Reality and Realism
This is a follow-up bit to my writing on postmodernism, wherein I spoke of the separation of reality and realism. Obviously I am not some sociological charlatan; I am a dialectical charlatan, a far more superior being to these tragic diviners of statistics and projections.
Imagine if sociologists were in charge of space travel. After one prototype test there would be a 100% likelihood of the rocket failing and exploding in a cloud of flames, and such, space travel would be impossible.
Needless to say, these people are morons, some of them belong in prison.
As such, we must examine the world through a different and less ridiculous scope. Statistics can be useful sometimes, but they are hardly the stuff of building a coherent worldview.
However in politics, they are very useful for producing a kind of cultural currency system. Look at police shootings for instance, group A says they have statistics to suggest that black people are being racially profiled in the US, and this results in extrajudicial killings. Then group B turns up and says that if you look at the volumetric scale of things, white people are killed more often than black people.
And then group A shows up with some armchair psych pseduoscientific “bias test” and finds that police are 23% more likely to show bias against black people, and so on.
All of this is of course nonsense. I agree with the thesis, but I am skeptical of the methodology. I do think there are racist police in many countries, including the US, and I do think people get profiled on their ethnicity and also class status very frequently. But I don’t think sociology proves it. I think evidence proves it.
I think when Tamir Rice, a 12 year old child, was killed for having a toy gun, then that’s a good example of police misconduct. Do I require some bullshit sociological telepathy to determine the motives of the police? Not really, they gladly confess to it. In their press releases they use a lot of racially coded terminology like “Young Man” instead of “Small Child.”
At least I hope it’s racially coded, either that or they’re paedophiles…
Still, point is: Very obvious case of misconduct. Even if the child was carrying a real gun, then so what? You’re a police officer, it’s your job to resolve this. If we just wanted some idiot to kills every child who misbehaves, then we don’t need to waste taxes on so much training and resources, we could just get rid of the police and have a bunch of goon squads carry out routine purges of the general population.
EDIT: Although to clarify, I don’t think Tamir Rice was misbehaving. But if he hypothetically had a real gun, then he would’ve been, and that’s the justifying argument for killing him, so that’s why I went with that premise. Obviously it’s okay for kids to play with toy guns without getting murdered by neoliberal snowflakes.
But as it turns out: That’s horrible, so we don’t do that.
And that’s the wonderful thing about principles. They are universal. Tamir Rice was a small child with a toy gun, and while I do think racism plays a part here in the motives of the police, and how they are prejudiced to consider black children and youth as somehow dangerous or threatening, even that’s irrelevant. Because they’re supposed to be able to deal with threats in ways that civilians can’t.
And moreover, they are the keepers of the law in a republic. If you enlist to defend the law in a republic, then you have a duty to die for her citizens, this is a very fundamental patriotic principle. So in a situation wherein you must risk your safety and life for the sake of protecting a 12 year old child, if that is your circumstance, then you must do it.
You must have a willingness to serve the people. If you value your own life above that of civilians in situations like these, then you must immediately resign. You are not fit to represent the interests of a republic.
These are simple principles, and yet in a post-sociological world, they are virtually alien to us. Why? Because sociology is at war with philosophy. As if, somehow, by shuffling the correct numbers around, by making some kind of twisted formula which shows that the police kills just as many white twelve year old children as that of black twelve year old children, then we have found democracy. It’s a very sophisticated kind of stupidity.
So when I say realism, I am referring in many ways to this dynamic in which to perceive the world. Sociological realism is the norm. You use statistics and projections to develop some kind of series of assumptions about reality, as to make it more coherent to ones motives and ideas.
And I say this is wrong, because it’s ridiculous. It puts the cart before the horse. Your realism should be grounded in principles. This is the scientific basis of understanding the world. Gravity, relativity, heat, entropy, etc, etc. It’s all principles. We should not let the world govern our principles, we should let our principles govern the world.
These accountants of death, who is looking for some kind of nominal egalitarianism on the topic of tyranny ignore that tyranny is in and of itself something which should be abhorred. However since the sociological charlatans are serving power, they are not so much interested in say, removing the slave labour that occurs in US prisons, so much as they seek to rehabilitate its reputation. By focusing on racial bias within slavery in prison systems, they create a dichotomy in which unbiased slavery within prison systems is a desired goal.
Obviously the answer is that there should be no slavery at all, but this is to many, a reactionary opinion. They accuse you of being colourblind, that you must make some kind of false stepping stone between egalitarian slavery and then abolition. I find that to be antithetical to history.
The greatest leaps of proletarian civics have always been universal. They have always been built on a basis of solidarity and universalism. From the first French republic, to the Soviet victory in Berlin.
Imagine if the Soviets said some idiocy like “Auschwitz is 67% biased against Jewish inmates, we must make appeals to the Polish authorities to be more inclusive and aware of cultural issues in our times.” It’s stupid on the face of it.
But that is precisely what happens today. Atrocities are rehabilitated through this sociological realism. “The Irish were slaves!” is apparently an argument that is apologetic to slavery. How precisely? We just found allegations of yet another crime.
