Paradigms as Association Complexes, and Powerful Instruments of Establishments
Wim Rietdijk, D.Sci.
|The ancient Greeks believed the gods to live on top of the Olympus, but never climbed it for having a look.|
I. Association complexes work like advertising; just as the grammar of language, they are "unconscious conspiracies".
There is some "survival of the fittest" of social institutions, as conservatism asserts, but especially of instruments of power.
1. Advertising and indoctrination work by establishing associations. A car for sale is associated with a beautiful young lady, beer with having a good time, a lotion with successes with the opposite sex. It works in spite of lacking substance or logic more often than not.
Well, my thesis is that a similar process or mechanism contributes essentially to causing about everybody to conform to a complex of ideas and preferences embodying a prevalent "orthodoxy". I.e. a rather coherent body or complex of associations, sym- and antipathies that actually shield and propagate the status quo and dominating interests going with it.
2. We give some examples:
a) The term "police state" quite irrationally associates a consistent law and order approach with systems like Nazism and communism;
b) Words as "the deprivileged" or "disadvantaged" veiledly start from the idea that social injustice rather than genetic factors are responsible for the relevant people's problems;
c) By associating it with the Nazi's, eugenics will be made suspect;
d) The term "constitutional state" will be associated with many rights for defendants rather than the optimum protection of (potential) victims;
e) "Sex and violence" is a frequently used association that actually degrades sexuality; it is "a commercial against sex";
f) In Europe it is "standard practice" to compare objections to massive immigration of underdeveloped Third-World people with racism and the extreme right.
g) Throughout history, people's innate want of safety and dependability has been associated with conservative (power via) institutions such as kings, religion, tradition etc.
Even pointing out the radical quality differences between cultures, and the inequality of various races with regard to their average IQs, and the highly genetic basis of IQ, is tainted with racism. Actually, only substantial egalitarianism is not, according to the dominating ideology or association complex. As with former clergies, much of what modern intelligentsia and columnists do is elaborating and paraphrasing such complex, also on a more subtle level such as that of anti-enlightened philosophies and incoherent art. Just as language in earlier stages of civilization, the "associative network" - that "integrates" society (around major interests) - is largely constructed and made to evolve intuitive-unconsciously, as a cross between ideology and culture, with much suggestive power...
3. A major special case is that both liberalism and the right consist of a complex of standpoints, preferences and antipathies that are often mutually associated by tradition or ad hoc interests rather than (moral or social) logic. E.g., what kind of logic - other than convention or historical association - mutually connects "rightist" law and order, anti-euthanasia and restrictive sexual morals, performance ethic, and nationalism? What does so with regard to frequent "progressive" distrust of technological progress (!), anti-nationalism, pro modern art and euthanasia, moral and cultural relativism and favouring "nurture" rather than "nature"? Still, very many are brainwashed into feeling at home with either the rightist or the "progressive" association complex. (On the other hand, the old-time "God, King and country" can be the cornerstone of a consistent association complex.)
Actually, left and right primarily became habits of thought, that is, association complexes indeed. In any case, the relevant mechanism of defining ideas and preferences by means of association works very effectively, as we can see from the fact that there are very few people who combine, say, law and order, performance ethic, anti-egalitarianism, focusing on progress and eugenics, sexual liberalism, pro-"nature" (as compared with "nurture"), pro euthanasia and pro-technology. This in spite of the fact that such standpoints are consistently "Promethean". Actually, in harmony with this website at all, these standpoints simply embody a consistent update of the Enlightenment, integrated with the perspectives modern science and technology created with respect to progress. (And only minus the error of the Enlightenment that "men are good by nature" and essentially are all of equal quality.)
