Race, Gender and Class
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- This topic has 85 replies, 13 voices, and was last updated 10 years, 2 months ago by alanjjohnstone.
January 20, 2013 at 1:24 am #91548SocialistPunkParticipant
TomI thought you might have the decency to admit when you were beaten by a much better argument. It seems not .TWC had the decency to consider your arguments carefully and he came back with a reply. His reply is not to your liking, because he takes your argument apart.As for your claim not to be an academic. You seemed quite confident in your own knowledge, to be able to dismiss every other point put to you, while putting forward your own definition of "race". Now you claim TWC is too academic in his approach.Some people just don't like to admit when they are beaten. Sad really.January 20, 2013 at 1:57 am #91549Tom RogersParticipantSocialistPunk wrote:TomI thought you might have the decency to admit when you were beaten by a much better argument. It seems not .TWC had the decency to consider your arguments carefully and he came back with a reply. His reply is not to your liking, because he takes your argument apart.As for your claim not to be an academic. You seemed quite confident in your own knowledge, to be able to dismiss every other point put to you, while putting forward your own definition of "race". Now you claim TWC is too academic in his approach.Some people just don't like to admit when they are beaten. Sad really.
I think your post speaks volumes about you and I'm really glad you took the trouble, but just to amplify the matter: I didn't realise we are here to 'beat' each other. I thought this was a debate. I have raised what I consider to be quite reasonable issues and I have made what I consider to be reasonable and thoughtful points. I have been accused of making personal attacks on certain people, but I have not relied on personal attacks to make my points, a subtle but important distinction. You, however, seem to think you can make sneery and personal remarks in reply to my comments (even when I have not even addressed them to you) and you appear to believe that is enough to 'beat' me, or declare you have 'beaten' me – my, what a clever man you are.I know whose conduct here is ad hominen and it's certainly not mine, though I doubt I will find support here. It is not intellectually honest to twist your opponent's remarks, as you do above and elsewhere, and rely on that twisting in order to deflect attention, not that this bothers you in the slightest. You say that I have dismissed every comment put to me. That is not true. In fact, the opposite is the case. I have retained an open mind throughout this discussion – and I have stated as much.Now, do you want to tell any more lies about me, or are you done? Well?You say TWC "had the decency to consider [my] arguments carefully…" That could well be, but that does not mean I should thank him and stop thinking. TWC's post is couched in jargon and largely unintelligible. I have suggested that it would be helpful if he replied in language comprehensible to an intelligent layman. Again, you might think that unreasonable, but I do not.January 20, 2013 at 7:11 am #91550Tom RogersParticipanttwc wrote:Your exclusively racial vision appears when you question the political motives, and so the scientific integrity, of some of the great theoreticians of evolution and anthropology, and re-appears when you challenge a Position Statement of an anthropological society as not being a position statement of that society. This is another example of yours that I must learn from in order to deploy "race" conceptually.
