I started my last post with a very strong statement. I just wanted to make it obvious that I have a stand and I feel very strongly about it; that my questions are partisan questions.
In its first version it was even stronger than it is now. Then Deus Ex Machina happened, we lost electricity for several hours and I could not finish sending mail to my socialist friends and acquaintances, giving me a chance to reflect on my relationships with them.
As I said, I am surrounded. I live in a socialist neighbourhood, quite a few of our friends are artists (most are natural leftists), and most of my family are on the left as well. Apart from the dedicated, politically active libertarians I know because I am one myself, there is no more than half a douzen conservative or libertarian sympathisers amongst our friends. The others, if and when they engage in a political discussion, tend to ignore my points, and when they run out of ‘arguments’, they get irritated and walk away from the debate. They get righteous, they get offended, they get personal. If you are a libertarian, you know what it’s like. The rolling of the eyes, the sighs, the “if you can’t understand it, I can’t explain it to you” s and the “That is your opinion and this is mine” (especially after presented with irrefutable evidence) or the explicit demand that you ‘ respect’ their opinion no matter how wrong it is.
The best friend of my closest conservative friend very clearly, very deliberately avoids any political discussion with either of us. Another one of her childhood friends (a militant communist professor/writer) refuses to talk to any of his friends about his work. For him, that is a battleground and he does not want to fight friends.
I do not like this detached dishonesty and although I am not looking for political debates, I don’t want to hold myself back either. I don’t like to walk on eggshells when I get together with friends.
The problem is that most people do not think about politics; do not reflect about the forces shaping their lives. They care about their jobs and their kids, their parties, their music, their art, their barbecues, their cars, their hunting trips or their hockey teams. I no longer suggest to any friend with small children to read my blog. I understand that they have more important things to do. I can’t even blame them for not knowing or caring what’s going on in the world of politics. What makes it difficult to talk to them is that since they do not pay attention, they do not see logic behind what’s happening. They don’t see the difference between a snowstorm and a teachers’ strike. They both may inconvenience them, but in their minds this is how the world works. Snow storms, teachers strike. They do not care about the reasons, they just want to live their lives and they are disturbed when it is pointed out that there is a difference and they could do something about it. Politics to them is just a superficial layer of media fed clichés which just happen to be socialist in nature. They just get uncomfortable when someone is critical about their world because they do not like to admit that they don’ t know enough about it. They would be the most likely to say that “if you don’t like it here, why don’t you go somewhere else?”
I envy them in a way and I think it is the libertarian dream to create a world where governments are so small that everybody can afford to be carefree about politics.
They are the ones who think that they think but still don’t. They feel. They conform. They fit in. They eat up propaganda, they do, in fact, thrive on it and they are enthusiastic participants in the media orchestrated circus called representative democracy. They vote this way this time then that way the next just to give a chance to the other guy. They may believe the politicians, they may be skeptical, it won’t change the outcome. They are the tactical voters who every now and then punish one set of thieves by voting for the other set.
Make no mistake, they have strong opinions. It is the nature of propaganda to provide them with conviction backed not by logic but strong emotions. They are the ones who think that we have the best health care system and the best schools in the world thanks to the caring government empowered by the caring people like them. They sign petitions and volunteer for the causes, turn off their lights at earth hour and proudly display their green bags at the grocery store with the renewable logo on it. They support positive human rights, multi-culti and gender diversity. They want to be on the right side of history and the socialists give them all they need to think they are.
They are ardent supporters of the IDEA of the state which provides them with a feeling of comfort, security and belonging.
They are the most difficult to talk to because they perceive any discussion questioning their world view as a threat to that feeling of comfort, security and belonging.
…. are the ones who care. They are the ones I could possibly expect to answer my questions. They are the ones who articulate the ideas I am questioning. They are the ones who owe me the answers. They are the ideologues, the activists, the occupy whatever folks. They have clear goals trying to shape the world we live in. A goal that is distinctly Marxist, statist, globalist. A direction that is inhuman, immoral and very stupid in its blind faith based assumptions; a direction that my questions were designed to expose.
I can understand their passion and conviction, but cannot excuse their intellectual and political dishonesty.
They are dangerous and they should be confronted. Unfortunately, that is not easy. The likes of Al Gore, Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein and their minions do not engage in debates with hostiles. They would never confront an argument; they just redouble their efforts invested in propaganda targeted at the sheep.
The problem I have
…… is that I do not hate anybody. I would never break a friendship over political or philosophical disagreements. I actually enjoy the differences. I do not hold grudges and I have no problem admitting if and when I am proven wrong. The problem is always the other way around.
I debate issues of politics the way a dog is fetching a stick. I am ready all the time and any time and I just can’t help having the best argument with the most solid evidence most of the time. When I don’t, I can deal with it. The socialists cannot.
In the end, my statement that I don’t like socialists is just not precise.
What I don’t like are socialist ideas and what they do to otherwise decent people.
Socialist ideas are like the song of the sirens. They lure some into self-destruction dragging the rest of us down with them.
I guess I am like a dog in more than one way. I would like to protect the carefree and the sheep from the wolves as they are happily marching toward their own demise. (OK, there is a little self-preservation instinct there as well.)
What would I hope for?
Honesty. Communication. Open minds. Critical thinking. Trust. Some attention. The benefit of the doubt. Some faith in MY good intention. Understanding that I am not the enemy. Willingness to consider different ideas.
In the end, I do not think that the socialists will answer my questions. Why?