The Knockout Game: Thug Culture in Post-Civilized America

Here’s my definition of thug culture from a March 2013 post:

thug culture n : a social pattern characterized by the inherent tendency, especially in males, toward seeking social status based on violence, the maintenance of face, and primitive behavior

Civilization is the historical exception, not the rule. One need only peruse a book on ancient history to see the violence, slavery and degradation that were a part of everyday life. Western civilization and the American worldview slowly imposed civilization. But as the progressive worldview has taken over, the fabric of civilization has worn thin, and thug culture, the human norm, is re-emerging.

As David Geary points out in his book Male, Female, men universally compete for social status and for the control of resources which sustain reproduction. Throughout preindustrial societies, nearly one in three young men are killed during this competition, and those who have killed have gained a definite social asset in many or most prestate cultures.*

Thuggery is also an asset in the post-civilized subcultures emerging throughout America. The “knockout game” – in which a young thug, on video, tries to knock out an unwitting stranger with one punch — is a textbook example of thug culture. The thugs are seeking social status. In their subculture, social status is based on violence, primitive behavior and the maintenance of face.

Unfortunately, there’s an ethnic component to the knockout game, too.  Virtually all of the “gamers” are young blacks and the victims non-blacks.  A higher rate of violence is the norm in African-American neighborhoods: almost 40 percent of violent crimes are committed by young African-American men, who only comprise about 3 percent of the population.**  A young black man is 13 times more likely to commit a violent crime than the average American.  This statistic is the deplorable result of the progressive worldview’s effect on ethnicities who see themselves as oppressed.

The appalling savagery, unfairness and cowardice of these attacks is shocking to civilized people. But don’t worry — as civilization unravels, as newthink usurps Americanism — you’ll get used to it. After all, it’s the historical norm.

* David C. Geary, Male, Female, (Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association, 2005), p. 318.

** Larry Elder, 10 Things You Can’t Say in America, (St. Martin’s Press, 2000), p. 43.

The Collective Journey to Utopia

Under newthink, the progressive worldview, social virtue is created by collective public action toward utopia.

The unconscious logic supporting this belief goes like this, starting from the “Human beings are inherently and transcendentally noble” branch of the newthink worldview tree:

• Human beings are inherently and transcendentally noble.
• We should celebrate human beings, not God.
• Humanity is the ultimate authority.
• Utopia is possible.
• Social virtue is created by collective public action toward utopia.

The unconscious logic branching out of this belief is:

• To achieve desirable social results, one should become part of a collective public organization and work toward one’s goals.
• Positive social action can be achieved through governmental, academic, media, union, and other organizations.


This belief in a collective progression toward utopia is the spark that inspires many newthinkers to shape their lives around their worldview. It animated the 1960s counterculture. Progressives imagine their heaven on earth with the same passion that traditional Americans imagined heaven.

Though traditional Americans believed that social good was created by serving God, country, community and family, progressives believe that social virtue is created by collective public action toward utopia. The green movement, for example, encourages everyone to recycle and reduce their “carbon footprint” in order to save the planet. The socialist movement treats the government as the solution for social inequity and envisions a future where everyone shares the wealth.

Traditional American society was like nature: a chaotic mess that miraculously worked. Progressive society is more like a beehive: a progressive hive of worker bees who toil steadily and tirelessly toward their utopian ideal.

Traditional American society was essentially an individual enterprise in which the group existed as a framework to uphold individual rights; progressivism is essentially a collective enterprise in which the individual subsumes himself to the group. Traditional American society was like nature: a chaotic mess that miraculously worked. Progressive society is more like a beehive: a progressive hive of worker bees who toil steadily and tirelessly toward their utopian ideal. The newthinking worker bees tend to be hard-working, intelligent, ideological, confident and positive in the pursuance of their often-unconscious goal. Every beehive owes its existence to its worker bees. The progressive takeover of most public organizations – universities, libraries, high schools, churches, government bureaucracies, etc. – has been accomplished by them.

Obamacare: Both Cynical Power Play and Sincere Struggle for Progressive Virtue

Obamacare is without doubt a power play – a political move designed to appropriate one-sixth of the U.S. economy into the government. As the medical sector is socialized, Washington’s politicians and bureaucrats gain significant wealth and power.

But government doesn’t create wealth; it only consumes it. So as the public sector grows, the private sector suffers; Washington and the state capitals thrive while the rest of the country withers. Payroll taxes will have to increase, perhaps double, to the level of comparable European systems in order to finance the single-payer, Medicare-for-all system which seems to be our destination. As doctors leave the system and bureaucratic costs rise, medical treatment will become more expensive, less available and lower in quality. Family budgets will incur hundreds of dollars more per month in health insurance and payroll taxes, and potentially thousands of dollars more per year in deductibles. The result? A substantial percentage of disposable family income will no longer be spent in the private sector. Budgets, whether a family’s or a nation’s, are not infinitely capable of absorbing hits like this. At some point they break. At some point the already fragile economy collapses.

So, given all the negatives, why is the socialization of America’s medical industry a priority for progressives? Is it just a cynical power play on the part of the Washington elite? To see it only this way is to miss a lot. Remember (see my last blog post), progressives tend to believe that utopia is possible. Many of them believe that Obamacare will eventually bring inexpensive (in some cases, free) health care to everyone. That this utopian ideal is unreachable doesn’t matter; that possibility is rarely even entertained. Universal health care is progressively virtuous. The struggle for progressive virtue is, to progressives, the important thing. Merely striving for progressive virtue in itself makes progressives feel virtuous.

This devout sense of progressive virtue is predominant outside of the elite. But don’t be so cynical that you can’t recognize this idealism, mixed with the duplicity that is necessary to pursue their unpopular aims, among the progressive elite too.