Consciousness Razing

A Facebook friend of mine was talking about some GOP political doings (she’s not a fan), and made the following comment:

[P]eople will vote against their own best interests […], and then wonder what happened[.]

I always marvel at that sort of phrasing. It seems to me to be at the least rather presumptive (even paternalistic) to believe that one knows the best interests of others better than the people themselves. Of course, this is just the old Marxist “false consciousness” rap, whether it’s put as my friend does or in the “What’s the matter with Kansas?” sort of way.

But I also find it interesting that these speakers seem to limit the notion of “best interests” to materialistic issues, and also assume that those interests are best furthered through governmental involvement (for example, in the form of unsustainable public pensions). It just seems like a terribly narrow view of life.


About profmondo

Dad, husband, mostly free individual, medievalist, writer, and drummer. "Gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche."
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