Dialogue at Salon.com (Feb. 5 2015)

Benthead Patrick McEvoy-Halston I hear you. Mind you, in presence of chivalric liberal Chait, about to do battle in support of 18th-century liberal ideals(!) it's okay .... perhaps more than okay, to remind that people can be Quixotic, strange, as bizarrely motivated as Freud held all humanity to be. 

Different cultures owe entirely to different childrearing. You can make all the fuss you want about reactionaries across different cultures, but if they sound the same in tone ... if they're equally aggressive, then they properly belong grouped with one another, however much their decorating aesthetics may sort out. Historical change owes to gradually improving childrearing. People believe they deserve a better life, and they invent belief systems that help enable it to be so. 

The nature of geopolitics depends on the norm within our own families. If we cooperated there and addressed each other as equals, this will prove the same when we engage with one another at the UN. If we fought bitterly, constantly trying to shame and humiliate ... then when one, say, shucks off austerity, our reaction will be angry and punitive. Germany's childrearing was the worst in Europe in the first part of the 20th-century; I wonder where exactly it stands now. 

I appreciate the comments you make here, Benthead, the good that you do. Freud rules!


I'm a lefty, but I still roll my eyes at some PC excesses.

So what are you like a governor who administrates the excesses and brilliance of the young? I'm speaking, of course, as someone who is routinely accused of being excessive in my Freudianism ... and all I see is the beautifully opened vision that is being forestalled by those who recognize me in a way which means the least adjustment as possible. 

Lorin K Correct. What the centre-left is giving us these days is ready disparagement of those they still take inspiration from. 

esstee AtavistEsquire lwaxanatroi I agree. But once you start reflecting more on how other people are being hurt or humiliated by your language, it doesn't mean then assuming that you have more to learn from them than they do from you. It may only mean that there is room for you to grow in your sincere effort to be humane and loving. 

For example, I might as a humane therapist use language that threatens/shames someone who became a rapist and a murderer owing entirely to sustained early childhood abuse, and I should correct course: my aim should be to make this afflicted human being feel comfortable rather than manipulated into being cowed and docile. But in this situation, even as I've explored their situation as much as possible from "the inside," and as much as I've begun to address my need to rethink how I engage with people like him/her in the future, I unfortunately haven't much to learn from them. It's unfortunate, because this is when the world is best -- when every single person out there has had a developmental history which means they shine at least as brightly as you do. Good hippie stuff. 

If you're a socialist, a real progressive, what you may really have to rethink is any inclination you still have to submit to the role of the sinner as soon as someone strikes the pose of the put-off adult. You still think of yourself as in some way bad and long for the acceptance you get when you finally admit to it. You won't long hold onto this "badness" anyways; for you'll eventually project it onto others, which will mean a whole lot of hurt for them.   

PubliusPencilman it is an honest question: can we disagree as thinking people and not exclusively as representatives of fraught racial histories?

Ultimately we're all representatives of fraught family histories. Brittney has acknowledged that black families have historically expected obedience out of their children, and that this might have resulted in the curbing of creativity and the breeding of fear and resentment (projected onto others so one isn't put in the position of pointing fingers at one's own terrifying parents?).  She brings all this into every conversation she has with "you." 

What's your family history like? Are you bringing the same? If not, she may be more afflicted by the past than you are. 

AtavistEsquire How about just calling her Brittney? We're all together here in the salon, and it's democratic manners not to go formal or start titling one another. 

Lorin K And since these are liberals and leftists who also happen to be white, straight, or male, they are actually interested in learning and growing, otherwise why would they be joining you in the fight against oppression in the first place?

The charge is that they aren't so interested in learning and growing but in extending their privilege. And you know this, ostensibly, because the moment you show them how "white" and self-serving/promoting their version of liberalism is, they get upset rather than prepare themselves to learn and grow; they feel inclined to want to "shush" you.  White, heterosexual liberals, the charge goes, so much don't want to know that they themselves are the problem -- that they are elitists who count on a horde of loyal "diverse" followers to ultimately count them lords -- that rather than reflect and absorb they angrily reject and flee. 

Personally, I think that some of those charged as being secretly bigoted are actually genius at getting at the perspective of others -- the best there is alive. They just won't let kill-joy conservative swamping derail their progressivism ... if that makes any sense. 

Rashomons Baby AtavistEsquire I didn't mean "querulous." I meant rather curious, or atypical, or maybe even queer. 

Rashomons Baby Patrick McEvoy-Halston AtavistEsquire Depends on how evolved I am. But yes, I am the judge, or, rather, the person who in good faith decides for myself. 

If you say something that makes me feel uncomfortable, you could be a bully but you could also be a friend. It depends on how much of my current framework of thinking is built out of defence of early-suffered child abuse. 

If a lot, then your making me feel uncomfortable will be felt by me as someone piercing through a protective shield that threatens to sink me back into a humiliated state. If very little, then your making me uncomfortable won't be felt as your making me feel uncomfortable: it'll simply be something initially querulous that quickly becomes a delightful opportunity to see my world anew! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

AtavistEsquire Rashomons Baby That would depend on how progressive they are. If they're bullies, then yes; if they're evolved, then no.

BlarBlarBlar Salon employs both of them because "they" think they're both fine journalists -- fine political journalists. 

I do think there are some on staff who sort of agree with you, though ... but these are people who hold perhaps an older conception of what a proper journalistic piece is supposed to be. 

Rashomons Baby dcer then you may be missing an opportunity to find (and potentially diminish) the shadow of the oppressor buried deep within yourself (to paraphrase Audre Lorde).

A lot of people want to recognize themselves as possessed of sin -- are you advertising to it? 

The point shouldn't be to gather as many people together as possible who agree that at some deep level we're all bad, and go out on a purifying crusade against those still enjoying lattes, Lena Dunham, and who feel pretty much wholly alright with themselves. 

della street Patrick McEvoy-Halston It seemed implicit that if they failed they deserved blame ... isn't this how this rhetoric of rewards and punishments goes? 

Personally, I don't they deserve recognition or blame. If we, if the state, provisions you the way "you" deserve -- which is amply -- a good outcome is guaranteed. If you're left destitute by your parents and the state is nowhere to help, no god-miracle happens: guaranteed, you'll raise very mentally disturbed children. 

della street  If anything, the life of the single Black mother, who manages to raise good kids despite huge challenges, should be venerated.

