Discuss

David Atkins writes at Hullabaloo

There is a serious culture war at work in the United States. It involves a courageous minority of outraged citizens up against a majority that is either apathetic, or directly defending of the agents of the status quo. That minority suffers the slings and arrows of contempt and cursed spite as it does its best to set right a nation in times out of joint, and only years or even decades afterward do the majority of citizens cast a fond gaze backward, imagining that they were or would have been on the activists’ side at the time. The capacity of society for anachronistic delusion and self-regard is nearly limitless.

Just as Glenn Beck’s venomous followers comically attempt to adopt the mantle of Martin Luther King, Jr., so too will some right-wing blowhard 30-40 years from now claim to embody the spirit of the heroes of Zuccotti Park in the service of whatever reactionary force they happen to be extolling a generation hence.

Thus has it always been, and thus will it ever be.

This is an heroic narrative. But isn’t there something about it that doesn’t ring quite true?

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4 Responses to Discuss

  1. dr says:

    Well, from my point of view OWS is a lot more like the Tea Party than MLK. Like the Tea Party in the embrace of epistemic closure, unlike MLK because they refuse to love their enemies.

  2. Just me says:

    Had to look up “epistemic closure,” but I agree with “dr.” I see nothing heroic about the occupy wall street movement. They are just left wing Tea Party types. In both cases I applaud the grass-roots nature of it all. But both groups seem to suffer from more than their fair share of right/left wing nut jobs, and neither group (IMHO) comes close to representing middle-America.

    Digressing just a hair, I hope that Barack Obama (or even Mitt Romney) returns to the “purple” idea (as in not Red America or Blue America) that rallied the center in ’08.

  3. epistle says:

    I think the quote is a bit out of context, as it is meant as a pivot from an earlier part of the post. The first part describes how protests are usually diminished by opponents using the techniques of tribalism (the protestors are not “us”, they are “other”). The context of the quote when the change agents were successful despite being diminished. Certainly in the case of OWS, I see all the classic propaganda techniques
    being used against them (“they are a bunch of unsanitary people who can’t be bothered to work”, certainly what was said with civil rights marchers, the bonus army, etc.).

    @dr: Just saying “epistemic closure” does not mean much to me. Perhaps you could site some evidence to the effect this is taking place? Ironically this may be because I don’t have enough rightwing info sources to know their current talking points. So perhaps to avoid your own case of epistemic closure you might want to better explain?

    @Just Me: As a social libertarian with right-of center financial policies I think I can recognize the center. And “purple” is not it. As the Republicans have become more extreme, the line between the parties has moved strongly rightwards. And the most common definition of the center now, blue-dog politicians like Ben Nelson or Joe Lieberman, are mostly members of the “big corporation party”. The large corporations already have enough power now, I don’t think we need to give them any more.

    • Just me says:

      “social libertarian with right-of center financial policies.” Funny, I describe myself in almost exactly the same way. Anyways, I refer to “purple” as simply being neither red nor blue, but rather just some middle way hopefully based on less partisan divide. I think you’re reading too much into it.

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