Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Do I understand particularism-or, what is it?

  1. Aug 24, 2004 #1

    marcus

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2015 Award
    Dearly Missed

    Do I understand particularism--or, what is it?

    this social science forum has had some interesting threads in the couple of weeks I've begun paying attention

    one thread, I forget which, led to the notion of "particularism"

    the Pahara, a tribe which Evo gave a link for, are a fascinating example of what I take to almost obligatory particularism

    the Ashkenazi, a type of european with special eccentricities, are also
    famous for particularism

    and the Han chinese students in the nearby campus dormitories are
    even now impressing me as extraordinarily particularist (they are an exclusive club Han mainly dating Han---families are strong and
    parents and siblings abound as well at this time of the year)

    but what actually does "particularism" mean? Am I using the word correctly, I just picked it up and am winging it.

    Are Swiss particularist in their philosophy and institutions? Or are they
    a loose federation of territorial isolationists? Or none the above.

    Given that particularism often leads to resentment and massive bloodshed, does anyone have the right? Is the sense of having the right to specialness inevitably based on an extravagant fabric of lies and literary inventions, such as the Old Testament?

    are these deep questions or idle frivolity?

    what holocausts do you remember having happened in the past century,
    besides the famous one of course?

    what is everybody so frightened and upset about?

    does anyone wish to define "particularism"?
    (may mean something else from what I'm guessing, would appreciate)
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 26, 2004 #2
    Particularist versus universalist ethnies, at least in evolutionary psychology, is another way of saying ethnocentric versus tolerant of others. You seem to have a good handle on the term as it is used by researchers. The main theoretician I know of who has looked at differences in ethnocentrism as part of group evolutionary strategies is Kevin MacDonald. A quick google search will give you plenty of hits on his controversial viewpoints (evostrats). But you seem to know what it is already.
     
  4. Aug 26, 2004 #3

    marcus

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2015 Award
    Dearly Missed

    first, could you help me list of few of the race-based/religion-based genocides since, say 1940?

    Ruanda (Hutu vs. Tutsi)
    Partition of India (1940s, several million dead)
    Indonesia 1969 (several million chinese-origin dead)
    Germans in 1940-1945 several million Ashkenazi and other
    Serbs in Bosnia
    Serbs in Kosovo

    my head's a leaky seive for such memories
    is there anyone expert or knowledgeable here?
    can you supply any dates and numbers nuenke?

    As I recall the Tutsi were intermarrying quite some with the Hutu
    but still perhaps they were still a bit exclusive and apparently the
    Hutu resented them because they were taller and more graceful
    looking. Can this be right?

    the Chinese-origin in Indonesia are believed to have owned most of the stores and small businesses, as well as being a bit clubbish marriage-wise, and they were, it seems, resented by the other Indonesians

    Perhaps the Kosovars were not even particularist, their only crime may have been to have too high a birthrate in a place where Serbs used to be majority.

    I guess we need better history, more facts, more of a list. I want to get an idea of are people scared of particularism----deeply dreading it,
    I think it's possible that people make morality so as to drown out fear. If they are afraid of something then they might make a big noise about all the moral objections to it, because they cannot stop and think about it without feeling disturbed. So let's see if the fear is real and if it is real let's try to get a notion of the underlying reasons for that.

    the question: does particularism necessarily always lead to genocide?
    is some particularism OK and some not OK
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2004
  5. Aug 26, 2004 #4

    selfAdjoint

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    The Tutsi were the historic overlords, before the Belgians came. Wherever the Tutsi go (there are many expats in the Congo and elsewhere) they are regarded as too clever by half, sly, and grasping - just like guess who? Since we have all these IQ enthusiasts aboard, someone should check to see if the Tutsis, like the Ashkenazi, have an elevated IQ, relative to the surrounding populations.
     