And the ones who don't manage this miracle should be ... disrespected? These millionaire rap performers don't do this, but they do distribute it with great enthusiasm amongst the rest of the female populace. 

overcat Patrick McEvoy-Halston Moses got to be God's favourite, but that still didn't stop him from believing God's ten commandments were a good idea -- so no. 

What would have stopped it is if there was nothing in her relationship with her mother and father that made her able to relate to the idea that if you suffer for your God, then you're a good person. 

Splint Chesthair But racism, sexism, heterosexism and every other ism are bigoted and illegitimate.

Some of us aren't sure exactly what's going to get identified as racism, sexism, heterosexism, and thus worthy of thorough censure. If like Brittney, who is a person of deep faith, the people who decide this actually hold suspiciously conservative traits, it can be a means by which actual progress is inhibited or canceled. 

BlarBlarBlar BeansAndGreens You're trying to bait BeansAndGreens to dump Jenny Kutner/Brittney Cooper identity politics for Thomas Frank economic/international affairs? Doesn't this to you sound a little bit like keeping female talk hidden while the boys smoke cigars? 

Chaemera Patrick McEvoy-Halston BeansAndGreens A beacon's only duty is to shine brightly. We should remember it wasn't Fitzgerald's fault that "Great Gatsby" went out of circulation in the 1930s, but the populace's -- the idiot middle -- who willed him out of view. The middle is lost; to me its obvious the direction they're headed. 

Our concern is to embolden progressives that the right attitude is one which recognizes no authority simply because they're an "authority"; to deflate any impulse on their part to base their self-esteem on rectitude by showing clearly that those who live best and most freely and most enviably can hardly give a damn if they're ignored for being trash, or praised for dressing princely. These sites do this inspiringly. They inspire and embolden me.  

BeansAndGreens If Salon wants to help society engage in discussions of race and privilege, it should elevate the discourse, not drop it down to Fox News levels.

This is Gawker/Jezebel level, not just Fox, and Gawker is a powerful progressive voice ... it unsettles. Fox would talk a lot about the need to elevate the discourse too, but you'd never hear such a thing from these sites ... Are you sure you know through exactly which discourse, the liberal fight is finding its most vibrant avenue?

pavioc16  In this regard he relegates our intellectual and political contributions to the terrain of unruly and excessive forms of embodiment and emotionality, which he rhetorically constructs as mutually exclusive from the terrain of enlightened reason.

This bit strikes me as right. Brittney is however a person of deep faith, which means that the idea of a pure God and his sinful children means something to her. I suspect her ultimate inevitable bent to be a kill-joy will arise mostly out of the kind of parental-child relationship she was born into which gave birth to this perversity. 

Chaif is a kill-joy as well. He supported the Iraq war which killed millions and drained billions that could have gone into social programs ... into things which would have opened up better health and more joy. Right now he seems to be encouraging liberals to imagine themselves knights to "lady liberty" -- to counter the "evil" females, the witches, which may in his mind mostly be large, grasping black women -- and can more readily see this leading to combat and stalled progress rather than academic creativity. 

bootknife stephened ornwen Didn't mean this to read as an insult to you, btw. I meant that all parents should see their children as an opportunity to give them more love than they themselves received. 

Cooper53 Kronosaurus Booblay Ownership of children? I think not. Parental rights until you abuse them and then the community steps in to assure humane treatment of your child.

I'm not even sure about this. If the community is more evolved than the particular family, it should be there from the start. Otherwise, it'll just be another republican/libertarian bent on hurting the vulnerable. 

jonvaljon Patrick McEvoy-Halston okay. 

DMichael Hoyt Yes, shushing is you being the authoritative parent to their being the inferior child. When you shush, you're actually entering the mindset of your own regressive parents, who did that to you. 

bootknife Patrick McEvoy-Halston stephened ornwen okay. maybe also opportunity ... to raise children more emotionally evolved than you are. 

stephened bootknife ornwen Please, go ahead and give your children all the non-infectious diseases you like since they are, after, your property.

You think children are parents' property?

 The state doesn’t own your children. Parents own the children. And it is an issue of freedom and public health.

Ron Paul doesn't actually believe this. If he got elected, he'd suddenly find all kinds of excuses for the state meddling with progressive childrearing within families. You'd be part of Alfie Kohn's "no homework" movement, part of anyone's "no spank" movement, and you'd be deemed guilty of raising weak, spoiled children, presenting no warrior resistance to ISIS. 

Blueflash Maybe it was purity, the physical desire to feel purified, rather than idealism ... which to me makes people seem all bookish Thomas Jeffersons. To feel free of sin yourself, and to be righteously attacking it all on the outside, could come near to motivating hundreds of thousands, perhaps even now. 

And when they felt the country was being betrayed, their founding, perhaps they weren't (at the deepest level) thinking of what happened a hundred years before but more of early personal experiences akin to what "American Sniper" showed ... the young learning early how good it feels to stick up for, to "sheepdog," your family.  

bernie4366 A whole country doesn't want Isquith? I'm sure he doesn't know what to make of that ... it's a bit like being told the moon doesn't like you, and  sure enough, looking up to see the moon deeply frowning -- which would be surreal but also kinda awesome! 

Blueflash So hundreds of thousands of ordinary white Northerners rushed to give up their lives because their Southern neighbours weren't sufficiently democratic? Very reasoning and noble of them. But isn't that too a bit preposterous? How about they did it because all of a sudden they stopped seeing Southerners as neighbours -- however inferior ones, wed still too much to sheep-thinking and aristocratic values -- but as dangerous vipers who near literally threatened to poison the body public? What was the imagery like? How were Southerners portrayed? In a clear-visioned fashion or in ways that smacked of heavy mental disturbance and delusion?

others adjourn to the wine shop or coffeehouse to celebrate the meaninglessness of everything and discuss the new episode of “Girls.”

Nelson Fox: Perfect. Keep those West-Side liberal nuts, psudo-intellectuals... 
Joe Fox: Readers, Dad. They're called readers. 
Nelson Fox: Don't do that, son. Don't romanticize them. 

