Wednesday, April 21, 2021

918: WOKE and Cancel culture.....

There he stands, Jan Pieterszoon Coen (1587-1629),  proudly overlooking the market square in Hoorn, the Netherlands from his base.


What's he doing in our lectures, while we are discussing prehistoric times at the moment? The reason is WOKE and cancel culture.


You may, just like me, have heard these terms and have some vague idea of what it means. Last week however I read something, that showed me how serious this issue is.


WOKE and Cancel Culture are closely related. According to Wikipedia WOKE is a term that refers to awareness of issues that concern social injustice and racial justice. 


It is sometimes used in the African-American Vernacular English expression stay woke. 


Woke resurfaced in 2014 during the Black Lives Matter movement as a label for vigilance and activism concerning racial inequalities 


and other social disparities such as discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community, women, immigrants and or other marginalized populations.


Cancel culture is a modern form of ostracism in which someone is thrust out of social or professional circles, whether it be online, on social media, or in person. 


Those who are subject to this ostracism are said to have been "canceled" The expression "cancel culture" has mostly negative connotations and is commonly used in debates on free speech and censorship 


By the way, in Antiquity ostracism was a procedure under Athenian democracy in which any citizen could be expelled from the city-state of Athens for ten years. 


Now you may wonder what triggered my desire to present these themes today. What is the relation with the theme of our current project?


It was one striking WOKE interpretation of the ideas of a well-known philosopher: John Locke (1632 -1704) and his ideas about private property.


QUOTE - “Every man has a property in his own person. This nobody has any right to but himself. The labor of his body, and the work of his hands, we may say, are properly his.” -END QUOTE -


So, if you see a piece of land that never has been worked on and you turn it into your field by hard labor, then this piece of land becomes your property.


This brings us to the question: WHO in fact OWNS this earth? Actually, nobody unless you create and define the concept of private property.


And here is the link to our current project. We just learned how the transition of hunter-gatherer to farmer created the phenomenon of private property.


But here is the other thing: Locke's political theory of government by the consent of the governed as a means to protect the three natural rights of “life, liberty and estate” deeply influenced the United States' founding documents.


It seems that at the moment the philosophers of the Enlightenment are under WOKE fire. They were not just the prophets of reason and rationality. Some also were racists and white supremacists, according to WOKE comments.


Some say that the Brits first and after them, the founding fathers used the ideas on private property of Locke to justify their claim on the land on the North American continent.


The Indians never put a shovel in the ground, while the settlers worked hard and plowed the land, which thus became their land. The Indians had to leave, based on Locke's concept of property..


Heidegger was a nazi supporter, Foucault had sex with young boys, Jan Pieterzoon Coen committed genocide on the island Banda in Indonesia. Therefore his statue should be removed. Should we cancel them all? 


I am not yet done with this debate. It is clear now what it is all about. It is also related to identity politics, which is emerging these days and thence increasing polarization.


But that would take us too far at this moment. It all needs more study, so let me thank you for your attention again...



MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
Rens Bod: "Een Wereld vol Patronen".  2019

The Discussion

[13:21] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Thank you Herman

[13:22] CB Axel: I've been thinking about this recently.

[13:22] herman Bergson: ti is really a serious issue...especially in the academic world.....

[13:22] CB Axel: I don't remember why, but I have been thinking about Christopher Columbus.

[13:22] herman Bergson: Use etnicity as one of the variables in your sociological research and the WOKE people nail you down as racist

[13:23] CB Axel: People want to tear down statues to him and stop celebrating Columbus Day as a holiday.

[13:23] herman Bergson: Yes...statues are supreme WOKE targets

[13:23] herman Bergson: Like the one behind me in the picture

[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah

[13:23] CB Axel: I understand why. He started all the taking of land from the Native Americans and killing them off, but he was also a brave explorer.

[13:24] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): but they are a part of history

[13:24] CB Axel: Is it possible to condemn the bad things a person does but still celebrate their accomplishments?

[13:24] herman Bergson: That is the problem....the woke people want to remove them from history in some way

[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): so basically that man created the wild west, Cowboyus vs indians

[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Cowboys

[13:25] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): we can't rewrite history

[13:25] CB Axel: Native Americans, btw, did farm.

[13:25] herman Bergson: THAT is THE QUESTION CB

[13:25] herman Bergson: I guess some did, but not all????

[13:25] CB Axel: They taught the Europeans how to plant corn with a fish in the same hole as the seed as a form of fertilizer.

[13:26] herman Bergson: The man behind me survived the woke attack....

[13:26] herman Bergson: He is still on his base....

[13:26] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): and Piet Hein?

[13:26] CB Axel: Corn (maize) was not familiar to the Europeans. :)

[13:27] herman Bergson: But on it is a sign telling that he committed genocide

[13:27] CB Axel: I think we need to know both sides.

