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Ideology Makes Idiots

Brownshirts distract left from opportunity to build understanding.
Ideology Makes Idiots

When I was young, my beliefs passionately guided me. I fought fiercely to defend my beliefs and found myself many a time full of hate and rage against those whose beliefs were in conflict with my own. Somewhere along the way, I came to see beliefs for what they really are: memeplexes. A memeplex is a system of mutually supporting memes with one and only one goal, to replicate itself. While genomes make biological systems, memeplexes make belief systems. We believe that we act on our beliefs, but the truth is that our beliefs act on us. We defend our beliefs not because our beliefs are true. On the contrary, we defend our beliefs because our beliefs use us as their defenders and as their agents of dissemination in the same way a virus uses a cell. Beliefs kill. Beliefs drive us to war. Beliefs subjugate us to authority.

Just a few days ago, in many cities across the United States, many conservatives joined together to protest what they see as a threat to their beliefs, their way of life, their cultural comfort, in essence, what they see as a threat to their identity. In truth, they are correct in concluding that the world they knew is being trampled by a new world. For those on the left, such as myself, it is easy for us to see the quirks of this primarily older generation as offensively different from our own. I've witnessed many leftist and liberal news outlets label the Tea-Party activists as "fascists", "racists", "bigots", "homophobes", and countless other labels of intolerance. Just as the Tea-Party activists have been hijacked by their beliefs and compelled to defend what they see as their cultural memeplex, we on the left have been hijacked by our own beliefs and compelled what we see as their assault on our own beliefs. I know intimately several Tea-Party activists. They are members of my own family. I am on the left and they are on the right. However, if you remove my memeplex and you remove their memeplex, what is left is essentially the same thing: human beings. Another thing that remains is that both of us, left and right, are victims of a subverted corporatist government that is violating our privacy, our liberty, and our self determination. If you look past the systems of beliefs, we are one and the same.

It is easy to call a white man or a white woman of 70 years a bigot, especially when you don't know that they have mixed race grandchildren through two of their own children, grandchildren they love dearly. It is easy to dismiss them as war-mongers for expression of support for "our" troops, when you don't know that they have two grandchildren at war in the Middle East. It is easy to call them Islamophobes when you don't know that two other grandchildren are half Arab. It is easy to call them homophobes for opposing gay marriage when you don't understand that they honestly see homosexuality as a sin. Unlike these Tea-Party activists that share my blood, I do not support the troops and I do support the right of gays to marry. Despite our differences, we still love each other.

I remember, during the early Bush years, when I spoke out long before most people did, the harassment and vilification I experienced for standing up to what was then a popular president during a time of paranoia. I experienced "Protest Warriors" infiltrating our movement and attempting to discredit us by pretending to be us while holding up absurd signs. I remember be characterized as an "Arab-loving anti-Semite" for opposing the war in Iraq and speaking out against Israel's genocidal mass murder of Palestinians. When I now see the same thing happening to these conservative activists, you might suspect that I see it as some kind of karma at work. I do not see it that way. These conservatives that came out on the streets April 15 are not the same people that harassed us and our movement. What is telling is that the same people that smeared us are now smearing them: the media and the Israel-firsters. The techniques are the same and the players are the same. Those on the left that allow themselves to be used by these defenders of the status-quo are nothing more than someone else's useful idiots.

Yes, most Tea-Party activists are deluded by their beliefs that the United States is historically a force for good, that our military is an agent of good, that capitalism is just, and that socialism is the enemy. Those beliefs, however, do not add up to fascism. The real fascists are running the United States, Wall Street, and our corporations. For each thing that these conservatives are ignorant about, you can be sure that there is something outside the realm of politics that they well informed about. They are as human as we are. By calling them fascists and mocking them, we only make them more resolved to continue on the path that they are on. Think of how much more effective it would have been to protest side by side with them, condemning the war, condemning Wall Street, and condemning the fascist assaults of liberty and democracy by the Obama Regime. Our differences would be obvious, but those issues that we have in common would become common ground for dialog.

Changing this country requires changing the beliefs of the American people. You do not change anyone's beliefs by ridiculing, demeaning, and taunting them. You change their beliefs by finding common ground, building relationships, spreading awareness, and teaching by example. I realize that both the left and the right is heavily infiltrated by those seeking to subvert any movement in order to maintain the status quo, you should realize this too. Don't be duped by brownshirts disguised as leftists.

Finally, I'd like to point out something very good about the Tea-Party movement. For the first time in the lives of many of these people they know what it is like to demonstrate against the government. They now know the suffering of traveling long distances to speak their minds. They now know what it is like to be taunted at protests. They now know how the media distorts the messages of the protesters. This is a good first step in waking them up to reality. They will never see our protests in the same light again. They will have some insight in what it is to take to the streets and speak out. They will know that protesters are not some exotic kind of creature, they are the people, just like they are.

Those of us who are not idiots will come out next time seize the opportunity to do some good, in contrast to the fascists in leftist disguise that came out to throw shit on an aging group of misguided but well intentioned people. Heck, these people are our parents and grandparents. They are not our enemy.

homepage: homepage: http://www.anarkhos.org/randomarticles/ideologymakesidiots.html


point taken 16.Apr.2010 22:51

reader

Life is a shade of gray. Beating the system is all about understanding those shades of gray, the things which make reasonable people believe unreasonable things. The truth is that true revolution means getting into the heads of people and learning how they think and prying them loose from poisonous brownshirt ideologies. In some situations groups of people hate each other for personal and petty reasons and brownshirt ideologues use these situational disputes to win people to their thinking.

Thinking life is black and white will prevent you from reaching people on the fringe and the confused. Those people are your bread and butter and will become part of your movement if and when you know how to reach them. Anger doesn't mean hate, frustration doesn't mean hate. When you really talk to people outside of confrontational situations like protests where extremes come to rant, and walk into the everyday world you see the shades of gray. There would be no need for corporate media lies if this portion of humanity were entirely unreachable. Therein lies the tragedy.

The tragedy it is mostly ignorance which is the cause of so much. The fascists can and do manipulate to serve their purposes. It will eat at your soul to see how those contrite people feed off the ignorance and have used it to steer everyone off a cliff. They use our own ignorance and simplistic understandings in the movement- but most of all fear. Fear isn't more than a sign to get more information. Ignorance and simplistic understandings are the medium where fascism grow.