Wednesday, May 5, 2021
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The reality war

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SICK and tired of the Culture War? You’ll love what comes next. There is a reason that those of us on the cultural right appear to be perpetually wrong-footed by leftists, namely that postmodernists understand the deep importance of symbolism and its relation to reality itself.

When I say symbolism, I’m not just talking about the kind of naked virtue-signalling that constitutes cultural currency for today’s pseudo-Maoist tedium-merchants – I’m talking about the deeper significance of symbolism and of semiotics, especially as they relate to the digital space.

Our input of sensory stimulus has never been more mediated at any point in human history than it is right now, especially when our access to ‘real life’ has been so brutally curtailed by the Covid scourge and its human enablers in government. Indeed, who remembers the quaint-sounding term ‘IRL’? How much do you actually do In Real Life? Socialising, shopping, entertainment, education, banking . . . these activities are all increasingly taking place online and they are all mediated experiences, at a remove from physical experience, controlled by third parties. As the events of 2021 so far have shown, these third parties have agendas beyond merely servicing your needs as a consumer. They want to signal their ideology. They want to change your ways of thinking and if they can’t do that, it seems, they don’t want you at all. 

When so much of your daily experience is mediated, the tyranny of symbols is unavoidable. In spaces that rely entirely on the exchange of signs and symbols (be they lexical or visual) in order to function, symbolism and its affects can be said to constitute an authentic reality. To Marxist postmodernists (yes, they are a thing) all symbolism can be deconstructed and decontextualised to reveal the hidden power imbalances of an inherently unjust society – which is why they’re such fun at parties. It’s also why control of mediated spaces is so important to them, as it enables people with the ‘correct’ opinions to control the flow of symbols, to control that which is allowed to be symbolised, even to control the very meaning of the symbols used within mediated spaces.

Postmodernists literally believe that they can read your mind by decoding the symbols that you use, absent any intention on your part. That’s how spurious terminology such as the ‘dog-whistle’ gains uncritical acceptance. In this postmodern climate something as naive and pedestrian as mere innocent intent will not protect you from the slings and arrows of the Marxist mob. It doesn’t matter what you meant, all that matters is how it made me feel as part of my ‘lived’ (i.e. wholly subjective) experience. Get with the program. Educate yourself. This quasi-Freudian approach to symbology will impel a dead-eyed communist drone to inform you condescendingly that what you said didn’t actually mean what you meant it to mean and then treat you mean because of it! That’s the funny thing about dog-whistles – only dogs can hear them.

Was the thing that was said actually a racist statement or is it that you’re so ‘BAME’ you probably think this song is about you? Cultural scolds have awarded themselves the power to tell you what you mean and because leftist ideologues control the spaces within which words, pictures and actions – symbols – are exchanged, they also arrogate to themselves the power to punish you for it. This is how simply stating that you are in favour of controlled immigration leads you to be painted as though you were Josef Goebbels 2.0. This is how patriotism becomes recast as ‘fatherland-ism’. This is how concern for the physical realities of transitioning from man to woman and the effect this might have on female-only spaces causes a cherished children’s author to have her reputation trashed by the very children who ‘platformed’ her in the first place. Indeed, this is precisely how you could probably expect a knock on the door simply for tweeting the words ‘adult human female’, context-free. If that sort of thing doesn’t chill you to the core, you’re just not paying attention. The war for reality wrecks lives and the Right is currently losing this war. When you play the game of reality you either win or you are silenced. It’s time to start playing the game.

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Ryan Barker
Ryan Barker is a freelance journalist and cultural analyst from the North East of England.

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