anthony

The Crow Psycho-Epistemology of 'Love'

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This comes from many years of observing and thinking about racism, hatred, prejudice (and other irrationalities/immoralities). Here, on the South African scene, recent events have shown what I thought was coming, which is clearly that, far from having settled and buried past racism, we are sinking into it deeper, only in reverse. Whites here - a small and diminishing minority - are being increasingly picked out and picked upon, punished by onerous regulations (e.g. a total inaccessibility to employment) and other ways; largely, in a nutshell, due to the failures and corruption of the ANC which needs to find some target for its abject failures while hanging onto its rapidly disillusioned and angry electorate who are not getting what the govt. promised them. Whites, who have liberally given of their time, their money, their skills and knowledge to the previously disadvantaged, are scared and confused. They can't understand the depth of hatred against them. Whatever happened to the outpouring of 'love' the two main races bestowed on each other, when the whites (it must be restated) willingly handed over political power to the majority after a national referendum, and when Mandela cast his reconciling charm on all races? Why have we been splitting into racial lines again, while everybody rejects that it is racist, if it's not white on black?

I don't have to belabor the logical fallacy of collectivist judgment. Its determinism and denial of free will. Or, how it draws from a so-called genetic character and confers unearned quality or unearned vices on one. Or, that it represents severe errors of induction and deduction. (a. The first member of 'x' (name any race) I ever met was lazy and indolent, therefore all 'x' are - lazy. b: I've heard regularly 'on good authority' - on principle- that the characteristic of race 'x' is laziness, therefore any individual member I meet (of 'x' race) must be - lazy. QED).

One superficial explanation given is hatred and prejudice of The Other. This should also be unpacked, since there's nothing wrong, but everything true and good about 'the other'. Each to each, everybody IS 'the other', to everybody else. But of course that's not what is meant. The harm implied by 'Otherism' is identifying the other - by group. I.e., by his/her superfluous and trivial - inessential - characteristics. (Colour, features, etc. etc.) And so, blocking out what the person is, in and of himself, in his individually created character and thinking or lack of. Following then, will usually be an injustice to him and to one's own rational mind of viewing him as group member and treating him as such - to the point of perhaps using some form of force against him.

Anyhow, illogic and unreason isn't the main point I want to make.  I think that underlying any and all differences between 'groups' of people is something more primitive and mystical, I best can isolate as the psychology/emotions of Hate versus Love.

1. First, I maintain this is the falsest of dichotomies. 

There is a common belief which men have everywhere and always unquestioningly assumed: That love and hate are opposites. That to transcend hatred, men must 'love'. That the second, is the antidote to the first. (All you need is love).

However, it's not, in my experience. The more I see in practice of these emotions, the more I believe that the two are closer aligned than we know and will accept. (Simple examples, the telling mythology of brothers Cain and Abel; the vicious break-ups between previously deeply-loving spouses; and the truism that no war is worse and more destructive than that between people of the same nationality - a civil war).

As best I see it, both (as emotions) share the same polar opposite. The opposite of love is indifference, the opposite of hatred is indifference. Hatred, which starts in unresolved fear (a very rational and necessary emotion, instantly detecting and reporting a threat to one's values) has to be dealt with before it becomes self-destructive. That first feeling of fear will be overcome and dissolved by conscious identification (an understanding of people, issues, situations), integration into one's value (and "dis-value") hierarchy and then taking appropriate action where possible. The third, objective way out of the love-hate dichotomy would roughly be: the recognition of our commonality of life and basic nature, and the basic respect and lack of fear which derives from it. In sum, "benevolence" for all-comers.

2. And there's the other, tacitly accepted, fallacy: 'love of all men' is the ideal that all men must attain.

Apparently begun in religions and carried on into liberal, secular humanism, this flies in the face of what is feasible to an individual consciousness. Such 'love' I gather is diffuse and unfocused, vaguely applied to an anonymous and imagined mass of people (I sense). Except this idealist often has difficulty applying his ideal to an individual. Individuals "are messy" to an idealist.

