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Is this why we are a nation of dualist / extremists?

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posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 06:24 AM
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I had a thought just now I wanted to share, and see if others have different perspectives to share back, or add to, or whatever....

A few different threads I have been reading sort of inspired a thought which relates to all of them, and none alone, so I decided to start my own.

I have a raging toothache and am on codeine, so I apologize ahead of time if I get confusing!


Some discussion on dualistic thought especially combined with various views and opinions on the current american culture and trends turned me to consider the "extremism" that we are known for. No matter what it is, if it done by americans, or in America, it wil be done big, extreme, exaggerated....... subtility is for sissies and fence-sitters. There's good guys and bad guys, wrong and right, black and white, and if you don't know the difference, you're wrong.

This is most evident in our political attitudes, and especially as we get closer to elections. But in every day issues, you find a similar strong split, and opinions clash and people take things personally- they get offended by opposing ideas.

As an ex pat, I was curious to find that it is not the same in some other countries, and over the years, I observe to try to figure out why.
Like in France, debate is probably the unofficial national sport. Children are encouraged to learn to argue, adults do it all the time- if politics, religion and sex are taboo subjects at our dinner table, they are essential at the french one!

And yet the people don't get offended, they don't take thigns personally, they do not try to "win" or to change the minds of anyone else- the whole goal is just to practice argumentation, and it even serves as an ice breaker or bonding ritual (if you have a french person try to provoke an argument with you, it probably means they like you and want to get to know you better!).

I wondered why everyone feels so free to have their own opinion and not concerned with others having different ones... why there are so many political parties that are actually recognized and get attention...why they don't feel the pressure or importance of getting to that ultimate split of two opposites as much? Why are they okay with everyone in the village having a totally different opinion on an issue?


I noticed something-
We often say, America is an idea, it is a set of values, of principles. It is our Constitution.
If you believe in that, you become American.

But in some other older countries? They say, we are a peoples, that go back for generations... our bond is blood, it is land, it is this house that my anscestors passed down to me. Our nation is of physical nature.

That might be why the mental nature can be left more free to vary for them?

For us Americans, a country of immigrants, it is the mental nature, it is the opinion, views and values that determine whether you are in or out- not your blood, not your anscestry, not your history.
We have much at stake when it comes to everyone being on the same page in opinion!

Does that make sense?
Or is the codeine talking?




posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 06:35 AM
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I think the "dual" nature of American political thought these days has less to due with some sort of philosophical dualism as it does with a pervasive form of social engineering on the part of political figures who want to maintain control. It's much easier to keep the rabble in line if you present the people with two seemingly different parties than it does to have multiple parties and perspectives.



posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 06:47 AM
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reply to post by Bluesma
 


Im Australian but i think id like to educate you. Watch this!

www.youtube.com...



posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 07:06 AM
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I think what you are describing is just the fundamental nature of the universe. Everything can be simplified into duality. Yes or No. Positive or Negative. 1's and 0's. Even in our world where many say issues cannot be black and white but are shades of grey. Well, no. When the questions are general, the answers must then be more general and you get those in-between grey areas.

Within the US political envioronment people are very general, and that generality is encouraged and cultivated via political parties. If you were to take every individual and discuss specifics, you would not likely find two peope in the nation who share every single view. As with the nature of the universe, in politics, an issue can lean more in one direction when generalized. In this way we self-segregate and the people running parties amplify that division.

With regards to the mental nature of our national identity, I think you are correct. However, I would not say that Americans are polarized on all topics of argument because of this.



posted on Sep, 7 2012 @ 02:19 AM
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Hm. My first reaction to the comments shared (thank you! ) is that the question could be looked at from different angles, and I feel like mine is coming from a contemplation on sociology, psychology, perhaps even anthropology culture fascinates me. (probably understandable, considering my life experience so far). The culture that is passed on within families, in values and morals, and what kind of personalities and communities they form.
This is probably because I am a female, and a mother, and at times in my life, a teacher of children.

But I am not involved in the business world, the world of politics, big business and corporations, investment and capital, the never ending chase after profit. So how this pertains to, or is engendered by that world does not come first to my mind.

Bread and circuses does not have power in the world I live in- the people don't go to movies or watch TV- they are outside as the sun goes down, with the kids on the tractor, or stacking straw. They are fairly autonomous. They may use gasoline, however, but they all (including me) have horsedrawn equipment and at least one horse, so the moods of the oil companies don't worry us much even.


I do recognize that whenever you want to manipulate someone, pushing them to make a choice fast (without reflection, without being able to think critically and analyze) is to split the question into a dual choice of extremes.
Salespeople know this, politicians know this. And it is used.

But I disagree with the assertion that this extremist sort of mentality is not present in everyday choices and interactions. I went back this winter and observed it. Individuals use this same tactic (of pushing another to choose, fast, by polarizing) all day long.

I watched all bonding or identification between individuals happen according to their ideologies and opinions. If we can be both in agreement on an idea, then okay, we're friends right now. Even if we are both having the same sensual experience at the moment, if we have a similar background, or are relatives even- if we have an opposing opinion, we are "the enemy".

I percieve that the american is taught to identify more with their mental being than with their physical one.
But I own it- it is only my current opinion, based on my own experience and observation.



posted on Sep, 7 2012 @ 06:35 AM
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You need not to worry about whether your social construct is causing the insanity upon your society. You must look past beyond society as in influence to the humans mental aspect. But it is a very important part still, looking into the nature of Nature! There happens to be a desert, that is the extremist. Then wait, there is a arctic desert as well. That show cases another extremist. Every society has its Extremist, pacifists, and all the ist's you societal intellectuals can dream of. The best possible way to see beauty in this is to be extreme your self. As everything extremity and non extremity can all be beautiful and beneficial to the whole and individual.



posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 01:31 AM
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But I disagree with the assertion that this extremist sort of mentality is not present in everyday choices and interactions. I went back this winter and observed it. Individuals use this same tactic (of pushing another to choose, fast, by polarizing) all day long.

I watched all bonding or identification between individuals happen according to their ideologies and opinions. If we can be both in agreement on an idea, then okay, we're friends right now. Even if we are both having the same sensual experience at the moment, if we have a similar background, or are relatives even- if we have an opposing opinion, we are "the enemy".

I percieve that the american is taught to identify more with their mental being than with their physical one.
reply to post by Bluesma
 


The use of pushy tactics to get people to do stuff is in any culture or society and commonly found in businesses, and social and places of learning. You ll even find it down the supermarket or on the highway people tailgating, cutting you off. Cant change any of that!

A person can reduce their exposure to it by choosing and living an alternative lifestyle. Those people are lucky, and reading of your lifestyle id say you quality as a person living in a quality lifestyle and who has minimal exposure to the pushiness of the modern lifestyle.

I am curious if you need to use horsecart then whats your source for electricity?


The statement of "I percieve that the american is taught to identify more with their mental being than with their physical one". this confused me. I thought it be other way around?







edit on 9-9-2012 by AthlonSavage because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 02:09 AM
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Originally posted by AthlonSavage

The use of pushy tactics to get people to do stuff is in any culture or society and commonly found in businesses, and social and places of learning. You ll even find it down the supermarket or on the highway people tailgating, cutting you off. Cant change any of that!


True. We see a lot of that even here on these forums! It is very amusing!

It really is very American though. In France, even if someone might come to that sort of conclusion, they most likely wouldn't say it. It is considered showing lack of critical thought and sensitivity. (looking stupid)
They consider that sensitivity is what allows one to spot the subtilities in between the extremes and the details, and see more realistically. In other words, your senses and emotions are necessary to being more intelligent!




The statement of "I percieve that the american is taught to identify more with their mental being than with their physical one". this confused me. I thought it be other way around?


My comment is two fold-
On one hand I refer to that- we tend to be taught that eliminating emotion will provide us with a more objective and accurate view. Mind is more likely to grasp truth if it doesn't listen to the body.

We are largely taught that it is the body and it's emotions and desires that cause us to live unhealthy lives.
Some other cultures carry a different idea- if you are overweight, it is because you didn't listen your body saying it didn't want anymore- you followed your mind saying "I like cake. Cake is good. I always want cake!".
Your body cried out for exercise, your mind proclaimed it would rather consume more X box games.

But also that (probably because of the way our nation formed) we form our herds according to shared ideologies, instead of say, physical connections.
You hang out with and indentify with groups of similar belief and thought- not of similar blood, of similar genetic background, similar cultural anscestry. In fact those bonds are rejected and we are taught it is even bad to discern them (to actually acknowledge the color of a persons skin).

What a person IS, is their ego- it is the specific opinions and ideas they have consciously chosen as theirs, not what they came into the world with. That ego is mental, not physical.
That just means that, for people who bond together according to their physical being, they don't need to be as careful to defend their ideologies - because their bond isn't based on that.

That is neither bad nor good. It is a conclusion based upon my observation, of what is.





"I am curious if you need to use horsecart then whats your source for electricity?"

I have a horse drawn plow, and a cart, but I don't use it right now. They are mostly being decorative, and I mostly ride my horse normally. But they are there if I need them. I use electricity, but we can live without it if need be. We have fireplaces, and ancient stone ovens, natural water springs with fresh drinkable water constantly running. Lots of land, fruit trees, medicinal herbs, etc.

