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  #1  
Old August 17th, 2017, 07:50 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Default Does politics matter or just "good" versus evil

How should we view the rise in hate groups and the "splits in our society as shown by the arguments between politicians.

Imagine strolling with ones friends and family in London, Nice, Barcelona, Baghdad or Charlottesville and then a vehicle plows through your loved ones and they are dead or injured!

The "talking heads" on TV each night, repeat about how divided the USA is. No doubt this is repeated the world over. But I think this is not true. The apparent important division that "seems" to be important is between political parties. But this is really just another schism of the minds of the population that is really no more important than the sports fans supporting the Boston Redsox versus the Dodgers! Really it is quite bizarre to consider the almost "hereditary" support for such "tribes" in our societies.

I have a different view. I see most folk here as good and generous. An example is here in the USA. Yet there is a small, but real and seemingly growing faction, (of mostly lower education level working class men), who are getting motivated, encouraged and supported in overt expression of evil racism, glorifying the wicked practices of the Southern sleeve states.

So to me there is only good and evil. Very simple, there is no grey area. If you don't respect the humanity of other people, you are evil!

Massacre of civilians is always evil. Most ordinary folk, everywhere in all parts of the world, however, no matter race or religion, are compassionate kind and generous!

Asher
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Last edited by Asher Kelman; August 19th, 2017 at 12:22 PM.
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  #2  
Old August 18th, 2017, 06:01 AM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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The "talking heads" on TV each night, repeat about how divided the USA is. No doubt this is repeated the world over.
Not in my experience. The extreme polarization in politics which characterizes the USA is not present in France or Germany, for example. Some polarization is present, of course, but it is not as extreme. Sports are also less present than in the USA, I think, so maybe there is indeed a link.

Last edited by Asher Kelman; August 19th, 2017 at 12:24 PM.
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Old August 18th, 2017, 08:33 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Not in my experience. The extreme polarization in politics which characterizes the USA is not present in France or Germany, for example. Some polarization is present, of course, but it is not as extreme. Sports are also less present than in the USA, I think, so maybe there is indeed a link.
Jerome,

Thanks for your thoughts! This dynamic of tribalism is even of existential significance when States own nuclear weapons or germs that are weaponized!

In politics in the USA, unfortunately we even have a party known for carrying the banner of racism, (the Southern Democrats), handing over that treasured mascot to the Republicans after President Johnson, a Southerner himself), disavowed that credo and the Republicans just took it for themselves. Essentially, the two parties switched "uniforms" and, in a way, the Democrats now carried the "books of the Party of Lincoln"!

As to "The rest of the world, "tribalism" on a massive scale is seen, at least occasionally, in sports. In the U.K., in particular soccer fans, especially, follow their teams to Europe and every so often behave as roaming gangs of marauding bullying thugs, looking for a fight. In addition, even one club can be polarizing, Manchester United, for example. Some even deride it as Jewish, and guess what? It's popular with Jews, but all without much logic of some reasoned self-interest!

In Iraq and Aphghanistan, Saudit Arabia! Lebanon, Syria and Yemen, the "Political parties", are indeed tribal or religious or combinations thereof!

Occasionally, a true leader arrives, like a Lincoln, Marx, Lenin, Kennedy, Churchill or Napoleon who unites folk based on ideals and infectious ideas, giving strength to competing memes and tipping the balance.

Even Hitler* was such an leader, His sway was based on a vision of a "Thousand Year Reich", ideas of hate, domination and exclusion, and that built his brand new tribe of Ayryans!

However, despite cataclysmic eruptions around new energetic leaders carrying impressive rallying cries, all people like to be empathetic to strangers and kind. Still, memes of hatred and exclusion are an almost necessary instrument of tribe-building!

Missionaries used this Around the world, splitting existing tribes into Catholics versus Prorestants, and after that, marriages are sought within that infestation of compulsive sticky memes.

Still, on the level of neighbors, as long as leaders don't stir up the exclusion memes, the same Catholics and Protestants can live in adjacent communities without fighting, even cooperatively, albeit at some arms length.

In the USA, right now, Donald Trump is tipping the scales, permitting the memes of hatred and exclusion. Consequently, racists are being strengthened, empowered and therefore gathering recruits. Latent resentments and prejudices get once again fused to some rallying cry.

We apes need to evolve to some better system! After all, we have as basic instincts, social bonding and empathy, so we do have the tools to get along!


Asher

Footnote: * Henry Ford financed his major grooming in the Wagner estate, as he wrote "Mein Kampf", as if on a "Fulbright Scholarship"! He fused the race regulations of the Southern States and Jim Crow laws, with post-Versailles Treaty anger for the humiation of World War I, and inserted aspin made up of violent expression of widespread antisemitism)
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Last edited by Asher Kelman; August 19th, 2017 at 12:42 PM.
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  #4  
Old August 18th, 2017, 06:32 PM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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I am not exactly sure what you are trying to say. Certainly, declaring the inhabitants of the next village less than humans, raiding their crops and raping their women is a practice that has long history as far as humans are concerned. Is that a surprise?
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Old August 19th, 2017, 12:13 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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I am not exactly sure what you are trying to say. Certainly, declaring the inhabitants of the next village less than humans, raiding their crops and raping their women is a practice that has long history as far as humans are concerned. Is that a surprise?
Jerome,

I am not sure where that might be true? Where does that happen today?

Even in Ottoman Turkey, Muslim villagers didn't tend to raid Armenian neighbors unless some political or military organization stirred up trouble. In Eastern Europe, Christian villagers wouldnt raid Jewish neighbors. But the Kassacks would. In the Crusades, folk did'nt turn on Jewish or Muslimcommunities until the soldiers actually sacked the place. This all relates to my thesis that most folk are good and empathetic unless stirred on by leaders to do otherwise.

I only know deeply what happens in a certain number of African countries I hve lived in: Nigeria, Zimbabwe, South Africa and ex Portuguese East Africa and Swaziland and Basutuland.

While the rare band of Muslim fanatics do attack Christian Ibo tribesmaen in Kano in the Northern part of Nigeria, several times a year, somewhere in the area, village to village raids are very uncommon as most African societies are very stable by tradition. The people, even in an adjacent village, are united by kin and blood and a tribal system of authority. Folk are on the hole quite safe.

One may have to carry the equivalent of $1-$5 in ones driving license justcvin case one is stopped by police. But even then, one is reasonably safe unless one gives the cop lip or attitude. One can get free medicine, but one might need to put a bill under the pillow to actually get the free medicine delivered!

So while petty corruption is a nuisance to ordinary people, they do not risk their lives or their daughter's wellbeing and can sleep well at night. Perhaps villages are the safest places to live!

Asher
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  #6  
Old August 19th, 2017, 09:12 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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I am not exactly sure what you are trying to say........
Jerome,

You're more skilled at being succinct. Let me try again.

I think that although some policies of political parties are based on ideas, even ideals, mostly the movements are tribal and only "flavored", decorated or disguised with ideas of a particular hue, popular with enough voters to market that brand. IOW, the policies are insincere, cobbled together from influences of financial backers, "wants" and current popular memes of the targeted populace.

In actuality, the mixture of concepts, money and marketing ploys means that a moral compass may not be included in their campaigns or agenda.

Rather they end up like sports franchises in the USA where talent is collected, traded and upgraded to win a competition that provides mere crowd amusement and entertainment and actually the hoarding by a few of massive wealth.

To me, the loyalty of sports fans is akin to the "fans" that stick with political parties, (or religions), despite logic and no matter what, just drink the Cool-Aid.

Perhaps my idea then can be understood thus,:

"We humans fall for crowd pleasers to fill the coffers of Churches, sports teams and political parties, akin to hardworking honey bees giving up their earnings to the queen's hive." Except when we do that, we are soothed and elated at the same time!

Perhaps such mass addictions are indeed, simply, "opioids for the masses"!


