I’ve heard of the Goodies, but these are the Goodists

An excellent article here from Jonathon Rosenblum in Jewish World Review talks about the Goodists. He writes as follows:

“The late firebrand Oriana Fallaci coined the term “Goodists” for those who employ politics as a means of self-congratulation. Goodists, writes Bret Stephens, put a higher premium on their moral intentions than the efficacy of their actions . . . . Above all, the Goodists are people who like to be seen to be good.”

Goodism goes a long way to explaining contemporary liberal attitudes to Israel, especially among those who booed the mention of Jerusalem at the Democratic Convention. Once the Palestinians are identified as the “have-nots” and the Israelis as the “haves,” the case is closed as far as Goodists are concerned. Nothing else matters.

The Jewish people’s historical connection to the Land, the condition of the Holy Land prior to the Second Aliyah, the history of the conflict and the consistent Arab refusal to accept a sovereign state ruled by Jews in any boundaries — are all beside the point. For again, what is at stake is not finding a practical settlement between Israel and the Palestinans. It is the use of the Palestinians to enable those who advocate on their behalf a means to establish their goodness at no cost or risk to themselves.

THE NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES of viewing politics as a morality play, a struggle between good and bad people, are many. For one thing, it makes the search for pragmatic, non-partisan solutions to problems almost impossible. As an example, every one acknowledges that the United States social security system, predicated on actuarial assumptions of the 1930s, when few workers lived much past 65, is no longer viable. In 1960, there were 5 workers for every beneficiary; today, the ratio is 2:1.

Paul Ryan proposed one plan for revamping social security on a fiscally sustainable basis. No doubt various experts would have much to argue against aspects of the plan. But once it becomes political, the plan can no longer serve as a starting point for discussion and further tinkering. Rather the author must be portrayed as seeking to push grandma off the cliff in a wheelchair. And so will it be with every such proposal, leaving the present unsustainable system in place.

The greater the extent to which political opinions are perceived as a choice between good and evil, the less finicky will the forces of “good” be about means, including the suppression of “bad” opposing opinions. A recent study of 800 social and personality psychologists by Yoel Inbar and Joris Lanners of Tilburg University showed that psychologists holding conservative views are prudent to hide those views. The willingness to discriminate in academic hiring or publication of academic papers correlated directly to liberal views — the more liberal the more willing to discriminate against colleagues.

That tendency goes a long way towards explaining how university campuses have become the near exclusive province of one side of the political spectrum. In a pre-election survey of Princeton University faculty and staff, those contributing to Obama outnumbered those contributing to Romney 155 to 2 (a visiting engineering professor and a janitor.)

THE POLITICS AS MORALITY TALE narrative blinds one to reality” …….

…….and Rosenblum continues with further examples.  While this makes a lot of sense,  it remains difficult to attribute motivations to people who one disagrees with, and presumably these people have not volunteered this information.

Makes you want to have a look at the Goodies

… Aegean Stables also has an excellent article about Rekab Street – the reverse in word and meaning of Sherlock Holmes’ Baker Street, where anything that doesn’t fit within the prevailing “narrative” of Pali’s = David, Israel = Goliath, is wilfully ignored.  See here.

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