Pur Autre Vie

I'm not wrong, I'm just an asshole

Monday, July 31, 2017

Everything Turns to... Culture War?

Just a quick observation. A bizarre thing that has happened in recent years is that seemingly ideological or interest-group issues have been fought as though they are part of the culture war. I suppose this is because conservatives believe that they benefit by "extending the domain of the struggle" (apologies to... wow, Michel Houellebecq!). In other words, conservatives have succeeded by convincing voters that politics is a struggle between "the elites" and regular people, and so they apply that framework to everything. The particular example I am thinking of is climate change—you would think it would be a technical issue and the politics would be driven by interest groups (coal, oil, renewables) and to a lesser extent by ideologues (e.g. libertarians who don't believe fighting climate change is within the legitimate scope of government action). Of course interest groups and ideologues are in the arena, but to a surprising degree the issue is being fought like a battle in the culture wars. And I think this is true of all kinds of issues (for instance, I suspect a large share of the remaining opposition to the Affordable Care Act falls into the same framework). It is bizarre and oppressive.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once you've built the infrastructure to do this, the marginal cost for doing it on the next issue is very low. Likewise, one you've written the scripts, you can have your paid spokesmen read them for every issue without needing to write new scripts or hire new spokesfolk. It doesn't seem like this is or should be surprising.

1:33 PM  

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