At the risk of over posting, let me add this: I see a big difference between
a rightwinger blaming the victim and a leftwinger stressing personal
responsibility. The rightwinger does not want to see the system, and thus
the underlying causes, change. The leftwinger does. By trying to brand a
leftwinger a rightwinger or a dupe of the right whenever a leftwinger raises
the issue of personal agency, whether it be obesity or the culture of
poverty we were discussing a few days ago, the fellow leftwinger is engaging
in political correctness--especially when the "true motivations" of the
fellow leftwinger are being questioned. In my view, political correctness is
a real phenomenon on the left (we were the first to identify it, as many or
most here know, although the term was coopted by the right) and it has
caused huge damage to our cause by suppressing badly needed debate and

Thanks for letting me get that out of my system.


On 7/28/07, Phil Gasper <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> The social and political context is provided very nicely in Eric
> Schlosser's Fast Food Nation (which was a best-seller) and to a
> lesser extent in Morgan Spurlock documentary Supersize Me! There is
> also Marion Nestle's more academic Food Politics (which makes the
> simple point that food corporations need to stuff people full of as
> many calories as possible to make more money). Other people on the
> list can probably name a dozen other relatively mainstream books and
> articles that make similar arguments.
> Once you provide the context, of course, its plain where the main
> cause of the problem lies. Slate, on the other hand, thinks we should
> be "blaming and stigmatizing fat people." That's not only morally
> obnoxious, it obviously won't work to solve the problem. But then its
> not intended to, because as long as we have "fat people" around we
> can continue to point the finger at them and divert attention away
> from the underlying causes. Perfect!
> --P.
> At 8:53 AM +0200 7/28/07, Michael Balter wrote:
> >Here is another piece from Slate, which I also personally find
> >interesting even if it is not written by a leftist and even though I
> >don't agree with all of it (it provides no real social or political
> >context for the obesity epidemic, for example, something that a
> >science for the people might be capable of doing.)


Michael Balter
Contributing Correspondent, Science
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