Sunday, March 28, 2010

Clark on Beck's "12 Values"

Fred Clark (Slacktivist) has a perceptive commentary on Glenn Beck's "12 Values," contrasting values versus virtues:

Here is another distinction between the cheapness of values and the costly commitment of virtues -- virtues must be practiced in relationship. The Scout Law requires them to be out in the community and in the world doing things -- helping the proverbial little old lady across the street -- and thereby becoming things. But Beck's list doesn't require any such movement or action on behalf of his followers. All his list requires is that one sit around thinking of oneself as a person who values those values and who is, therefore, better than other people who presumably don't because they haven't joined the club.

And that, I think, is the primary point of Beck's list of "values" for him and for his followers. It's not about becoming virtuous people who practice these habits and come to embody them as character. It's about the pretense that asserting them means possessing them in greater measure than the Others, in whom such values are presumed to be absent.

Worth reading the whole things, as Slacktivist always is.

No comments: