Discussion in 'SBAF Blogs' started by purr1n, Dec 26, 2018.
I read this and then looked at the poster's location. Winnipeg...of course. Hello neighbour.
What weird to me is how there are sections of these groups who very obviously do not care much for Darwinian thinking (hey, I have criticisms of his ideas and some of the thinkers who sprung off his work, too,) enlightenment era thinking, and all of the imperialist tendencies of folks who really took that in and thought of themselves as 'raising up' what they saw as lesser cultures of less evolved people... and yet the approach of some progressives is kind of in the same spirit of snuffing out and destroying anything that they feel should be beneath our culture - enforcing their ideas on things just because if not them, then who? These cruel, unenlightened savages with their old beliefs? Bah. Toss them out, they have no value.
There's even these notions of inborn status, as though some people are essentially born in lower moral standing and are to be thought of this way. Those people are just 'lost' and only the noblest of us can work to attain a higher state of being for all people, sometimes seemingly by any means, even if it is ultimately destructive in nature. Not so different from their imperialist enemies from a coupla centuries back, only without all of the raping, pillaging, enslavement, etc.
I dunno how true that is... just kind of a vibe I get with some people in the younger progressive crowd. I don't even think a lot of what they stand for is wrong, but I question the methodology, especially when it leads to them eating each other for not having enough medals or whatever. Definitely some strong historical parallels. The starkest difference I see is that unlike the past oppressors they disavow, they seem to see themselves on the bottom of the hierarchy. But they still tend to position themselves towards the top morally. The motivator for seizing power is still built up on a sense of being more morally deserving. A winning combination for righteous indignation moving in many directions. Their criticism of people above them is that they don't know better and thus their decisions are never to be respected. But I don't know if anybody really knows better at this point. It's become so twisted around.
I dunno, a lot of it is pie in the sky for me. And I say that as someone with an interest in humanitarian goals and better input-output parity for individuals. But this culture war ain't it. Too much superficiality in it for my tastes. At this point it has all been subverted by neoliberal capitalists anyway... cruel irony, that. I'm not understanding how it gets anything done. I don't think culture is what's to blame for all of these issues with marginalized people. Class economics are probably the bigger player, which may have a history in race or whatever category of people you wish to examine, but actually might not be the driving force of disparities between people at this point in time. In essence, erasing the traces from the culture doesn't change how the world works. But then... a lot of these same folks are Marxists, so what gives there? You'd think they'd be the ones declaring that we all wear chains. I'll admit, I'm not familiar enough with his work to really say more there.
I just really struggle to see the here-to-there in any of it. If anything, it makes status quo more appealing, because at least there, there is some stability. I.e., the devil you know. The all-or-nothing mentality is a risky one in my estimation. It has a certain ring of desperation to it that's not very flattering. I have doubts that a Promethean rebellion is the ticket at all. For me, if you want to make really big, sweeping social changes, you need to prove to me that you have a plan for enacting it that is comprehensively solid, effective, and fair. Show me that you actually know what you're doing. I haven't seen that yet, though their argument is that they haven't gotten a chance, and therefore revolution. Not good enough! Any time you make big changes, a lot of things get put in jeopardy that must be dealt with effectively. Otherwise it hurts at least as much as it helps... you just wind up moving the issues around. I just find all of these moral talking points a bit reductionist and overly idealistic. Finding lots of problems, but not many tangible solutions. It's no wonder nothing seems to change.
I don't think it's possible to even remotely guarantee success for what they want to happen. We are talking about all of these big interlocking systems with all of these moving parts... nobody out there really knows how it all works. And then I have the furthest left progressives telling me it's all wrong and we have to start over. How TF do we actually do that?! lol
Most of the virtues are easy enough to get behind, but the execution is really lacking. That's my take in a nutshell. With this culture war we can keep subdividing everyone up only until the point of the finest granule, which is the individual. What changes then? I think at some point it is bound to come full circle, and the fractures you see in these movements is sort of a microcosm of the flaws in their whole approach to justice.
But it's like you can't even say this. I'm now a racist, sexist, whatever, depending on which group my critic represents. I'm just jaded and apathetic. I'm actually super curious to see how it will all play out. But I don't think it's being misanthropic to suggest that it hasn't gone so well. If anything, it feeds division. All of this virtue dominating conversations and movements only seems to make it easier to take advantage of people and totally steer things away from practical solutions.
I, for one, wear my SBAF-pride shirt all the time. And I don't even like cats.
The real problem we should be solving, as I see it, is equal opportunity. That is very difficult problem to solve. What we should be avoiding is the push for equal outcome. That is what the Left is really pushing for today. Trying to divide us by race will just create conflict and will not move us forward as a society.
Can you give an example of a public figure or politician on the left that is advocating for equal outcomes? I cannot think of one and am curious what you are referring to.
Yes for affording everyone equal opportunities regardless of race, culture, nationality, gender, sex, or religion (or lack thereof)— the problem lies in the fact that people are all born different and that, while some of these differences are acknowledged and given concession, some do not see that there is any difference.
My dad who is on the right just told me not too long ago that a good Black Person is not a liberal leftist Democrat. In matter of fact, I know guys who are on the right locally who said very similar things. That's why if we go based on our voter registration here in Jacksonville/Duval County, over 90% of registered GOP voters are white, while the registered Democrat voters are minority majority in Duval.
Fun fact: Both majority parties and on the American Right/Left have their own groups they work to get their support. If you are too blind to see that both sides have been doing the dividing us thing for decades as a way to build support for their cause (and all those donations funds for politics), then you been completely ignorant for a very long time.
Learn to read, dude. All I said about the Left is that they are pushing for equal outcome. My statement about diving us by race is a general statement.
Note: "Left" is not the same as "Liberal".
You know who is also been pushing for equal outcomes as well? The right. The difference is the right don't believe you should have equal outcome based on laws like AA.
What about the current term of liberals (not the classic term) in Congress who are for equal outcomes with AA?
Are you kidding? Push for equal outcome is implicit in every affirmative action, every quota based hiring. A simple statement that if women earn less on average than man in any profession that automatically means discrimination, and requires the action. How many politicians on the left DO NOT support any of that?
What is "AA"? Affirmative Action? Affirmative Action should be gotten rid of......
Yes, Affirmative Action.
Can verify, I see the same thing further south of there in Martin, though we're a little more progressive I'd say. It's still odd to me to boil the entire character of a person down to their politics, in general. That's getting more emotionally invested than I would want to be, for health reasons. They're politicians, not benevolent spirits of goodwill. So when some guy comes to me and says "MY dude is looking out for YOU!" like I owe it to myself to support him, I tend to have doubts.
Funnily enough, my dad expresses the same sentiments as them, but he dances around it a little more lol. He will even brandish this stuff for black people who are obvious democrats. He'll never admit it, but he plays race politics too, as do most I meet who think like him.
It makes sense for here, I suppose. If you're a republican going for the black vote, you want to have people believe that voting republican is what black people should want. Just a *little* tone-deaf. But I suppose it doesn't matter when the vast majority are team red.
Are you talking about Treasure Coast? If so, you guys will get minor spillover from the guys trying to escape South FL.
Florida is a very funny state. It is one of the few states where people bring their politics with them, and the people who bring their politics with them from other states is such a strong majority of perspective here. Yes you have the traditional southern voters who lean to the GOP, but you have so many guys from the North and Midwest (and add folks from Cali as well) who are moving here in droves. Not all of them are Conservatives who are escaping from liberal hell holes, I met some who just moved for a different life and stuff in that nature.
And this isn't too much of a surprise, people like to move near like minded folks. Just look at the plenty of HOAs communities in FL, including the (in)famous 55+ one like The Villages. The Villages is so important to the GOP that they will always make a stop there, since I believe GOP outnumber Dem voters by 2 to 1. It also helps that The Villages is almost 98% white and you get these funny moments. My dad moved to Palm Coast, which is north of Daytona Beach. It's a good area for cheap housing and cheap property taxes. Which is great if you are on retirement income like my dad. He told me more than once he liked the area because it is away from the urban folks (which he stated before it means black and spanish folks). So when you move near like-minded folks, the us vs them dynamic gets very strong. When that happens, you will get guys who will not respect you at all if you are on the "other side." This fucking sucks I must admit, because I hate this team mentality. However, in a state big and vast as FL you can live in your own alternate reality. Be in a place like The Villages, then go an hour south to Orlando and be in a different planet. It's pretty much similar like most of the US I have to be honest. But "living in a bubble" living is now officially the norm.
Oh yeah, both sides use race politics for different ways. One for positive and one for negative. The funny thing from my perspective on the black vote is a good bit of them are conservatives/moderates. I would know, in Jacksonville we have two Black Republicans in our City Council. Most of course can't stand the messaging of the GOP (the party for white people), so they stay with Democrats. However, I met so many black conservatives, asian conservatives, indian conservatives to the point that why the GOP isn't trying to work on their messaging better? Getting a few guys on your team is good (Mia Love, Allen West, Tim Scott, Will Hurd, etc.) but you need to really work on your messaging. Most of the conservatives who aren't white aren't registered Republicans because some think they only target white people. It's a fact, the children generation of now is minority majority. Soon they will take over the country and the people who ID themselves as white will lose their majority status. The GOP don't really need to change their values that much as well, they just need to work on their messaging. However, that will be a challenge for them with regards to their big voting block in the Midwest and the South.
