Wednesday, July 25, 2018

How Stupid Are They?

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- The other day, marveling at the antics of our president, I remembered your old slogan: Think For Yourself, Act For Others.
- As opposed to Think With Others, Act For Yourself.
- Yes. With every new traitorous, or self interested, or irrational, or blackmail induced act the president takes, he is gaining not losing favor among his supporters. It occurred to me that what looks like insanity in the president and his supporters is perfectly explained by your formula.
- The negative side of it.
- Yes.
- Explained as reasonable?
- As having a logic to it.
- Which is?
- Thinking with others in private life, putting on any show for the sake of success, applying technique.
- So the private life self, attentive to consequence, problem solving, wouldn't be taken in by the false promises made by our president.
- No, the private life self would not. But the private life self, the self that will do anything demanded by others for success, is not that which is involved in public life. Our president's supporters create an image of themselves they want the political world to reflect back to them as much as possible. They fall into two main classes: those who see themselves as godly, and want their image to be reflected back in a public life in which abortion is made illegal and a god-made world is taught in schools; and those who see themselves in money and the possessions they acquire with money. No matter for what reason our president is doing what he does, so long as he appears to be moving the world in the particular direction his supporters favor they will ignore everything else.
- Ignore his using his office for personal gain, treason, constant lying, extreme vulgarity...
- Whatever. Don't you see? The president's supporters think with others in their private lives, adapting personal behavior to what is required, then in public life caring nothing for the other people who constitute that public, looking only to the feeding of their self images.
- And there is nothing unreasonable about that?
- I said it has its logic: of course it is not reasonable! And it is wrong.
- We should be thinking for ourselves, acting for others.
- Yes. Our private lives should not be lived in conformity to others for the sake of material success, but be a realm of self-observation and testing. Public, not private life is where techniques, collaboratively arrived at, should be applied.
- In private life think for yourself, in public life act for others. Technique used not to make a self image but the best public life. Trump supporters are not absolute idiots, since it is possible to discern a logic to their behavior, but in their personal lives they have no character and in their public lives they have no knowledge. They make use of technique to continuously adapt their self image to the expectation of others rather than to discover better and worse ways of living together.

Further Reading:
The Technology Of Good
The Show
The President's People
A Bike In Trumpland