Monday, June 29, 2020

863: Myths....

We need a narrative to control the masses. Religion is probably the most widespread narrative, that works and what many are willing to believe.


How did belief in an Almighty God come about? A God who is also angry with people's sins? Scientists (including Brian Hare) have only recently come up with a fascinating explanation. 

I mentioned earlier that Homo Sapiens has unique eyes. People can follow each other's eyes because we have the white of the eyes around our iris. 


Thanks to that white of the eye, we can read each other's minds better, which is crucial for building mutual trust. 


Everything changed when we started living together in large groups of thousands of strangers. 


People literally lost sight of each other, because in a group of a thousand or ten thousand people you cannot have eye contact with everyone. 


And so distrust began to grow again. More and more people feared that others were parasitizing the community, a view that is still popular.  


As a starter you have the belief that man is bad by nature and as a consequence you can observe


that many aspects of our social life, rules and institutions take distrust as their starting point.

Rulers therefore needed someone to keep an eye on the masses. Someone who heard and saw everything. An All-Seeing Eye.  A God. 


It is no coincidence that the new gods became vengeful types. God became a Super Guard, spying on everyone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 


"And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.," we read in Matthew 10 verse 30. The Lord even reads your thoughts. 


From now on there was someone who observed from heaven, checked and if necessary intervened firmly. 


Myths and the rulers achieved with myths what no other species had ever succeeded to achieve. Myths helped us collaborate on a massive scale with millions of strangers.

The myths gave no absolute power to the rulers. Time and again the people succeeded in overthrowing them. We call it revolution.


But after the French revolution (1789) you got Napoleon, after the Russian Revolution (1917) you got Lenin and Stalin. The "Arabic Spring" wasn't a success either.


Then some European societies succeeded in debunking the myths. Their weapon was THE RATIO. This happened not so long ago.


The Age of Enlightenment (1715 – 1789) was an intellectual and philosophical movement that dominated the world of ideas in Europe during the 17th to 19th centuries.


It became the cradle of what we now know as science and democracy, the beginning of a whole new story.


However, that story will continue in the first week of September. Now it is time to enjoy a well deserved summer break.


If you want to hear my opinion, again we had a wonderful time together and I thank you all for that.


Thank you for your attention again and see you in September....

Main Sources:
MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
Rutger Bregman, "De meeste mensen deugen",, 2019


The Discussion

[13:18] If you want to hear my opinion, again we had a wonderful time together and I thank you all for that.

[13:18] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥

[13:18] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): very much

[13:18] Thank you for your attention again and see you in September....

[13:18] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): every week is enjoyable

[13:18] herman Bergson: Thank you Gemma :-)

[13:18] Jack Lust (JackLust Resident): thanks Herman, I look forward to it!

[13:18] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): wish i could make it more

[13:18] herman Bergson: Thnx JAck

[13:18] .: Beertje :. (Beertje Beaumont): Dankjewel Herman

[13:19] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): maybe in September

[13:19] .: Beertje :. (Beertje Beaumont): het is elke keer een feestje

[13:19] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): shall see my hours

[13:19] herman Bergson: Thank you Beertje

[13:19] herman Bergson: There is the blog of course, but this is more cosy, I'd say :-)

[13:20] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): i hope that by that time things will prove more that people are good

[13:20] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): at this point some idiots make me questioning

[13:20] .: Beertje :. (Beertje Beaumont): yes, I always look forward to you lecture

[13:20] herman Bergson:'s going to be exciting times on the road to September....

[13:20] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): oh heavens

[13:20] Jack Lust (JackLust Resident): we will have plenty to talk about by then, I'm sure

[13:20] .: Beertje :. (Beertje Beaumont): that's very soon Gemma

[13:21] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): loads more corona here in some states

[13:21] herman Bergson: I am afraid so too, Jack

[13:21] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): dummies wont wear masks

[13:21] Jack Lust (JackLust Resident): not all of it good, I expect

[13:21] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): in some places

[13:21] herman Bergson: Just look at the corona statistics of the US....

[13:21] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): and that is where the numbers are rising

[13:21] Jack Lust (JackLust Resident): in my corner of Canada though, it's been 16 days since the last corona case

[13:22] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): where jack?

[13:22] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): west?

[13:22] Jack Lust (JackLust Resident): Nova Scotia

[13:22] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): ahha

[13:22] Jack Lust (JackLust Resident): east coast

[13:22] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): wow

[13:22] herman Bergson: In my town it has been since May 15

[13:22] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): well that is spread out a lot

[13:22] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): in ct has been very very slow opening doing well

[13:22] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): but still cases

[13:23] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): and deaths

[13:23]  Łîly Łŭsŧ (Lily11223355 Resident): In NZ we were 24 days free but then opened the borders to returning NZ citizens, we currently have a handful of new cases now

[13:23] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): oh dear

[13:23] .: Beertje :. (Beertje Beaumont): i heard that Lily

[13:23] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): Texas is nuts

[13:23] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): florida too

[13:23] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): some parts

[13:23] herman Bergson: Europe wants to ban US incoming travelers

[13:23] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): i don't blame them

[13:24] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): them

[13:24] Jack Lust (JackLust Resident): cases are skyrocketing in some places there

[13:24] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): hope they do

[13:24] herman Bergson: A number of security people of Trump have been infected in Tulsa

[13:24] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate) GIGGLES!!

