The next battleground-'Cancel Culture & Identity Politics' - Page 18 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15158097
wat0n wrote:Just to be certain, that fragment and hypothetical scenario you're quoting was written by me.


Thanks for the correction.

wat0n wrote:I don't know if Padilla is a Black supremacist, but I do agree that if it was said by a White person in an African-American studies department there would be accusations of racism. But well, those are the strange times we're living in.


Indeed.
#15158101
wat0n wrote:I thought we were referring to civilizations, not academic fields. I don't think Classics aspires to universalism for the most part.


I believe it was Dr. Williams who claimed the classics brought us liberty, equality, and democracy.

This may be true for white men of property, but not the rest of us.

What are those proposals?


I have explained why I do not know.

Repeating myself will only detract from the conversation.

The general trend of a conflict between academic freedom and keeping good labor relations when it comes to identity politics, which is simply the consequence of a broader project of trying to "decolonize academia" - itself based on postmodern notions of deconstruction of science and identity politics, both of which are mutually inconsistent ideas.


I am not sure this is happening.
#15158104
Pants-of-dog wrote:I believe it was Dr. Williams who claimed the classics brought us liberty, equality, and democracy.

This may be true for white men of property, but not the rest of us.


Indeed, but that was an example to improve an expand on eventually. She's not wrong about that, although the Ancient Greeks' concept of liberty, equality and democracy was not the same as ours.

Pants-of-dog wrote:I am not sure this is happening.


It's happening in different fields. It's not specific to Classics.
#15158110
wat0n wrote:Indeed, but that was an example to improve an expand on eventually. She's not wrong about that, although the Ancient Greeks' concept of liberty, equality and democracy was not the same as ours.


She is objectively incorrect about classics bringing liberty or equality to BIPOC people. They gained (or more correctly, are still gaining) those rights through their own hard work and activism.

The same can be said of democracy expanding to the poorer classes.

It's happening in different fields. It's not specific to Classics.


I do not think it is.
#15158115
Pants-of-dog wrote:She is objectively incorrect about classics bringing liberty or equality to BIPOC people. They gained (or more correctly, are still gaining) those rights through their own hard work and activism.

The same can be said of democracy expanding to the poorer classes.


Correct, but they set the first example of how government based on voting and checks and balances could work.

Pants-of-dog wrote:I do not think it is.


You'd be wrong. Here's a NYT article about a similar debate among medievalists, for instance. Unfortunately, I can't read it anymore but I do recall reading it a couple of years ago.
#15158202
wat0n wrote:Correct, but they set the first example of how government based on voting and checks and balances could work.


....for people living in the west. Many other people who now live in the west have different legal traditions. Indigenous people, for example.

You'd be wrong. Here's a NYT article about a similar debate among medievalists, for instance. Unfortunately, I can't read it anymore but I do recall reading it a couple of years ago.


Again, I do not think this “general trend” is happening, and a link to one possibly isolated incident that neither of us can access will not change my mind.

————————-

Unthinking Majority wrote:Absolute rubbish.


Feel free to explain how the classics emancipated blacks and Indigenous people, as an example of how my claim is rubbish. Thanks.
#15158206
Pants-of-dog wrote:
Here's a NYT article about a similar debate among medievalists, for instance..




"(Medievalists) remain an intellectually conservative field that has largely resisted the waves of critical theory that have washed over much of the humanities in recent decades. It has also been slow to take up the subject of race.

“It’s about asserting the racial and political innocence of the Middle Ages,” said Cord Whitaker, an assistant professor of English at Wellesley College and a member of Medievalists of Color. “For medievalists to try to protect the field from engagement with race is ultimately to try to withdraw from the world.” If withdrawal from the world was ever possible, it has become harder lately.

Many scholars were outraged when Dr. Fulton Brown, in a riposte to Dr. Kim written a few weeks after Charlottesville, tagged the right-wing writer Milo Yiannopoulos, whose website then ran an article about the dispute. Last July Mr. Yiannopoulos followed up with a 16,000-word attack on the field, which assailed Dr. Kim and others as “an angry social justice mob.”

