Is intellectualism anti-democratic? - Page 2 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

Wandering the information superhighway, he came upon the last refuge of civilization, PoFo, the only forum on the internet ...

All sociological topics not appropriate or suited to other areas of the board.
Forum rules: No one line posts please.
#15138328
Rancid wrote:I could have written it much better.


Come now Rancid. Nobody provides sources to back up a conclusion better than Wellsy on PoFo. If anyone can epitomise his words of understanding why someone thinks they way they do, it is Wellsy. He even wanted to have a discussion with QatzelOk the other day and that user is a conspiracy junkie.
#15138366
Pants-of-dog wrote:This Hofstadter guy is wrong.

He seems to be confusing two different meanings of equality. Equality has many different meanings. Here he is using it to mean both “socioeconomic equality and equality of opportunity” and “two things being the same”. This confusion leads to stupid ideas like “egalitarian societies and varied levels of intelligence cannot coexist”.

@Julian658 makes this mistake all the time.

If this were the case, democracy would be incompatible with professional athletes, or the fact that some kids are more popular than others. The fact that people exhibit varying levels of ability is not inherently anti-democratic.

I don't speculate his position to be one that in a democratic society, intellectual elites don't or can't exist but that they expiernece a tension in themselves when they hold to democratic principles. The idea being that intellectuals tend to be persons quite distinct from the general masses because they are an intellectual elite and in being as such, they experience themselves as those with greater understanding which can be at odds with the sense that the mass of people know what is best for them i.e. an implicit paternalism.
Have you not seen someone express disdain for how great amount of people vote or their politics as they hold minority opinions? The sense that I understand things best and people who disagree simply don't understand and are stupid. Isn't there often an arrogance when one feels themselves to understand things others apparently don't or seem to believe something entirely different.
I think it lends itself to a tendency to think democracy doesn't lead to the best political decisions and at times a rejection of the democratic majority vote decision-making process wholesale instead of critiquing the failure to live up to its concept.
There is no observer playing by different rules. We are all subject to these tendencies of human nature and so we are all predictable. Including the agents who manipulate others.

And we see this in even the most mundane examples, where intelligent and aware people still buy Harlequin romances or Fast and Furious DVDs even though they know these products are simply profit centered escapism.

But I do not think that people who are naturally skilled in manipulating others will necessarily use these gifts in anti-democratic ways. While many will go to work for the elite, many will come from marginalised communities or classes, and use these gifts to support egalitarianism. Stacey Abrams is a good current example.

I may look at the rest later.

I am unsure how predictable people really are as they're not held by causal necessity as objects are, although they do hold a level of predictability by probability in narrow estimations.
http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/10867/1/VWills_ETD_2011.pdf
What Marx describes when he addresses the way in which economic laws play a role in determining the actions of human beings, are tendencies of members of various social groups to act in circumstances shaped through those laws, and not iron-clad predictions for particular individuals. Howard Sherman, in his 1981 paper, “Marx and Determinism,” puts this point very nicely when he writes:

Marx pointed out that one can find regularities of human behavior, that on the average we do behave in certain predictable ways. This behavior also changes in systematic ways, with predictable trends, in association with changes in our technological and social environments. At a simpler level, the regularities of human behavior are obvious in the fairly constant annual numbers of suicides and divorces (although these also show systematic trends). If humans did not, generally, behave in fairly predictable ways, not only social scientists but also insurance companies would have gone out of business long ago. Any particular individual may make any particular choice, but if we know the social composition of a group, we can predict, in general, what it will do. Thus, on the average, most large owners of stock will vote in favor of preferential tax rates for capital gains; most farmers will favor laws that they believe to be in the interest of farmers109.

As a rule, a capitalist will tend to maximize his profit irrespective of the social repercussions. A bourgeois intellectual will tend to develop theoretical justifications for the continuation of capitalism, often in spite of the glaring social contradictions.