[13:24] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): ...LOL...

[13:24] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): and our glorious leader wont wear a mask

[13:24] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): right

[13:24] Jack Lust (JackLust Resident): he won't wear public

[13:24] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): I keep hoping he gets it !!!!!!!!

[13:24] Jack Lust (JackLust Resident): so people can see him

[13:25] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): truely

[13:25] Jack Lust (JackLust Resident): it's all about optics

[13:25] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): sigh

[13:25] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): like he is so handsome

[13:25] herman Bergson: I must admit, Gemma, that thought crossed my mind too

[13:25] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): yes yes

[13:25] .: Beertje :. (Beertje Beaumont): but he is the healthiest president ever

[13:26] herman Bergson: lol

[13:26] .: Beertje :. (Beertje Beaumont): he won't get corona

[13:26] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate) GIGGLES!!

[13:26] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): ...LOL...

[13:26] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): so he says

[13:26] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): you all have one of these right?

[13:26] herman Bergson: We really need a vacation ^_^

[13:26] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): yep

[13:26] .: Beertje :. (Beertje Beaumont): yes herman

[13:26] bergfrau Apfelbaum: lol Gemma

[13:26] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): you do have one right ?

[13:26] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): i can pass them

[13:26] .: Beertje :. (Beertje Beaumont): yes

[13:26] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): and you can pass them

[13:27] oola Neruda: i do not have one....

[13:27] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): it is sometimes a stress reliever

[13:28] Jack Lust (JackLust Resident): lol, thank you Beertje

[13:28] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): anyone else?

[13:28] herman Bergson: What is the name of the object?

[13:28] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): trump

[13:28] oola Neruda: i cannot find it

[13:29]  Łîly Łŭsŧ (Lily11223355 Resident): Trump anti stress

[13:29] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate) GIGGLES!!

[13:29] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): ...LOL...

[13:29] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): yes

[13:29] .: Beertje :. (Beertje Beaumont): lol

[13:29] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): all have one now?

[13:29]  Łîly Łŭsŧ (Lily11223355 Resident): too funny, wtg :)

[13:29] oola Neruda: thank you, Gemma

[13:29] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): ywyw

[13:29] .: Beertje :. (Beertje Beaumont): wish they had such a doll at the campaign

[13:29] Jack Lust (JackLust Resident): people get so creative, heh

[13:29]  Łîly Łŭsŧ (Lily11223355 Resident): gracias Gemma yes

[13:29] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate) GIGGLES!!

[13:29] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): ...LOL...

[13:29] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): yes

[13:30] herman Bergson: I must admit it is not exactly philosophical, but whatever...:-)

[13:30] .: Beertje :. (Beertje Beaumont): a whole stadion when he speaks

[13:30] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): i got that in 17

[13:30] oola Neruda: s m i l e sssss

[13:30] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): make it philosophical!!!!!!!!!

[13:30] herman Bergson: There is one interesting issue to observe....

[13:30] herman Bergson: In Europe they invented democracy.....

[13:31] herman Bergson: spreading the power....

[13:31] herman Bergson: but when this get an hierarchical structure.....the shameless will  grab the power....

[13:31] .: Beertje :. (Beertje Beaumont): I heard that Putin is president for life, can Trump change the law too like Putin did?

[13:32] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): not in my life time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

[13:32] herman Bergson: Decent politicians feel shame for some they don't do it....

[13:32] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): no

[13:32] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): he may try

[13:32] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): but nope

[13:32] Jack Lust (JackLust Resident): I won't be surprised if he tries

[13:32] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): me either

[13:32] herman Bergson: The shameless don't....and that is what you see in the US with the couple Trump / Barr

[13:32] Jack Lust (JackLust Resident): but I think it will fail...I think

[13:32] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): yes

[13:33] herman Bergson: utterly shameless regarding the rule of law

[13:33] Jack Lust (JackLust Resident): Barr has all but abandoned the rule of law

[13:33] oola Neruda: yesssss

[13:33] Jack Lust (JackLust Resident): that's why Roger Stone got off so easily

[13:33] Jax (cdncntryjack Resident) ist offline.

[13:33] herman Bergson: unbelievable

[13:34] herman Bergson: shameless behavior....

[13:34] oola Neruda: yes

[13:34] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): yes he has

[13:34] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): disgraceful

[13:34] Jack Lust (JackLust Resident): even one of the prosecutors  who walked away from admitted recently he was pressured to go easy because he was Trump's friend

[13:34] herman Bergson: I think many Americans will feel ashamed about it.....

