## National Philosophy

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### National Philosophy

If the US had a philosophy, what would it be?
By a philosophy, I mean less what American philosophers wrote, and more what the collective philosophy of its citizens, everyone from bankers and politicians, to the layman, is.
And what about the philosophy of the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Brazil, Russia, India, China and Japan, what would they be?

Gloominary
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### Re: National Philosophy

Such a National American Philosophy can only be limited to its Constitution. Currently what is prominent are those ideas of the Republican versus the Democrats. Note the 1st amendment's Freedom of Speech is prominent.

Not related to the OP but as a side point, there are specific philosophies produced by American philosophers, e.g. the analytical [American] versus the Continental [European], the pragmatism of William James, etc.
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
Prismatic567
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### Re: National Philosophy

Such a National American Philosophy can only be limited to its Constitution.

It can't be limited to anything else, like what young Americans tend to believe in, or educated Americans?

Currently what is prominent are those ideas of the Republican versus the Democrats.

Right, much or most of its political philosophy is encompassed in the republicratic party and the constitution.

Note the 1st amendment's Freedom of Speech is prominent.

Noted.

Not related to the OP but as a side point, there are specific philosophies produced by American philosophers, e.g. the analytical [American] versus the Continental [European], the pragmatism of William James, etc.

But do any of these philosophies speak to the masses?
Not really.

Gloominary
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### Re: National Philosophy

Gloominary wrote:But do any of these philosophies speak to the masses?

Most philosophies have a measure of something that can be applied to the collective. But if by 'speaks to the masses' you mean something along the lines of Woody Guthrie's, "This land was made for you and me", then it's basically about equality.

I add to Prismatic's political observation that the current situation is one where some are promoting that this land is more mine than yours. A perception that is bound to fail simply because the economic engine of America cannot be allowed to fail. Reps and Dems will be having a Kumbayah festival before that's allowed. And no need for me to tell you how they would deal with wrench-throwers.

But aside from all that, again, it's about equality, cooperation and the possible yield of a better future. Go through as many current and historical presidential and candidacy speeches as you like and you'll find those points in one variation or another.

Or are you in some way asking 'academically' about an existing philosophy that can be applied? If so, then what comes to mind is a kind of centrism, a balance affording an even keel. Can't let the boat capsize in today's waters infested with sharks domestic and foreign.
Del Ivers

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### Re: National Philosophy

I think it tends towards problem solving, rather then values. Instrumental reason. Pragmatism. Which is related to an ideal of classlessness. You can fix it, you get paid or get the job or the spouse or the raise.....It's not amoral, but it might appear to be to other moralities. It also ties in with individuality, the lone entrepreneur or genius. Can do.
Karpel Tunnel
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### Re: National Philosophy

Gloominary wrote:
Such a National American Philosophy can only be limited to its Constitution.

It can't be limited to anything else, like what young Americans tend to believe in, or educated Americans?

Currently what is prominent are those ideas of the Republican versus the Democrats.

Right, much or most of its political philosophy is encompassed in the republicratic party and the constitution.

Note the 1st amendment's Freedom of Speech is prominent.

Noted.

Not related to the OP but as a side point, there are specific philosophies produced by American philosophers, e.g. the analytical [American] versus the Continental [European], the pragmatism of William James, etc.

But do any of these philosophies speak to the masses?
Not really.

As mentioned it is only a side point, thus not relevant to the OP.

I believe to speak of American National Philosophy is very limited. What is more relevant is American politics, culture, social, economic, arts, sports, and other activities.
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
Prismatic567
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### Re: National Philosophy

Del Ivers wrote:
Gloominary wrote:But do any of these philosophies speak to the masses?

Most philosophies have a measure of something that can be applied to the collective. But if by 'speaks to the masses' you mean something along the lines of Woody Guthrie's, "This land was made for you and me", then it's basically about equality.

I add to Prismatic's political observation that the current situation is one where some are promoting that this land is more mine than yours. A perception that is bound to fail simply because the economic engine of America cannot be allowed to fail. Reps and Dems will be having a Kumbayah festival before that's allowed. And no need for me to tell you how they would deal with wrench-throwers.

