So Rhyd’s got the third part of his “death of liberal democracies” part out and we’re going to address some of it. I’m going to do like I did with the second one, and narrow it down a bit so we don’t end up with a massive train wreck like the first one. Because sure, that would give me more material to publish, I don’t think anyone wants to read more Rhyd than they have to. So let’s go over: Social Justice…or Revolution?
Or as it could also be titled: “Capitulate or we murder you all.”
Because our understanding of violence is always subjective, whether or not the State killing of Black men is ‘justified’ depends on whether or not we identify more with the victims of that violence, or with the State (and its values, and its agents). A Capitalist is more likely to defend the State’s actions than will those whom they exploit, because police don’t exist to keep Capitalists (most of them white) in line.
So…the killings are either just or unjust depending on whether or not we identify more with the victims of that violence (black people, and believe they should be given special treatment not given to other races when it comes to law enforcement), or with the State (and its values, and its agents) (I.e. that the law be enforced equally and that those who violate the law with persistent resistance/violence may face the consequences of their illegal actions).
And apparently, by Rhyd’s logic, if you are not a racist who identifies with people based on their skin color….you’re a “Racist” for insisting everyone be held to the laws equally when black people are killed by cops in situations the black person could have avoided. I would like to draw everyone’s attention to the “Nigga Movement” theory.
Which…from my research…is about how most of these “police killings of black men” tend to go down. Nigga be Nigga, Nigga have Nigga Moment, and at the end…cops respond the only way they can in the face of African American Violence. With more violence.
Think I’m lying, well, how about some facts about the latest two guys, the ones whose deaths were being protested in Dallas when the Cops got murdered:
Is it right? Meh, can’t really say. But one of the moral revelations I had long ago is that when you walk the road of violence, you will find it. And no matter how strong you are, eventually you will find something strong enough to kill you. That’s just how violence works.
In such events, the veneer of Liberal Democracy cracks and fall off, showing something much darker—and much more violent—underneath. And like any other disillusionment, we experience the apparent short-circuit of the mythic and the real of Liberal Democracy as a kind of trauma, one our minds scramble furiously to repair.
Actually, Rhyd isn’t wrong here. Liberal Democracies are thin veneers we put over our world in order to believe that we can live in a realm of equality, liberty, and safety. In reality, Rhyd is right about how the “killing of young black men” cracks that veneer and reveals it to be a lie.
The problem is that Rhyd thinks of this veneeric falsehood as a violently enforced projection of the State. In reality, it’s no such thing. It is the hopeful projections of the populace…who dream of living with safety and freedom. The problem is that the world…really doesn’t work that way. People can live by violence, take what they have the power to take, and as a general rule “might makes right.”
As a rule, ever since the animal kingdom, the biggest guy in the room gets to rule over everyone else. Governments, especially liberal democracies, are the vain and glorious attempt to prevent that by getting all the little people to band together to stave off the big violent guys as one. And typically that veneer cracks whenever some big guy throws his weight around to the point of running into the collective armed forces of the little guy who attempts to stop him
Now, this may seem odd. After all, the Cops are the enforcers of the State, the ultimate “Big Guy,” right? Well…not really. A cop, or even group of cops, have no inherent power themselves. But they are invested with power by the populace…the shop keepers, the home owners, the little people just trying to live their lives. The “Big Guys” in history and today are the people who because of their size or will, take by force what they please. Cops are just a physical manifestation of the metaphorical collection of little guys who run out to stop the big guys from crushing them.
It’s just that there are a shit ton of “little guys” out there to gang up on the Big Guys, at least these days. And so it looks unfair to some people, because the little people do in numbers what the big guy can’t do with just his raw strength.
Religion is a good parallel. When we experience a crisis of faith, particularly related to the Divine, we have two options. The first is to stare deeply into the sudden Abyss which has opened up, the chasm between what we believed was true—what we shaped our lives around—and what we now see as true.
But that’s really hard, so many opt for the second option: dig in our heels, insist that what we thought was true still is and cling harder to the external rituals of that belief until the doubts and questions go away.
