Re: Are Beliefs Like Clothes?

Hagbard Celine (
Mon, 14 Jul 1997 02:57:43 -0400

Lee Daniel Crocker wrote:

> Although I think you ignore what to me seems like an equally likely--
> and more cynical--posibility: that people associtate with belief-
> based social groups specifically to /hide/ their true beliefs. That
> people may be active Democrats, for example, to make people think they
> care about the less fortunate without having to actually do any of the
> hard work of genuinely caring.

Many, if not most people wear the clothes they wear because they feel
that they look good in them. Why would I put on an article of clothing
that I thought detracted from my appearance? In much the same way, to be
"clothed" in a belief system connotes a type of external showmanship
that may indeed be a way to cozy up to a certain group of people, or
even win a vote or two.

Furthermore, beliefs cycle their way in and out of style much like the
latest fashions. Mainline Marxism has in many ways become out-of-style,
and instead, supplanted with the new, more flexible "Marx-based"
frameworks. The intelligentsia turn their noses up at "last season's
holdovers." Of course, to be cutting-edge you have to clothe yourself in
the lastest ideological style.

Good post, RH.