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It's interesting in how the left are much less successful at creating the narratives on their terms than the right.  If we constructed similarly contradictory narratives, the right would pick it all apart immediately, taking their audience with them.  yet when the left try to remind of the lies and false statements/hypocritical actions of the right, somehow we are not so successful in opening eyes to that.

That's because "the left" actually believes in the enlightenment narrative of facts and consistency.

First of all, there's this idea that the facts are the narrative. Then the idea that creating narrative is lying, and then an expectation that the narratives will be true, which makes the allegiance of the base vulnerable to "consistency" and "honesty" attack from the right.

"The right", on the other hand (see Altemeyer's "The Authoritarians" for evidence at least within the Western™ cultural matrix - kcurie is not convinced it is a cross-cultural universal) doesn't have a problem holding contradictory ideas in their head (at different times, that is), doesn't have qualms about building narratives, and the base doesn't expect consistency or intellectual honesty from their leadership (they have other values) so their allegiance is not vulnerable to consistency attacks.

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 10th, 2008 at 03:44:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Absolutely dead on.... plus media.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sat May 10th, 2008 at 04:25:03 PM EST
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About media... The sad thing about Publico.es is that it is supposed to be on the left side in the media fight for the soul of the Spanish left (more pro-PSOE than the increasingly economic-liberal ElPais.es) and yet they reported the IMF thing about the mortgage market as if it were a serious opinion as opposed to evidence that even the IMF is not to be taken seriously any longer. And the director of Publico.es is Escolar of Escolar.net! Why bother starting a new newspaper of the left if they don't have their eyes on the ball?


When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 10th, 2008 at 04:29:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I still hope that there was some kind of "we know this is bull" in the subtext.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sat May 10th, 2008 at 05:29:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No such luck. The byline is "agencies". It's not even a signed article.

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 10th, 2008 at 06:27:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OOooopss..

then feel free to forward anything to Escolar... although a tranalated version is time consuming for sure.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sat May 10th, 2008 at 06:31:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was thinking of polishing the English a bit for the Front Page (it's going there on Monday morning!) but I'll consult you over e-mail because I don't want to "correct" any intentionally peculiar turns of phrase.

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 10th, 2008 at 06:43:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
just keep the doomed instead of the doom.. and it is fine..:) Others turns.. feel free.. I actually make the phrases with a clear spanish background... hoping that the turn is the same in spanish.. or at least that it can be interpreted.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sat May 10th, 2008 at 06:54:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On the other hand there are 17 reader comments to the story and they are universally cynical and mostly well-informed about the nature of the subprime "financial innovation".

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 10th, 2008 at 06:37:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Can you get an article/LTE published in it? (Theoretically - I know it's too late for this one.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat May 10th, 2008 at 05:52:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When one reads the article you quite do not know if there is  subtext of "look how stupid the IMF is" or not. It is really tricky.... sometimes  it seems they think it is serious, other times not...a dn always in very subtle things.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sat May 10th, 2008 at 05:54:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But even if so, making it explicit with some infusion of collected ET wisdom[TM] would be great.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat May 10th, 2008 at 06:03:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Absolutely... but you were trigth before.. thsi was like some weeks ago? I do not recall..so it would sound weird...

but a translation can be given to escolar, that's for sure. Migeru knows the mail... so he can feel free to pass it...

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sat May 10th, 2008 at 06:07:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I wonder whether Escolar will allow it as an op-ed...

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 10th, 2008 at 06:15:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru:
First of all, there's this idea that the facts are the narrative.

Well, the idea that all you have to do is explain facts to people and they'll work out the narrative for themselves.

Narratives are always moral, in the sense of promoting certain kinds of behaviour and discouraging others. But where the Left attacks very specific behaviours, the Right works by promoting feelings first and then adding a narrative wrapper around them.

It's literally Pavlovian conditioning. Make people scared about their jobs and tell them immigrants are coming to take them from them, and in no time you'll have people who hate immigrants.

It's like I said yesterday about 'show don't tell.' It's not just the bedrock of fiction, it's the bedrock of all story-telling, which makes it the bedrock of all politics and economics too.

The mistake the Left makes is putting the feelings last. That's why most campaigns are so ineffective - campaigners feel the outrage, but it's rarely communicated in a way that people who aren't already persuaded can get personally excited about.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat May 10th, 2008 at 04:30:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... learned since the enlightenment.

Well, the idea that all you have to do is explain facts to people and they'll work out the narrative for themselves.

There are no such things as free-standing facts with relevance independent of systems of cause and effect.

A certain number of people will be able to build those kinds of systems for themselves that are sufficiently close to coherent that the facts they already "knew" suddenly snap into a new focus.

But that is not enough to bring enough people along quickly enough to build a change coalition. Its not enough to make the raw materials available to people for them to build those systems on a do it yourself basis ... we've also got to provide modular kits and pre-assembled models.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Mon May 12th, 2008 at 11:57:13 PM EST
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That's because "the left" actually believes in the enlightenment narrative of facts and consistency.

The enlightenment project was always an affair of the  middle class. It was most influential at those times when this class composed the majority of the electorate. As the franchise was extended to those lower down the ladder the enlightenment narrative became less compelling. In the USA Freemasons served to convey many of these values to emerging members of the middle class.  However the majority of the population retained allegiance to "that old time religion." One of the reasons emerging members of the middle class found enlightenment values so attractive was that gave them a perspective on religion that enabled them to develop a relatively integrated, rational faculty, which is useful in business and public affairs--until the adherents of "that old time religion" figure it out and react.

It was elites who proclaimed in the famous 1960s issue of Time Magazine that "God Is Dead."  The right seized on this and rode the backlash into dominance in the 1980s.  What left there remains in the USA has been swimming against this "dark ages" undertow every since.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue May 13th, 2008 at 01:23:45 AM EST
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