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Source: (consider it) Thread: The social-progressive mindset
lilBuddha
Shipmate
# 14333

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quote:
Originally posted by Kwesi:
quote:
quote:
Originally posted by Kwesi:

Might I suggest that a more fruitful area to discuss is the struggle between different strands of feminism for control of right-thinking on the issue, and especially its orientation towards trans-gendered individuals. The vilification of Germaine Greer and attempts to deny her a platform is a particular example of political correctness because it seeks to impose a ‘party’ line against the expression of her position by those seeking power to dictate the agenda. What is a social progressive wishing to be a supporter of feminism supposed to think to remain in the vanguard?


lilBuddha: You are saying accepting an historically misunderstood and poorly treated group who cannot help being who they are is political correctness, not merely common decency?

With all due respect, lilBuddha, I find it difficult to see how you could possibly come to that conclusion on the basis of my remarks. Where in what I have said have I shown the slightest disrespect to trans-gendered individuals?
It is your choice of words that has me question your meaning.
"vilification" "party-line" "deny" are fairly loaded words.
And what feminist party-line anyway? Feminism has always included a load of non-accepting people. It is better now, but hardly homogeneous.
Greer is rightly challenged for her position. It is antiqued and flies against the science.

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I put on my rockin' shoes in the morning
Hallellou, hallellou

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
I wouldn't dream of saying you're lying.

I'm suggesting that you feel sympathy for those who differ from the majority (or are members of groups which have suffered historic disadvantage) in ways to which you attach political significance.

And that there's nothing wrong with feeling that.

But that, rather than you personally acting on your sympathies and allowing others to act on theirs, you (mistakenly in my view) think that there is a moral duty on everybody to favourably pre-judge people who have those particular differences or are affected by those particular historic disadvantages.

I see. So basically you are telling me that racism is just a feeling and that thinking it is bad is just another idea and that I really shouldn't worry my (intellectually deficient) mind about it.

Fuck you.

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arse

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Dafyd
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# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
And having started out to understand this mindset, the general response has been "it's just obviously right and good - open your eyes". Rather than any clear statement of doctrine.

We've done why it's a category error to expect a clear statement of 'social-progressive doctrine' (*). Do you take in anything that doesn't confirm your opinion?

(*) Because 'social-progressives' are a coalition. Just as libertarians are a coalition. One libertarian may be a utilitarian who thinks that libertarian politics because it boosts market efficiency is utilitarian optimal. Another libertarian would say that people have absolute universal and universal political rights, but the choice of what kind of society to build is morality, which they think is subjective, and they think nobody has the right to impose their subjective morality upon another. The two libertarians each have a doctrine, but neither would accept the other's doctrine. They just have a shared political view.

[ 25. February 2018, 17:49: Message edited by: Dafyd ]

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Dafyd
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# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
Second, consider as an example an industry where two companies between them have a near-100% market share. If they collude to both raise prices by the same amount, for the purpose of increasing their profits, that's abuse of monopoly power. But if they both independently raise prices by the same amount (e.g. in response to a rise in the price of raw materials) then it isn't. The intent is the same - to increase profit. The consequences are the same. But one is this particular wrong and the other isn't.

So what you're saying is that an innocent intention can become wrong purely because the agent co-operates with somebody else to bring it about. That something can be innocent to do each individually but yet wrong to do together.

Come off it.

It's not only clearly erroneous in itself; it's inconsistent with your stated principles that something is wrong if and only if it breaches rights or a promise(*). As you acknowledge by calling it a 'particular wrong', that is a wrong that you can't justify as an instance of what you recognise as general wrongs.

quote:
It's the difference between acting together and acting individually. Considered together, they have a monopoly. They act as a monopoly only if they act together.
It's still bollocks if you think it makes a moral difference.

quote:
So, by analogy, if all the majority-ethnicity people in a town get together and collectively decide to boycott a minority-ethnicity business, then yes that's an abuse of monopoly power.

