New Show: MindMatters (RIP Truth Perspective)

Andrian

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Thank you crew for the latest Mind Mattets episode, I've enjoyed a lot watching it. The subjects that are being discussed during the show are extremely important to know especially when one is living in a ponerized and histericized society like we do currently.

It doesn't matter how bad it gets out there, there is always a choice, always. I'm starting experiencing a subtle peer pressure from my coworkers since almost all of them took the jab and me and just a few of my fellow co-workers have chosen to not take it. When you go at work you feel the tension and the fake smiles and shallow interactions from those coworkers. And I accept it, they've made their choice i made mine, we aren't on the same wavelength, who gives a flying pig about that, I'm not looking nor needing their approval nor anyone else's besides I'm not facing alone this ponerized and distorted reality the PTB are trying to push on everyone's throats. There many people like me, I have been blessed to find this community which for me is a refuge, a home and you guys are my brothers and sisters, my tribe and that's enough for me to keep me going forward and onward.
 

Ennio

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[...] besides I'm not facing alone this ponerized and distorted reality the PTB are trying to push on everyone's throats. There many people like me, I have been blessed to find this community which for me is a refuge, a home and you guys are my brothers and sisters, my tribe and that's enough for me to keep me going forward and onward.

In the midst of all these "oh my God!!" developments that we continue to read about and experience, more or less directly and to one degree or another, there are times when it seems easy to fall into a bit of trepidation - with the thoughts and feelings that its just 'me' - facing the tyranny. Alone. In one respect that's exactly what they want - for us to feel isolated and alone with whatever fear they are trying to engender in us; whatever separateness and division they are trying to induce. But as you so well stated, there are many people like you, like me - and like us - who are blessed enough to know that we are all in the same proverbial boat - and paddling, navigating, sailing, breaking bread and using a compass aimed at the same destination.

To really know this for one's self, and share this understanding, is a heartening thing indeed I think.

In another respect I'm not 100% certain that the moments of deep concern we sometimes have are too negative a thing if we can make some use of them and allow those times to forge something more resolute, more devoted, more intelligent, more integrated, more awake - and even stronger as a result. We're here to learn some lessons after all, and one of those lessons would seem to be that growth, by necessity, is sometimes painful. But the goodness in this is in seeing how much more we can become for ourselves and for others as a result of looking at things as they truly are. And by that I don't mean to say that we should shoulder things by ourselves more to become stronger necessarily. Only that this feeling or experience can afford us something of an opportunity. And it may help us as we take turns, each and all of us, drawing on our new found strengths when it is helpful, and perhaps necessary, to do so.
 

Voyageur

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Regarding this show:


which much of what was being discussed was somewhat known (experiments et cetera), and it was damn sobering to listen, bringing up a few thoughts also.

Harrison, somewhere you used the words/idea (I think) of a 'morality switch' - which has the potential to go both ways with people, and then the idea of Peterson's negative visualization, which reminded me perhaps of the idea of what the Stoics looked at, looking at the worst that could happen, and this might include looking at what a person is capable of doing themselves. I get where you were going with that, it is difficult.

Example here, and it is not exactly visualizing ones own capabilities as Peterson suggests, although it might be:

“Begin each day by telling yourself today I shall be meeting with interference, ingratitude, insolence, disloyalty, ill-will, and selfishness- all of them due to the offenders ignorance of what is good or evil.” (Meditations by Marcus Aurelius 2:1)

What is ‘Negative Visualization’ and how does it help me?​

Negative Visualization refers to the act of visualizing not just the most optimistic, but also the most pessimistic outcome possible in every situation and being prepared to deal with it.

Two aspects to Negative Visualization in Stoicism​

To my comprehension, Marcus references two broad aspects of negative visualization in the book.

(1) Firstly you must come to terms with the fact that you are most definitely going to run into negative people and circumstances- that is inevitable. It is better to be prepared for it than not. It’s Murphy’s Law- given enough chances every possible outcome will unfold itself. Anything that can happen, will happen. The same stands true for our circumstances. Every probable outcome of a circumstance is possible, be it subjectively good or bad.

(2) Secondly, you must embrace the fact that circumstances are beyond your control and that there is a higher controlling power- God, nature’s order, the universe- how ever it is that you prefer to refer to it- that controls which situations you are in, and that no situation He puts you in can ever be bad for you. Sometimes, a little trouble and pain is what He wants you to face, because that is what might be right for you.

