Just make sure you choose your starting attributes wisely

I still think this is a useful way of getting privileged people (particularly young privileged people) to grasp that, despite whatever challenges they do face in their lives, it’s still a hell of a lot easier than for those from marginalised groups: “Straight White Male: The Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is“.

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44 responses to “Just make sure you choose your starting attributes wisely

  1. Splatterbottom

    Simplistic and hopelessly out of date. These days you get loads of bonus points and special weapons for being a member of a designated victim group. The big losers are straight white males who get none whatsoever.

    Generally people get ahead, or not, based on their behaviour. Take the Jews. They have probably faced more discrimination over a much longer time than any other group. It wasn’t handouts or anti-discrimination laws that allowed them to succeed, nor was it whining and bleating or playing on the consciences of the pants-wetting left. They improved their position in the world by education, thrift and hard work.

    The worst possible thing you can do for a person or group is to sell them the victimhood narrative.

  2. These days you get loads of bonus points and special weapons for being a member of a designated victim group.

    Nice try. More like you get the occasional health pack but it doesn’t in any way make up for the fact that the straight white guy on easy gets armour.

    The worst possible thing you can do for a person or group is to sell them the victimhood narrative.

    No, leaving them to wallow in disadvantage is the worst thing you can do. It’s all very well to look at a poor person working two jobs to stay alive and say “well you should go do a course and better yourself! As if you had parents to support you while studying a degree like privileged kids!” – but it’s hardly constructive or fair.

  3. Splatterbottom

    Having a program based on the holy trinity of race/class/gender is utterly stupid. Having a program to provide assistance to those individuals who have a real need for it, regardless of race/class/gender at least makes some sense.

  4. These days you get loads of bonus points and special weapons for being a member of a designated victim group. The big losers are straight white males who get none whatsoever.

    Yes, it’s so tough being a white male these days, isn’t it? I bet you wish you weren’t one.

    The worst possible thing you can do for a person or group is to sell them the victimhood narrative.

    Like, say, by describing them as “big losers” who “get none whatsoever”.

  5. Gotta love the “wah poor me!” irony of SBs statements about victimhood.

  6. uniquerhys

    SB: These days you get loads of bonus points and special weapons for being a member of a designated victim group.

    Yeah, we give them a +5 shield and a +2 potion of invulnerability, good against attacks from pointy sticks, while Straight White Males are born with RPG’s attached to each arm and a copy of the cheat code for unlimited ammo. It’s totally unfair to SWM’s! We gave these politically correct prima donnas shields and potions, and yet they still complain! What’s next? Concrete bunkers for them to hide in away from the RPG shells? Nanny state, I tell you!

  7. narcoticmusing

    At the risk of exposing my gaming habit: A possibly more apt analogy is that the SWMs were all allowed to level their characters to max in Beta. Then when everyone else came online, they could only PVE but SWMs could PVP. Now everyone else has been permitted to PVP, they are still noobs vs elite PVPers.

  8. duncan1978

    I’m going to take SB’s bait.

    Sorry ;)

    “It wasn’t handouts or anti-discrimination laws that allowed them to succeed, nor was it whining and bleating or playing on the consciences of the pants-wetting left.”

    In that case i assume you’ve never heard of the Jewish Anti Defamation League. Y’know, that litigious bunch who’s “whining and bleating” and threats of legal action have stifled “free speech” (the News Ltd kind of free speech, not the real kind) for nearly 100 years?

    “They improved their position in the world by education, thrift and hard work.”

    I thought it was their relentless campaign of murder directed at British soldiers and officials, United Nations personnel and Palestinian Arab civilians? Oh, and terrorist attacks on domestic, commercial and government infrastructure targets.

    I suppose murdering British soldiers, the theft of farmland and the planning of terrorist attacks COULD be regarded as hard work, and i guess bomb making and small unit tactics DO take a reasonable amount of education.

    Not sure about the thrift though.

    On the topic of handouts though, what do you call being given the British Mandate of Palestine? I mean, its no “plasma tv”, but its not bad. Unless, them having won it through all that “hard work and education”, you don’t consider it a handout?

