Tuesday, January 19, 2021

894: En route to rediscover the Community....

 Over the past thirty years, the influence of liberal thinking has grown strongly. In any case, we started to pursue more individual freedom of movement in many areas. 


One of the most striking examples is the enormous growth of Self-employed Without Personnel" and a decrease in permanent employment contracts. 


This endeavor had positive consequences, but less positive consequences gained weight as the years progressed, such as increasing income insecurity for workers. 


In the past ten years, in particular, a kind of dissatisfaction has arisen in broad sections of the population that cannot be resolved with extra money or specific measures. 


The unease is more related to the idea that people are less and less interested in each other, as we mentioned in a previous lecture, that they are constantly busy with themselves, 


that the tensions between rich and poor are increasing and that norms and values mean less and less. 


We have seen the latter in a presidential fashion for the past four years. Many seem to long for a community of a social or national nature, 


where there is well cared for sick, elderly, or vulnerable people and where strangers are welcome to a limited extent, provided that they adapt to existing customs. 


For some time now, this desire for community has mainly been articulated by right-wing populist parties and movements, with the result that they see their support increase, which we have discussed in the previous lecture.


Many find this a dangerous development, not only when it takes an extreme form and, for example, leads to right-wing radicalism, 


but also when it leads to a moderate form of nationalism or when one wants to emphasize the values ​​of social majorities, such as those of white supremacists. 


This is all at odds with the liberal agenda of individual freedom, social dynamics and cultural diversity that people in the West have come to cherish in recent decades. 


Nevertheless, two questions arise. First, the philosophical question of how we want to see human life. 


Do we accept the liberal axiom that people are, or even should be, independent and free individuals in the first place or do we think that people always pursue some form of the community? 


Second, there is the empirical question of whether forming a community is still realistic today. It may be that liberalization and individualization has now progressed to the point 


where we must abandon any desire for communities of a social or national nature as an illusion. 


Interesting in this context is the "invention" of the term "informal care (mantelzorg)" in the Netherlands. 


This is unpaid and often long-term care for sick family members or friends. 


In fact, it was a means of economizing on the care provided by the government, and which was then based on a supposed social community and sense of community. 


Over the past thirty years, the influence of liberal thinking has increased sharply and now we are slowly but surely discovering that something is missing in that thinking.

Thank you for your attention...



MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
Gabriel van den Brink:"Ruw Ontwaken uit een Neoliberale Droom",, 2020

The Discussion

[13:19] herman Bergson: I want to add something that crossed my mind.....

[13:20] herman Bergson: The difference between China and the West.....

[13:21] herman Bergson: In China the community comes first, the family group, the country as a community....in the West the individual comes first.......this may be the future confrontation of cultures.

[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the big issue with china is that no one wants anything to do with them anymore since they believe all Chinese companies spy for the Chinese government in their attempt to take over the entire world

[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): at least all its business

[13:22] CB Axel: In China the individual is a piece of a puzzle. In the East the individual is the puzzle?

[13:23] herman Bergson: Are we past the point that we still can return to a sense of community.....instead of right wing nationalism?

[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but yes the culture in general is very different

[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): question is wich is the "right way"

[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but i say none is the right way

[13:24] CB Axel: Herman, I think the majority of people want a sense of community, but the right wing takes it too far.

[13:24] herman Bergson: The Chinese are very active in Africa....

[13:24] herman Bergson: In the US this too far is called white supremacy, I guess

[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): stealing all their resources instead of giving Africa their own chance to develop as nation

[13:25] CB Axel: And on the moon, Herman. I think recent Chinese exploration is an attempt to exploit the moon's resources.

[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i want to see "Made in Africa" soon on a product like a gadget or similar

[13:25] CB Axel: Africa is not a nation.

[13:26] herman Bergson: They have taken over Kenia

[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): NO INDEED BUT,

[13:26] CB Axel: Uganda was just holding an election. I wonder how that turned out.


[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cksdjncklcvjksljalsfjCAPS

[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well i don't know a solution though

[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): all i can see is that neither neoliberalism or populism are good ways

[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): there have to be some other solution

[13:27] herman Bergson: One solution is to keep asking questions Bejiita

[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): or is that utopia?

[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaaa

[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): true

[13:28] herman Bergson: Fact is that there is a growing awareness that this focus on the economy and economic growth is becoming a end street

[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cant there be a way to get that everyone os forever happy lala land?

[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): or just a dream?

[13:29] herman Bergson: What kind of nonsense is this? ( Avatar suddenly deformed )

[13:29] CB Axel: What nonsense? Happiness?

[13:29] herman Bergson: Deforming the avatar is sooooo outdated

[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): got deformed?

[13:30] herman Bergson: You didn't see that my avatar was deformed?

[13:30] bergfrau Apfelbaum: yes lol

[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): no just that u stood up

[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but was typing at same time

[13:30] herman Bergson: Well..ok...someone had his fun, I guess :-))

[13:31] herman Bergson: Good luck with it ^_^

[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe

[13:31] herman Bergson: Or was it a right wing attack on free speech here in class?

