Social/Political Values, Personality Traits, and Political, Commercial and other Interest Groups - Politics | PoFo

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In Western countries, in the late 20th/early 21st century, left wing political ideology was heavily based on the social/political values of individual equality and, to somewhat lesser extent, individual freedom and independence. Consequently, left wing politicians and interest groups of that era, gathered public support by greatly exaggerating the prevalence, or inventing the existence of some social ‘inequalities’ or limits on people’s freedom and independence.

On the other hand, libertarian ideology of that era, in Western countries, was exclusively based on the values of freedom and independence. Consequently, libertarian politicians and interest groups gathered public support only by greatly exaggerating the prevalence, or inventing the existence of serious limits to people’s freedom and independence, while downplaying/being disinterested in any claims of inequality/social non-acceptance (of some groups or individuals).

At the same time, libertarians supported both left and right wing policies related to increasing individual freedoms (e.g. reduced gun control and greater sexual freedom). Conversely, any exaggerated/false claims, about anything infringing on the freedom and independence of specific groups, within Western societies of that era, were either a left-wing (if the groups were those among whom Western left-wingers traditionally sought support, e.g. women, ethnic/racial minorities, homosexuals, less than college educated wage workers, etc.) or right wing (if the groups were those among which Western right-wingers traditionally sought support, e.g. gun owners, religious conservatives, corporate leaders and owners, nationalists, etc.) propaganda.

There was, in Western societies of the late 20th /early 21st centuries, another interesting case of politicians (of any ideological bent), though mostly it was apolitical interest groups, gathering public support by exaggerating the prevalence of social problems, which concerned all sorts of people (regardless of their political/ideological inclinations). The interest groups in question were non-profit organizations with the purported objective of eliminating a certain disease (e.g. cancer, diabetes) or a group of diseases (e.g. cardiovascular diseases). Given that the wealth, power and prestige, of such an organization, was dependent on the high prevalence of the disease they claimed to be fighting; there was a clear conflict of interest between the stated (or at least implied) objectives of such an organization and the self-interests of everyone from its CEOs to janitors. Not surprisingly, aside from actively spreading fear (under the guise of 'informing'), by implicitly or explicitly exaggerating the risks of becoming afflicted with the disease they purportedly sought to eliminate; such organizations did their best to increase the number of diagnoses of the given disease by actively encouraging people to get tested (for the given disease) either more often than was recommended by the medical community or even when medical guidelines advised against any prophylactic testing for the given disease. (Explanatory example: Most, asymptomatic cancers [i.e. cells which were in that era clinically defined as cancerous] are harmless but could be detected with appropriate tests. Hence, prophylactic testing for cancer could lead to a cancer diagnosis and associated harmful treatment; even though the detected cancer was, in actual fact, harmless). Be that as it may, it is clear that such interest groups gathered public support by appealing to the narcissistic personality trait of entitlement (to a long and 'full' life) and what is evidently another universal human personality trait: the lust for life. After all, the lust for life leads to fear of diseases (since life cannot be fully enjoyed when one is sick) and, of course, to the fear of death (the largest of such interest groups formed 'around' potentially life-threatening diseases). Moreover, both of these fears compelled people to believe that an early detection of any disease, and appropriate intervention, is better than doing nothing and risking that the undetected disease will reach advanced stages. This way, interest groups, purportedly focused on fighting a particular disease, effectively managed to spread anger towards and fear of this disease and increase the number of diagnoses of that disease; thus, increasing public concern about that disease and the consequent amount of public support (financial and political) received by such interest groups.

In the Western countries, of the late 20th /early 21st centuries, commercial interests (i.e. corporations) catered to political movements/ideologies (that were at the time dominant in Western societies) in order to create a positive (i.e. 'attractive') public image for the corporation and/or its brands. However, when it came to directly attracting customers to their products and services, Western commercial interests of that era seldom appealed to dominant social/political values (e.g. individual freedom and equality), but often appealed to universal personality traits (esp. components of narcissism) and contemporary 'group' values.

An example of catering to narcissism was that many brand owners put great efforts (through advertisement) to make consumers view the consumption of their brand (i.e. brand-name products or services) a status/prestige enhancing activity. And receiving a greater attention (esp. admiration), which is an inevitable result of higher status/prestige, satisfies a corresponding aspect of narcissism. Commercial advertisements also catered to another widespread narcissistic trait: a belief in one’s uniqueness and a desire to express that presumed uniqueness. Hence, advertisements often promised potential customers that consumption of the advertised products or services will help them "be themselves" (i.e. express their presumed individual uniqueness).

Another example of catering to universal personality traits took the form of brand consumption functioning as a symbol of belonging to a particular social group (e.g. 'cool' urban youths); thus taking advantage of an apparently universal human need to belong to a distinct and readily identifiable social group.

On the other hand, commercial appealing to 'group' values refers to values held by various identifiable groups in society (e.g. women, urban teenagers, etc.). Hence, a variety of beauty/personal care products for women, promised (whether explicitly or implicitly) that consumption of these products will make women "hot, sexy, desired." Along the same lines, American hip-hop songs targeted at urban teenagers, routinely celebrated all forms of street/school violence (from instrumental/ gang violence to reactive school violence and the qualities of individual 'toughness' and aggression associated with it) and being in trouble with the law.

(Source: https://roughdraftsofnewtheorie.wordpre ... centuries/)

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