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Author Topic: Is Canada Relatively Tolerant?
Sven
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posted 17 February 2006 07:22 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
To pick up from this thread...

When I read some of the posts on that thread, I can’t tell if some of the posters are simply trying to play the devil’s advocate or if they truly believe that Canada is as tolerant (or as intolerant, as the case may be) as Iran.

cdnviking clearly has said that Canada is not more (or less) tolerant than Iran (and, by inference, that the USA is not more or less tolerant than Canada, which I know a lot of babblers would disagree with).

I don’t think there’s a single human rights group on the planet that would agree with him regarding a comparison between Canada and Iran, and rightly so.

Why is there such a reluctance to say that Canada, in terms of tolerance, is superior to Iran? Or, conversely, a straight-faced assertion that Canada is no more tolerant than Iran? To say that Canada is no more tolerant than Iran is to strip the word “tolerance” of any meaning.

[ 17 February 2006: Message edited by: Sven ]


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Sven
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posted 17 February 2006 07:33 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Aristotleded24:
The issue I have is one of seing the speck in the other person's eye while being unable to see the plank in our own.

Killing gays in Tehran because they are gay is to see a “speck” in the eyes of Iranian society??? I think that’s a bit of an understatement.

quote:
Originally posted by Aristotleded24:
It looks very much to me like Sven et al, when confronted about systemic injustices in Canada and the US in this thread, simply covered their ears and said, "Islamic states are worse, everything's fine here, lalalalalalalala." You know what? Contrary to what anyone who subscribes to American libertarianism will tell you, class, race, and gender do matter in Canada and the US, and people are favoured on these factors.

That’s like saying, “Because we’re not perfect, we can’t criticize intolerance in Iran.” That’s absurd.

Furthermore, you are reading something into my posts (at least) that simply isn’t there, Aristotleded. Where did I say, explicitly or implicitly, that “everything’s fine here”? Everything’s not “fine” anywhere (if by that you mean “perfect” or even nearly so).


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babblerwannabe
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posted 17 February 2006 07:46 PM      Profile for babblerwannabe     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Canada, in terms of tolerance, is superior to Iran.
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Michael Watkins
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posted 17 February 2006 07:59 PM      Profile for Michael Watkins   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
According to my gay hair stylist, who has a long term relationship with a Persian man, the answer is without question, Canada is more tolerant.

Had this conversation once, but more framed as "what's it like for ZZZZZZ when he travels back home"?


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sidra
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posted 17 February 2006 10:02 PM      Profile for sidra   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
We also in Canada, tolerate poverty of a great segment of our society, we tolerate homelesssness, sexism (how is it that women form a majority of the population yet, their proportion in the halls of power, in boardrooms.. etc.. is very far from being reflected?) we tolerate exclusion (does our public or private sector reflect the canadian "mosaic"? Certainly not!), we tolerate racism (What is the percentage of Natives from the total population of Canada and what is the percentage of Natives amongst prison inmates?)

We tolerate that people have no means for legal representation before courts of law to assert their legal rights (how many judges, including from the Supreme Court of Canada broke their silence to draw attention to the "crisis" ?

Tout est relatif, you know? I am a gay person, I am "tolerated", Canada is the best country, a piece from heaven! I am a WASP, my interests are well served, Canada is God's gift to me.

As much as a fundamentalist me-and-only-me Iranian would feel that Iran is a peace of heaven!


Have we ever explored the possibility that we are confusing individualism with tolerance ?

Just a thought.

[ 17 February 2006: Message edited by: sidra ]


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faith
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posted 17 February 2006 10:18 PM      Profile for faith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Moslem leaders gathered today for a conference & spoke on CBC radio saying that Canada's treatment of the political cartoons depicting Mohmmed and Moslem people was an "example to the world "striking the right balance between freedom of speech and respect for others.
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jester
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posted 17 February 2006 10:29 PM      Profile for jester        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
My late 80s father calls POCs "imports".Not out of a defined sense of racism but in the context of his view of the world. He means them no disrespect from his POV but can not comprehend how hurtful his words are.

Ditto for many Canadians who do not have contact with people of other cultures.They are carelessly racist or bigoted without bothering to define their POV.


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babblerwannabe
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posted 17 February 2006 11:24 PM      Profile for babblerwannabe     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by sidra:
We also in Canada, tolerate poverty of a great segment of our society, we tolerate homelesssness, sexism (how is it that women form a majority of the population yet, their proportion in the halls of power, in boardrooms.. etc.. is very far from being reflected?) we tolerate exclusion (does our public or private sector reflect the canadian "mosaic"? Certainly not!), we tolerate racism (What is the percentage of Natives from the total population of Canada and what is the percentage of Natives amongst prison inmates?)

We tolerate that people have no means for legal representation before courts of law to assert their legal rights (how many judges, including from the Supreme Court of Canada broke their silence to draw attention to the "crisis" ?

[ 17 February 2006: Message edited by: sidra ]



so what does that have to do with the question comparing Canada to Iran? I dont get it.


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sidra
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posted 18 February 2006 07:45 AM      Profile for sidra   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
so what does that have to do with the question comparing Canada to Iran? I dont get it. -Babblerwannabe

What is "Iran" ? What is "Canada" ? Are you comparing political regimes or peoples attitudes ?

If you are comparing regimes, authoritarian regimes are known for their lack of tolerance for many things. It then calls for the next question: As there is a multitude of authoritarian regimes, Why do you pick on Iran ? It is because you have to find a Muslim country to compare against and show your "superiority" to them and Iran happens to be a theocratic Muslim country ?

If you are comparing peoples' attitudes, What leads one to say that Canadians are more tolerant tan Iranians ? I personally would never suggest that one population is more tolerant than the other.

If Iranians do not tolerate gays, they, on the other hand do tolerate the poor. If Canadians tolerate gays, they, on the other hand, do not tolerate the poor.

In the land that tolerates gays, the poorest of the poor of society are bashed and had their meagre allowances reduced to the tune of 22.1%.

Assisting the poor is a religious duty in Iran. Bashing the poor is a "sin". The huge success of Hamas in Palestine and Hizbollah in Lebanon are mostly due to their caring for the poor and the disenfranchised.

Canadians did tolerate bashing the poor, reducing their allowances and sending Canadian children hungry to school. Iranians would have risen in uproar were the poor mistreated there the way it happened in "more tolerant" Canada.

Moreover, the level of tolerance for Christians in Iran and in the Muslim world in general is much much higher that the level of tolerance of Muslims in Christian-dominated societies. For one thing, Islam is an offshoot of Judeo-Christanity and therefore Christianity is part of their faith. On the other hand, Christians do not share that sense of kinship towards Muslims.

The cartoon thing now comes to mind. No Muslim will ever draw an image of Jesus (peace be upon Him)let alone in a derogatory manner. The same cannot be said of "Christians" towards Mohammed.

Before one pumps up his chest "Canada is more tolerant than Iran" and feels better than the cluts, one has to examine in some depth the context as well as the accuracy of what he is suggesting.

So Canada is "more" tolerant of what exactly ? Once this question is answered, we can deliberate a bit, before jumping to conclusions.

[ 18 February 2006: Message edited by: sidra ]


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Winston Smith
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posted 18 February 2006 08:33 AM      Profile for Winston Smith        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Anyone who finds it too difficult to live in Canada is free to go someplace else, like Iran. No one will stop you.

Like when Conrad Black gave up his Canadian citizenship because we were a "failed state". Now he wants it back because of his legal troubles in the USA.

I think Conrad Black should be denied Canadian citizenship, and left to be anally raped in his Chicago prison cell.

My 2 cents anyway.


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skdadl
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posted 18 February 2006 08:42 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
That's an oopsies, I believe. Guy, you have a few minutes to erase that line, or I will protest it to a mod.
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Michael Watkins
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posted 18 February 2006 08:46 AM      Profile for Michael Watkins   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
... although denying Black citizenship has always sounded like a fine idea to me.
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sidra
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posted 18 February 2006 08:47 AM      Profile for sidra   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Anyone who finds it too difficult to live in Canada is free to go someplace else, like Iran. No one will stop you.
Like when Conrad Black gave up his Canadian citizenship because we were a "failed state". Now he wants it back because of his legal troubles in the USA.

I think Conrad Black should be denied Canadian citizenship, and left to be anally raped in his Chicago prison cell.

My 2 cents anyway. Guy Incognito


The above literature is submitted by a "Canadian" to support the argument that Canada is "more tolerant".


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Michael Watkins
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posted 18 February 2006 08:54 AM      Profile for Michael Watkins   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
More tolerant does not equal fully tolerant, no doubt most will agree upon that.

Does any nation meet, essentially, the test of "fully tolerant"?


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Cueball
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posted 18 February 2006 09:14 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think the point that is being made here is that there is a difference between the population of a country and its legal system. One could make the point that institutionalization of laws intended to enforce equality, indicate a lack of tollerance among the people that the laws compensate for. If the people were generally tollerant, or there were not intollerant sectors within society, there would be no need for the law to enforce the tollerant behaviour.

It is my view that all societies express a greater or lesser degree of tollerance among the people, but that the margin of difference between peoples in terms of how tollerant they are not as great as people think.

It is easy to look at country like Iran, and because some of its laws enforce intollerant behaviour, it is easy to misconstrue that as an expression of exceptional intollerance among Iranians generally.

