Saturday, December 31, 2011

Anti-racist and anti-violence proscriptions enable oppression

By Denis G. Rancourt

Violence itself is neither good nor bad. The persistent and widespread crimes of war, population-displacement, genocide, slavery and economic exploitation thrive on a vile violence of the powerful who occupy, oppress and suppress those made-vulnerable. But the needed violence of the victims for self-defence is noble. One violence is vile, the other is noble.

To prescribe sweeping pacifism is both to enable the crimes of violence of the powerful and to deny the rights of their victims, indeed to deny the humanity of the victims. [1][2][3] Pacifism proscriptions aimed at obedient workers and consumers (not police and soldiers) are continuously echoed by the pronouncements of power’s service intellectuals and image managers.

How does the nonsense of doctrinal non-violence masquerading as a theory of “social change” arise and why does it persist, in the face of all evidence? [1][3]

Dichotomous categorization is a strong intrinsic tendency of the human brain, anchored in the hard-wired binary fight or flight survival decision mechanism. As a result, in constructing the social self-talk of helpful recipes for our everyday lives we automatically and falsely “identify” binary good-bad pairs and categorize a given emotion or action or reaction as either good or bad in its own right rather than seek a deeper analysis of the broader circumstances determined by an array of factors. Since the individual’s role is delimited by hierarchy a deep individual analysis is a threat to the individual’s status within the hierarchy.

We thus arrive at nonsensical superficial conclusions such as that there are “negative” and “positive” emotions that in themselves need to be sought or avoided rather than objectively viewing emotions as metabolic messengers for acting in the world. This is a modern symptom of our detachment from community and from ourselves; a detachment driven by the dominance hierarchy that controls our lives.

In this way, violence and racism are superficially categorized as both negative and to be avoided in themselves and are outlawed in society -- rather than attempting to ascertain the circumstances of the particular violence or racism that may make the violence or racism both sane and beneficial. [3]

Racism itself is neither good nor bad. The racism of the oppressor facilitates violent oppression. But the racism of the oppressed is part of a communal mechanism of self-defence.

For example, it is natural and efficacious self-defence for an occupied or oppressed group to be racist against the occupier or oppressor. Minority Chinese immigrants are a priori justified in shielding their children from marriages with "white devils". A culture supporting global carnage and colonization is one to be avoided. It is judicious for a minority group in a Western country to viscerally associate white skin with danger that is to be avoided.

There is a strong and natural human affinity to racism, informed by millions of years of animal evolution. A vulnerable species needs to recognize predators and associate key predator characteristics with danger and repulsion. Sedentary or nomadic tribes need to recognize more aggressive predatory groups by whatever racial or other characteristics are available. And so on, as a matter of self-defence. And, when it comes to invaders who rape, pillage and kidnap, it serves to preserve a strong and durable cultural memory via racism embedded in individual psychology.

Liberal sweeping anti-racism proscriptions are an immature attempt to deny reality; anchored in the false belief that behavioural dictates determine societal truths. The accompanying liberal policies, laws, etc., are a how-to guide for sticking one’s head in the sand. Is there less sexual perversion among those who practice polite discourse? Is a Canadian mining corporation operating in Latin America or the Congo less racist because of its anti-racist employment practices at home office? Or more environmental because the home office recycles? (Those who answered yes to the last few questions can stop reading at this point.)

Democratic liberal society's recent blanket anti-racism proscriptions managed by the service elites represent systemic attempts to counter the natural affinity for racism, structurally intended as an operational device to facilitate intra-species inter-race cooperation in the modern urban corporate economy?

A sweeping anti-racism proscription facilitates economic exploitation in a unified workforce model and protects the bosses from being racially identified. Negating individual thought and opinion-racism serves to hide the economy's racism of dominance, and hierarchical dominance itself (we are all equal).

