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The Underlying Problem with Young Americans For Liberty

  The Underlying Problem with Young Americans For Liberty   Derrell McIver Warning: This article includes discussion and description of sexual harassment.   “Political power is not being chummy with politicians. To effect real change, you have to threaten a politician's power.” -anonymous This is a very difficult article for me to write. Going into college, I did not know how of any political organization that shared my values of Liberty. That was until I helped in the founding of a Young Americans for Liberty chapter and became a dues-paying-member. After a brief interest in the Libertarian Party, I realized that YAL and its associated organizations were the best chance we have at seeing Liberty in politics in our lifetimes. Some people will read this article and call it “cancel culture.” That is not the intent. For that very reason, I have not included the name of the sexual harasser. Instead he will be given the name ‘John’. My goal here is to call out the leaders

The Art of Memetic Warfare

“The supreme art of war, is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”  
-Sun Tzu

If you’ve read any of the platonic dialogues you’re probably familiar with the following mental image: Socrates and a handful of other inquisitive Greeks sitting around as they debate, exchange and refine ideas. One participant made an argument, and Socrates then masterfully exposed their logical flaws in the hopes of reaching a better conclusion. The stronger the argument was, the more likely it was to receive support from both Socrates and the group as a whole.

Not much has changed. Indeed, this process of debating, exchanging and refining ideas has persisted as long as humans have. The methods by which this process takes place, however, are constantly evolving.

Following the face to face exchange of ideas came the written word. Books and letters were written to support and defend ideas, and then more books and letters were written to oppose them. In the 20th Century, radio and television increased both the diversity of thought and the rapidity of the exchange and quickly became the primary mediums by which this process took place. Finally, these variables were maximized during the internet age.

Ideas now compete with one another in the form of Youtube videos, IG photos, witty FB comments, and most importantly, memes. Writing for Stratfor, Jeff Giesea defines memetic warfare as a “competition over narrative, ideas, and social-control in the social media battlefield.” The Meme War is a competition among ideologies & victory is rewarded based on logical precision.

What is a meme?

P.W. Singer and Emerson T. Brooking write in their book LikeWar, “...the concept of memes has nothing to do with the internet. In the late 1960s, scientists began to unravel the basic nature of the genetic code, discovering how cellular instructions are passed from one generation to the next.” It was the evolutionary biologist, Richard Dawkins who coined the term “meme” to refer to organic, self-multiplying bits of information.

Today a meme is an argument in an image. The various meme formats we’re all familiar with are logical schemata (frames or patterns by which arguments are structured). By inserting premises into the schema one builds an argument. The stronger the argument, the more likely it is to be rewarded with virality. If it is weak, the logical flaws in the shitlord’s argument will be immediately apparent - and, if it’s particularly weak, it may even be punished with virality.

This latter point is essential for understanding why the left can’t meme. Statist arguments fundamentally lack any substantial logical basis, which precludes them from forming a concise argument. (Pete Raymond and I go into more detail on this point in episodes 33 and 37 of The Agora.)

Make no mistake; Our enemy, the state, is well aware of the connection between logic and memetics. USMC Major Michael Prosser wrote in this thesis, “Some argue memes operate by the strength of their meaning and their fitness is analogous to Darwinian theory, hence only the strongest and fittest memes survive.” It’s in this way that technology ensures only the best arguments win the day.

Since there is no logical basis for their existence, the state must resort to underhanded tactics in order to try and gain the upper hand in the Meme War. Usually this means the use of bots or bot armies to boost or amplify favorable opinions as well as the use of sock puppet accounts. And as we all know, when the state’s underhanded tactics inevitably fail, coercion begins.

Singer & Brooking note that between 2012-2017 fifty countries passed laws restricting free speech online. The Great Firewall of China infamously ensures that no information the CCP disapproves of can get in or out of the country. Closer to home, Twitter & Blogger, who both began as free speech hubs, started accepting censorship requests from the state in 2012. Three years later, the parasites in  Congress passed laws requiring social media companies to disclose any information related to “terrorist activity.” The authors note that the defintion of “terrorist activity” was left intentionally vague so that the federal government may expand their power at a future date.

None of these developments should be taken to suggest the state is gaining the upper hand in the Meme War. Their efforts are frankly pathetic. Recall that US intelligence analysts were decisively defeated by ISIS in their brief online spat circa 2016. As these two idiots virtually “fought” over ideological territory, Ancapistani shitlords were sharpening their metaphoric knives. We will continue to produce & share hard-hitting logically concise content that draws it's power from virality for the express purpose of undermining the state.

The internet is our battlefied. In the Meme War we are Rome.


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