The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it. ... In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Value fulfillment and ‘specism’

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(Drawn by Kinka & Cecylka Bleszynski (c) 2010)

We are postulating that there are two species of consciousness, as : Wolves and Dogs are of the same species, with the Alsatian and the Wolf barely distinguishable from each other. Yet each exhibits consciousness appropriate to its kind to fulfill its inherent values. The difference manifests itself in their behavior – they have a different consciousness (or “software”).

Value Fulfillment and Collectivists (They), and Individualists (Us)

Humans have also stratified into two species of consciousness. They are Collectivists (i.e. Baby Boomers ) whose consciousness dictates that they exist within a social network which they create by forging strategic friendships, partnerships and alliances, and that they climb up their power ladder to attain the higher positions within their structure. Their “success” is not contingent on any actual production of tools, goods, products or services, or on the actual creation of art or scientific progress. Their success is measured by their status on the corporate ladder. Their titles designate their merit – and their merit reflects their social climbing skills, and, incontrovertibly, their salaries and benefits. Their worth is in “being”.
The Individualists’ worth is in “doing”. Often stigmatized as social outcasts, they work, often unrecognized, un-applauded and underpaid, to follow their ideals, to produce the dies for tools, designs for goods, products, services. They spend lonely years creating sculptures, music, or canvasses or proving a new scientific theory. Their worth is in “doing”.
We refer to the collectivist consciousness as “simian” in that it may be viewed as a regression to our ancestral primate life in a group or herd, in a “paradise” where nature produced the fruits/food, and work did not matter, but obedience to social order did, If the social hierarchy was disobeyed, the rebels were expelled from “paradise” and were condemned to an exile where they had to work for their living….. “Thou shalt labour…etc.” Further allegory might be drawn from the need for a “Saviour” to lead these unfortunates back to their paradise. For the simians, being expelled from the social order and having to work was a punishment. For the Individualist, it was – and still is - an opportunity for self-fulfillment and enrichment.

Neither the simian consciousness, nor the individualist consciousness, though, should be rejected out of hand, because both species have their validity. The collectivists are inherently better at keeping society cohesive and functioning. That said, the individualists do give them headaches : The insistence of the individualists to follow through on their curiosity and also for following through with their inventions tends to disrupt the comfort level of the older and more inflexible managers. Just because the simians are better at playing politics, forging alliances and working out compromises does not mean they are all cold-blooded, emotionless beings. Neither can all individualists be classified as caring, either.


Seeking Perfection

One wonders if there is any way of explaining the social pathologies that Ayn Rand was describing in her books, other than assuming that her looters and moochers were dysfunctional and pathological humans? Is there some way of explaining their failures while acknowledging that they really are perfect in their existing roles just as they are ?

”Seeking Perfection” was an idea that did not make sense to us, and seemed irrelevant. Until now.

If one entertains theories pertaining to nature and living things, but has to resort to pathologies in order to explain certain behaviours, then most likely the theories are wrong ! "Simian” theory removes the idea of social pathologies from Ayn Rand’s model. “They are perfect the way they are, so are we !” They are just different and happened to live outside of their natural environment. Therefore they have no choice but to rely on the work of gifted individuals, their intelligence, skills and creativity to keep both species of consciousness alive. As an example, had the decision-making politicians consulted with engineers at the time Japan was buying its Fukushima reactors from G.E., they would not have bought them.

Another positive aspect of letting both species of consciousness live together is that it seems conducive to scientific progress – with research being conducted by free-spirited, curious people living in settled, stable and prosperous societies – in other words by individualists living among collectivists.

The collectivists’ best hope of survival is to embrace their antitheses, the creative individualists, rather than purging them from corporate management. There really is no hope of restoring their natural habitat (“paradise”), where they survived on their own.

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Stan (Heretic), based on Dozent's theory (Stanley P.), edited by Margo the Heretic (Margo W.)
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94 comments :

JC said...

"Their worth is in “being”.
That's exactally what Seth said.Worth comes from the very act of existing and does not depend on anyhing else .Thats hard to reconcile with the the everyday needs of the physical world but then reality is far beyond what we are capable of imagining.

Stan (Heretic) said...

JC,

We are all into "being" (but not all are into "doing"). I don't think one can "not be". 8-:)

Different subject - a warning for our vegan friends. JC, if you can please post that directly on mcdougall.com (I can't):


Two vegans who fed their 11-month-old daughter only mother's milk went on trial in northern France on Tuesday charged with neglect after their baby died suffering from vitamin deficiency.


Regards,
Stan

dav0 said...

This is a big one. There are no simple answers. In A.S., Rand paints a very bleak vista of society. On one hand, one could argue that the looter/moocher metaphor, represents the default or 'absolute zero' of society. However, the more you think about it, the more you realise that this can't be so. Obviously, the looters need loot and this comes from the creators.

It's hard to see the upside for the creator. From what I can see, at least in A.S., the motivation is not money or recognition, it is in the act of creation itself. Like art I suppose but I'm not an artist so it's just a guess.

I think that Rand certainly drew some inspiration from classical legend. Prometheus for one comes to mind. The classical parallels come to an end though. You can't regard Galt as a true hero in the classical sense because he doesn't complete the final stage of the 'hero cycle' by not returning.

OK. now I'm starting to feel like I'm I'm answering an essay question on a literature exam and probably going a little O.T. so I'll stop now.

Dave.

P.S. Stan, you should start an A.S. book club type review in Buckhorn.

P.P.S. Hi Margo, long time no see.

JC said...

Stan,Seths definition of doing is far different from an ordinary definition.Doing is tied up with mental action and not necessarily physically manifested.He advocates daydreaming and considers it action every bit(even more) as much as a physical action.(sort of like the creation in a lucid dream)

Stan (Heretic) said...

Dav0,

Strictly speaking we do not need them while they need us to survive. However, our own natural type of society - very loosely tied disorganised free groups of vagrant hunters, do not seem to produce science and technology as fast as when we live embedded in the stable organize societies. Granted, where there are too many of _them_ then the whole thing collapses like the Soviet Union, Imperial China in the past or present day American corporations. A certain balance seems to be optimal. That's probably why they are here. I am trying to see a positive in this situation. As for the proportions? I suspect it should probably be close to 50-50. Of course it will unravel, probably soon.

dav0 said...

From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. :p

Stan (Heretic) said...

JC,

I agree with this interpretation.

For example, building a hierachical network, creating and maintaining social structure is also a form of "doing", albeit not the one I personally would consider the most conducive to our survival, at this particular time. Current economic depression was probably caused because of their social networking "doing", that allowed the collectivist socialite types to capture virtually all positions of power in the Western countries.

Among them - not a single engineer, not a single scientist...

It does threaten our survival, especially that involves shutting down energy production and destroys manufacturing industry. One example; our decision-making castes strive to replace conventional power stations with windmills that deliver nearly useless (unsteady) form of electricity at triple cost.

To avoid further industrial destruction, we must get most of them out of the corporate boardrooms of companies like GE, and out of political institutions that back them up, before they sell more of their exploding reactors or plough more of the taxpayers grants into "albatross" projects like windmills (or waste your and my capital in countless other ways).

Heretic

Stan (Heretic) said...

Re: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. :p

Over my dead body!

dav0 said...

Stan.

This is the OT argument we were talking about regarding respiration. Strangely, I couldn't find the article online that I originally mentioned but if you start a thread, I will try to find more references. I had some notes scribbled down and the outline of the argument is as follows:

The respiration quotient is the ratio of CO2 eliminated/ O2 consumed.

This depends on the metabolism as follows:

CiHjOk + (i + j/4 - k/2)*O2 -> i*CO2 + (j/2)*H2O

This equation is 1 for oxidising glucose:

C6H12O6 + 6 O2 -> 6 CO2 + 6 H2O

For fatty acids, the ratio is lower.

