Liberals: get your stories straight, part 1: individual ability and responsibility.
I’ll start with a liberal inconsistency relevant to sustainability, not that they monopolize them or are the most egregious, but I have to start somewhere.
Mention anything related to my environmental footprint or personal action to many liberals and I’d better prepare for them to lecture me on how BP publicized the concept to deflect blame from them to individuals, or some similar reason why their or my actions don’t matter. I think they partly want to show off how smart they are knowing about BP’s nefarious plots, or think they are, but mostly I think they want to rationalize that they don’t want to sacrifice their creature comforts, like flying, takeout, and such.
Their intended message: “You can’t change the system through individual action. Individual action doesn’t make a difference.”
Their actual message: “Others have to change, not me.”
Mention race or sex and I better prepare for a lecture on how, no matter what I do, and it may not be my fault, but I was born into a racist, sexist system that I benefit from in ways I can’t avoid and unless I fight against it, I am racist and sexist. Again, I think they partly want to show off how smart they are, or think they are, but mostly I think they want to deflect guilt they feel if they are members of a group they consider oppressive, or guilt others if they are members of a group they consider oppressed.
Their intended message: “You must change the system. Individual action is important.”
Their actual message: “Accidents of your birth define you.”
How to reconcile
They can replace judging others with asking themselves what they can do and not remaining satisfied with “not much.”
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