Animal Liberation as a tool against Capitalism

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Jan 11 2007 23:15
Animal Liberation as a tool against Capitalism

--- Moved from bored in ben gurion and edited a bit ---

I've been giving some thought to how animal liberation pertains to class struggle. Here are my conclusions, for now.

Seems to me that the problem with ignoring the pain of non-human animals is that it allows for an ethical category of entities who visibly feel pain but do not merit compassion. When you already have such a category established in your mind, the next step, that is, putting certain human animals into that category, isn't far behind. Thus, you find oppressed sections of society referred to in animalistic terms, which would not have the desensitizing weight that they have without the brute fact of non-human animals being tortured with impunity.

As long as you have a category of entities whose obvious pain may be glossed over, the danger of it creeping out of its bounds is ever nearby.

How does this tie in with class struggle? Because it makes it a lot easier to divide the working class. Once a white worker is made to expand said category to include, say, blacks, then she doesn't empathize with their oppression and exploitation, which blinds her to the fact that they have that in common, so that there is a point in working in solidarity with them for a common good.

In short, animal liberation is important as a tool against capitalism, because it derails a central proccess the bourgeois use in order to factionalize the proletariat.

Thoughts?

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Jan 11 2007 23:30

Agreed. Absolutely.

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Jan 12 2007 00:47

Hi

Whatever. If you’re a compassion junkie who believes in the existence of a magical life force and that the basic problem with Capitalism is that it's cruel or unfair then the above is merely a tautological restatement of your world view.

In that sense, like Islam, Animal Liberation is “anti-capitalist”, in that it has an ostensibly different set of moral values.

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In short, animal liberation is important as a tool against capitalism, because it derails a central proccess the bourgeois use in order to factionalize the proletariat.

The middle class does not use any process to factionalize the working class. They are not in conscious control, but merely wondering through life doing their thing by the seat of their pants like everyone else. It goes without saying that the idea of this-or-that as an important tool against capitalism due to it derailing a non-existent process is somewhat unconvincing.

Love

LR

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Jan 12 2007 01:17

Imo in a society like ours, people don't function like panalogously hilosphical proofs. They just get on with their day. Any understanding beyond psycholgy is just good therapy. Wrt the magic of values, I don't see why compassion is any less real than self interest, in a way there is magic in every act of "I can". Something like 'act', anyway

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Jan 12 2007 01:24
tojiah wrote:
Seems to me that the problem with ignoring the pain of non-human animals is that it allows for an ethical category of entities who visibly feel pain but do not merit compassion. When you already have such a category established in your mind, the next step, that is, putting certain human animals into that category, isn't far behind. Thus, you find oppressed sections of society referred to in animalistic terms, which would not have the desensitizing weight that they have without the brute fact of non-human animals being tortured with impunity.

I once read in MMR that because eating meat is the first socio/political form of denial we ever come across (animals are presented as cuddly happy creatures in books, toys television ads, when the reality is quite different) it can only further other entrenched prejudices and other scziophrenic ways of seperating the political from reality.

While I think this is very over-simplistic (you can have good revolutionaries who eat meat and defend it!) the similarities are present with your arguement and animal suffering is never to far from human suffering, even if only in principle.

dara
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Jan 12 2007 01:38

i dunno. i can feel compassion for people/animals i have some sort of relationship with, whether its just because i momentarily pass them on the street or whether i have a long-standing friendship with them. i know that countless animals are in pain right now due to experimentation (the majority of which is for non-medical purposes i think) but it doesn't cause me pain.

Compassion is a sense of shared suffering (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compassion), not simply pity. I don't think you can share the suffering of anyone, human or not if you don't have any relationship with them.

Many people would cry at the death of a pet, but how many cry because an unknown monkey was killed? Is getting them to cry over The Unknown Monkey's death a revolutionary act? Perhaps we can erect a tomb.

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Jan 12 2007 02:23
dara wrote:
i dunno. i can feel compassion for people/animals i have some sort of relationship with, whether its just because i momentarily pass them on the street or whether i have a long-standing friendship with them. i know that countless animals are in pain right now due to experimentation (the majority of which is for non-medical purposes i think) but it doesn't cause me pain.

urgh!! Don't!! The very thought of their pain causes me immense pain..but this awareness also stirs me to action...

Compassion is a sense of shared suffering (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compassion), not simply pity.

You're right - pity is a pretty rubbish response to anything/anyone really - patronising and passive...

I don't think you can share the suffering of anyone, human or not if you don't have any relationship with them.

I disagree.. but the truth is that some peeps have this capacity and some don't.. (and it is, trust me, not easy to have this particular capacity..altho it is vital that some peeps DO have it..)

Many people would cry at the death of a pet, but how many cry because an unknown monkey was killed?

Loads..

Is getting them to cry over The Unknown Monkey's death a revolutionary act?

Yes.

Perhaps we can erect a tomb.

Not necessary - for humans either really...

Love

LW X

PS And the relational bit - does this mean you can't empathise with humans in pain who you do not know?? if so, why..if not, why not..

That Wiki entry went on to discuss the interrelated ( wink ) Golden Rule eg various religious and secular twists on "treat others as you would wish to be treated.."
so back to TOJ OP..meting out to others behaviour you would not wish to have forced upon you in a million years somewhat contradicts this and once you have a hierarchy of living beings in which you can justify the deliberate infliction of pain and suffering because of where that being comes in that hierarchy, that strikes me as a terrifying ethical position and a hypocritical one... how can we justify wishing to free ourselves from slavery and suffering whilst simultaneously electing to chain and use others...i don't think so..

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Jan 12 2007 02:27
october_lost wrote:
tojiah wrote:
Seems to me that the problem with ignoring the pain of non-human animals is that it allows for an ethical category of entities who visibly feel pain but do not merit compassion. When you already have such a category established in your mind, the next step, that is, putting certain human animals into that category, isn't far behind. Thus, you find oppressed sections of society referred to in animalistic terms, which would not have the desensitizing weight that they have without the brute fact of non-human animals being tortured with impunity.

I once read in MMR that because eating meat is the first socio/political form of denial we ever come across (animals are presented as cuddly happy creatures in books, toys television ads, when the reality is quite different) it can only further other entrenched prejudices and other scziophrenic ways of seperating the political from reality.

A very very good point....

While I think this is very over-simplistic (you can have good revolutionaries who eat meat and defend it!

yes you can have good people who genuinely believe something shite is justifiable and in other ways are sound..and of course peeps who are great to non-humans and shite to humans...er...but you can do/believe both...cool but killing two birds with one stone doesn't seem to be an apt analogy here somehow... smile

) the similarities are present with your arguement and animal suffering is never to far from human suffering, even if only in principle.

Yes yes - always present...

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Jan 12 2007 02:36

OK then Revol so we don't need to hear from you again on this subject - that's cool! - could you take Lazy with you on the way out please? Thank you.. tongue wink

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Jan 12 2007 02:42
Lone Wolf wrote:
PS And the relational bit - does this mean you can't empathise with humans in pain who you do not know?? if so, why..if not, why not..

If i can't experience their pain, i can't feel it myself. But i'll point out that 'know' is inaccurate. like i said, i can feel compassion for someone suffering, even if i've only passed them on the street. the point is that i've seen them and this is enough to create some empathy.

Likewise, just thinking about the suffering of people/animals in any of the countless nasty scenarios there are in this world does not really have an effect. Reading a personal story about something horrific does. Which is why Joe Sacco's Palestine is so deadly. Thinking abstractedly about pain does not cause me pain at all.

And i can't see how there is anything morally wrong about eating meat.

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Jan 12 2007 03:08
dara wrote:
Lone Wolf wrote:
PS And the relational bit - does this mean you can't empathise with humans in pain who you do not know?? if so, why..if not, why not..

If i can't experience their pain, i can't feel it myself. But i'll point out that 'know' is inaccurate. like i said, i can feel compassion for someone suffering, even if i've only passed them on the street. the point is that i've seen them and this is enough to create some empathy.

I think that is a bit bizarre tbh -that just the fact you have passed them would resonate in a way seeing them on TV wouldn't for example..i mean i think that it is strange but this is not a criticism of you..i just feel/frame things very differently to you in this regard..

