Not so clever, Trevor
by Joseph Harker, 19/01/09
It has long been recognised and generally agreed that most, if not all, traits (physical and behavioural) result from a combination and often complicated interaction between genes and environment.
According to definitions 2 and 3 you give of prejudice, I agree, it is bad, so it is definition 1 that I will go with and attempt to explain and justify:
First of all, one's reason and experience is always imperfect. Secondly there are gut feelings and intuitions which come from the subconscious and thus cannot readily be understood in terms of reason or experience, but which I am still inclined to take very seriously.
It is also important to consider that negative prejudices are often complementary to positive ones. For example, identifying spontaneously with unfamiliar members of one's own race, but not with unfamiliar members of other races (notwithstanding that experience, e.g. getting to know an individual, may well change one's initial response, but as I said in a previous post, you can only get to know a very limited number of individuals).
What makes discussions such as this so difficult are the paradigms of STATE which assume that we (its citizens) are a single people, committed to each other as such (equally and without racial prejudice) and to the state as the overriding authority we owe our shared allegiance to. As Barack Obama puts it for America (quoting from memory):
The only problem with that is that it is a LIE, but one on which the STATE depends and bases its POWER on.
Obama's presidency I expect to help expose this LIE and lead to a radical reassessment of the nature and role of the STATE, which I hope to see transformed (both in America and here), peacefully and grassroots-democratically, from an instrument of POWER, imposing this LIE in order to exert state authority and facilitate the exploitation of society, to an instrument of genuine (rather than feigned) service, not to individuals so much as to the different "peoples" or communities, into which they will freely and grassroots-democratically self-organise, and in which ethnicity, I am pretty sure (when individuals are free to decide for themselves), will play a natural and important role.
If all that sound a little weird to you, as it probably will, it is because the necessary sociopolitical paradigm shift has yet to be made.