[ 18 February 2006: Message edited by: Cueball ]


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Michelle
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posted 18 February 2006 09:19 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by sidra:
If Iranians do not tolerate gays, they, on the other hand do tolerate the poor. If Canadians tolerate gays, they, on the other hand, do not tolerate the poor.

In the land that tolerates gays, the poorest of the poor of society are bashed and had their meagre allowances reduced to the tune of 22.1%.

Assisting the poor is a religious duty in Iran.


Surely you can't be serious. Have you seen how the poor live in Iran? Do you have any idea of the unbelievable discrimination poor single mothers face, for instance, and what they have to do to survive in that country? In Iran, there is no social justice. There is charity, and only for the "deserving" poor.

If the Iranian ex-pats I know were reading your post (or even the opening question in this thread) they'd laugh in your face. Iran is NOT as tolerant as Canada. Period. It's a religious dictatorship that tortures and kills people in the thousands for expressing contrary political opinions, or violating barbaric sexual standards. (Yes, I said barbaric. Any sexual standards that include killing or torturing people for being gay, or for having premarital sex, or for adultery is fucking barbaric.) Politically, it's an absolutely horrible country and in no way can it be compared favourably to Canada. That's why people flee that country and look for sanctuary in this one and many others around the world. The people running that country are barbaric religious crackpots, and I certainly don't believe they represent the views of the majority of Iranian citizens. They certainly don't represent the views of any Iranians I've talked to, inside or outside of the country.


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sidra
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posted 18 February 2006 09:24 AM      Profile for sidra   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
More tolerant does not equal fully tolerant, no doubt most will agree upon that.

Michael Watkins


I of course agree that no society is fully tolerant. But the onus is on the proponents of the proposition -who keep quantifying the argument- to provide the evidence of "more".

Any census of all areas where tolerance is present or lacking in one and the other population or regime ? Any sound and objective knowledge of both subjects of the comparison or are we to rely on what we watch on TV ?

And for Guy Incognito's knowledge, I have no link whatsoever to Iran.


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Cueball
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posted 18 February 2006 09:26 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I am not sure that I disagree with you Michelle but poverty is relative within a society, or even a region. Actually considering Canada's relative wealth the rate of poverty is striking.
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Michelle
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posted 18 February 2006 09:31 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oh, I definitely agree with you there. Poverty is relative, something my ex used to tell me when talking about living in Iran. However, what I was touching on is the fact that when it comes to feeding the poor in Iran, it's all about charity given to people who deserve it. By families, mosques, people giving alms on the street. I think we'd be screaming here in Canada if the pittance that the poor receive through social assistance were replaced by a policy of people getting help through family, religious organizations, and begging on the streets. That's not social justice, and it certainly isn't "not tolerating poor" as was claimed earlier.
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sidra
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posted 18 February 2006 09:32 AM      Profile for sidra   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Michelle,

If you bothered to read what I wrote, you would have noticed that I asked the question Are we comparing political regimes or people ( as in Iranians and Canadians)' attitude.

It would help if you clarify whether you are talking about the theocrats in power or about the Iranian people. The regime hardly reflects "Iran".

My last remark here is to emphasize that I do not have any axe to grind against Canada, as I am Canadian or against Iran (I am not Iranian, whether dissident or not) or any Christian or Muslim or other faith or no faith. I try to use my head, not my guts. I do not believe in nationalism, much less blind nationalism and "My country is better than the others" slogans.

[ 18 February 2006: Message edited by: sidra ]

[ 18 February 2006: Message edited by: sidra ]


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Michelle
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posted 18 February 2006 09:47 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I did read your post, and you certainly didn't make that clear in any case. You posted:

quote:
If Iranians do not tolerate gays, they, on the other hand do tolerate the poor. If Canadians tolerate gays, they, on the other hand, do not tolerate the poor.

So, are you saying that Iranians as individual people do not tolerate gays, and that Canadians as individual people do not tolerate the poor? If so, then in that case, you are making negative generalizations about both. You can't have it both ways. Lots of individual Iranians "tolerate gays". Their society, politically, does not. Lots of individual Canadians "tolerate" the poor. Our society reflects that tolerance to a very small degree (in that we have put social programs in place, inadequate though they are).

Either way you look at it, I'm refuting your point. I say that Canadians as individuals and Canada as a political entity "tolerate" the poor as well as Iranians do, contrary to your claim that Iranians treat the poor better than Canadians do. As individuals, I think there are just as many Canadians who care about the poor as there are individuals in Iran who care about the poor. As a political entity, while I would rather that Canada has much stronger social programs in place, and that we not be so stingy with the amount of money people on social assistance get, I prefer our system to a system where people are given straight charity that depends on the capricious whims of individual donors, who decide which people are deserving and which people aren't. Is the Canadian system perfect in this regard? No. But at least there are rules in place that attempt to enforce non-discrimination with regards to who can get social assistance, for instance.

Who said anything about nationalism? I don't believe in nationalism either. We're comparing two countries right now, and it's not out of "nationalism" that I'm claiming Canada is better on tolerance. It's from hearing about Iran straight from the mouths of people who have lived there, been impoverished there, been tortured there, and been oppressed there.

P.S.

quote:
Moreover, the level of tolerance for Christians in Iran and in the Muslim world in general is much much higher that the level of tolerance of Muslims in Christian-dominated societies. For one thing, Islam is an offshoot of Judeo-Christanity and therefore Christianity is part of their faith. On the other hand, Christians do not share that sense of kinship towards Muslims.

What crapola. Did you know that the penalty for "apostasy" (in other words, switching to another religion) in Iran is death, and that it's against the law for Christians to talk about their faith to Muslims in Iran? What the hell kind of religious freedom is that? Give me a break. Sure, they have great religious freedom and tolerate their religious minorities - until they get uppity and want to talk about their religion to anyone but themselves. What's the penalty in Canada for converting to Islam? Oh yeah, there isn't one!

And if you want to talk about individual Iranians and Canadians as opposed to political systems, then fine. Do you think Jews in Iran are treated any better on an individual basis than Muslims in Canada? If you think so, you're wrong. Iranian society is quite anti-semitic, and I'm not talking about "criticizing Israel" when I use that term. I would also argue that Canadian society is quite anti-Muslim. It's not difficult in Canada to find yourself hearing anti-Muslim remarks in general or "polite" conversation in Canada. Well, it's certainly not difficult in Iran to hear the same type of remarks about Jews.

[ 18 February 2006: Message edited by: Michelle ]


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sidra
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posted 18 February 2006 11:45 AM      Profile for sidra   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
[QUOTE}So, are you saying that Iranians as individual people do not tolerate gays, and that Canadians as individual people do not tolerate the poor? If so, then in that case, you are making negative generalizations about both. You can't have it both ways. Lots of individual Iranians "tolerate gays". Their society, politically, does not. Lots of individual Canadians "tolerate" the poor. Our society reflects that tolerance to a very small degree (in that we have put social programs in place, inadequate though they are).

Either way you look at it, I'm refuting your point. I say that Canadians as individuals and Canada as a political entity "tolerate" the poor as well as Iranians do, contrary to your claim that Iranians treat the poor better than Canadians do. [/QUOTE]

Michelle,

My whole argument is about the superlative "more tolerant than" and since you have not used that superlative, then we are in agreement.

Issues of political regimes and social policy in Canada and in Iran, that is another song, best left for a separate thread. Meanwhile, I do not think that the concept of charity ceases to exist once a community group -instead of a religious organization- starts running a social services outlet ? Aren't there any "charitable" organizations running social services outlets in Canada ? Is caring for the poor limited to the financial "pittance" called social assistance, ODSP etc.. Aren't food banks "charitable" organizations ?


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Sven
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posted 18 February 2006 12:06 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I would think that Canadian society is more tolerant that Iranian society (putting aside political regimes). To assert otherwise, you'd have to believe that, given a vote, Iranians would support officially sanctioning gay marriages. Maybe I'm way off base, but I somehow doubt they would.

Again, putting aside political regimes, I just don't think a person can legitimately argue that all cultures are equally tolerant.

ETA: I think it's largely a function of the degree of religious domination in a society. If you look at Canada (and most European countries), they are quite secular (and growing more so all the time). And, they are relatively tolerant. A society in which a majority of people deeply believes in "the correct" religion, it would seem to me, would, by definition, be less tolerant of "the other".

ETA (even more): I think you'd find the same thing in a society dominated by fundamentalist Christians. If the USA were a theocracy like Iran with Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson having autocratic rule over the country, it would be the same thing (much less tolerance).

[ 18 February 2006: Message edited by: Sven ]


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Sven
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posted 18 February 2006 12:15 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

[ 18 February 2006: Message edited by: Sven ]


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Loretta
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posted 18 February 2006 12:17 PM      Profile for Loretta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Michelle, you said:
quote:
I think we'd be screaming here in Canada if the pittance that the poor receive through social assistance were replaced by a policy of people getting help through family, religious organizations, and begging on the streets. That's not social justice, and it certainly isn't "not tolerating poor" as was claimed earlier.

For all intents and purposes, this is what's happening here in BC and I wish people were "screaming here in Canada". Many people here don't seem to know or care how bad it has become for those who need help.