Eg for Stearic acid:
C18H36O2 + 26O2 -> 18CO2 + 18H2O
is 18/26 = 0.692

Palmitic acid:
C16H32O2 + 23O2 ->16CO2 + 16H2O
is 16/23 = 0.695

Also note that in lipogenesis when the body is making fat out of carbohydrates, the ratio can be greater than 1.

Anyway, sorry for all the math (as usual) but all of this would make a good thread in it's own right.

Dave.

Stan (Heretic) said...

Thanks, I will post a note about it. I did this calc once before and got similar figure: 30% less CO2 out of fat. I know for sure that among many interesting things happening on our high fat LC diet, ability to hold breath for longer, swim underwater a length of a swimming pool was one of the most striking.

Looks like the CO2 expulsion and transport is the main factor for human performance, not oxygen intake.

How about you writing it up? Throw your stone too! :) You could add your experience and medical results on your respiratory performance, which I remember you got last time you were checked up!

Jenna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stan (Heretic) said...

Jenna wrote:

Newtonian "Being"?
Prigogine's "Becoming"?


This is difficult and may open up a discussion. These words may have different interpretation and meaning depends with whom you talk. To a physicist, "being" is a static concept, even if you allow for a dimension of "time", i.e Time treated on par with spatial dimensions x,y,z. In the 4-space of x,y,x,t (or x,y,x, and i*c*t), each object is represented as a "timeline" - the trajectory of it in time and space. But, "timeline" is also a static concept - analog to "being".

Prigogine (Илья́ Романович Пригожин) seems to have used the concept of "becoming" as opposed to "being", to incorporate ideas of thermodynamic (and fractal) indeterminism into a static Newtonian or static Einstein General Relativistic universes.

In other words, to incorporate some elements of "life" into science.

The reason I am attracted to this concept is that it allows incorporation of an idea of living in the present and at the same time have an infinite (Infinite or Unfinished...) choice of choosing among alternative paths/realities, without being confined to the rigors of Time.

Heretic

PS

Don't worry about posting supposedly "inappropriate" comments or at an inappropriate time. There is no such thing! :)

PPS

There is a lot more we can learn from Prigogine..
I did not read his book yet. If you did please let me know if my interpretation of "becoming" above, is close to what he wrote.

Jenna said...

Hello Heretic!

I came across a reference to Prigogine, in a paper by Francis Heylighen, the distinction was made in a publication of his. It was just coincidental, that I had read his article very shortly after I had read your latest post. I find this distinction very interesting, and I thought it was relevant to your own means of defining "being" from, "doing". I just wondered how you were, or whether you had considered Prigogine's "becoming" in your theory.

I don't quite see the distinction you are making; only in terms of the level of development required to acquire apparent skills in one occupation over another. But, this is assuming that we are not born with a certain consciousness, that differentiates the skills we then seek to acquire, and are able to acquire, if the possibility is even available to us. Don't our brains evolve, perhaps according to our clan? Though, this distinction, 'We've Become a Nation of Takers, Not Makers', makes much sense. I understand the distinction, in mind of the current 'economic predicament'.

I just went to several libraries, to pick up Prigogine's book you mention; all out of print, or stock. I am awaiting a copy. Sounds, very interesting. I wish I were able to add something of depth to this discussion, but alas...

Here is a link to publications by ECCO - http://ecco.vub.ac.be/ - You will find some of Francis Heylighen's work, and other interesting finds. Enjoy!

Jenna said...

I like this: 'The reason I am attracted to this concept is that it allows incorporation of an idea of living in the present and at the same time have an infinite (Infinite or Unfinished...) choice of choosing among alternative paths/realities, without being confined to the rigors of Time.'

You make it clear, that we have freedom to choose.

Jenna said...

(within certain confines; for some, greater, than for others)

Jenna said...

'Strictly speaking we do not need them while they need us to survive.'

Are you saying you think that, this 'situation' we are currently facing, is characteristic of certain stages in the evolution of civilizations? And you want to preserve our state of evolution, as in allow for the "becoming" state, of our technologies, our arts, our sciences, etc? Or is it simply about survival?

Jenna said...

What is your motivation to understand?

Stan (Heretic) said...

Jenna,

I will begin with your latest comments:

'Strictly speaking we do not need them while they need us to survive.'

Are you saying you think that, this 'situation' we are currently facing, is characteristic of certain stages in the evolution of civilizations?


Yes. It seems to be a normal regression path of an economically successful civilization, where more and more unproductive positions can be sustained as economy becomes more productive and there is no special projects or a challenge to strive for. If people decide not to spend their growing wealth on things like space travel then they end up spending it all on "monkeys". :)

If the most blatantly unproductive fake jobs in the government, public sector, excessive corporate management etc can be sustained, because economy grows big enough to generate a huge surplus of wealth, beyond the immediate need for survival, then there will be people who would train themselves to fit in and will fill those fake "jobs" all up. Please note that to fill the fake jobs one does need social networking but not qualifications - "whom you know" not "what you know"! It is the exact opposite to the real jobs. Real jobs that generate wealth, require different state of mind and different consciousness, the one that is task-oriented and very creative.

Stan (Heretic) said...

Re: "What is your motivation to understand?"

To better understand myself!

I had to figure out what is going on with the others, with the society.

I was always a nerd (and very proud of it) and also seemed always to have been on the fringe of the society, if not an outcast. I often used to think of myself as a freak. Until I realized that _they_ the mainstream people who got real problem (their own survival) - not me!

I realized that I was not a freak, just belong to a different species of consciousness than probably 90% of the society. Not better and not worse just different!

In order to form a social group - people like me have to find our own kind, not try to fit-in with the _other_ kind. I or we (since Dozent and Dav0 also have had similar experiences; I can probably speak on their behalf) tried many times to socialize with the mainstream "collectivists" ("baby boomers", "socialites" or whatever name we might call them), which frustrated us, was very superficial and never really worked. Now I am beginning to understand why.

Stan (Heretic) said...

Re: "And you want to preserve our state of evolution, as in allow for the "becoming" state, of our technologies, our arts, our sciences, etc? Or is it simply about survival?"

At this stage it is simply about their (and our) survival.

It is worse than it seems, you don't often see it published in themedia. Incompetents in the power structures, governments and corporate are actively trying to destroy our energy production capacity: undermining nuclear energy, promoting unworkable replacements (wind, solar cells etc), taxing all productive business (small and medium sized companies!) to death and denigrating, underpaying specialists who sustain them all, who create wealth. During my last 20 years in business I witnessed a gradual deterioration of the rank and status of a Canadian Engineer. Most of the skilled engineers were purged out of large corporate management and government, replaced with MBA, marketing, legal degrees and other soft "skills". That's how they ruined Nortel - the largest Canadian company at a time, that's how they ran Air Canada into the ground (twice banckrupted). You have similar story in Britain (Marconi, Leyland etc, destruction of manufacturing, very little left, only the banks)

Jenna said...

Hi,

(Got a bit annoyed yesterday, I replied to comments, only to lose them via my computer crashing. So this will be a much shorter response.)

Re: "What is your motivation to understand?"

I asked this question, as I am curious about what drives your interest. Now, in some minute way I understand the process.

"just belong to a different species of consciousness than probably 90% of the society."

I am not sure about this distinction of 'consciousness'. I have encountered many problems, going in a direction I am, I think, naturally inclined to excel in. Basically I have been sick. I have lost belief in aspects of life, that had informed my art, and which drove my desire to create. I look at my experiences and understand that many social influences have impacted upon my development. Having lost belief in many things, I can see how ones 'consciousness' may change. But then, I am not looking at the picture of my life, as I have not seen its development, I only deal with the histrionics, when considering my consciousness as it is.

So yes, I think perhaps consciousness is a constant, it is just that certain life aspects impact what you do, or can achieve, altering the understanding you have of yourself. So given that others, or ones environment can have such an impact on what you do, its not necessarily that you are one of 10% with a different consciousness, but that for other reasons you have been more successful not having your understanding of your own conciousness clouded, dissipating into nothingness. (:)) Though perhaps there lays the difference, or the 10%

Clearly though there are differences. Many people are dumb and dumber.