Anti-racism assimilation strengthens and feeds the dominant “culture” (elite groups) most tied to the invading hierarchy, a process known on the planetary scale as “globalization”. Superpowers use racism to divide and conquer competing systems and “combat racism” in assimilating conquered peoples. (Federal “bilingualism” is used in a similar way to assimilate French Quebec into English Canada.)

Here, a broad anti-racism facade also facilitates the recruitment of large arrays of needed service leaders and managers of the same race(s) as the race(s) to be handled. It’s easier for home office to cleanse a territory of brown people on another continent if home office First World middle-class managers and press officers are multi-coloured.

Sweeping anti-racism in the form of behavioural proscriptions within liberal so-called free and democratic (i.e., stable self-indoctrinated) societies actually helps to preserve the racism of the oppressors and inter-class racism. [3][4]

Racism cannot be eliminated, no more than “negative” emotions can be eliminated. Instead, racism must be identified and used within its true context of class struggle and anti-oppression self-defence. Down racism (directed down the hierarchy) must be continuously fought. Up racism (directed up the hierarchy) should be optimally applied while being vigilant to maintain its “up” orientation. Horizontal racism within a hierarchical stratum must be diffused and channelled into up racism or up classism.

In this way, by a continuous acknowledgement of racism and a continuous discernment of the type of racism active in the context of fighting one’s own oppression, racism becomes a natural tool that helps one better perceive and gauge one’s own oppression. The anti-oppression struggle, distinct from but intertwined with the struggle of community building, becomes primary and race becomes secondary. Inter-class racism is gone when one can use racial language in critiquing an inter-class member in the same way one would refer to any other personal characteristic, without prejudice.

Inter-class racism used to leverage inter-class advantage or hierarchical “advancement” is a crass form of opportunism. It is a modern derivative racism, a device sustained by “free and democratic” hierarchical systems, not primitively related to survival and oppression racisms.

The Right feels disdain for any sign of formalized leverage racism at a guteral level as it clings to its myth of a level playing field (fair competition) supervised by responsible parents (institutional or natural – rules or invisible hand).

The Left wants to be managed (oppressed) fairly as it clings to its own myth of just and beneficial social engineering (elite manipulation).

Non-aligned individuals, independent thinkers and agents, need to assume violence and racism. “No war but class war!”


[1] “Pacifism as pathology” by Ward Churchill, 1998.

[2] “Pedagogy of the oppressed” by Paulo Freire, 1970.

[3] “On the racism and pathology of left progressive First-World activism” by Denis G. Rancourt, 2010.

[4] “How anti-racism protects class structure and dominance hierarchy” by Denis G. Rancourt, 2011.

Denis G. Rancourt is a former tenured and full professor of physics at the University of Ottawa in Canada. He practiced several areas of science (including physics and environmental science) which were funded by a national agency and ran an internationally recognized laboratory. He has published over 100 articles in leading scientific journals and several social commentary essays. He developed popular activism courses and was an outspoken critic of the university administration and a defender of student and Palestinian rights. He was fired for his dissidence in 2009. His dismissal case is in court hearings that will extend into 2012.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Theory of Chronic Pain

A social and evolutionary theory of human disease and chronic pain

By Denis G. Rancourt

We like to nurture a species self-image where we are radically different from ants and bees. The idea goes like this. Ants and bees are automatons completely governed by chemical and physical signals and each individual in the colony has its place which determines its physical body characteristics, adapted to the function of its class.

We distinguish these colony insects from mammals which we project have much higher degrees of individuality. We like to think of herds or packs of mammals as individuals who “choose” to come together and cooperate. We generally don’t admit body characteristics of individuals as being associated with class in societal dominance hierarchies.

But humans, primates and ants and bees may be much closer than we care to admit, then we are easily able to perceive.

There is an area of scientific research which points to just how wrong we may be. It is the study of the effects of a dominance hierarchy on the health of the individual. It turns out that in mammals and birds, for example, the health of the individual, barring accidents of nature, is primarily due to the individual’s position in the society’s dominance hierarchy [1][2][3]. Here, one needs to stress “primarily”, as in by far the greatest determining factor -- having a direct bio-chemical and physiological impact [1].

