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David Thompson
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May 01, 2014

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sk60

berated by his betters, those more pure than he, and denounced as a “privileged piece of shit.”

They want him to know how much they care about people.

David

They want him to know how much they care about people.

Well, quite. It’s not just that the tribalism and competitive victimhood leads to deformed logic and moral absurdity, for example, like this. It’s also that it encourages the cultivation of really obnoxious personality traits. As Jim Goad noted, “So many of these multitudinous oppressed ‘identities’ seem like nothing more than cheap cloaks to mask nakedly annoying personalities.” Certainly, the incidence of theatrical exasperation, hair-trigger malice and weapons-grade bellendery seems awfully high.

Greg

It's notable that Tal Fortgang's critics (aside from not providing any coherent, reasoned rebutall) don't actually claim - or appear to be - from any of the approved oppressed categories. They do, however, presume themselves to be agents for the oppressed.

ac1

I want to see equal punishment quotas for women and men. It's an extension of the "logic"

David

They want him to know how much they care about people.

I suppose some of the vitriol comes from having their own manipulative appeals to group identity and group victimhood thrown back at them. I mean, if you want to play Look At My People’s Woes™, mass annihilation and attempted genocide is hard to top. And to quote the great philosopher Haley Dunphy, “Everyone has stuff.”

Nikw211

weapons-grade bellendery

Absolutely phenomenal.

I must make an effort to use that piece of dark poetry in future.

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

I like it too, although technically the text "hair-trigger malice" ought to go with the link where David used "weapons-grade bellendery". ;-)

And oooh, I got a hat-tip! [Bows before David's feet]

David

[Bows before David’s feet]

Mind the shoes, they’re new. That’s actual orphan skin.

The Phantom

Just remember friends, when faced with this kind of "weapons-grade bellendery" one principle should guide your hand:

Hippy punching is never wrong.

Its amazing how fast one of these harpies will smarten up if you even look like you're thinking about a bit of hippy punching. Shrieking harpies are a "trigger" for me, I just can't help myself. Its, like, a reflex, man.

Minnow

I thought this was a bit interesting:

It was their privilege to come to a country that grants equal protection under the law to its citizens, that cares not about religion or race, but the content of your character.

His grandparents didn't come to a country that cared not about religion or race, of course. If they had been black their experience of the US would have been very different. It was because of their privilege that this was invisible to them and remains invisible, despite the massive educational efforts of recent decades, to their Princeton educated grandson. But that's privilege for you. Hard to see when you have it.

David

Check your privilege!

Well, I checked and apparently I’m “not privileged at all.” I therefore feel superior to all you lordly oppressors. Where’s my cake? For some reason it reminded me of Charles Murray’s quiz, which is a little more rigorous, on how much you can relate to mainstream American working class culture.

Dom

Well, I'm stumped. Why is the word "fishy" cissexist.

Also, I thought "check your privilege" meant "hold it back", as in "check it at the door".

Dom

"But that's privilege for you. Hard to see when you have it."

Even harder to see when you don't. Religion was never a factor in this country over and above what is natural to human nature. I'd be suspicious the first time I met someone who worships a groundhog, as would most people, but I'd let him practice and in time we would all get use to it. When I lived in the South, I raised eyebrows as a Catholic. No religion grants you a privilege, although I've noticed that Muslims now get a special pledge of allegiance in which they say "one nation under Allah." Buddhists get nothing similar.

As to race, the guy is a Jew. His grandparents were kept out of schools, social clubs, businesses, banks, etc. What he wanted was protection "under the law", as he clearly states. Would his experience as an immigrant be different if he were an African? I know many immigrants from Nigeria and Sudan. They're doing well and like the poster they suffered more in their own countries than they did in this one. I think you are referring not to immigrants but African Americans. They do not suffer from the imagined privileges of others but from decades of government policies, such as Jim Crow or Welfare, both equally destructive.

WTP

So I'm not privileged either. Though one of the ads at the bottom of that website stated:

Short Sex Is Pretty Normal, It Turns Out
(NEWSER) – It's not exactly the most romantic statistic: Almost half of all men finish sex within two minutes, reports the New Republic by way of Dr. Harry Fisch's new book, The New Naked: The Ultimate Sex Education for Grown-Ups.

Oddly, this wasn't one of the questions.

