The Philosophers (Part 8): Protagoras

There is something called “dominant thought.” It is a thought or philosophy that shapes the outlook, conduct and culture of society. It is pushed by certain people and sold to society. When enough people have bought into it political and legal protection is procured for it. It’s then fostered on the rest of society under pain of punishment. This is cultural hegemony. Cultural hegemony is domination or rule maintained through ideological or cultural means. By means of it the values, norms, ideas, expectations, worldview and behaviour of society is determined. Now, the idea being pushed need not be sensible. Some ideas are indeed riddled with severe contradictions, yet they’re still pushed, sometimes to logical conclusion. Absurdity then reshapes sociology and even politics. It’s how aberrance becomes normative. Here’s the thing though: each generation thinks it’s adopting a new progressive idea. Our generation is not immune to this delusion. We don’t seem to realise even something as basic as our democracy is recycled material. The idea came from Ancient Greece. One of the great “new” ideas is relativism. […]

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