30.1.16

NOW GO AFTER THE INTELLECTUAL FOUNDATIONS.

A computer science instructor at Portland Community College (via College Fixpushes back against the latest addition to Identity Politics Spring, which now adds "Whiteness History" to April (poor, overworked April, but February and March are already spoken for by the Oppression Olympics gold and silver medalists.)

He's thinking about the right things, but the intellectual foundations of his argument are much deeper.
We are told that power must be redistributed in a more equitable manner. But power isn’t distributed like coupons.
He's focusing on power, rather than on "privilege." These are distinct concepts, neither of which appear on the project's announcement page.  Loosely, "power" is the ability to compel others to do what you want, and "privilege" is the ability to interact easily with others.  Thus, the dissenting view addresses both concepts, although incompletely.
Power is acquired by personal effort. It is not given. But by all means teach the skills of acquisition of power. Become proficient in English. There is one of the most powerful tools available. Become proficient in the use of a computer and you will have at your fingertips a tool more powerful than any human before you has ever possessed.
Perhaps that's a gripe about the identity-politics complex stealing resources from the academic departments, which is a useful thing to do.   But without a stronger understanding of the meaning of the term, and about the evolutionary stability of mutually beneficial interactions, it's an incomplete gripe.

If, dear reader, you want to encourage students to master the fundamentals rather than whine about injustice, please consider this.
Let's suppose, for the sake of argument, that the Perpetually Aggrieved would like to extend the set of automatic operations [that people engage in almost instinctively] to offering employment or retail assistance or endorsement without regard to race, creed, color, national origin, family circumstance, or university degree.  Then there'd be less reason to call attention to flawed politically correct arguments, because there'd be fewer flawed politically correct arguments in the first place.
Perhaps the way forward is for the diversity bureaucracy at Portland Community to stop excusing the shortcomings of affirmative action admits, or something, or at least to stop mau-mauing the white students and faculty. That might be where the letter of protest is going.
But the grievance industry doesn’t want people to acquire personal power. It wants to reinforce their identity as victims. Only by keeping targeted groups convinced of their own powerlessness can it maintain its own control over them. The equity and inclusion people, the community organizers, the women’s resources groups, the minority studies “scholars” all reap huge benefits from their sordid and self-serving business.
Yes, and here is why their business is sordid and self-serving.
Bourgeois interacts with bourgeois: agreements are made, agreements are kept, mutually beneficial interactions emerge, living conditions improve.

Underclass interacts with underclass: lives are made worse, or lives are ended.

Underclass interacts with bourgeois: someone gets swindled, or the gentry intellectuals seek the sanction of the victim to get the bourgeois to kick in for the maintenance of the underclass.
The protest letter, incomplete though it is, represents a victim removing his sanction. Let the rebellion continue.

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