Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Power and preferences

I want to thank Mr. Slim for writing the post that 100% of the people who know me wish I had written! I know they appreciate it.

And how about that Christine O'Donnell? She sounds like she might benefit by sticking to subjects that impact her, not other people, directly. Anytime you're going to take a position counter to that held by most of the people it affects -- like, "AIDS funding is misused" -- you'd better have a pretty good argument if you hope to be persuasive. Otherwise you look somewhat like an authoritarian -- aka not a nice person.

Personally, I think it's useful to distinguish between someone who holds authoritarian (or otherwise objectionable) views and the kind of power infrastructure which makes their imposition possible. As a culture I worry that we spend more time hating one another for a difference in views than we do in challenging the infrastructure which can put violence behind them. Without violence, people can think whatever they want. But when the infrastructure is assumed, what people think takes on heightened importance. This explains the quality of political discourse enjoyed by US inhabitants today.

Whenever our views, on some level, are being imposed, we may not notice because that seems "normal" to us. This is an important way in which people within a particular category of power are set against one another; as when working class men are blind to what working class women experience as patriarchy.

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