“White No More” / Part VII

Finally, ending this series of contemplations, my conclusions are as follows. Contemplating the concepts of “white no more” and “black no more” technology affirms my existentialist concept of human nature in which racism is a subset of the necessary classism required of reality. Technology, as it does with almost everything else, will make the battle against old school racism more efficient and will end it — it has already eliminated institutional old school racism. Though it will be replaced with other ways for individuals to dislike each other based on sense experience differences, the millennia old concepts of genetically superior and inferior ‘races’ are eliminated as a means for achieving power over others. However, for the foreseeable future, technology will not eliminate new school racism in which powerful white people and their black friends will continue to use skin color as a means to achieve power over others and as a smokescreen for their will to power. The will to power is a universal human trait. It is necessary in order for humanity to survive reality’s will for power over humanity and the mortality of its individuals. The ruling classes at any given time will use any available fact or tool to achieve power as an end in itself — including the struggles of ancestors with whom they cannot and do not empathize but see purely instrumentally as a means for power.

 
Eventually, this new school racism, once the present blacks who are using it to achieve power are firmly established, will become just another delusion and waste of human resources serving only to keep “black” hoi polloi in their place in the same way as the present posturing over the status of so-called Native Americans or American Indians pretending to be Navajo, Cherokee, or whatever delusion keeps hoi polloi involved on their reservations as a fiefdom of power for their few Inner and Outer Party powers. The only difference will be that future hoi polloi of the black tribe, race, family, or whatever Ta-Shei Coates, Susan Rice, or the Obamas want to call them will not be living on reservations created by the majesty of the law as is the case with American Indians but in self-imposed mental and physical reservations created by the polemics of new school racism — polemics preached by house servants such as Ta-Shei Coates to keep the field servants, white and black, fighting between themselves and in the fields working while he sits comfortably on the porch with his rich white friends criticizing the battle and struggles of those field hands.

 
Much of these polemics naturally flows from the structure of reality, but some of it is knowing and intentional. Hoi polloi out of a sense of empathy that naturally flows from their struggle with that reality should not ignore the personal evil involved. Comparing the illogic of the Dolezale facts discussed here with her detractors’ illogic on sexual identity and modern ethnic identity will bring out the personal evil motivating the polemics and the fact that the will to power trumps rationality and always will do so. The same people who ridicule Dolezale for ignoring her physical skin color are the same people who insist society must — not may or has the option of doing so at their free choice — but must ignore sense experience of sexual reproductive organs to define male and female sexes or sexual identity. This contradiction exists because logic is not the basis for humanity’s “ought” normative, ethical, or moral conclusions, it is the will to power that is the basis for all such conclusions.

 
Ethnicity in pre-modern times was the same as “race”. All modern ethnicities from Albanian to Zulu are the creations of struggles usually in the form of war. If struggle created the modern black race as Coates and other new school racists claim, it did so in the same way it created all ancestral, tribal, national, ethnic, some religious identities such as the Jewish Nation, language differences, and similar cultural and social distinctions among humans in life. The history of the world is the history of war. We would not have Italian, German, Serbian, Jewish, or any ethnicities and nations, tribes, people, or whatever without the conflicts that either united or separated them into their respective differences. The whole racist argument for the existence of a superior German or Aryan nation was based on their millennia existence as the first line of defense for Europe against attacking Asian “hordes”. Just as “struggle” has supposedly created Coates’ “black bodies” and black “race” and the reality, unity, and language of his black “people” and “tribe”, it has created all bodies, peoples, and tribes regardless of whether we call the differences cultural, social, ancestry, population, or any acceptable version of ‘race’.

 
However, for the Western World, because technology has made it more profitable and powerful for ethnicities to seek power over each other in peace through the law’s monopoly on violence instead of in war, ethnicity has for most Western societies if not for all become something that is easily ignored, created, and transferred because there is no physical characteristic such as skin color by which it can be made into a tool for those seeking power over others. If Dolezale were born in Italy of Italian parents, spoke Italian, and lived as an Italian most of her childhood and adult life, could she call herself an Italian-American and even an American (especially once she gets her formal citizenship) by simply moving to Brooklyn, learning to speak American, and accepting and living American culture, ideology, and values? Sure, this is what many immigrants have done and are doing. If an Italian lives in Brooklyn, engages in only American cultural activity, believes in the sovereignty of the United States, is a patriot of the United States, becomes an American citizen, acts American, speaks American, and believes in American values, should they be terminated from employment for calling themselves Italian-American instead of Italian or even for calling themselves American? No. In fact, terminating them for such a reason would be a violation of state and federal anti-discrimination law forced upon society by the powers. This ability to convert ethnic identity is true of all modern Western ethnic, tribal, national, religious, ethnicities, and old school “races” created by different forms of old school racist struggle, unless you are a racist or right-wing fanatic who believes in the purity of ethnicities. In which case, the differences are permanent because racists want such truth in the same way all racists want their arbitrary, invalid, unsound generalizations to be true.

 
Unlike sexual identity and ethnicity, Coates and his worshipers do not care about what Dolezal may or may not “think” about her identity. In their knowing and intentional house servant polemics pontificated to keep the field servants in their place, the word ‘black’ refers not only to having black skin but to a cultural and social history of struggle reserved for them regardless of whether or not they have ever struggled. Coates wants it that way and his politically correct worshipers want it that way in the same way that racists and right wing fanatics want to maintain ethnic purity. This is why they avoid asking the question of how many black ancestors are required for a person to call themselves a ‘black’ body because such question will obviously and clearly put them into the position of the racist trying to decide whether 1/32, 1/16 or 1/8 Jewish blood is enough to make one Jewish. They try to ignore their use of the word ‘race’ and thus its meaning because they want to pretend they are not racists.

 
Why do they get away with such obvious inconsistency and outright hypocrisy? Is it because it is not really a defeatist view of life but an intentional racist attempt to create and to gain an advantage from new school racism.

Coates and New School Racism: “Something In It For Me?”

“But I did not take education seriously until I saw something in it for me, aside from what everyone else thought.” This is how the genius commentator and thinker on racism Ta-Nehisi Coates ends a series of blogs and articles written by him and one about him by another journalist in which Coates summarizes his philosophy for presenting education to black males in middle and high schools. This is an important topic. Only 60% of black males graduate high school. Of those that do not graduate, 60% wind up in jail. Reading his philosophy based on his failed experiences with education is a very enlightening experience on race and racism in the United States. Not because the comments are in any way enlightening — as usual his comments are sophomoric at best, just spitting out what rich white people want to hear. They are enlightening because they embody the modern American new school racist’s justifications for racism yet Coates is too clueless to even know it, thus further nurturing that racism unintentionally.

