Photo by V@s, via Flickr

August 18, 2017 Brad Johnson 0Comment

Neo-Nazis descend upon Charlottesville.

Stories are powerful devices. A story can transport you to a whole new world, fill you with glee and sorrow, or motivate you to reach new heights. Stories have the power to transcend reality and cover up its ugliness. But one of the most important functions of stories is that they can tell you something about the reality from which you wish to escape. There is an old German fable that is especially helpful in this regard nowadays. It is the Pied Piper.

The tale is quite popular among sleep-deprived parents who desperately yearn for just a bit more shut-eye. The Pied Piper was an enchanting fellow. Dressed in flamboyant attire, and with the help of his fyfe, he was able to captivate others into a mindless trance in which they followed his every move. Zombie-like in their inability to think for themselves, the Piper led the children of Hamelin to circumstances from which they could never escape.

What the Pied Piper did with his flute, Richard Spencer does with his megaphone. Like cattle to slaughter, Spencer leads his lemmings to irreparable shame and pariah status. Non-synchronized shouts of “blood and soil” rang in the streets of Charlottesville. Wielding shields only a short step up from the cardboard ones children make, the Neo-Nazi march looked more like a basement-dweller’s convention, than the Jackboots of 1930s Germany — until it didn’t.

Likening these ne’er-do-wells to “LARPing nerds,” is an insult to LARPing nerds everywhere. The troglodytic protest turned violent when counter-protesters from Antifa showed up, and one of Spencer’s lemmings decided it best to implement mob-like hit-and-run strategy in dealing with them. One woman was killed and various others were injured. Their laughable defense of a confederate statue to Robert E. Lee morphed into a murderous one.

“They imagined themselves to be heroic Spartan warriors coming home from battle, but in reality likened themselves to desperate simpletons who do nothing but think with their “other” head.”

It is quite ironic that these self-described “alpha males” would cede their individuality to a bottom-feeder such as Richard Spencer. For it is the ability to chart one’s own course that defines alpha status. No, these “men” are not the cream of the crop in America’s male population — they are the black sheep.

The idea was circulated, that after their protest, “random women will want to have sex with them.” I know countless “random women” and reviving Nazism does not enter the conversation of aphrodisiacs. They imagined themselves to be heroic Spartan warriors coming home from battle, but in reality likened themselves to desperate simpletons who do nothing but think with their “other” head. Spencer realizes this and exploits their imprudence, just as the Pied Piper did to the children of Hamelin.

What the fairytale tells us about our world is that the cult of personality is a powerful and nefarious phenomenon. It turns supposedly free-thinking individuals into a hideous mass of spineless, witless lemmings. Collective anger is powerful, and can be harnessed for good or for evil — and we see that manifestation play out continuously. A favorite saying of mine is “Those who ignore history, are doomed to repeat it.”

How many more collectivist abominations must we endure before humanity learns its lesson? Individualism, liberty, and ardent adherence to the founding principles are what curtail this plague of collectivism, on both sides of the ideological spectrum. By all means, chastise Richard Spencer for the troglodyte he is — but he and his band of misfits are not the only fringe pariahs in society in need of ridicule. Nazis are bad — but not everyone fighting Nazis are good. In a world where Charlottesville, Virginia looks a lot like the Weimar Republic of the 1920s and 1930s, a step back is a necessary measure to take.

Follow this author on Twitter: @bradjCincy

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