An issue about political correctness

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JoeMaguire
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Feb 14 2011 22:06

There was a woman who died of asbestosis not long ago whose only exposure came from her dad who was exposed to it. Asbestosis is a serious contribution to work related deaths.

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Feb 15 2011 01:07
gypsytimetraveller wrote:
Well what about the first part of what I said? I notice you didn't quote that- also I detected a patronising tone in your reply especially with the eye rolling and grammar corrections. If you bring up some of the issues I mentioned in my earlier post with certain people on the left they will accuse you of racism and intolerance. Political correctness can be used as a tool by politicians to shut people up even if they have a valid and rational argument or issue.

Also if you are suggesting that I am like the racist people that stewart lee is talking about in his video that you posted- you would be very wrong.

I posted the Stewart Lee clip because I thought it might be enlightening. It wasn't directed at you. The correction of 'imman' to 'imam' was because, well, I thought it was funny. By coincidence, a comrade had told me a story literally the day previous to my post of how, when she was a teenager, she saw David Bowie and Iman in a cafe and was so excited she burst into tears. So when you described "immans"… it bought up a funny image and I thought this could be transferred to add levity. Since you asked.

gypsytimetraveller wrote:
Well I do dis-agree with some aspects of state political correctness in the UK such as tolerating forced marriages(until recently) and staying silent over arranged marriages with first cousins(happens a lot from people of pakistani and other south asian descent) which results in a higher rate of a child being born with a disability which in turn costs the NHS shit loads and means a child has to endure a harsh life.

The argument assumes the state's natural position would be intervention, but the imposition of political correctness holds it back (through misguided tolerance) from stopping Pakistanis draining the NHS through the production of inbred children. In turn, your argument also assumes that Pakistanis (and other people from the region) can be massed into a racial voting bloc through imams and elders.

A drain of shit loads on the NHS can be dismissed by a cursory Google search: birth defects occur in 2% of all births. This rate is doubled when cousins or second-cousins breed. According to the 2001 UK census, Pakistanis make up 1.25% of the population. According to one study, 55% of Pakistani marriages (mainly Kashmiri Pakistanis) are to relatives which, admittedly, is shockingly high. Once we discount marriages to non-relatives, marriages that do not result in children, those unwilling or unable to marry and the small-but-significant amount of arranged marriages that are put in place for immigration purposes and result in divorce, you are left with a tiny amount of people more likely to have children with congenital defects or recessive genetic conditions.

Pakistani voting, from what I can see, and I know the rest of you might find this shocking, tends to follow class interests and the perception of which party will tend to that interest. Again, a politician staying silent on a potentially damaging issue in the hope of getting votes in a sign of shrewdness, not subscription to, as Stewart Lee put it, an "institutional politeness."

The above, according to my Google search, is discussed openly and widely in the UK. So PCness is not preventing discussion as far as I can see. In fact, people seem to clamour to prove how they are not politically correct and use this is a badge of honour.

You offered a pretty fraught example that I disagree is either valid or rational. It is invalid, in my opinion, because
you failed to demonstrate the case that the nature of the problem (inbreeding Pakistanis and forced marriages to cousins) has been exacerbated by a state culture of political correctness.

If you are going to attribute something to political correctness, I think the burden is on you to demonstrate it, not on me to disprove it. I don't think it's a racist to discuss it, just irrelevant in a discussion on PC. A better example might be if you could find an example of a politician using political correctness to stifle debate. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, I'm saying if it does it's pretty obscure.

The other posts about how the wide support against a fictionalised political correctness is used to suppress workplace fights against health and safety is much more convincing. I hadn't thought about it that way before.

gypsy
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Feb 15 2011 07:07
JoeMaguire wrote:
There was a woman who died of asbestosis not long ago whose only exposure came from her dad who was exposed to it. Asbestosis is a serious contribution to work related deaths.

Thats quite worrying as my uncle died of Asbestosis and I spent a lot of my youth with him.

gypsy
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Feb 15 2011 07:49
Lumpen wrote:
gypsytimetraveller wrote:
Well what about the first part of what I said? I notice you didn't quote that- also I detected a patronising tone in your reply especially with the eye rolling and grammar corrections. If you bring up some of the issues I mentioned in my earlier post with certain people on the left they will accuse you of racism and intolerance. Political correctness can be used as a tool by politicians to shut people up even if they have a valid and rational argument or issue.

Also if you are suggesting that I am like the racist people that stewart lee is talking about in his video that you posted- you would be very wrong.

I posted the Stewart Lee clip because I thought it might be enlightening. It wasn't directed at you. The correction of 'imman' to 'imam' was because, well, I thought it was funny. By coincidence, a comrade had told me a story literally the day previous to my post of how, when she was a teenager, she saw David Bowie and Iman in a cafe and was so excited she burst into tears. So when you described "immans"… it bought up a funny image and I thought this could be transferred to add levity. Since you asked.

gypsytimetraveller wrote:
Well I do dis-agree with some aspects of state political correctness in the UK such as tolerating forced marriages(until recently) and staying silent over arranged marriages with first cousins(happens a lot from people of pakistani and other south asian descent) which results in a higher rate of a child being born with a disability which in turn costs the NHS shit loads and means a child has to endure a harsh life.

The argument assumes the state's natural position would be intervention, but the imposition of political correctness holds it back (through misguided tolerance) from stopping Pakistanis draining the NHS through the production of inbred children. In turn, your argument also assumes that Pakistanis (and other people from the region) can be massed into a racial voting bloc through imams and elders.

A drain of shit loads on the NHS can be dismissed by a cursory Google search: birth defects occur in 2% of all births. This rate is doubled when cousins or second-cousins breed. According to the 2001 UK census, Pakistanis make up 1.25% of the population. According to one study, 55% of Pakistani marriages (mainly Kashmiri Pakistanis) are to relatives which, admittedly, is shockingly high. Once we discount marriages to non-relatives, marriages that do not result in children, those unwilling or unable to marry and the small-but-significant amount of arranged marriages that are put in place for immigration purposes and result in divorce, you are left with a tiny amount of people more likely to have children with congenital defects or recessive genetic conditions.

Pakistani voting, from what I can see, and I know the rest of you might find this shocking, tends to follow class interests and the perception of which party will tend to that interest. Again, a politician staying silent on a potentially damaging issue in the hope of getting votes in a sign of shrewdness, not subscription to, as Stewart Lee put it, an "institutional politeness."

The above, according to my Google search, is discussed openly and widely in the UK. So PCness is not preventing discussion as far as I can see. In fact, people seem to clamour to prove how they are not politically correct and use this is a badge of honour.

You offered a pretty fraught example that I disagree is either valid or rational. It is invalid, in my opinion, because
you failed to demonstrate the case that the nature of the problem (inbreeding Pakistanis and forced marriages to cousins) has been exacerbated by a state culture of political correctness.

If you are going to attribute something to political correctness, I think the burden is on you to demonstrate it, not on me to disprove it. I don't think it's a racist to discuss it, just irrelevant in a discussion on PC. A better example might be if you could find an example of a politician using political correctness to stifle debate. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, I'm saying if it does it's pretty obscure.

The other posts about how the wide support against a fictionalised political correctness is used to suppress workplace fights against health and safety is much more convincing. I hadn't thought about it that way before.

I cannae be bothered arguing the pakistani thing to you anymore.You obviously don't believe me. The pakistani inbreeding thing has only recently been widely discussed in the UK, it came to light to a lot of folk after a dispatches programme here although it has been an elephant in a room for a long time especially for people involved in healthcare and paediatrician.

Quote:
A drain of shit loads on the NHS can be dismissed by a cursory Google search: birth defects occur in 2% of all births. This rate is doubled when cousins or second-cousins breed. According to the 2001 UK census, Pakistanis make up 1.25% of the population. According to one study, 55% of Pakistani marriages (mainly Kashmiri Pakistanis) are to relatives which, admittedly, is shockingly high. Once we discount marriages to non-relatives, marriages that do not result in children, those unwilling or unable to marry and the small-but-significant amount of arranged marriages that are put in place for immigration purposes and result in divorce, you are left with a tiny amount of people more likely to have children with congenital defects or recessive genetic conditions.

I don't know how you can dismiss the drain on the NHS when medical research suggests that while British Pakistanis are responsible for 3% of all births, they account for one in three British children born with genetic illnesses. So how can you say that this is not a drain on the NHS? I don't think you can just do a google/wikipedia search and calculate it that way sunshine! If you don't believe me go to a paediatric ward in Bradford and see for yourself. The NHS have not done campaigns in the past over inbreeding (I don't know about now) as it was a 'sensitive' topic and they didn't want to offend the local communities(as you know the NHS is ultimately controlled by good old politicians). I think you have a point about the badge of honour thing. I have heard loadsa un pc/racist things in my time about gypos, pakis, the mussies etc. It does seem to be more acceptable to make jokes about muslims nowadays and they are in the firing line in this country more and more-demonised one hell of a lot.

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Feb 15 2011 09:20

When I first read the argument the the effects of cousin marriages within Pakistani communities it was in The Guardian years ago. There was a doctor who posited that racist doctors didn't give a shit about that community and that non-racist doctors didn't want to give ammunition to racists. I'd suggest that an equal pressure would be that the subject is sensitive, so unlikely to attract funding for research. It isn't easy to get research funding for this kind of project anyway because it isn't very exciting or cutting edge and its conclusions require a massive amount of work to implement.
In any case there is a big difference between not using racist terms etc and not intervening when there is a problem affecting a particular group. For example sickle cell anaemia only really affects black people and saying so (or not) has nothing to do with political correctness, it's simply a fact.
The most recent article that I read (that I can't find now) said that although there are much higher rates of recessive disorders (I'm not sure what that definition includes) and infant mortality in pakistani communities this is as much a result of historical intermarriage as anything. The question of how to deal with this is a difficult one, but a blanket ban on such marriages might be a real problem.

gypsy
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Feb 15 2011 10:00
jef costello wrote:
When I first read the argument the the effects of cousin marriages within Pakistani communities it was in The Guardian years ago. There was a doctor who posited that racist doctors didn't give a shit about that community and that non-racist doctors didn't want to give ammunition to racists..

When I was younger when I used to play for a local football team. I heard this lad say that 'Pakis' were mostly inbred. I had heard him saying racist stuff before so I instantly-automatically jumped to the defence of Pakistanis and said that this was not the case and he must have got his facts wrong(I lived in a totally white area of Scotland). To my surprise a few years later I made friends with a Scottish girl of Pakistani descent and she told me that inbreeding was the case which made me realise that in hindsight I was wrong and that arsehole was right(to an extent). I think that is very interesting about racist doctors not giving a shit about that certain community. It poses some very interesting questions-I would really like to read that article if you have it to hand Jef? I don't think a blanket ban would be a good idea neither. They do it to keep property within the family and its been going on for so long it is not just gonna stop just like that.

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Feb 15 2011 10:07

Gypsy, I don't think you should support the state legislating on individual behaviour, and certainly you shouldn't do so on the basis of behaviours which "burden" the NHS.

For example, things which cost the NHS much more than genetic illnesses are treating smokers and fat people, but presumably you wouldn't support a state ban on cigarettes or eating unhealthily?

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Feb 15 2011 10:38
baboon wrote:
I don't think that around 24000 deaths from occupational cancer in the UK per year is "actually quite low".

How many of those are from retired cole miners?

gypsy
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Feb 15 2011 11:07
Steven. wrote:
Gypsy, I don't think you should support the state legislating on individual behaviour, and certainly you shouldn't do so on the basis of behaviours which "burden" the NHS.

For example, things which cost the NHS much more than genetic illnesses are treating smokers and fat people, but presumably you wouldn't support a state ban on cigarettes or eating unhealthily?

You are not going to like this but since we are not living in a libertarian communist present we do have to pressure the state to implement policies which are of benefit to us now, just like we do not want to see an end to free school meals just because the state legislates it. Put it this way I would rather they did a campaign to highlight the danger than they done nothing at all. It is not just burdening the NHS it is burdening the children and adults who have to live with these avoidable conditions.

Actually I would not mind a blanket ban on cigarettes call me a stalinist but they are a complete menace to society. I would say alchohol is another drug which burdens the NHS massively.

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Feb 15 2011 11:30
gypsytimetraveller wrote:
Steven. wrote:
Gypsy, I don't think you should support the state legislating on individual behaviour, and certainly you shouldn't do so on the basis of behaviours which "burden" the NHS.

For example, things which cost the NHS much more than genetic illnesses are treating smokers and fat people, but presumably you wouldn't support a state ban on cigarettes or eating unhealthily?

You are not going to like this but since we are not living in a libertarian communist present we do have to pressure the state to implement policies which are of benefit to us now, just like we do not want to see an end to free school meals just because the state legislates it.

as to your first point, that is obvious, however your free school meals point is not a valid comparison. The state providing something for free, is very different to the state banning something.

Quote:
Put it this way I would rather they did a campaign to highlight the danger than they done nothing at all. It is not just burdening the NHS it is burdening the children and adults who have to live with these avoidable conditions.

again, there is a massive difference between campaigning to highlight dangers of things (which is obviously fine), and banning things and so fining or locking people up who defy the ban.

Quote:

Actually I would not mind a blanket ban on cigarettes call me a stalinist but they are a complete menace to society. I would say alchohol is another drug which burdens the NHS massively.

To be honest, no Stalinist would be crazy enough to try to ban cigarettes or alcohol. In this country, how would you put the 15 million UK smokers in jail? And what you think would happen on the streets if all of a sudden the $400 billion a year tobacco industry was put straight in the hands of organised crime?

Alcohol - it's not a drug, it's a drink! But, seriously, of course it is harmful, and public education campaigns around the dangers are all good. But banning it would be totally counter-productive (look at prohibition in the US, it didn't stop anyone drinking, and it gave a huge boost to organised crime gangs).

People not exercising costs the NHS money, does that mean you should ban people from watching TV or playing video games all day?

My general point here is that supporting state bans on individual behaviour which is only harmful to the individual is not only completely antithetical to any sort of communism or anarchism but is also totally counter-productive.

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Feb 15 2011 11:46
Xander wrote:
Steven. wrote:
Xander wrote:

Roughly just under 250 people die in work related accidents each year, about 1/3 the amount of homicides in the uk. While I'm sure work wears down people and leads indirectly to far more deaths the health and safety vs crime comparison doesn't hold up.

Firstly, I'm not sure where you got your figures from, but in 2009/10 there were over 300 accidental deaths in the workplace according to the HSE- and of course they massively underestimate deaths at work, predominantly by not counting the 800-1000 people who die at work driving, and the 30 odd who die at sea working.

This adds up to well over 1000 per year, which is well over the 600-700 annual murders.

This is without even going into the 100-250 suicides attributed to work-related stress (probably a big underestimate out of the 5000 annual suicides).

And yes it is also not counting the thousands of occupational cancer fatalities each year, including 5000 who die every year from asbestos, whom you seem to describe as being a bit "worn down".

I don't get where you're desire to play down deaths at work comes from, other than your general "Mr controversial" persona.

Well, according to the hse; Summary for 2009/10
The provisional figure for the number of workers fatally injured in 2009/10 is 152*, and corresponds to a rate of fatal injury of 0.5 per 100 000 workers.

I'm bot trying to play down anything, I just think anarchists conveniently 'play down' the level of violent crime in society when making these comparisons, mostly you.

the HSE figure from 2009/10 is correct, I used the wrong figure for 300, above. But it is still correct that it omits the nearly 1000 workers who die at work at sea or on the roads. You still don't seem to acknowledge this.

As for not playing things down, I think that describing thousands of people who die from asbestos every year as being "worn down" is downplaying.

georgestapleton wrote:
I don't have a huge amount to say on this but I don't think Xander (change your name your not in Buffy) is totally wrong. I did some digging around this a year or so ago and there are massive differences in the rates of work deaths between european countries. So in Spain anarchists make a big deal out of work deaths, but the rate of work death in spain is way higher than in the UK. The numbers in the UK they are actually quite low.

The last I looked, many of the differences within Europe were due to different ways of recording work-related deaths. The UK annual figure for work-related deaths, using conservative estimates, is around 20,000 per year, and of course the number of serious injuries, illnesses and permanent disabilities is many times higher still. The HSE figures are a massive underestimate.

I have never downplayed violent crime (do you dispute my figure estimate of murders, above?), however it is clear that whichever figures you use deaths and injuries caused by work are many times higher.

Xander got sensitive about it when I stated that the disproportionate reporting of violent crime deaths as opposed to work-related deaths was indicative of institutional media bias. I'm not really sure why, as I'm not accusing all journalists of being individually biased. There would be many reasons for them to underreport it, the main ones being that crimes are easy to report as police stations often put out press releases about them, whereas work-related deaths and injuries are not, and also you can name individuals accused of crimes against other individuals, but naming firms responsible for deaths and injuries would be much more likely to result in lawsuits.

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Feb 15 2011 11:48
Steven. wrote:
Alcohol - it's not a drug, it's a drink! But, seriously, of course it is harmful, and public education campaigns around the dangers are all good. But banning it would be totally counter-productive (look at prohibition in the US, it didn't stop anyone drinking, and it gave a huge boost to organised crime gangs).

Alcohol and tobacco should have been prohibited on serious grounds of public health years ago. But that will never happen and it wont be out of fear of organised crime. If they did prohibit those addictive substances there would be ferocious riots on the streets...and I would gladly join in!

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Feb 15 2011 12:23
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Steven - do you honestly think a hypothetical balanced and unbiased media would cover workplace death/injury as much as violent crime?

dependent on the newsworthiness/salaciousness of the details of the individual cases, personal interest aspects etc. yes.

Is there something more inherently interesting about one gang member stabbing another, than a man being chopped up in an industrial mixer because his employers didn't pay for a safety cover, while making sizeable profits? (The latter example is a news report from Hazards magazine a few months ago.) If anything, in terms of straight up human interest the latter appears more interesting.

Look at murders, often when an individual is murdered you get big human interest stories about the individual, their potential, their hopes and dreams, their devastated families, etc. Every workplace death has exactly the same potential human interest angle, but I can't think of any that I've ever seen reported in the mainstream press (which isn't to say that they never have, but just to say that they do much more with crime victims. Ditto those permanently disabled).

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Feb 15 2011 14:04
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Quote:
Is there something more inherently interesting about one gang member stabbing another, than a man being chopped up in an industrial mixer because his employers didn't pay for a safety cover, while making sizeable profits?

Yes, tbh. And I think it always will be, no matter what kind press we have. One person deliberately ending the life of another is always going to have a completely different effect, interest etc.

first point, I don't really agree with this. Gang-related killings are extremely routine and pretty uninteresting to everyone. Whereas extremely violent deaths, especially of decent, law-abiding citizens and parents, is more interesting. Especially when you add the angle of the family searching for justice, etc which with crimes the media loves (Ben Kinsella, Sarah's Law etc).

I also think this doesn't quite work either in that press doesn't just go one about deaths of one person deliberately killed by another, but frequently reports freak accidents, or even random illnesses which cause severe disability or death (of individuals, or talking about the impact of it on society generally). Or where they can bash the NHS, for example. There are far more medical negligence or accident stories than work-related ones

Quote:
Especially as that example isn't really representative - as you stated, most deaths at work are 'unglamorous' road accidents.

the latter point is true, but as I said above plenty of unglamorous accidental deaths get reported, and the example does still stand as this was an "exciting" example, which was still unreported. Most of the HSE's 150-250 reported accidental deaths are pretty horrible. You can read about a lot of them in Hazards magazine (to be honest, I mostly don't read it because it just depresses me "man paralysed for life, employer fined £8" etc)

Quote:
Obviously, I agree that there's a reason workplace injuries are under reported - but I really don't think there's much milage in the idea violent crime *in general* is over reported. There are exceptions, (eg something like Joanna Yeates) but aside from the outlying exceptions, if you read through pretty much any newspaper I don't think this is borne out.

what do you think the reason is then that workplace injuries are under reported?

In terms of violent crime being over reported, I'm not that bothered about that, I mostly talking about it being over reported in relation to workplace deaths.

However, in a more general point there are definite examples of overreporting. And there is a reason that people's fear of crime is rising, while the actual crime rate is falling. Do you not agree with that? And I think there is also a reason that surveys show readers of red top tabloids have more fear of crime than those who don't. Or do you think that is a coincidence? If not, then I don't think we have a disagreement.

One anecdote about overreporting, a full page piece in the sun a few months ago was arguing that the government would have you believe that knife crime is falling, whereas actually knife crime had rocketed.

It then proceeded to "prove" this by showing that knife crime as a proportion of total murders had increased. However, looking at the actual figures, the total number of knife murders had fallen, but the number of gun murders had fallen much more rapidly, therefore the proportion of murders involving knives was significantly higher. The sun then claimed that knife murders were up about 30%. This is clear distortion of facts, and I don't think you can deny that this happens.

Anyway, I think I might do a blog post about this at some point based on some more proper research.

baboon
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Feb 15 2011 17:20

Joe Maguire above makes the point above about abestos poisoning affecting family members. There have been reports of those washing asbestos-laden clothes, mostly the women of the family, contracting the disease. One can reasonably assume that children embracing their fathers, brothers, etc., or sitting on their knees when they return from work would also be susceptible.

Black rainbow asks how many asbestos deaths from coal mining? There must be some but as far as I understand it coal dust poisoning creates a different disease. I saw a report, not so long ago (which I can't find now), that said that many doctors in Britain were putting asbestos-related diseases down to smoking.

Many moons ago, when I started out in industrial pipe-fitting, one of our jobs was cutting away 3 to 4 inch blue asbestos lagging with a hacksaw blade. No masks of course, not that they'd have made any difference because the masks even today are useless.

I do have some figures somewhere that show the average penalty for causing the death of a worker in the UK is just over three grand.

On the crime thing: as I said before, there were 4 workers killed in an "accident" in the UK about 3 weeks ago. I saw one small paragraph report and there's been nothing since.

Photogenic murder victims get a lot more coverage, particularly blonde-haired blue eyed women or girls for example. The song and dance over the BBC Princess Di-type presenter was a case in point (I forget her name) and some poor fall-guy who couldn't put a nut and bolt together was fitted up for her clinical assassination all down to the press outcry.

The playing up of crimes is a constant past-time of the popular press - it goes hand-in-hand with anti-muslim and xenophobic reporting.

Even murderous events visited on the working class get turned into heinous "crimes"; witness the Sun and its take on Hillsborough: "Violent football thugs of Mick descent piss on dead and dying children and old men stopping the Brave British Bobby from saving lives". There's very little an exaggeration there to the story as "reported".

gypsy
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Feb 15 2011 17:49
Steven. wrote:

To be honest, no Stalinist would be crazy enough to try to ban cigarettes or alcohol. In this country, how would you put the 15 million UK smokers in jail? And what you think would happen on the streets if all of a sudden the $400 billion a year tobacco industry was put straight in the hands of organised crime?

Alcohol - it's not a drug, it's a drink! But, seriously, of course it is harmful, and public education campaigns around the dangers are all good. But banning it would be totally counter-productive (look at prohibition in the US, it didn't stop anyone drinking, and it gave a huge boost to organised crime gangs).
.

I meant in an ideal world fags would not be around-and the tax the state generates off them mean they will not be ever made illegal in our lifetime. I agree with you that banning alchohol would be counter productive. Sorry it was a rather impulsive not thought out response by me when ironically I was under the influence of alcohol embarrassed Hypocrit that I am.

gypsy
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Feb 15 2011 17:51
blackrainbow wrote:
Steven. wrote:
Alcohol - it's not a drug, it's a drink! But, seriously, of course it is harmful, and public education campaigns around the dangers are all good. But banning it would be totally counter-productive (look at prohibition in the US, it didn't stop anyone drinking, and it gave a huge boost to organised crime gangs).

Alcohol and tobacco should have been prohibited on serious grounds of public health years ago. But that will never happen and it wont be out of fear of organised crime. If they did prohibit those addictive substances there would be ferocious riots on the streets...and I would gladly join in!

I bet you would- main instigator. grin

wojtek
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Feb 16 2011 11:48

The legendary Lenny Bruce on political correctness:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOnkv76rNL4&feature=fvw

I think one could do worse than to 'embrace the slander', as Malcolm X recommended.

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Feb 16 2011 02:48
jef costello wrote:
ites wrote:
'Political correctness' is just some bullshit cooked up by closet authoritarians who exercise license (doing what you want regardless of the consequences for anyone else) in the name of freedom (doing what you want as long as you respect the equal rights of others) to smear anyone who tries to hold them accountable for their actions. I believe it's an example of what the Freudians called 'projection.'

You obviously haven't been reading the discussion. A bit of a shame as it's been ok.
You also seem to have some bizarre view of what political correctness is as well. You seem to think that it is about preventing people expressing themselves or acting in a way that they want. To be honest your take on this seems to come from an exaggerated form of anti-authoritarianism or from the right-wing.

Eh? I definitely don't think that. Are you often in the habit of accusing someone who says something you don't understand of being right wing or is this something new?

If you read what I wrote carefully you'll see that what I'm arguing is that capitalists adopt libertarian rhetoric to disguise the basically authoritarian and coercive relationship at the core of capitalist relations of production - that they in effect exercise licence and call it freedom - and project their own bad selves onto anyone who tries to hold them to account for their actions by accusing them of being, amongst others things, 'politically correct.' The irony is that you have people who don't tolerate any criticism within their sphere of influence accusing their critics of being free speech hating nazis. Is this really so controversial?

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Feb 16 2011 14:07
ites wrote:
Eh? I definitely don't think that. Are you often in the habit of accusing someone who says something you don't understand of being right wing or is this something new?

If you read what I wrote carefully you'll see that what I'm arguing is that capitalists adopt libertarian rhetoric to disguise the basically authoritarian and coercive relationship at the core of capitalist relations of production - that they in effect exercise licence and call it freedom - and project their own bad selves onto anyone who tries to hold them to account for their actions by accusing them of being, amongst others things, 'politically correct.' The irony is that you have people who don't tolerate any criticism within their sphere of influence accusing their critics of being free speech hating nazis. Is this really so controversial?

It isn't controversial but it isn't what you said. If you are going to be unclear then you try not to throw a strop when people misunderstand you.

gypsy
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Feb 17 2011 11:15
Xander wrote:
Steven. wrote:
Anyway, I think I might do a blog post about this at some point based on some more proper research.

On knife crime, the figures the police report are often disputed, not just by the Sun. Of course, there is no reason why the police would cook the numbers on such crime to make it look like they're getting results.

Not to mention a lot of crime does not get reported- meaning that it isnae gonna show up on the stats.

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Feb 17 2011 15:11
Quote:
there is no reason why the police would cook the numbers on such crime to make it look like they're getting results.

Or indeed that they might overplay minor incidents in order to justify funding (eg. raiding a house and saying a blade was found which turns out to be a bread knife). It's a bit more complicated than cops pretending they're a kind of Luther-Poirot mashup.

bastarx
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Feb 18 2011 00:12
Xander wrote:
Steven. wrote:
So whats the anarchist position on violent crime that often plagues working class communities? For many; either deny it exists or fetishise it. Those who went to boarding schools and grew up in leafy suburbs seem to think the whole thing is a ruse.

Why does there need to be a position? Like many other horrible aspects of capitalism what can anarchists do about it anyway?

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ites
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Feb 20 2011 07:07
jef costello wrote:
ites wrote:
Eh? I definitely don't think that. Are you often in the habit of accusing someone who says something you don't understand of being right wing or is this something new?

If you read what I wrote carefully you'll see that what I'm arguing is that capitalists adopt libertarian rhetoric to disguise the basically authoritarian and coercive relationship at the core of capitalist relations of production - that they in effect exercise licence and call it freedom - and project their own bad selves onto anyone who tries to hold them to account for their actions by accusing them of being, amongst others things, 'politically correct.' The irony is that you have people who don't tolerate any criticism within their sphere of influence accusing their critics of being free speech hating nazis. Is this really so controversial?

It isn't controversial but it isn't what you said. If you are going to be unclear then you try not to throw a strop when people misunderstand you.

That's debatable. If you can't tell the difference between asking a reasonable question and throwing a strop that's your problem, not mine.

I think what I said was fairly clear, ie. the concept of 'political correctness' is a myth invented of those who subscribe to closed belief systems based on morally absolutist logic - an invention designed to shift blame for the fruits of that logic from themselves to anyone who dares to contradict them. If you happen to be, say, a market fundamentalist who has no comeback to criticism because you're in the wrong your only other recourse is ad hominems, and what better ad hominem than to suggest that anyone who contradicts you only does so because they're on some sort of ego trip? No one ever could contradict a market fundamentalist out of a hatred of lies and injustice!

Suffice it to say that irony is those who thinks in black and white accusing anyone who contradicts them of being intolerant of other points of view.

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ites
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Feb 20 2011 06:59

I think you could make the argument that the mythology of political correctness goes to the heart of the authoritarian or statist mentality. Authoritarians start from the a priori assumption that state power is basically legitimate as a result of their own emotional and psychological dependence on institutionalised authority and their need to defend statism and corporate power against the threat of independent thought and action; on the basis of that assumption, they can only conclude that anyone who opposes the abuses of power can only do so, not out of a principled opposition to injustice, but rather because of an infantile rejection of the kind of legitimate authority that a parent exercises over a child who doesn't understand the difference between right and wrong. The state exists to protect us from ourselves or some such bullshit. The natural corollary of that conclusion is an ad hominem - the idea that that anyone who dares to contradict power structures and oppose racism / sexism / homophobia / xenophobia / imperialistic wars / wage-slavery does so not because they want justice and are prepared to stand up and fight for it but because they're some sort of egomaniac or narcissistic attention-seeker or something like that. Again it's all about shifting blame away from power structures to those who dare to contradict their core principles, call atttention to their crimes, actively oppose the injustice they perpetuate, etc.

slothjabber
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Feb 19 2011 15:13

And that's why murder victims are sexier than people killed at work through industrial 'accidents'.

Violence is proof that humans are brutal and therefore we need protecting by a tough (but fair) state that keeps us from doing each other/ourselves harm.

'Accidents' (whether at work, or in another respect, military 'accidents' like bombing refugees or wedding guests) are an embarrassing reminder that in fact capitalism and the state really don't give a shit. Reporting of such things brings the state into disrepute, and makes a mockery of capitalism's claims to be in everyone's best interest.

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jef costello
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Feb 22 2011 13:34
ites wrote:
jef costello wrote:
ites wrote:
Eh? I definitely don't think that. Are you often in the habit of accusing someone who says something you don't understand of being right wing or is this something new?

If you read what I wrote carefully you'll see that what I'm arguing is that capitalists adopt libertarian rhetoric to disguise the basically authoritarian and coercive relationship at the core of capitalist relations of production - that they in effect exercise licence and call it freedom - and project their own bad selves onto anyone who tries to hold them to account for their actions by accusing them of being, amongst others things, 'politically correct.' The irony is that you have people who don't tolerate any criticism within their sphere of influence accusing their critics of being free speech hating nazis. Is this really so controversial?

It isn't controversial but it isn't what you said. If you are going to be unclear then you try not to throw a strop when people misunderstand you.

That's debatable. If you can't tell the difference between asking a reasonable question and throwing a strop that's your problem, not mine.

