Isms

Elective Democracy

The theory that if you keep your foot on the accelerator and only touch the steering wheel every five years or so, you'll eventually get where you wanted to go.

Popular Democracy

The belief that the mass of people can tear themselves away from "General Hospital" long enough to take an intelligent interest in their own affairs.

Communism

The belief that if we hand supreme power to a group of bureaucrats, they will make us all rich and happy and then meekly return control when they're done.

Socialism

The belief that the rich will stand idly by while the poor get what they deserve.

Capitalism

The belief that being oppressed by corporations is more enjoyable than being oppressed by despots, and that the highest human good is the opportunity to choose between two types of hamburger.

New World Order

From now on, it's the New World that gives the orders.

Libertarianism

The belief that it will all be all right if everyone just does what they want.

Authoritarianism

The belief that it will all be all right if everyone just does what they are told.

Monarchy/Aristocracy

The theory that coming from a long line of people who have always lived in larger houses than anyone else somehow makes you wiser, worthier or more entitled to respect.

White supremacy

The belief that a semi-literate Skrewdriver fan in Doctor Martens is the intellectual, moral and spiritual superior of Martin Luther King, Ramanujan, Confucius and Albert Einstein.

Racism

The belief that the packaging counts for more than the contents. On the plus side, it ought to be very easy to buy Christmas presents for racists, on the grounds that they should accept anything as long as it's nicely wrapped.

Scientology

The belief that vulnerable and depressed people will pay huge sums of money to be told ninth-rate science fiction stories by greedy charlatans.

Christianity

The belief that an all-powerful, all-knowing entity that created the entire universe has nothing more important to worry about than your sex life and whether you use bad language.

Judaism

As above, but no bacon sandwiches.

Islam

No booze either.

Puritanism

The belief that an all-powerful entity created the universe in order for us not to enjoy ourselves.

Catholicism

The belief that the Supreme Being punishes those who displease Him, but that provided you make a full and frank statement to one of His representatives, you're off the hook.

Christian Fundamentalism

The belief that God hates common sense even more than He hates sin. The belief that inflicting atrocious tortures on those who disagree with you and laying complicated traps designed to lure your creations into error are the hallmarks of a kind and benevolent deity.

Satanism

The belief that things must be better with the Other Guy, that black is cool, and sex with dogs is fun (even if you're not a dog yourself).

New Age

The belief that religion is a lifestyle accessory, that enlightenment can be bought at the mall, and that California is somehow more spiritual than anywhere else.

© Angus McIntyre 2002

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