Those who live by postmodern word games will die by postmodern word games

May 28, 2014 § 9 Comments

In the comments below, we are told that race is as arbitrary as the color shirt that a person chooses to wear:

Let us suppose you define the horrible evil sin of greenism, which is defined as doing evil while wearing a green shirt.

This is actually a poor analogy to racism.  A better analogy to racism would be committing unjust acts against people because of the color shirt they are wearing.  This kind of “greenism” or “shirt colorism” is not an anti-concept: it is perfectly intelligible.  But it is rather arbitrary because people don’t generally do this in reality; whereas people actually do sometimes commit injustices against each other because of (motivated by) race.

Notice though that the idea of “greenism” (whether the original or in the form better analogous to racism) agrees with liberalism that race is entirely arbitrary and vacuous: it is no more meaningful than the color shirt someone is wearing.

So much for “human biodiversity”.

§ 9 Responses to Those who live by postmodern word games will die by postmodern word games

  • Denise says:

    Race is arguably more arbitrary than the color shirt someone chooses to wear. One might legitimately be able to deduce something about the *choices* someone makes by what they have actually chosen to do (like pick a certain shirt). Racist ideologies and prejudices more generally imagine that one can legitimately deduce something about what a person is likely to do or what a person deserves based on something that they did not choose or have any control over (such as what their skin color is).

    You can amass data about the tendencies of any group of people and insist that it is meaningful regardless of group characteristics–that includes lefties, those with green eyes, people who have flat feet, etc. Every society desperately seeks ways to draw distinctions between in groups and out groups however it can. If it weren’t race, it would be caste, or more firmly entrenched class divisions.

  • Zippy says:

    Denise:

    Race is arguably more arbitrary than the color shirt someone chooses to wear.

    It isn’t more arbitrary; it is just (like sex, family, and all sorts of other things about a person) unchosen. Race manifestly has a much greater impact on peoples’ lives than shirt color.

    Liberalism considers things that are unchosen to be arbitrary, because liberalism sees authentic humanity as free and equal supermen, self-created through reason and will, emancipated from the unchosen constraints of family, race, history, tradition, etc.

  • Race and sex are unchosen by the individual, but the individual is shaped by them. It is not very sensible to say, if I was a woman, my life would be like ____, because only God sees all the consequences of even so tiny a miracle as shoving one sperm aside and letting another in.

    It’s more sensible for me to ask what my life would be like if I was six feet tall, had more money, or blue eyes. Few men are petulant enough to ask to be taller (nine year old Elliot Rodger was one).

  • Kurt says:

    I accept the definition of racism as committing “injustices against each other because of (motivated by) race”, but why classify racism as some kind of unique evil? Isn’t it enough to say committing injustices against each other is evil? Is murdering someone because of race somehow more evil than murdering someone to steal a wallet? In the liberal mind it is, but why?

  • Zippy says:

    Kurt:

    but why classify racism as some kind of unique evil?

    We shouldn’t. Part of what taking it seriously and dealing with it as a reality gives us (in contrast to the postmodern denial-of-reality approach) is a capacity to gain some long overdue perspective.

  • vishmehr24 says:

    HBD argue that a race is an extended family of individuals who are more closely related to some people than to other people.

    But it does not exclude that race is a social construct and not biological.
    Question is how extended a family or a clan must be to define a “race”.
    And this question does not admit of a clear-cut biological answer and must be socially constructed.

    Americans speak of a white race, including both a British lord and Serbian peasant. But 100 years ago Europeans were concerned with conflicts among Germanic races, Latin races and Slav races.

    Even, it is unclear if a British lord has common extended family with an English peasant. The lord probably has more common extended family with Russian aristocrats.

    Thus, the biological reality of entangling genealogies are socially cut and socially constructed to yield Races.

  • Elspeth says:

    Isn’t it enough to say committing injustices against each other is evil? Is murdering someone because of race somehow more evil than murdering someone to steal a wallet? In the liberal mind it is, but why?

    Kurt’s questions hit at the heart of the stupidity of the idea of “hate crimes”, another dumb post modern liberal construct.

    HBD argue that a race is an extended family of individuals who are more closely related to some people than to other people.

    So how does this play out for the increasing numbers of people who can identify multiple ethnicities in the short version of their family trees?

    My husband, who looks like a typical black man to everyone he encounters, has a white maternal great grandfather, a native American great grandmother from another side. His father’s family hails from the Caribbean. What does HBD do with people like him, who are increasing in greater numbers every year, with parents who come from different ethnic groups?

    It’s also worth noting that in places where everyone is ‘family” using skin color as the metric, those people find other divisions on which to base the need for war and conflict.

    To be sure, I know that there are some differences between ethnicity of people. I don’t question that as a general truth.

    For me the question becomes whether it has eternal or spiritual consequences. Does it matter as much when you consider transcendent truths rather than focusing on simply the temporal?

  • […] racial reactionaries, but modern people really do engage in a lot of racially motivated injustice: racism. By the same token, racism is probably one of the most abused concepts out there.  That’s […]

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