by Basil Marte1 min read31st Aug 20207 comments


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Content warning: conjunction fallacy. Trigger warning: basilisk for anxiety.


Interestingly, I think I see the difference between leftists and liberals become more important for Americans as well — at least among the coastal, educated middle classes where outright conservatives are rare enough to make the other two turn on each other in fits of online culture warring, just like game theory would predict. In a pure Thrive environment the ways leftists and liberals agree become nothing more than background scenery and the divisions start to stand out.
Fundies – in all of their Bible-beating gun-owning cousin-marrying stereotypicalness – have so far served as the Lower Class With Which One Must Not Allow One’s Self To Be Confused. But I think that’s changing. Sorting mechanisms are starting to work so well that, at the top, the fundies just aren’t plausible.


Over the last decade, the coalition between socialists and liberals has visibly become increasingly tenuous in America. This suggests to me that a rearrangement, such that the two political coalitions would not be separated along the thrive-survive axis but along the cognitive (de)coupling axis, is somewhat probable within a decade (10-50%, I'm uncertain whether my crystal ball works at all). Conditional on this happening, I find it much more probable that the existing party brands would move "clockwise" (Democrat couplers, Republican decouplers) than the contrary. To my mind, the most salient trigger (or "factor that is currently missing") is a libertarian (rather than Up) Republican presidential candidate.

Where would memes develop, particularly of the hypothesized Left+Up coalition? There's already a lot of anti-capitalism, anti-decoupling (of the "math is racist" sort), and ancestry-based category-essentialism applied to people. These can be expected to be intensified once they no longer have to please the erstwhile allies, the liberals. Furthermore, the makeup of the respective coalitions would by itself create a situation where the currently (in 2020) narratively-approved ethnicities would be joined on the L+U side by the "fundies" who are at this point a fargroup which can be condescended to. Conditional on the shift happening, I consider it mildly probable (no %, ball fogged up) that the narrative would change to disapprove specifically of Asians and/or a traditional middleman minority, given the preexisting stereotypes of high-decoupling and capitalism.

This leads to a counterintuitive conclusion that, for the time being, having authoritarian "right-wing" politicians/figureheads in office benefits traditionally persecuted groups. They cannot do anything against them (because that pattern-matches to a known form of evil) but they might delay the above-described shift.


Overall, I'm hypothesizing a rearrangement of the Red/Blue tribes, which seems absurdly unlikely; but the internal fraying of the Liberal+Socialist coalition (mostly along the Blue/Gray tribe boundary) seems to be a driving fashion; electorally, "free radicals" (sorry) have to bind somewhere; and one tribal rearrangement is a force that can cause another.

P.S. Elevating self-esteem as one of the most important virtues leaves a trap under it. Its logic goes, "If you don't feel happy, that's sinful, and you should feel bad for it, then notice that you aren't happy." (I did promise a basilisk for anxiety, right?)

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