Ideology Exists and That Is Okay

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101 Responses

  1. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    “I need to admit that I am always perplexed by ideology is the enemy discussions.”

    Then you need to read others more carefully.

    My own take has never been that “Ideology is bad,” although this line keeps getting attributed to me. As I think I note in almost every post I write on the subject, we ALL have ideologies, even me.

    Instead, my belief is that that ideology today is becoming an enemy that it wasn’t in the past, because of our new world’s ability to shield us completely and totally from any data that contradicts our ideology’s dogma. Because of this, we are all becoming less tolerant of competing ideas, and more convinced that people spouting competing ideas are dangerous and need to be stopped in some way.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      I apologize for wrongully stating your argument.

      I see where you are coming from but I am not sure if it is a new phenomenon. We might just be returning to a norm.

      The United States (and every other Country) has always been extremely ideologically divided. One of the first big fights in the early Republic was about the Alien and Sedition Acts with the Jeffersonians claiming that the Federalists were using the Alien and Sedition acts to silence political opponents. The Civil War and incidents leading up to the Civil War were extremely ideological.

      What seems to have happened was that there was a period starting sometime in the late-19th century or earlyish 20th century where both the Republicans and Democratic parties had liberal and conservative wings so you saw a lot of “bipartisan” legislation but in reality was really liberal Republicans banding together with liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans banding together with conservative Democrats. This is changing. This was also the time that we started developing the idea that news journalism should be non-ideological. Keep in mind that European newspapers are a lot more nakedly ideological than anything in the United States and they will do things like publish a Krugman or a Kristol in the main section instead of in the op-ed pages.Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        “I apologize for wrongully stating your argument.”

        Wrongully, the last fallacy?Report

      • Avatar Will H. in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Actually, what Tod is talking about is something that we’re studying right now in my PoliSci class (I’m interested in lobbying, and have taken tentative steps in that direction).
        There is a big difference between polarization and party sorting. They are two different phenomena with different causes and areas of effect, though there is significant overlap.
        As I understand it, Tod’s argument is that party sorting contributes heavily to polarization, and he’s quite correct in that.
        A lot of that was in the development of media technology. It is, in fact, a new phenomenon, beginning with cable TV in the 1970’s. The gatekeeper role of the media was weakened, and it has been in steady decline ever since.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      Because of this, we are all becoming less tolerant of competing ideas, and more convinced that people spouting competing ideas are dangerous and need to be stopped in some way.

      Man, it’s a good thing that wasn’t true in the 1950s. HUAC and Joe McCarthy would have really been dangerous if those ideas had been around.Report

      • “Man, it’s a good thing that wasn’t true in the 1950s. HUAC and Joe McCarthy would have really been dangerous if those ideas had been around.”

        From one viewpoint, people going to extremes to root out largely imaginary spies from a country we are currently enemies with is exactly the same as people believing that centrist, mainstream Americans are domestic enemies that need to be dealt with, in some cases (like the people I’m reporting on at this moment) with armed resistance.

        From another viewpoint, those two are actually very, very different.Report

        • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Tod Kelly says:

          McCarythism wasn’t just about imaginary spies. [1] It was also about demonizing everyone to his left as either a conscious or unconscious tool of the Russians, including Harry Truman, Dean Acheson, and George Marshall. It also invented the term “premature anti-fascist” to imply that anyone who opposed fascism too early (before 1939 or 1941) must be a communist.

          That is, McCarythism was very much the idea that lots of mainstream Americans were enemies and traitors.

          1. Yes, there were real spies. McCarthy never rooted out a single one.Report

    • Avatar dragonfrog in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      Instead, my belief is that that ideology today is becoming an enemy that it wasn’t in the past, because of our new world’s ability to shield us completely and totally from any data that contradicts our ideology’s dogma.

      I’m not sure to what extent that really holds – when there were two radio stations and one newspaper in town, we were shielded from any data that contradicted the dogma of three or fewer rich people, often vetted by the censor’s office.