The fact that we're capable of living without things like gas, or electricity makes us a little less vulnerable to being scared blind with threats of having them taken away. That was all I meant.

The explanation for lifestyle like this where I am is mostly just because the people here are still living with a strong memory of living in the middle of WW2 and tend to keep themselves with back up- just in case. I've actually learned some great survival tips from the old people here! The cart and plow was just in the barn when we bought the house.











edit on 9-9-2012 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 02:27 AM
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reply to post by Bluesma
 

Contrary to popular belief....the VAST MAJORITY OF AMERICANS....are Moderates. It is the media that loves to create A vs B to the DEATH! Most people just do not pay attention and unfortunately when people in other countries see TV News shows about some Idiots protesting this or Claiming that...they get a poor view of what America is all about.

I live in Massachusetts a State that many times voted in a Republican Governor and voted in a Democratic Legislature. Most people in Mass tend to be independents. I myself am an Independent and what PISSES ME OFF is that after I vote in an election...if I vote one Party or the other...I have to go to the town hall and re register as an Independent.

The Silent Majority of U.S. Citizens don't care what Party is voted in...they care who has the best idea. The media twists this...and it is wrong. Split Infinity



posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 02:43 AM
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I have noticed this duality and its extremist symptoms, and I think its only a fairly recent phenomenon (20th Century) and not a product of the American Experiment as such.

What I attribute it to is the cold war Mccarthyism, that polarised the US population into a non-dissenting "them verses us" mentality. Prior to the cold war Americans had a long history of dissent. Just look at the fear the word "socialism" strikes into the average American, its programmed pretty deeply in the US psyche.



posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 02:49 AM
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reply to post by SplitInfinity
 


Massachusetts..... is there bonding that occurs according to anscestry and blood??
I am from the west coast, and always heard that on your side, you get focus on what families people come from, and their connection with the first settlers. Is that true?

That may explain why you don't relate as much as I to this sort of ideological tribal wars!
In California, everyone came there from somewhere else and left their past in darkness, so it is not considered in forming our entourage and loyalties.

(note: I am not talking just about political affiliations! I am refering to all the ideological tribes- religion, different sciences, or other interests)
edit on 9-9-2012 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 02:53 AM
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reply to post by Bluesma
 


Very nice topic Bluesma, one I take intrest in.

I agree with everything you wrote. I actually wrote a thread recently and think it parallels yours. I attributed this outlook to thousands of years of idealism which has become so ingrained in theocratic cultures such as America, or wherever ideals or abstractions take precedence over the physical.

The codeine had no affect on the meaning of your words.

Cheers.



posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 02:55 AM
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Originally posted by TheSubversiveOne
reply to post by Bluesma
 


Very nice topic Bluesma, one I take intrest in.

I agree with everything you wrote. I actually wrote a thread recently and think it parallels yours. I attributed this outlook to thousands of years of idealism which has become so ingrained in theocratic cultures such as America, or wherever ideals or abstractions take precedence over the physical.

The codeine had no affect on the meaning of your words.

Cheers.




OH! I am laughing at myself.....
Because I felt such great joy at reading someone who TOTALLY gets what I mean.
How ironic!



posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 03:06 AM
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Originally posted by Bluesma
reply to post by SplitInfinity
 


Massachusetts..... is there bonding that occurs according to anscestry and blood??
I am from the west coast, and always heard that on your side, you get focus on what families people come from, and their connection with the first settlers. Is that true?

That may explain why you don't relate as much as I to this sort of ideological tribal wars!
In California, everyone came there from somewhere else and left their past in darkness, so it is not considered in forming our entourage and loyalties.

(note: I am not talking just about political affiliations! I am refering to all the ideological tribes- religion, different sciences, or other interests)
edit on 9-9-2012 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)


I have been around the World and if anything...Mass is diversified in the extreme. Boston does have a large Irish Immigrant population but I am from the Western area of Mass and we tend to be all varied in origin.

Mass tend to be a very independent state as even Ted Kennedy's seat was won by a Republican. The people here are also VERY much Patriots. People tend to be much more informed here than other states. Split Infinity



posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 04:42 AM
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reply to post by Bluesma
 


How did you work all these insights out, from observation, reading literature or was if from the struggle and tribulations of growing up. Not only that your lifestyle is seemly simplistic as it is perfect. I guess what im trying to say is how can you be so wise. If you reply saying that where you live everyone is this clever ill know then you have been adopted by pleadians.



posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 04:49 AM
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Originally posted by Bluesma

Originally posted by TheSubversiveOne
reply to post by Bluesma
 


Very nice topic Bluesma, one I take intrest in.