This is another paragraph of TWC's that I do understand and so I will answer it.First, I think it would benefit TWC to remember what a "Position Statement" is (his term, not mine or the AAPA's). It's simply statement of position, which tends to imply that there is at least one other position that the statement might be in opposition to or disagreement with.Second, TWC misrepresents my own position (something I am now getting used to). TWC states that I have an "exclusively racial vision". In fact, I have no such vision, as any fair reading of my contributions here will confirm.TWC then makes a rather extravagant claim that I, "…question the political motives, and so the scientific integrity, of some of the great theoreticians of evolution and anthropology,…" I'm actually rather flattered by this, but sadly it's also untrue. I have done nothing of the kind, again as any fair reading of my posts will show. In fact, I have done the opposite. To take an example, when discussing the "Position Statement" (as you call it) earlier, I pointed to the fact that the authorship of the "Position Statement" is not revealed. I cannot possibly be questioning anyone's integrity if we do not even know who authored the statement or why it was done. In any case, my inquiry concerning the Statement was as to its scientific credibility or otherwise. Incidentally, I never said that the "Position Statement" is "…not the statement of positon of that society." It may or may not be, but the allegation is your invention not mine.To suggest that the Statement is in fact political and not necessarily representative of the AAPA membership and that many scientists, in common with the general population, have political views that they may sometimes bring into their work (consciously or otherwise), is not a radical challenge to the integrity of the scientific community, rather it is to make a rather obvious and common-sensical observation that anyone can see to be generally true. That is to say, scientists are human and will sometimes exhibit bias in their public representations, especially when those representations are explicitly designed to serve a political purpose in that they represent the views of a body of scientists, as opposed to a single scientist or a single research unit whose findings and summative conclusions would necessarily be more rigorous. Now, if you wish, I can go and find a statement from another scientific association in a different field that, likewise, is not necessarily representative of the views of its professional membership, but I would rather not have to as I have better things to do, and I do think the point I make here is fairly obvious.TWC closes the paragraph with this statement: "This is another example of yours that I must learn from in order to deploy "race" conceptually." This is clearly facetious and I am entitled to conclude tenatively that this is TWC's general aim in his post. By wrapping most of his comments in academic jargon, he thinks he is being funny. The truth, I think, is that TWC's position on this subject is an emotional rather than an intellectual one and his responses are emotional in that (in common with others here) he deliberately distorts my views (something I find quite sinister and creepy by the way) and has nothing coherent to say. That's intellectually dishonest. No-one on this thread has been able to state coherently what a 'racist' is if 'race' does not exist, nor how the subject can be debated intelligibly if race is purely a social construct, nor how a socialist society would address the evident fact that people appear to prefer to live within their own broad racial groups. No-one has answered my repeated questions as to why we have an obvious racial apartheid and separatism in our society and in what way it can therefore be said that 'race' does not exist.January 20, 2013 at 10:26 am #91551ALBKeymasterTom Rogers wrote:Attributing a philosophy or viewpoint to the priorities of capitalists doesn't explain why and how it exists and why it is so widely-accepted.
Doesn't it? What about the ruling ideas in any (stable) period being the ideas of the ruling class? Since employing the most productive (of profit) workers, irrespective of skin colour or gender, is in the overall interest of capitalists and capitalist corporations you would expect the aspiration to "race" and gender equality to become the dominating view (as opposed to discrimination).The book I'm reading, Remaking Scarcity by Costas Panayotakis, sums up Walter Ben Michaels' case as:Quote:According to Walter Ben Michaels, who has voiced this view, concern with racism, sexism, heterosexism, and discrimination amounts to little more than "the dream of a truly free and efficient market" which obscures the real source of injustice, namely class inequality. In Michaels's view, American society's interest in non-class forms of discrimination constitutes a capitulation to "the neoliberal consensus" that "[t]he only inequalities we're prepared to do anything about are the ones that interfere with the free market"January 20, 2013 at 4:01 pm #91552SocialistPunkParticipant
TomOuch!I was under the impression this was a forum that was open to discussion from anyone. How would I have looked if I had said that my original comments were not addressed to you when you first entered this discussion? And I don't recall telling any lies about you, nor claiming "I" have beaten you?Now "race" is not subjective like the issue of what religious belief is correct, or how to interpret Marx. The issue of human "races" is either a biological fact or a social construct.If it is a biological fact it could be proven much easier in todays advanced scientific community, than it was when the concept first reared it's head two or three hundred years ago. Proven and defined, so then that definition can be used to effectively categorise every single human on this planet into a specific "racial" group.If on the other hand it is a social construct, then there will be much subjective disagreement, opinion and political fashion brought into the arena of debate. Much as there is today.You invented your own definition of "race" so you should be able to at least attempt to classify humans into racial groups. Much the same as the early "racial scientists", mixing observation with prejudice. Yet I have asked twice for you to attempt to provide an answer, and still you refuse to answer. But still you cling to the following.Tom Rogers wrote:Race is apparent from walking into any cosmopolitan town, city or university,