So, I was wondering more along the lines of, macro, micro impacts. I was questioning whether there really is a distinction to be made. Can these differences be explained as a result of great (wider)innate differences/consciousness, or about the effects of a civilisation reaching a certain mass, that impacts upon a certain consciousness being a constancy of expression in human populations.

I went to the National Museum of Wales, to see (http://www.museumwales.ac.uk/en/origins/), an exhibition displaying the huge range of skills; crafts/tools/means of communication/trade, etc, that human populations have acquired, and were intrinsic to individual and group survival. It was astonishing to think of the skill sets that an individual would have had ranging from the paleolithic, Mesolithic, onwards, and in comparisom to our times, it is quite astonishing the change of skills deemed, necessity, for individuals.

Anyway, thanks for your time, and possibly putting up with many contradictions.

Jenna said...

Stan, did you get my comments?

Stan (Heretic) said...

Which comments?

Jenna said...

(Sent this message a little while ago. I'm not sure why it disappeared)

Hi,

(Got a bit annoyed yesterday, I replied to comments, only to lose them via my computer crashing. So this will be a much shorter response.)

Re: "What is your motivation to understand?"

I asked this question, as I am curious about what drives your interest. Now, in some minute way I understand the process.

"just belong to a different species of consciousness than probably 90% of the society."

I am not sure about this distinction of 'consciousness'. I have encountered many problems, going in a direction I am, I think, naturally inclined to excel in. Basically I have been sick. I have lost belief in aspects of life, that had informed my art, and which drove my desire to create. I look at my experiences and understand that many social influences have impacted upon my development. Having lost belief in many things, I can see how ones 'consciousness' may change. But then, I am not looking at the picture of my life, as I have not seen its development, I only deal with the histrionics, when considering my consciousness as it is.

So yes, I think perhaps consciousness is a constant, it is just that certain life aspects impact what you do, or can achieve, altering the understanding you have of yourself. So given that others, or ones environment can have such an impact on what you do, its not necessarily that you are one of 10% with a different consciousness, but that for other reasons you have been more successful not having your understanding of your own conciousness clouded, dissipating into nothingness. (:)) Though perhaps there lays the difference, or the 10%

Clearly though there are differences. Many people are dumb and dumber.

So, I was wondering more along the lines of, macro, micro impacts. I was questioning whether there really is a distinction to be made. Can these differences be explained as a result of great (wider)innate differences/consciousness, or about the effects of a civilisation reaching a certain mass, that impacts upon a certain consciousness being a constancy of expression in human populations.

I went to the National Museum of Wales, to see (http://www.museumwales.ac.uk/en/origins/), an exhibition displaying the huge range of skills; crafts/tools/means of communication/trade, etc, that human populations have acquired, and were intrinsic to individual and group survival. It was astonishing to think of the skill sets that an individual would have had ranging from the paleolithic, Mesolithic, onwards, and in comparisom to our times, it is quite astonishing the change of skills deemed, necessity, for individuals.

Anyway, thanks for your time, and possibly putting up with many contradictions.

Jenna said...

I am just questioning what this 10% represents, of a person/individual. Does this 10% represent difference in the person, or more about the environment the person is enveloped by? What can this distinction explain, beyond acknowledging there is a distinction? What does this distinction tell us about the phenomenon itself? If it is an 'innate' difference, then one can question why, as in function. Though the idea of something being innate is a fuzzy subject. Then you must get into evolutionary models. What is unique about this said difference? Can you track it somehow?

(probably I should be quiet, as I don't have much to add to this)

Jenna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stan (Heretic) said...

Re: "its not necessarily that you are one of 10% with a different consciousness, but that for other reasons you have been more successful not having your understanding of your own consciousness clouded, dissipating into nothingness. (:)) Though perhaps there lays the difference, or the 10%"

I thought so until recently but this did not explain why there seems to be a certain common pattern among those 10% versus the other "side" - the other 90%. (it could be 20-80 or whatever, proportions are irrelevent).

In the table in this article:

Human regression, anthropology

- the attribute on the left hand side are commonly found together in one set of people, while those on the right hand side - in another. This does not seem to be a random mix of "gifts" or "vices". That's why we are now swaying towards looking at this phenomenon as a "species" of consciousness rather than random mix of character attributes or acquired habits.

Re: lost belief, creativity, sickness etc

In my case it helped me when I begun having some glimpses of who I am, (I am not fully there yet but what little I found through Silva meditations, does help). It also helps to find out whom are you not! It is hard to express creativity if you don't have enough energy and you wont have energy if you don't have at least some partial answers to the above question!

(This can only be done by one self - use teachers but don't try following gurus or organizations)

Interestingly, even a seemingly simple and effective cure such as the low carb (or low wheat) diet, would have been impossible for me to execute, if I hadn't already expanded my understanding in other areas (i.e. shamanism) prior to that. I found this to be true for most people that have gone this route: their awakening always preceded their dietary or any other forms of cure!.

Stan

dav0 said...

Short and sweet: A is A.

Jenna said...

Thanks.

Jenna said...

Stan, (and dav0, aka A is A, then there's B, C, D...)think you might find this read interesting; 'The spell of the sensuous'(David Abram).

Stan (Heretic) said...

Jenna, thanks for the book recommendation. I just read a review, it looks really interesting. His idea of the air as the symbol of the spiritual is fascinating. His written language idea looks very plausible too: - that the written languages (as opposed to spoken) were the main triggers behind the recent historical shift of human consciousness towards isolation.

As he put it, we begun mistakenly believing that a thinking mind is localized inside of one's head. It is not.

I agree with Abram. Writing requires maintaining a strong localized focus of one's attention at a given point in space and time. Speaking, singing etc seems on the other hand a completely different activity requiring very different focus - much less localized. It also involves air which is also the symbol of the Spirit, another one of Abrams great insight. I must get his book. Actually, I think it would make more sense to buy it as an audio disk and listen.
Regards,
Stan

Jenna said...

Also:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnA8GUtXpXY

Ian said...

Stan, just got here from your mail.

I actually mis-read one of the comments as:
"From each according to his STability, to each according to his need"

Objectivism is a very dry bone and much of it to me is scientology without the volcanoes and galactic tyranny. It does much to discredit the many serious critiques of the collectivist left etc. by its inflexibility and profound anti-social bias.

There are reasons why many of these people are extreme 'individualists', its the same reason the people playing dungeons and dragons on a friday night are extreme 'celibates'.

I applaud your attempts at positivity and inclusion, in the final analysis we all, 'makers' and 'takers' alike, need to work together if we are ever to defeat the thetans!

Stan (Heretic) said...

Hi Ian,

Did you read "Atlas Shrugged"?

David Isaak said...

" As an example, had the decision-making politicians consulted with engineers at the time Japan was buying its Fukushima reactors from G.E., they would not have bought them."

Yeah, right. There were no engineers involved in that decision?

I have news for you: TEPCO is filled with engineers, and it's hard to have a meeting with a Japanese industrial corporation without the room being stuffed with engineers. If there has ever been a country where too many decisions were made by engineers, it is modern Japan.

Japan has many political failings. But a shortage of engineers in corporate management isn't one of them. Engineering is one of the pathways to the top over there.

Stan (Heretic) said...

Hi David, welcome to the blog!

Yes I can picture Japanese "engineers" discussing it like this:

Let's buy cheap nuclear reactors made with less steel and cement and install them right on a reclaimed at the sea edge. Earthquakes? What earthquakes! Who is for? Everybody! Brilliant!

The real engineers in this story were probably only those guys from GE who resigned.

I don't know about Japan, never been there but if these people really had engineering degrees, which I doubt, the authorities should take them back and prosecute them for incompetence. (If there is no paragraph for that they should make one!).

I have seen this pattern of destruction all over the corporate world in many countries I worked.

