'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrity

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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby SciameriKen on June 26th, 2018, 4:35 pm 

Its funny that the article spoke as if the internet troll thing is something that happened and is done with -- but it is still quite rampant. I enjoy Yahoo sports for the quick stories and as sports and politics are so nicely intertwined these days there is a bit of crossover. Long story short - I'll hit new stories in the early morning east cost and they will be littered with thousands of comments most supporting each other, usually pro-trump, when most stories on the site will have a few hundred at most. I find the last two paragraphs of your quoted text to be spot on and I'll repost here:

From his interviews with former trolls employed by Russia, Chen gathered that the point of their jobs "was to weave propaganda seamlessly into what appeared to be the nonpolitical musings of an everyday person."

"Russia's information war might be thought of as the biggest trolling operation in history," Chen wrote. "And its target is nothing less than the utility of the Internet as a democratic space."
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Mossling on June 27th, 2018, 6:56 am 

SciameriKen » June 27th, 2018, 5:35 am wrote:Its funny that the article spoke as if the internet troll thing is something that happened and is done with -- but it is still quite rampant. I enjoy Yahoo sports for the quick stories and as sports and politics are so nicely intertwined these days there is a bit of crossover. Long story short - I'll hit new stories in the early morning east cost and they will be littered with thousands of comments most supporting each other, usually pro-trump, when most stories on the site will have a few hundred at most. I find the last two paragraphs of your quoted text to be spot on and I'll repost here:

From his interviews with former trolls employed by Russia, Chen gathered that the point of their jobs "was to weave propaganda seamlessly into what appeared to be the nonpolitical musings of an everyday person."

"Russia's information war might be thought of as the biggest trolling operation in history," Chen wrote. "And its target is nothing less than the utility of the Internet as a democratic space."

I agree, I think that was the most powerful part of all the articles.

And now with the US Midterms approaching, there is apparently not a lot being done to protect against any ongoing wave of US democratic opinion amplification/manipulation on the part of foreign powers:

Silence on Russian election meddling frustrates lawmakers
Politico, 06/24/2018
Robert Mueller and the nation’s top intelligence official say Russia is trying to interfere in the midterm elections — but Republican and Democratic lawmakers say the Trump administration is keeping them in the dark about whether the U.S. is ready.

A half-dozen senior House and Senate lawmakers who spoke to POLITICO say they’re hearing only an alarming silence from the administration about what Moscow’s trolls and hackers are up to, less than five months before an election that could undo the Republican lock on Congress and derail President Donald Trump’s agenda.

They’re also getting conflicting messages: Mueller and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats have both asserted that Russian efforts to undermine the American political system are underway, without offering any public evidence or specifics.

[...]

Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, expressed even more frustration.

What we would normally see in a normal administration is the principals meeting to discuss what are they doing individually, what are they doing jointly, or what they are communicating amongst themselves, what’s the whole of government plan to protect the midterms,” Schiff told POLITICO. “I just don’t see any evidence that’s happening.”

[...]

...U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin had ordered an extensive influence operation to undermine the election, with the eventual aim of helping Trump and hurting Hillary Clinton.

The lawmakers also questioning whether the agencies are equipped or being active enough in trying to prevent a repeat this year.

DHS is “doing a lot” on election security, Burr said, but “from a standpoint of Russian meddling, the jury is out whether we’re detecting Russian activities and, if so, to what degree and what they’re targeted towards.”


And it is interesting to see how apathetic so many Trumpists are about the above potential interference - considering their vulnerability to believing in conspiracy theories about deep state influences and allegedly abhorring democratic foul play (rigged votes, and so forth). I suppose there is a hint in the names of the parties - Democrats and Republicans - perhaps many republicans have hated the label "democrat" so much that they are sick of democracy in general? ;P

I am not into politics much myself - I am into wise humanistic leadership, by whatever means, but there is something very rotten afoot I feel. I am not surprised to hear that a troll on this forum's news section has 100 IP addresses, for example. Just the teeniest tip of an iceberg I would imagine...
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Mossling on June 27th, 2018, 7:09 am 

Serpent » June 27th, 2018, 3:16 am wrote:
Mossling » June 26th, 2018, 2:31 am wrote: I am talking about the credibility of alleged individual opinions within comments sections and forums -

Sorry. I thought you were referring to responses to the news stories. I though it was the broadcaster's responsibility to block trolls, bots and puppets - just as it is of forum administrators.
Since I'm not swayed by other people's opinion, I don't read the responses, either on the CBC website or any You Tube videos, so they have not affected my perception of my fellow citizens.

I have no idea what can be done to stop misappropriation of social media.
I'll just add that to the things I'm pessimistic about.

Is blocking trolls and puppets so easy, though? I am pretty sure a sophisticated troll factory can circumvent such measures.

I don't read other peoples' opinions to be swayed - I watch a broad range of news media just to get an idea of the political opinions of a potential democratic majority. However, lately on youtube and other sites, I have been noticing patterns - that appear like swarming of a certain style of commenting that doesn't seem realistic - like educated-sounding finely-tuned arguments that have a respect for logic and the role of Truth, and yet which seem to be actively out to undermine the social infrastructure that represents that level of thinking. In all academic level discourse and debate I have never come across such a 'person' - let alone a whole bunch of people like that - it is very fishy, hence I came here to explore the situation further - it seems more like 'sophists for hire', than your average Joe with a basic college degree looking to let off steam in a comments section.

The arguments for desiring broader social 'retardation' are becoming too sophisticated - a kind of living oxymoron, but which probably cannot be detected by a more neurologically-compromised visceral Trumpist, and thus instead they would believe that they have a potential 'commanding officer' in their midst and that the army of Drumpf is gaining strength every day - in communities across America. And so these individuals I would expect to become more emboldened by seeing such comments, and advocate Trump more passionately and more vocally in their family and friends circles. In fact, however, their perceived 'commanding officer' is quite likely to be a Russian paid troll fanning the flames of social retardation and chaos in American society. What is so worrying at present is that a real US citizen Drumpf footsoldier is not apparently remotely concerned about being hoodwinked by a traditional US adversary.

