Saturday, October 22, 2005

Opinion Changing?

There's an interesting thread on Eric the Unred asking people if blogging has changed their opinions (please give examples).

I'm proud to say that it would take more than a feeble army of bloggers to change my mind on anything.

But bloggers have helped to clarify something for me. Particularly some of the morons in Harry's comment boxes.

Here's how. In my teens, I was quite sure that I was a socialist (no change there). So I detested Mrs Thatcher, natch. And when she declared war on the Argies, I was opposed to it.

The logic was simple; opposing the flotilla would give us another chance to show Mrs T in her true light. A socialist nirvana would follow as night follows day.

In my calculations, I didn't really give a toss about the poor Falklanders. So what if a military dictatorship over-ran a bunch of sheepshaggers? And so on.

I met a dishy young woman from the Falklands a few years later so, obviously, a new position had to be improvised quickly. I discovered muscular liberalism for the first time.

Age (and the pull of hungry gonads), not bloggers, showed me the error of my ways here. But I think you can explain a lot of the idiocy on the left in the same way that my oppositon to the Falklands expedition can be explained. They think:
  • America is a (sort of) democracy
  • The UK is even more of one
  • Activism can change democracies
  • You can't change dictatorships
  • So being more critical of democracies than of dictatorships makes sense
This recent blog posting illustrated this very well, I thought. So often, every new phenomenon is co-opted to support a pre-existing argument. For me, the Falklands was only about Mrs T. Even issues like the opposition to war in Iraq are more about 'Bliar' than they are about ... say, the Kurds?

While I doubt if mere argument ever actually changes opinions, Blogs can assure you that you're not alone in your views. They can offer a perspective.

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