But despite these tendencies, social science doesn't show itself with law like predictability and it is even harder to predict the individual case.
https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/fdc2/446bb0d1d660df15c3eea2698e3681163945.pdf
One could go on multiplying examples of the predictive ineptitude of economists, and with demography the situation has been even worse, but this would be grossly unfair; for economists and demographers have at least gone on record with their predictions in systematic fashion. But most sociologists and political scientists keep no systematic records of their predictions and those futurologists who scatter predictions lavishly around rarely, if ever, advert to their predictive failures afterward. Indeed in the notorious article by Karl Deutsch, John Platt and Dieter Senghors (Science, March 1971) where sixty-two alleged major social science achievements are listed it is impressive that in not a single case is the predictive power of the theories listed assessed in statistical terms -a wise precaution, given the authors' point of view.

That's because there is an unpredictability about humans and their actions otherwise we would be forever the some and without radical change.

But there are those who are in positions of greater autonomy than others that can do much to help change the conditions of others in a way that is enhancing to their subjectivity and help them increase their independence via solidarity. And with this in mind, those who do wish to influence others must do so by subjecting themselves to the goals and needs of others to build them up rather than manipulate them as objects.
https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/e4d1/da3a8252c6f0ca60809d440acfe4bc5560a3.pdf
Far from allowing Lukács to slip back towards a form of dualism, it opened a space within which he was able to conceptualise socialist political intervention within the class struggle in a non-emotivist but yet activist way by means of the generalisations about class interests that could be made on the basis of the history of workers’ struggles. For instance, to say that workers have an objective interest in challenging racism even in the absence of an anti-racist movement does not imply imposing the idea of anti-racism onto the working class. Rather, it functions as a generalisation about objective interests made on the basis of previous moments of struggle. This way of thinking about politics opens the door to an interventionist conception of political leadership that escapes the emotivist substitutionism of self-appointed vanguards without liquidating the left into a (retreating) movement.73

This requires developing certain virtues to be one able to really be willing to engage in solidarity.
https://www.skmurphy.com/blog/2007/02/13/kierkegaard-on-the-art-of-helping-others-to-understand/?fbclid=IwAR0uXR1MiNK0DEpt5Lnvm9r2elp36Mcn59eoUyWNJDi86KtOy3BXyz_39mM
If One Is Truly to Succeed in Leading a Person to a Specific Place, One Must First and Foremost Take Care to Find Him Where He is and Begin There.This is the secret in the entire art of helping.
Anyone who cannot do this is himself under a delusion if he thinks he is able to help someone else. In order truly to help someone else, I must understand more than he–but certainly first and foremost understand what he understands.
If I do not do that, then my greater understanding does not help him at all. If I nevertheless want to assert my greater understanding, then it is because I am vain or proud, then basically instead of benefiting him I really want to be admired by him.

But all true helping begins with a humbling. The helper must first humble himself under the person he wants to help and thereby understand that to help is not to dominate but to serve, that to help is a not to be the most dominating but the most patient, that to help is a willingness for the time being to put up with being in the wrong and not understanding what the other understands.

I think this is the way to ethically change someone, which entails opening ones self up to being changed by the other person in support of them. It puts you on their level rather than imagines ones self above them, to meet someone as a friend.
#15138730
Wellsy wrote:I think to only see people as purely manipulated is as the very quote in the OP about Marx theses on Feuerbach summarizes, is to see people only as objects of manipulation and so how others as not. You simply do not take seriously as to why people would act differently than you do but this goes down the road of everyone is an idiot ‘cept me but the idiocy is the dismissiveness for not understanding the reasons why people do what they do. That is you don’t understand so to cover up this difficulty you make a dismissive nonexplanation.
Which isn’t to say manipulation doesn’t exist but you don’t actually know what that means of manipulation is and how it fits into peoples sense of the world and thus makes sense to them.

I am as susceptible to manipulation as anyone else. The only difference between me and the "sheep" is that I am aware I can be manipulated. And that awareness is everything.

That voters in some cities vote near 100% for one side is odd and statistically impossible. The only way to achieve that is by massive manipulation. So I ask: Are you aware your viewpoint may be due to manipulation by others? Can you reason and defend your point of view without reciting recycling slogans? I suspect you have awareness, however, you are also ideological.
#15138982
Julian658 wrote:I am as susceptible to manipulation as anyone else. The only difference between me and the "sheep" is that I am aware I can be manipulated. And that awareness is everything.