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Michelle
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posted 18 February 2006 12:32 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, yes, this is true. However, I did say REPLACE, not enhance or download. I agree that our social assistance program really sucks in many ways and needs to be strengthened, but I just don't like to see it exaggerated to the point where we're seriously talking about how a country like Iran "tolerates" poor people and Canada does not. I think that's some major hyperbole. I don't see any mainstream political party advocating the complete abolition of the social safety net in favour of people begging on the streets and having to beg for charity from churches and families. I know there are definitely people in Canada who feel that's the way it should be, but I don't think they're the mainstream, and I don't think it would fly with the majority of Canadians.

[ 18 February 2006: Message edited by: Michelle ]


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
sidra
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posted 18 February 2006 01:36 PM      Profile for sidra   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
ETA (even more): I think you'd find the same thing in a society dominated by fundamentalist Christians. If the USA were a theocracy like Iran with Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson having autocratic rule over the country, it would be the same thing (much less tolerance). Sven

Exactly. But would that reflect on Americans or on the policies set by a theocratic regime ? There is a difference. Do you think for instance that put to a vote (and without the corporate media propaganda) the American people would vote for their troupes to be roaming the world, killing and being killed, "liberating" sovereign nations ?

As for gay's human rights in Canada, perhaps a referendum would clarify Canadians' tolerance or intolerance. (Mind you I am very against referenda and votes when it comes to minorities' rights, and I also consider the poor a minority. Democracy yes, but no selfishness and tyranny of the majority).

quote:
I would think that Canadian society is more tolerant that Iranian society (putting aside political regimes)



You have yet to submit your parameters, your yardstick and your evidence to support your superlative, Sven.

[ 18 February 2006: Message edited by: sidra ]


From: Ontario | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 18 February 2006 01:42 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
And now: the rhetorical leading question from Sven (if you don't believe Y, it means you actually support X, is that what you want?)
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Sven
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posted 18 February 2006 01:44 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by sidra:
You have yet to submit your parameters, your yardstick and your evidence to support your superlative, Sven.

Alright, then let me ask you this: What "parameters...yardstick...and evidence" do you have that all cultures are equally tolerant?


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 18 February 2006 01:50 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by sidra:
Exactly. But would that reflect on Americans or on the policies set by a theocratic regime ?

Yes, if it was the culture that lead to that type of political structure.

Political structures do not rise from a vacuum. They exist within the context of a society's culture. The culture of Islam and Christianity (as opposed to cultures that are becoming more and more secular) are less tolerant because they believe in absolutes and secularists tend not to believe in absolutes.

ETA: Cultures that were heavily dominated by Christianty are the very same cultures that are fast becoming secularized. Islamic societies simply have not become secularized to the same degree and, I think it follows, would naturally be less tolerant.

[ 18 February 2006: Message edited by: Sven ]


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Cueball
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posted 18 February 2006 01:51 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:

Alright, then let me ask you this: What "parameters...yardstick...and evidence" do you have that all cultures are equally tolerant?


Bravo! Good Sven.

You get this:

[ 18 February 2006: Message edited by: Cueball ]


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 18 February 2006 01:54 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:

Yes, if it was the culture that lead to that type of political structure.

Political structures do not rise from a vacuum. They exist within the context of a society's culture. The culture of Islam and Christianity (as opposed to cultures that are becoming more and more secular) are less tolerant because they believe in absolutes and secularists tend not to believe in absolutes.

ETA: Cultures that were heavily dominated by Christianty are the very same cultures that are fast becoming secularized. Islamic societies simply have not become secularized to the same degree and, I think it follows, would naturally be less tolerant.

[ 18 February 2006: Message edited by: Sven ]



What?


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 18 February 2006 01:58 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Cueball:
And now: the rhetorical leading question from Sven (if you don't believe Y, it means you actually support X, is that what you want?)

There are some questions that are dichotomous, Cueball.

There are one of two possibilities: Either (A) all cultures are equally tolerant or (B) some cultures are more tolerant than others.

And, by the way, that is not a "leading" question. A leading question would be: "So, what were you thinking when you were killing Mr. X?" A "leading" question presupposes a conclusion that has not in fact been made.


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 18 February 2006 02:00 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Cueball:
What?

What "What?"? Mr. Contextualize doesn't believe that a society's culture has any influence on the political structure of the society?

ETA: Let me rephrase that: "...a society's culture has a significant influence on the political structure..."

[ 18 February 2006: Message edited by: Sven ]


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 18 February 2006 02:07 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The de-seclarization of what we are, for purposes of expediency, calling the Muslim world, has for the most part been mid-wifed by the "Christian world."

Saudi Arabia -- House of Saud (salafist) backed by the British in 1930's.

Persian (AKA Iran) -- Secular democracy overthrown by US and British intelligence services 1954. Installed Shah institute Sharia law, practive continued by present Shia regieme.

Afganistan -- Socialist Secular government overthrown by US backed Mujahidden, 1996.

Iraq -- Secular Dictatorship removed by the invasion of the USA 2004.


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sidra
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posted 18 February 2006 02:10 PM      Profile for sidra   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Alright, then let me ask you this: What "parameters...yardstick...and evidence" do you have that all cultures are equally tolerant?


I admit that I never learned of any edict to the effect:

1. that some "cultures" are superior to others

2. that Sven has been appointed to determine which culture is superior to which other

3. that anyone opposing such edict shall provide his/her parameters, yardstick and evidence.

We live and learn, for sure!


From: Ontario | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 18 February 2006 02:15 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Cueball:
The de-seclarization of what we are, for purposes of expediency, calling the Muslim world, has for the most part been mid-wifed by the "Christian world."

Saudi Arabia -- House of Saud (salafist) backed by the British in 1930's.

Persian (AKA Iran) -- Secular democracy overthrown by US and British intelligence services 1954. Installed Shah institute Sharia law, practive continued by present Shia regieme.

Afganistan -- Socialist Secular government overthrown by US backed Mujahidden, 1996.

Iraq -- Secular Dictatorship removed by the invasion of the USA 2004.


So, are you saying that Islamic cultures were, essentially, securlar, prior to the influence of the West?

You're going back to your old saw, Cueball: West = Bad. Non-West = Good.


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 18 February 2006 02:16 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by sidra:

I admit that I never learned of any edict to the effect:

1. that some "cultures" are superior to others

2. that Sven has been appointed to determine which culture is superior to which other

3. that anyone opposing such edict shall provide his/her parameters, yardstick and evidence.

We live and learn, for sure!


Thank you for the non-answer.


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 18 February 2006 02:19 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by sidra:
I admit that I never learned of any edict to the effect:

1. that some "cultures" are superior to others

2. that Sven has been appointed to determine which culture is superior to which other

3. that anyone opposing such edict shall provide his/her parameters, yardstick and evidence.


Assume there is no such edict (a fair assumption because there is noen).

So, it's a fair question to ask you: What evidence to you have that all cultures are equally tolerant?


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 18 February 2006 02:20 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I've been watching this thread and trying to figure out what it is about.

Is it an ethnocentric celebration of how much we like ourselves and how much better we think we are than anyone else?

Is it, in other words, a celebration of ignorance?

sidra raises a provocative possibility above. Do I find it impossible to imagine that there are lots of people in Canada who would be capable of joining a mob that would stone to death / behead an "immoral" woman or a gay man?

Actually, no. I don't find that impossible to imagine. I know how recently (in my adult lifetime) Canadian men were free to have their daughters and wives and sisters incarcerated and experimented upon for being immoral, or to dispossess them entirely. I also know how recently it was simply illegal to be gay in most Western societies - illegal, as in you could be thrown in jail for it.

And do I think that the vicious, visceral hatred many have for anyone who is unconventional has simply gone away in Canada? No, frankly: I don't.

It is simply laughable to me that any Canadian man would be beating his breast with pride over how well we treat women and gays in this country. Utterly laughable.

You think that you did that? You gave us our liberty? Think again, white guys.

You have never given anyone any freedom at all. People free themselves. Sometimes elites come along to back them up, and we have needed that in the West, still rely on the state power that elites are putting in to the protection of the equal rights of all citizens.

What is offensive about Sven's opening premise is that we can somehow rest on our laurels, look out at the rest of the world and feel superior because they are - what? - a few generations behind us? Those countries our enlightened civilization has been raping for three centuries: they still aren't as liberal-minded as we are? And now they need Western white guys whose whole purpose in life is to liberate women and gays?

Och. Sven. Barf. Tell me another one.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 18 February 2006 02:23 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I suppose there is a third possible assertion: One cannot compare cultures. Cultures are simply not amenable to comparison.

But, that would, again, require that the word "tolerance" has no meaning. Because, if the word tolerance has any meaning and if one cultures punishes gays for being gay and another culture accepts gays like others, then if the word "tolerance" has any meaning at all, it's fair to say that with regard to gays, the former culture is less tolerant than the latter culture.

No?


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 18 February 2006 02:25 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Sven, seriously: where do you get off, priding yourself on our "tolerance" for gays?

Do you have any idea of how insulting that sounds? Any idea at all?


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 18 February 2006 02:27 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It isn't about "white guys", skdadl. I don't know if you're white but I'm pretty sure you're not a "guy". Yet, you admit yourself that some cultures are:

quote:
Originally posted by skdadl:
a few generations behind us

From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 18 February 2006 02:29 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by skdadl:
Sven, seriously: where do you get off, priding yourself on our "tolerance" for gays?

Do you have any idea of how insulting that sounds? Any idea at all?


Tell me why that's insulting, skdadl. Please.