In practice, many conservative ideas are associatively (ideologically) "sold to the public" via the latter's longing for safety and dependability. Think of kings, or banning divorce. Union power is "sold" via egalitarianism as a defense mechanism against inferiority feelings. Or the sterilization of anti-socials is associatively fought by referring to "the Nazi's". Comprehensive, anti-intellectualistic education is called "democratization" (the dull and unruly are optimally obliged). Radical competence of the police to shield you against crime is associated with "Big Brother". Far-reaching collusion of interests and neocorporatism are called "collective bargaining economy". And more than everything else: anxiety is assuaged by "solidarity". That will be, conformism. All of this positive or negative "advertising" occurs intuitively or unconsciously. It is the art of acquiring power by manipulation. For indeed the manipulative associations will serve interests, just as those of commercials. The prejudices indoctrinated or associatively suggested in history used to do so, and it would be utterly naive to think that present ones would do not.
The straightforward only need one kind of solidarity: that against deceit and for progress.
4. Now my central thesis on this page is that we can vastly and sociologically very productively expand what we saw in 3. above. That is:
Tradition, coherent or more ad hoc interests, sheer habits of thought and a pervasive wish to integrate (or conform!) society - think of religion, nationalism, or other ideologies - will tend to create an "orthodoxy" in the sense of a rather comprehensive association complex (more or less consistent, logical, rational and moral) that may very well be compared with language as to its generation as an unconscious "conspiracy", and with the "left" and "right" association complexes of 3. It is only much more comprehensive, also shielding and propagating many more vested interests, and reflecting more durable attitudes and philosophies than mere current political ones. Inter alia, it reflects the want of solidarity: support by "the others" and mutual cooperation.
Comparing it with language, note that the latter originated long before linguists were around who might have consciously constructed grammar and rules: these grew "unconsciously consistently" in order that such language could serve its purpose of subtle communication instrument. In actual fact we see an "unconscious conspiracy"!
The importance of such phenomenon in culture and society at all becomes clear by realizing the consequences of our motto: in a period of about 800 years the ancient Greeks refrained from actually and easily verifying the essence of their religion: they were not curious and did not climb the Olympus. Or, if one did, he drew no conclusion that would certainly have been taboo. (Compare the fate of Socrates.) Conclusion: the Greeks unconsciously realized that nothing particular would be found on the Olympus, but still collectively "conspiratively" cultivated the myth because it integrated their culture and much of society.
Two more instances are nationalism and - as we logically may assume - various other religions too. The former has been characterized as an instrument for "making the many exert themselves for the benefit of the few": many fought and paid, few profited by the grandeur, conquered territory or war booty. Of course the "conspiracy" of shaping nationalism as such instrument was unconscious too. (Still, many will have sensed that, say, Spain was not objectively better than France.) Relevant people intuitively felt what ideas were in harmony with their wants, and which did not, and acted correspondingly. Moreover, nationalism was a compromise: ordinary people profitted too (though less than corresponded to their sacrifices). I.e., they felt "solidarity" and somewhat of the "greatness".
A similar thing holds for religion; it unconsciously developed historically for fulfilling needs: those of the people (comfort, solidarity, hope,...) and even more those of the established. (Small wonder: the latter had more influence on how matters developed.)
The net result of the above is that we do not only have - conforming, "solidarizing" and interest-serving - ideologies and attitudes such as nationalism, religion, political or cultural correctness and Riesman's other-directedness, but also a major association complex that acts like advertising in associating some ideas and preferences with the positive and others with the undesirable. It is an even more unconscious and "underhand" extension of the prevailing ideology, many associations, hints and suggestions pointing in similar directions. All of this is subtle brainwashing and conformizing.
This simply works like an unconscious collective conspiracy "solidarizing" or conforming the public around dominating interests. Indeed just as nationalism, religion or political correctness do (and like advertising does on a limited scale), but in an even more pervasive, implicit and hidden way, and more comprehensively implicating the prejudices and vested interests of the time. E.g., just as the associations with "police state", the "disadvantaged" or eugenics-Nazi's do.
