I’ve been running across a bunch of people on social media who proudly proclaim, “I’m a socialist”, “I’m a capitalist”, “I’m an incel”, etc… And then when you press them on any of those issues, they seem to either not have a firm grasp on how they are any of those things, or they have an ulterior motive. After all, why would you self-identify as something over and over if you were actually that thing? Wouldn’t it be obvious?
The end of this essay will speak more about incels.
“I’m a socialist”
No you’re not.
There’s now hundreds of thousands of Democrats on Twitter identifying as ‘socialist’. Probably most of the people self-identifying as socialist right now. Now, if someone says they are a “socialist Democrat”, in the USA, alarm bells should start going off. After all, it was the progressive Democratic Party president Woodrow Wilson, who signed the Espionage Act, designed to throw people like Eugene Debs, *the* Socialist Party *leader*, in jail. Eugene ended up campaigning from behind bars under the Socialist Party ticket due to his 10 year jail sentence brought about by Democrats. More recently, the core of the Democratic Party went ham in denying Bernie Sanders (who openly admires Eugene Debs) their presidential primary nomination through two very organized efforts extending all throughout elite society and media, in 2016 and 2020.
Even if someone identifies as “socialist” at all, I get weirded out. A socialist, in my mind, is someone who works in a worker co-op. Anyone can own the word ‘socialist’, but in academia and history it meant ‘socialized ownership of means of production’. If you aren’t involved in promoting or joining worker co-ops, how can you be a socialist?
“I’m a capitalist”
No you’re not.
There’s also a surge in fairly ordinary people, who do not own any means of production, or even any registered business, to say, “I’m a capitalist”. People who support psychiatrists wouldn’t call themselves a psychiatrist. More accurate self-identifiers for 99.99999% people who say, “I’m a capitalist”, would be, “I’m an ordinary wage worker” or “I’m a ponzi scheme leader” or “I’m a retail investor” or “I’m a petite bougie”. Can you imagine an ordinary factory worker in 1925 calling themselves a ‘capitalist’? Even if they supported capitalism? Of course not! Because they were a factory worker. A better, more accurate self-identifer, again, would be, “wage worker who supports capitalism” etc.
So when people who are objectively not socialists or capitalists start identifying as such, what exactly are they getting at? Well first is obvious sympathies toward people who actually fit their self-descriptor, and associated ideologies. But, more important than that, there is a sort of insecurity revealed in calling yourself something you wish to be, but aren’t.
The people calling themselves capitalists are probably very insecure about their low income. A related image that comes to mind would be that of the MGTOW ””capitalist””’ Turd Flinging Monkey, a rabid anti-socialist, portraying himself (graphically) as an early 20th century cigar-smoking businessman in his vids.
On the other side of the token, the people calling themselves socialist are probably very insecure about how greedy they are. People who are chronic self-labelers may also be trying to statusmaxx, by associating with people who actually have some sort of social capital.
A common criticism of this essay might be, “well how would a feminist need to have special qualifications to self-identify as feminist”. That is not a valid comparison. A ‘capitalist’ is a social role, defined by owning the means of production, not a belief. There is no ‘social role’ aspect to other self-descriptors like ‘feminist’.
“I’m an incel”
There’s a good chance you’re not if you say that over and over.
I’ve also been seeing loud self-labeling to the point of incongruency with people who self-identify or self-brand as ‘incel’. The ones who shout the loudest on Twitter or elsewhere that they or others are incel, usually aren’t being accurate.
Often they’ll be calling themselves or other people who are not incels, ‘incels’, solely to get media attention, to gain power in the incelosphere, or to advance a career.
I’ll be quite honest, that I’m not on the far ‘incel’ end of the incel spectrum anymore, which is why this blog is called ‘A blog About incels’. If I were insecure about the societal value about my activities in the incelosphere or worried about people finding out that I’m not an incel, I’d probably call this blog incel.blog or something, which btw I had considered before purchasing this domain name.
Autism and obsession with excessive labeling in general
I’m going to throw one more hypothesis out there, which is that people who have severe autism-like traits may be predisposed to classifying things obsessively. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence for this. An example would be putting people into ideological boxes obsessively.
'Are you an ancom, an ancap, a soclib?'
The chances of the person asking that having other autistic-like traits is likely high.
I also don’t think it’s a coincidence that the sites most known for autists, namely: incels.net/co, 4chan, and Tumblr are all obsessive identity politics people.
At the end of the day, I think that obsessive branding/elf-labeling is usually incorrect and/or disingenuous. And an obsession with labeling is ultimately harmful, because it boxes people into almost religious devotion to flimsy ideas, as well as an irrational hatred of people who don’t hold similar views.
A better way forward, I think, is to find people who agree with you on individual issues *most* relevant to the real-world, and to not obsess over self-labeling or ideologies.