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View Diary: "Native languages in 'a state of emergency'" (256 comments)

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  •  Like most issues, this is more complex than (8+ / 0-)

    ideological narrative tend to allow for.

    In a free society, is the individual right to decide what language they want to speak taken into account? Even if that language happens not to be the one their ancestors spoke, or one that linguists deem worth preserving?

    When does cultural preservation become counterproductive on the individual level?

    From long experience here, I know this comment will be responded to mostly in knee-jerk fashion, according to the ideological lens of the respondent - which is unfortunate, because only by engaging in thoughtful dialog about these issues, with a humanistic emphasis on the balance between individual rights and collective interests, are effective solutions found.

    I have found, sadly, that self-labeled "liberals" are no more interested in hearing things that challenge their preformed beliefs than conservatives are. And, that forums like these serve only to Balkanize us further, and facilitate our inclination to surround ourselves with mutually-reinforcing messages that isolate us from further intellectual and empathetic growth.

    Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

    by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 03:10:32 PM PDT

    •  Thank you for citing for us (11+ / 0-)

      perfect rationalizations of why the dominant culture thinks it is OK to finish the work of the Final Solution.  

      She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

      by Winter Rabbit on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 03:14:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well that was kind of a nasty response (5+ / 0-)

        to what was plainly an attempt to open a discussion.

        What exactly do you propose to keep these 70 languages "alive" if their speakers don't want to speak them any more?

        I am really enjoying my stimulus package.

        by Kevvboy on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 03:24:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's rather like asking endangered species (9+ / 0-)

          who have been violently forced to the edge of extinction why it's important to keep them alive if they can't do it themselves.

          <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

          by bronte17 on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 03:36:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No it's not. (3+ / 0-)

            The endangered species are presumably being killed by forces outside themselves. In the examples cited above, native speakers are not teaching the language to their children.  How do you propose to make them do it?

            I am really enjoying my stimulus package.

            by Kevvboy on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 03:37:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Quite correct, all American Indians are not (4+ / 0-)

              teaching their children their language.

              She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

              by Winter Rabbit on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 03:44:09 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Like many issues, there are complexities to this (9+ / 0-)

              There are probably 15 million Americans who have Native American bloodlines. Probably more.

              But the intermarriage, ravaging of homelands and forced assimilation have diluted the cultural markers and heritage.

              And the Native American culture has been killed by forces outside themselves. Genocide is the only term that can be used for the decimation of the Native Americans.

              When you have hundreds of years of forced assimilation where native language and custom is not only forbidden, but severely punished... that culture slowly is ground down.

              Free and equal education is important, but that requires funding that has been either squandered or withheld from the Native American nations.

              <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

              by bronte17 on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 03:54:59 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  So, in your view, indigenous people (0+ / 1-)
            Recommended by:
            Hidden by:
            renzo capetti

            are like nonsentient animals, and their individual wishes are to be subordinated to an elitist view of what is good for them?

            Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

            by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 03:54:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  This country will be much stronger (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              4Freedom, Nulwee, Fresno

              when we all speak english.

              She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

              by Winter Rabbit on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 03:56:24 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Don't take it too hard, Winter Rabbit (8+ / 0-)

                there's a couple of them in every NA diary.  I feel sorry for them.  They don't know the history, and our government has done all it can to destroy as much of it as possible.

                Our lives depend on our love for our earth, and all she gives and has given to us for milleniums. Without her support, we will not survive.

                by Tyto Alba on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 04:09:22 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Thanks. (9+ / 0-)

                  I know, but if I don't respond then it's "the diarist isn't responding" kind of stuff. I ignore it when I can.

                  She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

                  by Winter Rabbit on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 04:11:49 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  "Them" - what a bigoted atitude. (0+ / 0-)

                  Exactly what "Them" am I, Tyto Alba?

                  Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

                  by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 05:20:05 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Quit offending from the victim position, (7+ / 0-)

                    it's boring.

                    She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

                    by Winter Rabbit on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 05:27:19 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Do you have a substantive response (0+ / 0-)

                      to the questions I posed?

                      Can you present it without personal attacks or judgment, in the spirit of two equal individuals exchanging ideas on the Internet with the view of mutual benefit from such an exchange?

                      If so, I look forward to your response, and will read it without being tainted by your prior insults or condescension, purely on the merit of your arguments.

                      Hopefully, you will choose to do the same.

                      Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

                      by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 07:22:55 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  If it describes your attitude, why not? (5+ / 0-)

                    You're like Andy Breibart calling his victims racist.  Stop it.

                    But by now, we know how the Obama administration deals with those who would destroy it: it goes straight for the capillaries. --Krugman

                    by mbayrob on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 05:29:15 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  So, exactly what "Them" am I? (0+ / 0-)

                      What ideology, position, or policy do I support?

                      In particular, what is my position vis a vis preservation of native languages?

                      Since you prefer not to address what I actually have discussed in my comments in this diary, why don't you make explicit the presumptions you make about what I represent - besides "Andy Breibart"?

                      Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

                      by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 06:41:40 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You appear to be an ideological descendent of (4+ / 0-)

                        John Locke, putting forward an atomistic view of radically isolated individuals who possess universally recognized human rights.  Locke's view of individual property rights (including the individual's right to intellectual property) downplayed the notion of communal rights -- as does your view.  

                        This is the same ideology that drove the forced assimilation policies of the Dawes Act and Indian boarding schools, with their suppression of Native languages.  Late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century reformers liked to call it "killing the Indian to save the man."

                        •  I see. (0+ / 0-)

                          And you derive this comprehensive view of my beliefs, and the policies I support, and their similarity to past policies, based on what, exactly?

                          And why the preoccupation with me and my beliefs - a classic ad hominem - rather than addressing directly and substantively the questions I raised vis a vis thinking about the most effective policies to pursue with regard to preserving native languages?

                          Let's assume for the moment that I am every bit the White Devil I have been portrayed here, and that my sole motive for commenting in this diary is to promote the forced assimilation of Native Americans in order to bring about a Final Solution and erase any trace of anything but pure Arian English language and culture.

                          How does that address the questions I raised?

                          Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

                          by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 08:45:57 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  You asked, "what is my ideology," and I answered. (0+ / 0-)

                            I directly addressed a question you raised.  Do you have an issue with my answer?  Have I mischaracterized your ideology?

                          •  Yes, you have. (0+ / 0-)

                            But

                            a) my ideology is irrelevant in this discussion, and

                            b) you clearly have absolutely no interest in my ideology, and

                            c) ideology does not, history teaches us, necessarily (ever?) yield practical solutions for real people.

                            What really underlies the hysterical response to questioning whether individual choice fits into a discussion about cultural preservation?

                            If you insist on engaging in meta-discussion, that is a far more interesting question than what you presume to define as my personal ideology.

                            After all, it is a crucial, practical question underlying the debate about Muslim women's veils, indigenous children's hairlength in Canadian schools, and virtually every other debate around the tension between preserving the old and embracing the new.

                            So, why the nearly pathological evasion and defensiveness about a simple, nonpersonal, nonideological question?

                            Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

                            by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 09:11:59 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  The kind you express yourself with. (0+ / 0-)

                    YOU figure it out.

                    Our lives depend on our love for our earth, and all she gives and has given to us for milleniums. Without her support, we will not survive.

                    by Tyto Alba on Mon Aug 02, 2010 at 08:29:09 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Perhaps you could condense (0+ / 0-)

                      your points in a paragraph or two.

                      Then perhaps we could catch on to your meaning.

                      In the meantime, all I see is Random Acts of Reasoning, just as your name promises.

                      Take care.  I mean no harm.

                      Our lives depend on our love for our earth, and all she gives and has given to us for milleniums. Without her support, we will not survive.

                      by Tyto Alba on Mon Aug 02, 2010 at 08:33:32 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

              •  Even with a common language the real problem (10+ / 0-)

                is deep listening.  It's far more than just understanding words and forming sentences.  Listening with heart, mind and soul takes a serious focus.  Too many hear others filtered with bias--bias determined by their own agenda and refuse to take necessary time or spend the energy required to fully understand others having different cultural histories.  To many of 'us' live in cultural 'silos', trying to stay in hives of like-minded people, and don't try to maintain or build bridges of understanding.

                When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

                by antirove on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 04:39:07 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Excellent points! Thank you antirove. (8+ / 0-)

                  She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

                  by Winter Rabbit on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 04:46:37 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  I'm not sure Winter Rabbit (0+ / 0-)

                  or others here understand how your comments apply to their approach to this discussion, ironically.

                  I have asked some questions here, prefaced by a discussion of the complexity of human situations, and bracketed by a reminder of how past well-intentioned policies failed, or even proved counter-productive, because they were driven by simplistic, ideological motives, and did not take into account individual diversity and complex circumstances.

                  For that, I have been treated to a remarkable display of bigotry, prejudice, stereotyping, caricature and attacks on a straw man messenger.

                  Quite a remarkable display of ends justify the means mentality, which leads me to further concerns about how this particular group of commenters might approach developing or supporting policies designed to address native language and culture.

                  Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

                  by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 05:26:33 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Where did I make such an argument? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Bouwerie Boy

                Are you capable of getting out from behind your prejudice and viewing a fellow member of this community as an individual human being, and addressing them on the merits of their own comments - not lumping them into some bigoted stereotype you have of "Those people"?

                Here's a hint - when someone raises the issue of individual freedom to choose, it is less likely that they support mandated single solutions to anything.

                I doubt I can penetrate your prejudice enough to be respectfully addressed as a human being rather than a "Them", however.

                Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

                by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 05:22:47 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  prejudice? (4+ / 0-)

                  I'd say you're calling the kettle black, but these people aren't doing anything of the kind.

                  Stop playing the victim.  It's laughable.  Make you look silly.

                  But by now, we know how the Obama administration deals with those who would destroy it: it goes straight for the capillaries. --Krugman

                  by mbayrob on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 05:31:56 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Then let's address substance (0+ / 0-)

                    How does individual choice fit into a discussion about preserving native languages?

                    Is there any value to common language in today's global society?

                    Are all languages equal in value, and are all endangered languages equally worthy of preservation?

                    Who speaks for a community?

                    How are dissenting views treated?

                    Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

                    by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 06:40:06 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  What's substinative about that? (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      capelza

                      Sounds like a great deal of ideological, glibertarian self abuse to me.

                      This diary concerns the survival of minority languages, which is a problem internationally.  To talk about "choice" the way you do and to ignore that the choice to speak a language including the language your parents spoke is a choice that's been taken away from people in these communities is, well, just about the most trivial, pseudo intellectual nonsense I can imagine.

