Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The make-believe world of political children

Until they must grow up, children will populate their make-believe worlds with other children. Until academics, professional political lobby groups and all other dependants of government welfare and subsidies are removed from the rolls, their infantile politics will infantilize everything and everyone else they come across. Ghost of a Flea, via Quotulatiousness:

But people are not Ewoks. It is not a mistake to criticize our empires of old or the continuing expression of racism and prejudice. It is not a mistake to be appalled by the wars of conquest or the incalculable suffering brought about by epidemic disease and slavery. It is a mistake to imagine the conquered peoples lived in a state of innocence before our rapacious ancestors arrived on the scene. There are two reasons the Eden story leads to error when imposed on our history or contemporary matters of policy. First, turning "the Other" into Ewoks infantilizes them. By this dodge, we well-meaning people of the West may feel guilty but all the decisions remain in our hands. From dam-building to debt-relief to "Do They Know It's Christmas?" the empires shape-shift into NGOs and the old crusading philanthropy carries on uninterrupted.

The second mistake lies in taking cultural difference for existential innocence. In so doing we mistake our myths for history; our sentiment for circumstance. It is impossible to make rational decisions on this basis. Even the relatively untroubled neighbourhoods of Paradise make West Side Story look like, well, a musical. Coke-bottles from the sky and undergraduate anthropology classes notwithstanding, the Bushmen of the Kalahari endure a murder-rate forty times that of downtown Detroit. Teaching cultural ecology for several years taught me one thing: Pointing out this sort of fact is no route to popularity among well-meaning undergraduate students. So much education has no relationship to the world as it is but a re-enactment of the world as we wish it to be. If only the wishful thinking was confined to the classroom. It is one thing for Brangelina to bring their child into the world at an armed camp and call it Eden. It is quite another to decide issues of war and peace on the same basis.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

So much rubbish so little time.

Here we see people who buy food subzidized by government, distributed to them on roads built by government, and sold to them in stores they could not reach were it not for government, and cooked with clean water and electricity, subsidized and/or delivered by government, or cooked with gas regulated by government, and they would not give up one bit of it as they would claim it their entitlement. But then they will pontificate, like little princes, that others are dependant on governemnt welfare and subsidies. Infantile, indeed.

And what of the the quoted tract? It lies full with premises not stated nor proven and arguments not proven and without context.

It relies on the unstated premise that those enslaved or colonized by empirical civilizations are assumed "innocent" or because they were not "innocent" their enslavement, colonization, or genocide is a lesser crime. Why?

Again we see the framing of morality from the perspective of the the abuser. "yes, we beat them, enslaved them, killed them, but it was for their own good."

There is the premise that transition of colonization by government to colonization by NGO is not the plan or the strategy of the colonizers. What were Christian missionaries in earlier periods of colonization if not NGOs?

Then there is the statement that "the Bushmen of the Kalahari endure a murder-rate forty times that of downtown Detroit" given without evidence or context. Right now I would bet the murder rate in Iraq would greatly outstrip a great number of North American cities combined. But that is meaningless in the abscence of the context of the war and ongoing occupation. In other words, it is a lie by ommission. But let's pretend it is all true. Let's pretend that the murder rate among the bushmen of the Kalahari is worse than Detroit's. Then that injects the premise that we have a right to invade, colonize and enslave the bushmen? What does that say for the residents of Detroit or Toronto? Why have we not yet invaded those cities to export to them our superior culture and have them labour beneath us (while their resources and property are stripped away) for their own good?

Again we see an example of morality being twisted to fit the perspective of the abuser. "Yes, slavery and colonization and genocide were wrong, but we brought them our superior culture and ways so really it isn't that bad." And what did we bring them exactly?

The "infantilize(ment of) everything and everyone" or the politics of apologists and slavers.

Pietr said...

Gawd bless yer guvnor!
After all that genocide, it's amazing any of the poor little bleeders were left,eh?
I mean, all Socialist Germany ever did was wipe out 30% of the Polish population, not 100% like all those 'genocidals', eh?
Of course, the Native Americans had a hard time.
But the first American Humans came from a tribe in France 20,000 years ago.
The present tribes came from Siberia, and wiped the first lot out 10,000 years ago.
Too bad the European relief force got there too late to save them.But at least they broke the grip of the Siberian oppressors.

Anonymous said...

A perfect example of morality twisted to suit a perspective.

He begins with the premise that to be genocide, the crime must be 100% complete. I am sure he will find sympathy with that argument among Jews, Armenians, and Ukranians not to mention native North Americans.

Then he suggests the slaughtered native North Americans were originally from France (I assume he was there). Oh, well ... then their genocide has been properly mitigated. No need to worry any further as we now know it is moral and proper to commit genocide if you can somehow lay claim that the victims were originally French or Siberian.

So we see, yet again, the manner in which abusers will frame an argument to provide themselves with some sort of moral cover no matter how flimsy.

Pietr said...

I may be nothing but a truck-driving blogger, but my people have a good idea what sort of creep sits around looking for 'guilts' to inflict on unconcerned innocent people.
You invent a flimsy tissue of fraudulent accusations concerning 'mitigation', 'abuse'and the 'morality' that says it is 'now proper' to commit genocide;these facts say nothing about the actuality of my words, but they reveal a reluctant admission that you spend much much time wishfully thinking that the world would be a 'better place' if you were the only one with license to be conscientious,and be the arbiter of all punishment, which everybody else would have to have to accept due to your (entirely imagineered)moral superiority.

I mean, fella, doncha just want to cut my throat?

Anonymous said...

Well, first, soreheaddick, you would need to have a throat to cut.

But in fact, my argument on this topic has been entirey abstract so if you are feeling subject to guilt I would suggest it is completely interal. Furthermore, you seem not to grasp the argument I making no matter that it is a relatively simple argument.

As well, I thought it was you and your web site buddies who were wetdreaming of the day that you (not really you as you are just a follower incapable of leading) sat as the "imagineered" moral superior.

I have argued moral truth is open to manipulation and interpretation while your leader, MapMasturbator, would claim to know what truth is with a clear and unequivocal "morality". A new messiah, no doubt.

Your anger is misplaced. You should question why you buy into a morality that offers excuses and rationalizations for historical wrongs.

Lisa said...

Anon -

What on earth are you going on about here? As a moral relativist, your claims of superiority have absolutely no ground in reality, because you do not believe in reality. By what standard do you judge the contributors and commenters here? What makes your "morality" and preferences better than your neighbours? If your neighbour busts into your house to take your groceries and wallet, by what right to you oppose him - I am sure he can justify his taking it by reference to some past murky social injustices.

It is obvious from your slanderous accusations that your public school education has prevented you from comprehending the written opinions of others.

Go jerk off in your own backyard.

Anonymous said...

Finally the matriarch of this little band of masturbators appears. And what does the prioncess say: "I don't understand the argument. It is too complex for our little heads crammed full of dogmatic ideology. Please go away and don't make us think."

The poor, stupid female, by view of her comments, didn't understand a single word I wrote. Much like poor SoreDeadDick.

Our female self-abuser, it would seem, is of the same intellectula standard as the rest. She asks: "By what standard do you judge the contributors and commenters here?" without ever recognizing the inherent hypocrisy of her and her band if self-touchers pontificating and judging the rest iof the world according to their very own discredited and adolescent ideology.

Again, so very pathetic.

I think I will leave. There must be a place where one can get an argument from others capable of handling their own without crying "go away! you're hurting us!"

Pussies.

Pietr said...

Say what you like, and you probably do, but not one of us is a little coward hiding behind no-name, no site, no status.
I understand what you said.
I understand what I said.
You understand nothing, not even the absurdity of questioning the veracity and integrity of other people while hiding.

You don't have issues with us.
You just have issues.

basil said...

Anon:

What's up with this obsession of yours about people touching themselves?

Suffering a little internalized guilt?

It would seem to be the unhealthy product of a "discredited and adolescent" mind.

Ouch! Stop! You're hurting me!

Anonymous said...

"Say what you like, and you probably do, but not one of us is a little coward hiding behind no-name, no site, no status."

Oh, PoorDeadDick, do you always lie to yourself? Does it make you feel better? If it is cowardly to remain anonymous then of course you are a coward hiding behind no-name, no-site, and no-status. You all are. Why not use your real name and a photo then? Who knows who you are from your postings or your profile? Quit being a child and grow up.

And Basil , the latest of the self-abusers to wade in, no originality? Nothing different? Why not do what your compatriots do and just vomit up the words of someone else and append "ditto" to them? At least it provides something to read no matter how pedestrian and common.

I imagine Lisa will be back soon imploring me to go away. And I will. I promise.

basil said...

Pull your head out of your ass and grow out of your anal feces squeezing stage. Then you might deal with the genital stage you seem hung up on.

Ditto Freud?

Pietr said...

Next time I'm in Londont you can come and say all this to my face.
I promise you will soon recieve a full explanation.