I think even a cursory look at this Twitter thread would make you think, how does this compare and contrast to Apathy Theory, and what can we learn from it being well received?

You'll want to click the date to go to the whole thread. 

I'd prefer not to characterize someone else's statements, but they think there is a core driver of both extremist left and right politics right now, and it's in outwardly different responses to cultural alienation.

I think there's something to this, but perhaps much less than others do. Apathy theory says people mostly don't even disagree about policy and instead just care about different things. And this says they're motivated by similar problems and recommending solutions that look different but are ultimately reconcilable.

But I think this is wrong about the politics of both the extreme left and right as a matter of simple fact, because you can't get together with someone and join hands about 'alienation' without being slightly more specific about what you mean. It's like saying, extremists are 'disaffected' – they all fundamentally agree, because the real issue is them being 'disaffected'. What? Huh? No, silly!

Don't get me wrong, they do feel alienated. But alienated from what? What would they want to do, and what do they want others to do?

Not holding everything else constant, but imagining a prototypical change in society, we might see how much common ground they have. Let's say little else changes, but US manufacturing becomes a much larger part of the economy. 'Alienated' people on the right would probably view this very positively, they talk about that all the time. What they are alienated from (but would like) would definitely include high-paying low-skill work where you can see the results right in front of you, and people can see your quality work as well. But 'alienated' people on the left might find it even more alienating, I certainly see them complain about pollution and global warming and describe it as an existential threat to humanity. They feel alienated by giant corporations that they feel are harming the planet.

And imagine that person on the 'woke left' (the term in the thread) reacting to a prototypical America where just one thing has changed: many more people attend church and are devout Christians. They wouldn't want this at all, from what I've seen – even the Supreme Court said that a racial equality board in Colorado was exhibiting so much religious animus as to be unconstitutional, and this was considered the least controversial opinion they could produce. But the people on the right would, to a near certainty, cheer this change. Religious revival has got to considered, front and center, when we talk about feelings of alienation – and yet the two groups are extremely unlikely to make common cause about that.

This is because, while there is plenty of common cause to make with people, (1) extremists are not well described by Apathy theory, they're sort of nuts, and the name 'apathy theory' makes that reasonable clear, but mostly (2) people actually care about different things! This is the central idea in Apathy Theory. Instead of viewing people are opponents, view them as normal humans wanting to get on with their day. That's almost everybody – obviously.