Author Topic: The Donald Trump Thread  (Read 131062 times)

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Offline cybercoma

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Re: The Donald Trump Thread
« Reply #1515 on: February 04, 2018, 04:22:25 pm »
I'll just say 'yes', provisionally to read where you're going with it.  My 'yes' is more emphatic if we're talking about contemporary western/N. American/USian culture.
My point is just that youíre leaning in the mode of communication, which indeed has blurred the lines between entertainment and information. However, Iím suggesting that little has been done to push back against that cultural shift and politically it has benefitted the power-hungry to the detriment of society as a whole. These politicians donít care if they ď**** where they sleepĒ as long as they have the deed to the house. The Tea Party has countless examples of stoking that anti-intellectual fire, if you want an example, but theyíre certainly not the only ones. He attack on expertise over the years might make the uneducated feel better, but it is a disastrous approach to politics that opens the door to tyranny. Trump is just a stepping-stone along the way. Someone like that only gets elected by people rejecting expertise and being informed. Trump gets elected only in a time where people would rather be entertained than informed. They distrust expertise so much that the most qualified people for the White House (not just Hillary, but even staff and advisors) are rejected for sycophants who confuse blind loyalty and unthinking partisanship for informed policy.

Youíre pointing to mass communication as the problem, maybe youíre right. Maybe thatís the catalyst that makes everyone think they can be an expert, since they have access to more information than ever before in human history. However, there needs to come a time where people realize that access to information is not the same as being able to effectively use that information or even understand it. You could give me a box full of car parts, but I would never be able to put an engine together. Why people donít realize that the same principle applies to public policy is beyond me.

The idea of a democracy was that people would look up to and promote the most intelligent and well-informed amongst us to lead our nations. There was a value placed on these qualities that no longer exists. Frankly, itís post-modernism completely misunderstood. The irony that Peterson claims this too is not lost on me. What I mean, however, is that pomo is misconstrued as all positions are equally valid and informed. Thatís not true. Post-modernistsí epistemological perspective is more accurately about accounting for subjectivity and what that means for analysis, rather than arguing for a nihilistic ďeverything is subjectiveĒ approach that discounts learning, education, and expertise.

Mass communication may be the mode through which the democratization of expertise has flourished, but it was not an inevitable path. Itís only through the sustained exploitation of ignorance for political gain, the abandonment of values (by both conservatives, but especially libertarians, and liberals) that put community and society at their core, that brought about this anti-intellectual era. It is completely unsustainable.

Make no mistake about it, this at its foundation is about intellectual laziness. People pick their politics like they pick their favourite sports team, literally rallying around their team and treating them as bough they can do no wrong. This is entertainment over information. This allows others to make decisions for you. Just pick your party and follow unwaveringly with the utmost loyalty. When the majority of the populace becomes too lazy to think for themselves, tyranny is inevitable. Trump, who flings **** at anyone who holds him accountable (e.g., the media, the department of justice, even other Republicans), is simply a step along the way.

You say itís mass communication and maybe it is. Maybe people are incapable of wading through the mountains of information, so they don their political colours and let party lines make the decisions for them. However, Iím arguing that there needs to be accountability somewhere for fostering a culture that sees intelligence as a defect, that meets expertise with reckless distrust, no matter how advanced that expertise is. Politicians who exploit this, should be harshly and swiftly criticized. And the media has a responsibility to contextualize and present information in a way that educates rather than entertains. Mass communication is not the problem. Itís whatís being done with it thatís the problem.
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