The Economist welcomes your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful of other readers. Review our comments policy.
You must be logged in to post a comment. Log in to your account.Don't have an account? Register
May I be the first reader to congratulate you, TE, on a very fine article indeed. You asked the necessary questions and attempt to answer them without resorting to manipulative hyperbole. Great job! As well some articles in the latest Printed Edition that are first class, for the same reason. Thank you, authors of the article. Thank you, Ms Zanny Beddoes.
Specifically, I thought the perspective you stated - quoted below in its entirety - is exemplary for balance and fairness -
"But as the openness and tolerance of societies is under threat around the world, we believe it is right to question the excesses of some social movements. Forced adherence to liberal values can have dangerously illiberal consequences. Silencing men’s voices in the #MeToo debate can lead to miscarriages of justice and alienate the very people whose behaviour needs to change. And a disproportionate focus on identity and groups can obfuscate other issues, such as individual freedom." [Italics mine for special appreciation].
Note on "Me too" movement (mentioned in article) - this reader is of the opinion that the movement has indeed at this point gone amuck. In addition to the observation that a sizable number of claims seem dubious (if you don't want to get pushed to a bed by a guy, don't go in his bedroom, don't get drunk in his company, and don't bite on the bait of a free lunch, Beverly Hilton or Dorchester or Paris Four Seasons. It is that simple! Didn't your mother tell you "there is no free lunch"? If you did all those things - bite the free meal bait, get drunk, and walk into his bedroom, you are at least 50% responsible for what happened to you) . Not to mention there are are men, hetero- or hom0sexual, who can scream "Me Too!". Being sexually violated and exploited is not the exclusive domain of females).
On identity politics. The distinction, IMHO, is not that between a religion and an ideology. For many people, in particular people drugged on an ideology - aka an ideologue - the ideology is a religion. Likewise vice versa, for people drugged on a religion (manifest as obsession about saving other people's souls, a matter that is none of their business), the religion is the ideology. The correct distinction is fact-less categorical thinking v. fact-based analytical thinking. Fact-less categorical thinking, when manifest as a modality of mental processing that is rigid, persistent, fixed, in-temperable, unalterable, is diagnostic of the prodromal phase in Axis I (DSM-IV & IV-R) disorders, or schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic (DSM-V) disorders.
If you must lie in order to defend your policy position then your policy position is probably wrong.
The Economist lied.
The above article states: "IN 2012 a same-sex couple sued a bakery in Colorado for discrimination after the owner, a Christian man who believed that gay marriage is “sacrilegious”, refused to bake them a wedding cake"
This is a lie. The man did offered to bake a cake for the same-sex couple. What the man refused to do was apply artwork to the top of the cake that the same-sex couple had requested.
"Identity politics (that is, political interests based on belonging to a... religion rather than an ideology) "
Then we have mister Bannon, who follows religiously the ideology of white supreme-ism.
Thanks TE for the statement quoted above, as a perfect example of the fallacy of a distinction without a difference.
Tolerance can no longer be imposed and discussion can no longer be limited. One who limits uncomfortable topics only marginalizes himself. People simply move to another medium of discussion and make a nasty surprise at the voting booth or on the streets.
In the 20 century, one could control media and newspapers. Now people discuss their views on social media. If the government and lobbyists move to control Facebook too, the discussion will shift to other technologies.
TE learned it hard way. A 175 year old newspaper, making a discussion on great topics. How many nicknames joined? A dozen? I think TE will never re-gain the interest of audience like in 2015, when tens of readers shouted abuse at the TE one-sided treatment of migration. People no longer care what they write in TE or talk on TV.
TE prefers to discuss broad and vague concept. Maybe instead TE editors would answer, how they plan to fix themselves? During the migrant crisis of 2015-2016, The Economist together with virtually all West Eurropean magazines presented only positive aspect of migration. Currently we now that all negative aspects of migration came to be, including terrorist attacks in previously safe West European cities. How TE plans to apologize? What changes TE makes to be sure that the press again picks its role of delivering objective information? It is not a comfortable question, but a necessary one.
