RE: Thinking Skills & "Nature of Government"

From: Lee Corbin (
Date: Fri Aug 03 2001 - 00:26:26 MDT

I read up to page 6 (so far) of Frederick Mann's

> <>

I haven't decided whether I will read any further.
Ironically, what stopped me was that the author didn't
seem to me to be displaying good thinking skills
at every opportunity.

> I think the best starting point is to compile an
> thinking skills are specifically mentioned in the
> above report.

I should admit at the outset that I am by no means
so educated a libertarian as many people on this list,
and that secondly, I must quote a line from page 4
that I really liked:

> as George Orwell wrote in "Nineteen-Eighty-Four":
> "Crimestop means the faculty of stoopping short, as
> though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous
> thought... crimestop, in short, means protective
> stupidity."

Doesn't that sum up amazingly well what each of us (hope-
fully less on this list) does when we get too near an
uncomfortable thought? E.g., "what if I've been wrong
about socialism?", or "what if I've been wrong about

Mr. Mann spends most of page 3 and page 4 attacking
reification, (the turning of particulars into abstractions
that goes too far). He apparently believes that people
who lie on the opposite end of the political spectrum
from himself have a problem with abstractions. I think
that his philosophical position is called "nominalism".
In any case, I believe in the reality of abstractions,
and among well-educated people, I am certainly not alone.

But here was the first sentence that made me wonder if I
was wasting my time. "[The issue of the validity or legality
of the so-called "Constitution"] also means that all [sic]
the politicians and bureaucrats, calling themselves "presidents",
"secretaries", "judges", "generals", "congressmen," etc., have
been liars and imposters masquerading as "government" (so-called).

Evidently no alarm bells went off in his head when he wrote the
word "all". Moreover, there were no qualifications of the terms
"liar" and "imposter". That makes a very bad impression on me,
and in my experience indicates a communication problem, if not
a thinking problem.

Ironically, in the post this evening, he writes

> It seems to me that most people attempting to read
> "Nature-of-Government"-type information have great
> difficulty processing the information because they
> lack the thinking skills for doing so.
> More specific thinking skills are mentioned in the
> other Clear-Your-Mind Reports
> <>.

and so on.

Then, so far as I could tell, he attempted to settle
the entire AIDS controvery by an appeal to correct
thinking, e.g.,

> One thinking skill has to do with "Identifying the Crux
> of the Matter." In the case of so-called "AIDS," there are
> several "cruxes":
> 1. Is there really a disease that can legitimately be called
> "AIDS?" (Or is it a linguistic fantasy created by definition,
> repetition, and acceptance by the credulous?)

etc. But I enjoy Korzybski, and so perhaps I'll enjoy this
once I've acquired a taste for it.

Lee Corbin

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