GABlog Generative Anthropology in the Public Sphere

February 13, 2018

Regime Transplantation

Filed under: GA — adam @ 6:27 am

How to replace a liberal democratic regime with an absolutist one? We’re clearly not thinking in terms of a revolution, which would replace the liberal democratic regime with an even more radically democratic one. There might be elements of regime change similar to military coups, but military regimes don’t really change anything—they’re just placeholders until the powerful and propertied can get their act together and re-establish some mixed authoritarian/liberal regime. Some portion of the “high” (the corporate elite, the top military brass, perhaps presidents of universities and heads of other institutions) would have to break from the high-low vs. the middle action and work on preserving the middle against the high-low coalition. Today’s populism, which is primarily interested in order, stability and normalcy, and directs its resentments towards those who undermine all three, is a kind of faint image of what that might look like. Presumably, we have to imagine some deep crisis, with liberalism confronting problems it has no solution to and, perhaps, rivals it can no longer contend with—“we” are then prepared to be prepared to be the ones with solutions, the ones who can contend. A lot of people, at different levels of the social order, would have to have their minds very clear. And that’s really all we can do now—keep clarifying out minds.

In my previous post I argued that the marginal security force is a kind of fulcrum and measuring rod upon which to focus energies: when the security forces start obeying the people they would have been arresting a short time ago, things have demonstrably changed. I’ll suggest another, more political, focus, here. Consider the question, why anyone is obliged to pay attention to the ravings of Black Lives Matter, Pussyhat feminists, LGBT, antifa, immigration activists, and all the rest. Reactionary Future made a very good point a while back (it certainly wasn’t the first time he said something along these lines), asking, why pay attention to what these lunatics say, when we can just go right to the top and see who supports, funds and promotes them? The only reason to worry about being called a racist is because you can lose your job, get kicked off social media, be targeted by on and off-line mobs, and be permanently ostracized. And obviously the BLM people themselves have no means to do all that; the Left as a whole has not the means to do all that. Only corporations, foundations and other institutions (universities, media companies) have the power. So, the real question is, why does a corporation like Kellogg’s fund an organization like Black Lives Matter? And the answer is simple: anti-discrimination law.

I’ve pointed out before that words like “sexism,” “racism” and “homophobia” don’t really mean anything—no one could give you a clear definition of any of them; indeed, they’re not meant to be defined, they are “always already” weaponized. The meaning of “racism” is that you use the term to identify “racists.” But this is because “racism” is the ideological expression of anti-discrimination law. Once you have laws forbidding discrimination on the basis of race, you need a concept like “racism” so that you know who to punish for breaking the law. Paradoxes abound here. Once “discrimination” is against the law, no one will ever admit they are discriminating—so, if we have some employer who doesn’t want to hire blacks, he’ll just tell prospective black employees that they’re not qualified enough, or they don’t fit into the company’s culture; or he’ll fire them quickly for being lazy or insubordinate. But, of course, that means that all those criteria—qualifications, competence, industriousness, loyalty, obedience, etc., all become proxies for “racism,” and will eventually be seen to be coded “white.” Also, while anti-discrimination laws are originally formulated in impeccable liberal, individualist terms, forbidding discrimination against whites as well as black, it’s perfectly obvious that no one would ever consider such laws if racial discrimination was seen a randomly distributed occurrence, with blacks discriminating against Mexicans here, Jews discriminating against Chinese there, blacks discriminating against Pacific Islanders somewhere else, etc. No, the laws are implicitly (at least) collectivist and reparationist from the start, impugning the majority as “discriminators,” making them inherently suspect. The notion that America is a racist or “white supremacist” culture is simply a necessary ideological “superstructure” upon the anti-discrimination “base.” There’s no other way to use these laws other than to make such assumptions. Ironically, it is here that “profiling” is actually built into the enforcement of the law.