      The current situation has drawbacks, but I feel strongly that it’s an improvement to have access to hundreds of sources of reporting and scientific data – yes it does mean that some folks are only going to read Mercola, Real Farmacy, and Natural News Network, but more people are going to cross-check what they see on CNN against what peer-reviewed scientific publications, the BBC, Agence France-Presse, Al-Jazeera, and actual witnesses on the scene have to say.

      I’ll take the ability to keep myself in ignorance accidentally or through my own foolishness, over the virtual guarantee that someone else is.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to dragonfrog says:

        20,000 people who are kept in the *SAME* ignorance can live alongside each other in harmony.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to dragonfrog says:

        yes it does mean that some folks are only going to read Mercola, Real Farmacy, and Natural News Network, but more people are going to cross-check what they see on CNN against what peer-reviewed scientific publications, the BBC, Agence France-Presse, Al-Jazeera, and actual witnesses on the scene have to say.

        I know I’ve been a Twitter evangelist around here, but this is what makes Twitter amazing (despite Tod’s reservations). I can read an American, a Kurdish, a British, a Russian, and a Syrian news source about a battle taking place in a small town in Northeastern Syria, and then find people who are actually in that town, or witnessing the fighting, or who know the area and the people, and within a few hours know more about what’s going on in a really important part of the world than I would have in days, weeks, or perhaps ever, just a few years ago, and know it from multiple perspectives, from people with different agendas.

        Or I can just read the people who agree with me, or hell, I can just read about cats and superheroes. It’s entirely up to me.Report

    • my belief is that that ideology today is becoming an enemy that it wasn’t in the past, because of our new world’s ability to shield us completely and totally from any data that contradicts our ideology’s dogma. Because of this, we are all becoming less tolerant of competing ideas, and more convinced that people spouting competing ideas are dangerous and need to be stopped in some way.

      I know you’ve gotten a lot of pushback on this and I’m not going to pile on. I’ll just say that those things are bad whether they’re particularly new or not.Report

  2. Avatar Jaybird says:

    The issue is, as ever, in the distinctions between matters of morality and matters of taste.

    Matters of taste are, of course, silly to argue over. This guy likes oysters, that guy likes snails.

    It’s just a matter of taste. Non gustibus something.

    Matters of morality, however… why *WOULDN’T* you argue about matters of morality, unless you were bad?Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to Jaybird says:

      Because if you argue over questions of morality, you have to start talking about all sorts of disgusting things that people do, and what we ought to do about them.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kim says:

        Well, there’s also the issue of degrees and the degree to which shaming someone from acting immoral would be more immoral than what they’re doing.

        And that’s without getting into the degree to which using force to prevent someone from acting immorally would be immoral.

        Look at, for example, Turing.

        In 2075, I suppose I could ask you to look at us, as a society, as a good example of what I’m talking about. (I’m guessing we’ll look at stuff like The War on Drugs the way we look at Prohibition today.)Report

        • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird says:

          We *already* look at the War On Drugs the way we look at Prohibition, in the sense that some people are eternally hoping that the repeal will be repealed.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to DensityDuck says:

            The number one thing that always confused me among a certain corner of the theocons was that Prohibition could have worked if only we had put our backs into it and didn’t wimp out. Followed by a story about an alcoholic relative that was then used to ask me if I supported that sort of thing.Report

            • Avatar Kim in reply to Jaybird says:

              Substantial parts of the mountains are still dry, Jay. In places (particularly Mennonite), it really has worked out… okay.Report

            • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Jaybird says:

              Prohibition was wonderfully and intentionally underfunded. A lot of the Prohibitionists actually thought that Americans would stop drinking because the law said so. Bless their hearts. Assuming that Prohibition could have worked with adequate funding wasn’t a strange opinion under those circumstances.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to LeeEsq says:

                Of course, the War on Drugs is extremely well funded, both through taxes & CAF, and it’s still a miserable failure.Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                @oscar-gordon we know that now. @jaybird constantly expresses amazement that Prohibition 2.0 started within living memory of the failure of Prohibition 1.0. I’m just pointing out that you can draw many different conclusions about the failure of Prohibition 1.0 and during the 1960s, failure to adequately fund was a perfectly plausible explanation. Another issue is that narcotics like marijuana, LSD, and cocaine were always more alien to the Western world than alcohol, which was a history of thousands of years with us Westerners.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to LeeEsq says:

