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Re: Ego

Apr 22, 1997 06:53 AM
by Bart Lidofsky

Thoa Tran wrote:
> Bart wrote:
> >        The T.S. is and should be politically incorrect. How does that make it
> >untheosophical?
> Did I say "incorrect"?  That's what I get for not bothering to proofread my
> writing.  With all these indefinite terms, I knew one day I would mangle
> it!  Blah, blah, blah.  It's "politically correct".

	Are you saying that it is the policy of the Theosophical Society that
if the observed facts disagree with one's politics, then the observed
facts are incorrect?
> Your post of 4/18:
> >        Over the last several months, I have been doing some additional
> >research, which has only reinforced my opinion that "political
> >correctness" is inherently untheosohpical.
> and in your example of Communism:
> >        The key to all this is the belief that we create our own reality. In
> >Communism, the concepts of postmodernism became integrated into the
> >political system. Communism was the ideal system of government,
> >therefore those living under a communist system were living ideal lives.
> >To say, or even imply otherwise was therefore politically incorrect.
> >Because Lysenko's genetics were more in keeping with Communist politics
> >than Mendel's, Lysenko's genetics were made the basis of agricultural
> >policy in the Soviet Union. This caused disasterous crop failures in the
> >Ukraine. Hundreds of thousands of people starved to death in the most
> >fertile area in the world, in the name of "political correctness".
> Your Communism example indicates that any opposition to their "reality" is
> politically incorrect.  Hence my correlation to the Theosophical Society.
> In the T.S., any opposition to their "reality" is wrong, or "politically
> incorrect."  Thus, the Theosophical Society is untheosophical.  Now, you
> may say that the T.S. has no such belief.  That it's belief is the search
> for truth, no matter where it lies.  However, from the grievances I
> observed on this list, that is untrue.

	The grievances you have seen on this list are against individuals, and
many of them presented entirely without evidence. Also note that when
people gain power in organizations, they frequently end up working
against the principles of the organization to maintain their power.
That, for example is one of the dangers that the Mahatmas point out in a
paid clergy. In the case of the Theosophical Society, the problem is
clearly one of funding. Traditionally, we have been funded by
contributions and bequests. There has also been strong feeling against
using the activities of the Theosophical Society itself for raising
money. The result has been that there has been self-censorship out of
fear of offending the big contributors (frequently unnecessary, in my
opinion; the big contributors whom I have met tend to be far more
theosophical than they are given credit for). This has caused an extreme
conservatism that tends to keep away new, younger members, which
increases the average age of the big contributors, which completes the
cycle. It is my opinion (not shared by many Theosophists) that I would
much have the TS funded through the keeping of the 3 objects than
through means that either ignore, or worse, go against the 3 objects.

	In any case, all organizations, including the Theosophical Society,
have their share of hypocrites. That does not make the organizations
themselves hypocritical.

> Marxism could work under certain conditions and sounds great on paper.
> However, when combined with the complexities of a huge society and
> economics, it fails.  I don't think many people in the general population
> would want to have the subservient life of a monk.  The problem with
> Communism is that in order to enforce its policy, it ends up having to
> force them on individuals.

	The way I generally put it is that Communism has a great concept:
Everybody works as hard as they can, everybody gets everything they
need. It starts to fall apart when somebody says, "That person is not
working as hard as s/he can", or "That person is getting more than s/he
needs". This creates a requirement of the creation of a job to make sure
everybody is working as hard as they can, and everybody is getting what
they need. Those that hold that job become the absolute rulers, totally
destroying the system in the process.

> Myself:
> >> That goes for following any "Eurocentric"
> >> male vision, also.  Bart's definition of political correctness just seem to
> >> be indicating a "Eurocentric" (not you, Bart, just general :o)) male's
> >> elitist point of view.
> Bart's response:
> >        Please explain how.
> First, let me guess what a "Eurocentric male"  is.  Actually, you can
> probably define him as anything, and I could say that he is politically
> correct, by your definition of political correctness.  Anyway, my
> definition is the general point of view that the white male is superior.
> use art analogy, the big, abstract or minimalist male art.  Now,
> let me define political correctness as you have inadvertently or
> advertently defined.  By your example of the Communist society, your
> definition of "political correctness" is any going along with a certain
> "reality."  The "reality" of the "Eurocentric male" is that characteristics
> associated with the white, male (big art, patriarchal society, etc.) is
> superior.  To go against that is politically incorrect.  Thus, in a white
> male's elitist point of view, any other opinions is politically incorrect.

	Yes, the concept of "political correctness" can in fact be applied to
any point of view the opinions formed by the ego are considered to be
more important than observed reality. Note, for example, that when you
take political correctness to its extreme, you end up with the
fundamentalist, which does make it funny when those who proudly call
themselves fundamentalist speak against those who proudly call
themselves politically correct. 

> Bart:
> >        What IS wrong is presupposing a belief is in error because you don't
> >like it, and assuming it is in error in spite of overwhelming evidence
> >to the contrary. Just because an idea is politically correct does not
> >automatically make it INcorrect. But if it is correct, then it does not
> >need the adverb. And the adverb is ENTIRELY about ego.
> >
> >        Bart Lidofsky
> True, true, and it is ENTIRELY about ego.  Unfortunately, I don't see how
> we can avoid it.  Thus, the argument regarding "postmodernism" and
> "political correctness" is a postmodernist argument.

	Your statement, "Unfortunately, I don't see how we can avoid it" is the
key argument for the misapplication of postmodernism. In many fields,
there ARE ways of avoiding it. In science, for example, experiments are
not done only once. They are done many times, with many variables
changed, all with the idea of eliminating subjectivity as much as is
possible. Yes, there is inevitably some subjectivity left, but it is
sufficiently small as to not have a major effect on the result. If that
were not the case, there would be a LOT more airplane crashes.

	Bart Lidofsky

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