When (think in the case of Battalion 101) it was cited that less than 20% of the people participated. Well that is shocking in itself, and interestingly that with today's medical decrees, it seems that near 80% of the population are actively participating in one way or another - oh it is not the same as the other, yet it is self inflicting, and there is the beginnings of separations of bonds between people, even their children, and where that could lead for the 20% is a slippery slope. Moreover, this brought up a SoTT article looked at today (similar to that Harper's magazine's 1941 article on Who Goes Nazi):


From an experimental standpoint (how ever it could be set up), what is the percentage of doctors today who would switch and who would not. If they were told, let's say, that this vaccine is a miracle and the science really does agree that it will save lives, it is not unreasonable that they would suggest it and administer it - if safe this would be logical. Perhaps it would be close to 100%. However, like now when they are told that an unapproved vaccine experiment must be used on all the citizens (and surly they are not so stupid that they can't see other doctors waving caution flags), is it 80% who will not even question common sense, in fact it seems like there is a high number that will get angry with those not adhering? Don't know, this might be close, or perhaps it is more in alignment with that fascist reality of 50% shown in that article. With the number of physicians know in the area where I live, that 80/20% number might be spot on from what can be seen. Good grief.

In the discussion (electrical shocks), there were those numbers whereby "experts" predicted that less than 1% would carry out a deplorable act on another person (vs. the reality), and whereby students themselves predicting that woman would not at all do such things, that in fact they would be at 0%, when in reality it was 100%.

So much for experts and students, and this is a big reason for the red flags that should be apparent from our media and authority systems, which their bloody perditions and corrupted statistics provide more than a view of this reality.

Okay, all chilling to consider, yet thank you for the show and how you presented it, which was not easy.

Ps. 180 degrees away, that T-shirt, Elan, well that is great - Irreducible complex :cool2:
 

Voyageur

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Ain't it kewl?!
Yes. irreducibly kewl!

Was looking into something often talked about on your shows, so don't mean to jump in to the tread and drift it, however had actually not checked up on Bob Altmeyer when the below was written:
Going back to Bob's RWA, for the last many years had wondered what findings would result as a measure if Bob had done these experiments again today, how would the RWA be redefined in these left hyper-progressive times?
and should have, in that Bob had been busy with John Dean last year, wherein they both collaborated together to pen Authoritarian Nightmare as can be read about in Psychology Today. There also seems to have been no redefinition, and apparently the term RWA is still just that, as the conclusions point to:

  • President Trump is an authoritarian leader.
  • Authoritarianism is deeply embedded in America today.
  • Trump's base is compromised of personality types that include social dominators, authoritarian followers, as well as "double highs" who combine the worst traits of the two.
  • Prejudice is the glue that holds this coalition together.
  • Religious beliefs are not really that important to those who identify as religious fundamentalist or evangelical; not compared with the power that fear and prejudice have over them.
Dean makes the statement of why he sought out Bob:

"When I went looking for research, I ended up finding Bob Altemeyer and his work. He's one of a small group of scientists who really kept alive studies that started in the aftermath of World War II, when a group of German-Jewish scientists emigrated to Berkeley and started studying the authoritarian personality, wondering if what had happened in Italy and Germany under Mussolini and Hitler could happen in the United States. And these people have been writing that, yes, it could happen here, but we had plenty of time.

Well, given the last three years, we don't have any time. And that's why I did this book with him."
Dean further posits:

"The glue that holds all these people and his coalition together, the underlying feeling, is prejudice. That was the thing that jumped out also in the Monmouth poll is how deep and strong the prejudice is in these people. They are anti-'the other' on so many issues. They get reinforced feelings when they go to Trump rallies, for example, and they see people who are thinking and feeling like they do, they find a comfort level in all this."
By October 2020, a good four months after the book was finished up, Bob chimed in here with the following from his own site:

As well, Donald Trump keeps doing things that test the durability and depth of my explanation. For example, on that late-June day when we put the book “to bed,” Trump reprised his absurd impersonation of someone who cares about the law and issued an executive order promising severe punishment for defacing public statues and monuments. The following day he laid down a Tweet bombardment aimed at Obamacare and the mainstream media. The next day he (falsely) insisted no one had told him Russia was paying Taliban fighters a bounty for killing American soldiers in Afghanistan.

