Just Merveilleux?

Life at № 42

Social Comparison Theory

marx

That paragraph from Marx’s Wage Labour & Capital distills the entire concept of Festinger’s Social Comparison Theory. It’s the backbone of the psychological manipulation that occurs/occurred in communist and fascist regimes alike. It’s also what Trump and the Brexiteers exploit when they frame society in terms of “us”, the virtuous victims vs. “them”, the alleged elites.

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36 comments on “Social Comparison Theory

  1. silenceofmind
    August 29, 2016

    A society in which a blithering idiot like Karl Marx is held in esteem is a society in a state of catastrophic collapse.

    In what hallucination do palaces miraculously spring up among the poor or even a middle class suburb?

    And there in lies the idiocy of Karl Marx.

    Like

    • So you didn’t understand a word he said?

      Liked by 3 people

    • agrudzinsky
      August 29, 2016

      Marx got many things absolutely right. The problem is with practical conclusions and their implementation.

      Liked by 3 people

      • silenceofmind
        August 29, 2016

        Agrudinsky,

        Karl Marx got exactly everything wrong.

        That’s why he’s a blithering idiot.

        Like Plato’s “Republic,” the world of Karl Marx is an all out assault on everything that is human.

        That’s why Marxism fails every time it is tried.

        Like

      • So please explain Marxism to the world in one paragraph- just for fun?

        Like

      • silenceofmind
        August 30, 2016

        Mr. Merveilleux,

        Marxism in one sentence or less:

        Marxism takes everything that is wrong with the free market and puts it on steroids.

        Like

      • I’m surprised you’d say that as there’s so much in common in the spirit of Catholicism with Marxism.

        Like

    • Cara
      August 29, 2016

      In what hallucination do palaces miraculously spring up among the poor? Clearly you haven’t witnessed the gentrification of Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Or Capri where fisherman’s houses have turned into mansions…

        Liked by 2 people

      • silenceofmind
        August 29, 2016

        Cara,

        I have indeed seen gentrification.

        It has nothing to do with palaces springing up among the poor.

        It has everything to do with restoring once wonderful neighborhoods that have since been completely destroyed by urban blight.

        Like

      • silenceofmind
        August 29, 2016

        Mr. Merveilleux,

        I’ll bet the fisherman who owned the old home made out like a bandit.

        Like

      • Which makes Cara’s point verifiably true. So you sort of have to admit to her she was right.

        Like

      • agrudzinsky
        August 30, 2016

        It has everything to do with restoring once wonderful neighborhoods that have since been completely destroyed by urban blight.

        Not exactly. Some people view it as “destroying the culture” and oppose it with all their political might. In Portland, Oregon, the black community has blocked the building of a nice clean grocery store in their neighborhood claiming that gentrification would attract those well-to-do people (read “white”) killing their “culture” (of poverty?). They claimed that white people moving into the black neighborhood and making it, well, not so black, is a manifestation of racism. Weird…

        http://www.vice.com/read/portland-trader-joes-twir

        Liked by 1 person

  2. john zande
    August 29, 2016

    A few months ago (or maybe more) some Scottish researchers found that incidents of air rage were higher if Economy passengers walked first through 1st/Business class on their way to the back.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. agrudzinsky
    August 29, 2016

    Avoiding social comparisons is the key to happier and longer life.

    Liked by 2 people

    • And yet it’s what makes the commercial world turn.

      Liked by 1 person

    • silenceofmind
      August 29, 2016

      agrudzinsky,

      Hobnobbing with the rich and famous is inspiring…

      …that is if the plebe lives in a free market economy where he can become filthy rich if he so desires.

      Like

      • agrudzinsky
        August 30, 2016

        …that is if your goal is to become filthy rich. For me, the advantage of living in a free society is not the chance of getting filthy rich. It’s the freedom to choose my own goals and values. Measuring my own success by the size of my neighbor’s house does not make sense to me.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. acflory
    August 29, 2016

    How curious that Marx or whoever he was channelling, got that particular aspect of human nature right, but failed so miserably to predict that humans would NOT, by nature, be altruistic? I admit, I haven’t read Das Capital, but I always wondered why psychological considerations played no part in his manifesto. Maybe I should try and read it… 😦

    Liked by 2 people

    • You do realize he was born in Germany? 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • acflory
        August 30, 2016

        Now, now… 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • silenceofmind
        August 30, 2016

        Mr. Merveilleux,

        I always thought that the words, “Das Capital” were dead give aways of some sort of German origin.

        Like

    • silenceofmind
      August 29, 2016

      acflory,

      It is the mad obsession of the Marxist to create the “New Man.”

      Like

      • acflory
        August 30, 2016

        -sigh- As if that’s ever worked. I think Capitalism has worked for as long as it has because it recognizes the basic self-centeredness of human beings. Like any political theory, however, it has a fatal flaw – capitalism only works when it is balanced by competition, but what we see now is corporatism, and corporatism strives to quash competition, leading to…a corporate oligarchy?

        Anyway, in the biological world, Darwin wasn’t completely right – it’s not all about competition. In reality, competition is balanced by co-operation, a lesson we could all learn.

        Liked by 2 people

      • agrudzinsky
        August 30, 2016

        I wouldn’t say that humans are selfish by nature. If it were so, you wouldn’t see massive self-sacrifices and heroism during the war time. There is a fundamental conflict between individual and collective good. In a free society, they maintain a natural balance. When individualism outweighs collectivism, measures are taken in another direction: anti-trust laws, corporate regulations, welfare programs, and health care reforms are adopted. When people get fed up with these socialist tendencies, Republicans (or whatever the equivalent is) win elections and things go the other direction until another bubble bursts. And so on.

        In totalitarian countries, propaganda and brainwashing skew the collective mentality towards collectivism, but it cannot be sustained for too long. People are called to give up individual good for collective good, but it’s a lie. In reality, they are called to give up their good for the good of those who controls the propaganda.

        Like

  5. agrudzinsky
    August 29, 2016

    When my wife and I were looking to buy a house, once in a while we came to a suburban neighborhood at the edge of the city line with large expensive new houses with views and well-groomed landscaping. On the corner of that neighborhood, there would stand a small and very old house. Guess why and who is likely to be the richest in this neighborhood?

    Liked by 2 people

  6. clubschadenfreude
    August 31, 2016

    wow, SOM is surely putting on quite a display here. We’ve gone from the free market is wrong and somehow Marx is the exemplar of this, to hilariously racist bullshit about “urban blight”, and then to how great it is to have lots and lots of money. Our little fella who is so enamored of Trump is having a bit of a meltdown, I fear. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • The religious mind doesn’t have serious parameters- nor is evidence a serious consideration. Rather, they train themselves to recite positions that are popular in their circles 😉

      Like

      • clubschadenfreude
        August 31, 2016

        well, he’s reciting *something*. &) oh well, he’ll be a great test subject if heaven does exist and if liars get into it.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Charmaine Martin
    September 14, 2016

    OMG when I opened this page, the advert said “brought to you by Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.” I know you can’t control the ads, Pinky, but …. tooo droll. or dooo troll.

    Like

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