Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: Macroinformation.org & Knatz.com / Teaching / Society / Social Epistemology / Abstractions /
We’ve heard it all our lives: Possession is nine tenths of the law. If the crown is on my head, then I must be king. If the god gets all these sacrifices, all these candles lit, then that god must be real. If I live in the house, raise my kids there, then the house must be mine. This moment in time, this slice of the universe, exactly as it is, must be legitimate. Er, check that: 90% legitimate.
Nine tenths? Exactly? Who measured it? Did he have lab credentials? What ruler did he use? If it’s a metaphor, how responsible is the metaphor?
The United States (in its abstract personhood) says that it’s a republic, a democracy, that it expresses the will of the people, that it legitimately occupies the North American continent from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from Canada to Mexico, plus Alaska and Hawaii … and sort of plus Puerto Rico, the Philippines … and sort of plus the rest of the Pacific, the oil wells in Kuwait, whatever we want in Europe, in South America … Why not just say “And sort of plus the rest of the universe”?
The law is tailor made to uphold these claims. The law is nothing if not flexible. Indeed, we may write new laws every day the legislature is in session: and the legislature can be brought into session at a moments notice. Indeed, if it can’t, the president can make it up in the middle of the night and the legislature will ratify his decision once they can be roused and assembled. They’d better: or they’d better get busy and concoct a president more congruent to their own agendas.
Does God rewrite laws every nanosecond? Every ten seconds? Once in a google of millennia? What does law mean if anybody can rewrite it? even God?
We’re ninety percent legitimate
Well, these are the laws we have now, and possession is nine tenths of the law. So we’re ninety percent legitimate no matter what we do. That’s the majority and the majority is always right. Therefore we’re 100% legitimate. No matter how we’ve cheated, misrepresented facts, repressed arguments, murdered the opposition …
No matter what we do.
These teachers occupy the school. Therefore they possess authority. These priests occupy the church. Therefore they represent God. Their lawyers will make sure that no other claims ever reach the attention of the jury. Our political representatives are the will of the people. They’re chosen for their normalcy. The church, the school, the government are the society’s roots, its fingers, its mind, its penis, its womb. The whole point is to change only enough to stay the same. Living systems are homeostatic. I’m sure that non-living systems are likewise homeostatic or at least something analogous to homeostatic.
The whole point is to change only enough to stay the same.
Kleptocracies qualify judges with the sure knowledge that they will not admit any embarrassing evidence. Once the media has misrepresented what the war protesters were saying then the misrepresentation becomes fact, history, truth. The state robots’ correction of the misrepresented criticism becomes wisdom, caution, reasonableness, conservatism.
In science, the budget for falsification must rival the budget for confirmation. It must always be admitted that failure to find evidence of a proposition’s falsehood does not mean that no such evidence exists. Social organisms in contrast have no such budget: or the falsification budget is one percent and is administered by the confirmers! The Devil’s Advocate whose roll it was to knock down a nominated saint’s claim to sainthood, was, remember, a member of the nominees, a brother, in their employ. Window dressing. A totalitarian homeostasis pretending to rationality.
Like so many of my modules at Knatz.com, the points made spill around among all the points made here, perhaps adding one new metaphor, and a dozen new perspectives, revisited perspectives, alternate perspectives, on established themes. They’re not really essays. Neither do they always manage to be modules the way I’d originally intended: minimal components from which one coherent system would self-construct: like the components in an erector set.
The society always makes sure that it’s a Pilate who judges a Jesus. That it’s a Bishop Wilberforce who judges a Darwin. That any cardinal can refuse to look at Galileo’s evidence. Galileo’s evidence is not looked at to see if it’s true, that is, if it corresponds with Pleroma (or with real patterns in Creatura, Sentiens(/Pathologica), Persona, etc.); Galileo’s evidence was looked at only to see that it falsified church authority. My own studenthood was devoted to falsifying the teacher’s authority. I did it deliberately. I already knew what had happened to Jesus and to Galileo. I already knew the wages of rationality. And though I would very much have liked a sinecure, would have liked promotion, influence, I still preferred the cross, the dungeon, the gutter to compliance with a false authority.
Map / Territory:
One perpetual fallacy of society is its magician’s switch of meaning with ambiguous terms. The society will not permit unambiguous terms any more than a magician would let an enemy prepare his stage equipment. No rigging, no trick.
Even a good map is not the territory.
Even a good map is not the territory. A map is of a different logical kind from a territory. A wall, whether good, bad, or adequate as a wall, is never the blueprint (regardless of whether the blueprint is a good, bad, or adequate blueprint). (Whether a god is a real god is a separate question from whether the god is a good god.)
