A Conversation With Simone Weil

Discussion of articles that appear in the magazine.

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Harbal
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Re: A Conversation With Simone Weil

Post by Harbal » Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:52 pm

Nick_A wrote: You seem to suffer from Xenophobia.
What, as well as being a misogynist? Does this mean I have an aversion to foreign women?
It isn't your fault
Who do you think is to blame?
You may outgrow it
Well I'm only 61 years old so there may still be time.
but I do hope it all works out for the best.
Thank you, Nick. I hope things work out for you too, regarding your mental condition.

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Re: A Conversation With Simone Weil

Post by Nick_A » Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:59 pm

Harbal wrote:
Nick_A wrote: You seem to suffer from Xenophobia.
What, as well as being a misogynist? Does this mean I have an aversion to foreign women?
It isn't your fault
Who do you think is to blame?
You may outgrow it
Well I'm only 61 years old so there may still be time.
but I do hope it all works out for the best.
Thank you, Nick. I hope things work out for you too, regarding your mental condition.

No, it means you have a fear of influential and or powerful women in general. They don't have to be foreign. You are never to old to learn. You can conquer this fear. It may have been the fault of television but regardless you can outgrow this phobia.

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Re: A Conversation With Simone Weil

Post by Greta » Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:06 pm

Nick_A wrote:No, it means you have a fear of influential and or powerful women in general.
Certainly about half of the US appear to be afflicted with this hangup.

Note: young Alfie here is British and just yanking your chain.

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Re: A Conversation With Simone Weil

Post by Nick_A » Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:31 pm

Greta wrote:
Meanwhile I note that you are a strong advocate of increased religious conditioning of children in schools. Is conditioning only okay when it's of the "right" variety?
I believe the school day should begin with a moment of silence. Do you call that religious conditioning? What is religious conditioning?
You posit the self serving nature of modern institutions in their interactions with individuals as intrinsically corrupt. Rather, you seem to expect a parental style society that helps its individuals grow beyond the qualities required by that society. Why would it do that? Economic rationalism decrees that individuals should be trained just enough, no more.
Do you distinguish between economic and psychological freedom. Secular politics and forms of secular religion create psychological slavery while the essence of religion promotes psychological freedom to “see.” Are you open to the difference?

The Great Beast is content with the status quo. It has no incentive to change and considers questions concerning its self importance as too insulting to consider. Everything remains the same regardless of the finest speeches.

The collective worships itself while the true individual recognizes something greater than themselves the Beast can no longer appreciate

This is an important topic and in respect to some philosophy and religious students following this thread, it is only fair to add this Simone Weil article to the one on the OP. Otherwise it is really hard to ponder the effect of the Beast on the development of objective humanity and to put social activism into a sane perspective. If you are a student and can put this all together you will either get an A or be kicked out of school. No cutsey pooh middle of the road here

