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Offline coberst

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Our Ignorance is no Accident
« on: 09/11/2008 22:22:42 »
Our Ignorance is no Accident

One technique used to maintain the slave economy in the Antebellum South was to outlaw any form of behavior that allowed the slave to become learned.  It was necessary that the slave not only be illiterate but that s/he be isolated as much as possible from the world around them; if they knew little of the outside world they were more easily confined, constrained, and controlled.

Ignorance in the free white community and the black slave community in Antebellum South was no accident.  I suspect the depth of ignorance within the American population today is, likewise, no accident.

Potlatch was a common characteristic of primitive cultural practice and ritual.  Potlatch ceremonies were a common practice in the winter months because the summer months were busy times for gathering wealth for the family and community.

Quickie from wiki:
“Sponsors of a potlatch give away many useful items such as food, blankets, worked ornamental mediums of exchange called "coppers", and many other various items. In return, they earned prestige. To give a potlatch enhanced one’s reputation and validated social rank, the rank and requisite potlatch being proportional, both for the host and for the recipients by the gifts exchanged. Prestige increased with the lavishness of the potlatch, the value of the goods given away in it…The status of any given family is raised not by who has the most resources, but by who distributes the most resources. The hosts demonstrate their wealth and prominence through giving away goods.”

In primitive communities social life was a continuous dialogue of gift giving and reciprocation.   When there was food there was food for all when there was scarcity all shared in this scarcity.  The successful hunter kept the least desirable parts of the kill for himself and gave the most desirable to the community.  “This was the core truth in the myth of primitive communism.”

Primitive man was judged not by the magnitude of his accumulated wealth but by the magnitude of his shared wealth.


Present day economic theories are of a self-regulating system of markets.  Such a social theory did not come from history.   We are taught that this practice of private property and gain are the natural order of human social evolution; such is not the case.  “Gain and profit made in exchange never before played an important part in human economy.”

Adam Smith theorized that the division of labor results from man’s “propensity to barter, truck, and exchange one thing for another…This phrase was later to yield the concept of the Economic Man.”  This observation represents a misreading of the past and a great fallacy that has led us into today’s culture of human social behavior becoming dominated by economic ideology.

We must discard some 19th century prejudices underlying the hypothesis of primitive man’s predilection for gainful employment.  The bias that caused Smith and his generation to incorrectly view primitive man induced succeeding generations to lose interest in early man.

“The tradition of the classical economics, who attempted to base the law of the market on the alleged propensities of man in the state of nature, was replaced by an abandonment of all interest in the cultures of “uncivilized” man as irrelevant to an understanding of the problems of our age.”

Anthropologists inform us today that there has been a remarkable sameness for all societies throughout earlier history and that sameness is “that man’s economy, as a rule, is submerged in his social relationships.  He does not act so as to safeguard his individual interest in the possession of material goods; he acts so as to safeguard his social standing, his social assets…the economic system will be run on noneconomic motives…All social obligations are reciprocal.”

Our present economic system of acquisition with little or no regard for the rest of society is not our naturally evolved culture.  This is a totally artificial system that we have been raised to recognize as a natural phenomenon.  Our ignorance of many things is maintained by those who manage to control social policy and especially our educational systems.

We are maintained in a semi sophisticated state of ignorance in order to prevent us from critically evaluating our institutions and changing them in a manner that is less alienating to our nature.

Quotes from “The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time” by Karl Polanyi



 

Offline akhenaten

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Our Ignorance is no Accident
« Reply #1 on: 31/05/2009 19:59:30 »
I realise that this topic has not been posted in for a long time, nevertheless maybe someone might be interested.
Ignorance certainly helps in keeping the enslaved enslaved, especially in cases where the enslaved thinks that they are free. And I would agree that in general ignorance is no accident. Personal experience is not the best evidence in a site such as this but ....  I grew up in Toxteth, Liverpool, UK, and like the rest of my peers I went to what was classed a secondary modern school, that is a school that after 4-5 years of secondary education there was no possibility of obtaining any kind of educational certification. The basic understand being that I would not need such certification as I was destined to work in a local factory. I duly worked in several local factories and several other "dead end" jobs but never felt satisfied. The point being that someone in a position to decide on such matters deemed that ignorance was to be my destiny so I can easily accept that is happening within America today. Indeed when I study events that have happened within the USA I can see why ignorance especially when allied with patriotism is the ideal state chosen for most of USA citizens. But ideal for who, well that is obvious.
Now I know immediately that many will take issue with what I am about to write, they Will claim that I am paranoid and so on. But I am intelligent, successful, have money and property but I know that the police can shoot me whenever they want, there is no reason they should want to I should add. No police officer in this country has been charged with unlawful killing of a citizen but many people have been shot dead or killed or run over, knocked down by cars, by the police. Recent legislation in the UK and USA more or less gives them blanked permission to kill anyone. They simply kill you then fabricate some excuse, say in my case they may say a neighour phoned in saying they saw me at my window with a rifle. Whatever the case I will be dead and fear and ignorance will mean my death will not be questioned. Now even though I write this readers will immediately refuse to believe in what I say and even refuse to accept that I can be a normal intelligent person and express such an idea.
Agree with the statement "I suspect the depth of ignorance within the American population today is, likewise, no accident." But sad to say even "The truth will set you free" is a phrase that is not true. I suspect that the ignorant know deep down that even if they knew the truth (whatever that is) they could not do anything about it as all in institutions are geared to refute the truth to the extent that it is just too hard to climb out of ignorance rather than wallow in it's comfort.

 

Offline lightspeed301

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Re: Our Ignorance is no Accident
« Reply #2 on: 04/01/2012 00:26:37 »
cob - You wrote: "I suspect the depth of ignorance within the American population today is, likewise, no accident."

Certainly not. In fact the ignorance of the left seems deliberate and proud.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Re: Our Ignorance is no Accident
« Reply #3 on: 04/01/2012 11:42:09 »
cob - You wrote: "I suspect the depth of ignorance within the American population today is, likewise, no accident."

Certainly not. In fact the ignorance of the left seems deliberate and proud.
LOL
The ignorance of the Right is much the same.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Palin
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bushism

Incidentally I also went to a secondary modern school (in the 1980s). I picked up 5  A levels; went to Oxford and studied chemistry.

This isn't a Left vs Right thing- it can't be. The US political field has no Left.
Those in power have an obvious vested interest in staying there. The easiest way to do that is to ensure that the populace is too ignorant to vote them out and get someone  who actually supports the bulk of people rather that the empowered minority.
 

Offline peppercorn

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Re: Our Ignorance is no Accident
« Reply #4 on: 04/01/2012 14:33:07 »
Is it even worth reviving this topic after two and a half years anyway?

The tedium of political rhetoric pretty much always degrades quickly into an exercise in self-aggrandisement and points scoring IMO.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Re: Our Ignorance is no Accident
« Reply #5 on: 04/01/2012 20:22:45 »
If the dates on posts came up in something more sensible than 3 point text...
 

Offline rosy

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Re: Our Ignorance is no Accident
« Reply #6 on: 05/01/2012 12:13:10 »
Quote
If the dates on posts came up in something more sensible than 3 point text...
Yers. That was a forum upgrade formatting bug.
Fixed now.
 

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Re: Our Ignorance is no Accident
« Reply #6 on: 05/01/2012 12:13:10 »

 

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