  9. Splatterbottom

    I’m at a bit of a disadvantage on the games thing as the only games I play are Hearts and Zuma.

    As usual, my position is a moderate one. I have no objection to needs-based assistance within reasonable limits. I do object to the victim studies analysis of society that doles out rewards on the basis of race, gender or any other group distinction. The whole notion that if you are a straight white male you necessarily have a privileged start in life is both divisive and stupid.

    Duncan, you have really jumped the shark with that idiotic racist screed. Get a grip, man. You sound as deluded as Craig Thomson.

  10. I’ve ignored this blog for a couple of years because all I ever saw here was this smug, self-satisfied git SB endlessly opining about leftist-Stalinists being responsible for all the ills of the world, and how they could all be fixed if only everyone would take off their ideological blinkers and receive the blinding revelation of Catholic libertarian Thatcherite moderate centrist common sense.

    It hasn’t improved.

  11. Splatterbottom

    Hi Bloods. Nice to see you back. Maybe things would improve if, on your fleeting visits, you graced us with a topical comment instead of a bilious drive-by spray.

  12. SB – I understand that you don’t agree with Duncan, but calling him a racist merely for voicing criticism of Israel is an appalling abandonment of your intelectual integrity.

    Proof that you are as susceptible as any of us to buying into the ‘victim’ narrative when it suits you.

  13. Splatterbottom

    “but calling him a racist merely for voicing criticism of Israel is an appalling abandonment of your intellectual integrity.”

    He was talking about Jews. Read it again. He was answering my point about about the way Jews have improved their lot. I didn’t say anything about Israel and neither did Duncan.

    “Proof that you are as susceptible as any of us to buying into the ‘victim’ narrative when it suits you.”

    More like proof that you can’t read!!

    My point was that, starting with the emancipation of the Jews after the French revolution (one of the great historical achievements of the left) Jews improved their position by education, hard work, thrift, and an emphasis on stable family life. This resulted in a massive benefit to the cultural, professional, scientific and economic life of the states in which they were allowed to thrive. That is a much better way to advance a group that is vigorously and violently repressed than by selling them the victim narrative.

    Even if Duncan was actually intending to rant on about Israel, that is irrelevant. More likely his comment is indicative of the anti-semitic nature of much of the criticism of Israel.

  14. thenewertestament

    “I do object to the victim studies analysis of society that doles out rewards on the basis of race, gender or any other group distinction.”

    By ‘the victim studies analysis of society’, I assume that you mean ‘a process of identifying inherent structural disadvantage within society’.

    I also assume you completely misunderstand the notion of equality. Equality doesn’t mean providing things equally to everyone. It means recognising the equal moral value of each individual/group, which in turn often involves treating these individuals/groups in manifestly different ways.

    “The whole notion that if you are a straight white male you necessarily have a privileged start in life is both divisive and stupid.”

    Again, you either didn’t read the article, or you completely fail to understand the concept of privilege/disadvantage. As the article stated, there are obviously numerous other factors which are relevant to a person’s opportunities and life chances. It is simply and obviously the case that being a straight, white male gives you a much greater chance of having these other factors line up in your favour. While it doesn’t necessarily mean they will, it is a lot more likely than if you were born, say, to Indigenous parents. (Note: To avoid SB’s newly found taste for restricting ‘free speech’ (Duncan1978’s News Ltd kind) by calling that comment racist, this is not a comment on the abilities of Indigenous parents, but on the socio-economic disadvantages which many face)

    A final comment: the writer is clearly taking a Rawlsian perspective. We do nothing to earn or deserve those privileges or disadvantages which we are born with, and therefore have no moral claim over them. This does not mean that people who, by pure chance, are born with fortuitous circumstances are immoral or greedy. But it does mean that justice requires using privilege to destroy itself.

  15. mondo rock

    He was talking about Jews. Read it again. He was answering my point about about the way Jews have improved their lot. I didn’t say anything about Israel and neither did Duncan.

