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January 24, 2013

Episode 127: What’s Your -ism?

The Axiom Amnesia Theory with Heit & Cheri

What’s your -ism? Most of us are happy to attach ourselves to one -ism or another, but do you really agree with the tenants of your professed -ism? Or, did you simply adopt the -ism after you found agreement on a particular issue? Furthermore, what are the implications of attaching yourself to an -ism whose proponents are not acting in your best interest. On this episode of The Axiom Amnesia Theory, Heit & Cheri tackle the notion of loyalty to -isms and the groups that proclaim them as their ideologies.

Topics discussed include a supposed shortage on chicken wings, the Inaugural Office admits that Beyonce lip synced at the inauguration, how satirical articles are so close to ridiculous realities, Rand Paul saying he would have fired Hillary Clinton over the Benghazi attacks, Libertarians and their incongruent idea of patriotism, Rand and Ron Paul’s hustle in the political game, people calling interpretations based on evidence “facts”, people basing their positions on social and political issues along party lines–they don’t deviate from what the party says about a particular issue, the importance of recognizing how an ideology is defined and what or who is shaping the ideology, why it’s a bad idea to attach to a group whose end game isn’t in your best interest–even when you agree with them, how groups use your attachment to your ideology as a means of control, loyal friends versus allies, the abuse of the Black voting bloc, and more!


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Segment 1

  • Discussion about a supposed shortage on chicken wings, according to a The National Chicken Council released a report, just in time for Super Bowl weekend. Nice way to run up the price in order to increase profits.
  • The Inaugural Office confirmed that Beyonce did not sing the National Anthem live at the inauguration. Beyonce made no comments directly about the controversy.
  • Discussion about the New Yorker article joking about statement Rand Paul might have made about the Beyonce lip sync controversy:

    “By lip-synching the national anthem, Beyoncé has cast a dark cloud over the President’s second term,” said Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky). “The only way President Obama can remove that cloud is by resigning from office at once.”
    While many in the media have blamed Beyoncé for the lip-synching controversy, Mr. Paul said, “We must remember that this happened on President Obama’s watch.”
    Source: New Yorker

  • Although Rand Paul didn’t actually say this, it sounds like something he could have said.
  • Discussion about how satire, like The Onion, sounds almost like it could be true, despite being ridiculous.
  • Discussion about Rand Paul’s questioning of Hillary Clinton on the Benghazi attacks. He was grandstanding when he said that he would have fired her:
  • ism

  • Discussion about Libertarians and the idea of patriotism. Their idea is “no government,” so why would you talk about patriotism if the ultimate goal is no government?
  • Discussion about how politicians say things according to the politics of the time, and that might not reflect their actual position.
  • Discussion about the use of words like “democracy” and “government” in historical documents.
  • Discussion about Ron Paul’s hustle in the political game.
  • While much of what Ron Paul and others say might make sense, it should be examined in the framework of his ultimate position.
  • Discussion about “facts.” What we call facts are often just a particular interpretation based on evidence.
  • Teaching consists of giving people a particular way to interpret the “facts.”
  • Discussion about how college shapes the minds of young voters.
  • Discussion about people basing their positions on social and political issues along party lines–they don’t deviate from what the party says about a particular issue.
  • Discussion about people being born into partisan politics.
  • Discussion about people feeling a particular way about one issue, choosing the party that agrees, and then following every other issue on the basis of what the party says is right. These are totally separate issues, but people rationalize following party lines anyway.
  • Discussion about libertarianism converts.
  • Discussion about Ron Paul suggesting that slave owners should have been reimbursed for slaves.
  • Discussion about people attaching themselves to their hero party and giving them a pass on the things with which they disagree. People will go along with the party out of loyalty, even when they disagree.
  • Discussion about how libertarians focus on the rights of the corporations over those of individuals.
  • Example of Monopoly game given to explain how people who enter the game late don’t have a real chance of winning after all of the money and property has been taken by other players.
  • There is no equal opportunity for people who have disproportionately less money and resources to actually have a chance at doing well in the game–or in real life either! This is why the system of white supremacy that the country was founded upon continues to provide whites with an unfair advantage over others.
  • Discussion about whites who do not understand that they are still the beneficiaries of the unfair white supremacist system, both historically and today.
  • Discussion about the difficulty for some whites to even recognize their white privilege. It is difficult for people who have such vastly different experiences in the same society to imagine what it is like for those who don’t have their privilege.
  • You cannot say that this whole system and economy is messed up, and then logically suggest that further participation will remedy this systemic issue.
  • Discussion of non-participation as a means of protest.
  • Discussion about the temptation to attach oneself to political groups and ideologies across the board simply because of agreement on a small number of issues.
  • Discussion on the importance of recognizing how an ideology is defined and what or who is shaping the ideology. Social and political ideologies are constantly shifting.
  • Discussion about why agreement on ideology alone is not reason enough to align yourself with a particular group. The example of aspects of white supremacist and Black supremacist ideology as similar, but with opposing values.
  • It’s a bad idea to attach yourself to a group whose end game is not in your best interest, in spite of being in agreement with them on some aspects of an ideology.
  • Discussion about how groups use your attachment to your ideology as a means of control.
  • Discussion about the difference between a friend that will be loyal at all costs, and an ally who places their interests first, but is willing to work together when it helps them.
  • Discussion about the Black voting bloc as an example of how the political parties are allies against Blacks and the poor. They use the Black vote to advance their own agendas, while still primarily looking out for their own rich, white elite agenda.
  • Discussion about the notion that whomever controls the land and resources is ultimately in control.
  • Discussion about the problem with a representative democracy where the representative is of an opposing class to those whom they are supposed to represent. We know how well that works… Just look at Congress!
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About the Author

Heit & Cheri