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Karoka

Do You Get Bullied?

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Here's the million-dollar question, Mr. Handyman: what's the alternative? If power and hierarchies are always bad, what do we replace them with? Because probably no one here believes that, say, laws and police are flawless and uncorruptable, just that laws that sort of work and can eventually be improved upon are preferable to total anarchy.

 

Dikiyoba.

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Mr. Dikiyoba, Anarchy is the neutrality that exists among individuals who are not under duress from violent systems. This does not mean that it will be perfect, only that we see many examples of it in our everyday lives when we are not inspired to violate other people's lives. Most importantly, though: hierarchical systems simply do not reduce violence. The logic is always that the king will protect you, but that's just another lie for another abuser. And, when the system is hierarchical, it encourages people to compete for social dominance. The more people win competitions, the higher the stakes of the competition will grow; and the more the stakes of competition grow, the more staggering the hierarchy will be, demanding greater violence. It may be that there simply is no good solution: That's fine. If we hope to describe reality, we should be open to that possibility. But if there is any hope for the downtrodden, it is immediate resistance within their own circumstances. Anything else is utopian pandering.

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I think Mao was probably right that power comes from gun barrels, because most less immediately coercive forms of power seem to me to be illusions. What mostly gets called "power" is something that people only have because other people agree to let them have it.

 

If people are capable of functioning without rulers, then why do they keep allowing rulers to emerge? Surely the simplest explanation is that there is, after all, something in it for the ruled. Doesn't saying otherwise amount to calling the powerless stupid?

 

Dikiyoba is just plain 'Dikiyoba'.

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Originally Posted By: Handyman
But if there is any hope for the downtrodden, it is immediate resistance within their own circumstances. Anything else is utopian pandering.

1. Define resistance.

2. Who are "the downtrodden" and what qualifies you to speak for them?

Dikiyoba is asking questions in good faith now, but there is a good chance of snark happening soon, so be warned.

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there is a phrase brought down in the talmud [avodah zora 4a] that were it not for fear of the government "man would swallow his neighbor alive"

while that might seem extreme, there is a reason why police aren't allowed to go on strike. every time they do there is a mass of looting and destruction.

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Quote:
You seem to believe that power is necessary, but perhaps power simply is

Power has 'been' for as long as there has been tribes of more than one homo-sapiens living together. It is inherent in human nature, in nature itself. What we do with that power is for each individual to decide. Do we band together to form governments to provide some sort of stability or do we let the individual bully run rampant and thereby we devolve into anarchy?

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And, I am still hesitant about the plausibility of ungrounded confidence.

I do not insist that this will be defense enough against all bullies; only that in most cases it is effective enough. There are always those bullies that are more than emotionally challenged, who are downright mega-maniacal; people with egos that surpass insanity. For this type of person, only brute force can take him down. Whether or not a society has the moral strength to band together to take him down or not defines the difference between freedom or oppression.

As to the corruptibility of the police we have entrusted for our safety, I can only say this; I pray that there will always be a moral backbone in our society that will take the highground in defense of the liberties that have been so dearly paid for.

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If people are capable of functioning without rulers, then why do they keep allowing rulers to emerge? Surely the simplest explanation is that there is, after all, something in it for the ruled. Doesn't saying otherwise amount to calling the powerless stupid?


S. of Trinity, you are absolutely correct. The selection of rulers, when that selection is voluntary, is for the purpose of establishing a stable environment where society can flourish. Where rulers take power by force, then the ruled have a choice; allow the ruler to remain in power, usually because he basically does what is needed to sustain their countries stability (at the price of liberty), or they may revolt, and establish their own government, one of their own choosing.

The best choice, IMHO, is a government that is more defined by what it CAN NOT do, that by what it CAN. That is the nature of the U.S. Constitution. Most importantly are the first 10 amendments to that document which more specifically define those limitations. The price of liberty is not cheap, and the people who desire to live in a liberty must always be vigilant to protect it, at every level; from the local policeman who abuses his authority, to the soldier who goes on a rampage on a military base, to the administrator that forbids prayer at a military funeral, to the agency that routinely conducts illegal search and seizure with no probable cause, to the legislators who enact laws requiring that individuals must do something that should be left to individual choice.

There will always be people who would take advantage of our freedoms and attempt to usurp our government from the inside. Therefore, those who desire liberty must always be vigilant.

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True, not all revolutions are that rosy. Some have been more bloody --after-- the victory. In fact such outcomes have been more common than the rosy one I depicted.

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Not only bloody, but completely at odds with what most of the people who originally had a problem with the government had in mind.

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If you want to compare governments to schoolyard bullying, look at the global political landscape. England recently expierienced a tad of anarchy. In Libya, probably the most relevant, has uprisings to get rid of their "bully" Gaddafi.

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That is what I would consider the saddest part of many a revolution; removing one tyrant from power only to replace him with another one. All too often, the populace that incited and won their freedom to choose their own form of government put too much trust in the leaders of that revolution and grant them too much power. Only too late do they discover they have no more liberty than they did before, or worse, less liberty.

