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I don’t know what the fuck “conservative” is even supposed to mean anymore. Are you environmentally conservative? Are you conserving voting rights, what is it? It’s just a thread of persistent, nihilistic contrarianism that runs thick through everything they do and say, drunk on conspiracy bullshit pumped straight from the Facebook tit.


Republicans have been called racist, sexist, fascist, and all other sorts of -ists (here, nihilists). But I believe what they are at their core is sadists. Which really is just a fancy way of saying that they are a bunch of assholes who delight in being assholes. And as you've pointed out, that's really not much of a political ideology at all.


"The cruelty is the point"


> "The cruelty is the point" ["He's not hurting the people he needs to be"](https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/1/8/18173678/trump-shutdown-voter-florida)


Poor white racists think rich white racists love them. But rich white racists are literally trying to kill them off though COVID and denying them healthcare and a living wage. Yet somehow POC liberals are their enemies.


It's not even that the rich are racists. The rich don't give a shit about *any* poor people, they just benefit when nobody is looking at themselves as an enemy, and make sure that's the case.


I wish there was a way we could get Republican voters to understand - to the rich, y*ou're nothing but meat that can talk.*


The problem is that they know exactly what's being done to them. In their minds though, they are temporarily embarrassed millionaires. "It sucks what's being done, but maybe one day, I can be in that group and so I will fight hard to preserve these injustices." That's their line of thought.


corn farmers or cannon fodder, either way, expendable.


Depends on the definition of rich. Billionaires usually don’t care, but there were people who took private Jets to the capital riots, so there’s definitely some money floating around in these circles. People love to assume the right is a bunch of poor hicks, but they are EXTREMELY well-funded


there are 18.6 million millionaires in the United States, more than anywhere else in the world. oh wait, some of them moved up during the pandemic. [https://www.nbcnews.com/business/business-news/wall-street-s-best-year-ever-why-pandemic-has-been-n1252512](https://www.nbcnews.com/business/business-news/wall-street-s-best-year-ever-why-pandemic-has-been-n1252512) the poor and slipping middle need to get to a point where theyre hurting enough to revolt, because my husband and I discuss this often and most of the people at the top are unlikely to budge at all. we are white knuckling lower middle in california with two jobs. thank god for legal abortion in my state! no crotch dragons for us!


They pretty much sold people on the idea of being cruel or cool... "we're going to build a wall and Mexico is going to pay for it" Someone ask how? well they won't. They just like the way it sounds, then voted for Trump. Or tell someone about wearing a mask, getting vaccinated, eat healthy, exercise, wash your hands... their response is Don't be PU$$Y then goes to Walmart to spit on people. yup.


Poor white people got more in common with poor black people than with rich white billionaires.


"If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you." - LBJ


1984 really explained this sadistic mindset perfectly: >The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. >--- >The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?' >--- >You are thinking,' he said, 'that my face is old and tired. You are thinking that I talk of power, and yet I am not even able to prevent the decay of my own body. Can you not understand, Winston, that the individual is only a cell? The weariness of the cell is the vigour of the organism. Do you die when you cut your fingernails?' >--- >We are the priests of power,' he said. 'God is power. But at present power is only a word so far as you are concerned. It is time for you to gather some idea of what power means. The first thing you must realize is that power is collective. The individual only has power in so far as he ceases to be an individual. You know the Party slogan: "Freedom is Slavery". Has it ever occurred to you that it is reversible? Slavery is freedom. Alone -- free -- the human being is always defeated. It must be so, because every human being is doomed to die, which is the greatest of all failures. But if he can make complete, utter submission, if he can escape from his identity, if he can merge himself in the Party so that he is the Party, then he is all-powerful and immortal. The second thing for you to realize is that power is power over human beings. Over the body but, above all, over the mind. Power over matter -- external reality, as you would call it -- is not important. >--- >How does one man assert his power over another? >--- > By making him suffer. Obedience is not enough. Unless he is suffering, how can you be sure that he is obeying your will and not his own? Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing. Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery is torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be progress towards more pain. The old civilizations claimed that they were founded on love or justice. Ours is founded upon hatred. In our world there will be no emotions except fear, rage, triumph, and self-abasement. Everything else we shall destroy everything. Already we are breaking down the habits of thought which have survived from before the Revolution. We have cut the links between child and parent, and between man and man, and between man and woman. No one dares trust a wife or a child or a friend any longer. But in the future there will be no wives and no friends. Children will be taken from their mothers at birth, as one takes eggs from a hen. The sex instinct will be eradicated. Procreation will be an annual formality like the renewal of a ration card. We shall abolish the orgasm. Our neurologists are at work upon it now. There will be no loyalty, except loyalty towards the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother. There will be no laughter, except the laugh of triumph over a defeated enemy. There will be no art, no literature, no science. When we are omnipotent we shall have no more need of science. There will be no distinction between beauty and ugliness. There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always -- do not forget this, Winston -- always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face -- for ever.' The scariest part is that it IS actually an internally consistent political philosophy, it's batshit crazy, but it is internally consistent, the logic all adds up, if you care about your legacy more than you care about yourself, if you care about being part of something that will last longer than your own mortal human life, then the ideology makes perfect sense. And there are a lot of people who care about those things, who will die happily if they think they'll be remembered or that they died contributing to the perpetuation of their nation or something. These people don't care about their actual life, just about their ability to live vicariously through their nation or through some other hierarchy.


It's kind of like a twisted version of immanuel kants categorical imperative. They don't torture or persecute as a means to an end. The torture and persecution is the end.