http://www.hermitary.com/solitude/weil.html
…………..Weil on Society
Weil's analysis of social, economic, and political issues, in essays such as "Sketch of Contemporary Social Life," "Analysis of Oppression," "The Need for Roots," and "The Great Beast" skillfully employ the methodologies of Marxian sociology and anarchist thought plus her own clear thinking: a post-modern or post-ideological point of view. She presents a grand critique of modern civilization and the dominant ideologies of her time: fascism, communism, anarchism, capitalism. This lays the foundation for an understanding of the present while pointing prophetically to the future.
In "Sketch of Contemporary Social Life" (1934), Weil develops the theme of collectivism as the trajectory of modern culture.
“Never has the individual been so completely delivered up to a blind collectivity, and never have men been so less capable, not only of subordinating their actions to their thoughts, but even of thinking.”
Weil is not defending the individual as laisse-faire atom but as subordinated to inimical modern forces by "production and consumption," with science, technology, labor, money, and social life turning historical means into corporate and collectivist ends.
“The inversion of the relation between means and ends -- an inversion which is to a certain extent the law of every oppressive society -- here becomes total or nearly so, and extends to nearly everything.”
Weil then analyzes the relationship between economics and the state, and militarism as an adjunct to extending economic control and social content to the goals of the powerful. Sometimes she uses Marxian or anarchist viewpoints to demonstrate her point; other times she uses them to demonstrate their failure to have anticipated the shrewdness of the capitalist elites and institutions to bypass and overcome the logical obstacles to their version of reality. With the modern spirit has come the systematization of accumulation, organization, and control of the range and relationships of all human activity. Power is concentrated and like a whirlpool absorbs every facet of life. Oppression is inevitably bound to productivity, efficiency, coercion. Productivity and progress, consumption, and limitless expansion of desire and power are all aspects of modern culture. And yet society revolts not against its own oppressors but against nature.
In an aphorism of "The Great Beast," Weil begins the transition from analyzing society to discovering a solution or antidote. Here her thoughts hearken to anthropological thinking circulating in the early twentieth century, which maintained that society is a project of individual relationships, a projection given life and meaning separate from those relationships, a projection to which power and thought and authority is renounced. This is not a renunciation to the fictional cooperative called "society" but to individuals as authorities, who then contrive the symbols, ploys, and coercive social structures. Anthropology called these "totems"--Weil does not use the term--which define God, religion, and the norms of society via the power of institutions to interpret and sanction.
According to Weil, the person's accession to society, the individual's renunciation of values to the collective as defined by a small group, is based on ignorance and fear, fear that without society (which is to say the state), people will collapse into crime and evil. The social and collective is seen as transcending individuals, as a supernatural entity from which nationalism and war is as normal as science, progress, and consumption. All of these evils are taking place simultaneously in a social context. The individual has probably never reflected on these issues at all, never acknowledged his or her degree of complicity in this system. But, say the apologist for the Great Beast, the individual need have no direct responsibility,
“The collective is the object of all idolatry, this it is which chains us to the earth. In the case of avarice, gold is the social order. In the case of ambition, power is the social order.”
Thus society itself is the Great Beast, not some particular product of society, not even the state, the mode of production, the capitalist class, or any other social product. The weight of humanity is a heavy and ponderous gravity, a force but a contrived force to which the individual remains oblivious………..

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Re: A Conversation With Simone Weil

Post by Harbal » Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:39 pm

Nick_A wrote:
No, it means you have a fear of influential and or powerful women in general.
And ugly women, don't forget Simone. :wink:

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Re: A Conversation With Simone Weil

Post by Nick_A » Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:54 pm

Harbal wrote:
Nick_A wrote:
No, it means you have a fear of influential and or powerful women in general.
And ugly women, don't forget Simone. :wink:
No, your Xenaphobia arouses a fear in you that compels you to safely ridicule anything within a given woman you would consider a fault. Face to face you will be gentle as a lamb. As soon as they leave, your Xenaphobia forces you to become nasty. The fact that you would never do this to Rick Lewis just demonstrates the extent of your condition.

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Re: A Conversation With Simone Weil

Post by Greta » Tue Feb 21, 2017 12:20 am

Must go for a walk now but a quick start:
Nick_A wrote:Greta wrote:
Meanwhile I note that you are a strong advocate of increased religious conditioning of children in schools. Is conditioning only okay when it's of the "right" variety?
I believe the school day should begin with a moment of silence. Do you call that religious conditioning? What is religious conditioning?
If that is what you had advocated on that other thread I would not have disagreed with you. You wanted considerably more religious influence and instruction in the classroom.
Nick_A wrote:
Greta wrote:There is a conflict of interest between society-at-large and the individual.

You posit the self serving nature of modern institutions in their interactions with individuals as intrinsically corrupt. Rather, you seem to expect a parental style society that helps its individuals grow beyond the qualities required by that society. Why would it do that? Economic rationalism decrees that individuals should be trained just enough, no more.
Do you distinguish between economic and psychological freedom. Secular politics and forms of secular religion create psychological slavery while the essence of religion promotes psychological freedom to “see.” Are you open to the difference?

The Great Beast is content with the status quo. It has no incentive to change and considers questions concerning its self importance as too insulting to consider. Everything remains the same regardless of the finest speeches.

The collective worships itself while the true individual recognizes something greater than themselves the Beast can no longer appreciate
Can you tell the difference between observation and advocacy?

In what way can you possibly suggest that I am advocating for the "status quo" (which does not exist anyway). How can you suggest that I favour the system over individuals? I do not understand your post in context - it's as though you are replying to some other post as it seems barely connected to mine.

If you reply to my actual post, then we can continue.

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Re: A Conversation With Simone Weil

Post by Nick_A » Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:30 am

Greta wrote:
In what way can you possibly suggest that I am advocating for the "status quo" (which does not exist anyway). How can you suggest that I favour the system over individuals? I do not understand your post in context - it's as though you are replying to some other post as it seems barely connected to mine.
Greta wrote:
There is a conflict of interest between society-at-large and the individual.