 

A republic is not a perfect system, but it is the only form of government where the people who are governed have at least some control over those chosen to govern.

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On the other hand, as a governor, you can't please everybody. You've got to make hard decisions to make the best for the entire population. And that can be difficult, especially if you have a large population, or one that is largely spread out.

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Gaddafi was a bully. Tito was a bully. Sadam Hussein was a bully. The only thing to their credit was that they were able to keep disparate social groups from continual warfare. When Tito died, Yugoslavia broke into its various parts, with far too much blood shed in the process. Iraq has fallen upon a similar fate. I am concerned that the same may happen in Libya.

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That is why the U.S. is not a true democracy. It was not a viable option in 1787, when the fastest communication was measured in days. Nor is it a viable option today, with the size of our current population. That is why a republic was formed, where the people elect their representatives, and their chief executive, and empower them to make those decisions. But should those elected officials make policy that is not in the best interest of those people who elected them, they can be peaceably removed from office when their term expires. Sure beats having to have a revolution every two or four years.

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By the looks of it, the Libyans know what they want in the form of a government. They did set up a transitional government in the meantime until they get rid of Gaddafi until they can decide who they want to govern them. Although they have a few different "tribes" among them, a lot of them are unified by the same sense of revolt and wants.

 

On the other hand, Iraq was a political disaster when America decided to flex it's muscle to get rid of Hussein. The Taliban still wants power, and everyone else either doesn't care or are easily corrupt on top of no national unity and identity.

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Originally Posted By: Cairo Jim
On the other hand, Iraq was a political disaster when America decided to flex it's muscle to get rid of Hussein. The Taliban still wants power, and everyone else either doesn't care or are easily corrupt on top of no national unity and identity.

That was understood in the First Gulf War. Bush 41 made the right decision to end the conflict once their one and only one objective had been accomplished.

At the time Bush 43 petitioned to attack and cause regime change, most of the world including France believed that Hussein had WMD's. Who would have thought that all Hussein's bluster and evasion was pure bluff? I felt back then as I do now; we had him contained and restrained like Gaddafi, keep him that way. Anything more would have and did result in the quagmire that has resulted.

On the other hand, is the future of the people of Iraq better under an elected government, or would they have fared better under the dictatorship of Hussein?

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I'm starting to think it may have been better under Hussein. Sure there was a little bit of beneveolence, but the country was generally quiet. Now, since the U.S has introduced "democracy, there's so many ethnic groups that want a slice of the action that it's just going to be too hard to control, direct, and have everyone on the bandwagon to take the whole country in the same direction.

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You may be right. At least the internecine dispute among the factions was kept down. But at what cost in atrocities committed? Mass executions, use of chemical weapons on civilian populations.

 

Separation was an option in the beginning, but turned down. The people of Iraq have formed a government for themselves; now it is up to them to make it work.

 

I don't like the role of the U.S. being the world police. It makes us to be perceived as a bully. But when a bully takes over the school yard, someone must be there to intervene. In the world of international politics, that policeman must be the country with the biggest and most guns (refer back to a previous post, someone made the same comment). Right now, that means the U.S.A. I pray that our current interventions are just, and that they will result in a greater good in the world. There is so much injustice in the world, but I would not choose to intervene in all of them. That would result in this country becoming the thing we are trying to fight, the bully itself.

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I think this last war was more so to do with finger pointing and paranoia more than anything. After the first Gulf War, it looks like Saddam slowly got rid of his not-very-nice armaments. It really looks like that after the UN inspectors found nothing. We've had militairy presence there for nearly 10 years, and still found nothing. It may have happened before, but it doesn't look like anything recent.

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Originally Posted By: Cairo Jim
I think this last war was more so to do with finger pointing and paranoia more than anything. After the first Gulf War, it looks like Saddam slowly got rid of his not-very-nice armaments. It really looks like that after the UN inspectors found nothing. We've had militairy presence there for nearly 10 years, and still found nothing. It may have happened before, but it doesn't look like anything recent.
I think you're right about the actual presence of WMD's, but Saddam was doing his level best to make the world think he had them. I'm not saying that we made the right choice by invading Iraq in 2003, far from it, but nearly everyone was surprised when they couldn't find any WMD's.

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I have heard it hypothesized that he felt that he needed to show that he was strong in order to retain power. Any sign of weakness might have started a revolution, similar to what we see now in nearby countries. The outcome of such a revolution could have turned the way of Iran back in the '80s.

 

I hope the price we have paid in blood brings forth a less bitter fruit.

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Democracy for the win, what if the king,s son knocked his head and is now...mentally damaged? I mean I bet you all would want to choose a good reasonable leader with a good education, than a brain damaged 11 year old who is in rule because his father died in a war...

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Originally Posted By: Harehunter
That is why the U.S. is not a true democracy. It was not a viable option in 1787, when the fastest communication was measured in days. Nor is it a viable option today, with the size of our current population. That is why a republic was formed, where the people elect their representatives, and their chief executive, and empower them to make those decisions.

This is a pet peeve of mine. What you mean is that the US is not a DIRECT democracy. It is instead a REPRESENTATIVE democracy. Neither is more or less "true" than the other. In fact, when you talk about liberaldemocracy-- in which the will of the majority is tempered by protections for the rights of the minority-- representative democracy has a history of producing more democratic outcomes. History's most famous direct democracy, ancient Athens, tended to do dumb things like execute all of its generals in the middle of a war because they lost a battle, or kill Socrates because his philosophy was unpopular. These things tend to happen when people's very lives are in the hands of a majority vote.

A republic is a state in which the government bases its claim to authority on the will of the people. The U.K. is a democracy but not a republic. China is a republic but not a democracy. The U.S. is both.

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Anarchy will only lead to the domination of the weak by the strong. Next, some of the stronger weak will agther together to oppose the strong and defend each other. Eventually, larger and larger groups will gather together to oppose the other groups for 'protection', and the next thing you know, you have nations at war again. As long as human nature is involved, Anarchy is not a solution.

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Originally Posted By: Tyranicus
...but nearly everyone was surprised when they couldn't find any WMD's.


We weren't all surprised. I mean, we gave them plenty of time to move them, and plenty of warning that we were going to be looking.

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Originally Posted By: Skwish-E
Originally Posted By: Tyranicus
...but nearly everyone was surprised when they couldn't find any WMD's.


We weren't all surprised. I mean, we gave them plenty of time to move them, and plenty of warning that we were going to be looking.

We didn't "give" them time. We requested permission to investigate a site, and Saddam's bureaucrats would delay granting permission for days or weeks. Were Saddam's people moving those WMD's during that time? Or was this delaying tactic designed to provide the illusion that he still possessed WMD's, thereby propping up the illusion of his power?

At that time, I believed that as long as he did not use any WMD's then this shell-game could continue indefinitely, and that was fine by me. It accomplished its purpose

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Originally Posted By: Radix Malorum Est Cupiditas
Originally Posted By: Karoka
I thought China was communist.
Yes, but it's the people's republic of chinese communism.

What they call it is meaningless. East Germany proclaimed themselves the Democratic Republic of Germany, even though their "democracy" was a rigged process which denied its citizens any real control of the government.

Anyway, is China a communist nation, or a socialist nation? Often times the two terms are used interchangeably, but I believe they have distinct meanings.

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Thanks. That was my perception as well. Just needed confirmation.

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Every socialist program attempted has just another form of capitalism: It is as "anti-capitalist" as the U.S.A. is "anti-terrorist." I could not care less about revolutionary programs: My only concern is with those who are resisting power in their own circumstances.

 

Sir Dikiyoba, resistance is relative to oppression. Oppression is when an entity with more power (an individual, institution, culture, etc.) inflicts violence on an entity with less power. Violence is the movement or damaging of bodies without their consent. I admit this may not be the best definition, but I don't think this discussion demands a better one yet.

 

Mr. Harehunter, you are assuming that "that which has existed" is "that which must exist" (and seemingly "that which should exist"). What of rape? It seems to exist in the animal kingdom as far as we can tell; but surely, you wouldn't propose that we simply make the best of it: The only valid response whatsoever is immediate resistance.

 

Also, your recommendation for nonviolent confidence still sounds weak. If you are capable of mustering "real" confidence, it seems to speak more to your surroundings, and potential to be victimized in the first place. Either you exist in a setting where your confidence arises directly from potential (and real) aid from peers/adults; or, one's confidence implies that one exhibit dominant behaviors, which imply that one is not the desired target for a bully in the first place. Bullies will select the weakest and least confident people to begin with--they're insecure, right?--and, when those people try to rise above their social status as "inferior," their attempts will be mocked as perversions and responded to with intensified violence. There will always be exceptions, and when they work, they are good; however, there are many reasons why your solution appears far too easy.

 

Also, you (and especially Misters Darth and Skwish) have a very uninformed opinion on anarchy: It may actually be a "devolution" into chaos as you suggest; but, that is the most immediate reaction people have to it, and it is one for which anarchists have had easy (yet unread) answers for centuries. The state is not a source of order and peace; it is a source of chaos and violence. Individuals will almost inevitably act violently, but the proper response to their violence belongs to the victims and their friends. Also, the vast majority of individual violence is a result of systemic violence; and as far as I can tell, the majority of violence in society seems to be geared towards putting poor and colored people in dead-end jobs, prisons, and graves. Coincidentally, those who commit the most crimes are those who are the worst victims of state violence: As it turns out, being a victim of abuse greatly increases the odds of becoming an abuser. And, I would feel immensely safer if I had to deal with people's "natural" violence, compared to such monstrous horrors as armies, recessions, sweatshops, etc. (Although, if I was to live a life as a white male in a position of relative privilege, I would likelier find poor and colored people to be more frightening for many reasons.)