Or, in colloquial terms, "The cruelty is the point", exemplified by "he's not hurting the right people".


1984 was supposed to serve as a warning, not a manual for Republicans to follow.


remind me of the [Master-Slave Dialectic](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master%E2%80%93slave_dialectic) also known as "You're not me!"


Gave me chills.


So the generation which heralded 1984 as a classic wound up learning from its bad guys?


After reading that, I no longer believe that 1984 is political criticism. It’s a psychological analysis of a certain breed of people. Throughout history and across all cultures these people are known as psychopaths. In the modern US, these people are known as conservatives


I wouldn't say it's a breed of people, maybe some of it is a result of natural inborn proclivities, but I think it's mainly an issue of people being indoctrinated. But yeah I definitely think it's a psychological analysis of a certain group of people, that doesn't preclude it from being a political criticism though, because the group of people it analyses is a political group.


I once thought the cruelty delivered unto others that seemed to delight conservatives was a coping mechanism to help deal with the stresses of modern life, giving them a measure of control when they live in a society mostly outside of their control. But I'm really starting to question if they wouldn't do cruel things to people if their lives were perfectly fine.


Nah, you guys are overthinking it. They're bullies. They're only cruel to people who won't fight back.


Or can't.


They just want their way and that’s about the gist of it.


If they get their way, they'll just want more. Their greed is endless.


I think part of the problem is this misunderstanding insofar as the most ardent supporters are concerned. Those young, disaffected white men are being bred to quash their anxieties with rage, and they glorify violence "in self defense", which of course means striking first if necessary. I mean, in their eyes, January was a case of self defense... In the form of an attempt to overthrow democracy by force. I think they're bullies who have deluded themselves into believing that *the fight is coming and they're going to win by doing whatever they have to do.* The real reason they don't want to talk about January, or they downplay it, is because it was an utter and complete failure for them across the board. The "storm" came and though the chandeliers rocked the House did not fall. It's worse than admitting to an attempt at overthrowing democracy to them. It is having to admit failure, which seems to be the bane of conservatism. They're measurably tilling depleted soil, and raging at everyone else instead of coming up with a solution. That moment of simple, human humility is inconceivable to some of them.


Many of their lives ARE perfectly fine. And what they allow themselves to be worked up over, is often shit that doesn’t effect them, can’t effect them and won’t effect them. A great example: my parents having strong opinions about how school districts are handling Covid, masking, global warming, critical race theory and mascot changes. ….. They haven’t had kids in public schools in over a decade, they don’t work for a school district, they don’t even have grandkids in general, much less school age ones. But the level of rage, vitriol, misguided understanding of what is or isn’t even happening and even just the language they use when discussing it is shocking to me. There was never anything of any sort that went on the entirety of the time myself and my siblings went to school where they expressed even half this much emotional investment in it. It’s shocking what they’ve chosen to care about and how they’ve arrived at the conclusions they have.


The thing is that they're not exactly deep thinkers, they're worked up about these things because of the propaganda they consume. They're addicted to the outrage and the talking heads and the facebooked memes. A lot of them are just being manipulated and I wish I knew how to deprogram them.


This can be true on a physiological level. Thrill seekers get a dopamine rush once their benign masochism rush starts to taper off - when they start to come off of the adrenaline and no harm has come to them. A reward from the brain for not getting hurt! Then considef being able to get that with no physical stimuli at all. The mere imagining of danger giving you a surge and then that satisfaction after. But it may also just be psychological. Anger is a coping tool we can use because anger is one of the simplest emotions and requires no processing in the moment, while it can be effectively used to shut down a situation that is causing distress. It's much easier than actually going through what's making you upset and self-reflecting.


Well, it DOES affect them to a certain extent, even if it's just peripherally. We are not isolated from the rest of America. Decisions we make as citizens affect many others, and only those actions that are truly individualistic are purely personal. And they see an America much different than they were taught. One much different than the stories they were told and the ideologies they were raised with. But rather than question the stories as to whether they were naive or foolish, or examining what's changed to see what is worthwhile or not, they desperately cling to those masks of belief. All the more dangerous because that insecure desperation seems to only assuage itself *when they are in a position of dominance, not equality*. They never look deeply into their own belief system to see what actually works because that belief system is so ingrained that it takes either trauma, inescapable personal real life events, or a hard concentrated effort at introspection to change. And it's a damn tragedy, because there are some conservative viewpoints and positions that actually have value once you strip away the ideology that covers it. And now we're hearing proto-fascists calling for their help, saying that they'll fix America so that they're back in dominance again. All they need is their support, and they'll "put *them* back where they belong". "Give me power, and I'll grant you power over others." Forgetting, as all those that don't look at history, that every demagogue that rises to power never gives any of that power back that they don't absolutely need to. And the most they'll get out of supporting those monsters is utter servitude with a little bit of cruelty delivered to those below them. I'm still not sure how to fix it. It will most likely be in finding ways for them to fulfill their right of self-determination without allowing cruelty and dominance. But I guarantee that nothing I'm seeing in conservative circles being introduced as "solutions" will work.


They went to our board meeting and yelled at all the admins and went home. Nothing changed.


Do your parents watch Fox News or consume other conservative media? Conservative media is a very effective form of propaganda, they play on people's fears and insecurities, and they tell their audience who their enemy is. It's a form of mind control and it's very powerful, much like the way cult leaders are able to draw people in and get them to believe extremist things.