 
According to Coates:
— For high school, he was admitted to the prestigious Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, one of the top public (that is free) high schools in the country. While a freshman there, he was arrested for punching a teacher in the face and suspended on suspicion of assaulting another teacher. Somehow, because of his educated parents’ argument to the school and the court, he avoided both jail and getting kicked out of the school. In gratitude for such leniency, he made it to his senior year with a 1.8 GPA and failing the English requirement but none of it mattered because he got into another fight and was then expelled but still avoided jail. These results did not bother him because he did not see in education “something in it for me.”
— In preparation for formal education, his mother, who was a teacher in the Baltimore Public School system, began home schooling Coates at age four teaching him to read and write and then to start writing essays about “me”, his problems, his sense of injustice, and how he felt about “me.” His preparation continued into a middle school that was so advanced it tried to teach him French in the 7th grade but he thought it was all a joke, “only an opportunity to discipline the body”, that involves “writing between the lines”, “copying the directions legibly”, and “memorizing theorems”. He writes “[t]hey were concerned with compliance” and “Algebra, Biology, English” are just excuses for “discipline.” He did not agree with his older siblings who saw and used education as the means to their engineering, business, and graduate degrees. He did not see “something in it for me.”
— He supposedly wanted to attend Baltimore Poly because it was a way to avoid the violence in his neighborhood and the other schools. According to his descriptions of that violence, it was instigated either by him or by his father’s beatings of him. So, as the cause of the violence, he did not get away from it but simply brought it with him. As a young black male, he was a success in adding to Baltimore crime statistics in which young black males that are only 10% of the population commit 50%-60% of the violent crimes and 75%-85% of the murders. Education did not stop his violence because he did not see “something in it for me.”
— Despite such a resume for his college application, thanks to his father’s book publishing business and employment as head librarian at Howard, he was able to get admission and a free ride to Howard University for five years without graduating. Other than the learning he received from his sexual exploits in college, he did not graduate because he did not see “something in it for me”
— Coates is the second youngest of his father’s children. His father had seven children with three women. Giving his father the benefit of a doubt and thus assuming that his college-educated father was not a stereotypical black male who sees relationships with women as solely a means for free sex but actually financially supported the three mothers of his children and did not make them rely on government welfare, public funds, Medicaid, and single mother households to raise his children for him, his father’s business and education must have been fairly successful to provide such financial support for a family of eleven people in total. Despite these good family examples of the power of education, family support, and hard work, Coates still did not see “something in it for me.”
— While at Howard, his father’s connections got him a job at a local black owned newspaper where Coates finally saw “something in it for me.” As a result of that “something”, he goes on to describe some of its rewards: spending time in Paris with his fellow intelligentsia enjoying French society; spending time in Aspen with rich people; going to “Ideas Festivals” with his fellow creative genius minds of American intelligentsia.

What was the light he finally saw that he could not see before and of which he informs black males?

 
As is true throughout history, we live in a world of misery that at its worse includes barely literate and even illiterate barefoot, peasant families living in war zones or drug infested, disease inflected, unsanitary shanties governed by despots or such inefficient, uncaring governments that they might as well be despots. Despite such misery, even in the worse conditions many of these ignorant peasants still imagine and dream: about getting an education somewhere, anywhere; of emigrating to the United States; of learning English, French, Italian, German, or anything to get the hell out of their misery; of the benefits of duty and loyalty to hard work, love of family, and respect of family; of the benefits of duty, loyalty, and love to teachers and to those who show compassion and caring for them; and most important, who can still have empathy for nonviolence and hope for a better life, even the leap of faith to religious hope. So, did Coates see the light that he was a selfish, self-centered, ungrateful, violent, lazy, arrogant, pompous, ignorant fool who lacked the insight to see the opportunities freely handed him by the love of his family and the altruism of society, who also lacked the imagination to see anything beyond the small pond in which he was the big fish? Did he see the need or at least feel the guilt to apologize to those he hurt, including the tax payers and financial donators who gave him a free ride through most of his life? Did he see the need to tell students about the historical significance of Western Civilization and their luck of living a society that is the end result of millions upon millions of lives who suffered and died with hope attempting to pass on to posterity Christian duties to love your neighbor as yourself, to live in truth, to have faith, to repent one’s sins, to give proof of humility, to love justice, to be merciful, to be sincere and wholehearted and to endure persecution and suffering for these virtues?

 
No, he became enlightened to see all is forgiven without even need of asking for forgiveness because of the excuse that some of his ancestors were slaves and he was black. The two must be taken together. We all have ancestors who were slaves. His enlightenment was that his childhood problems ensue from the slavery resulting from his African ancestors capturing their enemies and through Muslim traders selling 5% of them to the American colonies — that is the only slavery that matters. He saw this “something in it for me” and the need to pass this excuse onto posterity. Thus began his career as a genius writer.

 
According to Coates, true equality will mean “black people in this country have the right to be as mediocre as white people.” Shit, Wall Street bankers and managers are selfish, self-centered, ungrateful, violent, too lazy to see or care about the effects of their acts, arrogant, pompous, ignorant fools who lack the insight and imagination to feel empathy. So for true equality, black people should be allowed to be and do the same, right? A racist will see in Coates not only the true equality he wants but an unfair preference by the powers-that–be in which they treat a mediocre and selfish person, writer, and citizen as a genius simply because he is black and says what rich white folks want him to say. A racist will see the Coates family’s and his community’s failure to call Coates on his ignorance and hypocrisy as a further unfair preference granted to him because he is black.

 
Of course, such racism is irrational and morally wrong. One should not judge all blacks by this one individual Coates. One should not racially profile, refuse to associate, or refuse to employ blacks or discriminate against them in anyway simply because of bad apples such as Coates or any other like him.

 
One should not; but why not, is there “something in it for me”?

Can We Have Racism Without Having Racists?

According to the powers-that-be, the recent court decision of NAACP et al v. Patrick McCrory et al from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit striking down North Carolina’s voter I.D. law by reversing a lower federal district court decision approving the law proves that racism against blacks is still systematic. I do not care and really there is no answer to the question as to whether the North Carolina law was or was not a violation of the Voting Rights Act. The judges could have gone either way and the conclusion would be “law.” As I have repeatedly stated, the law as justice is an illusion, it is really a monopoly of power by those in power to enforce their ethics — their “ought”. As could have been predicted with great accuracy from day one of judge assignment to hear the case, the democratic appointed judges of the 4th Circuit voted one way and the republican appointed district court judge voted the opposite way. What bothers me is that this arbitrary partisan decision by a bunch of hack political appointees is used as a substantive argument for systematic racism. The 4th Circuit decision states no one involved acted with racist motives, so how can you have racism without having racists?

 
The McCrory decision is more than 80 pages long but as customary in modern legal culture, about 79 pages are verbiage either saying nothing of substance or missing the substance of what is going on. According to the three honorable justices of the Fourth Circuit who ruled North Carolina’s recently legislatively passed voter I.D. laws to be a violation of the Voting Rights Act, the following facts are undisputed:
1. Unlike postbellum and Jim Crow voting laws specifically intended to stop black voters from voting based on racism, that is based on the belief that people with black skin color are too mentally inferior to vote, the present voter laws are “not mean[t], and we [the court] do not suggest, that any member of the General Assembly harbored racial hatred or animosity toward any minority group” — that is, the legislators and governor are not racists.
2. The subject voter laws passed by the Republican North Carolina legislature and governor was intended for partisan purposes “to the benefit of one political party and to the disadvantage of the other”: to lower the democratic voter turnout. Since most North Carolina blacks are democrats, this partisan intent would “most heavily affect African Americans” by reducing their voter turnout.
Thus according to the Court, “intentionally targeting a particular race’s access to the franchise because its members vote for a particular party, in a predictable manner, constitutes discriminatory purpose”. That is, by discriminating against democrats, since most blacks are democrats, by semantic necessity they are discriminating against blacks and therefore the law violates the Voting Rights Act.