                      Not everybody chooses to speak the language of their ancestors if given the opportunity, but to blabber on about people who never had that opportunity in the first place and claim that facilitating people in those communities so they can make that choice is somehow coersive?

                      Arrant nonsense.  You're not a serious person, and worse, you seem to lack the insight to realize how laughable that makes you.

                      Stop acting like such a schmuck, and stop acting like you're a victim.  You're getting ridiculed because you're trolling this diary and acting ridiculous. Go find some other place to play with yourself so folks that actually have something interesting to say can discuss a serious issue with frivolous folks like yourself interfering.

                      But by now, we know how the Obama administration deals with those who would destroy it: it goes straight for the capillaries. --Krugman

                      by mbayrob on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 07:50:04 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You seem to have no problem (0+ / 0-)

                        resisting the terrible lack of choice that afflicts other, presumably stupider or weaker or more helpless individuals.

                        Just as you presume to speak on behalf of a wide diversity of people holding a wide diversity of beliefs and opinions - including opinions about the best way to preserve indigenous culture.

                        Considering the balance between individual freedom and cultural preservation is neither trivial nor ridiculous.

                        It is at the heart of the discussion about Muslim women's veils, for example - as it is at the heart of the discussion about the length of hair Native American students choose to preserve in school, or about the slaughter of whales by the Japanese.

                        I asked serious questions, respectfully, and was immediately met with arrogance, hostility, prejudice and condescension.

                        Everything but substantive response to substantive questions.

                        That will not make the questions go away, nor will your arrogance make me go away. I've long since come to realize that the dominant culture here is one of intolerance of dissent and maintenance of a status quo, while holding the pretense of being "progressive" and forward thinking.

                        Nothing changes in cultures that fear to question their assumptions.

                        Policies in the real world don't work if they are not tempered by the lessons of history, and by the humility that good intentions do not guarantee good results.

                        We are all equal here - all pseudonymous people exchanging ideas over the Internet. Claims of superiority are no more persuasive than arguments from authority. Intimidation is a tactic of the weak and fearful.

                        A confident, contemplative person is never afraid to encounter different ideas nor to welcome intellectual challenges to bold assertions.

                        Keep trying, though. You aren't the only person on Daily Kos who thinks attempts at rhetorical bullying are an adequate substitute for substantive thinking, or that doubling-down on dogma constitutes real growth.

                        Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

                        by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 08:54:36 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

            •  No cigar for you to twist extinction (9+ / 0-)

              into an elitist paradigm.

              There are millions of Native Americans and the poverty levels of their sovereign nations are renown. The guarantees from the United States' government are sidestepped or delayed or pocketed by corruption.

              Transferring norms and mores down to the next generations requires education and schooling. Without funding or with forced assimilation the transfer slows down or does not take place.

              <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

              by bronte17 on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 04:10:38 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You made the flawed analogy, not me (0+ / 0-)

                I merely asked how individual choice fits into a discussion about language preservation.

                You extrapolated your own demons from that, based on your own prejudices.

                Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

                by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 05:27:40 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Ever the reasonable one... aren't ya? (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Winter Rabbit, Tyto Alba

                  You stepped in it big time this time around.

                  <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

                  by bronte17 on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 06:48:17 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  He doesn't think this is the right room for an (0+ / 0-)

                    argument.

                    He think's that's down the hall, and that this is Abuse.

                    But by now, we know how the Obama administration deals with those who would destroy it: it goes straight for the capillaries. --Krugman

                    by mbayrob on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 07:50:58 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  So, no response to actual substance (0+ / 0-)

                    and nothing but personalizing all arguments, bronte17 - you're doing the same thing in multiple diaries all at once, with multiple people.

                    Seems to be your modus operandi.

                    Generally one employed by people incapable of intellectually defending their positions.

                    People who have arrived at their convictions thoughtfully, after a process of engaging in challenge and contemplating alternatives, are generally less aggressive and defensive, and more welcoming of dissent.

                    Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

                    by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 08:57:12 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  there you go, random. take a hide. (6+ / 0-)
              I'm supposed to give a reason for this. So I'll just confirm how much I abhor the analogy you twisted, your continued belligerence and falsity, coupled with the reality that I know from this blog that Haitians and native americans are barely surviving at all in too many areas of proximity to policy and idiocy, and corporate control on one hand and state governor indifference on the other. And I want to be a little clearer about 1 thing. We (or a lot of us) are the immigrants. We got here last. Not the indians or mexicans or creole or others from the americas. And the africans were kidnapped and beat down ugly just the same/murdered/raped/you know, bought and sold. And the Haitians fought and won freedom - still paying a crippling price for it, right up to today. I like to be clever too. But not when lives and lineage and unspeakable atrocity is the topic. So you have it. And it is explained.  

              support the conscience of information. Ruining lives and water for shale gas, sea oil and quick mountain coal is sick. Stop The Gasastrophe.

              by renzo capetti on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 04:49:40 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  And exactly what policy proposal of mine (0+ / 0-)

                are you railing against, exactly?

                You, too, are manifesting prejudice, failing to address my individual comments as an individual, preferring instead to make prejudicial assumptions and erecting straw men to battle.

                I asked, where does individual freedom fit into a discussion about preserving native languages?

                Do you have a response - one that does not rant and rail about how I'm a genocidal apologist?

                Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

                by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 05:29:46 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Don't be bandying that word "elitist" around (5+ / 0-)

              It definitely does not mean what you think it means.

              There's nothing more elitist that prescribing cultural assimilation to cultural and ethnic minorities.

              But by now, we know how the Obama administration deals with those who would destroy it: it goes straight for the capillaries. --Krugman

              by mbayrob on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 05:12:15 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  There is nothing more elitist (0+ / 0-)

                than assuming one is inherently superior, by virtue of one's lineage, than another, by virtue of what you presume to be theirs.

                Unless, of course, it is presuming the right to reinterpret the argument of another to suit one's agenda.

                Kindly point me to a comment of mine that "prescribed cultural assimilation to cultural and ethnic minorities".

                Is anyone commenting in this diary capable of rising above petty prejudice and condescending assumptions of superiority, to engage in an honest discussion with people without prejudging them or responding to stereotypes and straw men?

                You are a pseudonymous individual on the Internet, presenting an opinion.

                I am a pseudonymous individual on the Internet, presenting an opinion.

                Discussing different opinions is the whole purpose of a site like this.

                The beauty of it is that we have the ability, if we choose, to respond purely to the actual content of another human being's argument, without prejudging them based on skin color, religion, sexual preference, ethnicity, body type, gender, etc.

                If we choose.

                I have asked about how individual right to choose fits into considerations of proposed policies with regard to language preservation.

                I have couched my question in an observation about the complexity of human situations, and by noting the historical lessons of well-intentioned policies that were imposed without due consideration of such complexities, particularly individual diversity and individual choice.

                If you build housing for the homeless, you better consider whether they will want to live in it. Often, more consideration is given to how cool the architect's design is.

                We learn from failed policies of the past, as well as by understanding policies that work.

                One of the lessons is that it is useful to ask as many challenging questions as possible, so as not to be trapped by one's own assumptions and ideology.

                What I see here are a bunch of smug people assuming they speak for all others in their "tribe" (used in the anthropological, not derogatory term, to describe all self-identifying groups of people), pretending there is only one answer to all questions, and that anyone who suggests thinking broader is "The Enemy", who supports "forced assimilation" and "Final Solutions", who can "never understand" and who is fatally trapped in an inferior worldview of "individualism for individualism's sake" and who needs help from superior native thinkers - oh, and I almost forgot, "there is always one of 'Them' in these diaries and we have to 'tolerate' them or they will say the diarist is not responsive".

                What supercilious, prejudiced bullshit. And what inability to address substantive issues substantively.

                Just address the question respectfully, without hyperbole and ad hominems, and perhaps, just perhaps, we will all - myself included - learn something from the exchange.

                Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

                by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 06:32:13 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  "if their speakers don't want to speak them any (7+ / 0-)

          more?"  Hiya

          She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

          by Winter Rabbit on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 03:38:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Presumably (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mjshep, RandomActsOfReason

            if the grandparents aren't teaching it to their children, there is some reason.  How do you propose to make them start speaking languages they have stopped speaking?  I dont understand what you would have anyone do about this problem.

            I am really enjoying my stimulus package.

            by Kevvboy on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 03:43:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  One major reason in Canada (13+ / 0-)

              for the loss of native languages was that a generation of First nations children were forcibly sent to schools (usually boarding schools) where speaking their native languages was forbidden (enforced by some brutally abusive corporal punishment in some cases) and where even if they could get away with it, most of the other children were from other tribes who didn't speak the same language.

              It's my understanding that this happened to a lesser degree in the U.S. too. And for tribes who were affected by this, it's quite absurd to treat the language loss as a matter of parental "choice."

              These people - kids who grew up in the middle portion of the 20th century - are now the grandparents of today's young children. They speak only a little of their native language and were not equipped to pass it on to their children. Their children, today's parents, don't speak the language and can't pass it on, whether or not they want their kids to speak it.

              The remedy is to teach the languages in the schools.

              •  Less violently, that is how immigrants lose their (8+ / 0-)

                native language. Their children learn English in school, and the third generation can't speak the grandparents' language. That is how it went on both sides of my mother's family, though I know more about the Italian side than the Irish side.

                My great-grandparents came over from Italy, and my grandfather was (I think) their first child born in this country. He spoke English perfectly and Italian brokenly. None of his children could speak Italian at all.

                I've studied French and Spanish, and picked up a smattering of Italian from opera librettoes(!), but I will never be able to speak the language fluently. And I deeply regret that.

                If it's
                Not your body
                Then it's
                Not your choice
                AND it's
                None of your damn business!

                by TheOtherMaven on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 04:29:12 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Wasn't Ghost Dancing in part to do with language? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                kyril

                Or at least with the singing of a certain song, which is in the same family as suppressing language.  This was in the Great Plains, I believe, a heartbreaking story of the death throes of a culture, the agony bleeding out through defiant engagement in Ghost Dances.

                As for you, RoaR, since this is your thread.  I have to admit I know what you mean about a lot of things.  But there is more to this story than argument.

                It would be interesting to see what kinds of responses you had gotten if you had left off the entire diatribe predicting disaster.  Simply state your case.  Imho, the diatribe shut off respectful response from people who are not guilty of the sins you notice in others, and who would have discussed your ideas with you, even though they may still disagree.  At least it would make an interesting experience.

                Don't believe everything you think.

                by geomoo on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 05:26:41 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Lack of time, lack of resources (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              capelza, dharmafarmer, Nulwee

              Generally, these communities are in deep economic trouble.  You want to call poverty a "choice", then you're probably commenting in the wrong place.  I'm not sure if Andrew Breibart lets you comment on his site, but that's the kind of attitude you're showing.