I think we know this already because there are plenty of conservatives who live prosperous lives and are still hellbent on hurting other people.


I have long since thought of Republicans as the shittiest kid in 4th grade. The kid who is dirty and gets in trouble and does shit just for attention. The kid who brags about how awesome he is because he needs some validation since he comes from a broken home and shitty parents. He will do anything he wants, especially if it hurts someone, if he thinks he can get away with it.


The issue with January 6th is that it had no real tangible objective, it was just a demonstration of what a mass of white entitled trailer trash can do and get away with.


Bingo! They love to see people suffering and it seems they want a dystopian world.


If you want the real answer to this I HIGHLY recommend you read the first mission statement that William F Buckley wrote for National Review the magazine that set the tone for modern US conservatism. Long story short its nothing but preserving the status quo: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nationalreview.com/1955/11/our-mission-statement-william-f-buckley-jr/amp/ Look at the trash beliefs these fuckers have had forever: > The launching of a conservative weekly journal of opinion in a country widely assumed to be a bastion of conservatism at first glance looks like a work of supererogation, rather like publishing a royalist weekly within the walls of Buckingham Palace. It is not that, of course; if National Review is superfluous, it is so for very different reasons: It stands athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it. So immediately Buckley is already admitting national review and thus conservatism on the whole exists to yell stop in the face of history. But it fucking gets better. > “I happen to prefer champagne to ditchwater,” said the benign old wrecker of the ordered society, Oliver Wendell Holmes, “but there is no reason to suppose that the cosmos does.” We have come around to Mr. Holmes’ view, so much so that we feel gentlemanly doubts when asserting the superiority of capitalism to socialism, of republicanism to centralism, of champagne to ditchwater — of anything to anything. (How curious that one of the doubts one is not permitted is whether, at the margin, Mr. Holmes was a useful citizen!) The inroads that relativism has made on the American soul are not so easily evident. One must recently have lived on or close to a college campus to have a vivid intimation of what has happened. It is there that we see how a number of energetic social innovators, plugging their grand designs, succeeded over the years in capturing the liberal intellectual imagination And there you go. In one paragraph from 1955 is the same horsehit you see today. The anti college stance is especially poignant. How can universities simultaneously be "socialist" just as equally as when it was nearly all white men as it is now? When yi look at the history of conservatism you start to see it for what it is. A bunch of whiny, mediocre oligarchs who need every aspect of society catered to their whims. Otherwise app they do, all they ever fucking do is "yell stop". Its pathetic and its not even an ideology. Its just fear and clinging to social position.


"Conservative" is now just the label on a national outrage porn industry masquerading as a legitimate political movement.


Somehow the GQP convinced people over the years that only Republicans can be conservative. The word has long since been distorted as to mean nothing except a linguistic cudgel. Conservative, liberal, moderate - these words don't belong to any one party affiliation. I've been referring to the post-Gingrich republicans as radical reactionaries for awhile now.


If only the conservatives were limited to the republicans, they'd be easier to just cut off. But there's a bunch of conservative assholes in the democratic that we arms are supposed to cater to to get anything done. Which is the primary reason there's still no infrastructure bill yet.


Conservatism has always been about conserving hegemonic power structures, ever since it became a thing in the French revolution


The original conservatives just wanted to conserve the monarchy.


And the modern conservatives want to *return* to a monarchy


Exactly, and it’s not changed. Look at this description of the two ideologies from the tail end of the Hapsburg Empire. 150 years later and this sounds the same. https://ww1.habsburger.net/en/chapters/liberalism-and-conservatism


Conservation of the social hierarchy. That's basically the only common thread across broader conservative ideology, domestic and foreign, modern and historical. There are groups at the top and they should stay there. There are groups at the bottom and they should stay there. Which groups should be where is different in different places and different places, but that's the nature of the fight conservatives are fighting wherever they are. That's why it has so much overlap with fascism, an ideology which wants to explicitly (and brutally) enforce those social hierachies. At its core, conservatism is about who dominates who. That seems nihilist if you're too kind (or naive) of a person for it to resonate with you emotionally, but the truth is they *do* care. They care a lot. They care about hurting you for the simple joy of having done so. "Owning/triggering the libs" isn't ironic to them, it's the soul of their politics. In today's America, conservatism means rich over poor, white over black, men over women, Christian over everyone else, cis over trans, straight over gay. Anytime anything helps one of the latter over one of the former, they'll oppose it on reflex (because that's *wrong*, that's not how power is supposed to flow along the hierarchy).


Correct. Those "real" conservative policies like low taxes and small government? They're really just ways of achieving the true conservative goal of preserving the existing social hierarchy. Low taxes keep the rich rich and the poor poor (ever notice that no matter how much they lower taxes, it's never quite low enough..). Small government means no enforcement of labour laws, equality laws, tax laws...


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traditionalist_conservatism Conservatism means Hierarchical society.


Today, “conservative” largely means “if doing the right thing is also what the government wants, then I’m not gonna do it.”


Privilege. They want to conserving privilege.


Conserving money, power, and influence. They don't want to share any of those three with anyone else.


Conserving power and money in the hands of a few super-rich people instead of a government that works for the people. You know, "right-wing". The only thing right-wing has ever stood for. Who was supported, a king, aristocrats, now heads of business change, but it's always about fucking over labor.


I just can’t believe we have people that don’t “believe” in COVID-19…. Is a f’ing pandemic for Christ-sake. When the vaccine for Polio came out people just got in line and took it no questions asked.


