Nicco Kunzmann


On ~isms

On ~isms

We know the terms “racism”, “sexism”, “utilitarianism”, “nationalism”. Through this document, they all have an “ism” in the end.

Whenever such an “-ism” comes to my mind, I am cautious. Here is why:

Any -ism has a maxime, a rule that people, following the ism value over the people. For racism, it it is race, … and so on. Thus, whenever people think about an issue in terms of the ism, the ism creates (like an authority) a pattern of thinking and evaluation. This evaluation, in many cases, is valued over peace and the person. I conclude, many isms in our society have a sense of objectivism.

In the authority of the ism and its link to objectivism, thinking raises the likelyhood to choose against the subjective, the individual. I infer violence from that.

Hear more from Marshal Rosenberg on specific isms that triggered this document here, minute 20.

Conclusion 1: whenever I hear ism, I am cautious, because it can mark an authoritive strategy is used.

Now an example for utilitarianism: Here I would like to show, that utilitarianism is subjective to time. After this, I like to show that once you accept the time as subjectivity, you can accept information ‘deficit’ as subjectivity. Once you accept information deficit as subjectivity, you see that to maximize the maxime, you need to inform yourself. Then, you may see that after informing yourself, different strategies can be chosen which in return can be evaluated differently by different people.

On the word maxime

A Maxime is a rule above other rules, ‘max’ is in it. Applying one maxime to all situations conflicts with the maximization of other rules. Every maxime can be evaluated on the past and judge the future. Herein lies the problem of whether I can judge from the past. Therein lies the problem of whether I should judge. Marshal Rosenberg proposes a different value system to this problem.

Kirstin: I do feel resentment and disagreement and rebellion against this part. The second sentence rubs me most. Also, I think that a maxime as Kant used it cannot be used to judge any outcomes. And behaviors only to the extent whether they follow this maxime or not, but not whether it is a good or a bad behavior. The process to evaluate and judge a behavior or action happens without the maxime. Usually what is judged are either the intentions or the outcomes. I believe no person should be judged at all at, least not as a whole(“you are a bad person”). However it is important to evaluate our past actions, so we can learn from them and adapt our decisions and actions in the future based on that. We need to be aware of our intentions. I think they are most important when we do not have reliable experiences from the past which can help in predictiong outcomes. If we intend well the chances of a good outcome are higher.

Future work

Kant’s Kathegorical imperative may be from a time of authority, domination and I know what is good for you attitutes. How much of this is left as a mark.

Kant’s heritage?