Re: The Intellectual Origins Of America-Bashing By Lee Harris

Date: Mon 09 Dec 2002 - 19:48:45 GMT

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    > ----- Original Message -----
    > From: <>
    > > > ----- Original Message -----
    > > > From: Wade T.Smith <>
    > > >
    > > > > Let us not forget- there are as many (perhaps more) 'right'
    > > > > myths perpretrated by the 'left'..... In fact, the record of
    > > > > right-bashing by the 'left' is just as rancorous and infantile
    > > > > as any left-bashing by the 'right'.
    > > >
    > > > ...except that it's rancorous to itself as it never really finds
    > > > its way into public discourse.
    > > >
    > > > i mean, if 100 people are bashing the right and nobody hears it,
    > > > does the right get bashed?
    > > >
    > > > there is no doubt bashing goes on from both sides, though one side
    > > > is the dominant hegemony with regards to economic, political,
    > > > social and media power...and the other side is only trotted out
    > > > when the dominant regime needs a scapegoat.
    > > In the US, both types of bashing are quite strident, and quite
    > > readily heard.
    > readily heard by whom? this is the issue.
    > the people most likely to benefit from hearing alternative messages
    > are precisely those people to whom the major media (and that means,
    > the non-left) pander. in other words, "the populace" has only a few
    > outlets for which it "gets its news" and those outlets squelch most of
    > the left (and by left, i don't mean al gore-style-polished centrists).
    > there no "o'reilly factors" for the left.
    > of course, you can jump in a step deeper and look at more "objective"
    > news outlets, if you have access to them. many require a computer and
    > the time to spend in the search for news (which excludes a significant
    > segment of the population.) but even there, you get disproportionate
    > representation because the left has been colored as a bunch of
    > paranoid, kooky, unrealistic, anti-patriots. such labels are intended
    > to invalidate the message and prevent further inquiry. to examine the
    > ideas of the left, one would have to be critical and
    > objective...faculties which have become atrophied in the information
    > age.
    > but if the non-left WERE all those things mentioned earlier (hawkish,
    > fundamentalist, racist, white, etc..) it wouldn't deter people who
    > felt they were concerned about the sate of affairs here because there
    > are plenty of cultural supports for hawkishness, fundamentalism,
    > racism, etc.. there are institutions of war, so they must have some
    > validity. there are institutions of fundamentalism, so they must have
    > some validity. and racism is institutionalized, so it must have
    > validity too.
    > therefore:
    > LEFT=ideas that have no associated, successful institutions; inability
    > to achieve popular support because it is excluded from the media
    > (examples: nader excluded from debates, moore's books kept out of
    > certain bookstores, NPR still dominated by the non-left)
    > NON-LEFT=ideas that are prevalent in culture and supported by
    > successful institutions; popularly supported because it has the
    > support of the media (examples: most talk shows on radio and tv)
    > so if you have 30 minutes a day to figure out what's going on, where
    > do you turn? do you read the Indie Media website and spend that time
    > critically examining a smaller amount of the contents? or do you read
    > CNN's website and get "a lot more" news from "respectable" and
    > "legitimate" sources?
    > i think the notion that "the Left is quite readily heard" should be
    > qualified with "if you can wrestle yourself away from almost all
    > public media."
    > the interesting thing to ask is: why? the non-left will say it's
    > because the left is wrong, ignorant, unrealistic, etc.. but maybe it's
    > because their ideas are AS infectious as the non-left's and all they
    > need are hosts that blend in to the population at large. it's those
    > "normal americans" who become lefties that scare the's
    > hard to scapegoat a hardworking, soccer-mom american...but far easier
    > to scapegoat the minute fraction of a percent of the non-left who
    > throw rocks at the windows of Starbucks.
    Phenomenologically, people who are extremists on either pole look upon those who do not embrace clones of their positions as extremists of the opposite stripe, for they must consider themselves to be the
    'sensible center', even if it entails claiming that most of the world is not sensible. They must then explain this subjective skew, by claiming that those who disagree with them are either malevolent manipulators or their clueless dupes. It is relatively easy to recognize extremists of either stripe; practically all other positions are on one side of theirs rather than on the other.
    > alfred
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