About My Blog

I Spent six weeks in Egypt before spending a year in Germany. This blog covers the best summer of my life. If you are looking for my posts while I was in Germany ask me, and I'll be happy to share them but I have been asked not to share them publicly. Feel free to visit my brothers blog of his year in Germany or my new blog

Monday, August 2, 2010

The theory

This post is out of order but it's just abou the most important thing
I have to write about. I'm on the bus to mount Sinai and it popped
into my head. It goes along with the post that was the the recap of
the last few days.

Like I said we ate dinner with the Iraqis on Wednesday and the topic
of oppression came up at dinner. Nolan and I weren't there for it but
Jamie Kayla and yalda told us what they said. The iraqi women and some
other women we have talked to got offended when we asked if they felt
oppressed because they feel that American women are more oppressed and
have fewer rights than they do. I never thought of the hijab or nikab
as oppression but I did assume that Arabic culture in general was
oppressive. Nolan and I argued that they are oppressed and just don't
realize it because they don't see what we are missng. I now agree
that this was a very closed minded western opinion but it's the
opinion I took. We got into a heated debate over oppression and the
girls ultimately proved to us that we cannot call them oppressed. I
they don't feel oppressed then they can't possibly be oppressed. We
asked how they felt about being called oppressed and they compared it
to our opinion and our argument which makes complete sense. The
ddebate went on but I don't know exactly what went on in the debate.
The importance of the night and the importance of this post came after
the discussion. Nolan and I returned to our room heads hung low and
soundly beaten but we couldn't figure out why. We started talking and
involved our other two roommate into the discussion. We started
talking at 1am and went to sleep at 5 am just to put into perspective
the intemsity ofhis conversation. It started because Jamie challenged
Nolan to find one time that he actually saw a woman being forcefully
oppressed. Nolan obviously couldn't but we still needed an argument.
We came up with oppression we had heard of bt not actually seen and
tried to think of it as when is it oppression and are we justified in
thinking it's oppression and most importantly when can we intervene.
This question bugged us bu at some point we came up with a failptoof
theory. And when I say failptoof I mean that I fits everything. We
agreed at four am that maybe this just worked because it was 4 am and
we were all extremely tired. But first thing in the mornin we ran
through several more scenarios and what do you know, still failproof.
This theory should be written into a book and studied everywhere it's
that good. I know I'm one of the founders of the idea but wventhe
girls couldn't argue with it and I obviously believe in it. I'm now
going to go through the theory and if you agree tell me if you don't,
well then don't say anything.

We decided that within any system of percieved oppression there are
four kinds of people. This percieved oppression can be percieved by
anyone, westerners, Asians, Arabs, women, men, gay, straight, and
alien. The four levels each have a corresponding actionthat can be
taken by someone who prlercieves oppression. The four stages are not
oppressed, internally oppressed, externally oppressed, and the
revolutionary. I'll start at the first stage and I will use the first
tense and the percieved oppression of slavery. If I percieve that
slavery is oppressive then I can use this system

The unoppressed slaves are the slaves who are happy with their
situation and who don't percieve themselves as oppressed. These people
are content and despite my feelings that they are oppressed I have no
right to tell them they are oppressed.

In stage two the internally oppressed slaves are the ones who are
unhappy but they feel that they have a duty to be a slave. They do not
try to leave the system because it is an internal feeling that they
cannot do anything but that. These people are internally oppressed. I
can call these slaves oppressed and at this point I have the human
right to tell them that they are either happy where they are, in which
case they would become unoppressed. Or to tell them that they are
oppressed and that they should try to remove themselves by moving to
stage three.

Stage three slaves are the slaves who are made to be slaves by an
external force. They have tried to escape the system by running away
or buying their freedom but they are continually forced back into
slavery by their masters At this stage I have the right to call the
person oppressed just as I was with stage two oppression. At this
stage my human rights expand. I gain the right to help the person
escape their oppression. They have tried and are unable to escape
without outside help so I have the right to help them escape if they
are willing to accept it. Advancement to stage four has two choices,
one of which has another two options. This is where the theory gets
confusing but it still works.

The revolutionary slaves are the slaves who have escaped slaery and
the percieved oppression. They can escape as an independent escapee in
one of two ways: dead or alive. Either the slave gets out of the
oppression by running north and succeeding or by being killed while
running away. Either way the slave is no longer a slave and is no
longer oppressed. This seems morose but it's true. The second way of
escaping is as a group. A whole sale change within a system of
oppression which allows people to escape. In terms of slavery this was
Abraham Lincoln and the abolition of slavery. Slavery was made illegal
and the slaves were no longer oppressed. They escaped the oppression
as a whole and therefore have become unoppressed. Naturally these
people are not oppressed and we have no right or option bu to call
them unoppressed.

Some of you may be thinking "what about the happy slaves? The stage
one slaves?" well here's the problem in America and within every
system of oppression. It should be optional. This sounds like I am a
southern radical who promotes slavery bu I'm not. But we cannot
abolish slavery is a slave was entirely happy to be a slave and felt
unoppressed. By abolishing slavery we deny him a han right to the
pursuit of happiness. We stop him from being what he wants to be, a
slave. There are a few more clauses that I wrote in a notebook
throughout the night but they are too superfluous for now. We tried
this system with everyone we thought of as oppressed and it always
worked. Part of the problem for us is that we do not see western
oppression very much today but this theory/idea is universal because
it can be applied to your personal perception no matte where you live,
how you were raised, or how ling you have been alive. It always works.

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