Re: MD the ideology of capitalism - the notion of FRH

From: Sam Norton (
Date: Mon May 23 2005 - 13:51:31 BST

  • Next message: Platt Holden: "Re: MD Access to Quality"

    Hi Mark,

    Some time to return to this conversation. Some vigorous snipping to pick out
    these bits:

    > msh before:
    > There is a difference in the value of Chomsky's FRH ideas versus
    > the FRH ideas of Ayn Rand. There is no difference in the value of
    > Chomsky's life versus the life of any Randian, or that of any chimp
    > or dog or cat or spider or gnat. Most humans tend to believe that
    > their lives are more valuable than a cougar's, although a treed
    > cougar will not agree. Jingoist Americans believe that the life of
    > a single invader GI is worth more than a thousand innocent Iraqi
    > lives. My claim is that these beliefs are cultural and biological
    > illusions which exist in inverse proportion to an individual's
    > level of enlightenment.
    > msh:
    > No. I say the value of the ideas has no effect on the value of the
    > LIFE of the person. There's a difference. Chomsky could suddenly go
    > into a tailspin of senility, and start spouting all sorts of venomous
    > ideas. Killing him under these conditions would be just as bad as
    > killing him at his humanitarian best.
    > msh says:
    > We can't evaluate his ideas unless he communicates them to us. So we
    > evaluate his ideas by what he says, and by what we may infer would be
    > the result if his ideas were put into action. We evaluate Chomsky
    > the man by what he does.
    > msh says:
    > My position is that some ideas held by some people are of lower
    > quality than other ideas, yes. By this I mean that those LQ ideas,
    > if implemented, will cause evolution to take a hit. But a person's
    > character is determined by what they do, not by what they say.

    I want to pass on the question of the relative values of human life versus
    other forms of life for the time being, although we may well come back to
    that in another thread.

    From what you say above, a) it is the ideas which matter, not the 'human
    being' that bears the ideas; b) nevertheless, humans do have some value,
    just not more than any other form of life; c) ideas are expressed in
    activity, and therefore we can evaluate a person by their behaviour.


    I think on a) your position is the same as Pirsig's; on b) we'll pursue that
    elsewhere; but on c) I think we have something very interesting to untangle.

    In the MoQ hierarchy (the 'official' one), so far as I understand it, ideas
    are the (sole) occupants of level 4 - in the same way that genes inhabit
    level 2, 'memes' inhabit level 4.

    And these ideas are more moral than the various social level patterns on
    which they rest.

    What I want to know is, if it is behaviour which is key to evaluation (ie
    the discernment of Quality), does this put behaviour into level 4?

    This might provide the framework for understanding what an FRH is, in terms
    of the MoQ, ie an FRH is a human being whose behaviour displays a dominance
    of level 4 patterns.

    However, - and this might move us onto the MF track, so we'll try and avoid
    that if we can - I am curious to know a) how these level 4 patterns are
    distinguished, eg from level 3 patterns; and b) how these level 4 patterns
    are implemented, in other words, is there a notion of a 'decision maker'
    embedded somewhere in the FRH?

    One of my longstanding objections to accepting level 4 as 'intellectual' is
    that I can't see how it functions without what I call a 'choosing unit', ie
    some locus of static patterns which can respond to Quality, as the amoeba
    responds to the acid in the petri dish. (I discuss this in my 'eudaimonic
    MoQ' proposal)

    And it also seems to me that the FRH is just such a choosing unit, but you
    seem to have removed all possibility of it doing the job that you want it to
    do, when you deny the FRH any greater value than, eg, a well trained dog.

    So, to end with a positive question: how does an FRH get analysed in terms
    of the MoQ? How is it constructed?


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