Premise: Everything IS more extreme than in the past (it's not your imagination). The reason for this is the self-sustaining dialectic created by the Internet/Cable referenced down below. To wit: You have more opportunity to know what's going on out there. This knowledge will inform your decisions, which you then feed-back into the dialectic, which in turn will supply someone else information, and so on. Given the very human need to take something - anything - to the next level, or personalize it, this dynamic will create a feedback loop of ever increasing extremism, however you'd like to define "extreme".


 The Police have gotten more extreme.
 The Technology has gotten more extreme.
 The guns and gun owners have gotten more extreme.
 The dialog has gotten more extreme.
The Media has gotten more extreme.
 The infantile delusions have gotten more extreme (for an easy formula to understand a teabagger - they truly believe they are of the same clothe as the folks involved in the American Revolution. The truth is, if anything, they're more like the folks from South Carolina circa 1857, but they'll never understand that. It IS important for US to understand what they think of themselves, however deluded)

I could - and will, later - go on and on. This extremism seems to be in every corner of the world, leaving nothing untouched (sports, for example). It's a function of our times in most ways, specifically the truly revolutionary technological capabilities that are continually reinventing our world.

That is, we're living through a mighty transition, and transitions, while natural and good in of themselves, bring massive amounts of upheaval and suffering. 

The only way to end an "extremist feedback loop" is to deprive it of fuel (true of any feedback). There is only three ways to do that: 1. It dries up on its own because it's exhausted its fuel supply, or 2. People willingly deprive it of fuel (a new mindset takes hold), and/or 3. There is a substantial external event that resets the playing field.

Then, of course, there are the changes each of us can make within ourselves - the only true and lasting change. But that's up to you.

And to conclude, the instigating factor (the spark) to many of the extremities of the day is Barack Obama. Not for anything he's done or said, but simply who he is. Think of American race relations as a blister that Obama popped. It needed to be popped, and will turn out OK in the end. But till then, we've got to deal with a lot of pus - IE the Teabaggers et al.

If you don't believe me, consider a similar era - the Civil Rights era. I don't think anyone could argue that the efforts of those folks paid huge, positive dividends for everyone in the world. But there was a sure lot of pain and suffering to get through it (Birmingham, Selma, etc). 

So buck up!


l.e.s.ter said...

The New Yorker has an interesting piece on just this topic.

The misinformation these people are consuming is pretty shocking, but also makes the results all but inevitable.

Redshirt said...

I see your link and raise you:

Taibbi says everything I tried to say here, way better.

Redshirt said...

Nice article from the New Yorker. Shows how deep the crazy runs - the real problem we have now, however, is the crazy has a news network dedicated to furthering the crazy agenda.

l.e.s.ter said...

Yeah, Taibbi does a nice job with that piece. Pretty scary. Also, I like how the guy with the extreme rifle is from Virginia.

Redshirt said...

Not surprised, I assume. I wonder where this new Civil War's battle line will be drawn - north of Virginia, it feels like. Might be all the way to the border of NYC.