Re: Social Engineering (was: Different patriarchy Model)

PioneerTom (
22 Jan 1995 01:26:24 -0500

John Cook writes:

"What is more of a problem is that you appear to unwilling to accept the
connection between your normative codes of social conduct and the
oppression of Afro-americans. The persistance of the norm is the condition
of black oppression, not what it should necessarily aspire to."

I find it difficult to believe that anyone who wants to adapt, or see
other people adapt successfully, to our communications intensive,
technological, industrial environment is willing to say that they should
not adopt norms that prohibit bashing someone because they get high marks
on an algebra test. This is what the above quote seems to actually refuse
to condemn. If people actually think that anyone will get far with this
behavior they're as loopy as the fools who beat me up thirty years ago for
the same thing, and are now wondering where their sawmill jobs vanished

Oppression might well consist of coercing someone to refrain from behavior
that would allow them more opportunities. That wasn't what was being
talked about. What was being talked about was a refusal to even
acknowledge the neccessity for technical knowledge in an increasingly
technical world. To call that a "norm" that oppresses anyone is like
calling traffic laws a "norm" that oppresses some group. Remove that
"norm", in this case one that favors technical knowledge, and you have a
disaster for the entire society. This sort of thing is one step short of
calling Newton's three laws of motion a "norm" that oppresses someone who
has touble understanding and using them.

Tom Billings