Thursday, June 14, 2018

A quick thought on crossing cultures


If you come to my house, and are not aware that I do not want feet propped up on my table and as such, place your feet upon my table, then it is up to me to advise you how to act within my house and how to better act if you are to stay within my house.  No one was hurt, so this type of incident is not a big deal.  If you have such a problem with it, then we can both agree that it would be best for you to get out of my house.  We can separate in peace, again, as no one was hurt.  May you find someone who does not mind if you place your feet upon their table.

However, if you come to my house and dislike the painting I did, books and movies in my library, and my dog, or other such things, and from your dislike of them you proceed to destroy those items and kill my dog, we have a problem.  Similarly, if you find that because my partner is displeasing (or far too pleasing) to you in any way, and from that you proceed to assault my partner, then we have a bigger problem.  That you were beforehand in a place that deemed such behavior acceptable – destroying those ‘bad’ items, or assaulting others not deemed to have rights – is irrelevant.  You are not there, but my house; my opinion is that where you were should adopt the rules of my house, but I am not about to go on a mission to make that happen.

Breaking my things and assaulting my partner, and you will find out the lack of concern I have about your house, or culture of origin.  To not punish you accordingly would be an injustice and a disservice on multiple fronts, to multiple people.  1) it would be a disservice to me to lose my valuables and not receive appropriate restitution; 2) it would be a disservice to my partner, who aside from being my partner is a human and deserving all rights to be recognized to an individual, and receive any appropriate restitution; 3) it would be a disservice to other ‘guests’ who may pursue the same behaviors of the offender; 4) it is a disservice to others in my neighborhood who may be the victims of the vandalism and assaults that were seen to be accepted or tolerated; 5) it is an injustice for the offender to be able to violate another’s rights and get away with it, or not be appropriately punished for such violations; 6) and because it is doubly important, it is an injustice to the victim whose rights were actually violated, and for those who would have their rights violated in similar acts.

It is a failure of tact for an innocent, no-harm norm to be violated, such as the feet on the table; non-right violations of tact are victimless, and should be treated as such.  It is a moral failure to not pursue appropriate justice and restitution for the violation of rights.  As a moral failing, it is to be treated the same as if done by anyone else for such a violation; it doesn’t matter where someone came from: abroad or at home, elsewhere in the ‘neighborhood to be my guest’ or within my house.  Proper punishment and restoration to the extent possible should be made regardless of who committed the act, for it is what those involved in the act need, and to set precedent should anyone (guest or homeowner) be involved in a similar act in the future. 

This is not to say we should not have guests or neighbors invited over, for we should.  By sharing with them we expand our knowledge with what they know, they expand their knowledge with what we know, and we both can be made the better for that exchange.  With that exchange, learning of one another’s norms can be done, and then moved beyond to see which if any should be adopted.  But with that, no violations of rights should be tolerated.  If rights violations are tolerated, it does not matter who did them, the violations will be repeated and the neighborhood will fall apart

; it will collapse.  That collapse will be because of the failure of those in charge and the residents who did not hold those who violated rights as the rights-violators they were, while treating those rights violations as mere tact violations. 

Those people who allow such self-destructive behavior are enablers and abettors to their own destruction.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

If I Wanted to be Seen as God (Sacred or Secular)



If I wanted to be seen as God… to be seen as the ultimate authority, I’d want to have the whole world be subservient.  I wouldn’t be happy until I had amassed the masses under one collective umbrella – mine.  So, I’d set about however necessary to denigrate the individual, and elevate the group.  I’d begin a campaign of promises with the false humility of a democratic fascist, and I’d whisper ‘it’s for the greater good.’

To the ignorant or the too-busy, I would state that I’m ‘here to help’.  I would convince them that my institutions benefit the people, instead of the other way around.  I’d speak in contradictions, but not speak too definitively so I could always state ‘you misunderstand’ and I could direct them where I want for the moment. 

And then I’d get busy.  I’d emphasize how weak the individual is, and how in isolation he is nothing, so the individual achievers have nothing but luck to give credit, after giving credit to everyone else.  The saying ‘they didn’t do that on their own’ would be common, and as we all are part of society, we all are owed a portion, that I’d promise to take from them and give to the rest.  Among the promises I’d make would be violations of supply and demand, ignoring scarcity, and for any problems of all getting what they’d want, I’d blame those who take ‘too much of the pie’ and say they need to lose some.  I’d be working with those among them who are aligned with me, setting up programs that ensure my status quo remains.  They, after all, have the means to help implement what I want.  They’re allowed to benefit by benefitting me.  All the while, I’d devalue the wealth you do have, making my help more needed. 

I’d push classism, as having an ‘enemy’ – someone who’s guilty of sin for being too light or dark, feminine or masculine, rich or poor, or whatever else, is too useful to redirect the forced inequality I create.  Nature is indifferently not egalitarian; I am intentionally not egalitarian.  I’d make exceptions the rule.  I’d use narratives over numbers, for people can be more easily swayed by emotion than by reason.  A feeling cannot be argued.  Reason points out contradictions, and takes away from my mysterious ways, so it is to be abandoned. 

I would also do away with ‘objective truth.’  The only truth is that which is relative.  Truth is a social construct; society is my construct.  When I say 2+2=3, 4, 5, or any other number, or all numbers, it will be accepted.  For those who have problems accepting it at first, I will have it said that ‘I work in mysterious ways,’ from which any rationalization and justification can be made.  Critical thinkers are outliers and to be expunged.  They are not needed.  Independent thought is not a virtue; conformity is.  Paragons in my society will be those who follow my path, regardless of how cruel it might seem.  Those who share my purpose will be ready to sacrifice one and all to my truth, whether it’d be the taking life of a child to prove love, or spy and betray family, in loyalty to me.

Criminalization of harming another would be secondary to threats to my order.  I’d set up zones of speech, differentiate between speech types including making illegal and immoral criticism of me and my system, and even make it so thoughts could be deemed as wrongful as actions.  As I would be the victim of these victimless crimes, I would set up paths through which one could pay me to get back in my good graces, and their unorthodoxy and sins would be forgiven.  Love comes from the promises I make and the purpose I give, which ultimately are just to serve me.  Emphasizing my love, my righteous cause, and how they hurt me or harmed my cause by not following rightly, I’ll make the people feel guilty.  It is not enough to obey, and they must love me – that obligates them.  Obligation and dependency will shine me in a positive light.  Cattle follow and get their feed from the rancher who will slaughter them.

In other words, I’d just keep on doing what I’m doing.  Good day.