Everything is racism

For the serious discussion of weighty matters and worldly issues. No off-topic posts allowed.

Moderators: Azrael, Moderators General, Prelates

User avatar
Pfhorrest
Posts: 4600
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:11 am UTC
Contact:

Everything is racism

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:01 am UTC

Title is kinda clickbait again, sorry, that's just how titles occur to me. (Also, in retrospect I feel like lots of this is kind of obvious or common knowledge, but it felt revelatory to me at first thought so posting anyway).

I've often thought it interesting how of the common types of bigotry I hear talked about these days, most seem to have something to do with sex -- sexism obviously, and homophobia and transphobia too -- but that racism is frequently in there alongside all of those, which feels like an odd man out because that alone isn't about sex.

But it occurs to me now that it sort of is. Sex is how reproduction happens, how parents beget children and lines of descent propagate, and what is race supposed to be but a grouping of people by their common lines of descent. So it seems like maybe all of the sex-related forms of bigotry really boil down, probably on a subconscious level mostly, to "you're not contributing properly to the propagation of our line of descent".

After that it occurred to me that a bunch of other forms of discrimination and hatred, even really trivial petty ones that don't rank up there with these in severity, might also boil down to a racist basis by way of culture, which aside from obvious phenotypes like skin color is largely the only way people without a genetics lab can tell who is related to whom.

Speak the wrong language? You're obviously from a different people (i.e. race) than us, because language is inherited; not genetically, but it still runs in families, memetically. Follow the wrong religion? Religion is largely inherited too, so you're probably a different "race" again. Dress wrong? Historically almost all culture is largely inherited so even trivial things like that signal you as probably-not-related-to-us.

Even things like the hate for veganism seem plausibly attributable to this. Diet is cultural as well, and (again) culture is largely inherited, so if you eat different food, you're probably not related to us. Even the really trivial social 'religious wars' between fandoms of different music/TV/movies/whatever seem plausibly attributable to a "different media -> different culture -> different race" inference.

As lines of communication have gotten faster and attained greater reach, we're seeing lots more lateral meme transfer (as opposed to inheriting everything, language and religion to clothes and diet and media, from our parents and closely-related neighbors), so these things are starting to come apart. You can hate someone for their love of dubstep over your favored country-western even though you're both strait white cismen of broadly Germanic heritage. But maybe, deep down inside, the reason you hate their music is because it's not your music, not the music of your people, so they're "obviously" of a different "race".

I know we say "tribalism" to refer to things like this, but I'd always taken that as mere metaphor. On reflection is seems more like it could be more literal: trivial cultural differences mark someone as probably-of-a-different-line-of-descent, at least maybe to the subconscious mind.
Forrest Cameranesi, Geek of All Trades
"I am Sam. Sam I am. I do not like trolls, flames, or spam."
The Codex Quaerendae (my philosophy) - The Chronicles of Quelouva (my fiction)

User avatar
ucim
Posts: 6254
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:23 pm UTC
Location: The One True Thread

Re: Everything is racism

Postby ucim » Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:11 am UTC

Tribalism is what you're talking about. Racism is a form of this, as is nationalism and a lot of other -isms. No need to overload the word "racism", which has its own specific meaning.

Pfhorrest wrote:But it occurs to me now that [sexism] sort of is. [...] it seems like maybe all of the sex-related forms of bigotry really boil down, probably on a subconscious level mostly, to "you're not contributing properly to the propagation of our line of descent".
No, because that's not what sexism is about. Sexism is about {particular sex} is inferior, because of their sex. Now possibly bigotry against gays and the like could fall under your category, but not "women (or men) are inherently inferior and shouldn't be given positions of responsibility". It's a really big stretch to fit that around reproduction of "our line of descent", since nothing about being a woman has anything to do with a specific line of descent.

Jose
Order of the Sillies, Honoris Causam - bestowed by charlie_grumbles on NP 859 * OTTscar winner: Wordsmith - bestowed by yappobiscuts and the OTT on NP 1832 * Ecclesiastical Calendar of the Order of the Holy Contradiction * Please help addams if you can. She needs all of us.

