Saturday, December 17, 2005

The Only Truth We Know is Hurt

There is an unfortunate perception out there that pain, hurt, and sadness are bad things.
I think the pain of life is the ultimate reminder of how wonderful life is. Sadness reminds us that we are truly alive. No other emotion, except perhaps love, can hit us so hard, and make us so aware of ourselves. And not even love can make us so reflective. Love tends to obscure the truth. sadness bares it in all its awful glory and terrible splendor.
That said, there is a danger in sadness. It is possible to lose sight of the good things in life, to forget the pleasant truths and focus in on the tragedy. Forgetting the significance of the things we enjoy about life is merely the flip side of love, and no more of use than that emotion in ascertaining the truth.
But a healthy dose of sadness and misery can work wonders in clarifying one's mind. The veneer of ordinary life, which discourages reflection and promotes ignorance, is stripped away, and what is left must be faced for what it is.
Just a thought.

Thought for the Day: "In misery, we face the world revealed. The Veil of experience is torn away, to expose the grinning death's head of existence. It is both marvelous and terrifying"

-The Doom of Fools

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

One Man's Trash

So I was out today garbage picking. Garbage picking, or scrounging, or whatever you wish to call it, is viewed by some as a somewhat unsavoury occupation. It is usually considered such only, I think, by those who have rather more standards than good sense, but I digress.

As I was out pawing through other people’s cast off effects, I began to notice a disturbing pattern. Almost every piece of electronic or otherwise electrically operated rubbish had suffered the curious amputation of its power cord. I had encountered this particular form of disease before, and at first thought little of it. It is usually only sporadic outside of areas populated by selfish upper middle class people. However, when it became obvious that the infection was much more serious than this, I began to become angry.

Clearly, a large number of people had decided that, while they no longer wished to make use of their household implements, they could not abide by anyone more enterprising or conservation-minded to do so either. They had, as a result, deliberately mutilated their garbage so as to make it unusable by honest hard working garbage pickers such as myself! As I said, I have seen such things before. Along with cord-cutting, many house owners will slash cushions on otherwise whole couches; decapitate golf clubs; and separate drawers from dressers, throwing the one out first and the other afterwards.

It occurred to me, as it has often in the past, what a great number of sickeningly selfish people there are in this world. It takes, I think, a very distinct form of perversion for a person to wish not only to throw out perfectly useful and functional items (instead of, say, donating them to goodwill), but for that person to also destroy the item solely to ensure that nobody else will be able to get a use out of it. Indeed, were I, or, I think, anyone of moderately decent bent, to cast off a couch I no longer liked, I would be overjoyed, not irritated, to see it put to use by someone else.

Now, a person is well within his or her rights to do what he or she will to his or her own garbage (enough gender-neutral pronouns for you?). On this point I do not wish to attempt any dispute. No legislation would I support which made defacing one’s garbage a crime. It should be noted, however, that what one does within one’s rights is nonetheless indicative of one’s character, and on that I will sit in judgement. A racist exercising freedom of speech is still a worthless cockroach of a human being; if I may say that without being unduly cruel to the cockroach (The cockroach being an exceptionally well evolved member of the food chain, I think it tends to get rather a bad rap. Perhaps other species are merely jealous).

This is the sort of thing that just makes me shake my head and wonder how all these humans can really be the same species as I.

Thought for the Day:

“Selfishness for gain is pernicious but understandable. Selfishness when one gains nothing by it is senseless and unforgivable”

- The Doom of Fools

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

History and Histories...

This post is somewhat similar to my post on feminism, in that once again I am quibbling primarily over abstract distinctions. But since the proliferation of themed histories constitutes a particular kind of foolishness, it deserves, I think, its own post.

By themed histories, I refer, as you have no doubt surmised, to such disciplines as "women's history", or the history of a particular race, such as "black history". Such areas of historical study are, as nearly as I can tell, subject to serious flaws, and I will therefore undertake to offer my reasons for this assessment and my prescription for the future.

The first problem that these histories suffer from is that they make flawed assumptions about the commonalities of people's experiences. Women’s history, for example, presupposes that there is some shared experience of "women" in history. That women's history must do this is clear, since if women in fact often shared more in common with men in some contexts than with other women, there would be no point to the division.

