Its a rebuilt , just like new… almost

B. F. Skinner claimed that man could no longer afford to be free and must submit himself, his behavior and his culture to outside control for the greater good of society as a whole. But he was just reflecting a broader range of opinion, behind the conditioned reflex, the stimulus response process in which the stimulus may have no apparent connection with the response. The organ is a brain of the body to be regulated like any other.

Green: More realistic, however, is explanatory determinism. We can assume, on a particular occasion, that human behavior has followed a particular model (Skinnerian, say, or Piagetian); and we can explain instances of .that behavior according to the model. The explanation may shed light upon the person or persons involved and upon the model, but it will not eliminate their freedom to choose. Nor will it change the fact that human beings (like Eldridge Cleaver, Helen Keller, Franklin D. Roosevelt) have the capacity to frustrate predictions—and most especially when they are aware of the predictions being made. read more:

“Here Mr. Skinner revives the ancient saw to the effect that volition is an illusion, because one is not free if one has reasons for one’s actions – and that true volition would consist in acting on whim, a causeless, unaccountable, inexplicable whim exercised in a vacuum, free of any contact with reality.

From this, Mr. Skinner’s next step is easy: political freedom, he declares, necessitates the use of “aversive reinforcers,” i.e., punishment for evil behavior. Since you are not free anyway, but controlled by everyone at all times, why not let specialists control you in a scientific way and design for you a world consisting of nothing but “positive reinforcers”? Read More: a

"By stimulating people’s inner desires and then sating them with consumer products, Bernays argued, he was creating a new way to manage the irrational force of the masses. This way the masses remained docile, while the economy remained stimulated. Bernays called this marketing strategy,“The engineering of consent.”--- read more:

It has to be remembered that the technique of conditioning did not come from the inquisitional jungle or the lab of the archetypal insane scientist. The father of the stimulus response process as science from Ivan Pavlov was as a dream of perfecting and dignifying the human race; a man who might have been as horrified to see his work used to degrade humanity as Einstein was to see his discoveries resulting in Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

Pavlov saw the human body as a machine. Thus, he differed from Freud who recognized man’s limits and understood the price the human psyche had paid for becoming civilized. Where Freud saw man as imperfectible, Pavlov saw the possibility of a perfect man. Its a sublime confrontation in which the influence of both transcended their respective cultures. Whether human potential and limitations are too deep to be plumbed or whether we avoid the bother and go Orwell through conditioning and chemicals is in essence, the two competing views. Because the world cannot make up its mind whether we are perfectible, or at least salvageable, the descendant followers of these schools will remain at loggerheads.

Gottfried Helnwein. Adoration of the Magi. Ayn Rand:Dignity" is Mr. Skinner's odd choice of a designation for what is normally called "moral worth" - and he disposes of it by asserting that it consists in gaining the admiration of other people. Through a peculiar jumble of examples, which includes unrequited love, heroic deeds, and scientific (i.e., intellectual) achievements, Mr. Skinner labors to convince us that: ". . . we are likely to admire behavior more as we understand it less" (P. 53), and: ". . . the behavior we admire is the behavior we cannot yet explain." (P. 58.) It is mere vanity, he asserts, that makes our heroes cling to "dignity" and resist "scientific" analysis, because, once their achievements are explained, they will deserve no greater admiration - and no greater credit - than anyone else. This last is the core, essence and purpose of his jumbled argument; the rest of the verbiage is merely a haphazard cover. read more: image:

If everything is an animal, its slaughter can be rationalized,since it is somehow devoid of feeling. It was one thing for the body to respond to the taste of and feel of food, but it was something else for it to react to “psychic stimulation” where the body underwent physical changes. This put him at the crossroads where he either had to stick to his physiological methods or thinking about the feelings and desires of his animals. Pavlov’s decision to follow only the hard and measurable presaged the Russian revolution and the transformation of the Russian theocracy into the materialistic society it was to become; that is, “not to concern ourselves with the imaginary mental state of the animal” , which does recall the type of Mengele experiments on “sub-humans”.

