Exploring the Social Imagination

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Bad Choices in the Social Imagination ~ Part II

A bad choice is or bad choices are made everyday by everyone...

For instance, look at the choices of posts put on Facebook. Now for some, those are the 'right' choices and for some others ...the 'wrong' choices.

Bad and good choices as Max Weber told us way back, socially distinguish us. They socially set us apart as in discriminate us from others more so than does money 'income' does.  We might consider a  bad choice as a waste of money that is money spent on material things that we only think will make us look good to someone else and a good choice is to spend money that will help us to live better with regard to others.

For instance, people who are on the left like to put posts that think that they know who makes good choices and who makes bad choices. Now for some, a good choice is to blame others on their problems. So, their bad choices are now the 'right' choice. They in their liberal progressive mind think that the past and all people who adhere to the past and to the classic ideas that worked in the past should be banned. Yet, in another post, they criticize others having banned something.

Yes, its a decision, a choice to declare which side of the fence you are on. I told students at university that everyday they represent themselves, they are acting 'politically', part of a greater polity in which they are constantly setting themselves apart.  We are directly and indirectly declare who we are and are not and in this way we declare not only who we are but why we are part of a group.

Yes, identifying who you are and are not is how you know who you are and who you are not. Sounds like who is on first, doesn't it. But, if you do not know who you are and are not, you won't have any opinion as to what is right/wrong or good/bad or left from right. And, thus whatever you choose is not really a choice at all even if you are on the far right or left. Simply, you will live like a flower blowing whichever way the wind blows and liking it. You won't need to identify yourself, your children nor your community for all are yours and all are not.

We choose what we like, what we desire and who we prefer to be around/with. That is being prejudice and discriminatory. Oh, of course I heard from students/adults too in conversation that they have friends/neighbors of this or that color, ethnicity and or religion. But, I always asked is that what drew you to them or did you find something in common first. If you found something in common first, then you found something in them that was/is like you and you felt comfortable with that as you first considered in your encounter with them who you are and are not.  In this way, through social interaction/engagement, you learn who they are and are not and who their group is and is not.

So, of course a liberal progressive will have friends of this or that color, way or religion but that friend (s) will be a liberal progressive too. Of course, this applies to Republican conservatives, Catholics, Muslims, Russians and Chinese, Native American etc.  We only associate with others that are like us in some way... our best friend is our best friend because we have so much in common. And, so... we choose that person over another!

Many people identify as their cause, their social justice movement. So identify by political party as in being a liberal/progressive democrat or conservative republican and some identify by their sexual preference or not and some identify by their 'faith' religion, civil religion and even environmentally - GreenPeacer or Climate Changer/Green houser all are what we can think of as Tree Huggers. All of that is OK as long as you don't hate someone else who is not what you are and are not. And, its OK as long as you 'stick' to it and don't play both sides, as then you are nobody to identify with.

I saw a post on facebook today - Ground Hog Day. It was the critter popping out of his shelter as the tradition goes. The caption was "Make America Warm Again". The hypocrisy is/was when a greenhouser or grean peacer clicks 'like'. The point is that if they want it warm then they should not complain about green house gases or climate change on the horizon but continue to drive their car, eat beef and buy stick houses and plastics. But, they oppose those things in their daily identification of supposedly choosing who they are and are not. Its not easy to live up to what you declare to be and not to be.

We all make bad choices!

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