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(12-17-2020, 08:42 PM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote: [ -> ]
(12-17-2020, 08:19 PM)Classic-Xer Wrote: [ -> ]I don't see anymore hurricanes or forest fires than I've seen in the past.

Try visiting Earth One.  See if you can open your eyes?

(12-17-2020, 08:19 PM)Classic-Xer Wrote: [ -> ]I hope you don't think handing 3 trillion to a group of rich people and big city bureaucrats is going to make them go away anytime soon.

No, I didn't think Trump's tax plan of cutting taxes for the rich was beneficial.  Promising to reverse that seems prudent.

(12-17-2020, 08:19 PM)Classic-Xer Wrote: [ -> ]Trump shutdown travel and trade with China and the European countries yet you some how or another believe that he disregarded COVID.

When you compare how we did compared to other countries, sure I do.

(12-17-2020, 08:19 PM)Classic-Xer Wrote: [ -> ]What is bunch of intellectual property associated with complete disregard for reason and common sense that's widely viewed as  associated with complete failure worth?

The general policy of ignoring problems wasn't invented by Trump.  It's been going on for a while.  It's a common conservative shtick.  I don't view it as common sense.  I view it as short term selfish thinking.
I'm on Earth 1. This is Earth 1 right. How did we do compared to European countries and Europe as a whole. I heard New York and New Jersey did about as good/bad as Italy. So, OK you got rid of Trump by electing someone with dementia that a group of rich people did everything within their power to cover up and hide from the electorate for several months. If I was Chinese or Russian or an elite with business ties to either one of them or an elite looking to make millions or billions off the trillions appropriated to fund the Green New Deal whether is actually needed or not at this point in our history, I'd be able to see the value of having Biden in office. I agree, I see a lot of selfish thinking going on these days. I also see a lot of hypocrisy and arrogance being displayed as well.
(12-17-2020, 10:12 PM)Classic-Xer Wrote: [ -> ]I'm on Earth 1. This is Earth 1 right. How did we do compared to European countries and Europe as a whole. I heard New York and New Jersey did about as good/bad as Italy. So, OK you got rid of Trump by electing someone with dementia that a group of rich people did everything within their power to cover up and hide from the electorate for several months. If I was Chinese or Russian or an elite with business ties to either one of them or an elite looking to make millions or billions off the trillions appropriated to fund the Green New Deal whether is actually needed or not at this point in our history. I agree, I see a lot of selfish thinking going on these days. I also see a lot of hypocrisy and arrogance being displayed as well.

Thus far, what you describe is not Earth 1.

The Republicans are unduly influenced by the elites and the racists.  The Democrats are trying to win by serving the people rather than the unravelling collecting of campaign contributions from the elite and votes from the racists.  The Democrats are trying to support the working man and minorities rather than the Republican unraveling policy of attacking unions and benefits while shipping jobs overseas.  They are trying to solve problems rather than supposedly saving money and building a smaller government in order to ignore the problems.

Ignoring reality allows you not to rethink your perspective.  Pretending hard not to notice the division of wealth, the hurricanes, the children separated from their parents, the fires, the racial murders, the instigation of violence, the systematic racism, etc, allows you to cling to your ideas.

There are elements of the conservative perspective worth saving.  Right now though, these are overwhelmed.  There is so much you have to ignore to support the Republicans as they have come to be.
(12-17-2020, 10:46 PM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote: [ -> ]
(12-17-2020, 10:12 PM)Classic-Xer Wrote: [ -> ]I'm on Earth 1. This is Earth 1 right. How did we do compared to European countries and Europe as a whole. I heard New York and New Jersey did about as good/bad as Italy. So, OK you got rid of Trump by electing someone with dementia that a group of rich people did everything within their power to cover up and hide from the electorate for several months. If I was Chinese or Russian or an elite with business ties to either one of them or an elite looking to make millions or billions off the trillions appropriated to fund the Green New Deal whether is actually needed or not at this point in our history. I agree, I see a lot of selfish thinking going on these days. I also see a lot of hypocrisy and arrogance being displayed as well.

Thus far, what you describe is not Earth 1.

The Republicans are unduly influenced by the elites and the racists.  The Democrats are trying to win by serving the people rather than the unravelling collecting of campaign contributions from the elite and votes from the racists.  The Democrats are trying to support the working man and minorities rather than the Republican unraveling policy of attacking unions and benefits while shipping jobs overseas.  They are trying to solve problems rather than supposedly saving money and building a smaller government in order to ignore the problems.

Ignoring reality allows you not to rethink your perspective.  Pretending hard not to notice the division of wealth, the hurricanes, the children separated from their parents, the fires, the racial murders, the instigation of violence, the systematic racism, etc, allows you to cling to your ideas.

There are elements of the conservative perspective worth saving.  Right now though, these are overwhelmed.  There is so much you have to ignore to support the Republicans as they have come to be.
Sure it is. You live on Earth 1 right. How do you live on Earth 1 without seeing/knowing what's really on with the Democratic party? Yes. The conservative perspective seems overwhelmed at the moment by the media and a bunch of people in Washington who are doing their best to protect the rotten apple cart that we could give two shits less about because we know they're all rotten these days. Like I said, the government the bit of integrity that it has left these days. Oh well, I'm glad that I'm not all that reliant on it these days.
(12-18-2020, 12:43 AM)Classic-Xer Wrote: [ -> ]Sure it is. You live on Earth 1 right. How do you live on Earth 1 without seeing/knowing what's really on with the Democratic party? Yes. The conservative perspective seems overwhelmed at the moment by the media and a bunch of people in Washington who are doing their best to protect the rotten apple cart that we could give two shits less about because we know they're all rotten these days. Like I said, the government the bit of integrity that it has left these days. Oh well, I'm glad that I'm not all that reliant on it these days.

