The Social Contract has a rich history

What follows are notes from zettelkasten. I hope they retain some of their flow; I wanted to get this down, as it's been in my head for weeks, while not then spending more time away from my family to blog about those notes.

Daily note 2020-06-26

  • Watched [[How Can We Win_ by David Jones Media]]
  • Read [[Deep Work by Cal Newport]]
  • #rain

How Can We Win_ by David Jones Media

Tags: #video #racism #usa Link: Published: 06/2020

  • Referenced in the comments — https://tildes.net/~tv/pk7/police_last_week_tonight_with_john_oliver — of a Tildes post on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.
    • I dislike that show's inconsistent policy on blocking content to those outside the US. As a result, I've given up on it.
    • Kimberly Jones is unbelievably eloquent, considering how emotional she clearly is. She's probably seen and heard quite a lot, even with this being her first day conducting interviews.
  • Kimberly Jones referenced:
    • Rosewood
      • Read [[Rosewood Massacre]], part of Wikipedia's series Nadir of American Race Relations
    • Tulsa
      • Read [[Tulsa Race Massacre]], also part of that series
    • Trevor
      • Watched [[The Daily Show with Trevor Noah 30052020]]

Rosewood Massacre

Tags: #article #wikipedia #racism #usa #florida #mena Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosewood_massacre#Culture_of_silence Accessed: 06/2020

  • Kimberly Jones seems well informed.
  • That a reporter travelling to small-town Florida in 1982 is completely unaware of this incident is shocking, to me.
    • It seemed like the victims, and their descendants, conspired in what the article labels a culture of silence.
      • The [[Tulsa Race Massacre]] references an eerily similar fallout.
    • How different from, say, the nakba (or “catastrophe”) of 1948. Well, in terms of the reactions of the Palestinian survivors, at the time (at least as I recall), and certainly of their descendants, long before any journalists needed to dig.
      • There is more in this point, I'm certain.

Tulsa Race Massacre

Tags: #article #wikipedia #racism #usa #oklahoma Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulsa_race_massacre Accessed: 06/2020

  • The associated state commission published their report in 2001.
  • The state curriculum only now, this year, references the incident.
  • That is deeply shocking to me, even after what's seeped into my psyche — despite my best efforts to isolate, for my own mental health — surrounding the death of George Floyd, and the prominence of Black Lives Matter.

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah 30052020

Tags: #video #racism #usa Link: Published: 05/2020

  • Trevor Noah is very eloquent. If this wasn't him speaking off the top of his head, he certainly did a thorough job of editing.
  • Two points stand out:
    • That footage of Amy Cooper is significant.
      • As a cis white male regularly pushing out the boundaries of my empathy, I can't hope to understand what it means to actually see a white woman — a 'Karen' — knowingly use her proxy power, in the form of the police. And, therefore, to knowingly put a black man's life in danger. Because she could.
    • IIRC — as it's been a few weeks since I watched this — Noah talks about the social contract in more general terms. (Very effectively, I might add.) It reminded me of [[The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau]].

The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Tags: #book Title: The Social Contract Author: Jean-Jacques Rousseau Published: 1762

[[To read]]

For Rousseau there is a radical dichotomy between true law and actual law. Actual law... simply protects the status quo. True law... is just law, and what ensures its being just is that it is made by the people in their collective capacity as sovereign and obeyed by the same people in their individual capacities as subjects. Rousseau is confident that such laws could not be unjust because it is inconceivable that any people would make unjust laws for itself.

– So much of Rousseau seems to be predicated on the idea of “civil society as an artificial person united by a general will, or volonté générale.” A laudable ideal that the US is still clearly falling well short of.

Rousseau... says that under the pact by which they enter civil society people totally alienate themselves and all their rights to the whole community. Rousseau, however, represents this act as a form of exchange of rights whereby people give up natural rights in return for civil rights. The bargain is a good one, because what is surrendered are rights of dubious value, whose realization depends solely on an individual’s own might, and what is obtained in return are rights that are both legitimate and enforced by the collective force of the community.

– Emphasis mine, and one of the main thrusts in [[The Daily Show with Trevor Noah 30052020]], without direct reference (again, IIRC).


I'd be interested in any feedback you have: is this jarring, annoying, interesting, largely similar to any other blog post? You can mention me on Fosstodon, or, if you'd prefer, email jlj@ctrl-c.club.

End of Day 46

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