Today in cognitive dissonance: Relating to Battlefield 4

On one hand, feeling pride about the Swedish game developers at DICE and the technically and visually astonishing fourth installment of their first-person shooter series Battlefield.

On the other; torment about the game’s nihilistic and intellectually void exploitation of senseless violence with no apparent human cost, emotional impact or political consequence.

BATTLEFIELD-4

Who’s racist in Sweden? Everyone!

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Johanna Langhorst had an article over at SVT Debatt the other day in which she goes all in to reinforce the new favorite pet in left-leaning commentary – collective guilt and, specifically, collective Racism.

Because you see [irony ahead], deep down, we’re all Racists. Racism is the new original sin, to which the only salvation is unconditional confession. Langhorst, in her good graces, doesn’t limit her confession to herself in the article, but declares us all sinners of Racism – presumably assuring her own salvation and forgiveness in the process. Who’s her savior? Perhaps a manifestation of that missing paternal presence from childhood that seems to lurk in the background whenever there’s Messianic preachings of guilt going on.

Anyway. It’s obvious that personal scrutiny and introspection is everyone’s obligation, but there still has to be an incentive for it. I suppose different ideologies (or theologies) go about this in different ways, but I’m pretty sure most behaviorists would agree that positive motivation, driven by reward and a sense of being part of the solution, is stronger than motivation driven by fear or guilt.

Nevertheless, Langhorst evidently believes there’s good reason to smear this smelly epithet of Racism on society as a whole. After all, there’s been a couple of reports of incidents with racial undertones in the media recently. And Langhorst have “dark-skinned friends“ who’ve been subject to racial slurs. I guess with a little accumulation and extrapolation one could reach any conclusions about society.

I’m not belittling hers or her friends experiences, or defending any media report. I just think her way to generalize and ascribe attributes collectively is reckless, counterproductive and, well, somewhat racist in itself.

But the twist of the story has to do with another of Langhorst’s bold claims – the notion that an unwillingness of “white majority-Swedes” to relocate to the troubled, failed suburbs is yet another signature of “the deep roots of Swedish racism” and “racist structures”:

The same Swedes who would never consider living in Tensta or Rosengård. The same Swedes who put their children in all-white schools and hire cheap, likely illegal foreign housemaids.

That is, a mere hesitation to put yourself and your family in one of those troubled areas is racist. Then what to make of this fact: Langhorst herself left Tensta in 2011 after her son had been robbed twice in a month and didn’t dare walking home alone anymore. Yes, the very same suburb she mentions in the article. That’s pretty amazing. She actually accuses society of racism – for something she did herself just two years ago.

One would think that such a terrible personal experience would make her a bit more humble and empathic for the choices of others when it comes to the future and safety of their families. Or, at least, that some kind of cognitive dissonance would prevent her from putting it so bluntly as to essentially label herself racist.

Then again, maybe that’s how she really feels. And maybe that’s why she’s so eager to blame someone else. It’s not she who’s racist – it’s everyone else. Everyone!