    So you started a the discussion by praising the Jews as a people, and Duncan responded

  16. mondo rock

    Fucking WordPress.

    SB – you started a the discussion by praising the Jews (as a people) and by making the (frankly ludicrous) claim that they’ve received no assistance from others throughout their history. Duncan has challenged your assertion with evidence (inlcuding obvious references to Israel) and for his troubles you’ve called him a racist.

    Are all those who are critical of the actions of Jewish people racists in your eyes SB?

  17. Splatterbottom

    “So you started a the discussion by praising the Jews as a people, and Duncan responded”

    What I did was look at how a group that suffered extreme discrimination and disadvantage successfully overcame their disadvantage. Duncan responded by saying that they are murderous cunts. That response, apart from being factually wrong, is stupid and racist. It doesn’t address the issue I was raising at all.

    I’m surprised that you don’t understand the lack of logic inherent in Duncan’s reply. Even if you agree with Duncan that Jews are murderous cunts, that is not any sort of alternative explanation about how they overcame the deep-seated prejudice and discrimination they faced. It doesn’t address the point I was making at all.

  18. Sorry SB, but you’ll just have to make do with the spray.

  19. Splatterbottom

    In case you missed the point Mondo, the emancipation of the European Jews was a product of the French revolution and emancipation was spread through Europe by Napoleon. It made possible contributions to European society by Marx, Freud, Einstein, Proust, Heine, Mendelssohn, Schoenberg, Mahler, and Kafka to name a few. Discrimination wasn’t ended in a stroke and progress was not linear, more like one step forward, two steps backwards. Similarly in the US Jews were also discriminated against but managed to overcome their disadvantage for the reasons I stated initially. They prospered for reasons totally unconnected with Israel.

  20. mondo rock

    Duncan responded by saying that they are murderous cunts. That response, apart from being factually wrong, is stupid and racist.

    Speaking of “factually wrong”, you may like to note that Duncan has not, at any point above, described the Jewish people as “murderous cunts”. That’s a strawman completely of your own invention.

    Anyway we get the message – you don’t want to hear any criticism of the Jewish people or Israel. The nobility of their cause and the unquestionable morality of their decisions should just be accepted as fact and anyone who refuses to do so is obviously a disgusting racist.

    A standard I’m sure you apply equally to those criticising the behaviour of other religious and/or ethnic groups.

  21. Splatterbottom

    Mondo: “Speaking of “factually wrong”, you may like to note that Duncan has not, at any point above, described the Jewish people as “murderous cunts”.”

    Mondo it was shorthand, and quite accurate shorthand at that. Duncan said, referring to Jews: “I thought it was their relentless campaign of murder directed at British soldiers and officials, United Nations personnel and Palestinian Arab civilians? Oh, and terrorist attacks on domestic, commercial and government infrastructure targets.”

    “Anyway we get the message – you don’t want to hear any criticism of the Jewish people or Israel.”

    Of course you know that is not the message. You have studiously avoided all reference to the actual point I was making, choosing instead to misrepresent and mischaracterise my argument. Why?

  22. mondo rock

    Your calling Duncan a racist because he had the temerity to accuse the Israelis of murder was the only part of your comment that I found interesting SB.

    Your central point, i.e. that the history of the Jewish people is apowerful argument against affirmative action policies isn’t quite so attention grabbing.

    But for the record I think it’s nonsense. There are many examples in history where the Jewish people would have benefitted from government intervention on their behalf. Hell – Israel currently benefits from incredibly preferential treatment from the world’s strongest military.

    I wonder if you would argue that Israel should be left to stand on its own two feet – to ‘get ahead’ without the protection of the US in the Middle East – given the obvious prejudice against the Jews within that region.

  23. duncan1978

    Apologies for not taking part in the discussion up till now folks. I posted this first thing this morning and have just sat down after packing and moving house. I have a second 700km round trip to do tomorrow, and am absolutely knackered.