The dominance hierarchy in packs of monkeys, for example, determines fertility, resistance to disease, vigour, and longevity of the individual [1].

Now the dominance hierarchy as individual health determinant discovery is a paradigm-establishing discovery in medicine (if medicine is ever able to recognize it! [3]), akin to plate tectonics in the Earth sciences, Newtonian mechanics in physics and evolution in biology, but it naturally leads to a follow-up question: Why?

Is there an evolutionary advantage, for mammals say, to suffer severe individual health effects from the intra-species dominance hierarchy? Otherwise, how has individual health vulnerability to dominance hierarchy survived on the evolutionary time scale? Is there a use or a need for individual health vulnerability to dominance hierarchy in terms of species survival, or is it simply a remnant of pre-insect-divide or colony-forming cells evolution?

A first glance would suggest that the human species, for example, cannot possibly benefit from having individual health materially and negatively affected by society’s dominance hierarchy. But is this the correct conclusion?

I think not.

What is the most successful nervous-system-bearing animal species on Earth, in terms of both number of individuals and total biomass, and in terms of its transformative impact on the biosphere? Answer: Ants [4]. And the most successful large mammal? Humans [5]. Both live in highly hierarchical societies.

What is the sustaining biology of a highly hierarchical society of mammals? The individual must accept his/her place. All-out competitiveness of equal individuals (like a bar fight) is a recipe for disaster and does not lead to a highly stratified hierarchy. Pumped individuals who are and feel equally strong do not spontaneously organize into a stratified dominance hierarchy.

The built-in individual health vulnerability to dominance hierarchy is the biological (bio-chemical-metabolic) mechanism that sustains a positive feedback able to spontaneously generate a highly stratified dominance hierarchy.

If you are and feel sick from being dominated, you are not going to fight back. You are going to accept your place. The species is happy to have hoards of unhealthy individuals who will die young having spent their days doing the grunt work. What better way to stratify a successful species?

The impact on individual health also plays another key role, in addition to providing the feedback for stratification. It provides a needed mechanism of self-destruction for individuals who grow out or fall out of docility and compliance.

In a highly stratified society, individuals who cannot function must be eliminated, or they become a destructive force against the hierarchy. The police and jails would never be enough to achieve this without the built-in individual health vulnerability to dominance hierarchy.

As soon as the individual wants out and senses that there is no out, the individual self-destructs -- rather than go on a destructive rampage, most of the time. This is called cancer and heart disease. It prevents the destructive rampage of the disillusioned individual and provides a natural end at the completion of the individual’s cycle of utility to the hierarchy, to the species.

No wonder anarchists are so few and far between! But as with any positive feedback-driven system, it is inherently unstable [6].


[1] “The influence of social hierarchy on primate health (Review)” by Robert M. Sapolsky, Science, vol.308, p.648-652, 2005. (and references therein)

[2] “Anti-smoking culture is harmful to health -- On the truth problem of public health management” by Denis G. Rancourt, 2011.

[3] “Is establishment medicine an injurious scam?” by Denis G. Rancourt, 2011.

[4] “Is the burning of fossil fuel a significant planetary activity?” by Denis G. Rancourt, 2010.

[5] “Collective intelligence does not imply individual intelligence -- Technology does not come from geniuses” by Denis G. Rancourt, 2011.

[6] “Institutions build hierarchy between politico-cultural re-normalizations” by Denis G. Rancourt, 2011.

Denis G. Rancourt is a former tenured and full professor of physics at the University of Ottawa in Canada. He practiced several areas of science (including physics and environmental science) which were funded by a national agency and ran an internationally recognized laboratory. He has published over 100 articles in leading scientific journals and several social commentary essays. He developed popular activism courses and was an outspoken critic of the university administration and a defender of student and Palestinian rights. He was fired for his dissidence in 2009. His dismissal case is in court hearings that will extend into 2012.