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Toxic Leaders On The Rise And Taking Society Down

Infinite Metamorphosis

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So people voted for a narcissist for president and then they're prioritizing their loyalty to him over science that pertains to life or death, politicizing masks because they think it's some sort of manipulative plot to undermine Trump when really Trump is the manipulative one, and meanwhile, narcissistic pedophile YouTubers like Shane Dawson manipulate, gaslight, and deceive fans while they support him for YEARS, which allowed him to normalize racism, zoophilia, and pedophilia, thus basically sexually grooming an entire generation of children by making them think it was fine and okay.

There's a very clear problem here. Many people don't know how to recognize when they're actually being manipulated, much less how to protect themselves (or society) from those the manipulation is actually coming from. The importance of psychological education is grossly underestimated. The deficit of education revolving around mental health/psychology is not just damaging to those who have illnesses and are stigmatized, nor to those who can't recognize the fact that there might be a problem with themselves and those around the affected individual. It is damaging to everyone.

Psychological education should be a part of standardized education, and that needs to include the signs of abuse and manipulation. It needs to be taught to young children...at least the basic bare minimal of recognizing abuse, and then more advanced things than that when they're older teens/young adults who are old enough to better comprehend and handle the contents with more maturity. There are SO many problems this would help with. It's not enough for adults to watch for the signs of abuse in children and then get child services involved. CHILDREN need to know when they are being abused. They need to know that what they're going through is not normal so that they can speak out and damage can be reduced by them not going through life thinking it is until their adulthood and realizing "holy shit, I'm actually really fucked up" waaayyyy after the damage has already been done. I don't think it's a good strategy to put all of the responsibility on parents and teachers, I think children need to be equipped to defend themselves. I think some things need to be required as courses for homeschool so that abusers can't get around the system as easily. Adults need to recognize narcissistic behavior in others so that these people who are only about self-interest and status while they care nothing for the country, won't become presidents. People in general need to be able to recognize when things are actually a joke and when someone is trying to pass serious things off as a joke while in reality it's normalizing horrible and unacceptable behaviors like pedophilia. They need to know when they are being gaslit, or when things are being turned around on them like "how dare you even suggest that could be true" and guilt tripped when they're called out.

People who are educated on these matters and have more awareness make better choices in life in terms of who our leaders and most influential people are. Right now we have a system in which things like admiration are quantifiable based on how many friends, likes, followers, or whatever you have. Narcissists are highly motivated to rise in popularity, but it's in order to get narcissistic supply rather than to actually impact people in positive ways...but when narcissists are successful they negatively influence our world, especially the younger generations who have grown up on social media, and that's alarming. This kind of influence is also exacerbated by the fact that people are stuck inside their homes and the internet has become a primary source of contact/entertainment by even more people...and who knows how long this will go on? Will COVID-19 lead to a permanent evolution in the way we live everyday life? Will we become a more internet based society?

Thanks to internet platforms, anyone and everyone can get online and become highly influential. It's easier than ever now. Abusive and toxic people are rising into some of the most influential positions in society due to the general public's lack of awareness. These people actually have widespread support to the point of that support being used as a weapon to take down rivals who may actually be innocent or even trying to warn people about them. Peoples' ignorance is turning them into tools for the narcissists' and other self-serving manipulative peoples' own personal agendas while those people praise, love, and esteem them. The kinds of damages that transpire from these people being in positions that have certain levels of power should be a wake up call to everyone that something needs to change, something needs to be done. We will never eliminate the toxic people from the world, but knowledge is power and people need to be equipped to defend themselves and their loved ones, and to hinder the promotion of toxic leaders and influential people in the media, before terrible things take place as a result. It doesn't even need to necessarily be something big, sometimes it's a slow and gradual, undetected trickle...but how long will it take for someone to come along and do something as big as Hitler? We've seen time, and time, again throughout history what happens when horrible people are leaders, but what are we actually doing to prevent it from happening again?

If people do not start becoming educated on these types of matters, all the wrong people will be leading the world into worse places.
 

anticlimatic

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Mental health and psychological abuse classes in school seems quite reasonable. It could be filed under either the health or science curriculums, being both educational and practical. I think early education could benefit from a lot more practical application type programs in general. Good idea.

