A Locke for the Reality Challenged

A blog in the tradition of Carneades, Xenophanes, and Montaigne.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

What I've been doing lately

I am sorry for not posting anything for awhile. I have been busy reading and posting at a blog called "The Museum of Left Wing Lunacy". Yes really. And while I have been posting I have been trying to evaluate the mindset of the conservative posters there. I have come to some interesting conclusions. First there are different levels of conservatives posting responses.

1. The seriously conservative - these posters have valid points and try and have a serious discussion of salient points.

2. The crazy conservatives (or neo-cons) - these posters show no sign of being able to evaluate a good point or admit one. They also take portions of others posts out of context and cuss at the ones who have a liberal/progressive viewpoint.

Most of the posters are from the second group (big surprise), but there is one poster who seems to go back and forth between the two groups. Depending on how s/he feels I guess.

Something kept bothering me though. For awhile I couldn't figure it out and then it hit me. They were acting just like a cult! Everything fell together then. I studied cults in seminary and remember some of the characteristics of them...

- The group displays excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader and reguards his belief system,ideology and practices as the Truth,as law.

- Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged and even punished.

- The Leadership dictates ,sometimes in great detail, how memebers should think,act, and feel.

- The group is elitist,claiming a special exalted status for itself,its leader(s), and members.

- The group has a polerized us-versus-them mentality,which may cause conflict with wider society.

- The leader is not accountable to any authorities.

- The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify whatever means it deems necessary. This may result in members participating in behaviors or activities they would have considered reprehensible or unethical before jioning the group.

- The leadership induces feelings of shame and/or guilt in order to influence and/or control members. Often, this is done through peer pressure and subtle forms of persuasion.

- Members are encouraged to socialize with other group members.

- The most loyal members feel there can be no life outside the context of the group. They believe there is no other way to be and fear reprisals if they leave the group.

Sound just like the Religious Right Wing of the Republican party !


Blogger andrew said...

You could use virtually the same items to compare neocons with the "Moozlim" extremists they claim to hate. See, for example, my blog entry for Jan 18, 06, "A Semi-Pseudo-Sociological Look at Wingnuts".

Either way, though, we're screwed.

12:40 PM  

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