[13:35] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): oh i do

[13:35] oola Neruda: yes

[13:35] Jack Lust (JackLust Resident): all but his base

[13:35] herman Bergson: Yes, Jack, but that is a minority

[13:35] .: Beertje :. (Beertje Beaumont): ahhhhhhh

[13:35] Jack Lust (JackLust Resident): the photo ops with the bible was a hit to his hardcore supporters

[13:38] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): ok i need to get to greeting

[13:39] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥

[13:39] herman Bergson: I hope to see you all again in good health in September

[13:39] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥

[13:39] Jack Lust (JackLust Resident): same to you herman, and everyone.  take care and have a good summer!

[13:39] bergfrau Apfelbaum: Thanks Herman for the hard work! The lectures are so interesting! And thanks to the class. It's so nice and fun with all of you!!!!

[13:39] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): shall see you then if not before

[13:39] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): hope to go golfing with bergie

[13:40] .: Beertje :. (Beertje Beaumont): i will miss you all during the break!

[13:40] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): this summer !!

[13:40] herman Bergson: It is 30 C here these days!

[13:40] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): nice

[13:40] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): here too

[13:40] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): Uconn has big cuts to the budget

[13:40] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): herman

[13:40] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): big issues

[13:40] .: Beertje :. (Beertje Beaumont): tomorrow 32 C..and then  21....aAHHHHHH NICE

[13:40] bergfrau Apfelbaum: have a nice summer !! and please, stay healthy!

[13:40] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): due to corona

[13:40] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): sigh

[13:41] herman Bergson: You all have a nice summer!

[13:41] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate): bye for now

[13:41] oola Neruda: only the best wishes to all of you

[13:41]  Łîly Łŭsŧ (Lily11223355 Resident): Take good care all and thanks :)

[13:41] .: Beertje :. (Beertje Beaumont): Have a very nice summer, fijne vakantie!

[13:41] herman Bergson: to you too oola ^_^

[13:41] Gemma (Gemma Cleanslate) hat die Region verlassen.

[13:41] oola Neruda: thank you

[13:41] .: Beertje :. (Beertje Beaumont): Lily have a nice winter:)

[13:42]  Łîly Łŭsŧ (Lily11223355 Resident): thanks, i think, laughs :)

[13:42] .: Beertje :. (Beertje Beaumont):

[13:42] herman Bergson: Cooll Beertje :-)

[13:42] herman Bergson: Smartest girl in town ^_^

[13:42] .: Beertje :. (Beertje Beaumont): lol :)))))

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

862: Stories.......

"Whole passages of Machiavelli seem to be directly applicable to the behavior of chimpanzees," 


noted the biologist Frans de Waal in the early 1980s in his book "Chimpanzee Politics" (1982). 


The alpha chimp, the monarch, walks around like a macho and is the greatest manipulator of the bunch. 


Below him are the aides: other chimpanzees who keep the monarch in the saddle, but can also stab him in the back. 


Forty years ago, scientists already knew that we share 99 percent of our DNA with chimpanzees. 


It is no coincidence that in 1995 Newt Gingrich, a prominent Republican, distributed dozens of copies of De Waals book to his employees.


According to him, the American Congress would not differ essentially from a chimpanzee colony: people only make a little more effort to hide their instincts. 


But what was barely known in the 1990s is that we have another close relative. Another monkey with which we share 99 percent of our DNA: The bonobo. 


The first time Frans de Waal saw one was in the early 1970s, when bonobos were still called "pygmy chimpanzees". The chimpanzee and bonobo have long been considered one species.. 


In reality, the bonobo is a completely different creature. The animal has domesticated itself, just like the Homo Sapiens. 


Bonobo females appear to have played the leading role in this process. They prefer and favor the friendliest male bonobos.


An American anthropologist analyzed some 48 studies of hunter / gatherer tribes and concluded that Machiavellism had almost always been the recipe for failure. 


What qualities did you need in prehistoric times to gain leadership. In his article "Egalitarian Behavior and Reverse Dominance Hierarchy" (1993), 


Christopher Boehm comes up with a list of qualities that a hunter / gatherer must have as a leader. 


"Generous. Nice, Brave, Charismatic, Impartial, Open, Reliable, Calm, Strong, Enthusiastic, Modest". The hunter / gatherer tribes live a fairly relaxed life.


With the rise of the first settlements and the growth of inequality, the chieftains and kings had to explain why they had more privileges than their subjects. 


In other words: they had to start propaganda. While the leaders of hunters / gatherers were still modest themselves, leaders now started pounding. 


Kings proclaimed that they had been chosen by the gods. Or that they themselves were divine. 


Today, the propaganda of most rulers is much more subtle. But that is not to say that there are no more ingenious ideologies to justify why some people "deserve" more power, status or wealth than others. 


It has become customary in the Western world to dress up this defense with so-called meritocratic arguments. The question then is: who has the most merits? 


Who contributes the most to society? A garbage collector, or a banker? A nurse or a manager? 


The more convincing your story, the greater your power and wealth. We can summarize the history of civilization as a history in which rulers keep inventing new reasons for their privileges. 


Yet there is still something peculiar going on here. After all, we don't have to believe the stories of our rulers.  


