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  1. #231
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eileen View Post
    Our parents aren't really that different, to be honest.
    Your father is basically a grifter? I think that was my dad's calling in life, but he had kids, so that responsibility kept him from a life of crime. After the divorce he was accused of insurance fraud, but I don't know what came of that. He could be in prison now for all I know.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  2. #232

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    I've been interested in how this corresponds to peoples beliefs about free will/choice vs. destiny/determinism.

    The concepts which I see it as being linked into are various including Martin Seligman's theories about positive psychology, explanatory style (which is a little different from attributional style), internal dialogue or, more recently, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-efficacy

    The thing about this is that I also see it as linked with a social character too. While I think that there is an over arching social character corresponding to the fact that society needs people who will want to do what society needs people to do, which can be more or less of a departure from human nature, I think that there are also social character which corresponds to subcultures, specific contexts, including social class or in and out groups, minorities and majorities.

    Why I have thought about this in part has been to do with socialist thinking about social class and the idea of a classless society, not classless in a prejorative sense but a positive sense, not like when someone says someone is "classy" or "has class" but a society in which privilege is reproduced, defended and given paramountcy with an incrementally deterimental or socially deletorious consequence. As I've gone through life I've been really compelled to acknowledge that there are major cultural, normative and identity politics which sustain divisions and prevent the advent of any sort of shift towards a "classless" society.

    A lot of underprivileged, marginalised or excluded groups or individuals are characterised by low self-efficacy and set up barriers to developing it and even create barriers to their children or neighbours doing so too. I remember hearing it talked about as "crabs in a barrel" once, when one looks like its climbing out the others grab it and pull it back in or attempt to climb on it and return themselves and the others to the bottom of the barrel too.

    The problem I think is the way in which many of the ideologies which are supposed to be emancipatory also reinforce these characteristics or even make them "badges of honour" or pillars of identity, symbols or social signals. One of the most significant which I can think of was mentioned by both Orwell and Anton Saint Exupery (spelling) in relation to Spanish Anarchists during the Spanish Civil War, which was that they were instantly suspiscious of anyone wearing a neck tie, I've seen or heard the equivalent among younger socialists in contemporous scenes too (particular styles of dress or professions are betrayals of value bases). In the end this becomes a sort of confinement and confining mechanism.

    In less obviously political contexts there is the irony of subcultures which attract people who imagine they are non-conformist with reference to society at large but which enforce pretty strict internal norms, mores and styles in their scene which members "act like they know, until they know" (I heard that first in relation to the rave scene in the ninties but it could be applied to any of a bunch of others, goths, skaters or preppies, in a more literary sense the greasers and socs - spelling - or hipsters, emos etc. but I'll confess I know less about those more recent scenes).

  3. #233
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    I thought it was only fair that if men today have to pay for the sins of their fathers, shouldn't women today have to take ownership of the decline of men? Isn't that equality?
    You're right.

    [I would like to start out by blaming solame and orangey.] :x <--trying not to laugh.

    I am innocent.

    Or are men to blame for everything?
    No.

  4. #234
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    Quote Originally Posted by Circle View Post
    For me it evokes the image of a Kentucky Derby party. White people with mint juleps and straw hats, flashing their flawless smiles and saying "I declare!" as they take pick appetizers off a platter carried by a young, black man in a white tuxedo.
    I'm hoping to do that in the next few years.

  5. #235
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    As a white male who grew up poor and has had to fight tooth-and-nail for every little thing I've been able to get in my life, it's really frustrating to hear terms like white and male privilege thrown around. I don't doubt that some people experience them (guys like Mitt Romney), but I haven't. It's very presumptuous and offensive when someone assumes that you must have experienced privilege and you "just don't see it" when that person has absolutely no idea what type of life you have lived. I know that many other white males feel this way as well because there are a lot of us who really haven't experienced this privilege that is so often thrown in our collective faces.
    Perhaps you're thinking along the lines of kyriarchy? White privilege could be present must of the time, but might only be relevant in its impact when other things are approximately equal. A rich black person is definitely better off than a poor white person, the impact of wealth having made white privilege irrelevant.

    I hate to speak campaign literature here, but of course I'm one of those people that believe social class is really the grand divider of the human race and that other demographic divisions are 1) Usually enforced through the effects of social class, and 2) are inflamed by the elite because they know it makes it harder for poorer people to function with solidarity. *shrug*
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  6. #236
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Perhaps you're thinking along the lines of kyriarchy? White privilege could be present must of the time, but might only be relevant in its impact when other things are approximately equal. A rich black person is definitely better off than a poor white person, the impact of wealth having made white privilege irrelevant.

    I hate to speak campaign literature here, but of course I'm one of those people that believe social class is really the grand divider of the human race and that other demographic divisions are 1) Usually enforced through the effects of social class, and 2) are inflamed by the elite because they know it makes it harder for poorer people to function with solidarity. *shrug*
    I mostly agree with your second paragraph. I think I even mentioned something along those lines in the Demise of Guys thread. As it relates to the idea of male privilege, I believe there is an alpha male privilege (experienced by the Mitt Romneys of the world) but there is no beta male privilege. Beta males are the least valued members of society, and not just with humans but with other social species as well.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  7. #237
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    I mostly agree with your second paragraph. I think I even mentioned something along those lines in the Demise of Guys thread. As it relates to the idea of male privilege, I believe there is an alpha male privilege (experienced by the Mitt Romneys of the world) but there is no beta male privilege. Beta males are the least valued members of society, and not just with humans but with other social species as well.
    I don't necessarily agree with the last statement, mostly because I am not sure that this so-called alpha/beta distinction exists. If anything, "alpha" males are simply another description for "privileged" males, and saying that there is an "alpha male privilege" is redundant.

    This might be the 6 in me talking, but I'm really beginning to understand privilege in terms of security. You have privilege in a particular area when you have the belief that you can engage in some activity, and that action will not be opposed, or cannot be opposed without considerable, near-certain risk of harm to the person opposing. We often talk of "alpha" males as being "confident," but often, this comes from an insensitivity to potential loss from opposition. It's easy to be confident when you don't see yourself as losing all that often, or when you don't care what happens even if you do lose. Gain can be a central preoccupation, rather than risk aversion.

    On the other hand, if you do perceive yourself as losing on a more consistent basis, that losing holds a high risk of personal loss, or that you can effectively opposed with no harm to the person opposing you, confidence becomes much more difficult, and expressed behaviors of "confidence" begin to look like either false bravado or defensiveness. A less overtly bold and/or aggressive demeanor becomes the norm, replaced by hesitation and/or covert aggression. Risk aversion centers as the primary preoccupation.

    So the underprivileged are often risk-averse and cautious, and this is devalued when the core social good is gain and economic expansion, such as it is in the US especially. In other cultures, existent today but mostly throughout the past, there isn't such devaluation, though it's almost inevitable once civilization comes around.

    In other social species, the social structure and sense of valuation are so alien to the human experience that making any sort of evaluative effort would be flawed, in my opinion. It might be easier in other hominids, but even then, things are quite different (e.g. bonobos).

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