Less racist, sexist and homophobic world

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Astrapothereum, Sep 9, 2019 at 7:14 PM.

  1. Pralaya Active Member

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    Thing is, as you have pointed out, humans do have biases. Of course, they can discard them, but it is just a can and throughout history, it didn't happen until the 20th century. That's why I do not understand why many people think that racism or sexism could have been avoided by a magical point of divergence where after some centuries world peace reigned and we all lived in harmony. There are always some people out there thinking that racism is justified, who think homosexuals are morally disgusting or that think that women belong to the kitchen. I would even go as far as to say that racism and sexism are indeed inevitable, simply because the bias against one group or another has existed throughout millennia in very different cultures.
    Humans are just humans, we never liked foreigners at first, and it's just too easy to politically or economically capitalize on this resentment.
    And on the difference between woman and men, of course they are equal but still different. Just like cultures are equal, but different. And this difference is enough to develop some bias against the other side. Sexism will always develop, especially because men are stronger and more aggressive, also men do not have to go through the pain of having a child in their womb for nine months which more oftenly than not forces woman to retire until the birth of the child, forcing their husbands or boyfriends to care for and protect her and their shared child, therefore enabling some sort of patriarchy and "supremacy" over woman. Not that it is justified to establish one because it is not, but I just want to explain why women played an "inferior" role in politics and common life for most of human civilization.
     
  2. The Romulan Republic Well-Known Member

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    This is mostly true, but no excuse for the gross misrepresentations of science and logic and anti-Muslim/anti-Arab bigotry in the post in question, which is what I was addressing.

    The one point I would strongly disagree with you on is that conscious rejection of racism and sexism happened only in the 20th. Century. There have always been people who were "ahead of their time", and history is never as simple as the pop culture version would make it out to be. And certain changes might have allowed those ideals to gain strength sooner and on a broader scale than they did.

    I would note, as well, that while various prejudices have existed throughout human history and continue to exist to this day, the modern ideology of white supremacist racism basically did not exist in, say, the Medieval period, and is in fact a product of the last few centuries- a rationalization of colonialism, imperialism, and slavery (Lies My Teacher Told Me, by James W. Lowen, has a good discussion of the process by which much of the Western World adopted more racist attitudes to justify these practices, as I recall, but I sadly don't have my copy on-hand). Its not an innate part of the human condition- its propaganda created to justify the self-interest of imperialists.

    Inevitable is a big word. The truth is we have no idea what humanity (or its descendants) will be in a ten thousand years, or if we'll even exist.

    Also, while some flaws may not be eliminated, they could definitely have been reduced, had humanity taken a different direction at certain points.

    I'd actually like to see someone try to prove that dislike of foreigners is an innate quality of the human conditions which all humans and all human societies share, but I'm not sure how someone would prove such a thing.

    I'm well-aware of the process by which politicians and businessmen can capitalize on prejudice (see above).

    Please note that these things are at best generalizations, averages, not absolutes. Not all men are stronger or more aggressive than all women (and I've known some very aggressive women). That goes double for culture, which is a very fluid and multi-layered thing. For example, I identify with elements of various cultures: mainstream (read: Anglo-Saxon) American, mainstream British, mainstream Canadian, "nerd" culture, progressive/socialist ideology, agnosticism, Christianity, feminism, and a bunch of others. I explicitly reject elements of most of those cultures (or subsets of them) as well. My "culture" could not be adequately described by putting me in any one of those boxes, or any five of them.

    I'm aware of the biology of reproduction, but I would again note that at no time in history did all women have children (nor were all even able to), and that technology has largely erased these disparities (as noted above), leaving us with a bunch of obsolete monkey instincts that maybe sort of made imperfect sense back when we were living in trees but don't make sense and are indeed actively harmful and unjust in a post-industrialism society, because biological evolution moves more slowly than technological and social development.
     
  3. Jan Olbracht Well-Known Member

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    Speed technological progress. Without advanced technology modern lifestyle is impossible and people would not the same values as in technollogically advanced societes (especially among lower classes, with elites things are easier, as they're not struggling to survive everyday).
    In pre-modern times vast majority of people were concerned mostly about biologicall survival (thus things like marriage was often questions of life and death and there was no place for such 'details' like love etc) and sky high infant mortality meant, that women had to give birth to several kids, as with modern 'Western' birthrates society would simply die out.
     
