The Definition of Power and how we should live

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Albert Tatlock
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Re: The Definition of Power and how we should live

Post by Albert Tatlock » January 13th, 2018, 8:24 am

Freudian Monkey wrote:
January 13th, 2018, 6:06 am
Power acquisition leads to happiness.
If you live the way you describe and it makes you happy then that's great for you. It wouldn't make me happy, being in a constant state of striving doesn't appeal to me at all.

Maxcady10001
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Re: The Definition of Power and how we should live

Post by Maxcady10001 » January 13th, 2018, 8:52 am

Belindi
In what sense can you control your thoughts? Are you referencing desires, the ability to not succumb to impulses? Because I don't think you mean that you control the thoughts that occur to you. It is demonstrable every moment of our existence that our thoughts are not subject to our manipulation.
True thoughts arise unbidden rather like I might hyperoxygenate or feel itchy unbidden. There are everyday remedies for unwanted thoughts. We can think of something else. This is what we do when we apply our minds to learning something difficult, or when we want to settle to sleep.

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Freudian Monkey
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Re: The Definition of Power and how we should live

Post by Freudian Monkey » January 14th, 2018, 12:43 am

Albert Tatlock wrote:
January 13th, 2018, 8:24 am
Freudian Monkey wrote:
January 13th, 2018, 6:06 am
Power acquisition leads to happiness.
If you live the way you describe and it makes you happy then that's great for you. It wouldn't make me happy, being in a constant state of striving doesn't appeal to me at all.
Can you please tell us what makes you happy? What do you see worth working towards?

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Freudian Monkey
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Re: The Definition of Power and how we should live

Post by Freudian Monkey » January 14th, 2018, 1:29 am

Belindi wrote:
January 13th, 2018, 8:21 am
You are a young man, aren't you? I am an old woman so I can see that society and disabilities limit the power that one can exert. Empowering each school child must include banning private education so that there is genuine equality of opportunity for each child.
I completely agree with you that society, disabilities, physical and mental health issues and many other things limit people's ability to obtain Power - and we should be fine with that. As Socrates said, the purpose of philosophy is to learn to accept the fact that one day you're going to die. There's a profound wisdom to that. As we grow older, we will gradually start to lose our Power. That is the nature of things. But this doesn't mean that we should give up trying to become better until our last breath. As Martin Luther said, that if he knew the world was going to end tomorrow, today he would plant a tree. We are in a process of becoming for as long as we live. Our beating heart is an indicator of Power.

I'm sure you understand that people can never be equal in terms of Power. Some people are born without eyes. How do you make them have the same opportunities that people with eyesight have? Even if you give them social advantages based on their disability, they will never be able to see and gain the natural Power eyesight brings. I'm not saying that this is how things ought to be, but this is the current state of things. Personally I even see beauty in diversity of our personal power limitations. I for instance have gone through multiple knee surgeries and will not be able to play football even though I would love to do so. This is a limitation in my Power and I have had to learn to accept it and work my way around it. We all have to try to make the best of our lives with the limitations we have. Think about Stephen Hawking, for instance. He lost his ability to to have any control over his body at a very young age, not been even able to speak for most of his life. His disease has put crippling limitations on his ability to obtain Power. Despite all these challenges he has been able to life a meaningful life.

I don't believe banning private education is the way to make children have equal opportunities. A better way perhaps is to get local politicians to allocate more funds to public education. Teachers actually take their responsibility as educators very seriously, but the lack of resources puts children in public schools into a worse position than children going to private schools. There's nothing wrong about some schools being better than others. We need to try to make poor quality schools better instead of making high quality schools worse.

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Freudian Monkey
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Re: The Definition of Power and how we should live

Post by Freudian Monkey » January 14th, 2018, 1:41 am

Maxcady10001 wrote:
January 13th, 2018, 8:01 am
You've mentioned before that you're a teacher student, what is it you teach? Also, is English your native language or have you just achieved C level proficiency on the common scale where C2 is the highest?
I can definitely relate to your story, as I am about to graduate with a bachelors in business but I honestly want nothing to do with it, its so boring.
English is not my native language and I apologize if this limits my ability to convey my thoughts sometimes. I have already graduated from University, but I'm undergoing further pedagogical studies since they're mandatory to work as a teacher in Finland. I will become a Finnish language and literary theory teacher. I should be finished with the studies by the end of this Spring. I'm also running a small business alongside my studies.

