Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Ideologies as dream worlds

I recall, at a progressive college, seeing a poster in the hallway proclaiming: "My only handicap is in your mind."

The image accompanying the slogan showed a man in a wheelchair, with no legs.

I don't know what happened to his legs. He may have lost them in an act of extreme heroism, e.g., saving Iraqi children from a landmine. He might deserve medals, and parades, and cash compensation.

But I know for sure he has a handicap that is not in my mind: he has no legs.

He can't walk. He can't run. He can't go for a hike. To get around, he has to use a wheelchair. That is why, in the photo, he is in a wheelchair.

These handicaps do not make him less of a person, in the important, spiritual sense, than me or you. But they are real, and not just in anyone else's head.

Ideologies are attempts to substitute dreamworlds for reality. In the ideological dreamworld of "anti-ableism," it is invidious "discrimination" to blame "the impairments themselves for the problems experienced by the people who have them." (The ideologue's own language is at war with itself here: if the "impairments" are not causing any problems, then why is he calling them "impairments"?!)

Thus, in this dreamworld, the only difficulty in not having legs is the "marginalization" by "ableists" of the person who does not have legs. All of the problems of the blind stem, not from the fact they can't see, but from the bad attitudes of the "ableists."

Life presents us all with difficulties. ("We all have our crosses to bear.") Ideological dreamworlds convince those they ensnare that difficulty is not inherent in life, but is caused entirely by evil "them" who are oppressing the ensnared. If only "they" can be eliminated, earth will be a paradise.

And if they gain power, ideologues eagerly start eliminating "them," whether "they" are the capitalists, the Kulaks, the Jews, the intellectuals, etc.


3 comments:

  1. One word of advice Gene: Kevlar.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for keeping me sane, Gene.

    ReplyDelete
  3. My sister went deaf as did her son...defintely a handicap and adjustments had to be made.
    Her grandson was born deaf. His reality is not a handicap for him, but it does exist.
    It's the way of things.

    ReplyDelete

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