I had written this in reply in this thread here: https://www.reddit.com/r/JordanPeterson/comments/dtw8x1/actually_race_and_identity_does_matter_in/
I had a small initial idea, then just went with it as I wrote. Below is the result. There’s still some contextual stuff (i.e. in reply to the OP), I’ll leave it in, too lazy to adapt the text.
We discriminate. No point in arguing otherwise. In fact, there’s no other way to navigate the world in a good enough fashion. Once you think it through, you realize it’s true. For example, all our anti-discrimination Laws are there precisely to prohibit certain kinds of discrimination, because that’s what we do all the time for everything, not just people. We see the world as hierarchies of things. This rock is bigger than that rock, and so forth. The most popular is, what’s your favorite color? I like blue, I like pink, I like fuchsia, whatever.
But here’s where your argument goes wrong. We don’t discriminate on the basis of superficial traits (i.e. I like blue, pink, fuchsia, etc), we discriminate on the basis of causality, logic and common sense, and to a high degree on the basis of utility. This rock is bigger than that rock, therefore this rock has a certain utility that the other rock does not, and so forth.
So, your point about identity isn’t actually identity, it’s some other trait. On the other hand we organize these countless traits into a much more managable set, we tag things with short names. That’s identity. See that big rock and that small rock again. Their names are tags for the purpose of organization, we don’t discriminate on that basis, we discriminate on their inherent causality, logic, common sense and utility. But we organize these things by using tags, because it’s so much more efficient to do that this way, rather than to organize them based on their much more complex causality, logic, common sense and utility.
For people, we do that too. We call it one’s name. Hey, what’s your name? My name is what’shisface, yada yada. We start with the tag first, then we pile on the causality, logic and common sense, and most importantly utility. Whaddyadoforalivin, what’shisface? Oh, I’m a widgit maker, I make widgits, widgits all kinds bro. We organize people on their tags, and we discriminate on their much more complex causality, logic and common sense, and on their utility.
So what about race, what does this tag stand in for? I propose it stands in as some form of extended family. So, we got immediate family, we discriminate absolutely on this one. No sense trying to oppose it, any opposition is bound to fail. Every single human on this planet understands the fundamental value of discrimination in this case. Family first, family is most important, etc, etc. Then we got the actual extended family, with cousins, uncles and aunts, grandas and granmas, etc, etc. We discriminate there too, maybe to a lesser degree, but still, no point in opposing that, any opposition is also likely to fail there. Then we get to the distant family, not completely family, nowhere near the immediate or even the extended family, but still, there’s some value to be found in discriminating here too. And finally we’re at the not-family level of discrimination. Neighbors, friends, acquaintances, colleagues, business partners, passersbys, strangers, and so forth. We discriminate there too, first with the clear distinction of not-family, but also with a certain obvious group belonging. He’s not family, but he’s still one of us.
So, at this point, we gotta ask. How do we discriminate at that level? Same way we discriminate with anything else. Based on known common distinctive traits. For immediate family, those traits are very distinct. We recognize family based on common traits. That’s how we recognize other people too, that’s how we recognize races, that’s how we recognize our own at-large group belonging. But those traits aren’t fundamental, they’re superficial distinctions that allow us to organize individuals, exactly like one’s name, one’s family traits, etc. This recognition is the top of a pyramid, with everything else about the individual underneath. It’s this everything underneath that forms the basis for discrimination, not the superficial traits. We use superficial traits to organize.
So now when we meet somebody from another race, everything underneath is somewhat unknown yet. The tags don’t tell us anything about what’s underneath. It’s like dealing with big rocks for 20 years, then we find a small rock at some point. This small rock looks a bit like a big rock, but its causality, logic, common sense and utility is still foreign to us, alien, chaos. Until we understand the chaos we’re facing, we discriminate on that basis. Facing chaos, with order at our back. The tags, the superficial traits, stand in for this chaos, rather than standing in for the known, for order at our back, for the known causality, logic, common sense, and utility underneath the tag.
So, now we just gotta ask. How do we change this chaos/order dichotomy? Easy: Hands on. That’s it. Learning comes from the doing. We’ve been learning like that for eons. We immerse ourselves straight into the chaos. Then come out with order instead. What used to be chaos, is now order, the known. Those tags with chaos underneath, are now tags with substance underneath, causality, logic and common sense, and utility, all of it now underneath those previously empty tags.
OK, but at this point, we still haven’t figured out why we’re racist, why we still discriminate like that. Again, it’s not based on the tags, it’s based on everything underneath. Right, but it can’t be so fundamentally different, they’re just people after all, just like us, with immediate family, friends, neighbors, acquaintances, collegues, business partners, passersbys, strangers, etc, etc. No, it’s not. It’s points of contention. Specific known points of contention. If we hadn’t immersed ourselves, we wouldn’t even know about them. It’s not chaos anymore, it’s order that’s somehow different than the order at our back. So now the tags stand in for those points of contention. And that’s it for racism.
I should make a blog post out of this one.
Martin Levac Copyright 10:57 11/9/2019
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