It is like Trump and his cronies are part of a cargo cult that have gotten their hands on the Whitehouse 'cargo' - nukes and all - but like members of cargo cults, they have no intellectual or moral interest in the society that created the cargo - in fact they hold that culture as lesser than theirs - for they have their own superior 'magic' that causes the cargo to be delivered into their hands. This is a very real social phenomenon, and I believe it could very much be in effect with regards to the 'cult of Trump.' He is clearly no scientist but his followers believe that he is cleverer than scientists.

Wikipedia wrote:Cargo cults often develop during a combination of crises. Under conditions of social stress, such a movement may form under the leadership of a charismatic figure. This leader may have a "vision" (or "myth-dream") of the future, often linked to an ancestral efficacy ("mana") thought to be recoverable by a return to traditional morality.[1][3] This leader may characterize the present state as a dismantling of the old social order, meaning that social hierarchy and ego boundaries have been broken down.


Trump is aiming in this direction, socio-developmentally:
Image
These cultists' magic and intelligence is so superior to those 'elitist thinkers' who flew to their island in their airplanes, that they can Make Vanuatu Great Again through a championing of their own superior culture - their 'alternative facts' that are beyond the stuffy intellectual world of written paragraphs, charts, and graphs, or mathematics - beyond having a sympathetic humanist heart, even - and make the planes return with cargo for them - to make their lives better, without them ever having to understand how that plane or cargo is made. As long as the cargo arrives, who cares about where it came from - Trump just clicks his fingers and someone appears and delivers what he needs - he was born into that life.

And this could also answer why Trumpists are not concerned about any Russian threat - because their cultist magic is superior to mere Russian techno-wizardry also. Trump is a blind leader leading the blind, and has been quite likely put in place by a foreign adversary (or group of them) that wish to see America walk off a cliff. Trump got the cargo delivered, that's all he apparently cares about - he doesn't care WHO delivers it to him - he just wants a tower with his cult brand on it in every country in the world - especially in Moscow.

Thus, a "libtard" (liberal retard who voted for Obama) isn't retarded in the sense that they are bad at math or social philosophy - they are deemed to be retarded because they don't see how their warm-hearted humanism is an unintelligent behaviour, and how Trump's cold-hearted approach is what got him the cargo - the Whitehouse - by whatever means. For the means is irrelevant, since it is the arrival of cargo that is the proof of intelligence, 'by hook or by crook.'

Are you not concerned about such a potential situation, Serpent? You seem very laid back about all this.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Serpent on June 27th, 2018, 9:17 am 

What do you expect me to do?
Compared to the melting icecaps and approaching nuclear war, this is very small potentates.
Bang or whimper, I'm utterly powerless to affect any of it.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby SciameriKen on June 27th, 2018, 9:36 am 

Another element I want to bring up here is that I don't think the "liberals" are serious enough. Their champions of investigative journalism are all comedic late-night talk show host (Colbert, Jon Stewart, Trevor Noah, Jimmy Kimmel, on and on). Their news radio is soft spoken NPR that lulls one to sleep. By comparison right wing radio has talk show hosts yelling about the conditions they perceive - themes of fear - complete seriousness. This has a uniting to people who think the world is ending and its up to them to stop it.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Serpent on June 27th, 2018, 10:11 am 

SciameriKen » June 27th, 2018, 8:36 am wrote:Another element I want to bring up here is that I don't think the "liberals" are serious enough. Their champions of investigative journalism are all comedic late-night talk show host (Colbert, Jon Stewart, Trevor Noah, Jimmy Kimmel, on and on). Their news radio is soft spoken NPR that lulls one to sleep. By comparison right wing radio has talk show hosts yelling about the conditions they perceive - themes of fear - complete seriousness. This has a uniting to people who think the world is ending and its up to them to stop it.

Absolutely. This has been known since the earliest civilization.
The thoughtful, insightful, factual, measured argument is slow, hesitant, polite and quiet, while jingo, hype and agitprop are loud, hysterical and aggressive.

Evil always triumphs because it's hampered by neither scruples nor reason.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby SciameriKen on June 27th, 2018, 10:19 am 

Serpent » Wed Jun 27, 2018 2:11 pm wrote:
SciameriKen » June 27th, 2018, 8:36 am wrote:Another element I want to bring up here is that I don't think the "liberals" are serious enough. Their champions of investigative journalism are all comedic late-night talk show host (Colbert, Jon Stewart, Trevor Noah, Jimmy Kimmel, on and on). Their news radio is soft spoken NPR that lulls one to sleep. By comparison right wing radio has talk show hosts yelling about the conditions they perceive - themes of fear - complete seriousness. This has a uniting to people who think the world is ending and its up to them to stop it.

Absolutely. This has been known since the earliest civilization.
The thoughtful, insightful, factual, measured argument is slow, hesitant, polite and quiet, while jingo, hype and agitprop are loud, hysterical and aggressive.

Evil always triumphs because it's hampered by neither scruples nor reason.


Is this at the core of "post-truth politics"? How do we as a society break this phenomenon or are we on an unstoppable runaway train?
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Mossling on June 27th, 2018, 11:23 am 

Evil always triumphs because it's hampered by neither scruples nor reason.

Lol, really?

I think not. If we take 'good' as cooperation and evil as non-cooperation (you could say competition, I suppose), then ask yourself - will it be cooperative communities of cells or single cells that will lift their own DNA off our planet before our Sun dies? Will it be an individual human that will mastermind and build the space programme, or will it be a team? And so on and so forth.