David

Dom,

Well, I’m stumped. Why is the word “fishy” cissexist?

It helps if you think of it as a game of Gotcha! played by escaped mental patients. For serious players, the more improbable and groundless the accusation is, and the more contrived and esoteric it is, the more points you get. If the sucker takes the bait. Dynamically, and in terms of common intent, it’s a browbeating stratagem.

And so, for instance, you can scold someone for their use of the term “fishy” (as in “a bit suspect”) because the word “fishy” must, simply must, imply that vaginas are pungent and unsavoury, regardless of context, etymology or intent. The assumption being that because some schoolboys have at some point laughingly imagined that vaginas smell like fish, no-one must ever be allowed to use the term “fishy” to suggest that something is suspicious or questionable. Lest the rest of us immediately assume that ladies’ nethers are also suspicious, questionable or seething with pure evil.

And – and – the term “fishy” must therefore also be a slight against people who think of themselves as women but who don’t have a vagina. Hence “cissexist.”

[ Cue triple points klaxon. ]

The fact that people who use the word “fishy” to mean “suspect” aren’t generally thinking of vaginas at all is somehow beside the point.

Minnow

Dom, I think we both agree that black Americans, wherever they came from originally, were pretty thoroughly discriminated against in the 40's in the USA. Half the country was, for all intents and purposes, an apartheid state, for example. Of course there were other kinds of racial prejudice too, especially towards the Jews, but the fact that the writer's grandparents simply could not see that the US was not a country or racial equality is testament to their (relative) privilege. And the fact that their university educated grandson still does not notice the pretty salient fact of racial abuse even when he is writing an essay about the history of the 20th century American immigrant experience, is a good (and ironic) illustration of how privilege can work and why it is pernicious.

Rob

South Korea was a backward peasant economy in 1953, devastated by war. 50 years later it was an economic powerhouse, it's citizens wealthy beyond the dreams of their grandparents.

Who could have thought an entire country would have to "check their privilege"?

Minnow

And how many did Park Chung-hee murder, persecute and imprison to achieve that Rob? Price worth paying? Just something that is too rude to mention? The dead, of course, can't check their privilege, but I suppose we can check it for them.

WTP

When I lived in the South, I raised eyebrows as a Catholic.

As a school kid in south FL, when we would ask each other where we went to church, the number of Catholic churches far outnumbered Presby's, Methodists, Baptists, etc. Combined with nearly every portrayal of a man of the cloth in movies and TV the person was, if not overtly Catholic, wore "The Collar" unlike any pastors I new. Additionally the somewhat ubiquity of the in the media of Pope shown as a leader of the Christian world, his opening the doors of the Vatican on New Year's Eve being televised and such, I simply believed Catholicism to be the majority.

And then my further confusion upon learning/hearing the Apostle's Creed re "I believe in the Holy Catholic Church..." caused further confusion.

Dom

Minnow, I'm glad you dropped "religion" as one of your privileged pillars. I'm pretty sure the poster's grandparents saw quite clearly the discrimination they were to suffer in the US. They just compared it to what they had already experienced in Poland or anywhere else in the world, and decided it was better here. It was a good and insightful post, it needed to be said, and I don't see anything ironic in it.

---------------

David: Ah, yes, the fishy vagina. Didn't think about then, but then apparently Penny didn't either. I guess both of us need to ramp up the cissexism privileges.

Anna

For serious players, the more improbable and groundless the accusation is, and the more contrived and esoteric it is, the more points you get. If the sucker takes the bait.

We passed Peak Guilt years ago. All race cards maxed out. They're running on fumes now.

Minnow

Dom, you may be sure, but the writer of the article wasn't. And it is ironic because the writer still doesn't see that that the US at that period was a country riven by racial conflict. He can't see it because he has the privilege of belonging to a racial group for the most part exempt from those particular conflicts and yet he is writing an article poo-pooing the very idea of 'privilege'. There is the irony.

Daniel Ream

Check your privilege!

I don't have that stat on my character sheet. What am I supposed to roll for that?

CT

Where’s my cake?

Have a slice on me, David. *hits tip jar*

David

Cheers, matey.

bgates

even when he is writing an essay about the history of the 20th century American immigrant experience

He wasn't. He was writing about his own family history. Read it again, and anytime you feel yourself tempted to think "reified archetype" instead think "individual human being".