Jack Burroughs Patrick McEvoy-Halston Kevin J Cunningham

Rolling Stone was intuitively persuaded that the UVA rape accuser was telling the truth. 

My intuition tells me that you think men are under attack by female schemers and their hapless male minions. My sense is that you gloried in this rebuke. My intuition tells me that all proof of this I would subsequently pro-offer you, wouldn't gain your ascent, even if Athena herself came down to weigh all evidence on my side. 

susan sunflower I think they suspect that the world's greatest threat right now is the seductiveness of us all going us vs. them. If "Charlie Hebdo" gets recontextualized, it's defused as a "tea in the harbor," linchpin event and becomes one that has its complicated, nuanced aspects. Our complex, liberal society gets to continue, as our corpus callosum smacks our reptilian matter right in the face. 

theglove Patrick McEvoy-Halston Jack Burroughs Kevin J Cunningham I know, but he's become especially militant right now, and you sense that given a choice between the two (as an opponent), Islam is his preference. 

Jack Burroughs Patrick McEvoy-Halston Kevin J Cunningham

If you "sense" something nefarious about someone, you still have to back up your suspicions with substance. If you fail to do that, then you're engaged in character assassination. 

You sound like someone mansplaining the world-turned-upside-down damage female intuition leads to. 

Jack Burroughs Kevin J Cunningham For instance, how many times has Salon, and many of its commenters, basically accused Bill Maher and Sam Harris of racism and other bigotries for their substantive, good faith criticisms of Islam?

Many, because they're not done in "good faith." Good faith would mean that if there was some means of making the world more progressive which didn't mean their isolating Islam as an opponent worthy of a crusade, they'd have chosen it. We sense their need for people to be crushed, guiltlessly, probably because an ever-evolving world actually makes them feel nervous and jumpy -- surely, for all this progress, some group has to be made to pay for our collective sins -- and this is why Salon attacks them. 

Hal Ginsberg

From Socrates to Thomas Paine to David Hume to John Stuart Mill to Jeremy Bentham to FDR to MLK to Bernie Sanders, liberals are just about always right.

A lot of men on this list. It's what's appealing to Chait ... this sense of time-travelling back to the 18th-century, when it wouldn't have occurred to anyone to have listed a woman -- on anyone feminine -- on a list of who's right. 

DailyAlice Blueflash I think if we explored history we'll find ample examples of just-former neighbours suddenly hacking the hell out of one another. People can be getting along amiably and then suddenly switch, and no longer see kindly Joe or Sue but demons that mean to submit everyone to their servitude. 

gerryquinn I think he's trying to masculinize liberalism, and cast everyone else as enfeebling ... I think it's about his own feeling weak right now, feminine. I find his vision is becoming mythological. I fear that a whole lot of people will appreciate the kind of "armour" he casts over them when he dresses them as lady-liberty protectors. Their absolute immunity -- in their heroic chivalry -- to doubt and contestations.

The problem for me is really just fundamentalism ... peoples whose childhoods were repressive enough that they feel a need to stop growth, that they feel good boys and girls in doing so. 

There are plenty of people who associate with the left but who are actually quite conservative in values--Brittney Cooper, I find, is one of them; and it should be interesting to see what happens when some of her fellow writers at Salon get plunked into her category of racist villains. I think that many of these people are aware that sometimes in stopping people from saying and exploring things, they're not stopping something absent of sensitivity and that encourages bigotry, but that encourages growth -- something that is actually a good thing. 

With these people, we have to be sensitive that what motivates them is not villainy/evil but a shallower, more punitive and cowing childhood; we have to delay our reaction by getting inside them and experiencing the world from their perspective; but we do have to recognize them nevertheless as obstacles -- they are that. 

Blueflash Yeah, reason was really king when before people could hardly see the world for it being so coated with their projections -- so 1500 to 1900 or so. Clear vision, reason, came out of being more empathically raised as children. 

Those still clinging to the word/concept now experience it as a (perhaps patriarchal?) bulwark against feelings, makes them feel coated in armour -- it's autistic, in a way -- and are hardly our most evolved sort.

When Chait supported the Iraq War, I'm sure if you'd have seen him you'd have spotted something wild in his eyes. There's something wild in his demeanour right now, and it scares me. 

To the limited degree that the humanity of African-Americans was recognized by U.S. government and society in the 19th century, it came through the thrust of a bayonet and the barrel of a gun. 

Is this what happened in Britain when they turned against the slave trade? Abolitionists started wading about and spearing every conservative in sight? 

Maybe what enabled the recognition of the humanity of African-Americans, was slowly better childrearing. More empathy in childhood means less projection of your own "badness" onto others in adulthood. The war just suited those who required that progress be met with a huge hoard of sacrifices to the maw ... then we'd be allowed to keep it.  

It'd be nice if some of the players spoke up for them. Such a staple of the game, and paid nothing. 

susan sunflower Patrick McEvoy-Halston Benthead
becomes a way to erase Brittney and what she's saying in factor of making her and it somehow the product of pathology. 

Brittney herself has argued that who children end up becoming depends a great deal on how they were raised. She argues that childhoods where obedience is obtained out of fear, "curtail creativity ... and breed fear and resentment between parents and children that far outlasts childhood." She's not the product simply of pathology; I think she's right that there was love there, however much I think her need to keep her mother holy means she overstates it. 

I listen to her, catch a tone that suggests to me she'll actually prove someone who shortchanges progress, ongoing self-expression, growth, and, I think, I point to her childhood, to origins, to help clarify what might otherwise people might be distracted from. "What you sense in her owes to her as a child being abandoned and punished for trespasses, and her ongoing need to make her parents right and avoid punishment by ultimately serving to inhibit freedoms and demonize those more progressive than she." 

susan sunflower MWH Patrick McEvoy-Halston Benthead

It might also be useful to look at this column: 

where she backs off feminists claiming that Michelle Obama had become a "English lady of the manor, Tory party, circa 1830s," saying that,

"The fact that she is ride-or-die for Barack makes us love her all the more. And that struggle between supporting your man and his vision for the nation versus being the full, forceful expression of your black womanhood is a struggle that black feminists know all too well, and are uniquely poised to sit with, not uncritically, but rather in a productive space of discomfort."

which sounded a little bit to me like the sort of "contentment" 1950s women of all colours were supposed to "sit with." And I'm wondering if her perspective, informed by masochism and, I think, somewhat suspect respect for victims ... witness her claim that Bill Cosby should always be a hero to black people, owes to the particular nature of her childhood. 