So here we go for the 3rd time. How many "races" of human do you think their are?If you took up Ed's invitation to try the "racial" quiz on post #62, you should have had no trouble placing the people in their appropriate "racial" groups. However to those who bothered, the quiz shows perfectly the difficulty in trying to categorise people using even the obvious evidence most commonly used.Now you criticise TWC for using academic language to dissect your points. Unfortunately sometimes in certain discussions it is often necessary to cut through the opinion with cold scientific analysis. So often this approach shows up the weak arguments, points, position of the other side of the debate. But your objection is sounding very similar to the right wing position of distrusting intellectual analysis. A position held, as so often such analysis shows up the prejudicial opinions of others for what they are.As TWC had the courage to analyse your points, dismantling them as he went (for the record I was able to follow and understand) why not do the same? We on the forum could compare them and come to our own conclusion as to who is wrong. Debate is not about changing the mind of the debaters, all too often such minds are entrenched, but about allowing the audience to come to a conclusion. It is the essence of democracy. If you can not refute TWC's dissection of your position then the audience can only draw one conclusion.As for your question of what a racist is if "race" does not exist. A simple dictionary definition should suffice.The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.Please do not take that as an accusation you believe in "racial" superiority, only that you accept human differences based on "racial" lines. Lines that you are unwilling to commit to by explaining to us misguided people, the obvious "racial" groups you see every time you walk through a busy cosmopolitan town.January 20, 2013 at 11:50 pm #91553steve colbornParticipant
It is useful for the ruling class, of any given epoch, to promote differences between the class that is ruled. It gives justification and legitimation to any discrimination they would like to purport to exist whilst, at the same time, setting the "ruled", one against another.The perfect example, made much of in recent times, which has nothing to do with race, sex, or for that matter any other kind of stereotype, is that of the "skiver or striver", the "shirker or worker". It legitimises the actions of our betters, and moreover, takes the debate away from where it should be, the debate of the inequality, that exists in "class based society". The inequality that causes all of the problems inherent in these societies.That a minority own and control the means of life itself. Instead of us "plebs" debating what would be in "our interests", the ruling elite have us debating the minutiae of the irrelevant, as in this discussion. It has been mentioned of what we think about as we walk down, in this instance, any street in a muticultural area? I, personally, don't think of blacks, or any racial stereotypes, sex, age, or any of the other, discriminatory aspects so beloved of those who would drive a wedge amongst workers. I do not look at someone with a, "carry out" and think, "oh theres a doley with his booze, instead of the lazy bastard getting himself a job! Or a person with a walking stick and me thinking, oh theres someone, "swinging the lead", pretending to be disabled, in order to live the life of Rielly on benefits, instead of contributing to society.You may consider, that these arguments are not relevant in a discussion on the existence or not, of racial "types"! I would say they are all, much of a muchness. All of these discriminatory debates are for the simple purpose of keeping workers fighting each other. Black against white, worker against doley, the disabled against the able-bodied. They are not debates we, as workers, should give credence, credibility, or house room to.The minority ownership of the means and instruments to produce what we, as human beings, need to live is where "our" attentions should be! It is this, that causes hunger, homelessness, war, depletion of "scarce" resources, degredation of the planets biosphere. So-called racial groups do not cause this, nor do doleys, the disabled, the old, ad-infinitum.They are nothing more than red-herrings that suit the ideological hegemony of these, so-called betters. Of the ruling class. To get involved in them, detracts from our focus. The realisation of a fair and equal society. Where the world and everything in it and on it, belong to us all, and is used for the betterment of humankind. Regardless of sex, age, or "supposed racial" distinctions.That we have to engage in debates with those who put forward these, unsupportable arguments, draws us away from where our "attention" should be and gives aid and comfort to the present owners of the world.Steve.January 21, 2013 at 12:04 am #91554steve colbornParticipant
Tom, this is the language I, as a worker use. It is all I need to use. You talk of posters on this thread using, intellectual language! I do not, never have, even when I did my degree. I do not use, for instance, language such as this, "I should certainly be in a better position to respond to you if you would convey your thoughts in clear English rather than wrapping yourself in academic terminology and…well…sesquipedalian rumination". What does that mean to anyone. Is it not "intellectual jargon"? The case for a sane society is basic. No equivocation, or prevarication, just simple prose.Let "our betters" and those they employ to justify the unjustifiable use this rubbish. Cuts no ice with me, or The Socialist Party. Our arguments are, as they have ever been, incontestable and unaswerable.,Steve.January 22, 2013 at 9:33 pm #91555twcParticipant
What you Don't [or Won't] UnderstandTR wrote:this is not an academic discourse.
