Monday, June 22, 2009

Faith and neoconnery

E.D. Kain discusses why he's not a neoconservative:
So I re-evaluated everything, not just the foreign policy positions I had found so faulty, but the wider implications of the foreign policy itself, which it turned out were merely extensions of a wider domestic policy: expansionism, exceptionalism, and the push for a global economy which had at its core the cult of the individual. The conservative movement and the neoconservative movement, and honestly the neoliberal movement, have really become all one and the same, and at their heart lies this false idol – the Individual. Suddenly older, deeper ideas began to resurface, to bubble up from within and to creep in from without: community, tradition, history, fellowship, the Church. The local. The good, the true, and the beautiful. Peace. The order of things.
Kain mentions faith here, which interests me. What I find so interesting about this hyperindividuality is how deep the hold is despite the ever-professed Christianity of its citizens. To put it mildly, Christianity doesn't exactly teach that everyone is totally self-reliant and can get on by themselves. One would think that people with that background would view things from a different perspective. One would be mistaken.

We always hear about polls where like 2% of the public can name their state rep or whatever, but I rarely hear about polls asking self-professed Christians even rudimentary questions about the Bible and Christian doctrine. My suspicion is that they'd make those other polls look good by comparison. I'd actually like to see some polling done on this, if for no other reason than to discredit the holier-than-thou crowd a little bit. Such standing must be earned, not asserted. I think it's been clear for some time that the driving force behind the religious right is, in fact, pride. What else makes you think that you know what's best for everyone else and ignore any and all criticism to the contrary? One of these days, I'd be very interested to see a book on the feedback loop between the sociocons and the neocons. They seem to have brought out the worst in each other.

The Man, The Myth, The Bio

East Bay, California, United States
Problem: I have lots of opinions on politics and culture that I need to vent. If I do not do this I will wind up muttering to myself, and that's only like one or two steps away from being a hobo. Solution: I write two blogs. A political blog that has some evident sympathies (pro-Obama, mostly liberal though I dissent on some issues, like guns and trade) and a culture blog that does, well, cultural essays in a more long-form manner. My particular thing is taking overrated things (movies, mostly, but other things too) down a peg and putting underrated things up a peg. I'm sort of the court of last resort, and I tend to focus on more obscure cultural phenomena.