Ideology Blinds Us: Resist

Eric Arthur Blair (more commonly known by his pen name, George Orwell) is one of my favorite political authors, and his essay Notes on Nationalism is perhaps my favorite essay of his.

One of the things Orwell does in that essay is to list a set of facts which are both indisputably true, yet impossible for the adherent of a given ideology to acknowledge. In that spirit, here are two indisputably true recent facts, one which it is impossible for most radicals to acknowledge, the other which it is impossible for most liberals to acknowledge.

Radicals

It will be demonstrably better to face the prospect of agitating for a better society under a Biden Administration than it would under a second term of the Trump Administration. Furthermore, there is not currently anything near the level of political consciousness or organization to attempt anything like an anarchist revolution in the near term. The choice really is between Biden or Trump. As such, it should be our duty to see to it that Biden replaces Trump.

Liberals

It took over a week of nationwide unrest, unrest that rose to the level of rioting, for the State of Minnesota to (reluctantly) arrest and press charges against the three officers involved in the extrajudicial execution of George Floyd to merely be charged and arrested. That is in a state controlled by Democrats, whose Democratic Attorney General is a darling of the progressive left (i.e. is about as far to the left as you can be in the USA and still get elected). This shows how fundamentally rotten the system is, and how merely electing the right sort of people in and of itself offers no hope for significant change. It also shows how political unrest, including rioting, can have positive outcomes, outcomes that would have almost certainly not happened absent the unrest.

There Is No Contradiction

Part of the problem may be a failure to think fearlessly. At first, I think it appears to many that there is a contradiction between these two facts. Therefore obviously only one of them can be true, and it is personally convenient to conclude that the untrue statement is the one that challenges your viewpoint.

But there is no contradiction. The choice is not between electing Biden and being satisfied with that versus pressing for more fundamental change using means outside those of electoral politics. One can do both.

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