Exploring the Social Imagination

Thursday, September 29, 2016

What is Democracy in the American Social Imagination?

Here is what it says at: http://www.ushistory.org/gov/1c.asp

Nowhere is the word "democracy" mentioned in the Declaration of Independence or the U.S. Constitution. How could that be? Our government is a democracy! Well, for one, as we'll discuss later, the Founders actually feared democratic rule. James Madison expressed this attitude in Federalist #10: "...instability, injustice, and confusion ...have in truth been the mortal disease under which popular governments everywhere perished..." In the late 18th-century, rule by the people was thought to lead to disorder and disruption. Yet a democratically-based government was seen as superior to the monarchies of Europe.

Democracies did not originate with the founding of the United States. The term "democracy" comes from two Greek words: "demos" (the people) and ""kratia" (power or authority). So of course democracy is a form of government that gives power to the people. But how, when, and to which people? The answer to those questions changes through history.

Democracies are based on "rule of law." The ancient Greeks (particularly Aristotle) valued natural law, the notion that human societies should be governed by ethical principles found in nature. The Greeks are famous for practicing direct democracy, a system in which citizens meet to discuss all policy, and then make decisions by majority rule. However, only free males were considered to be citizens. So their democracy was certainly limited. Today direct democracy is practiced in New England town meetings, where all citizens of voting age meet to decide important political decisions.

But how could direct democracy work in a large, diverse population spread over a geographical distance? Generally, the answer has been that it can't. In its place, the American Founders put "indirect" or "representative" democracy. In this system, representatives are chosen by the people to make decisions for them. The representative body, then, becomes a manageable size for doing the business of government. The Founders preferred the term "republic" to "democracy" because it described a system they generally preferred: the interests of the peopled were represented by more knowledgeable or wealthier citizens who were responsible to those that elected them.

Today we tend to use the terms "republic" and "democracy" interchangeably. A widespread criticism of representative democracy is that the representatives become the "elites" that seldom consult ordinary citizens, so even though they are elected, a truly representative government doesn't really exist.

What many Americans would naively wish for a direct democracy. But, as you just read in a large diverse  country direct democracy is not feasible. Of course, that wish stems from the idea that even our representative government doesn't' really exist. Really??? Yes! The US is dominated by a rich and powerful elite. So, concludes a recent study by Princeton University Prof Martin Gilens and Northwestern University Prof Benjamin I Page.

Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence.


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Labels in the Social Imagination ~ Part II

Not long ago I wrote about how labels in the social imagination are used to control people. The complete irony is that those who love labels (Progressives) have an agenda "Say No to Labels". Why? Because they don't want labels put on them which would obviously tell you more about them than they want you to know. The first American to come to mind is LBJ.

"I don't believe in labels. I want to do the best I can, all the time. I want to be progressive without getting both fee off the ground at the same time. I want to be prudent without having my mind closed to anything that is new or different. I have often said that I was proud that I was a free man first (no kidding... a white male from Texas) and an American second, and a public servant third and a Democrat fourth... finally calling himself a prudent progressive ~ " Lyndon B. John, Television and Radio Address March 15, 1964.

What praises he got and continues to get for that by his fellow progressives. Yet, no one seems to have paid attention to the order of his labeling. 1st, a free man, 2nd an American, 3rd a public servant and lastly a Democrat. His priority is being a free man, thirdly a public servant... that should tell you something about progressives; especially the prudent ones - judicious in practical affairs. Sounds reasonable to have good judgement in practical affairs but given the number one label here is being a 'Free man'. Knowing that this is a fallen world, all men are not as altruistic as we would like to think. It means that 'I come first', and first was used in the phraseology. 

A group of 'freethinkers' from New York decided to create an organization back in 2010 called what else... 'No Labels'. There motto - "put labels aside and do what is best for America".  Certainly, if they were really about being Americans (as a label for all) first and foremost, then I could agree.  However, that is not their agenda. Their agenda is to label according to their agenda because they know very well that labeling is a means to discern and from that we understand what to expect. They want us to expect certain things from them only and expect nothing else from no one else. To live in a gray zone with pop outs that they control.

