscripts.”
It’s a new invention for the Tribes. They used to ignore the conscripts completely, and laugh about the idea that they should take part in The Life of The Tribes. But the world changed and the conscripts were allowed to see the Tribal Life, and to take part in it. Few did. Most simply assembled when whistled for, every few years. The Members of the Tribes do not identify with the Conscripts — they do, in fact, self-identify as Other Than Conscripts, at all times.
Except the Silly Season.
The Conscripts are aware of the situation. They are also aware of the flu. Sadly, awareness of the flu does not equate to immunity to the flu.
I, personally, have a variation on the flu. It is called Clinton Derangement Syndrome. Rather than simply looking at the Clintons and saying to myself “wow, that’s ironic: they do more damage to their own Blue Tribe than the Red Tribe does,” and then moving on in life, I have a shocking ability to actually care about what wretched pieces of scum I believe the Clintons and their allies to be.
I shouldn’t. I have a life, and they are not part of it. But memes are a form of meta-life, and they are highly, highly contagious.
I don’t hate sick people.
I am inoculated against some memes, because I have the Pythagorean Theorem. I am inoculated against others, because I have Bastiat and a comprehension of emergent orders. But I have no defense against others. And neither do my fellow conscripts. I’m infected, and, it turns out, a plague-carrier.
That I am inoculated against “bad economic ideas” does not mean that I am inoculated against any other variety of bad narratives. I am, in fact, riddled with infectious and self-destructive narratives, such as “if my child doesn’t finish everything on her plate, I must finish it off rather than wasting food, even if said behavior is directly responsible for keeping me fat.”
No amount of sitting quietly in a corner will allow us to observe every narrative which infects us. The Five Flavors Dull The Palate.
We need better narratives.
We learn things over time. Collectively, and individually, and gradually, we learn lessons. How to crawl. How to walk.
Other things need to be learned. I’m working on one called “how to be a valiant Conscript without being infected by The Madness of the Tribes and its Hatreds.”
It’s not easy. Every Tribal Meme on Facebook was originated by some Member of the Tribe thinking “lets go infect some Conscripts.” It works. I’m sick, shot through with memes that have nothing to do with me, and everything to do with The Wars of The Tribes.
It’s hard to love your enemy.
But it’s hard to hate somebody just because they’re infected.