I still struggle to reach succinctity, but that is a try!

Asher
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Last edited by Asher Kelman; August 19th, 2017 at 12:49 PM.
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  #7  
Old August 19th, 2017, 05:07 PM
Peter Dexter Peter Dexter is offline
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When the Spaniards arrive in Colombia they discovered that there was a group of Indians somewhat north of modern day Medellin in Colombia that raided smaller less powerful groups for human prisoners, kept them in cages and fattened them and the sold them to yet other groups for food. No kidding! The torches in their gold mines were fueled by human fat. I have read that in the highlands of New Guinea it is to this day a show of utterly bad manners to not consume part of a recently deceased relative. Where does "evil" begin or end? Isn't it sort of a novel idea dependent on context and invented by a currently dominant species of mammal?
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Old August 19th, 2017, 09:58 PM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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This all relates to my thesis that most folk are good and empathetic unless stirred on by leaders to do otherwise.
You can be quite succint as well. Your thesis is that "most folk are good and empathetic unless stirred on by leaders to do otherwise". That is quite an interesting thesis, I had not thought about that.

The real question which then arises is about these leaders. They don't appear out of nothing, they need to be chosen by the "good and empathetic folk". Why do the good and empathetic folk then periodically appear to chose and follow the leader leading them to war, raiding the next village's crops and raping their daughters?
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Old August 19th, 2017, 09:59 PM
Tom dinning Tom dinning is offline
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I've changed my mind.

I promised myself I'd stick to the photos.

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Old August 20th, 2017, 04:34 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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You can be quite succint as well. Your thesis is that "most folk are good and empathetic unless stirred on by leaders to do otherwise". That is quite an interesting thesis, I had not thought about that.

The real question which then arises is about these leaders. They don't appear out of nothing, they need to be chosen by the "good and empathetic folk". Why do the good and empathetic folk then periodically appear to chose and follow the leader leading them to war, raiding the next village's crops and raping their daughters?
Thanks Jerome for your attention and consideration. I will try to explain further with a single example at this point in the exploration of my thesis.

Leaders, in a simplistic first assessment, seem to have the persuasive skills to garnish attention and gather followers. Hitler is well studied. He was active in protests and demonstrations early in his street career. But he had little backing of powerful folk at first.

Now for a man to stir up anger, angst and avid following, one needs more than "windmills to joust". In the ubiquitous presence of Jews, (educated and assimilated in Western Europe and more village and agriculture-attached in the East in the "Pale settlement"), here was a major candidate to blame for Germany's troubles. These, easy to identify, Jews seemed to survive and thrive no matter what. The same Jews that all Churches, Catholic, Protestant and Lutheran, regularly infused attendees with the common memory of "deicide". So this became exploited once again as a basis for being identified, called out and exterminated "the enemy of the people" and a powerful easily worked instrument to unify Germans behind him and his party.

The turning point seems to have been young Hitler coming to the attention of the woman now in charge of the Wagner estate. She brought him to visit and be groomed. She introduced him to aristocratic families and generals as they came each year to celebrate and make connections at the annual Wagner festival. Meanwhile, she arranged for Henry Ford in the USA to finance his focus on his developing ideas to "rejuvenate" Germany, reinstall a confident sense of exclusive national self-worth. He would produce a written document to be the "bible" of this fledgling movement, an antidote to the universalist views of Napoleonic Law, (with fixation on the inherent equal rights of citizens) or the "common cause" of comrades in the communist workers movements, (with the fixation on exploitative capitalists). Hitler, instead would fuse exclusively privileged Germanic workers with their own capitalists and build a "Thousand Year Reich".

With the collision of all these ideas and circumstances, Hitler's popular success with the German people was enabled. The inherent goodness of folk could be overcome with the absorption of new imperatives. Now was "the perfect storm" of mass resentment, insulting national wounds festering since the end of the Great War, inherent antisemistism boosted by memes of Jews having crucified and killed the only breathing "son of God", only son of a virgin conceived by God himself, a wonderful fit for heroic German mythology. With Jews as the internal universal enemy and communists, (inspired and energized by Jewish orators) as the internal and external enemy), one hardly even needed to mention the English speaking allies, who forced the humiliation on proud Germans!

