- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACK2CZ0Qu-Q (private)
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-PnxRWTu-U (private)
Her early writings reveal the path to her indoctrination.
I was going to make a video.. but. It seems redundant.
Regarding "Liberation as a State of Existence". I have several thoughts.
When you talk about ones "organic state". Let's just assume it's knowable and attainable. Even then, what's to say that the removal of "oppressing influences" reveals this "organic state"?
It sounds like you feel that a person would have an ideal in mind, and there are external hurdles which restrict its pursuit. Removing those hurdles would then allow the attainment of an ideal state. Do I understand you correctly?
If I do, then I would say that for me, I am shaped by my environment to such a degree that even my rebellious nature is something that is crafted out of the influences of those very things I rebel against. I do not understand what it means to not be locked in this state.
I am reminded of the thought experiment of what a child would grow into if they were raised outside the influences of civilization. What qualities would be revealed as innate, and what could be seen as learned from the environment? Would they be "wild"?
For me to go further than rebelling in an obvious "grease the squeaky wheel" manner, to dismantling complex hurdles, I think that I would be making a grand assumption. I say to myself "I dislike this one thing, it blocks my achieving this other thing I want". Reasonable so far. Then I say to myself "if this one thing is blocking me, then maybe all these other related things are also blocking me?". This seems to me to be a dangerous leap of logic.
All of this is tame. A person can do what they wish and if they feel they are better for it, then so be it. But when you begin talking about "liberating others from their oppressors" you are talking dangerously. (although I think you talk far more strongly about social activism than liberating others - in the way I'm speaking)
When I say you are talking dangerously, I think you're making some assumptions.
Is the "organic state" for another achievable in the same way as it may be for yourself?
Is the "organic state" itself the same between different people? Probably not, but I can see the argument that it's the removal of hurdles which is the important point.
Are the things which are hurdles for you also hurdles for others in the same way? I can see "obvious oppression" that is shared between people also being a common hurdle. But is that always true?
What made me think along these lines and want to respond was that I saw this reasoning as one which can be too easily made without the company of those others that would be helped.
There's a strong difference between "we will help you free yourself" and "we will force you to be free".
I'm reminded of various recent hostilities. Setting aside the layers of complexity involved, there is the notion that democracy is desirable to bring to the world. Is it? Says whom?
Many hardships have come about by peoples who have the best intentions but pass judgement on what is "best" for others.
"The natives don't know any better, we must build homes for them and teach them to farm."
You and I are sitting on land that was the result of what may well have been the largest and longest genocide and forced integration ever. Our ancestors "knew what was best". For the land, for the natives, for the settlers. Now is it our turn to know what's best?
I think it's likely that I've focused on just one idea out of many, and you clearly had more to say, especially regarding activism.
For me, I would begin and end with the first part of your idea, which is "nosce te ipsum" (know thyself).
The idea of recognising one's own desires, external hurdles and how to approach them is a good start.
Working on your own hurdles is also a good thing.
However, instead of taking your personal approach to your personal hurdles as an acceptable "template" to help others, I would suggest teaching your own first step to others.
Or rather, I think I should re-use the ideas I've been trying to get across with this writing. I think it would be best to help others learn how to build their own "template". Directly teaching one's own path isn't the right thing to do. It's best to help others find their own path. Even if it turns out to be the exact same path, I argue that it's still best to let it be discovered fairly naturally.
When others are empowered with knowledge of their own goals and hurdles, they can ask for help. Here is where everyone's common goals can be seen and agreed upon. Then collaboration becomes obvious. I think you did describe this when you mentioned "social activism and community outreach" (around 3:10 of your second video).
Also, only when others are empowered can one actually confirm ones involvement in any oppression. Yes some of ones own involvement in oppression seems pretty obvious, but it's all an assumption until others are empowered and can express their need to remove the hurdle one has been supporting.
So here are some evil thoughts, to play devil's advocate..
What if it turns out that women on average want to be "oppressed"? Offloading the responsibility of power means men get the credit, but it also forces men to do the heavy lifting and take any blame.
What if it turns out that men do not actually want to treat women as equals?
(Actually this one's terribly complex. For many men, the idea of treating women as "equals" would mean subjecting them to the constant trials we put one another through to form our normal hierarchies. There would be no "letting them off easy because they're frail women". Even when men pass on the street there is a challenge made.)
I've found that many men I've known actually like fawning over women, treating them as special. Also, I've known many women who have leveraged that power.. and it seems that they wouldn't want to be treated as equal.
What's to say that a person is even competent enough to either find/decide on their own oppression and hurdles, to remove them, to communicate them or collaborate to remove them? There seem to be a lot of people who "decide" on personal oppression in order to skirt the responsibility of making their own decisions on complex topics such as:
- Crafting and maintaining ones own personal morality
- The overwhelming complexity of many things making them either seem random or not random.
- The inherent meaningless of life
- Facing inescapable mortality
What to do on Sunday mornings
Oh shit, did I show my hand there? =)
On that same note, politics is complex to understand and time-consuming to engage in. Many people are willing to give up basic freedoms and responsibilities in order to offload that worry, even when it guarantees an eventual escalation of oppression.
At any rate, I think that an eventual book is a fine idea. Declaring it early gives it a certain kind of nagging substance. Self-publishing is trivial these days. I myself have a number of book ideas that I should get around to one of these years.