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This-essay is a8000191.htm which is available at the web-site See more notes at the bottom. Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay By-Months By-Years By-Words Webs of Like-&-Un-Like ESSAYS <==> Like-&-UN-Like This-One ========================================================== %COLLUSIONS-2 800019 A collusion is defined by the dictionary as, "a secret agreement or cooperation for an illegal or deceitful purposes." We usually think of collusions as involving people who know what they are doing, who know it is illegal or deceitful, and who therefore do it secretly. R.D. Laing, the British psychiatrist who is concerned with perverted group dynamics, suggests that we use the word "collusion" to point to perverted group behavior in which the participants conceal what they are doing from themselves, as well as from others outside their group. A collusion is thus a game of mutual self-deception---in which people enter unknowingly into agreements and cooperative behaviors which have deceitful---and alienation results. Collusions conceal themselves. The nature of collusions may be suggested by some examples. Some historic collusions include: "Race 'X' is inferior (or superior);" "Religion 'Y' is Evil (or God- given);" "Unrestrained power will not corrupt our good men." Some current collusions include: "Technology can satisfy unrestrained human desires;" "Technology can provide security;" "The more we prepare for nuclear war the less likely atom bombs will be used;" "There is just one really real reality, and just one correct way to know it;" "Injustices of unfair distribution of scarce resources can be corrected by giving everybody more;" "There will always be enough if we develop the right technologies;" and finally, "All limits to human growth can be overcome through more scientific discoveries and technologies." Wonderful! Colluders are not aware of their collusions. They sincerely and with conviction believe their deceitful misrepresentations, and discount anybody who dares to threaten them by not believing them, or by refusing to join their collusions. Their secret agreements require them not to listen to or be in honest dialogue with any person who threatens to expose any of their collusions; the agreement requires the excommunication of any profound person who transcends the collusion. Wisdom is excommunicated. Awareness of the collusions would destroy their conception of what is most real, their "world-view"; and so would destroy their whole "world". Such awareness is feared more than death. Young people may become scientists by adopting scientists' biases, and by choosing to have faith in what scientists value; e.g., objectivity, measurements, analysis, computations, predictions, repeatable experiments, and abstract theories. Scientists stake their lives on such faith, and by collusions obscure the existence of and the grounds for their values and their own faith in their values. Scientists' collusions divert people's attention away from their personal choices. Their personal choices powerfully affirm scientists' own values by how the choices influence the setting of communal priorities, the making of communal decisions, and the allocation of communal resources. Their professional collusions focus attention instead upon the abstraction "science" own which by its abstract nature is non- personal, incommunicado, and un-punishable. Due to that focus scientists tend to regard themselves as the embodiment of abstract "science" own and see themselves as value-neutral in spite of their choices. Thus scientists' collusions conceal the chosen biases which are the foundation values upon which they base their professional activities. The scientists' collusions obscure the political activities of scientists; i.e., those of their activities which influence how we as a society set our priorities--- and so how we allocate scarce communal resources such as human talents, fossil fuels, minerals, land, soil, plant nutrients, water, rivers, lakes, oceans, and air. Politics is the process of allocating our scarce resources, and scientists are politically influential through their professional activities which initiate and promote the development of new technologies. Scientists are some of the most influential "politicians" by virtue of how they guide us away from non-technocratic responses and towards technocratic responses to our situations; responses which are very resource consumptive. Scientists influence our conceptions of what responses are thinkable---by helping us repress awareness of non-technocratic response possibilities. As a result---non-technocratic response- possibilities are not refined, debated, prioritized, or voted upon by the people whom we usually call politicians. By their collusions our scientists make it appear to themselves (and so also to the general public) that they are not politically influential. Their collusions also lead us all to believe that their unbalanced specialization makes them into "experts"---who can be trusted to offer wise advice regarding the ethical and social implications of their activities. Their collusions blind us to the fact that since ethics is a kind of technology, ethics can not serve as an unbiased guide for technology. Because of scientists' unbalanced specialization they do not listen well, are not in open and honest dialogue with the public, and do not know their audiences. For these reasons scientists are unable to help the public respond wisely to their technical activities. Scientists are not alone in participating in collusions. Most highly trained professionals participate in collusions. It is important that we seek both personal and institutional ways to help each other escape these collusions, so that we may become free to see clearly and to make informed wise decisions. To transcend our collusions we must seek help from those who are unlike ourselves. We must lean to listen sympathetically to people who are strangely "different". Unless we do---we will become imprisoned in an inhumane technocracy in which democracy is undermined by the inability of powerful technocrats to listen to people who in their eyes are "different". Listening is essential to democracy. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in Search for Integrity and Honesty (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================
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