Quantitatively Based Classes

In my book They Hate if You’re Clever and Despise a Fool, I argue social classes are an inevitable and necessary part of any society because class struggle is necessary for social progress. I end the book with proposed classes to be accepted consisting of 1) Patricians subdivided into true Patricians and Capitalists and their supporting intelligentsia; 2) Plebeians subdivided into petite bourgeoisie, wage slave proletariat, and intellectual proletariat; and 3) Lumpenproletaria. These classes are conceptually qualitative. Upon further reflection, I now understand this ending proposal to have been wrong. Recognizing qualitatively defined classes in practice only serves to tip the balance in favor of those with the power to define concepts and quality which are always the ruling classes and their Inner and Outer Party. Classes should be defined as best as possible numerically so it is evident to each person in what class they are and in what class they want to be. In addition, numerically defined classes will allow for explicit conceptualization of what obligations are owed to each class by the government and what obligations are owed to the government by each class. All language is vague including numeric language, but the vagueness can be dealt with much better through the use of quantitative rather than qualitatively defined social classes. Probably the best way to do this is by using property-based classes as was used by the Roman Republic.

 
I have dealt with this issue before when contemplating the use of standardized testing as a measure of education and for school admissions. The argument against standardized testing is that standardized testing favors the rich and the dominant culture because they have the resources to prepare for these tests and their culture defines the correct answers to these tests; further, qualitative methodology such as interviews and examination of life experience is argued supposedly to allow for creating and accepting diversity in a student body. This argument is nonsense in practice. In reality, all methodology favors the rich and the dominant culture regardless of whether it is standardized testing or supposed qualitative methodology. However, the advantage of standardized testing, especially for STEM subjects, is that the answers are the same for all classes and thus all are measured by the same standard. 2+2=4 for both the rich and the poor. If a poor person gets correct answers on a standardized test, they must be accepted as correct in the same way an upper class correct answer must be accepted on such test. This is not true of qualitative testing. What a hiring or admission committee wants to hear and the form in which they want to hear the answer to whatever nonsense questions they ask for diversity purposes is best known and usually known only by someone who has grown up in the upper class culture of the committee members since birth. Unlike math, such socialization is not something one can learn outside one’s social class; it is something one is born into and one grows up in and into. For these non-standardized examinations, 2+2 may in fact =5 when they want it to equal 5. One knows when 2+2=5 by growing up in the social class that decides when 2+2=5 not by learning it.

 
As is fairly well-known, the Roman Republic was divided up into three general classes consisting of Patricians, Plebeians, and Slaves. However, through their censuses, the Republic further divided these classes quantitatively. These subdivisions though varying at times generally consisted of: Senatores owing property value of > 1,000,000 sestertii; Equites > 400,000 sestertii; Plebeian commoners of the First Order >100,000; Second Order >75,000; Third Order >50,000; Fourth Order >25,000; Fifth Order >11,000; less than 11,000 and the landless poor were considered Proles and Proletarii. These classes were used to define the representatives each class got in the various assemblies of the Republic; the votes each of their representatives held in each assembly; and the number of electors each class received when it came time to vote for the patrician senators including the Tribune of the Plebs in the Senate and for any legislation passed by the Senate. These classes also decided the required contribution of each citizen to the Roman military. For example, the Equites were called such because they were required to provide horses and cavalry; the First Order Plebeians became the famous Triarii of the Roman Army of the Republic — the Latin expression equivalent to our “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” was “time to bring in the Triarii.” Even the Prols and Proletarii, as freemen, were expected to provide oarsmen for the war galleys. These economic-based classes and the class consciousness, struggle, and resilience they created transformed the failed and sacked Roman Kingdom from a tribe limited to the City of Rome and the surrounding hills to the Roman Republic conqueror of the Italian Peninsula in a hundred years and then of most of Europe and of the Mediterranean within the remaining 400 years of its life. As always occurs, the Patrician class eventually got too powerful, overcame the power of the other classes, and the Republic became the Empire — our future unless we wake up to it.

