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Oct 11, 2021 06:44:09   #
whitnebrat Loc: In the wilds of Oregon
 
I've never understood the whole appeal for authoritarian leaders (read cult leaders.) In the last few days, I've come to a conclusion that is hard to stomach, but which, on thinking about it, is perfectly sound.
The average followers of a dictator are motivated by one basic principle … that they are not responsible for their own lives and/or actions and their leader determines these.
So where does this basic concept come from?
If you take a look at many of the organizations (both political and religious), they are headed by a single figure … pope, pastor, president, cult leader, etc. That figure determines the dogma for the organization and the requirement for membership. That figure can also encompass non-human form, such as God, Mohammed, Rama, Buddha or any other astral deity that you care to name.
Given that we, as children, are many times brought up in one of these authoritarian structures, both religious and social, we've been conditioned to do that kind of thinking. Kids in the Scouting programs look up to and obey the Scoutmasters; in Sunday School, they are taught that the leader/pastor/teacher is the font of knowledge for their sect and that their deity is ultimately the absolute authority for them.
This idea of shifting responsibility for one's own actions and decisions to an authority figure is deeply rooted in our society … indeed, for probably all societies worldwide. This includes ideology inculcated at an early age, which is almost impossible to alter or eradicate.
I once had a conversation with an honest Catholic priest about his religion and parochial schools. His statement has stayed with me for over fifty years … "Give me a child until they are six years old, and I'll give you a Catholic for life." The same procedure will work for any religion or ideology.
People are taught to accept the authority in whatever organization, and not question that authority. It's a fact of life for any society and is almost impossible to contain. Josef Goebbels, Hitler's propaganda minister, once said (paraphrased) … "Tell a lie often enough, and the public will eventually believe it."
Is there a remedy for these adverse ideologies gaining power or controlling a society? Yes there is … but it has been almost eradicated in our educational systems for the last fifty years. It's called "critical thinking."
It has been suppressed for one overriding reason … no authority wants to be questioned in it's dogma. I understand that. But that suppression leads to false narratives that are espoused by proponents of their way of thinking, without regard to truth or reason. It creates a society of sheep that follows the leader … or the lemmings that go on instinct over the cliff to their deaths.
Critical thinking means at its core that everything is to be questioned as to its veracity until it can be proven with evidence or factual conclusions.
The current flap over CRT (Critical Race Theory) is a classic example of this lack of reasonable investigation. It seeks to paper over the factual history of slavery in the United States, and its unsettling consequences that exist to the present day. The facts are plain and simple … slavery existed way before the founding of the nation and was a part of colonial life. It wasn't called slavery as such most of the time. Such terms as "indentured servant" and others were common in colonial America … and were accepted as part of the social structure. To deny this, and other ways of subjecting people to involuntary servitude have existed throughout American history and cannot be denied.
Those that choose to deny this documented history want to paint a rosy picture for white settlers and citizens to avoid the perceived responsibility for creating the system that promotes white people and attempts to suppress minority citizens … be they black, brown, yellow or anything but white Anglo-Saxon Protestant stock. Note the exclusion of Catholics from the political system until John Kennedy was elected president.
Even some of those same white immigrants suffered the same fate. Cue the Irish that were escaping the Great Potato Famine in the nineteenth century who were sentenced to menial jobs for years before the Polish immigrants arrived to take their place. The Chinese immigrants of the 1850's, once they finished building much of the transcontinental railroad, were ghettoized and relegated to menial jobs. Such is the environment of systemic racism.
Of course, the total non-taught history of what the white settlers did to the Native American population is one of the greater tragedies that we have participated in. In most cases, it was out and out genocide. Included in this systemic racism is the Spanish treatment of California Indians by the priests of Junipero Serra's Catholic invasion with Cortez and Coronado. The list goes on … and we are not taught the history accurately and without bias. As Joe Friday of Dragnet fame kept saying … "Just the facts, ma'am, just the facts."
Unfortunately, history is largely written by the victors of any war or movement, so many of the facts as to what actually happened are lost in the fog of history, but those that remain must not be ignored or altered.
Is it too late to counter this suppression of critical thinking in our society? Critical thinking has always been rejected by religionists and those that would attempt to gain and keep political power. It may be too late to reinstitute this idea of examining everything and being critical of established institutions. Colleges and universities have long been the targets of these political institutions as being radical and opposing established norms. CRT is just the latest evolution of this movement against examining things as they are, and not obscured by rhetoric and dogma.
It is not possible to resurrect this critical thinking in anyone over the age of twenty or so, possibly earlier, but maybe in three or four generations (if we teach critical thinking early enough), we may begin to get a society based on rational thought. I hope that critical thinking can be resurrected and made a part of educational curriculum, but it may be too late … in which case we would have to start over with a society built from the ground up.