I don’t think anyone is calling for Harrison Bergeron-style equal outcomes. But I think the “equal opportunity” argument is something of a rhetorical dodge, insofar as it’s impossible to separate opportunities from outcomes.
All of our opportunities are based on our parents’ (and grandparents’...) outcomes, our neighborhoods, levels of services, etc. Globally and within the U.S., areas with higher income inequality have lower levels of intergenerational economic mobility. (See the “Great Gatsby Curve” and Raj Chett’s research, among other sources.) Even within the “winners” of society — kids at good universities — there’s a huge difference between being able to afford to take unpaid internships (let alone having family connections that make landing those internships more likely) and having to work during the summer.
The fact is that you do kind of need to level up things on the bottom, in terms of a basic income level, educational quality, healthcare, etc. to get us to anything remotely like equal opportunity, which in practice is even harder to achieve than equal outcomes. Part of that also has to involve people at the top losing some of the “opportunity hoarding” that happens between generations.
In practice, no one really believes in equalizing individual opportunity, even putting natural talents aside. Few people call for completely socioeconomically integrating schools, banning private schools, banning all economic transfers to kids, etc. — let alone, say, raising every kid in the exact same environment.
We all sort of accept that kids from certain families and areas are going to have incredibly difficult paths to achieve even normal middle class lives. Meanwhile, Clinton or Bush (this is a bipartisan elite thing) kids can fuckup forever and still be okay, and if they’re modestly talented, they’ll be enormously successful. (Anyone think the McCain girl or Cuomo dude is actually the best TV commentator available for the gig?)
But once we acknowledge that truly equal starting lines (once again, even putting aside natural talents) are not only impossible, but also not something we even want to try, then we do need to accept that we need to level up the bottom and level down the top to somewhat equalize the playing field.*
I don’t think that’s hard, or that radical. The era of the greatest upward mobility was the era of the lowest inequality in the U.S. — the “great compression” after WII through the early-1970s. There’s a Fortune (I think) piece from that era about how executives lived. They had nice houses, a vacation house, good cars, sent their kids to private schools, etc. But it was nothing like things today. It was George Romney’s life versus Mitt Romney’s.
Because it’s natural for parents to want to give every advantage to their kids, the richer the very rich get, the more they give to their kids, the more they try to change policies to help their kids, etc., and then we get into a polarizing, inequality-driven, culture-war doom spiral, in which things like agreement on common reality disintegrates. I fear that’s where we are.
*As an aside, I think there are more “work/culture” (but often more bureaucratic) ways to level up the bottom, such as public jobs, and more “the poor just need money” libertarian-ish (but conflicting with our “un/deserving” values) ways, such as UBI or NIT. I tend to lean toward the later, but the basic point is that something needs to change, and that whatever we do should involve returning upper tax rates to where they were back in the pinko days of Eisenhower.
Yep, good ole TC. We are definitely getting that spillover. Honestly I don't know the voter demographics here. I will say most of them where I'm at in a coastal town tend to be on the richer republican side, doing exactly what you said escaping from the major liberal hubs. You will see tons of full GOP sentiments. To not support Trump is controversial here. If you don't, you stay quiet.
It really does suck, but I like to think it's a basic survival mechanism or something. You have to side with the tribe, because if they cast you out into the jungle, you're as good as dead. Everyone has to work together to survive. That link you posted looks like something my mom would love and let me tell you she catches no shit for it here
I think this is part of why I try not to be too rigid when it comes to how I approach party lines. I have seen my whole life people who are as far on one end as it gets and how just 'out there' things can be. I don't want to have to feel like people with different points of view are my enemies, or have them think that I am incapable of considering other people's viewpoints out of basic human decency. I make it a point not to take politics for the people themselves and remind myself that they're all just people with problems. It kind of ties into being raised religious and having notions of sin imposed on you. I didn't want it as a kid growing up in church. And I don't want it as an adult trying to keep up with politics.
The retirees in my town specifically have been getting a bit more uppity lately. They always kind of have been, as we have tons of immigrant communities. Very few black ones. Though...
...a lot of those same immigrants here are fully for tighter immigration and are textbook religious conservatives. Many white conservatives don't accept them as more than a necessary evil, which I'm sure they must realize. Though to be fair a lot of them live the life, too. They're honest. That is the American dream for them. Make money and build that happy, safe family life of christian values. And that is what they most care about, is protecting that way of life and those values. But I've also met some who claim those values but tend to live more liberal ones and care more for humanitarian stuff and secularization than your typical conservative around these parts. They more begrudgingly take the conservative stuff because they see it as the norm and I think just don't want the confrontation. I can be like that, too. I'm not the biggest fan of the GOP but may not always say so outright because it's likely to go nowhere in my surroundings. I just let my votes talk and think about where I really wanna live.
