Nature is not natural and can never be naturalized — Graham Harman

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Demand that Your School or University Make a Statement

Such as: 

During this time of heightened political tension in the public sphere, I'd like to remind all of us that we must adhere to basic protocols of public speech and action. There is a reason why some forms of these (such as the nazi salute) are illegal in Germany, for example. They are too inflaming to be allowed in public space.

If you see or hear something, photograph or record it. The send it to your Head or President's office or, if you're worried about doing that, to me and I'll forward it. Let me know whether yo want your name included or not.  

A very mild version of why this is important goes like this. What concerns me is what concerns me about how England and Japan address bullying in school. The general approach seems to be "we don't have any bullying, because we don't talk about it." Then someone commits suicide and the issue is in the news for a bit. Then they go back to not having any bullying, aka not talking about it. 

Elias Canetti, Crowds and Power
Robert Zimbardo, The Lucifer Effect 

1 comment:

John T. Maher said...

Certainly the underlying hate speech is, well, hateful but I dare to disagree a bit on making statements. My point is allow a thousand little poisonous flowers to bloom and then explain that they are committing autocide via socially 'wrong' behavior. I don't want to restrict human behavior vis a vis other humans as much as show its ultimate consequences.

Where I am on shakier ground is with coded messages of hare in Trump USA where the fascist wears a smart Italian suit and normalizes hate as policy.

That said, human bullying and intimidation is apparently natural behavior for the human species and should be understood in context. I have always favored the politics of exclusion over prohibitions. If someone wants to goosestep like John Cleese in Fawlty Towers, let them do so and laugh at the show -- they are killing their own social construction because who will care to deal with them? In the language of the missionary: aren't heartfelt conversions and mindful more valuable than mere genuflective behavioral conformity? Or can we ban humans who wear fur as well (I would like to) because it reflects a species based oppression which I oppose?