February 8, 2018

One Thing the Scientism Cultists and Dembots Have in Common

Filed under: Civil Disobedience, Mainstream Media, Scientism/Technocracy — Tags: , , — Russell Bangs @ 6:10 am


The future of obsolete, malign structures. Their cultists feel it coming and react accordingly.

One of the most bizarre phenomena of the US electoral system is the way the Democrat Party and its more cultish adherents choose to revile anyone who is skeptical about voting for the Party instead of trying to persuade them. Of course, part of this is that they know they could never persuade anyone who isn’t already part of their cult, since they have nothing to offer anyone but the big corporations and the rich. Their 2016 campaign was even explicit about this.
But it goes deeper than this. The Dembots believe that the votes of certain groups – blacks, other minorities, anyone who identifies as “progressive” – are the private property of the Party, to be redeemed on demand of the Party. So their hysterical anger at anyone from these groups who rejects the Party is the anger of someone who thinks his rightful property is being stolen from him.*
In the same way, the scientism/technocracy cult is becoming increasingly unhinged as they sense how more and more people are becoming skeptical of them and rejecting their authority. Seeing themselves as great religious saviors, they regard the unquestioning submission and genuflection of the people, and the people’s unquestioning purchase of the products of the corporate-technocratic system, as their private property, or at least the property of the corporations who dominate the technocratic system and control the products of technology.**
Therefore they respond to even the most modest questions or criticism, not with rational argument, but with hysterical denunciations and insults. What’s at stake has nothing to do with “science” and everything to do with the religious authority of the cult and the power of the corporations who control it. (Of course just as with the Dembots, here too the cultists sense that they would lose any rational argument. That’s why they invariably resort to canned lies anytime they do deign to “argue” on behalf of the corporate technologies they fetishize.)
In both cases, we have a malign structure whose foundation is crumbling, which feels the ground shaking under its feet, and which has no rational or moral basis to justify its existence. In both cases humanity and the Earth will benefit tremendously when this structure ceases to exist. Therefore these two structures are reacting with all the desperation and rage of cosseted authoritarians whose authority is now being rejected on a mass scale, where all the signs point toward the eventual complete collapse of this authority. (We can add the mainstream media as another such dying structure lashing out at its rivals and at the people who are rejecting its legitimacy.)
That’s why they’re so deranged.
*In a similar way, cultists of the electoral religion in itself believe everyone’s vote is the property of the government, to be redeemed on the government’s demand, i.e. whenever it holds an election. Their outrage at non-voters is outrage on behalf of a government that, they believe, is the victim of theft. This also explains their frequent advocacy of mandatory voting, which from any conventional democracy point of view would seem to be an authoritarian contradiction of democracy. But then electoralism is only formally connected with just one form of democracy, the “representative” form, and doesn’t necessarily have any substantive connection even with this form. On the contrary, we know that today’s elections are nothing but a sham, the pseudo-democratic facade of neoliberalism.
**Another way of conceiving the cultist mindset is that voters owe a debt to the Democrat Party or the government itself, and that those who abstain are some kind of deadbeat. The scientism cultists are most explicit about this: One of their most hysterical talking points is that the rising number of people who are skeptical of technocracy and many of its products are “ungrateful”.


  1. Indeed, I get the same reaction telling members of these groups that I voted for Jill stein (in upstate NY) or that I think golden rice is a fraud. Usually I’m “privileged” or something similar (a topic I’d like to see you discuss).

    Yeah, I’m sooo privileged for rejecting warmongers and failed technologies. If only these guys understood what they were promoting.

    Of course, I’m a white male which means my positions on these things are usually “wrong” without any further examination… and they wonder why one half of the country won’t talk to the other half

    Comment by Bob — February 8, 2018 @ 9:32 am

    • It’s hard to see who could be more privileged than the criminal beneficiaries of corporate imperialism, including upper class Western liberals. Only they could be privileged enough to lecture brown Southern farmers and community members on what backward Luddites they are for not wanting to be force-marched to the shantytown.

      Today privilege self-evidently is measured by money. Anyone who denies this, such as identity-politik liberals, is merely trying to defend their privilege against any attempt to dissolve it. Thus anyone who views e.g. golden rice propaganda or the Democrat Party as “Our Thing” identifies their own privilege with this power structure, and they lie and lash out accordingly.

