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Re: [existlist] Re: In brief

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  • bartleyoreg@aol.com
    opps! I knew I should have used the dictionary! In a message dated 12/5/2008 3:43:45 P.M. Pacific Standard Time, eupraxis@aol.com writes: Delectation of
    Message 1 of 28 , Dec 5, 2008
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      opps! I knew I should have used the dictionary!


      In a message dated 12/5/2008 3:43:45 P.M. Pacific Standard Time,
      eupraxis@... writes:







      Delectation of Independence

      Gotta watch that spell check. Gets you every time.

      Wil

      -----Original Message-----
      From: _bartleyoreg@bartley_ (mailto:bartleyoreg@...)
      To: _existlist@yahoogrouexistl_ (mailto:existlist@yahoogroups.com)
      Sent: Fri, 5 Dec 2008 5:03 pm
      Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: In brief

      Louise, I work as a volunteer in a middle school, there 13-14 years old,
      anyway I help in the American history class.? Currently we are studying the
      Delectation of Independence.Louise, I work as a volunteer in a middle school,
      there 13-14 years old, anyway I help in the American history class.? Currently we
      are studying the Delectation of Independence.<WBR>? I get very excited about
      this document, sorry knowing you're British!, anyway I believe it could be
      agrued that this document changed history more then any other document in the
      last 230 years.? It makes me proud to be an American, to see that those
      values, while

      Michael

      -----Original Message-----

      From: louise <_hecubatoher@hecubatohhe_ (mailto:hecubatoher@...) >

      To: _existlist@yahoogrouexistl_ (mailto:existlist@yahoogroups.com)

      Sent: Fri, 5 Dec 2008 2:44 pm

      Subject: [existlist] Re: In brief

      --- In _existlist@yahoogrouexistl_ (mailto:existlist@yahoogroups.com) ,
      bartleyoreg@, bart

      >

      > Thank you Louise for your thoughful response, I can see that you

      have thought deeply about this and I do want to understand your

      point of view.? On a side note I more interested in understanding

      other people posting then having or winning an agrument with them.?

      Anyway, while I can see the concept of race, what is race even,

      would be of interest to scholars besides that it seems in our

      present world that race is not that important.

      > Michael

      Michael, I have a love of argument, if it is conducted in good

      spirit, and those of us who are regular contributors at

      seem to my perception moving ever closer to the attainment of such

      an ideal, whilst the list is also continueing to welcome new

      members. So I even feel a little happier tonight, contemplating the

      road ahead. With regard to the concept of race in our present

      world, it is not important to the many, but is very important for a

      few. Racial instincts, though, manifest in a non-intellectual way

      all the time. I think it would be greatly to the benefit of society

      if this were acknowledged, and an interest in discussing race could

      flourish, instead of the current situation, in which the mention of

      the topic in mainstream quarters tends to evoke immediate

      embarrassment or hostility. And may readily lead straight to the

      police cell, and the courts. The hysterical and offensive outbursts

      of those with little to say that stands up to any scrutiny would

      soon be eclipsed, if serious people were shown due respect. Louise

      >

      >

      > -----Original Message-----

      > From: louise <hecubatoher@hec>

      > To: _existlist@yahoogrouexistl_ (mailto:existlist@yahoogroups.com)

      > Sent: Fri, 5 Dec 2008 1:15 pm

      > Subject: [existlist] Re: In brief

      >

      >

      >

      >

      >

      >

      > Yes, Michael, I agree, ethics is part of philosophy. The point I

      am

      > making is that the concept of race is European, not Semitic, and

      > that this way of asserting racism, i.e., to express communal

      Jewish

      > solidarity by introducing the confusion of the racial

      > term, 'Semitism', is potentially harmful to the attempts of other

      > racial groups to practise legitimate defence of their interests.

      It

      > seems to me to prove prejudicial even to the Jewish people

      > themselves. Their unique kind of community in diversity owes a

      good

      > deal to an idea of racial purity, but the foundation for this idea

      > is religious. The power of the concept 'anti-Semitic' is religious. Th

      > free thought and impose the tendency for self-censorship on

      European

      > peoples is part of the total battle, the undoubtedly horrifying

      > history of bigotries, pogroms, recriminations, intrigue and war.

      > Until the reality and importance of the concept of race is better

      > understood, the argument here may easily be missed. Only time

      > reveals the full meanings of history. Louise

      >

      > --- In _existlist@yahoogrouexistl_ (mailto:existlist@yahoogroups.com) ,
      bartleyoreg@ wrote:

      > >

      > > What makes you say this, please explain!? Isn't ethics part of

      > philosophy?? A view we have towards people that not an ethical

      issue

      > or concern.? How we treat people because of what they are, ie

      black,

      > women, English, only because that trait, that is not a ethical

      issue

      > or concern.? On the face of your posting it seems to be kind a

      very

      > strange statement.

      > > Michael

      > >

      > >

      > > -----Original Message-----

      > > From: louise <hecubatoher@>

      > > To: _existlist@yahoogrouexistl_ (mailto:existlist@yahoogroups.com)

      > > Sent: Fri, 5 Dec 2008 12:35 pm

      > > Subject: [existlist] In brief

      > >

      > >

      > >

      > >

      > >

      > >

      > > From a philosophical viewpoint, anti-Semitism is a mythical

      > concept,

      > > frequently used as a political weapon.

      > >

      > > Louise

      > >

      > >

      > >

      > >

      > >

      > >

      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

      > >

      >

      >

      >

      >

      >

      >

      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

      >

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




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    • eupraxis@aol.com
      Tom, Well, I understand the save, but this is all still prejudice, in my opinion, if you are explaining such differences (even if they were accurate) as caused
      Message 2 of 28 , Dec 5, 2008
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        Tom,

        Well, I understand the save, but this is all still prejudice, in my opinion,
        if you are explaining such differences (even if they were accurate) as caused
        by a "race" factor. Second and third generation Asians do not show any marked
        difference with the student population as a whole, leading one to assume that
        there is a cultural/'nurture' factor at work here. 'Blacks', qua Black, "are
        not likely to be the winners in track and field competition"; tall, long-legged
        people are. See Aristotle on attribution of cause.

        Mutatis mutandis.

