Thursday, September 5, 2013

Why Right Wing “Individualists” are, Inherently, Idiots

Don’t worry about the state…worry about those that are worried about the state instead


Looking at the right wing fringes of America, three factions stand out: libertarians (whom believe all of the world’s ills could be solved by deregulating everything), conspiracy theorists (whom believe all of the world’s ills could be solved by overthrowing an international banking cartel which may or may not actually exist), and pro-gun militia types (whom, of course, believe all of the world’s ills could be solved by shooting them.)

The common theme among the three groups is apparent: they’re all a bunch of idiots. And I mean that in the most classical sense of the word.

You see, the term “idiot” is derived from this squiggly-looking Greek thing, which roughly translated, means “one in a private station.”  There’s a very similar term in Latin, which more or less refers to “an ignorant person.” Eventually, the Athenians merged the two definitions together, using “idiot” as a pejorative to describe individuals that were more concerned with private affairs than public matters.

“An idiot is one whose self-centeredness undermines his or her citizen identity, causing it to wither or never take root in the first place,” wrote Walter C. Parker. “Private gain is the goal, and the community had better not get in the way.” A couple of millenniums before that, Aristotle wrote “individuals are so many parts all equally depending on the whole which alone can bring self-sufficiency.” In 2007, Benjamin Barber penned an entire book about how self-centered materialism promotes “private individuals” by stripping them of public citizenship.

When examining right-wing libertarians, gun-proponents and conspiracy theorists, the recurring theme is a complete and utter rejection of what the Greeks called “polis” -- that  is, the collective state, with a common good. Instead of viewing themselves as members of a community, they view themselves as segregated bodies, whose personal interests supersede the needs of society as a whole. In short, they reject true citizenship for a selfish state of so-called “individualism,” completely oblivious to the fact that things like privacy and personal autonomy hinge completely on communal success.

“Idiots do not take part in public life,” Parker continued. “They do not have a public life. In this sense, idiots are immature in the most fundamental way.” Individuals of the like, he writes, never progress through puberty -- in essence, an actual transition to public life.

Libertarians, hardcore Second Right crusaders and conspiracy proponents all share a complete and utter hatred (fear?) of society, with anything even remotely resembling socialist policy turning into acts of governmental oppression and/or tyranny.

The hyper-individualists of today’s America would clearly be objects of scorn in the heyday of Athenian rule -- a society-first organism with immersion into the public, to help further the commonweal, as a top priority. To the Greeks, today’s fringe right-wingers were actually something worse than idiots -- they were cowards, to boot.

The problem the three factions haven’t figured out yet is that, under their policies, there can be no such thing as a social system. The Libertarian utopia would more or less transfer utmost political power into the hands of Big Business -- basically, eliminating one “totalitarian” overlord for one with even less oversight. The radical pro-gun folks -- with their perpetual cry of ‘states rights’ -- would dismantle society for a fascistic state where armed individuals appoint themselves lethal protectorates (which is precisely what has happened in the small town of Gilberton, Pennsylvania.) Perhaps most unsettling of all, the ideal conspiracy theorist state -- the one envisioned by many an Alex Jones supporter -- is a regressive, anarchic anti-society, which fluctuates from being ironically despotic to borderline Stone Age in design.

These individuals are prone to describing socialism as a slippery slope to governmental enslavement. Collectivization, they say, is the first step towards feudalism. Bring up policies that promote a general welfare, and they automatically bring up the NSDAP and Mao’s China. Never mind that both Hitler and Stalin -- clear individualists if there ever were ones -- came to power because of a lack of social cohesion in their soon-to-be-conquered domains. A true citizenry in post World War I Germany, or Russia, or China would have likely prevented hyper-idiots of the like from ever rising to prominence.

Nor should it be stated, I suppose, that it was an extremely collectivistic U.S. society that was responsible for whooping the asses of three individualist states during World War II (and before you give me a spiel about Japan being the prototypical collectivist society, read this and shut your trap.) And of course, never, EVER bring up the fact that tax-funded public projects like the Interstate system and the Internet were single-handedly responsible for allowing individuals in the U.S. to achieve wealth that, otherwise, would have been completely unobtainable.

The federal system -- be it a centralized bank or the Executive Office -- are seen as impositions on the individual instead of mechanisms of the citizenry. Social welfare programs aren’t seen as means of promoting a greater good for society -- that is, aiding others to reach a middle-class state -- but a molestation of individuals, who consider such “redistribution of wealth.” For such individuals, the only moral compass is their own self-importance, which is almost always buttressed by a sense of self-righteousness that borders on vigilantism. Simply put, they believe there should be no such thing as “public” -- an ideal that, perhaps ironically, completely makes the concept of “citizenship” an impossibility.

All three factions, at heart, place their own special interest wants above the needs of the masses. To hell with “the greater good,” they say, instead embracing states of self-autonomy that are secured by materialism, violence or psychosis.  The absolute impossible is what they demand…a state that rejects the idea of a state, a citizenry that rejects the idea of citizenship.

These fringe minorities worship the Bill of Rights, while completely disregarding the United States Constitution that it’s a part of -- you know, that thing that has the Supremacy Clause in it. They bemoan violations of their “rights”  by the government while helping passing legislation that prevents federal agencies from even researching pressing public concerns because it might just call ‘em out on their bullshit. They condemn the feds for fascistic tyranny, and then threaten an armed uprising -- something that doesn’t sound fascistic or tyrannical at all. The government and “the banking system” becomes their proxy for society itself -- that changing, more globalized and indisputably more progressive thing that, try as they may, they just can’t change.

Factional extremism could frighten me, but at the end of the day, I don’t let it. After all…society always moves forward, while the idiots are the ones that always get left behind.

2 comments:

  1. The conspiracy theorists are the most correct: capitalism hinges on an unethical power invested into banks to create debt issued currency. Debt issued currency is the cause of all poverty and the nature of our system which exponentially increases debt. This is partially why all radically left wings, from Marx to Einstein, want banking and monkey and even profit abolished. You cannot have banks, debt issued money and profit and not have war, poverty and injustice.

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    1. Yes, you are technically right in your opinion, only its these guys abstract the common facts of capitalism to a zany conspiracy. If these people would write an analysis on capitalism, it would make no sense whatsoever.

      "This is patially why all radically left wings, from Marx to Einstein, want banking money and even profit abolished" A bit hyperbolic, don't you think? As well as being a bit simplistic on how socalism works!

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