Doctor Science Knows

Monday, August 31, 2009

Cheney, libertarianism, rape

ugh, what a subject line.
publius wrote about The Method of Cheney's Madness. I said:

Let me third (or fourth) the "tribalism, not idealism" explanation. *Everything* becomes a tribal marker for them, which is why they're only playing well in the white South, the most tribalistic subculture in the US (see Albion's Seed for details). There are no questions of morality (torture), or science (global warming), or common sense (Obama's citizenship) -- there is only Tribe. And the more contrary to morality/fact/sense an assertion is, the better it is as a marker for Tribe.

[someotherdude rec'd: The Rise and Fall of Anglo-America: the Decline of Dominant Ethnicity in the United States and The Cousins' Wars: Religion, Politics, Civil Warfare, And The Triumph Of Anglo-America]

ooo, book recs. Thanks, someotherdude!

I really realized the tribalism angle in a discussion at Rod Dreher's, where he was horrified to find that conservative Christians were *more* likely to support torture than liberals are. A commenter there said that he was from the South, and that he thought a lot of people around him don't "really" support torture, but they would hear the pollster's question as really being about group identification, not the purported issue, and answer accordingly.

John Holbo at Crooked Timber writes about Megan McArdle and Rationing again: For all ponies, there is some pony, such that you won’t get that pony.♥ I wrote:

A problem with arguing with libertarians at the level of abstraction is that libertarians have a comparative advantage in abstracting away the actual facts of the world in favor of the freshman-microeconomics models they have concocted in their heads.
Not just economic models. The working definition of libertarianism I have come up with, by observation, is “libertarians do not believe humans are social animals”.

So for instance: if you don’t have any money, you shouldn’t be entitled to any medicine is quite reasonable if the sight of people dying for want of medicine doesn’t bother you, and if you can assume it doesn’t bother anyone else (their families, for instance). If you’re a true *individualist*, the collapse of any sense of community is all to the good, because “community” is a delusion.

What most libertarians *do* seem to believe in is *corporations*. I have never been able to figure out if corporations, in their minds, are replacing communities, or if they’re kind of like individuals only cooler (that is, richer and more powerful).

Martin James:

Libertarians view taxes or laws as the product of “gangs”—aberrations—and believe that humans are naturally self-reliant and independent. They do not seem to recognize that the natural state of a human is in a social group, and that concepts like “property” are functions of particular social relationships, not Platonic ideals.

Either way, I still don’t understand how corporations fit into the libertarian world-view. They talk a *lot* about individuals versus the Big Government, but don’t seem to notice the actions of Big Corporations.

At TigerBeatDown, Sady and Amanda talked about who doesn't believe No means No (answer: conservative older women). I left a comment (which seems to be in moderation with everyone else for the weekend):

I don’t know if I have the fortitude to actually click through and read the studies, but I think you young ‘uns don’t completely grasp the Old Ladies’ position.

They were taught that a Good Woman *never* says Yes, except during her wedding vows. That’s it, the one time Yes is an acceptable answer.

So they were in the position where “No” had to do duty for both “no” and “yes” — both for any gentlemen they want to communicate with, and to themselves. How do you say “Yes” when you can’t admit you want to, and when everyone will think worse of you if you do? Well, one way is to say “no” in a lot of different ways, hoping to communicate subtextually.

The other way, frankly, is to get raped a lot. But you can’t admit you were raped, because as we know that makes you practically a slut. What the younger generation thinks of as “rape” is part of these Old Ladies sexual experience, but they’ve been getting by for decades by denying it was so. Rape is something that happens to *other* women, Bad Women, what happened to me was just the way the world is, only to be expected.

So IMHO for a lot of those Old Ladies what happened to the young woman in this case had actually happened to them, and for pretty much all of the Older Ladies it had happened to someone they care deeply about (mother, sister, friend). If they accept that lack of consent is rape, it casts a pall of horror over their own past, bringing up *way* too many things they’re dealing with by not thinking about.

Labels: , , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home