My Buddy's mom makes $77 hourly on the computer . She has been laid off for five months but last month her check was $18713 just working on the computer for a few hours. try this web-site
As one person's "moral action" is another person's "moral abomination" it is apparent that any notion of recourse to "morality" must be discounted as we try to determine suitable regulations by means of which to govern our societies.
Rather than appealing to some highly subjective notion like "morality" we can instead substitute a more tangible measuring-stick: potential cause for harm.
In the case of the burquini, there was no potential cause for harm. Provided that a citizen's face is visible and the garment unlikely to mask a suicide vest, people should be permitted to wear what they want on the beach. It's not so long ago that our Victorian ancestors were disporting themselves in all manner of uncomfortable voluminous attire sur la plage.
With regards to the wedding cake, what is the difference between refusing to serve a homosexual couple and a Jewish couple or an African-American couple? Prejudice on the basis of gender, race, or orientation is clearly antithetical to any civilized nation. The fact that such prejudice is rooted in primitive tribal mythology (in this case a descendant of the Yahweh cult) is irrelevant. Prejudice is prejudice regardless of its source. In fact religionists are always fighting rear-guard actions against social progress and this is inevitable. If you believe the "rules for living" are contained within ancient tribal myths, reality is always going to confound your beliefs. This is why religionists have always opposed all progress, such as the use of anesthetics ("god meant us to suffer"), votes for women ("god placed woman subservient to man"), equal-opportunity laws, etc. etc. etc.
Any reasonable society aiming for adequate social outcomes must look at all citizens impartially. Thus discrimination against women is clearly in contravention of such a rule. We do not need positive discrimination; what we need is the application of unbiased rules for all citizens regardless of race, color, belief, sexual orientation, or any other attribute.
Rather than noticing that TE lied, you simply "gobbled up" their incorrect story-line and ran with it. Your entire post is a response to a TE article that is based upon a lie.
You stated: "what is the difference between refusing to serve a homosexual couple and a Jewish couple or an African-American couple"
A better response would be: "should African-Americans be forced to put KKK artwork on cakes or should Jews be forced to put Nazi symbols on cakes"
Those who are for closed societies who would have their countries live by their restrictive moral (some might say immoral) and religious based rules would have you believe that this debate is all about tolerance and that openess and freedoms have gone too far in accepting behaviours and lifestyles that are abhorrent. Those who support greater openess and freedoms for anyone regardless of who they are would have you belieave that this debate is all about equality, that unless all are free no one is truly free. Their focus therefore is on the most oppressed and repressed in society to endeavour to equalize and to make ammends. True equality threatens those either hold dear the advantages their lifestyles have conveyed or who hold dear some moral or religious belief that places negative judgement on lifestyles that differ from those that they profess to lead. Personally I come out in favour for arguing for equality as the means to achieve respect for all. Arguing for tolerance is a losing game as you can’t change how someone else thinks or believes unless they want to change. Equality means repect for the intolerant. Aye, there’s the rub!
I am for a society which imposes adherence to the law, importance of hard work, and goes down with force on any attempts to create closed migrant districts with alternative rules or no-go areas of towns like Molenbeek in Brussels. If you call it a closed society with a restrictive moral and religiously based rule, I don't care.
Well that's a complete misinterpretation of my comment. Nothing in my commentary impugns the rule of law or the importance of hard work. Equality implies successful acceptance and integration into society for everyone such that citizens do not need to be either tolerant of or intolerant of " closed migrant districts with alternative rules or no-go areas". Molenbeek may well be a horror for Belgium but there are many non-immigrant suburbs in American and Britain that are horrific to police. If a country marginalizes any group, be they immigrant or non, there will be blowback and you should care about that because, sorry bub, but they're there and they aren't going anywhere ... so best to deal with them with equality from Day 1 so if they turn out bad you can't wrap yourself around some religious prejudiced or racially bigoted posture to generalize or rationalize your intolerance.
"On the other side of the argument "
There is no other side of the argument. There is the delusion and there is the response. The delusion is white guilt and the response is freedom of conscience. The Economist backs the first and nothing about it is open, liberal or progressive.