Anti-received knowledge

July 2022 Forums General discussion Anti-received knowledge

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 88 total)
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  • #189132
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Conspiracy theorist or conspiracist, n.
    See GULLIBLE.
    A person lacking in personal reserves of wisdom and with no capacity for discernment or intellectual discipline, who rejects all received knowledge on the basis that everything is a conspiracy against him/her and others. Ironically, while claiming all received knowledge and book-learning to be a conspiracy, the conspiracist voraciously absorbs and believes, without any discernment, any and every outlandish and mystical charlatanry going – as long as it rejects received knowledge and wisdom. When challenged, the conspiracist will opt for nihilism – denying that any of us can ever know anything – whilst simultaneously, like the religious fundamentalist, claiming that s/he does know. The conspiracist is an absolutist. A genuine thinker, historian or scientist need have one fault, be wrong about one fact, or say one thing questionable, and the conspiracist will seize on it as “proof” we should reject the former’s entire corpus. Whilst proudly proclaiming his/her individuality and rejecting all received knowledge, the conspiracist is the most enthralled by the self-appointed gurus whose statements s/he repeats, and presents as personal conclusions. The digital phenomenon has been a godsend to the charlatans who sow conspiracy theories, pseudoscience and pseudohistory. The gullible these depend on are the conspiracy theorists.

    #189139
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    New Agers are the worst. They are creationists, but without being affiliated to any religion.

    At least with Christian fundamentalists, one knows what they hide behind and how to trap them, and one has the great philosophers to draw upon and a definite theology to ridicule.

    #189140
    Bijou Drains
    Participant

    I think there is part of the conspiracy theorists that seeks adulation and respect from being an initiate of secret or forbidden knowledge, kind of a  “everyone else can be dismissed as they don’t have the secret insight I do”. A bit like a poundstrechers’ version of a Freemason.

    #189141
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Except they fanatically try to convert everyone they meet.

    #189142
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    With far more flat earthers and evolution-denyers than there are materialists – let alone socialists – this is serious. Makes me think of the Socialism Or Barbarism slogan!

    #189143
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    They’re not even going backwards. We can’t condemn pre-Copernicans or pre-Darwinists, but we must condemn anti-Copernicans and anti-Darwinists.

    #189146
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    The most ludicrous thing was when I was told that I know nothing about the world because I just sit at home, and that if I “got out and about among real people in this new vibrant information age, I would know that the earth is flat”!

    #189170
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    #189207
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    And conspiracists are extremely offensive, and oblivious to others’ feelings.

    Denying the Holocaust.

    Denying mass shootings, recently, in which people’s loved ones have died.

    Telling astronauts they were never up there.

     

    #189256
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    ALL OPINIONS EQUALLY VALID?

    President: Some say I should press this nuclear button; others that I shouldn’t. What do you think?

    New Ager: All opinions are equally valid.

    #189257
    ALB
    Keymaster

    It’s not just new agers. The same view has infected universities as “post modernism” (and its offshoots). Some go so far as to say that there no facts, only opinions. Fortunately it seems to have passed its peak.

    #189258
    LBird
    Participant

    ALB wrote “The same view has infected universities as “post modernism” (and its offshoots). Some go so far as to say that there no facts, only opinions.

    Yes, there are both ‘facts’ and ‘opinions’, and, as Marx argued, we socially produce both of them.

    That’s why we humans can (and have done throughout our history) change both ‘facts’ and ‘opinions’.

    The political question for democratic communists (ie. Marxists) is ‘who has the power to control these changes?‘.

    If this ‘power to change facts and opinions’ is left in the hands of an elite, that elite will control any ‘socialism’ that we humans attempt to build. It won’t be a democratic socialism.

    #189259
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    L. Bird, you obviously do not understand what we mean by socialism, which by definition cannot have any elites.

    #189266
    LBird
    Participant

    John Oswald wrote: “L. Bird, you obviously do not understand what we mean by socialism, …

    I think I do understand what the SPGB means by socialism, because I’ve asked many times, of many members and supporters – I just don’t agree with what the SPGB seems to mean by socialism, because the SPGB openly says that the social producers will not democratically control the social production of ‘truth’ (or maths, or logic, or science, etc.). Thus, by definition, the SPGB must have an elite in mind, who will separately control the production of those social products.

    John Oswald wrote: “…by socialism, which by definition cannot have any elites.

    Yes, I think this too, John, that by definition, socialism ‘cannot have any elites‘. The difference seems to be, that I mean that ‘socialism cannot have any elites‘, whereas the SPGB (and perhaps yourself?) seem not to really mean this, when questioned about the political control of ‘truth’ production within socialism.

    The term that has been used previously by SPGB posters for this ‘elite within socialism’ is ‘Specialists’, which is contrasted with the masses as mere ‘Generalists’. It has been made very clear that this ‘elite’ will exist within socialism, as it does now within capitalism, by the SPGB.

    When I question this political assumption, rather than an account being given for this political and ideological assumption, I’m called a ‘troll’. Not a good sign for the form of socialism prefigured by the SPGB’s views, eh? Personal attacks can never replace political argument.

    #189267
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Please send me any links to this sort of talk (Specialists, etc.) by SPGB members. I have never come across it. I have argued with other members a lot, but have never heard such ideas from the party.

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