You get individuals who may bum along through some engineering studies (or more often aim for a degrees in "humanities") to get a paper then top it up with a business degree and prop themselves up a corporate ladder using networking and socializing.
I have seen so many failed engineers, especially in large corporate management, which they dominate - it is really scary! They have already destroyed many industries they run.

Fake engineers, fake people. No skills. No foresight, no brain and no heart. Fukushima disaster is the best proof of that.

Touchy subject, you made me rant! 8-:)

Best regards,
Stan

Stan (Heretic) said...

Dozent just sent me a good rant that, I think, very nicely sums up the article.

--- part 1 ---

It took a while to digest the idea that the "collectivist" consciousness is totally different then "individualistic". I do not say "ours".

There was a time when I thought there is something wrong with me, with us - because of our lack of social skills. Now I realize that people who spent all their time at the parties would die in our "ancestral paradise" in Eastern Africa. There is a subtle difference between "COMMUNITY BUILDING" when a party serves a purpose of creating and cementing bonds between members of local community and a mindless party-going parasitic lifestyle
The real community builders like my grandma or Margaret are rare, highly skilled individuals which do provide intrinsic value.

Party going entertainment seeking crowd does not create any bonds. They create hierarchies. That is the difference. Similarly I realize now who the warrior is. Warrior is an individualistic fighter. This does not mean he HAS TO fight or hunt alone. That simply means he never becomes a number, a mindless "private" in a hierarchy. His loyalty is subordinate to his personality. He is guided by Bushido, a warrior codex.

I knew some people like Ewa P. from our student year which were vehement Catholics. I could
never talk to her. I could never understand the "true believers" and I was never a member of the church. I now realize this was a manifestation of their "collectivness". Mind you, this is a positive one. It gives the collectivists a "moral compass" as opposed to the whims of a fuehrer.

Church is better then a gang. That is with the exception of a church with political and military power
when the Church becomes a gang.
Note: a collectivist either has to be subordinate to God or to Fuehrer. They have no choice.

Now to the point. To the value of collectivism. Collectivism means hierarchy. If you want to find a collectivist look for hierarchies.
Here are examples:

1. A large corporation (sic!) [Not simply a corporation, an established large corporation]

2. A street gang

3. A religious group, a cult or a church/religion

4. A religious order (like the Jesuits)

5. An army or Police.

6 A state administration ie.Governments, except the local Government

7. Clubs like "free mason", "Rotary club" etc...

8. Famous "Postal Service"

[cont]

Stan (Heretic) said...

--- part 2 ---


You can see from this list none of these organizations/hierarchies appeals to me and you. You personally would not and did not belong to any one of them out of your free will.

In fact, I despise the organized Church and the Army ... and I tried to avoid them like a plague - which they are to ME.

However, you look at the same list and you see that not all the items on the list elicit our negative response. In fact, we consider some of them necessary.

We both believe in a strong Army.

While definitely [an army is] a monkey organization it is necessary
to defend ourselves against the other Armies ie. organized gangs of looters who want to take EVERYTHING what is yours. Yes, an army is a parasitic organization. Yes, it creates nothing. But it does not take EVERYTHING, it takes a chunk in a form of taxes.

History has proven time and again that even a group of great warriors can not win against an organized military force. "The Magnificent Seven" is a myth. It never happens. In fact, in the military, training is everything. They aren't parasites. They WORK, just in a different way and for a different goals. Also, the hierarchy imposes a structure, an order, which makes it acceptable to society. Yes, these are trained killers but killers under control.

An army and a Police makes use of a natural aggression of a monkey. This is who they are. This is what they do. This is why I do not belong there. It does not matter they are looters, which they are. They are the necessary evil against
other looters who would simply kill you.

Similarly, a state or large corporation is not necessarily bad. I have noticed the "civil servants" are usually total zeros. They don't even have aggression of a chimp or baboon. They just need an external structure and a large does of "security" to function day to day.

This is why I listed Postal Service separately. The idiom "going Postal" describes perfectly
what happens when a collectivist, but normally non-aggressive person loses the group support. They aren't evil. They are scared of being alone.

This is what happens to large herd of mammals as well. They are usually defenseless as individuals
yet they can defend themselves effectively as a group. These animals are not considered too bright. In fact, they are "stupid" and prone to panic. But there is strength in numbers and it works well for them. Especially for grass-grazing herbivores due to the abundance of food. They function as a herd, not as an individual.

They are perfect examples of "collective" mindset.

[cont]

Stan (Heretic) said...

--- part 3 of Dozent's post ---

Journalists often lament a "lack of leadership". Leadership to what?

- To explain to the civil servants that the productive part of our Society can no longer support them ?

- To explain to the banker they are not running the banks any more?

- To explain to the public the wealth has to be created first and that milk does not comes from the grocery store? BTW: it comes from a cow on a farm :-)

They were supposed to learn this at school. They all know our currency is not "money". That our Government is too expensive. That our corporations produce nothing [much] except paper.

They [media] talk a lot about "entrpreneurs" and "small business" ie. about us!

Well, we are no longer willing to work for them. In fact, we are barelly willing to work at all!

We are a step away from adopting the "communist" work ethics of doing as little as possible [at work, just] to survive, and everything necessary [privately] to survive.

...
[removed a part about cults]
...

So when you look at it, collectivist are quite useful when used "properly". They have run amok because we have allowed it.
We have forgotten about them because life was good and [as a consequence] the "system" got screwed up royally.

Note: as Poles we have never known a strong "leadership" :-)
In fact, there was plenty of "us" in Poland and very few obvious monkeys. There is no point in hating them. We did not set our boundaries and they did not know any better. Why, they are collectivists, the "herbivores", the Sheeple. They follow Hitlers and Stalins and Roosvelts and John Smiths and Jesuses.

They follow!

In the absence of a leadership they follow another monkey. With the predictable results!

Dozent

Jenna said...

Humans are anarchist, nature is our disposition. Humans form alliances through organization into apparent collectives. Humans are antagonistic towards danger, according to how individuals consider what is threatening, else non-threatening. The number of alliances with others differs amongst individuals. Individual mental activities, are orientated not only by personal aptitudes, but collective impingements upon such expression. Nature is antagonistic, creative, and destructive...

(destructive?)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMbx1f43Y9A&feature=channel_video_title

Stan (Heretic) said...

No there isn't anybody there. Not even him. Very screwed up guy. Just read his bio on wiki. Tragic. Who he really was?

Jenna said...

http://www.tricksterbook.com/Intro.htm

Jenna said...

http://www.primitivism.com/language.htm

Stan (Heretic) said...

The role of language and linguistic symbols in programming our/their culture is intriguing.

I think they key word here is "unprogramming".

There were large and successful cultures (Inca) who intentionally abandoned a written language and their script. I am very curious about that. Did they really benefit? Probably yes. In a strange way their culture has survived better and in larger numbers than elsewhere (though there are no written records).

I am also curious if the fact that many if not most scientists are being described as nerds (or Aspergers', see this ). This may have some deep roots in their lack of vocal/linguistic skills in childhood. It could have helped them remain longer in a socially-unprogrammed state, thus giving them a critical advantage at an early age. Just a thought.

Jenna said...

'This may have some deep roots in their lack of vocal/linguistic skills in childhood. '

Interesting, Anthroposophical teachings (Steiner Waldorf schools) are person centred, so the teacher doesn't encourage the child to read, speak etc, until the will of the child has developed to such a strength that the child initiates the activity him/herself.

http://www.nasa.gov/vision/universe/starsgalaxies/23mar_spacealien.html

'Although Einstein's five papers were published in a single year, he had been thinking about physics, deeply, since childhood. "Science was dinner-table conversation in the Einstein household," explains Galison.'

"Albert's interest in science and technology came naturally."

"I have no special talents," he claimed, "I am only passionately curious."

Stan (Heretic) said...