Good tends to be prosociality, whilst evil tends to be antisociality. Prosociality has been trumping antisociality (excuse the non-existent pun) since the time of the primordial soup. I think the West's social philosophy needs a bit of retuning, that's all - a move away from obsessions with somehow equalising a guy with balls and a woman who menstruates, or a tall and a short person, or a young and an old person, or the north wind and the south wind, and so on and so forth, and accept the asymmetry of nature a bit more and get in harmony with that.

Then natural cooperation can do its good thing as it has been for millions of years, and defeat evil just like it has been doing for millions of years. As the ancient wise ones said all over the world - there is not much to do, but plenty to be. We are all equal in our inherent organic asymmetry. I think that is a good Truth to start with, perhaps.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Braininvat on June 27th, 2018, 11:48 am 

Some spot of light last week from SCotUS....

https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/1 ... 2_h315.pdf

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions ... 65e5804140

The Supreme Court decided Friday that cell-site location information is protected by the Fourth Amendment’s guarantee against unreasonable searches and seizures. Carpenter v. United States offers a rare bright spot in the uphill battle for digital privacy. Even more significant than the ruling is the reasoning: The Supreme Court has finally rejected the outdated idea that we voluntarily surrender our privacy simply because we own a digital device.
- from the Post

It's nice to know that once justices join the Supreme Court, they become invested in the institution and its longterm principles and commitment to "the living document" theory of the Constitution. After the scary theft of Merrick Garland's seat on the Court back in 2016, this offers a ray of hope that an extremist can't dismantle the institution.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Serpent on June 27th, 2018, 11:59 am 

SciameriKen » June 27th, 2018, 9:19 am wrote:Is this at the core of "post-truth politics"? How do we as a society break this phenomenon or are we on an unstoppable runaway train?

There are those who will point to past progress as cause for optimism. Such trends have been reversed - well, no, not exactly reversed* - let's say, slowed or even stalled. Between the Japanese interment camps and the pulling down of monuments to heroes of slavery, Truth and Justice had some pretty good moments. Competent and factual journalism, too, and even democracy got some licks in, which all went to promote better education and a higher standard of awareness.

You can probably trace the degrees of improvement in public discourse through the newspaper headlines from 1940 to 1976; it's a jagged but mainly upward graph. The factual lines begin to blur in the seventies but the scapegoating minorities and disappearing the working class becomes obvious during what I call the Reagan-Thatcher-Mulroney Axis. This trend (by no accident) coincides with the growth of lobby power, mass corporate exporting of jobs and evasion of taxes, while their pet governments hobble trade unions and gerrymander the poor and non-white out of their voting rights. No headlines - just a steady, silent buyout of democracy.
Then comes the media-war on social justice, from the anti-feminist backlash, through the anti political correctness movement, etc. Did you ever wonder how many of those "speaking up" for men's rights, gun rights, free of speech and white pride were sock-puppets? Seeding the audience, agents provocateurs, mail-in campaigns, plants and professional hecklers have been used for thousands of years. Of course the internet lends itself to the same tactics on a larger scale.
Disinformation and manipulation starts as a drizzle, grows all unnoticed to a trickle, shower, blizzard ...

* When a national position is actually reversed is usually following some major break in the time-line. Russians, Hungarians, Poles, Austrians and Germans never had much of a problem with the low-key, ever-present antisemitism of the early 20th century. It went along with anti-communism and fear of gypsies. So what if people don't like to associate with some other people? So what if a radio announcer or newspaper editor expressed a negative opinion? So what if a school or hospital or business discriminates? That's within their rights. It's not as if anyone is being persecuted - - - until they are, and whoever still cares is intimidated into silence.
Afterwards, when the war-dead are counted and the mass graves uncovered, they all act like the child standing over the broken lamp or my dog when she bit me instead of the sibling she was fighting.
Warnings have no effect. They have to see the damage.
I don't think the alt-right will stop until it's precipitated - and lost - another civil war.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Serpent on June 27th, 2018, 12:17 pm 

Mossling » June 27th, 2018, 10:23 am wrote: If we take 'good' as cooperation and evil as non-cooperation (you could say competition, I suppose), then ask yourself - will it be cooperative communities of cells or single cells that will lift their own DNA off our planet before our Sun dies?

It will be a community -- of mutated and super-evolved ants.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Serpent on June 27th, 2018, 2:39 pm 

Mossling » June 27th, 2018, 10:23 am wrote:
Then natural cooperation can do its good thing as it has been for millions of years, and defeat evil just like it has been doing for millions of years.

Then how come evil never stays defeated for more than 50 years at a time?

Many thousands of species have arisen, evolved and gone extinct during the time that ants kept marching on. They had co-operation down pat 90 million years ago, and have never needed to re-structure.
H. sapiens has only been experimenting with co-operative groups for a mere 300,000 or so years - and keeps messing it up. The older great apes do better than us at community cohesion, as well as maintaining peace with neighbouring communities (I know, I know: chimps murder and wage war. But - how many murders and wars per generation? For what reasons? What's the casualty rate?)
We are actually a step backward in social evolution; perhaps a mis-step that nature will correct in the usual way.

As the ancient wise ones said all over the world - there is not much to do, but plenty to be.

We knew this 5000 years ago. Carved it in a stone pillar... about four days before mobilizing against Elam. Sumer won that time - brought back heads, spoils and weapons; built a big monument to our military glory.
Then we painted it on a wall across the Red Sea, just before the conflict between Upper and Lower Egypt....

We are all equal in our inherent organic asymmetry. I think that is a good Truth to start ith.

Okay. When? When do we start learning what we've always known?
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Mossling on June 28th, 2018, 6:25 am 

Serpent » June 28th, 2018, 3:39 am wrote:
We are all equal in our inherent organic asymmetry. I think that is a good Truth to start ith.

