15 September 2008

Further to the below...

R. A. Wilson distinguished emic reality (what is really REALLY REALLY real under everything) and etic reality (what we can know through language), and pointed out that they don't really have much to do with each other. Chaos Marxism further subdivides the latter into social etic (or "consensus") reality, and personal etic reality, and furthermore insists that the closest we can get to emic reality is the need for biological survival of the primate which has these concepts. (We are of course agnostic on non-corporeal intelligence.)

Given that primate survival is primarily social, biological survival in all primate civilisations entails conforming to consensus, social reality in some sense. Starhawk's gym teacher said: "Reality is when you jump off a roof, you break your leg." Chaos Marxism adds: "... and also that, when you don't have an income and no-one feeds you, you starve and die."

Given that, I'm pretty sure one of the Aphorisms points out that your individual consciousness evolved to enable you to survive in primate social reality, not to be able to see how it really works. This is why the ruling class pay truckloads of money to gurus and shysters of all kinds to make up ideologies meant to justify their wealth and privilege - if they allowed themselves to see outside these specially constructed reality tunnels, they'd probably go mad and/or kill themselves. Conversely, we need to see how things really work if we are to change the rules of the game.

RAW suggested that primate social reality was mainly based on simian territorial/dominance games. Chaos Marxism thinks that's a bit simplistic. For the last 200 years, the laws of market forces have taken more and more of a primary role, and we think that the cash nexus works on a different logic than primate dominance rules - which is why capitalism is much more progressive than any previous socio-economic system, and also much more destructive.

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We talk about "scientific" testing. "Science" pretty much means being able to create predictable, reproducible results. This is distinct from "religion" or "ideology", which pretty much means giving comforting justifications for what people had decided to do anyway. Ever since the Western philosophical world turned away in horror from the implications of Marx's scientific research into political economy, Western economics - and by extension all the other social sciences - have become religions, meant to justify the current social order rather than to understand it (see above). With the increasing emphasis on climate change denial by the ruling class, the physical sciences are going that way too. If capitalism isn't stopped, we're going all the way towards a mediaeval-style Inquisition and the scholasticism and mental stasis that goes with it.

T S Eliot (or H P Lovecraft? Some guy with two initials, anyway. Or two guys with one initial?) said "Humankind cannot bear very much reality". Chaos Marxism insists that that only goes for those who benefit from current capitalist social reality. For those who want a new and better game to play, we need all the reality we can get.