A tale of two conspiracies

There are many things that bug me about the current slew of scandals that are surrounding the US politics at the moment. If I were to pinpoint one example, it would be the scandal surrounding the effects that the email leaks published by Wikileaks had on the election result in November.

As I understand it, on one side there are claims that Russia hacked the DNC, provided the information to Wikileaks, who then distributed the information.

On the other side, there are claims that the “hacking” came from a disgruntled staff member within the DNC, Seth Rich, who provided the information to Wikileaks, who then distributed the information.

None of these claims ever raise the question of whether the information published by Wikileaks is true or not. Basically, as I see it, these two great conspiracies hinge upon who exactly it was that told the truth about Clinton and the DNC at the most inopportune time. This completely baffles me somewhat. The controversy isn’t that the DNC (who is meant to be impartial) actively froze out a candidate – Bernie Sanders – who could have been nominated instead of Clinton, but rather that somebody leaked to truth to the peons.

So now we have the mainstream media drumming up whatever they can to smear the Trump administration with colluding with Russia (which strikes me as the kind of scare reminiscent of 1980’s Cold War Hollywood guff), and alternative outlets trying desperately to link Seth Rich to Wikileaks.

Nobody is actually acknowledging that the leaks to Wikileaks revealed that the DNC fucked things up royally, and that they lost the election as a result. The conspiracies are all basically trying to prove whoever it was who told the truth about the DNC at the most inopportune time.

Maybe I’m missing something here. Sure I’ve heard something about voter suppression in a state or two, and I admit to not knowing anything about that – but that’s a fault of the media’s. Everything I read is either Russia this, or Seth Rich that. The adult thing for the DNC to do, I would have thought, would be to say, “Well, fuck. That shit we did to get Clinton the nomination was a bit shit. Maybe we shouldn’t have done that shitty thing. Maybe Hills shouldn’t have called everyone opposing her a bunch of deplorables. Oh well, lesson learned. Maybe next election we can try to do things better.”

And then they could go about the job of being in opposition to Trump’s administration, and actually debating policies and shutting down legislation that could actively do harm. You know, like a system of checks and balances does.

But everything I see that attempts to legitimise Trump from this point on only strikes me as the petulant stamping of feet of a bunch of children upset that they didn’t get a turn on the slippery slide and have to wait a bit.

Grow up. Government is serious business that actually affects peoples’ lives. Stop treating it like a plaything.

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You are the 1 percent

I recently saw a thing on Facebook which basically said something along the lines of “If you have earned over $50k per year, then you are part of the 1 percent.

When looked at on a global scale, then yes I would agree with such a statement. Earning US$50k a year seems dreamy to someone living on cents a day from their netted sweatshop in squalid conditions. I won’t argue otherwise.

But I cannot help but feel that this notion only serves to distract from the actual wealth gap that concerns people. Am I saying that $50k a year isn’t a lot of money? No. However, look at countries in isolation, then that figure doesn’t appear as rosy – especially to consider their respective costs of living.

The meme of “You are one of the one percent” attempts to convince middle or working class people that they don’t have it rough, that things are actually quite good for them, and that if they have a grudge against ultra wealthy people, then they are part of the problem.

That idea can not-so-kindly fuck off.

A person earning $50k a year is not the same as the cosseted space fillers you see pictured on Rich Kids of Instagram, jumping out of helicopters and drinking $10k magnums of champagne in the back of the overpriced limousine that’s driven by someone paid $30k a year.

Do I say that as someone in a first world country that I shouldn’t be concerned about third world poverty? No.

But I won’t sit here and be told, while a wealthy section of society gets to benefit so much by doing so little, and while they make decisions to lay off people by the thousands to appease shareholders, that I am a part of the problem.

The Red Pill

No. Not the documentary that has gotten recent attention, and no I’m not talking about the Men’s Rights movement. This post relates to something I didn’t really want to touch on this blog, firstly because I thought the Social Justice Warrior sideshow was a distraction from the actual creators of today’s issues – ie an elite ruling class – but also because the arguments were actually quite boring.

Both sides of the debate were just throwing recycled talking points at each other. Whether they were talking about genders, pay gaps, harmful effects of objectification, or cultural appropriation, it was just two sides yelling at each other. It was “SJWs” versus “antifeminists” or “SJWs” versus “Trump Supporters”. To distill the thrust of the arguments, it was just “them” versus “them”.

I wanted to stay out of it, because I felt that people were targeting the wrong people.

Not that I think that this blog somehow matters in the big scheme of things, either. My stats would attest to the true nobody I really am.

Today I found this video from Appabend, which talks about “Being Red Pilled” and that popular vlogger and prominent “SJW” Laci Green was starting to open up some dialogue.

Now I couldn’t give fewer shits about “sides” in this little war. As I’ve said before, I’m fairly moderate and I would have beliefs that piss off all sides. I’ve also mentioned cults before, and even talked about warning signs. Appabend’s video has set off a warning flag for cultism.

My post on cultism signs is here.

From that post, I paste the below criterion;

  • The group widely perceives itself as more enlightened than regular people in society.

Following from Laci Green’s recently revelation about taking the Red Pill, and Appabend talks about his “Red Pilling” experience, and talks about how he is now “enlightened”, I cannot ignore this warning sign of cultism. I get that Appabend is a relatively minor Youtube personality, and is not indicative of a group as a whole, but if his view of his philosophy is represented elsewhere, then we could be on the precipice of a downhill slide into cultism.

I will say that I often agree with Appabend’s videos, and I watch his stuff frequently. Onto the subject he talks about – Laci Green – I would approach this situation with cautious optimism.

Considering the great divide in political discourse and the recent unwillingness to engage in debate, I would applaud anyone who takes a look outside their ideology and maybe – even for a moment – consider the thrust of their opponent’s arguments. If we want a population without division, we need to acknowledge other sides, let the extremists “out” themselves as unhinged, and then shape policy and governing with reasoned debate and compromise.

The moment that I see the potential for a cult, I immediately start looking for figureheads. Who is positioning themselves to be prominent, and therefore who could stand to make money? Certainly both sides of the Social Justice divide have prominent faces, and Laci Green could well be a turncoat who wants to hedge her bets a bit. Even if that’s the case, I applaud anyone who is willing to engage in reasoned, honest debate instead of simply dismissing opposition as fascists.

I say that the Social Justice arguments are boring, but that’s not to say I don’t think it’s interesting. I think there’s a genuine debate to be had here, but for all the yelling, cultism, cynical money grabs and drama, I can’t make any sense of it. I’ll watch on, but all this talk of “red pilling” and “SJWs” and other jargon has made me suspicious.