Re: Racism and ancient history

Judith Stroud (
Thu, 02 Jan 1997 21:33:29 -0500

Robert Snower wrote:
> 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

It is one thing to teach such knowledge, and another thing entirely for
the so taught to accept it.