But aside from all that, again, it's about equality, cooperation and the possible yield of a better future. Go through as many current and historical presidential and candidacy speeches as you like and you'll find those points in one variation or another.

Or are you in some way asking 'academically' about an existing philosophy that can be applied? If so, then what comes to mind is a kind of centrism, a balance affording an even keel. Can't let the boat capsize in today's waters infested with sharks domestic and foreign.

While I too think America's ethical/political philosophy is equality, among other things perhaps, at least in part, it's a limited equality, not an absolute one.

It's an equality at the voting booth and before the law (regardless of sex, race, creed, class, etcetera), not an equality of outcome, or even opportunity, as people born into wealth have more opportunity.

That being said, the rich can hire better lawyers, and while bribing the courts is illegal, of course it's a practice which remains widespread, in addition to bribing politicians.

Since the early 20th century liberals have changed things, so we have a little more equality in opportunity and outcome, but not much, and we have more corporatism.

To equality you can add private property and personal autonomy, but of course there's plenty of public property and interpersonal demonomy too.

We could say America's ethical philosophy is also monetarism, if you will, the idea that peoples lives are improved if they sell more in the marketplace.

What you spend your money on, be it yourself (increasingly it's on yourself), family, investments or philanthropy, health, materialism, sensuality or travel, isn't so important as you're making as much money as you possibly can (the more the merrier) doing whatever it is you enjoy doing and are good at.

While not everyone agrees, officially success is determined in large part by GDP growth, it's assumed if GDP is growing, people are probably happier, healthier and so on, or GDP becomes the objective in and of itself even.

As far as epistemology goes, it's scientism, and as far as metaphysics goes, it's materialism.

To all that you can add technocracy, and optimism, the idea that tomorrow will be a better day collectively, and individualism, if we only have the right attitude/philosophy.
Last edited by Gloominary on Tue Apr 23, 2019 12:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

Gloominary
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### Re: National Philosophy

Gloominary wrote:...it's a limited equality, not an absolute one.

Nothing is absolute, at least not in the dimension we're existing in. What we aim for is a working, operational equality which while being limited as you noted at least it's better than nothing. Perhaps in the realities of time there could only be a working/operational national philosophy, something befitting the circumstances of the moment. Hmm . . that sounds like the conservative/progressive playbook.

Gloominary wrote:We could also say America's ethical philosophy is about monetarism, if you will, the idea that peoples lives are improved if they sell more in the marketplace.

You can thank the Virginia Company of London and some others for that. It's doings laid the monetary foundation for the USA. Independence may have drawn some lines but the business fix was already in.
Del Ivers

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### Re: National Philosophy

Gloominary wrote:If the US had a philosophy, what would it be?
By a philosophy, I mean less what American philosophers wrote, and more what the collective philosophy of its citizens, everyone from bankers and politicians, to the layman, is.
And what about the philosophy of the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Brazil, Russia, India, China and Japan, what would they be?

The Declaration of Independence is pretty straightforward in presenting itself as a philosophy. "We hold these truths to be self-evident" - that phrase contains a thorough understanding of what philosophy is and must do.

On the whole Id say US is Masonic.
It is true that liberty is precious; so precious that it must be carefully rationed.
~ Владимир Ильич Ульянов Ленин

THE HORNED ONE

barbarianhorde
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### Re: National Philosophy

Gloominary wrote:If the US had a philosophy, what would it be?
By a philosophy, I mean less what American philosophers wrote, and more what the collective philosophy of its citizens, everyone from bankers and politicians, to the layman, is.
And what about the philosophy of the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Brazil, Russia, India, China and Japan, what would they be?

I think the UK's philosophy is getting an overhaul.
The possibility of anything we can imagine existing is endless and infinite

I haven't got the time to spend the time reading something that is telling me nothing, as I will never be able to get back that time, and I may need it for something at some point in time. Wait! What?

--MagsJ

MagsJ
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### Re: National Philosophy

Karpel Tunnel wrote:I think it tends towards problem solving, rather then values. Instrumental reason. Pragmatism. Which is related to an ideal of classlessness. You can fix it, you get paid or get the job or the spouse or the raise.....It's not amoral, but it might appear to be to other moralities. It also ties in with individuality, the lone entrepreneur or genius. Can do.

