In light of the attacks in France and around the world from ISIS it seems necessary to say something, but on this blog I don’t want to repeat myself. The things I’ve said in the past about ISIS I believe are still true and remain even more pertinent now than when they were first written.
Few acts in our society are sheltered from critical thought more than the modern charity. Every grocery store, coffee shop, and corporate environment attempts to blend charitable giving into its sales pitch to levels more perverse than we’ve ever seen; to consume is to be moral. To work long hours under this company is moral because the company gives to charity. It is OKAY to buy more, because with every purchase you are buying yourself a small piece of a Papal Indulgence of the modern era, a free pass to the gates of cognitive dissonance. (more…)
We live in a world of numerous competing arguments and messages. Our government wants us to be patriots, our families want us to be selfless, and our employers want us to be loyal. In all three instances we have competing parties who want our loyalty, certainly we cannot satisfy them all. What family would willingly want to give up its 18 year old male children to die in distant wars? What company would want our 20something to get a family and start cutting back on working hours? And what government would want its most talented capitalists to renounce their citizenship and move elsewhere?
To say we can satisfy all these requirements at once is naive, we cannot. There may be times when the stars align and it may seem like we are quelling the insatiable desires of our social circles simultaneously, but that’s simply an illusion. Each circle is attempting to control the other. On the spectrum of ‘soft’ arguments and ‘hard’ arguments, families rely on ‘soft’ arguments and governments rely on ‘hard’ arguments. Let’s talk about this briefly then delve into Corporate Culture. (more…)
Every now and then we are blessed with the voters pamphlet in Washington state. It always makes for an entertaining read because every now and then we get an obscure local government race with 1 ‘serious’ candidate and a bunch of ideologues. I love reading these statements from our hardened libertarian and marxist comrades fighting to be elected to some obscure position. But part of me is a little disappointed at the same time. I want ideologues to be serious about changing the political world they live in, I want them to spark a serious dialogue about the direction of our future even if it starts in a small office. (more…)
In light of the recent Supreme Court decision allowing gay marriage, I saw two very clear trends
Group A claims “it’s about time,” that this issue has been a long time coming and those who are opposed to legalized gay marriage are on “the wrong side of history.” This is a human rights issue, the next step is the acceptance of a spectrum of human sexual orientation and gender identity.
Group B claims it is a betrayal of their laws, a slap in the face to their culture, and an abomination that the highest court of the land should begin legislating cultural issues.
Of course, being in the hotbed of the American liberal (any densely populated urban center…) leads me to want to believe in #1s argument. Oh how my metaphorical heart aches for the oppressed amongst us, for my sexually liberal ethical compass is not offended by sodomites, and I have no peer group from organized faith to demand that I reject this. (more…)
People rally around symbols. All too often groups of people are unable to correctly express their political feelings or ideological inclinations; so they cling to symbols in desperation. Flags and emblems, represent collective hopes, fears, aspirations, and feelings differently depending on who you ask and how you’re feeling that day. The Christian cross can be a comforting sight for those in a devout protestant community, or a disgusting symbol for Christian atrocities in their numerous invasions of the holy land. (more…)
There is much buzz about the recent defeats of ISIS. They are pulling back from a city here, lost a battle there, and some important leadership is killed in an air strike. The only truth is to these victories is this: ISIS is a convenient banner for militants to rally toward so we can efficiently kill them, they are not the end-all Middle Eastern evil. The fact remains that the very conditions which generate militant Islam are not being addressed so we will never stop it. (more…)
Stories are ingrained in nearly every form of entertainment we consume. Modern Art is an excellent example of the pervasiveness of storytelling. Art is not about the ‘aesthetically pleasing’ or the ‘technically superb’ brush strokes; but rather the story behind the art. Those hidden tales which only the select few in the ‘know’ really understand. For those of us outside of the scene, it seems like a bunch of pretentious crap. But truthfully, it’s just an advanced form of gossip.
People LOVE gossip and the reason is obvious, we love stories. But stories that we enjoy do more than just entertain us. Stories that we truly enjoy hit us at a deeper level; there is some kernel of truth down there that we agree with even if we can’t consciously pinpoint what that is. I want to take a look at reality TV in this guise and answer two questions. (more…)
Communism is the most well-known competitor to classical liberalism. As a result, it is no surprise that communism is demonized in classical liberal societies; people don’t want other people trying to drastically change their way of life. We like our lives the way they are. Therefore, like Fascism, there is much hoopla and rabble rousing when Communism gets mentioned at the dinner table. But the rejection is more visceral and raw because Communism is seen as an actual threat, whereas Fascism is seen as a ‘joke’ ideology that no one will legitimately follow. (more…)
Feminism is moving into the mainstream, it is no longer on the fringe. As a result of this, it’s going through the inevitable metamorphosis of actually recruiting ‘fringe supporters’. That is, those people who take extremely moderate political opinions on everything, but at the end of the day will still say “yeah I believe in some of the things feminists fight for.” For any serious ideology, those semi-supporters make up the bulk of membership. These people aren’t going to be protesting for you, donating money to your cause, or even thinking much about it. (more…)