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

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  •  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 ]

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