              But by now, we know how the Obama administration deals with those who would destroy it: it goes straight for the capillaries. --Krugman

              by mbayrob on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 05:14:39 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Deeply ignorant comment (4+ / 0-)

          Some people may want to not learn, and that is their right.

          But if you had a clue about what happens in a community that is in that decline, you'd shut your damn mouth and slink away to hide a while.  Because if you did, you'd realize the kind of regret and even shame that many of these people feel.

          It's not an issue of "wanting".   It's having the opportunity to learn when these languages are not taught in schools, where communities are poor and people don't have the means to make passing on their cultural background to their children.  And where the economies of media mean that mass culture is the only kind of culture available.

          As for this garbage:

          What exactly do you propose to keep these 70 languages "alive" if their speakers don't want to speak them any more?

          I can't treat it with the deep contempt it deserves, but I welcome other folks to try.

          But by now, we know how the Obama administration deals with those who would destroy it: it goes straight for the capillaries. --Krugman

          by mbayrob on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 05:09:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'll take that challenge, (5+ / 0-)

            employing satirical paraphrase:

            What exactly do you propose to keep these 70 languages "alive" if their speakers have been starved out, shot down, set up, and killed off?

            Don't believe everything you think.

            by geomoo on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 05:31:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't think they'd get your point (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              capelza, dharmafarmer, Nulwee, geomoo, kyril

              which is why they are such fun to make fun of.

              The talk about "individual choice" as if anybody would choose to be

              starved out, shot down, set up, and killed off

              My version of this is the old line popular with my ancestors back in the old country, that if G'd said the Jews were the Chosen People, would G'd maybe choose somebody else for a change?

              But by now, we know how the Obama administration deals with those who would destroy it: it goes straight for the capillaries. --Krugman

              by mbayrob on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 05:35:43 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Interesting, if sadly predictable response (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Junior Bug, justalittlebitcrazy

        I asked, essentially, whether an individual's right to choose should be subordinated to a society's opinion about preserving ancient cultures.

        Your reaction seems to imply that your answer is yes.

        How is that any different than forcing individuals to speak a dominant language against their will?

        Where is the individual's right to choose their own language taken into account in your self-righteous narrative?

        Not only did I not "rationalize" any particular policy, but your reference to a "Final Solution" is HR worthy - even if I weren't the son of a Holocaust survivor.

        I won't HR you, but you should reflect whether your own behavior represents the values you tout.

        Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

        by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 04:01:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Without economic freedom, (14+ / 0-)

      no choice is made with liberty. Indian peoples were forced to not learn or speak their languages, until the present generation no longer has teachers, or if it does have potential resources it does not have many options in procuring security and livelihood. The neutral choice to learn somethign like one's language as a "hobby" is missing. There may not be a fluent speaker in the family, there are generation gaps, poverty and tight work conditions also are important.

      The Dawes Act and the intention of similar laws--assimilation--has gone successfully for a century through Indian peoples like a jagged knife. Most youth now live in communities where languages are a historical fetish, tongues for ceremonial but not secular use, or novelty. But to bury the language--which many Indians see as more critical to Indian identity than blood or sometimes hair--would be to side with the assimilationists, wouldn't it? It's not a choice for liberty but to cooperate in coercion.

      •  What gives you the right to negate the value (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dennisl

        of an individual's choice today?

        What makes that any different than denying them a choice in the past?

        Note your use of pejorative assumptions - "burying the language", etc. - when all I asked is, where does an individual's right to choose fit into the schema?

        If you read my comment carefully, it opened by noting the complexity of issues, and our tendency to ignore that complexity in favor of simple solutions that often stem from ideology rather than practicality - sometimes at the expense of the very people we intend to empower.

        The historical failure of efforts to impose upon others solutions "for their own good" should dictate caution when tempted by similar efforts today.

        There are benefits - both individual and collective - to common language, in human groups of all sizes. Clearly, those should be weighed against the value of maintaining distinctions.

        But, a knee-jerk, ideologically-driven impulse tends to lead to ineffective, even counter-productive policies.

        Every major city in the US is full of monolithic concrete cellblocks that are the result of well-intentioned efforts to provide housing to America's poor.

        People are complex, and their needs are complex.

        We don't have the Dawes Act in effect right now, and we should be vigilant to ensure that individuals have the maximum freedom to choose that is consistent with avoiding greater social harm.

        That freedom includes the right of young people of indigenous lineage to choose to speak, dress, and practice whatever the hell they want to and to fit in to the greater society of which they are a part in whatever way is most comfortable for them.

        If there is sufficient interest and demand by individuals to preserve a language, then we should ensure that all barriers to that preservation are removed. But we should be careful not to force people to remain distinct, who wish to become part of a greater whole.

        If you find substantive disagreement with the actual arguments made in the actual comments above, I welcome your response.

        I hope you will avoid the temptation to demonize my position and argue against straw men of your own construction.

        Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

        by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 04:15:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Individual rights? (9+ / 0-)

          It's not that you don't have reasonable points, it's that I'm not sure in which context they arise. Non-Indian children don't get to choose what they learn in school, and for next generations to be fluent in their historical languages, it would have to be education in their youth--even infancy if you're conservative in the application of the term fluency.

          The choice for an adult to use a language or not is their's.

          The Dawes Act may not be in effect now but the intention of the act--born out of an era of progressive imperialism--succeeded. It was so successful that a vast number of tribes ceased to exist after the 1950s when the Termination Act was signed by Congress after some serious lobbying and bribery at all levels. Indian policy from the 1850s-1930s influences Indian culture in profound ways even today beyond the control of the individual.

          •  How about dropping the attitude and being real? (1+ / 1-)
            Recommended by:
            dennisl
            Hidden by:
            Abra Crabcakeya

            It's not that you don't have reasonable points, it's that I'm not sure in which context they arise.

            Then, perhaps you should consider the option of directly addressing the points in the message, rather than obsessing about the secret, nefarious agenda of the messenger?

            How do you propose to address the situation of vanishing languages?

            Why is it necessarily a bad thing, since languages have vanished and morphed continuously throughout history?

            Is there any positive value to common language?

            Should individuals have the right to make a decision, for themselves and their children, regarding the language they choose to speak and learn in?

            I think these are all interesting questions, and I also think that, from a practical matter, discussing them can lead to better and more effective policies.

            Sadly, any and all attempts to bring up nuance on Daily Kos always results in frontal personal attacks and stereotypical Us vs Them hostility.

            If you presume to represent the lessons of your native culture by all this hostility, straw men and hyperbole, I'm not particularly impressed.

            Talk of Final Solutions and prejudicial comments about how us white folks with our individualism are inferior to your superior red ways are really not going to produce effective policy.

            Prejudice is just as ugly and divisive when it is manifested by a member of a minority as a majority.

            I have asked some admittedly provocative questions here. In contrast, you and others have made hostile attacks.

            I think questions are better. Assuming answers without even asking the right questions rarely produces impressive results.

            Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

            by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 05:05:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Your comments are intentionally disruptive , (6+ / 0-)

              extraordinarily rude  , and inarguably bigoted . If you are not interested in the information here why not go read something else? Arguing is a sport for fools.

              •  You have a misapprehension (0+ / 0-)

                If you are not interested in the information here why not go read something else? Arguing is a sport for fools.

                See, that is what news sites that disable comments are for.

                Discussion forums are for, um, "discussion".

                That includes people who argue different points of view.

                If you are incapable of entertaining the possibility that others with different opinions might have something to contribute to your thinking, and if you are too self-centered to be interested in the possibility that sharing your ideas might contribute to the thinking of others, then you may find yourself a bit disconcerted by the Internets.

                Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

                by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 08:59:16 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Abuse of HR, remove or be reported (0+ / 0-)

                Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

                by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 10:36:48 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Are you sure of the premise of your argument? (6+ / 0-)

          We don't have the Dawes Act in effect right now, and we should be vigilant to ensure that individuals have the maximum freedom to choose that is consistent with avoiding greater social harm.

          "We don't have the Dawes Act in effect right now...consistent with avoiding greater social harm."

          Haven't had philosophy or logic since being an undergraduate, which social philosophy are you taking your premise from (too lazy to go get the books and look them up)?

          She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

          by Winter Rabbit on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 04:25:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Being that this is Daily Kos (0+ / 0-)

            I am expressing a common principle of democratic progressive thought, that individual freedom and the greater good should be carefully balanced in a just society.

            History has shown us the error of sacrificing individual freedom in favor of collective control, and reason has taught us the error of sacrificing common interest for individual freedom.

            My philosophy seems completely consonant with the basic principles of this website.

            Attacking it through a backwards argument from authority is unpersuasive.

            It is also evasive. I asked where, and whether, an individual's right to choose fits in a discussion about preservation of native language.

            Other than accusing me of supporting a Final Solution, forced assimilation, and condescendingly telling me that my inferior white individualism makes me incapable of understanding the superior collective wisdom of the Native, I have heard no constructive response to my question.

            I'm still waiting for anything other than name-calling and bigotry in response to a simple set of thought-provoking questions.

            Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

            by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 05:12:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I expected you to cite someone like (5+ / 0-)

              Locke, Marx. You don't have one, do you? Won't feed you anymore. All you do is accuse others of making ad hominems after being given the opportunity to clearly express the basis for your views. But a lot of musicians today don't know the history of music, either.

              She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

              by Winter Rabbit on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 05:23:53 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Arguments from authority are a logical fallacy (0+ / 0-)

                "the basis for my views" - what views exactly would those be?

                I asked some questions. I was met with prejudice and personal insults, condescension and an utter lack of substantive response to my questions.

                I am told I support a "Final Solution", "forced assimilation", "individualism for the sake of individualism", and that my kind can "never understand" the superior ways of indigenous people.

                I have asked the questions again.

                I still await a respectful engagement with my questions.

                Questions are what learning is all about. Why the fear and hostility to engage respectfully in discussing questions?

                Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

                by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 07:26:01 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  While repeating nonsense endlessly (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  capelza

                  and taking yourself massively seriously, is, I suppose, better than arguing from authority.  If WR was.  Or if you had a clue what those words meant, I suppose.

                  But by now, we know how the Obama administration deals with those who would destroy it: it goes straight for the capillaries. --Krugman

                  by mbayrob on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 07:53:07 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Still no substantive comments? (0+ / 0-)

                    Just more ad hominems?

                    Why such reluctance to address any substance? Is your position so weak you can't even handle a mildly thoughtful set of questions from someone who, despite assumptions to the contrary, fundamentally in support of policies designed to effectively address the concerns articulated in this diary?

