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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Trouble With Collectivists on the Right and Left

A few days ago, an elderly guest to our spectacular super-hero hideaway made the shocking statement that, "Blacks have less bones than whites."

"How could someone spew such nonsense?" You might inquire.

This was one of the rationalizations behind his notion that individuals of African
descent can be treated differently. His implication was that not only are they less than human, but African americans are really an altogether different species.

The typical left wing liberal,  would likely argue that African-americans, are fundamentally no different than whites. Further, they might rightly bring up the argument that typical racial constructs are in themselves fallacious.

The trouble is that that such arguments miss the whole point.

I fear that if we earthlings are ever graced by an intelligent alien species we will do the same sort of 'othering' towards them. We will fail to see them as 'people.' because they are sufficiently different enough to fall outside our sphere of moral consideration.

The left will go into error-mode for not having a ready made ethnic class to lump them into, and the right will suddenly see all present earthlings (even mexican immigrants, feminists, and atheists, etc.,) as 'true patriots' and seek to wage a new pre-emptive war on the aliens. For "God sakes," those darned pesky aliens have no bones at all. And they are just disgusting! (No movie ever captured this inter-species othering phenomenon as well as the masterpiece called "District 9").

The real trouble that the left and right fail to understand is that all individual life forms should be treated with respect even if they do not fit neatly into one of our neatly packaged preconceptions of moral consideration.

Sadly, right-wing conservatives are just as anti-individual as left-wing liberals. Both are collectivists, only they fight for different teams.


  1. I just came from Ebert's site and I was wondering if you were the same person I chatted with on another site. No. I like your profile.

  2. Well i've been known to make an appearance now and again on Ebert's site. Thanks for visiting my lair!