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    United States Avalon Member Joe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Populism, the Hate/Victim dialectic and why the Left need to insult us.
    published 10/12/16 by Wulfstan’s Ghost https://wulfstansghost.com/2016/12/1...-to-insult-us/

    Even the BBC are at it now. Populism is the new racism. It is the new buzzword. Everything we don’t like is now ‘populist’. David Cameron is blaming his own political demise on populism and everyone else thinks its just fine as an explanation for the electorate not doing as they were told. So now 17.4 million voters who have almost got used to being described as thick, racist, uneducated, old, poor, white etc are now having to cope with a new insult whose repeated misuse implies that we are all just a bloodthirsty rabble. I explained here why populism is almost exactly synonymous with democracy and not something altogether nastier. But a further question is begged: Why do the Left have to resort to continual insults in order to further their political aims? The answer to this problem goes back into the depths of Marxist history and runs something like the following:

    The Marxist theory of dialectics is a bastardised re-statement of Newton’s Third Law of Motion: ‘For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction’, but applied to economics and politics. According to the theory of Marxist dialectics, there is an original state – a Thesis – and its opposite, the Antithesis. When reaction between these two states is completed, a higher state is reached – that of Synthesis. As humanity and politics evolves, this Synthesis then becomes a new Thesis which finds its match in a new Antithesis, and so on. So, according to Marxist theory, the story goes something like this: a socio-economic condition, say Feudalism (the Thesis), is matched by the conditions of the feudal slaves and serfs (the Antithesis). When revolution occurred between these two as it did during the French Revolution, then the resultant Synthesis produced Capitalism. Likewise, when Capitalism becomes the new thesis, it is matched by the Proletarian antithesis. When revolution between these two occurs, we get Communism. Communism is deemed to be the highest state of political and economic achievement and further evolution cannot occur.

    Note that there some common characteristics pertaining at each stage of this progression. The first is that there must be revolution (preferably a bloody one) between the thesis and antithesis before the synthesis can be achieved. The second is the unstated, but implied need for an educated middle class elite to act as the guiding hand to direct the antithesis stage into the synthesis. It must be remembered that Marx, Engels, Lenin, Trotsky, Mao and all the rest were highly educated middle class intellectuals. A third common factor is that in each case, society must be divided into two antagonistic groupings in order that the revolution is effected. The final characteristic is that the thesis in each case becomes an object of opprobrium and hatred, whilst the antithesis deserves our sympathy. In other words, society is divided along the lines dictated by the élite.

    It is easier to think of the two groups in a divided society divided in this way as a ‘Hate’ group and a ‘Victim’ group – instead of ‘Thesis’ and ‘Antithesis’. The labelling of each group is essential in order to differentiate ‘Them’ from ‘Us’. For example, in the turmoil of revolutionary Russia in August 1919, there were leftist political groupings such as the Socialist Revolutionaries and the Mensheviks, as well as the Bolsheviks of Lenin. In an article in Pravda, Lenin accused these groups of being “accomplices and foot-servants of the Whites, the landlords and the capitalists”[1]. Note that two whole groups of people – nominally allies of the Bolsheviks – were routinely labelled as allies of actual enemies of the Revolution who had already earned themselves a place in the ‘Hate’ lexicon of Bolshevism. Having thus categorised these Socialist groups as a threat, this extract from a Cheka (Bolshevik Secret Police) internal memo dated 1st July 1919 shows the next steps:
    Quote Instead of merely outlawing these parties, which would simply force them underground and make them even more difficult to control, it seems preferable to grant them a sort of semi-legal status. In this way we can have them at hand, and whenever we need to, we can simply pluck out troublemakers, renegades, or the informers that we need….As far as these anti-Soviet parties are concerned, we must make use of the present war situation to blame crimes on their members, such as “counter-revolutionary activities”, “high treason”, “illegal action behind the lines,” “spying for interventionist foreign powers” etc. [2]
    This categorisation was constantly used in order to control and ultimately eliminate whole groups of people. Dividing society in this way, whipping up up hatred against one group or another made it easier for the Bolsheviks to gain acquiescence from the remainder of society to commit the mass murder of the first fifty years of Soviet Communism – roughly 20 million (although estimates vary). Categorisation and societal division was a process which led inevitably to wholesale slaughter or imprisonment in gulags. This in turn terrorised the whole population and gave justification for even greater excesses.

    Photographs: Soviet executions of Russians (dates unknown). Images from Wikipedia. The Left do not do this sort of thing anymore in the West. But the process of getting to this point is still the same.

    In our modern society, such slaughter is illegal and in any case is deemed counterproductive by the modern day Socialist. Nearly all societies throughout the world are much better informed than they have ever been before. The internet has ensured that governmental excesses are generally well broadcast and so the sheer brutality of previous regimes has become, for the most part, a thing of the past. The obvious exception to this is North Korea which has succeeded in keeping its population largely ignorant of the outside world. The other exception is ISIS or Da’esh which actually wants news of its excesses to reach the outside world in order to spread terror.