Think so? We'll see how many pardons you have to ignore.
Intrastate map of the 2020 Presidential election:

[Image: 2020_election_map.png]
(12-18-2020, 01:10 AM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote: [ -> ]
(12-18-2020, 12:43 AM)Classic-Xer Wrote: [ -> ]Sure it is. You live on Earth 1 right. How do you live on Earth 1 without seeing/knowing what's really on with the Democratic party? Yes. The conservative perspective seems overwhelmed at the moment by the media and a bunch of people in Washington who are doing their best to protect the rotten apple cart that we could give two shits less about because we know they're all rotten these days. Like I said, the government the bit of integrity that it has left these days. Oh well, I'm glad that I'm not all that reliant on it these days.

Think so?  We'll see how many pardons you have to ignore.

This is a good place to add this.  An Israeli academic from the Mizrahi community has taken-on the task of explaining the entrenched beliefs of that group to the rest of Israel, and why it applies more broadly to other nativist RW movements, like Trumpism.  The language is nearly identical.  Here it is with text in full:

NY Times on Saturday, 12/19/2020 Wrote:To Understand Red-State America, He Urges a Look at Red-State Israel
An Israeli sociologist argues that Trump voters, like Netanyahu supporters in Israel, have legitimate reasons to find liberal values threatening.
[Image: author-david-m-halbfinger-thumbLarge.png]
By David M. Halbfinger
Dec. 18, 2020

JERUSALEM — Liberals were confounded. The right-wing incumbent’s blue-collar base was sticking by him, cheering as he weaponized identity politics, attacked democratic institutions and appeared to place his own interests ahead of the nation’s.
A familiar set of facts, to say the least. But the liberals in question were Israeli, the incumbent was Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the working-class voters were Israeli Jews with roots in North Africa and the Middle East.
A Tel Aviv University sociologist named Nissim Mizrachi who spent years studying those voters and grappling with their rejection of liberalism thought he understood why.
The problem was not, he said, as some liberals contend, that Jews of Mediterranean origin, or Mizrahim, were confused about what was best for them. They weren’t suffering from Stockholm syndrome or “false consciousness.”


What liberals failed to see, the professor asserted, was that working-class Mizrahim were consciously spurning liberalism for a reason: what they see as the endgame of the liberal worldview is not a world they wish to inhabit.

“It’s really hard for liberals to imagine that their message, their vision itself, poses a threat to the core identity of other people,” Professor Mizrachi, 58, said in an interview.
His description of liberalism’s blind spots, published in the newspaper Haaretz a year ago, shook the Israeli left like an ideological bunker-busting bomb, and could hold lessons for another deeply polarized society in the West.


The parallels between Mizrahi voters in Israel and Trump voters in the United States are impossible to miss, Professor Mizrachi said.

Both see themselves as their countries’ most patriotic citizens, and demonize the left and its allies in the news media, academia and other liberal redoubts as traitorous enemies. Both, he said, feel disdained by those elites, who dismiss their views as racist, ignorant or unwittingly self-defeating.
“You keep ridiculing us and presenting us as undemocratic and dangerous,” he said, articulating the non-liberal view. “But we are the people. Who are you?’”

Professor Mizrachi, as his surname suggests, is a product of the Mizrahi working class himself: His mother, who moved to Israel from Iraq as a teenager, met his father at an institute for the blind (both had lost their eyesight, from trachoma, at age 2). The couple raised their son and his two sisters on a shoestring in Kiryat Hayovel, a poverty-stricken and overwhelmingly right-wing Jerusalem neighborhood of Mizrahi immigrants. 
When a teacher said that young Nissim was bright, and should perhaps attend vocational school to become a handyman, he said, his mother responded tartly that her son would study and grow up to earn enough “to hire your son.”

Drawn to higher education, his outlook took a leftward turn in the United States while on a Fulbright Scholarship to the University of Michigan, where he earned a Ph.D. in 1998, and later at Harvard. He met other young Mizrahi scholars, still a rarity in the Israeli academy, which was dominated by Jews of Eastern European origin, and experienced something of a political awakening as a liberal and a Mizrahi. Returning to Israel, he became an activist on Mizrahi education and human rights.

There seemed to be ample reason for Mizrahim, long treated as second-class citizens, to be drawn to liberal promises of equality and social justice. Yet, nothing he said could budge even members of his own family from their right-wing leanings.

In 2011, after hearing a visiting lecturer from Europe extol human rights as the “international moral language,” Professor Mizrachi had an aha moment.

