Monday, September 29, 2008

Value systems

A propos of discussions I have been having here and here, this tiny example of why it is difficult for any religion, or any authority, to take and maintain the premier position in the hierarchy of values, images, ideologies or anything else.

The image is from here. Though the collection has been made other reasons, it does demonstrate the randomness of the thousands of messages we receive every day.


Riri said...

That is so true. I only realized how much indoctrination people in the West are at the mercy of when I returned to Algeria. I had no perception whatsoever how many messages I was receiving 'subliminally' or otherwise while living in the UK. The only way to become aware of it is to break off the cycle and have another frame of reference.

Here advertising frenzy has just started picking up, still we are no pros, it's the equivalent of the hilarious 50's American adverts. Our buildings and walls are still relatively blank except for the odd poster of the President here and there, torn at the edges or splashed with a big fat blop of mud and dirt.

It is simply brilliant. Unlike my fellow clueless countrymen, I get a huge uplifting sense of freedom everytime I stroll in our ugly streets and see and hear the people behaving and driving about like nutters. (I know you'd call it anarchy, but there it's only a question of reference)

NoolaBeulah said...

I think 'indoctrination' is too strong a word. It implies a single purpose and the point here is the randomness and the consequent inability of the government, the corporations, the churches or anyone else to attain and maintain a dominant position. I doubt most people even notice it now - it's just background visual noise.

Riri said...

Only if you define indocrination as having a single and homogeneous purpose - the indoctrination I mean has the single purpose of hammering in a lot of messages without any standard against which to assess them under the banner of 'freedom' and 'diversity'. This ultimately leads to utter confusion and the rejection of any value system altogether because there is no need for one: everyone can create their own value system because everyone is free. There is a very fine balance that needs to be maintained between diversity and cohesion. Diversity pulls towards the individual, cohesion pulls towards society.

NoolaBeulah said...

We're getting into deep water again, and without a lifejacket.

I don't disagree with anything you say. It's just that I wonder about that 'ultimately'. Is the end-state chaos? Is this the end-state? Or is it just yet another intermediate stage before a reaction sets in? Many people feel as you do; I'm one of them. When enough people feel like that, and feel it strongly enough, then something comes of it.

[I'm feeling the need to argue against your counsels of despair - not so much here, but at Nazim's place and yours.]

Riri said...

NoolaBeulah - Riri never despairs, ask Nazim if you don't believe me.

I do go off on one from time to time, but if there is something I will never let go of, it is hope, hope for wonderful things, not just good things.

There is always a chance to improve and learn, there is always a chance to build and construct. Always. People do not always believe there is or know how they can seize it. It depends on ordinary people like you and me, not on politicians nor even democracies.

I am a big believer in the fraternity of nations, the compassion and solidarity between ordinary human beings of different races, religions and even political outlooks. Therein lies the future and in this sense, globalization might turn out to be a blessing.

Look at us for example, communicating through blogs and the internet, trying to make sense of an apparently chaotic and dangerous world. Maybe it is just an illusion that is fed to us by our respective cultures and politicians. I think it is an illusion, the power is with the people, ordinary humans, it always has been but they do not realize it often.

I see examples of it everyday here, our fellow humans are wonderful creatures capable of unimaginable acts of kindness and altruism. No matter how crude, selfish, deseperate or awful they might appear.