1. I love it when I am out of the office all day and return to find that my desperately rushed post in the morning spawned multiple donnybrooks.
2. If this were baseball, Mrs. Q would be leading the Ethics Alarms League in batting average. Her Comment of the Day/Comments average leads the pack.
3. This quote…
“If someone were to ask me “what do you want most from our society today?” I’d answer, to have people mind their own business, not assume I’m needing a leg up, and honor those who honor family, faith, and free thought.”
…is as smart, powerful and profound a statement as any that have appeared on Ethics Alarms in nine years.
Here is Mrs. Q’s Comment of the Day on #3 in the post, Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 3/22/18: Nanoo Nanoo, And The Oxford Comma:
How do we as a society make things more fair for a variety of minorities, based on a history of unnecessary biases?
I don’t think it’s possible to make everything equal for everyone forever and always. It’s a nice idea but I’m called to remember the book “The Lathe of Heaven” where the therapist manipulates his patient into “making the world a better place” with disastrous results. For example in trying to solve overpopulation, millions die. In another, an attempt at solving racism turns everyone grey.
The song by Tears for Fears, “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” highlights another dilemma in attempting to make things as we wish:
“All for freedom and for pleasure
Nothing ever lasts forever”
There is simply no way to obliterate prejudice. There will always be poor folks, enslaved folks, downtrodden folks, and people who get treated like crap for one reason or another. Obviously this doesn’t mean we stop caring or making effort to be kinder people, which includes examining institutional racism, homophobia, etc. However any “peace” we make won’t last in the next generation or the one after that because some other disparity will always present itself. This is the way of life and the evidence of history from the Egyptians to the Jews to women today being trafficked. So how do we balance the scales for minorities here in the US?
Foremost is we listen, even when we disagree. We also stop assuming because we want “better” for minorities that we know how to achieve it. Any modern attempt to “balance” usually results in megalomania, pandering, and short-sighted prejudices of another sort. For example when my wife or I get into conversations with self-identified members of “the resistance,” the chatter usually stops the minute we admit we don’t hate Trump. We don’t like him either, but merely pointing out a policy we like of his has literally stopped the conversation. Just today I had a white trans person literally walk away from me when I asked how shipping recycling to China was eco-friendly.
If you’re a minority and don’t hold to the new Left’s party lines, ie. Obama good/Trump bad, abortions good/guns bad, environmentalism good/conservation bad – you will be dismissed. Having an opinion as a minority means you have to sign off on cultural Marxism or you’ll be ignored or told you don’t know what you’re talking about or that you’re a pawn being used by conservatives.
Or simply treated rudely, as I have experienced on EA, by those who claim to speak for minority rights the most here.
So much for honoring minority voices.
If someone were to ask me “what do you want most from our society today?” I’d answer, to have people mind their own business, not assume I’m needing a leg up, and honor those who honor family, faith, and free thought. Because minority quotas only serve those who need to feel good about their own efforts at making the world a better place. This so called diversity and inclusion is a surface, skin deep only kind of paradigm that creates an internal self-reverence for the ally, not actual justice for soul in front of them. It’s about using how minorities may look to foster another kind of conformity…thought conformity.
And as I’ve learned since the 2016 election, there is nothing that feels more enslaving, prejudiced, and discounting, than being told I have to think a certain way because of my skin color, marital partner, sex, and ability. Having just spent several days in a small town in Idaho I can say, I felt more free than I ever do in the ultra liberal Portland. No one looked at us funny or cared how we voted. We were treated as true equals and it was achieved without a single diversity/inclusion virtue signal…and it was the most peace I’ve had in many months. That peace is how we change things for the better, at least for a little while.
5 thoughts on “Comment Of The Day: “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 3/22/18: Nanoo Nanoo, And The Oxford Comma”[Item #3]”
Mrs. Q, once again, you have stated my thoughts but so much better than I am able. Thank you.
Thank you DD. I’m sure I missed some Oxford commas though.
And thanks Jack.
GREAT comment and what I’ve come to expect; what I believe to be but expressed far more eloquently.
