[Paleopsych] bias, fascism

Michael Christopher anonymous_animus at yahoo.com
Sat Mar 19 21:48:20 UTC 2005

Lynn says to Stephen:
>>Or, maybe you are showing some sense of humor. 
Like the CBS memos: Fake but accurate?<<

--I have a question. Using fake memos is most
definitely a journalism faux pas and terribly
embarrassing. But the President also used forged memos
in making his case for the Iraq war. Why is one so
much worse than the other? Biased filtering of
information is bad no matter who does it, I would
think. Good reason to be skeptical of information that
confirms one's preconceptions about an issue. It's
easy to go on automatic and believe everything that
condemns someone you are convinced is evil, or to
automatically reject anything that undermines your
assumptions and loyalties.

Regarding the fascism thread: I think we might look at
the Stanford Prison Experiment, the Blue Eyes
experiment, and Milgram's experiment, and remember
that NOBODY is immune from the kind of abuses that
take over in a fascist climate. Humans typically are
very skeptical of one side in a polarity and overly
trusting in another. It may be hard-wired, and it
makes us susceptible to any authority that tells us
we're in danger and must trust its view of reality
over that of an enemy who must never be listened to or
taken at face value. It's not an American thing, not a
German thing, it's something all people, including
Europeans, Muslims and others who may see all evil in
America and none on their own side, must guard
against. Polarities distort behavior, on all sides,
and nobody is immune from having their mind hijacked
by herd perception. It's part of our evolutionary
heritage, and getting too proud of being uninfluenced
is a mistake, since pride exists on a different level
from the automatic, unconscious bias that creeps in
when one habitually takes one side in a conflict.

It would help if, rather than accusing America of
becoming a fascist state, we look at fascist
TENDENCIES, in cultures around the globe. Those
tendencies can exist in a culture that is democratic
and not overtly fascist in political structure. They
are found in any group that remains unconscious of its
own flaws while accusing other groups of being
irreparably flawed.


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