                    Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

                    by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 08:42:32 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  So, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          capelza, Tyto Alba

          do you even know the social philosophy(ies) are you taking your premise(s) from?

          She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

          by Winter Rabbit on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 05:06:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The Indian Reorganization Act may have reversed (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          capelza, Winter Rabbit, kyril, Tyto Alba

          the Dawes Act's aggressive advocacy of the allotment of tribal lands, but allotment continued long after the 1930s, and there is little momentum behind any efforts to return allotments to full tribal jurisdiction.  Therefore, the Dawes Act is still, in fact, in effect.

    •  Forced assimilation is not "free society" (11+ / 0-)

      That the cultures went bump in the night and patents from a far-away King who granted lands to Huguenots and other white whatnots does not confer superiority of culture.

      The Indian nations have sovereignty and cultural preservation on a collective level is a positive productive mechanism.

      <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

      by bronte17 on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 03:33:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So, you wish us to be trapped in the past (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mjshep

        never addressing the actual needs of people today, but rather forcing them into a model that fits your idea of addressing your guilt from evils done in the past?

        First, you compare indigenous people to endangered species of animals, then you refer to ancient history to justify overriding individual desire.

        I lived in the Middle East for 13 years, where all sides in all conflicts justify current injustice by referring to greater injustices in the ancient past.

        That is not the way to justice today.

        Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

        by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 03:57:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You are missing something here (8+ / 0-)

          "...never addressing the actual needs of people today,but rather forcing them into a model that fits your idea of addressing your guilt from evils done in the past?"

          I would re-phrase the first part to "we're never addressing the needs of actual people today."

          It's not just happening to American Indians.  As one can well see it's happening to most of us, except the American Indian is far ahead of us in decline due to the same tactics millions of other Americans are experiencing today.

          It was said by many Native American elders centuries ago, that if we allowed what is being done to them, eventually it would happen to all of us in the end.

          Our lives depend on our love for our earth, and all she gives and has given to us for milleniums. Without her support, we will not survive.

          by Tyto Alba on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 04:04:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Good point Tyto Alba! (6+ / 0-)

            Great seeing you!

            She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

            by Winter Rabbit on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 04:07:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  What, exactly is "happening" to all of us? (0+ / 0-)

            This is about native languages, the value of preserving them, and the best way to go about providing individuals with the freedom to determine their own fate.

            What tactics are being inflicted on the American people today that you find comparable to the atrocities inflicted upon American Indians in our history?

            And what does such hyperbolic flowery rhetoric have to do with the practical question of whether an individual American Indian should be as free to decide to speak English as to speak a native tongue, and whether they should have an equal opportunity to learn both?

            Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

            by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 04:22:13 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The answers to this have been pointed out (6+ / 0-)

              in several comments above.  I have better things to do than to try reasoning with you.  I can tell we're like oil and water and I don't like dispersants.

              Our lives depend on our love for our earth, and all she gives and has given to us for milleniums. Without her support, we will not survive.

              by Tyto Alba on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 04:26:06 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Ever heard of the Religious Right? (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dharmafarmer, ms badger, Tyto Alba

              Military Commissions Act? Christian militias? Christian Nationalists? Dominionists? The powers Bush had when he was in office, could do anything to anybody? Black water? Katrina? Climate change?

              She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

              by Winter Rabbit on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 04:29:14 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Comparing that to the destruction (0+ / 0-)

                of indigenous people in the Americas is as hyperbolic as those who compare those things to the Holocaust - and just as inappropriate and offensive on all counts.

                Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

                by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 04:56:49 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Do you know what the intent of the (4+ / 0-)

                  above mentioned is?

                  She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

                  by Winter Rabbit on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 05:08:23 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The sequence of comments is open for all to see (0+ / 0-)

                    You:

                    It's not just happening to American Indians.  As one can well see it's happening to most of us, except the American Indian is far ahead of us in decline due to the same tactics millions of other Americans are experiencing today.

                    It was said by many Native American elders centuries ago, that if we allowed what is being done to them, eventually it would happen to all of us in the end.

                    Me:

                    What, exactly is "happening" to all of us?

                    ...What tactics are being inflicted on the American people today that you find comparable to the atrocities inflicted upon American Indians in our history?

                    You:

                    Ever heard of the Religious Right? Military Commissions Act? Christian militias? Christian Nationalists? Dominionists? The powers Bush had when he was in office, could do anything to anybody? Black water? Katrina? Climate change?

                    Me:

                    Comparing that to the destruction of indigenous people in the Americas is as hyperbolic as those who compare those things to the Holocaust - and just as inappropriate and offensive on all counts.

                    You:

                    Do you know what the intent of the above mentioned is?

                    Certainly the intent of your comments is clear - to refuse to acknowledge any error, ever, even engaging in clear hyperbole, while refusing to substantively address any of the actual questions I posed as worth considering in the process of developing effective policy regarding native languages and culture.

                    Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

                    by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 05:18:50 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  I think you don't understand Indian culture. (12+ / 0-)

          Individualism for the sake of individualism is a disease, and the proof is in millions of Americans hungry, cold, lonely. Our ways are fortunately very much removed from that, and some of the most lasting scars today stem from attempts to force Indian families to own land in parcels or to compete with other families within the tribe.

          Civilizaiton is not meant to be a jungle but a synthesis of energies, movements, identies and aspirations.

          •  Beautifully said Nulwee! (7+ / 0-)

            She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

            by Winter Rabbit on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 04:13:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  corrections* (4+ / 0-)

            civilization, identities.

          •  I think you are personalizing an argument (0+ / 0-)

            by attacking the messenger, rather than addressing the substance of the message.

            The march of human history, particularly over the past two hundred years, shows a marked decline in the percentage of humanity that are hungry, cold and lonely.

            The persistence of those phenomena are testament to the imperfections of human systems to date, and the need to continue to improve them as we have in the past.

            Two hundred years ago, no society on the planet had an average life expectancy over 40 years.

            Today, no society on the planet has an average life expectancy under 40 years.

            Two hundred years ago, slavery was ubiquitous, legal, and acceptable.

            Today, slavery is illegal everywhere, and acceptable nowhere. Where it persists, the entire world is outraged and mobilized to eradicate it.

            Two hundred years ago, women were denied the right to vote.

            Today, women vote in all free societies.

            Two hundred years ago, the predominant experience of motherhood was burying numerous children and hoping one or two survive to work to feed the family.

            Today, a majority of mothers in the world never experience the death of their child.

            Two hundred years ago, homosexuality was outlawed and in many placed punishable by imprisonment or death.

            Today, the entire world is up in arms over the proposed anti-gay policies in Uganda.

            Two hundred years ago, indigenous people were murdered with impunity.

            Today, it would be unthinkable for a member of the family of nations - much less a free nation - to treat indigenous people the way American Indians were treated in North America.

            When Indians prospered in America, there were a few million at most living off a vast landscape. Today, there are hundreds of millions of people living on the same land. To hearken back to a Rousseau-like, pastoral Utopian past is neither practical nor healthy. Nor is it real, any more than Washington was a Christ-like child who couldn't lie.

            There is good and bad in every culture, every society, every individual. We do not serve anyone by substituting sanitized myth for messy reality.

            And to argue against individual rights, whether it is done under the pretext of State Communism or Indigenous Tradition, is no less oppressive or anachronistic.

            This is not about "individualism for the sake of individualism". I noted the complexity of human society and circumstances and, based on the misfiring of many well-intentioned imposed solutions in the past, wondered whether the individual desires of individual citizens are being taken into account.

            Whether you think it is good or evil, the fact is that if most young Indians do not wish to speak or learn in their native tongue, attempts to impose it upon them are doomed to failure - and are as unjust as attempts to force them to speak English.

            On the other hand, if there is a strong movement among young Indians to revive and preserve their native culture, including its language, then contemporary sensibilities and laws should protect their right to do so. If laws and regulations still exist that inhibit or impede that impulse, they should be changed.

            But, we should think long and hard about an eagerness to impose things upon people, whether they are our own children or someone's else's.

            Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

            by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 04:40:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  One of my favorite sayings (5+ / 0-)

              from one of the NA Leaders of old time (Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce)is this:

              It does not require many words to speak the truth.

              Our lives depend on our love for our earth, and all she gives and has given to us for milleniums. Without her support, we will not survive.

              by Tyto Alba on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 04:52:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  One of my favorite sayings (0+ / 0-)

                from my late father is this:

                When you rationally challenge people's ideological assertions, they tend to either run away or turn nasty.

                Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

                by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 04:55:08 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Try Gautama Siddharta: (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                capelza, RandomActsOfReason

                Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.

                "

                While truths can be spoken in few words, your quote can be justification for sound bites and memes, no?

                "Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied." Friar Lawrence, Romeo and Juliet

                by the fan man on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 06:25:22 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Thank you - that is a truly progressive worldview (0+ / 0-)

                  one practiced by few self-labeled "progressives" I encounter on this website.

                  More often, new ideas are treated as threats to conservative mindsets trapped in preformed assumptions and beliefs utterly immune to evidence.

                  Practical, effective policy, in my experience, is never the product of such circle jerking group think.

                  Practical, effective policy, in my experience, is nearly always the result of a willingness to explore all options - as well as all possible ways in which it may not work.

                  In general, "progress" implies a comfort with movement, change and novelty, a forward thinking embrace of complexity, diversity (including diversity of opinion) and the growing recognition that humility and inquiry are more productive values than ideological purity and condescension.

                  The prevailing sentiment on Daily Kos seems to be nostalgia for a mythical, mystical Utopian past that never was.

                  Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

                  by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 09:06:05 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  How do you support that statement? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    capelza

                    The prevailing sentiment on Daily Kos seems to be nostalgia for a mythical, mystical Utopian past that never was.

                    <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

                    by bronte17 on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 09:16:53 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You are exhibit A (0+ / 0-)

                      It is a personal observation, hence my "seems to be".

                      You exemplify this approach. Your default position when confronted with a new idea is hostility and personal insult. You desperately seek to discredit the messenger while assiduously avoiding any discussion of the message.

                      Sadly, you are not alone here. And, as weeds drive out flowers in an untended garden, so thoughtful people who welcome new ideas and delight in learning something new have been increasingly driven from this site, which has become increasingly dominated by people with your conservative approach to knowledge and discourse.

                      More and more people here are here in order to hear pleasing, ideologically supportive "information", rather than to engage in an honest exchange of ideas and shared understanding.

                      No growth occurs from surrounding oneself with people who think like oneself, by reading only things that agree with what one already believes, and by aggressively pushing away any dissenting view.

                      That is why "progressive" becomes conservative on Daily Kos.

                      Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

                      by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 09:28:09 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  And there you go... yet again... you immediately (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        capelza

                        leap to personally insulting people in your lede.

