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dadmonson

Why do most blacks vote Dem?How do you get them interested in O'ism?

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I would say its rooted more in the perceived racist attitude of the republican party. ....You could of course say that Lincoln was a Republican and it was the Southern Democrats who really pressed Jim Crow but in the modern age the felling is that the republicans care nothing about anyone who is not an entrepreneur/business man.  If someone is having a tough time living from paycheck to pay check and the political leader says "Let them eat cake" then there is going to be a disconnect.  To simply assume that blacks would be all "pull yourself up by the bootstraps" when there is an ingrained history to whites purposely preventing them from pulling themselves up from preventing them from voting, to turning down loans (that they qualified for), to passing over them for promotions.  Many blacks feel that the playing field needs to be purposely leveled the same way that it was purposefully unbalanced.

http://www.objectivistliving.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=15324&p=233319

I like that guy's response because I believe it to be true but what do you think?  Why do you think most blacks vote for Democrats/statism? 

 and how would one go about getting them interested in Objectivism?

 

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This is incredibly complex and difficult subject.  In order to answer it I think a wider integration beyond politics alone needs to be exercised.

It is hard for an outsider to guess what the effect of oppression and marginalization can have on one individually and collectively (seeing others being treated badly even if you are lucky to escape... still affects you).  Certainly a longing for justice, a wish for escape, restitution, all are there.  An earthly power, such as the state, could be seen as having potential for being sympathetic and able to mete out some form of justice (even if only according to populist conceptions of what justice is), and as such likely provides hope.  This over history has shuffled between the political parties of Lincoln and FDR in accordance with policy and perception.

Racism is real today and it was much worse in the past.  Individuals, families and communities currently and in the past have had to cope with this reality.  One thing you may have noticed is the greater level of importance of, belief in, and active practice, in religion by (for lack of a "better" term) blacks in America.  This is not stereotyping it is true:

http://www.pewforum.org/2009/01/30/a-religious-portrait-of-african-americans/

Systematic malevolence of a society of course would be a likely factor to search for solace and peace in a belief that, even if life here, now, on Earth, were unjust and wicked, the afterlife in heaven will serve as a release from bondage, a reward to the humble and down trodden.  The religious messages of supernaturalism, and in particular Christianity, are very appealing emotionally to the downtrodden.

I think that both the communities and the individuals have in the past and currently do turn to religion in order to cope with slavery (now gone), political and legal marginalization (mostly? gone), and racism (still prevalent). Objectivism, a purely rational this worldly philosophy with no comfort of the supernatural, likely makes it a hard sell.

 

Can one encourage replacement of a comforting crutch with a flagpole raising a banner of individual rights and selfishness?

 

Coincidentally, I have often thought, that were this to happen systematically in the black community, a wide-sweeping empowerment from rationality and the discovery of Objectivism, it would unleash a tide of pride, of productiveness, of all the rational virtues, this would be the "real" march of individuals, not a collective march on a political mission, but individuals marching towards the highest echelons of achievement on all the avenues of opportunity life presents ... it would be a wonder to behold.

 

In a real sense, it is the last of the false mental and spiritual prisons, the ones the black community for the most part remain in thrall, from which Objectivism and Rand's discoveries are poised to finally set them free.

  

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4 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:
4 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

This is incredibly complex and difficult subject.  In order to answer it I think a wider integration beyond politics alone needs to be exercised.

It is hard for an outsider to guess what the effect of oppression and marginalization can have on one individually and collectively (seeing others being treated badly even if you are lucky to escape... still affects you).  Certainly a longing for justice, a wish for escape, restitution, all are there.  An earthly power, such as the state, could be seen as having potential for being sympathetic and able to mete out some form of justice (even if only according to populist conceptions of what justice is), and as such likely provides hope.  This over history has shuffled between the political parties of Lincoln and FDR in accordance with policy and perception.