Pragmatism considers words and thought as tools and instruments for prediction, problem solving and action, and rejects the idea that the function of thought is to describe, represent, or mirror reality.

I don't think that'd resonate with most Americans, most Americans have a straightforward understanding of thought and language, that they should represent reality.

Gloominary
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### Re: National Philosophy

Del Ivers wrote:Nothing is absolute, at least not in the dimension we're existing in.

Of course, but I think if the American people and politicians voted differently, they could have substantially more equality without civilization collapsing or having to travel to the 4th or 5th dimension, or bring the 4th or 5th dimension here.

Americans insist on having equality in some social spheres, but are ambivalent or apathetic about having it in others...at least half the time, the other half politicians just don't listen to them.

Gloominary
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### Re: National Philosophy

Prismatic567 wrote:
Gloominary wrote:
Such a National American Philosophy can only be limited to its Constitution.

It can't be limited to anything else, like what young Americans tend to believe in, or educated Americans?

Currently what is prominent are those ideas of the Republican versus the Democrats.

Right, much or most of its political philosophy is encompassed in the republicratic party and the constitution.

Note the 1st amendment's Freedom of Speech is prominent.

Noted.

Not related to the OP but as a side point, there are specific philosophies produced by American philosophers, e.g. the analytical [American] versus the Continental [European], the pragmatism of William James, etc.

But do any of these philosophies speak to the masses?
Not really.

As mentioned it is only a side point, thus not relevant to the OP.

I believe to speak of American National Philosophy is very limited. What is more relevant is American politics, culture, social, economic, arts, sports, and other activities.

True, Americans and people in general aren't terribly interested in philosophizing much these days, even amateurly, unprofessionally, which's probably in part why academic philosophers have grown detached from common concerns, practical affairs, or vice versa

Gloominary
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### Re: National Philosophy

What about Ayn Rand?

Does her philosophy encapsulate what many or most Americans believe?

Their morals, values, attitude, approach?

Gloominary
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### Re: National Philosophy

barbarianhorde wrote:
Gloominary wrote:If the US had a philosophy, what would it be?
By a philosophy, I mean less what American philosophers wrote, and more what the collective philosophy of its citizens, everyone from bankers and politicians, to the layman, is.
And what about the philosophy of the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Brazil, Russia, India, China and Japan, what would they be?

The Declaration of Independence is pretty straightforward in presenting itself as a philosophy. "We hold these truths to be self-evident" - that phrase contains a thorough understanding of what philosophy is and must do.

On the whole Id say US is Masonic.

Agreed, the declaration of independence is a major, if not the current in America's political philosophy.

But what I also want to know is: what do Americans consider to be the good life?

What are we to do with all this, liberty?

And how do Americans think, how do they view the cosmos and their place in it?

Note I'm asking these questions in a more philosophical than scientific spirit.

Gloominary
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### Re: National Philosophy

MagsJ wrote:
Gloominary wrote:If the US had a philosophy, what would it be?
By a philosophy, I mean less what American philosophers wrote, and more what the collective philosophy of its citizens, everyone from bankers and politicians, to the layman, is.
And what about the philosophy of the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Brazil, Russia, India, China and Japan, what would they be?

I think the UK's philosophy is getting an overhaul.

Really?
Interesting, please elaborate.

Gloominary
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### Re: National Philosophy

What's also interesting is: how progressives, libertarians and conservatives can read the declaration of independence, hear the words equality, liberty, and interpret them very differently.

Progressives hear them and think: education, healthcare, food, housing, freedom from discrimination, freedom from hate, etcetera.

Libertarians hear them and think: my right to swing my fist ends where your nose begins.

Conservatives who aren't also libertarians hear them and think:...I'm not sure what they think.

Perhaps they think we're forgiven by Jesus, but not necessarily by society, the state.

Or we should be punished for the sins we commit (fornication, narcotics, etcetera), not for who we are or what we believe (race, creed, etcetera).

Or we shouldn't be punished for things that're supposed not to harm others, but for things that're supposed to harm others, even indirectly.

Or perhaps they think such matters should be determined municipally and at the state level rather than federally.

I have little idea, maybe they just pay lip service to the DOI.