Where we to ever approach theoretical legitimacy rather than mere paper legitimacy, homeostatic institutions could never have a last word on their legitimacy. If we say Corporation C owns plat B in A county, then all other claimants, past, present, and future, must be able to challenge the claim. Not just the Seminole, but the trilobites; not just the earth, but the solar system; not just the solar system, but the universe; not just the universe, but the cosmos; not just God, but godn; not just godn, but godo …
The United States (in its abstract person) says that we inherited our democracy from the Greeks. The statute of limitations has run out, so we don’t own them any royalties: just a minute’s acknowledgment in a class room. All the teachers — masters and doctors — comply. So it must be true. But the bulk of our democracy was stolen, perverted, from the Great Law of Peace of the Five Tribes. There, the statute of limitations hadn’t run out. Royalties might be due. Suits regarding perversion might apply: the script we followed wasn’t really the script provided: the Five Tribes gave full citizenship to women (it could even be argued that women of the Five Tribes were more than equal in the culture). But that’s OK. We didn’t want to acknowledge our source. (How could we credit them and still exterminate them as savages? kill them? take their habitat?) It’s OK. If any of the masters or doctors know that, they can be relied on to keep their own counsel about it. They’re socialized after all. You don’t become a doctor without proving first and foremost that you’re socialized.
In my graduate school studies, did my professors really not understand what I was saying? Was their ignorance, their stupidity, their rudeness, their theft of my tuition genuine? sincere? I don’t believe it. I think they saw instantly the implications of my interests, of my insights, of my knowledge. I think they saw it just as clearly as the cardinals saw the implications of Galileo’s Galilean moons. My insights made theirs look bad. And they wouldn’t have it. They didn’t have to take it. They were the authority.
Oh, I hadn’t finished above. Authority: Human authority can never be ideal authority. The example is not the abstraction. The territory is not the map. If god is the authority, then God cannot be. If God is the authority, then the pope cannot be. If the President is the People, then the Secretary of State cannot be. If the law serves Justice, then the law cannot be justice. Unless you’re a kleptocrat and then you can make anything anything. So long as you’ve got the jails and bombs behind you. Possession is nine tenths of the law.
Back to the following-above: When my doctoral committee supported each other in interrupting me, in misrepresenting what I was prevented from saying; if they accepted their own mistranslation of the broken statement fragment; if their testimony was my deposition … I suddenly saw it. I didn’t want the damn Ph.D. It wasn’t a badge, it was a collar. A certification in craven dishonesty.
Am I saying that all those with doctorates are knowingly ignorant, dishonest, or craven? No. I am saying that real Freuds, real Darwins will never be allowed one: in their life time. If Freud was a doctor, he was a doctor before he was Freud. They never would have let him out of medical school with Totem and Taboo already in manuscript, the manuscript seen.
The catch-22 of any normalizing system (and that’s any biological or political system) is that in order to be heard you first have to prove that you have nothing to say.
Lots of published authors have plenty to say. Lots of best selling authors are great artists. How did that happen? Ah: they all seem to be something they’re not: LeCaré, King, Hunter … Or they got published first and became great second. Had Galileo already run the Vatican, his moons would have been studied without everybody making an ass of themselves first.
Funny thing was, I’d vowed to keep my mouth shut upon first entering graduate school. But then I just couldn’t do it. I had to say what I really meant. Or try to.
I value my failure, given the quality of what got interrupted, above any Nobel Prize.
I ask you: when you get to Judgment Day … No I don’t mean the one with Jehovah; I mean the one where mankind is judged for his viability as a species during his period of tenure. When you get to Judgment Day, in what stead will it stand you to say that you followed what the teacher said? Won’t it be perfectly clear that good teachers are fired? Won’t it be perfectly clear that the teachers who remained were the cowards? the morons? the craven? the pawnbrokers who know their goods are stolen, shaved, skimmed?
How will Christians fare at the other Judgment Day when they say, “Well, I followed the priest”? Meaning the priest with all the gold trappings, not Van Gogh, having given his all to the coal miners. Van Gogh didn’t give one of two shirts: he gave both shirts. note
Related Recent Piece:
2004 06 20 I just went out back to see if I have any motor oil in my shed. I slide my shed door open, and wham! The wasp sting me on the ear, half deafening me in the process. Bullshit your shed; my shed, he seemed to be saying.
The Van Gogh I refer to is the one of the novel Lust for Life. I haven’t read it since junior high but I suspect Stone invented freely. (I also still love my memory of that book.)
2013 06 24 Jan and I watched Lust for Life a month or two back, and had seen another Van Gogh biopic last year. Not the same this time around at all. I still love the paintings, maybe as much as ever; but I’m fed up with him.