Re: Rights and isms
Wed, 20 Aug 1997 17:33:29 -0400 (EDT)

Eric Watt Forste <> wrote:

> Wax writes:
> > It's time we stopped granting rights and started taking them away.
> > Such as the right to discriminate, something society and government
> > passed out many years ago.
> To discriminate is to distinguish, and the right to
> discriminate arises in the ability to discriminate, which does
> not originate with the government.
> The right to discriminate is the right to choose your associates.
> Free association is the ability to control (in the long term) your
> own future development... it is part and parcel of the task of
> self-creation.

When I mentioned discrimination being passed out by the government, I meant
in terms of legislation made to empower a certain race/gender/sexuality and
hinder another. The entire point of the post was to stop giving rights and
start taking away the ones that empowered one person over another. I was
calling for less government, not more.

> It seems to me that you are preaching universal love. Now, the
> older I get, the fonder I become of the old ideal of universal
> love. But we are born lions, one and all, and it's always
> struck me as pointless and obtuse to quack about universal love
> to fourteen-year-old boys who will *mostly* have no idea what the
> heck you're talking about no matter how long you quack. I know
> that I certainly wouldn't have. Perhaps in the era of uploads,
> we'll be able to start hacking up our legacy code, and it will
> be interesting to see what the old ideal of universal love
> grows into in *that* environment. (Note: I'm not accusing you
> of quacking, just pointing out that universal love is one of
> those things that is much quacked about.)

I would be the last person to preach universal love, of all the people I've
met in my life time I would say I could resist beating-the-hell out of 10%,
respect 1%, like 0.1% and love 0.01%. I hope that when uploaded there is
more competition, deference's of opinion and out-right hate. But, of course,
when uploaded the colour of your skin, your gender and your sexuality no
longer matter.

> But you can't enforce universal love through legislation, which
> is what anti-discrimination legislation attempts to do. Forcing
> people to do what you are telling them is good for them arouses
> tremendous amounts of resentment, and rightly so. Morality and
> legislation should be firewalled apart, IMHO.

The key-phrase in my post was "start taking rights away". What legislation
does is give a white man rights over a black man, then give a black man
rights to counter act the balance. I'm saying the answer is to take away the
white mans rights over the black man. Don't *let* them ride at the front of
the bus, *stop* making them ride at the back - there is a difference! The
difference is subtraction and addition, presently we solve problems with
additional legislation when we should be decreasing legislation.

> Personally, what I feel toward those people who have for decades
> shaped their own personal development by filtering out all information
> that was not offered by people of their own race, class, and
> gender... is pity. And I'm really not very fond of feeling pitying.
> (Read too much Nietzsche, heh heh.) Wisdom is funny stuff, and I
> suspect that it, too, is still tinted and tinged with the colors
> of race, class, and gender. Personally I have tremendously benefited
> from paying attention to and trying to absorb some women's wisdom,
> black people's wisdom, stuff that is invaluable to me and very
> difficult to find when I go browsing among white men's wisdom. But
> I was initially programmed as a white man, and so I think it's
> perfectly okay for me to have a taste for white men's wisdom. But
> I think I'm much stronger and much happier now for having sought
> out the wisdom of the women and the black people that I have been
> lucky enough to meet.

The point is you shouldn't be happy to absorb wisdom from some black people
and some women. You should absorb wisdom based on its merit. I'm not saying
that we should make all people accept everyone, I'm saying that there's
nothing to accept. The fact that you said 'I was initially programmed as a
white man' is exactly the point. When we talk of stopping racism, sexism,
and all the other isms we just continue programming 'white men' and then add
a sugar coating of 'acceptance' so they'll be more presentable in the modern
world. It's time we simply stopped programming.