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Now, what the hell am I talking about today? I don't truly know, I'm just writing for its own sake, seeinng where that takes me. There will probably be a plethora of spelling errors throughout this thing, too. The editor I'm using doesn't have a spellchecker built in. Sorry.
Ah, perhaps we should start from the beginning. Not the literal beginning, of course, just as for back as is relevant for what I'm talking about. There's essentially two heritages that I'm tracing right now. The first is my presence online. This current name of mine is far from the first I've used. Considering that Twitter is my main stomping grounds, it's also notable that my current name isn't even my first Twitter name. I had another account for a little bit over a year (you can figure it out pretty easily, if you know where to look). I moved simply because I wanted a fresh start, free of any "baggage" (I assure you, nothing serious) associated with that name. The most significant "baggage" was the account's name, which I eventually thought might get me in trouble. So, I decided something much less abrasive was in order. Now, my name is merely esoteric-sounding, as opposed to being completely distasteful.
The second lineage is the evolution of what the "Extremely Online™" breed has taken to calling one's "political journey". I've grown to hate that term. For many, what this essentially amounts to is which Wikipedia page you're currently autistically obsessing over. I suspect many people, including myself, were never supposed to make any plunge into thought more complex than playing video games. Unfortunately for humanity, this rule failed to enforce itself. I apologize, genuinely.
So, for what is currently the majority of my life (I am not that old), I was a "liberal" in the sense that I was a blank slate. Very much so, I didn't particularly understand politics, which from my view then was nothing more than who you vote for and what policies they do. I knew some things. I knew that George W. Bush wasn't particuarly well liked, but that might as well been because he was a stupid Texan in the White House. Now, this Obama guy, he seems like a cool dude. He's a black guy running for the Presidency, and he plays basketball! Sign me up! Outside of occasional thoughts like these, most of what I paid attention to was crap like "oh, EA is going crazy with the DLC again!" Absolute drivel.
At some point, while I hadn't become expressly "political" (I still wouldn't consider myself fully such, tbh), I was gaining an interest in such matters. The direction I was heading in was in a more libertarian direction. Why? Well, who doesn't like freedom? And these guys say they have the answers! (For any non-American readers, the term "libertarian" in this context means "contrarian guy who bases his beliefs in pretending to read Austrian economics".) I would occasionally notice that I had impulses contrary to this tendency, or that I would find myself not finding their logic sound. Still, I would march on, because these guys clearly had everything figured out.
This continued until around the second year or so of college. Up until this point, many of my prior convictions, I felt, were becoming ever more validated. Keep in mind that, around this time, I was still one of those guys who thought that annoying blue-haired liberalism and Marxism were the same thing (lmao). At some point, however, everything began to crack. I couldn't really justify any of my beliefs that I had held up to this point. This generally coincided with a depressive episode where I ended up not doing much of my coursework, which got me in a bit of trouble. Throughout the rest of my time as college, I drifted around in terms of what I felt I might possibly believe in. Rather appropriate for college, I guess. I eventually came to the conclusion that, ultimately, all of these options that I was being presented with were fake, as in, they were abstractions. The analogy of the hydra, while done to death and back again, is still a very appropriate visual metaphor.
What I mean by these seeming options being nothing more than abstractions is that they are, more often than not, nothing more than signifiers. A recent illustration of this point was a group of people doing that dumb thing where you continuously quote tweet each other, answering some question. In this case, it was people describing their "political journey". In other words, exactly what I was complaining about earlier. Because most of these people eventually ended up as left-leaning people, I assume some sort of leftie Twitter account started the chain.
One of the posts read as follows (with formatting altered for readability):
This over the span of approximately 6-7 years
Quote tweeting that post was the following:
This over the span of approximately 5 years
And finally, quote tweeting this was the single most infamous response to this question:
whew, here we go.
Aside from the fact that this post is obviously the most absurd of all of them, there are some additional facts provided by the author. Oh boy. Given the sheer length of the list, one might wonder how long this took. Apparently, 10 years. The shortest of these periods, by the way, was 4 months. Unsurpisingly, the author also mentions being very impressionable due to growing up in a cult.
I probably was. I grew up in a cult. My entire childhood was ideological indoctrination. I've processed a lot of my trauma, and I feel very comfortable where I am. I wasn't comfortable at any point before.
So, we know the "why?" of this situation, but who specifically was influencing the author to take these sorts of positions? Apparently, fucking YouTubers. In response to a question of the reason for the ancap-to-fash shift, the author had this to say:
I was an ancap, watching Stefan Molyneux and Christopher Cantwell (the crying Nazi). They were both ancaps who were convinced that a heterogenous society couldn't allow for a libertarian utopia. They both became very authoritarian very quickly, and so did I.
Then, on how the author stopped being a fascist and became a regular social democrat:
Sure. It was Kyle Kulinski and Destiny who helped me out.
What a fucking shitshow... yet, it's become all too familar by this point.
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