A final remark: conservatives will assert that traditions and social institutions as they are should be cherished and not too easily abolished or changed, because they will be the result of a socio-cultural survival of the fittest. My reaction: this may be true to a considerable extend, but the establishments of all ages were very especially in need of such traditions, ideas, mechanisms, inner attitudes and institutions that facilitated the wielding of power, and manipulation. Conformizing and directing people via subtle association complexes and ideology - as described above - is a major one among them. Therefore, I still much distrust relevant dominating association complexes, such as a) the traditional cultural lore and values, and b) any purportedly "manipulation-free" nature of association complexes like cultural correctness.
II. The secret of brainwashing and conforming people: do it veiledly, indirectly and unconsciously
5. The case of "unconscious conspiracies" as a far-reaching phenomenon in society - as an instrument of manipulation and power - is further strengthened by the common anti-enlightened tendency in so diverse sectors as
1) Modern overwhelmingly anti-rationalist and/or morally relativistic philosophy;
2) Incoherent art from Cobra to "absurd" theatre and Rauschenberg;
3) Emphasizing uncertainty, the accidental, the here-and-now and the incoherence of life and the world;
4) Anti-intellectualistic educational reforms;
5) An egalitarianism both relativizing virtue and human quality;
6) A comprehensive relativism that devalues all enlightened values, from truth to progress.
"Coincidentally", all these phenomena or situations tend to devalue or relativize social criticism as well as the chutzpahs around us. All breathe the same spirit.
For the rest, interest groups often collude, forming (long-term or temporary) political alliances: farmers, doctors, the educational establishment, unions,... Actually, what else is this but conscious conspiracy (against the public)? Points 1) - 6) above show a far more comprehensive and unconscious specimen, on the ideological level. Jointly, they constitute a kind of coherent "language", communicating an also coherent message (paradoxically co-containing that life and the world are incoherent!), partly as a paradigm or association complex.
Remark: Elaborating 1) - 3) above we see a complex that in itself is "conspiratory" in that one attitude to life and mentality are propagated: troubled waters and uncertainty - that is, dependence and anxiety - are pushed via various ways. Viz. from Wittgenstein ("All explanation must go, and only description has to come into its place") and neo-positivism (that is disinterested in coherent explanatory models of whatever) to postmodernism and Rauschenberg the power of reason, rational values, coherent emotions and hope is undermined and the troubled waters emerge automatically... "Take life and everything at face value, that's all there is of reality; what `hidden purposes' or `conspiraciy', what coherent mentalities or, for that matter, progress?"
Note that, in essence, such attitude simply is superficiality becoming philosophy. Superficiality has always been on the side of the status quo and of adjustment and conformism...
III. The psychology of association and (non)conformism
6. There is a specific psychological reason why this website and my person are so much at odds with our dominant association complex. Such reason has precisely to do with how such complexes are formed in the human psyche. To begin with, in mine there is a core association between sexuality and the sublime, and more generally between intense happiness (and suffering) and moral justice. This, inter alia, prevents me from ever being receptive to socio-cultural associations, say, connecting sex with evil, guilt feelings, "lower instincts" or aggression. Now such state of matters is prototypical of how my psyche works more generally. Viz. my "innate", or logical, associations, also corresponding to a complete mutual agreement and harmony of my intelligence, emotions and conscience, cause my psyche to be an integral and coherent whole to such an extent that it is completely unassailable to any suggestion or association from my environment that is anyhow contrary to such "innate" logical association complex. Happiness, beauty, human quality, sexuality, progress, efficiency, performance, the sublime, and justice according to rational values - integrity and love of one's neighbour - constitute one logically coherent whole in it. (Small wonder that many people find me consistently straightforward to a somewhat alarming extent.) For this reason brainwashing and social conformising are virtually impossible with me. I see such state of mind as simply emotional-intuitive intelligence: not accepting illogical or immoral emotional manipulation, or irrational values. Royalty or the inviolability of human life and the sublime, softness on crime and "compassion", progress-mindedness and being pro-underclass or liking "socially" rather than intellectually oriented education, or obscure art,... all belong to pushed associations impossible to be indoctrinated in me because of their artificial nature. Neither am I susceptible to any solidarity or "we" feeling with respect to anything else than what represents the morally good, progress or human quality according to rational values. (Think of national sports teams etc.) "Sex, guilt and the lower instincts" is "innate" emotional and moral nonsense for me. Hence I am not susceptible to repressive sexual morality "by nature".