Each morning when people get up they wonder, “What did the president do now?” It just never ends, and he partly does it on purpose. He uses Today’s Outrage to distract us from Yesterday’s, and besides that he is constantly pumping up his base. But also, as proposed in the book, Donald Trump withers in his own mind whenever the spotlight leaves him. Plants can go without sunlight for a time and survive. Trump starts to shrivel inside the instant the light leaves him, so he remains a child searching for a piece of “birthday cake” to throw at somebody so he’ll be noticed. Nobody can keep up with someone acting this badly that often. But some reckoning had to be reckoned about his behavior from July to September, 2020, especially his handling of the COVID-19 epidemic, the Black Lives Matter awakening, and his campaign to get re-elected. We will cover these topics as we move along. Then we’ll face the dark, dark problem of what might happen after November 3rd. At the end of this update, we’ll look at some things that landed on the editing room floor when the manuscript of Authoritarian Nightmare was finalized.
Well, November 3rd has come and gone and y'all know what happened - is happening. However, the timing of the book was rather splendid, if one is a democrat, and was surprised that Bob; and I liked Bob's past work and should read his new book, would engage with Dean (who is often featured on CNN) in what was clearly a political timed release. I'm a little disappointed, yet will get over it.

As a reminder in terms of Dean, Rep. Jim Jordan said, "Dean pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice 45 years ago" (he did no time and who liked Nixon anyway) and seems to be "coming in to enlighten the Judiciary Committee on obstruction of justice."


Dean kind of reminds me of this Ritter character from this old movie, yet of course, he is not an Authoritarian Nightmare like Trump (past tense), and as far as I know Dean was not in the CIA, so really could not say whether or not Dean himself has ever taken on some of those covert authoritarian traits. No, Bob would correct that thinking if it was made.

Many matters have undergone interesting flips at times.
 

Ennio

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And coming at the disintegration of Western society from another historical, cyclical and more analytical angle...

MindMatters: Cliodynamics and the Secular Cycles of History


Does history really repeat? If so, how, and why? We discussed the "fourth turning" on a previous episode of MindMatters. According to Strauss and Howe, the United States has entered a time of crisis which could see societal collapse, revolution, or war. However, their theory has its problems. While suggestive on the descriptive level, it has not been scientifically supported. Enter Peter Turchin.

Today we continue our discussion of historical cycles by looking at cliodynamics, a field of study pioneered by Turchin. Turchin's work gives scientific support to the idea that cycles are an essential feature of civilization. Empires rise and fall. Periods of stagnation and crisis end in war, revolution, and collapse. These trends, and the factors that determine them, can be measured and modeled. And all the indicators show that the U.S. has indeed entered a time of crisis, along with Europe - on par with the conditions that led to the American Civil War.

Today on MindMatters we discuss the outlines of Turchin's work, how it applies to American history, and what it might mean for the future.


 

Approaching Infinity

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When (think in the case of Battalion 101) it was cited that less than 20% of the people participated.
It was actually the other way around. Less than 20% didn't participate.
However, the timing of the book was rather splendid, if one is a democrat, and was surprised that Bob; and I liked Bob's past work and should read his new book, would engage with Dean (who is often featured on CNN) in what was clearly a political timed release.
Bob's RWA work is misleading and one-sided. He denies the importance of leftwing authoritarianism. Check out the show with Tom Costello for a corrective:
 

Voyageur

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It was actually the other way around. Less than 20% didn't participate.
My bad, "didn't" was the words missed. Thanks for catching that.

Bob's RWA work is misleading and one-sided. He denies the importance of leftwing authoritarianism. Check out the show with Tom Costello for a corrective:
Yes, seems evident, although not wanting to through the baby out with the bath water, Bob has done some good work. He did say in his original work that "I’ve always called it right-wing authoritarianism rather than simply authoritarianism in acknowledgment that left-wing authoritarianism also exists," although in his latest book it was very politically aimed and timed at the right from the "left-wing" authoritarians that Bob himself acknowledges.

Listened to the show you guys did on Cliodynamics, which raised many important parts and asked some excellent questions - and helped to answer a few concerning our history and our now. Overall though, comparing these cycles in different times and given technological leap out of the industrial age, it all seems complex with so many aspects to it all.

And yes to another show on Stoicism, there are sure to be some things to round out in further discussion.
 