But yeah, for the GOP itself, it's damned if they do, damned if they don't. It really is a pretty diverse state, in really odd, but specific ways. It's a big state, too, with 11m people in it! We could just split the whole thing in half and still have enough for two complete states. I see the GOP distancing a little bit from Trump and that kind of rhetoric... probably out of a desire to steer their message more towards POC. But you wouldn't know that if you came here... the local conservative politicians kinda just don't go there at all.
So yeah, it's kind of funny. We kind of all fit neatly into one box or the other, but you kinda never know what someone is gonna say when you bring up any given issue. It could go either way. Usually solving the mystery comes down to figuring out where they're from
@Josh83 I really have nothing to add but well said. That's pretty much where I'm at with it too.
That what equal opportunity is? How can anyone be for something like that?
I hope you realize that this version of "equality of opportunity" is actually equality of outcome at every stage of life.
This is what scares me the most when someone casually brings up the idea that in practice would require terror and coercion at every level of society, through the entire life, all the time, starting with kindergarten.
When you think about practical implications, the society where parents cannot contribute to their children future, which in practice means that children are property of the state, is the most repressive, the most unhuman environment we can imagine.
Your reaction is exactly what I was trying to say. Equal opportunities for kids are inextricably tied to outcomes for parents. In practice, we really don’t want to, or can’t, truly equalize either. However, we have to accept that in failing to do that we don’t really have a system of individual effort or “just deserts,” and should act accordingly, in terms of accepting a modest degree of leveling up and the bottom and down and the top.
If we wanted outcomes to be based on individual talent and effort, we’d have to equalize as many variables besides talent and effort as possible, correct? That, at a minimum, means equalizing as much of childhood inputs as possible. Right now, you’re better off being a lazy dumb kid from a rich family than a smart hardworking kid from poor family. However, as I said, basically no one supports making sure that kids have truly equal schooling or economic inputs, let alone things like parents’ influence — all of which we know from research dramatically impact a kid’s chances of success in life.
The upshot of that is that we have to stop pretending that we have (or even really want to or can create) “equal opportunity,” and understand that some degree of the dreaded “redistribution” (which is a misnomer, anyhow, since government policy shapes the initial distribution) is necessary to make a somewhat more level playing field. Even if you think some “lazy SOB” doesn’t deserve healthcare or a minimum income or whatever, if that lazy SOB has kids, you’re necessarily negatively impacting their opportunities in the process. (Plus if you realize that that lazy SOB might’ve had a shittier childhood, fewer natural abilities, etc. than you, you might resent them less.)
I think too often discussions like these end up missing the basic, human-level element to this. Working with kids from all kinds of families, it’s really impossible to escape these things. Everyone, regardless of politics, needs to be willing to provide some basic things and opportunities to their worst enemies and their best friends. It shouldn’t matter if the “lazy SOB” is a racist Trumper hooked on Oxy or a BLM protester smoking weed.
This is true - throughout history most of mankind's religion/philosophy/polity recognized this fact and accounted for it morally one way or another.
No, we don't necessarily have to accept even "a modest degree" of leveling. In our current modern context, the presumptive philosophy behind this word "system" is almost always one flavor or another of Hegelian-Marxist materialism - a particular philosophy, anthropology, and morality that I reject as a bad "model" of the world/man - the philosophical equivalent of young earth in geology.
No. All this assumes a deep materialism. Even on a the material level, quality is more important the the quantitative.
No, the preponderance of the evidence suggests the opposite. Even a liberal like Daniel Patrick Moynihan admited that our effort at a materialistic approach (i.e. the "Great Society") failed and that qualitative factors (e.g. the stability of family/fatherhood) was much more powerful/explanatory.
Right to the first part of that sentence, so what is the basis that we can manage or "fix" the materialistic circumstances (aka "system") in a positive moral way (which begs the question as to what exactly is your morality)? Most examples we have (e.g. Great Society, various communist regimes) tell us that the negative consequences far outweigh the positives. Even the social welfare states of western Europe have serious fault lines - it is not at all clear they have been successful.
I agree with this. When I give charity or help my neighbor, I however don't do it out of a presumptive materialistic philosophy, and I don't have expectations that I am somehow "fixing the system" - on the contrary, I expect the system to do what it is going to do, for now getting worse in general.
Often times when our medical practice cares for the indignant (edit: I meant "indigent", but idignant applies as well ), it is materialistically in vain - the outcomes for many of these folks is at best temporary (possibly only lasting a month or two), and the tragedy of their lives continues to their inevitable end. There is really no way to justify the $cost$ of this care in materialistic terms. It has to be judged qualitatively and on moral grounds that are anti-materialistic...
What is your experience caring for the indigent?
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