A Clash of Symbols

Kristin Devine

Kristin has humbly retired as Ordinary Times' friendly neighborhood political whipping girl to focus on culture and gender issues. She lives in a wildlife refuge in rural Washington state with too many children and way too many animals. There's also a blog which most people would very much disapprove of https://atomicfeminist.com/

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7 Responses

  1. Pinky says:

    Jonathan Haidt famously defined the five moral foundations as:

    The theory is that liberals care primarily about the first two, and conservatives care about all five. I suspect that liberals have just as strong commitments to loyalty, authority, and sanctity, but just different expressions of them.Report

  2. Hear hear! Excellent post, Kristin!Report

  3. J_A says:

    I don’t know if you realize it, Kristin, but this sounds to me very much like Justice’s Kennedy’s dignity argument in Obergefell. Telling gay people that the name marriage doesn’t matter as long as they get some or all of the benefits benefits was disrespecting something, well, their marriage, that they held valuable.

    I’m sure that you can make the opposite argument, that allowing gay people to get married disrespected, sullied, what gay marriage opponents considered sacred: a male-female only marriage.

    Faced with two similarly equal disrespects, and the need to rule in favor of one or the other,I guess I would next go and test what harm(s) any of the groups are suffering.

    Tl/dr, yes, other people value other things. That might not make them bigots per se, but it also doesn’t make them perverts or traitors per seReport

  4. Jaybird says:

    One of the big things I was taught growing up was that America, unlike other countries, was an Idea.

    Germany, for example, had Germans. (This was in the 80’s, so, like, Turks weren’t allowed to become German citizens yet). England had Brits. France had French. Spain had Spaniards. China had Chinese. Ethiopia had Ethiopians. Japan had Japanese. India had Indians.

    But *AMERICA* was an *IDEA*.

    Anybody from any of the countries listed above could come here and start going to baseball games and complaining about the government wasting money even though there are a million potholes and they’d be just as American as anybody.

    In theory, anyway.

    Well, the wacky thing about ideas is that you can change them. Take Rufus:

    You can change an idea. Belief systems are trickier.

    Welp, the idea of America is changing.

    And this will end with divorce or war.Report

    • greginak in reply to Jaybird says:

      The idea of America has always been changing, always been in flux. That is the hard part of having a place based on ideas. We’ve had massive changes in that idea a few times over the course of 200+ years so i guess we’re just gonna keep doing that.Report

    • Pinky in reply to Jaybird says:

      England had Brits?

      England had English. Britain was a code of behaviour, something much closer to an idea than an ethnicity.Report

  5. J_A says:

    England had Brits. France had French. Spain had Spaniards. China had Chinese. Ethiopia had Ethiopians. Japan had Japanese. India had Indians.

    England did not have Brits. Britain had English.

    The explicit, first, and implicit, later *imperial* domination of the UK by the English, without consideration of all the other communities, Welsh, Scots, Irish, has been a source of resentment of the latter for centuries. Brexit, forced by the English on all the other groups, is just the latest just manifestation, one that, perhaps, will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, and disunites Britain in its constituents.

    With respect to Spain having Spaniards, well, the answer is no. 500 years has not been enough to create a single Spanish community out of a conglomerate of historical nations (*). It took France 250 years of continuous, unrelenting, centralizing efforts and pressure, from Richelieu to Napoleon III, to actually create a France that has French.

    And Eritrea, Pakistan or Bangladesh may have something to say about Ethiopia having Ethiopians or India having Indians.

    Hari Seldon said that history has inertia, and that it takes a very long time, or a really big conscious effort, or both (see France) to change history’s direction. We should all remember that when thinking policies and politics

    (*) As an actual Spaniard, I can tell you this with certainty.Report