“Protect me from the cynical mind
That scoffs at Truth and Beauty
And makes of no account
Those things which are of good report.”
One of the people I follow regularly is astrologer, Robert Wilkinson. He wrote an insightful article today, A Thought On Cynics, Critics, and Others Who Judge Too Harshly. An excerpt from this article:
So often we humans take a one-sided approach to how we view and interpret things. So often we humans only see that which we believe is in error, and forget to praise the good, true, and beautiful. So often we humans offer a stronger negative to what our minds judge rather than offer an acknowledgment of “those things which are of good report.”
Last evening I was reading again some writings by social philosopher, Erich Fromm and find again something related:
“There is only one possible, productive solution for the relationship of individualized man with the world: his active solidarity with all men and his spontaneous activity, love and work, which unite him again with the world, not by primary ties but as a free and independent individual…. However, if the economic, social and political conditions… do not offer a basis for the realization of individuality in the sense just mentioned, while at the same time people have lost those ties which gave them security, this lag makes freedom an unbearable burden. It then becomes identical with doubt, with a kind of life which lacks meaning and direction. Powerful tendencies arise to escape from this kind of freedom into submission or some kind of relationship to man and the world which promises relief from uncertainty, even if it deprives the individual of his freedom.” (Erich Fromm, Escape from Freedom [N.Y.: Rinehart, 1941], pp. 36–7. The point is repeated on pp. 31, 256–7.)
“What, in the changed conditions after the war [WWI], Hitler was able to most [significantly] exploit was the belief that pluralism was somehow unnatural or unhealthy in a society, that it was a sign of weakness, and that internal division and disharmony could be suppressed and eliminated, to be replaced by the unity of a national community.” (Ian Kershaw, Hitler, 1889-1936).
from Characteristics of Demagoguery by Trish Roberts-Miller
As part of my series on exposing the Koch brothers as reinvented John Birchers, I found a good article that explains demagoguery and the related dangers. Please refer to my last few articles on the Kochs that describe their history, ideology, and their agenda to eliminate anything that is related to collectivism.
Characteristics of Demagoguery
Demagoguery is polarizing propaganda that motivates members of an ingroup to hate and scapegoat some outgroup(s), largely by promising certainty, stability, and what Erich Fromm famously called “an escape from freedom.” It significantly undermines the quality of public argument for reasons and in ways discussed below. In the most abstract, the reason it is so harmful is that it creates and fosters a situation in which it is actively dangerous to criticize dominant views, cultures, and political groups. It makes discourse a kind of coercion, largely through rousing and appealing to hate. Thus, the very people who make the decisions cannot hear all the information they need. Historically, demagoguery is a precursor to the ending of democracy—that is, when demagogues succeed, their first move is almost always to restrict the power of the people or parliaments in favor of some kind of tyrannical or totalitarian system.
Erich Fromm is listed under My Teachers. I encourage my readers to study Fromm and read his book, Escape from Freedom, available in the Asheham Bookstore.