The Real Emotion Behind the Arab Spring

Saturday, September 21st, 2013

Mencius Moldbug explains the real emotion behind the Arab Spring:

Actually, Beavis can tell you better. “Fire is cool,” said Beavis. Fire is indeed cool. Americans were bored and needed some better CNN. They wanted to see shit burn. Shit indeed burned, and is still burning. Which was cool. So they got what they wanted. Not too different from the crowd in the Colosseum, just less honest about how they satisfy their very simple chimp/human needs.

And it’s not just sadism that motivates callous altruism. Another source of venal satisfaction is that when you help people, or appear to help them, you become a patron. You gain ownership over them. When you help overthrow the dictator of Egypt, for example, you become in a sense the new government of Egypt. The old dictator was a strongman — the new dictator is a weakman, because he owes his job to someone else. That someone is you — the collective you, but you nonetheless. If you decide you don’t like your weakman, it’s easy to find another weakman.

The fear that someone, somewhere, is exercising power over someone else, is one of the most basic cues of the callous-altruist mentality. Let me kill the master and free the slave. Out of altruism! Not sadism or ambition, of course. My hands are pure.

But slavery is simply dependence, and the default state of the newly “freed” slave is to be dependent on his new master — you, because you killed the old master. So your sadism itch is scratched, because you get to kill; and your ambition itch is scratched, because you become a slavemaster.

(A slavemaster? You may not tell your dependent what to do all day. But if you pay him to do nothing, he is still your slave — you may not ask him to work today, but you could tomorrow. He would have to obey your commands or starve. In other words, he’s a slave. And of course, there’s one thing you’ve surely bought — his vote.)

When Higginson and friends tried this experiment in the 1860s, roughly a fourth of the slaves died as a consequence of the operation. Not to mention all the other people killed. Naturally, since America is a communist country, this episode — which might under other regimes be viewed as an outbreak of mass criminal insanity — is considered one of the most glorious in our glorious history.

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