Ideological Purity As A Vehicle To Start Feeling Alive

- - Visto 150 veces

I was reading an article the other day about how the two major political parties in the United States had become more and more extreme in their views and more and more oppositional to one another.  In the good old days, the parties were able to work with one another more effectively, because there was a greater overlap in their views. There were things such as conservative Democrats and liberal Republicans.  Liberal Republicans tended to be more fiscally conservative like all Republicans today, but they tended to be much more liberal in social policy.  Conservative Democrats tended to be more fiscally liberal like most Democrats today, but they tended to be much more conservative in social policy (racist in their attitudes towards blacks). 

Anyway, as a result of these divisions in the parties, it frequently meant that bills in Congress needed and received bipartisan support.  And there was much less gridlock of the type we see happening today.  Things got done.  The government functioned. There wasn’t so much animosity between the members of the different parties as that which exists today.  Members of the two parties actually went out to lunch together regularly and socialized with one another.  It was a whole different political world.  There was never any talk of a January 6th style insurrection.

These extremist divisions have been building for a few decades now.  In my opinion, this changing political landscape corresponds to a rapidly changing technological landscape.  The digital revolution has made life even more frictionless and mediated than it was before with analog technology.  The more frictionless and mediated the technology, the larger is the experiential vacuum that people have to live in.  The larger the experiential vacuum that people have to live in, the greater the amount of numbness they have to experience.  The greater the amount of numbness that envelops them, the more they have to resort to sources of abrasive stimulation in order to pull themselves out of the numbness and feel more vibrantly alive.  For politicians, one very effective way to do this is to become more ideologically pure and more adamant in their refusal to compromise on any one of their principals.

This shift towards ideological purity in recent history probably started when Lyndon Johnson passed the Civil Rights bill.  He knew he would break apart the Democratic Party and he was right.  The bill had foundations in worthy moral principles, but it had definite political consequences.  The conservative Democrats shifted their allegiance to the Republican party, and the South became Republican.  

This love of ideological purity continued with the Republicans and, in particular, Newt Gingrich, the Georgian Congressman who became Speaker of the House of Representatives during President Bill Clinton’s time in office.  Gingrich told the Republican Congressmen under him to stop socializing with their Democratic colleagues, to stop going to lunch with them.  According to Gingrich, this was the only way for the Republicans to pull out of their longtime minority status in Congress. In short, the Republicans were at war with the Democrats, and they had to act like it.  Gingrich succeeded in pulling the Republicans out of their longtime minority status, but the price paid by everyone was an ongoing gridlock in the Congress.

The Democrats have fought back against the ideological purity of Gingrich and the other Republicans with their own brand of ideological purity.  The difference is that only some Democrat members of government have adopted the comparatively extreme position of Democratic philosophy, that of Democratic Socialism.  The Democratic party is much more truly democratic with a small d than the Republican party is.  Not everybody has to think the way Bernie Sanders does or Alexandria Ocasio Cortez does.  For that matter Joe Biden is not a Democratic Socialist, although he has definitely moved to the left during his presidency.  Nevertheless, particularly with the support of young people, the Democratic Socialists seem to be gaining strength.  With their support, Bernie Sanders may even run for president again. 

In this election cycle, a few moderate Republicans were elected to the House of Representatives. For the most part, though, the Republican Party is still the party of, if not Donald Trump himself, of the Trumpists.  There are people who believe in Trump’s ideas but no longer in Trump himself.  And yet Trump still has a great deal of influence over people in Congress in terms of how they will vote.  And with a pretty much evenly divided Congress, it means that the political turbulence of the first two years of the Biden presidency is likely to continue into the second two year.  Which, after all is what the ideologically pure seek in their lives anyway.  The introduction of a lot of abrasive stimuli into their lives in order to pull themselves out of their experiential numbness.

Acerca de Laurence Mesirow

Durante mi estadía en la Ciudad de México en los años setenta, me di cuenta que esta enorme ciudad contenía en sus colonias distintos "medio ambientes vivenciales", que iban desde muy antiguas a muy recientes; desde muy primitivas a muy modernas.Observé que había diferencias sutiles en la conducta de la gente y en sus interacciones en las diferentes colonias. Esta observación fue fundamental en la fundación de mis teorías con respecto a los efectos de la tecnología moderna sobre los medio ambientes vivenciales y sobre la conducta humana.En México, publiqué mi libro "Paisaje Sin Terreno" (Editorial Pax-México), y luego di conferencias para la U.N.A.M. y la Universidad Anahuac. También, presenté un ensayo para un Congreso de Psicología.Ahora que mis hijas son adultas, tengo el tiempo de explorar mis ideas de vuelta. Le agradezco mucho a y en especial al Sr. Daniel Ajzen por la oportunidad de presentar mis ideas.

Deja tu Comentario

A fin de garantizar un intercambio de opiniones respetuoso e interesante, se reserva el derecho a eliminar todos aquellos comentarios que puedan ser considerados difamatorios, vejatorios, insultantes, injuriantes o contrarios a las leyes a estas condiciones. Los comentarios no reflejan la opinión de, sino la de los internautas, y son ellos los únicos responsables de las opiniones vertidas. No se admitirán comentarios con contenido racista, sexista, homófobo, discriminatorio por identidad de género o que insulten a las personas por su nacionalidad, sexo, religión, edad o cualquier tipo de discapacidad física o mental.

El tamaño máximo de subida de archivos: 300 MB. Puedes subir: imagen, audio, vídeo, documento, hoja de cálculo, interactivo, texto, archivo, código, otra. Los enlaces a YouTube, Facebook, Twitter y otros servicios insertados en el texto del comentario se incrustarán automáticamente. Suelta el archivo aquí

Artículos Relacionados: