- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Aye, you're batting your head against a brick wall

Posted by: Samuel Day Fassbinder ( Citizens for Mustard Greens, USA ) on June 25, 1999 at 17:14:00:

In Reply to: Aye! posted by Red Deathy on June 25, 1999 at 10:10:02:

: : You are, according to you

: Wrong work :(

: : It doesnt. If you accept it then it becomes part of you. Accepting it is your choice. Same with voting and not intiating violence (well come to that)

: No, because I cannot have a full choice in my identity, I didn't choose to be English, male, Northern, Working class (wayyyy bad choice if I did...). We co-create our identities from our envirobnment, and our environment should contain should structures as to facilitate and help in self-creation.

But RD, Gee has already responded to this objection, his response is what he named 'the tough luck factor'. You are to be blamed for who you are, it's your genetics or something, regardless of your environmental structure. Your relation to others, the thing with real power in this world, is to be ignored because it does not fit the Procrustean bed of possessive individualism. This is typical of Gee -- racism? "Tough luck." Slums? "Tough luck." Possessive individualism thus serves to perpetuate social problems, thus also perpetuating the Authoritarian State deemed necessary to mitigate these, by protecting the sovereign (wealthy) individual with crowd control measures.

Please also note Gee's response: "Should or does? Should implies some kind of action that others are obliged to undertake on your behalf." Let's examine how Gee's philosophy applies to one of these environmental structures that should facilitate in self-creation. How about, for starters, motherly love? I guess Gee thinks that motherly love is some kind of evil coercion that society forces upon mothers, that it should be a matter of choice as to whether mothers choose to abandon their babies in trash cans, or not. After all, the newborn is a "sovereign individual," and circumstances are the "tough luck factor." Social responsibility for the care of infants implies some sort of onerous force to be applied against a "sovereign individual" to force her to support some "third party" (a newborn baby, for instance). Oh, and of course this discussion compels in Gee the irrelevant invocation of the evil authoritarian State...MUAHAHAHAHA!!!!

How about adequate socialization? As a schoolteacher of the poorer segments of the working class, I see students who haven't received it, and won't receive it from me, simply because I haven't the resources to give it to them -- I can't be their mommy, daddy, teacher, and financial aid source all wrapped into one, for 30 of them at a time. Should the crucial advantages of adequate socialization be hoarded by a rich few simply because the upper class needs to present the masses with phony career choices ("be a street sweeper or go unemployed or commit crimes and go to jail") while pretending all the while that these "choices" are uncoerced? Gee seems to think so. You've read Paul Willis' LEARNING TO LABOUR, right RD?

Follow Ups:

The Debating Room Post a Followup