                        You browbeat before laying down your sweeping generalization.

                        Explain to me precisely what "new idea" was shared by you in the initial exchange between us?

                        <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

                        by bronte17 on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 09:38:16 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Hah. (0+ / 0-)

                          You know, I can just write your comments for you, they are so predictable.

                          The sequence of comments in this diary is a record for any to view if they choose.

                          It is easy to see what my first comment was, and what the series of initial responses to it were.

                          It is easy for any rational reviewer to see who initiated personal attacks in response to respectful questions and who responded to intellectual debate with emotional diatribes.

                          I've noted several times the significance of the question I asked and its relevance in the context of multiple discussions about cultural preservation, not just in the context of Native American language but disputes all over the world.

                          You do not see that which you do not wish to see. As I noted, your behavior is a perfect example of the conservatism I am talking about, along with others here who desperately tried to prevent even a mild question from being tolerated, for fear a dissident voice might be heard.

                          None of this was necessary. If the question I asked didn't interest you, you need not have responded at all.

                          If the question I asked didn't make sense to you, you could have asked for clarification.

                          Instead, you presumed evil motive, and focused on your stereotypical view of what someone "like me" thinks, and attacked that straw man with personal insults and attempts to discredit.

                          That is not the way a progressive behaves. That is classic conservative behavior. Fear of change, fear of exposure to new ideas, demonization of the "other", defensiveness - it is all classic manifestation of a conservative mindset.

                          You should check out Jonathan Haider TED video about liberal vs conservative thinking. It might change your perspective a little - that is, if you are prepared to be confronted with ideas that don't match your preformed rigid ideology.

                          Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

                          by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 10:11:18 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Your "significant question" was nothing that (0+ / 0-)

                            hadn't been heard or demonstrably projected into the conversation before.

                            You couldn't even put a new spin on it and instead chose to set up rhetorical flourishes as gotcha traps.

                            Good on ya for continuing to engage the community in this manner.    /not

                            <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

                            by bronte17 on Mon Aug 02, 2010 at 03:54:13 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

            •  Winter Rabbit is speaking of and for his cultural (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              capelza, RosyFinch

              heritage. The richness that is being lost every single day.

              And while you do make some salient points in your comment, you also omit alternative facts that undermine your various statements.

              And many people do resent the homogenization of cultures and food systems and lost skills and knowledge. Not to mention the loss of irretrievable resources in extinct plants and animals.

              There is always the good, bad and the ugly in the march of time. But we don't have to willingly throw away the rich cultural tapestries just because the siren call of your future is one of Spartan existentialism on a square foot of land.

              <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

              by bronte17 on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 09:14:13 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, thank goodness you don't resort to (0+ / 0-)

                straw men or hyperbole:

                we don't have to willingly throw away the rich cultural tapestries just because the siren call of your future is one of Spartan existentialism on a square foot of land.

                Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

                by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 10:38:10 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Okay... look...you are all over the place on this (6+ / 0-)

          Why do you refer to Native American culture as being "trapped in the past?" Comparatively speaking... which components of American culture are not "trapped in the past?" You are presuming a superiority of cultural models.

          And you are insistent on approaching this from your own cultural perspective of the superiority of individual desire "triumphing" over a cultural focus of collectiveness.

          Furthermore, we are not discussing the Middle East and the injustices carried forward. We are discussing the loss of culture and its conveyance through language because of violent forced assimilation and the superiority complex that can't even grasp the magnitude of that.

          And I have no guilt carried forward from evils done in the past. I'm a typical American hybrid... French Huguenot/Cherokee/Irish/Jew.

           

          <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

          by bronte17 on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 04:30:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Let's try not to personalize this and keep (0+ / 0-)

            The issues forefront in our discussion.

            Why do you refer to Native American culture as being "trapped in the past?"

            I didn't.

            Once again, you are not arguing with me, based on what I actually wrote, you are arguing caricature straw men that you prefer to engage.

            I wrote,

            you wish us to be trapped in the past never addressing the actual needs of people today

            a) I am not Native American, so when I say "us", clearly I am not referring to Native Americans;

            b) Given the specific comment of yours to which I responded, clearly "trapped in the past" refers to arguments that justify current policies based on past injustices, without addressing the efficacy or suitability or appropriateness of current policies with regard to the current people they currently effect.

            you are insistent on approaching this from your own cultural perspective of the superiority of individual desire "triumphing" over a cultural focus of collectiveness.

            Because I asked whether individual's right to choose is being considered in discussing these policies?

            If you can point to a single comment of mine - not just in this diary, but ever, anywhere on Daily Kos, in all the years I have been here - that specifically opposes a policy to help Native Americans preserve their culture, including language, I invite you to post it.

            Otherwise, I invite you to ponder why so many of your responses to the simplest of intellectual challenges are full of hostility, prejudice, stereotypes, straw men and other logical fallacies that shed no light and merely fan flames.

            Furthermore, we are not discussing the Middle East and the injustices carried forward. We are discussing the loss of culture and its conveyance through language because of violent forced assimilation and the superiority complex that can't even grasp the magnitude of that.

            And it is useful to learn from history about the consequences of obsessing about past injustices at the expense of helping people alive today, and of the complexity of human circumstances, and of the danger of simplistic, ideologically-driven solutions that are well-intentioned by produced failed and even counter-productive results.

            It is a good thing to learn from the past - isn't that the whole point of preserving cultures?

            And I have no guilt carried forward from evils done in the past. I'm a typical American hybrid... French Huguenot/Cherokee/Irish/Jew.

            Point taken. I should not have engaged in precisely the kind of assumptions and straw men I have criticized you for practicing. Apologies for that particular instance of not practicing what I preach.

            Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

            by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 04:48:36 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You consistently personalize comments (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              capelza, Fresno

              that certainly are not written as such and then you twist them. And you often entertain this behavior here.

              And, yes, historical analysis is a useful tool, yet in this instance you keep engaging in this theory of self without incorporating the cultural contexts of that self.

              <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

              by bronte17 on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 08:24:33 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I asked nonpersonalized questions (0+ / 0-)

                and was met with personal assaults - from you, first and foremost.

                Playing the victim game is boring - didn't someone here say that, bronte17?

                Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

                by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 09:00:22 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Your first comment was to go for the self (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  capelza

                  gratification route without any contextualization of that self's relationship to its larger environment / community.

                  You came into a diary that was searching and questioning how to maintain a symbiotic relationship for the rich cultural heritage that will be forever lost very shortly and you made it about the self. Now that question could have been an interesting juxtaposition in the search for answers, but your manner of insertion was off kilter. You used a sword to plow this thought of self into the heart of the diary and it wasn't necessary to use that methodology.

                  Can't seem to get that through to you though.

                  <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

                  by bronte17 on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 09:28:28 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  My first comment was this: (0+ / 0-)

                    in full:

                    Like most issues, this is more complex than ideological narrative tend to allow for.

                    In a free society, is the individual right to decide what language they want to speak taken into account? Even if that language happens not to be the one their ancestors spoke, or one that linguists deem worth preserving?

                    When does cultural preservation become counterproductive on the individual level?

                    From long experience here, I know this comment will be responded to mostly in knee-jerk fashion, according to the ideological lens of the respondent - which is unfortunate, because only by engaging in thoughtful dialog about these issues, with a humanistic emphasis on the balance between individual rights and collective interests, are effective solutions found.

                    I have found, sadly, that self-labeled "liberals" are no more interested in hearing things that challenge their preformed beliefs than conservatives are. And, that forums like these serve only to Balkanize us further, and facilitate our inclination to surround ourselves with mutually-reinforcing messages that isolate us from further intellectual and empathetic growth.

                    Note that I asked questions. I did no propose an answer, I did not make an ideological statement, I did not champion "self-gratification", I simply asked a series of questions, intended to spark interesting discussion from which I might learn something and hopefully contribute some of my own ideas. We never got to that point, because:

                    Here is the first response, in full from Winter Rabbit:

                    Thank you for citing for us perfect rationalizations of why the dominant culture thinks it is OK to finish the work of the Final Solution.  

                    That response was recced by mbayrob, dharmafarmer, Nulwee, Abra Crabcakeya, Freson, Tyto Alba - the whole assault brigade here - along with several others.

                    It was the initial response. I had not yet made a single other comment.

                    You know all about your own responses, you can review them on your own time.

                    As John Adams said, "facts are stubborn things".

                    Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

                    by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 10:18:03 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  That comment had prickly attack points (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      dharmafarmer

                      in it.

                      Yet you keep asserting the innocence of it while you smugly browbeat the posters who reacted with a negative response to it.

                      It was the manner of your presentation of the questions.

                      <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

                      by bronte17 on Mon Aug 02, 2010 at 04:02:10 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Take responsibility for your own behavior (0+ / 0-)

                        stop trying to blame others for provoking you. You have a choice regarding how you decide to interact in this forum.

                        I am perfectly happy with my original comment. In fact, my warning about the predictable response was born out to a T. Unfortunately.

                        Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

                        by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Aug 02, 2010 at 09:26:21 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  At no point have I whined about you provoking me (0+ / 0-)

                          So stop with the continuing projection.

                          In fact, it could have been a decent exercise in discussion if you weren't so smug and quick to cut people down.

                          <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

                          by bronte17 on Mon Aug 02, 2010 at 02:11:37 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Given that the first response to my comment was (0+ / 0-)

                            Thank you for citing for us perfect rationalizations of why the dominant culture thinks it is OK to finish the work of the Final Solution.

                            a response rec'd by 11 people, including all of those who proceeded to pile on, until you joined the show, your hypocritical claim that

                            it could have been a decent exercise in discussion if you weren't so smug and quick to cut people down.

                            rings a bit hollow.

                            Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

                            by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Aug 02, 2010 at 11:11:45 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Give it up (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Fresno

                            My opinion has already been stated that you led out in that opening comment with a brusqueness that diminished the possibility for developing discourse.

                            Perhaps you should write your own diary and develop the ideas there.

                            <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

                            by bronte17 on Tue Aug 03, 2010 at 04:59:47 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Perhaps I will continue to challenge lazy thinkin (0+ / 0-)

                            wherever I encounter it, and perhaps you will choose, at some point, to do the same, rather than defend the indefensible and rationalize poor behavior.

                            Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

                            by RandomActsOfReason on Tue Aug 03, 2010 at 09:53:17 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

      •  BTW, who proposed or defended "force assimilation (0+ / 0-)

        here"?

        That comment, along with the one by another here suggesting my support for a "Final Solution", are a dangerous sign of exactly the kind of blind ideological certainty that has lead to so many well-intentioned disasters of past "liberal" welfare initiatives.

