Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

The left needs to talk to young men

We can stop young men from joining the alt-right
Hannah Cohen/Daily Collegian (2009)

On Dec. 30, 2022, Romanian authorities raided Andrew Tate’s compound and arrested him, his brother and two associates on suspicion of human trafficking, rape and extortion. Protests have already been levied on the arrest by his supporters, and any argument one could make against them would be about as useful as arguing with a Harry Potter fan about why wands cannot truly cast spells; it is a fictional universe with fictional rules.

Instead, I want to talk about something that Tate’s popularity, and subsequent arrest, has spawned. The conversation on how the left talks to young men. More specifically, the outreach of leftist political content creators.

On one hand, there are those who believe that the left’s outreach to young men is already perfect and in no need of repair. Those in this camp seemingly believe in some evil inherent in men and therefore see no point in reaching out beyond the standard fare. The fact that so many teenage boys are Tate fans doesn’t seem to matter. Even the 12 year olds who are inspired by Andrew Tate to ask people about the color of their Bugattis, according to this argument, are doing so out of an ingrained and malicious desire to propagate misogyny, and not out of the incredibly moronic nature of being a 12-year-old boy.

On the other hand, there are those who believe that the left is somehow culpable for not doing anything and everything they can in order to win over the Tate fan demographic. This camp argues that the reason disaffected young men, or even boys, fall down “alt-right pipelines” and begin to worship figures like Andrew Tate is solely due to a lack of leftist effort to communicate with them.

The second camp is clearly closer to the truth. They definitely make an overbroad case at times, but they are the only party in this conversation operating in reality. The problem with their arguments is that they teeter between describing culpability as some fault of practical nature to some fault of moral nature.

No one is morally at fault for not doing all they can to reach out to a group that is opposed to their basic principles. However, by not doing so, you forego the chance to do something impactful.

The philosophical concept of supererogatory good helps illustrate this. For example, to not steal is morally good, but to prevent any others from stealing goes beyond just what one is obligated to do. We wouldn’t fault someone for not attempting to stop a burglary taking place in front of them. But if they did attempt to stop it, we’d laud them for their bravery in going beyond their basic moral obligation. Similarly, no leftist is morally culpable for not doing outreach to Tate fans. But doing so would be good, and presents a chance to go beyond obligation.

All of this is to say the left should be doing more to reach out to young men. If we continue to use the analogy of a burglary, we might not urge people to stop burglaries out of their own initiative due to the possibility of serious consequences. But in the case of leftist outreach, having to tolerate some snot-nosed 14-year-old edge lords in your YouTube comments section is not as dangerous as stopping an armed robber; you’ll be fine.

Some of what is said will fall on deaf ears. After all, not listening is a point of pride for 12-year-old boys. But some of it won’t, and if, at the low personal cost of simply not writing off an entire group as irredeemable, we can chip away at the alt-right’s influence and numbers, then I think that’s worth it.

Manas Pandit can be reached at [email protected].

View Comments (1)
More to Discover

Comments (1)

All Massachusetts Daily Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • D

    Dr. EdFeb 18, 2023 at 1:00 pm

    What does the left have to offer young men?

    I’m not even getting into the scary statistics regarding the mental health of young women, WHAT does the left have to offer young men????