I contend that this is in fact the case. There is no clearly identifiable women's experience which justifies the creation of a women's history division. Some examples will make clearer this assertion. An upper class Roman woman in ancient Rome would have almost nothing in common with a female freedom fighter in modern Africa, for example. The Roman woman would, by contrast, find many points of contact with upper class roman men, and even perhaps with lower class Roman women. In the latter case, indeed, it is quite reasonable to suggest that the ties with the upper class men would be more numerous than those with the lower class women, as a result of the various social backgrounds of each. A similar argument can be constructed to show that races do not have clear cut convergences of identity over time and in different circumstances.

I should note at this point, however, that I am open to hearing examples to the contrary on this point. There certainly are some certain shared experiences of, say, light skinned people. Susceptibility to sunburn, perhaps. There is no reason to say, aside from the fact that I have not encountered them, that there could not be differences which made the historical experience of one group or another fundamentally different from all others.

But, there is a fundamental danger with saying that there in fact are shared experiences as a result of sex or race. This danger is the danger of claiming that there are inherent differences between the sexes or between races, which are strong enough and uniform enough to warrant the formation of separate divisions of history. If such differences do exist, they may or may not carry with them consequences which could be used to justify unequal treatment of minorities or women. This will of course depend upon the nature of the differences which are asserted, but it is a consideration to remember.

But we break history up into various sections for ease of study all the time, you say? Well, there is no fundamental difference between such divisions as "gender history" and ones such as "19th century history" or "20th century Japanese history", in terms of the claims each makes. "19th century history", which is generally shorthand for 19th century European history, makes the claim that there was a certain shared set of values and experiences among Europeans during the 19th century. Such a claim is of course open to dispute, and in fact such temporal and geographical divisions are repeatedly discussed and critiqued by historians.

This brings us to the other major flaw of women's and minority history. In these areas, there does not appear to be any serious attempt to examine the empirical foundations of the claims which the divisions are making about history. This is all the more shocking given that women's history is making an empirical claim about approximately half the people who have ever lived!

One final point to make is regarding nationalism and history. Nationalist history is often revealed to suffer from the same faults as women's history. It makes a broad claim about the commonality of a given community, which is not supportable empirically. Nationalist history, however, differs slightly in that at least amongst some members of the historical community it is open to critique. So far as I have seen, women's history has not been subjected to any serious critique of this kind. As always however, I would be delighted to hear that I am incorrect.

"Reform history to include those who have been left out, do not give those who have been left out their own history. Setting them apart is just another method of asserting their unsuitability for inclusion in the full story of the human race"

-The Doom of Fools

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Fascism and Il Duce

In the interests of assuaging (or perhaps confirming) the fears I have no doubt raised in a number of my friends (you know who you are), I have decided to set out clearly my views on Benito Mussolini and on fascism in general.
So, first of all, my interest in Benito Mussolini, or the "happy dictator", as I like to call him. This label, of course, is deserved only relative to the other dictators with whom Mussolini was a contemporary (or actually, relative to many noncontemporary dictators as well). Certainly, for a dissenting person in Italy life under Mussolini was far from fun. Nevertheless, the fact remains that under Mussolini, oppression was far less pervasive than it was under the likes of a Stalin or a Hitler, and Mussolini committed no large scale massacres as Hitler and Stalin did, though admittedly Italian policy in Italian East Africa was quite brutal and horrific. The Italian Jews, for example, were subject to very moderate persecution up until Mussolini’s deposition and the German takeover of Italy in 1943, and even such measures as were taken against Italian Jews were put in place largely because of Hitler’s insistence and not on Mussolini’s initiative.

So, you reply, you have shown that Mussolini was only a bad person rather than a horrific one; is this your defence of him? Basically, yes. The fact that Mussolini may have been responsible for fewer innocent deaths than many U.S. presidents is, to my mind, sufficient to show that he was not as uncommonly evil as is often assumed. At the very least, should we impeach Mussolini we must also impeach countless other historical figures for their comparable crimes.
I do not laud the virtues of Mussolini, nor do I intend to obscure his brutality, but I do think that he gets unfairly condemned, and I cannot abide unfairness.
There, in a nutshell, is my (admittedly limited) understanding of Mussolini, as well as my reasons for rather enthusiastically defending him. Besides, being able to say something offensive and have reasons for it is rather fun, even if perhaps not entirely accurate!