  6. Aug 26, 2004 #5
    The Tutsi were a warrior like clan who are believed to have migrated From Ethiopia into the Hutu area, subjugating them in the process. When the Europeans arrived, the essentially subjugated both, but gave the Tutsi more power and social ranking and relinquished most of the power to them when they departed. However, my memory on the subject is kind of fading...so don't quote this as fact.

    Of course, this created resentment and distrust, as well as a fear in the minds of the Hutu’s. Human behavior is not rocket science. It is usually some unjust acts in the past by a particular group, upon another particular, that conserves a reaction that manifest in the future when the time is right.

    If we go back to the days of the pharaohs, you will see how the pharaohs tried to have the male offspring of the oppressed killed, lest one day rise up against their oppressors. People who oppressed often live in constant fear or guilt that the oppressed will one day rise up and smite them. Thus, those fear usually then work as a motive to keep them repressed.
     
  7. Aug 26, 2004 #6

    marcus

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2015 Award
    Dearly Missed

    someone who can remember their history please.
    1.does anyone recall how many Indian/Paks died at Partition?
    2.can anyone say how many Indonesians died around 1969 or 1970?
    I seem to recall it was like 5 million or so in a very short time and they were mostly Han----there was a political start (post-coup-attempt) but it got out of hand and turned racial, against chinese-origin Indonesians.

    I'm not making moral-lesson sermons at you, or propaganda for an ideology. I just want us to have some more numbers and maybe a little confirmation that I have the rough outlines right. Please help.

    after we have the historical downside of particularism or population separatism, whatever, after we sketch that then lets actually look at it.

    for that matter, please toss in any facts that would a an historic
    upside for mating separatism too. dont care either way, good points, bad points.

    but I especially want to focus on the genocide that sometimes erupts when there are separations in society because i think that is why so many people have this reflexive taboo reaction where they cant face the reality and go into various kinds of denial---I think it is rooted in fear.
     
  8. Aug 26, 2004 #7

    marcus

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2015 Award
    Dearly Missed

    may seem to know but dont know.
    never heard of "ethnies" and several other terms in your post, or read your guy.
    but someone here at PF, I think it could have been you, used the word
    "particularism" and I thought "that sounds like the Han or Ashkenazi thinking they are special!"

    it is this very widespread habit of mating-separatism that humans seem to get into quite often and it makes them have this amazing polymorphism(?)
    almost a tendency to speciate that is to radiate off into different almost-breeds.

    i'd like to try to see it without any pro/con spin on it and be able to answer
    why is it so obvious and at the same time deplored or denied by so many?
    is it destined to be outlawed?

    if a young married couple had a choice of the race of their baby which box would they check?
    do people want their babies to look like them and is that why they choose
    marriage partners that are roughly similar to themselves.

    what is entropy in this situation

    well I am not making sense, but I think there may be something to talk about if we can ever get past the denial and resistance
     
  9. Aug 27, 2004 #8

    Nereid

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I think you mean 1965 (Indonesia); approx 250k were killed (maybe more in 1966).

    India/Pakistan partition resulting in ~1 million dead.

    Others not on your list (far from complete):
    - the Nazis sent not only Jews to concentration camps; others included Gypsies (numbers killed probably matters less than the proportion of the total population of the Rom in German-occupied Europe at the time)
    - post-Suharto Indonesia (Timor, Kalimantan, Celebes, Ambon, ...) - both religious and ethnic group slaughter
    - Congo (several million? over the past decade or three)
    - Sudan's Darfur
    - Iraq/Iran (religious?)
    - Armenia/Azerbaijan
    - various independence struggles, from India to Bangladesh to East Timor (almost all the colonial/pre-secession masters were of a different ethnic group than the locals)
    - Brazil (ranchers slaugthering local Indians, to take their land)
     
  10. Aug 27, 2004 #9

    marcus

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2015 Award
    Dearly Missed

    thanks Nereid, if you think of any other recent ethnic slaughters or race slaughters please post. Also anyone else who can remember some more to add to the list. Just take the list over and add to it.

    it is disgusting to remember our species doing this
    even in our own lifetimes and
    it gives pause to think
    (also I have heard of other animals doing it on a smaller scale)

    I wonder if anyone has ever written an "Almanac of Racial Mass Slaughter"
    with dates and numbers and a thumbnail sketch of the causes of resentment.

