11 votes

The right is using COVID-19 to wage war on reusable grocery bags

4 comments

  1. [3]
    pallas
    Link
    I'm a bit confused as to why the reusable and disposable bag question is somehow connected with political ideology. Without considering the environment at all, my reusable bags are far nicer to...

    I'm a bit confused as to why the reusable and disposable bag question is somehow connected with political ideology.

    Without considering the environment at all, my reusable bags are far nicer to use than any disposable bag is going to be. They're much sturdier, they have more comfortable handles and are more comfortable to use overall, they can hold much more, many of them will nicely sit upright, they won't stretch or break, and so on. Why would I want my groceries held by some bags of cheap, flimsy plastic film that will promptly spill everything if I set them down wrong, will stretch and break, and if they have handles at all, will probably stretch and break? Or some paper bags that risk disintegrating with the slightest bit of water, and where you have to constantly have to worry about the paper tearing, or the tacked-on handles falling off? When both are available, there really don't seem to be any advantages to disposable bags.

    It's one thing, maybe, to want disposable bags to be available if you don't happen to have bags with you at the moment (though everywhere I go, disposable bags are so cheap that it's not a significant cost increase), but to try to actively discourage the use reusable bags at all seems weirdly pointless unless you're, say, a plastics marketer trying to increase plastic consumption by any means necessary.

    Besides, don't many people with conservative views complain about things no longer being sturdy and built to last, usually in relation to Chinese manufacturing? Why would they want to demand to be be given cheap, disposable things for free?

    6 votes
    1. vivaria
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Progress vs. tradition? Change vs. things staying the same? Openness to new ideas? Climate change/global warming requires admitting that things are not fine the way they are, and that things do...

      I'm a bit confused as to why the reusable and disposable bag question is somehow connected with political ideology.

      Progress vs. tradition? Change vs. things staying the same? Openness to new ideas?

      Climate change/global warming requires admitting that things are not fine the way they are, and that things do need to change. It requires folks to say "The way I'm used to doing things (e.g. using plastic bags) isn't good anymore. I need to put in the effort to readjust." Change (especially "green"/environment-focused change) can be painful, too, because it requires facing the guilt/fear from how you've personally contributed to the state of things.

      AFAIK conservatives soothe these feelings with the narrative of "Actually, things are fine the way they are! You don't have to face those feelings, just keep on doing what you're doing. There's nothing wrong! Resist the change. The real reason they're pushing for "progress" is because they want to take away the Good Things you have in your Perfectly Good Situation. If they succeed, well... remember how great things used to be? Let's do what we can to go back to those times."

      I don't think it's usually about the details of the change itself. Even if it would be a positive/beneficial change (as you've described), it's still change, and change would threaten folks' worldviews.

      Besides, don't many people with conservative views complain about things no longer being sturdy and built to last, usually in relation to Chinese manufacturing? Why would they want to demand to be be given cheap, disposable things for free?

      Iunno... I think it tracks for people to hold self-contradictory views. :P

      15 votes
    2. NaraVara
      Link Parent
      Owning the libs is their ideology. If you're a lib-cuck and you think it's good, then it must be bad. More specifically, they are ideologically resistant to the concept of modifying their behavior...

      I'm a bit confused as to why the reusable and disposable bag question is somehow connected with political ideology.

      Owning the libs is their ideology. If you're a lib-cuck and you think it's good, then it must be bad.

      More specifically, they are ideologically resistant to the concept of modifying their behavior due to outside pressure in any way. Imagine how oppositional and defiant you were when you were a teenager and going through a rebellious phase. Now make that phase a core element of your moral world view: Nobody get to tell me what to do. Not ever. They deeply believe that they have a "core" self that is independent and inherently good, and anything you do through incentives, shame, or any sort of pressure to make them act against that "core self" is bad by definition.

      This is also why they like Trump so much. He just dispenses with the generic moral framings that conservatism tries to apply to create a semi-defensible, libertarian ethic around things. Once that's stripped out, though, you see it for what it is. He's a guy that seemingly does whatever he wants, whenever he wants, consequences be damned. There is no broader sense of responsibility or accountability there. It's just pure id.

      It's also clear why this seems to find special purchase among the religious right. They're an extremely psychologically repressed group of people. That repression metastatizes into a sense of resentment against any kind of fetters. They've deeply internalized liberal framings around racism and sexism and such as "being bad," but since they still instinctively feel racist or sexist feelings they're just wracked with resentment about it. The way out isn't to change how they feel, but to resent you for making them feel bad for being how they are. This is where the "Everyone's thinking it! I'm the only one brave enough to say it!" thing comes from. It's a persecution complex that leads to them lashing out in being defiant for the sake of defiance.

      6 votes
  2. skybrian
    Link
    Yeah, nobody knows anything, but it's probably a very rare form of transmission and an unimportant thing to fight over during a crisis. If some people want to put off making a change when...

    Yeah, nobody knows anything, but it's probably a very rare form of transmission and an unimportant thing to fight over during a crisis. If some people want to put off making a change when everything else is changing, sure, why not?

    1 vote