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Clive James - Veil of Silence over murder

(34 Posts)
LadyMidnightMT Tue 22-Sep-09 14:03:38

Brilliant essay.

TwoIfBySea Tue 22-Sep-09 22:33:20

It almost doesn't bear thinking about, and this in the 21st century. I wonder how this sits with the apologists?

LadyMidnightMT Wed 23-Sep-09 07:49:48

I don't think they will even read it. Do you?

sarah293 Wed 23-Sep-09 08:15:59

Message withdrawn

LadyMidnightMT Wed 23-Sep-09 11:00:26

Riven, you seem to have willfully missed the whole point of the essay. " Western liberal democracy, or a reasonable imitation of Western liberal democracy when it comes to the rule of law, is still the only kind of society we know about where women are not at the mercy of systematic injustice".

When he says, "In a free society, radical dissatisfaction is usually a condition of mind before it is a response to circumstances, so it has to go somewhere. As atomisation continues in the liberal democracies, the number of candidates for an irresponsible semi-intelligentsia continues to increase. They come from either wing, but are always more vociferous on the Left, because capitalism provides the more blatant source of provocation. One can hardly blame them for that. What is striking is their capacity, once they run out of injustices in liberal democracy that they can blame on capitalism, to look for injustices in the rest of the world that they can blame on liberal democracy."

He is talking about people who say, 'things are far from perfect here - we have no right to think ourselves aby better than cultures who imprison or stone to death rape victims'. To say that with a straight face is to endulge in the worse kind of intellectual and moral bankruptcy.

"We had also better believe that where men alone decide what women's rights are, the results are rarely good." yes, it does stand out. But he is not talking about us here as plainly, men alone do not decide what women's rights are here.

His point is that change has come in the West. And that it only happened after the Refomation. He points out that until the koran can be scrutinised and chuch and state seperated, it will never happen. Things happened slowly in the West becasue no-one was helping. No one had seperated church and state before. Millions died It was the blind leading the blind. That is not the case today.

sarah293 Wed 23-Sep-09 11:11:16

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LadyMidnightMT Wed 23-Sep-09 11:18:51

Is that a fact or is that just a guess? How entrenched are they for women already? There are women's groups, but again, like James points out, their individual life expectancy is that of a snowflake in hell.

What do I suggest? Realising the worth of liberal democracy inspite of its flaws - which we can and do have the right to improve.

For liberals to understand that multiculturalism is not "fundamental to a liberal position, and therefore not to be questioned." but that it's questioning and deep analysis is essential if we really believe in liberalism and basic human rights for all.

That would be a good start.

sarah293 Wed 23-Sep-09 11:20:45

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DoNotPressTheRedButton Wed 23-Sep-09 11:28:49

The essay is interesting though. There is absolutely IME a lack of discussion; a few eyars ago I sat a degree in world faith <<gives up anonymity and waves to Riv>> and there was one lady there who was a true feminist, also she was a aprticularly gifted student. Every opportunity she ahd she would write essays tacking exactly this, and every essay would come back with 'a bit unkind' 'or 'a little bit emotional /reactive / not so much what we need to be discussing'

Truth was, she was just not playing on the party line of not criticising faith matters: not necessarily becuase of the don't-upset-them line, but because some people in the field have a bizarre mysticism that deniws what goes on, and others just rpefer to categorise it as cultural and ignore any faith aspects whatsoever.

Am not an expert on feminism but know a bit more about poverty due to previous study, and tried something similar with an early essay on dallit culture: unike thick skinned principled firned I learned fast to get my head down and my gardes in, but I admire her more.

DoNotPressTheRedButton Wed 23-Sep-09 11:30:41

'For liberals to understand that multiculturalism is not "fundamental to a liberal position, and therefore not to be questioned." but that it's questioning and deep analysis is essential if we really believe in liberalism and basic human rights for all'

and for liberals (and I am certainly one) to realise that criticising the nbegatives of any system if they do active harm is not the same as denying people the right to beleive or even being faintly racist.

Whish is an attitude I find qute common.

LadyMidnightMT Wed 23-Sep-09 11:32:22

There are plenty of options available other than invade. I don't think James is asking Western feminists and liberals to jump on the nearest hummvee, do you? He is specifically asking where the voices of condemnation are. If they would consider raising their eyes out of their own privledged navels for a moment.

The whole essay is about realising the worth of liberal democracy. Forgive me if I find it odd that you want an explanation from me after you have just read one that can't be bettered from Clive James

LadyMidnightMT Wed 23-Sep-09 11:37:39

Totally agree with that element of mysticism Buttons (if I may call you that). And also the attitude you find common - James describes it as the 'racism of the anti-racists' - if you question the 'ideology' of multiculturalism, (that it is a fundemental of liberalism) you will find yourself labelled a racist by the good line-towing liberals - and by default, you are now a bad liberal, if liberal at all.

Clear as mud

policywonk Wed 23-Sep-09 11:44:28

<marking thread>

sarah293 Wed 23-Sep-09 13:12:29

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dittany Wed 23-Sep-09 13:26:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

dittany Wed 23-Sep-09 13:30:14

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dittany Wed 23-Sep-09 13:55:48

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sarah293 Wed 23-Sep-09 15:46:39

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cherryblossoms Wed 23-Sep-09 16:00:22

This group have been going a long time and deserve a bit more publicity women living under muslim laws

cherryblossoms Wed 23-Sep-09 16:20:28

I also remember attending a lecture given by Iris Marion Young arguing for against female genital mutilation in strong, liberal terms. It was, and still is, a controversial position.

Generally, I'm pleased he wrote that article. He is wrong to make explicit claims that western, liberal feminists have been particularly lacking in duty.

He'd have been better saying something along the lines of "Western liberals, particularly men, have been very silent on this issue, probably because they are worried about putting their foot in it. But we do have greater access to power, so I'm going to make a start. And I'm sure I will find it tricky. But feel free to join in." Which is effectively what he's done - fair dues. It's a really complicated position.

cherryblossoms Wed 23-Sep-09 16:21:11

Aaagh! IMY argued against FGM.

LadyMidnightMT Wed 23-Sep-09 17:05:24

Dittany, these are women's issues and they are being discussed. In the same issue see here
This is one of the men primerily responsible for getting Hirsi Ali's profoundly feminist message disseminated, along with Chris Hitchins - whilst feminists like Natasha Walter pooh poohed her as emotional and bigoted.

Trust you to divert attention away from the issue - women in need - for a political agenda.

Who are these feminists you speak of who are 'silenced'? How are they 'silenced'? Are they imprisoned, raped and murdered as they are in Iraq or Iran?
James begins to a reference to a female writer who is now dead, further publisising her work.

And LOL abotu James being a sexist arsehole for daring to use humour. Realign your sights Dittany. We are once again in danger of witnessing a blue on blue!

Have you read the article? The good archbishop is mentioned in both.

Agree with you Cherry.

dittany Wed 23-Sep-09 17:40:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

dittany Wed 23-Sep-09 17:56:44

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dittany Wed 23-Sep-09 17:58:40

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