"Reputationalism"

16 posts / 0 new
Last post
Fatty
Offline
Joined: 15-01-06
Jan 15 2006 22:05
"Reputationalism"

No, that's not a real word, but if it was a word then I'd use it as a term to identify a thought of mine based on Orwell's works.

As you all know I'm not very knowledgeable in the politics area whatsoever due to my cultural background mainly so play nice as I'm going to discuss a very simple concept.

Only just recently did I read "Animal Farm" and found it to be quite inspirational due to how it described how societies were structured based on their fear induced thinking. Individuals at the time feared mortal danger and so obided by the fascist leaders of the time (I'm not knowledgeable in this area so I believe it was Stalin and Hitler right?). Some of Orwell's post-publication notes stated that it was fear for lives which kept everyone 'under the thumb' as so to speak and also mentioned that if the people knew what power they had then they could easily overcome such a regime.

Now, only the other day did I re-think this. In Britain it's safe to say that people don't fear for their lives if they opress against the government, simply the government let them hold a protest and they surround the vicinity with a multitude of police officers wink However, the structure of societies is still bound by something. If you take Orwell's ideas and slightly alter them I believe you pretty much get the British societal structure of today. Instead of people fearing for mortal danger, alternatively the people of today fear for their reputation. People of today have narrow-minded views on things due to media and the people that surround them. We've become over-run by thinking more about how we look then what we're doing. So take Orwell's works and just apply reputational fear to the same concept and hey presto, British society?

Personally, I do see myself as a "reputationalist" but not to the extent as the majority of people that I know.

This is just my personal opinion and I know for a fact that I'm going to get flamed like I've never been flamed before but I'm just interested to hear your thoughts on it smile

Lazy Riser's picture
Lazy Riser
Offline
Joined: 6-05-05
Jan 15 2006 22:18

Hi

Definitely. This is similar perspective to the one explored by Veblen…

Quote:
Whereas classical economics defines humans as rational, utility-seeking people who try to maximize their pleasure, Veblen recast them as completely irrational creatures who chase after social status without much regard to their own happiness.

And Brinton…

Quote:
Let us consider for a moment - and not through rose tinted spectacles - the average middle-aged working class voter today (it matters little in this respect whether he votes 'Conservative' or 'Labour'). He is probably hierarchy-conscious, xenophobic, racially-prejudiced, pro-monarchy, pro-capital punishment, pro-law and order, anti-demonstrator, anti-long haired students and anti-drop out. He is almost certainly sexually repressed (and hence an avid, if vicarious, consumer of the distorted sexuality endlessly depicted in the pages of the News of the World). No 'practical' Party (aiming at power through the ballot-box) would ever dream of appealing to him through the advocacy of wage equality, workers' management of production, racial integration, penal reform, abolition of the monarchy, dissolution of the police, sexual freedom or the legalisation of pot. Any one proclaiming this kind of 'transitional programme' would not only fail to get support but would probably be considered some kind of a nut.

He said “pot”. Ha ha. What a square.

Love

LR

jef costello's picture
jef costello
Offline
Joined: 9-02-06
Jan 15 2006 22:20

I wouldn't say it was simply reputation. People fear for their lives in a different sense.

Losing your home, having your kids put in care, going to prison are all forms of 'loss of life'

Fatty
Offline
Joined: 15-01-06
Jan 15 2006 22:24

Thing is, people rely on the government to live at all, so that figures. Money, healthcare and housing are provided to a lot of people from the government (well, it's a luxury with my government) so it's not as if they'd protest anyway because they'd be screwing their own lives over if they did.

Fatty
Offline
Joined: 15-01-06
Jan 15 2006 22:32
Jef Costello wrote:
I wouldn't say it was simply reputation. People fear for their lives in a different sense.

Losing your home, having your kids put in care, going to prison are all forms of 'loss of life'

I would never say it's only their reputation, I think for the more middle class people and generally better off people in the society it is a deciding factor. I mean, look at fashion / music segregation, the way the youth structure themselves can be highly based on fashion or music (or a mix).

Lazy Riser's picture
Lazy Riser
Offline
Joined: 6-05-05
Jan 15 2006 22:43

Hi

People are irrational and driven purely by status rather than their own pleasure. This is a consequence of authoritarian conditioning. The constant denial of desire in the face of capitalism’s training makes us associate happiness with guilt, leading to sexual repression and self-destructive attempts to emulate the bourgeoisie in order to gain their acceptance.

