Saturday, July 12, 2008

And again. Note-taking. record-keeping. boredom
You're pretending there's a right answer when there isn't. There's no universal definition of what actions can be described as "demeaning." But there are ways to argue it: "Rather the point is this: the a ban on head covering, or religious symbols more generally, in public schools carries different meanings in some cultures as compared to others."

That's a cop out. The ban is grotesque if we define a country as modern according to the common understanding of the term. Are you aware of the politics of contemporary Turkey? The secularists are more reactionary than the Islamists, and more corrupt. From the NYT: "Tension About Religion and Class in Turkey"

You're trying to create a logical system to do the work for you. That's what liberals like to do. It removes them and the rest of us from responsibility. You should be arguing cases and values, and not only rules but principles and morality. That's the best you can do in a crisis. Rules will follow. Try reading this. Read the last sentence.

You cheapen the debate in Turkey and France as others have cheapened it for the US over FISA. Blacks can be racist of course. But when you grow up with the effects of racism -as its victim- what else do you expect? Jews -Israelis- are allowed their paranoia. Why aren't blacks? Why of course aren't Iranians? [Palestinians would be the obvious choice, but Iran was on my mind at the moment I guess]

But then the question becomes one of "special cases," and that's a problematic category. Israel is a "special case." At least that's what we're told. This country is based on it's own nationalist exceptionalism. America itself is a "special case." This is how you argue against people who call you "PC."

What do you say about the de facto affirmative action for white people?: "I got my cousin Jimmy a job at the plant." So it becomes "I couldn't get my cousin Jimmie a job at the plant. They're only hiring blacks." Not the best fix, but maybe the only one, for a time.

Rules are blunt instruments. They're no replacement for understanding complexity... Complex bureaucracies are never absolutely fair, so stop pretending you can build one that is.

The public debate of values and principles over time. This is how blunt instruments are come to be and this is how they're changed. The argument itself is more constitutive of democracy than whatever those instruments may be at any point.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6:52 PM

    RIGHT! So close.

    People are never absolutely rational, so stop pretending that you can argue with one that is.


    Cheers, mate.


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