I agree with everything you wrote. I actually wrote a thread recently and think it parallels yours. I attributed this outlook to thousands of years of idealism which has become so ingrained in theocratic cultures such as America, or wherever ideals or abstractions take precedence over the physical.

The codeine had no affect on the meaning of your words.

Cheers.




OH! I am laughing at myself.....
Because I felt such great joy at reading someone who TOTALLY gets what I mean.
How ironic!


I do understand the idea of the urges/needs of the physical body versus the sobriety of the human intellect.
The first requires sobriety to tame its urges and the later needs craziness to release it unchain its boredom. Where the two meet in the middle is the bridge between the left and right sides of the brain. Its also where the fertile soil is for planting seeds of idealism.






edit on 9-9-2012 by AthlonSavage because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 12:29 PM
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Originally posted by AthlonSavage
reply to post by Bluesma
 


How did you work all these insights out, from observation, reading literature or was if from the struggle and tribulations of growing up. Not only that your lifestyle is seemly simplistic as it is perfect. I guess what im trying to say is how can you be so wise. If you reply saying that where you live everyone is this clever ill know then you have been adopted by pleadians.



I'm a bit confused. I wonder if this is irony- do you mean to mock or tease? How to respond appropriately?
I make no claim to wisdom..... the people where I live? Mostly married to cousins and have never been out of this region, or in school beyond the age of 14.....so maybe I am thirsty for discussion beyond the state of the crops this year - I might be going overboard on this site.

Many years of isolation and spiritual searching, a period of being raised by a professor of philosophy, psychoanalyst, and psychotherapist, may have set certain tendancies to percieve everything deeply....which can be a handicap in contexts where it is vital to stay superficial, of course.....


I am sorry if I sounded as if I claim my life is perfect. I guess it is perfect for me. ?
But it wouldn't be for everyone. I just spent three hours in the sun on a horse, I have dirt under my nails, horsesweat on my jeans, my hands are sticky from picking figs off the trees along the way, and my puppy lost control in his excitement and peed on my shoes when I arrived back home.

That could be called heaven or hell- depending on the person! Relativity..........

edit on 9-9-2012 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)

edit on 9-9-2012 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 04:00 PM
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I am sorry if I sounded as if I claim my life is perfect. I guess it is perfect for me. ?
But it wouldn't be for everyone. I just spent three hours in the sun on a horse, I have dirt under my nails, horsesweat on my jeans, my hands are sticky from picking figs off the trees along the way, and my puppy lost control in his excitement and peed on my shoes when I arrived back home.

That could be called heaven or hell- depending on the person! Relativity..........
reply to post by Bluesma
 


Perfect was not the best metaphor. I kind of meant a lifestyle that encompasses things which are of real value, not just materials things. Your life sounds great from where i stand. I live in suburb so i look at the country life as improvement which is a relative view of course.



posted on Sep, 10 2012 @ 01:33 AM
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Originally posted by AthlonSavage


Perfect was not the best metaphor. I kind of meant a lifestyle that encompasses things which are of real value, not just materials things. Your life sounds great from where i stand. I live in suburb so i look at the country life as improvement which is a relative view of course.


Ah... I can relate. I am from the Low Angeles area in Calif. And I always dreamed of living in the country, where "common sense" and real life are more present.
I didn't expect to do it in another country altogether though, and the culture shock was more than just the "city mouse lost in the country" thing..... it gave me a different perspective on my own culture that I wouldn't have had otherwise. Stepping out to turn around and look at the self changes everything!



posted on Sep, 10 2012 @ 04:23 AM
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Originally posted by Bluesma

Originally posted by AthlonSavage


Perfect was not the best metaphor. I kind of meant a lifestyle that encompasses things which are of real value, not just materials things. Your life sounds great from where i stand. I live in suburb so i look at the country life as improvement which is a relative view of course.


Ah... I can relate. I am from the Low Angeles area in Calif. And I always dreamed of living in the country, where "common sense" and real life are more present.
I didn't expect to do it in another country altogether though, and the culture shock was more than just the "city mouse lost in the country" thing..... it gave me a different perspective on my own culture that I wouldn't have had otherwise. Stepping out to turn around and look at the self changes everything!



I visited France about 10 years ago on work trip. I loved the culture. Paris what a city, those hubs or ports or whatever they ae called. Of course i couldnt understand a thing the french were saying. In fact i funnily remember i was sitting outside some bistro eating and heres comes a crowd of people, entertainers or mabye a troop of actors jumping around and dancing and throwing their arms around. At the end of it i turned over to one of the diners who i could hear spoke english and said wow, not only is the food service here much better than in Australia, we also get entertained. He then replies ummm, they are not entertainers they are war protesters...

Sometimes ignorance is bliss. Gulp of the beer!



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