If such liberal ideas were so universal, he asked, why, in Israel, “had they failed to reach the hearts and minds of working-class people?” He recalled demonstrations where liberal activists called for coexistence with the Palestinians and spoke of prosecuting both Israeli soldiers and Hezbollah fighters on war-crimes charges — an expression of shared humanity that he said liberals found “morally sublime” but which had onlooking Mizrahi taxi drivers boiling over with rage.
[img=1013x0]https://static01.nyt.com/images/2020/11/24/world/xxisrael-trump-professor6/merlin_179428050_32349d75-447e-4d38-b7d9-eb921cc58c1c-articleLarge.jpg?quality=75&auto=webp&disable=upscale[/img]“The resistance is physical,” he said. “They become so violent, as if you are threatening their personal property, or about to rape their daughter. And if we don’t understand why they are so upset, we don’t understand anything.”
For the Mizrahi working class, he said, the liberal vision of peace with the Palestinians, of breaking down barriers and prejudices between peoples, imperils their own sense of identity and belonging as Jews in a Jewish state. To them, the nation’s borders, walls and segregated Jewish and Arab communities are not just reassuring but essential for coexistence.
The way they see it, he said, is “if the liberals get their version of peace, it’s a threat to my way of living.”
That sense of belonging, he concluded, defeated every attempt by the left to make inroads with working-class Mizrahim.


In addition to feeling scorned by the liberal elite, he said, Mizrahim and Trump voters also share a perception that solving the world’s or the Middle East’s problems — whether by welcoming immigrants and striking trade deals that send jobs overseas, or by rushing to give a bitter enemy a state next door — too often comes at their expense. Charity must begin at home.

Some critics on the left have accused Professor Mizrachi of glossing over serious issues of racism, sexism and homophobia.
Menachem Mautner, a law professor who is both a critic and adherent of Israeli liberalism, said that Professor Mizrachi’s portrayal of the Mizrahi worldview was overly “rosy.” But he said it would be a mistake to dismiss Professor Mizrachi’s conclusions. “We need to internalize them and to take them seriously,” he said.

Professor Mizrachi, who is married to an ophthalmologist and has three daughters, has some influential allies in Israeli politics, among them Tehila Friedman, a centrist lawmaker. 
Ms. Friedman, who as an Orthodox Jew and a feminist said she had ample experience mediating between traditional and liberal values, said the most common complaint about Professor Mizrachi was that he had legitimized discrimination, especially anti-Arab bias, among Mizrahim. “That’s a big problem,” she said. “That’s always a problem with seeing the world in circles — first my family, then my tribe, then my people, then other people.’ But that’s the way most of us live.”


Professor Mizrachi, she said, is “trying to give respect to those sets of values, which deserve respect.”
Understanding the other side is a prerequisite to bridging the political gulf, Professor Mizrachi said. When he was a visiting professor at Berkeley, a student confided that she was having horrible fights with her mother, a Trump voter. He urged her to try to set aside her anger and interrogate her mother as if she were a research subject.
It helped, he said.

“The other side’s concerns are not mine, but they should be, because I care about him or her,” he said. “We share something in common here. We are sharing this land and this nation. It sounds horrible, but he or she needs to become part of us. Because they are part of us.”
To that extent, Democratic relief over Mr. Trump’s defeat obscures a serious risk, he said.

He recalled how Israeli liberals, driven from power in 1977, celebrated their comeback in 1999 when Ehud Barak of the Labor Party ended Mr. Netanyahu’s first term. Triumphant, the left did not bother to reach out. It went right back to marginalizing Mr. Netanyahu’s right-wing base.
But Mr. Barak did not last two years, his successors have all been right-wingers, and Labor today is effectively defunct.
“This is the lesson maybe for you,” Professor Mizrachi said. “OK, you won the election, fine. But don’t forget that red America is still there.”


David M. Halbfinger is the Jerusalem bureau chief, covering Israel, the occupied Palestinian territories and the Middle East. @halbfinger
Quite true. The right wing has a lot in common everywhere, and especially between the USA and Israel.

To me it reminds me of how my boomer cohorts were in childhood. Most were bullies to some extent, or just overly macho guys. I preferred the company of girl playmates for a while at school. They denounced me for this too.

The game is, feel good about yourself and gain admiration by picking on others. Pick on them, oppress them, keep them down. That stokes my own sense of identity.
(12-20-2020, 08:21 AM)David Horn Wrote: [ -> ]This is a good place to add this.  An Israeli academic from the Mizrahi community has taken-on the task of explaining the entrenched beliefs of that group to the rest of Israel, and why it applies more broadly to other nativist RW movements, like Trumpism.  The language is nearly identical. 

An interesting article, but it leaves out the basic difference between the old world and the new.  The old world mentality will build gas chambers, ship undesirable people off to Siberia, massacre the Armenians, and try to drive Israel into the sea.  We are more rational, enlightened, and benevolent, and only kill or lynch our minorities or renege on treaties one at a time.

The natives of the Middle East are much more into tribal thinking.  The members of other tribes are treated as subhuman.  The ideals of the Enlightenment and WEIRD are rarer, more easily overwhelmed.  Israel was so ready to increase their Jewish population that they neglected to bring in a more liberal immigrant.

The difference is that in the US, WEIRD can beat the tribal in the ballot box.  The difference is that the roundhead culture can overwhelm the cavaliers.

Now most people will see it in other terms.  They understand that the red culture is elitist, sexist and racist, that they will hurt the poor in order that their group will be ‘superior’.  I doubt many see it in terms of each crisis removing the greatest remnant of Agricultural Age thinking.

But the difference and the basic forces involved are being tiptoed around by Professor Mizrachi.
(12-20-2020, 01:47 PM)Eric the Green Wrote: [ -> ]To me it reminds me of how my boomer cohorts were in childhood. Most were bullies to some extent, or just overly macho guys. I preferred the company of girl playmates for a while at school. They denounced me for this too.

The game is, feel good about yourself and gain admiration by picking on others. Pick on them, oppress them, keep them down. That stokes my own sense of identity.