This is yet another example of the disruptive power of social media. Without it, this would have been a trivial tiff between 2 profs no one knew existed, and would not have cared about if they did know. Controversies like this have happened in many academic fields. Academics routinely have to adapt to changing interpretations, knowledge, and morays.
#15158210
Pants-of-Dog wrote:Feel free to explain how the classics emancipated blacks and Indigenous people, as an example of how my claim is rubbish. Thanks.


:eek: Concepts and books cannot do anything for anybody they can only provide one with the concepts of liberty, equality and democracy as well as inspiration, what then one does with these concepts, it's up to that person or community.

Martin Luther King and the Classics-Academic Paper wrote:This paper explores the intellectual relationship between Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the classics, particularly the works of Plato, Sophocles, and Aeschylus. Recognizing Dr. King as a reader of the classics is significant for two reasons: the classics played a formative role in Dr. King's development into a political activist and an intellectual of the first order; moreover, Dr. King shows us the way to read the classics. Dr. King did not read the classics in a pedantic or even academic manner, but for the purpose of liberation. Dr. King's legacy, thus, is not merely his political accomplishments but also his example as a philologist of liberation.


Feel free to explain how cancelling the academic study of Greek & Roman literature is going to have some kind of negative effect on 'white supremacy'.

If someone is incapable of using something like others did, then that person will have to consider whether it is their fault and not the book's fault.

Aesop's fable of the fox and the grapes applies here aptly, even more succinctly cause it's a classical work.
#15158218
Pants-of-dog wrote:....for people living in the west. Many other people who now live in the west have different legal traditions. Indigenous people, for example.


Even the Anglosaxon tradition is different from the Roman one. Yet the Classics did serve as an example for Anglophone societies to design their systems of government (the US is a very well documented case).

More importantly, I don't think there are older systems of governments based on voting and checks and balances than the Ancient Athenian and Roman ones. Voting may have been used occasionally elsewhere, for specific purposes, rather than as a norm.

Pants-of-dog wrote:Again, I do not think this “general trend” is happening, and a link to one possibly isolated incident that neither of us can access will not change my mind.


late wrote:"(Medievalists) remain an intellectually conservative field that has largely resisted the waves of critical theory that have washed over much of the humanities in recent decades. It has also been slow to take up the subject of race.

“It’s about asserting the racial and political innocence of the Middle Ages,” said Cord Whitaker, an assistant professor of English at Wellesley College and a member of Medievalists of Color. “For medievalists to try to protect the field from engagement with race is ultimately to try to withdraw from the world.” If withdrawal from the world was ever possible, it has become harder lately.

Many scholars were outraged when Dr. Fulton Brown, in a riposte to Dr. Kim written a few weeks after Charlottesville, tagged the right-wing writer Milo Yiannopoulos, whose website then ran an article about the dispute. Last July Mr. Yiannopoulos followed up with a 16,000-word attack on the field, which assailed Dr. Kim and others as “an angry social justice mob.”

This is yet another example of the disruptive power of social media. Without it, this would have been a trivial tiff between 2 profs no one knew existed, and would not have cared about if they did know. Controversies like this have happened in many academic fields. Academics routinely have to adapt to changing interpretations, knowledge, and morays.


As suggested above, the incident among medievalists is fairly similar. And while it's not as recent as one would think (it's been going on for 20-30 years, back when Critical Theory became a field in itself), the current years have gotten way more intense in this matter.
#15158222
wat0n wrote:Even the Anglosaxon tradition is different from the Roman one. Yet the Classics did serve as an example for Anglophone societies to design their systems of government (the US is a very well documented case).

More importantly, I don't think there are older systems of governments based on voting and checks and balances than the Ancient Athenian and Roman ones. Voting may have been used occasionally elsewhere, for specific purposes, rather than as a norm.


Yes, North American societies modelled their societies after a slave owning society that defined women as property and invaded other lands and imposed their laws and beliefs.

If we define that as bringing liberty, equality and democracy to women and BIPOC people, we are engaging in doublethink.

More accurately, we can see that history contradicts the claim made by Dr. Williams; that the classics brought these three things to all of us.

As suggested above, the incident among medievalists is fairly similar. And while it's not as recent as one would think (it's been going on for 20-30 years, back when Critical Theory became a field in itself), the current years have gotten way more intense in this matter.


As far as I can tell, this was an isolated debate between two profs about how to address the fact that racists use medievalism to support their beliefs, until the conservative teacher got in touch with her colleagues in right wing media and made it into a manufactured scandal.
#15158225
Pants-of-dog wrote:Yes, North American societies modelled their societies after a slave owning society that defined women as property and invaded other lands and imposed their laws and beliefs.

If we define that as bringing liberty, equality and democracy to women and BIPOC people, we are engaging in doublethink.

More accurately, we can see that history contradicts the claim made by Dr. Williams; that the classics brought these three things to all of us.


...But it was the first step to that effect, given all other alternatives at the time were slave-owning society that provided for little political roles for women, including BIPOC societies. I don't see why would it be wrong to acknowledge this.

Pants-of-dog wrote:As far as I can tell, this was an isolated debate between two profs about how to address the fact that racists use medievalism to support their beliefs, until the conservative teacher got in touch with her colleagues in right wing media and made it into a manufactured scandal.


If their beef became well known in the field, then it stopped being just an issue between two medievalists. And indeed, you bet it did - I think the fight took place in one of the field's congresses and it lead to exchanges of letters, including letters supporting RFB (example)
#15158231
wat0n wrote:...But it was the first step to that effect, given all other alternatives at the time were slave-owning society that provided for little political roles for women. I don't see why would it be wrong to acknowledge this.


No. This seems to be true only for western societies at the time. Considering the diversity of systems in Indigenous cultures in North America and Africa at the time, it would be extremely unlikely that all of them were like western societies in upholding these same hierarchies.

If their beef became well known in the field, then it stopped being just an issue between two medievalists. And indeed, you bet it did - I think the fight took place in one of the field's congresses and it lead to exchanges of letters, including letters supporting RFB (example)


Yes, this became well known only because the right wing media were looking for a victim narrative about cancel culture.
#15158233
Pants-of-dog wrote:No. This seems to be true only for western societies at the time. Considering the diversity of systems in Indigenous cultures in North America and Africa at the time, it would be extremely unlikely that all of them were like western societies in upholding these same hierarchies.


We do know, however, that the large indigenous empires were similar in that respect. Even by the time America was colonized by Europeans, slavery had been practiced by the Aztecs and Mayans, and the Incans had a system of serfdom that also established an ethnic hierarchy in the Empire, including serfdom. As for gender roles, women were not necessarily seen as inferior but also had clearly delimited roles and some of them were similar to those from traditional Western societies (e.g. such as childbearing, childcare, etc).

Our contemporary notions of equality (and also of some identity classes) where nonexistent back in the time, including in the Ancient Greco-Roman societies.

Pants-of-dog wrote:Yes, this became well known only because the right wing media were looking for a victim narrative about cancel culture.


NYT is "right-wing media"? :roll:
#15158235
Potemkin wrote:It's 'particular' to Western Europe as well as the USA (which inherited the idea from Europe), and is especially dominant in the Germanic nations, especially the Anglos. The Latin peoples of Europe (and I include the Greeks in this) didn't and largely still don't care about 'race' in the same way the Anglos did and still do. The modern concept of race is largely the result of the trans-Atlantic slave trade from the 17th century onwards.

Remind me again, from which Germanic language does the word "Negro" originate? ;)

It didn't exist in Shakespeare's time, as the play Othello and Shakespeare's sonnets to his 'Dark Lady' testify

Yes well, when it came world empire building no one told us when to run, we English rather missed the starting gun. You Scots really seemed to be waiting for someone or something to show you the way.

but it certainly existed by the late 18th century and probably earlier, with the rise of "scientific" racism to justify the inhumanity and brutality of the slave trade. In fact, this "scientific" racism went so far that even the Irish or the Italians were not accepted as being "white" until very recently.

Well first off the transatlantic slave trade seems a very human thing to do to me, entirely consistent with human behaviour over the last ten thousand years of recorded and archaeological history. Is it not our modern notions of universal human rights that should be considered perverse and inhuman? As for English / British treatment of the Irish, compared to the Iberian treatment of the Guanches, it seems positively indulgent, a people who outside the fevered racial imagination of Elizabeth Warren, could in no way be described as "Black" or "Negro".
#15158236
wat0n wrote:We do know, however, that the large indigenous empires were similar in that respect. Even by the time America was colonized by Europeans, slavery had been practiced by the Aztecs and Mayans, and the Incans had a system of serfdom that also established an ethnic hierarchy in the Empire, including serfdom.


And? This does not change the fact that other Indigenous groups at the time had more egalitarian societies than the US did at the time.

As for gender roles, women were not necessarily seen as inferior but also had clearly delimited roles and some of them were similar to those from traditional Western societies (e.g. such as childbearing, childcare, etc).


Are you discussing Indigenous societies?

Our contemporary notions of equality (and also of some identity classes) where nonexistent back in the time, including in the Ancient Greco-Roman societies.


Yes, exactly, so it is ahistorical to claim that these times brought us equality, liberty and democracy as we know them now.

NYT is "right-wing media"? :roll:


No, but Breitbart is, and she has written for them. She is close friends with Yiannopolis, as well.

Another right wing media group that has picked this up is the NAS.
#15158241
Pants-of-dog wrote:And? This does not change the fact that other Indigenous groups at the time had more egalitarian societies than the US did at the time.


Do you have precise measurements to support this claim?

Pants-of-dog wrote:Are you discussing Indigenous societies?


Yes.

Pants-of-dog wrote:Yes, exactly, so it is ahistorical to claim that these times brought us equality, liberty and democracy as we know them now.


I don't think that's what Williams said.

Pants-of-dog wrote:No, but Breitbart is, and she has written for them. She is close friends with Yiannopolis, as well.

Another right wing media group that has picked this up is the NAS.


But the NYT isn't. What's your point here?
#15158244
wat0n wrote:Our contemporary notions of equality (and also of some identity classes) where nonexistent back in the time, including in the Ancient Greco-Roman societies.


I think a distinction has to made with out-group and in-group equality.

Out-group equality even today exists only as an abstract convention. People outside the group, whether that is citizens of a state, or members of a religion, or political kinsmen; are treated differently, universally.

In-group equality is ensured inside western secular states via legal institutions, the ancient democratic systems developed the legal profession, various court systems and concepts such as the presumption of innocence.

Western courts have been built either by integrating the ancient concepts of liberty, equality and democracy(isonomia, isegoria, isokratia) on a massive scale or in many cases wholly copy/pasting ancient systems, like Napoleon.

Equality, democracy and liberty, were the cries of the French when they overthrew the system and went secular. Their secularisation was wholly lifted from the Classics.

This is so well accepted that even Padilla does not dispute the veracity of the statement:

Padilla is wary of colleagues who cite the radical uses of classics as a way to forestall change; he believes that such examples have been outmatched by the field’s long alliance with the forces of dominance and oppression.
#15158247
noemon wrote:I think a distinction has to made with out-group and in-group equality.

Out-group equality even today exists only as an abstract convention. People outside the group, whether that is citizens of a state, or members of a religion, or political kinsmen; are treated differently, universally.

In-group equality is ensured inside western secular states via legal institutions, the ancient democratic systems developed the legal profession, various court systems and concepts such as the presumption of innocence.

Western courts have been built either by integrating the ancient concepts of liberty, equality and democracy on a massive scale or in many cases wholly copy/pasting ancient systems, like Napoleon.

Equality, democracy and liberty, were the cries of the French when they overthrew the system and went secular. Their secularisation was wholly lifted from the Classics.

This is so well accepted that even Padilla does not dispute the veracity of the statement:


Right, although the definitions on who's in the in-group and who's in the out-group are most certainly different today. I think it's fair to say that we've made quite a bit of progress in this regard since then (although always keeping in mind this idea is rather self-referential - I do think so at least), and we've also gotten over some stuff that is unacceptable today e.g. the natural slavery argument for instance.
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