Two Monday Links: Outrage and A Faded, Red Glamour

Theodore Dalrymple:  ‘The Will To Outrage

‘Outrage supposedly felt on behalf of others is extremely gratifying for more than one reason. It has the appearance of selflessness, and everyone likes to feel that he is selfless. It confers moral respectability on the desire to hate or despise something or somebody, a desire never far from the human heart. It provides him who feels it the possibility of transcendent purpose, if he decides to work toward the elimination of the supposed cause of his outrage. And it may even give him a reasonably lucrative career, if he becomes a professional campaigner or politician: For there is nothing like stirring up resentment for the creation of a political clientele.’

If you’re getting identity and purpose from, say, being a part of an environmental group, and then seeking to use political power as a means to avoid climate doomsday and advance your cause, the movement is probably about a lot more than science.

Many people with little more than ideology in their lives (often marginalized beforehand), are naturally attracted to ideas which give them sudden power and influence, the popularity and purpose they lacked (not every environmentalist to be sure, and clearly a feature of most human organizations).

One way to expand power and influence in your life if all you have is an ideology, is to flock and roost in Twitter, politics, universities etc.

Addition: Or, start a blog like this one, I suppose.  I’m outraged!

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As has made the rounds:  Ron Radosh, former Communist, on the Trumbo movie:

‘When it was announced two years ago that Bryan Cranston would play Dalton Trumbo in a new movie about the late blacklisted Communist screenwriter, I wrote an article for National Review that asked a simple question: would the film be honest and portray Trumbo accurately, or would it perpetuate the myth of innocent and victimized Hollywood Reds?’

Maybe glamorizing such bad ideas isn’t such a good idea.

Michael Totten: ‘The Ghost Of Communism In Asia’ And A Few Thoughts

On This Site See: A Few Thoughts On Isaiah Berlin’s “Two Concepts Of Liberty” …The End Of History?: Update And Repost- From YouTube: Leo Strauss On The Meno-More On The Fact/Value Distinction?’

Michael Totten At World Affairs: ‘The Once Great Havana’

Repost-From Michael Totten At World Affairs: “Noam Chomsky: The Last Totalitarian”

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