White privilege

Half-formed posts, inchoate philosophies, and the germs of deep thought.

White privilege

Postby felix dakat » Mon Jun 08, 2020 9:01 pm

As a white male should I feel guilty because I enjoy white privilege?
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
Soren Kierkegaard– Journals, 432
User avatar
felix dakat
Janitor
 
Posts: 8683
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 7:20 am
Location: east of eden

Re: White privilege

Postby iambiguous » Mon Jun 08, 2020 9:53 pm

So, do you?

1] enjoy white male privileges?
2] and, if so, do you feel guilty about it?

And you know me in regard to questions like this:

"I" here is rooted existentially in dasein rooted in a particular historical and cultural context, intertwined in a unique set of circumstances that you may or may not be able to communicate to others.

Also, it still seems to me that neither philosophers nor scientists have at their disposal tools that would allow them to answer questions like this. Answers that, in my view, are the embodiment of political prejudices ever subject to change given new experiences, new relationships and access to new information, knowledge and ideas.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 36120
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: baltimore maryland

Re: White privilege

Postby felix dakat » Mon Jun 08, 2020 10:15 pm

iambiguous wrote:So, do you?

1] enjoy white male privileges?
2] and, if so, do you feel guilty about it?

And you know me in regard to questions like this:

"I" here is rooted existentially in dasein rooted in a particular historical and cultural context, intertwined in a unique set of circumstances that you may or may not be able to communicate to others.

Also, it still seems to me that neither philosophers nor scientists have at their disposal tools that would allow them to answer questions like this. Answers that, in my view, are the embodiment of political prejudices ever subject to change given new experiences, new relationships and access to new information, knowledge and ideas.


I asked first.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
Soren Kierkegaard– Journals, 432
User avatar
felix dakat
Janitor
 
Posts: 8683
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 7:20 am
Location: east of eden

Re: White privilege

Postby iambiguous » Tue Jun 09, 2020 12:11 am

felix dakat wrote:
I asked first.


How on earth could I possibly know if you should feel guilty? What do I know about your own set of circumstances?

Why don't you start by noting how [in being a white male] you have acquired certain privileges. What are they? And given what you think they are, how exactly would one calculate the extent to which others might advise you to feel guilty.

Then [perhaps] they can take on the task of advising you further as to what you ought to do about it.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 36120
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: baltimore maryland

Re: White privilege

Postby Mad Man P » Tue Jun 09, 2020 2:10 pm

felix dakat wrote:As a white male should I feel guilty because I enjoy white privilege?


Only if you personally did anything immoral to acquire it... just like with anything else you enjoy.
There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.
User avatar
Mad Man P
Philosopher
 
Posts: 2609
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 7:32 pm
Location: Denmark

Re: White privilege

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Tue Jun 09, 2020 2:58 pm

felix dakat wrote:As a white male should I feel guilty because I enjoy white privilege?
Guilt doesn't help anything or anyone. With your guilt and $2.95 a black person can still buy the same Starbucks' caffe latte and nothing more.


ZUBY:
@ZubyMusic
I keep seeing videos of white liberals kneeling and groveling in front of black people.

Please stop this tomfoolery immediately.

If you're not racist then you don't need to apologise for anything.

Just be NORMAL... Good grief. Rullar skrattande på golvet


He's talking about the bowing down stuff. Not the kneeling with, being beside on one knee stuff, but the bowing down in shame stuff that is happening in some places. Oh, and he's black.
Last edited by Karpel Tunnel on Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Karpel Tunnel
Philosopher
 
Posts: 3055
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:26 pm

Re: White privilege

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:16 pm

Mad Man P wrote:
felix dakat wrote:As a white male should I feel guilty because I enjoy white privilege?


