Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sarah Palin Wants Us to Restore Accountability in America

I'm not responsible, you are! That's what "personal responsibility" equates to, in a nutshell.

In trying to avoid accountability for, among other things, placing gunsight crosshairs on a political map including the district of wounded congresswoman Gifford, Sarah Palin tells us, using a standard rightwing fallacy, we should place 100% of the blame on the shooter and "restore accountability in America." That way, the blame is taken off herself. Palin's "logic": We need to restore accountability in America, therefore I'm not accountable.

Obviously a democracy can't function with this level of illiteracy actually in play amongst its citizenry.

The standard Libertarian/rightwing conservative fallacy (normally used to rationalize welfare for the rich and absolve them of responsibility--see below) that everyone lives in a vacuum, there's no interdependence, no interaction, and no one and no thing ever influences anything or anyone else ("personal responsibility" is the phrase conservatives developed to fool people) is what Palin falls back on here, while going on TV in an attempt to--you got it--influence others.

"Personal responsibility" is a logical contradiction. All responsibility is social, therefore "personal responsibility" equates to, logically, irresponsibility. The syllogism: Everyone's responsible for themselves, therefore, I'm not responsible. (Works well for the idle investor class cashing in via free market economics on the backs of working people, for example.)

What's wrong with the concept of responsibility? Nothing--it needs no modification. "Personal responsibility" therefore actually equates to irresponsibility, and the phrase is used for the purpose of abdicating actual responsibility.




4 comments:

Anonymous said...

This small article is as twisted and irresponsible as anything else that tries to speak about accountability in the USA. Does anyone care about what Palin says? But when you argue that responsibility is only social, not individual, you are trying to turn things upside down. Yes, responsibility is first of all and foremost personal. When we try to pretend it is social, than we have the responsibility taken away from an individual - why, it is the society, not me; it is my environment, my parents, teachers, my firm, neighbors who are to blame! But I am so good! This notion comes from a socialist perspective that places society at the top of the nation and country minimizing the role of morals, faith, responsibility that are inherently personal and individual. Socialism which so"prettily" manifested itself in the Soviet Union declared prevalence of the society over the individual, and what happened? Total irresponsibility of
those in power and down to the lowest worker - why to worry? Let the society account for every individual's fault. Let the collective "people's" government make decisions for me. Then I am faultless and blameless. Isn' t it what happens in the courts when predators, criminals and rapists are freed because the court believes it is the society that has to be accountable? With your argumentations, dear friends, we will soon live to see this greatcountry collapse just for that lack of individual responsibility of everyone in his or her place which is the backbone of social accountability.

ChristianEcon said...
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ChristianEcon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ChristianEcon said...

The actions of others do in fact have an affect on us. We are interdependent. Otherwise you'd have had nothing to complain about in your argument--yet it seems you have plenty.

We're all responsible for the choices we make/don't make; nothing more and nothing less. That's the nature of the concept. The point I made was to shed light on why the modifier "personal" was added to it.