MWH Patrick McEvoy-Halston Benthead I'd like to see if there is a difference in how they were raised as children, between feminists being attacked via the solidarityisjustforwhitepeople hashtag, and those feminists doing the attacking. 

susan sunflower Patrick McEvoy-Halston Benthead I think progressives are being managed so that putting blocks up against regressive thinking, is not their being sane but their being prejudiced. So I fight against this disaster. 

Benthead Well, she's said that it has been traditional in many black families to raise children to be obedient, disciplined, to give them spankings, and that this is something she's hoping to unlearn. She's written that in her childhood, parents who thought their children were too good to be spanked were ostracized. She's written that while she's seen many white children "yelling" (talking back?) at their parents, being received calmly, gently, soothingly, she can't recount a time when she saw a black child yell at her mother in public. Never--such a child would be dead meat. 

Gotz Aly recently described the different attitudes towards children between German and Jewish families in the first half of the 20th-century, with the Germans being disciplinarian, not tolerating any dissent, and quite frankly beating the hell out of their children, and the Jewish being more progressive, raising children so they were unafraid to take risks and who were actually known to talk back to teachers--something German children never did. 

Aly doesn't say much praise about the Germanic childrearing culture, but rather attacked it for inspiring envy and hate. Cooper claims that black parents are able to discipline their children in a wholly loving way--she believes it's misguided and has terrible consequences, but it's always done out of love and care ... and thereby is considerably different from disciplinarian cultures of the past. 

Do you believe her? What kind of voice are we giving rise to? The one that would flatten any child who behaved too freely or who didn't shepherd properly exactly who one was permitted to quarrel with? Or one that "usefully" challenges such "totalitarian" ideas, like that children should be talked to rather than spanked, and that parents aren't always right? 

Brittney Cooper has written that she came out of a home where obedience was valued, and that this no doubt stifled her ability to think creatively. It seems to have affected her ability to think of creativity, of "discovering the world anew," as necessarily entirely virtuous--perhaps it can't be detached from a selfish colonizing impulse? 

If whatever group you belong to raises its children progressively, when you're targeted, it's going to be because you're doing what their parents cruelly crushed them for. It's going to be out of envy, and to show themselves the good boy or girl who's still devoted to his/her authoritarian parents.  

Brittney Cooper said she grew up in a community which insisted on kids learning to be absolutely obedient. You never spoke up against your parents. Never ... or you'd get a whooping. She said that within her community, children who did something "wrong" in other people's homes and were beaten there for it, could expect to also be spanked upon returning home for showing disrespect to a neighbour.

Is her problem that Charlie Hebdo is actually the "person" she wanted to be but was scared away from fully becoming ... someone small taking on institutions that insist on being revered? Someone small behaving absolutely liberally? Is being liberal just a bit too permissive for her? Is she inclined to see us as spoiled conquistadors and in need of a whooping, when we'd dare shrink something as grand as an established religion into something just kinda regular we could presume to hold to account? 

  • J.C. Miller If Jews in France argued that they were hated by some elements in their country owing to their success, would this be reality-based? Would the people who hate them be close to what we think of as fundamentalist -- i.e. highly conservative? Or do you think everyone who hates them naturally has in mind Israel/Palestine?

    esstee Patrick McEvoy-Halston Benthead Signe_S So Muslims cannot express themselves as Muslims, but others can berate them quite viciously with impunity.

    Is this what is happening when they wear their apparel -- expressing themselves? I would hope so, but somehow that seems what a progressive person might apply to their experience. In any case, I'm sorry they weren't simply respected and nurtured -- what they deserved -- but full fruition of a culture can be no more than what we'd see when something regressive is allowed the same. And personally I think the most important repression they want revenge from is what they experienced from their parents: being berated viciously with impunity ... is the norm for any culture which still believes in absolute obedience in a god, I assure you. There was terror there -- abandonment and infanticide was what was offered "you" if you disobeyed your parents. Revenge, you'd never overtly direct against them but against some other in the social sphere. 

    FreeQuark Benthead unless he or she thinks ethnic turmoil, militarism, classism, consumerism, and environmental destruction represent progress

    Consumerism might be. Do you mean like the characters in "Girls" who still love shopping in New York? ... I'm not sure how many people parading against them are really all that progressive.

    esstee Patrick McEvoy-Halston Benthead Signe_S What is the geopolitics? Some people out there feel great when they take down those who still feel permitted to engage in debate and ridicule authority. We focus on what regressives have done to them -- Bush et al. -- but all progressives needn't to have done to ensure the same was just keep being comfortable with societal growth. They are the freedom-exploring child they were abandoned for trying to be. 

    If you were attacked by the regressives of another culture but were yourself the product of nurturing parents, you won't see the world as one where you might procure righteous revenge. You'll know that what everyone has suffered too much from is humiliation and you'll do what you can just to increment a bit the love. 

    Benthead Patrick McEvoy-Halston Signe_S "Geo-politics" sounds sober .... what "adults" do. The miracle of what Freud does is to help break this fortress: the adult world isn't beyond the childish but fully informed by it -- how mommy and daddy loved, or did not love, us. You'll admit this would require a brave step for an adult -- to admit that they're still settling out their grievances, their being owned by, their parents, when it's Wall Street, Angela Merkel, international relations, and the latest whatever that Atwood and McEwan have pumped out?

    Benthead Patrick McEvoy-Halston Signe_S Freud had the punitive God as really just the castrating parent projected ... was he just frolic in your more sober-important world of geo-politics as well?

    Signe_S Patrick McEvoy-Halston Stephen Stralka What is going on in the world is that that some people still haven't quit being those who challenge, debate and grow, while whole hosts of others have. Those who keep on valuing growth have had a certain kind of parents while those trying to shut it down, have had others. The proper locus of attention is on the individual and how s/he is allowed to know the world: on you, the next person, and I. 

    Signe_S Stephen Stralka Patrick McEvoy-Halston The only history you need to know is one's personal history: how did your parents react to your efforts to grow and individuate from them? If they (parents) were well-loved enough to respond enthusiastically, self and societal growth comes easy to you: growth and self-attention never meant abandonment for you. The only thing that will stop you about your generational history is if it wasn't one of those where each generation found means to improve upon the parenting they themselves received. 

    Benthead Signe_S Patrick McEvoy-Halston If the lower classes can resent, why do you not allow that it is THEY who allow themselves to be ruled? In any case, I don't worry so much about resentment but about those who feel virtuous -- loyal to their parents -- in taking down the more progressive elements in society. 

    Signe_S Patrick McEvoy-Halston In my judgment, what is happening is what will keep on happening, so long as some "cultures" continue to value progress. We outpace what a lot of people can allow for themselves, and they feel loyal to their parents' values in launching themselves at us. I don't care how big a hoard they become, I think any turn on our part to focus mostly on our "inevitable" need to factor them in primarily, will be a sign of our own now uneasiness with ongoing change, our displacement (and implicit ridicule) of our predecessors' attitudes and expectations for us. 

    TXJew Sure, because Jews tend to more progressive than other people. They "embody" all the freedoms that less well-loved people can't allow themselves. 

    Signe_S Patrick McEvoy-Halston It gets pulled down by those who can't stand the growth progressives keep on pushing for. Our current situation is to find some way to make the emphasis the daily enjoyments still available to us, the progress -- now including, finally, such things as a living wage -- coming out of liberal governments, rather than whatever wants to make war, suspicion, settling matters -- hate -- what we should be focusing on. 

    Signe_S How many people do you know who don't identify as multiculturalist that are actually peace-loving? Some of us identify as multiculturalist because  this is where many of the more respectful and loving people "are." I personally champion other cultures because it's "where" I can "applaud" my love and appreciation for people everywhere. People who hurt other people were brutalized by their unloved parents when they were infants ... so how can I wish them any ill-will? When you're speaking to them, you may not always be learning from them, but you're always hoping for them: I really wish, at least, they could be what they deserved to be -- those I would have as much to learn from as they do from me. 

    In truth, however, the only people we should be attending to to learn something from are those of the most progressive attitudes. If Seattle and San Fran no longer can stand living amongst people who can't afford groceries and so insist on a decent living wage, let's look at places like that to  actually learn, for instance. 

    oregoncharles ilkim And that's from an atheist who thinks religion is ultimately harmful.  It's nonetheless part of the human condition, so I salute the work and courage of those who seek to make it helpful, instead. 

    How is bowing to a superior entity natural to anyone other than those still unfortunately raised by parents who expected obedience and deference? 

    I have no problem with any of this. Jackson is a great director who is ebbing in his power. But still as such, you know there's always a chance he'll do something you haven't seen before, something done without your consideration first in mind. Genuine leadership, like Ridley Scott -- both of whom nevertheless are approaching the point you may decide not to witness at all. They've been built great out of a previous time, but they're ebbing in their ability to say something meaningful to our own. It begins to seem even criminal, like you ought to be Joaquin Phoenix, strangling them for being incommensurate, and having to content "yourself" with your more minor abilities that possess the virtue of at least being able to be put in play.    

    MargoArrowsmith Patrick McEvoy-Halston Cultures that value hard work are also those that insist on paying people a low wage. Therefore, within these cultures, we don't assure people economic gains by pointing out how hard they are working. 

    MargoArrowsmith Patrick McEvoy-Halston kiel Your reason for why cheerleaders is what, exactly? Try and be imaginative. 

    MargoArrowsmith There is a reality TV show about the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders.  They work as hard as the players do.

    Why is this relevant? We all know that McDonald workers work hard but this hasn't stopped a lot of us from thinking they get what they deserve. The preference for working hard is linked to our insistence on paying a low pay--it has a masochistic element, where we're eager to show how worn we are. 

    kiel Historically women cheered and jeered men to prove their manhood by sacrificing themselves in battle. At some level of the football fan's imagination, these are not simply beauties but terrors insisting on their blood .... "come back with your shield or on it." 

    Women might compete for the role because their relationship to the players might be a bit maternal ... the players become their boys sacrificing all and accruing accomplishments for them. 

    It isn't just hearing about other stories, though. Freud heard plenty of stories of child sexual abuse--in fact so many he gauged it essentially the Austrian norm--but it didn't lead him to think of its damage. He estimated that since people seem to be still functioning, it couldn't be that harmful. 

    What we are ultimately depending upon was touched upon by Brittney Cooper early this year when she discussed how childrearing has changed from her grandmother's time, to her mother's, to her own, with what had been prevalent -- beating the hell of children to imprint discipline -- becoming spare and on the very of disappearance (within her particular generational string): Cooper pledges herself against physical assault of children entirely. We are dependent upon all those millennials out there whose parents gave their children more love than their own parents will able to provide them. These lot will simply care more. They'll hear of abuse and pledge themselves instantly to stopping it. 

    Children from unloving families can hear of abuse and instantly put themselves into the position of the perpetrator--they'll see the victim as deserving it. It was their parents' position towards them, and they internalized it, implemented it as an alter within their heads, very early on to keep their parents as they required them to be: right, just, and ultimately protective so long as the child learned to behave. 

    As such, re-education requires coaching them to be able to brace their parents' rejection, which'll come to mind every time they're put in the position of defending the vulnerable--that is, their being abandoned as infants to the cold and surely to death. It'll pit you against their superego and you'll probably lose. 

    susan sunflower Sorry you had a bad week, Susan. 

    Katie has elsewhere argued that most women have a story where they were forced into sex. That would mean that, what, maybe 20 percent of the men out there are rapists? This could be true. Charles Barkley and Brittney Cooper have both argued that most black parents beat their children -- not just with hands, but with belts and switches. Both tried to say that this was done with good intentions, for the ostensible benefit of the child, but this is the standard rationalization of those who've been abused, so we can read it the right way: most black parents physically abuse their children. As Brittney says, to imprint discipline into their skin.

