Sunday, May 25, 2003
I cannot quite agree with Carl. My argument again would be that there are positive, legitimate tools for developing a society, and there are others. One common belief is that (and there is some logic to this) dictatorships are more more efficient systems of governance than democracies. The need to evolve a consensus, or at least the least objectionable of all choices, necessarily slows dows the decision making process in domcracies. So, would we recommend dicatorships for chronically slow countries like India? I would rather not.
One point to note: It is not discrimination that puts people on the path to emancipation. It is the backlash against the discrimination. Thus, discrimination achieves the goal by a necessarily divisive process, a pretty dubious distiction.
IMO, Carl's arguments are oversimplifying. Sure, some compelling factor does help the process of emancipation. However, the main hindrance for emancipation is not the lack of an instict to emancipate among all. I would argue that the main impediment is the lack of, or weakness of, the means of such emancipation.
For example, due to historic reasons, a community might be lagging behind in education. That does not mean later generations do not *want* to educate themselves. On the contrary, a person who is getting educated from such a community will necessarily face more hardships in the process than a person who is coming from a background where being educated is the norm. In such a situation, discrimination would *add to* and not ameliorate the problem faced by this person. In effect, it will *slow down* and not accelarate change. Sure, the instinct to escape the discrimination would impel the community to *start* getting educated. But, the same would also become a hurdle once they start.
This idea is most easily captured by the glass ceiling. No one could claim that career women today are putting in any less than men. However, the number of top positions held by women to this day remain disproportionately low. Thus, while discrimination, or more to the point, backlash against it, such as feminist movements etc, put the women in the workplace, it has failed the let them grow there. This then is decidedly not good.
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