Where I disagree: I don't think that combating people's ability to be easily influenced with easily influencing (educating) them is the way to go. Systems can go as bad and corrupt as people, and you might just be opening a door to mass indoctrination someday of even worse systems of thought than a narcissistic leader could ever inspire on his or her own.

I would rather determine the best path to making people resilient overall to influence. Find out what leads to confident independent decision making, and pursue that. Classes like the ones you suggest would be a good start, though the jury is still out for me on the best approach. Trying to teach people how to not be taught/influenced seems paradoxical, and perhaps impossible.

Lately I've been thinking a lot about early childhood development and the physical risks vs psychological rewards of letting children fail and explore on their own, as a means of cultivating independent thought, rather than force them through one linear path of safe space to safe space, without letting them make any arbituary choices of their own.
 

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Anantashesha

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Mental health and psychological abuse classes in school seems quite reasonable. It could be filed under either the health or science curriculums, being both educational and practical. I think early education could benefit from a lot more practical application type programs in general. Good idea.

Where I disagree: I don't think that combating people's ability to be easily influenced with easily influencing (educating) them is the way to go. Systems can go as bad and corrupt as people, and you might just be opening a door to mass indoctrination someday of even worse systems of thought than a narcissistic leader could ever inspire on his or her own.

I would rather determine the best path to making people resilient overall to influence. Find out what leads to confident independent decision making, and pursue that. Classes like the ones you suggest would be a good start, though the jury is still out for me on the best approach. Trying to teach people how to not be taught/influenced seems paradoxical, and perhaps impossible.

There is 'indoctrination' everywhere. Culture is almost like indoctrination- people tell you what is prioritized or isn't, or what good and what isn't, while people on the other side of the world believe and uphold completely different things. Children are impressionable, and a lot of them will absorb what they grow up with as what's normal which sets the standard for how they will deal with life.

We already tell children to not trust strangers and free candy, it's not a huge stretch to teach them what to do instead of what to think- to not allow themselves be touched without permission, yelled at unfairly, or mistreated in general. Since they will absorb it, we can make sure that they absorb what is at least the correct, beneficial things- 'correct' being things that will serve them and others well instead of damaging them or holding them back. This can start from very simple things, such as impressing upon the children that being beaten up is NOT NORMAL and providing a place for them to report their experiences, and a safe place to turn to. People will need to realize that there are children out there who have literally no one- not a single good parent, no watchful or caring relatives, and that relying on the parent to report isn't going to cut it for those kids. They deserve better than that.

I think the reason we don't have it is because thankfully the majority of people don't need it, but teaching what are basically survival skills that the child can take into adulthood? Sounds like a good idea. Healthy children with loving parents can get sucked into toxic friendships and marriage- educating them on how to deal on such a situation and how to spot when they are being treated badly will go a long way.

Not to mention, this may also have the ripple effect of helping potential abusers before they become abusers- helping in the sense that since people can identify them now, perhaps there will be more of a focus given on rehabilitating toxic people so that they can have a normal life. If they find nothing to prey on, with people who know better telling them they need help and they are doing things wrong, perhaps they will reorient how they behave themselves in life instead of being able to predate endlessly and be defended, or even popularized, glamorized for it.


EDIT: I think the difficulty lies in the fact that a lot of people just don't know how to raise kids. The fact of the matter is that they ARE impressionable and whether you like it or not they do absorb things like a sponge, and lots of people listen to what they are first told without question. That can't be changed- they literally know very little, and adults have a responsibility and degree of control over them due to that- they are responsible for the child's natural state of ignorance, something not every parent deals with responsibly.

There will be things they will have to be told to listen to and obey without question (at the moment, eg: don't steal!), and personally, the ideal is for these things to at least be things that truly serve the child instead of the parents' egotistical, narrow-minded ideals- things that serve the child are things such as: eat your greens, don't eat the goddamn dirt Jeremy, don't stay out too late, don't trust strangers even if they give you candy- what I'm saying is that "If uncle Jerry or Bob from the playground- if ANYONE ever hits you, tell mommy and daddy, okay?" can be added to that list of things children are told to do without question, ideally followed up with more understanding once they get older so that it doesn't become blind control and the children know why they have to do the things they do.
 

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Everyone is about teaching people how to think freely, till they think the wrong things.
 

Anantashesha

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Everyone is about teaching people how to think freely, till they think the wrong things.