They don’t, of course. And that trauma re-asserts itself in bizarre behaviour, and can produce both fanaticism and fundamentalism.
Wow, not only is Rhyd finally talking about religion, he’s actually detailing his own experiences with crises of faith and how he dug in his heels and fell into both fanaticism and fundamentalism!
In each case, both choices are very, very human. No forsaken lover can really be blamed for their denial. No true believer can be faulted for their desire to return to a more innocent belief. And none of us should feel shame that we’ve clung so long to the myths of Liberal Democracy, even as we learn how violent and destructive it is.
Tfw: you can see the symptoms, but misidentify the sickness.
Liberal Democracies are not, by their nature, “violent and destructive.” At least, no more than any other system of governance and quite a bit less than most, if we’re honest.
But what Rhyd sees as the violent and destructive nature of “liberal democracies” is in fact merely the violence and destructive nature of…humans. Particularly, humans who feel they have more to gain by forsaking the “social contract” of peace and respect between people and taking up the proverbial sword against their fellow man. It is not the Democracy that is violent, but people who are violent. And people are violent no matter what. Meaning that sometimes the only way to stop violent people is with more violence. It’s just that in a liberal democracy we tend to tell ourselves that by fully investing everyone in our system of governance and providing them equal treatment under the law, hopefully we can convince as many people as we can that violence is not the answer…that there is a more peaceful way.
Unfortunately, you can’t convince everyone.
Rhyd then goes on to talk about the usual Marxism and how Marx didn’t just have a problem with Capitalism, he also had a problem with Socialism. At which point I’m just sipping my gatorade and looking bemused. But thankfully, Rhyd is actually addressing the problems of the glorious Socialist Utopia he’s been championing and for once actually seems to have done a paltry amount of research into the subject.
Utopian Socialists criticized many of the same problems as Communists and Anarchists in the 18th and 19th century. But rather than advocate an overthrow of the State and a seizure of the factories from their owners (‘the means of production’), they thought that Liberal Democratic governments could be reformed through education and enlightenment. With enough time and effort, they reasoned, Capital would become less violent, wealth would become more equitably shared, and class and race divisions would eventually just fade away.
To get to such a point, Utopian Socialists tried to educate the masses on right behaviour. They reasoned that most of the problems of society came from ignorance, and if people only understood how their actions hurt others (including the actions of rulers and Capitalists), humanity would eventually become free and peaceful. In essence, once enough people changed their morals—replacing hate with tolerance, altruism for greed, solidarity for individualism—we would finally become equal.
And if anyone is thinking “Hey, this sounds familiar to some of the stuff on G&R, Patheos, and other places, well you are right. And even Rhyd admits “you are right.”
If Utopian Socialism sounds a little familiar, it should. It never actually went away, but has taken many new names for itself. In the United States, for example, it’s been known as Progressivism. In many European countries, it’s called Democratic Socialism. And in most English-speaking countries in the world now, it’s called Social Justice.
And it’s failed.
You know what, I am almost convinced that my work here is done. Because Rhyd is about to lose everything he has ever built in his life. Shit son, Dybing and Bones and Thompson and everyone else in that whole circle are Social Justice True Believers. Rhyd just spoke the words of Heresy.
Like Utopian Socialism, Social Justice attempts to educate the masses on the causes and results of inequality in order to eradicate it. They believe that, once people understand that they are being racist, sexist, homophobic, fat-phobic, trans-phobic, misogynist, privileged, ableist, colonialist, white, classist, xenophobic, nationalist, and elitist, they will eventually stop.
Why do I suddenly have a very bad feeling about this…
By educating the masses about these things, Social Justice then aims to transform society into something more fair and just. If enough people understand these problems and seek to fix them, they can then transform the institutions (including the State) that benefit from these ills into something that will uphold equality.
There is a problem, of course: for as many people who embrace Social Justice and attempt to adjust their actions, there are more people who answer such complaints with, “no. I’m not.”