[13:27] herman Bergson: Yes CB...

[13:28] herman Bergson: I myself am not yet clear about this to deal with it intellectually

[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i have no knowledge of that man so

[13:28] CB Axel: We need to be woke to the people that were killed without canceling Coen's accomplishments.

[13:29] herman Bergson: He founded Jakarta in Indonesia

[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa i thought i had heard THAT name before

[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Batavia is familiar

[13:30] herman Bergson: He murdered the population of Banda because they sold their products to the English

[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm ok

[13:31] herman Bergson: I need to read more about this woke/cancel culture phenomenon....

[13:31] herman Bergson: But when I read about how Locke was interpreted at least I understood the basics

[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): have just heard the term but not much more

[13:32] herman Bergson: Locke defined in fact what had happend in the Bronze Age

[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but i guess its like when they tore down statues of Stalin (although that one was just pure evil, nothing good from him)

[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but as said hes still part of history although the sad parts

[13:33] herman Bergson: Stalin....probably one of the first victims :-))

[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i guess

[13:33] herman Bergson: We can't deny history....

[13:33] herman Bergson: But it is true....a lot isn't told about some people....

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): naaa just wait till my buddies at CERN have built our time machine

[13:34] CB Axel: We need to learn about the bad so we can avoid repeating the mistakes of the past.

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): THEN

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:34] herman Bergson: This Mr.  Coen for instance is seen as a hero. That is what children learn at school

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok

[13:35] herman Bergson: He was a VOC hero...that is what I have learned.....never heard of the genocide he committed

[13:35] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i didn't hear different thing either

[13:36] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): they were heroes

[13:36] herman Bergson: yes...

[13:37] herman Bergson: well...I only can say......

[13:37] herman Bergson: Stay WOKE and don't get cancelled :-))

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): have no opinion, as said never heard of this man before but also i don't live in US

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and thats a good idea Herman

[13:38] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): he was from the Netherlands Bejiita

[13:38] herman Bergson: Who do you mean, Bejiita?

[13:38] herman Bergson: He is a Dutchie indeed :-))

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the statue dude that founded america if i get everything right

[13:39] herman Bergson: No...

[13:39] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Columbus was from Portugal

[13:39] CB Axel: The person in the picture behind Herman is Dutch.

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): or i mix all of them up

[13:39] herman Bergson: This man founded Batavia in Indonesia

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): all those are new to me

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): those names

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Columbus is the one i know of

[13:39] herman Bergson: you were not woke during my lecture Bejiita!

[13:39] CB Axel: The story is the same. They traveled to other countries and killed the natives, so confusion is understandable. :)

[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well i heard of them first time then

[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): in any case

[13:40] herman Bergson: Saved by CB, Bejiita :-))

[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): need to look more into this

[13:40] CB Axel: This is the dude in the picture:

[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah more then one guy have done those horrid things indeed

[13:41] herman Bergson: oh yes....

[13:41] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): lot's !

[13:41] CB Axel: I'm sure there were Swedes who did similar things. :)

[13:41] CB Axel: Vikings?

[13:41] CB Axel: Vikings weren't all sweet and gentle. LOL

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa

[13:41] herman Bergson: A WOKE observation CB :-))

[13:41] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i thought Vikings were from Norwey and Iceland

[13:42] CB Axel: I don' t know.

[13:42] herman Bergson: don't underestimate the Swedes :-))

[13:42] CB Axel: We just tend to lump them all in together in Scandinavia.  :(

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i think vikings were a bit of a mix but indeed thats what Sweden is known for

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the vikings

[13:42] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): lol CB

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but we did not wore helmets with horns apparently

[13:43] CB Axel: I know they're all very different countries with different histories and cultures.

[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa indeed

[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): need to check

[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): long since i read anything of vikings

[13:43] CB Axel: I think some costume designer for operas came up with the horned helmets. LOL

[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but they are associated with sweden

[13:44] herman Bergson: That is funny CB :-)

[13:44] CB Axel: Viking culture is very popular in Minnesota just to the north of where I live.

[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and we have a dance band named Vikingarna (The Vikings) if u tknow what dance band is

[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): basically its swedens version of country music

[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but way different

[13:45] herman Bergson: Ok....time to come to end for today ^_^

[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i can see if i find an example

[13:46] herman Bergson: Thank you all again..... and stay WOKE ^_^

[13:46] CB Axel: Folk music?

[13:46] herman Bergson: Class dismissed.....

[13:46] CB Axel: I have a SL friend who plays in a Norwegian folk band in Minnesota.

[13:46] herman Bergson: But feel free to continue discussing folk music :-)

[13:46] CB Axel: He builds his own violins.

[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): easier if u hear it

[13:47] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman. This has been very interesting.

[13:47] bergfrau Apfelbaum: Thank you Herman and class!

[13:47] CB Axel: Thank you, class, too.


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