People change and evolve, and so do their needs. What you say should not be a deterrent to the act of teaching in itself- people have to be taught, and they have to learn. Mistakes are a very unfortunate part of the process that at its most ideal is completely avoided, though sometimes the best we can do is minimize or cut our losses. What would be utterly unideal, even irresponsible, is to step to the side in jaded stillness and ignore the progress you can make, or worse, leave it to the free hand of nature where it may be eaten by wolves. What is best and correct keeps changing, and we need to keep being receptive and fill the holes of our ignorance and mend our mistakes. Help it where it can be helped.
 

Infinite Metamorphosis

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Mental health and psychological abuse classes in school seems quite reasonable. It could be filed under either the health or science curriculums, being both educational and practical. I think early education could benefit from a lot more practical application type programs in general. Good idea.

Where I disagree: I don't think that combating people's ability to be easily influenced with easily influencing (educating) them is the way to go. Systems can go as bad and corrupt as people, and you might just be opening a door to mass indoctrination someday of even worse systems of thought than a narcissistic leader could ever inspire on his or her own.

I would rather determine the best path to making people resilient overall to influence. Find out what leads to confident independent decision making, and pursue that. Classes like the ones you suggest would be a good start, though the jury is still out for me on the best approach. Trying to teach people how to not be taught/influenced seems paradoxical, and perhaps impossible.

Lately I've been thinking a lot about early childhood development and the physical risks vs psychological rewards of letting children fail and explore on their own, as a means of cultivating independent thought, rather than force them through one linear path of safe space to safe space, without letting them make any arbituary choices of their own.
Yeah, I agree, more practical things should be taught in school. Finances / money management, the laws and legal rights where they live, etc. We have physical education/health requirements...why don't we have mental education/health requirements? Financial education/health?

I can see your point in indoctrinating people through a system that way, and systems do often have a pattern of becoming more corrupt over time. I think that's in part because corrupt people are attracted to power, but regardless of whether that's actually why, the indoctrination is indeed a vulnerability. We've already seen some issues in schools with misinformation about historical events and figures, etc.

One problem I see in this though is that I think that a lot of people are already resistant to influence in general, thus causing soooo so many people to get stuck in unhealthy behaviors and decisions, repeating the same issues throughout their lives (which is also in part caused by lack of education). Without knowing what to look for, people might just become fearful of or rebellious against outside influence, including in negative ways, just simply because it's influence, which is what we're already seeing with the refusal to wear masks. While I do believe being sheeple / having a cult mentality is a real problem that should be addressed, I don't think independent thinking necessarily addresses the root of the issue enough, and a lot of people may think they're making their own choices and that they're simply agreeing or showing support or something without being aware that they're being influenced. I think it's important for people to start making more informed/educated decisions, too, or to be aware of when/how they're being influenced, but that just ties back into people being more educated about mental health.

If part of independent thinking involved educating yourself more, then you have the problem where there will be a lot of faulty resources and misinformation that is ingrained in people who don't educate themselves properly, or in various resources put out there to mislead others deliberately. I think that if colleges/universities can handle classroom education on psychology, then schools in general should be able to also, no? I just think it's important for people to be unified in having knowledge of the most accurate information available. Furthermore, a lot of people wouldn't even value or see the importance of mental health education. You'd have to basically have a society that values education, and frankly...I don't think we have that. I think people mostly just live their lives and try to enjoy themselves unless they're fueled by pretentiousness often times. A genuine curiosity or desire for education isn't all that common, and people would have to be motivated to self-teach if going the independent thinking without standardized education route.

I don't think that combating people's ability to be easily influenced with easily influencing (educating) them is the way to go.
I also think there's a key factor at play here, and that is that in this case you're educating people about how to identify how people (narcissists, etc.) manipulate, control, etc...thus, you're essentially equipping people to recognize corrupt influence (which would backfire quite a bit if they were also a corrupt influence). I think there'd be so many educators involved that it'd be difficult to streamline corruption into it, especially since they'd be among so many others who would be trained to recognize those things (and teach others how to).
 

