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Tad Brennan

I do not dispute your larger points here, but I do think you have misrepresented what Srinivasan said:
"I don't think the utopia or post-revolutionary world is a place without any form of brutality..."

Your summary of her position:
"For, if a post-revolutionary world, feminist or not, cannot do without "brutality,""

"Cannot do without" ≠ "is not without".

Srinivasan is making a prediction, as well as setting a threshold for what could count as a utopia: it may well have some brutality, and it need not be entirely brutality-free in order to count as a utopia. Perhaps, despite our best efforts, there are vestigial elements of brutality in it. They are hard to eradicate, but (luckily) their complete eradication is not necessary for utopia.

That is different from saying that a utopia "cannot do without," i.e. needs, as an essential constituent, some forms of brutality.

(it's the difference btw "necessary: contains some" and "not necessary: contains none.")

If some utopia needs, as an essential constituent, certain kinds of brutality, then "it is not obviously worth having," -- yes, that sounds right to me too, depending on the kind and severity of the brutality (c.f. naturally LeGuin's "Omelas").

However, if we are not imagining that the brutality is an essential constituent, but merely a predictable accidental feature of any utopia that will still include humans, and so will not completely eradicate every form of brutality, then that utopia may still be worth having, and indeed *obviously* worth having.

Eric Schliesser

Hi Tad,
I agree yours is the more charitable interpretation of Srinivasan on this point! Thank you for articulating it.

Tad Brennan

Thank you, Eric.

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