Wednesday, February 23, 2005


Bumper Sticker Ideology

War...what is it good for?

Well, quite a bit actually. For starters, it ended slavery in America and the Holocaust in Europe. But let's not let such pesky facts get it in the way of a good slogan. People that pose these sorts of questions are driven solely by feelings. And war is the ultimate evil for the feel-good crowd. For a more thorough dissertation on the subject, look here.

This is part of a larger demographic that I'll call bizarro world. This 'place' is not defined so much geographically as it is by a mindset. It starts out innocently and logically enough. The underlying premise is that there is no ultimate truth in nature. No inherent right and wrong. No clearly defined good and evil. The inhabitants of this world would have you believe that these are subjective, not objective terms. So what we are left with is not an innate moral code but, rather, our feelings. And this is to be the true driver of all decision making.

The problem this leads to is the lack of what has, for many thousands of years hence, been known as common sense. If we have no commonality in any sort of morality, it stands to reason that bizarro world would offer no such "common" sense as a result. There are countless examples of this phenomenon, but recently I would cite the whole Ward Churchill fiasco. (See this for an update on the new hero of free speech. Of course this isn't about free speech at all. The guy can spew whatever sort of hatred he wants, but he doesn't have to get paid by the taxpayers of Colorado to do it.)

In the end, this bizarro world creates a downworld spiral despite the well-intentioned feelings of its inhabitants. So how can you tell if you are living in it now or know someone who is? The quickest indicator is a bumper sticker which basically sums up an entire in-grained philosophy. Examples: Bush is mean, anti-American, a terrorist, an idiot, fill-in-the-blank expletive OR a renouncement of war as a scheme to get oil or kill innocent Iraqi children.

Unfortunately, there is no rational debate in bizarro world and any real fair-minded dissention is strictly prohibited. Paradoxically, these are most often the folks that speak so highly of "tolerance" as a guiding principle. You know, kinda like the abundance of tolerance for non left-wing views found on college campuses.

That's a great story. Waiting for more. » »
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