That voters in some cities vote near 100% for one side is odd and statistically impossible. The only way to achieve that is by massive manipulation. So I ask: Are you aware your viewpoint may be due to manipulation by others? Can you reason and defend your point of view without reciting recycling slogans? I suspect you have awareness, however, you are also ideological.

That awareness sounds to general to necessarily amount to much. Awareness that you can be manipulated is very different to being aware of specifically how you are manipulated.

And I don't think voting for one party of the other in such high proportions is reducible solely to manipulation. Majority of people in my county voted for Donald Trump and this doesn't make me think that there is great campaigning to manipulate this specific population.

I think the viewpoints I have had to question most are those I held due to my upbringing long before I was capable of questioning them. Which is inevitable as ones development is always immersed in certain values and ways of life.

I can defend my reasons for a lot of positions but I try to be aware id things that are more speculative.
I have clear reasons for somethings, others would require more work to clarify for myself and to defend. And I am not impartial but no one is, and I don't see the truth as partisan but neither is it solely objective either as knowledge always have a knower and knowledge considered entirely independent of subjects is one sided.

On the other hand I a set that I don't understand somethings and leave them as open questions with the prospect of some explanation.
#15138986
The problem with giving people a bit of knowledge is that they quickly start to think they know everything, when in fact they're only slightly more knowledgeable than they were more...which makes them even more ignorant, arrogant, and very dangerous.

Socrates said that being knowledgeable doesn't make one wise. He said he was the wisest because he knew how ignorant he was.

I'm not sure intellectualism is anti-democratic, but it sure is elitist.
#15139028
Wellsy wrote:That awareness sounds to general to necessarily amount to much. Awareness that you can be manipulated is very different to being aware of specifically how you are manipulated.

And I don't think voting for one party of the other in such high proportions is reducible solely to manipulation. Majority of people in my county voted for Donald Trump and this doesn't make me think that there is great campaigning to manipulate this specific population.

I think the viewpoints I have had to question most are those I held due to my upbringing long before I was capable of questioning them. Which is inevitable as ones development is always immersed in certain values and ways of life.

I can defend my reasons for a lot of positions but I try to be aware id things that are more speculative.
I have clear reasons for somethings, others would require more work to clarify for myself and to defend. And I am not impartial but no one is, and I don't see the truth as partisan but neither is it solely objective either as knowledge always have a knower and knowledge considered entirely independent of subjects is one sided.

On the other hand I a set that I don't understand somethings and leave them as open questions with the prospect of some explanation.


John Stuart Mill said that one must understand the opposite point of view in a very thorough manner. Once there is understanding of the position of the other side a person may be able to make a reasonable decision regarding which is the best point of view. However, another philosopher clearly stated that our reasoning is enslaved to our passion, therefore we must always be vigilant.

Most people are right wing or left wing because of their personality profile or perhaps because of the way they were raised. However the personality profile is incredibly important and it is often inherited. Left wingers tend to be open to experience, very creative, impulsive, prone to experimentation, and always looking forward to the new. On the other hand, conservative people tend to be conscientious, less impulsive, and favor the Old traditions that have worked in the past. They also tend to be more organized and less creative. A successful society needs a combination of both.

We cannot exclude the influence of the media on how people think. Those that are unaware of manipulation can be victimized, particularly if they are not very smart or analytical.

Most people in the forum are either extreme left or right and the reasoning is flawed since they do not understand the other side. There are a few Centrists who in my opinion do quite well. However, the left lumps the centrist people with the right.
Last edited by Julian658 on 23 Nov 2020 02:39, edited 1 time in total.
#15139029
Unthinking Majority wrote:The problem with giving people a bit of knowledge is that they quickly start to think they know everything, when in fact they're only slightly more knowledgeable than they were more...which makes them even more ignorant, arrogant, and very dangerous.

Socrates said that being knowledgeable doesn't make one wise. He said he was the wisest because he knew how ignorant he was.

I'm not sure intellectualism is anti-democratic, but it sure is elitist.


I will say you are one of the most logical posters in the forum.
#15139040
If the intellectuals just want to inform the public and help people gain knowledge then no, it's not anti-democratic. It's also not undemocratic to appoint an expert into a position of power. If they want to abolish popular government though, that's a different story, but there's no evidence of an attempt to do that by intellectuals.
#15139472
Julian658 wrote:John Stuart Mill said that one must understand the opposite point of view in a very thorough manner. Once there is understanding of the position of the other side a person may be able to make a reasonable decision regarding which is the best point of view. However, another philosopher clearly stated that our reasoning is enslaved to our passion, therefore we must always be vigilant.

