sorrowful realization i've failed to communicate anything
Daniel A. Foss (DFOSS@CCVM.SUNYSB.EDU)
Fri, 3 Jun 1994 04:57:32 EDT
so given the burgeoninging of counteridiocies as "counterhegemonic discourse"
to allarmenian idiocies, hardy perennials springing up from the *habitus*
manured to ever-greater excess by the formal religion of academia. In
my Introductory Course in these august precincts, an assault upon your
sensibilities in the form of endless autobiographical ravings, as many
of you should recall, but of course did not, I characterized the formal
religion of academia, "the ideology business," as exhibiting the following
division of labor:
1. In the *Economics Department*. Sacred Doctrine touching upon the
nature and the workings of the Unverse; also, why the godz like it that
way. How everything horrible is part of cosmic & celestial harmonies which
will all work out In The End, on the whole, and even for up to a half-dozen
wretches on whose behalf meddlesome fools Legislate against the Inevitable
in vain. But mainly, how everything nice is even more so; and *that*, world
without end, amen. How the market god has secreted a "society" around itself
such that even economists maximize utility not always denominated in money,
which drove us nuts before Gary S. Becker became a god.
2. In the *Psychology Department*. Nature of Good and Evil, Moral Virtue,
and the Good Life. How and why humans are Different, and how we can now
prevent it. Latest rules about when sex is good for you. Emotions, and how
to make them in your spare time. This year's model of the Self, and how it
*still* doesn't leave the body at Death. Personality, why your Self is
wonderful as it is, not as good as some. Experiencing Experience, but only
up to a point. Stay tuned for Consciousness, Brains, Genes, and a dab of
Neuroscience, on many of these same neural networks, in our Graduate Program.
In this Review Session, I shall spare you the autobiographical gunk which
informed the repudiation of ideology whereof you (pl.) are unaware with such
passionate intensity, with regular flamewars against champions of Flea Will
now departed, notably R.C. Alvarado *AIDS BE UPON HIM* and his sanctimonious
Mother Superior, Stephanie J. Nelson. The issue at hand is the *determinate
relation* between capitalism, a Thingie relegated to the Economics Department,
and our subscribing to everyday-life constructs such as Decision, Choice,
Option, Opportunity [as in Equality Of], Willpower, Selfdiscipline,
Motivation, and Individualism: All these exist minimally; are at best
empirically observable, for most people, with regard to trivia; and those
regarded as walking operationalizations of the constructs in question are
rare indeed, their accouts of bringing these Idealist idealizations to life
often enough retrospective fictions we accord the benefit of the doubt due
to the immense amounts of money they have "made."
The difference between the one-floor-each academic departments in this
buiding, Social and Behavioral Sciences, and the two-entire-buidings
Psychology Department (whose Clinical Program courses attract the majors,
not the Rat Lab, which has the social <choke> function of conveying the
subjective Experience of Being Scientific) is in acceptance or rejection
of the postulate of the *objective reality of social constraints*. Without
the validity of this postulate, even minimally-predictable social life
cannot exist; and if and only if social life is undetermined, may be Created
anew in any given second - as the Shrinko cult *est*, invention of a schlock
salesman (encyclopedias), taught to perhaps millions - can it be to the
slightest degree valid, as uttered by Michael J. Fox in Back To The Future I,
that "You can do anything you want, if you *Really Want* to."
Macroeconomics and microeconomics are taken, somewhat excessively, for
exact sciences; the economy and firm behavior are described by differential
equations; and the way we make our living or do not is, like the rat's
learning curve in the maze, probabilistically deterministic. You will get
fed shortly as certainly as the sun is coming up; some will not. Sociology
makes no such claims, but does manage to meticulously describe, with utmost
quantitative precision, who is Strictly Greater Than Or Equal To whom, and
by how much, to two decimal places; and having amassed this body of knowledge
endeavors to explain how this magnitude of Inferiority, euphemized as
"inequality," is put up with, predictably, by all those objectively measured
Inferior, so long as it's probable pretty-much-everyone-else will, also.
It is quite clear that the vast majority of the Inferior, who constitute the
vastest majority, put up with their Inferiority because it's *their fault*.
Only those accorded Certified Victim Status, and even these only by the
grace of Liberals (of minor importance except in a few industries such as
Education), are accorded loopholes from condemnation of Doom richly, that
is, poor-ly, deserved by reason of manifest, blatant Inferiority. It is,
in effect, rigidly constrained, on pain of sanctions for Reality Impairment,
for the entire burden of Guilt for the offense of Inferiority to be borne
by each Inferior organism organismically. As it is indeed objectively real
that everyone is *evaluated* as Guilty of whatever Inferiority is observed,
it becomes incumbent upon Shrinks, counselors, social workers, self-help-
book scribblers, and your parents, the Front Line of hierarchical
repression, to apply the standards, criteria, and constructs in question
as [the conventional interpretation of social] Reality. The sermons
thereby rained down upon miscreants, however, do no more than reactivate,
revivify the highly elaborate substructures, assumptions, cognitive maps,
attributions, inference heuristics, and cognitive schemata whereby the
Inferior lurch through social life with at best aggressive drift: The
overt exhibitions of the Idealist idealizations listed above, as we
empirically observe them, represent the efforts of minnows vainly swimming
upstream amid more numerous, perhaps also dead, fish just drifting down it,
be there a waterfall ahead or no. [Note: In some religions, Catholic
Christianity, for example, Man, *sic*, had attributed to it, that is, people,
Flea Will, such that they became liable to Eternal Damnation for having
exercised it in committing Sin. In Judaism, "All is in the hands of Heaven
but fear of Heaven."]
Having reviewed the basics, let me examine Professor Tomaso's version
of what I said. "Implicitly."
>My experience of this post clearly illustrates what I think Dan Foss' implicit
>and central themes are: (1) that ideology and philosophy are genetically (sic)
>related,  that emotion both underpins and is influenced by both kinds of
>discourse and  that all three forms of discourse are
>'overdetermined'. The committee, in this case, (a metaphor for 'culture' or
My Experience of Experience is that it is a crock, to be relied upon
for funan'games exclusively, unless you're living in a certified totalitarian
state; *or*, Lyndon Baines Johnson or Richard Milhous Nixon is President, and
you're certain a priori Them is lying about everything and its cousin. Let's
just say, it's wrong. (The first point, for instance, might well be amended
to read, "Sophisticated argumentation about Flea Will reproduces the plausi-
bility of deeply ingrained, lifelong-indoctrinated imputations, assumptions,
attributions, and whatnot whereby everyone is Guilty of being Inferior as
they are." Whereas I'm just not gonna say, "This here is a Flea Country"
merely because I'm not incarcerated in the Gulag Archipelago.)
Here's the Official Guide to the symbols, which aren't symbols at all:
1. The committee is the Selection Committee which rejected the source
of the inspiration for the post. It's always a Committee, even if one person
autocratically hires (as happened to me in 1971). This Committee is here a
surrogate for the Boss-in-general, hirer-firer.
2. The Boss's decision is constrained, in microeconomic theory, by the
postulate of *utility maximization*. The Boss selects from among the job
candidates the organism most closely approaching the ideal of maximized
utility in question, such as known ability to tear off with bare hands
so many widget-frames per hour from a hot steel ingot, which represents,
quantitatively evaluated, formidable productivity figures, which translates
into so many dollars added to the Third Quarter bottom line. The analogue
in university-faculty recruitment is a bit more multivariate, as contaminated
by guesswork, fakery, wishful thinking, mandated quotas where applicable
(ie "Mindanao Trench University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity
Employer. Whales, dolphins, other nonhuman sentient species, artificial
intelligences, extraterrestrials, and women are encouraged to apply, I'm
lonely out here."). The postulate of the Boss maximizing utility is not
however discarded merely on account of a few kinks. The Boss parrots the
notion is regretful rejections: "Wish I coulda tol' ya different, but I
got budget cuts, I got guidelines, my hands're tied, too bad."
For the failed applicant, there's nobody to blame but the face in the
mirror. "Too Inferior even for this cruddy job? Sheeez, didn't know I was
*that* kinda low scum." Elsewise, you catch hell from spouse or Shrink or
Significant Other: "This one's Fault, that one's Fault, when'zit gonna be
*your* [deleted] Fault f'r'achange? Hah?" Why is it your Fault, continues
to be *your Fault* after four hundred rejections, under the imperative, "If
at first you don't succeed, try try again," cf Little Engine That Could?
The Flea Willing of yourself to be Inferior, which you are not aware of
yourself doing, is unconsciously present as the *rili-wana* spirit which
makes you Really Want To be Inferior! Else, there's the *dun-rili-wana*
spirit which makes you not do what you should:
Dr F.M.L., 1984: You Don't Really Want to Function.
DAF: Don't be silly, nobody 'really wants to'; scheduled time being first
of all a recent innovation, and so painful they pay you money for enduring it.
3. Flea Will, Decisions, Choices, Options do not exist. They're
figmentational representations, using the lexicon at hand, of behavioral
chunks which you are said to "do," rather than specifying eachandevery
single one of a chain of microbehaviors to exactly represent what did
occur; and to which the verb "to do" is not suitable. Determinism does,
however, objectively exist. Sick Temper Binary-Oppositions!
I categorically deny that I Decided, Chose, or elsewise with Malice
aforethought, Malice being in Wonderland today, which is a Theme Park in
Prefix County, not far from the Amityville Horror Theme Park, wrote this
Thingie. I just got mad as hell, is all. Not at Matt Tomaso, at armenia
the beautiful, "I lift my leg beside the golden door," or whatever it sez
onna Statue of Liberalism, or Statute of Limitations, I fergit.
No hard feelings. Hard Left.
Daniel A. Foss
 "Manure" is a Highly Inappropriate usage; the correct word is Organic.
As in, "Genuine Organic Potting Soil," observed in a friend's house. "Geez,
you got here a sack of *real dirt* made with *genuine shit*!"
 I insist on "Inferior," so as to stare at the word and thereby keep myself
in a blind apoplectic rage.