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Is Social Order Important?

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athena
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Is Social Order Important?

Post by athena » February 6th, 2019, 3:43 pm

This is my second attempt to discuss something I think is very important and I hope my form is improved. I am curious about how philosophical people think about the difference of the New World Order and the old world order. Part of my curiosity comes out the fact that philosophy has been a strictly male domain until just recently and I think there might be something missing in the fully male perspective. Like the importance of females in human societies.

Eisenhower's term for the New World Order is Military Industrial Complex. As we can see, this is a society with full employment of men and women and merit hiring that has nothing to do with family relationships.

The old world order was very much about family order. The class divisions of Europe and the occupations men could follow were very much about the family a person was born into. I am unaware of any significant difference between India's caste system and Europe's class system, except Europe became modernized sooner than India.

Those born into the upper classes having the most personal power, and more of this personal power than is held by individuals in the New World Order. There is less personal power in the New World Order because most things are controlled by policies, not individuals in the New World Order. Also, rarely did women hold power in the old world order, in contrast to the New World Order where gender is considered unimportant and hiring is a matter of merit.

In the old world order traditional women did not hold much power and were certainly denied political power, but they held a very important position in the family order of things and society as a whole. Their feminine role had a very significant social impact, that might be changing in the New World Order? Is this change best for humanity or could there be some human problems emerging from the change in how we order ourselves? Is socialism feminism, or will such concerns die when we get further from family values and more into economic values? Since Rome military men have taken care of their own but is this the same as assuring all children, disabled and the elderly get education, nutrition, and medical care?

Any thoughts about those comments?
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Re: Is Social Order Important?

Post by Alias » February 9th, 2019, 2:10 am

Yes. But it's not divided into categories "Old" and "New". These are just two examples of models on which societies might operate - in theory. In practice, none ever adhered to either.
athena wrote:
February 6th, 2019, 3:43 pm
Eisenhower's term for the New World Order is Military Industrial Complex. As we can see, this is a society with full employment of men and women and merit hiring that has nothing to do with family relationships.
That was a product of the industrial revolution and the full-blown capitalism of post WWII USA. (Americans tend to overdo everything.)
At that moment in history, families were taken for granted, even though the two wars had made considerable changes in family dynamics and the male-female ratio of the population. Nevertheless, the ideal in America in the decade after WWII was to have a bread-winning father and a stay-at-home mother. Hence the baby boom. Of course, the working class didn't all have that option, as they couldn't manage on one paycheque, and black people didn't have that option, as the women were far more employable as domestics than the men were as anything that paid a living wage. Farmers and small businesses, of course, still needed the labour of every family member over ten, and even so, didn't manage very well in the face of advancing mechanized agri-business.
The old world order was very much about family order.
In America? The old order was not very different from the new - only, the great depression left a lot of people unemployed and the war effort made work for them. It made work for men in the army and for women in the munitions factories. There was no deliberate philosophical shift - just a response to the demands of the economy.
The class divisions of Europe and the occupations men could follow were very much about the family a person was born into. I am unaware of any significant difference between India's caste system and Europe's class system, except Europe became modernized sooner than India.
India in 1930 and Europe in 1730 may have had commonalities. (Also very deep differences!) Post-industrial-revolution Europe is a different proposition entirely, and post WWI Europe is different again. Social organization and economics never took any cognizance of families. If a servant girl got pregnant by her employer's son, she'd be tossed out in the street to become a prostitute; if a peasant boy came to the city, he'd become a labourer; if an urban family wanted to survive, they might take piece-work where everyone down to age 5 contributed 6-12 hours a day; At 10, boys were big enough to go down in the mines and at 8, they might be too big for chimney-sweeping. For sure, any 13-year-old was suitable for domestic service; any 15-year-old could work in construction or retail; if you were a healthy young woman with a recent baby, you might be hired as a wet-nurse.
The political and financial elite didn't give a flying fig about anyone else's family.
Those born into the upper classes having the most personal power, and more of this personal power than is held by individuals in the New World Order. There is less personal power in the New World Order because most things are controlled by policies, not individuals in the New World Order.
Except individual with pots of money. That hasn't changed since 6000 BC.
Also, rarely did women hold power in the old world order, in contrast to the New World Order where gender is considered unimportant and hiring is a matter of merit.
Don't believe the backlash pamphlets! Women have made gains, but have not yet achieved parity in either power or wealth.
In the old world order traditional women did not hold much power and were certainly denied political power, but they held a very important position in the family order of things and society as a whole.
Well, it was legal to beat them into submission to their lords, and it's even been legal to fit them with metal gags so they couldn't talk https://www.thevintagenews.com/2019/01/ ... h-century/ and they're still often unheard.
In some societies, women were more respected than in others. Generally, in Christian era Europe and America, they were marginalized - yes, even in the management of family and home life. Their work, their time, their accomplishments, ideas and aspirations were all undervalued compared to men's. In the late 20th century, they made considerable progress toward equal representation - and suffered a good deal of reprisal.
Is socialism feminism,
No. But they're on the same side.
or will such concerns die when we get further from family values and more into economic values?
That's already happened.
Now, we may perhaps be on the first tentative steps toward rediscovering human values.