        In any case, one could roll one's eyes and accuse me of deliberately being
        difficult, were it not of the fact that the problem here is with the actual
        concept of RACISM ITSELF, and that includes the delicate matter of the 'ism' of
        race. Using race as a thing-unto-itself, as a virtual metaphysic, as a natural
        difference in the great chain of being or the tree of life, etc., is a racist
        act, regardless of whether this is done as it were benignly.

        Let us not forget, this topic has been broached here alongside such other
        questions as racial identity as patriotism, ethnic cleansing, forced mono-ethnic
        societies, and the so forth. The 'bad others', so far, seem to have been South
        Asians and Near Asians. What talents/stigmata do they have? Good at school,
        but bad fashion sense?

        I do not attribute any of this to you, of course. I try not to attribute any
        of this to Louise, either, since I believe that she is mistaken and not
        malevolent. I live in the deep South, USA. My patience for these has long ago been
        tapped out.

        Wil

        In a message dated 12/5/08 7:02:24 PM, tsmith17_midsouth1@... writes:

        > What I said was that there were greater probabilities of certain strenghths
        > and weaknesses appearing among races, but that many individuals will very
        > much overlap. Its like saying that as a group, men are taller than women.
        > However, there are numerous women over 6 feet, and some guys around 5 feet. Jewish
        > and oriental students are more likely to be on the honor roll. Blacks are
        > more likely to be the winners in track and field competition, and us white guys
        > have the highest % of serial killers.Certain diseases are more prevalent
        > among certain races.
        > Tom
        >
        >
        >




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      • bhvwd
        ... course, the point of newspeak George Orwell made was how beautiful words can still be admired, while the practical aplication of such statement can
        Message 3 of 28 , Dec 5, 2008
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          --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "tom" <tsmith17_midsouth1@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > I'm very much a fan of the Declaration of Independance also. Of
          course, the point of 'newspeak' George Orwell made was how beautiful
          words can still be admired, while the practical aplication of such
          statement can gradually be changed. The very Americans who talk the
          most about our heritage, freedom etc are very often the ones that in
          reality promote agendas like getting in fights around the world and
          building a massive police state at home; and these were the things
          that guys like Washington and Jefferson saw as totally opposed to the
          new vision on which the US was founded. Shaun Hannity starts his
          radio show with "Let Freedom Ring" and has "Freedom Concerts", but
          his idea of freedom goes no further than going to the Judeochristian
          church of your choice, and investing in the 401k of your choice.
          Yesterday, Hannity had Bill Bennett as 1 of his guests, and Bennett
          was Drug Czar under Bush1. Freedom is used by these guys as another
          excuse for imperialistic aggression.
          > Tom I have hope for you , even if you lapse into self absorption
          and putrid rhetoric. Please continue to expunge and we will happily
          accomidate your demise. I write my sort of immersables and report
          that the better men I have known have hung their butts out. Imagine
          the courage of exclamination, get the point!Bill
          > Tom
          >
          >
          >
          > ----- Original Message -----
          > From: bartleyoreg@...
          > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
          > Sent: Friday, December 05, 2008 5:03 PM
          > Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: In brief
          >
          >
          > Louise, I work as a volunteer in a middle school, there 13-14
          years old, anyway I help in the American history class.? Currently we
          are studying the Delectation of Independence.? I get very excited
          about this document, sorry knowing you're British!, anyway I believe
          it could be agrued that this document changed history more then any
          other document in the last 230 years.? It makes me proud to be an
          American, to see that those values, while we may have not lived up to
          them, where the values we believed were important as a people.? That
          part of being an American, is having that as our core.? I am getting
          anywhere close?
          > Michael
          >
          > -----Original Message-----
          > From: louise <hecubatoher@...>
          > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
          > Sent: Fri, 5 Dec 2008 2:44 pm
          > Subject: [existlist] Re: In brief
          >
          > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, bartleyoreg@ wrote:
          > >
          > > Thank you Louise for your thoughful response, I can see that
          you
          > have thought deeply about this and I do want to understand your
          > point of view.? On a side note I more interested in understanding
          > other people posting then having or winning an agrument with
          them.?
          > Anyway, while I can see the concept of race, what is race even,
          > would be of interest to scholars besides that it seems in our
          > present world that race is not that important.
          > > Michael
          >
          > Michael, I have a love of argument, if it is conducted in good
          > spirit, and those of us who are regular contributors at existlist
          > seem to my perception moving ever closer to the attainment of
          such
          > an ideal, whilst the list is also continueing to welcome new
          > members. So I even feel a little happier tonight, contemplating
          the
          > road ahead. With regard to the concept of race in our present
          > world, it is not important to the many, but is very important for
          a
          > few. Racial instincts, though, manifest in a non-intellectual way
          > all the time. I think it would be greatly to the benefit of
          society
          > if this were acknowledged, and an interest in discussing race
          could
          > flourish, instead of the current situation, in which the mention
          of
          > the topic in mainstream quarters tends to evoke immediate
          > embarrassment or hostility. And may readily lead straight to the
          > police cell, and the courts. The hysterical and offensive
          outbursts
          > of those with little to say that stands up to any scrutiny would
          > soon be eclipsed, if serious people were shown due respect.
          Louise
          >
          > >
          > >
          > > -----Original Message-----
          > > From: louise <hecubatoher@>
          > > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
          > > Sent: Fri, 5 Dec 2008 1:15 pm
          > > Subject: [existlist] Re: In brief
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > > Yes, Michael, I agree, ethics is part of philosophy. The point
          I
          > am
          > > making is that the concept of race is European, not Semitic,
          and
          > > that this way of asserting racism, i.e., to express communal
          > Jewish
          > > solidarity by introducing the confusion of the racial
          > > term, 'Semitism', is potentially harmful to the attempts of
          other
          > > racial groups to practise legitimate defence of their
          interests.
          > It
          > > seems to me to prove prejudicial even to the Jewish people
          > > themselves. Their unique kind of community in diversity owes a
          > good
          > > deal to an idea of racial purity, but the foundation for this
          idea
          > > is religious. The power of the concept 'anti-Semitic', to
          inhibit
          > > free thought and impose the tendency for self-censorship on
          > European
          > > peoples is part of the total battle, the undoubtedly horrifying
          > > history of bigotries, pogroms, recriminations, intrigue and
          war.
          > > Until the reality and importance of the concept of race is
          better
          > > understood, the argument here may easily be missed. Only time
          > > reveals the full meanings of history. Louise
          > >
          > > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, bartleyoreg@ wrote:
          > > >
          > > > What makes you say this, please explain!? Isn't ethics part
          of
          > > philosophy?? A view we have towards people that not an ethical
          > issue
          > > or concern.? How we treat people because of what they are, ie
          > black,
          > > women, English, only because that trait, that is not a ethical
          > issue
          > > or concern.? On the face of your posting it seems to be kind a
          > very
          > > strange statement.
          > > > Michael
          > > >
          > > >
          > > > -----Original Message-----
          > > > From: louise <hecubatoher@>
          > > > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
          > > > Sent: Fri, 5 Dec 2008 12:35 pm
          > > > Subject: [existlist] In brief
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > > From a philosophical viewpoint, anti-Semitism is a mythical
          > > concept,
          > > > frequently used as a political weapon.
          > > >
          > > > Louise
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          > > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          > >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
        • Paul Jacobson
          Actually one could argue that the Declaration Of Independence was indeed Delectable ........ PJ ... From: bartleyoreg@aol.com To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
          Message 4 of 28 , Dec 5, 2008
          • 0 Attachment
            Actually one could argue that the Declaration Of Independence was indeed "Delectable"........
            PJ

