Re: `capitalist' character values

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Sat Jul 28 2001 - 19:44:34 MDT

At 07:46 PM 7/28/01 -0400, Eliezer, a sentient being, wrote (perhaps a tad


>Olga Bourlin wrote:
>> I also call racist the tendency of white people not to want to take any
>> responsibility for the egregious crimes against blacks in the USA.

>Olga... take a look at my email address.
>Think about what it means.



This is cryptic to the point of opacity. `Sentience' means `having the
power of sense perception' (Concise Oxford Dictionary), or more loosely
`the capacity to register feelings'. (For some weird reason, sf writers
long ago chose to distinguish intelligent [usually alien and baffling]
beings as `sentients' when they meant what Poul Anderson later felicitously
dubbed `sophonts'; his coinage alas never caught on.)

Presumably Eliezer means that he's a guy richly, even especially, endowed
with Feeeelings, including empathy for all the children of the Earth and
indeed the cosmos. We can be sure that someone like that is flooded with
empathy for the victims of egregious wrongs, and highly motivated to do
what ve can to compensate for the evil effects of those wrongs.

I suppose that might be what's meant.

BTW, I would assert myself that Olga isn't trying to *blame* today's
non-racist whites for the ills done by their ancestors (or even by other
less enlightened whites today) to, for example, Pat Fallon's ancestors. I
believe she was arguing correctly, as Nazi work camp survivors have done
effectively in court, that their stolen labor partly underpins the wealth
of today's whites and so requires some compensation. Seems reasonable to
me. But then I feel that way, in some measure, about all the un- or
underpaid labor of all the poor working stiffs throughout history--nearly
all the ancestors of nearly all of us.

But the reparation details are easier to calculate, perhaps, for the
descendents of explicit slaves in a rich nation.

Damien Broderick

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