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Is faith in ideology less blind, fanatical and dangerous than relgious


SRV

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.... This blurring of agreements made thus cannot be appropriately reconciled. It DOES require the 'First Nations' to adapt to 'ownership' as the rest of the world does OR to die out.

Scott.

P.S. Like I said, I appreciate your thinking and ideals. Yet I also recognize, being an atheist and somewhat nihilistic, that no matter what we might present as 'fair' to each other is not even remotely a concern about nature regardless. Bacteria, as 'nature', will equally keep be unconcerned about nature as a whole as they will outproduce and exploit their environment without concern to the fact their very act also can defeat them. The world, in effect, doesn't even NEED ANY living thing to exist. We only impose meaning to life with respect to our own selfish desire to impose this upon Nature too, in an ignorant and arrogant fashion. Those in business who often compete against environmental issues are as much non-religiously sound in light of a nihilist interpretation. To them, unless there IS some God, what does it matter to even be concerned about some future society when we could exploit it now. It may not appeal to us. But this is more about our own way we have assigned morality based on our own experiences only.

We can debate the origins and evolution of the concept of ownership. And I would even agree that traditional native and/or tribal concepts of ownership are no longer viable now that they have been incorporated, if not assimilated into and must compete in a single global marketplace. A marketplace, I might add, in which the values assigned to 'owned' goods is determined by the price they would fetch in that marketplace. Native people and even ourselves may not agree with the price that marketplace assigns to a good or service, but in order to be entitled to a good or service we must either 'own' whatever we need to produce it, or have the wherewith-all to purchase it. (unless someone gifts it to us.) That holds true for individuals as well as tribes and cultures. And, under this system, cultures that lack the purchasing power --effective demand-- to preserve their land base will die out. Adapt and compete or parish. And they do. If we accept the loss of languages as an indicator of the rate to which we are losing cultures we can conclude that, in terms of a percentage of the whole, we are losing cultures at a far greater rate than we are losing species of plants and animals.

You see this as inevitable. A form of social Darwinism perhaps. Private property rights are here to stay, and only the fittest/most adaptable will survive. The propertied will survive, the dispossessed will not. You acknowledge that this does not guarantee the survival of the dominant culture, and we may all go the way of the dinosaur, but the planet will do just fine without us.

My problem is that I think allowing the global marketplace to determine the value of everything on this planet is nihilistic. As far as we humans are concerned it will not result in even a sustainable allocation of resources, much less an optimal one. The dominant culture is to the planet what rabbits were to Australia, and we've got to start building some rabbit-proof fences! Fast!

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Objectively speaking much of what you describe is exactly what I observe happening around me. I just can't deny it. But I can't accept it either, because it is unacceptable.I may be pretty cynical, but I'm not a nihilistic, like yourself. (Actually I'm not even a cynic, but most of the less-realistic-than-I-am people around me perceive me that way. ;) )

Another one of your concerns, I think, is that the recognition and protection of First Nations heritage will result in inequality, or that First Nations will be favoured in a way that other cultures are not. I have spent considerable time working with First Nations, but most of my work as a human rights defender has been abroad --Colombia, El Salvador, Iraq, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua etc. My concerns come more from a global perspective than the Canadian experience, but in all of these countries native peoples are being pushed off of their land without their Free Prior and Informed consent, to make way for corporate mega-projects. Nowhere would favouring indigenous peoples with a modicum of protection and consideration grant them an insubordinate amount of power that they might somehow abuse and use to get more than their share. I think nation states themselves are pretty small players in the global scheme of things, and we attribute more decision-making power to them than they actually have. For the most part they can only respond in a limited reactionary sort of way to the imperatives of a global corporatocracy and financial sector. The threat to Canadian sovereignty is not Native land rights, but corporate control over Canadian assets and the nations' ability to enact environmental protection measures or even change social policy. Like our First Nations we too have been colonized and dispossessed of our national heritage,. At this point focussing on disparity between status natives and other Canadians is like focussing on the disparity between unionized and non-unionized workers salaries while ignoring the salaries of corporate CEOs and bank directors.

Edited by Michael Hardner
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We can debate the origins and evolution of the concept of ownership. And I would even agree that traditional native and/or tribal concepts of ownership are no longer viable now that they have been incorporated, if not assimilated into and must compete in a single global marketplace. A marketplace, I might add, in which the values assigned to 'owned' goods is determined by the price they would fetch in that marketplace. Native people and even ourselves may not agree with the price that marketplace assigns to a good or service, but in order to be entitled to a good or service we must either 'own' whatever we need to produce it, or have the wherewith-all to purchase it. (unless someone gifts it to us.) That holds true for individuals as well as tribes and cultures. And, under this system, cultures that lack the purchasing power --effective demand-- to preserve their land base will die out. Adapt and compete or parish. And they do. If we accept the loss of languages as an indicator of the rate to which we are losing cultures we can conclude that, in terms of a percentage of the whole, we are losing cultures at a far greater rate than we are losing species of plants and animals.

