Posts Tagged ‘Why America’s Decline’

B. F. Skinner: Why America’s Decline

December 6, 2022

The following long quote is from one of the greatest Psychologist of the 20th century, and perhaps of all time. This is the stunning truth about the problems that face all humanity. As a professor, I read this warning to nearly all of the students taking my classes for over 30 years. It has a prominent place in the book I am writing entitled: The Psychology of America’s Decline: And How Reverse It.

I have not blogged in many days, I am too busy working on this book. I may not get it finished and published before I am finished. We shall see about that!

Regarding the past and present quality of our environment and the quality of life for all, Skinner wrote the following (p. 5) in his 1971 book entitled Beyond Freedom and Dignity, published by Alfred A Knopf.

I quote the following.

In trying to solve the terrifying problems that face us in the world today, we naturally turn to the things we do best. We play from strength, and our strength is science and technology. To contain a population explosion we look for better methods of birth control. Threatened by a nuclear holocaust, we build bigger deterrent forces and anti-ballistic-missile systems. We try to stave off world famine with new foods and better ways of growing them. Improved sanitation and medicine will, we hope, control disease, better housing and transportation will solve the problems of the ghettos, and new ways of reducing or disposing of waste will stop the pollution of the environment. We can point to remarkable achievements in all these fields, and it is not surprising that we should try to extend them. But things grow steadily worse, and it is disheartening to find that technology itself is increasingly at fault. Sanitation and medicine have made the problems of population more acute, war has acquired a new horror with the invention of nuclear weapons, and the affluent pursuit of happiness is largely responsible for pollution. As Darlington has said, ‘Every new source from which man has increased his power on the earth has been used to diminish the prospects of his successors. All his progress has been made at the expense of damage to his environment which he cannot repair and could not foresee.’
Whether or not he could have foreseen the damage, man must repair it or all is lost. And he can do so if he will recognize the nature of the difficulty. The application of the physical and biological sciences alone will not solve our problems because the solutions lie in another field. Better contraceptives will control population only if people use them. New weapons may offset new defenses and vice versa, but a nuclear holocaust can be prevented only if the conditions under which nations make war can be changed. New methods of agriculture and medicine will not help if they are not practiced, and housing is a matter not only of buildings and cities but of how people live. Overcrowding can be corrected only by inducing people not to crowd, and the environment will continue to deteriorate until polluting practices are abandoned.
In short, we need to make vast changes in human behavior, and we cannot make them with the help of nothing more than physics or biology, no matter how hard we try.

End of Quote

=======================================================================================

The truth is that the solutions to our social and political problems lay in the wise use of well known scientifically validated psychological laws and principles that influence the quality of human behavior.

In America people vote for representatives who promise to make rules about rewarding and punishing (i.e., strengthening and weakening) the behavior patterns of America’s countless citizens, and other inhabitants. This now includes millions of unvetted individuals who illegally flood across our borders.

Skinner names nearly every environmental and behavioral problem that is now killing record numbers of our population, destroying the quality of our lives, and weakening our ability to survive as an effectively self-regulating nation. A nation capable of defend its self against powerful forces now in the process of destroying our Constitutional Republic by attacking it and us all from outside and from within.

In our Constitutional Republic increasing numbers of our people have long been voting for governmental rules, laws, and regulations that are destroying their own home land’s way of life. If only they knew enough about the laws and principles of psychology that influencing the quality of our own populations behaviors, they would understand that they are voting for the self-destruction of America as well as their own, and their loved one’s safety, security, and prosperity.

It is essential that voters understand the psychological laws and principles that increase good prosocial behaviors and decrease bad antisocial behaviors among our citizens; and then vote accordingly!

The basic laws and principles must be taught to all future voters in America’s private and public schools.

12/6/22

V. Thomas Mawhinney Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Psychology and a Practicing Psychologist.

America’s Decline: A Partial Explanation

September 23, 2016

America’s Decline: A Partial Explanation

The following is a brief summary of my research into America’s sociocultural decline. My attempt to understand this complex phenomenon has been on-going for over 30 years and it continues to this day.

What follows is a revision of a blog that I published in 2014. It is a small sample of my findings and the concepts that I use to make a “blizzard” of seemingly unrelated sociocultural events comprehensible.

I hope you will take time to understand my perspective on what is happening to America. It is happening to everyone and all our loved ones.

__________________________________________________________________________________

I cannot conduct my particular cultural analysis without the use of a value system. As you will note, my analysis normally cleaves to that of Judeo/Christian precepts. This value and belief system is arguably the most beneficial the world has ever experienced.

The first thing to understand is: CDP/TP x 100 = % SE

Cultural Draining Population Divided by The Total Population x 100 = % Social Entropy!

I define my theoretical concept of social entropy as: The proportion of a population that is not available to do work to sustain a socioculture, and  functions as a drain upon it.

Increasing population proportions of social entropy, beyond some difficult to estimate percentage, will destroy any culture and it is now debilitating America.

I label those who work very hard for delayed rewards, behave responsibly and avoid the many human foibles (immediately rewarding indiscriminate sex, drugs, alcohol, aggression, destructive behavior; or other self-destructive and irresponsible behaviors), that do immediate or delayed damage to individuals and our socioculture as the culture sustaining population. I call them “cultural sustainers” for short. The culture draining population is composed of  the hard-core “cultural drainers”, who are doing he harmful behaviors identified above, who are on the dole and have found ways to gain welfare grants from the government for doing very little or nothing. Among the cultural drainers are active criminals and those who are imprisoned.