Yet another reason to favour the abolitionist cause. Yet another grievance within history. In principled realism, this becomes very coherent. But in sociological realism, it becomes a paradox, because it reveals the motives of the powers that be. It is not to investigate slavery, but to justify it to a more progressive populace. To proclaim that it is possible to live in a world where every man and woman and citizen, regardless of colour and creed, may enjoy the many benefits of brutally exploiting a rainbow underclass.
Now obviously this is a scheme, there’s no historical evidence of this actually happening, it’s just one of those state mythologies that is used to preserve oligarchs and aristocrats.
There will never be, for instance, a black capitalism. Because there never was a white capitalism. Capitalism has a driving force of profit that rewards white supremacy, because it permits them to produce economic wealth using exploited labour.
But to the black worker who is trapped in the desolate warrens of dilapidation, ghetto economics and grueling work with low pay, it makes very little difference if his slumlord is black or white. His apartment building is still falling apart, his work is still detrimental to his health, his debts are still unpayable, and his life is still being burdened by the demands of the overclass.
In sociological realism he would find himself in a perverse utopia. In fact, he would find himself in a dreadful existential circumstance. Because sociological realism would tell him “You deserve this. We have removed all unfair biases. You are simply at the inferior end of a perfectly just hierarchy. Your suffering, your misery, your neglect, it is all evenly distributed among you and other social residuum who evenly reside in every colour and every possible range of demography.”
The only thing which may safeguard anyone from such a circumstance is principles. It is a simple enough premise of reason that has existed since Epicurus. Because this too, is an Epicurean paradox.
If the labour of the poor have no value, then why do they labour?
If the labour of the poor have value, then why are they poor?
This paradox is resolved by focusing on the qualifications of people. By this notion of deserving and undeserving. And yet society is far more holistic. One wonderful example of this is when people say “Why should a janitor get paid the same as a doctor?”
I love this one because any epidemiologist or immunologist will tell you that the janitor saves the most lives in a hospital. The most common cause of death in a hospital is infection of come kind. It is generally exacerbated by another condition which may acutely or chronically inhibit the immune system, but it can just as easily be the mere fluke of causality, because you are in a building full of sick people.
So every door handle, every stair railing, every pen, every clip board, every dustbin, every arm rest, every utensil, utility, facility and means of interaction within a hospital environment is but the carrion call of cloaked death. Florence Nightingale, while a historical legend, does have a true story behind the exaggerations. Her first and biggest lesson is that every nurse and every doctor inside of a hospital stand on the shoulders of a custodial worker.
From the black death, to the aids crisis, janitors were the frontline defenders against the rueful clutches of pitiless mortality.
So once again we see the value of principles. From 12 year olds getting gunned down by government goons, to the ruinous poverty of workers, there is no relativism to examine here, it is all principles. There is realism which seeks to define right from wrong, and then there is realism which seeks to explain right and wrong. Do not fall for the trappings of statistical divination.
Under the law, there should only be right and wrong, motives can establish evidence of a crime, but it does not make the crime any less criminal. As though there are some sort of acceptable circumstances to kill a 12 year old child. There isn’t. Same with George Floyd. He had a rap sheet, so what? Does that mean you can strangle people all day? That’s a double standard seeing as how it’s normally a good way to get a rap sheet.
Police apologists will often shout “Law and order!” And I agree. Law and order. Stop strangling people in broad daylight. Follow your protocols, give people fair trials, let the evidence speak for itself. If he was such a textbook criminal, then why fear a courtroom?
If there was such mountains of evidence to his guilt, then why lynch the man? It is no different from the aforementioned Irish slavery. Law and order should be an argument in favor of black lives matter, not a way to dismiss it. So now we see just how sociological realism turns the world upside down.
The Ku Klux Klan were not lawful beings by any extent, they were lynchers, thugs and terrorists. They colluded with corrupt government officials. They bribed and blackmailed and threatened their way to immunity from the law. They killed people without trials, they gunned people down in the streets, they bombed churches, and somehow they left a legacy of people shouting “Law and order”? Take your own advice.
When we hear news of police gunning down unarmed people, when we hear news of convictions without trials, when we hear news of arbitrary and oppressive punishments, when we hear news of racial double standards, then we do not see law and order, we see the opposite. We see the anarchy of might makes right. The anarchy of vigilantism and night riders. The anarchy of bandits in uniforms. This is the realism which cloaks reality.
Let principles be your guide, do not seek mere acknowledgement for problems, but a resolution. See any strike against your brother, no matter his circumstance, as a strike against yourself. Let the indignance of such things overwhelm you.
Assume that you may be next. Do not let sociological nonsense muddle your principles. Racial prejudices are as arbitrary as any other, they exist as lifeless abstracts in the minds of predatory agents. They have just as much to gain from killing you, as they did George Floyd, and when you pretend you are isolated from this, when you pretend you are living in a cupola, then you are living on borrowed time.