I had a similar occurrence later on in life.  The instructor in a martial arts class accused me of liking to spar with girls.  I agreed.  Girls would spar soft, they would listen to instructions to stay soft as our style was supposed to.  Guys were more competitive.  They would fight harder and stronger to use their physical advantage to 'win'.

It wasn't quite the same as what you are talking about, but it seems worth mentioning.

I also remember my cousin speaking of a contest at his school between those who learned the hard 'animal' styles of Chinese king fu, and those who mixed in some softer tai chi.  The soft martial artists won.
(12-20-2020, 02:22 PM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote: [ -> ]
(12-20-2020, 01:47 PM)Eric the Green Wrote: [ -> ]To me it reminds me of how my boomer cohorts were in childhood. Most were bullies to some extent, or just overly macho guys. I preferred the company of girl playmates for a while at school. They denounced me for this too.

The game is, feel good about yourself and gain admiration by picking on others. Pick on them, oppress them, keep them down. That stokes my own sense of identity.

I had a similar occurrence later on in life.  The instructor in a martial arts class accused me of liking to spar with girls.  I agreed.  Girls would spar soft, they would listen to instructions to stay soft as our style was supposed to.  Guys were more competitive.  They would fight harder and stronger to use their physical advantage to 'win'.

It wasn't quite the same as what you are talking about, but it seems worth mentioning.

I also remember my cousin speaking of a contest at his school between those who learned the hard 'animal' styles of Chinese king fu, and those who mixed in some softer tai chi.  The soft martial artists won.

Worth mentioning indeed.
(12-20-2020, 02:10 PM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote: [ -> ]
(12-20-2020, 08:21 AM)David Horn Wrote: [ -> ]This is a good place to add this.  An Israeli academic from the Mizrahi community has taken-on the task of explaining the entrenched beliefs of that group to the rest of Israel, and why it applies more broadly to other nativist RW movements, like Trumpism.  The language is nearly identical. 

An interesting article, but it leaves out the basic difference between the old world and the new.  The old world mentality will build gas chambers, ship undesirable people off to Siberia, massacre the Armenians, and try to drive Israel into the sea.  We are more rational, enlightened, and benevolent, and only kill or lynch our minorities or renege on treaties one at a time.

The natives of the Middle East are much more into tribal thinking.  The members of other tribes are treated as subhuman.  The ideals of the Enlightenment and WEIRD are rarer, more easily overwhelmed.  Israel was so ready to increase their Jewish population that they neglected to bring in a more liberal immigrant.

The difference is that in the US, WEIRD can beat the tribal in the ballot box.  The difference is that the roundhead culture can overwhelm the cavaliers.

Now most people will see it in other terms.  They understand that the red culture is elitist, sexist and racist, that they will hurt the poor in order that their group will be ‘superior’.  I doubt many see it in terms of each crisis removing the greatest remnant of Agricultural Age thinking.

But the difference and the basic forces involved are being tiptoed around by Professor Mizrachi.

Seems right, but I remember the Israelis were more liberal just 20-30 years ago. Their voting habits have hardened and moved to the right. They are getting more tribal instead of less. Much like in the USA, except our popular vote is moving in the other direction. But in the electoral college, Biden actually won by a narrower total vote margin in 3 states than Trump did in 2016; about 42,000 as opposed to 77,000 in 2016. On that basis, maybe I can understand Trump's unwillingness to admit reality. It was not as close as in 2000, or perhaps even 1960, but it was close.

The red/blue split is increasing in the USA, the margins of victory on one side or the other in each state are increasing, but the reds have a bigger and bigger advantage in the EC and the senate, and still in the House too because of gerrymandering. If it weren't for those conditions, the Democrats would have had a better result up and down the ballot in 2020.

If Harris is nominated in 2024, the Democrats WILL lose. Probably Tom Cotton, Marco Rubio, and Trump again, or his daughter, and Spencer Cox if he gets a national profile, are the repug's best hopes in 2024. But, it is very hard now for the Republicans to win the popular vote. Harris would probably win it, and lose the EC. A strong Democrat can win though, in spite of what the popular vote indicator on my system might say. You all know the candidates I recommend. They are all still the same, and none of them include the 2019-2020 primary candidates, except Biden if he runs again-- although at age 81 it would be hard to do.
(12-20-2020, 02:10 PM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote: [ -> ]
(12-20-2020, 08:21 AM)David Horn Wrote: [ -> ]This is a good place to add this.  An Israeli academic from the Mizrahi community has taken-on the task of explaining the entrenched beliefs of that group to the rest of Israel, and why it applies more broadly to other nativist RW movements, like Trumpism.  The language is nearly identical. 

An interesting article, but it leaves out the basic difference between the old world and the new.  The old world mentality will build gas chambers, ship undesirable people off to Siberia, massacre the Armenians, and try to drive Israel into the sea.  We are more rational, enlightened, and benevolent, and only kill or lynch our minorities or renege on treaties one at a time.

The natives of the Middle East are much more into tribal thinking.  The members of other tribes are treated as subhuman.  The ideals of the Enlightenment and WEIRD are rarer, more easily overwhelmed.  Israel was so ready to increase their Jewish population that they neglected to bring in a more liberal immigrant.

The difference is that in the US, WEIRD can beat the tribal in the ballot box.  The difference is that the roundhead culture can overwhelm the cavaliers.

