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Shocked to see so many Trump Supporters at such a bastion of the progressive movement! https://mystudentvoices.com/the-hidden-trump-supporters-at-americas-most-liberal-college-f0b6892a6fe7
As liberals, there are few more shifts in society more disconcerting than ethno-nationalism. It represents the truest and most antithetical denial of our core philosophy that all humans are one species, and that if we do not work together to make a better future, there will be no better future. The oppositional nature of ethno-nationalism is clear enough that I don't believe I need to explicitly explain why. However, the question remains why individuals seek refuge in a philosophy that is by all metrics historically disastrous, and antithetical to human rights. And the answer, is unsurprisingly enough, not a disagreement with the philosophy of liberalism itself, but rather a rejection of those forwarding the philosophy, and by proxy all that they represent. But before freaking out about us wandering down the historical descent toward nationalism, why not stop and think about the reasons so many have rejected the core philosophy of freedom, liberty and universal equality. What could make an individual who hopes for a better tomorrow, reject these things? Than answer is quite simple. The symptoms are many-fold but the cause is not. Security. That is the need that drives the rise of nationalism. The promise of a powerful central parental figure who can guide the nation through uncertainty. In the case of the state of the current West, that uncertainty arises from two primary sources, which in turn have their own root cause. It is not the philosophy of liberalism itself that is antithetical to those being swayed by nationalism. In fact most of them do not know the dictionary definition of the word liberal, and even when shown they say that it's simply a lie. Because they agree as human beings with the core principles. Their rejection of liberalism in favor of nationalism is much simpler, the perception of social 'elites' and their rejection. And with this rejection comes the rejection of all things associated with them. Including their philosophy. Nationalism is a symptom of the disease, not its cause, and simply fighting the symptoms will only lead us to our deathbed. The first root cause of nationalism is psycho-economic. The perception of difficulty of meaningful employment in a field of your choice. The need to work is a fundamental human one, but a fragile one. It sits at the top of Maslow's Hierarchy (crude as it may be) among the category of self-actualization. Individuals value themselves based upon their contribution to society. However, despite the overall increase in employment, there is a vast divide between the majority of Americans scraping by working long hours at less than a living wage in menial labor they despise. Similarly, this is fundamentally why any policy of entitlement is fundamentally flawed and creates the breeding ground for further nationalist sympathies. Statistics regarding those receiving benefits show clearly that benefits do not increase faith in the system, but rather see the necessity of their benefits as a symptom of its failure. This is borne out by the level of vitriol toward entitlement itself from those in red states who benefit the most from it. Paired with the unrest caused by the death of meaningful employment that has occurred on our watch, the situation is further exacerbated by the sense of the unsettling of social norms. Though the changes may seem to those who are educated, both reasonable and essential, most citizens lack the education and background to grasp these seemingly self-evident concepts. As a result there are vast portions of the populace who see the adoption of secular and humanistic philosophies at the core of liberalism as a threat to tradition and societal norms. And the fundamental nature of human response to being told they are wrong means that unless they arrive at such realizations themselves, any attempt to dissuade them will be met by rejection. How can we turn back the an enemy that rises on a tide of fear and rejects sound argument? By treating the fundamental root causes. Until every American is guaranteed meaningful employment, rather than entitlement benefits, the psycho-economic base condition will remain. The argument that the elderly and disabled cannot work is fundamentally flawed. All individuals who can breathe or reason can work, and find work that they are capable of and enjoy fundamentally fulfilling. It is *our* failing that rather than *create* an environment where employment is made available to all, even those who require fundamental allowances for their own physical conditions, we instead inculcate a psychology of guilt and self-shame in those we refuse to allow to participate in our economy via a meaningful remunerative job. In the face of the dual forces of physical hardship in the form of vast poverty in our world, with 7 individuals possessing 50% of the world's wealth, combined with the psychological hardship of the trivialization of the meaningfulness of work, it creates the environment of instability and psychological vulnerability that provides fertile ground for the seeds of Nationalism. The second factor in its rise occurs when those seeds are planted, namely the rejection of the social philosophy of the perceived 'elites'. The reason such vitriol toward the concept of social justice arises derives entirely from the perception that it is the philosophy of liberalism at fault for their plight. Regardless of whether or not they understand what the word liberal even means. They simply see gays, and trans people, and affirmative action as concepts of an ambiguous threatening 'other' that seeks to supplant them and subjugate them. And we have *facilitated* this view by our insistence on legal regulation rather than social inculcation. We have created a society of separation rather than integration. African Americans associate with African Americans, gays with the gay community, etc. It's a fundamental human reflex, but one that hinges entirely upon the concept of community. How many of your friends are of a similar ethnicity, gender, sexual flexibility, or economic status? And as a result of this, many of those that liberals seek inclusion for on a legal and governmental level, have only suffered more severe segregation. Our problem is not systemic, it is social. Our attempt to force systemic change without addressing the underlying psychological mechanisms which govern the sense of 'otherness' has resulted in a perception that we are systemically enforcing a new social order that seeks to undermine and replace traditional values. These 'traditional values' wrong as they may be, are the ultimate seat of security in times of instability and fear. So that is what the disenfranchised turn to when they lack the background required to reject such philosophies, or are inherently victimized by them. These problems are fundamental structural ones, not with our philosophy, but with our execution of it. We have permitted the perpetuation of a system that is hostile to meaningful remunerative employment. We have permitted the perpetuation of a system of academic and intellectual have and have nots. We have created this upwelling of nationalism, not by our core philosophies, which are true and just, but our *permissiveness* of methodologies that only serve to facilitate vast portions of the populace seeking refuge in a philosophy that they *know* is immoral, yet so long as they can provide internally (if not externally) consistent justification for their beliefs, they cannot discard them. As such the only solutions to the Nationalist upwelling taking the world by storm are twofold. The end of the economic structures that render meaningful and remunerative employment impossible, and the facilitation of adoption of rational approaches to the treatment of sapient beings via the only known method of such, diverse, inclusive and continual education. And these are the biggest two points that we as the liberal movement have failed Americans in. By our embrasure of the anti-capitalist corporatism, we have disenfranchised the common worker, and created a class of those who cannot find personal fulfillment in labor due to either the sequestering of such individuals in entitlement programs, rather than facilitating employment of their choice, or who are not privileged with the education and *inclusion* in a diverse community that is available to those they perceive as 'elites'. These are just the thoughts of my recent studies into the historical and psycho-economic and psycho-social roots of nationalism, as they've been repeated, nearly verbatim, each time it has arisen. The solutions themselves may seem impossible, but they are also quite simple, and in my opinion the only hope of the liberal movement to reverse the rising tide. Otherwise our movement will be destroyed beneath it. I think I might create a topic on the available solutions, if there is interest at a later point. But for now, these are my thoughts, and I'm curious how well they align with the insights of others in our community.
While looking for something to take my mind off the horror of today's "Inauguration," I found this ebook by Scott McMurrey: "Trump Revealed and Republicans Unconcealed for Millennials." It seems to be free today and tomorrow. ( See the author's website at bit.ly/ScottMcMurrey for the details.) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N7T7KZH It's for young people (and old) who don't follow politics much, and who think life will go on as before even with a troglodyte like Trump in the White House and a Congress full of slime balls. I'm going to give it to everyone I know like that. And there's also a free infographic to send around with a cheatsheet of actions anyone can take to resist the coming calamity. It took my mind off the dejection for a while today. Maybe it will do so for you too. Stay strong. You're going to have to be in the new, post-reality era.