Reply
Oct 11, 2021 07:10:54   #
skyrider
 
whitnebrat wrote:
I've never understood the whole appeal for authoritarian leaders (read cult leaders.) In the last few days, I've come to a conclusion that is hard to stomach, but which, on thinking about it, is perfectly sound.
The average followers of a dictator are motivated by one basic principle … that they are not responsible for their own lives and/or actions and their leader determines these.
So where does this basic concept come from?
If you take a look at many of the organizations (both political and religious), they are headed by a single figure … pope, pastor, president, cult leader, etc. That figure determines the dogma for the organization and the requirement for membership. That figure can also encompass non-human form, such as God, Mohammed, Rama, Buddha or any other astral deity that you care to name.
Given that we, as children, are many times brought up in one of these authoritarian structures, both religious and social, we've been conditioned to do that kind of thinking. Kids in the Scouting programs look up to and obey the Scoutmasters; in Sunday School, they are taught that the leader/pastor/teacher is the font of knowledge for their sect and that their deity is ultimately the absolute authority for them.
This idea of shifting responsibility for one's own actions and decisions to an authority figure is deeply rooted in our society … indeed, for probably all societies worldwide. This includes ideology inculcated at an early age, which is almost impossible to alter or eradicate.
I once had a conversation with an honest Catholic priest about his religion and parochial schools. His statement has stayed with me for over fifty years … "Give me a child until they are six years old, and I'll give you a Catholic for life." The same procedure will work for any religion or ideology.
People are taught to accept the authority in whatever organization, and not question that authority. It's a fact of life for any society and is almost impossible to contain. Josef Goebbels, Hitler's propaganda minister, once said (paraphrased) … "Tell a lie often enough, and the public will eventually believe it."
Is there a remedy for these adverse ideologies gaining power or controlling a society? Yes there is … but it has been almost eradicated in our educational systems for the last fifty years. It's called "critical thinking."
It has been suppressed for one overriding reason … no authority wants to be questioned in it's dogma. I understand that. But that suppression leads to false narratives that are espoused by proponents of their way of thinking, without regard to truth or reason. It creates a society of sheep that follows the leader … or the lemmings that go on instinct over the cliff to their deaths.
Critical thinking means at its core that everything is to be questioned as to its veracity until it can be proven with evidence or factual conclusions.
The current flap over CRT (Critical Race Theory) is a classic example of this lack of reasonable investigation. It seeks to paper over the factual history of slavery in the United States, and its unsettling consequences that exist to the present day. The facts are plain and simple … slavery existed way before the founding of the nation and was a part of colonial life. It wasn't called slavery as such most of the time. Such terms as "indentured servant" and others were common in colonial America … and were accepted as part of the social structure. To deny this, and other ways of subjecting people to involuntary servitude have existed throughout American history and cannot be denied.
Those that choose to deny this documented history want to paint a rosy picture for white settlers and citizens to avoid the perceived responsibility for creating the system that promotes white people and attempts to suppress minority citizens … be they black, brown, yellow or anything but white Anglo-Saxon Protestant stock. Note the exclusion of Catholics from the political system until John Kennedy was elected president.
Even some of those same white immigrants suffered the same fate. Cue the Irish that were escaping the Great Potato Famine in the nineteenth century who were sentenced to menial jobs for years before the Polish immigrants arrived to take their place. The Chinese immigrants of the 1850's, once they finished building much of the transcontinental railroad, were ghettoized and relegated to menial jobs. Such is the environment of systemic racism.
Of course, the total non-taught history of what the white settlers did to the Native American population is one of the greater tragedies that we have participated in. In most cases, it was out and out genocide. Included in this systemic racism is the Spanish treatment of California Indians by the priests of Junipero Serra's Catholic invasion with Cortez and Coronado. The list goes on … and we are not taught the history accurately and without bias. As Joe Friday of Dragnet fame kept saying … "Just the facts, ma'am, just the facts."
Unfortunately, history is largely written by the victors of any war or movement, so many of the facts as to what actually happened are lost in the fog of history, but those that remain must not be ignored or altered.
Is it too late to counter this suppression of critical thinking in our society? Critical thinking has always been rejected by religionists and those that would attempt to gain and keep political power. It may be too late to reinstitute this idea of examining everything and being critical of established institutions. Colleges and universities have long been the targets of these political institutions as being radical and opposing established norms. CRT is just the latest evolution of this movement against examining things as they are, and not obscured by rhetoric and dogma.
It is not possible to resurrect this critical thinking in anyone over the age of twenty or so, possibly earlier, but maybe in three or four generations (if we teach critical thinking early enough), we may begin to get a society based on rational thought. I hope that critical thinking can be resurrected and made a part of educational curriculum, but it may be too late … in which case we would have to start over with a society built from the ground up.
I've never understood the whole appeal for authori... (show quote)


