Sunday, December 13, 2009

Conservatives Finally Declare Victory of Subjectivism

I'm not sure if you're heard of Conservapedia yet - it is the conservative encyclopedia created in contrast to Wikipedia, which, like the reality it seeks to describe, has a well-documented liberal bias. What I find most interesting about Conservapedia is that it flies in the face of every argument for objectivism I've ever heard.

It turns out that the best ideas don't in fact win out if you are a conservative. Consensual reality, as described by a community of mutually-critiquing peers, just isn't conservative enough. What you have to have are some ground rules to make sure that everyone experiences the right reality, describes it in the right way, and comes to the right conclusions.

This is a reality where Joseph McCarthy is a hero; where atheism is the result of moral depravity and all but guarantees mental health issues - not to mention a necessary tie to mass murder. It is a reality where Osama bin Laden is a prominent example of definitive Islam; where truly hilarious debates take place, like "How should Conservapedia avoid a conservative bias?" It is also where, in one paragraph, Reagan is described as the paragon of shrinking government as well as the progenitor of massive government dept and defense spending.

I wish any of this surprised me, but of course this worldview isn't hard to find. It is convenient, though, to have it all spelled out in one easy place.

Actually, as a side, I encourage you to play a game on Conservapedia called "Spot Osama bin Laden". He comes up in an amazing number of articles, speaking as an authority for the Muslim point of view. So far, I've found him mentioned prominently on Islam, the Crusades, and in Saudi Arabia as one of only two "notable Saudi Arabians".

See, what the victory of conservative ideas requires, apparently, is conservative control of how those ideas are investigated and expressed. It isn't enough to just sit down and talk it out, or have a huge, open wiki that can be edited by anyone and is subject to peer review at all times. That kind of thing is like the Bible - way too liberal for this crowd.

Maybe this is a first baby step, though, toward a wider world for some conservatives. It is clear that Conservapedia is a radical abandonment of objectivism of any kind. It is a total capitulation to subjectivism and a calculated attempt to control the type of subjectivity that will be allowed. It is a narrowing of reality and at the same time an admission of an infinitely broad one.

Reality isn't good enough, apparently. What we need is some conserveality.

Anyway, I encourage you to read some Conservapedia. It is like visiting an alien planet, both interesting and disturbing at the same time. Just remember, at any time, you can return to Earth for a breath of fresh air.


Jodie said...


I read your parting comment at Viola's and I think you are mistaken.

I have changed my views dramatically.

It started with how horrified I was at the way my Presbytery treated the congregation and pastor at Hollywood Pres. But as I looked into it and learned about what they were up against, the people, their theology and their methods, I realized I was wrong.

I changed my mind.

I now see something I had not noticed before. I think it is something akin to Chris Hedges' book "American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America"

Aric Clark said...

I think this is good evidence that "postmodernism" is real. Obviously it is a nebulous concept and all that, but it seems that situations like this provide strong proof that we are talking about an "era" and not merely a thought experiment confined to academia. Why? Because here are people predisposed to be adamantly opposed to postmodernism as thought experiment. Philosophically there is nothing about postmodernism they like. Yet they can't help being caught up in it. They are behaving as postmodern people, even as they object on principle to the ideals of postmodernism. It suggests that postmodernism transcends ideology and is actually a zeitgeist, a culture shift, a concrete social reality.

Jodie said...


If you were born in America after say 1920 you are post-modern, like it or not.

Culture, as I am sure you are aware, is by definition subconscious.

I find it sometime humorous, sometimes tragic, when people tell themselves they are stepping out of their own culture, or claim to be rejecting something of their own culture.

If you are multicultural and highly disciplined, you might be able to choose out of which culture to behave. But it would be tough to be both post-modern and not, and choose moment by moment which to incorporate.

Really tough.

Me, I just embrace it with reckless abandon. It would be hypocritical at best to sit here and use a computer that operates on the basis of quantum mechanics and try and not be post modern.

Paul Wise said...

I'm not sure computers can actually be said to operate on the basis of quantum mechanics. ... Except insofar as anything can be said to operate on the basis of quantum mechanics.

As far as post modernism goes... it's funny, but my hatred for all things post-modern seems to be fading. That is to say, I have changed my mind. Not that I embrace it or particularly like it, just that I can see merit in some post-modern ideas. Deleuze and Guattari are full of crap, however, and of them I can still say: communicating badly and then acting smug when you're misunderstood is not cleverness.