But yet we do. To keep millions of people together you need a good story, be it a religion or a political ideology.


We are together because we are willing to believe in the stories our rulers tell us.


Thank you for your attention....

Main Sources:
MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
Rutger Bregman, "De meeste mensen deugen",, 2019


The Discussion

[13:21] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Thank you Herman

[13:22] herman Bergson: start

[13:22] oola Neruda: we have a lot of people acting like they are brain dead

[13:22] herman Bergson: the modern word is "narrative"

[13:23] herman Bergson: I don't know oola, but what I know is that we believe stories

[13:23] Jack Lust (jacklust): it's interesting, the rulers basically inventing reasons to justify their existence in the first place..then going to extremes to hold on to it

[13:23] oola Neruda: true

[13:23] herman Bergson: For instance the believe that a piece of paper or a piece of metal represents a value...we call it money

[13:24] herman Bergson: or that gold is valuable

[13:24] herman Bergson: And the main issue is...that is we refuse to believe it we get in trouble.....

[13:25] herman Bergson: When you stop paying your taxes and bills you'll go to jail. lose your house etc

[13:25] herman Bergson: If you don't believe in god he'll punish you

[13:25] Jack Lust (jacklust): we won't just stop using money, as much as everyone would love that, heh.  the greedy and powerful won't let that happen

[13:26] herman Bergson: it's interesting to see how the stories we (have to) believe in are underpinned by the threat of some kind of violence

[13:27] Jack Lust (jacklust): it's all based in fear, of course, fear of being poor, going to hell etc

[13:27] herman Bergson: indeed Jack :-))

[13:27] herman Bergson: It keeps our society together

[13:28] herman Bergson: The question is....

[13:28] Jack Lust (jacklust): and religion is being used as a weapon as it always has

[13:28] herman Bergson: How do you get millions of people to work together.....

[13:28] oola Neruda: wfar

[13:28] Jack Lust (jacklust): tell them covid is in the air

[13:28] oola Neruda: war

[13:28] herman Bergson: yes, by stories and mythes

[13:29] Jack Lust (jacklust): scare the bejezuz out of them, heh

[13:29] herman Bergson: this is a unique feature of Homo Sapiens

[13:29] Jack Lust (jacklust): us and our big brains

[13:29] herman Bergson: our imagination and fantasy

[13:29] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): can a bonobo do that too to the group?

[13:29] oola Neruda: divide and conquer

[13:30] Jack Lust (jacklust): no one said evolution kept only the good bits

[13:30] herman Bergson: what do you mean Beertje?

[13:30] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): fear the group

[13:30] herman Bergson: To some extend, yes....

[13:31] herman Bergson: when a male bonobo is nasty to a female one, the females join together and scare that male off....even can bite off his penis...:-)

[13:31] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): iew

[13:32] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): but not fear the group to get power over it

[13:32] Jack Lust (jacklust): moral of the story is don't be mean to girls, lol

[13:32] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): true Jack:))

[13:32] herman Bergson: An interesting point is that in the 80s de Waal and others knew only about chimp life and the DNA realtion with us.....

[13:32] Jack Lust (jacklust): they will mess you up, lol

[13:33] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): smiles

[13:33] herman Bergson: fitted in perfectly with the inclination to see Homo Sapiens by nature as mean basically

[13:34] herman Bergson: and then the bonobo was discovered as another possible ancestor....

[13:34] herman Bergson: and in fact in our behavior we share more with the bonobo than with the chimp

[13:34] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): girl power:)

[13:34] herman Bergson: right Beertje \o/

[13:35] Jack Lust (jacklust): even when it comes to using fear tactics?

[13:36] oola Neruda: i see that as male

[13:36] herman Bergson: Bonobos use sex to solve their conflicts, Jack

[13:36] Jack Lust (jacklust): as it should be, heh

[13:37] herman Bergson: de Waal once looks like the bonobos have read the Kamasutra

[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): maybe they invented it:)

[13:38] herman Bergson: If they are our ancestors it might be true Beertje

[13:38] Jack Lust (jacklust): too bad these days sex is looked at like it's a shameful thing

[13:38] herman Bergson: Next lecture I'll tell you what we added to the picture to stay living in peace with eachother :-)

[13:39] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): so wy have the male homo sapiens almost all the power in the world now?

[13:39] Jack Lust (jacklust): and, speaking of fear, religion says you should be scared of it

[13:39] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): scared of what Jack?

[13:39] herman Bergson: yes...religion and fear are good comrades

[13:39] Jack Lust (jacklust): sex

[13:40] Jack Lust (jacklust): religion tells you if you have sex, except for this specific circumstance, it's hell for you

[13:40] herman Bergson: Am I lucky that I am not religious, Jack ^_^

[13:40] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): me either:)

[13:40] Jack Lust (jacklust): me either, lol, but I grew up with it

[13:40] SAHUD 10.0.34 BETA (WEAR ME!): Enter SIM: Keith Link

[13:40] oola Neruda: i think inheriting wealth is the point of fear of sex... who is that kid????

