social movement

Social-Community Awareness and Responsibility

Andy Lai
Dragon Tribe International School, Evergreen State College

Semantic Manipulation

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Certain words, phrases, or ideas become taboo in societies due to their negative definitions.  When these definitions prevent governments or corporations from their goals, they may sidestep the problem by redefining words to manipulate the public into accepting something they otherwise would not accept.

Fundamentalism

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Fundamentalism is a term for a range of rigid and extreme beliefs.  Fundamentalism is found all over the world.  It's often religious when one group's gods and laws are absolutely true and all others are absolutely false.  Some typical characteristics are: exclusionism, strict adherence to certain doctrines, an acceptance of violence, xenophobia, and a belief in the end of the world.  Fundamentalism -- and not just the religious kind -- is fundamental for perpetuating worldwide turmoil.

Compartmentalized Knowledge

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Knowledge is effectively compartmentalized (or put into "compartments") when different people not only have access to certain types of knowledge but are actually denied formally or via social norms or personal preferences from going beyond their allowable sphere.  Academics often do this to draw boundaries around their own disciplines, thus preventing perceived encroachment and interdisciplinary research.

Forbidden Knowledge

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This is the industrial strength version of Compartmentalization of Knowledge anti-pattern.  This occurs when knowing or pursuing some knowledge is actually denied to a certain group of people under the threat of penalty, as when the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) being told they can't study guns as a "Public health issue."

Opacity

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Sometimes information is kept secret from citizens.  This is useful when hiding corruption, money laundering, vote buying, tax evasion, etc.  With opacity in place, over the years elite business and governments can distance themselves further and further away from any controls on them.

Hidden Agendas

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Society expects its leaders to keep their agendas transparent and in line with the agenda of the groups they represent, however, this is rarely the case.  Those in power often have agendas that aren't in line with the public's expectations of them, and for this reason they may choose to keep these agendas hidden.

Social Darwinism

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Some people are just weaker than others and have less power or opportunity to take power.  The idea of Social Darwinism is that it is natural that these people fail, and that society shouldn't feel responsible for taking care of these people.  Basically, it's a dog eat dog world.

Denialism

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This is the adherence to certain beliefs proven to be untrue -- or refusing to accept as truth something that has been proven to be true.  Denialism can be motivated by religious beliefs, self-interest, or as a defense mechanism out of fear or discomfort.  Inculcating knee-jerk distrust for particular people or groups is often a useful part of denialism.

Eye for an Eye - Retribution

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16
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Equivalent exchange by way of exact behavior.  This is the idea that, "doing unto others the same as has been done unto you," is the true balance of justice.  This approach, diligently adhered to, motivates a perpetual cycle of violence.  An eye for an eye doesn't leave the whole world blind, just people who go around poking out other people's eyes!

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