Are You A Collectivist?

Anybody here ever watch Star Trek–The Next Generation?

If so then you will recall the Borg….the nemesis of the Federation.  But what were the Borg?

……Their existence is in the Collective where each drone was part of the collective consciousness……they all received the same thoughts and information from those that were assimilated…..

And that got me thinking about “collectivism”……

Scratch your head and repeat after me…..HUH?

These days someone is always labeling others with some insulting tag or another…..such as “globalist”, “socialist”, “Fascist”, “apologist”…..so why not “collectivist”?

So onto a definition…..trying not to confuse too many at one time…..

Collectivism is a form of anthropomorphism. It attempts to see a group of individuals as having a single identity similar to a person. The collective is claimed to have ideas, and can think. It has purpose, and it acts to achieve goals. It even has a personality, called culture. It claims to have moral rules the collective should follow. It claims to have collective rights, as well.

Since the collective is actually just individuals interacting, the collectivists have to change their views of individuals. They morally evaluate people according to the results of the collective. If the collective manages to accomplish something great like land on the moon, every individual is given equal credit. If a nation goes to war, everyone is to blame. And if an individual refuses to acknowledge the superiority of his collective, than he is a traitor and is eliminated. This is the result of collectivism.

Collectivism demands that the group be more important than the individual. It requires the individual to sacrifice himself for the alleged good of the group. Although different from altruism, collectivism complements it well. Altruism demands sacrifice for others, collectivism demands sacrifice for the group. Collectivism leads to altruism.

Now that you have a handle on what collectivism is all about…..we will move onto what brought about the thought process that gave you this post.

We have a new way of thinking about our place in this society…..first of all….America has always been great and these days it needs to find itself again

Those involved with the America First revival and the campaign to “make America great again” seem to be forgetting that America was made great in the first place with freedom. Personal freedom and civil liberties, and economic freedom with the protection of private property rights, freedom of contract and association, and especially free markets.

It was the philosophy of individualism upon which America was founded and in which the people had real freedom — and thus, prosperity.

unfortunately, Donald Trump’s collectivist agenda involves a mystical nationalism with policies of authoritarian governmental controls, certainly not promoting individualism and inviolable free markets.

Source: Are You A Collectivist?

I have noticed that some bloggers fall into this trap….they just repeat the lousy info they have assimilated….in essence they are part of the “hive”…the collective.

“Resistance is futile….You will be assimilated”……..would make a great slogan for Breibart and other hate filled sites.

But It Is Human Nature

On several occasions the topic of human nature has come up mostly in the comment section and by several of IST’s regular readers.

Human nature is one of those subjective topics that leads to many different interpretations….depending on one’s personal outlook or philosophy…..I recently read a pretty good look at this topic and would like to share it here and get others thoughts on the article…..

Across the globe, a collective freak-out spanning the whole political system is picking up steam with every new “surprise” election, rush of tormented souls across borders, and tweet from the star of America’s great unreality show, Donald Trump.

But what exactly is the force that seems to be pushing us towards Armageddon? Is it capitalism gone wild? Globalization? Political corruption? Techno-nightmares?

Rajani Kanth, a political economist, social thinker, and poet, goes beyond any of these for the answer. In his view, what’s throwing most of us off kilter— whether we think of ourselves as left or right, capitalist or socialist—was birthed 400 years ago during the period of the Enlightenment. It’s a set of assumptions, a particular way of looking at the world that pushed out previous modes of existence, many quite ancient and time-tested, and eventually rose to dominate the world in its Anglo-American form.

Source: Have we been denying our human nature for four hundred years?

So my friends….any thoughts on this piece?

Restoring Responsible ‘Conservatism’

For years the conservatives in this country were known to be a responsible form of governance.  The platform of the 1956 GOP platform illustrates the meaning of the term “responsible conservatism”…..

Back in those days they were as close as the US has had as a liberal since the turn of the 20th century.

As much as “liberal” has become a dirty word in U.S. politics, the word “conservative” has been ripped from all its honorable traditions and redefined as a dangerous form of radicalism,

What is it about the U.S. that makes it virtually the only country in the world where a political Left scarcely exists? We have a center Right — the Democratic Party. And we have a far Right — the Republican Party. In fact, just invoking the L-word “Liberal” can inflict quick political death. Yes, we’re safe from the Left here in America.