Academic trivia are not the question. I winced at your academic sneer at "social constructs", given that the case for socialism is based on Marx's scientific [non academic] insight that "social being determines consciousness".No socialist is haughtily superior to "social constructs". I took your main argument seriously, not academically, but as science.I saw you increasingly depicting yourself as the scientific martyr. A pale shadow of Homer's noble Cassandra — the truthful prophetess fated forever to be disbelieved. The seer who now warns against humanity uniting itself under socialism, prognosticating that such reckless mixing of the "races" will be the Trojan Horse that destroys the grand illusion of cooperative humanity.If you are equally serious about our inability to achieve our Object, without first conducting scientific research into "race", your genuine concerns for socialism need to be addressed.So I confronted your motivating definition of "race" and found it to be not only non-scientific but to be essentially anti-scientific.Your definition assumes "race" but, as you formulate it, it is incapable of proving "race". On your definition, "race" can't be demonstrated scientifically to exist in the "material" sense you want it to.On the contrary, I see your definition as showing no concern for anything other than establishing the existence of "race" as such to wield it for unspecified purposes. To that extent, as far as attaining socialism is concerned, your definition is merely "academic".TR wrote:I should certainly be in a better position to respond to you if you would convey your thoughts in clear English
I'm happy to walk you through, step by step, whatever unclear English confuses you.TR wrote:rather than wrapping yourself in academic terminology and…well…sesquipedalian rumination.
Don't you dare pull the ruse that you can't understand most of what I'm saying. Don't you dare shift the blame onto me. You want analysis, and it's what you've got.Don't you dare dodge the many issues on the grounds of their being incomprehensible to you. Make the effort to understand them, just as you demand that we make the effort to understand you.TR wrote:However I suspect you're just being facetious here
Oh no, I'm not. You are not sneaking out of science by your own convenient academic quibble about my critique amounting to inconsequential facetiousness.TR wrote:You start by asserting that my definition of race defines race "in terms of itself."
I explained to you that its circularity doesn't necessarily bother, if you could explain to me how to terminate it. I believe that you can't without violating your inviolable metaphysical stance that "race expresses itself".For you, "race" is expressed by that which expresses "race". Your circle remains vicious — circulus vitiosus.TR wrote:This [that my definition of "race" is circular] could be true,
You concede that your definition "could be" circular. But, as is consistent with your behaviour, you twist your limited "could be" concession into a full-scale attack. You now discover that "most" definitions are circular anyhow!TR wrote:I would suggest the very definition of a 'Jew' is recursive.
So for you "a Jew is a Jew". Recursive and forever.You really are unconsciously insensitive or consciously inflammatory. Last time you chose "sub-populations of other human populations" and "subject population". I am not prepared to fuel this line of argumentation.Merely lingering over your provocative example is enough to reveal your signature cunning stamped all over it. It's another instance of smuggling into the discussion a tacitly "agreed-upon" instance of "race". This strikes me as consistent with all of your "deployments of racism" in practice.What you Do [or Choose to] UnderstandPosition StatementThe Position Statement on "Biological Aspects of Race" is filed on the official AAPA website underHome > About > Position statements > Biological Aspects of RaceFollow the parent linkHome > About > Position statements to the association's collected position statements http://www.physanth.org/association/position-statementsThis page is headed Position statements.You originally pontificated on this statement's status. I generously assumed that you first must have bothered to check the obvious facts.Since the actual status of this position statement stares you in the face on the official AAPA website, it is evident to me that a preconceived idea of yours consistently blinds your vision. You consistently see [or fail to see] exactly what you want to see [or fail to see].Since you confidently attribute the term "Position Statement" only to me and not to the AAPA, I take this as revealing just how shoddily you are prepared to operate in defence of "race". You may be stunned to learn that others just don't make things up as you allege — that their scholarship is not as cavalier with the facts as you incorrectly assumed mine to be.Do you still assert that this Position Statement is not one of the AAPA's position statements?TR wrote:twc makes a rather extravagant claim that I, "…question the political motives, and so the scientific integrity, of some of the great theoreticians of evolution and anthropology,…"scientists are human and will sometimes exhibit bias in their public representations, especially when those representations are explicitly designed to serve a political purpose in that they represent the views of a body of scientists, as opposed to a single scientist or a single research unit whose findings and summative conclusions would necessarily be more rigorous.
Setting aside your waffle about scientists being human — and setting aside your academic word "summative" which I needed to look up, and strikes me as inappropriately teaching-oriented rather than research-oriented — you perform a neat double pike and unintentionally support my claim about your assertion that scientists will distort the facts to serve a political purpose.Science is based on trust and integrity. You are here questioning scientific integrity. This is almost word-for-word identical to the strategic assault mounted by climate skeptics upon the political motives and scientific integrity of climate scientists.You will never comprehend how I winced when I read the names of those scientists whose integrity you unintentionally impugned. You were not to know!Again, consistently adopting the "race" vision leads you where angels fear to tread.TR wrote:This is another example of yours that I must learn from in order to deploy "race" conceptually.
[For your benefit… Thomas Kuhn pointed out that science is learned by emulation — performing classical experiments and solving classical problems — in order to discover how to act and think for yourself, consistently within a scientific framework. These are his original "paradigm" examples that characterize scientific practice within his scientific Paradigms.]I am following your "paradigm" examples that your definition encourages me to follow in order to learn how to "deploy race" in your "racial" Paradigm. My intention was to let you glimpse just how your encouraged "deployment of race" appears to others, in case you really are a genuine enquirer who honours scientific integrity.I don't believe that you comprehend the simple social necessity for scientific integrity.You want to divide people — so you emphasize love of one's own kind. But "race" always expresses itself as hatred of the other kind. Scientific integrity would consider that.You emphasize commonality only so far — just as Jefferson does in his otherwise brave words "we hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal", in which he stops short of exceeding the bounds of a slaveholder's economic standpoint [one in which white owners are equal and so are his black slaves].You don't want integration — so you emphasize like-minded people living in communal harmony. But "race" always expresses itself as ghetto, as segregation, as communal discord. Scientific integrity would consider that.In your noble wants, you suppress the negative. Yours are not Just-So stories, but Just-So-Far stories. You seem to be ignorant of scientific integrity, or you are consciously devious.TR wrote:No-one on this thread has been able to state coherently what a 'racist' is if 'race' does not exist.
You really are obtuse or devious.Take the equally spurious analogy of a spiritualist "So what's a spiritualist if spirits don't exist?"These academic questions only make scientific sense if rephrased in general terms: "what's a social construct that asserts a basis, where no such basis exists?"In your case, "what's a social construct that asserts a biological basis, where none exists?".By haughtily sneering at "social constructs" and by flatly denying "biological determinism", you have already burnt your bridge. You have nowhere scientific to go.You don't know what "race" is yourself. You can't define it coherently.You should at least have bothered to look into the science. But you, someone proven to be inadequate to the task, take it upon yourself to favour us all with your own socialism-saving definition of "race". Why should any socialist take you seriously?While preferring your own non-scientific brew to existing science, you impetuously challenge scientists who have spent lifetimes engaged in more than just academic musings over the bleeding obvious like yourself.Like a fanatic, you naively flourish your trump card in the abstract academic construction that "race exists because racism exists". You don't take science seriously. You rely entirely on academic artifice.I gave you an opportunity to draw your own conclusion from a simple syllogism at the end of my previous post. Its two propositions [major and minor premises] derive directly out of your own definition. I refuse to hold your hand and walk you through its conclusion.February 4, 2013 at 10:05 am #91556alanjjohnstoneKeymaster
