Tuesday, May 3, 2022

998: Amazing HIS- STORY.....


A week or so ago I heard a peculiar statement from an American senator. It made me frown. On the other hand, I immediately recognized it and saw how perfectly it fits our project.


I did some research and stumbled on an article in SLATE. It is a daily magazine on the web and podcast network. Founded in 1996, a general-interest publication 


offering analysis and commentary about politics, news, business, technology, and culture, related to the Washington Post.


The article was by Joshua Keating and titled "The Real Reason Why Republicans Keep Saying “We’re a Republic, Not a Democracy”.


QUOTE- Sen. Mike Lee of Utah tweeted, simply, “We’re not a democracy.” He later followed up, “Democracy isn’t the objective; liberty, peace, and prosperity are. We want the human condition to flourish. Rank democracy can thwart that.” (...)


An even more extreme position was staked out, a few days before Lee, by Loren Culp, the long-shot  Republican candidate for governor of Washington, 


who said in a recent interview that “democracy is mob rule” and that “famous Chinese leaders like Mao Zedong and Mikhail Gorbachev 


loved democracy because democracy is a step toward socialism, which is a step towards communism.”


To discuss this latest anti-democratic turn, I spoke with filmmaker and author Astra Taylor, who in the 2018 documentary "What Is Democracy?"  


and the 2019 companion book "Democracy May Not Exist, but We’ll Miss It When It’s Gone" took a critical look at what true democracy would look like, and how closely our societies measure up to that ideal.  - END QUOTE


It was as if she was talking about the political situation of the moment.... I mean our current moment in the project 1850. Brilliant and amazing in my opinion.


QUOTE - That is a phrase that is uttered by people who, looking back on the sweep of American history, see themselves as safely at the center of the narrative, 


and typically they see their present privileges under threat. And so, they want to shore up the privileges that they possess, and they’re looking for a sort of historic hook. (...)


I think you’re seeing a real shift in conservative rhetoric because they are giving up on winning majorities. (...)


It’s figuring out how to maintain dominance with a minority of support. And so, in that sense, I think the rhetoric is really telling. It’s a way of rationalizing the further entrenchment of minority rule. - END QUOTE


Next lecture I'll look into it in more detail, but imagine the following situation. You belong to the wealthy elite. You are wealthy because you are a big landowner.


Your world is changing. Due to the Industrial Revolution value isn't anymore created by owning land but by production and consumption.


This value is created by the uneducated masses who live in degrading conditions, poverty, and exploitation, but the elite has seen what revolutions can do.


So they are trying to construct a society that protects their privileges and wealth while also throwing some crumbs to the masses by allowing a little suffrage in the name of democracy.


What was a topical political struggle in those days is today once again dragged into the political arena by anti-democrats.


Next lecture I'll show you the historical context and coherence.


Thank you again for your attention....here is the link to the article.



Main Sources:

MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition

Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
Annelien de Dijn: "Freedom. An unruly history".  2020

TABLE OF CONTENT -----------------------------------------------------------------  

  1 - 100 Philosophers                         9 May 2009  Start of

  2 - 25+ Women Philosophers                       10 May 2009  this blog

  3 - 25 Adventures in Thinking                       10 May 2009

  4 - Modern Theories of Ethics                       29 Oct  2009

  5 - The Ideal State                                               24 Febr 2010   /   234

  6 - The Mystery of the Brain                                  3 Sept 2010   /   266

  7 - The Utopia of the Free Market                       16 Febr 2012    /   383

  8. - The Aftermath of Neo-liberalism                      5 Sept 2012   /   413

  9. - The Art Not to Be an Egoist                             6 Nov  2012   /   426                        

10  - Non-Western Philosophy                               29 May 2013    /   477

11  -  Why Science is Right                                      2 Sept 2014   /   534      

12  - A Philosopher looks at Atheism                        1 Jan  2015   /   557

13  - EVIL, a philosophical investigation                 17 Apr  2015   /   580                

14  - Existentialism and Free Will                             2 Sept 2015   /   586         

15 - Spinoza                                                             2 Sept 2016   /   615

16 - The Meaning of Life                                        13 Febr 2017   /   637

17 - In Search of  my Self                                        6 Sept 2017   /   670

18 - The 20th Century Revisited                              3 Apr  2018    /   706

19 - The Pessimist                                                  11 Jan 2020    /   819

20 - The Optimist                                                     9 Febr 2020   /   824

21 - Awakening from a Neoliberal Dream                8 Oct  2020   /   872

22 - A World Full of Patterns                                    1 Apr 2021    /   912

23 - The Concept of Freedom                                  8 Jan 2022    /   965

The Discussion

[13:12] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): And so they try make democracy look like a bad thing by making it equal to communism

[13:13] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): to protect their power and wealth

[13:13] herman Bergson: Ok...now I have a question for you......

