posted on May, 29 2008 @ 08:22 PM
The sad truth is that people need demagogues like Rush. We all like to think of ourselves as independent thinkers, but any totally independent
thinker would be unable to communicate with anyone. There would be no established common ground on which to base a discussion.
The vast majority of my ideas and opinions are not my own. They're things I've heard, seen, or read that seemed interesting to me at the time, and
that I put into my own words and thoughts. And of my 'unique' ideas, most all of them are syntheses, with small amounts of my own insights and
spin. My guess is that, as individuals, we are all less 'uniquely' creative that we choose to believe (which only makes creativity and true
individuality all the more precious and amazing).
In the media, the trend I've noticed is towards sort of 'Balkanization of viewpoint'. People are more and more seeking out media sources that fit
the worldview that they want to have, in which they can be stable, comfortable, and not have to think too much 'outside the box'. Culture is
turning into many different 'regions' of viewpoint. It gives people a way to self-identify without have to actually self-realize. Hence the
In a way, this can actually add to stability in a culture. And stagnation. In general, the most stable, unchanging systems are not those without
internal forces that might move them, but those in which strong, opposing internal forces are enmeshed in a complex balance. Strong, opinionated
'standard bearers' pull large portions of the population in various opposing directions.
The danger is common ground. As viewpoints diverge, individuals from different viewpoints are no longer able to constructively communicate. Try
getting a stereotypical 'liberal' and a stereotypical 'conservative' to discuss a specific issue and, most often, the discussion degenerates into
misunderstanding, canned rhetoric, and useless argumentation.
Yes I think this is a problem with America (and not uniquely America, either). In fact, since I think that this process is being deliberately
manipulated, I'm inclined to agree that it is 'the' problem.
[edit on 29-5-2008 by Ian McLean]