Having such a stunted political spectrum is bad enough in itself. Still worse is the utter corruption of the word conservative. U.S. society has allowed the Republican Party to hijack the word, distort it and redefine it to its own ends, against its real meaning.

Source: Restoring a Responsible ‘Conservatism’ – Consortiumnews

The day of a responsible Republican has long gone never to return.

What say you?

Twitocracy

A new word for the annals of political thought……”Twitocracy”….(God I love that term)…..

Now people will do what they do best…define this to fit their paradigm…..but I am talking about the use of Twitter…..nothing more…..

Our new prez did something that few other politicians, and yes he is a politician, at least now have been capable of doing…using Twitter to do his work for him.

I think it was brilliant in the beginning but now he is using it like most trolls use it….as an immature way to try and slap down any opposition…..a shame….he could use it for good but instead he rather act like a 5th grader in the school yard mash down….immature and juvenile…..

John Peeler: As long as his Twitter followers will follow, Trump will be able to instantly shape reality to suit his needs.

It surely was fun watching House Republicans fold before the Trump Twitternaut. They only wanted to gut an independent ethics watchdog panel, but they didn’t reckon with The Donald’s Tweet Power. Within hours of the closed-door vote, congressional offices were deluged by outraged constituents after Trump tweeted his disapproval. We are in a new era.

As long as his Twitter followers will follow, Trump will be able to instantly shape reality to suit his needs. As with the House GOP, he can crystallize a judgment that will resist evidence and force conformity. As with the CIA and Russian hacking of the election, he can, with no evidence whatsoever, cast doubt on the considered judgment of intelligence professionals, even while resisting being briefed by those same professionals. As with Hillary’s emails, he can magnify and distort an issue without regard to truth, to his own advantage.

Source: Twitocracy: The Trump Era – LA Progressive

So is the 24-hour media failing the public?

Yes it is…….every time they respond to his Twitocracy then he has won and their reporting is bogus……

Trump is media fodder. Every day he offers two scoops of drama with a hearty dash of intrigue.

And while Trump is great for TV ratings, commercial success comes at a cost. He uses the mass media—especially the 24-hour news networks—for self-serving advantage.

He can do that because he’s crafty, having lived in the media space for so many years. He knows that many Americans get news from social media (60%+ according to a recent Pew study). And he knows that 24-hour news networks serve as a primary news source for many folks around the country.

Source: Why 24-Hour News Channels Are Failing America – LA Progressive

By giving Trump what he wants then the media is failing the public….they take the bait and run with it….giving the slugs more bait to keep the media occupied and moving in an approved trajectory…

Closing Thought–18Jan17

Ever since I have been writing there has been this deathly fear of the “s” word……to the point of obfuscation.

Now word has come out that should get all the old farts losing what little sleep they get……

On Wednesday, November 9, at 9:47 am, BuzzFeed News sent out a push notification: “Trump is leading a global nationalist wave. The liberal world order is nearly over and the age of populism is here.” This, from a publication better known for listicles than sweeping political pronouncements. If even BuzzFeed felt it necessary to ring the death knell for the “liberal world order,” then liberalism must be really, really dead.

But what, besides global nationalism, can replace it? The answer is clear if we look at the 2016 election from its inception. The race we should be remembering is not just Clinton versus Trump, but Sanders versus Clinton. For nearly a year, millions of Americans supported an avowed socialist, and many of those people were young—like me.

Source: Why Millennials Aren’t Afraid of Socialism | The Nation

Will this make a difference in upcoming elections?

Maybe The Frankfurt School Can Help

Ever since the news broke that Donald Trump had won the electoral college there has been a wealth of ink wasted trying to explain what went wrong and how this person could have won so much of the electoral college.

Us academics….you know those people that the Right demonizes every chance they get….maybe be able to help explain the situation and that nagging question…how could this happen?

I have read most of the stuff both Right and Left that attempts to explain the 2016 elections….most of it is supposition…..but some of the thoughts of the Frankfurt School could help in this endeavor……

At least spend some time and learn about their thoughts before dismissing them outright.

