Friday, January 27, 2012

Potatoes and Racism

In the 1800s Antoine-Augustin Parmentier wanted to help the French people.  Knowing anti-authoritarianism, the fetish for the forbidden, was inherent in the french culture; he portrayed the food as a delicacy for royals and set a guard around his potato garden plot.  This of course let to theft from his garden and wide cultivation of the common tuber - the result he desired.

Man inherently wants to be free, and will endeavor against coercion even to act in ways not in his best interest.  I started smoking as a young teen specifically because it was illegal.  It is my opinion that much of the draw to drugs is their illegal status.  This leads to the confounding contradiction where legislating morality engenders immorality.

In 1996 I took on the burdensome, unrewarding, and unpopular task of the con side of affirmative action for a debate class.  One of the arguments by my opposition was that social justice required a pendulum approach, that the inequality imposed on minorities in the past must be imposed on the collective white race for the sins of their fathers.  This multi-generational tit for tat (sans forgiveness) leads to perpetual conflict and a forever swinging pendulum - and is a philosophy more likely to lend velocity to the wrecking ball at the end.  I argued that a color blind government would bring the pendulum to rest.  I hold by that argument.

The swinging pendulum has brought with it political correctness.  Some words are only permitted if your skin is the right color, for example.  This has created what I call a "racism fetish".  Individuals who would never, under regular circumstances, say an untoward word; become compelled to exercise the less palatable verbage in reaction to the (sometimes subconscious) desire for freedom of speech.  Championing liberty, and applying empathy and tolerance to the reactionary intolerant; is my recommendation for moving forward.

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