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People change and evolve, and so do their needs. What you say should not be a deterrent to the act of teaching in itself- people have to be taught, and they have to learn. Mistakes are a very unfortunate part of the process that at its most ideal is completely avoided, though sometimes the best we can do is minimize or cut our losses. What would be utterly unideal, even irresponsible, is to step to the side in jaded stillness and ignore the progress you can make, or worse, leave it to the free hand of nature where it may be eaten by wolves. What is best and correct keeps changing, and we need to keep being receptive and fill the holes of our ignorance and mend our mistakes. Help it where it can be helped.

I never said stop trying to improve, I am saying at some point one group will try to claim authority over another group. Then purging of different ideas occure. Then we are back to square one, with one group of thought dominating everything, even if it is wrong. So really, "truth" is also dictated by the winner of ideas in a social setting. The actual truth never mattered. Its all about how many people believe something.

The problem isn't in how we think, but how we deal with different thoughts outside of our own, that we disagree with. Humans generally demonize the outgroup, and rationalize unfounded beliefs as to why they could possibly believe it. That there, lies in the problems. Humans stopped seeing people as humans. They only see them as flaws, or something that is stupid/needs to be educated. Instead of respecting them as an individual of equal quality, and intellect.
 

The Cat

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I never said stop trying to improve, I am saying at some point one group will try to claim authority over another group. Then purging of different ideas occure. Then we are back to square one, with one group of thought dominating everything, even if it is wrong. So really, "truth" is also dictated by the winner of ideas in a social setting. The actual truth never mattered. Its all about how many people believe something.

The problem isn't in how we think, but how we deal with different thoughts outside of our own, that we disagree with. Humans generally demonize the outgroup, and rationalize unfounded beliefs as to why they could possibly believe it. That there, lies in the problems. Humans stopped seeing people as humans. They only see them as flaws, or something that is stupid/needs to be educated. Instead of respecting them as an individual of equal quality, and intellect.

It's a hell of a catch that catch 22
 

Anantashesha

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I never said stop trying to improve, I am saying at some point one group will try to claim authority over another group. Then purging of different ideas occure. Then we are back to square one, with one group of thought dominating everything, even if it is wrong. So really, "truth" is also dictated by the winner of ideas in a social setting. The actual truth never mattered. Its all about how many people believe something.

The problem isn't in how we think, but how we deal with different thoughts outside of our own, that we disagree with. Humans generally demonize the outgroup, and rationalize unfounded beliefs as to why they could possibly believe it. That there, lies in the problems. Humans stopped seeing people as humans. They only see them as flaws, or something that is stupid/needs to be educated. Instead of respecting them as an individual of equal quality, and intellect.

I agree with the bolded, and this is what I was pointing at. It isn't enough that we fix the machine when it is broken, but that we do thorough systemic upgrades so that the overall function is actually improved according to how we want it to be. Telling people what to do and stopping there won't fix the root problem being that there is a gap of power due to the ignorance of many of how things work the way they do and why certain things are necessary.

I don't know if it's idealistic of me, but I like to think that if I can imagine it, it can come into being. We live in a time where 'truth' is dictated by popularity and political power (I'm not talking necessarily government, but even small-scale like parent-child relationships), through whatever kind of method it is that landed us here to begin with.

It took a long time for people to abandon many harmful ideas. Various forms of racism and bigotry are among it. I hope to elevate better norms now and for the future and hope that others would do the same, whether or not we necessarily know how to just yet, right now- is why a thread like this exists. You are pointing out a factor that is a problem within it- the fact of the matter is that, yes, we do- what now?
 

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I agree with the bolded, and this is what I was pointing at. It isn't enough that we fix the machine when it is broken, but that we do thorough systemic upgrades so that the overall function is actually improved according to how we want it to be. Telling people what to do and stopping there won't fix the root problem being that there is a gap of power due to the ignorance of many of how things work the way they do and why certain things are necessary.

I don't know if it's idealistic of me, but I like to think that if I can imagine it, it can come into being. We live in a time where 'truth' is dictated by popularity and political power (I'm not talking necessarily government, but even small-scale like parent-child relationships), through whatever kind of method it is that landed us here to begin with.

It took a long time for people to abandon many harmful ideas. Various forms of racism and bigotry are among it. I hope to elevate better norms now and for the future and hope that others would do the same, whether or not we necessarily know how to just yet, right now- is why a thread like this exists. You are pointing out a factor that is a problem within it- the fact of the matter is that, yes, we do- what now?

All things should be considered with the stupidest people in mind.

