An Excerpt from the Philosophy/Psychology Book I am Writing. [Long] — Totseans

An Excerpt from the Philosophy/Psychology Book I am Writing. [Long]

HippieTrippieHippieTrippie Regular
edited August 2010 in Spurious Generalities
So, I am currently writing a book about general Philosophy, Psychology, and Sociology and I would like to share the first page of it.



All things are perceived with a general acceptance, low acceptance usually constitutes a bad or evil action, while high acceptance constitutes the contrary. It’s a rather efficient and easy system on its face. However these acceptance levels are made with a bias. There is always a bias. A man may think another man a scoundrel based on his race or his hometown or his looks, and this is an obvious bias. Even if his distrust is based on merit, his bias is still present. The man views this man’s poor merit, for example if he killed someone, because the society in which he was raised taught him that killing others is wrong. Why though? Where does it get decided that something is good or bad and it becomes a standard by which general acceptance can be judged? Well, it comes from the universal instinctual truth of separation.

The notion of separation is the reasoning behind all acts, even down to mating, in its pure sense, of a male and female having sex to produce offspring and keep the species alive. It makes sense, any living thing, including humans, have an instinct to pass on their genes and to keep them alive through descendants. It creates a strength complex, in a Darwinian natural selection manner, it is saying “I passed on my genes, and he did not, my genes survived and his did not, therefore my genes are better, because they allowed me to survive, find a mate, and pass them on, and his did not.” There is the separation, “My genes are better” not “My genes are equally as good, but mine happened to get passed on.” There seems to be a need in humanity to be separated from our kin. We have more money, we have a better car, we look prettier, I can sing, he has an Olympic gold medal, it’s all the same; it is a way to distinguish ourselves as unique from the rest of the herd. This of course causes conflict. We crave that separation, but we always want to be on top of it. To save complication we say “Oh, congratulations, I’m happy you won,” While always thinking “But I wish it was me” or “It should have been me”. That dominance pattern, is while instinctual, also the reason economic and government systems are never perfect. Communism is a quite obvious one, it is sound it structure “Everyone works and shares the wealth” but it immediately fails, because the system removes initiative for gaining difficult skills over easy ones. All initiative, however stated, boils down to “I want to do this so I can be better than these people.” Then what about fascism? The initiative is back, but there is still a cap, a person can do a job for more wealth, but will never be higher than the state and therefore the leader of the nation is on top, and that creates a power struggle and discord among the people, they want to be on top, and so they resist being held back. Monarchies and Oligarchies are the same, the Council or the King is the top, and there is no way to break through. Fine then, Democracy, the separation mantra’s ideal system, you can separate yourself as far or as low from everyone else as you want, you can even be the top. However, Democracy is also the perfect fuel for the conflict fire. The day to day is a constant power struggle wherein something is always lost, family for business and wealth, business and wealth for family. It feeds consumerism.

Consumerism is a self fueling system that is the essence of separation. It capitalizes on the human tendency of pattern recognition. I use the example of Skinner’s box. A mouse presses a lever and it receives food. Eventually it realizes that if it presses the lever, it will receive food, and it becomes comfortable, it knows that the food is there, available whenever it wants it. Originally the bringer of the food was nature. Humans hunted, they hit the lever, killing an animal, finding a berry bush, and they received food from nature. This system is fine, it allows humans to separate, and one can get more food than another, without exploitation. Nature knows no bias. Then agriculture developed. The lever was removed, the human could make its own food by growing the crops, it makes the lever, it hits the lever, it receives the food, and in this case, the box is gone, it is just the human and the food and they are together. Then the humans became smart. They realized if they grew excess food they could sell the excess to others. The others hit the lever (paying for the food) and they receive food from the grower. The grower has just separated himself completely, he is now better, the others are dependent on him and he wins. Again, the humans got smarter, and realized that if they make the tools the farmer needs to make his food, then the farmer hits the lever and the manufacturer gives him the tools. Now the manufacturer is on top and he wins. The system repeats indefinitely, each person trying to one up the previous one, the system falls over, and it becomes a vicious cycle. The benefit however, is modern civilization, this goods trade and interdependence is the joining force in the development of small, tight-knit communities, eventually growing to whole cities and countries. This, however, seems to have rid itself of the separation truth, but it is just the basis for it. Everyone is coming together to make the community thrive, but each person is trying to use the others for his own gain, being to separate himself, and put himself on top of the community. Consumerism and that separation instinct, however, provide the launching point for the single most important function of human behavior, advancement.

