The rioting is by people excluded from jobs and community

The rioting is by people excluded from jobs and community. By the Z-Man.

Get up close to an Antifa crowd and what is striking is how unimpressive they are individually. The males are skinny and awkward, while the females are loud and ridiculous. These are young whites who have no place in the neo-liberal order, so they end up in Antifa.

What being in the anarchist underground gives them is the same thing you see in other types of anti-social subcultures. They get a sense of purpose, but also a community in which they have a clearly understood place. They go out and protest or riot with their mates and then have that to bond over afterward. It is not all that different from the hooliganism you see around European soccer. The difference is the Antifa kids come from the middle-class, rather than the working class.

Now, calling them kids is not entirely accurate. The guy who murdered the Trump fan in Portland is a middle-aged man. Still, he is a good example of a larger phenomenon that is fueling anarchism and also fueled the alt-right to some degree. This is a guy who has no place to go in life. There’s no role for a low-normal intelligence white guy with a taste for action. He’s probably too dumb for the military and there is no working-class community for him, so he drifted into anarchism.

The cities that are experiencing the anarchist unrest should be models for the modern liberal democratic order. They have very low crime. They are prosperous, bourgeois urban areas based on the new economy. The young people have access to college and jobs, while living in carefully curated hipster areas. Portland is what east coast cities aspire to, in terms of demographics and urban renewal. The whole point of gentrification has been to look more like Seattle than The Bronx.

The problem is these cities are entirely synthetic. Walk around hipster parts of these model cities and they seem very nice, but they also feel like the suburban town centers developers create for their housing developments. You can’t put your finger on it, but something is missing. Granted, visitors can’t truly judge these things, but the constant civil unrest by the younger people suggests they are not happy with the paradise in the wilderness either. Progressive Whitopia is not working.

What we may be seeing this summer has nothing to do with the tired clichés from the worn-out political establishment. Instead it is one of the consequences of trying to turn America into a Potemkin village. Replacing social capital with likes on social media and pointless employment in the new economy is not working. The generation that created it is committing suicide at record numbers. The generation that is faced with living it would rather watch it all burn than participate in it.

A truth of the human condition is men need purpose and fraternity. Maybe it is the military and family life. Maybe it is a frat at college and then a career. Maybe it is the job site and the local pub. Women need community and companionship. The nuclear family was created for them. The liberal democratic world order does none of these things for people. Living atomized, pointless lives among constantly shifting groups of strangers is a recipe for disaster, not paradise.

It’s a good point. Leftist politicians think they have harnessed that alienation and disaffection to their own ends, but I suspect that that illusion won’t last.