We survived another hurricane of hype from the media. Why do the MSM eagerly anticipate hurricanes — instead of reporting facts — as if they actually want massive disaster?
No, it’s not because greedy corporations gin up phony news to make money. No, it’s not essentially because cynical politicians love catastrophes for the opportunity to look good helping victims (although that is a corollary reason).
The reason is much deeper that any of that; it goes to our culture’s fundamental idea of man’s nature. Widespread disaster represents the metaphysical essence of altruism. Catastrophe is not the accidental to altruists, it’s the way things should be.
The altruist sees productivity, achievement and happiness as accidents. Successful people are lucky freaks, bound by their success to help normal people — the weak and downtrodden.
Remember back in the ’90s when Al Gore in a convention speech called healthy people “temporarily able”? That’s the altruist vision of man: we’re all victims or potential victims. The essence of life, the really important thing, is helping victims. Morality is not about happiness and how to live well; it’s the duty to sacrifice for others.
So media and politicians cannot help themselves at the prospect of disaster. They want it. The routine of daily life — people going about their business, pursuing happiness, achieving goals — this is as false to the altruist as the world of facts is to the Platonist. But potential disaster brings them to life, for they see it as the chance to escape the illusions of happiness and success and find true morality in sacrifice.