I'm sure you'll be fine whatever you decide to do, as long as you have the passion for improving yourself. :)

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Albert Tatlock
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Re: The Definition of Power and how we should live

Post by Albert Tatlock » January 14th, 2018, 1:53 am

Freudian Monkey wrote:
January 14th, 2018, 12:43 am
Can you please tell us what makes you happy?
I'm not a happy type, nothing is going to make me happy. I'm okay most of the time, not happy but not too miserable either. There are things that could make my life better and things that could make it worse but I'm never going to find myself living in a general state of happiness because I don't have that sort of character.
What do you see worth working towards?
Although I haven't practiced it myself I think there may be some truth in the belief that helping to improve the life of others is the most rewarding thing one can put one's efforts into.

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Re: The Definition of Power and how we should live

Post by Freudian Monkey » January 14th, 2018, 2:41 am

Maxcady10001 wrote:
January 12th, 2018, 11:02 am
Freudian Monkey

Why can't children be taught power acquisition within the moral boundaries of society? Because they would inevitably wander outside said boundaries. Once the need to exert themselves is felt, boundaries will be questioned. Also, consider the quotes from Nietzsche on the greatest men being criminals. He was not alone in thinking this. If you've read Crime and Punishment, one of Dostoevsky's central idea's is that all of the greatest men in history have been transgressors of the law. Consider Julius Caesar declaring himself dictator.
Once they are taught to exert themselves to capacity, they will see what they are trying to accomplish as greater than any law. I remember a quote from Nietzsche to be something along the lines of "why teach them to be masters when you want slaves?" I believe he was referencing what he believed to be the disappearance of privilege from education. However, it applies the same in teaching someone to crave power yet never disobey society.
I would like to take a more practical approach to this question. If children are taught about the nature of Power and power acquisition, they will also be taught about the consequences of breaking society's rules. People have always and will always break society's rules. The purpose of a society is to try to uphold these rules and to pass out punishments for those that break these rules. If someone becomes powerful enough to completely disregard the rule of law, it can be seen as the failure of the state to enact punishment. This happens all around the world all the time, so there's nothing particularly shocking about it. Societies usually have power structures to prevent disproportionate centralization of power - the media, the separation of legislative and executive branches of government etc.

Just to clarify, I don't believe children should be taught that their goal in Power acquisition should be to become dictators or similar "great men". As I mentioned before, dictatorship is a very power inefficient way to govern due to the discontent of the wast majority of the oppressed. Attempts to pursue ultimate control over shared power resources will always be met with furious opposition. This will only lead to war, famine and death. A much better and efficient way to build power resources is to become a respected leader who is in charge of shared resources. This way you still have almost unlimited power with very little opposition to your power.

Maxcady10001 wrote:
January 12th, 2018, 11:02 am
Also, maybe you could change the name from a theory of power to motivation, if you are going to teach them to be moral while trying to be their best. This is not any different from the many other ideas on how to be a good citizen, if you're just going to tell them to do their best within society. Perhaps you do not care so much about great human beings as you do good citizens?
I agree, perhaps I should. I don't really care how the concept is labelled. However motivational and self-help courses rarely have any relation to the study of ontology. I feel that what we have discussed here goes beyond "Eat your wedgies!" and "Remember to brush your teeth twice a day!". The realization of the nature of Power and how it affects our life has an important role in however you want to label this phenomenon we've been discussing about. This is why I slightly hesitate to simply call it a self-help method.

I believe I already replied to the question on morals above. I don't want to be too much restricted by Nietzsche's focus on the rule of the great men, since it's inefficient and leads to a society no one wants to live in.
Maxcady10001 wrote:
January 12th, 2018, 11:02 am
On morality not being equal, have you considered these societies may have contradicted themselves, in believing in an objective morality while subjugating their "lowers" to brutal work? Perhaps that is why society has become more equal through the notice of this contradiction. Everytime an aspect of society has been called unjust, it's been done in the name of some morality, and in a call for equal rights. These equal rights are usually advocated for because the subjugated people believe in the same objective morality as their oppressors, and they see themselves as equals through this morality.
Perhaps your right. But I'm not sure if we can still posit that the current Western ideals of equality can be seen as a universal standard of equality. Also, doesn't the fact that there's always being to be imbalances in power also mean that there's always going to be those who can be seen as oppressed?
Maxcady10001 wrote:
January 12th, 2018, 11:02 am
I think philosophy is the best place to discuss the nature of power, but in these other theories in pedagogy is there much regard for rules? I personally don't know. How explicit are they in speaking about the limits of power? Or is it just a kind of do your best thing?
They don't speak about limits of power or anything like that. They just outline an ideal power acquisition plan for children, which is pretty much what I was suggesting we should be doing. They also refer to studies that show how self-discipline and self-regulation are the keys to a happy life. This is their way of teaching that power acquisition (pursuit of control over internal and external reality) leads to happiness. They don't take any kind of stand on societal norms, laws or anything like that.

