Rancid wrote:I could have written it much better.
Well...My dicks bigger.
Wandering the information superhighway, he came upon the last refuge of civilization, PoFo, the only forum on the internet ...
Rancid wrote:I could have written it much better.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It doesn’t seem to add up to much unless you’re Jonathan Haidt.
Yeah a lot of departments are liberal hegemonies. Fitting well with earlier point about the more educated being propagaters of propaganda.
Wellsy wrote:Yeah a lot of departments are liberal hegemonies. Fitting well with earlier point about the more educated being propagaters of propaganda.
Godstud wrote:Anti-intellectualism is anti-democratic. You can see that in Trump supporters fighting against Democracy because their cult leader lost the election.
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.
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.
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