            ----- Original Message -----
            From: bartleyoreg@...
            To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Friday, December 05, 2008 7:30 PM
            Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: In brief


            opps! I knew I should have used the dictionary!


            In a message dated 12/5/2008 3:43:45 P.M. Pacific Standard Time,
            eupraxis@... writes:

            Delectation of Independence

            Gotta watch that spell check. Gets you every time.

            Wil

            -----Original Message-----
            From: _bartleyoreg@bartley_ (mailto:bartleyoreg@...)
            To: _existlist@yahoogrouexistl_ (mailto:existlist@yahoogroups.com)
            Sent: Fri, 5 Dec 2008 5:03 pm
            Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: In brief

            Louise, I work as a volunteer in a middle school, there 13-14 years old,
            anyway I help in the American history class.? Currently we are studying the
            Delectation of Independence.Louise, I work as a volunteer in a middle school,
            there 13-14 years old, anyway I help in the American history class.? Currently we
            are studying the Delectation of Independence.<WBR>? I get very excited about
            this document, sorry knowing you're British!, anyway I believe it could be
            agrued that this document changed history more then any other document in the
            last 230 years.? It makes me proud to be an American, to see that those
            values, while

            Michael

            -----Original Message-----

            From: louise <_hecubatoher@hecubatohhe_ (mailto:hecubatoher@...) >

            To: _existlist@yahoogrouexistl_ (mailto:existlist@yahoogroups.com)

            Sent: Fri, 5 Dec 2008 2:44 pm

            Subject: [existlist] Re: In brief

            --- In _existlist@yahoogrouexistl_ (mailto:existlist@yahoogroups.com) ,
            bartleyoreg@, bart

            >

            > Thank you Louise for your thoughful response, I can see that you

            have thought deeply about this and I do want to understand your

            point of view.? On a side note I more interested in understanding

            other people posting then having or winning an agrument with them.?

            Anyway, while I can see the concept of race, what is race even,

            would be of interest to scholars besides that it seems in our

            present world that race is not that important.

            > Michael

            Michael, I have a love of argument, if it is conducted in good

            spirit, and those of us who are regular contributors at

            seem to my perception moving ever closer to the attainment of such

            an ideal, whilst the list is also continueing to welcome new

            members. So I even feel a little happier tonight, contemplating the

            road ahead. With regard to the concept of race in our present

            world, it is not important to the many, but is very important for a

            few. Racial instincts, though, manifest in a non-intellectual way

            all the time. I think it would be greatly to the benefit of society

            if this were acknowledged, and an interest in discussing race could

            flourish, instead of the current situation, in which the mention of

            the topic in mainstream quarters tends to evoke immediate

            embarrassment or hostility. And may readily lead straight to the

            police cell, and the courts. The hysterical and offensive outbursts

            of those with little to say that stands up to any scrutiny would

            soon be eclipsed, if serious people were shown due respect. Louise

            >

            >

            > -----Original Message-----

            > From: louise <hecubatoher@hec>

            > To: _existlist@yahoogrouexistl_ (mailto:existlist@yahoogroups.com)

            > Sent: Fri, 5 Dec 2008 1:15 pm

            > Subject: [existlist] Re: In brief

            >

            >

            >

            >

            >

            >

            > Yes, Michael, I agree, ethics is part of philosophy. The point I

            am

            > making is that the concept of race is European, not Semitic, and

            > that this way of asserting racism, i.e., to express communal

            Jewish

            > solidarity by introducing the confusion of the racial

            > term, 'Semitism', is potentially harmful to the attempts of other

            > racial groups to practise legitimate defence of their interests.

            It

            > seems to me to prove prejudicial even to the Jewish people

            > themselves. Their unique kind of community in diversity owes a

            good

            > deal to an idea of racial purity, but the foundation for this idea

            > is religious. The power of the concept 'anti-Semitic' is religious. Th

            > free thought and impose the tendency for self-censorship on

            European

            > peoples is part of the total battle, the undoubtedly horrifying

            > history of bigotries, pogroms, recriminations, intrigue and war.

            > Until the reality and importance of the concept of race is better

            > understood, the argument here may easily be missed. Only time

            > reveals the full meanings of history. Louise

            >

            > --- In _existlist@yahoogrouexistl_ (mailto:existlist@yahoogroups.com) ,
            bartleyoreg@ wrote:

            > >

            > > What makes you say this, please explain!? Isn't ethics part of

            > philosophy?? A view we have towards people that not an ethical

            issue

            > or concern.? How we treat people because of what they are, ie

            black,

            > women, English, only because that trait, that is not a ethical

            issue

            > or concern.? On the face of your posting it seems to be kind a

            very

            > strange statement.

            > > Michael

            > >

            > >

            > > -----Original Message-----

            > > From: louise <hecubatoher@>

            > > To: _existlist@yahoogrouexistl_ (mailto:existlist@yahoogroups.com)

            > > Sent: Fri, 5 Dec 2008 12:35 pm

            > > Subject: [existlist] In brief

            > >

            > >

            > >

            > >

            > >

            > >

            > > From a philosophical viewpoint, anti-Semitism is a mythical

            > concept,

            > > frequently used as a political weapon.

