Cât pentru jidani – explicaţia pe care o dau ei antisemitismului este încă şi mai caracteristică. Pe lângă obişnuitul clişeu, cu sălbăticie şi ură – fireşte, fără motiv, căci nu le convine să discute motivele
And yet... this is an excellent point of superb depth. Pretty much akin to the "aren't workers or Romanian" thing abovei.
Rachel The literal translation isn't doing much for me, what would you say this is saying, such that it makes an excellent point?
Mircea As for the Jews themseves, the explanation they give to antisemitism is even more characteristic. Aside the ususal cliches, of barbarism and hatred - without reason, of course, as they're not served by discussing the reasons
Rachel ...but what ARE the reasons. You ever hear an actual reason that's something other than that which can be boiled down to "I'm afraid I suck more"?
Mircea Yes. Economic competition, cultural isolation.
Rachel But both of those can be boiled down to "I'm afraid I suck more".
Mircea Nevertheless. All hatred can be boiled down to "I'm afraid I suck more".
Rachel Which is why it's barbaric and hatred. I suppose it's possible someone could bring either of the arguments you mentioned within a pure, emotionless context, but I've never heard of such a thing happening.
Mircea Listen, barbaric and hatred don't particularly help. Nobody cares you call him barbaric if he's decided you're an asshole prior. Fundamentally the cause of the Jewish bloodbath in Europe is the failure (or possibly refusal) of Jewish people to actually engage the reasons.
Rachel Why would I care that he cares tho?
Mircea Because if you don't you'll have to either kill him or be killed. And if you're a minority with no rights or army you're not killing anyone.
Rachel Yeah. Well to be honest in a way I think it's pretty admirable, they decided that's what they're doing and they stick to it. On the other hand, ofcourse, maybe there was a better way, for any definition of better....
Mircea I dont really think they decided anything. I think they were too clueless to understand the situation and merely continued on the collision course.
Rachel What do you base that on?
Mircea The absence of any actual act "deciding" ? The complete lack of the point even being discussed afawk ?
Rachel Refusal to yield over several decades despite huge losses and hardship indeed either points to resoluteness or cluelessness, tho you'd think after a few smacks over the head cluelessness would at least change somewhat
Mircea Nah. Consider a deaf and dumb kid who, unknowingly, starts humming in church. How many smacks are needed before his audible output reduces below a hum ?
Rachel Sorry, but if the problem people have with these folks is that they're making better food and getting along better in life, I'm not about to suppose they're as helplessly unaware of things as a deaf and speechless child.
Mircea From what I see the historical record supports this theory. A dumb and deaf kid could be the best painter of his generation, and cooking is art.
Rachel Well in the absence of concrete evidence I suppose I'll invoke Occam's razor.
Mircea Occam's razor dictates dumb and deaf kid in this context.
Rachel Not at all. It is far more complex to have a deaf and speechless child that just so happens to be especially gifted at making food and keeping house and working the land than it is for knowledgeable people to have decided that people who bitch like this can fuck off.
Rachel How do you figure? How many extreme savants do you think exist?
Mircea It's not a matter of what's "more complex". It's a matter of what's more expensive.ii How many groups that actually follow through do you think ever existed ?
Rachel I can think of six off the top of my head.
Mircea And two dozen in total. Just because such are popular and much discussed doesn't make them any less exceptional.
Rachel Well, if the Jewish people are more like savants, why is it that they've managed to stay alive and make their own (troubled, but whose isn't) state meanwhile, and thousands of years and all that?
Mircea Also, for the record, the Jews didn't work the land (ever, at all). They did commerce. An easy task, because Romanians suck at it.
Rachel Eh piss off, they worked the land. People who live in the country work the land to subsist, it's what the very guy was complaining of.
Mircea Not at all. I don't think any of these guys ever met a Jewish peasant really, which is why they confuse lender/merchant with Jew.
Rachel So wait. You're telling me that these old guys are complaining about all the Jews that moved into their towns and took it over and they have good bread and we have nothing and we live at the margins and waaah, and all this time nobody is doing any farming except those few people at the margins? This makes no sense.
Mircea Why not ? They weren't few by any means. At the time this is going on about 2/3 of the population was living in earthen huts and pulling the plows in line with the oxen. A thin sliver of "intellectuals" populated the towns, mostly on government dole.
Rachel Because society doesn't work this way, you can't displace 90% of the farmers and now only 10% of who was farming farms yet things are still running.
Mircea Did you read Caragiale's excellent write-up on the 1907 peasant rebellion ?
Rachel Was Fiddler On The Roof moreover a complete misrepresentation of peasant life?
Mircea It was a complete misrepresentation of peasant life in Romania. There were such communities in the Tsar's Russia for sure. But Romanian antisemitism was by and large a commercial and urban matter.
Rachel We weren't discussing the Jewish people solely in the context of Romania in terms of the savant vs. resolute discussion.
Mircea We were, cause the Zelinski and co. troop are much too clueless to know anything.