In addition to the "innate coherence" of my associations as to values and emotions, innerly experiencing them is so intense with me - from looking at the starry sky to music, sexuality and moral indignation - that it gives me an independent, strong and coherent psychological basis, also for standing alone as to identity, moral compass and support. I therefore reproach the conformists their weak and/or unawakened natural emotions, and am flabbergasted by such a position as relativism.
It is part of the harmony of my reason and emotions referred to above that for me the emotional - high-quality sex included - is also strongly associated with planning, coherence and performance: it is particularly via them that optimum catharsis and fulfilment can ultimately be refined, protected and best guaranteed. (That is, in the long run; think of genetic engineering, better love markets and subtly measuring man's wants.) From this point of view associating the sixties and the "spontaneous", here and now or Bohemian way of life with quality sex is even more illogical than associating the latter with present-day bourgeous ambiance. Associating sexuality with modern "anti-bourgeous" literature, here and now hedonism and superficial amusement, the accidental and the like is even farther from me. Beauty, seriousness, intensity of emotions, clean purity and orderly dependability are innately associated with sex in my psyche. (I feel everything positive to be associated with orderly dependability.)
I even strongly surmise it to be a major unconscious purpose of both the agelong sexual repressions and frequent present-day degradation and superficiality of the sex ambiance (also think of much literature) to repress and "disarticulate" human instinct so much that instinctive awakening, depth, associative coherence and emotional intuition (intelligence) were lessened in order to cause emotions to become better manipulable into "socially preferred" associations. Remind Nietzsche: modern man, alienated from his natural instincts, became more uncertain (that is, manipulable!).
For the rest, realise that manipulated association complexes - such as current "leftist" and "rightist" ones, and associating sex with guilt, the nation with the sublime or egalitarian solidarity with moral rearguards - are subtle variants or results of unconscious conspiracy.
One more well-known instance of the latter is Parkinson's Law: it contains that many officials (and others) unconsciously tend to extend (and complicate) bureaucratic apparatuses because they prefer having many subordinates to having less.
7. It is precisely the currently dominating association complex or comprehensive orthodoxy that is criticized in this website, which also explains the latter's being virtually taboo (as can be concluded from the few reactions to it).
The crucial point is here that the opposition against enlightened ideas and what we described as the red thread of progress in history - and against this website - is only for a minor part of any scientific or even argued ideological nature. It is of a similar kind as the aversion of many Muslims to Western culture or of "experimental" artists against, say, an understandable poem: they are contrary to their accustomed association complex. The latter, inter alia, will comprehend many more or less conscious interests and preferences, e.g., around solidarity with a certain group. Pierre Bourdieu even openly posited that preferences as to art are mainly defined by one's preference of belonging to some social group. Most people are not even ashamed of so "unaesthetic", snobistic and conformist frame of mind. Such kinds of non-authenticity alas codirect even intellectuals in their judgment, and not merely as to art but also, say, about this website. Then, not reason, rational values and authentic emotions make them decide but things like social setting or social considerations at all, such as one's complex of associations!
Note that relativism "automatically" conduces to such attitude. Relativists do not even strive after truth or the morally good. For them, indeed association complexes, or partly unconscious social agreements or conventions, are the basis of identity, values and purposes: conformism as a matter of principle. E.g., they and many others object against this website, inter alia, because their (highly solidarity-centered) association complex implies:
a) Eugenics is against solidarity;
b) Objecting to genetic and moral egalitarianism as it is implied in the above relativism and the social origin of values is so too;
c) Objective rational values and abandoning defendants' right to silence "end with Robespierre";
d) We should even reject the idea of unconcious conspiracies and start from the good faith of all social actors;
e) If you object to incoherent poems and paintings, or Finnegans Wake, you are conservative by "rejecting experiment";
f) Determinism and even considering man as a scientifically knowable phenomenon would take from life its essential flavour, free will and the right of communities to choose their own values and culture;
g) "Your tone is aggressive and you're not interested in people";
h) The social dimension and intersubjectivity constitute the essence of life; your argument is not even interesting;
i) "If you were right, all support I derive from convention, myth, irrational values and social games and institutions would be lost".