Maybe they think: freedom from tolerance, from having to tolerate other peoples wickedness, or eccentricities.
Last edited by Gloominary on Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:38 am, edited 4 times in total.

Gloominary
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### Re: National Philosophy

Gloominary wrote:. . .or having to travel to the 4th or 5th dimension, or bring the 4th or 5th dimension here.

Oh, so now you're making it an immigration issue!
Del Ivers

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### Re: National Philosophy

Del Ivers wrote:
Gloominary wrote:. . .or having to travel to the 4th or 5th dimension, or bring the 4th or 5th dimension here.

Oh, so now you're making it an immigration issue!

Of course, we can't have 4th or 5th dimensionals taking our jobs too, so we'll just have to do without absolute(s) (equality).

Gloominary
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### Re: National Philosophy

Gloominary wrote:
MagsJ wrote:I think the UK's philosophy is getting an overhaul.

Really?
Interesting, please elaborate.

Our outlook as a country seems to be under pressure and judgement on any given day, and our Government and lobbyists are constantly having to react to these daily changes we are going through because of our MPs and Honourable Lords constantly doing u-turns on so many policies and legislation in their need to keep up with our constantly-changing sociotel needs.

The previously rebranded British model seems to be reverting back to an (amended) original model, and our philosophy is constantly amending alongside that change.. until a synchronicity is reached.
The possibility of anything we can imagine existing is endless and infinite

I haven't got the time to spend the time reading something that is telling me nothing, as I will never be able to get back that time, and I may need it for something at some point in time. Wait! What?

--MagsJ

MagsJ
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### Re: National Philosophy

MagsJ wrote:
Gloominary wrote:
MagsJ wrote:I think the UK's philosophy is getting an overhaul.

Really?
Interesting, please elaborate.

Our outlook as a country seems to be under pressure and judgement on any given day, and our Government and lobbyists are constantly having to react to these daily changes we are going through because of our MPs and Honourable Lords constantly doing u-turns on so many policies and legislation in their need to keep up with our constantly-changing sociotel needs.

The previously rebranded British model seems to be reverting back to an (amended) original model, and our philosophy is constantly amending alongside that change.. until a synchronicity is reached.

Yea, the UK, as with much of the west, is undergoing major changes.
There's a growing trend to nationalism and populism away from globalism and elitism.
I, for one, welcome this change.

Gloominary
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### Re: National Philosophy

Gloominary wrote:There's a growing trend to nationalism and populism away from globalism and elitism.

If we look at its prominence in the world, the U.S. population has for a long time now been nationalistic, i.e., expressing strong identification with one's own nation and vigorous support for its interests. If this had no been the case, it wouldn't have achieved the status of the most powerful country on the global stage. What the majority of that population does not care for is the 'brand' of nationalism spewed by the far-Right and Trump which is more an identification with authoritarian interests. Which in turn means aspiring bosses wanting the old bosses' power.

And it always amuses me when I hear the far-Right's criticism of, 'the elite'. Trump has been part of the elite since he was born. He has devoted his whole life to maintaining that status by hook or by crook. 99% of Trump's 'base' could not afford the $200,000 fee to join the Mar-a-Lago Club and on top of that the annual dues of$14,000; and don't forget his ownership of 17 golf courses. So who do those that rail against the elites elect? They elect one of the most entrenched of the elite, who by the way, also cheats at golf. What's that saying about a sucker born every minute? . . .

As for globalization which is basically, "The opening of local and nationalistic perspectives to a broader outlook of an interconnected and interdependent world with free transfer of capital, goods, and services across national frontiers." That has already been in place for some time and it is likewise what has brought the US, China, and other countries to world prominence. None of the top 10 most powerful countries in the world: U.S., Russia, China, U.K., Germany, France, Japan, Israel, Saudia Arabia, United Arab Emirates, are going to drop globalism anytime soon. They know there's no going back — and will enforce that by any means necessary.
Del Ivers