                According to Wikipedia:

                labeling of cannabis as a poison began in many states from 1906 onward, and outright prohibitions began in the 1920s. By the mid-1930s Cannabis was regulated as a drug in every state, including 35 states that adopted the Uniform State Narcotic Drug Act.[1]

                So maybe we should call it Prohibition 1.1 .Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Jaybird says:

      One of these days you really need to publish a spreadsheet on what issues fall into which category.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        The stuff that I do: Matters of taste.
        The stuff that you do: Matters of morality.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Tod Kelly says:

            More seriously, I can’t because I sometimes suspect that we don’t have an underlying morality but float moorlessly through the void before we die.

            So I’m stuck noticing how stuff changes across time.

            In the 1950’s, nobody cared what you ate. It was considered none of anyone else’s business.

            Sex, however, was something worth public shaming.

            In more recent times, we’ve seen evolution on those. I’ve seen arguments that we should not judge nor care about the sex acts between consenting adults as well as arguments that we have a compelling interest in the food choices of others.

            That’s interesting.Report

            • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

              I think eating dog was taboo back then too. Maybe even moreso.Report

            • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird says:

              I’m sorry Jay but I think he’s gotcha there. Foodies and Woo Food acolytes and the like nowadays have the kind of clout* sexual scolds had back in the day only in their sweaty kale induced wet dreams.

              I’d also opine that the idea we’re moving in that direction with food is similarily a foodie/woo delusion. We just have the internet- it lets the quacks quack at each other louder and makes the rest of us notice em.

              *Among adults it’s roughly zilch, with kids and child care it’s a hair more than zilch.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to North says:

                Sexual mores have seriously *CHANGED* from the 50’s. Seriously.

                Food mores have seriously changed as well. I mean, they exist now in a way that was unthinkable in the 50’s, taboos against dogmeat notwithstanding.

                My argument is not that they’ve switched places. My argument is, let me cut and paste this:

                In more recent times, we’ve seen evolution on those. I’ve seen arguments that we should not judge nor care about the sex acts between consenting adults as well as arguments that we have a compelling interest in the food choices of others.

                Though, I suppose, I’d rather argue against the position that sex is food and food is sex were I to argue against a position.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird says:

                I’m not convinced. Vegetarianism and veganism go way back of course, kocher and halaal go back just as far.

                If we’re talking organic, GMO or similar woo types I’m still unswayed. The hippies were against pesticide use and the like all the way back to the 1950’s and I don’t see our modern woos having a lot more clout than the hippies did. I suppose in fairness some companies actually are paying attention to woo now but I’d put that more on the reach of our communication tech than I would on the relative power of woo foodies.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to North says:

                There is “I am going to do this for me” food mores and then there are the “I have a compelling interest in your food choices” food mores (see, for example, NYC recently). We, on this very site, have seen people discuss the food choices of others as a public health issue.

                The unthinkable has shifted into the realm of the thinkable.

                As for sex, imagine me criticizing someone on this site who was serially monogamous (or polyamorous) because they were serially monogamous (or polyamorous). It seems a lot more likely that I will be criticized for doing that than agreed with… and if I were to give a defense that it was a public health issue, then that would be more likely seen as ugly speech than a reasonable point. (Indeed, I hesitated to even provide this theoretical example.)

                We’ve shifted. Significantly.

                No I am not saying that food is sex and sex is food.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

                see, for example, NYC recently

                The soda ban that never went into effect? Boy, that gets discussed a lot more than some things that actually happened, say, the way Don Siegelman was railroaded.

                You know, I can picture back when I was a kid that there might have been local laws about how much candy an unaccompanied minor could buy, and for exactly the same purpose. I’m not saying that there were any, but it wouldn’t have been unthinkable.Report

              • The soda ban that never went into effect?

                I’m not sure that “they tried that but it totally failed!” is a really good counter-argument to “we moved from the unthinkable to the thinkable”.

                unaccompanied minor

                The soda ban that never went into effect did not target unaccompanied minors. Had it done so, perhaps we’d argue about it differently. Perhaps we could argue about whether it’s notable that it went into effect.