If one majority-ethnic person individually indulges his or her irrational dislike by declining to patronise the same minority-ethnicity business, then that is not an abuse of monopoly power. Even if everyone else is doing the same. Because there's no collusion. They're not acting together and it is only together that they have monopoly power.

So: as long as they pretend to each other that's not what they're doing it's fine, but as soon as one of them spills the beans they're all morally guilty.
No, this just gets even more implausible the more you talk it up.

(*) You also claim to recognise that something can be wrong by reason of the wrongness of the intention alone even if it doesn't violate rights. E.g. the intention to make someone else suffer is morally wrong. This as I have said is inconsistent with your other positions. You don't think 'damage to society' has any reality beyond people's moral ideas of what society should be. But if the wrongness of suffering is merely in your ideas, then it the intention to bring it about can have no more wrongness than the intention to bring about anything else someone might consider damage to society.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Russ
Old salt
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
So basically you are telling me that racism is just a feeling and that thinking it is bad is just another idea

No. I'm telling you that the word "racism" means different things to different people, and if you could just summon up the intellectual honesty to pick one meaning and stick to it, you might even find that I agree with you that it's bad. Depending on which meaning you choose...

quote:
and that I really shouldn't worry my (intellectually deficient) mind about it.
Your words, not mine. If the words you put into my mouth upset you, not much I can do about it.

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
So what you're saying is that an innocent intention can become wrong purely because the agent co-operates with somebody else to bring it about. That something can be innocent to do each individually but yet wrong to do together.

Come off it.

Which half do you deny ? That there's a moral issue with a profit-seeking monopoly ? Or that people are acting monopolistically when they all collude but not when they act independently ?

What's your alternative ? The notion that there's a "just price" for every good or service ?

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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hosting/
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Fuck you.

Your blatant C4 breach is noted and flagged to admins.

/hosting

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Doc Tor
Deepest Red
# 9748

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
I'm telling you that the word "racism" means different things to different people, and if you could just summon up the intellectual honesty to pick one meaning and stick to it

If you could just summon up the intellectual honesty to admit that dictionaries have three different definitions...

To move things on slightly, anti-Semitism is often based on the fear that Jews are superior to other races - better at making money, better at running businesses, better at a global conspiracy which puts them in charge. I understand that a significant amount of racism directed at Japanese/Chinese/Koreans in the USA is also based on their supposed superiority at business and academic pursuits.

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Forward the New Republic

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
hosting/
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Fuck you.

Your blatant C4 breach is noted and flagged to admins.

/hosting

mr cheesy,

Normally, given your history of living just inside the border of acceptable behaviour regarding personal attacks, such a blatant personal attack would have earnt you a suspension.

However, that would make you (almost certainly) the last person we'd suspend before the relaunch of the boards. You don't deserve that honour. Count yourself lucky this time.

Alan
Ship of Fools Admin

[ 25. February 2018, 21:40: Message edited by: Alan Cresswell ]

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
If one majority-ethnic person individually indulges his or her irrational dislike by declining to patronise the same minority-ethnicity business, then that is not an abuse of monopoly power. Even if everyone else is doing the same. Because there's no collusion. They're not acting together and it is only together that they have monopoly power.

Once again, we see that under all the bluster you clearly have no problem whatsoever with individuals having - and indulging - an "irrational dislike" of other races.

quote:
(It may of course still be wrong by wrong intention if it is done from hatred, with the intent of causing the other to suffer).
"May"??? Even with the qualifications of it being done from hatred, with the intent to make the other person suffer - even then, racism only "may" be wrong?

Wow. [Disappointed]

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Sioni Sais
Shipmate
# 5713

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
If one majority-ethnic person individually indulges his or her irrational dislike by declining to patronise the same minority-ethnicity business, then that is not an abuse of monopoly power. Even if everyone else is doing the same. Because there's no collusion. They're not acting together and it is only together that they have monopoly power.

Once again, we see that under all the bluster you clearly have no problem whatsoever with individuals having - and indulging - an "irrational dislike" of other races.

quote:
(It may of course still be wrong by wrong intention if it is done from hatred, with the intent of causing the other to suffer).
"May"??? Even with the qualifications of it being done from hatred, with the intent to make the other person suffer - even then, racism only "may" be wrong?

Wow. [Disappointed]

We should't be surprised at anything Russ comes out with. He is acting as an apologist for racism pure and simple and should stop trying to deceive himself that he is doing anything else.

That's the great thing with self-deception. Once you can do that successfully there are no limits to evil.

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"He isn't Doctor Who, he's The Doctor"

(Paul Sinha, BBC)

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Barnabas62
Host
# 9110

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Sioni Sais

I think your post moves too far away from comment on posts and too close to personal criticism of character (i.e C3/C4 category.)

Have a care, Shipmate. Even in these Last Days.

Barnabas62
Purgatory Host

[ 26. February 2018, 11:31: Message edited by: Barnabas62 ]

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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Sioni Sais
Shipmate
# 5713

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My apologies to hosts, admins and Russ. Can I plead posting without due care and attention?

It was one of those I should not have posted, and the absence of foul and abusive language makes no difference at all.

Sorry

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"He isn't Doctor Who, he's The Doctor"

(Paul Sinha, BBC)

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Dafyd
Shipmate
# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
So what you're saying is that an innocent intention can become wrong purely because the agent co-operates with somebody else to bring it about. That something can be innocent to do each individually but yet wrong to do together.

Come off it.

Which half do you deny ? That there's a moral issue with a profit-seeking monopoly ? Or that people are acting monopolistically when they all collude but not when they act independently ?

What's your alternative ? The notion that there's a "just price" for every good or service ?

This comes over as, 'monopolies are wrong; we don't know why.'

I am denying that an innocent intention can become wrong solely because the agent co-operates with somebody else to bring it about.

What's wrong with the abuse of monopoly power is that it's an abuse of power: one party to a transaction has a greater ability to set the terms of the transaction.

I don't think that's consistent with the rest of your position. But then I don't think any explanation of the wrongness of monopolies is consistent with your position.
For example, you can't say that competition benefits the economy or society and therefore monopolies harm society because you don't think 'it harms society' is an objective reason.
But whatever explanation you try to come up with, claiming that it's because co-operation can be intrinsically morally wrong is grasping at straws.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:

I am denying that an innocent intention can become wrong solely because the agent co-operates with somebody else to bring it about.

What's wrong with the abuse of monopoly power is that it's an abuse of power: one party to a transaction has a greater ability to set the terms of the transaction.

I've said it's not a wrong of bad intention. The wrong is in the means not the end. The wrongful means being colluding - deploying the monopoly power of people acting together.

Which follows logically from your premise. A cartel has monopoly power - the power to dictate the terms of the transaction - in a way that independently-acting individuals don't.

quote:
I don't think that's consistent with the rest of your position. But then I don't think any explanation of the wrongness of monopolies is consistent with your position.
I think the wrongness of monopolies is related to coercion. And it's because I see a wrong in coercion that I tend to favour people's right to choose freely, so long as what they choose falls short of wronging others.

quote:
For example, you can't say that competition benefits the economy...
I can, and occasionally do, but that's an economic proposition.

quote:
...or society and therefore monopolies harm society because you don't think 'it harms society' is an objective reason.
As I thought I'd said to Marvin, my objection to people claiming that something "damages society" is a perception that they fail to distinguish a damaged society from one that functions successfully in a manner that they're politically opposed to. Given a little more rigour of definition, I might conceivably conclude that the concept has merit.

quote:
But whatever explanation you try to come up with, claiming that it's because co-operation can be intrinsically morally wrong is grasping at straws.
So we move from idolising victimhood to idolising co-operation. Who'd have thought it ? Seems obvious to me that co-operation for the purpose of coercing others can be wrong...

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
I tend to favour people's right to choose freely, so long as what they choose falls short of wronging others.

I note once again that you do not appear to consider discriminating against someone on the basis of their skin colour as wronging them.

Can you confirm or deny that observation, or will you just ignore it again?

quote:
As I thought I'd said to Marvin, my objection to people claiming that something "damages society" is a perception that they fail to distinguish a damaged society from one that functions successfully in a manner that they're politically opposed to. Given a little more rigour of definition, I might conceivably conclude that the concept has merit.
A "damaged society" is one where people hate each other for looking different. Where an individual's pursuit of life, liberty and happiness is made considerably harder if the melanin content of their skin is too high. Where someone's chances of being killed or jailed by the authorities is dependent not just on what they've done, but on what they look like.

Racism - individual OR collective - damages society because it encourages inequality and division. These in turn foster resentment, then anger, then violence. A society that turns a blind eye to racism as you advocate is a less safe society, a less prosperous society, and thus a damaged society.

Ultimately, we're suggesting that for a society to not be broken, it must serve the needs of ALL its members. I get the distinct feeling that from your perspective, as long as it serves YOUR needs you don't care who else gets screwed over in the process. That's the only way I can conceive of being able to suggest that a society that turns a blind eye to racism can nevertheless be successful.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Dafyd
Shipmate
# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
But then I don't think any explanation of the wrongness of monopolies is consistent with your position.

I think the wrongness of monopolies is related to coercion. And it's because I see a wrong in coercion that I tend to favour people's right to choose freely, so long as what they choose falls short of wronging others.
I would probably agree with that - although I'm not sure that calling it 'coercion' is using language precisely. It's not coercion in the sense of threatening someone with consequences that violate their rights if they don't do what you tell them. The monopolist is merely taking advantage of the other person's lack of other options. But I'd certainly agree that the other party isn't free and that's bad.
The thing is, your objections to a lot of social-progressive positions up until now have relied on the claim that taking advantage of the other person's lack of options is not coercion. As an example, you've said that offering someone a bare minimum wage is not coercion even if the alternative is starvation. Now you've abandoned the principle. Your objection to a lot of social-progressive positions is going to have to go with it

quote:
quote:
But whatever explanation you try to come up with, claiming that it's because co-operation can be intrinsically morally wrong is grasping at straws.
So we move from idolising victimhood to idolising co-operation. Who'd have thought it ? Seems obvious to me that co-operation for the purpose of coercing others can be wrong...
What do you think is gained by harping on the straw man of 'idolising victimhood'? How do you imagine it's constructive?

So you are asserting that co-operation can be instrinsically wrong. You appear to be saying that co-operation for the purpose of coercing others is wrong because it's co-operation. That acting alone to coerce someone else is morally ok. Is that really your position?

I don't think it is your position. I think that through inadvertence or on purpose you didn't read what I'd written and so, by attacking a straw man, you've ended up saying something silly.

[ 27. February 2018, 18:20: Message edited by: Dafyd ]

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
I would probably agree with that - although I'm not sure that calling it 'coercion' is using language precisely. It's not coercion in the sense of threatening someone with consequences that violate their rights if they don't do what you tell them. The monopolist is merely taking advantage of the other person's lack of other options. But I'd certainly agree that the other party isn't free and that's bad.

The wrong I see is not "merely taking advantage". Collusion to create a monopoly generates the other person's lack of options and thus bears moral responsibility for that lack of options.

Not sure about usage of "coercion" - feel free to suggest a better word.

If 100 independent widget-makers independently decide to put up their prices, then the man who wants a widget may indeed have no option but to pay more.

But none of the 100 individuals had the power to bring that about. It's not a deliberate act on the part of any of them.

Either it's a coincidence or there's a reason, and if there's a reason then the increase may be justified thereby.

They haven't chosen to deprive anyone of options.

Which may be what you were getting at when referring to intention ?

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

Posts: 3169 | From: rural Ireland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Dafyd
Shipmate
# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
I would probably agree with that - although I'm not sure that calling it 'coercion' is using language precisely. It's not coercion in the sense of threatening someone with consequences that violate their rights if they don't do what you tell them. The monopolist is merely taking advantage of the other person's lack of other options. But I'd certainly agree that the other party isn't free and that's bad.

