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Sun Jan 31, 2016, 05:19 PM

Lord of the Flies

One of the curious dynamics that the presidential primary season highlights is that people tend to believe that everyone on the island can see the exact same circumstances that the group faces. From here, it is but one short step to believing that everyone interprets and understands those circumstances in the same way ….hence, differences of opinion are viewed in terms of honesty, intelligence, and integrity.

When an individual operates under the assumption that everyone else views the general circumstances in the exact same way, than those who express a difference of opinion about how the group should proceed will be viewed as flawed -- with the flaws being in terms of honesty, intelligence, and/or integrity. At the individual level, this can result in frustration -- “why can’t you just admit that I’m right?” -- and then to hostility -- “why won’t you just admit I’m right, you fucking asshole?” I think we see some of this on DU:GDP from time to time.

On the group level, these frustrations and hostilities often take a more harmful path, as when Simon emerged from the forest to expose the identity of the “beast.” Simon was, of course, correct in his identification the beast. The group’s perception did not allow them to understand what he had hoped to communicate to them, however. In fact, the group’s fears and confusions were such that even the those who appeared honest and intelligent participated, at some level, in killing Simon.

From this, we can conclude that not all opinions are equal. An easily identified example in 2016 would be those islanders who self-identify as republican followers of Rick Santorum, Ben Carson, and Mike Huckabee. These people are sincere in their beliefs that we are on “The Coral Island,” and that if we just follow their religious mythology, salvation is at hand.

Jack Merridew is, without question, Donald Trump.(Likewise, Donald Trump is Jack Merridew.) The sad reality is that too often, when circumstances are dire, a segment of the group will look to those who reflect the lowest in human decency for leadership. They mistake cruelty for strength. And the national media has willingly handed Trump the conch …..indeed, that same media portrays Trump’s shattering of the Fox conch as a demonstration of power.

The wonderful character Piggy illustrates that even a smart person who marvels that “life is scientific” can fail to grasp that under changing circumstances, people need to be flexible and to adjust. Piggy is convinced that if the group simply -- and totally -- invest its energies in conforming to the old rules, that they will be “saved.” It’s a mental software that programs people to look for security within the confines of “rules” that worked in different situations, but may not provide needed benefits when confronting new challenges.

These rules allowed Piggy to participate, at some level, in the deadly assault upon Simon. The fear from Simon’s “threat” -- using science to resolve primitive fears, reason to replace ritual, and rational thought to improve community standards -- prevented the potential for social justice. In my opinion, that is much the same as allowing fear to define very real possibilities today -- ones that require change -- as “pipe dreams,” something unrealistic. This, despite the fact that by failing to embrace change, by clinging to the rules of a Debbie Wasserman Schultz, we can only insure the further self-destructive route that our society is now on.

Along with fear, another concept that too often handcuffs people, making them resistant to change, is comfort. And that isn’t limited to the rich and wealthy in society. It includes people who are facing tough times, but are still more comfortable with what is familiar. The concept of change can cause anxiety. More, even “good” changes -- a job promotion, a new home -- create a level of stress.

Yet, even if we consider but one “problem” -- climate change -- it should be evident that change is required. And not merely a few small changes. But real change.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the two most significant movements in recent years have provided comfortable atmospheres within the communities engaged in them. I am speaking of Occupy and the Sander’s Campaign. Back a little further was the 2008 Obama Campaign,

All three offer more than a glimpse of true Power. Despite any imperfection the Obama presidency has had, I know that in important areas, it has built a foundation for us to build upon. It’s not our destination, nor a place where we should drop anchor. The best tribute to Barack Obama is not working to maintain the status quo, but to use this foundation to build upon.

Note: I read the book “The Lord of the Flies” in the early 1970s. My memory is imperfect. So I understand that others here might remember things I’ve forgotten …..and I appreciate that others might have very different interpretations and opinions than me. That’s the way it should be.

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Reply Lord of the Flies (Original post)
H2O Man Jan 2016 OP
Sensitive soul Feb 2016 #1
Uncle Joe Feb 2016 #2
sabrina 1 Feb 2016 #3

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Feb 1, 2016, 05:08 PM

1. Lord of the flies

I never read the book so all good with me.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Feb 1, 2016, 05:29 PM

2. I just saw the ending of the movie but I do recall a quote from Al Gore's book

"The Assault on Reason" being that "reason trumps faith, faith trumps fear and fear trumps reason," the two primary pillars of the Republican party are based on faith and fear as a means to neutralize reason.

This strategy has been quite successful for years in dividing the people into tribes and as a counter to the well reasoned arguments of climate change.

I see Hillary using the fear argument to do likewise in regards to Bernie's Medicare for all proposal, she is hoping to trump reason with the nonsensical argument that this somehow endangers Obamacare; something which Bernie actually contributed to.

As Bernie stated he has been fighting for universal health care for over thirty years.

Thanks for the thread, H2O Man.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Feb 1, 2016, 05:47 PM

3. Thoughtful post as always, H2O Man. Most of us don't have a problem with people having different

opinions. The problem comes when someone throws a punch without provocation and then when a punch lands them on their rear ends, blames the one who defended him/herself.

That isn't disagreement. So my philosophy wrt to trying to sort out who is responsible for a melee is 'who initiated it'.

We do have a right to defend ourselves against virtual assault, iow, lies and deceptios. They do need to be corrected imo, just as a physical assault might result in an unexpected and possibly unpleasant defense.

I am not as good a person as the candidate I support, I admit

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