 
So, the historical and factual — not purely semantic — situation is that North Carolina had racist postbellum and Jim Crow Southern Democrats who hated blacks and decided to use voter laws to stop black voters from voting Republican (after the Civil War most Southern Blacks were Republican). It now has Southern Republicans who are not racist but are using voter laws to stop Democrats from voting Democratic (this now includes most Southern Blacks due to the realignment of the parties in the South following the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s). So, success! The politicians are treating black democrats as they would white democrats — factual equality is achieved as to politicians’ cynical maneuvering of voting laws. We can now concentrate on important issues such as why politicians are wasting time on such political maneuvering given our country’s difficulties or, given those difficulties, whether to start creating universal qualifications for voting instead of letting anyone who can show up anywhere near the voting booth vote. Yet, no, there is still racism?

 
Regardless of whether or not there is a Voting Rights Act violation, this concept that racism can exist without racists is another example of New School Racism. According to Mr. Coates, “race is the child of racism, not the father.” Though his writing never makes clear what he means by this dogma, my conclusion is that he means to say it is racism that sees race in the world, race is a construct of the racist mind not of any realistic or pragmatic mind. According to the honorable Fourth Circuit, the Southern Republicans who passed this new voting law are not racists, they just hate the Democratic Party and Democrats regardless of skin color. The state officials did not bring race into the voting law through a belief that blacks are mentally inferior; they made a partisan decision to stick it to democrats based on their belief that democrats are inferior. They are treating all democrats, whether white or black, as equally inferior and as usual with politics and politicians they will do whatever they can to stop the opposing politics and politicians from winning elections.

 
If “race is the child of racism, not the father”, who are the racists in the McCrory case? Was race brought into it by the Court and its interpretation of the law? The three judges who issued the Fourth Circuit McCrory opinion were democratic appointees, either by Clinton or Obama, while the District Court judge who approved the voter law at issue was a republican Bush appointee. Is the more likely explanation based on human nature that a panel of Democratic judges did not like the fact that Republicans were trying to reduce Democratic voter turnout and instead of just saying so they used “race” as a smokescreen to hide this unarticulated premise of their reasoning? If “race” truly “is the child of racism”, the racists are the three democratic judges of the Fourth Circuit who brought racism into a case in which their own admitted undisputed facts state there are no racists.

 
In the philosophy of language there are paradoxes such as the Ship of Theseus going back to ancient Greek philosophy trying to make sense of the meaning of words that are supposed to involve identity. Modern versions are the paradoxes of George Washington’s Axe and of the murder weapon. If a museum exhibited an axe once owed and used by George Washington to cut down his famous cherry tree but then because of wear and tear had its handle and head replaced over time, is it still “George Washington’s axe”. If an archaeologist finds the discarded handle and head and reassembles them, is that “George Washington’s axe?” A murderer uses an axe for the crime but before being caught, over time, replaces the handle and then the head. Is it still the murder weapon?

 
These would not be paradoxes if they state, “George Washington’s axe” had its handle replaced by a gas motor and its head by a chain — in this case, it would be his chainsaw. Same with the murder weapon; it would no longer be an axe but a murderer’s chainsaw. This is true regardless of their still being used to cut wood. If you eat oranges because you hate apples, you are an apple hater. If you eat oranges because oranges have much more potassium as well as more Vitamin C and folate than apples, then you are not an apple hater but an orange lover. If you get the racist out of racism, regardless of the motives and any adverse results to anybody’s interests from the acts motivated, the acts are not motivated by racism and there is no racism. If you call it racism anyway to help you gain power at the expense of dealing with more important difficulties faced by our country, you are a new school racist with the same sense of entitlement as old school racists but unfortunately much more subtle and difficult to see, understand, and remedy because of the 80 pages of trees hiding the forest.

New School Racism / Part IV

I was going to end this topic and wait for September to add additional contemplation as I said I would in my last submission but happened to see an article in the Boston Globe this morning directly related to this topic of the developing new school racism that instinctively is too funny for me to pass on without comment. It was entitled “A Sad Day for Late Night” by a Renee Graham complaining of the recent cancellation of Larry Wilmore’s “Nightly Show” on Comedy Central. For those that are unfamiliar with the show, Larry Wilmore is the comic (at least he calls himself a comic, whether he was ever actually funny is a separate issue) who took over the television spot left open by Stephen Colbert ending the “Colbert Report” by moving to CBS to start “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”.

 
For those not familiar with Stephen Colbert, it is important to tell you that the mainstream CBS Late Show with him is nothing like the Colbert Report and the latter was in a completely different genre. The Colbert Report was complete, total, high art satire — the satire was so subtle and done so well that many times the guests and people being satirized did not even know they were being satirized. During one year of his show, congressional leaders barred their members from appearing on the Colbert Report because they were constantly looking like idiots during his questioning of them as part of a satire called “Better Know a District”. I admittedly loved the show, watched the premier of his Late Show and his fall from grace, and have not seen the Late Show again and do not intend to see it again — another example in the battle against the powers of “how the mighty have fallen, and the weapons of war perished”.

 
Ms. Graham’s thesis is that the Nightly Show was cancelled because of Larry Wilmore’s “unabashed blackness”. “Unabashed blackness”? What the hell does that mean? Since he was cancelled because of unabashed blackness, does that meet that the multimillionaire black comics from Redd Fox and Flip Wilson to Kevin Hart, Chris Rock, and many more succeeded because of abashed blackness?

 
I tried watching Larry Wilmore and the Nightly Show hoping that Colbert had told him to “take up our quarrel with the foe: to you from failing hands we throw the torch; be yours to hold it high.” Instead, what I got was a nice guy Larry Wilmore having politically correct guests stating the usual politically correct ideas in as non-offensive a way as possible. What was really sad is when he actually came anywhere near an actual new idea, comment, or satire, he would immediately regret it and apologize! For example, during one episode, while discussing black fatherhood Wilmore referenced a statistic that fewer black women were getting married and then made the following joke: “Is it because black women are too bossy?” This is not even a new joke. Richard Pryor, the early nightclub Chris Rock, and many other black comics had and to this day have entire routines on this comic ridicule of black women that almost always leads into a ridicule of “white women” as being too easy. Wilmore had immediately to apologize for this joke and then repeated his apology the next night saying, “we love you” — otherwise he probably would have been cancelled a long time ago. He was always making apologies, not for not being funny which is the only sin for which comics should apologize, but for actually trying to be funny. I have never seen a comic apologize for a joke except for Don Rickles who would use an apology as a setup for much worse ridicule. So, is being a comic wimp “unabashed blackness” and Chris Rock and the rest are really white comics?

 
For anyone unfamiliar with the Boston Globe, you need to know that it is Boston’s brahmin newspaper preferred by New England brahmin Yankees over its opposition the lowbred, uncouth, working class Boston Herald. (This situation of only two newspapers is new school. Growing up in Chicago, we had several working class newspapers and several opposition brahmin papers to choose from. Now, you must surf the internet to get any diversity of opinion on any news.)

 
I have not been able to find out much about Ms. Renee Graham except that she is a black woman and the Globe lists her as a freelance contributor and pop culture critic. Do not know to what pop culture they are referring but it certainly must not be comedy pop culture. I have looked up her articles available on the internet and they are the usual politically correct droning with not one containing any original or new idea on any topic. No doubt, given that Ms. Graham works for the Boston Globe, she has succeeded in life — like Mr. Coates — by telling rich white people what they what to hear and being their black friend.

 
What is sad or funny about Ms. Graham’s topic is that while making the false accusation that Mr. Wilmore was cancelled because he was black, neither she nor any “pop culture” critic is doing anything about the virtual lynching of a black comic Bill Crosby based on mainly white women’s complains that he raped them, some accusations going back to supposed events of 40 years ago. Bill Crosby is the working class kid from Philadelphia who worked his way up not only to being a pioneer for black comics as role models instead of renegades but also with the television show I Spy became the first black actor to have a starring role in a weekly dramatic television series. He deserves better than the ridicule and treatment he is receiving for what may turn out to be false allegations and at worse may be unfortunately what was accepted procedure in Hollywood and television at the time by those in power and by women who wanted power. I doubt Crosby would be treated as he is by “pop culture” if he was an upper class rich male in the Kennedy family. Ted Kennedy drowned one of his late night lady friends (Ms. Mary Jo Kopechne) at Chappaquiddick, got away with it through his family and political connections, and then lived his life and ended it as a politically correct friend of liberated black and white women despite his and his family’s history of treating them and all their female acquaintances and especially the female members of their families like shit in their personal relationships with them.

 
The reasonable conclusion is that what Ms. Graham means by “unabashed blackness” is that Mr. Wilmore acted like politically correct Yankee brahmins attending an afternoon tea in which nothing is said that may make anyone think or feel uncomfortable so that all can go home satisfied with themselves and sleep well at night knowing they are perfect. In short, “unabashed blackness” is the same as “abashed whiteness”. Without doubt, Ms. Graham is a new school racist but deludes herself and her readers into believing they are not — this is the new harm and danger of new school racism.

New School Racism / Part III

That new school racism is an affirmative, social technique to maintain our present class power structure is exemplified by Colin Powell’s book It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership and his “13 life rules for any future leader”. As I mentioned earlier and as anyone who actually studies Mr. Powell’s life would conclude, Colin Powell was always a politician who put his personal career first — even while in the military as is true of most modern career military commissioned officers. When this country needed leadership from him the most, he abandoned us to go on to his multimillion dollar salary corporate officer and consulting jobs. Basically, his life’s guiding principles were to follow orders, do not make waves or disrupt the powers, and use the fact that he was black both as a means to succeed and as a defense and accusation against anyone that attacks his life’s guiding principles. Through these simple three rules, he has achieved upper class Outer Party and Inner Party status in life with the right to look down on hoi polloi and enforce his ethics and morality upon society — the power that defines the powers-that-be. Since he is not an honest leader willing to admit to these simple rules, he gives the following fabricated thirteen rules supposedly derived from his military experience and leadership to hide the reality of his forest behind a bunch of trees:
Rule 1: It Ain’t as Bad as You Think! It Will Look Better in the Morning!
Rule 2: Get Mad Then Get Over It!
Rule 3: Avoid Having Your Ego so Close to your Position that When Your Position Falls, Your Ego Goes With It!
Rule 4: It Can be Done!
Rule 5: Be Careful What You Choose! You May Get It!
Rule 6: Don’t Let Adverse Facts Stand in the Way of a Good Decision.
Rule 7: You Can’t Make Someone Else’s Decisions! You Shouldn’t Let Someone Else Make Yours!
Rule 8: Check Small Things!
Rule 9: Share Credit!
Rule 10: Remain calm! Be kind!
Rule 11: Have a Vision! Be Demanding!
Rule 12: Don’t take counsel of your fears or naysayers!
Rule 13: Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier!

Nice platitudes that can be applied to almost anything in life. The fact that he violated Rules 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 when it was most necessary to follow them does not seem to matter.

 
What anyone with military experience or even anyone who has read military history would immediately notice about these 13 rules is that they have nothing to do with leadership. As every successful military leader from Alexander the Great to George Patton and from the lowest ensign/2nd lieutenant to the highest field commander instinctively knew or learned the hard way is that there are only three rules for leadership: 1) do not ask your followers to risk anything you have not or would not risk; 2) do not respect your life any more than the lives of your followers; 3) competence. With these simple three rules, one from the lowest rank in society will be not only a leader but could become an emperor given the right circumstances and times.

 
The three historically derived leadership rules of the previous paragraph would negate all corporate management and political “leadership” since the start of the Vietnam War. It is not leadership to run a corporation on the backs of others while you know that win or lose you will walk away with millions. It is not leadership to risk wars so that others can do your killing for you though you would be too much of a coward to do it yourself. It is not leadership to use laws and lawyers to amass an inherited fortune or an “investment” fortune that gives 1% of the population 80% of the wealth generated by that population.

 
On the other hand, Powell’s thirteen leadership rules enforce all corporate management and political “leadership” since the end of the Vietnam War — even if the rules were followed though violating them when necessary for achieving personal power seems to be implicit in the rules as Powell’s life admits. Powell has given all present corporate and political powers a normative and intellectual foundation to justify the status quo power structure and thus his book is a best seller. By attacking him for this hypocrisy, he would say and his fellow leaders of the black community would say that I am a racist in the same way they claim that any ridicule of Obama is racist.

 
Such is the substantive difference of the new racism. For further example:

— Susan Rice, despite being the product of Washington DC elite society and private schools, must be a diverse “idea” person added to the national security staff because she is black.

— Oprah Winfrey is not a conn artist but an ethical authority figure and role model because she is black.

— Obama deserves a Nobel Peace Prize and cannot be considered a “meet the new boss same as the old boss” politician because he is black.

— Colin Powell is not just another corporate CEO concerned only with his career because he is black.

— Attorney Generals Loretta Lynch and Eric Holder are not just a bunch of political hack bagmen for the politicians that appointed them but civil rights defenders and leaders because they are black.

This is all bullshit. These new “leaders” who happen to be black want the same as previous “leaders” who were white: power, especially power over others. This new racism is worse than any old school racism because it hides as ethics, morality, and good; it destroys lives physically and unnecessarily but hides behind a necessity of ethics, morality, and good.

 
Much worse, it destroys the human soul because it makes words such as morality and good meaningless even on the individual level that may be the only place these words have any meaning. At least in old school racism, even the racist knew and admitted to being a racist — in fact, they were explicitly proud of it. With new school racism, no one admits to it; instead, they claim the higher ground of ethics and morality and goodness for hiding what they are, and thus are deluding themselves as to their own nature.

 
Well, f–ck them. If they are going to use new school racism to succeed, I will become a new school racist in opposition given that this is the only option I have as an outcaste. Just as John F. Kennedy in order to become president had to go around proving to the powers that he was not really a devote Roman Catholic but one of them, from now on I will expect anyone running for political office or corporate “leadership” to prove to me that they are not really black in order to get my support or willingness to follow their “leadership”. Am I a racist for requiring such proof? Yes I am, but at least I have the integrity to be honest about it unlike the creators of this new school racism that delude society and themselves and hide their true nature behind rules of “ethics” that really as with law are just excuses for their achieving power over others.