You posit the self serving nature of modern institutions in their interactions with individuals as intrinsically corrupt. Rather, you seem to expect a parental style society that helps its individuals grow beyond the qualities required by that society. Why would it do that? Economic rationalism decrees that individuals should be trained just enough, no more.

In truth, each entity - the collective and the individual - has a righteous case. This is a battle of rival goods - cohesion vs freedom - and the conflict ensures that neither "side" achieves an absolute result, which tends more to be "messy". Many worry about that 'messiness". I see it as SNAFU, which is fine.

From a personal POV, I've been happy enough to contribute my little bit and would never expect society to help me be an independent thinker. Quite the contrary. Becoming a free thinker was my personal job and it was achieved by swimming against the stream, not though ideals, just because I was compelled.
If people are trained enough to serve the state and nothng more, then the collective expression remains the status quo with only a change in image. Just the nature of their arguments and their intensity varies. It is like a pendulum. First it leans in one direction and then it changes to the other. The result is a middle called the status quo. You don’t provide any reason the result could be any different for humanity. The Great Beast is a creature of mechanical reaction. Like any other beast it responds to forces with both earthly and cosmic sources like the moon for example. A creature of reaction doesn't change for no reason. Tomorrow is the result of today. If nothing changes today then tomorrow will be the same.

People call themselves free thinkers. Then a group of free thinkers hit another group of free thinkers over the head with peace signs. After the waves subside everything once again strives towards the status quo. Do I have it right?

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Re: A Conversation With Simone Weil

Post by Greta » Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:19 am

Nick_A wrote:If people are trained enough to serve the state and nothng more, then the collective expression remains the status quo with only a change in image. Just the nature of their arguments and their intensity varies. It is like a pendulum. First it leans in one direction and then it changes to the other. The result is a middle called the status quo. You don’t provide any reason the result could be any different for humanity. The Great Beast is a creature of mechanical reaction. Like any other beast it responds to forces with both earthly and cosmic sources like the moon for example. A creature of reaction doesn't change for no reason. Tomorrow is the result of today. If nothing changes today then tomorrow will be the same.

People call themselves free thinkers. Then a group of free thinkers hit another group of free thinkers over the head with peace signs. After the waves subside everything once again strives towards the status quo. Do I have it right?
Why would you expect the state to teach you to think about all the things the state would rather you didn't think about? That would be lousy strategy from the state's POV. Conflict of interest, remember?

Why, as an individual, would you expect institutions to shoot themselves in the foot and cede power back to individuals? Mind you, many individuals effectively shoot themselves in the foot, being fooled by institutions into supporting and voting for them over their own interests. Hence the growing wealth gap. Institutions have enough brains to avoid such traps; they tend to retain their own self preserving focus much better than distractable individuals.

This is all to be expected - multicellular organisms dominated microbes just as humans have dominated other species, and now institutions - collective intelligence - is dominating individuals. My own approach is simple - "give to Caesar ..." and then try to slip under the radar with everything else. Tick the boxes and then please oneself.

I was not taught to "fly under the radar" an education system that is increasingly only of use vocationally (or maybe I was??). No education system has ever aimed to make people's minds more free, apart from maybe Steiner's and a few new-agey "progressive" systems. usually they aim to put information in students' heads that various experts have worked out will most likely be mutually useful - for student and the relevant industries alike. They work on the assumption that people are passionate about their work and will benefit from that learning.

However, there will always be ornery, contrary thinkers who do things their own way. Your term, "group of free thinkers", is an oxymoron. Non-existent, a straw person. Free thinkers are not usually the most enthusiastic "joiners".

As regards the mindset of humanity en masse, I expect that once humans suffer enough they will start learning from their mistakes. Human societies appear to not yet be mature enough to act positively without being forced. Nature will provide the force if we can't muster the moral fibre to operate more sustainably. Sustainability is important, not just practically, but the concept provides a moral lesson in consideration and cooperation.

So humans will either take more care with how they acquire and process energy or enough people will die and suffer for the message to get across. For a generation or two, anyway :)

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Re: A Conversation With Simone Weil

Post by Nick_A » Tue Feb 21, 2017 6:45 am

Greta wrote:
Why would you expect the state to teach you to think about all the things the state would rather you didn't think about? That would be lousy strategy from the state's POV. Conflict of interest, remember?

