The next battleground-'Cancel Culture & Identity Politics' - Page 19 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15158250
Personally I'm viscerally opposed to indigenous privilege. If my sister had gone out to live amongst Islamic State, she wouldn't have been made stateless, but apparently its OK to make Shamima Begum stateless because she's not indigenous. This is the most outrageous racism. Are we to understand that all people whose parents were born in Pakistan or Bangladesh are considered to have a second class form of citizenship. Its doubly racist because even if we accepted the establishment's argument that she is evil and therefore is not deserving of a state's citizenship or British legal due process, why in God's name should she be the Kurds' problem?
#15158254
late wrote:I don't actually pay attention to kooks when I can avoid it. Who, or what, is NAS?


The National Association of Scholars.

    The National Association of Scholars (NAS) is an American non-profit politically conservative advocacy group, with a particular interest in education.[2][3] It opposes a perceived political correctness on college campuses and supports a return to mid-20th-century curricular and scholarship norms, and an increase in conservative representation in faculty.

So, their publications and websites constitute right wing media.

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wat0n wrote:Do you have precise measurements to support this claim?


I can think of historical examples of Indigenous societies that were more egalitarian than the USA at the time of its founding.

But this whole tangent is irrelevant to my point that many Classics scholars claim a certain universality that is contradicted by history.

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


Would you say that the general view in the study of classics as well as the study of western civilization is that these fields do not discuss universal experiences but instead discuss mainly the experiences of white men?

w wrote:But the NYT isn't. What's your point here?


This is a contrived scandal. The fact that someone at a centre right publication also jumped on the bandwagon does not change the fact that this is an isolated debate that was then framed as a trend by right wing media.
#15158258
Pants-of-dog wrote:I can think of historical examples of Indigenous societies that were more egalitarian than the USA at the time of its founding.


Egalitarian in what dimensions, what's your evidence and why don't you name them?

Pants-of-dog wrote:But this whole tangent is irrelevant to my point that many Classics scholars claim a certain universality that is contradicted by history.


I would be surprised if that was a mainstream opinion nowadays.

Pants-of-dog wrote:Would you say that the general view in the study of classics as well as the study of western civilization is that these fields do not discuss universal experiences but instead discuss mainly the experiences of white men?


No, I would say that the universal view is that they discuss the experiences of the ancient European civilizations. It should be noted, too, that there is all sorts of literature in the Classics, including (of course) on gender & sexuality, and interactions with other cultures.

Pants-of-dog wrote:This is a contrived scandal. The fact that someone at a centre right publication also jumped on the bandwagon does not change the fact that this is an isolated debate that was then framed as a trend by right wing media.


The NYT is not a center right publication, and in any event this does not negate the fact that it was not a polemic between two random academics. As with Padilla vs Williams, it surfaced in an academic Congress and led to all sorts of letters signed by several academics from the field who took sides in the controversy.

What is more noteworthy, too, is that it isn't confined to a single field of study but is happening in many simultaneously.
#15158262
wat0n wrote:Egalitarian in what dimensions, what's your evidence and why don't you name them?


I already explained the main reason why I am not following this tangent any more.

Another reason is that you were the one who made the original claim; i.e. that women and BIPOC people at the time had little alternative in terms of societies that saw them as equals.

I would be surprised if that was a mainstream opinion nowadays.

No, I would say that the universal view is that they discuss the experiences of the ancient European civilizations. It should be noted, too, that there is all sorts of literature in the Classics, including (of course) on gender & sexuality, and interactions with other cultures.


So they do not claim universality? Excellent.

The NYT is not a center right publication, and in any event this does not negate the fact that it was not a polemic between two random academics. As with Padilla vs Williams, it surfaced in an academic Congress and led to all sorts of letters signed by several academics from the field who took sides in the controversy.

What is more noteworthy, too, is that it isn't confined to a single field of study but is happening in many simultaneously.


It seems like we have seen two cases where individual scholars have questioned the status quo and have noted how their fields are being used to support racism, and this is treated as a general trend in all of academia to “cancel” or censor ideas.

And you do not seem to disagree with my point that this is a controversy manufactured by right wing media and conservative academics.
#15158265
Pants-of-dog wrote:I already explained the main reason why I am not following this tangent any more.

Another reason is that you were the one who made the original claim; i.e. that women and BIPOC people at the time had little alternative in terms of societies that saw them as equals.


And that would be correct, since even in the Ancient Greco-Roman societies "white" men didn't achieve equality themselves. In Athens, for instance, voting was reserved for only a small minority of them. In some cases, they would also be subject to slavery under some circumstances, such as owing debt or being taken from another Greek city-state as war prisoners or after a pirate raid.

In other (non-European) societies, there was also no actual equality in today's sense, and even most of those in the dominant ethnic group could be seen as part of the "out-group", where only small elites had formal and material political power and were part of the in-group.

What's with this obsession to impose the current (Western) views on equality on societies from (at least) 1500+ years ago? I don't think anyone would prefer to live under the ancient Athenian democracy or the Roman republic over our contemporary liberal constitutional republics/monarchies, but to deny they were interesting innovations and precedents would be foolish.

Pants-of-dog wrote:It seems like we have seen two cases where individual scholars have questioned the status quo and have noted how their fields are being used to support racism, and this is treated as a general trend in all of academia to “cancel” or censor ideas.


Those two examples are not an exhaustive list either. I can provide you with more examples if you want, and outside the humanities to boot.

Pants-of-dog wrote:And you do not seem to disagree with my point that this is a controversy manufactured by right wing media and conservative academics.


The NYT is probably the media outlet that has helped to spread this information the most, since its readership (hardly a conservative one) is likely interested in these things.

And no, actually one could say that this controversy was started by those who claimed that their whole field is immoral. Maybe it is and the controversy is actually necessary and justified, or maybe it is not, but as one would expect controversies are started by those who attempt to disrupt the status quo.
#15158267
Pants-of-dog wrote:and have noted how their fields are being used to support racism


Let's say that is true. It is certainly possible. A hundred years ago having a tattoo of Thor's hammer on your chest meant something very different than today. Symbols become appropriated, mythology created.

We reach for the past to predict the future or to tell us who we are. Controlling the past is controlling the now.

If the field of study was more accurately named "Ancient European Philosophy", which Europeans themselves forgot for a millennia, and more universal focus be both studied and taught within "Ancient World Philosophy", could be a sensible compromise. If we lived in a sensible world, that is.... :)
#15158268
MadMonk wrote:If the field of study was more accurately named "Ancient European Philosophy", which Europeans themselves forgot for a millennia, and more universal focus be both studied and taught within "Ancient World Philosophy", could be a sensible compromise. If we lived in a sensible world, that is.... :)


Or even more accurately, "Ancient Greco-Roman studies". I agree it would probably be clearer and would also internationalize Western humanities.
#15158269
wat0n wrote:And that would be correct,


No, but this is irrelevant.

It seems we are done discussing whether or not classical studies is thought of as a universal experience.

I would like to point out that one of the justifications for keeping the Elgin marbles in the UK is that they are part of a universal western culture that we all share.

Those two examples are not an exhaustive list either. I can provide you with more examples if you want, and outside the humanities to boot.

The NYT is probably the media outlet that has helped to spread this information the most, since its readership (hardly a conservative one) is likely interested in these things.

And no, actually one could say that this controversy was started by those who claimed that their whole field is immoral. Maybe it is and the controversy is actually necessary and justified, or maybe it is not, but as one would expect controversies are started by those who attempt to disrupt the status quo.


Please provide evidence that this is a general trend in academia. Also, please explain what this trend is supposedly trying to accomplish.

But for now, start with evidence that it is a trend. Thanks.

———————

@MadMonk

I think that most people today would not be able to make sense of a sensible world.
#15158270
Pants-of-dog wrote:No, but this is irrelevant.

It seems we are done discussing whether or not classical studies is thought of as a universal experience.

I would like to point out that one of the justifications for keeping the Elgin marbles in the UK is that they are part of a universal western culture that we all share.


Do you think nonwhites born in the UK share that culture? Or, if I understand correctly, they can never be fully part of it?

Pants-of-dog wrote:Please provide evidence that this is a general trend in academia. Also, please explain what this trend is supposedly trying to accomplish.

But for now, start with evidence that it is a trend. Thanks.


Do you want me to provide similar examples from other fields?
#15158286
wat0n wrote:Do you think nonwhites born in the UK share that culture? Or, if I understand correctly, they can never be fully part of it?


Do you think the UK and the rest of the western world are so influenced by classical that the UK can claim Greek heritage?

Do you want me to provide similar examples from other fields?


I would think that you would need to provide several examples from a majority of fields in order to show a general trend.

Is that possible?
#15158288
Pants-of-dog wrote:Do you think the UK and the rest of the western world are so influenced by classical that the UK can claim Greek heritage?


Certainly not, is that the point you were trying to make?

If so, it's well taken but I don't think Classicists would disagree either. Instead, what they mean is that Ancient Greco-Roman civilization had quite evidently a lot of influence on Western civilization in general, including the non-Greek and non-Roman parts of it. They also had some influence in the Middle East, but it did not necessarily translate into attempts to imitate/improve on the government systems of Athens or the Roman republic.

Pants-of-dog wrote:I would think that you would need to provide several examples from a majority of fields in order to show a general trend.

Is that possible?


Sure, I'll come back to this tomorrow or Friday since I'm a bit busy right now. But some of the allegations mentioned in this debate within the Classics can also be found in STEM for example. The issue of "decolonization of science" isn't new either.
Last edited by wat0n on 25 Feb 2021 00:06, edited 1 time in total.
#15158439
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.

Can you explain how the classics oppressed or enslaved them?

The Greeks invented democracy. They didn't espouse it for only white people to my knowledge.
#15158474
Julian658 wrote:Cancel culture is the first step before undesirable people are simply vanished form society.

These are people who "left the cave" and who are summarily "terminated" for their transgression.

It can all be found in the ClassicsTM.

Plato wrote lovingly about "cancelling cave-leaving culture." :lol:
#15158475
QatzelOk wrote:These are people who "left the cave" and who are summarily "terminated" for their transgression.

It can all be found in the ClassicsTM.

Plato wrote lovingly about "cancelling cave-leaving culture." :lol:

Have you even read Plato? :eh:

Do you even lift bro? :lol:
#15158478
Potemkin wrote:Have you even read Plato? :eh:

Do you even lift bro? :lol:

Yo, I totally read Plato when I was, like, taking an intro to Political Philosophy class.

The prof was rad. Moroccan, gay, young, sexy.

Before that, we "went through" The Republic in high school, but no one was interested. Sort of like Shakespeare in high school. Boring and irrelevant because .... no conclusions about Modern Life are tolerated in class. It's all "kissing the ass of literature," rather than "kicking ass with philo." :lol:
#15158490
Unthinking Majority wrote:Can you explain how the classics oppressed or enslaved them?


Two points:

1. I never made that claim.

2. It is possible for the classics to have not brought liberty, equality, and democracy to BIPOC people and at the same time to not have enslaved them.

The Greeks invented democracy. They didn't espouse it for only white people to my knowledge.


Then you should read your classics. Early democracy was limited to Athenian male landowners, who were all white.
#15158492
Pants-of-dog wrote:Then you should read your classics. Early democracy was limited to Athenian male landowners, who were all white.

They were all Greeks (more specifically, they were all Athenian citizens), which is all that actually mattered to them. Most 'barbarians', especially from the north, were likely 'whiter' than the Athenians themselves, but the olive-skinned Athenians still sneered at them as 'barbarians' and wouldn't have dreamed of letting them vote in local elections. Being 'white' is a modern construction.
#15158494
Potemkin wrote:They were all Greeks (more specifically, they were all Athenian citizens), which is all that actually mattered to them. Most 'barbarians', especially from the north, were likely 'whiter' than the Athenians themselves, but the olive-skinned Athenians still sneered at them as 'barbarians' and wouldn't have dreamed of letting them vote in local elections. Being 'white' is a modern construction.


Yes, whiteness did not exist as a social phenomenon until much later. Maybe the Renaissance or thereabouts?

But the idea of only enfranchising people of the home ethnicity was the idea, and it was this idea that was then coupled with whiteness during the era when the USA was being formed, to the detriment of BIPOC people.
#15158496
All people, including all the countries from where BIPOC people come from, define rights only within the given definition of "citizen" to the exclusion of everyone else.

This remains true for any system of government even today.

Enfranchisement takes place in stages, in ancient Greece it was first applied to a collective rather than to specific individuals or their families, from then on institutions are required to safeguard the management of the power relationships, while without that you have a King who decides everything, in democratic systems you need offices run by citizens that ensure equitability among the collective is maintained.

The difference between democratic systems and non(ancient or modern) is that in democratic systems these are the defined goals of the state via an agreement, often called a constitution:

Isonomia, isegoria, isokratia

Isonomia = Equality before the law via the courts
Isegoria= Equality of speech via the Ecclesia tou Demou(Assembly), all citizens have the right to be heard
Isokratia= Equality of power via the rotational system of all non-elected(.ie bureauractic) public offices, all citizens have the right and duty to run the management of the public offices.

That is the main recipe for democracy and that with variations was applied in various Greek city-states beyond Athens, then adopted and modified by Rome which eventually was replaced by the Imperial system until pre-Renaissance Italy brought up other variants of the above.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isonomia

Herodotos-The Histories wrote:The rule of the people has the fairest name of all, equality (isonomia), and does none of the things that a monarch does. The lot determines offices, power is held accountable, and deliberation is conducted in public.


@Pants-of-dog what you also need to take note of is that ancient Athenian democracy was far more empowering to a citizen than any system in place today and was far more demanding as well. Active military service for an average citizen was over 30 years and people were legally expected to serve in the army for 42 years. The citizens aside from having their jobs or businesses, they also had to serve(on a yearly or 4 yearly basis) for many years(all their lives really) free of charge running all public institutions of the city. So all the public institutions were all staffed free-of-charge by the citizens with rights and duties.

It is a very post-modern phenomenon of people enjoying rights without duties and that is why it may be preferable to be talking of modern privileges within nation-states instead of actual rights.

That is some food for thought.
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