Ok, so now my views on fascism, the political system effectively pioneered by Mussolini.
Fascism, to my mind, is an interesting system, and if benevolent would offer great possibilities for societies to develop, since the needs of individuals are subordinated to the greater good of the state. Unfortunately, Fascist Italy may be the closest to a benevolent fascism which has ever existed; which is to say that nothing even approaching a benevolent fascism has ever existed. Certainly, fascism governed by anyone who does not truly have the best interests of the whole of society at heart is a terrible system to live under, and so I condemn it wholeheartedly. Excepting one instance. I am completely and totally pro-fascism so long as I am the person in charge!
Because after all, wouldn’t everyone agree that my rule would be benevolent?
Well, it wouldn’t matter anyway, because I would be in charge, so from my point of view it would be fine.
Furthermore, I can’t help feeling that anyone who supports fascism while not actually having power is somewhat deluded. Fascism has, every time it has come into being, offered very little to those without power.
So that’s my view of fascism. The best political system, as long as I am at the head of it.

Thought for the Day:

"Fascism should rightly be called Corporatism as it is a merge of state and corporate power." –Benito Mussolini

“Without hope, you face the future blind”
-The Doom of Fools

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

My Emotions Make Me Weak

So a female friend of mine threw my whole emotional world for a loop the other day. She says she had the biggest crush on me about 6 months ago, but that she couldn't tell me and now I have become a best friend to her, and not a romantic interest.

What is frustrating is that something similar happened from my point of view, and that had one of us had some courage we could have had a romance at the time. What makes it even more disorienting is that I still have feelings for her (apparently much stronger ones than I had thought), which apparently she no longer returns.

Those of you who know me (and I'm not going to flatter myself that anyone else even knows this page exists) will know that I cannot claim to be exactly experienced in the matters of the heart, and so it may come as no surprise to you that this is the first time I have ever been certain that a girl actually liked me as a romantic interest.

This of course only makes the whole thing worse, since I'm alternating between jumping for joy to know that I'm not completely romantically hopeless and kicking myself for not acting on my feelings and wanting to strangle her for not acting on hers.

Anyway, I had spent some time working on convincing myself that we should be just friends prior to this revelation, and I suppose I shall just have to do so again, since all my hard work has been undone by the knowledge that she did like me.

In the end, she is a wonderfull person to talk to and hang out with, and so I suppose I'm more than happy to have her as a best friend. At least this way, without romance, I won't lose someone so useful to argue (I mean discuss) things with over some stupid lover's tiff or something.

However, I'm not going to let this happen again if I can avoid it. From now on, I'll just have to steel myself and take the plunge a little earlier when I like a girl. Apparently there's actually a chance she likes me back!

But Sarah, if you're playing some game with me and still have feelings for me too, I swear to the god I don't believe in that I'll slug you one! Or kiss you, I don't know which.

Oh yeah, and I also started school this week.

Thought For The Day: "Our reason builds a fortress, and then discovers that our emotions are already inside the walls"
-The Doom of Fools

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

America Votes (or at least some of it does) 2004

Ok, since it seems to be the fashionable thing to do, I shall now throw in my two cents on the Bush-Kerry race.
First of all, I want to make clear one thing. Whichever candidate is elected, the policies of the United States vis a vis the rest of the world will change only superficially.
The United States is the biggest player on the international stage and neither Bush nor Kerry will jeopardize its interests in any way. Neither candidate wants the USA to take a less controlling role in world politics; nor do the interests who have their ear. It’s actually kind of annoying to see social activists supporting Kerry, especially since that support is out of all proportion to his views.

