8 April 2015

The embedded hypocrisy of movements, revisited.

My first post on this topic could be basically summed up as follows: Movements begin by claiming that we cannot tell them (whomever 'they' may be) what they can or cannot do. I pointed out that this sentiment is an act of hypocrisy, because even as they declare that we (whomever 'we' may be) cannot tell them what they can or cannot do, they can tell us what we can or cannot do, for in telling us we can't do that, they are naming something we cannot do. Over time and as movements become more successful, they become more at ease with telling people what they can or cannot do, even while claiming to only be defending their right to not be told what to do, or not.

When I wrote that post, I began by quoing a New York Times columnist by the name of Frank Bruni, who felt comfortable enough to tell us that he "support(s) the right of people to believe what they do and say what they wish — in their pews, homes and hearts. But outside of those places? You must put up with me, just as I put up with you." Note how in the final sentence he uses the auxiliary verb "must" as he tells believers what they can and cannot do, but places no such imperative upon himself.

However, Frank Bruni has since changed his mind: he now believes he can tell believers what they are to believe in their pews, homes and hearts, and he is quite comfortable in doing so. So he no longer supports the rights of those with whom he disagrees- not even in the grudging, lukewarm, pathetic way he did before.

This was, of course, entirely predictable, and it is also entirely predictable thta it will get worse. For a movement, the only acceptable position of those outside the movement is unconditional surrender.

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