Okay. When? When do we start learning what we've always known?

After this post-truth debacle is over?

;P

Flying machines crashed over and over again, but now we have global air travel.

Trial and error - that's a key scientific procedure, isn't it?

The process can be frustrating, but we learn a hell of a lot through it.

We've tried holocausts, atom bombs, and enforced global hegemonies and what have we discovered? I'd say that tyranny doesn't do much for our happiness, our dignity, pride, or future economic forecasts. And now we have Trump's child prison camps to add to the case file. At some point the penny's gonna have to drop - like it did for the ancient Chinese after the Warring States period. For the insights gained after that brutal episode (especially championed within Confucianism and Daoism) can be witnessed in effect even today with China's relatively peaceful foreign policy (because they know that cooperation and peace is the most powerful 'weapon' of all) - and let's not forget that they are the mode human on this planet and are set to become the next no.1 superpower.

I think it was Hegel who said what we learn from history is that we don't learn, but I don't think that's true. If we champion the wisdom of Truth - of empiricism and practical philosophy, then we do indeed gain insight and learn, and avoid further catastrophe as a result.

Image

Image

Image

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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Mossling on June 28th, 2018, 7:57 am 

This very interesting piece from CNN yesterday highlights how soon enough the threat of fake multiple online accounts will be dwarfed by the ability to create fake audiovisual material - on the scale of having the faces of real US citizens say whatever a foreign government wants them to say on camera - and within the framework of an apparent Fox or CNN news piece:



The real news and the fake news will be indistinguishable in appearance - online video evidence will no longer be trustworthy. What then? Lol.

If one goes back to physical townhall meetings, I suppose the next threat would be cyborg US citizen lookalikes being manned from St Petersburg putting across their opinions in the community and even going to cast their vote. I expect that is much further away than the videos of stolen identities however....
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Serpent on June 28th, 2018, 9:50 am 

Well, then, the question becomes:
Would you rather be governed, long-distance, by a sane, informed and competent despot
or
up-close and personal, by a rampaging toddler who tears up legal documents he won't even read if they don't put his name in 24-point caps in every paragraph?

Mossling » June 28th, 2018, 5:25 am wrote:[When do we start learning what we've always known?]
After this post-truth debacle is over?

Didn't you just finish demonstrating how much worse it will get? What indication that it will be 'over'?

Flying machines crashed over and over again, but now we have global air travel.

They're still crashing - into tall buildings, etc., - and bombing civilians, day and night, year after year. Americans are so used to their governments' war-on-everybody-all-the-time, they don't even notice this.
https://qz.com/895516/which-countries-is-the-us-currently-bombing/

Trial and error - that's a key scientific procedure, isn't it?

Yes, but politics and economics are not sciences - they're only called that in college curricula to attract students who are comfortable with false advertising.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Mossling on June 29th, 2018, 8:16 am 

Serpent » June 28th, 2018, 10:50 pm wrote: What indication that it will be 'over'?

Because some fine minds are studying it and seeking to correct the imbalance. As the above CNN video points out - now that a weakness has been detected every other foreign adversary is going to be trying to exploit the situation and influence the US democratic process in their favour. Part of that interference is apparently feeding the post-truth illusion - that Truth is an unobtainable ideal and so we should all just give up on trying to determine what is fake and what is real.

The best Western philosophers begged to differ. So, just like Socrates pointed out, if you want democracy to 'work', then the population have got to 'wise up' - they have to explore and get to know the finer details regarding Truth much better. That's if the Trump cargo cult doesn't derail the whole shebang to the point that no one has the appetite for intellectual pursuits in general and the US just becomes the play-thing of the more savvy rising foreign powers, until it is just a shell of its former self - the columns standing there like the Parthenon in Greece, but with no philosophers to be seen their vicinity, only angry fascists posturing and selling out to Chinese soft power bargains.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Serpent on June 29th, 2018, 7:04 pm 

The trumpets and their foreign assist are nothing more than a late-stage symptom of a chronic disease; the merest canker on the lip of a bubonic plague patient. American popular culture - which is to say, commercial culture, or triumphal capitalism - has been waging a subtle and largely unacknowledged war against intellect for a century.
https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/our-humanity-naturally/201506/anti-intellectualism-is-killing-america
alongside its far more overt but equally unacknowledged war against socialism (which is to say, democracy, since unhampered democracy tends toward equality, co-operation and inclusion.)
After Carnegie, it's pretty much downhill, to the routine, knee-jerk vilification of Chomsky... after all, he's only the smartest man in the world (Marilyn Vos Savant is supposed to be the smartest woman https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oxm15BIcB-M This is three decades ago. Did anyone listen? ). So, he's obviously more biassed and less believable than, say, Ann Coulter.

Noticing one manifestation of a systemic dysfunction goes hardly any way at all to curing the terminal patient. And there will not be any deep self-examination; there will not be any search for underlying causes.
Unless and until the compromised system breaks down.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Mossling on June 30th, 2018, 12:37 am 

Serpent » June 30th, 2018, 8:04 am wrote:Noticing one manifestation of a systemic dysfunction goes hardly any way at all to curing the terminal patient. And there will not be any deep self-examination; there will not be any search for underlying causes. Unless and until the compromised system breaks down.

It sounds like you should move to Israel - I've heard that they are into prophets over there in a big way.

Who knows which way it will go. A black man became POTUS within less than a century after black people had been second class citizens and forced to sit at the back of the bus, and so forth. I don't think anyone would've seen that coming in the 1960s.

And if the system needs to break down totally in order to realise their mistake regarding Truth, then so be it. Maybe a phoenix will arise from the ashes afterwards.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby BadgerJelly on June 30th, 2018, 2:41 am 

Moss -

Fire burns.

