Monday, January 12, 2009

The Double Anti

I've been thinking a lot more about the various groups attending the pro-Hamas rallies. For those who aren't aware, this includes some gays and even some Jews. If you were a psychologist and your boss said, "I need you to come up with a solid explanation of why those who would be immediately oppressed if Fundamentalist Islam seized power would possibly rally in support of the same right now", what would your explanation be?

These days I'm reading an amazing book by Tony Judt about Europe after WW2. I'm currently in the section focused on the 1950's. It was clear that while the USSR was oppressing millions of people, some very horribly, many in the West refused to criticize them; some even publicly showed support to the USSR and against the USA. Note that this especially included many in Western Europe, who just around a decade before had only escaped the clutches of Adolf Hitler because of America. Talk about a short memory!

Were all of these people mentally ill? That's an easy way to sum things up but probably not accurate. Judt concludes that they were "anti anti-communist".

So in their minds, most of these folks went to sleep each night, comfortable that they were not pro-oppression. They were of course, in deep denial about what was going on behind the Iron Curtain. But absolutely no different than those today who will first & foremost criticize America & Israel yet be highly reticent to criticize Radical Islam, Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria, North Korea, Russia, China, Cuba, or any number of African dictators.

Though in the end equation, to any of us with even a mildly right-leaning bent, refusing to criticize totalitarian regimes appears to be exactly the same thing as lending them support; or at least giving them a free pass to do whatever they want.

Looking at the psychology of all this . . .

The Left is generally more emotional, more moved by the immediate circumstances, and rarely looks at the long term view and/or long term repercussions. Words like hypocrisy, dishonour, and self-responsibility have little meaning to those on the Left.

The Right tends to focus on the bigger picture, longer term view. Morality and Right & Wrong have more meaning with the Right, but even more so in the macro than the micro.

Note: Before anyone points out to me about corrupt conservative politicians, religious leaders, business executives, etc. let me state unequivocally that these individuals are phony, greedy poseurs. They are actually the worst of the lot, pretending to be one thing but something else entirely when the rubber hits the road.

A perfect example of this Left-Right difference is the situation of whenever a Canadian soldier kills a Taliban fighter in Afghanistan. In no way, shape, or form can Canada be accused of being an imperialist power. So why did that Canadian soldier pull the trigger on his gun, which killed the Taliban man? The Right understands that a mother's child has just died but focuses on the bigger picture, namely that the Taliban is a horrific regime that will bring nothing but oppression and immense cruelty back onto the innocent people of Afghanistan should they be allowed to return to power. The Left, on the other hand, can pretty much only focus in on the individual death and suspects that an injustice has occurred. For them, thinking beyond the immediacy of that death just doesn't occur.

Members of the media are almost always on the Left. From a psychological perspective, I don't precisely know why this is. It might be because the nature of their work has them bombarded with event after event after event. So they tend to focus most of their attention on the immediate rather than the bigger picture. Historically I wonder if there was more of a balance between Left and Right journalists, unlike the reported 98% to 2% polls say it is now. So professionally, it's very unwise for a new member of the media to espouse anything but Leftist views.

What is so dangerous about the media being so inclined is that their power to shape public opinion is enormous. And like with any good marketing campaign, be it to sell the latest widget or fashion accessory or be it to dehumanize Jews to the level of pigs & dogs, they do alter public opinion more readily than we'd all like to admit. Of course, they take no responsibility for this, citing the old canard that "they're just reporting the news". Sigh.

One saving grace is that the mainstream media is very quickly going broke. I will regret the day if there are no more formal news reporting agencies but hopefully they will remain, albeit with much more balance ... and dare I say it, professionalism. In the early part of this millennium that P-word is sadly lacking across the journalistic spectrum. It has gotten so bad that we now have prominent TV news channels faking deaths.


Anonymous said...

Totally agree with you Robert. Always remember the interview with the KGB propaganda officer about how easy it was to convince our leftist idiots like the media and educators about the merits of the USSR and how these mindless clods will never change their opinion no matter what facts you present. Once the USSR or in this case the muslims take over they are shot.

glasnost said...

Robert W, I believe that the fundamental question you’re wrestling with is this: what causes today’s lefties to think and behave as they do? Are they stupid or are they evil?

A problem arises however when you realize that some of them are neither stupid nor evil. So what then, motivates them?

I believe that Evan Sayet has nailed it

My understanding of what Sayet proposes is that if you mix a hysterical philosophy proponing that our society’s attempts at goodness have failed in producing utopia, with the ability to influence children’s minds commencing with kindergarten, you then end up with a graduate liberal who believes that our society’s attempts at goodness are actually a source of evil.

So the next time you witness hysterical liberals who have probably been inculcated with hysterical nonsense since kindergarten, be gentle, because they may be neither stupid nor evil, they are simply reflecting their kindergarten philosophy.

Pelalusa said...

Glasnost, thanks for the video & your comprehensive comment. I remembered seeing that video before. I looked back and posted it on March 30, 2007.

How clearly appropriate it was to rewatch it now, after the recent pro-Hamas displays in Toronto and elsewhere. I hope that Kate posts it again, perhaps in combination with videos from those in Toronto.

Anonymous said...

Interesting observations. Your comment re the left responding emotionally to things may be an important clue to overall media bias. It may be a "brain function" thing.

Journalists are attracted to and trained to go after "stories" -- I think many go into the profession for this reason. Those with a more analytical bent probably choose careers like engineering, computer science, law maybe. This is stereotyping for sure, but I suspect that without realizing it, many left wing thinkers are "thinking" with their hearts, rather than with their heads. For this reason many women also seem to favour liberal views.

This is not intended in any way to be a disparaging comment (of either journalists or women), but rather, just an observation. It is easy to go from an emotional reaction to "analyzing" a situation with whatever bias the emotion produces. (You can pretty much find rational arguments to support any side of any question -- just select your points to prove whatever you want to prove.) Journalists do this all the time, but I think it is that initial emotion that triggers their positions on things.

Then, if there is this tendency, they all tend to reinforce this type of thinking within the group. I read recently that only about 1 in 4 people regularly encounter someone with a differnet political perspective (we tend to associate mostly with like-minded people.)

There are, of course, some journalists with more conservative-leaning views (at least I hope so.) These days I see them as the real independent thinkers, but I think many have to keep their views close to the chest to retain credibility among their colleagues. Otherwise they are seen as outsiders, villified or dismissed as cranks. LS