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### Re: National Philosophy

Del Ivers wrote:None of the top 10 most powerful countries in the world: U.S., Russia, China, U.K., Germany, France, Japan, Israel, Saudia Arabia, United Arab Emirates, are going to drop globalism anytime soon. They know there's no going back — and will enforce that by any means necessary.
So if we -everyone in the thread- drop, or black box, the right left battle for a moment, how do we deal with the problems of globalism. Both sides, it seems to me, should be concerned about the anti-democratic control global corporations have over government. I think also there is something unique in the new monopolies - Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon - and they are even more capable of avoiding oversight and affecting government policy than anything that has come before. Leftists are skeptical of nationalistic approaches to combatting globalism. Rightists often hesitate to seem in any way critical of corporations, as if their freedom is equal to and part of the freedom of individuals. So, what do we do about the bad side of globalization, in those areas where the right and left can agree there are negative aspects?
Karpel Tunnel
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### Re: National Philosophy

Karpel Tunnel wrote: So, what do we do about the bad side of globalization, in those areas where the right and left can agree there are negative aspects?

That's the current crux of it, isn't it? The keyword is 'agree' and I don't see much of that in the current political atmosphere. I figure that provided there aren't any long-range consequences from present actions, that a generation or so from now there will be an assessment as to what the problems were and perhaps a better view of things.

As I noted, nationalism is basically about social identity on a larger scale. Thing is, there are those who demand their identity to be considered more than others, not as part of a multiculturality. Their type of nationalism seeks to overturn of civil rights because they consider it bad deal that's been stripping away at what they considered as privileges.

"When their privileged status quo was recently threatened by the election of a black president, the rise of new civil rights movements, and the empowerment of traditionally maligned segments of society, a massive culture war pitted weakening religious factions against populations they no longer “controlled.” Politically, many white Christians rallied around a man who personifies the American Idol of Nationalism, Populism, and Greed, and they enthusiastically preferred the rallying cry of “Make America Great Again” over the wisdom of “loving your neighbor as yourself.” source

Yet, power in America continues to be largely in the hands of white men of European descent who in fact would have not profited to the extent they have if it had not been for that multicultural premise. When the iIndustry started up America, the majority of the workers were immigrants. And that has continued to where we are now.

Solution? it simply comes down to the acceptance that if we are going to address the negative aspects then we do so for the benefit of all, a true and complete nationalism. But Trump's and the Right's view is not so egalitarian, theirs is more, 'us vs. them' . In other words, the attitude is, if you do what we say it's positive, if you don't it's negative.

Everyone can agree that there are negative aspects, but some are very biased as to solutions.
Del Ivers

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### Re: National Philosophy

Del Ivers wrote:In other words, the attitude is, if you do what we say it's positive, if you don't it's negative.
I don't think this is a right wing quality. Everyone seems to have this attitude.

Everyone can agree that there are negative aspects, but some are very biased as to solutions.
I think actually both sides are more fascinated by the hatred of the other team. The Left seems to have lost if skepticism about government, and even trade alliances. The Left, at least the non-communist Left, should also be concerned about centralizing power, as it large nations like the EU would be. The Left should also be, as a rule, concerned about Google, facebook and Amazon. But they aren't. I see the right as not wanting to look at corporations as regions of fascism and how they undermine the supposedly holy democracy or republic. Though more of the right is making noises there, especially about social media, though not other kinds of companies. The right also hates Leftist socialization ideas, which get lumped under political correctness. But they are afraid to notice technological changes as socialization changes and radical ones. Some of the right is starting to notice that social media are changing children's brains in bad ways and are starting to criticize technology. Until recently if we could do it we should do it and make money through it. Now they are starting to get that AI, genetic products, nanotech and social media are problematic. But they don't want to notice how this is also true of corporations in general and their power over media and government and control over wars.

There are tiny groups on both sides who are starting to realize that the other side had some valid criticisms, though often solutions they did not like. But in general they don't like to notice good things on the other side. Not one lefty I saw said anything positive about Trumps plan not to allow certain EU US trade agreements recentl that were basically Nafta 2, with new partners, including bascially allowing trade organizations to dictate national policies that would normally be the purview of democratically elected representatives.

Since it was Trump saying this, no lefty stood on his side. I understand why liberals beholden to Wall St. wouldn't touch it, but other leftists....silence.

We are now team players only, in ways I have never seen before.

When in fact there are things the right and left agree about and share values around.

But they won't talk about it because the hating and virtue signaling (which both sides do, though the term came out of the right) are now the main thigns.

And this benefits the powers that be.
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