Monday, February 13, 2017

Psychologists-Sociologists involved in the promotion of the notions of populism had better start reflecting why it is they have invented-participated in creation of a deviance categorisation - for what inevitably follows?

Psychologists-Sociologists involved in the promotion of the notions of populism had better start reflecting why it is they have invented-participated in creation of a deviance categorisation - for what inevitably follows?

1. As the world population increases and nations become larger, government becomes a huge and sprawling affair, whose left hand often knoweth not what the right hand doeth. Its power increases in order to unify more completely an ever larger population. As life becomes more complex, more and more powers hitherto unthought of (such as assigning television channels) become vested in government- but in appointed, not elected, government. In the United States, for example, more and more power centers in the executive branch of the government. The legislative branch, directly elected by the people , becomes too slow and cumbersome to make necessary quick decisions, while simultaneously it becomes less representative, since one member of congress represents an even larger number of constituents. The number of government bureaus and agencies-in the executive branch and not directly responsible to the people -grows and proliferates at a dizzying pace. The people, meanwhile, ever more numerous, become more distant from the workings of government and less able to comprehend them - they tend toward an attitude of resigned quietism ("let the experts take care of it"). They become increasingly indifferent as they become less and less able to control government directly. Letters and protests have little effect when the government is so vast and unwieldy that it takes a concerted superhuman effort by thousands of people to make their influence felt even so slightly.

2. The situation is even worse in nondemocratic governments. If there should be a rebellion, there are many devices available for suppressing it. The rebels can be subjected to refinements of torture such as no previous age has known-and all but a few will become quivering conformists rather than submit to more of it. But torture is already becoming out of date:there are subtle means of psychological conditioning (not to mention pills and opiates) which sooner or later in undermining the mind of the rebel until he becomes not a quivering conformist of no use to the state but a eager and willing disciple of the regime.

3. Any future Hitler could use these latest developments given him by the psychologists not only to suppress rebels but to insure the absolute and undeviating obedience of all his subjects so that the rebellion could not even get started. In the past, after years of chains and bondage, people could break out in rebellion and , either the first time or the tenth, finally succeed after much revolution and bloodshed. But today a clever dictator could convert people into sheep and take away their independence of mind that would be required to start a rebellion. A Gandhi, for example, would not be possible in the Soviet Union. Because he would not be given the opportunity to publicize his views, his cause could never be know. The government-controlled radios and newspapers would suppress all report of his action, and no one would ever hear about him. The moment he tried to to get a few others to share his views, he would be taken off to prison and never heard of again. In a populous nation the people are dependent on modern means of communication for information about the world at large; but if these means of communication are controlled by government, the information dispensed to the people will be only such information as the government wants the people to have.

Human Conduct, An Introduction to the problems of ethics, Political ethics, Democracy, John Hospers, 1970, p373-374

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