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Friday, December 24, 2004

Morality & Ethics 

The right wing has owned the "values" issue for so long - stole it so long ago - that most liberals/progressives genuinely believe that it belongs to them. This is arguably their greatest coup: to effectively neutralize progressivism's organizing principle and turn us into economic plan salesmen. While we were struggling to compete with them on their turf, the right wing co-opted the "values" issue entirely and used it with heartless precision to divide the nation and conquer the government.

Now we find ourselves in a situation where the immoral define and represent morals, the unethical define and represent ethics, and the valueless define and represent "values." (This is what reality looks like when it's strung out on evil.)

The people responsible for this mother of all "catastrophic successes" have very narrow interests that don't include morals or ethics. As a matter of fact, these things are anathema to their interests. But they know that people won't respect - let alone accept - authority when it's devoid of moral and ethical constraints. This is their big dilemma, and it will lead to their undoing.

The unprincipled choice is to undermine and attempt to redefine "values" in order to make them practically worthless - which is what they're in the process of doing. The problem is that this only creates a dissonant "reality" that can't be maintained indefinitely because of its inherent unreliability and lack of integrity. The dissonance either fades, or it openly declares war against reality. At this point in our predicament it can go either way.

The "new reality" hucksters were correct about one thing: "values" were a deciding factor in this election. We won because of "values." We recognized the threat to our "values." We're fighting to prevent them from euthanizing our "values." They don't want us to know this because it will lead to them losing the only issue that gives them the appearance of legitimacy. They're making such a strident effort to paint the opposite picture because they're scared and desperate.

We need to take this issue back; it's ours. Until we re-ignite progressivism's organizing principle, our efforts will lack the focus necessary to defeat the dissonance that threatens to murder reality.

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