There is something to be said of the four horsemen. They are looked upon with dread, but like the pheonix fable from the ashes of disaster we rise victorious, right? Or maybe not? Maybe we hobble onward, but like another myth we keep on rolling that boulder no matter what.

What got me thinking was the counter positions to the “four horsemen.” We’ll call them the four pegasusmen for now; Peace, Opulence, Life and ... The last being the oppisite to “pestilence” which some refer to as “conquest” and may well mean “over population” to our mind?

Anyway, the point being that too much peace will necessarily breed war, too much life will breed death (the “breeding” being somewhat connected to “pestilence” maybe - scholar can argue over that.)

I like to think pushing for revolution is not the only option left open to us. We know what revolution does so I see no need to beckon to either set of horsemen (flying or otherwise) because they are one and the same if pursued without mercy or moral fibre.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Serpent on June 30th, 2018, 11:43 am 

Mossling » June 29th, 2018, 11:37 pm wrote:It sounds like you should move to Israel - I've heard that they are into prophets over there in a big way.

I thought you were in touch with news from this century. You have all the teeshirts...
Me, I just read the road-signs, not entrails.

A black man became POTUS within less than a century after black people had been second class citizens and forced to sit at the back of the bus,

Not all that black, and they haven't forgiven him. Nor will they, until all his hard work is undone, at least twice over. Backlash against the Obama presidency gave America's slide into neobarbarism an extra push, just as the enlightened immigration policy of the EU helped propel some of its member nations toward fascism.

I don't think anyone would've seen that coming in the 1960s.

Of course we saw it coming! Film-makers have been putting non-white and non-male presidents into movies; black mayors have been common in US cities for decades, and there have even been a few governors. More exceptional than Hispanic office-holders, but not unheard-of.

And if the system needs to break down totally in order to realise their mistake regarding Truth

No if - that's inevitable. All systems break down. They have life-spans, like any organism. But the death of a system doesn't guarantee realization of its mistakes - unless by historians, centuries hence - or reveal anything about truth, let alone Truth. The former is fragile and needs constant fostering; the latter is begot by ideology upon expediency and is renewed every generation.

Maybe a phoenix will arise from the ashes afterwards.

Sure. 52,103rd time's the charm!
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Mossling on June 30th, 2018, 11:02 pm 

Serpent » July 1st, 2018, 12:43 am wrote:
A black man became POTUS within less than a century after black people had been second class citizens and forced to sit at the back of the bus,

Not all that black, and they haven't forgiven him. Nor will they, until all his hard work is undone, at least twice over. Backlash against the Obama presidency gave America's slide into neobarbarism an extra push, just as the enlightened immigration policy of the EU helped propel some of its member nations toward fascism.

Well we have been discussing this above - it seems that opponents of the West and western democratic process would like to fan those flames so that westerners burn each other to the ground. It is likely not as virulent in its native context as you infer.

I don't think anyone would've seen that coming in the 1960s.

Of course we saw it coming! Film-makers have been putting non-white and non-male presidents into movies; black mayors have been common in US cities for decades, and there have even been a few governors. More exceptional than Hispanic office-holders, but not unheard-of.

In the 1960s? Rosa Parks only disobeyed the bus driver in 1955. In 1967 there was the bloody Detroit race riot, for example. I think you are talking about more recent depictions of black people in government roles. Are you seriously suggesting that in 1960 people were expecting a black American president in less than 50 years time? I think it is ridiculous to assume that, and so we see that even in a mere 50 years a lot of unpredictable and surprisingly positive and intelligent developments can occur.

And if the system needs to break down totally in order to realise their mistake regarding Truth

No if - that's inevitable. All systems break down. They have life-spans, like any organism.

There are layers to the system, however - the glass ceilings, the institutionalised misogyny, the racism, the religious fundemantalism, the constitutional rights, and so forth. Parts can change or disappear, but not the whole system - even slavic nations that have disappeared still live on in fragmented ways.

But the death of a system doesn't guarantee realization of its mistakes - unless by historians, centuries hence - or reveal anything about truth, let alone Truth. The former is fragile and needs constant fostering; the latter is begot by ideology upon expediency and is renewed every generation.

Haha, yes, of course there can be negative outcomes, that does not necessarily mean that the outcome WILL be negative. Perhaps if everyone is as pessimistic as you, then it can be guaranteed ;P
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Serpent on July 1st, 2018, 12:12 am 

Mossling » June 30th, 2018, 10:02 pm wrote:Well we have been discussing this above - it seems that opponents of the West and western democratic process would like to fan those flames so that westerners burn each other to the ground. It is likely not as virulent in its native context as you infer.

It's always been that virulent. The KKK never disappeared; it just kept a low profile for a little while. And there has been enough political exploitation of the unresolved racial tension. http://www.coloursofresistance.org/505/racism-and-presidential-elections-since-1964-a-short-history/
Eisenhower had received the support of 39 percent of the African-American electorate in his 1956 successful reelection campaign, and at the time the Republican Party had a strong liberal wing that was pressuring the White House to take bolder steps on racial policy.” (p. 118) Twelve years later, that historical legacy was deliberately jettisoned and, instead, “law and order,” getting “welfare bums” off welfare and opposition to busing became the major issues for Nixon,


In the 1960s? Rosa Parks only disobeyed the bus driver in 1955.

And you think that is the first moment anyone could imagine a racially egalitarian future? None of those dramatic events could have taken place - none of that organization and education would have happened - without the vision and the resolve of many, many people, to create a future in which even a black atheist lesbian could become president.
One of my teachers was down there, in Alabama or Mississippi or Georgia, every summer vacation from '56 to '63, preparing people for voter registration tests, compiling lists, giving legal advice, spreading information, etc.
Are you seriously suggesting that in 1960 people were expecting a black American president in less than 50 years time?

