Most political discourse to-day is escapism, it serves no other purpose than to provide satisfaction in the form of opportunity for people to revel in their own self-righteousness. And so Journalism is misery-porn and frothing at the mouth in righteous indignation.
At some point, the attrition becomes its own purpose and ideologically opposed groups begin to define each other’s orthodoxies. If group A believes in X then group B will believe in Y and if group A starts to believe in Y then group B will believe in X.
I am not claiming that there are no actual differences in opinion but that all proportionality has been lost and spirits are heightened for the most unimportant, inconsequential subjects and non-issues under the auspices of the insinuation that the ‘personal is political.’
I have got nothing against people devoting themselves to entertain themselves, people should not be forced to engage in politics if they would rather do something else with their time, after all, it is their time, however when people who dress up their personal grievances as political issues are paraded around most political outlets for entertainment purposes so that they can cajole themselves into thinking that they are doing some kind of service to society, that they are virtuous, that they are making some kind of contribution. This sort of news-entertainment devalues both political discourse and entertainment, it devalues the latter by imposing moral codes on art.
The motive for moral-fagging, virtue-signalling and other associated behaviours is not necessarily cynical, it is the result of something else, of a desire to change things and when a similarly ineffective group of people pose an opposition to this hopeless quest it is easy for them to see themselves as self-sacrificing heroes, failed revolutionaries or perhaps misunderstood prophets when in fact they are just larping(Live-action-role-playing).
It is not that there are no causes worth supporting but those causes have got nothing to do with a person’s identity; Identity in political discourse is a Stalingrad.
The most common types of virtue-signalling on the internet:
Shaming is probably the most common form of virtue-signalling, it is volatile and flexible, and it can be applied to almost anyone within or without an ideological group.
Ideological Purity Tests ‘I am more virtuous than you are because you see I pass my own arbitrarily set morality test more than you do, so let’s waste some time arguing how morally superior I am to you.’
Hypocrisy Fishing ‘On occasion A, you said X, but on a very similar occasion, B, you said Y, therefore X must be wrong.’ Extra virtue-points awarded if used in conjunction with Ideological Purity Tests, i.e. used against your own side