                As it is, we’re arguing about how it totally failed.

                There was also a proposed ban on salt, for the record.

                Perhaps we could point out how that totally failed too.Report

              • Avatar Owen in reply to Jaybird says:

                The ban in question was a limit on the size of the container in which soda can be sold. Extending this logic further, I can only conclude that alcohol is currently “banned” in all 50 states. For that matter, so is driving a motor vehicle.Report

              • Avatar Notme in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                @mike-schilling

                The only reason the ban didnt happen was that people fought it. It wasnt as if Bloomy gave up on it. He was willing to force his liberal ideology on all of NYC.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Notme says:

                The soda ban that not only didn’t happen but hasn’t been put in place any place else. Its the flattest, least slippery slope ever. People fought it and won: good. So that doesnt prove the Soda Ban is the harbinger of Heck. It is more of a footnote.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to greginak says:

                We’ve moved from “it’s a strawman to argue against this point!” to “you’re using a slippery slope argument to argue this point!”

                And now I’ll repeat myself:
                Greg, it is a fact that we have seen arguments, on this very board, that we, as a society, have a compelling interest in the diets of adults.

                This is a fact.
                It is not a strawman to argue against this argument.
                It is not the bottom of a slippery slope.
                It is something that actually happened.

                The “it” is not “the ban”. The “it” is “the arguments that we have a compelling interest”.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

                To be quite honest, I have no idea what you’re talking about. I’m sure this is my problem, not yours, but truly: not a clue.Report

              • To be quite honest, I have no idea what you’re talking about.

                The Overton Windows on two different topics are shifting in what seems to be opposite directions and that is weird.Report

              • OK. I still don’t see any real evidence that’s true about food, though.Report

              • If you have seen “we have a compelling interest when it comes to your diet” arguments directed at grown men, then you have seen the evidence that I’m talking about.

                If you haven’t, I’ll find you a link.

                If you’re instead arguing that we had a bunch of folks arguing that we had compelling arguments about the diets of others in the 50’s (and I’m not talking about, say, “we don’t want food stamps used for Doritos” arguments, though that would be an example of the window moving by the time that argument shows up), I’d love to see the examples. (Seriously!)Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird says:

                I dont’ think the Overton window is shifting quite the way you think on food. People have always judged food to a degree ( better have a good spread for the wedding, better bbq good for the boss, better have the rights drinks to serve) Today we have far more food choices and also info about different diets. There weren’t paleo and atkins and such years ago. There were vegans but it was much more of niche. Some of foodie woo culture is just fashion but some of it is people trying to be healthy. yeah lots of health stuff about nutrition is mega woo but not all and for some people it is a real thing.

                I don’t see much evidence people aren’t eating what they want nowadays. They may feel social pressures and read crap from Dr. Oz and have people snear at their waistlines. But little of that is new. If there is much new it is that in the past few decades we’ve reached a point where there are many and plentiful food options for almost everybody. That wasn’t true before ww2 in the way it is now.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to greginak says:

                I’m not saying that people aren’t eating what they want. I’m saying that people are arguing that they have a compelling interest in the diets of others. Adult others.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Jaybird says:

                Yes, but why the HELL aren’t you using TRANSFATS to make your point?
                Those actually HAVE been regulated.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird says:

                Jay. Not completely sure of your point although from what i get i thinking you are exaggerating bit. The Soda Ban died a worthy death. Do people yak and natter about food. Oh hell yeah. Most of that is just people being judgemental in their personal lives which sucks but is people. In terms of policy where the Gov makes people do stuff, there hasn’t been much that has been successfully put in place. Insurance companies and businesses who pay insurance bills sure do talk about it.