Most people are right wing or left wing because of their personality profile or perhaps because of the way they were raised. However the personality profile is incredibly important and it is often inherited. Left wingers tend to be open to experience, very creative, impulsive, prone to experimentation, and always looking forward to the new. On the other hand, conservative people tend to be conscientious, less impulsive, and favor the Old traditions that have worked in the past. They also tend to be more organized and less creative. A successful society needs a combination of both.

We cannot exclude the influence of the media on how people think. Those that are unaware of manipulation can be victimized, particularly if they are not very smart or analytical.

Most people in the forum are either extreme left or right and the reasoning is flawed since they do not understand the other side. There are a few Centrists who in my opinion do quite well. However, the left lumps the centrist people with the right.

Indeed, one must understand the most charitable position before one can make an effective internal critique. That is a criticism which shows the limits in which something is true within its own accepted terms/premises.


I am a bit suspect of the attempt to establish a causal relationship between personality factors and politics. As that creates some peculiar conclusions when you say look at an area that is highly conservative for example, is it explained by those peoples inherited temperaments and just happen to be the same/similar area? Or is personality just insignificant for what ever effect it might have? Also consider the shift between say someone who goes to college and becomes more liberal and breaks their small town politics somewhat.

No doubt media plays a big role. Although the educated aren’t above manipulation but may even be worse.
https://www.themontrealreview.com/2009/Why-do-some-people-not-understand-Jacques-Ellul.php
One of the ironies of propaganda to work is that its population must be educated. Ellul argues that the university education forms the next generation of propagandist to manipulate its society. In other words, the more highly educated you are, the more integrated you are in this propaganda and its dissemination. Remember Ellul is not talking about the obvious Nazi or Communist propaganda during the Second World War which was for a short term campaign using a vertical process (top down approach easily countered by a competing top down approach). No, Ellul is talking about the horizontal process similar to how viruses infect adjoining people around them. Imagine an intellectual virus which spreads itself similar to a biological virus, through contact and multiply this with mass media technology as a delivery system.

So the more educated you become, the less aware you are that you are a victim of propaganda and the more you are ready to spread your ideology to others who will in turn reinforce you and be reinforced by you in a horizontal process. Leaders aren't telling you what to think (directly), you are being told by your peers what to think and you pass along this information to others to inform them what to think. Then when this ideology has reached a substantial portion of the population, you demand the leaders to comply and they reluctantly do so (which was their intention 30 to 40 years previously, but they won't tell you this). This is the essence of what Ellul says in his Propaganda book.

Most people don’t immerse themselves in others thinking as whats the motivation?
#15139478
Wellsy wrote:Indeed, one must understand the most charitable position before one can make an effective internal critique. That is a criticism which shows the limits in which something is true within its own accepted terms/premises.


I am a bit suspect of the attempt to establish a causal relationship between personality factors and politics. As that creates some peculiar conclusions when you say look at an area that is highly conservative for example, is it explained by those peoples inherited temperaments and just happen to be the same/similar area? Or is personality just insignificant for what ever effect it might have? Also consider the shift between say someone who goes to college and becomes more liberal and breaks their small town politics somewhat.


Sure, it is never that simple and many people have a mix of personality traits. However, it is no accident that the overwhelming majority of artists are left leaning. I suggest you look up the big five personality traits.

Yes, college kids are susceptible to change their views. I was a lefty when I was in university. I was in the echo chamber and followed the trend. The liberal arts faculty of most colleges are fuli of left leaning professors that preach social justice and that has an effect.
#15139492
Julian658 wrote:Sure, it is never that simple and many people have a mix of personality traits. However, it is no accident that the overwhelming majority of artists are left leaning. I suggest you look up the big five personality traits.

Yes, college kids are susceptible to change their views. I was a lefty when I was in university. I was in the echo chamber and followed the trend. The liberal arts faculty of most colleges are fuli of left leaning professors that preach social justice and that has an effect.

