Thursday, 28 February 2008

Respect and Anti-social behaviour

I just read the government’s website page on the issue of respect. The headline slogan to it reads ‘Give Respect, Get Respect’. This suggests that respect is vertical, and operates from one-direction, instead of being something simultaneously mutual.

In theory, if you give respect, then you should get respect back, but some people in authority aren’t like that. I have shown respect to some people in authority, and had it thrown back in my face, because their idea of respect, is just to have power over you, in order to want to degrade and humiliate you.

They want to have this abusive power, so that you can’t form your own values, beliefs, and conscience, and so that you will agree to whatever they are saying, despite the fact that they are right or wrong. This approach is authoritarian, and it rules out discussion and debate, and consequently rules out any kind of democracy. Maybe this is their general idea of relationships too, and the way their treat their partners, but it is not my idea of relationships.

On the government’s anti-social behaviour webpage, it lists various anti-social behaviours, but it only says that individuals and small groups carry out this, and not also society against minorities, marginalised, and oppressed individuals and groups. It is not just individuals and small groups who can be anti-social, but also societies and communities, fuelled by prejudice and discrimination with things like racism and mentalism. It is stupid and ridiculous that the government’s webpage on anti-social behaviours does not list racism and mentalism as anti-social behaviours.

Another thing the webpage lists as anti-social, is begging. I disagree with the government that begging is anti-social, because if a lot of homeless people didn’t beg, then they would simply starve.

I agree that anti-social behaviours exist, but I think and know from experience that society can be very anti-social too, and I think that New Labour somewhat idealise society.

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Rights, Freedom, and Responsibility

In its purely individual context, responsibility is either half-baked, or a very bourgeois concept. It's bourgeois because it often only focuses on individual responsibility, when there is also mutual responsibility, and the fact that we have responsibility for each other in society.

It's also bourgeois, because in its individual context, it is often preached by very middle-class and privileged people in society, who know nothing about being oppressed and powerless, and what it's like to be poor and without the basic rights and freedom to make our own choices.

Responsibility is often half-baked, because it can be used or misused to deny a persons rights and freedom. I would argue that in order for a person to have responsibility, they must first and foremost have rights and the freedom to make choices. Otherwise, it is just a self-righteous and idiotic preaching, and makes no sense at all.

New Labour say they believe in rights and responsibilities, but sometimes this can mean putting responsibilities before rights, when it just doesn't make sense for someone to be responsible, if they also have no rights, freedom, choices, and power.

Sometimes, responsibility is only preached to the victims in society, of things like abuse, whilst those people in authority who abuse their power, are not seen as having irresponsible power and authority. It seems that those who are abused, can be very easily accused of not being responsible for their actions, whilst abusers can get away with abuse, without also being responsible for their actions.