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Re: Is Social Order Important?

Post by GE Morton » February 11th, 2019, 12:25 am

Alias wrote:
February 9th, 2019, 2:10 am

Now, we may perhaps be on the first tentative steps toward rediscovering human values.
The term "human values" occurs often in political rhetoric (usually from the Left), but I've never seen it defined. It is an odd term, in that since all values are declared and assigned only by humans, the adjective seems superfluous. But presumably it is intended to distinguish certain values from others which are not "human." Could you define it?

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Re: Is Social Order Important?

Post by Belindi » February 11th, 2019, 7:06 am

I imagine that human values are underwritten by scientific discoveries about the genetic nature of the human. The cultural nature of the human is kaleidoscopic. I wish we could be aware of any anthropological regularity in human nature. But I don't think there is any cultural regularity.I used to think that reciprocity was a cultural regularity. I used to think that hospitality towards strangers was a cultural regularity.

The only candidate for cultural regularity is Axial Age morality which at least has been durable and at present is widespread.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog ... -axial-age

"What is new about this age, in all...[affected] areas of the world," wrote the German philosopher and psychiatrist Karl Jaspers, "is that man becomes conscious of Being as a whole, of himself and his limitations." Jaspers further noted: "Measured against the lucid humanity of the Axial Period, a strange veil seems to lie over the most ancient cultures preceding it, as though man had not yet really come to himself."

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Re: Is Social Order Important?

Post by Burning ghost » February 11th, 2019, 10:25 am

Athena -

I’d love to comment but not really sure what you’re saying/asking? You seem to have woudn together several different subjects and focused on none of them enough to warrant a succinct response.

Are you asking what kind of social order is better? What are your points about females in society and why does it matter? What is the thrust behind this? Class, gender, family and economics have all been mentioned. Where do you want us focus?

The whole “New World Order” is opposed to what exactly? At a glance it appears to mean “human civilization” - as in about 6000 years old? Is that the scale we’re talking here? I can get onboard with that, but I’m guessing you’re thnking mor “short-term” (the last couple of hundred years and the onset of nataionalism and the industrial revolution? Yet you mention ancient Rome too?
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Re: Is Social Order Important?

Post by GE Morton » February 11th, 2019, 1:58 pm

Belindi wrote:
February 11th, 2019, 7:06 am
I imagine that human values are underwritten by scientific discoveries about the genetic nature of the human.
Does that imply that there were no human values prior to the development of genetics and related sciences?

What I'm wondering, though, is, What are these "human values," and, What distinguishes them from other categories of values?
The only candidate for cultural regularity is Axial Age morality which at least has been durable and at present is widespread.
The (so-called) Axial Age does not entail any particular morality, but it does place constraints on possible moralities. A similar thesis, BTW, was propounded decades ago by Julian Jaynes, in The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. The root explanation for the transformation of human consciousness explored in both theories is (I've argued) simply the transformation of the structure of human societies forced by the development of agriculture and the ensuing development of civilization (societies characterized by cities).

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Re: Is Social Order Important?

Post by Belindi » February 11th, 2019, 7:24 pm

GE Morton wrote:
February 11th, 2019, 1:58 pm
Belindi wrote:
February 11th, 2019, 7:06 am
I imagine that human values are underwritten by scientific discoveries about the genetic nature of the human.
Does that imply that there were no human values prior to the development of genetics and related sciences?

What I'm wondering, though, is, What are these "human values," and, What distinguishes them from other categories of values?
The only candidate for cultural regularity is Axial Age morality which at least has been durable and at present is widespread.
The (so-called) Axial Age does not entail any particular morality, but it does place constraints on possible moralities. A similar thesis, BTW, was propounded decades ago by Julian Jaynes, in The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. The root explanation for the transformation of human consciousness explored in both theories is (I've argued) simply the transformation of the structure of human societies forced by the development of agriculture and the ensuing development of civilization (societies characterized by cities).
I'm assuming that we seek an objective basis for evaluating human values throughout recorded history. Post enlightenment science despite capitalism's weight on its research and development possibilities is as objective as we can foresee.

