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home Philosophy Philosophical Tribalism, Redux : What Sandy Beaches can teach us about ideological entrenchment

Philosophical Tribalism, Redux : What Sandy Beaches can teach us about ideological entrenchment

The Sandy Beaches incident has had me thinking again about one of my favorite pieces that I’ve written since starting this blog, IDENTITY vs IDEOLOGY or The Pitfalls of Philosophical Tribalism.

It’s not so much the incident itself, which I don’t find surprising in the least, but I do find brilliant all the same. It’s particularly the response of one Chachi Bobinks and her reasoning for why people wouldn’t challenge someone on a bullshit article full of…bullshit. If this paragraph, in particular, doesn’t justify everything I’ve been saying, then I don’t know what could:

Alright, hold my drink
This is the very essence of philosophical tribalism. It literally doesn’t matter what your ideas are, provided that you identify as a team member. This is insane. This is logically indefensible. This is some serious Borg shit, right here. Conversely, once you have been identified as a member of the wrong team, your ideas must be argued ardently.

Chachi lacks so much self awareness in this regard, that she actually says this, in defense of why the bullshit article would be accepted:

Since I’m not entirely an asshole, I’m probably not going to bear claws and attack if my ideologies are different.

But that’s the whole point, Chachi! You didn’t ‘attack’ because you thought your ideologies were the same…because of labels! Once you realized that the writer was actually just having a laugh with his “GamerGate buddies”, you attacked fully. Why? Because he admitted his ideology was different.  All the snark in the world can’t conceal the fact that you wouldn’t be able to distinguish between reason and nonsense if the nonsense was biting you on the arse.

Mark gave you a chance to do some serious self reflection and question whether or not you’ve been approaching feminism in a critical way, and instead of admitting to yourself that nothing could be further from the truth, you’ve decided to double down. I imagine he must feel something like this while reading your post:

such bottomless stupidity

Philosophical tribalism and people’s inability to think critically is all around us. You can see it on display every single day on reddit. Here are the voting rules for reddit:

On reddit your vote means, “I found this interesting,” not “This should go on the front page,” or “I agree with this.” (emphasis added)

Most people are fundamentally incapable of following this guideline. Votes tend to be endorsements, and frequently endorsements of the tribe in question. Make no mistake, this doesn’t apply to just feminism, or even ideologies for that matter, you can find tribalism everywhere you can find humans, just look at the fandoms of sporting franchises if you want a non ideological example.

Take the ghost town that is /r/BestofCracked, for example. A month ago I posted my article that opines Cracked’s steady descent into social justice advocacy. That post got downvoted into oblivion, of course. Nothing surprising here. But then somebody posted a video by TheAmazingAtheist titled ‘Cracked Is SJW Crap‘, along with a very, very basic commentary about how TJ is wrong, and lo and behold! Upvotes.

The content doesn’t matter, who the content is presented by matters. Not as an individual, mind you, but as a member of a collective. Upvotes for friends and downvotes for enemies. Nobody is here to learn anymore, we are all here to win arguments.

If you still don’t get what I’m talking about, just watch this clip:

“If Donald Trump said ’em I’d support ’em.” Jesus fucking Christ.

Some more based commentary on Sandy Beaches:

Total Biscuit on Sandy Beaches

American McGee on Sandy Beaches
We are not on the way to greater individualism, but are becoming an inceasingly manipulated mass civilazation.

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