In the wake of Charlottesville, this is pretty much the only article I’ve seen of 50+ that actually delves to the root of the problem. It’s by a reformed white nationalist.
Here’s some of the relevant bits:
I think ultimately people become extremists not necessarily because of the ideology. I think that the ideology is simply a vehicle to be violent. I believe that people become radicalized, or extremist, because they’re searching for three very fundamental human needs: identity, community and a sense of purpose.
If, underneath that fundamental search is something that’s broken — I call them potholes — is there abuse or trauma or mental illness or addiction? In my case, many years ago, it was abandonment. I felt abandoned, and that led me to this community. But what happens is because there are so many marginalized young people, so many disenfranchised young people today with not a lot to believe in, with not a lot of hope, they tend to search for very simple black and white answers.
Because of the Internet, we now have this propaganda machine that is flooding the Internet with conspiracy theory propaganda from the far right — disinformation — and when a young person who feels disenchanted, or disaffected, goes online where most of them live, they’re able to find that identity online.
They’re able to find that community, and they’re able to find that purpose that’s being fed to them by savvy recruiters who understand how to target vulnerable young people. And they go for this solution because, frankly, it promises paradise. And it requires very little work except for dedicating your life to that purpose.
But I can say that they’re all being fooled, because the people at the very top have an agenda. And it’s a broken ideology that can never work, that in fact, is destroying people’s lives more than the promise that they were given of helping the world or saving the white race.
He correctly identifies “what” the problem is: people are lacking identity, community, and a sense of purpose. However, he doesn’t have the correct answers to “why” this problem came about.
Of course, neither the “right” or the “left” are anywhere near correct. Both sides of the coin are committing acts of terrorism. The only real answer is Jesus.
Why are people lacking identity, community, and a sense of purpose?
All of this goes back to broken families and lack of fathers. We’ve all seen the statistics on crime, earlier sex and increase STD rates, decreased graduation rates, and so on. This is simply another manifestation of that. The groups or rather “gangs” they get involved in because they had no solid family structure and love are these “hate groups.” Gangs commit crimes. Surprise.
Europe hasn’t had the same problems as the US with similar out of wedlock birthrates and lack of fatherhood, namely because their population(s) are still fairly homogeneous. However, they still have tons of men and women who are broken and disillusioned; they just don’t express it in terms of racial politics as their country(s) are not as diverse as ours.
Of course, if you point out this “problem” to anyone on the right or the left, they will still tell you that “no fault divorce” and “child support” and “women get the children in divorce” and other laws that encourage blowing up marriages are a good thing.
Jesus fills the ultimate identity and purpose hole in our hearts because we were never supposed to be separated from God in the first place. Marriage was also meant to be forever for good reason: both the father and mother are needed to raise kids that are not broken and disillusioned which prevents them from getting sucked into perverse ideologies.