The Culture War Is Inescapable

The high-IQ right and high-IQ left are locked in an epic ‘culture war’ waged on Pol, Instagram, The_Donald, Twitter, and Tumblr. The weapons are memes, screenshots, blockquotes, emoji, hashtags, signaling, and in certain cases, doxing. This ties in with the post-2013 rise of intellectualism culture and, related, shared narratives and rationalist discourse. High-IQ issues such as economics, human biodiversity, and social theory are being brought to the fore in this war. It’s like university debates but expanded to include the entire internet, not just between professors and students. Never before have things been so interconnected, intellectualized, scrutinized, and contextualized. Everything, no matter how seemingly small or innocuous, is a battleground in this great culture war.

From Vox: #ComeyDay, terrorism memes, and a YouTube feminist gone rogue: the internet was an intense place this week

Green has long been viewed as problematic and an embodiment of white feminism by many feminists (Green is biracial — she is half-Iranian — but identifies as white), and her video, along with subsequent videos in which she attempts to dialogue with alt-right YouTubers, provoked vehement reactions among feminists, as well as considerable confusion…But then she went further: On June 5, she confirmed that she was dating a controversial “anti-SJW” vlogger, Chris Maldonado, a.k.a. Chris Ray Gun.

1. The backlash by the POC/WOC-left (an ever further left-wing subset of the SJW-left) against Laci Green is part of a larger purity spiral/singularity. The low-information left is very tribalistic and conformist, in contrast to the more individualistic [1], intellectual, and nuanced white online feminists; any defection, failure to check one’s privilege, or cultural appropriation [2] is attacked. Laci, being that she is white, educated (she graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in legal studies and education. UC Berkeley a highly selective school, suggesting an above-average IQ on her part ), and I presume upper-middle class, is only on the ‘outermost ring’ of the purity spiral, with each concentric ring representing increasing levels of perceived oppression and exploitation. That’s why the POC/WOC-left picks fights with so many other feminists, particularly white feminists.

2. The fact this was picked up by Vox, a mainstream but also somewhat contrarian news source, is further evidence of how the culture war, once relegated to only 4chan, Reddit, and Tumblr, is going mainstream and is inescapable. It’s amazing how much Vox is embracing culture war stuff. Can you imagine CNN covering who Laci Green is dating? Yet it’s working though…VOX and Quartz are finding huge success with this edgy, intertextual format whereas by comparison CNN and Fox are looking kinda antiquated. Brietbart also embraced this new hyper-contextual and self-referential style, with similar success.

3. This is further evidence of how no subject is too esoteric to go viral. A 2013 article about Nick Land and Acclerationaism #ACCELERATE MANIFESTO for an Accelerationist Politics got over 180 comments and four-thousand shares on Facebook. (Related: The Sweet, Boring Middle)

4. Metamodernism means everything is part of a larger narrative, whereas mainstream news sites such has CNN treat events in isolation and not part of a broader social tapestry.

5. This is also related to the rise of postmodern discourse, in which values are secondary to facts and premises. Pre-2013 discourse reverses this, in which values precede facts. I discuss this in the detail in the post steelmanning:

Despite the charged partisanship of the mainstream media, there’s huge demand for nuanced discourse, especially on high-IQ sites such as Reddit, Hacker News, 4Chan, Medium, Quora, etc., all of which in the past few years have seen huge growth in terms of traffic and membership. Regarding intellectualism culture, it’s not so much about values being right or wrong, but rather the premises one uses to derive such values being correct, so most debates are over premises, not values. This can sometimes be tedious (such as a recent post by Vox Day that garnered 200+ comments about the meaning of ‘posterity‘), but it does make more more evolved, productive discourse than just flame wars and mud slinging. R

The classification system is as follows:

A. Low-information and mainstream left & right: values precede facts (most voters; CNN & Fox News; but also identitarian far-left (POC/WOC-left) and far-right); tribalistic; no charity to outgroup

B. Centrists & rationalists: much less emphasis on values and more emphasis on facts and correctness; intellectual charity; shared narratives

C. Rationalist/high-IQ left & right: facts precede values (NRx, rationalist-left, much of the alt-right); steelmanning and charity to the outgroup; shared narratives

B and C tend to commingle and are active online, whereas A is often isolation, but A is also the largest category.

6. Laci and Chris hooking up despite being polar opposites ideologically, further supports the ‘shared narrative’ concept, as both are unified in intellectualism and rejection of low-information mainstream discourse and ‘normie culture’. This also explains to some extent why NRx and ‘rationalists’ are close despite ideological differences (unification of B and C). For example, the ‘right’ and even non-SJW liberals can find common ground that colleges have become centers for indoctrination rather than institutions of learning, which is why the tweet below went so viral:

From Metamodernism 101, by Seth Abramson:

It’s difficult to summarize the fundamental crisis we face in the Internet Age, as in fact there are many crises simultaneously unfolding in different parts of American culture. But what all of these crises have in common is this: they feature the erosion of distinctions we’ve long relied upon. Scientists may broadly agree that climate change is manmade and has reached catastrophic levels, but as long as a large segment of America equates science with personal opinion there’ll be no consensus as to how to react. We can say that our culture is economically polarized, but as long as there are daily lottery winners and politicians arguing the definition of “the middle class” it will appear as though the American dream is alive and well. More broadly, while confusing, contradictory, ambiguous, and unreliable data — often, anonymously authored — may now race through virtual spaces at unthinkable speeds, these data nevertheless make up the bulk of our collective environment, whether we like it or not.

This is another example of a shared narrative. Both the ‘high-IQ left’ and the ‘high-IQ right’ agree that the years following the 2008 financial crisis have been characterized by sweeping economic and societal change. The high-IQ right and the high-IQ left also agree that the POC-left are not just a threat to the free dissemination of ideas, but that the rise of the POC-left (but also the populist far-right) is symptomatic and or a rejection to such change. People feel powerless and subjected to economic and social forces outside of their control and hence turn to identity and collectivist movements to create the illusion of control and empowerment. The verbal assault on Charles Murray by the the POC-left is not just a backlash against a person, but a war on reality itself. The low-information left attacked Murray because his facts about race and IQ are seen as an imposition on their (the left’s) values.

[1] Individualistic in this context means being provisional instead of adhering to a fixed tribalistic mindset. If facts can change, so too can values. But for the low-information left, values never change.


A recent example of the POC/WOC-left attacking a white woman for appropriation. They call it ‘columbusing’.