    Abuse is THAT prevalent in our society. Because it's so often at the hands of our parents, we have trouble deciding that abusers were wrong. It would make us feel permanently abandoned by them; it would make us feel set to be infanticided by them. Freud knew the prevalence of children's sexual abuse in Austrian society but decided it couldn't be that big a thing because everyone would be hysteric. I think we can look around at society and see that the results of early abuse shows plenty. Men revenging themselves against maternal incest through repeatedly attacking women. Women returning the abuse they themselves suffered onto their children. Projections onto "others" who represent our own bad selves. People seeing victims and believing they deserved what they got. 

    As a culture, we are overwhelmingly inclined to think that victims are lying when they say they have been raped.

    I am not sure about that. I think it's just that we as a culture still subconsciously want there to be abused people out there, and for them to flail about without recompense. 

    alterego55 Righteous anger is never based on existing realities, but on early-suffered childhood abuse. My vote goes for those who point to the health reforms, the increases in minimum wages, gay marriage, the legalization of marijuana, and sees a block to the idea that what we need most is violent revolution. 

    DaveL Bladernr1001 But you're right. Progressives are always the best loved in their societies, the most evolved. They believe less that there are "bad children" out there who deserve to be abandoned and pained. 
  • Original Article: Chris Rock’s economic bombshell: What his “riots in the streets” prediction says about the American Dream
  • WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2014 8:39 PM
DaveL Bladernr1001 This is great. But it's not intelligence that is key, but emotional health. I know you know this, but every time we say intelligence suddenly a cold chess game comes to mind; not enough the delight in seeing people everywhere enjoying life, fully provided as one can imagine. 

Ellemm Christopher1988 sam louise Aranka Aunt Messy 

When women are sexually harassed they're not admired for standing up to the powers that be. 

There's a certain drama about Christopher's description of adult society that strikes me as worth exploring. He describes it as knocks and blows, and if you can weather it you're an adult and if you can't you're a coward. 

What he is describing here though is not so much what is intrinsically adult as what has traditionally been typical for male children, who are engaged less by their mothers, and thus experience fears of abandonment much greater than female children do. Almost immediately, they come to crave showing bravery in testing fields -- it's bravado; a testing of fears and showing you can master them. As an adult they crave perpetuation of just such an environment. It's not adult, but the perpetuation of the atmosphere of early childhood neglect. 

"Adult" really ought to be nurturing; it's what our long climb through generations has been about -- to create a less traumatizing and more attendant and loving world. So "adult" to me is someone like Alfie Kohn, who dislikes the whole testing narrative and thinks people perform best when given support and love. If we were living in his "adult" environment, those claiming they were abused would never be faced with the ramifications our own childhood-neglect built need to believe we've been tested and proven ourselves victorious. 

 That dynamic won’t change until more Americans realize that the American Dream today is just an empty promise.

At some level they know this, but they are atoning and so want to be a Depression people who showed nobility and dignity through suffering. During the Great Depression, they continued their faith in working hard, at some level knowing that whatever parental perpetrators in their life would be pleased in their unwillingness to point fingers at abusers. 

After enough suffering, they collectively felt they were allowed things again, and so the rich/poor divide collapsed, plumbers making more than lawyers, the rich taxed at 80 percent. 

RoloTomassi Patrick McEvoy-Halston I'm not sure if this was scribbled on the front page of Freud's Interpretation of Dreams, it'd be a total winner. Then again, psychoanalysis, while still a big deal in France, is less and less a thing in this great sophisticated land of ours, so maybe Freud'd be owned.  "Shake ... and bake! my Austrian friend, shake and bake." 

glorrierose Patrick McEvoy-Halston We do live in a rape culture. But more than this, we live in a culture where we are sacrificing broad swaths of people, which includes the poor and the young.

By this I'm perpetuating rape culture? Maybe you're perpetuating sting culture ... going at people you don't know like a wicked wasp and then leaving them to recover.

Christopher1988 Aranka Aunt Messy

I think the smart person would look around at our society and really understand that we are living in a period of sacrifice, where people seem to actually want a lot of people to suffer without remedy. Your action will depend if people will want to see you as one of those who's role is just to suffer. So if you're a student, take a pause. If you're a woman -- take a pause ... are you rich, someone successfully leaning in? Or can you be categorized as someone mid-level who's job is never safe? 

If you're the latter, the narrative society will want to see is your fall. You presumed to speak against abuse, and to society, you represent the vulnerable child speaking up against adult prerogatives. Right now, we see such a child as simply self-indulgent, selfish, bad.

It would probably strike one that in such a society, when someone suggests they take action which could be discomforting and scary but which after all is what adults do, they might being conned. For how much more ripe a sacrifice is one who after being humiliated and shamed, gets lead to hope by another huckster who sets her up so a whole court can authorize her being discombobulated? 

If it could, would such a society give such a gifted huckster a gold key to the realm? He after all gets them naivety akin to virgins. 

Benthead These people as children knew their parents were happiest with them when they didn't complain that while they were being neglected, their parents busied themselves on gorging themselves. The rich are projections of their own parents; those living in squalor are their own good childhood selves, who are being "good" by not complaining. 

They understand the totality of what is going on. We just don't appreciate the weird things children will do to feel worthy of their parent's love. 

I'm not sure if the problem is best described as rape culture. I think we're going through a time where people at some level understand certain people are being designated as being able to get away with anything -- fixed in lofty position, regardless of behaviour -- and others whose role is to suffer without there ever being a remedy. 

Living in an age where for so long we tolerated minimum wage/part-time jobs for so many people, or the endless testing and hundred thousand dollar debts for students, without any guarantees, suggests to me that most of us regretfully need to see at least one large delegated group serve as our snuffing out. Something monstrous and awful is freely forging on them, before our eyes, and interminably, and we just can't bear to attract its notice by speaking out. 

Let's hope someone wrote the equivalent article in Canada.

everready voltairespen Patrick McEvoy-Halston If they're black, I would tell them that there are swaths of people who, owing to being unloved/hated as children, will project onto people and actually enjoy hurting them. I would warn them that in America many white families are unfortunately some of the most unloving in the world, and those they have traditionally projected on have been blacks. I would tell them to take care, and move into regions where people are generally more lovingly raised. Check out where twitter showed the most outrage to this verdict, to inform your decision as to where to head. 