[13:13] herman Bergson: not really bejiita

[13:14] herman Bergson: Which of these texts behind me tells you that the speaker prefers a kind of autocracy or ruling by the elite?

[13:15] herman Bergson: Anyone?

[13:15] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm

[13:16] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): tricky

[13:16] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): that girl on the left

[13:17] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): making it hard to vote , that sounds indeed like ...

[13:17] herman Bergson: Yes indeed Beertje.....that one too :-))

[13:17] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): only for the rich?

[13:17] herman Bergson: For me the most dangerous text is the one that begins with [Democracy]

[13:17] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): who can afford the most elite education

[13:18] bergfrau Apfelbaum is offline.

[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaaa yes those [] indeed change it all

[13:19] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the mob rule statement also

[13:19] herman Bergson: The man says that it is a special power of the government to REFLEXIVELY carry out the wil if the majority

[13:19] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): all sounds off

[13:19] herman Bergson: Same intention indeed Bejiita

[13:19] herman Bergson: What does he mean by reflexively?

[13:20] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed a very strange term

[13:20] herman Bergson: He makes a distinction between executing the wil of the majority and the wil of the government

[13:20] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i guess he mean that we "the mob" talks and they should just carry out whatever we say

[13:21] herman Bergson: the reflex is to follow the wil of the majority.....

[13:21] herman Bergson: but he suggest that that is actually a (stupid) reflex...

[13:21] herman Bergson: the government can also follow its own wil

[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes sounds like that for mem also

[13:22] herman Bergson: and it goes back to the old conviction that democracy is the dictatorship of the majority

[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah

[13:23] herman Bergson: and to prevent that you need an independent ruler..tyrant, dictator...the dream of Trump...Putin

[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): (shudders)

[13:24] herman Bergson: We have discussed that distinction between civil and political freedom time and again

[13:24] herman Bergson: But that was when it was fiercely debated since the French revolution in 1789

[13:24] herman Bergson: But today it is 2022

[13:25] herman Bergson: ohh...sorry...these pictures are from 2022, my mistake to say 2021

[13:25] herman Bergson: these texts are from a few weeks ago....

[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well today the tyrants are trying to take over the world and the world destroyer Putin and Trump for ex are best buddies and what to make sure they both get the power

[13:26] herman Bergson: When a coup d'etat in the US tried to establish an anti democratic authocratic regime under Trump

[13:26] herman Bergson: yes Bejiita....

[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and then NUKE THE WORLD BOOOM BOOOM!

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

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

[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): so many forces try to threaten freedom nowadays

[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): going in wrong direction

[13:27] herman Bergson: That makes little sense because it also leaves nothing for the autocrats and elites too

[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I hope that in the end keeps them from actually using the nukes

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

[13:27] herman Bergson: I hope so too

[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): power hungry maniacs with no limits

[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): threatening the freedom

[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): freedom

[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i hope it soon turns around in right direction again

[13:28] herman Bergson: another interesting issue is what this Mike lee says....

[13:29] herman Bergson: The objective is liberty, peace and prosperity.......

[13:30] herman Bergson: Sounds nice, but what he leaves out as a key value of democracy is EQUALITY and equal chances

[13:30] herman Bergson: This is the typical story of civil freedom....

[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): democracy can thwart that, what does he mean by this, that only under an elite ruler can this be achieved and not with democracy?

[13:31] herman Bergson: do your thing and be happy and don't trouble yourself with real government and politics

[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well stuff like this make my head spin faster then the LHC is doing at the moment

[13:31] herman Bergson: Yes Bejiita...that sentence puzzles me too...

[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): in the end

[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its soooo messy

[13:31] herman Bergson: oola can you help out?

[13:31] oola Neruda: not really... sorry

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

[13:32] herman Bergson: what I read is that he says...Ranking democracies can block that...

[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): what he says in short i guess is democracy is bad and threatend freedom

[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): when its the other way

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

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

[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): as said head spinny

[13:33] herman Bergson: I say a ranking of democracies..the US was on place 36  and qualified as deficient democracy

[13:34] herman Bergson: The Netherlands was at place 7

[13:34] herman Bergson: Denmark was number 1

[13:34] herman Bergson: with 0.5 more points than number 7 :-)

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): where is Sweden?