whitmebrat, this is the first post I have seen from you and an excellent post at that.
I have said for years now, that the lack of observation , and with it the demise of critical, independent
thinking was the biggest danger that the U.S. ever faced.
Your post should bring many responses and thoughts. However, I fear that it may not.
If your post does not elicit an enormous response and discussion , we are in even more trouble than I thought.

Reply
Oct 11, 2021 07:38:46   #
Liberty Tree
 
skyrider wrote:
whitmebrat, this is the first post I have seen from you and an excellent post at that.
I have said for years now, that the lack of observation , and with it the demise of critical, independent
thinking was the biggest danger that the U.S. ever faced.
Your post should bring many responses and thoughts. However, I fear that it may not.


Do not be fooled. Behind all his high sounding hyperbole about critical thinking you will find just another extreme leftwinger.

Reply
 
 
Oct 11, 2021 07:43:39   #
skyrider
 
Liberty Tree wrote:
Do not be fooled. Behind all his high sounding hyperbole about critical thinking you will find just another extreme leftwinger.


Thanks for the heads up ,Liberty. I'm not at all familiar with this poster but the subject of the demise of critical thinking looked good. I'll keep my eyes open.

Reply
Oct 11, 2021 07:47:13   #
Liberty Tree
 
skyrider wrote:
Thanks for the heads up ,Liberty. I'm not at all familiar with this poster but the subject of the demise of critical thinking looked good. I'll keep my eyes open.


Read some of his other posts

Reply
Oct 11, 2021 08:00:06   #
whitnebrat Loc: In the wilds of Oregon
 
Liberty Tree wrote:
Do not be fooled. Behind all his high sounding hyperbole about critical thinking you will find just another extreme leftwinger.


As usual, trash the messenger and refuse absolutely to confront the issue. "My mind is made up. Don't confuse me with the facts."

Reply
Oct 11, 2021 08:11:33   #
Liberty Tree
 
whitnebrat wrote:
As usual, trash the messenger and refuse absolutely to confront the issue. "My mind is made up. Don't confuse me with the facts."


That is your motto. You cannot stand those who see through your smokescreen. Your "critical thinking" always takes you to the left. Do not deny it.

Reply
 
 
Oct 11, 2021 08:21:25   #
skyrider
 
Liberty Tree wrote:
Read some of his other posts


I'll do that Liberty. I have never seen even one of his posts before. Wonder how I missed that.
Could well be that his critical thinking idea is from the other side of the tracks, but was presented in a way to cover that fact. Won't take long for him to reveal himself with this one though.

Reply
Oct 11, 2021 08:26:15   #
skyrider
 
Liberty Tree wrote:
Do not be fooled. Behind all his high sounding hyperbole about critical thinking you will find just another extreme leftwinger.