I've said in an earlier post that no society is perfect (or even nearly so). Nor is any society perfectly intolerant.

But, it's fair to say that Canadian society is more tolerant than Iranian society with respect to, say, gays being able to live without getting killed for being gay.

ETA: And, skdadl, can you, with a straight face, say an openly gay man would be better living in Iran than in Canada, presumably because Iran is no more (or less) tolerant than Canada? That is patently absurd.

[ 18 February 2006: Message edited by: Sven ]


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 18 February 2006 02:33 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by skdadl:
What is offensive about Sven's opening premise is that we can somehow rest on our laurels

That is simply an inference that you are making that is incorrect. I've said, repeatedly, that no society is perfect or even nearly so (and, yes, I'm sad to say, that would even include Canada).


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 18 February 2006 02:34 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:

So, are you saying that Islamic cultures were, essentially, securlar, prior to the influence of the West?

You're going back to your old saw, Cueball: West = Bad. Non-West = Good.


I am saying that in 1900, the Muslim world was about as secular as the Western world. Austro-Hugarian empire was a Catholic nation, or that Germany was Protestant. That is the way it was.

The religous status of these states was hotly contested and essential basis for all European politics for the previous 400 years. At the same time, the region mostly spoken of when we say Muslim world, the Levant and the Maghrib as well as the Balkans resided under the Ottoman Empire that officially recognized all of the religions within its domain, Shia, Sunni, Catholic, Orthodox, Marionite, Nestorian and Judaic, under the "millet System."

With few exceptions (notably the Mongols) it was the first state to officially institute a policy of universal tollerance of all religions, within its domain.

To say it was a perfect tollerance would be to misconstrue the reality, but it was tollerant, and in fact this tollerance was a principle directly supported by the Qu'ran.

So much to say that the very idea of a secular society, is very much something learned from Muslims.


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Sven
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posted 18 February 2006 02:48 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Skdadl, let me ask you a simple question: If Society A (let's say the USA) is heavily dominated by fundamentalist Christians and Society B (let's say Canada or Sweden) is far more secular that Society A, would you expect Society A to be more or less tolerant than Society B?

Or would you take the position I might expect sidra to take and say that they would be equally tolerant/intolerant, and thus eviscerate the very meaning of the word "tolerance"?

[ 18 February 2006: Message edited by: Sven ]


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rici
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posted 18 February 2006 02:52 PM      Profile for rici     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Edit: I went for lunch and forgot to hit the Post button, and the discussion obviously moved on. Sorry.

There is a huge difference between "tolerating poverty" and "tolerating the poor". Poverty is a feature of a society; when I say "poverty is intolerable", I mean that it is offensive to me that (my) society is structured in a way that poverty exists; in other words, that there should not be poor people in that society. If I were to say that about, say, "people with blonde hair", I would be making a racist comment. But being poor is not like being blonde (or being indigenous or being gay or being christian or muslim). It is entirely reasonable to talk about eradicating poverty. Obligatory, even.

Even in the ideal society, people will from time to time be poor, because we cannot control for disasters. After an earthquake or a flood or a tornado, people are left homeless, without possessions, even without members of their family and community. They are, temporarily, poor. But in a healthy society, the amount of time they are poor is minimised.

None of us live in an ideal society; to some extent or another, we live in societies which tolerate poverty, and which therefore have large populations who are not simply poor for short periods of times. They are poor for extended periods, possibly even for their lifetime. So the non-poor are, as individuals, presented with the opportunity to demonstrate how well they interact socially with poor people. Are they content to live in housing co-ops which allocate a percentage of their units to poor people? Are they content to send their children to the same schools as poor children? Would they socialise with poor people, or do they construct social institutions which reduce the odds of such intermingling?

Intolerance of poor people and tolerance of poverty generally go hand-in-hand, but not always; George Orwell's writing, particularly books such as "The Road to Wigan Pier" and "Down and Out in Paris and London" show a person who was clearly outraged by poverty, but also personally repulsed by poor people.

So how does Canada stack up? I think it has a long way to go, but it clearly does better than Perú or the United States or the United Kingdom, to mention a few countries that I have some personal experience with. That is not something Canadians should feel pride at, because there are many societies which do much better. But neither should we flagellate ourselves over it.

What we should do is work to create the social solidarity which will (or at least could) reduce poverty and to oppose the right-wing propaganda machine. We have built a number of institutions which both ameliorate poverty and promote intermingling between economic sectors, such as medicare, public education, and the aforementioned housing co-ops. All of these institutions are under attack by the right-wing, and this must be opposed (I would say through education and not through force.)

It is not easy to measure inequality -- although it is visible to the naked eye -- but some imperfect measures exist, such as the Gini Index. On the whole, there is a correlation between the Gini Index and macroeconomic measures such as GDP per capita, but it is not nearly strong enough to be able to say that creating wealth ends poverty. Within the world's richest countries, there is a marked difference in inequality measures, and it is notorious that the rich countries with the highest inequality are the US and the UK, and that in both these countries inequality has been rising steadily over the past 30 years.

Canada is not strictly speaking an English-speaking country, and it is a moderate exception to the above statement. Canada's Gini Index remained more or less constant through the 70s, 80s and 90s, but appears to now be rising. Still, it has not risen nearly as dramatically as that of the United States, which now shows inequality figures worse than many "developing countries".

Clearly more needs to be done, but we at least have a foundation. We are not in the position of most Latin American countries. There is a historical cultural distaste for poverty, and a tendency towards fairness as a national policy. That needs to be balanced against the enormous "greed is good" propaganda machine which daily floods our homes.

Gini Index from the CIA World Factbook

Wikipedia entry on Gini (with free bonus impossible-to-read graphics, suitable for a powerpoint presentation)

I've got to stop writing essays as posts

[ 18 February 2006: Message edited by: Rici Lake ]


From: Lima, Perú | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 18 February 2006 02:53 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
One other observation: If one says that one society's culture is essentially the same as all other societies' cultures, not only will one be saved from having to say one is "superior" to another but you will also be (logically, anyway) barred from criticizing another culture. Either they are equal or they are not equal.
From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 18 February 2006 02:58 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Sven: I am tolerating you.

Now, Sven: how does that make you feel? Do you feel complimented when I put it that way?


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 18 February 2006 02:59 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
The roots of secularism in Turkey can be traced back to the articulation of the relationship between the state (dawla) and religion (din) during the Ottoman Empire. In the Sunni Ottoman tradition the religious establishment was controlled and dominated by the state. (12) Furthermore, the Ottomans increasingly used non-religious law (orf) as opposed to the religious one (the Shari' a) and thus further contributed to de facto secularization of the political sphere. The process of secularization intensified through nineteenth century reforms, particularly as a result of the adoption of new civil codes structured like European ones and the reformation of the education system.

The Turkish model and democratization in the Middle East


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Pogo
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posted 18 February 2006 02:59 PM      Profile for Pogo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
We must be able to qualify tolerance. Like Skadl has said our level of tolerance in Canadian society is far different than it was just a few years ago.

Quantifying tolerance is a bit of a mugs game, but some generalizations about countries can be made. I prefer to say 'following a different path' rather than 'generations behind us'.

Not having been in the previous thread, I am wondering why we asking the question.


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Cueball
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posted 18 February 2006 03:03 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:
One other observation: If one says that one society's culture is essentially the same as all other societies' cultures, not only will one be saved from having to say one is "superior" to another but you will also be (logically, anyway) barred from criticizing another culture. Either they are equal or they are not equal.

Sameness and Equity are not the same thing.


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sidra
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posted 18 February 2006 03:05 PM      Profile for sidra   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:

If Society A (let's say the USA) is heavily dominated by fundamentalist Christians and Society B (let's say Canada or Sweden) is far more secular that Society A, would you expect Society A to be more or less tolerant than Society B? Sven

More or less tolerant of what ?


From: Ontario | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
sidra
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posted 18 February 2006 03:39 PM      Profile for sidra   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
But, it's fair to say that Canadian society is more tolerant than Iranian society with respect to, say, gays being able to live without getting killed for being gay. Sven

Com'on Sven. This amounts to a childish game, my Dad is stronger than your Dad!

Unlike you, I am not arguing a sociey is "more tolerant" than another. But don't you wish that Canadian society had shown tolerance towards the aged and created the necessary measures to enable them to live with or at least beside their families instead of warehousing them in institutions and providing funds for charitable organizations to recruit volunteers to visit them once in awhile ?

Do you remember How many lonely and institutionalized seniors died in the heat waves a few years ago in France ? Do you know How many corpses were not even identified ? Would that happen in Iran ? I doubt.


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babblerwannabe
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posted 18 February 2006 04:57 PM      Profile for babblerwannabe     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I do wonder the same thing as Sven:

Why is there such a reluctance to say that Canada, in terms of tolerance, is superior to Iran?

I , on the other hand, thank my lucky star i dont live in Iran. There's no need to debate that. Perhaps thats why people wont say it because the answer is so obvious.


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Sven
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posted 18 February 2006 05:36 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by skdadl:
Sven: I am tolerating you.

Now, Sven: how does that make you feel? Do you feel complimented when I put it that way?


I'd rather have you tolerate me that kill me!


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
sidra
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posted 18 February 2006 09:01 PM      Profile for sidra   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:

Why is there such a reluctance to say that Canada, in terms of tolerance, is superior to Iran?