        My comment simply asked where individual's right to choose their language fits into all of this.

        how you got from that to "forced assimilation" is something you might want to review.

        Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

        by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 04:19:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Native Americans have always used their (6+ / 0-)

          "individual rights" to choose their language and move between tribes and cultures. Yet, you callously subsume this individuality to predicate a loss of connectivity to the whole... to the tribe... to the well-being of all.

          And how to get to forced assimilation is a simple path. It's the only path that Native Americans had for hundreds of years. Choice wasn't a part of life.

          <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

          by bronte17 on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 04:38:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Your arguments have little to do with me (0+ / 0-)

            Native Americans have always used their "individual rights" to choose their language and move between tribes and cultures. Yet, you callously subsume this individuality to predicate a loss of connectivity to the whole... to the tribe... to the well-being of all.

            Hard to follow - on the one hand, I am condemned for preaching "individuality for the sake of individuality". On the other hand, I am condemned for "callously subsuming" Native American "individuality".

            Make up your mind.

            And stop making shit up to suit your narrative. I haven't presented a position on policy at all - I have merely suggested that, as we consider policy, we match the complexity of the human condition with solutions that address that complexity, and don't force everyone into a single box "for their own good".

            And how to get to forced assimilation is a simple path. It's the only path that Native Americans had for hundreds of years. Choice wasn't a part of life.

            What does that have to do with your response to my suggestion that individual's right to choose be part of the equation to an endorsement of forced assimilation today?

            Your arguments have little to do with me. You seem to be using me just as an excuse to spout your dogma, and have decided to label and box me as an "enemy" according to your own prejudicial stereotypes.

            Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

            by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 04:53:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  What do you mean - (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bronte17, capelza, Fresno, Tyto Alba

              "as we consider policy"?  The tribes are sovereign and have the right to decide for themselves their own policy.

              What you believe determines what you can observe. Einstein

              by dharmafarmer on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 05:42:16 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Forgive me for including all people (0+ / 0-)

                and addressing all humans equally, as opposed to insisting on judging others by their tribe.

                I have merely suggested that, as we consider policy, we match the complexity of the human condition with solutions that address that complexity, and don't force everyone into a single box "for their own good".

                It is the collective we, referring to any humans in any free society as we contemplate how to develop and institute policies that promote a just society.

                A diary posted here is open to discussion here. It is not a private forum for one tribe or a set of tribes.

                If you are not interested in hearing ideas that are not 100% in lock-step with your own, I suggest you may be a bit unhappy on Daily Kos.

                Why the fear and hostility toward thoughtful questions?

                Why the assumptions of ill-will and the stereotyping?

                I just asked some questions - which no one has yet addressed substantively in a single comment in this diary.

                Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

                by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 07:29:14 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  There's Locke again, with your appeal to (0+ / 0-)

                  universal human rights and your disregard of communal rights.  You're arguing from authority without citing your source.

                  •  You need to read up on "argument from authority" (0+ / 0-)

                    You use the term without understanding it.

                    You present no counter argument.

                    Finally, you join the chorus avoiding addressing the substantive questions in any way.

                    Are they really so scary to consider?

                    Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

                    by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 08:41:02 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Focusing on individual rights and an individual's (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      dharmafarmer

                      right to choose which language he or she would like to learn is an argument from authority -- namely, Locke's authority, in this case, though you don't name him.  If you want to ask questions or make a logical argument based on a presumption of the role of individual choice and treating all humans equally, I think you should acknowledge that you are drawing not on empirically established fact but on Locke and other Enlightenment thinkers, and that you share the general assumptions of Western European culture, including particular and specific definitions of such notions as liberty and property.

                      Meanwhile, what of a community's right to perpetuate its own language, to set its own educational standards?  

                      •  What of it? (0+ / 0-)

                        I neither focused on individual rights nor dismissed community rights.

                        I asked what place individual freedom to choose has and/or should have in such a discussion.

                        Which, as I have noted, is central to the question with regard to many of the most heated controversies regarding cultural preservation around the world.

                        Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

                        by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 09:13:30 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Okay, cool. Now, since no one here is suggesting (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          capelza, dharmafarmer

                          that anyone should be prevented from learning any languages, or that any Indigenous person must speak an Indigenous language to the exclusion of any other languages, I guess the discussion has reached a resolution.

                          •  The discussion went nowhere (0+ / 0-)

                            no new light was shed, no constructive suggestions made, no reference to questions unaddressed.

                            Only a bunch of gratuitous personal assaults, ugly prejudicial assumptions, divisive "with us or against us" thinking.

                            If you think the status quo is an achievement, you just reinforce my observation that the dominant culture on Daily Kos is conservatism and fear of change.

                            How do you recommend translating all that empty proclamation of good will into actual, practical policy that will result in the survival of endangered Native American languages?

                            Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

                            by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 11:26:38 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Well, good teachers know how to ask questions (0+ / 0-)

                            that will lead somewhere -- not trivial, moot, intentionally provocative questions about efforts to sustain culture that somehow curtail individual freedom.  

                          •  Clearly, the choice to gratuitously insult (0+ / 0-)

                            is the fault of the insulted.

                            The contortions which folks will undergo to avoid taking any responsibility for their own words are remarkable. You now suggest that intemperate, inappropriate outbursts are not the fault of the person uttering them.

                            I reposted my original comment in full, along with the first response to it, which invoked a "Final Solution". A comment you rec'd, right off the bat.  

                            The rest of the group-think hysteria is on the record for all to see.

                            Your comment is, frankly, laughable, and if you had a bit of perspective, you'd be embarrassed to be making it.

                            Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

                            by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Aug 02, 2010 at 09:25:03 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Look, you started with gratuitous insults by (3+ / 0-)

                            predicting knee-jerk responses by self-labeled liberals.  You can't simply retreat to a less-insulting-than-thou attitude now.

                            The idea that a comment about individual rights in a diary focused on an Indigenous community's right to sustain its language would not provoke strong reactions is laughable.  Winter Rabbit correctly recognized your comment as a typical rationalization for cultural genocide.  Meanwhile, you choose to disregard (or remain ignorant of) a highly relevant history that you term "ancient."  The past is past, let's move on, is that what you're saying?  I don't believe you have responded fully to my characterization of your ideological motives, nor to my correction of your claim that the Dawes Act is no longer in effect.

                          •  There is a critical distinction (0+ / 0-)

                            between insulting a set of responses by those holding a common attitude, and personally and directly insulting an individual.

                            If you don't understand the distinction between one saying to another, "conservatives are anti-poor" and saying, "you hate poor people", then there is little I can do to raise your consciousness.

                            The idea that a comment about individual rights in a diary focused on an Indigenous community's right to sustain its language would not provoke strong reactions is laughable.  

                            Why? Given that the tension between individual and community rights is at the heart of virtually all ongoing cultural conflicts in the world today - including conflicts involving First Nation children in Canadian schools, among other examples I provided, why would it be "laughable"?

                            Also, given the historical failure of various well-intentioned efforts to address historical iniquities, many of which failed because of ignoring individual preferences and behavior, why would it be "laughable"?

                            Finally, given that I talked about a "balance" between individual and community rights, and questioned what the best balance would be in this case, why would it be "laughable", and why would the presumption be that I was "rationalizing cultural genocide?"

                            Finally, where did I say "the past is past, let's move on"? I asked questions I have thought about, and that I think are worth thinking about - is the need to preserve older cultures universal? Is cultural shift always a matter of losing value, or is new value created - and is this new value worth "preserving"? What are the criteria by which we decide which cultures we should devote taxpayer's resources to help preserve, and which are lower on the list? What is the value proposition behind preserving a language?

                            I finally got a substantive comment on that last question, which illustrated the value by reference to Gaelic culture in Ireland.

                            Why are these either laughable or hostile questions to ask?

                            Why is any asking of a question more dangerous than assuming an answer?

                            Isn't challenging assumptions and asking question a fundamental liberal value?

                            Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

                            by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Aug 02, 2010 at 12:48:25 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The United States is obligated to sustain Native (0+ / 0-)

                            languages under the terms of the federal trust relationship, generally, and under the terms of the Native American Languages Act (NALA) of 1990, specifically:

                            The Congress finds that--

                            (1) the status of the cultures and languages of Native Americans is unique and the United States has the responsibility to act together with Native Americans to ensure the survival of these unique cultures and languages;

                            (2) special status is accorded Native Americans in the United States, a status that recognizes distinct cultural and political rights, including the right to continue separate identities;

                             A careful reading of NALA (it's not a long document) should adequately address many of your questions.

                            The reason that asking pointedly about individual rights would raise red flags in this context is that the goal of so much previous policy has been to kill the Indian, and save the man:

                            to release these people from their tribal relations and to bring them individually into the capacity and freedom of citizens.

                            I hope it's not too much of a stretch to see that those who are familiar with the history see strident talk of individual-freedom-as-a-universal-good as dangerously close to advocating the termination of tribes, killing Indians as Indians, cultural genocide.  Freedom to learn a language is one thing.  Provocative talk of freedom from tribes is another thing entirely.

                            I have to sign off again for a while, but before I go, one more request: please provide evidence and cite your sources for your claim that

                            [many] well-intentioned efforts to address historical iniquities... failed because of ignoring individual preferences and behavior

                            keeping in mind that the word "many" makes your claim a quantitative one.

                          •  When you can respond without straw men (0+ / 0-)

                            and hyperbole, we'll continue the conversation.

                            I hope it's not too much of a stretch to see that those who are familiar with the history see strident talk of individual-freedom-as-a-universal-good as dangerously close to advocating the termination of tribes, killing Indians as Indians, cultural genocide.  Freedom to learn a language is one thing.  Provocative talk of freedom from tribes is another thing entirely.

                            "Strident talk".

                            "individual-freedom-as-a-universal-good"

                            "dangerously close to advocating the termination...killing, genocide"

                            "provocative talk of freedom from tribes"

                            This is your description of a comment that stated:

                            Like most issues, this is more complex than ideological narrative tend to allow for.

                            In a free society, is the individual right to decide what language they want to speak taken into account? Even if that language happens not to be the one their ancestors spoke, or one that linguists deem worth preserving?

                            When does cultural preservation become counterproductive on the individual level?

                            From long experience here, I know this comment will be responded to mostly in knee-jerk fashion, according to the ideological lens of the respondent - which is unfortunate, because only by engaging in thoughtful dialog about these issues, with a humanistic emphasis on the balance between individual rights and collective interests, are effective solutions found.

                            To which the first response - from the diarist - was

                            Thank you for citing for us perfect rationalizations of why the dominant culture thinks it is OK to finish the work of the Final Solution.  

                            A comment you rec'd right off the bat.