Bart

"But that's privilege for you. Hard to see when you have it"

The exact opposite is true, as the slightest familiarity with history, human nature or rudimentary logic would have informed you. If can't see that non-samurai are expected defer to you and are forbidden from wearing two swords, then you won't take offence when these strictures aren't adhered to. If you are oblivious to the fact that dhimmis are excluded from certain official positions and are expected to pay extra taxes, you'll be oblivious to them violating these demands. If you find it hard to see that only wealthy landowners have the right to vote, then you'll find it hard to see any reason to prevent poorer men from voting.

Privileges don't exist as independent entities, and will only continue if they're enforced and fought for. If privileged groups are oblivious to their privileges, they will lose them.

Of all the idiotic cliches concerning leftist obsession with privilege, the concept that privileged groups can't see their privileges is the most point-and-laugh buffoonish. It is, in fact, so illogical, so divorced from human nature and observable reality, and so contrary to simple common sense that only going to college will teach you to be foolish enough to parrot it.

Bart

"And how many did Park Chung-hee murder, persecute and imprison to achieve that Rob?"

Eh? An insignificant fraction of those murdered and persecuted in North Korea. His descent into authoritarianism is confined to the last six or so years of his reign and the repression of his later regime is not regarded by anyone as a prerequisite or a driving engine of South Korea's economic growth, which had been ongoing for around two decades prior.

No offence, but your attemtps at forming arguments are extremely rubbish.

David

They’re running on fumes now.

Well, denouncers of “privilege” are nothing if not inventive. I’ve seen plenty of terribly earnest “checklists” in which it’s assumed that none of the so-called “privileges” can ever have been earned or have involved sacrifice, and no implied disadvantage can ever be a consequence of chosen behaviour and psychological quirks. Like being emotionally crushed by the name of a nail polish colour.

Likewise, it’s interesting how words such as “dominant” are used by default instead of, say, “common” or “most likely to work,” even in contexts where the hoped-for insinuation of dominance is laughable. (For instance, a balding trans woman claiming to be oppressed because, having male physiology and male pattern baldness, her coiffure had to be radically reconfigured.)

And despite the tendency to venture into inadvertent comedy, the framing of such things is typically loaded to steer one to the belief that any lack of “privilege,” however tendentiously defined, warrants atonement from some third party, along with special favours – very often silent deference in the face of absurdity. Rather than, say, bewilderment. Or a change in the supposed victim’s own behaviour.

dicentra

If they had been black their experience of the US would have been very different.

You must not be from around here. The KKK went after blacks & Jews with equal vigor. Jews got barred from country clubs along with blacks.

The fact that Jews have always thrived in the face of bigotry and the children of slaves have not is indicative of what the respective groups tell themselves about the persecution.

The Jews know from scripture, prophecy, and experience that nobody will ever cut them a break, so they go about the business of blooming where they're planted, on account of that's their only good option.

The children of slaves have been crippled by learned helplessness, initially inherited from slavery but now perpetuated by the #caring embrace of moronic do-gooders who tell them that they won't be able to have a real life until whitey stops being racist. I just had a Twitchat with a black kid from Michigan (probably Detroit) who is thoroughly enmired in that mindset: his life won't start until all racial grievances of the past centuries are remedied (whatever that means) and the privilege that other allegedly have is given to him. As with all people who have an obvious disadvantage (little people, the deaf, wheelchair-bound) they imagine that people without their disability lead charmed lives.

Given that there are plenty of black women my age who have the same education (or better) and the same income (or better), you can no longer blame institutional racism for the failure of poor blacks, because when racism is severe enough to keep one black person down, it keeps them all down, as in the first half of the 20th century.

No matter who you are, you're going to experience "micro-aggressions" of one sort or another, so you might as well just keep going in spite of them.

dicentra

the fact that the writer's grandparents simply could not see that the US was not a country of racial equality is testament to their (relative) privilege

Or it's a testament to how insignificant the discrimination in the U.S. was compared to what they'd already been through. In the old country they risked being sent to gulags and gas chambers for being Jews. In the U.S., they risked being given the stink-eye and kept out of country clubs.

An utter loss of perspective along with pernicious ingratitude is one of the more rampant diseases of our time. Anyone living in the U.S., legally or not, has won the effing lottery. Most of everyone's ancestors lived in squalor, under the heel of some tyrant or another, with nothing to look forward to but death to escape the bitterness of their lives.