Love

LR

Fatty
Offline
Joined: 15-01-06
Jan 15 2006 23:56

That's very true.

The question remains though, is there any way to break free from the authoritarian conditioning that's saturated throughout society? In fact, just driving out the whole personal status regime is something one can only dream. If it were the case then it'd greatly advance the world as people would care about more important things as opposed to themselves.

Thing is, you can't opress against it as it ultimately leads you to become somewhat "cast out" from society. The first step is trying to let people willingly listen and understand 'reputationist' ways and to clarify the pros and cons of such a concept.

Steven.'s picture
Steven.
Offline
Joined: 27-06-06
Jan 16 2006 00:03

Don't think I agree with the reputation thing. I think TBH, most people at some point consider if things could be different. IMO most people think "could i do anything to change things?" then think either "no" or they could in a tiny way by buying fair trade, giving to charity or going veggie.

Most people have no sense of their potential power cos most people haven't experienced collective power. Most of us young "revolutionaries" haven't either, but we know about the historical, or current foreign, examples where people have. And most overt "subversive" political activity is pointless shite most people can't be bothered with, or try out then soon drop out of when they find it doesn't achieve anything.

Fatty
Offline
Joined: 15-01-06
Jan 16 2006 00:07

So you wouldn't say someone will dress like they do because they're concerned for how they look, or act like they do because they're concerned for what people will think of them?

But come to think of it, some people will just try to be reputationalist in the positive sense. Someone may want to be known as "that nice person" or "the one that always helps out". If I were to intricately define it, I'd say it's people who only do something to gain a reputation, to become known as "that person who looks cool". If anyone understands the psychological motives then perhaps they can elaborate more?

Steven.'s picture
Steven.
Offline
Joined: 27-06-06
Jan 16 2006 00:10
Fatty wrote:
So you wouldn't say someone will dress like they do because they're concerned for how they look, or act like they do because they're concerned for what people will think of them?

No that's true - but I don't think this affects people's personal politics very much. Other than of course they'll probably adopt a lot of the politics of their peer group, cos that will be best for them generally.

jef costello's picture
jef costello
Offline
Joined: 9-02-06
Jan 16 2006 00:52
Lazy Riser wrote:
Hi

People are irrational and driven purely by status rather than their own pleasure. This is a consequence of authoritarian conditioning. The constant denial of desire in the face of capitalism’s training makes us associate happiness with guilt, leading to sexual repression and self-destructive attempts to emulate the bourgeoisie in order to gain their acceptance.

Love

LR

Capitalism makes us associate pleasure with freedom from labour.

Christianity associates pleasure with guilt.

People are not interested in what people actualy think of them, they are interested in what they think people think of them.

But when it comes to looking bad and actual suffering (ie a criminal record as opposed to being cold in a miniskirt) people usually choose to look bad.

Fatty
Offline
Joined: 15-01-06
Jan 16 2006 08:11
Quote:
People are not interested in what people actualy think of them, they are interested in what they think people think of them.

Personally I'd go with that one, 'tis very true indeed.

Thing is, why do people choose to look bad?

jef costello's picture
jef costello
Offline
Joined: 9-02-06
Jan 16 2006 09:17

What do you mean by 'look bad'?

I always find it funny that all the little 'alternative' kids have as strict a dress code as the trendy kids. They can get a reaction out of their parents because they are not of the correct peer group.

Fatty
Offline
Joined: 15-01-06
Jan 16 2006 09:23
Jef Costello wrote:
people usually choose to look bad.

In terms of criminal records or being cold in a mini-skirt I think you were getting at.

Even though I take great notice to fashion, I don't adhere to a type of fashion, I wear a mixture of things or generally what I think would look nice on me. A lot of my friends are punks / "metal-heads" or the funniest one is "emo". They classify themselves - a fair few admit to liking any kind of music and don't really stick to a fashion type. The punks that I know have really strong political points of view (I think it's mainly anarchism in the punk sub-culture isn't it?). I just let it brush over me personally.

jef costello's picture
jef costello
Offline
Joined: 9-02-06
Jan 16 2006 09:36
Fatty wrote:
Jef Costello wrote:
people usually choose to look bad.

In terms of criminal records or being cold in a mini-skirt I think you were getting at.

Ok, I meant that people choose looking bad over suffering, so whil you might be willing to freeze your arse off to 'look good' you might choose to 'look bad' by not taking action that leads to arrest, criminal record and messing up your employment prospects.