Sunday, May 28, 2006

The Peter Pan Right and Will

(image from Pandagon)

Amanda has an excellent post about the Right and its obsession with 'will.' If only the U.S. had the will to prevail in Iraq, it would do so. Of course, things like adequate supplies, good tactical and strategic positions, and an intelligent strategy have nothing to do with success. There's an old military adage: amateurs study tactics, professionals study logistics. By this standard, those who 'study' will are complete fucking idiots.

As with every other issue, conservatives reduce the entire problem–drugs, terrorism, Iraq, and don't forget Vietnam–solely to an issue of intent, and ignore realities, outcomes, and consequences. Will is everything.

The irony of the conservative obsession with will is that this obsession ultimately leads to a position of ammoral relativism, the supposed shibboleth of cultural conservatives. If you are not winning, you simply must become even more ruthless, more cruel, more inhuman. After all, failure stems from a failure of will, not poor strategy, design, or planning. There is always another law to vitiate, person to imprison and torture, or town to pacify.

Despite the glorification of pseudo-religion by conservatives, the obsession with will reveals a narcissism at the core of modern conservatism. Will is easy. No outcomes to assess, strategies to plan. You do not actually have to know or understand anything. Just click your heels, throw some pixie dust in the air, think happy thoughts, and all will be right.

Weren't these guys supposed to be the grownups?

Update: this idiocy never seems to die.

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