Sunday, December 04, 2011

Loyalty and Bigotry

Here's a pangrammatical supplement that occurred to me today. It started with the observation that loyalty and truth are often opposed, as are loyalty and honesty. We need only imagine the simple situation of someone asking you what you think of someone you're loyal to or, still more simply, of having the opportunity to report on a friend's crimes. Loyalty presumably trumps truth and honesty.

So, what is to justice and decency (truth and honesty's supplements) as loyalty is to truth and honesty? (It is interesting to note that loyalty is on the power side of power/knowledge, along with justice and decency.) What can make us deny justice and decency for the sake of belief just as a loyalty can make us deny truth and honesty for the sake of desire? (Loyalty is a configuration of desire.)

The answer appears to be bigotry, i.e., the obstinate holding of a belief. Loyalty is simply obstinate desire.

I once wrote, "The informal, personal, and often violent networks of loyalty that run the world in the background of [hard-boiled detective] novels are arguably fascist." We can now talk about the discontented, reified, and often obscure networks of bigotry that also operate there.

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