In fact, it took longer that we expected. After all, you'd got a Catholic elected president in 1960 and there had been black mayors and sheriffs, back through the second half of the 19th century. https://www.revolvy.com/main/index.php?s=List+of+first+African-American+mayors
Nixon was a huge setback; Reagan was another, though in a different way: his administration went after the entire working class - which, of course, included most people of colour. Though by then there was a healthy African-American middle class, and lots of celebrated entertainers and athletes, as well as a few remarkable writers, black and brown people didn't control very much capital.

I think it is ridiculous to assume that, and so we see that even in a mere 50 years a lot of unpredictable and surprisingly positive and intelligent developments can occur.

One step forward, one step back, two steps sideways....
We didn't feel ridiculous, then. I do now.

There are layers to the system, however - the glass ceilings, the institutionalised misogyny, the racism, the religious fundemantalism, the constitutional rights, and so forth. Parts can change or disappear, but not the whole system

Social systems change during their lifetime, yes. But their basic character is pretty much set at the beginning. None of those things you mention have disappeared: they have sometimes gone underground or worn a disguise. When i speak of system breakdown, i mean the collapse of the entire social structure - the economy, the administrative organization, the legal apparatus. The military might survive intact, if that's who comes out on top in a civil war, but war is only one of the ways that civilizations fall. Sometimes it's drought and crop failure; sometimes exhaustion of vital resources; in modern times, it can be the overload of the energy grid, or a cyber attack on communication networks; more likely financial meltdown. And, of course, climate change looms large, including unprecedented mass migrations. I don't think you're envisioning anything close to the upheaval that will inevitably cause. And the bozos in charge are utterly unprepared to deal with any of it!

Haha, yes, of course there can be negative outcomes, that does not necessarily mean that the outcome WILL be negative. Perhaps if everyone is as pessimistic as you, then it can be guaranteed ;P

I'm not a magic thinker. I don't believe that my pessimism will have the slightest effect on the outcome. Nor would donning rose-coloured glasses.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Mossling on July 1st, 2018, 4:29 am 

Serpent » July 1st, 2018, 1:12 pm wrote:I don't believe that my pessimism will have the slightest effect on the outcome. Nor would donning rose-coloured glasses.

Heh, I think the organisers of the troll farms would beg to differ on the power of pessimistic online opinion....

Wikipedia - Cargo Cults wrote:Cargo cults often develop during a combination of crises. Under conditions of social stress, such a movement may form under the leadership of a charismatic figure. This leader may have a "vision" (or "myth-dream") of the future, often linked to an ancestral efficacy ("mana") thought to be recoverable by a return to traditional morality.[1][3] This leader may characterize the present state as a dismantling of the old social order, meaning that social hierarchy and ego boundaries have been broken down.


Online pessimistic rhetoric apparently contributes to the conditions that allow the likes of Trump and his post-truth cargo cult agenda to thrive.

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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Serpent on July 1st, 2018, 11:27 am 

Thanks for the tee-shirts. Slogans are, after all, the American wisdom. I'll wear the Clinton one, as a reminder of his legacy.
In return, could you please get off the "cargo cult" theme? Or at least identify the "cargo" to which you refer and how it fits into the present context. If you have already done so, please accept my apology: I may have missed some text among all the distracting colourful posters.

PS OK, I found it. Nuclear arsenal. Except, I don't see the analogy holding up all that well, in light of the history. Those weapons were not - deposited? bestowed? - on America by some crazy gods; those weapons were deliberately created in America, at tax-payers expense, for the express purpose of annihilating large swatches of non-white civilians. Not that the bomb discriminate, but their owners did!
US administrations have boasted and strutted over their possession, devastated a lot of landscape in their testing, dumped an incredible shitload of toxic waste on their own country as well as the oceans https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/8qwxpv/the-most-toxic-nuclear-facility-in-the-us-is-in-lockdown, threatened to use them many times against enemies large and pitifully small, came perilously close to actually doing it at least twice in my lifetime, allocated tremendous financial resource to guard scientific knowledge they consider their exclusive property, fought and are still fighting [futilely] against the right of other nation to similar weapons. It ain't exactly manna!
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Mossling on July 1st, 2018, 10:47 pm 

Serpent » July 2nd, 2018, 12:27 am wrote:Thanks for the tee-shirts. Slogans are, after all, the American wisdom.

They are direct quotes from highly educated and experienced people.

OK, I found it. Nuclear arsenal. Except, I don't see the analogy holding up all that well, in light of the history. Those weapons were not - deposited? bestowed? - on America by some crazy gods; those weapons were deliberately created in America, at tax-payers expense, for the express purpose of annihilating large swatches of non-white civilians. Not that the bomb discriminate, but their owners did!

Let me put it more clearly, perhaps - some natives to Tanna Island, Vanuatu, had been provided with highly desirable cargo by British airforce men, and so those natives asked the servicemen who their highest leader was, because they wanted to pray to him so that he could deliver more. The British told them that their highest leader was their queen, but the cultists didn't accept her because she was a woman - a leader had to be a man in their culture, so when they heard about the queen's husband, Prince Philip, then they heralded him as their 'cargo god', here's a photo of them with their beloved god:

Image

Now, they had no interest in any of the mechanics behind how or why that 'god's cargo was created, all they were interested in was getting more of it placed in their possession in the most efficient way they knew of - worshipping the guy who owns the goods. So their chief, along with a few others, decided to travel all the way to England in order to try and get more. A BBC TV 3-part series was made about it called 'Meet the Natives' - you can find it on youtube, and a second US-based series was made also. These people are highly feeling, caring, intelligent people - they just lack an empiricism-driven education.

