why conservapedia is not funny
Totalitarian systems usually start as propagandistic movments that ostensibly teach people to "believe what they want," but that opening gambit is a ruse. This insistence on the primacy of personal opinion regardless of facts destablizes and destroys the primacy of all fact. This process leads inevitably to the big lie. Facts are useful only if they bolster the message. The use of mass-marketing techniques to persuade rather than brainwash allows millions of followers to accept the toxic totalitarian line, having been tricked into believing it's their own. Ironically, at the outset the movement seemingly encourages people to think "independently" or "couragesouly." It presents its ideology of creationism, repackaged as "intelligent design," as an alternative to Darwinian theories of evolution. The power of these non-reality-based movements is that they appeal to our deepest-held, most primitive prejudices, our classism, sexism, racism - perversions based on fear of complexity or change. So the propaganda contains much of what we already yearn to believe. Its subversive message is that it's OK to believe what we want, to believe lies.
In the promulgation of the totalitarian belief system, at first we are told we all have right to an opinion, in short, a right to believe anything. Soon, under the iron control of an empowered totalitarian movement, facts become worthless, kept or discarded according to an ideological litmus tests. Lies become true. And once the totalitarians are in power, facts are ruthlessly manioulated or kept hidden to support the lie. Hannah Arendt called the principle behind this process "nihilistic relativism." The goal of creationism is not to offer an alternative. Its goal is the destruction of the core vales of an open society - the ability to think for oneself, to draw independent conclusions, to express dissent when judgment and common sense tell you something is wrong, to be self-critical, to challenge authority, to advocate for change and to accept that there are other views, different ways of being, that are morally and socially acceptable.
--- Chris Hedges, American Fascists, pgs. 115-116
If you haven't already noticed, light posting this week: teh jay-oh-bee is keeping Dex down, man, keeping me down, as is this cold creeping into my chestal region. More bloggy soon.