how society advances
It’s fair to say that human societies have changed significantly over the last few thousand years. Access to information and education is unprecedented, and many of us in the realm of blogging reap the benefits of these changes by easily discussing ideas and exchanging information with other bloggers around the world. In spite of all this seemingly easy access to information and education, there is still a lot of ignorance in the world. There is a lot of inequality, injustice and poverty, and in many parts of the world people don’t have the opportunity to participate in free and easy discussions with fellow human beings who can offer something outside their immediate cultural understanding.
It seems to me that the worst way to deal with this, as individuals, would be to shut out anyone who has a point of view we disagree with. To refuse to discuss issues we believe are important with people who hold opposing views can only lead to more ignorance – either on our part, or theirs.
Therefore, I feel rather concerned when I read comments like the one below, discussing the cultural preferences of one type of immigrant in a country made of recent immigrants:
I would consider these folks highly undesirable, to say the least. For starters, because they’re more than likely bent on trying to alter the existing social order of their host culture since they already succeeded in altering the structure of these courses. I’d suggest to refuse them visa, asylum, citizenship, or any other form of stay in the country. Any democracy will be much better off putting people like that on the very next plane back to the hellhole they likely came from.
When I commented on this public post, which offers a strong and rather controversial opinion on multiculturalism, and my comment several days later has failed to make an appearance, I’m wondering how we can hope for society to advance in a positive way, if we do not believe that discussion of issues and exposure to a variety of cultures cannot be mutually beneficial for everyone.
The author of this particular post publicly declared here that my blog houses anti-Semitic opinions. He then refused to discuss anything further with me. I spend a lot of my blogging time challenging discrimination and prejudiced beliefs. If I am in any way unknowingly anti-Semitic, I would like to know why and I would like to correct any subconscious or ignorant prejudices I hold. Because this is how society advances – by educating individuals.
This post is dedicated to Tongue Sandwich.
Since I don’t lurk around much, I didn’t see those later comments. I didn’t think for a moment that your post was anti-Semitic in any way, maybe am just too blind for somethings.
It’s frustrating when people keep blogs, moderate comments bit only allow those that they think suit their particular position or view. I would rather they just disable comments that way we don’t bother reading.
But on second thought, blogs where comments are moderated and am not certain my comment will see the light of day, I change the playing ground. The game is played on my blog, whoever wrote the original post can comment if they so wish!
Yes, I do that as well, which is how my post about Israel came about. It’s the first time I’ve been denied free commenting, and the first time that someone has failed to come back to me to justify their opinions. Very unusual.
Very unusual indeed!
What pisses me off is the term anti-Semitic…which you aren’t and neither were your comments, but by saying this he is saying , ” (My) Judaism is okay but your ( fill in culture religion of choice) is not.”
His comment above suggests he may be referring to, Islam? If so, on the face of it he has a valid point as Islam is an expansionist religion bent on one world under one faith and it is undeniable that many Muslims groups have been pushing for Sharia law.
This of course is one of the problems of a democratic secular society. All religions is nuts but how do allow one without allowing them all?
Maybe all religious folk must be forced to shw evidence of their god or chuff off?
I think everyone is right to show concern about Muslims pushing for Sharia law. But let’s not get carried away in a reactionary panic against Islam. I am more than sure that part of the rise in fundamentalism within Islam is down to stupid actions from non-Muslim nations making them feel under attack. Reactionary to reactionary. And suggesting that western countries can make their havens for happy living nicer or safer by putting people who disagree with our culture on a plane ‘straight back to where they came from’, is short-sighted, discriminatory and downright stupid.
Although saying all that, your ‘evidence or chuff off’ plan has a nice ring to it.
Too much pussy-footing. I despise the Theological Two Step these buggers love to play.
I didn’t think your original post was anti-Semitic. In order to be anti-Semitic, you would have to form your criticisms strictly because you had something against Jews. People need to be careful that they do not slap terms like anti-Semitic and racist on people when they are making valid observations. Unfortunately, nerves are so raw on certain topics, that this is often a tight-rope that is avoided.
