A Nonconformist View, Education, History, Politics, Satire, Social Commentary, Socialist

Empathy Trap

There is a belief among many intellectuals, especially psychologist, that the best way to make peace with other people is through empathy. The reasoning is that putting oneself in the shoes of another and trying to mentally channel their experiences will create a sense of understanding by creating emotional bridges. In theory, if one is empathic enough, ones original feelings will be replaced with the person they are trying to understand. This sense of understanding can be a good thing or a bad thing depending upon the views of the one who is being reached out to. As great as this may appear this could be, this situation could be problematic if one adopts pernicious views of another, thus making them indifferent to the suffering of others.

Shame is seen as the antithesis of empathy because instead of building a bridge, shame makes people crawl into their silos. This is a dark silo that they would do anything to get out of so they can show their true selves without reproach. They would be happy to answer the clarion call of a demagogue who will arouse the spirit and inspire them to express disdain for marginalized groups. The aura of hate that will be generated will seem natural to them and externally destructive to the target of hate. These targets are easy pickings because they were never allowed to assimilate and have to fear their fellow countrymen.

Due to the power structure, it is those who are in power who are entitled to empathy because of who is seen as deserving. No matter how much hate is in the hearts of the powerful, society constantly urges us to treat their concerns as paramount even when espousing hate. What makes matters worse is that the majority relates to those who look like them more than the minorities who are in the same economic class. The views of minorities are often shut out to make way for members of the majority to talk about how civilization is decaying. The cause of that decay is a mongrel horde who are seeking equality which is framed as a takeover.

People speak as if empathy is the best trait one could have because empathy bridges gaps and nourishes humanities thirst for companionship. However, empathy can be dangerous because it can serve to condone hateful views that cause pain and misery to minorities. An important factor that contributes to this problem is if people can relate to those espousing hateful views, and the worst part is that some do not realize how their hate destroys humanity. The ultimate effect of having empathy for hate is that good intentions will turn into a cover for views that are verbally condemned, but tacitly supported.

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History, Politics, Satire, Social Commentary, Socialist

Statistical Flaw

Statistics are numbers on a sheet of paper that are meaningless without proper interpretation. Many people lack the understanding of analyzing through numbers because of the complexity of how data may be gathered, the source of the data, and interest of the reader. Because of these factors the simple truth is that if someone wants to change minds, their best bet is to reach a person on the emotional level. In other words, reaching the reptilian brain is the key to getting a person see another point of view.

Being successful in the art of persuasion requires one has to use logic in order to understand the emotions of the target audience. In a perfect world, logic would play a much greater role in decision making and appeal to others. People have needs and one time tested way of getting to a persons mind is to create a need for the audience they never knew they wanted. The goal is to get into a person’s mind and convince them that they truly care about solving their problems. Making a manufactured, superficial connection appear genuine in order to bend a person to their will.

At its core, every decision made about any given situation is a gut or emotional one. In American society today the difference between wants and needs is often obfuscated. To a great extent, the need for conformity and keep up with the Jones’ becomes a motivation for devoting resources towards things that could be directed toward more positive means. This concept gets to very disturbing question; has logic become so withered that it is easy to manipulate the masses and individual?

Numbers on a sheet of paper can tell a lot about a person and stories overall. The problem with relying on numbers alone is that they are abstract and in appealing to people requires making concepts concrete. Whether a person or a product is marketed, an emotional chord must be struck in order to be successful. In a sense the goal in life is to find eternal happiness, and someone is willing to sell it for a price. Statistics do not provide a clear cut answer, but at best they can help guide the way.

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A Nonconformist View, Education, History, Politics, Social Commentary, Socialist, Uncategorized

Bleeding Heart

When the blood stops flowing from the bleeding heart life ends in a literal and metaphorical sense. A bleeding heart is someone who cares about others out of a sense of human decency and bonds that link humans to each other. Blood pumping out of the heart is not eternal and could get blocked by events orchestrated by outside forces. When those forces are too great, a person is left moribund and surviving on life support in critical condition. This situation is closer to a death by a 1,000 cuts than death by suicide.

Bleed hearts flowing with rich blood gives life to humanity and compassion for even the least amongst us. For various reasons-based on the individual-they work tirelessly to make the world a better place and bring a little sunshine to the darkness of life. People around them may think them naïve, but must respect their commitment to improvement of the lives of those around them. The world is changed, hopefully for the better, by those who care enough to work for change, and not by the apathetic and the pernicious. The world usually does not return the favor which cast a dark cloud upon reality and continued efforts to improve the future.