    This leaves us with the modern, western Left which nevertheless uses the same basic principles to divide society and thus create conditions whereby the Leftist élite are able to occupy the moral high ground, point the finger at their enemies and so (they hope) rally the rest of society around them in order to bring about whatever revolutionary vision is in their minds. Where before the victim group was ‘the worker’ or ‘the masses’ or ‘the proletariat’, this has had to be modernised into a variety of victim groups such as the LGBT community, ethnic and racial groups, women, the poor, the disabled and so on. Once again, these ‘vulnerable’ groups are given the dubious pleasures of special protection from the Left, so that another identifiable sub-section of society can be stigmatised as the Hate group. The Tories, people who voted Leave, bankers, ‘the 1%’, racists, Islamophobes, sexists, white van drivers, people you wouldn’t want to invite to an Islington dinner party, and so on, are all popular groups for provoking the ire of the Left. In fact, pretty well anyone who is unfortunate to have made a distinction between one person and another, will find themselves attracting the opprobrium of the Left. In generating this societal division, the Left insert themselves into positions of power and/or influence, from whence they begin to a) earn money at taxpayers’ expense; b) manipulate events to their own satisfaction.

    So the whole thing is a very simple process. Those who obstruct the path of the Left are placed into a Hate category. A Victim group is sought and then exploited by using inflammatory language against the Hate group. This drives a wedge into society. Into the divisions thus created, drops the middle class Leftist élite who utilise this lacuna as a means of gaining power. It does not need very many Leftists to carry out this process, especially in this age of social media. What matters is that a huge number of (often unwitting) fellow travellers latch on to the idea and use it in public discourse. David Cameron is a particularly good example of a useful fool in this respect. It is also necessary to point out that the two groups do not have to be antagonistic towards each other in the first instance. What is important, for the Leftists, is that the two groups are identifiable as different. The process of division deliberately foments, or even manufactures grievances which are then used to open the gap.

    It is the oldest rule of warfare of them all: Divide your enemies and then conquer them.


    [1] and [2]: Courtois S, Werth N, Panné J-L, Paczkowski A, Bartošek K, Margolin J-L; (1999): The Black Book of Communism – Crimes, Terror, Repression. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts

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  3. Link to Post #302
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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Posted by Rahkyt (here)
    Morton believed that people could be divided into five races and that these represented separate acts of creation. The races had distinct characters, which corresponded to their place in a divinely determined hierarchy. Morton’s “craniometry” showed, he claimed, that whites, or “Caucasians,” were the most intelligent of the races. East Asians—Morton used the term “Mongolian”—though “ingenious” and “susceptible of cultivation,” were one step down. Next came Southeast Asians, followed by Native Americans. Blacks, or “Ethiopians,” were at the bottom. In the decades before the Civil War, Morton’s ideas were quickly taken up by the defenders of slavery.
    Of course, every "race" is a variation of brown, from almost black to almost white. There is no red or yellow race.
    Not surprisingly, skin color mythology was started by a German:


    "Johann Friedrich Blumenbach (1752–1840), one of the founders of what some call scientific racism theories, came up with the five color typology for humans: white people (the Caucasian or white race), more or less black people (the Ethiopian or black race), yellow people (the Mongolian or yellow race), cinnamon-brown or flame colored people (the American or red race) and brown people (the Malay or brown race). Blumenbach listed the “races” in a hierarchic order of physical similarities: Caucasian, followed by American, followed by Mongolian, followed by Malayan, followed by Ethiopian."

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  5. Link to Post #303
    Canada Avalon Member Ernie Nemeth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Racism

    Just an observation...

    There are visible differences in the races that no one had to invent. There are indeed different hues of skin color, anyone can see that for themselves. Each race has various ethnicities, these were also not invented. Most of these had to do with isolation and common bonds either because of ideology or war. After thousands of years each race subdivided into the many countries now on our map. The countries vary in degree in terms of race, with most modern countries being conglomerations of different races.

    Europe is an exception. In Europe most races are almost exclusively white, and due to long-standing regional borders, the main differences between the countries is not race but language. Even though the german's call themselves a race, as does every other country, in fact they are one race that has subdivided over many centuries of cohesion.

    So my point is that race has many connotations, many interpretations, not all to do with strict definitions and precise nomenclature.

    We are all one race - human. Yes. We are many races defined by physical borders. Yes. One of the ways to define race is by skin color. Yes. Another way of defining race is by language. Yes.

