Posts Tagged ‘self-righteousness’

on “what should be”

December 26, 2011

What is the effect of informing or indoctrinating others as to “what should be” and “what should not be?” Of course, these communications program attention toward the specific patterns referenced.

For instance, in religious programming, there may be an instruction such as “people should be honest.” This focuses attention on the issue of whether or not honesty is present, or at least is perceived or publicized, and so on. Of course, the word “honest” is not defined in the above instruction, so let’s use an even more revealing example:
“People should be flaggy.” (The point is that I just made up the word flaggy).

So, now even without knowing whether or not people are flaggy or not, we may be interested in learning what it is so that we can be that way (or at least do those things that would predictably result in us appearing flaggy to other people). We may also be interested in identifying when other people are not flaggy so that we can point out their lack of flagginess and establish ourselves as all the more flaggy relative to those extremely unflaggish folks.

If someone suggests that I am not flaggy, I may withdraw from them, accuse them of being even less flaggy than I am, or simply target silencing them, such as by killing them. Or, I may thank them for pointing out my unflagginess, apologize for the isolated incident of unflagginess, and then publicly do some things that are very flaggy.
So, by constructing models of how people should be, the rulers or propagandists inform groups as to how the recipients of the propaganda should be. The instruction “people should be flaggy” is actually not really about other people. The instruction is about the recipient of the propaganda and how that recipient should be.

If I tell you that “people should be flaggy,” and you know that you are one of those people who should be flaggy, then really all that just happened is that I told you to be flaggy without directly telling you that. We could call that an indirect or covert or unconscious instruction.

Obviously, you may then be suddenly concerned with learning what flaggy means and displaying any flaggy behaviors of yours and minimizing exposure of any unflaggish behaviors. The flaggishness of your behavior may or may not change, but a new behavior of emphasizing certain behaviors and minimizing attention to others will arise. In other words, you have been instructed to be attentive to other people’s perceptions of you. “People should be flaggy” means that you should present yourself as flaggy and show your conformity to the bias toward flaggishness by criticizing people who are unflaggy, unflaggish, and otherwise lacking in flagginess.
You may want to join campaigns for the promotion of flaggishness. You may insist that politicians be more flaggy in particular, as well as the media and also notable people in distant countries. They should be flaggy, too, because they are people and people should be flaggy.

In fact, you may eventually presume that all people, unless proven otherwise, are inherently flaggy because that after all is simply how people should be. Not only should you focus on the issue of whether other people perceive you to be flaggy, but you should perceive other people, at least those close or dear to you, to be flaggy. Anything less would be to invite conflict and guilt by association.

Not only do we focus attention on whether or not other people perceive us individually to be flaggy, but whether they perceive our friends and business associates to be flaggy, even our political party or our country. “Our political party is the most flaggy of all, and so is our government and our whole country, and so are my very flaggy friends!”
Since everyone should be flaggy, it becomes important to occasionally punish some folks for their lack of flagginess, or even just for their lack of loyalty to the idea that all people should be flaggy. People need to be reviewed for flagginess and rewarded or punished in accord with their flaggishness. It is only fair, right?

Flaggishness becomes the great moral issue of a culture. Our great triumph is our flaggishness and our pride is that some other people are not as flaggy as we are. As an individual, I emphasize how particular individuals are not as flaggy as me. In business, I emphasize how other businesses are not as flaggy as my business. In politics, I emphasize how other political systems are not as flaggy as mine. In religion, I emphasize how other religious groups are relatively less flaggy or even anti-flaggists.

All of this proves my loyalty to the idea that people should be flaggy. My loyalty proves that I am flaggy. After all, convincing everyone I encounter that a few other people in particular are “not flaggy enough” is the absolute pinnacle of flagginess. It is very flaggy of me to monitor the flagginess of other people and to condemn them for unflaggish behaviors. Our conversations may center on the breakdowns in flaggishness on the part of our spouses or co-workers or competitors.
Why? Because everyone wants to be perceived not just as somewhat flaggy, but the most flaggy. In a couple, only one of the two people can be the most flaggy. In a group of one hundred, the competition is to be the most flaggy, or at least in the top half of flaggishness.

In a business, only one of the co-workers can be the most flaggy, which means that I am constantly concerned with noting other people’s flaggishness and collecting evidence for a possible eventual witch hunt crusade inquisition against unflaggishness.

Obviously, the more that someone knows about any unflaggishness on my part, the less urgency I might have to publicizing any unflaggishness on their part, but of course I would if my own flaggishness was at issue. The best proof of my flaggishness, of course, is my willingness to condemn others for their lack of flaggishness. The better that I am at gathering evidence of flaggishness, and the more diplomatic in leveraging that knowledge, the more loyalty I can expect from others who may be aware of some minor unflagginess on my part- of course very minor and quite isolated incidents.

