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Quote from: Variola on 12/08/2010 12:13:13Oh yeah, and do you like rhubarb crumble and custard? It is an important question... Maybe we need a on this question especially as (with Variola's expertise) through it we can solve all societies ills! 
Oh yeah, and do you like rhubarb crumble and custard? It is an important question...
As a theoretical question - how can one discern differences between living in an all-encompassing repressive ideological hegemony as described by Littlestone and living under paranoid delusions with a very real belief of above hegemonic state?
When a completely pervasive state wielding ideological control is posited we end up in a morpheus/red or blue pill scenario. Every statement can be validly challenged by the opposing viewpoint; "you would say that because you are ideologically constrained/suffering from delusions" (delete as applicable).The fact that you avoid the rhubarb question is worrying...
So, if I get the overall drift, the problem that society does have a way of "reacting" to individuals who do not comply is really to be expected and part of living with other humans, whatever the society.
I'm just here to say bo---locks to that!
So I am agent three now - do I get a uniform?
I am now sat here in the dark.... wearing a rubber outfit and tin foil on my head to ward off lightening.
Oh, there it is! ... Works for lightening protection as well as mind-control, eh Variola! imatfaal - Looks like you uniform should be rubber, er apparently
I don't need a beach body plan.... I need the Rubber Suit plan!!
Quote I'm just here to say bo---locks to that! Well, thanks for that.
I'm just here to say bo---locks to that!
So I am agent three now - do I get a uniform? Are you really positing the idea of complete ideological control?
You do realise that these ideas have been discussed to death, and most social theorists have moved on or refined their ideas?
I found Empire (hardt and negri) to be a good read (you can get it on the web but its a huge download) and gramsci's prison notebooks are an essential grounding - for a more detailed modern critical look you could try Jonathan Joseph, 'Hegemony: A Realist Analysis', Studies in Critical Realism, 2002 Routledge/London Mark Rupert, Producing Hegemony: The Politics of Mass Production and American Global Power. (1995)Cambridge University Press/Cambridge
There really is no Blofelt character (stroking a cat) controlling the world. There are people who wield power, but generally they have got there because they wanted to and the rest of us let them. And their power is limited.
There is no fixed hegemony but rather a changing and mobile one and, though there is much inertia, it can and does change.
There is no conspiracy with men in smoke filled rooms (probably smoke free nowadays) plotting how the world shall develop.
Sure, there are those who try and some have political and financial influence, but their goals are usually much more simple. Politicians have a bad name but, generally (if not always), they are well intentioned and their power is hugely constrained by the system in which they work.
Societies do take on some anthropomorphic characteristics, and this concept is often reinforced by the media's use of shorthand comments on political matters by referring to a country having a point of view rather than just some of its people. There are people who wield influence of course, and it cannot be denied that lobby groups play a role in changing policies, but they can have influence one week and lose it the next. Sometimes these ideas can take hold of governments.
The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein is worth a read if you can stick at it as an example of how political ideas can influence how governments behave. The influence of the lobby groups, like "The American Enterprise Institute" had a profound impact of the Bush administration in the USA is another example. But generally these are temporary, allbeit if over many years, and are not a built-in feature of the way society has to develop.
For better or worse much of what happens is rather out-of-control; the recent financial crisis being an example.
Most things that go wrong (and some that go right) are cock-ups rather than conspiracies. This does not mean that the system dose not seem to behave in a controlled way, but that is how systems develop.
While I've been typing this lot 4 people have posted so sorry if it appears irrelevent.
I think it's all a load of old rowlocks.There is no such thing as "neagative freedom". Freedom can only have a positive value. Seems to me these socialist scientist types need to crack the old math books a bit more.
Quote from: Geezer on 12/08/2010 19:33:27I think it's all a load of old rowlocks.There is no such thing as "neagative freedom". Freedom can only have a positive value. Seems to me these socialist scientist types need to crack the old math books a bit more.A freedom to kill, surely would have a negative value.