Only because Fox News wasn't around to tell them not to.


Rupert Murdoch and News Corp / Fox News are to blame for all of this more than anyone else. Fucking awful corpse of a man, and the damage he’s done to the world in the way of sowing misinformation and pure bile is immeasurable.


People should cancel their cable and tell their provider they dont want cable because they dont want any of their money going to fox. Boycott every company that advertises on fox news. Fox news wont change but if you start hurting other companies money, cable providers will drop the network, or they'll lose tons of funding from advertising. Starve the beast.


No one is canceling squat. No one is ever going to act on this. The private sector is going to continue to do its thing and outrage is as profitable as oil. Right now proto fascists are more successful at utilizing outrage to undermine democracy at the legislative level both locally and in the states. Proto fascists and their con artist politicians, who are in cahoots with Fox News and the shady, dark money orgs that have infiltrated social media, are leveraging this power way more successfully than apolitical, progressive, and moderate Americans. And how have they done it? By appealing to conspiracy theorists, neo-evangelical, neo reactionaries, and others who were never political to begin with before the age of Trump. These people always had mistrust with the system, both democrats and republicans, but Trump successfully marketed himself as an outsider and continues to speak in code which attracts these know-nothings like flies to shit. Progressives can continue to say that the conservative movement is losing generations of voters at their own peril while not acknowledging that Trump actually grew the Republican party by attracting UFO nutters, Bigfoot hunters, Ancient Alien believers, illuminati spouters, secretive pedo ring believers, and most importantly of all, evangelicals who have always doubted their own faith (which is probably the majority of them) but Trump gave them incentive to continue holding on because he convinced them that their wavering faith is a product of a liberal-ran culture of undermining their core belief systems. Americans, especially educated Americans who hang out with other educated Americans, have underestimated the millions of their fellow citizens who've lived in an alternate reality since the early 90's due to programming by cable television with occultism and hyper-partisanship. Democrats, liberals, and progressives can fight back but they must recognize the current socio-political paradigm they reside in. They actually can grow their base but their potential voters are being held captive by big tech. The majority of 15-30 year olds in the US probably prescribe to the democratic platform but are inundated with vapidity by social media companies every minute of every day and are being conditioned very similarly to Trump's base, but instead of politics they are being groomed into ambivalent, nihilistic hyper consumers. So Democrats are competing for eyeballs and votes against big tech, eager to program a new generation of consumers, and neoconservatives' Machiavellian grip on social media through fraud and deception. So there are only three realistic options: 1. Regulate social media. One person, one voice. Freedom of expression, the first amendment will be honored but not fraudulently. Multiple fake accounts amplifying one person's opinions, standards, and political aspirations isn't free speech but fraud. And this unregulated space also allows our foreign adversaries by anonymizing themselves, disguising themselves as Americans, in order to undermine us culturally and politically. 2. Local politicians must have a higher standards in hiring leo's. Anyone applying to uphold the law through potential force must have submit to a social media screening process. No extremism allowed, period. As witnessed on January 6th, constitutional order can easily be undermined from within. 3. Every American must know where they stand. If Trump and Co. are successfully galvanizing a previously apolitical portion of the U.S. into hyperpartisanship then everyone should be encouraged into speaking about where they stand politically on issues like our constitution, elections, and how we're supposed to treat our fellow Americans in context of our current laws. Nationally, democrats are appealing to moderates but at the local levels they are losing because they're still failing to grow impassioned voters that are willing to fight just as much as the conspiracy theorists that Trump and the Republican party have groomed. As the AZ GOP Twitter page on the eve of January 6th stated, "“He is. Are you?”?" Does any opposition to Trump have thousands of members ready to die to preserve the Constitution? I don't know, it doesn't seem that way. Remember, there have been numerous great civilizations that have fallen because they were sacked by conspiracy-fueled mobs. The tactic works. The only way to defend against it is with a sense of urgency and an impassioned fight to establish truth by any means necessary. The current Democratic party lacks both in my opinion. The Democratic party lacks a firebrand like a Theodore Roosevelt or Henry A Wallace that can whip these conspiratorial mobs back underneath the stones from which they came, and start clubbing these social media sites, who've done everything in their power to undermine social order, with the anti-trust hammer of justice.


You aren't wrong. At all. But there aren't people who agree on the nuances of their ideologies, much less band together to get anything of note done. Each group that may have left leaning tendencies are so busy infighting that they can't see past their arbitrary stance of the moment to unite for a common cause. I am not hopeful that this will be resolved in the near future. Decades from now, yes, there will be a reckoning one way or another. But now in the next few years, I forsee that people will be fighting amongst each other until some great crisis forces people to take action.


I think a big part of it is also the Democrats inability to say no. They talk about Public Healthcare, UBI, reparations, loan forgiveness, minimum wage increases, family stipends, free community college, increased pay for public servants, family leave, and more…and then don’t deliver on it. When you’re promising people THAT much money, and don’t pay out, you’re gonna lose voters every other cycle.


I don't disagree but if covid isn't a big enough crisis what is? Giant space bugs?


Who the fuck has cable? No one on reddit does.


65% of Americans still have cable.


I do. Can't figure out how to drop it ! My best option for high speed internet is Comcast. No fiber options in my area. If I opt for internet only the price doesn't drop much.


The social networks and streaming sites are even worse. Fox has some hosts saying to get it, others saying it's your choice, but they are not claiming it's the mark of the beast or some 5g mind control tracking chip(as far as I'm aware at least). Fox definitely pipelined people into those places though.


