Saturday, September 10, 2011

The problem with community support

by savit keawtavee

I had a discussion today with a social worker. It is apparent to me, though comes as no surprise to me, that the state of society is really in a poor state of intellectual development. I would expect a social worker to convey a great deal of skill in the performance of their task. I don't think this particular social worker is particularly bad; in fact I think he is a relatively healthy individual who has been poorly equipped for his task as a social worker. The problems that were apparent are:

1. False dichotomies: The tendency to engage in these 'blame games'. I fail to see how any person engaged in any endeavour can both or accept a position of blaming others without engaging in the process of problem solving. The problem of course is that the solution is supposed to be beyond us all. I will show that its not. In the future, I will call upon this individual in my community, and a number of others, to support my endeavours....with their agreement of course. The false dichotomies include capitalism vs socialism, conservatism vs liberalism, materialism vs idealism, normal vs pathological, etc. Many others. Society not democratic enough for you? Think again. This is democracy, hook line and its a sinker!
2. Compartmentalised education: This guy had the standard social worker education in the UK. He also had some education in philosophy, though he displayed and conceded that he had little understanding of economics, and was unable to integrate or reconcile his practical knowledge of psychology with epistemology. This problem of course is the result of post-modernist philosophy. In the old days, classical scientists learned a great many subjects before they launched into practice. They were often wealthy, and engaged in scientific research. Today, its a difficult culture and framework. People are more inclined to specialise. It is remarkable to me that people can spend a lifetime invested in a specialty, whilst I am able to spend a few months researching their topic, and ring roads around them as a 'generalist'. I'm not the first to highlight the problem of 'compartmentalised' thinking of academics, who really display little interest in solving problems because they can't envisage a system of values that would give them such efficacy. Instead they just pretend to offer service and retire early to some middle age 2nd career; usually far removed from the old one.
3. Normalised population: The problem with our communities is that we are dealing with a social from the perspective of moral relativism. What does that mean? It means that the people at the coal face have no capacity to diagnose or no accessibility to cases of degrading values. i.e. People who have problems are recognised too late. i.e. We wait until people are referred by a court or end up in prison before we recognise that they need support. This is pragmatism at its most tragic. Then we pretend that we are helping them by medicating them; with little causal explanation or understanding of their needs.
4. The political system which has people believing that it will solve their problems. They must believe; they keep paying taxes, and they keep voting for the incumbents. That must be an act of faith if I've ever seen one. Why do they do it? Why do they sanction the unconditional extortion which finances this system which destroys lives? They do it because they cannot conceive of a better system. If I said I have a comprehensive or systematic framework for solving their issues; do you think they would believe me? No. They are too tragic, and too sceptical. They want to believe that humanity has no prospect of being better; they want to believe that there is no solution. This is how your public servants; yes the social workers and school teachers at the coal face think. They damn you as parents! And they damn your kids. They are their for the money; they are materialists like yourself, and they do not believe there is a solution. Why are you financing them? Why are you not demanding that they be held accountable? Why are you allowing individual problems to become entrenched, inter-generational social problems? Do you think the same way?
5. The assumptions. Another big problem I find with people is their superficial understanding of the issues. The problem with how they reflect on these issues is that they basically blame or criticise certain vested interests, and without reflecting on the perspective of the person. i.e. There is a great deal of over-generalising; there is a huge absence of empathy; and there is a failure to think critically about their own value judgements, as well as others. Basically, this means that there is no ability to ground their thinking in problems. I have been doing this for 25years....and only now I am starting to write books about it....work in progress. We need more people to be critical thinkers. I suspect only 5% of scientists are critical thinkers. The global warming hypothesis will be proven to be a sham. You think so too, but that's just because you are cynical. Have you dissected the issues? If you don't understate the issues; look for debates by the counterparties. i.e. YouTube debates.
6. The anti-intellectualism evident in the system arises from a failure of mental health professionals and the self-improvement industry to offer a coherent theory of values.
7. The lack of a strategy: What is most concerning is the lack of a strategy to resolve these entrenched social problems. I have a strategy which I will slowly unfold. It will take time because it will take several years to prepare all the supporting intellectual content to support my program. I don't just have a 'school of thought' which integrates philosophy, psychology, economics, science, history, law, sociology, I have a strategy for developing or applying these themes to people's lives. You do not see the same in government. We are on the eve of an election in NZ. From John Key, we are getting very deceptive, highly contrived, very manipulative political spin. I suspect he is a very insecure man because he doesn't even have to. There is no competition in the Labour Party. He will win by default. Utter no contest. Logic would tell you that there ought to be thousands of people vying for this job; but the barriers to entry are so restrictive, the process so moribund, that the race reduces to two idiots. A detached idealist and an utter pragmatist. Listening to John Key, he speaks like a CEO who knows he will not be able to deliver upon his forecast. In fairness he does not know what he's doing, and he's inherited a great legacy of problems from his predecessors.
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Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com
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