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Friday April 12th 2019Tim Candler9

 

    George Herbert Meade died in 1931. If you take the Idealism of Hegel and add a little bit of the Materialism of Marx, you get a sense of Meade's understanding of how to study society.  For Meade language was the content of the mind and the content of the mind developed, formed its opinions, understandings, shared them and so on, through Social Interaction. And social interaction wasn't something that interacted in a glorious isolation, rather it more often revolved around matters arising from how people chose to deal with the day to day of a material world. A material world of the city for example being different to the material world of the rustic idyll or nightmare depending, the mountain, the forest, the beach, the retirement home and you can go on.  It's also my current view that there's  massive chasm between those who study behavior and those who labor under the illusion that the study of behavior can be used to modify the behavior of the unwilling which is an area that more often than not becomes Walking Stewart's beast of the forest, Human Resources, which don't be fooled is essentially a pursuit of tyranny in the interest of a particular and usually unsavory goal, the purview of management.

 

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      But, and I believe this would be Meade's point, a flourishing society for all people requires two main ingredients. The first would be an informed populace, the second a working Democracy. And by working I assume his argument would include the idea of a pluralism where everybody counts as equal. It's an idea of democracy that might never have actually held true but struggles on because electing legitimate leaders by vote of the public is infinitely better than having to endure civil war every ten years or so. And you have to admire almost to the point of worship a man like General Washington, who given all the uncertainties of the time had his chance to become like an emperor, but he didn't and possibly he didn't because the new country of the United States as it worked toward a more perfect union was to be a Republic, and in 1789 the vote was to be limited to white male landowners, the majority of whom had shall we call it a shared desire to keep the wild eyed ideological fringe and girls at bay. In Meade's pragmatist view it's the day to day of social interactions around the materiel world that produce meaning in us people and it's around meaning that shades of purpose or complete absence of purpose or total dick-headedness emerges. Have to wonder in what legal milieu a Barr was fostered.

 

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