[Paleopsych] politics and language

Michael Christopher anonymous_animus at yahoo.com
Mon Mar 21 19:26:38 UTC 2005

Paul says:
>>But then again, maybe if we really were rational 
we would notice that our prospects of falling down the
tubes right here are quite large... and might even pay
some minor attention to preventing that.<<

--Agreed. The problem with using words like "fascism"
is that they tend to get a knee-jerk response that
says "nonsense! there's no fascism here!" Which is
unfortunate, because if it were worded differently,
everyone might actually agree on what's going on, at
least in the abstract. One encouraging sign is that
some columnists on the Left and the Right are
occasionally breaking ranks with their party on
individual issues. This means there may be less
willingness to tolerate "political correctness" on
one's own side in order to combat it on the other.
More people are approaching the middle, when specific
issues are on the table as opposed to lofty abstract
principles with capital letters. Make health care or
bankruptcy the issue and people suddenly have a lot
more diverse positions than if you talk about Freedom,
Values, Family, and so on.

Statements like "People are becoming more and more
intolerant of other points of view" would probably get
a lot of agreement. "People are making decisisons that
benefit their group at the expense of others" might
also work. Or perhaps "political decisions are being
made to benefit one group that may eventually be
exploited by other groups to do a lot of damage". Even
the most conservative Americans might worry if they
were reminded that it won't just be Republican
administrations that will benefit from new levels of
secrecy, erosion of checks and balances, and so on.
Once in place, such practices become institutionalized
until something goes terribly wrong. People who insist
the President is a man of Values, Faith and Integrity
who would never consider him an icon of fascism might
feel a little less confident when reminded that rule
changes and political strategies that benefit the
current administration will also be used by future
ones, perhaps without the integrity a Bush supporter
will swear is stronger than any corrupting influence
in the system. 

Looking at the long term systemic trends rather than
short-term tactical wrestling, things are a bit
frightening, and I bet everyone can agree on that. So
perhaps if we back off the accusations that one side
or the other "wants to destroy everything we cherish",
and focus on what future administrations might do
based on the precedent set by this one, we might
actually be able to form some agreement on what can be
done about it, regardless of who is on top at any
given time.


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