            > >

            > > Louise

            > >

            > >

            > >

            > >

            > >

            > >

            > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

            > >

            >

            >

            >

            >

            >

            >

            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

            >

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

            **************Make your life easier with all your friends, email, and
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          • jimstuart51
            All, I feel the posts in this thread have been thoughtful and constructive, especially given the sensitive nature of the subject matter. One central issue is
            Message 5 of 28 , Dec 7, 2008
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              All,

              I feel the posts in this thread have been thoughtful and
              constructive, especially given the sensitive nature of the subject
              matter.

              One central issue is the question of whether to engage in a
              philosophical discussion of racism, assuming the concept of race to
              be a valid concept, is itself to fall into racist attitudes. Thus Wil
              writes:

              "In any case, one could roll one's eyes and accuse me of deliberately
              being difficult, were it not of the fact that the problem here is
              with the actual concept of RACISM ITSELF, and that includes the
              delicate matter of the 'ism' of race. Using race as a thing-unto-
              itself, as a virtual metaphysic, as a natural difference in the great
              chain of being or the tree of life, etc., is a racist act, regardless
              of whether this is done as it were benignly." (45883)

              As against this, Louise calls for philosophers to accept the concept
              of race as valid and to address this matter more thoroughly than
              before:

              "Racial instincts, though, manifest in a non-intellectual way all the
              time. I think it would be greatly to the benefit of society if this
              were acknowledged, and an interest in discussing race could flourish,
              instead of the current situation, in which the mention of the topic
              in mainstream quarters tends to evoke immediate embarrassment or
              hostility. And may readily lead straight to the police cell, and the
              courts. The hysterical and offensive outbursts of those with little
              to say that stands up to any scrutiny would soon be eclipsed, if
              serious people were shown due respect." (45874)

              I think both these view can be accommodated if the philosophical
              discussion centres on the question whether or not the concept of race
              is a valid concept.

              On one side, the more scientifically-orientated philosophers may
              argue that race is a `natural kind' term which can be used to pick
              out, in an objective way, individuals who fall under one or other
              racial category.

              On the other side, the more subjectively-orientated philosophers may
              argue that the whole idea of a natural-kind concept is dubious. They
              would argue that the concepts we use answer to our interests, and if
              we view a conceptual distinction as not being in our interests than
              that distinction is to be rejected as invalid.

              Nietzsche argued for this latter view when pouring score on those
              ascetic individuals who put a disinterested `will to truth' above all
              else. He views such individuals as weak and `anti-life'. Of course
              the irony here is that the concept of race was one which featured in
              Nietzsche's writings. Whilst I would not consider Nietzsche a racist,
              he seems to come out as a `benign racist' according to Wil's
              criterion, as he seems to accept the validity of the concept of race.

              Another irony is that for Louise, she wishes the concept of race to
              be discussed for cultural reasons. She is concerned that the British
              white culture is not allowed to die out. Leftists and liberals are
              often keen to defend the rights of minority cultures to survive
              untainted by Western imperialism and capitalism. Western liberals
              like myself feel that the native Indians of America and the
              Aborigines of Australia have a right to protect their own culture
              from extinction, but we feel uneasy when white British people argue
              for the same right of protection.

              I have some sympathy for those traditional cultures who do not wish
              to be subsumed by Western capitalism. I don't want a MacDonalds in
              every primitive village, or the top television companies beaming out
              their lies from a television in every public meeting place.

              On the other hand wishing to preserve one's own culture or race in
              some sort of `pure' form makes me very uneasy as well.

              Louise may say that all races are different but equal, however most
              people who argue that races are different also view them as unequal.
              Those cases where one race has aggressively attempted to destroy
              another race are often case where the aggressor views the individuals
              of their opponent race as not fully human – not even human at all. In
              fact all war and killing seems to involve the combatants as being
              brain-washed to see their enemies as lacking in humanity. (I have
              just seen the excellent film "The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas" (USA
              2008, director Mark Herman) which illustrates such attitudes very
              well.)

              The way forward, in my view, if for the philosopher to argue that all
              human beings – whatever their racial or cultural background – are
              fully human, and, as such, are equally valuable in themselves, and,
              because of this, deserve to be treated with benevolence and respect,
              as `ends in themselves, and never as means'. Kant argued for this
              view in theory, but I gather that in practice he was not quite able
              to see some foreigners as fully human.

              Jim
            • tom
              Louise may say that all races are different but equal, however most people who argue that races are different also view them as unequal. Those cases where one
              Message 6 of 28 , Dec 7, 2008
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                Louise may say that all races are different but equal, however most
                people who argue that races are different also view them as unequal.
                Those cases where one race has aggressively attempted to destroy
                another race are often case where the aggressor views the individuals
                of their opponent race as not fully human - not even human at all. In
                fact all war and killing seems to involve the combatants as being
                brain-washed to see their enemies as lacking in humanity. (I have
                just seen the excellent film "The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas" (USA
                2008, director Mark Herman) which illustrates such attitudes very
                well.)Jim

                I read a Tolstoy quote once saying that as long as we have slaughter houses we'll have front lines. The hunting gatherring party, the first social group was bounded as to everything outside of us is game.Making a blood sacrafice to the tribal God. Tribal people r so much more closely connected with each other than we. Civiliozed people lack the same unity that tribals share. However, the very closeness with each other as compared to civilized cats is matched by the willingness to align wit the emerging value
                Tom.

                Tom
                ----- Original Message -----
                From: jimstuart51
                To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Sunday, December 07, 2008 8:07 AM
                Subject: [existlist] Re: In brief


                All,

                I feel the posts in this thread have been thoughtful and
                constructive, especially given the sensitive nature of the subject
                matter.

                One central issue is the question of whether to engage in a
                philosophical discussion of racism, assuming the concept of race to
                be a valid concept, is itself to fall into racist attitudes. Thus Wil
                writes:

                "In any case, one could roll one's eyes and accuse me of deliberately
                being difficult, were it not of the fact that the problem here is
                with the actual concept of RACISM ITSELF, and that includes the
                delicate matter of the 'ism' of race. Using race as a thing-unto-
                itself, as a virtual metaphysic, as a natural difference in the great
                chain of being or the tree of life, etc., is a racist act, regardless
                of whether this is done as it were benignly." (45883)

                As against this, Louise calls for philosophers to accept the concept
                of race as valid and to address this matter more thoroughly than
                before:

                "Racial instincts, though, manifest in a non-intellectual way all the
                time. I think it would be greatly to the benefit of society if this
                were acknowledged, and an interest in discussing race could flourish,
                instead of the current situation, in which the mention of the topic
                in mainstream quarters tends to evoke immediate embarrassment or
                hostility. And may readily lead straight to the police cell, and the
                courts. The hysterical and offensive outbursts of those with little
                to say that stands up to any scrutiny would soon be eclipsed, if
                serious people were shown due respect." (45874)

                I think both these view can be accommodated if the philosophical
                discussion centres on the question whether or not the concept of race
                is a valid concept.

