Submitted by Sid_Knee in Anarchism

when the transgressions are transgressions of right wing norms, like firing supposed communist sympathizers in the mcarthy era, or cancelling Phil Donahue and the Dixie Chicks for not supporting war, or the blacklisting colin kaepernick for criticizing the police, it’s already inherent that the effect of punishment is to maintain relations of dominance of the powers that be – but when the transgressions are for violating left wing social norms which is what we’re most often talking about today, we can see that there is a fundamental hypocrisy there – where the justification or pretense is egalitarian, but the actual aim is dominance.

And if you’re wondering how we can tell the difference between real egalitarian behaviour and dominance behaviour in disguise, there are lots of red flags and clues. Like is the action being taken going to improve the world in any way?

When you see things like immediate calls for firing and extreme punishment and excommunication for small and moderate offences, with a total absence of any constructive intervention aimed at teaching anyone anything, whether it’s teaching the person who supposedly said or did something bad why what they did is bad, or teaching the general public who might be inclined to agree with the person who’s being targeted, and there’s just no attempt at anything that might improve the supposed harm that the target of the punishment caused now or in the future, only punishment – that’s a big red flag that the goal is just terror and control and not gender or racial equality and solidarity.

When you out a local date rapist, or call for a professor who sexually harasses students to be fired, then you can claim you’re preventing more people from being raped and harassed. But if you’re calling for the firing of someone who made racist tweets when they were 15 years old, or an actress who said something stupid that 50% of americans believe without explaining what’s wrong with what she said, or a janitor whose actions were misinterpreted as racism by a student – who are you helping?

When someone who is supposedly against the prison incarceration system and for restorative justice practices when it comes to crimes – but then suddenly that same person believes in total spanish inquisition salem witch hunt practices when it comes to someone who said the wrong word or who has an ignorant opinion about something, that is a big red flag.

When a professor who says the n-word out loud while reading from a James Baldwin text or a Malcolm X essay because they want to teach the ideas of James Baldwin and Malcolm X as they were intended to be read – and those authors used that specific word and not another work for a reason – and then that person gets fired more quickly than a professor who sexually harasses their students because claims of sexual harassment at least get an investigation first – that is a big red flag that “preventing harm” is not the operating principle at work, that something else is going on.

When you’re trying to exact the same punishment and treatment on someone who made racist tweets in high school 10 or 15 years ago, as you do to a person who’s a serial date rapist, that is a huge red flag that what you’re doing isn’t about preventing harm – it’s about redefining everything as extreme harm so that you can justify having the power to exact punishment and destruction on anyone that you don’t like at any moment.

When extreme punishments like firing are enacted for transgressions of rules that most people don’t even understand without any in depth explanation or any “restorative justice” type of learning process, what you are doing is teaching the general public that if you have the wrong opinions you will be destroyed, and the result is the opposite of solidarity and fighting racism or sexism or transphobia – you’re just associating any talk of gender and racial equality and being respectful to our fellow human beings with fear. And that’s sure to generate more prejudice and bigotry, and of course it will be exploited to the hilt by politicians who are against things like racial and gender equality to foster as much resentment as possible. … And we need to be able to voice opinions that may sometimes be wrong or bad if we’re ever going to have the discussions necessary for us to be exposed to the counterarguments that might make us realize why those things are wrong and bad. And we all say and do stupid things at some point or another, or on a regular basis without realizing it.

We obviously want to live in a world where we can expect that when we say something stupid, someone will explain to us why that was stupid, and where we can have the chance to argue it thought and think it out, and also to just disagree. ..

But if you only care about these issues as a means to power and control, then you don’t want any of this understanding or convincing – you just want obedience. Even better if people don’t understand the the rules – because they aren’t your equals, they don’t have a right to think or disagree, they’re your objects of control. That’s why the catholic church prevented translating the liturgy and bible into the local languages, you’re just supposed to obey, not understand!

And, if people don’t understands the rules then they will be censoring and policing everything they do or say 24-7 in case it might somehow violate one of these rules, and they’ll be keeping their heads down and in a constant state of stress. … And all this means that people will be afraid of each other – afraid of getting cancelled, or targeted, or they’ll just be so afraid every time they meet a person from a different culture that they’re going to say something that will inadvertently get them in trouble, and the more afraid people are, the more divided they are, which means they won’t unite together against power, and that’s something that every power wants.

That’s why among all the different anti racist trainings out there, White Fragility is the most popular one with corporate managers, because it makes workers uncomfortable and afraid of eachother and it puts them in a state of constant self policing. That’s a comfortable state for management to have your employees in. If the employees do one of the anti racist trainings that builds solidarity and empathy, the employees might start uniting against the employer, and maybe they’ll start a union!



You must log in or register to comment.