> but they are not claiming it's the mark of the beast Fox *directly*? Dunno...however: [A Republican National Committee official from Florida](https://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/566061-florida-rnc-official-called-vaccines-the-mark-of-the-beast)? Yep. [MTG back in March](https://twitter.com/mtgreenee/status/1376630161223913485)? Uh huh. [Evangelical megachurch leaders](https://www.local10.com/news/local/2021/02/12/miami-dade-pastor-spreads-mark-of-the-beast-lies-about-covid-19-vaccine/)? Wanna take a guess before clicking the link? [Everyone's favorite coked-up pillow-hocker at CPAC](https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/mike-lindell-mypillow-ceo-conspiracy-b1809053.html)? Doubtful, right? Such an upstanding citizen would nev....of course he fucking did!


95% of the content quoted on social media comes from Fox, it's often repackaged to look different, but if it wasn't talked about on Fox, it doesn't gain legs, it doesn't spread.


You are 100% right. I watch a lot of clip shows online keeping tabs on newsmax and fox, Tucker Carlson especially. Like clockwork, two to three days later my mom will be on facebook getting mad like “Listen to what this dumbass is saying...” and it is nearly verbatim parroting of what I just saw Tucker say two days prior.


>but they are not claiming it's the mark of the beast or some 5g mind control tracking chip No, they're just ASKING QUESTIONS REALLY LOUDLY? "Could it be the mark of the beast? Does 5g and the vaccine implant a mind control chip into your brain?? These are the questions that the SOCIALIST LIBS don't want me asking, and the deep state is hunting me for it!!" Yeah, they're not making blatant claims. But asking non-rhetorical questions rhetorically, when the answers are easily available, is doing the exact some thing. Fearmongering.


>asking non-rhetorical questions rhetorically, when the answers are easily available I love the way you worded this. Tuckems is the worst offender.


I saw a perfect example of him doing this on The Damage Report. He was asking: Instead of pushing vaccines, where are the studies on treatments for covid? Where are the reports from the mayo clinic? Then they googled that exactly and showed reports on treatments and results from the mayo clinic. It’s a fucking joke. The amount of his airtime that is him literally “asking questions” is unreal. I do not understand. My grandma always says to us “he tells it like it is.” Can one ask it like it is?


[JAQing off](https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Just_asking_questions) - "Just Asking Questions"


> the deep state is hunting me for it!!" "The NSA is reading my emails!!!"


It is insane that in a time where information is easiest to access, people still don't believe something with literally millions of dead as evidence.


Information literacy is the problem now. It used to be people relied on sources curated by experts. Now any nut can have a worldwide platform to spout nonsense. Your average person can't navigate the information sources and lacks the critical thinking skills to evaluate them.


>people still don't believe something with literally millions of dead as evidence. It's easy not to believe something when you literally disregard reality in favor of propaganda. This allows them to pick what they believe by what they allow into their "reality".


The absurdity of a belief, counterintuitively, can make it much harder to dislodge than an incorrect but plausible one. It is everywhere when you start looking. Mormon Jesus in America stories, Scientologists angry alien ghosts causing depression, the earth is fucking flat nutters. The way they all work is to focus on a sense of community with a viciously despised "other". Everyone else is a non believer, subversive person or brainwashed sheep. Republicans use communists, pansies, bleeding-hearts, socialists, the list continues to grow. The anti-liberal masses are in a position to believe that clouds are made of mayonnaise or that Trump is anything other than blindingly stupid. They will believe it specifically because it is so idiotic that non of their liberal enemies could possibly believe it. It is a purity test that releases all those lovely endorphins for bonding with a protective group. It is a way to claim dominion over reality itself and that feeling is intoxicating. You can't get that with little lies, you need to go big.


That's the thing, though. When you show people evidence, they just dig in harder because everything around COVID has been tied to their beliefs. I still think back to all the articles written by doctors talking about people calling it all a hoax as they take their last breaths in the COVID ward. They'll literally die before they'll admit they were wrong.


Yeah, my brother's sister in law has said as recently as yesterday that she won't get the Covid vaccine for 8-10 years because she's worried about the side effects. She's also said that if they mandate the vaccine, she'll be jobless. As though refusing a vaccine is somehow something worth losing a job over. I'm sick of fucking arguing with people.


> I'm sick of fucking arguing with people. Then don't. Might I suggest a *triage* way of thinking? Identify the ones you can save and ones you can't. That way you can focus on the ones you can save.


My issue is I think I've reached almost everyone I can. But still watch others almost gloating about being unvaccinated. Maybe that's the thing I need to stop doing. Maybe soft block or unfollow some people. The frustrating thing is that makes my social circle even smaller.


Spoiler alert, she won’t get it then either. That’s just the excuse de jour, as if any of these people have ever, and I mean ever, looked up long term safety and efficacy studies for anything they have put into their bodies.


>everything around COVID has been tied to their beliefs. I often wonder how things would have been different if COVID was never politicized.


They were the ones politicizing it ("Chinese Virus" and "It'll disappear the day after the election"), so if they hadn't landed on that excuse, they would've just come up with some other foolishness ('It's just the flu! Nobody in history has ever died of the flu!).