[13:40] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): and still scary?

[13:40] herman Bergson: Guess we all know the drill  ^_^

[13:41] SAHUD 10.0.34 BETA (WEAR ME!): Exit SIM: Keith Link

[13:41] Jack Lust (jacklust): religion is about the most scary thing I can think of

[13:42] Jack Lust (jacklust): I couldn't imagine actually believing it

[13:42] herman Bergson: I did a project on atheism, Jack

[13:42] herman Bergson: You can find it on my site

[13:42] Jack Lust (jacklust): I saw the board on the wall

[13:42] herman Bergson: Is an interesting subject

[13:43] herman Bergson: It is about the stories we are willing to believe in and why

[13:44] Jack Lust (jacklust): and you see the hate they preach down in the US, no wonder so many people are leaving it

[13:44] herman Bergson: Unless you have  that special question, let's look into this issue further next  Thursday...:-)

[13:45] herman Bergson: Thay subject can keep us here for hours Jack :-)

[13:45] Jack Lust (jacklust): days, perhaps, heh

[13:45] herman Bergson: weeks :-)

[13:45] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): years

[13:45] herman Bergson: So...I'd better dismiss class :-)

[13:45] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman

[13:45] herman Bergson: Thank you all again :-))

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

861: The Powerful and the Powerless.....

A lot of research shows that power makes you more negative about others. Those in power more often believe that most people are lazy and unreliable. 


From that negative view of human beings, they conclude that we should be controlled and spied on, managed and regulated, 


censored and commanded. And that they themselves are the right people to do that. Power makes you feel superior to others.


And if you have a problem with this point of view, here is an example freshly harvested on June 16.


-QUOTE- Larry Kudlow, Trump's millionaire economic adviser, believes that giving unemployed people an additional $600 per week 


during a global pandemic and national economic emergency is just far too much, and that we'd just be paying people to NOT work at that point. 


What he's really saying is that poor people are too greedy and lazy and would prefer to not contribute to society. -END QUOTE-

The quote is the text of the caption to a Youtube video featuring Farron Cousins - The Ring of Fire. At the end of the lecture I'll give you its URL.


This is such a classic attitude of those at the top. I admit, that there always are a few people who prefer not to work when on benefits.


However, if any of you ever have experienced being fired or losing your job or being unemployed for a longer period of time, 


you will understand how insulting Kudlow is for the majority of people. He has never experienced the feeling of social redundancy and powerlessness.


Psychological research shows that people who feel powerless are much more insecure. They hesitate before giving their opinion. 


They make themselves smaller in a group. They feel more stupid than they really are. Those insecure feel comfortable with those in power. 


After all, people who doubt themselves do not rebel. Insecure people don't even have to be censored, because they do silence themselves.


If you treat others as if they are stupid, they will also start to feel stupid, after which administrators can tell themselves 


that the people are too stupid to decide and that they themselves have to take the lead with their great vision and broad view.


But it may be the other way around. Not the powerless are stupid, but those in power are and are  short-sighted.


They have no need anymore to look at the world from the perspective of the other. Empathy isn't needed, for if someone annoys you you fire him, punish him, put him in jail.... whatever.


Like Lord Dalberg-Acton (1834 -1902) wrote in a letter: "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. 


Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority, still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority." (1887)


When we look at our history of mankind, we can ask ourselves the questions: How did power emerge in our society and how did we manage to deal with it?


Thank you for your attention again.....


And now as promised the URL. Allow yourself to listen to this guy for 3:54 minutes :-)


The Discussion

[13:18] Jack Lust (jacklust): sums up their attitude nicely

[13:19] herman Bergson: Let me know when you've seen it all :-)

[13:20] CB Axel: Done. He did sum it up very well.

[13:20] Gaby Pantini (gabypantini): done.

[13:21]  Łîly Łŭsŧ (lily11223355): Done also

[13:21] CB Axel: The point of the stimulus money *was* to stop people from working.

[13:21] herman Bergson: My point to mention this was that it is an example how they think

[13:21] CB Axel: They needed to stay home to stop the spread of the virus.

[13:21]  Łîly Łŭsŧ (lily11223355): and to be able to feed their families, keep power on etc

[13:21] CB Axel: Right

[13:21] herman Bergson: It is such a bizar argument

[13:22] herman Bergson: 600 dollars....

[13:22] Jack Lust (jacklust): and yes, there will always be a few people who take advantage, but they are a small minority.  They use an example and imply that it's the way is with everyone

[13:22] CB Axel: The conservatives want people to either go to work and die from the virus or to stay at home and starve to death.

[13:22] herman Bergson: I even dont know if you have an unemployment benefit in the US

[13:22] CB Axel: Yes, but in some states it's very hard to get.

[13:22] herman Bergson: YEs CB...that is the situation atm

[13:23]  Łîly Łŭsŧ (lily11223355): and are they looking after the big corporations and small businesses?

[13:23] Jack Lust (jacklust): it's the same as the diseased immigrant story that gets told over and over again that just isn't true

[13:23] herman Bergson: Red states I guess?

