a grouse with completely feathered feet


Thinking a lot about how Dobson,one of the architects of the current American fundamentalism, writes self-help books--his brand of fundamentalism has a lot in common with the worst New Ageisms, the primacy of individual entitlement cloaked in righteousness. The thunderous apathy of American society in many quarters has as much to do with Madonna's kaballah water as the Left Behind series.

Zizek has his moments of "fuzzy math," so to speak, but this quote (written before the election results came in) was compelling:
We should therefore refuse not only easly liberal contempt for populist fundamentalists (and, even worse, patronising regret at their supposed manipulation), but also the very terms of the culture war. Although radical leftists will, of course, support the liberal position on such issues as abortion, racism and homophobia, they should never forget that it is the populist fundamentalist, not the liberal, who is, in the long term, their ally. For all their anger, the populists are not angry enough -- not radical enough to perceive the link between capitalism and the moral decay they deplore.

Okay, I'm going to get to some NBA talk sometime soon, I swear!


At 11/15/2004 12:48:00 PM, Blogger Trent said...

"not radical enough to perceive the link between capitalism and the moral decay they deplore."

Weird. That sounds pretty leftist.

At 11/26/2004 02:42:00 PM, Blogger Juke said...

Pervasive systems that run relatively smoothly, that were there before we were born, become atmospheric, an unnoticed part of the world, the way things are.
Money is not a thing, it's a system, a code, a set of symbols. That it might be skewed toward a particular kind of person, rewarding some more than others, rather than the neutral null-value abstraction it's assumed to be, is a radical idea - yet the evidence seems clear that it is skewed, weighted, not neutral but proprietary, favoring one kind of person over another - though none of that is part of acceptable discourse.
The educational system has stated goals that are widely variant from its achievements. One of the unspoken results of even a minimal educational experience, that's deepened and strengthened the further in you go, is the idea that there's something fundamentally dysfunctional about "wrong answers". Illogic, inaccurate or irrational assumptions, insane ideas, delusions, fantasies, all the "wrong answers" are supposed to be automatically disqualifying, and yet in the real world we can see it is not so. Men and women whose lives are testaments of wrongness - hypocritical, immoral, contradictory - prosper, and their offspring enter the world ahead of the pack and mostly stay there. Genetically it's working, and genetics is what we're doing.
Fundamentalists are engaged in the same struggle we all are, for gene-selection, for individual survival, for propagation of their particular version of the human. Illogic and insanity are not necessarily detrimental to that struggle - they can aid it tremendously under the right circumstances. The failure to grasp this in time is what's put the American political/social dynamic into an irrecoverable tailspin.


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