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The Future of False Conciousness

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#41
caltrek

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Here's Why the Republican Party Has Abandoned Reality

 

https://www.alternet...andoned-reality

 

Extract:

 

(Alternet) If what they (corporate special interests) want isn’t popular, they’re going to look for ways to get politicians elected without having to talk about these issues. Toward this end, they have purchased media bullhorns and they’ve developed a story about good and evil to tell people.

 

We all know this story.

 

If you are a conservative, you are a good defender of capitalism. If you are a liberal, you are an evil socialist who is trying to destroy the country.

 

Whether or not this is true does not matter to them. What matters is whether they can get politicians elected.

 

This is why the Republican Party has detached from reality. Corporate special interest legislation is not popular with people, so corporate special interests have to create a different reality: one in which corruption is good (today we call it “business friendly” or “free” markets) and one in which democracy is bad (people should not interfere with corruption).


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The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#42
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A Yale psychiatrist explains how loyalty Trump is predicated on emotional patterns the majority of us grow out of by age five

 

https://www.alternet...us-grow-out-age

 

Introduction:

 

(Alternet) President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Monday to heap praise upon his ally Roger Stone, who continues to maintain his refusal to flip—even as Trump’s former fixer, Michael Cohen, who once said he’d take a bullet for the president, begged federal prosecutors to not serve jail time.

 

Stone might be Trump’s most famous supporter—but there are millions of Americans who refuse to abandon the president regardless of the chaotic news cycle. A poll conducted over the summer found that many Trump supporters trust the President more than their own friends and family.

 

Raw Story spoke with Yale psychiatry professor Bandy X. Lee on why the president’s supporters show such undying devotion to a man who’s repeatedly reneged on promises and whose tumultuous first term has been filled with shake-ups.

 

Raw Story: In your opinion, what are the emotions driving Donald Trump’s base?

 

Bandy X. Lee: The sense of grandiose omnipotence that he displays seems especially appealing to his emotionally-needy followers. No matter what the world says, he fights back against criticism, continues to lie in the face of truth, and above all is still president. What matters is that he is winning, not whether he is honest or law-abiding. This may seem puzzling to the rest of us, but when you are overcome with feelings of powerlessness, this type of cartoonish, exaggerated force is often more important than true ability. This is the more primitive morality, as we call it, of “might makes right,” which in normal development you grow out of by age five.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#43
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'Donald Trump isn’t an aberration': Paul Krugman reveals how the GOP's 'moral rot' laid the groundwork for Trumpism

 

https://www.alternet...-moral-rot-laid

 

Introduction:

 

(Alternet) With the death of President George H.W. Bush, many conservatives and former Republicans are nostalgic for the old days of the party and bemoan the dark turn the GOP has taken under President Donald Trump. But as economist Paul Krugman argued Monday, the groundwork for Trumpism had been laid long before his rise.

 

Trump's habit of denying reality and spinning baseless conspiracy theories that fit his preferred vision of the world is a direct outgrowth of the GOP's denial of climate change science, according to Krugman.

 

"Donald Trump isn’t an aberration, he’s the culmination of where his party has been going for years," he wrote.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#44
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Republicans have become their own caricature of postmodernism

 

https://theweek.com/...e-postmodernism

 

Introduction:

 

(The Week) For decades, suspicion of pointy-headed elites in the academy has been a staple of conservative rhetoric, and none more so than postmodernist philosophers and literary critics. By conservative lights, inscrutable scribblers, usually French, were undermining American society by putting out incomprehensible treatises arguing there is no such thing as truth, no opinion is any better than any other, and so on. "The end result is that there can be no more truth or goodness and no need or even ability to make tough choices," wrote Allan Bloom in The Closing of the American Mind.

 

The conservative view was always about three-fourths caricature — while postmodern writers did have valuable insights in many areas, and were not entirely the gleeful anti-moralists conservatives made them out to be, it is fair to say that Derrida, Foucault, Adorno, and so on were more concerned with pointing out ever more elaborate ways that contemporary society is bad than doing anything about it.

 

But if there is any political faction that behaves like the most hysterically exaggerated caricature of postmodernism, it is the current Republican Party. If you want an example of a political party whose worldview has become almost entirely socially constructed — divorced from any empirical referent whatsoever — and whose political argumentation is a load of cynical gobbledygook, look no further.

