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Re: In brief

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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 1 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 2 of 28 , Dec 5, 2008
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        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]

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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 3 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 4 of 28 , Dec 7, 2008
          • 0 Attachment
            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 5 of 28 , Dec 7, 2008
            • 0 Attachment
              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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            • 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 6 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 7 of 28 , Dec 7, 2008
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                  > 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 8 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
                    >
                    >
                    >




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                  • 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 9 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 10 of 28 , Dec 7, 2008
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                        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 11 of 28 , Dec 8, 2008
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                          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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