                On one side, the more scientifically-orientated philosophers may
                argue that race is a `natural kind' term which can be used to pick
                out, in an objective way, individuals who fall under one or other
                racial category.

                On the other side, the more subjectively-orientated philosophers may
                argue that the whole idea of a natural-kind concept is dubious. They
                would argue that the concepts we use answer to our interests, and if
                we view a conceptual distinction as not being in our interests than
                that distinction is to be rejected as invalid.

                Nietzsche argued for this latter view when pouring score on those
                ascetic individuals who put a disinterested `will to truth' above all
                else. He views such individuals as weak and `anti-life'. Of course
                the irony here is that the concept of race was one which featured in
                Nietzsche's writings. Whilst I would not consider Nietzsche a racist,
                he seems to come out as a `benign racist' according to Wil's
                criterion, as he seems to accept the validity of the concept of race.

                Another irony is that for Louise, she wishes the concept of race to
                be discussed for cultural reasons. She is concerned that the British
                white culture is not allowed to die out. Leftists and liberals are
                often keen to defend the rights of minority cultures to survive
                untainted by Western imperialism and capitalism. Western liberals
                like myself feel that the native Indians of America and the
                Aborigines of Australia have a right to protect their own culture
                from extinction, but we feel uneasy when white British people argue
                for the same right of protection.

                I have some sympathy for those traditional cultures who do not wish
                to be subsumed by Western capitalism. I don't want a MacDonalds in
                every primitive village, or the top television companies beaming out
                their lies from a television in every public meeting place.

                On the other hand wishing to preserve one's own culture or race in
                some sort of `pure' form makes me very uneasy as well.

                Louise may say that all races are different but equal, however most
                people who argue that races are different also view them as unequal.
                Those cases where one race has aggressively attempted to destroy
                another race are often case where the aggressor views the individuals
                of their opponent race as not fully human - not even human at all. In
                fact all war and killing seems to involve the combatants as being
                brain-washed to see their enemies as lacking in humanity. (I have
                just seen the excellent film "The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas" (USA
                2008, director Mark Herman) which illustrates such attitudes very
                well.)

                The way forward, in my view, if for the philosopher to argue that all
                human beings - whatever their racial or cultural background - are
                fully human, and, as such, are equally valuable in themselves, and,
                because of this, deserve to be treated with benevolence and respect,
                as `ends in themselves, and never as means'. Kant argued for this
                view in theory, but I gather that in practice he was not quite able
                to see some foreigners as fully human.

                Jim





                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • eupraxis@aol.com
                Jim, Thanks for the post. Many writers before the last Century, with all of its horrors and the hindsight gleaned from them, have used the concept of race in
                Message 7 of 28 , Dec 7, 2008
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                  Jim,

                  Thanks for the post.

                  Many writers before the last Century, with all of its horrors and the
                  hindsight gleaned from them, have used the concept of race in one way or another.
                  Kant says some very terrible things about black Africans; Engels writes about the
                  small brains of American aboriginals; Nietzsche talks about the hot Latin
                  races, and so on. These statements are not part of a formal theory, but were
                  rather part and parcel of a naive prejudice held by the mainstream in the West
                  that were never examined thoroughly. Since the advent of Nazism and other overt
                  racist movements, the concept of race has been examined in all relevant fields,
                  including recently in the genetic sciences. The conclusion wrought from all
                  of these fields is that "race" is a street notion, an intellectual slang with
                  no formal veracity, a way to group family resemblances but not to associate
                  anything otherwise unusually innate to them vis-a-vis others, other than a
                  propensity to have gas after eating cheese or to develop a rare kind of anemia, etc.


                  Thus race is a term the importance of which is only to be gleaned from its
                  context, especially in writings since the 19th Century. I prefer never to use
                  it, except for phrases like "human race" and the like.

                  If we look at a writer like Spengler, whom I admire, we see how he developed
                  a very sophisticated way of understanding race as a trans-morphic secondary
                  characteristic of 'man'. If one takes a look at his monumental "Decline of the
                  West", you will see how he understands race as something that changes over
                  time. Humanity is thoroughly 'plastic' for Spengler. He contended against the
                  notion of racial superiority.

                  Even Nietzsche, whose remarks are nearly always more 'rhetorical' than
                  formal, anyway, associates the behavior of 'races' with their culinary practices and
                  weather, rather than with some virtually occult 'essence'. Perhaps those who
                  eat too many sausages have a different mood than those who eat a 'Continental
                  breakfast'? Dunno...

                  I have always found it remarkable how racists here in the US have warned
                  against the polluting of American culture by "blacks", when the obvious fact of
                  the matter is that American culture is totally infused with black culture, and
                  always has been since there was a discernible American culture in the first
                  place! While I understand the fear of a MacDonalds being on every street corner
                  of London, it is nevertheless the case that American culture (R&B, blues, rock
                  and roll, etc.) has already so affected British popular culture as to be, by
                  now, indissociable from it. For many years, there were more white Brit kids
                  from Liverpool listening to recordings of Albert King, T-Bone Walker or Muddy
                  Waters than kids from Long Island, where I grew up.

                  In any case, you offer us two basic alternatives: either to argue about race
                  from within its own controversy (what is race, is there race?), or to argue
                  about race from the oblique position of ethics and politics, if we assume, as a
                  prior condition, that all persons deserve respect. I, for one. would welcome
                  either, as I have no doubt that the conclusions of both would lead in a
                  parallel direction.