 
In light of becoming a new school racist, I am unilaterally declaring September 2016 to be White History Month and hopefully soon will be publishing about great white moments and great white persons in history who have improved life for the world’s poor and working classes — white, black, male, female, or whatever — and did so without hiding behind racist fake rules. “Integrity has no need of rules”, Albert Camus.

New School Racism / Part II

Regardless of the power of developing new school racism and its gaining of strength as social ethics, I do not want to become an old school racist because such would defeat the purpose of my hopeless battle against the necessary, omnipresent power of classicism. As discussed in a previous blog, racism based on skin color is a relatively new phenomenon in human history. Even as late as the 20th Century, racism based on arbitrary culture and social distinctions such as Aryan and Non-Aryan caused manyfold more suffering in the world than arbitrary skin color racism. However, the social creation of skin color racism has the same foundation as all arbitrary racism: it derives from the powers’ need to make sure that the lower classes are too busy struggling among themselves to challenge the powers. The social construct of racism was best described by President Lyndon B. Johnson, the poor sharecropper’s son who worked, conned, and connived his way up through college, a teaching career, politics, and then the presidency to create the Great Society programs of the 60’s for which all poor, white or black, should be grateful — though it is important he not be given credit for his work as he was white Southern trash, rather the credit should go to the upper class elitist Ivy League Kennedys from Massachusetts and their Camelot royalty delusion. President Johnson said as follows:

I’ll tell you what’s at the bottom of it. If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.

Once again, the clear insight of an intelligent poor man exceeds in substance and quality all the scholarship of academics — the little there is on American classism.

 

So, what about new school racism practiced by our present upper class elites such as Colin Powell, President Obama and his groupies, Susan Rice, Oprah Winfrey, Ta-Nehisi Coates and so forth? Does it have the same foundation and purpose? Sure it does. If you critically or even common sensically based on reality and life experience analyze any example of it, you will see the result is the same:
— Mr. Coates, according to him the product of free private and public education from pre-K to five years of college, receives a genius award for ridiculing education as “only an opportunity to discipline the body”, that involves “writing between the lines”, “copying the directions legibly”, and “memorizing theorems”; he writes “[t]hey were concerned with compliance” and “Algebra, Biology, English” are just excuses for “discipline.” This ridicule he directs to young black men who he must know stand a 60% chance of landing in jail if they drop out of high school. If school is nothing but discipline, Coates should try working for a living for once in his life and then perhaps he would be better prepared to instruct others on their need for the discipline given by education instead of the alternative discipline provided by the prison system.
— “Black Lives Matter” expects, fosters, and incites protests when a police officer accidentally kills a black man, even if the officer was black, the suspect was a criminal, and even if the protests result in the burning and destruction of businesses serving poor neighborhoods. However, this group and the so-called leaders of the black community that support it expect, foster, and incite nothing over the undisputed fact that young black males are engaged in essentially self genocide in this country killing each other by the thousands each year and abandoning their families to be brought up in single parent households. (This contradiction exists even though Black Lives Matter has the time to take a political position against Israel, WTF?).
— The so-called leaders of the black community constantly cry for “civil rights” protection, yet the Obama administration, its attorney generals, and foreign policy advisors such as Susan Rice have done more than even the Cold War did to make meaningless supposed constitutionally protected civil liberties. More than any previous administration, they fought a war on whistle blowers of government dishonesty and outright corruption making it even harder to learn of either — as if it was not hard enough before. Even Obama’s simple pledge to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, with its claim of right to indefinite detention without trial that he could have accomplished by executive order as commander in chief failed because he is too much of a political coward to do it. At the same time, Obama claims the right as President to kill United States citizens by drones simply by executive order — no prior President not even the Bush administration ever claimed this right. Obama has gone further than Bush with his claim of right to expanding the domestic national security state. The recent case of Petty Officer First Class Kristian Saucier is a personal issue with me. This sailor is looking at possibly four years in jail for being caught with photos of his boat’s engineroom considered by the Obama Justice Department to be “classified” material though all the details in these photos can be found in Jane’s Fighting Ships — the same Justice Department that has declined to prosecute our apparent future president Hillary Clinton for having hundreds if not thousands of “top secret” material in her personal files. The handful of photos that I have of my shipmates from my engineroom and other watchstations are about the only good memories I have of my military service. What a bunch of assholes.

 

Any poor white trash with even half-a-brain would look at this ridicule of education; simultaneous demand for police protection while also physically bashing police officers and inciting the destruction of poor neighborhoods and families (even white trash respect their own families and neighborhoods); and the hypocritical stance on their “rights” and would then through innocent ignorance conclude that “at the bottom of it, even the lowest white man must be better than the best colored man”, ergo we have a racist.

 
So this new school racism propagated by the new powers of our Technological Society is based on and serves the same social need of the old school racism, but does it do more? As I will discuss next, yes it does. At least in old school racism, even the racist knew and admitted to being a racist — in fact, they boasted about it. Whereas old school racism only created disunity among the lower classes, new school racism serves to create a normative basis or social construct justifying our present status quo social classes — it affirmatively supports and enforces classism not just maintains it. It does so implicitly through what it calls “ethics”, instead of explicitly through Jim Crow and other laws. In an essential way, this is much more dangerous because it is not as obvious since there is no written or published laws or other explicit enforcement of this new racism out there to attack. Being forced to ride in the back of the bus because of codified law based on your skin color is obvious racism and an obvious fight with obvious opponents. Being forced to live as a wage slave or as an unemployable uneducated social dependent because professional, political, and social “ethics” requires one live as such is not an obvious fight with obvious opponents, moreover it makes anyone who starts such a fight seem unethical, evil, or ugly while the opponents seem and claim to be the “good”.

Classism vs. Racism: Which is Worse? Part II

Concepts of both classism and racism have existed throughout known history. Both terms describe a discriminatory relationship between humans in which someone or some group of humans divides humanity into groups based on physical characteristics or upon qualities assumed essential or innate to the group and then concludes one of these groups to be politically, culturally, mentally, or physically superior to the other or others. As we go further back in history, the two terms become synonymous with each other and with ethnicity. For example, both in Plato’s Republic and in the writings of Aristotle, there is the philosophical, political, ethical, and moral conclusion: “The notably born are citizens in a truer sense of the word than the low born … Those who come from better ancestors are likely to be better men, for nobility is excellence of race” (Aristotle); “The race of the guardians must be kept pure” (Plato). The Open Society and Its Enemies, ch. 10, 11, Karl Popper. When referring to “notably born”, the reference was to the materially and economically and thus politically powerful; slaves and wage earners were excluded as were barbarians from other lands, the latter we now call ethnic discrimination. Until recent history, such ethnic discrimination was also synonymous with racism. Even now, the United Nations makes no distinction between ethnic and racial discrimination. However, this “excellence of race” was not based on human skin color. Until recent history, most racism in Western Civilization was between political, social, or cultural groups of the same skin color. A powerful example still exists in the modern ideology called Nazism that differentiates between Aryan races and non-Aryan races.

 
The limitation of the word “racism” to a discriminatory relationship between human groups of different skin color is a relatively modern concept made for the benefit of polemics on both sides. To the white supremacist, it has the obvious advantage of lumping all “black bodies” — as Mr. Coates refers to his “tribe” or group — into one human group and thus ignoring the complex and convoluted ethnic differences between “black bodies”. For racists such as Mr. Coates who supposedly are against racism, it has the advantage of grouping all “white bodies” into one human group sharing original sin for slavery and thus ignoring the complex and convoluted ethnic differences between “white bodies” and the complex and convoluted history of slavery.

