ThoughtStorms Wiki

This page triggered by Westsplaining but really it's about more than that.

The claim that Westerners can't really understand the experiences of Eastern Europeans and their valid fears of Russia has some force, but I'm not entirely on board.

At some point the "you aren't us and your opinion doesn't count (or counts less)" argument deteriorates into an absurdity where no-one can comment on or judge anyone else.

There can be some superficial attraction to "let the real victims be the best judge of their victimhood", but that can't be a hard rule.

Partly because it's open to abuse.

When arguing with Jewish people accusing JeremyCorbyn of LeftWingAntiSemitism I often made the point that from the argument that the purported victim always knows best, you'd have to support White Supremacist "GreatReplacementTheory" conspiracists. After all, surely White Europeans are the best judge as to whether they are being "genocided" by Muslim immigration.

The more automatic your "believe the self-proclaimed victim" creed is, the more incentives you create for such proclamations to be abused by those with other motives.

It must be possible for outsiders to judge a claim by those inside a situation. In principle, it's even possible that those at a distance, with a detached perspective, can see more clearly than those in the fog of war.

At the same time, they have different interests. It's easy for outsiders to discount the rights of victims, or even sacrifice them, in pursuit of other goals. And you must beware such cynicism.

Ukrainians are being killed and have every right to demand NATO intervenes to save their lives. That this is understandable and valid isn't the same as saying that NATO has an obligation to actually get involved, and risk sparking a wider war that could get its members in other countries killed.

These are hard and difficult judgement calls. Not moral laws.

If someone were to say that Eastern Europeans have no right to tell Westerners what to think or do about Western governments do WRT Russia, that would be a ludicrous. But Eastern European complaints against Western observations and opinions qua Westerners, aren't much better.

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