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The Real Problem Is the Politicization of Everything

Kai Weiss
January 29th, 2019
American Institute for Economic Research
Comments (52) Read by 1,277 people

This article was originally published by Kai Weiss at the American Institute for Economic Research

The Covington Catholic High School fiasco that has developed over the last weeks has shown more than ever why many are skeptical about the media these days. Facts and context — the reality on the ground — were put in the background in favor of a fable that confirmed a political allegory.

What is most shocking is that in today’s world, this is not an exception anymore. Much blame may be shifted to social media as a phenomenon that makes people feel safe in the anonymity of the online world and thus less inhibited than they would otherwise be. Still, the Covington Catholic saga is simply a symptom of a much bigger problem: the politicization of society — or, indeed, everything in life.

Needless to say, politicization is not new. But it feels as though, in today’s dramatically polarized climate, it is more extreme than in decades before. The Gillette ad, perhaps the only other “news story” that has garnered as much attention as Covington Catholic this year, is a prime example: regardless of what one thinks of it in the end, the question needs to be put forward why Gillette even thought it necessary to make a political statement in a commercial for razors. One needs to ask, to mention another example, why Ben & Jerry’s ever felt the need to launch a new ice cream named for “the Resistance.”

Consumed and Blinded

These days, it seems almost an impossibility to meet family and loved ones and not discuss Trump, Brexit, or the European elections. It seems unavoidable to be quickly judged by other humans not by your character but your political views. Everyone who is generally a Trump supporter has to be a fascist with whom one cannot interact anymore. Everyone who is generally a Democrat has to be a socialist or member of the elite with whom one cannot interact anymore.

Everyone is defined merely by one’s politics, by one’s party allegiance — whether one voted Republican or Democrat or Libertarian in the last election, or whether one was in favor of Brexit. Every issue is framed in these terms. A case in point for this is certainly also the Covington Catholic boys, who, for some reason, wore MAGA hats at a rally that was supposedly about preserving life. Again, a rally on principle developed into the sanctification of a great leader.

Why We Care

All of this is not to say that politics should not be important. Politics influences all of our lives in innumerable ways day in, day out. And as Micah Watson notes in a must-read essay, it is quite natural to be worried when your grandpa is voting Trump or your niece is feeling the Bern. “True friendship,” Watson writes, depends “on a shared understanding of what is good.” And

when our neighbors endorse a significantly different political vision than we do, we intuitively sense that this is more than a mere disagreement about how to solve a problem, like two college roommates on a road trip bickering over the best way to get to spring break. This is a radical (to the root) disagreement about what counts as a problem in the first place.

Thus, “we should feel some sense of alienation when our friends and our neighbors endorse a position we find wrong or even abhorrent.”

But when people threaten children, call their relatives at the Thanksgiving table racist white supremacists or naïve libs who need to be owned, and when someone like Hillary Clinton goes so far as to say that Democrats “cannot be civil” anymore with Republicans, it may have gone too far. As Karl Salzmann writes, when the occupant of the White House becomes more central to the way we treat people than our views on “morality, virtue, and imagination,” this is a problem. Politics, then, may have become too important indeed.

This is a problem the great C.S. Lewis also saw when he mused that we should focus on “a household laughing together over a meal, or two friends talking over a pint of beer, or a man alone reading a book that interests him.” Meanwhile, “economies, politics, law, armies, and institutions, save insofar as they prolong and multiply such scenes, are a mere ploughing the sand and sowing the ocean, a meaningless vanity and vexation of the spirit. Collective activities are, of course, necessary, but this is the end to which they are necessary.”

So what is a possible way out of this conundrum? A multitude of proposals have been made to detoxicate today’s climate, and it would frankly be pretentious for me to claim to know the solution. Nonetheless, one surefire way, as friends of liberty will quickly point out, is to get politics out of our lives. As Kristian Niemietz notes, “The most obvious antidote to a dysfunctional, adversarial political culture is just to do less politics.”

What does that require? It necessitates a dramatic reduction in the size and scope of the state, the building of a wall between the state (so long as it exists) and the rest of our lives, and the restoration of the conviction that society works best when it is left alone. In other words, we need desperately to resurrect the vision of classical liberalism and draw lessons from its modern heirs in the libertarian tradition.

As John Stuart Mill summarized in 1869: “The modern conviction, the fruit of a thousand years of experience, is, that things in which the individual is the person directly interested, never go right but as they are left to his own discretion; and that any regulation of them by authority, except to protect the rights of others, is sure to be mischievous.”

While on the market and in radically decentralized systems, disagreements and polarization are not a problem, centralized political decision-making has in its nature that only one view can prevail. Suddenly, who is in the White House or whether regulation X or Y is passed does matter a great deal, and those with a different opinion than you on it may seem like actual enemies. Within voluntary settings, one can live with people that one disagrees with. All parties curate a way of life that works while living in peace with others.