My issue with all of this, is that it is impossible to teach and control every aspect of humans and civilization. At what point, does it begin to sterilize culture and identity? Just think for a moment, how invasive this teaching must occur to control human instinct and nature. You can do everything 100% right, and there will still be people who choose the opposite just because they can. Their actions could potentially dismantle everything you strived to achive. At some point, you have to accept humans will always have their animalistic nature. They will always have in and out groups, rebellliousness, arrogance, greed, racism etc. If understanding was all it took to fix society, we'd have gotten a utopia by now. Humans do not care enough, to strive and achieve higher order in society. Its already been proven people have a limit to human compassion as well. At the end of the day, they will prioritize themselves. Everything is eventual posturing to establish social hierarchy.
 

Anantashesha

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All things should be considered with the stupidest people in mind.

My issue with all of this, is that it is impossible to teach and control every aspect of humans and civilization. At what point, does it begin to sterilize culture and identity? Just think for a moment, how invasive this teaching must occur to control human instinct and nature. You can do everything 100% right, and there will still be people who choose the opposite just because they can. Their actions could potentially dismantle everything you strived to achive. At some point, you have to accept humans will always have their animalistic nature. They will always have in and out groups, rebellliousness, arrogance, greed, racism etc.

It is impossible, the same way perfection is impossible. We still do it, the same way and the same reason we have justice systems and prisons now, though they are not perfect. This isn't an all-or-nothing, but if actions can cause a net increase in wellbeing (while keeping in mind that it can and will make mistakes), it shouldn't just be abandoned. Every human is animalistic on some level, nature, instinct, whatever you want to call it- but only some humans partake in it without consequence. Lots of teaching is 'invasive' if you want to put it that way, and if people are to be taught and if they are to learn, might as well teach them things that are actually useful, productive, and good for themselves and others- wash out racism and bigotry, teach people to protect themselves. We already have such establishments for teenagers and women / wives stuck in terrible families / situations. It's better to have them than not. What we cannot do is give up and not try just because there is a chance of failure. There will be parts that break- try anyway- it's not just for your own sake.


If understanding was all it took to fix society, we'd have gotten a utopia by now. Humans do not care enough, to strive and achieve higher order in society. Its already been proven people have a limit to human compassion as well. At the end of the day, they will prioritize themselves. Everything is eventual posturing to establish social hierarchy.

A tall order for many- and is not the only thing we need. The willingness to understand to begin with, the desire to actually act upon the understanding, and the capability to act upon the understanding. The nonsense we live in now has people get shot for exercising their rights. If that is the alternative we should not stand for it, or anything alike.
 

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There are a number of important and worthwhile ideas here.

There's a very clear problem here. Many people don't know how to recognize when they're actually being manipulated, much less how to protect themselves (or society) from those the manipulation is actually coming from. The importance of psychological education is grossly underestimated. The deficit of education revolving around mental health/psychology is not just damaging to those who have illnesses and are stigmatized, nor to those who can't recognize the fact that there might be a problem with themselves and those around the affected individual. It is damaging to everyone.

Psychological education should be a part of standardized education, and that needs to include the signs of abuse and manipulation. It needs to be taught to young children...at least the basic bare minimal of recognizing abuse, and then more advanced things than that when they're older teens/young adults who are old enough to better comprehend and handle the contents with more maturity. There are SO many problems this would help with. It's not enough for adults to watch for the signs of abuse in children and then get child services involved. CHILDREN need to know when they are being abused. They need to know that what they're going through is not normal so that they can speak out and damage can be reduced by them not going through life thinking it is until their adulthood and realizing "holy shit, I'm actually really fucked up" waaayyyy after the damage has already been done.
You raise a serious and legitimate concern here, and approach it a bit differently than I usually do, but I think we are ultimately getting at the same point. The issue is how people make choices. Manipulation is just one factor that can keep people from making choices in their own best interests. Lack of reliable information is another, and inability to apply critical thinking skills is yet another.

Much in our current society relies on individuals being unable to separate the informational wheat from the chaff, unable to work out the logical consequences of actions or choices, unable to identify the inconsistencies and outright BS in claims. Politicians, advertisers, religious leaders, and others will take advantage of this common shortcoming. Given what is at stake and the influence wielded by leaders in these fields, it is no surprise that our education system does a poor job of preparing young people to evaluate information critically, think logically, and identify and prioritize their own needs. This last sounds selfish, but it is the selfishness of the airline passenger who puts on his own oxygen mask before helping the old lady next to him. There is no shame or sin in self-preservation, and without it, we can do little for others. But I digress.