Every time I hear that “Tears For Fears” song, I think of one of my favorite shows (comedy shows, leastways) “Dennis Miller Live!”
“(don’t) assume I’m needing a leg up”
That reminds me of a youtube exchange (which I can’t lay my cyber hands on) of a “discussion” between a guilt-addled White Lefty and a younger Black Conservative.
The White Lefty was accomplishing nothing but frustration because the Black guy wouldn’t allow himself to be pigeon-holed.
Finally, he pulled out the “What’s the Republican Party ever done for you?”
After a perfectly timed pause, the Black guy fixes his gaze on him and says “what makes you think I need to something, ANYTHING, to be done for me?”
Stopped dead in his tracks, the White Lefty’s reaction was priceless; absolutely dumbfounded with having his soft bigotry knocked out of the park, I thought he was going to crap his Hempen Homsepun drawers.
Great comment, Lasy Q.
The way you were treated in a small town is what lefties don’t believe: before Obama, we were past all the division out here in much of fly over country. We still are, but the dark clouds are again gathering, forced upon us by progressives who want control over our politics, our lives, and our very thoughts.
We don’t care who you sleep with, nor what shade your skin is. Evil, ignorance, and carelessness come in all hues. We care when people who don’t know our communities assume how we live, how we think, and presume to punish us for it, or worse, for being the hue we were born.
I am not sure the exact date that I became wicked. I suppose it does not matter now for wicked I am. Some years back one notable contributor to this blog suggested therapy which I suppose she imagined as the first step on a road to a cure. At first and naturally I resisted. When I finally did decide to pursue that route it was a shared decision between myself and the boyfriend who is possibly even more evil than I am. But it dod not work out so well, as things often do not work out so well for the evil and twisted. We invited the therapist to the house (here they do ‘house calls’ for a nominal surcharge) and it really did start out well with lots of *sharing* and reddened eyes. But then we noticed that the therapist (a lady) was nicely plump and of good stock. We lost interest in therapy after a few sessions, sacrificed her, chopped her up and froze her for future dinners. I know, I know. Evil. But that is how it goes … Me culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.
When we look at, when we are presented with, a specific situation and are asked to make some assessment about it, we do so in an immediate and unreflexive way. We decide things according to our sentiments. Take as an example the young girl who chose to have an abortion. Or perhaps a gay man who is explaining his relationship to his gayness or to his ‘gay lifestyle’ as it is often termed. We usually sympathize because is accords with our human side: to be kind, to be understanding. It is only when one steps back from those situations, and any specific situation, and applies some structure of reasoned thought, some criteria of evaluation, that one is placed in a position to have to make a decision: to arrive at a judgment/assessment. I guess it is sort of like in a court. The reasoning mind in the form of the judge, who has the training and the experience with the inner dimensions of the questions, puts aside any sentimentalism and decides a case strictly according to the reasoned dictates. Hard, sharp, decisive.
My relationship to all the hot issues that are discussed on this blog is one that is strung between sentimentalism and reason. I see ‘sentimentalism’ as youthful and childish (childlike) and ‘reason’ as being hard and distant. My present theory is that, today, sentimentalism is predominant in culture and this is a desired and engineered outcome in a process of degradation (in the strict sense of the word). I use some Thomist philosophical concepts to orient myself in this. People are being seduced — have been seduced — and are rendered like little children: they only see the immediate, what they want and crave, and are satisfied only when they have it. They lack the tools to be able to weight and decide issues. It is not hard to fill out this idea but I assume everyone will get it, more or less. Obviously, in Thomist philosophy, the reasoning mind should be the decisive mind and not the ‘lower appetites’ and desires. Within man a battle takes place and everything hinges on what aspect of him or herself he and she serves. I have wondered how it is that things have wound up like this. But that is the core of my analytical position. Perhaps it is imperfect or partial but it seems quite sound to me right now.