Racism is real today and it was much worse in the past.  Individuals, families and communities currently and in the past have had to cope with this reality.  One thing you may have noticed is the greater level of importance of, belief in, and active practice, in religion by (for lack of a "better" term) blacks in America.  This is not stereotyping it is true:

http://www.pewforum.org/2009/01/30/a-religious-portrait-of-african-americans/

Systematic malevolence of a society of course would be a likely factor to search for solace and peace in a belief that, even if life here, now, on Earth, were unjust and wicked, the afterlife in heaven will serve as a release from bondage, a reward to the humble and down trodden.  The religious messages of supernaturalism, and in particular Christianity, are very appealing emotionally to the downtrodden.

I think that both the communities and the individuals have in the past and currently do turn to religion in order to cope with slavery (now gone), political and legal marginalization (mostly? gone), and racism (still prevalent). Objectivism, a purely rational this worldly philosophy with no comfort of the supernatural, likely makes it a hard sell.

 

Can one encourage replacement of a comforting crutch with a flagpole raising a banner of individual rights and selfishness?

 

Coincidentally, I have often thought, that were this to happen systematically in the black community, a wide-sweeping empowerment from rationality and the discovery of Objectivism, it would unleash a tide of pride, of productiveness, of all the rational virtues, this would be the "real" march of individuals, not a collective march on a political mission, but individuals marching towards the highest echelons of achievement on all the avenues of opportunity life presents ... it would be a wonder to behold.

 

In a real sense, it is the last of the false mental and spiritual prisons, the ones the black community for the most part remain in thrall, from which Objectivism and Rand's discoveries are poised to finally set them free.

  

This is incredibly complex and difficult subject.  In order to answer it I think a wider integration beyond politics alone needs to be exercised.

It is hard for an outsider to guess what the effect of oppression and marginalization can have on one individually and collectively (seeing others being treated badly even if you are lucky to escape... still affects you).  Certainly a longing for justice, a wish for escape, restitution, all are there.  An earthly power, such as the state, could be seen as having potential for being sympathetic and able to mete out some form of justice (even if only according to populist conceptions of what justice is), and as such likely provides hope.  This over history has shuffled between the political parties of Lincoln and FDR in accordance with policy and perception.

Racism is real today and it was much worse in the past.  Individuals, families and communities currently and in the past have had to cope with this reality.  One thing you may have noticed is the greater level of importance of, belief in, and active practice, in religion by (for lack of a "better" term) blacks in America.  This is not stereotyping it is true:

http://www.pewforum.org/2009/01/30/a-religious-portrait-of-african-americans/

Systematic malevolence of a society of course would be a likely factor to search for solace and peace in a belief that, even if life here, now, on Earth, were unjust and wicked, the afterlife in heaven will serve as a release from bondage, a reward to the humble and down trodden.  The religious messages of supernaturalism, and in particular Christianity, are very appealing emotionally to the downtrodden.

I think that both the communities and the individuals have in the past and currently do turn to religion in order to cope with slavery (now gone), political and legal marginalization (mostly? gone), and racism (still prevalent). Objectivism, a purely rational this worldly philosophy with no comfort of the supernatural, likely makes it a hard sell.

 

Can one encourage replacement of a comforting crutch with a flagpole raising a banner of individual rights and selfishness?

 

Coincidentally, I have often thought, that were this to happen systematically in the black community, a wide-sweeping empowerment from rationality and the discovery of Objectivism, it would unleash a tide of pride, of productiveness, of all the rational virtues, this would be the "real" march of individuals, not a collective march on a political mission, but individuals marching towards the highest echelons of achievement on all the avenues of opportunity life presents ... it would be a wonder to behold.

 

In a real sense, it is the last of the false mental and spiritual prisons, the ones the black community for the most part remain in thrall, from which Objectivism and Rand's discoveries are poised to finally set them free.

  

So it really is white people fault that black people are voting Democrat now.

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The people whose "fault" that is, i.e. the fundamental and causal root, died long ago, being the slave traders who captured and transported slaves from Africa, and as it happens they were in the main "white" Europeans.

That slave culture, although it was made possible by "old world" racism, reverberates through time and feeds everything in the race "relations" of America today, all the tension all the political struggles and all the ongoing irrationality of modern racism.  But for the slave trade there would be nowhere near the level there is today of race consciousness in culture and politics in modern America.

 

Observe, we have no obvious political and societal issues brewing between "blonds" and "brunettes"... and history reveals no reason why there should be.... such is clearly not the case for skin color.

