Someone finally said it out loud

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Autumn 4 months ago.

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    and I’m glad if only because it may start a conversation:

    In today’s supposedly “woke” world, one gets the impression that one needs to be woke and militant about everything with no prioritization. Save the whales, elephants, tigers, etc., etc., etc. Rescue the Uyghur minority from the genocidal attentions of the Chinese. Protect/extend American minority voting rights. Stop climate change now!

    Obviously, that list could be added to for days and days.

    We can’t care about everything all the time.

    From Warriors co-owner Chamath Palihapitiya says the ‘ugly truth’ is ‘nobody cares about what’s happening’ to Uyghur Muslims in China

    Palihapitiya, during the 1 1/2 hour podcast, said the Uyghurs aren’t a priority for him, unlike other issues such as US healthcare, infrastructure, and climate change.

    “If you’re asking me, do I care about a segment of a class of people in another country? Not until we can take care of ourselves will I prioritize them over us,” Palihapitiya said.

    He pointed to the number of Black and brown men who are incarcerated in the US each year over “absolutely ridiculous crimes.” Black Americans are incarcerated in US state prisons at nearly five times the rate of whites, and Latinx people are 1.3 times as likely to be incarcerated than non-Latinx whites, according to The Sentencing Project, an advocacy group.



    That is funny Unseen, that headline crossed my awareness, and i had similar thoughts.

    I know as a nation we don’t care about genocide. It made an impression on me when Obama was running and indicated that we should intervene in an African genocide IF we have allies come in with us to save the victims. And there was no backlash. Nobody saying WTF, we don’t need allies and this is a moral imperative.

    It is also true that there is only so much we can truly care about. There is suffering and misery on a grand scale every second of every day. Ya have to be selective over your deepest concerns. And then there is the fact that our hearts can be arbitrary. If a beloved cat or dog is touch and go to live or die we can be just as worried as we are over our human loved ones. And we can do that all the while consuming a steak which represented an animal every bit as emotional and intelligent as our special pet.

    It is not the least bit surprising that the Warriors part owner is catching heat for his words. Truth serves few so few serve the truth.



    @jake We often hear “We can’t be the world’s police” except when we are the world’s police.

    There is a lot of genocide going on. How does one rank them in terms of importance? China is trying to stamp out a religion, so where do atheists stand? religious people wonder.

    Some woke projects, like reversing climate change, require a nearly universal international response. Others, like pay parity for Hollywood actresses need convincing relatively few.

    You point out how personal considerations color our choices. My cat is my companion and has helped me keep my sanity while being far more of a shut-in than I ever was before due to both the pandemic and certain declines in my mobility (difficulty walking mainly). It may be shocking, but I wouldn’t sacrifice her to save a human baby. She’s an honorary human as far as I’m concerned, and I feel an added responsibility to her because she is totally dependent upon me for her food, water, and healthcare and because by adopting her, I chose to put her into these circumstances she’s in. If the day comes when I have to put her down, it will be like pulling the plug on a loved one in a coma. Devastating. And it’ll be worse if I have to do so because I simply cannot afford to pay to extend her life.

    I’m just pointing out the real-life decisions we all have to make and how our own sentiments and circumstances figure in.

    Regarding your last line, I’m reminded of one of the greatest quotes from a nearly forgotten American President, James A. Garfield: “The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable.”


    • This reply was modified 4 months ago by  Unseen.

    Simon Paynton

    I don’t think it’s that people don’t care – there’s almost nothing they can actually do.



    Yeah, Unseen, we can’t be the world’s police but we can be the world’s intervenors when it furthers our purported interests. But for people being massacred and desperately needing our help lets see how our allies feel.

    I could not disagree more Simon. Overwhelmingly humans do not care unless they have personal contacts or their particular ideology has awakened a sense of injustice for the poor…fill in the blank.

    I completely get where you are coming from in regards to your cat. And devastation is the correct word to describe how their suffering and loss affects us. I have noticed some vets who are primarily about the animals and others who treat their practice strictly as a BUSINESS. Can you imagine how many animals are put down because people can’t afford to pay the vet’s fee? Sickening.



    @jake Despite the Hypocratic Oath, many people die in America due to being unable to pay America’s inflated medical an prescription costs. If all you need is an antibiotic to treat an infection, there is likely a charitable clinic that’ll give you an appointment and some antibiotics. If you need a bypass, forget it. You’re a goner.



    No doubt about it, Unseen.

    Our priorities are on display. Once again my reaction is…sickening.



    @jake But hey…at least you get to die of medical abandonment in “the best medical system on Earth” (according to Republicans).

    I’m not really retired. I have a new job: To give whatever remains of my wealth to the best medical system on Earth.




    Unseen and Fellow Unbelievers,

    Laser-focusing back on the original topic of Chamath Palihapitiya not caring about Red China’s genocide of the Uighurs, I say that genocide is indèd a horrible thing and not to to conflated, miserable as they are, with medical bills and Casey Kasem dead dog dedications

    I say all this and I love animals and now I have my own palette of medical bills and forms to juggle.

    I also agree that we can all walk and chew gum at the same time, oppose genocide abroad, oppose police brutality at home, and also like Chinese carry-out and praise good cops all at the same time.

    As for the answer to Lenin’s famous question “What Is To Be Done?” there are many things that need done to address this problem.

