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I'll start this essay with some generalizations about some basic principles with which I think most people of good will agree.  Namely, our overall understanding about the meaning of living in a constitutional democracy, under the rule of law.

I would assume that in the U.S., most voters understand the democratic process as one where people vote for (mainly) two major political parties, and we elect a government (both at the state and national levels).  These public officials are supposed to be answerable to the voting public, which expect them to legislate in favor of the common good, and not of special interests.

I would also assume that when it comes to the socioeconomic system, people expect to have a leveled playing field, with proper regulatory framework designed to prevent monopolistic predatory practices; to avoid extreme income inequality; and to ensure average people have an opportunity to move up the economic ladder.

That's just a very high level overview of what I think most people would agree with.  Now, I and most readers are fully aware that nothing is perfect; we know that there have been problems related to Wall Street, income inequality, and the latest revelations about the NSA spying.

But here's where I believe the groupthink phenomena may present a real problem.

Let me explain... First, I'd like to do away with the often propagated idea that complicated issues can be reduced to either-or, black-and-white choices, or what I like to call false dichotomies, which I believe are the result of propaganda techniques; I will talk about that later.

You see, one can fully participate in the political system as it is right now, regardless of what one thinks of it.  In other words, one person may feel it is totally legitimate and on the up-and-up, and another person may feel it is corrupt to the core, but both could end up participating in it, fully.  The former may put more hope in the system, believing it is legitimate.  The latter may see it as a compromised system, which may lead that person to believe that more needs to be done in addition to participating in the political system, and that additional effort could social justice activism.

The problem with the false dichotomy fallacy is that it insists on presenting only two choices (which is a propaganda technique): Either believe that the system is totally legitimate and put all (or most of your efforts) in it, or equate the questioning of its legitimacy to extremism, or being dogmatic and unrealistic.

The problem with this insistence is that it then morphs into the groupthink phenomena, which in the final analysis is extremely dangerous and harmful to a democratic (or any) society, because it purposely and actively prevents dissent, or the careful examination and understanding of the root causes of corruption within the system.

Before I continue, let me share the official definition of Groupthink:

Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people, in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an incorrect or deviant decision-making outcome. Group members try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation of alternative ideas or viewpoints, and by isolating themselves from outside influences.

Loyalty to the group requires individuals to avoid raising controversial issues or alternative solutions, and there is loss of individual creativity, uniqueness and independent thinking. The dysfunctional group dynamics of the "ingroup" produces an "illusion of invulnerability" (an inflated certainty that the right decision has been made). Thus the "ingroup" significantly overrates their own abilities in decision-making, and significantly underrates the abilities of their opponents (the "outgroup").

The emphasis is mine

I argue that the reason this type of groupthink dynamics is particularly dangerous now is because we are in the age of Neoliberalism, which is helping bring about a next step, which is proto-fascism.

Here's how Rob Urie describes the issue, in an article published at counterpunch: "Barack Obama and the Neo-Liberal Coup:"

What is missing from most political analysis around these policies is their trajectory—Mr. Obama’s time in office comes several decades into the ascendance of neo-liberalism. While many on ‘the left’ object to neo-liberal policies such as ‘free trade’ and ‘deregulation,’ what is usually left unsaid is that it is a fundamentally totalitarian form of political economy that is well into being used to restructure most of the Western world. Few if any of the hundreds of millions of people whose lives have been re-arranged by neo-liberal policies were asked if they favored them. And the super-secrecy around TPP negotiations is designed to assure the voices of those affected by it are excluded. The only plausible reason for the exclusion is that enough is known by the negotiators about the views of the public for them to assume we would object en masse if the details of the agreement became public. When viewed in conjunction with the surveillance state Mr. Obama and NSA officials continue to aggressively cover-up and lie about [] the consolidation and subsequent dissemination of the data collected by it across government agencies the precise point in the trajectory toward corporate-state coup becomes clearer. Tie in the public-private partnerships used by the surveillance state to circumvent domestic laws and the relation of neo-liberalism to totalitarian strategies and tactics is evident.
The emphasis is mine

Now, here's the point about that quote... Let say that you as the reader completely disagree with that assessment.  Let's say that you view Mr. Obama in a completely different light.  So based on that, would you feel comfortable enough to claim that you are absolutely sure that the situation is not as described by Mr. Urie?  Would you not allow for the possibility that your assessment may be wrong?  And, either way, would you not only assert that only your assessment is correct, and then insist that others do not engage in the examination of these issues because by doing so the results may be to demoralize the voting public, or give somehow give advantage to the opposite political party?

Here's another account of the same issue by Chris Hedges:

Corporations write our legislation. They control our systems of information. They manage the political theater of electoral politics and impose our educational curriculum. They have turned the judiciary into one of their wholly owned subsidiaries. They have decimated labor unions and other independent mass organizations, as well as having bought off the Democratic Party, which once defended the rights of workers. With the evisceration of piecemeal and incremental reform—the primary role of liberal, democratic institutions—we are left defenseless against corporate power.
What he's describing there is the effects of Neoliberalism...  Before I proceed, I also recommend this article at naked capitalism: "Fixing Old Markets With New Markets: the Origins and Practice of Neoliberalism"

And here's the main challenge: If it is true that there is a major disconnect from what a large segment of the voting public believes, and the reality of the situation (i.e., Neoliberalism / Proto-Fascism), then it is the role of the social justice activist to help bridge that gap of understanding; and that's usually done by following the social justice movement approach, as prescribed by Bill Moyers in: "Doing Democracy: The MAP Model for Organizing Social Movements"

Social movements involve a long-term struggle between the movement and the powerholders for the hearts, minds, and support of the majority of the population.  Before social movements begin, most people are either unaware that a problem exists or don't believe that they can do anything about it.  They believe the powerholder's societal myths and support the high-sounding official policies and practices, all of which seem to be consistent with the culture's deeply held held values and beliefs...

~snip~

The strategy of social movements, therefore, is to alert, educate, and win over an ever increasing majority of the public.  First the public needs to be convinced that a critical social problem exists.  Then it must be convinced that policies need to be changed.  And then a majority of people must be mobilized into a force that eventually brings about an acceptable solution.

Getting back to the issue of Groupthink, I argue that these are precisely the type of questions it seeks to suppress:
Loyalty to the group requires individuals to avoid raising controversial issues or alternative solutions, and there is loss of individual creativity, uniqueness and independent thinking.
The emphasis is mine

This issue about the suppression of "independent thinking" was also approached by the 1930's Institute for Propaganda Analysis:

The Institute for Propaganda Analysis (IPA) was a U.S.-based organization composed of social scientists, opinion leaders, historians, educators, and journalists. Created in 1937 by Kirtley Mather, Edward A. Filene, and Clyde R. Miller, the IPA formed with the general concern that increased amounts of propaganda were decreasing the public’s ability to develop their own critical thoughts. The purpose of the IPA was to spark rational thinking and provide a guide to help the public have well-informed discussions on current issues. “To teach people how to think rather than what to think.” The IPA focused on domestic propaganda issues that might become possible threats to the democratic ways of life.
The IPA ended up issuing seven common propaganda devices:
  1. Name-calling
  2. Glittering generalities
  3. Transfer
  4. Testimonial
  5. Plain folks
  6. Card stacking
  7. Bandwagon
Now, why do I bring this up?  I already stated that I believe there is a major disconnect between what our government is telling us, and the reality of the situation, which I interpret as a condition where a very dangerous alliance between government and corporation is working to undermine democracy in favor of Neoliberalism-induced totalitarianism, and if so, then just like in any age, propaganda would be a major tool of deception.

Let's make the same point with some comedy...



There is plenty of evidence that the U.S. government is engaging in propaganda against the American people.  Here's what the Washington Post reported about this subject: "Obama pick for NSA review panel wanted paid, pro-government shills in chat rooms"
The Obama administration is reportedly proposing Cass Sunstein as a member of a panel to review the surveillance practices of the National Security Agency (NSA), among other former White House and intelligence staffers. Sunstein was the head of the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs until last year, when he returned to teaching at Harvard Law School.

As one of our intrepid commenters pointed out yesterday, while at Harvard in 2008, Sunstein co-authored a working paper that suggests government agents or their allies "cognitively infiltrate" conspiracy theorist groups by joining "chat rooms, online social networks or even real-space groups" and influencing the conversation.

Here's more information about Sunstein's paper:
Sunstein and Vermeule also analyze the practice of recruiting "nongovernmental officials"; they suggest that "government can supply these independent experts with information and perhaps prod them into action from behind the scenes," further warning that "too close a connection will be self-defeating if it is exposed." Sunstein and Vermeule argue that the practice of enlisting non-government officials, "might ensure that credible independent experts offer the rebuttal, rather than government officials themselves. There is a tradeoff between credibility and control, however. The price of credibility is that government cannot be seen to control the independent experts." This position has been criticized by some commentators, who argue that it would violate prohibitions on government propaganda aimed at domestic citizens.  Sunstein and Vermeule's proposed infiltrations have also been met by sharply critical scholarly critiques
The emphasis is mine

In closing, my argument is, again, that the in the final analysis, the government is pushing a Neoliberal agenda; that the public is being lied and deceived about it; that propaganda is being used as a deceptive tool; and that these dynamics help bring about the dangerous phenomena of Groupthink, which is contributing to the entrenchment of a Corporate State Totalitarianism.

And I argue that that type of Groupthink is shutting down the voices of those who are trying to expose what is essentially government malfeasance, and that that desire for harmony and conformity is likely to result in an incorrect or deviant decision-making, all of which further erodes our democracy (or whatever is left of it).

In a Time of Universal Deceit — Telling the Truth Is a Revolutionary Act
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Comment Preferences

  •  Obviously an extension (34+ / 0-)

    of this comment. As usual someone disagreeing with you is guilty of X. In this case it is "group think" but like always it is that there is some reason that they don't see your brilliance as opposed to simply coming to an honest conclusion that is different from yours.

    I'll give you one thing. There is no lack of self esteem on your part.

    Most of the people taking a hard line against us are firmly convinced that they are the last defenders of civilization... The last stronghold of mother, God, home and apple pie and they're full of shit! David Crosby, Journey Thru the Past.

    by Mike S on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 12:30:33 AM PDT

    •  And the purpose (14+ / 0-)

      of dragging that comment into this diary is what, exactly?




      Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

      by DeadHead on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 01:47:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I suppose because he thinks this diary is a (13+ / 0-)

        continuation of the same pie fight by other means.

        Nothing human is alien to me.

        by WB Reeves on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 01:49:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And by dragging that fight into this diary (11+ / 0-)

          He's doing his part to make that a reality.

          No links to other diaries, blockquoted comments, or specific references to anyone here on DailyKos are present in the text of the diary, yet the continuation of that fight is somehow justified, apparently.




          Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

          by DeadHead on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 02:41:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If you mean that he's taken the bait (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Murphoney, kefauver

            I would agree.

            Nothing human is alien to me.

            by WB Reeves on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 02:45:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Since 'groupthink' was the nub (20+ / 0-)

            ...of the recent personalised attacks, I'm not sure this is an old argument, but an abstraction and enlargement of the former.

            Not Hr'able of course, because it doesn't deploy personalised attacks. But I think linking to that previous comment gives some important context.

            Until a week or so ago, I had no problem with Ray Pensador's diaries. I didn't agree with them entirely. Though I am dismayed at what he calls neoliberalism, I'm also perturbed by his monochrome palette and sweeping ideological generalisations. But they're certain worth serious discussion, and are serious propositions.

            Minus the doctrinaire ideological supposition that anyone who disagrees is a traitor/apologist.

            Spent too long on the far left of the Labour party not to know where there particular Marxist trope leads to: a closed system of ideological persecution and intellectual confinement

            The Fall of the House of Murdoch -with Eric Lewis and all the latest Leveson evidence out now!

            by Brit on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 09:07:06 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ground zero being Lambeth !! (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Brit, erratic

              I've come to learn that rather quickly with all the time I've spent there this year.

            •  What always rubs me (8+ / 0-)

              the wrong way is that while mindsets that might be described as "groupthink" can be palpably present on either 'side' of any political issue-of-moment, it's almost invariably thrown as an epithet against "The Other Guys" and hardly ever recognized in one's own ideological grouping.

              Standard human psychology 101, the strong tendency to projection. It is hard to see one's own mind/behavior shackels, ever easy to see them in others.

              •  Well that's precisely the danger (5+ / 0-)

                Once you can discount all opposing ideas as 'groupthink' you're immured in your own illusory specialness (i.e. real groupthink)

                That's why I accuse Ray of being uniquely wrong.

                The Fall of the House of Murdoch -with Eric Lewis and all the latest Leveson evidence out now!

                by Brit on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 01:39:01 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well, I'd be suspicious of (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  DeadHead, Dianna

                  that assumption as well, given that I don't see Ray's brand of 'groupthink' doing all that well in enlisting followers around here.

                  Sure, part of that is the inevitable descent of the distraction squad to send things to the right margin so that most people won't bother trying to find the real discussion that might be down there somewhere. But the obviousness of that tactic itself tends to confirm some of what Ray is saying, doesn't it?

                  I've never been much of a follower or joiner. I just like to read things that look interesting to me, and politics is one of my favorite subjects. I find the concerted distraction aggravating. I find the tactics used to be childishly narcissistic. And it happens far too often to be mere happenstance. This is not difficult to discern whether you agree with Ray or not. Just step back a moment and look. It's all right here for anyone to see.

                  The most aggravating thing about what Ray is up against here is that WE the readers are being treated as if we're all too stupid to see with our own eyes what's going on. That can be positively insulting. For those working so hard to prevent people from 'hearing' what Ray is saying, it wouldn't hurt to understand that such insults are the LEAST effective way of accomplishing their goal.

                  •  Thank you for noticing. n/t (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Joieau, DeadHead
                    •  It's hard to miss, Ray. (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      DeadHead, Dianna

                      I grew up in a military home, Dad was an officer in the Navy. We ate patriotism for breakfast every day. The first amendment rights of free speech, assembly and petition were explained to me in terms of the 'spirit' of this nation, its enlightened ideals. Rather than the inevitable imperfections of human beings and institutional evils that We the People have had to struggle so hard to correct.

                      The "Marketplace of Ideas" which these freedoms encourage implicitly trusts the citizens to weigh and choose the 'best' ideas (relatively speaking) and reject the 'worst' of them. That's what civic involvement is supposed to entail.

                      I genuinely get aggravated when I see heavy-handed attempts to prevent ideas from being heard. Whether that comes from the government or from fellow-citizens. It disrespects me, and is nothing but insulting. From the right I understand, it's their crippling fear/anger/hatred that makes them want to control what others can see, hear, speak or read. I do not understand it from fellow [supposed] Democrats.

                      What your little gang of distractors are doing is counterproductive to their presumed goal. They need to take a chill pill.

                      •  You're completely wrong. (0+ / 0-)
                        •  That settles it then. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Dianna

                          Timaeus has spoken.




                          Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

                          by DeadHead on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 07:00:30 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  Wrong about what? (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Dianna, DeadHead

                          That the civic freedoms of the first amendment are rooted in the Enlightenment ideal of the "Marketplace of Ideas?"

                          That heavy-handed attempts to prevent someone's exercise of those civic freedoms insults the intelligence of those who aren't afraid of hearing and weighing ideas for relative value?

                          That insults to a reader's intelligence are counterproductive to the goal of convincing them the ideas in question have no merit?

                          Please explain. Thanks.

                          •  Oh good grief. You said: (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            mahakali overdrive, AnnetteK
                            What your little gang of distractors are doing is counterproductive to their presumed goal. They need to take a chill pill.
                            That's false from start to finish.

                            I've been in the habit of rec'ing your comments, in areas where you know what you're talking about.  But you're ridiculously wrong here.

                          •  So instead it should read like this: (0+ / 0-)
                            What your little gang of distractors are doing is counterproductive to their presumed [other] goal. They [don't] need to take a chill pill.
                            Is that better?




                            Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

                            by DeadHead on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 02:41:51 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Wow. (0+ / 0-)

                            You do not see a little gang of distractors, which descended on this diary immediately following the tip jar so as to open the floor for the pies to start flying? You do not see absurdly long right-margin distractions encompassing literally hundreds of pithy one-liner non-comments? You do not consider this to be just another entry into the DKos Hall Of Pie-Fighting Shame?

                            I need know nothing but how to read to see what I see here, and you have no authority whatsoever to tell me I don't see what I see, or that my opinion about it is "wrong," or characterize my observation and opinion as "ridiculous." That insults my intelligence, and THAT is exactly what I have pointed out as the most aggravating problem here.

                            It could be that Ray intended this to happen, since he alluded to this behavior in the diary. If so, it is clear that the pie fighters on both 'sides' have served a very useful purpose in making his point so clearly. If that was his intent (and I am not saying it was, since I am not Ray and don't claim to be a mind-reader), he should be thanking the little gang of distractors as well as his dedicated cream pie defenders for playing their parts so well.

                          •  It wasn't my intent. It is never my intent to (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Blue Wind, Joieau

                            provoke pie fights.  My intent is to share ideas, to expose corruption, and to encourage people to think about the issues I cover.

                            Thanks for your contribution in this diary.

                          •  Your intent is never to provoke pie fights? (0+ / 0-)

                            Demonstrably false.

                          •  Comment with no value. (0+ / 0-)

                            I've rec'd hundreds of your comments Joieau, especially concerning the Fukushima disaster, but I think we part ways on your support for Ray Pensador.

                          •  If the comment has no value (0+ / 0-)

                            then it wasn't worth a response. Yet strangely, you felt you needed to do so anyway. What a waste of time and effort.

                            Bonne chance, Timaeus.

                      •  Thank you so much for those kind words; it really (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Joieau, Dianna, DeadHead

                        means a lot.

                  •  sorry, I don't see it (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    ER Doc

                    Concerted distraction from what, and why?

                    I see Ray making obvious misstatements and laughing when they are pointed out. What is he "up against"?

                    "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

                    by HudsonValleyMark on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 05:10:41 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  What are his "misstatements" (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      DeadHead, Dianna

                      in this diary? Please point them out specifically. I see links and cites (information), opinion and supportive reasoning. I may or may not agree with the opinion, may not like the reasoning, and may judge the sources of information as suspect. If so I could enter discussion with my own reasoning and opinion and sources. Or I could go read something else.

                      What I would not do, because doing so would be to break the DBAD rule here at DKos, is jump in as close to the top as possible and start tossing one-liners and thinly-veiled insults. Or even thinly-veiled threats (which came in a previous recent diary). That's just bullshit and it disrespects everyone who chooses to read with interest and/or might like to engage a real discussion.

                      Ray's diaries (and opinions) can be abrasive to some. But they do not fall to the level of troll-dom, soap opera or belly-button gazing, and Lord knows we get plenty of those here too. If seeing his opinion makes some people so furious, they need to go do something that won't defeat their blood pressure medication. IOW, read or do something else, and leave any discussion in Ray's diary to those who wish to discuss. Civilly.

                      That's what adults would do, anyway.

                      •  I've done that in several places (0+ / 0-)

                        The flat-out misstatements are about other people's posting behavior. One fundamental problem with the diary is that it cites a definition of "groupthink" that applies to group decision-making, then uses the term as if it meant something else. As I mentioned, the argument -- as far as I can find one -- appears to be that groupthink undermines critical thinking, propaganda undermines critical thinking, ergo propaganda produces groupthink (whatever exactly groupthink is). These and other substantive points were made in comments. Beyond that, Ray mostly seems to be rearranging bits of previous diaries. Substantively, Ray probably benefits more from distraction than anyone else would.

                        It's not unreasonable for raptavio to conclude that the main point of this diary was to foreground a word that Ray previously used in attacking TomP, and never mind what it means. I can't tell what the point was. I hope it wasn't to clarify the concept of groupthink. Jeepers.

                        There are comments here that I certainly wouldn't have made. But I really don't see any of Ray's critics, or even all of them together, as the main civility problem here.

                        "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

                        by HudsonValleyMark on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 02:48:40 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I see. (0+ / 0-)

                          You think Ray is wrong that critics come into his diaries acting like trolls for the sole purpose of distraction - juvenile pie fights. Which, btw, raptavio readily admitted to me in response to my question about why he was here. He says he's here for the pie. I don't know what more you'd need to see that as violation of the DBAD rule.

