May 26, 2005

pain relief...

Wretchard writes (and if you follow his blog, you're aware that he knows):

I'd have to say that Amnesty International's Report claiming the US is the world's worst human rights violator condemns itself far more than it does the United States. Anyone who has lived in the Third World or any of the places which Amnesty International purports to care about knows -- and I mean knows for a fact -- what police abuse, torture, arbitrary detention, etc. really are and that it cannot be compared in any wise to the "Gulag" in Guantanamo Bay. Moreover, anyone who has lived in such places knows that the last place where victims can find practical help is from Amnesty International.

Like all non-profits, Amnesty quickly came to be driven by the need for donations, just as businesses are driven by the need for sales. Amnesty is selling a product, and they tailor the product to the market.

Amnesty International is actually selling two related products. One product is relief from White Liberal Guilt. Guilt because we in developed nations are prosperous and have freedom from fear and oppression, while other places are hell-holes of poverty and tyranny. Donations provide the illusion that one is doing something, while not really changing anything.

Now a visitor from another planet might ask, "SO, if your country is prosperous and free, why aren't you happy and proud, rather than guilty? And why aren't you eager to spread these benefits to the less-advantaged?" The problem is that Liberals are a set that is almost the same as the set that believes that prosperity and justice does (and must) flow from the actions of experts, working in government or large organizations. This widely-held belief is, in fact, insane, and is contradicted by evidence on every hand. Prosperity flows upwards from ordinary people, and flourishes where regulation is minimal and where new ideas and enterprises are allowed to destroy large bureaucratic old ones. Justice flourishes where the voters can correct abuses.

Which brings us to "product" number two. If you believe something that's insane, and you are bombarded by evidence daily that your deeply-held beliefs are crazy, than you need pain relief! A vast industry has arisen to provide it. Amnesty International is one of the providers, and its real job is to tell people, "You're sane, the other guys are crazy." Hence the gobbledygook about America being the world's worst human rights violator. Or the silly stuff about America being a fascist country (when Republicans are in the White House).

Posted by John Weidner at May 26, 2005 9:18 AM
Weblog by John Weidner