, 19 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
THREAD. What *really* makes people angry about vegans? 1/x #vegan theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2…
2/ This comment, by a bank employee to a customer, is depressingly familiar. It was apparently, sparked by some pro-vegan graffiti that the bank employee had seen. But his reaction was not "people who spray graffiti should be punched in the face", he went straight for all vegans.
3/ The bank employee (let's call him Mr Wankshaft) has held an entire social group, to which he does not belong, responsible for the actions of a single pavement-chalker. The punishment for all vegans? Extreme violence, obviously.
4/ I can't be bothered posting the "well that escalated quickly" meme, but just imagine I have. Mr Wankshaft, then, is so enraged about "all vegans" that he let forth a violent outburst to a customer that he must have known would get him the sack. Why the rage?
5/ Mr Wankshaft (and the millions like him) is an authoritarian. exploringyourmind.com/7-characterist… Among other malignant traits, authoritarians demand conformity to a narrow set of values and behaviours. He sees vegans as a real and genuine threat to what he sees as a "natural order".
6/ It's not personal to vegans. Mr Wankshaft's entire world view is one of fear and disgust, seeing moral/social corruption, and threats to order, everywhere. He perceives nonconformity as a threat to his self ("id") that will overwhelm and destroy him if he isn't vigilant.
7/ This constant and unconscious fear of self-annhilation finds itself manifested in conscious attitudes and behaviours: nationalism "my country is under attack", racism "my people are under attack" and social conservatism "my way of life is under attack".
8/ Our mass media uses this fear and disgust to sell copy. The Daily Express and Daily Mail offer a powerful catharsis which should not be underestimated. With their stories about imaginary threats, they allow Mr Wankshaft to redirect his self-loathing onto others,
9/ offering a psychological relief so powerful that the authoritarian will build an entire world-view and personality around this method of externalising his own crushing fear and self-disgust.
10/ Now that Mr Wankshaft has identified external targets for his internal fear and disgust, he must decide what to do with these psychic enemies. To his exhausted and frightened mind, only total annihilation is acceptable. "Crush" the saboteurs, "drown" the migrants,
11/ "smash" the strikers. To be honest, the vegans got off lightly with being "punched". But whatever the authoritarian cannot destroy through violence, he will want to regulate. Vegan sausage rolls "should be banned". Cyclists "should be made to have number plates", etc etc.
12/ None of this is rational, none of it is functional. It's merely the rantings of confused and frightened brains trying to eliminate perceived threats to their security.
13/ Of course, in prehistoric societies, authoritarians were extremely useful. They enforced a group identity, ensured useful skills, customs and traditions were passed down generations, and were prepared to crush external enemies with violence and without mercy.
14/ Unfortunately, human society has developed faster than our brains have evolved. Whilst we still need authoritarians to fight our wars and police our streets, the role of government must be to moderate our prehistoric authoritarian instincts.
15/ Because let's be honest, our civilisation is a thin veneer. There are an awful lot of people who, given the means, will literally butcher anyone who is not like them. History is full of examples. So, lets wrap this up:
16/ Why would Mr Wankshaft risk his job by telling a customer they should be "punched in the face"? Well, he couldn't help it. By attacking vegans, he was ensuring his survival against the tribe over the hill who want to steal his cave and impregnate his wife.
17/ The world is *full* of these people. They want to "take back control". They want a "final solution" which will sweep away, once and for all, anything, or anyone, that causes them anxiety.
18/ ...but the fear within them is so great, so all-consuming, that it can *never* be pacified or assuaged. They will never stop destroying, never stop hating, never stop building walls, never stop "punching".
19/19 Mr Wankshaft, and the hordes of frightened authoritarians like him, must be resisted, challenged, ridiculed, exposed, but never, ever accommodated. OK the end. Happy Tuesday, Twitter.
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