                          Also, you say you do not understand the subject of the diary, so the diary must have no subject. That looks like a perception problem on your end, since I didn't have any trouble following the gist. Your personal inability to understand what the diarist is saying is not a good excuse for disruption or cheering disruption.

                          Nor could you point out anywhere in the diary or comments that Ray displays a lack of civility. So obviously the "civility problem" is coming from the disruptors. Now, it is easy to see that the disruptors are on both 'sides' - critics and defenders who get predictably drawn in - hence the maddening length of the right margin distractions. In this diary alone there are literally hundreds of pointless one-liners that better belong on a kindergarten playground.

                          Regardless of how you feel about that, I feel that it's ultimately disrespectful and insulting.

          •  A case study for sure: Notice the blatant (5+ / 0-)

            violations of site rules, including thread-jacking, bringing in links from pie fights, innuendos about tags, the changing of the subject, logical fallacies, etc.

            •  If logical fallacies were verboten... (14+ / 0-)

              This site would cease to function. As would most human discourse. See the Fallacist's Fallacy.

              The Fall of the House of Murdoch -with Eric Lewis and all the latest Leveson evidence out now!

              by Brit on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 09:47:15 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Oh, I like that reference. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Brit, Hey338Too, erratic

                Argumentum ad logicam can be used as an ad hominem appeal: by impugning the opponent's credibility or good faith

                At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

                by serendipityisabitch on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 10:22:46 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Brit has misunderstood this (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Johnny Q, aliasalias, ukit, Joieau, DeadHead

                No, the discussion on this site would not cease to function, nor would "all human discourse" come to a halt, if people were to stop from using fallacious arguments. Ridiculous, completely fallacious comment.

                This is basically just another form of logical fallacy, and Brit has twisted it to mean pointing out logical fallacies is in itself fallacious. That is circular logic. That is not what this form of fallacy indicates. What it means is that just because a person uses a logical fallacy to make an argument doesn't automatically mean the argument's conclusion is itself false (although, of course, it could be). Basically, various supporting arguments can be used to make a point, and if one of those supporting arguments is false, it doesn't make all other supporting arguments false. So, this form of fallacy is basically using "logical fallacies" as an ad hominem.

                In other words, the Argument from fallacy is calling out the real use of logical fallacy and using that inappropriately to defeat a conclusion, when the conclusion may still be valid despite the use of fallacy to support it.

                It is thus another form of fallacious argument.

                The irony is Brit's raising of this is a rather tricky fallacy in itself. He's saying that because this form of fallacy exists, then attempts to refute an argument by pointing out logical fallacies is suspect or even invalid. There is nothing wrong with pointing out fallacious arguments. But one can't assume all conclusions are wrong just because fallacy is used to support them. That doesn't make use of fallacy okay.

                And thus, Brit is using a circular form of logic. He's using the very logical fallacy he has pointed out, to discredit the entire concept that there is such a thing as logical fallacy! Freaking amazing.

                "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                by ZhenRen on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 11:35:24 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Perfect, just perfect (8+ / 0-)

                  This should be bookmarked for the recursive irony, the circumlocutory lack of self awareness and self refutation. But it performs another function.

                  Look at the above. The idea that this can be followed by anyone, let alone motivate or energise political action, is patently absurd.

                  Anyone with a milligram political nous would know you have to motivate people to change the world.

                  You don't do that by writing boring screeds of apparent logic and transparent sanctimony

                  I'm sorry for you ZR that you got involved in this conversation only to become Exhibit A in a massive political miscalculation

                  But I credit you with enough agency not to feel bad about it

                  The Fall of the House of Murdoch -with Eric Lewis and all the latest Leveson evidence out now!

                  by Brit on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 11:59:55 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  maybe ZR just missed the point (5+ / 0-)

                    S/he certainly put a lot of words in your mouth. But to be fair, that happens pretty often on the intertubez.

                    "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

                    by HudsonValleyMark on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 12:04:57 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Damn it, you made me read it... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Brit

                    ... and now I have a headache.

                    Looking through the bent backed tulips, To see how the other half lives, Looking through a glass onion - John Lennon and Paul McCartney

                    by Hey338Too on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 12:57:58 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Prove this statement: (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    DeadHead
                    If logical fallacies were verboten... (11+ / 0-)

                    This site would cease to function. As would most human discourse. See the Fallacist's Fallacy.

                    You've completely misread this, as revealed by your statement.

                    This is the real exhibit A, oh logically challenged one. If this is what passes for logic with you and your fans who rec your comments, then it isn't surprising how screwed up these discussions can be.

                    You took what would be valid logic and turned it into a sweeping statement which can't be logically supported.

                    "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                    by ZhenRen on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 01:50:28 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Do I have to explain the basics? (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      mahakali overdrive, poco

                      This is like Godel's theorem. There are logical statements which are patently untrue. And there are true statements which contain logical fallacies.

                      Short version for the hard of hearing: logic isn't everything.

                      The Fall of the House of Murdoch -with Eric Lewis and all the latest Leveson evidence out now!

                      by Brit on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 01:55:39 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You are failing to grasp the logic (0+ / 0-)

                        and you have the audacity of hubris to correct me. Did you even read your own link?

                        It isn't stating at all that "logic isn't everything" which is yet another statement which reveals your failure to comprehend this.  

                        In fact, it points out the logical fallacy that just because someone uses a fallacy to prove an argument, doesn't mean the argument can't still be true based on some other valid, logical rationale.

                        Pure logic. Go back and read, sleep on it. LOL. Maybe you just don't have the logic gene.

                        "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                        by ZhenRen on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 02:01:06 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Ah it takes hubris and audacity (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          mahakali overdrive

                          ...to correct you. I bow down before the great one!

                          The Zhenren should not be challenged. He has spoken. His word is law.

                          Thus the argument from authority has now morphed into an ad absurdum. That's like transubstantiation (which was logical circa 1300)

                          But let that absurdity mount. Given the nature of this site that's less important than the political disaster of your form of debate, which is about as persuasive as being rubbed in the face with a mouldy mop.

                          The Fall of the House of Murdoch -with Eric Lewis and all the latest Leveson evidence out now!

                          by Brit on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 02:06:46 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Forget the insults, prove your logic (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Johnny Q, DeadHead

                            You aren't getting this. Seriously. It's actually rather simple and quite easy to understand.

                            From your own link:

                            Examples:

                                Tom: All cats are animals. Ginger is an animal. This means Ginger is a cat.
                                Bill: Ah, you just committed the affirming the consequent logical fallacy. Sorry, you are wrong, which means that Ginger is not a cat.

                                Tom: OK – I'll prove I'm English – I speak English so that proves it.
                                Bill: But Americans and Canadians, among others, speak English too. You have committed the package-deal fallacy, assuming that speaking English and being English always go together. That means you are not English.

                            Both of Bill's rebuttals are arguments from fallacy, because Ginger may or may not be a cat, and Tom may or may not be English. Of course, the mere fact that one can invoke the argument from fallacy against a position does not automatically "prove" one's own position either, as this would itself be yet another argument from fallacy. An example of this false reasoning follows:

                                Joe: Bill's assumption that Ginger is not a cat uses the argument from fallacy. Therefore, Ginger absolutely must be a cat.

                            An argument using fallacious reasoning is capable of being consequentially correct.

                            So, basically the logic that Ginger is a cat because she is an animal is fallacious. Ginger is NOT a cat because "all cats are animals, and being an animal thus makes her a cat." Ginger is a cat because she is a member of that species. So Tom used a clearly fallacious argument to prove something, and while Bill is right to call out the fallacious basis to Tom's conclusion, it only proves the logic Tom is using is flawed, not that the cat isn't a cat.

                            Pure logic. And none of this proves

                            "logic isn't everything"
                            or that
                            If logical fallacies were verboten... (11+ / 0-)

                            This site would cease to function. As would most human discourse. See the Fallacist's Fallacy.

                            "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                            by ZhenRen on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 02:16:59 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  If you want to prove logically... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            mahakali overdrive

                            ...that logic doesn't constitute all proof, you start moving into incompleteness.

                            http://en.wikipedia.org/...

                            The Fall of the House of Murdoch -with Eric Lewis and all the latest Leveson evidence out now!

                            by Brit on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 02:24:39 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Oh, you poor fellow, this is ridiculous (0+ / 0-)

                            That theorem does not apply to basic logic of fallacy used in argument. If it did, then all one would need to do in formal debate is get out Gödel's incompleteness theorems and all debate would then be over.

                            LOL.

                            "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                            by ZhenRen on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 02:29:21 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Course it applies (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            mahakali overdrive

                            It's been fundamental to the propositions of logical positivism since the 1960s. In every formal logical system there is a statement which is true but not provable within the system.

                            The Fall of the House of Murdoch -with Eric Lewis and all the latest Leveson evidence out now!

                            by Brit on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 02:32:12 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Oh. And before you waste more terabytes (4+ / 0-)

                            ...heedlessly, because I have to got to bed now, early start to attend a Murdoch related trial hearing.

                            I'll help you out.

                            You're arguing against a proposition I never made.

                            I said:

                            Logic isn't everything
                            I didn't say:
                            Logic isn't anything.
                            There must be better windmill/strawmen for you to tilt your lance at.

                            The Fall of the House of Murdoch -with Eric Lewis and all the latest Leveson evidence out now!

                            by Brit on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 02:41:04 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Um, I never claimed you said that (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            DeadHead

                            nor did I imply it. I quoted you verbatim. The point, oh brilliant one (!), is that one can't trot out Godel every time one doesn't like the way a debate is heading. That isn't the correct application of that theorem.

                            And all of the puffing out your chest, presumably to make yourself look somehow larger with all of the insults and hubris and indignation, doesn't make you correct.

                            And logical fallacy of "argument from fallacy" isn't about the inability to prove a statement that is nevertheless true, it is about attempting to prove a statement which may be true, but with a false premise. And the false premise, although false, doesn't necessarily invalidate the conclusion.

                            This is Godel:

                            Gödel's incompleteness theorems are two theorems of mathematical logic that establish inherent limitations of all but the most trivial axiomatic systems capable of doing arithmetic. The theorems, proven by Kurt Gödel in 1931, are important both in mathematical logic and in the philosophy of mathematics. The two results are widely, but not universally, interpreted as showing that Hilbert's program to find a complete and consistent set of axioms for all mathematics is impossible, giving a negative answer to Hilbert's second problem.
                            We're not performing higher math here, we're simply discussing very basic logic used in argument. You don't know what you're talking about. Give it up.

                            "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                            by ZhenRen on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 02:57:00 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Read up (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Wee Mama, mahakali overdrive

                            Godel's theory applies to formal logic as well as mathematics, indeed to any computable system. Humans escape these logic bombs all the time through other heuristics. The general conclusion is, we're not completely computable.

                            Have a lovely evening.

                            The Fall of the House of Murdoch -with Eric Lewis and all the latest Leveson evidence out now!

                            by Brit on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 03:03:35 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  But it doesn't apply (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            DeadHead

                            to any set of arguments. It would be, in fact, rather rare for this to apply to the basic logic of debate. And it certainly has no relevance to Ray's assertions that people use logical fallacies here, which they clearly do all the time, everyday.

                            You used this theorem to basically support this:

                            If logical fallacies were verboten... (11+ / 0-)

                            This site would cease to function. As would most human discourse.

                            Which is nonsense, of course. Neither the "argument from fallacy" nor Godel prove this point, nor do these have anything at all to do with your sweeping statement. Nice try at obfuscation, but this is patently ridiculous.

                            As erratic stated, you were being flippant. Just admit it.

                            "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                            by ZhenRen on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 03:11:25 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  And Ray, if you're following this: (0+ / 0-)

                            If you look at this little discussion, you can easily witness the level of logical ability you're dealing with. Educated people, to be sure, but education doesn't turn people into geniuses.

                            You were asserting people blatantly use logical fallacy far too often, and someone comes in talking about Godel and "argument from fallacy" as if to somehow obscure your point. Ridiculous.

                            (no need to answer... spare yourself.)

                            "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                            by ZhenRen on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 03:28:12 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Brit, try doing some reading of your own (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            joanneleon

                            Besides the fact that Godel's theorem has little or no relevance or application to logical fallacy used in debate, it is well known that people misuse and misapply Godel's theorem.

                            Please read this:

                            There are two very common but fallacious conclusions people make from this, and an immense number of uncommon but equally fallacious errors I shan't bother with. The first is that Gödel's theorem imposes some some of profound limitation on knowledge, science, mathematics. Now, as to science, this ignores in the first place that Gödel's theorem applies to deduction from axioms, a useful and important sort of reasoning, but one so far from being our only source of knowledge it's not even funny. It's not even a very common mode of reasoning in the sciences, though there are axiomatic formulations of some parts of physics. Even within this comparatively small circle, we have at most established that there are some propositions about numbers which we can't prove formally. As Hintikka says, "Gödel's incompleteness result does not touch directly on the most important sense of completeness and incompleteness, namely, descriptive completeness and incompleteness," the sense in which an axiom systems describes a given field. In particular, the result "casts absolutely no shadow on the notion of truth. All that it says is that the whole set of arithmetical truths cannot be listed, one by one, by a Turing machine." Equivalently, there is no algorithm which can decide the truth of all arithmetical propositions. And that is all.
                            http://vserver1.cscs.lsa.umich.edu/...

                            Brit, you're blathering a bunch of nonsense.

                            "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                            by ZhenRen on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 04:01:51 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You're still at it (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            mahakali overdrive

                            After a night's sleep I wake up to find you've searched the whole internet for one postgrad who doesn't like wider implications being drawn from Godel's theorem.

                            If you've got all this time on your hands, educate yourself further. Reach Hofstadter and Penrose. And on my point about the limits of formal logic, perhaps study the bulk of no positivist philosophy in the 20th century, starting with Heidegger and Wittgenstein. Then let's talk.

                            The Fall of the House of Murdoch -with Eric Lewis and all the latest Leveson evidence out now!

                            by Brit on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 11:37:13 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Do you remember the part in the Island (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Brit, WB Reeves

                            of Dr. Moreau -- which I listened to on tape this year while driving through the high snow -- "We are the sayers of the law!" I want to teach a class on that text. It's profound and works well with what I already emphasize.

                            Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

                            by mahakali overdrive on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 10:05:27 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  Hi ZhenRen (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Brit, mahakali overdrive

                      I think that this was just a flippant response to Ray' comment, suggesting that DK is subject to plenty of fallacies.

                      •  Of course (0+ / 0-)

                        And since that is the more reasonable answer, then let's cut out the sweeping conclusions Brit has made. He used a logical principle in a completely fallacious way.

                        Let Brit admit that it was mere flippancy, and retract the flawed logic that asserts:

                        If logical fallacies were verboten... (11+ / 0-)

                        This site would cease to function. As would most human discourse. See the Fallacist's Fallacy.

                        And let him retract his insults to me for pointing this out. Can you do that, since you're a member of the civility group?

                        "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                        by ZhenRen on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 02:21:17 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I provided my interpretation. (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Brit, mahakali overdrive

                          I'm not interested in getting involved in the argument. I'm not sure what you mean by "the civility group".

                          •  Perhaps I'm wrong (0+ / 0-)

                            I thought you were a member of the civility group (or whatever its called on dkos).

                            But actually, you involved yourself when you referred to his comments as "flippant".

                            1 archaic :  glib, talkative
                            2:  lacking proper respect or seriousness
                            — flip·pant·ly adverb
                            You actually were far more dismissive of his remark than anyone here. You basically have stated he isn't serious.

                            That's involving yourself in the argument.

                            "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                            by ZhenRen on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 03:03:57 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  And Brit uprates you (0+ / 0-)

                        LOL. So, does the uprate mean he agrees his comment was just a flippant remark, and that it doesn't hold up to the light of reason?

                        This place is insane.

                        "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                        by ZhenRen on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 02:31:06 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

      •  I thought my comment was pretty clear. (12+ / 0-)
        Obviously an extension of this comment. As usual someone disagreeing with you is guilty of X. In this case it is "group think" but like always it is that there is some reason that they don't see your brilliance as opposed to simply coming to an honest conclusion that is different from yours.
        Since Ray rages at TomP for his group think and blind loyalty in that comment its pretty obvious that Ray just wrote yet another diary extending that fight. It not as if this hasn't happened over and over again.

        Most of the people taking a hard line against us are firmly convinced that they are the last defenders of civilization... The last stronghold of mother, God, home and apple pie and they're full of shit! David Crosby, Journey Thru the Past.

        by Mike S on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 02:34:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  TomP was not entirely innocent (14+ / 0-)

          initially referring to Ray as "that one" and implying that his core presence here was without heart.
          And then a few others began the standard lumping together of people that agree with Ray's words as being without scruples.

          The WHOLE thing is ugly. And it's not all Ray by a long shot.

        •  Oh, it was clear. No doubt about that. (8+ / 0-)

          I just wanted you to elaborate on your intent a bit more.

          You've done that.

          Thank you.




          Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

          by DeadHead on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 03:20:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You're welcome. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Eyesbright

            Your blind loyalty to Ray is noted as well.

            Most of the people taking a hard line against us are firmly convinced that they are the last defenders of civilization... The last stronghold of mother, God, home and apple pie and they're full of shit! David Crosby, Journey Thru the Past.

            by Mike S on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 08:18:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  don't stoop (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Mike S, Yoshimi, Quicklund

              Oh, hell, why am I giving advice to UID #273? But I just see no reason to muddy the waters by paying homage to one of the silliest comments in the thread.

              "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

              by HudsonValleyMark on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 08:39:07 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That's right. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Dianna, Johnny Q

                Because everyone with a UID < 500 is beyond reproach.

                We should all pay homage to long-timers, because they know better, and are never, ever wrong.

                Also, since you're so brilliant, perhaps you can clue me in as to why my comment (I assume) was so "silly?"




                Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

                by DeadHead on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 12:47:07 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  nope, not yours (0+ / 0-)

                  roseeriter brought the phrase "blind loyalty" into the thread. I suppose you know that already, since you recced the comment, and snarked at Mike S's pointed and pertinent question about it. So maybe you sort of own it now. But it wasn't yours.

                  And once again, you're slamming me for disagreeing with someone in exactly the same terms you might use if I had agreed with him. It's interesting. But not that interesting.

                  "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

                  by HudsonValleyMark on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 01:01:59 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You were unclear as to which comment (0+ / 0-)

                    you were referring to, and since you replied to a comment that was made in reply to me, I assumed it was mine you were talking about, based on proximity.

                    Upon reflection, the entire subthread started by that comment IS silly, I must admit.

                    Have a nice evening.




                    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

                    by DeadHead on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 07:27:39 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  Note whatever you want. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              serendipityisabitch, Johnny Q

              It doesn't change the fact that you chose to drop a link to another comment made by the diarist in another diary into this diary for purposes of perpetuating that fight.

              And that's fine, I just chose to point it out. Because I'm "blindly loyal to Ray," according to you.

              The thing is, Mike, I can think for myself just fine.

              I don't do the "blind loyalty" thing with kossacks, or politicians for that matter.

              But let me ask you this, then, since you're so good at determining the inner motivations of others':

              Are those who seem to have a perpetual problem with this diarist "blindly obsessed" with seeing him driven away from DailyKos?




              Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

              by DeadHead on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 12:33:49 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Speaking only for myself, I find that trying (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                erratic, 6412093, DeadHead, poco

                to figure out just what Ray is saying, and figuring out legitimate ways to rebut it when I disagree, is giving my brain a very good workout. That Ray hasn't yet admitted any legitimacy for that rebuttal is a minor factor. He brings up a few very good points, but the way he brings them up tends to make my mind itch. When I reply, I'm scratching that itch, and I've explored some interesting concepts in the process.

                I don't think that counts as having a 'perpetual problem' with Ray, although it does seem as though he thinks so. I don't think I want to see him gone - I'm not even sure I want to see him moderate his vehemence - since I've gotten so much out of it.

                That said, I agree that it wasn't necessary, or helpful, or even within present community standards, to bring up the previous comments, even if they provide a bit of additional context for this posting.

                At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

                by serendipityisabitch on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 01:25:40 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Simple minded at best. (0+ / 0-)

                I explained why. If you don't believe it that is on you. If you don't see the correlation then that is just one more example of you defending Ray no matter what. That is the blind loyalty I am talking about.

                And no, I don't want to see Ray banned. I'd like him to quit this type of thing. But as long as he has people defending him at all costs that won't happen. As long as he has people saying that the problem is with everyone else he will continue to believe he can do no wrong.

                Most of the people taking a hard line against us are firmly convinced that they are the last defenders of civilization... The last stronghold of mother, God, home and apple pie and they're full of shit! David Crosby, Journey Thru the Past.

                by Mike S on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 06:54:33 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Except (0+ / 0-)

                  He isn't saying everyone else is the problem. He's saying there's a specific subset of kossacks that are the problem.

                  Just because I've witnessed it firsthand, recognize the same names doing the same shit over and over, enjoy reading his diaries, don't like seeing him bullied in his own diaries by a specific subset of kossacks, doesn't mean I have, or would "defend him at all costs," out of blind loyalty.

                  I'm not incapable of seeing the correlation. My problem centers around the intent behind you posting a link to an HRed comment made in an entirely separate diary, just because you saw that correlation.

                  So what if there was? Are you trying to tell me no one's ever had a diary sprout out of a comment before?

                  It happens all the time. Yet you decided to use this "correlation" in order to throw fuel on the fire in a diary you though was fueling some other fire.

                  And you think that's somehow going to modify his behavior more to your liking?

                  If anything, it will produce the opposite result. And if that results in his eventual banning, well, you certainly wouldn't miss him, I bet.

                  See you next time.




                  Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

                  by DeadHead on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 03:13:03 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Notice how they not only keep harping about (7+ / 0-)

            whether the diary is on the rec list or not, whether someone added the tag, etc., but also the haranguing of people they call "Ray supporters."

            •  It is obviously coordinated by the Illuminati. (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TooFolkGR, Mike S, ER Doc, poco
            •  Yup, there's that victim claim again. (0+ / 0-)

              Entirely predictable.

              Most of the people taking a hard line against us are firmly convinced that they are the last defenders of civilization... The last stronghold of mother, God, home and apple pie and they're full of shit! David Crosby, Journey Thru the Past.

              by Mike S on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 06:57:06 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The nerve. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                serendipityisabitch, Dianna

                He should just shut up and let himself, and his "blindly loyal" followers, be victimized in peace, already.




                Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

                by DeadHead on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 07:43:40 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Heh (0+ / 0-)

                  You continue to prove yourself to be his loyal defender. It's quite cute.

                  Most of the people taking a hard line against us are firmly convinced that they are the last defenders of civilization... The last stronghold of mother, God, home and apple pie and they're full of shit! David Crosby, Journey Thru the Past.

                  by Mike S on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 07:49:10 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  What's even cuter is that rather than replying (0+ / 0-)

                  to the comments that I actually directed at you, you chose to reply to my comment to Ray.

                  'Must defend Ray no matter what.'

                  Most of the people taking a hard line against us are firmly convinced that they are the last defenders of civilization... The last stronghold of mother, God, home and apple pie and they're full of shit! David Crosby, Journey Thru the Past.

                  by Mike S on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 07:54:27 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The accusations of cuteness are (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Dianna

                    getting VICIOUS.

                    Nah, I just like your comments in this diary.

                    Tomorrow we'll forget all about each other.

                    I'll go back to being blindly loyal to MB, Bobswern, LaFeminsta, Joan McCarter, Hunter, OPOL, David Harris-Gershon, and all the other diarists I enjoy immensely, and for whom I'd do the same thing if I saw them being bullied.

                    Bye bye.




                    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

                    by DeadHead on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 03:29:57 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

    •  strip the post of implied meta (22+ / 0-)

      and there is much upon which we all should be able to agree. the power of mass media, the control of government by corporations and special interests, the numbing of consciousness by self-perpetuating mythologies.

      edwin abbott wrote flatland over 125 years ago. john lennon wrote working class hero nearly 50 years ago.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 01:56:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  FAQ I believe - or some other official source (9+ / 0-)

      does not support dragging pie fights and other contentious acts from diary to diary.    I think it is a good policy.  

      I have three politically incorrect, straight, white male, grandchildren; and I don't care if you think they're important or not.

      by dkmich on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 04:49:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That was a very interesting dialog you linked to.. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Free Jazz at High Noon

      ...thanks, I hadn't seen it before. It's strikes me as like an inner conflict one thoughtful, introspective, engaged intellectual might have. Very much not like the usual two-dimensional posters each safely ensconced in their own "sides" but soldiers alert, abreast, in one battle yet each lost in their own thoughts about how to fight...I think the diversity get tense at times because it's a plus, it's organic matter, not just filler and not to be reduced to "meta"...food for thought...

  •  Without going into the rest of the diary, (36+ / 0-)

    I'm mostly just gobsmacked at this Urie quote you highlighted:

    While many on ‘the left’ object to neo-liberal policies such as ‘free trade’ and ‘deregulation,’ what is usually left unsaid is that it is a fundamentally totalitarian form of political economy that is well into being used to restructure most of the Western world.
    Take a moment to really think about what Urie is saying here.  This is the reduction of words - words that do, despite their overuse, have some claim to meaning left in them - to a meaningless mush.  That quote literally does not make sense.  "Deregulation" means the lessening of government control.  "Totalitarian" means the attempt at total government control.  Whether feedback there may be between deregulatory policies and corporate-government collusion, and whatever Urie goes on to say about the imposition of that system elsewhere (he freely switches between totalitarian and imperialists, with generous doses of neo-whatevers) one can't say that "deregulation" is "fundamentally totalitarian" unless one's given up on attaching meaning to words altogether.

    Gawd that whole essay is a mess.  I'm sorry I read it.

    Have you read Orwell's "Politics and the English Language"?  Keep in mind that Orwell wasn't just targeting his political enemies in that essay, but his allies as well.  Language is important.

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 12:43:44 AM PDT

  •  Blind Loyalty , groupthink all bad IMHO and are (14+ / 0-)

    on dkos also- you are being hi-jacked by a few here in this diary who have bugged me since johnny Edwards ran for president..their tactics were 'if the republicans (xtians) do this and win why don't we'  and this little group has been at it ever since..

    We've been brainwashed into thinking loyalty to the group, the family is most important even if that group or family is running amok- religious groups prove this craziness over and over again by trying to squelch anything they don't like...Cause so much harm and they are blind to what they do on purpose to hurt others..

    "Life without emotions is like an engine without fuel."

    "It's said that the honest man has nothing to hide. Not true. The honest man has to hide himself, because honest men are the prime targets of those who lie." (TY Hannah:)

    by roseeriter on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 01:33:25 AM PDT

    •  Care to elaborate? (7+ / 0-)

      Who are these blind loyalists and group thinkers that used republican tactics for or against Edwards that have now turned those tactics on poor Ray?

      Most of the people taking a hard line against us are firmly convinced that they are the last defenders of civilization... The last stronghold of mother, God, home and apple pie and they're full of shit! David Crosby, Journey Thru the Past.

      by Mike S on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 02:29:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Based on your reaction to the comment... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lostinamerica, Dianna, churchylafemme

        Well...NVM.

        :)




        Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

        by DeadHead on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 03:41:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Based on your response it's obvious that (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kefauver, buddabelly

          you don't know what you are talking about.

          Of course your blind loyalty to Ray is one of the reasons that he never stops this type of thing.

          Most of the people taking a hard line against us are firmly convinced that they are the last defenders of civilization... The last stronghold of mother, God, home and apple pie and they're full of shit! David Crosby, Journey Thru the Past.

          by Mike S on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 08:07:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, of course (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Johnny Q

            It's totally implausible that someone might notice the fact you, specifically, took issue with that comment, and wonder if "the shoe fits."

            And I'll note, this is the second time in this thread you've accused me of "blind loyalty to Ray," apparently due to your inability to offer a response that doesn't include some feeble attempt at a smear.

            It's your own concoction, based on my overall support for this diarist, created for the purpose of trying to discredit whatever it is I'm saying to you in any given comment.

            Cute, but rather obvious.




            Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

            by DeadHead on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 03:28:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  My goodness, you and Ray are two peas in a pod. (0+ / 0-)

              The reason you don't know what you are talking about is because I have been consistent on this site In asking people not to attack their democratic opponents during primaries. Of course in your world my asking for names from that commenter is proof that I am guilty. There could never be another reason. Like Ray you see nefarious reasons behind people disagreeing with you or asking questions.

              Now if you had bothered to look you might have noticed that there were three comments in the thread last night taking ray to task for his diary. I wanted to know who she was talking about because I don't remember either of the others doing what she said.

              Of course you didn't look because you thought you had a "gotcha" moment. And once again while defending Ray you get it completely wrong.

              But keep trying for that "gotcha" moment instead of trying to figure out what someone means. It's really quite cute.

              Most of the people taking a hard line against us are firmly convinced that they are the last defenders of civilization... The last stronghold of mother, God, home and apple pie and they're full of shit! David Crosby, Journey Thru the Past.

              by Mike S on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 06:45:46 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Right. (0+ / 0-)

                Two peas in a pod, blind loyalty, looking for gotcha moments, seeing nefarious intent in everything people post, etc.

                I understand.

                Now, I didn't say you were guilty of anything. I made an observation based on my impression at the time and on my prior experiences with this type of thing — those quick to take offense at non-specific references to others are oftentimes the ones who feel that non-specific reference was, in fact, referring to them on some level.

                This isn't that outlandish of a concept, Mike.

                If that wasn't the case in this instance, fine. It isn't that big of a deal.

                Instead of just explaining to me how I was wrong, you opted instead for the "blind loyalty to Ray" jab, for whatever reason.

                A theme you decided to continue even into this current comment I'm now responding to.

                Have a nice evening.




                Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

                by DeadHead on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 10:44:16 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  Nice try... n.t (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dianna, DeadHead

        I have three politically incorrect, straight, white male, grandchildren; and I don't care if you think they're important or not.

        by dkmich on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 05:02:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  bullies.....this site is loaded with them. (8+ / 0-)

      I remember wars during Howard Dean, but everyone was basically united around "the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party".    Edwards was the only one talking like a populist, and the war that ensued became one of third way vs left Democrats.  For Obama, they elevated it to "pragmatists vs the pony people".     It is still there today.   Not only do they have the right to disagree, they have the right to tell people they disagree with to shut up or they'll harass them from diary to diary.    