                            You'll note the utter absence from my comment of any of the things you accuse me of stating or even implying.

                            You manifest no interest in participating in a discussion forum. You demonstrate no inherent respect for other people. Your behavior suggests an intent to exploit this platform to vent your hostility, and then try to cover up your inappropriate behavior with dishonest mischaracterizations, rather than own up to your own intemperate bullshit.

                            Shame on you - not for acting like a thoughtless idiot when you are clearly capable of more, but for not having the integrity to admit it.

                            Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

                            by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Aug 02, 2010 at 11:10:15 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I stand by my recommendation of that comment and (0+ / 0-)

                            note your continuing unwillingness to consider answers to your inquiries.

                          •  What answers? (0+ / 0-)

                            I have seen no answers to the question of whether and how individual rights should be balanced with community interests.

                            I have seen no answers to the question of whether all endangered languages are equally worthy of preservation, and why - and, if not, what criteria should we choose to judge which languages we should focus to preserve.

                            I have seen no answers to the question of whether cultural change, which has occurred throughout human history, inevitably involves loss of value and the replacement of good by bad, or whether there may be any value to new cultures and/or the values they espouse.

                            In my experience, one of the most useful and productive questions to ask when one is presented with a proposed solution to a stated problem is to ask, "why?"

                            Checking our assumptions is a way of ensuring that we are choosing the most effective path, one that will actually make a difference.

                            Examining the efficacy or failure of previous attempts to solve similar solutions is another proven technique to increase the odds of success.

                            In my experience, ignoring individual preferences and tendencies in promulgating policy is a guaranteed path to failure.

                            Good intentions do not make good policy. Strong convictions do not make good policy. Most of all, rage-driven reactionary behavior does not lead to good policy.

                            Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

                            by RandomActsOfReason on Tue Aug 03, 2010 at 09:59:58 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  To reiterate the responses you have already (0+ / 0-)

                            received:

                            I have seen no answers to the question of whether and how individual rights should be balanced with community interests.

                            A moot question. No one is insisting that any individual must learn a language or that they cannot learn any particular languages. The point is to revitalize and sustain language and culture -- there is no conflict between individual rights and community interests in such an endeavor.

                            I have seen no answers to the question of whether all endangered languages are equally worthy of preservation, and why - and, if not, what criteria should we choose to judge which languages we should focus to preserve.

                            Moot question.  Read NALA.  The United States has a federal trust responsibility to Native American tribes and a statutory responsibility to help revitalize Native American languages. If you feel this is somehow inequitable or that these languages are unworthy of "preservation" (a word that misses the mark -- I prefer revitalization), then you are welcome to work to repeal over two hundred years of settled law and policy.

                            I have seen no answers to the question of whether cultural change, which has occurred throughout human history, inevitably involves loss of value and the replacement of good by bad, or whether there may be any value to new cultures and/or the values they espouse.

                            Moot question.  Revitalizing a language does not involve an either/or choice between the old and the new.

                            In my experience, ignoring individual preferences and tendencies in promulgating policy is a guaranteed path to failure.

                             You have deleted the word "many" from this claim and backtracked to cite only your experience, but I am still waiting for your quantitative evidence to support the claim.

                          •  There are endangered cultures and languages (0+ / 0-)

                            all over the world. There are success stories - such as Gaelic, as already noted here by another - and failures.

                            You are still intent on proving ill intent on my part. You are still interested in "exposing" a supposed advocate of "cultural genocide", "murdering Indians" and a "Final Solution".

                            I feel sad for someone so caught up in hatred, rage - and their own ego - that they care only about "winning" an argument on the Internet, not about engaging in thoughtful discussions about how to develop effective policies, on a site that is all about effective politics and policies.

                            All the things you call "moot questions" are moot only to one utterly disinterested in working with others to achieve actual progress, and obsessively interested in opposition and protest.

                            I already noted several examples where well-intentioned liberal programs went awry. Anyone living in a big city can see the concrete cellblocks that were supposed to pass for "welfare apartments", that neglected the human need to feel pride of ownership - which helps ensure that residents maintain collective property - the need for expressions of individuality that distinguish one family's home from another, the freedom to develop some greens and gardens to bring some humanity to oceans of concrete, and many more design disasters that have resulted in many of these hulking monstrosities becoming abandoned cesspools of criminal activity.

                            Much of the reason Native American cultures are in such distress is the result of well-intentioned policies, meant to address past iniquities, which only exacerbated the situation, because they failed to build in affordances for simple things, the kind of things discussion of which you consider "moot questions".

                            I have not backtracked on anything, but I am not the subject of this discussion - at least, I shouldn't be.

                            I introduced some questions that I think interesting, and that in my experience are important in promulgating policy.

                            You, and others, had three choices regarding how to respond:

                            1. if you think all my questions are "moot" and uninteresting, you could simply have chosen not to reply;
                            1. if you weren't sure what my intent was, or the questions confused you, you could have asked - rather than assume bad intent;
                            1. if the questions interested you and you thought them relevant, you could have responded.

                            Instead, you assaulted, and you continue in an ardent effort to discredit me in a logically fallacious attack on the messenger that has nothing to do with the message.

                            Your "moot question" routine is a rather naive approach to policy intended to address complex issues that have failed to respond to previous efforts at solutions.

                            It is also a very parochial approach to broad questions I asked. I didn't ask if a particular Native American tribe's culture was important to preserve; I asked what the general criteria are by which we make such determinations.

                            I didn't suggest that modern American culture is superior to endangered Native American cultures; I asked whether the issue of old culture vs new, in general, were not a little more complex than either-or, and whether there was ever anything positive in the new.

                            In short, I raised what, in a less hysterical, militant and antagonistic forum, would be considered interesting questions that might be helpful in considering policy development.

                            You can continue with the ad hominems until the cows go home. All they demonstrate is that your approach to dialog here is that of a video game addict, obsessed with "defeating" an "opponent", rather than sharing in exploration potentially leading to greater understanding.

                            It is very sad, this inability to let go of the hostility and the mud slinging. It is unproductive, demeaning, hurtful and basically just sad.

                            Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

                            by RandomActsOfReason on Tue Aug 03, 2010 at 09:41:54 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Oh, I don't know. I think if I had engaged in an (0+ / 0-)

                            ad hominem argument I might have accused you of being hysterical, egotistical, obsessed with winning, or full of hatred, rage, hostility, militance, or antagonism -- or of being a video game addict.  Instead, I stuck to the issues and pointed out that your questions were irrelevant to the discussion at hand.  I also offered some reasons as to why your questions and comments evoked the responses they have evoked.  My criticisms are focused on the message, not the messenger.

                            And I don't agree with your characterization of my approach as parochial.  You can wonder what general criteria to use to determine which cultures to "preserve" (again, this is the wrong word), but that topic is irrelevant to the topic of the diary -- namely, the responsibility of the United States to take action in collaboration with local communities to prevent the extinction of dozens of Native American languages.

                          •  Oh, and regarding this: (0+ / 0-)

                            In my experience, one of the most useful and productive questions to ask when one is presented with a proposed solution to a stated problem is to ask, "why?"

                            The quality of the reception of a question is highly correlated with how that question is asked.

                          •  There is a certain responsibility (0+ / 0-)

                            yes, individual responsibility, as evil as that word is portrayed here, on the part of respondents.

                            You choose how to respond. You choose to assume ill will. You choose to respond aggressively. You chose to focus on attacking the messenger.

                            You don't avoid responsibility for your response - particularly after I have repeatedly and exhaustively explained that no ill will was intended, and attempted to correct any misconceptions about my alleged support for "cultural genocide", "Final Solutions" and "killing Indians".

                            Really. You are going to defend that kind of behavior by blaming the target of such absurdly over-the-top hyperbole?

                            Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

                            by RandomActsOfReason on Tue Aug 03, 2010 at 09:44:37 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  If you are referring to the diarist's response to (0+ / 0-)

                            your initial comment, note that Winter Rabbit thanked you for citing a common rationalization among the dominant culture.  I don't see an assumption of ill will there, nor an allegation of your personal support for cultural genocide.  Previously, I have offered some reasons as to why your words may have raised some red flags with many of your respondents here -- reasons tied to the historical context of colonization and the forced-assimilation policies of the Dawes Act and Indian boarding schools.  These are events not of ancient history but of continuing effects and significance.

                          •  Wow (0+ / 0-)

                            Winter Rabbit thanked you for citing a common rationalization among the dominant culture.  I don't see an assumption of ill will there, nor an allegation of your personal support for cultural genocide.

                            Now we have strayed from the realm of personal opinion and different perspectives, to outright lies and foolish attempts a historical revisionism - foolish, because on the Internet the original content is clearly visible, in sequence, for all to see.

                            We're done.

                            Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

                            by RandomActsOfReason on Wed Aug 04, 2010 at 11:21:20 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Very good. (0+ / 0-)

                            In reviewing the entire thread I am pleased with what I have written -- no lies or historical revisionism here.

                            Yes, we are done.

                •  Why do you assume (0+ / 0-)

                  my response is couched in fear or hostility when I have merely made a declarative statement that acknowledges the law?  Do you understand sovereignty?  We have no right, legal or otherwise, to "develop and institute policies" for the Tribal Nations.

                  What you believe determines what you can observe. Einstein

                  by dharmafarmer on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 08:50:42 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I asked whether (0+ / 0-)

                    individual right of choice should have any role in discussions leading to determining of policy regarding language preservation.

                    Contrary to your claim, several here have claimed that the discussion is broader than just Native American tribes. You might want to read the entire collection of comments in the diary before making such assertions.

                    Also contrary to your claim, I did not imply that "we" (whoever you assume "we" to be) have any right, legal or otherwise, to "develop and institute policies" for the Tribal Nations. In fact, it is others here who have claimed that one may not even discuss the notion of individual choice because the policies developed and instituted by others have so constrained tribal choices that such discussion of choice is, apparently obscene.

                    Of course, this line of argument happens to favor those who promote a particular ideology - which you have not chosen to comment about - that favors the collective over the individual, and, of course, this line of argument is by no means universally held by all Native Americans or Native tribes.

                    But, then, you haven't noted the fact that a few commenters here claim to speak for all Tribal Nations, even while it is clear they speak their own individual mind, and hardly clear each and every hostile insult with a council of Elders.

                    In short, this is all childish and silly, when we could be discussing meaningful issues that materially affect meaningful policies - such as the question of individual choice vs collective interest with regard to preservation of endangered cultures.

                    Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

                    by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 09:24:17 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  If they are sovereign, and the opinions and (0+ / 0-)

                policies of others make no difference, then what is the problem?

                Of course, that flies in the face of all the other arguments here that the lack of freedom of tribes to choose makes any discussion of choice obscene.

