dont try my generosity dan (*not* the subject but... (*)

Tue, 1 Mar 1994 04:29:50 EST

[The following is racist, sexist, homophobic, imperialist, rude, and character
assassinating, even though not a single thing I'll say is decided. Pay me to
tell you how or wherein, I shall do so with pleasure, overpaying my taxes.
Failing this, ask those who Know.]

Eva M. Armstrong, as I should have said yesterday had I gone about this
Thingie coherently, asked an unaskable question given the confines and social
organization of our definition of the Knowledges and the control, wielded
strategically by those who dominate our society in its national and global
guises, over the definition of the cognitive such that the cognitively superior
by such criteria are aimed, by the rubberbanded slingshot of the organization
of researching solvable problems via problemsolving (something best circularly
defined as what those who get credit for it are good at).

What follows is not a broadside against the social organization of Profess-
ional Knowledgicians. Notwithstanding that I don't like them very much, because
they more than return the disfavor as a rule. Also, yesterday we received a
post from John O'Brien,

>Date: Mon, 28 Feb 1994 00:59:40 EST

which is the type case of the kind of broadside I've just said I'm not going
to make. Because the social sciences' preoccupations are themselves dependent
upon sustenance from, and contingent upon changing vested interests of, those
hierarchically dominating the society outside the abode of Knowledgification,
who in turn extort payment for the latter from the strata beneath them such
that the lowly's objections on marginal or egregious ("Golden Fleece Award")
is symbolically heeded.

There is no good reason for Them to know what's Up, and there is, indeed,
something Up, where an Eva M. Armstrong can say, Why is this something Up,
about which I can't tell you what the something is which is Up, much less that
wherein the something's Upness inheres. California media culture may constitute
a zeitgeist out of the conjunction of two random events; or it may have for no
virtue of its own have been prophetic anent its unforeseen destiny and the
unanticipated consequences of Thingies whereof it was ignorant as to their
[quasi-]existence, let alone their mutability.

Let us hail Eva M. Armstrong for a "holistic vision of a blob of glop of
dubious ontological status," something which may not exist very much for very
long. We more culturally normative - in terms of this dimension only - folks
Back East, or Responsibly On Top in Californistic circles too, cannot do this.
Nor would we dare.

What is the commonality, the least common denominator, of the "senseless"
violence, "senseless" suicides, "senseless" politics contingent on definition?
[That is, were the Sixties, a quintessentialy Californistic gift to the people
of armenia, more or less bizarre *in substance* than the eras presided over by
Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, Californians whose avowed paramount mission
was effacing the Sixties, both in superficialities and in underlying legacy:

[The legacy of the Sixties may be seen in a legislative act of the first
Reagan Administration, Kemp-Roth, which is perhaps unique in the history of
capitalism, in its intended outcomes if not in its intended beneficiaries.
The "revolutionary" tax reform assumed the incentive to get rich to have
mysteriously etiolated among the affluent masses best poised to move up from
the merely comfortable style to the station of Real Richness. Yet history is
replete with examples of capitalist classes which tighfistedly fought for that
last nickel against far more drastic "disincentives" to elite savings, whence,
suppositiously, alone came investment.]

The capitalist world is today far more of a cultural unity, that is, a
"global village," than the chimera prematurely beheld by McLuhan. And this,
largely, because the industrialization of cultural innovation has come to
predominate in our own national economy. All reading or, with near certainty,
not-reading this essay are employed or in a trice of a twinkie will become
employed in these industries. As suchlike "symbolic-analysis specialists,"
you will not be aware of the quantitative change which is most directly linked
to inchoate rage breaking out for reasons the people doing it cannot tell you
*turning into a qualitative change*. Which is, the crumbling of the wage labor
system at the bottom, now increasingly crumbling upwards toward the middle.