Wow, just looked at some of his posts. The original Jekyll & Hyde here.

Reply
Oct 11, 2021 08:58:50   #
Liberty Tree
 
skyrider wrote:
Wow, just looked at some of his posts. The original Jekyll & Hyde here.


That is a fact

Reply
Oct 11, 2021 10:49:45   #
slatten49 Loc: Lake Whitney, Texas
 
Liberty Tree wrote:
Do not be fooled. Behind all his high sounding hyperbole about critical thinking you will find just another extreme leftwinger.

You prefer OPP being an echo chamber of your thoughts. As a result, you trash others and refuse absolutely to confront issues. Your mind is made up and doesn't like to be confused with facts.

BTW, even after years of posting, you don't recognize that Whitnebrat is a lady and an excellent poster.

Reply
 
 
Oct 11, 2021 10:56:43   #
Rose42
 
whitnebrat wrote:
I've never understood the whole appeal for authoritarian leaders (read cult leaders.) In the last few days, I've come to a conclusion that is hard to stomach, but which, on thinking about it, is perfectly sound.
The average followers of a dictator are motivated by one basic principle … that they are not responsible for their own lives and/or actions and their leader determines these.
So where does this basic concept come from?
If you take a look at many of the organizations (both political and religious), they are headed by a single figure … pope, pastor, president, cult leader, etc. That figure determines the dogma for the organization and the requirement for membership. That figure can also encompass non-human form, such as God, Mohammed, Rama, Buddha or any other astral deity that you care to name.
Given that we, as children, are many times brought up in one of these authoritarian structures, both religious and social, we've been conditioned to do that kind of thinking. Kids in the Scouting programs look up to and obey the Scoutmasters; in Sunday School, they are taught that the leader/pastor/teacher is the font of knowledge for their sect and that their deity is ultimately the absolute authority for them.
This idea of shifting responsibility for one's own actions and decisions to an authority figure is deeply rooted in our society … indeed, for probably all societies worldwide. This includes ideology inculcated at an early age, which is almost impossible to alter or eradicate.
I once had a conversation with an honest Catholic priest about his religion and parochial schools. His statement has stayed with me for over fifty years … "Give me a child until they are six years old, and I'll give you a Catholic for life." The same procedure will work for any religion or ideology.
People are taught to accept the authority in whatever organization, and not question that authority. It's a fact of life for any society and is almost impossible to contain. Josef Goebbels, Hitler's propaganda minister, once said (paraphrased) … "Tell a lie often enough, and the public will eventually believe it."
Is there a remedy for these adverse ideologies gaining power or controlling a society? Yes there is … but it has been almost eradicated in our educational systems for the last fifty years. It's called "critical thinking."
It has been suppressed for one overriding reason … no authority wants to be questioned in it's dogma. I understand that. But that suppression leads to false narratives that are espoused by proponents of their way of thinking, without regard to truth or reason. It creates a society of sheep that follows the leader … or the lemmings that go on instinct over the cliff to their deaths.
Critical thinking means at its core that everything is to be questioned as to its veracity until it can be proven with evidence or factual conclusions.
The current flap over CRT (Critical Race Theory) is a classic example of this lack of reasonable investigation. It seeks to paper over the factual history of slavery in the United States, and its unsettling consequences that exist to the present day. The facts are plain and simple … slavery existed way before the founding of the nation and was a part of colonial life. It wasn't called slavery as such most of the time. Such terms as "indentured servant" and others were common in colonial America … and were accepted as part of the social structure. To deny this, and other ways of subjecting people to involuntary servitude have existed throughout American history and cannot be denied.
Those that choose to deny this documented history want to paint a rosy picture for white settlers and citizens to avoid the perceived responsibility for creating the system that promotes white people and attempts to suppress minority citizens … be they black, brown, yellow or anything but white Anglo-Saxon Protestant stock. Note the exclusion of Catholics from the political system until John Kennedy was elected president.
Even some of those same white immigrants suffered the same fate. Cue the Irish that were escaping the Great Potato Famine in the nineteenth century who were sentenced to menial jobs for years before the Polish immigrants arrived to take their place. The Chinese immigrants of the 1850's, once they finished building much of the transcontinental railroad, were ghettoized and relegated to menial jobs. Such is the environment of systemic racism.
Of course, the total non-taught history of what the white settlers did to the Native American population is one of the greater tragedies that we have participated in. In most cases, it was out and out genocide. Included in this systemic racism is the Spanish treatment of California Indians by the priests of Junipero Serra's Catholic invasion with Cortez and Coronado. The list goes on … and we are not taught the history accurately and without bias. As Joe Friday of Dragnet fame kept saying … "Just the facts, ma'am, just the facts."
Unfortunately, history is largely written by the victors of any war or movement, so many of the facts as to what actually happened are lost in the fog of history, but those that remain must not be ignored or altered.
Is it too late to counter this suppression of critical thinking in our society? Critical thinking has always been rejected by religionists and those that would attempt to gain and keep political power. It may be too late to reinstitute this idea of examining everything and being critical of established institutions. Colleges and universities have long been the targets of these political institutions as being radical and opposing established norms. CRT is just the latest evolution of this movement against examining things as they are, and not obscured by rhetoric and dogma.
It is not possible to resurrect this critical thinking in anyone over the age of twenty or so, possibly earlier, but maybe in three or four generations (if we teach critical thinking early enough), we may begin to get a society based on rational thought. I hope that critical thinking can be resurrected and made a part of educational curriculum, but it may be too late … in which case we would have to start over with a society built from the ground up.
I've never understood the whole appeal for authori... (show quote)


