Friday, February 26, 2016

Giving Up Satisfying Delusions And Accepting That We're Just People Too - Hate Mail

So you didn't like what I said about the people who watch FOX not being illiterates.  It is a comforting thought that our political opponents are stupid but it is a self-satisfying delusion.  If they are stupider than us, why do they control the Congress, the Supreme Court, a majority of state houses and governorships?  Why have they been able to destroy so much of the progress, not only made in the 20th century but for the 19th as well?

No, it is a preening conceit of too many on the left that our opposition is stupid, it is stupid to maintain that in the face of the facts.

What our opponents lack is morality, the willingness to sacrifice to produce economic justice, to produce gender and racial equality, to preserve the very basis of life on this planet.  Facing that the problems that are destroying this country are a lack of morals is no where near as appealing as the conceit that we are the intellectual superiors of conservatives, for a start those moral obligations fall equally on us as on them and among them is to see THOSE PEOPLE as our equals, as people who have rights we are bound to respect, dignity that, no matter what kind of grammar they use, what accent their speech holds or what they believe about the origin of species, we are morally bound to respect.  The left lost more due to the conceit of those who made themselves the face of the left than it did due to the mistakes that were made, and some of those were huge.

Of course, if you've read much of what I wrote, you know that I believe the biggest of those were giving the media the ability to lie for its profit with impunity and the permission for them to present the degraded view of human beings that pandered to the worst of our fears, weakness and our basest of gratifications.  Just as that advertising and marketing has turned the United States into a nation of pre-diabetic obesity and blood pressure, it has turned us into a nation that thinks of other people and ourselves more cynically, more suspiciously and in a way that undermines a belief that something better is possible.  We are the ones who started that with the campaign to permit porn to be sold freely.   As one great leftist put it, "We wanted to end the silly censorship which kept Joyce's Ulysses in a brown paper wrapper. But we have ended up with a pornographic culture and a society that no longer blushes."*  Only we have become a nation in which young women find themselves viewed as sex objects of a far more degraded kind than was common in the 1950s or the 1850s.  And they are encouraged by a constant stream of media, most of it produced by men, to view themselves that way, as well.

Facing the fact that the viewers of FOX are not, by and large, the comfortingly asserted illiterate clowns but people who have been skilfully manipulated  by the media which civil libertarians enabled in exactly the same way as just described is the least of what we're going to have to do to win elections and change things.  I am certain that most people on the nominal left will be unhappy to face the fact that we've got at least as much to work on as those people do.  We can start by giving up the slogans and platitudes of the left that wrecked everything, the left that handed the media the ability to lie us into a paranoid, degraded view of ourselves and the possibility of equality, justice and other people.   Those slogans are what got us to where we are today, ours will be a corporate media fed fascism, a corporate media created by members of the mostly  affluent, mostly Northern, white, liberalish, male elite of  the 1960s who unleashed it.  They are the reason that FOX lies and hate-talk radio hates and panders effectively to the worst in all of us.  And a lot of them got rich and famous acting as lawyers for the corporate media in the process just as many of those who pushed a phony substitute of male supremacy as  "sex pos feminism" worked for the same group which is mostly affluent, white and male.

* Shirley Chisholm, one of the founders of The National Organization for Women, the presidential candidate I most wish could have won the nomination and the election she ran in but who ran many decades before that time.   She would have been the greatest president we ever had if the country had been ready for her.

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