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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Mel Gibson

Mel Gibson really has some issues. I've been somewhat impressed by his contriteness after the fact, however. Like other public figures with either conservative or religious views, he is being rightly criticized as a hypocrite for the things he did. But again, Mel Gibson was hypocritical, and it made his life a whole lot worse. I'm not saying this as a blanket statement, but I think it's an interesting idea (also put forth in Schweitzer's book on hypocracy) that though conservatives and liberals are both hypocritical, liberals are more often hypocritical in a way that help themselves. Rush Limbaugh was a hypocrite for lambasting druggies when he himself had a drug problem. But by not consulting his own words, he made his life a whole lot worse. Addiction's not pretty. Go down the list, and you'll see similar things, including with Gibson. Let's now consult a few examples of liberal hypocracy. The Kennedy family constantly argues for more wind power. And yet they were the reason that a prime windfarm location far out to sea was never used. Why? They liked to sail there. Michael Moore complains about about the lack of unionization with companies like WalMart, and yet tries every way he can to avoid letting unions work on his films. He also invests in Halliburton, big prescription drug companies, etc.

Let's be clear about what I'm not saying. I'm not judging liberalism by those who espouse it. That would put me in Coulter's camp, and that's not cool with me. And I realize that liberalism often has more group morality principles as opposed to individual morality principles. Liberals want to help other people. When they're hypocritical, they help themselves at the expense of other people. Conservatives believe in individual responsibility. When they fail, they fail themselves (as well as others). But I do think it's interesting that those who want to force their liberal morality on others often avoid that morality in their own lives, for the simple reason that it's easier to be a free rider. Their morality is an other-centered morality, as opposed to an individual-centered morality. It's what they want others to do, not what they're willing to do themselves. And, because of sacrificing their morality, their life becomes better. They get to sail and make movies with impunity. With conservatives, a sacrifice of their personal convictions almost universally results in pain. Even when they don't admit it, the personal failings of a Bill Bennett or Rush Limbaugh really mess up their lives. When conservatives who champion virtue are caught in infidelity, their marriages and lives generally fall apart.

I don't really know what my point is here. I've been away from writing too long. Basically, it's just me musing on hypocracy, on the left and the right. I think hypocracy on the right is more harmful to the people involved, because the people on the right know that they're doing something wrong and something that will wreak havoc on them. Hypocracy on the left is really just self-interest, a person realizing that through power and political will, they can force others to conform to a morality that they themselves realize isn't within their interest to hold.


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