• introbert
    182
    Plato's cave analogy doesn't have a political economic super-structural component to it. It possibly lacks this Marxist level of understanding because the material conditions of ancient Greek life did not require extensive rationalization. Ancient Greece was not industrialized, but it was agrarian. I propose that something happened as an eventual result of agrarian society that has had a lasting influence on the modern world and is resisted by postmodernism.

    Max Weber has a vague but important idea regarding rationalization: protestant pastoral logias have created conditions that represent a "hard as steel shell" in terms of rationality. This is an odd pronouncement that isn't adequately justified, so I interpret it as alluding to something very well known, perhaps the best known idea in western philosophy: Plato's cave.

    The bonds of the society can be broken as Durkheim observed about the industrial world, but escape from the cave itself is at the very least ever strongly impeded by the hard as steel shell. What does this have to do with being farmed? Well simply the inference is that the pastoral nature of the A.D. world has imposed a system of agriculture on people's lives, but the farm has become ever more advanced.

    There are illusions: work is all day every day, your moral duty is for the function of society, you are not entitled to anything by virtue of being in this world, the justice/ legal system is just/legal etc. Only by breaking your bonds, perhaps struggling with your captors a little bit and breaching the cave/ shell will the light of day finally dispel your delusions.

    If Weber was alluding to an escape proof cave/ farm, not only should we be aware of the superstructural and associated material conditions of industrialization, but also the pastoral/ agrarian society that currently farms us.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    10.6k
    The problem I see here is that we are not really imprisoned, or held captive in Plato's cave. We are simply very comfortable there, and so have no desire to leave. So the point is that we do not go out and discover the truth about reality because we have no need to, we are quite satisfied living our lives in the shadows. And not only that, it is difficult, painful, to face the true reality, as the sun hurts the eyes.

    So if we take the "hard as steel shell" comparison, it is not the case that the agrarian society forces an extremely difficult life of hard labour and moral duty on us, which we need to escape from. It's actually the very opposite to this. The society provides us with a very relaxed and easy, luxurious life, which we have absolutely no inclination toward breaking away from. In fact, even such a suggestion would be scorned as ridiculous. This is why the philosopher in Plato\s cave allegory has such a difficult task to lead the others out of the life of illusion, toward the truth. The deluded are very comfortable in their delusions.
  • jgill
    2.6k
    you are not entitled to anything by virtue of being in this worldintrobert

    Universal basic income provided by the state? Is this part of the "truth"?
  • introbert
    182
    The truth is that the world provides for living creatures, not an artificial political-economic system.
  • 0 thru 9
    981

    The OP (seems to me) to reflect an influence of writers like Daniel Quinn, who dealt with the intertwined subjects of “totalitarian agriculture” (farming, forestry, mining, etc that is indifferent to its effect on the environment. Usually done in an attempt to dominate other peoples as opposed to mere survival). And also “Mother Culture” (his term for the process of creating the mythos supporting domination and perpetuating it).

    Basically, Quinn was critical of the mindset that the world was human property absolutely, ours to do whatever we wanted. And anything or anyone who dissented this “divine mandate” for humans to grab control of the Earth was impeding Progress. And thus fit to be steamrolled unless these “uncivilized people” stepped aside, according to the personified Mother Culture.

    It is the modern mindset, our mindset, injected deep in our psyches at an early age, and reinforced often. Human evil didn’t start with totalitarian agriculture. But it was like crystal meth, in terms of energy and addiction, adding seemingly endless fuel to the fire.

    Since writing the philosophical novels Ishmael and The Story of B in the 1990s, world events have only made Quinn (and fellow deep ecologists) all the more relevant... unfortunately.
  • Benj96
    1.3k
    This is why the philosopher in Plato\s cave allegory has such a difficult task to lead the others out of the life of illusion, toward the truth. The deluded are very comfortable in their delusions.Metaphysician Undercover

    Very true. I agree.
    And its a shame in a way because with delusion comes a lack of wisdom. Because wisdom comes from truth not delusion.

    Living in the cave is like cutting your arms repeatedly on the shackles, suffering thus and wondering why or where this suffering comes from. Yet seeking comfort in the fact that you don't know.

    All the while, a key sits in the locks unturned. Waiting if it is no longer ignored. But that key is frightfully uncomfortable to look at. The uncertainty the key represents from a state of delusion.
  • Benj96
    1.3k
    Universal basic income provided by the state? Is this part of the "truth"?jgill

    It is if the state wants the people that uphold it to continue to exist/survive. What good is a state that doesn't provide for anyone and thus in the end could hardly be called a state when their lack of provision leads to almost everyone's death.

