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 discussion.
Thanks for letting me get that out of my system.
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!
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.)