 

Misters Darth and Skwish have proposed that anarchy will result in a power vacuum that must be filled with squabbling and intensified authority. First and foremost, this line of reasoning will never fail to justify the status quo. And, I will remind them: My proposal for "anarchy" is nothing more than people resisting oppression and authority wherever and however they encounter it. If killing some set of institutions "causes" other institutions to emerge, then we should kill those institutions too. Although, it is not clear to me how a people capable of killing institutions would even allow new ones to emerge. Frankly, the task of truly killing institutions seems to be the sole challenge: Dynamics of power are fiendishly difficult to exterminate, and until victims can do that, another abuser of the same sort will always emerge. But, when (and, sadly, if) victims can do that, they will be free.

 

Why do we trust the police for our safety, instead of ourselves and our communities? If a foreign army came in and said they would "protect" us, you would surely recognize the thin ruse of their "protection." So why should we tolerate institutions imposed on us by a distant, unresponsive government, led by the wealthy, white, male elites?

 

Mr. Trinity, your suggestion that "allowing oneself to be ruled" implies "desiring to be ruled" or "benefiting from being ruled" is completely repugnant. Surely, if you knew someone in an abusive relationship, you would not suggest that they were benefiting from it because they "allowed" it. And, truly, abused partners "get something" from the relationship: They often rely on their abusers to buttress their shattered egos, or to provide them with economic resources. This obviously does not justify the arrangement.

 

P.S.: Mr. Tyranicus, I was not particularly surprised to find that the colored man was not actually armed.

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China isn't currently communist in the Marxist theory sense. It does have echoes of the practical implementations of communism in that it's authoritarian. In reality, Mao Zedong turned it into a communist/Maoist state, and that state has slowly lost its communist trappings without changing either its name or its domination by the Chinese Communist Party, which is no longer actually really a communist party. Confused yet?

 

—Alorael, who disagrees with AethirWeb. Hereditary monarchy has problems, but there are other ways to do it. Elective monarchy trades the potential inefficiencies of representative democracy for the potential disaster of a popular but ineffective, uninformed, or malicious ruler. Even China shows that democracy isn't always the best. China has its problems, but it can also impose top-down policies in a way that the West can only dream of. And while those policies can be censorship and human rights violations, they can also be reforms, environmental protection, and infrastructure modernization.

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Originally Posted By: Handyman

Mr. Harehunter, you are assuming that "that which has existed" is "that which must exist" (and seemingly "that which should exist"). What of rape? It seems to exist in the animal kingdom as far as we can tell; but surely, you wouldn't propose that we simply make the best of it: The only valid response whatsoever is immediate resistance.

You missed my statement that what we do with power is for each individual to decide to do with it. If someone decides to use his power in a way that causes harm to another person, he has made his choice and must thereby be responsible for the consequences of his actions. As a society we have determined that rape is an act that is not to be tolerated, and have encoded it in our laws. The person who violates that law must be forced to pay the consequences of his decision, and those consequences should be severe as the act of violence he committed on his victim.

Originally Posted By: Handyman

Also, your recommendation for nonviolent confidence still sounds weak. If you are capable of mustering "real" confidence, it seems to speak more to your surroundings, and potential to be victimized in the first place.

This was spoken to younger people who have not been taught to cope yet with the school yard bully. Most of what people perceive to be bullying at that age is just sizing up the other kids to establish a social hierarchy. The kid with a low self esteem will retreat from even low level intimidation, will become the victim of more frequent and, often more violent bullying. I did not learn until later that all that is expected in that situation is to just not back down. Jewels in Black handled one such situation by presenting a gift to her abuser. This was not an act of submission as many here have thought; it was a way of showing that she would not be cowed by the bullying attacks. This took a great deal of self confidence to do, and that was all that was needed to stop the bullying.

Again you missed my comment where I said that this does not work in all situations. There are many hard cases that need intervention by some authority to apprehend the abuser, and force him to accept the consequences of his decision to violate the social rules by which we can exist in a civil manner.

Originally Posted By: Handyman

Bullies will select the weakest and least confident people to begin with--they're insecure, right?--and, when those people try to rise above their social status as "inferior," their attempts will be mocked as perversions and responded to with intensified violence. There will always be exceptions, and when they work, they are good; however, there are many reasons why your solution appears far too easy.

We seem to agree as to the nature of bullies, but we seem to fall on opposite sides as to the more frequent response to being confronted.

Originally Posted By: Handyman

Also, you (and especially Misters Darth and Skwish) have a very uninformed opinion on anarchy: It may actually be a "devolution" into chaos as you suggest; but, that is the most immediate reaction people have to it, and it is one for which anarchists have had easy (yet unread) answers for centuries. The state is not a source of order and peace; it is a source of chaos and violence.

Anarchy is defined with three basic meanings:
1) the absence of government (That's all.)
2) a state of lawlessness and violence (and yes I do consider rape as violence) due to the absence of governmental authority. (This is the most common outcome of definition 1)
3) a utopian society that enjoys complete freedom due to lack of government. (Let's get real folks.)

And then you complete our argument against anarchy by proving our point...
Originally Posted By: Handyman

Individuals will almost inevitably act violently,


Originally Posted By: Handyman

Also, the vast majority of individual violence is a result of systemic violence; and as far as I can tell, the majority of violence in society seems to be geared towards putting poor and colored people in dead-end jobs, prisons, and graves.

Does it have to lead to this????? When all other arguments fail to bear fruit, does it have to be based on race???

Originally Posted By: Handyman

(Although, if I was to live a life as a white male in a position of relative privilege, I would likelier find poor and colored people to be more frightening for many reasons.)

Where does this come from? I have had to work to achieve my "relative privilege"; it was not handed to me.

Originally Posted By: Handyman

Misters Darth and Skwish have proposed that anarchy will result in a power vacuum that must be filled with squabbling and intensified authority. First and foremost, this line of reasoning will never fail to justify the status quo. And, I will remind them: My proposal for "anarchy" is nothing more than people resisting oppression and authority wherever and however they encounter it. If killing some set of institutions "causes" other institutions to emerge, then we should kill those institutions too.

You seem to like violence. Since we have established that rape is violence I can only surmise that you approve of rape.

As for the rest of this rant, it does not deserve any further response.

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Originally Posted By: Handyman
Oppression is when an entity with more power (an individual, institution, culture, etc.) inflicts violence on an entity with less power. Violence is the movement or damaging of bodies without their consent. I admit this may not be the best definition, but I don't think this discussion demands a better one yet.

Those are ridiculously narrow definitions. You yourself seem to be invoking economic oppression (among other sorts) in your post, and that clearly does not fall within the bounds of your definitions here. I don't think the words really need defining, though, do they?

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The only valid response whatsoever is immediate resistance.

This isn't always possible. I'm not going to pursue this argument because it leads down a dark road, but I really hope you're not criticizing a subset of victims, here.

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The state is not a source of order and peace; it is a source of chaos and violence.

This is a reasonable assertion, but it can also be reasonably asserted that actually the state is a source of order and peace. Do you have any evidence to support this assertion?

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Individuals will almost inevitably act violently, but the proper response to their violence belongs to the victims and their friends.

Now I'm very confused. This seems to suggest that only those who are powerful, or have powerful friends, deserve to be protected from violence. Is that what you're advancing?

Quote:
(Although, if I was to live a life as a white male in a position of relative privilege, I would likelier find poor and colored people to be more frightening for many reasons.)

You haven't stated it explicitly, but you have repeatedly taken several implicit jabs at your audience, as you do above. You must all be powerful, well-off, white males, never manhandled by police, bystanders to bullying, etc. I'm not sure why you are making any of these provocative assertions. But let me state for the record that your assumptions are wrong regarding many of the people participating in this discussion. For my part, I have been manhandled by the police, and I have suffered discrimination and violence due to my person; and it is also safe to say, although I know nothing of your background or employment, that in the past nine years, I have spent vastly more time dealing with violence and bullying as a third party who does not stand by, but intervenes and works hard to help, than you have -- that with rape survivors and with children who have a history of trauma and a present life of bullying, being bullied, or more frequently both. So I really wish you would drop your flirtation with condescension.

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Frankly, the task of truly killing institutions seems to be the sole challenge

Are you sure you're not TM?

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Originally Posted By: HOUSE of S
Quote:
Frankly, the task of truly killing institutions seems to be the sole challenge

Are you sure you're not TM?

Debate over, Slarty wins!

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You are right on target Slarty.

It is sad that the Dream of Martin Luther King has not been realized. As long as there racially prejudiced people like Mr. Handyman, the Dream will remain out of our grasp. I don't know Mr. Handyman's past either, but by accusing the entire population of white people for the alleged abuses of only a few, he reveals his racist attitude.

 

Mr. Handyman, The Race Card has been overused, especially in the last three years, so much so that it has lost its meaning. The truth is out that those who cry Racism the most are the only true racists themselves. Even Quanell X has come to realize that the black communities of our country have failed to raise their children properly, and he exhorts them to become more involved with them and to raise them right.

 

As for your theory about anarchy, let me point out the without a peaceful society protected by a government, none of the things that make your life comfortable would exist. No industry to produce the materials for your house, your car, the computer you use, nor the electricity to power it. No agriculture to provide the food you eat, no way to transport it or refrigerate it. No McDonald's, no TV. All this goes away if you remove the stability that government provides. If anarchy is still your choice, there are some countries that can accommodate you; Somalia perhaps, or the aboriginal tribes in the Amazon forest.

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Originally Posted By: Slarty
I don't think the words really need defining, though, do they?

I did ask, mostly in the hope that Handyman wasn't defining terms as strictly as he is. Alas, I am now content.

Quote:
You haven't stated it explicitly, but you have repeatedly taken several implicit jabs at your audience, as you do above. You must all be powerful, well-off, white males, never manhandled by police, bystanders to bullying, etc. I'm not sure why you are making any of these provocative assertions. But let me state for the record that your assumptions are wrong regarding many of the people participating in this discussion. [...] So I really wish you would drop your flirtation with condescension.

Seconded.

Dikiyoba.

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Originally Posted By: Harehunter
The truth is out that those who cry Racism the most are the only true racists themselves.


the only ones? really? are you prepared to defend this claim?

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Originally Posted By: Harehunter
Originally Posted By: HOUSE of S
Are you sure you're not TM?
You are right on target Slarty


mysmilie_216.gif

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Originally Posted By: Harehunter
Where does this come from? I have had to work to achieve my "relative privilege"; it was not handed to me.

You were born a black disabled woman and worked to become a white able-bodied man (plus about one thousand other minority statuses Dikiyoba left out)? Because the entire point of privilege is that it's not something you can control (with very rare exceptions) or even realize you have until it's gone or someone hits you over the head with it.

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Originally Posted By: Harehunter
Originally Posted By: Radix Malorum Est Cupiditas
Originally Posted By: Karoka
I thought China was communist.
Yes, but it's the people's republic of chinese communism.

What they call it is meaningless. East Germany proclaimed themselves the Democratic Republic of Germany, even though their "democracy" was a rigged process which denied its citizens any real control of the government.

Anyway, is China a communist nation, or a socialist nation? Often times the two terms are used interchangeably, but I believe they have distinct meanings.
Yes, thank you. In case you completely missed the point I was being, what's the english word for this? Not sarcastic, I want to say pedantic maybe.

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Originally Posted By: Harehunter
...the alleged abuses of only a few, he reveals his racist attitude.

I don't think it's fair to call Handyman a racist. His stance appears to be that people who stand by and ignore a crime should be complicit in its commission, at least when it comes to crimes of culture: culturally enforced prejudices and minority oppressions, the patriarchy, rape culture, etc. And in this particular I am inclined to agree with him at least somewhat (I suspect I would distinguish levels of complicity more than he would). I was saying above only that he has no business assuming that everyone here is in that bystanding majority.

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Mr. Handyman, The Race Card has been overused, especially in the last three years, so much so that it has lost its meaning. The truth is out that those who cry Racism the most are the only true racists themselves. Even Quanell X has come to realize that the black communities of our country have failed to raise their children properly, and he exhorts them to become more involved with them and to raise them right.

Strong disagree, and in fact I'll say that this is possibly the most racist and definitely the most ignorant thing I've read here in a long time. You just accused an entire skin color group of being bad parents, with the obvious implication that people of other skin colors are better parents.

Racism exists. It is far from ubiquitous, now, which is a wonderful thing. But your statement that people who talk about racism are "the only true racists" -- a statement I can only assume, or hope, was meant as hyperbole -- is crazy. The country has plenty of hate crimes, still most often committed over race, and in case you haven't noticed, several states are passing laws that allow racially based enforcement of immigration law, e.g., if he looks like he might be an illegal, let's go ask; we won't ask the people who look "American". Whether these laws were, on some level, racially motivated is up for debate; but their implementation definitely involves racism, whether or not it's intentional. That is one major example of many. And I can tell you that on the streets of Boston, at least, racial epithets still get plenty of use. Do I need to go on?

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If anarchy is still your choice, there are some countries that can accommodate you; Somalia perhaps, or the aboriginal tribes in the Amazon forest.

The tribes of the amazon are not even remotely anarchist, so that's a pretty terrible example. On the other hand, their land is being taken away and destroyed by people of other races, and the massacres in Somalia were ethnically motivated, so those are pretty great examples of racism.

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Originally Posted By: Lilith
Originally Posted By: Harehunter
The truth is out that those who cry Racism the most are the only true racists themselves.


the only ones? really? are you prepared to defend this claim?

There are still cases of racial prejudice that are valid, and should be dealt with in accordance of the law. There are avenues of recourse to handle these situations, and they should be pursued to the limit the law allows.

On the other hand, in recent years crying out racial prejudice has used more frequently as an excuse for the person's failure due to his own bad decisions. When they experience difficulty getting a job, it is not because they made the decision to commit a crime and were sent to prison. It has to be because "Whitey is putting them down". (This is a direct quote from some guy who calls into the local radio show. Google 'Larry from South Park, Michael Berry'.) The culture in many black communities bullies children who actually try to learn in school the skills they need to qualify for better jobs ("What, you trying to be white"). Black people who succeed in becoming successful business men and such are called "Uncle Toms", and people like Senator Allen West are are dismissed as being too "white". Even Quanell X himself, a local Community Activist in the black community, has come out and exhorted that the culture in those communities has to change.

Please don't get me wrong, not all blacks in this country believe in what Larry says. They work hard and get high paid jobs and support their families, and raise their children with the values they need to be successful. I know several such people in my own company. In fact more and more black people are achieving the American Dream, and when they hear someone like Larry SP, they are compelled to call in and avow that Larry does not represent them.

It is important to understand, that this is not really about race, it is really about culture. Those people of color who choose to work and become successful, do. Those people, like Larry SP, who choose not to study in school, who choose to commit crimes (his own admission) will find that society frowns upon such choices. But do people like Larry SP understand this? No, they just assume that it is because of their race. Why? Because that is what they have been taught all their lives.

This guy Larry calls in to the radio show almost daily, and what he says paints a very grim portrait of a culture that chooses not to coexist in society. It is a culture that promotes violence, bullies children who actually try to learn in school, denigrates people of color who work to become successful, disrespects women, and where the men take no responsibility to raise the children they sire. Women with children don't have husbands, they have "Baby Daddys". They have no support structure of a family, so they become essentially wards of the state. Where are the fathers of these children? Many of them are in prison, paying the consequences of their own poor decisions. Where the rest are I have no idea.

This is not a racial thing, it is a cultural thing. Children in these communities are taught to never trust the police, don't snitch on people who have committed crimes, don't try to learn in school, and above all to blame all their problems on the "relatively privileged white man".

I will say again, and this is important. It is not a racial problem, it is a cultural problem that represents only a subset one ethnic group. Yes there are cases of true racial prejudice, and they may be fairly common. These must be dealt with in accordance with the law. That is what those laws are for. But for Larry SP to blame all white men for his own failure, failure which was caused by his own actions which he admits to, is the purest form of racism.

Again, this is not about blacks, it is about culture.

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Harehunter, there are an awful lot of things wrong about what you wrote.

 

Are there people from predominantly black communities who use race as an excuse for their failures? Sure, but there are also people from predominantly white communities who do that, complaining that people of color have taken their jobs through affirmative action. Are there people in predominantly black communities who bully good students? Sure, but there are also people from predominantly white communities who do that.

 

If you want to talk about differing educational values, that's one thing -- but that has nothing to do with skin color and everything to do with socioeconomic status. And differing educational values track far more closely with SES than with skin color or ethnicity. It would be silly to suggest there is no cultural element, but that cultural element wasn't created in a vacuum and doesn't exist in a vacuum: it springs from the history of the community, and can mostly be determined, again, by its history of wealth or of poverty.

 

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When they experience difficulty getting a job, it is not because they made the decision to commit a crime

Wow. Just wow. "They" are the ones who commit crimes -- obviously!

 

Originally Posted By: Harehunter
The culture in many black communities bullies children who actually try to learn in school the skills they need to qualify for better jobs ("What, you trying to be white"). Black people who succeed in becoming successful business men and such are called "Uncle Toms", and people like Senator Allen West are are dismissed as being too "white".

Harehunter, your information is dramatically out of date, and out of touch. "Uncle Tom" is not a current phrase and hasn't been for decades. I'd like to ask an important question. What is your source of information about black communities? Based on what you've said, it seems to be TV sound bites. I'm asking because it directly conflicts with my direct experience with black communities.

 

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I know several such people in my own company.

Wow. Several successful black people? Stop the presses!

 

What is this, a time warp back to the Cosby Show?

 

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It is important to understand, that this is not really about race, it is really about culture.

Then why do you keep talking about it in terms of skin color? If skin color has nothing to do with it, stop talking about black people and people of color, and start talking about the actual cultural descriptors you think are relevant.

 

Quote:
Women with children don't have husbands, they have "Baby Daddys". They have no support structure of a family, so they become essentially wards of the state. Where are the fathers of these children? Many of them are in prison, paying the consequences of their own poor decisions. Where the rest are I have no idea.

Data that proves this occurs in substantially greater numbers than in white communities of similar SES, or it's racism.

 

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Children in these communities are taught to never trust the police, don't snitch on people who have committed crimes, don't try to learn in school, and above all to blame all their problems on the "relatively privileged white man".

Again, citation please? Because that sure as heck isn't what the kids at my school have been taught either by parents or teachers. (94% of the students are people of color, 90% of them qualify for the free lunch program, meaning their incomes are very low, and the majority of the teachers are people of color as well.)

 

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It is not a racial problem, it is a cultural problem that represents only a subset one ethnic group.

Which ethnic group? Because "black" is not an ethnic group.

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Originally Posted By: Slarty
Quote:
Children in these communities are taught to never trust the police, don't snitch on people who have committed crimes, don't try to learn in school, and above all to blame all their problems on the "relatively privileged white man".

Again, citation please? Because that sure as heck isn't what the kids at my school have been taught either by parents or teachers. (94% of the students are people of color, 90% of them qualify for the free lunch program, meaning their incomes are very low, and the majority of the teachers are people of color as well.)


