Wednesday 6 September 2023

What do "the people" want in Western Nations?

Something that comes-up again and again in all the media (mainstream and not) and in conversations; is the question of what "the people" want, in any particular situation. 

And the true answer is that We Just Don't Know; and, in a world permeated and dominated by lies and corruption, reinforced by massive censorship and punishment of thought-crimes and other dissent: there is no way of finding-out

We in the West are by-now so used to the idea that "public opinion" is, or at any rate ought-to-be, the basis of all good policies, that this blind spot is very unsettling to those who are honest about such matters.

We don't know what 'people' in war areas, or what they think about their wars, nor do we know what they 'want' to happen; we don't know what 'people' in our own countries think about our own governments, our politicians and the choice of parties. Typically, the majority of people who work for large bureaucracies and corporations don't even know the real views of people in our workplaces. 

What, then, should we do about it?

In the first place: we ought to give-up the idea that what people want is what ought to happen. 

This was always anti-moral nonsense; but especially now that it turns-out that 'what people think' is not worth a penny in modern societies; since opinion is so easily manipulated; and can undergo 180 degree turns in the space of days, or even hours - and without any acknowledgment that this have even happened!  

Also, many people want several or many incompatible things.  

And even when 'the people' hold opinions that are very much opposed to actual policies (e.g about the death penalty, to quote a famous example); that doesn't matter either -- since we know for sure that the leadership class can and does... whatever it is instructed to do by its totalitarian masters; utterly regardless of public opinion and in the teeth of long-term and solid opposition.

(Long-term and solid opposition at most slows an Establishment-driven trend; but has never yet reversed it.)

Instead, we should focus on what is right; regardless of what people may, or may not, think or want. 

Of course; those who are genuinely concerned about virtue do not have the power to manifest this into policies, nor to induce 'the people' to do what is right. But we ought to be clear about what is right, regardless of whether we think it makes any difference. 

I personally am sure that when someone, anyone, gets clear in his mind what is right and why; then this does have some kind of general effect - even though this effect is incalculable, and not measurable. 

I believe this on the basis that it is innate common sense - throughout history, and still in much of the world - that our conscious thoughts and whether we endorse or oppose these thoughts, is something that necessarily affects 'the world' - including 'other people'. 

So, I personally am going to try and disregard, and decline to join-in, conversations about 'what people want'; and focus instead on clarifying the specifics of what is right

Note added: Another reason why it is bad to give people what they want; is that so many people's desires are evil; and this especially applies here-and-now in Western nations: where the level and extremity of corrupted desire (corrupted to the point of inversion) has reached world-historical heights.


whiteknight32be said...

What is right. That may be the very best (and maybe only) way to decide how to act, personally, as well as on any other (larger) scale.

It "is" a very difficult subject in my opinion, because "what is right" often changes over time and place (different cultures, era's...). And of course just about everybody will beleiev what "they" think is "right".

A few centuries ago, cannibalism was culturally accepted and "normal" in Fiji. But was it also "right", even there and then? Who would decide on that? Many such examples exist.

Is there a way to define "what is right", in either a general way or at least for more people at once?

Bruce Charlton said...

@w - I don't really feel much of a genuine moral pressure to decide upon what was right and wrong for societies in other places or in the past. Such opinions can only be based upon very indirect, and perhaps biased/ false - information; and crude classifications. I can say how I would feel, as I am now, in that situation - but what is that perspective really worth?

What is right changes in some ways, and not in others! It changes necessarily due to changes in human consciousness, and to other innate physical and mental differences - but in some ways it stays constant.

The only way to bridge such gaps is by love and personal/ experiential engagement - plus, of course, being on the right side in the spiritual war of this world!

Anyone on the wrong side, the side against God and divine creation - would make wrong judgments whatever the time or place!