damage from perspective

It seems there is a common thread topic today on being blinded by paradigm. From Chrenkoff it is the inability to see the forest because of concentrating on one tree. From Boortz it is an observation about fault finding. And from the ranting professor it is a matter of ignoring context.

The self-loathing “blame America/the West” crowd does a huge disservice to the cause of human rights around the world by maintaining that abuses are systemic in our own societies because it diverts the attention from those parts of the globe where such abuses are truly endemic and it downplays the suffering of all those who have to live without the benefit of all the self-correcting mechanisms we in the West take for granted. … It’s a moral vanity that’s insulting to anyone with an ounce of moral sense, and barely comprehensible to the millions of oppressed and the suffering in dark corners of the world barely illuminated by the angry glow of the left’s self-righteousness. [Chrenkoff. Of violins and violations. 23 December 2004]

Consider the obsession about prisoner abuse and “tantamount to torture” while ignoring genocide and beheadings and rape rooms and on and on. But this becomes a vilification that displays its own illness.

We also didn’t foresee the degree to which the left in this country would continue, day after day, to criticize and condemn virtually every step taken by George Bush and coalition leaders in first liberating and then attempting to secure Iraq. Virtually every action taken by the American military in Iraq has been criticized by the left. First coalition forces didn’t move on Fallujah soon enough, then it was too soon. Too many troops, not enough troops, too bold, too timid. Wrong war. Wrong place. Wrong time. [Neil Boortz. How much has the left hurt us. 23 December 2004]

And the bias can be illustrated by story selection and isolation.

The press covers one story at a time, with no sense of memory, no attempt to look at balance, no effort to consider the way policy makers have to make choices by trading off competing risks.[Tradeoffs. Ranting Profs. 23 December 2004]

This phenomena illustrates the need for a solid referent – a defined set of values such as the ten commandments given to Moses – and the need to apply these values to an appropriate context, to see the forest as well as the trees, in choosing what is worthy of note and where to start in evaluating action. Are we talking about nations or sub national organizations or syndicates or tribes or families or individuals? Are we looking at anomolies, exceptions, or habits?

What is missing in the primary paths of information disbursement is just such discriminations and contexts. Fortunately other paths are becoming ever more feasible.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.