American Social “Freedom” = Social Chaos = Cultural Decline


American Social “Freedom” = Social Chaos = Cultural Decline
The following remark is from Gonzo, a fellow blogger who is not afraid to think intelligently about various social issues. I hope you will read his remarks and my response to them. I judge that we are both spot-on regarding some of the problems with the cultural design of modern America. I encourage you to visit Gonzo’s blog. His address is included in my blog roll, on the bottom right side of my blog page.
The following is written by Gonzo:

I am, at best, an arm-chair quarterback when it comes to discussing sociological and psychological phenomenons. But I can’t help but wonder if the one avenue of thought might be better described as “conditioning”.

What conditioning toward violence are the following having on young minds, (young minds that grow to adulthood)?:

Violence on television, which has been increasing with regularity and realism. -Violence in movies, which has been increasing with regularity and realism. -Violence in music, which has been increasing 8 fold and is combined with messages of hate toward various groups of people. -Violence in games, which has been increasing in intensity and realism. -The increasing presence of psychotropic drugs which have interactions in the human mind in ways that still are not fully understood. -The growing and UNDISCLOSED list of everyday products that contain fluoride, a poison that is known to cause violent outbursts in some people. (In water supplies, dental products, multi-vitamins, huge doses in SSRI’s, many other pharma drugs, in our foods from fertilizers and pesticides, teas, vaccines, soda, milk, added to some processed foods, others). -Lack of other examples of dealing with conflict other than with violence.

Again, I may be wrong, but it seems that once the conditioning has been accomplished, that the next step is a trigger and opportunity. The sad reality is that people receive more conditioning from the aforementioned list than from sources such as examples of conflict management w/o violence, spirituality, forgiveness, etc.

We don’t need fewer guns, we need better conditioning on how to live as a peaceful people, engaged with one another, and living life with spiritual purpose. We also need awareness of the poisons affecting our lives, whether psychological or chemical, and truth in labeling.

End of Gonzo’s remarks.

My response follows:

Gonzo,

Correct you are about the concept of conditioning! You have been doing a lot of good studying in your “arm-chair”.

The term is a correct and technical one for one form of learning that has to do with temporal association of stimuli, either Classical/Pavlovian or Operant in nature. These forms of learning indeed account for a great deal of the most important behaviors that we do to our physical environment and to our social environment. Broader in scope is Social Learning Theory, which also accounts for a great deal of important learning in humans. The many psychological principles in this field include modeling and imitation and other forms of vicarious learning. However, stimulus associations and conditioning are part of all of the forms of learning identified in humans.

I judge that virtually everything that psychology has discovered about human learning is operating against the welfare of America’s individuals and its culture as a result of legalized drugs, legalized pornography, and legalized gambling; Permissive standards on profanity, violence, and sex or sexual innuendo in the popular media; Liberalized marriage and divorce rules; Deinstitutionalization of  dangerous mental patients, liberalization of civil committment rules for the severely mentally ill, liberalized judicial and penal practices, liberalized child protection laws, liberalized educational practices, the governmental undermining of  spiritually based morality in all sectors of our society, and much more.

All of this, and much more, in America is best described as a culture of permissiveness. Some view this state of permissiveness as “freedom” for the individual, when actually it is a predicament of destructive social chaos. Under conditions of permissiveness most of the naturally occurring conditioning and learning principles tend to yield maladaptive behavior in individuals and cultural outcomes that are destructive to America’s survival.

The principles and mechanisms of this powerful process bad behavioral contagion are well understood, but America stupidly ignores them.

VTM,  12/23/12

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