Wikia bans "SJW" term for a period and it goes poorly

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Auggie
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Re: Wikia bans "SJW" term for a period and it goes poorly

Post by Auggie » Fri Aug 03, 2018 3:02 pm

Renée Bagslint wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:33 pm
Well, I doubt that we will resolve these great issues here. But I make no bones about finding people saying in chat rooms "Speaking as a communist ..." similar to "Speaking as a fascist ...": or "I'm a communist but not one of those murderous Marxist types" similar to "I'm a nazi but not one of those murderous Hitler types".
Agreed. Mass murder is a feature of communism, not a bug.

Proabivouac
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Re: Wikia bans "SJW" term for a period and it goes poorly

Post by Proabivouac » Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:15 pm

Renée Bagslint wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 11:41 am
Proabivouac wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:06 am
Its general truth is easy to demonstrate: it always originates as the enclosure of land previously held in some variant of common. Sure, this changes over time to become more and more like modern private property, but feudalism also originated as theft; it's just that the nature of the theft has become more and more complete.

In aboriginal society, including that of our ancestors as well as everybody else's, to live on and work the land was a birthright. This was unjustly taken away for the benefit of those who took it. To unjustly take something away is theft.
This is a romantic view driven entirely by your modern view about how things ought to have been and it is not supported by evidence. The romantic notion of the noble savage and all that goes back at least to the Romans. It was romantic nonsense then and it's romantic nonsense now.
To the contrary, it is based upon a lot of reading in ethnology, which had a profound influence on my thinking. I am not sugar-coating anything here – there was plenty of war, cycles of revenge killings (sometimes for imaginary events like sorcery,) entire peoples could be displaced by others just as they are today, raids with the object of carting off another group's women, etc. Sometimes people didn't get along to the point where a group would split in two, a common reason for the formation of a new village. And I've spent enough time challenging Engels' vision of "group marriage" which is nowhere attested, assertions of primeval matriachy, and other such fantasical projections invoked to justify our modern obsessions. (Noting that Hobbes' "state of nature" is just as mythical as any of these.)

But, it is still completely true that every member of a group had both the right and the duty to work if they could, and there were basically two jobs, man and woman, with every member of the group guaranteed one or the other.

In New Guinea, private property — as in real estate, not personal possessions — begins to arise with horticulture, where a parrticular garden belongs to a certain man and his family, leading to some differences in wealth, though not yet class. In the Oro region large gardens are rented out to others who work them; this is the beginning of a "big man" system, more and less prestigious lineages, etc. In the Pacific Northwest, peoples were technically hunter gatherers, but violate many generalizations thereof because they were sedentary much of the year with unusually large populations due to the predictability of the salmon runs. Some allocated fishing spots to particular people, which could be rented out to others. So, some form of private property goes back a long way., and Marx and Engels' idea that it developed with the advent of pastoralism, while an embarrassing error, is easily modified to, with the development of horticulture, the salmon runs being probably an exception which illustrates the reason for this correlation.

In this respect it should be noted that we really don't know how hunter gatherer society would have been structured in many of the most productive environments, because those tend to be the places where they are no longer attested. So it's possible that some private property had been around in very early times, and that the impression to the contrary is attributable in part to an incomplete dataset.

But this is a very far cry from the slavery of the ancient world, or feudalism, just as feudalism is very far from capitalism. It was certainly not the case that the majority of land had been parcelled out as it is today, to the point that people aren't even guaranteed a place to sleep and have no means of livelihood at all unless others allow it.

Bear in mind here that with these small groups, everyone knew one another and was related to one another within a kinship structure, and there were no police, only other armed aboriginals. These conditions greatly constrain the way that people treat one another compared to moden society, and in practice, the wealth gathered through more productive gardens is distributed among the rest of the group in exchange for prestige, in part because there's nothing else to do with it. There aren't rich people living in this enclave over here protected by an army of police and interacting with workers only occasionally or indirectly via a corporate hierarchy. They still interact with them, that's how they "make" their money, through a large number of one-sided interactions the class character of which is enforced by an armed hegemonic state which shields them from direct personal accountability. If people are angry with you in a primitive society, there is no easy escape.

These factors were not adequtely addressed, and kinship was outright mishandled, in Marx and Engels. I am not sure if we can call primitive society communist – egalitarian, yes, but communism, besides the historical association with Marxism-Leninism and its variants suggests an answer to capitalism, just as unitarianism makes no sense without trinitarianism before it. No doubt theories about class struggle, alienation of labor and the like would be completely lost upon them. Still, it remains a tragedy that those who advocate socioeconomic equality don't take a clear look at the societies which provide the best examples of it. Instead, the only societies which come close to satisfying their libertine social goals are the very most unequal systems yet devised, while every one of the egalitarian groups would be considered unacceptably conservative.