Because only bigots insist on constructing the world and attaching superlatives on the basis of their prejudice and ethnocentricity rather than on facts. Since Sven, yourself and al. insisted on pushing your naked proposition while failing to bring facts and figures to support it, your cause is lost.


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al-Qa'bong
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posted 18 February 2006 11:30 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
(how is it that women form a majority of the population yet, their proportion in the halls of power, in boardrooms.. etc is very far from being reflected?)

So what?

The problem isn't that men are in these positions. The problem is these positions.


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
sidra
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posted 18 February 2006 11:52 PM      Profile for sidra   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
The problem isn't that men are in these positions. The problem is these positions. al-Qa'bong


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al-Qa'bong
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posted 19 February 2006 12:48 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What's so funny?
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Sven
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posted 19 February 2006 01:29 AM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Is it bigoted to say that principles of free speech should be protected (and to say that free speech rights in Canada are “superior” to free speech rights, to the extent they even exist, in some other cultures)? Is it bigoted to say that gays are treated better in Canada than, say, Iran (or other cultures that are dominated by the heavy hand of medieval religious fundamentalists)? Is it bigoted to say women are treated better here that many other cultures (certainly those that cut out the clits of young girls and stone unchaste women to death)?

And, lest there be any confusion, I am not asserting that Canada is perfect (or even nearly so) with regard to free speech rights, gay rights or women’s rights.

Why is there reluctance by many to stand up and say: Those rights are better protected here than in certain other places and cultures?

In 2004, the Democratic candidate for one of Minnesota’s Congressional seats came to visit our company for a talk and a question-and-answer session. I listened to her talk about how she wanted to work to “bring people together”, to “compromise”, to “get things done” and to “avoid partisanship”. I asked her, “I really like to hear your desire to work together with people of different views. But, are there two or three things that, as a matter of principle, you would not compromise on?” She looked down at her shoes in kind of stunned silence. Then, she said, “That’s a good question. I’ve never been asked that before.” In her desire to “cooperate” and so forth, she couldn’t name one damned thing she wouldn’t compromise on as a matter of principle.

That’s what a reluctance to defend certain fundamental (Canadian? Western?) principles sounds like. In a desire to “make nice” with every other culture and in order to avoid making a claim that some aspects of Canadian culture are “superior” to those found in some other cultures, some just say, “We’re equal” or “Nothing is better in Canadian or Western culture than in any other culture”. It’s egalitarianism and moral relativism run amok.

Bigoted is saying one race is inherently inferior to another race. Bigoted is saying that gays don’t deserve the same rights as hets. Bigoted is saying women don’t have a right to pursue careers or other endeavors that men pursue.


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 19 February 2006 01:34 AM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by sidra:
Because only bigots insist on constructing the world and attaching superlatives on the basis of their prejudice and ethnocentricity rather than on facts. Since Sven, yourself and al. insisted on pushing your naked proposition while failing to bring facts and figures to support it, your cause is lost.

By the way, sidra, if championing free speech, gay rights and women's rights is "ethnocentric", then I guess I'm ethnocentric. And I'm proud of it.


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
sidra
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posted 19 February 2006 08:48 AM      Profile for sidra   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I guess I'm ethnocentric. And I'm proud of it. Sven

Fine.


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Cueball
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posted 19 February 2006 09:00 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
There will be other windmills.
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skdadl
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posted 19 February 2006 09:04 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think it's a shame that Sven is convinced that one can only champion those things in an ethnocentric way.

But life is short, eh?


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cdnviking
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posted 19 February 2006 09:07 AM      Profile for cdnviking        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Let me clarify what I mean when I say the "myth of Canadian tolerance".

NO significant societal change in Canada has occurred at the behest of its' citizenry!

Persons of colour did NOT gain equality in Canada because Canadians held a referendum and decided to reverse a centuries old practice of discrimination.

Women did NOT gain employment equity and control over their bodies through a referendum either.

Societal change, in Canada, has been "at the point of a lawsuit", in real terms. Change or "be sued" at the Human Rights Tribunal.

When I was a kid, it was "accepted" to call a person of colour the "n" word. There was NO punishment attached to using the term.

Try it today kids and see where you end up!

Laws (rightly) have been passed to address the systemic intolerance and racism that exists in Canadian society and MANY of those laws need to be updated and need to continue to evolve.

Women, Jewish people and natives have been at the forefront of advocating changes (or actual implimentation) in rights. Many of the anti-hate initiatives have been "propelled" by jewish groups like the B'nai Brith (I am NOT complaining or espousing some "conspiracy theory", just pointing out facts).

Native groups have been successful at forcing "racist" regimes in Quebec to confront their complete disenfranchisement of native peoples when it comes to projects like James Bay II, when natives took their objections to the world stage and succeeded in convincing Northeastern US states to CANCEL HYDRO CONTRACTS with Hydro Quebec for power produced by this expansion.

Quebec had CLEARLY ignored native rights and concerns and the legacy of James Bay I.

Health problems etc, served to convince non-natives south of the 49th to NOT act in their OWN INTERESTS for a change and NOT buy power from Quebec.

Does anyone else, besides me, remember the OTHER referendum in Quebec, the one first nations put on (specifically the Cree and Unuit)? That referendum asked if natives wanted to go along with Quebec's withdrawal from Canada. The answer was a resounding NO! Natives resolved to ask Canada (failing Canadian action) or the international community to PREVENT Quebec from FORCING first nations people to separate from Canada.

Canadians, particulary the W.A.S.P. community, has resisted change at every juncture and continues to do so (just look at gay marriage).

Many elements of our society are JUST as intolerant of others as some are in other countries named in these forums!

The difference is that our courts WON'T allow this kind of thing to become entrenched systemically!

Our "agenda driven courts" have ruled (at various provincial levels) that discriminating against gays in the area of marriage is unconstitutional.

Our "agenda driven court" in Ontario put ALL children on the same level by outlawing "school prayer" in the mid 1980's.

We now have a federal government who could, by invoking a truly anti-democratic provision of our constitution, SUSPEND constitutional rights for SOME, on a whim!

Women could lose control of their reproductive rights and gays could lose their equality rights.

Who else is in "their sights" I wonder?

I hope this clears up my position for folks like Sven!


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Michelle
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posted 19 February 2006 09:13 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:
In 2004, the Democratic candidate for one of Minnesota’s Congressional seats came to visit our company for a talk and a question-and-answer session. I listened to her talk about how she wanted to work to “bring people together”, to “compromise”, to “get things done” and to “avoid partisanship”. I asked her, “I really like to hear your desire to work together with people of different views. But, are there two or three things that, as a matter of principle, you would not compromise on?” She looked down at her shoes in kind of stunned silence. Then, she said, “That’s a good question. I’ve never been asked that before.” In her desire to “cooperate” and so forth, she couldn’t name one damned thing she wouldn’t compromise on as a matter of principle.

Well duh. She's a Democrat. What do you expect? Their only principle is to get elected. All other principles are expendable.

"Against abortion? Heck, it's a big tent."
"Against gay rights? Well, gosh, it's a big tent."
"Not interested in universal health care? What are you going to do, it's a big tent!"
"Support state-sanctioned murder? Well, that's okay, it's a big tent."
"Voted for the war in Iraq? Hey. It's a big tent."
"No principles whatsoever that won't be sold to the highest bidder? Gee, we're the Democratic Party! It's a big tent!"


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Cueball
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posted 19 February 2006 09:17 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
[Tid bit] Did anyone here know that WW1 was started because of a human rights issue?

Archduke Ferdinand was what some people might call a progressive thinker, and he was advocating that Serbs be declared and equal ethnicity within the Ausro-Hungarian empire, so that Serbs would be awarded the same rights as Hungarian and Austrians by the state. Nationalist Serbs felt such a move might undermine the Serbiab nationalist cause among Serbians living in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, as a move that word further assimilation, and ease tensions. Hence he was assassinated.[/End Tid-bit]


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Michelle
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posted 19 February 2006 09:22 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Nope, I didn't know that. I'm woefully ignorant about the political stuff that led up to WWI. I really should read up on the subject sometime. Very interesting!
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Cueball
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posted 19 February 2006 09:29 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Probably better to say Slavic sufferage rather than Serbian sufferage, but that was more or less the issue.

Ferdinand also shocked the world by marrying below caste. His last words were a call to his wife "Sophia," also killed during the assassination.

[ 19 February 2006: Message edited by: Cueball ]


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Sven
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posted 19 February 2006 10:53 AM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by skdadl:
I think it's a shame that Sven is convinced that one can only champion those things in an ethnocentric way.

Um, skdadl? What I was reacting to was sidra, in essence, saying I'm "bigoted" and "enthocentric" simply because I think there are fundamental principles that are worthy of saying they are "better" or "superior" to the absence of those principles. And, if she wants to label that "enthnocentric", then fine. In her eyes I'm "enthnocentric" and I'm proud of it.

The point is, she is reduced to name calling because she is reluctant to address the substance of my inquiry: Are there fundamental principles of Canadian society that are "better" to have than not have?

Why do some people's mouth pucker up when asked, for example: "If a society tends to respects gays, is it "better" than a society that tends not to respect gays"?


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Sven
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posted 19 February 2006 11:07 AM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by cdnviking:
The difference is that our courts WON'T allow this kind of thing to become entrenched systemically!