 
The word “classism” is a modern creation also, created in an attempt to differentiate discrimination among human groups based on social class from racism. Classism became truly separated from race and ethnicity with the industrial revolution and the historical philosophical materialism of Marxism: “The history of all hitherto existing society is a history of class struggle”. Classical Marxism does not deny humanity’s spiritual side, in fact it argues that only in the spiritual side does freedom exist, but argues that the human spirit lives in a material world and its fate in this world is decided by the necessities of this material world. When the rules of that material world are capitalism, fate necessarily demands the existence of a ruling class controlling production and the resulting economic wealth and of lower classes that eventually become nothing more than working class wage slaves to a cycle of production and consumption necessary to maintain the ruling class wealth and power. For this view of the material world, class struggle is a struggle between classes defined by economic or material wealth.

 
With the benefit of history, we know that Marxism was wrong to limit its conclusion solely to capitalism. As I quote in Between the World and Us:

 

It would be an exaggeration to say that throughout history there has  been no progress of a material kind. Even today, in a period of decline, the average human being is physically better off than he was a few centuries ago. But no advance in wealth, no softening of manners, no reform or revolution has ever brought human equality a millimeter nearer. From the point of view of the Low, no historic change has ever meant much more than a change in the name of their masters. George Orwell, 1984.

 

With the development of Marxism and similar modern philosophies and social theories, classism became a separate concept. As pointed out in an earlier blog, the social activists, labor union leaders, and politicians of the industrial revolution renewed the concept of “wage slavery” from the ancients such as Aristotle and Cicero and compared it to chattel slavery. However, unlike the ancients, these moderns argued that wage slavery was just as evil or worse than chattel slavery.

 
Classism remains an ambiguous term because unlike race and ethnicity regardless of how they are defined, humans can, do, and want to change class especially when it is defined purely in an economic sense as it is usually defined. When one moves from a lower class to an upper class, one is no longer lower class. The purpose of affirmative action and civil rights laws for racial and ethnic discrimination is not to change a person’s race or ethnicity. However, if fate allows one to go from an economic lower class to an economic upper class, one is no longer lower class and thus one no longer has any incentive to either eliminate class or help out the lower classes in any meaningful way.

 
Class involves power, power by one group of humans over another group of humans. We live in a material world so a necessary foundation for this power will be material or economic power. However, it is not purely economic nor should it imply hereditary power. As George Orwell pointed out, hereditary aristocracies are weaker and eventually destroy themselves because ruling classes based on hereditary are slow in replacing weak members with those capable of maintaining class power. As developed in http://www.sandpebblespodcast.com on its discussion of ethics and theology, the ruling class of any society or social group can be defined as the group capable of forcing the entire society or social group to go from an “is” statement to an “ought” statement. So, for example, the handful of judges who decided that the entirety of American society must re-define marriage to include gay couples are ruling class regardless of their personal economic wealth and of one’s moral view of that decision. Though many of those judges are wealthy or are trust fund children and their power comes from being bagmen or sycophants to those with economic or material power, having individual wealth is not a prerequisite for being ruling class; the prerequisite is having the power to make other groups or the whole society change its “ought”, its ethics. The workers of the working or lower classes, either individually or in combination, have no power to make any “ought” changes to whatever society or culture enslaves them to their wages. For them, it is always “meet the new boss, same as the old boss.” Thus for classism to have real pragmatic meaning, social classes and thus “classism” cannot be defined solely in economic terms but in terms of this “ought” power.

 
We now begin to see how classism is different from other forms of power and oppression by one social group over another such as racism — especially in racism’s modern version dealing only with skin color. Race may eventually disappear in the same way as will disappear many other forms of human differentiation such as those based upon who wears or does not wear bow ties (when people stop wearing bow ties), ride motorcycles (when there no longer are motorcycles), are republican (when this party is gone), or one of the other almost infinite number of ways that humans use to differentiate and then discriminate against each other. (When it does, according to the book Black No More by George Schuyler, humans will find a way to recreate race but his prediction is beyond this blog.) There was a time when all humans differentiated each other by tribes. This differentiation of humans by tribe has disappeared from Western Civilization, except in satirical form or when used ignorantly such as by Mr. Coates, and the same disappearance may some day be true for differentiation by “race.” Classism can never and will never disappear.

 
Unless humans become completely amoral or engage in mass suicide, the need to look at the “is” of reality and to create an “ought” was, is, and will be a necessary part of human nature. When solitary, an individual can only try to force whatever “ought” they desire upon nature. As soon as more than one individual is involved in anything, “oughts” collide. No two individuals and most definitely no group or societies of individuals have ever, do, or will ever be able to agree for any significant amount of time on what they “ought” to be doing. Someone will eventually win these disagreements. If they are in a group, they will win over the other groups. In this material world, this power over others will necessarily have a material basis. This combination of power creates a ruling class. Power for the sake of power is not bothered by any of the restrictions that hinder those who seek power for other reasons. Thus, within the ruling class, those who seek power for the sake of power will be the ultimate ruling class as verified by all known history and will become, are, or have already become in reality the fictional Inner Party of Orwell’s 1984.

 
What if anything can be done about classism will be contemplated next.

Classism vs. Racism: Which is Worse? Part I

Originally, the Greek “ism” began life in the English language as a suffix means of forming action nouns from verbs or nouns and did not imply anything evil (i.e., baptize, baptism; real, realism; existence, existentialism; Darwin, Darwinism). Unfortunately, since “communism” and especially now with “terrorism”, using an “ism” to describe an individual’s acts or ideas has become an easy and instinctive way to ridicule the acts or ideas. Intellectualism, sexism, racism, heterosexualism, barbarism, despotism, plagiarism are modern obvious omnipresent examples as is classism though the latter is little acknowledged or used in the United States that falsely claims and wants to be classless. This easy and in the modern world instinctive method of argument uses the same supposed evils of which it accuses the proponent of the bad “ism”: generalization and stereotype. Is there a difference between generalization and stereotype? If there is, at what point if any does a generalization become a stereotype or the other way around? Is either one or both inherently logically unsound or evil? What about specifically racism and classism? Is either racism or classism inherently logically unsound or evil, a subset of the other, an arbitrary creation of the will, or a necessary part of the reality of social and cultural interaction among humans? Is either worse than the other? These are questions I will consider in the next series of blogs. For now, I am not restricting “racism” to its very recent polemic definition in modern history of solely white/black racism, the term racism historically covers much more than this fairly recent version.

 
Throughout known history, any human coming in contact with another human has differentiated him or herself from the other. There is no way around self-consciousness; I am, therefore I think. Even a solitary hunter/gatherer meeting another solitary hunter/gatherer in the middle of nowhere will have to make a decision as to what to do about this other. If the decision is made irrationally or reflexively, by that I mean without going through a conscious process of induction or deduction, it will be made upon instincts created by life experience — instincts resulting from prior successful or unsuccessful inductions or deductions. If the decision is a conscious one, it will be made by a process of induction or deduction based on prior successful or unsuccessful inductions or deductions. Either way, in the absence of a pure altruistic instinct (assuming such exists) or a purely malevolent instinct (assuming such exists) fully controlling the individuals, the process will unavoidably involve such generalization or stereotype about the other individual.