Only if you personally did anything immoral to acquire it... just like with anything else you enjoy.
And I agree, though jeez, how does one live and not be immoral? I am not just talking about whites. Hard to purchase without paying some crimial or someone who pays criminals. Morality is not purely clean, it is...hm. I am not sure what it is. Of course I don't really believe in morality. But I would like to not contribute to people who have agendas I do not like. Then again I don't want to live under a rock in the woods.
Karpel Tunnel
Philosopher
 
Posts: 3055
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:26 pm

Re: White privilege

Postby Gloominary » Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:30 pm

In many ways, blacks and women are protected classes.
User avatar
Gloominary
Philosopher
 
Posts: 2400
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2017 5:58 am
Location: Canada

Re: White privilege

Postby felix dakat » Tue Jun 09, 2020 4:39 pm

Mad Man P wrote:
felix dakat wrote:As a white male should I feel guilty because I enjoy white privilege?


Only if you personally did anything immoral to acquire it... just like with anything else you enjoy.


Right. So the answer to my question is 'no' I shouldn't feel guilty just because I am a white male.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
Soren Kierkegaard– Journals, 432
User avatar
felix dakat
Janitor
 
Posts: 8683
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 7:20 am
Location: east of eden

Re: White privilege

Postby iambiguous » Tue Jun 09, 2020 6:02 pm

Only if you personally did anything immoral to acquire it... just like with anything else you enjoy.


Here's a tough one:

You conclude you have done nothing immoral to acquire guilt. Not personally. But you still believe that white skin privilege exists in any number of social, political and economic contexts. Should you then feel guilty for not actively participating in the political struggle to end it?

And, if so, what argument would you use here such that, philosophically, all rational men and women are obligated to agree with you.

Obligated to join the political struggle for racial equality...or not?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 36120
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: baltimore maryland

Re: White privilege

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Tue Jun 09, 2020 6:17 pm

iambiguous wrote:
Only if you personally did anything immoral to acquire it... just like with anything else you enjoy.


Here's a tough one:
What makes you think it is tough?
If your response is 'Show me it isn't?' you don't understand onus.
He gets the onus for demonstrating his position.
Now you've gotten the onus to demonstrate that all rational people should think it is 'a tough one'.
Karpel Tunnel
Philosopher
 
Posts: 3055
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:26 pm

Re: White privilege

Postby iambiguous » Tue Jun 09, 2020 6:45 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote:What makes you think it is tough?
If your response is 'Show me it isn't?' you don't understand onus.
He gets the onus for demonstrating his position.
Now you've gotten the onus to demonstrate that all rational people should think it is 'a tough one'.


The "tiff"! It's back!! 8)

Seriously though my point is not on whether someone finds it tough or not but on why some find it tough and others don't. Indeed, why do some believe that not only does white skin privilege exist but that it ought to exist. Why? Because, say folks like Satyr and the Nazis, it's only "natural".

"Onus" here is no less an existential contraption to some. Rooted by and large in dasein.

I personally think it's a tough question because in regard to questions of this sort, "I" am still "fractured and fragmented". "I" have my liberal/left wing political prejudices which predispose me to one frame of mind and the conservative/right wing folks have their own.

So, which are the serious philosophers and the scientists able to pin down as encompassing the objective truth about racial interactions?

Again, all we can do here is to accumulate variables/empirical facts that appear to be true objectively for all men and men. And then to react to the reactions of others who assemble those facts into their own particular political agenda.

Precipitating an "I" that feels more or less drawn and quartered. And then sustaining that "I" into a future in which new experiences, new relationships and access to new ideas might reconfigure it.

How is it not like that for all of us?

Even the objectivists.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 36120
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: baltimore maryland

Re: White privilege

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Tue Jun 09, 2020 8:23 pm

iambiguous wrote:Seriously though my point is not on whether someone finds it tough or not but on why some find it tough and others don't. Indeed, why do some believe that not only does white skin privilege exist but that it ought to exist. Why? Because, say folks like Satyr and the Nazis, it's only "natural".


"Onus" here is no less an existential contraption to some.
Sure, I agree, but it's one of your contraptions also. In this case it wasn't tough for you to call it tough. You just said it was. And while I appreciate your explanation below, I think we both agree that it doesn't show that all rational people should believe it is tough.

So, there you are. You found a value based position rather easily, that it's tough. Maybe you can find others, even though you are fragmented and fractured.

In a sense that's what I do. I don't universalize them, but I notice them. I don't feel an urge to get an argument to convince all rational people. And for a moment at least, you didn't either.

And you consider onus a mere contraption (and I agree), so you no longer need to act like others bear an onus, objectivists or anyone.

There is a little doorway there to less self-torture.

Not that you should walk through it. But perhaps you'd want to. Perhaps a tiny bit less torture before oblivion.

Or not. Up to you.

The white man walking around feeling guilty might find that if he stopped feeling that guilt blacks will not now suffer more, but he will suffer less. Perhaps even, on some level, resent blacks less. Or he might not.

My suggestion here parallels that, though tailored around the burden of finding that argument for ones values that make them objective. As far as I can tell that must be a burden.

Maybe it feels pleasant for you. What do I know.

Maybe some guilty whites find some Lacanian jouissance in their guilt. A kind of reverse pride. I think most of them are confused about how to feel good. But what do I know.

Maybe some masochists, for example, actually have found the best way to get pleasure for them. I think most are settling for a compromise based on something from their childhood. IOW it seems like their nature, but really its a weird habit and was the best they could manage but could learn something better.

Most, not all.

But it's speculative either way.

It can seem like guilt and finding perfect rational arguments and 'earning' pleasure via pain are necessary burdens.

But what if they are contigent. I suppose they help the sadists, but perhaps that's not a great goal in life. According to one's own likes and/or values.

Might be worth exploring.
Karpel Tunnel
Philosopher
 
Posts: 3055
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:26 pm

Re: White privilege

Postby phyllo » Tue Jun 09, 2020 9:12 pm

Biggus raised some valid questions.

What is white privilege?

Ought one try to eliminate white privilege?

Should one feel guilty if one does not act to eliminate white privilege?
phyllo
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 11902
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:41 am

Re: White privilege

Postby Meno_ » Tue Jun 09, 2020 10:01 pm

phyllo wrote:Biggus raised some valid questions.

What is white privilege?

Ought one try to eliminate white privilege?

Should one feel guilty if one does not act to eliminate white privilege?



Privilege is indefinable in the present state, nation or even the world because anybody and everyone is prone now, to catch up and re-evaluate who they are.

The great transforming plow, as Neil Young aptly sang it, is making anyone and everyone, relatively saying( excuse the pun) , relatives to each other, at an accelerating rate.

The world IS becoming a smaller community, and we have to heal the fractured souls of our immediate and distant families.

We simply have todo so , like it or not, we are running out of resources.

Its not a matter of - if, but of - when!

Otherwise, yes, we should all , and every one , begin to acknowledge responsibility towards our fellow man.



https://youtu.be/Q1TLJ5Nvux4
Meno_
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 6696
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: White privilege

Postby phyllo » Tue Jun 09, 2020 10:21 pm

Sure, I think that there is responsibility towards other members of society. But how much responsibility?
phyllo
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 11902
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:41 am

Re: White privilege

Postby Meno_ » Tue Jun 09, 2020 10:58 pm

phyllo wrote:Sure, I think that there is responsibility towards other members of society. But how much responsibility?



That is not a question that can be relegated to any one individual, because that is not something that social agencies can determine.

Each according to his need and ability therefore is not , as yet, that can be deemed as applicable or determinate.

This is the catch 22 in today's society, and the answer to that question will become more clear with the choice taken in November's election.

This is why the amount of guilt suffered, mirrors the current conflation about what is yet to come.
No one seems to know.

Most don't want to feel totally obligated to fulfill their responsibility , and some will connect it to kind of an atonement to other petty guilts they may compensate for.

Meaning the bible thumpers.
Meno_
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 6696
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: White privilege

Postby Mad Man P » Wed Jun 10, 2020 12:33 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:And I agree, though jeez, how does one live and not be immoral? I am not just talking about whites. Hard to purchase without paying some crimial or someone who pays criminals. Morality is not purely clean, it is...hm. I am not sure what it is. Of course I don't really believe in morality. But I would like to not contribute to people who have agendas I do not like. Then again I don't want to live under a rock in the woods.


We all do what we must to keep ourselves and the people we love safe and provided for... we didn't engineer the world we were born into, we're all just trying to survive and thrive in it.
The only question that morality attempts to answer is: Is there a way to do that such that it benefits everyone or at least without it being at each other's expense?
Moral people try very hard to answer that question in their own lives... others could care less.

iambiguous wrote:You conclude you have done nothing immoral to acquire guilt. Not personally. But you still believe that white skin privilege exists in any number of social, political and economic contexts. Should you then feel guilty for not actively participating in the political struggle to end it?


No... guilt in this context would imply I have a duty in which I am negligent.
That would be an absurd way for me to view my role in this world... as I have no desire to be anyone's slave.
Gratitude and reciprocation is the price for my care and compassion... I seek solidarity, not servitude.
There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.
User avatar
Mad Man P
Philosopher
 
Posts: 2609
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 7:32 pm
Location: Denmark

Re: White privilege

Postby felix dakat » Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:07 am

Why should I as an individual be judged based on my "white maleness" at all? When African-Americans started fighting against unfair discrimination in the USA, they started a movement to end the tendency of people to be categorized according to their group identity rather than who they were as individuals. Systemic racism instantiates that problem. But there's another way of looking at the situation which is a problem in itself. According to this way of thinking a member of an identity group can be judged as a guilty of or responsible for something a member of that group has done simply on the basis of group membership.This is the problem of collective guilt which has a horrendous history including in Nazism and the Soviet Union.
Last edited by felix dakat on Wed Jun 10, 2020 5:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
Soren Kierkegaard– Journals, 432
User avatar
felix dakat
Janitor
 
Posts: 8683
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 7:20 am
Location: east of eden

Re: White privilege

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Wed Jun 10, 2020 5:19 am

felix dakat wrote:Why should I as an individual be judged based on my "white maleness" at all? When black people started fighting against unfair discrimination they started a movement to end the tendency of people to be categorized according to their group identity rather than who they were as individuals. Systemic racism instantiates that problem. But there's another way of looking at the situation which is a problem in itself. According to this way of thinking I am a member of the category "white male" and I can be judged as a guilty member of that group simply on that basis. This is the problem of collective guilt which has a horrendous history and Nazism and the Soviet Union.

I have a few responses. I think it is good to understand that as a white person and as a man (and as other categories) we will get treated is certain ways by certain people that differs from how a black man or woman will get treated. That's knowledge, not guilt or being immoral because one is in a category. This is important knowledge because we often judge others based on what we experience often without realizing that their experience might be radically different. I can remember talking to a friend who was n attractive women who had been abused when she was a kid. Most people would not see her as vulnerable. She looked like any adult woman out there. Maybe a little bit shy, but not remotely cowered or frightened looking. But predators and many men seemed to pick up her past, probably often unconsciously.

In a fairly small city with a low crime rate men would regularly walk up to her and make very threatening sexual comments. Now women deal with this more than men, obviously and in general. But when I heard how much this happened to her, I realized that women in general, and some women in particular
are living in
a different world.

A world where regularly men walk up menacingly and say stuff that would likely start fights if they said them to men. That she was regularly approached by predatory energies, even in broad daylight. Some merely flirtatious, but sometimes things like 'I'm going to fuck you in the ass.'

That's not my world. I have had the equivalent experience once in my life. Someone called the motel pay phone where I was staying in a city that was new to me and said something like that to me with real malice in his voice. It actually shook me. perhaps he knows where the phone is. Perhaps he is watching me right now. But I went back to my room, I was a fairly big athletic guy and I also had a kind of 'give it your best shot asshole' attitude. But it was disturbing.

As a women this would have been a single, rather different experience. If it is regular it would shift how I viewed men. It simply would. She had a boyfriend she loved and male friends. She certainly didn't decide all men were bad, but it affected her attitudes about men.

To me realizing priviledge is not about feeling like a kind of defacto asshole, it is realizing that my experience is likely different from people in other categories (and, fo course this can be true about other white men too, certainly poor ones, people less educated then me - just the way I talk will get me different treatment instantly from all sorts of professionals. I know I get more respect from doctors, lawyers, courts, bureaucrats, my kid's teachers, whatever. Generally better.

So just knowing this should add a dash of humility when looking at other groups and thinking what amounts to Oh, I would handle that better, or Why are you so pissed off, a lot of smug judgments that amount to 'I could live your life better than you are so you are fucked up'.

I notice how I react with rage to border guards and bureaucrats and police and professionals of all kinds when I feel mistreated, often minor things. And I can, using my knowledge, understand that while assholes will treat anyone poorly, I don't get shit as a rule and if I did, I would

HATE.

Now, this does not mean I think any reactions is OK. But I instantly get the emotions.

And note again: none of this means I should walk around essentially feeling I am defacto bad or evil. In fact it is more like if I let this information sink in I am more likely to understand and feel compassion for others who like live in partly or radically different worlds than I do.

Since I grew up in a very diverse environment - not just diverse through race and religion and class, but also diverse in terms of mental health history, various kinds of PTSD survival and close to a lot of people who were really rather alternative in a variety of ways, I got a big education in how what one is or who one SEEMS to be or how being different can give you regular shit to eat, that generally I don't have to eat. Though I have had PTSD and I am alternative or different in a few ways, these are less immediately obvious to others. So I can pass, in the sense that some light-skinned blacks can pass. And usually any short interaction with a professional or bureaucrat or police they notice nothing 'different'.

Given that I have been close to a very diverse bunch of people, this different treatment is something that just sits in my bones. But I think even a more head based knowledge of this kind of thing is useful.

I don't think guilt is useful. It just puts an unpleasant lid on things and adds more resentment no understanding and helps no one.

I mean if the guilt stops you from going up on a rooftop and shooting black people, well, ok, that's a worthwhile temporary stopgap.

But otherwise it's just going to add a mucky creepy vibe to interactions with people different from yourself. More noise and disease and somewhere in there a seething anger.
Karpel Tunnel
Philosopher
 
Posts: 3055
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:26 pm

Re: White privilege

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Wed Jun 10, 2020 5:26 am

Mad Man P wrote:We all do what we must to keep ourselves and the people we love safe and provided for... we didn't engineer the world we were born into, we're all just trying to survive and thrive in it.
The only question that morality attempts to answer is: Is there a way to do that such that it benefits everyone or at least without it being at each other's expense?
Moral people try very hard to answer that question in their own lives... others could care less.
Generally I agree. I just think hitting the balance point there is not easy. I certainly could avoid products made by companies doing things I don't like even more. How thorough should I be? When should I go without? How do I weigh the effects of my actions. In the first part above you mention survive and thrive. Survive carries a lot of weight. How about thrive. Should I make sure the clothes I get my kid that she wants with a great passion are not made in immoral ways? How much energy should I put in to find out. Perhaps they company pays it's workers a good wage and in good conditions, but the company does other shit financially or politically. How many hours a week should I put in?

And, by the way, I don't sit around wrringing my hands about this. But I don't think there is a clear moral answer or even a set of somewhat clear heuristics to follow.
Karpel Tunnel
Philosopher
 
Posts: 3055
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:26 pm

Re: White privilege

Postby iambiguous » Wed Jun 10, 2020 6:06 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
iambiguous wrote:Seriously though my point is not on whether someone finds it tough or not but on why some find it tough and others don't. Indeed, why do some believe that not only does white skin privilege exist but that it ought to exist. Why? Because, say folks like Satyr and the Nazis, it's only "natural".


"Onus" here is no less an existential contraption to some.


Sure, I agree, but it's one of your contraptions also.


To the extent that "I" is confronted with conflicting goods out in a particular world, something in the way of an "existential contraption" seems to be involved. At least to me. Here and now. As opposed to the moral objectivists who, in regard to "white privilege", see their own political agenda rooted in an essential truth.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: In this case it wasn't tough for you to call it tough. You just said it was. And while I appreciate your explanation below, I think we both agree that it doesn't show that all rational people should believe it is tough.

So, there you are. You found a value based position rather easily, that it's tough. Maybe you can find others, even though you are fragmented and fractured.


Huh?

It's tough because I believe [here and now] that, given a very different set of lived experiences, I might still be an objectivist. Or that my political prejudices might still reflect the conservative/ring wing frame of mind I once embodied instead.

But, either way, there does not appear to be a definitive philosophical/scientific assessment that can pin down once and for all how all rational men and women are morally obligated to construe "white privilege". Given, among other things, the sheer volume of genetic/memetic variables that go into its construction re any particular individual out in any particular world.

There are clearly objective facts that we can compile about race relations in America. But is there also an objective moral and political reaction to those facts? Sure, there might be. I'm just ever and always arguing that "I" myself, have not of late come across it.

Or, sure, I'm still misunderstanding you. But that is often the case with discussions like this. And certainly not just the exchanges between you and I.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: In a sense that's what I do. I don't universalize them, but I notice them. I don't feel an urge to get an argument to convince all rational people. And for a moment at least, you didn't either.


Okay, in any number of situations this might be an option. That, instead, only in how we do construe "noticing" things seems different. The way "I" construe noticing here is as an existential contraption rooted in dasein. And when I think that though "I" feel fractured and fragmented. And "I" don't understand how others who construe a No God world sans objective morality, are not in turn drawn and quartered when confronted with conflicting goods.

Sure, I am able to convince myself from time to time that my own liberal/left wing political prejudices here are superior to the narratives of the conservative/right wing folks. But I have no way in which to demonstrate that. If only because of the gap I see between what I think I know is true "here and now" and all that would need to be known about the human condition going back to a complete understanding of existence itself.

Hell, I can't even demonstrate to myself that I have autonomy in this exchange.

In other words, the parts that others here are able -- as objectivists -- to just simply shrug off.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: The white man walking around feeling guilty might find that if he stopped feeling that guilt blacks will not now suffer more, but he will suffer less. Perhaps even, on some level, resent blacks less. Or he might not.


Again: that's not my point. My point is that even attempts to "think" things like this through are no less existential contraptions rooted in dasein. One can never seem to know when to stop thinking and, instead, take that "leap" to this or that belief. Or to go on thinking given that, sure, maybe there really is a way to pin something like this down.

But: you just haven't encountered the right experience or relationship or access to new ideas that clinches it for you. But even then there's the part where you demonstrate to others that they should think and feel and say and do the same things that you do.

In regard to white privilege or to any other political conflagration that besets us. Isn't it just always easier to be an objectivist here? My way or the highway? One of us or one of them?
Last edited by iambiguous on Wed Jun 10, 2020 6:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 36120
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: baltimore maryland

Re: White privilege

Postby iambiguous » Wed Jun 10, 2020 6:33 pm

Mad Man P wrote:
iambiguous wrote:You conclude you have done nothing immoral to acquire guilt. Not personally. But you still believe that white skin privilege exists in any number of social, political and economic contexts. Should you then feel guilty for not actively participating in the political struggle to end it?


No... guilt in this context would imply I have a duty in which I am negligent.
That would be an absurd way for me to view my role in this world... as I have no desire to be anyone's slave.
Gratitude and reciprocation is the price for my care and compassion... I seek solidarity, not servitude.


From my own perspective, it's not the point you raise here but manner in which you raise it. As though conflicts of this sort can in fact be resolved with a simple "yes" or "no". As though others who don't share your own frame of mind are necessarily wrong. Why? Because you seem clearly convinced that your own "no" here empathically settles it.

