Protecting people "like us" from people "like them"

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by S.A.M., Jan 12, 2011.

  1. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Then change it to being both legal and socially sanctioned. Is there a point you wish to make? I am offering the treatment of the convict women of Australia as something that was regarded as both socially acceptable, in that no one saw anything wrong with treating these women as white slaves and legal as in, no one was arrested for doing so and it was in fact, done officially through administrative channels, with the full knowledge of the prison officials as well as the Governer and his administration.
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  3. The Marquis Only want the best for Nigel Valued Senior Member

    ...Sigh. Hoped for so much more. And I'm even more pissed than I was a few hours ago.


    The Prison Governor, SAM. Not the Governor of the colony. Not legal sanction. The actions of a few isolated from society. This is commonplace.
    See, when you want to read and believe something So Badly, .... its too easy to make the wrong assumption.

    It was never legal to use women convicts in such a way. It was simply a case of those living far away from any officialdom taking matters into their own hands. That happens all overthe world.
    See, what you've found here is an unsubstantiated website detailing the events of a couple of hundred years ago. To 5,000 women prisoners, give or take, in that institution. Over twenty years. Think about that. A few hundred a year, a few hundred years ago. And you? Your country? Right now? For the last few thousand years?

    Here's the thing though. You've managed to dredge up events from a couple of hundred years ago I was taught in high school. Open. Admitted. Dealt with. If you'd like to more more about the earliest history of Australia, I'm one who could tell you. There's more. Much more. Yet none of it holds a candle to what you're doing right now.

    India and Pakistan are still rated amongst the highest practitioners of honour killings in the world.
    Right now.
    In spite of the law. Thousands every year.
    Now. Today. Understand? Not history, in your case. Current events. Use that as your "example".

    So go crawl back under your rock. See if you can find a few little things which happened a few hundred years ago to cast a cloud over what your country, your culture, religion, is doing right now. See if you can distract a few more kids without a clue.

    Use it as an example and tell us all it's because you "don't want to turn the thread into a slagfest", or something something.

    Or stop hiding and become an honest person. Your call.
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  5. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Pretty sure it was the Governer of the colony


    Anyway, even if it was the Prison Governer, one would assume that if what they did was socially unacceptable or illegal, there would be some accountability.

    If you don't like the example of the womens abuse in Australian colonies, we can use the Magdalene asylums instead [serendipitously watching "The Magdalene Sisters" on Lumiere].

    I'm okay with using any example which fits the proposition.

    Sure, but the proposition is not what is more widespread. Honor killing or domestic violence was never legally prescribed in India or Pakistan.

    We're looking at the human science aspect of degradation, not killing or elimination. What makes degradation legally and socially acceptable to some societies? What changes in the society change these legally and socially acceptable behaviours to offensive ones which are then legally unacceptable? In a way, I guess we are not addressing superstition or the effects of poverty, lack of education and the like. This is oppression at the highest strata of society, the group which dictates social convention for all the society.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2011
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  7. Giambattista sssssssssssssssssssssssss sssss Valued Senior Member

    With all the underwater cities, recently uncovered ones, like in Turkey, and other disregarded evidence, I would say that civilization may be much older than 10,000 years.
  8. Giambattista sssssssssssssssssssssssss sssss Valued Senior Member

    Calling for peace between nation states is one thing, but this "one-world-state" as you put it? YIKES!

    Please be aware of the implications of that. And the nefarious people who are constantly using "one world government" and "new world order" and trying to sell us more unelected bureaucracy in the guise of simply being united.

    If the individual states can't seem to get a handle either on their own sovereignty, or respecting the sovereignty of other nations, and get their foreign policies and financial systems in order, little good it's going to do to give the powers that be anymore authority over unions of nations (like the EU) where those people can accrue more power and less transparency and accountability than they already have.

    In the same way I think the call for increased spending on NASA is wasteful at this time: we have so many problems on Earth, and if we can't get a handle on the here and now, what are we doing reaching for the stars?
  9. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    I am going to go out on a limb here, and very far out -

    There seems to be the trend that the more secular a society, the more (perceived) altruism, non-violence, sense of equality and democracy there is, for all, men and women, rich and poor, innocent and guilty, young and old.

    Whereas in societies where tradition and religious norms (!!) are highly regarded, there tends to be a rigid caste system, gross inequality in many aspects, and also a lot of legal use of force.

    However, I think that just because there seems to be less apparent legal use of force, that such a society is in any way more stable, safer or more advanced.

    Just ask anyone from the "civilized world" who has lost their job, their home, who has been bullied at work. Consider the numbers of people who need to take various psychogenic or mood-altering prescription medications and illegal drugs just so that they can make it through yet another day.

    Note that in modern societies, the sense of right and wrong is relativized, and many people are morally ambivalent and confused. In order to be sure you have actually been wronged, you first have to win your case in court. This is an enormous uncertainty to live with.

    In the traditional societies, this kind of scope of moral relativism is generally absent, and people have much more peace of mind in this regard.

    There are pros and cons for both the traditional as well as the modern society, obviously.
    But we can hardly say that as a whole, the modern one is better than the traditional one.
  10. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    No we didn't. I specifically pointed out that she was inextricably muddling her own issue, with such ill chosen examples as that and others, and recommended better choices. Others have likewise recommended that she make her extrapolations from more factual bases.
    The mistreatment of convicts or women in the fashion you chose for example has never been legal, has never been confined as a crime to any group of the kind you restrict yourself to apparently, and has never been as inherent a part of the society you identify it with, as the honor killing terrorism and othering features of cultures far readier to your hand and mentioned here already.
    Find a society you can accurately describe, legally and socially, and consider the familiar degradations practiced within it, for starters. Or deal with other prople's examples. Correcting your errors does not advance your ostensible agenda.
    The more carefully I read, the less consistent your assertions and arguments become. Why are you including criminals of all kinds as a "group"? Why do you muddle your groups, and vacillate between legalistic and circumstantial criteria as crucial? Why are you choosing events and circumstances about which you know essentially nothing, and mistake in fundamental ways, and do not seem to fit your criteria for consideration, as your examples? What are you actually trying to talk about?
  11. Big Chiller Registered Senior Member


    I believe if one sees everything as relative including all events one doesn't have this problem.
  12. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    There is no evidence of city-building prior to approximately 9000BCE. Cities cannot be built until people are already living in villages, and permanent habitation of any sort cannot even be dreamed of before the invention of agriculture. The earliest evidence of farming is cultivated figs in Mesopotamia around 9500BCE, and peppers in the New World somewhat later.
    The frontier has always been a safety valve for people whose inner caveman cannot comfortably live within the bounds of civilization. They could go to the deepest parts of Africa, Siberia, the Americas or Australia and find a Neolithic or even Paleolithic tribe to assimilate into, or just go out into the wilderness, build a lean-to, and eat muskrats. This had the added advantage of forcing everyone who fancied himself unfit for civilization to actually make the decision. Once you decide you'd rather work in a smoky factory in London than learn how to trap beavers in Alberta or work your way up the social hierarchy in a Maori or Bantu village, it gives you a sense of clarity about what to do with the rest of your life and how to get along in the place you've decided to live.

    Today there are no frontiers. The Arctic and Antarctic regions are too inhospitable for anyone to survive in alone, and while the affable Eskimos would surely welcome you they are no longer a Stone Age people, with their iPods and chainsaws.

    So this has two effects: People who really should be living outside of civilization have to stay here, and people who wonder whether they should stay here are prevented from considering it seriously and making the decision, and spend the rest of their lives wondering.

    This is why Gene Roddenberry called space "the final frontier." Until we have colonies on Mars or some exoplanet, our discontented cavemen will continue living among us. They're probably not our biggest problem, but the ones I've had the misfortune to meet are certainly not helping us build a world-spanning civilization.
  13. Crunchy Cat F-in' *meow* baby!!! Valued Senior Member

    Bingo. Good post!
  14. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    I already made it. It was neither legal, nor socially sanctioned - at least not universally, and in particular not by the administrators of the colony.

    It was not regarded as socially acceptable, except by a few of the more criminal types. People were arrested and punished for it, contrary to what you say. Floggings, jailings and the like were commonplace for such actions. No administrative channels took part, contrary to what you state. And it was the job of the Governor to know what was going on in the colony he was administering, quite obviously.
  15. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    For this proposition, its unavoidable. If the other is degraded or dehumanised socially and legally, they can't NOT be "criminals" - hence my constant focus on the fact that this is group behaviour which legally condemns and dehumanises those others who are later, on further consideration, not only NOT considered as the others but no longer legally demonised for the very aspects that made them criminals. See all examples I have given - whether it is the demonisation of women for alleged adultery, abortion, being "fallen" etc, men or people for race, colour, backwardness etc etc

    I did not locate any evidence of any of the above, if you have any, please provide it. Note that I am referring to changing notions, I am aware that later Governers, specifically Macquarie[after the second settlement] did not sanction these behaviours, but earlier ones certainly did.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2011
  16. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    Australian history is not your strong point. What books have you read on it?
  17. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    I've cited my references. Do you have any citations for yours? Can I expect to see your assertions backed up with evidence anytime soon?
  18. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    How much of this discussion actually has to do with the topic of othering and the debasement of others,
    and how much is it simply a continuation of the old spat between Sam and iceaura & co.?

    Because it sure looks like within this very thread, you are trying to bring about such othering and debasement of others, in the case some of the posters who participate.

    So you might as well use the opportunity and introspect thyselves!
    So whence the othering? Whence the debasement of others?
    What has poster X done that poster Y finds them worthy of a very bad treatment? Why does Y think so?
  19. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    I would say for the proposition originally indicated, or alluded to, it's terminally destructive - criminals are individuals who have performed defined acts, not people "othered" due to their a priori assigned membership in a group. You've run the discussion into a tar pit.

    For example:
    Exactly the kind of confusion predicted, from the muddle launched.

    You have no examples of legal dehumanization due to a priori membership in a group. No "group behavior" is involved in your examples. Legality is not involved in your examples. And so forth.

    The problems started when you ignored or mistook the examples given you by others, and focused on one that does not suit your original query in the first place and that you know little about in the second. The original query is now unavailable, until the chaff is cleared. Which is too bad, because it was of interest.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2011
  20. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    No, SAM. I gave up spending time on you quite a while ago.
  21. Bells Staff Member

    Mod Note

    Please keep off-topic posts and personal "opinions" about other members which have nothing to do with the thread topic, outside of the discussion.

    Thank you.
  22. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    How much lower than dehumanising a people can one get? Lets go back to the OP since people keep losing sight of the objective:

    note: these were all criminals, and most of them for who they were, rather than for "committing defined acts" [although, we might make an interesting foray into the othering and dehumanisation of small time criminals over criminal state apparatuses or Wall street thugs, whose acts do not garner accountability due to their spectacular and massive investment in the process by the people].

    So you have women who are incarcerated for abortion or adultery, Jews who are sent to concentration camp for being Jews, blacks who are enslaved or displayed in a zoo due to their "backwardness" [which is one of the milder epithets applied to people from the colonies]. They are not merely looked down upon, they are dehumanised, it is or was socially acceptable to treat them lower than animals. The state approves of this behaviour enough that there is legislation against these "criminals"

    And then we have an about face. We have laws permitting women to abort and incarcerating those who attack these women for adultery, we have laws protecting Jews from "antisemitism" in the same societies where they were pariahs, we have laws guaranteeing equal civil rights to those blacks who would have been incarcerated if they attempted to free their slaveholders.

    In other words, what was legal for the state or authority at one point in support of social convention, is now a criminal act, with [one presumes] majority support for such opinion.

    So what changed in the human psyche to make these transitions?
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011
  23. Bells Staff Member

    In a colony far far away?

    Accountability from whom?

    Remember, it would take months to traverse the oceans to reach Australia. There were no phones or other instant forms of communication. There were also no mobile phone cameras to beam the images of women being chased with axes and being raped onto Twitter or Facebook or YouTube.

    As Marquis stated, it was never acceptable or legal. It was never legally sanctioned in Australia that femal convicts could be used in such a way. And as he pointed out, it was more a matter of those stationed here taking matters into their own hands.

    People are cruel Sam and those who were sent there to guard the prisoners were cruel men. It was never legal.

    And yet, it still happens and is not uncommon.

    Nor is the practice of throwing acid into a woman or man's face for daring to spurn a man's advances or proposal or bring dishonour to the woman's family that uncommon in some societies today. It may not be legally prescribed, but it is not an uncommon practice. And we know the practice is spreading into parts of Europe with increased migration. While it isn't really legal, it is deemed socially acceptable in some societies.

    Lets look at Pakistan as a prime example..

    If official figures are to be believed, on an average one woman is killed for honour every day in Pakistan, as a total of 1019 women were killed during the past three years in the country.

    According to crime-against-women statistics revealed in the countrys National Assembly last evening, more than 7000 cases of rape and murders of women were registered between 2005 and 2007.

    The statistics revealed that the total number of honour killing cases is 1019 321 in 2005, 339 in 2006 and 359 in 2007. Stove burning cases include 18 cases in 2005, 17 in 2006 and 10 in 2007.

    Meanwhile, 3236 murder cases were registered during the period between 2005 and 2007 1075 in 2005, 1084 in 2006 and 1077 in 2007, added the paper.

    Similarly, 4971 rape cases were registered in this period. The number of registered cases of domestic violence in the country is 4290, apart from acid attacks, honour killings and stove accidents, said the statistics and added that 53 cases of acid attacks were registered between 2005 and 2007. (ANI)


    Fairly horrifc figures. Stove burning, in case anyone did not know, is the tampering with the stove to try and set her on fire. Then we have honour crimes such as bride burning, acid attacks, beatings, rapes, murder.. I think one of the most horrific I have heard was the case of 3 teenage girls being buried alive because they dared to try to choose their own husbands and this happened only a few years ago. The police rarely act and only act if international media get wind of the stories themselves or the pressure from the more urban and educated public in Pakistan (or India or elsewhere where these crimes are not uncommon) forces the authorities to act.

    So why are such crimes deemed socially acceptable in the areas where they happen? In India for example:

    Five armed men burst into the small room and courtyard at dawn, just as 21-year-old, 22-week pregnant, Sunita was drying her face on a towel.

    They punched and kicked her stomach as she called out for her sleeping boyfriend "Jassa", 22-year-old Jasbir Singh, witnesses said. When he woke, both were dragged into waiting cars, driven away and strangled.

    Their bodies, half-stripped, were laid out on the dirt outside Sunita's father's house for all to see, a sign that the family's "honor" had been restored by her cold-blooded murder.

    A week later, the village of Balla, just a couple of hours drive from India's capital New Delhi, stands united behind the act, proud, defiant almost to a man.

    Among the Jat caste of the conservative northern state of Haryana, it is taboo for a man and woman of the same village to marry. Although the couple were not related, they were seen in this deeply traditional society as brother and sister.

    "From society's point of view, this is a very good thing," said 62-year-old farmer Balwan Arya, sitting smoking a hookah in the shade of a tree in a square with other elders from the village council or panchayat. "We have removed the blot."


    Sunita's father Om Prakash has confessed to murdering his pregnant daughter and her boyfriend, police told Reuters. An uncle and two cousins were among four others arrested.

    But in Balla many people believe the father confessed merely to underline that he supported his daughter's killing, to satisfy honor and protect the real culprits among his family or village.

    At their house, Sunita's mother did not emerge to talk. Instead, a young man on a motorbike tried to intimidate the Reuters team into leaving. It turned out he was another of Sunita's cousins, his father and brother held by police.

    "We are not ashamed of it, absolutely not, we have the honor of doing the village proud," he said.

    "We would not have had a face to show if we had not done this. It was the act of 'real men'."


    Men and women are still murdered across the villages of northern India for daring to marry outside their caste, but in Haryana the practice is widespread, and widely supported.


    At the small police post in Balla, a constable admitted the case was unlikely to ever reach prosecution, with the village putting enormous pressure on the police, and especially Jasbir's family, to quietly drop the case.

    (Source) - Warning - Graphic image of the murdered couple included in the report

    So why is this socially acceptable? Why are these people being protected? Why isn't there a clamp down? The article quotes one saying that it would never be stamped out because if a politician dared speak out against it, they would never be elected again..

    Lack of education and a tribal belief that does not gel with the rest of society? What makes the burying alive of young teenage girls socially acceptable? What makes lashing a woman for having sex outside of marriage socially acceptable in some societies?

    I think lack of education and poverty has a role to play in it. Oppression stems from the need to dominate -

    Growing economic opportunities for young people and lower castes in Haryana have made "love marriages" more common, experts say, and the violent repression of them has risen in tandem as upper caste Jat men fight to hold on to power, status and property.


    The relatively prosperous northern state of Haryana is one of India's most conservative when it comes to caste, marriage and the role of women. Deeply patriarchal, caste purity is paramount and marriages are arranged to sustain the status quo.

    In short, in some societies, it is deemed acceptable because there is an expectation that women will remember their place. Any who step outside of their designated role will have committed a social crime and will be punished. The same applies for men.

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