One of the more popular local radio shows in the Twin Cities area is called Garage Logic. And one of the running gigs they have is “the Mystery.” “The Mystery” is where you would have people lobbying their city council to ban leaf blowers because of the pollution and noise. Or middle-aged, gray ponytailed Baby Boomers protesting the war on the bridges spanning over the Mississippi. Or overzealous do-gooders passing smoking bans.. At first it seemed to confuse the host so much that I wrote this theory as to explain “The Mystery.” Then it dawned on me that if “The Mystery” were solved, the whole "Mystery" gig wouldn't fly anymore. Kind of like preventing Niles and Daphney from ever getting together. However, I think the insights provided in my explanation does explain these people’s behavior and to a larger extent what ultimately drives liberals. Hope you enjoy.
The epitome of the mystery is that there are people out there who act, say, and believe things that are completely illogical. They then give you an incredibly weak or obscure rationale as to why they do, say or believe such things. This can range from a government worker demanding higher pay when they’re already paid 30% more than their private sector counterparts, to a mob of students destroying the downtown Seattle area in protest against globalization, to an environmentalist claiming that cutting your lawn with a weed whacker emits 2 million pounds of greenhouse gases into the environment.
At first glance they are seemingly unrelated. However, there is a common thread they share and this is the solution, the reason why there is the mystery;
They refuse to adhere to reality because they are lazy.
It is quite a link to claim that an environmentalist who insists a sole weed whacker emits 2 million pounds of greenhouse gases does so because he doesn’t want to adhere to reality because his is lazy, but let me make several daring and dangerous links.
First off, there is a reality. There is a real world. It is the world we all live in, and whether we accept it or not, we have no choice but to abide by it.
Governing this real world are many laws, but two undeniable laws in particular are related to The Mystery;
One, in order for a society to survive they must produce the goods and services necessary for survival and produce them more efficiently should society wish to improve standards of living.
Two, it is human nature to be lazy – i.e. to get more for less.
It is these two undeniable (and diametrically opposed) laws that necessitate an economic system that is based in reality. This economic system must be based in human nature and what they are prone to do, not in human kindness or what we would hope for them to do. It is because of this that capitalism is the most efficient and successful economic system and any attempts otherwise, as evidenced by the former Soviet Union, current day North Korea, former Marxist Ethiopia, Cuba, etc., are bound to fail.
Therefore, capitalism is not debatable, it is reality.
However, capitalism is not infallible and has one great weakness;
It has a tendency to spoil its participants.
Be it a Baby Boomer who had the luxury of growing up during the post WWII economic boom turned 60’s radical, leftist, anti-war hippie, or their modern day suburbanite anti-globalization protestor equivalent, both share a common trait;
They largely owe their unrivalled standards of living, employment, and wealth to capitalism, ie-vast prosperity.
Yet at the same time capitalism is so successful that it effectively shields them from the harsh realities of life. And without having to work, strive or suffer for that wealth, these people, especially when growing up, not only take such high standards of living, employment and wealth for granted, but consider them rights and entitlements.
It is this dichotomy that creates the environment in which The Mystery can form. On one hand, capitalism is providing for the livelihood of an individual. But at the same time spoils the individual so much that he/she can afford to revert back to their lazy human nature and purport the most outlandish theories and ideologies that are not based in reality but rather in their own selfish, human nature desires. This disconnect from reality and intentional ignorance of how capitalism/the real world works effectively allows a person to “have their cake and eat it too.” The result is a person can then live off the system, using whatever excuse or rationale to forego responsibility and hold beliefs or live a lifestyle that runs contradictory to what we Garage Logicians know to be fact, truth, reality and logical.
Having said that, it would seem only spoiled children can be Mysterians presuming that once they entered the real world, and were forced to get jobs to support themselves they would become adults and grow up. However, two things effectively prevent this. One, capitalism is so successful that a good portion of the population can (and in some cases are) being taken care of by their parents’ money well into their 40’s, and some trust fund babies, indefinitely. Two, over the course of the past 30 years, a system has been installed in our society that allows people (wealthy or not) the option of never having to get a real job, with real work, effectively shielding them from the real world for the entirety of their adult lives, namely what I call the “non-private sector;”
Academia, NGO’s, the public sector, non-profit industries, etc.