I do believe most people would follow a dictator if their ideology aligned with it.

Critical thinking is a funny thing. Propaganda can - and does - override it pretty easily. People don’t read with an eye out for it and we are getting hit from both sides. They don’t pay attention to how they are being manipulated. Yet that is part of critical thinking.

Though I don’t agree with all of your post I fully agree that critical thinking has waned and also hope that it can be resurrected.

Haven’t seen you post in a while and its good to see you back. Your posts are usually thought provoking whether one agrees with your opinion or not.

Reply
Oct 11, 2021 11:11:39   #
slatten49 Loc: Lake Whitney, Texas
 
Rose42 wrote:
I do believe most people would follow a dictator if their ideology aligned with it.

Critical thinking is a funny thing. Propaganda can - and does - override it pretty easily. People don’t read with an eye out for it and we are getting hit from both sides. They don’t pay attention to how they are being manipulated. Yet that is part of critical thinking.

Though I don’t agree with all of your post I fully agree that critical thinking has waned and also hope that it can be resurrected.

Haven’t seen you post in a while and its good to see you back. Your posts are usually thought provoking whether one agrees with your opinion or not.
I do believe most people would follow a dictator i... (show quote)

Rose, your above commentary is a prime example of why I view you as one of OPP's finest contributors.

Reply
Oct 11, 2021 14:23:45   #
Rose42
 
slatten49 wrote:
Rose, your above commentary is a prime example of why I view you as one of OPP's finest contributors.


I feel the same about your contributions.

Its too bad this topic isn’t getting much attention. Another factor not mentioned is shorter attention spans and distractions via entertainment and our phones. So much is at our fingertips and easily accessible.

Reply
Oct 11, 2021 15:37:00   #
whitnebrat Loc: In the wilds of Oregon
 
Rose42 wrote:
I do believe most people would follow a dictator if their ideology aligned with it.

Critical thinking is a funny thing. Propaganda can - and does - override it pretty easily. People don’t read with an eye out for it and we are getting hit from both sides. They don’t pay attention to how they are being manipulated. Yet that is part of critical thinking.

Though I don’t agree with all of your post I fully agree that critical thinking has waned and also hope that it can be resurrected.

Haven’t seen you post in a while and its good to see you back. Your posts are usually thought provoking whether one agrees with your opinion or not.
I do believe most people would follow a dictator i... (show quote)


Thank you, Rose. You're a worthy adversary ... and civil, too. I appreciate your sentiments.

Reply
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