We the humans, faced with The Others!

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2017

The Rohingya, Anne Frank and Us:
We humans have always had trouble dealing with The Others—that is to say, with perceptions of difference.

It seems to be part of our human wiring. It's happened down through the annals of time—and it's happening today.

We recommend this New York Times report about the "ethnic cleansing and loathing" directed at the Rohingya, and about local explanations of same.

That's occurring in Myanmar. In Italy, "Anne Frank’s diary will be read aloud at all soccer matches in Italy this week, the Italian soccer federation announced Tuesday, after shocking displays of anti-Semitism by fans of the Rome club Lazio."

So says this news report.

We'll guess that's unlikely to help. At any rate, the New York Times ran that report today under this hard-copy headline:

"We Are All Anne Frank"

(For an example of moral greatness, treat yourself to this videotape of Nelson Mandela saying that he and his comrades "identified" with Anne Frank when they read her book while in prison. Mandela, a powerful African man, drew inspiration from, and saw himself in, a 14-year-old European girl.)

We tend to respond to The Others with fear and loathing. In our minds, we're strongly inclined to invent The Other.

This seems to be part of our human makeup. Question:

Are we liberals inventing The Other in some of the things We do?

26 comments:

  1. "We humans have always had trouble dealing with The Others—that is to say, with perceptions of difference."

    No, we humans have not always had trouble dealing with The Others.

    However, in these difficult times we humans do indeed have trouble dealing with hate-filled sanctimonious liberal zombies. But can you really blame us humans? Just look at them...

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    1. 1) The Republican Party, with the assistance of Donald Trump's VP, Mike Pence just shafted the little guy for the benefit of banks and financial service companies.

      2) The anti-"neoliberal" Trump voter, who is so very concerned with an economic system rigged for the elites, didn't make a peep.

      3) Time for Somerby and the mainstream media to dismiss anyone who opines that bigotry was the reason for Trump's electoral victory.

      #itismoreobviouseveryday

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    2. I'm willing to bet upwards of 90% of workaday people in this country hadn't heard of, or didn't understand the ramifications of the recent legislation that you mentione. I in large part blame our media, including our corporate liberal media for that.

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    3. @Anon 6:54: "I in large part blame our media, including our corporate liberal media for that"
      I would blame Trump, for another failed campaign promise. He and Pence could have stopped this. Also, blame Republicans (all but 2), who voted for this abomination. Blame the voters for not keeping themselves informed and allowing themselves to be shafted. How much lead time was there on this bill? The media did a good job keeping up with the healthcare debacle. Perhaps they didn't sufficiently report on this, but I wouldn't hold the media responsible for the shittiness of Trump and the Republicans.

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    4. Pence could have stopped this? Pence cast the tie-breaking vote FOR this.

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    5. What is the "liberal media"? Mother Jones magazine?

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    6. @impCaesarAvgOctober 25, 2017 at 8:55 PM
      "Pence could have stopped this? Pence cast the tie-breaking vote FOR this."
      Exactly. Had he refrained, it would have failed. Thus Trump's promise would've been kept.

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    7. Dave the Guitar PlayerOctober 26, 2017 at 1:14 PM

      If the media had been doing their job (both liberal and conservative), the American people would not have elected Trump, so although Trump is as bad as they come, the media cannot deny their part in his rise to power. Voters should keep themselves informed, but the media certainly don't help by keeping us in the dark about things we should know, while feeding us an endless stream of "fun" news and misinformation. Any hope for getting this nation on track will involve getting the media to do their job. That means *both* the liberal and conservative varieties. If the conservatives won't do it, then at least I would expect that the liberal media (if there is such a thing) would understand and stop the circus.

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  2. Inventing or some would say projecting.

    Carl Jung called the dark, unknown side of our personalities the shadow. According to Jung, the shadow, in being instinctive and irrational, is prone to psychological projection, in which a perceived personal inferiority is recognised as a perceived moral deficiency in someone else.

    This is the pot of gold that Hannity and Maddow tap into. We have anger and other imbalances within ourselves that desperately need a place to go and those moneygrubbing charlatans are more than happy to provide a home for it. Ie the other.

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    1. Carl Jung was a dumb, fat, temperamental has-been. With a drinking problem.

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    2. Solid refutation.

