Re: Racism and ancient history

Robert Snower (
Thu, 02 Jan 1997 17:27:25 GMT

Ron Kephart <> wrote:

> (Robert Snower) wrote:

>> The only way to lick a culture of racism is to offer an alternative:
>> a culture of individualism. Individual merit as against group merit.

>I would counter that "culture of individualism" is a contradiction
>in terms, because culture is acquired in a social group and is shared
>by the members of that group. Also, becuase humans are social animals
>a "culture of individualism" is inherently anti-human.

For a moment, a long time ago, I thought this. It is so so wrong.
The genius of the Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights, democracy, the free
market, the invisible hand, is that they are the pillars of a culture
which is incorporating the concept of the individual, and individdual
competition into it, to achieve a personal freedom, and a freedom from
the prehistoric culture of kinship, rigid order, uniformity,
collectivism, and the inevitable competition confined only to the
group-ethnic level (racism) which results. The seeming paradox of
altruism and individualism is being resolved.

>The best way to cure a culture of racism is to raise a generation of
>people who have been exposed to factual knowledge about what differences
>in skin color, hair form, language, religion, etc. mean, and, perhaps
>more importantly, what they don't mean. One way to do this would be to
>make anthropology a part of everyone's general education. I'm for it!
>Any seconds?

You are dreaming, along with the New Man people, when you think the
mere possession of such knowledge prevents racism. By the way, what
do these differences mean, except that the little group I happen to
belong to is us, and they are them?

Best wishes. rs