Thursday, December 09, 2004

I Value Your Opinion

Like many folks my age, I spent some time in the School of Hermeneutical Bullshittery (ie, University). So it was with some nostalgia that I saw these comments on Darp's blog recently:

Racism is institutionalised, even I (from the left) am guilty of it...just as (sorry guys) men are guilty of sexism by virtue of the institutionalised privileging of their own perspectives, desired etc...

Ahhh. Took me right back, that. Here is my brief response to some of the comments raised in the course of that argument. Anybody bored by long political postings might like to skip the rest of this...

Comment 1

I think the right (friends or not) DO perpetuate the horrors listed above - though most (probably our friends even) do so inadvertently.


Whether through their comfortable silence,

If the 'right' was comfortably silent about these issues, then this conversation would not be happening.

or their blind acceptance of the status quo, they are instrumental in the perpetuation of 'ethnocentrism'- the assumption of the superiority (or correctness) of their own cultural, racial, and probably class beliefs.

Show me one right-winger who 'blindly accepts' the status quo. On the contrary, right-wingers and left-wingers alike are both able to recognise suffering and disadvantage when they see it, and it is their common aim to do what they can to alleviate this suffering.

Next, please!

Comment 2

You really do assume the euqality of all things don't you Gibbo...yet again, ethnocentrism.

Euqality? Now there's a new concept...

Do you get (when you read more you will) that society and the insitututions within, are founded on fundeemnatl INEQUALITIES.

Prove it!

White culture is founded on the oppression of black culture

That's not a proof, that's an assertion. What's more, it's an assertion based on dubious premises. 'White culture'? What's that? Western Culture? Anglo-Saxon culture? Something else?
And there are - arguably - strong cultural movements in 'white' culture founded on the emancipation of black culture. Like, say, the RIGHT-WING REPUBLICAN PARTY in America!, whose first (and greatest) achievement was to grant freedom to the Negro slaves in America.

Next, please!

Comment 3

I must make my philosophical position clear...individuals are not born in a vacuumn. They are insitutionalised; constructed by vittue of a set of existing ideas about culture, about sex, and about sexuality...

Often, the defence of 'white culture' is founded on the (false) assumption that it is innocent of internal bias - which it is not.

You won't find many people in today's Australia who think that Austrlaian culture is 'perfect'. Which pretty much knocks that assumption dead in the water.

Notice also TimT, you used the words "liberal community" in your defence. This is sort of what I mean...this concept is a conecept specifc to 'white culture' are assuming the innocent value of conecpts that are peculiar to yourself

There's two interesting arguments here:
a) "Liberal community" is a "concept specific to 'white culture'".

Interesting you question this - a core value of modern Australian society - yet feel no need to assert an 'alternative' set of values. I base a lot of my ideas on the assumption that "Liberty" and a "Liberal community" is a good thing - happy to admit that.

b) "You are assuming the innocent value of concepts peculiar to yourself"

Actually, I'm not sure that "Liberal community" is an innocent concept - since it implies letting a large group of people do what they want. Even in the most 'liberal' society, there will be murderers, sadists, and paedophiles. Letting people do what they want can be dangerous.

That's enough for now! Leave comments below...


Darlene Taylor said...

"School of Hermeneutical Bullshittery". Tee hee, do you do an Arts degree too, TimT?

As for Darp, well, most of us grow out of such talk, once we are forced to join the real world.

TimT said...

There's a real world? Cripes, and here I am stuck on this damned blog!

Don't tell anyone this, but not only did I do a BA, I did an MA as well. It is my secret shame.

And those comments weren't from Darp - they were from another commentator. I omitted the name, since I didn't want the criticism to seem personal, and since my original intention was to focus on several of the arguments by different folks.

And I think that was quite possibly the most boring post I've ever done...

Email: timhtrain - at -

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