Jenna, did you delete your last post (see below) or was it deleted by the system? Incidentally, my wife home-schooled our girls using Steiner's "Waldorf" program ago and guidelines, (until 6 years ago). We thought it is very good. It is hard to say if it worked. They ended up missing the usual school social life, and still keep complaining to this day about it.

On the other hand the fact that they do not have too many friends is IMHO a good thing.

-----------

'This may have some deep roots in their lack of vocal/linguistic skills in childhood. '

Interesting, Anthroposophical teachings (Steiner Waldorf schools) are person centred, so the teacher doesn't encourage the child to read, speak etc, until the will of the child has developed to such a strength that the child initiates the activity him/herself.

http://www.nasa.gov/vision/universe/starsgalaxies/23mar_spacealien.html

'Although Einstein's five papers were published in a single year, he had been thinking about physics, deeply, since childhood. "Science was dinner-table conversation in the Einstein household," explains Galison.'

"Albert's interest in science and technology came naturally."

"I have no special talents," he claimed, "I am only passionately curious."


-------------

Jenna said...

Hi Stan, I don't understand why this keeps happening, as my comments get posted through to my email address.

I just came across this interview, again, in reference to time: http://deoxy.org/tmab_5-22-97.htm

Also just began reading 'Space, Time, & Medicine', by Larry Dossey, which is good, though I understand the views discussed will be nothing new for you.

In your view does time, accelerate, and this relates to tool complexity, and growth of population, i.e. mass?

Is time independant of us?

Dossey refers to the perception of time and its acceleration in terms of health, ill health; there by time start's with 'I'.

This is interesting to me because if there is as you describe this clear distinction of 'consciousness' between groups, how a sense of time relates to this consciouness.

Also in the interview (see above) the internets role is speculated upon as though conciousness will move to more of a collectivist (and so, relativist?) state with its increased/wider use.

Thanks.

Stan (Heretic) said...

McKenna's viewpoint is interesting on the surface, but when I looked deeper I found that his Novelty theory and related articles seem to be vacuous or plain spoofs. For example this one:

http://www.levity.com/eschaton/sheliak/shelform.pdf

This is a complete nonsense, from mathematical point of view, none of the Sheliak's statements supposedly supporting McKenna's theory, make any sense, it looks like a random noise with mathematical terms thrown in at random. Makes me suspicious about other things that McKenna wrote or talked about. I am very far out myself (more so than one can guess from this text) but I am also very skeptical. I used to listen a lot to Art Bell back then in the 1990-ties, (I had an on-line subscription) until he gave up.

Stan (Heretic) said...

Did you read wiki about Inca society?

Stan (Heretic) said...

Re: internet and collectivism

So far, the effect seems to be the opposite - it allows millions of individual views to be shared and exchanged among people in all directions. This is the exact opposite to TV which did indeed foster collectivist ideas and did so in a top-down fashion.

Jenna said...

'I am very far out myself (more so than one can guess from this text) but I am also very skeptical.'

Explain further, please.

Just looked again at Inca wiki entry, glad I did. Last time, I missed the reference on Quipu, I'm looking at it now, fascinating!

Math is completely over my head.

Jenna said...

'According to Guaman Poma, Quipucamayocs could "read" the Quipu with their eyes closed.'

Jenna said...

'Some historians believe that each quipu could only be read by the Quipucamayoc that had made it.'

hmmmmmmmmmm

Stan (Heretic) said...

Yes, but it worked!

Jenna said...

PDF: Khipu Accounting in Ancient Peru (Inca & Quipu: data system)

'A primary question is how did information move between adjacent levels of this hierarchical administration?'

'The instructions of higher-level officials for lower-level ones would have moved, via khipu, from the top of the hierarchy down'

Jenna said...

hmmmmm!

Jenna said...

Ramble:

Tools as mnemonic device.

Use our tools to think with - apply 'our signs' as 'we' consider 'our thoughts' - communicative to the extent that the signs are understood, as signs denote - so if you have the desire to understand the extent to which the signs* refer* to, you can by choice. OK, so our signs refer to collectivist 'metaphysical' reality out there; superficial; social arena; power; hierarchy; rule; institutional: external love object.

(Inca's 'Quipu') Signs are referent but not to itself - record keeping -memo to the mind - pretty meaningless without the mind - signs unique - individual - love object internal and sensation?

Spoken word, written word - deception

Sense experience - written/spoken language used to conceal - to mask intention

Deception inherent to the signs/means of communication?

Jenna said...

Another ramble:

So, questioning the dominant tool (technology as a means of communication), is an ideological investigation, in relation to a consciousness of value, and control. 'We' are easily deceived perhaps, as our means of communication create deceptive relationships; favors constricted and embellished relationships, with the illusion that the world is opening up. But, this may depend upon the spaces in which one moves.

Memetics seeks to understand, the neutrality of our dominant tools; spoken/written language as a means for information transfer, and the behavior induced through the consciousness this transfer favors.

Thoughts in discourse are potential diseases that are caught, spread out, and evolve. The more autonomy a dominant discourse has, the thicker and deeper the roots of deception.

Is anything neutral?

Is "un-programming" possible? Should it be? One potentially looks at the content's (minutia) without understanding the evolving forms/patterns created, as all is said to be based upon 'synthetic judgements'; imitative culture. So, the dominant discourse is not separable from even those that disfavor its use?

Every tool (technology) has a value. Which tools (technologies as means of experiencing the world) are more deceptive in terms of value?

To acknowledge the emerging dominant ideology in the 'world', is to progress, in linear time; that is an image, an appearance of 'truth'; that is A way, people/populations/environments get into trouble.

Who is being reflexive?

Stan (Heretic) said...

Re: 'A primary question is how did information move between adjacent levels of this hierarchical administration?'

As far as I know, the information moved both ways. Also, social hierarchies were not as rigid as in the feudal Europe, certainly not as rigid as in the Ultra-Catholic Spain of that period.

Information was largely spoken and "khipu" were most likely interpreted (vocally) by the runners/messengers who carried them, from senders to the recipients.

In the society without a written language (they used to have a written script but they intentionally abolished it at some stage by an Inca's edict), information including historical records are carried in memories passed among people through story telling and songs. However, numerical data necessary for administrating the large country had to be partially encoded. Please note that it is much easier to memorise a narrative story than numbers, especially accounting figures. Khipu must have been both memory aid and partially some hard encoded data.

Stan (Heretic) said...

The usage of physical objects as a memory (or a psychic) aid is not new. "Psychometry" is based on the same concept. You need to take a physical object related to a target, in some way, and hold it in your hand, for example, to facilitate focusing on the target. As an example, holding somebody's watch or a piece of a cloth makes it much easier to remote-view the person (this is taught by Silva method, among many). Of course that is only an aid and is not absolutely necessary.

I think, our written languages is also a memory aid, since the meaning of each word must be agreed upon prior to a conversation. That is done through language learning.

Jenna said...

Why do you think the "Monkeys" are larger in number?

Stan (Heretic) said...

1) Re: communication and deception

2) Re: Is anything neutral?

3) Re: Is "un-programming" possible or desirable?

4) Re: "Every tool (technology) has a value. Which tools (technologies as means of experiencing the world) are more deceptive in terms of value? "

5) Re: Who is being reflexive?

----

Lots of topics!

1. Yes, any communication using symbols is bound to be deceptive. Perhaps that's the reason behind the abolishment of a written language. If so then it probably has worked well - a population without hard encoded symbol is more impervious to manipulation and control. A lot of their culture has survived almost intact, and the language is widely spoken too!

2. No, I don't believe so.

3. Un-programming out of everything, especially out of all ideas that are being propagated as supposedly true by mainstream organizations, schools, governments, academics and churches, is probably not only necessary but essential for our own survival. Otherwise we would continue being manipulated by the centers of powers who attempt to take away our freedom and conspire to destroy our material and intellectual wealth. The last 3 years of the current economic and financial crisis should have been the waking call to all who doubted that we are dealing with a conspiracy to rob us and thus destroy us.

