White Culture

The only reason we do any altruistic thing is to make ourselves feel better. We feel better by doing things we think are morally correct, even if they involve sacrifice on our part, whether that means changing our actions or our perspectives. If we see what we are doing as righteous, we feel good about doing it. Going to a protest and getting tear gassed makes us feel that we have suffered for our beliefs.
We should try not to judge the local purity of the actions of others.

Speak for yourself. People do the right thing for all kinds of reasons. Because someone is watching. Because they feel they have to. Because they want to. Because they are forced to. Because it makes them feel better. Because it improves the world around them and the lives of those around them. Because they get paid.

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This is a fair point about altruism having intrinsic personal rewards but to me that is all the more reason not to expect to be thanked or particularly appreciated because of one’s altruistic actions.

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Right? Let alone to wear them proudly, like a badge or something, or merely to help sell whatever shit one happens to be peddling.

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That’s a helluva hot take on the various mind states and motivations of 8 billion+ other people.

Just sayin’.

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Sometimes people do the right thing even though it’s hard and makes them feel worse over all, you know. Has that never happened with you? I have, and it still hurts, even though it was right.

Of course in a very superficial, specious, Randian sense altruism is still “selfish” because it’s still doing what you want to do. But then that’s basically tripping over definitions to conflate opposite things. Altruism is wanting to help other people in the first place, and that’s not the same thing as wanting to help yourself at all. I feel bad for anyone too short-sighted to appreciate that.

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You’ve got it totally backwards. Everyone is inherently compassionate. But some people have trouble thinking about anything beyond themselves - especially when in heightened emotional states. Since they are aware of only one thing that needs care and compassion, they channel all their compassion towards that one thing. That it happens to be themselves isn’t “selfish”, it’s just myopic.

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I absolutely adore you reversing that, but I wonder if it works with how much effort it takes some of us to be compassionate to ourselves. :sweat_smile:

Selfish

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I’ve decided that though I write in a form that resembles prose, most of the time it’s poetry. I’m not overly worried about whether what I said was “true” in any traditional sense.

If pressed I think I’d say that altruism and selfishness are actually different things that are opposed, rather than one being a facet of the other. But if I look at two competing theories:

  1. Humans are fundamentally selfish, everything they do is because they just wanted to do it, it would make them feel good, it would benefit them
  2. Caring for others is a combination of skills - empathy, practical knowledge of how to give care, ability to be lucid when you are experiencing strong emotions, etc. - and a lack of caring for others is a deficit in one or more skills

Number (2) is a hell of a lot more coherent. At least it actually predicts things about the world and about how people behave. (And when you open up the space of caring to a variety of different skills that have to work together you cover people who don’t seem to care for themselves)

Number (1) is outside of science: it predicts nothing and can’t be tested. It begins by saying, “Everyone is selfish” and then takes everything anyone does and says, “See, that was because they were selfish”. It offers no explanation of why some people’s selfishness drives them to sacrifice their lives in vain attempts to save strangers; while other people’s selfishness drives them be violent to others, or to hoard wealth, etc, or what would cause them to change. What’s the point of having a theory of human behaviour that doesn’t allow you to predict any human behaviour? It’s at best a vacant tautology derived by removing the meaning of the word “selfish”. But I don’t even think it’s as good as a vacant tautology because it actively leads people to believe they can control other people by offering them incentives, which is, as it turns out, dumb as shit.

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Wish I’d heard this perspective on Kahlo before.

Kahlo’s aesthetic reflects the vogue of her time: the mythologizing of a homogenized Indigenous past afforded by her proximity to whiteness and wealth. While popular opinion touts Kahlo as going against the grain, she was, rather, very much partaking in the creation of a nationally-backed novel culture — a “true” Mexican indigeneity reconstructed as a mestizo and white ideation. Indigenous iconography found in her artwork are the result of her and artists like her rendering the cultures as up for grabs in the race to build a color-blind nation.

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Oh, interesting! I had not considered that either. Thanks for sharing. I look forward to reading this.

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Interesting, sort of similar to the arts and crafts movement in victorian england which romanticized the craftsmanship of serfs who created art and items, while ignoring the rest of their lives. Europeans seem quite good at this sort of cherry picking.

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Yeah, e.g., some Germans.

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There are folks in New Zealand who put confederate flags on their trucks because it’s “cool” and “rebellious” and somehow stands for heroic independent thinking.

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I was talking to my partner earlier today about a totally unrelated subject, and to analogize the thinking of the person we were discussing, I referenced the whole “Black people don’t feel as much pain” thing and got an utterly baffled “Who the hell ever said that!?!?” response. I left it at “Oh wow, I’ll tell ya some stuff later.”

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Is that somehow an example of “White culture”?

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White fragility on display here, among other things…

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One of the complaints

Michael Che, a black man, employed by NBC as an on air personality called the President of the United States a cheap “cracker” and a “bitch” during the Weekend Update segment of the Saturday Night Live show. I want their broadcast license suspended and heavy fines to be placed on them for their blatant racism and indecency.

[emphasis mine]

What the sweet Jesus?

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Nothing more racist than insulting white people… /s

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It is my dream that SNL will incorporate these inane complaints into a future skit. If they do, I hope someone will post here. :joy:

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