[13:36] herman Bergson: somewhere in the top 10 too, if I remember correctly...

[13:36] herman Bergson: just google "ranking democracies" and you'll find the data

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

[13:36] bergfrau Apfelbaum: swedenm is 4

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

[13:37] herman Bergson: ok :-)

[13:37] herman Bergson: The Dutch are a bit sloppy then :-)

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

[13:38] herman Bergson: But the scary part of the story behind me is that what you read there is indeed a highway to autocracy

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): (shudders again)

[13:39] herman Bergson: and they are Republican politicians in the US who are propagating these ideas

[13:39] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): is that what the people of the US want?

[13:39] oola Neruda: NO

[13:40] herman Bergson: The country that said it was an example of Free Democracy....the leader of the world

[13:40] herman Bergson: I had a weird idea today.....

[13:40] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): why voting for a republican then?

[13:40] herman Bergson: that was what I was  wondering about indeed Beertje...

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): The trumpers I guess

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i don't know

[13:41] herman Bergson: Strictly speaking there is a democratic /independent majority in the US....Yet Republicans....the minority yet wins and grabs the political power...how can that be?

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i don't have all details how it works over there other then its way different from here

[13:42] herman Bergson: Are democrats too lazy to vote....don't they see the dangers?

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): that sounds not logical at all indeed

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): bribing?

[13:42] oola Neruda: they are being gerrymandered

[13:42] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): lack of education I guess

[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa yes the gerrymandering thing

[13:43] herman Bergson: Don't they think: WE have to save our democracy?

[13:43] herman Bergson: help us out oola :-)

[13:44] oola Neruda: I wish I could.... Trump's alliance with FOX NEWS ... who aims at people who have less education and less money.... is perhaps a big part of it

[13:45] oola Neruda: their "news license' does not exist... their license is for entertainment and Ailes is a friend of Trump from way back

[13:46] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): seems to me the news in russia

[13:46] oola Neruda: The viewers have been through a lot of problems throughout the ages... since the civil war especially...

[13:47] oola Neruda: and they resent .... a lot of things... primarily that which keeps them economically and educationally ... famished

[13:47] oola Neruda: trump appeals to them

[13:47] oola Neruda: and FOX helps fire it

[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the god ool safe times

[13:47] herman Bergson: But is that a majority in the US?

[13:47] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): but still the reps are in minority

[13:47] oola Neruda: racism is part of it

[13:48] oola Neruda: and the idea of loosing what jobs they have... to Blacks or immigrants...

[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well Trump is on the racists side for sure

[13:49] herman Bergson: But keep in mind that these same debates also raged in 1850......and here we are again....!

[13:49] herman Bergson: the same arguments....

[13:49] oola Neruda: i was in Tennessee while i was gone... stood in line with southern men at the grocery... the back of their necks were literally red... from sunburn

[13:49] oola Neruda: but I was told not to say the word out loud because it is like blasphemy there

[13:49] herman Bergson: I thought Texans were Red Necks

[13:49] oola Neruda: southerners in general

[13:50] oola Neruda: may i say... a lot of trumpers

[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah

[13:50] herman Bergson: they should prefer orange :-)

[13:50] oola Neruda: they have a culture of resentment

[13:50] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): lol Herman

[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hahaha

[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes

[13:50] herman Bergson: Well....

[13:51] oola Neruda: there is a lack of good education

[13:51] herman Bergson: what you have seen today is how history repeats itself

[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): for the worse

[13:51] oola Neruda: resentment towards those who are educated

[13:51] herman Bergson: at least in the US

[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok

[13:51] herman Bergson: Yes oola....

[13:51] herman Bergson: Thank you for your comments

[13:52] oola Neruda: their idea of freedom is not the same...

[13:52] herman Bergson: Next lecture I'll try to show you how history is as is today

[13:53] oola Neruda: I cannot speak for those who have been n the armed services... how they see patriotism... perhaps that is personal ... each his own ideas

[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): might be indeed oola

[13:53] herman Bergson: Well..let's relax again.....

[13:54] herman Bergson: all this might upset you somewhat...

[13:54] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:54] herman Bergson: Thank you all again.....

[13:54] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Thank you Herman

[13:54] herman Bergson: Class dismissed....

[13:54] bergfrau Apfelbaum: thanks for the interesting lecture, Herman and class. i have to go to bed because I have to get up early! happy weekend * see you :-)

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