There are apparent discernible overlaps with the cult of Trump - a native US political support base thirsty for cargo who have no interest in the how or why behind the cargos creation (cargo which is, via the Whitehouse, primarily tax payer's money, and then nukes and so forth) - they just want it, and due to their low level of empiricist education and highly superstitious cultural framework they consider the only existential bubble they need to know about is their own personal mystical and physical relationship with the cult leader/god's image.



Thus, the "elitist" US social philosophers, architects, and engineers of past, present, and future, who created and continue to create the hard-won freedoms and complex infrastructures and technologies - the 'cargo' - so thoroughly enjoyed by the US masses are of little interest and are even belittled by the cult leader/god and his followers on a regular basis - just like how the status of a female leader was ignored by the Tanna cargo cultists.

I don't think that this is a far-fetched potential. We see groups like the Amish existing in America - albeit benefiting from the developed, modern US infrastructures keeping them safe and sound. If they shifted their community to the Afghanistan/Pakistan border, then we would see how sympathetic to their beliefs their god truly would be, I expect - they would be raided and most likely murdered. But I am pretty sure that the Amish would disagree on that point, as much as a Trumpist thinks that they have struck an impregnable scientifically ignorant cargo-delivery system via supporting Trump.

This explains why the Truth holds no power or interest to these people - just as it does not to the people of Tanna, for the real truth is in the eating of the pudding - in Trump's two scoops of icecream as he lounges in the WH in his bathrobe whilst plotting how to get his hands on more and more public tax money for himself and his cronies - and a few crumbs for his supporters.

In this way, blinded cult-like factions can emerge within America that have absolutely no interest in maintaining America's sophisticated social system - they just want the benefits and none of the fine detail - they think that they have the simple 'clever' formula - just like a Tanna cargo cultist - to worship a wealthy tyrannical human like a god, and all will be delivered. When will they stop believing that? Perhaps never? - And especially so if tangible cargo is being delivered to them. Just like the Amish, they can just sit back all smug in their ignorance, whilst the rest of the country shoulders the social duty and keeps them safe.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Serpent on July 1st, 2018, 10:59 pm 

Now, I have completely lost, not only the basis of your analogy, but what you're comparing to what.

Americans who had been given a reasonable (15 or 17th ranking in the world) education, and life-long access to public libraries, radio and television and unlimited ownership of motorized vehicles and automatic weapons, but have lost their power and jobs are just like the denizens of some island that's been cut off from the rest of the world for 10,000 years? And they'll believe anything, because they share a professed faith with a group of people who voluntarily renounce modern conveniences in favour of a simple communal life, and consciously refuse the cargo of any century beyond the 18th.

Oooo-kay...

But what's that got to do with professional foreign trolls spreading false opinions on the internet?

On second thought, never mind. Just hit me with three more clever slogans.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Mossling on July 1st, 2018, 11:33 pm 

Serpent » July 2nd, 2018, 11:59 am wrote:Americans who had been given a reasonable (15 or 17th ranking in the world) education, and life-long access to public libraries, radio and television and unlimited ownership of motorized vehicles and automatic weapons, but have lost their power and jobs are just like the denizens of some island that's been cut off from the rest of the world for 10,000 years? And they'll believe anything, because they share a professed faith with a group of people who voluntarily renounce modern conveniences in favour of a simple communal life, and consciously refuse the cargo of any century beyond the 18th.

Parallels to the Amish communities have been made on this thread previously - I am saying there is an apparent common 'celebration of ignorance' regarding the more sophisticated (elitist) world between Trumpists and Amish, whilst at the same time enjoying the material benefits that arise from that sophistication, without recognising that those benefits are owed to the hard work of their fellow better-educated countrymen. It's like when a mother toils in the kitchen to produce a delicious dinner for her family, and everyone sits down to eat, but beforehand the father leads the group in thanking god, rather than that woman, for the meal.

But what's that got to do with professional foreign trolls spreading false opinions on the internet?

I am saying that the foreign trolls are posing as 'sophisticated champions of empirical ignorance' in order to give the uneducated ignorant Trump cultists more heart - more conviction in their illogical, irrational decisions - to bite the sophisticated "elite" hands that feed them - so that the US descends into further turmoil.

The Trumpists are attacking Harley Davidson and Jack Daniels - there is no national pride beyond their own little cargo cult bubble - their leader/god Trump and his cargo delivery system. They are not intellectually rigorous or practiced enough to 1) Identify that they are being trolled/influenced from abroad, and 2) Even care about their own national industries. Many of them likely see Trump's rhetoric about national industry and identity as part of his method of getting the cargo, with attention to post-truth, nationalism, and logical calculations being just a game to get the cargo - that is the ultimate logic, and Harley and Jack Daniels can go piss up a tree. Yeah, they want the motorcycle and the bottle of whisky, but pride in national industries? Pfffft - the only brand they have allegance to is TRUMP.

Those CEOs, engineers, 'brainy elites', "they just waste their time tinkering away like nerds whilst they should be doing more fun things like racing on motorbikes and getting drunk" - even though there would be no motorcycles or whisky if they did that instead. The Trump cultists don't apparently have the stomach or education for thinking things over even that far, though - they're too busy drinking whisky and riding their Harley to care - because they have the cargo, and that's all that matters.

A foreign adversary to the US would be wise to inflate this phenomenon as much as possible - to encourage Trump to aggressively target native industries in order to keep the cargo flowing to his followers, whilst in the process sowing the seeds of native industrial outrage and conflict - all to the political benefit of other nations. I see the whole of America being seriously trolled from outside at the moment in this way - it's like a giant car crash.