Now most people will see it in other terms.  They understand that the red culture is elitist, sexist and racist, that they will hurt the poor in order that their group will be ‘superior’.  I doubt many see it in terms of each crisis removing the greatest remnant of Agricultural Age thinking.

But the difference and the basic forces involved are being tiptoed around by Professor Mizrachi.

Don't assume a huge difference between the tribal factions, regardless of where they are.  Tribe is the second circle in the security zone we built over millennia as hunter-gatherers -- even predating agriculture -- so it's pretty primal.  It takes desire to set that aside, but it's still there, lurking beneath the surface in all of us.  Autocrats tend to stoke that innate trigger, probably without a lot of thought on their part. That's the primitive leadership style coming to the fore. You're right that the enlightenment ideas are hardening into a new paradigm (WEIRD seems as good an acronym for it as any), but it will take a long time for that to become engrained in the culture.  For now, it's an ongoing struggle of two models of communal life, and both will continue a lot longer than we will.
(12-21-2020, 12:00 PM)David Horn Wrote: [ -> ]Don't assume a huge difference between the tribal factions, regardless of where they are.  Tribe is the second circle in the security zone we built over millennia as hunter-gatherers -- even predating agriculture -- so it's pretty primal.  It takes desire to set that aside, but it's still there, lurking beneath the surface in all of us.  Autocrats tend to stoke that innate trigger, probably without a lot of thought on their part. That's the primitive leadership style coming to the fore. You're right that the enlightenment ideas are hardening into a new paradigm (WEIRD seems as good an acronym for it as any), but it will take a long time for that to become engrained in the culture.  For now, it's an ongoing struggle of two models of communal life, and both will continue a lot longer than we will.

I think you are underestimating how much the roundhead / Enlightenment / blue / WEIRD patten has already been set it some parts of the world, and the direction mankind has been moving since around the English Civil War.  Still, the old pattern has its grip, true enough.

But it is almost gratifying that the most potent man in the culture doesn't dare declare martial law, and if he did dare the response most likely would be patience.
(12-21-2020, 12:00 PM)David Horn Wrote: [ -> ]Don't assume a huge difference between the tribal factions, regardless of where they are.  Tribe is the second circle in the security zone we built over millennia as hunter-gatherers -- even predating agriculture -- so it's pretty primal.  It takes desire to set that aside, but it's still there, lurking beneath the surface in all of us.  Autocrats tend to stoke that innate trigger, probably without a lot of thought on their part. That's the primitive leadership style coming to the fore. You're right that the enlightenment ideas are hardening into a new paradigm (WEIRD seems as good an acronym for it as any), but it will take a long time for that to become engrained in the culture.  For now, it's an ongoing struggle of two models of communal life, and both will continue a lot longer than we will.

Under stress people tend to resort to the more primitive drives. Fight or flight is obvious.  Tribalism is about the second-most obvious. When people are certain that their ways of life and personal survival are not at risk they can reach for the stars. When people see themselves in extreme stress they can do literal murder. Autocrats in more recent times, including Hitler, Pol Pot, and Saddam Hussein have stoked that trigger, but in their cases I would say that they or their subordinates put much thought into the destruction of 'racial', 'ethnic', or 'class' enemies. Heinrich Himmler and "Chemical Ali" weren't stupid fools. Utterly amoral, perhaps, but that is a different story.  Autocrats do not create security; they create and enforce insecurity, and that can be their downfall. Take away the fear and people become apathetic about the grand schemes of their leaders.  

In a stress-free society, economic gain and enjoyment of the product of economic gain come rather easy. One does one's work and gets paid, and the legal system heavily centers its focus on disputes of ownership. 

The German Enlightenment was possible only once the Little Ice Age was over, and agricultural productivity soared because growing seasons lengthened.  (Yes, something so seemingly banal as crop yields can create openings for high achievements that seem to have nothing to do with economics.  This said, even the economic realities make possible someone like Johann Sebastian Bach, who could compose some music so sophisticated that people still learn much about music from it. So what was Leipzig like in the early eighteenth century? The collection plates became richer in the churches where much of Bach's music was performed, so churches could afford to hire consummate musicians. They could build and maintain glorious organs on which such people as Handel, Telemann, and Bach himself could perform upon the music synthesizers of their day. People not having to spend all their time working the fields were able to do choir practice... on some very difficult and far-from-obvious music.  Communities and people could buy and maintain musical instruments. We must remember that although we remember Bach as a composer, but to make his work a reality he also had to be a performer and a teacher. J S Bach was of course the composer, but he was also an expression of civic pride. 

But try to imagine J S Bach operating under the stress of a military siege -- or in army barracks. OK, like Shostakovich (probably the closest 20th-century analogue to Beethoven, and much  -- like Beethoven -- an admirer of Bach) in Leningrad he might maintain old habits,  or perhaps he might compose marches for the army rigid in rhythm and never so daring in distracting counterpoint or chordal progressions.      

OK, this may be Toynbee-like analysis coming from me (I hardly claim originality), but a certain level of stress is appropriate for bringing out the greatest in cultural achievement. Too little ensures that people get lackadaisical and indulge themselves without achieving anything. Too much stress indicates that survival is so strong a concern that nothing nobler is possible. Great achievements are next to impossible under conditions of famine; regimes like Napoleon's aggressive empire, Nazi Germany, or thug Japan are culturally sterile. Note also that people rarely achieve much while resting at the beach or tooling around in a motor vehicle. Economic elites have rarely achieved much except to enrich themselves and indulge their baser drives, except perhaps to commission something for their entertainment. 

