Tuesday, September 24, 2019

798: Freedom an equal chances....

The 1960s and 1970s showed a great interest in concepts like self realization, freedom, equality, equal chances, liberation.
The opposite was the case in the communist countries like the Soviet Union and China in those years.
The emphasis in the US and Europe was on creating equal chances, creating socio-economical equality.
In the US president Johnson had started his Great Society project. One of the problems the project had to solve was presented in 1966 in the report "Equality in Educational Opportunity" by James Coleman and others.
Much attention was paid to the differences in performance between black and white students.
An important topic in those years was education, the idea that blacks and other minorities in disadvantaged positions should be given access to better education, 
that equality of educational opportunities was the most important thing in a society where freedom was equal to freedom from ignorance, 
where the democratic idea of honesty and individualism meant that men and women had to get a fair start to life and that they were then left alone to make something of their lives.
Besides philosophy I also studied educational theory in the early 1970s and equal chances in education was a hot topic then.
In the Netherlands it wasn't white versus black but lower class versus middle/upper class children and their chances in education.
The basic idea was, that we all should have the freedom as an individual to become who we are, to develop our talents. That was the elan of those years.
The name that can be related to this theme is Isaiah Berlin (1909 – 1997), a Russian, later British social and political theorist, philosopher and historian of ideas.
In the book "Four Essays on Liberty" (1969) he tried to define freedom and defined the concepts of positive freedom and negative freedom, the freedom to develop ourselves as individuals.

The one conception of freedom is about the political significance of negative freedom. That is the freedom to act without the intervention of others, e.g. government. 
The negative freedom is greater as there is less interference in my affairs by others. The negative freedom is therefore a freedom OF.... 
That sounds good but it will be clear that absolute negative freedom can probably only exist for the lonely inhabitant of an otherwise uninhabited island, a Robinson Crusoe. 
This the freedom of a person will have to be restricted every now and then to guarantee the freedom of others. 
Absolute negative freedom will be impossible. The key question then is what is the minimum of personal freedom that we must maintain if we do not want to deny ourselves.

The opposite of negative freedom is positive freedom, the freedom TO, the freedom to do something. 
It is about the desire of an individual to master himself. You can then pursue your own goals and shape your life the way you want.
Where has this pursuit of freedom gone in our time? Where is the social commitment? Has it been translated into our obsession with privacy in this Internet world?
Thank you for your attention again....

The Discussion

[13:18] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Heerman
[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:18] herman Bergson: I have the feeling that this whole social commitment and call for equal chances for everybody has disappeared
[13:19] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): well it has quieted
[13:19] herman Bergson: and that it is replaced by the discussion on economic positions
[13:19] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): wil you explain that to us?
[13:19] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): not disappeared i think
[13:19] CB Axel: I think people have given up.
[13:19] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): I dont
[13:19] CB Axel: People what their own freedoms even if it means taking freedom away from others.
[13:19] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): look at the teachers strikes in USA this summer
[13:19] herman Bergson: in the 60-70s we as students were politically active and involved....we wanted to elevate the masses :-)
[13:19] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and the one going on now
[13:20] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): 47000 workers
[13:20] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Ryanair strikes now too i think
[13:20] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): off the job!!!
[13:20] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): they have hope
[13:20] herman Bergson: teachers on strike gemma?
[13:20] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): no these are auto workers
[13:20] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): now
[13:20] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): last spring was the teachers
[13:21] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): in three states
[13:21] CB Axel: strike
[13:21] CB Axel: Teachers somewhere in the country every year it seems.
[13:21] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and they won!!!!
[13:21] CB Axel: Not that they shouldn't. They really should.
[13:21] herman Bergson: what was their complaint?
[13:21] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yep
[13:21] CB Axel: Low pay and large class sizes usually.
[13:21] herman Bergson: Amazing...here in the Netherlands the very same complaints!
[13:22] CB Axel: It's ridiculous for a teacher to have a class of more than about 20 students, imo.
[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): low pay but also the fact that funds for education in their areas was way inadequate
[13:22] CB Axel: It's hard on the teacher and the kids don't get enough individual attention.
[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): were able to force the boards ot rund more
[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): funnd
[13:22] herman Bergson: All the government money goes to the industry...the social sector is greatly neglected and underpaid
[13:22] CB Axel: Right, Gemma.
[13:22] CB Axel: And the military, Herman.
[13:23] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): now the car people are out and it is not just pay it is also for the temporary workers they hire instead and dont pay well at all
[13:23] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and never put them on as full time iwth benefits
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed, they just use them
[13:23] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): so the aspect of freedom is here
[13:23] CB Axel nods
[13:23] herman Bergson: Not here....we should spend 2% on the military according to NATO rules, but it is 1.3% now
[13:23] CB Axel: I was one of those workers at the University of Iowa.
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i believe that the idea of freedom is still alive here too
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): in the activities of the kids even
[13:24] herman Bergson: the whole story of creating extra opportunities in education for the lower class (or black) children has disappeared
[13:25] CB Axel: In the US the military takes about 20% of the budget from what I've read.
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): well no
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): right and then you know who grabs some of that money for his wall
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): tsk
[13:25] CB Axel nods
[13:25] herman Bergson: What a waste
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed
[13:26] CB Axel: Trump is a waste of space.
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): it is a fight tho for money for education in some states
[13:26] CB Axel: Anyway, there's a great video about privilege that you might like. I can't remember if we watched that here or not.
[13:26] CB Axel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBQx8FmOT_0
[13:27] CB Axel: For when you have time.
[13:27] herman Bergson: Whose privileges CB?
[13:27] CB Axel: White privilege mostly.
[13:27] CB Axel: Middle and upper class privilege, too.
[13:27] herman Bergson: Interesting....
[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): wil watch that
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): oki
[13:28] herman Bergson: We have the same problems here in the Netherlands
[13:28] CB Axel: Watch it later. It's only about 4 minutes long.
[13:28] herman Bergson: Not enough money for education
[13:28] herman Bergson: Multinationals that evade taxes
[13:29] CB Axel: Where do those businesses think they're going to get workers if children don't get a good education?
[13:29] herman Bergson: No word about the less privileged in our society
[13:30] CB Axel: Conservatives say you shouldn't have an abortion because what if you abort the next Einstein? Well, that kid will never be an Einstein if it isn't educated.
[13:30] herman Bergson: The whole narrative  with people like Marcuse, Adorno, Habermas has died
[13:30] CB Axel: Better to not be born that to be born to parents who don't want you and can't get you fed and educated properly. :(
[13:30] CB Axel: *than to be born
[13:31] herman Bergson: indeed CB
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): well i still see glimmer of social commitment
[13:31] CB Axel: In some people, Gemma.
[13:31] herman Bergson: You do, Gemma? :-)
[13:31] CB Axel: But not the people in charge.
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yesterday a little girl went before congress begging them to pay attention to climate change
[13:32] herman Bergson: Was it the Swedish girl?
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): tomorrow is a huge country wide walk of of school kids o that
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): no usa girl
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa ok
[13:32] herman Bergson: We had these school kids walks too recently
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its spreading
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): isnt that what we were missing coming back??
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): bit by bit?
[13:33] CB Axel: I thought she was Swedish.
[13:33] CB Axel: Didn't she sail across the Atlantic.
[13:33] herman Bergson: It may apply to Europe and the USA, but what about India, Russia and China...South America?
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) whispers: oh??
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): maybe
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i might have missed that
[13:34] herman Bergson: Yes that swedish girl sailed across the Atlantic to the US
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ah ok!!
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yep
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): rigth i remember
[13:34] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Greta?
[13:34] CB Axel: Greta Thunberg
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): right
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): exactly
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): good for her
[13:34] CB Axel: She was awesome. :)
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): she have started a movement i think now
[13:35] CB Axel: Yay Sweden. :)
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thas going to spread
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:35] CB Axel: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greta_Thunberg
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:36] herman Bergson: Education is no longer the primary topic these days....
[13:36] herman Bergson: Maybe climate change is
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): education costing was too much in loans to the kids is a biggie right now tho
[13:37] CB Axel: In the US health care and climate change are the too biggest topics.
[13:37] CB Axel: Two
[13:37] CB Axel: Jeesh, I can't type today.
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes we still have health care  issue!!!!!!!
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): omg
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): OMG!!!
[13:37] herman Bergson: Yes GEmma here too, those loanes and huge debts students have
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): biggie
[13:38] CB Axel: But too many people have what I call a "I got mine" attitude.
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): oh yes
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): big time
[13:38] CB Axel: Why should I worry about education, my kids' schools are good.
[13:38] herman Bergson: I got mine?
[13:39] CB Axel: Why should I worry about health insurance, I have good insurance.
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): selfish attitude
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i got mine so i don't give a shit about others!
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): that attitude
[13:39] herman Bergson: ahh..
[13:39] CB Axel: Why should I worry about climate change, I don't live near the ocean.
[13:39] CB Axel: Exactly, Bejiita.
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that is why is see this huge auto strike as important
[13:39] CB Axel: You got it.
[[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): people willing to sacrifice for theccommon good
[13:40] herman Bergson: Social cohesion....
[13:40] CB Axel: Yes. The workers sacrificed when GM was in financial trouble, and now then the company is doing well again they're being ignored.
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): correct
[13:40] CB Axel: *when the company
[13:40] herman Bergson: That is exactly the problem of today......
[13:41] CB Axel: Jeesh! What's wrong with my typing and grammar today? LOL
[13:41] herman Bergson: there is plenty of money but where does it go?
[13:41] CB Axel: No wonder dragons just breathe fire.
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): (runs Debug on CB)
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): workers are beginning to take action-on the companies that are not inputting in spite of huge profits
[13:41] CB Axel: Not to the people who do the work of the company, Herman.
[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): the shareholders
[13:41] herman Bergson: Thay had that idiotic idea of a Trickle down effect in the economy
[13:41] CB Axel: Thanks, Bejiita.
[13:42] herman Bergson: Exacly Gemma....
[13:42] CB Axel: I never believed in trickle down.
[13:42] herman Bergson: All trickled in the pockets of shareholders
[13:42] CB Axel: No, it gushed into their pockets!
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the shareholders and CEO take it all and buy new luxury cars and bathe in champagne while they treat the workers as slaves more or less
[13:42] herman Bergson: A complete nonsense idea in a world governed by greed
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): sad reality of these big companies
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): sigh
[13:43] herman Bergson: They have lost sight on their social obligations
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): never were too good at it
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): they have theirs so
[13:43] CB Axel: I don't think they ever had their sights on social obligations.
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and they just want MORE MORE MOOOOR!
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): E
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats the issue
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): starbucks was ... they had benefits for workers from the beginning
[13:44] CB Axel nods
[13:44] herman Bergson: But the general attitude seems to be changing....neo-liberalism isn't the holy grail anymore
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): oh yes
[13:45] herman Bergson: So maybe we should get back that elan of the 1960s and 1970s again
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): also I think that in for ex a manufacturing company a large potion of the profit should go back in investing in better equipment, machinery ect to be able to make even better products
[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hopes it is coming
[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): slowly
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): like for ex now we bought na new forklift at our company
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): forklift
[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): after watching all these dictators around the world
[13:46] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): oh and Hong Kong too
[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): huge demos against possible taking of freedoms
[13:47] herman Bergson: Protests of the masses may have effect
[13:47] herman Bergson: I found it amazing...the persistence of the people
[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): so?
[13:48] herman Bergson: maybe in that sense our freedom has increased.....
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): little glimmers of hope
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hopefully yes
[13:48] CB Axel: Hong Kong had so many rights that other Chinese didn't have. I wondered how things would work out for them when China took over.
[13:48] herman Bergson: the masses don't accept repression that easy anymore
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:49] herman Bergson: We''ll see how this will show in 2020 in the US :-))
[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): OMG!!!
[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): omg omg omg
[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): fingers crossed
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa
[13:49] CONNIE Eichel is online.
[13:50] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): at last it is only one year + away for the vote
[13:50] herman Bergson: ok....time to keep our fingers crossed for  a while
[13:50] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): time for me to walk the plank if im not getting to the pirate party soon!
[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:50] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ok
[13:50] herman Bergson: Then let me thank you for doing so and participating here again ^_^
[13:50] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): fishing contest for me
[13:50] herman Bergson: Class dismissed .....

[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu next time

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