Friday, 17 April 2015

Memes

I've always found it curious the degree to which people will cling to assigned labels, even though it becomes obvious that the labels are wrong.
How so very many people cannot hear the word government without automatically associating the word "waste" with it? How so many seem incapable of separating the word bureaucrat with the idea of restrictions and interference?
Yet the private sector is far and away more wasteful than the government as a whole, no matter how many egregious examples one can find to point to. The people who promote this meme are the most wasteful people on the planet, the 1 per-centers who jet around the world to their huge mansions and massive private yachts and use up more resources and create more pollution than 100 others. They created this meme to promote the idea that it's OK not to pay your fair share of costs. Buckminster Fuller called the LAWCAPS - Lawyer-Capitalists who profited mightily from government contracts and government largesse and then turned around and demanded less government. Hypocritical, but also quite radical in their demands to be given the freedom to mess everything up for everyone else for their own profit.
That's why years ago, I realized none of the political parties are living up to their names, either. The definitions -- even the ones from official dictionaries -- don't quite fit.

I have a few idiosyncratic definitions describing the spectrum of change, that go like this:
  • a reactionary: someone who fears and resists any actual or potential change to the status quo.
  • a conservative: someone who recognizes that change is inevitable, but wants to slow the pace to ensure that whatever change comes is not detrimental.
  • a liberal: someone who embraces change and is quite confident that mistakes can be corrected.
  • a radical: someone who demands immediate change without any concern for long-term consequences.
With those definitions, I think it becomes clear that Conservatives aren't. Nor are Liberals, the New Democratic Party is neither new nor particularly democratic, the Republicans aren't conservative but radicals, and the U.S. Democrats aren't liberal at all. Big industry are the radicals, seeking to destroy watersheds and pristine forests as quickly as possible, frightened burghers are the reactionaries voting for whoever wears the flag/label that promises to stop the slow degradation of the quality of their lives, typically by picking on some irrelevant hot-button issue like gay marriage.

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