The wrong I see is not "merely taking advantage". Collusion to create a monopoly generates the other person's lack of options and thus bears moral responsibility for that lack of options.
If monopoly power is abused it doesn't matter how it arose. For example, if corporation one had access to a lot of credit and was able to price its competitors out of business before raising prices again that's a monopoly. If the corporation owns the only land on which one can find unobtanium deposits that's a monopoly.

quote:
If 100 independent widget-makers independently decide to put up their prices, then the man who wants a widget may indeed have no option but to pay more.

But none of the 100 individuals had the power to bring that about. It's not a deliberate act on the part of any of them.

In a competitive market the widget makers' short term interests are in the short term in competition with each other. So if they can all put up their prices independently that suggests that they're being forced by some outside factor.
They're unable to abuse their collective power as long as the market's competitive - explicit agreement among themselves is probably the only way it can happen that the market isn't competitive. (The situation is more likely to arise in a monopsony as when farmers can only sell produce to a few big supermarkets: the supermarkets can push down prices to a level where they're profitable for the farmers only so long as nothing goes wrong, and they don't need to collude to do that.)

Where the agents' interests are not in competition, abuse of power is much more likely to happen even without explicit co-operation.
In the case of the population who are boycotting employers of certain ethnic groups, their interests are not in conflict, and in any case they are actively removing the ethnic minority groups' options and the employers' options.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

Posts: 10567 | From: Edinburgh | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:

They're unable to abuse their collective power as long as the market's competitive - explicit agreement among themselves is probably the only way it can happen that the market isn't competitive...

Where the agents' interests are not in competition, abuse of power is much more likely to happen even without explicit co-operation.

In the case of the population who are boycotting employers of certain ethnic groups, their interests are not in conflict, and in any case they are actively removing the ethnic minority groups' options and the employers' options.

You seem to believe that all sets of people have "collective power" that they can wield without collaborating.

And that all individuals within that set can be held morally accountable for the consequences of use of that power.

So that if everyone independently decided on a whim not to shop at Tesco this month, and as a result Tesco goes bankrupt, employees lose their jobs, pensioners whose pension funds hold Tesco shares
lose money, then everyone would be individually to blame for the suffering caused thereby ?

So we have a moral duty to shop at Tesco to prevent this ?

Or a moral duty to monitor what everyone else is doing so as to be sure that our whims aren't coinciding with everyone else's ?

Not convinced that there's a real general universal moral duty here.

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

Posts: 3169 | From: rural Ireland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Leorning Cniht
Shipmate
# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:

So that if everyone independently decided on a whim not to shop at Tesco this month, and as a result Tesco goes bankrupt, employees lose their jobs, pensioners whose pension funds hold Tesco shares lose money, then everyone would be individually to blame for the suffering caused thereby ?

This discussion reminds me of the kind of conversation that I would have with a group of schoolchildren after their first introduction to quantum physics. They get totally distracted by asking questions like "couldn't all the atoms in this ball spontaneously tunnel through the wall", and ignore the fact that you'd need to wait around for a very large number of universe lifetimes indeed before that might happen anywhere.

People do not spontaneously on a whim all decide to shop at Tesco rather than Sainsbury's. That does not happen.

But shopping patterns do change, at a slower rate, and without any kind of coordination. Tastes change, for example, and if a different store better caters for those tastes, the first store will lose custom, and may well fail. I'm sure you can make a list of formerly popular high street retailers that no longer exist because of exactly this mechanism.

To return to the central point, it is immoral to boycott a particular shop because of the shopkeeper's race. It is immoral to boycott the shop because the shopkeeper has ginger hair.

The effect of the former boycott is likely to be greater, because racism is more prevalent in our society than anti-ginger prejudice. White shoppers boycotting a black-owned shop will usually have a bigger effect than black shoppers boycotting a white-owned shop - again, that's a reflection of the prevalence of different kinds of racial prejudice and economic power.

Does that make it more immoral to boycott the black shopkeeper? Yes, I would say so: I would say that if you can see that a particular form of prejudice is widespread/likely, you have a stronger duty to actively avoid it.

Reducing this discussion to a chance alignment of whims is silly.

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