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Re: The Definition of Power and how we should live

Post by Maxcady10001 » January 14th, 2018, 2:45 am

I change my mind on the name change, the way you responded to albert tatlocks post seemed reasonable using the current name of your theory.

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Re: The Definition of Power and how we should live

Post by Freudian Monkey » January 14th, 2018, 2:49 am

Albert Tatlock wrote:
January 14th, 2018, 1:53 am

Although I haven't practiced it myself I think there may be some truth in the belief that helping to improve the life of others is the most rewarding thing one can put one's efforts into.
You do realize that Power is required in order to be able to help someone in any way?

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Re: The Definition of Power and how we should live

Post by Freudian Monkey » January 14th, 2018, 2:52 am

Freudian Monkey wrote:
January 14th, 2018, 2:49 am
Albert Tatlock wrote:
January 14th, 2018, 1:53 am

Although I haven't practiced it myself I think there may be some truth in the belief that helping to improve the life of others is the most rewarding thing one can put one's efforts into.
You do realize that Power is required in order to be able to help someone in any way?
Perhaps I should have rephrased this in a more polite manner? I didn't mean to be offensive in any way.

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Albert Tatlock
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Re: The Definition of Power and how we should live

Post by Albert Tatlock » January 14th, 2018, 2:58 am

Freudian Monkey wrote:
January 14th, 2018, 2:49 am
You do realize that Power is required in order to be able to help someone in any way?
We all already have enough power to help others, it's the will we are short of.

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Re: The Definition of Power and how we should live

Post by Belindi » January 14th, 2018, 6:18 am

Freudian Monkey, equality of opportunity in child education will never be perfect. As you point out some children are blind and so on.Equality of opportunity means additions of facilities that the individual child may require. Banning private education has the advantage of increasing the availability of specialisms to suit individuals across all income groups, and also removes the class barrier that divides children into them and us. Child- centred education which looks to the individual child is completely in harmony with the removal of privately funded education.

Removing private education also gives the professionals, the teachers, more power as the financial or religious backers lose their often ignorant influences.
We need to try to make poor quality schools better instead of making high quality schools worse.
This cannot be done while privately funded education exists. Privately funded educational establishments thrive upon and promote their own superiority for the sake, not of better learning, but for the sake of superiority itself whether religious or ruling class superiority. This world is a snobbish world (in this I agree with you) and its part of the job of educators to promote social mobility.

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Re: The Definition of Power and how we should live

Post by Freudian Monkey » January 14th, 2018, 7:29 am

Belindi wrote:
January 14th, 2018, 6:18 am
Freudian Monkey, equality of opportunity in child education will never be perfect. As you point out some children are blind and so on.Equality of opportunity means additions of facilities that the individual child may require. Banning private education has the advantage of increasing the availability of specialisms to suit individuals across all income groups, and also removes the class barrier that divides children into them and us. Child- centred education which looks to the individual child is completely in harmony with the removal of privately funded education.

Removing private education also gives the professionals, the teachers, more power as the financial or religious backers lose their former often ignorant influences.
We need to try to make poor quality schools better instead of making high quality schools worse.
This cannot be done while privately funded education exists. Privately funded educational establishments thrive upon and promote their own superiority for the sake, not of better learning, but for the sake of superiority itself whether religious or ruling class superiority. This world is a snobbish world (in this I agree with you) and its part of the job of educators to promote social mobility.
Thank you for your interesting reply Belindi. I completely agree with you about the need to provide equal opportunity to children regardless of their social status. In my country private schools are not seen as a large problem, even though they usually have higher barrier of entry and produce highly motivated and successful graduates. But as I said most Finns don't view private schools as a danger to equality since the level of our public schooling is comparatively high, so there's not a wide gap between the schools of rich kids and working class children. In order to have this kind of equality of opportunity we need to rather make the entire society more adhering to social values, which means a high progressive taxation, higher minimum wages, universal healthcare, free public university studies etc. This model is also known as the Welfare State. In the US Bernie Sanders has been a strong proponent of this model.