Or, rather, so it seems to me.

Instead, from my frame of mind, those who empathically say "no!" here, like those who empathically say "yes!", aim more to convince themselves that their own point of view is inherently/necessarily superior. They have thought it all through and now know for certain what moral obligation one does have in regard to "white privilege" in America. Their own.

Here the distinction you make between solidarity and servitude and slavery.

That way the points I raise about dasein, conflicting goods and political economy are just swept aside. Thumped once and for all. If only in their head.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 36120
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: baltimore maryland

Re: White privilege

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Wed Jun 10, 2020 8:07 pm

iambiguous wrote:
Again: that's not my point. My point is that even attempts to "think" things like this through are no less existential contraptions rooted in dasein.
Sure, I know that....but!!!!!!!!

One can never seem to know when to stop thinking and, instead, take that "leap" to this or that belief.

The whole point of my previous post was that you did this already, around the evaluation tough. I am not saying you are 100% sure. But you just said it. It just popped out. It wasn't hard for you to make that evaluation. This happens, actually, quite regularly with you. You also spend a lot of time thinking about other beliefs. I get that.

My point was that you do do this. They are not final conclusions, but they are things beliefs you have held for a long, long time. Yes, you might change, but you just blurt them out without wrestling with yourself.

This doesn't make you a hypocrite. But it does offer a model for allowing yourself to do this more in general.


In regard to white privilege or to any other political conflagration that besets us. Isn't it just always easier to be an objectivist here? My way or the highway? One of us or one of them?
the objectivists that one can see seem extremely upset, tense, probably have high levels of cortisol in their blood, keep checking news and youtube for things that piss them off and/or scare them. No, not really.

I don't think objectivism is easier. Not in total. In some ways, absolutely. They know their positions. The know or really 'know' that other people are wrong. But then at the same time, this means they MUST avoid noticing their own doubts, information that might call their position into question, the humanity of other people, complexity...that's a lot of intra- and inter-psychic work.

Obviously I get worked up also. But I find it easier to notice my own complexity, as far as I can tell, than most other people. I mean, right off the bat I think that we are not monolithic selves. It is not simply that beliefs can change over time, but even that I can have contradictory beliefs at the same time, consciously or otherwise. I think I might be more at ease with this than you, also. You seem to be aware of this possibility since you refer to yourself as fractured and fragmented. I wouldn't use those words because that sounds way too unpleasant. Given the nature of our upbringing and the amount of pressure, as just one example, to hate one's own emotions, we are going to end up complicated. Especially if one tries to put it into words. Most people want to just have one belief to the degree that they can't notice their complexity. That is painful and requires all the denial and self-suppression that I started challenging the assumptions around decades ago.

I realize this is extremely complicated. Please, don't call it psychobabble. If you have a confusion about it, let me know. Calling oneself fractured and fragmented could be called psychobabble. But it's not. It can be a good description of what one experiences. Even if it is abstract. And it is abstract since you are not literally fractured, pieces of you on the floor. So allow me to try to convey something that requires this kind of language without knee jerk just categorizing it and dismissing it.

If you have only a words only look at yourself, then fractured/fragmented seems like a good description.
Last edited by Karpel Tunnel on Thu Jun 11, 2020 5:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
Karpel Tunnel
Philosopher
 
Posts: 3055
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:26 pm

Re: White privilege

Postby surreptitious75 » Wed Jun 10, 2020 8:20 pm

I will settle for accepting myself for who I am even if there exists some contradiction in my psychological / philosophical make up
So I think it is better to not over analyse it but to just let it be because that is the way to achieve contentment [ for me any way ]
A MIND IS LIKE A PARACHUTE : IT DOES NOT WORK UNLESS IT IS OPEN
surreptitious75
Philosopher
 
Posts: 1393
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2017 5:48 pm

Next

Return to The Sandbox



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users