4. I think, all technologies have a potential to deceive but especially those that centralize the flow of information, for example television, radio, cellullar phones. Also those that can be controlled from a central position or that require large amount of capital to set up. Also, certain technological programs that require high degree of centralization and coordination, leading to mega-research centers such as NASA, Fermilab, CERN etc (or centralized library in the past) . The problem with centralized mega reseach is that they tie up and bind very large number of gifted scientists and engineers as well as capital resources, which then can be (and is) quickly destroyed by a stroke of a pen (or torched).

5. Reflexive in the sense of being influenced by the subject being researched? I think we all are! It seems to be inherent in the process of research itself. Or perhaps we are just creating all that, that we subsequently research? (JC would probably agree...)

Stan (Heretic) said...

Re: Why do you think the "Monkeys" are larger in number?

Personal experience. Perhaps other societies may have different proportions? Why is that? I have a theory: perhaps it is easier for a collectivist to find a partner. Many individualists live alone, never have children. That, over several generations creates a persistent negative bias against us. That BTW is another huge factor, that the Inca society handled much more successfully (and in a more balanced way if not outright in our favor) than the Western civilization.

Jenna said...

'I have a theory: perhaps it is easier for a collectivist to find a partner. Many individualists live alone, never have children.'

I'm not sure where I fit into the picture, but I do know this is one area I experience particular anxiety over. I hate being tied to someone, I really like my independence; I like feeling like my own person. But there is a conflict there that I experience when I do choose to be "social". It's a strange conflict, the emotions you feel, but the values you strive for, and are most comfortable with. I am quite stubborn, not to give in to emotional stuff, that would take this sense of autonomy away.

http://evoandproud.blogspot.com/2010/11/extraversion-tool-for-mating-success.html

Stan (Heretic) said...

From my point of view, everything felt wrong about the young people's social culture! And still does when I look at the type of society my teenage daughters have to live in.

Conformance to certain rules, customs etc. I was unable or unwilling (or both) to conform. I basically gave up. Many of us did. It is hard to explain it in a short message. Basically it felt like this - me nerd - social hell - better go alone - anything wrong with me? - #$%@ them all!

Yes, extrovertism does help in this mainstream society but, most extroverts that I recall were collectivists/groupies and seemed to me extremely shallow and opportunistic. And by a large profesionally unsuccessfull, in terms of jobs or careers.

The real eye-opener was that Specialisterne article. It made me understand that being "extrovert" may be relative to a social environment.

Asperger's employees who behave like incommunicative introverts in a "normal" corporate environment, became extroverts among people like themselves.

The problem is really when one is in the wrong place...

Heretic

Jenna said...

Moral ideologies have certain effects, "I, believe in.../"My, subscription to... means..."". Ideas of morality differ, this difference produces conflict to sort out the dominant values of considered necessity, to better survive - i.e. what is 'fair' and has the most favorable outcomes upon, long (as in continuation of lineage) and short term (an individual of that lineage's) survival.

So it is the kind of validation sought by an individual from a given system which reflects ones way of viewing ones needs and another's needs, to then be able to see that one can exclude the inputs, or attempt to prevent the influence of certain kinds of knowledge, and beliefs.

Individual value is embedded within a framework thought to be representative of ideas/philosophies (history of ideas), which are in turn thought to be tools able to compensate for certain behaviors, that undermines the protection of more than one individual. So systems of value are detrimental to the survival of the 'outsider', depending on the 'outsiders' handling of consensus. So, this is where you ask, who is the 'outsider', what qualities does he/she possess which makes this difference?

So every person's work, in a particular system, has a value in relation to the extent of damage each individual's identification with his/her work prohibits the survival of another system of values representing 'other' individual's, lineages, and collective values...

So for instance (being highly reductive) computer technologies provide a source of work that requires individualistic behavior/absorption - people choose to view different signs, following 'individual' trains/tangents of thought with different ends. But, the behavior produced is of an 'individual' carrying out a collectivist activity, at a distance, his/her work is mediated by a computer, and other people, machines, networks of relationships etc. Meanwhile, Afar men are tending to their cattle, from x time to x time... And thinking about... the Oromo's cattle, and the government encroaching on their pastures, amongst other things... bla bla bla... :) Basically, I think you're right, there must not be many heretics. Anyway...

Forming hierarchies of value lays open the creation of institutions such as government, or new technologies, which is meant to represent those collective shared values, and contains them through dictating rules, and embedding laws.

In a backhanded way, Government (as an institution example), signifies the individual's power to embed structural rules, formed through dominant consensus. 'Consensual' rules are law, and consensus shifts those values, as the collective sees fit; and that is consensually, thought to be ideal, else one would assume they wouldn't exist.

Through individual practices, structure forms; reflecting, some shared values. So, you're saying that the 'outsider' is, the heretic. And, who's the revolutionary? A 'special' agent surviving, and observing within the collectivist system, to smash something up; to create a revision? Or is the revolutionary, the heretic? Is there a difference?

(Sorry I know my writing is really pretentious, reductive, general, and crude; but I'm interested all the same.)

Jenna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jenna said...

(http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~spreng/
Publications_files/Gerlach_Spreng_etal_NI_2011.pdf)

Jenna said...

Just one more link because I think it's interesting and relevant:

http://www.maa.org/devlin/LockhartsLament.pdf

Stan (Heretic) said...

Jenna, it will probably take me the next few months to comment on your material. Just kidding. I am not always able to respond immediately to your posts because I am trying to finish a piece of a software for my radar project, in addition to 9-5 work.

Regarding the issues you wrote about, the way I understood it:

- believes determining the social cohesion and the survivability of the people sharing those believes.

I would add a very different view to this (along the lines of Seth's philosophy - JC are you reading?)

I think beliefs are first and foremost determining what a person perceives.

If you challenge somebody's religious beliefs you are not only undermining their social environment and social cohesion but also you may be forcing them to perceive things that they were not aware before. That is often perceived as threats. They will fight you to prevent it.

Furthermore, I believe we not only perceive but we also experience what we believe in. There is also a way of putting it figuratively or literally - that we may be actually _creating_ a reality that we believe in.

The role of heretics in this situation is twofold:

1) Rescuing as many people as possible from disasters. There are many potentially suicidal belief systems that this society is trying hard to have implemented to its own peril. Many of the heretics of the past were trying to warn people not to follow some "saviors" but rather build up one's own power and initiative, in one's own interest. Benign and life-empowering belief systems are not contradictory to one's self interest but destructive and enslaving beleves - are! We serve to warn them.

Just 3 totally different examples: (a) belief in the low fat high carbohydrate diets and vegetarianism, (b) belief that fat and meat are harmful, (c) belief in the "evil" of nuclear energy (BTW today's news - German government just completed a closure of 16GW of their nuclear power stations, Auf Wiedersehen jobs!). Those 3 beliefs alone make a lot of people sicker and poorer.

2) Preparing a ground for the new set of beliefs that are hopefully more self-empowering more suitable of a human, this time less of a "monkey going back to paradise" kind. We serve to ensure that the society evolves and never stays the same (that is that it won't die).

Regards,
Heretic

Stan (Heretic) said...

That Lockharts Lament is really good! Thanks for posting the link!

Jenna said...

Thanks for your comments. I have just two more links, until the third :) :

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/creativityinplay/2011/05/24/aaron-dignan-on-why-the-future-of-work-is-play

http://www.paulgraham.com/nerds.html

Jenna said...

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/creativityinplay/
2011/05/24/aaron-dignan-on-why-the-
future-of-work-is-play

(link didn't copy properly)

Jenna said...

The Teaching of Problem Solving--By P. R. Halmos

Stan (Heretic) said...

I agree with this article! I like this too: an effective Master is the one who produces other Masters rather than the one who has the most Followers.

Jenna said...

The man who planted trees

Stan (Heretic) said...

Beautiful film! Thanks!

