racist is as Peter S does

How to Avoid Discussion

 

From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Mon Apr 19, 2004 5:57 pm
Subject: how to avoid discussion

In the ongoing saga of responding-while-not-responding, Mike writes:

I've been thinking about the character of racism in action:

I found this catalogue of characteristics most revealing. Not one of Mike's chosen items has anything whatsoever to do with race. No wonder Mike has trouble understanding what other people write about racism -- he thinks racism is a matter of poor social skills.

the arrogance that so easily turns a blind eye to invitations to talk about other topics on this list

I'm not sure why this counts as arrogance, but I plead guilty to disinterest in many of the topics broached on this list.

the subtle indignations implied to any and all that are "confused" about the only topic that he cares to talk about

I think Mike has misread me on this score. I'm not indignant about the various racist beliefs defended and promoted by a number of listmates; it's more or less what I expect from some anthroposophists. In fact I can't recall being indignant about anything that I've seen on this list. The confusion that some listmates display can admittedly be annoying on occasion, as it requires pointless digressions explaining that yes, racism really does mean belief in racial inequality, and no, direct quotation from Steiner's published works does not constitute misuse of sources; but that sort of thing doesn't make me indignant.

his seeming inability to see the people behind the words and ideas, and to meet them as fellow human beings, in an altruistic kind of way

I also plead guilty to disinterest in meeting most of the active participants on this list. It's an email list, not a cocktail party.

the categorization of the people on this list as "Anthroposophists";

Not all of them, obviously, but quite a few of them; anthroposophy is, after all, the theme of this list.

the separatism of claiming that "Anthroposophists" are confused and hard to talk to

Once again, this is only true of some anthroposophists, not all of them. Although they don't seem to be very well represented on this list, there are anthroposophists who recognize that some of Steiner's ideas were racist and antisemitic.

So screw your "Textural analysis."

Well, that certainly would make it easier to hold on to your cherished notions about what Steiner really "meant". But nobody will take this seriously in public discussion. Which is, I suppose, why so many of you avoid discussing Steiner's racial and ethnic doctrines publicly.

Care to talk about the fact that you are still recovering from your Catholic upbringing?

Sure! I talk about this quite a bit. If you'd like to start an email list devoted to this theme, go for it.

always had an opposing idea to focus on and argue about....

Heavens, not that.

Come to find out that he had repressed memories of being sexually abused by an uncle when he was a child.

And you think this had something to do with his beliefs about Noam Chomsky, nature, and god?

Even without the sexual abuse, Catholic shame and guilt can influence a persons motives considerably, especially when considering subject matter of a spiritual nature.

That's probably true. Since motives are irrelevant to the validity of arguments that people put forward, I don't see what this might have to do with anything. If you're trying to say that you can't engage in public discussion with other people unless you have a thorough inventory of their sexual history, Mike, then I think you've made a fundamental mistake.

So based on your writings to date, and your seeming lack of empathetic skills in comparison to your intellectual prowess, there seems to be a major imbalance.

Yes, that's bound to happen when you try to assess people's character based solely on emails. Public email lists are often imbalanced in this way.

My diagnosis is that you have not yet recovered enough from your traumatic Catholic up-bringing to be truly objective in your analysis of RS and Anthroposophy in General.

No shit, Sherlock. People who think their own ideas are "truly objective" are naive.

you might find a more empathetic view in general of your own writings from an even broader populace

You mean from people like the ones on this list? Sorry, those aren't the kind of people I write for. But I'm still interested in discussing Steiner's work with you, if any of you can manage to get over your shyness for a moment. Avoiding discussion is not a sign of emotional intelligence, in my view, and it won't help endear your belief system to a "broader populace". I recommend skipping th primal scream therapy and trying simple reading and discussion instead.

Yours for self-analysis,

Peter

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From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Tue Apr 20, 2004 1:48 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] how to avoid discussion

At 02:57 20.04.2004, PS wrote:

I'm not indignant about the various racist beliefs defended and promoted by a number of listmates;

The public should be aware that this trickster is operating with eccentric definitions of his own, especially what "racist beliefs" are concerned. It's interesting to notice that his allegation of racism, which must be characterized as pathological and obsessive, is now openly extended to the listmates.

Tarjei

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From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Tue Apr 20, 2004 9:21 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] how to avoid discussion

Hi Tarjei, you wrote:

The public should be aware that this trickster is operating with eccentric definitions of his own, especially what "racist beliefs" are concerned.

If that were indeed the case, then the public would already be aware of it, obviously. But I don't think it is the case. I think that many people share the understanding of racism that I've put forward here, and reject the understanding that you have put forward. Lots of folks recognize that racism is a set of beliefs about race, not a spiritual pathology or a disease of the soul, as you would have it.
It's interesting to notice that his allegation of racism, which must be characterized as pathological and obsessive, is now openly extended to the listmates.

I'm not sure why you think I've just done so now. Did I fail to make clear earlier that I consider some of the views you have championed racist? I think your beliefs about the existence and character of an "Aryan race" are racist, and I think your beliefs about what you call "eugenic racial evolution" are racist, for example. I can't agree with Sophia that pointing this out means provoking you. It simply means that we disagree about what constitutes racism.

Yours for public discussion,

Peter

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