Now, it is because of anti-discrimination laws that Kellogg’s funds BLM. Corporations can be sued for discrimination, and the lawsuits can be very damaging in monetary terms and also in terms of reputation. There is no real defense against them, and the inevitable extension of anti-discrimination laws to cover women, gays, etc. renders institutions even more defenseless. How do you prove you haven’t created a “hostile workplace”? Well, the courts will tell you what to do, which means the attorneys for the “victims” will tell you, and what they will tell is, first of all, give us and the institutions sponsoring us lots of money. But they will also tell you to restructure your internal corporate relations in such a way as to provide yourself with a prophylaxis against further lawsuits: quotas, beefed-up human relations, diversity officers, employee workshops, community outreach, the works. In short, the entire victimary movement comes down to the government as a shakedown racket. (The Obama Administration cut out some middle men and perfected it as an art form, but there’s really no other way anti-discrimination law can work.) In the end, the people who really believe in this stuff and will implement it enthusiastically take over the positions of power—after all, they’ll be better at it than anyone else. Meanwhile, the institutions that replenish the ranks of the elites and essentials make sure to train people so as to take up those positions. I apologize for taking so much time to state the obvious—we all know this, right? I have to state a little more of the obvious: the reason for anti-discrimination law is because such law is pretty much the Platonic form of the high-low vs. the middle strategy used by Power, in this case the State, to centralize power. “Discrimination” is precisely what makes the “middle” the middle: standards, gradations, deferences, differential loyalties, etc. Attacking discrimination in the broadest sense is the most effective means imaginable of demolishing all social constructs that can’t be reduced to the relation between the individual and the state. The very commandeering of the word “discrimination” for the purpose has proved prophetic, as it has become sometimes illegal, but always immoral, to discriminate in favor of intelligence against stupidity, good against bad, beautiful against ugly, competent against incompetent, and so on.

So, anti-discrimination law delenda est. Nothing much new there, and if anyone who wanted to had the power to do something about it, we wouldn’t have to talk about it. The only thing to do is to “become worthy,” and the way to do that is by scouring our minds clean of any remaining anti-discrimination debris and learning how to be unresponsive in the right ways when others wish to echolocate in their social environment by pinging their virtue squeaks off of us. It makes a difference, how much it’s impossible to tell, to have individuals in institutions who are recognizably human in all ways to the SJWs but refuse to provide even the slightest indication of being on board. No “sure I believe in civil rights but sometimes it seems things have gone too far…”; no “whatever happened to Dr. King’s dream that we would be judged by the content of our character…”; no “of course we need strong sexual harassment laws to provide a safe work environment for women but there must be safeguards for the accused…”; etc. Maybe there’s nothing new here either—we have to be completely uncucked, which has been obvious for a while. The racket has been rigged from the start—no nostalgia.

You want to be the one they want to get, but can’t. They can tell there’s something not right about you—you’re silent when you’re supposed to contribute the obligatory cliché, you seem amused rather than appalled in hearing about the latest Trumpocity, you redirect virtue-signaling sessions back to overlooked points of fact and law, you bring conversations about fairness and equity back to the primary function of the institution, you come across as a little bit more naïve than possible when asking them what, exactly, is wrong with making some forbidden statement (why is that racist?). But they can’t quite pin anything on you. You even seem like a kind of nice guy, and maybe good at your job, and it doesn’t compute. Those who want to know will see that you’re a discriminating man, though, and they will sense, tentatively, at first, that they can talk with you. As more companies and institutions go crazy, like Google, and become subject to anti-anti-discrimination lawsuits or just mere scandal, and the release of documents and testimony from the inside becomes more common and feared, everyone will wonder whether you just might be the guy to do something like that. All conversations, work-related and otherwise, in your presence will come to have a certain “pre-leaked” character to it. You represent the possibility of a kind of counter-surveillance and exposure, which they will model in their imagination precisely on what they would like to do to you. And how many of you are there? They’ve noticed you (and even there they’re not quite sure) but who haven’t they noticed?

I contend that this is a kind of power. Just as no regime can do without competent, loyal security forces who will nevertheless not allow themselves to be wantonly attacked even by friends of the regime, no institution can completely do without those who fit the profile of the discriminating guy. Some people have to be doing real work, and many others have to at least gesture toward it. The elites who realize that things have gone too far and are in a position to do something about it will be aware of the discriminating guy—they will be heartened by his presence and know how to use him. (And he will know how to be used.) The discriminating guys will have acquired intimate knowledge of the enemy, and will be relieved to be able to deal with them ruthlessly. Entering the new regime, ensuring its transplantation with minimal disruption and immediately evident positive effects, will just be a continuation of what all these guys have been doing all along. They will be at the point where not only does talk of “non-discrimination” fill them with disgust, but where the stupidity of mass culture, mass propaganda, electoral politics, and elections themselves are becoming pretty clear. (The greatest service the left is providing us now—it’s really beyond estimation—is a demystification of liberal freedoms—speech, assembly, vote—far more powerful than anything we could have disseminated. No one could say, “but here at least you’re free to say what you like” in any Western country with a straight face anymore.) Just like I just want to get my job done here, it will be easy to understand how the new national leadership just wants to get its job done as well—endless “debate” catering to the lowest common denominator, majority rule, a scandal-mongering media wouldn’t help me become a better engineer, doctor, teacher, manager, business owner, so why should it help him be a better sovereign? The only question I have is, how many discriminating guys and marginal security forces need to read analyses like this in order to be prepared to do what they must?

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