Think about like this... if a man pretends to be a dentist because we don't want to use labels to describe him, then would you risk an office visit in a world with 'no labels'? Or, what if you were to go into your pantry or medicine cabinet and rip off all the labels... could you or your children accidentally mix up something edible/helpful with something not?

That does sound a bit exaggerated but grounded in a very real sense which is that we need labels. But, you might say ...hey, we are talking about unfair labels that some people put on other people. OK, so we can't call a thief a thief or a murderer a murderer, a pedophile a pedophile, or a liar a liar, a scam artist a scam artist, or a vagrant a vagrant etc. Maybe that is unfair. Oh, you meat that we can't label someone a racist, right? No, you say because a racist is a racist and should be labeled as such. You see, that's the progressive agenda. The right labels apply...

They don't want certain labels because they know that labels work for them and they want to control them. They want to clear away our fundamental objections to make way for what they really want. When such people say, "we need to get beyond labels, we need to put away labels." What that really means is that they want you to put away your labels so that they can continue to use theirs for their program unimpeded. 

Keep in mind, this organization of people (couldn't we label them 'prudent progressives' that want us to put away our labels, follow the benchmark set back in 1964, "First, I am a free man", second an American, third a public servant and fourth a democrat. When someone puts their freedom first (not someone else's) then we should wonder about their patriotism, their public service and devotion to being a democrat.

Am I for labels? Yes, I guess I should be if I were a progressive because the right labels do serve the greater good as they by nature we socially set ourselves apart with labels; hence, its built into our evolution, isn't it? However, knowing what and who we are and are not is not necessary in natural selection. Is it human then to not label as we cannot know who we truly are and will become? So... don't label me an intellectual or rich or poor or stupid or selfish, or a thief or anything because it does not really matter now, in this present state. Nature, as Progressives and Darwinists favor, would not need or use labels because its really about the evolution of the state!

But, if we consider that in Jesus Christ all are equal, the only label is His! "The creation waits in eager expectation for the revelation of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not by its own will, but because of the One who subjected it in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God".…~ Romans 8:20. Only He can set us free and in Him we are free indeed... free from man's labels and man's state of labels!

* Source ~ Jonah Goldberg's "The Tyranny of Cliches" a New York Times Best Seller!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Meaning and Reality... in the Social Imagination

There is no other reality other than the meaning we gain from our social interaction. It is meaning that comes from being together and meaning that comes together in our social imagination as a picture which we call reality. In our social interactions are grounded in and by a location. It starts in our mother's womb. It moves out from there with her as our point of departure. The place we are born and raised is the very beginning of meaning in our social imagination. That kind of meaning gets written in as a default mode program. It can be good, bad and even ugly in terms of information as what is good for one or bad for one is not necessarily good or bad for someone else. What is ugly can only be death and even in that when considering the point of departure 'mother' and location have a lot to do with what death means in the social imagination.

What the world means, the universe, the cosmos and its creation all come to us in the same way - social interaction. Information is passed on from one to another, from generation to the next generation. Sure, sometimes upgrades occur, or new to us/you get in and become part of the social imagination in a place but it is never like the original, nor can it ever be. That is why we can observe abstract concepts like: justice, liberty and democracy as applied differently in different countries: what does freedom look like, what does religion look like, family look like, what marriage and divorce look like, what education looks like, what gendered roles look like, and what private property looks like and so on.

Meaning is applied in all those sectors of the social imagination. What it means to have private property here in the US is not the same as it is elsewhere. In some countries, a person has what is called the 'right to roam'. Does that mean then I can be a bum and drift around? I suppose. The right to roam does not mean you have to be employed or paying taxes in order to have that right. Here in America, roaming around is frowned on. We know that in order for this country to function, people have to work and pay taxes. It means something to own your own house in America.

What does it mean to tolerate someone or something? What does it mean to put up with someone or something? What does it mean to love, hate, be happy, be miserable. All those emotions have meaning and they are acquired in a place over time. They are first established in us through mother and dispersed thereafter in a place over time. Our being in a place causes meaning to shape an image in our social imagination of who we are and are not.

"From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands" ~ NIV Acts 17:26.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

How the Ruling Elites Shape 'your' Social Imagination ...to their purposes!

As we get further from a historical event it becomes de-politicized. Deconstructionists then use distant events bringing them back out of context to support their rule, create a scapegoat, attack a certain group in the population, and thus strengthen their cause in some area, etc. 

Both the gender identity movement and slavery are good examples. Slavery has been intensely politicized by the political left to prop up their agenda which is to retain their positions of power. They use the old slavery issue as a bedrock means of demonizing current political opponents and any opposition to their cause and or agenda. They purport that liberalism defeated slavery and that slavery no longer exists because of them and their progressive politics. 

None of these memes are true; but because they have deconstructed history they are now accepted as true by the ignorant masses. Were slavery to have been a recent thing, it could not be deconstructed into a myth to support their agenda. If it were recent, we would see the liberal ruling elites as slave owners; well, in fact they still are as then enslave the masses into thinking that their voice is the only voice for them. They enslave minorities with labels that hinder their (minorities) own social imagination to build up their (minorities) identity in an ever growing diverse global community - world population.

Of course, the criticism comes with the statement that "whites still are the majority"; funny is that their own liberal progressive stats show that there are less and less white kids being born (world wide). If minorities are so jeopardized, then why isn't the government offering money to them (like they do in some EU countries) to have children rather than support abortion? The truth is that the minority population at least in this country is in jeopardy due to inter-group violence and dysfunctional historical and cultural data that they mistakenly draw on and which draws them further from the mainstream culture (created by the elites to do just that). 

These facts are used by the ruling elite to further distort the current situation between diverse groups and pin them against each other for political gain. The same can be said about the newly appearing on the social scene the unfairly gendered as a minority which can include lgbts. Sexual identity is being used by the ruling elite to enslave and though homosexuality is not new to human societies, it is treated that way by elites for their agenda - to stay in power.  

True enough, for some groups, such practices are considered immoral but for others not. Yet, the ruling elite in their shaping the social imagination punish those who don't like such practices and then tout those people who like such practices as heroes for 'coming out' as if they should be honored for their sexual preferences. By politicizing their behavior around /preferences for the same sex the elites contain them, label and enslave them as they do the minorities. Enslave them in a shaped by the ruling elites social imagination.

Not only those mentioned above minorities, but the ruling elite now go after women, white men, single moms, sexually active older teen girls, non athletic shy senior boys (referring to girls and boys aged 18 -voting age), the physically and mentally challenged, seniors with limited income and who knows maybe dogs and cats next. They will all be enslaved by the ruling elite, labeled and boxed up for the next election!

How? Look around... controlled media and media events!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Unrealistic Glut in the 'Bacon Seed' Social Imagination

They think that they can have what they want when they want it and for free. They think that there is no cost involved. This is the 'bacon seed' day care mentality. If they the little 'bacon seeds' scream loud enough people will give them what I want. They behave like 3-4 year olds in day care. If you can deal with them, you can deal with the majority of millennials. They want a trophy for showing up. That's because they think they are smarter than past generations. Why? How? They say because they have technology.

If they want something, its a touch pad away. They say "you should respect us because we have a set of values." They value only the idea that everyone should get what they want when they want it. If this is an inconvenience for you or harms you, that means you're an intolerant hater. They think they are the center of the universe and that everything should be easy, nothing should require hard work or effort beyond what they casually put into it.

They believe that they gender is fluid. It can be one thing one day and something else the next. Yet, it goes beyond gender, in their imagination even pretending your a dog, a cat fish, a cloud can be part of your social identity. You are basically dealing with children in grown up bodies. They have no knowledge of the past nor appreciation for it. They only know what they want now and it must be nicely presented to them or else they are offended and squealing 'wining' begins.

We should blame the parents and teachers of the little bacon seeds; but we can't solely lay the blame at their feet as the millennials are now adults. And adults have to be responsible for their own behavior. They don't get a pass just because they were trying to be nice and didn't know or think it you would mind... again like a child raised in day care.

But, maybe that is because we (their parents/teachers) like them as children. If they grow up we will have to grow up too. If they grow up we have to face death at home and in the work place. We are afraid that they will take our jobs and we don't want that... we don't want to retire. We want to live our lives to the fullest. So what if we are 65 and counting! We want what we want and deserve it too.

This is the social imagination that raised bacon seed millennials. These are the parents and grandparents of millennials. This is the glut that brought up bacon seeds. The glut of wants. We have our houses, our cars and our space, our vacation time, and so on. We aren't going to the grave. We reject that idea. We want to live forever. In that light, maybe we don't have a set of values, like they say... the millennials.

Yet, if the millennials have values, then where did they come from? They just did not pop up out of the corn. Whose values? Societies! Their parent/teachers... and we are right back to where we started. Its no wonder kids are confused. We raise them up letting them think they will capture the moon and then we tell them there are no jobs because no one is retiring. Those few high paying jobs that are out there, freed up because someone finally croaked or moved abroad, are being given to foreigners that can be better controlled than our own kids. Which means we don't have to love them, just use them for our own purposes. Which is to get the most for our money, numbers matter... don't they?

Which brings us to the social ideologues.  Who are they? They are running the show, the glut. They are the limousine socialists, the liberal progressives and their universities. All of which and what are being supported by the rich ruling elites who really hate their kids (shipped them off early to daycare and private school) and everyone elses. They make others, even the lower middle class, believe that this is the right way to be, to live and to get ahead. So, they, in fact, try to mimic them. That means, we want our cake and to eat it too. We want a big house, a nice car, a trip to Disney World twice a year. We want to give money to the poor but really we hate the poor and would rather pen them up and throw them corn than have them actually live next door.

We hate pollution but then we don't care that our house requires maintenance that generates pollution or that our car also does them same, our consumption of goods and services, our needs, our wants...oh, yes, they generate the pollution that we supposedly hate. Would we ride a bike to work? Would we walk to the grocery store everyday there and back? We would buy only second hand clothes, shoes and purses?

I think not. We are hypocrites! We are the cause of millennial's set of values. They learned from parents and teachers and day care providers to be nice. They think that if you are nice and everyone will be nice and we will all help each other live a nice wonderful life with lots of money; after all somebody just has to print or make the money, parents, banks, credit card lenders, right? Sounds like if we can just keep making money and keep it going around and being nice everything will be nice, as in good for you and me; but someone always has to act first... and who will act first.

Millennials say "you are wrong", we don't love money. We don't need money. We have different values. We are not spoiled. We are not dependent. We just want to be respected for our opinion which is that everyone should have what they want and just be nice. Money isn't needed."  Well, I say if there is no money then, how will things get done? Who will work so that their neighbor can get his/her house built, or have food to eat, wash, crap, and so on? It takes real time and effort to make a system or community work.

Ok...So, you don't need money but you do need know-how and real physical labor 24/7. You millennial wouldn't have time to tweet, chat, or just be nice. You would be working hard full time. Now, of course... the argument comes back to technology. We have technology to make everyone's life easier and nice. And, who regulates technology? Who says who can have it when they want it? How much is needed to take care about a hundred million millennials? Who gets paid for creating the technology? We share they say.

Well, then wouldn't the creators of such technology want to use it first? Want their families to have access first before anyone elses. Would you live in a shack or in a block so that someone else on the other side of the world can have the same technology, the very one you created, in order to have a better life? Of course, you do because you believe there is glut everywhere, that's how you were raised in a glut of houses, toys and technology. And, if may I jump on the band wagon of such glut, you can wake up me when its my turn!!!!

Oh that is pretty hard. Sorry for that. On the other-hand, many 18-35 year olds (millennials)  your values are your parents. Some parents didn't have a glut and did not raise a glutenous child but they did have a glut of a different kind. The glut of a good paying job or good paying state... and that kind of gluttony is passing away.

What will you do? Plant your own food. Oh yes, and whose land will you use, who will pay the property taxes and who will do the work, tend the garden, mill the grain and bake that bread that you believe every nice person deserves? Robots? Oh woe to you little bacon seeds who believe in everything nice for the nice if you are just nice! On the other hand, if you are willing to do the work required by each (good, bad and ugly), all ye little bacon seeds, then everyone who works will eat and it will be a very nice day indeed. And, what a glut there will be... right? Only the bacon seeds can say for sure what will be.

*Be reminded that the real treasure is in heaven. And, yes, you should do for our brothers' first and give the Creator the credit for this life and everything in it. And, that He - Jesus Christ came for the sinner!