Susan Cooper

deborah deborah at suberic.net
Wed Oct 29 16:02:17 EST 2003


On Tue, 28 Oct 2003 minnow at belfry.org.uk wrote:

|Charlie replied to Robyn:
|
|>I think there is an elitist element - I
|>> was going to say racist, but I suspect it is actually more an intellectual
|>> superiority thing - in the books. Cooper is clearly oblivious to this,
|>> because there she is preaching about racism in Silver on the Tree, when
|>> Will's family are all morally superior to the father of the bad boy who
|>> has been bullying. I say she's oblivious because there's this message about
|>> the Old Ones preventing evil, but never any sense that they should reflect on
|>> their methods.
|
|(To put in a small murmur here: if it is elitist actually to *be* morally
|superior in the matter of not attacking a small and defenceless child,
|mob-handed, simply because of the skin-colour of the child, and to find
|such attack indefensible, then I would be glad to think that it will cease
|to be elitist because it will become a norm, but until it does become a
|norm I think I prefer the elitist position to that of the bullies; and if
|to say so is preaching, my Quaker schooling tells me that every single
|person has the right and indeed the duty to speak up if the Spirit moves
|'em.)

I'd actually say that it's the last part of Robyn's paragraph (which
Charlie may disagree with, and on which I abstain leaning toward Robyn)
which is vital, here, to wit:

 It *is* elitist to feel morally superior in the matter of not attacking
 a small and defenceless child, mob-handed, simply because of the
 skin-colour of the child, and to find such attack indefensible, *if*,
 as Robyn suggests, there is no reflection on methods (or, I would add,
 continual self-reflection about the reality of moral superiority).

 It *isn't* elitist -- and, as Minnow suggests, is moral necessary under
 many moral codes (mine!) -- to act morally as above, and to educate as
 above, *if continual self-reflection occurs*.

Any sense of superiority that is not borne out by continual
re-examination ends up (ObDWJ) like Gair's people vs. Dorig in Power of
Three, as bigotry against people you made judgement against long ago,
when you and they were different people in a different environment.

-deborah
--
Let me remember this, please, when everything else
goes let me remember a goddess laughing after love.
		-- _The Folk of the Air_

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