    As I said before, it was a big mistake for President Nixon to have opened relations with The Butcher of Beijing Mao Tse-Tung, who brought the world The Long March, Education Throuh Labor (the Laogai system,) The Great Leap Forward, The Hundred Flowers Campaign followed by The Anti-Rightist Campaign and later, The Cultural Revolution, all told resulting in over 33-61 million murdered.

    We need to re-consider that opening of relations very seriously, especially after Red China allowed the release of COVID-19 upon the world and murdered the doctors who tried to alert the world and stop the contagion.

    We can all do little things such as seek better actors on the world stage as sources for our purchases.

    I’m all for world trade between individuals and nations who are good actors; The Cartwrights of Ponderosa, LLC and Hop Sing Hospitality, Concierage & Consultancy are both good eggs and have a right to peacefully exchange goods and services.

    What I am dead-set against are dirty deals between dirty governments that allow for slave labor manufacturing, military and industrial espianage, destruction of intellectual property rights via counterfeiting of products, and dependency on a bitter enemy in a time of crisis. All that has happened as a result of opening relations with Red China.

    And while we cannot intervene everywhere on the Planet without stretching ourselves to death or triggering NBC World War, we can be the world’s loving example at home by limiting our own government’s powers, upholding our Constitution and Bill of Rights, and welcoming all peaceful, friendly, self-supporting or sponsored refugees wherever possible.

    That’s what off the top of my head. I’m sure there’s more to be said on this subject.

    • This reply was modified 4 months ago by  TheEncogitationer. Reason: Spelling error and addendum


    Unfortunately, at large, it’s human nature to feel more empathy for one person they see in need of help, than for larger and faceless groups of people in need of help. Although often enough, it’s our local people (with visible faces) whom we need to help (for practical reasons) before we can move on to helping the larger crowd.

    (I guess I’m must restating the obvious, here. Is there a Buddhist idealism in there, somewhere?)



    I say all this and I love animals and now I have my own palette of medical bills and forms to juggle. I also agree that we can all walk and chew gum at the same time, oppose genocide abroad, oppose police brutality at home, and also like Chinese carry-out and praise good cops all at the same time.

    Everyone should be concerned about everything that’s bad and should have no life of their own until every problem is fixed. Like most people, though, my highest priority is what affects me most directly. My own problems, the problems of loved ones and friends. My pet.

    Climate? I’ll vote and make small donations to fix that. I also donate to the ASPCA. I write to my legislators to let them know of my concerns.

    I care about the extinction of rhinos and elephants, but other species—some of which you’ve almost certainly never heard of—are actually in more danger. The vaquita, the kalapo, the tooth-billed pigeon, for example. I’m sure there are hundreds of animals and probably plants as well dying off. The fact is that, sad as their extinction is, we’ll manage without them just as we’re getting by without the Tasmanian tiger and dodo. Their extinction pales by comparison with the problem of climate change.

    If we all worried day in and day out about all the problems we could be worrying about, worrying would be a full-time thing and depression would be an even bigger problem than it is.



    We can’t care about everything…

    True, but I’m not sure that, specifically, is my issue. Or rather, it’s not the first reason I cut off my attention. Mostly I don’t want to deal with my own feelings of overwhelming impotence in the vast ocean of human dysfunction. I have the space and capacity to learn more about various issues domestically and abroad if it’s just a matter of becoming more informed and providing input on how I want policy-makers to respond.

    But if we look at the Uyghur genocide, specifically, there is little I can do as and individual. And while I can put pressure on my government to some extent, I utterly lack faith that Canada will do more than give a few vague utterances. We lack the military capacity to engage in outright armed conflict with China on any significant scale, and even when it comes to economic sanctions, China has gained so much relevance that it might be political suicide to risk relations breaking down completely. Even if, let’s say, we could convince China to at least release the Uyghur population as refugees, Canadian xenophobia would result in massive political backlash so that’s not too likely.

    I understand this thread is not about the Uyghur people, specifically, but the maddening thing is there is zero necessity to the violence being inflicted upon them. It’s irrational. It could end by simply not inflicting that violence. Whether we look at the issue starting from me and how my sphere of influence eventually connects to the Uyghur people or the other way around, there are so many things that feel irrational about the situation. There are millions, if not billions of people who have it in our heads on some level that this is just how the world is and there’s not so much we can do about it.

    Hypothetically, we could all individually just stop doing the bad things. I mean, honestly, we could just. fucking. stop. Maybe we couldn’t agree in every case about which actions were bad and which needed to be stopped, but in these cases of bloodshed, violence, and genocide, we could stop behaving this way. Yet there is some psychological disease that causes us to just accept this dysfunctional aspect of human behaviour. And there is so much momentum behind that tacit (if not conscious and willing) acceptance of dysfunction that when I, as an individual, get to thinking about it, it suddenly feels overwhelming to the extent it manifests as physical discomfort. And there are countless issues were collective dysfunctional behaviour is causing harm, so once I start pulling at that thread, rather than unravelling the garment, I’m sone how pulling myself down into a pit of despair.

    It’s that despair, above all things, that I don’t want to deal with. That emotional avoidance will shut me down on caring about many issues well before the effort it takes to care independent of that despair becomes too taxing.

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