Peek a Boo I Can’t See You

I was brought up, in the family as at school, to question and to seek sources when forming an opinon.

Relatively easy in those days where librarians could advise further reading and the interlibrary loan service would provide the book you needed within one week – long before AI held sway. And it was the book itself, not a propagandised bastardisation of the author’s work which met with governmental approval.

And we did have proper governments….not the bought handmaidens of international business…..and a diverse press to stimulate debate.

There was, as always, a strong spirit of conformism. You tended to do what your family did, or what was deemed acceptable in your stratum of society, but mavericks were just that, mavericks, not demonised as threats to the established order.

I remember people being not very interested in politics, but decidedly interested in the world around them. Hard not to be in the Cold War period aligning one block of powers against another, but luckily with leaders who had undergone wars and knew that they did not want them repeated, whatever the sabre rattling for domestic consumption.

Fast forward to today.

Increasingly on the social media I come across people who say that they no longer listen to the news, have no interest in current affairs or politics…’it is all so depressing’. They cannot cope with it all.

Forgive me – or not – , but I think it is their duty to cope with it.

Hobbes claimed that a sovereign with absolute power gave true protection to the subjects who had given up their liberties to obtain it, and criticism was unjustified.

“he that complaineth of injury from his sovereign complaineth that whereof he himself is the author, and therefore ought not to accuse any man but himself, no nor himself of injury because to do injury to one’s self is impossible.’

Very much the French understanding of the social contract by which the government – the state – embodies the will of the people…and God help the person who decides that it does not.

For Hobbes the state of nature preceeding such a surrender is the negation of civiliation…thus the quote the life would have been ‘nasty, brutish and short’.

Locke had another view of the social contract. To preserve his liberty both in person and possession, the individual surrendered to the power of the state…but only insofar as the state protected both. Should the state overstep the mark then the citizen had the right to oppose it…to revolt.

But do we have Hobbes and Locke to guide us these days…or even J.S. Mills?

No. We have Twitter, Facebook, and a press with one voice, dependent on government subsidies to survive.

So, for those with their heads in the sand, never mind your own demise, think of the lives of your children and grandchildren…and side with Locke.

.

26 thoughts on “Peek a Boo I Can’t See You”

  1. I wonder how many of today’s school teachers know who Locke was.
    Just because I wondered…I typed Locke into Google. Now, many people, finding nothing, would shrug and move on.
    But if I type John Locke quite a list pops up to take me further. I didn’t even have to add that he was a philosopher.
    I do get cross with people who comment on a post, asking “who or what is this? ” Good grief!, you’re sitting at a computer that can give an answer before you could reach your encyclopaedia from the shelf!
    Oh! You can also find Thomas Hobbes via Google. Saves me cluttering Helen’s page!

    1. I’d prefer it if they knew more about Locke and less about Critical Race Theory.
      I would prefer too that they gave the kids the tools to read,to write and to calculate with ease instead of dishing out society’s latest platitudes as they seem to have been doing for years now.
      How any educated society can swallow ‘following the science’ is beyond me….how can there be ‘a’ science? After all phlogiston was once ‘the science’ in some quarters…and Gsalileo was certainly not following ‘the science’.

  2. My simplistic explanation (generally to people who have long-since ceased to listen to anyone, and especially to me) is that a government is there to keep the lights on, the taps flowing, the streets in good repair and the hospitals and OAP homes run well and run for all, not to tell us how to live. The sound of human eyes glazing over is deafening, and has been for some decades (even though the problem is centuries old).

    1. Well, today’s lot can’t manage any of those tasks – and nobody holds them accountable either. What do people think they pay taxes for? Piss ups in Downing Street, million pound contracts dished out to wide boys, gross negligence manslaughter of the elderly in care homes….and people sit there, unmoved. Education down the drain, health services down the tubes and still people push any consciousness of it away.

  3. Hi. Our cable TV system brings us a network calked France24. It’s based in Paris. They cover stories and countries that receive little or no attention by USA-based media. They also carry the major events that everyone reports on. Have you seen France24? I think it can be watched on computers, not just on TV.

    1. Yes, I do see it, though i have to admit to being happier reading something than watching it, so I have a variety of news fodder from different countries….always interesting to see what any one society thinks important – or, more accurately, what the owners and advertisers think important.

  4. The gist of what you are saying appears to be that citizens (subjects in the UK) ought to take responsibility for their actions. They ought to take part in political debate, they ought to make their voice heard!
    Tsk! They rarely do that!
    Emotional responses to half truths and lies has allowed a liar and his cronies to take control.
    The press on his side, big business, often in USA or Russia, paying for this, and the majority of the population under a collective lie, a dream, a vision they wish to keep and do not wish to see unravel.

    I told you the excesses of liberalism would bring judgement.

    1. And you were right.
      People seem unable to assess their own situation whether from lack of the ability to reason or from unwillingness to accept reality and the result is that they have governments living off their backs and doing nothing for them or their children.