[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): at least you did not have to relog, often when that have happened to me only solution have been to relog

[13:31] bergfrau Apfelbaum: maybe you pressed the wrong button

[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:32] herman Bergson: Let say it was that Bergie :-)

[13:32] bergfrau Apfelbaum: lol ok

[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): (looks outside for mob attacking classroom)

[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): nope no angry mob out there

[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:32] herman Bergson: Always keep in mind that most people are OK :-)

[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): true true

[13:33] herman Bergson: For the future there will be some big issues to deal with....

[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): to get my beloved LALA land if thats ever possible

[13:33] herman Bergson: the economic and cultural confrontation with China....

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): just want all to be happy and have a great life

[13:34] herman Bergson: The durability of neoliberal economics

[13:34] bergfrau Apfelbaum: me too Bejiita

[13:34] herman Bergson: Regaining a sense of social cohesion and community...

[13:35] herman Bergson: It sounds simple Bejiita.....

[13:35] herman Bergson: but suppose that you see a great life as the ability to enjoy free speech for instance.....

[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): populists want to suppress that

[13:36] herman Bergson: in a lot of countries such a great life isn't possible...(China again)

[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): inded

[13:36] CB Axel: I think social cohesion is more difficult in the US, because it's population has always had to include people of all races and ideologies.

[13:36] herman Bergson: Not just populists....Putin too

[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes indeed

[13:37] herman Bergson: Even Trump, by declaring all free press enemies of the people and fake news

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): as i cal him Pruttin (Fartin)

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yep

[13:38] herman Bergson: The quitessence of politics is this eternal debate about WHAT a great life means :-)

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): same method used by 2 different strategies at different ends, that says it all, none of them is a solution

[13:38] herman Bergson: Is it our individualistic life?

[13:38] herman Bergson: Is it healthcare for all?

[13:38] herman Bergson: name it.....

[13:38] CB Axel: Not only what a great life means  but who's entitled to a great life.

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): it is like a comparison with chemistry. both strong acids and bases burn u bad but neutral(in the middle) is nice and harmless

[13:39] herman Bergson: Indeed ...even that seems debatable, CB

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): neoliberalism = acid and populism = base

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): u can say

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): an analogy

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): sort of

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): just a thing i came up with now

[13:40] Somedirtycat Saule: A greatevlife meansbjust not different things for different people. It varies greatly during lifetime.

[13:40] Somedirtycat Saule: *spelling....

[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i cant spell either, guess a bit tired

[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:41] CB Axel: True, Saule.

[13:41] herman Bergson: Interesting Saule...a toddler isn't interested in freedom of speech or political opinion indeed ^_^

[13:41] Somedirtycat Saule: but tis was really bad.

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa yes

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): it just want to be happy and alive

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and have food

[13:41] CB Axel: Toddlers have freedom speech. Have you ever tried to shut one up?

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and be more happy

[13:41] herman Bergson: What was bad, Saule?

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:42] herman Bergson: Got a point CB :-))

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa and they want to explore everything

[13:42] Somedirtycat Saule: My spelling herman

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): a basic human drive

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well all alive things do that i guess, we have a little dog at work and is just like that, happy exploring and playful

[13:43] Somedirtycat Saule: To weight free speak against more material pandering.

[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and she loves me

[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cause im also nice

[13:43] herman Bergson: Who doesn't Bejiita ^_^

[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well we all are at that place

[13:43] bergfrau Apfelbaum: great life = no hunger and no wars

[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:43] bergfrau Apfelbaum: ....and a fast internet! :-)

[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes

[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): haha indeed

[13:44] herman Bergson: Well....

[13:44] herman Bergson: I guess you have enough to think about for the weekend now.....

[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and to get that a clean,stable and unlimited supply of electricity (fusion?)

[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:44] herman Bergson: So...start with a great weekend....then life will be great too :-)

[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): YAY! (yay!)

[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeeed

[13:44] bergfrau Apfelbaum: yay

[13:45] herman Bergson: Thank you all again for your participation....

[13:45] bergfrau Apfelbaum: thank you Herman and class:-)

[13:45] herman Bergson: Class dismissed.....enjoy ^_^

[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:45] Somedirtycat Saule: Bye

[13:45] CB Axel: I'll probably have to spend my weekend shoveling snow and chipping away ice. :(

[13:45] herman Bergson: Bye Saule

[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): (throws hilti and snowblower to CB)

[13:45] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman and class.

[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed its a hell of work to keep driveways clean

[13:46] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Thank you Herman

[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): shall we

[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): * PLUPP *

[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): on that?

[13:46] CB Axel: Bejiita, I think I'll need a flame thrower. We keep getting freezing rain and sleet that gets covered with snow. :(

[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): before sleep

[13:46] herman Bergson: and an applause for the artist in the classroom.....Lady Jane :-)

[13:46] herman Bergson:  ♪ ♪   APPLAUSE    ♪ ♪ 

[13:46] CB Axel: :)

[13:46] CB Axel:     ҉    ҉αρραυѕє     ҉    ҉

[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): brrrr

[13:46] CB Axel: Thank you for the picture, M'Lady.

[13:46] bergfrau Apfelbaum: i love to shovel snow :-)) but no snow here

[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well i got a small one today to thaw my constantly frozen up garage door lock

[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): not fun when its just time to go to work

[13:47] CB Axel: And now I'm off to start making something to eat and testing a media stream.

[13:47] CB Axel: I'll see you all next week. Bye.

[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa cu CB

[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:47] herman Bergson: Enjoy CB^_^

[13:47] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): bye CB take care

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