2 Comments

  1. Michael Young

    That’s one perspective (pun intended.)

    The ones you mention all seem to have a naturally occurring quality to them.

    It’s cliche to quote Orwell but he points out another type, synthetic, one expected, even mandated:

    ““The mind should develop a blind spot whenever a dangerous thought presented itself. The process should be automatic, instinctive. Crimestop, they called it in Newspeak.”

    It was mandated, by God, that Adam and Eve “not see” the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

    I’ll gratuitously submit that it’s the first literature in western culture and it’s about “blind spots.” They could, of course, both clearly see the tree but were directed by God himself to “not see it, pretend it didn’t exist.”

    After eating the immediate effect was that their eyes were opened (and harsh consequences followed for being brave enough “to see” what they should not have seen.)

    They’re an essential component of “obedience” and group cohesion.

    Similarly, our institutions mandate blind spots. They’re essential to group cohesion and solidarity, a holdover from neo-agricultural civilization / hunter-gatherer times.

    The Ten Commandments say a variety of things but what they really, , say is: turn a blind spot to your own needs in favor of group cohesion and society. That model worked just fine in circumstances where choices were severely limited in comparison to advanced societies where an individual can aspire to be anything they wish to be or are capable of being.

    I see this all the time in my “extracurricular” activity dealing with people who’ve been led to believe the group’s welfare is always paramount (sometimes to ridiculous and idiotic extremes.)

    It’s extremely difficult to “just turn it off” or exercise it selectively.

    • Bookscrounger

      These are really good insights. They are giving me ideas for another post on blind spots in terms of how we see one another. We have all sorts of prejudices; about race, certainly, but about all sorts of appearances and affiliations. Some of the prejudices are negative and are unjust toward the other person; some of them are positive, and may give the other person the opportunity to be unjust to us. I’ll keep thinking on it, thanks.

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