I’ve had several of my comments on blog posts that have never been moderated into the discussion, but I have just attributed it to the fact that they were older posts or the writer is no longer following up. That might not be your case, however. If it is purposeful, I can understand your frustration.
Thanks for commenting Cindy. I appreciate getting a point of view from outside my normal blogging circles. I hope the person who made the charge will explain better what they meant by it, but I’m not holding my breath.
For some people, all statements are essentially political. You can’t reason with them. Nor does your principled willingness to consider unconscious anti-Semitism matter to them. As far as they’re concerned, either you agree with their politics, or you’re an anti-Semite.
Certainly appears to be the case here. The lack of willingness to discuss is irksome, but points to the fact that there’s no argument to support the accusation.
I do agree with you about intellectual interaction being the one thing, that really changes the cultures. It hastens our ability to see the world in a different light and eases the transition from doing something as it was allways done, just because it has been done so allways. It eases us to ask the, oh so important, question why, and to come up with more answers than just one. But conservatism comes from the fact that some people do not want to change their culture. That they themselves are perfectly happy with the current situation, even thought there was poverty, suffering and injustices caused by their current culture to some other people. Preferably to someone they themselves do not personally know. And not all change is for the better. However, better judgement of situations comes from better information and with better info we are better equipped to evaluate any new, or old ideals people present to us, instead of just shutting them out of the conversation.
Opposition to immigration is often informed by fear and nothing else. Fear is a very bad advisor. People who come from “these hellholes” often come to the west in hopes of escaping religious, political, or even ethnic persecution. Yes, many of them do not know what they are getting into and many have unrealistical expectations. And yes, this may shock some of them off their rails to do something mad and harmfull, but that does not mean we have any right to start selecting people to have the right to move from country to country on the base of their religion, political views, nor ethnicity. If we do that, every bit of freedom, that is valuable to us in the west, is allready lost.
Police action is necessarily allways reactionary. We may anticipate a crime, and we may act prevent one and to stop one, if there is one being committed, but we can not start to do pre-emptive strikes against possible criminals. That is not justice and it will only end up in a police state, that produces more problems than solves.
Cindy0803 has a good point. Anti-semitism is all too often understood to be a disagreement of the policies of the state of Israel. The silly thing about this is, that if anti-semitism means that, then there are a lot of Jews in this world both cultural, and religious who are anti-semitists. Since who in Israel alone, accepts all the resolutions of their government without opposing views?
My comments have been disabled by a number of bloggers, who did not want to continue conversation with me. That is fine by me. Since, I do not go around blogs throwing insults at people (unless people find it insulting, when I point out the weakness in their argumentation), the disabeling of my further comments, or banning me, or entire removing of my former comments is indicative to me, that I had no chance of influencing their thinkingin in the first place. Every blogger is the monarch of their blog and has every right to rule it as they see fit. It feels silly, when this action is taken by someone from whom I have simply tried to ask about something, that seems to be their field of expertice, like a Biblical quote from a literalist fundamentalist Christian, or an interpretation of a dream by someone who depicts themselves as experts at explaining the metaphysics of a dream, but usually when we reach the point when they have decided to end the discussion, it is clear, that they are not going to answer my question anyway and I certainly do not want to force anyone to do anything they really do not want to.
I have never had to ban or shut out anyone making comments to my blog. The idiots usually leave from there themselves, frustrated at my pigheadedness. 😉
Thanks Raut, as usual I wholeheartedly agree with everything you say, and wish I could express it like that. Well, apart from the bit about you being pigheaded. 🙂 And of course you make an excellent point that are many Israelis who disagree with the actions of their government and no-one is calling them anti-Semitic.
I can’t believe anyone would disable you!! Those who fear rational thought and facts.
Since I count both you and Tonguesandwich as part of the (small) circle of my favourite bloggers, I will not comment on this.