But that’s all obvious, more or less, and so I will now turn to less immediate things.
In particular, I want to discuss the misconceptions that many people have about the uses of international politics.
People from practically every part of the political grab bag seem to suffer from this misunderstanding of politics, from the social activists who call for humanitarianism and morality to be the guiding lights behind politics to conservatives who also want principled politicians, though with slightly different principles in mind.
Admittedly, those who call for an end to nation-states entirely do not run afoul of this problem.
So what is the problem? Quite simply, the perennial call for the principled conduct of international relations misses the point of politics. The sole aim of the politics of a state is to further the interests of that state, and the only interests of a nation-state is to become more powerful, be it economically or politically, and to last longer than other nation-states.
Principled conduct is almost inevitably detrimental to these goals.
Granted, it might be that the types of actions which best fit a particular nation’s goals could by some happy chance end up being those which also were consistently those which fit some particular principle, but this has never been the case (and probably never will be).
After all, what other purpose could there be to having separate nations at all? Was politics intended only to administer people and act domestically, there would be no such thing as international relations at all, and no need for nations. One single government with many administrative divisions would work just as well.
No, quite simply, the point of nations is to wage war against one another (be it open, economic, political, covert, etc.).
A nation which acts on principle will leave itself open to being outmanoeuvred and will risk giving up opportunities to gain advantage over its rivals. Calls for principled international politics therefore make no sense.

Now, I realize that all of this can be easily found by reading about such 19th Century politicians as Bismarck or Cavour, but it seems that somewhere along the way we began to delude ourselves about the nature of international politics. It’s not that those who actually practice politics do so any differently, though. In fact, the fact that they continue to aim for their nation’s selfish interests is the reason why so many people are frustrated when massacres such as that going on in Sudan are ignored by political leaders. Nevertheless, since World War One, the idea has grown in popularity that politics should be carried out morally. This idea is laudable, and I for one think that an end should be made of war, poverty, and all those other terrible things which afflict so many people. However, that goal cannot be coherently achieved within the nation-state structure. That structure was created for entirely different reasons, and attempts to change its nature seem to me to be fruitless.
The conduct of the United States is immoral, but is totally unfixable within our current system. One cannot blame a nation for doing what it was made to do, any more than a bomb is to blame for the deaths it caused.
Rather you, the people, who support the system of separate nations, are to blame for loosing them on the world, just as the bombardier… well, you get my point.

Besides the USA, I want to note that the war crimes trials of the German “war criminals” were a farce. Those men, whose crimes were admittedly unforgivable, were convicted on the charge of “waging aggressive war”! If such a charge were fairly applied, how many politicians either now or in the past would escape the hangman’s noose?

Ridiculous.

I’m afraid I’ve rambled a bit here, so I’ll wrap things up.

Stop campaigning for good politics and start calling for an end to nations!

“Success is the sole earthly judge of right and wrong.”
--- Adolf Hitler

“Don’t talk to me of Great Men. Adolf Hitler was a Great Man. Personally, I’ll make do with ordinary men.”
--- The Doom of Fools

Monday, August 02, 2004

The Universe According to Me

Ok, this may be a little overambitious, but I am going to offer an explanation of the nature of the universe. I am going to, in offering this explanation, put forward a theory which describes the nature of the universe based solely on the facts I know to be true, without relying on claims which I am unsure of. I like to think that it's a little like Ockham's Razor (the simplest explanation which fits the facts is usually the correct one).

I call it
My Grand Unified Theory of Everything

It goes like this:
1.) I think, therefore I am. Descartes has established this point in sufficient detail, I trust. It is, in any case, self-evident that there cannot be thought without some existence, even if only of the thought.
2.) “I” am a thinking thing, and a thing which has ideas (in the broad sense -including all mental activities).
-These two statements constitute all the facts about reality which I can say with certainty I know.

-These next two points deal with only Descartes' attempts to reinstate bodies and other minds. They cannot, naturally, be dealt with in detail here, but suffice to say that I am satisfied that neither bodies nor other minds can be known by me to exist. A reading of Descartes' Meditations is recommended.
3.) Despite M. Descartes’ best efforts at providing one, I have seen no reason to assert that any outside bodies truly exist, for I can only experience ideas.
4.) There is also no evidence for supposing that other minds exist, either those of other people or that of God, once again, M. Descartes notwithstanding.