Those objecting to my work do not do so because they found flaws in my argument. In any case, one did not try and indicate any. The simple fact that our academic philosophers and social scientists hardly ever violate one of our many taboos shows that they are less seeking the truth than joining in a social game (about status etc.). Hence they are not against this website because of possible intellectual inadequacy but for similar reasons why some are against what prejudices "the honour of France", violates "solidarity" or flies in the face of any other socially based association (complex). For the rest, what can be expected from intellectuals even ignoring the scarcity of sexual attractiveness, genetically based IQ differences between races, and myriad of social abuses, including the bad faith of major sections of our establishment that do nothing against them?!
Prejudice is of Brobdignagian proportion: even a rigorous demonstration of determinism from the Special theory of relativity I published in Philosophy of Science in 1966 was ignored: it does not fit in our "paradigm" and association complex (free will, chance, uncertainty,...) Still, nobody found a flaw in the demonstration up to now...
8. Precisely because every culture in any age has its conforming association complex(es) [corresponding to its paradigm(s)], it could happen that, e.g., none of the great authors of Antiquity turned against slavery, and a mere few did so against the persecution of witches many centuries later, etcetera.
Relevant association complexes, as well as "orthodoxies" and dominating ideology originate and prosper by influential, culture-shaping people intuitively feeling what ideas, phrases, schools of art, preferences, taboos, repressions, sym- and antipathies,... that come in the open fit in well (or badly) with major interests, the dominating climate, trendy ways of life and/or simply evoke agreeable feelings with them (not without intuitive reasons). These will be pushed and become dominant, suggesting a whole ambiance of life, this going much farther than ideology or explicit mores. (E.g., in-crowds liking either conformism or the consumption industry will instinctively feel "progressive", socially rather than intellectually oriented education and superficial here-and-now literature should be favourably commented on; not "moralizing" novels.) Mutatis mutandis, language will have evolved in a similar way, as we already indicated, clarity, subtlety and consistency this time playing the part of harmony with major interests etc.
In our own rather democratic times, the paradigmatic association complex mainly took over the role of violence, dogma, censorship, religion and convention as major instrument of "solidarity" (around established institutions, ideas and interests) and power, on a deep level discouraging nonconformism. Hence this website is not fought by arguments, in spite of its enunciating concrete ideas and explanations, and its exposing major abuses. It is fought simply in the way commercials communicate: by associating agreeable things like solidarity, human inviolability, freedom (of will), the "We" sentiment, "social relevance" and stability with the status quo and conventional ideas. Its mere contrasting with such ambiance then condemns my work. Additionally, the dominant association complex suggests that most good things are to be expected from the social dimension, the world apart from this being uncertain, meaningless, chaotic, unmakable and far from evolving coherently by natural law. So people are conformed in "solidarity" from the times of Kings, the Church, the nation or the Proletarian Revolution to those of other-directedness. They are hardly in need of spoilsports, scientific or not.
Personally, I rejected the current paradigmatic complex from the start: already for the simple reason that it is immoral by condoning or positively accepting many abuses like those discussed on these pages. Frankly, such rejection was not even difficult for me because I had my own rational values and concomitant consistent and "winning" basis of ideas. Viz. around a combination of techno-science defining social evolution and a related "onslaught of circumstance" dethroning all successive ideologies. This was completed by my enlightened religion that "simply" sees God (the Soul of the world) as the integration of all natural laws that have "system in their actions and mutual relations". Hence I need no social bases. I would like integration into social solidarity, but before "the group" will become something sympathetic for me - that is, before such solidarity starts referring to our commonly organizing happiness - we will be quite a few Genome Projects farther...