Likewise, just thinking about the suffering of people/animals in any of the countless nasty scenarios there are in this world does not really have an effect.

Of course - as I stated - it is calling me/others to action which provides "purpose" to this otherwise it is just that passive pity state..

Reading a personal story about something horrific does.

Yes you are quite right..the way to encourage someone to empathise with something/someone they find abstract is to personalise..

Which is why Joe Sacco's Palestine is so deadly.

Haven't read it - sounds good tho... cool

Thinking abstractedly about pain does not cause me pain at all.

No, sure that is quite normal..but it does cause me pain cos I can feel pain from the abstract..like I said some can, some can't...

And i can't see how there is anything morally wrong about eating meat.

Hey JDMF is the expert on this one...I'll leave that to him..

Btw they tend to prefer the term "ethical" to "moral" on here.. wink

Love

LW X

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Jan 12 2007 03:11
revol68 wrote:
Lone Wolf wrote:
OK then Revol so we don't need to hear from you again on this subject - that's cool! - could you take Lazy with you on the way out please? Thank you.. tongue :wink:

well the fact i'm quite capable of opposing racism, sexism, nationalism, homophobia and yet not really give two fucks about chickens would suggest this thread is a bucket of shite and just the same tired crap that seeks to hang animal rights onto class struggle.

Then let it go, Revol.. walk in peace, my friend.. wink

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Jan 12 2007 03:36
Lone Wolf wrote:
dara wrote:
If i can't experience their pain, i can't feel it myself. But i'll point out that 'know' is inaccurate. like i said, i can feel compassion for someone suffering, even if i've only passed them on the street. the point is that i've seen them and this is enough to create some empathy.

I think that is a bit bizarre tbh -that just the fact you have passed them would resonate in a way seeing them on TV wouldn't for example..i mean i think that it is strange but this is not a criticism of you..i just feel/frame things very differently to you in this regard..e it is just that passive pity state..

nowhere did i say that i don't care when i see nasty things on the telly. i said i don't care when i just think about things abstractedly. i do not see animals suffering from experimentation in my day to day life, i do not have any experience of their suffering, therefore i have no compassion. 'Care' is probably too vague a word to be useful.

Compassion for these animals is not about to overthrow capitalism, the primary thing is compassion for ourselves, for those around us, for those who share our conditions, because compassion, as far as i can see, requires some sort of equal footing, one totally absent from the situation of animal testing.

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Jan 12 2007 04:02
dara wrote:
Lone Wolf wrote:
dara wrote:
If i can't experience their pain, i can't feel it myself. But i'll point out that 'know' is inaccurate. like i said, i can feel compassion for someone suffering, even if i've only passed them on the street. the point is that i've seen them and this is enough to create some empathy.

I think that is a bit bizarre tbh -that just the fact you have passed them would resonate in a way seeing them on TV wouldn't for example..i mean i think that it is strange but this is not a criticism of you..i just feel/frame things very differently to you in this regard..e it is just that passive pity state..

Dara

nowhere did i say that i don't care when i see nasty things on the telly.

I know and I never said you did.. confused

i said i don't care when i just think about things abstractedly. i do not see animals suffering from experimentation in my day to day life, i do not have any experience of their suffering, therefore i have no compassion. 'Care' is probably too vague a word to be useful.

But NEITHER of us have used the term "care".. I said "resonate" .... which is a much cooler.. and less vague word..

Compassion for these animals is not about to overthrow capitalism, the primary thing is compassion for ourselves, for those around us, for those who share our conditions, because compassion, as far as i can see, requires some sort of equal footing, one totally absent from the situation of animal testing.

But I don't think it DOES require being on an equal footing...and in fact, if these beings WERE on an equal footing we could not use them as we do...basically us w/c peeps have less power than the r/c..and animals have even less power than us..I am for the dissolution of all hierarchies..as I said before it seems v. wrong to want to free ourselves whilst enslaving others.. cos this "difference" is/has been the same argument used to justify slavery, racism etc.. as TOJ pointed out in his OP..this desensitizing business is a fecking slippery slope even if you aren't an AR person..

Love

LW X

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Jan 12 2007 04:12

i did say 'some sort of equal footing'. although i think it may not be the best way of expressing it. in fact, it obscures the point i was trying to make. to bed.

