Tuesday, February 26, 2013
The International Doublethink Olympics
One of my right-wing-loon acquaintances posted this to Facebook tonight. This seemed out of touch with reality even for him. His page or profile or timeline on Facebook is, of course, Facebook's. (Just as this blog is not mine, but Blogger's.) I've noticed that it seems to be the right-wingers who are most likely to pass around rumors that Facebook is going to start charging for access, and who demand that it be free. It's not only crazy leftists who think that Information Wants To Be Free, who thinks that the world owes them a living (many of my right-wing acquaintances are on Social Security and Medicare, fittingly enough, and are among the 47% who don't pay Federal income taxes), or maybe they're just like two-year-olds, screaming "NO!" reflexively whenever they don't get their way. They are outstandingly good at Doublethink, holding two (or more) contradictory beliefs in their minds at once. Which may be why their activity on Facebook mostly consists of passing along memes like the one above: maybe they can't compose a sentence of their own while they're juggling Keep Your Government Hands Off My Medicare, You Kenyan Socialist! in their heads.
On the third hand, there's this post from Blogarach, who barely beat me to the idea (I'd been reading the same Glenn Greenwald piece he takes off from) and did better with it than I probably would have. While it's legitimate to be concerned about government infringements of our civil liberties, few pay enough attention to the fact that more and more of our lives are controlled by corporations, which are not obliged to respect our privacy or our freedoms, and have no accountability. This issue got some notice at the beginning of the Occupy movement, when people began to realize that there were fewer and fewer public spaces in New York City anymore: the parks have been largely taken over by corporations, who can be nice and let you share them if you're good, but are not really obligated to do it. And if they don't like your looks or your behavior, they can chop off your head.
But who knows? Maybe my loony friends are right to demand that big corporations give them everything for free. But as the Teabaggers found out when they began sounding too populist and criticizing big business and finance, the corporate money that supported them tended to dry up.