Posts tagged “Diversity

Deleuze and Guattari on an Airplane

The conclusions drawn in Marc Dyal’s essay on Deleuze, Guattari, and the New Right settle nicely into the neural crevices of any man who rejects the totalitarianism inherent in the ideology of imagined global collectives and who instead believes in the primacy of the individual, the family, and the organic community. The rejection of the former and the elevation of the latter, according to Dyal, depends on a reversal of the notion of difference—difference becomes not a chasm to be negotiated or tactically bridged but rather the very (non)ground from which the individual, the family, or the organic community fights against forced collectivization:

Far from vulgar liberal politics of difference, which defends the right of the minority to be included in the majority by continually reconfiguring the standards of majority inclusion, Deleuze and Guattari propose the process of becoming-minor, wherein individuals and groups actively diverge from the majority. In other words, becoming-minor involves the same active transvaluation of the bourgeois form of life that has prompted the creation of the revolutionary Right.

I can see how this move would appeal to identities as diverse as European ethno-nationalists and Black Panthers. It is a similar philosophy to the one held by men such as Booker T. Washington, who, contra DuBois, thought it unwise to vivisect blacks onto white society through legal coercion and pressure politics. The better policy, Washington thought, was to keep the black community separate, so as to build a stronger black community on its own terms, on the fringes of white society, through industrial education and wealth accumulation. This strategy would create an educated, financially empowered black minority whose integration with the majority would not be coerced but would occur organically, slowly, as blacks demonstrated within their own communities that they were as responsible and reliable as whites. In short, the difference between black and white should be maintained, Washington contended, so as to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that black success could be achieved without white blessing and white charity. Then, and only then, might black and white meet on equal terms.

Similarly, though in a very different context, all Mencian forms of political philosophy operate upon the assumption that stark lines of difference are necessary between one social order and the next so that humanity can learn which ones fail and why, and which ones succeed and why. Social order as experimentation and refinement—but no experiment works without carefully differentiated groups. Coerced homogeneity is anathema to diversity of social orders and therefore to social experimentation and refinement.

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Difference, then, is important . . . . but it becomes a problematic concept if we follow it to its philosophical core. Here is Dyal’s definition:

Difference is the ontological reality of the world – a great mass of individual specimens that resist all forms of representation and universalization – as it is sensually experienced. Deleuze insists that there is no ground, subject, or being that experiences; there is only experience that flows and becomes in each passing instant.[17] There is no actual world that is then represented in virtual images by the privileged mind of man.

This is debatable, to put it mildly. Difference may be the ontological reality of the world . . . but it does not follow that the world cannot be adequately modeled and represented in human terms. Regardless of what Dyal says, the world does not resist representation. The images, the models that we build are of course always tentative, open to modification, but they nevertheless can model correctly (even if we are only partially aware of why they seem to be correct). For example, Lagrangian points were “represented” two centuries before man took to the skies, much less the heavens, and yet Lagrange was obviously “representing the world” in the right direction because today his model has been successfully used to plan spaceflights.

It takes a hardcore science-skeptic (on the level of Flat Earthers) to claim that mankind can never model the universe with an acceptable degree of precision. Mankind has done so, and continues to do so. The point is proven every time an airplane lifts off from a runway.

I am well aware, however, that philosophers such as Deleuze and Guattari typically have in mind social desiderata when claiming that no ground exists upon which an objective model of the world might be constructed. But even here, in the context of the social, it can be claimed that the world is not such a “mass of individual specimens” that it “resists all forms of representation and universalization.”

If we first agree—as I think we must—that acceptably accurate representations of the material world are possible, and second, if we agree that the social realm—mankind itself—is to some extent influenced by or comprised of material, then surely we must agree that the ontology of the social realm can be accurately modeled, represented, concatenated through images constructed in human terms. Isn’t this idea central to reactionary thought? Humans may be a great mass of individual specimens, but certain things about it can be represented, even universalized, through the sciences of genetics, evolutionary biology, medicine, even linguistics. Humans may be a great mass of individual specimens, but the mass as a whole is always under material pressures that are, to some extent, knowable.

In short, Dyal’s rejecting the idea that humanity can be represented or universalized entails the rejection of any science of humanity. It puts him in the same camp as the leftist creationists . . . which shouldn’t be surprising, since Deleuze and Guattari are leftists.

Rejecting any and all attempts to model humanity frees oneself from the implications of those models and leaves one free to define (and re-define) humanity according to non-rational impulses: “there is only experience that flows and becomes in each passing instant.” If that is the case, then we are free from the influence of ancestry and evolution. As Dyal puts it:

Looking ahead, it is important to know that in this conception of experience, individual humans cannot be made knowable genealogically as general or common manifestations of an Idea, but instead by understanding the processes of individuation determined by actual and specific differences, multitudinous influences, and chance interactions.

Ironically, the elevation of difference makes any science of human difference all but impossible, as Dyal himself notes.

So, the question is, can one claim the philosophical notion of difference without accepting its core rejection of human representation? Or must neoreactionaries deny difference a foundational role in why we think social difference is important to maintain? Should our recognition of difference flow from empirical “models” of ontological reality, trusting these models despite their incomplete, tentative nature?

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Moral Progress turns hostile against Technological Progress

Headline: Cure for deafness a reality as scientists make animals hear again… and promise first human patients will be treated in a “few years”

First commenter:

Am flabbergasted! How does the power of media continue to conjure such nonsense passive ideologies to raise money for further research sickens me – anyone even the stone deaf can feel or even SEE the lorry approaching! (It’s not that small!) These monies should and can be better invested in the global recession and life threatening illness. Dr Ralph Holme of the RNID has no concept of being deaf so does not represent us all. We should all embrace the universal benefits of being deaf such as sign language which brings us all together in many aspects. Please stop using us to pave your paid role. Being deaf enriches my life so stop selling us short with lame cites such as it “eroding my quality of life” – you have no right at all. Nothing about us without us.


Uninhabitable California 1

One question we’re all interested in is whether or not progressivism’s social justice crusade is an earnest crusade or just a sheen to disguise the fact that social justice warriors are actually motivated by what reactionaries assume everyone is motivated by: money and power.

Via the Sacramento Bee:

State Sen. Ron Calderon accepted about $88,000 in bribes from an undercover FBI agent posing as a film studio owner and a Southern California hospital executive  . . .

[The FBI affidavit] details an arrangement to funnel money for the Calderon family’s later use through a nonprofit organization run by his brother Tom Calderon. It describes an instance in which Calderon hired a female undercover agent as a staff member as a favor to another undercover agent despite her apparent lack of qualifications for the job. It says that as Calderon steered legislation, he asked those he thought would benefit to secure jobs for his children, Jessica and Zachary.

“One way you could be a real help to (my daughter) is, you got any work?” Calderon said to an undercover agent posing as the film studio owner during a June 2012 dinner in Pico Rivera, according to the affidavit.

“I told you, man, anything you can do, any help you could do for my kids is, is – you know that’s, that’s diamonds for me. That’s diamonds.” . . .

Eventually, Ron Calderon’s older brother Tom entered the picture. He is a former assemblyman who works as a consultant for businesses that lobby the Legislature.

They cut Tom Calderon in, according to the affidavit, bringing the [undercover] agent’s monthly contribution to $10,000, including $2,000 to cover taxes, $3,000 for Jessica Calderon’s “job” and $5,000 for Tom Calderon’s consulting fees. Those were to be paid through the nonprofit he runs, called Californians for Diversity. Later, Ron Calderon and the agent discussed skirting suspicion by passing money into the Calderon Group, Tom Calderon’s consulting company . . .

After the undercover agent boasted to Ron Calderon about securing $50,000 a year from a three-picture deal, the two discussed what to do with the windfall.

