Hey look! someone who shares one or two of my views! Yaaay!!!! I’m going to thoughtlessly assume that they share ALL my views, and then get confused and angry when I find out they do not! the back-stabbers! Just like the last 1,000 times that happened! clearly the problem is all the other people! how dare they not fit into my ideological pigeonholes!
is this common bullshit situation a byproduct of the internet age?
and, if it IS a new thing, is it just american? Or all over?
Or is it a human instinct since caveperson times, and I’m just noticing it now?
(the feeling of betrayal or frustration is not just that the person disagrees with you about this-and-that; I’d say mostly the anger is a subconscious fear that one’s personal classification system is inadequate, and blaming the other person for THAT).
often this stupid anger results from the super disloyal fact that the other person shares SOME of your identity-groups but not all (i.e. the ‘hastag white feminism’ brouhaha)
. . . but just as often it results from the other person’s ideology being a product of an Old Time; i.e. their ideology was made before your personal ideological pigeon-holes even existed, so of course it doesn’t fit neatly in the ‘my group’ or ‘enemy group’ slots.
Let me back up; I happen to think that all ideologies (well, all except YOURS) don’t have ANY ‘first principles’, even though they SAY they do. actually ideologies are historical accidents; everyone’s label (i.e. conservative/feminist/progressive/[insert name of religion]) is a hodge-podge of random beliefs (this is forbidden, that is compulsory, this other thing everyone does but should feel ashamed of anyway, etc.) , mostly grabbed because at some point in the distant past, ‘the other team’ grabbed belief “A” and your group (at the time) reflexively grabbed the ‘opposite’ position. In other words, ideologies are like English spelling and grammar – full of exceptions and weird contradictions, because, history. Like how English is a mongrel language made of half-dozen random contradictory European languages put into a blender, and that’s why it’s hard to learn. How do you explain to an ESL student that the vowel ‘a’ has four different sounds, depending on the word, because Ostrogoths and Ancient Greeks disagreed about how to pronounce it, and ancient Brits never bothered to choose one or the other? And how would that explanation even help them if they DID understand it?
Anyway, we inherit a bunch of random contradictory beliefs, call it an ideology and WORK BACKWARDS to rationalize some logical first principle (always weird abstract things like ‘freedom’ or ‘honor’ that can basically be stretched to cover any plank) that connects them.
Furthermore, I think you join the first group that would HAVE you, because you’re a social animal, and then work backwards to rationalize why this group is superior to all others. Of course , segregation (both economic, relgious, and racial) is beloved by leaders, because the more segregated you are the less likely you are to think outside the group you were born into, so ‘the first group that will have you’ is basically your family and determines your ideology from birth until you die.
So NOW we can discuss this funny phenomenon that is in the newspapers a lot recently because of the Pope’s visit to USA;
P. Francis is anti-capitalism and anti-climate-change, but also anti-gays, anti-women, and anti-abortion. this makes americans fip the fuck out, because we’ve been raised in an environment where (anti-capitalism=pro-abortion) for example, or (pro-climate-change=anti-gay) EVEN THOUGH THOSE POSITIONS HAVE FUCKING NOTHING TO DO WITH EACH OTHER. we try to fit the catholic chruch’s 1800-year-old square peg into the round holes of (repub vs democrat vs PC), but it doesn’t fit because NONE of those ideologies (R,D, PC) were even AROUND when the Church was making its ideology. when i explain it like that, it’s common sense that the Church doesn’t fit.
But what is NOT common sense, is how we get MAD at the square peg of church doctrine for not fitting into our round holes. like it’s THEIR fault. Sure, ANY INDIVIDUAL PLANK IN THEIR PLATFORM is their fault . . . but it’s NOT their fault that ALL their positions don’t fall neatly in the R/D/PC holes. regardless of which group YOU belong to, the “Pope not fitting entirely inside OR outside your ideological box” problem is a weakness of YOUR pigeon-hole system, not the pope, you Jarboni. Thus, Americans on ALL ideological sides unite in complaining “How DARE you Catholic clergy not consult American political activists 1,800 years in the future when you made up your platform!”. assholes.
Other things like that;
Ancient Sparta; ; if you turn Spartan society one way, it looks like a perfect democracy that treats all citizens equally, where everyone has much more of a say than they do now. If you tilt it just a little bit, it looks like some crazy eugenic fascist paradise. that’s not sparta’s fault for being contradictory or weird, it’s becuase YOUR mind is full of weird assumptions that “if you believe xxx , then you have to believe yyy too.”
Populism; For example, Texan Representative and Speaker of the House during the FDR times, Sam Rayburn. Rayburn was like from the poorest classes of society, and hated 2 things; 1) rich, east-coast bankers/railroad monopolies, and 2) how the african-americans weren’t slaves anymore. According to Robert Caro’s wonderful LBJ biography, Rayburn’s office only had pictures of 2 people; FDR and Robert E. Lee. So in today’s terms, that would put him to the left of Bernie Sanders AND to the right of Trump. Again, it IS his fault for being a racist little fucker, but it’s OUR fault for assuming “anti big bank = anti racism” or “anti-black = pro-big-biz”. From HIS point of view, the Union side of the Civil War was financed by East Coast Bankers, AND the same bankers that were foreclosing on white texan farmers in the 1930s and 40s, so even though his views are kind of repellant, they DO have more of an INTERNAL consistency than today’s politics.
old-school Greek sexual identity; has elements of straight culture, elements of being gay, but again, doesn’t slot neatly into either compartment. Even if you asked an ancient Greek if he was gay, while he was in the process of butt-fuckin’ a 14-year-old boy, he’d be like, “no, of course not. I’m not Gay in the sense of little shorts and house music and Margaret Cho and knowing about designers, and all the other cultural baggage that seems to go along with butt-fuckin’ in your craaaazy future world. I got a wife, and 3 kids, and right now I’m just doing my (grunt) social duty to (grunt!) train this young man in our society’s ways. Later I will teach him an artisinal or military trade, but for now, it’s butt-fuckin’. ” Don’t get mad, PC police – I’m quoting what my (David Sedaris On Helium-Sounding-Ass) Gay Studies teacher said on the first day of class, back in the ACT-UP 80s. That dude was really smart, but I honestly couldn’t take the fingernails-on-blackboard adenoidal voice, so I dropped out, which makes me sad now.
also, for extra credit homework; how does Odious Feminism fit in your personal ideological pigeonholes? Historically, women from restrictive patriarchal households have found ethnic cleansing, or religious wars are very empowering! because, if they join the right hate-group, not only will they be allowed out of the kitchen, but they can rise up in the organization, and order the men around, which they would otherwise never be able to do. Asking “is this real feminism or false feminism?” is a total ignorant question, a way of slapping a one-word label on some complicated shit, instead of breaking the ‘ideology’ into its component beliefs and then analyzing the beliefs one by one.
two fast examples;
Put THAT in your intersectionality and smoke it.2 comments