Contrary to popular belief, the more violent Leftists are not fanatics drawn to an extremist ideology who see themselves as its foot soldiers. They are souls full of emptiness, inhabiting a world of chaos and darkness. More often than not, they will end their lives with nihilistic fury and flourish…
The rash of violence leading up to the elections has given way to the spinning of narratives to explain the sad state of the nation. While ignoring all violence from their side, the left has become especially adept at turning every violent incident involving anyone even remotely conservative into an ideological statement of hate.
Liberals say that violent acts (or even words) reflect a culture of backward opinions that have yet to be eradicated by more progressive thought. To them, acts of hate fit into the debate framed by the classic class-struggle dialectic that never seems to age.
The White Nationalist “Ideology”
Thus, commentators increasingly lay the blame for social ills on what they call white nationalism—especially that practiced by males. Those who adhere to this undefined ideology are supposedly resentful toward anything foreign that threatens jobs or American identity. They oppress those who challenge their privilege and status.
Never mind that most white males have no idea what the liberal media are talking about. Never mind that many news commentators denouncing this trend are white males themselves. The conclusion is deemed so obvious that it need not be proven. Thus, an organized dominant ideology of hatred reigns, and it must be vehemently hated by tolerant people everywhere.
Most observers only see this hatred and call it an ideology. They do not look beyond the hatred and seek out its causes.
A Non-Existent Ideology
By calling hatred an ideology, it can be portrayed as a complex system that must be overthrown in a new class struggle. It is a convenient label that lumps together all those who have opposed liberal policies. However, there is no organized ideology behind this grouping. Lonely figures on the fringes of society who commit heinous crimes do not act on the behalf of ideologies.
An ideology is a system of abstract principles according to which adherents hope to explain the world and change it. Such systems are coherent and follow rules. Generally, ideologies are methodical, disciplined, and structured.
But those who have been deemed “white nationalists” or who have committed violent crimes with apparent political motives have no structure. Media assign them ideological labels as a means of demonizing them in known terms.
However, they do not fit into the old categories. The new “ideologues” are the product of empty minds devoid of reason and compassion. They are anarchical figures who grab onto ideological labels as an expression of their desire to destroy society. They are, however, incapable of structuring their “ideology” into an organized system of thought, unlike the communists of old, for example, who knew their ideology and sacrificed themselves in its pursuit.
Contrary to popular belief, the more violent of these individuals are not fanatics drawn to an extremist ideology who see themselves as its foot soldiers. They are souls full of emptiness, inhabiting a world of chaos and darkness. More often than not, they will end their lives with nihilistic fury and flourish.
The Empty Minds on Both Left and Right
This rabid hatred is not limited to the white nationalist label so casually thrown about. It can also be found on the irrational left, in which militant members of Antifa and other alt-left hate-groups commit acts of violence that shock the American public. It can be heard in the incoherent ramblings of screaming protesters that are likewise the product of empty minds and dark domains.
Empty minds are not a monopoly of those who have surrendered to political violence. They are also found among all who have wandered astray in this vast cultural wasteland. They are among the 45,000 Americans who take their lives annually. They are present in the 60,000 additional deaths caused by drug addictions. All these individuals, on the left and right, act upon the impulses of addled brains. Their actions represent the death of ideology, not its rebirth.
Why They Hate
While splinters of ideology can be vaguely perceived, what people really see is the hatred that exists. Many situations provoke hatred today. People hate when faced with the falling apart of their world. Individuals hate when they feel isolated and alone. Hatred comes from lives unanchored in reality, which are eventually compelled to face painful truths. Others hate because they were never loved and are incapable of loving anything besides themselves.
However, hatred cannot exist in its pure state. One must hate something. It must be directed against an object. Hate is a means not an end.
The Objects of Hatred
The objects of this hatred are found festering deep inside the empty souls of postmodern humanity. The left wrongly frames the debate in class-struggle terms. The real issues involve the frustrated search for meaning and purpose in a self-destroying society. The resulting emptiness engenders a hatred that tends to grow ever greater.
Thus, one cause of hatred is directed against self. The falling apart of personal lives gives rise to loneliness, violence, and self-loathing. People hate themselves when they sense the frustrations of their isolated, little worlds. They hate themselves when they cannot find their place in society to quench their strong yearnings for community. Such hatred engulfs self and all around them.
A second cause is a postmodern society that glorifies human experience, emotions, and feelings. This anti-ideological and highly individualistic setting has no structure or social context. Czech poet Vaclav Havel once described postmodernity as a state in which everything is possible, and nothing is certain.
This postmodern wasteland breeds hatred because it creates a shallow, fake, and indecipherable society without narratives, which thus frustrates and depresses. People come to hate this jumbled world that promises everything but delivers emptiness.
An Unintelligible Universe
However, the greatest cause of hatred involves a religious dilemma of massive proportions. As people distance themselves ever farther from God and the Church, they have no answers to the great Life Questions that address their reason for being and their final end. Instead, they face an increasingly unintelligible universe and are told there is no order or purpose to anything.
This creates great tension in souls. They are tormented by a great void. Many are torn between the frenetic gratification of disordered passions and the confused conviction that there must be something transcendent that can help them make sense of their lives. What they seek is God, their final end. They search for a transcendent order in which they will find rest.
In their lonely frustration, people all too often revolt against the present order, which leaves them clueless regarding the great Life Questions. They empty their minds of heavenly things and explode into double rage against the present order that frustrates them and the remnants of Christian civilization that elude them.
The real battle is to fill minds with great truths, meaning and purpose. Indeed, without God and His Church, nothing makes sense. The challenge is to return to a Christian order that makes life and the universe intelligible. Until that happens, the hatred will only increase.
Indeed, the battle of empty minds rages, and few look past the hatred to come to grips with its deeper causes.
The Imaginative Conservative applies the principle of appreciation to the discussion of culture and politics—we approach dialogue with magnanimity rather than with mere civility. Will you help us remain a refreshing oasis in the increasingly contentious arena of modern discourse? Please consider donating now.
Editor’s Note: The featured image is a photo of an Antifa riot in Washington, D.C., courtesy of Creative Commons.