I came across this "academic" paper which some will be interested to read. "The Troubling persistence of race in pharmacogenomics"PDF download at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2198545Basically race is used as a surrogate for unknown genetic factors."Not only is general use of racial and ethnic categories in biotechnology patents increasing, subsequent race-specific trials, marketing campaigns, and clinical education are also on the rise. The case of warfarin brings to light a common dynamic underlying driving persistence of racial profiling in biomedicine, even as specific genes are being identified. The experience of warfarin calls into question the entire rationale for using race in the “meantime” between current reality and the promise future of truly individual genomic medicine. It also illustrates the inertial power of race to remain prominent in a conceptual system of biomedical analysis once introduced, especially when buttressed by commercial imperatives. Finally, it shows how race is being constructed as a residual category to explain any “unknown” aspects of drug response, creating a new space for the persistence of race in biomedicine."February 4, 2013 at 12:34 pm #91557ALBKeymaster
There was an article in the July/August issue of the Skeptical Inquirer on this entitled "Besieging the Last Bastions of Race" by Kenneth W. Krause. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be available without paying, but here's an extract:Quote:In his introduction to Race and the Genetic Revolution: Science, Myth, and Culture (Columbia University Press, 2011), Sheldon Krimsky, Tufts University community health specialist and coeditor (along with human rights advocate Kathleen Sloan), confirms that race amounts to nothing more than a "scientific myth"—a "vestigial cultural artifact" persisting only in our "minds and public policies."Race and the Genetic Revolution emerged from two projects launched by the Council for Responsible Genetics. The first examined the effects of expanded DNA databases on racial disparities in criminal justice. The second, more interesting to me, explored how modern scientific—especially medical—practices have actually revived a dangerous concept that should have been tagged and bagged years ago.In a concise historical essay, contributor and Drexel University public health expert Michael Yudell considers the recent "upsurge" in race-based medicine and its possible drivers. The genetic revolution, he finds, combined with our noble desire to resolve certain health disparities—especially in heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, for example—has scientists rummaging for solutions in every possible direction.Unfortunately, many well-intentioned researchers have reverted to race. According to Yudell, this reckless trend suggests that "an analysis of the complex relationship between individuals, populations, and health will be surrendered to a simplistic, racialized world-view."March 7, 2013 at 11:55 am #91558alanjjohnstoneKeymaster
Apologies for resurrecting a moribund thread but I thought this may be of interest.http://www.senseaboutscience.org/data/files/resources/119/Sense-About-Genetic-Ancestry-Testing.pdfWith every generation you (nearly) double your number of ancestors because every individual has two parents – going back just 10 generations (200-300 years) you are likely to have around a thousand ancestors."When genetics researchers talk about common ancestry between people they usually mean that they are tracing the inheritance of particular sections of DNA or genes.And we know that different sections of our DNA have different patterns of genetic ancestry. This means that researchers can get very different estimates of how recently we share ancestors, depending on what they are looking at……look at mtDNA to follow ancestry passed along the female line. For mtDNA, everyone alive today shares a common ancestor who lived between 160,000 and 200,000 years ago…….look at Y chromosome DNA to follow ancestry through the male line, the most recent estimate is of a common ancestor who lived between 240,000 and 580,000 years ago…""If, however, you look for the most recent person that everyone alive today is descended from, the best current estimate is that the individual lived only 3,500 years ago"(as the Scots say, We are all Jock Tamsons bairns)"Genetic ancestry testing presents a simplified view of the world where everyone belongs to a group with a label, such as ‘Viking’ or ‘Zulu’. But people’s genetics don’t reflect discrete groups. Even strong cultural boundaries, such as between the Germanic and Romance language groups in Europe, do not have very noticeable genetic differences. The more remote and less-populated parts of the UK, such as the Scottish Highlands, do have some genetic differences from the bulk of the population, but they are not big. There is no such thing as a ‘Scottish gene’. Instead groups show a story of gradual genetic change and mixing.http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21687013Prof Steve Jones, from University College London and author of some of the seminal books on genetics and evolution, said: "On a long trudge through history – two parents, four great-grandparents, and so on – very soon everyone runs out of ancestors and has to share them. "As a result, almost every Briton is a descendant of Viking hordes, Roman legions, African migrants, Indian Brahmins, or anyone else they fancy."
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