RL interviewed by Jeff Whitaker

For those interested, today I was on Jeff Whitaker’s radio show now available in podcast. If you have suggestions about things I should have said, by all means.

7 Responses to RL interviewed by Jeff Whitaker

  1. SE says:

    Opening yourself up for criticism – nice leading a civil society by example ;).
    Excellent interview, as usual. I have a few questions. You say that in an honor/shame society the only way for the shamed party to rid itself of the shame is through bloodshed. Why is this necessarily so? Why can’t it retaliate with [bloodless] shame, thereby regaining honor for itself?
    You say that there is a large gap between Palestinian saying and doing. I am surprised you did not mention the even larger gap between Muslim/Arab saying in Arabic vs. saying in English.
    Great points about Palestinians taking responsibility for their actions, especially when compared with the hyper-critical Israeli press.
    I liked that expression of America being addicted to hope. There may be a strong element of American cognitive egocentrism at work here too.
    I wonder if you could explain more about why Europe is so hell-bent on appeasement.

  2. Cynic says:

    You say that in an honor/shame society the only way for the shamed party to rid itself of the shame is through bloodshed. Why is this necessarily so? Why can’t it retaliate with [bloodless] shame, thereby regaining honor for itself?

    Because the honour/shame aspect is a layer under a tribal-clan culture where words are for deception and not for regaining honour which can only come about with bloodshed.
    Now how would the father rid his shame at the “behaviour” of some female member of his household with words?
    Would the clan swallow it, the taqyia that is?
    How would words suffice for stonings as carried out in Iran?

  3. oao says:

    cynic is correct.

    bear in mind that one of the consequences of arabs/muslims lying all the time (taqiya), they assume that everybody else lie too. that’s why they don’t believe a word from the west and that’s why diplomacy and persuasion are a waste of time, no matter how genuine. to them it is always a lie, because they know what they always do themselves.

  4. Cynic says:

    oao,

    We mustn’t forget the psychological aspects of a frustrated manhood as well, and superficial education for life that does not permit rising above the brute force behaviour , of a Neanderthal, for releasing the pent up frustrations, an education that the Europeans experienced in their Reformation when the “Pen “became” Mightier than the Sword”.
    An education brought about slowly but surely from just 10 commandments.
    How much more satisfying and rewarding to joust with words than laying into someone with crude physical blows and permit the pleasure of the multitude of verbal permutations if one’s “erudition” permits.

    “Road rage” seems to portray some of this frustration through a faulting education and lack of vision how to channel behaviour into something more productive.
    Just look at how the audience in the cinema jumps up and applauds at the bloody final outcome for the villain; ala Rome.
    And so it seems that the pendulum swings back to the dark ages.

  5. E.G. says:

    Only bloodshed can wash-up shame and restore honour – not merely save face – following offense or humiliation (assimilable to social death).

    A clan or tribal society is based on blood ties (blood is thicker than water), and many such societies have not as yet operated the substitution of the material by the abstract or symbolic values (for ex. eye for eye -> monetary compensation for a damaged eye).

  6. E.G. says:

    N.B.
    Trade or trade off honour?!
    For some, it’s a matter of life and death…

  7. Richard Landes says:

    to SE by RL

    You say that in an honor/shame society the only way for the shamed party to rid itself of the shame is through bloodshed. Why is this necessarily so? Why can’t it retaliate with [bloodless] shame, thereby regaining honor for itself?

    In minor cases, yes. If someone says something insulting and you insult him back even better, then you’ve restored your honor, especially if he fails to retaliate — in which case he’s the coward. But the key thing to consider, and this is the core of honor-shame culture, is what the peer group thinks. If one retaliates verbally successfully in the eyes of the group, then that’s sufficient. If the group demands blood, then it’s insufficient. Thus, it’s possible to imagine an honor-shame culture where words often suffice (e.g., Japan). Palestinian culture, on the other hand, has been under the combined influence of a Bedouin tradition of tribal warrior and Arafat’s secular version (the gun settles all disputes). In the case of one girl, raped by her brothers, the PA even stepped in to save the girl’s life, and the father refused to kill her. So the mother
    did. Why? Because the
    community ostracized them — her brothers in law wouldn’t let her sisters visit, no one would marry their kids to her kids — until the girl had been killed. That’s a vicious, male dominated, peer group.

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