Saturday, April 19, 2008

Preaching to the converted

The failure of the NDP to rise federally is reflected in this article:

"My friend did not disagree with me as to the likely counterproductive effects of such a demonstration. Instead, he argued that this simply did not matter. His answer was that even if it was counterproductive, even if it turned people against war protesters, indeed even if it made them more likely to support the continuation of the war, he would still participate in the demonstration and he would do so for one simple reason — because it was, in his words, good for his soul.

What I saw as a political act was not, for my friend, any such thing. It was not aimed at altering the minds of other people or persuading them to act differently. Its whole point was what it did for him."-Lee Harris, 'Al Qaeda's Fantasy Ideology' in Policy Review

The desire to stand "at the right hand of God" seems to trump rationality and common sense. I suppose it arises from a human desire to raise one's social capital by showing a disingenuous commitment to the causes of one's companions. A support of the party rather than the policy. And at risk of generalising, this emotional drive informs religious fundamentalists, social activists, political ideologues and self-righteous prigs.

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"If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country."
-E.M. Forster