Carol Platt Liebau: Dragons in Newark, NJ

Friday, August 10, 2007

Dragons in Newark, NJ

This is guest blogger Wile E Coyote.

This article states that only 32 percent of children in Newark, NJ, are raised by their parents in a two-adult househould and that children in one-parent households are three times more likely to be poor.

http://www.city-journal.org/html/eon2007-08-09sm2.html

This situation is an example of a story not fitting the subject-threat-object framework, which is why the issue won't get the traction it should. There is no dragon here threatening the downtrodden of Newark. People are doing it to themselves. They are subjects. They can stop it themselves, and are being enabled by a liberal social policies. These policies allow the better-off liberals to think themselves heroes without having to live in this environment. These policies feed the overseers of the social-welfare plantation, who operate the bureaucracy. And these "heroes" and overseers provide the opiate of self-pity to the downtrodden by convincing them that their condition is the fault of some dragon, be it bigotry or big business, from which only the government can rescue them.

There is no conservative hero coming to rescue these people from the welfare-state dragon. There is no dragon. These communities need to wake up and rescue themselves from themselves.

5 Comments:

Blogger Greg said...

Looks to me like there IS a dragon in your post. You've painted liberal social policy as the dragon and the poor, single-parent families as the subject. And you've implicitly named social conservatism as the hero.

9:49 AM  
Blogger Carol Platt Liebau said...

The hero, dragon and princess are one and the same. What you call social conservatism is the belief that the people in these communities are and must recognize themselves as subjects of their own narrative and realize that the threat also lies within themselves.

Please see the last paragraph, in particular. As Lincoln said, "In all that people can do for themselves, government ought not to interfere."

10:04 AM  
Blogger Carol Platt Liebau said...

The above post was from Wile E Coyote.

10:05 AM  
Blogger Chepe Noyon said...

It's certainly true that the subject-threat-object framework can be used on people -- look how effective the use of the Terrorist-Dragon has been in inciting, inflaming, and terrorizing much of the American people.

But the framework you posit here seems very weak to me, and the motivations you claim are pure bunk. C'mon, how do you know what motivates liberals? If it's fair for you to psycho-analyze them, then surely you have no objection to their criticizing supporters of the war in Iraq as being motivated by insecurities about their masculinity, right?

Let's leave off this silly psycho-babble nonsense and just concentrate on the issues, OK?

11:07 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

Wile,

"The hero, dragon and princess are one and the same. What you call social conservatism is the belief that the people in these communities are and must recognize themselves as subjects of their own narrative and realize that the threat also lies within themselves."

I agree. But wasn't it the point of an earlier post that in order to simply issues and make them more readily accepted by the general public it is common practice to convert everything into the "subject-threat-object" framework?

Not to make too much of it, but it may actually be necessary to frame issues in this narrative. After all, conservatives, liberals, and all other stripes of people are parts of the same group. If "we" are the hero (subject), the dragon (threat), and the princess (object), then "we the hero" must persuade "we the princess" that "we the dragon" are indeed the threat before we can ever hope to get "we the princess" to become "we the hero" in order to defeat "we the dragon".

Ha! That was kind of fun - contorted and confusing, but fun.

In other words, each political ideology frames itself as the hero and other ideologies as the dragon in order to persuade enough people to their point of view that they may become the majority and enact their ideology.

I certainly agree with your Lincoln quote. And it's worth repeating:

"In all that people can do for themselves, government ought not to interfere."

12:21 PM  

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