Friday, August 01, 2003

Personal is Political: Some silly broad . . . er, animal rights activist changed her name to (the name of a pro-vegetarian website), in order, says the article, "to get people talking about vegetarianism and animal rights wherever she pulls out her new driver's license — at the airport, the bank or anyplace else." A number of thoughts come to mind, but one seems to dominate: Look at the agenda of non-profits like PETA (the owner of the GoVeg website) and the organizations it subsidizes, like ELF and ALF. (While you're at it, breeze through Eric Hoffer's The True Believer, the most remarkable piece of amateur sociology ever committed to print.) Now look back at young Miss GoVeg and inspect the mentality of a particular brand of fascism, credulity of a national socialism of good intentions. As Hoffer said:
There is apparently some connection between dissatisfaction with oneself and proneness to credulity. The urge to escape our real self is also an urge to escape the rational and the obvious. The refusal to see ourselves as we are develops a distaste for facts and cold logic. There is no hope for the frustrated in the actual and the possible. Salvation can come to them only from the miraculous, which seeps through a crack in the iron wall of inexorable reality. They asked to be deceived.
Perhaps even a dissatisfaction in the throes of which an acolyte might change her name. In religions cults and mass movements, it's common to the point of banality.

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