 

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Don't you suppose this is an overly simplified response given the complexity of the subject?

5 hours ago, dadmonson said:

So it really is white people fault that black people are voting Democrat now.

The reason anyone votes for anything is that they are motivated to take the only known legal course of action(s) to achieve justice. How one defines "justice" is an entirely different discussion. Participating in a public election by casting a vote is not the only means to achieve justice. But it is the method most often advertised, thanks to mass media. A saturation of messages focusing on the political solutions to complex problems drowns out the message of solutions brought about by individual actions, beginning with personal accountability for one's own life. Listening to the news channels (personally, I rarely watch TV news coverage, and only then, by accident), it seems the only means of improving one's life is through the election of people who have something in common with the individual voter,i.e. race, gender, or some other common background. This, of course, is identity politics. I see no means of achieving justice in this manner, but only mob rule.

African-Americans have had 50 years to come to terms with the most recent and most important legal hurtle in a struggle that began several hundred years ago. That most recent hurtle was achieved in large part through efforts made by the Democratic Party. (This change in party-platform came at the expense of losing many "Dixiecrats.) The "fault," if one can call it that, is more a matter of "default." The Republican Party, at the turn of the last century, assumed that legal emancipation was as much as was possible, and given the political climate of those times, this was true. In the years after WW2, it was the Democrats that championed the cause of advancement of full-legal rights for blacks. By default, the Republicans gave the Democrats the electoral advantage. (To offset that advantage, Republicans gained more than a few Sons of the Confederacy. But support from the likes of Trent Lott often proves to be a political albatross. )

In my opinion, passage of the 1965 Civil Rights Act should never have been necessary. But the general consensus of white-America was that "we were rushing into" some sort of racial equality concept. Obviously, there was no solid consensus of this sort among whites, (with the exception of a minority of white supremacists), otherwise the passage of this law would not have happened. But African-Americans did achieve this measure of justice through mob-action, that is, through banding together as a collective, and pushing hard, albeit pushing their agenda mostly with non-violence. I don't believe every non-white feels they must be a part of that collective anymore, but many do. Identity politics will endure, and with no end in sight.

I think StrictlyLogic did a splendid job in his explanation, pointing out the fact that the overwhelming majority of African-Americans are religious, and that they identify as a collective. Given these considerations, I find it all but futile to promote an Objectivist message, or to pitch the ideas of Ayn Rand, to anyone who is religious, or who insists that one must live for the benefit of his community. To my great relief, I do know of some blacks who see themselves as individuals competing in a society that will open its doors of advancement when one learns how to do it. I only hope that the quest for a rational and individual-based solution reaches the minds of more people of all races and backgrounds.

 

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A majority of Black Americans adhere to a collectivist, racist philosophy. And it's not because of slavery, or the Jim Crow era.

It's because American culture and politics sanctions and rewards that kind of attitude: black leaders who are racist and collectivist are embraced and promoted, those who try to stand up to it shunned...by American society in general (the media, academia, the corporate world, and the government), not just Blacks.

And they vote Democrat because that is the party that panders more to that racist ideology.

As for the posts trying to justify collectivism and racism among blacks today, by citing slavery and past discrimination, well...you're not Objectivists. Objectivism doesn't make a special exception, allowing people who's ancestors were victims to disregard reason and individual rights. If it did, then we could all find a reason to band together along racial or ethnic lines, and blame our problems on whoever looks like our ancestors' past oppressors. But that would be incredibly stupid.

Edited by Nicky

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This is the oddest post I have seen from you Nicky.

 

You claim someone here is trying to "justify collectivism and racism among blacks".  Such claim, I observe is simply false.

You claim an attempt at a "special exception, allowing people who's ancestors were victims to disregard reason and individual rights."  Once again, I in no uncertain terms declare your claim to be false.

Your sensitivity to race is alarming.

 

To state that there are reasons, causal factors, which although not the sole factors (bad philosophy can account for the overwhelming majority of historical problems), do in fact contribute causally to the current context, including (which I do not dismiss as false) your claim that "American culture and politics sanctions and rewards that kind of attitude" etc. is NOT justification nor exception being extended to people who have the wrong ideas.  No more than identifying the person of ancient history who we know as Jesus of Nazareth as a causal factor for much of the rampant altruism permeating today's society. 

