November 6, 2008

Conservative Ideals Become Crude Precepts: Jeffrey Scheuer

“The foundational principle of liberalism is the relative complexity of its intellectual and moral-political universe.
…Conversely, the quintessential feature and great polemical asset of conservatism is its relative simplicity.
…these simpler conservative ideals become crude precepts, which mask a host of uncritical assumptions and myths. Here are a few examples:

Democratic government is primarily a threat to individual freedoms, and not their guarantor…

Taxation is tantamount to theft, and public spending equivalent to waste.

Unfettered economic markets are just, and business enterprise uniformly serves the public interest.

Rights not expressly enumerated in the Constitution “do not exist.”

Dissent, especially in wartime, is unpatriotic.

“Special interests” are running the country or control the liberal media, but not the conservative agenda.

… They appeal at once to self-interest and to our thirst for simplicity: the politics of the self is simpler than that of self-and-others.”

Scheuer, Jeffrey: The Sound Bite Society: How Television Helps the Right and Hurts the Left. 2001: Routledge, New York. pp. 164-65

“Such condensation symbols are the hard currency of electronic communication, made to order for television sound bites, and for the simpler, more egocentric values and messages of the right. Precision, accuracy, and depth or complexity of meaning require that they be critically unpacked to reveal what they conceal, compress or obscure.”

Ibid. pp. 166

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editor @ 10:38 pm

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