Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Complexity is not a vice; Simplicity, however, may be.

Voltaire said that while doubt is an uncomfortable position, certainty is absurd:
Of course, the 'diversity' crowd is all for policies that will weaken or Balkanize the United States. 'Profiling,' or any other action, that would help defend her citizens from a ruthless enemy is another matter
Nobody has proven that profiling (the half-witted racial/gender/age profiling that produces such a Pavlovian response from these folks, anyway) is effective at anything except exacerbating racial tensions; you'd think that ideologues who've been making that argument about affirmative action for decades would recognize that they finally found a situation where it was actually relevant. But no, they'd rather segregate us because it makes things simpler, no matter what it does to our souls or our safety. They'd rather ignore the past and its influence on the present because it makes things simpler, no matter how irresponsible or injust. They would rather spread fear [via] than solve problems because it makes things simple, no matter how much damage they do by commission or omission. They'd rather see the world as good and evil (and them as all good, of course) because it makes things simpler, no matter how complicit we are with the evils of the world.

Yes, I am a liberal. Live with it.


Anonymous said...

I should have commented on this long ago, but I've been thinking about it. (A slow process for me :) some days.)

The key is "simplicity." While we're looking for devious and deep-laid plans from the Rightwing, all they're actually offering is simplicity. They want to be able to classify people based on race, gender, sexual preference, and (very important) economics.

It's a lot easier than dealing with individuals as people. They want to view the population like the product of a manufacturing assembly line. Pour in the (cheapest) ingredients, stir a certain way, and produce robotic little voters too afraid of losing their tiny piece of the pie to agitate for a fair share.

Anonymous said...

Drat...forgot to sign my comment!


Ahistoricality said...

Oh, I think blogging is a terrible medium for thinking things through sometimes: we need to have more slow conversations and fewer swarms and blogwars and flamefests. On the other hand, blogger autonotifies me if someone leaves a comment on any post, so I don't miss a single piece of well thought out commentary (or spam).

Actually, I think there's a bit of both: their devious plans (not shared by all of them, but the devious ones tend to be the ones in positions of the greatest power, by the twisted logic of leadership) are somewhat, but not entirely, obscured by the simplistic rhetoric used to motivate and obfuscate.

There are moral issues which are simple, but they are fewer and farther between than either the right or left (or middle, honestly) really want to acknowledge. It's one of the problems that I (and you, though you put it differently) had with the Lakoff/"framing" discussion: it's all very well to say that the Republicans are dominating the debate by using simple clear language, but when the issues aren't simple, and the clear solutions are deeply flawed, then responding with similarly clear and simple language might be good electoral strategy but it's not going to actually solve anything.

I am deeply tired of "politics" and would very much love to see a "policy-first" party (a fundamental contradiction in terms) arise. I was initially very fond of MoveOn.org, because they seemed to be focused on policy, on getting to the substance of the issue and getting back to business. I'm very saddened that they've turned into a political movement, and it's turned me off signing up with any organization or party, because I don't want to be associated with something that changes into something I don't support.

Now I'm definitely wandering...