Does the past existence of Jesus excuse your self-sacrificing bible clutching neighbors from their immoral motivations and actions?  No. 

Should you simply ignore the causal link between the past existence of Jesus of Nazareth and the current existence of your altruist neighbors and all other similar types of causal links?  Only, at your own peril and for your own bliss of ignorance. Both of which I hope you would rationally reject.

 

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On 1/30/2016 at 3:05 AM, StrictlyLogical said:

The people whose "fault" that is, i.e. the fundamental and causal root, died long ago, being the slave traders who captured and transported slaves from Africa

That slave culture, although it was made possible by "old world" racism, reverberates through time and feeds everything in the race "relations" of America today

 

1 hour ago, StrictlyLogical said:

This is the oddest post I have seen from you Nicky.

 

You claim someone here is trying to "justify collectivism and racism among blacks".  Such claim, I observe is simply false.

Right. I must be imagining things.

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1 hour ago, StrictlyLogical said:

To state that there are reasons, causal factors... is NOT justification.

Well, yes, it is. That's what justification is. Obviously. If it's really true that the cause of black irrationality is slavery, then that's justification for black irrationality.

But it's not. Black sub-culture, and political attitudes, have NOTHING to do with slavery. There are no reasons, or causal factors, between slavery and socialism/racism among blacks today. You never presented any, you never attempted to present any, and I can't imagine what those factors could possibly be.

"reverberates through time" is not an attempt at making a logical link between two events, separated by 150 years. It's an attempt to vague talk your way out of having to be logical. Every race and ethnicity has a history of being victimized. And yet, that victimization only "reverberates through time" when it happens to serve as a convenient excuse for modern demagogues. There's no causal link there. Just because demagogues TALK about slavery every five minutes, doesn't mean slavery CAUSED them to be demagogues.

Edited by Nicky

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1 hour ago, Nicky said:

Well, yes, it is. That's what justification is. Obviously. If it's really true that the cause of black irrationality is slavery, then that's justification for black irrationality.

But it's not. Black sub-culture, and political attitudes, have NOTHING to do with slavery. There are no reasons, or causal factors, between slavery and socialism/racism among blacks today. You never presented any, you never attempted to present any, and I can't imagine what those factors could possibly be.

"reverberates through time" is not an attempt at making a logical link between two events, separated by 150 years. It's an attempt to vague talk your way out of having to be logical. Every race and ethnicity has a history of being victimized. And yet, that victimization only "reverberates through time" when it happens to serve as a convenient excuse for modern demagogues. There's no causal link there. Just because demagogues TALK about slavery every five minutes, doesn't mean slavery CAUSED them to be demagogues.

I will ignore most of your rant.

 

On a technical point, however, I cannot remain silent when you claim that:

"To state that there are reasons, causal factors" IS, as YOU put it, "what justification is."

 

Clearly, you do not understand the meaning of "justification" or "justify".  To state that a particular man's action was "justified" is much more than simply identifying causal factors that influenced a man.  One can and must understand men, i.e. identify why they do what they do, and this need does not disappear when what they do clearly is not justified.
 

Take, for instance (and since you seem to enjoy race relations so much), an irrational individual such as Lawrence Brewer who participated in the murder of James Byrd, Jr. by chaining and dragging him behind a pick-up truck.  To say that the event would not have happened except for racist sentiments, i.e. irrationality, of Lawrence's family or friends or local or larger community, people with whom he would have had interactions for most of his life, or the existence of white supremacy groups (Lawrence was a member ... not a founder... of such a group) who he may have had contact with in adulthood, is to identify causal factors for his falsely held ideas, his irrationality, his hatred.  This identification, as such, in no way is a justification.  Does the identification of such factors mean he had no volition? No choice to reject these influences?  No.  Does the identification of such factors mean he bears no responsibility? No.  So, does merely identifying these factors "justify" his actions?  Certainly not.

While fully accepting that it was Lawrence's responsibility to reject irrationality and his long slow path to murder, it is clear that there are causative factors which helped Lawrence shape his thoughts, emotions, to such a point that he would choose to do such an evil thing.  This is absolutely true.  To claim otherwise would be worse than an arbitrary claim it would be an act of deliberate evasion.

