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Re: [existlist] Re: In brief

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  • Paul Jacobson
    Actually one could argue that the Declaration Of Independence was indeed Delectable ........ PJ ... From: bartleyoreg@aol.com To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
    Message 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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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          • 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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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