So you don't think the post that I quoted was you having a bit of a strop?

Quote:
I think what I said was fairly clear, ie. the concept of 'political correctness' is a myth invented of those who subscribe to closed belief systems based on morally absolutist logic - an invention designed to shift blame for the fruits of that logic from themselves to anyone who dares to contradict them. If you happen to be, say, a market fundamentalist who has no comeback to criticism because you're in the wrong your only other recourse is ad hominems, and what better ad hominem than to suggest that anyone who contradicts you only does so because they're on some sort of ego trip? No one ever could contradict a market fundamentalist out of a hatred of lies and injustice!

Suffice it to say that irony is those who thinks in black and white accusing anyone who contradicts them of being intolerant of other points of view.

Ironic that you talk about irony when you are criticising moral absolutists who think in black and white and can only make ad hominem attacks by pretty much doing the same thing.

I'm not saying there's necessarily anything wrong with black and white thinking in some circumstances, but if you argue in this way it does make you look a bit ridiculous.

ites wrote:
I think you could make the argument that the mythology of political correctness goes to the heart of the authoritarian or statist mentality. Authoritarians start from the a priori assumption that state power is basically legitimate as a result of their own emotional and psychological dependence on institutionalised authority and their need to defend statism and corporate power against the threat of independent thought and action; on the basis of that assumption, they can only conclude that anyone who opposes the abuses of power can only do so, not out of a principled opposition to injustice, but rather because of an infantile rejection of the kind of legitimate authority that a parent exercises over a child who doesn't understand the difference between right and wrong. The state exists to protect us from ourselves or some such bullshit. The natural corollary of that conclusion is an ad hominem - the idea that that anyone who dares to contradict power structures and oppose racism / sexism / homophobia / xenophobia / imperialistic wars / wage-slavery does so not because they want justice and are prepared to stand up and fight for it but because they're some sort of egomaniac or narcissistic attention-seeker or something like that. Again it's all about shifting blame away from power structures to those who dare to contradict their core principles, call atttention to their crimes, actively oppose the injustice they perpetuate, etc.

This isn't wrong but I'm not sure its relevant to political correctness. Perhaps this is a cultural thing, I'm assuming you're American. Here political correctness originated in the left-wing and the idea was that people should make a conscious effort not to use words with racists/sexist/homophic connotations. There has been a double response to this (maybe more) one is to co-opt it to try and prevent it going any further and the other is the spectre of 'political correctness gone mad' which is the response that people's freedom to express themselves has been curtailed by a bunch of killjoys. To be honest your anti-authoritarianism to my mind ended up resembling the latter position at first.

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ites
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Feb 24 2011 02:40
jef costello wrote:

So you don't think the post that I quoted was you having a bit of a strop?

Not really. Would you care to continue this part of the conversation outside?

Quote:
Ironic that you talk about irony when you are criticising moral absolutists who think in black and white and can only make ad hominem attacks by pretty much doing the same thing.

I'm not saying there's necessarily anything wrong with black and white thinking in some circumstances, but if you argue in this way it does make you look a bit ridiculous.

How exactly do you figure that one? What's right about black and white thinking exactly?

This discussion would be a lot easier if you actually provided evidence or even some sort of argument to accompany your pronouncements.

Quote:
This isn't wrong but I'm not sure its relevant to political correctness. Perhaps this is a cultural thing, I'm assuming you're American. Here political correctness originated in the left-wing and the idea was that people should make a conscious effort not to use words with racists/sexist/homophic connotations. There has been a double response to this (maybe more) one is to co-opt it to try and prevent it going any further and the other is the spectre of 'political correctness gone mad' which is the response that people's freedom to express themselves has been curtailed by a bunch of killjoys. To be honest your anti-authoritarianism to my mind ended up resembling the latter position at first.

I'm not actually. Where I come from it's pretty much a blanket term of abuse for opinions that certain types of people happen not to agree with. I was at work yesterday and was watching TV while talking to a co-worker. We were watching The Benny Hill Show and at one point Benny Hill appeared in blackface. I made some comment about how I thought the show sucked and cited the blackface skit as evidence and my co-worker's immediate response was, 'oh so you're politically correct then.' I mean, it's not even about people's freedom to express themselves being curtailed by a bunch of killjoys anymore - it's about shutting down points of view that you disagree with because it's more convenient to make an ad hominem and blame someone else for contradicting you than question your own attitudes.

radicalgraffiti
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Feb 24 2011 12:04

I think i've only ever seen politically correct used as an complaint or insult. Its function is to amalgamate incredible stupid things that probably didn't happen with prejudice, so that objections to the latter are automatically associated with the former.