    When we cooperate we live. When no one cooperates, we die at the hands of barbaric times and pure chaos.
  • Benj96
    1.3k
    The truth is that the world provides for living creatures, not an artificial political-economic system.introbert

    I agree. Mother nature has rules, checks and balances. She provides for natural phenomena. If one such species decides they are the ruler of nature, wait and see what she makes of it.
  • javra
    1.9k
    you are not entitled to anything by virtue of being in this world — introbert


    Universal basic income provided by the state? Is this part of the "truth"?
    jgill

    As to entitlements:

    A man said to the universe:
    “Sir, I exist!”
    “However,” replied the universe,
    “The fact has not created in me
    A sense of obligation.”
    — Stephen Crane

    This too can be deemed to depict a fundamental truth of existing. Personally, I duly acknowledge this truth. But it must be taken universally in order to be honestly held, neither the autocrat nor the democrat being exempted. The richest of the rich is thereby on the same standing as the poorest of the poor. And in so seeing the nature of things, we all bring into being - individually and collectively - our own sense of what we are and are not entitled to: property, free water to drink, understanding, rulership over lesser beings including other humans, the rights to pursue eudemonia and truth … whatever entitlements we might be capable to conceive of. These entitlements aren’t the universe’s obligation toward us but, rather, our own obligation toward ourselves - always manifesting with some conscious and/or unconscious goal whose fulfillment is, again individually and/or collectively, wanted. As one example of this, there can occur the personal goal of a) becoming as supreme a being as possible relative to all else (other humans, nature at large, etc.) which then would become inferior to one’s own being or, else, the contradictory goal of b) becoming in harmony with as much of the world as is feasible (other humans, nature at large, etc.). Here, goals (a) and (b) result in different values held in respect to what oneself and others are to be entitled to.

    All this, though, results form the inference that no one is intrinsically entitled to anything … by the universe, by God, or by anything other. Corny truisms but they work: “The All is fair in both love (any form of harmony) and war (any form of conflict)”, and “our freedoms are never free”.

    So, were the above to hold, one could then inquire: When questioning that all people should be entitled to, in this case, universal basic income (could also be universal healthcare or something else), given that no one is intrinsically entitled to anything, on what constructed sense of entitlement would this questioning rest?

    At any rate, from my pov, this issue of entitled rights is a complex (one might say, metaphysical :wink: ) issue.
  • introbert
    182
    The issue is not so much what is illusion and what is truth, it just seems that the conditions of the cave are a reification like the shell of rationality around it. The conditions are not illusory, but they are artificial, they are circumstantial, situational etc. Escaping the cave is no longer a metaphor, the cave is urbanism, suburbanism, institutional.

    This idea of reification of illusions where the solid state of the belief is a form of truth: a reality or actuality that is artificial or conditional etc. It is an ironic truth. One is the large population sustained by industrial economies: the farm. It is real, but the social is a construction in every aspect of what is, and what it does. To reject these masses is turned into an irrationality, an adhominem: racism, or misanthropy. To succeed in irrationality would be a breach in the steel shell, but you can test its imperviousness yourself. Not in reality, or actuality, but in nature, the conditions of the world are what matter not the masses. The illusions of the cave, create conditions in the cave that are artificial, unique to the cave, that are not those of the world.
  • jgill
    2.6k
    Escaping the cave is no longer a metaphor, the cave is urbanism, suburbanism, institutional.introbert

    To return to an existence as wild animals? To live on a commune in tranquility with nature? Even that is institutional. An escape from rationality into chaos? What are you suggesting? Is your OP a deep philosophical message or just a pleasing analogy?
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    10.6k
    Living in the cave is like cutting your arms repeatedly on the shackles, suffering thus and wondering why or where this suffering comes from. Yet seeking comfort in the fact that you don't know.

    All the while, a key sits in the locks unturned. Waiting if it is no longer ignored. But that key is frightfully uncomfortable to look at. The uncertainty the key represents from a state of delusion.
    Benj96

