December 15, 2003

Mo're: Bullies

Posted at 08:54 AM Newsgroups

Below, MJ and I pick up the thread begun in re: Bullies. If you haven't read that one yet, you might want to first.

"MJ" wrote in message
> "Patrick Jennings" wrote in message
> news:2d97b.116
> Quality post, Patrick, if I may say so. You deserve our thanks; I hope you
> receive more than just mine.

Thanks, MJ. We shall see...

> > What amazes me, rather than how little people do see these tendencies
> > underlying all our behaviour, is how much effort we expend in turning a
> > blind eye to them. The results from these and other experiments have been
> > around for decades. Yet, they are not part of our vocabulary. Certainly,
> > they are not a part of media/political discussion and analysis.
> Indeed. I have myself on occasion tried to interest the media in this very
> topic - but found that no-one is ever prepared to do anything beyond
> vicarious and evasive gloating over the crimes of dead dictators (another
> documentary about Hitler, anyone...?)...

>Elsewhere I have tried to formulate a
> memorable or convenient aphorism which points out that -
> "The development of a mature and civilised morality in an individual is only
> achieved when the need 'not to disappoint' is replaced in the psyche by the
> need *not to harm*".

Nice. Well put.

A little like the Golden Rule, particularly the Confucian version:

What you do not want done to you, do not do to others

Words can be powerful. However, even the most elegant aphorisms, even those which speak most clearly and universally, even the most popular--especially those--are not necessarily any more powerful than common platitudes. The post of yours I initially responded to can be summed up in oneof the great truisms of governance:

Absolute power corrupts, absolutely.

We know this, and yet we hand ourselves over to it. How many times have I read in these news groups the admonition:

We should not question our leader during this critical period.

Or something like that. Might as well just refer to the leader as "our benevolent dictator."


> Anyone really think a dirt-bag species like this should get the chance to
> spread its fucking filth through the solar system...??

Well, fortunately, without some outside interference, we're a long way from that. I'm more worried about the filth that's getting spread around within our own atmosphere.

Still. There's a lot of good out there. Alot to be hopeful for. It's just getting smothered by power and its affects.


And there, true to human form, is where the thread stopped. MJ and I waited for someone to pick it up, but no go. It was more important to debate whether George Bush Jr. is a moron or not. I don't know.

I think of our species as just waking up. Well, that's not quite the metaphor. We're just beginning to realise we're lost. We thought we had a road map, but it's turned out to be a child's finger painting, and although it's real and meaningful, the truth in it can only be discovered if you stop looking at it like a road map.


Presently listening to:
Can't Be Sure - The Sundays - Reading Writing & Arithmetic (03:26)

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