Post #6 of my 12th Anniversary Blogging Marathon, post #4,263 of my dozen years of daily blogging.
I doubt Robert Bidonatto has any clue of who I am, in terms of when I took some note of his writing back in USENET in 1994-96, on alt.pholosophy.objectivism and later, humanities.pholosopy.objectivism.
These days, he appears to be doing well. I recently got wind of his Faceboof outlet, and I’m anxious to read his two books: HUNTER: A Dylan Hunter Justice Thriller; and now, the sequel: BAD DEEDS. I’m also anxious to see if they’re Ragnar Danneskjöld-esque. Apparently, the first was a Kindle best seller.
I commented on an introduction to a post he did this morning, like this:
Bidinotto is spot on about this and it’s something I rarely see from the libertarians who basically often strike me as bean counters in the historical/philosophical realm, an obsession with the nuts and bolts of cause —> effect, but never addressing the real story line or explaining it in terms of a true story or narrative. It’s the “tragedy of the intellectuals.”
It’s weird when, someone you don’t even know—I only read some of his posts—comes back and “bites you” over 20 years later.
My narration, above, was over this introduction to a link he was sharing…and let me just say that I stoutly appreciate a man who actually takes a bit to substantially introduce something he’s sharing. I don’t do it all the time, but perhaps I ought to share less and frame what I do share, more.
IT’S BEEN GOING ON FOR DECADES, but only recently have the clueless Republicans begun to grok the power of “narratives.” Erick Erickson, editor at “Red State,” has started to catch on…but barely. As in this linked column, they interpret “narratives” (small-“n”) narrowly — as meaning stories that are meant to manipulate or ignore facts about a specific, particular issue or event. (E.g., the Regime’s “narrative” about Benghazi was “an anti-Muslim video instigated the attack.”)
They do NOT see any wider implications. They certainly don’t understand that ALL of us develop, starting at an early age, a “Core” or “Master” or “Meta-Narrative” — a basic story about how the world works, and our roles in it all. It is at this core level that our basic worldview, identity, and personality structure become established, often rigidly closed to alteration, and resistant to logic, empirical facts, or even personal harm.
For many decades, the left has understood and exploited the power of narratives/stories on this “meta” level. In promoting their agendas, they’ve drawn upon primal myths embodying tribal, collectivist ethics and its corresponding us-versus-them, zero-sum, “winner takes all” economic worldview. (Consider, as just one set of examples, the hugely popular anti-technology. anti-capitalist, pro-environmentalist films of James Cameron.) Every time Obama, Hillary, Sanders, Biden, Reid, Pelosi, or the pundits at Salon, MSNBC, et al. open their mouths, it’s to tell new “victim” stories rooted in that tribalist Meta-Narrative and stir up more racial/ethnic/group antagonisms and hostility, with redistribution (taking) as the go-to remedy for all social ills.
Conservatives, libertarians, and certainly Republicans remain generations behind the left in understanding any of this, let alone in crafting a counter-Narrative embodying individualist virtues, and its corresponding “win/win,” creativity-based, “trader, not taker” socio-political agenda. They don’t know how to frame or tell compelling stories that romanticize creative individualist heroes, or that cast collectivist “takers” as villains. They have ceded to the left the entire realm of crafting the “morality plays” by which people decide who are heroes and villains, and what constitute “good” and “bad.” Then they stare, stupified, at a world in which reason and morality seem to have been turned upside-down…and desperately try to counter it all with more of the same old logic, empirical facts, and catalogs of “harm.” They don’t grasp that these sorts of arguments have been rendered moot by the Core Narratives accepted (in whole or in part) by countless millions…including many self-proclaimed conservatives, libertarians, and Republicans, too.
Just to clarify one thing in what he writes. I really don’t mind narrative exposition like what James Cameron or anyone does. Adults ought to be able to handle any ideas competing for narrative status created by other adults and indeed, it’s often enough some spice and seasoning on this life—and it could be a collection of what-ifs? The thing is, you need an “entertainment brain.” You also need a discriminate brain. We were taught this as children; or, some of us were.
Bidinotto was introducing a link to this article at Real Clear Politics: Narratives Over Facts.
It’s all nice & fine, and it’s a high salute from me to Bidonatto for even touching on it at all. You know: conservatives? Your Manger Scene Narrative has been dead for a couple of decades, now. Your doG is dead, and isn’t it just time to move on…unless you’re reminiscent, somehow, of the Muslim, 14th Century, Dirt Scratching primitives who care only about values after death? They take up arms in service of their doG, while you prove that your doG is dead, as you agitate over an annual display of its tombstone in the city square.
Don’t worry! We all still adore the Jesus-refugee narrative. I’m serious about that, and I love it, and I love the songs. I grew up with this. It’s my meta-narrative within a Christian paradigm. I’ve been humming fond remembrances lately, Bing Crosby never being far, come this time of year. But as an adult, I keep childish things in context. To your great credit, Christians—and Jews too—you have set very lots of it all aside, taking up fanciful narrative where an absolute, inflexible—and often often enough, murderous—paradigm used to be. There are too many reasons to celebrate many traditions of narrative, within a number of paradigms. The paradigms need to be set to rest but there is wealth in the paradigms, in the form of a wealth of narrative. I think they call it literature. There’s some good, some bad, but first of all, you must be an adult.
Anyone want to leapfrog and finally understand what I’m talking about?
Let’s do a bit of school. There are paradigms and narratives. You all are embroiled and bridled in both, and by design, you don’t really see it (see: Matrix): because you’re in it. How can you possibly see that what you believe and accept as given is questionable, unless exposed to situations where opposite things are givens, and people manage to build lives around those opposite sets of premises, assumptions?
You see, you live a life of confirmation bias because the premises, assumption, and narratives that make up your paradigm have been crafted over centuries to correspond to your experience, so long as your cultural borders are defended by your family, your friends, your community, local government, state, and nation state. Everyone’s all in, to make sure you and everyone don’t check your premises or question your assumptions.
And here’s the rub. The onslaught going on now, with multiculturalism, diversity, historical revisionism, Earth is a victim of white people, men in particular? …
Inferior, failed premises and assumptions, crafted into narratives in attempts to create new paradigms. But the foundational material is an utter failure. Look at the failure of institutionalized and industrialized communism, their very best fucking shot, and how it basically starved people. Thing is, people starve, ideas don’t. This is just a clue into how those of the left are, on top, evil, and those on the bottom, dumb and clueless always in wait for another bedtime story. The right is still morning the death of their doG & Cuntry narrative.
Time for smart iconoclasts, I’d say.
So, I’ve put up this vid many times. Literally nobody cares. maybe six people have watched it out of six times I’ve put it up, but I’m doing it again. If you are smart, and no foul if you’re just dumb and can’t understand it, but it does pretty much explain every single element of the foregoing.