Why, as an individual, would you expect institutions to shoot themselves in the foot and cede power back to individuals? Mind you, many individuals effectively shoot themselves in the foot, being fooled by institutions into supporting and voting for them over their own interests. Hence the growing wealth gap. Institutions have enough brains to avoid such traps; they tend to retain their own self preserving focus much better than distractable individuals.
The question of the purpose of society captures the essence of our disagreement. Since this thread is about Simone, I’ll use her ideas to explain my idealistic view of society in contrast to what I believe is yours. From Simone Weil's Gravity and Grace:
The Great Beast [society, the collective] is the only object of idolatry, the only ersatz of God, the only imitation of something which is infinitely far from me and which is I myself.

It is impossible for me to take myself as an end or, in consequence, my fellow man as an end, since he is my fellow. Nor can I take a material thing, because matter is still less capable of having finality conferred upon it than human beings are.

Only one thing can be taken as an end, for in relation to the human person it possesses a kind of transcendence: this is the collective.
Secularism takes the Great Beast or society itself as the source of transcendent Man or the source of value. I think you appreciate society this way. It is the source and future of ultimate humanity. I appreciate society as having the potential to serve as an intermediary, a middle, between conscious reality and the Man Animal. In this way society appreciated as a middle receives from above and gives to below within itself. Plato referred to this middle as metaxu and I am grateful to Simone for reminding me of this extraordinary concept. From Wiki:

Metaxu: "Every separation is a link."
The concept of metaxu, which Weil borrowed from Plato, is that which both separates and connects (e.g., as a wall separates two prisoners but can be used to tap messages). This idea of connecting distance was of the first importance for Weil's understanding of the created realm. The world as a whole, along with any of its components, including our physical bodies, are to be regarded as serving the same function for us in relation to God that a blind man's stick serves for him in relation to the world about him. They do not afford direct insight, but can be used experimentally to bring the mind into practical contact with reality. This metaphor allows any absence to be interpreted as a presence, and is a further component in Weil's theodicy.
A super civilization IMO would reflect the values necessary to nourish the metaxu of its citizens. As it stands now, modern society seems to destroy them whenever possible. A super civilization wouldn’t create automatons to serve its animal nature but rather would contain the cultural quality necessary to inspire awakening to its purpose which is to consciously receive from above and give to below for the sake of its own preservation and conscious development. Society for you seems to be an end and for me it is a potential means, a middle, serving the process of conscious awakening for its individuals. I know in this day and age such an idea appears ludicrous to advocates of secularism. The Beast reigns supreme. Many techniques serving awakening would be considered religious indoctrination and get in the way of the Great Beast’s idolatry so would be denied as much as possible leading to many unfortunate premature spiritual deaths along the way.. But as usual, it is the young who suffer.

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Re: A Conversation With Simone Weil

Post by Greta » Tue Feb 21, 2017 12:19 pm

Nick_A wrote:A super civilization IMO would reflect the values necessary to nourish the metaxu of its citizens. As it stands now, modern society seems to destroy them whenever possible. A super civilization wouldn’t create automatons to serve its animal nature but rather would contain the cultural quality necessary to inspire awakening to its purpose which is to consciously receive from above and give to below for the sake of its own preservation and conscious development. Society for you seems to be an end and for me it is a potential means, a middle, serving the process of conscious awakening for its individuals. I know in this day and age such an idea appears ludicrous to advocates of secularism. The Beast reigns supreme. Many techniques serving awakening would be considered religious indoctrination and get in the way of the Great Beast’s idolatry so would be denied as much as possible leading to many unfortunate premature spiritual deaths along the way.. But as usual, it is the young who suffer.
To start, Nick, I'm not advocating any kind of society, although I'd like to see more sustainability, kindness etc. I'm not much of a Sims girl, not big of devising ideal societies.

Instead I just observe and note what I see. What I see is a conflict of interest between emerging institutions and individuals, with the latter seemingly increasingly like cattle to the former. Do I approve? I don't know. I doubt the dinosaurs would have approved of being wiped out, but their demise opened a window of opportunity for us to evolve.

So it goes. Nature isn't pretty but there's been continual steady improvement since the Hadean era, and that's good enough for me. The rate of change will seemingly take care of itself, hopefully rapid enough to get us out of the current sustainability mess.

Yes, today's institutions tend towards the selfish and primal, but it's still early days. Individual humans were once far less well behaved too. The journey from emergence to civility appears to a long and pitted one.