    I look forward to getting into it tomorrow evening, if Jeremy hasn’t chased us all off for cluttering up his thread with an(other) argument about Israel :)

  24. Splatterbottom

    “Your calling Duncan a racist because he had the temerity to accuse the Israelis of murder was the only part of your comment that I found interesting SB.”

    That is a lie. Resort to such lies is a typical tactic of yours when you’ve got the wrong end of the argument and would rather persist in error than admit you’ve got it wrong. Let me explain it to you one more time. I said:

    “They [Jews] improved their position in the world by education, thrift and hard work.”

    Duncan replied to that statement with:

    I thought it was their relentless campaign of murder directed at British soldiers and officials, United Nations personnel and Palestinian Arab civilians? Oh, and terrorist attacks on domestic, commercial and government infrastructure targets.

    I said that Jews improved their lot by education, thrift and hard work. Duncan said that it was because they murdered people. On its face, Duncan’s statement is racist. Also it makes no sense at all in the context of this argument.

    I don’t know how many ways I can say this, but Israel has nothing to do with the point I was making, which was largely to do with things that happened before Israel existed.

    “There are many examples in history where the Jewish people would have benefitted from government intervention on their behalf. Hell – Israel currently benefits from incredibly preferential treatment from the world’s strongest military.”

    It is your apparent ignorance of the history of anti-semitism and the emancipation of the European Jews that lets you down here. What examples are you talking about? Emancipation wasn’t affirmative action. It was a small step towards full equality and participation in society.

    And, one more time since you persist in willfully ignoring this point, Israel is irrelevant to the point I was making. The interesting question in all of this is how did a group that suffered massive discrimination for more than a millennium manage to overcome their disadvantage and thrive in the very communities that persecuted them?

    Duncan’s answer is that it is because they murdered people (a century and a half after their emancipation began). Yours is affirmative action – a concept that did not exist at the relevant time and for which there is no evidence at all. Neither answer makes any sense.

  25. mondo rock

    I said that Jews improved their lot by education, thrift and hard work. Duncan said that it was because they murdered people. On its face, Duncan’s statement is racist.

    Nonsense. Ignoring for a moment the fact that the Jews are not a race – and that therefore criticism of them cannot be racism – mere criticism of a racial group is not ‘racism’.

    Racism is the belief that specific races are inferior to others due to their inherent differences. It is not racist for me to merely be critical of white people, or black people, or Asians or Jews. You are throwing the word about without regard for its meaning SB – and we all know why you’re doing it.

    And, one more time since you persist in willfully ignoring this point, Israel is irrelevant to the point I was making.

    Well that’s highly debateable, but even assuming you’re right Israel is quite obviously central to Duncan’s response. All the examples he gave relate to Israel. He is using the Israel example to respond to your generic statement that Jews all around the world have succeeded despite a lack of State intervention on their behalf.

    The interesting question in all of this is how did a group that suffered massive discrimination for more than a millennium manage to overcome their disadvantage and thrive in the very communities that persecuted them?

    In the case of the Jewish people living inIsrael the answer is, at least in part, because they have enjoyed the military protection and preferential treatment of the United States. In other countries it is due to other factors, many of which you correctly believe to be a credit to the cultural traditions of Jews.

    But none of this is a cogent or persuasive argument against affirmative action policies in favour of other marginalised groups today.

  26. narcoticmusing

    Other debate aside, SB, I would like to understand your point earlier a bit better. I hope you have the energy to discuss it, as I would appreciate your thoughts.

    These days you get loads of bonus points and special weapons for being a member of a designated victim group.

    I see this as them being recognised as a human. The ‘special weapons’ is simply what is required to give them the same standing the white male has simply by being a white male. It is what is required to enable us all to relate to them as fellow humans, rather than butting heads in a my rights vs your rights argument. I suppose, I am thinking of Marin Luther King’s approach, which was very much using direct action but also reasoning to show that blacks have all the same feelings and responses as a white person would in that situation, thus the inherent injustice becomes obvious.

