Think Your Political Hero is the Answer?

We won’t get fooled again.
-The Who

I have to laugh, sort of helplessly, when someone tells me everything will be fine once their candidate takes office. (Or worse, that everything has been fine since their candidate took office.) That level of reality-evasion is just staggering. I can picture the party pollsters high-fiving and saying: holy crap, they bought it!

Here’s what your political hero spends his/her day concerned with: a polished image, a poll-tested “message”, a contrived series of sound-bites, bought and paid-for media releases, and a few resultant ticks on their poll numbers.

In other words, the business of seeming.

Seeming to care, seeming to fight the supposed “enemy”, seeming to be about the business of “doing good”.

All so you’ll buy what they’re selling. Continue reading Think Your Political Hero is the Answer?

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The End of Isms (Part 5): Conclusions and What to Do

 

In the last installment, we talked about ways in which ideology, or camp-thinking, has disastrous effects upon society as a whole. We talked about how isms:

  • create enemies, by perpetuating “Us and Them” thinking
  • create warfare on our lives, even with supposedly “harmless” labels, since they eventually entrench themselves within institutions of power
  • cause us to fear and reject new ideas, since they threaten the status quo
  • cause us to ignore/dismiss desperate cries of warning, since they are perceived as an attack on our “identity” group
  • create the illusion of “sides”, hence legitimize the notion of humanity as separate tribes in perpetual competition for their own “kind”
  • pervert the entire purpose of your society, such that each of us unwittingly plays part in a larger story which continually re-affirms the “Us-Them” distinction until it becomes next to impossible to challenge

Now, let’s discuss the all-important question: what do we do about it?

Continue reading The End of Isms (Part 5): Conclusions and What to Do

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The End of ISMs (Part 4): The Disastrous Effects of ISMs Upon Society

 

In the last installment, we talked about ways in which ideology, or camp-thinking, has disastrous effects on your ability to understand (and be understood by) others, and hence leads to breakdowns in communication and the perpetuation of divisions between people. We talked about how isms:

  • encourage you to surrender your thinking and perception of truth to leaders, experts, authority figures and gurus
  • arbitrarily divide like things (such as humans) into un-like things, by imposing our limited perspectives on them and fixing those differences in place with identity labels
  • invariably mean different things to different people, hence increase the likelihood of being misunderstood
  • invariably result in a breakdown of communication and the dead-end of name-calling
  • are enormous wastes of time, since most of it is spent defining and untangling our classifications for one another, and very little on actually communicating the content of our thoughts

 

I want to reiterate that what I mean by “ideologies” or “isms” is camp-thinking, i.e., Continue reading The End of ISMs (Part 4): The Disastrous Effects of ISMs Upon Society

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The End of Isms (Part 3): How ISMs Drive People Apart

In the last installment, we talked about ways in which ideology, or camp-thinking, has disastrous personal effects on your mind and your life, whether adopted consciously or unwittingly through indoctrination. We talked about how isms:

  • prevent you from seeking (or even seeing) the truth (since the decision to view the world through a filter, by definition, means cutting off your search for the truth at a certain point)
  • reverse cause and effect by preventing you from considering what you honestly believe in a given situation (“That might be true… but I’m too much of an x-ist to think so!”)
  • cause you to confuse generalization with reality (since no two people agree top to bottom on everything, even within a camp of thought)
  • confuse rather than clarify (since isms are really just names for identity groups, the content of which is not agreed on, hence require lengthy explanations to make oneself clear)
  • prevent you from thinking too hard about their central ideas (since to do so would be to challenge, or attack, your own chosen identity)

Continue reading The End of Isms (Part 3): How ISMs Drive People Apart

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The End of Isms (Part Two): What ISMs Do To Your Mind

To summarize Part One, we talked about how ideologies, or “isms”:

  • masquerade as ideas or beliefs, but are actually a mental technique–a way of directing your mind such that identifying with a camp or label takes precedence over your perception of the world (which we called “Camp Thinking”)
  • despite what we are taught to believe, are not necessary to engage in the act of thinking (since people can, with enough effort and time, step back from their identities and alter them, as history and introspection shows)
  • are a positive hindrance to enlightenment (since, by definition, they constitute the decision to constrain oneself to a narrow perception of the world)
  • consist mainly of stories, or fictions, about who we are supposed to be (our roles) and who we are supposed to hate (i.e., Us and Them thinking)
  • are restricted not just to politics, but also religion, nationalism, racism, language groups, science, nutritional philosophy, gangs, etc. (Any time you identify yourself with a group (Us), and distinguish yourself from non-members (Them))

Continue reading The End of Isms (Part Two): What ISMs Do To Your Mind

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