False equivalency is what is destroying our society, and the Media has participated by giving equal status to both sides of an argument, even when one side is a distortion of evidence. False equivalency tries to restore balance when the scales are obviously out of balance. If we accuse Trump of something,…well…Obama did it too. A false zero sum.
No matter what you say, the other side comes up with an equal weight on the other side of the scale. History stops. The See Saw continues. Our society is a progressive culture that believes tomorrow will be better than today…but false equivalency stop progress and creates anxiety and anger, each side blaming the other side for the halt in progress.
The post modern world has become Tribal because secular consumer modernity cannot offer meaning to life other than being a consumer and finding meaning through consumption of more stuff, a pawn of advertising. When you belong to a Tribe, that tribe becomes the bowl that shapes your mind and gives you meaning— I’m not the other tribe. A tribal meaning is a sub-culture with a larger culture and its meaning comes from its enemy. Existence is defined by war with other tribes.
Progress is a transcendent Idea that pulls a polarity out of itself into a larger whole. When the Idea of Transcendence is lost, we become trapped in form, time and history with no way out to a better future. Scientific materialism that creates the modern secular state has been a progressive movement to an always better future through science. But now, we have come to realize that science and rational logic does not create a Utopia, in fact, we have come to realize that the science that fixes the world only creates bugs immune to the latest fix. We are disbelieving in the Idea of Progress. And that creates despair and a longing for a past golden age instead of a promised land in the future.
Cable Media created the battle of the split screen with a left opinion and a right opinion each offering a valid logic to support their view, leaving the viewer lost in ambiguity, confused, and unable to choose the truth, since there are now two truths. This is good to attract viewers, these constant battles for the One Truth. But is creates a neurosis in the collective mind.
False Equivalency creates the anxiety if not terror of ambiguity. What’s the Truth. I don’t know. I can’t choose. And if I can’t choose, I don’t exist as the Chooser, which is how we know we are who we are. I exist because I choose. Being able to choose is how we define freedom. When we can’t choose, we have no freedom.
False equivalency puts us in an oscillation between equal choices, each canceling out the other. The political manipulation here is that when we can’t choose, we defer to some authority who can choose for us: religion, a cult leader, a parental figure, an expert, the guru, the doctor, and the dictator.