                  Wil



                  In a message dated 12/7/08 8:09:36 AM, jjimstuart1@... writes:


                  > All,
                  >
                  > I feel the posts in this thread have been thoughtful and
                  > constructive, especially given the sensitive nature of the subject
                  > matter.
                  >
                  > One central issue is the question of whether to engage in a
                  > philosophical discussion of racism, assuming the concept of race to
                  > be a valid concept, is itself to fall into racist attitudes. Thus Wil
                  > writes:
                  >
                  > "In any case, one could roll one's eyes and accuse me of deliberately
                  > being difficult, were it not of the fact that the problem here is
                  > with the actual concept of RACISM ITSELF, and that includes the
                  > delicate matter of the 'ism' of race. Using race as a thing-unto-
                  > itself, as a virtual metaphysic, as a natural difference in the great
                  > chain of being or the tree of life, etc., is a racist act, regardless
                  > of whether this is done as it were benignly." (45883)
                  >
                  > As against this, Louise calls for philosophers to accept the concept
                  > of race as valid and to address this matter more thoroughly than
                  > before:
                  >
                  > "Racial instincts, though, manifest in a non-intellectual way all the
                  > time. I think it would be greatly to the benefit of society if this
                  > were acknowledged, and an interest in discussing race could flourish,
                  > instead of the current situation, in which the mention of the topic
                  > in mainstream quarters tends to evoke immediate embarrassment or
                  > hostility. And may readily lead straight to the police cell, and the
                  > courts. The hysterical and offensive outbursts of those with little
                  > to say that stands up to any scrutiny would soon be eclipsed, if
                  > serious people were shown due respect." (45874)
                  >
                  > I think both these view can be accommodated if the philosophical
                  > discussion centres on the question whether or not the concept of race
                  > is a valid concept.
                  >
                  > On one side, the more scientifically- On one side, the more scien
                  > argue that race is a `natural kind' term which can be used to pick
                  > out, in an objective way, individuals who fall under one or other
                  > racial category.
                  >
                  > On the other side, the more subjectively- On the other side, the more
                  > argue that the whole idea of a natural-kind concept is dubious. They
                  > would argue that the concepts we use answer to our interests, and if
                  > we view a conceptual distinction as not being in our interests than
                  > that distinction is to be rejected as invalid.
                  >
                  > Nietzsche argued for this latter view when pouring score on those
                  > ascetic individuals who put a disinterested `will to truth' above all
                  > else. He views such individuals as weak and `anti-life'. Of course
                  > the irony here is that the concept of race was one which featured in
                  > Nietzsche's writings. Whilst I would not consider Nietzsche a racist,
                  > he seems to come out as a `benign racist' according to Wil's
                  > criterion, as he seems to accept the validity of the concept of race.
                  >
                  > Another irony is that for Louise, she wishes the concept of race to
                  > be discussed for cultural reasons. She is concerned that the British
                  > white culture is not allowed to die out. Leftists and liberals are
                  > often keen to defend the rights of minority cultures to survive
                  > untainted by Western imperialism and capitalism. Western liberals
                  > like myself feel that the native Indians of America and the
                  > Aborigines of Australia have a right to protect their own culture
                  > from extinction, but we feel uneasy when white British people argue
                  > for the same right of protection.
                  >
                  > I have some sympathy for those traditional cultures who do not wish
                  > to be subsumed by Western capitalism. I don't want a MacDonalds in
                  > every primitive village, or the top television companies beaming out
                  > their lies from a television in every public meeting place.
                  >
                  > On the other hand wishing to preserve one's own culture or race in
                  > some sort of `pure' form makes me very uneasy as well.
                  >
                  > Louise may say that all races are different but equal, however most
                  > people who argue that races are different also view them as unequal.
                  > Those cases where one race has aggressively attempted to destroy
                  > another race are often case where the aggressor views the individuals
                  > of their opponent race as not fully human – not even human at all. In
                  > fact all war and killing seems to involve the combatants as being
                  > brain-washed to see their enemies as lacking in humanity. (I have
                  > just seen the excellent film "The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas" (USA
                  > 2008, director Mark Herman) which illustrates such attitudes very
                  > well.)
                  >
                  > The way forward, in my view, if for the philosopher to argue that all
                  > human beings – whatever their racial or cultural background – are
                  > fully human, and, as such, are equally valuable in themselves, and,
                  > because of this, deserve to be treated with benevolence and respect,
                  > as `ends in themselves, and never as means'. Kant argued for this
                  > view in theory, but I gather that in practice he was not quite able
                  > to see some foreigners as fully human.
                  >
                  > Jim
                  >
                  >
                  >




                  **************
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                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • jimstuart51
                  Wil, Thanks for your post – I find myself in agreement with just about everything you have written on this subject. I ll just comment specifically on this
                  Message 8 of 28 , Dec 7, 2008
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                    Wil,

                    Thanks for your post – I find myself in agreement with just about
                    everything you have written on this subject.

                    I'll just comment specifically on this section from your post:

                    "While I understand the fear of a MacDonalds being on every street
                    corner of London, it is nevertheless the case that American culture
                    (R&B, blues, rock and roll, etc.) has already so affected British
                    popular culture as to be, by now, indissociable from it. For many
                    years, there were more white Brit kids from Liverpool listening to
                    recordings of Albert King, T-Bone Walker or Muddy Waters than kids
                    from Long Island, where I grew up."

                    I, myself, am not too concerned about American culture dominating
                    over here. I consider myself rather a `counter-culture' person
                    anyway, quite happy to embrace things which are often explicitly
                    reactions against the mainstream culture, whether British or American.

                    More than anything else, I consider myself to be a European rather
                    than English or British. I see myself as part of the intellectual
                    culture of Europe which started with the Ancient Greeks, then moved
                    to the Romans, and more than anything else I see myself as a product
                    of the Enlightenment.

                    I found myself feeling a sense of pride when I read Zizek writing:

                    "What makes modern Europe unique is that it is the first and only
                    civilisation in which atheism is a fully legitimate option, not an
                    obstacle to any public post. This is most emphatically a European
                    legacy worth fighting for. (Violence, p. 118)

                    I suppose I also feel myself to be a continuation of a tradition of
                    English radicalism which embraced such groups as the Quakers, the
                    Chartists and the early trade unionists.

                    Referring to myself as European tends to annoy British/English
                    nationalists and patriots. However they themselves seem to be on
                    tricky ground when asked if they are primarily English or British.

                    I note that Louise sometimes refers to herself as `British' and
                    sometimes as `English'. This is only likely to annoy anybody who is
                    Scottish or Welsh. As you know, England has conquered both Wales and
                    Scotland at some time or other, and today there are many Welsh and
                    Scottish nationalists who wish to defend their Welsh and Scottish
                    culture from the English imperialists.