About cops, I would tell them that as we as a nation increasingly grow and provide our citizens with healthcare so fewer suffer, and change institutions so they work less to enfranchise bigotry, we're moving towards a society where cops seem an anachronism -- especially those with guns. You should expect, that is, with society moving more and more in a direction that does not satisfy the psychological needs of those who usually apply for the police force, an enormous amount of erratic behaviour, cops gone crazy. 

You could be being decent and good, and some cop will project all his personal demons onto you and see someone that needs twelve bullets to be stopped. 

voltairespen Patrick McEvoy-Halston I would recommend they make sure that those who pledge them relief from mediocrity by putting themselves on the front lines, get full scrutiny. 

voltairespen  "They are lining up, linking arms, and being locked up for justice. They are listening to those who have something to say, and shutting down shit when forced to listen to anyone who doesn’t. They are choosing their leaders, their griots, their truth-tellers, their strategists, their elders.  Showing up matters most. Putting one’s body on the line is the order of the day. They are undignified, improper, unabashed, impolitic, unapologetic, indefatigable.

More than 3000 new registered voters move among them.They have collected these new registrations like so many arrows in a quiver.

And Barack Obama is a broken symbol, a clanging cymbal, unable to say and do anything of use.

This moment is about all of us. About what kind of America we want to be. About what kind of America we are willing to be, willing to fight for. About whether we will settle for being mediocre and therefore murderous to a whole group of citizens. About whether there are other versions of ourselves worth fighting for.

Don’t sleep. Millennials, it seems, are the ones we have been waiting for.  Fearless and focused, the future they are fighting for is one I want. It is high time to awake out of sleep. Stay woke."  (Britney Cooper)

She is advocating for warriors. She is urging millennials, that is, young people, to lay down their lives. There is a narrative she is hoping for which very much includes a fantastic number of young people busted and beaten and killed, as they purge themselves of their mediocrity and become their best selves. This is war talk. 

Xanthro RoloTomassi omglolbbq Force, or calling for charred White flesh, will never help Black society, because all it does is drive away potential allies, while reinforcing negative stereotypes that Black people are inherently violent and unpersuaded by facts.

Except we see a lot of evidently progressive people expressing themselves just as forcefully right now, so I don't find your argument persuasive. What's happening there is people reacting to being hit by taking an assertive step forward: it thrills! 

Brittney Cooper, though, has talked about a need for young people to get ready to sacrifice themselves, to actually die for this cause. She's talked about them forgetting about living enriching lives, living better, more comfortably than their parents, and become more like the elders who literally spilt blood and who realized it wouldn't be for them, their own benefit, that it was spilt. This is a problem. This is young soldiers into WW1 talk. 

RoloTomassi Patrick McEvoy-Halston

What I know is that this powerful internet reaction owes entirely to the fact that more and more Americans are being raised with more care and love. So they're not racists -- racists being those who were brutalized by their parents making them project their own "bad" selves onto other people and take enormous pleasure when they're humiliated and destroyed. 

Evolved people like this need to know that the narrative of sacrifice is ultimately about purging too. Never, ever, encourage young people to see virtuous status as accruing to them if they subject themselves to the battlefield. Never make love and respect something owing to those who accumulate scars.

What do we do now? If we have the momentum, we'll "carpetbag" the more racist parts of the world and stop they're having any agency: they're after all only to be about seeking righteous vengeance themselves, possibly forever -- especially if the overall temper of our society continues to evolve, leaving them without a societal exostructure to help them "handle" their madness. 

If we don't, we'll probably realize that we've got enough for a country in all these progressive voices we're hearing, and double-down on our efforts where we rule. 

Ultimately, anything we do that means more love accruing to the next generation, will be the most powerful thing we do to work against societal racism. 

Racists were brutalized as children; they're the victims of sexual assault and abandonment. If you have to go longterm it really helps to remember this. They're what happens to those that get neglected. 

RoloTomassi kilfarsnar Nothing is gained without sacrifice, and desperation without a viable alternative process is usually the mother of such sacrifice.

Targeted action requires sacrifice: you end up looking nothing like a warrior; you can't imagine your enemy beaten to a pulp, thoroughly humiliated. 

Plenty is gained without sacrifice. The fact that so many Americans are upset about this verdict owes to them having had parents who enjoyed their children's company more than previous generations did, making them project less and love more. 

In my judgment, any time someone mentions sacrifice in pursuit of a goal the real goalends up being the purge, the sacrifice. 

J. Nathan Patrick McEvoy-Halston You're welcome, J. Nathan. 

pjwhite I have seen rape survivors go from being perceived as pitiful and damaged to being seen as the courageous heroes they are for speaking out.

I'm glad they had the self-esteem to speak out, but I'm not especially happy about calling them courageous. All the others that historically DID NOT speak out, weren't (guiltily?) lacking what the others managed -- that is, a show of courage against bullies. They were just products of backgrounds that weren't going to fuel them the self-worth to power on through; the abuse they suffered, corroborated the sense of their worthlessness that their parents installed in them. 

Speaking out would not just make the abusers but their own parents wrong, and you've got to have received a considerable amount of love to readily manage that. 

Operation Enduring Boredom Patrick McEvoy-Halston OEB, I've never had a sense that you actually wanted me on this site, regardless of length of my posts. I personally could do without interacting with you; I find you corrosive. 

Part two:

We have “accumulating” two different psychoclasses, two broad swaths of very different people -- one more lovingly raised, one less. If the “less" wins, mostly determines the emotional temper of our next number of years, everything progressives have done to expand our awareness of how many abusers there are out there can be used to justify a pre-existing desire to cleanse the world of "bad" people. If Katie McDonough's argument that almost every woman has their own rape story becomes “understood” ... that there arethat many men out there who are rapists; if we come to understand that so many of us were victims of sexual and physical assault as children ... if we as people who no longer need to safeguard the abuser can look at our society and recognize just how much our society is coloured by sadism, the terrible defining destruction wrecked on our fellow human beings, and we ultimately lose, we've laid ground which the other side will takeover.  Saying, “you're right, but let me show you where this evil you’ve agreed exists in plenty and must in this moment of clarity be urgently vanquished, is actually mostconcentrated…”  

And you'll have America involved in righteous bigotry. You'll have Americans going from feeling compromised to instantly pure again, forgetting all the self-improvement they needed as all their “issues” become transplanted onto the outside. Chastising progressives will lose their effect, and blamed, for not thinking their issues through — at the cost of lives.  And the women “we’ll” be standing up for, those accosted in cultures everywhere that progressives have ostensibly drawn back from incriminating but to keep their own cosmopolitan egos intact, will be in their own minds childhood perpetrators they'll feel enormous joy in protecting. 