    1940-1944 Germans kill all available Gypsies (estim. 500,000 souls)
    Reason: prob. envious of their ability to play the violin. and also
    stealing the chickens.
     
  11. Aug 27, 2004 #10

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Uganda

    Uganda - Idi Amin. 100,000 - 300,000 killed

    General Idi Amin Dada Oumee was the military dictator of Uganda from January 25, 1971, to April 13, 1979.

    Amin took tribalism, a long-standing problem in Uganda, to its extreme by allegedly ordering the persecution of Acholi, Lango, and other tribes. There are reports of the tortures and murders of 100,000 to 300,000 Ugandans during Amin's presidency.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idi_Amin
     
  12. Aug 27, 2004 #11

    marcus

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2015 Award
    Dearly Missed

    Hi Evo, I found what looks like a complete list of all the genocide since 1945, by a group called Genocidewatch.org

    http://www.genocidewatch.org/genocidetable2003.htm
     
  13. Aug 27, 2004 #12

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Makes you wonder what is wrong with this world. I didn't realize the death toll in Tibet was so high. I would like a Tibetan sky burial when I die. I'd like to go there someday.
     
  14. Aug 27, 2004 #13
    Rummel has a web site that is the most complete with regards to genocides. Search "democide" and Rummel and the data is listed.
     
  15. Aug 27, 2004 #14
    Actually, it has been estimated that during human's hunter-gatherer era, the death toll from warfare was about 20 times what is was in the last century. Humans are, like Chimpanzees, a warring species. Probably trade and commerce have made it less common.
     
  16. Aug 27, 2004 #15

    selfAdjoint

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    Yup. After all these years you would think people would get out of denial and start dealing with it. It is a reality of our species. Psychologists have pointed out that sociopathic behavior doesn't die out because it's valuable in combat, and so continues to be selected for.
     
  17. Aug 27, 2004 #16

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Yes, warring has been a way of life since the beginning of time and is not likely to ever stop.
     
  18. Aug 27, 2004 #17

    marcus

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2015 Award
    Dearly Missed

    I acknowledge some additional sense of comradeship with you nuenke and evo and selfadjoint, from us having momentarily consider a thing of such gravity together

    (internet communication is not quite together perhaps, but resembles it)

    Intuitively I disagree with Evo on one point, as she will be happy to learn:

    "Yes, warring has been a way of life since the beginning of time and is not likely to ever stop."

    no Evo it is very likely to stop well before the species becomes extinct
    For example: war is the way groups traditionally regulate each other's fertility and this can be done democratically by means of a constitution of laws which allows everyone to have a say in how many birthrights shall be assigned to each group.

    I personally do not advocate this, perhaps it is more a SciFi vision for the year 3004 :smile:

    I simply want to make the point that (1) one cannot know the future or even assign liklihoods to "never" statements and (2) humans are very adaptive and are able to give up one behavior in exchange for another behavior if they instinctively fullfill the same needs. Many men are happy to show their prowess as money-winners instead of wearing scalps on the belt to show their victories. As nuenke says "trade and commerce have probably made" war less common. (3) although I am rather gloomy about this century, for humans, I see no reason not to be wildly optimistic on a millennium timescale. (the trouble is the planet may be pooped by the time humans begin to behave themselves)
     
  19. Aug 27, 2004 #18

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I wish I was as optimistic as you. :smile:
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Do I understand particularism-or, what is it?
  1. What do I know? (Replies: 8)

  2. What do I do? (Replies: 1)

  3. What do I have? (Replies: 16)

  4. What do I do with this? (Replies: 17)

Loading...