  5. Hi Helen, I know I’m an ‘Impossibilist’ old fart for believing that what the SPGB stands for is an un-realisable (due to climatic time constraints) Utopian dream, but it doesn’t, I think, detract from the sweetness of that dream. Here’s the ‘Object and Declaration of Principles’ – if you think it inappropriate I would not be offended if you took it down. Warmest best to you guys.

    This declaration is the basis of our organisation and, because it is also an important historical document dating from the formation of the party in 1904, its original language has been retained. A more detailed version including explanations of what the Object and each Principle mean to us is on the website here.
    Object
    The establishment of a system of society based upon the common ownership and democratic control of the means and instruments for producing and distributing wealth by and in the interest of the whole community.
    Declaration of Principles
    The Socialist Party of Great Britain holds:
    1: That society as at present constituted is based upon the ownership of the means of living (i.e., land, factories, railways, etc.) by the capitalist or master class, and the consequent enslavement of the working class, by whose labour alone wealth is produced.
    2: That in society, therefore, there is an antagonism of interests, manifesting itself as a class struggle between those who possess but do not produce and those who produce but do not possess.
    3: That this antagonism can be abolished only by the emancipation of the working class from the domination of the master class, by the conversion into the common property of society of the means of production and distribution, and their democratic control by the whole people.
    4: That as in the order of social evolution the working class is the last class to achieve its freedom, the emancipation of the working class will involve the emancipation of all mankind, without distinction of race or sex.
    5: That this emancipation must be the work of the working class itself.
    6: That as the machinery of government, including the armed forces of the nation, exists only to conserve the monopoly by the capitalist class of the wealth taken from the workers, the working class must organize consciously and politically for the conquest of the powers of government, national and local, in order that this machinery, including these forces, may be converted from an instrument of oppression into the agent of emancipation and the overthrow of privilege, aristocratic and plutocratic.
    7: That as all political parties are but the expression of class interests, and as the interest of the working class is diametrically opposed to the interests of all sections of the master class, the party seeking working class emancipation must be hostile to every other party.
    8: The Socialist Party of Great Britain, therefore, enters the field of political action determined to wage war against all other political parties, whether alleged labour or avowedly capitalist, and calls upon the members of the working class of this country to muster under its banner to the end that a speedy termination may be wrought to the system which deprives them of the fruits of their labour, and that poverty may give place to comfort, privilege to equality, and slavery to freedom.

  6. It’s quite astounding that people have lost the ability to stay properly informed, too often saying it’s either too depressing (oh you poor pampered baby) or they don’t have time to look beyond a nano second of info from FB, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, etc. (of which they spend hours being entertained). It really cheeses me off. Without taking some accountability, they can easily lose the privilege and responsibility for being a fully functioning adult in society. 🤬

    1. We have presidential elections here…..a low turnout and people who just do not care how they are governed and in the interests of whom.
      There’s an old rhyme which is appropriate here
      Don’t care was made to care
      Don’t care was hung
      Don’t care was put in a pot
      And boiled ’til he was done.
      And this is what is happening…..a hollowing out of the middle class, the loss of small and medium businesses, the decline in eduction…because the ‘don’t cares’ wonlt change their ways until they find they can’t escape from the pot.

  7. You covered the problem with the contents of the pot. We may change minds, Helen, bit very few. I am happy to leave the future to my children, one of whom cares. It’s how I raised them; I hope something stuck.

  8. Hello Helen, an interesting point. My opinions about the matter are in flux. I have been meaning to drop you a line for ages, but the more I resolve to stay away from the computer, the harder it gets to write to anyone. I think I still have your email address though! So maybe I can put my thoughts in that. They will probably look rather half baked when written down.

  9. There is talk that by the end of this year we might get a decent internet connection, it will be fun to be able to watch videos.
    I hope that you are both well (or as well as can be expected). Take care,, very best wishes to you both Diane

    1. How many years has it been with your current system? It would be good to have a proper service.
      Fibre optic was supposed to be here two yars ago…..something else to blame onn the bug…

      Look after yourselves

  10. Rather than Thomas Hobbes and John Locke, I turn to Calvin and Hobbes for wise advice and guidance. Do you know Calvin and Hobbes? It’s a comic strip from years past. Calvin is a little boy and Hobbes is his stuffed tiger who comes to life in the boy’s imagination. Together they ponder the mysteries of civilization, modern life and relationships. An example:

    “Calvin: “It says here that ‘religion is the opiate of the masses.’…what do you suppose that means?”
    Television: “…it means that Karl Marx hadn’t seen anything yet”

    Nowadays I think we might want to substitute “social media” for “TV.” Somewhere along the line we allowed brain rot to fester and now wonder why critical thinking is in short supply. But I’ll just leave it there because as Calvin and Hobbes said,

    “I’ve been thinking Hobbes”
    “On a weekend?”
    “Well, it wasn’t on purpose”

    1. Tynecastle is a fan, so I see the strip from time to time…..
      It just stuns me how our society is now run by incompetents with complete impunity.
      The reply to the last paragraoh is
      Sometimes I just sits and thinks,
      Sometimes I just sits.

  11. Well put, Helen! As da Vinci said: There are three classes of people: Those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see. Or as Forrest Gump said: Stupid is as stupid does.

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