Popular Illusions

 

A few illusions are so persistent and so popular that they could serve as examples of peculiarities of working of the Mind and should be studied in detail.

 

 

Socialism cannot be a socio-economic system, it is just a slogan

 

People are social creatures; they naturally want to work diligently for the good of the community, to help people, who cannot support themselves at the moment, and to treat each other and to be treated decently. They do not want to be forced to do something, especially something they are ready to do voluntarily.

Through the years, these simple ideas acquired pseudo-scientific “wrappings” in the form of ideas of “equality”, “working according to one’s ability” and “receiving according to one’s needs”. These “wrappings” do not clarify anything, but they are useful for “rallying the masses”.

Note that very idea of “rallying the masses” indicates existing social discord and efforts to increase it, not to solve it.

Thus we have the natural sense of healthy social organization and aggressive presentation of it, and this combination is called “socialism”.

Low level of productivity did not allow testing it seriously. For a long time, for a group of people to reach a desirable level of comfort, this group had to force another group, usually much large group, to work for them, one way or the other.

With Industrial Revolution and high level of productivity it looked as it is possible to create such society. Attempts were made (now they are called “utopian socialism”) and they all failed.

Why did they fail?

One reason is quite obvious: many workers get too concerned that they work harder, than the others and entire organization quickly disintegrates. It looks like “equality in broadest possible sense”, is a big thing with humans. Actually, it is a big thing with many animals also, as some interesting experiments show.

However, this one is not the most important reason of failure.

For any collective work to succeed, someone has to decide what to do, how and when to do it, who should do it, how to organize exchange between different groups of workers, etc. Specialists-organizers or “managers” are needed. However, managing requires inclination, skills, special type of character, close cooperation with other managers, etc. Hence, managers emerge as a special group, which is replenished through cooptation, not through some kind of election.

Naturally, people are divided into groups: large one of workers and a small one of managers, with very limited movement between these groups.

By the nature of the work, which they perform, mangers are thoughtful, organized, cooperating with each other and resisting change.

Nothing could stay the same, and resistance of change in part of managers eventually brings entire combination of “workers” and “managers” to failure.

This is thy main reason, why pure implementation of the idea of “socialism”, cannot work.

Among the first, who understood this and openly wrote about it were Russian Communists (known under different name than). They understood the appeal of the idea and decided to keep the idea as a slogan, but to add to it some practical elements, which in essence go against the idea:

1)   controlling people’s behavior trough education, propaganda and enforcement;

2)   infusing highly disciplined governing political party with power of oversight into all strata of the society, especially among workers and managers.

That party turned managers and workers into obedient “drones”. Communists also invented concentration camps to work to death those, who were dissatisfied with new social order.

To stabilize new social system and to provide justification for its inhumane activities, they declared that the social organization, which they invented and called “socialism”, is the future of humanity and has to be spread over the world, by force, if necessary, and this “noble” work requires sacrifice on part of the people.

Nazi in Germany picked up the idea, including concentration camps, but modified it. They made it not international but national (Russians could not make it national – Russia was a multinational empire). They declared that Germans have to rule the world and oppress all other nations. The name “socialism” they kept.

Lately, we see yet another variant of social organization using name “socialism” in Europe.

Immigrants pour into Europe running from war, social disorder, famine, poverty, etc. They are happy to work for wages much lower than “natives”. There is no assimilation and integration of immigrants into existing society. In the same time, population of “natives” is shrinking – they do not make enough babies, more “natives” are dying then born. Businesses are happy to have cheap labor and ready to pay higher taxes to the government for such advantage. The government in turn provides various benefits to voting “natives”. This arrangement, which involves exploitation of immigrants, for some reason, is called “socialism”.

The initial idea of “socialism” cannot be implemented as a socio-economic system; “socialism” is just a slogan.

 

 

Materialism is crippling limitation on ability to think and explore

 

Some stories of failure are more educational than a dozen of stories of success. This one happened years ago in the place called Soviet Union (fortunately, former Soviet Union).

Dominant ideology of the place was Materialism and it was diligently enforced via various mechanisms of the state. Darwin’s Theory of Evolution was declared as a materialistic theory and was used to measure other biological theories against it. Functionaries of “science” turned their gaze at emerging Genetic Theory and decided that it is in conflict with Darwinism and hence in conflict with Materialism. That was a time of quick action, and Genetic Theory was banished and it stayed banished for many years. The country fell behind in many areas of biology and its applications, but ideological purity was preserved.