                Why don't you address the actual question - should individual choice be considered as part of the array of considerations that result in policy for language preservation?

                The unusual fear of engaging in a discussion about this issue, and the almost universal response to discredit the messenger, could be considered telling in and of itself.

                Fortunately, unlike the majority here, I don't presume to generalize about entire groups of people based on the poor behavior of a handful of strident yellers who claim to represent the whole.

                Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

                by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 09:18:51 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  You did, by treating another culture as obsolete (6+ / 0-)

          You may, for whatever reason, assume that the majority culture of the moment (which is all it is, in the scheme of things) is somehow more advanced.  Which is precisely what you're doing, BTW.

          As for

          dangerous sign of exactly the kind of blind ideological certainty that has lead to so many well-intentioned disasters of past "liberal" welfare initiatives.

          WTF?

          I'm not an indian, (or Native American, for folks that prefer that), but I know enough of their history of the last five hundred years to appreciate that peoples that have maintained their cultural distinctiveness have done much better than the people who were assimilated into both cultural and economic policy.  Which was done by whites who were, to paraphrase, blindly ideologically certain, who by suppressing native cultures created well-intentioned disasters of the communities they dominated.

          The worse kind of ignorance is done by folks who see themselves as "reasonable".  You have that kind of ignorance.  Lose it.

          But by now, we know how the Obama administration deals with those who would destroy it: it goes straight for the capillaries. --Krugman

          by mbayrob on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 05:25:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And where, exactly, did I make such an assumption (0+ / 0-)

            You did, by treating another culture as obsolete

            Please link to a comment of mine supporting that accusation.

            You may, for whatever reason, assume that the majority culture of the moment (which is all it is, in the scheme of things) is somehow more advanced.

            Again, please point to a comment of mine supporting that accusation.

            On the other hand, I can point to this comment by the diarist:

            I think you don't understand Indian culture.

            Individualism for the sake of individualism is a disease, and the proof is in millions of Americans hungry, cold, lonely. Our ways are fortunately very much removed from that, and some of the most lasting scars today stem from attempts to force Indian families to own land in parcels or to compete with other families within the tribe.

            Which is a pretty clear assertion of cultural superiority.

            Then there is this snide side exchange between the diarist and a kindred spirit:

            Don't take it too hard, Winter Rabbit there's a couple of them in every NA diary.  I feel sorry for them.  They don't know the history, and our government has done all it can to destroy as much of it as possible.

            Thanks.

            I know, but if I don't respond then it's "the diarist isn't responding" kind of stuff. I ignore it when I can.

            And then your final grenade:

            Which was done by whites who were, to paraphrase, blindly ideologically certain, who by suppressing native cultures created well-intentioned disasters of the communities they dominated.

            The worse kind of ignorance is done by folks who see themselves as "reasonable".  You have that kind of ignorance.  Lose it.

            Well, thank goodness you don't resort to the kind of straw men, stereotyping and condescension so clearly manifest in other comments here.

            The tension between individual freedom and communal interests is at the heart of many contentious debates over cultural preservation around the world, whether regarding bans on Muslim veils or the allowable length of Native children's hair in school or the battle between French and English in Quebec or anti-vaccine culture in the US or clitoral mutilation in Africa or any number of cases around the world.

            It is neither a phony nor an "imperialist" issue, it is an issue that deserves consideration.

            Not only on basic ethical, principled, grounds, but on purely practical grounds.

            There are many examples, of which you seem unaware, of well-intentioned initiatives that have gone awry by ignoring the behavior and priorities of individuals.

            Whether it is building housing for the homeless that no one wants to live in because it was built like a nest of cement cellblocks rather than a livable environment in which a family can feel pride of ownership, or whether it is enforced assimilation out of a misguided attempt to "improve" the natives, or whether it is a ban on Muslim women wearing a veil - even though some freely choose to do so, not out of subservience to men but out of cultural pride - these are complex issues worth addressing.

            The choice to immediately label me a White Devil Hitler equivalent seeking to wipe out indigenous distinctions is unfortunate. Not because I won't sleep at night as a result of a few bigoted idiots who think with their ass instead of their head, I've been online since before there was a Web, nothing here compares to the ugliness of Usenet, believe me. No, it is unfortunate because ALL of us - myself included - were robbed of the opportunity to explore and collectively learn from shared individual experience.

            That could have been a perfect example of finding a happy medium between the two - as I noted in my very first comment, the one so horrible it evoked a first comment in response suggesting my support for a "Final Solution":

            only by engaging in thoughtful dialog about these issues, with a humanistic emphasis on the balance between individual rights and collective interests, are effective solutions found.

            Oh my, the horror. How could I say such a terrible thing!!!

            Sadly, the prediction I made in the first part of that sentence was born out 100%:

            From long experience here, I know this comment will be responded to mostly in knee-jerk fashion, according to the ideological lens of the respondent

            Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

            by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 10:57:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  What's so good about a loss of culture? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      capelza, dharmafarmer, Fresno, Tyto Alba

      People do have the right to choose what they speak.  But people who talk about the virtues of the "melting pot" assume there is some advantage or superiority of the majority culture.

      When you say

      From long experience here, I know this comment will be responded to mostly in knee-jerk fashion, according to the ideological lens of the respondent

      you're basically asking for abuse, because frankly, you merit abuse.  There is nothing particularly laudable about saying

      engaging in thoughtful dialog about these issues, with a humanistic emphasis on the balance between individual rights and collective interests

      Thoughtful, exactly, how?

      You, perhaps, have chosen to abandon your own background or history, I am guessing, since yours is the stance of people who do exactly that.  It's your right.  But not one I think of which you really should be proud, if that's what's bringing you to this conversation.

      Respect for others implies a respect for their history, view of the world, and  culture, even where you may disagree with many parts of their approach to the world.  But cultural majoritarianism is not something that take much courage or requires much respect.

      Even if you're trying to tell yourself it does.

      But by now, we know how the Obama administration deals with those who would destroy it: it goes straight for the capillaries. --Krugman

      by mbayrob on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 05:04:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  what exactly is so horrifying about calling for (0+ / 0-)

        engaging in thoughtful dialog about these issues, with a humanistic emphasis on the balance between individual rights and collective interests?

        How does a "balance" equate in your mind to "abandoning your own background or history".

        And why do you engage, first and foremost, in "guessing" about the heritage, background, ideology and motives of another human being, rather than simply listening to what they say, and responding to it?

        How do your comments in any way, shape or form reflect "respect for others"?

        You're like Andy Breibart calling his victims racist.  

        Is that your idea of:

        Respect for others implies a respect for their history, view of the world, and  culture, even where you may disagree with many parts of their approach to the world

        Or is this what you mean:

        Sounds like a great deal of ideological, glibertarian self abuse to me.

        Or, is this how you express your "respect for others":
        You're not a serious person, and worse, you seem to lack the insight to realize how laughable that makes you.

        Or, this:

        Go find some other place to play with yourself so folks that actually have something interesting to say can discuss a serious issue with frivolous folks like yourself interfering.

        Or, this:
        He doesn't think this is the right room for an argument.

        He think's that's down the hall, and that this is Abuse

        Or, this:

        There's nothing more elitist that prescribing cultural assimilation to cultural and ethnic minorities.

        Or, this:

        You want to call poverty a "choice", then you're probably commenting in the wrong place.  I'm not sure if Andrew Breibart lets you comment on his site, but that's the kind of attitude you're showing.

        Or, is this your notion of "respect for other people":

        if you had a clue about what happens in a community that is in that decline, you'd shut your damn mouth and slink away to hide a while.

        Or, this:

        I don't think they'd get your point which is why they are such fun to make fun of.

        So, please, enlighten me, since you are an authority on "respect for others" and how it "implies a respect for their history, view of the world, and culture, even where you may disagree with many parts of their approach to the world".

        How is:

        engaging in thoughtful dialog about these issues, with a humanistic emphasis on the balance between individual rights and collective interests?

        Profoundly insulting and disrespectful, while all your comments, quoted above, represent the pinnacle of "respect for others"?

        Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

        by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 11:07:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I appreciate your questions. Here's what I think (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      capelza, Tyto Alba

      In a free society, is the individual right to decide what language they want to speak taken into account? Even if that language happens not to be the one their ancestors spoke, or one that linguists deem worth preserving?

      I'm not sure that's it's so much a question of whether or not people want to speak the language, but is the language able to be effectively taught given the resources available.  I'm sure you've come across people who despite being born to English speaking parents and being raised in an English speaking environment have had little decent education and are barely able to speak coherently, let alone write a business letter, poem, or story.  So, in that case, it isn't that this person doesn't want to speak English, but that their skills are so incredibly poor.

      In the case of tribal education, no one disagrees that English is absolutely essential and it is my understanding that classes that most, if not all, Native American  children are taught in English and are taught English as a subject.  In order for a tribe to also teach their own language, they need additional class time to teach that IN ADDITION TO the full day of courses that all American children would receive (reading, social studies, math, etc.).  On top of that, you need things like textbooks.  A textbook for an English course is a profitable venture because there is a customer base of millions.  That size of a market isn't there for an elementary school level textbook on an indigenous language. While there are certainly still people who speak most of these languages fluently, it is unlikely that they also have a grasp of educational theory that would allow them to successfully undertake such a massive project as a good language textbook.  The assistance of professionals is needed and this assistance is needed anew in each of the languages.  

      •  You don't need a textbook (0+ / 0-)

        to teach a language to K-3 kids. You just need a native speaker. And once you've taught one group of kids, they can go on to teach others.

        But you need to spend more than an hour or two a day doing it. And the teacher needs to be paid.

    •  You went wrong from line 2 (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dharmafarmer, kyril, Fresno

      "In a free society..."

      But the Native Americans have had very little experience with a "free society" in their interactions with the white man. Their choices have always been drastically limited and often completely coerced (abduction and forcible indoctrination at "Indian schools", for a relatively mild(!) example).

      A choice that is not free is no choice at all. And that goes for learning languages just as much as it does for everything else.

      Also, once IN the hole, you just kept digging.

      If it's
      Not your body
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      AND it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 07:06:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  individual free will (0+ / 0-)

      You asked,
      When does cultural preservation become counterproductive on the individual level?

      I ask,
      When does environmental destruction become productive on the individual level?

      Are these economic questions?

      I'm not at all sure that encouraging people to study and use traditional languages is a bad idea.  

      The use of more than one language is the mark of an educated and sensitive human to me.  There is marvelous literature in many languages and we, as a species, will be poorer if we ignore that literature.

      "You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them." [Ray Bradbury]

      by RosyFinch on Mon Aug 02, 2010 at 09:25:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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