Posts Tagged ‘gambling’

I Wonder If I Am A Libertarian # 5b

June 15, 2013

I Wonder If I Am A Libertarian #5 b

We hear talk of building “Human Capital”, that is, educating a population in the intellectual, ethical and physical skills needed  for sociocultural success.

If there is something called human capital, and there is, then there must be an opposite. I call the opposite, Social Entropy. 

Social entropy is that proportion of a population that is impaired in some way and is unable to, or unwilling to, work to sustain the socioculture. Therefore, increasing social entropy represents increasing damage to the ability of a socioculture to survive long and well.

Social entropy can increasingly impair a population for many reasons. Addiction to drugs, sex, gambling, and pornography (the traditional vices) (approved of by radical liberals, progressives, and Libertarians) damage human capital and therefore increases social entropy. So does an inferior acculturating education; an entertainment media that encourages irresponsible licentious, hedonistic, and antisocial behavior.

One of the few issues upon which I disagree with the libertarian party is the legalization of the traditional vices. I disagree because they are highly reinforcing to everyone, they tend to become addictive to those who sample the momentary pleasures they seductively offer, and they can spread through a population like wild-fire.

Bad behavioral contagion combines the psychological processes and mechanisms through which bad behaviors spread within a population.  Elementary principles of psychology now contage bad behavior patterns among an increasingly ignorant, barbaric and heathen population, swiftly (generation after generation) increasing a great many forms of self and other-destructive behaviors within America’s population. All of this further directly increases social entropy within the socioculture and is leading to our decline.

One, of only a few problems, that I have thus far encountered with the Libertarian model is their position on the traditional vices. They argue that if drugs, prostitution, gambling, and pornography are legalized that people will naturally exert controls to minimize the damages of these vices among themselves.

Libertarians say that such activities would naturally be moved out-of-proximity to mainstream life and activities, that people would naturally shun those who own and operate such businesses, or who become addicted to them and who damage their families and others as a result. 

Libertarians argue that the traditional criminal elements associated with such activities would naturally melt away when they are legalize and that the great costs of law enforcement, adjudication and punishment allocated to such crimes would be saved.

The libertarians say that such “crimes” are victimless in nature and that consenting adults should be able to  get together and do what they want. If they are harmed, it was their choice and it is no concern to the rest of us.

Unfortunately, from the bad behavioral contagion and social entropy perspectives, that is not what happens in a densely packed population with a  pervasive entertainment, news and marketing media flooding children, adolescents and adults with propaganda in favor of self and other-person destructive activities.

Do you really think that a gambling addicted father, who embezzled money, is fired from his job, divorced his wife, abandoned his children, and eventually commited suicide harmed no one but himself?

Do you think that the pretty high school drop-out who becomes an “actress” in the porn industry, or who becomes a prostitute, harms only herself? What about her family, brothers and sisters, what about the flood of her floridly depicted actions (media born or actual) upon married men and their families with children?

Do you think that children finding and viewing their parents pornography, the increasingly explicit pornography on family media, the softer porn..(“The Big Bang Theory” comedy series, or, “if your erection lasts longer than 4 hours”, sexual performance ads, etc.) have no bad effects on our children and adolescents?

Do you think that the word-of-mouth tales and depictions among child and adolescent peers about what they have discovered or observed in our increasingly licentious, permissive, and irresponsible society will have no negative effects upon them and, therefore, upon all of us?

Only a fool or an ideologue would argue that gambling addictions do not ruin families and increase problem gambling in children and teens, or that the flood of pornography in America has not sexualized our youth in ways destructive to them and to our common good.

It should also be plain to see that the likely future legalization of drugs and prostitution will have similar effects on the destruction of human capital through bad behavioral contagion and increasing social entropy.

Wake-up America!

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D.

Top-Down Influences on Culture

April 18, 2010

Top-Down Influences on Culture

Of course,  bottom-up influences are only part of the picture. There are also very powerful top-down influences on our population’s behavior as various levels of our government adopt laws and rules that can strongly affect, even regulate,  how people behave to each other. Some examples of top-down influences are the profound growth of government control, increasing taxes and the legalization of pornography, gambling, marijuana (under the pretext of medical applications) and a media that increasingly attacks traditional family and religious values and showcases antisocial behavior through its many venues.

What happens in our culture when top-down influences evolve that are in strong conflict with traditional bottom up influences; or, when subcultures bring their own dramatically different top-down and bottom-up forces into our existing socioculture? What happens to families and the future citizens that they produce when science and technology alter the physical, social and moral environment dramatic ways? How do these environmental changes impact the principles of psychology that shape the ways in which we and our children see, feel and behave toward each other?

These are only some of the  “big picture” concerns that need our closest attention. It is good to mention these major issues now,  because these are the ones we must attempt to answer in the end. With some of these larger issues in mind,  we can be on the look-out for the smaller (seemingly insignificant) factors that may be powerfully related to big and very important cultural outcomes.

We will return to these big picture concerns in due time. But, in order to understand the larger dynamics of cultural change, we must first understand a few key principles of psychology and how they powerfully influence the behavior of individuals within a population.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D.  4/18/10

Masturbating the Lions

August 25, 2009

Masturbating the Lions

One historical way to keep a population content and docile, focused away from governmental abuses and the general state of their condition, is to entertain them in ways that are irresistibly rewarding. Especially effective are the biologically based rewards that have addicted our species forever.

These reinforcers have always produced highly pleasurable feelings and emotions which are accompanied by increasingly obsessive/compulsive thoughts and behaviors that become highly goal-oriented and directed away from the exploiting controllers.

It was so in the coliseums of a declining Rome and so it is now in the post-modern era of a declining United States of America.

Pornography, violence, gambling, and increasingly recreational marijuana are now available through our related technical and marketing venues.

Increasingly, addicting pleasures that were once illegal are being made legal and provided by a government. A massive all-controlling central government that first stimulates its citizen’s well-known hedonistic and self-destructive appetites and then taxes its populations’ increasingly frenetic addictive self-stimulatory behavior patterns.

The reality of legalized (and therefore taxed) prostitution and recreational drugs are now gaining momentum.

With eerie similarity,  B. F. Skinner spoke of clever trainers who once masturbated their lions to avoid being eaten alive.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D., 3/17/01


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