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Opinion that is formed among the Public


March 15, 2006

  • Democracy is understood to stand on the SINGLE leg of educated Public Opinion.
  • This is a distorted partial truth which can sometimes or often become perverse, as the jury was described in the trial of Nanavathi.
  • It is worthwhile knowing all aspects of it.

Nehru was known to create Indian Public Opinion and then represent it.

  • Democracy survives more on the freedom for production which is the economic basis than on Public Opinion, a passing transient phenomenon.

A nation's basis, its social structure, is its ability to produce its needs. Freedom to produce, freedom to sell, fix the price, sell where he chooses are the real invisible roots of the exalted institution of democracy.

  • Public Opinion is often, I am tempted to say ALWAYS, the opinion of the elite, as the public long to imitate them even if it is hostile to them in personal benefits. Even in trade unions, it is the elite opinion that counts. The elite of the labour has the strongest subconscious urge to ape the aristocracy it wishes to topple. In post-war France, in USSR, even in the French Revolution, this phenomenon was in evidence.
  • The basic simple truth is till 2006 AD no valid public has come into existence that is capable of forming an opinion.

Opinion is a mental faculty. How do we expect mindless people, though educated, to form an opinion? Not to speak of uneducated people.

In one sense, Public Opinion is a reality and in another sense, it is a myth. A few thousand years ago, the leader who ruled a community or an area was, in ultimate truth, democratically elected.

Even in rank dictatorship such as USSR, Germany, the process of democratisation will be there. Stalin's dictatorship could not have survived the subconscious rebellion of the masses. The masses subconsciously adored the dictatorship and consciously offered endorsing approval. Indian Puranic literature and Sangam Tamil literature contain these kernels of public wisdom.

  • Today's public opinion is unorganised, unformed, unconsciously formed in the most educated nation. The reasons are obvious. Behind it are subtle truths the commercial world is fully aware of and exploits.

One of those truths is the public desire someone to form an opinion on their behalf and offer it to them to voice it.

The truth of it can be seen if any nation suspends its present chaotic onslaught on the public through the media and advertisement. Should the public be left to form their own opinion giving them FACTS, not opinions, one can witness the phenomenon of the public not endeavouring to form any opinion. Wherever they form one, it will be an expression of superstition.

  • Till the advent of Copernicus, of what value was public opinion about the sun and the earth? Now the educated public have accepted his explanation. Of course, it is not final.

How are the public to know whether nuclear arms are to be destroyed or preserved any more than the earth is flat or round?

What is true of scientific discovery is true of any discovery.

Education gives information. It does not by itself permit the formation of mind.

The formation of the human mind is as complex a process as the creation of the human body. Being Mind, naturally it is more time consuming and complex.

To expect anyone, e.g. ourselves to form an opinion when no mind has formed in us is a vain expectation.

The formation of Mind is evidenced by the fact of making one's life rational. The biographies of great men are of no help here. Great Minds have lived and exhibited the highest mental creativity but history does not tell us that their minds helped them to make their lives rational. Public opinion is the creation (action) of Mind in life. Such a basis not yet there.

  • How to create Public Opinion is entirely a different topic from what is public opinion. A professor of politics cannot be expected to rule the country. Usually he will be an exemplary failure.
  • Those who aim at educating Public Opinion have to take into account several facts.

What moves the government is not necessarily public opinion, but the opinion of those who have the ear of the rulers. The Public by an inverse process pick this opinion. Hence the myth.

  • Whether it is the Vietnam war, untouchability, abolition of segregation or tax cut, the public act on the basis of their urges.

Today a referendum in India will uphold the existence of untouchability. The South ardently fought for the retention of slavery.

Should a plebiscite on Tax be there, the public will vote for the abolition of all taxes.

What is done, is done by elite opinion, not public opinion. The most progressive educated nation cannot go to its public to uphold its taxation policy.

  • The NAKED truth is the public cannot be educated at all.

They resist education.

There is expertise about several issues which the public are not qualified to acquire. Of what use is their opinion without that expert knowledge.

How do you expect the citizen to understand Darwin or the Bible on evolution?

If he has any opinion, it is NO opinion.

  • One can look into oneself. On how many national issues am I qualified to have an opinion. I go by what I hear from others. It is an ideal way of organising superstition. It can never be an opinion.
  • Has any experiment been done anywhere to educate the public to form any opinion on anything? What is available is public impression. Impression is not reality.
  • One can have the luxury of superstition if he hopes to educate public opinion. It is a hallmark of mental immaturity.

In this world of human affairs, immaturity can accomplish at international levels. It can be social elevation, but will not have any semblance of reality.

  • Let us not raise the issue of how to mobilise public opinion till we study what the words public, opinion, nation, government, social power, etc. mean.
  • At best, Public Opinion is a misnomer.

All saints and geniuses were victims of public opinion in their own lifetime.

Jesus stands out.

story | by Dr. Radut