Friday, March 30, 2012

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Back in the 1960s, when Yuri Andropov was still the head of the KGB, before he succeeded Leonid Brezhnev in 1982 at the top of the pile in the old Soviet Union, he orchestrated a campaign to use mental hospitals to "treat" political dissidents.

People who protested the arrest of a writer or poet, or who wanted to try to get the Soviet government to live up to the tenets of the Helsinki Accords on Human Rights were rounded up, diagnosed with "sluggish schizophrenia" and shipped off to a mental hospital without trial.

I read a great book when I was in school, written by a guy named Vladimir Bukovsky, who'd been subjected to that treatment for about a decade in the 1960s and early '70s. After he was deported from the USSR in the late 1970s he wrote To Build a Castle about his experiences in the psychiatric gulag. It's an amazing story.

Anyway, you're probably wondering what the hell brought this up. Well, I just went through the news on my computer and read a few stories that shook this little memory out of the fog and dropped it back in my lap.

Seems that some silly asshat scientist has decided that all of those folks who doubt the connection between Global Warming, climate change and humans are suffering from a "sociological disorder".

Professor Kari Norgaard, who is currently appearing at the ‘Planet Under Pressure’ conference in London, has presented a paper in which she argues that “cultural resistance” to accepting the premise that humans are responsible for climate change “must be recognized and treated” as an aberrant sociological behavior.

Then I read another unrelated story claiming that "a research team led by University of Arkansas psychologist Scott Eidelman argues that conservatism — which the researchers identify as “an emphasis on personal responsibility, acceptance of hierarchy, and a preference for the status quo” (really?) — may be our default ideology. If we don’t have the time or energy to give a matter sufficient thought, we tend to accept the conservative argument."

So, we conservatives just don't think things out quite as well, and jump on the conservative crutch? I would have bet good money that the opposite was true. Read the article here. It's rich.

So, does that mean that lots of hard working families, maybe holding down two or three jobs, who manage to raise their kids correctly and save their money are socially or politically conservative because they just are too tired to think things through enough to be able to see the wisdom in high taxes and the unrelenting expansion of the Nanny/Welfare State?

Aaaah, OK. Yea, that makes perfect sense. I mean, I'll be the first to admit that there's some really bat-shit crazy right wingers out there. I mean, I know a few. Not naming names.

Our political discourse is pretty sour nowadays. Folks are so committed to their beliefs that they just don't want to have to listen to one another, and that's not good. But I'm amazed when I see people on the Left attempting to attribute skeptical, "inconsistent" or conservative views as some sort of aberrant behavior, as if the only really sane, sensible thought process is a liberal one. What balls they have! And they get government grants and research funding to try to substantiate that twisted shit? Yea, that's why I love to pay my taxes. How about you?

1 comment:

Kenneth said...

The truth is that what is now being described as liberal ideology is actually a huge range of emotion and/or sentimentality. Making the difference between conservatism and liberalism the difference between perception>analysis>logical interjection>response and visual or auditory stimulus>insect-like reflexive response. Or the difference between carrying books around because you read them, and carrying them around with the titles prominently displayed so others will think that you read them. Remember the allegory of the crab bucket and the behavior isn't so unusual.
And finally, the word liberal has been abused and maligned in much the same way that 'love, awesome, incredible, beautiful, and brilliant' have been. It's impossible to pinpoint what any of them mean.