[Marxism] The new number one reason to vote Nader

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon May 31 11:09:41 MDT 2004


Dissent Magazine, Spring 2004
Ralph Nader and the Will to Marginality
by Todd Gitlin

A classic book of social psychology analyzes a flying saucer cult of the 
1950s. This small band of Americans believed that on a particular date 
soon to come, the world would be engulfed by a flood of biblical 
proportions-but also that, on the very same day, flying saucers would 
arrive and rescue the true believers. Researchers infiltrated the group 
and waited to see what would happen.

Came the designated day, the landscape remained dry, no saucers landed, 
and how did the believers respond? A number of them fell away. But as in 
similar cases of millenarian prophecy over previous centuries, there 
remained a core of fanatics who, having already turned their lives 
upside down to conform to the prophecy, took courage from the support 
they found in their group. They stuck to their guns, reinterpreted the 
data in such a way as to justify the commitments they had already 
undertaken, and intensified their proselytizing efforts. If reality was 
going to be in such poor form as to disconfirm their belief, they would 
find a way to make belief and reality match. If they could win converts 
in a second round of proselytizing, they would confirm the wisdom they 
had demonstrated in the first.

full: http://www.dissentmagazine.org/

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