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Thread: Why does the fluttering red cape prevail?

  1. #1 Why does the fluttering red cape prevail? 
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    Why does the fluttering red cape prevail?

    The confident Matador flutters the red cape, the massive bull charges, energetically hooking empty air in bewilderment.

    Please be reasonable! Let us reason together. There was no reason for that. What do we mean by these common expressions?

    Ignoring the fact that these are generally just common exclamations by most of us that are meaningful only in their emotional content; what is the source of our indication of reliance on ‘reason’?

    “The decay of decency in the modern age, the rebellion against law and good faith, the treatment of human beings as things, as the mere instruments of power and ambition, is without a doubt the consequence of the decay of the belief in man as something more than an animal animated by highly conditioned reflexes and chemical reactions. For, unless man is something more than that, he has no rights that anyone is bound to respect, and there are no limitations upon his conduct which he is bound to obey.” Walter Lippmann

    Western democracies have invested in a concentrated effort to establish a ‘confidence in reason’ because it is assumed by the sophisticated that reasoning is the principal factor that makes humans different in kind from other animals.

    A popular adage goes something like this “I cannot argue down a conviction that has not been argued up.” It is impossible for me to use reason to convince someone who is without confidence in reason that they should have confidence in reason.

    An adult without confidence in reason must start the effort to study reason before they can gain a confidence in reason. Perhaps that is impossible also. Perhaps it is the case that an adult without a confidence in reason will never have confidence in reason.

    I suspect that 95% of the adults in the US have no confidence in reason and if my logic is correct they never will have that confidence. If that does not depress 5% of the population then nothing will. Perhaps it will delight the other 95%.

    Further thought leads me to modify that statement. The 95% without confidence in reason do in fact have some confidence in reason. They do recognize that as an instrument to gain a goal reason is necessary.

    What can we say about the 95% and reason? I guess we can say that they often have confidence in reason but that confidence is restricted to a limited aspect of life.

    Is a person capable of having confidence in reason when that person is almost completely ignorant of the nature of reasoning?

    “Confidence in reason is based on the belief that one’s own higher interests and those of humankind will be best served by giving free play to reason…The very idea of reasonability becomes one of the most important values and a focal point in one’s life. In short, to have confidence in reason is to use good reasoning as the fundamental criterion by which to judge whether to accept or reject any belief or position.” Quote from Critical Thinking: What every Person needs to Survive in a Rapidly Changing World Paul and Elder.

    A person who lacks confidence n reason might place their trust in:

    1) Charismatic leaders
    2) Institutional leaders
    3) Corporate leaders
    4) Spiritual leaders
    5) Social leaders
    6) Political ideologies
    7) Gut feeling
    8) Fate
    9) Astrology
    10) Parents


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    How does the title (and the first paragraph) at all link to the rest of this post?


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    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrior
    How does the title (and the first paragraph) at all link to the rest of this post?
    If we think of the Matador as Corporate America and the bull as citizens it will all come clear.

    An oligarchy controls public policy in America. The oligarchy consists of those who manage the great wealth of American institutions. This oligarchy designs our educational system to graduate good producers and consumers and does not desire independent thinkers.

    CA (Corporate America) has developed a well-honed expertise in motivating the population to behave in a desired manner. Citizens as consumers are ample manifestation of that expertise. CA has accomplished this ability by careful study and implementation of the knowledge of the ways of human behavior. I suspect this same structure applies to most Western democracies.

    A democratic form of government is one wherein the citizens have some voice in some policy decisions. The greater the voice of the citizens the better the democracy.

    In America we have policy makers, decision makers, and citizens. The decision makers are our elected representatives and are, thus, under some control by the voting citizen. The policy makers are the leaders of CA; less than ten thousand individuals, according to those who study such matters. Policy makers exercise significant control of decision makers by controlling the financing of elections.

    Policy makers customize and maintain the dominant ideology in order to control the political behavior of the citizens. This dominant ideology exercises the political control of the citizens in the same fashion as the consuming citizen is controlled by the same dominant ideology.

    An enlightened citizen is the only means to gain more voice in more policy decisions. An enlightened citizen is much more than an informed citizen. Critical thinking is the only practical means to develop a more enlightened citizen. If, however, we wait until our CT trained grade-schoolers become adults I suspect all will be lost. This is why I think a massive effort must be made to convince today’s adults that they must train themselves in CT.


    “Thomas R. Dye, Professor of Political Science at Florida State University, has published a series of books examining who and what institutions actually control and run America. to understand who is making the decisions that affect our lives, we also have to understand how societies structure themselves in general. Why the few always tend to share more power than the many and what this means in terms of both a society's evolution and our daily lives. they examined the other 11 institutions that exert just as powerful a shaping influence, although somewhat more subtle: The Industrial, Corporations, Utilities and Communications, Banking, Insurance Investment, Mass Media, Law, Education Foundation, Civic and Cultural Organizations, Government, and the Military.”
    http://www.21stcenturyradio.com/12-dye.html
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    It's a metaphor for the deceptive illusion that those in power try to veil over the eyes of the masses they are to control. At least, that's what I think he's trying to say.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    It's a metaphor for the deceptive illusion that those in power try to veil over the eyes of the masses they are to control. At least, that's what I think he's trying to say.
    Well said!!
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    I think it's worth noting, though, that in this instance the 'power' that is Corporate America (and it exists in all countries to a degree) isn't really winning anything, because it's power is a necessity of society. In order to have an advanced culture, you need a priority base upon which to build your hierarchy of classes and power. The business aspect of civilization doesn't actually control anything, it only makes an attempt to control based on the market. It is still bent to the will of the masses and is on the whole an entity that is by no means a powerhouse bent on deceiving and controlling people, but more manipulating the desires of the masses.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    I think it's worth noting, though, that in this instance the 'power' that is Corporate America (and it exists in all countries to a degree) isn't really winning anything, because it's power is a necessity of society. In order to have an advanced culture, you need a priority base upon which to build your hierarchy of classes and power. The business aspect of civilization doesn't actually control anything, it only makes an attempt to control based on the market. It is still bent to the will of the masses and is on the whole an entity that is by no means a powerhouse bent on deceiving and controlling people, but more manipulating the desires of the masses.
    It is winning by convincing you that it is a necessary and sufficient condition and that it is not controlling anything.
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by coberst
    It is winning by convincing you that it is a necessary and sufficient condition and that it is not controlling anything.
    A classic tautology. If Corporate America appears to control everything, it is because it is winning. If Corporate America does not appear to control everything, it is also because it is winning. From this it follows that the conditions of its winning cannot be determined by observation, which for this argument sounds about right considering that the whole thesis is built on generalizations rather than specific observations.
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