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Does Race exist?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by haroon, May 8, 2019.

  1. Estebonrober

    Estebonrober Chieftain

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    I didnt say you did, but others on here seem to often. I was pointing out that in the immigration debate productivity seems to be the only concern. It shouldn’t be and it shouldn’t be in so many other policy decisions.

    I think we are getting crossed up maybe if you are accusing me of projecting.
     
  2. bernie14

    bernie14 Filter Manipulator

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    Got it, sorry, i have only skimmed through the thread, i didn't realize you were being so specific

    EDIT. I would however argue that productivity and monetary worth are different things
     
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  3. Estebonrober

    Estebonrober Chieftain

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    I’d agree with that and definitely with that when we get into specificity regarding developing policies.
     
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  4. Lexicus

    Lexicus Warlord

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    Fascinating. You appear to grasp that racism is not really a problem of individual psychology, then your solution appears to be individuals "seeing the light" through "empathy" and meeting them "where they are."

    The disconnect is jarring. Unfortunately there are convinced individual racists out there. For example you can try a little empathy and meeting Hehehe where he is, and see where that gets you (tbh it's kind of instructive that you haven't bothered to engage with his posts in this thread, opting instead to tell me I'm doing it wrong).

    In the real world the solution to racism is not any number of individuals "seeing the light" but a revolutionary political program of redistribution and reparation. And sadly, many people with a vested interest in the racist status quo will fight to the death to prevent that. Whether they are personally bigoted is irrelevant.

    And before you get the wrong idea, the man in your avatar carried out such a program and killed quite a few people willing to fight to the death to prevent it. Sadly the success of that program was thwarted and sabotaged by reactionaries later on.
     
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  5. ulyssesSgrant

    ulyssesSgrant Chieftain

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    You carried this idea of "seeing the light" through your entire reply, but I specifically said that isn't what happened! What I said was that I was changed by people around me. This is slowly, over time, by people who I had established friendships with. It can happen through a forum, sure, but it's more likely to happen with people in your actual real life community. Those are the people who shape you. So yeah I'm not sure how to engage someone like Hehehe in this context.

    For me it's jarring to read that the solution to racism is redistribution and reparation through social programs and killing people who oppose them. I'm always sceptical of people with think their political philosophy will solve humanities deepest problems. I'm not oppose to reparations and I'm in favour of redistribution in general, but these aren't just going to solve racism. I really just want to see change for the better, and I know that often does happen through political action, but it has to be the right kind. I'm not idolizing the individual. This is about shifting our communities and our culture from that of division and hate to one that listens and loves. I'm not convinced the transition has to be messy.
     
  6. Senethro

    Senethro Overlord

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    It'll be a tidy transition the next time the privileged group gives up without being sulky about it.
     
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  7. Lexicus

    Lexicus Warlord

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    You said you didn't see the light because someone yelled "bigot" at you, implying that you saw the light because of the other reasons you laid out. But if that isn't what you meant, it doesn't really matter. The phrase "see the light" is not what my argument hangs on, the point is that it hinges on psychology and ignores the material reality of racism.

    I used the phrase "willing to fight to the death to prevent" rather than simply "opposes" or "disagrees with" for a reason.

    Yes, and this naive idealism is precisely what I'm arguing against. I don't think I misunderstood your argument at all. Basically, I am advancing a Marxist or Marxian theory of racism against your liberal individualist theory of racism. I think this bit of your post captures the distinction as well as anything:

    I don't see racism as one of "humanity's deepest problems", some sort of primordial sin afflicting us as individuals, but as a political problem (ie, a problem relating to the distribution of power and resources) arising from historically-specific circumstances, that can be challenged and changed through collective action.

    For my part, I'm always skeptical of people who think that centuries-old political problems that involve inherent conflicts of interest can be solved by 'cultural shifts from division and hate to listening and loving'. The obstacle we face is not a lack of listening or loving, it's the fact that hundreds of millions of people in the world today derive immense material benefits from the impoverishment and deprivation of others (and ultimately a relative handful of individuals are - literally - incomprehensibly wealthy because the rest of us are poorer than we should/could be).

    In the United States the specifically racist component of this can be seen most clearly in housing segregation. It is impossible to understand modern racial segregation in this country without understanding the dynamics of a real estate market where property value is so often constituted by the violent exclusion of poor people and especially non-white poor people. It is impossible to understand racial disparities in the labor market without seeing how employers have a material interest in dividing the working class. And so on.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
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  8. Farm Boy

    Farm Boy I swear..

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    Almost all real work can be a slog. Good on you. Every now and then, give yourself permission to realize that certain conversational partners can be less rewarding than going sounding with a bottle brush after humping the shiniest knob on the revolving door.
     
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  9. Hrothbern

    Hrothbern Warlord

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    6 years before the Roe vs Wade decision (abortion) of the Supreme Court, now under organised pressure (Trump, Alabama, etc) there was in 1967 the Loving vs Virginia decision by the Supreme Court:
    It took until 1967 !!!
    Here the US map with the timeline:

    Schermopname (2936).png

    The Civil Rights movement saw a lot of improvements on the legal level in the 60ies-70ies, but laws are just that... laws.
    To overcome traditions, convictions on racial abuse, more than laws is needed though time does a lot as long as those laws are not reversed.


    Here a Pew poll (2017) on how the opinion of people changed over time on intermarriage:
    To "read" the graph on the left: if you see 14 to the right for the yellow line "Black" it means that 14% of the "non-Black" population still opposes to a marriage of a relative with a "Black" person.
    https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-ta...nd-marriage-50-years-after-loving-v-virginia/
    That Pew article also showing the increase of mixed marriages, that if not stopped within the next 3-4 generations, will slowly take over the public opinion anyway.

