"A philosophy of government that advocates or exercises a  dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with an ideology of belligerent nationalism."
from The American Heritage Dictionary
 Beligerent nationalism guided by the extreme right is very attractive to many.
Why?
America now appears to advocate this philosophy and to be moving as fast as possible to exercise it.

But it's not a majority of Americans.  There is opposition in America that joins the opinion of most of the rest of the world in it's opposition.

Let us ask who opposes those advocates and why.

Many other people are frightened by the extreme right.
Why?
 
 

What can we do?

"Hitler was bad for the rest of the world, but he was very good for Germany."
a former Hitler Youth in the US Army, 1954


UNDERSTAND
"see"
1: Define terms

The words "Right" and "Left" saturate political conversation.  What do they mean?

These terms suggest that people can be put on some line, and that their position on that line describes their political and economic opinions.  This picture oversimplifies in a way that's hard to overcome.  Here are two richer pictures that could help. A working definition of "right" and "left" must start with an examination of the attitudes and behaviors which tell us which is which.
2: Expand scope

Truth is important in our knowledge and understanding.  But it isn't everything.  Scope and completeness are important, too.

Infancy to science-see is a long, arduous journey that, like a climb of Mt Everest, gets harder and harder as the altitude gets higher.  "Seeing" science means recognizing more and more of the patterns in the world about us.  Infants are solipsistic: nothing beyond their immediate senses has meaning to them.  Egocentrism, ethnocentrism, anthropocentrism... are stops on the journey out from solipsism.  Science aims beyond anthropocentrism.
3: Seek profounder truth

Human knowledge can have many levels of abstraction.  We see patterns, and patterns of patterns, and patterns of patterns of...  The more "of's" in the chain, the deeper the abstraction.

Seeing the deeper abstractions requires that we develop the needed insights.  Those we easily see are "real." for us.  Those we don't see, but which others do see and tell us about, seem "ivory towered and quite out of touch with the real world."  They are not real, we feel.  They are "abstract."  They are "merely matters of personal opinion." Back to politics and economics:  On what topics do people who skillfully work with the deeper abstractions tend, on the whole, to hold similar political and economic opinions and generally oppose certain political options?  If correlations are found here, we must infer that the correlated opinions and options have a strong cognitive component. 
Expand political discussion
index to discussions 
4: Identify problems

Try to understanding the many "poison fruits" of anti-intellectualism, the potentially fatal hazards of oversimplification.

Oversimplification
Shallowness
Rank
Punitiveness
Egocentrism
Blind patriotism
5: Identify patterns
which must not be denied.
These patterns are simply the relationships discussed in a course in elementary logic.  In the course, crutches are provided for those who don't intuitively sense the correct logic: Venn diagrams, truth tables, and the like.  However, that intuition, that "perception of the abstract," can be developed.
.
Masters of abstraction
A fable that leads to magic.
Let the bird explain--click.
Birds are reported to have 4-, 5-, or 6-dimensional color.  Normal human color has three dimensions in its "color space."   Bird color space is a very abstract concept to humans.  Nevertheless, to a bird it's very real...and very simple.

Humans can understand a great deal about a bird's color vision and can expand on human concept of color through the magic of mathematics.  A human cannot actually experience what a bird sees and knows.  That's a mystery...magic.

Bird color is only one exemplar for the vast realms of human knowledge that are accessible through the expanded scope of abstraction.



DO
try
?
Let's hear some suggestions.
E-mail us

Web-style presentation (html) is a new form of art and literature.  It expresses ideas in computer hyperspace.  Let's develop some techniques.

Pictures and quotations to highlight Loren Eiseley's notion that
"Nature is full of traps for the beast that cannot learn."
FIRST PAGE
SECOND PAGE
THIRD PAGE
FOURTH PAGE
SEQUEL


Slogans, etc.

The shortest route to disaster
is to
ignore the rest of the universe
once we've found what we like.


For every complex problem there's a solution that's simple, neat and wrong.
H.L. Mencken


Cartoons.
 

A million downloads the first days it was on the Web!

Days later, this was all the search engines could find.
.


Aura Watch
Build an "Aura Detection Kit"
Design tools for detecting correct and incorrect logic
...as it is--or isn't--used

The basic idea of "aura"
Words & Reasoning
In politics


Emphasize that understanding science and math can be very important in today's technololgical society.
It's insight into abstractions that leads to useful understanding.

Take it easy?
Not a good idea!  High tech progress is a juggernaut that can...
WHAT?

THINK  ABOUT  THE  YOLK  OF  THE  PLATINUM  PLOVER  EGG

THINK AGAIN!


Puzzles which illustrate points.
THREE  PUZZLING  CUBES

Bumper stickers.

Bumper stickers for both sides of the bumper

LEFT BUMPER

 
RIGHT BUMPER

A PAGE OF BUMPER STICKER IDEAS



Obvious but unobserved points.
 
The Prove Anything Ploy (PAP)
The basis of much advertising and much argument.

And the source of much nonsense, pseudoscience, bad decisions, catastrophic outcomes, and bitter disappointment.

It often seems like common sense...but
"Common sense is nothing but a series of prejudices laid down in the mind prior to the age of 18."

Albert Einstein

 
"We must eliminate 
government waste."
Then we can squander even more of humanity's resources on:
  • Weapons of mass destruction and the men and women who manufacture them.
  • Exorbitantly expensive advertising that will sell drugs which differ from the competetor's by just enough to get a new patent.
  • Society's truly deserving (and contributing) individuals--as measured by their ability to accrue wealth.  (The poor, the handicapped, the indolent, the foreign, etc. don't deserve what they get now!)
  • What else...?
"Privatization"
produces
tollgates


Links to other Web resources that relate to these issues.

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