Communities’ acceptance of other communities

That whole topic was brought to mind to me yesterday in a podcast (driving more, so listening more). The topic was trans things, and the speaker said that Facebook and other social media operations were banning trans people’s posts, even when they were in private areas, and how unfair that was and how it harmed the trans community. I immediately thought of far-right communities, and how I want them to be surveilled to within an inch of their life (and an inch beyond). [Yes, sure, “far-left” too, to the extent they exist; that’s dozens of people, DOZENS! I just don’t see “far left” as a violent threat. They are a cultural threat in that they have a LOCK on tiny theater productions.]

I’d like to see someone (I don’t think it can be me) define “right” and “left” in terms of how they see a nation’s or the world’s communities. On the right, there’s a hint in how it is descended from feudalism via royalism, though it likes its “barons” (whatever that may be at any stage in history) to have a lot of leeway to exercise their power independently of a king/president (see the Magna Carta and Federalism). Nobody should interfere with their oppression of their serfs/slaves/employees/subordinates. Unfettered power is the sweetest power, even if it is the power to put fetters on someone.

How does the “left” define its community? Sometimes internationally, as in workers of the world. I think it can also be nationally, but without regard to traditional social hierarchy. So the ideal “liberal” order would be like what we had after WWII for 20 years, with high marginal tax rates and high inheritance taxes to create more financial equality, and good public schools (in English with introductory (i.e., 1 year) help for non-English speaking children; this is the area I would be considered “right-wing”) and free college for all who want it to create a ladder of social ascent. Why is there more social mobility in Scandinavia than in the US or Europe? High taxes + free schools and college. Because of the draft in the pre-Vietnam era, everyone was all White people men were “equal” and the government successfully created a White middle class, which was a shining example to the world.

Except for the racism and the sexism, America was great then! And we should Make America Greater!

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Okay, so that’s a stab at how the L and the R identify our “communities”. How do they deal with other communities? Ethnic, religious, other. America had a “melting pot,” which has more or less charitable definitions (over a couple of generations, you can be full Americans and we’ll be gentle in the meanwhile, maybe just mocking your accent or facial hair; OR Assimilate quickly, become invisible or we’ll discriminate against you and maybe lynch you).

I remember a trope a few years back about people moving to Bible Belt communities. At the local watering hole, someone would ask, as one does there, Where do you go to church? You’d better have an answer, because if you didn’t go to church, you were considered a threat. How do we know you won’t just KILL people? What’s stopping you, if not our Lord Jesus? You remember, this was a real argument. How can they trust you, if you don’t go to Church, and preferably, their particular Church?

And this is the suspicion of Jews — they’re not part of my community, they’re part of their own community. Who do they answer to? What are they up to? And if you start thinking that, you will notice other small differentiating characteristics: facial features, hair, clothes, accents… Never a shortage of ways to notice differences.

Another community that has suffered a great deal of discrimination are the Roma. Persecuted in Germany, sullenly tolerated elsewhere. Now, I don’t know much about the Roma, but I believe the stereotype is that, unlike Jews, they have historically been suspected of not participating in the overall economy, but rather in the grey or black market. So they have the same suspicions levied against them that Jews have, but Jews participate in the at-large economy so can have a great claim to be “mainstream.”

What about communities that discriminate to the point of violence against those who are really hard to distinguish as “other”? In France, there was (is still? I don’t know!) the community of Cagots. Indistinguishable from other French people except by their names, they had special entrances to Churches, and it is said that priests would give them communion with tongs. But know who was and who was not a Cagot was vital, to the point that when a fire broke out in a government building that had files of Cagot’s names, the community went to rescue the files, just so they could keep track of whom to oppress!

And of course the famous 1950s 60s reaction to men’s long hair: “You can’t tell the boys from the girls!” Why, again, do you need to? To know whom you can harass, what form the harassment should take, whom you should hire or not, whom you can batter or (maybe) flirt with.

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