Are you sure they're a bunch of crusties UncleGlen?
I suppose some of them are. And I do think it's dumb and unfair that the Met will be faced with a public funded reimbursement to ER for carrying out police duty. Perhaps you've been to the demos. I haven't, but I know several who have, and Dr Edward Dutton (he's one of Kevin Macdonald's mates, I think - maybe you're a fan) made a video recently entitled The Evolutionary Psychology of the Extinction Rebellion and Climate Activism which explains why so many of the activists come from a similar, and largely non-crusty, background.
Here's a whole or a partial transcript, possibly doctored, for anyone who's interested in why ER, as The Guardian recently complained (yes complained: [www.theguardian.com
] i.e. it's no good campaigning against climate change unoless non-whites are involved) is so white middle class:
“The extinction rebellion movement is essentially a religious movement. It's an extension of Christianity, in particular Protestantism and Calvinism. Climate change is something that we are to blame for. It's because of intrinsic problems with us. Whether or not it is caused by us is not the point. We must atone for it. We must wear sack cloth and ashes [and flagellate ourselves]. We must also introduce climate justice. We must permit third world countries (who we have supposedly exploited by giving them the industrial revolution and inoculations and a much higher standard of living and thus, a population boom) to pollute the world while we very heavily reduce our own emissions to practically zero. Then we will have atoned for our sinfulness in causing climate change. Once we do that we will arrive at some sort of kingdom of heaven on earth.
We Europeans have essentially a kind of original sin because of climate change, imperialism and so on. In days of old, we could atone for this sin by accepting that Jesus was our Lord and Father and by following the various diktats of the Church and by trying to be as ascetic as possible. Now, the sins have changed, but the fundamental attitude that we are bad and must atone for our sinfulness is still there.
I see this as an extension of Christian theology, and more specifically, Protestant and Calvinist theology in the sense that there's nothing we can really do about it. It's our fault, but it doesn't really matter. It's the process of doing it more than what we achieve. We have to understand that we are sinful people and we can atone. There's no God here, really, but there's some sort of cosmic something which is not in order and we can atone for our evil by taking ourselves back to the stone age and allowing other races and groups to dominate over us. Then the kingdom of heaven will be reached.
It has a Christian basis because it's all about taking the side of the dispossessed and the side of the poor, by elevating the poor, by worshipping and idolising those who are poor. You bring yourself down to the standards of the poor and, in so doing, atone and express your virtue and adherence to the dogmas of the group by being as supposedly poor as possible. It's a Christian sect. It follows Christianity in a very clear and fundamental way. It's an atheistic development of Christian theology.
In a left wing culture, you acquire status by displaying how puritanical you are in your leftist beliefs. Overwhelmingly, climate change movements, such as the Extinction Rebellion, attract the white middle class.
Why are they attracted to these movements? Well, first of all, how do you play for status if you're a member of the middle class? If you're middle class, you don't want people to regard you as working class. Working class people play for status by trying to look like they're rich. If you're middle class and you do that, by buying expensive sports cars and so on, people will regard you as working class. Also, you don't have the money, the refinement and the breeding to come across as being upper class. You'll be recognised as the parvenu that you are. So historically, what the middle class have always done is they've played for status by using education and morality. They stress what they regard as these non-materialistic values of being highly educated and of being highly moral (highly "woke").
We saw this during the Victorian era. The puritanical Victorians came out of the middle class. The working class were regarded as a degenerate, drunken, highly sexed group of people who the middle class wanted to perceive themselves better than. The upper class were of course wealthier than the middle class and so the middle class saw themselves as inferior to them on one hand, but as superior in the sense that they were more moral, more hard-working, more educated and more religious. This is how you played for status back then. You would get these moral panics throughout the Victorian era. The anti-alcohol movements were all spearheaded by the middle class. The middle class have always used, and always will use, education and morality as their means of playing for status.
Intelligence is another factor. [Not to be confused with wisdom or even common sense] the average IQ for members of the middle class is higher than the average IQ for those in the working class. Intelligence predicts for being able to perceive whatever is the social norm at any given time and for wanting to gain social status within that social norm. If you’re intelligent enough, you can sniff the air, almost, and figure out what the social norms around you are, and you use effortful control to persuade yourself of the veracity of those social norms. You’re able to better convince yourself that those social norms are true [you become better at rationalising the dogma of the day]. So, therefore, you adopt the social norm, which for a long time has been liberalism, but you need to play for status within that social norm, and so you incrementally push it slightly further.
For example, it has become the social norm to accept homosexuality (which happened around the 1990's), but you can no longer leverage status with that anymore because every respectable middle class person accepts that. Consequently, you push the envelope slightly further by arguing there should be equal rights for transsexuals or whatever it happens to be. This is one of the means by which there is this leftward drift which is precipitated by the middle class.
The moral panics about alcohol in the 19th century were the same. They started off by talking about regulating drinking hours and then it became, “You shouldn't drink any alcohol at all!” and eventually you reach a point where you have these highly puritanical church ladies who, in many ways, are a parallel to the “woke” screaming feminists that we have today.
Intelligence predicts that you will be more ideological and therefore more attracted to a movement like Extinction Rebellion. Intelligence also predicts for higher empathy, so you would expect for intelligence to predict for people being lower in ethnocentrism, and really there is a degree to which that is the case. Thirdly, you would expect intelligence to predict the ability to overcome evolved instincts. Intelligence is about solving problems. How do you solve problems? You have to be able to think outside the box and overcome your cognitive biases in order to think in a moderately original way. We have evolved cognitive biases towards things like ethnocentrism and religiousness, which is associated with ethnocentrism. So the middle class are more likely to be able to overcome their cognitive bias towards whatever ideological precept they're being told is the moral one to take.
So middle class socio-economic status is associated with intelligence, but we would also expect it to be associated with an adherence to left wing views in a context in which the dominant value system is left wing. You would also expect to see a sort of purity spiralling in an increasingly leftward direction so that it's no longer good enough to be vegetarian, for example. Now everyone has to be a vegan and we shouldn't eat meat and we shouldn't fly aeroplanes, etc. It is this highly puritanical way of thinking. "I am more puritanical than thou." The old idea when I was a child was that the more middle class you were, the less TV you watched. The super middle class thing was to have no TV at all. Self-denial [or even self-abnegation] is a means of gaining status. You need to show your commitment to the new religion and you do that by being slightly more puritanical than the last man."