                There is no Foodstapo that is going to be controlling what we eat. As i have always said in discussions of the Belly Buster Ban throughout this country every type of sugary, fatty, cream filled and fried creamed filled food is plentiful. I haven’t seen any changes in that other that some trends based on consumer demand.Report

              • Avatar Michael M. in reply to Jaybird says:

                I think the problem I have with your framing of this argument is that it ignores the scale, scope and implementations of these attitudes about what is a compelling interest. There is just no legitimate comparison to be made between any efforts to implement public policy around what foodstuffs we might put into our mouths vs. actual centuries old public policy around what else we might put into our mouths or other orifices. Sodomy and bestiality were punishable by death in colonial America. Idaho, in it’s infinite Christian mercy, would only allow sodomites to be imprisoned for life (the maximum penalty for sodomy in 2003, at the time of Lawrence v. Texas). As far as I know, no one has ever argued that people should be jailed for what or how much they eat, though there was a period in American history when you could be jailed for what you drink. Millions of Americans, including some Supreme Court justices, still believe it is perfectly legitimate for the state to jail consenting adults who engage in certain types of sexual behavior.

                To say that there are people making arguments that the state has a compelling interest in the quantity and type of foods we eat — arguments that would likely not have been taken seriously or supported by even a sizable minority 50 years ago — may be true. To say that these arguments are even casually comparable to arguments about state interest in regulating what kind of sex we have — in terms of those arguments’ efficacy and impact on people’s lives — seems to me to be a gross exaggerationReport

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Notme says:

                I agree, it was wildly unpopular, which is why it never took effect. But that’s true of many things, and generally we forget about them. (Remember Bush’s personal Social Security accounts? Originally “private” accounts, but that name polled badly, so they changed it and declared anyone who still used it an enemy ). It likewise never happened, and so it’s a dead letter. But the soda ban comes up here at least one a month.Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                This is all very interesting, but can’t we get back to the fact we can nowadays have both oysters and snails?Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to veronica d says:

                Oh sure….then someone is going to suggest oysters and snails can marry each other. Then all Heck will rain down and we can’t have giant Buckets O’Soda.Report

              • Avatar Iron Tum in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                Actually, it never took effect because it was implemented by the wrong rule-making body. The people had nothing to do with it.

                http://www.wsj.com/articles/new-york-city-mayor-bill-de-blasio-pushes-forward-on-soda-ban-1413421275

                wikipedia (which is of course almost always as correct as Vox) claims that the in the comment period, letters in favor of the ban outnumbered opposers 32,000 to 6,000. Of course, the wikipedia article tries desperately to imply that those 6000 people were all in the pocket of Pepsi.Report

              • Avatar Iron Tum in reply to North says:

                When the mayor of NYC stops trying to ban large sodas, let me know.

                When the senator of NY stops successfully banning beverages that “those people” enjoy, let me know.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Iron Tum says:

                @iron-tum Okay, here is your official notification soda buckets in NY are safe.Report

              • Avatar Iron Tum in reply to greginak says:

                Except no.

                The ban attempt is still very much active. The initial ban attempt was struck down, but he has since been given the Ok to pursue it.

                And I notice you don’t seem to mind poor people’s caffeinated cocktails being one of Schumer’s trophies.Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Iron Tum says:

                Who’s still attempting?Report

              • Avatar Iron Tum in reply to Chris says:

                DeBlasio. Link above.Report

  3. Avatar greginak says:

    Ideology is fine. Dogma is the problem. Everybody has a framework for how they see the world. But to many people won’t listen to information that doesn’t fit their dogma. Ideology is just our best framing of how we want the world to work. Nobodies ideology works completely, or even all that well, in the real world. Our ideas need to keep being improved and challenged and acknowledged when they don’t work. If you can’t do that they you have a dogma.Report

  4. Avatar Kim says:

    *yawn* pot calls kettle black, Saul talks about irrelevant stuff.
    Shutting down debate is always silly, even when the debate is against racists and idiots.

    But both sides shut down debate, sometimes, and they should be called out on it.

    A journalist says “This person is a scammer who is trying to dupe people into paying for a medical operation that they think is something totally different” [gets fired for “outing” someone who is transsexual]Report

  5. Avatar j r says:

    Am I supposed to abandon my belief in the morals and ethics of…

    You are missing the forest for the trees, Saul. You’re not supposed to do anything, which is the beauty of being a radically free human being.