---Carol Menzel: The Token Economy: The token economy is just another name for Skinner's contingency management programs. As Skinner's Beyond Freedom and Dignity well demonstrated, the token economy establishes the social relations of Rockefeller's 1984 fascist society. Whole institutions - schools, hospitals, prisons, etc. - become converted into massive concentration camps, in which the inhabitants are reduced to raw bestiality, clamoring for "tokens" that can be exchanged for "rewards" such as a bath or a paint-by-numbers set. In Philadelphia's Follow-Through Program, primary-school-aged children from the ghetto are being turned into virtual caged rats, keeping their mouths shut, staying in their seats, and withstanding the drudgery of Baraka-style drill and grill so they can "exchange" their tokens for a coloring book. The Behavioral Research project in Tucson, Arizona utilized community-trained teachers, parents and other adults in the child's natural environment to use "reinforcers" to modify "delinquent" or "predelinquent" behavior such as stealing, property destruction, and truancy. An intervention plan was designed for each child and the child was given notes, points, or a mark on a chart which could be exchanged later for primary "reinforcers." read more:

In the end, Pavlov was brilliant in an imbecilic way; a horror and a genius of a Frankenstein. He was a mechanic, albeit a superb one who lacked any degree of subtlety. He could not accept the existence of the ego since it could not be measured. He never recognized that people are capable of raising defenses against conditioning of any kind. Its pretty clear that there is an ongoing relentless war of sloganeering by almost every level of society; all are guilty of these forms of conditioning where repetition o

rtain words and phrases eventually creates the illusion of truth, even if they are lies.

"In a letter to the United Nations on July 5, 1972, the Prisoners Rights Committee, a group of inmates at Marion Federal Prison asked the United Nations Economic and Social Council to investigate their charges that inmates who refused to cooperate with the START scheme were first tranquilized and then tied naked to a toilet for several days. If they then cooperated, they were placed in completely empty cages until continued cooperation would win the prisoner a bed." read more:

In the end, Pavlov may have had his doubts, but our age is in part Pavlovian. Its easier to create a celebrity culture out of dubious individuals than is is to calm an enraged class of indigent poor around the world. It is easier to arrange brain molecules through chemicals than to travel the contradictory road of the metaphysician. If Pavolv is right, we have to question the purpose of pain and pleasure as well as the ethical usefulness of struggle.

"The so-called "humantstic therapies - sensitivity training sessions, transactional analysis, Primal Therapy, etc. - are at the very core of coercive psychology. It is such anti-Freudian introspective psychologies that have provided the brainwasher with the "psychodynamic insights" of neurosis, and the know-how to further pervert this neurosis into a controlling - even programming - force. These so-called "humanists" are the real experts in exploiting and in channeling the sickness of bourgeois ideology. The anti-behaviorists - mainly Freudians and Gestaltists - who were a dominant force through the early 1930's trickled down to a mere handful by the 45L 1940's. Some defected to the overt enemy's camp, behaviorism; some sunk into eclecticism; and a large number lit on any "humanistic" fad or gimmick that appeared. The latter crew, epitomized by R.D. Laing, have now become even more "Pavlovian" than Pavlov. Laing, who comes straight out of the Tavistock Clinic, views the state of madness as a positive act of liberation." image:

Maxine Greene: But those concerned about moral responsibility, choosing, and self-initiated learning are both rebellious and alarmed. What alarms me most is the ease with which people agree that freedom is a fantasy and that we can somehow do without the postulate of freedom even as we ask individuals to be “good.” How do we hold individuals responsible if we cannot assume, in particular cases, that they did what they did with the sense that they could have done otherwise? The recollection of our long acquiescence in the Vietnamese war returns to me: the refusal on the part of so many to Teachers College believe that they, as citizens, could intervene in the long, apparently mechanical sequence of cause and effect relationships that seemed to determine what was happening. There was no stopping it, they appeared to be saying; there was a necessity involved; and the war was, by its very nature, out of control. Read More: a

---Milgram began his experiments in July 1961, a year after the trial of Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem. Milgram used his experiment to attempt to examine the answer to the question "Could it be that Eichmann, and his million accomplices in the Holocaust were just following orders? Could we call them all accomplices?" (Milgram, 1974). Thomas Blass of the University of Maryland found that replications of Milgram's experiment have found that the percentage of subjects willing to administer electric shocks to another human subject ranged from 61% to 66% of subjects (Blass, 1999).--- read more:

…Then I think of Daniel Ellsberg, who (as Peter Schrag has put it) seems to “symbolize the conversion of that generation of people who always had been ready, as he says, ‘to obey the boss’—and who would never feel the same way about the boss again.” I think of Charles Reich’s “The Limits of Duty” (in The New Yorker, June 19y 1971). “The central reality,” Reich wrote, “is that evil today is the product of our system of organization and our technology, and that it occurs because personal responsibility and personal awareness have been obliterated by a system deliberately designed to do just that—eliminate or minimize the human element and insure the supremacy of the system.”  He spoke of a neglect of our moral resources and about the need for full participation by each individual. We can no longer afford, he said, “to be a people who unthinkingly serve.” I would emphasize “unthinkingly.” Neither he nor Ellsberg is calling for anarchy. Both are simply asking us to think what we are doing, to take responsibility, to refuse—blindly—to accede. Read More:
Ayn Rand: Now we come to the payoff.

A mystic code of morality demanding self-sacrifice cannot be promulgated or propagated without a supreme ruler that becomes the collector of the sacrificing. Traditionally, there have been two such collectors: either God or society. The collector had to be inaccessible to mankind at large, and his authority had to be revealed only through an elite of special intermediaries, variously called “high priests”, “commissars,” “Gauleiters,” etc. Mr. Skinner follows the same pattern, but he has a new collector and supreme ruler to hoist: the culture….

Ayn rand: This is Social Darwinism of a kind that Herbert Spencer would not dream of. The nearest approach to an exponent in practice was Adolf Hitler who "reinforced" his followers by demanding sacrifices for the survival of the German Kultur. But Mr. Skinner envisions a grander scale. He advocates "a single culture for all mankind," which, he admits, is difficult to explain to the sacrificial victims. "We can nevertheless point to many reasons why people should now be concerned for the good of all mankind. The great problems of the world today are all global. . . . But pointing to consequences is not enough. We... read more: image:!/photo.php?fbid=498295512851&set=a.498295262851.267909.290036237851&theater

…What is the good of a culture? Survival. Whose survival? Its own. A culture is an end in itself. “When it has become clear that a culture may survive or perish, some of its members may begin to act to promote its survival.”  Which members? By what means are they able to grasp such a goal? No answer. Mr. Skinner stresses repeatedly that the survival of a culture is a value different from, and superior to, the survival of its members, of oneself or of others – a value one ought to live and die for.

Why? Mr. Skinner is suddenly explicit: “None of this will explain what we might call a pure concern for the survival of a culture, but we do not really need an explanation. . . . The simple fact is that a culture which for any reason induces its members to work for its survival, or for the survival of some of its practices, is more likely to survive. Survival is the only value according to which a culture is eventually to be judged, and any practice that furthers survival has survival value by definition.”  Whose survival? No answer. Mr. Skinner lets it ride on an equivocation of this kind.

Art Chantry design. ---Skinner suggested that the pigeons believed that they were influencing the automatic mechanism with their "rituals" and that the experiment also shed light on human behavior: "The experiment might be said to demonstrate a sort of superstition. The bird behaves as if there were a causal relation between its behavior and the presentation of food, although such a relation is lacking. There are many analogies in human behavior. Rituals for changing one's luck at cards are good examples. A few accidental connections between a ritual and favorable consequences suffice to set up and maintain the behavior in spite of many unreinforced instances.--- read more: image:!/photo.php?fbid=498295387851&set=a.498295262851.267909.290036237851&theater

If survival “is the only value according to which a culture is eventually to be judged,” then the Nazi culture, which lasted twelve years, had a certain degree of value – the Soviet culture, which has lasted fifty-five years, has a higher value – the feudal culture of the Middle Ages, which lasted five centuries, had a still higher value – but the highest value of all must be ascribed to the culture of ancient Egypt, which, with no variations or motion of any kind, lasted unchanged for thirty centuries.

A “culture,” in Mr. Skinner’s own terms, is not a thing, not an idea, not even people, but a collection of practices, a “behavior,” a disembodied behavior that supersedes those who behave – i.e., a way of acting to which the actors must be sacrificed. This is mysticism of a kind that makes God or society seem sensibly realistic rulers by comparison. It is also conservatism of a metaphysical kind that makes political conservatism seem innocuously childish. Read More:

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