 

If you still believe your "definition" of justification, and you take what I say above about Lawrence, as "justifying" the murder of James Byrd, you are gravely mistaken, both as to purpose and content of my post.
 

 

Edited by StrictlyLogical
"me bears no responsibility" corrected to "he bears no responsibility"

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38 minutes ago, StrictlyLogical said:

This identification, as such, in no way is a justification.  Does the identification of such factors mean he had no volition? No choice to reject these influences?  No.  Does the identification of such factors mean he bears no responsibility? No.  So, does merely identifying these factors "justify" his actions?  Certainly not.

I think it's an interesting topic worth exploring*, the idea of "influence," and what that means (and what it means for morality, if anything).

Personally, I don't know what "justification" is meant to matter in any event. Some moralists seem to believe that the point to ethics is to rubber stamp other people and their actions as virtuous, and others not, usually with heavy emphasis on the latter. But who cares whether some instance of irrationality is deemed "justified" in my eyes, or yours, or anyone else's? The person who acts irrationally courts his own destruction, and this is enough for me to say that it is in every individual's interest to act according to reason, to the best of their ability. If someone escapes the wrath of my judgement, so be it, for all the good it will do them; they will not escape reality.

But on the subject of "influence," it got me to thinking about Rand's views on Kant, which led me to this quote (from "Causality Versus Duty"):

Quote

A Kantian sense of “duty” is inculcated by parents whenever they declare that a child must do something because he must. A child brought up under the constant battering of causeless, arbitrary, contradictory, inexplicable “musts” loses (or never acquires) the ability to grasp the distinction between realistic necessity and human whims—and spends his life abjectly, dutifully obeying the second and defying the first. In the full meaning of the term, he grows up without a clear grasp of reality.

What does Rand mean that this sense of duty "is inculcated by parents"? Does she mean to discount volition? Are we saying that the child is metaphysically powerless in such a situation to accept or reject ideas which would poison him?

I don't believe so. Yet a belief in volition, I find, cannot mean that we expect a child brought up in this manner to escape the experience completely unharmed, and/or account it his moral failing if he does not. Being a parent who "batters" his child (psychologically or physically) is an awful thing, and it should not be surprising that this has a potential impact -- or an "influence" -- on the child as he develops.

While growing up "without a clear grasp of reality" is immoral regardless of what may have brought someone to that sorry state, there is yet room for understanding the reasons why this may have happened in an individual case, and perhaps even allowance for a measure of empathy. So, too, for those who have endured the kind of discrimination and abuse associated with slavery, Jim Crow, etc.

______________________________

* At least between reasonable people, it is! :)

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57 minutes ago, StrictlyLogical said:

If you still believe your "definition" of justification, and you take what I say above about Lawrence, as "justifying" the murder of James Byrd, you are gravely mistaken, both as to purpose and content of my post.

Your larger claim seems to be that the environment in which a person is raised causes them to be more inclined to accept certain ideas. In this case, it seems to be "historical factors of slavery makes people raised in black communities more inclined to accept collectivistic ideologies". No, you're not at all saying all people in such an environment end up that way, but it does mean (even if you personally didn't want to imply it) people are to some degree justified, that their environment caused their thinking and it's not their fault for thinking some bad ideas. But this doesn't make sense, as all an environment really does is set your context. What really matters, the real causal factors, are the ideas people promote in response. Jim Crow laws didn't make anyone more likely to be collectivist, it's ideas people came up with to deal with racism. Fredrick Douglass was a slave, but he's a great individualist. If anything, history has no causal impact on ideas, but it is causal in the sense it provides context to think about.

Philosophy is the causal factor, not history. History is not even a factor. Explaining a philosophy is helped by history, its genesis, but it's not the same as saying history is causal on thinking.

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8 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

I will ignore most of your rant.

Alrighty then. Good to know, saves me from reading whatever you wrote in the next million paragraphs.

Let me know if you change your mind, and wish to have a conversation.

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18 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Your larger claim seems to be that the environment in which a person is raised causes them to be more inclined to accept certain ideas.

