Normal is a relative value. Its value is the zero-point that measures the existence of the other values.
Consider the Goldilocks effect. When, for example, the Republican Party gains the Tea Party identity and the party moves to the right, the extreme faction gets so extreme it is dysfunctional. Being extremely conservative looks normal and being liberal moves to the right. The effect is to contain the probable risk.
Continued consolidation of asset value (described as “the new normal”) naturally gives rise to populist sentiment. To manage the accumulated risk, conservatives are playing the counter-identity game (a version of the straw man). The psychopathy of populist sentiment (what Objectivists describe as “class envy”) is quite normal. What is not normal is to not have a distribution on the accumulation.
Building a straw-man identity (knowing it will be knocked down) borrows the time to contain the probable risk, which (remember) exists the “normal” measure over time. The straw man contains the accumulation of risk. Over time a left-leaning change of identity is less likely to occupy the space of the spectrum that is normally the average probable risk that comes with a normal distribution of the values.
Look at the Ukrainian crisis. Trying to contain communism had the expected risk of trying to bust the limit even after the “communist” identity waned. Look at “communist” China–they do capitalism better than Americans do, showing a massive surplus of dollars earned by its landless, peasant class emerging as a middle class with growing expectations of an on-demand existence.
Trying to contain ideological identity is psychopathic foolishness. We come to discover, on demand, it’s a free market after all! We grow up and discover the risk-identity capitalists fear the most–self-determination, and to keep us preoccupied with conservation of the “winner takes all” philosophy it is necessary to keep the human condition organized in a constant-crisis mode.
Always “tending” to crises satisfies the psychopathy (the operant conditions) of a “natural” elite “identity” (behavior) described as being “normal.” This operant conditioning is described here as an organized psychopathy of the risk that tends to a dysfunctional, catastrophic accumulation of the risk proportion.