So, "agenda driven courts" represent the bedrock of democracy?


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sidra
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posted 19 February 2006 11:54 AM      Profile for sidra   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Sven,

I believe it is a trait in slef-centred, ethnocentric and bigoted people to be fixated with superlatives such as "more", "better" (than others).

There is a law in Canada that is supposed to protect gays. From there to say that Canada is "more tolerant than Iran" only reflects on your inability to think logically and coherently. No wonder you have utterly failed to back up your proposition.

As cdnvicking has explained, enacting laws (protecting minorities) were never on the behest of citizenry. A few enlightened politicians have taken such initiatives. The courts interpret these laws.

My small contribution in educating you. Pass it on to your think-alikes, please.


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sidra
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posted 19 February 2006 12:02 PM      Profile for sidra   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Why do some people's mouth pucker up when asked, for example: "If a society tends to respects gays, is it "better" than a society that tends not to respect gays"?

How would you like it, Sven, if an Iranian telles you "if a society tends to respect the elderly, is it better than a society that tends not to respect the elderly and warehouses them as soon as they become deemed by that society 'economically unproductive'?"

Are you dimwit, Sven ? Is this a childish game you enjoy playing ?


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Sven
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posted 19 February 2006 12:05 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by sidra:
There is a law in Canada that is supposed to protect gays. From there to say that Canada is "more tolerant than Iran" only reflects on your inability to think logically and coherently. No wonder you have utterly failed to back up your proposition.

And where, do you suppose, that law came from, sidra?? By divine intervention or from the votes of democratically elected legislators who were elected by the people of this particular society/culture?


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Sven
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posted 19 February 2006 12:12 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
With regard to court-created law, it is demonstrably false to say that that is the engine of all human rights and civil liberties in democractic countries.

Did courts, for example, create a woman's right to vote in the USA? No. The right was voted on exclusively by men (as they were the only ones that had the right to vote at the time) in the passage of the 19th Amendment to our Constitutional. The courts, in that particular example, had nothing to do with the establishment of universal sufferage. Zero.

And, in what context did that occur? Within the particular culture of the USA.

To say that all good laws are solely the result of courts or the wisdom of a very few legislators is simply not true. It is also myopically looking at the role of courts in the last fifty years. The history of civil libererties pre-dated that recent period of judicial activism.

ETA: In the UK, for example, the courts don't even have the right to create law. In contrast to the USA system, the parliment is the final arbiter of what is and what is not a "constitutional" right, not the courts. Now, whether Canada is closer to the USA system or the UK system, I'm not sure. But, it simply is not true that the courts are the font of all progress regarding civil liberties.

Even if that were true, the courts do not exist in a vacuum separate from the culture of this society. Courts, like any human institution, are clearly influence by the culture in which they operate. To assert otherwise, is to demonstrate willful ignorance.

[ 19 February 2006: Message edited by: Sven ]


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Cueball
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posted 19 February 2006 12:15 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It came from the need to supress expressed intollerant behaviour of those whom thought they were so much better than other people that they could demeen and peresecute them just on the baisis of their religion, sexual preference, race or where they were from. The belief that they were superior.
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Sven
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posted 19 February 2006 12:18 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Cueball:
It came from the need to supress expressed intollerant behaviour of those whom thought they were so much better than other people that they could demeen and peresecute them just on the baisis of their religion, sexual preference, race or where they were from. The belief that they were superior.

If that were the case, Cueball, women would only have obtained the right to vote by revolution. The people in power at the time (men) relinquished that monopoly on power.


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Cueball
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posted 19 February 2006 12:23 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What makes you think that there were not aspects of the early suffergette movement was not revolutionary, and was not predicated on social activism intended to disrupt the social order?
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sidra
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posted 19 February 2006 12:27 PM      Profile for sidra   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
democratically elected legislators who were elected by the people of this particular society/culture

Maybe you are more naive than stupid, maybe you are more stupid than naive. (I know you like superlatives). Sometimes laws are introduced by a government that represent 37% of the population. Someties laws that 90% of the people oppse are nevertheless enacted. Does that law reflect society's attitude ?

And why are laws needed if people are "tolerant" in the first place ?


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sidra
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posted 19 February 2006 12:31 PM      Profile for sidra   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
What makes you think that there were not aspects of the early suffergette movement was not revolutionary, and was not predicated on social activism intended to disrupt the social order? Cueball

Indeed many laws were enacted to avoid civil unrest, not out of the generosity or tolerance of politicians or citizenry.


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Sven
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posted 19 February 2006 12:32 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Cueball:
What makes you think that there were not aspects of the early suffergette movement was not revolutionary, and was not predicated on social activism intended to disrupt the social order?

Look, Cueball, I'm not asserting that the suffragette movement had no influence on the votes of the men. In fact, the change likely would not have even occurred without that influence and those efforts. My point is that it was not the courts that created that change, as the esteemed cdnviking seems to claim all civil rights and liberties flow from.

It was purely an example, Cueball. If you go back and read the exchange, the whole point of the discussion about the 19th Amendment was grounded in a rebuttal to cdnviking's sweeping assertion about the unique wisdom and power of our courts.


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Sven
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posted 19 February 2006 12:38 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by sidra:
Maybe you are more naive than stupid, maybe you are more stupid than naive. (I know you like superlatives).

Let me correct you: Saying something is “more naïve” or “more stupid” is not to employ the use of a “superlative”. To say something is “the stupidest” or the “most naïve” would be using superlatives.

But, what I can say about calling me “naïve” or “stupid” is that you are employing ad hominem attacks. Using such attacks is a sure sign that one has abandoned a rational discussion and, in defense of one’s argument, is reduced to name-calling because of either an unwillingness or an inability to address something intellectually.


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Cueball
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posted 19 February 2006 12:38 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
He was not talking about the wisdom of the courts, he was talking about the courts being used as a device by social activists to push through reforms based on previous precedent, and existing principles of law. A good example of this would be the progressive change in enfranchisement in England, originally based on property ownership for a very limited set of persons, and then expanded over time, as new sectors of society began to flex their economic power and demanded equal representation.

You seem to be saying this is about ethics, I submit that a lot of progressive change happens as a result of the realistic application of law, in a changing social and economic landsacape.

To get back to the Ottomans, the advances they made in creating a multi-ethnic plurality had very little to do with ethical enlightenment, but a lot to do with how to manage a gigantic empire that encompassed 20 or so clearly distinct ethnic groups and 5 or 6 religions.

[ 19 February 2006: Message edited by: Cueball ]


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Sven
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posted 19 February 2006 12:40 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by sidra:

Indeed many laws were enacted to avoid civil unrest, not out of the generosity or tolerance of politicians or citizenry.


And your point is...what?

What about the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution? Was that passed to avoid revolution or out of enlightenment?

ETA: To correct grammar.

[ 19 February 2006: Message edited by: Sven ]


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Sven
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posted 19 February 2006 12:45 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Cueball:
He was not talking about the wisdom of the courts, he was talking about the courts being used as a device by social activists to push through reforms based on previous precedent, and existing principles of law. A good example of this would be the progressive change in enfranchisement in England, originally based on property ownership for a very limited set of persons, and then expanded over time, as new sectors of society began to flex their economic power and demanded equal representation.

You seem to be saying this is about ethics, I submit that a lot of progressive change happens as a result of the realistic application of law, in a changing social and economic landsacape.


Are you asserting that ethical and moral determinations are not made prior to the creation of a law? That’s absurd. Ethical and moral determinations, necessarily, precede a change in law. And, the basis of those ethical and moral determinations is rooted in the culture of the society in which they are determined.


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nycndp
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posted 19 February 2006 12:48 PM      Profile for nycndp     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by skdadl:
Sven, seriously: where do you get off, priding yourself on our "tolerance" for gays?

Do you have any idea of how insulting that sounds? Any idea at all?


Treatment of gays is not perfect any where. It is deplorable that people are not considered on the merits, for, say, how well they can do a job, what kind of a friend they are, etc. As Martin Luther King famously said, his "dream" was that people be judged on the content on their character, not on the colour of their skin, their preference, etc.

That being said, gays do far better in Canada than Iran. They don't lose their heads.


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Cueball
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posted 19 February 2006 12:53 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:

Are you asserting that ethical and moral determinations are not made prior to the creation of a law? That’s absurd. Ethical and moral determinations, necessarily, precede a change in law. And, the basis of those ethical and moral determinations is rooted in the culture of the society in which they are determined.


Yes Sven, this is what I am asserting. And I think if you bother to read almost any scholarship on the development of democracy in its capitalist frame work, you will see that almost all of it concludes, with some variance of opinion, that it was predicated on the expansion of the class of business people, and there desire to have their interests represented in the politcal power structure.

These changes did not come about because Charles 2 had a sudden vision of a more enlightened idea, or because King Louis had a change of heart.


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Sven
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posted 19 February 2006 01:03 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Cueball:
Yes Sven, this is what I am asserting. And I think if you bother to read almost any scholarship on the development of democracy in its capitalist frame work, you will see that almost all of it concludes, with some variance of opinion, that it was predicated on the expansion of the class of business people, and there desire to have their interests represented in the politcal power structure.

These changes did not come about because Charles 2 had a sudden vision of a more enlightened idea, or because King Louis had a change of heart.


If a law is to be passed, a determination must, necessarily, precede the passage of the law that it is a “good idea” (i.e., the “right thing to do”). In other words, before a principle is codified in law, an ethical or moral determination must first be made that the passage of the law is a good idea, no? Laws don’t appear in a vacuum.

And, those antecedent ethical determinations are grounded in the ethics and culture of a society.

The people who voted for the passage of the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution (which outlawed slavery) necessarily concluded before the vote that that vote was the “right thing to do” (the ethical and moral thing to do). In other words, the ethical/moral determination was made before the vote (i.e., the ethical determination preceded the existence of the law).

To assert otherwise is to claim that the people who voted for the 13th Amendment voted without making any predetermination of whether or not it was a good idea. That is absurd.


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Sven
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posted 19 February 2006 01:06 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The question then becomes this: If an ethical/moral determination is made before a principle becomes laws, then what is the context in which those ethical/moral determinations are made?

In the culture of the society that created them.

I suppose you could argue in the "great man" theory of history (that all change for good comes at the hands of one or a few "great (and wise) men") but I think that has been largely discounted in favor of a more social view of history.


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Cueball
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posted 19 February 2006 01:18 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Abolition of slavery was very low on the agenda of the Democratic Party prior to civil war. Many Democratic stalwarts were determinedly against it such a Dan Sickles, and Republicans notably Abrahm Lincoln's wife, as well. As best as can be determined Lincoln's abolitionism was a grudging one had as much to do with destroying the economic infrastucture of the Unions political enemies, in an attempt to create a slave revolt in the South.

Sure "good ideas" float around but it is rarely the case that they become actionable in the politcal sphere, unless there is a corolorary politcal benefit to be found.

Notably, the 13 Amendment was voted into existance at the end of the Civil War, not before the Civil War. I don't see how it can be claimed that it was the cause for it?

It didn't just float into existance because it was a good idea, but came as the result of changes in the underlying power relations in American society and in conjunction with a huge and bloody military conflict and a revolt against federal power.


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Sven
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posted 19 February 2006 01:30 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Cueball:
Sure "good ideas" float around but it is rarely the case that they become actionable in the politcal sphere, unless there is a corolorary politcal benefit to be found.

So, you agree that “good ideas” at least “float around” before they become codified as law. For that, you win this:

Given that those ethical and moral determinations precede the creation of law, you now say that the good ideas will only become “actionable in the political sphere” (i.e., become law, presumably) if there is a “corollary political benefit to be found” (did you go to college to write that way?). A corollary political benefit to whom? The slaves, in the case of the 13th Amendment? To women, in the case of the 19th Amendment?

[ 19 February 2006: Message edited by: Sven ]


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cdnviking
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posted 19 February 2006 01:32 PM      Profile for cdnviking        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Sven. Why are you bombarding us with American examples when we are discussing TOLERANCE IN CANADA?

The Privy Council in ENGLAND gave women "person" status in Canada, NOT democratically elected representatives.

Abortion rights IN CANADA was decided by the Courts, as were issues like school prayer, gay rights, pay equity, etc.

The SOLE example of rights being attained by elected representatives comes in the form of property rights in divorce. In the early 1970's, the supreme court decided that a woman from out west had NO claim to 1/2 of a family ranch business built up during the 25 year marriage.

Legislators, both provincially and federally, disagreed and in Ontario (1978) enshrined property rights. The feds ammended the Divorce Act to reflect the norm of the provinces in 1984.

Rights IN CANADA have been attained by the threat of lawsuit or legislators responding to a court ruling, NOT by the actions of "good hearted legislators". PERIOD.

Let's stick to Canadian examples please Sven, as you were berating me for sullying CANADA'S perceived "tolerant society" American examples are pointless in a Canadian context, as our systems are quite different, legally! America has 50 separate systems of law, plus 1 federal, for a total of 51.

At least we, in Canada, have ONE constitution, NOT a provincial one and a federal one to contend with!


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Sven
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posted 19 February 2006 01:35 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Cueball:
Abolition of slavery was very low on the agenda of the Democratic Party prior to civil war.

Abolution of slavery was "very low on the agenda of the Democratic Party"? Cueball, you are a master of the understatement.

There wasn't "very low" support for abolition in the Democratic party. The party was affirmatively against abolition !! The support for abolition was grounded in the (newly-formed) Republican party.

[ 19 February 2006: Message edited by: Sven ]


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 19 February 2006 01:37 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by cdnviking:
Rights IN CANADA have been attained by the threat of lawsuit or legislators responding to a court ruling, NOT by the actions of "good hearted legislators". PERIOD.

So, presumably, you wouldn't quibble with getting rid of the legislative branch entirely in favor of government by courts?

ETA: What body of government (the courts or parliment) is the final arbiter of what is and what is not "constitutional" in Canada? If you please, I'd like to see the particular citation for your answer as I'd like to read it myself.

For example, Marbury v. Madison was the case in the US that established the primacy of the courts in matters of determining the constitutionlity of legislation. I'm interested to know what corresponding history applies to Canada.

[ 19 February 2006: Message edited by: Sven ]


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 19 February 2006 01:43 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by cdnviking:
Rights IN CANADA have been attained by the threat of lawsuit or legislators responding to a court ruling, NOT by the actions of "good hearted legislators". PERIOD.

Assuming that is the case, then presumably the courts are taking the actions based on the "good hearted judges"? This is the only rational way of accepting your argument unless you believe in existence of divine "natural laws".

[ 19 February 2006: Message edited by: Sven ]


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
pookie
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posted 19 February 2006 01:45 PM      Profile for pookie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by cdnviking:

Rights IN CANADA have been attained by the threat of lawsuit or legislators responding to a court ruling, NOT by the actions of "good hearted legislators". PERIOD.

Let's stick to Canadian examples please


What about the 1983 and 1992 reforms to sexual assault law? Those sure weren't as a result of
court decisions (except, perhaps, as a reaction to them).


From: there's no "there" there | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 19 February 2006 01:52 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by cdnviking:
America has 50 separate systems of law, plus 1 federal, for a total of 51.

Thank you for the course on American law, cdnviking. Actually, we have an integrated federal system of law.

A state constitution can grant rights to that state's citizens that are in addition to those rights found in the federal constitutional. But, a state's constitution cannot eliminate or limit rights found in the federal constitition.


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 19 February 2006 02:18 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:

So, you agree that “good ideas” at least “float around” before they become codified as law. For that, you win this:

Given that those ethical and moral determinations precede the creation of law, you now say that the good ideas will only become “actionable in the political sphere” (i.e., become law, presumably) if there is a “corollary political benefit to be found” (did you go to college to write that way?). A corollary political benefit to whom? The slaves, in the case of the 13th Amendment? To men, in the case of the 19th Amendment?


The corollary benefit was the destruction of the economic power base of the north's political enemies.

As for the "ideas" they come into existance usually in relationship to changing economic and political realities, as I showed in my previous example of the expanded enfranchisement of the English to include all property owners. The roots of abolitionism are to be found as a reflection of a whole set of idea which come into existance so as to better manage the emerging capitalist economy, not simply out of a sense of fair play, but in opposition to the old order of the landed gentry.

Indentured servitude and slavery were very much essential elements of the old order of feudal society. In the case of Russia, one of the primary achievments of the Romanov dynasty were reforms aimed at regulating the economic and political order under which the feudal economy was managed. Interestingly this came in the form of not just centralizing the tax structure, and ensuring that state officials recieved their pay cheque straight from St. Petersburg, (as opposed to collecting money from locals through tithes,) but also creating "rights" for peasants so as to better rationalize the economy, and centralize state power as a measure to cut down on petty curruption of the gentry and state officials.

Unfettered slavery was very much part of the form of the old economy, and so when a new economy began to function led by the business classes, much of the form of the feudal economy came under attack because it was predicated on economic principles which were antithetical to the efficient functioning of capitalism, and so many of the forms of that economy were abandoned and the laws began to change to reflect this. Things such as social position based on heriditary privilage directly blocked the assent of the new business class from positions of political power, and once you get rid of the idea of inherited social superiority or inferiority (between Russians say,) it is not such a big leap to take that that principle and apply it to black people.

So much as to say that the essential legal precedent upon which aolitionism was predicated was more or less the same one which was earlier used to enfranchise the burgeoning business class from the limitations of feudal society.

Very much it is the case that the situation in the South prior to the civil war as one of a semi-feudal economy, the type which had been abandoned generally throughout Europe, and it was antithetical, and a hinderance, to the rapid expansion of the much more efficient and modern economy of the north, so it was this economic competition that triggered the effective application of the abolitionist idea, not simply and ethically inspired expression of fair play.

[ 19 February 2006: Message edited by: Cueball ]


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
pookie
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posted 19 February 2006 05:31 PM      Profile for pookie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:

ETA: What body of government (the courts or parliment) is the final arbiter of what is and what is not "constitutional" in Canada? If you please, I'd like to see the particular citation for your answer as I'd like to read it myself.


[ 19 February 2006: Message edited by: Sven ]


Sven, pre-1982 the general theory is that judicial review was implied in the Colonial Laws Validity Act, 1865.