Such orators cannot do much without followers, ideas that become ideals and an energized cause. If the leader has not organizing ability and skills and there are no perceived existential threats to be defended against and vanquishing and no gains to be had in the process, then the nascent movement does not stick, survive and get traction.

However, the successful leader perceives, (below the perfunctory social compromises), the current memes that potentially could be harvested around their "cause". That energizes the base and the movement gathers power.

The leader doesn't have to be sane, just narcissistic and Machiavellian enough, to cobble together existing resentments with lies about opponents to win new friends and demonized others and so plot an ever increasing zone of self-power.

That is my thought on the subject, so far, without much editing, as it is 3:33 am


Without unifying identity, perceived or real existential threats and tangible potential gains, (summarized in catchy slogans and pressed with powerful oratory), the unfettered, unsullied and unassaulted instinct of social hominids to be supportive to their own species, almost always prevents diversion of blood and hard won resources to attacking neighbors!


In the most succinct expression, "Blood and soil", such a leader can sacrifice and shed blood for the gain of living room, slaves and resources!

.....and such a scheme works!

Asher
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  #11  
Old August 20th, 2017, 05:35 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Originally Posted by Peter Dexter View Post
When the Spaniards arrive in Colombia they discovered that there was a group of Indians somewhat north of modern day Medellin in Colombia that raided smaller less powerful groups for human prisoners, kept them in cages and fattened them and the sold them to yet other groups for food. No kidding! The torches in their gold mines were fueled by human fat. I have read that in the highlands of New Guinea it is to this day a show of utterly bad manners to not consume part of a recently deceased relative. Where does "evil" begin or end? Isn't it sort of a novel idea dependent on context and invented by a currently dominant species of mammal?
Good points, Peter.

I know a lot about cannabalism from the work of the Nobel Prize winner, Carleton Gajdusek, who worked out the cause of the seemingly inherited dementia in the Fore tribe in New Guinea and Micronesia. The diseas "Kuru", was gradually wiping out the tribe. The disease was actually transmitted by "prions", which unlike viruses and all other infectious agents, are not killed by sterilizing process and have no DNA or RNA coding for their propagation and the diseases they cause. This was spread by rubbing the deceased fat over cuts in the skin to absorb the "spirit" of the deceased and enemies they captured and killed.

However, I have to catch up on other societal practices of this rare human behavior.

I promise, I will attempt to address this important, but aberrant and rare cultural phenomenon in time!

Asher
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Old August 20th, 2017, 06:04 PM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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You took the example of Adolf Hitler. I agree about the facts, which you summed up pretty well. In a nutshell, he had the gift some groups of powerful people needed to manipulate the masses.On can therefore argue that this group of powerful people were the one who wanted to stir up anger. What advantages did they planned to have from the anger? Was their expectation somewhat rational or were they blinded by racial hate? Can we make parallels with other events?
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Old August 20th, 2017, 08:30 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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You took the example of Adolf Hitler. I agree about the facts, which you summed up pretty well.
Thanks, I thought that this modern example was so important, as it also exploited the potential industrialization of killing, that Civilization just "dipped their toes in the water, so to speak, in the similar revolutionary absorption of telegraph and train transport in the proto-industrial planned slaughter of Armenian Christians under cover of "relocation".


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Originally Posted by Jerome Marot View Post
In a nutshell, he had the gift some groups of powerful people needed to manipulate the masses.On can therefore argue that this group of powerful people were the one who wanted to stir up anger.

From the Wagner estate, there was an exquisite appreciation of the power of mythic opera to spellbind folk of all classes. Epic tales, symbolism and evocative chants just worked so well. And here was this street rabble rouser who could be embedded into such a role to refloat the German state to a glory and pageantry unmatched in history.