The Frankfurt School, also known as the Institute of Social Research (Institut für Sozialforschung), is a social and political philosophical movement of thought located in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. It is the original source of what is known as Critical Theory. The Institute was founded, thanks to a donation by Felix Weil in 1923, with the aim of developing Marxist studies in Germany. The Institute eventually generated a specific school of thought after 1933 when the Nazis forced it to close and move to the United States, where it found hospitality at Columbia University, New York.

The academic influence of the “critical” method is far reaching in terms of educational institutions in which such tradition is taught and in terms of the problems it addresses. Some of its core issues involve the critique of modernities and of capitalist society, the definition of social emancipation and the perceived pathologies of society. Critical theory provides a specific interpretation of Marxist philosophy and reinterprets some of its central economic and political notions such as commodification, reification, fetishization and critique of mass culture.

Source: Frankfurt School and Critical Theory | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

In 1923, a motley collection of philosophers, cultural critics, and sociologists formed the Institute of Social Research in Frankfurt, Germany. Known popularly as the Frankfurt School, it was an all-star crew of lefty theorists, including Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, Erich Fromm, Max Horkheimer, and Herbert Marcuse.

A guiding belief of the Frankfurt School, notably among Adorno and Horkheimer, was that mass culture, in all its forms, was a prop for totalitarian capitalism. The idea was that art, in late-capitalist society, had been reduced to a cultural commodity. Critical theory sought to expose this by rigorously examining the products of popular culture. In particular, they tried to show how culture became a stealth vehicle for the inculcation of capitalist values.

Source: If you want to understand the age of Trump, you need to read the Frankfurt School – Vox

One may not approve of their approach….but they were instrumental in the formation of the “critical theory”…..

Reclaim the Identity of the Left

Back in my younger days I was a radical and worked to change the political system….I worked within the confines of the system to exact change….Reagan reinvigorated my resolve to make change…Bush1 was just an extension of my desire….and then the country threw us on the Left a mickey….the election of Bill Clinton, a conserv in Dem clothing……we tried to warn the country but few wanted to hear what we were saying…..and look what that brought.

Many on the Left are crying in their beers…..but that will not bring the change they so want….the Left needs to set about making the changes needed to start representing the working class….something they have NOT done in 25+ years…..if they truly want to win…then the ONLY concern should be that of the working class.

This election has been something that the American left had never dreamed of: The rise of a demagogue spouting fascist rhetoric against the roaring cheers of white America.

An authoritarian right will now rule over a Republican-held Congress, with the choosing of new Supreme Court justices on the agenda.

The anger fueling Trump’s rise was palpable because it wasn’t new. Economic stagnation has been happening for decades as deindustrialization, neoliberalism and union busting took its toll. The Rust Belt rusted over and small farms were forced into foreclosure. That anger had a narrative thrusted upon it, and it didn’t come from the left.

Source: Trump’s Victory Is an Opportunity to Reclaim the Identity of the Left

Good advice if you want to regain your standing with the American people….

For sake of argument…….. the National Review wades into the conversation…..

The Left is not going to learn any lessons from 2016, apparently. Democrats in the House just crushed an upstart challenge to Nancy Pelosi’s decade-long leadership, rejecting Tim Ryan, a 43-year-old congressman who represents a swath of post-industrial Ohio from Youngstown to Akron and co-chairs the Congressional Manufacturing Caucus, for the 76-year-old San Francisco congresswoman who has presided over the largest House losses in modern memory, and who famously said that the House had to pass the Affordable Care Act “so you can find out what is in it.” As for leadership outside the halls of Congress, the favorite to head the Democratic National Committee has been Keith Ellison, a Muslim congressman from Minnesota who has extensive ties to the Nation of Islam and the Muslim Brotherhood, and who has compared the September 11 attacks to the burning of the Reichstag.

Source: American Left, We Need You to Recover Your Sanity | National Review

I will agree that the Left, the true Left, needs to re-group and find a better way forward…..reverting back to the 1990’s is NOT the way forward.
Thoughts?  But please if you want to go on some socialism rant save it for your crazy uncle Bill over Christmas dinner.