To regain civility in human interactions and finally treat other human beings as human beings again, we would do well to get politics out of human affairs.

About the Author

Kai Weiss is a Research Fellow at the Austrian Economics Center and a board member of the Hayek Institute. His main research interests are political philosophy, European politics, and technology, and his works have been published in various outlets, including CityAM, CapX, The American Conservative, and the Mises Institute. Follow him on Twitter.

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Author: Kai Weiss
Views: Read by 1,277 people
Date: January 29th, 2019
Website: https://www.aier.org/

Copyright Information: This content has been contributed to SHTFplan by a third-party or has been republished with permission from the author. Please contact the author directly for republishing information.

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52 Comments...

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  1. Deplorable Neal Jensen says:

    Its only an issue because the leftist scum made everything an issue since 2016 by calling everyone right of center facists and racists. There is only one group to blame. Demoncrats/leftists.

    • durangokidd says:

      Political participation has never been more important in America than today if we value the nation our Founders bequeathed to US and want it to continue as a bastion of freedom, personal liberty, and self determination.

      The LEFT has mounted an all out assault on real American values & liberties, using euphemisms, lies, and outright propaganda to undermine the nation.

      One only needs to google the “45 Goals of Communism” and the “Eight Point Plan of Saul Alinsky” HRC mentor to understand what is happening in our nation today: The LEFT is attempting to unravel the fabric of America by restricting our liberties by Rules & Regulations while facilitating the invasion of the illiterate, unwashed masses from the Third World to infiltrate the USA and overwhelm our social, political, and financial resources.

      Regardless of what your personal opinion of TRUMP the man might be, he is clearly not a racist and the LEFT continues to repeat this as their mantra to undermine him and his duly elected authority. This is grossly unfair to TRUMP & the Nation.

      Patriots had an opportunity in 2018 Elections to put the nail in the Communist Coffin. We failed. If a Leftist takes power in 2020 or 2024 and controls both Houses of Congress; the end of America as we know it will occur: TEOAAWKI !!!

      Patriots must renew their efforts at the grassroots level, join the Republican Party, throw out the RINOS, and take control of the Government in 2020. All politics are local. Do your part where you live. 🙂

  2. Maranatha says:

    The DNC is full of crazies, kooks, perverts, communists, Socialists, limpwrists, soyboys, bulldykes, Luciferians, etc.

    They are no longer Democrats pushing for states rights, but insane traitors pushing federalism, the very opposite of what every Democrat stood for in history!

    Face the facts that conservative Republicans and Christians and Libertarians are facing an ideological war.

    The left no longer desires a free exchange of ideas and diversity. The left hates white folks. That is 180 degrees out from their bigoted former ideas of hating black folks. They are pushing to make the USA into South Africa and if you are white, a veteran, a Christian, and male then you are marked for extermination.

    For gosh sakes arm yourselves. Compromise didn’t work for Neville Chamberlain and it won’t work for us!

    • Maranatha says:

      Don’t think if you are Black or Hispanic or Asian that the DNC will let you live because if you are a Christian and support POTUS, then you are the wrong kind of minority as you cannot be controlled with platitudes.

      You cannot reason with those who loathe you. We are right at the cusp of Civil War 2.0. It’s not about dialogue and bipartisanship. Not when the DNC will not disavow ANTIFA, BAMN, and BLM who are all leftist terrorist groups.

      You would be crazy to negotiate with armed thugs calling for your extermination.

      • The Deplorable Renegade says:

        Maranatha, once again you make perfect sense. AMEN to all of your posts.

        • Genius says:

          The real problem is people are stupid as fook and fall for this dog and pony shit! I can’t put in words my disgust of humanity as a whole. No smarter than a fookin petri dish of bacteria!

          • Panther says:

            This socio-political bullshit is coming to a head and is gonna break to one side or the other. For many years we had a somewhat civil, regardless of disagreement, electorate. Over the years the political left has saturated our education system with a “government will take care of you as long as you hate our opponents” mentality. It became full blown when Obama took office. “Hate rich people and hate whitey” became the new norm. Think about it, 13% of our population is black and a half black becomes president. The left is very effective when it comes to brainwashing people, especially young people. There’s much more, I’m sure you know. I’ve never been as concerned for this country and ALL our citizens, as I am now. I truly hope this doesn’t turn anymore violent than it already has. Here’s a thought- many people know roughly, at any given time, how much they earn in a year but do you know, other than tax time, how much of your money is confiscated every week? I say probably not. And do you know what it gets spent on? And do you have a say in what it gets spent on? Again, probably not. The point I’m making is we’re not really taxpayers cause who the hell would voluntarily pay what they actually take? WE ARE SLAVES. Anyone who works and taxes are taken from your check is a slave. And these people, like antifa and all the rest of the gimme crowd are demanding that they get more. Somethings gonna give at some point and I truly hope when it’s over, the people responsible for all this chaos and violence go to prison for a very very long time. That’s if we have judges who apply the law and not their own biased perspectives. Rant over

      • Maranatha says:

        Filipino Americans are ardent Catholics and Korean Americans are ardent Roman Catholic and Protestants. As Christians, the DNC will not tolerate you. Heck, you know how their leftist Ivy League has OPENLY discriminated against Asian Americans. They will let in urban folks with low test scores and low grades and low levels of volunteerism just to make quotas. Walk Away from that Democratic nonsense.