We don't really have a "Marbury v. Madison" but the following is generally considered one of the biggies:

Ref. re Motor Vehicle Act s.94(2), [1985]2 SCR 486:

¶ 11 The novel feature of the Constitution Act, 1982, however, is not that it has suddenly empowered courts to consider the content of legislation. This the courts have done for a good many years when adjudicating upon the
vires of legislation. ...
¶ 12 The truly novel features of the Constitution Act, 1982 are that it has sanctioned the process of constitutional adjudication and has extended its scope so
as to encompass a broader range of values. Content of legislation has always been considered in constitutional adjudication. Content is now to be equally considered as regards new constitutional issues. Indeed,
the values subject to constitutional adjudication now pertain to the rights of individuals as well as the distribution of governmental powers. In short, it is the
scope of constitutional adjudication which
has been altered rather than its nature, at least, as regards the right to consider the content of legislation.
¶ 13 In neither case, be it before or
after the Charter, have the courts been
enabled to decide upon the appropriateness
of policies underlying legislative enactments. In both instances, however, the courts are empowered, indeed required, to measure the content of legislation against the
guarantees of the Constitution.

Re: "finality", harder to say; I don't think we really have a Cooper v. Aaron moment.

[ 19 February 2006: Message edited by: pookie ]


From: there's no "there" there | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
sidra
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posted 19 February 2006 08:04 PM      Profile for sidra   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Let me correct you: Saying something is “more naïve” or “more stupid” is not to employ the use of a “superlative”. To say something is “the stupidest” or the “most naïve” would be using superlatives.

But, what I can say about calling me “naïve” or “stupid” is that you are employing ad hominem attacks. Using such attacks is a sure sign that one has abandoned a rational discussion and, in defense of one’s argument, is reduced to name-calling because of either an unwillingness or an inability to address something intellectually. Sven


First of all, I sincerely apologize for calling you .... and....

I did Sven ask you to back up your affirmation with facts, but you failed. Al you have presented is either a prejudice or an intuition. Also, many fellow babblers have presented very good arguments that you have chosen to ignrore (or perhaps to read) and kept going with the same unsupported assertion.

As for the issue whether "more" or "most" is superlative or whatever it could be, I admit that English is neither my first, second or third language. (It is however my second Canadian official language).

But I am sure you got the gist of what I was saying: You are obsessed with "better", "more ..." than others.

Edited to ask: Could your mixing Canadian and American laws and jurisprudence be explained by the fact that you believe that Canada is part of the USA ?

[ 19 February 2006: Message edited by: sidra ]


From: Ontario | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Rufus Polson
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posted 19 February 2006 11:03 PM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Whoo. Rather contentious thread--and wanders a bit, too. But it enters interesting territory.

There's quite a pile-up on Sven. Normally, I'd be all for joining in--I rarely agree with Sven. But I think that ultimately, he's right. People are on him for reasons that strike me as peripheral to the core of the central question. That is, people are on his butt because
1) He's right wing and we're in the habit.
2) We dislike the word "tolerance" because of a constellation of subtext, connotations etc.
3) We're justifiably suspicious any time someone starts talking about Us vs. Them and especially Us being better than Them
4) Iran and Islam are particular sore points because, first, they're the current official Bad Guys to be pointed at and second, there's a probably-accurate perception that many of the things wrong with their societies are our fault, caused by imperialism.


But in the end, there's a basic question that remains--can one society be "better" than another? Can one society be more inclusive, more egalitarian, more accepting, whether in its formal, legal characteristics or in its attitudes? And the problem here for me is that in order to be progressive in any real sense, the ultimate answer has to be "yes." Because the questions include the dimension of time. If it is *not* possible for one society to be better than another, then it must also be impossible for a society to change for the better, so that (society x in 2050) is better than (society x in 2006). And if that's the case, then I guess it's time to fold up rabble.ca and go home. Progressive struggle is pointless, folks, everything is always the same.

Now it seems as if even those arguing that it's just not possible for one society to be more, say, "tolerant" than another are saying that on any given dimension it is possible, it's just that the gestalt will somehow even out. So for any given pair of cultures, if one does one thing better (consider gays fairly equal vs. kill them), the other must do some other thing of equal importance better (take care of/respect the aged vs. treat them badly/warehouse them). So then presumably in any given culture, the moment one group makes some progressive gain, some other group will suffer an equivalent loss. So, like, gee thanks equal marriage folks, your victory means my old age pension's gonna get clawed back. This does not sound plausible to me.

Now as it happens, cultures are really, really complicated and people themselves not counting acculturation are basically the same wherever they are. So the task of arriving at the truth of a question like "is the culture of country x more 'tolerant' overall than the culture of country y" is inevitably going to be a really difficult one. And in that format, probably not really worth spending that amount of effort on. But I'd have to figure that yes, it must be possible for it to be the case. Otherwise struggle is either pointless or must always consist of a struggle of different interest groups against one another. Those possibilities are, for starters, very repugnant. They also just don't seem to jive with anything I've seen or read about the experience of progressive struggle.


From: Caithnard College | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 20 February 2006 10:36 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Fine. I don't think anyone disagrees. What is being attacked is the essentialism of Sven's arguement, based on the evidence of "our" superior legal approach to tollerance, civil rights, etcetera, we can assert that there is somthing fundamentally wrong at the heart of "Islamic" ontology, or Arabic culture, or Persian culture that makes it fundamentally undemocratic or authoritarian, and something superior about the western world view.

It is on this point that I think most people are concerned about Sven's thinking here.

I, and others, have been arguing that the core justifications found in some Islamic ideologies for the application of backward policies are not essential to the Qu'ran on the one hand, or eastern culture on the other, but are specific interpretations of the text used to justify stringent control in societies that are maintained in constant crisis by outside interference.

Is repression of homosexuality an essential element of authoritarianism? No. But regressive inward thinking ideologies often come complete with a whole set of very traditional conceptions of family and social policy as the "glue" binding the people to state, and religion, while at the same time providing a useful scapegoat.

Interestingly, in my view, the issue of homosexuality had entered into the dynamic of Islamic and western tension in a way that has not really happened before, partly because "the west" is championing Gay rights as a cause in the face of what is construed as Islamic backwardness, while the Mullahs in Iran, are using the Gay right as symbol of western immorality and licentiousness. This was not the case during WW2 when neither side disagreed on the issue of gay rights, as it was repressed by all sides in the conflict more or less equally, so it never materialized as a wedge issue.

As well, I am arguing that most of the part of the world we are in the habit of refering to as the Islamic world, followed a politcal trajectory very similar to that found in the west up until the end of the Second World War, and secularism, and other modernist ideas (socialism, democracy, et al) enjoyed great favour among the people of those lands, and were popularized by such figures as Kemal Attaturk, and Mossadeq, and Gemayel Nasser, and that the retrenchment of more primitive authoritarian structures is a direct result of "Western" attempts to control the political processes in those countries toward the goal of economic advantage guided by the terms of the conflicting agendas of the competing western powers (by this I mean Russia, too) in the terms of the cold war, if only because the constant instability caused by coup, counter-coup, and war distorted the natural evolution of the civil order within those societies, as the governments were almost always in a state of siege.

Consequently, as the promised "western" reforms (socialist or democratic) failed to materialize, or perform, or even protect the core society from the whims of the superpowers they fell out of favour with the population, and the only institutions which remain, more or less, untainted by association with past failure or direct subservient relations to outside interests, are the more traditional Islamic ones, which provide succor to the poor, and act as an organizational nexus for resistance.

Afghanistan is the classic case of this.

[ 20 February 2006: Message edited by: Cueball ]


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
rabble-rouser
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posted 20 February 2006 05:08 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Cueball:
Consequently, as the promised "western" reforms (socialist or democratic) failed to materialize, or perform, or even protect the core society from the whims of the superpowers they fell out of favour with the population, and the only institutions which remain, more or less, untainted by association with past failure or direct subservient relations to outside interests, are the more traditional Islamic ones, which provide succor to the poor, and act as an organizational nexus for resistance.

Afghanistan is the classic case of this.


And now these Islamic fundies promising social democracy are betraying people throughout Central Asia after essentially promising them social democracy and a society built on their version of Islam. Young malesin Afghanistan continue growing up in super-religious all-male boarding schools and transformed into unthinking robots for Allah - a form of mind control the CIA/NSA is entirely aware of. The new imperialists are betraying the people of Central Asia and offering them nothing but oppression, unemployment, poverty, disease and civil war.

According to London-based news journalist, Ahmed Rashid, the west isn't applying any meaningful pressure on Pakistan's leader, General Musharraf, to curtail the export of militant Islam as was evident after the London bus bombing. Islamo-fascists in Afghanistan have every intention of setting themselves up as dictators not unlike the CIA-installed Shah, and the Ayatollahs who promised social democracy and then shape-shifted to right-wing political agendas once in power. This is very similar to what the west was doing , whether by design or accidentally on purpose, on a consistent basis throughout the cold war in Latin America, Africa, SE Asia and Phillippines.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Vigilante
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posted 20 February 2006 05:15 PM      Profile for Vigilante        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
cueball;
As for the "ideas" they come into existance usually in relationship to changing economic and political realities, as I showed in my previous example of the expanded enfranchisement of the English to include all property owners. The roots of abolitionism are to be found as a reflection of a whole set of idea which come into existance so as to better manage the emerging capitalist economy, not simply out of a sense of fair play, but in opposition to the old order of the landed gentry.

Would'nt it be better to say that ideas come and go through inconsistancies in discourse. You seem to be perpetuating this separation of ideas and economics(or material). The capitalist economy does not just exist as an automaton


From: Toronto | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged

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