    That whites have been privileged for so long does not meant that there are no disadvantaged hetero-white-males. So I accept your argument that a needs based approach is fair – but fairness isn’t always justice. Fairness pre-supposes an equal position or at least some standing by which to claim. So I would say that providing unequal treatment to create equal opportunity is justice. In the case of the white guy who starts with standing, the unequal ‘special weapons’ simply acknowledges that there existing issues that do not exist for the white male that exist for the non-hetero-white-male.

    Or from another point of view, is it the simplistic idea that because discrimination is not legal that suddenly means there is no discrimination? Considering the Supreme Court had already ruled against segregation prior to MLKs protests/movement, it suggests that discrimination and laws against it aren’t always hand in hand. There is a lot of this from people suggesting that feminism is no longer necessary because it is done – women are equal. But the reality is that they aren’t (notwithstanding that there is also a lack of acknowledgement of the amount of privilege that was given up by men to grant those freedoms).

  27. Splatterbottom

    Mondo: “Ignoring for a moment the fact that the Jews are not a race – and that therefore criticism of them cannot be racism”

    That is a recent meme put about by some leftists to excuse their racism. It is contradicted by genetic studies.
    “mere criticism of a racial group is not ‘racism’”
    I can’t think of an example when it is not. Logically the only way you can criticise a race is on the basis of some perceived shared characteristic of that race. Once you do that you are well down the road to racism.

    “It is not racist for me to merely be critical of white people, or black people, or Asians or Jews.”

    I get that criticising individuals for individual things they do will usually not amount to racism per se, although in particular contexts it might. For example if you apply a double standard to members of one group.

    But once you choose to criticise Jews, for example, as a group for some commonly attributed trait (and that is the only logical basis for group criticism) it is almost inevitable that you will be being racist.

    “Well that’s highly debateable”

    No it’s not. If my point is that European and American Jews have overcome discrimination and this occurred outside Israel and before Israel existed how is Israel at all relevant?

    “but even assuming you’re right Israel is quite obviously central to Duncan’s response.”
    Duncan didn’t mention Israel. He said that Jews improved their lot through “their relentless campaign of murder directed at British soldiers and officials, United Nations personnel and Palestinian Arab civilians? Oh, and terrorist attacks on domestic, commercial and government infrastructure targets.

    In the case of the Jewish people living in Israel the answer is, at least in part, because they have enjoyed the military protection and preferential treatment of the United States.

    This is a singularly stupid statement. If there is one place in the world where Jews do no suffer discrimination and have never suffered discrimination it is the state of Israel. Clearly Israel is irrelevant to my argument and cannot explain how Jews living in societies where they were discriminated against for a long time managed to overcome that discrimination and thrive.

    But none of this is a cogent or persuasive argument against affirmative action policies in favour of other marginalised groups today.”

    I was merely pointing out that the Jews improved their lot by different means and in manner that has been far more effective than any affirmative action program ever has.

  28. Splatterbottom

    Narcotic: “ These days you get loads of bonus points and special weapons for being a member of a designated victim group.
    I see this as them being recognised as a human. The ‘special weapons’ is simply what is required to give them the same standing the white male has simply by being a white male.

    I don’t accept the premise of your last sentence. I see no evidence for it in our society. And it seems to me that far too many special weapons go to individuals who don’t need them and shouldn’t get them.

    It is what is required to enable us all to relate to them as fellow humans, rather than butting heads in a my rights vs your rights argument. “

    My view is that our race based policies are divisive and wasteful. People should be treated equally. There is only one relevant race, the human race.

    On the fairness/justice thing I would say that justice requires equality of all people before the law, with no arbitrary distinctions. You do not create justice by arbitrary injustice.

    I also think the amount of discrimination against women these days is minimal. That view is formed on the basis of what I see. I think boys have a harder time of it these days, at least up until their mid twenties. I don’t see much of it in the workplace.

    I think that the ‘straight white male’ snark is just regurgitated bile spattered about by professional hate-mongers. It favours broad-brush policies rather than needs-based policies. It focuses attention away from particular behaviours to coarsely defined characteristics like race or gender.