      Unfortunately all things must change including this blog.  I know there are several of us who truly miss the old dailykos .

      I have three politically incorrect, straight, white male, grandchildren; and I don't care if you think they're important or not.

      by dkmich on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 05:02:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Urie has deregulation in quotes, (14+ / 0-)

    as he does free trade. Fairly often, when trying to differentiate between a set of words with specific meaning, as you are talking about, and words whose meanings have become compromised by other usages, as Urie is talking about, single quotes are sometimes used. Meteor Blades covered Robert Reich's commentary of 'free trade' and how it is, in fact, a set of rules giving the advantage to a specific set of players, yesterday.
    'Deregulation' is also one of those words. As an example, food libel laws were passed after less restrictive agricultural practices, i.e., deregulation, made people sick and they spoke out about it. The laws restricted people's behaviour considerably since they regulated what they could say about corporate bad practices. Aspects of regulation and deregulation coexist in the same category, hence the use of quotes as in 'deregulation' covers both these aspects of corporate freedom and individual repression.
    "The political economy" does seek to mute the voices of great swathes of people, those who have been harmed by the oil and gas industry for example, and those people may reside in any country. When they coordinate their efforts, the need for control of those people becomes politically necessary. This requires a degree of cooperation and control among formerly sovereign governments to protect a multinational economy. This form of coordination is usually only seen in wartime, hence Uri's use of the word "restructuring".

    “The universe implodes. No matter.” -Liam Williams

    by northsylvania on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 01:36:07 AM PDT

  •  question the narrative (22+ / 0-)

    whether it's that of society, your demographic or peer group, your family, or your own personal values and beliefs. always question the narrative. where it comes from, what it presumes, what good it may do and what harm.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 01:46:19 AM PDT

  •  I'll offer another dichotomy - as a simplification (14+ / 0-)

    rather than an absolute.

    One definition of a group is a collection of people who are united, or at least together, because of a perceived common cause or common threat.

    One such "common threat" group consists of those who fully and totally believe that

    the government is pushing a Neoliberal agenda; that the public is being lied and deceived about it; that propaganda is being used as a deceptive tool; and that these dynamics help bring about the dangerous phenomena of Groupthink, which is contributing to the entrenchment of a Corporate State Totalitarianism.
    That's your group. They obviously can't be engaging in Groupthink, because they're aware of the practice and, well, they wouldn't do such a thing.

    Then there's other groups, specifically various "common cause" collections of people who are working to promote various and sundry actions/changes without necessarily adopting the "common threat" agenda. They, by your reasoning, are engaging in Groupthink, because - why? Because they don't agree that the opinions of your group are the only valid ones? Because they are FOR various things rather than AGAINST them? Because they are willing to promote and work with incremental change rather than put down any advance that doesn't lead to a Total Solution? Because they LIKE other people?

    Mote, meet beam.

    At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

    by serendipityisabitch on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 03:24:52 AM PDT

    •  So you're saying (7+ / 0-)

      The people who are identifying groupthink aren't able to do it objectively — likely suffering from some form of it themselves, and are probably just intolerant of dissenting views, correct?




      Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

      by DeadHead on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 05:02:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree and believe that the argument (5+ / 0-)

      does break down to something that simple or even more simple. I suspect that the only people who manage to avoid "groupthink" (which as a concept is limited in defining just what is not some form of groupthink among thoughts since most thoughts must arise from experiences involving other human beings, that is, a group of some size or orientation), are those who either reside on a street corner, alone, raging incoherently, or if they are fortunate, are allowed to reside within an institution where professionals (licensed by a group or groups and supported by any number of groups) attempt to assist such individuals into becoming assimilated back into the group(s) from which they have become alienated. Relating within a group or between groups is, I believe, a sign of mental health by most group standards. It would be difficult, I imagine, if one is honest with self, to identify any idea that we believe in or are willing to argue for (or against) that didn't originate from some kind of group even if we hear it at first from an individual. I'm wondering if the discussion within the diary is less about principles, in the end, than about personality, which is OK I guess, since some folks do take their own thoughts very seriously and their passion very personally.

      I discover myself on the verge of a usual mistake. ― Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

      by dannyboy1 on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 06:57:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Try questioning all of your assumptions (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dannyboy1, erratic, Cedwyn, Sparhawk

        on a daily basis. This is one way to avoid group think.

        •  Yoshimi - there are several assumptions in that (6+ / 0-)

          statement. There is the assumption that it is possible to know, and then to enumerate, much less question, the assumptions that you are making. There is an assumption that the number you use in a given day is small enough that there is time to question them.

          And no, I'm not just playing semantic games. Begin to question the assumptions you have to make to come to any decision, and, if you do it thoroughly, you will end up being able to make no decisions.

          You go with what you have. If you're wise, you do it knowing you may be wrong, and accepting that possibility as the price of being able to get anything done. And you learn to notice small discrepancies that can point out problems, and rethink your assumptions when it is necessary for your own growth to do so. And you avoid platitudes whenever possible.

          At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

          by serendipityisabitch on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 10:16:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And if one actually were able or even willing to (3+ / 0-)

            try to question every one of his/her assumptions, I think, that person could very well end up on a street corner, raging, or seeking assistance to get reattached to life among those seeking some kind of rational, not totally ego-centric discourse, don't you think?

            I discover myself on the verge of a usual mistake. ― Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

            by dannyboy1 on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 11:03:50 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Actually, no. I've been questioning my own (6+ / 0-)

              assumptions for years, now. Not necessarily dumping them, but certainly taking them apart to see what's necessary, and what gets in the way of real problem solving.

              All discourse is egocentric - it can't be avoided. That doesn't necessarily get in the way of trying to solve mutual problems, especially when the problem is obviously going to need multiple people working on it. Don't disparage self-interest as a real motivating factor.

              At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

              by serendipityisabitch on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 11:18:18 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  This is what I meant. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                serendipityisabitch, dannyboy1

                I think "Trust but verify" is a great philosophy and think everyone at this site should really think about how they "trust."

                It is much harder for a group think manipulator to take advantage of you if you take the time to verify what he is preaching about.  

                I'm sure Ray agrees with this.

                •  I guess my problem is with the word itself. (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Yoshimi, erratic, dannyboy1

                  It feels to me as if the concept was made up for the purpose of tainting all community norms, even those that serve a real, tangible purpose. It's as though the people who promulgate the concept are trying their best to make sure that groups/communities that are actually making change happen are automatically suspect, simply because they have developed common ground.

                  Perhaps we should be as suspicious of anyone who uses the concept against group assumptions and mores as we might be about a hypothetical "groupthink manipulator".

                  At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

                  by serendipityisabitch on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 12:52:57 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  So... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      serendipityisabitch, DeadHead

      Whenever one clicks into a diary on the list that catches their attention, curiosity or interest, then finds that they agree with the thrust of the diarist's take on the issue - or, alternatively, disagree with it - they automatically become "common cause" group-thinkers?

      Does this require actual participation in discussion of the issue? I mean, if they read the diary, recommend it, tip the diarist, then scan through the discussion (and maybe tip here and there to comments they think are pertinent or educational)? If not, please list exactly how much participation is required for the designation. Including exactly how many diaries of a given diarist one can be allowed to read/participate in without risking the label, if one is not enough. Thanks.

      •  Not at all. Rather than accepting the designation (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hey338Too, erratic, Joieau, DeadHead

        for either type of group, I was questioning Ray's use of the term at all to describe people who seem to not accept his definition of the current problem.

        The term seems to carry with it the implicit accusation of blind acceptance, which I have a slight problem with. If you read my comment to say that I accept that common causes produce group-thinkers, then I can understand your questioning. I assure you, that was not in any way my intention. I was trying to make the case against it.

        At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

        by serendipityisabitch on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 01:47:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  wow - straight forward article, why the fight? (14+ / 0-)

    groupthink is another way to talk about American Exceptionalism, you know, we are #1

    an example of groupthink is the spying of the NSA

    the meeting with Brazil has been cancelled because of the spying. The country of Brazil is now pushing for the storage of information on their soil and the development of new systems, like underwater cables, that they control rather than being dominated by US countries

    if there had been a strong civil liberties culture in the US, if we had not been brainwashed by the War on Drugs and the War on Terror, and if we had a media that refused to compromise on our basic principles, and we had politicians who represented us, then we would not have the NSA spy system

    that list is part of the group think that allows us to do what we do and ignore the effects until someone has to risk their lives to tell us the truth.

    well, there are consequences to our group think

    Brazil is now the world’s 6th largest economy at $2 trillion a year, and is economy is bigger than that of Britain. Its middle class has doubled in size in the past decade. Brazil’s major trading partner is China, followed by the European Union and then the US (trade with the US in 2010 was $60 bn annually).  China has more investments in Brazil than does the US.

    Roussef intends to denounce massive US cyber espionage in her speech at the United Nations meeting later this month in New York. Most worrying, the Brazilian government appears determined to have all Brazilian email and web traffic stay inside the country on local servers, so as to avoid going through the NSA’s custody (the NSA put sniffers on fiber optic cables around the world to extract all data passing through them, including emails, web browsing and telephone calls).

    the bold is in the original

    Brazilian President Snubs Obama: How US Cyber Espionage will Destroy the Internet

  •  Is this ironic? (28+ / 0-)
    First, I'd like to do away with the often propagated idea that complicated issues can be reduced to either-or, black-and-white choices...
    You're either stuck in groupthink or you see truth and reality.

    Did I miss something?

    Calling other DKos members "weenies" is a personal insult and therefore against site rules.

    by Bob Johnson on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 04:51:08 AM PDT

  •  Martyrdom Propaganda (13+ / 0-)

    In a "majority rules" society, anyone with an opinion or position that is not embraced by the masses points to "Group Think" as the explanation.

    A willful act of the collective, so easily derided and debased, that is offered as the only rationale to the conscious rejection of "truth".

    Surely this many people can't actually think you're wrong.....

    .....or can they?

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 05:07:57 AM PDT

  •  the world is dangerous place; (8+ / 0-)

    But without some from of Tribalism, I would argue,
    few of us would be here.


    We are poised to adapt beyond Nations and Groups;
    beyond my team vs your team.

    But the chances of that happening,
    depend very much on those who grab the opportunity,

    of promoting the common good,
    over those of the special "my team" interests.


    But who are the arbiters of the "common good"?