  4. The Romulan Republic Well-Known Member

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    This is about the best you can do, yeah. Improving technology won't erase prejudice, but it will do a great deal to undermine patriarchy.
     
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  5. VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

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    How so? India has one of the biggest tech hubs in the world, and is a leader in tech production, still has a patriarchial system in place that sometimes leads to femicide.
     
  6. The Romulan Republic Well-Known Member

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    Mostly by raising life expectancy, cutting infant mortality and death in child birth, and thereby eliminating the need for most women to have lots of children just to keep the species alive. Also by replacing manual labour with technology for a lot of things, decreasing the importance of upper body strength, which is an area where men tend to (as an average) be stronger than women.

    No solution is perfect, nor guaranteed to progress at the same rate in all places.
     
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  7. VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

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    Indeed, though if you replace manual labour you need something there to give to those who are losing their jobs, otherwise you have the rise of populist movements which promise thigns they will never be able to deliver.
     
  8. The Romulan Republic Well-Known Member

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    A gradual transition with job retraining and eventual introduction of UBI.
     
  9. Derek Jackson Member

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    A successful and radical reconstruction would help a LOT. By 1900 you could have a number of successful black led governments.
     
  10. The Romulan Republic Well-Known Member

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    It would indeed, but without earlier and deeper changes, I doubt the political will would exist to support everything that needed to happen.

    Still, just making sure John Wilkes Booth had an accident on the way to Ford's theater couldn't hurt. Andrew Johnson was a Godawful President, a white supremacist and a traitor. He was about the worst person to handle Reconstruction, short of putting the Confederates in charge of it.
     
  11. Pralaya Active Member

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    Well, they were always some examples of people being way ahead of their time, it's just that they oftentimes weren't consequential. And the 20th century was the beginning of a general rejection of racism and sexism which is embraced by culture and politics. Hell, woman were only allowed to vote after the 19th amendment of 1919/1920. Of course, the suffragette movement had a longer history to look back it, going as far as the beginnings of the 19th century in the US, but still, pop culture would celebrate it as an achievement, although the fact alone that it took so long speaks volumes about how the general male population and political elite thought of it.

    Again, there were different streams of racism as long as humans were kicking around. Hell, remember Yakub, the evil black scientist who created the white race? Umayyad Spain had ethnic prejudices against Berbers and Muwalladi, Spanish converts, even though both groups were Muslim, one of the key problems of the emirate/caliphate. And I think the story of Judaism speaks for itself. White supremacy is just one cell of the same tumor.


    Sorry, was inevitable. My mistake.

    This is the point of the thread, when could it have been changed? I honestly don't think that any PoD would enable an egalitarian society before the 1900s.


    It doesn't start with dislike, but rather suspicion or fear, and that has been observed with the New world cultures, foreign rulers in China, Central and Eastern Europe, or even as far back as the initial settlement of Dublin. Sometimes, it turns out that the new rulers are benevolent, the new merchants fair, but it oftentimes ended in catastrophe, see all the examples I've listed.


    But we are talking about the general population before the 1900s, and not about your experience with specific, modern, men or woman. Of course, they are always exceptions, but they don't invalidate the consensus of the scientific commune. And especially back then, exceptions were more prone to discrimination, just because they didn't fit the world view of many.


    Again, we're talking about the age before the 1900s. Of course, not all women had children, but, in general, they did and were expected to do so. Women still had these disparities and I can't think of an not-ASB PoD that could erase them. Also, we're not living in trees anymore, but men still cannot have children. Just wanted to clarify, that post-1900, everything is possible and we're moving towards a more and more egalitarian society today, but pre-1900, it's hard to believably pull it off.
     
  12. VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

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    Good luck overcoming human apathy with that aha
     
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  13. The Romulan Republic Well-Known Member

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    Recent polling shows nearly half of Americans support UBI.

    It'll come. Probably slower than it should, but humans in general are just as good at acting decisively and creatively in a crisis as they are at ignoring the need to act until it becomes a crisis.
     
  14. Coluber Dirty Degredado

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    Good God no. No. NOOOOOOOO!
     