Yes, all moral codes are responses to a society's means of subsistence and economic necessities. Kinship structures, traditional means of social control, and foreign cultural influences through trade links and colonisation all feed into moral codes and their associated mythologies. It's remarkable that between 800 and 300 BC there was the sort of simultaneous and geographically spread occurrence of cities and the moral codes that make salient individual consciousness/conscience . That may seem a really long duration, those five hundred years , however when one remembers that there was human presence on Earth for millennia previously the five hundred years is by comparison a short duration.

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Re: Is Social Order Important?

Post by Alias » February 11th, 2019, 8:07 pm

GE Morton wrote:
February 11th, 2019, 12:25 am
The term "human values" occurs often in political rhetoric (usually from the Left), but I've never seen it defined.
As a left-leaning political term, I think it's intended to counter the right's "family values" - which carries the freight of Christian morality and patriarchal power. It's meant to be more inclusive: to value and represent all humans.
But presumably it is intended to distinguish certain values from others which are not "human." Could you define it?
I don't think I'm qualified to impose a single definition. I use it only to distinguish value systems centered on the welfare of citizens from those centered on the interests of business or military might and national glory or the dictates of a deity.
I wouldn't normally use it as glibly as this, but that Athena already had.
I do believe may have begun to become aware that the direction civilization has been taking over the last couple of millennia is not conducive to individual happiness, nor community welfare, nor the general health of the species. Of any species. There are small, sometimes indecisive movements toward slower, cleaner, more intimate ways of living.
What specific values each community prioritizes will be a product of their social contract, according to the lights of each group of citizens.

The really big question is how fast those movements can coalesce, as compared to how fast the present world order unravels.

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Re: Is Social Order Important?

Post by GE Morton » February 12th, 2019, 2:18 pm

Alias wrote:
February 11th, 2019, 8:07 pm

As a left-leaning political term, I think it's intended to counter the right's "family values" - which carries the freight of Christian morality and patriarchal power. It's meant to be more inclusive: to value and represent all humans.
Aren't Christian morality and patriarchy conceived to value and be applicable to all humans?
I don't think I'm qualified to impose a single definition. I use it only to distinguish value systems centered on the welfare of citizens from those centered on the interests of business or military might and national glory or the dictates of a deity.
Aren't businesses (i.e., the people who own them, work in them, use their products) citizens?
I do believe may have begun to become aware that the direction civilization has been taking over the last couple of millennia is not conducive to individual happiness, nor community welfare, nor the general health of the species.
Really? By all objective criteria that claim is obviously false. People are healthier today than they have ever been; they live longer than they ever have; they are far more knowledgeable about the world around them than anyone alive 2000 years ago; they have far more leisure time and many more means and opportunities to enjoy it than they ever have --- to travel, to pursue arts and avocations, to find friends and mates. To the extent human welfare is dependent upon those variables it has obviously improved, enormously, over the last two millennia, and especially over the last two centuries.

Happiness, of course, is a fickle and subjective condition, a state of mind. If people today are not happier than they were two millennia ago, it is surely not because their material circumstances are worse. But you suggest a reason here:
There are small, sometimes indecisive movements toward slower, cleaner, more intimate ways of living.
"More intimate" is the key. The unhappiness you mention is the anomie intrinsic to civilized societies, lamented by philosophers for at least a century.

Civilized societies are not intimate, and never can be. They are societies of strangers, groups of millions who have no natural bonds, no shared personal histories, no common goals or interests, and no overriding concern for one another's welfare. They are randomly assembled groups of unrelated, independent, autonomous individuals, each with his or her own interests, goals, beliefs, and hierarchies of values who happen, by accident of birth, to occupy a common territory.

The trouble with "human values" (and "family values" as well) is that the term "value" is being used as a synonym for a moral principle, or precept, rather than for the perceived worth of something. Values, strictly speaking, are intrinsically subjective and relative to the valuer; they are not subject to rational scrutiny or second-guessing. But moral principles must be rationally defensible. So the advocate of "human values" --- these principles and precepts --- has an obligation to articulate and defend them.

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Re: Is Social Order Important?