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Jan 12 2007 07:56
Lazy Riser wrote:
If you’re a compassion junkie who believes... that the basic problem with Capitalism is that it's cruel or unfair then the above is merely a tautological restatement of your world view.

The reason I wish to overthrow capitalism is, indeed, that it's cruel and unfair. If I didn't think that, why would I bother striving for a revolution, anyway? I could just get a posh high-tech job and live the good life. Why do you, you steaming pile of rationality, wish to overthrow capitalism?

Lazy Riser wrote:
The middle class does not use any process to factionalize the working class. They are not in conscious control, but merely wondering through life doing their thing by the seat of their pants like everyone else.

I just explained what that process is. They don't have to do it consciously, just like they don't have to be conscious of that "magical life force" called class interest. In addition:

october_lost wrote:
I once read in MMR that because eating meat is the first socio/political form of denial we ever come across (animals are presented as cuddly happy creatures in books, toys television ads, when the reality is quite different) it can only further other entrenched prejudices and other scziophrenic ways of seperating the political from reality.

Either address these issues directly or go flame some other thread.

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Jan 12 2007 08:04
dara wrote:
i dunno. i can feel compassion for people/animals i have some sort of relationship with, whether its just because i momentarily pass them on the street or whether i have a long-standing friendship with them. i know that countless animals are in pain right now due to experimentation (the majority of which is for non-medical purposes i think) but it doesn't cause me pain.

You're in a relationship with the animals you eat - you're eating them. Maybe what you need is to be made aware of the suffering involved in turning animals into food. A few pictures and films from Anonymous Israel would be a good start.

dara wrote:
Compassion is a sense of shared suffering (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compassion), not simply pity. I don't think you can share the suffering of anyone, human or not if you don't have any relationship with them.

Many people would cry at the death of a pet, but how many cry because an unknown monkey was killed? Is getting them to cry over The Unknown Monkey's death a revolutionary act? Perhaps we can erect a tomb.

What about the people in third-world countries whose exploitation and oppression makes first-world life possible? Are they not part of your revolutionary thinking, even though they are thousands of miles away? It isn't a matter of crying over anyone, it's a matter of being aware of suffering and doing something about it, as opposed to just conveniently ignoring it, as the bourgeois would have us do.

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Jan 12 2007 08:10
revol68 wrote:
well the fact i'm quite capable of opposing racism, sexism, nationalism, homophobia and yet not really give two fucks about chickens would suggest this thread is a bucket of shite and just the same tired crap that seeks to hang animal rights onto class struggle.

On the other hand, you repeatedly show a lack of compassion for your comrades, in case they, say, raise any issue you don't "really give two fucks about".

Now how about you actually address the argument at hand, or walk out, seeing as I've published this in Thought, a non-flaming forum?

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Jan 12 2007 09:14
tojiah wrote:
Seems to me that the problem with ignoring the pain of non-human animals is that it allows for an ethical category of entities who visibly feel pain but do not merit compassion. When you already have such a category established in your mind, the next step, that is, putting certain human animals into that category, isn't far behind. Thus, you find oppressed sections of society referred to in animalistic terms, which would not have the desensitizing weight that they have without the brute fact of non-human animals being tortured with impunity.
...
How does this tie in with class struggle? Because it makes it a lot easier to divide the working class. Once a white worker is made to expand said category to include, say, blacks, then she doesn't empathize with their oppression and exploitation, which blinds her to the fact that they have that in common, so that there is a point in working in solidarity with them for a common good.

So your argument is that eating animals means you don't sympathise with them. And it's easy to conflate black people with animals, and so you become a racist. Sorry, tree I like you, but that's quite possibly the most ridiculous and patronising argument about animal "liberation" I've heard.

If you could demonstrate with empirical evidence that eating animals helps make people racist you might have an argument. However that people ate animals long before any conception of "race" existed would demonstrate that you're wrong.

There is a connection between animal welfare ("liberation" is meaningless because animals can't "liberate" themselves, we can just treat them better) and class because animals are treated particularly badly in order to save money and increase profit. But that's about it.

