gibson wrote:You're honestly probably closer to the truth than just about anyone else. Ideologically I find myself pretty far to the left, yet I have completely alienated myself from and do not consider myself a part of the left in the United States because its incredibly polarized and reactionary. Take for example all the racial violence. The right is generally speaking unwilling to accept that a very large part of why the African American community is not as well off as other races is do to racial injustice leading back to slavery. This is clearly not correct. If it wasn't for slavery and the racial injustice that followed the African American community would almost certainly be in a better spot than it is today. However, the left takes it way too far. You have people calling for white genocide, African Americans today who are becoming racist against white people and in so doing becoming the very thing they are trying to fight against, African Americans who blame their plite today directly upon white people today, etc. Now the thing is the vast majority of people on both sides are much more moderate than I just described, but because everything is so polarized you either have to make compromises in your beliefs which drive you more towards the extreme side of things or denounce your side entirely. I've seen it first hand. People I know who were moderately right or left are now making posts on facebook and saying things that 2 years ago would have been considered extreme, but are slowly becoming the norm. Its creating an Us vs Them mentality which is really hurting this country. I've lost good friends because they considered me a "bad guy" because I didn't agree with them politically. Its sad really.
I was told the decrease in religiosity would lead to less conflict...
Do you think the people fighting and arguing over General Lee, ObamaCare, transgender bans, North Korea, etc., have any idea what they are talking about? Not really. They just pick a side and then try to kill off the other side.
These little conflicts recently are almost entirely due to the decrease in religiosity. People get their sense of purpose, their idea of right and wrong, their heroes and villains, from secular ideologies nowadays, and this is the very predictable result.
It’s a familiar conservative lament to say this is all part of the politicization of everything. And I think that’s true. But you can flip it on its head, too. Everything is becoming lifestylized (I hereby decree that’s a word). It’s like that ancient debate between Plato and Socrates: Did Socrates get his chocolate in Plato’s peanut butter or did Plato get peanut butter in Socrates’ chocolate? (“That sounds dirty” — The Couch.)
Scads have been written, mostly by conservatives and libertarians, about the problem of politics bleeding into the nooks and crannies of traditionally apolitical life. And I agree with much of it. But far less has been written about how lifestyle is creeping into politics. With the decline of traditional religion and other mediating institutions, the primary source of identity for ever larger numbers of people is partisan affiliation. Indeed, partisan affiliation — for the first time ever — is often more predictive of behavior and attitudes than race, ethnicity, religion, and gender. That’s bananas.
But it’s also utterly predictable. When politics becomes a secular religion, a source of meaning, or simply a “lifestyle,” politics will be less about arguments and tradeoffs and more about wearing “ideas” on your sleeve. I agree with Jonathan Last when he writes that the current hysteria over the Paris pullout is virtue signaling about virtue signaling. But what else can you expect when people start wearing their partisan affiliation the way people once wore a crucifix or Star of David?
Disagreements become insults when politics becomes a statement about who you are. And, as I keep saying, that explains why so many now define free speech as assault and assault as free speech.
Whereas Christianity unites people regardless of other characteristic they may have, secular ideology inherently places all importance on the earthly world. When you believe there is nothing more than this world, your fellow man becomes not ally, but competition, and national, ethnic, linguistic, and similarly ultimately meaningless characteristics become defensive lines in a war. And that's very useful to tyrants. See my signature.
(until approximately 5:00)