Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The hypocrisy of the right

Oh, trust me, there's hypocrisy on the left, too -- and, by all means, tell me about it. But AmbivaBlog, drawing on an excellent post at CommonSenseDesk (which itself draws on three other blogs -- such is life in the blogosphere), looks at why "Being (far) right means never having to say you're sorry". It's all worth reading, whatever your political inclinations.

I would add that the hypocrisy of the right is more visible -- and more troubling -- than the hypocrisy on the left in part because at the moment the right is in power and the left is in disarray. Back at Tufts, where in the early-'90s the left was in power (within the limited context of campus politics) and the right was vilified (and yours truly along with it -- how dare I have criticized the orthodoxy of political correctness?), I wrote extensively on the hypocrisy of the left. In such matters, one tends to direct one's attention at the powers that be, not the powers that be not.

Perhaps it's all a matter of context and perspective. Hypocrisy is everywhere.

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  • Nate,

    That's an interesting point you make. Personally, I have always felt torn in that respect. I'm very suspicious of zealotry whether from the right or the left. On the other hand, I agree with you about the dispiriting aspects of a postmodernist society that values irony over seriousness. And I think post-modernism's ostensible relativism really masks a quite negative judgmental attitude toward tradition and community.

    On the other hand, the effort at enforcing virtue is doomed to failure. The left tries to enforce political virtue, while the right tries to enforce moral virtue. Neither will work because human nature is what it is. I don't like the post-modernist celebration of celebrity self-destruction and utter solipsism, but neither do I like the right's attempt to use the political process to impose its religious view of morality.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:22 PM  

  • I'm like you Nate-I'm a Democrat but I often feel very uncomfortable with the type of liberalism that stems from the 1960s. I always looked at the early 1960s (pre-Viet Nam) as sort of a pre-postmodern golden era where you could be liberal without the anger and alienation that it now often entails.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:08 AM  

  • Excellent comments, guys.

    By Blogger Michael J.W. Stickings, at 12:02 PM  

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