You see this as inevitable. A form of social Darwinism perhaps. Private property rights are here to stay, and only the fittest/most adaptable will survive. The propertied will survive, the dispossessed will not. You acknowledge that this does not guarantee the survival of the dominant culture, and we may all go the way of the dinosaur, but the planet will do just fine without us.

My problem is that I think allowing the global marketplace to determine the value of everything on this planet is nihilistic. As far as we humans are concerned it will not result in even a sustainable allocation of resources, much less an optimal one. The dominant culture is to the planet what rabbits were to Australia, and we've got to start building some rabbit-proof fences! Fast!

I'm Nihilistic intelligently but am still not this way emotionally. But I am merely 'fortunate' for the emotional factor that gives me the compassion still. But I too often get interpreted as being 'cynical' too. However, my cynicism is more like the original cynicism of the Greeks where it was practiced (or intended to be so) as an intellectual means to question politics and other social structures WITHOUT emotions getting in the way. Because of this, I'm an equal-opportunity skeptic of EVERYONE and it is often interpreted as derogatory as the modern term, "cynic", implies now. It is too hard for most who are naturally more emotionally-lead to perceive one questioning things as an affront on them as a person, especially on these online forums discussing these issues.

I share your concerns emotionally but believe that nature itself still rules over this on large scales. The reason I'm skeptical of our system is because the logic of placing culture, religion, or ethnicity above the individual OR the whole in politics only strengthens the problems in all areas, including the economic ones you believe are acting "nihilistically". This is because I believe what is driving even those within corporate structures are still based on cultural conservatism in some way. The best example of this to me is the State of Israel. They act as the strongest group that utilizes their own internal belief in their 'culture', ethnicity, and religion, to remove their compassion for outsiders making it most easy to favor the idea of International corporate behaviors that lend themselves to abuses, especially upon outsiders. If you have only a love for your own kind, then the way you deal with outsiders will be preferentially 'nihilistic' upon those outsiders. That is, you don't have to 'hate' outsiders overtly when you have strong nationalism for your own, but this is the inevitable means to foster it anyways. A strong love for your 'own' uniquely IS logically what causes hatred because we are limited to a fixed set of resources available.

The more stronger your in-group, the better power you gain of resources. This is what is 'logically' driving people to think we SHOULD enhance things like cultural segregationist ideas. This is cyclic because all that occurs as everyone adapts this mentality is equally as selfish as the corporate mentality you think is a problem.

However, to actually fix the problems requires attending directly to economic policies and NOT to culture with priority to escape these cycles. Corporations themselves actually DID begin as a means to find balanced fairness in some ways to fund large communal projects in a way that doesn't indiscriminately favor one group against another. But what has happened is that we've extended these original ideas to enable special interest groups based on their culture to capitalize upon this through making the laws lenient enough to allow cultural groups to actually utilize the corporation to empower their nationalistic group interests. And this is done through politics by favoring the extremes. If you are of the culture that is most beneficial in such present capital, you become more right-wing 'conservative'; if you are of the culture (or collection of cultures) that lack the capital, then you favor the left-wing 'conservative' ideals. Since the extremes perceive, with good reason, that strengthening cultures is what enables them to gain the collective power to compete capitalistically (to 'own'), these extremes are what places culture as the prime interest for creating laws that favor the segregationist ideas that lead to things like "Multiculturalism" rather than a mere "Interculturalism" (voluntary associations).

Can you see the dilemma here? Since it is always inevitable that at least some culture will always exist who believes in utilizing any means to benefit themselves as a distinct group, it will always assure that for whatever laws that tries to 'correct' imbalances of economic powers of people as individuals, they will always still favor at least another group favoring cultural integrity on the other extreme. The individuals not associated with any particular culture will be the next targeted losers simply for not having the numbers of those with common interests to form a 'group' with as much force as those who are most religiously committed to them by default of their belief in cultural significance.