    If, however, you actually care about whether the basket of ideas and beliefs that you currently hold is logically consistent and empirically verifiable, then it’s probably a good idea to step outside of your ideological mindset and subject your beliefs to a rigorous examination. Unfortunately, lots of people simply refuse to do that and choose instead to satiate themselves on a steady diet of partisan diatribes that portray their own ideology in only the friendliest light, supplemented with just enough of the weakest, cherry-picked examples of the other side to allow them to sleep soundly at night knowing that they have considered all there is to consider.

    I had a professor, a mentor of sorts, who said something that stuck with me. He said, if you want to be rigorous about your ideas and beliefs, then what you need to do is to be extra critical of the people and the ideas that agree with you and give the kindest reading possible to people and ideas with which you disagree. And those are the very things which ideology strives to prevent.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to j r says:

      After all, that’s why the Federalist does its best to understand the Left while being mercilessly critical of any illogic on the part of the Right.Report

      • Avatar j r in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        Thanks for illustrating my point, Mike.Report

        • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to j r says:

          Thanks for completely missing mine.Report

          • Avatar j r in reply to Mike Schilling says:

            Fine, let’s pretend I’m daft. What’s your point? That because the other side does it, you’ve got to fight fire with fire?

            Why wouldn’t you hold yourself to a higher standard than The Federalist?Report

            • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to j r says:

              That the piece Saul was writing about that lamented the evils of dogma appeared in a publication that’s completely dogmatic. If was self-canceling.Report

              • Avatar j r in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                And I was responding to Saul’s post, not the Federalist piece.

                If you read my comment as a defense of the Federalist, then you read it wrong, likely because you are approaching this as part of an ongoing ideological battle of the good guys vs the bad guys.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to j r says:

                I didn’t read your comment that way.

                But thanks for the generous reading of mine. Your professor would be proud.Report

              • Avatar j r in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                Your professor would be proud.

                As would whoever taught you your snark skills.Report

              • @mike-schilling

                That the piece Saul was writing about that lamented the evils of dogma appeared in a publication that’s completely dogmatic. If was self-canceling.

                Maybe it was self-canceling, but if dogma really is crippling the left, maybe a leftist would want to know why and how. Or, if said leftist wants to argue the point, wouldn’t it be more effectively argued if said leftist knew the point s/he was arguing against?

                Having read/skimmed that federalist article, I’m not too impressed with it. But it probably wouldn’t be too hard to find one of many of Saul’s numerous comments or OP’s on, say, higher education, that shares some of the opinions expressed in that article about “safe spaces” at universities. I’ve even known him to criticize, from time to time, the dogmatic approach taken by the comment culture at LGM, and the substance of that criticism seems similar to what that Federalist article says.Report

              • There are dogmatists on all sides. If someone tells me that everything I believe is nonsense, and I believe it only because it’s my preferred dogma, it’s pretty clear I’ve found one.Report

              • The federalist article is not saying “everything they believe is nonsense and they believe it only because it’s their preferred dogma.”

                The article, for all its faults, seems to be criticizing the methods those who it calls “leftists” use, particularly citing instances the author believes exemplifies shutting down debate. I grant, however, that it may be an overwrought attempt to smear honest attempts to deal with difficult things with the overzealous (and sometimes not even overzealous) actions of a few.Report

              • Ok, I looked at the article.

                I was distracted at first by a photo of a good-looking blonde woman who appears to be naked. I’m not sure what that picture is about. It doesn’t look like the actress who’s mentioned later on. I’m going to have to rethink the pictures I use for the front page. I’m sure we’d get more hits for Richard’s baseball history piece if I’d used a good-looking woman instead of an old box score. (This is what Alison Brie would look like if she had attended an 1850s baseball game in a low-cut dress!)

                OK, tearing myself away from her, the first example is a hotelier who sponsored a talk with Ted Cruz and was roundly criticized for that. I’m nor sure why the Federalist had to use the word “gay” three times to describe the incident, And it does seem like the guy got reamed by social media and more or less forced to apologize. But the Federalist mischaracterizes things: they claim the guy was punished for merely talking to Cruz, when he’d actually gone as far as hosting him. Publicly embracing a political position that offends your customers can be dangerous to your wallet. That’s nothing new. In fact, it’s one reason segregation was self-sustaining even without Jim Crow laws, and why the 1964 Civil Rights act had to actively integrate public accommodations by force of law. I’d like to see the Federalist write about that.

