Jantelaw

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Pattern-chaser
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Re: Jantelaw

Post by Pattern-chaser » September 5th, 2020, 8:10 am

Marvin_Edwards wrote: ↑
September 4th, 2020, 10:42 am
Laws must serve all people equally. The Jantelaw codifies the opposite, where one group has all of the power and the other group is powerless. That's morally grotesque.
I must've misread the OP. It seems to me that there is only one group involved - the wider community - which has, as you say, all the power. It's the individual that is rendered powerless, yes? πŸ€”
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Re: Jantelaw

Post by Gertie » September 5th, 2020, 8:15 am

Wossname wrote: ↑
September 4th, 2020, 10:20 am
Angel Trismegistus wrote: ↑
September 4th, 2020, 5:43 am
Angel Trismegistus Β» Today, 10:43 am

Would you say your balance is achieved in any contemporary instance?
What connection do you see, if any, between "personal independence" and "overweening arrogance, greed and selfishness"?
What don't you like about conformity?

Some balance is achieved, and I think probably best achieved, in liberal democracies (though my knowledge of other cultures is limited, and my notions of what constitutes a good balance likely idiosyncratic and biased). But I would venture that a good balance makes for a society that can be a bit messy, argumentative, with disagreements, multiple points of view and a democratic system to thrash it out. People will likely demand a certain degree of independence and require elected officials deliver it. Too much social disagreement may be a problem though, or perhaps more accurately, reflect a problem. The current unrest in the USA may illustrate that. Does the BLM movement sit well within Jante Law? If protest brings about positive change then that will be good. We will wait and see.


Unbridled freedom may result in the tyranny of the powerful. And if you feel free to do whatever you wish, kill or oppress people, or be extraordinarily greedy or selfish perhaps, (or even celebrate successful examples of such), then this may discourage concern for others, which I do not see as a good thing. The USA seems a world leader in promoting ideas concerning the freedom of the individual. But it may be these ideas are most effectively promoted by the powerful who are doing nicely from the system. They will probably seek to define who β€œwe” are and what β€œwe” believe in. I think more appreciation for the welfare of others might be good, but I am arguing for balance, not the wholesale rejection of individual liberties. Democracies will make up their own minds if the powerful will allow and enable them to. If they won’t, then it may not be a true democracy.


Conformity is not in itself bad. Some is necessary or desirable. It would be problematic if we decide to drive on whichever side of the road we like on grounds of being independent. But if you feel compelled to be like everyone else, look like, act like, express the same values as everyone else, where is the scope for innovation, new ideas, fresh thinking etc.? Individuals and cultures often must adapt to survive. Given the pace of technological change that adaptability may be increasingly tested. But the ability to be flexible and adapt will likely be harder to do if thinking or the social system is too rigid.
Spot on.

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Re: Jantelaw

Post by Terrapin Station » September 5th, 2020, 9:48 am

Pattern-chaser wrote: ↑
September 5th, 2020, 8:10 am
Marvin_Edwards wrote: ↑
September 4th, 2020, 10:42 am
Laws must serve all people equally. The Jantelaw codifies the opposite, where one group has all of the power and the other group is powerless. That's morally grotesque.
I must've misread the OP. It seems to me that there is only one group involved - the wider community - which has, as you say, all the power. It's the individual that is rendered powerless, yes? πŸ€”
The way it's worded, you could easily read it as an "Us vs Them" thing.

For example, "You’re not to think you are as good as we are."

So whoever the "we" denotes, they're "x amount good" but YOU are not that good, you're less than that.

And so on.

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Re: Jantelaw

Post by Terrapin Station » September 5th, 2020, 9:51 am

(Oops, forgot to add:)

To avoid that, it should also say, "We're not to think we're as good as you are, either."

Or it could just say, "No one should think they're better than someone else."

Not that that solves the problems of it amounting to a "participation trophy culture"--"No one won the race; you all get a trophy," which has obvious problems, but it would at least avoid the connotation that it's putting the reader down relative to whatever group is issuing the edicts.

