Like everyone, I saw the images in the media and online of the huge crowds of women in pink hats who turned out in cities around the globe for last weekend’s ‘Women’s March’. But unlike seemingly everyone else, I didn’t feel like I was witnessing some inspiring defiance of an existential threat to human rights. Or a spontaneous expression of solidarity with some meaningful and just cause.
So what is really happening here?
To my mind, over the past 10 to 12 months I’ve watched a narrative being cunningly constructed and promoted by political and media elites invested in particular social and political agendas. Now it seems to me I’m witnessing the efforts of those powerful vested interests bearing fruit.
They are responding to a program of propaganda exactly the way the authors of that program intended.
As it seems to be the case, with so many of these collective displays of ‘progressive’-Left dissatisfaction and outrage, no one seems able to articulate anything specific that the protests are supposedly about… let alone what they are meant to accomplish.
“It’s about women’s rights!”
Okay. Could you be more specific? What is it about ‘women’s rights’ that has changed so dramatically in the last few days that warrants such histrionics and extraordinary expressions of outrage?
“It’s about solidarity!”
Okay. Solidarity with whom over what?
Where normally you would expect to find specifics and facts… all you get are vague allusions to some looming, present or past social-justice catastrophe and a rather self-indulgent and frankly adolescent emotionalism.
The thing is, it is precisely this indistinct and incoherent grasp of their own motivations that you would expect from people who had allowed themselves to be swept up in a program of group-think manufactured by external sources and designed to activate their egos and emotional reactivity – not engage their intellect and reason.
Ultimately, I don’t believe anyone directly or indirectly partaking in this event is acting out of a genuine concern for the greater good or a commitment to admirable principles. The payoff for these individuals is not the elevation of truth… it is the ego expansion people experience when they divest themselves of their individuality in favor of the collective identity of a mob. The ‘greater purpose’ of the collective is far more gratifying than the seemingly mundane, ineffectual and resentful experience of the individual.
And I suspect that resentment and a reflex for shifting responsibility for their personal grievances and dissatisfaction from themselves to others is a significant, if unacknowledged, motivating factor behind much of the mania.
The fact that this character flaw can be manipulated by the media and the political establishment – and on such a grand scale – is about as far away from ‘inspiring’, ’empowering’ and admirable as you can get.