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“They reestablished for him the world in which he wished to exist”

Thursday’s Beyond Pedagogy meeting, though a bit noisier (due to our temporary move) resulted in the kind of inspiring dialogue that’s been fairly consistent throughout a fairly non-consistent set of dates, books, and group members.

For this book’s go-around, Mark ventured to facilitate. He asked everyone to provide a single sentence for discussion (providing individual phrases and words didn’t make it into our schedule).

Below are the sentences discussed. Please add any thoughts, additional sentences, or insight you’d like to the comments below.

Our next book is the unflappable Buckminster Fuller’s Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth. Meeting details here. See you there?

Selected sentences from Jay Lifton’s Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism:

“If with Catholic belief, you don’t accept one article of faith, you are not a Catholic” (page 217).

“As painful as it is, thought reform would never have a lasting effect if it did not offer a new and appealing sense of identity as its reward” (page 385).

“The totalist environment draws a sharp line between those whose right to existence can be recognized, and those who possess no such right” (page 433).

“It means that you realize your crimes are very big, and that you are not afraid to denounce yourself …. that you trust the people, trust your re-education, and that you like to be reformed” (page 31).

“He found himself more willing to listen to others’ opinions, more patient, and less quick to ‘get in anger’” (page 64).

“Totalist language, then, is repetitiously centered on all-encompassing jargon, prematurely abstract, highly categorical, relentlessly judging, and to anyone but its most devoted advocate, deadly dull: in Lionel Trilling’s phrase, ‘the language of nonthought’” (page 429).

“In discussing tendencies toward individual totalism within my subjects, I made it clear that there were a matter of degree, and that some potential for this form of all-or-nothing emotional alignment exists within everyone” (page 419)

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