  3. The Deplorable Renegade says:

    Maranatha, I really HATE politics more than I ever have, especially within recent years. The last sentence the author wrote about bringing back civility and getting politics out of human affairs; well, I’d LOVE to see that happen but I don’t see how with the current state of affairs in this land and the hatred that the commies and minority groups have toward good people like you and me. Politics is a fact of life and is something we all have to live with. All your points are valid. We’re heading towards civil war 2 and I don’t see anything to stop it. I’ll do whatever is necessary to protect me and mine. But it doesn’t mean I have to enjoy it.

  4. The Deplorable Renegade says:

    Maranatha, over at The Daily Sheeple check out “The Delegitimization Of The White Male”. It may anger you bit it’s important. When I read it earlier I literally had to get away from the computer for a while.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Abortion is murder.

    I don’t care if people kill their unborn children, but it is just plain stupid to kill healthy white babies. People want to adopt healthy white babies. Financially stable white couples will pay your expenses and let you send and receive letters until the child is eighteen years old, then they pay for him or her to go to college, and then you get to have a mother-child relationship for the rest of your life. Only a fool would choose abortion if you are carrying a white child. Besides, it is the responsibility of all white people to have children in order to continue the race. God commands us to “be fruitful and multiply”.

    .

  6. Maranatha says:

    The second that white men are eliminated, what do you think will happen to your white daughters, wives, mothers, and aunts? The DNC will declare open season on them. It will be like the crazed muslims raping white women in Europe!

    Are you going to let that happen in America? Are you a milksop? Are you a mangina?

    • Maranatha says:

      okluybxKqRU
      This is what is happening in Sweden.

      4ak-ERn_k0
      The same things are happening in the UK.

      It’s only a matter of time before it’s happening in the USA because the DNC has lost it’s marbles.

      • Genius says:

        If the so called “men” can’t defend their women then they both deserve it. You fuck with my woman or animals and YOU WILL HAVE HELL TO PAY! I spend a lot of my thinking time devising ways to make people pay and preventing such attacks. If I got my hands on you, death would you pray for guaranteed!

    • Rick Werner says:

      Preaching to the choir!

    • TheGuy says:

      Let it happen to a CONSERVATIVE woman (of any race) no.

      Let it happen to the traitorous shit that most LIBERAL white women have become… gladly. While roasting marshmallows.

      No take backs, either. Dumbasses.

      Stop with the “group mentality”, women. It’s going to get you in deep shit. Time to start discriminating amongst each other like men do and make it very apparent who’s who in this picture.

  7. rellik says:

    Nailbanger said it best.
    Learn about 4GW.
    “To regain civility in human interactions and finally treat other human beings as human beings again, we would do well to get politics out of human affairs.”
    I’m personally past the point of
    talking to Democrats on a personal
    basis. Business only.
    I prep and plan to live free of
    Democrats wherever possible.
    America can’t even put a wall up to protect
    our boarders, I don’t expect we can put up
    a wall between our evil government and
    the lives of freedom loving Americans.

    • The Deplorable Renegade says:

      Rellik, I also avoid libturds all I can. I don’t even want to talk to one, period. Knowing what they stand for and what they want to do to us, why the hell should I have anything to do with them?

  8. The Deplorable Renegade says:

    Maranatha, I’ve seen both of those videos. I didn’t know the DNC ever HAD marbles; that’s a revelation to me.

  9. Maranatha says:

    Don’t be a fool and go protest. The leftists want you to protest so they round you up. No military historian would ever recommend attending a protest march.

    We are past that point. From now on, our actions will be covert. Standing out in the open and marching in lines was a stupid outdated Redcoat idea of warfare. We are long past such idiotic tactics.

    Which is smarter, 10,000 protestors or 1,250 groups of eight playing mind games and resisting using hit-and-run tactics?

    • Mr. Sean says:

      Maybe 10,000 individuals dedicated to supporting their families and communities instead of quibbling over whom to “resist”?

      • Maranatha says:

        Any prepper that is close to the West or East Coast is screwed because they will be overrun by crazy fleeing urbanites.