Rachel Well even if I relent on the farming bit and suppose that the Jewish people were particularly more adept at banking etc, the argument hasn't changed all that much, except now they have better food and they're better at the fucking advanced stuff.
Mircea Well, let me give you the framework here. So, all Romanian land was owned by boyars or the crown. These boyars were sightly ashamed and in most cases disrespectful of their heritage, and spent their time abroad. The land was administered by administrators, who paid a fixed rent and then had to get it back out of the peasants. This constructed practically speaking an antisocial system, whereby the administrator had no particular interest in the continuance of life on land. Soon enough it was discovered that if extermination is the alternative, the peasant will borrow, at any rate and in any conditions. After this, the situation was quite exactly that in the scrip economies of company owned towns in the early US. In this circumstance, the peasantry will hate capitalism, which to them means monopolistic extraction, the government, which to them means the instruments of that yearly extermination, and Jews, which make a convenient marker for the evil intrinsic to the system.
Rachel But they're the smart ones in this scenario. They're exploiting the system, whereas the peasants are being schmucks.
Mircea What's so smart about exploiting some people with no options ?
Rachel What is this no options nonsense?
Mircea See, the competition works the wrong end of it. Specifically, the boyar has the right of refusal. Thus the rents offered will keep going up. The peasant didn't have the right of refusal, to counterbalance it. As described this is an unbound system, and it will run to the complete extermination of peasantry.
Rachel Eh fuck that, every retard that ever did something retarded will tell you they "had no options".
Mircea Yes, but this is a point of fact. Let's go through your life as a peasant, shall we ?
Rachel Look. This is basically a story about how some people were in love with the mall and felt entitled to keep stores there, except the mall changed management (because the owners themselves felt entitled to bigger and better malls and couldn't get them) so the mall changed management and started raising the rents and they're getting ever more ridiculously high and oh no, but these people being so enraptured with the mall will just pay it anyway because they can't possibly go back to coming up with better ideas for themselves or having the balls to say no, fuck you. If it's that goddamned bad what you do is you stop insisting that your place is at the mall, and you either take off or you organize something to fix the mall.
Mircea Right. The year is 1872. You are being born. Boy or girl ?
Mircea 6th of 12 children or 12th of 12 children ?
Mircea You spend about a year in a small cot by the stove. You are breastfed, your mother sings and loves you very much. As soon as you're able to walk you get a new sister. You spend your time around the house, barefoot. When you're three your older brother dies of some pox. You help your mother cook and care for the two oxen. As you grow up you learn to make clothes, food and so forth. You're reasonably well off, and your father will give some land for your marriage. You are now thirteen and you start bleeding.
Rachel Sure, I understand, there's a context of hardship and difficulty and wtf are you going to do. Nevertheless. And besides, are you going to tell me the Jewish people lived so very differently?
Mircea The boys feel you up and want to dance with you, and also fuck you. What do you do ? Specifically, do you let them fuck you ?
Rachel That's a nonsense question in the general sense. I have sex if I want to with whoever it is I want to. Or I don't manage.
Mircea You have to answer my question as asked. This is what not having options means.
Rachel There's no "bay of cocks pick yes or no" sort of thing in life.
Mircea Yes, there was.
Rachel Fine. No, I do not.
Mircea Good. Neither do any other girls. Do you let them feel you up ?
Mircea The boys grow impatient with your haughtiness. Do you let them feel you up now ?
Mircea You are raped. You are cast out of your house for being a whore. You spend your time on the streets, by markets, as a public woman. You die aged 45. You are survived by one daughter. The end.
Rachel What is this, Oregon Trail?
Mircea This was your life, in 1872. It is much worse than Oregon Trail. Think : people on Oregon Trail were there because the alternatives sucked worse.
Rachel Listen, I don't demand that every average citizen be exceptional. I demand that schmucks admit that their problem is that they are not exceptional rather than that "these other people have some magic thing which I suppose will be evilness which allows them to not be schmucks".
Mircea Ok, so they admit (at the time they actually did). Now what ?
Rachel If they admit it where did the 'Jews are evil' nonsense come from?
Mircea Same place.
Rachel I'm sorry, did I miss this event in history where the schmucks banded together and kneeled in the mud at the feet of the Jews and said "you are so vastly superior to us, please teach us how to raise ourselves from our schmuckery" and the Jews were like "nah bro"?
Mircea Do you wish to change your choice and let the boys feel you up btw ?
Mircea Not curious ?
Rachel I presume I know the paths here.
Mircea Let's test this presumption.
Rachel Let's see. I let them feel me up but I don't let them fuck me. Result: I am still raped, because this is basically blueballing.
Rachel I let them fuck me: I get knocked up and have 12 children and some of them are dying and lalala.
Mircea Not at all. If you let them fuck you you're still on the same path. So here's my point : you think you're pretty clever, but you have no fucking idea what the correct answer is there and you can't come up with it on your own.
Rachel How is that a point, and how do you figure anything within it. You presented me with an unsupported, staunchly linear set of choices with concrete endings, none of which are good, for the sake of "arguing" to me that peasants had no choice. But the same sort of arguments you yourself could never possibly exist as you do because the option to do so does not exist.
Mircea Nope. I presented you a slice of actual history, to test your ability to navigate it. So far you're failing. So, what's the way out ?
Rachel I cut off my tits and join with a band of mercenaries as a boy and train how to fight.
Mircea Lol. You get septicemia and die, aged 15. Not survived by any children (which means your score is 0).
Rachel Why do you suppose I don't know how to clean myself?
Mircea Because you're a 13yo girl and there's no soap within 25 miles.
Rachel Alright then. I go to the head of this local mall where "omg the Jooz" are and I say look, I have no desire to be harrassed by these boys or to continue my family's nonsense but it's clear that you're doing far better than all the other people I know and I humbly submit myself to your tutelage.
Mircea You are not raped. You are cast out of your house for being a whore.iii You spend your time on the streets, by markets, as a public woman. You die aged 45. You are survived by one daughter. Shall I tell you the way out, do you give ?
Rachel Look. I enjoy arguing with you, but this "I'm going to insist that you think highly of yourself and meanwhile attempt to break it down" sort of game is really bizarre.
Mircea I am attempting nothing at all. I am literally, and very cleanly, representing history out to you. It's a drawing.
Rachel it's bizarre I tell you.
Mircea It is.
Rachel Anyway sure, do reveal le grand secret du canard whatever it is.
Mircea You pick one boy to exclusively let him feel you up but not fuck you (mostly), on the understanding that he'll defend you from all the other boys, and hope to god that he will be able to, willing to and stick to it.
Rachel Fuck you.
Mircea No. This is it.
Rachel That's the first thing I picked. Fuck you, srsly.
Rachel "that is a nonsense question in the general sense!" That is EXACTLY what that means.
Mircea So you think. Didn't work out for you, cca 1872. So now, if you've not pulled out your hair in sheer frustration at this purely representative exercise :
- Actual women actually lived through this wringer. By the millions, and not just here.
- The correct answer has to be given in the expected form at the right time or no dice.
- It's not fucking trivial. It takes a lot of knowledge and skill merely to survive in that world.
Rachel I love this. I love it. The poor peasants, it's not fucking trivial (and I don't disagree! Don't mistake me for this person who imagines that life was just as easy then as it is for me now, I do get it, the point is different entirely), and the Jewish people living under the EXACT SAME DURESS in the exact same context, having done exceptionally well? They're savants. Srsly wtf.
Rachel Do you actually think that this is the case and the reason I don't get it is that I don't understand how hard people had it?
Mircea Hey, I'm not arguing against the principle that whoever is doing better is in the right. I think the reason you don't understand how improbable getting out was is because you don't understand how complex the world was.
Rachel I'm not even saying it's improbable. What I wish to say is that it's in no way a sane or righteous alternative to imagine that the people who did well are evil because you yourself didn't manage the improbable.
Mircea But looky : inasmuch as your survival depends on rejecting a large palette of on their face reasonable moves, it does make sense to consider those who won't even consider your palette alien. And alien means evil.
Rachel Well am i living to survive or living to do well? Because if my goal is actually just to survive....
Mircea Yes. Your goal is complex. Is it better to have "done well" as in having a lot of money and be massacred in the end by the angry peasantry ? Is it better to have "done well" as in being poor but having 10 surviving, married kids ?
Rachel Being in that situation in which alien means evil is untenable and unbearable.
Mircea Ya well, that was the rule for most of the history, and to this day the reptillian brain reflex works thusly.
Rachel Sure, but why not go be a reptile if you want to listen to that sort of impulse? There's no plowing and no math. (By the way, I apologize for the excessive fuck yous, a little overimpassioned of momentary frustration and not really called for).
Mircea Lol. Nothing wrong with fucking. You are cast out of your house for being a whore. You spend your time on the streets, by markets, as a public woman.
Mircea Anyway, back to the issue : most of the (ethnically Romanian) peasantry had a way of life. The Jews had a completely different, incompatible way of life. In the absence of any real communication the result was conflict. This is neither surprising nor remarkable.
Mircea The current somewhat tense situation with the Gypsyes comes from the very exact same root : cultural isolation. The thing saving them is that they're uniquely unsuccessful.
Rachel ...But they have awesome costumes and enormous mansions and elaborate tin trimming and better dancing and...all sorts of shit the Romanians seem to want.
Mircea Yeah. some do. Overall the Gypsy tenth is poorer than the average by quite a margin.
Rachel Interesting sort of service they're doing.
Mircea Yeah, actually.———
- Conducătorii muncitorilor români comunişti, nu erau nici români şi nici muncitori. [↩]
- This is an important point incidentally. Too often people mistakenly imagine Occam's razor is a formalist approach, and would favour that which is easiest to explain. This is not how the damned thing works at all. [↩]
- This, incidentally, is Malena. [↩]