Orwell:A lot of people in this country have gotten way too comfortable bullying a bunch of unarmed city people.— Jesse Kelly (@JesseKellyDC) July 26, 2020
You approach my vehicle brandishing an AK-47, you better be ready to drop brass. Cause at that point, you’re not LARPing as a revolutionary anymore. Now it’s real.
So why do they do it?
So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don’t even know that fire is hot.
Inside the Whale
They do not protest because they have found a cause. They must find a cause to justify their riots and protests. The cause only matters in so far as it allows the LARPers to feel brave and moral.
From the outset the eminence of this new creature, the intellectual, who was to play such a tremendous role in the history of the twentieth century, was inseperable from his necessary indignation. It was his indignation that elevated him to a plateau of moral superiority. Once up there, he was in a position to look down on the rest of humanity. And it did not cost him any effort, intellectual or otherwise. As Marshall McLuhan would put it years later: 'Moral indignation is a technique used to endow the idiot with dignity.
In this they are just like your average conspiracy theorist:
Think of their LARPing and protesting as a form of "kitsch".
Belief in the conspiracy makes you part of a genuinely heroic elite group.
David Aaronovitch, Voodoo Histories
The more ideological the activist, the more susceptible they are to kitsch:
Kitsch, in other words, is not about the thing observed but about the observer. It does not invite you to feel moved by the doll you are dressing so tenderly, but by yourself dressing the doll. All sentimentality is like this - it redirects emotion from the object to the subject, so as to create a fantasy of emotion without the real cost of feeling it. The kitsch object encourages you to think, "Look at me feeling this - how nice I am and how lovable."
The LARPers find the perfect environment to nourish their totalitarian worldview in our universities.
Ideology is not the product of thought; it is the habit or the ritual of showing respect for certain formulas to which, for various reasons having to do with emotional safety, we have very strong ties and of whose meaning and consequences in actuality we have no clear understanding.
Lionel Trilling, The Liberal Imagination
We've seen this before:
Whenever a single political movement corners power, we find ourselves in the realm of totalitarian kitsch. When I say “totalitarian,” what I mean is that everything that infringes on kitsch must be banished for life…
In the realm of totalitarian kitsch, all answers are given in advance and preclude any questions.
Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Chekisty and poets were drawn to each other like stoats and rabbits-- often with fatal consequences for the latter. They found common ground: the need for fame, an image of themselves as crusaders, creative frustration, membership of a vanguard, scorn for the bourgeoisie, an inability to discuss their work with common mortals. There was an easily bridged gap between between the symbolist poet who aimed to epater le bourgeois and the checkist who stood the bourgeois up against the wall.
Donald Rayfield, Stalin's Hangmen