[13:23] CB Axel: Who else would do that?

[13:24] CB Axel: They are looking after big corporations.

[13:24] herman Bergson: LEt's not go into details regarding US national politics....

[13:25] herman Bergson: The question here is POWER....and what it does to people

[13:25] herman Bergson: and our claim that most people are OK

[13:25] Jack Lust (jacklust): it does make them see lower classes as inferior, that's for sure

[13:25] herman Bergson: but when they get power, they change.....not all fortunately but some

[13:26] herman Bergson: Can we call that racism, Jack?

[13:26]  Łîly Łŭsŧ (lily11223355): of course as giving an order is easy, they don't have to do the dirty work.

[13:26] CB Axel: Here is a quote I like. I wish I knew who said it. I only have the name of someone who tweeted it...

[13:26] Ciska Riverstone is online.

[13:26] CB Axel: Sometimes people use "respect" to mean "treating someone like a person" and sometimes they use "respect" to mean "treating someone like an authority."

And sometimes people who are used to being treated with authority say, "If you won't respect me I won't respect you" and they mean "If you won't treat me like an authority I won't treat you like a person."

And they think they're being fair, but they aren't, and it's not ok.

[13:26] Jack Lust (jacklust): not necessarily.  I heard someone say "goerge bush hates black people", but someone else said "no, he hates poor people" and that seems more correct to me

[13:27] herman Bergson: That is a falacy indeed CB.....interesting text

[13:27] CB Axel: Yes, poor people are treated very badly, but poor people of color are treated worse.

[13:27] Jack Lust (jacklust): poverty is not a racist thing, but it does affect non-white disproportionately

[13:28] herman Bergson: I heard about that weird belief in the US.....

[13:28] herman Bergson: When you are was God who gave you that....he had elected you...

[13:28] herman Bergson: when you are is your own fault....

[13:28] CB Axel: Right.

[13:29] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): wierd thoughts

[13:29] herman Bergson: how anti social is such a belief!

[13:29] herman Bergson: yes Beertje...alien to us

[13:29] herman Bergson: us means Dutchies :-))

[13:30] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yes:)

[13:30] CB Axel: It's alien to me, too.

[13:30] herman Bergson: and most Europeans I guess

[13:30] herman Bergson: Welcome CB :-)

[13:30] CB Axel: If God is that big an asshole I'm glad I'm an atheist.

[13:30] herman Bergson: My belief is that it is alien to a majority of Americans

[13:31] CB Axel: In fact, that's part of why I began questioning religion and ultimately rejected it.

[13:31] herman Bergson: it is just that the ~republicans have the power still

[13:31] Jack Lust (jacklust): and they will do anything to retain that power

[13:32] CB Axel nods

[13:32] herman Bergson: POWER is the present day keyword

[13:32] Jack Lust (jacklust): no matter who gets hurt by it

[13:32] CB Axel: They know they can't win elections based on their policies. They have to cheat.

[13:32] CB Axel: I just don't understand why anyone wants that much power over others.

[13:32] herman Bergson: I heard about the post-politics status of the republicans....

[13:33] herman Bergson: no longer interested in (social) politics but only in their power

[13:33] herman Bergson: Good point CB....

[13:33] Jack Lust (jacklust): that's what US politics has become

[13:33] Jack Lust (jacklust): not about the people, it's about the politicians

[13:33] herman Bergson: SO the question is....

[13:34] Jack Lust (jacklust): it's very us vs. them

[13:34] CB Axel: We need to elect statesmen and not politicians.

[13:34] herman Bergson: when you are post politics and only want to keep your power within a political system.....what drives you?

[13:34] CB Axel: But politicians get all the attention.

[13:34] herman Bergson: Status

[13:34] CB Axel: $$$

[13:34] herman Bergson: Money

[13:35] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): fear

[13:35] herman Bergson: Mcconnel was not a wealthy person when he started in he is a millionaire

[13:35] herman Bergson: Fear to lose your privileged position....

[13:35] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yes

[13:35] CB Axel: Sex, too, but who would want to have sex with people like Mitch McConnell?

[13:35] Jack Lust (jacklust): that is a big one, I think. good point

[13:35] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): and fear for poverty

[13:36] herman Bergson: My turtle, CB:-)

[13:36] Jack Lust (jacklust): I think fear of losing the power you had

[13:36] CB Axel: I don't think they fear poverty. They have no idea what real poverty is.

[13:36] Jack Lust (jacklust): most of them have no worries about money

[13:36] CB Axel: They think poverty means they have to sell their summer house and fire their servants.

[13:37] Jack Lust (jacklust): but they consider them and their rich friend to be the only people who actually "work" for a living

[13:37] CB Axel: Which makes me laugh.

[13:37] herman Bergson: As I said in the previous lecture....those in power seem to be disconnected from their fellowmen in some way

[13:37] Jack Lust (jacklust): absolutely

[13:37] CB Axel: They've never done an honest day's labor in their lives.

[13:38] herman Bergson: Yes Jack...heard that too...