There is 'indoctrination' everywhere. Culture is almost like indoctrination- people tell you what is prioritized or isn't, or what good and what isn't, while people on the other side of the world believe and uphold completely different things. Children are impressionable, and a lot of them will absorb what they grow up with as what's normal which sets the standard for how they will deal with life.

We already tell children to not trust strangers and free candy, it's not a huge stretch to teach them what to do instead of what to think- to not allow themselves be touched without permission, yelled at unfairly, or mistreated in general. Since they will absorb it, we can make sure that they absorb what is at least the correct, beneficial things- 'correct' being things that will serve them and others well instead of damaging them or holding them back. This can start from very simple things, such as impressing upon the children that being beaten up is NOT NORMAL and providing a place for them to report their experiences, and a safe place to turn to.
Aerix referenced the idea of teaching kids what is "normal" as well, but as you point out, normal will vary with culture. At times kids were taught it wasn't "normal" if their mother worked outside the home, especially in a well-paying position of authority. Some kids today are still being told it isn't "normal" to have two dads or two moms. I like instead the focus on what is good for the child. Working mothers and same sex parents cannot be shown to be harmful for children, for instance, and in some cases have been shown to have benefits.

I also like the distinction you make between teaching kids what to do and what to think. That, after all, is all we can insist on with adults. I can't insist my coworker not be a racist, but I can expect that he treat everyone in the workplace with the same respect and consideration. This is even more important with children too young to reason on their own, as you observe. If we introduce explanations as the child grows up, they will start to see the process behind the orders: Don't play in the street because cars come by fast and you could get hurt.


Everyone is about teaching people how to think freely, till they think the wrong things.
You can hardly speak for everyone; and what are the "wrong" things? If anything, I find plenty of people who don't see the urgency in teaching people to think freely. To me, it is more important how one thinks than what one thinks: how they arrive at their conclusions. What I have no patience with is someone who shows no evidence of thought at all; someone unable or unwilling to explain how they arrived at their conclusions.

Yeah, I agree, more practical things should be taught in school. Finances / money management, the laws and legal rights where they live, etc. We have physical education/health requirements...why don't we have mental education/health requirements? Financial education/health?
I agree with this. I would add critical thinking skills to the list. Have students study advertising and pick it apart to see how it is appealing to emotions, insecurities, etc. Have them learn about credit, loans, compound interest, etc. so they are less susceptible to predatory financial practices.

This in fact relates to the intersection of my two volunteer activities: STEM educational outreach, and voter engagement/civic empowerment. The commonality is teaching people to think for themselves, to evaluate what they are told, especially by those in positinos of authority, and to make decisions consistent with their own needs and values.
 

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I especially love people with absolutely no real parenting experience telling people how to parent. Letting kids fail is a good idea. Allowing them to learn on their own - also a good idea. Simply assuming children are dragged from safe space to safe space is asinine. Do parents do this - sure some. Majority? No.

One thing that could be considered is teaching kids what consent is and how it's given or not given and how to handle that. That means consent over their own bodies and their own minds. There are huge amounts of adults that can't even process consent and a whole lot of people that think they should have a say in the consent of others. Also, poverty is the number one issue when it comes to the ability to raise children in this country or even if you have the option to raise children in this country. But currently, the birth rates are down in the US and there are still people wondering why. Until the twofold issue of poverty and the real hatred of the poor in the US is dealt with on a national level, this trend will continue.
 

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I never said stop trying to improve, I am saying at some point one group will try to claim authority over another group. Then purging of different ideas occure. Then we are back to square one, with one group of thought dominating everything, even if it is wrong. So really, "truth" is also dictated by the winner of ideas in a social setting. The actual truth never mattered. Its all about how many people believe something.

The problem isn't in how we think, but how we deal with different thoughts outside of our own, that we disagree with. Humans generally demonize the outgroup, and rationalize unfounded beliefs as to why they could possibly believe it. That there, lies in the problems. Humans stopped seeing people as humans. They only see them as flaws, or something that is stupid/needs to be educated. Instead of respecting them as an individual of equal quality, and intellect.
I missed this one. You guys are replying too fast!