They can't be guilted, is what I’m getting at. That self they'd begun to recognize that should feel shame and guilt in denigrating vulnerable people, that increasingly uncomfortable, caught-out self that recognized how much it wanted women to know pain, would be gone as they know themselves to in fact be willing to sacrifice their very lives to keep their mothers from being pained at their children’s ability and presumptuous willingness to see them plain — to destroy them, Meghan Daum, truly progressive,matricidal-style. 

Why did the responsibility change? 

Historically, the most powerful and important perpetrators in our own lives were our parents. Since as children we absolutely had to imagine them as people who could love us, be our protectors, our brains went quickly to work making them right to have abused us, and ourselves wrong for doing whatever we did. Since we actually didn't do anything and were just attacked by our parents when they switched into the brain states of their own perpetrator parents and saw as full of their own projections, we are left to conclude that it was just our vulnerability, our absolute neediness, that was bad. To keep our parents, the ur-perpetrator, "right," perpetrators become automatically good and the vulnerable deserving of abuse. 

This is why the last people you should expect automatic empathy for victims from is actually people who've been abused as children. That interview we all saw where that CNN interviewer drew his interviewee back into her moment of sexual abuse and then tried to show her how the facts show that even there she was being bad -- "why didn't you bite his d--k off? -- is about what one should expect. By humiliating her, by drawing her back into shame and latching onto her there some hard-to-shake-off scold of self-blame, he was at work, not protecting/shielding Cosby but the primary childhood abusers in his own life -- his own parents -- and thereby experienced a pat of approval so meaningful your reproof of him would have little chance. 

When perpetrators like Cosby (himself, guaranteed, a victim of sustained child-abuse) are losing their protections it's because some substantial part of our population has begun to have childhoods where their parents stopped or lessened their inclination to see their children as bad sh-ts that needed discipline, terrors, abuse to be corralled into being good. Some substantial part of our adult population has known more loving childhoods, and don't as much see their own childhood vulnerable selves as somehow having deserved whatever abuse suffered. They then witness the perpetrator and don't so much cow away but demand dethroning, while mostly in fact thinking of the victims and empathizing into the shamed states the brutalized had been pitched into experiencing. 

Brittney Cooper discussed recently how she was separating herself from the long tradition she’d grown up amongst that accepted "spanking" -- read, physical assault on the child -- as the preferred way to raise children. We’re, our society’s, experiencing something like that, but writ large. When there's enough of us, those in the media who'd like to have written something twenty years ago but who really would have been eviscerated if they'd tried then, now have the way in — we’re the audience who’s ready. Even if we still can't shake that in going after outside perpetrators we’re still involved in a discourse that's ultimately going to implicate our own parents — again, the ur, the original, the archetype perpetrator, for all of us — more of us have had sufficiently less abandoning and terrifying childhoods that we can withstand a rattling of what previously only beckoned oblivion. 

Andrew O'Hehir just wrote an article where he sees perpetual stasis in an awful, hellish, late-capitalist society, as our ongoing reality. Next presidential election, more of the status quo, whomever gets elected. But we should understand the downing of Cosby as evidence that people are changing, not just in attitudes but in their well-being, their make-up, their constitution. And systems change when human nature changes, when better-loved people grow beyond systems that were emotionally satisfying to their less emotionally evolved, more pointless-punishment accepting/unconsciously desiring, predecessors. Capitalism moves from late to socialism when people stop needing for there to be shelved amongst us — losers; when we stop feeling satisfaction in such numbing, dream-deflating, tempering categories like products, producers and consumers. The sign that we may be moving towards something profoundly good is more to be found in this new response to abusers than I think in the apocalyptic anger we'll likely also see a lot of in upcoming years.

This anger, I fear, will be fuelled by revenge against childhood perpetrators as well — its ur-source — but its constituents will not be like those repelled by Cosby ... it will not be fuelled by those who knew less abuse, who knew more love, but rather those who received so much they still will feel the need to protect perpetrators and destroy victims. Their ur and all-infiltrating source of “perpetrator,” their parental terrorizers, will be split into two, so only part of this parent is actually attacked while the other part actually clung to ever-more loyally — its destructive aspects, wholly denied; one’s own fierce anger at them, just as much so. They'll be the equivalent of soldiers who destroy encroaching predatory countries, lead by an evil mastermind with a — to borrow from Sam Harris — “mother-load” of feminine qualities, but who cling to their approving nation like a knight-protector. And all the "troops" destroyed ... will be full of projections of their own childhood selves, their "sh-t selves," still horribly bad, and worthy of any other name you’d be inclined to call them. We'll see, in short, the 1930s, a move towards mass action, mass participation, which could see threatened elites and worried big businesses (hurray!), but also collective agreement on the righteousness of bigotry — much of the world issimply cretinous and bad, and in need of urgent purging. 

This new unwillingness to excuse the perpetrator for a great reason is being matched by a very bad one. Because we're seeing it of course in the slowly mushrooming anti-Muslim movement ... amongst even progressives — there, the New Atheism; people are feeling an increasing desire to project onto others and destroy, and so are grabbing on. If it was built out of the same energy you wouldn't have a progressive, you wouldn’t have Camilla Gibb, in the same article where she writes of how she left anthropology because she couldn’t handle how aggressively harassing Middle Eastern cultures were, conclude only how she was going to stand up in future against future Ghomeshis, but rather of course with her standing up against something that would look to have her more associating with the New Athiests — those ostensibly standing up against the larger broad swath of abusers, whole cultures, in whole continental regions: those, in their own minds, more consistent, those being even more brave. That is, it would of had her finish where her article obviously looked to be directing her before she tightened it down only onto those she’d find within her vicinity at a gala. She chastised her own letting loose because it drew to mind phantoms of those legions also standing up right now, but whom she knows just aren’t up to what she is up to. Not at all. More the opposite. More along the lines of Germans in the 30s. 


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