...The modern age begins with the Renaissance and goes through the Enlightenment. It is one smooth, connected time because there has been no cataclysmic break. Maybe the modes of cultural expression change, but... we would appreciate Michelangelo if he were alive today as did people of his time. One of the marks of modernity is a curiosity about the past, including antiquity which might offer something to exploit in some desperate time (Churchill claimed to have learned little from the Romans, but his speeches suggest the contrary) or a warning about a nearly-halcyon time that fouled up badly. The Romans certainly had marvelous resources and sophisticated technology for their time... but they would have done far better without slavery and as a result a more sophisticated economy.

This said, we have our problems. We are approaching the end of the era of economic scarcity in which people can simply produce enough stuff to allow prosperity for workers. If that doesn't stop us, the Singularity in which machines become smarter than we are can make intellectual effort meaningless. Then come the more devastating effects of global warming that can make a mess of the intricate system of food production that underpins such prosperity as Humanity now enjoys.     

[Image: 319px-Maslow%27s_Hierarchy_of_Needs2.svg.png]

One expression. Successful people in a wholesome social order can easily achieve physiological needs and safety needs. At this point "successful" can apply as much to those at the social bottom, like farm laborers in America. The exception is in crises involving the potential or nearly-certain loss of life, as during coronary thrombosis, terminal cancer, drowning, or being mauled by a bear or Big Cat. In a thoroughly rotten political system, such may always be nigh, as in a torture chamber or labor camp in which food, rest, water, moderate temperatures, or safety from summary execution may be denied. A political system that operates at that level, one that holds human life in contempt deserves to be overthrown with its surviving leaders getting this sort of judgment:

:[Image: 220px-IMTFE_court_chamber.jpg]

(Tokyo trials after WWII).

The antithesis of such a vile regime:


Quote:"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,--That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."


Still a valid measure for determining the need for secession or at least the overthrow of a despotic or totalitarian system. Source: Hint; 1776.

Then come safety and basic dignity. Slaves were somewhat safe on the plantation, as their masters would have certainly protected them from kidnapping and murder -- unless they rebelled, in which case they would face the exquisite pain of slow strangulation at the end of a rope if they surrendered. They might have gotten the right to procreate... all the better to ensure that people would inherit subjection and nothing else from their parents, or the slave parent in the event of rape by the master or one of his family members. They could have religion -- sure, work as diligently as possible for Ol' Massa, and you will get pie in the sky when you die. Less severely, people might become helpless proles, damned to work but with no economic security, never able to put anything aside to any future beyond the current drudgery, and of course expendable if they were to get sick or disabled. 

America had a war that established that slavery was an abomination inconsistent with liberty, and in the wake of the Great Depression at its worst America had to ensure old-age security (really a pragmatic concern because elderly workers in industry retired on the brink of death or had incredibly-high rates of death on the job due to industrial accidents). Subjection of any kind does not have widespread support even in the name of prosperity (Oh -- I forget Donald Trump and his acolytes!) unless perhaps as a punishment for criminality. I notice that some Americans believe that the rest of Humanity exist for the sole purposes of enhancing the power, indulgence and gain of economic elites whom those people consider the sole measure of morality... we resolve that or we have big problems arising. 

An economic order can maintain control of people by demanding gratitude for not being debased more than they already are because it can degrade people very fast for some tiny pretext.  

The third level is a sense of social belonging, and it is far from an easy achievement. Perhaps it comes from abandoning the quest for prosperity, as in committing oneself to live in a community  in which opportunities for self-expression are rare or unwelcome. I think of many hick towns in America in which all that is available is religion, civic and fraternal organizations, and family life. Life is otherwise a crashing bore, and seeking something uncharacteristic of the conformist norm such as preferring classical music, world folk music, or jazz to country music is one way to be seen as a questionable oddball. Love is possible, but it may be a difficult achievement (ask me how supposedly high-functioning autism can mess that up!)  But this can disappear if one breaks a rule, as in participating in an interfaith or inter-ethnic marriage in which the adults are shunned and the children can have huge difficulties.         

Fourth is self-esteem, but never in a manner that requires the debasement of others in the elevation of Self. Rightful self-esteem must be earned, at least if one is to enjoy it in adulthood. An economic order that requires mass suffering for command and control or for some delusion of prosperity denies healthy self-esteem to the masses but promotes overbearing haughtiness among the elites (narcissism).  If one's good feelings about oneself depend upon the debasement of others, then the best thing for Humanity is that one go back to relearn how to earn self-esteem. 

Finally self-actualization marks what Maslow considers the apex of self-hood. Here is the zone of legitimate, distinctive achievement without self-destructive tendencies. This is itself the brink of transcendence. To be sure, great achievement while leading a miserable life (Richard Wagner, Vincent van Gogh, F. Scott Fitzgerald) due to serious flaws as a person is not self-actualization. 

People can go down this pyramid if the social order collapses or if the system turns on one.
(12-21-2020, 12:00 PM)David Horn Wrote: [ -> ]
(12-20-2020, 02:10 PM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote: [ -> ]
(12-20-2020, 08:21 AM)David Horn Wrote: [ -> ]This is a good place to add this.  An Israeli academic from the Mizrahi community has taken-on the task of explaining the entrenched beliefs of that group to the rest of Israel, and why it applies more broadly to other nativist RW movements, like Trumpism.  The language is nearly identical. 

