Anti-Establishment Fe-Ti Users in an Era of "Fake News" and Identity Politics
How can xxTPs and xxFJs promote and champion their causes when under attack from the mainstream media, the political establishment, and even their own friends and family?
By Tiffani Warren
🌧🕯Recommended background music for today’s post🕯🌧
Today on Reddit I was confronted with the question of how to react to neo-liberal identity politics attacks on progressive candidates and activists. u/HootHootBerns said:
“Good old double standards for progressives again. We must be sexist and racist!
I would suggest we hit them back with their IDPol bullshit whenever they attack Caitlin [Johnstone], Nina [Turner], or Tulsi [Gabbard]…but unlike them, we can come up with a legitimate counterargument, rather than shouting critics down with “isms”.”
To which u/xploeris replied:
“Can’t hit them back. I mean, their bullshit literally does not work on them, or on their followers. They are 100% on board with their double standards and equipped with convenient rationalizations for their hypocrisy.
The best response to them is really just to marginalize the fuck out of them. Make them pariahs. That’s the “own medicine” they need. But it’s easier said than done because they have so many fucking enablers who support them.”
Anger and cynicism aside, they’re onto something, typologically. I went ahead and investigated what it is.
A note to the reader: As I’m sure you’ve already ascertained, this post will be political. Specifically, it refers to the relationship between Fi and neo-liberalism/identity politics. It will primarily be useful to progressive and anti-establishment xxTPs and xxFJs who are looking for ways to effectively engage in the political realm and stand up to the establishment.
It is very important to note that the many xxFPs and xxTJs are not neoliberals or SJWs. Progressives, Trump supporters, libertarians, and other political ideologies can count several xxFP and xxTJ allies within their ranks. Additionally, many xxTPs and, especially, xxFJs, run in neoliberal, establishment, and/or SJW circles. That said, neoliberalism and SJW movements are centered around Fi-Te values, specifically the Delta quadra, and even more specifically they are centered around concentrated groups of ENFPs and INFPs. This is what we will be taking a closer look at today.
Defense of the establishment, particularly in the current political climate, is primarily associated with the Delta quadra. This refers to people who value Fi-Te and Si-Ne. The reason for this is simple. Valued Fi itself is strongly associated with the concept of ‘power’, particularly the idea of “soft power” – power through coercion and self-promotion rather than either force, birthright, or technical merit. Additionally, aristocratic quadras (Betas and Deltas) believe in hierarchy and support the concepts of in-groups and out-groups. For this reason, the modern political establishment is centered around the aristocratic, Fi-valuing Delta quadra, particularly those with strong Fi (xNFPs).
What ‘soft power’ refers to in this context is, essentially, that power is conferred by saying you are powerful, and getting other people to believe it. You can see this in certain cliques in high school – not necessarily the ones who overtly bully, but rather those who have in-groups with rules and expectations about how you have to act to fit in. An example that comes to mind is that of the ‘theater kids’ clique. Moving to college, you can see this in SJW circles, some soft sciences and humanities (like gender studies and lit) as well as a lot of the hard sciences, although it’s more diffuse there due to the greater presence of both xxTJs and xxTPs. In the adult world they span many arenas of course, but they’re especially visible in media, journalism, elements of start-up culture, hard/soft sciences again (especially research, academia, libraries, public institutions), and politics. All of these examples refer specifically to the United States, by the way; it doesn’t always hold true in other cultures.
Things that represent power and respect to Deltas, especially xNFPs:
- credentials, certificates, awards
- labels (anything from sexuality labels to ‘president of the anime club’)
- calling themselves “empowered” and doing things to “empower” people like them (e.g. buying finger puppets for their kids that represent the “women of the supreme court”, Bill Nye’s new TV show and his featured guests, buying and talking about makeup from black-owned beauty brands, etc.)
- public shaming of people – including (especially) people within their own clique – who don’t adhere to their standards. Essentially, call-out culture.
- making ‘outsiders’ uncomfortable (e.g. making aesthetic choices to ‘rub their status in people’s faces’. This can be anything from hipster clothes, to bright hair and unshaved armpits, to clothes with provocative sayings or associations)
- having formalized and coded language, such as acronyms, academic jargon, phrases you have to be willing to say, correct and incorrect forms of apology, etc. – this is primarily used to identify ingroup and outgroup
- to a lesser extent, they respect and value objective measures of truth (Te), such as research studies, scientific reports, textbooks, etc. The issue is that they are weak at judging and evaluating such sources and tend toward black-and-white thinking – for instance, believing that only mainstream news sources “count”. They can be educated in terms of evaluating sources but I feel like that time has passed – that’s something you have to learn before it becomes necessary to know it, for the most part.