  15. VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

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    Ah. but I', coming from a non American perspective, so that's probably why
     
  16. Coluber Dirty Degredado

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    How will that solve the problem of racism any where else besides Europe? People who aren't white can be racist too, contrary to popular belief.
     
  17. Alexander the Average Anti-lion tamer

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    Hence why I also said :

     
  18. Enobaria Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like someone is confusing equality with sameness. Being equal and having equal rights has never meant being the same. It's a right wing strawman.
     
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  19. Darrenb209 Well-Known Member

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    You do realise that's a modern thing, right?

    Look into the history of Slavery tied to Christianity and if you actually do your research you'll find that in the past it was very different. Saint Augustine explicitly called out slavery as being a product of sin and contrary to God's plan. And this was way back in the 300s/400s. While it never stopped Slavery, it was likely part of what lead to a weakening of Slavery well into the 10th century. The Byzantine Empire for example had a massive drop in slavery and slave use in the 7th century even if it remained legal and still had a lot of slaves.

    It wouldn't be until the 13th century that slavery would start getting a perception of being "right" again.

    What is important to note however, is that Pope's in the 15th century onwards made declarations making the slavery of non-Christians legal. Specifically
    This was used by the Portuguese to justify and expand their actions in West Africa.

    A later papal bull by the same pope was what was used to justify colonisation and enslavement of any non-Christian region.

    My point is, that America is not the sole source of Christian history, nor is it even much more than a fraction of it and that in general, Christianity's history with Slavery is a mixed one where being Christian made it illegal to enslave you by religious law, if not necessarily by an individual countries law.

    Of course, there are other forms of Christianity than Catholicism who may or may not have had different rules and regulations. Catholicism is just the one with the easiest available records.
     
  20. Miguel Lanius Well-Known Member

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    It comes from evolution the same way that Christian heresies come from Christianity and Totalitarianism is a child of the Industrial Revolution.

    You're being anachronistic. What you consider science is not the science of that time, they used what they had with what they saw, tainted by prejudices of the time. You would have to advance genetic science further to help, perhaps start by making mendelian genetics know earlier on.

    Also, being very very technical, the races are different... just not very much and far out-weighed by individual differences. Human races didn't have enough time to truly diverge. Which is why racism is bull - still too close.

    The problem is that the Islamic Caliphate created a big demand for slaves. Which was met by African slaves being sold to Arabs. The racism is fabrication for self-justification - "we're enslaving those people because they are inferior; ergo, they deserve it". Hell, they are actually going against Islam for that, because Islam posits the equality of races in submission before God.

    Best way to butterfly away the Arab expansion of OTL is getting rid of Islam altogether. So, we get Viking-style arab expansion at best - they will be nice little Romans/Persians in a few generations. Alternatively, make the Arabs adverse to slavery somehow.

    "They are all godless savage pagans" was always a big justification for that kind of thing.

    There's also the detail that without Islam on North Africa, when the trade routes flow south and Christianity spreads, West Africa enters the Euro-Med Christian trade and culture routes. Imagine if by 1500s, Europe and Africa already had centuries of trade and cultural contact through ATL!Mauretania.

    No Arab slave trade means less possibility of a large slave-based system being used in the colonies. There ins't an already-existing large base for slavery efforts because ITTL no one is buying black slaves in large amounts.

    This also means a more prosperous Africa by default. No demand for slavery means that rulers have more interest in state-building and conquering instead of slave raids.

    We could have more serfdom in the colonies instead.

    Equal in law and value does not mean equal in capability.
    We can understand this difference, but the ancient ones cannot.

    Think like them, don't think like us. The past is a foreign country.

    Possibly, studies are cagey like that, so I will concede you that one.

    But again, I don't think its a coincidence that most human societies we know of, consider homosexuality a "no-no". I don't know exactly why they do, but if you don't address that issue, they will still remain.

    Even the more tolerant societies would find many of our concepts of tolerance unthinkable.

    No, its how they rolled back in ancient history.

    A man is stronger than a woman. Of course they will think men are better, especially because the strongest individuals are men, and they will impose that vision upon the women. They're the guys with the swords.

    Many societies gave great rights to women through history, but modern-like equality is a bit reaching.