      I don’t believe anyone is fooled by the lies of politicians, corporations etc. Where we have factions supporting such malign entities, we’re dealing with nothing but the will to power. Accusations of “privilege”, except where used in the most carefully targeted way, are a weapon of this power struggle, nothing more.

      Comment by Russ — February 8, 2018 @ 12:14 pm

  2. I grew up in a small town. When I was young I remember playing in the fire hall while my mother watched the polls along with other civic minded citizens. When they had counted all the ballots at the end of the day, they called the totals into the state capitol where they were tallied with all the other small towns and city precincts under close scrutiny by all campaigns. I believe it was fair, even though we knew there was corruption elsewhere.

    In the years since I’ve been involved in elections many ways. In 1984 I ran as a candidate and witnessed first hand the corrupting power of campaign donations. In 2004 we proved machine bias in the WA recount. In 2006 I trained as an international observer of the noble efforts of the Palestinian Legislative Elections. I’ve studied the OSCE standards and doubt any USA state could meet them today.

    I still believe that ideally elections are a great nonviolent conflict resolution tool. Free and fair elections take a lot of effort, but a successful multiparty representative democracy is a fine goal to seek.

    Comment by VernonHuffman — February 8, 2018 @ 10:42 am

    • I regard electoralism at anything above the local level as something humanity tried and is a proven failure, if the goal is supposed to be a government that serves the people. (Which clearly is not the goal of today’s Dembots and Repbots.)

      It stands to reason:

      1. As a rule it’s egomaniacs, power-lusters, greedheads, grinders, and ideological fanatics who are more likely to seek high office in the first place. The system selects for sociopaths.

      2. Even if some office-seekers start out with good intentions, power corrupts, and party membership makes one conformist. That’s why a core tenet of anarchism is not to allow power to concentrate in the first place.

      3. In a society dominated by money, as all modern societies are, elections inexorably will become dominated by money, by the biggest donors.

      The fact is that so-called “representative democracy” is just another mode of citizen abdication, divesting one’s citizen responsibilities to mercenaries. This is an evil in military matters, an evil in police matters, and it’s an evil in political matters. Electoralism is quintessentially “bourgeois”.

      One more point – no one seems any longer to understand what’s necessary in order truly to field a political party against the status quo. First people must commit to the hard work of building a coherent political and cultural movement. Only once such a movement is a going concern can it then do things like deal with the mainstream media and form tactical alliances with reform groups on its own terms. And only then can it run candidates for office, whose goal in office mustn’t be to seek “good policy” through system channels, but rather to be monkey-wrenchers and grid-lockers in order to assist the extra-legal actions of the movement, which is the real action.

      Contrast that with e.g the Green Party, which so far as I can see just wants to do the Democrat Party over again (but honest and for true this time), and which if ever in office no doubt would earnestly seek to “work within the system”, would seek “allies within the system”, in other words would cave in/sell out immediately, just like the con artists of Syriza.

      My political prescription always has been exactly the same, for as long as I’ve been writing: The long, hard work of movement-building. There’s no alternative to this, if anyone wants to do anything more than passively wait for the corporate-technocratic system to collapse of its own unsustainable weight.

      Comment by Russ — February 8, 2018 @ 12:02 pm

      • Genuine democracy is preferable to representation, Russ, but works best at the local level, in democratic workplaces, neighborhood councils, and rural town meetings. For small, stable institutions consensus decision making can be practiced. But coordination by bioregion, continent, or planet wide will probably require representation, at least until we devise much more effective mass communication tools.

        It seems to be impossible to take money out of politics, but we can see ways to empower candidates to run viable races without money. Some states already allow signature gathering in place of filing fees, but I don’t know any that refuse fees and simply require signatures. Probably the most effective stabilizer would be to require fair and equal access to the public airwaves. I suspect this change could be managed at the local level, in a similar manner to community access TV.

        One of the most effective ways to break the dysfunctional two party system is for local governments to revise their charters to require Proportional Representation and/or Ranked Preference Voting. The resulting multiparty system, especially if no one party holds a majority, can lead to respectful deliberation in place of negative campaigning and gridlock.

        Comment by VernonHuffman — February 8, 2018 @ 9:51 pm

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