Yep.  Until they reach intellectual independence. Some never reach it.  Ayn Rand knew this.

18 hours ago, Eiuol said:

In this case, it seems to be "historical factors of slavery makes people raised in black communities more inclined to accept collectivistic ideologies".

No.  It's more complicated.  Slavery contributed to the degree and target of racism (as well as supremacist movements) which led to behaviors (lynchings) and legal frameworks (segregation) which psychologically orients some of the victims to perceive the world through a collectivist (race oriented) framework.

 

18 hours ago, Eiuol said:

it does mean (even if you personally didn't want to imply it) people are to some degree justified, that their environment caused their thinking and it's not their fault for thinking some bad ideas.

Wrong. 

Your admiration of Frederick Douglas (which is correct) for his individualism, is because you know that so many others (of any race in fact) are collectivists.  The reason we admire thinkers like FD for their independent thought is because so many people do not actively engage in independent thought.  Do we fault the average weak minded follower for holding onto incorrect ideas he got from someone else?  Of course we do.  He has defaulted on his rational independence.

Observing the fact that MANY people are more influenced by their environment as perpetuated by family, friends,  teachers, the media (than the exercise of independent thought), and that as a result they hold onto irrationalities, bad philosophy, racism, belief in the supernatural, etc. and that many NEVER escape to become fully rational and independent minded, is a recognition of facts about those many people.  That someone was raised in a strongly racist home, or a strongly Catholic home, or in a strongly communist home, is not justification for a lifetime of wrongly held beliefs re. racism, religion, or communism, but it certainly IS an explanation for them.  To throw up one's hands and say "I have no idea" or that "the person raised Catholic could have equally turned out a racist"... is simply ridiculous.

I have "turned out" an atheist, but NOT without effort and the exercise of independent thought.  Absent choosing to do these it would have been more likely that I would have "turned out" to be a Christian as I was raised.

 

18 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Philosophy is the causal factor, not history. History is not even a factor. Explaining a philosophy is helped by history, its genesis, but it's not the same as saying history is causal on thinking

I am not referring to "history" in the rationalist Hegelian or Marxist sense.  An absence of a philosophy of individual rights in the minds of those that lived a slaving culture is what allowed them to do it: they had a wrong philosophy.  The fact that the absence of a proper philosophy in society today allows racism to continue does not negate the historical factors on the particular form in which racism today is found.  Generation upon generation of people of one race saw persons of another particular race as barely above dogs, livestock, little more than semi-intelligent property.  The racist ideas attaching to that particular race many years later are not explained solely by a generally erroneous philosophy.  If one asks why a particular race is subject to intense racial discrimination in particular geographical areas of the U.S. even today, one cannot ignore the fact that that singular particular race was subject to slavery, was seen in those cultures of the south as property, subhuman, etc.

One cannot ignore what happened in the past, that is, how people lived, what they thought, and what ideas they passed down generation to generation.

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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"which psychologically orients some of the victims to perceive the world through a collectivist (race oriented) framework. "

This is what I'm saying is flawed in your reasoning. I don't see how you can say one's environment has any causal impact on one's psychological orientation towards reality. There's a relationship, to be sure, but the only orientation that happens is based on how one learns to interpret reality.

Take, for instance, how Nietzsche explained the rise of slave morality, e.g. Christian morality. Yes, he talked about some history, like Egyptians making Israelites slaves, but being a slave wasn't a cause. Rather, they developed a philosophical outlook, creating a way to cope psychologically. But there's no particular reason this orients people to collectivism, it's just that it's one of infinite ways to adapt. Basically, you could just as easily say slavery made people more inclined to be individualists. There's no evidence I know of to support your idea other than saying "most people from city X think Y".

It looks like you're saying this:

The environment makes you inclined to accept certain ideas. You cannot help your inclination. You are up to this point acting as a robot or zombie. Then, you may become intellectually independent and overcome.

What makes more sense to me:

You learn to think first, as a baby. Over time, you accept or reject what you are taught. Sometimes, parents or people all around you teach you -not- to think, or teach terrible ways to think. Most likely, you'd be told about how to think about your environment as well based on those ways of thinking.

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