Texas Liberal

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Liberals Often No Different Than Conservatives In Unimaginative Thinking

I’ve been reading John Kenneth Galbraith’s The Affluent Society.  Galbraith wrote about what he termed, coining a new term at the time, “conventional wisdom.”

Here is an excerpt— “ ….the hallmark of the conventional wisdom is acceptability. It has the approval of those to whom it is addressed. There are many reasons people like to hear articulated that which they approve. It serves the ego: the individual has the satisfaction of knowing that other….people share his conclusions. To hear what he believes is also a source of reassurance. The individual knows that he is supported in his thoughts—that he has not been left behind and alone. Further, to hear what one approves serves the evangelizing instinct. It means that others are also hearing and are thereby in process of being persuaded.”

Can there be any doubt that this type of thinking is found with both conservatives and liberals?

I’d add that a lack of imagination is often behind such thinking. In political debate, a lack of imagination is often expressed in the kind of black and white all-or-nothing views that are a staple of political blogs. Strict construction of ideas and an overly literal understanding of words and ideas are hallmarks of extremism and party-line thinking.                      

April 27, 2007 Posted by | Blogging, Books, Politics | 5 Comments