4chan: The Skeleton Key to the Rise of Trump
Dale Beran

My view is that the complex changes in post-industrial societies since, say, the 1970s has sharpened the functional contrast and life-prospects divide between neurotypical people on the one hand and males who have some autistic traits on the other.

Previously, up till some time in the 1970s, being socially awkward, immature and really only good at nerdy things didn’t debar nerdy/mildly autistic males from living a conforming life, with employment and a wife, perhaps children. Everyone got pushed through the same mill. There was a place in society for such people. But now, its so different; women empowered, financially independent and choosy; stable renumative employment hard to get; and emphases on flexibility, teamwork, emotional intelligence and good communication skills in the working environment all have the effect of shutting nerdy /autistic males out of the picture.

And then on top of that, where until the end of the 70s young couples settled down in small towns and outer suburbs to make babies, mow lawns and paint each bedroom a different colour, these days successful millennials’ leisure-time lives are very social-centred, urban, somewhat bohemian, (exemplified by the hipsters) — a lifestyle that pointedly excludes nerds.

So, shut out of both employment and mainstream culture and social life, what do they do instead? Virtually hang out in places like 4chan, where the dog-pack effect combined with their alienation and consequent nihilism leads to all sorts of crazy stuff. But as Mr Beran points out, the potential for that to leak out into the real world and cause real mayhem is limited by the shaky grasp of the real world these young men have.

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