 
When creating such classes, we must make sure to count gross ownership of property and economic value not net ownership — that is, we must not subtract for debt. Being in debt runs the risk of eventual failure but at least it indicates one has hope in the future and hope in society — it links one’s success to the success of society and the reverse because society needs you to succeed and get its investment back at least and hopefully profit — again, there is hope there. Julius Caesar at the time of his rising to power was the wealthiest person in Rome but also the most indebted. He did this intentionally according to historians because both gave him power. His wealth gave him power directly. His debt gave him indirectly the full power of the wealth of his creditors because they all needed for him to succeed so as to profit. For the individual, having “f–k you” wealth is great but not for society. Debt is one of the ways a society builds the future and assures everyone is invested in that future and the reverse.

 
Not sure why I made this mistake in the book. I wrote the book more as a descriptive conceptual analysis of race and class than a normative suggestion of what they could be or should be which I do not like doing anyway. In the end, I prefer anarchy. In any anarchy, the natural class divisions based on wealth will develop on their own. The big problem is to get the power of the law away from trying to negate these natural class divisions — when the law gets involved, the end result is always the same: the Republic becomes the Empire and then its Fall.

The Fading Out of Objective Truth / Part III

The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.                                                         — Winston Churchill

Hopefully even in the present United States education system, by middle school, students learn the old school lesson that the United States though called a democracy is not and was never intended to be a democracy — unless perhaps if by “democracy” one means its old school classical definition that includes a republic such as the Spartan and Roman Republics. What it was intended to be are open questions. The best description of the present reality of United States political culture and of its foreseeable future in Technological Society is to call it a “capitalist anarchy”. In United States Technological Society, the political culture consists of two systems: 1) the economic and technological system operated by CEOs, CFOs, other corporate officers, corporate boards, investment bankers, and their politicians, lawyers, propagandists, bankers, and academics using plantations of wage slaves through quantitative methods to generate monetary material power and then 2) there are a bunch of politicians and their technocrats, lawyers, propagandists, and academics that are jealous of the capitalist powers but too mathematically incompetent to join them so they achieve power by acting as overseers keeping peace between the capitalists and their wage slaves. This is analogous to Orwell’s distinction between the Inner and Outer Party and on a more practical level exemplifies Putt’s Law and Putt’s Corollary in action in Technological Society creating a distinction between technicians and the Powers and technocrats that rule them. The holistic whole of this capitalist anarchy is supposed to result in achieving the actual technical work of human physical survival while allowing for the qualitative human freedom to seek meaning in life. At present the politicians are in denial as to their purpose in Technological Society and are in anarchy with almost none of them having a clue as to what they are doing or supposed to be doing; they know only that they need to stay in power regardless of what they do with that power and thus are full-time running around trying to win elections from voters who have even less of a clue as to what they or the politicians are supposed to be doing or of the substantive results of their votes.  However, eventually, this anarchy among the politicians will smooth itself out and the two branches of the Party will learn to work together openly and explicitly — which is not good. An anarchic struggle that causes some difficulty for the Powers is better than no difficulty at all. How would my veils of ignorance work on trying to deal with this present political culture of capitalist anarchy in the United States “democracy”?

The nihilist has no reason to fear capitalism or anarchy. Their only fear or more accurately the only political hate of a nihilist toward capitalist anarchy would be a situation of no struggle between the capitalist and the political anarchy of present capitalist anarchy because the lack of struggle would negate the only check stopping absolute power for the Powers. Nihilism knows that struggle is life.  As I have written many times, there are plenty of concepts and techniques by which knowledgeable politicians can deal with capitalism so as to achieve a viable society that maximizes both material prosperity and individual freedom with capitalism or with any such technocratic system struggling to achieve quantitative power over reality. Examples of such concepts and techniques with some hidden in humor are: The Peter Principle, Parkinson’s Law; Negative Selection in Politics; The Dunning-Kruger Effect; and even the humorous concepts of systems engineering written in books such as The Systems Bible by John Gall. The problem of viability occurs when systems of social power are not in struggle with other equally powerful systems of power thus allowing for the Party’s ultimate secular religion of the law to become our god having a monopoly on violence to achieve power as an end in itself. Anarchy by its anarchic nature acts as a check upon the Powers of capitalism in a capitalist anarchy and thus acts as a means to maintain struggle among the Powers and this in turn allows us to struggle with them.  However, this anarchy will disappear as every normative system in Western Civilization either religious (including Christianity) or secular has surrendered itself to the secular religion that is the law and its Powers. We the workers need either anarchy on both sides of our capitalist anarchy — both capitalist and political — or both sides need to have a rational acknowledgment of their purpose to oppose and struggle with the other so as to allow our class struggle to continue with the Powers.

