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What is "humane"?

Submitted by LostYonder in AskRaddle

I'm wondering of people's reactions to the idea of "humane" - what does it mean, from an anarchist perspective? Does it imply relational ethics? communal values? or is it just another liberal construct to pacify people against legitimate resistance to structural inequalities? Or, is that itself what we mean by humane - struggling for new possibilities???

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4

ravengrace wrote

It's meant to be all these things, but it's just a neo liberal , green capitalist buzzword

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kore wrote (edited )

an interesting little fact is that the etymology of the word "humane" comes the latin word "humanus" which means "of a human being." This word is in turn related to "humus", the Latin word for earth. So at its most basic level, to be humane is to be an earthly being. I like to include all living things in this definition. It also has the association "kind, gentle, polite" from very early on, as if these qualities are fitting for a human. Okay, comparative-historical linguistics aside over.

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LostYonder wrote

fascinating - thanks for sharing. I like that earthly aspect and it's inclusive nature...

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kore wrote

haha yeah well it's not really inclusive in latin, i just like to think it could be that way.

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LostYonder wrote

no, certainly not, particularly as it is an expression of the Christian idea that man is created from the earth/clay/dust... But that's just the roots of an idea that ultimately goes beyond that original meaning. Thus the appeal of your more humane reading of the humane :)

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Freux wrote

Kept thinking about it and now I don't understand how we link humane with compassion but what we call humane is nothing compassionate. There is no kindness in "humane", as ziq pointed out, we just use "humane" as a reform to animal slaughter, prison, work, etc. So considering that the word is kind of an antonym to what it should mean, anarchism is closer to compassion than "humane" will ever be.

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LostYonder wrote

That is an insightful argument.

My only problem with compassion is that the idea is so integral to Christianity that it is hard for me to dissect it away from that discursive tradition...

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Freux wrote

Empathy, kindness, if you think compassion sounds too religious.

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ziq wrote (edited )

I think from an anarchist perspective it's a spectre. It's a word used by fucked up people to excuse the fucked up things they do, like the mass slaughtering of caged animals for their pleasure.

or this: https://allthatsinteresting.com/humane-prison

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LostYonder wrote

so, on one level it is just a construct to employ to justify all kinds of actions, some of which are in fact quite inhumane. On another level, it is a normative code devised by an authority to define certain behaviors as acceptable and others as not - is that a correct reading of your points?

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mustard wrote

is anarchism a humane ethic

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ziq wrote (edited )

It's the eternal struggle against (human) authority. The vast majority of people seek and enable authority. They also decide what qualifies as 'humane'. So for anarchy to be 'humane' it would need to suit their warped senses i.e. stop being a struggle against authority.

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mustard wrote

so for you , humanity is an authority? but I thought it was a specter. do we struggle against the specter?