“I mean, if there is something that you think that I can do to help you out with that fifty each year, you tell me. And, I will set it up,” the agent said, to which Ron Calderon, according to the affidavit, replied, “Right.”

Over time, Calderon drew down the $50,000 by asking for a $3,900 deposit into the Ron Calderon for Controller 2014 committee; a $25,000 infusion for his brother’s nonprofit, Californians for Diversity . . .

The affidavit also relates how Sen. Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, brokered a deal with Calderon following a tiff within the Latino caucus over who would serve as its chairman. Ron Calderon had been in line to become caucus chairman in December of last year. But Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, had the position and wanted to hang on to it.

In exchange for Calderon backing away from the chairmanship and allowing Lara to keep it, the affidavit says Calderon told the undercover agent that de León told Calderon he would give him a paid appointment after he left the Senate and $25,000 in “seed money” from one of the caucus accounts to “hire consultants and do presentations.”

Campaign finance records show that a fundraising committee connected to the Latino caucus gave Californians for Diversity $25,000 on Jan. 2, a month after Lara was elected to remain chairman.


Christians

Via Age of Treason, some open letters from Asian Christians, who cunningly display their watered-down, strategic ethno-solidarity (“Asian” means nothing unless you’re outside Asia) using the language of Christianity.

If U.S. evangelical Protestant churches – now 81 percent white, according to 2012 Pew research – hope to become a more diverse representation of all the people of God, they must respond more positively to constructive criticism like that in the recent open letter.

And:

It is the conceit of religious white racism to presume that one’s evangelicalism transcends racial and cultural identities, making such “worldly” labels no longer important. The letter reminds church leaders that those identities still matter. White evangelical Christians must stop clinging to an alibi of color-blindness and recognize that vibrant growth within “their” churches has much to do with nonwhite members’ views of them.

And:

The evangelical church in America needs a reality check to honestly assess how it relates with its Asian American family members.

And the money shot:

We highly value the concept of family, and it deeply distresses us when our non-Asian brothers and sisters do not seem to recognize or embrace that we are called to be one united body. We are  in your churches, your communities, your workplaces. Whenever you marginalize, ostracize, or  demean us through carelessness and ignorance in print, video, or any other medium, you are  doing more than just ruffling the feathers of a small group of online activists. You are damaging  the very cause of Christ, by maintaining and increasing fissures within the church.

. . . We would ask those who have influence in evangelical circles to consider the following specific action items:

– Examining hiring practices in Christian organizations, particularly in the areas of media and publishing, to see if there are systemic issues preventing Asian Americans from having a  presence and a voice in the evangelical world

In other words: we are called to be one unified body, without division . . . so you’d better accept us, put us into positions of power, and acquiesce to our demands. In Christ’s name, amen.

A comment from a NY Times reader not afraid to say what’s really going on:

As a 4th generation Asian Christian, I have been told & lectured to many times over the years by whites in and out of church circles with a “Get with the program” attitude. These are admonishments to do things the “white” way. However, it is increasingly apparent that the program known as the USA is changing. Also, the center of gravity of the program known as evangelicalism is shifting away from whites towards Asians and Central & South Americans. It is high time the white Christians establishment realize, accept, and even embrace these changes which are happening under the Sovereign Will of God. In other words, it is the turn for white Christians to “Get with the new program!”

Just more evidence for my general thesis: Christianity died long ago and is now used only as a source of rhetorical energy for ethnic factions, victim groups, status whores, and the upper-class white leftists who enable all of them.

(I must admit that I cringe to see Asian Americans write like this. I have such high hopes for the world dominated by the Chinese, but things like this make me wonder. It would be much better if they just said, “Hey, whitey, you fucked up and gave up on your own civilization. Step aside and let us take over, because you’re clearly no longer competent to steer the globe into the future.” That kind of attitude, I can get behind.)