                    Sometimes these Welsh and Scottish nationalists talk of the English
                    as a different race!

                    Finally, moving from culture back to race, I can honestly say that to
                    me race is a total non-issue. I see people as human beings primarily
                    and hardly notice the colour of their skin. Just as I would be
                    perfectly happy for my children to be gay, I would be perfectly happy
                    for them to have loving relationships with individuals from different
                    racial and cultural backgrounds.

                    Perhaps it could be argued that I am so unconcerned about cultural
                    and racial only because I have never suffered at the hands of a
                    stronger cultural or racial aggressor. Certainly being male, white,
                    heterosexual, middle class and European, I acknowledge that I am
                    probably not the best person to talk on the subject of the oppression
                    of minorities.

                    Jim
                  • Aija Veldre Beldavs
                    ... not really interested in race issues, as i don t see how anyone actually conversant with modern genetic DNA research can be a racist. racism is outdated
                    Message 9 of 28 , Dec 7, 2008
                    • 0 Attachment
                      > most
                      > people who argue that races are different also view them as unequal.
                      > Those cases where one race has aggressively attempted to destroy
                      > another race are often case where the aggressor views the individuals
                      > of their opponent race as not fully human – not even human at all.
                      > Jim

                      not really interested in race issues, as i don't see how anyone actually
                      conversant with modern genetic DNA research can be a racist. racism is
                      outdated bad science and the cumulative result of colonialist thought
                      (maybe also a specialized result of elitist or wanna-be ruling class
                      thinking).

                      i don't see racism as necessarily connected to nationalism at all.
                      nationalism, as most things, may be either destructive and hateful of
                      others or a positive unifying force which respects the positive
                      nationalism of others.

                      i don't think racism has been either a primary or universal frame of
                      reference in relation to the other, as there is ample evidence for
                      non-racist contact among archaic populations in low population density
                      areas.

                      first of all racism involves a belief in father-right and sexual purity,
                      but humans are just as related to the bonobo (whose society is not based
                      on "sexual selection") as to the larger chimpanzee. there are
                      populations, as in pre-Christian northern Eurasia, where sexual purity
                      was not necessarily demanded of females, and father right is not
                      necessarily primary. in low population density areas the primary
                      consideration is likely to be female fertility as a value rather than
                      virginity, and children are going to be valued as valuable additions to
                      the group as long as they contribute and support group norms. native
                      Americans for example kidnapped also white children when there were not
                      enough in the tribe.

                      here's an interesting article that speaks of current attitudes as
                      deriving from earlier pagan views:
                      http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/may/18/iceland

                      northeastern Europe is a good example of genetic diversity going back to
                      the aboriginal populations, which for the sake of simplicity may be seen
                      as for the first thousands of years as Finnic, Baltic, and Scandinavian
                      - each of them with complex timespace diverse subgroup developments.
                      there are graves of spouses of different genetic type backgrounds. even
                      in the 9th - 12th c. alliances were not made on the basis of race. thus
                      the (Baltic Finnic) Livs might ally themselves with a (Indo-Euroean
                      speaking) Balt tribe against an (Baltic Finnic) Estonian tribe or
                      another Balt tribe, but in the next round might find themselves
                      switching alliances.

                      organized military aggression in northeastern Europe is introduced by
                      Indo-European military raider bands, of whom the Scandinavian Vikings
                      are best known. the Sami of northern Europe, an archaic Europoid
                      population with both "western" and "eastern" genetics (true also of the
                      East Baltic), were unprepared for the aggression of the Iron Age on
                      warrior culture marauder raiders resulting in folklore about the
                      "Tchudes" as portrayed in the Sami Norvegian film "Pathfinder" (1987).
                      if sometimes the portrayal of Tchudes comes close to the portrayal of
                      cannibalistic ogres "stallu" that does not have to be taken as evidence
                      of innate racism. aggression, rather than race, is the primary reason
                      for characterizing the raiders as not human. friendly contacts with
                      anthropomorphically dissimilar groups does not seem to result in racism.

                      in short, i think even to modern times aggression against a particular
                      population is much more fundamentally political in the E. Baltic area,
                      rather than intrinsically racially motivated. both the Finnish and
                      Latvian peoples in particular had tragic civil war political types of
                      conflicts dividing primarily brother against brother as defender of
                      either the so-called "reds" or "whites." i think Finland is an
                      excellent example of a country that in recent times has fully come to
                      terms with its history (that is how it was, and those were the factors
                      from a systems point of view) and in research seems to welcome all new
                      evidence without feeling its core threatened, resulting in a much more
                      integrated population.

                      aija
                    • eupraxis@aol.com
                      Jim, Thanks. Again, I am in agreement with your basic enframing of the topic. Wil ... ************** Stay in touch with ALL of your friends: update your AIM,
                      Message 10 of 28 , Dec 7, 2008
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                        Jim,

                        Thanks. Again, I am in agreement with your basic enframing of the topic.

                        Wil

                        In a message dated 12/7/08 11:21:06 AM, jjimstuart1@... writes:


                        > Wil,
                        >
                        > Thanks for your post – I find myself in agreement with just about
                        > everything you have written on this subject.
                        >
                        > I'll just comment specifically on this section from your post:
                        >
                        > "While I understand the fear of a MacDonalds being on every street
                        > corner of London, it is nevertheless the case that American culture
                        > (R&B, blues, rock and roll, etc.) has already so affected British
                        > popular culture as to be, by now, indissociable from it. For many
                        > years, there were more white Brit kids from Liverpool listening to
                        > recordings of Albert King, T-Bone Walker or Muddy Waters than kids
                        > from Long Island, where I grew up."
                        >
                        > I, myself, am not too concerned about American culture dominating
                        > over here. I consider myself rather a `counter-culture' person
                        > anyway, quite happy to embrace things which are often explicitly
                        > reactions against the mainstream culture, whether British or American.
                        >
                        > More than anything else, I consider myself to be a European rather
                        > than English or British. I see myself as part of the intellectual
                        > culture of Europe which started with the Ancient Greeks, then moved
                        > to the Romans, and more than anything else I see myself as a product
                        > of the Enlightenment.
                        >
                        > I found myself feeling a sense of pride when I read Zizek writing:
                        >
                        > "What makes modern Europe unique is that it is the first and only
                        > civilisation in which atheism is a fully legitimate option, not an
                        > obstacle to any public post. This is most emphatically a European
                        > legacy worth fighting for. (Violence, p. 118)
                        >
                        > I suppose I also feel myself to be a continuation of a tradition of
                        > English radicalism which embraced such groups as the Quakers, the
                        > Chartists and the early trade unionists.
                        >
                        > Referring to myself as European tends to annoy British/English
                        > nationalists and patriots. However they themselves seem to be on
                        > tricky ground when asked if they are primarily English or British.
                        >
                        > I note that Louise sometimes refers to herself as `British' and
                        > sometimes as `English'. This is only likely to annoy anybody who is
                        > Scottish or Welsh. As you know, England has conquered both Wales and
                        > Scotland at some time or other, and today there are many Welsh and
                        > Scottish nationalists who wish to defend their Welsh and Scottish
                        > culture from the English imperialists.
                        >
                        > Sometimes these Welsh and Scottish nationalists talk of the English
                        > as a different race!
                        >
                        > Finally, moving from culture back to race, I can honestly say that to
                        > me race is a total non-issue. I see people as human beings primarily
                        > and hardly notice the colour of their skin. Just as I would be
                        > perfectly happy for my children to be gay, I would be perfectly happy
                        > for them to have loving relationships with individuals from different
                        > racial and cultural backgrounds.
                        >
                        > Perhaps it could be argued that I am so unconcerned about cultural
                        > and racial only because I have never suffered at the hands of a
                        > stronger cultural or racial aggressor. Certainly being male, white,
                        > heterosexual, middle class and European, I acknowledge that I am
                        > probably not the best person to talk on the subject of the oppression
                        > of minorities.
                        >
                        > Jim
                        >
                        >
                        >




                        **************
                        Stay in touch with ALL of your friends: update your AIM, Bebo,
                        Facebook, and MySpace pages with just one click. The NEW AOL.com.
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                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • louise
                        ... Tom, No, actually, I am arguing that before one proceeds to question whether there are measurable differences between races, one should ascertain the
                        Message 11 of 28 , Dec 7, 2008
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                          --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "tom" <tsmith17_midsouth1@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Louise may say that all races are different but equal, however most
                          > people who argue that races are different also view them as unequal.

                          Tom,

                          No, actually, I am arguing that before one proceeds to question whether
                          there are measurable differences between races, one should ascertain
                          the meaning of human equality. It is a spiritual or philosophical
                          reality, not necessarily a scientific one. The divorce of science from
                          a feeling for the sacredness of life is at the root of our modern
                          malaise. A sweepingly general statement, but reasonable, I think.

                          Louise
                        • louise
                          Jim: I note that Louise sometimes refers to herself as `British and sometimes as `English . This is only likely to annoy anybody who is Scottish or Welsh. As
                          Message 12 of 28 , Dec 7, 2008
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Jim: "I note that Louise sometimes refers to herself as `British' and
                            sometimes as `English'. This is only likely to annoy anybody who is
                            Scottish or Welsh. As you know, England has conquered both Wales and
                            Scotland at some time or other, and today there are many Welsh and
                            Scottish nationalists who wish to defend their Welsh and Scottish
                            culture from the English imperialists.
                            Sometimes these Welsh and Scottish nationalists talk of the English
                            as a different race!"

                            Welsh and Scottish nationalists who are annoyed by my description of
                            myself as either British or English would be most untypical, surely,
                            since I am obviously both, and legitimately so. Of course they are
                            likely to be annoyed when Britain and England are named as though
                            interchangeable, for this shows disrespect to the Scots and Welsh (as
                            ignoring their existence) and to many Northern Irish folk who value
                            their British nationality. There is a difference between a human
                            being and a nation! I myself find it irritating or embarrassing when
                            no distinction is made between the two. As for being different
                            races, well, that might be an interesting discussion. The tribal
                            origins of the various people who have inhabited the British isles
                            both before and after the Norman conquest is a complex study. I am
                            reading a book about the Vikings at the moment, and their impact on
                            the Christian English. Fearful stuff. Louise
                          • jimstuart51
                            Aija, Thank you for your thoughtful and informative post. Let me comment on a couple of the sections from your post: Aija: not really interested in race
                            Message 13 of 28 , Dec 8, 2008
                            • 0 Attachment
                              Aija,

                              Thank you for your thoughtful and informative post. Let me comment on
                              a couple of the sections from your post:

                              Aija: not really interested in race issues, as i don't see how anyone
                              actually conversant with modern genetic DNA research can be a racist.
                              racism is outdated bad science and the cumulative result of
                              colonialist thought (maybe also a specialized result of elitist or
                              wanna-be ruling class thinking).

                              Jim: Racism may indeed be "outdated bad science," but there is still
                              quite a lot of it about, particularly amongst those without a
                              scientific education. I am only interested in racism to the extent
                              that I think there is still work to be done, both intellectual and
                              practical, to eliminate it.

                              Aija: i don't see racism as necessarily connected to nationalism at
                              all. nationalism, as most things, may be either destructive and
                              hateful of others or a positive unifying force which respects the
                              positive nationalism of others.

                              Jim: It would be nice if nationalism were predominantly "a positive
                              unifying force which respects the positive nationalism of others."
                              However my own experience is that it is usually "destructive and
                              hateful of others." Perhaps, if like the Finns, we can learn from
                              history, then nationalism can be a force for good. Perhaps each of us
                              can be proud of our nation's greatest achievements, whilst
                              acknowledging our nation's worst behaviour (both past and present).
                              Unfortunately the propaganda apparatus in most countries manages to
                              portray the nation as always in the right. Further, individuals seem
                              to have a strong subconscious desire to convince themselves that
                              their social group (i.e. their nation) is the good guys. Also, in
                              most countries at most times, it is considered unpatriotic to
                              question the correctness of one's nation's foreign policy.


                              What you write about "father right and sexual purity" is most
                              interesting. I agree that those societies where pagan traditions
                              dominated seem to have emerged in a more healthy state than those
                              where Christian attitudes predominated. In Britain, Christian moral
                              attitudes are the biggest hindrance to genuine ethical progress.


                              Finally, the article on Iceland was interesting, although I wonder to
                              what extent the recent catastrophic failure of the Icelandic banks
                              will change things. Also, for a bleaker view of Iceland, I recommend
                              the film "Jar City" (Iceland 2008 Dir Baltasar Kormakur).

                              Jim
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