The problem with having a bleeding heart is that sharks smell blood and will attack at the first opportunity available. They find the blood of the bleeding heart delicious and because of their ravenous nature, their greed will devour as much blood as possible. Drawing from the rich nutrients of the blood, the sharks can feed for a long time because the supply is in abundance. The sharks have shallow, decrepit hearts which makes feasting on fresh blood necessary. The sharks will devour the world and will not stop until the bottomless well of their needs are satisfied.

What society lacks is a sufficient appreciation of the bleeding heart, which serves to prevent new life from forming. Before long, a new generation will become stone cold from an emotional standpoint, which will produce a legion of emotional zombies; fully functional humans who can simulate emotions at best instead of feeling them. Compassion and sincerity will end and be replaced with selfishness and rugged individualism. If this trend persist, a new era will slowly be created in which society will be unrecognizable and worse off than before. This grim trend could be prevented only if people could observe a universal standard of decency and respect.

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Education, History, Politics, Social Commentary, Socialist

Kakistocracy

It should not come as a surprise to observers of American culture that this republic has become a kakistocracy. The worst, least qualified people are running the government; the lunatics have taken over the asylum. In a democracy the politicians are representative of the people, which highlights the twilight of the republic. Electing a leader should be a logical, deliberative decision, and not an emotional outburst of anger. American society has denigrated the intelligent and championed the asinine which is a breeding ground of corruption.

There is nothing wrong with a working class that uses their hands with which to sell their labor. The problem is that many people in this society choose to remain unaware of what is going on in the world and how elected officials make their plight worse. Most people are unaware of how public policy is connected to private pain and people voted against their best interest. Being able to relate to a candidate and feeling that they represent us is a great feeling, but not realizing how much data and market research goes into crafting the public persona is shows a lack of analytic thought.

This situation is reminiscent of the classic tale of the scorpion and the frog; a story where the frog helps a scorpion cross a pond and the scorpion kills the frog during the journey because it was in his nature. People vote for politicians who reflect their values they wish to enforce on others. Values which in reality are unenforceable because people value different things. America often espouses the virtues of a meritocracy, yet societal success is often based on personal connections. Nepotism is a cultural trait more acceptable than competence as long as we fell comfortable with those whom we know. Living in such a bubble will suffocate the decision makers makes the culture incestuous.

The worst people imaginable have somehow come to power and people seem to have no problem with this situation which is of their own making. In America the lower the melanin count the more one can benefit from the kakistocracy. Anti-intellectual currents run through the American bloodstream and the people are too distracted to notice. The problem with anti-intellectualism is that it is a poison that will destroy the country. There is no panacea for this problem, which makes this situation dire. In a perfect world a working class clerisy words would be heeded for directions to working class tranquility.

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History, Politics, Social Commentary, Socialist

Alternative History

Let us imagine a future dictated by reactionary forces writing the history books. The past would be different with vital parts missing that was once usually taught in schools. These specific parts that are elided focus on marginalized people and labor organizing for their fair share. Those accounts are replaced with heroes who are avatars of rugged individualism who flourish in Ayn Rand novels. George Orwell’s quote will ring true: who controls the past will control the future, who controls the present controls the past.

True causes of events will be obscured and distorted beyond recognition. Shay’s rebellion was about nutcases instead of people who were angry about taxes that benefit the rich. The civil war was about state’s rights and other myriad causes that have nothing to do with slavery. Unions are evil anarchist and terrorist instead of an organization that brings democracy in the work place. Book burnings of socialist authors such as Upton Sinclair, Sinclair Lewis, Norman Thomas, and Herbert George Wells will be conducted. America The Beautiful and This Land Is My Land will be declared obscene because those songs were written by subversives. The Pledge of Allegiance will be replaced with bible hymns.

In this grim future the film Birth of a Nation will be seen as a prophetic documentary. Gilded Age captains of industry are the best Americans that were ever produced. Bible questions will start to appear on standardized test thus blurring the line between church and state. Sea levels will rise and flood the Gulf Coast and people will think it is an act of god. The collective intelligent quotient of the American people will dip below 65.

This future can be avoided if the truth is told constantly and reinforced thought teaching the younger generations. It is important to wage a culture war about what stories about the past that are told. Stories about the past can serve as an inspirational guide towards the road to the future. Different parts of the country have different histories as exemplified by what southerners call the war of northern aggression. One positive thing about this phenomena is that this war is not bloody yet.

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