    Who are the Tribal re-distributors of our hard-earned taxes ...

    My basic premise, as always,
    Is that we have Revenue Problem, NOT a Debt Problem.

    Those without, need more revenue.
    Those with, always want more ... (Usually at the expense of others.)

  •  But, but, "Groupthink" is what you do, Mr. Pensado (4+ / 0-)

    Most of your diaries encourage "unifying" behind 'a' cause, recommanding " solideraty" while singling out your target, 'government', as the total bad wolf (dichatomy of all wrong and all right) that is sooo deceivimg 'us' here thus we must have a ' revolution against this dangerous, lying, deceiving government (aka Obama) before it ( he) snatches away our democracy?

    This is one hell of a 'groupthink' Mr. Pensador.

    "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

    by zenox on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 06:32:31 AM PDT

  •  There is no such thing as 'neoliberal' (5+ / 0-)

    .other than the wordsmithing associating the term with negative ' neocon' with hopes to divide this community and turn them against the '  government,' (Obama).  And the very labeling act itself is an attempt to manifacture " groupthink." Your rhetoric is not fooling me.

    "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

    by zenox on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 06:39:35 AM PDT

  •  Having recruited much of today's youth (5+ / 0-)

    into the pseudo-culture of smartphone-based social media with little to no resistance or skepticism on their part about its meaning, importance and impact, the next generation of leaders and workers is primed to become the most docile, conformist and subservient one yet.

    Or is it? Could some things happen between now and when they're ready to take over to radically alter their view of and faith in this pre-digested and ready-made world they've entered, and make them think that it's actually not all that great, or real (which it isn't), but merely a shallow if entertaining (to those who are too easily entertained) simulation of reality?

    I sure hope so, because today's social media is deeply neoliberal, in how it's not what it pretends to be, and ultimately doesn't live up to its glib promises.

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 06:44:17 AM PDT

  •  Closed minded ness? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    roseeriter

    A closed mind is not open for debate.

    How can a closed mind be opened?

    It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

    by War on Error on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 07:18:31 AM PDT

  •  Ray substantiates his claim (8+ / 0-)

    that "There is plenty of evidence that the U.S. government is engaging in propaganda against the American people." with a reference to the fact that

    Sunstein co-authored a working paper that suggests government agents or their allies "cognitively infiltrate" conspiracy theorist groups by joining "chat rooms, online social networks or even real-space groups" and influencing the conversation
    while at Harvard.

    So apparently the proof of government propaganda is the fact that a member of the NSA review panel wrote a paper on the topic in 2008.

    I'm not saying that there isn't other proof out there, but I feel that claims like this really weaken Ray's argument, especially since this is core to his argument in this diary. If you make the claim, you need to back it up.

    The counter-argument would be that government secrecy precludes the availability of evidence. But then you still don't have evidence, you just have impressions and speculation.

    Taking exception to poorly substantiated claims of evidence has nothing to do with groupthink.

    •  any valid hypothesis... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      erratic

      must be falsifiable, i.e. it should be possible to show it  to be false if some conceivable observation were true (well, at least, according to Popper). The premise from which the diarist argues is not falsifiable, because any conceivable observation can be interpreted to enforce the conspiratorial mindset. Therefore any argument over the premise can only be purely metaphysical, or, for short, meta.

      I have another question. Did this really make it to the rec list, or did somebody type in the recommended tag? Both outcomes would be kind of pathetic.

  •  First of all, I have (17+ / 0-)

    no idea why neo-liberals are the problem.  ALEC controls legislation in Red states, not so much in Blue states.  See Minnesota vs Wisconsin.  

    Secondly I have no problem with shills, paid or otherwise, providing facts and data on the Internet.  In fact, I'd favor some heavy, factual shilling on the benefits of the ACA, what the CFPB does for Main Street, how effective FEMA is on Obama's watch, how Dodd-Frank is being starved and blocked by Republican intransigence and Wall Street lobbying.  

    I'd love some paid science shills explaining what a Theory is, scientifically, what carbon dating is and how it works, why studying lizards and starfish isn't a waste of taxpayer dollars.  

    Seeing as how I got a good inside track on NSA capabilities in Steig Larsson's fiction series in 2005, it would be hard to shill me into believing that my Internet and cell phone dealings are private and secret.  Actually Amazon's targeted marketing taught me that.  

    Yes, I have concerns about government overreach.  I'm concerned that a few loons in the House can stop my SS check and leave me stuck at home with no food, no phone, no gas, no place to live if the idiots win.  I have concerns about 6 million Texans with no health care.  I have concerns that tens of millions of women are prevented from easy access to birth control, that tens of millions of Americans have no ability to vote, that a hundred million Americans are living in states heading fast for the Dark Ages.  I'm furious that gun registration is moribund, that immigration reform can't pass without mass deportations being included, that there's no Jobs bill being debated, that the Supreme Court is rigged.  

    Being disinterested in your Theory of Neo-liberal Dystopia does not make me a centrist, a DINO, a government propagandist, or a shill.  It means I'm a thoughtful citizen who knows a lot about politics and is working actively to turn Texas Blue, push a new wave of feminism into prominence, and educate less politically-minded friends and neighbors.

    I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

    by I love OCD on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 08:18:11 AM PDT

    •  Not sure why the disagreement then (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Johnny Q
      I'm concerned that a few loons in the House can stop my SS check and leave me stuck at home with no food, no phone, no gas, no place to live if the idiots win.  I have concerns about 6 million Texans with no health care.  I have concerns that tens of millions of women are prevented from easy access to birth control, that tens of millions of Americans have no ability to vote, that a hundred million Americans are living in states heading fast for the Dark Ages.  I'm furious that gun registration is moribund, that immigration reform can't pass without mass deportations being included, that there's no Jobs bill being debated, that the Supreme Court is rigged.  
      ...is not consistent with...
      First of all, I have no idea why neo-liberals are the problem.
      What you described in the first quote is the direct result of a neoliberal economic system. And that's sort of the point of the diary, isn't it? That even as people complain about these things, they are unable to identify the all-encompassing system that creates them.

      Now I don't agree 100% with everything said in this diary, but on that point he's absolutely correct. And somewhat ironically, many of the people objecting so strenuously in the comments section end up proving the diarist's point.

      Apparently nothing will ever teach these people that the other 99 percent of the population exist. —George Orwell

      by ukit on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 12:30:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What exactly is a neo-liberal economic (4+ / 0-)

        system?  Was it neo-liberals who caused the first Great Depression?  Is there a paleo-liberal economic system that will jump in, fully fledged, to replace what we have now?  How will that work?  Who runs it?  Is it possible to strip Wall Street of money and power and have any economy at all?  What will it look like?  

        I'm really tired of all the noise about Democrats and Republicans being just the same.  Look at the economic records of R versus D presidents and make that claim.  

        Here's the bottom line.  The 20th Century is over.  Information technology means that we are now one world.  Climate change means there are no boundaries.  International finance means a single basic economy, profoundly interdependent.  International trade agreements are unstoppable, and robotic technology is here.  It will never again be 1953, with daddy corporations providing jobs for life, unions gaining power to control wages and working conditions, innovation and invention plus manufacturing providing a plethora of jobs.  It's over.  

        We do need a new and more agile economy that will be based in small businesses, local farms, green manufacturing, and clean-up technology.  We need to figure out how to build what China needs, what India needs, what Africa needs.  Then we build it and sell it.  

        If we trash Wall Street we lose our connection to the rest of the economic world, so let's focus up on getting Dodd-Frank fully implemented.  Let's stop hating Banksters and just build sensible walls around them.  Let's stop hating corporations and simply take away their welfare programs and tax dodges.  

        We do that, BTW, when we have large majorities in Congress and Democrats in power in every state.  After the last 3 years I don't fucking want to hear how awful Blue Dogs are, how some definition called neo-liberal is destroying our nation.  Cruz?  Rubio?  Perry?  Scott?  Walker?  Paul?  Ryan?  Those are the people I know will happily put me in debtor's prison and let me die.  Truly, really let me die.  

        I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

        by I love OCD on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 03:23:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I find it interesting that so many Democrats (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Johnny Q, Joieau

          apparently have a problem with the term "neoliberalism." when it's a widely accepted means of describing the current political/economic system. It's not exactly a controversial idea.

          So the source of your objection is what, exactly? That we don't need a term to describe and understand the economic system we live under? Or do you really think that Democrats and Republicans are so radically different in their policies that no single term can describe the American system?

          I think an honest look at the recent past shows that not only is that not true, but simply on a practical level, it would be difficult for things to function if every four or eight years we were zig zagging between radically different ideologies.

          I think you have to distinguish between the publicly stated stances of the two parties and various candidates, and the actually existing political and social system that has taken root in American over the past few decades. One is a form of superficial political debate and campaign propaganda; the other is the underlying reality itself.

          Anyway, I totally agree that 20th century liberalism is not coming back, but I don't think a critique of neoliberalism implies that. Instead, it's necessary to understand and identity the flaws of the current system in order to move past it.

          If we have a delusional perception of the system we live under and the political choices currently available actually mean, then we're basically just fumbling around in the dark and will never be able to realize your vision of "a new and more agile economy that will be based in small businesses, local farms, green manufacturing, and clean-up technology." We're not much better in that case than the delusional American right who view Obama as a socialist.

          Apparently nothing will ever teach these people that the other 99 percent of the population exist. —George Orwell

          by ukit on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 04:15:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If it's being used disparagingly (0+ / 0-)

            I want to know why.  What's bad about it that could be replaced with something better, and what is the better?  I'm not an economist I'm a citizen on SSDI.  I want to know what's better, what might work better in the 21st Century.  Most of what I'm hearing tends to be anger with 100 billionaires, nothing about 200,000,000+ of us could find more valuable.

            I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

            by I love OCD on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 11:02:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Better would be a system where 95% (0+ / 0-)

              of the gains don't go to the richest 1% of the population. If we can't do better than that then why bother getting up in the morning?

              Apparently nothing will ever teach these people that the other 99 percent of the population exist. —George Orwell

              by ukit on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 02:28:23 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  There's one good thing about this kind of pie... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TooFolkGR, edrie

    in the morning. Zero carbohydrates and zero calories.

