By Stephen Le Quesne
Conspiracy culture is on the rise, so let’s turn our attention to how capitalism and culture wars are feeding the genuine insecurity of not having a place in society, because this is how many are pushed into the toxic narratives created by Andrew Tate and Russell Brand.
I do not think it is a secret that my political leanings are to the left, I’m not sure how much to the left, but it is safe to say that how I feel about society and the environment is more social-orientated than libertarian. Cue a few thoughts about our politics and how the right side has embraced a more extreme look at life.
Conspiracy culture, political culture wars, toxic masculinity – there is a lot going on in politics right now, if not wider society. We are lucky in Jersey, as this culture of just saying things to rile the base, making up cultural issues to create anger instead of policies and just lying about anything and everything to create a narrative has not reached our shores (seven bins and a meat tax come to mind).
I am sure many of us can have a good whinge and moan about our government, which most of the time is probably a little unwarranted, but we can be reassured that we have not gone to the incredibly low depths of the current UK government.
Democracy is not perfect, but it is becoming increasingly fragile as it is being poisoned by capitalism and the resurgence of fascism.
The problem with capitalism is that it is becoming more brutal, and more extreme, as we sacrifice more of the planet’s resources. Capitalism is all about trade and industry being controlled by private owners for profit and wealth consolidation. It creates an unequal society with the ‘‘haves and have nots’’. We are not taught capitalism in school, which is of no surprise because if we were I am sure many of us would be scratching our heads and asking why we have it.
The issue is that the more brutal capitalism becomes, the more defensive we seem to get.
We seem to be more panicked and therefore more inward-looking, which provides fertile ground for individuals who prey on these insecurities and the questions we cannot answer. They provide easy answers to the questions we have about how we are feeling about society and why our lives are not what we thought they would be or told how they should be.
Russell Brand, Andrew Tate and Laurence Fox are three of these individuals. They are incredibly toxic narcissists and prey on vulnerable individuals. They are being listened to by too many people – individuals who are disillusioned and angry themselves. Younger men especially are increasingly feeling like they are not being listened to and this void is being filled by Andrew Tate and others.
Andrew Tate especially pours the ideas of superiority into the minds of vulnerable individuals. His belief is that his messages make viewers strong, saying that those who disagree are just afraid of this strength. He says that young men are being oppressed by women or are being crushed by liberals and their masculinity is in danger.
These false narratives and lies are a quick answer, a quick solution that is easy to listen to and absorb.
We need to understand that we all see the world differently and that the only way we can change things for the better is if we listen more, enter larger coalitions, and create a wider conversation where everyone feels like they have a place in society.
If individuals do not see a place where they fit in, they will then go inwards for comfort and safety. Here is the link to male mental health where the biggest killer of men under 50 is suicide.
This individualism is also linked to how we are connected to the natural world as we have seen how the language of self has increased as the language of nature has decreased.
We are living in very consequential times where what we do in the next few years will determine the future of our planet for all of us.
Presently, culture wars and the individuals embracing the rise of more extreme right-wing views are controlling the social narrative of one crisis to another.
The system we live in is built to create the inequality we have.
The only way to combat this is to work on solutions together and the left side of the political spectrum need to effectively communicate the solutions and a future where racial, financial, and social equality is something we can work towards and achieve. We need a narrative, a new positive story from the left side of politics.
Stephen Le Quesne is a naturalist, conservationist, forest school leader and nature connection advocate.