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What advantages did they planned to have from the anger?
With a great revival and branding of this nascent movement to host a lavish stage production, the oceans of power would rise globally and float many industrial boats. Henry Ford recognized this. No doubt so did the Ford Motor Company and other global concerns, including Siemens and likely IBM, who provided the punch cards for population selection on the largest scale in history.

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Was their expectation somewhat rational or were they blinded by racial hate?
I fear overstepping my certain knowledge here, but major industrial corporations need reliable labor, large market access and abundant materials. One can potentially sell more in such an organized system. After all the Southern States and Caribbean plantations prospered with slave labor. At the turn of the Century, a movement of glorification of the racist Civil War rebel leaders was used to intimidate and slow down the implementation of the essential French legal view of universal "Rights of Man" and rights to citizenship that had been embedded somehow into a slave owner's declaration of Independance of the USA, itself.

The lavish nascent German social experiment organized around Hitler seemed to also be an effective savior of capitalism as the soviets expanded their communist empire threatening further the very powerful rich and aristocratic powerful elite as well as, (I suspect), the innards of the hierarchy of the remnants of the once Imperial Catholic Church, shrunk to a single city in the miniature Vatican State.

Racial hate was already embedded by nineteen hundred years of post-Constantine teachings and indoctrination. Nazism was as uniquely "German" as, lettuce, apples, olives or carrots. The land just had to be tended and the brand would natively grow anywhere in Christendom! Blaming Germany and nor the Baltic States, England or Poland is just the writing of History. Churchill also organized a famine to let millions die of starvation in India... and he's written as a hero!

Jerome, No one was tricked!

It's as if slave a owner's plantation life is set to music and white folk claim they were simply tricked into raping the daughters of their slaves and making the poor black folk pick cotton, all day as part of some innocent epic movie, shown beautifully, but with no guilt! We are able to romanticize evil and present it as something nostalgicly artful, as Wagner's unmatched glorious music is to its massive and enthusiastic audiences.

All the Southern ladies wearing white gloves to Church on Sunday were aware of where the cotton cane from and whose labor was ironed into their embroider petticoats! They loved that privileged life!

Hitler's surge to the stage brought the potential re-introduction of industrial slavery and stealing of resources on such a grand scale, that would secure privilege and wealth for a thousand years. Damn the Communists, damn the Unions ....and both the French and British for the naivity of the Enlightenment and the French Assembly. We will rule the world!

Asher


Footnotes:
  • * The Sword of Constantine: An account of the fusion of Christianity with the Roman State and its documented permanent plan for punishing the descendants of Jews in every generation for Deicide, with the only escape being conversion or death!


  • **"Can we make parallels with other events?" I will address this last and most important point of yours, Jerome shortly, as that is, after all, the point of looking back to what we did. What can we learn, as we, who are aware, are perhaps, hopefully, somehow able to tilt the scales back to the Anglo-French written and oratorical ideals of how we should treat one another on this one blue fleck of rock hurtling through space with a thin coat of teeming life, over which we have narcissistically claimed dominion!
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Old August 21st, 2017, 07:04 PM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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You noted communism. We tend to underestimate the fear people had from communism at the beginning of the 20th century. Fear of communism was probably a great motivator for rich Europeans to finance the raise of nazism. Maybe they were not blinded by racial hate but by fear, at least at first.

If we want to make parallel, we would need to find out whether today's rich and powerful people are afraid of something as big as communism was at the time and what it is.
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Old August 21st, 2017, 07:53 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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You noted communism. We tend to underestimate the fear people had from communism at the beginning of the 20th century. Fear of communism was probably a great motivator for rich Europeans to finance the raise of nazism. Maybe they were not blinded by racial hate but by fear, at least at first.

If we want to make parallel, we would need to find out whether today's rich and powerful people are afraid of something as big as communism was at the time and what it is.
Thanks for your critical feedback Jerome. It's helpful as I am struggling grasp the undercurrents that actually fashion big events like outbreak of xenophobia that like a fission reaction seems, once triggered, fuel itself. It's both fear, a constant hunt for greater riches.... and for the "religious" movements, (including communism and Fascism), a delusion of glorious righteous salvation too!

