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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Archive for the day “March 27, 2017”

Labor-destroying Strategies

It’s currently fashionable to exploit the labor of small kids or elderly people in retirement homes, paying them literally cents an hour and save enormously on labor costs this way. Here is one such sweatshop. Here is another

There’s nothing we can do to stop this because, as you know, it’s all about choice. If vulnerable 90-year-olds or clueless 9-year-olds “choose” to be exploited by some rancid piece of human garbage, then that’s to be celebrated because choice is the God of consumerism. But at least we can spit on these products and shame the freaks who buy them and support exploitative practices and erosion of labor market. 

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Dialogue

What, what can possibly be the point of writing a gazillionth post about conservatives wanting to murder poor old ladies and having screwed up brains? Is it a mystery to anybody that at this very moment some conservative is writing this exact same shit about liberals and feeling just as virtuous and superior?

Zygmunt Bauman says in Retrotopia that an increase in feelings of tribalism is a response to the uncertainties and anxiety brought by globalization. He says that we need to resist the urge to convince ourselves that members of another tribe – whatever it may be – are so profoundly different from us that no dialogue can be possible. There is no future, Bauman insists, if we don’t start talking to each other*, no matter how delicious it might be to imagine oneself deeply superior to the opponent. 

* Bauman obviously doesn’t just speak about political factions. Whoever your most detested Other is – a Muslim, a Russian, a Trump supporter, a Rauner voter, a bird-watcher – get over the need to declare your superiority 24 hours a day and dedicate 5 minutes to contemplating your shared humanity.

Angry Russian or Ungrateful Muslim?

So there was this big story in Russia where a drunkard assaulted a doctor at a hospital. This was caught in video, the whole thing went viral and inspired a mountain of talk shows about alcoholism and doctor safety in Russia. 

A bit later, the video of the angry Russian drunkard went viral in Spain. Of course, in Spain nobody cares about aggressive drunks in Novgorod, so the story was presented as an assault by a Muslim on a Spanish doctor. “This is how Muslims repay the kind welcome we give them here in Europe!” the Spaniard who disseminated the video explained. The video went viral because who doesn’t want to stare at an ungrateful Muslim?

Spain is one of few exceptions in Europe in that it doesn’t have a far-right party. But as I predicted in my book, this will only be true for a small period of time. 

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