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Re: Jantelaw

Post by Belindi » September 5th, 2020, 11:46 am

Gertie wrote: ↑
September 5th, 2020, 8:15 am
Wossname wrote: ↑
September 4th, 2020, 10:20 am



Some balance is achieved, and I think probably best achieved, in liberal democracies (though my knowledge of other cultures is limited, and my notions of what constitutes a good balance likely idiosyncratic and biased). But I would venture that a good balance makes for a society that can be a bit messy, argumentative, with disagreements, multiple points of view and a democratic system to thrash it out. People will likely demand a certain degree of independence and require elected officials deliver it. Too much social disagreement may be a problem though, or perhaps more accurately, reflect a problem. The current unrest in the USA may illustrate that. Does the BLM movement sit well within Jante Law? If protest brings about positive change then that will be good. We will wait and see.


Unbridled freedom may result in the tyranny of the powerful. And if you feel free to do whatever you wish, kill or oppress people, or be extraordinarily greedy or selfish perhaps, (or even celebrate successful examples of such), then this may discourage concern for others, which I do not see as a good thing. The USA seems a world leader in promoting ideas concerning the freedom of the individual. But it may be these ideas are most effectively promoted by the powerful who are doing nicely from the system. They will probably seek to define who β€œwe” are and what β€œwe” believe in. I think more appreciation for the welfare of others might be good, but I am arguing for balance, not the wholesale rejection of individual liberties. Democracies will make up their own minds if the powerful will allow and enable them to. If they won’t, then it may not be a true democracy.


Conformity is not in itself bad. Some is necessary or desirable. It would be problematic if we decide to drive on whichever side of the road we like on grounds of being independent. But if you feel compelled to be like everyone else, look like, act like, express the same values as everyone else, where is the scope for innovation, new ideas, fresh thinking etc.? Individuals and cultures often must adapt to survive. Given the pace of technological change that adaptability may be increasingly tested. But the ability to be flexible and adapt will likely be harder to do if thinking or the social system is too rigid.
Spot on.
I agree with Gertie and Sculptor that Wossname is spot on.
When I said I disagree with Jantelaw because individuals should be responsible for their decisions I meant a thinker has to take pride in the integrity of her own thinking. She has to confront bad ideas. She may on occasion have to actively contend like for instance Extinction Rebellion people contend.

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Re: Jantelaw

Post by Gertie » September 5th, 2020, 1:12 pm

Belindi wrote: ↑
September 5th, 2020, 11:46 am
Gertie wrote: ↑
September 5th, 2020, 8:15 am


Spot on.
I agree with Gertie and Sculptor that Wossname is spot on.
When I said I disagree with Jantelaw because individuals should be responsible for their decisions I meant a thinker has to take pride in the integrity of her own thinking. She has to confront bad ideas. She may on occasion have to actively contend like for instance Extinction Rebellion people contend.
You have to bear in mind this is taken from a satirical book, it's presumably a parody of an element of the writer's culture, and the 'commandments' read like a mickey take to me. Reminded me of 'everso 'umble' Uriah Heep. Satire can bite tho, and make serious points, and you're giving a good example of where making a virtue of self-abnegation in the service of the greater good of the collective fails.

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Re: Jantelaw

Post by Marvin_Edwards » September 5th, 2020, 3:05 pm

Pattern-chaser wrote: ↑
September 5th, 2020, 8:10 am
Marvin_Edwards wrote: ↑
September 4th, 2020, 10:42 am
Laws must serve all people equally. The Jantelaw codifies the opposite, where one group has all of the power and the other group is powerless. That's morally grotesque.
I must've misread the OP. It seems to me that there is only one group involved - the wider community - which has, as you say, all the power. It's the individual that is rendered powerless, yes? πŸ€”
No. The majority would have no time or interest in ganging up on just one person. It is a question of one group exercising power over another. And a minority may acquire sufficient resources to govern a majority, and use them for its own ends.

A justice system acts upon one individual at a time, but is actually concerned with controlling the behavior of a class of people, those who break the law. But even a justice system can be limited in its power by legislatures who control law.

