The battle for the middle

The problem is, everyone want to be perceived smart and nuanced, as those are attributes that confer social status, so the result is this fight for the sensible/reasonable middle even among individuals who would otherwise be considered on the fringe ideologically. There is the need to position oneself as being the ‘sensible middle’ between two competing extremes.

An an example of appealing to the middle of two extremes, is the statement along lines of “socialism/communism is bad but so is unfettered/unchecked capitalism.” I see this sort of reasoning a lot online, but it’s not an actual argument, although it looks like and is presented as one. Appealing to the middle acts as substitute or surrogate for making an argument or establishing any sort of position or stance that must be defended and can be refuted, and it appeals to the commonsense notion that the best answer is always between competing extremes. It gets repetitive when you have so many people employing this sort of logic. Sometimes saying ‘I don’t know’ is better than assuming or implying the optimum is in the middle or assuming that the issue can be reduced to such a dichotomy in the first place.

No one wants to be seen as too close-minded, as too old fashioned, as not being intellectually charitable enough and inclusive to the left. Everyone responds to incentives, and social status is a really good one. The mealy-mouthed middle prevails, as that is the position that confers the most status and revenue. The result is a sort of equivocation or dance between the extreme and the middle. The attainment of wealth and social status America’s two new forms of region in our otherwise increasingly secular society. In the past, church and god provided fulfillment, but more so than ever such fulfillment is through the approval and admiration of others. Much like politicians trying to win votes,we are trying to win approval of an audience, real or imagined.