A guy ran over a bunch of people in Canada the other day, and the last thing he allegedly wrote on his Facebook page was to blame the violence on women refusing to have sex with him.
Everyone's jumped on this story for whatever special interest or politics they're pushing. Men are pathetic; men are oppressed; women are pathetic; women are oppressed. Pick your colour. Doesn't it feel good to be right?
Then Robin Hanson wrote a blog post pointing out that if people are concerned about income inequality, then they should be concerned about sex inequality as well and hypothesised some "redistribution" of vaginas (and the women around them, I assume). Predictably, observers went nuts as they predictably misheard "sexism" because they predictably didn't read his words.
I don't care if Hanson was trolling or sincere. His biggest mistake was failing to notice why he saw an inconsistency with inequality. He doesn't seem to understand why he wrote the words he did, what forces were acting on him, and what these forces wanted from him that elevated his post to viral status. So let me give it a go.
There are so many aspects of human inequality that it always pays to be suspicious about which ones we're encouraged to discuss. Some people are short, some tall; some are fat, some are skinny; some get sex, others don't, etc, etc. I'm an imaginative guy and I can think of ways to equalise these things without angle grinders. But no one is talking about those inequalities, and it's from squeamishness because of all the blood.
The only versions of equality we're openly allowed to discuss always have to do with increasing consumption. It goes like this: Too few people are getting enough money to buy disposable goods, so the system has to find ways give those people a higher income. One way the system does this is to magically make whatever "inequality" a person possesses into a medical/psychological disorder so the government can pay them cash directly but in a deniable way. Another way is to be annoyed that too many women and/or minorities are out of work because that means they aren't earning money, which means they aren't increasing their consumption. So guess who gets a government-sanctioned campaign to get higher-paying jobs for the "oppressed" people? It ain't white men They're so deeply plugged into the system, they jokingly get called "the system" and everyone laughs.
In a consumer society, there is no such thing as oppression. The only question that matters is how much your battery is generating for the system. Consumption doesn't care about your motivations for any social campaign, it only cares that you act in the required direction. This balloon only goes one way, baby, and that's up, up, up, forever.
"Equality" is the easiest con. Everyone likes to be thought of as special and everyone feels unspecial some of the time. Even the "INCEL" men ( which stands for "involuntary celibate" and allegedly was the online group to which the driver was associated) are trapped by this long-con. These men (generally, but many women are INCELs too, although maybe not part of a group) feel unequal because they aren't having sex with women (or men) of a certain value.
People want to be told what to do so badly, we'll listen to anyone. We see an ad for a new Mercedes with a beautiful blonde draped over the hood and don't realise the real message is "this is what a beautiful woman looks like." We think we're seeing a car, but our subconscious knows the ad has nothing to do with the car - THE PRODUCT IS IRRELEVANT. The purpose of ads is to feed your aspirations and build your expectations SO THAT you will spend your money to achieve them. All ads are aspirational, not representational, and for sure not inspirational. That there is not enough money in the world to reach any of the delivered expectations is the trick. But at these rates, you can't say we're not committed to the attempt. If the ad works you will consequently want the product no matter what it is. Get angry all you want, but this carnival keeps going night and day.
In a consumer society, everything is a commodity. Everything has value and everything can be sold. There are higher-value things and lesser-value things. There is no such thing and a thing-in-itself. Everything can be sold. And the supply is always carefully controlled by advertising and marketing creating false prices and artificial scarcity. No one is permitted to make the distinction between a value and the picture of a value, they are made equivalent. Consumerism turns everyone into a battery. INCELS are not disgruntled parts of the system struggling to break loose, they are the inevitable consequence of a 70-year-long message that "everything is possible, everything is available."
But if everything is possible, why aren't INCELS enjoying everything? Their conclusion, certified by the system, is that must be THEY'S fault. Just like everyone else, it's never that our expectations are at fault. "But he was calling women objects!" Listen Ginsburg, everyone is an object to everyone else. Just because a man is saying nasty things about women doesn't make this issue is about men. There's a war on out there, and you're losing. We let the billboards teach us how to want, how to think. We don't care these things are all mutually exclusive and our fed desires cannot exist in the same space. But don't let me stop you from buying a $10.99 pink pussy hat. Yay freedom!
Notice how this conveniently hides consumer culture and simultaneously creates opportunities to exploit feelings of "oppression." But that's the trick. There is no oppression, there are only misaligned expectations. This war isn't on men or women, it is on individual freedom. It is regression to the mean by suppressing the mean, where mean is defined by its deviation from consumption, according to not you.
But don't worry, if these expectations aren't your thing, there's plenty more where they came from. Let me go check in the back...