It is important to note that children, teens, the elderly and the infirmed, as well as those on entitlements that they have earned, (i.e., social security and medicare, etc.), by paying for them all of their working lives, are a necessary part of this analysis because they justifiably require our support. Technically, they are rightfully a part of the culture draining population. Children and teens are an essential investment any culture’s future. To fail to support this costly investment is not only ethically wrong, it is cultural suicide. Without children and youth, there is no future. I do not want to put them in the cultural draining population, but for important and greatly beneficial reasons, they must temporarily reside there until they reach maturity and join the culture sustaining population.

It is important for a culture to love and appreciate their elderly. The retired elderly still frequently contribute to sustaining their culture. They may do volunteer work in many places, they may serve as aunts, uncles, and grandparents who help to acculturate children and youth.  They may continue to vote and make financial investments and may be politically active. This segment of society is typically unable to contribute as much time, energy and talent to sustaining their culture as they once did, but they can continue to provide important contributions.

When the aged become infirmed and incapacitated they become an esteemed and honored member of a special culture draining population and society is ethically obligated to care for them as humanly as possible until the end of their natural lives.

Please note that unethical cultures will find it very easy to rationalize forms of euthanasia ” in order to humanly assist the death” of what has become a costly population. The unspoken immoral motive for this action is very likely to be the politics of raw cost-savings.

As financial and material rewards allocated to the cultural drainers increase, the numbers of of these people can be predicted to increase as a proportion of the general population. This is so because they are more likely to be under-educated and therefore reside the lower socioeconomic class. Historically individuals with these demographics are more likely to reproduce at higher rates than the higher educated, more wealthy, working, tax-paying culture sustaining-class. This outcome is dramatically increased when the government allocates more material rewards to the culture draining-class for having children that they often cannot afford to care-for decently.

If you now understand the gist of this analysis, it is just this simple:

When the culture sustaining population’s money is given to the culture draining population for not working and having more babies, they will predictably have more babies than the cultural sustaining population does. The culture sustainers are just too busy getting educated, working, inventing, volunteering, making money, investing, paying taxes, raising their few children and behaving responsibly, to ever match the culture drainer’s reproductive rates and increasing financial needs.

Now the plot thickens:

The basic psychological principle of Modeling and Imitation, and many others such principles, insure that a majority of children raised by the culture draining, wealth-consuming, do-little or nothing parents, will identify with their parents. When this happens the are very likely to imitate their ways: How they think, perceive, show their emotions and how they behave.

Within the span only several generations (20 yrs. per generation), this complex and spreading relative rate of growth cycle of bad and useless behaviors (that I call “behavioral contagion”) can shift the socio/political demographics and power structure to the rapidly growing culture draining population. Unfortunately, this under-educated and under-achieving group will believe almost anything they are told by their political curators who promise them more free rewards contingent upon their continuing dependency and political patronage.

Put colloquially, how can any responsible political party compete with an opposing  “Santa Clause” political party?

The cultural draining population is generally under-educated in reading, writing, math, science, history and economics, etc., and they have been taught by their families and their government to remain dependent upon freely given rewards. Unfortunately, they are sub-culturally blinded to the long-term very aversive outcomes of their actions for themselves and for the socioculture at-large.  

Why would any psychologically informed person expect otherwise?

The political outcome for a voting Representative Republic such as America, or any other form of democracy, will be that increasing numbers of culture drainers will vote increasing numbers of their intelligent, but devious (even sociopathic), political curators into office. As a result, these political curators are in a position to take more from the culture sustaining wealth-makers to give to the drainers who, as a result, will certainly vote to keep them in power.

This culture draining/progressive-socialist-communist dance of sociocultural death is ongoing in America and elsewhere. To make matters worse, more responsible opposing political parties are induced to adopt more and more of their culture-draining political opponent’s behaviors in order to ever hope to compete with them.

Over-time the productivity of the culture-sustaining population will be overwhelmed due to their continuing political, social and financial losses.

Additionally, it is the progressive/socialist tendency of states to grow massive and inefficient bureaucracies and to impose regulations upon all aspects of the societies, as they strive for increased control. These inefficiencies further reduce the personal liberties accorded culture sustaining individuals and unavoidably reduce the quality of their lives. Also, the bloating progressive/socialist governments normally blindly impose even more of its controls and regulations upon businesses, further damaging its own economy. All of this stresses the entire population and stokes more bad behavioral contagion and the spread of psychopathology and other maladaptive behaviors within the general population.

The financial and social costs of escalating bad behavioral contagion catalyzes this  self-feeding population/governmental vicious cycle and accelerates the rate of sociocultural decline.

How can you not see this happening in America as you read this blog?

Of course there must be a mathematical end to this form of social, political and economic self-destructive, self-feeding cultural behavior pattern. When the money runs out, there will be hell-to-pay in the form of economic collapse and social upheaval. At that point in a culture’s decline, the government “is justified” in imposing even harsher controls on the population’s behaviors, as well as the various agencies and institutions and the stage is set for a shift to a more totalitarian government.

The following is only the most recent example of what I am trying to illustrate.

http://www.newsobserver.com/news/nation-world/national/article103336577.html

Historically, great cultures have shown indications of decline after around 200-250 years of life. Once the chain of events described here are well-under-way, experts note that no culture has been able to recover.

Reversing these trends will be the greatest challenge America has ever faced.

Wake-up America!

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D.,  2/15/14; Revised 9/23/16

 


%d bloggers like this: