The great Liberal delusion

Below is a full transcript of the video

The thing that I wanted to talk about today is the illusion of objectivity not scientific, objectivity, or scientific subjectivity. I'm talking about objectivity as a virtue that we assume to be a virtue in conversations about social justice or injustice. Because often what I hear from people who are, like me who are privileged is that when we are talking about issues like social justice, we should be less angry. We should be less emotional. We should be less prone to outbursts of, uh, you know, pain and frustration because that apparently does not help the cause. And I'm here to differ because the people who say this and the people who do the apparently emotional activities are not on the same side. And allow me to explain what I mean by that.

When oppression happens from whatever quarter oppression might come be it, the Hindutva quarters, or be it some other quarters, different countries, different societies have different power structures. So oppressors are always from a certain social space and the oppressed are always from one social space. These spaces have different labels in different countries, but the power dynamics are the same. So the oppressing class, the oppressing side is affecting a lot of people, but not everyone it is affecting is getting affected in the same way. So there are basically two types of people. The side that is offended by the oppression and the side that is endangered by the oppression. The side that is offended by the oppression is privileged people who are kind of, sort of, uh, they, they think of themselves as liberal and the side that is endangered is the side that is literally going to die as a result of the oppression or lose their lands or lose their property or lose their right to be considered a human being.

So that is the difference. And, from the point of view of the people who are not endangered, the endanger people sometimes appear emotional. And the people who are only offended, but not endangered, the privileged so-called liberal people. They sometimes imagine that they are fighting in the same fight as the people who are endangered. And the truth of the matter is that they are not. It is a fight. It is a good fight, but it is not the same fight as the fight that is being fought by those who are endangered. I, for example, I'm an, I'm a, I'm a Hindu upper caste male in a Hindu majority country. Even if the oppressive, practices that I oppose come into effect, I will be the last person who is affected. There's a long line of people who will get attacked. And I'm at the end of that line. Before me in that line are a whole lot of people who come from classes, entire social classes and castes, which are de-legitimized, demonized, attacked on national media every single day. And not just in the media. There are attacks on their lives every single day.

So when we say that, so those people who get attacked, who are de-legitimized on a daily basis, they should be less emotional in order to fight this fight, we are engaging in a different kind of operation of our own. We are telling them something that they have not, this is not the first time they're hearing. Don't be emotional or calm down. They have been told this by the oppressors from day one. Don't don't, don't be emotional when we take your house away, just be quiet and take it because that is your place in society. Uh, don't get angry when we do things to anger you, these are extremely, these are extreme violations of their personhood. These are things that you tell people when you don't consider them human beings. These are things you tell people when you expect them to correspond to the roles that the oppressive system has assigned to them. You're not supposed to get angry. You're not supposed to expect equality. You're not even supposed to, you're not even supposed to fight when your life is taken.

This is the pinnacle of dehumanization. So when we tell them again, don't get emotional, don't get angry. We are kind of sort of doing the same thing. Sure. We, we think that we say it because objectivity or being calm is a better way of doing things, but it has been tried before. And the only thing that seems to work is anger. Anger is its own reward in a situation where your oppressor is finally having to hear what the oppressed person is saying. And the other problem with this approach is that when we talk about objectivity, we think that we are not being emotional, but we are. It's just that our emotions are not anger and frustration. Our emotions are... I guess the best way to put it is our emotions are, you know, the need to be calm, positivity, and, uh, equanimity. Like the way we want to feel and the way they want to feel in response to something are very different.

We have the Liberty of saying that, uh, if you are going to send me videos about people being beaten up or killed, give me a trigger warning. Many people don't have that Liberty. They have to look at the video where someone is being killed, because it is the only way to find out what has happened to their family members. So in our objectivity, in our quest for objectivity, we are also exercising emotion. We are also saying that, listen, don't take this calm I have away from me because if you do, I will not be as effective as I think I am in this fight that I'm fighting alongside with you. You're not fighting the same fight you're fighting because you are offended. They're fighting because they are endangered. And there is a huge difference between these two things. And I think this is an important thing to remember.

I keep trying to remind myself of it periodically because it's very easy to fall into the trap of thinking that, uh, the, the, the upper caste liberal, the Dalit and the Muslim are the same people because "we are all under the same government buddy", but we are not. There is a difference, and it is very important for at least people like me, people who are from a privileged category to remember that there is a difference, because if we don't remember this difference, we will also forget the difference that is between us and the people who we dislike because of their policies and their oppressive practices. Let me know what you thought of this, leave a comment, and I will see you in the next video.

Write a comment ...


Show your support

If my work has provided you with insight and entertainment, consider supporting it.

Recent Supporters

Write a comment ...