A fallacy because IF it's genuine love, meant in the broadest sense to include love for friends, a teacher/mentor, and so on, (but outside of the romantic), there is only so much love one can simultaneously have for certain others, over any period. The consciousness has limits.

(A psychiatrist I read says that the approx. number of intimate friends possible to a person is - five. Which sounds a little too categorical, but be that as it may, he bears out the principle and the "crow epistemology"). ;)

Objectively, this impossible 'love' for ALL the existing, concrete lives of others, is completely overridden by a high concept and complex abstraction, expressed as "man's life is the standard of value" - of reverence for the life of man, now, past and to come.

 'Love' for all men... When not of individual value perceived in other specific individuals' virtues and acts, when it's a psychological and moral expectation and self-expectancy and burden imposed upon one and all, in and by society - constantly dripping from every single quarter - and is a floating ideal that each person feels he will never achieve, and fails at ... it all places a destructive strain on individuals and has terrible consequences in society. Then, one will see from men and women the worst of "faking it" to maintain the pretence - at least outwardly to others - so, dishonesty, sanctimony, hypocrisy will be rife and ultimately, guilty resentment for never being "good enough".

This way, 'collective love' can, and I think does, morph into 'collective hate', and the false dichotomy spirals and continues.

Excuse the long exposition, it's a rough outline and not complete by any means.  I welcome any thoughts.

 

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I'm sorry to hear about South Africa's decline.  As news, it hasn't made the American mass-media. 
 
In America we may be going into one of those long, hot political summers where the high level of political factionalism with its attendant anger is topped by racial anger.  Decades of political correctness has made it possible for racism to grow and fester in black subcultures with protected black against white animus in the nation's campuses.
 
Here in the states I see a close joining of the psychological and the political in racism. 
 
First, the political:
The progressives, in the media, in the entertainment world, in the schools, and as politicians and their spokespeople, have engaged in rhetoric and teachings that create a 'safe space' for a blacks to complain about unfair treatment based upon race, while making it politically incorrect and 'racist' for a white person to do so.  Concepts like 'White privilege' and 'institutional racism' and the tiniest 'evidence' of racism becomes a political talking point that is sought after by progressives.  Identity politics leaves entire races to be milked for the votes that lead to power, money, prestige and political successes.  The left searches statements from their opponents for racist "code words" and "dog whistles."  Gone is the message of Martin Luther King that we need to judge one another on character, not skin color.  The old white against black racism has just turned around the colors and stayed racism.
 
The core message to black America is that the history of slavery and then segregation have left damages that still need to be repaired and that racism is still damaging the lives of black Americans.  Black Americans are told that they are being held down, mistreated, oppressed, suffer economically and politically, and all because of the color of their skin.  That the criminal justice system is racist.  They are told that white cops are actually hunting down and killing young black men. 
 
This message in different forms is coming from nearly every venue... university classrooms, the movies, TV serials and documentaries, the news, politicians and their spokespeople, professional race baiters, Black Liberation theologists, organized racial groups like the NAACP, Black Lives Matter, the New Black Panthers, prominent black politicians and leaders, church pulpits.  People living in the inner cities of America who are not radical and not political, are coming to believe this message - even the most radical extreme part about white cops hunting down young black men.
 
People are actively falsifying statistics to make claims to purposefully generate more hate.
 
For a number of reasons the black population in the states is suffering more from the economic downturn of this last decade than any other race.  It can be traced back in parts to educational disparity, lack of a supporting family structure, but more than anything, a set of subcultural beliefs that are self-destructive.  But the point I want to make is that there are a lot of black people who are feeling bad about the state of their lives these days.
 
Now, for the psychological part
It is real simple.  Take someone who feels miserable or at least unhappy, and immerse them in a culture that for decades constantly says it isn't your fault, it's the fault of whites who have rigged the system, who oppress you because of the color of your skin, who are racist.  A sizeable number of people in this situation will begin to shift from unhappiness to anger. 
 
Instead of looking, as an individual, for actions to take that will improve their lives, they feel angry or helpless and lose their motivation to engage in productive activities.
 
The most extreme of the black organizations and black activists are calling for the killing of white people.  And it is happening.  The leading edge of the "kill white people" movement is aimed explicitly at law enforcement officers - at cops.  And it is happening.  The progressives don't recognize or don't want to recognize the degree to which they have harbored, encouraged and sanctioned the underlying sentiments in their drive to nationalize law enforcement (as a specific policy) and to stimulate their identity politics base in an election year (a drive for votes and power).  The progressives are like someone who tilled the soil, planted a seed, watered and fertilized, and then appear horrified that anyone would accuse them of having anything to do with the plant that appears.
-----------------------
 
By the way, our Attorney General of the United States, the chief law enforcement officer in the country, in talking about a terrorist attack, made statements about the need to love... implied that if only we love people more will we cease to be targets of terrorism.

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1 hour ago, SteveWolfer said:
 
 
By the way, our Attorney General of the United States, the chief law enforcement officer in the country, in talking about a terrorist attack, made statements about the need to love... implied that if only we love people more will we cease to be targets of terrorism.

In that case we will become soft targets for terrorist attacks.

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4 hours ago, anthony said:

Excuse the long exposition, it's a rough outline and not complete by any means.  I welcome any thoughts.

I didn't see altruism explicitly mentioned...

 

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21 hours ago, KorbenDallas said:

I didn't see altruism explicitly mentioned...

 

Sure, and quite deliberately. That you noticed its lack and inferred it is fine - I think "altruism" gets much useage (from me at least) and its full meaning or effects can be reduced in repetition. I aimed to lift out the emotional component of altruism. 'Love' is what 'we' are told we should have and project nowadays - not altruism- and perhaps less heard lately, compassion-empathy. 'Love' - unfocused and general - is an easier sell and gentler introduction than *duty and service*, because few people will be 'cruel' enough to retort "No thanks. I will choose where to give my love and my love follows my convictions and values."

These best of man's emotions, the feelings we all have (personally, rationally) when in a gathering of some sort with a number of good, happy people, say - or doing, seeing or receiving an act of kindness--will continue to be twisted against one by those who want something from one. As well, there are the many other innocents who simply wish those individualistic love-feelings to be "universalized". My claim is that hatred is often the spin-off from that impossible, emotional 'ideal', and especially when its cynical manipulation is seen by people. (The effort to generally disseminate 'love', in order to turn 'haters', has had plenty of opportunities to prove itself with little or no success to show for).

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23 hours ago, SteveWolfer said:
I'm sorry to hear about South Africa's decline.  As news, it hasn't made the American mass-media. 
 
In America we may be going into one of those long, hot political summers where the high level of political factionalism with its attendant anger is topped by racial anger.  Decades of political correctness has made it possible for racism to grow and fester in black subcultures with protected black against white animus in the nation's campuses.
 
Here in the states I see a close joining of the psychological and the political in racism. 

 

-----------------------
 
By the way, our Attorney General of the United States, the chief law enforcement officer in the country, in talking about a terrorist attack, made statements about the need to love... implied that if only we love people more will we cease to be targets of terrorism.

Thanks, Steve, for your overview. Right, events in SA won't be getting attention, except for the dramatic ones; after all, which foreign media daily reported and mapped out the sporadic descent of Venezuela as it was happening? For some of us, that country's outcomes are becoming all too possible here. All the usual suspects, authoritarianism, political power, large-scale theft of public money and corrupt practices (quite acceptable to the average citizen) - with undertones of Socialism-Marxism, and with sacrifice/self-sacrifice the dominant morality. Always a level of violence nearby. Many a time, I believe I have some dubious advantage over others in free-er countries. Being here for 40 years and seeing its falls and surges, but over all a decline, happening month on month in the raw (so to speak) with the emotional/intellectual responses I hear from many, amid these societial and economic upheavals, is edifying. Ultimately, "being there" -by personal experiences- to see and assess moral and philosophical premises and their consequences, is an education in causation. I hardly recommend it! - but living in SA's less sophisticated simplicity, aids my clarity in understanding the human condition.

Not for you in the US that decline, I firmly believe. Higher standards, and the fact that Americans are at base too level-headed, realist and individual, for that. Not to say it won't be bumpy for a while. (I speak as a long, long time admirer of the USA, and one who has read close to every American fictional author in almost all their novels who've given me a terrific range of inductive insight into America that way). 

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7 hours ago, anthony said:

I think "altruism" gets much useage (from me at least) and its full meaning or effects can be reduced in repetition.

I'm just wanting to say... I don't have this problem.  Language is arbitrary to concepts, and the concretization(s) from concepts doesn't change.  From a different language, use a different word for a minute--is the concept new to you again?  It shouldn't be (it just is.. a is a.).
 

7 hours ago, anthony said:

I aimed to lift out the emotional component of altruism. 'Love' is what 'we' are told we should have and project nowadays - not altruism- and perhaps less heard lately, compassion-empathy. 'Love' - unfocused and general - is an easier sell and gentler introduction than *duty and service*, because few people will be 'cruel' enough to retort "No thanks. I will choose where to give my love and my love follows my convictions and values."

I think I understand what you were doing more.  I can see how the general public could float the concept of Love over to equivocate it to duty + altruisim.  Essentially, "Love thy neighbor effortlessly, tirelessly; without judgment or want,"--with a patented Toohey Grin.  Yikes.
 

7 hours ago, anthony said:

These best of man's emotions, the feelings we all have (personally, rationally) when in a gathering of some sort with a number of good, happy people, say - or doing, seeing or receiving an act of kindness--will continue to be twisted against one by those who want something from one. As well, there are the many other innocents who simply wish those individualistic love-feelings to be "universalized".

Like it's something we're "supposed" to do...
 

7 hours ago, anthony said:

My claim is that hatred is often the spin-off from that impossible, emotional 'ideal', and especially when its cynical manipulation is seen by people.

Something to look out for, to 'fix' the morality problem we should 'Love' one another more--all the while, some nefarious people morally profit from it in their own way--negatively--evilly.

Edited by KorbenDallas
(shudder)

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On 2016/07/10 at 9:46 PM, KorbenDallas said:


 

I think I understand what you were doing more.  I can see how the general public could float the concept of Love over to equivocate it to duty + altruisim.  Essentially, "Love thy neighbor effortlessly, tirelessly; without judgment or want,"--with a patented Toohey Grin.  Yikes.
 

Like it's something we're "supposed" to do...
 

Something to look out for, to 'fix' the morality problem we should 'Love' one another more--all the while, some nefarious people morally profit from it in their own way--negatively--evilly.

Memorable for me is Rand's statement "altruism is what makes these impossible" (charity, benevolence, kindness). Oh yes, indeed. Not necessarily fixed in a moment and for an individual and any specific situation, but long term in the actions of a whole society, there are plain consequences we see. The hardened indifference of  : "I already 'gave at the office', and owe not one cent more to any one!" syndrome. Legalized, forced charity, and its partner psychological pressure. Altruism makes itself felt outwardly with taxed, financial coercion, and again most insidiously at another level - by the media-fed ideological message of love and empathy, which one 'owes' to all the many people one does not know personally - therefore cannot value, personally. In that emotional onslaught something has to give, so one's impulsive kindness to a stranger in need, I think is slowly turned into resentment of the endless needy entitlement of anonymous "fellow man". The good and true human feelings, a value response to an identified human plight, are impossibly, vaguely generalized to all humans in all situations everywhere (even, all time). Korben, I'm convinced everyone knows deep-down, that love, of any type, is value-recognition by specific individuals for specific individuals and cannot be 'collectivized', but held in the self-contradiction of the codified morality of 'caring' altruism, men and women will struggle futilely and lose, self-sacrifice, their ability to value or feel and care.

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