All individuals bear responsibility for their own intellects. Or, adult ones, anyway. So... you're attributing the proliferation of nationalism, to "the zionists?" Or... what? Yeah. That's why it's such a dead-end, destructive proposition. It's a means of consolation for the powerless, right up until they become empowered. Then it's a license for depravity. As we've seen in many instances of history, right up to the present, topical examples, no? I'm asking that people stop projecting these states and other identity groups onto individuals here, and then abusing them as tokens of such. Dividing the board up into apologists and revolutionaries, and then declaring holy war, as it were. Because said faction, in the specific instance of this community, is way more energetic, effective and influential. We've got a revolutionary phalanx with sufficient fury and self-righteousness - I'm trying to shore up the self-consciousness end. This being, as I see it, the major roadblock to a discourse that we could all be proud of. Ideally (and eventually), yes. But the priority is much shorter term - develop a shared consciousness with a useful perspective on peace. And SciForums, isn't that field. The actual players here are simply individuals of a range of backgrounds and locales, with no particular agency on the field you refer to. If one's commentary involves coming here to tear down and vilify some identity group - and involves relating to players here as tokens of such - then you're in the business of haranguing the community to death and should not hope to be treated otherwise in return. Nah, I don't buy that. Those puritan types fled Europe because their religion was unpopular with the local states, sure - but would have happily set up their own little theocracies here. It was the practical demands of power and solidarity that got us what separation we have. An America of competing confessional mini-states wouldn't have stood a chance against the European empires, and so they all had to get over it and come up with a state that would accomodate everyone. Look, I don't want to stake out an extreme position - people can gain insight from any situation, oppressive or otherwise, and sometimes they even manage to translate that insight into real progress. But if it were the case that victims tended, in general, to gain moral insight and growth from oppression, then the cycle of violence would have no persistence, and we'd be living in utopia already. Violence brutalizes, in every sense - the ultimate horror of oppression is not the immediate suffering involved, but the resultant corrosion of humanity and how this perpetuates violence and iniquity. Nah, that's not how the political dialectic works. At no point does anybody, abused or abuser, conceive of themselves as immoral. Everyone maintains a self-image that is justified and defending itself, at all times. Violence, then, weakens and severs the connections between these images, and this both amplifies their holds over their subjects and redefines them in increasingly oppositional terms. Eventually, this reaches the point where they can justify wanton cruelty towards the Other. Yes. Do you imagine that he sees me as some kind of ideological ally? If so you should ask him what he thinks - I expect you'll be surprised. I'm entitled to my opinion, sure. Am I supposed to feel bad for arguing it forcefully, or something? But since you're talking about details of who has agency to assess the appropriate level of "intellectualism," I presume you endorse the basic expectation? Or until S.A.M. gets exactly what she wants and that being everyone here toeing her line, apparently. And since when do you care about peace here? I thought you were happy with politics and world events as reflective of the underlying strident polarization and debased narratives. So shouldn't any and all threads dealing with Israel/Palestine be characterized by bitter hostility and mutual destruction? Look, all this fun bloviating and blogsmanship aside, I don't see where my basic stance is so unacceptable. I propose that S.A.M. can the nationality-baiting program, and in return I'll back her up on raising consciousness about injustice. I think our strengths would complement one another, and that the result would be admirable. I think the current arrangement is a waste of both of our energies and talents, and this frustrates me.