Discussion in 'World Events' started by Weaver, Oct 10, 2000.

  1. Weaver Registered Member

    In my view, the people of today are dangerously low on the mysterious thing called willpower. People are always willing to give up at the first sign of difficulty. Comments?
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  3. Rambler Senior Member Registered Senior Member

    ahhh- what are you gonna do??? (Homer Simpson)

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  5. Oxygen One Hissy Kitty Registered Senior Member

    We've been conditioned to take the easy way out. We've been convinced to lower our standards so that we don't get disappointed. We have been taught that excellence is only for the rich or egotistic. We have been brainwashed that discipline is for military die-hards and monks.

    I think it was back in the 60s or so when Dr. Spock began his "don't repress your child's personality" thing. Whatever his original intent was, it became a license for parents to not have to tend to their own kids. they were able to pop them out without having to take on the responsibility. These kids soon learned that crying and putting up a fuss was the way to instant gratification. Giving in to their demands was easier than teaching them that you can't always get what you want. They grew up with the easy path clearly marked on the map.

    Now they've grown up. Maybe a few have learned the lessons that the world has to teach, but I'll bet most still think that if they cry loud enough they can get their way, or that if they aren't guaranteed success, then they aren't going to play.

    Deprivation and abstinence are not the way to go, but restrain and self-control is a lesson the children today could learn if we adults showed more than a little of it. To reform mankind, begin with the children.
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  7. Weaver Registered Member

    Wow. I'm speechless... Oxygen, that was pretty much what I meant all along. It is true that perhaps the parents are to blame. In truth, I was one of the ones to grow out of my spoiled nature. Crying was just a child's game. Unfortunately, not many others view it the same way.
  8. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Normally I say something about religion at this point, but until we separate religion from economy from Self, there's no point in resurrecting that section of the diatribe.

    However, I would charge that the boldfaced truism above explains much about what has happened to society in general.

    I call it "economization" of the "original point", that is, retaining willfully what portions one finds beneficial while "trimming the fat" out of the budget of practice.

    In religious values, we find that economization occurring as cultures assimilate to another culture. If I might drag up Christianity (really, I'm not blaming it for anything directly, I promise), we see a number of practices and ideas found in "original" Christianity that were abandoned over time due to their lack of relevance. Consider baptism and initiation into Christianity, and the ritual of renouncing the Devil and his angels. A "born-again" without a formal church attempts to "economize" this portion of the process out of their Christianity. Who says you can? The Born-again, that's who. It is more conceptually economic for that person to simply accept the Word of the Lord and get on with life; no robes or rivers or chanting congregations necessary.

    Likewise, we see another form of economization taking place when Christians adopt pagan rituals (Yule, Aeostar, &c.). History shows that Christians, as a body, hate foreign cultures. That is, how many times have Christians destroyed paganistic practices through warfare and Inquisition? How many people have died for not believing the right things about Jesus? However, when faced with wiping out the economic labor base (the pagan society conquered) and accommodating their needs for a special holiday ... Easter? Christmas? What do reindeer and bunnies have to do with the Christos? It's more economical, sometimes, to patronize than decimate.

    In the case of parenting, see philosophical economization taking place in a manner similar to religion. There might be a hundred reasons to not apply "Spare the rod, spoil the child", but it's really, really hard to remember them all, and figure which ones are important to the situation at hand. It's why parents choose not to spare the rod. It is conceptually more economic to assume why the child has broken a rule than to figure out what's really going on.

    Justice? Drug War. Even Justice Breyer, oft-regarded as left-of-center, lamented that the Apprendi decision striking down a certain form of conviction and sentencing (which the defendant cannot defend against) would endanger the efficiency of prosecutors in obtaining convictions. In the case of drug possession: if you are convicted of carrying two containers (even if one's your loaded pipe and the other's your dime bag), you are assumed to have the intent to sell and distribute, which adds to your sentence. (Apprendi, incidentally, will do away with some of that nonsense.) But the simple fact is that it is conceptually and financially more economical to simply assume what the defendant is attempting to do. Convicted on the assumption of guilt, simply because it costs less.

