Saturday, April 26, 2014

How to passively accept the world

That might seem like a terrible title for a post, and an awful thing to even consider, but there is a good reason to. Our society is more polarized than ever before. Perhaps you have too. Have you? I would like you to seriously consider it. No doubt you have moved more to the extreme of whatever position you had before: that if liberal you have become more liberal, much more, and that if conservative much more conservative. I want you to consider another possibility as well.

     You are more extreme because the system wants you to be.

     The partisan polarization is not an accident. Congress has redrawn (gerrymandered) their districts to make as few elections as competitive as possible. No doubt because of a combination of reasons: a desire of these politicians to be less beholden to money, a desire to prevent any real competition for their jobs, and monetary pressure itself advocating for less competitive elections. The result is that it no longer pays to move to the center. It's a simple matter of election market politics. That's right, elections are a market. Previously, it paid (literally) to move to the center. Because elections were competitive there was profit, that is campaign contributions, available if a politicians was centrist. The key to power lied in being centrist. Not so anymore.

     And that has CHANGED YOU. You are now more partisan as a result. Yes, you, the reader of this. Since no one is rewarded for appealing to the center the cultural forces of moderation are absent. A change in the political markets has filtered all the way down to average people like you, and now you're more extreme.

     Think about it next time you rip someone ass for being on the other side of the aisle.

     So back to that passivity thing. When we recognize that we are being played, that our attitudes are shaped by things as trivial as political markets, we should understand the value of not being hysterical, of passivity. Please realize that people pay good money to shape your attitude, and to generate moral outrage in your mind. Elections are not just about candidates anymore but about issues linked to candidates. Attitudes are being carefully cultivated among the people by this nations elite. The fact that they are a liberal/conservative duopoly changes nothing. Your outrage is farmed. You are being controlled. You are being farmed, not for food (no yet), but for attitude.