Stan (Heretic) said...

The surprising truth about what motivates us

Jenna said...

Very nice.

Jenna said...

A friend just sent me this link (tonight), and it might interest you. Just an interesting read! (I'm not asserting you become part of some New Age cult.) The Dark Mountain Project

I found U.G.Krishnamurti's work recently, which most probably you've come across. (Here.)

Whether you agree with his overarching ideas or not, having gone through all his books/interviews, I find myself with quite a strange, weird, perspective of my animal self, which I can only think of with some kind of enthusiasm, even though paradoxically I don't want to acknowledge his works make some kind of sense, for their being somewhat (totally!) nihilistic towards any idea of progress or self control *towards* some visionary future.

U.G's solution, if thats the correct term, is not so dissimilar to Slavoj Zizek perspective of how to live in amongst a reflection of our own physical destruction, which is an idea outlook in Examined Life. (I joke of course).

The overall message of U.G. seems to be: "Balkan sign" and everything else unfortunate derision. (Please excuse graphic nature, you may gage the degree of civility in you by your reaction, as did I. (I try to joke).

Some other links, making a case for Science:

Instinct as Inherited Memory (To me suggests the relevance of Epigenetics, as a field of study.)

Ancient Visions (The relevance of "Separating the wheat from the chaff", (cough).

Scientists suggest spacetime has no time dimension (The relevance of Hmmming)

Edgar Cayce, Clairvoyant (1877-1945) (Making a case for neural circuitry in the average brain working optimally!)

Jenna said...

Oops.

Balkan sign

Stan (Heretic) said...

re: U.G.

The link has a quote: "The search ends with the realization that there is no such thing as enlightenment. By searching, you want to be free from the self, but whatever you are doing to free yourself from the self is the self."

The bold statement is a generalized assertion which is not generally true. At least it is not true in my case! I am searching but I never wanted to "free" myself from the Self, in fact would I consider such "freeing" crippling. For that reason I disagree with many of the spiritualists (i.g Catholicism, A Course In Miracles, etc) who are trying to suppress, or subjugate the self. It is possible to learn using the "Self" in a manner that is effective and harmonous with the Inner Mind. How? That's another story.

Stan (Heretic) said...

Re: The Dark Mountain Project

I had a feeling like reading a Communist Manifesto where Marxism was replaced with some kind of a (vague) naturalism.

It shares a common fuzziness with the Communist Manifesto, that is it contains an awful lot of sharp observations as to what is, specifies a few concrete "remedies" such as nationalization but is very fuzzy on many details of the functioning of modern economy and the society.

The Dark Mountain Project describes in a quite lengthy but accurate and I think mostly factual way (though hard to read) most of the ills of the present day economic system,

Communists were also very sharp in describing why things did not work in the 19-century capitalism, but when it came to implementing something that does work, they ended up killing 60 million citizens of former Imperial Russia.

Beware of fuzzy ideologies.

Stan (Heretic) said...

Re: Slavoj Žižek and other Hegelians

His views on the economy are somewhat similar to David Harvey in Crises of Capitalism
(Harvey is an even better speaker and presented this more succinctly than Zizek)

I always regarded Hegelians as fuzzy wafflers. Zizek seems to follow in the footsteps of other Marxist theorists like Lenin etc. Being a good talker, he learned to speak forcibly some truthfully sounding statements that cannot be easily verified on the spot, but turn out to be false or contrary to the facts under closer scrutiny.

I can give you one example from Zizek presentation. His observation of the modern day banking capitalism and servitude of the working classes is correct. He talks how totalitarian communist dictatorship used to claim that the socialist states' poverty and other problems were caused by the "deviation" from the true communism rather than being caused by the communist ideology itself. He ridicules that stance. Then he makes a leap of faith asserting that claims that the present banking crisis is caused by the deviations from the free market economy are supposed to be equally ridiculous!

His logic is that since communist ideology was itself responsible for the communists problems, so is the capitalist ideology responsible for capitalist problems.

I don't buy it!

I would rather consider that probably neither the communists rulers were the communists the way the founders of the leftism imagined it to be, nor Western economy is a free market capitalism.

We have to be careful - analyzing it precisely in case of the communism is difficult because communists used to redefine the meaning of the common words such as "freedom", "law", "necessity", "rights" etc. (it seems to be one of the Hegel's dubious "invention" thought I am not an expert to be sure who is here the main culprit, Hegel or Marx).

Anyway, the communists were indeed implementing a certain version of Marxist's principles with strong penchant towards oppresive dictatorship run by incompetent goons.

However, unlike the former, Western economic system is NOT run by free market principles by any meaning of this term. For one - we don't have an immutable money! We have some paper "bank notes" that can be created, taxed or destroyed arbitrarily at a whim of a government official!

Zizek comparison and critique misses the point that there is no comparison!

The communist ideology of his choice has proven itself to be a completely inept poverty-generating social system empowering a few elite functionaries of the police and party apparatus and enslaving everyone else. He should know better - he was kicked out of a job in Yugoslavia by Tito!

In contrast, the free market idea, however imperfectly implemented does work to the extent to which it is implemented, producing the results (wealth and happiness) proportional to the degree to which it is implemented!

You can check it with the economic statistics. For example there is an a ranking of economic freedom that correlates very well with wealth. COuntries with less free market are poorer, those with more free market (and more freedom in general) - are generally wealthier!

So, yes the old communist reformers slogan:

"Socialism - Yes! Socialist Distorsions - No!"

- was a complete nonsense or intentional disinformation, while this:

"Free Market Capitalism - Yes, Free Market Manipulations - No!"

- which would not make a sense to Zizek, would make a perfect logical sense to me!

P.S.

This whole debate between free marketers and Hegelian collectivists would have been just a harmless academic dispute had it not been for those 60 million Russian citizens killed by the Boshevicks.

Jenna said...

"At least it is not true in my case! I am searching but I never wanted to "free" myself from the Self, in fact would I consider such "freeing" crippling."

I think U.G addresses the reader anticipating that they consider themselves in such an individuated way, but he claims that:

"You are not individual at all; you are secondhand people".

"There is no other way. Society is built on a foundation of conflict, and you are society. Therefore you must always be in conflict with society. The real individual, one who is free of the accumulated tradition and knowledge of mankind, is necessarily a threat to that society."

U.G. is general in his indignation towards all thought processes, as he conceives the development of thought as having seeded the demise of human civilization; especially proliferating collectivist "projects".

He questions, whether there are really thoughts; 'Are you thinking now? You have no way of knowing'. This is in line with Schopenhauer's conception of 'synthetic judgements'; the will and the idea.

As thought evolved and we conceived of ourselves in such an abstracted manner we erode sensitivity to the intelligence of our physical impulses/sensibilities. In that way he considers time an illusion, reality an illusion as we conceive through the egoism of the self/ "I"/thought; all we experience is a psychophysical structure, and the simplistic bodily wants of food, clothes and shelter have been perverted to include "projects" of enlightenment that prove highly destructive to the organism.

"Even genetic engineering that the scientists are indulging in is not for the benefit of mankind. If they succeed, it will be handed over to the state. The state will use it to control everything and everyone. Brainwashing, which takes centuries, would be obsolete. Through a simple injection of genetically engineered substances into the body, the state can turn its citizens into bloodthirsty soldiers, mindless bureaucrats, or whatever type it wants."

Jenna said...

"There is no such thing as reality at all. Reality is imposed upon us by culture, society, and education. Don't get me wrong. Thought has a functional value. If we don't accept the world as it is imposed on us, we will end up in the loony bin. I have to accept it as a relative fact. Otherwise there is no way of experiencing the reality of anything. It is thought that has created the reality of your body, of your living, of your sleep, and of all your perceptions. You experience this reality through knowledge. Otherwise there is no way of your knowing for yourself that you have a body, that you are alive, that you are awake. All that is knowledge. The reality of anything is something which cannot be experienced by anybody."

