UNITED STATES: Constructive self-criticism



Jon Kofas says:The Liberal talk show AIR AMERICA with host Al Franken was designed to counter the plethora of right-wing radio and TV talk shows that have attracted millions of people by their hyperbolic rhetoric. About a year after it went on the air, AIR AMERICA has not matched the popularity of conservative radio or TV shows, largely because self-criticism goes against the dominant societal trend of conformity that has been characteristic since the McCarthy  era of the 1950s. Precisely because centrists and leftists encourage self-criticism and rational dialogue focused on issues impacting peoples' material lives, while discouraging manipulative emotional appeals and populist rhetoric, their programs and their issues are bound to fall on deaf ears. Our society welcomes economic elitism to which the masses aspire (the AMERICAN DREAM), but it loathes cultural/intellectual elitism which makes the masses feel less worthy for embracing the paradoxes of the irrational trait of their nature. But what purpose do constant eulogies of the status quo serve?  Yes, the political, military, and business elites are very well served by such eulogies, but is the health of society at large short-term and long term the beneficiary of such false and hypocritical eulogies? The absence of critical analysis of institutions and policies will result in a robotic, static,  "STEPFORD WIVES" society which will gradually decay from within. No external force (from "terrorism" to Iran's nuclear program) can possibly threaten America as the one from within, namely the force to remain the same and defy the dynamic laws of nature and history predicated on constant change. Though constructive self-criticism is the life-blood of a healthy society, this does not mean that critics can or should be blind to the positive traits of institutions and policies. In this era of "crisis mode" using the current pretext of "terrorism", we must be more self-critical and rational, for we have a responsibility to build a better society for our children and grandchildren.

RH:  Stepford Wives: "The Stepford Wives" is one of the few films where you're forced to take sides in a gender war (I can't think of anything so compelling to come after it until "In the Company of Men"). Stepford is populated by a bunch of boring, irritating, physically unattractive, average men, in every sense of the word. Their wives, on the other hand, are flower-print dress wearing, sexually grateful, perpetually cleaning morons - they don't even know what the word "archaic" means - and that's what they are! They might as well be robots. Ohmygod! Do they think they really are robots?



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Ronald Hilton 2004

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last updated: December 5, 2004