[13:38] herman Bergson: when you are rich it means you work hard

[13:38] Jack Lust (jacklust): watching fox news and sending twitter messages is an exhausting day of work, don't you know?

[13:38] CB Axel: All they do is sit on their asses moving other people's money around and pass laws that shit on the people who do work.

[13:38] herman Bergson: when you are poor yo are just lazy

[13:38] CB Axel: Jeez, I'm starting to sound like Bejiita. :)

[13:38] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): true CB :))))

[13:39] herman Bergson: Yes need to be a president for that

[13:39] CB Axel: Wait. Are they rich because they work hard or because God gave them their money?

[13:39] CB Axel: I'm confused.

[13:39] Jack Lust (jacklust): yes, CB

[13:39] Jack Lust (jacklust): just ask them

[13:40] herman Bergson: NO CB...God choose them to work hard and hHe took care for the success , they would answer

[13:40] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): does God know what money is?

[13:40] CB Axel: God has a shitty idea of what hard work is then.

[13:40] Jack Lust (jacklust): god is pretty shitty in general, in my opinion

[13:40] herman Bergson: He worked only for six days indeed CB

[13:41] herman Bergson: if you take into account that the universe is billions of years old

[13:41] Jack Lust (jacklust): but no matter how poor you are,  the preachers still want your money

[13:41] CB Axel: That's still 6 days longer than Trump has ever worked.

[13:41] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): laughs

[13:42] herman Bergson: So ..the question did power emerge  in society and how did mankind handle it.....

[13:42] herman Bergson: We'll dig into that in a next lecture ^_^

[13:43] Jack Lust (jacklust): so we know power makes them look down on question is: why do the powerless vote for them anyway, even against their better judgment?

[13:43] CB Axel: How power emerged might answer that.

[13:43] herman Bergson: BEcause they feel protected by the bully Jack

[13:43] herman Bergson: is like children in a schoolyard

[13:43] Jack Lust (jacklust): can it be that simple?

[13:43] CB Axel: Or the mafia

[13:44] herman Bergson: could be, yes

[13:44] herman Bergson: Just have a look at the works of Frans de Waal

[13:45] herman Bergson: his study of chimp societies and their politics

[13:46] herman Bergson:'re so may of course...but how are you after this discussion

[13:46] Gaby Pantini (gabypantini): well...

[13:47] Gaby Pantini (gabypantini): well... I'm new here... sorry my english... it seems everyone's mind is going in the same direction so... why don't we try to think in the opposite way for a moment? I agree that power corrupts

[13:47] Gaby Pantini (gabypantini): I mean... something with need to try change direction to see new things

[13:47] Gaby Pantini (gabypantini): I think that power corrupts of course but... don't it have another side of the coin?

[13:47] herman Bergson: I a way it is pretty annoying that most of us here think the same :-)))

[13:48] herman Bergson: Flip the coin Gaby

[13:48] CB Axel: I think we discourage more conservative thinkers from joining us.

[13:48] Gaby Pantini (gabypantini): well.. in the company I work when everyone agree with the same thing... we try to force someone to defend "the other side" by purpose... to bring new things. to force us think differently

[13:49] Gaby Pantini (gabypantini): but I'm afraid my english is too poor to help in that matter

[13:49] herman Bergson: Yes a way...but they can speak as out loud as you can.....equal rights here

[13:49] Jack Lust (jacklust): playinf Devil's Advocate

[13:49] Jack Lust (jacklust): as it were

[13:49] Gaby Pantini (gabypantini): something like that

[13:49] herman Bergson: Lawyer of the Devil we call that

[13:50] Jack Lust (jacklust): but it is a good point.  The other side of the coin being lack of power?

[13:50] herman Bergson: This is a philosophy class...not a political group...

[13:50] Jack Lust (jacklust): or the people who do good thing with their power?

[13:51] CB Axel: The other side of the coin for this group would be arguing that power does not corrupt, I guess.

[13:51] herman Bergson: that it happens to be that some views are held  by a majority doesn't change the obligation to come up with good arguments for tyour views

[13:51] Jack Lust (jacklust): I would say Bill Gates is a good example

[13:51] Jack Lust (jacklust): he has enormous wealth and probably power if he wanted it

[13:51] herman Bergson: He has, JAck

[13:52] Gaby Pantini (gabypantini): well.. good point.. there was people in power who did good things. who worked for a minority... and sometimes people that took hard decisions for a greater thing.

[13:52] Gaby Pantini (gabypantini): I'm not focusing in the political thing but in the power context only

[13:52] herman Bergson: Arguing that power does NOT corrupt is impossible CB, due to empirical evidence

[13:52] herman Bergson: Gaby, your English is as bad as mine :-)

[13:52] Jack Lust (jacklust): so maybe power just enhances the traits, for better or worse

[13:52] herman Bergson: I am Dutch

[13:53] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): and better than mine:)

[13:53] CB Axel: That could be, Jack.