Approaching Infinity

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Yes, seems evident, although not wanting to through the baby out with the bath water, Bob has done some good work. He did say in his original work that "I’ve always called it right-wing authoritarianism rather than simply authoritarianism in acknowledgment that left-wing authoritarianism also exists," although in his latest book it was very politically aimed and timed at the right from the "left-wing" authoritarians that Bob himself acknowledges.
That's interesting, because in his earlier work he acknowledged that LWA used to exist, but not anymore:
“I think that I have not found any authoritarians on the left because, if there ever were any, most of them have dried up and blown away…You don’t have to be much of a weatherman to know which way the wind has been blowing for the past twenty-five years”
I wonder if the reason he didn't find them is because his test is designed with the premise that authoritarianism is a rightwing phenomenon.
 

Voyageur

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Noted, is that what Bob initially said was from page 46 (pdf copy), and he further states in the same paragraph:

An authoritarian follower submits excessively to some authorities, aggresses in their name, and insists on everyone following their rules. If these authorities are the established authorities in society, that’s right-wing authoritarianism. If one submits to authorities who want to overthrow the establishment, that’s left-wing authoritarianism, as I define things.

That's interesting, because in his earlier work he acknowledged that LWA used to exist, but not anymore:

Yes, only when overthrowing the establishment it seems - and the establishment is fully entrenched now (guess they always were entrenched in the background) having just overthrown the last administration figurehead (in the U.S.). So, perhaps in our present times he writes as if the RWA shoe cannot fit the left side ever, and yet as you say below in answer:

I wonder if the reason he didn't find them is because his test is designed with the premise that authoritarianism is a rightwing phenomenon.

Agree with that, and good to point it out, hence things seem to get muddy depending on who is in power and one's own view, and Bob's aim seems to have been to never paint the traditional left of centre in that RWA light per se (although there are allowances).

His original writing often looked to Nixon (and Bush), so when he recently joined John Dean, who also served under Nixon and helped to topple him, being the official record, one can see in his latest chapter on RWA ("Nightmare"), Trump and his supporters were naturally in the RWA crosshairs. And yet in his last sentence above referencing submitting "to authorities who want to overthrow the establishment" - kind of what Trump promised his supporters (swamp et al.), then perhaps by Bob's own words, those more RWA followers would be left-wing authoritarians :whistle: . However, as Psychology Today pointed out of what Bob/Dean said "(they say Donald Trump himself would be a good example of this type of Double High)" which seems to cement the RWA type. Well, the Donald certainly was/is something - unwelcomed by the establishment at that.

Lastly, Bob mentions (same page):

When writing for a general audience, I bandy about terms such as “conservative” and “right-wing” with the same exquisite freedom that journalists, columnists and politicians do. It’s actually very hard to define these phrases rigorously, partly because they have been used over the ages to describe such very different people and movements. But we’re all friends here, so let’s pretend I know what I am talking about when I use these words.
 

Possibility of Being

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I wonder if the reason he didn't find them is because his test is designed with the premise that authoritarianism is a rightwing phenomenon.
And I wonder if the reason was the power in influence of Frankfurt School. Adorno, one of the first academics researching authoritarianism, was one of its pillars. And Altemeyer build on his work. Perhaps it's worth noting that:

Altemeyer graduated from Yale University in 1962. Two years later he obtained his Master of Science degree from Carnegie-Mellon University and received his doctorate from it in 1966.

It's quite likely that those high ranking schools were up-to-date with then most 'progressive' trends.

Around the same time, there was much more balanced research done by politically incorrect Eysenck who became a witch hunt victim and was heavily criticised by Adorno and Rokeach, among others.


At the Institute of Psychiatry in London, Hans Eysenck, another German émigré, took a more considered view of the authoritarian personality, as presented in his book The Psychology of Politics (1954). He saw the extremes of Left and Right as mirror images of each other, both sides pining for strong leaders, as well as law and order. Academic peers disapproved of Eysenck’s equivalence thesis, due to their assumption that socialists are well-intended while the Right is inherently malign. As Roderick Buchanan noted in his biography of Eysenck, Playing with Fire (2010), the left-wing London School of Economics was particularly scathing, while the American scholar Milton Rokeach accused Eysenck of ‘red baiting.’

Part of the problem may come from the persistence to perceive the left-right dichotomy in a linear way. It serves well the propaganda and turning people against each other, so it still is a bit of a sacred cow. But I think that spatial or circular representation matches the reality much better.

