Morality Isn’t (improved)

So I heard about this morality business and I thought, “Hey, that sounds good,” see what I did there, and so I looked into it, and . . . oh.

Turns out, morality thinks it’s exempt, doesn’t apply to it, apparently.

Did the lights just get dimmer?

The following italicized 248 words are pathetic, I would delete this blog if there were nothing in it, and if I were the sort trying to pretend I’m something other than the broken fool I really am, I would anyway. Seriously talking about what’s not in the book when I’ve listened to someone else’s synopsis of page one. I’m sorry. I’m going to leave the mess here, see if there’s anything to salvage afterwards, see you on the other side.

I want to learn, but I try and I hit a wall immediately, I found a podcast, one of the Open Yale courses, Philosophy and Science of Human Nature and she starts with Plato as the basis of all western thought on the matter and it’s wrong immediately, She has Socrates saying that some things are only valuable instrumentally, meaning for what they bring, not for themselves and then lists a nation’s appearance of strength as one such thing, the deterrent, she said, ” . . . it doesn’t matter that you are dangerous, only that you seem dangerous.”

Of course it’s true that in a conversation about deterrents your actual, real world dangerousness “doesn’t matter,” and of course that is the only place in the universe that such a thing wouldn’t matter.

Of course I’m cherry-picking this, but again, this is episode one, and she said Plato and his Republic are the basis of everything and I don’t imagine this is the last we hear about nations’ actual strength, surely all of western thought isn’t concerned with virtual deterrents rather than actual strong nations?

I don’t usually use such sarcasm, but this is a special case. I’m looking around and if I never get another scrap of data about this, I am going to have to assume this really is the case. Strength is left out of her list of Socrates’ things that have value in themselves, so it only makes the one appearance, as merely virtual.

Yeah, not much. I’ll just try to describe my emotional state when I wrote this childish rant.

I’ve always done this, I must be a born teacher, I am always running some process of elimination game on you all, scanning for what’s not there, listening for what you don’t know, maybe I can help fill you out, and listening to this Yale Open course, it’s directly about human nature, and it’s where I started and I have moved on. I know it’s an exercise in proving a negative, I am mining the culture for my idea, to make sure it’s new, and my usual take – what is missing here? – finds it missing in every sentence! Not just that, but I am introduced to Plato and his thought as foundational, so missing here is terrible, world destroying news. I knew it before, if antisocialization were present in the Greek foundation of all things western, then this knowledge would be all around me already, but I suppose it was a different matter, thinking I was really seeing it, rather, hearing it myself, with my own ears.

It’s bloody torture, I can only take so much, so I break off and write instead, in a terrible regressed emotional state. I hate that I am obligated to read and learn what is wrong, that I have no venue in which to teach what is right, frustrated I couldn’t just go over to Plato’s house and set him straight.

I’ll keep listening, but this is what I saw as the core of the problem from here and now, and here is the core of our thought about it. There aren’t going to be any pleasant surprises, are there.

OK, the second half of the lecture, the fellow with the mirrors bending us towards fairness “when we’re being watched,” I love this stuff, OMG, as though it’s about the eyes and not the social control that comes when we’re observed, again, always the gaslighting, this is “psychology:” there is nothing bad in the world, only in you, you behave differently when you’re being watched, not “if someone sees me they are going to hurt or kill me,” no.

I’m mad at you all.

Psychology is the psychology department of abusing you, nothing else.

Jeff, Sept. 4th., 2020

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