[13:53] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Dutch too

[13:53] herman Bergson: sonot a native speaker

[13:53] Gaby Pantini (gabypantini): well... corrupts most times lead to money but actually there is no power without money. isn't it a link? no matter your title. money tells the rule

[13:53] CB Axel: But I'm afraid I have to leave. I have a Zoom meeting to get to. :(

[13:53] Gaby Pantini (gabypantini): you can have a town... if the unique company in the town is mine, who really owns the town?

[13:53] CB Axel: I'll read the rest of your discussion on the blog.

[13:53]  Łîly Łŭsŧ (lily11223355): I agree Gabby

[13:53] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): take care CB

[13:53] herman Bergson: We'll miss you CB.....

[13:54] Gaby Pantini (gabypantini): tc

[13:54] herman Bergson: There is a definite relation between power and money...

[13:54] Gaby Pantini (gabypantini): so corruption is almost a needed trait for power

[13:54] Gaby Pantini (gabypantini): maybe not a consequence

[13:55] herman Bergson: which aludes to what I'll talk about next time.....the consequences of private property

[13:55] Jack Lust (jacklust): "get off my lawn!"

[13:55] herman Bergson: there is your power, Jack ^_^

[13:55] herman Bergson whispers: Send your dog after them!

[13:56] herman Bergson: .

[13:57] herman Bergson: Last time I even referred to neurological evidence that power affects  brain processes in a negative way

[13:58] herman Bergson: There are a lot of movies about companies owning a town Gaby :-)

[13:58] herman Bergson: I recall a Western with Larry Hackman.....

[13:59] Gaby Pantini (gabypantini): hehe well... I think that there's power relationships everywhere. even in this room... so maybe we can measure it... maybe some people need too little to become a dictator idk. like people with problems in their own home.

[13:59] Gaby Pantini (gabypantini): I feel that power can corrupt yes... but I "want to believe" that some ppl can use it right

[14:00] Jack Lust (jacklust): for some, it takes very little to become a dictator, some even dream of it

[14:00] Jack Lust (jacklust): but others don't want that power

[14:00] Gaby Pantini (gabypantini): well good point

[14:00] herman Bergson: Definitely Gaby....I even believe that most people use it right

[14:00] Jack Lust (jacklust): no matter how rich they are

[14:00] Gaby Pantini (gabypantini): power also bring bad things

[14:01] Gaby Pantini (gabypantini): if you have power you have responsibilities... even that just for keep the power

[14:01] Jack Lust (jacklust): but I still wonder why people follow those bad ones

[14:01] herman Bergson: Our main claim in this project is that most people are OK....

[14:01] herman Bergson: logically that means that this also applies to people in power I'd say

[14:01] Gaby Pantini (gabypantini): I think that bad or good it's a small line. if we think about black and white... we're being a little innocent. everything is grey

[14:01] Jack Lust (jacklust): and most world leaders are decent people

[14:02] herman Bergson: Problem is, that it is YOUR "bad" JAck, not theirsd

[14:02] Gaby Pantini (gabypantini): even good things can bring real bad consequences

[14:02] Gaby Pantini (gabypantini): and sometimes bad actions avoid the war

[14:02] Jack Lust (jacklust): but it seems the bad ones are getting more popular these days

[14:02] Gaby Pantini (gabypantini): who are we to decide what's right on those matters?

[14:02] herman Bergson: Human Rights...

[14:03] Gaby Pantini (gabypantini): human rights... well... my country has a lot of this...

[14:03] herman Bergson: We agreed on that in Geneva

[14:03] Jack Lust (jacklust): if you're stomping on people's rights, then it's not a good solution

[14:03] Gaby Pantini (gabypantini): today in Brazil killing a man gives you 1 year in jail while killing a bird 40 years...

[14:04] Jack Lust (jacklust): smoking weed carries the death penalty in some places

[14:04] Gaby Pantini (gabypantini): we've 60 k deaths a year and human rights keep defending the criminals (it's more than a war)

[14:04] herman Bergson: Then I prefer Animal Rights in Brazil :-)

[14:04] Jack Lust (jacklust): so does being anteist

[14:04] Gaby Pantini (gabypantini): I mean... everything should be limited. even good things

[14:04] Jack Lust (jacklust): atheist*

[14:05] herman Bergson: Well....

[14:05] herman Bergson: Thank you for your comments Gaby

[14:05] herman Bergson: Great...

[14:05] Gaby Pantini (gabypantini): ty for the chance

[14:05] herman Bergson: Let's prepare for the next lecture

[14:05] herman Bergson: Everyone is free to speak out in my class

[14:06] herman Bergson: Thank you all again...great discussion....

[14:06] herman Bergson: Class dismissed.....

[14:06] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Thank you Herman

[14:06] Jack Lust (jacklust): thanks everyone, it was a good discussion!

[14:06]  Łîly Łŭsŧ (lily11223355): Thanks Herman and all

[14:07] herman Bergson: One of the best discussion ever here, I'd say...

[14:07] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Gemma missed a lot

[14:07] bergfrau Apfelbaum: danke! Herman and class:-)

[14:08] herman Bergson: She did Beertje !