 

The actual contents of postmodern ideas are a matter of dispute, as they must be for any movement whose members spend half their time blasting salvos of $10 words at each other. Nevertheless, there is a reasonably clear through-line: Postmodernism is a movement that undermined traditional notions of Enlightenment rationality, the idea of absolute truth or morality as things that can stand outside of human discourses and history, the metaphysical "I" of Descartes, and so on; arguing instead for a more contingent version of these concepts as inherently produced and shaped by human society.

 

Now, as Richard Rorty would say, all that does not mean one cannot demonstrate the falsity of empirical claims (his beef was with metaphysics, not science). 


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#45
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Starspawn found this on the internet:

 

Why Is this Happening?

 

https://www.nbcnews....ript-ncna943701

 

Introduction:

(Think) How can you be sure that the things you know are true… are actually true? We have access to more information than any humans in history but we can't process it on our own. In fact, almost all of what we know comes from others. We come to rely on people and institutions to tell us what to believe and not to believe. And it turns out there are huge, consequential differences in how Americans form those relationships, relationships which serve as the building blocks for how we shape our own views of the world. So what happens when someone tries to manipulate that trust? If you ask David Roberts, you need only look at the current conservative movement to get your answer.

 

DAVID ROBERTS: All these little lies serve a purpose, like telling people that the caravan is a threat. Telling them that they had the biggest inauguration crowd, ever. Just all these constant little lies are conditioning, they're meant to sort of condition their followers to just go along with whatever they say. And once you've got that then it's like off to the autocratic races.

 

CHRIS HAYES: Hello, and welcome to "Why Is This Happening?" with me, your host Chris Hayes.

 

In 2012, I published a book, it was my first book. It was called "The Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy." And it was a book that was about a few different strands. One of the big ones, broadly, was the crisis of authority in American life. That was the kind of pitch sentence that I would go around to publishers and say, "I want to write a book about the crisis of authority in American life." And it had started when I looked at his polling data that showed that Americans trust in their pillar institutions had declined over a period of time, and were at all time lows in around 2010, 2009, when I started thinking about writing the book.

So this was across the board like: higher education, media, the legal system, medicine. In fact, military and police were really the only thing that a majority of Americans had a lot of trust in.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#46
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Market bubbles and sonic attacks: Mass hysterias will never go away

 

https://theconversat...r-go-away-87493

 

Introduction:

(The Conversation) Ancient and quaint seem the days of witch crazes, demon scares and tulip maniasInstances of mass hysteria may strike you as rare events in modern advanced societies. But such outbreaks are products of their times. They’re still around today, just in different guises.

 

Aided and abetted by its status as an internet meme, the myth of an evil, supernatural Slenderman has been panicking adolescents since 2009, even culminating in an attempted murder by proxy. If it’s easy to brush this off as a case of impressionable teens with too much internet access, then what of otherwise rational late 20th-century American adults participating in suicide cults, Puerto Rico’s mythical cattle-killing Chupacabra monster, the “irrational exuberance” of the dot-com bubble in the 1990s, or the seemingly insane rush to make bad real estate investments in the latter 2000s?

 

A diplomatic dustup between the U.S. and Cuba may be the latest well-publicized case of collective delusion. In 2017, the U.S. State Department claimed its diplomats in Havana were subjected to “sonic attacks” that produced a range of physical symptoms including hearing loss, headaches and dizziness. Consequently, the federal government pulled out most of its embassy staff and sent packing most Cuban diplomats stationed in the U.S.

 

Although medical exams have identified unusual physical conditions in some diplomats, those exams lacked proper experimental controls and fall well short of providing evidence for any sort of sonic attack. There remains no demonstrably valid evidence that diplomats were subjected to sonic attacks at the American embassy in Havana – and a good deal of evidence has now been amassed suggestive of the contrary. The latest culprit to be fingered is the chirping of crickets or cicadas – in conjunction with mass hysteria.

file-20171214-27555-13p9e4c.jpg?ixlib=rb

One of the most famous mass delusions in America led to the Salem witch trials in 17th-century Massachusetts.

 Joseph E. Baker, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls






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