Revisiting My Ethical Imperative

Last May, I wrote an entry about assholes, douche bags and bullshitters. I argued that perhaps, instead of, “be nice” or “be good,” our ethical imperative should be: don’t be an asshole. I intended to do more work on thinking through what this (might) mean. I even ambitiously titled the entry, part one. But I haven’t had the brain space or time to work on it since then. Now, after getting On Assholes: A Theory for Christmas and reading a recent article on The Chronicle of Higher Education—‘A’ is Asshole, I’ve decided that I must devote a little attention to it on this first morning of writing in 2013. Here’s what I tweeted a few minutes ago:

The lack of race analysis and/or discussion of the overlaps between having/using/ignoring privilege and being an asshole bother me and make me wonder if “not being an asshole” is a compelling-enough ethical imperative. Does it accurately and effectively convey our ethical need to not reproduce power structures and dominant hierarchies? When I finish (since I’ve barely started) the Asshole book I’m reading, I want to write about my questions and concerns.