User avatar
Pfhorrest
Posts: 4600
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:11 am UTC
Contact:

Re: Everything is racism

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:25 am UTC

I mentioned tribalism at the end there, and I don't mean to say that all of these things are literally racism in and of themselves, but rather that all forms of cultural tribalism, as well as the various sex-related forms of bigotry, seem to plausibly have racial psychological origins.

As to the connection with sexism, I was thinking about the prescribed roles for different sexes and how they are constructed for reproductive purposes; to put it crudely, the idea that women should be baby-factories and men should fight and die to have the most productive and largest number of baby-factories. Notions of men or women being superior or inferior seem like post-hoc rationalizations of that order.
Forrest Cameranesi, Geek of All Trades
"I am Sam. Sam I am. I do not like trolls, flames, or spam."
The Codex Quaerendae (my philosophy) - The Chronicles of Quelouva (my fiction)

User avatar
ucim
Posts: 6254
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:23 pm UTC
Location: The One True Thread

Re: Everything is racism

Postby ucim » Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:44 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:...but rather that all forms of cultural tribalism, as well as the various sex-related forms of bigotry, seem to plausibly have racial psychological origins.
To do that however you are stretching the word "racial" way beyond its ordinary meaning. Better to use a new word. And I claim "tribal" is that word.

Jose
Order of the Sillies, Honoris Causam - bestowed by charlie_grumbles on NP 859 * OTTscar winner: Wordsmith - bestowed by yappobiscuts and the OTT on NP 1832 * Ecclesiastical Calendar of the Order of the Holy Contradiction * Please help addams if you can. She needs all of us.

elasto
Posts: 3448
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 1:53 am UTC

Re: Everything is racism

Postby elasto » Fri Jun 29, 2018 1:27 pm UTC

I think ucim is right: 'Everything is tribalism' is more of a truism than 'everything is racism'.

Moreover, the capacity for people to split themselves into smaller and smaller tribes is boundless. No matter how many things people have in common, people will always define themselves by their differences to others, no matter how minute.

If you don't know... Shame on you! wrote:BRIAN: Are you the Judean People's Front?
REG: Fuck off!
BRIAN: What?
REG: Judean People's Front. We're the People's Front of Judea! Judean People's Front. Cawk.
FRANCIS: Wankers.
BRIAN: Can I... join your group?
REG: No. Piss off.
BRIAN: I didn't want to sell this stuff. It's only a job. I hate the Romans as much as anybody.
PEOPLE'S FRONT OF JUDEA: Shhhh. Shhhh. Shhh. Shh. Shhhh.
REG: Stumm.
JUDITH: Are you sure?
BRIAN: Oh, dead sure. I hate the Romans already.
REG: Listen. If you wanted to join the People's Front of Judea, you'd have to really hate the Romans.
BRIAN: I do!
REG: Oh, yeah? How much?
BRIAN: A lot!
REG: Right. You're in. Listen. The only people we hate more than the Romans are the fucking Judean People's Front.
P.F.J.: Yeah...
JUDITH: Splitters.
P.F.J.: Splitters...
FRANCIS: And the Judean Popular People's Front.
P.F.J.: Yeah. Oh, yeah. Splitters. Splitters...
LORETTA: And the People's Front of Judea.
P.F.J.: Yeah. Splitters. Splitters...
REG: What?
LORETTA: The People's Front of Judea. Splitters.
REG: We're the People's Front of Judea!
LORETTA: Oh. I thought we were the Popular Front.
REG: People's Front! C-huh.
FRANCIS: Whatever happened to the Popular Front, Reg?
REG: He's over there.
P.F.J.: Splitter!

dg61
Posts: 282
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:30 am UTC

Re: Everything is racism

Postby dg61 » Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:24 pm UTC

Also, this is a difference I think between where you are-the US has one very specific concept of racism, while other countries have different social divisions. Within the US I don't think "Everything is Racism" is wrong(certainly almost every issue we have faced and most or all of the social fault lines in this country are connected to race or based in it), although it could certainly be argued that it is a statement that is risking explaining nothing because it can if you push it enough explain everything.