The only 'hope' we have to at least minimize one culture/ethnicity/religion from continuing these cycles to make one culture impose hardships upon others is to remove any fixed laws that favor cultures, ethnicity, race, etc, from being put in place. This what the Americans have done with their first Amendment clause, as a good evolutionary start. I think that it doesn't go far enough because they have still had problems because of even the nature of people to voluntarily associate in cultures regardless. We already have witnessed that even in the American system, it is the cultural purists among them who are causing the problems. It was nationalists among them that demanded their government place the "In God We Trust" motto on their coinage, and revising their anthems to implant "God" in this way too. These seemingly trivial additions actually go against their First Amendment clause by merely making the term 'God' be undefined but with its imposing and clear undertones that infer religion as significant.

To me, it is ironic that Judaism and Christianity have evolved to what they are now because by going through their scriptures with scrutiny, you can discover even a secular history within them that hints the original writings were discussing some of these politics back then that made them even question their own motives and actions. Genesis seemed to end on the recognition by the 'Jews' to have made an error in their role to have created the very curse against them as a 'people' for capitalizing upon the economic vulnerability of the Egyptians. I don't believe that even the idea of a "Jew" was of a particular 'people' at that time UNTIL the Egyptians perceived the causes of their demise as 'owned' by the transients, where 'Jew' was a generalized word for this for all wanderers, including immigrants from anywhere who capitalized on the losses of the 'indigenous' then there.

Ironically, by interpreting natural causes of economic problems as being FROM the differences in lifestyle (ie, 'culture'), the settled populations original to the land were displaced by the transients but interpreted the lifestyles as intrinsic to one's race or ethnicity, and not merely on their natural conditions. That is, the 'transients' were of many different races or ethnicities, just as the settled peoples in cities were. But those among both extremes reinterpreted the sincere 'causes' of their economic faults by targeting genetic (phenotypical) traits that were most easy to recognize in common (or largest plurality) of the other. And it was these very stereotypes that also forced each of the strongest ones being stereotyped to embrace it rather than defeat it.

So a purging of those among these extremes who appeared as the other actually strengthened the extremes who were stereotyped based on apparent genetic markers. And they always WIN on both sides.

How does this compare here and now in Canada? The extremes here are the 'white Anglo-Saxon/Europeans' as the transients and the 'native populations'. Note that I don't actually believe these groups on the extremes are appropriate to stereotype. I'm one of the 'outcast' of the present favor of the 'transient' genetically stereotyped who is cast out by our native population because I supposedly 'own' the heritage of the 'white Anglo-Saxon/European' as being the qualifying factor that the extremes who DO favor 'cultural' segregation as the appropriate defining factors and cause of economic problems. I am equally discriminated by the present 'white Anglo-Saxon/Europeans' who also believe in their own culture as 'owning' their fortune because of it.

But who loses here except for the disenfranchised belonging to either extremes? There will always be some apparent genetic group in more power and a set of groups with lessor powers, where the 'group' interests will defeat the individuals among them who don't associate voluntarily to the stereotypes they each create and impose upon us all as individuals. And by the powers of the 'group' interests on all sides who demand cultural segregation to preserve their 'own', we will always remain in this trap to favor culture over the individuals who don't comply.

The only difference that I see in our politics here in Canada between parties are to which cultural groups they represent. Our "Conservatives" are of the largest plurality of the 'transient' population who benefited through the 'protestant and non-Catholic' variety. The "Liberals" are the 'transient' AND now relatively 'traditional' settlers of that group who established this country, namely, the 'catholic Anglican (English) and Roman (French-Quebec)' varieties. And the "NDP"favors the SET of cultures in direct apparent conflict with those of the present established wealth BUT actually still agree to the very stereotyping of that establishment. ALL parties here do not represent the individual even while they pay lip-service to these in one way or the other. They are ALL 'conservatives' in that they intrinsically perceive culture, race, and ethnicity, as the sincere means to be empowered and ALL are against the progress of the contemporary voluntary associations between individuals who stray outside of these confined classifications and receive the most discrimination. The 'mixed' people in between all groups will receive the same disgust by the purists who believe in cultural conservation. An African American who is wealthy is as much discriminated against by the economic class they belong to because of the purists among them who ARE associated by identifying themselves according to their cultural identities with pride. The Caucasian American who is poor is also discriminated against by their own economic class as they are presumed by the purists in their own class as representing what they believe is favored in the other class along the same lines.

While the 'wealthy' ones, however, who are 'outcast' at least are not suffering the economic problems, it will be the 'poor' ones who will be most motivated to ACT. Yet, when or where they do, it is often of the type of behavior we associate with 'terrorism' or 'criminal' as they act out of desperation in ways that the established wealthy can through more 'legitimized' or accepted ways. And then the behaviors of these STILL only act to justify the very stereotypes that created these people's reactions upon the whole of the apparent stereotyped classes of the privileged conservatives.