                The next is about an actress (again, not appearing to be the naked blonde) who’d said bluntly that Bruce Jenner is not a woman, but later said that she’s learned more since, The Federalist invokes re-education camps, totalitarianism, and speech codes, but maybe someone just talked to her about gender dysphoria, and she listened, and really did learn something. It seems the Federalist is against learning if the result is people disagreeing with their dogma. Honestly, if I said something about wanting every employer to pay a living wage, and after an economist took me aside and explained why that won’t work, I recanted, I don’t think the Federalist would find that “creepy”.

                I’m kind of out of patience now, so I’ll put the thing aside, I’m unimpressed.Report

    • Avatar Cardiff Kook in reply to j r says:

      “If, however, you actually care about whether the basket of ideas and beliefs that you currently hold is logically consistent and empirically verifiable, then it’s probably a good idea to step outside of your ideological mindset and subject your beliefs to a rigorous examination.”

      Plus one to this.

      James K — an economist — challenged some of Saul’s fundamental beliefs yesterday in an eloquent and friendly manner* on the “Race to The Bottom” post. The challenges strike at the heart of how Saul frames (allegedly misframes) some of the issues in economics. Seems like the perfect opportunity to firm up the foundation of his beliefs or — God forbid — expand and improve them. Saul has, as yet, chosen not to engage.

      I am not sure why.

      I do suspect some of those we are having dialogues with are operating under quite different principles.

      * With absolutely no implied accusations that anyone was some kind of “poor bastard”, Social Darwinian rape apologist. (An example of how other ideologues on this site actually argue to cut off discussions that they find threatening to their world views )Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Cardiff Kook says:

        @cardiff-kook

        A failure to respond to everything is not necessarily anger. I agree with your assessment of how James K responded. I don’t agree with everything he said but he made some very good points and in a very polite way.Report

        • Avatar Cardiff Kook in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          Sorry, Saul. I did not mean to imply you were angry, and if I gave this impression it is my bad.

          I am angry at how two other members of the OT treated me when I tried to start a sincere dialogue, but that is totally an aside.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to j r says:

      “which is the beauty of being a radically free human being.”

      In which, @j-r reveals he admires Jean-Paul Sartre.Report

  6. Avatar greginak says:

    Upon a bit more thought, or at least thought like filling, the biggest difference today from many years ago is that we are so very much more aware of how other people think differently. Before the intertoobz we would know people have different ideologies and could certainly read about them or talk with them. Today we can interact with different ideologies every darn day. More so we can hear every variety of a different ideology even those who take every thing to an extreme. We aren’t just getting other peoples POV’s from among the circle of people we know. We’re getting to hear the entire wild weird range of ideas that everybody has. Hearing about all those crazy ideas at volume and with many iterations is different from just knowing people think differently.Report

  7. Avatar Kazzy says:

    “A conservative writer thinks I am being ideologically rigid and dogmatic, what am I to do? Am I supposed to abandon my belief in the morals and ethics of the welfare state including nationalized health-care, generous unemployment benefits, social security in old age and disability, food stamps, etc. Am I supposed to abandon my belief that African-Americans have been subject to systematic racism since the Colonial Days and it might take a lot of intervention to fix this problem? Or my belief in LGBT equality and the idea that we should not all be dominated by the morality and ethics of a handful of Christian fundamentalists and evangelicals? Am I supposed to abandon my belief in public schools, public parks, public transportation as being important to democratic and civic life?”

    Abandon? No. Not simply because of one outsider’s opinion. BUT, should he/she have offered a substantive critique of your ideology, it would be wise to consider it and re-evaluated your beliefs. You may shift them marginally, considerably, abandon them, or feel affirmed.

    That is one of the best things about this place when it is at its best: it challenges your beliefs in a way that allows you to grow.Report

  8. Avatar Will H. says:

    FWIW, I support each of those items enumerated in your fourth paragraph, although I am definitely conservative.
    I believe we might disagree on the scope and reach of certain things, but an adequate social safety network is desirable.