Also, if our business is competing with other businesses, I loyally point out how flaggy the competitors are not and how flaggy we are. Yes, the same people I just criticized for unflaggishness, I now suddenly champion for flaggishness if the comparison is no longer against me personally, but against the entire group of which I am a part.

Not only is my country by far the most flaggish, with the most flaggish history and the most flaggish current champions of flaggishness, but we are also very concerned about getting more flaggy and staying flaggy and so on. That is because we are so flaggy that we are so concerned about continuing to be (or at least appear to be) flaggy.

So, the definition of flaggishness is to rally around this flag as opposed to the other flag or flags. Those other people who are rallied around those other flags are not as flaggy as I am. They have the wrong flag, which is not just an innocent error on their part, but a moral failure for which we flaggy people should mercifully relieve them of the evil horrors of living with their moral failure… by efficiently killing them or at least conquering their social system under threat of extermination.

Flaggishness really means loyalty. Honesty really means loyalty, too, but it is impolite to say so.

Of all the things that people really should be, people should not be TOO loyal. They should be flaggy or honest or hard-working, but being loyal is a bit too direct. Be morally superior, not just loyal. Merely being loyal is what all those other businesses and countries are doing.

Be the most flaggy. Be morally superior. Encourage flaggishness by telling other people that they should be flaggy and then criticize or punish them for any display of unflaggishness, because controlling what people display is the point of indoctrinating your subject in how people should be. People should only display the qualities that they wish for other people to perceive.

Because I am so authentic about how inauthentic I am, I notice and admit how valuable it is for me to look good. This may be the most flaggy thing that someone could do.

I define how people should be. People should be direct, straight-forward, and honest, not manipulative or propagandist or concerned about appearances and results and methods that work.

People should be unselfish and moral and think for themselves. People should not just accept whatever propaganda has told them. People should definitely resist propaganda, or at least condemn it, or at least deny that it exists, such as by suggesting that it was recently invented, like just 14 seconds ago. Also, if you are going to rally around a flag, make sure that the flag that you are rallying around is the most flaggy flag of all, or at least appears flaggy.

Anyway, what is the difference really between the appearance of flagginess and actual flagginess? What specific behavior distinguishes between actual flagginess and the mere appearance of flagginess?

After all, people should not be concerned about appearances and other people’s perceptions. They should only be concerned about their own actual flagginess, like how much they condemn other people’s unflaggishness. People should condemn other people’s unflaggishness, by which I mean that people should condemn other people, like for being other than they should be.

People should be concerned about condemning other people, but not directly to those people. That could be a safety issue. Condemn others safely, like from a safe distance and among other people who can safely join in the condemnation against spouses like that (unflaggy spouses), bosses like that (unflaggy bosses), politicians like that (unflaggy politicians), and of course flags like that (unflaggy flags).

Thank you for your flaggishness. I wish you an absolutely flaggy day, and may God flag us all.

stages of adaptive appreciation

October 14, 2011

The above audio contains a lot more clarification and information than the text below.

First, people begin innocent. Then, they are trained in how things should be and so become naively presumptive, though that is adaptive relative to the first stage.

Then, if the presumptive way does not work very well, some slight revisions are made in regard to the updated idealism of how things really should be, and now the reformed and refined presumptiveness becomes arrogance (as in self-righteousness). Again, that may be adaptive relative to the prior stage- using a more adapted model of presumptiveness.
Next, after perhaps a few distinct idealisms have been tried and have all failed to correspond to reality, a cynical perfectionism may develop. This is a reaction against all forms of presumptiveness, all models. This is a criticism against all forms of what allegedly should be. This can be called hypocrisy, for it is presuming that presumptiveness about how things should be is what should not be, which implicitly presumes that an innocent naivete is all that should ever be. Again, that may still be more adaptive than prior stages.
However, once that does not work well either, then humility and grace may eventually develop. Then there is an appreciation possible for every stage: naive innocence, naive presumptiveness, arrogant presumptiveness, arrogant cynicism, and humility.
These stages of adaption can be regrouped in to three distinctions: innocence, perfectionism, and humility. Perfectionism includes naive presumptiveness, arrogant presumptiveness, and arrogant cynicism.
We can even look at these as stages of appreciation. Initially, everything is equal. Then, various priorities and values are identified, learned and refined. Then, there is an appreciation for all models and all values and all priorities- just one at a time.
In other words, all of the models and presumptions are recognized as similar in that they are just models and presumptions. In any particular case, one or more models may be most relevant or useful. There can be an appreciation for each model as unique and for all models as only being models. There can be an appreciation for the creation of new models and discarding of old ones and naively or arrogantly clinging to certain ones or rejecting certain others.
Humility and appreciation may be two words for a single adaption. We might even call it “maturity.”

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