Power is a different from truth. Even a dictator can't change the laws of nature, though as we are seeing, they can try to deny them. If we cannot shake off the tyranny of a despot, we can at least refrain from pretending he is anything other than a despot. (Our founding fathers addressed this in writing our Declaration of Independence, in fact.) We may have to obey the naked emperor, but can still acknowledge he is wearing nothing.

Humans are not born demonizing the outgroup. It has been shown that bigotry is learned, not inborn. Small children may demonstrate curiosity about things outside their experience, e.g. someone with different skin, or using a wheelchair, but they need to be taught to place negative valuation on the differences. I can already see from the young people I work with, that some of the prejudices of the past are loosening and falling by the wayside. That is a good thing that they will pass on in turn to their own kids.
 

Anantashesha

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I especially love people with absolutely no real parenting experience telling people how to parent. Letting kids fail is a good idea. Allowing them to learn on their own - also a good idea. Simply assuming children are dragged from safe space to safe space is asinine. Do parents do this - sure some. Majority? No.

I do like that you posted this, because it provides a reality check to the people for whom this is relevant. I have no idea what kind of parent I would be, but have thought about it a lot due to my background. If I am ever becoming a parent, my current mode of thought lies somewhere in between: Don't let them fail where you can't catch them, and let them learn on there own in that you don't stunt their interests and expression where they may learn things that even you do not know (eg; parents are an architect and musician, and the kid is a doctor). I think due to not knowing the details of having your own child and raising them day-to-day people oversimplify simply because they do not have enough knowledge or details to be able to make decisions on what to expect to do- realizing this is important for anyone when doing anything, or speaking of anything. Agreed with the rest of your post.


I missed this one. You guys are replying too fast!

 

Infinite Metamorphosis

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My issue with all of this, is that it is impossible to teach and control every aspect of humans and civilization. At what point, does it begin to sterilize culture and identity? Just think for a moment, how invasive this teaching must occur to control human instinct and nature. You can do everything 100% right, and there will still be people who choose the opposite just because they can. Their actions could potentially dismantle everything you strived to achive. At some point, you have to accept humans will always have their animalistic nature. They will always have in and out groups, rebellliousness, arrogance, greed, racism etc. If understanding was all it took to fix society, we'd have gotten a utopia by now. Humans do not care enough, to strive and achieve higher order in society. Its already been proven people have a limit to human compassion as well. At the end of the day, they will prioritize themselves. Everything is eventual posturing to establish social hierarchy.
The thing is, peoples' compassion, understanding, forgiveness, empathy, etc. is being taken advantage of in these situations as well. This only exacerbates the lack of compassion because people don't trust others or want to be taken advantage of. Justifications, rationalizations, etc. are being made on behalf of those who are manipulating, thus allowing it to continue. Furthermore, what I'm suggesting here isn't striving for some sort of utopia, it's for 1) Countering the CURRENT system which promotes, encourages, and enables narcissism, and even at times...you kind of have to be narcissistic in order to be more successful...a lot of people aren't going to be as motivated to go around saying "like me, aren't I great?, compliment me, etc." and gain the status... and 2) Equipping people with defenses against the toxicity they are harmed by (or should people just continue to be defenseless prey in a world where so many people are predatory?) 3) Reducing the number of victims of those who victimize others or lead society/cultures in just any old direction that serves their own personal agenda, without taking said societies into consideration.

The goal here is not to eliminate greed, etc., and become a utopia, it's to stop being a society that unknowingly promotes predatory people, people who prey on those promoting them, people who live in a system that's inadvertently designed to accept, encourage, esteem, and promote those with behaviors that are actually toxic without them realizing it because they fall for the "I'm such a good person, I'm so great" facades because they don't know how to identify / see through / reveal the deception of those people. Just because there will always be that greed, etc. in the world, doesn't mean we should essentially put those people on a throne, throw all our money and roses to them, go around thinking they're wonderful, and blindly be pawns used to take down their rivals, and look to them to make major decisions that impact us all. Society should make it harder, not easier, for people who don't have their best interest in mind to become their leaders.