Advancement is the single driving force behind all things humans do. They are always trying to make life easier for themselves, and engage in more fun and less work. People have an inherent nature to always find something better. Some people see this as greed, and are always saying “Be thankful for what you have, instead of wanting what others have.” If we held true to this principle then we would still be gathering berries and hunting small game with crude tools. Obviously we aren’t though because being creative creatures, our ancestors figured out how to build better tools, discovered fire to cook their food, improving nutrition and decreasing disease. Cold weather clothing was invented, then came crude shelter, then better shelter, better tools, stockpiles, and on and on until this very day. And still it continues every day, robotic manufacturing, genetically improved crop harvest, and entire computers in our pockets.

Comments

  • edited July 2010
    I don't understand what the first paragraph has to do with the rest. I don't understand how the "universal truth of separation" relates to power struggle and status anxiety in society. You start off with one premise, which seems to be related to ethics, and you wind up in talking about man's "will to power" without tying them together.

    You explain that humans have a need for dominance, but again, you didn't explain why you think this to my satisfaction. IMO, I would relate our craving for power to the realization that we are going to die. Once we realize we have a limited existence, it gives us an impetus needed to achieve. And through achievement, we can sustain memories of ourselves in the lives of others. I believe that no one wants to be forgotten. Everyone is scared of non-existence. Through achieving something great, however, we can live in the collective memory even after our death. Dig?

    In addition to what you were saying about consumerism being a system of inherently competitive power relations, that notion could be applied to all of capitalism. Marx writes extensively on the relation between worker and capitalist; proletariat and bourgeoisie, etc. and the "labor theory of value" and stuff...

    Just some suggestions.
  • HippieTrippieHippieTrippie Regular
    edited July 2010
    I don't understand what the first paragraph has to do with the rest. I don't understand how the "universal truth of separation" relates to power struggle and status anxiety in society. You start off with one premise, which seems to be related to ethics, and you wind up in talking about man's "will to power" without tying them together.

    You explain that humans have a need for dominance, but again, you didn't explain why you think this to my satisfaction. IMO, I would relate our craving for power to the realization that we are going to die. Once we realize we have a limited existence, it gives us an impetus needed to achieve. And through achievement, we can sustain memories of ourselves in the lives of others. I believe that no one wants to be forgotten. Everyone is scared of non-existence. Through achieving something great, however, we can live in the collective memory even after our death. Dig?

    In addition to what you were saying about consumerism being a system of inherently competitive power relations, that notion could be applied to all of capitalism. Marx writes extensively on the relation between worker and capitalist; proletariat and bourgeoisie, etc. and the "labor theory of value" and stuff...

    Just some suggestions.

    The tye-in is in the fact that the power struggle is because of the need to be separated from the rest of the crowd and the natural desire is to be separate because you are higher/better.

    I do like your ideas in your second paragraph though. I hadn't thought of that way.

    Either way, thanks for the feedback.
  • DevotionDevotion Semo-Regulars
    edited August 2010
    Great. It was all good stuff. Your presentation is quite clear and concise, at least sentence by sentence. However, I feel the knowledge is poorly introduced, you just kind of start off in the middle of nowhere. I can understand the particular things you are talking about, but fail to grasp the "bigger picture" of your writing. What is the context of the information? For instance, what is the name of this first chapter? I feel like you have too much bredth, but not enough depth. Many subject matters intertwined, which is great, but it is too condenced and lacking flow.

    Just generally it seems like you have launched into writing without an adequete introduction, although technically this is the introduction right? Perhaps this is the prologue? I come away thinking "this is interesting, but what is it about?"
  • HippieTrippieHippieTrippie Regular
    edited August 2010
    Devotion wrote: »
    Great. It was all good stuff. Your presentation is quite clear and concise, at least sentence by sentence. However, I feel the knowledge is poorly introduced, you just kind of start off in the middle of nowhere. I can understand the particular things you are talking about, but fail to grasp the "bigger picture" of your writing. What is the context of the information? For instance, what is the name of this first chapter? I feel like you have too much bredth, but not enough depth. Many subject matters intertwined, which is great, but it is too condenced and lacking flow.

    Just generally it seems like you have launched into writing without an adequete introduction, although technically this is the introduction right? Perhaps this is the prologue? I come away thinking "this is interesting, but what is it about?"

    Originally I wrote an unrelated preface, then started on this, it (was suppose to) serves as a sort of broad introduction to the rest of what I am planning to write, and that chapter itself is unfinished also, where this writing ends is not where the chapter ends, its just where I had left off at the time of this posting.

    The name of the chapter is "The Universal Truth" but I don't think that will help you. Basically since it was a book that is suppose to be about social and personal aspects and muses on multiple topics (Love, Religion, Economics, etc.) that I wanted to establish a base principal that (I think) can be connected back to from any of the other specific topics I was going to write about.
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