Post by Alias » February 12th, 2019, 4:26 pm

GE Morton wrote:
February 12th, 2019, 2:18 pm
Aren't Christian morality and patriarchy conceived to value and be applicable to all humans?
Applicable, yes - so is a whip - with one human being at each end.
Aren't businesses (i.e., the people who own them, work in them, use their products) citizens?
Not always of the same country. In any case, what's good for the boss is bad for the worker, in whatever country.
You know this, so why pick on me for trying to answer your question?
[direction of civilization not conducive to the welfare of species]
By all objective criteria that claim is obviously false.
Yours are objective; mine are subjective? Okay. Explain it to the civil war, famine, pandemic or tsunami that takes you out.
If people today are not happier than they were two millennia ago, it is surely not because their material circumstances are worse.
I very much doubt anyone in ancient Athens cried himself to sleep yearning for a transatlantic flight or a cellphone.
The trouble with "human values" (and "family values" as well) is that the term "value" is being used as a synonym for a moral principle, or precept, rather than for the perceived worth of something.
Worth is not perceived. It is assigned to things according one's need/desire for those things. Moral precepts are based on that valuation.
But moral principles must be rationally defensible.
Everything humans can think up, humans can rationalize.
So the advocate of "human values" --- these principles and precepts --- has an obligation to articulate and defend them.
Who imposes this obligation?

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Re: Is Social Order Important?

Post by GE Morton » February 12th, 2019, 8:06 pm

Alias wrote:
February 12th, 2019, 4:26 pm

In any case, what's good for the boss is bad for the worker, in whatever country.
Oh, surely not. As long as the business remains healthy --- i.e., making a profit --- workers have an income, job security and opportunities for raises and promotions. When it ceases making a profit they become unemployed. When a business begins losing money its workers worry; they don't cheer. Your claim is nonsense.
Yours are objective; mine are subjective? Okay. Explain it to the civil war, famine, pandemic or tsunami that takes you out.
Well, that is a strange response. Are you suggesting that ancient Greeks were less susceptible to wars, famines, natural disasters than modern (say) Americans?
I very much doubt anyone in ancient Athens cried himself to sleep yearning for a transatlantic flight or a cellphone.
Do you doubt that Plato or Euclid given a window upon the future, would trade places with a modern Cambridge scholar in a heartbeat?
Worth is not perceived. It is assigned to things according one's need/desire for those things.
Since one's needs and desires vary from person to person, and are differently ranked by different persons, the worth assigned to any given thing is subjective and relative to the valuer. I.e., perceived.
Moral precepts are based on that valuation.
Not if they are philosophically respectable (meaning rationally defensible). Sound moralities are not based on subjective interests and preferences, or upon emotional states.
Who imposes this obligation?
The philosophical community.

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Re: Is Social Order Important?

Post by GE Morton » February 12th, 2019, 8:33 pm

Belindi wrote:
February 11th, 2019, 7:24 pm

I'm assuming that we seek an objective basis for evaluating human values throughout recorded history. Post enlightenment science despite capitalism's weight on its research and development possibilities is as objective as we can foresee.
I suspect, like Alias in nearby posts, you are using "values" as a synonym for moral precepts and principles. I agree those principles must have an objective, rationally defensible basis to be philosophically respectable.
Yes, all moral codes are responses to a society's means of subsistence and economic necessities. Kinship structures, traditional means of social control, and foreign cultural influences through trade links and colonisation all feed into moral codes and their associated mythologies.
I agree. But the question of whether the prevailing code is rationally defensible is always in order.
It's remarkable that between 800 and 300 BC there was the sort of simultaneous and geographically spread occurrence of cities and the moral codes that make salient individual consciousness/conscience . That may seem a really long duration, those five hundred years , however when one remembers that there was human presence on Earth for millennia previously the five hundred years is by comparison a short duration.
The actual transitional period period was likely much longer, beginning with the first appearances of civilized societies 5000 years ago. But the only evidence we have is written records, which date from the 9th century BCE (cuniform scripts date from earlier, but they shed little light on philosophical questions).

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Re: Is Social Order Important?

