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It is no coincidence that references to Dickens became standard fare in the Bush years and are still relevant to the GOP. The Republicans are social Darwinists who have inherited a philosophy from the 19th Century that they’ve uncritically adopted as truth; because the purpose of their philosophy is to serve the rich and to let the poor know how unfit they are and what a waste it would be to keep them alive at the cost of a few pennies. This requires some Olympian gymnastic level sophistry during campaigns when the GOP needs more votes than the tiny and exclusive minority that the unbelievably rich can provide, until Citizens United then, whoot! —- hegemonic power, the pinnacle of dominance which is the rightful heir of white, educated men of European descent, and formidable means. Why would they want to shake off the megalomaniacal delusions of modernism with its sexist and racist tropes that they thought was determined by nature and vindicated by scientific reasoning that somehow conveniently flatter4e their conception of God, while being conveniently unaware of their own biases? They might have to consider the possibility that they are, intrinsically, no more valuable than anyone else.
Wouldn’t that be a turd in the punch bowl? Poor, poor lords.
It is no coincidence that they hate postmodernism and glibly dismiss it with the overweening smugness of a man dusting dandruff off his suit. For them to understand and acknowledge that they are not all that is good and right about civilization would be a narcissistic wound deep enough to threaten their psyche. We are seeing white men in the throes of psychopathic rage, because their precious illusions are not being so willingly supported by those they have determined to be lessor, subordinate, or insignificant. Yet they conscript all those “others” to work on their behalf to provide them with recognition and comfort at the expense of those who have the least materially and socially. How dare these lessor others speak up on their own behalf or give an account of themselves that deviates from the reigning dogma of faux Darwinian scientificist and Providence!
Unfortunately, our au currant scientificist navel gazing is also invested in an ultra-Darwinism that is not Darwinian. Many kinds of scientists have taken it upon themselves to dabble in philosophy and have dressed it as reason that is as hostile to human survival and dignity as the most ignorant GOP House representative denying evolution. The far left, clinging to the helpless fatalism and nihilism of the Diamonds, Dawkins, and Pinkers of the world are bereft of a philosophy to help us navigate reality, much less to examine the human prospect in terms that recognize human agency, social forces, structural violence, and so on. The far left and the far right are both stuck in binaries based on a complete misunderstanding and deification of Darwin’s description of evolution to the exclusion of all else— it is tyranny.
The deification of science is as faith-based as the deification of anything else, because there is no “science”. There are sciences, and they all have their limitations, perspectives, and methods that don’t apply outside of their domains. The belief that one has a “scientific” mind, and so is capable of pontificating objectively on any topic is so childishly megalomaniacal and toxic, that kicking it squarely in the nuts may be the best that can be done with it so that we can get on with our human lives, on our human scales, and adapt socially to the challenges ahead of us as a species that has, in a short couple of hundred years, gained the power to destroy all of our natural habitats and to carry out the wholesale murder of ourselves with the push of buttons and a twelve minute waiting period.
Daydreams of inhabiting other planets is as meaningful to our survival as the dream of eternal and carnal life. It’s a distracting and cowardly failure to deal with human problems as they are, without granting special dispensation to one’s own pet constructions of a very narrow, and often useless summation of what is, writ large, and what that means.
It is no coincidence that they hate postmodernism and glibly dismiss it with the overweening smugness of a man dusting dandruff off his lab coat. We are seeing white men in the throes of psychopathic rage, because their precious illusions are not being so willingly supported by those they have determined to be lessor, subordinate, or insignificant— those that have not taken the opinions of particular scientists, pontificating out of their league, as a cloak of superior knowledge and reason itself that excuses them from all other methods of observation— especially the questioning of themselves. Having to consider their special knowledge to be only a small part of the human project? Having to admit that most of what they espouse in neither rational nor authoritative in any revolutionary way?
Wouldn’t that be a cockblocking buzz kill? Poor, poor dudebros.
On the far left, and far right, reductionism rules the day. We cannot live in these winner take all abstractions. We need to keep talking about human realities in all their complexity among all humans. Until we grant ourselves permission to address our selves and all others without clinging to some abstraction that is richly rewarded with wealth and prestige, in an effort to give ourselves and all others dignity that should not have been denied in the first place, we will remain atomized, feeling helpless, paranoid, and trapped in mean and wasteful competition.
What say we tell ourselves that we are all human, that we all have intrinsic value, that none of us need to apologize or being here, that we are enough— all of us are enough and all of us are capable of growing and adapting to the good of all. If we learn to deal with our realities without thinking it necessary to give “others” a bum deal, we just might make it out of most of the man-made messes that are bearing down on us right now. We just might find out that most of us are smarter than we’ve been told we are and that we cannot move confidently and wholly into the world and the future without giving ourselves permission to fully embrace that we are enough and we can become more— because that’s what humans do. Social evolution is not the domain of any ultimate authority, it is the birthright of all of us and everything that is human.
So You Think You Are a Darwinian? by David Stove