  •  bandwagon, testimonial, appeal to authority (9+ / 0-)

    emotional appeal, repetition etc...are advertising techniques we all learned probably around middle school (jr high we called it) IIRC

    Bandwagon has always been a part of dailykos and if one wants to be effective at evaluating information, one should obviously always be aware of it (does it need to be said?)

    Me personally, and generally speaking, if I see a gathering crowd running in a certain direction, I get nervous and go off and try to do my own thing

  •  Judging from some of the comments here (7+ / 0-)

    This diary must have hit close to home and made them Uncomfortable.

    Awwwww.....

    “Vote for the party closest to you, but work for the movement you love.” ~ Thom Hartmann 6/12/13

    by ozsea1 on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 09:10:11 AM PDT

  •  There never was a time when the US wasn't (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT

    totalitarian in some regard, given that it had slavery. The police state in the South was imperialist in the Mexican War, looking to expand to the south and west. Grant lost the civil war in 1874 by acquiescing to terrorism. The annexation of Hawaii was just as corporate controlled as was the cotton-industry's Confederacy. You can look back at successful battles like the New Deal, but there was never a time when there was democracy resembling the founding documents. Baraka calls this the Sisyphus Syndrome, you might get close to a promised land as in the JFK-RFK-King era, but then the rock rolls back down the hill.  

  •  Agree with much of what you're saying here (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wee Mama, FG, Joieau

    and not sure why so many find it objectionable and feel the need to attack. Far from being some fringe viewpoint, the sources cited here, like Yves Smith and Chris Hedges, are generally well-regarded on the left, or at least I thought they were.

    If anything, you could accuse this diary of being somewhat pedestrian in its conclusions (we are living under an increasingly radical neoliberal economic system, and the majority fails to recognize that). Maybe it boils down to ongoing personal grudges though, which I haven't been paying much attention to.

    But disagree with the assertion at the end that there some kind of conscious propaganda campaign going on. Perhaps there is on some fronts (and it depends I guess what we consider propaganda), but a propaganda campaign on such a fundamental level strikes me as unnecessary.

    An ideology (such as the current Western ideology of neoliberal market fundamentalism) can be consciously constructed, as it was in the Soviet Union, but it can also be perpetuated and maintained just as effectively through the unknowing participation of its members. And this is kind of the definition of "group think", isn't it? All of these are subjective terms but I generally don't associate group think with propaganda, but see it instead as a kind of mutual, self-inflicted delusion.

    There also seems to be the assumption (which is a fairly common one) that there is some malevolent, centralized, authoritarian force directing things. But what if that isn't the case, and we are simply watching a system of decentralized power, a neoliberal ecosystem, act out its natural impulses? That in a way is more terrifying, since its comparatively easy to overthrow a small cabal of bad guys making plans in a smoke filled room somewhere. Much harder to overthrow an entire system that is unwittingly perpetuated by all of us.

    Apparently nothing will ever teach these people that the other 99 percent of the population exist. —George Orwell

    by ukit on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 12:57:55 PM PDT

  •  God help me (4+ / 0-)

    I am compelled to defend Brother Ray.

     I looked at the hidden comments and now I understand what commenters were complaining about, that they see today's Ray diary as Round Two of an argument that began in a comment thread, on a different diary yesterday.

    Well, Heck.  Isn't that what you are supposed to do if you get into a beef in a diary's comments?  Go off and write your own diary on the subject?

    That's what Ray did.

    “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

    by 6412093 on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 03:20:44 PM PDT

    •  I've been there myself (6+ / 0-)

      I'm not exactly there with you right now. I think that if someone has, I would say, rather viciously attacked another Kossack in a manner that suggests inter alia that he doesn't understand what "groupthink" means, he probably shouldn't then go write a diary that provides further evidence that he doesn't understand the definition he just quoted. Not HRable, but cringeworthy -- and considering that he hasn't walked back yesterday's comments in any way, it can easily be read as a continuation of the attack. But without the attack, it's just a weirdly bad diary.

      "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

      by HudsonValleyMark on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 05:00:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have a feeling there needs to be a snark tag (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        6412093, HudsonValleyMark, erratic

        in 6412093's comment, considering the over the top reaction to JosephK74's followup diary a few days ago.

        At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

        by serendipityisabitch on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 05:36:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hi serendipity (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          serendipityisabitch, erratic

          I hadn't seen Joseph74's diary.  Thank you for the link. I haven't read all of the comments but it seems like a more productive discussion that some I've seem.

          “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

          by 6412093 on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 08:36:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yet another reference to a prior "argument." (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          serendipityisabitch

          As if one wasn't enough for this thread.




          Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

          by DeadHead on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 12:48:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, I thought it was pertinent to that (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DeadHead, erratic

            particular comment - turns out it wasn't. But JosephK74's diary was one of the more positive benefits to come out of this series of discussions, from my point of view. And I didn't see it as an argument, at least from the diarist's point of view. He credited a comment from one of Ray's diaries as the basis for his diary, and I was rather impressed by the additional information and the different point of view he wrote from. Not necessarily convinced, but impressed never the less.

            I'll acknowledge that it is up to the diarist whether or not he chooses to note prior causes for any given diary. I'm less sure I need to do a mea culpa for bringing this one into this particular discussion. I could be talked into doing one for assuming that the previous comment was snark when it evidently wasn't, if that's what you'd like. My snarkmeter doesn't necessarily function at a high enough level all the time.

            At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

            by serendipityisabitch on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 01:56:15 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Nah, my comment was made more out of (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              serendipityisabitch, erratic

              Exasperation with the first instance way upthread than as a criticism of you for your harmless posting of that second link at the bottom of the diary and in response to another comment.

              Probably an unnecessary comment on my part, so I'll apologize for that.

              Time to put this particular diary to bed, I think.

              Cheers, serendipity.

              :)




              Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

              by DeadHead on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 03:50:34 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  that was fascinating n/t (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          serendipityisabitch

          "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

          by HudsonValleyMark on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 03:41:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  HudsonValley, I was taken aback (3+ / 0-)

        by Brother Ray's remarks yesterday that were hidden.

         You are right, an over-the-top multi-HR'ed attack merits an apology, that could accompany the subsequent response diary.

        I hope that I can summon the grace to apologize if I make any offensive remarks in the future.  Since I can't resist reading and commenting on Brother Ray's diaries, its probably inevitable.

        I appreciate your response and fleshing out of these issues.

        “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

        by 6412093 on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 09:00:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  this is where we are (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          WB Reeves, erratic, Hey338Too

          I am sorry to say, I doubt that Ray sees any reason to apologize. "That's my honest opinion of you and those who [share?] your views: a uncritical and blind apologist of a corrupt system." I have no reason to doubt that that -- and everything else he wrote -- is his honest opinion. I have no real reason to doubt that all of Ray's attacks on other posters, including me, are sincerely stated, no matter how contrary to fact they may be. And I observe that some people interpret this as a bold or edgy political stance. Perhaps it is.

          DeadHead apparently sees this as dragging fights from diary to diary. But Ray has said, right here in this comment thread, that he is "exposing the bad actors" and that "I play long." The way I read that, this isn't about "fights." It's about Ray's ongoing mission. I'm more than happy to forget "fights," but I don't think it makes sense to forget what people say about their purposes.

          "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

          by HudsonValleyMark on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 03:34:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I didn't appreciate those remarks (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            HudsonValleyMark, Hey338Too

            about bad actors or playing long either, Hudson.  I keep hoping that "this too, shall pass." Trouble is, I've thought it several times in the last month or two.

            “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

            by 6412093 on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 02:19:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah ... but mostly (4+ / 0-)

      when they get 40 Hide Rates from unique users, they tend to write Diaries saying "Sorry".

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      Who is twigg?

      by twigg on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 05:37:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hi Twigg (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        twigg, DeadHead, erratic

        I'm assuming you are referring to Ray getting 40 HRs, and not me?

        Yeh. I felt Ray got a raw deal in the comments today, in my opinion.

        I understand while others strongly differ.

        And having read his home care diary comments from yesterday that gathered several HRs, and being a former home care worker at minimum wages myself,  I wasn't exactly overjoyed at what he said.  

        I still feel today's diary and the responses were a danged shame, especially since I really enjoyed Ray's prior two diaries very much (Two Cities, and the union spy one).

         

        “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

        by 6412093 on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 08:49:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, I didn't mean you. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Hey338Too, ER Doc, erratic, buddabelly

          As for today ... One tends to reap what one sows, in my experience.

          I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
          but I fear we will remain Democrats.

          Who is twigg?

          by twigg on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 09:00:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  and many newer defenders seem to forget that Ray (0+ / 0-)

            has been sowing for a long damn time and some of that sowing was some pretty crackpot shit....Along with the insane call for an Article V Convention.....

            Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
            I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
            Emiliano Zapata

            by buddabelly on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 12:50:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ray? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              buddabelly

              I thought the now banned john de herrerra was the Article V booster.

              “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

              by Catte Nappe on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 01:11:18 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  now you have me doubting my memory, and if I'm (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Catte Nappe

                wrong I apologize to Ray for that part of my criticism......

                I'll have to go do a little looking to refresh....

                One thing I know for sure was ray just skating around the no calls for any violence prohibition.....no technically he never did but the tone of some diaries made plain the actual intent behind....

                I tend to think that is anyone is a plant it would be ray or a persona just like his......No plants would argue here, they would push the already semi radical to the edge and beyond if possible...what better way to actually destroy a community.....

                Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
                I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
                Emiliano Zapata

                by buddabelly on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 01:20:17 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You are correct and I apologize Ray for that (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Hey338Too

                  accusation....

                  I still think you a a bombthrower par exellance but you did not push an article 5 convention.

                  It is funny to see this diary complaining about propaganda when the author self lables as a propagandist

                  I have a confession to make: I'm a propagandist.  I don't necessarily write to inform, or to set the record straight, or to put an argument forward.  I write, first and foremost, to influence, to motivate, to effect action; and not just any run-of-the-mill action, but action at a massive level, and specifically action taken in concert by millions against a particular type of target
                  http://www.dailykos.com/...

                  Or claims he decrys violence with diary titles like

                  I'm looking for Che Guevara..
                  "I will burn this motherf*&!er down!"
                  It's Time For a Militant LEFT in The U.S.

                  Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
                  I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
                  Emiliano Zapata

                  by buddabelly on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 02:43:59 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

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