Of course, an interest in heritage, culture, even ethnicity, is neither racist nor fascist. However, an interest in the purity of that heritage or culture or ethnicity, a desire to keep it from dilution and free of anything foreign to it, is the very substance of racism and fascism.
Purity is a corrosive antimoral value that reliably leads people to evil conclusions. Whether in matters sexual or spiritual or cultural, unless you're talking about refining chemicals and ores, purity is not a value or goal worth having.

I'm thinking of two otherwise unrelated things here. One, wishing an easy way to navigate the musically compelling but politically volatile pagan- folk- and black-metal scenes. Another, clashes over the immigration issue. At that debate (three months ago) between United for Social Justice and Utah Minutemen, the assertion there's no American identity to mold oneself to (sorry, forget the exact words) struck me as a good one. Of course one of the Minutemen vocally disagreed. I'm sure they think themselves just normal people wanting what's right (that's what's so insidious about cognitive frames), but their idea of what it is to be American is arbitrarily limited. I align more with Naomi Wolf who identifies being "American" with the attitude of speaking truth to power and willing to free all people from authorities and systems of control. By her account Americans need not have ever trod the soil of this continent beneath their sandalled feet, and probably not even lived while the place bears that name. It's an excessively idealistic, slightly sappy notion, argued specifically to lure those with narrow views of America to expand their horizons, but it's a desirable one that manages to embrace a broader humanity.



Logical corollary to the categorical imperative: Anything you try to justify doing to anyone else, you implicitly grant everyone in the universe permission to do to you. Your only refuge is in highly specific circumstances or in confessing to having chosen to do ill.



Haymarket Affair, May 4

"Anarchist" is a term that was generally adopted with some sense of irony. Apologists for status quo hierarchic government and business domains, sincere or self-serving, generally attacked any attempt to improve the lives and restore the rights of underclasses as bringing on "anarchy" in the chaos-brutality-and-riotous-destruction sense. If bringing about genuine freedom, opportunity, voice, and participation for laborers, women, ethnic outsiders, and the poor is "anarchy," many people reasoned, then let us be for anarchy. If institutional power of the wealthiest few dominating the impoverished many is civilization, then let civilization burn. "Anarchist" has acquired a long list of hyphenated adjectives, as visions of just how to build up a better civilization vary, but what many anarchists have actually envisioned is a very loose federalism, built up of otherwise independent local community organizations and labor unions.

I'm about as (un)comfortable with the label anarchist as I am with liberal, socialist, libertarian, or progressive. In some contexts, I even count as conservative. I also am dubious of the value and virtue of violent revolution. I like to place a bit of hope (not faith) in the Arab Spring, and also in open communication, strikes, building occupations, mass demonstrations that block ordinary business of government and trade, and other instances of badass pacifism.

(The last is a TVtropes link; hope you've got three hours to kill if you click on it.)



Imagine you're looking at a normal jar of jelly beans of assorted flavors and colors. Then someone less clever than they think they are tells you it couldn't possibly have just shaken out that way, that getting that exact arrangement of colors and shapes must have taken a greater-than-mortal power carefully planning and sorting to get that exact jar of jelly beans.

definition of 'order' = arbitrary
analogy = weak
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