Our Metapolitical World

An awesome person in my life linked this very thoughtful article on Facebook today:


It got me thinking about how everything about our cultural views is interrelated with our political views.

I want this to be an ongoing dialogue, so I am really just going to give a start to the conversation, and see how it gets interpreted.

In the article, the notion that Miley Cyrus is falling into a patriarchal trap and needs to be protected/enlightened/talked out of it is being compared to the notion that she is simply choosing a message that makes sense to her, and should be left to do so. The author points out that, while neither is wrong, both are failing to evaluate the scope of the argument in its entirety.

In my view, we can call the want to protect MC from the patriarchy a liberalistic perspective.

The want to simply leave her to express whatever she deems appropriate for her brand seems like a libertarian perspective.

I will interpolate, and say that I think the conservative view is that she is vulgar, and should be disallowed such conduct. (But, just to be sure, we should watch the video repeatedly)

It really got me thinking about all of the dynamics of our collective political consciousness, and how much they appear in seemingly unrelated parts of life.

It also got me thinking about how common it is, in our short history as a country, that we have made foolish policy by failing to look at the truth and complexity of the issues.

Take prohibition, for example. The 18th amendment required a long, hard fight by an unlikely alliance. The two main thrusts, as I recall, were the religious fundamentalists, who wanted to eradicate ‘sin,’ and women’s rights advocates, who wanted eradicate domestic violence perpetrated by drunken men. (In looking it up, I am reminded that business interests thought that outlawing liquor would increase the productivity of workers.)

…I say “liquor” because most proponents of prohibition did not expect the enforcement mechanisms (Volstead Act, etc.) would count beer and wine under their definitions of ‘intoxicating beverages.’

Anyway, I digress. The bottom line for me is that none of these perspectives include an evaluation of the ‘bad acts’ of individuals. Each proponent group misses what is likely the central point: some people do terrible things. I am beginning to peel back the curtain on our current policy discourse on things like raising the ‘debt ceiling.’ I wonder, is the problem that we see the issues too differently, or that we do not see them at all?

I leave it in your hands…



2 thoughts on “Our Metapolitical World

  1. From my perspective, one of the biggest problems is that we can’t really understand the complexity of the social structures in which we exist. The nature of these structures is such that they are imposed upon us, but also that we exist within them in a way that perpetuates them. Attempts to dismantle these structures are so minute in comparison to the vast complexity of the structures themselves, and are inevitably co-opted into the structure to become part of the fabric of society. Before we can dismantle the structures, we must first be able to understand them in a really broad and complex way, from multiple perspectives. This, however, is like attempting to describe the outside of a house in which you live, and from which you’ve never exited.

    • xxhh, I think you’re right. Tomorrow I am going to get into the questions of the capacity of the electorate to understand their own interests and act in accordance.
      In the mean time, I would love to know what you think the origins of these systems is. Did our society unwittingly create them over time, or were they put in place by interested parties in order to further a cause?

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