Btw, bid'ah doesn't properly mean "heresy" but "innovation" – it is heresy only implicitly because it's presumed that the religion was correct as originally formulated.
Last edited by Proabivouac on Sat Aug 04, 2018 8:11 am, edited 2 times in total.

Proabivouac
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Re: Wikia bans "SJW" term for a period and it goes poorly

Post by Proabivouac » Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:32 pm

Anyway, I'm not sure why I'm bothering to debate this here. All I'd meant to say that the obsessions of "social justice warriors" generally have little to do with economic equality, and even racism, whcih does, is reframed as some kind of speech patrol. It is a way for the professional classes and even tech giants to paint themselves as the good guys without having to share any money, and in practice their number one target is the working masses whom they find "deplorable." It is an evolution of Calvinism in which the plight of workers is fully deserved since they have not undergone higher education and hence have not adequately absorbed the doctrines by which salvation, and hence material prosperity, is achieved. From today's New York magazine: "Yes, we all live on campus now."

Renée Bagslint
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Re: Wikia bans "SJW" term for a period and it goes poorly

Post by Renée Bagslint » Sat Aug 04, 2018 6:53 am

Proabivouac wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:15 pm
To the contrary, it is based upon a lot of reading in ethnology, which had a profound influence on my thinking.

Then by all means cite some of these books, quoting the passages where they bring forward the evidence for the universal assertion that "private property originated as theft". For example, you might discuss my ancestry, which is British. What is the scholarly consensus that demonstrates to your satisfaction that at some point in time property in Britain was "held in some variant of common", that the people who lived in Britain took the view that "to live on and work the land was a birthright" -- and when, by whom, and how was this common ownership abrogated in favour of private owership? Where on the timeline would the various phases of Stonehenge, Avebury and the barrows fit in?

No? I thught not.
In this respect it should be noted that we really don't know how hunter gatherer society would have been structured in many of the most productive environments, because those tend to be the places where they are no longer attested. So it's possible that some private property had been around in very early times, and that the impression to the contrary is attributable in part to an incomplete dataset.
Exactly. We don't know, although some of us are happy to make bold assertions and indeed advocate a complete restructuring of the world on the basis of what they would like to think was true. Since there is no written evidence about Britain much before the Roman invasion (and what there is from that time is political propaganda) we have to infer what we can from such things as grave goods, the monuments, and fen villages. Unfortunately we wlays project our own perceptions back onto the past. Grave goods are seen as indicating high status, and implicitly therefore hierarchy or inequality; and monumental projects as requiring centralised authority such as kings or high priests (although Colin Renfrew argues for something more like a democratic people's collective); fen villages show us largish groups living together as an economic unit.

The point is, we just don't know.

Proabivouac
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Re: Wikia bans "SJW" term for a period and it goes poorly

Post by Proabivouac » Sat Aug 04, 2018 7:33 am

You realize that there is a whole world out there besides Britain? Why wiould you pick a location where so little is known about its pre-Celtic aboriginal inhabitants, and moreover has not been settled for very long in the scheme of human (pre)history, when there are many hundreds if not thousands of detailed ethnographies describing hunter gatherers and primitive horticulturalists of Australia, New Guinea and the Americas? But okay, since you asked…
Renée Bagslint wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 6:53 am
For example, you might discuss my ancestry, which is British. What is the scholarly consensus that demonstrates to your satisfaction that at some point in time property in Britain was "held in some variant of common", that the people who lived in Britain took the view that "to live on and work the land was a birthright" -- and when, by whom, and how was this common ownership abrogated in favour of private owership?
Feudal property was not the same as aborginal territory. However, it wasn't the same as private property either. Private property existed in medieval times, but was a small minority of the land. Lords had the right to tax and govern feudal estates, but not the right to evict the peasants whose right to live on and work the land was inherited, just as the lords inherited their own titles. They were not the owners but the rulers. This changed with the Inclosure Acts, in which feudal lands were converted to private property, abrogating the medieval social contract. This article attempts to present a positive spin on things, but the central facts are still discernible, including the fact that the displaced and disenfranchised peasantry was to become the industrial proletariat:
Professor Wikipedia wrote: The Inclosure Acts were a series of Acts of Parliament that empowered enclosure of open fields and common land in England and Wales, creating legal property rights to land that was previously held in common.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inclosure_Acts
These lands became private property which belonged to the lords, most of whom eventually sold them off as their wealth and power waned in the face of the ascendant bourgeoisie. You might buy or sell it fair and square, but it was still stolen to begin with. I still remember my shock when it dawned on me that "private property is theft!" was not just a metaphor as I'd assumed but a literal and well-documented historical fact.