Another grotesque issue with Jante law is that its "commandments" are mentally invasive, dealing with what people are allowed to think. Most of them begin with "You are not allowed to think that...". It opens the door to mental manipulation via brain washing techniques as in "The Manchurian Candidate". And, of course, public opinion was manipulated in both communist Russia and communist China by iron-fist control of the press and deliberate propaganda campaigns.

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Re: Jantelaw

Post by Pattern-chaser » September 6th, 2020, 7:12 am

Pattern-chaser wrote: ↑
September 5th, 2020, 8:10 am
I must've misread the OP. It seems to me that there is only one group involved - the wider community - which has, as you say, all the power. It's the individual that is rendered powerless, yes? πŸ€”

Marvin_Edwards wrote: ↑
September 5th, 2020, 3:05 pm
No. The majority would have no time or interest in ganging up on just one person. It is a question of one group exercising power over another.

The OP makes no mention of this. It's apparently about the political tension between the individual and the community:

Angel Trismegistus wrote: ↑
September 4th, 2020, 2:22 pm
To my mind Jantelaw is about humility, and the question raised in the OP is whether individualism or collectivism is the more philosophically cogent means to that end.

This is a core issue in politics. And, to my mind, it can only be addressed pragmatically. If an individual comes into conflict with the community, the individual will lose, by sheer force of numbers. Therefore any political system should acknowledge the superior power and influence of the community. But to avoid extremism, it should also seek to constrain the individual only when necessary. I see this as the duty of the community. To suppress the individual is damaging to the community, and should only take place when there is no alternative. Nevertheless, the community rules, so I see it as a bit silly to champion individualism over community-ism. Libertarianism is just a synonym for individualism, a pointless pursuit, IMO, as the individual can never triumph over the community. An individual could oppose the community only by recruiting many other members of the community to support them, at which point the issue is no longer about the individual vs. the community.

Isn't the "question of one group exercising power over another" just off-topic here?
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Re: Jantelaw

Post by Marvin_Edwards » September 6th, 2020, 2:39 pm

Pattern-chaser wrote: ↑
September 6th, 2020, 7:12 am
Pattern-chaser wrote: ↑
September 5th, 2020, 8:10 am
I must've misread the OP. It seems to me that there is only one group involved - the wider community - which has, as you say, all the power. It's the individual that is rendered powerless, yes? πŸ€”

Marvin_Edwards wrote: ↑
September 5th, 2020, 3:05 pm
No. The majority would have no time or interest in ganging up on just one person. It is a question of one group exercising power over another.

The OP makes no mention of this. It's apparently about the political tension between the individual and the community:

Angel Trismegistus wrote: ↑
September 4th, 2020, 2:22 pm
To my mind Jantelaw is about humility, and the question raised in the OP is whether individualism or collectivism is the more philosophically cogent means to that end.

This is a core issue in politics. And, to my mind, it can only be addressed pragmatically. If an individual comes into conflict with the community, the individual will lose, by sheer force of numbers. Therefore any political system should acknowledge the superior power and influence of the community. But to avoid extremism, it should also seek to constrain the individual only when necessary. I see this as the duty of the community. To suppress the individual is damaging to the community, and should only take place when there is no alternative. Nevertheless, the community rules, so I see it as a bit silly to champion individualism over community-ism. Libertarianism is just a synonym for individualism, a pointless pursuit, IMO, as the individual can never triumph over the community. An individual could oppose the community only by recruiting many other members of the community to support them, at which point the issue is no longer about the individual vs. the community.

Isn't the "question of one group exercising power over another" just off-topic here?
The community governs only by the consent of the individual.