        Yes, those far away can probably wait it out as there is mass exinction of Americans. But what will the Russians and the Chinese do while Civil War 2.0 is going on???

        Ultimately we will have to fight no matter what.

  10. Yep, don’t give em free rent in your head. It’s all divide and conquer for votes.

    The SJW movement is the Blue Team equivalent of the Red Team Evangelicals. One is reliably Democrat and thus is pandered to by the Democratic Party. The other is reliably Republican voters so is pandered to by the Republican Party.

    Or did you honestly believe that Hillary gives a fuck about transgenders? Or that Trump prays? lol…you’ve been hoodwinked.

    • Genius says:

      Yaaaaa, I have to give them a rental closet in my head so I know what I’m up against though. It’s more of a right vs, Left cult thing really. Complete morons vs. Semi morons. The word party is a good example since it is a party of this asswipe vs. this asswipe. The difference is maybe 20% have more common sense. They are both communists since they both want govt. control of everything. I wish you were my neighbor lol.

  11. Mr. Sean says:

    An interesting post, but some disheartening responses to it.
    I’d take the author’s thesis a step further: the question shouldn’t even be ‘why Gillette made a political statement’ or ‘why Ben & Jerry named their ice cream x, y, or z’ but rather, why is it so important anyway? Unless you’re a stockholder, what a private company chooses to do or not do hardly seems worthy of discussion, much less judgement. Similarly, what a high school boy did or didn’t do is not all that important, in fact, it’s less than trivial (unless you happen to personally know that boy).
    What’s needed is a healthy dose of humility on all sides. What’s needed is a collective deep breath to contemplate and exercise our most profound right: the right to mind our own business.

    • TheGuy says:

      I want to do that. I really, really want to.

      And then you look at where ignoring it has gotten us. Predict this unbelievable mess back in 1980, I dare you.

      Though it was, even as early as 1965, fairly predictable where this was going to end. I might go as far as to say 1955.

      I mean my choices right now suck. I can ignore it and we’ll be full on copulating with iguanas and worshipping sex toys as gods by the time I’m 70. Or I can get pissed off, alienate everyone in my life, and give myself a stroke.

  12. Beaumont 2.0 says:

    “So what is a possible way out of this conundrum?”

    Favoritism, instead of both sides being right.

  13. Asshat says:

    Whatever is political correct I do the opposite on purpose and it has worked well for me.

  14. Anonymous says:

    No, THIS is the REAL problem.

    Its just that the dumb, the weak, and the lower middle-class/poor don’t know it. Only smart people know this is true.

    Photo, not an article

    https://i.redd.it/4fzo2luejfd21.png

  15. Thomas Jefferson says:

    Globalists need to build dependency (slavery) and a destroy self-reliance. We need to build our own systems. shtfplan as alt-media is a good example. FreeZoxee to replace facebook and youtube is another.

  16. Anonymous says:

    “To regain civility in human interactions and finally treat other human beings as human beings again, we would do well to get politics out of human affairs.” BS
    The left must be destroyed, by force if necessary. Or we will descend into hell.!!!!

  17. TheGuy says:

    It’s merely “butthurt – round 2”.

    They were shitting the bed with the direct anti-Trump protests so now they’re trying to recruit sympathy by changing the cultural zeitgeist.

    Don’t wall for it.

  18. Maranatha says:

    The genuine problem is that Christians became weak and too tolerant. We should have nipped the cancer when small. When cancer is systemic, it’s impossible to eradicate without killing the host.

    Leftism is CANCER.

    The Left forgets that many Christians elected to not make a big deal over elements of the Fairness doctrine on housing discrimination for homosexuals. Christians thought who cares? Well that only embolded them. Give them an inch in sympathy and they take a mile.

    • Anonymous says:

      ht tps://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/04/06/federal-fair-housing-law-protects-lgbt-couples-court-rules-for-first-time/?noredirect=on

      In the early nineties, two gay guys would overtly live together and some landlords didn’t want to rent to them as then others would move in. Had they just claimed they were roommates, then nothing would have been said. Roommates were typically the same sex after all.

      But no….they had to push it, which was ridiculous as homosexuals have been living together forever and certainly was common during Westward expansion on homesteads.

      They politicized it, and Christians thought, oh heck, who cares? And they voted in favor of various city ordinances.

      Well it just gave legitimacy to the couple and then they started pushing for civil unions and adoptions.

      Christians should stop being so tolerant. They are very INTOLERANT of us despite us bending over backwards. The way civilunions happened was the same tolerant Christians, typcally leftists themselves, went what the heck, why not? and then this spread all over the country.

      The result being that the SCOTUS ended up making the law instead of judging the merit and legality of law, thus violating their purpose.

      Andto this day, no constitutional amendment been created recognizing the legitimacy of homosexual civil unions.

      What is next? Three homosexuals in a committed relationahip???