I know the big five, the factor model of personality. I just insecure of whether personality is as big a determinant as we might like it to be. Think it does well for slanderous pop psych such as arbitrarily associating psychoticism with conservatism or liberalism.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_conservatism-psychoticism_correlation_error
It doesn’t seem to add up to much unless you’re Jonathan Haidt.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_conservatism-psychoticism_correlation_error

Yeah a lot of departments are liberal hegemonies. Fitting well with earlier point about the more educated being propagaters of propaganda.
#15139538
Wellsy wrote:I know the big five, the factor model of personality. I just insecure of whether personality is as big a determinant as we might like it to be. Think it does well for slanderous pop psych such as arbitrarily associating psychoticism with conservatism or liberalism.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_conservatism-psychoticism_correlation_error
It doesn’t seem to add up to much unless you’re Jonathan Haidt.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_conservatism-psychoticism_correlation_error

Yeah a lot of departments are liberal hegemonies. Fitting well with earlier point about the more educated being propagaters of propaganda.


Jonathan Haidt used to be one of those left leaning academic liberals until he decided to write a book titled The Righteous Mind. While writing the book he was forced to actually look at the positions on the other side. Up to that point he was just living in the echo chamber of the left. As a result of this research he moved to the center. He did exactly what John Stuart Mills preached. He is among the best as far as I am concerned.
#15139539
@Wellsy one should the Socratic method when trying to get to the bottom of some concept. Ask questions, and look for logical and reasonable explanations for behavior or an idea. People who are brainwashed do very little or absolutely no self reflection, self criticism or analysis of the purpose of a political policy, a financial policy or any kind of policy. Again, it is mostly the power of myth that drives human society in places where the elite are allowed to shape the narrative that others are fed through the media, the social cicrles, and institutions like churches, and universities and so on.

Also be very suspicious of people who never were interested in reading or writing and get all their information through lazy sources or non sources.

Invididuals are always looking for ways to justify their own advantages in some socioeconomic matrix. Such as? I am a millionaire because I am a genius at what i do and work harder than the rest. The elite are in that position due to superiority in genes, in education, in innate value, and our time is more valuable than the time of the lower classes. when it is held up to real examination and analysis? It falls apart. But they continue to justify the lies because they are convenient.

This recent election is proof of how bad the lying to themselves can get. They need the justification.

History is a great teacher. Human beings if you study their behavior long enough is incredibly consistent.

Intellectuals are a fine thing to have but more importantly than being an intellectual is how much understanding of human suffering do they have and how much empathy and a drive for helping their fellow human beings and a sense of serving society for the greater good do they have? Just having a fine mind and a well developed intellect doesn't change the world. What changes the world are people willing to give a lot to make things better for everyone else coming after them. And working hard without huge egos to make it happen.
#15139548
Wellsy wrote:Yeah a lot of departments are liberal hegemonies. Fitting well with earlier point about the more educated being propagaters of propaganda.


Sorry, I forgot to address the above comment. The liberal art degrees are near 100% crowded with lefty professors. OTOH, the conservatives in the universities tend to be in engineering, mathematics, physics, computer science, etc. This group is generally very quiet about political views as they fear the CANCEL culture. Their lessons are academic with no desire to indoctrinate students.
#15139549
Godstud wrote:Anti-intellectualism is anti-democratic. You can see that in Trump supporters fighting against Democracy because their cult leader lost the election.


Trolling hyperbole isn't an argument turns out it's just projection, unless you can somehow magically offer some kind of intellectual explanation.
#15139555
Tainari88 wrote:@Wellsy Also be very suspicious of people who never were interested in reading or writing and get all their information through lazy sources or non sources.


Ironically hilarious and suspicious , because being objective is a cornerstone of being an intellectual. So are most pretendng to be intellectiuals or are they pretending to be not objective. LOL :lol: :D
#15139557
Finfinder wrote:Trolling hyperbole isn't an argument turns out it's just projection, unless you can somehow magically offer some kind of intellectual explanation.
Yes, you are correct in your assessment of your own posts. :lol:
Election 2020

You don't know what people who support thing beca[…]

China is now claiming that Korea is really part o[…]

So it comes to this.

Translation into Truth: The destruction of WW2 a[…]

@Oxymoron Do any of your bigoted claims have […]