I was going to write…

…about how wrong the Chicago Tribune’s editorial on the Supreme Court’s recent Second Amendment decision was, viagra sale sovaldi but Neolibertarian at large did a much better job of taking them AND the New York Times to task than I ever could:

Now it is possible that the staff of the Chicago Tribune does not have the legal analysis available to them that a New York Times reporter does but The New York Times itself makes the exact same historical revision in their equally hysterical editorial about Heller: “. . . But that’s a sharp reversal for the court: as early as 1939, it made clear that the Second Amendment only protects the right of people to carry guns for military use in a militia.”

The New York Times editorial ignores the Times’ own article on the decision and, again, simply re-writes history in a more convenient form.

The question has to come up: “Why lie?” Why not just say that Heller is a bad decision? Neither the Tribune nor the Times needed this lie to make their point that government should be able to disarm its citizens without constraint.

The answer goes back to Georges Sorel, the French Philosopher and Social Theorist. Sorel was a collectivist, he inspired both communists and fascists, and his big contribution to collectivist thinking was the idea of the energizing myth.

“Sorel’s belief in the need for a deliberately-conceived “myth” to sway crowds into concerted action . . . The epistemic status of the idea of “myth” is of some importance, and is essentially that of a working hypothesis, with one fundamental peculiarity: it is an hypothesis which we do not judge by its closeness to a “Truth”, but by the practical consequences which stem from it. Thus, whether a political myth is of some importance or not must be decided, in Sorel’s view, on the basis of its capacity to mobilize human beings into political action . . . ” [this is from wikipedia, but there is a very similar analysis in the recent book Liberal Fascism].

The Tribune and the Times lie for the greater good: the Tribune believes in taking guns away from the people of Chicago and that this greater good justifies their lie. The important thing is not the truth but rather the energizing myth that people have no individual right to keep and bear arms.
The Times has a slightly bigger agenda but they are no less forthright about it; the Times editorial says: “This audaciously harmful decision, which hands the far right a victory it has sought for decades, is a powerful reminder of why voters need to have the Supreme Court firmly in mind when they vote for the president this fall.” [my emphasis added]

The times lies to influence the election: their energizing myth is that the Supreme Court has morphed into some sort of dangerous right wing activist court that can only be held back by electing Obama.
When viewed through the lens of objective truth, it is hard to see how the Times can both contradict its own article on Heller and characterize the same court that just ruled Guantanamo detainees are legally indistinguishable from Americans arrested for shoplifting in the Bronx as tilting to the far right but viewed through the lens of the energizing myth it makes perfect sense. The truth is not important; moving the masses to action is important and, viewed this way, the Times makes perfect sense.

Add comment July 1st, 2008


Being in a wheelchair gives you a unique perspective on the world. This blog features many of my views on politics, art, science, and entertainment. My name is Elliot Stearns. More...

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