Wednesday 5 September 2018

Fascism? Racism? - they aren't even things

I have previously tried to make sense of the term Fascism - but the fact is that it was merely secular anti-Soviet-Communism; which isn't even a thing; and even as a negative-reaction it has long-since disappeared from the world. 

I have never tried to make sense of the term Racism, because that very-obviously isn't a thing.

Since racism is supposed to be the most evil sin in the world; that is a problem - or should be regarded as such...

But since we live in a world that is necessarily insane from incoherence (due to the subtraction of God and the assertion that all is either random or blindly determined) then we, as a culture, have become used-to insane incoherence...

It is the air we breathe.

But of course, nobody can ever refute the presence, or importance, or anything-else, of Fascism and Racism - and when you are a supernatural demon bent on the destruction of all that is good, that fact is a feature, not a bug.


Michael Dyer said...

Could you elaborate on racism? Because I have met and argued with what I consider racists. These are men who consider race as indicative of character and, in its worst form, attempt to justify killing innocent people on a racial basis.

I do know what you mean in that racism has become code for "I can't argue with you and want to express that you are bad" but real racism does seem to exist.

Bruce Charlton said...

@MD - How could I possibly elaborate on incoherence?

But if *you* give me a definition, then I can tell you *why* your definition is incoherent and inadequate; why it fails to capture the actual usage of the term, or indeed any viable possible usage.

A tip - any valid definition ought to describe people as they would honestly identify themselves, with motives they would honestly acknowledge; otherwise it is just scapegoating and name-calling (which is what we currently have).

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

Like Michael, I have met several people who are clearly racists and would describe themselves as such in very direct and colorful terms. Such people do exist, mainly in the working and lower classes.

Bruce Charlton said...

@WmJas - But try to make a coherent theory (ideology) from their views, and you will see how it doesn't really have anything to do with the modern concept of racism. Indeed, it can't - because there is no coherence to the modern concept, and it changes too fast to be definable. Of course, racism is essentially a very recent term in human history - because it was never needed in the past, because other terms captured the phenomenon more exactly.

Chiu ChunLing said...

I'm going to have to side with Dyer even though I agree with the gist of your statement.

"Racism", properly defined, should mean an ideology holding that race characteristics supersede individual variation in ability, morality, and so forth, and thus justify dealing with people based on the characteristics of their race as a whole rather than their own individual merits.

Ridiculous racism might hold, for example, that a higher rate of criminality among a given race means that in fact all crime must be committed by this race, with all crimes attributed to other races being mistakes or malice of investigating authorities.

However, this is not the only way in which a racial characteristic might be said to supercede individual characteristics. For instance, it might be considered plausible that individual variation from genetic potential was such that a person of a non-criminal race might indeed be a rapist or murderer, but that by virtue of the genetic traits of their race, the children of that criminal exception would still be preferable to the children of an (exceptional) non-criminal from a criminally inclined race.

I myself do not believe that criminality is or even can be a racial trait. I rather doubt it could be a genetic trait, though the degree of physical violence one is prone to use in committing or resisting/redressing a crime is certainly influenced by genetics.

The root cause of criminality is differences in opinions about what is 'just'. It may be that some views on justice are tied to genetics, for instance, the childish idea of Marxism, "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs", may be harder for some people to naturally outgrow as they enter adulthood based on their genetics. But in a society based on Marxism, it is those who reject Marxism who are the criminals.

However, while I do assert that racism has a real and coherent definition that would be of use to us in rejecting a certain type of collectivism, your main point stands, the term has ceased to have any possible utility in popular use.

That is to say, if we were to define "racism" in any really coherent sense, then it is obviously people who denigrate whites (and especially Jews) who are racist. The popular usage of "racism" is itself incoherently racist, and irredeemably so (in that the term is now so useless that, after the destruction of the current global civilization, we'll simply have to make up a new term, like "ethno-genetic collectivism").

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

Why should it be an ideology? On the rare occasions when I describe someone as "racist" I simply mean he is unreasonably hostile towards members of a particular race or races. Hostility needn't be ideological.

Chiu ChunLing said...

Well, the formation of the word implies it.

But more importantly, instinctive distrust (and even hostility) of phenotype variation indicating genetic divergence and possible incompatibility is perfectly natural and is not only general throughout the human population, but found in every biological organism that has any motility with regard to reproduction.

Pointing out that someone is a "racist" in the sense of having an instinctive (and thus fundamentally irrational) preference for phenotypes more similar to their family is a fatuity. Using it as an insult is about as useful as noting that a particular human is "full of shit".

Literally true, but hardly informative or tending to forward a reasoned discourse.

That is to say, rather irrationally hostile, wouldn't you say?

Nathaniel said...

I see it is very difficult for the commentators to come up with and agree with a definition of racism, and it does indeed not match current usage. It seems to be more - the greatest possible insult to an enemy based on a feeling of anger or offense by the accuser.

Like what does "diversity" mean? Ironically it seems to only imply conformity and less-of something in current usage.