Do many people worship society? From what I've gathered attitudes range from utter antipathy to devout nationalism, the latter being closest to worship. Most seem to view society as a necessary evil, as living amongst annoying humans is preferable to living in an uncaring wild.

I really don't get this "worship society" idea. I don't worship anything or anyone. I don't feel this is disrespectful or proud as I feel love, respect, awe, gratitude and so on, but not worshipfulness. I don't decide not to worship either; it simply never occurs to me to be worshipful towards anything or anyone. Why would I? No one and nothing is perfect so why worship? If God exists it won't be perfect either, just better than us lot.

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Re: A Conversation With Simone Weil

Post by Nick_A » Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:26 pm

Greta, without a belief in a conscious Source, a person can only experience meaning from societal influences. In that sense they worship society or the Great Beast. It supplies meaning so is worshipped.

The Great Beast is as it is but why? Plato described the ideal society as like a balanced human being where head, heart, and body are a balanced harmonious whole. Since we are not like this and live out of balance society becomes a beast living in contradiction. From Elisabetta Rombi ‘imaginary conversation with Simone. There are many meaningful ideas worth contemplating in this conversation but to be brief, here is one:
“I also like what you wrote on the education of young people – most of all, your idea of getting beyond the division between physical labour and intellectual work.”
“Modern culture was born in an environment oriented towards technology and fragmented into specializations, and so has been devoid of any contact with the real and the supernatural worlds. Such a culture, deprived of its treasure, has been used to educate the masses! They try to teach what’s left of this culture to the unlucky, and to the ones who are most anxious to learn, just as though they were feeding chickens with seeds. Amongst all the forms of uprootedness, being uprooted from culture is the worst, the most alarming.”
“It’s true that your life and thought have been marked by the search for truth, a constant study where you confronted difficult books from both the Western and Eastern traditions, involving various disciplines, and oblivious of contradictions –”
“Our life is in itself an impossibility. Each desire stands in contradiction to the conditions or consequences related to it. Each sentence implies its opposite. Every feeling is confused with the contrary. We are a contradiction because we are creatures – because we are in God and enormously different from God. The contradiction is our poverty, and the feeling of poverty is the feeling of truth.”
Normally we are so involved with the problems of living that we fail to experience and admit what we are: a living contradiction. If this is true could Man as a society be other than a great beast incapable of opening to higher conscious influences making imagination take the place of objective reality? A serious discussion as to why we live in contradiction requires people willing to be open minded and humble. You won’t find them on philosophy forums. :) Simone’s great value is in raising these questions since she lived the struggle. She had the nerve and courage to witness her “being” rather than rationalize it. She invites us to question. If enough people felt the reality of their poverty and worked together to become more realistically human, perhaps everything would be different and the power of the Beast would be lessened. But this threatens the life and dominance of the beast which has no intention of allowing it on a large scale. The individual then has the potential to develop in ways impossible for the Beast. Who and what helps them since so much is against them?

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Re: A Conversation With Simone Weil

Post by Harbal » Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:51 pm

Nick_A wrote: The Great Beast
Donald Trump?

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Re: A Conversation With Simone Weil

Post by vegetariantaxidermy » Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:46 pm

Nick_A wrote:Greta, without a belief in a conscious Source, a person can only experience meaning from societal influences. In that sense they worship society or the Great Beast. It supplies meaning so is worshipped.

The Great Beast is as it is but why? Plato described the ideal society as like a balanced human being where head, heart, and body are a balanced harmonious whole. Since we are not like this and live out of balance society becomes a beast living in contradiction. From Elisabetta Rombi ‘imaginary conversation with Simone. There are many meaningful ideas worth contemplating in this conversation but to be brief, here is one:
“I also like what you wrote on the education of young people – most of all, your idea of getting beyond the division between physical labour and intellectual work.”
“Modern culture was born in an environment oriented towards technology and fragmented into specializations, and so has been devoid of any contact with the real and the supernatural worlds. Such a culture, deprived of its treasure, has been used to educate the masses! They try to teach what’s left of this culture to the unlucky, and to the ones who are most anxious to learn, just as though they were feeding chickens with seeds. Amongst all the forms of uprootedness, being uprooted from culture is the worst, the most alarming.”
“It’s true that your life and thought have been marked by the search for truth, a constant study where you confronted difficult books from both the Western and Eastern traditions, involving various disciplines, and oblivious of contradictions –”
“Our life is in itself an impossibility. Each desire stands in contradiction to the conditions or consequences related to it. Each sentence implies its opposite. Every feeling is confused with the contrary. We are a contradiction because we are creatures – because we are in God and enormously different from God. The contradiction is our poverty, and the feeling of poverty is the feeling of truth.”
Normally we are so involved with the problems of living that we fail to experience and admit what we are: a living contradiction. If this is true could Man as a society be other than a great beast incapable of opening to higher conscious influences making imagination take the place of objective reality? A serious discussion as to why we live in contradiction requires people willing to be open minded and humble. You won’t find them on philosophy forums. :) Simone’s great value is in raising these questions since she lived the struggle. She had the nerve and courage to witness her “being” rather than rationalize it. She invites us to question. If enough people felt the reality of their poverty and worked together to become more realistically human, perhaps everything would be different and the power of the Beast would be lessened. But this threatens the life and dominance of the beast which has no intention of allowing it on a large scale. The individual then has the potential to develop in ways impossible for the Beast. Who and what helps them since so much is against them?
I might have missed it but did you say which of her ideas you like the most? Which have the most value to society in a practical sense?

