Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Quickies: An Important Distinction

     There are many causes out there, as many as there are persons promoting them. No two promoters are exactly alike...with the result that no two causes are exactly alike, even if they bear the same names, the same physical trappings, and appear to allege and promote the same things.

     The promoter cannot help but alter the cause he promotes. It’s inherent in the possession of personal preferences and priorities.

     The consequence of this recognition is that drawing the distinction between the promoter and the cause has become supremely important. The promoter could be an outright villain, guilty of a thousand abominations and in the process of planning and executing a thousand more; yet his cause could still be logically and morally sound. Conversely, the promoter could be an angel made flesh, a composite of all the best qualities of Thomas Jefferson, Florence Nightingale, and Albert Einstein; yet his cause could be utterly, morally vile, perhaps because it had seduced him with false assertions or a chain of pseudo-logic his intellect was inadequate to refute.

     The cause is what demands our strict attention. The identification and prosecution of villains, and the discovery and exaltation of heroes, are matters for another board of review.

     This exhortation might sound like “previous work” to an intelligent person on the Right. Yet in practice it’s ignored, if not consciously violated, many times every day. The reason is simple; it’s the same as the reason the promoter inevitably alters the cause. We all have our individual preferences and priorities, and for some of us the highest priority is to be seen among the “right” associates.

     Note how frequently the Left exploits the seducibility of entertainment celebrities, knowing that the Bellwether Effect will draw unreflective others, eager to “associate” with such glamorous figures, into their train. Note also how often we of the Right celebrate the discovery that this or that celebrity espouses conservative or libertarian views. Even those of us who know that the cause and the promoter must be kept distinct are susceptible to the power of the Bellwether Effect.

     Yet ultimately, the cause – the set of ideas promoted and the evidence and reasoning used to promote them – is all that matters. Causes almost always outlive their originators, even if they’re never adopted by any great number of people at one time.

     Please, please: If you attach yourself to a cause – a conception of rights, a campaign for some legislative outcome, or a political alignment, or anything similar – make certain you’re doing it for the cause itself as you understand it, and not to “be seen with” others whose names have been associated with it.

     Then you should make certain that you really understand and can articulate the premises and implications of your cause...because you, its promoter, will change it as surely as the Sun will rise tomorrow.

1 comment:

Eaton Rapids Joe said...

Bellwether: A wether (a neutered sheep or goat) used to lead a flock into a slaughter house.

Point taken.