Post by Alias » February 12th, 2019, 10:37 pm

GE Morton wrote:
February 12th, 2019, 8:06 pm
[In any case, what's good for the boss is bad for the worker, in whatever country.]
Oh, surely not.
Oh, surely, yes. The lower the wages, the higher the profits. The more insecure the workers, the more labour you can squeeze out of them and the less benefits they demand. When government is mainly concerned with the interests of business, it legislates tax cuts for the wealthy and saves the difference in revenue on social services. This is not news. Nor is it nonsense, however the general public has been brainwashed.
Objective criteria: Explain it to the civil war, famine, pandemic or tsunami that takes you out.]
Well, that is a strange response. Are you suggesting that ancient Greeks were less susceptible to wars, famines, natural disasters than modern (say) Americans?
Yes. They were far more familiar with their environment; more aware of their governance; more in control of their collective decisions. More significantly, they were not threatened by industrial pollution, environmental degradation, weapons of mass destruction and climate change.
Do you doubt that Plato or Euclid given a window upon the future, would trade places with a modern Cambridge scholar in a heartbeat?
Yes, I do doubt it. But Cambridge is hardly the point. There are 5 billion excess people now that they didn't have to worry about, and with none of whom either they or you would trade places, but they were not attempting to contain.
Since one's needs and desires vary from person to person, and are differently ranked by different persons, the worth assigned to any given thing is subjective and relative to the valuer.
Beyond the basic necessities, this may be so. But the same two dozen things are needed by all people and desired by most. The supply does vary from person to person and from time to time, so priorities are continuously juggled.
So what? You may have food to waste today, but tomorrow you'll trade a VanGogh for two loaves of bread. Possession of luxuries is always secondary and their value is always conditional on circumstance.
[Moral precepts are based on that valuation.]
Not if they are philosophically respectable (meaning rationally defensible). Sound moralities are not based on subjective interests and preferences, or upon emotional states.
No. They are based on the requirements of communities of people; on the understanding that subjective states vary, but basic needs are constant; on an understanding of what makes humans co-operative instead of combative.
[Who imposes this obligation?]
The philosophical community.
And you're the spokesman for that community? I never took the oath; I am not bound. If I justify, rationalize or articulate anything, it is on my terms - " because it is me pleasure."

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Re: Is Social Order Important?

Post by Belindi » February 13th, 2019, 6:44 am

Alias , and GEMorton;

In any case, what's good for the boss is bad for the worker, in whatever country.
Oh, surely not. As long as the business remains healthy --- i.e., making a profit --- workers have an income, job security and opportunities for raises and promotions. When it ceases making a profit they become unemployed. When a business begins losing money its workers worry; they don't cheer. Your claim is nonsense.
But workers become unemployed or exploited because of employers cutting costs, installing automatic machinery, conspiring and collaborating with other owners to restrict workers' pay and conditions, or ruining the industry through inefficiency or theft. Elites become more powerful as capitalism progresses unless the workers (and intellectuals) get enough power to control runaway greed.

There has to be a dynamic tension between workers and owners , a sort of cold war, so that the industry is well run and the products good and at the same time the workers are happy and productive.

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Re: Is Social Order Important?

Post by Alias » February 13th, 2019, 12:55 pm

The worker-employer conflict was only one example of value-systems. I used business interest, military might and theology as principles on which a nation-state can base its social structures, as possible alternatives to what I presume Athena means by "human values", where the central concern of government would be the welfare of citizens, their families and communities.

Business interest at the center would place emphasis on wealth-accumulation; the government would commit the bulk of its resources to the protection of property, enforcing rights of ownership both physical and intellectual, facilitating commerce. It would keep corporate taxes low and the flow of capital free of interference. Such a nation would indoctrinate its young in a reverence of financial success and gear its education system toward jobs training and deference to wealth; it would encourage competition rather than co-operation; place productivity at the top of the virtues and laziness at the top of the vices. Such a society It would have a numerically small elite, living in luxury, wielding vast political power, and a large underclass living in poverty with no political power. It would have extensive law-enforcement facilities and a high crime rate.

Military interest/conquest at the center would require a government to commit most of its resources to weapons development and production, armed forces recruitment and deployment; public parades and spectacles. It would show little concern for the daily affairs of the populace, so long as they had enough to eat and stayed physically fit and reproductive. It would be influenced, if not entirely staffed by military ranks; it would train its young to discipline and obedience; it would teach courage and loyalty as the prime virtues, despise cowardice and punish dissent by death. Its governance would be streamlined, even minimal, with few public services or conveniences. Working people would have little leisure time and rudimentary education. There would be no surplus population due to a high infant and child mortality rate. There would be a very low crime rate, except for political offenses.

A nation with a god or ideology at the center of its values bases all law and organization on some canon. The bulk of its resources are devoted to public buildings, accoutrements, ceremony, protocol and bureaucracy. How it's organized depends on the particulars of the ideology, but individual human welfare is never its main concern. Indeed, it often makes a virtue of sacrifice, hardship and suffering. The education is severe, limited to the doctrinal authority and basic skills. Piety is exalted; blasphemy is punished. The society is strictly hierarchical, intolerant and conformist. Status is achieved by patient service and attrition. It tends to have a high rate of internal intrigue and back-stabbing for this reason. The standard of living for most people is low; therefore general crime rate is low; the law-enforcement harsh, as individuals have few legal rights.

Each of these value systems would have a different effect on how people grow up, behave, think, feel, interact, prioritize their requirements, spend their leisure time and relate to their government and the world.

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