The Renaissance of Cognitive Dissonance


That conservative-leaning thinkers, politician, and pundits of first-world countries think that hard work will make you rich and thus society and the economy is a meritocracy is bullshit. Nobody in developed countries, not to mention the rest of the world, gets to choose their circumstances of birth. That equality under the law (which still doesn’t exist, but that’s a separate rant) in “free” countries and “democracies” is seen as giving everyone an opportunity to be the upper class makes no logical sense, and it’s a myth that’s spread to perpetuate class inequalities. The ongoing global financial crisis is enlightening more people to this uneven distribution of wealth, but ineffective or just plain impossible solutions are being shouted out by various sources and many people are led the wrong way.

The Tea Party’s notion that it’s the size of government that’s making people poor is inaccurate to say the least. There are merits to libertarianism but they are not related to the distribution of wealth – that claim is perhaps parallel to
claiming that objectivism reduces crime. The Tea Party candidates who were elected in the United States’ 2010 midterm elections were voted for by the uneducated who may or may not have been loud, who were persuaded by the loud who may or may not have been uneducated. In either case, people were manipulated into believing there’s an ideology there, some principles fundamental to the basis of their country. There’s not. When town hall meetings are interrupted by furious citizens demanding the government take its hands off their Medicare, the basis of this movement is clearly cognitive dissonance. When filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi went to Mississippi for a segment of her Real Time with Bill Maher series of state-to-state talks with regular citizens, one white Mississippi stereotype talked about the government being too big, but when asked why he lives on welfare and food stamps he said he felt he was entitled to do so. Cognitive. Dissonance.

The wealthy love this movement because it has people who are underpaid if not poor supporting deregulation that removes checks and balances of a free country’s economy. As idealistic as the Founding Fathers of their country were in writing the constitution, that they owned slaves at the time proves that the creation of the United States of America was based on cognitive dissonance. In that sense I suppose these movements are following in those footsteps – but the shoe prints were first set in bullshit, and I think the successive generations have worked hard to steer around those to get to the same goal.

In Canada, with a Conservative government (see past two posts) doing all it can to fuck up our gorgeous natural environment, the difference between rich and poor is not only being widened in wealth but in the freedom to breathe air and drink water. Conservatives and conservationists are close together in the dictionary but couldn’t be further apart in ideology. And that in the last election the Canadian people thought they would do us enough good to vote them in as a majority demonstrates either a lack of care for what makes our country important in the world, or a lack of knowledge of what political activity this would brew.

In the last UK election they voted in a (minority, which for some reason was a shock to them even though that was Canada for three of the past four elections) Conservative government amidst the Euro Zone crisis. Since the UK hasn’t given up their pound in favour of the euro, the economic future of a continent holding more developed countries than any other doesn’t depend on them so strongly, but the crisis that is happening and the elections that need to go on from governments in such a crisis being deposed (some of them for additional reasons, like former Italian PM Berlusconi being a chauvinistic nymphomaniac). The first recent election in Greece was so divided that the parties furthest from each other on the abstract concept of “the political spectrum” were the most voted for, and couldn’t possibly form a government between them. In the next election, moderates won. And as glad as I am that Greek fascists didn’t get voted in (because foreigners are kind of necessary to keep the Greek economy going), I don’t trust moderates to make any decisions outside conventional options. Irresponsible spending has placed a burden on the average Greek citizen in present and future. Austerity would revoke any support for the average Greek citizen in present and future. Either one doesn’t affect the wealthy nearly as much as it affects the middle class and the poor. The cognitive dissonance of Greeks doesn’t seem to be so much supporting a political ideology against their best interests, but thinking that setting things on fire will improve their future.

This went in an entirely different direction than what I originally planned. But it provides useful background information to why even the free world is so unjust, and why it isn’t getting any better for the common person.


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