Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Greer's problem

Marcia Langton has comprehensively refuted Germaine Greer analysis that aboriginal men are perpetual and hopeless victims of rage in a magnificent essay (Greer maintains rage of racists)

What is Greer's problem?
  • recycling slogans from the past that are partially true but one sided, a one sided slogan based view of history, taking partial truths and presenting them as essential truths
  • sloppy psychological based analysis, fitting the world to her view, not seeking the truth rigorously, not listening to those who know better, not being objective
  • She uses her ideology as a blinker, not a filter. We all have ideologies but need some way to keep them in touch with objectivity
  • lofty and grandiose pronouncement from afar, not really being on the ground or in touch or up to date with the real, current indigenous problems
  • a comfortable victim hood view of the world, victims can't get over it: "Trust me I've been a victim and know what you are suffering"
Earlier on Pamela Bone exposed Greer for her lack of solidarity with oppressed Muslim women. The dialectical wheel has turned full circle: Greer from liberator of women to oppressor of women.

These are real problems which I believe can be extended to other contentious issues such as the Iraq war (Iraq is now finally emerging as a democratic state) and the alleged environmental catastrophe. It's easy to fall back on long held beliefs that add together to become a world outlook, it's easy to avoid the hard yards of rigorous analysis, it's easy to be a comfortable victim of forces so powerful they are hard to deal with, it's easy to seek attention with short blog posts like this that ride off the hard work of others. It's hard to be objective, really hard.

In this case, it's clear to me that Marcia Langton has done the hard yards and Germaine Greer has not. Read her essay.

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