In an interview with the authors of Wikinomics, Rabble co-founder Judy Rebick inadvertently offered the perfect explanation for some of the bizarre material that appears on that website.
The website is essentially reader-produced. Authors are encouraged to contribute based on reader response. That not only means that work that is otherwise unreadable tripe has an unusual staying power on the Rabble site, it also means that the pressure is on authors to produce work that is ideologically soothing, even if it's entirely idiotic.
For evidence, one needs look no further than a column published there by "social justice litigation lawyer" Jim Quail. In searching for an explanation for the Vancouver riot, Quail has reached a rather peculiar conclusion: blame Margaret Thatcher.
It actually offers a crash course in the process by which Rabble's material is produced:
Step one - disregard the facts: Or, better yet, write a column that doesn't rely on one. Not a single, solitary fact to back Quail's bold demagogic assertions.
Step two - disregard logic: The logical lapses in Quail's work are comically overwhelming. Take, for example, this bizarre passage:
"There is a world of difference between happiness and fun: fun is the drug that drives consumer-capitalism. It is the new opiate, displacing religion. Contrary to the line in the Beatles song, fun -- the distraction of immediate gratification -- is one of the things most readily bought with money. On the other hand, happiness -- the existential joy of human meaning and fulfillment -- cannot be purchased. Happiness flows from our involvement in the great collaborative process of society. Fun is essentially solitary, the cold inner loneliness of the party-goer’s relentless struggles to stimulate the pleasure-centres of the brain."Apparently, Quail thinks he can actually quantify fun. Once one gets past this, it becomes difficult to not speculate on how Quail spent his youth. He proclaims fun to be solitary.
That doesn't seem to be the kind of wisdom that emerges from a person who spent his childhood playing baseball or street hockey with his friends. Rather, it seems like the kind of thought that creeps into the mind of a child who spends his time alone with his model railroad (today it would be video games).
Quail very clearly hasn't been to very many parties. The loner getting drunk by hismelf isn't really having a lot of fun; he's a loser.
Truthfully, fun is something that is typically shared with good friends and family. Yes, sometimes it costs money. But it doesn't have to. And contrary to Quail's assertion, it isn't really something someone can buy.
Comparatively, he declares happiness to stem from "our involvement in the great collaborative processes of society".
It certainly sounds like he's suggesting that the true path to happiness is not through personal achievement and self-actualization. It certainly sounds like he's suggesting that the true path to happiness is not through building strong relationships with one's friends and one's family.
No, Quail seems to be suggesting that the true path to happiness is through participation in massive left-wing "collaborative" social programmes. That idea, frankly, just speaks for itself.
It's with this particular bias in mind that Quail just can't seem to understand Thatcher. So, instead, he chooses to demonize her.
"Capitalism’s political leadership of the past four decades undertook the project of cultural vandalism with a vengeance. Their standard-bearer was England’s Prime Minister Thatcher, who famously summarized the atomization and negation of human society: 'there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families.'"It's true that Thatcher said this. She's never apologized for it, and never bothered to explain it. Personally, this author considers this statement to be a repudiation of the far-left's vision of society, one wherein people's individual efforts were to be directed toward collective goals. Rather, Thatcher viewed society as it is: made up of individuals with their own individual goals, dreams and desires, and that any collective goals have to be built out of those individual goals.
One thing that Thatcher stood firmly against was any sense of entitlement. Like it or not, one thing, more than anything, stood out in the Vancouver hockey riot: a sense of frustrated entitlement. At least in part, this riot was perpetrated by fans who had convinced themselves their team was entitled to win the Stanley Cup. When this didn't happen, they threw a tantrum.
Thatcher would never have tolerated the idea that anyone is entitled to anything. "Social justice litigators", on the other hand, approach their work with the idea that people are legally entitled to certain things; often things to which no entitlement exists.
It's that sense of entitlement that draws Greek protesters into the streets to protest against austerity progreams meant to save their country's economy. Although a riot over frustrated championship ambition seems more childish than a riot to preserve lavish social programs that are literally about to destroy Greece, at the core it's no less childish at all.
It's Margaret Thatcher's message of personal responsibility that holds incidents such as the Vancouver riot at bay. It's the collectivist ideal that Quail champions that ells people that collective guilt erases personal responsibility -- and results in bizarre excuses for apologies that attempt to dissemble any sense of personal responsibility.
Then, of course, there's the ultimate punchline. Considering the age group of the majority of the rioters seen on CTV and CBC news footage, most of them likely have no clue who Margaret Thatcher is.
But fortuantely for Jim Quail, he publishes his work on Rabble.ca: where something doesn't need to be factually or logically sound, so long as it's ideologically soothing.
Think of it as a political opiate for morons.