In societies with slaves, at least since Rome, at some point there evolved a rule that said something like “Such the womb, such the child’s condition” meaning that — because humans are promiscuous apes, and the legal “condition” of the father (or his identity) was often hard to ascertain — if you were born to a free mother you were free. If you were born to a slave mother, you were a slave. This applied regardless of color of skin and any qualities of the child. You were born to a slave mother, you were a slave. In fact much the same applied to all “classes” that were inherent at birth, in European systems that required nobility (or serfdom) at birth.
It was the inherent injustice of this system, to a great extent, that propelled the enlightenment and more just laws of the “condition” of humans.
It is actually fascinating to read Dumas, and catch the idea of inherent nobility (of character) or baseness (of same character) depending on your station at birth. You also catch that if you read any historically accurate books, particularly those set before the 18th century.
Part of this of course was the “technology change” changing people’s perceptions. You see, while it is obvious how the class structure of Europe evolved, (insecure times, Lords being those who fought, etc. Yeah, I know it wasn’t universally applicable. No, I don’t want Suburbanshee to hit me over the head with an history book) but it’s not obvious how it evolved into the idea that everyone should be born with equal rights.
There are theories, of course. Those who believe that all of humanity is shaped by words and ideas, think it was because literacy and books, both, were widespread, and so– And those who think it’s all economics think it was the industrial revolution.
It is both, of course. the industrial revolution, and before it, the start of the bureaucratic state (which was better than the whimsical “word of the local lord” state, trust me, needed people of ability to make it work. People of ability, human genetics being the crazy thing they are (I NEED to get older son to write a post), capable, intelligent people could be born to any class. And the injustice of geniuses being considered menials while morons were Lords became a turning point for systems of thought, which in turn — informed by a lot of things, mostly Christianity — largely ended the class system and definitely slavery.
Mostly because Europe still largely thinks in “Classes” — I know, I was born and raised there — and those of us in whose mind it doesn’t fit easily always felt weird about it.
Guys, we’re starting to feel weird about what the US is doing too.
Because this whole “social justice” thing and various set asides sound EXACTLY like “such the womb such the condition”.
Yeah, I know it’s all dressed up, all purty-like in “addressing historical injustices” and “making people more equal.” With due respect (which is known) that is the greatest load of twaddle I’ve ever heard.
Yes, sure, you want to make sure people get a fair start in life so they can all have a chance. Again, with due respect “Who are you to judge who has a fair start and who doesn’t?”
Of course there is no way to look at a person and figure out what history they have; whether they came from a home that prepared them for life, or one that handicapped them. There is no way to tell, either, whether their ancestors were discriminated against or not (nor should it matter. More on that later.) I mean, people of dusky skin who immigrated to this country only one generation ago get the same “set asides” as descendants of slaves, even though in the places they come from they might never have met any real discrimination, since everyone was about that color.
So in actuality, what the preferences and punishments of society are about are superficial characteristics like skin and look.
The problem with this is that it hooks in with a very ancient and dysfunctional part of the human brain, to evaluate things on “such the womb, such the child.” We start assuming that, because some people get more benes and more fawning upon, they MUST be better. The corollary to this is that some people are worse. This is all back of the brain stuff, and why we see otherwise decent or at least not overtly criminal people call for the death or detention of all white males, without even stopping to think that some of those white males had considerably harder beginnings in life than the “women and minorities” whose “victimhood” is getting redressed.
Let’s speak with no obfuscation: Mala Obama or a young boy growing up with a drug-addicted mother in the Appalachians? Which needs more help and bringing up to speed to make something of her/himself in life? And yet, by our laws, right now, she’s assumed to need more than him.
Things have gotten so crazy that people talk of the “privilege” of concentration camp survivors.
On the same path, but a different league, middle-class parents are entreated not to read to their kids, lest they give them privilege (cooties) i.e. a head start on other kids. As though this were bad; as though it meant they’re holding someone down by encouraging their KIDS to make the best they can of their circumstances.
Then there is the fact that any minority who actually either makes it on their own or denies the received (Marxist) wisdom of those who set and enforce preference rules is immediately declared a class/gender/race traitor and lectured on “privilege.”
Let’s not forget that hilarious time when an upper middle class, white American woman who’s never done a days hard work in her life came over to lecture me — a first generation immigrant who started from nothing and is writing professionally in her third language about “sensitivity to the downtrodden and racism.” Yeah, that was a bucket of fun.
All of this insanity descends directly from the idea that people are BORN with privilege or victimhood, and that they should either be mollycoddled or shunned according to their PHYSICAL characteristics at birth, and the race of their ancestors.
Let’s be real, okay? The only real slavery subsisting is in Arab countries and they take slaves of every race, including their own. The only real sexism is also in Arab countries. At this point, people are being compensated for things that they’ve never endured, and don’t even have a very clear idea of. (Most American people think white people INVENTED slavery to enslave black people, and not that it’s an old and persistent sin of mankind, affecting every race and every culture until the industrial revolution. This backfires and is actually very bad for black people in America because it gives them the sense they’re uniquely weak, for this to have happened to them.) As for the so called oppression of women in America, most American women could benefit a great deal from living six months in working class anywhere in the world. Maybe that would stop them going to war with philology and would get them to give thanks fasting for living in what is ultimately genuinely a matriarchy.
People are supposedly being compensated for things that happened to their great grandparents.
Now, yes, inequalities subsist, but at this point they subsist BECAUSE of the set asides, encouragement and molly coddling and also, because, frankly anything Government and/or progressives do tends to come out bass awkwards.
So, you know, their war to end all wars GUARANTEED world war II and, by extension, the cold war. And their programs to end poverty have institutionalized it.
In the same way programs to push women into STEM and not to discourage girls (And WHY STEM? I have the greatest respect for the sciences, but society is not a vast laboratory. If you wanted to be wealthy, I’d recommend financial planning/stock trading, which end up having a lot more power than lab monkeys.) mean that every teacher is terrified of telling a girl/woman she needs to work harder, or she’s just no good at whatever. And so these women get to college having done NO work, and usually drop out of STEM degrees within the first year, for something easier like business.
And programs to hire or promote minorities means that those genuinely capable minorities who make it up the ladder on their own have to face scoffing and remarks about their ability because people assume they’re “affirmative action successes.” This in turn leads to real discrimination because they’re not treated seriously. And that in turn leads to resentment and more calls for government intervention.
If you’re saying a vicious cycle of crazy, you’re right.
It’s sort of like re-creating aristocracy. Oh, and you know how the absolute kings got aristocracy to obey them? They fomented wars and discontent between noblemen, so that the king was the only arbiter of right and wrong in the country.
Remove “king” and put in “Centralized Government” and the picture will become clear.
This is why the end result of any “progressive” (communist) society is hereditary monarchy and feudalism beneath. It is in fact an eschewing of the gifts of prosperity and equality of the enlightenment.
And now you know why all the representatives of the old “good” families in Europe are communists or at least ardent Marxists.
Social justice is feudalism dressed in pretty clothes. It is slavery and I say to hell with it.
Each human should be born equal before the laws. Any tampering with that legal equality is the establishment of nobility and slavery and classes neverending. Sure, not all start in the actual same place, so not all end up doing as well. Equality of results is unenforceable because not all humans WANT the same things. Give them equality before the law. Individually help those who need it and want it. Over time this will result in the most equitable society.
All the rest is just the old beast wearing a prettier costume.
We won’t get fooled again.