Monday, June 20, 2005

Enlightenment

G.M. Trevelyan says in his biography of Macaulay that the Nineteenth Century agreed that there were three subjects that were not to be discussed in company: sex, religion and politics. Whatever the benefits of the prohibition in peace, it can't be said that it resulted in much progress in understanding the subjects.

Freud wrote of "The Sexual Enlightenment of Children." In Australia there is or was a tribe which brought up children in its traditional religion until they reached a certain age. Then they were told, privately, that the whole thing was just a myth designed to get them to act like good members of the tribe---the religious enlightenment of children.

In dealing with 9/11 Truth, activists are undertaking the political enlightenment of individuals of all chronological ages, and like the other enlightenments it is not a thing to be taken lightly.

Religion and politics are more like each other than either is like sex. Religion and government can be seen as simply systems for controlling people. One uses real sanctions, the other imaginary ones (or invisible ones, if you prefer). These systems of control are outward manifestations or counterparts of what seem to be deep psychological structures in humans. These structures can be conceptualized in terms of "belief systems."

If arguing the merits of one religion versus another is like discussing ordinary politics, then discussing deep politics is like debating the existence of God. The possibility that the people might need to be protected from their own government (instead of some other government) is one which is unthinkable for many citizens of the United States today, although it provided the Founding Fathers of the Country with their source of energy.

David Livingston Smith, as I mentioned earlier, points out the usefulness of self-deception in the task of deceiving others. Since it is apparently apart from the evolutionary perspective, he does not mention the usefulness of establishing a community of self-deceivers, each helping the others in the task of self-deception. However this phenomenon is to be accounted for evolutionarily, there is no doubt of the notion's usefulness in the study of sociology and history.

1 Comments:

Blogger Donald E. Stahl said...

Richard Greene describes his:

http://www.911blogger.com/node/14162

5/26/2008 04:44:00 PM  

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