Because of the nature of capitalism, achieving anarchy on both aspects of our capitalist anarchy is not possible conceptually or practically. The Powers of capitalism do not seek normative evaluation or perspective goals as their primary means for power — these come later as a means to keep power. Their primary goals are quantitative: material wealth and power. They work together using orderly and quantitative techniques to achieve this wealth and power. Any flaws in their techniques do not lead to anarchy but the exact opposite: hierarchical rigidity. At this point, thanks supposedly to competition in a free market, competitors that are less rigid and hierarchical and more creative will take over the market and the cycle continues. Regardless of how practically true this conceptualization of capitalism may be, my point is that even if it is entirely wrong, the end result is not anarchy but a technocracy wasting capital on recycling stagnant projects for the benefit of a few corporations, trusts, or whatever legal entities come to legally dominant the worshiped “market”; if the so-called market does not give power to new competitors, the old remain permanent and we get not anarchy but tyranny.

Our only nihilist option for protecting individual freedom and class struggle in our present capitalist anarchy form of democracy is to try to get the political aspect of our capitalist anarchy out of anarchy and into becoming a formidable equal force and check upon the capitalist aspect in order to avoid their coming together eventually to create a world in their image eliminating class struggle. How would my two veils of ignorance original position technique work on this problem?
My proposed veils of ignorance as an original position for making normative decisions in a capitalist anarchy become an issue on various levels but none of them lead to anarchy in the capitalist aspect of capitalist anarchy. One can argue that present United States capitalism is a dishonest form of capitalism because it is controlled by too many large corporations distorting and controlling market forces. That may be true but, again, regardless, capitalist theory at least acknowledges the soundness and validity of my proposed veils of ignorance as a technique; that is, capitalist theory wants struggle in the form of competition and opposes restricting and distorting struggle for the benefit of a few to create a world in their image as an end in itself. The goal of capitalist theory is descriptive and quantitative: to make money by controlling reality. Thus, from my original position of ignorance, I can choose the options that make the most money and act upon them as a means to control reality for my individual life. It does not matter to the capitalist portion of my our capitalist anarchy nor to the capitalist me whether it or I are making money off of democracy, tyranny, anarchy, or whatever — unless there is evidence one has more economic opportunity for making money from one than the other, they are all equal options.

Such is not true of the political anarchy side of our capitalist anarchy. The goals and political choices marketed in our capitalist anarchy are normative not descriptive nor even quantitative: to foster and spread democracy and equality of opportunity for all — whatever that means. However, the reality of these human constructs and of the Heart of Darkness within all of us that controls these choices is that the real goal is to seek power for ourselves and for the Powers to seek power for themselves. Increasing power for those who seek power to foster and spread democracy in a capitalist anarchy will eventually always reduce and negate the fostering and spreading of democracy. Here, my proposed veil of ignorance would require we act counter to democratic beliefs. It is only by believing in what will achieve democratic power and then by taking the opposite action can we control the Powers that seek and have power even in a democracy solely as an end-in-itself endangering my individual meaning and power for life.

Thus, because at present the Powers advocate and we believe in our capitalist anarchy that in a democracy all voters ought to be equal; all ought to have universal suffrage; and all politicians ought to be elected by majority vote; then we ought to act to achieve the opposite. The opposite acts would be to have required qualifications for both voters and politicians (i.e., education or military service requirements); limit voting to certain classes of voters voting for certain classes of politicians ( i.e., Congress should have a certain number of physicists but only physicists can vote for them); and to have politicians elected based upon diverse voting methods varying from random picks to specifically required qualified politicians ( i.e., science degrees or other specific degrees as needed for the problems of the times at issue.)

The details need to be worked out. The bottomline is that the capitalist anarchy form of democracy we now have in which the only struggle in political culture is between an anarchy of clueless politicians whose only skill is getting elected and a disciplined culture of capitalists is destined to failure and will lead to no struggle and thus tyranny that will then eliminate class struggle. Based on an original position of two veils of ignorance, in order to save democracy, we must be non-democratic at some times. Eventually, the situation will reverse requiring us to go the opposite way. (A possible option is to consider adopting the old school concept of a jubilee year; every 50 years, all laws are abrogated and must be renewed or adopted again.) Nihilists must and can never be static if nihilism is to give meaning to life, it will always be a dynamic struggle.