We have refrigeration, antibiotics, anesthesia, universal literacy, elections, indoor plumbing, careers, rule of law, electricity, no-fault divorce, birth control, and widespread obesity.

The Pharaohs of Egypt didn't have it this good.

The hysteria in the face of trivialities — the new star on the Sneech's belly — testifies to our superficiality, shallowness, inanity, and narcissism.

When the Chinese and Russians et al. finally manage to displace the dollar as the world's reserve currency, the U.S. economy will crash like the Hindenburg and take most of the rest of the world with us.

And THAT, unfortunately, is the only way this sniveling stupidity will stop: when reality delivers a 2x4 to the back of the head and knocks some sense back into us.

brinster

If anyone wants to see how privileged EVERYONE was in the U. S., take a walk over to Shorpy.com, and observe what things were like for the common man from the turn of the 20th century through WWII. Most of the photos are real eye openers. Most of us were poor back then, regardless of race.

Craig Mc

'Naturally, Mr Fortgang is immediately berated by his betters, those more pure than he, and denounced as a “privileged piece of shit.”'

Boy, if they don't like what Polish descendants think of black american racial grief mongering, wait until they see what Chinese and other asians think of it.

D

wait until they see what Chinese and other asians think of it

I've heard it, but nobody is allowed to talk about that. It's complicated because Asians can't be called racist as easily as whites.

I still find it bizarre that Asians are considered "privileged" compared to black folks, even though something like 50% of Chinese in America are immigrants from China. These immigrants come here with little English and little money to make a better life. Then, if after scrimping and saving every penny to make a life for themselves, they or their kids do well in school, they get discriminated against because lord knows you don't want to have too many Asians in your college. They rarely get (or qualify for) welfare or food stamps. But they manage to outperform even white folks on average, because of their extreme hard work.

This country (along with many others) has a long history of discriminating against Chinese. But Asians have the same perspective as Jews -- it happens, focus on your work, don't make a big deal about it. And guess what -- it works. Even under real discrimination, as opposed to "microaggressions" and "racist" nail care products.

Rafi

the belief that any lack of “privilege,”... warrants atonement from some third party, along with special favours... Rather than... a change in the supposed victim’s own behaviour.

If I check my privilege will they check their excuses?

Dan

Minnow

It's crazy to think that most of the original black slaves didn't suffer indignity and maltreatment. Almost no one says that, of course, but let that slide.

It's also crazy to believe - in the time of Thomas Sowell, Sylvester Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Neal Tyson, George Alcorn, Bill Cosby, Chris Rock, Wesley Snipes, Denzil Washington, three-quarters of US sports stars and pop music figures, Johnnie Cochrane, Clarence Thomas, Leah Sears, various big city mayors and police chiefs, and, yes, Barack Obama - that there remains any significant obstacle to the success of American blacks.

It is also crazy to believe that even the poorest American black people are not better off in the US than the poorest in Africa. Sure, if your great-great-great-great grandfather was a tribal chief and you now live in South Central LA things haven't worked out so well for you, but that's about you because see list of names above.

What about the history of white slaves (in the US and elsewhere)? What about the descendants of whites press ganged into the Navy, or forced by poverty and hunger to fight and die for the king? What about the (mostly white) men who gave field in their millions on battlefields, in factories and down mines to create the world we live in today, where (some) blacks and (more) intelligent but stupid young whites can bitch about the past while still having a roof over their heads, the conveniences of the modern world and so much good they can barely waddle to KFC? Whose privilege are we checking here?

Minnow

You must not be from around here. The KKK went after blacks & Jews with equal vigor.

No they didn't. Look up the number of Jewish lynchings by the KKK, for example. But it is not really the point because the KKK were just the most lurid end of racist discrimination against America's black population in the 20th century. It was the legal apartheid apparatus that immiserated most of the black population and the social mores and arrangements in which it was embedded. You needn't agree, I know there are white Americans nostalgic for the happier race relations that preceded the disruptions of the Civil Rights movement, but surely you can agree that it is a little crass to describe the US of the 40s and 50s as 'a country ...that cares not about religion or race' as our writer described it. To think that is true is to see history through the blinkers of privilege. No educated black American could come out with that, I don't think. Not even Thomas Sowell.