-In this next section, I offer some arguments to show the lack of evidence for bodies and other minds.
5.) What then is the “external world” which I seem to experience, and which is apparently populated with others who act and look like me, with my physical body, and with other objects? It is one of two things: Either a real physical world, or a phantasm or illusion of ideas and sensations. It also is either independently existing, or a creation of some other beings, or a creation of mine.
6.) When I say “illusion” I do not mean this necessarily in the malicious or contrived sense (for this would imply some inteligence which created the illusion), but merely in the sense of there existing nothing beyond ideas or sensations which I experience.

7.) The world also either contains only my mind or it contains many minds of other beings as well.
8.) The possibility that other minds than my own exist cannot be accepted based on the evidence at hand. There is not a scrap of evidence for them, as I cannot experience them. They thus contribute unnecessary complication to any theory of the universe.
9.) Any instance which involves real physical objects can also be dismissed on the grounds that it is needlessly complex. Why should I suppose the existence of physical bodies when all I can experience are ideas (sensations)? What need is there for them? I cannot prove that they do not exist, but they are certainly not the simplest explanation for the experiences I have.
10.) The alternative left, thusly, is that there only exist ideas and sensations. I shall therefore turn now to whether these ideas are independently existing, or created in me by me, or created in me by some other being.

11.) Under the criteria of finding the simplest explanation, the idea of independently existing ideas must be discarded. Under this supposition, existence consists of my mind and countless ideas; an unnecessary complication? Certainly.

12.) The idea of another being creating in me the ideas which I experience is also to be rejected, on the grounds that the very existence of other beings is unnecessary.

13.) The simplest description of reality, therefore, is that it consists in my mind. The appearances of other ideas or bodies existing being only creations of my own mind within my own mind.

14.) I therefore suggest that the only thing which I can be sure exists is me (my mind). Accordingly, the only theory of the nature of the universe which does not complicate matters by adding phenomena for which there is no evidence is the simple statement that I exist.

Thought for the Day:
“I wish I was Descartes’ ‘Evil Demon!’“

-The Doom of Fools

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Italy Postmortem

Well, I'm back from my vist to Italy, the country which gave us the Roman Empire, the Renaissance, and, more recently, Benito Mussolini.
I love to travel, it's fascinating to see how other people live, and also to see the History that I read come alive.
The trip was fantastic and I now possess my very own Mussolini flag! Climbing Vesuvius (the volcano which destroyed Pompei) and seeing Pompei itself were also highlights. Venice was also noteworthy, and it is like no other place.
If there's one thing which impressed itself upon me most from the trip though, it's that motorcycles passing you on a mountain road with a cliff on one side and a rock wall on the other is not a good thing!
 
Some day I have to do a backpacking tour of Europe, or alternately live there for a year or so. I'm not so sure about school in England anymore, though. Apparently tuition for foriegn students -even for undergraduates- is 15,000.00 pounds!!!!!
For citizens it's 1500.00. (maybe I can get citizenship... hmm).
 
Thought For The Day:
"In a world without meaning, experience is the only purpose to existance. Experience the world!"
-The Doom of Fools
 

Thursday, July 01, 2004

human stupidity

Well, another election has rolled on by, and the Liberal party is once again in power. I'm not sure how I feel about the results -relieved, I suppose- but also depressed. The lesser of two evils got in, but unfortunately there were two other evils which would have been even lesser!

But the purpose of this post is not to discuss the merits of the various political parties. However, something which this election has again made prominant is the ignorance of people. It is something which, no matter how often I encounter it, never ceases to surprise and disgust me.

The particular instance of stupidity to which I'm referring is the support given to the Conservative party by the lower classes (by which I mean much also of the lower middle class). It simply boggles my mind that the right wing, which is committed to tax cuts for the rich and the destruction of social programs which the poor need, is supported en masse by the very people who would suffer most from it! It makes me sick, and very, very exasperated.

The capitalist religion, unfortunately, is as accepted on this continent as the communist one was in the U.S.S.R., and that appears to mean that the best we can hope for is to keep the country as far away from the extreme right as possible. This election, that meant the Liberals.

