Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Anonymous or Pseudonymous blog posting and commenting - the examples of Good religious founders versus Secret Combinations

I understand that there are many people who cannot publish blog posts and comments under their own names - for example, this may be forbidden by their terms of employment (this was traditionally the case in the British civil service).

However, this lack of personal identification does have consequences; and does place extra limitations on what can legitimately be said, advocated or urged online - especially in a context where the writer is (usually implicitly) taking a 'leadership' role.

In sum, the sub-text of much online publishing is no so much 'this is my opinion' but 'this ought to be your opinion, and you should do X about it'.

Beyond this, a fair bit of online discourse is trying to build a 'movement' - but a movement in which the identity of the leaders is unknown. 

I am struck that the example I know of good leadership from Christians in the past, by Christians who have built something good; is that their identities were not in doubt; indeed they displayed great courage in being known.

By contrast, it is characteristic of those evil persons and organizations that the Book of Mormon calls Secret Combinations - that they are, well, secret!  The organizations and their personnel are secret because it makes them more effective at their evil; secrecy enables them better to engage in work of infiltration, subversion, and destruction (and to evade responsibility for these actions).

So it is the wicked organizations that have secret identities - by and large.

And perhaps one triumph of an evil government is when good people and good organizations are channelled or compelled or intimidated into taking-on the mantle of secrecy -- because perhaps when good people do enter into Secret Combinations, the chances are that what starts-out as good will not for long remain good.

The temptations deriving from secrecy may prove too strong for them to resist.

4 comments:

  1. According to studies done by professor Zimbardo, anonymous subjects administered fake electric shocks to victims two times longer than individuated subjects. Anonymous subjects delivered shocks equally to persons they had rated beforehand pleasant or unpleasant, whereas individuated subjects differentiated between pleasant and unpleasant victims. Anonymous subjects increased the shocking time for both victim groups over the course of twenty trials, while the individuated subjects decreased the shocks for pleasent victims as the trials progressed. Anonymous subjects motivation for shock giving was less sadistic and more the feeling of power and control, and their motivations created self-reinforcing upward spirals. It should be noted that here both the pleasant and unpleasant victims were unknown outsiders. If they would have belonged to the ingroup of anonymous subjects, they likely would have rein in their shocking time or refused to shock at all. When the motivation for shocking was mostly power and control, we can deduce that individuated power (public elites) likely has approximately the same psychological effects than anonymity on shocking, and anonymous power (behind the scenes elites; I am referring here to the fact that large part of elites are almost totally anonymous, and this is the normal state of things. I am not referring to any conspiracy or such.) likely has even more dramatic effects on shocking.

    We can see that anonymity has always been part of political opposition (see e.g. Domination and the Arts of Resistance, leftist view). On the good side anonymity often creates the necessary psychological and political freedom, breathing space, mutual support, stealth minipower and basic organization for political opposition, and from this lush soil the public expressions of political opposition sprung. On the bad side the garbled and intense anonymous and public political interactions, and the messy entanglements and tearing aparts of interests can make the political opposition to lose its moral compass. Among other things because of this we need religion and those long ago slept away European and other conservative authors. Their views are based on time tested traditions; they dont get confused on our emergencies, our immeadiate interests, our single political battles, our vices, our lack of knowledge, etc.; they unravel our political messes, and they see the wider picture and the long view into the future; etc.

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  2. 'Common Purpose' and their 'Chatham House rule' immediately spring to mind.

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  3. it is characteristic of those evil persons and organizations that the Book of Mormon calls Secret Combinations - that they are, well, secret! The organizations and their personnel are secret because it makes them more effective at their evil; secrecy enables them better to engage in work of infiltration, subversion, and destruction (and to evade responsibility for these actions).

    This is true when the ruling / elite organizations are, by and large, good, and would not tolerate open advocacy of (or achievement of) evil.

    When ruling / elite organizations are evil - they advocate evil and eagerly achieve it on a daily basis - then people who advocate good, and wish to achieve good, are necessarily driven underground.

    It is self-evident that Secret Combinations are LESS likely to remain good if they are no longer secret -- hence the ardent desire of evil Leftists to "out" the people who wish to remain anonymous.

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  4. @JP - I know the theory - but have you any examples of Good organizations that were secret? I couldn't think of any.

    Of course, I am not advocating that everything, including sacred mysteries, be published! But a basic personal identification/ responsibility as necessary for Good, Christian (or Christian-compatible) organizations, active in 'the world'.

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