As for this:

The children of slaves have been crippled by learned helplessness, initially inherited from slavery but now perpetuated by the #caring embrace of moronic do-gooders who tell them that they won't be able to have a real life until whitey stops being racist.

Well, of course, it will be that, learned helplessness, social conditioning, not the policeman with the nightstick telling you where you can eat your sandwiches and whose hand you are allowed to hold.

Dr Cromarty

Well, of course, it will be that, learned helplessness, social conditioning, not the policeman with the nightstick telling you where you can eat your sandwiches and whose hand you are allowed to hold.

And that is documented as happening when last, exactly? Or have you confused 'Mississippi Burning' with last night's News At Ten?

Dom

What he said was: "It was their privilege to come to a country that grants equal protection under the law to its citizens, that cares not about religion or race, but the content of your character." The law, he said, cares not about religion and race. And he was right. Like I said before, his grandparents knew exactly the country they were entering. They just also knew the country they were leaving. No prism of privilege here.

If I can get things back on track -- this whole concept of check your privilege is silly and I hope it disappears faster than other horrors, like micro aggression, or cissexism. It is a pointless, needless concept, one that originated in the stupid left, like academia. If this kid's grandparents were privileged, then the idea is not for them to check it, but to spread it to others.

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

this whole concept of check your privilege is silly

It's not silly -- it's evil. It's deliberately designed and used to obviate facts and logical reasoning, and enforce arbitrary control.

David

Well, you have to wonder whether a person is best served by this kind of theatrical grievance calculation, with its cultivated resentment and shoulder-chips, and heaps of tribal dogmatism, very often about absurdities.

Say you were a potential employer and you read about these indignant creatures here. Or these. Or this guy, or any of his equally adamant peers mentioned here over the years. Are their attitudes and behaviours the kinds of attitudes and behaviours you’d want among your staff, or among your friends, your family? Is their acting out, their psychodrama, going to make you well-disposed and eager to employ them or welcome them into your home?

And then, presumably, they could be indignant about that, seizing on it as proof of the world’s injustice.

Minnow

It is a pointless, needless concept

I don't agree, it was drummed into me as a child by my school teachers many many years ago and I urge it on my own children now: be aware of how much you have, how lucky you are to be born where your were and when, how many people in the world have little or nothing. I think it makes them better people,nicer people too, better company, even if they appear hilariously weak and foolish in some libertarian eyes.

The law, he said, cares not about religion and race. And he was right.

No he was wrong, as any black American (and many white Americans) will tell you. Blacks were not accorded equal rights under the law in large parts of the US in the 40s and 50s. Many or most black Americans lived in apartheid conditions. It takes a thick veil of privilege to obscure that from view, but it can be done.

Nikw211

It's not silly -- it's evil.

And then, presumably, they could be indignant about that, seizing on it as proof of the world’s injustice.

I wouldn't go as far as to say it's evil, but only because I think the majority of those eager to deploy a bit of 'CYP'* are mostly oblivious to what they are actually doing; that most of them are mistaking the pleasure of making someone angry or uncomfortable for the thrill of a virtuous act.

I'd almost go so far as to say that 'CYP-ers' are 'Useful Idiots', but only almost – because there isn't really any one person or organisation there to use them.

I think these 'Useless Idiots' can be compared to those contemporary British socialists who rush to declare their solidarity and unconditional support for workers they've never met, in a town they've never heard of, over a workplace dispute they know absolutely nothing about.

A long time ago, the 1930s for example, a strike in one place was an opportunity for active socialists to try and get the whole nation on strike, and thereby shut down the whole system as a precursor to revolution (i.e. if conditions weren't yet intolerable to spark a revolt, the misery of a protracted national strike was thought to do the trick).

But nowadays … I mean what's the point in them offering their solidarity to strikers when the society and the economy is so radically changed from the 1930s? It just leaves them a somewhat empty symbolic gesture.

So if there's little opportunity and no real point to sabotaging heavy industry in the way there used to be, that leaves the academic and cultural life of the West as one of the few things left to have a go at. So CYP – and 'microaggressions' and disrupting lectures and issuing ludicrous 72-point manifestos, all the bullshit – is really a kind of cultural spanner you can toss into the middle of a debate to wreck it to ruins.

