Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The better to prove the virtue of the accusers

I haven't been following the fortunes of Time Magazine for a long while but it does seem that I see them referred to more often in a substantive way in the past few months. I don't know that that reflects anything other than random variation, but it would be nice if they were on a rebound. The more thoughtful platforms there are for serious thinkers, the better.

I came across The Spiritual Shape of Political Ideas by Joseph Bottum, a long form essay that is quite meaty and worth a read. He ties some of the Gramscian memes and obsessions into the country's religious history, leading to this observation.
Our social and political life is awash in unconsciously held Christian ideas broken from the theology that gave them meaning, and it’s hungry for the identification of sinners—the better to prove the virtue of the accusers and, perhaps especially, to demonstrate the sociopolitical power of the accusers.
Sounds about right. The empty charges of racism, misogyny, misandry, intolerance, bigotry, *** denier, *** apologist, etc. are not statements intended to advance an argument. They are simple ad hominem efforts to shut down the conversation and displace the other participant from acceptable society. They often come across as the shrieking condemnation of the religious zealot whose vituperation is a corollary to his inner religious uncertainty.

ADDED: Oops. Not time at all but The Weekly Standard.

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