Your portrayal of private vs public schools might be relevant in the US (I honestly don't know), but it's not very applicable to Northern European nations. We have multiple different educational standards and different schools are based on different standards. However one school standard is not in any way better than the other. Alongside our standard high school we have an International Baccalaureate program and a Steiner school program, both of which are based on different teaching philosophies than our regular school curriculum. The term teaching philosophy is the key here. Steiner schools believe in engagement of the student as a complete person instead of a vessel that needs to be filled with knowledge. International Baccalaureate program has a higher focus on studying language through analyzing world literature, with basically no focus on studying grammar. These approaches are all different, but none of them are inherently better than the other. Private schools tend to hire highly qualified teachers, yes. But the answer to your equality question is to increase the quality of teacher studies in public universities instead of trying to ban private schools. In Finland all primary, secondary and high school teachers have master's degrees. Only 1 out of 10 applicants in accepted to a teacher study program, and the selection process is done exclusively based on prior academic performance and an entry exam. There are flaws in Finnish educational system, but overall it does a great job at providing equal opportunity for all students.

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Re: The Definition of Power and how we should live

Post by Belindi » January 14th, 2018, 3:54 pm

Freudian Monkey wrote:
In order to have this kind of equality of opportunity we need to rather make the entire society more adhering to social values, which means a high progressive taxation, higher minimum wages, universal healthcare, free public university studies etc. This model is also known as the Welfare State. In the US Bernie Sanders has been a strong proponent of this model.
I concur. I think that egalitarianism in child education is strongly linked to other aspects of welfare state in completely practical ways. For instance a child who comes from a home which is overcrowded, poor, noisy, cold,where there are few or no books, will be disadvantaged at school. Supporting egalitarianism in child education will unfortunately have to involve extra expenditure on alleviating ills of poverty. One of those recently highlighted in the UK is that some school teachers have themselves been buying breakfasts for disadvantaged kids in their classes. Bernie Sanders is the model of American hero.

I don't know about the US education system but that in the UK is traditionally imbued with social class differences, and the present Conservative government is trying to privatise both education and health.

Thanks for the interesting information about education in Finland. I will go back and read it again.
But as I said most Finns don't view private schools as a danger to equality since the level of our public schooling is comparatively high, so there's not a wide gap between the schools of rich kids and working class children.
I don't know about distributions of social classes in Finland, and would like to know more. I do notice that in one rural part of England where working class and more affluent children are geographically mixed the selected Grammar school children included a comparatively high proportion of working class children. By contrast in a town in the south of England where the population is predominantly affluent the selected Grammar school children include practically no working class children. My point is that the local demographic makes a difference to mal-effects of segregation, and in a mixed community the selection will not be so harmful. This again reflects upon the advantage to society as a whole and to individuals when there is a welfare state in which the class differential is diminished.

(PS English 'Grammar schools' are typically non-fee paying and are wholly supported by the state. However they do serve to illustrate the point that selection for a separate school from that of less advantaged children is bad for children and bad for society.)

I don't know how fee-paying schools are not a problem in Finland, despite the very high quality of your state schools. Human nature being as it is, would advantaged parents not pay for their children to get even better schooling than the non-fee-paying state sector? If Finnish state schools are of very high quality, why would any parent pay choose to pay school fees?

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Re: The Definition of Power and how we should live

Post by Dlaw » January 14th, 2018, 4:14 pm

Belindi wrote:
January 14th, 2018, 3:54 pm
I think that egalitarianism in child education is strongly linked to other aspects of welfare state in completely practical ways. For instance a child who comes from a home which is overcrowded, poor, noisy, cold,where there are few or no books, will be disadvantaged at school. Supporting egalitarianism in child education will unfortunately have to involve extra expenditure on alleviating ills of poverty. One of those recently highlighted in the UK is that some school teachers have themselves been buying breakfasts for disadvantaged kids in their classes. Bernie Sanders is the model of American hero.

I don't know about the US education system but that in the UK is traditionally imbued with social class differences, and the present Conservative government is trying to privatise both education and health.
Belindi, I have a child who just entered the US public school system and it's a little shocking. We live in a very affluent suburb of a very affluent city and yet the school cannot even serve lunch to the kids without two parent volunteers. It's unbelievable. School nurses are gone. Art teachers gone. Guidance counselors gone.

Enormously important roles in the school are filled by people who are paid from foundation grants or from donations to the Parent-Teacher Association.

Our playground is nothing but bare dirt - again, this is in a very affluent neighborhood of a very affluent city - because we parents have to raise the money to rebuild it ourselves.

As a practical matter, to be a good school a U.S. elementary school has to raise an average of about 1000 quid per student per year - this on top of all the taxes that fund the schools already.

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