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Anti-racist and anti-violence proscriptions enable oppression

Blog posts are the work of individual contributors, reflecting their thoughts, opinions and research.
Discerning cause, effect and feedback in social mechanics
Discerning cause, effect and feedback in social mechanics

Dominion Stories, →Ottawa

Violence itself is neither good nor bad. The persistent and widespread crimes of war, population-displacement, genocide, slavery and economic exploitation thrive on a vile violence of the powerful who occupy, oppress and suppress those made-vulnerable. But the needed violence of the victims for self-defence is noble. One violence is vile, the other is noble.

To proscribe sweeping pacifism is both to enable the crimes of violence of the powerful and to deny the rights of their victims, indeed to deny the humanity of the victims. [1][2][3] Such proscriptions aimed at obedient workers and consumers (not police and soldiers) are typically the pronouncements of power’s service intellectuals and image managers.

How does the nonsense of doctrinal non-violence masquerading as a theory of “social change” arise and why does it persist, in the face of all evidence? [1][3]

Dichotomous categorization is a strong intrinsic tendency of the human brain, anchored in the hard-wired binary fight or flight survival decision mechanism. As a result, in constructing the social self-talk of helpful recipes for our everyday lives we automatically and falsely “identify” binary good-bad pairs and categorize a given emotion or action or reaction as either good or bad in its own right rather than seek a deeper analysis of the broader circumstances determined by an array of factors. Since the individual’s role is delimited by hierarchy a deep individual analysis is a threat to the individual’s status within the hierarchy.

We thus arrive at nonsensical superficial conclusions such as that there are “negative” and “positive” emotions that in themselves need to be sought or avoided rather than objectively viewing emotions as metabolic messengers for acting in the world. This is a modern symptom of our detachment from community and from ourselves; a detachment driven by the dominance hierarchy that controls our lives.

In this way, violence and racism are superficially categorized as both negative and to be avoided in themselves and are outlawed in society -- rather than attempting to ascertain the circumstances of the particular violence or racism that may make the violence or racism both sane and beneficial. [3]

Racism itself is neither good nor bad. The racism of the oppressor facilitates violent oppression. But the racism of the oppressed is part of a communal mechanism of self-defence.

For example, it is natural and efficacious self-defence for an occupied or oppressed group to be racist against the occupier or oppressor. Minority Chinese immigrants are a priori justified in shielding their children from marriages with "white devils". A culture supporting global carnage and colonization is one to be avoided. It is judicious for a minority group in a Western country to viscerally associate white skin with danger that is to be avoided.

There is a strong and natural human affinity to racism, informed by millions of years of animal evolution. A vulnerable species needs to recognize predators and associate key predator characteristics with danger and repulsion. Sedentary or nomadic tribes need to recognize more aggressive predatory groups by whatever racial or other characteristics are available. And so on, as a matter of self-defence. And, when it comes to invaders who rape, pillage and kidnap, it serves to preserve a strong and durable cultural memory via racism embedded in individual psychology.

Liberal sweeping anti-racism proscriptions are an immature attempt to deny reality; anchored in the false belief that behavioural dictates determine societal truths. The accompanying liberal policies, laws, etc., are a how-to guide for sticking one’s head in the sand. Is there less sexual perversion among those who practice polite discourse? Is a Canadian mining corporation operating in Latin America or the Congo less racist because of its anti-racist employment practices at home office? Or more environmental because the home office recycles? (Those who answered yes to the last few questions can stop reading at this point.)

Democratic liberal society's recent blanket anti-racism proscriptions managed by the service elites represent systemic attempts to counter the natural affinity for racism, structurally intended as an operational device to facilitate intra-species inter-race cooperation in the modern urban corporate economy?

A sweeping anti-racism proscription facilitates economic exploitation in a unified workforce model and protects the bosses from being racially identified. Negating individual thought and opinion-racism serves to hide the economy's racism of dominance, and hierarchical dominance itself (we are all equal).

Anti-racism assimilation strengthens and feeds the dominant “culture” (elite groups) most tied to the invading hierarchy, a process known on the planetary scale as “globalization”. Superpowers use racism to divide and conquer competing systems and “combat racism” in assimilating conquered peoples. (Federal “bilingualism” is used in a similar way to assimilate French Quebec into English Canada.)

Here, a broad anti-racism facade also facilitates the recruitment of large arrays of needed service leaders and managers of the same race(s) as the race(s) to be handled. It’s easier for home office to cleanse a territory of brown people on another continent if home office First World middle-class managers and press officers are multi-coloured.

Sweeping anti-racism in the form of behavioural proscriptions within liberal so-called free and democratic (i.e., stable self-indoctrinated) societies actually helps to preserve the racism of the oppressors and inter-class racism. [3][4]

Racism cannot be eliminated, no more than “negative” emotions can be eliminated. Instead, racism must be identified and used within its true context of class struggle and anti-oppression self-defence. Down racism (directed down the hierarchy) must be continuously fought. Up racism (directed up the hierarchy) should be optimally applied while being vigilant to maintain its “up” orientation. Horizontal racism within a hierarchical stratum must be diffused and channelled into up racism or up classism.

In this way, by a continuous acknowledgement of racism and a continuous discernment of the type of racism active in the context of fighting one’s own oppression, racism becomes a natural tool that helps one better perceive and gauge one’s own oppression. The anti-oppression struggle, distinct from but intertwined with the struggle of community building, becomes primary and race becomes secondary. Inter-class racism is gone when one can use racial language in critiquing an inter-class member in the same way one would refer to any other personal characteristic, without prejudice.

Inter-class racism used to leverage inter-class advantage or hierarchical “advancement” is a crass form of opportunism. It is a modern derivative racism, a device sustained by “free and democratic” hierarchical systems, not primitively related to survival and oppression racisms.

The Right feels disdain for any sign of formalized leverage racism at a guteral level as it clings to its myth of a level playing field (fair competition) supervised by responsible parents (institutional or natural – rules or invisible hand).

The Left wants to be managed (oppressed) fairly as it clings to its own myth of just and beneficial social engineering (elite manipulation).

Non-aligned individuals, independent thinkers and agents, need to assume violence and racism. “No war but class war!”

Endnotes

*This essay was first posted on Activist Teacher.

[1] “Pacifism as pathology” by Ward Churchill, 1998.

[2] “Pedagogy of the oppressed” by Paulo Freire, 1970.

[3] “On the racism and pathology of left progressive First-World activism” by Denis G. Rancourt, 2010.
http://activistteacher.blogspot.com/2010/08/on-racism-and-pathology-of-left.html

[4] “How anti-racism protects class structure and dominance hierarchy” by Denis G. Rancourt, 2011.
http://activistteacher.blogspot.com/2011/04/how-anti-racism-protects-class.html

 

Denis G. Rancourt is a former tenured and full professor of physics at the University of Ottawa in Canada. He practiced several areas of science (including physics and environmental science) which were funded by a national agency and ran an internationally recognized laboratory. He has published over 100 articles in leading scientific journals and several social commentary essays. He developed popular activism courses and was an outspoken critic of the university administration and a defender of student and Palestinian rights. He was fired for his dissidence in 2009. His dismissal case is in court hearings that will extend into 2012.

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Comments

Thanks Rancourt!

 

Thanks for this cogent essay summing up my position for all your contemporaries in the ivory tower. I mention the tower because your delivery is a bit clunky, symptomatic of academic culture but the arguments are solid and since I hate arguing with the "intellectuals" who insist on so many damn syllabels all the time, now I know I can just link to your blog instead.

Speaking of, I read the rest of your blog and if you'll indulge me -

About diversity of tactics and irreconciable forces ...

I don't disagree exactly but I think you're dismissing the dialectic there.

During the first wave of the occupy movement, I saw a lot of very interesting results as moderate reformism and socialism collided with insurrectionary anarchism and these people lived and worked together on a daily basis, building personal relationships that seemed more real than the abstractions of political theory. 

After these people were already friends and allies, the issues of tactics in the streets would create the same debates but with a very different tone.

Whatever that extra something is that comes out of a sense of community, it seems to have the potential to bridge that gap and the end result is moderate reformists who pause before they criticize the militants. Of course the longterms goals of the reformist pacifists can't be reconciled with insurrection , but in the beginning of a longterm struggle, a bit of mutual respect seems to foster the diversity of tactics thing naturally, inspite of all logic. Seeing is believing.

 

 

 

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