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  3. Question: "Are we liberals inventing The Other in some of the things We do?"
    Answer: Of course. It's a natural human response. When you have passionately held beliefs, people tend to form factions, and the rhetoric can become heated and extreme.
    But if Somerby is asking liberals to be introspective, to cease being "tribal",... well, it's a nice thought.
    But meanwhile, the professional republican hate machine marches on: you can't win against scorched-earth tactics by offering yourself up as a sacrificial lamb. Somerby's approach only works if BOTH sides agree to a civil discourse. And I don't see that happening until Fox and Rush et al decide to be honest and introspective themselves.

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    1. The Republicans are too deplorable to agree to civil discourse.

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  4. It is easy to identify with a 14 year old girl, such as Anne Frank, especially when the content of the book is universal and the only manner in which it touches on Judaism is the circumstance of her hiding.

    It would be more remarkable if people were able to identify with the religious characters in Chaim Potok's novels, such as Davita's Harp.

    Using people like Anne Frank as symbols to oppose anti-semitism obscures the fact that Hitler and his Germany considered ALL non-German non-Aryan people inferior and intended to enslave them all for the benefit of Germany. They considered Italians inferior, French, British, and all of the Eastern European people inferior. That justified putting them in work camps and confiscating their property for the greater glory of the Reich. The Jews were considered not only inferior but also dangerous, which justified their extermination.

    No one considers a 14 year old girl dangerous. Reducing Jews to female children in order to neutralize their threat isn't admirable. It is an empty gesture that trivializes what is happening in the world today.

    Somerby seems to have a kind of knee-jerk "can't we all just get along" kind of response to conflicts among people. He gives no serious thought to the source of those conflicts. He lumps them all together and applies a single cure, more Malala-like nobility, as if the 14 year old girls of the world could cure all of our ills.

    To understand the problems of the Rohingya, you must go back to the occupation of Burma by Japan and the attempts of the British to liberate it, the roles played by the different peoples in that area during that struggle. The animosities go back that far.

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    1. Actually, the Germans were great admirers of the British and their ability, as a tiny island nation, to rule a country as vast as India.

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    2. There is a discussion of this in Wikipedia. The attitudes toward the British changed with the perception of Britain first as an ally and later as an enemy.

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  5. "We tend to respond to The Others with fear and loathing."

    Somerby thinks it is cute to borrow that phrase from Hunter Thompson, who titled one of his pieces "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas." It doesn't describe how any of us feel about Trump voters, who I assume Somerby is referring to as The Other.

    We don't fear them. We probably do loathe them, and with good reason. It is appropriate to loathe those who hurt you and the people you care about.

    I loathe Trump because of Puerto Rico. I loathe him because of the way he treats women. I loathe him because he will kill people by starting a war with North Korea. I loathe him because of what he did to Hillary (and thereby, the rest of the nation). I loathe him because he has emasculated the Republican Party, including people who might be good public servants in a more benign environment. I loathe Trump because he is cruel to individuals for no good reason, just because it makes him feel bigger.

    I is appropriate to loathe someone for these reasons. I don't loathe him because there is a dark place in my own soul that resonates with any of these crimes. It is an insult to good people everywhere, who are similarly dismayed by Trump and his minions, to suggest something like that.

    Jung was a pathetic schizophrenic whose theories have no empirical support and have been abandoned, even by psychodynamicists. He is a historical oddity to personality theorists. He was popular in a New Age kind of way among hippies, but has gone the way of astrology.

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    1. I loathe the woman who delivered the "deplorables" speech and her legions of amoral voters who, along with her, support and defend every form of depravity that plagues this doomed society. No one should take seriously the "dismay" of any Democrat when it comes to matters of human decency.

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    2. You are at the wrong website. Coming to a liberal blog in order to call other people names is a waste of everyone's time.

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    3. 8:42 PM,
      Why? It can't be because she killed Vince Foster and ran a pedophile sex ring out of a DC area pizzeria, because everyone knows both sides do that.

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    4. anon 3:02, you seem to have gone out of your way to prove Mao at 1:15 correct. Nice going.

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  6. Anne Frank's diary was written after she died (in a hospital - from Typhus, not "gassing"). Just more hoaxing from the lying, Jewish Press.

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    1. "What's with the capital "J" Heinrich? Your Dragonspeak screw up again?

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  7. Who will benefit from Mr Trump's tax cut?

    http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxvox/foreigners-would-win-big-corporate-tax-cut

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  8. Did you see what the "Others" did last night? They passed a bill to remove consumer protections relative to banks.
    Are you aware of what the "Others'" media is up to, in collusion with the "Others" representatives in Congress? They are ginning up an investigation into Hillary Clinton. Who knows, they may even appoint a special prosecutor. Fox News is having an orgasm. Let's see if Somerby discusses this in any great detail.

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