Bill over at Apocalypse Cometh was encouraged by the anger and planning of a young person who e-mailed him.
So, I thought I’d give him a bit more encouragement.
The rage that person expresses is not that uncommon among young men in their late teens and twenties. Our generation has inherited a world of shattered families, smashed gender relations, eroded civic virtue, and decayed social institutions. Our education system is a broken mess of deceit, mental oppression, psychological castration, and exploitative larceny. When we finally graduate university, we face economic stagnation, unemployment, and hopeless economic prospects.
Rage is not uncommon. As an well-known example, advise him to check out /b/ on 4chan. (The link goes to Wikipedia. I am not linking to the site as it is very much NSFW. Do not visit it if you are prone to being offended by, well, anything). I’m not sure if Bill would know of it or not, it’s not something older folks are generally aware of.
The site is populated by, primarily, young adult males, mostly of the beta and omega male varieties. It is massive; it currently stands at about the 1,000 busiest website in the world (about 500-600th in the US), with about 18 million users a month (about 6% of the US population). As the origin point for almost every popular internet meme you may have encountered, it has huge cultural power.
Out of any place you can check, it is probably the best indicator of the attitudes of current generation of what young adult beta males. The anonymity of the site frees to talk as they wish without the confines of societal pressure.
So what are thoughts of the beta males on this site?
Rage, pain, and cultural nihilism.
It is infested with every kind of racism, violence, gore, misogyny, pornography, and the like you can imagine (and many you never would). There are no taboos about anything: everything from suicide to religion to the handicapped is mocked and profaned. Those who don’t partake or object are mocked as “moralfags” (everybody on 4chan is labelled a ****fag).
Nihilism, anger, hatred, and sadistic glee permeate the site, but even underneath all that, it is hard to judge them for it. Because underneath all the rage is a sense of bitterness, pain, alienation, and unquenchable loneliness.
They are hurting; they are despairing. They are stuck in a society that is destroying them and are lashing out in the only way they know how.
Check out this comic which explains how many of them see themselves and their site. I’d embed it, but it becomes unreadable.
This is the new generation of young males and it’s frightening.
There are 18 million young males spending good chunks of their time on this site. They feel betrayed, hurt, and angry and they are desensitizing themselves to the normal moral prescriptions that hold society together.
When we talk about the decline and the destruction of our youth, this is what we are talking about. When we talk about the economic and cultural hopelessness among our youth, this is it. When we talk of the beta males being ground down, this is what we’re talking about. When idiots talk about man-children or Peter Pan boys who refuse to grow up, this is what they don’t know they are referring to.
All the theory, all the hypothesizing: this is where it exists in reality.
Bill may find “Someone” encouraging, but I’m not so sure. He’s only the small tip.
Most of these people are probably outcasts sitting alone in their basements who will never take action on their own, but out of the millions, there are probably at least a few thousand that are leaders, some that are organizing something.
Even if there isn’t, how can a society continue for long when such a large portion of its young adult males are this disengaged, this nihilistic, this bitter about their society.
What happens when these millions of young adult males bring this bitterness and rage beyond the internet? A few protests from Anonymous (as they call themselves) at Occupy and elsewhere have been largely ineffective so far, but how long will that last?
I don’t know, but when there is this much unfocused rage and pain, among this many of the coming generation, it can’t be good.
What happens when the unfocused rage becomes focused?
Maybe this isn’t encouragement for Bill, maybe it is, but I don’t think the consequences will be anything anybody likes.