Now, I realize that the facts I outlined abouve likely result from lack of higher education coupled with political indoctrination (just pick up a paper, or turn on the TV). Of course it isn't fair to blame someone for not knowing better. I do not feel so angry with the masses when it isn't their fault because they've never been told any different. Of course, those of them who have been told better and yet do not reform are a different story.
Anyway, even the totally ignorant ones are pursuing a purely selfish goal, they're just too ignorant to do it right!

Thought for the Day: "The only thing more irritating than a selfish person is an ignorant selfish person. The one you merely hate. The other both angers you with his or her selfishness, and annoys you with his or her ignorance"
-The Doom of Fools

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Human Rights

I thought I'd just do a little thinking out loud (so to speak) about the religion of inalienable rights. It's funny how a purportedly rational society has accepted as fact the totally unsubstantiated notion that all people possess some mysterious quality known as a "right". More ridiculously, this concept of rights has been divorced from religion, where it more properly belongs, and elevated to the status of a recieved truth for most people. Where religion is excluded to the most part from politics, rights have become the basis for international law!

As a self-styled crusader against ignorance, I feel it is my duty to set the record straight: There is no such thing as an inalienable or fundamental human right -or, to be more precise, even if there was one, we wouldn't know. The "rights" we know are nothing more than human constructs -myths, if you will. I don't mind saying that I'm frankly sick of people taking the ideas as given and building arguments upon them. People only have rights if we chose to give them rights!

Of course, this also has implications for animal-rights arguments. Animals, like humans, do not have any inherent rights. None. This is not to say that we cannot give animals rights just as we have humans, but it does mean that most of the animal-rights people's arguments fall by the wayside.

Of course, if you believe that rights come from some source such as God, you are free to ignore the preceding completely. You still have no evidence, though, unless you can come up with proof of that source's existance.

I suppose I should consider discussing religion, but that's a topic for another day.

Thought for the Day:

“If we are the only intelligent life in the universe, then we should get down on our knees and thank God that no other planet was afflicted with the likes of us”

-The Doom of Fools

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Soy woes

Well, it appears that soy is now off the menu! Apparently non-fermented soy products (and even to a lesser extent fermented ones) are not so healthy after all, at least according to my mom's magazine. I suppose this means I'll have to become more serious about my vegetarianism -and eat vegetables! Or else go back to eating organic meat, that is. naw, I don't even like meat anymore. I'll just have to learn to cook, I guess, since all the convinient soy foods are out now.

*sigh* being informed sucks.


Thought for the Day:
“Beware of those who believe, for they have the power to do great things for good or evil, but lack the wisdom to distinguish between the two”

-The Doom of Fools

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Communism

Here's a rant about communism inspired by the communism.com website:

Communism, as Marx envisioned its final stage, is a practical impossibility. It requires fundamental changes to the basically selfish, lazy and power hungry nature of human beings, implying as it does a society where all are equal, and where all people produce for the simple joy of production.
The creation of a Marxist utopia is also difficult if not impossible, if only by virtue of the fact that Marx himself never describes the process by which the dictatorship of the proletariat will transform into communism. Nor does Marx describe in any detail the way in which a true communist society would work, or the reasons which would keep it from degenerating (evolving?) into a capitalist system once again.
I am not a capitalist by any means, and I think that if ever a golden age of human love and understanding dawns, communism could become a reality. All that I'm saying is, don't hold your breath.
As for the professed communists out there, as far as I can see you're either power hungry, deluded, or dreamers.
In the case of the first variety, who often take the Soviet Union etc. as examples, I say this: To wish for a communism modeled off of that in the Soviet Union (or for that matter anywhere in the world today) is a terrible thing and an insult to Marx's beliefs, and stems from nothing but a shameless lust for power and a will to dominate others.
For any deluded communists out there, who either truly believe that communism is practical or who think the U.S.S.R is a shining example: wake up and smell the Gulag, people! Communism has never been created and will not be given all present norms of human nature. Stalin killed from 40-50 MILLION people while purporting to build communism (a claim which was, by the way, either a shameless lie or a dismal failure)!
Finally, to all the people out there who hope for better times and dream of a communist utopia someday existing: If human nature ever changes, it may be possible to create a perfect world, and it is perhaps a noble thing to work towards, but I see few enough signs in our world today which give me cause to hope. To you is given the choice. Either live a life in true accordance with Marx's ideal, and attempt to influence others to do the same through your example, or else resign communism to the dustbin of history and move on with your lives.

