10/13/2005 8:19pm, #1
- Join Date
- Sep 2005
The Mindless American: A Tragedy In The Making
A Psychologist looks at the sheeple. John Kerry proved himself to be an asskisser by "staying safe" and having no backbone. Most politicians do this. That is why they are politicians and not philosophers but it wasn't always this way. Thomas Jeffererson said "Always question Authority". This was a theme with American philosopher, Henry David Thoreu (Civil Disobedience).
As a behavioral scientist, it appears that a vast share of folks in our nation have chosen to relinquish a quality no doubt essential to authentic human life….. an existential responsibility to think for themselves, an ontological need to discount the petty concerns that drive the minds of those directed by triviality. It seems that such individuals have become so fantastically preoccupied with, essentially enamored by, the norm of what others think, they have effectively relinquished, through a process of cognitive foreclosure, the capacity to think for themselves. Having become so extremely alienated from the core of their own being, they have little choice but to follow the crowd’s madding need to forge a symbiotic attachment to, in essence relationship with, a society, that for all practical purposes has become the basis of their own identity, the bedrock of their very being. Having done so, the image they have forged for themselves (who they believe themselves to be) has become every bit as fabricated, every bit as disconnected from reality, as their image of society.
10/13/2005 8:39pm, #2
While well written, I have to question historically if people as a whole think any less-for-themselves now. Its something that the author doesn't seem to address. Based on historical editorials however, it seems like these complaints have gone on for quite a while.
- MattStudent of Wan Yi Chuan Kung Fu,
Kali, & what ever works
Renaissance Martial Arts
10/13/2005 8:46pm, #3
Back in Roman times, the Senators were bitching about the mob, if I remember correctly. Nothing changes.
10/13/2005 9:03pm, #4
Originally Posted by kepetri
- Join Date
- Sep 2005
10/13/2005 9:35pm, #5
I'd argue that most people will do anything possible to keep from having to think for themselves.
The sixties may have been an anomaly in this, but I'm sure a small number of leaders in the counter culture really drove the rest to where they were going. Plus, at that time, the stakes were fairly high. Get drafted, go to Viet Nam. If the draft were in place now, I'm sure we'd see something similar (although, obviously not on the same scale).
Overall, the mob is best placated, something that some hard core conservatives would do well to learn. Even the best and brightest can't rule without consent of the mob.
10/14/2005 12:41am, #6Originally Posted by kepetri
THe Nazis, for example, are cited as the first and most effective use of modern media (including movies, radio, epic scale sound and light shows, etc) to move the baser instincts of the masses."You know what I like about you, William? You like guns AND meditation."
10/16/2005 1:48am, #7
You did not quote Ralph Waldo Emerson? Therefore, I dock you one point on your want-to-be an intellectual quest. In addition, you misspelled Thoreu (Henry David Thoreau) –2 points, but I guess spelling things correctly would be to “conformist.”
Now lets move on to the substance of this thread. This is the typical sophomoric tract about people not thinking for themselves. Fist off, no one has the time or intellectual ability to rediscover, on his or her own, all of the truths we take for granted. It is simply not practical to do this. We each build upon the knowledge of those came before. We all conform to groupthink, and we all decide which group we choose to think like. Anyone who says they do not conform to groupthink is full of **** (pardon my French). Usually this “think for yourself” tract means, “think like me…I have the TRUTH and you are wrong.” Thoreau’s argument is simply rhetorical nonsense and Jefferson was a fool.
In addition, your argument is a lot like the “only 10% or 5%,” or whatever, of the people in world, are smart theory. You might have heard this idiocy or said it yourself at some time or another. What I love about this theory is that the one making the argument places himself in the elite simply my making the claim. Just as you have implied that you think for yourself, by posting this thread.
No one actually thinks for himself, no one ever has and no one ever will, we all use a foundation of knowledge that we take for granted, we all use groupthink as we are all influenced by society.
Last edited by Olorin; 10/16/2005 1:55am at .
10/16/2005 7:13am, #8Originally Posted by Olorin
10/16/2005 11:43am, #9Originally Posted by Olorin
I think the media has really influenced the amount of self-thinking that goes on in contemporary society. It is much easier to read a newspaper or watch the local news and just assume that they are telling "the truth" about things.
I am a part-time teacher, and I just always encourage my students to try and think for themselves as much as possible. If you take everything you see and hear with a grain of salt, you will be alot further along than someone who just assumes that what they see is 100% of the story.
Read, stay informed, think about things a bit before you pass judgment. That's all any of us can do.
10/19/2005 3:56pm, #10
Originally Posted by Olorin
- Join Date
- Jul 2004
2) Generally, innovation comes from departing from that base of knowledge into new territory few if any are considering at that time, so group-think is not absolute and universal.
3) Misspelling a word in a post meant to demean someone for misspelling a word in a post is almost as bad as using quotes where they aren't necessary.
Aside from that, I agree, there is no escape from some degree of society and groupthink. I "to", am merely lambasting you based upon your own lambasting of another.
However, my quotes are better than yours. Therefore, my "unnecessarily haughty refutation of an unearned spelling reputation" trumps your "misspelled disdainful review (with an unnecessary use of quotations) of a trite article ", making me KING OF THE INTERNET!
Last edited by TheManchu; 10/19/2005 3:58pm at .