Previous Studies and egalitarianism

Daniel A. Foss (U17043@UICVM.BITNET)
Wed, 31 Jan 1996 15:12:00 CST

needs 1. to be True lest the nature, meaning, and purpose of the Universe
etiolate beyond recognition. In these multivalent days, when guttersnipes
may hide 'neath rocks as surely as castles are built upon thin ice, one
might well send the whole thing back to the Senate Malapropriations
Committee for further exegesis, except that I've just received an automatic
message that Ruby is not answering her mail, so I don't see why Ralph should,
either, just to get even, nyaaah. As I deeply regret the present flame war,
if only for the characteristic reason that I didn't start it myself, let me
hazard that "paranoid sinkhole of feminist hatred," something like that,
anyway, represents an overly straightforward, "man's-manly," approach to
problem-solving, where stereotypically, women, like Orientals, are inscrutable,
howbeit to the extent that this becomes problematic when we want them
Screwed. That is, given a Hole, the man's man simplistically ponders how
best it might be Plugged, except that it has Teeth. This theoretical model,
I submit, no, you submit, I dominate, may be in an erroneous zone. Say,
for example, Ruby is a masochist. In the non-sexist sense, of course. After
all, Mr Rocky Mountain Stoned, you know who I mean, his name escapes me,
the Retarded undergraduate fellow at Boulder, was such: "Stomp me, cast
me out, I love it, can't get enough of it." If only he'd just said that
and shut up. Anyway, "paranoid sinkhole of feminist hatred," in such an
eventuality, would logically elicit the response, "Oooooh. You best! Oh,
that was just a bit *too hard*." Which is hardly conducive to even the
suggestion of a "cessation of hostilities." Indeed, we find Ruby calling
Ralph a guttersnipe under a rock. The dictionary, which is present for
the Users of Word Perfect, defines "guttersnipe" as synonymous with "street
urchin," howbeit in such contexts as I've seen the word used, it's been as
a derogatory epithet for a girl or woman: a female analogue for (usually
male) street urchin. Is Ruby questioning Ralph's masculinity, or is she
whimpering, "Harder"?

Tell you what, Ruby, because your machine doesn't allow me to record
messages after the beep, you see my hand? Whenever you feel like Responding
to Rambunctious Ralph, you just lick it instead. I will not spank you for
being a bad girl; I'll do it, however, if you've been a good, *very good*
girl; hate sham, pretense, and the onus of performativity.

None of which is even remotely related to the issue of egalitarianism.
One extreme definition of egalitarianinism already given is that of Morton
Fried (was it?), that the number of honorific statuses correspond, roughly,
to that of persons willing and able to fill them. Presupposing, of course,
that said honorific statuses, or titled offices, are equal in status and
correlative perks to one another. (Also, such a definition is apt for a
society already egalitarian, and bypasses the question of social class or
other categorical Inferiorities of the very sort we are interested in. We
have an inscription dated 136, from Lanuvium, Italy, from an association
of cloth-fullers, accepting slaves as members, whereby all members served
in rotation as *quinquenarius*. Slaves they were, and slaves they remained,
however.) At the other extreme is the "slice of bread is better than none"
position, whereby, it has been adduced, women in Iroquois or Ashante had
minimal place in the polity, as opposed to none elsewhere. Another situation,
in terms of social class, arises where the Aristocracy or Nobility is purely
and simply based upon pedigree, as opposed to "partly open to meritocratic
recruitment" such that *gente decente* are joined by sedimentary accretion
with *uomini nuovi* in the oligarchy. (That's right. The etymology of "decent"
is by way of [hereditary] "descent." Why I'm Indecent, Gentlebeings. From
Gentleman, a member of a stratum of landowners ranking immediately below
the Peerage.)

The serious matter here is, How egalitarian *should* this society be.
This is a major political question, which is at this time in history getting
more and more unasked. It ties into technology and the social distribution
of occupation-associated statuses. At this time, the degree of inequality
in this society is very great and *growing*, as each year's Census Bureau
statistics tell us anew. This year's election is to be about legislating
the result into caste lines, to the extent that this hasn't happened already.

Let's argue about that instead.

Daniel A. Foss
<sewer rat>