    Schermopname (2938).png

    If you read this Wikipedia article on the history of intermarriage, you can see that laws against intermarriage were put in place by the English and French empires in their US colonies (NOT the Spanish empire)..
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-miscegenation_laws_in_the_United_States
     
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  10. ulyssesSgrant

    ulyssesSgrant Chieftain

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    My skepticism of the efficacy of your specific political policy prescriptions doesn't place me in the liberal individualist ideological camp per se. I'm highly skeptical of liberalism too, I'm a bit of a pluralist who thinks we don't have good reason to be so certain of the impact of their political policies.

    There is undoubtedly a political aspect to the problem, but to say that is the entire problem is likely a reductionist account. Ignoring the power of beliefs and the roles that each belief can have on the actions people take it a mistake.

    For me turning into a society that loves and listens isn't a solution, it's a goal. It's where I want to go, I'm not certain of how to get there. You think we can get there if we equalize power dynamics and resource distribution? Well, you ain't the first, and many have tried and failed. It's important that I at least trust that you have the right goal in mind, that you actually care about people, like, all of them. It's also important for me that your good intentions and general care for humanity are expressed while providing your solution.

    Maybe it would work, if done properly, or maybe it would introduce new problems. It's possible to be immensely happy and satisfied without much in terms of resources and power. Getting everyone to some kind of a basic level seems very important, beyond that life isn't about the accumulation of wealth. I think meaning and happiness come from in large part from being a part of a community, pursing goals for a brighter future, and taking on responsibility.
     
  11. Lexicus

    Lexicus Warlord

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    I haven't actually argued for any specific policy prescriptions though.

    Am I right in assuming that you are using "liberalism" in the modern American liberal vs conservative sense? If so, I am using liberalism in a broader way than you are. And it's not any disagreement on policy that's leading me to put you in that category, it's your demonstrated 'methodological individualism' and emphasis on attitudes and psychology.

    I'm not ignoring them, I just genuinely don't think they are of much importance compared to the structures and systems that condition our behavior and choices. I will say that individual beliefs become much more important when the individuals in question hold arbitrary power over others, but reducing arbitrary power is another thing I'm interested in doing.

    I'm not a utopian, so...no.

    Can we get a little more concrete? To me this reads as impotent hand-wringing and an excuse for inaction in the face of injustice, so convince me it's not that, please.

    How ready are the comfortable to intone platitudes like this! You wouldn't be saying this if you'd ever had to choose between feeding your kids and keeping the lights on. You wouldn't be saying this if you had to tolerate sexual assault from your boss because you really can't spare the time to look for a new job. You wouldn't be saying this if there was lead in your tap water destroying your children's brains.
     
  12. ulyssesSgrant

    ulyssesSgrant Chieftain

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    No I was using liberalism in the broad sense as well. Not as in democratic party's platform, I mean like enlightenment values. Regarding your point on policy prescriptions, I'm talking about reparations, the details might look different case by case but that is a policy proposition IMO.

    Your question on an excuse for inaction, I hope I'm not doing that. I'm saying sometimes your posts seem to be filled with contempt for certain groups of humans, which makes me more skeptical of your political philosophy. Do you have everyone's best interest in minds, or only those members of groups who you happen to care about? Do you really want to see a better world, or are you just interested in getting back at the "bad guys"?

    To your last point, I question my motives. I'm not particularly well off, but I have nothing to complain about, and I try to think about how that biases my judgement. When it comes to my kid, you better believe I would be wanting to flip the board upside-down if I thought that was in his best interests.

    However, I did mention getting everyone to a basic level, which addresses all the situations you brought up. Getting people out of those situations is a no brainer, and I'm totally on board with policies that do just that. I don't really see anyone say that type of situation is acceptable. They might deny they exist, in which case it's simply a problem of ignorance. Also, calling ideas about what gives life real meaning intone platitudes isn't an argument. These are things that I believe are deeply important, far more important than status or power, once you get these kind of basic needs met.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
  13. bernie14

    bernie14 Filter Manipulator

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    Well then, see that, your way too much of an individualist to ever fit in with the hip commie crowd
     
  14. red_elk

    red_elk Warlord

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    Those rednecks, holding signs "Race mixing is communism"...
    In USSR there were postcards and placards with similar idea.
    Without meaning that communism is something bad, of course.
     
  15. Farm Boy

    Farm Boy I swear..

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    Don't compliment those morons.
     
  16. Hehehe

    Hehehe Chieftain

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    Well, right now we can only measure the actual amount of taxes being paid. That being said, you may not be entirely wrong there, and I do think that a more equitable distribution of wealth would be beneficial (with certain caveats).

    The problem is that human wants are infinite, yet resources are finite. It's a trade-off. How many people should Finland import to live on the Finnish taxpayer's dime? Personally, I'm going to go with zero. Reality imposes certain limits on policies. We cannot import an infinite number of non-contributing members of society while still retaining the current welfare state.
     
  17. Hehehe

    Hehehe Chieftain

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    I don't usually respond to these pearl-cluthing self-righteous insults, but I do have to note that the policy I've outlined here is stopping mass immigration. There's nothing wrong with that. Also, I do not deny that all human life has inherent value, I'm simply acknowledging the fact that sometimes, people's fiscal contributions aren't equal all across the board. That places some restrictions on what kind of policies can be pursued.
     
  18. brennan

    brennan Argumentative Brit

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    Basically, you want to murder people with incorrect thoughts.
     
  19. Estebonrober

    Estebonrober Chieftain

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    The Thanos policy is coming.
     
  20. Berzerker

    Berzerker Warlord

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    insults are easier than defending open borders
     

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