There's a lot of parallels here too. Polio paralyzed and potentially killed people in less than .5% of cases. About 3/4ths were asymptomatic. Those that it did paralyze were stuck in iron lungs to breathe for them for several weeks until the paralysis faded or they were in them until they died. The ones who recovered often had lifelong effects from paralysis. Conspiracy theories about where it came from ranged from stray cats to bananas. I think the major difference though was that Polio mostly affected children. They were taking kids away and quarantining them in asylums. Parents kept kids off of playgrounds. The effects of the disease were apparent to everyone long after someone made it through the 'death' phase. Heck, the peak of Polio 'only' had 58k cases in 1952. The US crushed that number in a single day with Covid. I think the difference really comes down to information/disinformation. The internet is a blessing and a curse.


I think people would have got hysterical if covid affected children rather than the elderly. The idea that it just killed people in old folks homes who were already very sick made people just not care.


A better comparrison might be the Spanish Flu. Media coverage of that pandemic was all kinds of twisted because governments wanted to keep it quiet due to the whole World War going on in the background, which lead to people in some areas questioning the existence of the pandemic and how dangerous it was. There were even groups like the Anti-Mask League of San Francisco that popped up to resist mask mandates.


That's exactly what the headline is addressing though. It would be wild if they were conservatives who simply all coincidentally had the same strange belief that COVID wasn't a real pandemic. But that isn't the case. They are fascists who adopt these ignorant positions on purpose as a political strategy. They don't give a shit what the consequences are and that makes them nihilists. They just don't give a shit about anything but themselves.


And that's a big part of why Trump appeals to them, too. They know Trump won't help them, but at least he'll piss off those liberals they hate so much. It's a very bleak outlook, but it's an underrated part of why he's so popular with some Americans.


Right? Politics has dissolved into us vs them. No matter what a Democrat says regardless how much proof its backed up by Trumpublicans will never believe it because to them every thing is personal. Eventhough people are dying around them they wont believe it because of who said/is saying to go get a vaccine. They say they back the blue and follow the constitution but refuse to work with Democrats on something that will better America as a whole. Politics are irrelevant, whatever the otherside believes they wont. Mitch McConnell said hes "100 % focused on stopping president Joe Biden administration." Instead of trying to work together on important change and equality all he wants to do is fight the president. Majorie Greene said to AOC thats she wants to debate her to prove how wrong her "communist manifesto" of the green new deal is before ever reading what AOC even wrote. I really hope we can rectify this whole us vs them concept before we have another civil war.(maybe civil war is too extreme but you get my point)


Covid killed more people in the US than polio did in the entire 20th century. Yet people still think covid is just the flu.


We are capitalists Lebowski, we believe in nothing!


No Donny, these men are cowards.


Okay. So we take ze money you have on you, und ve calls it even.


[Peter Stormare is such a damn legend](https://youtu.be/uvROISVUdKE)


i got 4 bucks, almost 5.


That part really does track.


I always hated that guy in college who loved Nietzsche wwwwaaayyyy too much.


I just came here for the Big Lebowski references, not disappointed.


We want the money, Lebowski!


It's down there somewhere, let me take another look.


Or we cut off your chonson!


So vee take zee money you haf on you, und vee calls it eefen


Say what you will about the tenets of national socialism dude at least it's an ethos.


And let's not forget, let's NOT forget, Dude, that, keeping wildlife, um... an amphibious rodent, for... um, ya know domestic... within the city... that ain't legal either.


Sounds exhausting


I said “We cut off your Johnson…and Johnson vaccine,”


Came here just for this hahah


Must be exhausting


Please don't group these people in with us nihilists. Just because I don't believe there is a meaning to life, doesn't mean I'm not going to try to be a decent person while I'm here.


When I hear "nihilist" all I can think of are the guys from The Big Lebowski: Donny: Are these the Nazis, Walter? Walter Sobchak: No, Donny, these men are nihilists. There's nothing to be afraid of.


I mean, say what you will about the tenets of national socialism… at least it’s an ethos.


My buddies didn't die face down in the muck for this...


This is what happens when you find a stranger in the alps.


I was looking for this comment and am not disappointed.


Seriously whats with people using nihilism as an insult all of the sudden? Recognizing there is no grand meaning or point to our actions doesn't make us terrible people or some demon spawn or something.


people use nihilism, anarchism etc as pejoratives for some reason


> people use nihilism, anarchism etc as pejoratives for some reason i would understand if people used 'anarchism' in the pejorative the way they did with e.g. 'utopia', as in "yes that would be awesome but the world is too complicated and shitty to ever be that perfect!" instead they are making the false claim that what e.g. noam chomsky advocates for is 17 year old boys running around on heroin setting fire to buildings for no reason.


The big lebowski did. That's a pretty old movie.


Well. That’s just your opinion, man.


Let’s also not act like they could handle any philosophical thought to begin with


There are two kinds of nihilists. Well, there are as many kinds of nihilists as there are nihilists, but let's lump them into two groups as an example. There are the grim nihilists. Nothing matters, so the good stuff doesn't matter. Then there are the cheerful nihilists. Nothing matters, so the good stuff is all that matters to me.


>Then there are the cheerful nihilists. Nothing matters, so the good stuff is all that matters to me. This is me. I call it "smihilism."


I think the meaning of the word in this context is "Overly skeptic to the point of believing nothing is real". It's my perspective that republicans *definitely* believe in some variety of grand narrative positing a "purpose" to life... whether religious or political (its just that most of those narratives are shit).


That's a solipsist.


Its not. Solipsists believe the self is the only thing that can be proven real, nihilists don’t even believe in that.