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Re: A Conversation With Simone Weil

Post by Greta » Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:47 am

Nick_A wrote:From Elisabetta Rombi ‘imaginary conversation with Simone. There are many meaningful ideas worth contemplating in this conversation but to be brief, here is one:
“I also like what you wrote on the education of young people – most of all, your idea of getting beyond the division between physical labour and intellectual work.”
I learned about Frederick Taylor's "scientific management" and specialisation, leading to Ford's production line back in the 80s. So you, Simone, Elisabetta and I - along with a few billion others - agree that Taylor and Ford suck :). However, the system works. Specialised organisations and societies with division of labour out-compete those with less organised specialisation. Humans, along with naked mole rats, are the only mammals to adopt this kind of specialisation, along with colony-forming insects. Such tight coordination is a powerful tool. As you say, it's important to consider a bigger picture than just humanity - humans don't exist in a void but present as one of the more recent tiny, temporary animated bumps on the Earth's surface.

Back to specialisation: eusocial groups effectively cohere to for a single functional body or sorts (we can hark back to your Plato quote), with specialised functions performed by different specialists just as a body's organs and other viscera have their particular roles. The group forms a single, cohesive entity that is orders of magnitude more effective at surviving and reproducing than less organised groups. Note that there is a blurred line between colonies and organisms (with the sea sponge being the link, the only animal that can reconstitute itself after being broken into smithereens).

Your "Great Beast" metaphor brings to mind how the first microbes would have felt (if they could think) about the gigantic emergent eukaryotes that soon came to dominate the globe. Individuals are effectively like plankton looking up at multinational "whales", hoping not to be scooped up in the whale's next mouthful. None of this is evil or wrong, just how things are. In time, all beings are superseded - and the trend happy seems to be towards "upgrades".

Sure, there might be "two steps back" before the "three steps forward" but progress is never linear. Yes, these are hard times. Hard inevitable times. We are most lucky to be born in this general time period but slightly unlucky to now be witness to a regressive period and, scarily, a period of climate change, extinctions and seemingly upcoming general pestilence. Damn, and it had been going so well! :lol:

So let's say millions rise up in a new "American Christian Spring" to overthrow institutions, as you hope. The conglomerate you breaks down all the controlling and untrustworthy institutions to start afresh. How long do you think it might take before new institutions rose again with their own atrocities? History has taught us that lesson so often it's a cliché.

The problems we discuss are wicked ones. If all our little voices speak out for what we believe to be right - even if we disagree with each other fundamentally - that's the best influence we can impart.
Nick_A wrote:Normally we are so involved with the problems of living that we fail to experience and admit what we are: a living contradiction. If this is true could Man as a society be other than a great beast incapable of opening to higher conscious influences making imagination take the place of objective reality? A serious discussion as to why we live in contradiction requires people willing to be open minded and humble. You won’t find them on philosophy forums. :)
Nick, you are in a glass house when chiding others for their lack of humility ad open-mindedness. Why not accept that you have your worldview, others have theirs, and it's okay for your worldviews not to match?

Our institutions clearly have much room for moral improvement and I expect that will improve in time just as humans have done in their history. There is today enormously reduced human sacrifice, witch burning, inquisitions, torture, blood sports and so on.

I don't see a contradiction in how we live either, just compromise. The groups that provide us with protection and resources place demands on us and limit our freedoms in return. As a right winger, I'm sure you don't approve of people taking without even making some compromises in return.

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