Juggalos and the American caste system
(Update: If you don’t care about Moldbug’s caste system but still want an analysis of juggalos, you’ll probably want to go here.)
Not all decay comes from the lower class; some comes from the middle, but due to the nature of the decay they bring about, they are never portrayed as such. It should go without saying that there is no cohesive society in much of America, but a patch to that bug has been found: to fill that alienating void, subcultures (more properly, sub-societies, although that is unfortunately not the established term) have been formed, which offer at least some of the benefits—institutions, shared culture, sense of identity, self-esteem—of a proper society. Mangan comes close to admitting this point:
One of the most repellant aspects of the Juggalos is the way they have themselves convinced that they comprise some sort of brotherhood, that they receive a form of acceptance from each other that “normal” society has somehow denied them
However, this is not a proper solution, for two reasons: that it increases cultural diversity, and that it is not available to everyone. Every ingroup is an outgroup to everyone else, and outgroups are commonly demonized on any available pretense. Subculture membership carries a significant social stigma, which rules it out to all but those who have nothing to lose and those who have no worries about losing anything; for everyone else, joining a subculture would be simply trading one form of alienation for another form whose consequences are, if not worse, at least far more visible. To put this problem in terms of Mencius Moldbug’s caste analysis, subcultures are a viable option to Dalits and some Brahmins, but not to Vaisyas or Optimates. (Helots, of course, have no need for a subculture.)
But, you ask, why “any available pretense”? Surely there must be a clear reason to demonize the juggalos? As Mangan says:
The video on the Juggalos shows us a motley, highly unappealing collection of the most idiotic, most pierced morons that one could imagine. None of them seem to be able to use any other adjective but f**kin’ or m*****f**kin’, nor to say anything that makes much sense. All of them appear to be on massive quantities of drugs and/or alcohol.
I will not dispute those points, but can someone point me to any negative aspect of the juggalo subculture that does not appear to a far greater degree in Brahmin subcultures? (And no, the fact that juggalos are encouraged to be alpha and Brahmins are encouraged to be beta does not count.) Brahmins are notorious for such behavior, and yet they hardly ever draw criticism for it, even in blatantly Vaisya circles. (Also, those traits, in and of themselves, are not negative; it is only when they are taken to extremes that they become negative. But an inability to grasp the concept of moderation is pervasive in America, so that does not complicate the analysis.)
In fact, these traits appear across the caste system, but some groups draw more criticism than others. Examination of those patterns of criticism reveal some interesting patterns: it is well-known that BDH institutions criticize negative traits of OV groups and vice versa, but BDH institutions also frequently criticize some Dalits; specifically, the white ones, commonly known as ‘rednecks’.
Mencius Moldbug’s caste system cannot explain this without an addition: the Antyaja caste, covered by Jim Goad in his Redneck Manifesto. Their exclusion from the original model is understandable, since, whether due to their status as a monkey wrench into prevailing Brahmin theology or out of honest ignorance, Brahmins almost never acknowledge their existence, and commonly confuse them with Vaisyas. (I have experienced this firsthand; my mother is a Brahmin from a vaguely Optimate background, but the rest of my family and many of my friends are Vaisyas, so I was raised somewhat between castes. I made the mistake of believing I was a Brahmin, going to a very strongly Brahmin college, and maintaining some Vaisya ideals, so I was treated as an Antyaja, by which I mean I was accused of being a member of the KKK, told that America and the world would be better off without people like me, and forced out after one semester.)
Another possible reason for their exclusion is that they severely complicate the model. They cannot be said to be allied with either side of the BDH-OV conflict; although they clearly fall on the OV side, OV have about as negative an opinion of them as they do of BDH. In addition, they pattern with BDH on some issues: they tend to be Democrats despite their generally Republican political views, and they, unlike Optimates and Vaisyas, can form subcultures, as exemplified by the thoroughly Antyaja phenomenon of juggalos.
Which brings us back to the original point. Although subculture formation results in higher cultural diversity and therefore higher levels of alienation, lack of effective subculture formation usually means even higher levels of alienation; the underclass (Dalits, Helots, and Antjayas) are better off in this regard than many Brahmins and even Vaisyas, as Van Jones pointed out, although those without a solution to the problem are far harder to criticize, due to their lack of identification with any specific group. But the worst possible scenario, I think, is ineffective subculture formation, which provides none of the benefits of subculture formation but all of the drawbacks. In other words, hipsters.
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