Renée Bagslint
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Re: Wikia bans "SJW" term for a period and it goes poorly

Post by Renée Bagslint » Sat Aug 04, 2018 8:28 am

Proabivouac wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 7:33 am
You realize that there is a whole world out there besides Britain? Why wiould you pick a location where so little is known about its pre-Celtic aboriginal inhabitants, and moreover has not been settled for very long in the scheme of human history, when there are many hundreds if not thousands of detailed ethnographies describing hunter gatherers and primitive horticulturalists of Australia, New Guinea and the Americas?
Firstly because I am British, interested in and knowing a ittle about my own history -- but more importantly to illustrate that since you have asserted universal principles applicable to all peoples and all places, to support that universality you need to be able adduce evidence about the majority of the world, which as we seem to agree, you cannot.
But okay, since you asked…

Feudal property was not the same as aborginal territory. However, it wasn't the same as private property either. Private property existed in medieval times, but was a small minority of the land. Lords had the right to tax and govern feudal estates, but not the right to evict the peasants whose right to live on and work the land was inherited, just as the lords inherited their own titles. They were not the owners but the rulers. This changed with the Inclosure Acts, in which feudal lands were converted to private property, abrogating the medieval social contract. This article attempts to present a positive spin on things, but the central facts are still discernible, including the fact that the displaced peasantry was to become the proletariat:



These lands became private property which belonged to the lords, most of whom eventually sold them off as their wealth and power waned in the face of the ascendant bourgeoisie. You might buy or sell it fair and square, but it was still stolen to begin with. I still remember my shock when it dawned on me that "private property is theft!" was not just a metaphor as I'd assumed but a literal historical fact.
I think you are out by several thousand years. The documented history of the British Isles shows the Romans encountering a squabbling collection of petty tribal kingdoms and a druidic religion, with a monetary economy and slave ownership; imperial conquest by the Romans; population incursion and takeover by the Anglo-Saxons; partial political takeover by the Vikings; replacement of the Saxon hierarchy and tenure by Normal feudal ownership; gradual collapse of the feudal system under the pressures of economic growth of towns and a mercantile class and a proletariat (in the towns not the country) and the Black Death; and so on. Then we get the Enclosures. At no stage was there the romantic notion of common ownership that you believe in. Various sorts of ownership and various rights over common land existed at various stages (if you're a commoner in Malmesbury, you acknowledge that you hold the common land from King Athelstan). There was clearly a concept of private ownership of personal property (and theft) throughout documented history. The Romans did not trouble to document the notions of Iron Age land ownership that they encountered since they simply expropriated what they wanted, but they had a pretty clear concept of personal land ownership. The Saxons ditto. Whether feudal tenants thought that the king "owned" the land in the same way that you or I might own a house today is unanswerable if not meaningless, but the king behaved as if he had complete ownership of the land, while he could enforce it by an army. Various customary, local and royal courts emerged to adjudicate on and develop the theories of ownership during the feudal period, and the kings granted various charters ceding some of their rights. It's all pretty complicated. But what we can be sure of is that the notion of a happy collective ownership from the mists of time being suddenly usurped at a single moment by wicked robber barons or the middle classes is simply unhistorical. There is no evidence whatsoever of such a state of affairs, and the assertion that there ever was is speculative to put it politely.

Proabivouac
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Re: Wikia bans "SJW" term for a period and it goes poorly

Post by Proabivouac » Sat Aug 04, 2018 8:38 am

Ancient and medieval England ≠ aboriginal society. These were highly developed agriculturalists with relatively massive populations throughout recorded history. We have to look elsewhere, where these giant tribes, kingdoms and empires never formed, to get a picture of what life was like before them.

My caveat about some highly productive regions being unattested for these stages was written because I am a fair and honest writer. You seem to cherry pick looking for vulnerabilities that you probably hadn't even thought of yourself. Your whole idea that maybe, because children and the infirm cost money without paying their way, equality is really inequality continues to be ridiculous.

You proclaimed with confidence "British land was never held in common! This is your romantic fantasy!" Now here is Professor WIkipedia telling us that feudal lands held in common were converted to private property in fairly recent times, and your answer is a wall of text and distractions.

Why not, "oh, I see"? Obviously you were not aware of these rather basic points, which play a central role in the development of Marx's thought which you stridently criticize seemingly without knowing what it actually is, but now that it's pointed out to you — you say you want to learn but are not quick to admit that you've learned. Give it a few years. Learn more. Think about it. And don't assume that others are coming from the same place as your foolish ex.

Renée Bagslint
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Re: Wikia bans "SJW" term for a period and it goes poorly

Post by Renée Bagslint » Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:23 am

Well, if you rely on Wikipedia, with its WIKIPEDIA MAKES NO GUARANTEE OF VALIDITY then you're bound to go astray.

Of course Mediaeval England is not an aboriginal state of affairs. In Britain that would be sometime in the Palaeolithic, when the inhabitants were probably not even modern Homo sapiens. As I think we have agreed, there is no documentation and very little evidence of any kind for what the first inhabitants thought about land tenure or ownersip in general. Nonetheless, you adhere to a position that it would have been some form of common ownership, and that any subsequent concepts of personal ownership can only have been acquired by theft. Just to reiterate, you have not adduced anything to support this position. Now you skip lightly over the intervening three-quarters of a million years down to the Enclosure Acts when some of the land in England which had been in some form of common ownership was indeed expropropriated into private hands. Does that prove that all land was in common ownership down to that date? No it doesn't, and indeed we know that it wasn't, and that there had been multiple phases of large-scale or total expropropriation of land from one set of previous owners to another: by Romans, Saxons, Viking and Normans. I'm sorry if the complexity and the need to understand confuses you, but there it is. Real history, as opposed to Marxist, pseudo-Marxist, sub-Marxist and anti-Marxist theorising is complicated and messay, and rarely if ever supports grand theoreis and sweeping generalisations, as you are finding to your cost.

You believe that looking at the situation today in other parts of the world gives us insight into what the situation in Britain might have been like in the remote past. Well, it's a theory. But one would need some reason to believe it. Is there any reason to believe that land tenure in, say, Papua New Guinea, or Australia, or wherever, has always been what it is today, or rather was at the time when Europeans first encoutered these peoples? Any evidence? No, it's an assumption. Is the history of the aboriginal settlement of Australa known in detail: no, but we do have some reason to believe that it was eventful with significant changes to land use and food production. We may suppose that these were accompanied by change both in the way land was used and the way people thought about its control and ownership.

Last, and least, who or what is this "foolish ex" of which you speak? I think you are confusing me with someone else. Not that it's relevant. Your romantic over-simplification of history is just that: a romance.

Proabivouac
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Re: Wikia bans "SJW" term for a period and it goes poorly

Post by Proabivouac » Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:36 am

Let's list the straw men that you've so helpfully rebutted here:

•A great deal is known about prehistoric British societies.
•There was no private property prior to the Inclosure Acts.
•Peoples are never displaced or disenfranchised by other peoples.
•Land use in Australia and Papua New Guinea (why not New Guinea?) has not changed since their earliest human settlement.
•History is simple and often supports sweeping generalizations.

Now, did i say any of those things? I believe on every count I've explicitly stated the opposite in this very thread, excepting "history is simple" which would too stupid to bother denying.

The problem I am having discussing things with you is that you keep changing the subject while arguing against things which are neither being said nor implicit to what is being said. A subordinate clause buried about midway through your wall of text concedes that indeed the Inclosure Acts transferred lands from common use into private property. Especially helpful was your warning against relying upon Professor Wikipedia, as if this were where I'd learned about them or as if its summary were grossly innaccurate. Again, what's wrong with, "Oh, I see now why you were saying that," or some variant thereof?

If you are saying anything coherent, it's that human history/prehistory is too complicated to make any valid theories or generalizations (or at least grand and sweeping ones, respectively) about the development of human society and material economy. This is not only untrue but is completely contrary to the near-universal consensus among comparative ethnologists, among whom the assertion that hunter gatherers, generally speaking, had no private land ownership is not remotely controversial.
Renée Bagslint wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:23 am
There was clearly a concept of private ownership of personal property (and theft) throughout documented history.
I assume that every language has a word for "theft". This is on my basic termlist for aboriginal languages, in which it is very often polysemous with "adultery". There are plenty of things one might steal besides real property.

Neither Marx nor anyone else to my knowledge denies that aboriginal humanity recognized personal possession. As for modern times, few communists would say that people should not have their own clothes, their own toothbrushes, their own homes, their own automobiles, etc. (well, admittedly some of today's self-proclaimed communists hate automobiles, but this is because they are more environmentalists than communists.) I will go further and say that everyone should own their own guns along with all these other things; it is actually capitalists who are saying that not everyone deserves to have them.

The form of ownership that Marx focuses upon and contests is private ownership of the means of production, of which land is nowadays but one form. If industrialism meant that everyone had his own personal factory, Marxism would never have been invented.

sashi
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Re: Wikia bans "SJW" term for a period and it goes poorly

Post by sashi » Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:44 pm

I think sometimes R**** just likes to wind people up and make them dance. I appreciate what you've written in this thread. I've learned stuff from both of you. I'll have to read it again to see exactly what the link is to Wikia and SJW, but really I don't care that much. Fact is, you are a pretty good dancer (though R**** will never admit it, I don't imagine).

Zoloft recently returned to WPO and made a point of saying you weren't a member. So many pariahs in the o-w world...

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