I'm very aware of the dangers of hopping across minefields, but I felt I had something to add here.

The community I was brought up in was an inner-city hell-hole, pretty much. The police were viewed as untrustworthy, though it went further than that: they were seen as an enemy. "Snitching" was by and far the worst thing anybody could do to somebody (heck, you were encouraged to sort things out yourself. Usually involving fists or knives). At school, there were a handful of people who wanted to work, and learn, and escape the fate of 80-90% of the school (and in fact, my school closed not long after I moved because it failed to meet even the very minimum of kids passing exams).

And you know what? My school had one coloured family, who moved to the area not long before I moved away. The area I lived in was overwhelmingly white - I can't find the demographics for the area I lived in, but the city as a whole is 81.6% white, and growing up, I remember only a handful of non-whites. It's nice to see that things are diversifying, but I suspect that the mainly white areas I grew up in haven't seen the same influx of people as other areas.

Obviously this is mainly my own experiences, but if anybody wants to do a Wikipedia search for Nottingham, feel free: you'll see that 'in 2005, it had one of the highest crime rates in the country, with 115.5 crimes per 1000 people', and there is information for ethnicity percentages, and an example that lends credibility to what I experienced: that if you were wronged, you took matters into your own hands:

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More recently, racial tension in Nottingham has been a major factor in a number of serious crimes. In July 2005, shortly after the London terrorist attacks in which 52 people were killed by Muslim suicide bombers, 48-year-old Pakistan born Muslim man Kamal Raza Butt was beaten to death in the Meadows area of the city.[63] 17-year-old white British teenager Nathan Williams was accused of his murder in May 2006 but cleared on the charge after witnesses refused to testify in court. Nathan Williams was fatally shot in the chest in the Meadows area just four months later.


So yeah. My two-cents. I'm sure I had a point, but all I've got now is "Slarty is (as ever) right, and Harehunter (and others) need to be more careful when expressing views such as he has without any citations to back them up".

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Well, I am quite aware that racism still exists, but that it is not a mainstream and definitely not as accepted as it was 30 - 40 years ago when I was a child. I recently moved across the country (mostly for economic reasons) partially so that my adopted daughter (who has a different racial background than the rest of our family) would have an easier time. We have raised our 5 children to make race a non-issue, and we knew we were being successful when one evening, while I was driving down the road, a news story came on the radio that caused one of my kids to ask, "Daddy, is Gramma Annie white?" The concept of skin color and race is just irrelevant to them. They are the new generation.

The old generation includes my uncle who was a mamber of the KKK until he passed away, my stepfather who pulled me aside when I was going to adopt my daughter and told me it was a bad idea, because she would have the same rights as my "real children" and that we didn't need any more of "those people" in our country.

An asian co-worker of mine was going to visit his wife's family in East Tennessee, and drove through a town where he was pulled over by the cops and told to get out of town fast if he knew what was good for him.

There are still places with hand lettered signs at the side of the road coming into town that say "Welcome to (whatevertown). Ni@@&&, don't let the sun go down on you here."

At the same time, one of the biggest racists I have ever known was someone who was raised in the aftermath of the assassination of MLK, and she was convinced that all white people were evil, hated her, and wanted to keep her oppressed.

 

All of this is anecdotal evidence, true, but racism is not something to play around with.

 

I was one of a small minority of caucasians (2 in my class) in one semester of elementary school in North Georgia, and (somehow) I kept tripping on the stairs and falling down a lot. I chose to rise above it, and when my family moved to a different place where there was not a context of racism, our elementary school teacher had us do a social exercise in racism to teach the kids what it was about. She divided us into groups, one group was to be the majority, power-holders, and the other the minority victims. When I was put into the minority group, I laid my head down on my desk and cried, because I already knew what it felt like. I ended up getting sent to the principal's office because I started a fight on the playground. The other kids wouldn't let us minorities play with any of the balls, so I just took one.

 

I can't help it that I was born a white male. I don't consider myself to be above anyone else because of the accident of my birth, though I do realize there are advantages to it. There are also advantages to having been born an American, or Canadian, or (pick your favorite "First World" nation), no matter what race you are.

 

The racial divide in America has not entirely disappeared, but in two more generations, we can get rid of it IF WE TRY. Perpetuating the victim mentality is as bad as ignoring the problem that still exists.

 

Sorry for the big rant, but this is one of the rare issues that I will actually get serious about. I am also involved with a couple of groups that are working to abolish slavery, human trafficking, and the sexual exploitation of minors. Yes, I put my money and time where my mouth is.

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Originally Posted By: Skwish-E
Sorry for the big rant, but this is one of the rare issues that I will actually get serious about. I am also involved with a couple of groups that are working to abolish slavery, human trafficking, and the sexual exploitation of minors. Yes, I put my money and time where my mouth is.


*Applauds*.

You've gone up ten-fold in my estimation, sir.

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