Saturday, October 01, 2005

Reductio ad absurdum, political incorrectness and 'race'

Yet another example of why Blogs are here to stay: Nothing short of world class discussion and analysis of Bill Bennett's use of reductio ad absurdum during his now 'controversial' conversation at 'Bill Bennett's Bogus Journey' from Captain's Quarters.

One comment posted by Caleb is worthy of note:

So, Cap'n, I guess that it is alright that we have repealed the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution. We no longer have free political speech. Or perhaps we have free political speech as long as we adhere to the rules set down for us by the various political correctness tsars.

I know that I am old and senile and that I sometimes forget stuff. Perhaps, Cap'n, you could do a post in which you list all the things that can NOT be discussed and all the groups or human catagories that we can NOT talk about.

Whites can't talk about blacks
Gringos can't talk about Hispanics
Men can't talk about women or abortion
Christians can't talk about God
Conservatives can't talk bad about Liberals
Repubs can't talk bad about Dems
The elite MSM can't be criticized
Academics of all levels can not be exposed as ideologically driven malcontents.

Gee, I know that I am missing some catagories here. I am sick and tired (you can't be sick without also being tired) of people walking around with a chip on their shoulder just daring others to offend them. There is a whole list of people that I enjoy offending for that very reason, and the list is getting longer every day. Supposed Repubs that refuse to be team players and insist on jumping out front to criticize other Repubs is a catagory rapidly moving up to the top of my list.

So now conservatives are required to criticize Tom DeLay, Rush Limbaugh, Bill Bennett, the Minutemen, pro-life activists, anyone that wants to enforce the immigration laws, anyone that opines that people should do some things for themselves instead of waiting for the Feds to give them handouts, anyone that dares to suggest that the Louisiana elected and appointed officials might not have done their jobs before and during and after Katrina. How many did I miss?

Porkopolis generally agrees with Caleb's sentiment as long as the politically incorrect speech is being done in such a way as to move the society forward and not as Caleb notes: to just to 'offend' people; though Caleb was probably utilizing a corollary to reductio ad absurdum with that sentiment. The Golden Rule should apply in political discourse as well.

Bennet is not the first to utilize a reductio ad absurdum argument in discussing social policy. One of the more well know uses of this form of argument is Johnathan Swift's 'A Modest Proposal'.

As to 'race' and the politically incorrect atmosphere it engenders, Porkopolis looks forward to the day when the man-made notion of 'race' (much like Republican, Democrat, Libertarian are all man-made notions) is a part of our history; much like the notion our ancestors once had of the Sun revolving around the Earth.

To that end and in the spirit of 'political incorrectness', Porkopolis is a strong proponent of the effort to stop collecting 'race'-based Census data. Porkopolis has built a site (The Unhyphenated American which uses the principle of reductio ad absurdum in the 'Color Test' ) in support of this effort. The site simply advocates that U.S. citizens simply respond "human" to any Census question(s) concerning 'race'. With this one simple act, we will eliminate 'race' in less than one generation from the United States.

Two quick preemptive responses to those tha 'pooh-pooh' this idea on the basis that it is 'racist' itself and does not address poverty.

1. You can't have 'racism' without 'race'. A syllogism yes, but a thought provoking one at that.

2. Poverty has a number of social-economic dimensions and is the primary responsibility of the able body individual in poverty to work their way out of with judicious and measured assitance from the society as a whole. And in determining 'judicious and measured'...there's the rub of the political discourse we participate in.

Update: More perspectives worthy or your time from La Shawn Barber and Washington Post columnist, Richard Cohen.

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