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Re: Jantelaw

Post by Sculptor1 » September 7th, 2020, 12:39 pm

Marvin_Edwards wrote: ↑
September 6th, 2020, 2:39 pm
Pattern-chaser wrote: ↑
September 6th, 2020, 7:12 am







The OP makes no mention of this. It's apparently about the political tension between the individual and the community:





This is a core issue in politics. And, to my mind, it can only be addressed pragmatically. If an individual comes into conflict with the community, the individual will lose, by sheer force of numbers. Therefore any political system should acknowledge the superior power and influence of the community. But to avoid extremism, it should also seek to constrain the individual only when necessary. I see this as the duty of the community. To suppress the individual is damaging to the community, and should only take place when there is no alternative. Nevertheless, the community rules, so I see it as a bit silly to champion individualism over community-ism. Libertarianism is just a synonym for individualism, a pointless pursuit, IMO, as the individual can never triumph over the community. An individual could oppose the community only by recruiting many other members of the community to support them, at which point the issue is no longer about the individual vs. the community.

Isn't the "question of one group exercising power over another" just off-topic here?
The community governs only by the consent of the individual.
Not really.
It's more like individuals govern by consent of the masses. But that those individuals are capable of manufacturing as much consent as they can afford to buy.
The governing usually involves a series of misdirections whereby the masses think they have something to do with offering consent whereas in fact they are not capable of contributing anything.

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Re: Jantelaw

Post by Ecurb » September 8th, 2020, 11:15 am

Sculptor1 wrote: ↑
September 7th, 2020, 12:39 pm


Not really.
It's more like individuals govern by consent of the masses. But that those individuals are capable of manufacturing as much consent as they can afford to buy.
The governing usually involves a series of misdirections whereby the masses think they have something to do with offering consent whereas in fact they are not capable of contributing anything.
Those poor, misguided "masses"! Doubtless Sculptor thinks that he is uncorrupted by those "misdirections" that confuse the befuddled hoi palloi. But why should he be immune? Why is he better than everyone else? Wouldn't his above comments be contemned by Jante law?

Here in the U.S. Hillary Clinton spent more than twice as much as Donald Trump in the last Presidential election. But she was unable to "buy" the consent of the public. Trump's "misdirections" (for which he is famous) don't confuse a befuddled public; instead, the befuddled public created Donald Trump. They wanted him (or someone like him). He didn't buy their loyalty; they bought his loyalty with their votes. The American tragedy is not that Donald Trump has misdirected the public -- it is that he serves the will of the public, and thus exposes it.

(Of course it's slightly more complicated than that. The populist will created Trump, but it is also fed and legitimized by him. )

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Re: Jantelaw

Post by Gertie » September 8th, 2020, 12:23 pm

Ecurb wrote: ↑
September 8th, 2020, 11:15 am
Sculptor1 wrote: ↑
September 7th, 2020, 12:39 pm


Not really.
It's more like individuals govern by consent of the masses. But that those individuals are capable of manufacturing as much consent as they can afford to buy.
The governing usually involves a series of misdirections whereby the masses think they have something to do with offering consent whereas in fact they are not capable of contributing anything.
Those poor, misguided "masses"! Doubtless Sculptor thinks that he is uncorrupted by those "misdirections" that confuse the befuddled hoi palloi. But why should he be immune? Why is he better than everyone else? Wouldn't his above comments be contemned by Jante law?

Here in the U.S. Hillary Clinton spent more than twice as much as Donald Trump in the last Presidential election. But she was unable to "buy" the consent of the public. Trump's "misdirections" (for which he is famous) don't confuse a befuddled public; instead, the befuddled public created Donald Trump. They wanted him (or someone like him). He didn't buy their loyalty; they bought his loyalty with their votes. The American tragedy is not that Donald Trump has misdirected the public -- it is that he serves the will of the public, and thus exposes it.

(Of course it's slightly more complicated than that. The populist will created Trump, but it is also fed and legitimized by him. )
I think you both make fair points here.


In the UK the Right effectively controls most of the media, the owners have shared vested interests with the Tories, and create the narratives which are mutually beneficial (the BBC used to be a bullwark against this, but now they've adopted the consumerist numbers chasing model to justify their existence, they mostly follow the pack). The way almost the entire media systematically and relentlessly destroyed the last Labour leader who was genuinely Leftist and a real threat to them, was shocking. If the media can do that for you, it gives you a huge advantage. And the notion of a free and fair democracy of course depends on what information the voters are given, and the spin put on that information. So Sculptor's got a point re the UK, it works a little differently here.