Now all that said, I’m not sure of exactly the right strategy here.
- Try to engage with them in their preferred manner – for instance, talking about empowering ourselves and using acronyms, etc. This faces two challenges. One is a backlash from our movement – there’s a reason we don’t already do that, and it’s because we don’t like it. It would be very difficult to convince the majority of our people to do that. Secondly, we’ll never be as good at it as they are. It’s like when Hillary Clinton (ESTJ) tries to appear relatable (that’s a thing Fe values) by focus group testing it. It’s transparent and obnoxious, and worse, it makes the opponents seem more relatable, even if they’re not so much that way originally (c.f. Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump)
- Try to engage with them in our preferred manner. This, of course, is what we’ve already been doing. It works, I guess, but very slowly and indirectly. What it mostly does is peel off people at the edges of their culture – you can see this for example in Laci Green (ENFJ), who was an entrenched SJW for quite a while but responds well to various tactics like Ti logic, Se displays of force and challenges, and Fe positive atmosphere. For Laci, it seems that the constant policing of her language by people in her SJW in-group made her feel like she was in a hostile environment. By being persistent about their messages as well as valuing getting along with people, the “anti-feminist” community on YouTube was able to pull her out of the center of identity politics toward a more moderate stance. So over time you can weaken the neoliberal/identity politics group structure by pulling out people who follow them for ideological/ethical rather than cultural/personality-related reasons. This is a long process but it will happen eventually.
- Elevate progressive and anti-establishment xNFPs and xSTJs. This was my first thought, but I think it has flaws. There are plenty of progressives (and Trump supporters) who relate to power and social groups in the way I describe – plenty of xxFPs and xxTJs in these movements. One option is to elevate their voices, and possibly convince people from the other side that “we have that too”, basically. An issue with that that I’ve seen is that when they feel empowered, they sometimes switch sides, because they perceive the other side as having more ‘room to grow’ in terms of power. You can see this, I believe, in the defection of people like Elizabeth Warren, John Oliver, and Stephen Colbert (all INFP) or Symone Sanders and even Rachel Maddow (both ENFP), etc. – people who used to seem progressive and now seem pro-establishment. Elevating them and giving them a platform made them more likely to join the other side rather than the other way around. I think they do better in defined, supporting roles in our movement rather than at the forefront.
- Elevate and engage with xxFJ and xxTP (and, to a lesser extent, xNTJ and xSFP) members of their group. This kind of ties into #2. It might be worth actively identifying people in their group who could be peeled off and giving them more of a platform, more attention in general, than the ones we’re less likely to reach. For instance, I think it honestly might be worth ignoring most of our opposition and only having Twitter debates and writing articles about the people we have a chance of ‘converting’.
One important thing to notice is that Deltas, in general, are not interested in ‘converting’ people to their side. This is a misunderstanding I see a lot on the part of progressives and other anti-establishment people. Most neoliberals and SJWs are not interested in convincing a Trump supporter to join a Black Lives Matter group, for instance. In fact, they’ll actively discourage it – go out of their way to shame “Bernie Bros” in a way that makes them less likely to join in with social justice groups. This is not an accident. This is not due to incompetence or poor rationalizations. The reason is that they’re not interested in converting outsiders. What they want is for outsiders to feel disempowered and isolated. This is another way they consolidate their own power.
Engaging in debate is not useful, because it elevates their point of view, and it’s not possible to change their minds, as many have noted. What’s most effective is simply to incorporate the aspects of social justice that you believe in into your message, claim it as your own, engage with the activists in those realms who do have the personality types to be swayed by Ti reason or Fe social values, and ignore the rest of it.
If their power in society rests on the belief they’re able to instill in others that they are powerful, what then can we do to inject doubt into that illusion?
Important to note of course that nothing is new under the sun. This is a common cycle in history. There’s a set pattern to how information is generated, flows, and develops in society. Mihai and I are doing a lot of research on this and we’re discovering it in real time as well. But for example, in the 1960s and ’70s it was mainly the Beta quadra who were at the forefront of the racial justice movement. Malcolm X was the same personality type as Trump (ESTP), for instance, and MLK Jr. was an ENFJ. You’ll notice a big difference in, for example, how black activists of the time placed a lot of emphasis on respectability (dressing nicely to go to a protest) vs. how today’s racial justice activists dress and act. But I think this is good news. It means that the causes we’re passionate about will eventually trickle through to these other groups of people. They just have a different role to play in how society is shaped and developed. I don’t write any of this to disparage them or diminish their role. Rather it’s intended to help spur the conversation toward how we can best accomplish ours.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas in the comments. Thank you for reading!