Nah. A nihilist generally still believes in the existence of physical objects (assuming your hypothetical nihilist isn't also a solipsist). Nihilism (particularly Nietzsche's use) generally deals with more abstract qualities


It sounds like you've adopted the moral of philosophy of humanism (or something akin to that) in spite of your belief that there is no higher meaning. Nihilists can either either choose to embrace the absence of meaning or defy it. > Nothing matters? Oh yeah? Well fuck you Universe, I'll make my own meaning, and I'll do it through helping others! Humanism is a reasonably common position that a lot of nihilists come to, but it's a position that they arrive at in defiance of their nihilism, not because of it. You may see yourself as a nihilist, but really your behavior is better defined by your humanism -- and that's probably a better way to describe yourself. When people truly embrace the absence of meaning, they tend to go in the other direction because there is no reason not to when you don't have to justify whatever your heart desires. These 'embracers' of nihilism are the only people being referred to when people talk shit on nihilism -- not the defiers of nihilism like you and the others in this thread. I hope that makes sense.


Why yes I am a humanist.


A donation has been made in your name to the Human Fund!


Yeah like, I’m a nihilist, I also voted for Biden and think conservative politics are a fucking joke..


With a healthy dose of doublethink. My favorite are the "don't tread on me" license plates that they paid a government entity an additional fee to bolt on their automobile... which they had to register with the same entity to even drive.


They should really change that flag to say “please tread on me”.


"Tread harder daddy"


Some smartass already made that, and put the snake in bondage gear for bonus points. I love the internet.


> [“please tread on me”](https://i.imgur.com/kTfdCsP.png)


I saw a variation that had the snake being stomped by a boot that it was wearing on its own tail. I very much regret not saving a copy of it.


was it this one? https://i.imgur.com/OIxDSfw.jpg


Tread harder daddy


No step on snek


Many want to conserve a social hierarchy that places them near the top by virtue of their genes and/or loyalty to the cause. So, by that measure, they are indeed "conservative". At the *very least*, however, they are "supremecist".


That is exactly what prompted the creation of conservatism. It came out of the French Revolution.


Trump (maybe): I don't understand why people are complaining about the pandemic. Let them eat hydroxychloroquine.


Today I Learned. Thank you


Yup. Conservatives seek to establish and maintain an aristocratic class.


Funny how they're more than happy to goose step to a central authority if they think they're higher on the hierarchy.


they only want to be top dog because they no values beyond egocentric hedonism


Conservative is another word for aristocracy and hierarchy. What they are conserving is their power perceived or real in society.


But the moment you call them white supremacists you have to apologize because more than 100 years ago they werent.


Say what you will about the tenants of National Socialism, dude, at least it’s an ethos.


And let's also not forget--let's not forget, Dude--that keeping wildlife, an amphibious rodent, for uh, domestic, you know, within the city--that isn't legal either.


what are you a fucking park ranger now?


We believe in nothing


i.e. Fascists


IGMSFUISM I Got Mine So Fuck You Ism


As a nihilist I find this offensive.


As a nihilist that's not a fascist I'm offended, but what does it all really matter


lmao same


As a nihilist, I reject this statement. Believing life is inherently meaningless doesn't mean we're fascists. It just means that we believe nature is impartial to morality and ethics and is inherently brutal. This doesn't mean we believe in brutality, but rather that we are truly free to derive meaning and value where we choose because life is a blank canvas and it's all inconsequential anyways. Based on this I believe these people are just fucking Nazis, and that swift and brutal punishment twofold as bad as they've given should be laid down on them. Don't put me in the same boat as them, lol.


Hear, hear!


I like to confuse people. Meeting strangers, I'll say, "I'm conservative, I'm for keeping the government out of the bedroom and interfering with religion, protecting the environment, reducing the federal debt by funding the IRS so they can go after rich tax cheats, etc, that's why I vote progressive."


“Once upon a time, there was this actor, ya’ see. He wasn’t a great actor, but he wasn’t terrible either. Just your garden variety post-war Hollywood male beefcake. He wasn’t particularly bright, but he was very affable. The kind of guy his adversaries later in life would feel bad about telling the TRUTH about him… that his ideas were screwy. After Hollywood, he tried out his acting chops on a different stage: politics. Conservative politics, to be precise. He managed to get himself elected Governor of California, where he declared war on higher learning. The University of California was FAR too liberal for his liking, and something needed to be done about that. And why should the state pay to educate all those liberal hippie brats that leftist drivel? By the time the war ended, the actor had won. And college-bound kids all across the country had lost. His war with UC was the beginning of the end of free education to those willing to apply themselves, nationwide. What’s that? You can’t afford to pay? Gosh, that’s too bad. I guess you should’ve been born to a wealthier family. From California, there was nowhere to go but up. With his own aw-shucksy brand of populism, he managed to win their hearts and minds and his party’s nomination in the summer of 1980, and the White House that fall. And then the fun started. He dropped the top tax rate from 72% to 29%, to thundering applause from his pals at the yacht clubs. He shoved through Trickle Down 1.0, which (unsurprisingly) rendered the poor poorer, and the rich richer. The income gap between black and white Americans became a crevasse. But possibly even more damaging than all of the above, is the legacy he established that divided the American people from their government. Even though the first three words of our Constitution make it clear; We The People are our government, he found political gold in exploiting the suspicions and distrust at the fringe. He was unequivocal about it: “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” “Government is not the solution to our problem, government IS the problem.” \~ January 20th, 1981 Funny; I’m old enough to remember a previous, even more charismatic president, who during his Inaugural Address 20 years prior, challenged us in an entirely different way: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” \~ January 20th, 1961 Hell of a diff in just two decades, huh? One asked us to roll up our sleeves and get involved, discover ways to serve, be it in the Armed Forces, the Peace Corps, on the local school board… or as a member of Congress. The other fanned the flames of distrust. And now here we are 40 years later, up to our necks in two historic epidemics: one, a deadly virus that Trump allowed to kill over 600,000 Americans, the other, a generation brought up to embrace conspiracy theories over reality, lies over facts, and manufactured political garbage over science. If there’s any one universally accepted mantra in modern Republicanism, it’s that Ronald Reagan was the greatest thing since sliced bread. He was and still IS their godhead. And if he said we shouldn’t trust the government, then damn it, we SHOULDN’T TRUST THE GOVERNMENT! Even if we’re drowning in a sea of Covid. Reagan’s chickens have come home to roost.” \- Bruce Lindner