    Comfort of one sort brings suffering of another sort. So we often do not really understand when it's time to discontinue the comfort, as a bad habit, for the sake of something else which appears to require effort.
  • introbert
    182
    No, it is a philosophical exercise, perhaps one that, alas, I am not doing too well. In the Matrix, Neo wakes up to find he is being farmed which is related to Platonism. Being farmed, for energy in that case, is an abhorrent idea to most people. So in a sense I am applying a trope, but I am adding the layer of the steel shell of rationality which is connected to the pastoral logias, or what we can call the words that are used to farm people. It is merely a way of suggesting the abhorrent idea that we are being farmed and there is a rational shell that requires a force of intellect to transcend.
  • introbert
    182
    If there was a point when pastoralism became farming, it was when Weber was commenting Calvinism gave birth to Capitalism. When urbanization and industrialization were taking people from farms and really turning them into objects that could yield the most value: in assembly lines, technical roles and even as fashion models. Pastoralism in industrialized nations is considered as farming under the umbrella of agriculture. Just as pastoralism, which precedes farming, became farming; pastoralism of the flock of humans became farming of humans. Things have proceeded this way for hundreds of years to today when the farm has been forgotten by the vast majority of people. However, the reality of industry is superimposed over the actuality of the farm. Likewise, one can place Plato's cave as reality over the actuality of the farm. It's possible one will only realize they were in a farm/ cave once they reach the outside, it is only then the full nature of their former surroundings will be apparent to them. There is the issue though of the hard as steel shell of rationality around the cave / farm that prevents you from seeing yourself as anything more than a dutiful worker of industry. Afterall, to transcend that rationality would be detachment from reality, even though truth in this case is actuality. An actuality akin to madness where you are being watched, your thoughts are controlled, and they will be coming to get you.
  • 0 thru 9
    981
    Universal basic income provided by the state? Is this part of the "truth"?jgill

    About UBI, States, Governments, and people looking for a free handout... parasites! All of them are bloodsuckers. No more!

    There is only one way to get rid of the entitled vampires bleeding us dry. Fire all politicians.
  • jgill
    2.6k
    . . . parasites! All of them are bloodsuckers. No more!0 thru 9

    Do I detect a note of sarcasm? :roll:
  • introbert
    182
    An actuality akin to madness where you are being watched, your thoughts are controlled, and they will be coming to get you.introbert


    I end that paragraph in this foreboding way, because I see the practice of psychiatry/ psychology as an extension of rationalization, and thus part of this steel shell formed by logias. Just as Calvinism became influential in theology, psychiatry has established itself on the rationalism of modern society: the science of industry. In this new rationalism which grew out of the hard work, discipline and rationality of Calvinism, a person is threatened to be reduced to ever lower levels of objectification if they cross thresholds of thought and behavior. These thresholds are established by identifying common disorders of abnormal psychology, but they are analogous to anomic states which manifest in a person who loses solidarity, integration and unity with society, or in this case the farm. A person in the farm gets an idea of the cosmology of this microcosm, the nature of the cause and effect of it's social physics, and these established thresholds on objectification are enough to keep a person behaviorally in line. Madness serves the farm by being made an example of itself as a psychology and its analog as a 'sociology' (to use psych and socio in the same sense). Ultimately these thresholds of thought and behavior are part of the steel shell of rationality.
  • 0 thru 9
    981
    Do I detect a note of sarcasm? :roll:jgill

    An attempt at pointed humor aimed at the ruling “elite”. They wanted powerless, mindless, addicted sheep that they could control. Mission accomplished! Baaaaa!
  • Benj96
    1.3k
    . An actuality akin to madness where you are being watched, your thoughts are controlled, and they will be coming to get you.
    1d
    introbert

    Madness or martyrdom in the pursuit of truth. Have we not had a lot of truth seekers that we're assassinated for being too "threatening".

    Who is the truth "too threatening" for? That's the real question. Is it the wealthy? Or is it the most influential? Or is it those with the most to lose? Or is those that fancy themselves as Gods?

    Does ones abundance equal anothers poverty? And is this fair? Or would one receiving the greatest reward have to constantly uphold a reality for all in which is was theirs by birthright? By decree? By divine will? I think these are phrases we have come across in the past/history.

    Who said them?
  • introbert
    182
    Yes, that happens people are suppressed, and others who are agreed with are amplified. I am more concerned with more subtle elements of control in society. There is the implicit threat that if someone, say, has anti-government ideas, they will be targeted by the government in certain ways. I am certain that paranoia has a functional, and a dysfunctional expression in the mind/brain. To have antigovernment thoughts might involve functional paranoia where you, for instance, think about how things are set up to keep you powerless and moves towards dysfunctional as it causes distress. That paranoia is definitively stated as a symptom of mental illness automatically shifts paranoia towards distress. People will generally not do what is distressing. How much solidarity or integration a person has with psychology or psychiatry will likely result is being less paranoid in general on the high end and more paranoid on the low end. I consider a pervasive medical culture to be repressive of general disorderliness which only a critical thinker would consider bad, one reason being is that it reflects enhanced control.
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