In the productionist phase of capitalism, employment was the way things got
made. It had side-effects, which were wholly welcome to the authorities: It
kept you in a routine called "everyday life" or "functioning" such that the
location of your body could be specified by legitimate order given by duly
appointed authorities, whose capacity to exercise autocratic control over that
body and it's motions for the duration of the time they owned the use of that
body represented the difference between you and starvation. It was possible in
this period to expect the whole of the adult population and the bulk of the
child population (who needed pin money, petty luxuries, student necessities
which parents never understood and never will) to engage in wage labor (inclu-
ding salaried labor by the week); full time for adults, elsewise part time.
The adults had a 1-A draft status for the Labor Force, students a 2-S, women
dependent on husbands a 2-A. The deferments and exemptions for women got wiped
out; men stayed in school "forming human capital." But the jobs changed from
collective production in the factory to collectivized consumption in the
office. Production was something that was done in Mexico and Indonesia which
Decent People neither saw nor talked about. By 1982, when 6 million factory
workers were permanently excluded from factory work, few people any longer
knew any factory workers or know anyone else who did, outside of a few odd
enclaves and in atypical-factory areas impacted by "sunrise industires," e.g.,
near San Jose and Sunnyvale CA. There were "routine service" workers, where it
is critical to distinguish between those who worked in offices and those who
practically lived in piles of garbage. (Not thinking about the Homeless here;
that's another, and worser, problem necessitated by our demand for social
discipline, but in the absence of the factory working class: For the office
worker, the factory worker was once the horrible example. For the factory
worker, the underclass was the horrible example. As the underclass became
more and more exclusively comprised of the bottom half or bottom third of
racial minorities, the new horrible example whose mission, not realized by
themselves or by officialdom, is scaring the wits out of the domiciled
underclass (excluded from factories which increasingly do not exist) as
well as the crumbling "white collar" strata.

What percentage of unemployment must exist before the unemployed cease
attributing their lack of a stable place in society to characterological
abnormalities and depravities? In 1933, unemployment reached 33%; but special
attitudes prevail during great depressions which tend to get "experienced" as
exogeneous catastrophes. During economic expansion, erosion of commitment to
wage labor is likely to increase faster at lower rates of unemployment than
during severe slumps. Employees disaffiliate from the economic system, yet
eschew and even despise the "traditional" working-class left, both splinter
parties and trade unions.

The unemployment we find in the advanced societies, which has remained,
in the United States, at the 6-7% level, considered intolerable in the 1960s
and 1970s, is most intensely concentrated among African-American teenagers,
where the rates reach 50% or more. ("Discouraged" workers are not included;
they have given up "actively looking," which the federal survey takers measure,
but would work were there jobs.) Rates of 10% for all workers in times of
expansion, corresponding to 60% and up in South Central Los Angeles, would
render the cities of the USA not capable of further existence without destroy-
ing the illusion of civilian, nondictatorial rule, hence the delusions of the
lack of coercion, "this is a free country," along with that illusion.

What the collectors of labor statistics watch even more closely is the
unemployment of "Prime Workers." These are white males with "family responsi-
bilities," over 25 years of age. (Curiously, the origin of "Prime" is in the
slavery system, when a Prime Field Hand was 25 or up, with experience, respon-
sibilites, and skills.)

As the economy shrinks in the jobs it is capable of providing, and this
is increasingly true of every single country in the world, where in some poor
countries there are 50% unemployment rates officially; even worse in reality;
there is a gnawing rage which takes very strange forms among the most marginal-
ly employable and unemployable. This strangeness takes almost every possible
form *except* the burgeoning of the political left. In the USA it takes the
characteristic form of gunplay: One of the more refreshing features of US
culture and society is the low degree of social discipline coupled with violent
assertiveness amid accusations of "trying to push me around," with the recent
extension of this to women. (Only in recent times has the Upper Middle Class
taken on the apperance of androids "manufactured by the millions to act
smart," which "the Jews" had nothing whatever to do with.)

Daniel A. Foss
<haha what luck you have got, system coming down!>