IV. More details about the current paradigmatic association complex: the worship of man
9. Such complex integrates daily experience and ideology in veiledly advertising a state of mind optimally favourable to both the way of least resistance for the individual, and vested interests, power and the status quo. Inter alia, it suggests:
a) Life is consumption, up to and including the savouring of here-and-now direct experience, particularly in a social context (by the way, this is pleasant for the consumption industry);
b) In the same vein, existentialism, postmodern philosophy, incoherent ("experimental") art, the sports page, and high-brow Cultural Supplements - not seldom writing about "hiphop", "rap", Eminem and "rock" - pour out the idea that life is unstructured momentary experiences, uncertainty and coincidence (by the way, this stimulates anxiety, an important instrument of power). This amounts to a guerilla war on reason, rational values, deep coherent emotions and the idea of evolution. The censor could not do better.
c) Implicit message of the above: things are as they are, power, in-crowds and abuses included, and what kind of "system" would you like to have in their place? For the rest, what is abuse?
d) Man (as he is) is the optimum value, inviolable, quite apart from his qualities. By the way, "who judges such qualities?" The social dimension and adjustment to it are about all there is; again, conformism as a principle. Concomitants: other-directedness, egalitarianism, anti-eugenics, hypertrophy af anti-"racism", taking others as they are; "inferior people" do not exist in this secularised solidarity religion. Mind that it is far from wholly negative, as some other religions.
e) Never speak of social abuses in moral terms, not even of crime, antisocials and addiction. E.g., refer to squatters as normal citizens. Thus indirectly suggest the moral dimension to be virtually nonexistent.
Needless to say: there is no common basis of this website and the cult of degrading nihilism a) - e) jointly amount to. Every item of such nihilism, up to and including the sleazy hair and clothes of the "rock artists", suggests our work's irrelevance - without argument...
So far as to the "progressive" side of the predominant association complex. The conservative one is only slightly better. Its essence is suggesting that tradition, the "wisdom of the past" - as a result of an agelong survival of the fittest of cultural elements such as values and ways of life -, should prevail on our (limited) reason and enlightened ethic. The crucial mistake is that the "survival of the fittest", more than to anything else, refers to a survival of the fittest instruments of manipulation and power, these being the main things historical establishments were intersted in. Sexually restrictive ethics is one of them, traditional religion another. Both are cherished by current conservatives...
Conclusion: Both "progressive" and "traditional" association complexes or paradigms (in)directly emanate: do not emphasize or count on reason, rational values or the Promethean, but on what is simply there, the socially relevant, taboos, vested interests and "man as he is" included.
Particularly mind: Kuhn's paradigms and the relevant conformism will be so persistent precisely because of their functioning as an association complex (again compare language, also as regards its unconscious "conspiratory" aspects).
Note too that - just as most politics, social institutions and convention - prevalent association complexes will be "on the side of past history, dominant interests, in-crowds and lazyness". That is, as a kind of veiled advertising and propaganda without argument, they will militate against nonconformism and enlightened thinking. (Their greatest strength is their being hidden persuaders; think of Vance Packard's book.) For mind: what could be propagated straightforwardly and is in good faith would usually be diffused and promoted more explicitly and coherently rather than via the unconscious underhand ways of association.
Remark: As far as the "worship of man" means worshipping the community or "the group" it also amounts to a withdrawal of the "religious projection". Mind that many see religion and gods as outward projections of such community and its values, anxieties, drives etc. Again our dominant paradigm appears as secularized religion.
One more striking point is that most people consider my work to be "difficult". Well, the main cause of this could be that its main lines of argument do not proceed according to the accustomed associations of the "orthodox" complex. This necessitates thought.
