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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Saturday 25 January 2014

Sins and Stones

I'm a bit of a simpleton this way - I believe that people are like icebergs, with the vast majority of what makes us who we are residing beneath the surface, often in ways we can't perceive ourselves.  While some of what we see is similar and other parts different - culture, ethnicity, language, sexual preference, etc - even among what we do see, we all have more in common than we do different.

It's by defining ourselves as distinct from others (how many self-labels among ethnocultural groups simply translate as "the people?) that, to a large degree, we understand who we are and what those Others are not.  It's a particularly bad practice in politics.

At it's absolute worst, we give in completely to hatred of other groups and cease to consider anything more than the basest metaphors for those it's convenient for us to find distasteful.  My grandfather spend time at Buchenwald, as did Elie Wiesel - it's a story I've been exposed to in sum detail.

You cannot intellectualize arguments in favour of hate and hate-based policy; you can confabulate them, you can bundle them and you can defend them with vicious attacks, but to intellectualize means to distill emotional feeling from evidence-based fact.  Conscious thought and emotional bias are two different cognitive processes.

It's I die or you do, brother - what more facts do you need than that?

There is plenty of blame to go around - in Canadian politics, we have increasingly disparaged opponents with biting, character-diminishing words and defending right or wrong those in our corner.  All Parties do it - and continue to do it, in regularly-disseminated fund-requesting emails.  It was only a matter of time before one Party, it's young operatives weaned on such a cynical internal couture, started turning their gaze outwards.

We are all increasingly living in glass houses, folks; it's a reality we're slowly becoming conscious to.

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