That bad feeling…
It’s getting worse guys.
More so, those who wish to continue their behavior have all sorts of arguments in their defense. A person who does not want to be around trans people, for instance, may invoke religion (be it Christian Fundamentalism or Dianic Witchcraft), or safety, or the right to choose whom they associate with. An institution that believes same-sex relationships are immoral might likewise invoke ‘religious freedom’ as a defense.
In fact, Social Justice is a double-edged blade. New Right Heathen and polytheist theorists invoke the same arguments used to defend indigenous, First Nations, and other oppressed peoples to defend their own oppressive ideologies. Stephen McNallen and his fellow racists, for instance, insist that their ‘indigenous European culture’ deserves the same protections as others, and thus they should be able to exclude people of non-European descent from their groups.
While this may seem like a mere cynical attempt to hijack Social Justice language, it isn’t. The morality inherent to Social Justice is subjective and not actually part of its framework; people with opposing moral views can easily use the same framework.
Oh fucking Hela…I know where he’s going with this…
Not only has Rhyd spoken the words of heresy…he’s leading down the logical path that has turned every Marxist society into a blood drenched authoritarian dictatorship with body counts in the hundreds of millions.
See, with Social Justice…not unlike Classical Liberalism, there is the insistence that peoples’ rights be respected. With Classical Liberalism, the argument is “everyone’s right have to be respected.” With Social Justice the augment is “because I am ‘oppressed’ society needs to respect my rights even more than they already do to make up for that oppression.”
So for example, in Classical Liberalism, no one shall be denied a job based on race, sex, religion, etc. But the job can go to the most meritocratic individual…regardless of race, sex, religion, etc.
In Social Justice, again, no one should be “denied” a job based on race, sex, religion, etc. But, because in some jobs there are more…..straight white men, those who hire people for jobs should give preferences to then hiring say…trans black women…because by not having an equal representation of all people in each type of job, the “group” with a higher population is in a position of “privilege” and thus is not in a state of “equality.” (So don’t think of it as “denying” straight white men jobs based on their race, gender, and orientation…just think of it as “Giving Jobs” to the “less fortunate” instead of allowing the other group to try for the position based on skill).
But as Rhyd points out, the reasoning used can work both ways. If say, you have a minority “White” religion who does meet the definitions of “being oppressed” then it can use the argument for its rights to be respected the same as any other oppressed group. This can be labeled “appropriation” in an attempt to forestall recognizing said group’s rights…but it only works so long as one can blind oneself to the oppression one is then enacting against that minority group. Because the logic and the argument can and do work for anyone in the appropriate situation.
Exactly like it does for McNallen and his Heathens, who merely insist that their minority, indigenous religion must have the exact same rights as every other minority, indigenous religion. It’s an argument that works under the logic of both Classical Liberalism and Social Justice.
Which is exactly Rhyd’s problem. Under either system he has to respect the rights of other cultures with other beliefs to exist and practice. And he doesn’t want to do that.
Neither Utopian Socialism nor Social Justice rely on education as the sole means of affecting social change. Instead, both attempt to increase the rights recognised and granted by the State in order to increase equality and enshrine a more just morality. Protections for disabled people, ethnic, religious, and racial minorities, anti-discrimination laws, hate-crime legislation and social welfare programs are all strategies used to correct inequalities within Liberal Democracy and move towards a more just and equal society.
The problem? This strategy requires a violent and powerful State.
Well, at least Rhyd has finally decided to just be an anarchist…rather than that oddly hybridized anarchist-statist that he was being. I suppose that’s something at least.
He talks about capitalist violence, again, so I’m mostly going to skip over that and focus on his new heresy stuff towards social justice because…well at least it’s not the same thing he’s said 200 times.
Social Justice doesn’t question State power. Instead, when moral arguments regarding tolerance and acceptance fail to correct oppression, Social Justice demands that the State intervene. This State intervention does work, as least for a little while (as in desegregation in the American South, hate-crime laws in most Liberal Democracies, etc.). Unfortunately, by demanding these guarantees of rights (and the punishment of those who violate them), Social Justice empowers the State to enact more violence.
You know, I’m curious as to when Rhyd came to this conclusion. Honestly, he’s starting to sound like all us Classical Liberals and the Alt-Right guys when we talk about Social Justice. At least with Classical Liberalism, the argument is to minimize the state’s ability to do violence, even as we recognize the necessity of state violence.
But apparently Rhyd has reached the point where any state violence is unacceptable (so, hooray for finally becoming an anarchist). Of course I do wonder when he’s going to realize that when and why we created state violence to begin with…
Thus, the police who arrest perpetrators of hate crimes are also police who kill Black men during traffic stops, the same courts which try cases of discrimination also prosecute homeless people for vagrancy. The State becomes more powerful through our reliance on it, and we find ourselves in a tug-of-war over control of State violence. We can’t win, because the State cannot exist without the Capitalists who fund it. As Audre Lorde pointed out:
…the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us to temporarily beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change.
But without attacking Capital, Social Justice can only rely on the same State as the Capitalist in order to repair the damage Capitalism causes. Welfare, affirmative action, housing assistance, education grants—all these exist to lessen the damage of Capitalism, but none of them ever succeed in create equality precisely because Capitalism always requires inequality to function.
Also, everything the State does (including welfare, etc.) is paid for by taxation. The only way for the State to derive enough taxes to fund these programs is to have a thriving economy, with Capitalists reaping enough profits to bear the burden of taxation. Thus, the State is used both to fix the problems caused by Capitalism while also encouraging more Capitalism, with one hand repairing only some of the damage that it causes with the other hand.
Unfortunately, Social Justice enables this process.
Is it bad I’m actually laughing my ass off and having a good time with this for once? I’m sure it’s all gonna implode, but seriously. So much heresy and waking up against the Socialism. At this rate, Rhyd might actually turn into a Capitalist or something.
The United States Military recently joined the rest of the ‘civilized world’ (that is, Liberal Democracies) by allowing homosexuals to ‘serve’ openly and women to ‘serve’ in combat. It was hailed as a victory for Social Justice and equality by many gays and Feminists, seen as progress and the victory of tolerance over inequality.
Well, right up until the Feminists realized that they could be drafted, and then cried sweet salty tears about the need to abolish the draft…despite men having been subject to it for centuries and that being the primary reason men were originally allowed to vote.
An Arab woman who loses her children and husband to the bullets of an American lesbian soldier probably won’t see this as a victory of equality.
Well then that Arab woman just needs to get woke and smell the equality, rather than being kept barefoot and pregnant in her now dead husband’s kitchen. Doesn’t she know she’s letting down all women with her misogynistic subservience to her husband, rather than being a strong independent woman who don’t need no man and goes out to the workforce to support her sisters and fight against the patriarchal glass ceiling.
But that is how many a feminist talks to a stay at home mom in the West, so I figured that’s what they would say to any woman who dared protest a Lesbian Soldier going out and killing a privileged member of the Patriarchy.
During the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, many gay men and feminists called for support of these military actions on behalf of the gays and women in those countries, employing a narrative of Liberal Democracy versus the uncivilized (i.e.; Muslim) world. That same narrative repeats today—calls for stricter policies against immigrants to protect gays and women (especially after the Orlando massacre), relentlessly recycled news stories on the slaughter of gays by Daesh, calls by polytheists for the US military to send more troops to the Iraq to support Yezidis and stop the destruction of ancient sacred sites.
Okay, wow. Not only is Rhyd completely going Heretic on Social Justice…he literally just threw Women and Gays under the bus as well. He’s saying that “State Violence is Bad, Always,” even when that violence is used ostensibly to protect people facing oppression, suppression, and even Death for what they are.
In simple terms, if a Muslim Immigrant raped a Lesbian, and a cop killed the Muslim in order to stop the rape….both the Cop and the Lesbian are morally in the wrong because they used state violence to stop the rape.
I…think I need to take a break. We’ll finish this up in Part Two.