I was wondering about how Vox will tear down every Alt-Right leader as controlled opposition except Q and Trump, and it hit me: Q is a movement for people who crave leadership but don’t want to take direction.
In a startup culture, it’s helpful to rank people in your head on two axes: are they willing and able to take initiative, and are they willing and able take direction? Your dream co-owner is going to be high in both traits, but people at such a rarified psychological development are rare and expensive. People who take direction but not initiative are potentially great employees as long as they don’t feel entitled to the decision process, and people who take initiative but not direction are (often) great area leaders as long as they have skin in the game and clear boundaries. Your nightmare scenario is the prima dona who takes neither initiative nor direction and refuses to commit until the money is already rolling in but still expects a controlling share of the company.
Most young men, being fast-life history strategists and therefore low in both agreeableness and conscientiousness, fall into the quadrant of being unwilling to take either initiative or direction. This is natural, and naturally they don’t fit in to any of these niches in society until they’ve suffered for a bit under the consequences of insisting on a directionless lone-wolf narcissistic consumer lifestyle. Turns out, lone wolves don’t eat much, and especially not as they get older and their brains and bodies stop taking both initiative and direction like they used to. Old wolves eating carrion and doing drugs get less cute to the other wolves quickly. At this point, according to Kegan, “Individuals are encouraged to develop further when significant others refuse to accept relationships that are not intimate and mutually rewarding” (emphasis added):
Order 4: Self-Authoring Mind. Cross-categorical constructing-the ability to generalize across abstractions, which could also be labeled systems thinking-is evident in the fourth order of consciousness (Kegan, 1994). In this order, self-authorship is the focus. Individuals “have the capacity to take responsibility for and ownership of their internal authority” (Kegan & others, 2001, p. 5) and establish their own sets of values and ideologies (Kegan, 1994). Relationships become a part of one’s world rather than the reason for one’s existence. Support at this stage is evident in acknowledgment of the individual’s independence and self-regulation. Individuals are encouraged to develop further when significant others refuse to accept relationships that are not intimate and mutually rewarding.
Order 5: Self-Transforming Mind. In this order of consciousness, which is infrequently reached and never reached before the age of forty (Kegan, 1994), individuals see beyond themselves, others, and systems of which they are a part to form an understanding of how all people and systems interconnect (Kegan, 2000). They recognize their “commonalities and interdependence with others” (Kegan, 1982, p. 239). Relationships can be truly intimate in this order, with nurturance and affiliation as the key characteristics. Kegan (1982) noted that only rarely do work environments provide these conditions and that long-lasting adult love relationships do not necessarily do so either.
The Demands of Modern life. Kegan (1982) argued that modern life, particularly within the contexts of the family and the work environment, places enormous stress on individuals. Kegan’s (1994) book, In over Our Heads, focused on the demands of modern society, or the “hidden curriculum” (p. 9). He argued that expectations of adult life-parenting, partnering, and working-require fourth-order meaning making, and many adults have not attained that level.
Kegan (1994) went on to hypothesize that postmodern life requires an ever more complex way of knowing, that of the fifth order, which very few people ever reach. He suggested that rather than demand that people think in a way that is impossible for them to do, helping people reach self-authorship, the necessary first step on the path to fifth-order meaning making, would be more realistic.https://tomprof.stanford.edu/posting/1110
Some young men make it out of this trap because they have to, and develop the ability to take either initiative or direction, and some fail to launch. Increasingly, society is engineered as a series of such traps, to sell you on a promise of eternal youth and then bleed you dry. We are thus engaged in the industrial production of young men without chests who “reject the lure of the ‘Western Ocean’ on the very dangerous ground that in so doing he will prove himself a knowing fellow who can’t be bubbled out of his cash” (-C.S. Lewis).
How safe then, to sail the Western Ocean with everything paid for and no commitments? The siren song of Q is that of an Alpha wolf who promises to bring the game he’s killed and all you have to do to be in his pack is wait for the food to be placed in front of you. He doesn’t even demand loyalty: you could hate on Q for a while and then return to the fold and make a big deal about how true it all is and be welcomed back by the Q-tards like a black man in a MAGA hat at CPAC. Why not when there’s no skin in the game? It’s a big party and Trump is paying for everything. The only thing he asks is that you have as much fun WINNING as possible. The only party foul is killing the buzz.
Q is arrested development for the masculine brain, the GOP equivalent of a downtown flat with no children and no worries.