    Interestingly now males are falling behind in education, there might be a bit more attention on particular behaviours. From my observation success in education is based largely on student effort rather than gender or race. If males want to do as well as females they might have to study as hard as them. I doubt affirmative action will help.

  29. That is a recent meme put about by some leftists to excuse their racism. It is contradicted by genetic studies.

    WTF are you on about SB – Judaism is a religion, not a race. Here’s a tip – if you can ‘convert’ to something then it’s not a race.

    can’t think of an example when it is not. Logically the only way you can criticise a race is on the basis of some perceived shared characteristic of that race.

    You know what – I think you’re right about this. If you criticise any racial group as a stereotyped whole then you’re ascribing negative characteristics to them on the basis of their race, which is racism. I was wrong to say that you can criticise racial groups without being racist.

    But that only goes to highlight just how idiotic it is to refer to a religious denomiation as a ‘race’. It’s no more racist to say “the Jews are too insular” than it is to say “the Muslims are too tolerant of religious violence”.

    Both comments can clearly be disputed on a factual basis, but neither is an overtly racist comment.

  30. narcoticmusing

    I see what you are saying SB, but I disagree – not with the premise that males are not immune from disadvantage and that we should have a needs based approach and continue to reflect on the changing needs as a society etc – but I disagree that treating everyone equally is justice. this simply leads to the tyranny of the majority and negates that basic human self-interest won’t create harm regardless of our aspirations to be ‘good’.

    I know I bore you with my analogies, but if you’ll entertain one more :) Say, I’m on a train and get a seat. I’m fit, healthy and young (not as young as I once was but young enough compared to say someone who is ‘old’). A pregnant woman or elderly citizen (male or female) or someone with some clear need gets on the train. If I was fair and treated them equally, then I would continue reading my book with no need for any second thought. They had an equal opportunity to get on the train as me – indeed, that they got on later could even suggest they have some advantage already in the community to be living closer to the city as I. This is equal treatment. It is not just. Justice considers the least harm. The pregnant woman/person with needs is suffering far more harm than I by standing. Justice would say, stand up you lazy sod. Fairness would say, don’t bother – she/he had equal chance.

    I’m not suggesting enforcing people to do good or some positive obligations/duties, but I am suggesting that justice is not fairness. Justice is not treating people equally – indeed, justice often requires us to treat people unequally.

    I also put it to you that just because you don’t see discrimination doesn’t mean it does not occur. It is easy for the priviledged person to not see the suffering of others; either because it suits them (ie they get an advantage from it – as the manosphere bloggers demonstrate) or because they justify it to themselves. I have and frequently do feel the sting of discrimination both in the subtle sexisms that still prevail and even overt misogyny (again, look no further than the manosphere is you want to witness the degree of hate that exists out there). To tell the oppressed that they should quiet down or that their movement is a ‘problem’ for you is to not recognise their humanity and how you’d feel in their shoes (not that I’m suggesting you are doing this btw, I’m just giving my view on the current situation).

  31. “That is a recent meme put about by some leftists to excuse their racism. It is contradicted by genetic studies.”

    Wait a minute SB, are you suggesting Jewish people are a different race to the rest of humanity and that has been shown by genetic studies?

    I don’t like where that is going.

    There is only race, the human race I agree with SB on that, unfortunately people don’t see it that way. Racism happens when people try and seperate the human race into more and less deserving groups based on trivial genetic differences. This happens all the time and does disadvantage some groups in ways most people wouldn’t accept.

    Mondo said – “It’s no more racist to say “the Jews are too insular” than it is to say “the Muslims are too tolerant of religious violence”. ”

    So it is actually quite racist? Is that what you are saying Mondo? Thats the sort of crap Gilad Atzmon and Israel Shamir come out with (probably cos Mossad paid them to discredit the Palestinians by associating them with rubbish straight out of late 1930s Germany). The Jews are no more insular as a “people” than Collingwood fans.

    The “Jews” are more than a religious group, they are a cultural one, united by the fact that they have some connection to Judaism, not because they all practice it. There are plenty of secular people who identify as Jewish, cos they recognise their heritage and their culture. They may have teeny differences in genetics, but they are still part of the human race. The same thing applies to the rest of us.

  32. Anyway if you don’t think there is an embedded form of racism in our western culture please explain this image:

    http://www.skilluminati.com/img/media-framing-101.jpg

  33. mondo rock

    So it is actually quite racist? Is that what you are saying Mondo?

    Nope.

    The “Jews” are more than a religious group, they are a cultural one, united by the fact that they have some connection to Judaism, not because they all practice it.

    Yes Jules – but they are not a racial group. That is my point.

    Anyway if you don’t think there is an embedded form of racism in our western culture please explain this image

    Who’s arguing that there is not embedded racism in western culture?

  34. returnedman

    If the Jews are not a race, why did Hitler try to annihilate them?

    Couldn’t he have just forced them to convert, like the Spanish?

    Why did he judge them on their Jewishness based on heritage, if it is not about race? (“I decide who is a Jew”)

    Yes, anyone can convert to Judaism, but it’s much more than just black and white.

  35. Splatterbottom

    Mondo: “Judaism is a religion, not a race. Here’s a tip – if you can ‘convert’ to something then it’s not a race.”

    Judaism is a religion. Jews are a race. Not all of them practice Judaism.

    If you look at the way Hitler attacked Jews, it was on the basis of their being an inferior race. He tracked them down on the basis of their ancestry not their religious observance. You see it in anti-semitic cartoons featuring swarthy hook-nosed Jews, implying a desire to control the world. Those memes are racial, not religious. If you look at the persecution suffered by Spinoza it was clearly based on his race, given that he was not a follower of Judaism.

    There is enough genetic similarity among all Jewish populations to suggest they are a race. To this race are attributed racial characteristics which have no relevance to their religious beliefs. And they are attacked as an inferior race.

    Jules: “There is only race, the human race I agree with SB on that, unfortunately people don’t see it that way. Racism happens when people try and seperate the human race into more and less deserving groups based on trivial genetic differences.”

    Glad to see we agree on this. Even though the human race is the only relevant race, people have stereotyped and vilified groups based on perceived racial differences. This is exactly what has happened to the Jews.

    This is completely different to, say, attacking Christian beliefs about marriage equality or Muslim beliefs about jihad.

  36. Splatterbottom

    Narcotic: “Say, I’m on a train and get a seat. I’m fit, healthy and young (not as young as I once was but young enough compared to say someone who is ‘old’). A pregnant woman or elderly citizen (male or female) or someone with some clear need gets on the train. If I was fair and treated them equally, then I would continue reading my book with no need for any second thought.”

    That depends on which rules you thought were fair. The fact that there were not enough seats means that some people will not have an equal opportunity to sit in them. Still, there is nothing to prevent you from being considerate.

    In the past there was a general view that men stood up for women and old people, presumably on the basis that men are generally physically stronger. That was when our culture was less atomised. Soon enough feminists complained that men giving up their seats for women was in itself a sexist act. Now we have rules posted on public transport requiring passengers in certain seats to give up their seats to others in particular cases.

    I would prefer a society where they need to codify or even legislate rules of common decency was unnecessary. Unfortunately that is not possible any more.

    Coming back to the ‘equality’ point, the law can apply equally to people but still distinguish particular situations depending on the particular characteristics of the people concerned. But those characteristics should be based on individual need.

    “I also put it to you that just because you don’t see discrimination doesn’t mean it does not occur.”

    True.

    “To tell the oppressed that they should quiet down or that their movement is a ‘problem’ for you is to not recognise their humanity and how you’d feel in their shoes (not that I’m suggesting you are doing this btw, I’m just giving my view on the current situation).”

    I don’t get the whole “the oppressed” thing. I think it is an overused expression which has little real meaning any more. This is a shame for the truly oppressed. I don’t have a problem with individuals pursuing their individual grievances, but I loathe and detest a large chunk of the “victim” industry.