This example shows that first and foremost Materialism is a limitation on thinking.

Not all limitations on thinking are bad. For example, students of mathematics sometimes asked to prove a theorem using a limited set of “tools”. This way they develop flexibility of thinking, ability to approach a problem from different angles.

Materialism is a limitation of another kind, one which denies the use of selected methods of thinking during solving of practical problems, during development of approaches to solving problems, during development of ways to apply known theories, etc.

That does not develop flexibility of thinking. That cripples one’s ability to think clearly, to explore and to solve problems efficiently.

In the Soviet Union, the state accepted this crippling of the minds, because it seemingly made people more controllable, and that result was of foremost importance there. It was done consistently through the education system and academia.

Unfortunately, that culture of “proper shaping of the minds” (read: “crippling students’ minds to a degree that they automatically, without detailed analysis, reject ideas not fitting ideology of Materialism”) permeated the world of Academia in many places.

 

 

Darwin’s Theory of Evolution vs. Creationism

 

A reasonable person should be utterly surprised checking these two theories – a Theory of Evolution of Charles Darwin and opposing it Creationism. Both are highly rigid, not growing, not accepting modifications. This is when Darwin himself was ready to challenge about anything and to make strangest hypothesis and run strangest of experiments to check them. From the other hand, Creationism claims having roots in the Bible, but the book itself is so rich, it allows so many interpretations, while the theory seemingly relying on it is so rigid.

Darwin’s theory actually emerged as a scientific theory full of creativity, dynamism and challenge of accepted views. After all, it challenged the accepted interpretation of the Bible.

It became rigid, when opponents of religion and promoters of materialism accepted this theory as their banner and imposed a tight grip on it.

Creationism emerged as a response to this development. Simplistic, deterministic interpretation of the text of the Bible existed long time before that, but it was kind of “canonized” and named a “theory”, meaning a “scientific theory”, even when it did not emerge through usual pains of birth of a new scientific theory.

Hence, turned into a weapon by materialists, rigid variant of Darwin’s theory, and, turned into a contra-weapon variant of interpretation of the text of the Bible called Creationism (a theory), emerged almost simultaneously and matured in perpetual battle with each other. That battle defined them and it continues to limit their appearance and development. These “theories”, as any weapon systems, cannot afford anything that could weaken them in the battle. They are sharp, simple, uncompromising.

Each of them has very little to do with science, a scientific theory requires: perpetual challenge of its assumptions, its expansion, accumulation of variants of its interpretation and variants of its application. Nothing of this sort is present here.

In their perpetual battle both theories reach certain degree of sophistication: each implies something incredible without stating it openly and their supporters appreciate that. Battling Darwinism implies that forms of not living nature and associate random events completely define all forms and variations of living nature. Battling Creationism implies that all forms of living nature are deterministically defined and “random”, “unpredictable” is only manifestation of limitations of current human understanding. Well…

These theories are weapon systems useless outside their battlefield.

 

 

Equality is expensive

   

There is an old story about two little bears, who found a large chunk of cheese and got into scuffle, because they wanted it to be divided equally. The fox happened to run near and asked what argument was about. Upon learning the cause, he offered his services. He ate some cheese in the middle and thus made two pieces. Little bears were dissatisfied: one piece was much larger than the other. The fox went to work some more – he ate some from a larger piece. Now the other piece was larger. Little bears were still dissatisfied. The fox diligently corrected one piece or the other, until he was full and two almost perfectly equal pieces were made.

Isn’t it how modern fight for “equality” looks like? It is a big con, where there are crooks, who benefit from it, thugs, who enjoy big scuffle, and dupes, who think that they are getting something valuable from it.

A while ago, many businesses decided to make uniform products, to use uniform machinery, to deploy uniform rules on each step of production process and to make work uniform. To improve quality and reduce cost of production it was an excellent idea.

Since work was uniform and it was easy to train workers to do it at each workstation, it was just natural to drive wages down and cost down.

All this was done with huge effort and high expense.

When workers stopped being masters-craftsman with unique skills, it was just natural for them to engage in collective bargaining and raise wages this way.

Equality is expensive, one way or the other.

 

Alexander Liss 6/25/2019; 6/27/2019; 7/7/2019