Thus, instead of real jobs in the private sector where competition inevitably forces production, efficiency, and the reality that one must work hard to succeed, one can now major in philosophy, women’s studies, Hyphenated-American studies, sociology, communications and the uber-Mysterian “peace studies.” And no longer do they have to get jobs as a machinist, an accountant, a doctor, a janitor, a chef, a customer service rep or somebody else that produces and contributes to society. But rather they can become sociology professors, psychology professors, philosophy professors, diversity counselors, grant writers, professional protestors, activists, lobbyists, journalists, career politicians, trial lawyers and a plethora of other equally worthless careers which compose the vast majority of Euphorians’ and Mysterians’ employment.
While this explains the incentives or at least the rationale of the Eurphorians and Mysterians it does not explain why they make such outlandish statements or are so adamant in their protests. Why they are so vocal, and zealous in establishing their cause. Why we see some many examples of The Mystery so frequently. However, this is very simple to explain;
Realize the vast majority of these Mysterian careers are NOT demanded by the free market and must be imposed on the taxpayer by force via the government or people must be guilt-tripped into donating money to their cause. Therefore lobbying, protesting, and legislating are part of the game to protect their “industry.” Furthermore, in order to GROW their “industry” they use a technique that provides us with the majority of instances of The Mystery today;
Criminalizing other entities, industries, groups of people, etc.
Tobacco companies, fast food companies, oil companies, white men, rich white men, rich white oil men in Texas, the WTO, the IMF, the military, the CIA, John Ashcroft, big business, capitalism, pharmaceuticals, NAFTA, America, cars, Haliburton, SUV’s, even mold, are all targets of the Mysterians because they represent future or at least potential cash flows in the future, but at minimum, a continuation of their “causes.”
The problem with attacking or criminalizing these groups is that these groups aren’t evil, malicious, or criminal. All things being said they are products of reality and the free market. At worst they are a government policy attempting to respond to reality. The SUV is in response to the demands of a free people in a free market. Unhealthy fat food is in response to the demands of a free people in a free market. The military is in response to the fact people don’t like us and the government attempts to protect us. And rich white men are more often than not the result of hard work, studying, and creativity. And thus, in order to criminalize them Mysterians must fabricate a rationale or reason that is not based in reality, or at best has some really shoddy evidence to support their claim. This is where you see cardiac-arrest-inducing examples of The Mystery at play in the real world:
Global warming exists and is brought on by the automobile.
You are fat because McDonald’s made you that way.
You are poor and your life sucks because of racist, sexist white men.
People who drive bigger cars are endangering those of us who drives SPECS.
This, if for any other reason, is why we have been unable to solve The Mystery. Because we focus on the cause or crusade and its inanity and not what drives the people behind it. Realize, it doesn’t matter what the cause or crusade is because the cause or crusade is fabricated for an ulterior motive. It could just as well be global warming as it is sex discrimination, because the ulterior motive is nothing as noble as protecting the environment or advancing the well-being of women. It’s not about eliminating racism. It’s not about the ethical treatment of animals. The only thing it’s about is the Mysterian. Providing and securing the Mysterian a career for some fabricated cause. Giving them some self-concocted sense of pseudo self-worth. Furnishing them with an utterly hollow rationale that somehow “they’re contributing to society.” In short providing them a lifestyle void of responsibility and reality.
It is nothing as noble as helping 3rd World children and absolutely nothing resembling the real world or the truth.
This is why you have The Mystery. This is why you will never see the NAACP or Jesse Jackson even admit to an improvement in race relations. This is why schools will always be underfunded and will cry bloody murder and child abuse if you just hold their budgets steady. This is why the environment will forever be on the apocalyptic verge of destruction even if we ban the automobile. This is why you can have a women’s studies professor claim she is 100% independent while in reality she is the trophy wife of the public sector. This is why you have Arriana Huffington and Mark Dayton inheriting their money going on political crusades to make themselves feel better. This is even arguably why you have the son of a rich Saudi millionaire flying planes in our buildings to make up for his inability to survive without his Daddy’s money. Simply because people are lazy and do not want to put forth the required effort to face up to and succeed in the real world nor do they want to succumb to a career that they view as “beneath them.” And it is just so much easier to ignore reality, claim you’re a victim, claim you’re a crusader for some “noble cause,” villanize targeted groups, and just outright lie especially when a system is in place to foster and encourage such behavior.
I hope this helps explain The Mystery or at least maybe proposes some new theories about it.