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 rich...it was God who gave you that....he had elected you...

[13:28] herman Bergson: when you are poor...it 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 politics...now 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 Jack...you 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 remains....how 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 others...my 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: gaby...you're so silent....you 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 agree....in 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 CB....in 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 !

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