Popular links

Topic maps


Claudio Monteverdi

Alexander Johannesen

Technologies used
topic map logo
xSiteable logo
Fri, 3 September 2004 13:00:00 GMT

Notice! This blog is no longer updated as such, and the new spot to point your feedreaders and blurry eyes are https://shelter.nu/blog/

This also means no more comments here, and especially not you spammers, you filthy floatsam of the internet!

"Either you're with us or against us."

"Either you're with us or against us." What idiot came up with this nonsense? Sure, we can dive into basic human psychology and find out how truisms combined with intimidation work on the human mind. We all even know that there are more colors to right and wrong than black and white, and yet we embrace this boolean way of deciding what's most important to us.

Allow me to rant a little in these highly political days, with elections coming up in both Australia and the USA;

With my broad sweeping brush, let me ask; How stupid are the Americans to think that either you're a democrat or you're a republican? How stupid are the Australians in thinking you're either a Liberal or you're a Labourer? In fact, how stupid is the human race to think that we have to choose an explicit banner or flag with its meaning set down in policies, as a means of "controlling things in the best interest of the democratic modern society." It is truly sickening.

My old grandfather, which I loved dearly, clinged to his red flag of Arbeiderpartiet, the norwegian Labour party. He fought during the second world war, and he was one of those who "built the country from scratch" after it was over. His loyalty to the party was overwhelming, and wouldn't move even in the light of evidence going against it. How stubborn a man that won't see the errors of loyalty.

We're all loyal to something; a party, a principle, a law, a set of directions, our wallet, a wife or a car, a brand, a way of thinking, and so on. It is not so much about being reasonable and critical about options that makes us do what we do. it is all about loyalty.

When I was young, my dad bought Technics electronic music equipment. He was a musician, and when he proclaimed that Technics was the good stuff, both his and my loyalty was forever bound to that seal of quality. If lesser quality was later found in a Technics item, it was because of a fault in that item, not the brand. We were loyal beyond the belief that Technics as a brand could change over time.

Think about something your loyal to; why are you loyal to it? Why are you forking out your monies and trust on this particular thing? Let's have a few more of my examples;

I belive that "Love conquers all", and it is inscribed on both mine and my wifes wedding rings in Glorious Latin. I've been loyal to this idiom all my life, even when it makes no sense to do so and in fact has proven itself wrong on several occasions. Love doesn't necesarily conquer all at all, but you can't degrade your principles down to mere "possible fun meme"s. That would be humiliating.

I now live in Australia, but as a norwegian I buy Jarlsberg cheese, not Coons Tasty (Those crazy Australians! If you got red hair, chances are your nickname is 'blue' ...) or Bega or any other such nonsense. Why should I? I know that Jarlsberg delivers the goods just the way I like it, and it is a norwegian cheese. Can't fail ... except that Jarlsberg really isn't worth the importance I give it. First of all, I don't really eat much cheese at all, and when I do it is in cooking, and pecularities of it is lost in the swag of other tastes. And the price is high for import cheese. And Coons or Bega ain't that horrible. And my tastes are changing. What the heck is my problem? Loyalty.

Now, all these little diversions are fun little experiments to think about, but let's dig into the politics of things, because that's the reason I started this in the first place.

In Australia there are Liberals (who really are conservative quasi-republicans) and Labour (which really are neo-liberal democrats) and if you vote for anyone else you're wierd, and even if you're alright with being wierd, your vote might still end up in either of the two piles because of the wierd voting rules in this country. In America there are Republicans (who are conservative republicans) and the Democrats (who really are neo-liberal Republicans). Now I ask the crucial question; who are you?

Pardon me while I laugh. First off; what is a republican? Someone who hates a democrat? And what the hell is a democrat, apart from someone who obviously want royalty or a sovereign power to rule the USA? Someone that believes in democracy? Ok, then; which democracy? The original greek idea? The original Greek reality? The pre-Weimar model? The actual reality of the Weimar republic? The socio-communist democracy of Czecoslovakia? Or the faschio-socialist Yugoslavia? They all held various dreams of a democratic model. How about the post-WW2 socialist democracy of Denmark? Or the 1960's socialist democracy of Norway? Or the 1980's alternative democratic-conservative Icelandic version? A mix of them?

How about none of them, because there is no such thing as a democratic notion to any modern version of the way we use that word. And why should there be? We're talking about political systems that affect millions upon millions of lives. The same applies to republicans, or labourers or liberals or whatever. The basic idea of a political agenda attached to a word such as these is truly a waste of time; you need to spend a lifetime working out what a political partys impact on everything might be, and given that the parties change constantly makes this task ... impossible. No, a better word for it is stupid. Bloody stupid. This is why all these parties have the notion of "either you're with us, or you're against us" because you can't possibly understand the implications involved anyways, so we better gang up and think we're all thinking the same.

Hey, let's get uniforms! That will keep "us" and "them" clearly apart. This way, the republicans (dark blue), nazis and neo-conservative (brown), liberals (blue), democrats (pinkish, maybe?),labourers (red), communists and socialists (both obviously blood red) and anarchists (yellow, although they would like to be red, too) and Greens (obviously green) all apart. This way we can see from a distance that a Free Thinker (I'll give them a lofty beige color) is coming my way, and I can avoid any contact with him by crossing the street or something.


What idiot follows this strawmans logic? I mean, apart from politicians and people who thinks that political ideas and ideals are catalysed through a group of people called a Party, channeled through "western democratic systems" and done for "the good of the everyday man."

In my world, a party is a bunch of people having fun while drinking and talking politics. Party politics is the drinking and fun taken out.

Permalink (Fri, 3 September 2004 13:00:00 GMT)| Comments (3) | Opinions
( Thu, Sep 9 2004 )
To answer, 'What idiot follows this strawmans logic?'.
The politicians. None of the rest of us Bega lover's do.
Alex ( Fri, Sep 10 2004 )
Hehe, good answer. :)
Aine ( Tue, Sep 21 2004 )
Heh. Well, if you had George W. Bush in charge of your country (whether that's Norway or Australia), and if you're anything like me, you'd quickly align yourself with whatever his opposition is, regardless of what they call themselves. Idealistically, I'm looking for someone with a brain who might possibly figure a way out of this mess. I hope for honesty, but politics and honesty seem to be mutually exclusive ideals.