As for sterilizing culture and identity...uhm, are those who pursue a career as psychologists sterilized of it? Yet, they go deeper into the education than those who aren't seeking professional credentials would. How could anyone be sterilized or have identity taken away by teaching people how to recognize abuse and narcissism? If anything, identity formation is considered by psychology to be a healthy and normal part of human development which occurs during adolescence, and things like abuse or mental illness actually can interfere with this formation of identity. Should people really revolve their identities around abuse, etc. anyway?
 

тень

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You can hardly speak for everyone; and what are the "wrong" things? If anything, I find plenty of people who don't see the urgency in teaching people to think freely. To me, it is more important how one thinks than what one thinks: how they arrive at their conclusions. What I have no patience with is someone who shows no evidence of thought at all; someone unable or unwilling to explain how they arrived at their conclusions.

I am not speaking for everyone, it is an observation of how things always play out in group settings. You can understand everyone's thinking, and how they got there. It doesn't mean you believe or value it too. What happens when someone values something you don't?

What do you do when you need to remove said something of value for "progress", because you value that progress/end result and think it better than what the other side values?

Thats when it becomes an argument. That is when the other side is "wrong", or think wrongly about something. Thats when you try to establish "dominance" and win or defeat the other side. It doesn't matter what you think is logical, because your logic also is based on establishing what you value. Which would be inherently selfish to claim your progress is more inherantly valueable than the other party's valued something you seek to remove.

Everyone wants to change everyone to suit their world view and their logic. There is no true consensus, because everyone's world view is different. Hence why I said everyone likes the idea of teaching free thought, till they think the wrong ones. Aka, deviate from a person's worldview. Even among like minded folks, they will disagree on something.
 

Coriolis

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I especially love people with absolutely no real parenting experience telling people how to parent. Letting kids fail is a good idea. Allowing them to learn on their own - also a good idea. Simply assuming children are dragged from safe space to safe space is asinine. Do parents do this - sure some. Majority? No.

One thing that could be considered is teaching kids what consent is and how it's given or not given and how to handle that. That means consent over their own bodies and their own minds. There are huge amounts of adults that can't even process consent and a whole lot of people that think they should have a say in the consent of others. Also, poverty is the number one issue when it comes to the ability to raise children in this country or even if you have the option to raise children in this country. But currently, the birth rates are down in the US and there are still people wondering why. Until the twofold issue of poverty and the real hatred of the poor in the US is dealt with on a national level, this trend will continue.
I agree completely with the need to teach kids - and everyone - what consent is.

More broadly, though, as long as non-parents have a stake in the future of society's children, they will give input into parenting. This applies to everyone, since these kids will grow up to be the employees, coworkers, and neighbors of those childless folks. While the responsibility for raising children may rest first and foremost with parents, this breaks down when parents are abusive or neglectful, or even when they meet the child's needs but in an atmosphere of prejudice or "neglect of reality" (think anti-vaxx or restrictive religious views). The latter environment may produce a secure and functional adult, but one who will propagate harmful attitudes and behaviors.

Even when parents are responsble, extenuating factors like the poverty you reference are generally outside the contol of parents, requiring a more systemic solution. This is part of what Hillary Clinton meant when she said it takes a village to raise a child. We all have a role in the future of kids, if only by providing a good example, and a resource when kids need more than their parents can provide. Schools, churches, sporting groups, neighbors, and extended family can all help. This help can be especially consequential when the home environment is abusive or neglectful.

I am not speaking for everyone, it is an observation of how things always play out in group settings. You can understand everyone's thinking, and how they got there. It doesn't mean you believe or value it too. What happens when someone values something you don't?
"Always"? That's just another way to overgeneralize. When someone values something I don't, I will often ask them why they value it. One way to lose my respect is to be unable to explain. If they can't or won't explain, it means we can't even have a conversation about it. We can't work on finding a way to get them what they value AND me what I value.

Everyone wants to change everyone to suit their world view and their logic. There is no true consensus, because everyone's world view is different. Hence why I said everyone likes the idea of teaching free thought, till they think the wrong ones. Aka, deviate from a person's worldview. Even among like minded folks, they will disagree on something.
More overgeneralizing. Really - just no. As [MENTION=35920]Earl Grey[/MENTION] mentioned earlier, this is where it helps to focus on telling people what to DO rather than what to THINK. We might all agree, for instance, that stealing is bad, but arrive at that conclusion by different routes and for different reasons.
 
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