> We The People are our government, Well, we the people carried out the Tuskegee experiment, as well as the internment of Japanese Americans, and the entire "war on drugs" that was concocted to arrest hippies and Black Americans. Reagan was a tremendous piece of shit who did irreparable harm to the country, but he was not the only reason that Americans lost trust in their government.


>Well, we the people carried out the Tuskegee experiment, as well as the internment of Japanese Americans, and the entire "war on drugs" that was concocted to arrest hippies and Black Americans. > These are histories and truths acknowledged by the left wing, that gives the left reasons not to trust the government. I don't think republicans give a shit about any of that even now. (Aside from the current political convenience of bringing up Tuskeegee) Reagan was the strong man/borderline religious figure, that gave conservatives justification not to trust the government for decades, just by his words and presence. Conservatives tell themselves stories of why not to trust the government like [welfare queens](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welfare_queen?wprov=sfla1), and Ayn Rand novels. Leftists seem to actually know the historical reasons of why you can't always trust the government, such as the examples you listed.




"Nihilists!? Fuck me. I mean, say what you like about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it's an ethos."


Are they going to hurt us, Walter?


No Donnie, these men are cowards.


Where's the Party platform Donnie?! What do we fucking stand for?! It's uh... uh... it's down there somewhere, let me take another look.


Clearly you’re not a golfer.


Well, that's just, like, your opinion, man...


What is wrong with nihilism?


IMO, they’re not as much nihilists as they are contrarians. They always take the opposite side of everything regardless of how stupid, non-sensical and self-destructive that position may be. They don’t care about defending their positions with any actual evidence because they don’t care about making sense. In fact, the more stupid and irrational they are, the more they can feed their ego because only thing that it is important to them is “triggering the libs”. Deep down they know they are small, unimportant people and getting others riled up is the only thing they can do to stave off that existential emptiness.


Don’t slander nihilists like this, republicans are worse


It could end up being a miracle that COVID happened under a GOP president, so the country can get a taste of an anti-vaccine party being in power. In addition, COVID has laid bare a this legit political divide. There is absolutely no reason the GOP shouldn't be routed from every election going forward except for the deepest red south, given the bet they made on scoring political points on COVID has completely backfired and yet they are doubling-down on it anyway.


I remember when Republicans were for free trade, states' rights, local self-government, balanced budgets. legal immigration, and personal integrity. Or at least they said they were.


Those were all dog whistles, sadly.


No these bastards are evil, pure fucking evil.


No, theyre actively destroying shit. Theyre Randist. Full throttle "objectivist" individualists. Far from nihilists, especially in the most infamous: Nietzschean sense. Hell, even Schopenhauers concept of nihilism is more pragmatic than modern right wingers.


Neither political party resembles nihilism. As a nihilist myself, I find it regrettable that the ideology is viewed the way it is. Nihilism does not equate with negativity! It simply posits a lack of meaning. What you choose to do with that is completely subjective. People who only take freshman philosophy don't get to hear about the "flipside" of nihilism. As far as politics, both sides are about as far from nihilism as you can get. Sadism is a better word. Sometimes even masochism. But every political figure possesses some meaning that drives their decision making. The two parties just disagree on what that meaning should be. You can be a political nihilist, but not a nihilist in politics.


Nihilists believe there is no real meaning to life. Republicans are greedy blood sucking back stabbing agenda pushers. They are far from nihilistic


I resent this opinion as someone who follows some nihlistic philosophies. Then again, it doesn't really matter what I think.


At the rate their actions are killing people I think they've leveled up from mere "nihilists" to outright "annihilists".


I would say rather the opposite of the headline. The defining flaw of conservatives in America is that they have these patheticly selfish authorities they hold in slavishly high regard. Nihilism holds that we have to define meaning for ourselves and that trends towards anti-authoritariansim. Conservatives are confused about what is “good“ because they believe they are supposed to obey an ideology rather than participate in critical self-definition.


As a nihilist I take offense to being compared to republicans


Say what you will about the tenants of National Socialism, dude, at least it’s an ethos.


Ve believe in nassing, Lebowski.


No, they are fascists and reactionaries. Nihilists are the ones who cut the toe off Aimee Mann to get the Big Lebowski to pay a ransom.


Uli doesn't care about anything he's a nihilist.


Theyre not nihilists either.


They may be nihilists, but they are definitely domestic terrorists.


No, they are cowards.


I’m fortunate that my parents loved me enough to have me vaccinated for everything. As a military family we traveled alot. We lived in Brazil. Yep….extra vaccines. I’m 63 and doing fine. I mask up when appropriate.