Friday, January 21, 2011

"Conservative" History as Mythistory

13 May 2010 and 21 January 2011

Today's reading is from the Book of MytHistory. And so it was that laissez faire liberals (situational laissez faire liberals) forgot that they were liberals and they began to call themselves "conservatives". They forgot that the doctrine of containment of Communism, the Korean War, and the war in Vietnam were begun by Democrats who believed firmly in the doctrine of containing communism. And they forgot that a Republican (Richard Nixon and his lieutenant Henry Kissinger) developed the doctrine of detente, the notion that we could live and let live in a world with the Soviet Union. And Elohim saw that it was good. Ignorance is indeed bliss. Thanks be to history.

There is so much ahistorical paranoic misunderstanding of "liberals" and "the left" out there in the general American public and particularly the "conservative" general US public. What do liberals of the laissez faire and "progressive" variety have in common? They love capitalism. What do "radicals", "left wingers", "communists", "socialists" have in common? They are generally averse to capitalism and are hope someday to see its collapse. What do real conservatives believe? Those like the latter day conservative JRR Tolkein hated the environmental devastation brought to pre-industrial landscapes by capitalism and preferred a world dominated by a Mediaeval-like church and its theocratic system. Ever read Lord of the Rings?

What is so curious and curiouser about political debates in the US is that most situational laissez faire liberals don't seem to comprehend the fact that they are liberal too. The name calling and paranoia so prevalent in some "conservative" quarters has thus been stimulated by minor differences, minor chasms, in the liberal camp. It is all rather like the multitude of Baptist sects squabbling over the issue of which way is the right way to baptise (fully under in a river?, fully under in a baptism bath? dabbed with water on the forehead? having water poured over your head?). That both political and religious groups are varieties of meaning systems or cultural systems that act similarly should not escape the critical sociological and culturological eye.

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