I don't know so much about the US, I think your media is more split? But I do think a channel like Fox tapped in to white and male resentment at the way racial and feminist analyses have filtered through into the zeitgeist in terms of goodies and baddies. And part of Trump's appeal is in re-validating their sense of self-esteem (make them great again), saying the things they'd come to think they'd be sneered at for saying, and offering himself as their Tribal Leader. That's how he bought their loyalty, he of course only really cares about himself. And as you say, they bought his loyalty with their votes. (Johnson by becoming Mr Brexit did something similar, and is a slightly more subtle mini Trump).

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Re: Jantelaw

Post by Sculptor1 » September 8th, 2020, 1:09 pm

Ecurb wrote: ↑
September 8th, 2020, 11:15 am
Sculptor1 wrote: ↑
September 7th, 2020, 12:39 pm


Not really.
It's more like individuals govern by consent of the masses. But that those individuals are capable of manufacturing as much consent as they can afford to buy.
The governing usually involves a series of misdirections whereby the masses think they have something to do with offering consent whereas in fact they are not capable of contributing anything.
Those poor, misguided "masses"! Doubtless Sculptor thinks that he is uncorrupted by those "misdirections" that confuse the befuddled hoi palloi. But why should he be immune? Why is he better than everyone else? Wouldn't his above comments be contemned by Jante law?
Straw man

Here in the U.S. Hillary Clinton spent more than twice as much as Donald Trump in the last Presidential election. But she was unable to "buy" the consent of the public.
Check your facts.
Hilary won 3 million more votes.
The sad facts of American politics is the between the two of them they miserably failed to appeal to the majority of people. Neither were relevant to the problems of most people. The series of consents already manufactured were employed by both candidates regardless of the minor differences between them.
Trump's "misdirections" (for which he is famous) don't confuse a befuddled public; instead, the befuddled public created Donald Trump. They wanted him (or someone like him). He didn't buy their loyalty; they bought his loyalty with their votes. The American tragedy is not that Donald Trump has misdirected the public -- it is that he serves the will of the public, and thus exposes it.
Trump modelled himself on any 20c tele-evangelist. And the great uneducated morons follow like sheep.
(Of course it's slightly more complicated than that. The populist will created Trump, but it is also fed and legitimized by him. )

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Re: Jantelaw

Post by Ecurb » September 8th, 2020, 2:32 pm

Sculptor1 wrote: ↑
September 8th, 2020, 1:09 pm

Check your facts.
Hilary won 3 million more votes.
The sad facts of American politics is the between the two of them they miserably failed to appeal to the majority of people. Neither were relevant to the problems of most people. The series of consents already manufactured were employed by both candidates regardless of the minor differences between them.

Trump modelled himself on any 20c tele-evangelist. And the great uneducated morons follow like sheep.
Since you don't appear to know how U.S. Presidential elections work, I can only assume you are one of the "great uneducated morons."

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Re: Jantelaw

Post by Ecurb » September 8th, 2020, 2:37 pm

Gertie wrote: ↑
September 8th, 2020, 12:23 pm


I don't know so much about the US, I think your media is more split? But I do think a channel like Fox tapped in to white and male resentment at the way racial and feminist analyses have filtered through into the zeitgeist in terms of goodies and baddies. And part of Trump's appeal is in re-validating their sense of self-esteem (make them great again), saying the things they'd come to think they'd be sneered at for saying, and offering himself as their Tribal Leader. That's how he bought their loyalty, he of course only really cares about himself. And as you say, they bought his loyalty with their votes. (Johnson by becoming Mr Brexit did something similar, and is a slightly more subtle mini Trump).
In the U.S. every major media outlet except Fox News despises Trump. They've become so biased against him, that conspiracy theories are no longer limited to the right wing, but proliferate on the left and mainstream, as well. (Of course the media have good reason to hate Trump. Aside from the fact that he's incompetent and crooked, he constantly baits, taunts and denigrates the news media. However, both the left and right are obsessed with Donald Trump, and the result is that he gets free publicity, although most of it is negative.)

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