mouseworks: A crop of an orchid shot taken with a Nikon 105 macro lens (Default)
posted by [personal profile] mouseworks at 01:30pm on 30/05/2011
Theories of people: Basically, the left appears to have two theories of people: classic Marxism in terms of guiding the proletariate to good consciousness ("The poor are jobs for the middle class, especially radical professors" version of "The poor are jobs for the middle class, black as well as white" that I heard in Charlotte. The proletariate are different from the middle class in kind and social mobility is deprecated. Striving for it is false consciousness.

The other theory of people is the Oscar Wildean, and pretty much what the actor was saying on the link I put up recently: the differences between people are much more trivial than the habits of life people find themselves in, and that individual social mobility isn't, all and all, a bad thing, though it may be an incomplete thing. If the differences were really great, the maneuvers to discredit and discomfort others (the teacher, Vernon Crumpler, who told me in my senior year that I'd never finish college) would not be so vicious. It's the vehemence of the defenses that make them look like so much poppycock. 7 IQ points average between black and white? Gets lost in the noise of testing -- I've had far greater differences between IQ test scores. (I've heard one study showed that if black adult gave black children tests, and did not tell them it was an IQ test, the differences between average black and white test scores was even less.

When dealing with genuinely retarded people, the people working with them attempt to get them to do as much as possible. When dealing with threats to one's habit of command, the tactic betray the lies and the fundamental uncertainty.

The other thing is that when men put down women or attempt to describe experienced sexism as something else, all the men, including ones who are markedly less competent at something than I am, use the same patterns. "She had a man help her," "no woman can write as well as a man," "I'm the more important one because I'm male."

If any of this was genuine, the vehemence wouldn't be there. We don't generally make a big issue to our dogs that we're smarter at math than they are; we do attempt to put down people who challenge our assumptions about our innate superiority.

The third theory is that despite us being more alike than not, we all have parts to play that our circumstances put us to, and that all these parts have drawbacks and compensations and boundaries set by the social realities, the world we're born into. This is the old Teddy Rooseveltian conservativism, not the "the rest are disposable if our income is going up" of the current right.

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