Tribalism Dismantles Democracy’s Middle Ground

Across the globe the most prominent form of political theory is democracy. Originating in ancient Greece, democracy set about empowering citizens by giving them a voice; unfortunately, with the need for a majority vote, leaders have repeatedly administered deception to ensure political prosperity. The resurfacing of individual liberty has helped civilization update to 21st century, providing the masses analogous freedom of choice and offering opportunities previously reserved for certain castes.

With any political theory one is bound to encounter extremists and the rise in liberal thinking has spurred the alt-left to become encroachingly vocal, condoning the use of discordant tactics to condemn those with opposing views. Fuelled with self-appointed righteousness, their behaviour has invigorated the already abrasive alt-right to intensify retaliation, incorporating new strategies to create chaos for their counterpart. These methods ripple out into the community and create a toxic effect; while open discourse is required to stem societal lacerations, how can the prodigious rift between rivals be adequately mended?


The Alt-right has enduringly anchored itself to historical ties, the yearning to retain the structures and ideologies of previous epochs central to their notion of “preserving the culture”. The primacy placed on maintaining the status quo consoles their fears of the future, as the world continues to change they want to be assured that their way of life will not be stripped from them. Solace is found in understanding and with unwillingness to accept anything progressive as positive, they don’t intend to confront their ignorance. 

The alt-right are incorrigible about changing with the times because fear of losing “their culture” is a salient sentiment. In the follower’s mind they are required to stand to protect their heritage against anything that could jeopardize it. A major concern is the left are trying to dismantle the residing hierarchy and repress their favoured freedoms, envisioning a libertarian dystopia where their beloved society’s core values are lost. We have witnessed the denouncing same-sex marriage, immigration and the faith of those considered enemies, not to mention anything seen as leftish propaganda.

Assuming the role of provocateur, many seek to evoke an emotional response from their targets and galvanize them into violence. Whether they are cognizant or not of the morality involved with such an undertaking, they know how to generate a reaction and in doing so believe they’re defending their tribe.

Considering this mentality it’s not difficult to see why they are happy to associate with organisations that support bigotry, the repulsive impulse from others makes them believe they are acting for the benefit of their team. Neo-Nazism has taken root in the movement and it’s more than ironic to see people’s whose relatives fought against Hitler carry the infamous symbol of his crumbled empire.

Righteous Indignation

The alt-left are seeking to change the world by imposing progression on society, even when application is not auspicious. Their focus is to remove archaic dogma that inhibits a libertarian society where individualism in paramount. In order to do so, hierarchy’s that have perpetuated inequality need to be torn down at any cost. Whilst the reestablishment of society is necessary, by demolishing something before it is fully analysed leaves the future prone to similar disparity and tyranny.

Supercharged with moral righteousness and indignation, it becomes difficult for the true believer to have any objective view of the world when everything is an indication of oppression. Akin to tearing down society without proper observation of consequences, they’re habitually happy to slander and try discredit those speaking ill of their agenda, brands such as racist, bigot and misogynist attached to some who merely query their rhetoric or intention. To support their categorization they typically don’t allow those labelled a fair response, rather than listening and discussing they prefer to blast white noise and point fingers.

Many devout alt-lefters are happy to use force against those opposing them, publicly belittling people and using weapons to assault without true justification. These tactics imply the depreciation of their morality, as they neglect that immoral action done for moral purposes is still immoral and harmful to a society.

At the scent of opposing opinion dialogue is consistently avoided, and with constant aversion to opening discourse powder is perpetually added to the already incendiary keg. A prime example of implosion is Evergreen State College and Brett Weinstein. The environmental biologist tactfully declined to participate in a “day of absence” believing it should be voluntary and not demanded. In return, the entire college turned against him and the students, under the hammer and sickle banner, essentially made the school president, George S. Bridges, knell and kiss the ring as they overthrew the university. A group supposedly founded on understanding and sympathy demonstrates the chasm between their theory and practice.   

A vivid depiction of the influence held by the alt-left is the materialization of cancel culture; anything or anyone disagreed with becoming a target to shutdown.  Again, some of these targets do need ousting, however, without proper observation or dialogue it morphs into a bilateral issue brewing community animosity. By incessantly putting 21st century morality on previous eras we indulge our hubris and believe ourselves supreme, “Every generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it,” wrote George Orwell, “and wiser than the one that comes after it”. It appears history is repeating itself due to a lack of authentic examination.

Blame to Rebuttal

Parallel flaws in the conflicting ideologies are easily identifiable with a major issue being the dispersion of blame; if we aren’t allowed to make mistakes how can one learn? The reluctance, or inability, to objectively examine faults continues to pry open the rift between parties blinding them to their own inadequacies. The difficulty in altering this behaviour stems from the mentality of vehement team orientation instilled by party leaders.

The tribalistic nature of politics has divided the community by shifting focus to which team is winning rather than the substance residing in policy. This divide creates a loyal fan base for political heads who irritate and console for their own benefit. Strapped with rhetoric and skewed facts, these orators accrue additional power by exploiting societal fractures.

It can be postulated that the intensifying tribalism has been amplified by the lack of meaning inside people attaching alt groups. When life is insipid seduction towards something emotive and clannish becomes appealing; in falling into a group identify, the purpose they crave can be discovered.

In the age of information personal devices are filled with bias content, formulated codes extracting Internet history and placing partiality on screen. This is tumultuous issue because instead of sourcing information for themselves people are spoon fed fallacies that indulge their prejudices, regurgitating them into the public sphere when legitimacy is dubious. If we are never exposed to differing opinions when heard they will hit like anaphylactic shock, disabling our ability to accurately probe.

In democracy the notion of left and right was developed to open a middle ground, but if there is no dialogue how can we ever arrive to a happy median? or even an accepted medium? These groups seek to discredit rivals without giving them a fair audience, in particularly the alt-left attempt to silence any contentious notions against their agenda. Hate speech does exist and it needs a form of regulation (e.g. should not be able to implicitly incite violence) yet by disallowing the others to speak, response to their ideology will be lacking essential information. The best way to dismantle insipid philosophy is to listen to their statement, diligently inspect what they are tying to achieve and illuminate erroneousness in thought and action through their own words.
Socratic discussion is advisable: Why tell someone their full of shit when, with the right questions, they can do it for themselves?

Nuance is a vital aspect of existence and when life becomes black and white we lose the multitude of hues enabling clarity; like the aforementioned fascist leader, he was a despicable human but also a brilliant demagogue . Gaining cognizance of the wonderful and depraved inside all of us is essential to truly understanding the human animal. Learning to appreciate the nuance of life one can stop knee-jerk renunciation of different opinion and build a bridge to understanding. No matter how good you think your point is, if it is delivered with resentment and conceitedness it will fall on deaf ears. 

In the contemporary world there’s an array of gadgets making life more individualized, however, the insulation of personalization has dissuaded people from listening to others. Demeaning alternate views is nothing new to civilization, but with the connectivity of today the chasm between left and right is being mechanically elongated.

The establishment is thrilled when conflict amongst the masses prevents them from venting anger their way. To encumbrance the power wheedled by the state citizens need to start observing what common ground can be found rather than exacerbating battlefields. It is those atop the hierarchy manufacturing issues, not your “commie” neighbour.

Both alt groups are currently engendering more harm than good. Everyone has the right to follow their ideologies with passion, but we have to understand the diversity of humans, for your truth may not be so for another. Instead of hurling an array of insults it may be propitious to listen, appreciate and rebut.


Image Source: AOL

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