There is no logical debate to be had between Trumpists and the elite, or Harley, or Jack Daniels - because their language is only receipt and consumption of cargo - they are completely ignorant of the sophisticated mechanisms behind the cargos creation, as well as russian troll factories, and they are being led by Trump's appetites and the troll factories, and they couldn't care less - they feel like they are on the up. Only by the cargo (public tax money and WH powers) being removed from their cult leader/god's possession will they start to 'listen' to something resembling logical discourse - to Truth.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Mossling on July 2nd, 2018, 12:05 am 

Image

When this is the mainstream belief, then the Truth can be disposed with.

But in a more cargo cult context, the god that chose Trump to lead can be easily interpreted as himself, and so he dictates the moral sociopolitical context - the Truth - as he sees fit.

The more a foreign troll factory inflates that reality online - in the eyes of Trump and his followers, then the more chaos is created in America and between the US and its historical allies.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Serpent on July 2nd, 2018, 10:14 am 

Mossling » July 1st, 2018, 10:33 pm wrote: I am saying there is an apparent common 'celebration of ignorance' regarding the more sophisticated (elitist) world between Trumpists and Amish,

No, there is not. They are very, very different, and both are very, very different from Vanuatu natives.

whilst at the same time enjoying the material benefits that arise from that sophistication, without recognising that those benefits are owed to the hard work of their fellow better-educated countrymen.

That's not true, either. The Mennonites are hard and honest workers; they tread lightly on the earth, deal fairly with their neighbours, and take nothing that they don't earn. The reason for their choice of lifestyle is one of principle, not convenience.
The Trump base is more diverse, but the majority is working people who don't want a free ride. They want a fair chance and feel hard-done-by. The feeling is not unjustified - but it is easily exploitable, and has been exploited for two centuries. If they're deplorable, they have been knowingly, purposefully reduced to that condition by 'sophisticated' people who had advantage over them. As for the self-righteous religious right, the frightened misogynist, racist right, the privileged tax-dodging right - they are always on the lookout for a vehicle to power. This time they made a bad mistake in choosing the Trumpmobile to ride: it's got no brakes or steering wheel.

Oversimplified, inaccurate parallels can be as misleading as deliberate distortion of facts.

I am saying that the foreign trolls are posing as 'sophisticated champions of empirical ignorance' in order to give the uneducated ignorant Trump cultists more heart ... so that the US descends into further turmoil.

Obviously. But the natives who found a crashed airplane had no such agenda, so why drag them into modern politics?
to bite the sophisticated "elite" hands that feed them -

Those sophisticated elite hands have been spectacularly failing to feed large swathes of the population - or to educate, or to employ. Now, who is really responsible for this failure is a little bit obscure to me, and I have a longer perspective and more access to unbiased sources than most of the bible belt. Trump and his predecessors (of ever-descending integrity) don't just offer relief: they offer an intelligible explanation, when nobody else does.

They are not intellectually rigorous or practiced enough to 1) Identify that they are being trolled/influenced from abroad,

Are you familiar with the media propaganda to which they are subjected, and have been subjected, day after day, for decades? Do you have any idea of its volume and tone?

and 2) Even care about their own national industries.

In the USA, 'national industry' is an oxymoron. Why should they? American industry is not their own. They have no share in its profit or decisions-making. It has used them, made them sick, killed and discarded them; it has destroyed their class solidarity, self-esteem and identity, trashed their communities, sunk them into debt and abandoned them. All with the collusion of pro-business governments.

Many of them likely see Trump's rhetoric about national industry and identity as part of his method of getting the cargo,

There is no 'cargo'. There is no Trump University. There is no Trump Foundation. There is no Swamp drainage. America may be powerful, but it was never anywhere as great as Americans like to believe, and nobody can make it so. That's the really big swindle.

Those CEOs, engineers, 'brainy elites',

You do understand this is not a single coherent package; nor is it the "elite" to which right-wing politicians generally allude when they're looking for scapegoats. The white liberal intelligencia and academics have little in common with car manufacturers and venture capitalists.

The Trump cultists

And this - all that follows - is just mean stereotyping.
Certainly, Trump's supporters include some unsavoury groups, some unscrupulous interest blocs, some downright evil bastards and many corrupt individuals. But it also includes a lot of simple, deluded, misguided people who really believed in making America great [again].

A foreign adversary to the US would be wise to inflate this phenomenon as much as possible - to encourage Trump to aggressively target native industries in order to keep the cargo flowing to his followers,

What have they received so far? For that matter, what "native industries" is trump targeting? The idjit thinks tariffs protect native industry - because he has no clue how industry works. His only product is a name he keeps renting out.
whilst in the process sowing the seeds of native industrial outrage and conflict

That biplane departed in 1982.
- all to the political benefit of other nations.

Which nations? How do they benefit?
I see the whole of America being seriously trolled from outside at the moment in this way - it's like a giant car crash.

I might go along with car crash - like, a 300-vehiocle pileup. But, outside? That's a mere drop in the home-grown bucket.

Only by the cargo (public tax money and WH powers) being removed from their cult leader/god's possession will they start to 'listen' to something resembling logical discourse - to Truth.

Means and method of accomplishing such a removal?
Likelihood and source of such logical discourse?

If you are sincere about serving the truth [not Truth: anyone who claims a stake in that is automatically a charlatan], stop scatter-accusing and get down to cases.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Braininvat on July 2nd, 2018, 12:23 pm 

In the USA, 'national industry' is an oxymoron. Why should they? American industry is not their own. They have no share in its profit or decisions-making. It has used them, made them sick, killed and discarded them; it has destroyed their class solidarity, self-esteem and identity, trashed their communities, sunk them into debt and abandoned them. All with the collusion of pro-business governments.


Anyone who hasn't read "Nickel and Dimed" by Barbara Ehrenreich, and dwells on the above topic at all, owes it to themselves to get a copy. It exposes the cold and inhuman equations of corporate culture, and the generally amoral character of capitalism when it is not guided by a human ethos.
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