Mark Humphrys - Politics - Laws
Paradox No.1: The most criticised societies will be the least criminal societies.
Followup: Problems with the western media
Paradox No.2: The greater the hatred and cruelty, the less the reason.
The Law of Protests: Protests and demos do not represent public opinion.
Some universal laws and paradoxes of human nature
by Mark Humphrys
The common thread in my atheism and my politics is the sad, tragic sense that humans are irrational. Throughout the world, hundreds of millions of people - family men, loving mothers and idealistic youth - believe in nonsensical religions and support hateful political positions. Their heads are filled with powerful memes that are good at reproducing, independent of truth and reason.
It is not so widely recognised that people's political beliefs, as well as their religious beliefs, are dominated by meme competition, rather than by reason and logic. Here's a couple of laws that I see as holding true on this planet.
This is really Moynihan's Law, which points out that the worst societies have the least domestic criticism. I am just pointing out that a free foreign press does not make up for this. The worst societies still have the least criticism.
Finally, what is the effect on people of this imbalance?
In the closed society, the regime (happily) reprints the free society's criticisms of itself. No criticisms are printed of the closed society. Many people in the closed society, not knowing anything else, may even come to believe that the free society is more flawed than the closed society. For example, in the Arab Middle East, most criticism seems to be of Israel and America, rather than of their own societies, which are far more flawed.
And in the free society, naive young people read the criticisms of the free society, and don't read the (small) criticisms of (uninteresting) foreign closed societies. They too may even come to believe that the free societies are the worst societies. And so we see a thousand marches and protests against America, Israel and Britain in the west, while I personally cannot ever remember a single major protest against the Soviet Union, China, Iraq, North Korea, North Vietnam, Serbia, the Sudan or any of recent history's serious criminals.
Similarly, I have seen in my life an endless series of posters, banners, graffiti and cartoons comparing the free countries of America, Israel and Britain to Nazi Germany, and their leaders to Hitler. I'm not sure I have ever seen this about an unfree country.
By definition, the countries people protest about are the best countries. They get this abuse because they are not ruthless enough. If they really were imperialists and mass killers (like the Soviet Union), no one would protest about them.