An interesting article, but it leaves out the basic difference between the old world and the new.  The old world mentality will build gas chambers, ship undesirable people off to Siberia, massacre the Armenians, and try to drive Israel into the sea.  We are more rational, enlightened, and benevolent, and only kill or lynch our minorities or renege on treaties one at a time.

The natives of the Middle East are much more into tribal thinking.  The members of other tribes are treated as subhuman.  The ideals of the Enlightenment and WEIRD are rarer, more easily overwhelmed.  Israel was so ready to increase their Jewish population that they neglected to bring in a more liberal immigrant.

The difference is that in the US, WEIRD can beat the tribal in the ballot box.  The difference is that the roundhead culture can overwhelm the cavaliers.

Now most people will see it in other terms.  They understand that the red culture is elitist, sexist and racist, that they will hurt the poor in order that their group will be ‘superior’.  I doubt many see it in terms of each crisis removing the greatest remnant of Agricultural Age thinking.

But the difference and the basic forces involved are being tiptoed around by Professor Mizrachi.

Don't assume a huge difference between the tribal factions, regardless of where they are.  Tribe is the second circle in the security zone we built over millennia as hunter-gatherers -- even predating agriculture -- so it's pretty primal.  It takes desire to set that aside, but it's still there, lurking beneath the surface in all of us.  Autocrats tend to stoke that innate trigger, probably without a lot of thought on their part. That's the primitive leadership style coming to the fore. You're right that the enlightenment ideas are hardening into a new paradigm (WEIRD seems as good an acronym for it as any), but it will take a long time for that to become engrained in the culture.  For now, it's an ongoing struggle of two models of communal life, and both will continue a lot longer than we will.

It seems to me that WEIRD had been well-established in the USA culture, and has been challenged by the rise of more primitive culture since the 1980s. The culture of the Enlightenment is pretty old hat by now, and not on the cutting edge. It's the Orange of spiral dynamics, for example, which has been succeeded and superceded by the Green and the Yellow more recently. But earlier "colors" are still there and made a comeback in the regressive era of the last 40-plus years.
"...The modern age begins with the Renaissance and goes through the Enlightenment. It is one smooth, connected time because there has been no cataclysmic break."

We differ there, and WEIRD advocates should be aware that historians do assign a major break in the early 20th century, whether in the years leading up to World War I, or at World War II which was its direct result. The modern arts, psychology, modern physics, modern music, new philosophy, modern architecture, a surge of inventions-- all proclaim the break, which was followed by the fall of Europe and its empires and kingdoms as the leading civilization on the planet, thanks to the world wars they created. The founding of the League of Nations, followed by the UN, is the signature of our age, which is now a global society. The new age, the green awakening, the counter-culture, the decline of American exceptionalism and imperialism, all followed in the sixties and seventies. That in turn is the post-modern period, which continues, and whose hallmark trait is the end of progress.

These events are all a decisive break from the Renaissance, which is now called early-modern. The Enlightenment was the finalized expression of the Renaissance humanist culture which at the time was still embedded in traditional medieval society. The great late 18th century Revolutions began the shift toward our times, and some historians date "modern times" from then.

Going back to calling the Renaissance "modern," is a mark of the decline in historical awareness and awareness of the new trends that has happened in the recent regressive years. The 21st century so far is a giant ZERO in every way.

But progress may now start to return, redesigned from the previous era of earth-conquest.
(12-29-2020, 12:06 AM)Eric the Green Wrote: [ -> ]"...The modern age begins with the Renaissance and goes through the Enlightenment. It is one smooth, connected time because there has been no cataclysmic break."

Any break would be a new Dark Age at the worst or at the least an overall repudiation of trends that began in the Renaissance. Even in art, the Impressionist era looks like a new sort of Renaissance, the Impressionists accepting Renaissance realism with muted contrast. Renaissance taste was generally for dark backgrounds to accentuate the subject, and Impressionist taste is for lighter backgrounds as a realism of its own kind. Some people may have rejected the curiosity about scientific reality or made scientific reality subordinate to faith or ideology, but this has typically won rejection. The Renaissance is also a break from the amateurish quality of art and the subordination of all expressions to a faith that  none challenge without fear of severe retribution. 

There have been severe Crises from the 15th century on, and some of those have broken old orders or so weakened them (think of the damage that World War II did to colonialism) that something that people took complacently as uncontestable reality  became absurd and indefensible.       


Quote:We differ there, and WEIRD advocates should be aware that historians do assign a major break in the early 20th century, whether in the years leading up to World War I, or at World War II which was its direct result. The modern arts, psychology, modern physics, modern music, new philosophy, modern architecture, a surge of inventions-- all proclaim the break, which was followed by the fall of Europe and its empires and kingdoms as the leading civilization on the planet, thanks to the world wars they created. The founding of the League of Nations, followed by the UN, is the signature of our age, which is now a global society. The new age, the green awakening, the counter-culture, the decline of American exceptionalism and imperialism, all followed in the sixties and seventies. That in turn is the post-modern period, which continues, and whose hallmark trait is the end of progress.

