Monday, March 14, 2005

Name Calling

Here's something from one of my fellow bloggers:

His "A Brief Look at the Right-Wing Media" post is, well, slightly less than provacative.

So Loyal Achates is a bit more liberal than I am. His qualms with the "right-wing media" are valid. On both sides of the aisle, there are going to be partisan hacks. But does that mean that conservatives are "mentally ill", "crypto-nazis", "whores", etc.?

Such claims are mindless and absurd. It does no good to resort to name-calling. If the right-wingers are as he claims, he shouldn't even dignify them with verbal abuse.

Much like the hand-ringing over Michael Moore by talk radio pundits, the hosts expose their fear of Moore's power by even talking about him. If Moore's rhetoric is made up of lies, than it will be ineffective. Calling Moore fat and stupid is a waste of time and a classless act.

All of this finger-pointing gets in the way of what both sides should want, but secretly don't: an open and free dialogue on the issues. Unfortunatley, most of us would rather cling to our own biases and paint those who diagree as ignorant boobs than explain why they are wrong.

If you diagree with me, you're stupid.


Loyal Achates said...

I didn't say that everyone who disagrees with me is stupid. There are plenty of right-wingers who are very intelligent, but somehow they're not the ones appearing on the talk shows and having their books purchased in bulk.

You can take issue with some of the language I used, and that's fine. But trust me, those people I talked about are the worst of the worst. They don't represent conservatives as a whole, thank goodness.

Though I do find it rather galling that a movement which prides itself on clear-thinking, pragmatism, and being realistic would embrace such a sorry cast of characters.

A Wiser Man Than I said...

I do happen to agree that those who are the faces of conservatives are not the best to represent my viewpoint. Ann Coulter uses shallow rhetoric and Rush is a partisan hack, for starters.

Each side has people we'd like to abandon. I am actually quite disappointed in my fellow conservatives who, I think, dropped the ball on Iraq and have failed to keep Bush accountable on the budget.

So I guess we agree. It's a nice change I'd say.

Jon Germinal said...

I think that your qualms with Loyal Achates’ method of discourse miss the point. The problem with American politics is not that people are uncivil in their discourse, but that their discourse is created in the context of an uncivil system. The American capitalist juggernaut institutionalizes dehumanization as a means to self-actualization. That is, labor is organized in a way which makes extreme alienation inherent in the pursuit of the means of life (or, more specifically, the means to the means to life,) and that ties the level of alienation (i.e. dehumanization) to the level of productiveness (i.e. that through which the cultural ideology of the age convinces the individual she can achieve actualization.) Loyal Achates, by recognizing the existence of this struggle between capital and labor and engaging his enemies in that context, unfriendly as it might seem, is an act of true patriotism, because in so doing, he does not deny the contradictions inherent in his society, but rather incorporates these contradictions into himself so that he might play some small part in resolving them. As Adorno said in the Dialectic of Enlightenment, “Those who succumb to the ideology [that the method of discourse should transcend the context in which that discourse is presented] are precisely those who cover up the contradiction, instead of taking it into [their] consciousness.”

Now I agree that sometimes Loyal Achates can be so busy attacking people that he forgets to analyze the very contradictions which are so invaluable to his critique, and I have commented to him about it. But your solution is a step back, not a step forward. No matter how sincere you may have been in offering it, your solution is an invitation for Loyal Achates to deny to himself that last small part of himself which has not been usurped by capitalism. Shame on you.

Also, your blog has a dumb and terrible name.

Yours for the revolution,