Ooops, you just did. 🙂 (Some supernatural thought transference power you’ve got going on there – perhaps aided by trees?)
I found Tongues reaction rather strange. He’s comfortable in lambasting all manner of subjects (and expressing strong opinions, which i generally agreed with), but then shut it all down on this subject. The behaviour of the Israeli’s should be critiised. I know i’m personally appalled by their recent actions in forging Australian passports. They deliberately endangered the lives of Australians (and Brits, New Zealanders and Canadians) by doing that… and they didn’t give a shit about it. That is unacceptable. It’s not civilised.
All actions by all countries should be open to discussion and criticism. If people are unable to justify their opinions, they should seriously question if they have any reasons for them at all. It’s likely they are just brainwashed by the culture they’ve been brought up in.
I don’t understand what governments hope to achieve through assassination. Maybe a short spell of confusion while their opponents regroup and find a new leader – but ultimately it just leads to more hatred, resentment and recruits to the other side. Islamic extremism isn’t based on an individual cult of personality (not that this would excuse it, but it might at least seem to be based on a modicum of logic). Performing executions, and ones without any judicial process at that, only serves to diminish any sense of a logical and fair approach to life. “You’re violent, irrational murdering nutters, and so are we” is the only message I get.
the regressive nature of assassinations aside, the sheer and utter disdain shown by the Israeli’s in forging peaceful nations passports is inexcusable. It demonstrates their self-serving mindset, and its a mindset Tongue demonstrated the other day.
I totally agree with both of you john zande and violetwisp. People outside this conflict seem to be talking like the Palestinians, or “Arabs” and Israel were equal partners. But they are not. Yes, Israel bravely fought against Syria and Egypt, but those wars were not the fault of the Palestinians.
The Israeli people are being targetted by terrorism, but the means to end the terror they have come up with are obviously not to stop terror. They are means to create more segregation and henceforth more terrorism. No doubt that the organizations like Hamas are thoroughly corrupt and many of their leaders benefits from the status quo of the war-like conditions just like some of the Israeli politicians. Both being people, who would never be elected under conditions of peace.
To me it is appalling that the state of Israel has secretly developed a nuclear weapon, or at least they have incarcerated for life the scientist who told the world they have. It is appalling that during their conflicts against the different guerilla movements, they have killed several UN officers from a number of neutral countries, like Finland, Austria and Canada for example, and go unpunished for this. Would the UN allow such arrogance from Iran?
I find it especially appalling, that when hunting down the nazi war criminals such as Adolf Eichman, the mossad had the decency to bring him forth to face a trial, but the Islamist leaders are assasinated and often so from a helicopter gunship or even a jet fighter killing possibly dozens of innocent passers by.
To me it is a terrible tragedy, that the Jewish people, who of all nations in the world should know the evil of segragation, it is them who have come to use it against a nother nation. To build security fences, to enclose the palestinian people into camps and ghettoes. What is their ultimate goal in this? How long will it take from the Israeli government to encompass, that the war of terror will go on for ever without a solution to the problem? Will their solution be to let the palestinians live in peace and form a nation of their own, or will their solution be the same into wich the nazies came to?
Did you know that Hitler was a zionist – of a type? His original idea for the “Jewish problem” was to settle all the German Jews into Palestine (or Madagaskar), this became a bit of a problem, so he and his lot came up with a nother “ultimate solution”. Now, it seems the European Jews have followed the original will of Hitler – ironic?
The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is also part of the division line between the so called first world and the third world. That is why there are no easy solutions, but that is also why no missile shield, nor security fence could ever be the solution.
However, I am more worried about the Christian zionists, who are in my view the actual cause for the current state of affairs.
Yes, the Christian Zionists are literally insane. I researched them last year, watched hours of videos and read countless papers. This idea that Jesus will come only when all the Jews are re-settled is simply crazy. It was these “preachers” who inspired George W. Bush’s fantasy about Gog and Magog.