If this mechanism of "consciousness" that produces thought, were to erode, our organism would function without concept, without "I", only according to will; that has not arisen from thought itself, but from the basic impulses of the physical organism's relation to its environmental needs as apposed to "self", or "thought" constructs which embellish the basic functioning of the organism beyond its intrinsic needs; "Nature is busy creating absolutely unique individuals, whereas culture has invited a single mold to which all must conform. It is grotesque."

(An example: I watched a documentary about female Nigerian Prostitutes and the influence of voodoo practices and imparting cultural beliefs that mean that a Nigerian prostitute won't leave her captures slavery/abject abuse, of her, even with opportunity to do so because her fear is greater that the spirits will take her soul, and will cause the death of her family if she were to deny the initiation process of voodoo that had had her sacrifice her life. The fear is so great, and yet at a time during evolution such "voodoo" practices would have been a source of protection (voodoo used as psychological relief from the inability to influence the rain fall, or a disease that killed ones people). So its kind of a quirk in evolution that thought (belief) can be the cause of horrible death even whilst the 'thought' is considered a natural extention of what is true. The woman had no means to question *her* knowledge which seeded her death, because her *cultural* beliefs (thought) "subjugated" her bodily needs.)

I found his writings a good instrument for me to question how I considered Self and consciousness. His criticism is certainly directed at "many of the spiritualists (i.g Catholicism, A Course In Miracles, etc) who are trying to suppress, or subjugate the self." U.G's criticism extends to saints, teachers, gurus, Bhagavans, God, which he deems the inventions of frightened minds.

Jenna said...

U.G's ideas of Self, or "I", align themselves with Memetic', in that by acknowledging that Self, 'I', is thought generated, and is memory, one can recognise the ideas of ones self, which prove harmful historically and those that can be used more reliably as a guide for autonomy; though, there is no escape from the "Self". Science tries to pick apart truths as the self continues to embellish them; the mechanism of thought remains intact.

I think U.G's condemnation of ideas of Enlightenment, align nicely in parallel to the project of "Nutritionism"; the knowledge of what is healthful seems to already exist; "Nutritionism" itself can be considered deceptive. Blogblog's talk of pigeon's impulses over at Hyperlipid, brought this recognition to mind; that if you strip knowledge back, peel back the layers of history you are left with the basic needs of the organism. Though, evidently, human impulses are not so simplistic as the sophistication of 'thought' has evolved: Instinct is found embellished to align with concepts, of enlightenment, vegetarianism an example; one is deemed moral, ethical for eschewing the consumption of meat, etc. Such ideological origins are found in religious thought, as you know. On examination, such generalist assertions of an ideal 'Self' such as the 'moral, ethical human being' in practice is not true; our nature is intrinsically destructive . . .

I also found U.G's ideas to be mirrored in Carl. Rogers summation that:

"a) My experience is that I cannot teach another person how to teach. To attempt it is for me, in the long run, futile. b) It seems to me that anything that can be taught to another is relatively inconsequential and has little or no significant influence on behavior.
c) I realize increasingly that I am only interested in learnings which significantly influence behavior."
d) I have come to feel that the only learning which significantly influence behavior is self-discovered, self-appropriated learning.
e) Such self-discovered learning, truth that has been personally appropriated and assimilated in experience, cannot be directly communicated to another.
f) As a consequence of the above, I realize that I have lost interest in being a teacher.
g) When I try to teach, as I do sometimes, I am appalled by the results, which seems a little more than inconsequential, because sometimes the teaching appears to succeed. When this happens I find that the results are damaging. It seems to cause the individual to distrust his own experience, and to stifle significant learning. Hence, I have come to feel that the outcomes of teaching are either unimportant or hurtful."

Jenna said...

U.G I think, inserts that there is no question and so answer to "How".

He also inserts that I should forget everything he has said. haha.

Jenna said...

"The Dark Mountain Project describes in a quite lengthy but accurate and I think mostly factual way (though hard to read) most of the ills of the present day economic system,"

The facts and implications were my only interest. Though, the friend who sent me the link, I think is looking at the facts differently; at least, he is looking for something I am not.

"Beware of fuzzy ideologies."

Thanks for the reminder. I certainly do not have similar experience and so insight as you surely do, with regards to an understanding of "Politics".

Neither do I have such a sophisticated understanding of which ideas lend themselves to ridicule on closer inspection.

However, on Zizek, I know there is much criticism hurled his way, and actually the link was meant as some kind of joke, which is evidently not so funny on inspection.

His ideas are extreme by my estimation, but are not so extreme when seeing the similarities in line with U.G's beliefs; that we accept our evolving ecology. I also appreciate the interview because it makes apparent our own destruction.

I found Zizek's ideas twisted and quite vulgar; that we continue to construct our environment to the extent that we no longer consider our selves a part of it (though to this end, I'm not sure whether there is even a choice); a total monopoly over what exists; which I think represents his/our own stupidity.

Stan (Heretic) said...

Hi Jenna,

I am glad you addressed and quoted some of U.G's ideas because it would have taken me much longer to dig all that out in the source.

I will reply to your quotes.

Re: "You are not individual at all; you are secondhand people".

Why not? What does he mean by "secondhand people"?

The problem with it as with most philosophers work is that they write down some statements in a categorical matter-of-factly way which contain terms vague or generic enough so that they cannot be specifically confirmed or denied. Unless one spends a considerable time deciphering what exactly did they mean by words such as "individual" or "not individual" and "second hand people".

To me I am myself an individual. I do not follow nor obey any power other than myself except if I have a "gun" (figuratively) stuck to my head, in which case I do what they tell me to under penalty, but no more than that (such as for example paying taxes to government parasites etc), until such a threat is removed. I do not volunteer or try to help the collectivistic destructors in any way as I navigate the thin path between death and survival. Does that fit under "second hand person"? May be UG thought so but in that case it was all in his head, not mine, and those ideas shaped his life not mine! 8-:)

Stan (Heretic) said...

Re: "There is no other way. ..."

Yes there are! There are always other ways except for the Hegelians and other spinoffs of his who seem to believe that there is only one way which happens to be theirs.

Re: "...Society is built on a foundation of conflict, and you are society."

No it isn't! No I am not!

Society, Life and all individual organisms are built upon the principle of the overall harmony supperimposed onto local dys-equilibrium where each element or idividual life form appears to compete or contradict another while at the same time expanding the entire System of Life (biological Life, Biosphere and the Universe).

(sorry for playing the philosopher's game but what I said is equally vague and unverifiable as Hegel's, Zizek's etc so one shall just take it or leave it - however, please never believe on faith anything I or anyone says! "Have knowledge and love but not faith!" (as quoting someone) Faith will lead you nowhere!)

Jenna said...

I appreciate your comments.

I hadn't thought that Memetics could be faith based. And neither had I quite fit philosophy within that frame of reference. Neither had I considered idealism part of the same vain.

Its interesting to think of Philosophy in the way you have suggested, I think your criticism reminds me of what I understood from superficially looking to Wittgenstein's saying/showing distinction of the "Tractatus"; 'By working through the propositions of the book the reader comes to realize that language is perfectly suited to all his needs, and that philosophy rests on a confused relation to the logic of our language'.

From further comments your collectivist, individualist ideas seem clearer to me now.

But still there is fuzzy something in my brain, as I do not think I am perfect, or an ideal human being. I think you may understand something, but come a change of circumstance, who knows what happens to that understanding. At least that is what psychology preaches; that there is a distinction between the conscious self and the unconscious. I do not know what I think about such distinctions. I have much to learn. I wasn't sure actually even what to say to these comments, I guess I feel increasingly that my understanding of reality sits on shaky ground, and maybe thats not such a good thing. Though neither is the alternative.

Stan (Heretic) said...

You may find "The Philosophical Basis of the Conflict Between Liberty and Statism" by Donald W. Miller interesting.

(His other articles are also worth reading)

Regards,
Stan

Jenna said...

Thanks.