CYP etc. is overtly provocative because it's a very invasive assualt on a person's ego and sense of self – When someone uses CYP on you, they are immediately co-opting you into a reality of their devising (a 'narrative' in their terms) that affords you no respect whatsoever – it's basically the same thing as any committed racist bigot does. With an assured and total sense of disregard for you as a person, the CYP-er drags you into their paranoid world of delusion, or as Peggy McIntosh has it, into a world of "invisible systems of … dominance".

It's what makes it so easy for users of CYP to set you up as a straw man for things you've never said and don't believe in – to suggest that it might be nonsense is, often, to declare yourself an unreconstructed neanderthal racist. In their delusional world, you submit to your privelege and repent or you burn in hellfire. They generally do not admit any alternative and certainly not your own ideas – heaven forbid – because that might lead them off-script and into something like a real discussion.

Really, it's utterly disgraceful behaviour for so-called intelligent people to engage in.

And the fact that it's used so often by people who by and large have generously conferred on themselves their own inflated sense virtue and who also often loudly claim to be an enemy of oppression leaves you gagging on the rankness of their hypocrisy.

And of course, should you ever think of losing your temper with one of these 'Useless Idiots' they will always claim to have exposed the 'real' you.

Seeing as the entire strategy of CYP has been expressly designed to aggravate and provoke, it takes more than just a little self-control not to lose your temper in the face of their outraged histrionics. The kind of control you generally need to maintain when dealing with other irrational beings, such as small children or Suey Park.

*CYP = Check Your Privelege

Nikw211

it was drummed into me as a child by my school teachers many many years ago and I urge it on my own children now: be aware of how much you have, how lucky you are to be born where your were and when, how many people in the world have little or nothing

That isn't a description of a lesson in checking one's privilege - it's a description of raising children with a sense of humility and an understanding of charity. Those have been consistently core moral values for a long time, even pre-dating Christianity.

CYP is a cheap mind game, a form of social sabotage.

MikeG81

It's a simple tactic to try and pin the past actions of others on present day people who had nothing to do with the perceived transgressions.

"Privilege" is such an abstract thing that it's hard for one to defend against it when it's defined by the "aggressor", a tactic used over and over by leftists/"progressives" in many other attacks on society and individuals.

Henry

'"Privilege" is such an abstract thing that it's hard for one to defend against it'

Exactly right. It's an extremely vague term. Our resident troll doesn't seem to want to define it, and I don't blame him/her/probably him.

While it's hard to see a definition of the word "privilege" it's very easy (a la Wittgenstein*) to see it's use, which is to make white people feel bad about themselves, and justify various kinds of discrimination against them.

That's why this particular use of the word is so suspect, and difficult to respect, intellectually speaking.

* see? Philosophers can be helpful :)

dicentra

Look up the number of Jewish lynchings by the KKK, for example.

The lynchings were in response to white hysteria about blacks having nothing on their minds but raping white women, something that "everyone knew about Those People." Not all lynchings were affiliated with the KKK; the bigotry of Jim Crow laws existed outside the KKK and the bigotry therefore cannot be measured by KKK lynching statistics.

KKK rhetoric has always condemned the blacks for being "mud people" and the Jews for being world conspirators. They've never cut either party any slack because that's not how they roll.

surely you can agree that it is a little crass to describe the US of the 40s and 50s as 'a country ...that cares not about religion or race' as our writer described it

I surely cannot. I already stated clearly and unequivocally that the evil that consumed Europe in the WWII era makes the discrimination in the U.S. look like a minor annoyance in comparison.

Especially to those who barely escaped the Holocaust with their lives. That's not "crass"; that's a heavy sigh of relief from someone who knows the difference between a pogrom and getting the stink-eye.

dicentra

be aware of how much you have, how lucky you are to be born where your were and when, how many people in the world have little or nothing

That's not "checking your privilege," it's ordinary gratitude, which leads to generosity, not to guilt.

Gratitude motivates me to help those who are less fortunate.

Guilt motivates me to do whatever I can to assuage the guilt: send someone else on a guilt trip by demanding that they check THEIR privilege, Be Seen Supporting The Right Cause, immerse myself in the Big Egyptian River, toss a few quid into any properly named fund, regardless of the efficacy of its activities…

With gratitude, it's about what helps the other guy out; with guilt, I help the other guy only by accident, because Feeling Good About Myself comes first, and if cheap, symbolic grace does the trick, then the other guy can get stuffed before he gets what he needs.

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