So, the further that one pulls back from a given issue or situation, and the more that one deliberately chooses to resist sentimental inclination and the more one chooses to apply ‘reason’, the harder things get. The weight of having to decide, or having to make a decision, of having to have done the work to assemble the proper information, is heavy. In contrast, a sentimental decision is often far easier. Because I suppose one ‘indulges’ it. Obviously, there is the further issue of the ‘mass will’ and the mass inclinations of the present: a mood perhaps or it could also be a result from a given regime of thought.
What I notice about Slick’s position is that it is local, immediate and on the whole sentimental. What I notice about my response of reaction to it is that I dissolve it, as it were, in an analytical acid that is — according to me of course — reasoned, hard, decisive and therefor more vexing and difficult. And taken on the whole this analytical attitude, which is anti-sentimental, is not well received. It is not appreciated when people are trying to hold to the sentiment that is needed in good relations.
You must love me, you must accept me, you must respect me, you must tolerate me, you must not judge what I do, you only have a right to focus on yourself and your invasive judgments are a direct imposition, an unjustifiable intrusion, into my rights and my freedoms.
This is the basis of the ‘sentimental’ defense-posture. But when one examines what is defended, I suggest, one discovers fairly quickly that what is being defended is defended through ‘emotional reasoning’: desire and will to put it in a nutshell. And for desire and will to ‘win’ over the reasoning judge, desire and will has to defeat reasoning. And there you have ‘the dumbing down of America’.
So, by sttepping back in this way or is such a way from the specificity of issues, one backs up into a meta-analytical position. Meta-existential? Meta-philosophical? Meta-ethical? Meta-axioligical? What is the criteria that one will employ in one’s judgment. The question is not small, the question is huge.
Everything that is said ‘not to matter’ (or ‘not to matter!’) really does in fact matter, and it matters a great deal. But there is a war that goes on which, as I suggest, is one between the demanding child and the reasoning adult. But it goes further, much further. What does ‘adult’ mean? It means *authority*. But what base for authority? Who makes the decisions, and on the basis of what? The Child of the Sixties had a sort-of answer and it was highly sentimental. This method (im the sense of modus) infected the mind, body and soul of The Culture and determined entire waves of attitude and activity which, now, are visbly encrustations (like materialized ghosts) in Our Present. And — as I say — it all has to be back-tracked through to its roots. Or not of course.
When one backs-up into the meta-philosophical and the meta-political, one can identify issues, problems, concerns and eventualities that are larger and more important than the sentimental concerns of those only looking at things through a local and immediate lens and which require a harder sort of analysis, and a harder sort of decisiveness.
I wrote all this because I am reading ‘Documents of American Prejudice: An Anthology of Writings on Race from Thomas Jefferson to David Duke’. It was edited by ST Joshi to expose the systematic evil that imbues America. It is lefty-food I gather. And there is one 2-3 page inclusion of a statement by David Duke that caught my eye because it explained, in cold hard detail, what the issues really hinge on. I could only find it quoted on some sort of Christian site which I paid no attention to. I am only interested in what Duke expressed. Here it is:
I am interested in ‘daclarations’ as such declarations are enunciations and what underlies enunciations are always value-sets. I like Duke and have read his autobiography and I definitely see him as a classic American type, and also a solid patriotic American (and I do this though everyone tells me, more or less, to go along with then to hate him).
Slick says or implies that it is the improper and disturbing actions of ‘progressives’ that are forcing these troubles and problems onto America right now. But the truthful fact is that the issues are far larger, I mean not exclusive to America. The issues have to do with giant problems related to value and valuation and they are axiological and civilizational issues. One can bring them out all into the open just to be able to see them, and perhaps talk about them, or one can choose, in a certain form of deliberateness, to stuff down all the larger questions — to deny them effectively — and long nostalgically for a return to an irenic past.
I do not think that the Time itself will allow that. The Time is in the flow of forces which have their own will and desire, their own intentionality.
What you have in this post is what seems to animate all my writing: a polemical reaction to that ‘stuffing down’ and the silence that I notice in people. Lack of desire to see based on fear I suppose.
Well, there you have it. Another cup of coffee is in order! 😉