The transience of the culture wars

I think when people lament about what is perceived as the breakdown or dissolution of law and order, it’s not about solving crimes per say, but some higher idealization of fairness and need for reassurance that good will prevail. Hence, the Twitter files, or the Pfizer files, or the celebration of the arrest of SBF, who occupies some Dantean middle ground of freedom and the hell he created for himself, until the criminal justice system figures out what to do with him.

But none of these things rise to the level of true unalloyed badness or evil. Twitter lackeys at the behest of management and the FBI possibly suppressed some information. Bad, yes, but on the level of Iran Contra or Watergate? Not really. And even so, no can be held accountable given that Twitter is private and no laws were broken per say, and those employees responsible have long departed.

My ‘mental model’ has been that the culture wars are waged by mostly unenthusiastic actors. There is a certain banality or even learned helplessness by today’s culture war protagonists. Few of these people care that much about the beliefs they profess to care about (revealed vs. stated preferences). As evidence of this, left-wing elites putting up no resistance or counteroffer to prevent Elon from buying out twitter. You’re saying this ‘global left-wing elite’ couldn’t coordinate to scrounge up $40 billion to prevent Elon, who was/is no ally of the left, from controlling a major organ of propaganda, especially when he didn’t even want the site and dragged his feet for half a year?

It also explains how YouTube has so much right/center-leaning content on front page, like clips of Rogan, Jordan Peterson, Andrew Tate, Tucker, etc. Biden despite putatively being the most powerful person in the world, is hardly able to evoke much support, let alone enthusiasm, from his base. Most Twitter employees don’t want to censor, so much as they are compelled to. But this does not answer the question as to who or what is coordinating the left or wokeness in the first place.

This vagueness or transience of the political and culture elite makes it hard to win or know where the lines are drawn. The World Economic Forum gets tons of hype on twitter, and Klaus Schwab is a convenient boogeyman for the times–who like most of the woke is someone who projects power but has none in any formal sense–but a week later it fades from memory and discourse, only to be revived a year later.

If Pfizer did lie, similar to the origins of Covid, it’s one of those things which will never be resolved to anyone’s satisfaction, just as three years later no one has been held accountable for Covid. It’s this knowing that there is corruption and evil, yet powerlessness or the inability to put name or a face to it, which is the worst part about it.