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Jan 12 2007 09:37
tojiah wrote:
How does this tie in with class struggle? Because it makes it a lot easier to divide the working class. Once a white worker is made to expand said category to include, say, blacks, then she doesn't empathize with their oppression and exploitation, which blinds her to the fact that they have that in common, so that there is a point in working in solidarity with them for a common good.

In short, animal liberation is important as a tool against capitalism, because it derails a central proccess the bourgeois use in order to factionalize the proletariat.

I think that there are a few basic problems in your arguments.

The first is the whole idea of empathy. I don't think that it is actually at the base of the communist project as you seem to infer it is. The worker struggles collectivly because she realises that collective struggle is the way to defend collective interests, not because she empathises (though she may) with her fellow workers.

The second is about whether we actually feel empathy with most animals anyway. Whilst one may empathises with ones pet, I think that most humans have little empathy towards animals beyond a "it's cute/fluffy type of thing". I think that there are very few people who would feel empathy for a rat.

I lived in a small village as a very young child, and probably have less empathy than most. I wouldn't feel any qualms about killing a chicken for example. To a certain extent the 'empathy' that people feel is as a result of their alienation from nature. This inverses the typical argument of 'animalists' who say things like "you wouldn't eat it if you had to kill it. I believe that a lot of this 'empathy' is a result of this alienation.

Next, to me the idea that people feel more empathy with animals than other humans seems obscene. Yes, I know that there are people who do, but I feel that they are pretty warped.

I could understand the inversion of this argument which would state something like ' the development of a world human community would lead to greater 'empathy' with animals, and I would hope that a communist society wouldn't treat animals badly.

Finally, the phrase "there is a point in working in solidarity with them for a common good" does not in any way apply to animals. We do not work in solidarity with them at all. We treat them how we choose to. This may be well, or horrifically, but it is a one way process, not a mutual effort.

To conclude, I feel that it has no connection to the class struggle whatsoever.

Devrim

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Jan 12 2007 10:48
Devrim wrote:
I think that there are a few basic problems in your arguments.

The first is the whole idea of empathy. I don't think that it is actually at the base of the communist project as you seem to infer it is. The worker struggles collectivly because she realises that collective struggle is the way to defend collective interests, not because she empathises (though she may) with her fellow workers.

This is another key point. You might still think gays are going to hell but recognise that going on strike together will benefit both of you.

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Jan 12 2007 11:25
John. wrote:
So your argument is that eating animals means you don't sympathise with them. And it's easy to conflate black people with animals, and so you become a racist. Sorry, tree I like you, but that's quite possibly the most ridiculous and patronising argument about animal "liberation" I've heard.

Black people had been conflated with animals for centuries.

John. wrote:
If you could demonstrate with empirical evidence that eating animals helps make people racist you might have an argument.

This isn't about "eating animals". I'm not a bloody vegetarian. I'm talking about the torture and exploitation of animals. Frankly, in some ways, the dairy industry is even worse than the meat industry (even though it is actually part and parcel of it): at least meat comes from animals who won't be suffering anymore.

John. wrote:
However that people ate animals long before any conception of "race" existed would demonstrate that you're wrong.

It would if I were the straw-man that you're beating down. I gave racism as an example, but throughout history people have used the identification of other people with animals as a justification for exploiting, oppressing and slaughtering them, whether it is on grounds of race, ethnicity, religion or sexuality.

John. wrote:
There is a connection between animal welfare ("liberation" is meaningless because animals can't "liberate" themselves, we can just treat them better) and class because animals are treated particularly badly in order to save money and increase profit. But that's about it.

We've been through this. Quadriplegics can't "liberate" themselves either. And animals do attempt to escape and to struggle with their torture, they are just orders of magnitude dumber and weaker than their oppressors, which is why they need our solidarity and support.

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Jan 12 2007 11:31
Devrim wrote:
I think that there are a few basic problems in your arguments.

The first is the whole idea of empathy. I don't think that it is actually at the base of the communist project as you seem to infer it is. The worker struggles collectivly because she realises that collective struggle is the way to defend collective interests, not because she empathises (though she may) with her fellow workers.

So communism is just enlightened self-interest? Someone should tell that to the Randroids, they've been dissing us for no good reason. wink

If you don't accept another worker as an entity worthy of recognition, how can you begin to comprehend that you are suffering under connected forms exploitation and oppression, and that, therefore, there is a collective interest to struggle for collectively in the first place?

Devrim wrote:
The second is about whether we actually feel empathy with most animals anyway. Whilst one may empathises with ones pet, I think that most humans have little empathy towards animals beyond a "it's cute/fluffy type of thing". I think that there are very few people who would feel empathy for a rat.

Humans are educated to not have empathy towards animals from an early age, which is part of the problem. I, for one, do feel empathy for rats.

Devrim wrote:
I lived in a small village as a very young child, and probably have less empathy than most. I wouldn't feel any qualms about killing a chicken for example. To a certain extent the 'empathy' that people feel is as a result of their alienation from nature. This inverses the typical argument of 'animalists' who say things like "you wouldn't eat it if you had to kill it. I believe that a lot of this 'empathy' is a result of this alienation.

Perhaps. But most if not all people who eat meat today are eating products of industrial exploitation and torture, without actually having any nutritional need for it. They're not going out themselves and killing a roaming chicken for their nutritional needs, like you did in your youth.

Devrim wrote:
Next, to me the idea that people feel more empathy with animals than other humans seems obscene. Yes, I know that there are people who do, but I feel that they are pretty warped.

How is this relevant? I'm not suggesting sending humans to matriculate in Bovine University in lieu of cows, am I?

Devrim wrote:
I could understand the inversion of this argument which would state something like ' the development of a world human community would lead to greater 'empathy' with animals, and I would hope that a communist society wouldn't treat animals badly.

Looking at the good communists in this forum, I must say that I am not quite as hopeful as yourself.

Devrim wrote:
Finally, the phrase "there is a point in working in solidarity with them for a common good" does not in any way apply to animals. We do not work in solidarity with them at all. We treat them how we choose to. This may be well, or horrifically, but it is a one way process, not a mutual effort.

I agree that you can't work in solidarity with laying hens in the same way that you can with butch factory workers. But I wasn't suggesting that. I was attempting to describe how lack of empathy with the former may lead to lack of motivation to work in solidarity with the latter.

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Jan 12 2007 11:41

yeah i mean dehumanisation isn't necessarily animalisation. apparently when Descartes was fashionable, medieval gents would court ladies by torturing dogs, because they were no different to rocks (anecdote (c) Noam Chomsky wink). and like Devrim says, dehumanisation isn't that major a factor in capitalist exploitation or class decomposition (compared to its significance in genocide for example).

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Jan 12 2007 11:43
revol68 wrote:
i've been thinking about this abit more and I think their might be something in it. I mean if we didn't dehumanise and treat animals badly then comparing black people to animals wouldn't be so bad. roll eyes

If animals aren't dehumanised and mistreated, then there's no point for a racist to compare black people to animals, since it wouldn't carry with it the same moral justification for dehumanisation and mistreatment. The most he could do by this silly conflation would be to say that black people have no judgement, which can be easily disproved by a black person telling him to fuck off.

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Jan 12 2007 11:54
Quote:
So communism is just enlightened self-interest? Someone should tell that to the Randroids, they've been dissing us for no good reason.

I don't know who the Randroids are.

Quote:
If you don't accept another worker as an entity worthy of recognition, how can you begin to comprehend that you are suffering under connected forms exploitation and oppression, and that, therefore, there is a collective interest to struggle for collectively in the first place?

I didn't suggest that humans didn't feel empathy for one another. Of course they do. I suggested that it is not the motor behind class struggle.

Quote:
Looking at the good communists in this forum, I must say that I am not quite as hopeful as yourself.

I think that there is a reaction to the milieu which a lot of anarchists came from, and that is why it is attacked, so viciously. I am sure that if you sat down, and talked with these people about how they consider animals would be treated under communism you would get a very different response. I do understand their response though when people try to link animal liberation with the class struggle as it seems like an expression of the lifestylism/liberalism that anarchism is trying to distance itself from. I don’t agree with the tone of their response as it basically says “you are an idiot, shut up”, but I understand where it comes from.

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Jan 12 2007 12:03
revol68 wrote:
what utter idiocy!

Preach on, rev'rend.

revol68 wrote:
Surely the question should be asked as to why someone would want to dehumanise and mistreat someone on the basis of their skin colour in the first place, no?

But we already know the answer to that, silly. Having sympathetic human beings around is against the interests of the powerful, be they ancient kings or corporate sharks. Skin colour makes a great excuse for dehumanization, as does religion or genitalia. Thing is, you have to build from what you know. And if you don't know any better than to empathize with everything that seems to feel pain, it's kind of hard to start you up on the road to genocide.

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Jan 12 2007 12:15
Devrim wrote:
I don't know who the Randroids are.

Idiot worshippers of Ayn Rand. But any laissez-faire capitalist would do.

Devrim wrote:
I didn't suggest that humans didn't feel empathy for one another. Of course they do. I suggested that it is not the motor behind class struggle.

No, but it is the transmission, or possibly the lubricant.

Devrim wrote:
I think that there is a reaction to the milieu which a lot of anarchists came from, and that is why it is attacked, so viciously. I am sure that if you sat down, and talked with these people about how they consider animals would be treated under communism you would get a very different response. I do understand their response though when people try to link animal liberation with the class struggle as it seems like an expression of the lifestylism/liberalism that anarchism is trying to distance itself from. I don’t agree with the tone of their response as it basically says “you are an idiot, shut up”, but I understand where it comes from.

I must say that I had a feeling that that is the case. Which makes them, of course, reactionary. wink But I'm not conflating class struggle with animal liberation, which they'd notice if they'd stop conflating me with lifestylists. Also, they'd probably be able to recruit more lifestylists to class struggle if they'd stop treating them so harshly.

Maybe I will start another thread about how people see animals being treated under communism, though it seems kind of utopian, really.

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Lazy Riser
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Jan 12 2007 12:19

Hi

Quote:
Why do you, you steaming pile of rationality, wish to overthrow capitalism?

I don't particularly. It's a means to an end, not an end in itself.

Love

LR

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Tojiah
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Jan 12 2007 12:27
Lazy Riser wrote:
tojiah wrote:
Why do you, you steaming pile of rationality, wish to overthrow capitalism?

I don't particularly. It's a means to an end, not an end in itself.

What is this end? What is your goal?

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Tojiah
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Jan 12 2007 12:46
revol68 wrote:
But here's the problem, animals aren't equal to humans, they are by our standard thick, they can't excercise reason, they can't make moral choices and their interests always come second to ours.

Indeed.

revol68 wrote:
You can empathise with animals and at the same time be sane enough to recognise they do not have the same worth as humans. Afterall we empathise with our pets but we still put them on leads, and if it came down to saving a human or a dog from drowning we'd go with the human.

Yes. Though I'm not sure, what if it's a close pet vs. some random MP?

revol68 wrote:
So either all you're suggesting is that racism would be less openly vicious and more decked in the rheotric of paternalism and husbandry or you think animals should be treated as equals with humans, a position that is clearly fucking absurd...

There's a third option, which is that you just haven't been paying attention to my actual position. Or maybe I haven't made it clear enough.

Just because animals aren't equal to humans in many, many ways does not mean that they do not have the same obvious capacity for pain. They do. But people are taught from an early age to ignore visible signs of pain in certain creatures around them, and to suppress the knowledge of the pain inflicted on those creatures in order for them to get that tasty cup of milk.

It is this fact which is the main issue here, as far as I'm concerned. The dilemma is not whether or not animals should have "rights" (a bourgeois notion), nor whether or not an ass can join the Senate (Caligula has already created a precedent), but whether or not we should ignore the suffering of non-human animals.

I've explained why I believe that we shouldn't.

revol68 wrote:
...and made even crazier by the fact you eat meat.

Who told you that I eat meat? I'm vegan, I don't eat any product that comes from a multi-celled animal organism, be it milk, eggs or meat. I have been having second thoughts about clams, though, but I'm not sure where I'll be going with that, and I definitely haven't acted upon it.

You may be confused by the fact that I said that I am not vegetarian. Indeed, I am not a person who doesn't eat meat but does consume milk and eggs, because I find that it is a dietary position with little ethical merit.