 
In human consciousness, there is no way around the use of generalization and it is not evil nor logically unsound. All statements of fact or truth require some generalization. Generalization is the foundation of science. All inductive reasoning infers from a finite set of observations and experiences to a generalization claiming to hold true for a larger set of observations and experiences, even for those in the larger set that have not been seen or experienced. These generalizations, if not proven false, are then the premises for deductive reasoning, including for scientific deductive reasoning. Generalizations offer a theory about how things are in general. Thus the statement “all ravens are black” is a useful generalization, though no one person has ever been able to validate it by inspecting every raven on earth or every raven that has ever existed, and no one knows what ravens will be like in the future. Without such inductive reasoning, we would not be able to survive the day, survive life, nor would we have the modern world of science and technology. For purposes of the present contemplation, I will not challenge the soundness of inductive reasoning (If you have a firm belief in the rationality of inductive reasoning as somehow being better than instinct or faith — an issue beyond this blog but considered in http://www.sandpebblespodcast.com, I suggest that you contemplate the raven paradox, also known as Hempel’s Paradox.)

 
The meaning of a word is its use. In common use, a “generalization” refers to a rational effort to categorize or describe facts, while a “stereotype” refers to an irrational effort to categorize or describe facts. Ideally, then, neither is a subset of the other but are distinct means of consciously categorizing or describing reality (unless you want to define the set as a collection of such means). Practically, however, how does one differentiate between a “rational” and an “irrational” effort? This is not as easy as it seems it should be. Both generalization and stereotypes involve inductive reasoning to reach a conclusion and then deduction to test or to live based on that conclusion. Often they are impossible to differentiate except based on a polemic reason: we want a statement to be one or the other.

 
When the differentiation is possible, it involves examination of the speaker’s intent in combination with an examination of the quantitative basis for the induced inferences. The deductions made from those inferences do not matter because in the real world, simply as a result of pure luck, true deductions may result from completely false inferences and bad intent. A stereotype should not become rational and thus a generalization as a result of pure luck.

 
Intent is one part of the criteria for differentiation and often is dispositive of the question. The function of the generalization “all ravens are black” is to understand and to allow people to understand and to work better with ravens not to harm or to oppress ravens. If the intent was purely to harm or oppress ravens for one’s benefit, we would have some doubt about it being a purely rational process and may call it a stereotype until we get an almost certain basis for the induction. (We can never get certainty because it is induction.) Is observation of one raven enough or do we need 100,000 observations when you are trying to harm all ravens based on the generalization that all ravens are black? For general statements made by a person with an obvious intent to categorize an entire class of people for oppression such as “all women are delusional” and “all black men are criminals”, the evil intent is so clear that unless they are supported by an observation of every individual woman and every individual black man — which is impossible — they would be called irrational and thus stereotypes regardless of the factual basis.

 
However, intent is not the sole basis for differentiation. What if the latter statements were made by an isolated person observing women in a large psychiatric ward and while observing black men in a prison? In these latter examples, there may be no evil intent but the statements would still be called stereotypes because the latter statements involve a set of observed facts that are too small for making inferences about the large quantity of members in the larger class or, based on simple experience, would clearly result in false inferences, thus they are stereotypes regardless of intent. The quantity covered by the generalization must be compared to the quantity of the observations upon which it is based. If the comparison leads to a ratio that experience indicates is too high, it is usually called a stereotype.

 
Sometimes, these two elements are ignored or hidden. Even simple scientific generalizations are not free of some subjective perhaps evil intention by the speaker that is often ignored for practical purposes. In science’s case, the intent many would say is to manipulate nature to human ends. In the absence of this intent for power, I doubt much if any scientific knowledge would have ever occurred, but again, this issue is beyond this blog. Regardless of this hidden malevolent intent that may be present in all scientific generalizations, they are still called generalizations and not stereotypes if the inferences are based on an acceptable quantity of facts and lead to deductions that can be tested and proven false in such test. (Again, since we are dealing with induction, no generalization can ever be proven true because it is impossible to test all of reality.) Similarly, if there is acceptable or politically correct intent, inferences based on insufficient or unsound observations are readily called generalizations. This happens all the time in economics and politics whose practitioners almost as a matter of routine assume A causes B simply because A correlates with B. (For an interesting analysis of such assumption, please see David Hume’s critique of cause and effect in his A Treatise of Human Nature and An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding.)

 
In areas of non-economic human interaction, the differentiation is much more difficult and usually impossible to make. A person listens to a fishing story from a black man or woman and assumes that they are lying about the size of the catch because they are black or a woman. Such would be irrational and thus stereotype because even basic life experience leads to the conclusion that everyone lies when they want to lie regardless of sex or skin color — thus this stereotype can also be described as evil sexism and racism. However, what if the person does not believe the story simply because based on 25 years of life experience with fishing and dozens of fishing stories they have honestly made the generalization that “all fishermen exaggerate the size of their catch”? We cannot simply say that such is stereotype because it is based solely on one person’s experience but has never been scientifically tested. The vast majority of our generalizations by which we survive the day and life have never been and will never be tested scientifically and are based solely on our experience. In this latter situation, the statement about fishing cannot be formally or practically stated to be either a generalization or a stereotype and may be either, and no conclusion can be made as to whether it is inherently good or evil; any such moral conclusion would depend on the circumstances of its use. Some people make this conclusion about fishing, use it to survive in life, and it is simply an unfortunate reality of human nature that it needs generalization and stereotype to survive in life.

 
Logically therefore, there is a difference between generalization and stereotype. However, in practice, it is often difficult and sometimes impossible to make this differentiation. In the difficult cases, if there is any hope of making the differentiation, it would require a logical but open mind, life experience with the facts at issue, and empathy to make the differentiation — traits entirely lacking in the author of “Between the World and Me” and in most popular pundits on racism or classism, either for or against. Without this combination of traits, outside of science and technology where generalizations actually can be empirically tested, a generalization becomes a stereotype or the other way around when the individual making an argument wants to make the change. A generalization though logically sound can be either good or evil. A stereotype is logically unsound and not good but not necessarily evil. What about specifically racism and classism? What are they? Good or evil? Are either a necessary part of social and cultural interaction, arbitrary creations of the human will, or both depending on the situation?

 
On an individual level, classism and racism when acting as stereotypes are equally evil. They each will result in a situation of one person acting upon or toward another irrationally for purposes of oppression. When acting as generalizations, that is resulting from a rational basis, each is equally good. However, when individual generalizations or stereotypes some time join and some time conflict in a social fabric of almost infinite interactions serving as a basis for social and cultural power distribution and normative principles, classism not only is the greater evil but unfortunately it is a necessary evil. As the Good Book says, the battle is not always to the strong nor the race to the swift but that is the way to bet. Through the science of genetics and cosmetic surgery, we may eventually live in a world without racism because eventually there may be no races. We will never live in a world without classism. As even Christianity admits, “[y]ou will always have the poor among you …” Matthew, 26: 11; Mark 14: 7. Why this is true will be discussed in the next set of blogs.

Reparations: How this Idea of Secular Original Sin Defines the Powers

As Victor Hugo said, “nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come.” Further, when its time has come, it does not matter who says it or how. “The Case for Reparations” by Ta-Nehisi Coates is an example of an idea that has taken over the powers of American academia and its politically correct intelligentsia if not yet the economic powers despite its fifth grade level logic and historical knowledge. Do not be certain that it never will come to dominate those economic powers and become reality — look at gay marriage and its rapid becoming of a cultural fad among those powers. There are many criticisms of his Reparations article out there that I need not repeat here. It is illogical, grossly inaccurate both historically and in terms of present reality, and badly written. Despite such, instead of being thrown in the trash never to see the light of day, thanks to white guilt that is apparently dominant among our academia and intelligentsia, it shows up as a cover article on what claims to be intelligent journalism — the Atlantic — with its author Mr. Coates receiving a “genius” award for it from a bunch of rich white folks.

 

I want to elucidate here what this reparations article, this idea, and its reception shows of how the powers-that-be think about life. This new concept of reparations is radically different from any previous idea or award of reparations such as those granted to World War II Japanese-American internees. Those reparations were paid to live people who were actually interned (for the usual political reasons, the Italian and German Americans interned were not included in the reparations). This new concept of reparations for slavery is essentially a secular form of original sin that is passed down through generations. The powers lead such sheltered lives of power and control in the present, oblivious to the evil around them and in their own souls, that the powers need to go out and look for evil in the past. Having found it (no surprise there), they have nothing better to do but to arbitrarily and randomly make ethical and moral judgments on the dead; then, they use these judgments as a basis to force upon present humanity their ethical judgments on how others ought to be and act — pretty much the same mentality that created the evil they discovered in the past.

 

There is no need to look into the past for evil. Right now, in the present, one child dies every four seconds from poverty, hunger, or easily preventable diseases and illnesses. You can close your eyes, reach out there and stick your finger on any newspaper, internet news page, television news channel, or whatever you use for news and find an evil that needs to be worked on. All the evils of  which Mr. Coates complains as having been forced upon “black bodies” of the past are still present and are being forced upon a portion of humanity, black and white, now in the present. Though chattel slavery is no longer officially legal, it still exists unofficially in parts of Africa, the Mideast, and in Southeast Asia. Wage slavery is everywhere. Predatory lending? Millions of white and black “bodies” lost their life savings in the predatory lending crashes of the last couple of decades and more will do so in the next one. These are just the tip of the ice berg. There are plenty of problems out there requiring the application of scientific and technological technique for resolution and the associated political, social, and ethical normative structure to allow that technique to work.

 

By “work” I mean the ability to make learned scientific predictions and test them to see if they work. This “work” presents difficult ethical and moral questions in the present, in the now! There is a present need to attack and deal with these questions to provide a normative framework for science and technical work. For every supposedly frivolous claim of injustice out there of which the powers complain there are a thousand injustices that have no remedies either legal or illegal. Ethical and moral decisions are acts of cultural or individual will stating how the world “ought” to be, they are not acts of reason describing how it is. As the philosopher David Hume established centuries ago, there is no rational or logical way to go from an “is” statement to an “ought” statement. Modern philosophy has been trying to find a way around this problem for centuries but has failed. Slavery, for example, is unethical and immoral now because we want it to be so now. Will it be so in the future? Hopefully but not necessarily. If at some point in the future, humanity either through social structure or individual acts decides as it did for millennia that it “ought” to have slavery, we will. It is a constant battle in the present to make sure that such is not our future.

 

When studying or viewing history, for anyone with any familiarity with history, it is for all practical purposes not only impossible but illogical and irrational to put blame or to put labels of good, evil, moral, immoral, ethical, or unethical on any particular person, race, sex, or any group of humanity. It exhibits supreme and ultimate arrogance — and I would say an evil nature — for a present, living individual to look back into the infinite amount of variables that affected the billions of lives that have lived in the past to conclude any one or group of them was immoral or unethical. They are all dead. One cannot say they “ought” to be doing anything. All they every did is done. I get into greater detail and analysis in my book “Between the World and Us” on this question. As philosophers of science, knowledge, and language have shown, it is not even possible for scientists to made such conclusions. Statements such as “F=ma” are true because they are the simplest versions of an explanation for certain events that can be tested and by failing the test can be proven false now, in the present. If they cannot be tested nor proven false by such tests, they are meaningless. It is not even possible to state that scientific statements will be true in the future as exemplified by relativity physics invalidating of this “F=ma” that is the soul of classical physics. Furthermore, it would make no sense to say that in the past a physicist such as Aristotle “ought” to have known this truth nor even that any given scientific statement was true in Aristotle’s time, since it may not be true in the future there is no reason to make it true in the past.

 

Yet, this is exactly what the powers including Mr. Coates do: they somehow believe that they have the universe’s authority to put ethical and moral blame on dead people who most likely acted in the same way that the powers including Mr. Coates would have acted if they were in the past situations and cultures that they condemn as immoral or unethical. They do not stop there. Having made their god-like “ought” judgments of dead people, they go on to use those arbitrary and random judgments to make “ought” judgments of what everyone else in the present should be doing. Thus repeating the same mentality that led to the evils of the past. The powers do not look into the past and see what at this point was billions of lives that have struggled and fought with life’s hardships to give us the modern world of today that is at least quantitatively better than their world but only see a class of people whom they can blame for failing to create the world they want.

 

Looking into the past, we can look at the use of words and make judgments as to the pragmatic effects of words as good or evil relative to what we want now. We want a world without slavery. As I discuss in detail in my book, because we achieved such a world through the “slave morality” of Christianity, we can say relative to this goal that Christianity is a good and we should help it spread and prosper — until it stops helping us achieve this goal. We can say, relative to our desire to avoid chattel slavery, that because slavery caused slavery in the past, it is an evil now that must constantly be stopped and punished. Making the jump from arguing present moral and ethical “ought” judgments to make “ought” judgments of dead people then to make “ought” judgments of what present “live” people “ought” to do exhibits the supreme god-like arrogance of the powers-that-be.

 

In fact, that is the definition of the powers-that-be: those that have the power to made the world in their own image, that have the time and resources to sit around and decide what others both alive and dead people “ought” to do or to have done and then to enforce their view of “ought” upon the rest of society. The working person usually only has two choices in life: work or go to jail. If they achieve the first with any stability, then their main goal is simply to be left alone to try to achieve some happiness or joy in life with whatever the powers let them have. The vast majority of slaves up until very recent history in the Western World were white slaves owed by white masters. Initially, racism probably resulted from upper class whites seeing their white wage slaves and black chattel slaves getting along with each other in their misery and thus seeing a need to create discord among them to avoid a threat to their power.

 

Reparations based on a concept of secular original sin creating white guilt is a new type of racism created by modern powers with the aid of such writers as Mr. Coates as a way to maintain the discord among the working class and to continue it into the future. In the present, where there is much potential for technology to solve so many problems in life and a great need for a normative structure to focus that potential, the fact that any powers are taking this reparations argument seriously shows how removed they are from reality. The idea that they can pass god-like ethical and moral judgment on the dead is bad enough, but this new concept that they can create original sin for generations of humans shows they are trying to go from being god-like to actual demigods in the same manner as the emperor-gods of the ancients. Just as the richest 1% of the world are getting richer and further removed from everyone else, with such new concepts of ruling class reality, it is only a matter of time before they completely separate from the rest of us to become Orwell’s Inner Party.