Every Ill in this World the Fault of my Other

Posted on April 14, 2016 by Richard Goulter

There’s a particular failure mode I’ve been noticing more, recently:
“Everything bad is the fault of {my other}”. – e.g. the stereotypical rabid feminist blames everything on the partriarchy.
I’ve noticed it in quite polarized circles.

e.g. Here’s an utterly fascinating video of Larry Elder discussing racial issues on The Rubin Report.
– As an aside, my favourite quote from this being Elder’s “When we first started the conversation, I said ‘I hope to move you towards the centre’, and you said ‘I hope to move you towards the centre’, and I said ‘it’s not going to happen’; because there’s nothing you can tell me I haven’t heard, but I can probably say things your audience hasn’t heard.”. – Perhaps another way to consider this is, Elder is in a much better position to pass an Ideological Turing Test than Rubin. (As further “weird part of the internet”; Elder’s mention of the liberal bias in education, media, Hollywood sounds like reference to The Cathedral).
Elder’s “I’m an American, but I’m not an African” resonated with me; (I’m not a NZ European).
Anyway. Around the middle of the video, Elder is frothing in the mouth in anger. But the only concessions of racist treatment Elder concedes are where the problems were caused by the Democrats: Elder sighs that he’s been called “uncle tom”, “coconut”, etc., but never otherwise mentions being treated unfavourably for his skin colour; Elder complains of the welfare that Democrats gave only to families without father-figures; Elder complains of the grievance-mongering attitudes endorsed by Democrats.
– Now. In order to say he’s wrong on any of these particular issues, you’d have to bring facts to the table. My point here isn’t whether he’s right or wrong about what he says, just demonstrating that the views he presents fit within “everything wrong is the fault of {my other}”.

A post from the progressive Spinoff is typical of the same kindof mindset in the far left: “everything wrong is the fault of the Neo-Liberals”. (Aside: quick explainer about ‘-isms’ like progressivism, neo-liberalism and how they relate to classic-liberalism).
I find the piece useful as kindof an insight as to how such people think; I find it a bit disingenuous, though: e.g. The phrasing of “Even in elections, where we are told every vote is equal, the pattern remains.” strongly implies that votes aren’t counted as equal (which is conspiratorial, and a charge against the electoral commission), rather than communicating that voter turnout diverges (slightly) from the demographics of the nation. (Another plausible interpretation of that sentence would be a criticism of the system of election/govt. e.g. gerrymandering or so).
– The call for public discussion & against active silencing is noble; I hope progressives keep this attitude in favour whenever attitudes discussed are abhorred by progressives.

A hilarious example of this came up on my timeline this morning, from the Green Party.
The caption on the page: “In 2010 the National Government weakened New Zealand’s labour laws to appease Warner Brothers and promised 3,000 new screen industry jobs. But since this time, the NZ screen industry has shed 3,400 jobs. National’s backroom deals with Hollywood have failed to deliver.”
– The top comment quite helpfully suggests that it’s deceptive to display such a graph starting with 25,000 at the bottom.
What kind of mindset do you have to have to look at such job loss and say “oh, must be National’s fault”.

– The failure-mode here doesn’t mean anyone holding the view is wrong about everything, of course; just that you can assume the strength of the point won’t stand up under scrutiny of discussion with those who disagree.

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