    Remember when your parents taught you it was impolite to constantly hound people to fulfill your desires? Essentially, that one shouldn't beg? Yet what philosophy rules the workplace, the schools, the government, and therefore the social conscience? The squeaky wheel gets the grease. It is acknowledged by societ at large that it is more economical to be a society of whining twits than it is to use our brains and figure out what the problem is.

    Willpower? There's no reason for it. As pointed out by Christians in other threads, the U.S. is a very spiritual or passionate country. Christian, Jew, Muslim, Witch, or atheist, it seems that everybody desires universal goodness, but since it's not economically feasible, we'll stick with cutting each other's throats and complaining about the mess for a while longer.

    It's currently being suggested to me that I "owe" it to people to take part in my company's annual charity extortion scheme. It isn't that I object to the drive, but that no less than four people I know have asked me not to donate to this organization on grounds I consider to be proper concerns, though not necessarily to this level of objection. However, the only counterpoint I'm getting from my co-workers is that I should donate so that we can buy a day off. Every year, we literally buy ourselves another day off, and I think it's kind of sick. It's not economically feasible, on a societal level, to engage paradigms that either eliminate certain of our troubles, or inherently reduce them. Rather, it's easier to just bribe people to give to charity so that the charities can fix problems we shouldn't be having. And the best reason I have to give is that we can earn a bloody day off?

    I think people are realizing that the hand-to-mouth mentality that drags Americans down into their own self-concerned morass isn't necessary. It's vestigial, carried on by a form of traditionalism that tells you that you're not moral if you don't suffer more than your parents.

    Willpower evaporated amid the pressure of greedy people crying for help because they felt entitled to the good will some of the world showed to our less fortunate human brethren. You know, I don't care if it's "a handout". As long as children are hungry in the streets, we'll have the violent, damaging conditions that create hungry children in the streets.

    Willpower has been diverted to "the Lie".

    Just like your first lie invites a chain of supporting deceptions until the liar must maintain an imperial network of falsehood. It simply takes too much energy. We spend so much time focusing on ourselves and our insular units (family, &c.) that we only acknowledge otherness when it's profitable, as runs the working American definition of economy.

    So the greedy hurt others to enrich their own stake, creating an imbalance. Instead of filling in that vacuum, the greedy then divert other energies to preserving the imbalance, claiming it as a "right", and maintaining such a deficit until the effects of that deficit begin to corrupt the profitability of the greedy, at which time the greedy divert more energy to creating artificial devices to maintain the deficit while suppressing the corruption of profitability. (Why else does every "good" economic plan begin with the removal of funds from the poor and awarding of the same to the rich?)

    Working example: Americans enslaved Africans for economic purposes; we did so because our cotton industry (and others) needed cheap labor in order to build the economy it did. Slavery created a huge economic and moral deficit. Instead of filling those interrelated vacuums, the Greedy passed Jim Crow laws, to resist the forces that would create balance. The greedy passed Jim Crow laws to maintain the moral and economic deficit created by American slavery and to suppress the corruption of the profitability of being born with pale skin. Homer Plessy, Rosa Parks, MLK, Malcom .... At some point in there, the Greedy (the Angry Whites) decided that they had had enough of the Black folk trying to force their way on the "rest of us". Perhaps Angry White Syndrome is a manifestation of Squeaky Wheel Syndrome? So goes the "logic" that to iron out the moral and economic deficits created by our ill treatment of people based on skin color is somehow a violation and corruption of people based on skin color. Equalizing our society, then, is unfair to the "rights" of the greedy who have worked so hard to keep the Black population from achieving economic empowerment.

    Willpower's there, I guess. I mean, a whole lot of dumb white folks have to decide as a matter of Will that they don't want equality in their world. Apparently these people like having crime, illiteracy, and all manner of human tragedy because it's more economic to fight for their own bankroll than it is to alleviate their reasons to fight at all.

    Half-penny, two-penny ... I guess I don't have the willpower to continue this soapbox rant.

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    Whether God exists or does not exist, He has come to rank among the most sublime and useless truths.--Denis Diderot

    [This message has been edited by tiassa (edited October 13, 2000).]

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