    Culture, race, society, country, religion, ideology, history, myth, legend, and more are used as means to divide and instill hatred to ensure the race of humanity never unites to rid itself of its masters - an alien race from the stars!(perhaps?...)
    Last edited by Ernie Nemeth; 2nd July 2019 at 15:09.
    If not now, then when?

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  7. Link to Post #304
    United States Avalon Member Rahkyt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Racism

    Excellent discussion on such an important topic. Since I've been gone, in thinking about how this thread has progressed and what Bill's original intent was, I believe that how folks have assayed these questions and challenges has been directly in line with the spirit of Project Avalon. There is no "final say" or "ultimate answer" there are only the variations we bring as humans, part of a greater family of beings who have chosen to traverse this vale of tears simultaneously. I offer this article in the spirit of recognition of that shared journey.

    Why We Confuse Race and Ethnicity

    A Lexicographer’s Perspective

    On our evolving understandings of racial categorization and cultural identity.

    Dictionaries sometimes provide an opportunity for users to tell more about what certain words should mean as opposed to what they do mean. Take race and ethnicity. The online dictionary at Merriam-Webster allows users to leave comments on entries, and the most common comment by far on the entry for ethnicity is that people are looking it up to determine how it’s distinguished from race. The most common comment on the entry for race is essentially “Okay, but what is race, then?”

    The reality is that the words race and ethnicity have a significant amount of overlap in terms of their general use. Race is the older word, dating back to the 1500s, and for most of its history, it referred to groups of people who shared a common ancestor, culture, or cultural marker (such as language or religion): “the English race,” “the Scottish race,” “the Jewish race.”

    But starting in the late 1700s, physiologists and anthropologists began using the word race to refer to a more formalized categorization of people that was based on physical characteristics, not necessarily shared ancestry or culture. “Physical characteristics” included everything from skin color to head shape to perceived temperament and intelligence (both of which were thought to have a biological basis). Nineteenth-century anthropologists divided humanity up into anywhere from three to twelve categories and ascribed physical, psychological, social, and intellectual attributes to each category.

    But just because a word gains a new meaning doesn’t mean that the old meanings go away. By the start of the twentieth century, race referred to groups of people who shared a common ancestor, groups of people who shared a common culture or cultural marker, and the anthropological categories of people divided primarily by physical appearance. And while those meanings seem distinct enough presented in isolation, it could be hard to tell just which meaning of race was being used:

    Quote It is my prayer, it is my longing, that we may pass from this life together—a longing which shall never perish from the earth . . . . This prayer is also immortal, and will not cease from being offered up while my race continues. (Mark Twain, “Eve’s Diary,” The $30,000 Bequest and Other Stories, 1906)
    English had furnished all the raw materials for a correction, and out of them was coined the word ethnicity. The Oxford English Dictionary has one citation, from 1772, for ethnicity, where it’s a translation of the Spanish etnicidad, but the word doesn’t appear again until the early twentieth century, in a book condemning the idea that common ethnic or cultural identity is deterministic of character or personality:

    Quote To regard every individual of an ethnic group as having primarily the characteristic nature of that group, as if affiliation with it invested him with a particular kind of ethnicity which then determined his nature, is contrary to the doctrine that each individual structure is primary. (Isaac B. Berkson, Theories of Americanization: A Critical Study, 1920)
    Ethnicity is built off the much earlier ethnic, which was used from the 1700s onward as an adjective to refer to national affiliation; both words trace back to the Greek word for “nation.” But the term ethnicity didn’t take off right away. Race was the preferred term—until the word began to get skunked.

    Skunked is the term that linguists use to refer to the process by which a formerly neutral word gains negative connotations and suddenly becomes fraught (or completely unacceptable) in general use. For the word race, lots of twentieth-century events and movements contributed to that skunking: Nazi atrocities bolstered by nineteenth-century anthropological ideas of “racial purity” and the fitness of the White race over other races; institutional structures that relied on the pseudoscience of “racial disparities” to separate society into “white” and “colored”; the various civil rights movements—like the NAACP, the National Congress of American Indians, UnidosUS (formerly National Council of La Raza), and the Japanese American Citizens League—that kept demanding we confront the realities of what it’s like to live in non-white skin in the U.S. The word race itself showed up more often in contexts that highlighted social problems: “race riot,” “racial discrimination,” “race relations,” “racial tensions,” “playing the race card.” Even today, while some people claim we live in a “post-racial” society, that nineteenth-century pseudoscience around race still affects our daily lives. For instance, a 2016 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America examines how ideas around the pain tolerance thresholds of White and Black patients—ideas that have their root in nineteenth-century concepts of race—continue to have an impact on Black people and how their pain is managed in a clinical setting.