    On one view, individuals should take responsibility for their lives, since they have the ability to improve themselves by their own behaviour and choices. The other view is that people don’t have much ability to improve their lot, that the real problem is the structure of society (whatever that means) and that most effort should be focused on developing better social structures.

    As usual, I have a balanced position. We should do things which clearly and obviously improve society on the macro level. We should also have policies to promote individual behaviours which involve people taking responsibility for their lives.

  37. mondo rock

    There is enough genetic similarity among all Jewish populations to suggest they are a race. To this race are attributed racial characteristics which have no relevance to their religious beliefs.

    To be honest that’s just not the way I’ve ever considered the Jewish people – I’ve always seen them as group defined by their shared religious/cultural beliefs.

    Whilst I appreciate the truth of what you’re saying I still think mine is a legitimate and common perspective amongst Australians. What’s more I also think you can safely assume, based on his posting history, that Duncan wasn’t suggesting the Jewish race is murderous on a genetic level.

    It’s still quite obvious to me that he was talking about the Israelis.

  38. Splatterbottom

    “I also think you can safely assume, based on his posting history, that Duncan wasn’t suggesting the Jewish race is murderous on a genetic level.”

    I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt on that basis. Overall he is a pretty good commenter here and contributes a lot of good insights.

  39. Splatterbottom

    Narcotic, I thought you might appreciate this quip from Katie Couric:

    In those first few months at CBS, TV critics wrote about my clothes, my hair, my make-up, even the way I held my hands. Some said I lacked ‘gravitas,’ which I’ve since decided is Latin for ‘testicles.’

  40. narcoticmusing

    Returning the favour, SB :)

    Context: Ms Mulcahy had food allergies, so wanted to be able to attend a charity event without paying simply because her food choices would be limited.

    Ms Mulcahy claimed she was discriminated against when Ms Minchinton, the then-vice president of the IRSQ, contacted her and said if she wanted to attend the high tea fundraiser, she would have to pay the full ticket price.

    She was told the price also took into account other factors, such as venue hire and the charity component.

    In a written submission to the court, Ms Mulcahy, representing herself, argued she had been treated “less favourably” than other attendees, who could eat the provided food unhindered.

    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/woman-sues-over-charity-catering-20120529-1zh3q.html

  41. Splatterbottom

    Thanks Narcotic :-)

  42. narcoticmusing

    What are your thoughts on the current ‘Save our school’ please regarding Mowbray college? Should we (the taxpayers/government) step in and prop up this private business because private schools save money for the government in the long run (at leave from a certain point of view). Or, should we let it fall as the $18m plus funding already provided and funding still required would be far too prohibitive. Are these students simply bleating some victim mentality or do they have a point?

    Just an interesting current example where it could be interpretted both ways. Atm, I’m leaning towards suggesting they are abusing some distorted sense of self-entitlement in order to become a victim in order to access funding that may seem fair, but is not just.

    Would we change our tunes if it was a smaller, not-for-profit private school? That, I think, is a challenging question.

  43. Splatterbottom

    Narcotic I haven’t been following this (not from Victoria).

    I don’t think it is either fair or just to give the current owners another cent.

    Seems to me that the government has already propped them up once and should not do so again. Using kids to beg for money is just a scam.

    The best that can be done now is place the kids elsewhere.

    Eventually the school buildings will be sold and maybe the new owners will be more competent in running the school.

    I’ve put all my kids through two small private schools which were start-ups at the time we started sending the older ones in the mid eighties. I had a good idea about the finances and knew that there was risk, and if it came down to it the kids would have to be moved. I don’t think there should be special assistance for private schools (beyond what is paid to them under current arrangements) whether they are for profit or not. Education is the parents’ responsibility, and if they choose to step outside the government system that is their risk – they need to think about it and do some due diligence.

  44. narcoticmusing

    I certainly agree with that assessment, particularly of the current situation where they’ve been in the red for so long – what were parents doing about it? If you want a system with guarantees that the school won’t go under/be bailed out, then the public system is there. You can’t have all the benefits of both systems. That would defeat the entire purpose of having a private system (to reduce costs/pressue/risk to the public purse).

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