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The blame game.

The thing that always fascinates/frustrates me, is the tendency of people to blame the ills of the world on one group or another.  People all the time, will blame any number of things on the group with whom they dislike or disagree with.  The group that is not you, is always the problem.

 

It is easy to see in politics.  The Republicans will blame the infringement on your paycheck on Democrats. Democrats will blame the downfall of the economy on Republicans.  Fox news will let you know terrorism is the fault of Islam.  Many Middle Eastern groups and nations will blame the United States for the troubles in their nations.

The problem is that almost nothing is that simple.  The world is so complex, and the factors are so many, that blaming one group or another for any problem is specious.

A good example, was an argument that started up at a party, I was recently at.  The fact someone brought up the illuminati, will be ignored for the moment.  The contention that was put forward, is that all of our jobs going over seas, was due to the Republicans gaining the presidency in the 80′s with Reagan. All of our financial woes could be traced to his administration, as far as this guy could see.

This is ridiculous, of course.   I am not a big fan of Reagan’s policy decisions, and I am unlikely to agree with many Republican sacred cows.  I am a progressive, but even I can see the problem with this contention.  The fact jobs started going over seas may have had more to do with weak economies in the individual nations that are getting those jobs.  Weak economies mean our dollars buy more there and so it is cheaper to move the factories there.  What is more,l governments like say China, would help subsidize the companies and artificially deflate the worth of their money to strengthen the trend.  And still more factors play in to this, the rise of a consuming middle class, the birth of big box retail outlets like Walmart, and the cheaper cost to transport goods over seas, all played a huge role in the jobs slowly drifting overseas.  Republican deregulation initiatives may not have helped the problems, but they did not cause it either.

In most issues you can name, (the rising cost of health care, environmental damage, the recession, wars in various countries, the slow degradation of civil rights)  you can find a myriad of factors that play into them.   To blame them on anyone group or cause actually clouds things. The truth is, the world is complicated.  It is not so easily broken down into simple statements and maybe we should have less of that going on.

I think people do this, because they need someone to blame.  It makes the world feel more controlled than it is.  It also saves them from looking to themselves to blame.  We are the cause of our own problems more often than not.  We accept certain notions, let them guide us, and we are doomed to accept the outcomes.  We could stop the shipping of our jobs overseas, by not buying things made over seas.  Of course they are more expensive, so instead we buy the cheaper product and loose the jobs.  We could get rid of corrupt career politicians, but we are told nothing we do will matter and so we believe it.  The result of course is we get the politicians we deserve, for believing we can’t effect the outcome.

I am not saying there is no one is ever to blame.  A man pulls a gun on a shop clerk and kills him. The gunman is to blame.   Your direct actions do bear a responsibility.  I am just saying, it is a more productive use of our time to think of big problems without the illusion of blame to cloud things.

Originally published at McCoy's Geeky Emporium of Thought. You can comment here or there.

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Comments

jenharts
Dec. 15th, 2010 07:02 am (UTC)
I would also like to point out that one of Reagan's mantras was "The United States does not engage in nation building." So much for that, huh? ;-)
technoir
Dec. 15th, 2010 11:22 pm (UTC)
Reagan was great with the catch phrases and the charm. He had a great ability to tell people he would make things alright and have them believe it. I was a never a fan of his policy decisions, but he had real mastery of how to present his agenda. It is possible no one since him has been as good at it.

Edited at 2010-12-15 11:23 pm (UTC)

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