    From what I can tell, the Left is far more position-oriented, believing that everyone should support the same set of policy positions; while the Right is more principle-oriented, and will tend to support (or at least accommodate) any policy position derived from their approved set of principles.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Will H. says:

      @will-h

      I agree with your second paragraph. A lot of libertarian and conservative writing seems to stress “First Principles” and various axioms and treats them as they are very important. They probably are very important to libertarians and conservatives, not so much to me.Report

  9. Avatar LWA says:

    I don’t think things cleave so neatly into dogma or ideology.

    I am currently taking a series of classes in religious theology and multiculturalism and this question looms very large in contemporary thinking.

    How do we reconcile competing claims of universal truth?
    It is a bit facile to say that there is no absolute truth, and leave it at that.
    Is the concept of human rights universal? Or just a quirky particular opinion?

    Some of the authors we are reading are Eric Law and Kwok Pui Lan, who make the point that uncritical acceptance of every and all viewpoints leaves us without the ability to function. Yet simple tolerance still denies us the ability to see others as fully realized human beings.

    Which is where my thoughts are at the moment

    I am coming to think that in our search for transcendence, theology and ideology are tools, and can easily be different for everyone.
    Yet we can’t achieve transcendence individually- religion isn’t a self help course.
    We search for transcendence in communion with others, and in fact we don’t become fully realized except in the presence of others.

    So all this suggests that the search for transcendence is a group project, and requires constant negotiation and adjustment and deep engagement with others, especially others of different mindsets.

    Which then suggests that even diametrically opposed viewpoints such as the divinity of Christ, can have multiple true answers; for me, it is The Truth, the only possible path for me to achieve transcendence, while for Saul, it is not. This is the same way that modern physics has demonstrated that things can both be and not be simultaneously, and are entirely dependent on our viewpoint.

    What appeals to me about this is that it still allows us to have a robust set of tools by which to resolve real world problems. Rather than face policy questions with weakness and timidity, we can each speak our version of what justice entails, or what our boundaries of engagement might be, and trough engagement and dialogue, find common ground. In this sense, truth is what we can all agree upon, and what works for us.Report

  10. “A conservative writer thinks I am being ideologically rigid and dogmatic, what am I to do?”

    It depends whether his claim is correct or not. Since you’re human, it’s probably at least a little correct. So, maybe the question isn’t “what am I to do,” but “in what ways is he right and in what ways is he not, and how much does it matter, and are there some things I’m missing because I refuse to see them.”

    “Am I supposed to abandon my belief in the morals and ethics of the welfare state including nationalized health-care, generous unemployment benefits, social security in old age and disability, food stamps, etc.”

    No, but if you want to convince someone else to support those things, maybe it will help to understand why they think about it as they do. And maybe you don’t have to “abandon” them, but in the real world, you might have to compromise. You may believe in nationalized health-care, for example, but since that’s not going to happen in the US in the near future, you might have to settle for single payer.

    “Am I supposed to abandon my belief that African-Americans have been subject to systematic racism since the Colonial Days and it might take a lot of intervention to fix this problem?”

    That’s a loaded question, just because there’s been systematic racism doesn’t mean that the way to resolve that racism or otherwise address it is obvious. There may be different kinds of interventions that you haven’t considered. And perhaps some of the ones you support have unintended, bad consequences.

    “Or my belief in LGBT equality and the idea that we should not all be dominated by the morality and ethics of a handful of Christian fundamentalists and evangelicals?”

    Another loaded question. According to the slate article you cite, that handful seems to be a shrinking number indeed: “Today a majority of Americans support gay marriage, including 43 percent of white evangelical Protestant millennials. Those numbers seem bound to tick upward in the years to come, particularly among the peers of Q’s on-trend attendees.” But how to treat those who aren’t on board, or who came on board for the wrong reasons, or too late?

    “Am I supposed to abandon my belief in public schools, public parks, public transportation as being important to democratic and civic life?”

    No, but that belief is not self-executing. They have to be paid for and managed. Those tasks are hard enough, and maybe it would help to explore what others have to offer.Report

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