Political spectrum - Wikipedia
A political spectrum is a system to characterize and classify different political positions in relation to one another. These positions sit upon one or more geometric axes that represent independent political dimensions [...] Political scientists have frequently noted that a single left–right axis is too simplistic and insufficient for describing the existing variation in political beliefs and included other axes[...]

[Eysenck] believed that there was something essentially similar about the National Socialists (Nazis) on the one hand and the communists on the other, despite their opposite positions on the left–right axis.

Political_spectrum_Eysenck.png

Subsequent criticism of Eysenck's research

The interpretation of tough-mindedness as a manifestation of "authoritarian" versus tender-minded "democratic" values was incompatible with the Frankfurt School's single-axis model, which conceptualized authoritarianism as being a fundamental manifestation of conservatism and many researchers took issue with the idea of "left-wing authoritarianism"

Another pic from a long gone website:

The Political Spectrum.png

So the whole authoritarian thing is more fluid, approaching the extremum from two sides while sharing some personality traits all the way.

FWIW...
 

Voyageur

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Part of the problem may come from the persistence to perceive the left-right dichotomy in a linear way. It serves well the propaganda and turning people against each other, so it still is a bit of a sacred cow. But I think that spatial or circular representation matches the reality much better.
Yes, seems so.

On Eysenck's leaning above:

[Eysenck] believed that there was something essentially similar about the National Socialists (Nazis) on the one hand and the communists on the other, despite their opposite positions on the left–right axis.

Political_spectrum_Eysenck.png

Kind of like, underneath the mask of either something binds them (control being one) - same coin, opposite sides.
 

Jones

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We recently had what I think (and hope!) was a useful and constructive discussion about the choices we make as individuals, and with each other, as we face the ever-encroaching forces of totalitarianism - as well as some of the many considerations this involves. Enjoy:

MindMatters: Finding Your Red Line: Lessons from Milgram and the Holocaust




Just finished watching this one and agree that it's an excellent show. I'm working with a segment of population that's immigrant from poorer countries at the moment and it's obvious that lying and cheating to get the absolute most out of a deal is a heavily conditioned way of life for many of them. Further more if I soften and give them a bit of a break, they don't stop applying pressure - more like they play that softening as an advantage to push. This game brings them no shame at all even if I catch onto them and call them on it. Initially I was feeling indignant about it at times though now I see it as more of a game and on occasion have been able to share a laugh with them about it.

Concurrently the temporary rental I'm in is on a commercial lease where some of the same families are hiring land to park shipping containers that they are filling with goods to send home to poorer relatives. I'm often astounded at what I see go past on the trucks going to these shipping containers. Mostly it's stuff that those of us who have lived with more prosperity would consider junk. But in discussions with the people on how the stuff is being used back home by relatives, both for personal use and trade, there is a very steep learning curve about how serious things can get and what people are doing to survive. I think this population with the conditioning of growing up in a poor country are probably much better situated to survive an economic crash more comfortably than many Australians.

Overall I'm thankful for the experience.
 

Approaching Infinity

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This week, on MindMatters:

MindMatters: Is Liberalism the New Totalitarianism? A Conversation with Ryszard Legutko
During the Cold War, the world's liberal democracies, like the USA, were widely perceived as the bastion of freedom, especially to those behind the Iron Curtain. But the past three decades have caused many to revise their views. With the rise of totalitarian thinking and practice in the West in those years, the question must be asked: what happened?

Professor of Philosophy and conservative politician Ryszard Legutko pondered these questions in the 1990s and 2000s, culminating in his 2012 book The Demon in Democracy: Totalitarian Temptations in Free Societies (published in English in 2016), and his latest book, The Cunning of Freedom: Saving the Self in an Age of False Idols (2021). Legutko argues that at its root, liberalism as ideology shares many of the same features as communism. Despite their differences, both share essentially the same views of history, the future, politics, ideology, and religion. These tendencies cause ideology to seep into every aspect of daily life ("the personal is political") - in liberalism, to a degree even the communists weren't able to achieve, despite their best efforts. These trends have only gotten worse in the years since the book's release.

Today on MindMatters we talk to Professor Legutko about his books, life under communism, editing samizdat, the recent controversy with his university's "office of safety and equality," and the time he got sued for calling some students "spoiled brats."
 
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