Tyndmyr
Posts: 10843
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:38 pm UTC

Re: Everything is racism

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Jul 02, 2018 4:51 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:I mentioned tribalism at the end there, and I don't mean to say that all of these things are literally racism in and of themselves, but rather that all forms of cultural tribalism, as well as the various sex-related forms of bigotry, seem to plausibly have racial psychological origins.


That doesn't seem to be the case. I don't think that sexism is only a result of racism, though individual cases might be.

Sure, sure, tribalism is universal, but I've known folks who did not appear racist, yet exhibited troubling behavior in other ways. You don't have to dislike any particular race to have backwards ideas about gender roles. Potentially there's correlation between the ideas, though.

User avatar
Ranbot
Posts: 134
Joined: Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:39 pm UTC

Re: Everything is NOT racism

Postby Ranbot » Mon Jul 02, 2018 6:08 pm UTC

I'm sure the Venn diagrams of racists, homophobes, sexists, etc. have lots of overlap [i.e. correlation], but don't mistake that for causation.

ucim wrote:No need to overload the word "racism", which has its own specific meaning.

Agreed. The word racism has a specific meaning, history, and social power.
Pfhorrest wrote:Title is kinda clickbait again...

When you usurp a socially powerful word for attention, you risk diluting the social power of the word and undermining your own argument. Lose, Lose. An analogy may be acceptable, but not equivalency.

reval
Posts: 87
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2016 2:56 pm UTC

Re: Everything is racism

Postby reval » Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:48 pm UTC

As it happens, ucim is right about this one. Tribalism is what you're talking about. US-style racism, with its US-specific history of slavery and violence and segregation, is a subtype of a larger social pattern that is observed in many different places and times. The type is tribalism. US racism may be a striking example, but racism is the subtype, and tribalism is the type.

Tribalism is the type because you hit it on the head with this one: "Sex is how reproduction happens, how parents beget children and lines of descent propagate, and what is race supposed to be but a grouping of people by their common lines of descent." In evolutionary terms, this is subspeciation. Reproductive isolation is what it's about.

This does not have to start with traits that are actually inherited. You can start a tribe along any lines of perceived difference. Language or religion will work just as well as skin color to create a line. Then you play the game "with my brother against my cousin, with my cousin against the stranger". You support your tribe by your economic choices, by your family organization, and by siding with fellow tribe members in any conflict.

Subspeciation might be fine for animals, but it's such an enormous delusion for people that it would be hilarious except for the suffering it causes. Twentieth century nationalism was another spectacular fail for this way of thinking, but it won't be the last. The point is that people are no longer pawns in an evolutionary game. We are rapidly taking control of genetic information and putting it to use in our much more powerful thought process.

People who continue to play the tribal game have already lost. And, somewhere deep down, they know it. They just don't know what else to do.

User avatar
Zamfir
I built a novelty castle, the irony was lost on some.
Posts: 7418
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 2:43 pm UTC
Location: Nederland

Re: Everything is racism

Postby Zamfir » Fri Jul 06, 2018 7:55 am UTC

. Tribalism is what you're talking about. US-style racism, with its US-specific history of slavery and violence and segregation, is a subtype of a larger social pattern that is observed in many different places and times. The type is tribalism. US racism may be a striking example, but racism is the subtype, and tribalism is the type.

I see this word pop up more and more, especially in American context. And I don't like it. "Tribe" is historically a word for groups that westerners looked down on as primitive. Indian tribes, Arab tribes, African tribes.

If some aspect of your social systems got translated to tribe, it was rarely a good sign for the future. It meant that someone was planning to elevate you to a better form of political organization, typically with them at the top and you at the bottom. Because you're tribal, you can't be expected to run things in the modern world can you?

"Tribalism" as used in the last years is drenched in that historic connotation. It's a negative word, not a neutral category. People complain about the rise of tribalism around them, or they accuse others of tribalism. It can mean a different things in detail, but it's always a bad thing. It's being like primitive people, the kind of people who have tribes. Not like what good people should and can be.

reval
Posts: 87
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2016 2:56 pm UTC

Re: Everything is racism

Postby reval » Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:33 pm UTC

Tribalism is the correct word if we have the courage to see that it applies to what we ourselves are doing. We're not calling someone else primitive. We ourselves are primitive, if we cling to these old tribal behavior patterns. And, yes, that needs to change.

Tribalism also has a simple etymology that actually matches what it describes. The Roman people were divided into tribes which were organized by family and connected with civic and military obligations. Although tribal identification was subordinate to the Roman state, citizenship still required membership or adoption into a family as late as the Empire, so it's a valid example of the pattern.

I'm not the only one who thinks this is important. Obama (and I wish he had done more than talk) said in his first inaugural address "we cannot help but believe that ... the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve". He was talking about US racism, and about Kenyan clans ... and also about all of the other tribal projects that fit the pattern. He chose the word for a reason, and if we don't like to hear it because it might apply to us, then maybe we need to think a little harder about what we're doing and why we're doing it.

Tribalism is a pattern. And we're going to change it.

User avatar
gmalivuk
GNU Terry Pratchett
Posts: 26354
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:02 pm UTC
Location: Here and There
Contact:

Re: Everything is racism

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:55 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:
"Tribalism" as used in the last years is drenched in that historic connotation. It's a negative word, not a neutral category. People complain about the rise of tribalism around them, or they accuse others of tribalism. It can mean a different things in detail, but it's always a bad thing. It's being like primitive people, the kind of people who have tribes. Not like what good people should and can be.

It's also pretty much invariably used as a way to ignore all the important details of a situation so you can draw false equivalences between completely disparate things.

You can use "tribalism" to simplistically describe a Nazi's distaste for non-Aryans and to describe a PoC's distaste for Nazis, but I can think of no (non-Nazi-sympathizing) perspective from which those two things are similar enough to be treated analogously.
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
---
If this post has math that doesn't work for you, use TeX the World for Firefox or Chrome

(he/him/his)

User avatar
Outchanter
Posts: 669
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2007 8:40 am UTC
Location: South African in Americaland

Re: Everything is racism

Postby Outchanter » Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:09 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:So it seems like maybe all of the sex-related forms of bigotry really boil down, probably on a subconscious level mostly, to "you're not contributing properly to the propagation of our line of descent".


You could as well say "everything is evolution". The interesting thing with humans societies is that we have several layers evolving simultaneously- while our genes are evolving vertically (the "line of descent" you talk about) we also have ideas that evolve horizontally. E.g. religion and culture. And ideas can evolve much faster than genes can.

So in a way, religions that spread horizontally (by conversion) are in competition with genes (that spread vertically). E.g. Catholicism is officially anti-racist because it wants to have everyone join the church, not just white people. The church even encouraged European colonists in South America to intermarry with natives so as to reduce racial divisions (which interfere with the church's message). That's partly why South America is less "purely white" than the more Protestant North America.

But religions can also spread vertically (if Catholics have more kids than Protestants, this helps spread Catholicism as a proportion of the earth's population). Hence religions tending to promote homophobia etc.

But liberal religions can spread faster by conversion - arguably the most liberal "religion" is atheism, and tons of people from Catholic families become atheists just by deciding that hardcore Catholicism is too much work and too restrictive. But atheists (or liberal Catholics) tend to have fewer children than hardcore Catholics. So if you were to model the population by ancestry, you might find that the majority of people are liberal (atheist or religious), but have recent ancestors who were more hardcore religious and keen on having lots of children.

So there's a population flow where the more hardcore religious groups grow faster by reproduction, but then lose many of their offspring to the liberal groups that grow faster by conversion. So conservative religions are better at propagating genes, but liberal religions are faster at propagating ideas.

Tobias
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2012 3:01 pm UTC

Re: Everything is racism

Postby Tobias » Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:07 pm UTC

Tribalism is much, much less than the things being discussed here, and it is frustrating to see the term misused just as much as it's frustrating to see the term racism used.

Especially since it's so particularly unsuited - racism, bigotry, homophobia, sexism. All of these can be directed at members of the same tribe, all of these can exist without tribal divisions. All it requires is for the tribe to have and maintain a social hierarchy.

And a great many instances of tribalism do not contribute to any of those evils. Tribalism is not the cause, nor the motivation, nor the means - it's simply a tool to propagate the evils generated by other factors (and can just as easily be used to propagate good things)

"Classism" is a hell of a lot closer to what you want (and even that isn't all encompassing, but covers a huge portion of whats being discussed here)

reval
Posts: 87
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2016 2:56 pm UTC

Re: Everything is racism

Postby reval » Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:16 pm UTC

Focussing on the pattern of tribalism makes it that much harder get away with special pleading: "My tribal motivation is fine, but your tribal motivation is bad."

gmalivuk wrote:You can use "tribalism" to simplistically describe a Nazi's distaste for non-Aryans and to describe a PoC's distaste for Nazis, but I can think of no (non-Nazi-sympathizing) perspective from which those two things are similar enough to be treated analogously.


In this example, the motivation is given for the first party (Nazi), but not for the second party (PoC). That stops short of identifying a tribe, and omits possible tribal motivation. Everyone has identities, but what matters is motivation. Is the second party playing for tribal advantage? Or are they not playing that game?

Finally, we're not talking about "distaste". We are talking about concrete acts that confer evolutionary advantage (or disadvantage). These acts are directed towards members (or enemies) of the actor's tribe.

Each act takes place against the background of existing advantages one way or the other, a background of existing power relationships. So you can call it the act of an underdog or a bully, if you want. Either way, the act is intended to shift the existing power relationship. It is intended to obtain an evolutionary advantage for the benefit of a tribe. It is playing the game.

You don't have to play the game. You can reject the goal of evolutionary advantage. That amounts to a rejection of tribal competition.

(The same logic also leads to a rejection of individual competition, and a goal of dismantling our competitive system. That goal is further away, because wealth and power are more formidable opponents than tribalism; i.e. we are much closer to defeating tribalism.)

(So, does that mean I can stomp a Nazi and claim it's for the universal benefit of humanity? Maybe, but you might not buy that. You might still reckon me a threat unless you can see that I was forced to act in immediate self-defense.)

TL;DR Should I measure a tribally motivated act against a Nazi by the same standard that I measure a tribally motivated act by a Nazi?

Yes, precisely. That is a true equivalence.

reval
Posts: 87
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2016 2:56 pm UTC

Re: Everything is racism

Postby reval » Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:33 pm UTC

Outchanter wrote:The interesting thing with humans societies is that we have several layers evolving simultaneously- while our genes are evolving vertically (the "line of descent" you talk about) we also have ideas that evolve horizontally. E.g. religion and culture. And ideas can evolve much faster than genes can.

Yes, these are two distinct sets of information, which you have mapped to different axes. That distinction leads to a number of interesting consequences which are discussed here. The first essay (Purpose) is relatively short but dense, while the other essays are longer and lighter.
Last edited by reval on Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:42 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

Tyndmyr
Posts: 10843
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:38 pm UTC

Re: Everything is racism

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:38 pm UTC

reval wrote:In this example, the motivation is given for the first party (Nazi), but not for the second party (PoC). That stops short of identifying a tribe, and omits possible tribal motivation. Everyone has identities, but what matters is motivation.


Indeed. Everyone's in a tribe, but not all actions are equal. If the only reason you need to be awful to someone is that they're outside your tribe, you're a worse person than someone who only is awful to those who pose a threat. Self defense is not equal with initiating force.

I don't think we can get rid of tribal identities entirely...that's really hard, given that on an evolutionary timescale, it hasn't been *that* long since humanity mostly lived in tribes. But we can make more decisions based on behavior instead of tribal membership. That sort of routes around many of the tribalism problems. Given modern penal codes, we seem to have mostly adopted this workaround, at least in principle. Execution may vary, sometimes.

User avatar
gmalivuk
GNU Terry Pratchett
Posts: 26354
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:02 pm UTC
Location: Here and There
Contact:

Re: Everything is racism

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Jul 12, 2018 11:49 am UTC

reval wrote:TL;DR Should I measure a tribally motivated act against a Nazi by the same standard that I measure a tribally motivated act by a Nazi?

Yes, precisely. That is a true equivalence.

But you can't just judge individual acts in isolation, whatever the motivation for that particular act. Even if an act against a Nazi is "tribally motivated", the fact that Nazis are an existential threat to basically everyone who isn't a Nazi means that act would likely have a protective effect on countless other people.

Plus, regardless of how much nuance you want to try to work back into what "tribalism" means, the fact remains that in the general discourse it's most often a way to dismiss all the other important details of a situation. And even with all the nuance in the world, different "tribes" exist for very different reasons and exist in the world in very different ways, so at best you still end up with a lot of vacuous false equivalences.
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
---
If this post has math that doesn't work for you, use TeX the World for Firefox or Chrome

(he/him/his)

User avatar
Zamfir
I built a novelty castle, the irony was lost on some.
Posts: 7418
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 2:43 pm UTC
Location: Nederland

Re: Everything is racism

Postby Zamfir » Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:14 pm UTC

It's an extremely vague concept. Nazis are a tribe? People who don't want Nazis in power are a tribe? At that point, does it mean anything more than just "group of people", with an added negative connotation?

User avatar
ucim
Posts: 6254
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:23 pm UTC
Location: The One True Thread

Re: Everything is racism

Postby ucim » Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:25 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:At that point, does ["tribe"] mean anything more than just "group of people", with an added negative connotation?
It's a group of people that are cohesive in some meaningful way. Classically this means through contact, communication, and some organized power structure, but the concept generalizes. One must generalize carefully, but doing so provides insight. Indirect signalling can induce group behavior in like-minded but otherwise separated individuals; this is the danger that Trump has tapped into. By tactical dogwhistling, he may have turned isolated fascists and nazis into a tribe. This is one of the ways (and results) of the presidential office setting the tone for the nation.

Jose
Order of the Sillies, Honoris Causam - bestowed by charlie_grumbles on NP 859 * OTTscar winner: Wordsmith - bestowed by yappobiscuts and the OTT on NP 1832 * Ecclesiastical Calendar of the Order of the Holy Contradiction * Please help addams if you can. She needs all of us.

User avatar
Pfhorrest
Posts: 4600
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:11 am UTC
Contact:

Re: Everything is racism

Postby Pfhorrest » Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:13 pm UTC

I'd just like to comment that (half of) the interesting thing I was trying to say in my original post was essentially that these kinds of cultural "tribalisms" could be rooted (in the evolution of our psychology) in literal tribe-alism; that in the ancestral environment, before writing and long-distance communication and such that allows for lateral meme transfer, one's culture was usually inherited from one's parents, and so a person with a different culture (in any respect: religion, language, dress, diet, music, whatever) was likely from a different breeding population, a different "tribe" or "race", just as much as someone with the wrong skin color or nose shape would be. Just wanted to bring that up again since the topic seems to have drifted to cultural tribes regardless of any actual relatedness of the people therein.
Forrest Cameranesi, Geek of All Trades
"I am Sam. Sam I am. I do not like trolls, flames, or spam."
The Codex Quaerendae (my philosophy) - The Chronicles of Quelouva (my fiction)

reval
Posts: 87
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2016 2:56 pm UTC

Re: Everything is racism

Postby reval » Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:01 pm UTC

I believe we are in fact talking about relatedness. Yes, people are using cultural signifiers to make these distinctions, and they are frequently confused about which traits are inherited and which are not inherited. But they know exactly who (they think) "looks like us" and who is "the other". Relatedness is the point.

There's nothing vague about this. They're playing for the evolutionary advantage of "people like us", and they want to hurt the "other". That is what a tribe is. It looks pretty well-defined to me.

The important question isn't whether someone's tribe is currently at the top of the "league standings", or at the bottom, but whether they're playing the game at all. Getting out of this mess isn't going to be accomplished by obtaining some special advantage for each identity that is currently at the bottom of the heap. It's going to be accomplished by recognizing that each person is more valuable as an individual than as a pawn in an evolutionary competition.

Tobias
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2012 3:01 pm UTC

Re: Everything is racism

Postby Tobias » Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:38 pm UTC

reval wrote:There's nothing vague about this. They're playing for the evolutionary advantage of "people like us", and they want to hurt the "other". That is what a tribe is. It looks pretty well-defined to me.


Except that isn't what a tribe is. You've offered no reason for anyone to think that's what a tribe is. On top of that the subject of this post is not just racism but generalized bigotry.

How does sexism fit into your definition of a tribe?

Also, it "looks pretty well defined" because you're making up a definition wholecloth and then using it simply because it's "neat and tidy" rather than descriptive.
Last edited by Tobias on Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:44 pm UTC, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
gmalivuk
GNU Terry Pratchett
Posts: 26354
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:02 pm UTC
Location: Here and There
Contact:

Re: Everything is racism

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:39 pm UTC

reval wrote:There's nothing vague about this. They're playing for the evolutionary advantage of "people like us", and they want to hurt the "other". That is what a tribe is. It looks pretty well-defined to me.
Except that everyone has dozens of distinct groups they could reasonably call "people like me".
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
---
If this post has math that doesn't work for you, use TeX the World for Firefox or Chrome

(he/him/his)

dg61
Posts: 282
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:30 am UTC

Re: Everything is racism

Postby dg61 » Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:56 pm UTC

More to the point, race or at least the biological conception of race as a primary dividing line is recent and originates in a historically specific matrix(the Atlantic sphere of colonization projects, and later in the general colonial project as a justification for a specific order of power). The idea of a "hierarchy of races" is a development of the Enlightenment period as classification became a major scientific endeavor and people increasingly sought to justify slavery and the slave trade by reducing kinship with black Africans, and to justify attempting and largely succeeding in seizing and conquering Indian lands. We can also observe this in how various "European" groups go from white to nonwhite(or rather from "not visibly marked racially" to "marked racially") and then back to white as the great migration and non-European immigration gain steam. That's not to say that tribalism, us-versus-them divisions didn't exist before this point or outside of here but they existed along other lines-religion, language*, etc.

User avatar
Pfhorrest
Posts: 4600
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:11 am UTC
Contact:

Re: Everything is racism

Postby Pfhorrest » Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:45 pm UTC

Not that anyone is talking to me specifically, but to clarify again what I was originally saying in regards to a couple things people are talking about:

1) I never meant to suggest that sexism was a kind of tribalism or racism, but that it (and homophobia and transphobia and generally the entire push for cisheteronormativity against anything contrary to it) could have literally-tribal/racial motives deep down: anything that threatens maximal baby-making threatens the “race”, and traditional (cisheteronormative) gender roles seem geared to maximize baby-making.

2) I’m not using the term “race” in any parochial sense but in the broadest possible sense, the sense by which ancient Hebrews considered the indigenous Canaanites a different race, by which Nazi Germans considered Slavs a different race, or by which Japanese and Koreans consider each other different races. Nothing so simple as “black/white/asian” or anything like that.
Forrest Cameranesi, Geek of All Trades
"I am Sam. Sam I am. I do not like trolls, flames, or spam."
The Codex Quaerendae (my philosophy) - The Chronicles of Quelouva (my fiction)

User avatar
sardia
Posts: 6177
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2010 3:39 am UTC

Re: Everything is racism

Postby sardia » Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:57 am UTC

When this thread was made, I was expecting a serious discussion about how much white people owe minorities for the crimes/thefts of their forefathers. e.g. Blacks deserve free housing and college education for the next 2 generations. Gays, an gay subsidy. Muslims? Maybe tax free casinos after the concentration camps blow over. Am disappointed.

User avatar
ucim
Posts: 6254
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:23 pm UTC
Location: The One True Thread

Re: Everything is racism

Postby ucim » Thu Jul 19, 2018 3:16 pm UTC

sardia wrote:When this thread was made, I was expecting a serious discussion about how much white people owe minorities for the crimes/thefts of their forefathers. e.g. Blacks deserve free housing and college education for the next 2 generations. Gays, an gay subsidy. Muslims? Maybe tax free casinos after the concentration camps blow over. Am disappointed.
You'll find that in the Libertarian thread. Whodathunkit.

Jose
Order of the Sillies, Honoris Causam - bestowed by charlie_grumbles on NP 859 * OTTscar winner: Wordsmith - bestowed by yappobiscuts and the OTT on NP 1832 * Ecclesiastical Calendar of the Order of the Holy Contradiction * Please help addams if you can. She needs all of us.


Return to “Serious Business”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: DaBigCheez and 7 guests