10. It is obvious why our "ideological association complex" particularly turns against objective rational values and the idea of a scientifically knowable coherent world, while pushing the emotional superficiality and moral indifference implied by points a), b), c) and e) of 9. For it is substantial moral judgment in a makable world that could do what vested interests and power abuse fear most: coordinate and mutually attune special interests so as to subordinate them to the common good in order to produce optimum well-being. (Note: the implication is that politics should be primarily moral.) In other words, power and vested interests currently like relativism and incoherence: for what should or need legitimate them besides their being simply there, if values and everything are relative and chaotic?! They had the simple luck to be dominating and that's it! (Note that in former times the establishment did not at all champion relativism because, then, its dominance was so radical that all "objective" values were moulded by it to be on its side. There was one order, and that was theirs!)
One more vital aspect of individual minds becoming pervaded with the dominating "paradigm" is such individuals' strivings and hope. E.g., if one is sexually frustrated (as most young people are) and attractiveness is scarce, while gratification is not facilitated by any rational market but should possibly be found via chance meetings, intense strivings will be associated with the ambiance of going out, massive (and hence superficial) social events, or less massive but rather inadequate ones. One tends to belong, to adjust and be popular (the ideal of American youth). How frustrating, projections-generating and conforming such state of matters is, we see from situations like people looking for a good partner for years and years, the mass hysteria around pop and other stars and the other-directedness and group-mindedness partly originating from people seeing no identity, fulfilment or way out but via continuous "social interactions". Dependence on "the others" and the "social market" became the main source of individuals' conforming, anxiety and being pervaded with fashion in many domains, they ever hoping and extravertedly directing strivings outwardly, onto "the others". Of course, the "paradigmatic" association complex gets optimum opportunity with so many yearning outwardly (socially) so intensely. (Note that Riesman in his The Lonely Crowd also found anxiety to be the dominant feeling among the other-directed: anxiety about being accepted and loved, which defines the utmost favourable climate for their being conformed.)
Formerly, people felt dependent on the overwhelming powers of nature and poverty, and the Church. The establishment and ideologists liked it so: dependent people are anxious and willing to conform. In modern times most individuals feel utterly dependent on "the others" (man and society became the new secularized God), who are a source of identity, values, sex and career. And again, the establishment and the in-crowds like it so. For "the group", that is primarily the leaders and trendsetters in a broad sense, who also largely select the symbols of secularized, still anti-enlightened religion, defining the mentality: ideology and manipulation via association. Think of "modern" artists, the anti-rationalist Sartres and Foucaults, the rap and rock "chaotists", relativism and egalitarianism.
By the way: not merely yearning dependence (sex, career, stimuli,...) pervades the individuals with the paradigmatic associations. It is also the plethora of media and social impressions transmitting the spirit of the age. A small minority among them are directly advertising goods or services, many more subtly "sell" common attitudes, preferences, norms and values. These are "bought" too, because by far most people are very weak, morally, emotionally and intellectually. They don't think or struggle: they undergo and adjust. Alas, most intellectuals do so too. (Small wonder that the relevant kind of people will be far from pleased with reading this; they will turn away from this website altogether, also repressing their shame...)
V. Some inconsistency in western paradigms
11. With regard to the virtual tabooing of this website another, somewhat paradoxical, aspect has to be mentioned. In point 8. of the page Beyond the Brainwashing we explained why so much opposition to modern western society appears, from fundamentalists to Heidegger, from Horkheimer and Adorno to the Greens and anti-globalists, etc. This at the same time elucidates much of the resistance against my work. For the indeed paradoxical fact arises that, though my social criticism is radical, its gist ultimately amounts to inciting Western society and its way of thinking to be more consistent, radical and straightforward with respect to the path followed since the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. That is, I am "more royalist than the king" as to core Western values. On the one side, this makes opposition to my work essentially of the same nature as that against modernity of instances like those indicated above. On the other side, the resistance against such work is another example showing how many pre-enlightened and inconsistent "counterforces" continue in the West. The latter harbours both the relevant anti-enlightened association complex - extensively discussed on this page - and the paradigm that will be considered as the typically Western one and which, in a much more radical form, is also supported in my work.
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