I just had a thought. If one wants to see which way the water current goes in a pool, one just drops a leaf and follows it. Looking at the influences on someone like Hillary Clinton, (who we assume started out as a selfless public spirited worker, we must assume), and examine how she came to be allies with the bankers of Wall Street. Of course it's more complex than that but at least it's an approach to answering your question to see where these pressures and seductions change the trajectory of "innocent" entrants to political life.

In all this, we assume we understand what "good" and "evil" are. Here, simplisticly, (roll over in your grave Descartes!), I define the respect of the worth of each human life as "good" and it's purposeful devaluation, as examples, (not by abortions by women who so choose) by randomly taking away civil rights and then degrading and finally hurting or killing those of an ethnicity, creed or any other grouping one seized on to set one group against another and enslave or similarly disadvantage other persons. I realize that any first year philosophy student could disassemble such a simplistic "definition", and a team of professors would take years to craft some linguistically consistent and waterproof derivative. But in the meanwhile, admitting the weaknesses in my sense of "good" and evil", it's enough to proceed as we, think know the sorts of behaviors we find so abhorrent we class them as "evil".

Asher
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Old August 23rd, 2017, 02:33 AM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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Outbreaks of xenophobia may or may not be created by the people who manipulate the masses, whomever these peoples or these separate groups of people are. It is used, as it is a powerful way to manipulate the masses further, but it is not necessary explicitly created by them. I believe so, because I cannot find a reason for them to play with the fire (while there was a reason in the early 20th century: fear of communism). I could well be wrong, of course.
OTOH, there is a strong correlation between hardship and xenophobia. We, humans, welcome the foreigner in times of abundance, but quickly turn to war in times of harship. Both in Europe and in the USA, there is a strong correlation between poor job perspectives and support for the new, "alternative" right wing politcs. In that sense, xenophobia would simply be a correlation of politics which concentrate even more riches into the hands of the happy few and let vast segments of society destitute.
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Old August 23rd, 2017, 12:19 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Outbreaks of xenophobia may or may not be created by the people who manipulate the masses,
Absolutely right. Sort of an accumulation of sedimentary and volcanic layers on the ocean floor. Groups of convicted, already marginalized youth in from excluded communities in big Western cities succumb to the preaching of radical preachers, in person or on smuggled tapes. Next stage is brotherhood and a chance of being a valid, valued soldier in a mission that is greater than they ever imagined they could be part of.

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Originally Posted by Jerome Marot View Post
Whomever these peoples or these separate groups of people are. It is used, as it is a powerful way to manipulate the masses further, but it is not necessary explicitly created by them. I believe so, because I cannot find a reason for them to play with the fire (while there was a reason in the early 20th century: fear of communism). I could well be wrong, of course.
OTOH, there is a strong correlation between hardship and xenophobia. We, humans, welcome the foreigner in times of abundance, but quickly turn to war in times of harship. Both in Europe and in the USA, there is a strong correlation between poor job perspectives and support for the new, "alternative" right wing politcs. In that sense, xenophobia would simply be a correlation of politics which concentrate even more riches into the hands of the happy few and let vast segments of society destitute.
For sure, Jerome, xenophobia is one of the most common currents leaders look for to exploit and fuse with their own schemes!

Asher
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"Beauty Shoot!" or "P-TTL Blinkies" or "A Better Bounce Card" Edward Bussa Pet's Corner: Professional as well as enjoyable photos of your pets. 15 March 13th, 2007 04:20 AM
A good "BAD" joke Benjamin Kanarek Fashion - Glamour - Product - Advertising 7 February 6th, 2007 02:42 PM


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Posting images or text grants license to OPF, yet © of such remain with its creator. Still, all assembled discussion © 2006-2017 Asher Kelman (all rights reserved) Posts with new theme or unusual image might be moved/copied to a new thread!