    While these nineteenth-century ideas around race have been challenged, we still continue to hash out what, exactly, constitutes race. Nowhere is this tension more obvious than in the U.S. Census, which provides interesting (if somewhat behind-the-times) evidence for tracking the complexities of race and ethnicity. In the 230 years that the census has been running, race has expanded from three categories (free Whites, all other free persons, and enslaved people) to fifteen, including “other.” But in 1980, the U.S. Census began asking all respondents, regardless of how they answered the question on race, to identify whether they had Hispanic origins—categorizing it as an ethnicity, not a race. (Current studies by the Pew Research Center show that many census respondents who identify as Hispanic in origin consider that to be both their race and ethnicity.)

    Lexically speaking, this one event seems to be the thing that nudged the word ethnicity into general use; since the 1980s, use of ethnicity has increased dramatically. And the word race? It has more volume of use than ethnicity, as you’d expect for a word with five hundred more years of established use, but in the last few years, its use has decreased. The Oxford English Dictionary’s usage note at the entry sums up the current state of race in reference to those divisions of humanity distinguished by physical characteristics:

    Quote In recent years, the associations of race with the ideologies and theories that grew out of the work of 19th-cent. anthropologists and physiologists have led to the word often being avoided with reference to specific ethnic groups. Although it is still used in general contexts, it is now often replaced by terms such as people(s), community, etc.
    But lexical takes on race and ethnicity make the issue of what actually constitutes race and ethnicity seem much simpler than it actually is. In 2003, California Newsreel (in conjunction with PBS) broadcast a TV series called Race: The Power of an Illusion and asked four professors to tease out the differences between race and ethnicity. All four had different responses. Some felt race was a single unifying categorization based primarily on physical appearance while ethnicity was a cultural connection. Others felt that race was more an identifier of origin while ethnicity was a social, cultural, or linguistic bond. Others felt that race and ethnicity were both movable feasts and relied more on how power structures categorize and operate against people. In other words, some of the people groups that today are racially coded as White (and given the privileges of a White person) have been considered less than White or other than White in the past, particularly when anti-immigration sentiment was sweeping the nation. In more recent years, enough people have protested the Census Bureau’s reductive view of ethnicity that federal officials are considering combining the race question with the ethnicity question for the 2020 Census. That we know the two are somehow different but related is clear from the lexical side of things again: The most common use of ethnicity in print, and one of the most common uses of race in print, is in the phrase “race and ethnicity.”

    So when should you use race and when should you use ethnicity? A survey of the major dictionaries of English gives some basic guidance when talking generally about race and ethnicity. Most of them agree that the word ethnicity is most often used of a person’s cultural identity, which may or may not include a shared language, shared customs, shared religious expression, or a shared nationality (especially outside that nation’s borders). And most dictionaries agree that race is often used to describe one of several very broad categories that people are divided into that are biologically arbitrary yet considered to be generally based on ancestral origin and shared physical characteristics (especially skin color).

    There’s one more thing that dictionaries tell us, though it’s mostly subtext and only apparent in qualifiers like often and generally and especially. Race and ethnicity as labels can change not just from speaker to speaker but from context to context. Someone born to Japanese parents in the Bay Area of California and raised in San Francisco may identify racially as Asian (a broad category based on ancestral origin and some shared physical characteristics) but ethnically as Japanese, American, Japanese American, or maybe even San Franciscan (a cultural identity that can include shared customs, religion, nationality, or language). Or none of the above. The answer depends on who the speaker is talking to and why the listener is asking.
    Last edited by Rahkyt; 8th July 2019 at 16:58. Reason: add quotation indent

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  9. Link to Post #305
    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Posted by Rahkyt (here)
    Excellent discussion on such an important topic. Since I've been gone, in thinking about how this thread has progressed and what Bill's original intent was, I believe that how folks have assayed these questions and challenges has been directly in line with the spirit of Project Avalon. There is no "final say" or "ultimate answer" there are only the variations we bring as humans, part of a greater family of beings who have chosen to traverse this vale of tears simultaneously.
    Yes, thanks. I entirely agree: the topic is culturally and historically complex, and highly nuanced — at least. Once one starts to drill down into it all (and look at it from every angle) what may well happen, if one permits it, is a great deal of learning and gaining of new insights. Avalon really does try to stand for that.

    What I'd really like to thank you for personally is how well you've presided over the discussion, even when some members have challenged or questioned you a little with their own perspectives. You've handled everything admirably.

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  11. Link to Post #306
    Avalon Member T Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Posted by Rahkyt (here)
    Excellent discussion on such an important topic. Since I've been gone, in thinking about how this thread has progressed and what Bill's original intent was, I believe that how folks have assayed these questions and challenges has been directly in line with the spirit of Project Avalon. There is no "final say" or "ultimate answer" there are only the variations we bring as humans, part of a greater family of beings who have chosen to traverse this vale of tears simultaneously.
    Welcome back, Rahkyt. Lovin' the new avatar!

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