Communism is Dead!


Thought for the Day:

“Ignorance can be bliss for those who possess it, but it’s damned frustrating for the rest of us!” -The Doom of Fools

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Feminism

So many fools, and me so powerless to cleanse them. sigh.

I've decided to discuss today my opposition to the use of the term "feminism". This argument arose from my (admittedly limited) readings of feminist philosophy. The ideas expressed herein are my own and so if I am stepping on anyone's prior theorizing then too bad! My argument runs as follows: (P=premise, C=conclusion)

P1: Those professing to be feminists fall into (roughly) two groups.
The first group maintains that issues relating to sexism (towards males or females) and racism, as well as other forms of discrimination are equally important and valid, and claims no special place for women. Let us call these feminists inclusive feminists.
The second group singles out women or women's issues as somehow unique or important in a special way above and beyond other forms of discrimination or other issues. Let us call these exclusive feminists.
P2: "Feminism", with its feminine root, most properly denotes a philosophy which in some way singles out women or the feminine.
C1: "Feminism" therefore most properly denotes, of the two feminist philosopies, the exclusive feminist philosopy.
P3: In the intrests of clarity, theories should be described as accurately as possible by their names. The theory of Evolution, for example, would be badly served by being called the theory of Revolution!
C2: The inclusive feminist philosophy should be seperated from the exclusive one, and renamed in order to better describe its commitment to ending all discrimination. For example "equalism" or "anti-descriminationism".
P4: Forms of ideology which place the intrests of one group above others or which consider the issues surrounding one group as more important than those of others are wrong and should be stamped out.
C3: From P1 and C1 and C2 and P4: Feminism, in its only accurate meaning, is wrong and should be stamped out.

The word feminism, then, is either mistakenly used or signifies a vile odious, and dubious contention that women's issues are inherently more important then those of other groups.
In my opinion, it should be used only to describe the bad type of feminism. The good feminists deserve to be inducted into the ranks of those who are without predjudice, and should no longer be tainted by the predjudice of the exclusionary feminists.
I am convinced that this argument is sound on the whole. The argument is likely not quite as logically correct as it might have been had I paid more attention in Logic, but I think it will suffice. I will address minor issues with it as they become apparent to me.

Thought for the Day:
“Faith walks hand in hand with ignorance, and turns its back on truth.”
-The Doom Of Fools

An Update:
The view expressed here is, like all my posts, at best a snapshot of my thought. As a result, I here offer a qualification to it, which has become apparent to me in conversations with people who did not entirely agree with my view. 'Feminist', I think, does have a place as a legitimate term to describe certain studies. In particular, studies which focus upon things which are essentially female in nature, including, but not limited to, studies of female socialization, can legitimately be called 'Feminist'.
This still leaves out, of course, the epistemological and other such theories which are sometimes referred to as 'Feminist', insofar as they do not offer conclusions which are either only comprehensible to or only about women. Theories such as these, which offer more or less universal conclusions, need not be identified as feminist, any more than theories about epistemology written in the 19th century need to be identified as masculinist. In either case, the theories in question are either right or wrong irrespective of the sex of the person who wrote them.
There is one way in which such a theory could be referred to as 'Feminist' which would not be problematic. This would be if the theory arose from the tradition of thought which was started with the Feminist movement. In this case, however, the term is being used more in a historical sense, to locate the theory in time. It has no bearing on the theory as such.

Thought for the day:
"Rigidity begets annihilation, flexibility begets survival"
-The Doom of Fools

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Welcome

Right. So, here's my first post.

I pretty much intend to put down whatever occurs to me whenever it occurs to me on this blog and see what happens.

So probably that'll mean you can expect a lot of philosophical rambling, some political thoughts, and more than a few offensive viewpoints to be expressed here.

Feel free to express your views and go right ahead and disagree with me. I find it entertaining and often instructive when people argue with me.
I prefer inteligent responses, if given a choice. Go ahead and be as ignorant as you want, though; I'll just file you under "fools".

You might not want that though, after all, I am the Doom Of Fools! (cue evil laughter)