When Ignorance Governs the Polity

“The question is who can we exhibit revenge against?” said Ariely, a professor of behavioral economics at Duke University. “How can you get revenge on a system? It’s just not something we’re used to. It’s just not something we’re designed to do. Institutions are relatively recent inventions in our history and we’re not designed to feel revenge against institutions. Individuals, yes.”

“I’m thinking of it in terms of the 18th century trials in England where crowds of people would gather and throw stones,” Manhattan resident Helen Chaitman said.

“If Obama does not handle this anger correctly, liberal columnist David Sirota told ABC News, then it could eventually be directed at his administration.” Excerpts from ABCNews.com article by MATT JAFFE

As a social scientist, it is amazing to watch how the falsehoods, half-truths, misrepresentations, and posturing by the left has come back to haunt them.  Instead of being intellectually honest, they created a narrative that only loosely fit the facts on the ideas on the right.  These are people so filled with rage, they were willing to suspend their disbelief to listen and internalize nearly any anti-right portrayal.  After creating these myths about capitalism and conservativism, they are now stuck in an intellectual wasteland of ideas.  Rather than look at the facts and find a real solution, they’ve re-created reality in an image that is unrecognizable to the world.  When things go wrong, they are at a loss.  Their model isn’t working.  Their narrative is unbelievable.  They’ve gained power and are now at a loss how to use it.

Narrative Number One

The world is divided into haves and have-nots.  Marx’s false dichotomy of the bourgeoisie and the proletariat is true.  Only two groups exist in American society and they are necessarily pitted against one another.  It is an ‘us against them’ situation that must be fixed by taking from the haves and giving to the have-nots.  We are fighting in a war and we must identify the enemy and destroy them. 

Reality Number One

There are not two sides.  There is no two groups.  There never has been.  It is an artificial construction of a mischaracterization of history that simplifies to such an extent as to have no basis in reality.  We belong to many ‘groups’ and fill many ‘roles’ in society and the idea we can simply pit one against the other and ‘win’ is absurd.  We are all individuals with wants and needs, hopes and dreams.  The first narrative is so destructive because it creates a false hope and a false conflict that cannot be resolved.  That is because we, as a society, have created institutions to do work for us we cannot do alone.  They can only do that which we have empowered them to do.  If an institution has ‘done’ something wrong it is because the individuals in charge directed them to do so.  The reason we intuitively know there is a person at fault is because we know a person did the direction.  There is no institutional wrong-doing.  Groups do not have a conscience or a will.  The sooner we realize this fictional ‘group’ doesn’t exist, the sooner we will find the problem and solve it.

Narrative Number Two

We are good.  In the past people were ignorant and bad.  We are evolved.  We don’t do bad things any more like those in the past.  History is the story of distant, stupid people who didn’t know better.  If we only do things in smart ways, we will make things even better.  If people get too upset it is because they are ignorant, like people in the past who were conservative.  We must make them listen to reason because we know better.

Reality Number Two

Radicals in mobs stone people.  They still do.  We are only as intelligent and evolved as our reason lets us be.  We don’t know all the answers because we don’t even know all the questions.  People in the past were the same as we are today.  They struggled mightily to survive, to do right, and to have a society that was nurturing.  Sometimes they made mistakes and over reacted.  Sometimes we make mistakes and over react.  We can learn from their mistakes but will still make our own.  Conservatism is not a reactionary leap backwards but a set of principles that humble us and put us in our place.  We don’t seek to MAKE everyone believe what we believe.  We use reason and discussion and honesty to make our case. 

Narrative Number Three

People are sheep that need to be guided.  We can’t expect regular people to know what’s best for them.  We must direct their actions like they are herd or pack animals.  As the kind and gentle shepherds, we must lead these groups into greener pastures where they can live in harmony.  But we must take care, for these are brutal, finicky creatures that will turn on us.  They must be tricked and lulled into compliance.

Reality Number Three

People are individuals with their own sense of best interest.  We decide life’s choices based on the information and reasoning available.  We do not run in packs or herds.  We have competing, conflicting, and often paradoxical challenges that are not easily or readily recognizable.  We don’t need shepherds to guide us but rather honest advice and counsel.  We turn on those who lie, mislead, and cheat us.  You are not ‘better’ than us nor ‘smarter’ or ‘more evolved.’  You are simply people with a different perspective.  This may be a perspective to take into consideration but you don’t have all the answers. 

The sooner the left realizes their narratives are garbage, the sooner the real work can get done.  We are ready and willing to begin work in this nation but not at the expense of believing in fairy tales to scare the kids.  We need to face reality head on and not live in some fabricated La-La Land created by pseudo-intellectuals to make themselves feel better.