Technology changes how people do what they have always done. Yes, the darkness of night is meaningless in a 24-7 world in which some people keep Dracula-like hours; telephones made conversation possible over long distances. Radio expands the scope of the spoken word, and television, motion pictures allow the replay of old performances (and the sound-set is a theater stage for all practical purposes), and television expands the range for sending a variant of live theater or sporting events seemingly everything.  Much of what people do with computers is what they used to do with a telegraph (e-mail) that basically replaced carrier pigeons and semaphores; we do brute-force calculations with computers instead of doing them by hand; we simulate board games (although that may expand to three dimensions)on computers, and we are likely to see computers supplant broadcasting. Much of what some of us do is reading, so the even the late-medieval innovation of the printed word has found a threat to its continuing relevance. Computers can simulate travel; there is even a YouTube series called "Big Rig Travels" which shows what travel between some locations looks like in real time. Shopping that depends on getting people into a store to buy stuff  may be becoming less relevant as a way to sell stuff; instead of brick-and-mortar entities such as Tower Records we now have Amazon, e-Bay, and the like. The stores that seem to be thriving are grocery stores (for perishable items, at the least) and those with demographics that consist largely of people of limited sophistication with computers. Until someone can convince me that we are using computers to do things that we used not to do, I see computers at most as disruptive toward old ways of doing things.   


Quote:These events are all a decisive break from the Renaissance, which is now called early-modern. The Enlightenment was the finalized expression of the Renaissance humanist culture which at the time was still embedded in traditional medieval society. The great late 18th century Revolutions began the shift toward our times, and some historians date "modern times" from then.

But it is still evolution. I see no large tendency for anyone to say "Let's break with the Renaissance". Maybe people cast off the medieval claptrap, but that itself is an expression of modernity. To be sure there are people who have rejected the modern in an effort to restore the certainty (flawed as it was) of medieval times because such is somehow comforting to the dim-witted or useful to traditional elites. The problem for such reactionaries is that they need sophisticated technologies, typically of weapons and the means of surveillance, to enforce their nostalgia for a past that many of us would find uncomfortable and offensive. If the unholy trinity of weaponry, tools of censorship and surveillance, and torture devices that underpins more modern forms of tyranny two of those groups of tools themselves require great sophistication to design and manufacture, the devices of torture are much what they were in the middle ages.   

Technology is amoral. The same device that allows us access to concerts of great music can also supply child pornography or 'beheading video'. The basic rules of human conduct that make civil life possible without oppression have been under discussion for over two millennia.  
  
Quote:Going back to calling the Renaissance "modern," is a mark of the decline in historical awareness and awareness of the new trends that has happened in the recent regressive years. The 21st century so far is a giant ZERO in every way.

But progress may now start to return, redesigned from the previous era of earth-conquest.

This is like saying that Europe between 1930 and 1945 was mostly a degradation, one that might have seemed inevitable (the fascist Wave of the Future) where it came to prevail... temporarily. Much of the current trend is awful. This said, fads die, especially those involving bad behavior including intellectual emptiness and vile conduct. Donald Trump may be a repudiation of much that many of us have thought intellectual and moral progress... but he was defeated. Bad habits typically die in a Crisis Era, and surprisingly many of those that die are recent innovations. Consider the intellectual fad of eugenics, and contrast that to old moral values that state that murder, rape, theft, adultery, fraud, deceit, ignorance, chattel slavery, and intoxication are incompatible with a good world that makes life tolerable. Just think of how different Germany would have been had it accepted the moral teachings of a minority religion in its midst instead of accepting a criminal who repudiated every human decency that that minority religion taught.
I still like the age boundaries.

The four are hunter gatherer, Agricultural, Industrial, Information. The weapons are rocks, swords, gunpowder and nukes. Power is provided by humans, animals, steam engines and renewable. Information is stored by memory, writing, printing, computer networks.

Feel free to develop alternate names, but it is an established field of study.
(12-29-2020, 12:06 AM)Eric the Green Wrote: [ -> ]Going back to calling the Renaissance "modern," is a mark of the decline in historical awareness and awareness of the new trends that has happened in the recent regressive years. The 21st century so far is a giant ZERO in every way.

But progress may now start to return, redesigned from the previous era of earth-conquest.

This is a great point.  Yes, the Renaissance and Enlightenment, and all that flowed from them, certainly set the stage for modernity, but neither is a true precursor.  At best, those earlier flashes of brilliance made the acceptance of new ideas palatable.  After all, prior eras were much more dogmatic in tone, and less open to exception.  Now, change is assumed, to the point that "breaking things" is actually considered a net positive.   But, as we've seen, "breaking things" only produces social entropy, and that's about run its course.  We may be ready for a true crisis response ... finally!
(12-29-2020, 09:23 AM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote: [ -> ]I still like the age boundaries.

The four are hunter gatherer, Agricultural, Industrial, Information.  The weapons are rocks, swords, gunpowder and nukes.  Power is provided by humans, animals, steam engines and renewable.   Information is stored by memory, writing, printing, computer networks.

Feel free to develop alternate names, but it is an established field of study.

We're on the same page here.  I put nukes at the end of the Industrial Age, and add IT and cyberwarfare as the Information Age weapons of choice, but otherwise we agree in full.  But this brings us to the next big question: how transitory is the Information Age?  Look at the predecessors:
  • Hunter-Gatherer -- existed for at least 60,000 years of Homo-Sapien, and longer if we include premodern humans
  • Agricultural -- existed for roughly 10,000-12,000 years, with most alternatives to the royalty-based political systems being temporary
  • Industrial -- existed for roughly 200-250 years prior to the rising dominance of computers
  • Information -- in its adolescence at roughly 40-50 years, and surely not a final state.
I guess we might become one with the technology and merge into a human-machine hybrid, but ethics will slow that march a bit I think.  We've discussed transhumanism before, so I'll leave it there for now.  None of us will see this next level in any case.