I'll stick with this for now because I am sure to get flack again for writing another 'book' in a forum post. But I'm thinking that at least you and some of the others will approve who DO want to invest in trying to solve such problems without resort to oversimplification.

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...We already have witnessed that even in the American system, it is the cultural purists among them who are causing the problems. It was nationalists among them that demanded their government place the "In God We Trust" motto on their coinage, and revising their anthems to implant "God" in this way too. These seemingly trivial additions actually go against their First Amendment clause by merely making the term 'God' be undefined but with its imposing and clear undertones that infer religion as significant.

U.S. history provides a different take on this...."Americans" are nationalists by design...and any such changes were implemented over many years by democratic processes. There is no "God" as in the preamble to Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms....which only dates to the 1980's.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_God_we_trust#History

Edited by bush_cheney2004
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U.S. history provides a different take on this...."Americans" are nationalists by design...and any such changes were implemented over many years by democratic processes. There is no "God" as in the preamble to Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms....which only dates to the 1980's.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_God_we_trust#History

You are way off here. See http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/const/page-15.html for this in depth.

Our preamble is: "Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law:"

The 'nationalism' of America is of the whole of all its people and is more properly referenced as "patriotism" as this signifies this with clarity and doesn't discriminate against its members. "Nationalism" by all other countries except Americans means one's ethnic/genetic origins. With respect to the world at large, yes, America is 'nationalistic' though, and why others find them so threatening. When you have a whole country act as a nation, this this makes them powerful indeed. The same can be said of a country like Saudi Arabia or Israel. The difference is that they are more purist as a whole as they eliminate anyone whose 'nationality' isn't of their single kind.

Edit note: I would thus describe Israel and Saudi Arabia as properly "Nationalistic" since they are both a whole AND of one culture by definition culturally. They only 'differ' with respect to our British commonwealth countries in that they are MONO-culturalist as opposed to MULTI-culturalists. Both to me are problematic as they DEFINE their country with respect to preserving at least one or more cults. America is sincerely diverse and their patriotism, while certainly misplaced by some who prefer to see a Mono- or multi- cultural ideal, are merely demonstrating pride in their constitution, not any particular cults within it.

Edited by Scott Mayers
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..... America is sincerely diverse and their patriotism, while certainly misplaced by some who prefer to see a Mono- or multi- cultural ideal, are merely demonstrating pride in their constitution, not any particular cults within it.

No, America is far more complex than that and always has been. The nation fought a bloody civil war concurrently within the framework of nationalism and patriotism. Other social and political struggles followed (e.g. civil rights movement). Many "cults" have influenced America since its founding, a rebellious rejection of the royal principles and subsequent language and religion ideologies found in Canada.

The United States would never exist with an ideology of "peace, order, and good government".

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No, America is far more complex than that and always has been. The nation fought a bloody civil war concurrently within the framework of nationalism and patriotism. Other social and political struggles followed (e.g. civil rights movement). Many "cults" have influenced America since its founding, a rebellious rejection of the royal principles and subsequent language and religion ideologies found in Canada.

The United States would never exist with an ideology of "peace, order, and good government".

That's fine. My point still stands. We need AT LEAST a type of Constitution that eliminates any allowances of government to make laws that favor ANY cult regardless. I favor the First Amendment in this light even though I don't believe it went far enough. Our own Constitution in Canada was made (1982) by the very interests of religious groups, cults, and ethnic nationalists to prevent the non-affiliated of these to be disempowered with permanence and avoid the conflicts of interpretation that the American government has had to deal with through time. It is the very means of interpretation of those challenging your own country's individuals by similar nationalists among you who keep religion, ethnicity, and race, a real problem. They just are a tad more able to defeat any extremes from prevailing with permanence.

Here we reversed our means Constitutionally to address contingencies by our clause to overrule our Charter of Rights. But this is only allowed momentarily. The norm should be, as it is with all things, a non-theistic, non-ethnic, non-racist, and non-cultural bias, just as we are all born defaulted to being atheistic (absent of belief) until it is imposed upon us. This is what we need. The very link you provided on the "In God We Trust" indicated that the political interest was to defeat the non-theistic ideals. It is they, and NOT the First Amendment which has and still is leading people to be divisive. I'd propose an even stricter Constitution that removes any right of any culture, ethnicity, race, etc, from being privileged in law up front.

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... It is the very means of interpretation of those challenging your own country's individuals by similar nationalists among you who keep religion, ethnicity, and race, a real problem. They just are a tad more able to defeat any extremes from prevailing with permanence.

No, it is not a problem at all. The evolving interpretations and political agility based on circumstances are the very things that have served the United States well. It is a robust network of competing interests that results in a stronger foundation, even after conflict and destruction. Canada has never been tested in such ways and rejects absolute First Amendment principles in favour of domestic compromise (e.g. "hate speech", religious school funding, abortion till birth, etc.).

.... I'd propose an even stricter Constitution that removes any right of any culture, ethnicity, race, etc, from being privileged in law up front.

Wouldn't work in the U.S. (or Canada) because concessions to religion had to be made to form a union from the 'git go. The best one could hope for is to use tax exempt status to influence practical matters and decisions by religious organizations. The First Amendment does not ban religion or God, it just prevents the government from establishing same.

Edited by bush_cheney2004
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No, it is not a problem at all. The evolving interpretations and political agility based on circumstances are the very things that have served the United States well. It is a robust network of competing interests that results in a stronger foundation, even after conflict and destruction. Canada has never been tested in such ways and rejects absolute First Amendment principles in favour of domestic compromise (e.g. "hate speech", religious school funding, abortion till birth, etc.).

Wouldn't work in the U.S. (or Canada) because concessions to religion had to be made to form a union from the 'git go. The best one could hope for is to use tax exempt status to influence practical matters and decisions by religious organizations. The First Amendment does not ban religion or God, it just prevents the government from establishing same.

I'm unclear of what you are specifically arguing in the last line of the first paragraph above AND to whatever you are interpreting that I stand for. Are you FOR our Canadian system? Are you FOR religion, culture, and ethnic laws to be permitted in Constitutional protections?

You do not seem to actually BE American but seem to be arguing as a Canadian who 'thinks' they know the American ideal. Why, for instance, are you more often here rather than on some American political site? I even notice you spell in Canadian. (I already have my own excuse for my own preference for the American spelling as I had my initial school years in Virginia.)

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I'm unclear of what you are specifically arguing in the last line of the first paragraph above AND to whatever you are interpreting that I stand for. Are you FOR our Canadian system? Are you FOR religion, culture, and ethnic laws to be permitted in Constitutional protections?

I am not particularly interested in what the Canadian system is or chooses to be, only misinterpretations of what the American system of governance has been in any attempt to define what Canada should choose specifically, or the influence of religious ideology in general. Religious freedom cannot be separated from the mix even after 200+ years, and remains constitutionally protected.

You do not seem to actually BE American but seem to be arguing as a Canadian who 'thinks' they know the American ideal. Why, for instance, are you more often here rather than on some American political site? I even notice you spell in Canadian. (I already have my own excuse for my own preference for the American spelling as I had my initial school years in Virginia.)

The English/Canadian spelling is a longstanding amusement that another American member and I enjoy for this "Canadian" forum that is otherwise American in every technical way (e.g. forum engine).

Bottom line here is that ideologies will continue to compete for power and influence, with winners and losers. The Canadian system has escape clauses consistent with a decentralised confederation, regional differences, language, etc.

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I am not particularly interested in what the Canadian system is or chooses to be, only misinterpretations of what the American system of governance has been in any attempt to define what Canada should choose specifically, or the influence of religious ideology in general. Religious freedom cannot be separated from the mix even after 200+ years, and remains constitutionally protected.

The English/Canadian spelling is a longstanding amusement that another American member and I enjoy for this "Canadian" forum that is otherwise American in every technical way (e.g. forum engine).

Bottom line here is that ideologies will continue to compete for power and influence, with winners and losers. The Canadian system has escape clauses consistent with a decentralised confederation, regional differences, language, etc.

You still haven't answered my question. I'm trying to determine if you are FOR our system, FOR the American system (via the First Amendment), or to some interpretation that you believe is both ....OR neither. I cannot determine from your language, for instance, whether you believe in a government to have the right to make laws involving religion, culture, ethnicity. (?) You appear in defiance of my view in some way but I cannot tell to which parts of my view you have any real contentious concerns against. Please enlighten me.

The spelling thing is not a forum flaw. It is your preference of spelling based on your background early education. From it, you appear to be British/Commonwealth origin, not American!! Even in Canada, for the most part, many Westerners use the American spelling (and pronunciation) too. No offence, but something's unsettling about your preference while simultaneously appearing as a sincere patriot American.

Edited by Scott Mayers
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You do not seem to actually BE American but seem to be arguing as a Canadian who 'thinks' they know the American ideal. Why, for instance, are you more often here rather than on some American political site? I even notice you spell in Canadian. (I already have my own excuse for my own preference for the American spelling as I had my initial school years in Virginia.)

I am curious as to whether you were given a warning because you challenged whether a poster was American or not?

I was given a warning to assume a poster was a white Canadian.

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I am curious as to whether you were given a warning because you challenged whether a poster was American or not?

I was given a warning to assume a poster was a white Canadian.

You were? I assume you're all white Canadians.

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I am curious as to whether you were given a warning because you challenged whether a poster was American or not?

I was given a warning to assume a poster was a white Canadian.

I can't speak for what you may have said. It's as much about context. I have nothing disrespectful towards bush_cheney2004 in the least. I was just concerned why she's here representing America as a patriot but yet unusual to what I understand of the American patriot. They would unlikely adapt to the Canadian standard voluntarily, though it is NOT impossible, of course. You could also live in the U.S. as a Snowbird and have compassion for both countries. It might explain her choice. But there IS a difference to your use of "white" Canadian if it was interpreted as potentially racist. [i prefer no censorship though.]

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You still haven't answered my question. I'm trying to determine if you are FOR our system, FOR the American system (via the First Amendment), or to some interpretation that you believe is both ....OR neither. I cannot determine from your language, for instance, whether you believe in a government to have the right to make laws involving religion, culture, ethnicity. (?) You appear in defiance of my view in some way but I cannot tell to which parts of my view you have any real contentious concerns against. Please enlighten me.

To be clear then, I do not support government mandates to do such things....as an American, I don't believe that government has any rights per se, only those powers so enumerated by the constitution (i.e. We The People). This differs somewhat from the past and present Canadian experience and system of government.

The spelling thing is not a forum flaw. It is your preference of spelling based on your background early education. From it, you appear to be British/Commonwealth origin, not American!! Even in Canada, for the most part, many Westerners use the American spelling (and pronunciation) too. No offence, but something's unsettling about your preference while simultaneously appearing as a sincere patriot American.

Agreed...it is not a forum flaw...more influenced by browser and forum engine default settings, which can be changed. I am very much an American who enjoys exploiting the second and third order ramifications of American cultural hegemony on this Canadian forum. Again, the spelling deal is an inside joke with another member going back many years.

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I can't speak for what you may have said. It's as much about context. I have nothing disrespectful towards bush_cheney2004 in the least. I was just concerned why she's here representing America as a patriot but yet unusual to what I understand of the American patriot. They would unlikely adapt to the Canadian standard voluntarily, though it is NOT impossible, of course. You could also live in the U.S. as a Snowbird and have compassion for both countries. It might explain her choice. But there IS a difference to your use of "white" Canadian if it was interpreted as potentially racist. [i prefer no censorship though.]

It wasn't racist. Just an assumption. I'm just curious as to the reaction of your post towards a certain American and mine towards a Canadian poster.

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I can't speak for what you may have said. It's as much about context. I have nothing disrespectful towards bush_cheney2004 in the least. I was just concerned why she's here representing America as a patriot but yet unusual to what I understand of the American patriot. They would unlikely adapt to the Canadian standard voluntarily, though it is NOT impossible, of course. You could also live in the U.S. as a Snowbird and have compassion for both countries. It might explain her choice. But there IS a difference to your use of "white" Canadian if it was interpreted as potentially racist. [i prefer no censorship though.]

BC is male. Although I could receive a warning to assume this.

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I'll stick with this for now because I am sure to get flack again for writing another 'book' in a forum post. But I'm thinking that at least you and some of the others will approve who DO want to invest in trying to solve such problems without resort to oversimplification.

'You can't change a paradigm with a soundbite" --Noam Chomsky

Okay, I think I'm beginning to understand where you're coming from on the Multiculturalism thing. I think you're saying it confers special privileges on some cultures or ethnic groups which will evolve into them acting in ways that exclude and detract from the freedom and well-being of others. A sort of 'chosen people' who think and act in their own self-interest which will inevitably adversely affect outsiders, albeit without malice. Have I got it?

For me using the "chosen people" term helps me get my head around it --an us and them dichotomy. Jews and Gentiles, or, as I discovered rather late in life, my own Calvinist indoctrination made me one of God's chosen under some new covenant that replaced the one God allegedly made with Abraham. And the Catholic justification for colonizations --the Doctrine of Discovery, or its Protestant counterpart --Manifest Destiny. In the past kings and queens considered themselves to be ordained by God, as did most colonial powers, I would argue, as have others before me, that America and many Americans consider themselves to be tasked with defending and policing the world, and recreating it in their own image. If not commissioned to do so by God, then because of their top position on as imagined Darwinian chain of social evolution. but more often some combination of both.

Now I realize that I have gone far beyond cultures and ethnicity in my definition of chosen peoples, but I share your concern that there is a danger on conferring privilege on a subgroup because they could use that unearned privilege in a way that harms outsiders. Quite frankly I see no point in refraining from conferring unearned privilege on cultural or ethnic groups if we remain disposed to confer unearned privilege on other sub-groups. One could argue that white people of Europeans decent control more wealth and exercise more decision-making power than people who aren't. Certainly many many powerful global institutions and world governing bodies were the creation of Europeans and people of European decent: The UN, The World Bank, The IMF, NATO, the G 8, the International Court in the Hague, to name but a few. Not to mention that a lot of national borders of countries were drawn up by European nations. These institutions confer insubordinate power on a privileged sub-set of the global population, although people of other cultures and ethnicities can and sometimes do very well if they agree to play by the terms and conditions set out by this privileged sub-set. Those who thus acquire honorary membership in the club usually have to subordinate the wants and needs of their own tribal, ethnic or national group to those of the global dominant culture and place any resources they control up for grabs in the global marketplace. That is the group that I consider to have acquired too much privilege and power, who acting in their own interests pose a great and often lethal threat to non-members.

Furthermore, wealth and power is becoming increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few corporations and banks and money lenders. The country which can produce goods the most cheaply gets the investment dollars, so countries with the most oppressed under-paid labour force, working in unsafe conditions, has a comparative advantage over those with less oppressed labour forces. Many of us who once shopped in Eatons or Sears now do our shopping at Walmart or Dollar stores. The vast majority of us are all in a race to the bottom, and the political, economic and climate refugees are winning.

It is in this context that I see recognizing and protecting native rights, not only here in Canada, but all over the world. As form of affirmative action perhaps. I think they are due reparation for past damages, and it is not enough to tell them "Welcome to the rat race. It started 500 years ago, and the starting line is back that way somewhere". It is not much of an offer really, and contrary to everything I believe in and hope for, but if their traditional knowledge and values truly cannot be part of our solution, we should at the very least take steps that would allow them to be equal participants in our problem!

No pedagogy which is truly liberating can remain distant from the oppressed by treating them as unfortunates and by presenting for their emulation models from among the oppressors. The oppressed must be their own example in the struggle for their redemption ( Paulo Freire, 1970, p. 54).[7]

Edited by SRV
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'You can't change a paradigm with a soundbite" --Noam Chomsky

Yes, Noam Chomsky comes to mind with me too.

Okay, I think I'm beginning to understand where you're coming from on the Multiculturalism thing. I think you're saying it confers special privileges on some cultures or ethnic groups which will evolve into them acting in ways that exclude and detract from the freedom and well-being of others. A sort of 'chosen people' who think and act in their own self-interest which will inevitably adversely affect outsiders, albeit without malice. Have I got it?

Certainly, in a great part. Your wording though is not how I would describe it as the "special privileges" are not merely to what most might think of as merely affirmative action for the minority who is in disadvantage. It is ANY special privileges granted which ARE derived by the very present privileged who only utilize the idea of Multiculturalism to conserve their own by agreeing to conspire with select other groups of which they have the power to accept AS official 'minorities'. It is those in the privileged classes who, while likely feeling 'guilt' of their fortunes, inappropriately assert that ALL of their own class 'owns' what created the very problems against those other minorities. It is a means to both 'apologize' BUT do so in a way that KEEPS their belief in segregated privileged status in a way that distributes the burden to their equal arrogant belief that ALL of us of their same 'race' or origin are equal to blame.

I have red hair, for instance. Now imagine that for some reason I was somehow very fortunate and powerful enough to take over some island where an aboriginal population there lost to my own expanded fortune where I might have taken advantage of them in some way. I might not be 'typical' of red-heads and so don't represent anything intrinsic to the red hair. I might 'favor' other red-heads who come later and perhaps could believe WE ALL think alike. While some of these other red-heads who come may accept a favor from my established power, they themselves may be in an equal condition as the local aboriginals.

To later 'fix' the problem, I might come to sense a risk to my power. I realize that I may have been particularly guilty to this new condition of the aboriginal population (as some 'future' generation, say). Instead of ME or my progeny giving up the wealth back to the Aboriginals, I might think, 'why not give these people what they want before they blow up?'. To this, I might agree to give them special status laws, BUT because I may still BELIEVE in my 'red-headed' superiority, I would negotiate with the local Aboriginal descendants that I'll grant them the laws as long as they too recognize MY red-head culture and associated religion to be recognized. However, instead of further risking my own loss, I would choose to assert the stereotype that it was ALL red-heads who came here who benefited at the loss to the Aboriginals. While untrue, this belief would certainly be agreed to by the Aboriginals. Thus I distribute the 'debt' I or other red-heads who DO believe in our supremacy, to spread it upon the whole of the red-headed population regardless of whether they too agree to my own stereotype of who red-heads are or not. Thus I still conserve my wealth AND the loss goes to those sucker red-heads I am not related to nor care for anyways. Its a WIN-WIN for me as I have conned the Aboriginals into merely joining in on my own racist thinking, make them perceive ME as their 'friend' (even though I wasn't) and redirect the Aboriginals to look at those other red-heads in the population who would no doubt stand up and complain of the unfairness and mistreatment they receive for such acts.

I don't want to go into too much further depth on this example and hope that you can at least follow the idea I'm getting at. The winners are still the same people you are concerned about too (the corporation, as one main factor) as I in the above fantasy island, had represented the wealth class who could afford investment in the companies.

I mentioned the psychological effect, "Bystander Effect" [see the Wikipedia page on that], in which I believe this is what happens in the same way but with 'groups' instead. The cultures/minorities all think only of their own interests and ignore others outside of their direct interest in the same way as a bystander in a crowd ignores someone who appears injured. Each thinks that they have their own concerns to deal with and since there is a large enough presence of other 'groups', people believe that such injured person would be saved, certainly by someone of their own 'group', as they would reason, if not by another. But this doesn't occur. So anyone external to the official minorities are being abused indirectly in a way that no one would claim 'ownership' to regardless.

This is NOT merely of any one race or ethnicity either. The group-affiliated of each culture equally discriminates against all who do not belong to one of their groups, even if those they are penalizing are of the same genetic family but where they WON'T join in with them in sharing the same beliefs and behaviors.

You used the "chosen people" example, which I think is appropriate. This is the "Nationalism" I'm generally classifying all the same kind of thinking under. Often, it is these very thinkers who 'own' the cause of the stereotypes but opt to keep them internally where they are derogatory to outsiders while insisting that outsiders redress them with only virtuous stereotypes instead, under the guise of culture or 'pride'.

It is in this context that I see recognizing and protecting native rights, not only here in Canada, but all over the world. As form of affirmative action perhaps. I think they are due reparation for past damages, and it is not enough to tell them "Welcome to the rat race. It started 500 years ago, and the starting line is back that way somewhere". It is not much of an offer really, and contrary to everything I believe in and hope for, but if their traditional knowledge and values truly cannot be part of our solution, we should at the very least take steps that would allow them to be equal participants in our problem!

I think you understand me but had to add the above because I don't believe your resolution follows. Since the 'cause' as I see it, including what becomes inherent in corporate abuses, is always of those who most embrace Nationalism, it is Nationalism which IS the problem. You might question whether corporations have any particular Nationalism. I don't believe it is something intrinsic to 'corporate' ideals to be Nationalist. However, I assure you that those who ARE Nationalist will always act as a force more powerful in their capacity to raise capital over and above the individual without any national, cultural, ethnic associations. As such, it will be these who are most likely behind those companies with better strength. Also, since the strong Nationalists highly favor what they perceive as their own AND optimize the Bystander Effect with respect to ALL outsiders, it is the Nationalists behind such particular corporations who are the very ones representing the abuses you believe are at the root of bad or unfair business arrangements.

Thus supporting a distinct culture anywhere in LAW is only feeding the very fuel to assure the abuses remain. To me, I AM a Canadian Aboriginal. I 'own' the culture of all the people here as much as to everywhere on this Earth. To me 'culture' is all of ours. But we have no need to conserve any of them except as to a shared link to all of our pasts, not simply those who have the closest genetic or inherent link.

Notice, I use the word, 'inheritance', a lot here. I also extend the same concern to more than simply genetic ones, but to the very ideas of one passing down fortunes (a type of environmental inheritance). This is as much my own distaste for the extremes of wealth that we don't limit. How is it appropriate that we allow a Billionaire to exist? I'm not for "communism" in an opposing way but to a balance where we limit rights to 'inherit', whether genetic OR environmental of all kinds.

A Nationalist, to me, are any people who embrace some form or right to inheritance of some kind to an extreme by some individual or group, based on either some genetic or environmental significance they believe is granted them by Nature or some god(s).

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Where ends the idea and starts ideology? Do you think "democracy" is not ideology?

Ideology is the glue that forms communities (or you can call it society) from humans.

If society is a natural phenomenon then ideology is a natural phenomenon too.

Bigger society - more important is the ideology. Stronger society - more important is the ideology.

In fact there are communities without ideology. But they are not as strong to form a country. And they are taken by stronger communities that already had form a country. There are examples.

An independent and strong country have ideology. One form or another.

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