June 7th, 2016

woods, Elizabeth, camera, April

Purity Politics--Making a Religion of Opinion

This year's political campaigns have offered many examples of Purity Politics, with multiple candidates claiming that they are "against the system,"  and their fans determined that they won't compromise on any point, and hate the candidates who have, or say they will.   They want *their* values/thoughts/opinions/ideals to be carried through--100%, no compromises.

And that's a bad thing.  Purity Politics is exactly akin--in the claim of Rightness, moral superiority--to the narrowest of religions, where there is only One Right Way to think and act.  And that's a bad thing.  No single human individual is entirely right, and the claim of being, the belief in being right, means that individual cannot learn, cannot compromise, cannot cooperate with anyone else who does not hold exactly the same opinions and beliefs.  As a result, that individual cannot cope with the inevitable change that comes to us all, because he or she insists that change can only be met with rigid resistance or active conflict.  As such individuals aggregate into defined groups, groups that demand purity of opinon and belief,  they feel strong bonds between them (the more alike they are, the more the bonds feel strong) and are more likely to restrict their opinions and define themselves by what they are against, creating an ever deeper gap between themselves and others.  Fear of the outsiders, fear of outside ideas, is typical of Purity Politics as it is of many religions.  A group of any kind that believes it is entirely right can only rule as a tyranny (if it has the power) or endure as an obstruction to everyone else (if it's not in power)   and its apparent strength is brittle--not tough and resilient--because of the inability to recognize that it lacks perfection. 
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